Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Eliana is Two!

Today is Eliana's second birthday and we spent the day celebrating her young life. She awoke without a clue as to what this "Happy Birthday!" thing was all about, but shortly got into the swing of things as she was showered with attention and gifts. I don't think she ever dreamed of something as exciting as blowing out candles, let me tell you.
We ended the evening with a few close friends coming over to share Ellie's Elmo cake. It was really nice to have them join us as they have all been so important in supporting us through this past challenging year.

It is hard to believe that she is actually two. She is more and more the tiny little peanut every day. It cracks me up that she was called "pang pang" or "chubby baby" in the orphanage just a bit over a year ago. We really do feed her, she just chooses not to eat a whole lot. Her personality is growing all the time and we are holding onto new hope that her attachment issues are starting to improve. Her physical therapist is great and seems to be helping on that front as well. It has been a busy second year of life, but I trust a good one for her in many ways. I also hope and pray that Ellie's third birthday puts a great deal more distance between us and these struggles. God has been good- then again, He is always good. Perhaps I should say, we have seen His goodness and trust that He will continue to sustain us and to walk this path with us.
Finally, as I reflected today on Eliana and her first years, I couldn't help but wonder if her birthparents were thinking of her today as well. My heart goes out to them. Even though I don't know the specific circumstances that led to her abandonment, I can't imagine it was an easy choice. I appreciate knowing that they took on the risk of leaving her in front of the orphanage where she was sure to be found- it is the most loving choice they could have made if they knew that they could not keep her. Also this "chubby" baby (as the reports say) had obviously been cared for not only before birth, but in those first two weeks of life spent with her birthfamily. So, my conclusion is that they are thinking and wondering today, and I pray that somehow they will be comforted and that they will know that she is safe and loved and being celebrated somewhere out in the world today. While I never would have wished abandonment on this or any precious little girl, I am thankful that she found her way into our family.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Cheeks!
New Album 9/23/08 10:35 PM

Friday, September 19, 2008

Knock On Wood

Okay, I haven't posted this past week for fear that saying it out loud might somehow spoil it. We had the best week we have ever had with Ellie. We have a long way to go still, I realize, but she was markedly better with Milan. She actually went to him to kiss a boo boo instead of me- UNHEARD OF! She also has been asking about him more often, wanting to go and model her morning outfits for him and even allowed quite a few non-crying pick-her-ups. Now there were still moments of UGH, but it was so great to see some potential cracks in our proverbial ceiling. For those of you praying, don't quit! We need them, but I thought I had better pass on that there has been some truly great moments this week. I have had the mantra of "baby steps", but this felt like a real step in the right direction this week. Now if we can just avoid the 2 steps back.

Finally Posting the New Goods

Here is a picture of our little soccer stud sporting his new goods. Unfortunately red with flames turned out not to be an option. There is always next time.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Break a Leg, Boys... or Perhaps an Arm

Today marked the official beginning to soccer season with the first games for both of our boys. They played their hearts out. Noah had a goal in the first half and make 7 saves as goalie in the second half. Bravo! Elijah was tearing up the field when he took a bump from behind and (to borrow from the early Batman series) KABLAMO! He was down for the count. He had landed on his hand/wrist and we weren't sure exactly how bad it was. Of course, after about 5 minutes of crying, he wanted to go back in. He lasted about 30 seconds before he completed melted into tears. After our little trip to the urgent care, we found he had indeed broken his arm just above the wrist. Ouch! Thankfully, this shouldn't even warm up the broken foot episode of last year, but it is painful all the same. I will post pictures once he has his new cool cast- he is planning on red. How appropriate. Perhaps they have them with flames going up the sides as well.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Little Red Smiling Good

This is just a recent photo of Ellie before church. She still loves her hats. She wore this dress for her 1 year old pictures... it still fits. Let's just say she isn't going to be a large woman. It looks even better now that she has hair.

Gotcha Day

Eliana, August 2007 in China

Eliana, August 2008 in Chelan, WA

We celebrated Eliana's Gotcha Day, August 19, at Lake Chelan with my family. I am finally getting a few shots from that day up. It is hard to believe she is the same child. One year later, we have a long way to go, but I know more each day that she is our little girl and that one day we will look back on these difficult months and not be able to imagine not having persevered through them.
I remember the day we got that pathetic picture above and how it tore my heart up inside of me. I often try to think back to that day when we are having a particularly difficult time with attachment, and I remember knowing that we had to bring her home. It broke my heart to imagine that sweet child alone in that hard empty crib with no Mommy to rock her to sleep and no Daddy to give her kisses. She was then and is now our little Ellie and we are thankful that God chose her for our family.