Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A daddy's love

I couldn't resist these few photo's I snapped of a loving daddy and his gorgeous little girl. You know this experience of fatherhood has been so different for Graham - he only wishes he could turn back the hands of time and experience fatherhood with his first two children in the same way. Time can be a good thing and a bad thing. All I can do is enjoy these special moments myself as I observe the man he is now and the man he could have been all those years ago.....




this shot was taken this year....



this one was taken last year at the same time.....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The aftermath of the aftermath!

Doesn't really need words other than to say this is how I found my darling girl about 1/2 hour after the family left today :)

The aftermath!

I'm so overdue for an update!....here they come, one by one in date order!

Well, another Christmas has been and gone - and this time it went WAY too fast. I'm a real lover of Christmas - not only because it's the time I celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior - but because it's all about family and children. For many, many years one aspect of that sentence was absent from my life - but now it's here in the form of my little princess. I'm really sad it all went so fast. I think I let myself just get way too busy and I must be sure to change that next year!

We had a lovely time with family - my brother, sister-in-law and their two gorgeous girls arrived on Friday 26th and left on Tuesday 30th. Mum and Dad and Tez my brother left on Monday 29th. Here's some photo's of our fun times!

Ebby doing 'buttons' with Nana


Ebby and Lizzie after a ride on the deck



Georgeous Beccy and beautiful Lizzie


Three beautiful cousins together


and at the same time singing 'abc' together :)

video

Eb and Lizzie having more fun times....


Our family at the river....with my brother in the purple


My little princess....


Water fun....


Ebby and Beccy


Pa, Nana and some of the grandchildren


and then Uncle Tez with some of his nieces


and then another of Bec and Eb

Friday, December 26, 2008

Memory lane

I spend SO much time at this time of the year recalling the events of 2 years ago. I can't really put into words all that I feel inside. I so love my life and wouldn't go back for anything....and yet I would absolutely love to re-live that time. I wonder if it's the same with biological children?
To remember when we headed off to Melbourne to stay a night before leaving for China. To remember the time we would have been flying out of Melbourne on our way to Sydney and then to Hong Kong. To try and remember our fleeting time in Hong Kong (totally exhausted after delayed flights etc). Then the time in the train to Guangzhou from Hong Kong where four childless families enjoyed watching the scenery as we entered the Province that held our daughters. Then we arrived at the White Swan and the feeling when I walked in that room and saw the cot that would hold our daughter....that is one of the moments in time I will never, ever forget. The next few days were a bit of a blur - although I remember back to the first full day in Guangzhou when we had the last 'free' day we would have for a long, long time.

Then, on Christmas Day, - I spent much time,amongst the celebrations, remembering all the feelings of 2 years ago - how much I didn't want to do lunch with the other 5 families....not for any reason other than the fact that I felt ill. Those feeling are quite amazing to me. I had waited for so, so many years of my life for this time - yet I felt sick and wanted to withdraw. I even took a video where I said what I was feeling so Eb could watch it in years to come. I cried - I couldn't really articulate what I felt - I was this amazing mix of fear, joy, sadness for all the day held for her, incredible happiness, yet apprehension, for how I would feel. What would she do? would she cry? would she smile? would she scream or not want to leave her carers? would she be exhausted or wide awake? would she be bald? would she be big or little? would she be healthy or sick? so, so many questions.

Then being picked up to be taken to the Civil Affairs office. All of us very, very nervous and saying who knows what to each other as we were moved upstairs by lift. Me, of course, needing to go to the bathroom not long after we got up there and, knowing the girls were on the same floor as us, all I could do was peek into rooms as I made my way to the bathroom in the hope that I might just catch a glimpse of my daughter. I saw a blur of children but of course couldn't make a thing out. My heart was absolutely pounding out of my chest. I made it back to the other room where we took some 'photo's before children' and then we were told the order in which we would receive our daughters. We were to be last of the families. That didn't really worry me for some strange reason. I just used the time to take photo's/video for the other families AND it happened so fast anyway. Then our daughter's name was called - Sui, Hua Xing and Graham and Jennifer Boote - - - - time stood still. There wasn't a sound to be heard except the beating of my heart at that moment. I barely remember another person in the room except the little girl who was placed in my arms and who smiled in a confused sort of way then gave a little wave...the kind of wave she gave in one of the allocation photo's.
My world was complete - my daughter was safe and alert in my arms. I felt a joy and peace that is totally unexplainable. I didn't cry at the moment. I somehow saved that for the moment I had with her on my own when her Daddy went to sign the paperwork etc. Then I wept - I wept the quiet silent tears of a Mummy who has waited a lifetime to be a Mummy. My darling daughter just looked up into my eyes confused but quiet.
Now - 2 years later I still have those big dark almond shaped eyes with long eyelashes, now surrounded by more raven black hair that falls so gently around the most beautiful little face my heart has ever known......look into my eyes with much more certainty....and with love and trust. Probably still more trust than love because that is just who my daughter is - but it will all come in time. We're getting there and we seem light years from the little scared girl that was placed in our arms. I'm totally in love with her and I would die if it would give her life, yet I hope I never have to leave her. She means more to me and has given a sense of purpose that I never knew possible. She is my sunshine - she is my light - she is my long, long awaited daughter.

Now for a trip down memory lane....and some comparisons

2006 - Forever family day


2007 - Forever family day - 1st anniversary


2008 - Forever family day - 2nd anniversary


Thursday, December 25, 2008

The joy of Christmas

There are so many joys in Christmas.
Celebrating the day my Lord and Saviour was born - that is one of the greatest joys for me. Without the sacrifice He made for me - I wouldn't be who I am today or where I am.
There is also the joy of being surrounded by family..... that is super special to me.
But seeing my daughter open her presents and truly feel the joy of Christmas is something that I've never really experienced before. Last year was very different to this year.
We went to Church and enjoyed a wonderful family style service where there was involvement and fun - perfect for Christmas Day. My Mum, my husband and my daugher all ended up up the front. (Mum and Gra answered the right answers to the questions....Eb just tagged along!).


When we arrived home I decided it would be a good time to get a few family photo's - so that was next. Eb was still very patient (or kinda unaware really).



Then the time came and we opened the presents. Good 'ol me decided the light had to be perfect for the opening of the first 'big' present so ended up stopping Eb whilst I tried to get the light right! poor Eb. She ended up confused and then scared to open her present! Finally she did and she was thrilled. She loved the car and was straight into it......



Then she happily opened the rest of her presents and we opened ours. It was a lovely time - just Pa, Nana, Uncle Tez, Daddy, Mummy and Eb. Being the only child there made it pretty exciting although she became so accustomed to opening presents that she started to want to just open and not stop and enjoy! pretty typical of children I'd say!







Because of the late start to everything we made a last minute decision before Church to have ourselves a Christmas Dinner rather than Lunch. This actually worked really well because it was quite a hot day and the evening was pleasant enough to enjoy our meal outside....and take some lovely end of day photo's.





Then THE day arrived!

How much could go wrong I wondered? We had such a lovely time watching carols, although Daddy went to bed at about 10 because he was exhausted. Then, everyone else decided to do the same and left Eb and I to watch the last 2 songs. When it was all over I went to put Eb to bed (she had been totally relaxed watching carols) and she decided she didn't want to go to her cot - she wanted to go to bed with Daddy. I said no because I knew I had her big present to put together and wrap. I put her into her cot crying and went about putting her present together. Her present was a plastic car (one of the tiny tikes ones). It said all you needed was a screwdriver and I sure had one of those. Do you think it would work..............NO! I was getting totally frustrated and trying to make enough frustrated noises to wake my husband....to no avail. Eb was crying louder so I just had to go in there and she must have been crying the whole time but I didn't know so I went in to a totally distraught child who was in a lather of sweat and doing those horrible uncontrollable sobs. I had to go and turn all the lights out and then put her in bed beside her asleep Daddy. I asked her to stay there and that I'd be in soon. She was much more settled by the time I left her and I was only only a door away. I spent another hour or just over trying to get Eb's present ready (and calling our friends in Cambodia) but in the end I just had to pack it in the pantry and go to bed.....planning to gently put Eb back in hers. Well - I walked in the door to a wide awake daughter. She'd been awake for 3 hours at this time. I just had to leave her in with us and her and I joined Daddy in his slumber.

I woke at 5am wondering how I was going to get Eb back to bed and Gra awake to put the blinking car together! It was all starting to look far, far different to the wonderful picture I had in my mind :)
Thankfully, I was (somehow!) able to move Eb back to bed without waking her. I stayed awake and ended up doing some work on the computer until Daddy woke up at which time I filled him in on what had happened (he slept through the whole lot!). He got up and went out to the car to get some tools needed to put the car together but.....he couldn't find his car keys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We looked everywhere. I had to sneak into Mum and Dad's room (Dad was out walking) and look around in there - then I had to wake my brother to make sure he didn't have them by accident. Alas - no keys. We finally prayed that my Dad had picked them up accidently.
So - there we were - present not together - keys missing and thankfully Ebony still asleep.
Daddy decided to use force rather than tools and did manage to get the car together - I was so relieved - things were starting to look up. Dad arrived home and he didn't have the keys - but was able to make a suggestion that ended up with Graham finding them.
Eb then decided to sleep .... and sleep......and sleep.....and sleep! We had to be at Church at 10am so, after all that, we had to get her up and let her know that yes Santa had been, but we'd have to leave opening of presents until after Church. Thankfully she's young enough NOT to understand and she was happy!

I was exhausted and it was only 9.30am :)

More to come .......................... later

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas

Well it's now Christmas Eve. My Mum and Dad arrived on the 22nd and my big brother Terry arrived yesterday.

Eb with Pa John


Eb with Uncle Tez


We've had quite a bit of fun together and the joy of Christmas has been very, very evident this year for me. It's been a very special lead up with a little girl who is becoming so much more aware of 'Santa' and 'presents'.
She's also very aware that tomorrow is 'Jesus birthday'. She's excited about that too - but obviously more because it's a birthday! I feel very proud of her :)

I will do a special post on Eb's love of 'Dance and Learn with Mei Mei' when I get a really good video of it - but in the mean time watch this and see how easily these children can 'rote' learn Children...or at least ours!

video

Today we went to the Nursing Home to spread a little cheer to the older folks in there. Eb was so good handing out beautiful bookmarks my Mum had made with a picture of Eb or Eb and I on them and a 'Jesus is the reason for the season' on the back. The dear old folk didn't know what to do in some cases - but it was the joy of watching Eb run from one person to the other that I loved most.





Then Eb had a sleep while I did lots of cooking and after she woke we went to work to make the 'Gingerbread house'. Eb loved it and her delight is evident on her face you'll see!



Another tradition I started last year was getting Eb up to watch the carols on Television. I waited until 9.30 to wake her and she lay peacefully on my lap for the next 1 1/4 hours while we watched. It was very special and a tradition I'd love to keep going....although this year the end result was a bit different. I'll leave that for the Christmas Day post though :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Traditions.....

I've decided I'd like to make a few traditions....just 'cause that's who I am....so one of them is going and looking at the lights in town. Now we only live in a TINY town..around about 2,300 people....and many of them don't actually live here. BUT the lights are still great. So we loaded Eb in the car and off we went (Mummy, Daddy, Nana and Eb). She really enjoyed it - probably will more next year - but she did enjoy it and loved looking at all the different figures. There is one home where Santa sits out on the verandah (used to sit on the roof would you believe until the Doctor told him he wasn't allowed!). He is so much fun for the children but Eb still wasn't too keen although I got her out of the car and she was happy enough to take a bag of lollies! of course :)

I only got one photo of Ebony in the car ready to go - just the one to help remember the occasion....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Then it was a very busy day and a half of visiting before heading home....

Gosh we packed a lot in after we left Kyneton!
Kate and Eliza picked us up and we stayed with them for the night. The girls really picked up from where they left of a few days ago and just had lots of fun together.....



video

Then we left there on Friday morning and made our way to our friends Phil and Tracey in Bayswater. Ella, their daughter, was home and she was so wonderful with Eb. It was lovely to catch up but even lovelier to see how this family, who are so dear to us, interact with our daughter.



Then it was off to Graham's son Daniel and his wife Bron's place to celebrate Christmas with them. We stayed the night and had an absolutely lovely meal prepared by Bron and enjoyed with them and our Nephew Brad, his partner Kirsty and their son Will. Both Bron and Kirsty are pregnant at the moment - so it was a quiet night. Eb was absolutely exhausted from all the traveling and all the people - but she did ok really. Next morning she was back running on all eight cylinders and enjoyed a dance with Bron (who was feeling quite 'morning sick' at the time!). Well done Bronnie!




video

Then it was off to Graham's Dad & Mum's for another Christmas celebration. We had a lovely lunch with them and they loved having her around for a few hours.







We made it back on the road and home by about 7pm. I have the Children's Family Day Service to put together for tomorrow - so it's bye for now!