27 April, 2013

Celebrating Ian

Yesterday morning Mae woke up and knew it was her brother's birthday... she got busy making a very special birthday party in our playroom.  She loves her brother already... and this girl also loves birthdays.  She sang "happy birthday to you" all day long yesterday. It was our little soundtrack to the day.

I'm not going to lie, yesterday was especially hard. I did cry several times and I just feel so emotionally drained.

I would have made Ian's birthday cake but I honestly didn't think I could do it without getting upset... I had my precious sister-in-law come with me to target to get him one.  We picked a cookie cake and asked if they would write on it for us.  The men behind the counter looked a bit scared and I heard one of them say he'd only done it 3 times before.  Well don't you know my spunky sis jumped at the chance to do it!  It was fun to be behind the counter and having her do it made it that much more special.

 Here we all are together!! Cody's brother Aaron, Verena, Rylee and Skyler.  My family rocks!  

 Mae loves her cousins and they love her. 

26 April, 2013

Happy Birthday Ian!!!

Today our precious son turns 2 years old. It is unbelievable how much you can love someone you've never met. This child has captivated my heart. It is KILLING me to have him half-way around the world and not in my arms. We don't know if he even knew today was any different. I don't know if one of his nannies knew to celebrate his precious 2 years of life today. (China is 12 hours ahead of us, so for him his birthday was happening while we were asleep last night). In China, I've heard that birthdays are not really celebrated... but our boy is certainly celebrated!! Yesterday we went to Sims Lake Park with my friends Melica and Shea and their children and ate birthday cupcakes and sang "happy birthday" to Ian.

If you've read our adoption story, you know it all started one day while I was out shopping and met this beautiful woman.  Melica was a stranger that day that started sharing her story of her amazing girls adopted from China. God used her to plant a seed and now look!!!

 Melica, Lily and Grace.  I love the red teeth and blue teeth! 

Shea with her daughter Stella, and Mae with her red icing. Shea is a dear and wonderful friend to me and we started our friendship many years ago; she was my sorority sister in college.  Now we live 3 minutes away from each other and her sweet Stella is only 1 month older than our baby Jovie. 
 Mae is always over the moon that these two big girls give her so much attention.  Lily let Mae ride her bike (first time on a big bike!!). 
 I am so happy and so sad at the same time. God has blessed us more than I could have ever imagined with THREE children. My arms ache for Ian and Jovie.  I dream about what their personalities are like... are they sweet and silly like Mae, are they reserved, do they have no reservations, how will the three of them play? My heart is filled to the brim. I am in constant struggle to live in the now and not let my focus be elsewhere. I knew God had been showing me that I needed to trust Him with His children and be happy for each day that I have with Mae.  These days that are just her and me... this is our last summer together where it's just the two of us at the table eating our oatmeal together.

We recently went to visit our friend, Sun, at her shop Soho at the Forum. We were so thrilled to share with her our news of our baby girl, Jovie. She is Chinese and we love hearing her insights on the little bit we are given about our children.  We were sharing with her Jovie's Chinese name, Ming Yu, and she went and got a piece of paper and wrote this:

She said this is the word "Ming Tian." Ming is our daughter's name and Tian our son's, and together they make the Chinese word "Ming Tian" = Tomorrow.  At that moment I felt God was reminding me again. "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself." Matthew 6:34
Our children's name actually means tomorrow. (: that is a beautiful picture. 

Tian You, you are so very loved and even though today we are not together, we will continue to celebrate your life for forever

Happy birthday to our son and little brother!! 

09 April, 2013

mini golf and kite flying

We got the opportunity to go to Hilton Head a few weeks back and I never got around to posting the pictures... The news of Jovie Ming was a little distracting! 

Mae had her first lesson in golf.  
She really wanted to play but knew she wasn't getting anywhere...


So after the third hole, our clever girl would just walk down to the hole and start her ball off here... for a hole and one each time.

And Cody and I got her a kite of her own as her "gotcha day" present.  Cody and I got a kite 10 years ago from my sister, the day we got engaged, that we flew on this very beach... kites are kind of special to us. (: 

02 April, 2013

Baby Safe Haven

This was sent to us from CCAI, our adoption agency:

It’s no secret: Thousands of children born with special needs are abandoned every year in China. In fact, over 98% of children living in orphanages today are children with special needs.

But there is an unknown secret and daily tragedy happening in China: More than 50% of newly abandoned children die unnecessarily.

Fearing incrimination, birth parents hastily leave their “unwanted” children in unattended locations, like the cold concrete steps of an orphanage, government buildings, farmers’ markets, bus and train stations, or even in trash collection stations, sometimes in the middle of the night in extreme and life-threatening conditions. By the time the babies are discovered, many have already died or are on the verge of dying from severe pneumonia, infections, or external wounds caused by wild animals...

This tragedy must be stopped!

On April 22 - 24, 2013, a CCAI-sponsored Baby Safe Haven International Conference will be held in China to introduce a life-saving idea:

Establish a “Baby Safe Station” within the vicinity of every orphanage in China. This 20-square-foot station will be equipped with an incubator, heat and air, and a delayed alarm system which will offer the abandoned child a safe environment and enable quick response and care from the orphanage.

The idea is inspired by the “Safe Haven” laws practiced in all fifty U.S states and similar laws and practices in many other countries.

We may not be able to stop the practice of child abandonment in China right away, but together we can save many precious children’s lives right now!

In order to sponsor this historical conference, we need to raise $20,000 by April 21.
We as individuals are always looking for ways to make a tangible, real-life impact in the world. Nothing could be more real and life-changing than what this conference could offer to China’s abandoned children. This is your chance!!

The importance of the Baby Safe Haven International Conference cannot be overstated and we encourage you to seriously consider making a one-time donation of any amount to this enormous undertaking.

Please send your tax-deductible donation by check (6920 S. Holly Circle, Centennial, CO 80112) or on-line (www.ccaifamily.org/Charity/Donation.aspx), designated: “Baby Safe Haven.”
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