A post from Rush on Rylie's 1-year adoption date.
A year ago today something happened in the city of Nanchang, a city in the Jiangxi Province of the People’s Republic of China. A common occurrence that happens just about every day and goes mostly unnoticed by the thousands of people filling the markets, shops, small apartments and busy streets below. Two people from thousands of miles away carried a little girl who looked very different from them into a dark, hot, almost-abandoned government building. There, they signed some forms, turned over American dollars and explained why they would want to take this “special needs” girl home with them. The cash was authenticated, forms stamped, and officials were satisfied. Almost as quickly as they entered the building, the couple and girl were escorted back out onto the busy street.
But this time as the bicyclists raced by, sirens wailed, and people stared at the motley crew on the sidewalk, everything was different. That little girl had a new name. And she was part of a family. She was one of us. She was our daughter. I was her dad.
And so began a year filled with ups, downs, laughs, tears, doctors, surgeries, new languages, food, customs, sights, sounds and smells. Rylie is definitely not who she was on that day she officially became ours. She has grown in every way possible. She amazes me every day at what she can do, what she is capable of learning and how she has been grafted into our family with such ease. But as much change as Rylie has experienced, I can’t help but think the biggest change has happened to us.
Over the past twelve months my little girl has taught me so much about love, patience, compassion, commitment, faith, priorities and family. Who knew that a little girl who was left of on the steps of a hospital at not-quite two months of age could be such a powerful teacher? She has brought me closer to my wife, my kids, and to Christ. I am so thankful. On her one year mark of being a Middleton I want to thank a few people:
My wife – who has been amazing and navigated so much of this adoption process like a champion. Being Rylie’s Mommy hasn’t always been easy, but she has been an incredible partner in this journey. Jennifer deserves more than I can ever give her.
Jonah & Reagan - for accepting their sister as she is, and for loving her without prejudice.
Our parents – without them none of this could have happened
Our family & friends – for encouragement, counsel and loving us.
Rylie’s birthmother - Thank you for choosing life when so many people don’t. I owe you so much. I pray you are at peace and know that Jia Hui is loved.
Rylie –Thank you for loving me even when I don’t deserve it. Your daddy loves you and can’t imagine a life without you in it.
It’s amazing to see all the changes that have taken place in our little girl over the past twelve months, and it’s beyond exciting to think and dream about what lies ahead.
Rylie isn’t who she was.
Because of her, neither am I.
And that’s the best thing ever.