Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eight months in...

I think 6 mos. is the mark. It's the mark I'd tell other adoptive parents to put on their calendar and plan on for the big reveal. That reveal would be the "new normal". I've spent the last 2 mos. looking back on it and I'd say, yes, that is when I realized we had hit our stride and life was set on autopilot and it was working just fine.
She loves the Mosaic Shop

I can't explain what exactly made me realize that we were there. It was Elli's doing. It might have been her vocabulary boost. She'd have one every 2 or 3 weeks but this was different. She was speaking in a more nonchalant way, more casual. She seemed more comfortable with her English although it's far from excellent, it's really pretty good. Most anyone who speaks to her can understand her. That is pretty impressive. But it was more than that. She just seemed more... American.

She's picked up on cliches that are truly American, almost Southern. She completely understands when people are being sarcastic, cynical, and just plain joking around with her. It's quite fascinating to spend more than a few minutes with her and just talk. She loves to just talk and most nights, that is what we do as I put her to bed.

Just after her visit with Judge Brewer.
She was granted her MS Birth Cert.

Her prayers have changed. They aren't as bullet-ed as they used to be. Still, they lack complete sentence quality but they are more like she is actually talking to Jesus. She asks a lot... A LOT... of questions about God and Jesus and people. They are all excellent questions and they make me realize how much incredible teaching goes on in Treasure Land at Colonial Heights.

She wants to know more about everyone. She wants to be able to tell others about everyone that is related to her. She wants to know HOW everyone is related to her and to each other. Sometimes she seems to care about the most insignificant things and yet dismiss some of the most significant. That is, until I try to view life from her perspective and then so much becomes more clear to me.

She allows herself to get upset, angry, disappointed, frustrated. She allows herself to say "no". She allows herself to suck her thumb. That was something that she'd done all along and yet for the first couple of months with us she didn't. Then, one day, I walked into her room to wake her up one morning and there it was... her thumb, in her mouth. It was something she was afraid to let us know about. After all, they hated that she did that in China. Little did she know, right now, I couldn't care less.

I wish I could explain exactly what I "felt" that day when I realized something was different. Different in a good way. I could almost feel it physically it was so clear. It just WAS. It didn't take long to realize that we were settled.

Then, out of the blue, not even a week ago, Elli mentioned her Chinese "parents". UGH! I seriously HATE it when she talks about them. She wasn't treated well by them and she has very little to say. But that night she referred to them as her "real parents"!


I could no longer hold back. "They aren't your real parents" I said.

Laughing at my shear idiocy "Yes they are"

"No Elli," I said in the most selfishly frustrated tone I could muster, "They are just two people who helped you grow up."

She looked at me like I'd lost all mental faculties right there in front of her.

"Elli, you don't have a mommy and a daddy. None of the children that live where you lived have mommies or daddies." I said, feeling like I'd just begun to dig my own grave.

She laid on her bed sucking on her thumb like it was a pacifier. She sucked on that thing so hard that I thought it might detach from her palm. She looked at me intently and I wondered at what moment I was going to see a silent tear fall from the corner of her eye.

"Elli, you lived in a place called an orphanage. That is where children without parents go to live because they cannot live alone. Someone has to help the children grow up and that is the job of all those people that you lived with." I had to say something else. Something that helped her to believe that I was sharing this with her purely for selfless reasons and not just because I didn't want her to mention those Chinese parents EVER again.

"Elli, do you think that if they were your REAL parents they would have let us just come to China and take you away?" More than anything, I didn't want her to have any ideas of future "parents" coming for her.

"I would never let someone come to take you away. Do you know what Daddy would do if someone came and tried to take you away from us?"

She looked deep into my eyes, took her thumb from her mouth just enough to speak clearly and said. "Daddy shoot them." and in popped her thumb and her eyes got heavy.

"Yes he would. REAL mommies and daddies - REAL GOOD mommies and daddies don't let ANYONE come and take their children. Elli, no one will ever come and take you away from us. WE are your REAL mommy and daddy. OK?"

"OK.... I love you mommy."

"I love you too princess. Get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning"

I have no idea what she was thinking as I walked out of her room. I don't think she cried. Maybe she was glad to know those two weren't her REAL parents. Maybe she was confused because she didn't understand how little children could not have a mommy and daddy. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut and waited for her to be a little older.

There are a lot of "maybes" with being an adoptive parent. There are a lot of victories and failures and guesses and hopes. There are also a whole lot of joyous moments that come every day that I'd not trade for anything. Some days I cannot count the number of times my heart leaps into my throat just because she says some particular word or because she allows herself a freedom that indicates her confidence in her place in our family forever.

We are just a little more than 3 mos from celebrating one year together as a family. It seems like only yesterday we brought her home and  yet it's as if she was with us forever.

The Farhart family... complete.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Prayers of "One Less"

Last week, three short months after arriving on US soil, Elli asked to pray as she lay in bed being tucked in for the night.

"Sure, baby, go ahead"


                          for Elli...

                                                 for Elli's home...  

for Elli's friends...

                               for Elli's dog... for Elliot...

                                                                           for Josh, for Kate, for Sam, for Drewloo...

for Elli's baby dolls...

                                         for Elli's loom...  
                                                                            for mommy...          for daddy...

                                                                  for Rachel heart...



The fewer the words the better prayer - Martin Luther

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You Can Sit Down Now

Today Elli and I went to the park. She really loves to swing. She sits on a swing and lets you push her until her legs hurt from the plastic seat. Today was an amazing day and after we dropped Kate off at dance Elli and I went for an hour of swing time.

We didn't have to pull into the parking lot to see that everyone else had the same idea. Thankfully there were a couple of free swings. I pushed her pretty high hoping she'd catch on to the idea of pumping to make herself go higher. She has the movement but not the strength to do much with it and so, inevitably I would end up behind her once again pushing to make her fly.

After about 10 minutes a large group of young girls screamed and giggled their way to the swings and although, by that time, I had gotten onto the swing and put Elli on my lap to show her how high we could go together, she really wanted to move on. I don't know if she just didn't like the noise or was intimidated by the shear number of girls that were nearby.

We walked from one piece of equipment to another. She's discovered that she likes to climb. She likes to climb precarious things. The girl needs a rock wall.

On each piece of equipment she climbed the requisite height to reach the slide and then stood on top of the slide to take in the view. She would stand and stare for quite awhile. I was wishing I knew what she was thinking but then on second thought, maybe I'm glad I didn't.

After she had played on every piece of equipment we walked to other little "toys" and experimented with those. By this time we were standing in the very center of the play area and she began to stare at a mom sitting on a bench just outside the log border. She turned and looked at me and said "Mom, you can sit." while pointing to that same bench. I asked her if she wanted to sit down and she said no.

Then I understood. "Oh," I said "you want me to sit down while you go and play." She smiled and nodded and watched me walk to a bench that was in the middle of everything. I wasn't going to let her out of my sight.

It didn't dawn on me until I was sitting there watching her try to make friends, try to "go it alone", just how lonely she must be. One of the first things she asked us ever was if she had friends in America. Friends are very important to her. As a matter of fact every "friend" we have belongs to one of us, according to Elli. It had been 2 weeks since she'd really spent quality time with any friends from church because of Easter holiday and then being sick. Today was her first day of feeling completely normal and she was anxious for companionship. 

She's realized that siblings aren't the same as friends. At least not the same as the friends she wants to have. Josh and Kate have lives of their own and don't play with her whenever she asks. I wondered as I watched her if she ever had a day alone in her life. I wondered if she ever played alone in her life. I thought about the number of times that I asked her to play alone in her room for a little bit while we worked on school work. I needed some quiet for the kids. Did she even know what I meant? If she did, could she have thought that was a punishment? 

When it was finally time to go she couldn't stop talking to me about her "new friends". She uses very little Chinese anymore when she speaks to me. She's quite good at explaining what she's thinking and wondering and experiencing. The most important thing she wanted me to know was that they spoke to her. She felt that was HUGE. I wonder why? I wonder if that's not typical of "new acquaintences" in China. I asked her if she spoke to them and told them her name. She hadn't. 

All the way to dance she kept talking about new friends. We talked a lot about friends. I assured her that she had many. She hadn't seen them in a long time and wasn't sure they were still her friends. Oh, if she only knew. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Long ago and far far away...

Seven years ago last Friday, March 15, 2007, a tiny little girl was born to whom, we don't know. Can we guess? Sure, I have. Should we guess? I don't know, is it impolite? Probably? When a perfect little girl is birthed and abandoned in a market on the same day in China, guesses abound. I have my guesses, I'm probably right, I hope I am. A perfect little girl was found at a food market in Haikou, Hainan Province, China.  A little girl that authorities thought was abandoned. They thought her mama didn't want her. They thought perhaps her baba didn't want  her either, or that no one even knew who her baba was. None-the-less, they took her to the orphanage. That is where abandoned children go in China. To the orphanage. The Social Welfare Institute of Haikou City.

What they didn't know is that she had a mama and baba. 

The orphanage director, or head nanny, or whomever is in charge of naming abandoned little girls, named Elli Fu Rui Si. Fu, because that is the street the SWI is on. Rui Si... well, we think because she was tiny. Her first name means small. Very unimaginative. There were so many other choices but maybe God put that thought in their heads. After all, her big sister's middle name is Raye and that is how Rui is pronounced in Chinese. Maybe God didn't really even care what they named her. After all, He knew that Rui Si wasn't her name at all. He just hadn't told anyone yet. 

For almost 6 years Rui Si lived at the SWI in Haikou City. 

Then one day God whispered into the ear of a little 8 year old girl on the other side of the world. "Kate, what do you think about being a big sister? Why don't you tell your mommy that you'd like to be a big sister?" That is exactly what that little 8 year old girl named Kate did. 

And her mommy and daddy bought her a DOG!

Is it possible for two grown people to be more stupid?

Is it possible for two grown people to be more deaf to the whispers of God?

Is it possible for two grown people to be more oblivious to exactly what He was saying to the whole family through the precious little voice of their 8 year old daughter? 

Possibly not. 

But God is gracious and kind and very, very patient. 

One day at the end of the 11th year in the 2000th century He had spoken to the hearts of a few of His people and made a way for the Farharts to begin the search for their daughter. The daughter that they knew lived on the other side of the world. The daughter that they knew had been missing from their lives for so many years. The daughter that they've never seen but knew that God knew her and that He, as only He could, would bring them together in a way that He would be glorified.

After money gifts lovingly and sacrificially given, interviews and paperwork as we'd never seen before. After creating fun little projects to sell and the biggest yard sale in the history of the world (certainly no one could have had one larger), and more paperwork, more interviews and more checks written to organizations I'd never before heard of...

The Phone Call Came...

This is the little girl God had  hidden away for us on the other side of the world
 until such a time as this.

That phone call came in August. On January 3rd 2013 we would begin the adventure only God knew was going to happen all along. On January 7th 2013, God blessed us with our 3rd daughter, one only He knew about for so long.

Elizabeth Hope Farhart. Long awaited and loved from a distance. There was so much we didn't know and so much we were hoping to realize. 

We had only just laid eyes on each other the minute before.
The paperwork was almost finished

Our new addition.

It's hard to believe that before she was even conceived in her mother's womb, God knew she would be our daughter. I cannot imagine, after only 2 months together, my life without her. We have all been changed. I  particularly in ways that I cannot still articulate but the change is there. Why that is, I am not sure. It's something for another blog post, someday.

Let me just say this. If you are reading this and you had some part in bringing Elli home whether it be large or small, financial or spiritual, you have participated in a supernatural event. One that none of us can truly understand this side of heaven - of that I am convinced and may be exactly why I cannot explain what has changed inside my being. There are not enough words in our language to say Thank You adequately. I pray that the remarkable power of the Holy Spirit can warm your heart to it's core and you can know the depths of our gratitude for enabling us to be united with the daughter that only God knew we had for so very long.

Happy 6th Birthday Elli Hope

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be...."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Saturday Night Revelations

In Guangzhou riding to one appointment or another
January 2013
We are beginning our 8th week as a family of 7. To be honest, I was shocked at that realization. I feel like Elli has been part of our family for such a long time. Is it really still February? Yes, I suppose it is. I guess I shouldn't be surprised then at the conversation we had the other night.

I am almost fascinated at how we, she and I, communicate. It's less and less through Google translate and more and more that she understands what I'm asking her or saying to her. There are hand gestures for sure, she has beautiful, tiny, almost infant-sized hands. They are practically perfect and miniature. They speak volumes when she uses them to help her ask for something specific or when she uses them to express some emotion that she has had.

Sam and Elli... their first meeting.
It had been a really fun day. Most of her days are. There is a lot of laughter, giggles, and lately, silly faces around here as she loves to delight in her surroundings and loves to make people laugh. I suppose for the most part that is somewhat of a defense mechanism. After all, if you make the people around you happy, they are less likely to send you back where you came from. She's always a winner when Sam is around. He cannot help but smile and laugh at her whether she is being appropriate or not. It's always a great day in Elli's mind when Sam comes over. It's never for long but it's always for an Elli fix (and sometimes for dinner).

As adults, we assume a lot. I assumed that after "all this time" Elli should be totally secure in our love for her and the permanence of her as a member of our family. Then, I looked at the calendar and realized it'd only been 7 weeks from the day we first met. I am not sure I am convinced of much of anything after 7 weeks let alone being a loved and adored part of a family. She is a 5 yr. old little girl who is only just now becoming comfortable with a language she hardly ever heard. She is only just now considering American food to be palatable. She is only just now dropping her defenses and being honest about an occasional negative feeling.

Before 10 minutes ago, I was shocked about our conversation of Saturday night. Now it makes a lot of sense.

Saturday was a busy day, most of it because of all the rain we've been having was spent inside and, for me, in the kitchen preparing food for the coming week. Kate spent most of the day with a friend down the street and Josh was typically upstairs in his room hunkered down with friends on Xbox Live or drumsticks flying filling our home with downbeats and fills or strumming and plucking on his guitar. Saturday, Elli had daddy, that was important because daddy was leaving for the week beginning on Sunday morning. Daddy is Elli's Chinese communicator and when he's gone she doesn't get a lot of easy communication.

By Saturday evening Kate had returned and she and Elli had disappeared into her closet. Within 15 minutes I  saw two silly girls emerge dressed in a mish-mash of colorful apparel and ready to put on a show. They danced and twirled and sang and laughed and before they knew it, it was time to dial down, take a bath and head off to bed.

Usually if daddy is around, Elli insistes that he put her to bed. Saturday night was no exception, except one, after he kissed her goodnight and left the room she called for me. That has never happened. I was almost a little put out. After all I had more to do and she had already been tucked in. I put on my happy face, told myself to suck it up and headed in to give her a kiss goodnight. That was not the plan that Elli had, though.

I could tell that she was jazzed. Not really relaxed and sleepy enough to close her eyes. Her mind had been racing. Elliot jumped up onto the bed and cuddled up next to her (because after all it's not possible for me to be out of his sight). She began to ask me about daddy being gone. Elli wanted me to reassure her of all the things her daddy told her. One thing he said, the most important thing he said, was that he would be home in 5 days, "on mommy's birthday".

I confirmed for her that what he told her was true. That it was time to sleep. She would have none of it. She started talking about birthdays, that my birthday was next, then her birthday, then Kate's birthday then Sam's birthday, then Drew's birthday... all of this she said to me in English. She has come a long way in 7 weeks. I confirmed, once again, that she was correct. She's excited about her birthday. We've looked at birthday cakes. She had made sure earlier in the week that she would have one and that it would be "BIGGGGG" (with her arms open as wide as she possibly could open them).

Josh's birthday cake made of milk chocolate
delivered to our room in Guangzhou
compliments of The Garden Hotel
I told her that she would be 6 on her birthday. Then she did something I didn't expect. She did her typical "point towards the floor" meaning "here at home". I said "yes, of course, you will be here for your 6th birthday."

She began to list everyone's birthdays in order again. She got to Josh's and I told her it was a long way away because he had had his birthday in Guangzhou.

Once again, she made a comment about Guangzhou. Guangzhou was the city in China just Northeast of Hong Kong where the American consulate is. That is where all the Americans have to go and stay for about a week after leaving the province where they received their children. That is where all the paperwork is finalized in order that our children, born in China, can arrive in the states and become immediate citizens. I was a little baffled about her mentioning Guangzhou because it was not a place she'd ever been before the 11th of January of this year. I was confused and honestly thought she was telling me she wanted to go back.


With a little fear and a lot of trepidation I asked her. "Baby, do you want to go back to Guangzhou?"

"NO NO NO NO NO!!!! Meiguo" (pronounced Megwah - meaning America)

 She promised me that she had no interest in going back. She wanted to be in America. I asked her if she was happy to be here. I asked her if she was happy I was her mommy. She said yes, very happy.

Then she again asked me about her 6th birthday and I realized what she needed to hear.

I held up the appropriate fingers and I said "Elli, you will be 6 here, and 7 here, and 8, here..." she joined in the counting. "and 9 here, and 10 here..." we got as far as 30 and I then said "then you will meet a man..." she looked at me puzzled and I sorta laughed to myself. I knew very well that her smile and pretty face and heart of gold she would meet a man before she was 30.

Her first look at her bedroom "is this all mine?"
She began her daily reminder to me (often several times a day) of all that was "Elli's". She pointed to her bed and her room and her toys. She just wanted to confirm that she BELONGED. After all, if that room was hers she was surely staying.

Then, she sat up, looked in my eyes and said "Mommy," making her hands into fists and putting them to her eyes as if she was rubbing them (her symbol for crying) "Guangzhou" she added. I knew what she meant.

Her first plane ride... Jan 11, 2013 - from Haikou to Guangzhou
On our last day in Guangzhou, first thing in the morning, before breakfast, she had a throw-down of sorts. It was to a degree legit but it got out of hand. It was crunch time, we needed to eat breakfast and hand off our baggage to be taken to the van. We needed to get to the airport and begin our 20 hour excursion back home. She decided to stand in the middle of the hotel room crying at the top of her lungs for one full hour. She wasn't going to move, she wasn't going to be quiet, there was no calming her as I had successfully done previously. There was only one thing to do - ask our guide to speak to her.

Sweet Rebecca did just that. She came to our room and not only calmed her down but did it with reason, not allowing her to continue to wallow in her circumstances. She basically told her to "get a grip". We ended up leaving for the airport with a very angry but tearless and quiet little girl. I, on the other hand, lost it on the van ride to the airport. That had put me over the edge. I wasn't crying for myself, I was crying for her. Crying because we were taking this little princess to begin a wonderful life in America but she had no way of being assured of that. Thankfully, within the hour, she was her old happy self.

A new American Citizen. Antics on the
Plane-Train in the Atlanta Airport
 "Mommy," she said again, "Guangzhou" and again she made her symbol for crying.

I smiled and said, "Yes, Elli, I remember. You cried in Guangzhou."

"Mommy, I sorry."

I was stunned... "What?"

"I sorry" symbol for crying "Guangzhou"

Oh my, I really didn't know what to say. I took her hands in mine. I smiled at her.

 "I love you, Elli"

"I love you too, Mommy"

She laid down and cuddled under her blankets. She looked up at me and grabbed my face in her hands. She has a routine of kisses before she closes her eyes. She turned my face and kissed my right cheek, then my left cheek. She pushed my face down and kissed my forehead and then, the most prized kiss of all - a big pucker to my lips. I did the same and she said. "Goodnight, Mommy, see you in morning."

"See you in the morning, Elli. I love you."


I  cringe every time I hear her say that. There's something unnerving when your daughter tells you "bye" as you leave her room after tucking her in. She has always said that so I've tried not to let it bother me too much. I think when she learns more English, I'm gonna tell her not to say that anymore.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What other surprises are in store?

Friday, Elli and I spent most of the day together. School was pretty much ditched because of appointments and misc. waiting. Kate was still recovering from having the stomach bug the day before so there was no dance lesson for her that day. Elliot needed grooming so Elli and I left Josh and Kate at home while we drove the 20 minutes to the PetSmart that has the best groomer this side of the Mississippi. (biased I know but why else would I drive 20 minutes?)

I tried to warn her that Elliot - who she calls "go go" because that is the way "dog" sounds in Chinese - would cry when we left him. He is very much like a toddler with separation anxiety. He really thinks life cannot go on without me. Although most of the time I love that, unconditional love from any living creature is wonderful, sometimes it's just overbearing and I just hate that he can't understand me when I want to tell him "Suck it up and take it like a man."

She thought she was prepared for his crying but she wasn't. He FREAKED and she had never heard shrieks and screams and crying from an animal like that. If she didn't have her built in giggle protection (she has one particular laugh/giggle that she does when she's either in trouble and bummed that she got caught or worried/unsure of something) she would have probably fallen apart right there on the floor of the grooming section.

She spent the whole walk out of the store replaying the event, "Go go Whahhh" (as she rubs her eyes in a crying pantomime). This went on for minutes... I mean M.I.N.U.T.E.S.

"Yes, Elli" he cried.

"Yes, honey"

"But we will go back for him"  Geezzz where was Google translator when you needed it?

So, to relieve the stress of watching such a traumatic good bye... we shopped.

That went well except that she asks if she can have every thing she sees that she thinks pertains to her at all. I'm thankful that we are currently broke or I'd be more than happy to have obliged but I have learned the skilled art of saying "No" with a smile on my face. Then, when I have been pushed to the point of giving in I have learned that she knows exactly what I mean when I say "You can have 'this' or 'this'"

Ironically, she usually chooses the item that is most "useful". I almost want to tell her no because push pop makers are not what a little girl should want more than puzzles. But I let her choose. She had frozen root beer push pops later that day.

Finally, we did what we always end up doing when we have time to kill


When we sat down she asked for the thousandth time when we were going to pick up Elliot. It had been almost 4 hours so I knew Tasha would call soon telling me he was ready. We sat down at a table with chairs and she tried out several different ones to decide which one she liked best. In the process she did something that hurt her chest and proceeded to lift up her shirt - to her neck - to show me what happened. 

Of course I was about to pull her shirt down when I was reminded that there was a traumatic event in her past that I knew nothing about. I find it bizarre, looking back on it, that we didn't just come right out and ask her but for some odd reason we didn't, even when we discussed it at the doctor's office at UAB. 

The scars. Tons of them. Well it looks like tons on a tiny little body like hers. I bet she has 6 or 7 all over her torso.All of them no less than 3 inches long, some longer. Clean, not jagged, but not remotely straight. One large scar has what looked like suture marks on either side. We have no record of that so we had no idea. We wondered with the doctor if maybe she had some benign tumors removed or something like that at one time but there was no rhyme or reason for the scars. 

So, I asked. She and I have gotten to be pretty good at communicating. Actually SHE'S gotten to be pretty good at communicating. 

It was a dog, a very big dog when she was a very little girl (she's still a very little girl). It growled and showed his teeth and then attacked her and bit her "here, and here, and here..." she pinched herself all over her torso and her legs, everywhere. I was aghast! 

I would ask her questions to get specifics. She knew what I was saying and she would confirm my responses with the most matter of fact "Yes... Yes". No smile, no frown, just a serious, information providing look as she continued to make it clear exactly what the dog looked like and sounded like when he came after her.

My precious little girl was almost eaten alive by a dog and yet she wants to know when she is getting "HER GO GO" back. 

She has never ONCE acted remotely afraid of Elliot. I find that fascinating. 

After thoroughly explaining her trauma she went back to finishing her french fries. 

Tasha called soon afterward and off we went to pick up Elliot.

Elli sat happily in her seat in the back and as I drove across the street I began to sing...

Bless the Lord
Oh my soul
Oh oh oh my soul
worship His Holy Name.

and out of nowhere I heard a little voice behind me singing with me, in English, the exact tune, with just the slightest Chinese accent.

I was floored. I had no idea when or where she had the chance to pick that up. She could have only heard it a couple times at best on the radio in the car and yet, there she was, singing that song. 

We kept singing it all the way to the store and into the groomer. 

Elli insisted that she was in charge of "go go" and she leashed him up and walked him out. 

I drove home with two happy little critters in my car that afternoon. No, make that three.

Elliot was rescued from the mean groomer Tasha who insists he look and smell like a puffy white cloud on a clear sunny day.

Elli was on her way home, laughing at her "go go" trying to find a place near my leg to rest his head and finally decided on the tops of the two Iced Tea cups sitting between us.

And I, because I had just had a full, long afternoon with my daughter who barely knows my language but seems to understand me completely. Because I discovered another very important thing about her past today. And I heard her sing another song to the Lord.

It may be a year before she really understands all the songs that she is going to learn to sing over the next several months but God will do a work anyway. He is just like that. If He waited until we fully understood all that He is He'd never act upon us. 

He's got something huge for her. I am sure of it. I'm watching and waiting with great excitement. May she glorify Him with all she is until the day she rejoices with Him in Heaven.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"The Talk"

So, we had "the talk" tonight... Elli and I.

How did it happen, you ask? How were we able to do it so soon? After all it's only been a month since "Gotcha Day".

After church Wednesday night, Elli and I came home together, just she and I. We had a lot of time alone and I wasn't in a hurry to get her to bed even though she needed to go. She didn't want a bath, she needed a bath, she didn't like the snack I picked out, she needed something before bed... then she wanted a bath... UGH.

Then she asked the question, more with her hands than with her mouth as is typical between she and I.

"Are you staying here (meaning here in the house) when I am in the bathtub?"

Wow, where else would I go? She's never seemed to worry about that before. But then, she's never had a bath alone before. Usually Kate dons her bathing suit and sits in our big tub with her. Kate has never grown out of tub toys and has more rubber duckies than Ernie. Between the rubber duckies and the Barbie mermaids they have a grand time. I wonder if Elli wonders if Americans all bath for over an hour with toys every time? They don't sell bath toys in China. Actually, they don't sell very many toys at all in China.

So, I got on my handy-dandy Google Translator and told her that I was staying right here the whole time she was in the tub. That seemed to satisfy her curiosity.


Just then...

I had a thought.

I got back on the translator. I typed in, "I will never leave you alone."

She smiled and nodded her head.

I typed again. "I am your mommy, F.O.R.E.V.E.R."

She stopped, nodded and held up the number 4 on her hands.

No, I'm not gonna assume she knows what I said.

I typed again. "I am going to ALWAYS be your mommy."

She stopped. She turned off the Kindle show she was watching. She turned to me and smiled. Not a huge, my life is complete, kind of smile. She smiled at me like "I was pretty sure of that but now I'm happy to be totally sure of that."

Then I typed "We are always going to be a family."

She pressed the button over and over to hear it in Chinese two, three, four times. Then, she did something that I wasn't expecting. She wanted me to retype what I said but put in there that Mommy, Daddy, Drew, Sam, Josh, Kate and Elli were ALL a family. She wanted to hear every name spoken together, Oh, and to add the dog too. She doesn't often call him Elliot. She usually calls him "go go".

So, that is exactly what I did. Elli pressed it over and over and over again. She could not get enough of hearing that Chinese lady's voice remind her of her Forever Family.

If she wasn't sure a week ago, two weeks ago, she is sure now. She is Elizabeth Hope Farhart. Elli for short.

             and Ever