31 January 2009

Happy Birthday to our African Violet!


Happy 2nd birthday to our Ethiopian princess! We are so thankful that the Lord sent us on the journey to Africa to meet this beautiful baby girl named Betelihem Bekele and weave her into our hearts and family. We chose the name Elianna because it is a combination of our grandmother's (Elizabeth Anne Ortlund) name and Mama's middle name (Anna) plus it means "my God has provided" in Hebrew. Only after we first saw her precious face did we realize that God had given us a Hebrew name for the little one He had perfectly planned for us named Bethlehem. With hearts pounding, we opened that email and fell in love with her on the spot!

Here she is a year and a half later, and we are even more crazy about our Ray Ray! It has been so fun to watch her grow, and learn, and discover. So delightful to see the shy and fearful baby become a confident, goofy, flirty personality that brings so much joy to everyone around her. So beautiful to learn down to the marrow of our bones (again) that biology doesn't matter a whit and neither does nationality. She has immeasurably enriched our lives, changed our perspective, opened our eyes to the needs in Africa, and lit a fire in our hearts for the orphans all over the world.

Baby girl, we are wild about you. You are such a treasure. We love your sweet voice, your expressive face, your squeezable bunnies and kissable lips, your jammin' dance moves, and your snuggly little self in entirety. We are blessed to be your Mama & Papa! Happy birthday, little muffin!

Thank You, Father, for Ray Ray!

15 comments:

The Redman's said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the sweetest African Violet!!!

We love you!

Love, The Redman Family.

emily said...

Happy Birthday sweet girl! We love you.

All the Alexanders

emily said...

Failed to mention that fabulous cake!

Lori said...

What a wonderful post - You're so gifted with your writing.

Happy Birthday! And the cake is wonderful!!

JourneytoFamily said...

Happy Birthday Ray Ray!!!

Elizabeth Lyons said...

Happy Birthday sweet one! Laurie - I'm in love with the cake. Did you make that? Because if you did, I'm officially ordering you to be in Arizona for Nina's 1st birthday to craft one for her! It's so fab.

Liz

The Redman's said...

Yeah..... what's the scoop with that cake???? INCREDIBLE!!

Tish said...

Happiest Birthday, sweet girl!!! Love the photo of her! SHe is adorable!

That cake is amazing!

Lisa said...

Beautifully written post Laurie! It is such an amazing journey we are all on! God is so good! Happy Birthday Ray Ray! Your cake is well..... WOW!!!!!
Hoping our paths will cross again soon!!!

Hauswife said...

I must dispell any notions that this fabulous cake was designed or made (SNORT! Guffaw!) by me...

Sonya Hong of Butterfly Cakes gets the credit for this safari creation. Isn't is dreamy?! Perfect for my little Ray Ray!

Kristi J said...

ok, first Happy Birthday to your sweet girl....but Man, the cake was fabulous!!! I just gave my big girl a 7th b-day Jungle themed celebration and your cake put mine to shame :) Still waiting to see my baby's face...can't wait, kristi

be_a_Mary said...

Happy Birthday Ray Ray!! You are one lovely little lady!! I'm so glad to know you!!

feja said...

Laurie your post made me cry!! How I hope to someday have the experiences you have with Ray Ray with my own gift from God child to join Eriks, Anastizia and I!

Happy Birthday, sorry it's late, Elianna

The Roberts Family said...

LOVE this post! Our precious baby turns two very soon! CRAZY wonderful cake! :) ~Shelly

FHL said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your sweet princess!!!

And oh my, that may be one of the most amazing cakes ever! I'm not sure I would have been able to eat it! Definitely wouldn't have been able to take the first slice!