Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Two years ago today..

Two years ago today, I boarded a bus in Beijing to travel to the airport. I boarded this bus with 5 other families and my oldest daughter. Four families were headed to Nanchang and 2 families were headed to Shanghai. All sorts of emotions ran through me that morning as I headed down for breakfast. Excitement, nervousness, fear, and joy filled my body and mind. My life was going to change today. I am going to meet my daughter whom I have waited 33 months to see. Tears filled my eyes as I ran into the other mothers. Five of the six mothers had children already; one mother was a first time mom. We were all experiencing the same set of emotions. One of the mother’s going to Shanghai had been to China 3 times before; she was very well seasoned and reassured me that all will be fine. I cherished her words of wisdom as we arrived at the airport and went our separate ways. Our plane was late leaving Beijing. When we landed in Nanchang, our wonderful guide was waiting in anticipation. She had received phone calls that the babies were all on the way to Nanchang. We knew at that time that when we arrived at the hotel there would be no going to the room to unpack and prepare for the arrival of the babies. It was going to be drop off your luggage off and follow me to the conference room where you babies await. Call and call confirmed with each family that your baby had arrived at the hotel. There were four families with three different orphanages involved. Darci was the last baby to arrive. There were so many emotions running through my body and so many thoughts running through my mind. Things were not going as planned. We now had to go with plan B and I wasn’t sure what that plan was. We arrived at the hotel gave the bellman our luggage and off to the conference room we went. The whole day is a blur to me. We could hear the babies crying. As I passed a caretaker my mind went to “is that her”?? The pictures we receive are usually very old so it was very hard to tell if it really was her. Keep in mind the only pictures I got were when she was about 7 months old and she was now 14 months old. The caretaker was just walking her around, no tears, it was a very fast ushering in so there was no time for me to linger and make sure that it was her.

Our names were read and this child whom I have waited for so long was placed in my arms. Oh the joy and elation of that moment is one I will not forget anytime soon.

However the joy and elation that I had was not shared by Darci. Her world had been turned upside down and she was being handed to a woman who did not look like her, smell like her, speak like her and she wanted NOTHING to do with me.

After a few minutes of asking her routine, feeding schedule, what she likes and dislikes it became very apparent that I needed to take Darci away from this mass confusion. I took her to our room while Amanda stayed to get all of the fine details (which I quickly discovered really didn’t matter). The mother instinct quickly engaged and I knew when to feed her, what to feed her, when to change her and what to do to soothe her. When Amanda got to the room she told me that I needed to go back down to the conference room to take care of some paperwork. Not thinking about the consequences I went down to take care of the necessary paperwork and left Darci with Amanda. Bonding had taken place and Darci wanted nothing to do with me. We were very careful that only I fed her and changed her and did as much of the primary care that needed to be done, however Amanda had to be within eyeshot. Being able to see Amanda gave her comfort as I took care of things. Darci did very well. That night I gave her a bottle and off to bed she went. No tears, which was a blessing. She slept in a mini crib that we were able to put in between both beds. Every couple of hours she would stir and I would pat her and off to sleep she would go.

The next morning it was as if she woke up and said "these ladies are still here??" Our day was a very busy day filled with going to the Adoption Center to finalize the adoption. We got Darci ready and the smiles came out and she was warming up to the fact that we were not leaving and she was not going back to the life she had known for 14 months.

She had no idea when she woke that morning that her entire world was about to change. She had been found and taken to the Fengcheng orphanage. After her initial exam she was placed in Foster care the next day. We do not have much information but know that she was very well taken care of and very loved. We are very thankful to Chin@ and to the orphanage and her foster mother for the love they gave her. Darci is a very well adjusted child and we thank God every day for allowing us to be her parents!! Happy 2nd Forever Family Day Darci!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tidbits from a busy life...

Life is busy and the blog is not a priority but I really would like to change that!!! May was a very busy month for me as it is the last month of school and in our office it gets VERY BUSY!!! We ended the month with Kayla's wedding shower in St. Louis. Darci is now fully potty trained, YEAH!!! She fell in love with Elm@ P@tty time and watched it a million times, but it worked. She wore pu!!-ups for about two months then transitioned into panties. We have Dora, Ni Hao Kai Lan, and Gymb@ree. No droopy drawers here. She still wears a pu!!-up at bedtime. For the last several weeks they have been dry and she wakes up in the middle of the night needing to go potty. When this box is gone, we will go to panties at bedtime. We moved her to a different bedroom which is much larger than her other room and took the drop side off her crib, took the wheels off and lowered the mattress frame down as far as it would go, so now she has a crib daybed. She can get in and out all by herself. She is doing really good with staying in bed and only getting up when she wakes in the morning. She has grown up so much and it hard to believe that she has been with us almost 2 years now. We celebrated her 3rd birthday in April and she had a blast with her friends. I am done with work for the summer well at least with the paid part. I go in from time to time just to keep things from piling up. August would be a nightmare if I didn't go in from time to time. Darci is done with childcare. She has gone to the same sitter from the time we brought her home and it was a bittersweet ending. She will be going to preschool this fall and I am looking forward to seeing her grow socially. Since there are no siblings in the house, we felt that it was time for her to go to preschool. The summer is quite busy for us. I leave in 2 1/2 weeks to go to San Diego for M@rine Boot Camp Educator week. One of the counselors’s in the office and myself will be heading to boot camp, this should be quite interesting. For those who know me personally know that I don't do well with someone yelling at me, I might just have to yell back!! LOL!!! When I return from that trip Darci and I will load up and head to MO and IL for a 13 day trip. We will stay with Kayla for part of the trip and then with my Sister and I cannot wait!!! When we return from that trip we will be home for about a week then we plan to head to Atlanta for our travel group reunion. This year is just real busy and unfortunately there are only 3 of the 6 families that can get together. Sad =(. Then it will be time to go back to work and school for Darci. Shew where did the summer go?? I will post pictures of our travels and I am going to make it a priority to post at least once a week. We'll see!!!

Happy 3rd Birthday Darci!! We had a birthday party for her while we were in IL for Spring Break. Since most of her family cannot make it to OK for her birthday, we decided to take the birthday girl to them and celebrate.

Grandpa and Grandma

Grandpa and Grandma

Uncle, Aunt and cousin

Great Uncle and Great Aunt

Friday, April 8, 2011

Two years ago today...

It was two years ago today that I saw my precious daughter's face. Brian was out of town and so my oldest daughter Amanda went with me to our agency (we are blessed that we live in the same area as our agency) to hear/read the information about our daughter and then see pictures. It amazes me how things have changed over the last two years. I cannot even begin to imagine what life would be like without her. Monday is her third birthday and we will be celebrating tomorrow with a big birthday party. We are so incredibly blessed!!! The journey was a LONG journey and the WAIT seemed like forever but God knew what child He had intented for us and the journey had to be what it was. We traveled with 5 other families and we all keep in contact through email and F@acebook and it amazes me to hear what the other children are doing and how they have adapted to their families and it is always a reminder that we have the perfect child for our family, she fits like a well snug glove. Darci you have blessed us so much that there are not enough words in the world to ever express to you what you mean to us!!! Somewhere in China there is a mother and a father who are missing out on what a wonderful child you are. You are funny, serious, bossy, precious, entertaining, dramatic, playful, energetic, cranky, wonderful, expressive, demanding, and sweet and I wouldn't want it any other way. It is my hearts desire to take you back to your birthland and show you and teach you the ways of your homeland. It is rich in culture and even though you are being raised by two Americans, your are Chinese and we are proud of that for you!!! I am so thankful that you are my daughter and that you became the thrid pea in my pod of three peas!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Halloween Then and Now

I can remember during the wait following other bloggers and their journey, Halloween is probably one of my top favorite holidays as I love to dress up and have FUN!! I remember thinking what I would do for Darci's 1st Halloween with us. I searched high and low for that perfect outfit and when I found it I knew it. It just so happened that a fellow blogger had one for her daughter the year before we got Darci and I remember how cute she looked. Here is Darci's first Halloween, 2009

Well Halloween 2010 was no different, I searched high and low and found this cute little outfit at a consignment sale. The outfit and boots were under $20.00 found the red hat at Wal-M@rt and the horse at Silver Doll@r Citi. Complete!!

We went to our local zoo for Hallozooween with my oldest daughter, my son-in-heart and grandchildren. C was wearing a costume that his dad worn when he was younger. We got quite a few "thumbs up" on his costume. B went as a B@rbie Rock Star.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

October 2010

Well I have really been a slacker when it comes to this blog. I'm not even going to give any excuses or promise to get better!!! It is what it is!!!
October brought Fall Break - YEAH!!!! So we took off to see Darci's big sister in St. Louis and I had all 3 of my gals together. Talk about a happy momma!! My heart was grinning from ear to ear!! Here are some pictures.

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Ni Hao Y'all

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reunion time

This past weekend we got together with our travel group for a reunion. It was so much fun visiting with our travel buddies from our China trip. Thank you R & A for hosting the weekend. It was so much fun watching the little ones get to know each other. Our annual reunion will be something I look forward to each year. It is so hard to believe it has been a whole year since we got these precious little ones. Where does the time go?? We spent so much time waiting and waiting and waiting and here a year goes by and it seems like a quick blink!! Enjoy the pictures!!!

My travel buddies, just missing one =(

Feeding lorikeet's

Feeding the rabbits with a friend

A new friend!!!

Sand anyone??

Catching up!!

Gifts, Gifts and more gifts!!


All 5 families

Saying goodbye =(

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A look back at 2009

In January Brian's aunt passed away and we headed back to Illinois for the funeral. Brian's grandfather was ill and had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Such a sad month, however on the 30th Brian and I celebrated 27 years of marriage.

Brian and his grandfather (Sadly his grandfather died in April)

This visit also gave us the opportunity to visit with family members that we had not seen in quite sometime.

This is Brian's brother, sister-in-law and niece

Since we were back in Illinois we got to spend some precious time with Kayla

February rolled around and I had a surprise birthday dinner for Brian. You see Brian is very hard to surprise. He always guesses his presents before he opens them and he is always right. So for me to pull this off was quite a feat. He dropped me off at the door, I had already planned for everyone to be there before we got there. Amanda coordinated everyone at the restaurant. When he came in since he found me waiting he thought that maybe I had not lied to him and there was no birthday surprise. So we walked over to the table where everyone had menus in front of their faces and then all said "Happy Birthday" he was quite shocked!!! I finally scored!!! It was a wonderful evening with wonderful friends!!!

March brought our 3 year wait for Darci. It was painful but we knew that April would bring our referral and Darci's face we would see.

April we finally have our referral and what a beautiful daughter God has granted us.

Seeing her precious face for the first time

Darci turned a year old on April 11 and the girls I work for held a birthday party for her.

Since I was in waiting mode I decided to run in the OKC Marathon. No I did not run a marathon!!!! I ran with a relay team. I ran one of the 5K legs and it was so much fun!!!

My first marathon

The back of the shirt that I designed

Our relay team

May brought travel approval, I had called our agency on the 27 and there was no word, but May 29 brought a wonderful birthday present for one of the mothers in our group as we received TA. We would leave for China around June 10 or 11.

June - We left the airport on June 10 to travel all the way to China to get our precious Darci.

Getting Darci

On US soil!!!

July is spent meeting relatives for the first time.

Meeting me big sister Kayla.

Meeting grandparents. (Brian's mom was in the hospital, so we don't have good pictures of her first visit with them)

Meeting aunts, uncles and cousins.

August brings Mom going back to work and Darci going to childcare. Growing, playing and going to a kiddie park for the first time.

September brings more growing and grandpa and grandma come for a visit.

October brings a trip to Silver Dollar City, the pumpkin patch, first weiner roast, Halloween and one cute pumpkin.

November brings tagging our Christmas tree and Thanksgiving (no big dinner this year!!!)

December = Darci becoming an offical "Roberts'" and CHRISTmas

What a year!!! Cannot wait to see what 2010 brings!!