Monday, December 31, 2007

The end of 2007....what a year it has been

Well, it's now the final days of 2007. How do I describe the year of 2007 that I have just lived....I don't know where to start and won't try. It's been an amazing year. I've walked through much of it blind-folded as many new parents do - but I've survived and Ebony's morphed in the most beautiful daughter I could wish for - what more could I ask of this last year...nothing. But what I do ask of the year that lay ahead is for wisdom to help her do life well. That's no small ask - it's a very, very deep and difficult ask. Life is tough and because I'm older I desperately want to help her do the journey of life as a 'complete' person (I hear many say 'yeah sure') - but I want to try. I want to help her be confident, but not TOO confident.....happy, but not unaware of the sadness in the world......joyful in all things - good or bad, wise - but only pain brings wisdom...gosh it's SO hard. Anyway - to end this entry, enjoy a few (more) photo's of our family enjoying time down at the local river and pool. A strange ending to an entry like this - but there are times when it's just hard to find the words....


me and my little princess


words just won't do it....


and this is exactly what the two of them are like together


...melt your heart stuff ???

Who LOVES the pool????

Sunday, December 30, 2007

and the days that followed that momentus occasion...

we have had family stay and these are just some of the fun times we have shared...especially the little ones....


..the Ebony and Ivory's (Sizzie (Lizzie) and Bec Bec (Beccy)) on our deck...


.....my precious poppet....


...the four youngest grandkids on our bed and having a ball....


.....the grandkids all together....


.... the whole family without my sister's husband....


...the four 'kids'....


...the matriarchs...or, as we know them...Mum and Dad!


My sister and her 3 beautiful children...not sure when we'll get another photo like this!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Forever Day .... one year on

I now have a daughter with raven hair that falls like a curtain around her face and eyes so dark I can't even distinguish the pupils - but their intensity burrows it's way right to my heart every time she really looks into mine. It's been one year - one amazing year. We are astounded that we thought she had attached well early.....little did we know what lay ahead. Now - in the last few weeks she has finally started to come to us for hugs and to plant warm precious kisses on our cheeks. Attachment is so wonderful - to most children it's 'natural' - but to little children whose lives have been turned upside down, who have been taken from everything that is familiar - smells, sounds, the way people look, their surroundings - it can be extremely frightening. Even though we could look at the life she lived - day after day in a cot surrounded by noise and children crying - it WAS her world and it WAS all she knew. Now today the pages have turned and there have been many new chapters. We are totally blessed and feel so lucky to have the little miracle that is Ebony Grace in our lives.


our first moments together


12 months later

Then it was Christmas Day

Oh what a day - for so, so many reasons.

But firstly - special because for years and years I had waited to wake up on Christmas morning and watch the joy of my own child opening her presents. I can't tell you - there's just no way to describe - what that wait has been like and ..... how worthwhile the wait has been. I also can't describe the joy that I saw on Ebony's face when she saw the very first present. I can't even show you because I decided that I wanted to enjoy watching rather than have my face firmly planted behind a camera as so often happens. I had a 'santa sack' for her, but on top of it was a pressie from one of her Suixi buddies - and that was what she saw first and that was what bought the first absolutely glee filled look. It was precious and amazing and wonderful and beautiful. She was the only child in the house at the time - my Mum and Dad and my big brother were staying with us so they got to enjoy the festivities too. She was centre of attention....exactly what I feel she deserved to be after 2 Christmases that simply haven't been celebrated. She had SO much fun opening each present and later in the day she didn't understand why she couldn't open all the presents when her cousins arrived! But she coped.
We went to Church too, as a family, and it also was a truly special and wonderful experience. Finally at home, in our Church, as a family with God watching over - watching our joy unfold - as He has put the pieces of our lives together over the years leading up to this moment. I had some very teary moments during Church - but they were all healing tears.

It truly was an amazing day for my heart more than anything. I was a bit subdued in the morning just taking it all in and loving feeling that place in my heart finally fill with the joy this little girl spread into it. It's been a long hard road - but if my life were to end tomorrow I would know that today I finally got to see and experience what I've dreamed of and believed for most of my life....all of my adult life.


what fun is this....


presents! wow!....


and new things to play with !!!


not to mention more carols!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the eve of Christmas

So much to be thankful for - so much to reflect on - but tonight...I made the decision to wake my sleeping princess at 9pm to let her 'watch' Christmas Carols with us. Well - I wasn't in the least disappointed. She was mesmerized by them. She really does love music.


Doing something for others....


I had a conversation with my Aunt Netty (Mum's sister) on the way home from Numurkah about her Granddaughter and how my Aunt had asked her (she's 14) if she would come along with her to visit the elderly at a Nursing Home. I thought long about that on the way home and wondered how I can instill a sense of value into Ebony - a sense of care for others. I had decided that next year I would take her to the Nursing Home in Mt. Beauty. Then, while I was at Church on the 23rd I thought ...why wait? So I made some yummy chocolate fudge bars - wrapped them in Christmas looking paper and Eb and I (along with my Mum and Dad) went visiting. It was such a wonderful feeling and to see the delight on some of the elderly peoples faces was priceless. Eb was a little unsure of some of them - naturally - and not all of them responded well - some are understandably unhappy to be there at any time, let along Christmas time, but I really pray she managed to bring some joy to them for the moments she was with them. I've decided to do this more regularly in 2008 to hopefully help Eb learn compassion and be comfortable with older people. I see so many children who simply aren't comfortable with the elderly. Here's a photo of her with one of the residents who adored her.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Grandparents

...are so wonderful. We had a great few days with just my Mum and Dad before the troops started to arrive for Christmas (in the end we had 10 adults and 4 children under 5 under the one roof!). It was so lovely and peaceful and we all relaxed and really enjoyed our time together. Mum especially had so much fun with Ebony on this visit. Once the troops arrived it all got a little harder to have quality time - but I'm so grateful we got this time in. Poor Dad took a nasty fall when he went fishing and he struggled for the rest of his time here....and couldn't go fishing again!


some wonderful times with Nana Snell

Friday, December 21, 2007

Numurkah

Another wonderful visit with our dear friends Lyn and Amanda...and this time Lyn's sister-in-law and her 3 gorgeous girls were in the Unit next door. We arrived on Tuesday 18th and left on Thursday 20th. The weather had been VERY hot, but while we were there it was a little more pleasant and overcast - so we only went in the indoor pool. We also walked into town and took the girls on a tractor/trolley ride which they (and I) really enjoyed. Lyn is so wonderful to spend time with....and so is gorgeous Manda. Eb wasn't quite herself - I think a few children together get a little overwhelming for her - but she'll get used to it and before I know it she'll be running of to play with all of them!


5 beautiful little girls together - the fair and the raven


...fun on the tractor 'farm' ride


special privileges for a special little girl ('cause mummy asked!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Better late than never!

I've finally managed to upload a copy of the DVD I made - dedicated to Ebony on the occasion of her 2nd birthday.

Hope you enjoy!

video

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Time out with special friends.....

firstly...I must show you a photo of how we're doing 'bathtime' these days.....it is just SO hot up here I thought this was the easiest (and probably most 'fun') way to have a bath!

Talk about a bath with a view :)



then I'll go on.....

We have made friends with a wonderful family here. They are only here for a short while longer when they will all pack up and leave to go to Cambodia for 3-6 years. I'll miss them terribly. They are a wonderful family with 2 boys and 1 girl who is 1.5 years older than Ebby. We went to their place for dinner last night and I had to share the photo's of my 'glee-filled' little girl. She loves the children so much and it really shows.....



Friday, December 14, 2007

And then it was playgroup Santa....

I should have known I didn't need to go into Albury/Wodonga to meet Santa! He came to playgroup at Mt. Beauty.
Eb was a bit better with him however but this time she refused to get on the pony they had there especially to give the children the experience of a ride. (must say the flies were really bad so I probably don't blame her!).
It was a lovely morning and Eb's pressie from Santa was a set of maracas and a little jingle bells belt that we attached to her ankle so she jingled where ever she walked! Too cute.
I dressed her in the little t-shirt I made her. Thankfully she got to wear it quite a number of times. I also made one for the other 5 Suixi girls for the celebration of Forever Day....which is fast approaching!





Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Santa!!!

Well - it was time. I was determined that I would see how Eb reacted to Santa without Daddy around. We had to go into Wodonga for our final Swimming Lesson so we decided to go to Myer Albury as well.

Well....Santa wasn't so well received this time. There were tears and fears.
As you will see by the photo - we got there - but only if Ebby stayed on Mummy's knee. Although the photo is a very good one of Eb - there were tears in Eb's eyes!

I'm still really, really glad we did it!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols – who would have ever thought? We had Church in the morning, then a Church lunch then Carols at night. I knew Eb couldn’t do the lunch and the Carols so we decided to forgo the lunch and come back for Carols. I thought we would be leaving early because of her sleep pattern – well I underestimated my little princess. She was totally enthralled and she just loved all the singing. She even sat there with the carol book outstretched and ‘sang’ along with the singers. There was not one moment when I thought I would need to take her home. She was an angel and hopefully the photo’s will express the complete joy she had.




Saturday, December 08, 2007

Testing times with a toddler

....well - the innocence is fast disappearing and I'm left shell-shocked after a really hard 24 hours of parenting ... (sorry for all those waiting - you may rather tune out here!)

First.....found my little girl standing precariously on top of the coffee table

Second.....found her in her cot undressed

Third.....found her with Daddy's somewhat differently shaped reading glasses in her hands


Forth....found her on the floor with the contents of her sunscreen all around her


that was yesterday.......

Today, so far, I've found her after she's been awake for 45 minutes - in her cot with the broken pieces of one of the more beautiful mobiles she's been given.


All I can say at the moment is.....it's time to move the lipstick and eyeliners and nail polish!
And to find my sense of humour! :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

Final trip to Melbourne for 2007

Another marathon journey - but lots of fun too. We left Friday morning and stopped in to see Graham's Mum and Dad in Alexandra - they adore Ebony and it's so lovely to see them with her. We hope they can come up and stay a few days in the New Year.

Then we went to Melbourne and stopped in to see Bern, Bec and Lizzie for a short while...no photo's sadly!

Then it was on to Tracey and Phil's who hadn't seen Eb for a few months. We had a lovely time with them and Eb really enjoyed her time - especially with Ella who is 14.

Then it was off to Chris, Ruth and Mei's. Eb and Mei didn't take too long to get to know each other again and they both had a bit of a late night....but lots of fun.


Saturday we headed off for some shopping while Ruth and Chris had their final SW visit - then we all met at the Annual FCC Christmas Party - where Gra played the bearded one!...

Eb seemed to notice 'something' about Santa!

It was a fabulous day with lovely time spent with dear friends who are hopefully to be allocated this week

Ebby and Molly - who will be a Mei Mei by the end of this week coming.
....and our precious friend who is still waiting.....

Tracey
We really enjoyed the day and so did Eb - she just didn't stop! It was also wonderful to catch up with some of our 'batch buddies' - we were all there except Dick, Wendy and Ruby, so it was really lovely to catch up with 4 of the 5 other girls.




Ebby opening her first ever present from 'Santa'


and had lots of fun playing with mummy!

We had friends come back to Ruth and Chris's for a drink and then we had an early night - which we ALL needed! Next day the Daddy's looked after the girls while the Mummy's went to the Vic Market - what fun I had buying presents! It was a lovely morning. Then back home to Mt. Beauty. A big weekend - lots of fun had by all - fabulous company and two beautiful little girls having lots of fun together.