Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy 2nd Family Day

Two years ago today, I was given a heartbroken, scared, and angry little boy--my son.
It is amazing to see how far our son has come in these two years...he is happy now. What a hard yet awesome journey it has been with him.
I am one blessed Mama!
Happy 2nd Family Day my sweet boy!! We love you more than words can say!!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Most of you know that adoption is not all sunshine and roses. It is filled with many losses and many tough days. There are many beautiful moments too, but most of the time those moments are not captured in a photograph or on film; they are treasured moments that we cherish in our hearts and minds.

We were so graciously blessed by a local photographer, Stacey Clack from Stacey Clack Photography, her and her husband were there at the airport and beautifully captured our bittersweet yet heartwarming homecoming.

Our homecoming is not just a homecoming to us; it is a promise to Aliyah.
We promise to never forget her birth mother or her birth culture. We promise to love her fiercely, to cherish her forever, to honor her always . We promise to laugh with her when she is happy and cry with her when she is heavy hearted. We know that welcoming her home to our family means that she had to lose so much.

I hope she will someday soon know how deeply she is loved and what a treasured blessing she is to us.

She is our precious daughter
and a sister to her siblings.
She is a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin and a friend.

She is loved.

Welcome home our darling Aliyah, welcome home.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We are home!

We are home!!

On July 9th we had our  appt. to finish up paperwork on the US side. It was fairly simple.  Later we did some shopping and had dinner that night with some friends. We had a great time.

On the 10th (Chin@ time) we started our journey home. We arrived home on the 11th, after over 24 hours of traveling. Stacey from Stacey Clack Photography graciously blessed us and was there to capture our first moments together as a family...

Aliyah did so well during our travel home. And she seems to be doing well here at home too. She is struggling with the time change, which is to be expected, but she is loving our other kids. She has been laughing and smiling lots.
She seems to be getting used to me and allows me to hold her and feed her now without any tears. I know things will just continue to get better as the days go on.

I am so thankful for the blessing that Aliyah is to our family.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting there...

We had a pretty good day yesterday. It started with Aliyah's medical appointment. That went as well as could be expected. She had a few tears but was easily comforted by Joel.  She was much more comfortable with Joel and Alaina yesterday than in the past few days. She played quite a bit yesterday and even sat in a highchair at lunch. It is so good to see her playing and even smiling a bit. I know things will just keep getting better and better. I cannot wait to see her blossom and see her personality unfold.
Her and I have a long way to go, but I am so thankful that she can at least take comfort in Joel. I am just dying to love on her, but we are no where near that point. I would be lying if I said that it did not hurt. But, when I think of things from Aliyah's point of view my heart just breaks. She has experienced 2 huge losses, if not more, in her life and asking her to trust me and love me is just too much for her right now...
 One of my favorite verses for her adoption is Habakkuk 2:3. God brings this verse to my mind all the time. I never knew it would come to mean so much to me.
Just because she is in our arms does not mean that our "adoption journey" is done; it is actually just beginning.

Habakkuk 2:3
 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

The healing and trust will come in may seem slow to come but it will come.

Such a sweetie

Playing with Daddy

Yesterday afternoon we took a walk to Sh*mien Isl*nd. What a beautiful place! I am sure we will be back there soon. We had lunch on the island at Cow and Bridge- a Thai restaurant. It was very good too. Aliayh loved the steamed noodles.
waiting for lunch

One of the many statues on the Isl*nd- Aliyah did not want to leave Daddy's arms

We even strolled the streets of GZ by our hotel. What an experience to see. We loved seeing all the little shops.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 3 with Aliyah--rest

We had tours scheduled for today but we cancelled them due to Aliyah's heavy grieving. I am so glad we did as Aliyah has been sleeping for most of the day and the temp outside is 106. Aliyah did fairly well this morning. She sat with me at breakfast and let me feed her and she slept for about 3 hours in my arms. I think Alaina has been a bit bored but has handled to quiet time well. We met up with another adoptive family for dinner....we had a great time.
After dinner Aliyah was all smiles for Joel and Alaina, she even walked a bit holding their hands. But with me she continues to cry when I try to get too least I had a few moments this morning.

Wenzh*u trip


 We survived our long drive and overnight trip to Wenzh*u. The reason we had to make the trip to Aliyah's birth city is because we needed to process her passport paperwork. Not all Provinces require it but Aliyah's does. The passport paperwork was fairly simple. Aliyah did have one pretty good meltdown when Joel handed her to me so her could sign some paperwork and pay for some fees. I went to the wash room and had a bit of a melt down too... I had a good cry.  It is so tough when you new child rejects you. Rejection is not new to us as Joel experienced it with Dane, but boy is it tough sometimes.

Aliyah did pretty well in the car as long as she was with her daddy. She slept for half the trip on the way there and back.

After we got back to Hangzh*u and checked back into our hotel and had some dinner Aliyah decided she was ready to be out of daddy's arms for a bit and played. We even got a few smiles. She even sat on the floor with me and we stuck stickers to everything.

At bedtime, she even decided that it was OK to take her shoes off...the first time in 2 and a half days.

We are making progress with her. It has been a tough few days for her and I am sure all the travel and different hotels has not helped.
Please continue to pray as we try to bring peace and healing to our precious daughter.

Finalized, West L*ke & trip to Wenzh*u

July 3rd
We met our guide at 9 am to check out of our hotel and to head to the Civil Affairs Office to finalized Aliyah's adoption. We just signed a few things, answered some simple questions and took a few pictures and just like that Aliyah was ours.

After that we did some touring of West L*ke in Hangzh*u while we waited for the Notary Office to finish some of our paperwork that we needed for our trip to Wenzh*u. Aliyah cried herself to sleep as we walked around the lake. It was so hot but simply beautiful.

 After we walked the lake we stopped to have some lunch and then headed to the Notary Office. We looked over our paperwork very carefully and then started our 5hr trip to Wenzh*u to process the paperwork for Aliyah's passport. It was a long trip. The only good thing about the long ride was that we were able to see the beautiful countryside. The pictures do not do it justice.

We will meet our guide at 8:15 tomorrow morning so we can check out of our hotel and go process the passport paperwork, which should take about 2 hours. We HOPE to be be on the road by noon and back in Hangzh*u by 6pm tonight.

We have some more tours scheduled for Thrusday but since Aliyah is having such a hard time we will be canceling those so we can just hang out and try to get some rest. Please continue to pray for us as we have one very, sad and scared little girl.

Monday, July 2, 2012


We need your prayers please. Aliyah began to grieve after her afternoon nap yesterday. She has been crying and refusing to eat and drink. This is no surprise to us, especially after we found out how special her relationship was with her nanny. Even though we expected this, it does not make it any easier. Please pray for us and Aliyah. Pray that Joel will have the strength he needs these next few days as Aliyah prefers to be with him --she does not want to be put down. She is very scared and unsure and we are doing our very best to comfort her.  Her shoes seem to be very comforting to her so we have been leaving them on, even while she sleeps. Please  pray that God will begin to heal her broken heart. Pray for us as her parents and family that we will feel God's presence with us and that we will have the strength we need as we try to bring comfort and security to our daughter. It is heartbreaking to watch your child grieve and know that there is nothing you can do to take their pain away.

We have our daughter!

We have our beautiful daughter!!
We met our guide at 9 am this morning and headed to the Civil Affairs Office to do some paperwork and meet Aliyah. We arrived and of course finding a parking spot was an issue due to the crowded busy streets. So our guide dropped us off and we waited for what seemed like hours while she parked the car.
The Civil Affair Office was very hot and humid, no AC, and smokey. We walked down a short hallway and headed up the stairs.
When we walked thru the doors Aliyah was standing right there. She was beautiful...the moment was so surreal. Her nanny was crying as she handed her to me. She loved Aliyah dearly. We were told that she loved her as her own.
Aliyah cried for a few minutes but seemed to settle quickly. She is a big Daddy's girl. She is sweet and smart. She is beautiful and an amazing blessing to us. She loves shoes, hairbows and bracelets. She totally melts our hearts.
We are in L.O.V.E.
Her nanny blessed us with several professional photo books of Aliyah as well as a flash drive and a disk full of pictures. She was very well loved. Please pray for Aliyah's nanny as she grieves the loss of Aliayh. Pray for Aliyah as she faces yet another big loss and adjustment in her life. Pray fo us too, as her parents, that we will be the best possible parents for her and that we will help her deal with the loss that she is experiencing.
It has been a very bittersweet day for us. It is heartbreaking to know that our blessing is the result of her loss.

Not only were we able to meet our daughter for the very first time, we were able to witness the miracle for two other families as well. What a life changing, awesome day.
God is so good!!

Day 3 the Great Wall

We started to morning by checking out of our hotel and then took an almost 2 hour ride to the Great Wall. We went to the Mutuanyu section where we could ride a ski lift up and take a "sled" down. WOW!! We had a fantastic time!! It was HOT, very HOT!! But it was amazing. Beautiful. Breath taking. We spent 2 hours walking and climbing. Alaina was such a trooper. She LOVED it. She never once said she was hot or anything.  
When we finished walking the wall we headed to a local restaurant for some more traditional Chinese food. It was fantastic!! We then, all hot, wet, and sweaty went to the airpot and took a 2 hour flight to Hangzh*u. We checked in about 10pm last night.

"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you... For I am the Lord your God..
~Isiah 43:1-3