Hello Amanda and Starfish family!
It's hard to believe we have been home with your little Stella (StellaMae to us) for six months now! Wow! She is simply one amazing little girl! And we will forever be grateful for all you did to show her love, compassion and kindness....all of these she exhibits so honestly...all of which she learned from each of you!
Where do we even begin! Well, our journey home felt undoubtedly like the longest flight in history! But all and all we made it and she survived better than the rest of us. The minute she walked into her new home, she was very quiet and spent her time roaming each and every room. We sat back in wonderment of what she might be thinking.
The first few nights were a little difficult as she would wake up crying and we would quickly love on her until she stopped. We knew she must be thinking of her family back at Starfish and confused as to what was going on with her new life.
Those few nights quickly turned into growth day by day into our family. It feels like she has been with us forever! We honestly attribute all her growth and success since we've been home to her loving siblings. Who by the way worship the ground she walks on. She is so loved by everyone and her smile is simply contagious. God's work is beyond belief. He has blessed us more than we could have every imagined with every little moment we have with her.
She spent the first few months speaking in complete Chinese which of course we had no clue what she was saying. Then, it quickly came into being English and every day she learns a new word. She is often found saying "Bye Ya'll" (must be the Texans in us) Thank you "Bless you" and still the infamous "uh oh" which by the way was the only English word she spoke when she was placed in our hands. Sadly in some stretch, she has almost completely turned off Chinese and is fully engaged into English. She sings songs with her siblings, dances like you wouldn't believe and has a special hand shake that she shares with each of them, each one different and priceless. No matter what though we work hard to keep her Chinese culture alive. That is so important to us for her to remember and cherish her roots.
She is the joy of our universe! She's smart, she's funny, she's so loving and so obedient. She loves to play soccer with her sister and brothers and tells me everyday that she is going to play golf when she is 9 (because she sees her 9year old sister playing golf). She helps around the house every day, loves to help me with the laundry and lights up when her dad comes home and runs into his arms. These first few months over here have been priceless. How can we ever thank you enough!
Attached are some photos of her over the past few months. Most of them are her playing around the house but there is one from her baptism and also from her first visit to the cleft doctor. Which by the way she received an wonderful report. The doctor said her lip looked "amazing." and was one of the best ones he has ever seen from China...he humbly said it reminded him of his work. He happens to be one of the best in the West coast so we felt his words spoke volumes for the efforts Operation Smile and Starfish made for our little girl!
Amanda, she's everything we ever prayed for! And we will never for one second forget all you did for her and will be forever grateful to you and your entire Starfish family.
Until next time. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe. Thank you for wrapping our little girl with so much love.
May your day be filled with many, many blessings,
"Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly....and Leave the rest to GOD"