Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Every day a new adventure!

We are just short of being home two weeks and Josie has met a lot of new people and tried a lot of new things. She is such a joy and continues to make everyone fall in love with her. She is very affectionate and full of hugs and kisses once she gets comfortable.

She is also showing a little bit of the behavior we were expecting during the transition......some sadness, some tears and some withdrawal. We cannot imagine all she is feeling and trying to process. She is having a little more trouble at bedtime and sometimes wakes up scared. She has also had a couple incidents of withdrawal and tears during the day. We give her some reassurance and space and after a little bit of time she is back to her old self again. She really is an amazing little girl! We will never know all that she endured before God placed her in our family but we do know that she is a strong, loving, very special daughter and we cannot wait to see all that God has planned for her.

Her brothers are helping out so much and are patient with her when she is trying new things. They set up a "water slide" and also helped her at the playground. She LOVES her big brothers!

Please continue to keep Josie in your prayers as she adjusts to her new family and life. She is learning new English words every day but is still pretty quiet a lot of the time. I am excited for her to be able to tell us what's going through her mind.

Friday, June 25, 2010

One Week Home and LOVIN' IT!

I know, I know, I've been neglecting the blog but I can honestly say I haven't had time. We've had family and friends in town, a lot of baseball, basketball camps, etc, etc. I don't know where the time goes........

One week ago today we arrived home with Josie. She is an amazing little girl and has blessed us more than we ever thought possible. She has met a lot of family and friends and gives plenty of hugs and kisses. She went to the doctor and dentist, her first baseball game, some garage sales and has been learning what a busy family life is all about. She amazes me with how loving and adapting she is. She is learning more English every day and today she was singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". It was about half English, half Chinese I think but it was definitely familiar!!

I am including some pictures of our first week home. There are some of her in her first ballerina outfit from Grandma Beth. She just loved it!!! You could tell she felt like a princess. We have a TON of adorable pictures but I haven't downloaded them yet. More to come, I promise!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

HOME at last!!!

Hey everyone! We made it home safely!!!! We arrived at the airport last night right on schedule and were welcomed by a wonderful group of family and friends!!! It was SO great to see everyone! Josie was a little overwhelmed but started loving on her brothers on the trip home. Since then, she's been in love with all of them and they are definitely in love with her! They are so excited about everything she does. She is always willing to give them hugs which they all love!

When we arrived home, our house was decorated by friends and family. It was full of balloons, signs and gifts. It was definitely not necessary but so appreciated!! Josie loves her new home, her room and her family. She slept very well in her bed and has been playing with her brothers all morning. It's the best sight!!!

I should also mention that Josie was an absolute angel on our long journey home. We had a 15 hour plane ride and she was an absolute dream. I cannot thank everyone enough for the prayers and support. Josie is home and our hearts are overflowing!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Red Couch and Dessert!

Tuesday started out by waiting in our room to make sure all of our visa paperwork was okay. God news - everything is fine! Next, Josie took a nap and then we dresser her up for the red couch picture. As you can see, she looked absolutely darling but if we haven't mentioned yet, you can see in the picture that she doesn't really interact with the other kids much. In fact, she ignores them.
After the couch picture, we took the group photo in front of the waterfall and then went to the High Tea Buffet as a group. Josie finally discovered that yes, she does love Chocolate!!!!
Today is the Dragon Boat Festival so the Chinese people have the day off. We've been told it will be very busy so we may just go swimming in the hotel if it's not raining. It is very humid here and has been raining a lot. Tomorrow we take a train to Hong Kong and fly out Friday morning. I cannot wait to see the boys!!!! and everyone else of course.
Thanks for the prayers and support!

Monday, June 14, 2010

More New Things!!!

Okay ... Heather here, sorry I am behind! But I think I am caught up now, so enjoy!

It's Monday in Guangzhou and the start of the Dragon Boat Holiday. We started our day by going back to the medical center for Josie's TB test results. We received good news .. she is TB free!!!! Thank you for the prayers! After that, we went swimming. It was finally sunny out and it felt good to get in the water. At first she was a little hesitant but she like it once she got in.
She is definitely showing more of her personality and now loved to push the elevator buttons and has more of an opinion about things. She is so stinkin' cute and it's hard to stop taking pictures of her! She is starting to talk more and today she said "boat" all on her own. It was clear from the beginning that she loves the boats and fish!!! Sounds like she'll be spending a lot of time with grandpa B! Get ready, Gramps!!!!
Tomorrow will be a busy day. Our agency has our visa appointment and then we will take the infamous red couch pictures! For those of you that don't know the White Swam has a red couch. It is a tradition for the adoptive families to line up the children on the red couch and take their pictures. We will then take our group picture and have our group meal. We only have 5 families in our group. One of the families is from Lincoln and one from Sioux Falls, SD so we definitely have a Midwestern theme. All of our families are very sweet and the children are darling!
We've been skping with gramma, grampa and the boys and it sounds like it's been raining a lot. We miss them so much! Josie is starting to recognize their names. It's so fun to see. I know she will love her older brothers!!!

More pictures

Okay, I just had to post a few more pictures because they are too cute! Her and I were having our own little photo shoot in the hotel room while Ben went to check out the gym. She was playing with the hat and eating an apple. Enjoy!
I also forgot to mention a couple important things from my previous post. First of all, last night when we were skyping with mom and the boys, Josie started saying anything we wanted her to. This is very new and it was so fun to hear her!!! She did great with pronunciations and giggled after each word. Everyone loved hearing her say their names and also things like "love you", "miss you", etc, etc. It was awesome!

I also wanted to mention that today at the safari park, we bought Josie some ice-cream. I mentioned that it was very hot out so we thought it would taste great. Well, she wouldn't even try it!!! Is that nuts? She has loved every fruit and veggie we've given her but she wouldn't try ice-cream ............ weird! We're going to have to get used to this!!!

Safari Park

Sunday we went to a Safari Park. We had a great time but it was very , very humid and eventually it rained on us. Josie LOVED seeing all the animals and rode in her stroller or walked without compliant. It was very, very hot and sticky but she was an absolute trooper. We saw so many wonderful animals and it was definitely worth it! Tonight we are thinking of ordering a pizza. I guess they have Papa Johns here so we'll see if it tastes like home.

We miss the boys terribly and can't wait to have the whole family together. Thank you to everyone who is helping with them. We truly appreciate it!!!!
Now for the pictures! I guess this island used to be owned by the French and the British so there are many European influences including many beautiful statues. You can see them in some of the pictures. In one of the pictures Josie and Ben are feeding a giraffe. Josie didn't want to get too close. There is also a picture where you can see Josie's visor from the Safari Park. She loves it! I think the tigers were her favorite part. I loved the pandas!!!!
Monday we go back to the medical clinic for the TB and medical check results. We don't anticipate any problems but please say a prayer that all goes well.

Love and miss you all!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Guangzhou at last!!!

We arrived at the White Swan Hotel about 9:30 last night. Josie did well on her first airplane ride but did seem a little scared at first. Hopefully she'll be okay on our 15 hour flight home!!!
This morning at 9:30 Josie had her medical exam and immunizations. It all went very well. I think she is used to doctors because she didn't even act scared at all. She has to have 6 shots and she didn't cry or flinch. She is one touch little girl .... she even smiled when the nurse told her she would get a treat after! Our guide couldn't believe it and said we were very lucky. We know we are !!!!
The White Swan is beautiful! There are lots of places to walk around and a lot of nearby shops. We're anxious to get out and look around. Later we will take Josie swimming. We'll let you know how that goes!
When we came back to our room there was a barbie doll holding a little Asian girl. It is so cute! Mattel sponsors a playroom here at the White Swan and they give on of the barbies to all adopted families. As you can see in the pictures, Josie LOVED it!
Thank you for the prayers! We are half way home!!!!!!!