Thursday, October 22, 2009

Olivia (Almost) Walking on Her Own!

We hope she doesn't fully learn how to walk until we're back from Haiti!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Three Months Together!

Our Log In Date (LID) was 3-13-06. As the time dragged on to meet our daughter, I began to dread the 13th of the month. Marking that date was just a constant reminder of how long it was taking. Ironically, the day that we met our Olivia was July 13th, so now the 13th is a very happy marker for our family. It has been three months since we were united as a family of three. We still wait to be a family of five.
Here are pictures of our first meeting and pictures from September and October.
The first moment Olivia is handed to me - like my friend Beth said, "Those first few moments of ultimate joy and sadness colliding". That is exactly how I felt. We were so happy and she was so sad. Our tears of joy quickly ceased as we shifted our focus on comforting her.
Back on the bus
Who ARE you?
We recently received these photos from someone seated behind us - they bring tears to my eyes! Our poor baby. So confused. So tired. So shell-shocked. The girls had a six hour drive to get to us that day already and then to be handed to complete strangers who look different and sound different. It was so jarring.

Proud Papa. And finally she sleeps.
Back at the hotel, peering over the mattress (her crib was right next to my side of the bed). Such sad eyes. She didn't cry unless we picked her up. She just stared. At us. At the toys in front of her.

The very next morning she is like a different child and never seems to go back to that sad baby. She slept for hours and hours and it must have been what she needed. I find it so interesting how her eyes changed from day one to day two. From fearful to peaceful. Click here, here, here or here for more posts, or search back for even more, if you need to get caught up!
Here we are in September. I just love this picture of Olivia with my Dad!
She likes playing with these rain boots that are too big for her so I couldn't resist adding the hat!
At her Aunt Sharla's wedding
She LOVES the computer.
She also loves Nutella...
Just before her first bite of Wild Rice Soup (she IS a Minnesotan, after all!)
And it's a hit! She devoured it!

At the dealership the day we bought the van. What a good took so much longer than we planned. Thankfully they had a play area!
I believe that this is the first of many looks saying, "Oh, MOM!"
At music class
Just a happy baby!
Such a good sleeper! We feel so lucky!
First pickle...not a fan.
This was after successfully pulling herself up on the couch. You can just see the look of accomplishment and pride, can't you?
Hanging out at the Mall of America

Music class again

She just loves it
And first snow. She isn't too sure what to think at first...(we aren't sure either! It is so early! But it was a pretty snowfall...)

But then she makes up her mind!

Olivia is a beautiful baby and we feel so blessed that she is our daughter. She is something else! For being a mere 15 months old, she seems to know exactly what she wants and when (no, she doesn't always get it!) She is tenacious, resilient and oh-so-feisty, but she is well matched. Bring it on, Olivia! hee hee! She loves music and taps her hands in her lap, claps and bops her head whenever she hears any music. She is walking with help (down to one hand now!) and says many words. She says, "Mama", "Dada", "dogga", "all-da" (all done), "guh ger" (good girl), tee tew (thank you), ett (eat), "dow" (down), "hi", and has said some other words along the way. She has grown a couple of inches and gained a fair amount since we got home and she just moved up a shoe size (stay little! stay little!) We love Olivia!! Thank you, Jesus, for this baby and for our many blessings!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

There Are No Orphans of God

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Olivia's Dedication Weekend

On September 13th (yeah, I'm behind on blogging!) Olivia was dedicated to the Lord at our church, Bethlehem Baptist, in downtown Minneapolis. My sister, Janie, flew from San Diego for the dedication and we had a great visit. It also marked the two month anniversary of the date that we met Olivia.

Here is Janie and Olivia.My dad, my sister and I kept the visit a surprise from my mom (she is the BEST person to surprise!) Here she is, seeing my sister for the first time. I wish I had a video, too, as she screamed four times. It was hilarious!
Here are my folks (looking quite fab, I must say!) at our church
We were so surprised and pleased to have our head pastor, John Piper, do the dedication. Other pastors often do them, so we felt honored that it worked out this way!
Olivia and I wore our Chinese outfits

Even though I took this picture of Pastor John and Lee's Aunt Lynn (visiting from Mississippi and a fan of Piper's books), it didn't occur to me to get one of him with Olivia! **sigh** oh well.
Me with my girls! :) (Olivia and her cousins)
Here is a sampling of who was there...once again I missed some great pictures. We had Lee's sister Christy and her family, my two sisters, my parents, Lee's mom and his Aunt Lynn, our dear friend Bev, and Matt and Jenny and the kids.
Lee's sister, Christy, was in town from Phoenix for his other sister's wedding, but we reaped the benefits, too!
"Sooooo big"
Whenever a Shelton child comes home, we will plant a tree in their honor. Here is my bro-in-law, Greg, helping out
and Lee
and my dad
And it's planted! We planted an appropriately named tree: The Rose Tree of China, also known as Flowering Almond or Double-Flowering Plum
Here is a sweet picture of Olivia saying goodbye to her Aunt Janie, who she got to know quite well on the long weekend. We affectionately call this "forehead hugs" or "forehead lovin'".

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