Saturday, June 28, 2008


4 years ago today

Four years ago today our lives were changed forever. Jetty was placed in our arms at the Lottery Hotel in Nanning, Guangxi, China. It was amazing... she looked right into our eyes and it was like we knew each other forever. She always wakes up happy in the morning, loves telling jokes and acting very silly. We are celebrating tonight by watching her video, reading her toddler lifebook, eating at a Chinese restaurant and giving her a gift that we bought for her in China. Last night I pulled out all the gifts and Doug and I decided which would be best to give her this year. We decided on a children's porcelain Chinese tea set in a pretty brocade box.

I found this letter I wrote on our 1 year family day or gotcha day...

One year ago today……
One year ago today our lives changed forever. Our sweet daughter that we had dreamed and prayed for was placed into our arms.
We began the day finishing up paperwork before being united with the babies in the afternoon. It seemed so surreal that the baby we had longed for was finally going to be placed into our arms. As we walked through the lobby of the Majesty Hotel in Nanning to board our bus it was full of other adoptive families with their babies. What a beautiful site to see all of those forever families together. We boarded the bus with the eight other families to journey to the Lottery Hotel to pick up the babies. I think the ride was about fifteen minutes to the hotel but it seemed like an eternity. I felt like I could have jumped out of my skin.
When we reached the hotel and we were boarding the elevator there were other families leaving the floor with their new babies. There was lots of crying, both of babies and new parents. We were told to sit in the seats against the wall as a government official spoke to us from a podium. I never heard a word she said because I was looking at the doorways trying to get a glimpse of the nannies and babies in the hallway.
Finally, the babies were brought in by the nannies and we had to wait for our names to be called. There she was, our little Jin Jie Li. We knew her right away. I had stared at that photo for eight weeks and knew her face by heart. As she was held in her nanny’s arms she was mesmerized by the lights on the ceiling and kept sticking out her little tongue. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and she was our daughter! When our name was called and she was handed to us I felt a sudden calm that I never expected. Our journey was finally coming to an end. Jetty never cried but just looked at us as if to say, “ What took you so long?”. We had our daughter and it felt so perfect.
On the ride back on the bus Jetty Jie Li fell asleep. We just stared at her and I fought the incredible urge to wake her up. At the hotel we placed her in the little metal crib that we had been preparing for her in the room. We all sat around watching her sleep. She woke up a short time later and we all laid on the ground playing with her. Grandma was the first to get a good belly laugh from her that night and Grandpa took lots of pictures.
Now I can’t imagine our life without that laugh and smile. Jetty fills our heart with laughter and we are better people because of her. Each time I walk out in the backyard and find seashells in her familiar hiding places or crayons in the dishwasher I think of her and smile. She has us laughing and smiling more then I ever could have imagined and it feels so good. Jetty Jie Li has turned into a loving, adventurous, curious and joyful toddler. There is no doubt that God chose Jetty to be our daughter and we are so blessed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Worn out

We took the girls to the Springs the other day and it was beautiful and refreshing. Jetty's snorkeling is amazing and cute little Ella insisted on wearing a mask even though she wouldn't put her face in the water. Ella was wiped out on the way home and fell asleep in the mist of eating her sandwich. You can see the sandwich hanging out of her mouth in the picture. What made it even funnier was that when she woke up 40 minutes later she finished chewing and picked up right were she left off.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Little Graduate

Jetty graduated from VPK a couple of weeks ago. I always found the whole cap and gown thing for little kids a little cheesy. When it is your own child it is the cutest thing ever. Jetty was lucky enough to have both Grandmas and Grnadpa there to help celebrate.

I can't believe our little girl is going to start Kindergarten. I was really nervous about the start of Kindergarten and I was contemplating home schooling. Before becoming a parent I thought that we would home school. It turns out that Jetty LOVES school and her friends. It also turns out that Mommy would like the little break and Ella will enjoy the one-on-one time with Daddy and Mommy. The kindergarten orientation was wonderful. It turns out they have the highest reading scores in the county and the fifth highest in the state. I am not for the standardized test and the way schools are rated in this state... I could go on and on. But there was so much excitement about reading in the school and the love the teachers have for the students and making it positive was wonderful. Jetty loves reading and I think it will be a great fit for her first year of Elementary school. It is also nice that we live right behind the school and we are welcome to join her for lunch everyday.

Since Jetty has no school this summer we plan on going to the beach, sailing, kayaking, and spending lots of time with friends.

Here are some photos from her graduation. Sweet little Jetty wants so bad to be tall but as you can tell she is a little peanut.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Sweetie! You are such a wonderful father! The love and patience you show for our girls gives me the warm fuzzies inside. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this journey with me.

Daddy and the girls at the museum and one of the many cardboard creations engineered by Daddy.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Beach

Well it is really the inlet, where the river meets the ocean. It is our favorite little beach.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Apron swap

I joined an apron swap from this great blog. I just finished sewing it and will mail it off tomorrow to my swap buddy. I hope she likes the colors and the bird pocket. I think I might make one for myself but maybe with a cupcake. That is just what we need in this house, more aprons(hehe).

We have another sick doggy in the house. Well, actually she is acting fine but has a horrible hard lump that came up all of a sudden. The antibiotics didn't work so I took her in this morning for surgery. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I had Ella with me and we brought Murphy in the vet and put her in one of the cages in the back room. This is the heartbreaking part...As Ella and I walked out of the building she started screaming, I mean really screaming "My Murphy Now! My Murphy Home!". I tried to explain to her that she had a boo boo and the Dr. was going to fix it and we will bring her home this afternoon. In hindsight, I guess I should have done this before leaving the doggy. She kicked and screamed the whole way home for quite awhile after we were home and finally fell asleep on the couch. It was so sad.

Our other sick doggy apparently has 9 lives. He is doing great and for a few months there he was so bad we almost had him put to sleep. We had to take him off the meds because they were a couple hundred dollars a month and bad side effects. He has made a full recovery which we are very grateful.