Love Does Wonders - "Celebrating One Year With Reagan"

October 18, 2011

Reags with the purse
It is hard for me to believe that exactly one year ago today, I walked into the Civil Affairs Office in Changsha, China to meet my daughter for the very first time. A day I had anticipated for just about five years, was finally happening and the amount of emotion that was involved was almost too much to handle.
(This was the very first moment we saw her. We were told she had not arrived yet, but she was sitting there quietly clutching her nanny's purse, and sucking those two fingers)

Tickled Pink BLOG IT
Even though it was one of the happiest days of my life, I also felt a huge wave of sadness come over me as I watched my daughter begin to grieve and experience loss for the second time in her short 11 months of life.
It is hard to think about all that these little ones have to go through and I remember feeling so helpless. There was nothing I could do or say to take away her pain. It was apparent that It was going to take time and a lot of love to get her to begin to trust and bond with me.....and her new life outside the orphanage.

Most of you know the story and have heard me talk about it many times..... the first few days were not easy but by day three Reagan was showing little signs that everything was going to be "A-Okay".

She slowly began to let me in....... and no longer cried when I looked at her or held her close to me.

She had given me an inch....... but it sure felt like a mile!

From that point forward, I knew there was no turning back......we were on the right track.

Me Marla and Susan with Reagan
I will forever be grateful to Marla, one of my bff's who left her family for two weeks, to travel to the other side of the world with me. She was my rock and talked me through every step of this journey. When I had fear, she was there to tell me everything would be just fine. We got to share many special and memorable moments together..... some very funny and some very sad. She will always be part of our "family" and known as Aunt Marla. We just wish she didn't live so far away....... We are missing her like crazy today and wish so much she could be here with us to celebrate!

Meeting Daddy
Poor Pat..... for two entire weeks, he was glued to his computer waiting for updates. Thank goodness for Skype, or he would have never made it through. He was so anxious to meet his new daughter....... he was hanging onto every blog post and every sweet comment left by our family and friends. He was just counting the days until we stepped off that he could hold Reagan for the first time. In a matter of seconds he was completely smitten by his brown eyed girl.

Getting to know Sarah
After a week or so at home, Reagan began to experience what life was like with a sister.
We had concerns about Sarah and whether or not she was going to be able to handle giving up her role as the baby of the family, but she surprised us and took her new role as big sis very seriously. She did not leave Reagan's side for the first few months...... they were inseparable and the bonds of sisterhood started to emerge.

Getting to know Nick
Nick had the magic touch with his littlest sister. From the very first moment they met, you could see that they were going to have a very special relationship. She was so calm with him..... and very at ease. He adored her......and still does. She can do no wrong in her big brother's eyes.

In November, we celebrated Reagan's first birthday and let her have a little fun with her own personal cake!

Next came baby's first real Christmas.........

January Collage
then Chinese New Year.

February brought that winning smile...... and we watched our girl take her first steps.

March Collage
In March we had a little eye injury and had to make a few trips to the ER, but she rebounded quickly and took it all in stride.

I can't look BLOG
April brought a little warmer weather and Reagan's first trip to the park.
Better Together BLOG

The burgundy doors gigglefest COLLAGE
During the month of May, Reagan got her first big girl haircut at the salon.

Many Faces of Reagan BLOG
June was the start of her first fun filled summer!

July Collage
We headed North to Cape Cod over the 4th of July and Reagan fell in love with the sun, sand, and water.

August Collage
In August we celebrated one year since we saw her face.

September brought lots of fall related activities. Apple and Pumpkin picking...... and long walks in the park.

October Collage

Over the last year, Reagan has come so far.

This little girl has learned to love and to be loved.

She has shown us who she is and no longer holds back
She knows she can trust and depend on us.

She has melted our hearts many times over and we would travel to the end of the earth and back again for her.
Happy One Year Sweet Baby Girl!

We love you more than words can express.

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Number 6 and no more counting! said...

beautiful Lisa.


Formerly known as Frau said...

Thank you for sharing her first year with us gives me such happiness to see her excel, she is a beautiful girl and completes your family perfectly.

Tezzie said...

Congratulations on a wonderful year! You've such a beautiful family <3

likeschocolate said...

Congratulation! What a wonderful year it has been following your journey!

Tammie T. said...

What a beautiful post. A walk down memory lane! :) I had tears in my eyes as I read all of the wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing your family through this blog. :)

Catherine said..., so beautiful! The progression in precious pictures showing your sweet baby girls growth is breath taking!

Congratulations on your first amazing year together as a family of 5!

Stefanie said...

Love DOES do wonders... what a beautiful way to celebrate one wonderful year with your precious girl :) The pictures are priceless!!
Happy One Year together!!

Jboo said...

So beautiful! Wonderful to have watched her bloom with the love of her sweet family! Have a happy day!


paige said...

has it been a year lisa? oh my goodness!!! so tickled to have witnessed as this sweet baby girl came into your lives &fulfilled your dreams. congratulations & may you have a wonderful day of celebration!!

Briana's Mom said...

It is amazing to see how she has blossomed over the last year! Happy Reagan-versary! Congratulations to you all!!! Hugs. :)

Jodee said...

What a sweet post! Time certainly flies when you are having soooo much fun! Happy, happy one year anniversary! Reagan was the perfect addition to your family!

Anonymous said...

Happy one year together!!!!! I loved going back over the last year once again.
What a wonderful day!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy one year "Family Day"! One year already-I can hardly believe it. I remember following your journey just like it was yesterday.
Orlando, FL

P.S. Jasmine has the same dress for Christmas :-)

Diane said...

Big happy crocodile tears from me this morning reading each recap of your first year together. Soooooooo touching Lisa. Your gorgeous photos speak volumes!

Love ya,

Love Letters To China said...

What a wonderful way to remember the past year. It is so hard to believe it's already been that long. I remember the day you posted her picture and also the one you took of Nick and Sarah on the beach with her name written in the sand. How quickly time has flown. It's amazing to see how much she has grown physically and emotionally. Love does move mountains.

Happy One Year Anniversary Lisa!


Gail said...

It's really hard to believe it's been a year!! Her smile sums it all, she is so loved. What a happy little girl!

Congrats on your one year as a family with Reagan. Hope you're doing something special!

xoxoxo Gail :)

Beth @ Snaps Of Our Life said...

She's so beautiful Lisa!

Bailey said...

Simply amazing Lisa. I cannot believe that an entire year has passed by already. So happy for you all!

Sharon said...

I really can't believe it has been a year already. I have truly enjoyed watching your family grow and seeing Reagan blossom into a beautiful little girl. I am so happy that you have such a happy ending to this part of your story. This post has brought me true joy Lisa. Thank you for sharing.

frogglet said...

Happy Reagan Day! I can't believe it has been a year already. She has come so far and changed so much. Have a wonderful day and give Reagan a hug from her Washington Chenzhou sister!

Sandy said...

Happy One Year!! Your photos express all the love and emotions of the past year. Beautiful!

Kayce said...

Happy Family Day Reagan and family! What an amazingly beautiful year it has been for all of you.

Dreaming Hollow Photography said...

Beautiful story, gorgeous photography. We almost adopted a little boy from Russia but someone placed a hold on him that was a little farther along in their paperwork than we were. Then we had three boys of our own but I will never forget Little Pasha who was almost ours. Looking forward to following your blog and joining your friday link ups! =)

freckles & dimples said...

happy one year! wishing you all a lifetime of wonderful memories :)

Patricia said...

Happy Family Day!! BEAUTIFUL recap of your wondrous year with Reagan!!
Enjoy your special day today!!

snekcip said...

Really beautiful!! I remember EACH one of these pictures and it was indeed a pleasure to travel "back down memory lane"! Thank you for sharing your family and your story. It indeed has been a true pleasure! Happy ONE year Anniversary!!

Susan said...

Such a sweet year in review! Such a lovely family, one and all.

elliotts said...

Tatum is down for her nap and I am sitting her sobbing like a baby reading this. Our 1 month Gotcha Day is tomorrow, and all these memories have come flooding back. It's amazing to see what a whole year has done for you and Reagan...let alone what one month has done for Tatum and our family. Adoption is amazing...what a journey to share with everyone!


Unknown said...

What an amazing little girl! Congratulations to a beautiful family.

JustPam said...

This is a beautiful story. I love the pictures-some of them are totally amazing. You have beautiful children.

Unknown said...

You have left me speechless Lisa, you have a beautiful family and gorgeous photos to document your beautiful story. That last photo of Reagan eating cake is to die for...what an emotional capture...pure joy. It looks like you all have done a fabulous job in reassuring everyones importance in the family. :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Gotcha day! (thats what one of my friends who adopted calls it) :)

How wonderful.. I love this post!

the meaklims said...

I am teary eyed. There is nothing more wonderful, than love.


Hannah said...

I'm not sure why but it brought tears of joy to my eyes reading this. I have loved watching your family grow and flourish. Happy Anniversary!!

3 Peanuts said...

What a beautiful year of memories!!!!! Congratulations!


Sophie said...

She is an absolute doll face!!

Mimi said...

Sharing all those memories with you Lisa.
It's been a wonderful journey, and so amazing to witness through your blog.
Reagan is beautiful, and she fits perfectly into your family, cos you were meant for each other.
Congratulations to you all!

Everything Beautiful Shay said...

What a beautiful year you all have shared. I am always amazed how much our children change over a year with all the love they can get! :) SJ grew three inches and gained 6 pounds. :) Blessings and love! XO

Tara said...

Congratulations Lisa (and your beautiful family). Your post melts my heart. I'm so happy that she's home with you. Enjoy celebrating, tara

Virginia said...

Tears. I can't beleive it's been one year already! Happy Reagan-versary! I loved the photo flashback and I'm struck with how much she and Sarah both look like they've grown. This post just made me so happy!

Gin =)

BA said...

wow a year already - how can it be??? I remember following your blog and the wait seems like forever--now a year has flown by but it crazily it seems like she has always been here!!! Love this post!!1 Have a VERY happy forever Family day!!! Such a special time!!!!! Love the year of pictures!!! amazing what love does!!!!
Our best to all of you!!!

Shari said...

Happy family day! Hope you made some fun new memories today:)

Isa + Steph + Sijia + William said...

Our family share the same "Gotcha day" one year apart. A day that we will remember and cherish forever.


Wendy said...

Has it already been a year?! Congratulations!!! She has grown so much and it's such a joy to watch your children grow bigger every day.

DiJo said...

Happy Anniversary Reagan and Family!!!! It is so amazing to see how far she has traveled in just one year!!!! Love can do great things!!!! Happy Birthday to you Lisa!!! What a gift you have been given to celebrate every year!!!!

Blessings for another wonderful year with your precious girls!


Misty said...

This is just absolutely beautiful! I loved it!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on a year filled with love with Missy Reagan-- thanks for sharing you and your lovely family !!!! Gods Blessings on you all!Our daughter is now 15 1/2 ,adopted at age 2 and has started driving !! wow that crept up on me-- Cathy in Illinois

carolinagirl said...


Isn't it amazing how fast the time goes by once you actually have that precious little one home?

ellieshine said...

awwwww. so many precious memories - and photos!

happy one year to your sweet girl!!

xo ellie

Maria Berg said...

Thank you for sharing the story with us - love coming here from time to time and read and have a look at your wonderful photos, MB

Wanda said...

Beautiful wrap-up of a wonderful year. LOVE this post and all the gorgeous pictures.

Happy one year!!!

Honey Mommy said...

You have a beautiful family!

I absolutely adore the last pictures of your girls. Can you tell me where you got those cute ruffle dresses? I am not even sure if that is what they are called! I want to get one for my baby girl and take her pictures in it.


Krista said...

I love reliving the year through your photos. And what an amazing year it's been! Happy Reagan Day!