Monday, March 29, 2010

New Luggage for Lily

Lily got her first piece of luggage today. We are getting ready to go to Disney World for the second time. We still have a few weeks left until we go, but we are so excited to be able to go back and spend time together as a family. It just seems like things have been so busy lately. We just never have Lily all to ourselves.
She is so proud of her new luggage- especially because it has Tinkerbell, Silvermist, Rosetta, Fawn, and Iridessa on it. We are already preparing to spend a lot of time in long lines so Lily can meet the fairies. She cannot stop talking about having her picture made with Mulan, Tinkerbell, Silvermist, Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Goofy-- just to name a few.
Now, we have to go practice packing...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lily's "Hoopa Loop"

We started a new Behavior Program on Monday evening for our independent, almost 3-year-old daughter. She gets so upset when we do her jobs around the house or when she wants to do something that she just cannot do. I have used the marble jar at school for ages, and we had bought smiley face marbles with a matching container years ago while waiting for Lily. We knew that someday we would use it as a reward system for her. I never imagined we would be using it this early. But, amazingly enough, she totally gets it and.... it works!
So, she has earned 40 marbles this week for , in Lily's own words, "being patient and being good." Since she earned all of her marbles, she got to go shopping today to pick "only one present." After 30 minutes and 10 trips down every toy aisle at Target, she finally saw something she had been asking for- a "hoopa loop!"
She is delighted to have her "hoopa loop"! The funniest part of the evening was when we were at Target searching for her one special reward present, I was showing her some Little People things. She informed me quickly, "No, Mama, we already have some of those at home. We don't need anymore." When we would suggest things to her, she would quickly respond, "No, Mama" or "No, Baba." At one point, she saw something she wanted as we passed it, she said, "Mama, push me back there. Back up, please. I want to see that." Then, after we looked over the bubble maker and discussed that it probably wouldn't last that long, she said, "That's okay. I will keep looking." I am just thankful we got out of there for less than $8.00.
Now, we are 4 marbles in once again... I am looking forward to see what her next present will be.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One more day of memories...

Here are a few more pictures of some of our travelmates with their babies. The picture above was taken on our last day in China.
This is the family photo with Beth, David, Liana, and Marah. This was at the Civil Affairs Office.
Since we have been home, we have been to see them 3 times. They are just like family to us!
Kim, Kevin, and Hannah on their last day in China, too. We have gone to Disney World and visited with them once since we have been home. We had a wonderful time!
This is Renee and Jocelyn. Jocelyn was also from Lily's orphanage.
This is Jenny, Danny, and Lilli on their last day in China.
Jonda, John, and Sarah on their last day in China.

Heather, Jay, Katelyn, Josh, and Julia

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gotcha Day Memories...2008

We arrived at our hotel around 1 p.m., and our luggage arrived at 3 something. We were all pacing the halls together waiting to get cleaned up for our big moment. We were all told to meet in the lobby at 4 p.m. which is where the above picture was taken. We were so excited to get across the street where we knew Lily was waiting on us.
Here are our friends, Beth, David, and Liana, while they were waiting, too- on Marah who is from the same orphanage as Lily.
Finally our 3-year-long wait was over! We walked across the busy Nanchang street to the Civil Affairs Office. We rode up an elevator that took forever to get on in that busy office building. We were packed in like sardines. When we got upstairs, we were told that our daughter was over there in that corner. We were trying to figure out which one was which as the one in the red jacket screamed and screamed.
Beth and I joked about who she belonged to since it was hard to clearly see their faces. Of course, you can tell that the very unhappy baby is definitely Lily. In her defense, she had been through a lot that day- a 3 hour bus ride, her first ride on a bus, and being taken away from her foster mother. Not to mention, she was probably hungry and tired.
This is the first moment she was placed in my arms. She stopped crying for about 10 seconds.
That moment was the most wonderful moment in my life. I felt filled with emotion, and I knew that God had made her just for us! I couldn't wait to get her back to our room- all to ourselves.
We took a few family photos while Lily continued to cry and scream.
But, merely an hour later, we were in our room playing. We had changed Lily into some clean clothes that we had brought for her and her mood instantly changed. She began to play with her favorite toy- her stacking cups. We had to keep two sets of those for her to take everywhere our first year together.
She looks so tiny looking back at that time. I can't believe that 2 years have passed!
These pictures show all of the clothes she had on when she was given to us. We kept the jacket which is still way too big for her now.
These are the split pants that she had on- all 3 pair.
Tomorrow night, I will post pictures of all the families that traveled with us. They have a very special place in our hearts forever!
Happy Gotcha-versary to all of our travel mates!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 2008- in Beijing

We were in Beijing at this time 2 years ago. We enjoyed climbing the Great Wall and seeing the beauty of China. We were enjoying shopping for a jade bracelet that will someday be passed on to Lily. We loved seeing the Chinese acrobats perform the night before we flew to Nanchang to hold Lily for the first time. We were so thankful that God had planned for us to be Lily's parents. Every moment in China gave us more reminders of how awesome life can be when you allow God to be in charge of everything you do. He gave us the best gift we could ever imagine- our beautiful daughter.
God also gave us new friends that shared our journey and will be in our hearts forever. Jenny and Danny are one of the couples that went to China with us. Their room was beside ours in Nanchang, and our girls sat in the hallway outside our rooms together on the day we got them.
He also gave us a wonderful family that we have visited a few times since we have been home- Beth, David, Liana, and Marah. There will be pictures posted of them tomorrow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

2 years ago...preparing to leave for China

2 years ago...
We were packing and praying and re-packing and praying. We were anxiously awaiting the moment when we would hold our daughter for the first time. Our journey to China is something we talk about often, and we cannot wait to share every moment with Lily. This year, she knows that Wednesday is her Gotcha-versary. She also understands that means she gets a special day for just the 3 of us to celebrate the day that we got her. She is really excited because she gets presents! Her presents will always be something that helps her to treasure China in her heart the way we do. We would take off without a moment's notice and return any day. It was a beautiful place that will hold a special place in our hearts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Heart-Shaped Boo Boo

Doesn't the bruise look just like a heart? Only Lily would have a heart-shaped bruise...
On Saturday night, while we were working out, Lily ran through the middle of us and the middle of her head came in contact with the back of Baba's weight. The sound was horrible as though two bowling balls had been thrown together. The tears that followed were unheard of in our house because Lily never cries when she gets hurt. Of course, she has never been hurt quite like this before. Over the next 20 minutes, that spot on her forehead swelled out to the size of a strawberry. Lily was so good at holding the ice on her head because it was Miss Kitty ice. Plus, she definitely wanted the swelling to go down. As soon as the tears stopped, she demanded to see what her face looked like. She remarked, "Why did Baba's weights hit me, Mama?"
But, no worries. Our workouts have continued, and Lily has learned a valuable lesson. She stays away from our weights during our workout time. She enjoys working out with us anyway, and I was so afraid that she would stop. But, she was right there with us tonight.
Lily also really wants her bruise to change to every color- especially pink and red. No matter how many times we try to explain that those are the 2 colors it definitely won't turn- she refuses to believe us. "It's already purple!" she said. At least now when we say not to jump on the couch because she might get another bruise- she actually listens!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On this day, 2 years ago...

Lily was waiting for us in China. What a difference 2 years has made...

While she was there, we had gotten back our Passports with our Visas on this day. My children at school had thrown me a surprise shower, and we were packed and ready to leave for China. We were counting down the days, and we would be leaving in 6 more days!