Kara turned 9 years old on November 8. My baby is certainly growing up–not much of a baby anymore! She has gotten so tall this year. When we first adopted Kara, she stayed 30 pounds for a long, long time. I just figured that she’d always be a little petite girl, but that has not proven to be true. Oh, she is very lean, but she is so LONG! I guess I may as well resign myself to the idea that I will probably end up being the shortest one in my family….. 🙂
Kara is such a funny girl! She made out a list of gifts that she would like, and I couldn’t believe what was on there! It was all crazy stuff like giant gummy bears, sparkle this-or-that, etc. I did my behind the scenes research (i.e. interrogating the siblings) to find out what was at the top of her list, and they all agreed that she really, really wanted Illusion Putty. At first I thought, “surely not! Why would she want that???” But then I figured it out. Kara loves molding things with her hands. She literally will carry around a little blob of poster putty in her pocket for weeks so she can make little figures out of it. So, even though it did seem rather odd, I decided that Illusion Putty would make a good gift for my silly girl. It did not disappoint! Kara LOVES that putty! Now she carries it around all of the time! Fortunately, it came in a round metal container that fits perfectly into a little purse that Kara has, so she usually has that purse slung over her shoulder with her putty close at hand. She did make one mistake with that putty, though. She loved it so much that she took a little blob to bed with her the night of her birthday–NOT a good idea! It smeared all over her pajamas and sheets, and although I was able to wash the sticky out, the color is a permanent stain. So, yes, the putty is wonderful, but it is not a sleepy-time toy!
I know that every year when I post about Kara’s birthday I write about what a joy she is, but that is just the perfect description of her. In fact, it gets more so as the years go by. The road to Kara was so rocky, but God had it all worked out. (For those of you who may not know about her adoption, that story can be found summarized in the “My Story” posts of this blog. It was certainly not a “normal” adoption process!) I remember so well when the days in China looked so bleak, and my dear sister-in-law told me that when the right child came, that child would be nothing but pure joy to our family. So, that is how we named Kara. Her name is Kara Joy which means Pure Joy, and even though we gave her that name before we ever met, it fits her perfectly. I have learned so much from this sweet girl! She is so loving and happy, and, boy, does she love Jesus! It is amazing to listen to her pray–her prayers are so simple and yet profound. Ever since she has learned to communicate in English, she has talked to Jesus just like she talks to me, and that is so refreshing to see–simple, unashamed faith. When she knows of someone in need, she puts them on her prayer list, and she prays for them by name over and over every night.
I have had people tell me what a “lucky” girl Kara is to have a family, and I know their intentions are good. But, the truth is that we are the “lucky”–blessed–ones to have her with us. Yes, God’s plan is always perfect, and I am so thankful that she is a part of His plan for me. Recently Brock said it best: “What would our family be like without Kara? She is always so happy and kind even when the rest of us are grumpy!” Indeed, she is a bright sunshine girl in this dark world, and I praise God for her precious life!
Happy Birthday, baby doll–I love you!
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