Thursday, September 13, 2012

Swan Necks and Such....

Since we have been home,  I have wanted to find time to write a blog about some of the food we saw in China.  Chris didn't try all of it, but he did try quite a bit.  I, on the other hand, stuck to the basics and did not dare venture out.  Someone had to stay healthy and food-borne-illness-free to take care of Airlie.  Here are some of the more interesting foods we saw....

McDonald's milkshake with what appeared to be a raw egg at the bottom
Notice the "spicy donkey meat" on this menu

You can get an alive chicken or a barbecued one.....ha ha ha

Fried and crispy chicken feet
This assortment of eggs were on the back of a man's bicycle.

I can't figure out how to rotate this picture but I MUST include it in this post.  I think this chef is holding a couple of swan necks...not sure though.  See, a man was buying them and the chef/butcher guy and the customer were negotiating the purchase.  Well, I snuck up to the shop, snapped a picture, and then took off running.  I interrupted the entire deal...JUST for this photo to share with my friends.

Ox tongue on a stick....yum-eeeeee

Surely they cook it, but I don't know.

One Month Together....

August 13th was the day we were handed our baby girl for the first time.
It's been a month.  I can't believe it.  Time flies too fast!  On the morning of August 13th, one month ago today, God blessed us with Airlie.  She was so scared.  My heart absolutely breaks into a million pieces when I think about that day and the few days following.  I will never forget how she looked into my eyes.  I'll never forget how she would lay in my arms and cry like a baby...only no sound would come out.  Tears would just stream down her face. 

Thankfully, one month later, she is happy.  She is actually more than happy.  She is elated!  She prances around the house in dresses (because pants fall off of her skinny little self!) and is the most confident little gal in the world!  She loves on Chris and I nonstop.  When she gives us kisses, there is a loud "mwah" that comes with it.  She loves her brothers too, and the sibling relationship is developing into a normal one.  She tells on them.  They tell on her.  They steal toys from her.  She steals toys from them.  Everybody goes to time out several times a day.  But through all of the hustle and bustle of the day, I always find all three of them stopping to love each other and to love on me.  I love being their mommy!  I am so proud of how far we have ALL come in this transition.

Airlie's relationship with our (outside) cat is better.  She still frets over her, but it is mostly just for show.  We caught her running up to the cat and touching it today.  She snuck up to it, touched it real quick, and then ran like lightening! Funny stuff....

Initially, we had some food challenges.  The orphanage was described to us as "survival of the fittest."  We had so much trouble getting her to share food simply because we believe she didn't have enough at the orphanage.  She has begun to share food now with Cavan and Kian.  She is overly gracious to move things she doesn't like to Kian's high chair tray!  I made a roast tonight and she kept saying "um" and "yummy" the entire time she was eating. I am certain she ate more roast than I did!  When I prepare a meal, she will still stand at my feet and fret the entire time.  It's almost like she knows what is coming and she can't wait. 

Little Kian, Airlie, and I began taking a music class this week.  I think the kids really enjoyed it.  Kian was the youngest, and he liked to run around the room instead of dance.  Airlie seemed to follow the teacher's directions very well.  She mimicked the motions and watched the other children very carefully.  She got mad at me once during music class because she took her hair bow out and I put it back in.  She laid on the floor and didn't cooperate for about 5 minutes.  After the silent treatment, I suppose she accepted the fact the she had to wear the hair bow and life went on.  Ha ha ha

To end our weekly update, we received a FANTASTIC report from Vanderbilt University International Adoption Clinic.  They saw Airlie on Monday.  Dr. Rothman was extremely impressed with Airlie.  She did NOT see any need for a referral to evaluate for CP.  It's a mystery as to why she was sent and stayed so long at the CP Hospital.  I suppose God needed her to be placed there to wait for us.  We do not have to follow up with Vanderbilt unless we see the need.  She recommended speech services, a vision screening, and a hearing screening.  She told us that she recommended all three of those things for internationally adopted children.  All of Airlie's blood work came back fine, and her belly issues have been resolved.  We have a 100% healthy child!

Side note:  My camera has died.  I guess I use it too much.  I will upload and add this week's pictures as soon as a replacement arrives. Upcoming events for next week in the life of Airlie include a princess birthday party (probably the first birthday party she has ever been to!), music class, church a couple of times, a trip to Gigi and Big Daddy's house, and speech class!

All in all, I am amazed and blessed at the progress our sweet Airlie has made. She is such an amazing and resilient little girl. I can honestly say that she is happy with us and feels like this is her home. She cheers each and every time that we pull into our driveway. If she could speak our language, I really think she would say, "It's great to be HOME!"

A car full of cute!
Snacking at Cavan's soccer practice


Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Hi Y'all!"

Our attempts at a family picture are clearly NOT working.  Here are three of us and the backs of two heads.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I have never felt so loved and so lifted up in prayer before in my entire life.  I mean it.  When we went to church on Sunday, I was moved to tears.  I could just tell that people cared and that they had truly prayed for our family over the last few weeks.  Even on our few outings around town, we have been treated with such love by friends we happened upon.  It means the world to us.

I must admit that last week, I questioned whether I could parent three children under four-years-old!  This week, we have moved to the "maybe we can do this" category.  I am hopeful that our progress will continue! 

Airlie is PRECIOUS!  We love getting to know her.  She is so bright and is picking up OUR language left and right.  When her sweet Sunday School teachers brought us a yummy dinner this week, she said "hi y'all" when they came through the door!  Isn't that hilarious?!  I truly think she understands about 75% of what I tell her.  Last night, she suddenly began to fall apart.  She was screaming and pointing to the window.  It was thundering and lightening outside, so I figured out fairly quickly that she wanted the curtains closed.  She was still extremely scared, but I was able to comfort her and calm her.  We were able to agree that she would lay in her crib to sleep and that I would lay right beside the crib.  She seemed to understand all that I was telling her, and she went to sleep peacefully in the storm.  Tonight I gave her a toughie.  I told her that I needed my pony tail holder and asked her if she would go get it.  I made no motions or gestures.  She nodded her head "yes" and came with my pony tail holder!  She is so eager to please, and so proud of herself when she does things.  She will say "good job" and cheer!

Airlie is also quite the dancer.  She moves her feet and arms, and it is so darn cute!  She has even taught the boys a few moves!  She loves the radio and wants it on constantly. 

When our social worker visited us this week, she asked me to describe Airlie in one word.  The word I chose was "leader."  She looked at me puzzled and asked me to explain.  My explanation was simple.  She and Little Kian are best friends.  I actually don't know what they ever did without the other.  They are together all of the time and she is teaching him a variety of new things.  Their favorite new thing to do (and my favorite new thing for them not to do) is jump on the bed.  I can't even begin to count how many times I have momentarily lost them and found them both jumping on the bed!  Little even fell down in between the mattress and the bed frame, and Airlie was trying to pull him out.  They are a mess, but in all the right ways.  Turns out, orphanages in China use mattresses without springs.  Springs are new to her, and she just can't help herself.

All three of my Loves played together cooperatively for the first time this week.  It was nice to see them building with blocks.  We had several conflicts because Little Kian thought it was appropriate to knock everyone else's towers down.  Airlie has quickly learned to say "no" and "stop it!"  She fights for her right to build her own tower and keep it standing....ha ha.

Most importantly, Airlie loves us.  I can just tell.  She says "love you" to us all of the time!  She also lathers us with hugs and kisses!  We are crazy in love with her!!!
Hugs, hugs, hugs!
Dinner time!
Dressing up is fun!
When she met Gigi, it was like they were old friends!

It just looks like she loves the hair bows.  She actually hates them and hides them from me.  I am determined to win the hair bow war however!

All of my babies (including my niece and nephew!)

One little blessing....
Two little blessings....

Three little blessings....