We're trying to get settled into some sort of routine here. Chris went back to work today and Andrew went back to school. Things were pretty quiet as the boys were exhausted and slept most of the day. Let's just hope that doesn't mean they will be up all night. We really need them to get their internal clocks on the right time zone. It doesn't help that both boys are still under the weather. They both have been running low fevers, and now have a terrible cough and running noses.
Yesterday, we had visitors to meet the kids. Grandma Jean came by to visit, and Uncle Richie and TJ brought the guinea pigs back home, after their vacation in Lima, OH. Ella seemed much happier about the guinea pigs than about Mahli coming home. MawMaw came late yesterday to stay for a week or so and help out, and brought our barking mess home. Mahli was very glad to be home, and seems to be pretty patient with the kids so far. Ethan has started to come around - actually he seems indifferent about the dog, and Ella is trying - she still squeals a little, and she finds creative ways to walk thru the kitchen if Mahli is in there, but she doesn't seem to be totally petrified of her. William on the other hand has pure panic on his face whenever he sees Mahli. We still need to work on that - maybe when everyone is healthy, the dog won't look so fearful to him.
The big event for today is that it's Ella's birthday. Yep, our little girl turned 14 today. We purposefully kept it very low key for her. We all wished her a happy birthday this morning, then after dinner, we had cake and ice cream, and she opened a few presents. Grandma Jean and Uncle Richie had brought her birthday presents yesterday. Although she didn't really realize it was her birthday, she loved her gifts. Lots of "girly" things - a new purse, jewelry, lotions, lip gloss and a whole bunch of other things. We got her a new necklace and a "World Traveler" Barbie - China edition. She loves them all.
I know that Ella is anxious to start school, and she is really wanting to learn English. She and Daddy read a few Dr. Suess books tonight and she was trying so hard to remember each word she was read. Hopefully we'll have her in school shortly. I think she will do well with a routine and making friends.
Here are a few pictures from our last day in China at the park, and a couple from Ella's birthday tonight.
A bit about the Himsels
In July 2011, we were drawn to a posting by our adoption agency of a little girl that was soon to "age out" of the orphanage in China, and they were hoping to find her family before her birthday in February, when she would no longer be eligible for adoption. After reviewing the information, giving it alot of thought and prayers, we knew she was to be our daughter. So we started the paperwork chase to bring her home. But God had a bigger plan in mind for the Himsels. Along the way, we decided to pursue adopting a little boy, and that journey actually led us to two little boys, who are 18 months and 14 months old. All three children are located in the Guizhou province. We are excited to be so close to bringing home Ella (Jinglan), William, and Ethan, and we hope you follow along with our journey.