I met Adeye in blogland but have also been privileged to spend some face-to-face time with her and her family a few times over the past 2yrs.
Adeye and her husband Anthony have 7 children, 4 of whom are adopted. Each adpoted child has her own unique story, but the one that has truly touched my heart is Hailee's. Any child who is forced to spend even one day in an orphanage can't be considered to have had a 'good start' in life, but there are some who have truly horrendous orphanage experiences and Hailee is one of those sweet babies.
She came home as a 5yr. old weighing only 15 1/2 pounds. But what she lacked in size she made up for in spunk and an innate survival instinct.
Our first park get together was July of last year and all 3 girls just kind of hung out on the blanket together. Even then it was evident that Hailee was going to make sure her younger sister knew who was the oldest even if she wasn't the biggest.
Yes, ma'am, this girl wasn't going to let someone with a few extra pounds push her around.
However, my (ahem) sweet daughter made sure that Hailee knew that she was definitely going to use her size to her advantage.
In my sweet
bully daughter's defense, she was probably just trying to hug Hailee. I'm sure it had nothing to do with her trying to steal Hailee's drink or pull her hair or anything like that.
Ok, so there is some pictorial evidence to the contrary showing that Nadia doesn't always mean well, but I really think that even in this situation she was just showing Milana how much she adores her with a nice (albeit painful) "love squeeze".
Ahh...but I digress. Back to Hailee my Hero!
I was so excited to see her and her family yesterday and to see the wonderful progress she's made since our last visit. I could tell she had gotten much stronger and still possessed that same spunk and survival instinct that has helped her get this far in life.
But I still wasn't prepared for sista to "bust-a-move" the way she did. Thankfully, I caught it all with my camera in the following sequence of pictures.
It started out all pink and innocent and cute as Jenn broke out the crackers for the 4 little ones.
In fact it wasn't until I moved Harper up next to her sister that all "you know what" broke loose.
I can just hear Hailee's thoughts..."Oh no you don't, Harper, these crackers are mine!"
So, doing what any sister would do when faced with competition , Hailee pushed her down to leave her with only 2 opponents for the food.
Being next in the line of fire, Nadia gets a dose of karma with a good hair-pulling from Hailee.
(Notice Harper's unwillingness to jump in and help out--I'm totally cracking up at this point which I'm sure makes me a terrible mom but the irony of this scene was tickling my funny bone.)
What comes around goes around they say.
This really played out faster than it seems, and even amidst my laughter, I am just about ready to intervene...you believe me right?
Pinned! You win Hailee. You can have Nadia's crackers.
"Oh no she did not just reach her hand out for MY share of the crackers."
(Bad move Milana....Really. Bad. Move.)
Hailee is the full package. She's as sweet and cuddly and pretty in pink as she can be...
...and tough as nails when needed. She had to be or she wouldn't be here today. I thank God that he gave this girl the fighting spirit that she has and that he moved in the lives of Adeye and Anthony to bring this little one into their family where she can truly reach her full, God-given potential!
YOU GO GIRL!!!
(Post Disclaimer: No children were harmed in this photo shoot and no sticks were ingested...just some leaves and grass by Nadia...as usual...