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The doll has caught her interest.

Backstory:  Julia has never liked dolls.  I brought a baby doll with me to China when we met but it had eyes that opened and closed and that terrified her.  She threw it on the floor of our hotel room and used a teddy bear to beat on it.  It wasn’t until she was home for almost four years when she found a stuffed toy — Lizzy the purple t-Rex dinosaur — to cuddle with in bed.  She was nine and still crazy interested in dinosaurs.  The trip to Disney, the T-Rex Cafe, and finally Build-a-Dino that started the love affair with Lizzy.

I think I re-gifted the baby doll Julia’s third or fourth Christmas home.  She didn’t beat it up but she didn’t play with it either.  But last Family Day, the combination of a doll that looked like her — American Girl Doll Asian-version Ivy, a “best friend” doll — and the Gryffindor uniform and robes that I made for Ivy made for pretty good insurance that she would look a bit favorably on the doll.

More than like it, she loved it!  Did and does.

She and Ivy trick or treated together, both in Gryffindor colors.  Ivy went to Chicago with us and enjoyed her experience at the American Girl Store.  I though that we might see Ivy on display, however, apparently she has been retired.  All of the “best friend” or secondary character dolls have been retired and there is not an Asian “just like me” doll that looks similar.

Julia hugged Ivy just a little tighter upon hearing that she was no longer made and graciously accepted compliments on Ivy’s costume.  Julia wanted to buy a new outfit for Ivy and glasses to make Ivy look more like Julia.  Such requests cannot be refused.  For so many reasons, attachment-wise and developmentally, it is more than grand that Julia is playing with this doll.

Yes, she is 13, when most girls move on to gossip and crushes and lip gloss and earrings.  13 is late to discover dolls, but Julia, on her own schedule and in her own time, has made the discovery.

I could not be more pleased.