Today is our sweet girl's second birthday. Wow. Two. Already. How?
Somewhere on the other side of the world, over 7000 miles away, I wonder if her birth mom is wondering about her. I so hope somehow she knows she is loved and so very, very happy.
Yesterday, we had the best birthday party. It's the party I would have had when she was one -- except that she was too newly home and it would have overwhelmed her. Yesterday it just fascinated her. It was a perfect, fun, fun day!!
I remember wondering for months after we came home if there would come a day that I would no longer think about her being adopted every day -- if she would just seem SO inherently mine that I would not even think about how she came into our family. Honestly, I couldn't imagine it. Now, it is so. Honestly, I sometimes think she is so much mine that she did grow in my tummy and not someone else's. Now, don't think I'm crazy, because I know differently, but that's just how much connection and love I feel for this wee one -- even as she is currently destroying my house. There is not one clean square inch anywhere. If you haven't been invited over or were met at the door recently, don't feel offended. It will likely be this way another year or two. And, today, I wouldn't have it any other way.
The rest of the post is very photo intense. There were three people taking photos (thank goodness!) so we got some really cute pictures of the day. I'll let the pictures narrate our day.
Nicole made Ellie this sweet pillow case dress. I had found the pantaloons at consignment. She was SO CUTE in her Birthday Outfit.
We took some cupcakes to her Sunday School class for them to enjoy, and then after Sunday school, we left early to go decorate the fellowship hall for her party. We dropped Ellie at her grandparent's house so we could get it done and she would be surprised. When she got there, MeeMee gave her a Dora purse she had made for her. She called it her "backpack".
DeeDee took her outside to see the fish.
She sat in my former (and Josh's too) rocking chair and watched TV for a while.
While she was doing this, we were decorating for her party.
The cake arrived and it literally took my breath away. It was EXACTLY what I envisioned it would be. Kenya did a WONDERFUL job and it tasted "fantastico" as well.
MeeMee and DeeDee arrived with the party Princess who was just amazed at it all and promptly starting playing.
I wanted a picture of Ellie with her "Nona" but somehow we didn't get one. Here is "Nona" by herself.
We had planned an adventure for all the kids, so we had "maps" leading them through a series of events they had to go through to find the candles that Swiper had swiped and hid somewhere. First they had to go through the BUBBLE FORREST. This was one o the two biggest hits of the day. ALL the kids loved the bubbles. Thank goodness for three bubble machines because they kept them busy!
After the Bubble Forrest, we went to the Beanbag toss. It was hard waiting turns for all the kids to get a beanbag thrown into the hole and sesveral moved on to the kayak before we finished.
The funny thing about the kayak was that it was not ours. When we got to the fellowship hall it was just THERE. The church had a fish fry the night before and I suppose it was left there from that. It was one of the best things at the party. Since Dora is such an explorer, we just KNEW she would have been kayaking on one of her adventures and we just added it right on in. We got great pictures of all the kids in the kayak.
After the kayak, it was through the tunnel to get to the treasure chest. After finding the treasure chest, the kids had to yell at Swiper [Swiper NO SWIPING] to keep him from taking the treasure. Kevin was a great Swiper. *smile* Then we took the treasure chest to the birthday girl who found her candles and we all put them into the cake.
Ellie LOVED her cake and promptly took the characters off the cake and started licking the icing off them. We managed to get her to blow out her candles. I love the photo of her trying to blow them out.
We had a Mexican "fiesta" menu that everyone seemed to enjoy as there were no leftovers (yay!!).
After cake, we moved on to presents. It was like a shark feeding frenzy with all the kids helping Ellie open presents. I finally gave up trying to figure who gave her what and keep it together and just let them have a free for all. She got so many cute Dora things and lots of other things too. She is such a blessed little one to have so many friends and people who love her.
Check out Caleb trying to find Ellie under the umbrella!!
This is one of my favorites of Ellie and her BFF Addie. Aren't they sweet?
I think it's really cool, too, that two of the kiddos who were at the same orphanage as she was were able to be there. How wonderful that they will always share that common bond. Because she just got a new brother, Ellie's friend "Hotdog" couldn't be there. We hope to see her soon!!
We will also be making a donation from the money we received in her honor for the disabled men's home in Kyrgyzstan to help offset the costs of cups, bowls and cutlery for the men who live there. Thank you to everyone who contributed to that.
And thanks, especially to my girlfriends who jumped right in and made sure everything ran like a dream, who put things together and cleaned up. And to Stoney who did (and brought) WAY more than expected. To all who loaned things to us, brought presents, came to celebrate, took pictures, baby sat ... whatever you did -- THANK YOU from the bottoms of our hearts for making Ellie's birthday so special.
And, after it was all over, Josh and Ellie came home, looked at her presents again and then relaxed on her new Dora couch under her Dora blanket, eating candy. Does it get better??