Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Forever Family Day - May 20, 2007!

On May 20, 2007 it was our first Forever Family Day - meaning, it was the one year ago on that day the first time as a entire we family met. We had just spent the better part of 24 hours in planes and airports trying to make our way back home to Jacob, friends and family....meanwhile we were discovering that Isabella was coming out of her shell and decided this was the moment, she felt secure enough with us and that we weren't giving her back, so she screamed pretty much non-stop the entire 24 hours. Most parents would get up in the isles to walk or rock baby, but that wasn't working, so Robb and I would take turns getting up to walk or rock ourselves so that we wouldn't go crazy. Whew - when it was all said and done, it was a short time in our lives, but at that moment, we just new at any time, the captain was going to come on and tell us the flight attendants were handing out parachutes to the new crazy family with the screaming little girl. However, the best part of the entire flight besides thinking of home and Jacob, we were on that flight with 20 new families that had similar situations. Note to self, next time....purchase seat for little one at any cost. Once arriving home and seeing Jacob and our friends and family there to greet us, all the crankiness, tiredness, and moodiness was just wiped away. It was a nice homecoming and so special to us, there were balloons, banners, American flags, our house was decorated, food was in the oven and loaded in the fridge, and for that moment, we could take in some air and let at a huge sigh of relief because all was right with the world. Thanks friends and family, you made our special day that much more special to us and we will never forget our first meeting as a Family.
This past Sunday was our Forever Family Day....on this day each year, I would like to spend the day as a family. I don't really mind what we do, just spend it together. I would like the kiddos to know that May 20 is a special day for us and we will be together. I realize in later years this will become more difficult, so for now, I call the shots.

It wasn't a spectacular day as for events being planned, no fireworks, banners, or even balloons but it was a day we spent all together talking about meeting Isabella, China, and being a family. PERFECT! We spent the day having breakfast with extended family, catching up, and playing. Then did a little home repair shopping, an spent the evening with friends and meeting their adopted daughter from China. Again, I call that a perfect day with family.

The photos above are when Isabella became a US citizen. According to our laws, once an International adopted child touches American soil and enters the country, they are citizens of the US. Therefore, May 20, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois...Isabella hit American soil and touched her feet to the ground. Another photo is of Jacob and Isabella meeting for the first time. Jacob wanted to hold her, hug her, and talk to her. He patted her to sleep that night and gave his first kiss to her. The next photo is Isabella on May 20 this year....wow how a year has changed her. I just can't believe we brought home a baby and now she is a little girl blooming, growing, learning, and laughing. The last photo is the kids getting ready to play. These days, Isabella has to do everything her big brother does. So, the hat turned backwards was on purpose because Jacob had to turn his backwards.
Thanks to the good lord above, the wonderful support we have from family and friends our family is complete.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Metcha Day Year 1!

Our Dear Sweet Isabella Ruby Xiao Yan,

Today marks the 1st anniversary of Metcha Day! On this day one year ago, you were placed in our arms by the director of Liangping County Social Welfare Institute in Chongqing, China and it was the very first day we met. We can’t really even begin to describe in words that day as it was so magical, emotional, exciting, scary, and most of all full of love and anticipation of the wonderful little girl that you have become.

This year has been a great year of challenges, fun, excitement, love, joy and just getting to know one another. We love you very much and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives with you and watching you grow into the most amazing person you can ever become.

Below are is a photo of the first time you were placed in our arms and others of how much you have changed over the past year and the entry we made on our journal the day you were placed in our arms for the first time.

Mommy, Daddy, and Big Brother Jacob

May 9, 2006

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away…
Our breath has been taken away! Today, May 9, 2006 Isabella Ruby Xiao Yan was placed in our arms forever. Jacob we have your little sister! She is perfect.
Today we said goodbye to Beijing and continued on this journey to Isabella, heading to central China… Chongqing, China. We arrived to our hotel in Chongqing China around 3:30 PM (2:30 AM CST) on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 and that is where it hit me, it’s not tomorrow anymore. We went to our rooms to gather supplies, freshen up, and make any last minute notes. At 5:00 PM we went to our Coordinator’s (Lina) room (all 6 families). This is where the babies were being brought to us.
The room was filled with nerves, excitement, and just pure energy. At 5:20 PM we heard some bustling in the hall and in walks the Director and five nannies holding beautiful baby girls all dressed a like. I noticed right off that the director had Isabella in his arms. Then one by one they called out each child’s name and the babies were placed in our arms.
It was pandemonium. Pictures flashing, everyone filming, babies and parents began to cry, and then finally they called Xiao Yan. We walked over the Director and he handed us Isabella. I can’t possibly put into words the emotions we had at that moment (one of the best feelings I have ever had).
We just looked ohhhhddd, and ahhhhed. It was an indescribable moment that only the heart knows and we are so happy to have it on video to review later. She is perfect. We passed her back and forth, taping each other, taking pictures of each other, hugging, kissing, as if we were the only ones in the room.
We signed a bit of paper work, and then I went off to our room with Isabella. Robb stayed behind and had a chance to talk with the Director and nannies and trying to arrange a visit to the orphanage. We had a list of questions beforehand and they stayed until each family had all their questions answered. It was wonderful. Meanwhile, I was back in the room just staring at her – I couldn’t think of what else to do at that moment. I sat her on the bed with some toys and we just talked. She appears to be healthy. She can sit up, grasp toys, and moves her head to noises. I gave her a picture of Jacob to hold and she has yet to let it go.
Once Robb returned we undressed her, she had four layers of clothing on and it was 85 degrees out. We changed her, looked her over (she is a girl), washed her up, and put on her PJ’s. Then we attempted to feed her a bottle. Even tough both of us have done this before; it was a pretty amazing site….followed by a pretty big mess.
It’s now 10:00 PM China time, we have Isabella down, ordered some room service, and then we are out for the night. Tomorrow we have to do some official paperwork, and then Isabella is legally ours according to China.
I will post more as we learn more and have more photos.
Jacob, help take care of grandma and we are telling Isabella all about her wonderful big brother. We love and miss you much.
Thank you so much to each and everyone of you who is following this most amazing journey, sending us e-mails, praying for us and thinking of us. We feel your love and your prayers as well as ours have been answered. Thank you.