Saturday, June 30, 2012

New PIctures of Audrey

I've been hanging on to these new pictures of Audrey because we received them just a day or two after we received the birthday pictures!  


Our little girl is getting bigger!  I feel like whomever is taking these pictures is making a concentrated effort to always (or mostly) show her in an active pose - like in the picture above, she is climbing...and here...

Image 1

...she is going down the stairs on this playground.  This encourages me.  And I am glad the staff seem to be trying to communicate more in these pictures than just standing her in front of a wall and snapping a few ;-)

On a troubling note, there was a 6.3 earthquake that struck Audrey's province of Xinjiang yesterday.  It was centered about 2 hours east of where she lives in Urumqi. 

Reports indicate it was strongly felt in the city and that it toppled several buildings there.  While I'm sure she is okay (no deaths have been reported) it is yet another reminder to be praying for her daily; for her safety and well being, and that God would be preparing her heart and mind for the big changes about to come her way!

Speaking of coming her way, some other exciting news is that I think we will be traveling sooner than expected!  We had been aiming for mid to late August but it may turn out that we travel closer to the end of July!  We are awaiting confirmation that our Article 5 (part of the Hauge and immigration process) was picked up from the consulate in Guangzhou and delivered to the CCCWA on June 26th.  If that is the case, then I would expect to receive our Travel Approval sometime around the second week of July.  If that is true, then it is entirely possible we will be traveling end of July!  

I will post any exciting updates here... 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our Tiny Dancer

To all our surprise this last year, Ava decided to take a year off from ballet and focus on her horseback riding.  And Amelia decided to join ballet and focus on coming out of her shell!  Well, maybe that last part was my focus for Amelia...


But you know what?!  She's done WONDERFULLY!!  Not that I'm surprised as I knew she could; but what I'm most surprised at is that she never complained about going to ballet practice, that she didn't retreat into her shell and refuse to participate, but instead, jumped in with enthusiasm!!  


She practiced hard all year and I truly believe that participating in ballet has helped her become more outspoken and has in a way, helped her find her voice!


I've heard consistently from her ballet teacher, Mother's Day Out teachers and Sunday School teachers, that Amelia has become more outspoken and gregarious in class.  For the first half of the year, her Mother's Day Out teachers didn't even know what her voice sounded like because Amelia would never talk!  Just nod and obey instruction ;-)  


But now this girl is finding that it's okay to speak her mind sometimes!  This has also resulted in some disruption at home.  You see, she's not just going along with every single thing Ava tells her to do anymore.  But this is a good disruption for Amelia.  It may be creating some friction between the two sisters, but they still love each other and get along very well; it's just that Ava is having to learn to share and do some giving instead of just taking.  Ahem.

So now we come to the end of the year ballet performance.  This year the show was "Alice in Wonderland."  Amelia was a green parrot.  I know, you're thinking, "I don't remember any green parrots in that movie..." but Amelia's ballet teacher has always taken the classical interpretation of whatever ballet they are performing and little details in the original works become vivid characters onstage.  It's always a beautiful, professional performance!


We are only allowed to take pictures or video on dress rehearsal night so that everyone can enjoy the actual show and you don't have parents popping up every second to snap pictures.  And what did this mother of a green parrot do?  I forgot her cute little cap!  So all pictures of her on stage are sans cap but she's still cute!  And she LOVED being out on stage, performing to applause and hoots and hollering!


I don't know what my problem was this week but I was forgetting things left and right.  I even forgot her ballet shoes on the Saturday evening performance!


But I did remember her hat!  And her Dad was following shortly so he brought her ballet shoes.  Here's a picture of her before her first performance, in full parrot regalia:


I have to admit that when I saw her on stage, dancing so freely without a care in the world...


I couldn't help but think back to the scared, deeply grieving, sad little girl we first met almost 3 years ago (to the day)...


...and tear up when I thought of where and who she is now...who God is shaping her to be...


What a privilege to witness this beautiful flower blooming; to know God has blessed and continues to bless us by allowing us to be a part of the miracle of adoption!  Soli Deo Gloria!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sad News...

I've been slow to post an update because it's not good news about Belle.  She most likely has some form of cancer in or around her liver.  The new bloodwork came back showing almost exactly the same terrible levels as last time.  

Despite what seemed like an improvement in her eating.

Despite what seemed like an improvement in her demeanor.

Despite what seemed like an improvement in her energy.

Despite everything...our old girl is dying.  And it's hard to watch.  And it's hard to think about...

But one thing that helped to perk her up about 2 weeks ago was the arrival of Aeriel, my cousin's 21 year old Quarterhorse mare.


They are like two kindred spirits, these two.  They bonded immediately.  And they don't go anywhere without the other one.

In fact, the other day, I had let them both out in front of the barn, to the pastures there and behind the house to graze, as the grass is more lush there than the current state of our moisture deprived horse pastures.  

Aeriel had wandered off a bit in exploration and lost sight of Belle.


She was trotting around, calling out for Belle.  Then suddenly,  she heard Belle's returning whinny and went RUNNING over to her ;-)


Both were so happy to be reunited again!


They then proceeded to graze again, being sure the other was not far away.


Until Belle decided it was time to head on back up to the barn.


And Aeriel dutifully obeyed.

But I fear for Aeriel and how she will handle Belle's passing.  You see, the reason she came down here to live was because her only pasture mate of many many years passed away a few months ago.  And she's been very lonely.  

Oh I know she'll be fine.  She'll bond with one of my other eight horses (in fact, I've already picked out who I think she'll like to spend her time with) but I think she might be sad for awhile.   I've started turning her and Aeriel out with the other horses but when I go to check on everyone, Belle and Aeriel are off by themselves, grazing contentedly.

It will be another transition for Aeriel.  For all of us, really. And one I'm not looking forward to.  

In the meantime, we'll keep Belle as comfortable as possible, under misters and fans during the hot daytime hours, and turnout at night under the cool stars and moon.  And we'll wait for Belle to tell us when it's time to say goodbye...

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