Monday, January 30, 2012

Chinese New Year!!!

We have had a few Chinese New Year activities but are planning on celebrating this weekend. The girls decided to wear some Chinese silk attire to school last week so I decided to take a few pictures of them before we left the house. It was early in the morning (7:30am is when we leave for school and work) so the girls were not overly excited about taking pictures but I thought I would post a few.

I love the way Mia is looking at Fin

They both look so sleepy in this picture-- but still cute as can be

The silk Fin is wearing was made by my mother in law and it is reversible. The other side is green and it is very cute!!!

Beautiful Mia

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day Finley!!! January 24, 2011

January 24 was Gotcha day for Finley, one year ago in Liaoning China. We got to visit her in the orphanage the day before GOTCHA and she seemed to like us pretty OK that day but we did come bearing gifts for all the kids which obviously made us white strangers tolerable. Here is a video of that day:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

We were so excited to have the opportunity to meet Finley the day before GOTCHA and we thought we would wow her with our gifts and love and that GOTCHA was going to be a breeze-- NOT!!! It was not quite like that. Finley showed up with Mr. Zhou and the day before she would not go to Mr. Zhou but on GOTCHA day she was clinging to him.

When we saw her she would not come to us and it was only over the whole time we were at the civil affairs office (we were the only family there and it was more like going to the DMV than the traditional GOTCHA. Fin just hung with us while we were doing the paperwork) she was giving us the evil eye and was not interested in us. As time went on, she opened up a bit but not really.

It was time for Mr. Zhou to leave and Finley was less than happy to be stuck with us. But she said goodbye to Mr. Zhou through the tears and she left with us.

She was not happy and cried most of the way back to the hotel. When we got to the hotel, we knew she (and us) were starving so Kevin and our wonderful guide Maggie went out to get some KFC right on the corner and Finley was left alone with me in the room. She freaked out the whole time and just kept running and banging on the door yelling "aye"-- auntie-- which is what she called the nannies at her orphanage. It was horrible to watch her fight for her life and finally give up and lay on the bed in the fetal position and suck her fingers hoping just to fall asleep and maybe wake up from her nightmare. Right about when she took the fetal position Kevin came through the door with food and it was like he was her savior. She ran to him-- I'm sure hoping it was going to be Maggie or one of her nannies-- but Kevin was there and that was good enough for her and he at that moment became her savior. She went to him and he picked her up and from that moment on she loved her daddy and clung to him wherever she would go. I, on the other hand, became the lowly helper whom she had no interest in and saw as more of an annoyance than a mom. Of course in time that changed and now I am loved like crazy, but back then she was not my biggest fan-- which was hard-- but at least she loved her daddy and was able to be comforted by him.

Finley has grown in every way in the past year. She has learned to trust and love me and she is a happy kid. She and her sister are the best of friends and Finley is the most giving and sweet little girl ever. She is always willing to compromise and is naturally an easy going little girl. Her English is nothing short of amazing. She speaks fluent English like any 4 year old would and her articulation is coming along. She loves to sing, do gymnastics, play inside and out and she loves to do crafts. She is the best helper in this house (and Owen too) and if you give her a job-- man does she do it with vigour!!! Her transition into our crazy family has gone exceptionally well and I will tell you this little girl is excited about getting a baby sister. Every morning when we are in the car to do the drop offs we first drop the boys at their school and we always pray before the boys get out of the car. Finley, every morning, will say "mommy pray for our baby sister in China". It is so sweet and she genuinely loves and cares for her already. She is an amazing little girl and I am proud to be her mommy!!!!

We love you Finley Hao Yi!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bad Blogger Award!!!!

I WIN!!! Yes, I win!!!!

I'm so sorry I have been gone for over a week  but life has been busy and not so busy. I was asked a while back to speak at our woman's ministry quarterly breakfast which just happens to be this weekend so that has kept all of my free time busy- writing my 45 min talk-- practicing-- and practicing more! I am crazy nervous about speaking in front of the 120+ woman for 45 min but I know once I get up there things will just flow and I should be very well practiced so I'm praying things go smooth. The talk is about our story and about what we have gone through in the last several years. When you write it all down it hits you how much we have gone through-- good and bad. I think the uniting theme is following Gods leading in our lives and having faith that the the trials that you are going through are blessings in disguise and when you can get down the road a bit you can look back and see God's leading and how the trials were a part of His perfect plan! I would love prayer for this weekend and my presentation. I'm crazy nervous but excited at the same time!

We have also had some wonderfully lazy days around here as well. Last Saturday Kev and Owen went to the men's breakfast at our church and the girls, Ethan and I just were hanging out. Ethan usually has games in Anaheim on Saturdays but it was a holiday weekend so there was no game. So, we sat on the couch in our PJ's and watched A Christmas Carol and did nothing. Kev and Owen arrived home from the breakfast and joined us on the couch and the laziness turned into another movie. The girls were in and out playing with dolls and barbies and coloring but generally we were just laying on the couch watching another movie. Then that movie ended and we started another and then another and another. Literally it was 5pm and we had just finished our 5th movie for the day and Ethan, Finley, Mia and I were still in our PJ's and our whole family was chilling on the couch. It was a WONDERFULLY LAZY day. Those days don't happen often but when they do they are always greatly enjoyed by everyone!!! My parents called at 5pm and offered to babysit all the kids so we could go to dinner by ourselves so we left the kids in their PJ's, I got dressed and we dropped the kids at my parents and Kev and I went to Sushi with our certificates. It was a perfect day-- wish we could have more exactly like it!!!

Other than that, we are just living. The computer I am typing on is going to crash very soon. The memory is gone and I cant even download a picture so I am sorry for no photos but I will take some of the girls today and try to post tomorrow on a different computer.

Hope all is well with everyone in blogger land!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Emery Update!!!!

We are so thrilled to have gotten an update last night for Emery. The orphanage that she is a part of rarely gives updates but they got a new director several months ago and some people are actually getting updates when they request them. They NEVER - and have never- given updated pictures but typically they will answer some questions if you ask.

It sounds like Emery is doing AWESOME!!! Her measurements seem a little off but they always are in China since they weigh them in clothes and the length measurement is almost always off significantly-- BUT, she is growing like a weed and, according to the answers that were provided, she seems very healthy. She just turned 9 months a few days ago so the questions I asked were directly related to where she should be developmentally at 9 months old and it appears she is doing EVERYTHING she should be doing and more!!! I am so happy!! The cool part about where Emery is from is that the orphanage has these "foster villages" that the healthy kids are sent to until they are adopted and the kids get EXCELLENT care and are typically developmentally on track when their parents finally get to china to adopt them. A friend of mine is in Kunming right now adopting their adorable daughter Emma who is 6 months older than Emery and was in the foster village as well. This little baby is beautiful and happy and totally developmentally on track in every way. She is smart and learns quickly and is very well adjusted. Her mom Christy has told me that it is clear her care in the foster home was very good and that she was obviously loved-- ohhhh-- that does this mama's heart good :) You can follow their journey here. We will pretty much follow in their exact footsteps in about 5 months!!!

Anyway, here are the questions and answers. All good news to me!!!

1. What are Long Jia Yu’s updated measurements (weight, length, head and chest)?

• Weight:8kg (17 pounds- 25%ile) ;Height:71cm (27 inches- 61%ile) ;Head Measurement:42cm (16.5 inches- 5%ile); Chest Measurement:44cm

2. Has her heart murmur caused any illness?

• No, it has not.

3. Has she been ill or had any physical problems?

• No, she has not.

4. Is Long JiaYu in the orphanage or in foster care?

• She lives in the foster family

5. Is she babbling and saying such things as “baba” or “mama”?

• She starts babbling sounds, occasionally can sound "mom"

6. Can she sit by herself?

• She can sit herself around 10 min.

7. Can she pull herself up into the standing position?

• She can stand up by holding the bed rails.

8. Can she use her finger and thumb to pick up small objects such as noodles to feed herself?

• She can exchange thing by using both of her hands. She can pick up the corn kernels, but don't know put to her mouth.

9. What does she like to play with? Will she search for an object that has been removed during play? (will she search for a ball if it is placed behind a caretakers back)

• She likes the toys that have bright color and can make sound. If her toy disappeared, she will look for them.

10. Who is she close to or enjoys playing with?

• She closes to her foster father, and like to go out with him.

Looks like Emery might follow in her older sister Finley's steps of having a super strong bond to her daddy. Hmmm...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Funniest Thing EVER!!!!!

OK, my family was over tonight and my brother told me about this site It is seriously some of the funniest things you have ever read. I have not laughed that hard in a really long time-- I was crying!!

The thing is, if you have an iphone-- which I do-- you understand. How many times have I texted ridiculous messages and realized after I pushed send that darn auto correct totally changed the word I meant. It is so annoying but in some cases hilarious!!! The ones below are just a sample but go to the site and read them-- you will pee yourself-- seriously!!!

And the last is a link to the funniest one ever but it has mature content so proceed with caution-- read the whole thing till the end-- hilarious!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Introducing Emery Jia Yu!!!!!

Introducing our new daughter

~~ Emery Jia Yu~~

Born April 6, 2011 in Kunming China!!!

I know many of you are aware that we had to let our first referral go because of some very bad health information that we received from China as an update. Because the information was so significant and because this was our 5th child, we decided her condition was too much for us and we had to let her referral go. It was excruciating and I grieved her loss heavily. Just FYI, she has now been matched with a new family and they are well on their way to adopting her and will probably get her this summer!!!

About 3 weeks after we had to give up the referral, we got a call from our amazing China coordinator who asked us about a referral for a super tiny baby. I had not thought about a very young one but when I heard the details, we were smitten. Turns out, this little baby was only 6 months old when we spoke (she is now 8 months old) and her special need was a mild heart murmur. She was in foster care and in a great orphanage program. I was shocked these babies were even out there and once we finally received the file, we could not believe that on top of all those wonderful things, she was ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE and we fell in love with her immediate!!!!


We had our friend who is a cardiologist look at her file and he said her heart murmur will probably be closed by a year if not 18 months and that she looked great!!! We were thrilled and our agency proceeded to basically put a hold on her for us. The difference with this little one as opposed to many other special needs children in China is that they required us to already have our paperwork in China with a log in date before we could accept her referral. Basically the agency had 2 months to place this child or the baby would go back to CCCWA (China Adoption Center). So what many agencies do when these little ones come available is that they look at all their families who can have their dossier to China within the 2 months and then they match the child with the family who is closest to dossier to China. Well, in this case, we were the closest family to being dossier to China so that is why we were able to get her referral.
We are so in love with her and have chosen to name her Emery Jia Yu! Her given name is Long Jia Yu so we are keeping Jia Yu (like we did with Mia and Finley) and chose Emery which we really like!

So where we are in the process is that we have sent our dossier to China and our log in date is 12-28-11 and our Pre-Approval from China is on 1-3-12 (we got Finley's Travel Approval-TA- last year on 1-3-11-- kinda cool) so we are now waiting for our Letter of Acceptance which should come in about 2 months-- 60 days + or -. Then we wait about another 2 months for the rest of the process which should put us in China in about late May/ early June which is perfect for my work schedule since the school year will just be ending.

When I first saw Emery I thought she looked so familiar and then I finally realized she looks a lot like Mia's referral. Actually, the picture below is really poor but they do look a lot alike-- look at their nose and lips and little round faces-- and even hairline. Totally a trip. She is a southern petite girl like Mia so they probably will look a lot alike.

Here is a comparison

Anyway, we are thrilled and know the next 5 months are going to take forever but hopefully we can get her soon!!

Thanks for everyone who has been so supportive with prayers and donations of clothes for Emery. We never expected to start all over with a 1 year old but she should be about 13 months when we get her so we will have to stock back up with the diapers and little baby things-- glad I didn't get rid of the high chair :)

The kids are all thrilled and so are we. God is good!!!!