February 17, 2013

Super Saturday

I just realized today was our last Saturday home as a family of five. It was a great day - a very good last Saturday - for a number of reasons.

Some good friends decided to throw us an adoption celebration. When we planned it, we didn't know when we would travel, so it worked out really well that we were able to squeeze the party in before we left. We truly felt blessed to have so many people come show their support for us as we prepare to leave this week.

I just have to add that my friend mentioned the possibility of giving us an adoption party just over three weeks ago on a Thursday evening. Two days later, she delivered her third child and by early the next week she had the invitations out! Seriously, she's amazing. And she has a very helpful husband! But still, I was expecting something super-simple because that's a lot to do after just having a baby!

I should have known better! They put together an absolutely beautiful Chinese themed party.

The cake has the Chinese characters for "Meili" on it. Since her name is a combination of two Chinese words "Mei" and "Li", we could still write her American name in Chinese. We saved the part of the cake with the characters on it and put it in the freezer. We'll bring it out to celebrate her one-month anniversary coming home.

We had delicious pork and chicken dumplings.

And spring rolls and egg rolls.

They suggested to guests that we might appreciate a meal after we return home (which we definitely WOULD!!) and made it easy for people to choose a date.

They also had a journal for people to leave messages for Meili. We enjoyed reading through these later and think we will try to add some in the future.

Since this couple has spent a significant amount of time in China, we even got to enjoy some authentic Chinese decorations.

It worked out well that this week was Chinese New Year. There is enough diversity here that a few places cater to this holiday and it was easy to find Chinese New Year items. One tradition during CNY is for people to give gifts of money or encouraging notes in traditional red envelopes. Our friends sneakily asked our guests to participate in this tradition for us and we were SO blessed by their gifts and thoughtful words!

I loved the authentic envelopes! We are going to save these for future Chinese New Year celebrations.

One of our friends gave Meili a sweet little Asian doll. I had looked all over for one a couple weeks ago and couldn't find one, so we were thrilled to receive this!

My sister and her husband were able to come all the way from the Twin Cities to be with us today and my sister brought Meili this adorable little bunny, which she knitted using a special Asian stitch. I just love him!

It was an absolutely wonderful party. We are so unbelievably thankful for everyone who came. I've been very anxious about this trip, leaving our kids and meeting Meili for the first time. Seeing all our friends come support us, and tell us they're praying for us was incredibly comforting. It helped melt away some of those anxious feelings and helped me remember we aren't alone on this journey.

So if you were there today THANK YOU so much for coming, for the gifts, for supporting us and especially for your prayers! We appreciate it more than you know. And a HUGE thank you to our friends who spent so much time and effort planning this party and doing this for us. You are a blessing to our whole family!

As if that wasn't enough, when we got home there was a package in the mail from a dear friend. She had sewn a blanket especially for Meili.

The pink one in back was made by a wonderful co-worker and the front one is from my friend. Gift-giving is her love language and I know she puts her heart and soul into choosing the right gift for whoever is receiving it, so it's very special that she made this especially for Meili.


One of Jon's co-workers offered him some clothes her daughter had outgrown. Since we didn't decide to adopt until our youngest daughter was 4, we had gotten rid of most of our smaller things. She stopped by today and dropped everything off.

This is nowhere near everything. There were four boxes of clothes!
Here's the best part: We think Meili will be wearing about size 18 months. We started saving our daughter's clothes again at size 4T. But up until 4T, we don't have a lot. We were going to wait until we knew her size before we bought more, but the boxes she brought were labeled 18 month - 3T!! EXACTLY the sizes we'd need.

I really believe this is just one more example of how God has provided EVERYTHING we've needed for this adoption....right down to the clothes she'll need when she gets home. We are so thankful today (and every day!) for our friends, family and our amazing Father!


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