Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eves talking

video
So this is my 2nd  attempt at a video with Eves.  Anywho..here she is. Oh and the scab under her nose is from taking a header off the sandbox into a landscaping brick. Another unfortunate side effect of not much depth perception. She's a trooper though, a few tears and then back to playing again : ) I'll try and post a video of Eves and Jaili bird next.

Eves

I apologize for not updating much. Honestly I hate being on the computer for longer than 10 min (unless it's shopping  : )  )  So , Eves has been doing absolutely amazing  She is such a happy kiddo. She actually walks around the house singing "Hap Py" (she turns it into 2 different words) Her motor skills are incredibly good, which is amazing because her sight isn't. She is ahead of development and is extremely coordinated. Her language is also going really well. Some things are still in Chinglish (I love you is, I ni ni) and lots of other random things we get about 25% of but on the whole we understand most of what she is talking about. So sort of like the average 2 year old : )  She has the biggest personality ever. Constantly making people laugh, which in turn makes her laugh. Eves and Jaili are also starting to play which I LOVE watching the  2 of them running through the house giggling. It's awesome.
We had to reschedule her eye surgery because she got a double ear infection,so now it is for Dec 9th to align her eyes and slow down her nystagmus. At the last eye appt she did fantastic and they now estimate her vision to be in the 20/200 range with glasses instead of the 20/700 range. I will be interested to see as she gets older what it truly is. The only time we notice she has an issue is definitely with depth perception ( still wacks her head on lots of stuff and falls off the steps, deck, curb, etc) As for her day to day stuff she just cruises right along. It doesn't stop her in the least. She is certainly our dare devil.
When I think of everything that she has gone through and to see how much she has changed just astounds me. Jaili changed alot also but her transition was much easier. She was younger and in an orphanage. Jaili also attached differently to us. Jaili was more internal with her feelings Evie is MUCH more external.  When we first got Eves I was in shock, I thought maybe we had made a mistake. It was so very difficult. She was grieving very hard for her foster mother and was not about to make friends with us in any way what so ever. I never felt this way with Jaili. I think I assumed that I would feel the same for both kiddos. It has taken me awhile to realize I don't have to feel the same. I feel differently about the 2 of the them. No less or No more just different. I Love them for their differences now. I have 2 kids that are polar opposites and are both the most wonderful, beautiful and exceptional children in the world  ; )   6 months later Evie has added so much love to our family. She is a little spit fire. I know that God picked her just like he picked Jaili to be our child. I can't imagine our lives without her in them.









Anywho, I'll try to post a video of Eves dancing (which is her favorite) and more pictures of our little lovelies!!!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Evasaurus

 So...I haven't posted in awhile because as you would guess, having 2 kids is WAY BUSIER and harder than one. At the end of the day (on my days off) I look around the house and think "Where did the day go?" I know I actually did stuff because I'm tired but if you look at the house no one would know. Having 2 tornadoes of mess does not equate to a clean house. Everytime I turn around there is yet another mess and it's generally in the place that I just cleaned. Even as I type this I look down and Evie has just thrown a crumbled up muffin on the floor that I just swept. Seriously???
Anywho, kiddo's have been doing fantastic!!! Evie is adjusting wonderfully and we are adjusting to her and the fact of having another baby in the house : )  It is such a stark contrast to the days when we first got Eves. I can't believe it's only been 3 months and how our feelings have changed. When she was placed in our arms and the consequent screaming, hitting, hair pulling, pinching directly at me for the next month I thought we had made the biggest mistake. I didn't understand, if she is supposed to be our daughter than why was this sooooo difficult? I couldn't understand Evie, I didn't get how she worked. I didn't have that immediate bond, the feeling that I just knew she was our child like I did with Jaili. It was the opposite of Jaili in everyway possible. It amazes me to think that only 2 1/2 short months ago I felt we had this little stranger who I didn't really care for living with us. I did the obligatory things to care for her and love her but the feelings were not there. It was a fake it till you make it thing. I apologize if I offend anyone reading this but I'm not one to sugar coat things. I believe in getting things out in the open and not hiding behind pleasantries.  I hope that other people can read this who  are in this situation and realize they are not  alone. Not all adoptions are bunnies and sunshine when you meet your child. Sometimes it's hell and fire. We had both. But I can say WOW what a difference time, patience, love, understanding, PRAYER, good support system and a commited family make.
I cannot imagine our lives without Evie in them now! She fits us so perfectly. It has been lots of hard work and continues to be but I can see the change and growth in Evie. She is becoming our child and not the little stranger in the house. The thing is that when you adopt a child who is not a little baby anymore and was raised by their foster parents they are little strangers. They don't have your habits, your personality quirks, your way of doing things. They have the foster parents or the people they have been raised with and around. It takes time for everyone to adjust. Evie is very sprited and had no discipline and didn't make eye contact on top of everything also. Shane and I needed to learn to adjust our parenting to suit Evie. We work with her everyday on looking at people (even if she can't see them) to make more eye contact (which she is doing GREAT at), we have to be not as lax's with Evie on redirecting her behaviors (Jaili is a point and shoot kid, especially now...Evie is a pusher of all things). I can honestly say that I LOVE Evie's spririt. It can be challenging, but I wouldn't want her any other way.  Eves is exuberant about everything. She is a very passionate little individual. She is loud, boistrous, happy, loving ,determined and stubborn. She is like the sun. Hot and intense but there is no comparison to warmth and life that it provides. I feel like I have the best of both worlds with my 2 girls. Jaili is thoughtful, analytical, extremely compassionate and has an understanding of things so far beyond her years it's almost creepy. She is me in a 4 yr old's body, I understand her with every cell in my body. Evie is so much more like my husband...constant energy : ) It takes more energy and patience on my part to  understand her but she is so worth it. I have a strong connection to Eves now, I'm getting what makes her tick. Oh and she gives the best hugs in the entire world. Full body conforming,arms around the neck, all encompassing hugs. They are Evie. All things done by her are at the fullest capacity.
Evie and Jaili are getting along like true sisters, fighting one minute loving each other the next. We've had lots of talks about respecting eachother and how we treat and talk to our family. Eves language is also developing so amazingly fast. She understands EVERYTHING we say to her now. She also says mommy, daddy, jei,jei, i did, sorry, thank you, drink,food, puppy, pillow, bunny, berry, that, and some more things that I'm not remembering now. As for her eyesight, we have another appointment at Casey Eye Institute in Sept to talk about surgery for her crossed eyes and nystagamus. They are estimating her vision to be about 20/700 with glasses so pretty bad vision. The only time you notice it though is when she is looking at books, she can't see the t.v., and when she is running and playing. If we get to far out of her eyesight she just sort of gazes into nowhere and listens for us. Not saying she can't run and play (she does everyday) you just have to be aware that you can't get more than about 50-60 feet away or she won't know where you are. I'm curious to see as she gets older for her to tell us what her she can see instead of just making educated guesses. Anywho, that's the ladies in a nutshell for now. We have 2 fantastically great kiddo's stubborness and all (for both of them). I added a few pictures that I've taken on my phone.

This is what happens when I'm in the shower :-)

Teeth cleaning time

Our little explorer

Pirate Pete

Dual action no no wall :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Few pictures of our Sweet Evie June




Just thought I'd post a few more pictures of Evie. She is growing by leaps and bounds in everyway possible. Full of love for all of us. Not to say that we don't have a few tantrums, but she's 18 months old, too be expected. She has had a pretty big turn around. Actually prefering to go to me most of the time. She is one feisty and EXTREMELY lovey kiddo. She's also talking and singing like crazy. She is saying mama, dada, up, please, down and drink with signs most of the time. Anywho, I'll write more when I have more time. Going to a mom's only dinner tonight...YEA!!! Oh and a huge thank you to my cyber friend Tonya. Seriously girl you are a LIFE SAVER!!!!! Your advice has helped me so much with Evie. You can check out Tonya's cutie pie Matti on her blog. I have a link posted on the side.

The picture with her and the monkey cracks me up because it looks like she is about to throw down. The monkey would not win!! Then the one with her looking down and the wings also makes me laugh because she is about ready for take off. Pretty much the only reason why I put those two on.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

2 steps forward....2 steps back or 8


Yes, I hope Paula Abdul is going through everyone else's head now also.....I take 2 steps forward, you take 2 steps back. We come together because opposites attract. Yea you know. It ain't easy it's a natural fact...blah blah blah. Oh yea and I'm totally dating myself...whatever.
So yes you guessed it" the Goat" (you may know her as Evie) took several steps back tonight. Oh I'll explain why we call her " the goat" or Goatie LaRue in a later post. Anywho, back to tonight.
I'm not even sure what or why it happened. She had a great day today! She did awesome, played with Me and Shane today quite a bit, woke up happy. Through a fit mid morning a hucked cherrios across the car but that's kind of normal for her (at this time), then at about 5:30 out of nowhere she just started first screaming at both Shane and I then it escalated beyond control. Do you know how hard it is to sit and hold an angry, fighting, upset, sad, screaming animal of an 18 month old for 2 hours?? (question is rhetorical) Oh yea 2 HOURS of this! She first refused to even look at me, then refused to touch me, then arched and howler monkey screamed to try and get away from me. We are doing holding time therapy so that was not going to happen. Then she would start to calm down then as soon as I asked her to look at momma's eyes and held her hand to touch my face the whole thing would start again. To top it off just for good measure she pinched my face, pinched my chest, pulled my hair and hit me. It was awesome!! I honestly don't know if I should laugh or cry? She is one heck of a fighter, which is cool, but for cripes sake I might lose my freakin mind!!! Thankfully tomorrow is another day, which unfortunately is the test run for me and work. Shane's mom is coming to watch Jaili and Evie tomorrow for a few hours while I go and have lunch with Shane and basically stay away from the house for about 2 hours. So wish us luck.  My heart breaks for her for about the first hour of screaming (ok maybe first 45 min.) I know that she is in pain. then after it goes on for so long I just kind of go numb. I fight to stay connected to her during these times. We are getting there. It's a long road, it's what we expected. There are times when it's definitely worse than we were prepared for but I see the smalls strides that she has been making day by day and it's so worth it.
I was able to get a couple of pictures today with no sunglasses.
Goodnight
Don't let the pictures fool you that girl is one heck of an angry fighter : )

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Finally pictures!!!





I have no idea how to lay these out so they look good on the page!! Seriously annoying but anyhow here's photo's finally. Technologically I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, brightest candle in the box, whatever the saying is. So hence why it took so long for me to manage to get these pictures of the camera and on the blog. I'll try and get pictures of Eves with no glasses on tomorrow so you can see her beautiful peepers. She has been doing out standing the past few days. Even comes to me to "check in" during play time. I've also been getting lots of hugs and kisses through out the day. She had to have blood drawn today and in the middle of her crying she looks up to me to give me a kiss and then goes on crying. Poor little sweet pea. She did awesome though. Since we have come home she has really blossomed. We've had a few setbacks, as to be expected, but overall I've been pleasantly surprised and amazed at how well she has been doing. She is such a great kid and such a blessing to our family. She adores her big sister, which is something big sister is still getting used to. I honestly can't believe the transformation we've had with her. She is a different kid than 3 weeks ago, her personality comes out more and more everyday. I do go back to work part time next week (2 days a week) so I'm really scared that we are going to have setbacks. We are praying for God's hand on everything. It will all work, I'm just stressing about it. If we do have setbacks at least I can modify my schedule to work around her (the joys of being self-employed) Anywho, enjoy the pictures.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Is ignorance inherent in some people or do you think it's taught??

OK Seriously, I realize my daughter has white hair and light blue eyes that move around alot. Does everyone have to point that out though. Shane and I are getting EXTREMELY irritated because everytime we go out in public we will have at least a few people completely go crazy over Evie's hair and eyes. I don't mean to turn bitchy but come on people. We had one lady in a restaurant yesterday want to take Evie through the kitchen so the rest of the staff could see her. Then at my husband's work (he works at a hospital) in the cafe we had 2 ladies make such a huge production over Evie's hair that it actually  attracted more people to come over and look. Evie is completely adorable so I get that but it almost seems like we are the walking freak show.It is absolutely ridiculous. It would be the same thing as someone coming up to a person who is very black and going "WOW, you are so black, hey everyone come over and look at this really black lady" You just don't do that crap. But for some reason people feel they can make all sorts of comments about how pale Evie is , how light her hair is. How blue violet her eyes are. Some people actually laugh and bring people over so they can see her. I'm about to go insane and go off on someone. It's also affecting Jaili. She told Shane and I that she felt invisible, that people don't see her anymore, that she doesn't feel beautiful and that people only see baby sister. Of course we had a HUGE conversation first about beauty and people's opinions. Then we talked alot about baby sister and how she will have to deal with this for the rest of her life.
So for all of you parents out there with children with albinism, how do you deal with it? What do you say to people? How do you not want to tell people off and then wack them?
Yes, my daughter's are unique and beautiful, both of them. I don't need everyone and their dog announcing it to the world though. I worry about the girls as they get older too. I need a come back to shut people down.
I was used to being stared at alittle with Jaili because she has purple bangs (as do I) but that staring was different. Positive. Our choice with her hair. All people would say was " HOW CUTE, purple streaks, just like mommy" With Evie it's not a choice and the comments and staring are out of curiosity, like a freak show. Evie is not a side show to be paraded around. She is a sweet, loving, spirited, bright, beautiful baby girl.
Yes, I'm new to this stuff, yes it's irritating the crap out of me and yes, I know I will get used to it eventually. But any advice to help us deal would be glorious. Anywho, had to vent.
Oh and I don't want to ignore the fact that she has albinism and is gorgeous. I just don't want to be the object of fascination for people...constantly! People need to remember to THINK before you act or say something.
The crazy thing is  is that I don't really see what all the fascination is about. I don't see that she looks much different than anyone else. Maybe except her beauty just like her big sister. (Yep, I'm a mother who adores my girls).
Oh and we are going to the beach this weekend so I WILL get pictures!!!!!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Evie is doing great!!!

Evie has been doing so well these past few days. We've had virtually no screaming temper tantrums and she has been such a kick in the pants to be around. We are definitely having some good times right now. I know it's most likely not permanent...yet. She still has sadness and crying that comes out right before bed time and anytime any other female comes over to the house (grandmas, friends, etc) she pushes me away very hard. You can tell that she wants to be close to me but she is just not completely ready yet. Shane went back to work yesterday and Evie did really well. We ordered a few books from Amazon to help us with attachment and bonding, and one in particular has made a HUGE difference. It's called Holding Time. The author developed this technique for holding and bonding for children with autism and found that it works on all kids. It has been so beneficial for Evie and I. It encourages eye contact and letting your child cry and yell to get out the sadness and anger that they are feeling. So everyday Evie and I (also Jaili and I)have holding time. The first time with Evie was more like a small wrestling match. She didn't want me to hold her much less have to make eye contact with me. It took about 1 hour and 15 min of having her scream and yell at me and then all of a sudden she stopped screaming looked me in the eyes patted the side of my face and said "momma". She continued just stroking the side of my cheek saying momma and then fell asleep. Since then each holding time session the crying has been less and less, today she in fact did not cry at all. She actually smiled stroked my cheek 3 times and said momma as soon as I held her like a baby.
She is stinkin adorable. I love that she is feeling comfortable enough to let her personality shine through. She is very sweet and loving and babbles like crazy. Now that she is beginning to feel comfortable she is actually quite an easy toddler, generally happy most of the time. Don't get me wrong it's not all bunnies and sunshine, she is still the loudest screamer I've ever heard but now I don't mind it so much. I'm really beginning to attach to her also. Which is so Awesome. Most days I just want to kiss her squishy little cheeks until I could eat her all up.
Jaili (mommy #2) amazes me everyday with her capacity to love and help. She has taken everything in stride. She is so well spoken that even if she is having a hard time she comes right out and tells us. She told me the other day that she was feeling very lonely because Daddy didn't carry her like he used to before baby sister. It's so nice to have a 4 year old able to verbalize her feelings so well. We had a good talk about everything after that and I just let her know that everyday we would have a time for her to talk about how she is feeling to get it all out.
We had Evie's eye appointment at Casey Eye Institute last Friday and the Dr.Reznick pretty much said everything we assumed.In a nutshell Evie's eyes are pretty crappy. She has nystagmus, strabismus of both eyes, small optic nerve, astigmatism, head tilt because of her null point and something else that I can't think of the correct name for. Everything is pretty common with OCA1 albinism. The Dr. is going to have Evie wear glasses for the next 4-6 weeks then reevaluate after that to see if glasses helps her crossed eyes, head tilt and slows her nystagmus. If the glasses don't help we are looking at doing surgery for her crossed eyes (strabismus) and dampening her nystagmus this year. Again none of this caught us by surprise. It's pretty much everything Shane and I were anticipating with her eyes. Although I didn't realize how dorky the glasses were for infants until we started looking for them. Seriously, I realize she is just a toddler but these glasses they have are REALLY bad. We are looking for the least dorky of the bunch. Yes, I realize Evie won't care nor will she even know that the glasses are bad. If I have the option of finding something a little cuter and less goofy I'm going to go with that option.
Anywho, I will absolutely try and get pictures up today of the little ladies. I know I keep saying it...it's just a pain in the bum for me to try to get them on her, but I will at least attempt it today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Small Miracle!

Yesterday a small miracle occurred. Evie actually wanted me to hold her most of the evening. She went to me right before we were going to the store and stayed in my arms the entire time. She was sooo sweet. It was so nice to actually comfort my child for the first time and not have her scream like a banshee when I'm within 5 feet of her. This morning it was back to the usual though, screamed like she saw the devil himself as soon as she opened her eyes and looked at me beside her. It's really cool that I elicit such emotion from my child, I should feel privileged, not every parent can say that there child literally runs screaming from them for no apparent reason. (I'm hoping everyone gets the sarcasm and humor in the above statement). We went into the salon today to cut Jaili's hair (oh yea, btw she looks ADORABLE, little aline haircut) Anywho, Evie did really well then too. She again wanted me to hold her. One of the clients of a friend that I work with was asking questions about Evie and goes "Wow, so you've had her for almost 3 weeks and she is already so attached and adjusted" I laughed hysterically and told her she had no idea, she was seeing a rare moment with Evie and I at the time. This evening was lots of fun with Evie too. For about another 2 hours I was screamed at because I had the audacity to change her diaper and then try to soothe her while Shane was mowing the lawn. I did have a little victory with it though. She called me momma and gave me a kiss right before I handed her to Shane (she refuses to call me momma 99.9% of the time, everything except me is momma to her). I can not explain the sense of happiness I felt when she looked at me and said momma. I have to admit my competitive side was there too and I secretly (or not so secret)wanted to do a dance and sing... I won, I won, Ha HA HA I WON!!!.....this round. ( you also have to envision a 4th graders voice proudly singing this at the top of her lungs)...yep that's me. I'm not too proud to admit it. That little girl truly amazes me by her stubbornness and I have to say I admire her for it. You go girl! She's a fighter and I Love that about her. Not at all fun for me right now but she will need that fire as she gets older. She will have things to overcome and with the tenacity that she shows she will have no problem accomplishing anything. She is one funny, spicy, stubborn kid and I'm happy to say that she is all ours. God has blessed is with 2 very different yet perfectly wonderful children. Jaili has a sweetness and gentleness that would melt even the hardest heart and Evie has such passion and fire (so far) that you know nothing will stop her when she sets her mind to it.

On a side note, here are some of the few things that I 've learned so far about having a sight impaired child:

1. You get hit A LOT. Depth perception is not great so when she's excited and the arms flail about. You need to be on guard so you don't lose an eye.
2.  Don't freak out about the minor bumps. She hits her head on EVERYTHING. She bends down to look at something, comes up and crack right on the head.
3. Not to gasp at every bump or fall. She runs into walls quite a bit right now, bounces and then goes about her way.  She is one tough cookie.
4. There is no containing things in containers. Every item (food, toys, etc) that we try to put in little bowls or containers all get dumped out. She can't see things clearly unless they are about 3 in from her face so EVERYTHING gets dumped out and examined. Needless to say our dog is really happy.

There's also more but I'm tired and going to bed. Ok not going to bed but stopping to write so I can focus all my attention on Bear Gryls right now, the drool is beginning to pool. : )

On a serious note my heart breaks for Evie everyday. I can only imagine the kind of pain that she has been experiencing through out this entire process. It has been extremely difficult on all of us, especially Evie. I know God will heal her heart. I pray that she is comforted and she knows how much all of us truly love her. Continued prayers would be very appreciated it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We are home

So I apologize for not posting sooner. I was having issues in China. Everytime I tried to send a post to blogger it kept saying file to large (not matter how big it was). Anywho, Evie is doing better. We measure time now in small moments instead of days. We had several good moments in China. Mostly screaming at me but a few great things that kept me going. She let me hold her while only screaming for a a while and then settling down. She also kind of gave up while I carried her in the ergo (screamed for about 30-45 min) and then fell asleep. She also let out some anger and bit and pinched me...seemed to make her feel better and me in pain (only alittle bit though). She also screams incessantly upon waking when she looks at me. It's AWESOME!!!
She has been significantly better since we have gotten home though. Although she still prefers Shane  A LOT, I'm able to hold her more  without constant screaming and she has given me about 5 spontaneous kisses. Last night, though she still screams when looking at me, put her bum against me while she was trying to go to sleep. She also babbles constantly now and seems to be much happier since we have gotten home. She is a little clown, loves to get reactions from people. She also adores singing, which is adorable. Jaili has taken the big sister role very seriously, helping with everything. She is a little mommy.
We went to Hong Kong disneyland on the way home, which was so much fun. I'm really glad to be home without people taking pictures of Evie and us. It was ridiculous the entire time we were in China. We could not stop for more than 10 seconds without having a swarm of people around us, picking Evie up and taking constant pictures. It got very annoying. People were very nice, but come on. I felt like we were the sideshow. People would literally pass Evie along to have their picture taken with her. At disneyland I had to hide in the shadows on the side of a building with Evie in the stroller while Shane, Jaili and Shannon were in the bathroom, just so I wouldn't be bothered by people.
Needless to say we are extremely glad to be home. I'll post more later. We have family here and I need to go be social. Post more pictures later.
Angel

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We have our baby girl #2


I'm so sorry i haven't posted earlier, but it has been an extremely rough transition. We received Evie (yes we changed her name, she just wasn't a June. Now it's Evie June)on Sunday at 5:00 she was smelly and very poopy. We found out that she had been picked up directly from her foster families house and drove 2 hours to us. Needless to say we had quite and upset little girl. She was quite attached to her foster mother so she has no desire for me to be around her. It's been very hard the past few days. So difficult in fact that I called our agency to talk to them about if we had made a horrible mistake in doing this adoption. Evie cried almost non-stop (unless Shane was able to hold her) for 3 days. Not just a little sweet cry but a full on howler monkey scream. It was enough to make anyone want  to jump out a window. She doesn't like me to touch her, let alone hold her. We are making ant size progress each day, which is good. Today we've had alittle more progress. She actually touched me on her own and when I pointed to her and said Evie, then pointed to myself and said Mommy then I pointed to my lips and said kiss and she kissed me on her own. Which is a big step. 
Shane and I were also quite surprised to see how small she is. She is behind developmentally. She is more like an 11 month old in almost every way. She weighs 16 lbs and is sooo tiny ( We put 6-12 month pants on her today and they fell right off). She is walking but does not know how to crawl or move around when you lay her on her back. She doesn't have much language either. She can say 3 words (mama, baba and ayi..auntie in Chinese) She is already getting more language and skills down. She points to Jaili and says Jei Jei (big sister in Chinese) and is babbling more and more.
We still have a very cranky baby when daddy gets more than 5 ft away, which honestly can weigh on your nerves alot.
Evie is very sweet and adorable though. My feelings of attachement for her are growing everyday. I'm just waiting for her to come to me. Trying to win her over one ant step at a time. I fed her part of a ding dong yesterday so she would associate mommy with sweet things.  I've been the only one to feed her, while Shane holds her so she can see that I provide the essentials for her. Everyday we see a little more comfort with us and not as much of a  scared little kitten. (thanks Tonya for the analogy). I will post more later. Keep Evie and the rest of our family in your prayers.
oh and Jaili girl has been absolutely amazing in all of this. So helpful and considerate. It's hard on her also but she keeps trying to make more and more steps with baby sister also. Evie actually really likes Jaili. It bothers Jaili though that Evie has problems with me as of yet. I let her know that Evie is scared right now but she will come around. 



Monday, May 03, 2010

In the seattle airport!

So I'm testing the emailing to blog to sedefi e how well this is going to work while we are in China! We are just 45 min away from hoping on our plane from seattle to Tokyo to Beijing!!!! Jaili did awesome on our way from Portland to Seattle. She LOVES the plane. Not afraid of anything, even asked if we could parachute out of the plane sometime....I'm envisioning her giving me a heart attack by the time she is 18 with her dare devil ways. I love it though. She definatly has her own thing going on. I'm so proud of that little one. She is beyond excited about getting baby sister. Only a few more days and we will be a family of 4! Very awesome this day is finally here. I'll post more with pictures when we are in China.

Angel
www.journeytojaili.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Day we have travel dates!

So we got our confirmation yesterday for our travel dates. We will be leaving on May 3rd and returning on the 23rd. Happy Day!!!! We are going to Beijing early to do the touristy stuff again (Great wall, temple of heaven, tiannamen square,etc) and then we extended our trip by 2 days to stay in Hong Kong and go to Ocean Park. I may regret this one...but oh well. We were thinking since we have to fly out of Hong Kong anyway why not do a special treat for Jaili bird and take her there?
We have our tickets purchased and are getting ready to go!!! We will fly in to Nanchang on the 9th at 2:00pm, check into our hotel and then get June by 4:00! Happy Mother's Day to me!
 I've been praying alot for June and her grieving process. I anticipate a very sad baby and my heart breaks for her already. Her little world is going to be turned upside down. Even though she can't comprehend it at this age I'm praying that God gives her peace and knowledge that we love her so much and are her parents. I'm definately stressed about how it's all going to go.  I'm so excited to be getting her and having our family together FINALLY! But  I  also feel so conflicted because she doesn't know that we are her forever parents. All she knows is that she is being taken away from her foster parents, the only people that she knows and loves. I pray that this does not stay with her, a fear of abandonment ,of being removed, for the rest of her life. I feel so grateful for this older couple that have been like grandparents to her. They have loved her and taken care of her but I also feel a loss. Loss and jealousy, that we haven't been the ones to love her since day one, that some one else has had that opportunity. I felt similarly with Jaili, of course we want to be with our children from the moment they were created, the foster family just adds a different dimension to it. Again, I'm  so thankful for them, it's just...different.
On a different note, I did have a dream about June last night. We were in the hotel and she was wearing the cutest little skirt and playing in the hotel room. She was laughing and so very happy and beautiful! I woke up feeling very warm and fuzzy after that dream.
I know in time we will all adjust and everything will be how it's supposed to be. I just pray that Shane and I are able to give June (and Jaili) everything that we can. To help them to feel confident and complete. I just always want both of them to know how much they mean to us. Nothing compares to the love that you have for your children. As I told Shane when we first got Jaili. Shane has my heart, but Jaili ( and now June) are my heart. It does help me to understand the love that Christ has for us. I still cannot fathom it but at least I have a glimpse now.

I also have a funny Jailiism. We were at church on easter and when Jaili came out of Jesus school, as she call it, she asks us "Why did God's skin fall off?" Shane and I  look at her completely confused and ask "What?" Jaili then says " Yea, today in Jesus school we learned that God died on a cross and then his skin fell off." Neither one of us had any idea what she was talking about at first. Then I started thinking of the wording in the crucifiction and resurrection and remembered it being described that Jesus left the flesh. So I asked her if that is what she meant. " She said "yea, his skin fell off." Both Shane and I started laughing and then tried explaining to her what it meant. That is a very hard concept to explain to a 4 year old. I'm shortning this story quite a bit, the entire conversation lasted probably about 15 min. Most of it consisting of Jaili insisting that God's skin fell off and Shane and I just looking really confused. Anywho, it cracked me up. I have never thought of the wording that way...Oh to have the mind of a very curious and very literal and smart 4 year old.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

WE HAVE TA!!!!

We were on the early end of something! I was happily surprised to get an email from Holt yesterday that said we have our travel approval! I was working all day yesterday and I kept checking my phone about every 30 min to see if we had an email. I knew travel approvals were coming in because between clients I was also stalking the rumor queen forum and I was REALLY hoping that ours would be in the bunch of travel approvals. At about 3:30 I gave up and decided that ours was probably not going to come this time around. I put my phone down and ignored it. At about 5:00 I noticed that my phone was blinking that I had a message and THERE IT WAS!!! We are beyond excited and now am realizing how many things I still need to do. We are hoping to get our travel dates by the end of this week and then we can buy the plane tickets. I'm still in amazement that we are actually getting our mama Junebug Jones. WOW!!!! The whole family cannot wait to meet our little one. By the time we get her it will be 8 months of staring at her picture and now she will be ours! I'll keep everyone posted as soon as we get travel dates.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Late in posting but we got our Article 5

So I'm late in posting this( I have a love/hate relationship with my computer)but we got our article 5 on 3/18/10!! So that means, per Holt, that we should be getting travel approval in 3-4 weeks from the 18th. So hopefully either this week or next!! Although I'm going to try and not get to excited about that, considering we've been on the long end of almost every step of the process. I'm praying that we are able to travel the first week of May to get our girl. I haven't scheduled any clients after that until June 21st (I figured that is when I'd go back to work, 2 days a week)SO if we don't go then EEKKK, no clients, no money and BORED!!!
I'm FINALLY feeling the connection with our June. I have been concerned because June's adoption journey has been so different than Jaili's. I KNEW Jaili before we even got her referral. I knew after she was born (told my husband 3 days after Jaili was born, we were laying in bed and I looked over at him and said "Our daughter's been born, I can feel her"), I knew what her SN was going to be before we got her referral, I had dreams about her, I knew what she looked like...I was deeply connected to her. The only way I can explain it is that God allowed me to know her before she was actually ours. June's hasn't been the same way and that has worried me. Maybe I wasn't a good enough mother for her because I haven't "felt" her the same way. There have been little things along the way with her. I was certain that our next daughter was going to have albinism. I had a very strong urge in August, 2 weeks after we sent in our SN list, to research albinism and add it immediatly to our list. I asked my husband how he felt and he said "I already thought it was on our list". I get feelings about her personality and the closer we get the more and more connected I feel to her. My heart crys for our missing daughter now, I'm ready for her and I just want her home.
When I told my husband how I was feeling about not being "connected" he was wonderful. He just looked at my and said " I never had any of those things with Jaili before we got her that you did and am I any less connected to her now than you?" Which , of course, he isn't! Jaili adores her daddy, as he does her. Jaili is truly the light of Shane (and my ) life. Then Shane told me, "The same things that you felt with Jaili, I feel with June, I've dreamed about her, I know which name is going to fit her (Shane did pick June's name, I picked Jaili's), I feel like God has let me know June". I'm truly in awe of how God works. It wasn't up to me nor was it about me to know our daughter. God has picked Shane and I to be the parent's of this beautiful child, just like he did with Jaili. I'm truly humbled by the fact that God has allowed Shane and I to share in these 2 lives, to watch them grow, to guide them along the way and to love them with all of our heart, body and soul. I can't wait to get our daughter home, where she belongs, to finally be able to hold and love her and give her the father, mother and sister that has been waiting for her.
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!
Seriously, I would like to throw the computer out the window at the moment. Stinkin text background keeps going to white, not matter what I do with it. GRRRRRR. It's been about 2 hours to update this thing. Frustration does not even begin to explain it!!! Going to bed, I give up. I had no problems with the old blogger. I updated it and am ready to pull my hair out everytime I use it (hence the slow updating by me) Anywho, had to vent about my lack of computer/blogger skill.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NVC Letter is Here

 We got our National Visa Center letter on the mail on Saturday. I know it doesn't seem like much but NOW we can email the letter and our I-800 approval to Holt and they can send it to China to get started on our article 5 and then our Travel Approval. So YIPPEE, it came. I think I can officially be done stalking the mail man for awhile. We have our visa's, our letters, our I-800. Nothing else needs to be mailed now, at least I don't think so.Holt will get our info off to China on the 26th and then 2 weeks, abou,t after that for article 5 and then about another 3-4 weeks for travel approval. The count down is ON!

Oh on a side note,  I swear Jaili gets funnier every day. She told me I was "rockin the hizouse" the other day, so I looked at her and said "fo shizzel". Yea, we're totally street now....again hear my sarcasm on that one. She also informed me that "giganotosaurus's are quite the bird watchers even though they are carnivorous" I just started laughing and said "good to know, you should probably go tell daddy that also" She is LOVIN' the dinosaurs right now. Dinosaur train on PBS kids is a HUGE hit in our house. I'm not sure when our 4 year old turned 14 but most days it's pretty funny...other days a little bit of drama complete with the huge sighs and the eye rolls (love that) Thankfully that is not often. She's not a fan of standing on the no no wall.

That kid kicks butt, I'm excited to see the relationship that her and June will have. Although I'm sure there will be a bit of an adjustment period for awhile at first.  Anywho, post more when I have more info.
Take  Care,
Angel : )

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another step closer

So not much news to report but our I-800 was approved on 2/5/10! Now we are just waiting for the National Visa Center to cable it to Guangzhou( they received the our paperwork yesterday) then we need our letter from NVC. At that point Holt can send it overnight to China to wait for our Article 5 which will take around 2-3 weeks and after that we can get travel approval which should be another 2-4 weeks after Article 5 and FINALLY off to China. We are still estimating going the first part of May.
Jaili and I have had fun lately buying some clothes for baby sister. I've been getting lots of 12-18 months. I'm hoping that these will fit her (if not I have alot of things to take back..eeekkk!) She should be about 20 lbs when we get her. She is 18.74 lbs and 28" at this point so I plotted it on the growth chart and around 20 lbs is what it said. I'm going alittle on the smaller side just because when we got Jaili bird  she was MUCH smaller than we thought. We had to buy 3-6 months clothes for her @ 11 months old. She didn't get into 12 month clothes until she was about 19 months old. Watch June will suprise us though and be a chunky monkey and will surpass her sister in no time. : ) Anywho, that's the news of the day for us. I'll post more when I have new updates.

Friday, January 29, 2010

WE HAVE LOA!!!

So I spoke to soon with my last post. We are happy to annouce that we received our letter of approval for our beautiful June Skye on January 25th, 2010. It looks like China signed it on the 21st of Jan and we got the call on Monday @ about 2pm. We are so ridiculously excited!!! That means in about 3 months we will have our second daughter! Next steps are filling out the I-800 paperwork for immigration (which I already did and overnighted to Texas on 1/26) then we wait for our approval, then it's cabled to Guangzhou National Visa Center, then we get a letter from NVC, Next we wait for out article 5 to be picked up and then we wait for our travel approval and consulate appointments and FINALLY it's off to China. This usually takes an average of 60-70 days but can vary widely (just like LOA wait).
The reality hit Shane and I Monday night that we are actually going to have 2 daughters. EEEKKK!! It's all REAL now and although very exciting I have to admit a bit scary also. There are just the unknowns that I sit and dwell on while we wait...like attachment, lack of sleep for us for awhile, will she like us, will she allow us to comfort her during her grieving process, how will Jaili react, will Jaili feel left out, how do we fit 2 kids in our queen size bed : )  , how's June's eyesight and her strabismus (lazy eye), when do we schedule her eye doctor appointment (which reminds me I need to call our insurance about referral to Casey Eye Institute in Portland), how are we going to get together $3000 more for travel in 3 months, anywho the list goes on and on.I was awake several times last night thinking about it all. I know it's all going to work out great but like I said I have 3 months to obsess about it right now. I just need to remember that this is God's plan and through him all things are possible.
 On a side note we are so grateful to Jaili and June's Auntie Shannon. She will be traveling to Oregon from Texas and then off to China with us to help with everything. That is a big relief and will help us out so much. Huge blessing for us and she is REALLY excited to go also.
We are also trying to decide if we should go to Beijing again or just to Nanchang and then Guangzhou. It is going to be less expensive to go to just Nanchang and Guangzhou but on the other hand Jaili and Shannon (ok and Shane and I) are excited to see the great wall and all the sites of Beijing. Jaili girl talks about it alot and it would be nice to have a few days to relax and cruise around before we got Miss June. Anywho, we cannot wait to meet our newest addition.
We also received 6 new pictures of June on the 25th. I will try and post all of them, I keep having issues getting the pictures on blogger right now. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. They keep wanting to end up all over the page or not post at all. So in the pictures she is wearing about 7 layers of clothes and has some sweet boogers in her nose (I did try to retouch them out). Our Holt director Beth (who is absolutely awesome BTW) said it was very cold where June is (Jiangxi) right now and the houses are concrete with no heat, so hence the 5 bazillion layer, the red cheeks and green boogers.
Hope you enjoy the new photos of June. I think they are all on there, even though it's not set up very well

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Updates of June

 So here we are at 125 days waiting for our LOA (letter of approval) and still nothing yet. We hope to get in any day now. Holt let us know that we have been in the review department since Dec 24th and it usually takes anywhere from 1-2 months from then for LOA. We are praying we will get it soon to bring our little one home. Holt has been fantastic with everything and were able to get updates for us. We got one new picture of June and a little more information on her. It looks like she has strabismus (lazy eye) with one of her eyes so we will see what we need to do to help her with it when she comes home. Besides that it looks like she is doing well. She is currently 18.3 lbs and 28 inches tall. Similar in size to Jaili girl at the same age. It also says that she is able to walk while holding on to furniture now and can say ma ma and baba. I'm so happy to know that she is doing well but it also breaks my heart to know that she is having all these firsts and we are not there to share it with her. With the current time frame it looks like we will not be getting her until June or July. It makes me very sad that the whole thing is taking so much longer than we were wanting/thinking.
Jaili is so precious, she really can't wait until we bring home baby sister. She has her picture under her pillow and gives it a kiss at bedtime and tells it "I already love you so much baby sister".
 The holidays were wonderful this year, although it felt like we had a hole in our family because we were missing June. Jaili was so much fun. She was so excited for everything that it brought a whole new sense of awe to the holidays that I haven't had in many years. I can't wait to see both of the girls this next year.
Well, I'm hoping the next update will be one that I'm announcing that we've received our LOA!