Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Here is a photo from last year's Thanksgiving (in Nanchang City, China) and from last week. They sure have grown!! Stay tuned for a final post on the myadoptionwebsite blog. Thanks for stopping in...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Family Day - The girls with their Family Day cake and presents in the pink boxes

Hello everyone. Thanks for stopping in again. As we continue our one year anniversary of meeting the girls, we thought we would share a recent photo or two of the girls. We are continually amazed at how much they have changed since we met them and how much they have learned. It is still hard to believe we were in China one year ago at this time. We watched our videos from the trip with our parents Sunday and on Family Day we watched the DVD with the girls Michele sent us of the trip (THANKS MICHELE!). We also feasted on KFC on Family are probably wondering why KFC aren't you? Well, KFC is what we ate after we met the girls on Family Day 2007. Mary (our guide) and Michele ran into KFC for us on our way back from the Civil Affairs Office after meeting the girls. So, the fingerlicking greasy chicken holds a special place in our heart. Enjoy the photos and stay tuned for more Abby and Laney.
The girls opening their gifts - silver necklaces with a little diamond and engraved charms (Initials on the front and "first family day" on the back), note the KFC on the table behind them...

Look at the artwork - it is incredible.


Monday, November 17, 2008

It's here...

OK...I promise I won't get all emotional...I won't get all nostalgic...I won't gush...I won't...I promise...oh, who am I kidding?!

A year ago tomorrow (actually, in Ch*na time it was just a few hours from now) our lives changed forever. We became the parents to two gorgeous, smart, opinionated, challening, joyous, dramatic, lovable, ticklish, perfect daughters. Our labor room was a chilly, wooden-clad room on an upper floor of the Civil Affairs Office in Nanchang, Ch*na. Our doctors were a petite agency guide and the director and assistant director of the girls' SWI. Our videographer and photographer was two wonderful women we met while on this adventure, who would later meet their daughter and niece in that same room.

There were tears, there was a camera rolling, there was rapid-fire Mandrin being spoken where all we could understand was Mama and Baba. Mama and Baba. Our new names. Forever Mama and Baba. The girls did not know it yet, but they were so loved, so prayed for, so wanted. All they knew was when they woke up that morning, it was business as usual...then their world turned upside down.


We have been enjoying this time of celebration with the girls. Since it is our first anniversary as a family, we wanted it to be special. This weekend, we had both sets of grandparents over and we ate Chinese food and watched our Ch*na videos. It was the first time either set of grandparents had ever seen them. Abby sat riveted to the screen. Laney, chose to play. When I asked her if she remembered Ch*na, she said yes. When I asked her what she remembered, she said, "I don't want to remember." It's ok baby. You don't have to.

Everyone had fun though. We all celebrated and loved on these two little ones till we thought our hearts would burst. Thank our Lord Almighty we had such a good reason to celebrate. We have been so blessed!

Tomorrow just Mama and Baba have some special things planned for the girls. I'm not promising every year will be this elaborate, but we wanted a first anniversary to remember.

Stay tuned because we will be doing a final update to the website we used when we traveled. We will be sure to link it for you as long as you promise to sign the guestbook there. It will be posted in the next week or so.

Ok, I promised not to get too emotional. So I better go. :)

Happy one year family anniversary baby girls! It is a day forever etched in our minds. Thank you God for giving us these girls.

(If you want to read what we posted on this day a year ago, click here.)


Friday, November 14, 2008

One year ago today...

Last night I stood up and stretched. My whole body was tired. As I surveyed the damage in the living room, I started to cry. It was one year ago on November 13 that Tony and I were furiously packing for our biggest adventure yet. The next morning at 4:00 A.M. we would head to the airport to fly to China and become parents. My tears were those of joy and remembrance.

Last year on this very night, our house was spotless. Someone before that day had casually said to take a picture of our clean house now, because it would never be the same. That was the understatement of the year! Last night, there were dolls, and monster trucks, and Magna-Doodles, and other miscellaneous toys strewn about. I had to step carefully to avoid falling over. Yes, we should have picked them up, but why? It was evidence that we had two little gorgeous, smart, funny, dramatic little girls sleeping down the hall.

Last year, we packed what we thought a two year old would want to play with. We packed snacks we hoped they’d eat so they'd never feel hungry. We packed a bottle in case they needed it. We packed blankets to snuggle with and feel secure. We packed clothes to help them feel warm. We packed pajamas with feet to help them feel secure. The invisible things we packed were fears, anticipation, love, expectations, joy, intimidation, passion, God’s security, prayers, and family.

Last night we softly walked down the hall toward the girls’ room. They were both snuggled under their blankets that we chose for them. Tony and I just looked at each other. It seemed so surreal. A year ago, we looked around our house, and specifically, their room to try and visualize what it would be like. We would try to picture these two little bodies in their beds dreaming of wonderful things. Never, in a million years, had we imagined it this good.

A year ago, on the morning of our biggest adventure, our families came to take us to the airport. They had shuffled out the suitcases and Tony and I stood in our kitchen and looked at each other. I said, “You realize that when we walk out that door, we leave as a couple…but we return as a family.” A year later, that family is the most important thing in my life.

Follow the beginning of our story by clicking here. We will definitely post more as our anniversary of Family Day approaches. We have several special things planned for the girls and our family this weekend and next week. We’ll let you in on our joy and celebration!

Buckle up…memory lane tends to get a bit bumpy!


Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm NOT going to reinvent the wheel...

So...please read Sarah's blog. It explains what our church is doing and how you can help!

If you love our girls (and I KNOW YOU DO) then hop over to her blog and see what impact you can make in the life of an orphan!

(Stay tuned...I'll give you an update on how the project is going! Also, soon we'll be celebrating our ONEYEAR ANNIVERSARY as a family...yep, I'm crying already!)


Monday, November 03, 2008

The Great Pumpkin(s) Showed Up!

Our first pumpkins with the girls...ooooh spooky!

For their first ever Halloween they were certainly diggin' it! Every house they approached they said, "Trick or Treat" and when the person gave them candy, the girls looked shocked. They couldn't get over the fact that these people were willing to part with their candy!

They had a full week of sugar-filled fun! We went to our local Safety Village that I work at in the summer early in the week. It was here they were matching kitty cats because those costumes were WARM and it was so COLD outside! Everyone thought they were Hello we just went with that.

Then, on Halloween, they partied at my school, at Gigi and Papaw's, visited Mamaws, Uncle Randy and Aunt Kathy's for the goods, received candy happily at other friends and neighbor's houses, and ended up at our church's Trunk-or-Treat party where we actually managed to steer clear of more candy! They played the kids games and partied like they were 12! We have a huge green basket of candy that's proof of their cuteness! This time, they were gorgeous butterflies complete with sparkly faces and hair!

Life was good with Laney until the top of the pumpkin came off. Then she was all girl and grossed out!
With Abby, the messier the better! She was fascinated with the colors and textures!
We also worked on cutting out our first jack-o-lanterns with the girls. Let's just say Laney was unimpressed. Abby helped scoop and clean out the pumpkins like a champ. Laney had just two words for the whole mess..."It SMELLS!" However, both girls loved the concept and absolutely LOVED the finished product. They look for their pumpkin friends to be lit up each night. Tony moves them around the yard each night. The girls have found them hiding or showing up on the deck, on the railing, on their play set, and other places. Watching their faces when they see their pumpkin friends is worth its weight in pumpkin guts!
A good time was had by all! Now I say, BRING ON THE TURKEY!