Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Emalyn!

Yesterday was Emalyn's second birthday!  It was such a special day filled with fun and reflection.  Obviously, I couldn't help but think that this time one year ago, we had never even seen her sweet face and yet, one short year later, we get to swoon over her on her birthday.  As I look back on our journey to Emalyn, I see God's hand in each detail.  She was born on June 7, 2010...just a week and a half after Adair's second birthday and as we longed for a second child.  Just eight months later, God led us to pursue our second daughter through adoption from China.  Just six months after that, we saw her face for the first time, fell in love with her and accepted her referral.  And less than six months after that, we held her in our arms.  Now, three and a half months after holding her in our arms for the first time, we can't imagine life without her and got to celebrate her life...and most likely give her her first birthday gift celebration and party that she has ever had.

On her birthday, I also couldn't help but think of her birth mother, who, I am sure, was thinking of her on her birthday, too.  I can't imagine that she doesn't think of her everyday, but on her birthday, her heart probably aches a little more than usual.  I imagine that she wonders where she is, how she is, what she looks like, if anyone loves her and if all of her needs are being met...among a million other things.  My prayer is that she knows deep down in her heart that Emalyn is loved beyond belief and I pray God gives her peace and comforts that ache in her heart.  We believe with all of our hearts that God created her for our family and we are so thankful for her birth mother, for the brave choice that she made to give Emalyn life and that we have the honor and privilege of being her parents.

Emalyn's birthday countdown was right on the heels of Adair's, so she knew exactly what to do when we presented her with her first gift.  She loved pulling off the ribbons and tearing into each package.  She also loved her happies...goggles, a See and Say, an animal noise puzzle, a water shooter, an elephant ball popper, a toy car, a water table and her add-a-pearl necklace.

She loved wearing her goggles so much that she wanted to keep wearing them while opening gifts.

On her birthday morning, she woke up to a house covered with balloons and ribbons.  She was thrilled by all of the color and excitement the balloons brought. 

Since we were too lazy to wrap the big box that her water table came in, we covered it with a quilt.  She was eager to see what was hiding beneath it.

After naptime, we pulled out the water table, put it together and started having fun.  I must say, the birthday girl loves it, but it was also a hit with her big sister.

Loving being tossed into the balloons and ribbons.

For dinner, we treated her to Chinese at our favorite place, Mr. Chen's.  I know it seems cliche to take our Chinese daughter out for Chinese food on her birthday, but we haven't had it at all since bringing her home and we don't make alot of rice for meals anymore, so we thought it would be a fun treat for all of us. She was totally in her element.  She has remained a good eater, but she loved her dinner.  She tried everything and didn't turn her nose up to anything.  After finishing her fried rice, she began to put steamed rice, our chicken dish and our beef dish all together in her little bowl and wanted soy sauce on top.  She liked it all together.

After dinner, we visited a Southern favorite, Krispy Kreme.  Emalyn had her first doughnut just a few days after coming home and loved it.  We stuck her candle in a creme filled doughnut, sang "Happy Birthday" to her and all enjoyed a sweet treat.

We had such a special day celebrating our sweet Emalyn.  She brings so much joy to our lives!  We are thankful to God that she was home in our arms where she belongs for this birthday. 

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