Monday, April 16, 2007

Anna home 2 years!

April 14 marked Anna's 2 year Anniversary of being home with us as a family of five. It was a long, long flight from Hong Kong to Chicago and then on to Bloomington. So many people were anxious to meet Anna that day and of course she had no idea who anyone was. The boys were so excited to meet their new sister for the first time. Anna was turning 14 months old the week we arrived home. She was still so much like a baby and at that time we had a LONG way to go in the bonding department as her family. Today, 2 years later....WOW....what a completely adjusted three year old.

I am adding a picture of the day we arrived home at the airport and she met the boys, then one year later and now 2 years later. All three of the kids have changed a lot.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Weekend

powered by Smilebox
Make your own | Click to play

We spent Saturday at my Grandma's and ate and ate, of course. The kids also played some games. All in all, it was a very loud evening, but good to see my family.

Sunday we went to church and then off to Barry's parents' house. His dad had a really good day. He ate and ate, which he hasn't been able to do for a while. Larry seemed to be feeling good! He didn't even take a nap while we were there, but I am sure he will be crashed for a couple of days.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

We had fun today coloring Easter Eggs. Logan seemed to think he was a tad too old now to do this. He will be 11 in just a few days, but I still think he should still enjoy this.

powered by Smilebox
Make your own | Click to play

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Daughter's Eyes Video of Anna

I have been trying to figure out how to resize the video footage of Gotcha Day and somehow I figured out how to post this here instead. Some of my travel mates are anxious to see the Gotcha Day Footage, so I will continue to try. And of course, I will have to beg my hubby to show me how. This is a little video that my husband made with pictures of our trip to Anna.

Happy 2nd Gotcha Day!

Two years ago today, we received Anna and met the most precious and scared little one. Time has gone by so quickly and our adjustment as a family of five has gone perfectly. It is hard to believe that Anna has been here for 2 years and hard to even imagine what life was like without her. The boys adore her and she was perfectly planned by God for our family. We have such a strong connection with the other 9 families that travelled to Guangxi to receive their babies that day and we all stay in touch regularly. I will share pictures of the rest of the babies tomorrow, but for now.....this is Anna day here.

Here is what I wrote on our website 2 years ago today.

Wow! What a day! It is now 9:30 pm here and all is going well. Let me tell you how it all happened. I (Jen), of course didn't sleep well last night. After all, I was having a baby in the morning! We ate breakfast and got things ready to go in our room and organized for when we came back with Anna. We finally went down to the lobby where many of the people in our group were pacing around and anxious to board the bus to the Civil Affairs Building. We left to meet Anna at 10:40. As we arrived on the floor where we were told to go, we noticed that the babies were waiting across the hall with their Nannies in a room. The first girl I saw was least I thought it was her. I noticed her sweet little cheeks and knew it had to be her. We were all talking about how the babies all had hair and I told my friend Christie and her husband that I thought I saw Anna and she was wearing red socks. Time at this very moment seemed to move so slowly and we thought they would never bring the babies in! My friend Robin and I had such a hard time remaining calm and just wanted to cry! Barry and Dad were taking some pictures and video.

Then it was time for an interpreter to announce the Director of the Social Welfare Institute and welcome us all to Nanning. She said a few things about what to expect with the babies and that they might not eat very much today. Then it was time for the babies to be presented. Christie's baby was first and then they said Jin Yan Yi and in came a beautiful little girl wearing red socks. I was right! It was her that I first laid eyes on in that room across the hall. She came right to me and was not crying at all......but I was! It was such an emotional time and so hard to express into words. I walked over to Barry to show him his new daughter and what a feeling that was. The seven months of paperwork and five and a half months waiting all led up to this very moment and time was now standing still. Barry held Jin Yan Yi and smooched on her a bit. She still remained calm. There were nine other families in the room besides us and we all had just given birth at the same time. WOW! What an amzing thing to be a part of and witness. Dad was videotaping this "Gotcha" moment through his tears and came over to hug me. Eventually I wanted to have a picture taken of the director with Anna and gave her to him....not a good idea. Now she decided to cry. She quit and it was time to go back to the hotel. She was fine on the ride home and was very quiet and reserved. She found here fingers and was very content with them. They have obviously been comforting to her in the last 13 1/2 months.

When we arrive back at the hotel we sat on the bed and she was content. She rolled over and I started singing "I love you" in Chinese to a tune and Barry joined in. She laid down and fell asleep and took almost a two hour nap. After waking she was a little uncertain, but ate some congee with some friends and loved it. Congee is like thin rice with water or porridge and has some meat flavoring to it. Later that afternoon we played in the hall in front of the elevators with her friends. This is where we started to see the real Anna. She was crawling everywhere and taking a few steps. Eventually all of the families arrived, as did the Assistant Director of the SWI. We were able to ask her some questions. She said that all of the babies were able to crawl and also walk a little with assistance. We were so blessed that our girls came from this SWI. They were taken very good care of and are doing well developmentally. We have gotten so close to all of the families and knew them all before we traveled. All of the babies are beautiful and have the most precious eyes. We called the boys later on and told them that they were both now big brothers. It was so nice to hear their voices and we miss them a lot. We went out for dinner next door to the hotel, but Anna would not eat. She hasn't taken a bottle yet and has only eaten congee, but we are so glad that she ate that. Please pray for us that she will continue to bond well with us and eat more soon.

God has blessed us so much already with Anna and we are so glad that this day has finally come. She has done a little bit of grieving today and that is normal, but overall she has done great. I never imagined that she would try to eat congee today or crawl and try to walk. She is very tiny.!We think that the scale here says between 17-18 pounds, but I wouldn't be surprised if she is smaller. Her 6-12 month pants today fit in the length pretty good, but fall off of her. She has no bottom and is so tiny around, so she can't keep her pants up. She seems tall because I put on 6-9 month pajamas and they were big on her, but too short. The 12 month were ok, but big. Thanks for all of your support and prayers. We have enjoyed the emails, so keep them coming. We won't be able to reply to most of them, but love getting them.

Now as I look at this sweet angel asleep on her daddy's chest, I feel so blessed by God to be the wife of Barry and mother of three beautiful children. I am so grateful to Barry's sister and her husband for persisting that their daughter Faith had a cousin waiting for her in China. It will be such a pleasure to see the two cousins born in China play and grow up around each other. I am also thankful to Logan for putting a baby sister on his Christmas list in 2003! Thanks for all of the prayers and to all of you who are helping with the boys at home.


Anna and I watched the video today of our trip and we will watch it again tonight with Daddy and the boys.
Enjoy these pictures of our wonderful day 2 years ago in China.

If you would like to reread our trip site..... click here


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Egg Hunt with friends

Many of our travel mates met us today for an Egg Hunt at Eckert's Orchard. Thank you, Eckert's, for your hospitality today! You are wonderful, as usual. We had a wonderful and windy time visiting and seeing the girls play. A couple other of Lifelink families who live in that area also joined us. All in all I think we had 26 people there. It was a great time.

Here is the photoshow link.