Monday, November 29, 2010

"Can we say we're sisters?"

That's what the two little darlings asked us (the two mommies) as we walked to the park on Sunday afternoon?

Jane and I looked at each other and said, "Sure!"

Great bonding time for the dynamic duo in matching panda shirts!

Great Day at the Park - Fun and Friendship!

Em and Anna -
No string.
No bait.
Just silliness
high jumping, pecan picking, mud tracking, girl laughing, shirt matching, duck viewing, pup petting, "sister" sharing times on a delightful autumn afternoon.

Dress Up and Perform Time - Em and Anna

Thanks, Dr. Jane, for the pics!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010. It's Been a Thrill a Minute Around Here.

Well, maybe I should say a "laugh a minute". Of course, everyone thinks their o-w-n kids are funny. Maybe the rest of known world begs to differ. As Em was bathing the other night, she said she'd like to put a lotion mask on her face and place some slices of "cue-pumpers" on her eyes.
I laughed -- at the 'cucumber faux pas'...but didn't let her know she'd made a mistake. Nah. I'm savoring the last of the moments where she makes these types of mix-ups. They are fewer and far between these days.
She asked why. I was laughing.
I just told her it was because she was so darn cute.
That "Chinglish" comment about the veggie rates right up there with her not liking "rack-a-moni and cheese" but asking for "peck-er-roni pizza" at Subway.
Emily-isms. I write them all down in a little spiral notebook I actually have used as a journal. Even took it to China with me. I must list some of these cutie-patootie quips the near future.
She cracks me up.

As stated often...autumn is by far my absolutely favorite time of year.
It's truly a season of appreciation, a fleeting segment of life that signals the approaching end of a year.
If you don't intentionally seek out its splendor, you might possibly miss much of its grandeur.
Emily and I have spent a great deal of time talking about it, reading about Squanto & listening to stories about him on CD, learning about Pilgrims and the Wompanoag Indians, and why our family is so very thankful & blessed.

I remember reading IDEALS magazines when I was a child. I think I was captivated by the photographs and moving poetry.
I still am.
I've been reading the fall issues of IDEALS...little snippets of stories and poems to Emily -- gazing at the pictures, discussing the treasures of this season.
I read this to her the other day while sitting outside sipping my coffee -- she was in my lap:

Come Walk with Me
"Come walk with me along the way
where lanes are autunm-dressed.
Come drink in all the colors fair,
and let your heart be blessed.

Come walk with me this misty morn.
There's spendor to behold -
along the country lanes we'll see
God's miracles unfold.
(B. Anderson)

The teacher in me knows that children learn from what we model for them. Now is my time to instill these values.

Marlene came over yesterday. She's my blonde friend with somewhat brown roots. Donna and I say she starts making sense when it gets to be about the time to color her hair again. Anyhoo, as she, Emily, and I were walking about my yard looking at the fiery red and purple leaves on the lawn...making it look like a outdoor Persian rug, she philosophically made this statement:
"Leaves all over the ground and snow are the great equalizers."
What she was alluding to was - no matter what type of house/neighborhood you live in...these 2 gifts of nature tend to put everyone on the same playing field...with a lovely sight for the eyes.
I agree.
She'll have the Miss Clairol, Sunset Blonde box out within 1 week and return to the fun-loving, bargain finding, never afraid to ask, 'fall-over-her-own-feet' friend we all know and love.
I have to talk nicely about her. She keeps Emily supplied with cute clothes.

It's been a divine time lately. We've attended or participated in a:
-potluck dinner at a lovely little church w-a-a-a-a-a-y out in the country
-symphony performance
-handbell performance (by mentally challenged young adults)
-Cirque du Soleil performers putting on a childrens performance - my FIRST time to see these type performers. Oh my. Amazing!!
-small theater play with good buddy Donna as a cast member; two of the many hilarious lines were:
"He could lift a Buick off a squirrel and never break a sweat!"
"Well...who ripped the red off your candy cane?"
-Thanksgiving celebration dinners at school & church
-4th grade PTA performance of multicultural celebrations around the world
-Missions Banquet at church (a tradition for our family)
-Pumpkin Patch and cornfield visit
(TLC will likely feature Emily and me on an upcoming episode of Hoarders. My little 58.5 lb. harvester came out of the cornfield with an armload of dried corn cobs -- enough to feed a 3rd world country. Our family motto: If one's good, two's better.)
-Barnum and Bailey circus
-visiting with Uncle(s) Michael and Skipper
-hot dog roast/Smores making evening with friends/family
(Gospel Truth: The fire pit was a hubcap off an 18 wheeler. I lie not. It was in Southern Living; therefore, IF, IF it was featured in Southern was sanctioned as "not redneck"...but quite the trend! So there.)
-having a fun photo shoot with her China group friends
-attending Chinese Cultural School
-making origami picture frames with her enrichment class at school; these are being made/sold to raise money for children in a pediatric hospital
-of course, the delightful Thanksgiving celebration at Nanny Carol's house
-deep breath...enjoying our favorite time of year.

We are blessed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

No. The B'day Girl is Not Mine.

Emily's in the back/at the left moving her hair out of her face.
Too much fun being had around here. Love it!

Two Pilgrims and Miss Squanto

Emily is the "thankful one" in the middle. We've been taking advantage of the beautiful fall weather -- my FAVE time of year. I just love the colors, the sunlight, the crispness of it all.

Glad to have Em flanked by two of her friends.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

THE DAY Has Arrived, and It Is STILL Incomprehensible.

It's not a bad day.

I always like to start conversations, phone calls off with a "cut to the chase" comment like that -- especially as a teacher calling a parent. Don't want moms to think their child has broken a leg, etc. when I'm only calling to say thank you for the cupcakes.

My LID group (worldwide) is receiving their referrals from China - as I type.

What does this mean? It means that when my papers were officially stamped in at the CCAA in China, the wait for my daughter began.
Excuse me. The GRUELING wait for my daughter began.

It's a date forever branded in my heart.

Am I sad? No.
Am I keenly aware? Uhm...yes & no. VERY aware but not in hyperalert mode. Not so much because of the fact that my daughter has been home with me for 2 years.

I began my adoption process in September of 2005 and completed all paperwork, requirements, etc. sometime around March, 2006. I was SEVERELY held up by a fingerprinting faux pas that caused my papers NOT to arrive in China until May, '06. They could've easily been there in Jan./Feb., '06.

But you know? It's neither here nor there. Didn't matter. What mattered in the long run is that I actually RECEIVED an LID so that when the time came, I was ready to proceed with an adoption for my sweet Mei Xia Ying, a.k.a. Emily.
I could've never comprehended the journey that lay before me.

I always thought of The Wait in terms of "chasing a day". It was as tho I would go 1 step forward, 20.5 steps backward. The next month it was 1 step forward, 23 steps backward, then 32, 46, 58. This happened month after month after month after month ad nauseum. I was supposed to travel to China by about Christmas of 2006. UH, it's November 2010.
I've taken stats and advanced stats. I'm nowhere near accurate on what I'm typing, but you get the point.

Oh. The. Agony. Of. The. Wait.
It's eased over time because of the joy Emily has brought in my life, and since I was granted her referral in May-ish, 2008...the impact The Wait had on my heart and mind has eased.

But man. It's not forgotten.
I can so totally relate to those who've endured the process of an International Adoption and had to succumb to circumstances The Wait has thrust their way.

In reference to some of the heartaches in life, my mom has said something to the effect of, "The Lord didn't cause this to happen, but He's re-e-e-e-e-al economical. He'll use it to secure the best possible spite of the hand that's been dealt by life."

He did. He showed me how to use the time to complete my National Boards, obtain 2 advanced degrees, and buy a house. I knew God had placed in my heart the desire and the strength to find my daughter.
A lot of The Wait time I felt like Moses on the backside of the desert -- wandering, searching, crying out.
Other times I held on to the promise from Hebrews, "He said it, and He meant it." (Message/Revised translation)

I thought of the story where Jesus got into a boat with His disciples and proclaimed, "We're going to the other side" - of the lake or sea.
He spoke the Word, yet life-threatening storms arose to stop that Word from coming to pass. Probably to try and kill Him and the other guys on board.
Jesus stayed calm, spoke to the storm, and showed it Who the Greater One was.
He got to the other side.
He said it, and He meant it.

I often felt like I was on that boat, in that storm, working to get to the other side....but I always, always felt secure because I knew in Whom I trusted!
Emily is the testimony, the proof of God's Word coming to pass in my life.

He said it, and He meant it.