Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rollin' and Tumblin' on a Thursday Night

Ella hopped downtown Thursday night to support her Uncle John, a good friend of ours. It was a beautiful summer night with lots of friends. Here's our big girl in her Love, Peace, Rock & Roll outfit (a gift from her friend Roz, who has excellent taste in clothing). The outfit went perfectly with the subject matter of John's photographs. Great stuff.

And on an old warehouse next to the gallery, Ella's dad spotted this sign. And Ella's dad loves anything to do with old vinyls.

We're working from home today. The whistle is blowin' - back to work.
H, L & E

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Weekend of Daddy

As of late when you ask Ella to say "Mommy", her response is "Daaaaaaaaaaaaadddddeeeeeeeeeeeeee" with an ornery grin. She spends a great deal of time moving through the house hollering Daddy's name. They are a pair. It is a love affair.

She came home from Christina's (her Friday caregiver) with her very first piece of art work - all for Daddy. Truth be told, I spent a fair amount of time choking back tears as I took in her little paint hand prints.

Ella treated her Daddy to a pretty big weekend. We spent Saturday afternoon at our Museum for the annual Juneteenth Celebration. Juneteenth (aka Freedom Day or Emancipation Day) commemorates the abolition of slavery in the U.S. The music, hands-on art, sights were great fun. That night, we went family-style to watch our local minor league at a home game. The girl hung in there for seven innings and enjoyed the people-watching of the SRO crowd. We continue to be amazed at how perfectly she nestles into the life we had before her. Sure, there are adjustments but Ella is our girl, for sure.

Sunday brought a little church, a little brunch with my family in honor of my dad and Ella's first swim in a 'big girl' pool.

And when it was pool-time at our house yesterday, she seemed less than impressed with sitting in 4 inches of water.

Have a great week everyone. H, L & E

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The First of Several

Would it make any difference if I told you we've been movin' and groovin' and doin'? That we've been so busy enjoying summer and laughter that working on photos and the blog haven't been a priority? I hope so.

Let's hit the rewind button to Thursday of last week - Ella's Readoption Hearing. Here we are waiting to be called into the courtroom. It is not the best of Larry or me, by a long shot, but who cares about us? Look at Ella's smile. (Her sweet dress a gift from our friends Steve and Cyndy.) And remember that pink bow...

My parents and friends Katie, Patrick and Rozalyn were there.

Remember the Blog Mistress (our lifeline!) who kept us all connected while we were in China?? Well, she's quite the talented lady as she was also Ella's attorney. Her husband Dave, and their children, Gabe and Lana, also joined us. In fact, Lana, Rozalyn and Ella have all been re-adopted in the same courtroom.

Our probate court judge loves an adoption hearing. He is warm, personable and genuinely interested in the journey that connects sons and daughters to moms and dads. Ella babbled through most of the hearing, causing the judge to pause, smile and talk with her. Really, quite sweet. Ella received her own gavel, a tradition started over 50 years ago in our court. (Look carefully, she's holding it.)

This last group shot is comical. Look at all of us - smiling big, happy, the Judge right in there with all of us...and where is Ella??! Look for the bright pink bow. She is the one, front and center, oblivious to the fanfare around her.

More to come...H, L & E

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

She's A Movin...

Ella has shown some huge leaps in her ability to be mobile in the last week. She loves the fact that we have hardwood floors and tile throughout most of our home because she plants herself firmly on her bottom and...scoots. It isn't crawling. But she is quick. And while I'm in the kitchen getting a meal ready, she squeals and scoots. And her favorite thing - and don't call me a bad mommy - is for me to ask her, "Where's the baby?" She looks feverishly for the stainless steel trash can, scoots like mad and plants a big kiss on her own reflection. Sans the finger and lip prints, I've got one of the cleanest trash cans in the Midwest because of her new found affection.

Tomorrow we head to the Probate Court with family and friends for her re-adoption hearing to secure a birth certificate from our state. Yet another big milestone for EML. Pictures of her big day will come!
H, L & E

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Baptism of Ella Man Li

Sunday, June 13 was a huge day here. As much as, or perhaps more than, obtaining Ella’s social security number, or our upcoming re-adoption hearing, Ella’s baptism was the culmination of our adoption journey. It brought together an eclectic group of family, extended family, church family and friends – big and small – that have been on the trip with us. Ella started in a beautiful gown made by her Grandmother, Irene, using fabric from Heather's wedding gown.

Of course, to top it off, we thought that nothing could say Chinese-American Christian quite like a pig roast, with a keg of Canadian beer, back at the house. After a week of watching a miserable forecast, we were blessed with wonderful weather. It was a great party if we say so ourselves.

A lot of people helped. You know who you are! Thanks – for then, for now, and for where ever Ella Man Li takes us next. L, H & E

Friday, June 4, 2010

Three Months Ago...

...Ella Man Li became a US Citizen. Our family of three slid into home base (better than I thought we would) to a fabulous welcome home from our friends and family. I've included a few of Nikki's photos so that you can reminisce. All the kisses and hugs and tears and laughter and relief!!

It feels like just last night and four years ago - all at once.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Extended Family + Summer = Good Stuff

Larry and I have brought some pretty special extended families to our marriage. I have no problem taking credit for bringing this group into the mix. Amazing how there is a whole new generation for memories.

Over the weekend, we spent quite a magical day at the Z family cottage. For some, this was their first time meeting Ella.

This year, we didn't have to reflect on how Ella was missing out on yet another milestone. She was there, folks. We could not have been happier to see her welcomed into the fold.

Make sure you watch the video at the end of this post. Have a great week.