I met this amazing woman.
And 3 of her 4 beautiful daughters.
She embraced me so warmly.
And I was able to introduce her to my Nathan, who also joined our family through the miracle of adoption.
Little did we know that the next 12 months would be full of so many events and experiences it would make our heads spin.
We have laughed and cried together.
We have shared secrets.
We have shared feelings that we didn't know we had.
We've even been shopping together.
Lori has watched us add to our family as we welcomed our little Eli.
And has watched us hurt for our Grandpa Craig.
She was with me for my 31st birthday.
Lori has come so far.
I have too.
We've discovered so much about each other.
And we've both realized that we're not even scratching the surface.
Lori has helped me understand the circumstances that I came from.
She has introduced me to my birthfather's family.
And then lovingly listened as I processed those experiences as well.
She has met my mother.
And my father (as well as Derik's parents).
She has fully embraced my family and has helped me complete my circle.
Lori, Happy Anniversary!
You have helped me heal, when I honestly didn't think I needed to.
It has been a wonderful year for me,
and I hope to have many, many more.