No words needed.....

There were no words needed between s.t. (sweet thing) and I those first couple days in China. It was as if we were one. He would fetch lunch, and most often dinner too while I stayed back at the room with the babies. We didn't take many meals outside the confines of our protective compound. it was too much work! We traveled to China as two. And we returned home a family of four. I remember us watching Florida play in the play-offs in our room while feeding the babies and feeling happier than I've ever been in my life. Oh sure I was exhausted, but believe it or not I would get up every morning at 5:00am so that I could shower and have a cup of hot tea before the girls woke up. We had decided long before travel plans that we would make the trip solo. Sure we got a lot of slack for it, but frankly we didn't care. We knew we could do this. This was going to be our experience, and ours only. Not that we didn't want to share the girls, but we knew once we returned home it would be nearly impossible keeping the masses at bay. They were all anxiously waiting our arrival to see our perfectly beautiful, healthy babies. We couldn't hold the "mil" though. She would be standing on our door step nearly three weeks later! And s.t. would travel out of town two weeks after her departure on a business trip to Las Vegas. Hmm, business trip? *snort* Right. I mean it was like a circus at our house back in the early days home. Door bell ringing, babies crying, packages being delivered, babies crying, phone ringing, babies crying... did I mention babies crying? All. The. Time. Maybe he needed a little rest. Poor baby. We were (when I think back) walking zombies the first year. We both went back to work within a week of returning from China. I know, crazy! But we also had the girls on our schedule too. Not for the weak at heart. Anyway, my sister (one of 3) would fly in to help with the babies while s.t was gone. She was so helpful with the babies too. Of course she is a natural. She could make Mr. Grinch smile. She just has a way about her.

Her are some pictures up until the girls were about 1.5 years old. S.T. absolutely hated any of the pictures with the bows. He thought they were the most ridiculous thing he'd ever seen! What he didn't know and the reason I made the girls wear them (they too hated them) was I had given my right kidney for those damn ugly things! I needed to have my head examined I don't know why I bought into it, I am so not a "bow" person. Oh, I'm girly and all, but "uptown" girly. Well, use to. sorta. Enjoy.
Pictures of girls sleeping is righ after I gave the babies too much cough syrup! I thought I had killed them...they were out cold within seconds.

Forever and ever..... March 28, 2006

After what I thought would be the longest plane ride of my life we landed in China. Fin-ally! The ride home would be by far the longest. Evv-eer. It was March 28th just after midnight. We were scheduled to arrive the day before, but discovered while waiting in the lounge at the Beijing airport that there had been a flight change. That day. A five hour delay! When we fianlly arrived in Nannig to our suprise our guide was still waiting for us. And even in the late hour wearing a smile and waiving the big agency banner.(little did we know how big his tip was going to be!) He quickly loaded our luggage in the car and after a really long ride we arrived at our hotel where we were greeted by an oh-to gracious staff. They rolled out the red carpet as if we were Brad and Angelina! We were a little slap happy at this point and thought it was all really sweet. We had been up over 36 hours. But nothing could have prepared me for what I would experience minutes later. The bellman wheeled our luggage up and we carefully inspected our suite as he brought everything in. It was beautiful. Of course at that hour of the morning a card board box would have been inviting. But as I walked into our bedroom I nearly dropped to my knees. There set up next to our bed were two tiny little blue cribs. I was racked with emotion. I gazed upon their tiny little cribs and cried. It occurred to me at that moment that we really were going to be parent's. Dh by this point could barely keep his eyes open. He was beyond exhausted. While I unpacked he fell into bed. I couldn't have slept if I wanted to. I was in over drive. I carefully unpacked the babies things smelling everything to make sure it still smelled fresh. Planning out what I would put on them in just hours. I prepared the gift bags we would give to the officials the next day. Then fretted that we hadn't brought enough stuff even though they were overflowing!

Our guide scheduled a driver to deliver us to the Civil Affairs Office later that day. Daddy and I were anxiously awaiting your arrival. We were nervous. Pacing. Jumpy. Anxious. No words were needed. You had just arrived from a long hot bus ride with your nannies. They ushered your into a "holding" room while they finalized paperwork with the officials. I had rehearsed this moment in my mind--100 times, no a million times over. What would you feel when you looked into my eyes? Would I be overcome with joy? Would I know you? What would you smell like? Would you look the same? Would you cry? Would you embrace me as your mommy? I was beyond nervous. I could barely whisper anything audible. Speechless. The room was spinning. I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to see you. I snuck down the hall and peeked my head in the room where you were. Oh. My. G-d. You were more beautiful than I imagined. You were both sleeping. I couldn't wait to get my hands on you and smother you with sweet sweet kisses.

Then suddenly there you were. Both of you. In my arms. There was a ton of commotion. I let out a gasp when they handed you to me. First Abbey and then Katie. And right on que you both took one look at me and started crying. It didn't matter though. When I looked into your beautiful black eyes my heart nearly melted. Yes, you were born in China, but you grew in my heart a very long time ago. You took my breath away. I was crying. Tears streaming down my cheeks. I looked at your daddy and smiled, as if to say "they're ours, all ours". I had waited for this moment for so long and now you were mine.

As I sit here watching you play together today my heart is full. I couldn't imagine my life without you. You were my beginning. I love you today and always.
I love you both with all my heart.


Bringing my babies home............

I peered out the window this morning, and and as I eyed the big black limo slowly creeping down the street my mind reeled back to a time just two years ago. It was nearly 4:00am. Dh always had the same driver (he traveled the world extenstesivley before the girls-and yes he had a driver) so it was no surprise that Carlos would arrive on time even considering the early hour. Within minutes we would be crawling into the back seat of his warm sedan. Today (two years ago) at 6:05am we would board a plane for China . We were finally bringing our babies home.

I remember the day that changed my world. I can still see the image of that precious child running, skipping and giggling as if it were yesterday. I was having lunch with a friend when suddenly my eyes were gazing intently into the eyes of the most beautiful Chinese child I had ever seen. I was taken by her beauty. My eyes followed her every move. I couldn't get enough of her. She was adorable. Skipping. Singing. Twirling. I couldn't peel my eyes off of her. I realized I too was being scrutinized. As I casually looked up to see who was keeping a watchful eye on me I discovered it was her mother. She too was quite stunning AND she was my age! She smiled politely but before I could blast her with some of the naive questions I wanted to ask, she vanished. I couldn't shake the image of the child. My heart ached desperatly for a child. I went home and without discussing it with dh I started researching adoption. I spent all my free time on the internet and at the library. AND I went to an adoption seminar. All before breathing a word of it to him. I kept it to myself as I was not ready to admit my body had stopped working. I was ashamed. I didn't want to disappoint my dh. True to form for me I wanted to enter into this with my eyes wide open. I was( I say was because things changed...) very much a "black and white" kind of gal. Much to my chagrin I wear "gray" well.... What no one prepared me for was that I would find my heart in China.

As our driver dropped us off in front of the airport I remembe walking into the airport and sighing. This. was. what. we. had. waited. for. I stood there in the airport and a tear fell. This was real. We were bringing our babies home. In barely 48 hours 3 planes later and numerous first class lounges I would be holding my babies in my arms. I didn't know what to expect but what I did know I was going to be a mommy. At last. To be continued.......

Aliese, Anna & Gracie

My beautiful nieces, sister and Mother came out this weekend to spend Easter with us before heading off to Disneyland for the week. It was so fun to see them, even if we only got them for the day. Here are some pictures I took of my sweet nieces, Aliese, Anna and Gracie.

Daddy's got a. .......

Comedy Central you've been given notice. My girls are funnier than you! Bwahahaha. It's no secret nothing (I mean NOTHING) in our house is off limits regarding conversation. We yap about everything. But last night at dinner Katie had s.c.'s and I in stitches. The little people are talking... IN FULL SENTENCES. Remind me to buy more duct tape.... It's comedy central around here. And the admission is FREE!

Katie: "Daddy's got a little one"! Giggling and pointing......

Me: "Umm, what honey" trying not to choke? Yes, she does shower with daddy, but she has nothing to compare it to..... regarding size that it.....yet!

Katie: "Mommy's got a bit one"! Giggling and pointing.....

Me: "Mommy has a big what"? Thinking surely she doesn't mean my shapely rear...insert hysterical laughter.

Katie: pointing at daddy's glass and then mommy's glass... "daddy's is little and mommy's is bigger".

Me and S.C. "yeah, that's what she meant,"! Daddy's glass was almost empty and mine was full.....

How To Dance In The Rain

I haven't felt like blogging lately. I check in on some of you but I've been adjusting to my new schedule and enjoying my family time. As I sit here days away from what we will be forever called our "Family Day" I have so much to be thankful for. I had an epiphany while driving back from Ohio a couple of weeks ago and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I'll share later. But in the mean time I wanted to share this beautiful story with you that someone shared with me. I have a neighbor who we fondly call "Papa Jack" who reminds me of the man in this story. He and his wife (both very active and such an attractive couple) are the cutest and sweetest couple I've ever met. He is a retiree who had one of those "big" positions with a big fat title. Traveled the world...still does. But he's so not that. Lorraine who has had to have knee and a hip replacement surgery always manages to have a smile on her face. And if you ask her how she is doing you will never hear her utter a negative word! Papa Jack is so attentive o her needs. But he is a pistol and my girls adore him. If he is out playing golf with his buddies (which is often I hear) and sees the girls out walking he will stop his game and come over to see the little ones. He has to or else the girls continue to chant "Papa Jack, Papa Jack". Not good for the swing. Insert: big grin. And Katie who has always been more cautious with strangers will barge right in to their home to see Grandma Lorraine. They both have a way about them. So natural. So loving. I hope to have what they have someday. Their sincere tenderness for one another is touching. I really admire their relationship.

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's,arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?"He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life."True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

Kate Smiling

My sister Amy wanted to see some pictures of Kate smiling, so here they are! I actually took these the other day and forgot about them. The first pic is of her real smile and the second pic is when she is fake smiling. I love both of her smiles. = )

I am wondering if I will ever get better. I feel like I start to get better and then I'll get a horrible night's sleep with a child waking up all night and I get worse all over again. When Tanner and Kate actually are asleep and I'm tired, I still lie there awake with anxiety that they're going to wake up any minute. Then I get stressed that I can't fall asleep. By the time I actually start to fall asleep....a kid wakes up. It's a great cycle. I had to remind myself at 5 am when I was rocking Kate and she was lying on my chest, that this won't last forever and someday I will miss it.

Tanner said something really cute this morning. It was about 6:45am and the three of us were on the couch watching Tanner's "Giada". I must have looked unhappy, because Tanner leans over to me and says, "It's okay Mom. Heabenly Fader make you feel better. He coming someday. It's a long time away, but He's coming." Then he started rubbing my arm and said, "Does that feel good?" He is so sweet.