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.