Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mayana is Turning 12 in December!!

June 2012 in the mountains, NC.
Nearly two years have passed since my last post.  I am truly finding it hard to believe that it has been 4 years since I was wringing my hands, going nuts because I couldn't get to China fast enough to embrace my new daughter!

On 12-12-12 ... in just a little more than one month ... Mayana turns 12.

In China in 2008
When we flew from America and traveled to China on 12-12-08, Mayana was celebrating a birthday party with her orphanage workers and friends.  She was scrawny, anemic, and apprehensive ... what would this new life in America be like?   On 12-15-08 we met Mayana for the first time and she was ours that very day.  In China there is no waiting period or time to get acclimated -- "Mei Xiang, these are your parents."  "Mr. and Mrs. Amlung, this is your daughter, Mao Mei Xiang."  "I know that neither of you speak each other's language, but we're sure you'll do fine.  Good luck!"

Our two weeks in China were a swirl of emotions - overwhelmed, perplexed at times, elated at other times.  With Christmas in the mild, warm air of Guangzhou -- English Christmas carols playing in our hotel lobbies and restaurants and the island dotted with Christmas trees and lights -- there was an indescribable magical quality where anything was possible, including opening the Word with a beautiful Chinese shopkeeper.

We danced beside the Pearl River, ate pizza at a cool Italian place, gobbled noodles, rice, and ice cream at Lucy's, and Skyped often with our girls back home, from our cute hotel room overlooking the local Starbucks.

Could it really have been four years ago that we brought Mayana home as our best Christmas present ever!

Mayana seems to have been with us forever, though.  Her English is great -- better than a lot of kids raised in Cincinnati.  And she lavishes love and affection on me just like my other children.  I am the only mommy she has known and she's jealous for my attention.

Mayana is growing in beauty, both inside and out.  Her eyes shine brightly as she talks of her Savior, Jesus.  When thinking of the future, she talks of going around the world as a missionary ... or living on a farm and raising lots of children, as well as animals.  Bold, friendly, and caring, Mayana is the first to offer to go around the neighborhood to fund-raise for her school, and the first to offer to care for a young child who needs assistance.  Hardworking and helpful, she is quick to offer a hand - for laundry or gardening or feeding the chickens -- though she still complains about chores and school work like all the rest of them.  Tall and thin, she is growing stronger and healthier with each passing year, taking ballet and loving her trampoline.

Mommy and Mayana ,June 2012 - the bamboo jungle at Cherokee NC.
Here's to Mayana's big 12-12-12 day coming up this coming month.  We look forward to another year of watching her grow in grace, strength, and wisdom.

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