"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." -----Martin Luther King, Jr.
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,regardless of time, place, or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle,but it will never break."
- ancient Chinese belief

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to Junie!

I know it's a little late but grandparents haven't seen the videos from Junie's party yet. And, for those of you that don't know Junie's little personality, here is a little glimpse.

I love it when she bangs on her highchair tray! She loves a party!

At 1 minute, you can hear how Junie says "mor-or-or-ore!".

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

Our lives were changed.

Because of one picture.

And one word.

We had been logged-in with a large China-only agency since 4-15-08. On February 22nd of last year, through a string of events, phone calls and emails with just the right people at just the right time, I came in contact with another, smaller agency in California.

I exchanged several emails with the woman in charge of China adoption there, and we talked on the phone once.

On February 25th I emailed to her, "I have a feeling you are going to find our child, soon".

On February 26th, I spent the night in the ER, with pneumonia and pleurisy (just threw that in there for memory's sake, and a little sympathy).

On March 2nd I emailed her again, about some paperwork. At the end of my email I wrote, "I have a feeling you will find the perfect child for us!" (I knew the shared list was due out in about 2 more weeks. I was hoping for a referral then).

On March 3rd, the very next night, I received a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. I screened it, of course, because I was in the middle of watching American Idol with David and my mom (she was visiting to help me out while I recovered from the pneumonia). On my way to bed, I checked my emails one last time...

There were FIVE emails waiting from the agency.

The first one said, "Can you please give me a call when you get this email".

The second one said, "I am sending you a file of a little girl with repaired cleft lip and cleft palate".

And another twist of fate, "I referred this child to another family over a month ago and submitted their pre-adoption application, however, CCAA didn't approve them.... Now this child's file becomes available to another family and I would like to send her file for consideration."

Finally, "Please let me know that you have received this email and file of Wang Hai Qiong and let me know if you are interested in pursuing her adoption."

The Picture

The Word:


We love you, Wang Hai Qiong!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Junie's Two!

Junie Mei turned two a few weekends ago with some family fun and fanfare. Although I was tempted to have a huge bash with lots of friends from the neighborhood, we had a family only party for her. Being that we are a family of SIX now and one sister has a family of five, AND that g’parents and aunts live nearby, it was still a pretty big crowd. And after Junie got used to everyone being in her house, and realized it was all for her, she loved it!

All the boys went with me to get Junie up in the morning. She was her usual happy self to see us. We had Junie’s favorite breakfast food- cereal with fruit and then the boys gave her the presents they were so excited about. From Michael~ a diaper care set for a doll, from Jack~ a baby doll and from Ty (and probably Junie’s favorite gift)~ her very own box of raisins! From Mommy and Daddy~ a Little People dollhouse.

We played and played with her new goodies until naptime and then got ready for her big bash. Around 3 the guests arrived and Junie took just a few minutes to get used to everyone being here. Then, realizing it was all for her, she made the most of it.

We had barbeque, salads, and lots of Junie’s favorite- fruit! Junie loved all of her presents: a new bike, puzzles, a dolly highchair, her very own vacuum cleaner and her first tennis outfit! A neighbor dropped by with an adorable outfit for her too!

Junie’s favorite part of the day by far was when we sang the Happy Birthday song to her. She LOVED it and kept asking for “more-or-or-or”. Too cute!

At bedtime that night I sang Happy Birthday to her and she once again said, “more”. Usually, she does not let me stray from our usual selection of Baby Beluga, You are My Sunshine, and Twinkle Twinkle. But this night she wanted to hear the song that she KNEW was for her. Again and again. And while I was singing to her, she did something for the first time. She lifted her head off my shoulder and kissed my cheek! This is a big deal for Junie. Junie will always give kisses if someone is hurt, or if she sees me kiss one of the boys, or if we ask her for a kiss. This was her first kiss given without prompting. I LOVED it! And the tears streaming down my face while I sang to her this night were due to so many different emotions.

The night before her birthday I couldn’t sleep. Being so busy during the day these days gives me very little time to reflect and introspect. So, I often find my mind racing when I lay down to sleep. Racing with all the things I didn’t accomplish or my next day’s to-do list. That night however, I found myself full of emotion. Thinking of Junie’s birth mom who, until lately I honestly didn’t think about too often. This night I actually hurt for her. And for Junie. Little Junie, turning two. Two years old. A baby, really.

In her two short years Junie was born to her birth mother where she lived for (approximately) two months. She was abandoned at a “civil bureau” and then taken to live at the Welfare Center of Haifeng County for four months. Then, at six months old, she was transferred to the Shanwei Orphanage. Five days later, she was admitted to the hospital and her cleft lip was repaired. She was undoubtedly cared for there by complete strangers as she recovered. For one year she lived in Shanwei until she was brought by the orphanage staff (we believe by administrators, NOT caregivers) on a 3-5 hour car ride to Guanzhou and placed in the arms of total strangers who looked, smelled and sounded different than anything she’d ever experienced. At that point, she had to adjust once again to a new and unfamiliar life. What she didn’t know was that this was her “forever family”. That now she was wanted, chosen. We had painted a room just for her. Filled a closet with pink for her. Done mountains of paperwork for her. We had shed tears for her, prayed for her, dreamed of her, and traveled across an ocean for her.

As far as she knew, we were just another stop on the revolving door of life.

But now, she knows. She knows the clothes in the closet and the toys on the floor are hers. She knows I will pick her up when she says, “up”. She knows we will kiss her boo-boos (real or imaginary) when she gets hurt. She knows she will be fed when she is hungry (and she is always hungry!). She knows she will be warm and covered in blankies when it’s cold (and she loves being covered up!). She knows her brothers are sweet boys who fight over a chance to make her laugh.

I hope she knows WE are forever. And how much she is loved.

And how very happy we are to celebrate this birthday with her.