Thursday, December 29, 2016

Double digits for Abbey!

My baby girl left the single digits behind this year. I can't believe she's 3 years away from teenhood.

We were at the beach for her actual birthday. So, she had her birthday breakfast there. She ordered her usual.

Pancakes with sprinkles, strawberries and whip cream.

She then spent the day playing in the ocean with Elijah.

We visited "The Filling Station", for a special birthday treat.

A week later, we celebrated by inviting 10 girls over for a make your own pizza dinner and sleep over.

They played in the cul de sac

Decorated wooden treasure chests

Enjoyed cake and ice cream.

I'm sure there wasn't much sleeping accomplished, but Abbey had a blast!

Our girl is something else. She defies traditional labels. She loves girlie jewelry yet love to play with Star Wars Legos. She enjoys hanging out and talking with friends.  For her birthday, she got an X box 360, and she loves to play video games. Minecraft and Lego Star Wars are her favorites.

We've seen some big changes physically, which tell us that puberty is very close by. So far, we've not seen the teenage attitude (thank goodness). She's smart, reads very well, but will complain mightily about doing schoolwork.

This year, Abbey started swimming full time year round with The Marlins of Raleigh. Her good friend, Kylie swims with her (and provides a carpool, which makes me happy). They both were moved up a level in December. She loves, loves, loves swimming. When asked what she wants to do when she grows up, Abbey replied, "Be a professional video game player and go to the Olympics for swimming."

She's very aware of her adoption and frequently brings up questions about it. The latest conversation on the subject went as follows:

Abbey: "I was thinking about Mao. If he hadn't started the one child rule, you might not have gotten me?"
Me:"Yeah, that could be true. How does it make you feel to think that you could have stayed in China?"
Abbey:" Really sad"
Me:" Well, I don't know how, but I believe that God designed you to be my daughter and be in our family. I think that somehow, you would have joined our family."
Abbey: Smiling..."Maybe He would send me down the river?"
Me: Laughing..."Yeah, Moses Jr!"

I do feel sorry for some family in China. Every birthday I think about her birth mom and how grateful I am that she allowed Abbey to be born. I don't know her circumstances, or if she's even still alive, but I do know she suffered a tremendous loss, and I have immensely reaped the benefit of that loss. Abbey brings us such joy. I love that little girl with every fiber of my being. I'm so proud to have the privilege to be her Mommy.

Welcome to double digits, my sweet girl!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Little Surfer Girl

The summer of 2016 will go down as the summer that Abbey learned to surf.

She had gotten a board for Christmas. It was a long, long wait for her until the water was warm enough to get that board in the ocean.  Daniel helped her early in the spring, and she was able to get up for a bit. She was hooked!
For her birthday, she asked for surf lessons.
Before the instructor arrived,  John helped her get out there.

 She had a little success with her dad.

Falling with style

But, once the instructor arrived, she really took off. Tony, the instructor was impressed with her.

That's a smile of accomplishment!

A small audience had gathered and several times there was a rousing round of applause for her.  She also had her big sister and niece cheering her on.

The rest of the summer, whenever there was the least bit of a wave, my little surfer girl was out there with her board!


Monday, December 12, 2016

So thankful we got ya, Elijah

September 15, 2016

7 years ago, in a crowded Civil Affairs Office lobby, we received a wonderful gift... A tiny little boy who had already stolen our hearts. When we met him, his somberness broke my heart. It didn't take long for him to open up, especially to his big sister. The past 7 years, my Elijah has grown in all ways. He's still smaller in stature than he would like, but his heart makes up for his small size. There is no doubt that he loves his family and also has a heart for others.

For his "Gotcha Day", he chose to go to Menchies for frozen yogurt.

I love you, Elijah, and am thankful that you are my little boy!