Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wow, has it been 3 weeks?

I know, I know.... I haven't updated our blog at all and I do have very good reasons.... Anna got her first major cold last week and so part of the reason I haven't updated our blog is because I've been taking care of a little sick girl... she is recovering beautifully though and is almost back to normal (oh, I also got the cold so we were all pretty miserable).

Not sure where to begin....
The past 3 weeks we've been home has been FULL... the first week and a half, we had a painter in our house while we were adjusting (not the best timing for this, but the painter was behind a week or so and couldn't get it all done while we were gone..., Anna (Aaron's sister) and David (Anna's husband), and boys Benjamin and Caleb came over one the 2nd weekend we were home. It was a short visit but so great to have someone in the family get to see Anna. Since we live 3 hours away from Portland, we haven't had any visitors ... so far, only Anna & David & boys have met our little Anna. We haven't had any energy to make a weekend trip there, so we may have to wait to introduce Anna until Thanksgiving. Aaron has been back to work and very busy since we got home, and as I posted above, 4 out of 6 of us came down with a cold... Oh, and we've had to get over jet lag, do 2 weeks worth of "catch up" homework for 3 kids, with a painter in the house, all the while, adjusting to a new little sweet pea in the house and Aaron not coming home until 8pm or later most nights. BUT, Anna has been the BEST with all of this adjustment... as busy as things have been, I haven't felt too stressed and thankfully, she is a good sleeper, so atleast I am not sleep-deprived.

Anna had her first appt last week with the Dr. and all went well... she is going to get her blood drawn tomorrow to double-check on the Hep B status. The doctor was very positive about her growth and how healthy she looks. She didn't have to get any immunizations either, which was WONDERFUL.

She is already doing so much now.... she's pulled herself up to standing and is doing alot of pre-walking stuff like standing up for a few seconds on her own, pulling up on a box and pushing it as she walks, etc.... it is amazing to watch her do these things at such a young age since my boys didn't do alot of these things until they were a few months older......She is such a go-getter and not mellow like 2 of my 3 boys were. She is such a bundle of joy and energy, I can hardly believe we spent all this time without her. She fits in so perfectly and I couldn't have asked for a better transition. She had a tough 4-5 days adjusting to jet lag and our new home and her room, but she has quickly settled into a routine now and sleeps 9-10 hours straight everynight!!! I was prepared to wake up several times if I had to, but so far, she is letting us sleep. Her nap schedule is not very consistent yet, but I am just letting that one go for now.

She loves her brothers and gets so happy when they come home from school. They love her equally and have been so helpful with everything, including "trying" to change her diaper. She is a little squirmer and does not lay still for diaper changes, so I am working on that one. Our boys were always so compliant with diaper changes, that it has been a challenge for me to try to get her to be still.

I am still just in awe of God's blessing to us.... when I have a moment of quiet, I find myself thanking God over and over for bringing her into our family. Life is definitely FULL right now, but I am not sure I'd want it any other way....

Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First days back home!

We returned home late friday night... saturday morning.... we had hired a friend to paint our house while we were gone so we came home to nicely painted walls! It was so good to be home and Anna seem to really fit in well here and was extremely happy to be around our house. She looked even cuter here, for some reason :)

The first day (saturday) we had the painter at our house so we invited a few friends to just stop by and see Anna. Darci & Chris came by first... and then Shannon, Derek and boys came over later. It was fun to show off Anna. She is such a cutie pie and is actually showing signs of being attached to me! She really has been pretty happy with either Aaron or I but seems to prefer me just a teeny bit more... especially when she's feeling needy.

Enjoy the slide show!

Pictures from Last days in Taipei, plus airport

Here are some pictures of the last day in Taipei, as well as some travel photos..... The Taipei airport had a wonderful nursery area called "hello kitty nursery" where they had diapers, hot water, crib, changing area, nursing area, an extra couch, etc. We spent our time waiting there rather than in the waiting area to board our plane.

The last day, Anna cried alot because of teething issues and we were so nervous that she would cry on the plane, but she did great! Calvin also had some tummy issues off and on, but ended up being OK on the plane! We are so grateful for all the prayers and for God's grace on this journey. He's blessed us so abundantly in ways we can't even count.

Enjoy the pictures!

Monday, September 29, 2008

We are back

We've been back for a few days now.... the flights went great... no crying spells and she slept about 6+ hours straight, although we didn't get seats together :( it turned out OK though. She had a bassinett, which really helped with the sleeping. I didn't get any sleep, however, because I was worried she would wake up :) There was another family on the flight that had just adopted a 9 month old girl from Vietnam and their daughter was crying SO much... almost non-stop and I felt so helpless for them. We are all adjusting, although the jet lag is really getting to all of us, even little Anna. She is no longer sleeping a good chunk of the night like she was, so it's been a little harder. She is still very easy-going. we haven't had the heart to let her cry it out because I really want her to know she can trust us and know that we'll take care of her. I do hope I am not ruining the great job the nannies did for her in teaching her how to self-soothe at night. My #1 goal right now is attachment and bonding though, so if that means she gets spoiled and forgets how to sleep on her own, I think in the end, it'll be ok...

well, off to get some sleep... will try to post pictures tomorrow!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Last Day ~ Final post from Taipei

I am closing down the computer... We are going to be picked up in about 3 hours at our hotel to head to the airport. Our flight arrives back home on friday night, 11:59pm in Redmond. I am sooooo looking forward to being home in the states.

Oh, we went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant today and we were treated like celebrities... but not in a good way.... well, maybe they weren't meaning to be rude, but seriously, all the waiters and waitresses(about 5-6 of them) stood by us, speaking chinese WHILE we ate...I think they were trying to be helpful... but to me, it was irritating to say the least, since I really don't like being stared at while I'm eating. I think that's when I realized I think I am DONE being here. I am thankful for this place and will treasure Taiwan because it is my daughter's birthplace, but being away from the US for 2 weeks made me realize how much I love the USA. I hope I didn't sounds too negative.... most of the people here have been GREAT.

Please pray for safe travels!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 4, FREE day

Before I begin this post, I just want you all to know that you HAVE to read my sweetie's post below....It brought tears to my eyes ~ I was about to make this post and he said he would like to blog about his thoughts.... anyways, it is WAY better than anything I've ever posted. Anna is a blessed little girl to finally have a daddy and I can't think of a more perfect and loving one than Aaron.

Anyways, on to our day.... we spent some time again at the Children's Recreation Center and visited the science exhibition and some of the rides. The boys really enjoyed the science exhibition and got to ride on a flight simulator. It was the only place nearby that was air-conditioned so it was a nice break. Today was an extremely hot and humid day so we withered outside in the heat. I can't even imagine coming here when it's actually summer. We met Malin, Kristian, Moa and their new son, Max, who was also adopted from Chung Yi. We both had the same Forever Family Day. They came to our hotel to bring us a gift from Sweden and walked with us to Starbucks for a snack and coffee. I took some pictures of our little Anna and Max playing on the floor under our table, but didn't ask permission to post his picture, so I will not post it here... he is a CUTIE though!!

This may be our last post from Taipei... we leave tomorrow at 11pm. I might post one more time if we have time...

On to the pictures from today!

A post from Aaron ~ Dad's perspective

I usually don't do the blog but I want to say that our new little Anna Li-grace (aka "chen-chen") is so precious in more ways than writing will allow. When I look at her,she is perfect, how can she be so at peace, we are just beginning to know each other. When she laughs and smiles, it does something to me and when she sleeps, her silent trust is such a gift. This is Gods WAY 'beauty from ashes'. I can see she has learned an independent way about her~ preferring at times, the hard floor to being held ~even so she looks long at Pam and I as if to ask are they the ones? The answer is Yes!!!!! we are.