Tuesday, December 31, 2013


So before I get back to China, we had the weirdest moment happen this past weekend...

And turns out, I really didnt need to worry about Willow... she started speaking, out of the blue, yall!, in complete sentences... so apparently, its just her personality to be quiet and not talk much, but she is taking it all in, it seems...

Anyway, as we were getting ready to leave the house on Saturday, I took Wallace to go potty and we just left the door open and Willow walked by... and she said "Shi-Wing go potty" and my head snapped around because surely she did not just say what I thought she said, and then she repeated it "Shi-Wing go potty"

Wait a minute.


She has never in her life heard anyone call Wallace by his Chinese name (which is Shi-Wing).... and in fact, she loves to boss Wallace around by his English name of Wallace - its one of her favorite words.

So I have no idea where she got it from or why she said it at that time (instead of Wallace) - and she said it very clearly, two times in a row...

Thats just a little bit weird, right?


I cant believe this year is almost over.... craziness!

Daniel and I were marveling yesterday at how fast its gone and how much has happened in just a year... to put it in perspective, we were just sending our dossier to China at this point last year... and now Willow is here and it feels like she has always been here...

We are really going to try to make 2014 simplified and intentional.... we will see how long that lasts... hope yall all have a great New Years Eve and New Years Day!  Thanks for hanging in there with us.

Monday, December 23, 2013


I just realized this morning I really havent told you much about China... my brain gets so forgetful most days... :)

You will have to wait on pics though - they are on my laptop, so just the stories for now will have to do.

China was so amazing and beautiful.... we loved it.  I wish I could go back and visit (and Hong Kong too!) at least once a year, but then Daniel and I love traveling - we just like walking around, watching people and experiencing the culture first hand.  So amazing.

Anyway, I wanted to remember this story before I forgot it forever... :)

When we left for our trip, we went to Beijing first - they like for you to ahead and do the touristy stuff before you have your child so you can actually enjoy it and experience some of the Chinese culture... while in Beijing, we ate at a little authentic noodle shop (so good!), went to the Great Wall and Tienamen Square.... after that, we spent 5 days in Nanning, which is the capital city of the province that Willow was from, and then after that, we spent a week in Guangzhou for all the official paperwork and such.

I think we loved Nanning the best... it was mostly just me and Daniel and Willow... we ate breakfast every morning at the hotel, then walked around (there were two malls and a walmart within walking distance), back to the hotel where we had ramen for lunch, then willow and I would take a nap, then more walking around, and then maybe some KFC in the room for dinner and then a movie on tv, bath and bedtime.... it was such a sweet time that I know both Daniel and I will treasure.

Anyway.... :)

When we were leaving Nanning to go to Guangzhou, we met up with the 2 other couples who had adopted in our province and we got to chatting in the airport as we waited for our flight... we got to see how everyone was doing.  One of the couples had adopted a little 12 month old boy who had a cleft lip and poor thing, he was just grieving, he had been crying for 3 days straight... the other little girl was also a cleft lip but boy was she spunky and all over the place... and then there was willow - just sitting nice and quiet in the chair... she made us look good, I tell ya!

Anyway... we were all sitting there chatting, waiting on the plane in this tiny airport... and there was a guy who looked to be in his 20s sitting next to all of us... after awhile, he just got up and left and we wondered if he was maybe offended by the kids moving around and being kids... but he returned about 5 minutes later - with a kids yogurt drink - he gave it to us and told us it was for the babies.  Yall!  It was the sweetest thing.... especially in a culture where orphans (especially ones with visible disabilities like cleft) are discarded and usually thought of as a curse.  (just for the record, we did make sure it was still sealed and untampered with).... and it was even more of a blessing than we knew, because shortly after he gave it to us, we found out our plane would be delayed for an hour - which meant that we would be in the super crowded airport without having anything to eat or drink for 3-4 hours, which makes for some cranky kids.... So yeah, that guy was such a blessing to some tired, worn out parents who really needed just a bit of kindness... :)

We did later get the kids something to eat... but that is a whole other (very funny) story... :)

In case I dont blog again before then... hope everyone has a great Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Guess what day it is?


I guess I need to start writing more because my thoughts get all jumbled up and I can never remember what I want to write about or what I have written about... so forgive the rambling.

Anyway... still taking Willow to daycare and every day that I pick her up, they say she had a great day... she is no longer crying when we get there, but she doesnt really want to go in either... I guess its all still new.  I dont know if the 2 week Christmas break at home will help or hurt her progress at daycare.

Her teacher asked me yesterday if we played outside much because she is so scared of the playground and will not play at all.  Did I tell yall that Willow had never been on a playground before she was with us - she had no idea what do or how to play.  I physically had to pick her up - kicking and screaming - and put her on a small slide... and she thought it was fun.... same thing with a swing, or even climbing up a small ladder... she has no idea... so I was not surprised at what the teacher said.... of course, Daniel and I are those mean, mean parents who make our kids do things.

We did the same thing to Wallace too.... I physically dragged him all through the McDonalds playground every single time we went there (which admittedly was not a whole lot) until he started doing it on his own.... he would go limp noodle, and kick and scream and cry because he didnt want to do it.... but we made him do it anyway - because we knew it was the best thing for him.... and now, he climbs as high as he can go with no fear.

So we do the same thing to/for Willow.... and she is one of the best/loudest fit-throwers Ive ever met.... so yeah, we get lots of dirty looks because it seems we are torturing our children.... but really, we know its the best thing for her.... her first reaction with anything new (trying ice cream closing the car door, getting her temp taken, etc) - is to have an out and out fit - kicking and screaming and going limp on the floor.... trying ice cream yall!

She will get there though.... and hopefully wont hate us when she is older... :)

Otherwise in our house...

Its almost Christmas break - Friday is the last day for Daniel and the kids at school and then they are off for two weeks.... so Im sure that will be fun.

Emma is still in cheer and we just went to a competition in Birmingham - and their team got 1st place.... we were so proud.  She really puts alot of hard work into it.

Gabe and Wallace mostly just hang out and watch tv.... we are cool with that (homework and chores have to be done before tv)

Daniel and I have really been thinking about this year and how busy its been and we are hoping to slow things down a little next year.... and just simplify.... I hope we are able to make that happen.

So tell me whats going on with you lately...

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I know I said I was going to post more... but honestly, Im struggling a bit with this blog.  There is alot I want to really talk about and dig into, but feel because there are some specific people reading this blog, I cant go into it... which makes me feel bad because I cant be honest and I have to keep things bottled in.... blech.

But Willow is doing better at daycare - she goes in with no crying and her teacher tells me every day that she had a great day... and she is even happy to see me when I pick her up now.

She still is not using hardly any english at all... she will copy the kids when they tell her a word, but she barely uses any english and will just talk to us in chinese.... she does have a really cute pronunciation though when she does use english words.  Although we may have some speech therapy in our future - she drops the last sound off every word, which is very typical for Chinese speakers, but it will make her harder to understand in the future so we try to work on it.

She is doing great, but honestly, she is about the laziest child Ive ever met - she has no motivation to do anything - and if you try to get her to do anything she will throw a fit and a tantrum... I mean like little things like push the car door closed or take her seatbelt off or hang her coat up - all things that she is perfectly capable of doing and has done before... so that becomes frustrating because she causes alot of extra work for everyone else... plus, listening to someone cry/scream for 20 minutes over nothing wears a bit on every one's nerves.  And most of the time, she just refuses to learn anything you want to teach her - we will go over and over and over and over (usually spending 20-60 minutes on something as simple as turning on the light switch) and she just refuses to learn how to do it and throws a fit... and then after about an hour of going over it and over it and over it, she finally may accidentally get it and she sees it work - that she could actually turn the light off and on without having to wait on someone else, and then she does it fine.

I know that probably sounds cute and like a typical 2 year old, but yeah, you can think that until youve actually heard a child screaming for 20 minutes at full volume, stomping their feet - because you are putting your hand over theirs to turn on the light.... and then it all of a sudden just stops

Otherwise, we are doing really well... the kids especially love her and I think she has brought alot of healing to our family and we are very thankful for that.

Besides that, we are just trying to stay warm and spend time together - thankfully this week hasnt been overwhelmingly busy, but next week looks like it wants to...

Hope yall are having a great Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Willow's teacher said she quit crying about 2 minutes after I left yesterday morning and from then on had a great day.

I was expecting her to be a little bit happy when I went to pick her up in the afternoon, but she really didnt want me... so yeah, that kind of hurt my feelings, but I guess it is what it is.

She cried again this morning... but her daddy is picking her up this afternoon, and Im sure she will be excited to see him.

Not too much else going on with us right now, still trying to get back into the normal routine...

Monday, December 2, 2013


Ok, trying to get into a routine again and I will be trying to post alot more regularly now...

China was great, and Daniel and I loved it - we love traveling and getting off the beaten path and just enjoying the culture, so that was really fun... we did really miss Gabe, Emma and Wallace though - and we hope that when they are older, we can all return to China and Hong Kong - they are such beautiful places.

Willow is doing well and seems to be bonding with all of us.... the kids especially adore her, even Gabe, who is his mama's son and very much an introvert, so thats a bit of a small miracle.  Even Wallace has found a playmate in her.  She has brought much needed healing to our family and we are so, so thankful and feel so blessed.

This morning was not a good morning for Willow though...

Today was her first day of daycare... and she was not having it!  At all!

Daniel took her there a couple days last week to visit and get used to the place and what was happening and especially her teacher.... and when I took her in this morning, she knew where she was and she didnt like it.

She threw a fit, stomped her feet, layed out on the floor and just cried... and cried... and cried.

I felt bad for her teacher, but we both knew today would be hard, and we love her teacher and she is amazing and great with kids (Emma had her too).... so hopefully by the end of the week, she will start getting into the groove of things.

She doesnt like change at all, but once she realizes that its ok, she usually settles down and starts going with the flow.

Hopefully she will like me again when I go pick her up this afternoon... :)

Anyone still reading?  Anyone have any questions?