Saturday, February 21, 2009

Homecoming

Just a quick post...we are very exhausted and the jet lag is much worse than going over! I will post soon with lots of coming home pictures...

Thank you to all our friends and family who greeted us at the airport. We were shocked and overwhelmed! But, most of all, we were humbled at the love you have shown to us and our family. It made us feel very special to see all your faces there! Thank you.

Lily is doing good. She was wide-eyed last night when she saw her home for the first time and even more so when her big sister took her to see her new room complete with a closet full of clothes and tons of dolls! She seemed very happy, but I really feel like she will start grieving again hard very soon. Its just all a little too much for her to handle right now. Can you even imagine? She has spent the first 3 years of her life in one building...now, she has flown across the world and has new parents and a new family. We are going to lay low and love her through this difficult time.

Before I go, I wanted to share the link to the news cast from last night. I was really happy with the report except for one small comment at the end. The death of Sophie Ann did not lead us to adopt....we had already begun the adoption process before God gave us Sophie. But, its OK! I hope that our story inspires lots of people to open their hearts to these precious children all over the world. Thank you Fox News for wanting to feature us, we were so surprised!!!

Lots of love,
Aimee



NEWS STORY LINK:
CLICK HERE

Friday, February 20, 2009

THEY'RE HOME!

Just a quick update to let everyone know that the Weather's Family is all together at home!
Everyone is great and Lily is completely in love with her big brother and sister (and they are with her as well!)
The Weather's had a great welcoming at the airport complete with lots of family, friends, and even a TV crew. For those of you in the area be sure to watch Fox 6 news at 10 pm for coverage!
I am sure that once Aimee has a chance to recover she will post an update complete with pictures.

Jessica

UPDATE

Just wanted to let everyone know that Carlton, Aimee, and Lily have safely arrived in Detriot. All flights have been on time and smooth.

Can not wait to see them in Birmingham in a couple hours!

Jessica

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Last post from China.....




We want to invite all of our friends and family to meet us at the airport. We will be flying into Birmingham. Please...before you leave....check the status of the flights to make sure that they have all been on time...

We plan to call someone if we miss a flight...(Jess?)...and then she can post it on the blog. We don't want you to drive so far and not actually get to see us!!!

Here is our flight info:

February 20th, 2009

Guangzhou to Tokyo- Northwest NW28 Depart: 8:30 Arrive 1:40- 4 hour flight

Tokyo to Detroit- Northwest NW12 Depart: 2:30 Arrive 12:10-12 hour flight


Detroit to Birmingham- Northwest NW3637 Depart: 3:35pm- Arrive: 4:35pm-2 hour flight


One other note:

Many of you have emailed me and asked to have access to our private blog. We would love for you to continue on with us on our journey!!! Because of Blogger's rules...we can only have 100 registered viewers. I am well over that limit. SO, what I have done is created a "generic" log-in that many people can use. Its fairly easy to remember and you will need to use it each time you visit our blog. When you comment on the blog (and please do, I like to know who I am sharing my heart with...), you will need to just type your name because you will be logged in as "friends and family". My email inbox is out of control right now...so I am going to ask you to do me a favor. Please email me again and type "BLOG ACCESS" in the subject and just let me know who you are. I will then send you the sign-in info. I know this sounds confusing, but its actually quite simple. Email me here:

carlton1wea@yahoo.com

thanks!!


Today, we woke up really late! We all slept for 10 hours. Can you believe it? Right when I get adjusted to China time, its time to do a big switch-a-roo! I no longer have jet lag over here and I feel normal. Oh....I am soooooo dreading the flight and getting adjusted to the new time zone. Honestly, I am a little worried about it. Anybody got any tips for jet-lag and quick adjustment? Jet lag is the worst feeling...its like you are walking in some kind of fog....like a zombie! I hope the weather is nice at home..I have heard that getting outside in the sun is the best thing for jet-lag.

Ok, enough about that! This morning, we went to the Chen Temple. It was nice, but I will just be honest here...when you have done Beijing and seen the things that we have seen, well, it just wasn't that impressive. We saw lots of carvings out of wood, jade, bone....I bought several things from the gift shop. I was happy to get a beautiful tea set that was of good quality and did not contain lead. There are lots of tea sets on the island for much cheaper..but I want my kids to play and drink from them..and I cannot be worried that they are gobbling up lead. I also got some more ornaments for our China tree and a few other knick-knacks (is that how you spell that?) Lily played hide and seek and screamed "BABA" so loud. It was cute. She passed out on the way home and took a little nap. I remember our pediatrician back home telling me that when a child (or baby) is growing a lot, they will sleep a lot. Well, Lily is growing. Her hair has already grown nearly an inch or so in just a week! I know her little body is in shock and is starting to grow. She is still eating non-stop. I mean non-stop. She eats anything and everything. The only thing we have found that she does not like is carrots and spaghetti sauce. She loves warm milk, so I am going to have to start purchasing whole milk again. (we are a skim milk family). But, I think she needs the fat. She also loves Wahaha and drinks it all the time...boy, are we in trouble....I don't think they sell that at Wal-mart??? Carlton said he would drive to Atlanta to buy it if he needed to. (he is so smitten!) Wahaha is some kind of milk drink with a cocanut smell. All the kids drink it here.

This afternoon was our "swearing in" ceremony. We were not allowed to take any pictures due to security reasons...but we made a lot of mental pictures today. All of the families (13) all held up their right hand and said the oath. I made Lily hold up her hand that was holding the American flag and Chinese flag. I thought the little dress I made for her was perfect for this occasion. Originally, I had planned on her wearing it for her homecoming...but I have something else in mind for that! I looked at Lily today and thought about how much this is changing her life. She doesent understand right now....but her life is totally changed. Today, was a big day for my little one.

Tonight, we will eat our last dinner together in China. Of course, we chose to eat traditional Chinese food.

It will be hard to say goodbye to this amazing country. I will be leaving a good portion of my heart here in China. I am sad in a lot of ways....but my heart does flip flops when I think of seeing my children. Its been a long time and I cannot wait to give them a million kisses. I also cannot wait for them to meet Lily. Its going to be a great reunion. We know the road ahead holds many bumps and curves, but we also know the One who ordained all of this. We are fully trusting in Him to help us along this journey.

Thank you for loving us and "being there" for us. You have made us feel at home at a time when we are so far away! Thank you for your prayers and the precious comments and emails you have sent.

This has been one amazing journey....one we will never forget...

Love,
Aimee, Carlton and Lily

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Relaxing in Guangzhou






She will look at the goldfish now without screaming!

I think I just like this couch to myself....

We just had to take a picture of this belly...I am afraid sometimes that she is going to topple forward!!!! Obviously, she is a good eater!!!


She loves an apple!





This is how you eat noodles...Chinese style


Today was pretty laid back. We had the entire day to just hang out on the island. We did a lot of shopping and I purchased many things to give Lily for each anniversary of Gotcha Day, Feb. 11th. We also purchased a big suitcase to help us get all this stuff home! I also bought a black Chinese silk dress. I almost had a heart attack that I had to go up 4 sizes in China. How depressing is that? I told Carlton I am going to cut the tag out. Of course, he just rolled his eyes! I promise, I don't understand how women bear children over here...they have NO hips! Anyway..... It was a really good day..I just tried to absorb each and every moment. Life is so different here....and I tried to take mental pictures all day long. Part of me is so sad to leave...China will always have a piece of my heart. But, I am longing for the moment when my two other babies are in Mommy's arms. Thank you for praying for a good transition with our kids. I know its going to be really hard...I think it will be really hard on Noah. He has been Mama's baby for a long time. Seriously, I still carry him around and he is 40 pounds. He is a little "in love" with Mama and lets me know everyday that when he grows up he is going to drive a dump truck and marry me. I think Hannah Grace is going to do good. She has been wanting to have a little sister for a long time now...and now that time has come. She is such a loving child, so tenderhearted, such a "little mama". I can't wait to get back into our routine...I am looking forward to seeing all the school work she has completed while I have been away. She is so happy that I am going to give her a 2-week break from homeschooling. Little stinker, she loves a break! I promised her that if she did school work while I was gone, I would give her a little break.

Today, we also got a call that our paperwork was great except for one small detail. On her referral info, it mentioned she was slightly anemic. (really, really mild) When she went to her exam the other day, the doctor checked her and said she was not anemic and so they did not write it on her report. The consulate knew that it wasnt a big deal, but for "paperwork" reasons, we had to sign a piece of paper that stated we knew she was slightly anemic in March of 08. Otherwise, everything is great!! We will got for our "swearing in" ceremony tomorrow at 2:45. I can't believe this is it, she is finally ours!!! Thank you God for this precious gift....she is so perfect for us....we know that before the foundation of this world that you knew she was going to be ours and created her with us in mind. We are amazed each day at how she is just the "perfect" fit for our family. We couldn't love her more. We feel so blessed and humbled that He would allow us to be her Mama and Baba. What amazing grace! People keep telling us how lucky she is to be going to America...to have us for parents...while all the time, we keep thinking how blessed WE are!!! We are the lucky ones!! I wake up each day and just stare at those almond eyes and jet black hair!! I am in love!

This afternoon, Lily took her famous "red couch" photo. She liked having the couch all to herself. She wasn't too hot on taking pics with the other two kiddos in our group. We took lots of pics.

Tonight, we ate yummy Italian. Carlton and I inhaled a whole pizza in 10 minutes flat. Lily gobbled down a whole plate of noodles. We crack up when she sucks them down...its definitely picture worthy. This girl really knows how to eat some noodles. We need to stock up on spaghetti noodles!!

We are off to get some rest....1 more day here in China....

Love you all,
aimee

Feeling better!!









Thanks for all your prayers. I woke up this morning feeling so much better. Thank you Lord for western medicine. Its quick and effective. I am going to continue with my antibiotics and pain medicine. Thanks for the tips on getting rid of sore throats too. I am going to start trying those! My ENT told me if I had my tonsils removed that I would be in the bed for 2 weeks. Yes, actually in the bed for 2 weeks! Um....don't think so. I can't sit still for 5 minutes.

Today, we mostly just stayed around on the island and shopped. I got several Chinese dresses in all sizes...a stamp with her Chinese name...lots of things from a Gift from China...a China Starbucks travel mug....a painting with her name.. t-shirts with all our Chinese names....and lots more odds and ends. I want to get some Chinese tea sets, just want to make sure they don't contain lead. I will get those tomorrow. We also took the disposable camera that the orphanage gave us and got those pics developed. Many of the pics are good, but many of them are blurry. We are happy to have a few more pictures of her life in the orphanage. Did I tell you that the nanny gave me a baby picture of Lily? It was taken when she was 1 year old. Its my only baby picture at this age and I cried when she gave it to me. Its so precious to me. I also have a black and white copy of her finding ad. When a baby is abandoned, an ad has to be put in the newspaper to try and locate the family. If nobody responds, then the child is considered an orphan. So, the black and white picture is when she was 3 months old.

We had lunch today at Lucy's with Lifeline's China facilitator, Lily. It was so good to have lunch with her and talk about everything! She is such a sweet lady and we were so happy that she took time to come and eat lunch with us (she lives 2 hours away). We have been so impressed with Lifeline while we have been in China. They just have an amazing reputation here. We are so blessed.

Tonight, we went on the Pearl River dinner cruise. It was great....so relaxing. All of the hotels were lit up and it was so beautiful. Lily was good until she realized that the boat was actually moving...then she clung tightly to Mama. I tried to imagine what it must be like for her...all the new things she is seeing and learning...information overload?? Tonight, I really missed my kids back home. During the cruise, all I could think of was Noah and Hannah Grace and how much they would have loved this. Oh, gosh, I really miss my babies. I am trying to just be in denial...its how I cope. Today, Carlton and I just wished we could just have them escorted over here to us. It would be perfect. We have 2 more full days here in China. My emotions are so crazy. I almost feel guilty for taking Lily away from her home country...Did anyone else feel this way?

I am going to have to keep this post short. I am missing my kids pretty bad and I have got to distract myself or else I am going to have a breakdown. Susie, give them an extra hug and kiss and an extra bowl of ice cream tonight.

Tomorrow, our paperwork is being delivered to the Consulate. Carlton has to stay in our room from 10:00-11:30 to wait on a call from Rebecca to tell us everything is OK. Its our last hurdle. We will also be taking the famous "red couch" photo.

I love you all,
Aimee

Monday, February 16, 2009

Medical Exam day



Please, just let me go back to Mama.

Everything looking good...



Our one picture before our camera accident

Who can resist that look?


This post might be short. I have come down with some kind of awful sore throat. This is not unusual for me...my tonsils have needed to come out for many, many years. I just don't have the time to have them taken out!!! I have started my antibiotics (Keflex, 2000 per day). I hope this knocks it out very quickly. Carlton is taking good care of me...making me hot tea all the time and getting our food to go. I have been quite stubborn and have refused to miss any outings with our group. I mean, Hello?, we are in China...I can't be wimpy and stay in my room! Please pray my antibiotics will work quickly.

So, this morning we started out with yummy breakfast. Laine, this time I got double tater tots. And you are right, I have never had such yummy tater tots! Lily ate good too. Her stomach is getting much better and handling food much better. Next, we went to Lily's medical exam. First, they took her temp and weighed her....normal temp 97.7 and her weight was 27 pounds! Then, it was hearing and eye test. To test her hearing, they sqeaked a toy. High tech,huh? Everything perfect. Then, the lady did her measurements. I was nervous. We have always been concerned about her growth and Carlton has been fervently praying for her growth while she was at the orphanage. Well, praise the Lord, the orphanage's measurements were either wrong, or Lily has grown!! We specifically asked all three doctors to look at her measurements. They took us to another room because they knew we were concerned. They looked at the Chinese growth charts and said, "Her head measurement is good, she is a little below average for height..weight is good." We walked back out of the room and lo and behold my sweet hubby was just a bawling! (I call him Paw-Paw now, because that's what he acts like, he is a SOFTIE!) I said, "what's wrong honey?" He said, " I am just so happy that she is OK, I have been praying so much for her." Well, then I start crying. SO, we had a little cry fest while we thanked our God for taking care of our girl. We stepped out on faith....and He has rewarded us greatly. We know that she has a lot of growing to do, but we were comforted today when we talked with the doctors.
To God be the Glory, great things HE has done.
Next, Rebecca asked me to go have a massage with her. Well, of course, I said yes. My back has been killing me from carrying her and she seemed to be doing really good with Carlton. SO, I went. It was really good, but I am sore from it. Rebecca and I had our massages together! It was so much fun. When I left there, I passed Sherry's Place. Oh, gee whiz. I bought too many shoes. Seriously, someone tell me to stop. I have enough for the next 3 years. How can I resist? They are dirt cheap. ANd they look adorable on her feet. I also got her a large silk blanket for her bed. Its really pretty. How will I ever get this stuff home???? I'll figure that out later.

When I got back to the hotel, Carlton greeted me at the door and he could not not stop smiling. Lily had been talking with him non-stop. She has become VERY verbal. But, not when she is around people. She also danced with him and sang him Chinese songs. He got most of it on video. He also told me that she talked with some friends back home on Skype. I couldn't believe it! He couldn't believe it either. This girl has changed so much in 5 days. Its like night and day. She has got her Daddy so wrapped around her finger.

Then, we went to the Botannical Gardens. Right when we got there...Carlton accidentally dropped my brand new camera. Its broke, its dead, its gone forever. I almost cried, ok, ok, I did cry. We used our video camera to take pictures today and Rebecca is going to let us use her camera the rest of the week. How sweet! Carlton promised me that he will get me a new one when we get home. So....Uncle Barry, can you help me locate one similar to yours??? You are the expert on cameras!!

The gardens were really pretty. It was a little hot, so we tried to stay in the shade. My throat really started hurting while we were there...and by the end, I was miserable. Before we came home, we stopped at the Carrefour and got a few groceries. Lily refused to sit in the buggy...bless her heart, she has never seen one before. I am still amazed at the things that are new to her, yet so normal for me.

Have I mentioned what a "girly-girl" I have?
She loves:
-for me to put makeup on her
-she loves shoes (good thing!)
-she loves hairbows (she has to have one in at all times)
-she loves jewelry
-she loves her baby dolls
-she loves pink
-she loves to twirl and dance
-she loves her new clothes (she smiles when I put them on her)
-she loves Bath and Body lotion
-she loves bubble baths

Did I mention that initally she was totally flipped out that she could see her arms when her clothes are on? She has never worn short sleeves and she pulled them down the first few days. She also does not like her bare legs to show. So...add to the list...she has never seen her own body.

She is also petrified of animals. We were told that at the orphanage they kept the kids away from all animals because Rabies is rampant. She hates animals...alive or dead. Sorry, I mean stuffed animals and statues.

She also gets into everything. We have got to child -proof our home. She sticks her fingers in places that I never knew existed. Long gone are the days of sleeping a little longer while the kids watch TV.

Better go. I hope to get some pics uploaded.

Oh. Tomorrow we have a free day. We are opting out of going to the zoo...Not really a good time to terrify her. We can go to the zoo any ole time! Tommorrow evening, we will go on the Pearl River Cruise. FUN!

Love,
aimee

To answer some questions from the comments:
-No, I didn't get a haircut It looks shorter when I pull it up.
-The sling is called a SlingLing Holds up to 35 pounds. Go to slingling.com
-Hannah Grace and Noah love talking to Lily. She likes to see them too. All children love other children. I am not quite sure she realizes that they are brother and sister.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shop till you Drop!


Discovering myself

The lobby of the White Swan...so, so pretty.

Playing Peek a boo with Mommy




First trip to the candy store....



SO many people!!!


This is the picture that the artist is making a painting of Lily from...


Exhausted is not even the word to describe how I feel right now! Our day started off with an incredible breakfast. Oh, Laine, I thought of you when I saw those tater tots. I closed my eyes and imagined I was sitting at Sonic. There was endless assortment of breakfast foods. I think I ate 12 pieces of bacon. Lily ate nearly that much. We totally just pigged out. I can't wait till morning to do it again! (why is my blog always talking about food?) I There are so many adoptive families here and you get to see everyone at breakfast. Carlton and I were talking this morning about how we see all these other children and we just can't imagine having a different child. She is "our" child. After breakfast, we headed out on our shopping adventure. Rebecca took us off the island to a big mall that the locals go to. It was so crowded and honestly I didn't enjoy one minute of it. It was like the day after Thanksgiving. I didn't care if they were giving away the stuff, I couldn't take one more minute of the sweltering heat and utter chaos. God knew what He was doing when we arranged for us to be Guangzhou in February. This is their "winter" and its 85 degrees, 110% humidity. I would just pass out and die in August. Lily was wringing wet and she had two accidents right in the middle of the stores. The people didn't even mind...they just helped me dress her and change her. One lady took us to a bathroom with only squatty potties and I just looked at her and said, "I don't know, I don't know how to use a squatty potty" and then I just handed Lily to her and said, "Help me". She held Lily over the squatty potty and Lily just went to the bathroom like it was totally normal (oh, wait, it IS normal to her! ) I know I had this horrified look on my face. I just kept telling the lady thank you, thank you. Lily was also horrified that she had an accident. I don't think she had too many accidents at the orphanage. We got a few special things today. Thanks to all your comments, it really helped. We came back to the hotel around 2:00 and Carlton went to the paperwork meeting. Let me just say this....Lifeline is amazing. We are so prepared and so taken care of. You don't have any worries. Trust me, there are people here having fits over their paperwork. We went shopping this afternoon here on the island, just me and Lily. We stayed in a store called "China Doll" for a while. They are going to do a painting of Lily for me. I also bought 7 dresses. I am embarrassed to tell you how cheap stuff is! Its great! I am going to stock up on dresses so she will have them as she grows older. We also stocked up on squeaky shoes. I would like to buy some bigger sizes, but I can't seem to find them. Any help? I bought size 7, I think...size 17 in China. She has such a tiny little foot! But, so does everyone around here! The biggest size I could find was at Jordans, size 17.

I also wanted to mention how much Lily is showing off her little personality. When Carlton is away, she jabbers non stop. Today, when it was just me and her, she counted to 3 just out of the blue. I have been doing a lot of counting and she has already picked that up. Her little voice is adorable...kinda low and raspy. It will make you melt. She also reaches up her arms for me to hold her and even let Carlton take her to the bathroom and hold her today.

I promised myself that I wouldn't get a stroller here...I really just wanted to hold her the whole time. But, its just impossible. My back is about to give out! I am so sore and my arms are like jello. I had to get the stroller. Its called survival. One of the stores just gave us a stroller to keep during our stay here on the island. Lily hated it at first, (probably never seen one), but now she is better. She likes for me to go fast!

Lily has her medical appointment in the morning at 9:30. I dread that. She doesn't like for anyone to hold her except me.

Love you lots!
aimee

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Loving the Warm Weather!


Just waking up, what a sleepy head!

I know I'm cute!

She loves her Bath and Body lotion!

She loves to pick our her snacks. You should see her eyes!

At the airport

Coloring on the plane ride

This is how I blog!




We are HERE!!

Our flight over was horrible! I have been flying since I was 9 years old and this was the worst flight ever! We got up in the air for about 30 seconds and we hit some major turbulents. The plane was going from side to side and up and down all at the same time. It felt like a roller-coaster. To make matters worse, people on the plane were screaming. I started telling Carlton we were going to die and he told me to "get it together" for Lily's sake. I just had a flat out melt-down. I became that woman that you DONT want to sit by on the plane. All I could think about was Hannah Grace and Noah and I just started bawling. It went on for several minutes and then it got better. Lily clung to me like a monkey for the entire flight. She would take my arms and put them around her waist. It was sweet, but after 2 hours, I needed some breathing room. I finally got her to sit in her own seat for about 30 minutes. She was fine and we colored for a while. The flight was about 3 hours. The landing was just as bad. We bounced so hard, we came out of our seats. Oh, dear, I am so glad to be safe in Guangzhou.

Oh my goodness, I think I am in love! The White Swan is beautiful. Palm trees, hot humid weather, flowers blooming, a waterfall in my hotel!!!!! Thanks Karla for the room! The first thing Carlton and I said when we walked in was," Thanks Karla." Our room is big and has a view of the Pearl River. At night, it looks kinda like Las Vegas.....lots of colorful lights everywhere...its very pretty. There are lots of boats cruising up and down the river. Lily likes to watch them go by. I am happy to report to all of you waiting to travel that the White Swan has updated their bedding! Its nice, white fluffy down comforters!! We have a king size bed and asked housekeeping to take down the crib. We are not going to use that!! We have lots of room, it is bigger than any other hotel we have been at. (Sorry I complained so much Karla, I really like it here...you were right!) When we got here, I scooped Lily up and took her over to the waterfall and fish pond thats inside the lobby! She totally flipped out. I had to remind myself, my sweet baby, has never left the four walls of her orphanage and had never seen a fish!!! She was scared to death! There is so much for us to teach her. I can't wait to get her home and just experience life for the first time with her!
We went and had supper at Cow and Bridge with our awesome guide, Rebecca, and 2 other families. The food was great, it was Thai food. Lily ate until her little belly poked out! We are now back in our room. I just finished giving Lily a bath. We splashed and had lots of fun. I was trying to get her to give me the washcloth and she yelled, "mama!" I almost cried! She is continuing to jabber in Chinese. I think its the cutest thing, I just wish I knew what she was saying. Her little personality is really starting to show. She is so much like Hannah Grace. She is such a perfect match for "our" family. She is also a very determined little girl. She really does not like for me to do things that requires using your hand. She wants to try and open things herself. Her arm does not hold her back in any way that I can see. Honestly, I have to remind myself that her little hand is not there. She just functions so normally without it. I can see in the future when someone might ask me about it and I will have to think to myself, "Oh, is she really missing her hand?" Its really amazing how she just adapts to everyday things. I also noticed her determination today when we were walking up the stairs in the hotel lobby. Lily can still be a little wobbly when she is climbing stairs (just another thing that she has never done). She saw another girl come walking up the stairs beside her (about her same age) and the little girl was going faster than she was and all of the sudden Lily just took off. She was almost running up the stairs to keep up. She is so determined, nothing is going to stop this little girl. What a spunky spirit! (stubborn like her mama!) Another thing that I want to mention is how sometimes I forget that she is Chinese. I know this is weird and maybe its just me....but every now and then, I will just think that she is my biological daughter. I will start thinking things like, "Oh, she must get that from her daddy, or her toes are just like her mommy's" Its just so amazing, the love is no different that a child that is born from you. I am amazed each day at just how special adoption is!

Well, we are off to get some rest. Tomorrow, Rebecca is taking us shopping. :) I can't wait! Thank you for your comments. I took notes. They were very helpful. I can't wait to get started!

Enjoy the pics,

Lots of love,
aimee

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just a quick update

Thanks for all your encouraging words. I am up early now reading comments and Carlton is sleeping next to that little bundle of love. When he wakes up, I will make sure he reads all these comments. I think it will help him.

Just wanted to write a little about last night...

We got back to our room and we were exhausted. We ordered some dumplings and rice (room service). By the way, it was $4.00. ???? Lily gobbled down about half of our order. I just had to stop her and take the food away. No belly ache as of yet. OK, so anyway...last night, I put her in the bath and made lots of bubbles. (she is amazed at bubbles). She started jabbering like you wouldn't believe. Of course, I had no clue what she was saying. It was all chinese!!!!!!!!!!!! I would imitate her Chinese and she would bust out laughing. Look, I know I am not good at my chinese, but now my own daughter is laughing at me! (the honesty of kids!) So, then, in order for her to get more soap squirted on her hands, I would make her say something. She repeated almost everything I said....she said, "toes, soap, please, mama, baba, wo ai ni, boodie, and the best words of all.....she said, "ROLL TIDE!!!"

Carlton was sitting in the room at the computer while I was giving her a bath and I poked my head out the door and screamed, "Did you hear that????" Well, sweet daddy, was just a cryin'. I said, "what is it?" He told me he was just so happy and so thankful that God had allowed us this amazing opportunity and he loved just hearing us laugh and talk together. I was so happy he said this, because really, I thought he was crying happy tears because she said Roll Tide. :)

Well, I am off to pack up our things.

OK, I am in need of YOUR help. For all you "been there, done that" families....can you please tell me where to shop and what things I should buy??? HELP!!! Please help me!!!! I don't want to forget something!!!

I already have: pearls and cloisonne. Thats really it.

Oh, Lily's head just popped up. gotta go
aimee

Orphanage Visit


Ready for the big day!

The Nanny's love her so much!


She is going home next week. (I cant find your email address!)

Saying goodbye...
d


Buying the air conditioner..for Grace Fellowship

Buying more with leftover money...


Train station where she was abandoned..



MY FAVORITE PIC OF THE DAY!
We are leaving the place where she was abandoned!

A gift from Jincheng City

When God adopts us, sometimes we still grieve for our past....



First off, I want to say that last night I gave Lily a bath and she said, "Mama, Baba, and Wo Ai ni (I love you!)" I did have to bribe her with bubbles to talk but she did it! She reminds me so much of Hannah Grace, just so sweet and timid. (Sorry Noah, I love you too, but you are NOT timid at all!!) She slept well last night. I did too.

This morning we had an early breakfast and heading out at 7:00am. The fog was really, really bad. Like you couldn't see 2 feet in front of you. Under normal circumstances, I would usually go bananas. But, I know I am right where I am supposed to be, and I knew that God would see us through it. About 15 minutes later the fog lifted. Our guide started clapping and the driver made a cross over his heart! Then, I realized just how nervous everyone had been!!! We arrived in Jincheng in about 4 hours. First, we went to the orphanage. The nanny's came running up to Lily. It was really hard, but I handed her over to them. Actually, she jumped out of my arms to go to them. This was not what I expected. I really expected her to cling to me. NOPE. I really feel like this is more like a foster parent transition. Its actually a good thing. She is definately attached to her caregivers. They love her so much. Ok...let me tell you, we were treated like royalty from the time we arrived. When we stepped out of the van, cameras were flashing and there were news media there. Oh my! The head of civil affairs was there to greet us. It was very, very overwhelming. We were taken upstairs to Lily's room and all the kids were waiting on her. I got a lot of video, but I don't feel right about putting it on this public blog. They all sang to her and told her goodbye. She was totally overwhelmed. I know I was. There were about 30 kids in this small room all staring at me!! I saw a little girl there and she is being adopted next week. I am sorry I can't find your email address....so I hope you are reading my blog!!! Then, they took us into her bedroom. I think there were about 20 beds in there. This orphanage is overcrowded and they are going to build a new one soon. Lily laid down on her bed and I tried to pick her up and she cried. Oh, my heart. Finally, I just picked her up and let her cry. The orphanage was really, really clean. And it smelled good too. Then, they took us to a conference room where fruit was waiting on us and some hot tea. They answered all 35 questions I had written out. The media was still flashing thier cameras!! (Ok, for a split second, I imagined I was a movie star that had come to China to adopt!) That thought went away quickly when I thought about our bank account. :) Then, we went outside and walked around the courtyard where the kids play. Do you notice the statue?? It was in some of Lily's pictures that they sent to us. They do not have a playground. I already knew this, because she had no clue how to slide. They said they play with a ball in the courtyard. Next, we were whisked away to go a purchase an air conditioner/heater as a gift from our generous church, Grace Fellowship. I really can't describe how thankful they were. We did get it all on video and we will share it at church in a couple of weeks. After that, we had some money left over and we asked them to take us to a clothing store. They really were shocked. We bought so much stuff for the children. I felt like Santa. We just walked in the store and said, "Pick whatever you like, whatever the children need." We also explained to them who it was from. They were very, very grateful. We left there and they took us back to the orphanage because they wanted us to see the air unit being delivered. We saw it and they installed the unit in Lily's old room. Then, we went to the Finding Spot for Lily. This is the place where her mother abandoned her. It is recorded in her files exactly where she was found. They took us to the spot. It was hard for me. I can't imagine being in her shoes. What she must have felt like.... We took some pictures and lots of video. My favorite picture of the day was taken at the railway station. Lily was abandoned in the waiting room of the train station. Then, she was taken to the police station and they took her to the orphanage. After that, they took us to a very nice hotel and escorted us upstairs to this private room for lunch. We had a fancy, shmancy lunch. It was very traditional Chinese. I am not too sure what I ate today. Pray it stays down OK. It was pretty yummy. LIly didn't eat alot, she was so tired. They did a lot of toasts and we stood up several times to toast our glasses. Carlton did a toast too. We would just be eating and someone would bust out with a toast. It was very neat. The man in charge presented us with a gift from Jincheng City. It was 2 BEAUTIFUL vases made out of porcelain. I promise it looks like is has 14K gold on it. (I should have taken a pic of them) We were stunned. We told them they would be placed on our mantle for everyone to see. Today was definately worth the trip. Lily is grieving hard right now as you can see from the pic. It is breaking my heart, but I know in the long run, this is what is best for her. Its just really hard to watch your baby hurt like this.

The ride home was uneventful and we are in our hotel room now getting our stuff packed up. We leave for Guangzhou tomorrow. And let me tell you....I can 't wait to get there!!!!!!!!!!!

Before I leave, let me post some things that i learned about Lily-
-she is shy
-she likes to clean and to be clean
-she had one caregiver who really loved her (she was bawling today when we left)
-she likes to play by herself
-she likes to play ball
-she likes noodles, rice
-she does not like animals(poor Piper)
-she does not like stuffed animals
-she takes a nap everyday from 1-3
-she has never used a real potty, just a squatty potty
-she likes bananas
-she likes warm milk to drink


She is having nothing to do with Carlton, I mean nothing. Poor Carlton, he is such a lovey daddy and this is so hard on him. He knows its good, we need her to develop an attachment to me first. But, its hard on him. He wants to smooch on her so bad!!! We know this will come with time.

Off to pack, enjoy the pics.

Love you all!!!

aimee