Since I'm so far behind in updates, I'll catch up with a few photos. In October we celebrated Eliza's first birthday since coming home (6 yrs old) and Elli's birthday (she's finally double digits!). As usual, being surrounded by family and friends was the highlight of the birthdays.
Eva lost her first tooth (unfortunately not voluntarily, but necessary) and it wasn't long afterwards that Eliza announced her first tooth was gone. We searched the area where she was sitting, looking for the tooth, only to realize she had swallowed it!!!
We went to visit my family in Alabama - Eliza and Eva's first time- and the girls enjoyed getting to know my side of the family. Eva made a special connection with my grandmother, and we came to the conclusion that there was something about my grandmother that reminded her of someone in China. Would love to know more about that, but both the girls are in the in-between stage of their language. They still understand what Xiaoyun says to them in Chinese, but they rarely say anything in Chinese beyond a word here or there. However, the English is not yet strong enough to convey many things in-depth.
Thanksgiving was at Zeb and Dana's (our oldest son and daughter-in-law), and it was truly a day to be thankful. We have been so blessed! To see the girls being loved on by family, when such a short time ago none of them had a family, is beyond anything I can explain in words.
And now I come to Christmas. Always a magical time of the year for me (I'm still a little girl at heart!), and it gets more magical with each passing year. I will never forget how Elli acted when we drove through our local park, decorated with lights, for the first time after she came home. Virgil still says that if anyone had been in our car, they would have started adoption paperwork the next day. It was such an exciting thing to witness her excitement and wonder of all those lights and decorations. This year was no different. Eliza and Eva oohed and aahed throughout the entire drive through the park (the other girls did too!) In the midst of all that joy, I found myself crying- partly from thankfulness that we have been allowed to share this life with our wonderful children, but it was tinged with sadness for all those kids who are still alone. Those who will never sit at the Thanksgiving table surrounded by people who love them. Those who will never sing at the top of their lungs in the kids Christmas play at the church (Enya). Those who will never wake up Christmas morning (or any morning) and listen to their baba read the Christmas story out of Luke 2. Those who will never be held by great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, or a baba and mama. It makes me thankful for those who have come home, but I grieve for those who still wait.
|In the middle is our grandbaby Zeza, who was in for a visit|
|Eva and Eliza|
|Eva and Eliza on Eliza's birthday|
|Elli and Eliza's birthday party|
|The girls with Papaw Chuck (my dad) and great uncle Gary|
|Elli and Mamaw Wanda|
|Zeb, Dana, and Xiaoyun|