First of the Year Firsts!

This January 2014 brings so many new things for us all! A fresh new start and a confidence we will see God’s promises continually being fulfilled in all the moments to come. Our journey to China and back was one we will NEVER forget!

IMG_5636

We saw God’s promise of a sweet girl a world away….fulfilled.

One thing God has shown me through this….is how much more He loves us than we realize!! If we would only trust Him, daily seek Him with whole hearts, and hold to every promise in His word….we would be blown away by the joy in His showers of blessings, rest from anxiety, and strength given in times of hardship.  I cannot imagine having gone through this past year…or any moment of my life thus far…without Him.  Two of my favorite verses combined that I often repeat to myself are “Without Him I can do nothing….and with Him I can do all things!”

He placed this burden to help the orphaned….and led us every step of the way.  We couldn’t be more amazed and grateful…as it seems to sink in more every day that Elyana is here!

IMG_5568

It’s been so much fun to watch her experience so many firsts! And over the course of 2014, we look forward to seeing her eyes light up, her silly nose wrinkle in disgust, and her laugh fill up the room over the new things she will see and do.  Here are just a couple of Elyana’s firsts……

First bite of ice cream…..

dsc03534[1]

First shopping trip to Wal-Mart with Mom! (yum…we love green juice while grocery shopping!)
IMG_5457

First time meeting Mimi and PopPop…..I think she already knows they are SUPER amazing and special…
DSC03601

First time playing with a Mrs. potato head……she then decided she would be the Mrs. potato Head!
IMG_5468

First time sleeping in her big girl bed (bottom bunk to Jenna) that Daddy made!
IMG_5560

First coloring book and crayons…all her own! She loved it!
DSC03604

First pet….our Golden Retriever Cabby…she’s so curious about her eating. Elyana already says “Cabby”, “Puppy”, and says “woof” “woof”  IMG_5562

First pile up tickle time with Daddy at home!
DSC03646
DSC03648

First school day….she loved learning and playing!
IMG_5580

First time working in the kitchen….she loved it and played so seriously for about an hour!
IMG_5573

First holiday at home….Happy New Year!!

DSC03617
DSC03628

First Mexican dinner….saying cheese with her quesadilla and rice! She loved it…boy have we missed one of our favorite local restaruants…Mi Taquila!
IMG_5588

First time she showed any interest in sleeping with stuffed animals. She didn’t have them in the orphanage. She got so mad when I tucked them in to go to sleep. (because she didn’t want to go to bed)…but then when I peaked at her later…she had fallen asleep with all three tucked under her arm…
IMG_5583

First time making silly balloons shapes with Ryan! He’s so patient and taught her how to pump the balloons up herself. IMG_5551

First ride in Daddy’s truck! (was the best sight..to see the backseat filled up!)  Ryan and Jenna have successfully taught her the monkey face! (wasn’t so funny hearing her do it at night, in the dark, when it was time to be sleeping)
IMG_5478

First time playing bubbles!! She was amazed!!

DSC03606

First snuggle and silly sister time at home….she copies everything Jenna does!
DSC03650

DSC03612

First time meeting cousins…..(wish I had pics of her with all her cousins..but didn’t want to overwhelm her) Lucas was so sweet & kind…bringing her toys and telling her all about them!
IMG_5533

First time to play in the snow! At first she wasn’t sure when the kids sprinkled snow in her sled…but saw Ryan and Jenna having fun…so decided it was ok!
DSC03674
DSC03656

First time meeting our cat Piper up close (at first wasn’t sure about it getting in her space). After a while she was giggling at Piper and Cabby playing in the snow. DSC03677

We thank each one of you who have prayed for Elyana’s adjustment and attachment. Since home the fits have decreased, and sleep is increasing with every night! (last night she said “ni, nigh” and crawled in and laid down with NO tears!! and didn’t wake up sobbing last night. wooohoo!) I still have to sit by her bed until she is asleep, but am confident she will be ok with me leaving the room soon.

There are so many things we never realized…like her needing to be secluded with us for a short time, and not introduced to too many new people all at once. John and I are still the only ones providing for her needs, and holding her.
Over just the last few quiet days at home we’ve seen AMAZING progress with Elyana! She is acting like she is more secure with us each day! (the night-time routine showed us this most of all!) Today again, at nap time she put her hands out to dive into bed. The transition is amazing and we pray for continued progress and healing for her little heart. If you are curious about attachment I’ve included some links. (one is from a 15yr olds perspective)

http://adoptedbydesign.typepad.com/blog/2014/01/adoption-from-a-siblings-point-of-view-meet-the-cassada-family.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FkHZX+%28Adopted+by+Design%29

http://www.drinkwaterfamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/family-and-friends-dos-and-donts.html

As she fell asleep for a nap…I just sat and listened to this worship song…thanking God for all He has done and His great love that abounds for us all.


We begin this year with thankful hearts…exalting our great and loving Father. For it’s in His mercy Elyana is now here in our arms.

IMG_5626

(I shared this once before) But, every day from July 19th (Referral Day) when we first saw her face, until Dec. 15th (Gotcha Day)…..we tried to keep up with reading a Psalm for each day we waited. And isn’t God amazing…that the very last Psalm in the Bible would be on the day we finally held her in our arms. It sums up our thankful hearts both on that wonderful day and now as we are beginning 2014!

Psalm 150

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord!


2 thoughts on “First of the Year Firsts!

  1. I love all these pictures of her firsts! She is so beautiful! Praise God for all he had done! Love you all and will continue to pray and praise Him in the days ahead !

    1. Thank you so much Aunt Chris. Can’t wait to see you in February & have you hold her 🙂 I just know she will LOVE her Aunt Chris just like we do!!!
      Thank for your prayers….always means SO much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s