Thursday, December 20, 2012

Can't believe its been 2 months!!!!

Here she is!!
Love this girl!
We are truly in love with this little girl! The Lord has richly blessed our family with her!! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season!!! More to come in a later blog......God Bless You!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Finally Home!!!!
We arrived home Wednesday in Chicago and then had a little gathering at the Bloomington airport that night! Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome home and to all my family and friends for making our return home so memorable! Thank you for the clean house, the welcome home signs, the decorated kitchen with signs, balloons, and banners, the gifts for Monroe, and for the meals we have received so far!!!! It has truly blessed Dan and I so much. We are so grateful to have amazing friends, family, and a church that has provided us so much support through this journey! Here are some photos of our first moments together as a family of 6!!!! It's true what they say.........there's no place like home!!!
Thanks again and we love you!!!

Hayes seeing Monroe for the first time
First Picture with all the kiddos-wearing their China shirts
Love this photo-fell asleep holding hands
First Family Photo-at airport

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leaving for Home!!!
Hey everyone! We are getting ready to board our flight home from Hong Kong. We will be arriving in Chicago Wednesday at 12:30 in the afternoon. We will do a little gathering at the Bloomington Airport at 7:00 p.m Wednesday night. If anything changes, I will update our blog as soon as we land in Chicago!!
Can't wait to see everyone and be home!!!! Love you all!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Precious Photos!
These two spent the first year of their life together at the orphanage. The nanny told us that they were very close at the orphanage and always played together. They are so much alike and seem to really love one another. Their names are even crazier-Qing Yi Ying and Qing Yi Yang. It is so beautiful to see them together and the connection that they share even at such a young age. Who knows how many nights they went through together where all they had were each other. I don't like to think about that. The bond they share is priceless. I can't wait to see all the things these two will do together as they grow up together! God has blessed Monroe with a very special lifelong friend-Lily!!!
Best Friends for Life
Ying Ying and Yang Yang

Oh my! They are too funny

Love these shirts
Love her face
She is so much fun!
Dinner at Lucy's
So sweet
How does she do this?
Family Photo on Island

Today we had our appointment with the Consulate and then went shopping on Shamian Island. Thank you to all the families back home who gave us good tips on places to go on the Island! We really loved it.  It was a beautiful place and we had so much fun. Dan and I have gotten really close to our travel group these past two weeks. We absolutely love these families and their children and plan on getting together again sometime this year. We all live within a day's drive of each other. Gotta Go!!! Packing our bags for Hong Kong-We leave tonight!!! Can't wait to see everyone!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fun at Hotel!
This was our first day with not much on our schedule so we spent a lot of time with our group and having fun at the hotel. Monroe continues to amaze us at how well she is bonding and adapting to Dan and I. Her cleft has been a non-issue from the first day we got her. She eats everything, doesn't drool, never chokes, and is very neat eater-I never even have to wipe up excess food off her face. I was told that cleft palate babies drool all day, choke on very small pieces of food, have food come out their nose-She has had none of these!! Dan and I both agree that we really don't even notice her cleft  anymore. She is funny, smart, outgoing, and always has Dan and I laughing. Our travel group was cracking up last night because she was dancing to the Mexican music at the hotel-Who would have thought she would know what to do when music played!!!

Thanks again to all my family and friends back home that have been wonderful to my kids! I feel so much peace here knowing they are being well taken care of at home. You all are such a blessing to Dan and I. We will be leaving for Hong Kong in 2 days!!! We are almost home and watch out Bloomington/Normal-Monroe Raine Willard is almost home!!!
Dancing to the music

A group of school girls that interviewed me

Monroe and Lily being silly together
Daddy and Monroe getting ready to swim

Swinging for the first time

She stole my lens cap and was laughing

Being peaceful playing with her toy

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Exploring Guangzhou and Medical Exam!

Today we had Monroe's medical exam and spent a couple of hours there meeting other families and listening to their amazing adoption stories. I told Dan how humbling it was to hear about how so many of these families are adopting children with severe medical needs and older children that have lived in foster homes for 10 years! We met a family that was adopting two little boys-one with albinism and delayed development and another with a very serious facial deformity. I just teared up as I saw them walk away as a family and the two little boys had their arms wrapped around there new mom and dad. There was also a family there adopting 2 older children. One of them came up to Dan and asked him to take his picture. You could see the excitement in his eyes that he loved his new family.  His mom said he lived in 3 different foster homes throughout his 12 years of life. I wish you could have seen his face when he looked at his mom-holding her hand while waiting for their appointment. Precious. Amazing stories and some amazing families that totally brought tears to both Dan and I as we walked away.  The best part is that they are nearly all Christian families.  It's awesome to see the church working like this.

Monroe's exam went really well. She weighs about 6.6 kilograms which is equivalent to about 14 pounds(with her clothes on). This is the same weight that she supposedly was three months ago! We are not sure how this is possible with the way she eats. One thing we know for sure-She is small but mighty!!

She did break out in a rash and all the doctors were looking at her trying to figure out what the bumps were. They were all talking so fast in Chinese and talking to our guide. Our guide said they didn't know what it was from, but was wondering if I fed her anything different. I was afraid to tell them she ate a large french fry from McDonalds, tons of puffs, a muffin, and Dan even gave her some chocolate!! I guess we better stick to rice congee and noodles for her!

We are loving Guangzhou, but miss home greatly.  Can't wait to get back. We love you Quinn, Ridge, and Hayes!! We can't wait to give you a huge kiss when we see you at the airport. It's almost here!!

Love you all!
Getting checked out
Danny sees something at the market he likes
Chinese Mountain Dew!!!!!!!!!
Trying to stand
Drama Queen
She is so flexible
Dinner with our group
Loves to eat!
She smiles all the time-goofy girl
She is the life of the party!
Love her

Friday, October 19, 2012

Arriving In Guangzhou!!!

Today is my birthday and I couldn't have asked for a more exciting birthday-Our plane landed in tropical 88 degree beautiful weather at a beautiful hotel (with a STARBUCKS!) with a new baby in my arms! This birthday is going to be tough to beat! We had to take an hour bus ride to the airport, a flight with a layover to another flight and then another long bus ride to our hotel! Dan and I realized when we got on the flight we had lost her special bottle and so we had to travel all day with her having no bottle. So instead she ate a whole thing of large fries, yogurt puffs, and wheat puffs and drank water our of the cap of a water bottle (she was very tolerant of our mistake)-Our group just laughs at us and how adaptable she is! It was so nice when we got to the hotel and the rest of the travel groups were here to meet us!! We have a wonderful group and everyone has the neatest stories about their adoptions- We even have a pastor and his wife in our group who brought their 2 children (Taylor 21 and Torri 19) They are adopting a little boy with a deformed leg that may have to be amputated and a cleft hand.  I love meeting people like this family who answered the call of God on their life to rescue this sweet boy even when it didn't fit into their schedule of life.  Brings me to tears whenever I see him with his new family!! Hope all is well back home! We love Guangzhou but miss our kids and home so much!!! Better go now-going to get Monroe in her swimsuit and take a dip in the pool now!!! Love everyone!!!!!

Our Gansu travel group with our two guides as we depart for Guangzhou!

No more photo shoots Mom . . . I'm tired!

Monroe and Melody (one of our travel guides)

Coming home soon!