Monday, March 31, 2008

One week to go

This time next week my little one will be in a lot of pain. Hopefully we will keep it controlled by way of some STRONG drugs. Please pray we get a nurse who believes in the power of narcotics (hint hint Amy)! I am really starting to stress out over the surgery and it still seems surreal that it is finally time to do this. Well it is a good thing I have a busy week planned so I can't worry about it "all" the time.

I have been doing some research of course and wanted to show some pretty graphic- but REAL pics of what Shelby's is about to have done to her mouth. It was explained to me that she will have 3 layers of stitches put into her mouth. One on top between her nose and mouth, then one where the hard palate come together, then another row which will be the ones we will be able to see. She will also have some on the sides of her mouth where they have to cut so they can stretch the tissues across her mouth. Also she will have some stitches on her gum line where they cut around her cleft in the gums to stretch the gums over the hole to encourage tissue growth. Needless to say her mouth is going to HURT. Just think about it when you have a small sore on the inside of your mouth how much that bothers you and hurts. Now imagine what my little one is going to experience. Crazy to just even think about and I am sick to know that she has to endure all of this. I know kids are resilient and get over things quickly, but I still ache over the fact that she will be in a lot of pain. Here are the pics of a little boy before the surgery-which his mouth looks a lot like Shelby's. And then here is the pic of his mouth 2 days after surgery. Gross I know, but REALITY for Shelby next week :( Please pray for her quick healing.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Middle Child Spotlight

My little trooper has been experiencing some of those middle child issues- you know the one where they NEVER get there picture taken regularly. Well fortunately I was able to get some great professional pics done of my favorite Travis. Is he cute as pie or what?!?!?!?
He really has "grown up" since we brought Shelby home. He is growing up so fast and wants to be as big as Caleb so bad. It is hard to remember sometimes that he is still only 5 years old. He will be going to "real school" next year. Both my boys off on the big yellow bus...oh how time passes us by in the blink of an eye.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fay Baby on the Way

Playing catch up on some of the pics. The first set is from our Friday night event at my favorite mall visiting with Frannie and Ellen. Who by the way has just been matched with the cutest little bald headed baby ever ;) I am proud to say I was able to tug on this baby's red thread and it felt great. I can't wait to see her in person! Congrats to the Fays-YEAH!

Well I attended the support group Friday night and learned some information that I did not know before, which it is always nice to learn more! Hopefully there will be more to this in the later months to come. We also were able to see little Miss Ally too. Always fun to visit with our digit friends ;) Anyway fun night had by all.

Oh and here are some pics from our Easter Sunday. I am one blessed woman to have 3 gorgeous kids!! It didn't take long for Shelby to figure out the Easter egg hunts. Once she realized there was candy inside, there was no stopping her. We spent the afternoon at my dad's house which of course is always fun, especially with all the motorized toys and buggys and such.

I had Shelby's preop visit yesterday but will post more on that tomorrow. The great news is Shelby will NOT have to wear the no-nos (arm restraints). YEAH!

Monday, March 24, 2008

First Shelby Easter

My Little Easter Angel! I will post more pics later. This is for those of you who had to see my little one all dressed up.

Blogger Education

Here is a recent post from another blog that is great information for me. I am getting what I call a Blogger Education in palate surgery. I sure hope this education helps to prepare us for what lies ahead. Click here to read. I am very thankful to others for posting in great details. This is why I blog is to help educate others and of course to have a keepsake for Shelby about her early life with us.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Just the Numbers

  • 4 yrs - the average time a child spends in American foster care before being adopted

  • 1.5 million children live in public care in Central and Eastern Europe

  • 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Carribean
  • 43.4 million orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa

  • 87.6 million orphans live in Asia

  • 16 million children were orphaned in 2003

  • Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned as a result of AIDS

  • 800,000 children in the American Foster Care system each year

  • 143 Million orphans in the world

And the most startling numbers fact of all:

The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fun Day Planned

Well it turns out that I have to work a half day today for a meeting that was rescheduled. The good part of that is that I am going to be able to take tomorrow afternoon off so that I can attend the 3rd Friday Hand in Hand Adoption Group tomorrow night. I am still going to make my Thursday playdate this afternoon and I will get to see all of my 3rd Friday friends too! So not much time to post today as I am busy at work and also going to be busy this afternoon playing and of course watching Travis play another baseball game. Here are some pics of the other night when my friend Shelly came by to see Travis play and also to introduce her daughter Leah to my Shelby. These two were cute as can be holding hands, playing in the dirt, and of course a little ring around the rosy.

And also I finally found a meal that is pleasing to all of my kids and myself-spaghetti. Shelby has turned out to be a little Italian only wanting pizza and spaghetti these days. The boys never would eat spaghetti until it dawned on me to just give them plain noodles (of course they are the healthy ones in disguise) with just parmesan cheese on them. I know I am a little slow, I just never thought of "plain" noodles. Anyway they ate them up so enjoy the pics. Also there is a shot of Shelby proudly telling everyone how old she is. Since they do this sign in China all the time for pictures, I thought it would be cute to send this one back to her foster mom. Another pic is my devious little girl "cutting" her eyes at me just acting silly. I love my little girl!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Adopted teens share and advise

I found an interesting article that was from the adopted teens perspective:

When you're of one race and your adoptive parents are of a different one, just walking down the street with your family can feel like the whole world knows you're adopted.

That's one of the things that a group of adopted teens talked about recently when they gathered at a Portland adoption agency to eat pizza, do artwork, and share their thoughts and feelings.

"It's just the odd looks, like when you're out in public, but you learn to ignore them after a while," said 14-year-old Tess Kupel of Scarborough, who was born in Vietnam but whose adoptive parents are white.

But Tess and the other teens laughed about how the experience can also have an up side. "It's great because when your parents are being very embarrassing, you can just walk away," Tess said. "It's like, 'No, I don't know you."

You can read the rest of the article here if you are interested.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Only my Dad

Yes, only my dad would invent such a wonderful "train" ride for the grandkids. Yes, that is a Rhino pulling some car seats on wheels. Oh and I said just for the grandkids, but of course my dad wouldn't leave me out. So yes, that is a seat made just for us big kids to be the caboose. My dad may come across as one tough guy, but seeing how much time and energy he puts into creating fun things for the grandkids and us kids-it is obvious he is just a big KID himself who obviously loves us very much :)

And here are some pics from the last couple of days. Notice Shelby sporting her new St. Patty's shirt courtesy of Grandma! Oh and Lori talked Shelby into putting Ugly Baby's clothes on our new "Green Baby". Yeah!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Trust...sounds like a simple word but oh how so much goes into that one little word. Trust is something that especially comes difficult to an adopted child. After all that my little girl has been through, it is amazing to me that she would ever trust someone ever again. BUT, I get the sense that she has and that she does "trust" me now. I can't really explain why I feel this way; however, there are a lot of little signs recently that give me this feeling. Maybe it is the way she puckers up to kiss me now. Maybe it is the way she strokes my hair and face at night now. Maybe it is the way she calls for me in the morning to come pick her up out of bed now. No longer is she scared that I won't come for her or be there every morning. Now she simply calls for me and she knows I will come. Maybe it is simply her special smile she gives me each and every day. Whatever it is...I am loving the fact that she is feeling secure in her family and secure with me as her mom!

We are about to have all things tested and tried as we are quickly approaching her surgery date-April 7. The main reason I have waited this long for her palate surgery was to do just her she could trust me. I love it when things turn out the way they are planned. I am so hoping her surgery does the same. I pray every night for her pain control, her patience levels, her healing, my endurance, her surgeons, her nurses, and most importantly for her to trust me during this difficult time she will be facing. I wish I could explain to her that this surgery is for her well being, but adults sometimes don't even understand that. So all I can hope for is that she trusts me enough to know that I am there for her and that I would not do anything to hurt her and that I love her very very much. Please add my baby to your prayer list since I know God is the one who will get us through this together.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Direct Flights to China

Delta Air Lines will launch its first flights to China with a daily route between Shanghai and Atlanta beginning March 30.
A Boeing 777 will fly between Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to the company’s website.
The flights will begin March 30, U.S. time, but due to the time difference flights from Shanghai begin March 31.
The route, Delta’s first direct route to China, is one of several opened up to American carriers during China-U.S. air traffic negotiations last year.
“The route will serve as a bridge between Shanghai and 65 million residents in the southeastern U.S. who have active trade communications with China,” the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Delta Executive Vice President Lee Macenczak as saying.

So I checked on this on the Delta site and it is only a 15 hour, 40 minute non-stop trip over. And even better than that is the torturous trip home is now only 14 hours, and 40 minutes- piece of cake up next to the way we had to do it :)

Off Days ROCK

Man, this one day a week off day thing is the bomb. I had a wonderful day yesterday just hanging out with my kids and my friends. Let's see what all did we do...first I slept in until 8AM!! Yep can you believe it. The only reason I was able to do this is because I kept Travis home one extra day from school since he wasn't feeling the greatest the day before. Anyway then Travis, Shelby and I surprised Caleb at his school for lunch. Travis was able to practice getting his own lunch tray and choosing his own lunch for the first time. My baby boy is going to be going to school with Caleb next year so I thought it would be neat for him to give it a trial run. Of course we had a great lunch-school food and all.

Next we visited my favorite store-yep the Thrift Store. Travis purchased a new "army costume" and Shelby bought a new "cute baby" since Mom is really tired of carrying around "ugly baby". Then we picked up Caleb early from school and headed off to our Thursday playdate.

We met Heather and Chris at the playground for one HOT playdate. It was crazy busy at the park and really hot outside. The kids had fun but for only a brief time since it was so hot. I think I am going to suggest a different play date location for next week since this one didn't really work out too well. It was fun while it lasted though. My dad and Sandy even dropped by to give Shelby her very first dune buggy ride-FUN!
Since we were so hot we stopped off at Brusters on the way home from the park. We all (yes even me) enjoyed a refreshing treat at our favorite ice cream store. At home we played outside and had Lori and kids over. Hey we even had our favorite neighbors over last night too. See I told you I was really living up this stay at home mom thing. Fun Fun Fun! OK come on next Thursday!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ladies Night Out

Well last night was a big event for mom...dinner without ANY kids attached. That's right mom went to dinner with some adoption friends last night and had a great time. My sister was nice enough to handle the kid handoff and take all of them to baseball practice last night.

My Travis is playing on Uncle Scott's baseball team and having a great time. He even "won" the game ball at the first game on Saturday. I personally think Uncle Scott was playing favorites, but hey Travis was thrilled! He has shown that ball off to everyone.

Anyway, CJ picked up the kids from baseball and mom returned home for our bedtime routine. So thanks girls for a fun ladies night out. Even though we did sit around and talk about our kids all night, it was still a great kid-free dinner :)

Oh and here are some shots of me sneeking Shelby and Travis off to spend some of his donut birthday money the other day. Don't tell the school this is why he was tardy. Time spent sharing a donut with my kids is well worth the tardy slip! (Oh and no Sheila I didn't really eat a 5 pt donut, just the kids did)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Cleaning Crew in Town

Move over Rosa, your competition has arrived!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tomorrow is First Friday

I am really looking forward to tomorrow's First Friday meeting. Here are the details for anyone interested in attending. Hoping to really learn some scream free parenting tips tomorrow. I am sure my kids are hoping I learn something too ;) Oh and I really hope to see Mr. Micah live and in person!

~MEETING~ Friday, March 7, 2008 @ 7:00 PM

North Metro Church
2305 Barrett
Parkway, NW
Marietta, GA 30064

Click Here for Directions (678) 574-9596 or email

Vision Statement : Our vision is to make sure that every family who wants to adopt embrace the thought that "every child is worth the wait!"

Hal Runkel, March guest speaker, will appear on NBC's Today Show, Friday, March 7, 2008

Award-winning author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Hal Runkel is quickly becoming America's greatest expert on human relationships. With an impressive academic and social science background, he has taken the most advanced approaches to relationship theory and, through thousands of hours of family therapy, organizational consulting, and professional coaching in churches, family businesses, and schools, has developed the revolutionary ScreamFree Living methodology.

Click for More Information on Hal and Scream Free

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Finally into 2006

For those of you not in the daily life of China Adoptions, the CCAA (gov't people in China adoptions) have finally matched kids with their parents this month. Well yes they match them with parents once a month every month, but this time it was special because they finally started matching parents who sent their paperwork in January 2006. Yep that's right they are just now matching kids to parents who have a LID (logged into China) of 12/28/05 through 01/04/06. It took China 32 months to get through everyone who requested a non-special needs child in 2005. At that rate if we were to have asked for a NSN child we would be waiting about another 6 years for our daughter. So glad we didn't have to wait that long! Congratulations to the following who are just now seeing their babies pictures for the first time...

The following blogs have pictures:
Ellie Morris Journey
Countdown to Aubriana
Journey to Double Happiness
Finally A Family
Nathan Dewitt
Lily Rolaine
Koss Family
Voyage to Karson

The following families in the SN program would like to share their news as well:
Our Journey of Love
She Burbles at Happy
Little Latham
East and West Kids
Blessings from China

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I knew this sad sad day would eventually come. With my new working arrangements and all of our unexpected expenses these days, I had to finally make the termination call to Rosa. Heaven help my children since the cleanliness of our home is now up to good ole mom. It wasn't like she came every day or even every week, but it sure was nice not having to deep scrub the showers and such. I guess all good things must come to an end. Not really thrilled about the new arrangements, but I am up for the challenge. I have to admit that Rosa was the best birthday present my hubby has ever gotten for me. Little did he know it that it was the gift that kept on giving :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

FCCA Potluck

Here are some pics from the weekend. We had a great time at Liz's house at the FCCA Potluck dinner. There were alot of people there that I had never met. I love expanding my adoption network of friends. Liz was so nice that she had even baked CJ a cake and let the kids help decorate it for dad (see why adoption friends rule)! Michelle was kind enough to share all her toys in her room which Shelby still needs some work in the sharing department. I love watching her play with other little girls. It was a great ending to a terrific day.

We spent some time on Sunday cleaning up from the storm last week. Well at least CJ and the kids did as I am not much of a yard cleaning (or any kind of cleaning for that matter) person. CJ told the kids that if they would help pick up the yard then he would put together their new trampoline. My man completed his task all by himself and the kids-well let's just say there are still a few more pinecones in the yard ;) I will have to get some pics of the new trampoline in action. I am sure it will get some use this afternoon.