Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ella's Birthday


Today was Ella's 2nd birthday! It was also adoption day-she officially became Ella Joy Newberry today! It was a busy morning signing our documents. I was worried about her reaction when the nanny from yesterday would return this morning. No doubt she was happy to see her, but the 3 of us sat in the floor and Ella went back and forth between us. When it was time to go to the conference room, Ella chose to go with me. I am amazed at how quickly she is bonding with BOTH of us. After we promised the civil affairs officer that we would love her and give her the same education as our bio kids, it was time to say good-bye to the nanny. She is a lovely woman and as I watched her this morning it was obvious how much she loves our girl. We exchanged emails and she asked me to send pictures and she took several more pics today of all of us together and of herself with Xiao Mei. She presented us with a book from the orphanage, a necklace with a rabbit (Ella's birth year), and a red threaded ribbon that hung over her crib. It represents good luck. Again, we have had a very unique process this week. I wish everyone's Gotcha could be as great as ours as been. We were blesssed that Ella experienced such love in her short little life. It is apparant that she was taken care of to the best of their ability. I also wish all of the orphans waiting for a family could have the same experience that Ella has had.

She had another great day. She cried just a few minutes when we came back to the room but it didn't take long before she was playing games with us! She is a smart little cookie! It was written in her records that she is smart but she is shockingly smart. We have just watched in awe how quickly she gets things. She is saying several words now. Today she added Mama and Daddy. She loves attention and she tries to make us laugh at her.

So no tears today regarding clothing. She wasn't a fan of shoes again but I pulled out the big guns...squeaky shoes. They're a little big but she wore them all day and I'm pretty sure they'll be on again tomorrow. They brought a huge smile to her face! Bows?? Little stink has figured it out. I have not pushed the bows but I had 3 laying on the table that could coordinate with her dress. She pointed to the bows one at a time, picked them up while looking at me, and waited for me to ask her if she wanted to wear it. Then she laughed and shook her head no! Then proceeded to grab the turquoise bow again! As the day wore on, she went thru all of her bows and flowers and picked up a small white flower. She wanted to wear it, but only with the turquoise bow. So she wore two all day. Sometimes side by side, sometimes one on each side. (Notice her dress is NOT white or turquoise?? Cream, navy, or pink would have been beautiful but no. White and turquoise.) Hysterical! At the end of the day, she was left with only the new white flower. I have a feeling that she wants to wear them, but it is a fun game for her. She also found her sunglasses and that was a riot! She put them on and walked around the room moving her head like Stevie Wonder. Who knows what she was thinking?

Lunch today was the first real meal we've had since we got her. We were shocked when she used a spoon perfectly! Little miss has some rockin' table manners. She's very dainty and tidy at mealtime. I still can't believe how well she used the spoon and didn't drop a bit. She's a great eater but does not overeat like I expected.

We're like celebrities at our hotel. They only have 50-70 adoptions per year in Hohhot. Most of the people here are unaware that Americans come to China to adopt. We met a young man on the airplane here that was shocked. Because of this we get some strange looks! In the hotel though, they are so kind and a few people have told us thank you for being so kind and giving a child a family. Ella gets so much attention. Several people have commented on how beautiful she is. Even the civil affairs officer!

Overall-GREAT day with her. She reached for me with arms wide open for a hug and when Eric said "hey where's my hug?", she did the same for him. Bathtime was great tonight. No tears when we undressed her and removed her shoes. At bedtime we turned the lights out and I could see her staring at me. I finally picked her up, we face timed the brothers, and I rocked her. She laid her head on my shoulder and patted my back the same way I was patting hers. It's huge that she wanted me to snuggle her up at bedtime.

The hotel sent a birthday cake to our room for Ella. So nice! Our boys are celebrating at home with cupcakes and we were able to facetime with them before their school and our bedtime. We miss them so much and can't wait to get the whole family back together, but I am so thankful for family and friends spoiling them while we're gone! Happy Birthday Mei Mei!!!

11 comments:

  1. Happy, happy birthday, Ella Joy!

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  2. Oh Jen everything is just going perfectly. I am so happy for all of you. I don't think you could have dreamed it going any better!

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  3. I'm cracking up at her bow/flower preferences! What a little stinker! I love her and her spunkiness already!!
    What a blessing that she was so loved where she was and is bonding to both of you so well! This may be the best gotcha day and days after that I've EVER heard of! UH-MAZAING!!
    Happy Happy birthday Ella Joy!!! We can't wait to spoil you rotten when you get home!!

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  4. What a day to celebrate!! A BEAUTIFUL little girl who is given a HUGE gift on her 2nd birthday...and wonderful loving family!! What a blessing to witness this has been for me!! The tears of joy that you all have brought through sharing your amazing journey. How exciting!!

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  5. Hey Jen - This is Jon. Love reading your blog and I'm so happy to hear that she is doing well and bonding so quickly with you and Eric. Can't wait to see you guys.

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  6. I'm so excited for y'all and US!! What a blessing y'all are to little Miss Ella and I know we will receive blessings from her. I know she is going to be such a great addition for the whole family. She looks and sounds absolutely precious!! I can't wait until we get to meet her. Thank you so much for keeping us posted. We love y'all so much. <3 ~KD & Leslie

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  7. Such a beautiful girl, story and family! Can't wait to see pics of her and her brothers. Safe travels back home!

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  8. I'm addicted to your blog! I've been reading highlights to the girls at work. We all laughed about the squeaky shoes and turquoise bow. She sounds like a doll...with some sass (like her momma already!) I'm so happy its going well!

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  9. What a wonderful day!!!! Happy birthday sweet Ella Joy Mei Mei!!!!

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  10. I believe in the plans God has for us! There is no doubt this was his plan for you guys! Children have the great instinct of recognizing kind, loving people. Ella feels your love and because of God's plan accepts your love willingly!!! So proud of both of you and your willingness to follow through with this incredible journey. Love you both!

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