At the time our words were really just a statement of faith in God's trustworthiness. We hadn't experienced that about which we wrote. Now, however, we're 1-1/2 years into parenting a girl adopted just four months before she turned 16. Now, we can unabashedly say that we were right in what we wrote. It is truly do-able to add a teenager through adoption. There's a special magic about it, in fact. A orphaned teen has suffered for years. As a result, when ensconced in a the safety of a family, a teenager who is a former orphan really "gets" the blessing of being set free from orphanage life and loved by parents and siblings. Daria overflows with gratitude to us for making her part of our family. She is deeply and openly affectionate. She tells us many times a day that she loves us. She loves to kiss and hug and cuddle.
The challenges of adopting a teen are real, but the rewards are..well...so rewarding. Daria has brought fun, creativity, and humor into our home. We daily thank God that He challenged us to step beyond what was comfortable (adopting children ages 3 to 11) and trust Him by adding a much older child.
For her 17th we surprised our horse-loving birthday girl with four horseback riding lessons.
Her are some photos from her last lesson:
Daria learned how to sit on "Pinches" while Pinches sits
Both Daria and Pinches were willing to smile for the camera!
Daria and Pinches balanced on a small red platform. The horse trainer standing nearby insisted that Pinches pull her ears forward for the final touch.
Here Pinches and Daria are causing a teeter-tauter to flop forward and back just by a slight movement of one of Pinches' front legs at Daria's signal
Not surprisingly, Daria fell in love with this cooperative, amiable horse that has trained about 2,000 beginning riders in her 15 years.
Also, not surprisingly, Daria's parent's were deeply gratified to see their daughter so happy, as a simple birthday gift fulfilled a life-long-dream! God is good and does good!