Happy Chinese New Year 2014!
Our very simple celebration consisted of watching Ni Hao Kai Lan Chinese New Year episode, opening red envelopes, decorating, and eating a very yummy Chinese meal! Yummm!
Elyana posing with our Chinese wishing tree, red envelopes and bags of goodies. We each wrote our wishes/prayers for the year ahead on paper and tied them to our tree. Elyana even helped.
Chinese New Year marks the end of winter so is also named the “Spring Festival”. The Chinese clean their entire houses to begin the year with no “old-unlucky dirt” from the year before. (sounds like an idea I would love to implement) It is a time of family gatherings and traditional meals. (as far as I’ve read, dumplings are a big part of the meal) The children look forward to opening their red envelopes with “lucky” money inside. The color red is also seen as a symbol of luck/happiness/prosperity. One of our guides in China, Summer, told us that she will only get to go home to Mongolia 1 or 2 times a year because it is so far from Beijing (and expensive to travel). The New Year would be the one time of year she would take an extended vacation so that she could spend a few weeks celebrating with her family. The Holiday began yesterday and will last until the 15th of the month with the Lantern Festival. It’s the longest festival on the Chinese calendar.
We will always try and teach Elyana her heritage and celebrate the things that are so much a part of her birth country.
2014 is the year of the horse. When we were in China John and Jenna picked up these neat calendars. Now we know why they had a horse for every month! (we are learning)
Sisters and friends.
Dinner was wonderful. I’d love to learn to make dumplings, but this year Hunan Gardens take out was perfect.
I think dinner was Elyanas favorite part. She loved the crab rangoon.
After dinner the kids opened their red envelopes, goodies, and popped party poppers. Elyana loved this part, especially when the confetti landed all over the dog.
My friend Ann gave me this flower on my birthday in Nov. It finally sprouted when we came back from China on Jan 1st, then bloomed for the Chinese New Year. So perfect!
It felt so great to make this day special for Elyana. She may not realize it yet, but someday when she looks back at pictures, I want her to understand we have a very special place in our hearts for China. For it’s the place God kept her until we embraced her. And He’s keeping her still. We have had some rough nights, but with time and a growing security, we believe she will heal from all she’s been through. She’s such a joy and breath of fresh air filling our home. God knew exactly the sweet girl we needed. She’s touched our hearts in so many ways. I cry for her fears when she screams at night, and pray that the peace of God will penetrate her little heart. I can’t help but see how much we are each so much like her. In desperate need of true God-filled love. The kind that heals and loves unconditionally. I’m praying each day that God will share more of His heart with us, so we can love her just the way she needs it.
Here’s our sweet girl all pooped after partying. She wanted to wear her Chinese shoes to bed. So sweet.
Yesterday was a VERY big day for Elyana at Columbus Children’s Hospital. I’ll post that update soon!
Many Blessings To You All,
The Sparks Family