Friday, October 17, 2014

Wow! What a week!

FINALLY! One big happy family!

What just happend?! It's Official!
Wow! I thought I would have more time to update my blog. Apparently it’s a lot of work having 5 kids! Honestly the big kids have been amazing helpers and I cannot imagine not having them with us. Samuel is go go go all of the time and having extra hands to help and play has been wonderful. To all of you who donated and bought dog treats to help our kids come with us on this trip- Thank You! Samuel is a huge fan of all of his siblings and they are enjoying their loud, rambunctious little brother.

Of course Anna is adjusting the most. Little princess has lost her throne a bit and that is hard, but really she is doing amazingly well. She is enjoying China and learning and speaking a lot of Chinese. She loves her brother but it is hard for her to understand that he is a baby because he is as big as her! Please pray for her to continue to adjust to her new role as big sister. We are so proud of how well she is doing but want to continue to be sensitive to her needs. This is a big transition for both her and Samuel.

Not so sure about these sisters

Before we left I had several friends ask what they could pray for specifically. One of the things I asked for them to pray for was that Samuel would bond with both K.C. and I. For whatever reason, it is extremely common for the newly adopted child to choose one parent to “bond” with and shun the other. Last time Anna “chose” me. It was exhausting for me and so hard emotionally for K.C. I am happy to say that our prayers have been answered and Samuel is letting both K.C. and I care for him. This was extremely helpful yesterday as we were forced to split up for activities. We didn’t know it ahead of time, but Samuel ended up spending the entire day with daddy and away from mom. He did great and got some good bonding time with K.C. Right now I do most of the feeding and bathing and sometimes he seems to prefer me, but he easily goes to daddy and let’s daddy change him and help him. It is so much easier to be able to do this as a team. Samuel trusts us, can understand us, and seems to really understand that we are his family. It always amazes me how someone so little can process that. We still have a lot of bonding to do and I get sad thinking of how little I really know this boy even though I've “known” him almost his entire life.

Fun sharing snacks with daddy
Samuel is doing much better with going to sleep even though it is still a lot of drama. Apparently this is the norm for him. His nannies said he cried at nap and bedtime for them too. He is just an active little boy that wants to play and eat all the time. Sleep doesn’t seem that fun. When we tell him it is time for bed he repeats over and over “Boo Yao”- basically the Chinese version of “No, no, no!” Thankfully once he succumbs he is a great sleeper. He has not had any night terrors and easily sleeps in his crib in our room. He wakes up happy and his first words are usually “ba-ba” (Chinese for daddy) because he hears K.C.’s voice. 

Always eating
Samuel is a BIG fan of food! He basically could eat from dawn til dusk. A few days ago I cut him off before nap time and he was not happy about it! He is soooo heavy compared to Anna. It is like he is made of bricks. I really love the ergo carrier. I can hold him in it pretty easily. He likes to be in it and it is good snuggly bonding time. He is happy if he has crackers in both hands and he will eat just about anything. I'm hoping to get him onto a more well rounded diet once we get home. Right now he mostly wants cookies and snacks all day long. Of course he can still eat plenty of food at meal time too! This is a first for our family of skinny minnies! He is so loving and affectionate. He cares for everyone and easily lets us cuddle and kiss him already. When we visited his foster home the nannies gave him a big bag of cookies and he proceeded to hand them out to everyone. He is very generous and caring. 

Precious ladies from Swallow's Nest
The past several days have been packed full! On Tuesday we received our “Official” Adoption Certificate, had several papers notarized, got Samuel’s passport photo taken, and applied for his passport. On Wednesday we had most of the day free and then visited Swallow’s Nest and celebrated Esther’s 15th birthday. Thursday K.C. took both little ones and the big boys to the Aquarium while Esther and I visited the Zhengzhou orphanage. (He gets big credit for that one! What a great dad!) While we were at our respective places we received word that Friday’s planned activity had to be moved to Thursday afternoon because it was closed on Friday. So K.C. and Esther took care of the little ones and I went with the older boys to the Shaolin Temple- the largest Kung Fu training center in China. We had great time and it actually worked out well that we didn’t bring the little ones. The temple is not designed for a double stroller! Lots of steps! I enjoyed a break from “mommy duty” and getting to spend some special time with my older boys.

Today we finally have a real free day. We ate a late breakfast, took the kids to play in the park, had an easy PB&J lunch in the room and are packing up for our trip to Guangzhou. Our adoption will be finalized there and we will be headed home in a week! Please pray for our first airplane trip with him tomorrow. He does not like to sit still and the airline won't let you keep the kids in the ergo, so he will be forced to sit in his seat at least for takeoff and landing. I may have to resort to lollipops for this one! Thankfully this time it is only a short trip. The long trip home could be really interesting!

Best buds! This little one
meets her family next week!
I feel like I have so much in my heart right now. I want to be able to process it and write it down for all of you. I know this post is mostly just general info. Hopefully, in the coming days I can share with you what this trip has meant to me. My body is so tired but my heart is full of joy to finally be bonding with my son. There was so much emotion in visiting the orphanage. My heart broke when I saw all of the babies at the orphanage-so many babies and so few caretakers. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the care my China Blessings have received at Swallow’s Nest. Samuel is a bright eyed, conversational little boy who seems exactly at his correct developmental stage. This is not normal in adoption. Although we have missed two years of his life, he has received excellent care, love and nurture in a small family type environment. We are very blessed to be his parents. We are blessed to be a part of his life again. We are truly blessed by adoption.

I posted several photos of our trip to Swallow's Nest on Facebook as well as photos from our "Gotcha Day." For those of you not on facebook, you can access the photos with these links.


  1. It's great to hear how well he is doing and bonding. Gives us encouragement for when we get our little one. Thank you for sharing. We'll be praying for a good uneventful flight both to GZ and home.

  2. Michelle, I have not kept up with your family but it is such a joy to read these puts me in mind of the days at SBC when I remember you applying your white face paint to be a Mime, a China Doll, if you will!! God bless you. (mom to Andrew, Carmen)