I absolutely adore my daughter. Our trip to Salt Lake with my mom this past week was very special. It was beyond wonderful to have some one on one time with E and to spend time doing girly things like having afternoon tea at the hotel. Things have been so busy around here, and I know I’ve been distracted and not the kind of mom I want to be. To be away from work responsibilities, adoption paperwork, computers, etc. and just focus on E and having a good time together was a huge blessing for both of us.

I have to say I have had it pretty easy as a mom. While E challenges me in certain ways (she’s an incredibly picky eater and never stops talking), she is a pretty easy kid, all things considered. We drove six hours to Salt Lake and six hours back, and she never once whined but sat happily in the backseat, coloring or playing travel Bingo with herself. She let me drag her from the zoo to the mall to the swimming pool without her usual afternoon nap, and she never had a meltdown or freaked out. She was just thrilled with every new thing we saw and excited to be with Mom and Grammy.

I also happen to think E is going to be a pretty special big sister, and I can hardly wait to see her in action. Yaya means “big sister” in Lingala, and our family and E refer to her as this quite often while we wait. We could hardly pass a window display at a store in Salt Lake without E saying, “My baby brother would love that!” As we’ve been busy doing a lot of our annual fall traditions–visiting the pumpkin farm, making gingerbread haunted houses, picking out a Halloween costume–I can’t help but picture what it will be like at this time next year when E gets to share these traditions with her little brother.

We had a fun visit to Build-a-Bear (E’s first time) where I told E she could make a stuffed animal to give her brother when he comes home. She made up her mind on a BRIGHT, rainbow colored teddy bear. At first, I was going to go along with it but the longer we stood in line and I had to stare at the blinding, neon green skin of this bear, I decided to intervene. It took a lot of coaxing, but we finally settled on a more neutral teddy bear with a heart on its tummy. E had fun helping them stuff it, fluff it, and print up his birth certificate. She decided to name him “Hihi”. Grammy bought E a little shirt for Hihi, which we are going to decorate with “welcome home” messages while Joel is in DRC.

As we were standing in line with Hihi, E exclaimed, “I’m a good Yaya!” I couldn’t agree more! – See more at: http://www.africatoamerica.org/2/archives/10-2012/1.html#sthash.DqatS6GG.dpuf



  1. […] we set out to adopt from the Democratic Republic of Congo. My husband and I are blessed with a 4-year-old daughter by birth (whom I refer to on this blog as “Yaya” — the Lingala word for big sister). We […]

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