May 6, 2012
"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Cor. 9:15
"I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can,
however, let Him use me to change the world for one
person." Katie Davis~ Kisses from Katie
Today marks 3 months since Ellie was placed in our arms!
And she is indeed, a GIFT to our family! She is
transitioning beautifully, and our girl laughs and smiles
continuously. She is happy and full of JOY! And she brings
us great joy as well!
Not surprisingly, our first couple of weeks home were
rough. Mostly due to Ellie's sleeping. Or lack thereof. I
am convinced that her sleeping so well in China was in an
effort to shut out what was happening in her little life.
When we arrived home, her sleep did a 180, and of course
that was HARD. Jet lag played a part in that, as well as
her insecurities and fears. It is a hard balance to help a
child feel safe and secure enough to rest well, and also
try to take those first early steps toward sleep training.
I am THANKFUL for the listening ears of a couple of
trusted friends as well as their wisdom and wise counsel.
After just a couple of weeks, our girl who had been
screaming every time I tried to lay her down, was smiling
and saying "night night" as she went down for her naps and
bedtimes. Praise God! Ellie's crib is still in our room,
but the plan is when Emily returns to school in August we
will be doing some bedroom switching, and we plan to
transition Ellie into her own room at that time.
Many of you have wondered how Ellie is doing with Bill,
and I'm happy to report there has been great progress on
that front as well! Although "mama" is still the one
preferred, Ellie greets her daddy after work each day
yelling, "Da Da! Da Da!" and running to him with
outstretched arms! A quick snuggle in daddy's arms, and
then she's ready to have her feet back on the ground.
Daddy can bathe Ellie and feed her. She enjoys short
visits in daddy's arms or on his lap. She likes to go bye
bye with daddy, too. But only mommy can give a bottle and
put Ellie to bed.
The first couple of weeks we were home, Ellie stayed very
close to me and did not want much to do with daddy or any
of her siblings, but by about week three, she slowly began
opening up to the rest of the family. She's found her
siblings to be quite fun and now is happy to run off and
play with them for good periods of time. All of the older
siblings are able to hold Ellie for short periods of time
now, too! The first sibling to have the honor of being
called by name by Ellie is DREW! "Dooo, Dooo" she says,
whenever Drew is home. And Drew is loving it! Ellie's 4
younger of the older siblings have been so patient and
kind and good with her. I am SO proud of them! Grace loves
to mother Ellie, and will do so as much as Ellie will
allow. Again, when mommy is nearby, I'm still Ellie's
preference. But that is GOOD and as it should be.
Our baby girl is now TWO! We celebrated Ellie's birthday
with a visit to a nearby historic site where it was sheep
sheering day! Ellie had a great time "baa-ing" with all
the sheep and also chasing the chickens around! We ended
our day with Mexican food for dinner and cake and presents
back at home. When we dimmed the lights and lit Ellie's
candles and then sang, you should have SEEN her face light
up. She got the biggest smile and laughed out loud
throughout the whole birthday song when she realized we
were celebrating HER! It was SO precious and priceless.
Ellie has been a great eater, and has gained over 4# since
we've gotten her. She now weighs in at 26#. Exactly the
same weight as big sister Kate, who is five! Ellie
especially loves green vegetables, which makes her mommy
VERY happy. Mexican food and Chick Fil A are favorites, so
she certainly fits right in with this family! Ellie loves
to play outside and loves going to the park. She can climb
and slide with the best of them and loves being pushed in
the swing. She enjoys playing in the sandbox, playing in
the water, and loves to go bye bye. She LOVES her car seat
and her stroller. She's a girl who enjoys being on the go!
Ellie loves routine and has ours down pat! She's mommy's
helper and likes to help unload the dishwasher and the
dryer. She's our #1 trash girl and loves the job of
throwing things away when asked. She understands
everything we tell her, though her vocabulary is still
fairly limited. She will NOT repeat words after us when
asked, "Ellie, say....." She will perform no "tricks" on
command. Ellie is outgoing when we are out and smiles and
waves at everyone. Just don't try to pick her up, thank
you very much! As most of you know, we homeschool, and
when we are doing work at the table, Ellie wants to be
right with us, with her own pencil and paper. She wants to
do EVERYTHING that the older children do. She's growing up
way too quickly for this mama's heart.
We're not ready to put our girl in the church nursery yet,
so we have her in worshipping with us each week. She
actually does well, and makes it through the entire hour
and a half or so, most weeks. When we sing worship songs,
she's got those little arms raised and she is "singing"
right along. It is so cute! She's got everyone wrapped
around her little finger, though she teases and plays hard
to get. As AnnaClaire says on a daily basis, "Mommy, she's
just SO cute!" Yes, we are SO enjoying this one last baby
girl. This most precious and unexpected gift!
We have some exiting things going on this summer with our
older children. Our oldest son will be graduating,
traveling to Asia for 3 1/2 weeks, and then once home
he'll be starting a new job. Ultimately, he'll be working
in Omaha, NE but prior to that he'll be participating in
an 8 month training program in Kansas City. He's been
"home" (in the same city as us, though in his own apt.)
for the last 3 years, and we are SO going to miss him as
he embarks on this new phase of his life. Drew has worked
HARD in college, all the while working for a large bank
30-40 hours a week. He's graduating with top grades and
had multiple job offers. Even in this economy!
Will is spending 6 weeks in the Western US doing a geology
field camp, where he'll be studying soil samples. 2 days
after finishing field camp, he'll be heading to Kenya for
a month where he'll be assisting a doctoral student with
her field work over there. Will, also, has worked while
attending Baylor, and while working in the geology lab on
campus he made some sort of soil discovery that is
actually significant in the geology field. He was asked by
the head of the dept. to prepare a professional paper and
present his findings at the national geology convention
this fall. Last year the convention was held in
Minneoaplis and this year the convention "happens" to be
held in our city! So, perhaps we'll get an extra little
visit in with Will this fall, since we won't be seeing him
Emily arrived home from Auburn last night. It is hard to
believe that she was 13 (THIRTEEN) when we started on this
adoption adventure, and she's now finished her freshman
year of college! Unfortunately (for me) she'll just be
home just 2 weeks and then is heading to Arkansas where
she'll be on staff at Camp Ozark for the rest of her
summer. We are so happy and proud of the accomplishments
and opportunities of our older children, but I am SO
thankful that we have our 5 precious little ones still at
home. I cannot imagine my days without the activity of
these children in the house. (ok, well maybe some days I
can :)) So many of my empty nester friends are trying to
find what God is calling them to do in this season of
their life. I am thankful that every day I wake up and
KNOW, without question, what I am called to do! Even with
all my shortcomings and failures as a parent (and trust
me, I have MANY) God once again chose to entrust me with
MORE children to raise up for Him. I pray I do not fall
1st Week Home ~ February
Chuck E. Cheese for Kate's Birthday ~ March
Celebrating Emily's Birthday ~ March
Matching Sisters ~ April
Beautiful Girl on Easter
Ellie with ALL her siblings
Remember the Airport Photo???
Happy Birthday Ellie - May 4, 2012
As you know, I did not end up posting on Emily's blog.
Just today at lunch she told me she's going to show me how
before she heads to camp. Ha. We shall see. BUT, I can say
to look for my next My Adoption Website update in August,
when we'll be celebrating 6 months of Ellie!
Blessings to you all, and thank you for following along!
Late Addition to this Update . . .
Big steps tonight with Daddy!!!!! I just got in a little
late from the grocery store this evening, fully expecting
that I would need to immediately put Ellie to bed, and
much to my surprise, she was ALREADY in bed! Bill was able
to give her the bottle and lay her down, and she was HAPPY
and told him "Night, Night!" Daddy was just BEAMING when I
got in and he told me the news!