Friday, September 23, 2011









This sweet picture was painted by Donna - our good buddy and artist in residence. It's been on this blog since the "git go". She did this as a gift for me...back in 2008 while I was waiting to travel and meet my daughter -- when I knew so little about sweet little Mei Xia Ying with her short, short hair, too big shoes, yet obvious sense of style. Donna did the painting showing the 'backs of heads' of all included. Isn't it touching? My soon-to-be daughter in a silk, two-toned Asian-ish out fit...looking toward a new future. Ah. If she only knew.



The subjects in the painting are:


Emily - with her short, cropped hair



Skipper Dee - rescue dog with no eyeballs



Little Peanut - rescue Yorkie



Puddin - "Killy Cat" who would soon become Em's Best of Buds!



The flowers, ladybug, and butterfly are painted in a BIG way on Miss Em's bedroom walls. Donna and Marlene did that, too.


I remember when I opened this gift and saw the painting, I was moved beyond tears. Beyond. Treasures like this from friends who care are just too much for words. Considering my mouth in motion, it's phenomenal that even I was quieted and overwhelm with emotion.



Marlene (a.k.a. Church Lady #2. She and Donna BOTH work at churches!) has come in alongside Donna and spoiled, I mean supplied, Em with everything imaginable AND her own handpainted goodies. I'll have to take a few pics of some dishes we have -- a la Marlene! Even today I took a nap and covered up with a small quilt Marlene got as a bargain at a garage sale. It's adorable. She, too, is so thoughtful and still loves us although we mock her to her face. Blonde jokes go a l-o-n-g way on her account, and she's such a good sport about it.



Anyhoo, both of our Church Lady friends joined us for our recent celebration of Gotcha Day -- as did KK, Jeffu, Kristin, and Nanny Carol. Good time. Good food. Good memories. GREAT friends.

Emily and "Zee Are Teest" - Donna (who painted the picture of Em with Critters)



Friday, September 2, 2011




Yup. Blurry.




Red Balloons Release - Representing Her Birth Country & Birthmother

Every year on Gotcha Day -- our Famliversary -- Emily releases two red balloons. I know. You're right. Not very eco-friendly.

In China, red is symbolic of prosperity, good health, and all those "nice" kinda vibey concepts.

In the daily life of making this meaningful & significant, it seems each year we barely get the balloons before the store closes. We almost totally miss daylight.
One year the dawg gone things even got stuck in our tree.

We just laughed and laughed. Might as well.
(We d-i-d get them on their flight heavenward, though.)

Yesterday was another one of those kind of days. Swimming lessons were done. Supper had been finished. The camera was taking blurry pictures. The video cam was not charged enough to film our momentous yearly gesture.

NO worries.
It's not about the photo.
It's about the child IN the photo...and what these 2 balloons represent.
If you look really closely in this pic, the balloons are about 1.5" above the treeline: Northbound and down.

We don't over-talk, over-preach, or over-do the ritual (miraculous on my part).
Simple.
Significant.
Sentimental.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Years Ago Today...I Met My Daughter for the Very First Time.

And I've been meeting her every day since then.

Meeting her. Learning about her. Standing amazed at the miracle of what has transpired.

Enjoying her silly sense of humor.
Emily took her name tag from church and slapped it inconspicuously on the back of Nanny Carol's shirt. As Nanny Carol, said victim of Miss Em's deed, was walking through a store, someone politely informed her of the random white name tag attached to her backside.

Emily will play opposites.
Ask her a set of questions, and you might possibly get the total opposite of what a/the right answer really is.
It doesn't take long to figure out this is what she's doing.
Slick.
Very slick indeed.

She thinks all this is hilarious.
And it is.
We love to laugh in our family.

It took a LOT of humor to get past some of the challenges and bumps in the road of this wonderful act of International Adoption.
As one mother recently wrote of the adoption process "Where I signed my name no less than 4,391 times" on forms that originated from the local police dept. to the U.S. Secretary of State's office....and every hoot and holler of a gov't establishment between here and Guangzhou, Peoples Republic of China.

So, we laugh at at ourselves & at each other (...at least up to the point of how much Em can take).
If Uncle Skipper, Uncle Michael, or Nanny Carol get on too much of a tease with her and say something (humorously) to the effect of, "If you do that one more time, I'm gonna grab your Barbie and....".

Phew. She'll rare back (as if to "one up ya") and say, "Yeah. But IF YOU.....THEN I'LL....."

The juxtaposition of the many parts of her life.

Yep. This is my daughter - the once frightened, grieving, confused child I met 3 years ago today.
--Who is now brave, cheery, and organizationally in the know of things.

The one who could say nothing in English.
--Who did a great job with "Chrysanthemum" last week as a reading selection in Language Arts.

The one who slept in China without a blanket or a pillow in her bed.
--Who is now snuggled under embroidered, comfy coverings with her head nestled gently amongst many pillows.

The one who'd never had any formal schooling.
--Who is now working on solving equations for unknown variables (simple versions) in her 3rd grade math class.

The one who, when I told her about my family having a station wagon when I was a little girl, asked about the h-o-r-s-e-s that pulled the wagon.
--Who remembers what was in every single happy bag she's ever gotten from a b'day party.

The one who still loves simple cartoon characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog, Caillou, & Angelina Ballerina.
--Who loves watching the ending of Sense and Sensibility when Edward returns for Eleanor's hand in marriage.

This child -
She's amazing.
Miraculous...
MINE.

How blessed I am.
How blessed I am.