Monday, June 29, 2009

The BEACH!!!!

We arrived at the beach yesterday afternoon and are having such a good time. We are at Orange Beach, Alabama with my Mom and my sis and her family. Life is good and we will let the pics tell the story.
Graeme LOVES the beach!

Lily Wen was excited and told Graeme all about what to expect on the long drive here.

My nephew, John Christopher

Lily Wen is the only girl and quite the cutie!

Graeme loves his Granny Mary!

Me and the Wee Ones...don't know what is up with Graeme

My nephew, Luke, is the youngest and was falling asleep sand and all!

So he snuggled up to my sis, Jodi's belly, and huged on the soon to be newest member of the family. We will welcome a new nephew in November!

Graeme has been all smiles since we got here. Would you expect any different?

The wee ones...I may be biased but aren't they just the cutest kids?

A rare pic of John Christopher. He is running from his Aunt Margaret and her obsessive picture taking. I had to bribe him to get this shot.

Luke loving the view!

Luke, Uncle Rodney and Lily Wen

Lily Wen playing on the beach after the rain!

So pretty!!

Graeme is having the best time.

Showing me more sand!

Lily Wen


So we are having lots of fun and can't wait to see what the next few days will bring. I love watching the wee ones discover new things and this is a world of discovery!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Geaux Tigers


This is why I have not been on the blog much this week. The wee ones and I have been watching baseball. Not just any baseball but the college world series. Our Tigers beat the Texas Longhorns in 2 out of 3 games to win the CWS. It was Beautiful! Graeme is going through the house and swinging anything that remotely resembles a bat! We are so proud of our Tigers and so excited about heading south this weekend for vacation!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Feeling SOOOOOO much Better!

Thanks for all the prayers and support. Wee One #2 is doing just fine today. You can't even tell he had surgery yesterday morning. Our day in pictures....
Graeme had surgery to fix this fistula (dark hole in his palate).
The morning of his surgery he was his typical silly self!
Then, they gave him the medicine and he was silly while lying down!

In recovery, bless his little heart!
Graeme with Becky and loving all of the attention!
Later that evening, Graeme is back to his silly, happy self!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Surgery #3

Graeme and I traveled to Lexington and got to spend the day with both sets of his Godparents.  We shopped some with Brian and Mel and as usual, they spoiled him! Tonight we are in staying with my friends and his other Godparents, Becky and Mark David.  We have had a wonderful evening and shared a meal outside.  It was so cool and peaceful.  Wonderful conversation and oh so relaxing.  This is just what I needed on the eve of Graeme's 3rd surgery since coming home.  Becky and I will take him to Louisville early in the morning to prep for his surgery at 7:45.  He has a small fistula that never closed after his cleft palate repair last October.  It is an outpatient surgery to repair the cleft palate.  Any surgery is scary for a wee one and a Mom so keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  As for Lily Wen, she is enjoying "girl time" with her best friend Lily and Lily's wonderful, saintly parents, Jon and Heather.  We are so blessed to have friends who are family!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home is where the Dad fixes the Stuff!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and for all the Dads to be!

As for me, "Home is where the Dad fixes the Stuff" ~Tim "the toolman" Taylor, Home Improvement.

I once bought my Dad a shirt with this quote on it and he wore it proudly. The joke was that my Dad was great at fixing things but he often broke other things while fixing the first thing! I remember he was changing the oil on my sister's car once and he had driven her car up on these metal lifts but didn't set the brake. The car rolled down and hit a brick wall and became a much more significant repair. These are the things that I think about on Father's Day when I find it hard to breathe because I am missing him so much.

I think I got my deep (obsessive) love of reading from him. He could lose himself in a book and not know that anything was going on around him. I can do the same thing. For Christmas, I would get him a stack of books and he would ask which one was the best as he knew that I read them all before they became his gift!

My Dad was an excellent dancer. I loved watching him dance in a graceful ballroom style with my mother. They looked magical when they danced together. I loved dancing with him too although I never really felt like I kept up. Dancing with him is a blessed memory.

I would say that I did win the "parent lottery" and I was so blessed to have my Dad. I don't think I could have said that always. I don't think I really appreciated him until I was an adult.

So today, I'll look up at the clouds as I think of and remember my Dad. He is with me still when I accomplish a new task, when I read a thrilling book, when I hear Irish music, when I drink a margarita, when I swim with my kids, and when I laugh from deep within.

"Are we not like two volumes of one book?" ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

"Vacation Bible School Rocked"

Graeme and the girls!

Lily Wen and Graeme went to vacation bible school with Lily D and had a wonderful time. They loved the music and songs and really loved singing them for the performance last night. They also had a great time at the party last night! There is so much going on right now that I am really pitiful about posting. I'll get back to it soon!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Tiny Dancer

So when I posted the Annie dance pics, I meant to follow up with some of the other pics from the recital. I am finally getting around to that.

Lily and Lily takes a lot to look this GORGEOUS!

So Focused!

This is one of my favorite pics from the rehearsal. I think it captures the anticipation in her face as she is just starting the dance.

My tiny dancer with her flowers. A Star in the Making!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day Graeme!

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break." ~Chinese legend

A year ago right now it was June 10th and morning time in China and I was meeting my son for the first time. Graeme was so scared and he cried and screamed for his Nanny. It was heartbreaking those first few moments. At the same time, it was beautiful chaos.

Finally, I held my son for the first time. I had waited and waited.

He was so serious those first few days.
Fast forward to now, my wild and silly boy. What a difference a year makes!

I know that our lives have changed so much since those first few days in China. Life took some very unexpected turns this year. I also know that I am forever blessed to have this wee one in my life.

Happy Gotcha Day Graeme Wilder Li!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I hope you dance….

I love that Lily Wen loves to dance. It reminds me of being little and putting on my tutu and heading to Mrs. Trudy’s dance class. I have so many fond memories of my dance recitals. I think there is a freedom that is born in the hearts of those who dance. We dance a lot around our house and if the neighbors look in the windows, well what a show they would see. There is just something about feeling the music in your whole body and just having to move as a response.

Dancing is also a way of working through emotions. I can always lift their spirits by putting on a favorite song and dancing silly with them. Sometimes we learn things through dance that we never expected. I recently learned some new things about my daughter.

You see, I was not able to take her to dance class this spring because of a demanding work schedule. I was blessed that her best friend Lily’s parents, John and Heather, were able to take her to the classes so she could still participate. I don’t know what I would have done without them. One evening, I was picking Lily Wen up from their house when Heather called me inside. They had gotten the list of songs they would dance to at the spring recital that is a Broadway Review. Lily Wen would be a mermaid from Little Mermaid, a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz (she would never admit to being a munchkin..the size thing again and would only own up to being a flower) and an orphan in a group of songs from Annie. It was the last dance that made my heart skip a beat. It just hit a little too close to home as Heather knew it would. I stood there and thought, should I pull her from this one? Heather hugged me and gave me the best advice when she told me to pray about it. Then, she lovingly loaned me the movie “just in case” we wanted to watch it.

Even though I love the musical Annie, I had never watched the movie with Lily Wen. I thought she needed to be older to be exposed to Annie’s story especially with all that has gone on in our lives in the last year. I talked to Lily Wen about the movie and explained a little of what it was about and we decided to watch it together. Lily Wen watched the movie at least 4 more times that first weekend. Sunday evening the questions came pouring out of her. She wanted to hear her story again and how we became a family. She wanted to know all she could about her birth family. She wondered aloud if they had “died in a fire, like Annie’s”. I held her and explained that we would not know what or why or how her birth family was until we could one day meet them in Heaven. Who would have thought that one dance would lead to so many amazing and heart-felt discussions.

Fast forward six weeks and I am sitting in a dim auditorium watching Lily Wen perform the dance for my first time. I am glad that I was able to see the rehearsal because tears just poured from eyes as I watched her and listened to the music. I thought about the first pictures that I ever saw of her at her orphanage and how sick she was when she was first placed in my arms. She was so teeny tiny and weighed only 13 pounds at 10 months. So many memories and images of those first precious days with her flashed through my mind as I watched her dance. Then, I saw her as she is now and she is AMAZING and RESILIENT. She is LOVING, SWEET and MY DAUGHTER. LILY WEN is a DANCER!

“And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”