Monday, March 12, 2012

In Which We Have A Fantastic Day!

I'm sick and Connor is sick and I'm beyond exhausted, and today was blustery and rainy and 40 degrees out, but it was also a completely awesome day for two reasons. 

The first was that the same landscaping company who came last year and pulled out all 400+ square feet of The Ivy That Was Eating The House came back and did some more sprucing up of our yard.  They trimmed up our trees and shubbery (which were threatening to take over the ivy's role of eating the fence and/or house) took out a bunch of bushes which had lived well past their prime years or were being shaded out, weeded, mulched all of our beds, started the process of rejuvenating our lawn and just made everything look fantastic.  I'll try and take a few pictures of the backyard tomorrow provided it is not hailing or sleeting or something so that you can see how great it looks.  I'm itching to get out and plant in my new beautiful beds.

And the second fantastic thing that happened was that we got our call from the adoption agency!

They were able to spend quite a bit of time with Ellen, and they'll be sending the video and pictures of their interview with her to us sometime in the upcoming week.  You can bet I'll be checking my mailbox about eight billion times a day until our package arrives!  Last year the agency's camera malfunctioned and they weren't able to take video, so the most recent video we have of her (other than the tiny glimpses I've managed to find by obsessively watching every YouTube video of her orphanage ever created) is from 2010, when she was twelve years old.  We do have some fantastic pictures of her taken more recently than that of course, but I can't wait to see her in action.

Overall it sounds like she is doing extremely well!  Though I haven't seen the report yet, apparently she's still really enjoying Thai dancing and competitive swimming, and she's really dedicated to swimming.  Luckily there are a ton of great swim team programs up this way (including a paralympic training program) so when we get closer to traveling I'll start really doing my homework and then we can find the best program to help her pursue her swimming goals. 

The school year has also been going well for her-- she even earned a certificate for academic achievement!  Her favorite subjects in school this year are science and PE, and her least favorite subject is still math, which was also the bane of my existence at her age.  Oh, and the care package we sent back in January finally made it (note to self: priority mail is the way to go unless you want eight week mailing times) and since our agency brought one over too, she got to open both at once.  We sent paint chips over for her to select a color for her room, and she picked out blue (specifically Meditative by Sherwin-Williams, for those of you who want to know), which is apparently her favorite color right now.  So I can get started on that project soon!

It's little details like knowing her favorite color that I absolutely love hearing about.  Each tidbit we learn about her helps us get a better picture of who she is and makes the long wait a little easier.   We know every day brings us a little closer to being as a family, but sometimes the time just seems to crawl by!  I really wish it was possible for us to be over there getting to know her gradually and naturally so the transition would be so much easier for her, but between Jer's military job and Connor's complete lack of sweating (104 degree summers, anyone?) it's just not possible-- not to mention that we're too early in the adoption process for that kind of contact anyway.  But since we can't do that, every little tidbit we learn about her helps us have a more realistic idea about who she is and I think will certainly help the bonding process on our side.  We hope our care packages are doing a similar thing for her, and we feel extremely blessed to be able to send them. 

Not that I really need help with the whole bonding thing; I am totally head over heels for this kid already.  It's going to be hard to say no to that megawatt smile!


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