Wednesday, September 1, 2010

6 Months Ago..... Gotcha Day!

It is so amazing to me that 6 months ago was when we first were able to see you in person Jon Jon and hold you in our arms. We became a Forever Family and I will never forget that day. We were waiting with about 5 other families in Changsha, Hunan Civil Affairs Adoption Building. We were a little rushed as we had only gone to the Dalton Hotel and dropped off our bags.Then went right to the building. I was able to watch other families be joined together forever by that magical Red Thread. You Jon Jon were still about 15 minutes away from arriving. We got to see precious Sienna be united with Di from First A Pearl And Then Two Rubies. It was so heart wrenching as Sienna knew what was going on. It was such a comfort though to see a familiar face that I had connected with through blogging in the adoption community.

Finally you arrived. You appeared in one of the Awie's arms. You were so tiny Jon Jon and in the most adorable yellow snow suit. You were just looking around and taking everything in. They placed you down on the ground and I gave you a car to play with. You took it from me cautiously and started rolling it back and forth on the ground. You rolled it to me and I was so happy. The Awie's told us some things about you and gave us a bag of some of your items that we had sent you in your care package. A valuable picture book of you taken during your time with the foster family and at the orphanage was presented to us. What a treasure it is to have that!

Soon we knew that we could hold you and you were okay with it. You were still looking at us and the awies were saying Mamma and Babba and pointing to us. It was such a smooth transition it was remarkable. You didn't really smile that much as your were scared.

We held you and talked with you and gave you some snacks. It took maybe about 15 minutes before Richard said it was time to go. So off we went down to the van. You were fine until about half way to the hotel then you started to tug at the door of the van while you were in my lap. Eventually you started crying and pushing against me to get out of my lap. My heart was breaking for you..... I get tears every time I think about it.

We got back to the room and you were still so upset. Crying while I held you. We could only distract you for maybe a minute and then you would cry again. I decided to give you a bottle really soon after arriving and rock you in my arms. Within 10 minutes you were sound asleep. It was around 5:30pm then. We watched you sleep and tried to nap alittle also as we were really tired from our long trip. When you woke up from your nap you were ready to play and showed us your picture book we had sent you. You named us all without us telling you who we were. What a gift they had given us by helping you to be prepared for your new family.

I am in such awe at how God works in our lives and how he fulfills wishes and dreams. You were this adorable little boy with the cutest face and such a gentle personality. You were everything we could have possibly imaged.

It was such an amazing experience to receive such a gift. I am so grateful to your birth parents who had you with them for the first 4 months of your life. They made an incredibly heart wrenching decision to not raise you. Although I am sure they tried but did not have the resources to help you with your SN's. Then you were placed in front of the gates of Zhuzhou SWI, in Hunan with a note and some bottles. To give you up what an act of love. I can imagine they waited to see who would find you as you squirmed and cried for them. The director found you and you were taken to the police station so they could report you being abandoned. They took you back to the SWI and you stayed there for 2 days and then were placed in a foster home. With a lovely couple and an older foster sister. In that home you learned to love and trust again. They taught you so many things and you grew and flourished under their nurturing care. Your foster Mother's name was Xu Juging. Unfortunately we were unable to meet her as your foster father became ill. You ended up going back to the orphanage for 1 week before we came to get you.

Since arriving home in March, you have continued to amaze us. You have fit right in and adjusted so easily except for the waking up at night. That has been the difficult part as Mommy was definitely sleep deprived. We assume you are having bad dreams or thinking about your Foster family as you are tearful and just want to be held and comforted. What a joy it was to see you and Princess hugging each other and holding hands. You were scared of Molly the dog for the 1st week and loved Sasha the cat immediately.

Your language has just exploded! You carry on conversations with me. You like to ask me questions and echo every new word I say until you know the meaning of the word. You can understand when I ask you to go find something upstairs and you bring it back to me. You love to ask who what, where questions. You love to call your Nanny and Papa to talk on the phone to them an tell them what we are doing. You are learning your ABC's, numbers and have a fascination with learning. You love money and the cash registrar.
You love to sing and dance, try to do the splits, and a somersault. Outdoors is your favorite place to be on the swing, sliding or on the trampoline with your sister. You are a happy go lucky boy until you might not get your way. Then you become rather persistent and have a melt down.

You are experimental with different types of foods and love fruits,veggies,and of course noodles! You even like salsa and hummus, but ketchup is an all time favorite!

You are a cuddle bug and love to snuggle or as you put it "Lap Time" You say prayers and talk about Jesus and Sabbath school is your favorite. You now tell us "I wuv you" on your own and give us kisses freely. You can tell us when you are happy, sad,mad and give away giggles and smiles all the time.

With your sissy this summer!

You and your sister kinda have a bond that is strong, but also very fragile. With her autism it is not always easy to know how she is going to respond to you. Life has improved and we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. It is so nice when you guys are playing together, hugging each other and just being sweet. Our family life has calmed down and we are much more at peace. It was really rough going especially this summer with less structure for Princess. HOORAY for school starting again!



You love hats! Especially your monkey hat!


Daddy and you on your first bike ride in Tamarack,ID.

Sissy riding her scooter in Tamarack.ID.

You love your bath time and playing with all of your bath toys!

The firsts have been so incredible and I am looking forward to what God has in store for us as a family of 4. Boys are so much fun and special.


Photo Albums at
Photo Tinks by

Lord,I Pray that You would fill Jon Jon up with a love for You that
surpasses his love for anything or anyone else. Help him to respect
and revere Your laws and understand that they are there for his benefit.
Hide Your word in his heart so that he will be drawn toward whatever is
pure and holy. Let Christ be formed in him and cause him to seek the
power of Your Holy Spirit to enable him to do what is right.
You have said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God"
(Matthew 5:8). May a desire for holiness that comes from a pure heart
be reflected in all that he does.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Beauty!

I took this picture on the 4th of July and had to share it.

This is the original that shows all of the beautiful veins.

This one I altered with Picnik. I do not remember the sets.

Now I am on my way to the garden to cut a rose for my birthday.... another year older with a very full heart of love and family.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Life At Our House!

I am trying to play catch up with photo's and life in general..... Sorry it has been a little over 2 months since I have been on my blog.

Our house has been on a big roller coaster ride. Some days are really fantastic and others are really stressful. It has everything to do with the Emperor and Princess. You see the Emperor is adorable and charming as can be. He does know how to push sister's buttons though.

Princess tends to over react to everything he does. Ugh..... It has made life miserable for hubby and I. With her Autism she reacts out of Fight or Flight. She has gotten more aggressive towards us and emperor which has me constantly on high anxiety/ alert systems. Therefore I crash and have no energy to blog etc when the house is quiet and kids are in bed. It has been very tough to deal with. Many days I cry and wonder what are we going to do..... Last week we went to the Autism Clinic at Children's and saw a new Dr. He feels that Princess is depressed and is starting her on a new medication. It will also help her out with her anxiety. She started it on Friday and so far so good. I am noticing more happiness and joy in her face. There is less out burst when Emperor is loud or crying. Ti will take some time to see if it will work for her or not. We are also on the wait list for a Behavioral Therapist. I think they said it would be 13 weeks until we would be able to get.

Little one is such a cutie pie!! We are so in love with him. He is very smart and a quick learner. Although I have to say he likes to try to get away with things. How do you get a 2 yr. old to stop the first time when you say No No about something? He is saying about 100 words already in English, uses the potty when he wants to, can put his shoes and socks on (& take them off of course), loves to dance,sing and play the piano, he is a cuddle and snuggle bug, he runs to Daddy when he comes home from work, he loves all kinds of food especially fruit and veggies,he knows some shapes and numbers already and loves puzzles. He has no fear and loves to try new things.

I have left him a few times with Daddy when I go shopping or something and he has a fit. Although he is getting better and not sobbing for 45 minutes anymore. Now it is about 5 minutes. We have a social facilitator that works with Princess on occasion for a few hours at home. She has been the only person that Emperor would stay with here with out crying. That was last week . Hubby and I ran out to Target and Starbucks. IT WAS WONDERFUL..... Soon it will be easier.

Summer is finally here in the PNW!! We have had a couple of days in the high 80's and low 90's but mostly it is in the high 70's and low 80's. Nice and comfortable! Of course it is still on occasion gray and rainy and in the 60's. What else is new with this area.

We are going to be taking vacation soon and going to visit hubby's family in Paradise,CA for a week and then we are going to Tamarack,ID for a week. Tamarack is a ski resort that went belly up. There is not a restaurant or a store open. The lodge is open, golf course and zip lines are open. We are renting a chalet with 3bdrm/bath for a 50% off. We are very excited. We have a nice deck with a private hot tub and a fireplace with a gas grill. We will be going to the lake and renting a boat, hiking,biking and just relaxing( as much as you can with a toddler ;) ...). The pool is open at the lodge so we will be spending time there. My parent's will be in Boise for the same week and will come up and spend a few days with us.

Our little chalet we are renting.

Great room with fireplace.

Outdoor deck with fireplace and BBQ grill.

I will be spending alot of time here after hiking and biking in our private hot tub!

Summer Time!

IMG_2513, originally uploaded by My fun place.

Fun in the sun when it is here!

Fourth Of July!

Love the running around shots? It was impossible to get him to stay in one place let alone get one picture with them together! LOL....

He insisted in wearing 2 jackets. It was rather chilly like in the low 60's and drizzling at times.

Princess opted out for the red white and blue theme this year. It gets harder as they grow up to have them comply with mother's wishes!

One shot I was able to get with them all together!

Yes, I decorate for the 4th also!

IMG_2445, originally uploaded by My fun place.

My favorite shot although it is not real clear!

A quiet 4th for us this year. We had a picnic outside in the backyard. Then we did our own fireworks in front of the house. Princess does not like the loud Booms but tolerated it. Emperor on the other hand was just right there e in the midst of everything saying ooh and aah.

Where we live everyone does their own fireworks. It can go on until 1 am in the morning. We can also see fireworks from various area's of outlining Seattle.

Truly a 4th to remember for Emperor the first of many!

Father's Day!

Mom and Dad Father's Day.

They came up to visit from down south. They were here for 5 days. We celebrated Princesses 11th Birthday. Then they treated us to a family get away at a near by Hilton for a night. It was fun and Princess loved the pool. We did not let Emperor in the pool as we were not sure at the time about his ear. Now we know it is fine for him to be in the pool. YEAH! He loves the water too!!

My handsome Daddy!

Emperor did not last that long a breakfast.... So, we were headed back up to the room for a nap.
I love the golfer look outfit my Mom got him. This boy loves hats...

IMG_2411, originally uploaded by My fun place.

My sweet girl and hubby on Father's Day!

Honey, you are the greatest and the love of my life...... I love your strength, compassion for living things, your funny sense of humor, your gentleness.... You are my rock and the the calm in all of our sea's.

God blessed me with such a gift !

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We Are Home and Adjusting!

Love at first sight.....

My happy go lucky little one!

Nap time treasure the moments....

He has the cutest little laugh and giggle!

My favorite they are asleep and so peacefully happy!

So sorry for the long lapse in posting! Life has been incredibely full and crazy lately. Jon Jon is adjusting well although we still struggle with waking up in the middle of the night. I have been rather tired as is expected.

On the newsfront:

Jon Jon turned 2 on May 2nd

I need another surgery on my Right foot.

Hubby decided not to apply for a postition in NWS at Salt Lake city UT.

Princess is waiting to turn 11 in June.

We are bonding as a family of 4 although at times it has been rough. Not on Jon Jon's part but more on Princesses end...... Trying to reassure her that she is loved and cherished everyday.

Jon Jon has had his appts. with the Adoption Specialist and he is ahead of his developmental milestones in motor and speech. He has malnutrition and is expected to gain weight and height in the next 6 mos. He still is in 18 mos. size clothes.

Our appt. with the Cranio facial team is in July.

Jon Jon has said I wuv you and it was to Gabby first.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Medical Exam Day

Today was our appt. for Jon Jon's Medical Exam. We went to breakfast first and met a few families all there feeding their children. There were about 7 families and only 2 girls out of 7. I thought that was very interesting. The breakfast buffet is okay and nothing like the Dolton Hotel. They do have an few Western and Chinese items plus the normal eggs, fruit, breads and cereals. We met Richard in the lobby and then it was short walk to the Medical Examiner's office. Jon Jon actually sat in the stroller without a fight! Yippee. When we tried it last night he just cried and would not sit down in it.
Saw our friends in the Medical exam office. Unfortunately I did not get to talk with Diana much as Sienna was having to get 7 shots!! Oh my heart just broke for them. That is just so cruel to do and not very safe either. Jon Jon was up to date on his Immunizations and he is 22.5 lbs. and they said he is 41" tall. No way he is that tall. He is maybe 30 " tall. Everything that I brought for him to wear is a 24 mos or a 2 T and he is swimming in them!! I am rolling up the pants, sleeves and the waists.
They did a simple ENT exam and his hearing is intact as is his eye sight on both sides. Praise the Lord!!
He was cooperative for the whole exam and did not seem to mind it!
Next stop was the jewelry market downtown where we bought some pearls. It was so interesting to see the string them and tie them off individually. We then found a deliciousVegetarian Chinese Restaurant that had wonderful yummy food. You could not tell it was not real meat. It was so delicious!! Lots of pan handlers and people begging for money.
Next stop the temple. So stunning and elaborate the carvings and gilded gold Buddha's. Simply gorgeous. Lots of offerings of fruits and flowers as the Buddha's are vegetarian. The incense was sweet and not too overwhelming.
We came back to the Victory and moved into our suite. It is much larger and we can move around now. I would not recommend staying here. It is old with dirty carpets, found black mold in the bathrooms and the towels are old and graying. I would pay the extra money and stay at the White Swan. It is a beautiful hotel and it is well maintained.
Our boy is opening up more and more everyday. If I go to the bathroom and shut the door he stands out side and yells for me Mama! He is now giving us high 5's and beginning to blow kisses to us and catch ours. He loves to be held. We are having him fall asleep in our bed and then after he is asleep we move him to the crib. He is now waking up in the morning without crying.
He loves to play and be busy!! Cora can you see he loves your hat you gave him!! He knew that to be cool you wear it backwards or to the side! I was so amazed....
Hugs to all!!

The days run together!!

Friday we took the Bullet train from Changsha, Hunan to Guangzhou, Guangdong it is a 2.5 hour ride. The train travels at up to 250 mph. What an incredible treat it was to see the country side with oxen, families working in the rice pads, occasional cow, and very poor shacks. We went thorough some cities on the way that were heavily populated. When we got to GZ we had an hour ride in the Victory Hotel bus which is a Mercedes Benz van. It was interesting to see more expensive cars like BMW's and some Porsche's. The city is bustling with activity and people do not have the right of way cars do!! That is so scary to me. If a person is crossing the street and can not make it all the way across they stop where they are and the cars go around them.
Got to the Victory Hotel and the new wing where we were going to stay is having alot of construction going on around it. So we were put in a standard room in the old wing. Well, there was literally no room to move around with the luggage. on top of it the brought us a baby stroller, a baby bath and a crib. We were crawling over each other. I was miserable. We called downstairs and we are moving to a Chinese Suite tomorrow afternoon. The old section is just that old!! It is still extremely noisy with all of the government construction going on on the sidewalks. Richard our guide said this is the 3rd time they have torn up the side walks in the last few months. It is crazy here....
So, we ate some fried rice and curry chicken for dinner. It was yummy. Tomorrow we go to have Jon Jon's medical exam at 10 am. Then we will go shopping for pearls, out to lunch at a Vegetarian restaurant and to a temple.
Should be fun. I am beginning to get very homesick for my girl. It is so hard to be here and she is at home. We found out that she is sick and that is even more difficult. Pray that she gets over her cold soon.
We definitley have a Spicey boy from Hunan!! It sure is fun though. Whereever we go he attracks attention. He says hi and bye to everyone and gives them big smiles!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thursday In Changsha

This is the boy that I have been dreaming about...... He has simply stolen my heart and I am so in love with him!! He has begun to trust us and rely on us for things. He reaches out for us to pick him up and hold him! He is beginning to show us smiles and laughs at things. He loves to be active and play rough and tumble with Daddy.
He knows how to wink at me!! He is beginning to give us high 5's, He will say huh... when you call him. We continue to use Wei and Jon Jon until he has accepted his new name. The title of my blog just simply says it all about my boy!! He knows how to brush his teeth, He helps you put on his clothes and tries to zip and snap them. He can put on his shoes and Velcro them. I am in awe of what he can do!!! He can use a fork and spoon to feed himself. Combs and brushes his hair.
The things we still need to work on are the spitting on the floor, throwing trash on the floor, blowing our nose out without Kleenex, ,throwing trash in the toilet.
God is so amazing in finding our son that is so perfect for our family. He knew when to present him to us and when Jon Jon was ready to be ours! A Match Made In Heaven!!!
We spent the day at The Mummy museum and then an Industrial Arts school where they do the beautiful embroidery. Changsha is known for their embroidery. We were able to see the factory room where the girls were all working on different pieces. Simply beautiful. I bought a few little items to take home and share. While we were at the museum We let Jon Jon walk alittle bit on his own with one of us next too him. He walks with his hands behind his back like the grampa's. It is so adorable!! We were unable to use flash in there. I promise I will get a picture of it though!
Tomorrow we will go back to the CCAA here in Changsha to pick up Jon Jon's Chinese passport. Then we are off to the train station. I will not post tomorrow.
Hugs to all!!

A cold and Rainy day!

Today was a really cold and windy day here in Changsha. We decided to for go the museums and just hang out at the hotel.
We had a leisurely breakfast and then went to the playroom. Okay this boy can figure out anything!! He is already trying to ride a bike with training wheels! I will see if we can upload the video. He loves to climb up the slide and is hesitant to slide down but will with encouragement. He loves to push the stroller around without a dolly. He is copying us making towers with blocks. He continues to want his socks off all the time!!
Everywhere we go he draws attention with his social personality, waving hi or bye to everyone. People can get him to smile, but he will not readily give them to us. Hugs and Kisses no way... this I know will come with time. He definitely knows we are his Mama and Baba and he has a Jie Jie as he is saying it all the time and will point to the picture book we gave him. He also says a form of our last name. He is active and loves to be busy!
Nap time and bed time continue to be a struggle taking a half n hour to get him down. His eating is great. Tantrums continue if he does not get his way for things. There is no way he will use any bottle but the one he came with. This is a struggle. Keep praying that with time this will change before we have that long flight home.
Today we heard some loud bangs and looked out of our 30 floor window and below us fireworks were going off. Asked our guide about this and he said they will use fireworks to announce a new store or a sale going on for a store. Kinda fun to see! The windows have alot of condensation on them all the time and we have to wipe them down to see out side.
Wish we were in a group. That is the hardest part about this. We have met some of the families at breakfast but they are all doing things as a group. Saw Diana again and we hope to get together soon!
We decided to take the Bullet train on Friday from Changsha to Guangzhou. It will be a fun experience and give us the opportunity to see some of the countryside. Changsha is a very busy and noisy city with cars honking all hours of the day. You still see the carts pulled by farmers and then in contrast you see the luxury cars like Lexus, Volvo's, and Audi's.
Tomorrow we will be going to the Museum that has a mummy from 3,000. yrs ago. The found her tomb back in 1978. She came from a wealthy family and was buried with alot.
Continue to pray for Jon Jon to trust us and begin to show us some smiles.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

He Is Officially Ours!

Where do I start? Jon Jon was good at the CCAA here in Changsha yesterday. Like one of you said he looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He took the little truck from me and got down on the floor and started playing with it. It was very sweet. He would roll it over to me and I would roll it back to him. I tried to give him some time to play before I overwhelmed him and picked him up. I think it helped. When I did get to hold him he was fine with it. This is also a child that loves people and will want to be help by everyone at the ZZ orphanage.
I was disappointed that his foster mom did not come. They told me that her husband was sick and therefore she could not come. I also found out as others have told me is that he was placed back at the ZZ orphanage 5 days before Gotcha Day. So, he has already had one transition to go through before he came to us. : (
The ride in the van was fine until he realized that he was being taken away. That is when he started fussing,talking and trying to get out of my lap. He is extremely strong and as he stared crying and sobbing he would throw himself backwards! There were a couple of times i thought I would drop him! SCARY!!!
We got back to the hotel room and this went on for around 45 minutes. Finally we got him to take a bottle and I rocker him to sleep. He napped for about 2.5 hours which meant it was 7:30 pm. I decided that I needed to wake him up so he would sleep through the night. He woke up okay and then he munched on some Cheerios's, congee and banana puff's. He loves Cheerios's and doesn't like the puff's. Congee he is not a huge fan of. It is so interesting to see how each child is different. You can never be fully prepared for your individual child before you come over here. I brought Soy based Similac and he is on a milk based formula. I am trying to mix it in as he progress him.
When we got the report from the caregiver on Monday she reported that he was just taking a bottle and also some gruel which is like rice cereal mixed into the formula. Well from other reports I had he was eating alot more solid foods. Interesting conflict of information. All I can tell you is go with your gut and see where your child is at. He loves food and will try anything once if he likes it yippee if not he spits it out. Make sure you bring lots of bibs. especially the kind that is vinyl and with the pocket in front. Those have been our lifesavers. The care giver also reported that he got up between 10-12 and had a bottle. So far he has slept through the night.
Getting him to bed is a chore and struggle. It took us around 30 minutes to get him down. We held him, we placed him in the bed between us,tried to give him a bottle and nothing really worked. Finally patting him on his bottom for 30 + minutes while he was on his tummy put him out. Then we transferred him back to the crib.
Today, he woke up pretty easy. We gave him his first bath and when would not sit down and immediately pee ed in the water!! so we had a standing up bath! Breakfast we had him sit in my lap and I fed him. He ate alot, loves melon banana's,breads polenta, fried rice etc. The buffet here is incredible with both a Chinese and Western style food.
We went back to the CCAA in Changsha today and had our ceremony where the ask you questions about why you want to adopt, would you ever abandon him and do we still want him after 24 hours. We had a picture taken with the director of Zhou Zhou Orphanage.
Then it was off to Wal Mart. That was an experience ! It is a huge building with about 3 floolrs. The food are is like a market in Europe with all of the different meats, breads, fish and exotic foods. I also looked for some clothes for Jon Jon . He is still in an 18-24 month size which is big. Alas though nothing in his size. So, meanwhile we just roll everything up and roll over the waist bands.
Then we came back to the room and just played,napped and got to see how incredibly smart this little one is!! You show him how to do something once and he has it or he problem solves it on his own before you can show him. Thank you Lord!!
I will post more tomorrow. We have a very busy schedule and it is hard to find time to post with a little one. : )