Friday, February 25, 2011

A Sweet Reunion

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness
of the LORD in the land of the living! --Psalm 27:13

We were witness to a sweet reunion last month when Lia Kate and one of the precious girls from her orphanage were, at last, together again!!! Gracie and Lia Kate lived in the Lianjiang orphanage until they were 16 months old. Gracie went home with her forever family several months before Lia Kate, but we understand they were in the same room for awhile together at the orphanage.

There is so much we don't know about Lia Kate's first 16 months of life, so it is very special to have a piece of her past near us. Gracie remembers Lia Kate from the orphanage and called her "GangGang" (her Chinese nickname) the entire time we were at their house. She is the only person we know of in the U.S. who knows Lia Kate by this name. There is something pretty special about that.

There is a children's book I love called Three Names of Me, about the three names that a Chinese adoptee has ... the name her birth mother gives her, the name her orphanage gives her, and the name her forever family gives her. And this sweet girl...

...remembers Lia Kate's second name. What a precious piece of our daughter's past we've been given in Gracie.

Gracie's mother, Rachel, and I connected before we traveled to China. They had already been home with Gracie for several months, and I had a lot of questions about Gracie's transition and what to expect with Lia Kate. Over the last year and a half, we have followed each other's blogs and watched each other's daughter blossom.

When we finally got to meet, during our trip to South Carolina in January, we discovered a lot of similarities between the girls. For example, they both are joyful little girls by day, but often express their grief in the night. They both have similar sleeping patterns, and they both grieved very heavily during our time in China. These two share a past that we -- as their mothers -- will never know the details of.

But we are so glad they have each other.

I hope that this is the first of many get togethers between our families! We had such a fun evening of talking adoption and our girls, trading stories about our time in China, and watching our children all play together. Britton and Lia Kate had so much fun playing with Gracie and her sisters and brother that we had to drag them away at the end of the night.

Thanks, friends, for sharing your home and your sweet girl with us! We are ever grateful...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Britton & Lia Kate's Special "Peeps"

There are some very special people to us who will always be dear to our hearts, and to whom we are ever grateful for the role they played in the lives of our children. We have recently gotten the chance to see a few of them...

This is Wanda. She is a nurse practitioner in the hospital where Britton was born. She was in the OR the morning Britton was born, and led the team of nurses who resuscitated him. She has since told us that she had little hope for him after that day ... first, that he would survive, and second, that he would come out of this cognitively intact. So, to see him now running around, talking and saying his letter sounds/colors, showing her how Danny's iPhone works... well, you would never imagine he had such a terrible start in this world. We took some Valentines cookies up to the NICU last week, and Wanda kept saying, "I just want to see him walk!" I realized then that we hadn't been to visit since Britton's first birthday ... and he wasn't walking then. She was amazed to see all that Britton is doing, and how he has far exceeded every expectation they had. She kept remarking at what a miracle our boy is. We are so grateful for Wanda!

And these two ladies are very important in the life of our Lia Kate! Lily (on the left) and Rebecca are two amazing ladies who live in China and work with our adoption agency. We had them over for dinner when they were in town last August. Lily is the person who matches Chinese children to families for our agency, and she is the one who found Lia Kate and thought we would be a great family for her. When you think of all the variables that go into the matching process it is pretty humbling. For example, another agency could have easily gotten Lia Kate's file before Lily was able to lock it, or Lily could have locked her file and given it to another family. When you think of what could have happened, you just have to trust in God's sovereignty, and we certainly believe that Lia Kate was meant to be our daughter. The other woman in the picture is Rebecca, who was our amazing guide when we were in China. She was with us the day Lia Kate was placed in our arms and she oversaw every last detail of the adoption (of which there are many) and helped us navigate the process with ease. We are thankful for Lily and Rebecca and for the important role they have in placing the fatherless into families.

We are blessed to call these ladies our friends. And we continue to be so grateful for how they have served as God's instruments in the lives of our children.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Lia Kate came running into the kitchen recently looking like this...

"Look, Mama, lip!!!!" Beaming from ear to ear. Pointing to her lips.

As if I could have missed it.

Friday, February 18, 2011


We had a great weekend with our two little Valentines ...

The kiddos had their Valentines Party at school on Friday and I had fun making their Valentines cards...

...and some heart cookies for the party...

Then, we boxed the rest of the cookies up and took them up to the NICU to see the nurses and to mark the day we finally brought our boy home from the hospital three years ago on February 15 ...

We have a sweet picture from that visit coming in the next post.

"God Our Father"

Lia Kate loves singing the "God Our Father" prayer...

(This was taken back in December, hence the Christmas shirt.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


(Going over a concept they were learning at preschool.)
Me: Lia Kate, who made you?

Lia Kate: made you ... made you ... uh, God.

Me: Britton, who made you?

Britton: uhhhhh, Gosh.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lia Kate's Words

For the last few months I have been keeping a list of the funny pronunciations of some words/sentences that Britton and Lia Kate say. Here are some of Lia Kate's funny ones. She is quite the little talker and pretty much talks from sun up to sun down. Some of these words she says correctly now, or at least, more correctly, but I had to include a few of those!

Diapers -- poppers
Bunny -- buh-ee
Pink -- peent
Socks -- sotts
Aren't I cute? -- art toot
Thank you -- tank too
I do -- me do
Hold me -- odd you ("hold you")
Please -- peas
Crying -- twiny (when Britton cries, she says "Bwitton twiny")
Zip me up -- zippah me
I'm from China -- I Chinee
Come on -- hum on
Lipstick -- liptip
Help me -- helpah me
Piper's asleep -- popper seep
Kitty cat -- tee tat
Mac & cheese -- matt cheese
Coffee -- foffee
Strawberries -- sawbees
Yogurt -- logurt
Vitamin -- bye men
Banana -- banna
Napkin -- lackin (I hear "I need lackin" numerous times a day)
Veggie Tales -- Botchy Tales
Piper is barking at the kitty cat (which is often) -- Popper bawk at tee tat
Valentines Day -- Bow-man-times Day

and my favorite...
Itsy Bitsy Spider -- eetsy piders

First legit sentence ...
Look, Daddy, mommy gave me a sucker!

Britton's words are up next...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Bunny Blanket

When we first brought Lia Kate home some friends of ours gave us a sweet bunny lovey blanket. Meanwhile, our hope in those early days was that Lia Kate would develop a comfort item so that she could self-soothe and start sleeping better at night. She had lots of loveys/stuffed animals/dolls/blankets to choose from, but bunny ended up being THE ONE. She is so attached to her bunny (i.e. "buh-ee") and she drags it all around the house. When she needs comforting she puts the bunny's arms up to her nose ... we jokingly call this "taking a bunny hit." We recently left on a road trip and got 30 minutes out of town when we realized we had left bunny blanket, so we promptly turned around to go back. That's how important bunny is around here.

And, how much we value our sleep.

Anyway, poor bunny often looks a little dingy because it gets dragged all over our floors we have to sneak it away just to wash it. But, dingy or not, we're so glad she has her bunny.

And she is too.

As Danny's parents say, "too bad this girl doesn't have any personality!"

Because she has it in spades.

A girl and her buh-ee. Life is good.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! And it's the year of the bunny.

Err, Rabbit.

But we'll call it the bunny. Lia Kate loves bunnies.

Happy Chinese New Year, sweetheart!