Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Newer posts

Today is such a sweet emotional day for us, it is Kaylee's third birthday and her first birthday with us!!
July 20, 2008
Kaylee's 3!! :)
July 20, 2008
Oh my gosh, where do I start? It's our sweet little angel's third birthday and her first birthday home with us!! I'm already crying from being so grateful to God for sharing this angel with us almost a year now (we're about six weeks away from Gotcha Day Anniversary).
I wanted to compare life a year ago with today. A year ago your Daddy came home with a special little cake and had decorated it with your name. The family gathered around the table to blow out candles for you. Mommy was crying, especially missing you on this day. We thought we'd already be there to get you and spend your second birthday with you but God had other plans. That little cake meant so much to me. It meant Daddy was missing you too and that the whole family was celebrating your birthday, even if we hadn't met you in person yet. Oh how my mind dreamed of many presents for you, lots of hugs and kisses. It was a painful day for me.
Now a year later, Daddy brought you to our room first thing this morning to have a big hug session with our princess for her birthday! You loved the hugs and kisses, nothing new in your life about that now. You didn't seem to recgonize what a birthday was. The last birthday in the house was in December and you'd only been home three months then. We bought you a big '3' birthday candle for your cake last night, you've been carrying it around all night and today. First thing you wanted me to open the candle because we told you yesterday you could have it today. lol :) The boys sang Happy Birthday to you and you played hide and seek running around me while they sang.
Sweet angel, I will never be able to thank God enough for you!!! You have blessed this family beyond understanding! We all love you dearly!! We would go through any trial given to us, to do it all over again to bring you home. Your sweet little face and personality wipe every heart ache we suffered waiting for you, instantly away. I've honestly have never met another child that is as happy as you! :) You have taken this family, your family, by storm. Each and every one of us love you more than you may ever realize.
So sweetheart, as we celebrate your first birthday home, your Mommy and Daddy are praising God for the gift of you.
We love you sweetheart, Happy Birthday!!!

Kaylee Swimming! :)
June 15, 2008
Here's Kaylee swimming at 35 months and only having the pool two weeks!

Disclaimers! lol

1. Our pool is crystal clear but our camera is picky and only takes clear video and pictures when you hold it just right to catch the sun or light in a room.

2. The cosmic truth of kids one-upping each other has occurred here with my son deciding he had something to tell us right then!

June 14, 2008
Shhhhh.... I haven't broken it to the kids yet but it looks like rain again!!!!!! This is the third day in a row and the kids have been losing their minds about not getting to swim!

I'm buying a house intercom from Ebay. I'm soooo tired of screaming for the kids. They never hear me from selective hearing, tv, games, etc. I have to scream so loud to get them to come to me, I always feel like the neighbors are going to hear me before the kids do! It's only been used once according to the description (she bought it for use at an out building but had too many trees blocking reception and had no use for it in her house), it comes with a base and two units, should hopefully be $25 with shipping. I'm going to put one unit by my bed (I always seem to need something when I'm bed sick), the base by my desk and one in the kids' hallway (our house is set up that the kids' bedrooms are on the opposite side of the house from ours).
Pretty toes
June 12, 2008
Kaylee saw me painting my toe nails and had to have hers painted as well. She loves em! I'll post more pics with some other pics I have to add to the site. Here's a pic of us showing off our toes together! lol

Home after China posts (including cleft repair surgery)

June 09, 2008
The boys have been picking at each other like crazy! We may turn out some Olympic runners at my house. For now on when the boys start their picking and fighting, they're sent out to the back yard to run laps. They hate it! lol Jaycen had to do a lap before he could eat dinner tonight and Drew had to stop in the middle of his dinner and run a lap for calling his brother a baby.

June 08, 2008
We're loving the new pool. We finally got all the kinks worked out and Glenn built a really nice deck for us to enjoy and give us access to the pool.

Kaylee hasn't gotten any real tan yet. Neither her or Jaycen. Now yesterday I got burned big time on my arms, chest and face. I think the kids aren't getting any color because of the life jackets. lol They're both doing really well in the water now. Jaycen is now out in the pool with us and splashing and hopping all over the place. He thinks he can swim because he'll get in the water now. lol We're careful to remind him he can't swim without his life jacket yet and to never get close to the water without it.

Oh gosh, I think I'm going to have to start stripping the kids at the backdoor on the way in from the pool! Yesterday there was water left on the kitchen floor and I fell hard! My arm is all black and blue today. I look like I've been beat! lol I think only my arm is really bruised because I tried to catch myself by grabbing the counter top and kinda bounced off of it.

June 07, 2008
I'm trying setting the timer for every 30 minutes today to get Kaylee and I back on track with potty training. We got out of the habit big time with everybody sick.
The timer really helps! It goes off and she knows it's potty time.

Just another crazy day
June 05, 2008
I have got to get going and run my errands and get my work done. I've been cleaning this morning. Kaylee had outgrown her toybox a few months back and had everything in a huge cardboard box, I went through Jaycen's old toybox, threw out all the trash in her box and his and moved her stuff to his toybox. He's somewhat out grown all the small toys for a box so I'm going to get him a rubbermade container to put his stuff in. We took the old toys to GoodWill.
I always try to do the GoodWill thing, I think it teaches the kids an important lesson about giving back. :)

Update on the pool
June 04, 2008
The pool people received an earfull from Glenn and me in the background fussing! lol Even with that, they still bumped us to today and didn't call us back! ERrrrrrrrrrrrrr As far as we know, they just didn't connect it right.
Finally in the late afternoon they came by and hooked it back up correctly, the original guys had done it wrong! At least it's fixed now!

Crazy pool problems!
June 03, 2008
Of course we're having ANOTHER issue with the pool this morning. When they put it in, Glenn had to go up to Lowe's, the guys said they'd be here when he got back. They put the filter facing the wrong direction and were gone when he got back. He called them and they said he could turn the filter the direction he wanted. He turned it half an inch this morning and all the hoses on the filter fell off, they never fully put the hoses on because nothing broke. We had water gushing out all over the yard! UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH They're coming out to fix it this afternoon. Needless to say Glenn and I were freaking out! :(
Mannnnnnnnn, problem after problem! It's worth it when we're in it but good grief!

June 02, 2008

Jaycen, Kaylee and I just came in from an hour and a half at the pool. It was the first time the kids had been in the pool. Jaycen was really scared and didn't really want to leave the stairs, other than the one time he let me carry him around the pool. I told him we'd be going out every day so he'd either sit on the steps every day or come in the water to practice with me. He told me he wanted a swim teacher. I asked him why he didn't want me to teach him, he said he didn't know, he just wanted a swim teacher. lol I did tell him a swim teacher would make him get in the water! lol

Kaylee was scared the first few minutes but then had a big time! She loved it! :) She had her face in the water, and was just holding my thumbs and kicking with her life jacket. Maybe she'll be a natural swimmer.

I have to say, the time in the pool today was the first time in forever that I remember spending solely with the kids and only thinking of them. My mind is usually on a million things I need to be doing. The pool is a good thing for all of us. :) Here's a pic of two of the kids ready for the pool. :)
June 01, 2008
I've been in the pool two nights now, LOVIN IT!! :)

We all still have the stomach junk, I was so out of it yesterday, the kids had me stopped at the gumball machines on the way out of Krogers, when they were done, I started freaking out because I couldn't find my keys. After five minutes of practically dumping my purse, Drew finally notices and points out they were sticking out of my pants pocket......

May 29, 2008
Glenn worked hard to build a deck for the pool this weekend but it rained so bad on Monday he wasn't able to finish so we still can't use the pool. He was really upset, I don't blame him.
Took all three kids to the dentist last week, couldn't believe it, nobody had any cavities!

May 26, 2008
Kaylee's doing well, with us both being sickly the last week (she was throwing up earlier in the week, now Jaycen has it), I didn't push potty time very much. Neither of us had the energy for it.
We got a pool! BUT Jaycen got mad at his big brother and decided to throw major clumps of dirt in it!! It's taking us forever to get it cleaned up. We can't get in it until we get a deck built. Glenn's working hard to get the deck built this weekend so we can though.

Jaycen's Kindergarten Graduation!
May 20, 2008
Jaycen had Kindergarten Graduation tonight, we were sooooo proud!!!!!!!! It was all I could do to keep my eyes dry, seeing how proud he was and how cute he looked in his cap!! Here's a pic of the kids right after the ceremony.

Got to witness
April 07, 2008
I got to do one of my favorite things today, I got to witness to another mom about adoption! She is a therapist at Kaylee's speech therapy. It's always so neat for me to get to do this. I've never had that opportunity in person before, done a lot of it over email though. :)
If she's reading this, I really think you have a little girl waiting for you, I could see it in your eyes. :) You have that passion you need to go the distance that adoption can be and I could see the love for the child already. I saw a lot of the same drive and hope in you that I have for children. Many blessings to your family in your journey and I hope I can help with any questions you have.

letters for orphans
March 30, 2008
I see all these sites for you to sponsor a child financially and writing them but what if I only really have love to give? Is there a program where I can send letters and gifts to a particular child and follow them like a sponsored child?? I know there are many children out there my oldest son's age (11) and older that might not find a home and I'd love to be an outside source of individual contact for them, even if I can't afford to sponsor financially. I have love to give and I can afford that. :)Please write me if you know of a way we can do this. :)

new pics of the kids in the snow
March 25, 2008

Time marches forward and we're finally getting the house changed
March 15, 2008
wow, I'm feeling completely wiped out today! I think this junk has turned in to a sinus infection, I have a lot of pressure in my sinuses and they're very tender. Yea me... oh well

Well we started the big change over last night. I was lying beside Kaylee as I laid her down for a late nap and started thinking of a way to utilize all the beds without putting anything in storage and get the boys in a room together. So I got up and started busting my butt!! I moved Drew's full size bed to Jaycen's old room (the easiest part by far), then moved Jaycen's twin size bed to Drew's room. It took forever, it barely fit out the door way and had to be moved like a puzzle to get out of one room, slid back in the same room from a different position and then slid in to Drew's room. We finally took Drew's door off the hinges. I had sweat rolling down my face! The boys helped with it all. Then we went to a mattress store, bought another twin mattress and box springs with rails. They tied that to the top of the pathfinder, we brought them home, then went to Walmart for the boys to finally spend their Christmas money for the rest of what we needed.

We bought sheets and comforters for each of their 'new' beds, they picked them out (Drew picked out camo and Jaycen baseball) a comforter and curtains for Kaylee's new room (pink princess set), plastic containers for easy storage of underwear and socks to slide under their beds, (since they're going to have to share a closet, etc), new pillow, they then bought a new game for their PS2 (that's going in their bedroom now) and a color-art set for Jaycen.

It was all very expensive but in the long run, we saved money compared to the bunk beds we planned to buy. Plus all beds are being used with this plan, no wasting there. I did consider faking a heart attack at the register when I had to write a $71 check on top of their $400 Christmas money ($189 went to the mattress set and rails) but after weighing the ambulance bill being higher than $71, I quickly wrote my check and brought all the goodies and kids home.

I'm really proud of the boys, they've worked hard with me to clean their rooms and help with the transition. They slept in their new room last night, Kaylee's room won't be nearly as quickly to be ready for her to sleep in but we plan to work today and tomorrow to get it there. With the end result of Glenn and I finally moving toward an adult bedroom again, yippee!!!!!

And I have to give Drew credit, he was dutifully his Dad's son and protested over me moving heavy furniture and told me how mad Dad would be for me doing it on my own! lol I never let that stop me before, I get on a mission and I'll get it done, no matter how I have to do it. :)

Yes, I know I'll probably be spending months of getting up over and over as Kaylee protests sleeping in a room alone but we'll slowly work through it.... hoping the full size bed will help with transition, I'll have somewhere to rock her before I lay her back down (what's she's used to when she wakes during the night anyway)
March 12, 2008
The subject of being addicted to adoption came up on another of my groups and I thought I'd share my thoughts on the matter. (Though Kaylee decided my first draft was not sufficent and she erased it before I could send it! ughhhh.... lol)
Am I addicted to adoption? Yes and PROUDLY so!
Am I addicted to the paper chase? Oh heck no! I mean there are a few joys, when you complete one task and can move to the next but addiction worthly? I think not!
Am I addicted to the wait? Oh double heck no! lol I find no joy in waiting for what I want, regardless of what it or they are. :)
Am I addicted in the attention received from adopting? Are you kidding me? For the most part, I only experienced non-friendly attention for adopting. Definitely not that.
So what causes the addiction? I'm a mom and I can not look past a child needing me without the urge of rushing to their aide, scooping them in my arms and saying 'I'm your mother now, you are no longer alone in this world!' I walk the floor endless hours of the night with my children, endure toddler fits and angry outbursts. Teach manners and words, help with homework, play nurse when they are sick, rejoice and dance with them when they learn a new task, cry with joy upon seeing love for their family in their eyes and hearing a child's voice tell me they love me. I proudly display the grade K paper from my youngest son, proclaiming to his whole class, 'I love my mommy because she hugs me'. I have days where the first words I hear are 'You ruined my life!' because I insisted on lunch being ate before playing in the snow and end the same night with the same child signing to himself how he has the 'prettiest mommy in the world'.
So, is all this addiction worthy? In my books yes. And I don't want any recovery! :)

Six months of blessings
March 08, 2008
ok nothing ever gets done the easy way, I spent a long time on this and then couldn't get the song I wanted attached to the photo show, sooooooooooooooo:

first click here and start the photo show (it takes a minute to load):

then click here and start the song:

homesick for China
March 02, 2008

I was writing a friend that will be traveling soon and realized how homesick for China, Guangzhou actually, I've become after being home six months. I thought I'd post what I missed, feel free to add your own. I'm sure the new moms would LOVE to hear our experiences. I would have loved a post like this before we traveled. :)
I can't wait to live another China trip through someone (we were in Guangzhou the whole time). It's amazing, the country becomes a part of you because it's part of your child and you almost feel a little homesick for the country after you've been home awhile. I miss silly things like the nightly strolls Glenn and I took with Kaylee for dinner and to all the shops again and again and then to Starbucks. :) Glenn signed the guestbook at Starbucks, somebody look for it!! :) I've been dying for someone to see his entry, just to have that neat connection back from the country back at home again. :) The Starbucks people are SUPER nice, plus it's air conditioned (no place else really was, though that probably won't be a problem for anyone this time of year) and has nice coushy chairs that you can use to block off children's escape, like make-shift baby gates! lol Also there's a little store, gosh I wish I remember their names! It's between the Victory (the one across from the Bank of China) and Andy's on the corner. If I'm remembering correctly, they had a red ramp leading in the store. There were two girls working there, one stood there with me for the longest time, we practiced our English and Chinese together with a children's book. :) It was very cool, something that would never happen at home. There's not much else to do on the island except shop but it was so different from anything you'd experience at home, we never really minded. I miss the relaxed strolls we took. All the stress had to be left at home for the most part so I had to learn to relax! lol Two weeks may seem long but it's probably the only whole two weeks I'll ever get away from home! lol
I look at our pics now (they scroll as our screen savers) and feel homesick for that time in our life when our lives were changing so much and such a blessing of a little girl physically entered our lives. :) We'll never be able to thank China enough for the gift of our little princess. :)

Fever... :(
March 01, 2008
Our little princess has had a fever for not quite three days now. It was 102 when she woke up this morning. The doctor yesterday tested her for strep, it was negative and her ears were only slightly red. They gave us a antibotic but I don't know if it will help. This may be just a virus thing. Anyway, I'm a super nervous mom when it comes to fevers... say a little prayer for both of us. :)

February 27, 2008

BIG GIRL POTTY TIME!! Little girl has had her very own potty for not quite two days yet. I think she thinks of it like her play kitchen, a smaller toy version of what the big people have and that's totally a cool fun thing for her! We head to the potty right after lunch where she looks at my InTouch magazine (a girl's got to stay up to date with fashion and the celebrities!) and me wondering why I punish myself to have to potty-train yet another child. I could figure out a way to instantly do that, I would pay a million dollars for it! My oldest son took a year and my youngest son TWO years!!! They say girls are easier, we'll see...
So, we're sitting there and she makes a stinky as she knows it by, in the potty! We all cheer and congratulate her, we have to call Daddy to tell him the good news, etc. She stands there with this priceless look on her face like what the heck are you all so excited about??? lol I know, I first days' fluke but I'll take it! Maybe she'll beat her big brother's record of a year to train! Hey, a mom can dream can't she?? lol

Early release date!
February 22, 2008
Kaylee has been doing really well. I decided to give her a slightly early release date from her no-no's, she was supposed to be in them till Wed. but I'm letting her out the Friday before. We're watching her for putting anything dangerous to her palate in her mouth but other than that, I've put the no-no's away this morning. I'm also moving her to a soft diet, nothing crunchy but soft smooth food, letting her chew a bit, she's loving it! :)

Kaylee in ponytails
February 16, 2008

We had Kaylee's two week checkup Wed. from surgery and the doc. says the hole we've found is actually better than last week when he saw it. He thinks it's in the mucus layer and the muscles have stayed intact. He thinks it will grow back on it's own. So two more weeks of no-no's and liquid/creamy diet and we're done for this round, yea!! Little girl is going to slam dunk those no-no's when she can! lol :)
Here's a pic of little girl looking super cute in some of her first ponytails! :)

Day four-Cleft palate repair experience
February 02, 2008
It always makes me feel better to write and hope my experiences will help others so here's what I've recently learned (we're on day four post-op)
Right after surgery expect a lot of mucus with blood coming from nose and mouth, think of wearing a dark colored older shirt to be able to hold your child for hours in
Expect your child’s face, feet and hands to be swollen for a few days
Expect your child’s body weight to feel as if it has tripled during surgery when they are in recovery
Expect night terror behavior when they are still waking up (I knew to expect this and even though Kaylee didn’t experience it, I heard other children around us doing it and parents scared and not knowing how to deal with it)
Expect a cranky child for days, even with pain meds
Plan ahead to have every possible food to put in the blender and/or soft foods (for example, puddings, yogurts, jello, soups) and plan for your child to turn their nose up at most of them
Expect TONS of drooling, get ready with extra bibs; Kaylee is going through 4+ shirt and bib changes daily right now
Expect to feel as if you were physically the one in surgery, full time care of a child after surgery is exhausting
Expect your child to have the most foul smelling breath you’ve ever smelled in your life!
Expect your child to act like they haven’t napped in days..
Remember your sweet child is still there, they’ve just undergone a surgery that’s going to have them not feeling themselves for a little while but you’ll both be happy after it’s all said and done
Expect your child to be themselves quickly, they are dealing with a lot of pain, the overwhelming concept of a liquid diet, wearing no-no’s and not knowing quite how to deal with any of it; plus pain meds can affect your child’s personality
Be afraid to ask for pain meds that you feel your child needs, they wanted to give Kaylee pain meds orally several hours after surgery but the taste of it made her not want to drink so the next time we were due for meds, I requested it be put in her IV, she started drinking again soon after
Forget to keep yourself fed, even when your child cries wanting real food with you (if you aren’t able to eat out of their sight), you have to keep yourself fed to be able to keep your energy up
Forget to stock up on groceries for the house before surgery so you don't have to leave the house with your little one, the less exposure to outside cold air and/or possible flu/cold germs immediately after surgery the better, pneumonia is easy to get after the body has undergone surgery
Worry about bringing pj’s from home for the hospital, frequent changes might be needed due to all the drainage and drooling, don’t worry about the extra laundry for yourself to do
Expect your child to let you put them down or them to want to sleep outside your arms, get comfortable in the rocking chair and rock that baby for hours; trust me, you don’t want to let go of them any more than they want you to let go anyway

Kaylee's home
February 01, 2008

We got released after staying overnight. I'm so tired!! I did that half alert sleep the night in the hospital and last night Kaylee had spit out some of her pain meds (meaning it wore off early and I couldn't really know how much she spit out to give it to her again early) so she was awake and fussing, she ended up in the bed with us at 12:30 and kicked in her sleep the rest of the night. That and all the emotions and I'm wiped out! She's honestly doing really well though. She's eating pudding and liquefied soups of every kind you can imagine. She doesn't like drinking out of a regular cup very much so fluids aren't constant like she's used to but she's getting enough. She can get into most anything like usual with her no-no's. I try to give her a break from them every so often and keep a close eye on her. We thought her incision would be down the middle of her mouth but it looks as if they made the cuts on the side and stretched the right side over to meet the left. The stitches are down her left side. He said her cleft was wide and her palate was short so she might need the lengthing surgery if she still has a lot of trouble with speech. I've devoted most of the day to her as I promised her I would. We took a two hour nap this afternoon. She's causing trouble now that I took a minute to update everybody. lol :)
Wanted to update everybody but she's not going to let me be on here long.

surgery tomorrow
January 29, 2008
Kaylee is having her cleft repair at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in the morning. She had a little cold over the weekend, not anything too bad. She's had the occasional cough the last two days so I'm hoping they won't postpone when we get in there. I figure it's best to just give them a heads-up and let them listen to her chest and make sure they feel comfortable still. We're ready to get this surgery over with....
My sweet little girl is going to be one cranky princess for a couple of weeks without her favorite foods. :)
Please keep us in your prayers. Thanks.

Five month reflections
January 25, 2008

Here we are, knocking on the door of Kaylee being physically with us for five months! It's so hard to believe, it's gone so fast!! I can certainly say five months with her has gone a heck of a lot faster than five months of waiting for her! :)
What all can I tell you about this sweet child? The one patting me on the arm and stopping to give me a quick hug as she runs by. :) She has truly been a reward for a hard fought journey! I wouldn't change a thing about her, even that hard-headed nature that just got her in trouble for playing in the dogs' water AGAIN, we've lost the fight of protecting our years and years of cd collections... we have crayon art on the walls, have given up unloading the dishwasher or dryer without help, everybody in the house knows who 'piggy' is and there is an all-out search involved at bed time if he's been left away from her bed, though I protest, my drink, the remote control and my cell phone are brought to me the second I step away from them, we all know she has to throw her own diapers away and put her own dirty clothes in the hamper, she's tough as nails and they weren't kidding when they described her as fearless!!!! She climbs everything, falls, brushes it off and climbs again. She loves changing her shoes at least eight times a day, loves to pick her own clothes out for the day, and knows she has the entire household wrapped around her finger. :)
A good example of the impact she's had on us all; I had a big day of researching to do this week so Kaylee went to visit with Grandma for the day. This was unexpected so the boys didn't know ahead of time. I picked Jaycen up from the bus, expecting his six year old mind to be more concerned with playing games than noticing his sister wasn't in the car. I was wrong. He said with fear, Mama, where's Kaylee??? His older brother was worse. He came in the house, said something like 'oh, is Kaylee up from her nap?' Then looking around, 'Where is she???', bless his heart, his face lost all color as he panicked waiting for me to answer. Her brothers love her very very much! :)
Daddy's Christmas wish was for Kaylee to finally be able to say Daddy and she did it, right at Christmas. :) He'd been practicing with her every day since we got her and she never even tried until she said it. Now she melts his heart daily with it. :)
I don't think I could even describe my love for her with mere words... :) She is a blessing to our lives and we all love her dearly. :)
PS: Please keep us in your thoughts andprayers as Kaylee has her cleft repair surgery this coming Wednesday, the 30th.

random updates
January 12, 2008
I'm a little concerned about Kaylee's size. At the doctor's the other day, she was 26 pounds and 32 inches tall. She was 24 pounds when we brought her home. She's gaining healthy and I know she's grown in height because she's outgrown some of her 18 months jeans. I like putting her in cotton pants now because they don't crawl down her butt as bad as jeans do. Anyway I asked the doctor if she was a healthy size considering the adoption, being Chinese, etc. She told me she didn't have any of the Chinese children growth charts there but I could look them up. (Personally I think they should add that to their office since we're one of many adoptive families going there but anyway...) So I get home and look it up, she's in the 5-10% percentage for height and weight for her age! She's really tiny even for her background. She's robust, full of energy, I can tell you she eats good. I just remembered looking at FengHong's growth averages for the same age as Kaylee and she was bigger than her. I'm sure she's fine, just would like to have a doc. tell me she's fine! lol

Doc. appts for this week, Tuesday afternoon the TEIS developmental girl is coming out to the house to make sure she's on target for development. Kinda excited to meet her, she's an adult with cleft lip/palate and I can hear a slight difference in her voice. The speech lady told me that this girl LOVES working with cleft kids, understandly so, so I'm sure she'll make sure Kaylee's exactly where she needs to be. I haven't heard back from the speech lady but I think they had to do the developmental assessment also to see what all she qualifies for (not positive about that). Then Thursday we have our first appt. with the pedatric cardiologist about the mumur. I'll be glad to get that out of the way and not worry about listening to her breathing and making her slow down when she gets really hyper, just in case. Then the following Monday morning early, we have our first cleft visit. We're going to be very busy the next week and a half!

Everyone's doing really well around the house, we HAVE to get the boys' rooms situated though and get Kaylee in her own room, she's waking up at the tinyest sounds and it makes it hard for three of us to be sleeping in the same room and Glenn and I to not wake her up. Plus the boys will come in there over and over to ask this or that. I can't hardly get her down for naps at all any more. We've got to buy bunk beds, that's our biggest opstacle right now to changing the rooms around.

Christmas :)
December 25, 2007
We had a good Christmas, the kids loved everything, Kaylee is constantly playing with her shopping cart and kitchen :) Jaycen loves his gameboy and Drew was such a little gentleman, he spent hours putting his sister's kitchen together instead of playing with his Christmas stuff! We were so proud of him! :)

The loss of a child
December 21, 2007
We lost a child we had listed with UAHH. The loss of this child, Abraham a child that passed away just a few days short of his second birthday in China; has truly spoken to me. These children really don't have anyone speaking for them if we (we as in fellow moms and dads, agency workers, advocates) don't.
My heart cries for a little boy I never met. I cry because what I want most in life is to bring more children home and see them happy. Losing Abraham means one less child to see that joy in. I know he's in a happier place now so I guess my tears are from the frustration that his life was not spent in a mother's arms or on a daddy's shoulders but instead waiting for what would never come for him.Blessings to the ones that show these children love until they have families, their hard work is easy to go un-noticed until you realize they were all a child had.I hope some good can come from his passing, I hope his story touches a family's heart that wasn't quite ready and helps them to push past those last thoughts holding them back.A 'Match' in heaven is probably the best 'match' a child could receive but I pray we don't have more 'matches' in this manner. I pray these children find 'matches' with families here.

I pray this child's loss will encourage us all to work harder for these children. To show them love by advocating for them until their forever families appear. Whether we advocate by posting about the children, praying for them and/or volunteering with groups to bring them home; it all matters. If you're doing something, you are helping! Don't let good intentions be too little too late. Make the effort today and don't let the loss of Abraham go by un-noticed. Advocate for the children still waiting for their homes. Let's make Abraham proud as he sits by God, now seeing everything with his eyes for the first time. Let God show him we are working for his 'brothers and sisters' left behind.
Blessings, Charlotte Temple

watch this! lol
December 15, 2007
OHHHHH MY GOSH this is too funny!! Too bad there could only be four elves, shucks, mom had to sit this one out!

Bubba's birthday
December 04, 2007
Today is Kaylee's brother Jaycen's 6th birthday. She helped me carry balloons and cupcakes in the school for his class. Ok, she rode in the stroller and I balanced everything. Getting down right scary what I can balance pushing that stroller! lol Kaylee loved the kids and kept pointing at her brother and squealing. :) The kids were very interested in her and kept saying 'what a cute baby'. Big brother is having a big time with his balloons while Kaylee's taking her nap right now. :)

trimming the tree
December 02, 2007

Little girl helped decorate her first Christmas tree this weekend. She LOVES the lights and we have tons of trouble keeping her off the tree. It's so neat to see the wonder in her eyes though! :)

Picture perfect punishment
November 27, 2007
My family's out-smarted me! They're making me get my picture taken with them! Acccccckkkkkkk ekkkkkk ughhhhh (sorry, hair ball from the idea of having to get my picture taken)lol :o) For years now I've successfully avoided organized pictures involving myself. Hubby and I've been married seven years this January and we've never had a professional picture together. That means my youngest son and now Kaylee have never had a picture with me professionally either. You can start to see the artillery for their out-smarting me, huh? Of course my mom and hubby's mom have sang the 'it's all we want for Christmas!!' song for several years now, I've been sneaky and had the boys pics made and presented them with those instead and gotten away with it all till now...
Today, I think I'm smart, I tell hubby, it's your day off, I ask one simple request. Take Kaylee in her Christmas dress and have her picture made. He comes right back at me 'What about the family picture?!?' I respond, ok, I'll tell you what, we're knocking on the door of December, if you can get an appointment for us all today, I'll do it, if not, you go on and take Kaylee before Christmas is over. Needless to say, THANKS A LOT SEARS! ......
SO, think of me as I go have my picture taken... did I forget to mention I have a bump on my chin right now the size of a volcano??? ugh......

A special project
November 24, 2007
I have felt so led to help other children come home since we've gotten home with Kaylee. At first I thought maybe we should look at another adoption, then reality check hit, of course we couldn't afford that now, our family now needs to bond and have time for that security to build in the current family, all kinds of reasons...
A friend suggested I look into helping other children to channel these whispers from God. I'm so glad she did. I volunteered to join a group of fellow adoptive moms that work to bring hard to place Special Need children home from all over the world. The group is Those that know me, know I can't ever do something just simple, I have to add my own twist. My twist this time is an idea I really feel God Himself gave me as a task to complete. I'm compiling a list of Special Needs (SN) with medicial definitions, treatment information and most importantly, family input from families living with these Special Needs in their homes. How many times have children been skipped over because people hadn't heard of their SN and figured if they hadn't heard of it, it must be horrible and beyond what they can handle? My list is to quiet some of these misconceptions. To provide an introduction, right along side these children available for adoption.
I’m very excited and hope this makes some of these SN not as scary because potential parents haven’t heard of them. If you'd like to help, I need your input! :)
Here is what you can do to help, please answer the following questions on my little survey below:

1. Please describe your child’s SN, just the name is ok, I’m trying to add medical definitions for the meanings.2. Tell me what life is like on a daily basis with your child's SN? 3. Things new moms would want to know, is there daily pain or care for the SN?4. Are there aspects to this SN that you did not expect? 5. Did your doctors expect other SN's to accompany this particular SN?6. What is the long term prognosis your doctors told you to expect with this SN?7. From a mom's point of view, how has your child's SN affected them on a daily basis?8. If your child is old enough, have they expressed their opinion of their SN?9. Finally, to give encouragement for potential new parents: Can you give a statement to comfort a potential/or new parent to a child with this SN?

I’d really like to add contact information for volunteering families that wouldn’t mind speaking to interested families, so please tell me if I have permission to publish your email address or an advocate website with my list.
If you'd like to add to the list, please copy the above questions, answer them and email them to me at

I'm so proud of my boys!!! :)
November 17, 2007
I have to brag on my boys! I'm so proud of them! They have been through so much with us this last year, pursuing Kaylee's adoption, doing without extras to save for the adoption, us fundraising left right and center, doing without their Dad and I for two weeks while we went to China and then having a new little sister that lives up to every expectation of a normal two year old little sister. Keeping all this in mind, here's what happened tonight.

We were driving back from my mom's, it's an hour drive and we always have lots of time to talk. I thought I'd take advantage of the time and explain to the boys that I'm starting to volunteer with an non-profit organization to bring more children home. I realized after I'd said that sentence that they were both quiet, Jaycen spoke up first. 'A boy or a girl this time?' and then Drew, 'I can help you fundraise this time!' It just brought tears to my eyes!! I quickly explained that I wasn't bringing children to our home but I was going to be working really hard to bring children to their own new families.

After all they've been through the last year, about to give up their individual rooms to share so Kaylee will have her own room (until we can afford to build another room), everything and their first responses at thinking we were going to adopt another child was acceptance and offering to help. I am soooooooo proud of my family!!! :)

Play group with the homeless
November 12, 2007
Ok so I get an email from a local agency that I will keep un-named for the fact this play group might not fairly represent the agency in whole. I think oh, how cool, this agency is local and would hold local get-togethers (since ours was out of state), it's at a convenient time, only a thirty minute drive, I could take the kids to play and I'll get to know some local adoptive families. Right.......... sounded like a good concept. Our adventure starts with the normal taking forever to get all three kids out of the house on time so we leave ten minutes late. No problem, I'm still keeping my cool, even though Jaycen (the 5 year old) has had a TOTAL meltdown refusing to finish his dinner and crying because he won't get to have any snacks at the play group (because of said not finishing dinner). Drew (my oldest, 11) does a great job at his first try at navigating and reading the mapquest directions for me, we only get mildly lost, making us another 5 or so additional minutes late. We find the church by accident, I slam on the brakes and slide into the turning lane just in time to turn into the church. We then shuffle every one out of the car, (did I add we've had suspicion of a dirty diaper for the last five minutes of the drive), venture our way to the door, only mild complaining from the boys for the rain we're walking through and the almost getting totally lost and not attending play group from getting lost. We pass people leaving a School Board meeting, still cool, that makes sense to hold at a church. We open the church, there's mattresses on the floor, mom starts getting nervous at this point. The kids are whining about wanting the snacks provided for the occupants for the mattresses on the floor and us still not being able to find the play group. We walk through the mattresses on the floor (me now cursing myself for choosing this outing and praying the kids don't ask me why the mattresses are there). We round several corners and finally find the play group! Hooray!! Of course the suspicious dirty diaper has to be changed first, I instruct the boys to play with the train set outside the bathroom door and whip in the door to change Kaylee, I'm almost instantly knocked out by the smell of the bathroom, ohhhhhhh my gosh! I didn't want to even lay Kaylee's head down on the paper towels on the changing table. We get done (of course she wasn't dirty by the way), walk out and experience the most unorganized form of a play group/adoption meeting I've ever seen. Ok, here's my soap box time. This group consisted of approx. 3-4 other children, not counting mine (I stood immediately out coming in with such a large group of children, no I didn't pick up extras, just my three), and probably 5-6 potential adoptive couples. I mean, maybe my expectations were too high, I expected a semi-organized not-so-formal meeting with someone from the agency mildly keeping the conversations going, perhaps papers explaining adoption to potential parents, snacks for kids (HELLO PLAY GROUP/CHILDREN usually involve snacks???), maybe pictures from families that have traveled and/or contact info. for families that enjoy talking to new potential families, etc. I expected things and/or people to encourage adoption. All my suggestions above didn't happen. It just struck me, if this is what is done to encourage potential adoptive parents in our area, kids don't have a chance! I could go on but I won't... SO, it's time to go, now we must make our way through option A-through the homeless people now starting to lay down on the mattresses on the floor or option B-outside around the entire large church to our car and chance coming up on an individual waiting for an idiot picking option B with three children. We chose option A. We make it through the mattresses, once again I have to thank God the kids didn't ask anything, other than whining about the snacks for the homeless people again as we walk by. We hurry everyone in the car and thankfully have an uneventful trip home. I'm all for helping the homeless but I think holding that and an adoption play group at the same church, with little outside lighting wasn't a good idea. Phew, we made it through this one but we won't be doing that again any time soon.....

Turkey season, Temple style
November 08, 2007
Today I got to do one of those things I normally wouldn't have been able to do when I was working away from home. Jaycen's school sent out turkeys drawn on poster board and asked families to work with the kids to decorate them. Kaylee, Jaycen and I went in the backyard and collected fall leaves, then we crushed them all up in a bag, colored the head, beak and feet of the turkey, put glue all over the body of the turkey and then went back outside and poured the crushed autumn leaves all over the glue. It turned out cute and the kids loved doing it. I of course am sneezing up a storm now, fall leaves are a huge allergen for me. lol Oh well, the kids loved it and it was fun hearing Jaycen amazed at watching me cut the turkey out and telling him my ideas for how to decorate the turkey. :)

Social Security day
November 05, 2007
Kaylee and I went down to Social Security today finally (we've had her Certificate of Citizenship for three weeks and every day I've found something more pressing than getting down there until today) to apply for Kaylee's Social Security card. After waiting in a room crammed full of people for an hour (Kaylee was excellent I might add, thank you Lord!!), we finally got our number called and made our way to the window. The lady starts looking at our stuff and says oh, you'll have to have this translated first! I'm like, huh? It said bring her adoption certificate and passport, I brought both of those AND her Certificate of Citizenship to be extra sure!

By this time Kaylee is standing on the counter in her little dress, I had my hands on her legs to steady her so I started tickling her legs to make her laugh, hoping her cuteness might get us worked through. Then she leans remotely close to the hole in the window so I say oh Kaylee, are you waving at the lady?? Kaylee being Mama's girl and knowing what mom's thinking (let's get the heck outta here and not come back! lol), quickly puts her hand through the hole and starts waving at the lady in her famous two-year old wave. It worked! LOL

Ten minutes later we walked out with our paper that we'd have her card in two weeks, leaving behind a room full of people that for the first time that entire hour, probably wished they were the one waiting with a two year old! :)

just a day
October 25, 2007
Had to keep my youngest son home from school today, he's got a little flu bug. Kaylee didn't like him being sick one bit, she's mad with Jaycen for being home and not playing with her like normal. lol Poor Jaycen's like why is she bugging me today??? lol
Right now she's screaming and running to go tell on me for taking her drink away when she didn't put it where I told her and spilled it instead! lol She's something! She slams all the cabinet doors when she's mad! sheeeeshhhh LOL
I tell ya, she is somethin!!! lol She don't put up with nobody messing with her the wrong way! lol I don't worry about her wandering off to play with the boys cause I'll hear her if anybody gets too rough! She might not be able to talk yet but she gets her point across! :) She's such a little survior! All that time trying to get her here, I thought, wow, God must really have something special planned for her life to have all this take place to get her here, now I see that we had something special planned for us. :) I've never met anybody that could tell me so much with their eyes. It's amazing how expressive she is with them. :)

My guys are so taken with her as well, Jaycen today was worried that this attorney at work had spent too much time looking at him and Kaylee I guess, he piped up when the guy was leaving, telling him not to take his Kaylee! LOL

Gosh little girl is getting big!
October 24, 2007
Kaylee is getting so big! Not even six weeks ago when we got home, she couldn't reach the top of her highchair to get her drink down, now she puts it up on the tray herself and can reach to get it down too!
She's so funny, she has to change shoes a million times a day. She's all about her fashion, she loves for you to tell her she looks pretty. She pulls on her hair wanting it to be long so she can brush it like I do mine. Her favorite stuffed animal is her soft pink piggy. It's not quite half her size, perfect for her to wrap around at night and that flat piggy face is perfect for kissing (which she has to do over and over when she gets in bed, along with hugging him and saying awwwwwwwwwwww). :)
She loves dolls now, she was a little afraid of them when she first came home, now she first has to take every diaper off to make sure it's a girl. Then we start over and over of her taking the diaper off and me putting it back on. She'll do it until the tape won't stick. Her big brother taught her how to hold the dolls, feed them and carry them around in her purses.

another update
October 16, 2007

The kids are doing better with adjusting to not having my sole attention. We're really working hard with Jaycen to help him start getting back to acting his age. He's doing a lot better, still a few under-age melt downs but better. Drew's accepted that his not doing his work at school has cost him his good grades (and games at home) and says he's working hard to bring his grades back up. Kaylee's got a little cough right now but we've had a little 24-hour virus going through everybody at the house so its not surprising for her to have been up coughing last night. She's such a joy though, we couldn't have asked for a better child! She can melt your heart in a matter of seconds. :) She can be acting up and in the middle of it, run to you to give you a kiss so she's not in trouble! lol Little tease! lol :)

Everybody keeps asking me how I am, me?? LOL Me is a mom with three kids, there is basically no me left, for a little while atleast! lol I'm loving it but am trying to keep a balance to atleast watch a tv show for myself everyday so I don't lose myself in the sea of kids. :) If the money situation was better, I'd probably go shopping. :) I love this time of year and Hobby Lobby has wonderful potpouri and fall decorations I bet. Fall and Winter are my favorite times of year. I love the upcoming holidays. :)

October 07, 2007

We've been home three weeks tomorrow. Kaylee's been sleeping all night almost a week now. Big relief there. I've had to turn into 'kicking butts and taking names' mom to my other two. I came home to grades slipping (the oldest in middle school his first year, apparently had been taking advantage of mom being pre-occupied with the impending travel to get Kaylee and then us being gone and was hiding test papers from me) and our five year old reverted back to a three year old, crying at the drop of a hat for any old non-reason and even throwing himself on the floor to have fits?!? Mean ole mommy's back in town now though. I did the unthinkable, took the PS2 out of the living room completely until all grades were C's or above and the five year grows back to being 5 (I have to suggest this to people, it really has an impact! lol) I've also been brought back to the reality of trying to make sure each child gets the mom attention they need, a good bit harder with three than I realized it was going to be.

Kaylee is rooming with us, something that we thought would be just a couple of months, then we'd move the boys in together and have her in her own room. I think it's going to be quite a while longer than we thought though. She's sleeping all night now but only with her toddler bed directly by my side of the bed and being able to constantly look up and make sure I'm still there. She's about six months behind behavior wise (not bad I think, she could be much further behind) so I don't feel like she's going to feel comfortable enough and we won't be able to verbally explain what's going on enough for her to feel comfortable by herself for quite a while.

I get the energy to type emails and then take forever to reply back when people answer me, sorry about that.

Anyway.... there's my ramblings on for today. :)

A chance to reflect
September 28, 2007

Wow, I've been a mom to three now almost 4 weeks (this coming Monday). I can't believe it, it's happened so fast. This has been my first real chance since getting home to sit and reflect on my feelings and how I feel about adoption now that I'm a BTDT (been-there-done-that) mom with adoption.
So, how do I feel? Omg, I can't tell you how beautifully blessed I feel!! My daughter is truly the daughter I waited my entire life for. I love her and feel her as my own flesh and blood. She couldn't possibly be more my child in any way.
I love all three of my children equally, not one more than another. That makes me feel good, I worried I might be more partial to Kaylee after the fight to bring her home but being a two-year old, she has a special way to remind Mommy she's a normal kid, just like the other two. :)
I wanted this memory in writing, before it has a chance to fade any more. As much as I love all three children the same, the best memory in my life now involves my daughter. My favorite memory is looking across the room and seeing her walking to us, our first sight of her in person. Everything else in the room faded out, there was only her. I recognized her face instantly. Another worry I'd had is that I wouldn't recognize her from only pictures. I did though, without any hesitation or doubt and immediately. My first words spoke were 'there she is! She's walking to us!'. I was filled with awe that was indescribable. To use a phrase from an old song, 'did you ever see a dream walking, well I did'. That fits what I felt perfectly. A year's worth of tears, prayers, hopes, disappointment and joy, came to life with a toddler's bewildered look and walk across the room.
Do I still find myself an advocate for adoption? Now more so than I could ever describe. I have truly been blessed by God to have our daughter join our family and I dearly thank Him with all my heart for this beautiful little girl. :)

Home one week
September 22, 2007
I've had trouble this last week adjusting to having a two year old again and getting the entire family adjusted together. Our youngest son's had a horrible time between us being gone for the first time in his life, his first full weeks in Kindergarten and now a new sister. The child had huge black circles under his eyes when we came home (he never does that and the only thing I can think is that he wasn't sleeping well while we were gone). He's gone back to crying and throwing himself on the floor. (This started before we got back so it's not copying Kaylee) It's been breaking my heart but the only thing we've known to do to help him has been reassuring him verbally and with hugs and coming down hard with correction when he acts up and throws himself on the floor. He is better now than he was last Friday when we got home. Our oldest son on the other hand (the one we thought would be having the hard time and enjoy ignoring both his sister and brother) has come out of his loner shell and is having a blast with his sister! He carries her around, plays with her, looks for her if she's not following him around. It's the total opposite of the reactions we expected. I've had a huge amount of catch up work this week from my job. So bad that Kaylee starts throwing a fit when I come to the computer (and I've only been coming here for work this week) Yep, she knows how to make mommy feel guilty! lol I'm feeling better with the 'adjusting' this morning. I went through this with both boys too. I always go through a 'resentful' (for lack of a better description) phase with a new child until I can sleep all night again. I always take good care of the kids through this phase but feel over relied on, overwhelmed with the new responsibility, I guess that's a better way to describe it. Kaylee's sleeping better now (I think last night might have been her first night not waking up, which resulted in me sleeping probably 13 hours! lol), she never had trouble sleeping in China! ugh... lol I have eliminated straight milk from her diet until I get her sleeping all night for atleast two weeks, then I'm going to try her on it again. She had that liquid yogurt stuff right before we got on the planes and that's when her fits during sleep started, kicking her legs really hard, constantly bending her body over frontwards (like you would double over if your tummy was cramping), twisting and turning in her sleep. She had three glasses of milk the first full day home (she loves it) and had a horrible time sleeping that night as well, more of the kicking and fighting you as you tried to comfort her. The longer the period of time since the milk was cut out, the better she's sleeping. It might be the comfort of being more used to home now but we didn't have this problem at all in the hotel and she slept in her crib there with no problems whatsoever (but no whole milk either). Guess that sums up our first week home. :)

WE'RE HOME Daddy Journal
September 15, 2007
Well we finally made it back home last night around 8:30 pm. Kaylee was a little angel on the plane from China to Tokyo and only fussed a little bit on the flight to Detroit when she would wake up from short 20 minute naps she wouldnt know where she was and got scared. The flight from Detroit home was a different stiory poor baby screamed 45 minutes of the hour long flight.
I personally blame this on the fact that we were delayed and missed our flight by the complete incompiotence of Detroit international airport, US Customs and Immigration especially Agent Salazar and the TSA. When we landed in Detroit we had over 2 hours to change planes more than enough time. Well after waiting in a line of three famlies we flew with for 2 hours while Ms Salazar proved why government jobs are so cushy she dissapeared for a good 45 minutes. When we said we would miss our flight. Her response oh well North West will get you on a new one. I tell ya what after witnessing the way these agents treated people from other countries was insulting and embarassing to say the least no wonder Americans are sometimes thought of badly in some parts of the world. Now as an "American" family arriving "HOME" to their country with their 2 year old daughter we were treated like criminals we had our luggage x rayed and "sniffed" 6 times at 6 different locations in ONE airport. All this while sorry to say it Muslim "looking" people soar through without a single check because we aren't allowed to "profile". Well I don't recall an American family with a 2 year old in a stroller commiting terrorist attacks. Sorry but when made to feel like a criminal I vent ALOT. Now by the time we finally boarded our flight little Kaylee had been pretty much awake nearly 24 hours so she let the world know how tired she was. I don't blame her a bit.
My mother in law picked us up at the airport in Nashville and we headed home to find a beautiful banner (thanks Jill) Welcome Home Kaylee in english and Chinese. Our boys could hardly contain themselves. After a wirlwind of presents and stories we all went to bed and after a few hours in the most incredible bed in the world I got up and headed to Krogers for Bacon and Eggs sorry Victore but no matter how hard ya'll tried the bacon and eggs sucked lol. Had morning coffee in my new Guangzhou Starbucks mug and thought of the Posey's and the Kennedy's we miss you guys all so much. Kaylee loves her two BIG brothers and follows them everywhere and they love her too. It makes a Dad smile seeing his family finally complete. Kaylee is an absolute blessing and I find myself just staring at her wondering if it's all real if any of this was real. Just a couple weeks ago I was walking throu the old market and having Pizza Hut with Jerry Posey in Guangzhou China and today I'm trying to recover from jet lag while my girls nap.
Hopefully the articulate member of the family my beautiful wife Charlotte will update with something more than my rant of the week with something more substantial and some new pics as well.
China we thank you for allowing us into your amazing country and culture and allowing us the gift that you have given us in Kaylee Kathleen the most beautiful girl alive. The people of China were wonderful hosts to us and I will never forget that.
Last but not least I want to thank our guide Bob. I have nicknamed him Lightning Bob because he seemed to have connections everywhere and when we thought we'd be hours we were done in 15 minutes usually. Bob thank you so much. If anyone is travelling to Guangzhou and has Bob as a guide tell him we said hello and thank him again from us.
Glenn aka daddy.

Charlotte's Guangzhou Tips-Shamian Island

Charlotte's Guangzhou Tips-Shamian Island
March 02, 2008

This should be fun :) I have people ask me all the time about China. I guess because I advocate for the kids and China has become near and dear to my heart because of our adoption. Here are frequent questions I get, feel free to email me with more and I'll post them too. :)

Where to stay? We stayed at the Victory across the Bank of China, the rooms are cheaper and much nicer than the White Swan. Our room was so nice we literally thought they gave us the wrong room!

Travel arrangements: we had the best deals through

Where to exchange money: Ok, the Bank of China is supposed to have the best rates but get ready to stand in line at least two hours (that including one hour of waiting before they open), once you get the big transfers done, I'd suggest doing most of it at the ATM's at the White Swan, they have English as an option and they're right by the guard at the door so it feels safe
Where to have laundry done? Jennifer's, close to the other Victory (I'd suggest bringing lots of under garments if you travel in late Spring to Fall, it's extremely humid, I would sweat through clothes on the walk to breakfast, I know, yuck! lol)

Where to eat? Lucy's of course (have the sweet and sour chicken) and the Cow Bridge (I lived off steamed rice and chicken there, soooo good!)

People to see: Go visit Jordan, he loves meeting the families and will do your child's name in Chinese characters for free for you. Tell him the big 'tattooed rock star looking' guy from the summer and his wife sent you. lol He might remember us, my hubby's a big tattooed guy, hard to forget in China. :)

Must walk-through: the old style street markets across the bridge, total experience not to miss
Get ready for: tons of bikes and cars coming up behind you as you walk through the alleys, you get out of the way, they don't

Home away from home comfort: Starbucks, coffee from home (don't drink the coffee at the Victory, warning you ahead of time), and nice cushy chairs that can be moved and used as make shift baby gates for a few moments to relax; also look for the quest book my hubby signed (Glenn), we're still waiting for someone to report back seeing it :)

Funny things to get used to hearing: the shop owners recognizing you and your family and asking how much longer you have on the island (they have the comings and goings done like a heart beat), people always asking you if this is your first child, are they a boy or girl (with all the head shaving in the summer)

Best places to shop: we really enjoyed the House of Love, right near the White Swan, they had really good deals and a large selection of children's clothes; also, the ladies are so used to the kids, they like to play with them while you shop, we also liked Andy's on the corner (I think there were like 3 or 4 Andy's)

Where to buy water: we bought water by the masses at the Andy's grocery store, right next door to the Victory we stayed at, don't remember the name but we bought the one with the large green upside down triangle top

Diapers: ok, don't expect Pampers there to be the quality of Pampers here, they were crap, no pun intended; if you have a good idea of your child's weight, I'd try to bring atleast a mega back from home, especially for night diapers

A few pics of China and Gotcha Day



Our last day!
September 13, 2007
It's our last day here and Mommy and Daddy are READY to get home!!! We miss our family at home sooooooooooo bad!!! Kaylee has quite the shock waiting for her with the long plane rides for sure! Let's hope Mommy and Daddy have hair left and haven't pulled it all out by the time we get done with flights that long with a 2 year old!!!! :) LOL
9pm- Well, after all the waiting and two weeks here, our time in China is almost complete. Our daughter is officially ours now. Once we land on US soil and clear Customs, she's a US citizen, third child in the family to accomplish this before Dad! LOL Now that the adoption is complete, we will work on poor ole Dad getting to be a citizen instead of a permanent resident.
Kaylee is looking way cute in her pj's tonight but is also being a handful of two year old trouble! lol Dang nab it, hard to be Mommy when she's lookin so cute! :) Thankfully things like shutting the bathroom door can curb one trouble area. That won't last long! lol
Don't worry boys, you'll hear Kaylee's name in trouble as much as yours! lol
We love you all and can't wait to start heading home to you!!! Give Annie doggie hugs for us, tell Cookie to get ready for another troublesome youngster, and break the bad news to Cassie that the castle isn't really hers (I think that covers the pets) lol
Pray for our travels home, our wake-up call is for 4:30 and we leave the hotel at 5:30. Love you all. Charlotte, Glenn and Kaylee

Consoluate Appt.
September 12, 2007
Bob attended our consoluate appt. this morning. All went well, we have our oath ceremony tomorrow at 3 pm, than we're basically free to travel!! Yippee!! :) We've had a good time but we miss our boys terribly and are very ready to get our family under the same household again! :)
Kaylee is SOOOOOOOOOO a typical little girl, she and I have fallen in love with the traditionally dressed China dolls. We have 'fought' all morning over a booklet of them that we picked up at a shop last night. Later this afternoon after nap, Glenn and I plan to go out and find her a Barbie doll she can play with since she can't play with my dolls I'm going to collect. She and I were both in heaven last night at a shop looking at the dolls. Too funny! The girls in the shop were laughing at Kaylee and I ohhhing and ahhing together over them! :)
We've had a few more two-year old meltdowns. Glenn and I just ignore the behavior, she doesn't get what she wants, hopefully she starts understanding the tantrum only gets her ignored instead of what she's throwing the tantrum over. It's all very typical two year old behavior, nothing to do with being adopted (for anyone that wondered). We have realized that she most definitely acts out more when she's had too much stimulation. We went out to dinner last night and sat with a few other adopting parents, we then let her walk holding my hand all the way back from dinner instead of riding (quite a long stretch for a 2 year old's legs), then we went to the pool to cool off. She LOVES the water and likes to splash Daddy and kick her legs while I hold her walking around. After all that activity, she was VERY tired and we knew it behavior-wise for sure! LOL Can you say cranky? lol That's ok, Mommy gets very cranky when she's tired too! lol

Nice quiet day so far
September 11, 2007
We've had a nice quiet day so far. I probably got up at 7, Kaylee and Daddy slept till 8:30 when I started turning on lights to make them wake up! lol Can't take a chance of sleeping through the free breakfast. lol While here, my plan of attack has been to load Kaylee and I up at breakfast, Glenn and I usually skip lunch and Kaylee eats in the room for lunch. Then we have a nice dinner.
Kaylee's down for her nap right now. After the orphanage visit, I should know nothing should bother her noise wise when she's asleep. They close doors, etc. at full volume there and the babies don't hardly move. Yet I can still hear her move around slightly from behind me at the sound of the computer keys. :)
Trying to think if she's been doing anything new the last few days. I do have to tell you, it's amazing how much she seems to have matured even in the last week. When we got her, she very much reminded me of a 12-18 month old baby, now a week later, she's letting us hear new different baby sounds, she basically says 'eeeeeeeeeeeee' for something she wants and 'wahhhhhhhh' for look, she's showing her independent side, has to put her socks and shoes on (over and over) all day, she brings us baby wipes and a diaper if she needs to be changed. We're not going to bother trying to potty train her here of course. I want her to be comfortable at home and then start. We've waited our whole lives for each other, I think we deserve a couple of weeks before we start any hard growing up training. :)
I can't wait for the boys to meet her. I've lived the moment over and over in my head, thinking what each one will think of her and what she will think of them. I can't wait to introduce her to home. :)
All this time to bring us together, almost a year, through all the hardships, scary moments, personal problems, everything we've been through this last year, she's worth every moment and I'd live every moment of this year over again to make sure she was in my life. Being a mother with two boys naturally and one daughter through adoption, I can tell you from personal experience now, I feel no difference between them. The pain I went through, tears, frustrations, etc. for Kaylee's adoption, it all equals as much 'pregnancy' as I had with each boy. Any moms out there with children through adoption only, never for one second let anyone tell you that you haven't endured pregnancy, you most definitely have.
Kaylee is a blessing for sure and we love her as much as our boys. :)
Orphanage Visit

September 10, 2007
Daddy writing today.
We went to Donguan City SWI today and discovered right off the bat that Kaylee was very popular there. Nannies were running down hallways and corridors when it was learned she was there. The sad part was that her main Nanny was off today and missed her.
It was very obvious how much she was loved at the orpahanage by the way they laughed and played with her. We were told about how smart she was and how she used to lead another girl around trying to teach her how to walk. I bet that would've been quite a site. One of the directors told me that they were always worried about what family would adopt her as she was so special to them and that once they saw our pictures they could tell by our faces that we were a perfect fit. I'm sure they tell every family this but it seemed so sincere when they were talking.
We gave the second director the cleft bottles we brought and the special scrap book photo album from Donguan families. They really seemed to take alot of interest in the album and seeing how the children have grown. Several children were crawling over Charlotte and she looked like Santa Clause. I took as many pictures as I could of these children in case someone recognises one as their little piece of joy. I tried to sneak pictures in the crib room but wasn't allowed. They let me and encouraged me to take the pictures of the little ones crawling on Charlotte.
I will say this after visiting the orphanage today, it's very clean and very friendly. you can tell that these nannies genuinely care for these babies so much and they are thrilled when they are adopted. They made me promise to grow her hair long lol that was already on the cards. I promised the nannies and director that we would love and care and protect Kaylee forever and they thanked us. In a way it was difficult to see your daughter jump into the arms of a "stranger" and laugh and giggle but it was theraputic as well. I now know that this has always been her personality and has always brought smiles to peoples faces just as she does now. Another difficult part was seeing all the little ones waiting to be adopted by a loving family, it's hard to not grab them up and run for the door but we did find out that several are waiting for their paperwork. If you have ever had an incling of adoption in your heart please do it please adopt one of these loving children.

Running late
September 09, 2007
Running late for Kaylee's blessing at a temple this morning but I had to stop and type this quickly. We actually had two people ask to be removed from our 'update' emails on Kaylee. I think I have all the requested emails removed but if not, tough, you can remove yourself. My daughter is the most precious little girl in the world and if you don't want to hear about her, it is MOST DEFINITELY your loss.
I'm so sorry to talk this way, especially on Kaylee's journal but this little girl is a huge part of our world now and if you don't want her, you don't want us.
Sorry, words from a hurt mommy this morning, off to get our little girl blessed.

I think it's Saturday??
September 08, 2007
Can't help but feel a little sad this morning, the Posey's are on their way home so we won't be meeting up for breakfast and Starbucks. We've all gotten really close this last week and we'll miss them. I'm sure Kaylee will wonder where the boys have gone to. Especially her Starbucks' pole dancing partner Genghis (aka Chris). We all agree that must have known each other, they stared and were too familiar with each other not to have, Kaylee and the boys were all three at DongGuan City SWI.
Kaylee is quite the little ham, let me tell you! She did pretty good last night, decided to be a little night owl and watch tv from the crib with Daddy but that's ok, as long as she wasn't fussing, I didn't make her go to sleep. Too funny though, she would stand up (I was facing Glenn going to sleep) and if she saw Glenn tap me to show me she was standing up, she immediately dove to be laying down on the bed. LOL
I guess I won't know what it's like to shower by myself for a while. She can't stand to have me out of her sight now. If I go to the bathroom, she has to be with me in the room, when I shower, she has to be attached to my hip and from the way she clutches on to stay put with the water, I've gone to calling her my little monkey. She loves the water as hot as I do though and loves to take showers that way so atleast I can still have a hot shower, even if I do have my little puppet in there, imitating everything I do. She had to help me brush my hair while I blowdried it last night. She's dying to have her hair long too. She keeps pulling on it when I brush mine, like hers is going to get longer that way. lol
She is a little sweetie for sure though. :) She's had a full blown two year old tantrum already when Daddy took his new movie he'd just bought away from her. Complete with throwing herself on the floor, crying, grunting, screaming mad. We just did the two year old taunt of 'you can do better than that, can't you? Is that all you got?' After nobody picked her up and she didn't get the movie back. She finally gave the tantrum up, I'm sure more than a little disappointed at its failure.
Boys, you better be exercising now, your sister's going to give you a work out running around the house! Jaycen, I think you have a running partner!! Drew, maybe you can sneak off the radar and sit by me (shhhhhhhhhhhh maybe we can watch tv if they don't notice us! lol)
Opp, little sweet face (as Glenn calls her) is up, better jump off here.

Good Lord, I have no earthly idea what day or date it is any more! lol
September 07, 2007
Last night we had to experience the hard but necessary part of adopting. The greeving process. If we weren't first time adoptive parents, we probably would have seen it coming a little more. Kaylee had bloomed in to full blown Kaylee yesterday! :) Hyper little girl, laughing, playing, teasing, running, everything. Well, after dinner last night, we'd come back to our room, played for a while, etc. I got up to go to the bathroom and was going to take a quick shower to rinse the sweat off (I could take 40 of these a day and still not feel clean, I HATE all this sweating!!). Kaylee did her normal of going to the bathroom door to lay down and look under. Usually she will bring her toys and play waiting for you to 'return'. Last night she started whimpering. Glenn got up and started playing with her on the floor. She started full blown crying. He picked her up, screaming, crying, kicking, full of grief. After I realized this wasn't just a normal cry, I opened the door and let her in with me. She calmed down, took a shower with me, latched on my hip like a little monkey, playing with the water as I bathed her around her latch-on position. She was laughing in the shower, perfectly fine. We went to get out, Glenn snuggled her up in a towel and took her to the bedroom while I quickly dressed. Then the greeving really kicked in. She started crying for 'ah-eee', baby for Auntie, which is what she would call her Nanny at the orphanage. She cried and cried. Normally all crying stops when I hold her. Not this time. I walked the floors with her (Glenn was in torment over watching her in this agony cry). I finally sat on the bed with her, let her cry and just kept talking to her. I rubbed her back and head, told her how much we loved her and that we'd never leave her. After a while the sobs slowed down to whimpers. After a little while longer, the whimpers tapered off. I sat her back from me on the bed and started playing with her like everything hadn't happened. I got her favorite album of us and gave it to her, pointing each person out by name like she loves. After a little of this, she got back to normal, only more affectionate with both of us. She played her the next couple of hours, Glenn and I both got lots of hugs and kisses from her. She had more trouble again at bed, I just laid in our bed singing to her and after 10-15 rounds of Hush Little Baby, she fell asleep and is still asleep this morning.
We knew this greeving would come, it has to. It's her little body and mind letting go of her past and opening herself to the future. It shows she can make bonds and truly allow herself to feel love and security toward her family. It's very hard for parents to watch and experience though, trust me.
Glenn and I have decided that as much as I have wanted to visit her orphanage next week, we don't think it's a good idea for Kaylee to go back for a visit. We're afraid she may backslide if she thinks for one minute that she's going back. The first couple of rides in the van after we got her, she had fear in her eyes and clutched me the entire time. She's now fine with riding in the van. Glenn is going to do the visit and thank her Auntie for giving her the obvious extra attention Kaylee has received. For her to be this loving and well adjusted and never been in foster care, (so we've been told at least), she HAD to have had a special Auntie.

Life with Kaylee
September 06, 2007
Well, God knew what He was doing of course! lol Kaylee is quite the comediene, tease, girly girl, smart, a clean freak and HYPER after sugar! lol She'll fit right in with our clan! lol Did I mention she loves TV and finds any where we go that has one??
She wore us out yesterday! lol We stayed in the room the most of the day and just played. It was very good for Glenn and Kaylee especially. It's hard to describe, she's bonding a little faster with me but not totally shying away from Glenn either. We are all three addressing it together and it looks that we are being successful. I will sit on Glenn's lap and kiss him, with her in our laps, then we both kiss and hug her, she seems to be getting the idea that if Mommy does it, it's safe for her too. She's sitting with Daddy right now with her new flower book so I can write here.
She can't wait to get home I think and play with the boys!! One of her most favorite games is looking at her picture album we sent to the orphange and point to everyone's pictures, having us tell her over and over who everyone is.
She can't stand long sleeves, she constantly pushes the sleeves up, (they would be a new thing for her). lol
Had quite an adventure the other day. We were on one of our many trips for the adoption when our driver suddenly stops in the middle of the road, jumps out of the van and runs down the road like an Olympic runner! We're just sitting there, going 'uhhhhh.....?????' Our guide, much to Glenn and my's humor, tries to act like this is very normal behavior! lol Apparently someone on a bike (without any of us except the driver seeing, feeling or hearing anything)bumped in to the van and kept going. We just sat there with a line of traffic behind us honking and us just looking like, okkkkkkkkk.......... He came back mad as a hornet that he didn't catch the man. No damage done though! ;)
We'll be going off the island today for a little shopping.
OHHHHHHHHH, Kaylee is officially OURS!! We're just in the waiting stage for her to have permission to leave the country. Please pray for Japan, they have a typhoon headed their way and of course I don't want anyone to get hurt but we HAVE TO FLY THROUGH Tokyo next week!

What day is it? What month is it?
September 05, 2007
So tell me, we've been gone like months already, haven't we??? Now that we have Kaylee, time goes so slow and so fast at the same time! Kaylee is just something else! LOL She gets excited when her tummy is full and wants to jump up and down! AHHHH, that could be a bad combination! lol So far no bad results, we're trying to curve that. lol
Lavonne gave Kaylee this duck canteen that she likes to carry around like a purse. It was pouring down rain last night so Kaylee and I took a few laps around the lobby, her holding one hand with me and the other held up in the air so her 'purse' wouldn't fall off her shoulder. lol The whole time squeaking with every step in her new squeaky shoes! lol Too cute!
Boys you would have loved seeing Dad acting silly last night. One of the squeakers had fallen out of Kaylee's shoe so Dad put it in his mouth and blew in it to make it squeak. Then he took giant steps around the room making the 'squeak' when he stepped down, Kaylee thought that was too funny!
We miss you boys so much!!! Gosh Jaycen, Kaylee looks so much like you sometimes! Especially when she's sleeping! And Drew, she may be smitten with you, she met a guy a little older than you last night and did everything she could to get his attention and make him smile at her! :)
Drew, I hope you feel better soon!! :( Make sure to take your allergy meds and ask for a tyneol if your headache gets bad.
I'm glad to hear Cookie is still eating! Are the dogs looking for us? I know Cassie's probably just happy with the new arrangements and calling interior decorators during the day to figure out how she's going to re-do the house now that she's become the throne with us being gone! How mad she's going to be when we come home! Guys, make sure she doesn't get the credit card!!
Jill, glad you like our bed, isn't is the greatest??? AHhhhhhhhh.............. :) Even room for all the furry clan to share with you! lol
Mom, its so funny, Kaylee is a big sleeper! She slept ten hours last night and still would be asleep if we let her and she takes two hour naps on top of it, yep my child, definitely! lol
Love you all! I'll try to answer emails soon. We've been running all kinds of errands and appointments with the adoption. I guess that's why the days go by so quickly.

We must get off to breakfast and then Starbucks! Yep Cat, I said STARBUCKS! LOL
September 04, 2007
Kaylee is sooooooooooo cute!! Oh my gosh! She's a little sweetheart who likes to be a helper. Every time I left the sliding closet door open, she went over and gently closed it for me. If you point at her cookie on the floor and tell her to pick it up, she goes and gathers every tiny little piece. She shares and loves to collect her blocks back and forth by giving them to us, taking them back one by one and putting them in the square they go in (they are the shape sorters and Glenn has her already trying to figure out how to put them in the correct shape). She's very intelligent but I think her emotional level, though very healthy, is probably more of that of a 12-18 month old than a typical 2 year old.

She has to have her highchair table clean, even if that means throwing food on the floor, she then inspects the table to make sure nothing is left and it is clean. She wore her hat with no problem, thought her headband looked cute so she left that sucker on a long time. When she took it off, she'd look at it and put it right back on. We put her in a pink top with an icecream cone on it yesterday evening for dinner. She was holding her shirt out so she could see the design. She gives hugs when you ask for them and has given a few on her own as well. She hugs you tight and squeezes your neck gently with her hands while she's hugging you. She wore her ladybug pjs to bed last night and was strutting around the room in them. She was quite proud of them. :)

She has a little congestion in her chest, I gave her a little bit of cough med. before bed, she really didn't cough that much though. She cried at first when we put her to bed but after three rounds of 'Hush Little Baby', she was fast asleep and slept all night. She hears me typing now and is moving around a little. We took some adorable pictures of her sleeping! She likes to sleep with her arms and legs sticking out the sides of the crib! LOL

She got mad at me last night. Glenn gave her a little piece of chocolate, which she liked but she was holding it for a long time and it was getting on the white sheets so I threw it away. I got quite a face for that one. lol She loves eating cheetos with me, she scooted right up close to my lap facing me as if I was about to give her the prize of the centuries. :)

The boys are going to love playing with her! I think she'll definitely have them wrapped around her little finger in no time!!

I know totally how to load pictures at home from the camera to the computer but since this is the computer in the room and I don't know much about the laptop, I'll have to let Glenn tackle getting pictures on line. Trust me, they'll be worth the wait! Even the big American Mama didn't mind having her picture done yesterday! lol :) I just got through looking through them all. You see her walking to us, the look of 'who the heck are you????' on her face upon first seeing us. You see me in mid-picking her up for the first time. You see Kaylee and I both look like we're about to cry! lol Then you start seeing her starting to smile in Glenn and my's arms. We're very lucky, this little girl has had a lot of attention and is used to being loved and attended to. I have a feeling when we visit the orphanage, we're probably going to encounter a nanny that was very loving to her and is going to miss her.

I tell you, I've loved our visit but now that we have Kaylee, I want to jump home and have everybody together again!! :) :) Miss and love you all.

September 03, 2007
We finally have our beautiful Kaylee!! She walked into the room at Civil Affairs all on her own after a nap and we have the biggest SWEETHEART ever. Of course that might change when she wants it to. LOL She LOVES to play, she's very smart and funny! She waves bye-bye, loves to copy you, she'll stick her tongue out to copy you, do her lips in kissing fashion when you do and has only cried when we tried to put her in a stroller. She wants to be held, big time! Which we don't mind at all for right now! :) She's perfectly happy on my hip in the hip sling. She's a chunk!! Very heavy to pick up, I was shocked! She's wearing an 18 months size outfit right now that's a big size 18 months. She'll probably fit in 24 months size pretty well too. We still have to go buy her some shoes. She had her bath like a champ, she splashed in the water and stood up and reached for me to get her out when she got cold.
We met up with several families for dinner tonight, she and I shared steamed rice for dinner. She points at everything. We're in heaven! She looks for us when we walk away. She's fussed a little bit for me if I wander too far.
We've taken tons of pics but want to spend more time with her tonight before we try to download any pics.
Boys, get ready! This girl has an arm and likes to throw! lol

September 03, 2007
What we've all been waiting for!! Kaylee is here!! Oh my gosh, we've been blessed with a SWEETHEART!!!!! Of course that may change when she wants to. The only time our angel has cried thus far was when we tried to put her in the stroller for the first time. She took to the bathtub like a pro and splashed and played. She is very inquisitive and points at things with wide eyes. She loves Daddy and Mommy so much and loves to play. Jaycen and Drew ge ready for playtime with your little sister she loves blocks. She's a big girl and we have a feeling she will melt some hearts very soon. Pictures to come soon.

only a matter of hours
September 03, 2007
We're down to a few hours, TODAY is the day!! The day to finally hold our daughter for the first time!! Immediately tears sprung to my eyes even typing the words!
After almost a year of working toward a most often feeling-winless fight, we are scheduled to meet our daughter, in just a matter of hours. I remember so many hours of driving and talking with God, asking with excited fear, 'Lord, could this really be happening?? Me Lord?? Could I be called to adopt?? Would you be willing to give me such a blessing?? I know I'm not worthy. How could I ever be worthy of this happening??' Many many times in this last year, God has taught me, NOPE, I wasn't worthy enough but everytime I thought, well, here we go, this is the stopping point now, this is where it all falls apart and God tells me No, you aren't going to receive this blessing. God had to correct my thinking, it wasn't whether I was worthy or not. It was what He had planned for our lives, we just had to be open to His plans. Being open has lead us to the other side of the world. Being open has lead me to be typing to you from the country of China, a place I never thought I'd be. :)
I've so many times in the past wrote here at moments like this, where the Lord has lead me to the computer, making me feel compelled to pass along my feelings, knowing someone out there is reading this for a special reason I may never know. Today is one of those times. I met some very special children yesterday. Were they special because of color, an age, a special need, or me feeling like they needed me somehow? No. I met a beautiful thirteen year-old girl, with a full beautiful heart for her new brothers. Making me stand back and admire her so much. She is going to be a wonderful mother to many more children herself one day. Being a mother with love in my heart and feeling such a need to protect and love as a passion, it is easy for me to spot the same qualities in others. This girl has it. :) I met two little boys, ewually special and they too won my heart yesterday. The Poseys' boys Chris, JUST like our Jaycen at that age!! Like Jaycen to a 'T', I love his want to play and make people laugh. And Alex, so much benefiting from his parents hard work this last week, laughing and wanting to play last night! There is nothing better than his giggle in response to being tickled! And beautiful Jin Jin!! She opened my eyes to older child adoption. A delicate little princess and a girl after my own heart, that can burp with the best of em! lol This little sweetie took great care to make sure we all had forks, napkins, didn't like pizza at all but still had to sit between her mom, Abbey and I as we ate. :) She made me LAUGH as she asked Glenn to tickle her daddy Sean too!! Abbey and Sean have worked hard with Jin Jin too and it shows.
What I experienced yesterday was pure work of love and if I thought my heart could not be opened to children, especially children with special needs even wider than before, the Lord showed me how MUCH more He could open my heart yesterday as I spent many treasured hours with these chidren and their new families. If you are a person that ever felt that tug toward Special Needs adoption, don't ignore it. It's not just an easier or faster route to getting a child home. It is truly a blessing straight from our Father himself. Are they still kids? Oh yeah! Still getting in trouble, acting up, just being kids. Do they have additional medical needs to be met? Sometimes but the only difference between that and adopting a Non-special needs child, is knowing ahead of time part of what you're facing. There's not a one of us in this world that has spent every day in our life healthy, some of us were just born lucky enough to not have a health problem to start life with.
I know I'm not an author, a poet, or anyone with great power at writing, but please take my words to heart. Adoption, especially special needs adoption is on an entire different level of a blessing. Not just for the child but the adopting family. I felt so much love from the children I met yesterday and their new families and I left them looking forward to our next meeting and my next time to get to spend more time with them.

Dad Reports from the silk road.
September 02, 2007
Dad or DH or just Glenn making my first entry to Kaylee's site.
First thing first Drew and Jaycen we LOVE and MISS you guys sooooooooooooooooo much we really wish you guys were here enjoying this with us.
Boys someday we are definatley coming back the whole family for a visit. I'll tell you what though both mommy and I can honestly say we would live here. I love this city so much already, the culture and the people are absolutely wonderful and amazing. Drew your the man of the house right now son so take care of Jaycen and the animals lol. Boys dad is gonna be bringing ya home some cool presents too. Help Grandma and aunt Jill and be good.

Still Sept. 1st, couple of hours later now! lol
September 01, 2007
Ok boys, Mama forgot to tell you what I planned the whole ride to China to tell you about and forgot earlier!
You boys know how Mama is about the bathroom, no barging in, give everyone their space etc. Well when we got to Tokyo, I headed to the bathroom and came face to face with my first squatty potty!! These suckers are basically kinda like a funny shaped potty seat except flat on the ground! I panicked inside! lol I knew I couldn't aim like a boy, you know us girls have to sit down! I'd have to take all my clothes off to keep from having an accident on myself to use one of those! lol Thankfully I backed up out of that stall and saw normal potties down the row. Normal, so I thought! I headed in to a stall and got to read all kinds of directions while I sat there for a second! The potties had all kinds of buttons you could push! You boys would have been in there for hours playing with buttons!! One for spraying warm water on your bottom to wash it off (ok, I know you boys are laughing now!! lol), then a button to blow your bottom dry. A button to push to spray air freshner I guess and my personal FAVORITE that I think somebody out there is a genious for inventing! A button to make the sound of the toilet flushing if you have any unlady like toilet sounds to make! How great is that?!? And here I thought I was a genius for learning to turn a sink on for the same effect, when I was about Drew's age!! So there you go guys, Mama making you laugh! :)
Oh, I also forgot to tell you about Dad. He wore his hat so he wouldn't worry about having to comb his hair before we left. Every time we had to go through a check point in the airport, they kept having to motion to him to take his hat off so they could compare his picture on his Passport to him! lol OH, and Dad said he had a rejected cranky former lunch room lady for our flight attendant! She kept bumping into his arm EVERY time she went by, including getting him with the cart when she could. You would have thought we'd asked for gold when Dad asked her for some sugar for my coffee. Oh well, except for a couple of bruises on Dad's arms, we got off that flight safely.
We watched three movies on the plane, Drew, I think you'd like The Last Mimsy, well probably Jaycen too. I personally read my book the whole movie. AND I had the drop'sies' the whole day traveling too! I droped my pepsi back on my tray and it splashed on the poor girl's laptop computer next to me and up on the movie screen!! Dad had to get out of his seat and dry the movie screen off a little bit for me! Tank goodness a movie wasn't showing or everybody would have seen a sudden splash up on the screen!

WE'RE IN CHINA!!!!!!!!
September 01, 2007
We're here! It's about 12:45 am here and this is the third time I've tried to write this, they have this weird thing at the Victory Hotel where your room key has to be in this special slot or all the lights turn out when you shut the door! Glenn went out the first time and it totally freaked me out! Everything went dark! lol Then I got the lights back on, he came back in, put his card in with mine and they went out again! The hotel is really really nice though!! I can't believe it's only $71 a night! We only got about 2 hours sleep the last 30 hours. We tried to not sleep on purpose to catch up with their time. We'll be going to bed here in a little bit. Wanted to write this first.

The flights weren't horrible. We were really tired starting on the last one though. The twelve hour one was relatively comfortable for a 12 hour flight. I have no idea how Kaylee will deal with the long flights. The cleft bottles didn't make it here, we filled out a missing luggage claim, hopefully they'll make it here soon!

The hotel staff just brought our crib in the room! I cried when we touched town in China, to think we're in our daughter's homeland right now!!

Please tell the boys we miss them soooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!
P.S. BOYS, pepsi tastes funny here!!! It doesn't tast right! lol

Gonna leave for the airport in less than 2 hours!!!
August 31, 2007
Of course I'm already awake and NERVOUS at 5:30am!! lol Ohhhhh my youngest Jaycen, told daddy when he woke him up, 'please don't leave this day' and my oldest Drew, said 'mama, I wish you and I both had one of those 'hug me' shirts and we could both hug ourselves when we missed each other and feel better!' Way to bring mommy to tears already this morning! lol
Please pray for us while we're traveling and our family at home! :)
Boys, WE LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH and are going to miss you terribly!!!!!!!
We won't be able to send you a message until tomorrow when we get to China.

We're getting so close!!
August 29, 2007
I'm feeling sooooooo nervous this morning! I got up realizing, only two days and nights before we leave!! I have to work today and this evening so this day is going to fly by. Tomorrow night we will be packing and making sure everything is ready to go. I can't believe after almost a year of waiting, this is here! I'm so scared, nervous and excited all at the same time!
I go to sleep and wake praying for everyone's safety and well-being at home while we're gone, our safety as we're traveling, and that Kaylee will bond very quickly with Glenn and I. I also pray that we're equipped with what she needs to take care of her and any lasting effects of growing up in an orphanage or any medical needs she might encounter. It's not that I doubt myself to devoting myself completely to what she needs, I just know that without God, I would have never have gotten to this point and I know I need Him to continue and complete this journey.
I can't imagine holding this little girl after all these months of staring at her picture, taped up all around me and saved on the computer. I pray God will open her heart and let her see the love I have for her and let me in quickly. I pray that she can learn to trust me and let me in.
Glenn thinks I expect the worst too much, I call it being prepared for the not-so-always-great reality. I've seen too many personal friends go through periods of time with their adoptions waiting for their child to let them in. I've read way too many other family's experiences with it. Let's face facts. We are going to look like foreign aliens to her, we'll be speaking a language she's rarely heard and won't understand, and we'll be taking her from the only home she's ever known. Hey I'd be ticked with all that, why wouldn't she be?? It's going to take time to slowly show her we aren't there to hurt her and they're we're actually pretty nice people and give good hugs and cuddles. :)
You know what? From the little I've read about my daughter's personality and seeing her pictures, I can't shake the 'feeling' she's a very independent little girl and she likes being the boss. lol Another control freak like mommy, this will be cute! LOL Glenn always talks abut her turning those little eyes up at him and daddy melting and giving her what she wants. Somebody better watch out, mommy will be doing some melting too! lol
I worry about my boys and being away from them. Ohhhhhhhh that part physically hurts me!! I love my kids so very very much!!! They're my life! I can't imagine this much time, this far away, from them. Please pray for us all, for us and our boys at home.
Drew and Jaycen are going to be such good big brothers to Kaylee. You should see these two protect each other when they get the motivation! lol I've seen Drew watch out for his brother at birthday parties, I've seen Jaycen protecting his brother for getting in trouble for a squabble with him! lol I'd like to take credit for some of that, Glenn and I really work hard to teach them to protect their families first. Even our dogs come running if they hear somebody cry. lol
I know our family's not perfect, I'm far from perfect, I'll be the first one to admit that! But we do try, I'm not saying we always succeed or never fail each other but we love each other so much. I know that love is something genuine we have to give our new daughter that is more valuable than any gold, gems, or riches. I'm so grateful to God that He would see all of our human faults, and still place us on this journey and reserve this daughter, thousands of miles away from us, to be part of our family. Who could ever doubt His power to make such a thing come true??
So Kaylee, as mommy sits here, writing novel after novel of my love for you (I wish I'd had the same outlet for the boys, their baby books would be full of page after page of my love for them as well), get ready sweetheart, we're coming for you. And no matter how scary it is, we love you with all of our hearts and we're going to work really hard to show you we're good people for you to put your trust in.

Getting ready
August 28, 2007
Oh my gosh, I'm soooooooo excited!! I just got through typing a two page list of everything I can think of to do with the house, kids and animals for my mom while we're gone. Trying to make sure everything that someone could think of to ask is answered ahead of time.

I had bought all kinds of little bags for the caretakers gifts but with so many and now I'm confused with all these assistants to the director, etc., I've decided to use one really big bag, put all the gifts in (as sort-of a grab what you want thing, we got all kinds of bath puffs, scented soaps, deodorant, playing cards, flavored pretzels, TN guides from the state), let them know the bigger bag is for any caretakers that would like to chose gifts, and I got a pen/sign-in book with a place for a photo in the front for the director (I think I'm going to put just hers (Dear Lord I hope the boards were right that the director is a woman, I have our agency checking for sure) with a TN book, and maybe one of the nice purses I was selling on Ebay in a giftbag just for her.
I'm even more confused now, our agency said the Dongguan SWI director is a man and my board has said female! ughhhhhhh

I packed just meds, supplies and gifts Sunday night in to one suitcase, it's 46 pounds! No clothes included!! LOL We're going to check the cleft bottles and aren't taking many clothes for ourselves, we're each packing one pair of sandals and wearing tennyshoes in the airport so hopefully we can get all the major clothes/necessities in the other suitcase. We each have a carry-on bag as well for an extra change of clothes, etc. We're carrying our laptop with us since we don't know if we're in the old part or new part of the Victory and the computer is planned as our communication home.

We also are packing light weight tupperware bowls in our carry-on, since I'm not a veggie eater and plane food makes me sick to my stomach, we're going to buy plain burgers at the airport and put them in the tupperware bowls for my meals on the plane. Trying to think ahead. :)

I'm worried about my boys and my furry babies while I'm gone!! Especially my Annie girl (she's a shih-tzu, maltese mix) and she's just big time a mama's baby. She snuggles with us all the time and gives you doggie hugs! She's a big time family dog, even though she's probably around 15 lbs. We have an older dog as well, she'll worry herself sick (literally) from us being gone, worry about her too. The cat will just think she's finally been officially handed the palace to herself and probably won't worry one bit about us! lol :) I know the boys will love on them big time still while we're gone so hopefully they'll all comfort each other. :)