Sep 29, 2007

I haven't been lying....I promise


Throughout our yr together with Claire, I have spoken often of how much the girls enjoy each other. is the real story. They tolerated each other. Claire wasn't too keen on sharing her new parents with Hannah and vice versa for Hannah. We have gently helped this relationship along with activities that both girls can enjoy and participate in together. They enjoy their time together, they just don't seek out time together.

Today is the National Day of Play....they have been outside with each other all morning. They excitedly run into the house to show me their "castle" in the sand box, how they have developed a "routine" on the trampoline just like "the Olympic girls", and how Claire is learning to pump her legs on the swing. It does warm my heart that they are REALLY learning to play with each other and enjoying the company of each other. Claire is becoming more verbal everyday, so Hannah enjoys having conversations with her. Claire doesn't really answer, but I think Hannah likes talking to her about stuff she doesn't want to talk to mom about. I try not to listen ALL THE TIME, but sometimes they are close enough to hear. Hannah teaches her things about school, church, and playing properly with toys. Claire has become more tolerant of Hannah always wanting to be in charge, and Hannah is beginning to let Claire lead the play more often. I love having a sister and now the dream of Hannah having a wonderful sisterly relationship is finally coming true. Makes a mother's heart warm.

Sep 25, 2007


So glad she chose grape kool-aid to match her purple shirt

Sep 20, 2007

Post placement thoughts

Just finishing our 1yr post placement visit, I thought I would share some thoughts about that. So many people question the homestudy and the visits that it entails. It isn't really a study of your home, per se, although they certainly look at that as well. It is more of a study of YOU and your abilities to parent a child that didn't come from your body. How come biological parents don't have to have them??? Is there the thought that because a child came from your body you will have no problems parenting them? OR, could it be that there is the thought of "there is no turning back are pregnant and can't give it back?" If they did homestudies on bio parents and they didn't pass what do you suppose would happen to that child? I felt as if there was "no turning" back once the decision was made to adopt. Our baby was out there and we had to get her home!! I never really felt probed or invaded with our homestudies. Sometimes it irritated me that we had to jump through so many hoops, especially if I thought there was a better way to do things. HA HA

One huge PET PEEVE is the financial aspect of it. GET READY FOR A POLITICAL RANT..why isn't it ever asked of all the young mothers and fathers if they can support their new baby without the support of the govt. Why does the govt make it so easy to continue to have children and be support by them but yet makes adoption really expensive and timely.?? Ok I am done with that. I will never regret an ounce of paperwork and worry that I had to do before, during, and after the adoption because it brought Claire home. But wow, don't I wish it were a more simpler process. My friend questioned why the post placement study "It's not like they will take her away...right??" I told our social worker about that statement and he said it was soley for the protection of the parents. He wanted to continue to let us know that he would be here for any problems we would encounter once the child came home....wouldn't that be a nice service to bio parents as well.

Sep 15, 2007

Gotcha day year later

Enough with the modeling

Looking at her shoes

This was on the pants..cute

So tall

cute shoes

I thought I would post pics of her in her clothes from a yr ago. The shoes were really small, but the clothes fit quite well. They were really big on her last yr.


Most of our precious Anhui girls

She's here!! Thank you God

So glad to see mom and dad

Stefanie has a sister!!

Sweet K and J finally together

As 10 families crowded into a room to become families, we couldn't believe our good luck. One by one families were made simply by calling out their names. All the waiting and worrying fell away as our precious ones were placed in our arms. Anyone who has experienced this knows there are no words to describe it. I wish we had more contact with all the girls but I know their families love them and are remembering us all on this day. Please take a moment to enjoy the pics and lift your glass today in celebration.

One yr ago

Cutie patooti posing for her dad
These chicks rocked!!

90 degrees and 90%!!

We were so proud!!

Helping a friend

Our first glimpse..goose bumps

Rubbing the knob for luck.

Wonderful Rui


We were walking the Great Wall with the best of them. I believe we lost about 5 lbs of water weight in that climb alone. The memories of "The Big Family" running towards the bus as the certificates of adoption were handed out and our wonderful guide Rui was telling us "tomorrow is the day that we will get to Hefei" "Our babies are there" She was such a wonderful part of our adoption experience. She was helpful, patient, and always went above and beyond her call of duty. Any family who receives her as a guide will have the easiest time during the most exciting time. We even had a disruption of an adoption and Rui handled it like the true professional that she is. Enjoy the pics of the Smiths as a family of 3 for two more days. I will not forget how wonderful it felt to be on HER soil. She was so close I could not hardly bear it...good thing I was still suffering from lack of sleep and fell into a deep sleep that night.

Sep 13, 2007

Sep 11, 2007

Sep 7, 2007


Claire went to school on wed. There was the foreseen screaming and clutching of my leg. I quickly departed and called later to check...everything ok. Upon arrival in the afternoon, I witnessed her sitting in her chair taking in the action and being generally calm and cute. She then turns to look at me in the doorway and calmly says, Mama..and runs into my arms. What a wonderful feeling to know that she had a great day and no trauma insued.

She then awakened the next day (she only goes to school on M and W) to discover she wouldn't be returning that day. I believed she would be thrilled to not have to go to that strange and loud room with other children. Have to share toys and nap in front of everyone. WRONG...she cried and wore her backpack all morning and carried around her lunch box. I guess it also makes me feel good that she loves her school and her teacher. I wonder how things will go on the second day......

Sep 4, 2007

Claire catch-up

My mother came ofver for dinner last night and we had a really nice visit. She reminded me that I should put more things in a baby book about Claire. I have a wonderful lifebook started...when we came home almost a yr ago. But I don't really have one of "those baby books" with so many milestone pages. So I decided to document some of Claires' stats.

She is 30.1 lbs and 37 inches tall. She is beginning preschool tomorrow and I am sure will love it but doesn't seem to keen about going now. She loves to imitate her sister. She is beginning to really learn to pedal a tricycle, but prefers to push with her feet. She is really exploring new foods, but still has to really inspect something before it goes into her mouth. She has ZERO interest in potty training and I need to be ok with that. I have potty trained one child, she will do it when ready. She wears 3T tops but, still tall and thin, she wears 2T bottoms. This sometimes poses problems because of her heighth.

She is really funny when no one is watching and really a ham when someone is. She loves to watch Elmo and Blues' Clues. She loves to color and draw(?)...we learned this in church on Sunday when silly Mom packed books to look at and she wanted to draw on every card in the pew. She likes her Sunday school class and soon I believe she will begin to want to go. Still dealing with some seperation problems. I am hoping "preschool" will help with that.

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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