Friday, June 19, 2009

First time ever I saw your Face

One year ago we were sitting in a hotel room in Peoria,IL, getting ready for my cousins weekend wedding. As I checked my email, I saw that a new COP list had been released from Bethany. We requested the files of 3 precious little girls. Now for all previous COP lists, we went over their profiles with a fine tooth comb and had all the docs at the Pediatricians office I work in review their medical history until we were absolutely sure their COP was something we could handle. Now, here we sat in a hotel room with no one to ask any questions of, but unlike all the other times; I KNEW we were suppose to ask for this one little girl. Then on June 24th, we got the call. She was ours and life has never been the same. She definately lights up our lives.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In Just A Few Short Weeks

Wow! In just a few weeks, it will mark our Six month mile stone. The last six months have been an amazing journey with the addition of a daughter to our family. Six months ago I was so ,worried that Noah and Caleb were not going to adjust to having a sister in their lives, because they were not sure themselves. Today, my greatest joy is watching the three of them together. Hannah adores her brothers and if it's possible, I think they love her even more. Since coming home, we have seen cardiology, ENT, cranial facial, dental and speech specialist and have had two surgeries. The first surgery was fairly minor with ear tubes put in and some dental work done. The second surgery was a revision on her palate. This too should have been pretty straight forward, but it actually landed us in the ICU for 24 hours (boy are we are so glad that is over). This week Hannah will begin speech therapy.

Despite the whirlwind of doctors, Hannah has adjusted amazingly well. She completely understands everything we say and she is saying new words everyday. She is such a people person and loves everyone. She loves to give hugs and kisses. It is evident that this kid was loved in China. We will be forever greatful to her foster family and we feel so blessed that she is now a part of our family.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday, January 4th

Hello Everyone,

Wow!! The past 3 weeks sure have been busy, but lots of fun. I started back to work (part time) the week before Christmas. I had a really hard time leaving home that first day, but I actually think it was good for both Hannah and myself. Hannah has had fun spending a few days a week with Grandma and I enjoy a few days of adult conversations. I hope to stay part time for a few more months.

As you can imagine, Christmas was wonderful. After almost 3 years of waiting, I could hardly believe that Hannah was actually Home for Christmas this year. It was so much fun to watch Christmas thru her eyes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Surgery Update!!!

Hannah had her surgery yesterday for her ear tubes and dental work. I am so surprised that she has not had any complications from her little teeth. They were in such bad shape. She had to have 4 caps, 6 fillings and 2 pulled. It was a long day, as she had a hard time waking up from the anesthesia and also had trouble keeping anything down, but after 8 long hours, we finally got to come home. Today, she is doing wonderfully. Thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, they were definately heard. Hopefully, we are done with any surgeries, now; for awhile. She is a little trooper and is so cooperative with all of the doctors, but we are ready to be done for awhile.
We will return to speech in January for a follow up. Hopefully, the ear tubes will help drain all that fluid and she will begin hearing better and thus, start talking. She understands everything we say, but is happy to just grunt to get what she wants. I think much of this is due to two big brothers who hate to hear her cry. She has finally begun saying dada and even added mamaw (grandma)to her list of words in the past few days. She also has "Noah "down pretty well. She loves to stand up stairs and yell down to him in his room to get him come running, and he does. She has both boys wrapped around her fingers pretty tightly. It is so fun to watch.

Again, thank you for all your prayers. They were a blessing, especially yesterday.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thankful,Thankful, Thankful

Looking more like a true Georgia redneck all the time.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Cousin Kaytlyn's 6th birthday party at build-a-bear

My first visit to Chuck E Cheese

Getting ready to go to Noah and Caleb's sport banquet. I'm a little wildcat.
We are more in awe everyday that God has blessed us with these 3 beautiful children. It becomes more and more evident that Hannah was made just for our family. My favorite thing to do these days is to sit back and watch Noah and Caleb play with Hannah. I was so worried when we first came home that they were not going to accept having her here, but I was wrong. They love her so much and are so good with her. She loves them, too. I also love to watch her experiencing her firsts. The boys and I put up the Christmas tree last Wed while she was taking her nap. When she woke up and saw the tree, lights and decorations, the look of amazement on her face will never be erased from my memory. I cannot say the same about Santa, though. She didn't cry but was also not placing him on her list of new friends. She has also had her first visit to Chuck E Cheese and build-a-bear. Chuck E Cheese was a definate favorite and build-a-bear was good until she had to put the heart inside the bear (she wanted to keep the heart for herself). She definately has an opinion about things.
We also have seen about 6 doctors , had our follow up with Bethany, celebrated 3 birthday's, Thanksgiving and met our aunt Angie from Nashville and Aunt Sandy and Uncle Jim from Illinois, along with many, many family and friends here in Georgia. We still can't wait to meet Granny and Gramps in Illinois. We are hoping they will have snow for us at Christmas. All of our doctors appointments have gone very well. We do have to have tubes put in our ears on Dec 9th. We have have some fluid in our ears (due to our cleft palate) and this is affecting how we hear and how many words we say. We will also have to have some teeth pulled in Jan. (also due to our cleft palate), but otherwise good reports. We don't have to see the cardiologist for 4 years and the cranial/facial doctor was very impressed with how well her lip and palate were repaired in China. I will forever be greatful for the love and care she received in China.
I know it is easy to feel blessed when things are going well, but I can't help but shout from the mountain tops this Thanksgiving. GOD TRUELY IS GOOD AND HE DEFINATELY HAS A PLAN FOR OUR LIVES. Wait and see what he has in store for you!!!
All of our love,
Brian, Tonya, Noah, Caleb and Hannah

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We are doing Great!!

eating ( my favorite thing)


wearing daddy's hat and shoes ( I found them myself)

getting ready to go to church for the first time ( I wave to everyone, including the camera)

i'm a star

my 2nd birthday

me and Caleb

We have been home for a little over a week, now. We are so glad to be here. Hannah is doing so great. It amazes me how adaptable these little ones are. She is understanding many english words and follows our directions very well. She still is not saying very many words, I don't know if it is a language thing or a cleft palate thing. She babbles and sings all the time, but I don't know if she is speaking Chinese or just babbling. We go to the cleft palate dr. on Nov 19th, so maybe we will get a better idea of when she will talk, then. She has started to develop her own sign language so that we know what she wants. Caleb has adjusted very well to having her here, Noah has been a little slower to get there. Hannah loves them both, so it is a little hard for Noah not to love her back. I have seen big changes in him everyday. Mom and dad are also adjusting to life with a toddler, again. Maybe I just don't remember, but it seems like I get alot more tired more quickly this go around. Even so, we are absolutely in love with her. Here are a few pictures from home.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Friday, Oct 31

Our whole group
Lina, Hanna Jo and Hannah Hope

All 9 kids

At the Us consulate- going to take our oath of adoption

Hannah Hope

Happy Holloween! In 16 ours we leave to come home and after 28 hours of travel, we will arrive in Atlanta at 10:30 PM. We cannot wait to see you Noah and Caleb. The past few days have gone really fast. It has been wonderful being with the other families again. We are going to miss all of them. Hopefully we will be able to stay in touch and watch all the kids grow. They are all beautiful children.
Yesterday, we went to the US consulate and took our oath of adoption. This was very emotional for all the moms. Hannah is now ours forever and she can legally enter the US with us tomorrow on her 2nd birthday. Happy Birthday Hannah!! It is amazing how perfect she is for us. I never dreamed we would be bringing home a 2 year old, but God's plan was perfect for us. Jeremiah 29:11 " For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord. As I watch this crazy world of ours, I do know thatGod is always in control. He will reveal Himself at the perfect time, even if it doesn't feel like He is there at all during the journey. Again, I want to thank all of our family and friends for following our journey here in China. I cannot stress enough how much I have valued your emails and comments. From the start of this adoption in April 2006, you all have been a huge strength of support for us. We love you all. Noah and Caleb I cannot wait for you to meet her. Noah- she is like you in so many ways, the similarities are amazing. Yet, Caleb- she is a sweet snuggler like you. She is a perfect blend of our first two miracles.
Today, all of the families met for the tradional red couch photo. As you can see most families choose to dress their children in the traditional Chines dress. They all looked so cute.
Enjoy and we will see you very soon.

Brian, Tonya and Hannah