Monday, August 23, 2010

We Have A Kindergarten Student In Our House!

It's amazing to think how quickly Paige is growing into a beautiful (inside & outside) human being......I swear it was yesterday that I held her in my arms leaving the hospital with her.....I was so proud to be her mom then and I am so, so, so proud of her being brave and so excited to start her "life" outside of mommy's safety bubble.

I snapped this picture from her classroom door window after we all said our sweet little one being so brave, all alone :(, just breaks your heart, no?
When I showed Paige this picture this afternoon she said, "Mommy, I didn't cry, but the tears were in my eyes, but I didn't make any noise so my teacher wouldn't hear me."

Here she is walking down the hallway with her buddy, aka, Daddy on the way to class.
cute picture no?

The 3 ladies ready to go to kindergarten! YAY!

Lily was ready to join in on the ride to school and scope out her future school! What a little peanut......but a very BUSY & determined peanut :)

WE LOVE YOU PAIGE!!! And look forward watching you learn life's lessons, school lessons, make new friends, and become the person God put you on this earth to be!

post to follow: mommy & paige meet after school and celebrate the day with a visit to Friendly's just the 2 of us. (no worries, Lily was home with Grammy & mommy could hear all the day's stories from Paige)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

OK, we've certainly been delinquent in putting up new pictures of Lily, especially since she's changed so much in the last few months. Here's one of Paige and Lily together that was taken when their cousins from St. Louis were in town. We'll make sure to put up more very soon.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Paige's Preschool Graduation!

Here is her graduation cap made with her handprints! This preschool is so very creative with things like this.....

Ready to go to the ceremony in her "Burberry" dress, we bought in China.......I think she looks like Alice, from Alice in Wonderland with this pose, no? Lily had her matching "Burberry" dress on that night too :)

Here is the Graduate with her gift from Mommy & Daddy, a book she has wanting for at least 6 months: Pinkalicious! You can tell from the picture she didn't like it at all :)
She brought in the car to the ceremony and started reading it, and finished it in bed with her lantern flashlight that night. She is a reading maniac! I cannot believe how well she reads--I swear she is 10 not 5!

Here she is with some of her classmates ready to perform for all the proud mommies & daddies! Paige's best friends are Madison (standing right next to her in the wine colored dress) and Isabella (the first girl on the right of the photo in the white dress--paige calls her "my little sweety")

And then we went out to dessert to celebrate this momentous occasion, on the menu for the graduate was ice cream with chocolate sauce.......yummo!

Congratulations Paige! Mommy & Daddy are so proud of your accomplishment! We love you all the way to the stars, the moon, Africa, China, & back home again!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

happy 40th daddy.......

complete with birthday crown made by Paige!........

Friday, May 21, 2010

90 days! it's been 3 months since our scrappy little Lily was placed in our arms, and I don't know how it's possible, but we fall more in love with her every single day.

She is doing very well, much, much better than Jack or I had planned and we are settling in as a family of 4.

The biggest change over the last month would be Lily is much more vocal with making I am waiting for her 1st words to come wise the child will eat anything! except watermelon......string beans, easymac, eggs, cheese, chicken etc., so very different from Paige at this age.......she is weaning off her bottle nicely, I am doing it slowly because it seems like that was a big comfort to her.

She gives the best kisses ever! I love every drooly, dribbly bit of her kisses! I am just sitting back and soaking in every stinking moment!

Here is Lily at around 6 months, what a change in such a small period of time! Thank You for blessing us to have her (and Paige) as our little one--let her birth parents know she is well taken care of and so, so, so much loved!

PS:paige graduated preschool last night WOW! and Jack's 40th birthday is tomorrow, so give me some time to get up graduation pictures next week!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

60 days.....

A mere 60 days ago this miracle was placed in my arms in Guangzhou, China. 60 days just seems too short a time span, I simply cannot remember my life without the two miracles God has blessed me with as a mother. Thank you again God. You Rock!

Now don't get me wrong, the past 60 days have not been filled with butterflies and ladybugs flittering happily throughout our home. But there have been many extremely cool moments, utterly exhausting & overwhelming moments (those would be my moments :)...moms as a group just have too high expectations of themselves when it comes to their families.

But overall, the past 2 months have gone really smoothly, we are very lucky and blessed.....she went through a "velcro baby" phase where she would not allow herself to be put down when Jack went back to work. I think that it was seperation anxiety from her daddy. That was rough on me, as I wanted to give Paige my undivided attention when she needed it, but w/ a 17 pound person attached to you makes that a little over a month since Jack is back to work my Lily Blu Bird is equally attaching to both of us.....YAY! remind me to post about the flight home from China.....poor poor jackson!

She spends loads of time with both sets of grandparents which she recognizes and enjoys......and when she goes to jack's parents it includes a sleepover with her big sis's a nice quiet time for Jack & I once a week. Can you say we are very lucky in the grandparent department?

Paige is loving being a big sister, but will close the baby gate to the playroom or go in her bedroom and say, "Mom, I just need a little quiet time by myself like you do when daddy comes home from work." Which I look at as a good thing, she is over the moon about Lily being home, waiting impatiently for her to wake up in the morning or from her nap....., and cooing over her like a little mother.........I hope it lasts until the end of time and they are both best buds like me and my sister today.

In the past 2 months, Lily has slept in her crib.....since we went to Ikea and bought a new 2 inch mattress so she could stop scaling her crib like a jailbird nightly. Well that thin mattress and footie pj's to stop traction.

Lily has learned to kiss, this kid LOVES to kiss.......we have afternoon kiss sessions everyday!....started by her!
She can now walk-YAY! I like this one alot!
She can say HI! Babbles non stop......
Has figured how to escape 3 strollers after being strapped in.....I turn around and she is STANDING in the stroller w/ the 5 point
harness still clipped! (I found one she can't get out of at a consignment shop and when I put her in it and walked around the store and she started screaming I knew we had IT!) wish there was a way to check her family tree to see if she is related to Harry Houdini........
Her bloodwork and other "samples" came back perfectly normal, she's had 2 shots and due for 3 more next month. Our pediatrician was extremely surprised and pleased with how great Lily's progress is--Yay Gaozhou Social Welfare Institute!

So as far as 60 days goes, 60 down the rest of Lily's life to go!
And the 3 years 8 months 26 days we waited for you was worth every single second! For the waiting parents reading this, stay strong, it will happen, and when it does you won't forget this so difficult time of waiting, you just are so happy to have your little one home, your brain just doesn't let you go there!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let the games begin!!

I think the videos say it all, but it was certainly an exciting day in our house today. Lily has been standing up and taking a couple of steps here and there, but nothing significant until now. She is one of the flower girls in Cousin Melissa's wedding in 3 weeks and we are hoping she can walk herself down the aisle. This is going to be fun.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sorry it's been so long, but we are HOME!

Wow, I didn't realize that it has been so long since our last post. To those that do not have access to Catherine's or my Facebook pages, I'm sorry. Anyway, we made it home last night. Flo (Catherine's Mom) stayed over to help us out. Thankfully she did. Lily cried, slept, cried, slept, etc. None of our internal clocks have adjusted, yet, but we all needed some sleep. Having Flo was a big help and then Catherine's Dad, Jack (yes, same name), came over in the morning to help, too.

Paige is already a great big sister, but Lily doesn't know her yet, so she's a little hesitant when Paige gets too close. It will all come in time, we know, but I hate to see Paige get discouraged when she's trying so hard.

Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures we can put up of the new sisters together or of the whole family (they are on Flo's old fashioned know, with FILM.) I will put them up when I get them and can scan them. I will put up a few more of Lily from the trip, though. Now that we are home, I'm sure Catherine will get back to posting more regularly. As you can imagine, it gets hard to do from another country with a new kid in a cramped hotel room.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Daddy Daughter Day

Lily and I had a great Daddy Daughter Day today while Mommy rested. We took a tour with some of the other families and went to a Buddhist Temple, an Art Museum, and a Market. Lily was such a great little girl today. She didn't fuss at all, fell asleep in my arms for a little while, and relaxed in the stroller. Afterwards, Mommy, Lily, and I went to the Swan Room (kids' playroom in the hotel) for a little playtime and then out to dinner. It was a great day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's official...

After getting Lily yesterday, we went back to Provincial Civil Affairs Office today to be submit our adoption registration and notarization. After being interviewed by the Registry Official and then by the Notary, Lily is now officially ours.

Afterwards, we went to Carrefore marketplace, which is like a crazy version of Wal-Mart. We were told we had 70 minutes, to which I scoffed like that was an eternity. Well, about 60 minutes in, we had a cart and a half full of stuff and only half our list crossed off. We bailed on some unnecessary items, took off for the formula aisle, and got back to the bus.

Tomorrow afternoon we head to the Passport Agency to apply for Lily's Chinese passport.

So far, Lily has eaten well and slept almost 10 hours last night. She is napping right now and will have another bottle when she wakes up. She was a little cautious yesterday and cried just a bit, but today she has been laughing and smiling with us a lot. This is a true blessing.

I am having difficulty updating pictures to the blog today, so please check our Facebook pages. All the pictures are on my page (Jack), but I will set the pictures to be viewed by Catherine's friends as well. Now...time to update our health insurance plan at work!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Here's the baby!

The bus leaves in 10 minutes!

This is it, no turning back now. We leave for the Civil Affairs Office in 10 minutes. That is where the Nannies and Orphanage Director are meeting us with our Lily. The next time you see this blog, it will no longer be about "the completion of a family", but rather "a family complete"!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We made it to Guangzhou! Tomorrow is Gotcha Day!

We made it to the White Swan hotel in Guangzhou. We didn't get in until about 8:30pm, so we got our keys, ordered Room Service, and started unpacking. Tonight is our last sleep before we get our Lily tomorrow!! Call the Dr., Catherine is officially 10 centimeters dialated and she's ready to push.

Friday, February 19, 2010

One More Sleep..............

...............until sweet Lily is in my arms!!! After all these years of waiting and wondering and dreaming, I can't believe it is tomorrow.

Our time in Hong Kong reminded me a lot of our honeymoon in London. Lots of walking, people watching, doing some touristy things, shopping, and talking and laughing with each other. There is no cell phone, no Paige :(, no regular phone, no tv, etc. to interrupt's just been us. And you know what? We still "like" each other over 8 years of marriage!

So we are more than ready for a little interruption named Lily!

Our agency guide, will be picking us up at our hotel in Hong Kong this afternoon at 2:30pm and then we stop at another hotel to pick up our remaining travel group, and then we leave via bus for Guangzhou, China. This is where we will remain the rest of our time in China. The bus ride is estimated to be 2 1/2 to 3 hours. And considering the bus is all adopting parents from overseas, we will not be pushed, shoved, or tripped the whole time! :)

First half of our journey is complete, now come on 2nd half! We are so so close to you, Lily! We are coming my sweetheart, sleep well tonight!

Last full day in Hong Kong

So, Catherine spent the morning resting while I went out and walked the town taking pictures. I hit the promenade walk overlooking Victoria Harbour, Canton Road, Kowloon Park, and a few other spots. I took in a traditional Chinese Dragon demonstration along the way. It was a cool morning. Catherine and I went out in the afternoon and hit the Ladies Market in Mong Kok. We picked up a few souvenirs, had some dinner, and called it a day. Tomorrow we pack up and head to Guangzhou! Below are a few pictures from today. The first and third pictures are taken from our hotel room!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some pics of our trip

Is it possible that all 1 billion people in China are in Hong Kong this week?

Here are two videos of me just to show you how crowded everything is. I feel like I'm doing a documentary, but it's fun. The first is from Disney yesterday and the second is from the tram to Victoria Peak today.

We had a great day today. We started the morning off with a phone call to Paige, who we miss more than words can express. A couple of more hours of sleep and then a couple of Egg McMuffins later (one each, thank you) and we were off. We headed to the Star Ferry and went across the harbor to Hong Kong Island. We took the tram up to the top of Victoria Peak. It was chilly and overcast but still much better than yesterday's weather. Then we went to Stanley Market. Catherine is pretty exhausted, but still loving every minute of it. I'm having a blast, too. Only two more days in Hong Kong and three more sleeps until until we get Lily!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 1...Disney!

OK, OK, before you bash us, let me set the record straight. We had not intended to go to Hong Kong Disneyland until our last day after having seen all the sights. Well, the weather today was horrible...45 and rainy. The rep from our agency that's here in HK said it was the worst day of the winter. Since we couldn't see the top of Victoria Peak from the bottom, we figured we couldn't see the bottom from the top. So, in hopes of getting clearer skies tomorrow, we went to Disney today (thank you Scott and Ellen!).

For those who don't know, it's Chinese New Year. If you've ever been to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando for New Year's, you know how bad it is. Well, this is WORSE...MUCH, MUCH WORSE! I'm not kidding. The place was packed and apparently the Chinese culture is to push and shove to get where you want to be. It was interesting to see HK Disneyland, but it was chaos. I plan to upload a video later, but for now, you'll have to enjoy this photo.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We made it to Hong Kong!!

It took 26 hours of traveling, 2 flights totalling 18+ hours, 11,000 or so miles and we are finally here. We are missing our little girl, Paige, but we are excited to get our other little girl, Lily, on Sunday. Now, time to get some sleep and hit the town tomorrow.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our bags are packed, all the preparations are complete! Jack & I finally leave today for Hong Kong. We will go to Guangzhou, China on Saturday and meet Lily on Sunday, Feb.21!

Paige is staying home with both sets of grandparents and school to keep her busy. But I couldn't help but notice her head hanging a little low yesterday :(

Jack and I can't wait to really take in Hong Kong and relax and have fun.......and then really try to remember as much as we can about China so we can tell Lily about her "birth" into our family..........but then the mom & dad in us, wants the trip to go so fast, so we can get back to Paige and have both our girls in our arms!

During the next 3 weeks, if you have a spare minute after 11:30am m-f, could you give Paige a call, please? I just know she loves getting phone calls!

That's all from now in the US of A, will touch base once we sleep a bit in Hong Kong!

love to you all!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

ONE Month From Tonight.......

I will be able to hold BOTH of these angels at the same time, in the same country, same earth, same time zone, same EVERYTHING for as long as God lets me!!!!! How totally lucky am I?!?!

After all these years, months, weeks, days, and minutes of waiting - just ONE more month and my dream comes true!

We leave February 15th and return March 6th! Jack & I are having a little bit of a 2nd honeymoon in Hong Kong for a couple of nights, then we meet up with our group on Feb. 20th......take a bus ride from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, China ( I was personally told by our Adoption Agency co-owner and operator, no poop in bus only pee :) )

Then our Gao Ai Qun (Lily's Chinese name) will be brought to us the NEXT day, Feb. 21st! So if it rains where you are on that day, those are my tears of happiness coming down from heaven......

I am going to my best try not to cry, because I don't want to scare Lily, but I can't make any guarantees!

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for our family for all this time....we love you all!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Give Me A "T"! Give Me An "A"!........

........What does that spell?!


.....and what does that mean in the world of China Adoption?


Today, Wednesday, January 27, 2009 the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs has notified our adoption agency that we have been approved to come into China to bring home our Lily!

Our last part of our paperchase waiting journey is waiting for the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China to make our appointment to get the ball rolling to make Lily a U.S. Citizen.....this appointment typically takes place the day before families fly home at the end of their China trip......

Our agency is 'guesstimating" we should leave February 18th-19th.....and Jack & I are planning leaving a couple of days before that to have little second honeymoon for a couple of days in Hong Kong.......

YAY for our TA! Our family is growing, and I am sooooo overjoyed! See prayers really do get answered!

Thank you all for your kind thoughts & prayers for us! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New pictures have arrived!!

Here are a couple of new pictures that we got of our Lily. One of the things they tend to do to the children is bundle them up all nice and cozy. Can you see how many layers of clothing she has on? Oh well, she's still adorable and we can't wait to bring her home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where Lily Waits For Us....

Here are some pictures I found of the GaozHou City Social Welfare Institute in the Guangdong Province of China. This is where Lily is waiting for us.

This is where her referral pictures were taken, it is called a playroom......

this is one of the baby rooms and the type of crib Lily is sleeping in...

the outside of her orphanage.....the left side is a school and the right side is the orphanage.