Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas was definatley one to remember this year! Lucy just wanted a baby bath tub. She slept with it. Emmy was all about the Wahooo bouncy dog! Lots of laughs, great food, much excitement and hanging with family.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The End of our trip

Cordelia took us to all of the sights we didn't get to see on our first time to China. The zoo...which would have been way better in November. It was like 104 degrees that day. Uuuuuggg! The girls loved feeding the giraffes. We went to a traditional market and the local mall. I'm really sad that I was unable to blog while in China. I loved the journaling I had for Lucy. At this point it is hard for me to remember all the details. Emmy was definitely giving us a run for our money. She would try to run away at all times.....just to be funny but we were all exhausted from chasing her. We ended the trip with one night stay in Hong Kong. The plane ride home went better than expected. Both girls slept for 9 hours....at the same time. We were thankful for that. We were greeted at the Chicago airport by some of our Adoption Families. That was a great welcome back home. We obviously were exhausted and couldn't wait to get home to bed. The girls were sleeping through the night in 8 days. We have been so lucky in that way......and many others.

Friday, September 3, 2010


This particular evening we went to Lucy's restaurant.......down the block from our hotel. Got an American meal and Scott was in charge of bedtime with the girls. I went for a very weird massage. ( I will leave it at that). When I came back this is how the sleeping arrangement was. By the way those kids beds were very comfy. I wish they had those here. :) Pictures are in reverse order ....but I can't rearrange grrr on here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cordelia we are here!

Because of our flight change Cordelia was not able to meet us at the airport. She lined up a driver......who only spoke Mandarin. He was holding a sign that said Gill's and when we walked up to him he took out his phone and made a call. He then handed me the phone and Cordelia was on the other end. It was sooo good to hear her voice. She told us that she would meet us in our hotel room in a few hours. The driver would take us to the White Swan and help us get checked in. We had just started to get settled when Cordelia arrived and we all had a good cry. It was wonderful to see her again. She told us we looked younger. Haa! Cordelia is the sweetest person on earth. We felt so lucky to have her as our guide again. We then went to get dinner and show my brother around Guangzhou. They have renovated many building so things looked very different. The picture of Lucy above is with a kitten in one of the shops near our hotel. Sam, she needed to visit him daily. He was so tiny she could pick him up. It was so adorable. The other pictures are at the temple for the blessing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guangzhou Here We Come.

Friday was our last day in Kunming. We thought our flight was going to leave at 5:30 pm. We had planned on getting up eating breakfast and getting in our last trip to the local Walmart. Our guide arrived at the hotel while we were eating breakfast to inform us that we needed to get our bags packed because our flight had been switched and we needed to leave in 2 hours. We were just starting breakfast. Anyone who has traveled with children know that this was no small feat. I ate quickly and headed back to start packing. We also needed to get our guide and driver tip/gifts together. The pictures are of the girls the last morning in the hotel room and then of Emmy at the airport. The last one is for laughs. That sign was in the women's room the one in the men's read Warm Tips, Please Aim Carefully. ;) You can interpret that any way you want. Scott and Steve were laughing so hard in the bathroom they had to leave when they saw that one.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Stone Forest

On the day we went to the Stone Forest it was extremely hot. I don't know what our guide was thinking when he said it wasn't a lot of walking or climbing. It was all stairs. Uneven stairs, made out of rocks, no railings and many drop off points of 30-40 feet. Great fun with 2 very active toddlers. It was a beautiful park...but you may notice we have no pictures of the stairs...which was the majority of the day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kunming Green Lake Park

Green Lake park was right across the street from our hotel. It was beautiful. There were a lot of fun things to see and do. You could rent paddle boats, feed the koi, or shop the local vendors. Lucy,Beba Uncle Steve and I got to spend some time there while Emmy napped. The picture of Lucy with Uncle Steve is of some candy you could get for like 25 cents. The kids got to spin a wheel that would choose the shape of the candy. The woman then spread the candy on a marble slab and created it for the kids. Lucy got a bird. It was beautiful. We walked around there a couple of days in a row. We were so lucky to have it right across the street from our hotel. We went back a few days later with Emmy. As always we drew a lot of attention but we got even more attention when I was helping Scott put Emmy into the carrier. I guess men don't wear those in China. We had about 40 people circling us and laughing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Emmy Smiles

The first night went as well as could be expected. Emmy was extremely upset and didn't want to be comforted by anyone. Luckily Lucy laid down with Daddy and passed out. One down one to go. Emmy tried in the worst way to escape from the room. When I would let her walk the halls of the hotel, she would run to the exit and try to get out. When I would pick her up she would get upset and start crying so hard she would loose her breath. There was also a bit of hitting and hair pulling involved. Slightly uncomfortable when local people walked by. Luckily is was the middle of the night and there were only a few people around. SO that is why I opted to go to the roof top. I walked the halls and then the hotel roof top for a few hours until Emmy could barley keep her eyes open. Amazingly when I decided to go back to the room and lay her down, she stayed asleep all night ! It was amazing what a difference 24 hours made. The girl loves food so that helped give us a bit of an edge. :) She chowed at breakfast. Another note she weighs as much as Lucy. Incredible. The pictures above are from Emmy the second night. We took out glow sticks and made bracelets. Uncle Steve discovered when you pulled them apart they made a hysterical popping sound. So the girls, Daddy, and Uncle Steve all played with the glow sticks for about an hour laughing hysterically. Emmy's got a great laugh. It was awesome to finally hear it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gotcha Day

Sunday, August 8th was the day we got to meet Emmy for the first time. They (our guide and caretakers from the orphanage) were going to bring her to our room at the hotel at 3:30. I barely slept that night so now in about 3 days I had a total of 6 hours of sleep. I was a little concerned how I would be functioning by gotcha time. We needed to go to the local Walmart to pick up a few things that we couldn't bring with us like a potty chair and we decided to get a step stool while we were at it, We also needed beverages and some local snacks that a 2 year old might be familiar with. We accomplished that and then got the room prepared for the big moment. I was a nervous wreck and my stomach was churning. I kept organizing things which was driving everyone nuts. Lucy seemed excited. And then suddenly there she was standing at our door in a little pink dress. She looks so adorable and terribly nervous. She stood there not wanting to make eye contact with anyone. Lucy ran around the room grabbing toys, blankets, sunglasses and snacks trying to find something to offer her. She wouldn't take anything. Lucy was very determined. She tried to put a toy in Emmy's hand by grabbing her hand and placing it in hers but Emmy hauled off and smacked her. We tried to explain that she was very scared since she didn't know us and Lucy seemed a little disappointed and hurt. I think she thought they would get right to playing. It took about an hour after the caretakers had left for her to accept anything from us. She slowly warmed up cautiously. She liked the playdough and the little puzzle Grandma sent along. So that broke the ice. We all played together on the bed for about an hour and then Lucy passed out on the bed right next to us and we were able to give Emmy a little more individual attention. It went better than we expected. She was very attached to her shoes and glasses. So we let her sleep in her shoes and with her glasses that night. They were a comfort to her so we just went with it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We are Home!

So we are home safe and sound. The trip home went well. We are all exhausted....of course. It is 3 am and Lucy and I are up. I'm letting her catch up with some episodes of Harold and the Purple Crayon and hopefully we will be off to bed again. Scott and Emmy have been sleeping from 9pm on. I hope this means she likes her new bed. Time will tell.

Most of you are aware that we had no access to this blog in China so I will do my best to update now that we are home. I was really bummed that I couldn't journal our experience on the blog like we did for Lucy. I hope I can recount all of our experiences and emotions accurately.

Our way to Shanghai and then Kunming was a long trip. We were beyond exhausted. I wasn't able to sleep at all. It took us about 36 hours in all to get to our destination. Lucy was a real trooper. She slept for short amounts of time and then would get rudely awakened by the turbulence. It was a bumpy ride. The picture of her on my lap is in the Shanghai airport. We still had about 9 hours to go at that point. We had to sit at the Shanghai airport for about 6 hours. While we waited the staring began. It didn't help that Lucy fell and smacked her head. She of course had a huge lump. It took forever to get ice and then she promptly fell asleep. SO my nerves were a wreck at this point. When you start letting your imagination get the best of you it's no good. Then we had to fly for 2 more hours and got picked up at the airport by our guide Jerry. When we arrived at our hotel we all fell asleep but Lucy got up 3 hours later. IT was a little rough but we made it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

We leave in 24 hours!

So I guess the robin outside our bedroom window this morning felt that I needed to update everyone on how we are doing 24 hours before we leave. Never mind the fact that we were up way too late. But, the bags are packed! Other than a few last minute things we are as ready as we will ever be. I had a slight panic attack about all of the things that are out of our control yesterday. The fact that we will be traveling all day Friday/Saturday (in China) and then getting Emmy on Sunday makes me excited and FREAKED OUT all at the same time. Since we have Lucy to consider this time, I'm worried how she will be doing at this point in our trip, along with a million other things that us sick perfectionists worry about. I know, I know, all I need to remember is, He lead us to it, He will lead us through it. Not that easy to remember and be convinced of it all of the time.

I hope that Emmy is in a safe place this morning/night and that by some miracle she will be comforted by us when we meet her. I pray that Lucy will cope with all of the changes that are about to occur in her little world. Even though she has completely amazed me so far. Just a little note about our " Big sister". She has loaded Emmy's bed up with the suffed animals she is sharing with her. She has been bringing me things we need to pack and will say "Take to China". Like her play dough packed into a little bag that she spend 15 minutes tying up. And then while at Walmart, the fact that she nearly filled the entire cart with toys, sippy cups and clothes all for Emmy she would say " Yeah that Emmy, it little, she need." I am amazed at how much she is thinking of her little sister. Still not so sure what she is truly understanding but, it seems like a lot. She also said the other night, while trying to prolong going to bed. " I get up, let's go to China now, get Emmy" . Yeah lets!

So good-bye to life as we know it. Bring on the next adventure!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Emmy in the foster village.

So these are the pictures that we got of Emmy, by pure luck, from a woman who went on a reunion trip with her son. She traveled with a group of families who adopted children from Kunming in the same year. Another thing I didn't mention in my previous posts. This is the very first time that anyone had been granted the right to travel to this village. They got to tour the orphanage and spend the day in the village with the families. From these picture we have received so much peace. We are so lucky to have an actual picture of Emmy with her foster mother. (Something we wouldn't likely get.) We can obviously tell that she is in a happy place where she is being cared for. We couldn't ask for anymore while we wait to travel. Could she be any cuter?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Travel plan update

O-kay so we originally thought we were going to leave on July 23rd. So I had 12 days to figure everything out at that point. I was running around like crazy and excited as could be. Then 4 days later we were informed that the agency couldn't get the appointment that they wanted sooo we thought we were going to leave on July 30th. Then we received our itinerary only to find out flight prices had skyrocketed to $1,000 more per person. If we waited one more week we would be more in a normal range for prices so we had to make the decision to wait one more week. That was not an easy choice for us to make. Let me tell you. Hang on Emmy were comin' for ya !

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Let the sunshine in!

So I have been waiting for the right time to recount this incredible journey that we have gone through to get to this very place. Yesterday we received a call letting us know that we finally got our travel approval. It looks like we will be leaving on June 30th. That is in 16 days!!!! So now seems like the time for me to do this.
We started our process in July 2009 and were very surprised at how quickly we were matched with a child. December 3, 2009 was the first day we saw our second daughter, unbeknown to us. Since we chose to go down the adoption road, this time using the " special need " program we again had NO idea what we were getting into. again. This is a long story but it is a good one. :)
So December 3rd we got Emmy's medical information with 4 pictures of her. We immediately fell in love with the little cutie. Since there were numerous medical concerns we needed to look for medical advice. We sent the info. we had to 3 different doctors. The first Dr. opinion that came back was just concerned about her vision. The second was the international specialist who's opinion we had put the most weight on. He was concerned about numerous things and felt that we didn't have enough info. to be positive what level she would ever be able to function at. We spoke to this Dr. at 10:30 pm and needed to make a decision by morning. After talking to each other for a few hours we decided that this may be more than we could handle. So we sent the e-mail off to Faith International saying that we were going to need to pass on adopting this child. We went to bed and I woke up at 4:00am with this dread that we had made a huge mistake. I really felt that the 2nd Dr's opinion was weighing heavily on the negative side. I woke up Scott and cried to him that morning about how I was feeling. He said that he knew I would fall in love with any child that we had the opportunity to bring home but that we needed to make a decision based on what we knew we had signed up for. He's the voice of reason so, I realized that any cute face that needed a home I would probably be willing to sign up for . He told me to tell the agency that the next time we were matched witha child to not send us pictures until we decided to go through with it. So hours later Lucy woke up and I started to feel like I needed to make sure the decision we made to add to our family had every ones best interest in mind. Lucy is home with us and she was this Godsend to us. Do we really need to ask for any more? Maybe we should just stick with one child?
It was a beautiful snowy morning and I decided we needed to take Bucky to the dog park, get some fresh air and clear my head. So that we did. It was later that day that I received a call from the 3rd doctor that we sent the medical info. to. She said that she had taken the medical info. to some other collegues of hers. They all felt that this child (Emmy) would develop at a natural rate. Their main concern was mostly about her vision also. I panicked because that was what I was feeling all along. I called Myriam at Faith International and asked her if it was common to get such opposing medical opinions. She said yes. As I sobbed to her on the phone about how I felt, she said that we could move forward without really making a solid commitment. It is an extremely confusing process but the bottom line is we could literally get all the way to China and decide that we could not go through with he adoption. Not likely to get that far but it's a possibility. So we decided to hang on and try to get more medical information about her. This could take weeks, and we would need to do tons of paperwork along the way but it was what I needed to do to feel like we were making the right decision. Scott just appeased me so I could get to a place where I felt like I had a definite answer about what to do. Little did I know that it wouldn't be just 2-3 weeks.
So as we waited I started to go into various yahoo groups and search for info. on Rumor Queen (an adoption website). I was astounded at how much info. I could get on the specific orphanage that Emmy is from. I started to get more and more info. on the likely hood that we would get more medical info. The lookout was grim but there were a few people who had received the info. that had waited it out. It took them 3 months to get info.. After a few weeks waiting and getting nothing it was time to make a decision again. We were reaching a point of saying no again. That very week I ran into a woman at Walmart who stopped me in the children's department to ask if Lucy was from China. I said yes and she told me that she was leaving in 2 days to bring their daughter home from China. Through tears I gave this woman a huge hug and congratulated her. After talking for awhile she gave the name of a friend who adopted a little boy from China who had some similar health concerns as Emmy. Coincidence I think not! So 2 days later I was speaking with a woman in Kentucky about her experience and felt the need to move forward.......and persuade Scott to trust my womanly intuition.
On December 24, 2009 we received the most grim news ever. I really had to make a conscious decision to snap out of it because I really just felt like laying in bed and crying all day. Faith International sent us an e-mail telling us that the agency had been put on suspension from China. The suspension was put in place because back in 2000 Faith had helped this couple adopt a little girl from China. This family had just been sentenced for raping that girl who was now 9 years old. I was just sick. Sick for the little girl, sick for all the couples trying to adopt from China who are now left in limbo, sick for all the children that will be sitting in China longer than they should. I wondered what this all meant for us also. But after sleeping on it and getting a grip I knew there was nothing we could do. This was Lucy's first Christmas that she would understand what was going on. We needed to celebrate with her....so here's to living in the present moment.
So again came the questions. Was this the sign I had been looking for that we needed to bow out? I thought it was, but after a many heartfelt discussions we again just decided to wait it out. At this point it was all we could do. We couldn't move forward unless we decided to switch agencies at this point. SO we waited. All along we needed to continue processing paperwork as if we were going to proceed.
We again reached a point where we needed to make a decision, we had been waiting it out too long and we didn't want to hinder the chance of this little girl ever getting adopted. ( Her profile was being held exclusively for us and often times once children reach the age of 2 they get caught in a loop of being unadoptable .......this is the very short explanation). I thought I'd take one last shot at trying to get updated medical info. on her. One person on a yahoo group had suggested trying to get the direct phone number for the orphanage and to find someone who spoke Mandarin to call directly. I was desperate so I thought what the heck. I googled Kunming SWI and what do you know the phone number and address came up on a website for a woman who does this as a business. I called her immediately and she told me that had I called 2 weeks earlier she would have told me there was no way she could have gotten medical info. for us. But the orphanage had gone under changes and there was a new director. So within the past 2 weeks she helped 4 families get updates!!!!! Again a coincidence I think not.
So about 2 weeks later we had the answer to our questions and he answer to our prayers. The medical updates all were great news. To keep this short everything we had prayed for happened. We got pictures, all the medical info. looked great and she looked incredibly healthy.
After getting her pictures I was curious to know if they were from the orphanage, because I had been told that she was in foster care. The pictures show her.....as you can see in a building, with hardwood floors. And there were children behind her so I was thinking it didn't look like a foster care setting to me. I sent a message out on the yahoo group asking the people who had traveled if they knew what the orphanage looked like. I described where Emmy was and inquired if anyone knew more. One day later I received a response from a woman who had recently traveled to Kunming with her son (now 9) on a reunion trip. She shared 100's of pictures with me from their trip. Some from the orphanage and some from the foster village. That was where Emmy was. So I was feeling so blessed to have a piece of information showing us where Emmy was and where she had spent time. I continued to look through pictures, when I spotted a picture of a woman holding a little girl. I enlarged the picture to take a closer look and right before my eye were pictures of Emmy in her Foster mother's arms!!! Incredible! Coincidence? I think not again. As I continued further I found a short video that this woman had of Emmy also. It just so happened that her sons foster mother lives right next store to Emmy's foster mother. They were all out in the court yard talking together. So we got to see a piece of our daughters life. It was a gift I could have never imagined for ourselves. It has been a huge comfort to know that she is in a loving environment while we wait to bring her home.
SO there is my very long story. We have been blessed in so many ways already that it hard to describe in words the feelings we have gone through. For about a month after we received the pictures I walked around barely able to speak about the fact that we got these pictures. I feel so lucky that our lives have brought us down this road. I felt it in China once we met Lucy for the first time., and now with Emmy too. This process really is such a miracle. God working His magic into our lives.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Emmy's updates

So we waited for months to get our updates and to get the answer to so many prayers.
Along with additional picture we received medical updates that confirmed that she is doing extremely well. We now know that she is in a safe home and with people who are caring for her and loving her. Amen to that. These are pictures of her in the foster village close to Kunming.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Were going to China for Lucy's sister Emmy

So on December 3, 2009 we got the news about Xi Han Yu. We received four adorable pictures and a lot of medical information that took us down a winding bumpy road that we hadn't planned for. After experiencing the adoption path we had with Lucy, we didn't quite understand how different the process would be for Emmy. When making a decision to add a second child to our family we had so much to consider. What would we be able to handle, emotionally, financially and physically (since we ain't gettin' no younger). The thought of 2 toddlers excited us and scared us at the same time. :) We again needed to do a lot of soul searching and tried to remain open to the path that has been put out before us. After many doors closing and then reopening again we are happy to say that on March 10, 2010 we decided to move forward and become a family of four. We are waiting to find out when we can travel to bring our second daughter home. We are hoping for early June as Emmy's birthday is June 13, 2008. It would be nice to share her 2nd birthday together as a family.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Playing Catch Up

So this is one of my favorite pictures of Lucy. I wish she'd let me keep her hair in pig tails but she usually pulls them out within the first 5 minutes of me putting them in. I all of a sudden have had this urge to catch up with all of my journaling and blogging over the past year. I have so many funny stories about this past year I almost don't know where to start so I will start with this one. Lucy has just graduated to a BIG GIRL bed. It has been going pretty well, however the other night she woke up and I let her come to bed with us for about 10 minutes and then took her back to her bed. I thought she went to sleep because I didn't hear a peep. At 3:30 am approximately 1/2 hour after she was placed back into her bed she came sneaking back into our room. I woke up from Bucky growling and her giggling. I turned over to reach for her and she said very loudly "HI". Soon I realized our little monkey was NAKED. She was pretty proud of herself. I'm sure my burst of laughter really helped also. I hope this does not become a habit!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The past year with Lucy

O-kay so we have been home over 1 year and I can hardly believe that I am planning for Lucy's birthday party in 2 weeks. When people say the time flies it really does. She has been such a joy for our entire family and friends. I can hardly express it into words. She is so funny and at times I wonder how at almost 2 years old she can have the advanced sense of humor that she does. I wanted to post some updated pictures for all to see. I have to go start making a Dorothy pinata. Lucy is having an Elmo themed party. Pretty typical 2 year old stuff. :)