Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reflections of Today...our God-Daughter's Birthday.

Today is November 8, 2011, and exactly 13 years ago, a very special baby girl was born whom would forever change our world. She was our very first niece from my side, born during our first year of marriage. I can still remember the day when she first entered this world. My husband and I were just outside a curtain from her hospital room waiting for her to let out her first cry....it was around 3 in the morning. She was bright red, had a ton of black hair, and scrunchy little eyes. She was beautiful...and we were clearly smitten with her, no doubt.

During her first year of life, our niece, along with her parents, lived with my folks only a few miles away, which abled us to visit quite often. At about 6 months, we were thrilled to be chosen as her God-parents, and I’d say that ever since then, we took on the role very seriously, vowing to always care for her, love her unconditionally, protect her from harm’s way, guide her through life, and show her direction towards a spiritual life.

By the time she was to turn 2 years old, her family moved up to Northern California for a few months, and while they worked on relocating back to the area, our God-daughter came to live with us during the summer. We have so many incredible memories from that summer, and the bond that we developed during that period will forever remain priceless. We really got to love everything about raising a toddler, including changing diapers, although that summer we did help her potty train. We also helped to wing her off the bottle she had been so used to sleeping with, the one she would request with “leche con quik” (milk with Quik Chocolate ), which had unfortunately already started to ruin her teeth. I remember that one night as she woke up with a cute little whimper asking for her bottle. It only took a small conversation with her in Spanish to let her know that drinking chocolate milk at night was not good for her teeth. Unbelievably as it seems ( as she was only 2 1/2 years old ), she seemed to understand the concept. Our conversation went something like this ( but in Spanish ):
“drinking milk with chocolate at night will make your teeth yucky, drinking water instead is better” .
then we continued to go down the list of family who drank water but not chocolate milk at night, until it was her turn to recite it, so her conversation went something like this ( but in Spanish ):
“Nino doesn’t drink milk but water yes?”,
“Nina doesn’t drink milk but water yes?”
“Samson ( our dog ) doesn’t drink milk but water yes?”.
then as she took a deep sigh, she finally said:
“Nino.....can I have some water”?

Ahhh! What a tender little moment. She continued to learn many new things with us, in particular -many new “English” words. She also mastered her “Sign of the Cross” as she held her little hands together while she prayed to “Diosito” and asked for many blessings for her entire family and extended family including our dog “Samson”. And I could still remember her sweet little voice as she would often say to us “I wuv you”. She always knew what to call us. We were her “Ninos” ( which is short for “Padrinos” the term for God-parents in Spanish.

Eventually, her parents relocated and they lived with us for about 6 more months while they found a house nearby to purchase. During the next several years, we were very blessed to play a large role in not only our God-daughter’s life but in her little brother’s who was 4 1/2 years younger. Living just a few blocks away from each other, the kids spent many many days, nights, weekends, and many summers with us throughout the years. We did countless school projects together, swimming classes in the summer, small weekend trips, and just about every little thing you can think of. We really, really enjoyed every moment.....and it was evident that our God-daughter & her little brother filled a void in our lives for many many years. We got to experience parenting to the fullest, but now that they have recently moved to the Mid-west, we will truly miss being a part of their daily lives as they grow into their teen-age years.

So for today, I will have to settle for sending special presents via mail, posting on her FaceBook wall, and sending a “virtual” but deeply heartfelt Happy Birthday wish to our beloved God-Daughter Ivi. May you always know how very special you are to us, how you have inspired us to pursue adoption, and how you continue to help us to be better people.


Nino & Nina.

This photo was taken around the time she was 5 years old.

Here's one of our more recent pictures together, which was taken right before she moved to Nebraska, during the summer 2011.


Kris VanderVies said...

Love my God-daughter... she lights up my days. Here together or miles apart, she will always stay in my heart.

Sandy said...

Hi Marsi,
I thought suddenly that I wanted to come over and visit you.
You came over to my blog about a week ago. We "met" at Paula Prass's blog.

Oh how you warmed my heart with this post.
I will so pray for you and your "daughter" to be united soon.
I would love to come back and read of your journey.