Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happy Family Forever Day Hannah!

Two years ago today, I walked into an office in Wuhan, China. My daughter wasn't there yet, so I took pictures for another family and waited. Then, I saw a lady walk in carrying the child I knew to be mine. She was scared and looked at everything with big eyes. When she was handed to me, she cried - a lot. She calmed down with a lollipop but later in the hotel room would cry for a very long time. She finally stopped, ate lunch, and went to sleep. An hour or so later, she woke up and smiled. Ah..that first smile. From that point on, she was "all systems go" in jumping into her new life. It wasn't always easy for her and there were hurdles to cross (and some tantrums to throw along the way!), but she demonstrated a courage and resiliance most people only dream of. Over the last two years, she has grown so much in so many ways. I can't imagine life without her and can barely remember life before her. It still creates so much awe and wonder to sit and just think about what God has done and to remember every step he has taken me through in getting both my girls. Today, I especially remember and thank Him for sweet, spunky Hannah.

It's been a very interesting few days here involving conversations with my sweet girl. She's been asking questions about her time in china, at the orphanage, questions about her birthmom (which she called her "ex-mom" until I taught her the correct where did she get that?? It's not like I have an ex-husband or something). The first conversation took me by suprise, but it was a good converstation I think and since then, she's been putting things together and starting to understand a little more of her story. Of course, having just witnessed the entire adoption process for Sadie has both answered some of her questions and created other questions. And I think that's a good thing. She doesn't understand it all - but it's a process. And I just pray for the wisdom and discernment over the long haul to answer her spoken questions honestly, but more importantly to answer the unspoken questions of her heart in a way that encourages her.

Today, we watched the video of her gotcha day, along with some other video from China. Hannah sat in my lap and watched closely. She's seen it before, but it was almost like she was seeing it with new eyes tonight. Afterwards, she very seriously asked me why she had a "China video" and not an "America Video". hmm..good question. I guess we'll be shooting some video this summer. We've had a good day...we had lunch with some friends. Beth and Wayne (nana and granddaddy) came over for dinner and Hannah picked the menu (fried rice, egg rolls, angel food cake, strawberries, and whipped cream). I let Hannah stay up late tonight (all the way to 9:00 - that's late for our house!). After I put Sadie to bed, Hannah and I just sat in the living room and played games for a while. It was a nice way to end the day.

Happy Family Forever Day Hannah!! I love you!

May 29, 2006 - the day I met Hannah

May 29, 2007 - one year later

May 29, 2008 - two years later

This next picture I had to include because it is just SO Hannah these days. It's in the backyard of Beth's house and Wayne was playing ball with her. It's her "I like to play active and don't mind getting hot, sweaty, and dirty - as long as I have my girly girl princess clothes and matching sandals" look! Hopefully, you'll get some real t-ball pictures next week. Hannah has had two practices so far and her first game is next week. She has loved practices and her coach is great - very patient and gentle and yet teaching a lot of skills! The *only* thing Hannah doesn't like so far is her gray baseball pants that her whole team will be wearing for the games, along with jersey and hat. She'd rather wear this to the games so she'll look good while she scores!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just Having Fun Hanging Out Together

We are having fun together at home. Hannah is officially out of school for the summer, and is now a kindergartener, as she proudly tells anyone who will listen. She was very excited yesterday at church to sit "in the yellow chairs". In children's worship, the kids sit in color coded seats by age / grade level. The 4's have the red chairs, and she was very excited to move up to the yellow chairs for the K's. Ah, the joys of childhood!

But actually, we have been enjoying many of the joys of childhood around here lately..especially the summer ones. We've spent a lot of time outside playing, swimming (splashing), eating watermelon, and generally having fun. My parents also came Saturday and got to spend some time with Hannah and Sadie.

Sadie is doing great. She's saying hi, bye, mama, eat, and jie jie (big sister) - usually in imitation of one of us. She says "OW!" spontaneously. The only thing is - to her, "ow" means - "hey, somebody look at me, no, I'm not hurt or anything, but everytime Hannah says 'ow' you glance over at her and she didn't look hurt or anything like that (because she's the drama queen) so I thought I'd try to say 'ow' and see if you'll look at me too!" ha! Sadie is talking to us a lot too in toddler-talk, and I'm really starting to think there might be some chinese in there too..we didn't think she was really speaking chinese, but some of the stuff she says sounds like it might be, and it's consistent unlike jargon would be. So, I don't know, but it's fun to hear her voice more. She also sings pretty loud and enjoyed singing at church yesterday morning. She had the people near us laughing a lot. We did try church yesterday and Sadie stayed with Hannah and I for the music and then when it was time for Hannah to go to Children's worship, I took Sadie in the nursery and stayed in there with her.

In our outside play this weekend, I had a front row seat to watch Sadie master a new skill. When I first got her, it appeared that she hadn't been walking too long. And I still think that's true. Her motor skills are delayed - but they are improving day by day. Sadie can't yet do stairs, and her balance is not very good. Until this weekend, she couldn't go from one surface to another without falling. For example, she couldn't step from the grass to the driveway even though they're at the same level and don't require stepping UP like a curb or stairs. She'd always stop, turn and look at me, and hold a hand out. The couple of times she tried it, she fell. But, this weekend she and Hannah were playing and at one point I had Sadie on the grass. Hannah was riding her bike on the driveway and Sadie wanted to go over there. She walked to the edge of the grass, looked at me (I pretended to be reading and not watching), looked back at the driveway, back at me, back at the driveway, and then....she just stepped over and did it! And she did not lose her balance. She was SO proud of herself and for the next five minutes, she went back and forth. Driveway..grass..driveway..grass. And before we went in, she even learned to do it while carrying something! It was amazing to watch!

So, what's on our agenda this week? more of the same! Hanging out, playing, and enjoying summer. We also celebrate Hannah's 2nd "Family Forever Day" and my birthday later this week! Two years ago I received Hannah on May 29th and then completed her adoption paperwork on May 30th, my birthday. What a great birthday present! Hard to believe it's been 2 years already, and yet, in some ways, it seems like she's been a part of my family forever! More reflections on that later in the week. And how neat to think that beginning next year - we will be celebrating TWO Gotcha days in the same month from now on! Sadie's is May 5 and Hananh's is May 29. May is a good month all around at our house!

Monday, May 19, 2008

AH..some sense of normalcy :-)

The monkey of the family: Hannah

Sadie enjoying her first swing experience (she completely enjoyed it for about 1 minute, then she was finished)

Hannah sliding down the firepole - shh..don't tell her teachers. They're not allowed to do this at school. :-)

Sadie trying out Hannah's old bike. Although she can't quite reach the pedals, she enjoyed walking it around.

Total entertainment - watching the pictures print out at the CVS computer. These two were mesmerized - I'll have to remember that for those really hot "what are we going to do today?" days of summer. We may be printing more pictures off! ha!

Hannah: play-doh fun

Sadie - more play-doh fun

We are doing well and have finally hit some sense of normalcy with sleep and being on the right time zone. We slept great the first few days - just in the middle of the day. But yesterday, we spent a LONG time outside and I think it really helped us click with the right time zone finally.

For the first time since being home, the girls went to bed at 8:00 p.m instead of say, 2:00 a.m. 0r 3:00 a.m. because they slept all day. Of course, Hannah was up by 4:30, but it's progress! Sadie is the good sleeper right now. She sleeps soundly for the most part. She has gotten where she cries when I put her to bed if she thinks I'm about to walk out of the room. I see that as a good sign and all it takes is for me to sit in their room a few minutes and rub her back until she goes to sleep. Then, she's good to go for the night. She's also eating very well.

For the most part, Sadie is adjusting well. She has such a sweet spirit about her and is absolutely precious! She's exploring the house and beginning to play with some of the toys. Having Hannah here is a huge help, because Sadie is copying a lot of what Hannah does. (And for the girl who's spent the last year saying "somebody copy me" -Hannah is delighted to finally have someone who will!). Sadie is also interacting more with me in very playful ways. She still has this look in her eyes though - I can't quite describe it. It's a look that comes and goes and says "I'm not fully present in this moment" if that makes sense. NOT being a therapist, I think it's her mental way of protecting herself from too much overstimulation. EVERYTHING is brand new to her. She's also had a couple of 2 year old temper tantrums. Not many and not bad - but enough for her to voice her opinion on a couple matters! I see that as a mostly good sign too. We're trying to keep things rather calm and almost "boring" in a way. It's not boring to her since it's all new. We're staying home a lot. Playing simple things like play-doh and sidewalk chalk, etc. We have been out a little. We took Hannah to dance Saturday because it was her last class of the year and yesterday, we visited the grocery store, CVS, and the park. But we did it early in the morning when it wasn't crowded. Hannah and Sadie had the park to themselves which was nice. We skipped church this morning because although it would have been good to see everyone, I think it would have been too much, too soon.

Hannah went back to school today for her last week which she was excited about. She has a little gift for her classmates from China and she has pictures we developed at CVS today to show her teachers and friends. Hannah also starts t-ball practice tonight. Hannah has adjusted to having a sister very well. She does get into the attention-seeking act a little at times, but really not that much. She had big expectations for what having a sister meant, and at least so far, she is not dissapointed. She is constantly hugging on and kissing Sadie (who tolerates it for the most part but has pushed Hannah back a couple times when she needed some space!). Hannah is sweet and encouraging and understanding too for the most part. I say "most part" because well, she is 4 after all! I had to laugh tonight when Sadie was having a momentary melt-down at supper because two (yes, two - really) spaghetti noodles fell off the fork onto the side of the bowl. As Sadie is falling apart apparently over that (but more likely over all the changes in her life), I pick her up and start to rock her a little. Hannah says "Sadie, it's okay - don't pitch a fit. Just take a deep breath and calm down. See, I have spaghetti on the side of my plate. I'm not pitching a fit. It's okay". Ah - wise words from a 4 year old who has "been there!" hehe!

Thanks for checking in on us. We are transitioning well and having fun together. I'm still amazed at all that God has done and continues to do. One of my concerns pre-china was what to do with Sadie when I go back to school in August. Hannah barely made the cut-off to be able to come with me (in the preK program) that first year. It's been great having her right next door to me the last two years. But Sadie is just young enough NOT to make that cut-off. So, she is not eligible to come with me in August. Finding someone to keep her was on the top of my to-do list once we got over the jet-lag. I knew of a couple good childcare programs in the area, but I was hoping to find someone that would keep her in their home. I had a list of liscensed home daycares in the county to start calling through. Well, the perfect plan just dropped in my lap. (thanks God!) A friend and neighbor offerred to keep her when I go back to school. It's perfect! She lives right down the street from me (great convenience!) and has a 3 year old also adopted from China. Sadie will have a good playmate and peer to model language for her. And, this great mama adopted her daughter also as a toddler, so she knows all the implications that brings! I'm so excited!
That's it for now. I'm off to play with my sweet baby girl!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The Traditional "Red Couch" photos at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou:
(We let Hannah go first in hopes that Sadie would be interested, but she just wasn't interested in this photo shoot. I did get one with both girls and one with the girls and Beth. Sadie smiled finally for that one. But, my computer is working so SLOW at the maybe I'll post them tomorrow)

This Cinderella pumpkin carriage was in the mall near our hotel in Hong Kong. I don't think I was supposed to let Hannah actually climb in the display. But come on, how could I resist??

Do those sets of eyes look tired to you? This is the BEGINNING of our flight from Hong Kong to Newark. I'm so grateful though - Hannah was WONDERFUL on the plane and Sadie was great too. She was more fussy on the last flight - but who can blame her? Definately better than trip #1 in 2006 where Hannah screamed 6 hours straight! Ah...the other passengers have no idea how fortunate they were this time. :-)

Liberty airport - Newark, NJ - Welcome to America little one!!

Checking out her home for the first time (and keeping a tight grip on the stuffed bear she was greeted with at the airport - thanks Lauren!)

Sadie with her friendship bracelet. Cute story: Hannah made two of these bracelets in Sunday School way back before Easter. They were doing a lesson on friendship and were suppossed to keep one bracelet and give one to a friend. I asked Hannah who she was going to give hers to and she said "Sadie". I tried to c0nvince her to choose one of her friends at school or church because we were months away from getting Sadie at that point. I thought she'd forget or lose it or something. But she was adamant. I never said another word about it. This morning, Hannah got the bracelets out of her room, put one on, and gave the other to Sadie. I thought it was so sweet.

Hannah and Sadie: Mozart and Bethoven?

We are home. It feels good to be here. Let's see...after my last post, we had the swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Consulate the next day. A nice improvement from two years ago is that now they keep some toys in the room for the kids to play with. They kept my two entertained for the waiting time. We then rushed to the train station and our fabulous guide got us on a 5:00 train (we were supposed to be on a 7:15 train so were thrilled to get to leave two hours earlier!)

The train ride to Hong Kong was quick and easy. Getting all our luggage to the hotel along with two kids was not so easy. Everyone kept saying "oh, the hotel is close" which is true - but if you have more pieces of luggage than people and you can pretty much count two of the people out from helping (though Hannah did pull her own little suitcase), you should get help. Beth pretty much managed the luggage while I managed the two kids (one in stroller). Anyway, our hotel was connected to a mall and was wonderful!! We had a suite and it was very nice. Early the next morning, we headed to the airport for the trip home. Thankfully, our flights were non-eventful this time. When we got to Newark, NJ - Sadie officially became a U.S. Citizen! After a five hour layover, we were exhausted. But, our last flight to Birmingham was on time (yeah!!)

We enjoyed the very warm welcome we received at the airport by friends. Hannah proudly introduced her sister to everyone. We arrived home around 11:00 and it was after midnight before we all finally crashed in the bed. I *thought* we might avoid too much jet-lag since both girls were up by 8:00. But, when I put them down for a nap after lunch (and me too!), we all ended up sleeping until 7:00 p.m.! So, now it's 10:30 p.m. and everyone is wide-awake! oh, well - it'll all work out soon enough. Sadie is talking so much more...not in English and I don't really think it's Chinese either (sounds more like babble to me). But I am hearing her voice so much more.

We have done nothing today but play. We plan to hang out at home tomorrow and the weekend. Maybe I'll even unpack a few things. Maybe :-). Monday, Hannah goes back to school for the last week of the year. Sadie and I will enjoy some one-on-one time together. She has her first doctor's appointment at the adoption clinic on Wednesday. I'm very interested to see what they have to say.

I've had a few questions about Sadie's hands. She basically has no thumbs to use. Her right hand has a thumb, but it's connected to her hand by only skin (it seems). So it's very floppy and not functional at all. She doesn't use it any. Her left hand has no thumb and is turned inward (radial club hand). Let me say, her hands don't slow her down AT ALL! In fact, it's interesting that while I think she's delayed in many areas - her fine motor skills is the one area that really doesn't seem delayed. She holds forks, spoons, etc. She can scribble with a crayon or pen. She zips and unzips things. She helps with dressing and can take her socks and shoes off. She can *almost* put her shoes on, but not quite. She feeds herself finger foods and can pick up very small objects. She mostly holds small things in either hand. On her right hand, she uses her index and middle finger. On her left hand she uses her ring finger and pinky. She can grasp larger objects between both hands. There are some things that are shaped so that it's hard for her, but she's persistant enough that she usually manages somehow. I'm interested to see what the orthopedic doctors say later on, but I really don't foresee Sadie's hands being much of an issue in her day to day life.

Thanks so much to everyone for the warm welcome at the airport, the groceries, the favors done while we were gone (car and air conditioning fixed, grass mowed, etc.), the sign on the door, and supper tonight. We appreciate you all so much!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Last Post from China

Pictures in random order because my internet connection is going to expire before I can move them all around :-)

Sadie trying the see-saw at the park

Sadie and Hannah by the flowers in the park

Waterfall in our hotel

This is the morning routine I've got them in - they wake up early before Beth and I are ready to get up. So, now they get their books and read in their beds...they're pretty good about it too! They end up in the same bed reading and giggling before too long though. It's cute.

On the Riverboat cruise

Hannah at the park

This will be my last post from China. First, thanks for the concerned e-mails, but we are all fine. The earthquake that hit China was absolutely no where near us. We didn't feel a thing and did not have any idea that there was an earthquake until our guide told us this evening. It is also not anywhere near the area we will be going through tomorrow. Just wanted you to know we are okay.

Today has been another good low-key day. After breakfast, we went to a local playground for a while. We walked back through another park nearby and just enjoyed walking around. We picked up laundry and headed back to the hotel. I had to be in the hotel room for an hour waiting on my guide to call and give me the "all clear" that everything was in order at the U.S. Consulate with my paperwork. After he called, we ate lunch and took naps. We played in the hotel room for most of the afternoon. This evening, we enjoyed a riverboat cruise. My friends who have been to guangzhou before - the food was just as bad but the boat ride itself was great. Hannah loved the lights. Sadie liked the bridges we passed under. I have spent a while tonight trying to pack..ugh! I think we're going to make it though! I had some really good news wonderful social worker called to check on us and informed me that I had a grant from Shaohannah's Hope come through after I left the U.S.! I was somewhat concerned that I didn't have quite everything I needed and was coming back to debt...but was trying *really* hard to leave it in God's hand. Some days I was more successful than others with that. Of course, once I made it to China, I just stopped thinking about it. And God continues to provide...I am amazed and humbled and challenged to keep believing God for His promises day to day!
Tomorrow we are taking the girls swimming in the morning and hoping we can wear them out for an early nap and lunch. Then, we head to the U.S. Consulate for our "swearing in" ceremony and to pick up Sadie's visa. From there, we will catch a train to Hong Kong and spend one night there. Early Wednesday morning, we will head to the airport in Hong Kong and fly to Newark, NJ and then on to Birmingham!! We will arrive in Birmingham at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday night on flight CO 2756 (continental). (After about 23 hours travel!). We'd love to see you if you're local and want to come...but you should probably call the airport first. Not trying to be pessimistic or anything - but we haven't had an on-time flight yet except the one out of Birmingham originally.
Thanks so much for all your thoughts and good wishes and prayers. There will be much adjustment left for all of us when we get home, but we are good. God is good. And He is at work in my family in an amazing way. I will post again when we are home (but not that night - I'm sure that night we will simply crash!) Thanks for joining us on this incredible journey!
love, DeEtte

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hanging Out in Guangzhou

Hannah: WOW! Look at that BEAUTIFUL DRESS!!! (she was nice enough to pose for a picture..I guess she figured it was the only way Hannah would walk on and stop staring and wowing at her!)

PAPA JOHN'S PIZZA! See story below about the two small containers.

Hannah: Let's go swimming!! The sooner the better!
Sadie: hmm..are you SURE this is a good idea?

Eating well at the Thai restaurant

So, ladies..let's get this meeting started. What are today's plans?

Hannah swimming by the waterfall

Wet and cold, but happy!

Swimming makes us hungry!!

How could I resist these dresses when they BOTH loved them?

Hannah with the nice ladies at the embroidery shop we visited.

My sweet girls enjoying the pool.

We are completely enjoying the more laid back schedule here in Guangzhou. And I think Sadie is benefiting from it too. She is doing well. Today she has amused us with her antics and beneath that quiet exterior -she's an extremely funny girl! She and Hannah enjoyed dancing and just being silly a lot today.

Yesterday after my post, we didn't do much at all. We checked out the swimming pool at the hotel. Sadie wasn't too sure about it and didn't last long. We walked around some and ate at the Thai restaurant we enjoyed so much last time. Banana Milkshakes..mmm..both girls were happy. Today, we were supposed to tour this morning, but we called our guide last night and told him we wanted to shop instead and we knew exactly where we wanted to go. So, we headed to the market this morning with all the shops. While there, we ran into Rebecca who was our guide two years ago. It was nice to see her and we enjoyed talking to her a little while. After we ran out of money, we went back to the hotel! After lunch, the girls napped while Super Nana babysat. *I* shopped some more! (thanks to changing money again!). We went swimming again this afternoon and this time, Sadie LOVED it. She stayed with me in the baby pool for a long time laughing and having a great time. Hannah was so sweet and patient with her in the pool too. After changing, want to guess what we did again? MORE shopping! (just a little this time!). I am officially done shopping - well except I want to get ONE more thing. Just one. really. For supper, we had...PAPA JOHN'S! And it tasted like papa john's pizza here too! Okay, if you look at the pizza picture above, I must explain the two containers next to the pizza. One is dipping sauce much like you'd get here. The other is sugar. We asked if they had cinnamon bread (you know, like they do in the U.S. - they had the same kind of pizzas after all). They were confused and didn't understand. So Beth said 'you know..sweet bread, with sugar and cinnamon'. They still didn't seem to get it so she told them never mind. When they delivered the pizza, they sent a container of sugar. I'm sure they're laughing at us wondering why those crazy people want sugar with their pizza! oh well! They really tried.

Sadie has been great today. And she's learned SO much already in the past week. Today, she has been talking a good bit. Mostly baby talk and unintelligible, but she's making sounds. And she clearly says "gong gong" (her name) and "bye bye" and "jie jie" (big sister). She has said mama once in front of a mirror, but she called herself mama..she doesn't get it yet. She also is signing "more" consistently. She's been helping me dress and undress herself today and has shown some understanding of some simple things we are saying. She is eating much better too. Her eye-contact and playfulness has increased tremdendously. I can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring.

Tomorrow we plan to head to a local playground after breakfast for a while and that's really the only plans we have until we go on a dinner cruise on the river tomorrow evening. I have to be in my hotel room from 11:00 - 12:00 while my guide is at my US consulate appointment for me so he can call in case there are questions. Other than that, we are free to do whatever we'd like. We did a lot of touring in Beijing and Nanjing, so we are quite happy to have more free time now. We have met quite a few other families and some have older children near Hannah's age. So, according to Hannah, she has lots of friends here now.

Well, that's it for now. I'm off to bed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Catching Up

Sorry it's been a couple days...we've been busy. Let's see where we left off..

Two days ago we did some more sightseeing in Nanjing. We went to a mausaleum where we climbed 382 steps (or something like that..don't remember the exact number). And we did this with two children - the four year old was fine. The two year old...well.. she climbed a little, I carried her a little, she climbed a little, Beth carried her a little (repeat about 10 times).

Then we went to Ming Tombs which was a beautiful walking area. Hannah enjoyed it because it was fairly level ground so I let her push Sadie in the stroller. We then headed back to the hotel for lunch and nap and some playtime. Sadie is so cute in how she tries to imitate Hannah. I am seeing her come out of her little shell more and more each day. And yet, sometimes, she retreats back into it. I can't imagine what she must be thinking - so many new experiences and changes for a little girl who's lived most of her life in a little room.

That evening we just hung around the hung around the hotel. We were all pretty tired and the not feeling so great. I think I had some kind of stomach bug or something that was not so fun. Thankfully it only lasted that one evening. Before that hit, we did take a little walk to pick up some photos and take some pictures around the temple area near where we are staying.

Yesterday was travel day. We headed to Guangzhou. Our plane was delayed and we were getting pretty irritated. There was a nursery that was locked and had a sign in English telling us to call a number to have it opened. So we did..and 45 minutes later and 3 phone calls later, they tell us "sorry, it's closed." Ah..little things, but I think at that moment we were out of patience and goodwill. However, after that Beth (Super Nana!) managed to get us a private area to wait in the first class lounge. They even brought us snacks to eat. So, now I know how first class passengers are treated in airports. It was much better than corralling two kids in a crowded gate area for two hours and I think it saved my sanity. Someday when I have lots of time, I'll have to share all of our airport stories. For some reason, every travel day has had it's share of , um, adventures. But, our stays in the cities, our guides, and everything related to the adoption has been great - so I'm very thankful for that. I'm also thankful that all of our travel um, adventures, has had to do with schedules or people OTHER than the kids. They (Sadie and Hannah) have been great travellers!!
Well, we got to Guangzhou late last night and can I say it feels SO good to be here. Sadie had her medical exam this morning and her picture taken for her visa. I completed paperwork with my guide, and then we all headed to Lucy's Cafe for an "American lunch". I actually love Chinese food and have eaten well here for the most part - but after 9 days, I was quite happy to have American food. Well, actually, I had a quesadillia, but it was good. Sadie had her first taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich and she liked it. She liked the fries more I think.

This afternoon we have some serious playtime planned..maybe the pool, maybe a playground near here..just down time and playing. They're both napping now. Tomorrow, we have serious shopping planned. And more playing. Monday is my consulate appointment and Tuesday I get Sadie's visa and we take the train to Hong Kong. We will be home Wednesday.

I still can't actually pull up this blog or see the comments, but I do feel your prayers. Continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers during these last few days. Sadie is a precious little girl and I can't wait for you all to meet her. However, I probably will keep her home with me for a while first. She is adjusting very differently than Hannah did. She is so much easier in some ways. She acts content to be with me and she's so sweet and playful. But she's equally happy to be with anyone else...she would go to a stranger on the street in a heartbeat. I'm convinced that she thinks I'm a nice fun person to play with and who feeds her. But she doesn't yet really know that I'm mama. She's never had a mother to know what that means. So, all that to say, I appreciate your understanding if we don't get out and visit with everyone soon after we return. However, if you want to meet us at the airport - we'd love to see you. I'll post details some time before then. But then, we will spend some time at home learning to become a family.