Lots of Firsts

We have had another wonderful week at our house, with lots of firsts.

Our sweet baby cousin Lo turned one!  It is so hard to believe that it has been a year since that amazing day! 


Z and D had birthdays, turning 10 and 8!  I have officially been a mom for a decade. :)


Kai has been singing “Happy Birthday” any time that he sees a candle, and even when we lit a fire in the fireplace last night.  It is adorable.  With the number of birthday parties we have had in the last week and a half, I’m not surprised by his confusion! :)


Kai had his first haircut. I don’t know how he handled haircuts in China, but needless to say, he did NOT enjoy it here!  The woman cutting his hair was trying to calm him down in Mandarin, but that did NOT work. Luckily he was able to cry hysterically and yet still hold still.

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We visited our Children’s Museum, which Kai LOVED!  He also loves being silly, and doing whatever his big sisters are doing.


This has happened a couple of times, and I LOVE it.  He has seen Hannah not finishing her meal (yes, that is strange), and he has carefully sat by her to feed her.  Oh, so sweet. Makes me melt.


And unfortunately we finished the week off with Kai’s first visit to urgent care after a fall. He ended up with 3 stitches right below his lip.  He looks pretty happy in these pictures, but that is after they gave him some medicine to calm him down. He is afraid of doctors. TERRIBLY afraid.  Possibly even equal to his fear of Clover.  Knowing that he will be having a lot of doctor visits in his future makes me quite nervous now. The second a doctor is in his eyesight he starts to scream.  And scream. And scream. It is B-A-D!

We have been so blessed by so many people showing their love for us and for Kai. I can’t tell you how much it means to us! Several people have said something to me about my needing to update more often now that we are back. I promise to try my best! Strangely enough these 5 kids don’t like to give me a few quiet minutes on the computer! :)

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First Week Home

So, we have been home a week.  Home.  Wonderful home.

Our trip home was extremely long, but pretty much uneventful.  Our little guy did a great job on those many many hours on the airplane.

This was the sweetest point of the entire journey.  Seeing all of my kiddos together, and taking them in my arms.  There are just no words.


My sweet girls did such a good job while we were gone for 16 days.  I couldn’t be more proud of them.  Oh, how I missed them.

This week has been a week of adjusting. The fact that traveling to China with 2 children and adopting a third left me with more time to blog than my regular life at home is kind of crazy!

Some things have been hard that I expected to be hard. Sleep.  I think we are just starting to turn the corner on this one, thank goodness, but adjusting to the 13 hour time change is no easy feat! Kai is also scared of the new big bed in his room, so he is sleeping in the pack n play instead.  Oh well.  It has freed a bed for me to sleep in during some difficult nights for him.

Some things have been hard that I didn’t expect, like Kai’s reaction to Clover.  He initially reacted as if we had a dragon in our living room.  It has improved a bit, but is still the major cause of tears in our house.

Some things that I thought might be hard haven’t been.  Kai is eagerly eating anything and everything.  He has fully embraced our American food. He is also picking up English very quickly.  He already seems to understand the majority of what I am saying, and he is mimicking our words throughout the day.

Other things are just coming pretty easily. The kids are all loving their new little brother. Our first week has been full of hugs and laughter. Kai has been so open to all of his extended family, and I think everyone is feeling charmed by his easy smile and adorable dimples.

2014-11-13_00022014-11-13_0004 2014-11-13_0003The other thing that has not been hard is the love.  Every adoption story is not the same, and it can take people different amounts of time to feel like they have fallen in love with their child.  I’m feeling so thankful that this has been one of the easiest parts for me. I adore this sweet little boy, and he is written on my heart as my child. It is a beautiful thing.


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Goodbye China!

We have officially spent our last day in China. The suitcases are packed, and we will leave for the airport in a few hours.  I can’t believe it. I feel like this trip has been an eternity, and yet I feel like it has flown by.

It was absolutely a life impacting trip for all of us. Words just can’t express everything that I am feeling right now.


Now it is time to bring this cute guy home to meet his sisters. That is definitely a moment that I have been waiting for!

Still, I have a lot of emotions about taking Kai out of the country of his birth. He certainly will have many advantages living in the United States, but it will never be the same.  It is not the place where he was born, and he will not be surrounded by his native culture. He will have to come to a place where everyone sounds different and every singe aspect of his life is different.

Adoption is a wonderful thing, and our hearts are certainly full from the blessings that it offers, but it still begins with a story of loss. Kai has already lost so much, and he is about to lose so much more.

Still, he is gaining the love of a forever family. He is too little to comprehend what that means, but someday he will. And we will be loving him every step of the way.


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Enjoying Guangzhou

We are making the most of our final days in Guangzhou. There is a GORGEOUS park right across the street from our hotel. We have loved spending time there. I am seriously going to miss these parks when we get home!2014-11-04_0001 Jeff joined in the ping pong. I’m pretty sure he won. 2014-11-04_0002 2014-11-04_0003

There are even little rides in the park. The kids love it!2014-11-04_0004We had our consulate appointment yesterday. There we took an oath along with a room full of adoptive parents, gave fingerprints yet again, and handed over Kai’s passport with his Visa application. That was our last official business in China!2014-11-04_0006After our consulate appointment, Jeff wanted to go to the top of Canton Tower.  On our last trip we were told that this is the second tallest building in the world.  I’m not sure that is true, but no matter what, it was high.  Really high.  The fact that I was up there is a testament to how much I love my husband.  Those guys rode in these bubbles around the outside perimeter of the building. Couldn’t get me in there.  No way, no how.2014-11-04_0007Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we visited the Chen Temple. It was gorgeous.2014-11-04_0008 2014-11-04_0009 2014-11-04_0010

We also went back to Shamian Island again. We always love walking around and seeing the beautiful trees and small streets. You can always see people doing Tai Chi, and brides taking pictures. Up until a few years ago adoptive families spent almost their whole time  on the Island. I’m a little bit envious of that!

These shop owners sat down to talk to Kai. I love having someone translate what he is saying because he chatters away all the time. The last time we had someone translate for us it was a waiter, who told us that Kai told him that his China mom was out shopping for vegetables and she might be back later. :( Oh sweet boy, how I wish I could explain things to you.

Apparently he told these ladies that he has 2 moms, and I am his American mom. He said that Jeff is the baba (Daddy) for himself, Zac, and Drew, but I am the mom for only him. Uh oh.2014-11-04_0011Our time in China is almost done. We are off to enjoy our last day!


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Safari Park

We had an amazing day at the Chime Long Safari Park! Riding an elephant in China definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite experiences yet! :) 2014-11-02_0003 2014-11-02_0004 2014-11-02_0005 2014-11-02_00062014-11-04_00122014-11-02_0007 2014-11-02_0008 2014-11-02_00092014-11-02_0002

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