Last week our Natasha turned twelve. We put off the celebration for several days so that her brother, John, would be able to join in. He was in Ethiopia on her birthday. Natasha's growing maturity was evident as she uncomplainingly waited for her special dinner, gift opening and birthday cake celebration.
This past year could be summed up in one word: growth. When we adopted Natasha at age five she weighed a mere 23 pounds. She was itsy-bitsy, wearing size 2T clothing. We learned early on in the adoption process that if a birthmother drinks excessively during a pregnancy, the baby will often be undersized and the child may never reach full adult stature.
We knew enough about Natasha's history to know that her first mom imbibed much alcohol while pregnant. So from the day Natasha became ours, we began praying that the Lord would heal her small stature. She has remained undersized the past six years always looking two to three years younger than her age. Our crying out to the Lord on her behalf has gone on and on.
Then this year the long-prayed for growth spurt began. God is so good. She's gone through three shoe sizes. She's skipped an entire clothing size! I buy her clothes, turn around and they're too small for her. She's grown past my shoulder and is now eagerly looking forward to the day we'll all celebrate that she'll inch past her mama. We're so happy that this precious daughter who's been so tiny is experiencing such astounding physical growth.
While Natasha has been so undersized physically, God has proven her to be a giant intellectually. This has been such a surprise because Natasha was diagnosed by a pediatric endocrinologist not long after she came with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome--a deeply dreaded diagnosis for adoptive parents. To God's glory, Natasha has defied everything the secular books say about the mental damage done to alcohol-exposed, severely neglected children. Despite her rough beginning, Natasha loves to explore any subject that catches her interest. She delves into material on the subject so thoroughly that she can then turn around and teach the rest of us. What a blessing to have a "teacher-child" in our midst!
Happy Birthday, Natasha!
We Love You Deeply!