"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Autumn Moon Festival

Last weekend, we went to a celebration with our Families with Children from China (FCC) group for the Autumn Moon Festival.  The Autumn Moon Festival is the second biggest holiday in China, next to Chinese New Year.  From what I understand, it is a bit like Thanksgiving in that they get together with family and eat and have a good time.  They also like to look at the moon, knowing that family that they can't be with are under the same moon.  This is pretty fitting for us as our families live far away and we miss and think about them a lot.  So for our celebration, we brought a picnic to the park.  After dinner, the kids got to make lanterns that had glow sticks to light them up and get their faces painted.  Ella and Liana were fairies and Ethan had a dragon on his cheek.  After that, it was dark so we got to walk in a lantern parade around the park and when we got back, we ate mooncake.  It is always fun adding some of Liana's Chinese culture to our family.  I love how we have been able to adopt some of her culture since she joined our family.  It is also very cool being around families that look just like ours.  We stand out wherever we go because, let's face it, we're a little unique.  I've never been fond of standing out so I have definitely had to get used to the kind of attention that we get now, having 2 white children and 1 Chinese.  We are remembered by people and are asked questions.  I don't mind as long as they keep it appropriate or don't seem to be giving us negative attention but we have had some of that too.  But being around all of these other transracial families, just like ours, is a beautiful thing.  You feel a bond with a group of people who are mostly strangers because we all "get it".  We've been through the difficult process of adoption and the tough stuff that comes after.  We all have different stories and different experiences but we share something that not everyone can understand.  I look forward to Liana growing up and bonding with children who will understand her in a way that most of her friends can't and seeing that, even though our family is unique, we're not so different after all.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Gotchaversary!!!

It has been one year since we were finally able to hold Liana in our arms for the first time!!!  In a way, I can't believe a year has already gone by but at the same time, I can't believe it has only been a year!  That trip to China feels like a really long time ago and it seems like Liana has always been with us.  I made an adoption video for Liana to show her some of this beautiful journey that we have been on.  As I waded through all of our pictures for hours and hours, I couldn't help but get goose bumps, at times, and tears at others as I remembered the whole thing.  I was struck again by the miracle of how we were matched with her so quickly after finally finishing our dossier and sending it to China.  I was brought back to the moment that the ayis brought her through the door and we saw our first glimpse of her and felt the same butterflies in my stomach.  And the excitement and nerves that I felt when the ayi handed her to me.  There go those goose bumps again!  I just feel so blessed to have been chosen to go on this journey and to get to be this wonderful child's mama!  I know that God chose us for a reason and I know that I don't deserve it but I will just say, "Thank you!" and accept this wonderful gift with open arms, over and over again!  I love my three babies so much (sorry kids, you will always be my babies!) and I will never stop being thankful for them.

So here is a link to my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NynWH7OCc9Y

Oh, and how did we celebrate Liana's Gotchaversary/Forever Family Day?  With Chinese food, of course!  We also have something for her each year on her Gotcha day from China until she turns 18.  They're mostly trinkets but some are pretty cool.  Every year on her Gotcha anniversary, Liana gets a little piece of China.

Monday, September 9, 2013


So, we found out the results from Liana's upper GI.  The nurse told me that Liana's fundo (her nissen fundoplication) has come undone and that she may also have a hernia.  She also gave me the number of a surgeon and said that if they didn't call me by the end of the day, to call them.  I couldn't get any more information from her than that.  I asked her if Liana will definitely need surgery (maybe a stupid question but I was flustered) and she wouldn't give me a definite answer, just said that the surgeon would be able to tell me more.  So a nurse called later to schedule an appointment with the surgeon but she didn't even seem to know what she was calling me about so that was kind of frustrating.  She couldn't tell me anything, obviously, so we will have to wait for our appointment with the surgeon, which is October 4th.  I really wish we didn't have to wait so long.  I mean, we have an appointment with a surgeon, so I'm assuming that means she's having surgery.  I guess we won't know for sure until October 4th.  Stupid lack of communication.  Would it kill them to just tell us what they know instead of making us wait all the time?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday!!!

September 3rd was Liana's 3rd birthday!  We were so excited to celebrate with her.  Last year, we were exactly two weeks short of getting to be with Liana on her birthday.  We did send her a cake to share with her friends and a couple of gifts but it was so sad that we had to miss her birthday by 14 days!  It was wonderful to get to finally celebrate her birthday with her...on the actual day!  She is such a doll and just loves celebrating birthdays...anyone's birthday.  So for her to have her own birthday is a really big deal!  Whenever I told her that her birthday was coming soon, she would say, "Ana's birthday?"  Yes, baby girl, it's your day! 

So, when you miss the first two birthdays, you have to really celebrate, right?  Right!  We rented a bounce house for the day before her birthday because it was Labor Day so Ella and Erik were home too.  Lucky us, the place we rented it from couldn't pick it up until kids' bedtime on Liana's birthday so we got it for her whole birthday also!  So we bounced...a lot.  Liana wanted a "princess birthday" so that's what our little princess got!
Through the years
Day 1 of Liana's birthday blast

 Bounce house!!

Haha...look at Ella photo bombing!
No cuter backside than this!
Can you tell what his favorite color is?  Lellow!
Daddy jumps with intensity!
Little bit of gymnastics
The BIG day!!!
How old are you, Liana?  "Phree!"
Sometimes her beauty just takes my breath away!  Look at those stunning eyes!  I can brag because she got none of it from me! ;-)
Laughing at ge ge (big brother)
These two have so much fun together!
This much excitement over a card!  Haha!
That face!
Princess Liana
She was so excited about her mei mei's birthday!
It's about time she had her own dump truck!  These two play "trucks" all the time!
Oh yeah, and this happened the week before her birthday.  Big girl loves her big girl bed!
In other news, Liana's appointment with her gastroenterologist was last week.  It went well, I guess.  We didn't really find out much.  They put her on some meds to control her reflux and scheduled an appointment for an upper GI, which she had this morning.  She had to drink this nasty barium drink while laying under an x-ray machine while the doctor watched.  Our girl was AMAZING during her appointment!!!  The doctor and nurses were so impressed with a 3 year old being so cooperative!  The nurse told me that they usually have to hold kids her age down but she was as good as she could be, as long as Mommy was right there!  So, we won't know the results for a day or 2 but I hope that we will find out if she will need surgery or not.  She may have to have an endoscopy next but we really just don't know.  After her upper GI, she got 4 stickers and got to pick a beanie baby.  She chose a ladybug.  Perfect, when you know about the significance of ladybugs with Chinese adoptions. :-)  I will always connect ladybugs with our little ladybug. 


Uh...do you have something in a smaller size?

And this is big news so I can't leave it out...Ethan started soccer on Liana's birthday!  He loves "his soccer" :-)