Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas Dad and Nina Meiying!

Since this was the first Christmas without my father, last summer, Mom gave some of us her treasured Christmas ornaments; she knew she wouldn't be putting up a tree this year. So, I took her ornaments and did what she did with them when I was a child: I put up a small kitchen Christmas tree adorned with her ornaments and lots of birds, fruits and pinecones. I have to say this tree faired much better than our large family Christmas tree did. I loved seeing it in my kitchen. All of the ornaments that I have from mom date back to the 1960's and 1970's... You see, when I was a child, my mother would begin making ornaments out of wood, cornhusks, early as September each year. She was always busy working on some craft project. Come Christmas, she would decorate a small tree in our country kitchen (a kitchen complete with exposed wood beams that we would string fresh garland on). She would place all the neighbors' and postman's, newspaper carrier's and meatman's presents under this tree. Then we would decorate the large family tree (w/ store bought ornaments) in the family room. I loved being a child and had the most wonderful, loving and giving parents. They were the best role models. Too see these ornaments (dated and initialed by her) now hanging on "my kitchen tree" made Dad feel closer and made Christmas feel complete in a way that I hadn't felt since childhood. Thank you, Mother; you know I will cherish these.

Meiying has been on all of our minds and in our conversations daily here in this house. We've been around and around on names. I've had many favorites over the years only to see them "go" to friends, nieces and even pets! We were leaning towards Julia, but one day when I was looking at Meiying's photos, the name Nina hit me. It's never been a name that I've thought about, but she looks like a Nina to me. In spanish, Nina, of course mean "little girl". I thought it was perfect. When we visited Eliza's orphanage 2 years ago, as I've said before, I left there that day and told myself that I'd be back..."to bring home a little girl". So, Nina it is. Nina Meiying Ray. I think that's pretty. Derek says it's growing on him. Allie fought me hard (she wanted Julia...), Julia Meiying Ray is pretty too. For now, she's Nina Meiying to me. We shall see as the months continue and the dossier gets logged in...
So, Nina Meiying, I thought so much about you during Christmas. I said a special prayer for you. I wondered what your Christmas was like. I wondered what your favorite gift would've been. I thought about next Christmas and that you'd be home... Merry Christmas my little girl.

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