Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Forever Family Day!!!!

Referral pictures

Daddy holding Lily for the first time

Mommy's special moment with Lily

That Moment is an article that I wrote about a year ago. It describes That Moment when I first held Lily. That was three years ago today. I submitted the article for puplication in Love's Journey 2 The Red Thread, a book that is used to raise funds for China charities through Love Without Boundaries. I was so thrilled when I learned that the article would be published in the book along with a picture of Lily Wen. The book will soon be available and presales are occuring now at I am placing That Moment in it's unedited version here in honor of that special day three years ago when our dreams came true.

That Moment

My whole life changed in that moment. It was that moment suspended in time when they placed my daughter in my arms for the first time. There is nothing that could have prepared me for the overwhelming feelings that consumed me. My life had been preparing for this for so many years….

I have a distant memory of always knowing that I would adopt. I even remember announcing this to my family as a very young girl. I think it must have been a whisper deep inside my heart to prepare me for what would come so much later.

I remember the exact moment when my husband, Wes, and I decided to begin the adoption process. We were driving through the mountains on a beautiful spring day when we made the decision. Thinking back to that day, I still get the same chills of excitement.

Instantly, my heart whispered, China. We gathered information and sorted through all of the packets. We went to information meetings by different agencies. We were misinformed that adoptions from China would be placed on a hold due to SARS. I was so upset because deep down, I knew that my daughter was in China. I was elated a few weeks later when we learned that adoptions from China would continue.

The next months flew by while we chased papers and waited. I actually shopped and waited and shopped some more. We were the lucky ones. We waited just over six months for our referral. We knew the day that the call would be coming and we both stayed home to be together. I will never forget when we heard, “You have a daughter, Xiu Wen is at the Xiu Shan Tugia and Miao Social Welfare Institute in Chongquing, China.” Later that night, we saw the first picture of our daughter and she was so beautiful. I could not put down those first pictures until I had memorized every detail of her exquisite, tiny face. She looked so serious and now the waiting was even harder.

There was a flurry of excitement as we packed and prepared for this journey of a lifetime. It was wonderful to receive travel approval and to know on the exact date that we would meet her. The travel to China is a hazy memory now. We were on the plane that would take us to our daughter’s birth country and I just wanted to soak up every bit of this journey.

We were exhausted when we finally arrived in Beijing. We were also overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of this foreign land. I had read about and dreamed about China but nothing could have prepared me for the experience of China. The people were so friendly, open and curious. The next few days were packed with touring. I recall trying to pay attention to the historical details shared by our guide so one day I could share this information with our daughter. It was so hard to pay attention because in my mind I was counting the days, hours and minutes until I could hold her.

We slept only a little the night before we met our daughter as the anticipation was building. That day is like a blur beginning with the flight to Chongquing and checking into our hotel. We rushed to gather our things and then there was the relatively short bus ride to the Civil Affairs office that seemed to take so very long. We were in the last group to go up the elevator to the office where we would meet our daughter. It was the slowest elevator on the planet or so it seemed. Then, the doors opened and there SHE is in the arms of her Nanny.

Our daughter is not even 10 feet from us and you want to run and grab her but you WAIT and follow protocol. You wait the minutes that seem like hours for them to call your name. Finally after all those years, months and hours, our daughter is handed to us. In that moment, time stood still as we held Lily for the first time. Words can’t even begin to describe that moment. I felt indescribable relief to be holding her along with joy, peace and Love.

It all seems so hazy now, my life before Lily. We are so blessed to have this precious child in our lives. We watch her play and grow and laugh and we are in awe.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

3 years ago this week...

1st Ferris Wheel Ride

This Friday is the 3 year anniversary of our 'gocha day' with Lily Wen. Wes and I have been talking about it a lot this week. We always love to celebrate this forever family day and really look forward to it this week. It is the birthday of our family of three and I just can't think of a day that is more special. Three years ago today Lily was in the orphanage. She was just 9 months old and didn't have a clue as to how her life would change in just a few short days. We were preparing to travel. Checking and double checking the luggage to be sure we had EVERYTHING! Weeks like this week make us all realize how lucky we are to be together. We spent the weekend in Pigeon Forge and went to Dollywood. Lily loves it and is always so happy there. We got to spend some time with our friends Brian and Mel who are waiting for their first daughter. We all had a great time! I am adding some pictures of Lily Wen from this weekend. She has changed so much in the last three years. We all have! We can't wait for the changes that baby Becky will bring.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

5 months and counting

Well today is our 5 month anniversary of our log in date. Time seems to fly by at times and stand still at other times. We are so busy with Lily and not a day goes by that we aren't thinking of and praying for Becky. Lily asks about her every day. We have a busy weekend planned and that will help. I will post more pictures when we return from our weekend at Dollywood and after we spend the afternoon at yet another production of High School Musical...this one on ice in Knoxville. I am really thinking about our next baby a lot as next week we will celebrate our 3 year "gotcha day" with Lily. I can't believe it has been three years. I am just so ready for Becky and hope things start to move at a more 'normal' pace soon. Thanks for all the sweet comments about Lily's quilt. It is a work of Love and still in the process. I'll post more pictures soon.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

100 good wishes

We are beginning to collect the wishes and fabric for Baby Becky. I am exchanging fabric with many of my online friends. As the fabric and wishes started to show up, Wes asked, "So what about the fabric and wishes for Lily. Don't you think you should finish one quilt before you get the material for a second?" I must admit that I was a bit frustrated when he said this but he was RIGHT. Yes, I can admit when you are right honey! I mean her 3 year forever family day is on the 20th of this month. It is about time that we finish her quilt.

Well I decided that I better get to it. So a few weeks ago, I pulled out the fabric and wishes that I collected for Lily. I had played with the fabric 2 years ago and had not marked on the fabric who had given us what fabric from family and friends. This turned into quite a puzzle as I had to try to match fabrics and wishes because not all of our family and friends put a piece of the fabric on their wish. I think I figured it all out but I don't suggest to my friends who are collecting that you put the material in a box and don't look at it for a few years. Not unless you have an excellent memory.

I first worked on Lily's book and finished most of the pages. Then, I have started piecing the quilt. As most of you know, my mother is excellent in the sewing department. I can barely sew on a button. Doing this quilt is monumental for me. I thought about packing up the fabric and sending it to a professional and then decided no that I wanted to do it. Since I don't have a sewing machine and it isn't in the budget for the next few years, I decided to hand sew it. I have almost finished the quilt top and am really enjoying myself. I am adding pictures so you can see the progress. I am now going to attempt to embroider the chinese symbols for the corners of the quilt. This is also new to me so wish me luck. Enjoy the pictures of our progress. Lily loves it and now she loves opening the fabric and wishes for Becky because she knows exactly what it is for. Please leave comments and let me know what you think.