Monday, July 27, 2009

So Many Firsts!

So much to blog, so little time! We have many things we want to post, but will post just a few Olivia pics to stop the incessant nagging :)
First time swimming - in her "duckini"- in China
First family birthday party, celebrating Mama's birthday in China
First trip to Starbucks, in China
First time at Mama's favorite store - Target!
First time experiencing grass...not a fan...
First time in her exersaucer First time as an Americana baby!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Olivia is amazing. We love her so much more than we thought possible. We are so blessed to finally have met all of our precious children!

My sweet child is very generous and shared her illness with me so both mama and baby were diagnosed with ear infections today and I have a sinus infection, too. Glad to get home since there is nothing like having a high fever in China after some of your travel mates are having to get their temps taken twice a day at the hotel front desk because someone on their flight had a fever! We are already on the mend.

Before we even met our kids we were sooooo blessed by this journey in sooooo many ways. Adoption is a total miracle, and (I'm saying it) to the woman who told me that she "felt sorry for me" that I "would never experience the joy of pregnancy and giving birth", I say that I am sorry that she will never experience the amazing journey of adoption! And this chapter is only just beginning...

By the way, I am extending our raffle because we only have three participants so far and this bracelet is so fabulous I am simply not accepting that!! Please click here to read more.

More pictures to come as we adjust to our happy new lives together!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday, Philippe!

It is our dear son's 8th birthday today! We love you so much, Philippe, and we miss you terribly! We can't wait to see you again and bring you home!

More Olivia Videos

Olivia's Birthday Party

This past Thursday the other adoptive families in our group in Chongqing helped us celebrate Olivia's first birthday (which was actually on July 11). Thanks, everyone!

We don't really have the time or energy to blog, so we hope you don't mind if we just post some sporadic pics and videos. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another China Adoption Story

I just ran across this story:
    Two red panda cubs abandoned by their mother at birth are thriving at a northern China zoo thanks to milk and loving care from an unlikely surrogate mother _ a dog, state media reported on Thursday.

    The cubs, born June 25, were abandoned immediately by their mother after giving birth in front of a crowd of visitors at the Taiyuan Zoo in northern China's Shanxi province, according to Ha Guojiang, a zoo employee quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Gotcha Day Videos

To say that Monday, July 13, was a whirlwind day would be the understatement of a lifetime. Dawn and I woke up in Beijing at 4:00am, finished packing, and ambled down to the lobby at 5:15. This was the day we had been waiting for.

After a two-hour flight we landed in Chongqing. Hot. Muggy. Barely a breeze. But a really cool city!

We arrived at our hotel with plenty of time to spare. So, we began to unpack, get all the baby's clothes and toys ready, and anything else to keep our minds off the wait. Sure, we waited three years, but that doesn't mean the last three hours are any easier.

Before long, we were off to the Civil Affairs office. The best way to describe what we were feeling is not being exactly sure what it was we were feeling.

That non-feeling feeling grew into nervous anticipation as we sat in the waiting room.

Then, before we knew it, our name was called.

It's amazing how far along Olivia has come since that day. But I'll save those videos for our next post!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great Wall Pics

Before we flew to see Olivia, we did a little sightseeing. Our last day in smoggy Beijing (or "Gray-jing," as we called it) was packed. We left the hotel and attended Sunday morning service at Beijing International Christian Fellowship.

After that, we stopped at a jade market. I always thought that jade was green, but we learned that, like marble, it comes in a wide variety of colors.

Then it was off to the Great Wall! Unfortunately, the majestic scenery was mostly obscured, but it was still awe-inspiring.

And what would a tourist attraction be without the obligatory, blatantly obvious warning signs?

And yes, Olivia is doing great. We'll have more updates soon!

More Olivia Pictures!

The first night we got back with Olivia, Lee had to go do paperwork (imagine that!) and Olivia and I went to the hotel room. She did not want to be held. I put her on our bed and we just stared at each other. This is one of the sweet looks I got, but mostly she just stared at me with no facial reaction.
Later, when she got her first bottle, she would not let me hold it. I let her do this for her first bottle, but when she pushed me away on the second bottle, I pulled her hand off and held the bottle and put her hand on me. She let me and has ever since.You can also see in this picture that she is turned away from me, which she did if we got too close for her comfort level.
She slept from 6-8pm, and we got her up for a bottle and bath, and then she slept from 9-6. The girls all had a 6 hour bus ride to get to us so they were all so tired, plus they had colds and bug bites, too.

The first morning at breakfast - she did GREAT. She ate banana, watermelon, porridge, and egg.
She makes some really goofy faces that make us laugh!! She has so many different looks.
Our first family photo...we have an online friend who is also adopting from the same orphanage in Haiti, and she heads there this week. She is taking some things for Patricia and Philippe and she is printing this picture to take to them, too! Thanks, Katy!
Isn't she perfect???
We know we are way behind on blogging and will try to catch up! We have to purchase our interenet every day and try to time it so we aren't buying it when we are going to be leaving soon, and also, we don't have wireless and it makes it harder to blog from a desk instead of getting to use the computer on the bed so we can rest a little, too! :)

If you missed our raffle, please click here. It is a really cool item, and we saw bracelets of the same exact shape at the jade market. We only have one person entered so far, so please look! :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Meeting Olivia!

OK, OK. Here are a few of the pictures you've been waiting to see for the last three years!

Oh, yeah. There are puh-lenty more pictures and videos to come!

Arriving in Chongqing

Dawn and I arrive at our hotel just a few hours before meeting Olivia for the first time...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just Hours Away!

We just finished packing for our morning flight to Chongqing. After all this time, it's hard to believe that we're just hours away from meeting Olivia!

I thought this would be a good time to post a poem Dawn wrote back in September of 2005:
    For Olivia –

    With Gods peace in our hearts
    To seek you, my dear,
    A journey imparts,
    To soon hold you near.

    We can't wait to meet you
    To hold you in our arms,
    Then get to know you,
    And learn all your charms.

    We pray for your birth parents,
    For their journey and pain,
    As sadly for them,
    Their loss is our gain.

    We can never imagine
    What they have gone through,
    Yet somehow we know
    Of their deep love for you.

    When finally we meet,
    We pray that you'll know,
    That these loving arms
    Will never let you go.

    So sleep tight, my love
    For soon you'll be here
    We'll give you rich love
    And calm all your fears.
Thank you, Lord, that we will get to hold our dear little one in our arms tomorrow.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Some Beijing Pictures from Saturday

We must have lost 5 lbs in water weight on this day! LOOOOOONG, hot day! Went to Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, a pearl market, and a silk museum. OH! and then we had dinner, and went to a Chinese Acrobat Show. It was about a weeks worth of site-seeing in a day!

Tiananmen Square

The Forbidden City

We got a gift for Olivia at the Pearl Market to give her when she is grown

The Silk Museum

The Summer Palace

Where we had dinner

Chinese Acrobat Show

Happy 1st Birthday, Olivia!

We'll see you on Monday!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ni Hao from Beijing!

After a 12-hour flight to Tokyo, a 2-hour layover, and another 4-hour flight to Beijing, we're finally sitting in our hotel room! We came a day early to get acclimated to the time change, so we'll just be taking it easy tomorrow (Friday). If anything, we may go swimming in the hotel pool and walk to the nearby WalMart and whatever else might be close by. The sightseeing begins on Saturday!

Yo. Check it out.

Here's another fundraiser that you are going to LOVE. My friend Tiffany makes these beautiful bracelets and she offered to donate one for a raffle.

Here's a description from Tiffany's website, Legacy Bracelets:

    Intended to be more than a beautiful piece of jewelry, each bracelet celebrates family and friendships. They are crafted to be worn either design side out or inverted to display your pictures.

I promise you that you will get compliments and questions about this bracelet everywhere you go!

What a great way to always have pictures of your kids so you're never caught without the opportunity to show off! :) Also a great gift idea. I don't know a mom or grandma who wouldn't love this bracelet!

Here's the way it's going to work:
    $5 for 1 entry (1 chance to win)
    $20 for 5 entries (5 chances to win)
    $50 for 12 entries (12 chances to win)
You can purchase your raffle entries via Paypal using the "ChipIn" button on the right-hand side of the blog. Please leave a comment if you've purchased raffle entries and let us know how many you purchased.

The drawing will take place on Sunday, July 26 August 31.

The winner will be able to choose any design, any Bible verse or phrase (as long as there is space for it to fit), even Chinese characters, and pictures for a custom-made bracelet!

Look through the website for more details and to see all the available patterns!

Retail value is $50, so this is a great opportunity. Hope you win!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Some Travel Prayer Requests

Yes, we are finally going to China to meet our daughter! We've been waiting for this day for over three years now, so you I'm sure you can imagine our anticipation.

We would appreciate your prayers as we embark on this adventure, with 22 other families from our agency. Dawn had sent this list of requests out to our friends and family, and thought I would post it here. If you would, please pray:
  1. That we will have safe flights. We have seven flights over the next two weeks.

  2. That we will stay healthy.

  3. That we will not be quarantined. The U.S. State Dept. has a travel advisory regarding the quarantines, which last up to 7 days. Upon arrival in Beijing, you stay seated on the plane while people enter in hazmat suits and take the temperatures of all the passengers. If we or anyone within three rows of us have fevers or exhibit H1N1 symptoms, we will be quarantined. This would be difficult to accept as we would miss the Beijing tour (The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and more), but it would also delay our "Gotcha Day" when we meet and receive Olivia. This would also add expense. We have also learned that some hotels are checking the temperatures of guests. There have been adoptive families quarantined on their trips, although overall, quarantine percentages are low in comparison to the amount of travelers.

  4. That we and the other families will have fast and healthy bonding with their babies/kids. We witnessed that this can happen with our kids in Haiti and with fellow travelers. We believe it can happen here, too!

  5. That Olivia and the other kids will have smooth transitions and don't get sick. It is stressful for the kids as they have to adjust to so much -- new caregivers, different schedules, food, surroundings, etc.

  6. That we will bless others around us and be an example for Christ. We have to show our passport to attend an International Church service, which reminds us of the blessings we have in this country.

  7. Please pray for our older two, Patricia and Philippe, in Haiti. There are families visiting in June and July and we know it must be hard for them as they watch to see if we will get out of the van. Patricia kept asking if we were coming back in June and was so sad when we said no. They know about Olivia, but will see her picture for the first time on July 15th or 16th, when another Haiti mom will visit and share pictures with them.
Above all, we want to bring glory to our Heavenly Father, who adopted us into his family.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Nursery is DONE!!

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with Bugs Bunny. Here I am in 1978 at my birthday party opening the best present EVER! I gasped when I pulled out the bright white and gray bunny, who was smiling back at me.
Bugs has traveled all over the United States with me and went off to college with me. The first time I didn't take him on a trip I felt like I was betraying him. The song, "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2 makes me cry because I felt so touched by the words. Because. of. Bugs. I loooooooove him.
Here I am now, with my well-loved Bugs.
So it was an easy decision how to decorate the nursery, which will also be Patricia's room when she comes home. I know that my girls will not always want Bugs Bunny in their room, but I will ride the wave as long as I can!
Here is Patricia's bed and dolls for the girls
Some of my collection of Bugs paraphernalia
A wall hanging that Lee got for me about 10 years ago or so, paired with vinyl letteringA vintage Bugs Bunny lamp that also has a night light
Both Lee and I love this picture of Bugs and wanted to buy it but it was way out of our financial reach. I mentioned this to my boss a long time ago (who is a fabulous artist), and he said he would paint it for a much more affordable rate. We love it and it was worth every penny. When the girls don't want it in their room anymore, I will find another wall somewhere else in the house!
This comfy chair was purchased in 2005, when we thought we had a 6-8 month wait for Olivia. Glad it still works with the room! It is a rocker, so we can rock Olivia to sleep :)
We love this chandelier that we got at IKEA!
The girls' room is so small that we have the changing table out in the hall. :)
HAHAHA! Finally, eh? It was allllllllllmost done for so long, but now it is just DONE :)
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