Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Fun and other stuff

This past week we have enjoyed doing fun fall things. Friday night football, pumpkin patches, hot apple cider, and costumes are just a few of the things we have started to enjoy. We went to the football game last Friday night. It was so great to have such beautiful weather to enjoy it. One of the ladies from our church sat behind us and shared her hot chocolate. Katy was lovin' that. Jack's love for this was written all over his face, quite literally I might add. Saturday we went to the very wet pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful day, but with all the rain, it was a bit muddy. It didn't stop the kids from lovin' the bounce houses and rides in the red wagon. The highlight for Jack was the train ride. His very expressive eyes in the picture should tell you that.

Well, I am learning how to be at home and now I am getting to be at home even longer. After much prayer and discussion, J and I decided that it would be best for Jack if I stayed home with him until after his surgery and recovery. This means I will be staying home until January 4. This is a HUGE step of faith for us. We are still in discussions with the school district to make the leave benefits equal between adoption and birth, but it has yet to be resolved. We are so thankful that we have some real estate opportunities as well as my parents being very generous which seem to make this possible. I am learning how to be a stay at home mom. I have always had summer vacation, but this is different. It has taken about three weeks to realize how this works. How to spend quality time with Jack and still get things accomplished at home has been a real challenge, but I am starting to get it. The Bible study I am doing right now could not be more ideal for such a time as this. I am learning how to believe God and break free to live the life God has intended me to have.

Jack and Katy have been doing so great with bonding. They really love playing together. It has been so great to see. I have been reminded so much in the last week that "bonding is a process, not an event." Katy has been teaching me this. She has really struggled with understanding her relationship with J and I with addition of little brother. Learning how to talk to Mama and Daddy to get her needs met and trusting us to do what we say have been the two biggest things that we are working through with her. Please pray for her and us as we learn more about each other.

On tap this week, investigating where Jack will go to school in January. Please pray for wisdom in this. We have a couple of options, just trying to find out the best fit. Jack has an evaluation with the speech pathologist from Children's Hospital. She is coming to our home. Hopefully, this will allow her to get a more thorough evaluation. I will post more after that evaluation.

Blessings to you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Being at home

Hi everyone,

Jack and I are having a great time at home these days. He really loves playing at home. He has already run down the batteries on several of the "louder" toys. Of course, I haven't quite "found" the batteries to replace those toys yet. The picture has Jack with one of these toys. He still rides this toy all over the house. It has been very different being home with a 3 year old. He doesn't take naps on a regular basis. Although, yesterday he crawled up in my lap and fell asleep. So sweet! I didn't dare move. It was one of the dearest bonding times we have had yet. I am so amazed at how God has blessed our bonding. I could not have anticipated how well we are learning to love and know each other. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for this process.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New post coming

Yes, I am home. No, I haven't posted. We are doing well. Jack is adjusting so well. We have had a great week or so at home. We attended church on Sunday. It was so great to be there. I am in the midst of moving all the pictures from the trip from one computer to the other. I hope to post more pictures soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome Home Jack!

So happy to announce the arrival of
Jack to the USA!!!

These are just a few pics snapped in the hustle and bustle of the family arriving from their two week trip to China late this afternoon. Several family members were present and lots of hugs, laughter and tears were shared. As soon as they get some sleep and find time, more family pics will be posted. Thank you for all your prayers and love.

Please continue to pray as the whole family adjusts to their "new normal". Blessings!

One very tired, but VERY HAPPY AND BLESSED family of FOUR!

Thank you, Lord, for safety, health and bringing Jack home to his forever family.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Winding Down the Trip

Daddy and Katy

Hey all,
We are so thankful that we have had 2 awesome days. Thanks so much for the prayers. We are grateful to have such a great group of family and friends lifting us up. We have enjoyed being in Guangzhou and have even ventured out on our own a little. Yesterday, we had to follow up with the TB test that Jack had done on Saturday. All was good. It just took about 45 seconds (after standing in line for 15 minutes). We have enjoyed shopping on Shamian Island. The weather was hot, of course, but we bought a stroller and that seems to have been our best investment yet. Jack LOVES the stroller. Whether he is in it and being pushed, or out of it and pushing it himself, he is quite content. We had dinner in the Japanese restaurant in the hotel on Monday night. After sitting in it to eat, he got out and pushed it around the restaurant. We were the only ones there, so the staff got a kick out of his maneuverability skills. We think he enjoys it because it has wheels. Seems to be his thing.

Slowly, but surely, Jack is becoming more and more comfortable with me. He loves playing tickle and snuggle and loves to give and get kisses from his mama. I am so grateful for that, but I don't think that Katy is quite as excited about this as I am. We have reached the point of JEALOUSY. Last night, while I was in the shower, both children were upset about it. When I tried to comfort one, the other got more upset. Finally, I got one child under each arm and both were content and fell asleep quickly. It's funny, I had a vision of this very thing before we left for China. Although, I was grateful that it happened in a king size bed instead of one of the oversize twins that are more common here. It made me very happy to have 2 children loving on their mama. We will continue to have to work with Katy on sharing Mama. She was more ready to share Daddy than me.

Yesterday, we ventured out on out own. We even took a taxi. Although, J and I both agree that the driving in Guangzhou is much more civilized than Wuhan. We went back to Shamian Island to finish shopping and eat dinner. We enjoyed dinner at the German restaurant on the island. We also got to play at the park. We thought it was very interesting that all the "playground" equipment was actually exercise equipment in disguise. We did quite a bit more shopping and have enjoyed getting to know some of the shop owners on the island. Emma and Jordan to be specific. We also bought a painting for our house that was painted by a man names "Kenny." He is an artist that trains and employs orphans that have aged out of the system, including those with special needs. We were very excited to see that there are some Chinese people who truly care about the plight of orphans in China too.

Katy won lottery! While in Wuhan, they gave us scratch off tickets with our dinner receipts. Katy scratched one off and won 20 Yuan. So she spent it on a picture of panda bears that a man painted using different parts of his hand. She bought it at a Folk Art museum here in Guangzhou. They had some beautiful embroidery pieces as well. The other people in our group couldn't believe that when we had come here with Katy it was actually hotter.

We go to our consulate appointment and swearing in ceremony this afternoon. We are looking forward to that. Please pray for some of the families in our group that are having problems with consulate paperwork. There are some glitches that we hope are getting worked out as I type this.

Finally, we hope you have enjoyed following us on the blog. I hope to get at least one more update in before we leave. Love and blessings to you all.

Jack at the park

Purple and Rosa tell stories

Purple bought a panda


They make parents wait outside for dismissal

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Next Stop

Hello from Guangzhou,
We have made it to Guangzhou. We had an interesting last day in Wuhan. It rained all day. We had promised Katy we'd go to McDonalds one more time. So off we went with two kids and 3 umbrellas. What a sight we were. Of course, once we got inside and ordered it stopped. It made it a little easier coming back, but it had slowed us down enough that when we got back we were scrambling to get the rest of the bags packed and ready to leave at 2:30. From there we picked up Jack's passport and final paperwork from the Chinese and headed for the airport. Jack has really taken to watching out the window. He doesn't seem to mind the cars being inches away from you. As we drove the airport, it appeared that all the traffic was merging into two lanes. The other family that was with us asked if they were merging 4 lanes into 2, Christina, our guide, replied that they don't have lanes, only suggestions. Thus, traffic in China is a little intimidating to say the least. We were sad to leave Wuhan. We loved our hotel, minus the beds, and it gave me the best birthday present I have ever received, a son.
Yes, today is my birthday. I know you all haven't woken up enough to tell my "Happy Birthday" yet, so I will cut you a break. Plus, if you post on here, I won't be able to see it, anyway. So you can save the well wishes until we get back. But, keep the prayers coming. We have definitely felt them. Today, we had Jack's medical appointment. It was interesting to be in the same spot that we were in last time with Katy. I am pretty sure we even had one of the same doctors. Jack did NOT like this appointment. From the pictures to the 6 shots he had to have, he was pretty unhappy all morning long. We stopped at the Carrefour(like walmart) on the way back. Daddy stayed in the bus with Jack while he slept while Katy and I shopped a little. It was really great to be back with the whole group from Beijing, plus all the new babies. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. Katy was very happy to see her friend Olivia again. Tomorrow is our first real shopping day at Shamien Island. We are looking forward to that. Hopefully, we will sneak in a trip to the German restaurant sometime in the next few days. (Thanks for the tip, Joel and Amy) Continue to pray for Jack's transition into our family. Also, continue to pray for Katy too. She has done such a super job as big sister. J and I are tired, please pray for rest over the next few days. We feel much more relaxed here, very thankful for that. 5 days until we are home!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sweet Family Time

Katy and the Museum

Over the Bridge


Jack's Orphanage