Monday, December 14, 2015

Lucy Rose Blossoms

Today marks 3 months since I met a very scared little girl on the other side of the world. 

Adoption always begins with lost and looking at these pictures from the first time I met our daughter on September 14, 2015, serves as a stark reminder of the loss our daughter suffered - not once, not twice, but three times.   First, abandoned by her birth mother, then transferred from her first orphanage, where I suspect she was neglected, to Shantou SWI. Then leaving Shantou SWI, where I believe she was loved and well-cared for as much as an orphanage can, to join our family.  Yet our God is indeed merciful and gracious.  Despite much loss in a short span of her young life, Lucy Rose is blossoming.

Luc Rose has gained about 3 pounds in 3 months. . . she looks so much healthier!
She is full of joy. Her smile is beautiful and her laughter is so refreshing to hear.

Lucy Rose babbles so sweetly and  is beginning to say some English words - mama, bye bye, shoes (this girl loves shoes!), apple, eat (boy, does she love to eat), more, outside, open, poop poop, & stop! 

Lucy Rose has gained much independence with eating.  She is now in a high chair or booster seat rather than my lap.  My lap (and her daddy's) served us well for attachment purposes, but she is loving this new found independence.  She now is able to use a spoon with an adaptive device.  The device fits on her left wrist.  I suspect one day she will be able to hold a spoon with just her fingers but for now, they are not quite strong enough.

Her little fingers are amazing.  She feeds herself "finger foods" independently and is able to hold her sippy cup on her own.

She is learning to enjoy coloring.  I found these finger crayons at Target, and they work perfectly for her. 

More important than any other milestone, Lucy Rose is learning to feel secure in our family. . .she gives love to us in the form of hugs, kisses, smiles, and utter delight when David or I walk in the door, and she receives our love with her whole heart!  This sweet girl has just started to sleep better at nap time and at nighttime too , and this is likely a reflection of her feeling safe and secure in our family.  When she wakes up now, she isn't crying the same cry . . . the old cry was one of fear - is she still here?  Sometimes now she wakes up and babbles and plays for a few moments but even if she cries, it is a different cry.  Because of feeling secure, Lucy Rose is also tolerating playing independently and venturing a little further away from me. 
And that is what adoption is all about.  A child who once had little of anything. . .little hope, little love, little happiness, little independence. . .now has a family who loves and adores her, a family who will never leave her, a hope, and a future, and she knows it deep within her heart.
And so she blossoms.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

2 Months Home and Celebrating Birthdays!

Celebrating Lucy Rose's 1st birthday at home was so special!  We were just getting adjusting to our new normal on her birthday on October 12.  Since she had only been home a few weeks, a big party was not a good idea - still trying to cocoon at that point.  We had a little photo session, ate Chinese food, and celebrated with cake and presents! 

This dress was first worn by Lilly on October 17, 2007 - her 2nd birthday.  I am so glad I saved it. It fit Lucy Rose perfectly.  She is so tiny just like Lilly was.

Lucy Rose enjoyed her 2nd birthday although she was a bit unsure of what all the celebration was about.  YOU. . .sweet girl we were celebrating you!

 Lucy Rose obviously did not know what we wanted her to do        . but someone eventually blew out her candles.

 Opening presents was also a 1st for our girl, but she had plenty of helpers to get the job done.

Ethan celebrated his 12th birthday in October.  He chose a Minion cake and was excited to get an Enu.  He and Leiney Grace, only 6 months apart, are the best of friends.  We were always concerned with out of birth order adoption, but God led us to the perfect virtual twin for Ethan.  They compliment one another so well and have the best of times together.

Lilly also celebrated a birthday in October.  Her 10th - where does the time go!  She chose to have a pool party back in August so we had a low-key celebration with homemade cookie cake - her favorite!

Life with Lucy Rose as the caboose of our family is going beautifully.  It is hard to believe it has already been 2 months since Katie and I met her on the other side of the world.  It takes a while for the true personality of an adopted child to surface, and it has been amazing to watch our new little one blossom.  SO here are some things we have learned about our girl these last few months.
Lucy Rose. . .sweet. . .most always smiling. . loves to be held -ALOT. . .loves to eat. . .has a sweet tooth like her mama. . .does not care much for toys. . .her cell phone and stacking cup are the few exceptions. . .loves books. . .babbles and is learning a few signs. . .has learned to say "more", "bye bye", "mama", "pup pup", "poop" (poops in the potty now about half of the time). . .loves to mimic my facial expressions. . .LOVES BIG. . .is a tough girl (4 blood draws in one sitting and only whimpered for the last 2). . .is an amazing gift from the Lord!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Today marks 2 weeks since Katie, Lucy Rose, & I arrived home.  The journey was long, stressful, & exhausting. . .we almost missed our flight out of Hong Kong due to a delay out of Guangzhou.  God was gracious to us & provided a kind flight attendant who escorted us to our gate in Hong Kong just in the nick of time. We were so thankful to be on that plane. We had to run through the airport in Dallas also & made it with enough time to grab Starbucks for me, French fries for Katie, & hot water for a bottle for Lucy!  
Leaving our hotel - China Hotel Marriott

Saying goodbye to our sweet guide, Summer & China!

On our flights home, Lucy Rose did a little reading . . .

and a little sleeping!

This is how Katie & I felt after 24 hours of journeying home!

Our last flight - freshened up & ready to be reunited with our family & friends!

Home at last - we arrived at our local airport at 11 am so 6 of my babies were at school!

Lucy Rose's great aunt and uncle drove down from NC to welcome us home . . . Aunt Lulu made Lucy Rose a cute hat since she has very little hair.

Enjoying the sunshine & being home!  Fighting jet lag & waiting on the school bus to bring home my other babies!

David came to the airport with Smarties in his pocket - Lucy Rose enjoyed the candy & is slowly learning to Iike her daddy.

Felt great to be home - with green grass & blue skies & sweet Dawson!

The littles arrived home at last! A sweet reunion indeed!

Even our awesome bus driver wanted to meet Lucy Rose!

These first few weeks home have been filled with lots of new experiences for Lucy Rose like  learning to tolerate our furry friend Boone. 

Trying on everyone's shoes - Lucy Rose has shown us how much she loves shoes - all sizes - even David's size 12.

Her shirt says "I'm kind of a big deal!"  We certainly think so!

Snoozing. . . 

Eating . . . 

Sweeping. . .
These first few weeks have been difficult at times as we all make adjustments, but it has also been filled with so much love & joy as Lucy Rose has become a cherished daughter & sister!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sunday in Guangzhou

We started our Sunday off right by worshipping on Shamian Island.  It was a most powerful and moving experience. It definitely made me think of how heaven will be!! The service was in Mandarin & English. There were mostly Chinese people worshipping along with a few other adoptive families.  We had the chance to talk with a few of our Chinese sisters & brothers in Christ - wonderful time sharing the love of the Father among people of another country and culture.  

Love my big pink bow - Mrs. Jennifer!  Thank you :)

I was in tears from the moment we arrived at the church. Katie thought that was hysterical- thus the close up- thanks KT!
We did not find a red couch at the White Swan Hotel this time but we did find a pink chair!  We made this our new tradition. Lucy Rose was not liking the photo session so our pictures are not very good.
Note the bubbles in the photo - trying to coax a smile out of our girl. She was not having that!

Katie pretended to be a model - which is the current trend for Shamian Island - lots of models & photographers all around the island. We had fun despite the incredible heat & humidity!

Katie was a star today - lots of girls & guys asked to have their picture made with her. She had so much fun talking with all of these girls.

Lucy Rose's first taste of ice cream.  She definitely was not used to the cold temperature. It was mango ice cream which was quite tasty.

Katie & Lucy Rose bonding over soda at Subway!

Thanks Mrs. Lynne for my adorable dress : ). 

Making our way back to the hotel after spending all day on the island.  

Lucy Rose and I ate dinner alone as Katie has made a new friend from South Dakota & they were having fun at the pool.  This little girl ate chicken, broccoli, saltines, & nachos. Said no thanks to the fruit again. Baby steps!