Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Pretty Girl...15 months already

Above: Simply gorgeous...and getting so big.

Below: Check out the almost pigtails.

She's pitching a fit and I am thinking, I need to get a picture of this for my Blog. She's just too cute for words even when she having a tantrum moment.

Ok, I have so much to say that I am not telling you all, and it’s a long story…for another post. I still haven’t sorted through the Holland Tulip pictures, but when I do I will still post them.

However, I cannot deprive people of Emeline’s cuteness. Thus, I am posting these pics. She is 15 months old already, and learning new things every day. She is really starting to understand English. Also, I have to say that Emeline has the best hair in the world. It is gorgeous and she has lots of it. People think she is much older, because of her hair and because she is so coordinated (she walks and dances like a champ). Needless to say I am putting all those bows to good use! She is generally a good sport about it, and I am having a blast. Yes, I am loving it.

Oh, and she threw the cordless phone in the bath tub—and yes, the tub was full o’ water at the time!

Lastly, please pray Chris as he preaches tomorrow. Also, next Saturday, May 31 Chris and I both speak at a ladies breakfast for some churches here in our city. Please pray for us both. We have to talk for an hour—in German. Pray for wisdom in what to prepare and for us to have a good German language day on Saturday so that these ladies can understand our Southern American accents auf Deutsch.

Missing so many of you...and sad that you are all not getting to see my girl and the little things she does each day. I hope this blog helps just a least it helps me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

Emeline in the Park--May 10, 2008 (above)

Cupcakes for my cupcake for Mother's Day 2008 (below)

Well, in honor of Mother's Day, I baked some yummy rainbow chip cupcakes--with rainbow chip icing. Now, if you don't live overseas you cannot fully appreciate the pure extravagance of using some precious cake mix from the US and real icing on an event other than a birthday. In honor of our first Mother's Day together I stripped Emeline down to her diaper and gave her not one, but 2 iced cupcakes which she ate with great pleasure. She was laughing and squealing with pure joy as she made a huge mess. I ate not one but 3 cupcakes right along with her! (Calm down, healthy people, she hardly ever gets sweets like that--she eats bird seed bio muesli for breakfast!!!)

Yesterday we had a picnic and went to the aquazoo. I will blog more about the aquazoo later. We have season tickets to go, so it is one of our regular outings. This Saturday Chris came along with us, and we had a picnic in the park beforehand. We have had unusually pretty and warm weather here for over a week--really that is unheard of. It has been warmer this week than it was the whole of last summer. Emeline and I have been out every single day soaking up the sun while we can. I am becoming German in that respect. When the weather is fine, the Germans are outside enjoying it and making the most of the sunshine while it lasts. I even let Emeline go without her shoes for a bit, and she loved it. She has been playing in the sand and getting totally filthy this week. We have been to several different parks--she loves playing outside.

I have begun to make a new German friend who has a baby boy not much older than Emeline. I am so thankful for this, and she has been taking us all around and showing us things to do--she grew up in the neighborhood we live in. She has invited us to go swimming next week at an indoor pool in our city. We had 3 play-dates last week. She even bought Emeline a "Hello Kitty" shirt just to be nice. She has been going out of her way to include us and invite us places. She has also offered to help us score a place in a baby play group that her sister leads (this class already has a waiting list for when Emeline will be 2!!). I am a bit overwhelmed at her kindness to us. It is not the norm. It is nice to be the one being invited instead of trying to do the inviting all the time. It is not that Germans are not nice, it's just that they are not usually quick to include outsiders in daily life--especially foreigners such as myself. Of course, we have known her for almost a year. I believe having Emeline has made all the difference. Now we have much in common with our little ones. I am hopeful that this is a door opening for our family here in our neighborhood. May it be so--and the beginning of many good things to come!

P.S. I am working on getting some videos uploaded to the blog. I need to figure some stuff out, and then I will post them--hopefully soon. It is easier to video Emeline than to take pics, because she is always in motion! Also, I will post pictures soon of our visit to the tulip gardens in Holland.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This Time Last Year

Waiting to meet Emeline

Emeline in my arms for the first time

Counting fingers and toes

This time last year we had just met our baby girl for the first time. We were in Antigua, Guatemala spending time with Emeline…and she was only 11 weeks old. In honor of that special time I am going to share about the day we met Emeline and a few memories.

We awoke our first morning in Antigua to cannon fire—I am not kidding--and roosters and chickens making noise in the wee hours of the morning. We had just traveled from Germany to the US and then on to Guatemala. I believe it was around 18 hours of travel. We had gotten in to our hotel very late the night before. We were so excited and thought we would be getting Emeline late afternoon some time the day after our arrival. However, we got a call asking if she could be brought at 11:00 instead. We were thrilled and began hurriedly getting ready. We were waiting outside before the appointed time on the street in front of our hotel. I was truly surreal. Outside the gates of our hotel folks were honking at me as they went by in cars or even converted golf carts. There were dogs running around everywhere. The buildings were painted bright colors and the streets were cobble stones. We waited for what seemed like and eternity and eventually figured out it was only 10:00 am, and that we had our times confused. By that time the lady who works with our adoption agency called and said they were sitting in traffic. Finally, they arrived and Karina, Emeline’s foster mom, came walking up with Emeline and placed her in my arms. She was fast asleep and had a yellow long sleeved with pants onesie on and a matching yellow hat. I said to her as I kissed her, “Hello, Emeline, I’m your mommy.” Chris was right there beside me. We noticed right away that she had her ears pierced and big gold stud earrings. In Guatemala all baby girls have their ears pierced, and we can’t imagine Emeline without her sweet little earrings now. We proceeded to get information about how to care for her for about 30 minutes. We took tons of pictures, but she slept through every bit of it.

After her foster family left we walked back to our room. Chris had always said when we got our hands on her we were going to bring her back to our hotel room and just put her in the middle of the bed to admire her. We just took her in…she was so beautiful. We had already removed her hat when we were with her foster mother. Emeline had a head full of black hair…I said her hair looked like black feathers as it was so fine and soft. When she opened her big brown eyes she looked right at us and gave us a big smile. She was not in the slightest bit afraid. As we began to talk to her, her eyes got very big (she had probably never heard English before), and she cooed right back at us. I took her socks off and we counted her fingers and little toes. Then, we fed her a bottle. She was a happy girl the whole time. It was like something in a movie. I really could not have asked for a better experience for our first meeting.

We had just over a week with Emeline. We got to experience feeding a baby around the clock. She also spit up all the time. We were exhausted, but in heaven. We also got to bring her around Antigua. We ate local restaurants and saw the sights. That time in Guatemala is like a wonderful dream. We were determined to soak it all in and experience all we could with Emeline. It beyond difficult to give her back at the end of the trip, but I left Guatemala with a bond in my heart that I knew would never be broken. I knew no matter what happened I would love her for the rest of my life.

I have included a few pictures from our trip as well as a link below to the visit trip slide show I sent out last year. Last year I spent my first Mother’s Day oceans and continents apart from my baby girl. I am so thankful that this year she is here right by my side. I really could not ask for more than that. I am so very blessed to be Emeline’s mommy.

Here is the link to the vist trip video montage set to music (this pictures are from late April-early May 2007: