Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!

22 inches of snow could only mean one thing in the eyes of children. FUN!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Matthew Turns 4!!!

On December 6th, our little boy turned 4. I am not sure if his birthday was celebrated at the orphanage in China or not, but his face is a clear indication that he was so very excited!!

On each birthday of both my children, I can't help but wonder what their birth mothers could be feeling. Because Matthew and Katie were both abandoned babies and not found with a notes, their birthdays are estimated by the orphanage to be approximately 2 months earlier than the dates they were found. I choose to believe that the weeks between birthday and abandonment dates were nothing but pain and heartache for their birth mothers. The decision to give up thier children is often not a choice, but rather they are victim to China's strict children policies. My heart aches for thier birth mothers who will never know the joy they continually bring me. So on the birthdays of my children, I will always quitely think of these women who loved them enough to carry them for 9 months, hold them in their arms for 2 months and then painfully let them go. (Unthinkable!!) In my heart, I know they are grieving for the children I am joyfully celebrating with.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Follow the Yellow Brick Road!!

Follow, Follow, Follow and you will see...Dorothy and the Scarecrow.

The kids had fun Trick or Treating and you would think that Matthew had been doing this for years they way he was running from house to house in excitement. Their favorite candy was Lollipops and M & M's.

For those who have been following my blog from the beginning, you will recall my post from China where I was referencing the ruby red shoes and clicking and wishing I was home, this was my inspiration for this years costumes.

Click, click, click...there's no place like home.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dentist Visit!!

Big sister Katie showed Matthew what to expect for his very first Dentist visit. Afraid at first, but he sure was a brave little boy and allowed his teeth to be cleaned, but only from a sitting position. We will attempt to take x-rays at the next visit. There are obvious cavities (atleast 4) that will need attention soon. The overall health of his teeth and gums are good and shows that he had good nutrition in the years prior. Katie on the other hand, has previously had extensive work done including the replacement of her two front teeth, which was attributed to her nutrition as an infant. One cavity was also noted for Katie on this visit.

Monday, October 19, 2009

40 Something Birthday!!

Yesterday, I turned 40 something. I demand a recount! Oh, what’s the sense? Numbers don’t lie and nor does the experience I have behind me. Would I go back to 30 something? No Way!! I went through alot to get here and besides my children were not part of my life at 30 something and after all, they complete me. I get to see everything through their young eyes, and THAT KEEPS ME YOUNG! So here’s to you....40 something!!

Oh, by the way, I don’t look a day over 38. So, I’ve been told anyway. That's 8 years credit. I'll take it!!

My sister made dinner ....Filet Mignon and Crab Cakes with all the fix-ins, homemade strawberry cake and a banana cheese pie. Oh, how you spoil me sissy la la.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Katie Update!!

Katie is doing well in Kindergarten, she seems to be excited to share the details of her days with enthusiasm. This week for the first time, she had homework. It went like this….

“I have homework tonight and I would appreciate some peace and quite” !!

(Oh, Okay, excuse me!) (LOL!) She talks 100 miles an hour using hand motions and words like appreciate, unacceptable and outrageous. Suddenly I realize I’m listening to myself…..she is me.

Her adjustment to Matthew has not been as seamless as his adjustment. Sharing our time has not been easy, after all, she was top dog and center of our world for 4 ½ years. She tries really hard not to be jealous, but sometimes ….Well, it goes like this….

Matthew: “ah chew” (sneeze)
Me: “God Bless You Sweetie”
Katie: “Mommy, you know he is just sneezing to get attention"

All in all though, she enjoys her new role as big sister.

Mommy words of wisdom to my Katie......

My Dear Katie Mei, right now your little brother has come and suddenly invaded your happy little world, sharing and touching your "stuff" has not been easy for you and right now, you most enjoy telling on him (LOL), but as you get older, he will become someone to lean on and count on in your life. I am so thankful for you to have the gift of a sibling. I nearly climbed a mountain to bring him home so that you will have each other long after I am gone. Trust me. Love Mommy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Update on Matthew!!

Matthew's adjustment continues to be extraordinary. His integration into our family has been seamless. He continues to be a very happy little boy. His English is incredible and he is already speaking sentences. He rarely uses any Chinese words, except for a few words he knows we continue to understand. Seeing the "first time" things though his eyes is as fulfilling as if he were an infant doing things for the first time. He wakes up very cheery everyday and yells from his room, "Mommy, good molly" (morning)! He has adjusted well to his daycare and happily goes every morning. When I arrive to pick him up, he jumps up and yells to everyone "see you too-mol-low" (tomorrow). We have a deal (or should I say, I bribe him), that if he was a good boy, he gets a tootsie pop. (So far, this bribery is working well for me). Yes, we still have days when Matthew will be naughty, but mostly he is doing things a normal 3 year old boy is doing. Scott and I have created a structured environment and maintain routines and rules that seem to have been key with his adjustment. His constant bubbly personality and smiling face is evidence of his happiness.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Difficult finding time to Blog!!

It's been very difficult to keep my blog up to date. Life has been very busy and since my days start at the wee hour of 5:45 am and don't end until my very active children are both back in bed at 9:00 pm. The next hour is laundry and last minute cleanup before my body refuses to go anymore. (It doesn't matter what my mind tells my body either, the body refuses) After all, I am on an average, 15 years older than most doing this with a 3 and 5 year old.

"God doesn't call those who are equipped, he equips those who answer the call." by Mother Teresa

Dear God, I answered the call, may I have a little more equipment please....thank you! Love Katie and Matthew's mommy.

I'm working on updates, stay tuned................

Pumpkin Picking!

Picking Apples!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Little Girl Is Growing Up!!

My Katie Mei started Kindergarten this week, she is growing up so fast. I am so proud of the little lady she has become. She is sweet, kind and polite and mostly I would have to agree with my Mom's one word of describing her, "elegant". I am so proud to be her mother.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chongqing Girls Reunion!!

A little over 4 years ago we had the pleasure of meeting a couple (Terri and Kevin) that would be traveling with us to China for the same reason we would be going, the adoption of our daughters. Since we were with the same Adoption Agency our babies (Katie and Allie) were referred from the same orphanage in Chongqing, China. That makes our daughters Chongqing orphanage sisters. Our friendship was an instant click and we are blessed to have them as friends. Since we live approximately 2 hours apart, we try to get together 2 times a year.

First picture is Tia, Katie, Allie and Matthew. Bottom picture is Kevin crushing our Chongqing girls. Fun was had by all.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day!!

A Big Sigh!!!! I never looked forward to Labor Day, as it was always the unoffical end to summer. It's hard to believe that Fall is around the corner and my leave of absence from work has come to an end. Another Very Big Sigh!!!!
Unless a heat wave comes rolling in, I would say that these pics will be the last of the pool fun for the year. It's been a spectacular summer!
Pictures above are with cousins Andrew and Ryan. What a good time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fun with old friends!!

Sydney, Spencer & Katie having some Barbie doll fun.

Fun with a new friend!!

New Friends, Matthew and Frankie getting to know each other.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Miss Bobbi and Miss Megan welcome Matthew to pre-school. They were both part of Katie's learning for years prior. Katie and Mommy adore them.
After I left, Matthew had a few tears but quickly recovered and joined in the festivities for the day. He had no problem with communication and I am not surprised because he is speaking quite a bit of English already. Katie enjoyed time with some old friends.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sharing a bench at the pond in our back yard. I promised two lollipops each if they would sit still and smile for more than 20 seconds. (Bribes are necessary and part of life! and for now they are cheap. )

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

Okay, you know that Staples commercial that comes on at the beginning of the school year, and the parent is dancing and flying through the isles in complete joy that it back to school time and the song that's playing is "It's the most wonderful time of the year" well...let's just say it's a good commercial. I have completely enjoyed my time being home with Katie and Matthew , a bit a sibling rivalry going on however, so it will be good for them to start school. Tomorrow they will both start 1/2 days for two weeks at the daycare/pre-school that Katie attended for a few years. She will get to spend some time with some old friends. After the two weeks, Matthew will continue to go there all day and Katie will start all day Kindergarten at a different school. I believe this next transition should be easy for Matthew since he is accustomed to being around many children. Having big sister Katie (a.k.a my little "minnie me") there should also be a plus.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Peek Inside Shanghai Orphanage!!

The following pics were taken with the camera that I sent with Matthew's care package back in June. The camera was returned to us the day we got Matthew. It is a brief peek inside the orphanage. There are also a few pics of the outside of the orphanage which I obtained from the Shanghai adoption group that I belong to. I will forever regret not being able to visit the place Matthew spent the first 3 years of his life. I have been told that Shanghai orphanage is the wealthiest orphanage in China. From the pictures of the outside, it certainly could be true.When I showed Matthew the pictures, he became very excited to see some of his buddies. There seems to be one child in particular that he is pointed out to me several times. I believe this may have been his best buddy. I feel sad for the friends he left behind and hope they are just waiting for their forever family. I will now attempt to make a post on the Shanghai Orphanage yahoo support group and see if he is possibly up for adoption in the US.

All is good with Matthew. He continues to be a happy little boy. He is learning more English words every day. The cutest thing....... Last week was my brother in law's birthday, so when we called to sing Happy Birthday to him, Matthew started whaling out the entire "Happy Birthday" song in English. Word for word, clapping his hands and stomping his feet to the tune. This was absolutely something the children in the orphanage must have learned. Now we tell him everyday it's someones birthday just hear him sing it. (Pat, we didn't forget about your birthday, this is something you have to see in person.)

I took Katie for a pedicure and manicure today so that we could have some Mommy and me time. She just loves doing girly things. We are scheduled for more girlfriend time this week.

Life is good!

Shanghai Orphanage pics

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Week Ago Today!

One week ago today we arrived home with our new son. The feelings and emotions when the plane finally touched down on the runway was so overwhelming. We just survived the journey that seemed like an eternity. I recall thinking how relieved I was to finally be back in America, how excited I was to see my sweet princess, walking through the gate and hearing her scream Mommy would be one of the happiest moments of my life. Seeing our son and our daughter meet face to face was a moment I'd dreamed of for years. Finally, it was a reality.

Matthew continues to bond with us more and more each day. He has showed no signs of looking back. He continues to be a happy little boy who is discovering new things everyday. His sleep schedule is basically good and he has adjusted almost completely to our time. (Can't say the same for me, I have a hard time staying up past 8:00 pm....Yawn Yawn (It's 9:45 pm)!! We did have to convert his daybed back into a crib, he seems to be more content with that at this time. The room he slept in had 21 children, so I was thinking having his own bedroom and sleep time would be an obstacle for us, but I am happy to say, after a few minutes of whining, he goes right to sleep.

He continues to eat good, fruits, vegetables, rice, noodles. I have introduced some American food, but he seems happiest eating food he has been accustomed to. He has very little interest in anything sweet. (Let's see how long that lasts).

The testing of the water seems to have subsided almost entirely. He is no longer being naughty. I believe our biggest obstacle is still the language. He has already learned several words and says them all day in an attempt to communicate with us. (Hi, Bye, How are ya, Hungry, Good boy, etc. etc.) He repeats everything we say. He is like a sponge and will be talking English in no time. He absolutely loves his sister (Kaylia he calls her). Katie on the other hand has had a little bit of a tough time sharing our attention. I will call some of her school friends and have a play date this upcoming week so she can have some "Katie time".

Having two children has certainly been an adjustment for me...(Yawn again!) I think I may need to go back to work soon so I can get some rest. (LOL!) I still have not completely adjusted back to our time.

I have pictures to share, will try to load them tomorrow!

Friday, August 7, 2009

We're Coming Home!

We went to the American Consulate office today, they verified all our information and that we infact have the correct child, stamped his passport with the Visa for entry into United States, we then had an oath swearing ceremony, we had to raise our right hand and swear that all the information we provided for this adoption was correct and truthful. That was it, they said congratulations you are finally done and may leave China. We're coming home!!

No pics today, we were not allowed to take any pictures at the American Consulate, they take all cameras, cell phones and anything electronic from you before you enter.

Tomorrow, we get a flight to Hong Kong, stay overnight and then finally take our flight home arriving at Newark airport. We will arrive Saturday. As soon as we land, Matthew will become an American Citizen. I am not sure if I will have a chance to update again. Hopefully the forecasted typhoon won't cause any delays.

Thank you to everyone in my family and everyone in my husband's family at home who has taken such good care of our daughter (and two cats) over the past 3 weeks. We have been blessed with a very supportive, loving family and couldn't have gotten through this without everyone. We look forward to sharing many happy times together. To Harriett, who spent the past 3 weeks at our home to keep Katie's schedule as normal as possible in our absence, Thank you. Thank you to my niece Judi, for posting my updates to my blog everyday so everyone could follow our journey. Pat, you have listened to me endlessly day in and day out about this adoption for nearly 3 years. Thank you for the daily supportive emails while in China. You are a good friend. To my husband, who stood beside me through this journey, we have been through more than most to complete our family, the past 3 weeks have been trying and joyful. I can't think of anyone I would rather do life with. To my daughter, Katie Mei, you are the most incredible child, thank you for just being you. Seeing life through your eyes convinced me to push forward and take this journey to your brother. Matthew, you don't know it yet, but you have so much awaiting you. Let's go home.

Thank you for following our journey.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Final Approval Received!

Today we got word that the final approval that would determine if we would leave China on time had arrived. What a relief. There had been a mistake discovered at the end of last week. US Consulate had us approved for a girl not a boy. So my adoption agency and my home study agency along with our local Immigration office had to do some pretty quick work to make sure we could leave China as planned.

Since the air conditioning was getting repaired in the wing we were in, they had to move our room. So we packed and moved to another building around the corner. It was a lazy day since it was very rainy. Not too many pictures to share. We did venture out to the Italian restaurant for pizza again tonight. On the way back we witnessed the most disturbing incident. We were walking past one of the local shops and they have a cute white poodle for a pet. This absolute crazy lunatic Chinese man apparently didn't like that the poodle had barked at him and he grabbed this umbrella and started running after the poodle and the poodle, of course, was barking more, so he took the umbrella a slammed him in the nose. UGH, I looked right at him and spoke a foreign language #$%^&<*&^!@#*&^%$@. I know I was taking my chances, but I couldn't hold back. He kept walking thank goodness. Innocent little animal yelped for 3 minutes. I am an animal lover so this really lit my fire.

Only three nights left in China. Not that I would like to wish the days away....but here's to them going by fast. I am so homesick and ready to get back to some simple things that one might take for granted, like ICE!!!! A tall glass of water with ice, brushing my teeth from the facet, not a glass of bottled water or eating a piece of chicken without the head on my plate. (LOL!) Oh, a cup of coffee, I haven't had a cup of coffee in nearly 3 weeks. And most of all, kissing my daughter good night instead of throwing her kisses through SKYPE video.

Matthew continues to be ham everywhere we go. Practicing his English....saying Hi and Hello......Good bye, waving to the locals because he knows it gets their attention. The best though is when we go to the restaurants and calls the waitress over to order food or soda that we have not allowed him to order, so now we ask them...What did he just ask you for? and then tell them, No he can't have that. At the Italian restaurant, we were done eating, and he called the waitress over, we asked her what did he say, she said "he said the pizza was good" ! (Cute, I think he was flirting)

Pictures are right after Matthew's bath, he was being very silly and putting his undies on his head.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chicken Head!

The heat here makes it almost impossible to go out during the day. (around 115 heat index) We do venture out once the sun goes down and it is still near 100 degrees. Humidity is unbearable. We have had the pleasure of joining other families for dinner two nights this weeks. One night was at an Italian restaurant. We had Pizza and Spaghetti with Meat sauce. It was actually very good. And the pizza, hands down was the best I ever had. (Really)

Last night we all ate a Thai food restaurant. I ordered a half chicken thinking that would be safest. So I ate a few pieces and then came across the half HEAD of the chicken with eyeball, beak and all right there on my plate. UGH !!! Are you kidding me... They say that they include the head so that you don't think you are being cheated. Needless to say, I was done eating on the spot. If anything, we all had good laugh about it.


This morning we got a clear TB X-RAY result.

The doctor told him to stand in front of the xray machine as they took several views. He stood there like a champ as we watched through the window. He was such a good boy!