December 1st is Apple's actual birthday and that's when her main present from me arrived. I'd told her the night before that something was going to come in the mail so she was looking forward to it all day. I was excited myself and hoped she'd really love it. I'd been disappointed that it hadn't arrived as scheduled the day before in time for the party, but it worked out well by prolonging the feeling of anticipation.
It's no secret that I love dolls and always have. I think there's such thing as a "doll gene" because my paternal grandmother had it. I think it's connected to the "love rollerskating gene" because I shared that with her, too. I'd been hoping that I'd have a daughter who shared a love of dolls with me and I'm lucky enough that 2 out of 4 do.
The named the new doll Bella and she is an Adora doll, 15" long and weighted to feel more like a real baby. She is precious, her fingernails and toenails exquisitely detailed and her face is super sweet and cute. Baby Calin, which is very recognizable in the Chinese adoption community is a Carolle doll and she's only about 12" tall and has a tiny rosebud mouth. I noticed Apple loved her Baby Calin, but played "twins" with the dolls that are in my daycare toy stash, both of which have open mouths. Over the many years I've worked with children, I've come to realize that the dolls that get played with the most look like real babies (not cartoons or aliens), have soft bodies and open mouths because the thing kids like to do most with the baby dolls is feed them. I'd bought Baby Calin before I realized this, very soon after my dossier was logged in back in April 2007. I didn't adopt Jie Jie until 2011 and she was too old for Calin. I gave her a life-sized Berenguer doll instead, which she still loves and dotes on to this day.
Within hours, Apple fell in love with Bella. It really peeved me when, after just 3 days, the doll started falling apart! She lost an eyelash and the arm was tearing at the joint. For the price I'd paid, this shouldn't have happened, but I had read the reviews and it had been mentioned. I'll post later about the heroics taken to ensure Bella's longevity.