Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Harvest!!!

These last few days have been busy! Emma had an informal piano recital, Eliza went to work cleaning the house (see pictures), we carved pumpkins, and we did the traditional trick-or-treat and harvest party night. We also reached the end of our first quarter of school. Toby and I made out report cards for the kids and they all did great. One of the things we are loving about home school is that we can take our time with the kids and make sure they understand a concept before they move on. It is really helping them to learn more and feel more confident. We are very proud of them all. Believe me, they work very hard.

Here are some great pictures we took in the last few days--one day, during school, Ethan was sweeping the kitchen and Eliza decided to help--soooo cute!!!! She didn't really like her cute bunny costume but we still got some great pictures. She is even adorable when she fusses! It is wonderful to have all of our children home for the holidays this year. There are no words for how blessed we truly are.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Eliza's First Trip to the Zoo

Today we took advantage of the beautiful fall weather we have been having and took Eliza to the zoo for her first visit. Ethan was at a youth retreat so it was just us and the girls. Eliza really liked the animals. She laughed when she saw the new baby elephant play with it's mom. It is always fun to see it all in our children's eyes. Eliza was taking it all in for the first time and Emma and Faith still get excited when they see all the animals. Eliza really enjoyed the elephant ears and ended up with an extra sweet smile!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkins, Books, and a New Duck Fan

We have been having fun in our first 8 weeks of school. Eliza has been getting into her books too.

Toby went to Malaysia and Shanghai for business and brought us all back some goodies. Eliza really liked her new purse. Look out mall here we come!

Emma has been doing great at piano. Last week she came home with a prize that Eliza enjoyed. I think we have another Duck fan in the house!

We had a great time on our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. It's such a blessing to finally get to share our family traditions with Eliza.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

6 months ago today......

I remember being nervous and excited all at once. There were six of us couples cramming into the elevators at the Guangzhou Civil Affairs office building, important papers in hand and cameras ready. Who would be first? We thought for sure we would be last with the last name Z----.

We walked in the room and tried to peek at any babies. None yet. Then, after a few minutes, we saw some. Was one of them her? We weren't sure but one did have some pretty "spikey" hair. Toby video recorded the women walking by with them just in case.

They started to call out names. One couple went up and a woman came out with a baby and handed her over. A new family was born. As I watched it all unfold I looked up and there she was, in the doorway with one of the women. Tears came to my eyes. I finally saw that sweet face I had been studying in a picture from afar and dreaming of for three years. I turned to the expectant father next to me and said, "I just saw my baby!"

They called our name. Two women came out, one holding her. She caressed Eliza's cheek and said, "Misquito bites." Then they put her in my arms. "Does she look like picture?" the woman asked.

"Yes," Toby and I said in unison. Cameras were flashing and try as I might I couldn't get her to look at me. She was too busy looking around the room. Her pants were too big, flapping around past her little legs and making her look much taller. She had socks on and underneath we could see that her feet were dirty.

She locked eyes with Toby, seeing her Daddy for the first time and laughing. No tears came to her eyes but man could she laugh. We tickled her and played with her. We took turns holding her while she looked everywhere. God had kept His promise.

It's hard to believe it has been six months. In a lot of ways it seems like it has been longer. I'm amazed at this girl and at a God who loves us so much that He would trust us with such a gift. This scared little girl and her scared parents have come so far. Today, while at Emma's piano lesson, I walked just a few feet away from her. Then I heard her. She had followed me over and placed her sweet hand in mine. This little one who wouldn't look me in the eyes was reaching out to me. THANK YOU JESUS! I AM BLESSED!