Saturday, August 25, 2007

What a difference 8 months makes

My girl has been home 8 months. 8 months! I wish the clock would slow down a bit...but it wont. I thought I'd share some of who she is and then show a 'comparison photo' of then and now.

Ebony is probably saying about 20 words....let me see if I can remember them!
Dada, Mama, Nana, Pa, Baba, Moo, Woo, Hor (horse), ta, 'hom' (home), 'ho' (hot), boon (balloon), eat, up, snu (snugly or suixi for suixi bear), toast, bot, car, no, hi, elp (help), more....well that's 22 and I know there's more, so it was a good exercise. Many of the words others (even daddy) wouldn't understand.

She blows kisses SO beautifully and she says the most gorgeous 'no' I've ever heard. She kinda sings it in a very wistful way, although she is learning to say it with more determination I must say. She loves playing 'boo' - not so much behind her own hand these days though. She loves it when we play ANYTHING with her - she just loves being with us. Adores her daddy! She has stayed quite 'clingy' with us and doesn't really like to go to other people. We are trying to encourage her, but it will take time I guess. She still adores being outside - there is no place better for her. She is still sleeping better than I could ever have asked (2-3 hours each day and 11 overnight) and she eats very well too. She is still happily eating from her highchair - no arguments there thank goodness! She runs whenever she can - doesn't sit down unless she's ill or watching one of her favorite DVD's. She loves playschool (mostly the songs). She's still not great with books - hopefully that will come though.
She loves her nudie run after her bath each night and she loves her cousins - especially Lizzie who is only 2 1/2 months older than Eb.
She still loves people - although doesn't go to them easily - just loves them from a distance.
She also loves 'launching' herself at us, from whatever height or angle and she doesn't care if we're ready or not!
She is starting to give really beautiful cuddles - they don't last long - but they're there! Yipee :)
She doesn't like the car - AT ALL (this will be fun when we go to Lakes Entrance 3 3/4 hours and then on to Phillip Island about 5 days later (another 3 3/4 hours) - ON MY OWN! - in about 5 weeks. I'm NOT looking forward to that lot I can tell you.
She is full of FUN, FUN, FUN! She just runs around happily - doesn't seem to need too much in the way of toys - comes for cuddles often - really enjoys playgroup and visitors - there's not much to complain about I have to say. Even when she wasn't well she was a little trooper. In some ways I love it when she's not well - I get LOTS of cuddles!

I can't believe she is the same little girl that was placed in our arms 8 months ago - it's hard to comprehend. She was so quiet and so unsure - and today she is happy, confident, beautiful and ..... all ours!

Well - that's enough for now....except....she weighs 12.3kg and is 85cm tall - so she's right on the 50th percentile for an Aussie child.

One photo was taken in the orphanage at around 15 months of age....then at 2 years old...

..on Ebony's birthday

..and as a gorgeous 2 year old! - home 8 months

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

2 years ago today...Ebony's destiny

a mummy had left her little baby girl - almost 2 days old - at the gates of the Yangqingno Sugar Refinery in the hope that she would be found. A world away - a waiting Mummy and Daddy were 1 day off having their file 'logged in' in China in the hope that they would be allocated the child that this Mummy had dreamed of for years and years.
Little did either mummy know their destiny.
Tears of pain were cried in China as the mummy walked away from the little girl she had carried under her heart for around 9 months. In Australia there were tears of joy for this momentous step in the China adoption journey.
Today my tears will undoubtedly mingle with her tears. I know the system in China is very different to ours and culturally the way we think about families is very different too - but nothing on this earth could convince me that this particular mummy in China would not be crying today - crying as she remembers the sadness of having to leave her birth child without any real knowledge of what would happen to her.
Somehow I pray she knows in her heart that her little girl is safe, well, happy and content.
I wish there was a way to reach out to her - but I can't.
Today I celebrate her - today I thank her - because her pain is my joy. Her loss has been one of my greatest gains. Finally I have a daughter - one perfectly suited to me - and that is because of her.
Today I pray for her because that is all I can do.

and in the blink of an eye....Ebony is two

It's hard to believe - my little baby girl - the one I thought was never really a baby is now 2 years old and making it very obvious that she really WAS a baby when she first arrived. It's happened in a moment and it's been the most enjoyable and rewarding trip of a lifetime. Yes there have been times when it's been really tough - but like most Mum's - I know the rewards far outweigh the difficult times.

I feel like we celebrated for the whole weekend and then some.
Sadly none of my family could be with us and either could any of Ebony's "Suixi" buddies - but Gra's Mum and Dad arrived first at about 5ish on Friday - then Marg and Steve (the God parents) arrived at about 9.30pm. We had a reasonably early night then a fairly normal day on the Saturday (other than me being a bit unwell and having a lay down for a while). I just did a bit of cooking (how much fun is it making a cake for your own daughter! I had a ball.....)

and Eb did what she normally does around the house. Nana and Pa Boote really loved their time with Eb and she was being just delightful as normal! Oh! and we blew up lots of balloons!.....


Sunday we were up and about early icing the cakes and getting ready to go! Ebony was dedicated at our Church today - so it was a very special day all round. Here's a photo of Ebony in her dedication dress - a dress bought by our dear friend Helena (who I worked with at Careforce). We bought it together when we visited them in Chicago in 2005.

"my dedication dress - thanks to Helena"

Then it was party time! Ebony wasn't at all sure what was going on - but she did enjoy herself ...

"my party table"

'mummy, daddy and me!"

"my first taste of fairy bread...yummy"

"blowing out the candles"

Then the celebration continued on Ebony's actual birthday. - I don't think she realized the celebration was for her until the final cake on her actual birthday at playgroup.! Here are some photo's of her on her birthday with presents....and at playgroup....


"this is fun mummy!"

"it's happy birthday to ME!"

"What's all the fuss really about?"

We were also lucky enough to have Lyn and 'Manda....and Leanne and Gabriella come all the way up to Mt. Beauty to help us celebrate. It was really special and I will be forever grateful to them for making the effort. Eb had a wonderful time on Sunday afternoon with the girls and then Eb and I went over to Bright (where they were staying) to have dinner with them on Monday night. Here are some photo's of Eb's time with Manda and Gabi.... that was the birthday that was. Ebony is now a beautiful, healthy, happy 2 year old. Sorry it's taken a while to post - unfortunately we both got sick within a few days of the celebrations! Better late than never :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

A poem for my daughter


My darling little Ebony Grace
Now I’ve finally seen your face
It lives in my heart, where I know it will stay
Because here in my life you are every day

In a matter of days you will amazingly turn two
Yet the days we’ve been together seem all too few
It is almost 8 months since you were placed in my arms
You were smiling and waving – amazingly calm

I never really knew how much life would change
But there’s not one thing that I’d re-arrange
I couldn’t have ‘made’ you more perfect for me
If my own body had made you - that I can see

I love you my girl with a love so intense
I know when I look at you why it makes sense
You’re perfect for me – you challenge my soul
And yet every day you make part of me whole

Really, the story has only begun
The years lay ahead with mountains of fun
I know there’ll be stumbles in our journey’s miles
I hope we can both learn how to laugh and to smile

Because God had a plan – a purpose it seems
And it wasn’t only to fulfil my hearts dreams
He wants you to know Him to love Him to care
For many other people, living out there

Have compassion my child as you walk through this life
I know that I know there will always be strife
But loving and caring for those that you meet
I promise will help make your life more complete

As we celebrate together this first special birthday
There’s one other person who can’t have her say
I think of the woman whose heart it must break
As she relives the choice that she had to make

Two years ago you were safe in her tummy
If life had been different you would have called her mummy
But life dealt a blow that she couldn’t escape
A policy in China determining both your fate

I think of her often and shed tears for her pain
The decision she made has helped keep me sane
I pray every day that God keeps her calm
And helps her to know that her child’s free from harm
Safe and protected and happy as could be
Living her life here – loved and cherished by me.

Written by mummy 17th August : 2007

2 years ago today...Ebony's birth

a mother somewhere in China gave birth to a beautiful baby girl - that little girl had a destiny to be ours. Her pain on this day was physical pain - laced with the emotional pain of what this birth would mean for her and for her daughter.
This day will always be a day I celebrate - a day when I will always think of that amazing woman who would struggle so much in the days that lay ahead. A woman who today - 2 years later - is probably shedding tears for the daughter she would never know.
Once again - today - her pain is my joy. Her pain will at times be reflected in her daughter's eyes and yet my joy will also be reflected in my daughter's eyes.
I am so grateful to that precious woman for the chance she gave me that my own body couldn't. If I had one wish today - it would be that I could look that woman in the eye and tell her that her daughter is happy and well and that I am grateful beyond measure for the sacrifice she made.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tonight I cried...

because tonight I put to bed a beautiful, joy filled, happy little one year old and tomorrow I wake to a beautiful, joy filled, happy little two year old. What is the difference really? I don't know - I can't explain - but I know that her birth mother could tell me - I know that my tears are mingled with her tears - her pain - my joy. I love my little girl - I love who she is becoming - I'm blessed beyond measure and yet tears fall down my cheeks because her first birthday milestone is tomorrow - her first birth celebration is happening and I'm still letting go of my baby. I need help to get through the feelings - I need peace to understand how quickly this is happening. She's mine and always will be, yet a part of her belongs elsewhere - I just don't know what to do with these feelings....I can't look at my girl at the moment and not wonder what's happening in the heart of another woman. What more can I say - I can't truly articulate my feelings...I'll leave it to you - the reader - to help me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wrapping presents....

For those of you that know me well - you will probably know that I have wrapped many, many presents in my time.....mostly with painstaking care because it's something I've always loved doing. Well - that was until I wrapped a present for my own daughter. Now I really know what wrapping pleasure is all about. I hadn't even thought about it until I was doing it last night - but it was the most wonderful feeling - this present is the very first present we will give our daughter (at least the first that is wrapped!). It's nothing special to look at really - it's just so significant to me and it was total joy to be able to do it and know that it is for her. Another one of those things I've waited such a long, long time to do - without me even being aware of this one. There are many, many things I do that were just part of my life before - that I now think of as being so much more special. I'm blessed beyond words - I have the most incredible daughter....and in only a few days I will celebrate the joy of her second birthday.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My first holiday (Part 2)

Well mummy has FINALLY let me get back to writing !!
Where was I? ....... oh! that's right, I was having fun at the Cairns Lagoon.
This amazing lagoon is fantastic for little people like me - it is really shallow and I just wanted to play....and play....and play...and play....and play (do you get the picture!).

and play.....

and play!

the three of us thanks to a passer by...

Anyway, we also went on a Cruise to "Moore Reef" on the Great Barrier Reef - I had heaps of fun but mummy and daddy got a bit green around the gills on the way there. Mummy was my hero though and took me out into the little 'children's swimming pool' on the pontoon out there. There was no island to get out onto, so we just had to spend our time on the boat or the pontoon. Mummy decided the best thing to help her was to have a snorkel - daddy decided to eat food. I would have loved to do both but mummy and daddy wouldn't let me snorkel - that's for another day they tell me - not sure who will take me out there though 'cause neither of them are stepping on another boat they said ?!? Here's a couple of photo's of the cruise anyway.
the 'children's pool'

daddy and me on the boat

mummy and me having a loud 'aaahhhh' competition :)

Most of our time was spent in the Lagoon - walking, playing in parks or in our apartment. The apartment was good and we looked out from our balcony onto the pool area. We cooked most of the time (at least mummy did). We also had a great day on our second last day and hired a car and went to a place called Kuranda. It was a really good fun day - here are some more photo's (mummy ALWAYS has that camera thing pointed in my face!!!).

We also visited 'Granite Gorge' ... now this was what I call fun! I got to hand feed rock wallabies! they are so cute up close and one even had a little baby in it's pouch...made me look like a giant!

Mummy and Daddy said it has been a really wonderful holiday, but they are very happy to be home. The trip home on the plane wasn't so good for them - they never slept and I slept after about 2 hours (and 1/2 an hour of screaming the plane down) - we arrived back in Melbourne at about 11.45pm and I was just about ready to party! Mum and dad were party poopers though - so I decided I had enough and slept most of the way to Lilydale. Another adventure for me and mummy said another of her greatest memories made and lots and lots of fun had.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My (Ebony) first holiday!!!! (part one.....)

We've just returned from what mummy and daddy called our first family holiday...whatever it was - it sure was fun! I got to spend LOTS of time with both mummy and daddy which was really, really special!
We stayed with Auntie Kate, Uncle Jim and Eliza (who came home to her mummy and daddy the same day as me) on the Saturday night and then caught a 6am flight to Cairns via Brisbane. I liked the flight but wasn't too happy about being woken at 4am! and it was so cold in Melbourne. Anyway the first flight was sort of ok - then some how or other mummy managed to get me to sleep about 1/2 hour before we got on the second flight (I think I heard mummy say she was more tired than me by that stage :) Mummy was so clever - she brought along a portable DVD player so I could watch my favorite DVD's.....isn't she smart?

We were so glad to get to our accommodation - but unfortunately when we got there it was on the first floor and there were no lifts!!! - mummy said to warn all the other girls to tell their mummy's to make sure anywhere they stay is on the ground floor - especially if they like the outdoors like me! It wasn't too bad traipsing up and down stairs - but I didn't like it as much - I just wanted to be outside and the balcony wasn't big enough! So we spent lots of time walking around. The pool wasn't really any good for me either - even the small one was too deep - so mummy and me just had as much fun as we could together.
One thing mummy keeps talking about was the portacot that was given to us by the Hotel - it had gorgeous ladybirds and flowers and butterflies on it, but they had rattles in them - mummy couldn't believe that ANYONE would put rattle things in a cot! but they did - she said something about it making perfect sense to someone obviously....but not to a mother! I don't understand - but I guess some of you will!

Another great thing mummy and daddy did was to bring along my 3 wheel stroller! I love it and it helped so much!. I even slept in it!

Well - then it was a done thing and we were really on holidays.

Lots of walks and parks and swims - mummy kept saying the weather was beautiful. I don't know what 'weather' is but I sure had fun - I could run around in my bathers and spend time in the water. We hired a car on Tuesday and went to a place called 'Cape Tribulation' - there I got to play on a real beach for the first time in my life and I LOVED IT! it was SO much fun. I could have stayed all day! I started of in my clothes.....but it wasn't long before I was in my bathers!....
The first photo is me and mummy when I had my clothes on - the second one is some Chinese that had been written in the sand - mummy wishes she could read it! and the third one is the face I pull when I say 'help' - don't understand why mummy thinks it's so cute - but she does.
The fourth one is me on daddy's shoulders at Mossman Gorge on the way back to Palm Cove.

I didn't want to eat much on this holiday - I was having too much fun! Mummy was a bit concerned - but shouldn't have been - I ate when I felt like it, but I just missed mummy's home cooking :)

Mummy said I slept very well considering we were all in the same room for the first 5 nights. I slept about 1 to 1 + 1/2 hours during the day and about 11-12 over night. I love my sleep! I did have one night just before we came home where I didn't go to sleep until about 9.30pm and woke up at 4am the next morning - I was fine but mummy was very, very tired!

Cairns itself was so much fun (we stayed at Palm Cove for the first 5 nights) - Cairns has this amazing walkway (boardwalk) that is a looonnnnggg walk and along the way is lots of fun things for me to's a picture of the great swimming lagoon I mentioned before....

uh oh! mummy says it's time to stop now....gee! I'll come back and tell you about the rest later. Mummy's are great - but sometimes they spoil my fun :(

Friday, August 03, 2007

My heart....

At the time of this post, it's only 17 days until my little girl turns two.
But you know what is absorbing so much of my thinking?.....her birth mummy.
I can't help but continue to be drawn into thinking about what she may be going through. How she must be feeling. We pray for Ebony's birth parents every single night - but somehow nothing seems enough. I guess I'm being prepared in some way for how my little girl will feel in the years to come. I frequently get tears in my eyes as I think about where her birth mummy was 2 years ago. The heartache she was most likely suffering knowing that it was only a short time until she had to part with the child she had carried for 9 months. How can she ever know the joy that her pain would bring. How can she ever know the gorgeous girl she has birthed. I don't quite know what to do with the feelings I have - all I can do is continue to pray that somehow, some way Ebony's birth parents know in their hearts that she is safe and happy. I don't know that that's really possible - but I have to try and believe.
Yes - there will come a time when Ebony will be able to read this. I hope more than anything that there is compassion in her heart and that she too understands. It's a risk I know - but at this particular time I don't ever want her to think I didn't think of her birth mummy often. I don't know whether I'll even use the term 'birth mummy' - I probably won't - but at the moment, that's what my heart is feeling.
Again, I just want to thank everyone for their beautiful emails and post - you all make my day so special when I receive your thoughts and kindness. This blog has done far more for me than I ever dreamed it would.