Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sneek Peak

Here is a photo of Leia that Rebecca just sent me. She does awesome work, and well she did have a beauty to work with.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cherub Cheeks

What Is This

So, this was Leia's first experience with a spoon, cereal, and fruit. And as of yesterday she still has no clue what the stuff is for. She will not swallow any of it. Yesterday we recycled so many bites the food matter completely changed from its origianl form. I suppose she will decide to swallow when she wants to experience more than a bottle.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hotter Than Taiwan

We left home and came back to a sauna. It is only June, and we have already hit the triple digits. I cannot believe it, but then all I have to do is walk outside in it. We have been in the water as much as possible, from the pool in the back to the sprinkler in the front.
Carson is not too keen on the pool this year. He prefers to sit on the deck and watch from afar. Then he gets really hot and thinks he wants to join us, but it is always short lived.
Leia is a bum in the pool. She always looks as if she hasn't a care in the world and kicks her feet around like a little mermaid.
Olivia begs everyday to go swimming. We are still trying to work with her on swimming. She will blow bubbles under water for oh.... about 5 seconds. I think she would do better if she couldn't stand up in the pool, but it is only a 42" tall pool. She does practice kicking while using her kick board, so we are making progress.
Logan is such a fish he could be dangerous. He jumps in with no fear. He is wearing only floaties this year. Yay for Logan.
And they all love the sprinkler. Take a look and see the smiles and hear the giggles and laughter through the pictures.

Welcome Home Leia

I was so suprised by my wonderful friends from church who threw an awesome Welcome Home Party honoring Leia. It was so fun. So many who were supporters of our adoption and helped us every step of the way were there to help us celebrate Leia's homecoming. Here is a glimpse of the fun we had and the star of the party. Thank you so much Heather and Laura.

Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes From Above

The day we came home, we were exhausted. There isn't a word that comes to mind from the English language that describes the feeling you have. We came home and crashed. Nana, my mom, took over the care of the kiddos while David and I dumped the luggage in the foyer and made a bee line for OUR bed. David was sound asleep in a shear second. I dozed and then began violently coughing to the point of vomiting and dry heaving. I tried for over an hour to sleep, and there was none to come. So, Linda took me to the ER since I was unable to get into my family doctor, as I was in no state to drive. Sure enough, an x-ray later, I have pneumonia. But, I knew that I just needed some drugs to make the hysteric coughing fits subside. And that the doctor did. David and I both continued to have fever and sweats for the next several days after coming home. Thankfully he didn't have to go back to work til the next week.
Our family is all together, and it is amazing. We waited for this beautiful gift from God and what a gift it is to have a beautiful family that was designed by God. I have four of the most beautiful children in the world, and they are ours. They are mine to snuggle, to kiss, to hug, to ruffle hair, play Barbies and Cars, play hide and seek with, read the Bible with, and most of all to teach them the Love of God and his masterful plan.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Blessings Than One Can Imagine

The flight home was very unenjoyable. Let's see if I can give you some idea. We flew a different airline coming back than going. It was horrible. The seats were like folding chairs with a piece of fabric covering them. They DID NOT recline a bit. The bottom of the seat slid out about 2 inches, enough to put your back in pure agony, a back that is already in excrutiating pain from pneumonia. While on our delightful, not, flight David begins running fever. So, you have 2 sick parents on a long flight with new baby, which equals no fun. I was trying so hard not to cough. I could feel my face turning red from trying not to cough. The Asian couple sitting next to us donned their face masks soon after they sat down beside us and left them on the entire flight except when eating, and then they huddled close together out of my range. Poor people, I don't blame them. I sounded like I was going to hack up a lung and part of my stomach contents too. But, 27 miserable hours lateer we arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I will let the video and pictures describe that moment. I have no words. It was wonderful to have all my babies in my arms at once.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kenting Here We Come

So, I have concluded that this trip was not to be any sort of vacation. You'll understand later.

Ken, Trena, and their kids picked us up at 10:00 on Sunday morning. No breakfast yet. David asks in his little kid voice, you think there is a McDonald's anywhere on the way to the beach? Aha!! There is. Egg Mcmuffin here I come. McDonald's stops serving breakfast at 10:00, so there went that eager anticipation swirling down the toilet. But, Ken knows of a great breakfast place along the way. We keep driving, hopes shattered when we see this place is closed as well. But Trena knows of a little place that has Bagel sandwiches. Great! Can't be that bad right?? Surely these people can handle putting together a bagel, an egg, and some ham or bacon. Not to be. Their version of this is a Bagel, a condiment that resembles Thousand Island (in a very bad way, and I hate Thousand Island anyways), some shredded cabbage, their version of bacon (a slice of funny tasting ham), cucumbers, and whala there you have it. I was so hungry I managed to choke down half, while David scraped everything off and ate the rest because he didn't know when he would eat again.

The drive to kenting was beautiful. I wished we had decided to just spend all of our time there, because it looked as if it would have been great (key work looked).

WE stopped at our favorite eating place, 711, NOT!! Where David and resigned ourselves to more Doritoes and Pringles. That was to be our lunch today. Sorry Trena : )

The beach was breathtaking. The waves were crashing to the shore like they were mad. Had we been in the states the beach would have been closed due to the high tide and the furry it was showing. We set up our chairs and headed to the water. Leia wriggled her toes into the sand. David plowed right into the waves for some body surfing. Trena and I pulled our chairs to the edge of the water for some relaxing scenery. Well, that lasted about...ummmm...maybe 7 minutes. We were barreled with a crashing wave full of sand right up the shorts with much force I might add. Leia was very upset with this little event but quickly recovered. We pulled the chairs much further from the shore and watched. I love to watch people. There were people all along the beach, with only 10 in the water and 5 of which were ours. Suddenly we started seeing some commotion and there was a young guy that was struggling and the waves were taking him under. The lifeguard, in my opinion, took forever. David attempted to go out and save the guy, but the waves were so hard they kept bringing right back where he started and before he knew it the guys was too far away. And yes, I was right there at the water screaming for David to not go any further. I let him try, but then my wifely instincts took over when I realized it looked as if he would drown too if he went out there. The waves had taken this young man to the part of the beach where sharp rocks were jutting out of the water and were under water too. It would only be a matter of time before the waves would slam him into one. So, meanwhile, the lifeguard frantically drives is ATV up and down the beach several times before he decides that he might ought to drag himself in the water. It seemed life forever before he made it to him. We watched the lifeguard struggle the entire time. They were headed straight for the rocks. They finally made it to shore and all seemed well and people were cheering. We all went back to our playtime. About an half hour later Trena and I noticed that the young man's friends are still hovering over him. I kept looking, watching for a sign that the guy was fine. I looked over at Trena, and she immediately said, "You wanna go check it out?" "YES." As soon as we laid eyes on the guy I knew he was not fine. Trena and I did a quick assessment. It was very obvious. The man was white, and I mean white as a ghost. I had just seen him an hour before with olive skin. His friends were frantically speaking to Trena. He couldn't stop throwing up, couldn't move, hurt to breath, and his pulse was faint. his friends had pleaded with him to let them take him to the hospital, but he would not listen to their pleas. I told Trena, "If he doesn't got to a hospital he could very well die later today from dry drowning." She explained this to him and his friends. The immediately carried him off the beach and were headed to the closest hospital.

Meanwhile, the lifeguard has decided he does not want to save anymore lives today and has asked every to get out of the water. I strolled down the beach with Leia snuggled in the sling, to see why the lifeguard was moving so slow. They were all intoxicated!! I mean really????

We stayed at the beach for a few hours and then headed to the Howard Hotel where we were staying. I was beyond impressed with the accommodations for the price. David went straight for the pool and me to the jacuzzi with the girls while Leia snoozed in the afternoon breeze beside me on a towel. Reminder...waves were really crazy while at beach...overhead are huge thunder clouds rolling in. Really???? A nice 30 minute relaxing in the jacuzzi ended with a straight downpour. Trena said it would probably move out pretty fast. And it did look like it would. The clouds were racing away with more following behind. I had hope that it would pass and I would get to stroll the streets of Kenting tonight and go grab some yummy food. Well, that was not to be. It never stopped raining. We had no transportation and were stuck in the hotel the entire time with the pool never reopening. We were able to walk to an eating place in the rain.
I was so disappointed that we did not get to experience the night market there. I was looking forward to exploring the quaint little town. We woke up Monday morning and more rain. We were past ready to go home at this point. We were starving, homesick for our babies above all else; so, I called the travel agent Sunday night and we changed our flights to leave Monday night. Olivia, Logan, and Carson here we come.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fear Has Become Reality

Friday in Taiwan...

I woke up this morning and I am sick....really sick. And all I can think about is the 1.5hr train ride there and the 1.5hr train ride back. I loaded up on Tylenol and aleve. I have had a dry cough since Monday that I kept attributing to the horrible smog here, and I mean horrible. Everyone here will probably die of some kind of lung disease. The cough has become more uncontrollable, but still just a dry cough. My body is aching to the very core of my bones.

The Tylenol kept the aches at bay while we traveled on train and then taxi to AIT. Our wait at AIT was pretty fast. I think we only waited about 15 minutes in between each person we had to speak with. We made it through the first set of questions with the lady who was preparing our case for Joyce. Joyce received our file and then called us to the window where she began her interrogation. She was very short with her questions and was mainly interested in the financial aspect of the adoption, how we came to know about His Hands, and how we paid them, length from time we applied to referral, and time we have waited since referral. But, she kept going back to financial questions regarding the cost of the adoption. She said she was done with all the questions and that she would have Leia's visa couriered to us by Monday. So, we left there and headed to Burger King for some lunch before boarding our train back.

I would have loved to stroll around Taipei for a bit, but at this point all I can think about is how my body needs to lay in a bed and not move. I ordered something at Burger King, took one bite, and was done. Then, I thought I would try some ice cream and see if that sounded good. I couldn't eat anything.

I asked Trena if we could stop at a pharmacy, because I either have a horrible kidney infection or pneumonia, as my back is in excrutiating pain. We finally found one and they only had keflex, so I bought some and we headed back to the train.

David napped on the train, and I tried my hardest, but I was in so much pain, and started running a high fever with chills. So, thankful for Trena. She held Leia the whole way back while we napped. We went straight back to the apartment.

I was so upset with being sick. We were supposed to go to the Morrison Academy concert Friday night and see Holly and Trena's children perform in it. But, I went straight to bed and David didn't see me for 26 hours. David was supposed to go on a 45 mile bike ride with Ken on Saturday, but he was unable to go since I was so sick. I ran such a high fever, even while alternating tylenol and advil, that I would wake up and the sheets were soaked; you could wring them out. Then I would be freezing. The hairs on my scalp hurt from having such a high fever.

We didn't get to go to Cheelung Island either....major disappointment. I was determined to go eat with Leia's birthmother Saturday night. I was week feeling and still having horrible sweats. By now, my cough is horrible, and I know I have pneumonia.

I am determined to meet Leia's birthmother tonight, as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity; so sick or not here we go. It took me forever to get ready, once I finally removed myself from the bed after 26 hours of borrowing in it. And, yes, 26 hours of lost time with Leia. I managed to finish getting ready even through the profuse sweating, gut-wrenching coughing that had me hovering over the toilet, dizziness, and complete exhausting fatigue. Leia's birthmom is 18 years old, and from what I have learned is still in the era of life revolves around her. She called everyone related to His Hands asking where we were, why had we not called her yet, and so on. Holly finally reached her and told her we were on her way, and no we were not running late. We arrive at the street corner where she is to meet us and she gets in, turns around smiles soft and then releases a small giggle and turns around. She says to Holly that Leia is really cute and has grown much. The next 10 minutes to the restraunt she was really quiet.

We got to the restraunt and there were John and Cheryl Dunn and their family. WE had missed getting to meet them all week because their son had been terrible ill with a stomach virus. I was so thrilled to finally meet Cheryl, hug her, and thank her for the part she had taken in Leia's life and the life of her birthmother.

While we waited for our food, we tried to chat a bit with Xio Chi. But as Holly explained, Xio Chi speaks very fast and doesn't taken an ounce of consideration that Holly, well can only understand about 20% of Mandarin Chinese. So, we didn't chat a ton. I gave her the gift that I had pondered over for months. It just seemed so inadequate and made me feel so guilty thinking of what I was gaining and what she would lose forever. After several months of debating what my small token to her would be, I finally decided on a beautfiful silver heart locket that I ordered. I will describe it best I can. It was a rounded heart that slid on a sterling silver chain that clasped by a toggle with a small ball with crystal rhinestones embedded in it that hung with the heart. Inside the locket was a solo picture of Leia and a picture of Xio Chi holding her at chinese New Year smiling a smile that said she was content with her decision. I gave her the small velvet bag that held the necklace and she just sat it down and placed it in front of her; and then she smiled and just started at me. I was puzzled to say the least. I smiled back...waiting...okay, can you please open it. Holly interjected and explaind that Taiwanese people think it is rude to open gifts in front of the giver, that it makes them seem too greedy and eager. I asked her to tell her that I wanted her to open it. Xio Chi shyfully opend it. Holly opened the locket for her and she looked at us with the biggest smile. She said thank you in Mandarin, and yes, I understood her. But, more than that I could see the appreciation in her beautiful deep brown eyes that are just like Leia's. As I sit here tears are rolling down my face. Most of our meaningful conversation took place in the car when we picked her up and dropped her off. We expressed in simple words, elequence was not needed, how greatful we were to her, how much we loved Leia and everyone we know loves her too. She never said anything....just her smile, the same smile I see when Leia sees me.

To say the least, I was spent. I don't think I have ever sweat so profusely in my life, and no, it was not from nervousness. When we got back to the apartment I made a mad dash to the bath. Not only was I sweating from being sick, but oh yeah, the air conditioning here might as well not exist, and have I mentioned it is hot and oh so humid here. So, bath and then straight to bed I went.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Worst Fear

Back to Taiwan......
It is Thursday, and we finished painting the nursery today and plan to spend the rest of our time doing the tourist thing. It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do. There are girls from Renee's, Trena's oldest daughter, who are coming this weekend to rearrange, organize, and decorate the nursery...whew we got it painted in the nick of time. We were beginning to wonder if the project would ever end. It was just like at home, when you start a project that you think will take you a day and it takes you a week, more money than you thought, and more problems than you imagined. But is is done, and I think the babies will like their new room.

So, we went back to Sara's apartment when we were finished. By the way, have I mentioned we are starving???? I told David that I am either really tired or am getting sick. Leia has had a terrible cough since we have been here and has been having terrible sweats, and cranky. We decided to go to bed early since tomorrow is our AIT appointment.

Better Late than Never

I has been forever. I will go back in chronological order and post everything from our trip and homecoming. After getting sick while in Taiwan, jetlag, new baby in the house, and everything else that life brings my blog went to the bottom of the "to do list." So here we go.