Count of Chicks for Children

God's Plan For Us

This is our journey - God's incredible plan for our lives. When we followed the moving of the Holy Spirit, He opened the windows of Heaven and poured out upon us blessings we never dreamed of! Indescribable joy!

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, December 13, 2010

As you can see by the pictures, Elli is doing great! It has been a busy few months around here. We went to Alabama to visit my family in August. Elli took right up with my grandmother - much to her delight! She did pretty well adjusting to so many new faces at once. We started kindergarten the same month. Elli is a little sponge! She's learned all her alphabet and the sounds that the letters make. She is almost to the point of reading simple words. It's incredible since she knew no English 7 months ago. She does well in math and loves to be read to. We introduced her to the library and she loves it. Friday is our 'Library Day' and she looks forward to it. Her English is remarkable. She loves watching a show on PBS called "Dinosaur Train" and she routinely calls off the names of dinosaurs. She calls herself Tiny the Pteranodon. We went to the pumpkin patch and she had a great time riding the wagon, playing in the corn maze, and picking out her pumpkin to bring home.
We made a paper chain to count down to her birthday. She was pretty excited by the time the big day arrived. We asked people who were coming to her party to donate money to Love Without Boundaries for coats for the orphanage/foster care Elli was a part of, instead of giving her gifts. Elli still ended up with plenty of presents, but we were also able to send enough money to purchase 32 coats for the orphans. Elli's orphanage and many of the homes in the area do not have heat. Pictures show the kids wearing coats inside. It gets very cold there - last year, they had their first ice storm in October. Elli was excited to send the money and went and got her change from her piggy bank to put in with the rest of the donation.
Thanksgiving was great fun to Elli. She loves having 'lots of people' as she calls it, over to the house. The family all came to our house this year. The next day, we put up the Christmas tree and she loved decorating it and all the rest of the house. She said the foster family she was with had a tree and sung some Christmas songs. Elli's favorite song is "Holly Jolly Christmas" and she can really belt it out. She does a good job singing Frosty the Snowman, too.
If you have ever considered adopting and had been in the car with us the night we took Elli to Christmas in the Park ( lots of Christmas decorations and lights to look at as you drive through our local park) you would already be filing your paperwork. I've not heard so much excitement and seen so much joy on a child's face in a very long time. I can't begin to describe how much fun Virgil, Emily and I had viewing the decorations through the eyes of a child who had never seen such sights before. It was a special moment. We can hardly wait for Christmas morning!!
In the midst of all this excitement, we have decided to adopt again. It would be wonderful for Elli to have a sister close to her age to grow up with. We filed paperwork on a little girl who is six months younger than Elli. They are exactly the same size. She is from the northernmost province in China. We hope to bring her home by the end of summer 2011. I will start putting updates on Enya Li on this blog also.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A lifetime since June 1

I can't believe it has been two months since I posted! The days have blurred by. We've turned around and it is almost time for Elli to start Kindergarten. She has changed so much in the last two months. It seems as though we got her a lifetime ago and not three months ago. What a joy she has been to us all. Her English is incredible - I spent months learning a FEW basic Chinese words and she already communicates with us quite clearly. Her first long phrase was "I no like tea- I like coffee" I was fixing myself a cup of tea and she had a drink and quickly let me know coffee tasted better (she'd tried a sip of Virgil's). We were in the grocery the other day and turned down the aisle where the packaged coffee was and she said 'ooh that smells good". She started saying "Oh my goodness!!!" with a SOUTHERN accent that would make my Alabama family proud. She says it often. Her other two favorites are 'I'll be right back!' and 'Wait one minute!' She loves to match everything. If she finds a picture and remembers she has something like it she'll go dig in her room until she has found the match. She still loves to look at pictures of herself. She is Mama's little helper and tries to help me with all my chores (which means it now takes me much longer to get anything accomplished ;-) ). She is still Baba's girl and I'm still in third place after Emily, but we've come a long way. She now calls out my name when she wakes up through the night (which is almost every night). I now get kisses regularly and plenty of hugs. She does not like it when Virgil shows me or Em any affection, nor does she like for Em to show me affection. Looking pretty is very important to her. If Em or I have on a dress she wants one on and she doesn't want Virgil bragging on us - only on her. She loves to dance and spends a lot of time dancing around - especially with Em. She will be starting dance lessons in a couple of weeks. She also loves music and sings all the time. We went to the lake with Virgil's family for a weekend and she loved it. She hates having water in her face but wanted to stay on the jetski the entire weekend. She pretends we're on the 'big boat' still and that we're swimming. We went to the zoo in Cincinnati and had a great time. She enjoyed all the animals and we talked about the zoo we had went to in China. Her imagination is starting to shine through. She gets up on the arm of the chair and pretends she is driving - mainly to the mall (Em has corrupted her already). She puts on her seat belt and has you put on your's if you are lucky enough to go with her. She turns on the radio and the air conditioner and tells us to shut our doors. Once she gets to the mall she shops for 'Elli clothes' then gets back in her car and comes home. I'm trying to talk her into going to church instead of the mall. Speaking of church, Elli attended VBS a few weeks ago. I stayed in the class with her and she did fine. She rode the pony they brought out the final day. She will start AWANA's next week. It is Bible memorization and I think she'll do great with that. We had her appointment with the pediatric orthopedists and received wonderful news. Her limp is caused by mild hip dysplasia and the fact that she was born with a dislocated hip. They did surgery (when she was a baby?) to fix the hip dislocation. The doctor felt that with regular exercise the limp may go away and no surgery would ever be required. We've already seen a remarkable difference in her limp. She is so much more active and it is hardly noticeable at all any more. She has grown 1 1/2 inches since she got home! She has definitely brought this house to life! Gone are the days when we'd read quietly at night with some soft music playing. Instead you're now apt to hear squeals of laughter and non stop talking (with some Veggie Tales music in the background). She is so much fun and we can not begin to tell you how blessed we've been to have been allowed to become her family. God has answered all our prayers and answered them abundantly.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sweet video

Yes, I know I am getting further and further behind in my blogs. It was a lot easier just to have Eddie update it for us :-). Elli is keeping us BUSY. She is a little tornado and the only time she is still is when she is asleep. She is adjusting wonderfully. Sleep time is going much better. She is sleeping in her own bed, and most nights she doesn't wake up at all. Each day brings more words and she is curious about everything. She is writing some of her letters, can sing part of the alphabet song, counts up to about 8, is learning how to pronounce her colors and is very observant. She has also started helping Emily fix her hair. We got a little pool this past weekend in the hopes she would enjoy it and start liking bath time. She has had a blast in the pool - especially when Zak and Zeza got in with her. She still doesn't want water in her face but doesn't get upset if she's splashed. Today she even played in the bathtub (first time) with her toys and the only way I could get her out was because I told her it was supper time (she LOVES food). We took her to church Sunday morning since she seems to be doing so well. She stayed fairly quiet but was moving between Virgil, Emily and me the whole time. I'm afraid we didn't hear much of the sermon. It was good to be back in church and to say thank you to so many who have been praying for Elli. She is learning many church songs and loves to sing. The words that she doesn't know, she hums. Today, Virgil was singing Jesus Loves Me with her and we captured it on video. This will forever be one of my favorites. Nothing is more precious than a little child singing about Jesus. I know God was enjoying it even more than we did.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick update and pictures

I seem to be falling further behind in my posts. For now I'll try to send more pictures, since that is quicker. Saturday was a beautiful day and we went for a great drive that ended at the park feeding the ducks again. Sunday she got to meet Zak, Mandy, and Zeza for the first time (they had been in Minnesota last week) . She loved Zeza, but it took her awhile to get near her. Before long she wanted to hold her. Zeb and Dana came over also and it was wonderful to have ALL our kids together. Elli, of course, loved all the attention. She also got to meet her cousin Mandy and see Curtis, Nancy, and Sarah again. It was a full day for her. They all left at the same time(Emily did too) and Elli was so upset. Virgil got to see how heartbroken she is when either he or Em leave the house. It took a while to get her occupied with something else. Elli helped Em watch Allysa for a little bit yesterday and even rocked Allysa asleep. Elli is picking up a few words and does well at repeating back words you say. She was given a gift bag full of books from some children at ECA - a school where Virgil teaches DARE. She loved the books - especially the ones that you push the button and it makes sounds or says letters. She carried that bag around all afternoon and looked at those books over and over. Everyone has been so very kind - calling to check on her, sending cards, emails, and- most of all- saying prayers - we can never thank you all enough. Our family is truly blessed to have such a wonderful support group of friends and family who care so much for Elli.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22, 2010

We awoke to sunshine this morning and are looking forward to a day with Baba and Emmy both being home all day. We had to go back on post yesterday for the results from the x-rays. Elli has hip dysplasia. We will be going to an orthopedist to decide if she will need a future surgery. The order for her blood work was put in incorrectly, so she had to have more blood drawn. Unlike last time, when she was asleep when it started, this time she was wide awake. She was a trooper about it all and didn't fight it. Just those tears again. Elli chose her own clothes and hair style yesterday. She had little pig tails all over her head and everybody at the doctor's loved it. We bought her her first Happy Meal last night and went and fed the ducks at Freeman Lake. She liked them from a distance, but wasn't too excited when they came right up to her. Elli has slept well for the past three nights, as has the rest of the family. We've all needed a good night's sleep, we just didn't think it would be three nights in a row. Elli is such a lovely young lady and she will share, but normally only on her terms. We stopped at an intersection where the fire department was collecting money for the Crusade for Children. Cindy was looking through her purse when I pulled out a couple dollars from my wallet. We looked back and Elli had pulled out her purse and was trying to give some money that she had. Just one of many examples we could give. God has so blessed our lives with this little girl. I do hope and pray that we make as much a difference in Elli's life as she has our's!