A friend of mine gave me the Steven Curtis Chapman's lullaby CD. No words, just music. Listening to it while putting the girls to sleep calmed ALL of us down. I recommend it for any one with a little one that is learning to sleep. For me, his music has always been a favorite but now he means so much more to me. His whole family does. I have been to several of his concerts and I have met him and his wife and I have got to tell you, you would want to call them friends. Please continue to pray for the Chapman family. The tragedy that they suffered in May takes alot of time and prayer to heal. As a mom I totally relate to Mary Beth, although I have lost people close to me in my life, never a child. Hold your children a bit closer tonight...
I know I posted a couple of days ago that both girls slept through the night, well that I tell you was a dirty trick. I do not think I will ever see a full night sleep again. It is very common for adopted children to have sleep issues so I should have known better than to celebrate the one night sleep I got. I just have to give it some time and figure out how to handle Lily and Cali during the night. Days are getting better but the nights can be dark. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me...
To Jenna and all the other stroller addicts, here is the newest addition to our family of strollers. It was too cute to pass up. But pushing a bit more than 50lbs up my street was a killer. Who needs to work out at gym , just go to China and adopt two sweeties!
Things are beginning to look like our family again. Cali has made it to my favorite places-the grocery store, Target, Panera,CCS and church. She has seen her first CCS soccer game and football game. She made it to, but slept through Greyson's soccer game. She has had her first peds visit and visited Greg's office. The peds visit was not too much fun but you gotta do what you gotta do... Cali is beginning to say English words and understand simple phases like- give me a kiss, and she puckers up! Yeah! She can waive bye bye and says it too. She says hello and sings in Chinese. Lily is having a hard time adjusting to having a new sibling. There are glimpses of peace from time to time but Lily is having a hard time. I think it is also that she is three, had terrible jet lag, and well it is just a big adjustment. The older kids have been great trying to give Lily extra attention but during the day when it is just me, it is hard. I have been trying to get Cali on some kind of a nap schedule. Some days she goes down and some days not. But when we hit the one week mark of getting home and it was the turning point for learning day is day and night is night. Greg and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary on 9/19. Greg, me, Lily and Cali went out for dinner. What a 21 years it has been. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a life like this. God has protected me all those years when I had my back to him. I pray that as my children grow and perhaps turn their backs to me or stray that they too will know that God and I have always loved them. I try my best to protect my children but the reality they are God's children that He so kindly has let me borrow and it is He who protects them day in and day out. Thank you all who have prayed for us and continue to pray for us during this adjustment time.
Wow are we tired...but we are home. Cali had her first peds appt....ugh. Lots of proding and poking, not a happy girl :-( the older kids went back to school, Greg went back to work, and the girls and I went to the grocery store...so life starts to get back to normal....maybe sleep will return soon.
We went to the zoo and did some shopping. Poor Cali, on top of every thing new to her this week, she is teething. I think she has 4 teeth coming in :-( I have been giving her motrin and it does seem to help but poor thing... The weather has been great. We have actually seen blue skies. Not Carolina blue, but some blue. We went to the clinic today. Although Cali was not a happy camper, she was checked and cleared to come home! Tomorrow we will have our papers reviewed by the US consulate. The next day we visit the consulate for our swearing in ceremony. We are coming to the end of this journey, only to embark on another. These two girls are going to keep me on my toes!
Cali is officially kissing us...Lily got the first kiss-what a blessing to see them together. Lily has had a couple of melt downs but considering she is 3, flown half way around the world, eating new foods, strange beds to sleep in, lots of new and strange noises, smells and people, and is running a low fever, well I can say that we have all had a melt down and Lily is more than entitled to have hers. But they are few and quickly over. Today Lily asked, "So who gave me to you?" I answered "Jesus gave you to me" Lily said, "Oh, yeah, just like Cali" Yes, my sweet Lily only our Jesus could have given you and Cali to me. Some one told me on this trip, "Children are the spares that God sends down to us" This trip has been a lot less exhausting for me then our last trip to China. The province of Fujian was beautiful and a treasure to explore. We did not do the typical touring that we did the first time. Since we were the only family in Fujian we just walked around and I tried to memorize the city. We are in GZ this week. I have fallen in love with the city. The architecture is beautiful. Years ago it was home to many foreign consulates. It reminds me of Charleston, SC. Tomorrow we will take Cali to the official health clinic visit. All should go fine. Have I mentioned that Cali's palate is CLOSED. We have looked and looked and there is NO opening. No evidence of surgery, except on her lip. She confidently sucks through a straw and can sing sweet songs. No open palate...thank you God for your small and large miracles in this journey. We are with a few other families now that we are in GZ. They are all lovely. Some of the children are having a harder time adjusting then others but all have made great strides already. Trust and Obey...
What more can I say. Cali continues to amaze us. She says bye-bye and waves. She says mei-mei, xia-xia She eats like crazy. She must have gained at least a pound. So far Lily has gotten the real kisses. I found a plastic toy duck for sale that I saw in the play room at the orphanage so I bought one. If you can believe it was $7 US dollars. It is plastic and not what would I have normally bought but Cali really remembered it when I gave it to her. Although she was in foster care, she was brought back to the orphanage for "school" everyday. I was kind of skeptical when they told me that until I actually went and saw it for myself. They gave me things that Cali had made, what a priceless treasure! Visit to the orphanage $600 round trip, Cali's treasures-priceless! The program is sponsored by Future Hope. I will try to contact them when we get back to the states. I really feel like we made some incredible contacts and we got to say thank you to them. Again, priceless!
I can not post too long but I did want to tell all the families waiting to pick up their little ones, we did get visit the orphanage. It was an incredible experience. To quote my husband, "It was the high light of both of our trips to China" Tamera, I did find out your little one is in foster care. Jeanie, I did get photos of Charis. I asked if she was walking yet, they said no. I also got photos of the second little girl in your email. I will try to email you them privately when I get back to Fuzhou. Please pray for all the children there and their care takers. They are incredible people. I will post more later, honestly I have to get my thoughts together, I am a little over whelmed. I just knew some of the moms waiting wanted an update.
We are waiting in our hotel room to go and visit Cali's orphanage in the city of Xiamen (pronounced Shamen) It was about a 4 hour drive from the capital of the province. We will stay here one night then drive back to Fuzhou and complete the Chinese side of Cali's paperwork. We will get her Chinese passport which will allow us to bring her into the US. When we touch ground in the US she becomes a US citizen! Cali continues to do well. She does have moments of crying but is easily satisfied by one of us, food or a diaper change. She is quite the mimic. What ever we do, she tries to copy. She is a funny kid...go figure!
Photo from Mary Beth Chapman's trip to open Maria's Big House of Hope
Christmas Eve 2007
Our Christmas gift was Cali's referral!
Cali is home!!
Mommy and Lily 6/9/08
CALI'S FIRST PHOTO !
Can Cali be any cuter?
Look at that pout-we are in trouble! 6/19/2008
Maybe she is looking for us-we'll be there soon!
A helping hand
Lily at the beach
life is good!
Our journey of a thousand miles began with one step...
We are so very happy to announce the addition of our newest daughter, Cali Christine. We felt strongly that Cali have a family name so we chose Christine, Greg's maternal grandmother's name. Cali is a beautiful 22 month old (DOB 10/12/2006). She is from the Fujian Province of China. She is being cared for in the Xiamen SWI orphanage.Fujian is a southern coastal province of China. As we are about to embark on another incredible journey of adoption from China we ask that you come beside as prayer partners. We pray for Cali, her caretakers, her biological family, and the other children that are still waiting for their forever families. We thank you in advance for the blanket of prayers that you will place over our family. Funny 20 years ago when Greg and I got married our wedding invitations were inscribed with "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" How were we to know then how tied we would be to this ancient Chinese saying. Cali has a cleft lip and a cleft palate. She has had one surgery in China. Her follow up surgeries will be done at UNC Medical center. I have heard the staff there are just incredible. How blessed we are to be so close to such a great medical center. We hope to travel this summer but international adoption always has an element of uncertainty as far as travel dates. We ofcourse will keep you posted.
Cali's Gotcha Day was September 1, 2008
wonder why we adopt?.. love, jody (to listen-pause the music in the pink box below)
Every call has a beginning A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother's heart A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey set before him. A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns....... Casting its first light on a chosen threshold. A gentle knock...a closed door opens. A sacred invitation sent by the Father... Leads to the other side of the world. Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows Praying for someone to care.... And then one morning, On an ordinary day An orphan's life changes...... God sends them a second chance........Through YOU.....
Peter and Lily goofing around.
Legacy of the Adopted Child Author Unknown
Once there were two women who never knew each other One you do not remember the other you call Mother Two different lives shaped to make you one One became your guidingstarthe other became your sun first one gave you life and the second taught you to live it The first gave you a need for love The second was there to give it One gave you a nationality The other gave you a name One gave you a talent The other gave you aim One gave you emotions The other calmed your fears One saw your first sweet smile The other dried your tears One sought for you a home that she could not provide The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied And now you ask me through your tears The age old question unanswered through the years Heredity or environment which are you a product of? Neither my darling neither, just two different kinds of Love.