Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - a beautiful year

I certainly have not been a good blogger since we got home with Mia Jade.  I use to follow blogs and was often so disappointed when the posts stops after they got home but I can relate now.  First, life is much busier.  For me, not only do I now have two children, I am also still in grad school which I do online at night, when I would have been posting.  Also I do think about being careful about posting my children's lives online.  I am pretty active on Facebook now a well where I have better control over who sees what I post.  All that being said, I seem to have been on a roll posting on New Year's Eve, so here it is!

2013 has really been a busy but great year.  My life has settled into having two children.  I have heard it takes about six month for everyone to settle in and I can see that.  Right when I thought Zane would never get use to his sister, right around six months, he seems to start getting that she is here to stay and starting to independently relate to her.  He's world was really rocked when she arrived.  For five years he was an only child then a toddler rocked his world.  People ask me how they get along and my best answer is that they act like sibling, hating each other one minute and loving each other the next!

Mia Jade has really changed in a year.  She has had so many first starting with her first full year home.  She really has no delays except for speech.  She understands everything you say but it's still hard to understand her much of the time.  It's hard not to compare when Zane was having conversations at her age.  She is so smart and gets very frustrated when I don't know what she is saying.  She is putting up to four words together which is awesome.  She can throw a bit of a two year old temper-tantrum as well at times (still nothing like Zane at two!) but overall she is very loving, my sunshine!

Zane I think is growing before my eyes!  He is so smart, cute and a bit crazy but he is so much fun.  He started kindergarten this year which is hard to believe.  We tried to get him to ride his bike for over a year, then one day said he wanted to ride and got on and rode off - an example of his personality.  I think he will be able to do anything he sets his mind to unless he lets himself beat him.

Personally, my faith took some huge steps this year.  For one I was baptized.  I was baptized as a child and have been a Christian for a long time but I realized that I had not made the adult decision to surrender my life to Christ, so I did that.  It was more impressive on my life than I expected.  I have had so much more peace and feel so much closer to Christ since my baptism.  I also helped to launch an adoption program at my church; a mentor and education program to help those interested in adoption.  I'm very excited to see what 2014 has in store for our ministry.  I have also become a regular volunteer of Love Without Boundaries, an amazing group helping orphans and impoverished children in China.

Professionally, this year also brought a change in Mike's job after 13 years.  It has brought me a few more classes closer to graduation with my master's (three more classes to go).  

One of my favorite things about this year has been the growth of my friendship with a lady in China, living just across the river from Mia's orphanage.  We are pen-pals of sort and have oddly become very good friends.  She was even able to obtain very valuable information about Mia's past for us.  I hope our friendship will continue to grow for years to come.

Overall I feel this year was the start of a lot of new exciting things that will continue to grow in the years to come.  2013 was great, but I think 2014 is going to be even better!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Gotcha Day!

Today is Mia Jade's first Gotcha Day anniversary!  So many major changes and milestone have occurred since one year ago.  My baby girl's life changed in every way, turned upside down - the people she knew and loved, the language she understood, where she lived, the foods she ate, the places she was use to, smells, sights and sounds, her routine, everything.  She did it like a trooper and usually with a smile on her face.  She is flourishing....and her hair is growing!  A bit about her:
  • Just within the last month she has started putting two words together which is very exciting.  And she knows it's good and a new skill because she is so happy when she accomplishes saying two meaningful words together.  
  • She is such a girl.  She loves shoes, purses, her earrings and pretending to talk on her toy cell phone.  She dotes on her dolls, pushes them around in doll strollers, and loves to see babies...and dogs.
  • Few things upset her, like if I don't understand what she is trying to say.  That frustrates her and I feel so badly.  
  • She is a bit of a daredevil but doesn't like the swing.  
  • She is a great imitator, especially of her brother.  She will do anything that he does.  
I can't put in words the joy she brings to me everyday.  She is such sunshine.  She is so happy, sometimes she laughs just to laugh.  And there is no way I can imagine my life without her.  
I love her so much, I am so thankful that she is happy and that I can give her a life with a family that will love her forever.  "It was worth the wait" is so cliche but it is so true.  She was worth every tear, every painful day that we waited.  I tell Zane that he is my dream come true and I tell Mia Jade she is the answer to my prayers.  I am so blessed.  Happy Gotcha Day my sunshine!  I love you baby girl!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

A year ago today...

A year ago today my mom and I were on a plane to China!  It's so hard to believe.  What an amazing journey we were setting out on.  Of course the focus was to get Mia Jade but the first couple days it was me, Mom and China!  I loved seeing Beijing, standing on the Great Wall, visiting the Forbidden City and taking it all in.  So today I don't reflect on Mia's gotcha just yet, but on the leap of faith at the end of a long journey with my best friend, my mom.  Not a day goes by that I do not think about China - the people, the food, the history, everything.  I loved being in China and I pray I will be able to go back again some day.  I hope it's with mom again.  It will definitely be with Mia Jade.  I want her to love China like I love China.  Thank you Mom for always supporting me and being the best travel partner I could have asked for!  It was an amazing two weeks and a life changing event in many ways!

Friday, March 15, 2013

6 Months Home

It is really amazing how fast time goes now compared to how slowly it went before our referral.  Mia Jade has been in my arms for 6 months now and I truly can not imagine, remember life without her.  Partially I think because I always knew she was going to be in my life.  I didn't know her face, where she would come from or when, but God has prepared my heart for her for 30 years.  And now she is here and she is such a joy!  She is so happy, laughs the biggest belly laugh, is daring and adventurous, and is overall just fun and easy.

She little notes on her development.  She loves to look at books now but her favorite are photo books of the family.  I love when she sees a picture of me, she looks at me and says "mama" and gives me a kiss.  She loves to give kisses!  And she also loves pictures of her daddy.  She is saying a lot of words now but mostly single words, hasn't really put two words together yet and her words need work on pronunciation.  She can keep herself busy and entertained playing by herself (something her brother never did!).  She likes to pretend to change her baby doll's diapers.  For a girl who did not know toys, she loves toys and can throw a fit for them in the store....we are approaching the terrible two's after all.  Her favorite things are her shoes, purses and jacket...definitely a girl.  She will pack as much as she can into a purse and then get on her rocking horse to go.  She got her first haircut...didn't think that would ever happen after her spiky hair when we got her.  And she LOVES the water.  She loves her bath, the pool and will head right into the ocean.  This summer is going to be fun!

Everyone told me that 6 months is when everything seems to just settle in and I believe that; I'm not saying is all perfect.  Zane still has struggles in his new life sharing mom and dad (and grandmom) and more than once has said he didn't want a little sister but each day is better.  He loves her one minute and doesn't the next...just like siblings I guess.  Mia Jade has made our part of being parents of two very easy.  She is just such an easy going girl.  And she is just happy.

As I was working the other day, I remembered how much of my time would be taken up by looking for referral news, calculating how much longer it would take, pining over how long the wait was.  I feel so refreshed and relaxed now.  The wait was very hard.  There is NO DOUBT it was worth is but it really was hard.  I am so glad that part is behind us and we are the family I always prayed for.  I LOVE my babies!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

4 Months since Gotcha!

I can hardly believe it has already been 4 months since that day in a hot sticky second floor office in Guiyang, Guizhou Fu Han Yu was place in my arms.  She was so scared, confused and almost devoid of emotion for the first 10 minutes and then tears.  She scratched at my face and ripped off my earring as I took her from the people she knew.  That first night was scary for her and us.  What were we doing on the other side of the world getting a toddler who doesn't know a word of what we are saying or us what she was saying.  But some stacking cups and an order of french fries seemed to make it all better.

Now I can't imagine life without her.  She is such a joy, has an amazing giggle and smile and the cutest wrinkles on her nose when she laughs really hard.  She is so comfortable in really any surroundings.  She goes on in to Sunday school and child care at the gym without reservation because she is confidant mommy will be back soon.  She will entertain herself so much that I often feel badly when she is off playing alone and I am doing something or playing with Zane but she is super content.  Although she is very happy when it is her turn to have my full attention.

She is speaking a new word almost everyday and seems to understand most anything said to her.  She loves her shoes and is eager to get her jacket when it's time to go.  She must have a bow on her head before leaving her room but it hardly ever lasts by time we get to where we are going.  She knows what she wants and let's you know when it is not going the way she wants it.  She loves her big brother and imitates him often.  And she is crazy about dogs.

She is starting to sit in my lap and listen to a book and look at the pages.  From her reaction/behavior a few months ago when I would try to read her a book, I am pretty sure she had never had a book shown to her or read to her.  And she really likes puzzles.

I am so impressed by how well she has done and adapted so quickly.  She is super sweet and fun and the answer to my prayers!!  She was well worth the wait!