An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet,regardless of time,place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.~Ancient Chinese Proverb

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our Girl's Birthday- Mia is 2!!!

Since bringing her home earlier this year, I have looked so forward to THIS day. The day that our sweet girl was born. And now ,as it is here, I sit filled with a million different emotions. I am so overjoyed with this precious blessing that took her first breaths on a cold November day in China. Amazed at the obstacles she has overcome in her short 2 years here on Earth. Humbled at the opportunity to be the one to raise her as my own and watch her grow. But aside from all of these wonderful emotions that bring a huge smile to my face, there also comes a twinge of sadness. When you look at the whole picture of WHO this little girl is and HOW she came into our lives, you have to face the reality of WHY she is ours. She was born to a Mother, who because of country birth limits and lack of accessibility to adequate medical care for Special needs, was unable to keep her as her own. 

The sheer magnitude of this breaks my heart.
And so as we celebrate this special day, I am filled with questions. Was she born at night or during the day? Was she born in a hospital or at home, in secrecy, like so many children in China are? Was her birth a surprise?(some reports we have suggest she was very premature). And mostly, how did this poor woman feel as she wrapped her newborn baby up and had to leave her somewhere to be found? Was she abandoned because she was a second child or was it due to her severe cleft lip and palate? How many days did her Mother keep her, before having to walk away from her? Does she remember this day, and if so, what emotions is SHE feeling today?
These are questions we will never have the answers to, but I can only imagine the anguish that comes with each of these situations. And it tears at my heart. I knelt at the altar today and Church and said a special prayer for her past and those in it. That their hearts have a peace and that they always know that Beauty comes from Ashes. 
That amongst pain and sadness, comes JOY.
On the other side of the world sat a family who longed for a Daughter. A Daughter with beautiful skin, black shiny hair and precious almond shaped eyes. We didn't care where she was, but we set out on search to find her.
And thanks be to GOD, he lead us right to her!

We celebrated her First Birthday without her, gathered with a few of our closest friends. We had a cake made and we made lots of wishes. We prayed that she was warm and cared for in her Orphanage, that somehow she knew something better was coming, and we prayed for Gods hands to be on her, keeping her safe while we waited to hold her.

Fast forward a year..and we are celebrating this year with her HOME!!!
She has no idea how special this day is, but oh boy, are we going the extra mile to try and make her understand!

Our sweet family came into town to help us with our 4 day birthday weekend. We celebrated with a super fun Party with lots of little friends the day before and then celebrated AGAIN, a little more low key, the day OF her actual Birthday, with just our little family. In true Birthday tradition, there were lots of cupcakes, candles, wishes and presents!!!

I made a wish for her as I blew out her candle..that she ALWAYS know how much she is loved. That she always know she was CHOSEN and PRAYED for. And that every Birthday from here on out, be as special to her as it is to us.

We want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to celebrate this special day with us and those who sent calls and messages, wishing her a Happy Birthday...
We are so grateful to have so many friends and family members that are so anxious to love her!

Happy Birthday, our sweet girl.....
You are such a big girl!!!!

Mommy & Daddy

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Camera Dump...

Boy, do I snap a lot of photos! My hubby calls me the Paparazzi...never too far away from my camera.

October was no different..

Here were some of my favorites....

Yes...there's more!!

Yep, we filled our October with lots of warm memories and smiles....hope you did too!!


A week in a Review....

Well, since our last post, we are STILL going strong with the sippy cup, and dare I say, maaaay be done with our cleft bottles!! Wooo hooo!! While I really could have cared less HOW long she continued to use her cleft bottle, it's one less thing I have to "explain" to people when I'm out in public. I swear, when I'm at home, in our little cocoon, I feel perfectly secure with how Mia is doing and the strides she's making. 
Leave the house. Run into that old friend at the store. And BOOM. I'm "rationalizing, explaining, yada yada". The questions start. "Is she on a cup?" "Is she talking?"
Ugh.....someone take me back to my cocoon.

I don't know why I get so riled up. It's not like I haven't been here before. Our firstborn, bless his heart, was slow to start everything. Slow to crawl, slow to walk, and We thought he would NEVER talk! We even called in the help of our a pediatrician and a private Speech Therapist, who over and over again reassured us...relax,  he's just delayed. It will come.
Well, I overly rationalized this to my other Mom friends...and then, one day...he started talking...and never stopped.

I know this will most likely be the case with our sweet Girl, but I still get so disheartened when I'm out and see others her age, doing the things she is not. I feel the need to "explain" to people her history and perhaps the reasons for her delays, when I really know, that all children develop at different strages and she will "get there when she gets there"

Ugh.....the things us Momma's worry over.

Moving on..

Last week, We celebrated our One year a Referral Day Anniversary. The day we received the Call and first saw her face. I will never forget this day, as it carries the same excitement as the days I learned I was pregnant with both boys. I remember exactly where I was and how I felt on both of those days, and this October 3rd 2012 was no different. Pure Excitement!! And imagine finding out you're going to have a baby AND  getting to see their face, all on the same day!! Double excitement!!!

These are the first glimpses we got of our girl, as we opened our inbox that Wednesday afternoon around 4:30pm.....

"Could she be YouR Daughter? Is SHE the one??" 
Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!

Fast forward a year. We've made our way through webs of paperwork, struggled with Government officials who didn't see our "priority" as their priority, boarded a plane that would take us half way around the World, spent 3 weeks in a Country getting to know this tiny little girl that was now ours, brought her home and introduced her to her new life, labored with her through her first surgery, and have gotten to witness all of her firsts, so far. 
I mean.....what a year it has been since that phone call!!!

We are enjoying every movement of this BLESsED life that go god has given us.

While the calendar says it's Fall, we are soaking up the remainder of the nice weather. Enjoying boat rides and days outside, while we can.

We have had my Dad here visiting, which has been so nice! He cooks, cleans and takes the Boys to and from school....NICE!
The kids have been in hog heaven with him here, and we are sad to see him leave tomorrow.

We have a BIG weekend planned, coming up. We are taking the Boys to their favorite water park lodge for some quality time with them, and Mia will be spending her first overnight trip with her Grandparents (Momma's gonna get some SLEEP!!!)
We are also going to visit the Kids 95 year old Great-Grandmother. She lives out if state in a Nursing Homa and has never met Mia. 

More to follow!!

Hope this post finds you all HAPPY and WELL, and enjoying your start to Fall!!


Catching up....October in Review.

Holy smokes...just like that, in the blink of an eye, October is gone and we are knee deep in a Fall. Fall. Not one of my favorite Seasons. I'm much more of a Spring and Summer kind of gal. Love the sun, water, hot days, lemonade, Popsicles and flip flops. There's not much of that goin on during, I usually run kicking and screaming from the first sign of cooler weather. Folks around here love it though. The first day of September, and out come the Pumkins and Mums. Hold on people...hold on people...let's squeeze what we can out of what's left of our beautiful Summers.'s here and nothing is going to change that, so we'd better roll with it.

We've been lucky to spend our October with lots of visitors. Since all of our family lives at least a good 3 hours away, when they come, they come for overnights visits, which the kids love. Whenever we tell them that someone is coming, the first thing they ask is.."how many nights are they staying??!!" They love waking up to having family here, and so we truly cherish those visits.

We also enjoyed a wonderful visit from a sweet couple that we met during our trip to China. They were also adopting a sweet girl, who we later would learn was given the a EXACT same Chinese name as our sweet girl. Talk about random! (You should gave seen my face when the lady was telling us about their little girl. She told us her name, followed by age (also 15 mos), and that she was a little cleft girl. Umm....I think the color LEFT my face. Until she whipped out a photo, and we exhaled. Different little girl...whew...but she had us worried for a bit!:-)
We formed a great friendship while in China and have kept in touch since returning home. They came out for a weekend visit and it was so bittersweet to see them again. Our girls have changed so much. They are so happy, healthy and full of life. 

So...back to the fact that it's Fall. Well, Fall means our annual trip to the Pumkin Patch, and so, off we went....
We ventured through the big corn find our way out quite a long time after entering....;-))
We chose our Pumpkins, ate a little and the Boys enjoyed a competitive game of Corn hole.

We took the Boys and snuck away to their favorite indoor waterpark, The Great a Wolf Lodge. We had gone last October and the Boys have been been begging to go back since we left. Nana and Grandaddy were so gracious to keep Mia for the weekend, so that we could spend some much needed alone time with the Boys. Everyone had a great time!
Here are a few shots from Mia's visit with Nana and Grandaddy....

And then..there's HALLOWEEN!!
Alex chose 2 costumes this year and rotated between them (Iron Man 3 and Teenage Mutant Turtle, Raphael). Sadly, Nick decided against dressing up and opted just to help me give out candy. He had his costumes on standby, just in case... Mia was WonderWoman....cutest little superhero I've ever seen!!

Also, in big news..Nick lost another tooth!!!
And.....our little Ninja earned his Purple-striped belt!!!

While I was scrolling through my camera, I realized just HOW many photos I'd snapped last month ! Too many for this blogpost alone, so I'll do another "camera dump" post soon!!!

Hope this post finds you all well and excited about Fall...2 super important holidays coming up soon! Hope you're getting ready!!!

Blessings, Angie