Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Picture Catch Up

Just a little catch up with pictures.........

Could she be more angelic when she sleeps?

Helping her brother practice bagpipes

Sunday naps are the best

Future dentists??????

Or doctors????

Or beauticians??

One thing for sure, sisters......

Never enough pics of these two.  Oh how the little girls love their big sister!

Did I mention how much our girl loves sweets?????  A dear friend brought her a 2nd birthday cake!!!

Press On!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Annie!!

Gratefully, joyfully, happily, and finally-----we were blessed to celebrate Annie's birthday with her at home!  We've been half way around the world from her for her last 2 and just praying that she would be ours one day. I first saw her on her first birthday; and then last year, on her 2nd birthday, we were so happy to see pictures of her and pray that she would be part of our family someday.

 We celebrated on Sunday with everyone at home. 

She snuggled up to watch a little Nascar for a while.

           To be so stoic in China, she sure has gotten comfortable with us (thank the Lord)!

 She has the best giggle!

We just love everything about her!!!

 What did we do without her here with us???

The girl LOVES sweets!!

 SO great to have her home with us!!

 Happy birthday, little Annie!  We love you and we thank your parents for giving you life and pray that they will have peace that you are safe and so loved.  We thank you, New Day, for taking such sweet care of her and showing her so much love.  We thank you God for giving us the gift of being her family!!  

Press On!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

In the North

You know you've been in the North too long when you consider 35 degrees warm and you get the bikes out (or you're just desperate to get outside)!

Look at this girl!!! Writing at 2--her Ayi taught her so well :)!!  
Her  English is so great and we haven't had many communication problems!!  We do have times when we can't understand what she's saying 
(and funny, Mei Mei usually figures it out for us), but it's rare. 

Annie loves to have "school time" and she still paints her hand (and Mei's)most days.

The girls love going outside most days.

Mama can't wait to be out here without all the layers and gloves-maybe sometime in June?

Two is so much more fun than one :)

We finally got out to the ski hill this past weekend. The weather was beautiful (for Wisconsin)-35 degrees, but sunny.  Not my ideal March 1 day but you have to go with it when you live up here.  Mei is doing so great skiing!  We were worried because of the need to roll your ankles but it doesn't seem to effect her!  She learned how to stop and is starting to learn to turn on her own.  She was so proud of herself that she was able to do the rope tow by herself this year!

Annie is ready to get started!  She kept wanting Ethan to hold her and ski down. 

One of my favorite parts of skiing, warming up in the chalet!  Her first marshmallow (I think)was a big hit!  Forget roasting it though-no time for that!!

I wanted to share this picture that I found today.  It was taken in December just days before we left for China.  We took it on the way to school.  IF you look down by the sun, you can see the "A"........made us all smile knowing we'd be united with Annie soon!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sorry for the quietness....

So much has been going on here....  I want to post more but never seem to have the time or energy once the little ones get to sleep.

We were finally able to see (over the past couple of weeks) all of Annie's specialists that will be involved in her care.  Thankfully, we live about 25 minutes from a wonderful Children's Hospital.  I have never posted about Annie's special needs and part of that is for her privacy when she gets older and part of that is that she's our daughter and her special needs don't define her.   I will tell you, in the adoption process, it's one thing to read a child's  file and the medical terminology that defines them when they are orphans and quite another when they are your sons or daughters who bring you so much joy and love.  We feel honored to walk with Annie but that doesn't mean that there haven't been times that we have been scared of the unknowns.  Adoption is a walk of faith like I've never known.

Annie has spina bifida. Thankfully it has not effected her mobility and thankfully she was at New Day.  While there, she was able to have surgery and also unbelievable daily care. Without that daily care (that an orphanage would have never been able to provide due to the number of children under their care) we were told by the doctors that she wouldn't be with us today.   Wouldn't.  Be. With. Us.  That was hard to hear.  How many children don't ever make it out of the orphanage?  I hate to think about it too much.

Thank you God for taking care of her! Thank you New Day and all of the generous donors for caring for these children and especially our girl!  We had the honor and privilege of thanking one of her China Mamas for staying with her at the hospital-what an angel here on earth!   We also had the honor and privilege of knowing that her China BaBa met with 5 neurosurgeons before he chose the one who would operate on Annie.  My heart is so grateful for that kind of love.  We could never really thank any of the people there at NDS enough.......they are such special people!

The good news is that her neurosugeon thinks her surgery looks great.  The biggest concern that we are now working on is some treatments to improve Annie's kidney health.  They are damaged and we are hopeful that the damage can be reversed or at least improve.  So we'll just keep praying for her like we always have and have faith that her Heavenly Father will take care of her.

We were overjoyed to have Annie baptized a couple of Saturdays ago.   The whole day was just so special!!  A long time friend of ours celebrated the sacrament and although we couldn't have all of our family and friends with us, we were so blessed by the ones who could be there.  It was quite the celebration!!  We were honored that my dear friend of 30 years could be her Godmother and honored that her China Baba is her Godfather.  They already have such a special connection but this makes it even more special for the years to come!

Can't believe none of the kids fell in to the floor level baptismal font.....

We were able to Skype with the foster home recently to ask him and Annie was so excited to see everyone back in China.  Isn't technology amazing?  She has named some of her babies after her friends and just prayed for her friend, "WayWay" the other night during dinner prayers.  We are trying to keep her connected without confusing her too much.

Hope you all have a great weekend!