Jul 31, 2007


Then.... Now

How we sat by the phone waiting and hoping it would be the day...it was, she was perfect and waiting for us. We were, of course, struck by her beauty, but then some other feelings came into play. I was somewhat disturbed that my baby had been waiting so long in an orphanage, then I was so relieved that they had kept her there for us...they knew she belonged here. We can never express our gratitude to CCAA and our agency for helping us bring this gem into our lives. We can't wait to see what the other yrs hold for us.

Jul 29, 2007

Home from Vaca...

Driving is so tiring.

At the bottom of the peak

Hannah in the bird house

Smith girls ready for the zoo.

Mom and baby

Duane feeding giraffes

Claire feeding giraffes

Gene Simmons would be jealous

Giraffes at the zoo

Freezing. 38 degrees

Colorado Mtns.

Started here.

We returned home last night, weary but rested. We spent a week in the Colorado mountains enjoying nature and hotels. We had a good time with a few troubled spots thrown in. We hiked mountains and visited zoos and the north pole. The north pole is a cute amusement park in Colorado Springs that is completely geared towards Christmas. It was fun to hear Christmas music in July, we were wishing we could have some Christmas cold. It was unusually hot in Colorado but since we are used to West Texas heat we made it just fine. There are too many pics to post but I will try and pic a few of the best. Both girls were really good travelers. Mom was an ok traveler...ok I don't really like to ride in a car for a long time, but I have to put on a brave face for the little ones. Good to be home, and nice to enjoy the memories. Claire loved the big swimming pools in the hotels....she didn't want anyone to hold onto her or help her float....again....she is growing so fast.

I want to point out the picture of the giraffe at the beginning of the zoo. You can buy spots on him to honor family members or just a donation to the zoo. I thought that was a really cute idea. Wish we had a zoo here....sigh

Jul 15, 2007

Remember the bathing suit....

Remember how we shed that pesky bathing suit after about 3 min....? I can't believe I couldn't find the camera when we ditched the diaper as well. WOW, this is the child that 10 months ago wouldn't stop screaming (in a small hotel room, no less) until she was fully clothed again!! We have really come a long way since then. She continues to slay demons everyday. Just today we were shopping with sister and a strange woman came up to say hello and Claire didn't scream and turn away, she just stared and then turned away. They grow so fast.

We still love the shirt to the lips.

Taiwan adoption update.....month 2 of waiting. Heavy sigh.Inch by inch getting closer to our baby boy.

A year we won't forget....

Our first look

First look at each other

First night home

First Halloween

First Christmas

First Chinese New Year Celebration

First Memorial Day

Learning to love the pool

One yr ago we were glued to the phone wondering if THE CALL would come today, tomorrow, or did we even MAKE the cut off. Then the call came on July 31, 2006....10yrs and 1 day after our first child was born. We were instantly in love and continue to grow in that love everyday. Please enjoy Claire's yr in pictures.

Jul 8, 2007

West Texas wedding and dancing

Hannah dancing with her uncle Geoff.

The girls trying to swing dance

Watching cows before the ceremony

The dog had to be in on the ceremony too.


We have been away to celebrate my MILs wedding. It was a wonderful backyard service with family and friends. We also had short horn cattle watching..more on that later. We celebrated the 4th with food and fireworks. It was all enjoyed by everyone. It was fun meeting new members of our extended family and getting to share stories about the new couple. During the ceremony Claire kept saying..."COW?? Eating?" So I kept shoving food in her mouth to try and keep her quiet. Who knew that having cows at your wedding would be so disruptive. We then had a reception down at the barn with dancing and fajitas. Delicious. It didn't hurt that the beer was flowing freely as well. The girls had a great time with aunts uncles and cousins all spoiling them for four days.

Cousins enjoying the music.

We also took a moment to celebrate Claire's first 4th as an American citizen. We thanked God for allowing her to come here and enjoy the freedom that American has to offer. I hope to have our boy home for a 4th celebration in a short time. Hopefully next yr but I don't want to set my hopes on that.

Hope everyone had a great 4th.

Jul 1, 2007

I googled cuteness and looked what popped up...

Hannah..looking too grown up at almost 11.

Claire with that wonderful pouty mouth at 30 months. Growing faster everyday.

Google really knows their stuff!!!! Happy July everyone. We are bracing for really hot west Texas summer here. We are having MAJOR construction in our city and they have had to shut down a major water line. We have been on water restriction (no watering, no filling of pools, etc.) for 2 1/2 weeks. It has been killing more than flowers and grass around this home. Hannah can not believe they would choose to do this in the summer. It caused quite a stink with the landscapers and nurseries here in town. It was really done without warning. We hope to be off restriction by mon. Then the girls will probably stay outside in the sprinkler for the rest of the summer. This summer also marks the beginning of Hannah joining the youth group at our church. Yes, it is what we all want, our babies grow to be fine young people and want to leave us. It just hurts that it seems to happen so fast these days. We have joined a new church and we have just finished VBS. Hannah loved it so much. She even stayed for an extra celebration movie after it was all over. She loved being so independent and meeting new teens. Sigh...I can see the end of childhood in the distance...it it still not here, but rapidly approaching. I do like this new side of her. She is more responsible and loves to take care of her own things. I don't seem to pick up after her as much any more....YEA!!

Claire wants to try the potty again. Only for a candy. She is crazy hilarious that she will say in a questioning voice...."potty?? candy??" "no potty??? CANDY" I guess she has made the connection. Now we try to potty 900 times a day. She hates having a poopy diaper and will immediatly go get a new diaper and the wipes. Summer was my goal, so we will take the easy laid back road to big girl pantyville.

Happy 4th (coming up)!! Hug a soldier and wave a flag at a parade. I will post pics of Claire's first parade. I hope I get a smile or two.

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..
--author unknown
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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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