Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Graci!

Gracelin Kate Green
Wang Chun Ling
Ling Ling
Graci Kate
Rainbow Sunshine Girl #1 (can you guess who’s #2?)
The Gracester

All fitting names for our darling TWELVE YEAR OLD! Graci is spending her 12th birthday at Young Women’s Camp—how fun is that? You have to be 12 to attend, so she barely made it. We sent her off early yesterday morning and she was bouncing-off-the-walls-excited! I will be heading to camp later today, and I absolutely cannot wait to give her birthday present…

Graci has come SUCH A LONG WAY in the last 2 ½ years. I am reposting the video of her "coming home” for anyone that has 20 minutes of free time (sorry it’s so long!)

Our Graci has been an example of courage and grace as she has endured adjusting to a new family, friends, culture, and language all while undergoing two major open heart surgeries and several smaller surgeries. She is a pillar of strength. We love and admire her. I am particularly grateful for the attention she showers upon her sisters. Jesi totally fell apart when Grace left for camp—they are two peas in a pod.

Graci had an early birthday present on Monday evening, when Make-a-Wish gave her a “sendoff party” for her Disney Cruise. We had her wish granters and lots of friends over at our house for a barbeque. Graci LOVED all the attention and was so excited when the doorbell rang and she found “Belle’s best friends” standing there! We didn’t know that was going to happen, so we were surprised as well!

The best part of the evening came when Make-a-Wish made a special presentation. First, they gave our family a very LARGE check for expenses we might incur on the cruise. This includes everything from money to park at the airport to spending money for fun excursions. We are overwhelmed by their generosity. I wish I could thank everyone personally who has ever donated to MaW and let you see the joy it has brought our daughter.

Kent then talked to Graci about the day that she made her wish. He asked her if she remembered some of the wishes that her family members had for her. Xander’s wish for her was a “poofy dress.” This was Graci’s very first wish when she heard that she was granted a wish—but we had told her that she could think even bigger. Graci ADORES poofy dresses—in fact, during the first year in our home she would dress up in one of my old (and not so pretty) dresses almost every day. So imagine how thrilled she was when Kent told her that he had searched for the perfect poofy dress for Graci to wear on the cruise! She had no idea it was coming. Her smile says it all… She told everyone that she had wished on a star for a poofy dress. (:

As we walked inside to try the dress on, Graci confided in me that she had been praying every day for a poofy dress for the cruise. She was in tears. (Of joy!) We are so overcome with the way Make-a-Wish has made Graci feel like a real princess. We can’t wait to get her all fixed up and have some professional photos taken… It was also so cute that Jesi, on her own, also went inside and came out with her own "princess dress" on. (:

We had birthday cake for both Graci and Jessica (their b-days are two days apart). We’ll have their party later, but thought it was fun to at least do their cake that night.

Graci, you are one very special girl. We know our Heavenly Father loves you beyond our comprehension, and He has evidenced that today by sending you a very special birthday gift. We can’t wait to tell you about it!

And, as soon as we tell Graci, we’ll let you all in on it…

Teri, you had better take your blood pressure medication today. (: