Friday, January 13, 2012

In Which Ellen Turns Fourteen

Today was Ellen's birthday; she's fourteen today!  Our girl is a full-fledged teenager now.  We hope this is the last birthday that she'll celebrate alone.

It's actually not likely she had much, if any of a birthday celebration.  In Thailand birthdays are much more low-key than they are here; if anything she'd probably be giving gifts to her friends rather than receiving anything.  However, it just so happens that the day after her birthday is the national holiday Children's Day, and the orphanage usually does something special for the kids.  So we hope that at least she'll be having a nice time tomorrow.

I'm worried she may think we've forgotten about her; our letter translations have been taking a while-- probably due to the holidays-- and we're actually still waiting on her Christmas letter to come back so we can send her care package for December.  So everything has been delayed.  If we don't get her letter back within the next week I may just go ahead and send her Christmas package and then send the letter separately when it comes back.  I don't want to leave her wondering why we haven't sent our usual package. 

Once we have the craft room finished I can really start putting her room together.  Right now her closet is full of my craft supplies.  I'm struggling to figure out exactly what pieces to get; we want her to feel comfortable in her room and be able to make it her own, but of course we have to buy the large pieces of furniture for it and all of her basic items before she arrives.  While it would be easier to paint and do things like curtain arrangements before she gets here, we'll save them until after she's here because that way she'll have a say in what the room looks like. 

However, though paint, linens and accessories do go long way towards changing the feel of the room, furniture still sets the tone, and it's hard not to speculate on what she might want.  Is she a tomboy, or girly?  Will she want neutral, soothing colors or bright, exciting hues?  I'm looking forward to finding out, and in the meantime I'm a little nervous about the choices I'm making because I'm afraid they won't be to her tastes.  The white metal day bed with porcelain knobs I found for her is almost an exact replica of the one I had as a teenager, and it's rather old fashioned and pretty girly.  I hope she likes it.

So anyway, a very happy fourteenth birthday to you, Ellen!  I hope it was a good one.  And I hope it's the last one we don't get to celebrate with you in person. 



Mirabai Knight said...

Why not send one of those little paint color flip books (like you get at the hardware store) in her next care package, and ask her to tell you the numbers of her favorite colors in her next letter? Ask her which color she likes for walls, floor, bed, etc. That way she can pick the color of her room in advance, and it can be all painted by the time she gets there. It doesn't have to be one of the huge exhaustive paint sample books; just one of the little one or two column ones for each hue.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jess, Hi. Just to say that Ellen got to go to a outing with others from the orphanage and came back with gifts and stuff from the phone company that hosted it. I popped to see her but she was much to busy catching up with everyone as she had just got back.
I like the idea your friend gave of the swatch book for her to choose the colours. She didnt seem to mind if the room was done but being able to choose the colour from options would be great. As for the furniture i could take her a print out of 4 options of styles if you wnated and she could choose that. Just drop me an email of the images on and ill print them for her and send you news back with regards to what wins.
Hope this helps. nicola xxx

Jess said...

Nicola as always you are amazing. We're so happy to hear that Ellen had a great time out and about! I'll pop by the paint store and pick out some colors to send your way, and I'll shoot you an e-mail soon. Thank you so much!


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