Monday, April 30, 2007

FCC Easter Picnic and Home Fun

These were some photos taken at the Central Florida Families with Children from China Easter event. Davie is in the photos with her good friend Madeleine, who's family is also waiting to adopt from China. The one with Ellie and another adorable baby is my favorite! That is my friend Jenny's little girl, Cady, who is just days older than Ellie. Jenny and Russ traveled with us the first time to get our daughters. The next photo is of all four of our "China dolls", Davie, Lexi, Eliana and Cady. The cover photo is Ellie playing against the fireplace and just rolling around on the floor. She is now doing the army crawl and is quite mobil. She gets everywhere she wants to get these days which means no more just leaving her on the floor alone...oh well...I'm really thankful that she is progressing as fast as she is. Walking will be not far off now!
FCC Easter Picnic and Home Fun

Eliana is 1

Eliana Joy Lin is 1!

Just as a side note, the photo where Ellie is crying was her reaction when I took the cake away....oh my, Drama Queen!

Eliana Joy Lin is 1!

Last week we celebrated Ellie's first birthday! She absolutely loved her cake. We had a quiet party at home with just us. It was so soon after getting home that I just couldn't put anything bigger together. We had a nice evening though. Of course Sarah was missing, but that couldn't be helped...Mississippi is just too far to come for a birthday party and she was sorely missed. We are adjusting. It was good this last weekend to be home all weekend with nothing planned so that Ellie could get in 2 naps a day and just hang out at home. She is becoming a very happy little girl. Last night at Bible study the ladies said she is like a different little girl from just two weeks before. That was so encouraging to this momma's heart. Life at home remains a bit overwhelming, but I still have a few weeks of maternity leave yet, so I'm sure I will get it together by the It has been a blessing to have Ellie in our family. Davie is coming to terms with it all. She must feel like she is losing me because she is telling me she loves me all the time and even saying to others that she only loves me. I wish she didn't feel any sense of loss, but it would be pretty impossible to not. She loves her mei mei and is never mean to her, she just seems to feel a bit insecure about me. Please pray that we all continue to adjust and that I will be willing to do all the hard work that it takes to be the wife and mom I'm supposed to be. God Bless you, too!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fun at home

Home fun

Our Girls all dressed up...last night in China

These are photos of some of the babies from Jiangxi all dressed in their traditional Chinese dress. Eliana loved this photo shoot and she was laughing out loud...but by the time all the babies were on the sofa she was over it! At one point all the babies were screaming at the same time. It was too funny. The Chinese man in front in the "world renowned" best Chinese guide ever, Linekar! We love Linekar! Also, the boys pictured with Davie Anne are the Hedrick boys. Davie fell in love with the oldest, Conner, and Ellie was in love with Cole, the youngest boy. They were delightful to be around! (homeschooled by the way :))
More fun photos....our girls all dressed up!

Bath Time

These photos were taken in China BEFORE I got Eliana's hair wet. She HATES having her hair washed!!!!
bath time

Thursday, April 12, 2007

We're Home!

Well, after about 36 hours of flights and layovers and delays we arrived home today around 4am. Of course we are thrilled to be home, but I need a moving team to get us unpacked and moved back in! It's a little overwhelming, but we will get through it. Ellie seems to be adjusting to the folks here in her home. She actually reached out for Catherine to hold her today, which is a first. We will all be adjusted in no time I'm sure. Tomorrow we will head to ballet for Davie Anne so it will be back to life very soon. Thanks so much for all your prayers. We needed them and we felt them. I will post for my out of town friends soon. More picktures to come.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Photos in Guangzhou

Art Musuem and Tea House

Jiangxi Province

If you click on the photo below you will see many of the photos taken in Eliana's province. The village photos are there as well as the shop where we bought a vase for our friend Audra and Ellie's tea set. The photo with us and a Chinese woman is our guide, Mary. She is such a precious woman and now that we are in Guangzhou we miss her sweet spirit. She grew up in a village like the one in the photos and was the only person to leave her village to go to the university in the city. Her father was a doctor and she worked very very hard to do well so that she could go to the university. The only person to do that in her entire village. Amazing! The families in the village have lived there for generations. The entire village shares one bath house. There are photos of the bath house...the first is the mens, check the Chinese Character, and the second is the women's. The Chinese live a very hard life, but as is often the case, the folks in the village seemed much happier than the ones you see in the cities. Less is more, no? This has been the trip of a lifetime! I love China and have enjoyed this trip so much more than the first time. My appreciation and love for the Chinese and their way of life has grown over the last three+ years. While my photo stuff seems to be working I will post some more photos of the art museum we saw yesterday in Guangzhou. Love to all!

Lots of China

Lots of China

New Statistics

Eliana Joy Lin weighs 18.9lbs and is about 24" if I remember right. She is not as small as I thought she would be and fits into her 6-12mo clothes just right. She passed her medical exam with flying colors and is eating well. I would like for her to drink more from her bottle, so you can pray about that. I think we are about to get the temperature to her liking and I hope that will help. Today I spoiled her and gave her formula through a a baby bird....from the bottom of the straw into her little mouth. Oh my....a little high maintenance girl....hmmmmm wonder where she got that trait???? I know....the apple..... :o)

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone at home! The Lord is Risen! We were not priviledged to attend church today, but we were certainly celebrating in our hearts. We hope you have a blessed day and that His presence is real to you. We are doing well. Eliana Joy Lin is coming along. She smiled at her daddy at lunch today, on purpose! I have fallen in love with this little girl. The interesting thing that I realized yesterday is that she hasn't "won" me over with her pleasing personality, or her adorable fact (and I say this in love) she is not especially pleasant at all. Then I realized again about our Father's love. He loves us, in spite of ourselves. It is not b/c we are so wonderful or pleasant to Him. It is not b/c of our beauty or our winning ways. He loves us b/c we are His and He can't help Himself. He loves us b/c of HIM! It is His Daddy's heart to love us. I am humbled to say, that is how I love Eliana. I am not saying that I don't find her adorable or pleasant....but mostly that I love her b/c she is mine and I could no more stop my heart from loving her than I could stop my own breathing! God has made me to love this little one and I am head over heels in love with her. Tonight at dinner as we waited on the Chinese Mariachi band :) she fell asleep in her highchair resting her head on my hand. To this momma she is the most beautiful little girl and I wouldn't trade her for anything. I find this to be a marvelous mystery of God....He has made her my very own and I'm forever grateful for the priviledge of loving and raising her as my true daughter. (Remind me of this when she is a teenager :)!) Much much love and blessings to you all. Again, Happy Blessed Easter Day!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

visiting village

yesterday we were afforded the unique pleasure of visiting a typical Chinese village. One very similiar to what our girls would have probably grown up in. Definitely one similiar to where they were fostered. 80% of all Chinese live in the rural areas, so this village represents how 80% of the entire population lives. It was a humbling, beautiful experience. No matter how primitive to me, with shared wells and shared toilets, God was there. I love that there is no where that we can go that He is not. The people were friendly and kind to us, even inviting us to eat with them. Precious Chinese people. I felt very intrusive as we took photos and videos of their homes, but we were assured it was ok. I am sure as I have time to reflect I will write more. Unfortunately I cannot see my blog again so I can't read any of your comments. We are still sick so please continue to pray for us. Eliana is warming up to us. She is very attached to me and is entertained by Davie Anne, but won't have a thing to do with David. It has been 4 days and his feelings are beginning to be hurt. Please pray that she will begin to accept her Daddy...her wonderful sweet Daddy. Love to you all! The other half of our group is traveling to China today! Yipee! God Bless

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Adoption is Official!

A Live Wire :)

Well, it is early morning here and I am showered and ready for the day. That is b/c Miss Eliana Joy Lin won't let anyone else hold her without a huge fit. David says she may not like me alot yet, but that's relative, she likes me a WHOLE lot more than She throws a huge fit if I am away from her and then stops the moment I pick her up or take her from David. I now know what all those adoptive moms are talking about when they say their baby was clingy! She is so cute though and has smiled and laughed some and been mostly pleasant, as long as things are going her way...sound like anybody you know??? Our adoption is complete, yipee! Handed over all our fees and did our interviews yesterday so she is officially ours! We are so blessed. We are missing our big kids a lot...Davie really is. She is doing well, but it is not really a relaxed setting. The drivers here are CRAZY so we have to hold to her tightly everywhere we go. We went to Walmart yesterday...3 floors. Last night we had our first normal night of sleep with everyone sleeping through the night, even Davie! No 3:30am snack last night. Jen, you were's the 5th day and she is switched over. To my other half of group 123...can't wait to see you all and meet those baby girls! This is such fun! Blessings to everyone! Two more days until Guangzhou and SHOPPING!!! :) Much love.

Monday, April 2, 2007

My Girl

It is 3:30am here but I had to write about my girl. She is not happy about me at all! She calls out MA! from her crib and when I show up she does not recive me. When I pick her up she just gets mad and so I lay her back down where she then pretends that I am not there. She will not look my way one bit. It is intentional. I am not writing this because I am upset. I am so ok with this. I am writing about this b/c the Lord showed me that this is how many of His children are with Him initially. He comes to us, wanting to adopt us as His children and we refuse Him. We reject the love He has to offer. We want nothing at all to do with Him, often b/c He refuses to be who we want Him to be. He is who He is. He can't and won't change that. God is not hurt by our rejection of Him...He knows all the good things He wants to give us and so our patient, longsuffering Heavenly Father pursues us...He gives us good gifts, He allows us to enjoy all that He has provided for us, He waits for us b/c He loves us so and little by little many of us respond to His love. Often b/c of others who have trusted Him first. There is the beauty in having Davie here with us...she will be my witness. Davie has loved me from the beginning. She willingly received my love. Davie trusts me totally. Davie will be my witness to Eliana that Momma can be trusted! I LOVE THIS! Adoption is so much God's idea! I think everyone should do it :) God has shown me more of Himself...and I am touched and humbled. I don't mean that Davie did it "right" and Eliana is "wrong"...I mean that God is willing to wait for us to love Him. He is not intimidated by our rejection and in this adoption I get the priviledge to be like Him...unbelievable. I am not worried...I know that I want to only give to Eliana and to make her my own and I know that that will happen. This is not about attachment...she makes eye contact with me...when I sing...when she WANTS to :) this is about a little girl that NEEDS to be won over...and I'm not worried about that at all...I have a witness :) and I have my own mothering ability by God's grace and so stay tuned, I will keep you updated on the "winning over of Eliana!

click on the photo to see more photos...Eliana Joy Lin

Eliana's Gotcha Day

She's Here!

Well, we have our baby girl! She is a little doll baby! We all loaded up in the bus to go over to the Cival Affairs Office to get the babies. When we got there they weren't even there I made a joke about false labor to the group :) In about 10 minutes 8 people walked in holding 8 babies. I am happy to say that I thought I recognized Eliana right away...and I was right! We all have a number and we are "Family #8"(the luckiest Chinese no.) and so we were last. A man was holding her and when he went to hand her to me she didn't want to come, but then she did and didn't really cry. We found out today that our babies have been with their foster mothers until today! After he handed her over I just hugged her and talked to her. She didn't really cry and even smiled a little bit at Davie. We are in our room and it is 9pm and she is in her crib or "crate" as Davie calls it. She has cried a lot and calls "MaMa", but it is not me that she is calling for. She doesn't want David to hold her at all, but doesn't really want me either. I bathed her...she was ok, but she didn't love it, she will though I'm sure. Tomorrow I will get in with her and that may go better. She drank a little and at some cheerios and for a long good while was pleasant and entertained, but then she just got tired. She definitely wants to be laid in her crib to go to sleep. She did NOT want me to hold her! Finally when I realized that I just couldn't please her I laid her down on her back and she was much more content...still crying, but not as much. Just fussing some, but if I tried to pick her up she was not interested, so I left her there and went about the room doing what I needed to do. Just a little bit ago she finally fell asleep. I must say that I am so grateful that her foster mother did not sleep with her! The fact that she likes her crib is an answer to prayer. Now, let me tell you about her...she has the most beautiful head of black thick hair! I can picture it long...but it is cut close to her head right now. It lays flat, but there is a ton of it. She has the sweetest little mouth...oh my goodness...I can't wait to kiss it, but I have to b/c of this darn cold! I'm not sure she would welcome my kisses at the moment anyway. She is tiny, but filled out nicely. She has 1 1/2 teeth. She has teeny little feet. Davie just loves her. I remembered so quickly how hard it is to have a 4yo with a new baby...they want to do everything for the baby and it is not always helpful :), but so so sweet. Ellie likes Davie and gave little smiles to her right away. David and Davie and I are still suffering from colds. I am not miserable, but David is, so please pray for him to feel better soon. The babies are all adorable. Ellie is not the youngest. There is one baby that turned 10mo. today. Tomorrow we will have a very busy morning that begins at 8:30 so I better go to bed. Of course there are photos above...just click on the one picture to see them all. Much love and gratefulness for your prayers and support. Sarah, Matt and are gonna love your new baby sister. She is just adorable! I miss you all and pray that you are doing well. Matt, I'm sorry you have a cold, too. I can't believe we all got it at the same time...! I will post later. Sarah, I want to hear all about your play....Catherine, I miss you and bought you something, but you will have to wait for your birthday to get it...another 13 days!

Getting Eliana!!!

Well, we will leave in about 35 minutes to go get Eliana Joy Lin! We are sooo excited! We will post photos later and now that we are in Jiangxi I can view my blog and hopefully fix my mess ups! Thank you so much for your comments. They mean so much. Bunches and Bunches!!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sunday in China
Sunday in China
Sunday in China

Sunday in China

Today was a good day. We began with the wake up from Davie at about 4am. She is such a good sleeper, but she keeps waking up really early. At about 5:30 I stopped telling her shhh and finally got up too. We ate breakfast at the buffet which includes American types of food along with a traditional Chinese breakfast. They seem to eat dinner for breakfast so I eat the American foods. Davie is feeling much better today, her fever is gone, but now David and I also have a cold. I can't stand the thought of not being able to kiss Eliana because I have a cold, so I am asking the Lord for tomorrow :)! After breakfast we went to the Harvest Church in Beijing. It is a church service for foreigners only. It was ok...the speaker was no Pastor Jon! The worship team was all made up of folks older than David and me...I told him we could retire there and still sing on their worship team. The music was fine, but made me appreciate home more. The songs had sweet lyrics which I loved. After church was our visit to the jade factory. I am now wearing a beautiful bracelet that I will someday pass down to Eliana. We had a sweet girl helping us. It was a good shopping experience. Then we ate lunch at the Friendship Store. Our meals in Beijing are all traditional Chinese food. They put many dishes of food on a lazy susan in the middle of the table and then we get some of whatever we want. I am not very adventurous so I don't eat much, but manage to eat enough. I am ready for a good ole hamburger though. After lunch we spent several hours at the Great Wall. David and Davie climbed to three towers together. I chose to stay at the bottom and wait for them. The steps are very uneven and very very steep as you will see in the pictures. It is very hard to climb the wall, but Davie stayed with her daddy the whole way and did great. In those types of things there is no better daddy than David. He is so patient and tireless. After the Great Wall we went for our Peking Duck Dinner. One of the gals at our table will eat anything. Go Amy! So we have her taste things and tell us what it is and if it is good. Most of us fill up on the fried rice. The final activity of today was the Chinese Acrobat Show. It was a show of young students who performed amazing acrobatic feats. It was phenomenal! Davie fell asleep during dinner and didn't wake up for more than 3 minutes during the whole show. I'm betting she will be up again at 4am tomorrow. So tomorrow is Eliana Joy Lin's Gotcha Day!!!! I cannot believe the day is finally here. I have gone through so many emotions during this process and finally being here in China is quite surreal. I have loved having Davie with us and seeing China through her eyes. She has won everyone over of course and has made friends with Conner, the oldest son of the Hedricks. Our group is wonderful. Not a loser in the bunch! :) It is going so well for everyone. A note to the rest of our group coming on is quite cold and windy in Beijing. You will need a good coat for sure. We had lots of wind and a "sandstorm" yesterday, so one must be prepared for anything! I have thought a lot about how tomorrow is going to change the lives of our two youngest daughters. Davie will lose her position as the baby...makes me a little sad. She has been a marvelous daughter so dream China baby come true. I hate to see her grow up, but she must. Tomorrow Eliana Joy Lin will gain a family. She is our daughter that I never even knew to dream for. I am the most blessed of women. Why God has been so good to me is just the evidence of His grace. I am not worthy of His blessings and yet He pours them out lavishly. Tomorrow is going to be amazing...I guess I must go to sleep to be ready for all that Abba has for me. God Bless you all. My heart is full...satisfied in my Lord. Thank you so much for your prayers...don't stop! P.S.If you have left us comments I have not been able to access them up to this point. They say that will change when we leave Beijing. I miss home, but am loving China. If you need to reach me my email works so you can try that. Much love!