Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ella!!!

One of my babies is 5 now! Where does time go? I am so proud of my girl. She loves to read and loves to make crafts and do anything "artsy". She can read on her own now and can read some 2nd. grade level books. At almost any given time, you will find her at the kitchen table drawing and we are never quite sure what her next picture creation will be. She comes up with some pretty interesting stuff. lol!

She lives up to her "spicy" Hunan nature, for sure! She can be a real rascal sometimes! She is super inquisitive and loves to learn new things. And sometimes that hands on inquisitiveness gets her into trouble. : )
She never lets a word she is not familiar with float by her. She will stop you in mid sentence or mid song to ask what a word means. Last year, school was "okay". This year, she can not wait to get to school each morning. She loves it! She loves learning about Jesus and sometimes comes to me with such complex questions that I am not always sure how to answer! Oh, how I love my girl! She sings in the church youth choir and takes dance lessons(both with her sister). She has a zest for life that I adore!
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This is the birthday crown that her pre-school teachers made for her. I was the mom helper on her actual birthday and we were able to celebrate with her class.We had a small cake for her that evening....our family would be coming on the week-end to celebrate her special day. She could not understand why our family was not coming on her actual birthday. "But TODAY is my birthday", she kept saying.


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This was cake #2 that we had last week-end with family. She wanted princesses for the second year in a row. We are still ALLLL about Princesses over here!
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Lauren and Mia Hope sent this wonderful balloon bouquet! What a fun surprise and the girls are still playing with it! Thank-you, friends!!!
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and Pup, too...of course! : )
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The BIG fun was going into NYC to see Mary Poppins! What a wonderful and magical show!!! This was our gift to Ella and I think going to see a show in the city might become an annual tradition for our gift to her. Toys come and go so easily, but the memories of a special time last forever!
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This was Ella's artwork when we got home from the show.
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On the way into the city, we stopped to visit the Statue of Liberty.
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The girls playing on The Piano at FAO Schwartz.....
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I LOVE this picture of my little girls!!!!
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I hope that you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for each and every day....but my biggest Blessing is below.....my beautiful family!!!!! Thank-you, Father!!!!
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Virtual Twins

What are Virtual Twins? Virtual twins are biologically unrelated children born within nine months of each other who enter a family, through birth or adoption.

Ella and Sophie are sisters who were born only 8 weeks apart. They are Virtual Twins.

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After Ella came home to us, we knew that we wanted her to have a sister. Chelsea and Ryan are much older than her and we wanted her to have someone to grow up with. Equally important to us was that she have a sister that shares her heritage.

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My first thought when we were in the process of adopting the second time.....I wished to adopt a little one the same age as Ella. I work full time and just thought that it would be more practical(daycare wise) to have the girls both start school at the same time. I thought how nice it would be for them to have one another as playmates and so on.

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Well, as I read what the "experts" opinion of this was...virtual twinning is not recommended. They have a whole list of reasons why they discourage it. But then, I started chatting with other parents of virtual twins....people who can honestly give an opinion through experience. I did not talk to one family who had a negative experience with virtual twins. So, as with our first adoption...I put it in God's hands and along came our Sophie! Just 8 weeks younger than Ella.

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The first couple of months home together were ugly. Ugly. But, I again turned to other parents of virtual twins and many of them went through the same thing initially. They all promised than no matter how bad things were....they would get better. And they did.

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My girls may be the same age, but they are as different as night and day. They each have their strengths and weaknesses and are fully aware of what they are. Where one is weak, the other is strong and compensates for their sister's weakness and vice versa. They compliment one another perfectly. They have a very special bond. Ella is just 8 weeks older, but since she is more mature and larger in size...she is "the big sister". They are both in agreement with this! I tell them they are the same age, but they have it worked out their own way....which is fine!

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Do they always walk hand in hand in adoration of one another? Of course not! Ella sometimes enjoys quiet play with her imagination. Sophie does not ever give Ella personal space and sometimes Ella needs that space. So, you can imagine where that goes. But for the most part, they truly enjoy playing with one another and do so most of the day. If one is not here, the other is a bit lost waiting for her sister to return. I love nothing more than watching them run around playing together and love even more to listen to their conversations with one another!

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When they watch TV....there are 2 large couches and some chairs to sit on in our TV room....but this is how I always find them when they watch TV. Curled up right next to one another! I love it! Ella is covering her ears here because she does not like a noise coming from the TV!

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As I looked through my pics for sister pics...I have hundreds of them. I just picked a few and then had to stop myself. lol! Have a wonderful week-end and Be Blessed!!!!









 

Friday, November 13, 2009

School Days




Sometimes, I do not know where the time goes. I often look at the date of my last post and am amazed it has been that long since I posted! The last couple of weeks we have experienced some rocky waters, but things are calming down now. phew! Ella came down with the dreaded swine flu and it was horrible. I have never seen any of my kids as sick as she was. We had to take her to the hospital at one point and it was just down right scary! We are thankful that she is back to herself now and that no one else came down with it! Sophie has a very strong immune system and Ella gets hit hard with any little thing she comes in contact with!

In my last post, I was rejoicing about getting my stent out, as to me it was a symbol of the whole operation coming to an end. But, the removal of the stent created some more problems and I am now trying to fight off a kidney infection. I was supposed to return to work this week, but am not going back now for another 2 weeks. As much as I do not want to go back, going back will be gaining back some normalcy for me!




I have been meaning to update you about school for the girls. Sophie goes to school 4 days a week. The bus picks her up at 8 and she gets home close to 4. Now, for the most part, that would be too long of a day for a 4 year old. But, I was very hopeful about this whole school thing with Sophie and my hope was assured..... she is making some big strides in her school and with that, some improvement at home!!

She loves her school and is doing quite well while she is there! This program will help her be ready for K in the fall. Without it, I think we would have been in big trouble. The heavy routine that is now part of her every day is very helpful to her. She is in school for a full day and is using up a lot of that anxious energy that gets her into trouble.

It has also helped her separate herself from Ella. Those of you who followed us to China to bring Sophie home, know that Sophie clung to Ella from the very first minute and has never let go. There was many times, up until recently, that Dave and I were convinced that she thought she WAS Ella! It is hard to explain, but we knew it was not normal or healthy. Now Sophie has her own thing. School.

Sophie is making leaps and bounds in her conversational speech. The girls now "chat" about school with one another. Their teachers, the kids in their class, recess, snack, etc. It is so funny to listen to them! They also play school and I hear them reciting things their teachers must say...such as, "raise a quiet hand". lol!

Sophie told Dave and I yesterday that her class would be getting a new friend on Monday. We were shocked. That was HUGE for Sophie to talk about something that was not in the here and now. HUGE!

Okay...this is getting too long. My next post will be about Ella's school and virtual twins. Hope you are all well!

Be blessed, my friends!!!





 
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