Monday, December 31, 2007

5 Months Ago Today

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5 months ago from today, we waited anxiously in the Guangdong Civil Affairs office for Sophie's arrival. There were many other families waiting with us.

Sophie was the first to arrive. Dave recognized her, but I wasn't sure as the most recent picture we had of her was over a year old. I wasn't so sure she was our "girl", because they seemed to do all they could to make her look like a little boy! They dressed her in a little boy's outfit with boy sandals and a blue superhero backpack and of course the shaved head little boy haircut. Come on...couldn't they have put a little sundress on her for her gotcha day? They had some...I saw them on our SWI visit.

Her gotcha day was quite the opposite of Ella's. Ella was 14 months old when placed into our arms. Sophie was 2 1/2 and fought us with all of her might. She was terrified, of course. She "escaped" from me and ran right to her new sister's side. She grabbed hold of Ella's hand like they were sisters from day 1...and that is where she found comfort.

Because They Waited is an excellent DVD series for adoptive parents to watch as they wait to meet their new child. It goes into detail about many of the issues our new children can have all due to the fact that "they waited". They waited in an institution and they waited for a family and they waited for the nurture they so desperately need to develop into happy, healthy little beings. They waited for the love of a family that no institution can duplicate.

Sophie came to us very ill and very malnourished. We could see from photos the SWI gave us from 2 months earlier, that she had lost a significant amount of weight recently. She came to us with pretty much ALL of the possible issues a newly adopted child could experience. She exhibited many autistic like behaviors most of the time we were in China. I was prepared for all of this... knowledge wise, but it was still intimidating to actually deal with it. I prayed and prayed as this was His plan and He was in control. I had to walk around our hotel room repeating that to myself for the first few days.

We got Sophie back home and did the easy things first. Gave her meds for the Giardia that she had and was making her so sick and then we fattened her up. The autistic behaviors went away after about a few weeks, but were replaced with such an intense anxiety that completely took over our home. Her anxiety made it appear like she was a child that was sooo hyperactive. She had such control issues that it seemed to consume all she did. She HAD to have the upper hand and it took every ounce of strength I had to teach she is/was not in control. That took at least 3 months and every waking minute to achieve. The attachment work began. She had HUGE rage and self hurt like nothing I had ever seen before in such a tiny person. And then her sensory issues...her sensory system was so out of whack that she did not register pain. At All. I could keep going and I am always happy to share our story and what has and is working for us. Some people have e-mailed me and I am happy to go into more detail there.

They say that it often takes a child to be with their new family equal to or longer than their time in an orphanage for them to work through everything. That will probably be the case here. Sophie has made much progress, but still has a long way to go. She has a strong team of people/specialists working with her to achieve that and more importantly many of you keep her in your prayers!

The areas that are still still a struggle are the sensory issues and the anxiety around people. The sensory issues cause her to have no sense of body awareness, meaning she does not realize where her body is when she is moving about and this creates her to have MANY falls and crashes.
The people anxiety...Sophie came from a SWI where many of the nannies really loved her and cared for her, but she has shared with us that one of them hurt her. She has created a safety triangle that includes Me, Ella, and herself. Just in the last few weeks, she is occasionally creating a square and including her BaBa.

Praising God for the baby steps and for entrusting us with another one of His precious children!



5 Months Ago-Then


...and Now

 

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Miracle


Nan Nan Needs a Christmas Miracle -This is the title to a post that was on many Yahoo groups the day before Christmas. Some of you probably read it as did I.

Both of our adoptions were through China's Waiting Child Program. I always wondered where this name came from, because all of our adopted kids are "waiting" until they are united with their forever families, right? The Waiting Children program is very dear to my heart-see the 2 faces above to know why : ) -and it differs from the traditional program in this way...in the traditional program, China's CCAA matches you with a child. In the WC program, the US agency is sent the children's files and they match the family with the child. The agency receives files usually every 3 to 4 months. Small agencies may get 5 files while the large agencies will receive 40. These are files of little ones who have a medical need. Some small, some not so small and lots in between. If the agency can not match a child with a family within 3 months, they have to send the file back to China's CCAA. The CCAA will typically resend that file to another agency for placement. If a child is not matched after the 3rd. agency, it is not likely that the CCAA will send that file out again and will label the child as unadoptable. Always so sad to see!


It is always a miracle to see a child matched with their family, but a bigger miracle to see a child that is having a difficult time being matched and close to being labeled as "unadoptable" find their family! I love reading these stories and thankfully there are many such stories to read!


When I read the post about Nan Nan, of course I looked at her photos and her videos and thought what a sweet little girl she is and prayed her family would find her and find her soon! Her time was running out. She had only days to be matched before her file would go back to China and it would not be resubmitted for adoption. Her previously matched family could not move forward with her adoption. Imagine how surprised I was to get an e-mail from my dear friend that night telling me that she knew this was HER newest daughter! Some of you might have read to this point and wondered how I got Dave to agree to adopt again so soon. LOL! Not me...my friend Robin!


www.redthreadstitches.blogspot.com



Robin is the lady who is making those cute panda jumpers. She now has a website with photos of her sewing creations. Please take a peek at her blog where you can read her story and if you look at the top of her blog in the upper right hand corner, you will see a picture of her Christmas Miracle.
Luv ya, Robin!


Look at the cute scarves that Robin made us for Christmas! Please check out her sewing blog(above) and don't forget to enter for your chance to win a quilt and help bring Nan Nan home!!!

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

WE LOVE OUR SISSY!!!



Sissy and Sophie


Sissy and Ellie

Sissy and Mommy


above is Sissy and her boyfriend, Joe

We had a very happy Christmas Day! Everyone was healthy, the weather was nice and we were able to celebrate the day with our family. Hope you all had a great Christmas day!

 

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Baby Jesus
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Things will be very busy the next couple of days, but I wanted to post so that I could wish you all a very Blessed Christmas! Also, I have received so many e-mails checking in on us to see how everyone is feeling and I want to say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you all for caring!!! The little ones have been spared so far and I hope will remain so. We found out that we had the Norovirus that is becoming almost epidemic in NY City right now. Dave works in the city and he is the one who was first sick, so that makes sense. I spent over $50.00 stocking up on Lysol and hand sanitizers, so hopefully that will do the trick. You can find a can of Lysol anywhere you go in our home right now. LOL!

Below you will see the girls visit to Santa. We were at the mall and Ella was quite brave and told me she wanted to go sit on his lap like she saw the other kids do. That was her story and she was sticking to it until....we actually got within 10 feet of him. That's okay-maybe next year.

BTW, if you are wondering why Sophie's face is all marked up, she has a very bad fall yesterday. She is okay, but her face is quite cut up and she has quite a black eye. Poor baby!











Have a wonderful Christmas as we celebrate His love for us!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Counting my Blessings one by one and praising Him for all He has done

Well, my biggest thankful this week is this...we have had a horribly violent stomach virus going through our home. It has to be the worse and most brutal virus I have ever seen(and I have seen tons!)It completly wiped out Dave, Chelsea, my MIL and Ryan. I have been waiting my turn and praying that it did not hit me as hard as it did the others, because Moms can't get sick! It took them all at least 4 days to be able to stand on their feet after they had the virus and they all lost 7 to 10 pounds. How could I possibly be out of commission like that? Who would do everything and who would take care of the little ones? Dave has no sick time left.
So, like clockwork, I did get the virus Tues. night, but it did not hit me nearly as hard as the others. I was able to stay in bed all day and have the little ones play next to me. Although I do not have much of an appetite, I am already well enough to be up and about doing my Mom thing. Thank you God for answered prayer and always knowing what we can and can't handle!! Now praying the little ones can miraculously escape this, because it is much too violent of a virus for their little bodies!

I am so thankful to be a Mom. What would I do without my kids?

I am thankful for my garage! Remember in ALL things bring Him praise? The first 12 years we were married, we lived in a home with no garage. Believe me when I say be thankful if you have a garage and you live in an area with bad weather. Everytime we get hit with snow/ice...I am reminded how blessed I am to have a garage now!

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I had to post a picture of this for my friend Retta and maybe her Mom? Retta has recently adopted a little sweetie from Sophie's SWI and both of our girls were so lucky as to get the lovely summer SWI shaved heads before they were placed with us. Of course both Moms were not too impressed. Both Moms are anxiously waiting for hair growth and lots of it! I read this and had to take a picture of Sophie's hair. It's kind of funny, because the top is as straight as can be, but the back has some curl to it. I wonder if it has anything to do with hair growth after being shaved? The back and sides of her hair also stick straight out after she wakes up and I have to use the water bottle to fix it. Just wanted to show you our girl's curl. Maybe it's a Shaoguan thing??




And now for some pictures of 2 of the cutest little Santa helpers around!


 

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Cookies



We did our Christmas cookies this week-end. We had fun and it Ella loved it. But as much as I like spending time with the girls, I was reminded as to why I am not one of those Moms who love to spend time in the kitchen with the kids! Sorry, just not me. : ) We even had big brother join in and in case anyone is wondering how I got our 14 year old son joining in with baking....well, it was not done so voluntarily on his part. It was getting close to my time for work and he was the only one available to help out. I don't know, though-if you look close it would almost seem like he was having a little fun. Sshhhh. Don't tell anyone!
BTW-the fancy nail polish on those cute little hands is the work of our big sister, Chels. Ella now requests her nails to be painted...both finger and toes!










The photo on the upper left is what I wake up to every morning-usually in several spots.
This is why I had feared putting up a tree this year. : )
We have put all of the special ornaments on the top so they can stay safe and even though she climbs the tree, it has not yet fallen over. Yay!


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Saturday, December 15, 2007












I usually try to take photos of the girls dressed up on the day of the occasion and usually when we are on the way out the door. So, this time I thought I would get my pictures BEFORE we were rushing out of the house. I also came to the realization that it is close to impossible to get a good photo of the girls together, so took them separate. Okay, so sometimes things come to me a little slower than they should. : )

 
Welcome to our blog! We are happy for you to be a part of our "Day by Day" and to share how God is working in our lives. To read earlier posts, scroll down to the very bottom of the page and you can click on 'older posts'. Remember...we love to hear from YOU as well!