Sunday, December 25, 2011

Little Mama

Hannah pretty much never wants to go to bed, and always pouts, "But I'm not sleepy!"
When she said this Christmas night, I reminded her
that it doesn't matter if she's sleepy or not. It is bed time,
so she can lay in bed not sleeping, or fall asleep. Her choice.

But tonight after my usual speech while brushing Hannah's teeth... I had an idea!
"Hannah, now that you have a baby to take care of,
you need to dress your baby in her jammies,
give her a bottle, and and tuck her in bed."
Hannah's eyes lit up and she scampered off to her bedroom.

little mama 2

I offered her baby doll Hello Kitty jammies so she'd match Hannah.
Together we dressed the baby doll, Hannah found the bottle,
and laid baby down in bed with her.
"Look, Hannah. The good bottle made your baby sleepy. She's closed her eyes."

little mama 1

Hannah loved watching her baby's eyes open and shut!

little mama 3

We tucked baby doll lovingly in bed next to Hannah's bed.
I told Hannah that the first night that she was with us in Taiwan,
she didn't sleep very well. I described how I would pat
baby Hannah's back when she cried, tell her softly that I loved her
and that she was okay, and baby Hannah would go back to sleep.

little mama 3

I watched Hannah patted her baby doll lovingly.
I got teary-eyed as I turned off the lights and said,
"Night night. I love you. Wo ai ni."

In other news... Hannah's not wearing pull-ups at bedtime anymore!
She's been consistently dry every morning
as long as we make her go peepee right before bedtime.

Christmas Day 2011

I was warm and wrapped up like a burrito in my bed this morning at 9:30am.
My eyes were closed.
I heard little feet scamper to my bedroom door and opened it up wide.
"Mama? Mama? Can we go check if Santa brought us presents?"




Santa came, and he brought the requested "baby doll with no hair."



Hannah ripped through her presents quickly, but went right back
to take care of her baby doll with no hair. She needed several
wardrobe and diaper changes until little mama was satisfied.


Santa didn't put anything in Sedona's stocking, and Hannah noticed right off.
Whoops! I think Santa was sleepy and forgot to take care of Sedona's stocking.



And she was certainly pleased.


Santa brought Hudson a train table with a note for Hannah.
Hannah is supposed to have Daddy help put it together and play with it.
When Hudson comes home, Hannah can show Hudson how it works.




The best gift we ever received.
Feeling exceedingly blessed.
Merry Christmas, friends!

Redirect: Christmas Miracle

On Christmas Eve, Marijane learns that her siblings have been found. A sister writes that she is excited to reunite when Marijane travels to Taiwan in just a few weeks.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Silly the Elf meets Ballerina Barbie

silly elf

Silly the Elf meets Ballerina Barbie... and they spent
the rest of the night together with a bottle of wine.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa came early this year

Santa came early this year and delivered two new photos of Hudson. Thank you. That's all I wanted for Christmas. He's so cute... and getting so big. I'm going to have to step up the weight training to be able to lug around this guy and Hannah!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

gingerbread house construction gone wrong


We brought a gingerbread house kit to Nana and Papa's Sunday night.
I did one last year with Hannah and she loved it. I briefly read the instructions.


I laughed when Papa suggested putting it together with a glue gun.
"You see, Papa... that's what this thick icing is for."


We started having a little trouble. The roof began to slide off.
Hannah patched the hole with more candies.


Then... the roof fell off. Oh no!


Papa says our house looks like a bank repo.
Uh... apparently I missed the part in the directions where you're supposed to
let the house sit for 30 minutes after putting it together before you decorate it.
That thick icing didn't have time to harden before the candy went on the roof.


I think we'll use hot glue next year.

Photo credits on this post go to Nana and Papa.

Friday, December 16, 2011

four years of visiting Santa

Hannah and Taiwanese Santa 2008
Christmas 2008 - Tainan, Taiwan

Christmas 2009 - Indiana

Christmas 2010 - Indiana

Christmas 2011 - Indiana

little sweeties making Christmas cookies


Hannah and I spent the day yesterday with Allie and Hannah.
The little girls made Christmas ornaments, decorated Christmas cards
with foam stickers, and someone cut their hair or a doll's hair.
I thought it was a doll's black hair, but after closely examining Hannah's head tonight,
I have a feeling that Hannah may have given herself another trim while at Allie's house.


Of course, they were most excited about decorating Christmas cookies.


I think Miss Lora really gets a kick out of...


watching my daughter shove sprinkles into her mouth.
I'm surprised that Lora hasn't offered her a shovel yet.
If Hannah asked for a sprinkle shovel, I'm sure Lora would find one for her.


That's okay. Allie had a little trouble getting the frosting to come out fast enough.


This photo made my day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hudson's first birthday

Tonight we celebrated

a little guy in Taiwan.

We know our photos and developmental milestone info about you is so out of date now.
You may have taken your first steps. We wish we knew your fist words.
Favorite foods. What toys make you laugh out loud.

We can't be with you today, but we celebrated with
homemade cupcakes baked made my Grandma and Hannah,
decorated with entirely too many sprinkles by Hannah... of course.

I hope you had a tummy Taiwanese bakery cake topped with beautiful fresh fruits.
I hope your foster family sang to you and made this a special day for you.
I hope you feel loved, because you are.

We have a name for you. Hudson Ray {Chinese Name} {our family name}.

Friday, December 9, 2011

letting go of things beyond my control

When we arrived at the Secretary of State's office yesterday, I pulled out our documents one by one from our adoption agency, checking off my list to make sure everything we needed was being authenticated. I had kept everything together inside a huge envelope to make sure I wouldn't loose anything. I freaked out when I discovered that we were missing three kinds of documents to authenticate from our adoption agency. We went ahead and authenticated everything we had for them to do. The staff was so nice to me and reassured that it would be fine. I should just FedEx/UPS them back to them, including a prepaid mailer, and they would authenticate them same day, so I'd have them back in 1-2 days. I even showed the staff a photo of Hannah and retold the story about Hannah exclaiming "I want to do the gold stickers!!!!" The staffer thought that was so funny that she slipped me a gold seal to give to Hannah. So sweet! She showed me several photos and Christmas cards that international adoptive families send to the Secretary of State's office, and she said that authenticating our documents was one of their favorite things to do, because they felt a part of bringing families together. I got all choked up, and decided that would be sending a Christmas card to the Indiana Secretary of State's office this year.

I had forgotten that our state doesn't charge for authentications. I was remembering how much a friend in Nevada had paid for hers... in the thousands of dollars perhaps! The staffer told me that our state is the only state that doesn't have a fee for the service. Thank you, Indiana!

Hannah and Grandma with a gold sticker

After leaving the government center I called the adoption agency. No answer. This is not good. IDEA! I know someone who mentioned that they had their private cell phone number! Phoned a friend, got the hook up for the cell number, called agency rep, and agency took care of overnighting the missing documents to us. Kevin FedExed them today to the Secretary of State's office, and we should have them back on Tuesday to overnight to TECO, arriving in Chicago on Wednesday. I was a little frustrated by this delay and hate the idea of lil' dude waiting on us, but over all I'm feeling good about letting go of things beyond my control. I can only do so much. Most of this adoption process is out of my hands, and all I can do is wait. And pray. And eat chocolate. And go power walk three miles on the treadmill to work off remaining frustrations.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

gold stickers

Tonight while getting Hannah ready for bed I explained that we're going on a trip tomorrow. We're going to a Taiwanese restaurant for boba tea and yummy beef and noodle soup. After lunch we'll go to an office to get some gold stickers on our adoption papers that we'll send to Taiwan to help bring home your baby brother.

Hannah's reply, "I want to do the gold stickers!!!!!!"

Cracks me up! I have a feeling we'll be looking for a sticker store to buy gold stickers tomorrow. Love that girl!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 5, 2011

Approved! Finally!!!

We learned last Friday evening December 2nd that our adoption facilitator in Taiwan has approved our referral match, and now we can proceed with the adoption. It took exactly three months for this approval, obviously way longer than we ever expected. We were asked some questions in our adoption application, and poured out our hearts in the answers. Thankfully, we can proceed now. I learned tonight that our contracts have arrived from Taiwan. We hope to have them in our hands next week so we can travel to the Secretary of State's office and then send them off to TECO for authentication.

We've had a stomach bug making the rounds in our house this past week. Not fun. Grandma and Grandpa are visiting with us from Florida. Hannah loves it that she gets to share a room with Kevin's mom. They snuggle together under the covers and read books with a flashlight. Hannah NEVER asks to go to bed, but the first night Grandma was here she told us she was "just a little sleepy" and needed to go to bed with Grandma to start the slumber party fun. Love that girl!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone