Dec 26, 2006

Christmas Memories...made

We had a really great Christmas. Claire wasn't really interested in presents....mainly boxes and the pretty wrapping. She kept trying to put the wrapping back on the packages, it really cracked us up. Santa brought Hannah a really life like baby doll and Claire isn't so sure about it. She doesn't like for me to play with the doll, I believe she thinks it IS real. FUNNY.
We travel to the in-laws soon and will do it again. This will be their first time to meet Claire. Won't be able to post until we return. Pray that all goes well and she adapts to travel well.

WOW!! is it really almost over??


Dec 24, 2006

Feeling so meloncoly....

I sometimes wish that I could contact Claire's birthmother. When she is doing things to absolutley crack us up, when she learned how to blow a kiss, when she learned how to say "good hug", when she conquered the demon that is the rocking horse. I am so sorry that she has and will continue to miss these things, but yet am filled with so much joy and love because we have her. I pray often that God will comfort her heart and somehow send her signs that all is well and she is a happy and healthy 2 yr old.

Then I often think of the nannies that took care of our precious one for 20 months before we could get there. I used to work in a pediatric intensive care unit. We would have some chronicly ill children that would return often and stay for longer periods of time. It was so hard to see those children leave us, even if it meant that they had gotten better. I know the nannies had gotten close to all the girls in our travel group, because they are all such awesome girls. I pray, too, that their hearts are comforted. THEY are the ones who helped shape her independence, and curiousity. THEY helped give her this beautiful ability to love and accept changes that come her way. I wish them a very Merry Christmas.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.
The picture of the dog is for Nana Susan....this is Hannah's pride and joy?

P.S. The plate of cookies and carrots is the offering to the red suited one and his posse.

Dec 20, 2006

Happy Birthday sweet Claire

Today we celebrate our sweet baby's 2nd birthday. She had been with us three short months and fills our lives with joy everyday. We are so thankful that she was given to us by God in his infinite wisdom.

There probably won't be anymore pictures in the crown....she didn't love it so much. I will post pics of the cake eating tomorrow...wanted to post today on her birthday. Hannah is really questioning little ones birthday. She wonders "what if her birthday was really yesterday and we missed it? what if her birthday is really Jan 20th?" She listens to my answers but I don't think she is buying them. I will have to read up on what to tell Claire when SHE asks those kind of questions.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dec 14, 2006

Christmas trials and triumphs

Who is ready for Christmas at the Smiths?? We can compete with any circus you have ever been to. We also have our own form of Christmas carols. Claire sings those often (see first picture) and Hannah asks everyday to open "just one of my really small presents". I can't keep enough egg-nog stocked in this house to make it a really JOLLY holiday!
Seriously, we are looking forward to a holiday seen through the eyes of a 2 yr old. I thought that would be filled with awe and wonderment. I know now that it is filled with screaming for more candy (given by well meaning friends) and questions from my older child like, "does she have to come with us everywhere?" Merry Christmas to me.
I broke out the potty chair today as Claire has become increasingly verbal about her dirty diapers. I thought maybe we could get used to seeing the potty around. She enjoys sitting on it, and putting crackers in the bowl. Hopefully after Christmas we can really begin the joys of that.
Claire also has become a drama queen when it comes to getting hurt. If she bumps her head she runs to get a kiss and proclaim "better", she then finds about 25 different places that have been hurt in the past and we do the same thing. It is such an exercise in tolererance and love. I know that she needs this, so we indulge her when it happens. Thank goodness she doesn't hurt herself everyday.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Too cute to decide

I must decide whether to give the fam the serious picture or the smiling picture. I love them ALL of course, but the gmoms need something. I have always said that an up close picture is better for our mothers, but that is really such a cute smile. I will post some more of the santa pics tomorrow. The white background kind of washed her out....probably won't get too many of those.

Can't believe that she will be two next week!! She was staying with my mother last week and was playing hide and seek with the blocks....behind her back. She would put a block behind her back and raise her arms to say "where did it go?" then reach around behind her and take it out and belly laugh!! She has such a quick sense of humor. She has been so good about not touching the presents under the tree. I guess this will be the only yr for that.
If you are traveling this season, please be careful and don't take chances. We all have had such an amazing and life changing year. There have been unbelievable highs and horrible lows. We must remember what is important in life and hold them closer than ever. We must celebrate our first Chinese New Year healthy and happy.
I thank all of you for following our journey this yr and holding us close to your hearts and including us in your prayers. Your support and love has been a motivating factor in our progress this yr.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dec 5, 2006

Claire 1.....Dogs 0

I am really beginning to believe that the fear of the dogs is over. She can now pass them, even in the hallway where space is limited. She will even on occasion hand them a toy of hers, imagine their excitment. She doesn't really like to have them around if she is eating, as they might try and take it from her hand. She has moved mountains since coming here. If only we could conquer the ride-on toy and the swing.

The Chinese govt. is making some changes in the adoption regulations that must be met. It saddens me that their will be some people left out of this amazing journey because of the decisions made this week. It makes me hold our sweet Claire a little closer and thank God that we have her here and she doesn't have to remain in the orphange forever. She has been such a blessing for our family and we are so glad that she is here. I will be keeping those people with their hearts broken over the new rules close to my heart.

Tonight is our trip to see lights and visit the big man. Wish us luck and I will post all the details.

Thanks for stopping by

Cuteness ahead

I can't believe that few short years ago this was my brand new baby!! My how time flies!! She is growing into such a beautiful young women. She has had a big life change with obtaining a new sister and having to share the spotlight, and has handled it with grace and understanding. She loves to see her sister grow and learn. She loves to hear about when she did the same things that her sister does at this age. It is hard to see her with her older cousins and fitting in so well, we aren't ready for her to not think that WE hung the moon, but it will happen.

She speaks often of our trip to China and how much she enjoyed all the families we went with. She thinks maybe it is a good idea for HER to adopt from China when the time comes. I told her I thought that was a wonderful idea.

She has taught us so much about parenting and we are better for her being here. Thanks for being such a good kid. We love you.

Nov 29, 2006

2months at home

I can't believe that our sweet Claire has been in our home for 2 months. She continues to grow and amaze us everyday. Today she said cracker....yes only mother could understand it, but she was pointing at a cracker when she said it. Her capacity to love is humbling. She is so joyous everyday. She is curious and beautiful inside and out. I can't believe it took so long to get her here. We fall more in love with her everyday.

DANG I wish I could find our camera.


Nov 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Fun and Feasting

I have the worst luck with cameras. Remember I lost one in China and now I have MISPLACED our camera at my mother's house. So, I have Thanksgiving pics I don't have the camera.

We feasted at my mother's with 7 adults and 8 children. Claire tried everything we put in her mouth. Her faves were turkey, dressing, yams, mashed potatoes, and strawberry jello salad. She did great around such a big crowd. Can you guess that we are fairly loud as well? My brother was amazed that it didn't phase Claire if someone would yell across the house to someone else. She has almost overcome her enormous fear of dogs. She loved all her cousins, especially my 12 yr old nephew. He was unsure of what to make of all the attention that Claire wanted to give him. Really precious to watch.

We can't wait to have Christmas with Duane's family and give them the chance to experience her sweetness and pure joy at everything she sees. I am so sad that it has taken so long for our schedules to be in sinc. I know she will love them as much they already love her.

I promise to post pics WHEN the camera is found. I have been reading other blogs and sounds like there was fun had by all this holiday. Everyone ready for Christmas with our new girls??


Nov 20, 2006

working girls

The girls love the cool autumn days....I can't hardly keep them inside. Mornings are another story, but once we get warmed up...we are outside. Claire is beginning to love the dogs...she doesn't scream when they come into the house, but still won't touch them.

I can't believe that we have been home almost 2 months. Our little girl is growing and learning everyday. She has fallen into the perfect little sister role...always touching Hannah's things and not wanting Hannah to have any other her things. Hannah is adapting very well. I thought I would list all the wonderful accomplishments that have happened since we arrived in the states.

Words...mama,baba (daddy), nah(Hannah), nigh nigh, meow, woof, tat u (thank you).
actions...stairs, standing from a sitting position, doorknobs, riding Hannah's scooter (with help of course), shopping cart, carseat, and high chair.

WHEW that is quite a list for less than 2 monts. It is hard to think that she will be 2 yrs old in just a few weeks. What in the world will she accomplish next? The world is her oyster.

We are busily getting ready for Thanksgiving company. Claire will meet so many new people. I can't wait for the rest of my family to experience the beauty that is Claire.

Enjoy the pics...thanks for stopping by.


Nov 10, 2006

For all you non-bloggers


Nov 7, 2006

November happenings..lots of pics

Claire is still practicing feeding herself. She isn't the cleanest eater, but she is coming along. We went to a couple of showers at Duane's work and were really blessed by his friends and co-workers. They even showered Hannah with big sister gifts.

It seems that the girls grow closer everyday. They have their own games that Daddy and I don't play. They love to chase each other and have really begun to play on the trampoline together. Hannah is so gentle and patient with her, it is such a joy to watch. I can't believe that we are coming up on the holiday season, where did the time go? It will be so great to see Hannah AND Claire enjoy the family and traditions of the holiday season.

Thanks for stopping by..enjoy the pics

Every call has a beginning. A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother’s heart . A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey set before him. A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns… Casting its first light on a chosen threshold. A gentle knock..a closed door opens, a sacred invitation sent by the Father.. leads to the other side of the world. Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows praying for someone to care.. and then one morning, on an ordinary day an orphan’s life changes... God sends them a second chance...Through you..
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Favorite Poem

We are a family now, a whole,of which you are a part,and you are just as much our child as any in our heart. We do not love you differently,nor would we give up less of all that life has given us to bring you happiness.There is no limit to our love,no boundary you might cross,no price you may be asked to pay,no need to fear its loss. We are now one, the five of us,windows of one home. As long as we have life and breath,You’ll never be alone.~Nicholas Gordon

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