Friday, February 29, 2008

I have been searching for a particular picture to post today and can't find it. I have figured out that a computer full of pictures is not much different than a box in the closet if you don't organize and label them. I will find the photo later and post it with a story about it. Meanwhile here are a couple of cute pics. The top one is in the hotel in Hefei, China the first few days after we got Hope. The bottom one is one of Hope in someone's arms recently.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

She Is So Smart

Hope is learning fast. Some of the latest things she can say:

"just a mimmit"

"there it is"

"quit that"

"no no Tylah"

"see you later" among others that I can't remember. Amazingly, she not only says the words but uses them in the right context.

Two nights ago I came by the house for supper and was about to to back to work. I was concerned that Hope would get upset if she saw me leaving. ( she has really gotten attached to me since I have been staying with her during the day) I went to her bedroom door where Misty and the grandkids were all around her playing at the mirror making a ton of racket. I said very quietly to Misty, "I'm going to slip on out and get back to work." Immediately Hope said, "bye bye Daddy" and never missed a beat in her playing. She also was totally unconcerned about my departure.

All parents think that their baby is extra smart, maybe some parents that have Chinese children more so. I hate to admit it, no matter where she came from, but my little baobei. (Chinese for precious darling) is really, really smart. If you will excuse me now I must go and check on her, I think that she is on the brink of perfecting "cold fusion" in her bedroom laboratory. Wait, scratch that last comment, it's just an unbelievably stinky, poo poo diaper.


Monday, February 25, 2008

I Lubba Yeeou

Becky and I feel like we are dreaming at times. After two and a half years of waiting you would think that we would be prepared for the reality of having this precious little girl in our home. It is hard to believe that she is really here now. Many of the concerns that we anticipated have not been evident, and some that we never considered are. On the whole, we feel very blessed with how she is adjusting, it is better than we had hoped for.

The only negatives that we are dealing with are her fear and/or anger that she has sometimes in her car seat, her tendency to cling to us so closely, and….? Well, I forget what the third one was, seems like there was something else, but I can’t think of it right now.

Some things that are so precious are; Her spontaneous kisses.-
How she is such a clown and showoff. This we didn’t expect because the orphanage people described her as shy and introverted.- Her spontaneous kisses and displays of affection. Oh did I already say that? - How she says “I love you”. This we learned last night after everyone had gone home . It sounds kind of like, “I lubba yeeou” and sometimes, “I lubba yeeou to”.

We know that she doesn’t really understand what she is saying yet when she says I love you, but her eyes tell us that she really does already love us. Anyway, who wants to waste time trying to figure how what love is when you are too busy falling in love, being in love, and giving and receiving love?

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Busy...

All snuggled up with my Bethany

All snuggled up with my Sunnie
My first basketball game...

Me and a couple of my favorite guys........I mean nephews!!


Monday, February 18, 2008


Hope displaying some of the gifts she has received since arriving home. Several of Misty's friends from work have sent gifts and we are so thankful and appreciative of their kindness. Hope loves her doll buggy and looked really cute in her pink and red Valentine outfit, then she really put on a show by grabbing that purse where she keeps a special little rattle that we sent to her in her China. We were surprised one evening when she picked up that cute denim purse and put it on her arm just like she had been doing it all her life!! Really cute!! The purse came with a darling pair of jeans and a top that are a little big still, but she is really growing. We are hoping when we go back to the pediatrician soon that those scales will prove it!! She was just so tiny when we got her and now seems so much heavier. Believe me I am building up my muscles!!

Also Hope's friend Sabrina loaned us a toddler bed to put in our bedroom. Thank you Sabrina. By the way notice the dolls sleeping in it...they are actually the only ones who use it...Hope tends to prefer our bed...I know I know...not good, but we are really working on that!! Sabrina also bought Hope a very very cute little brown church dress with yellow and pink dots on it and a pretty pink bow in the front. How I wish she could wear that NOW!! It is adorable. Even though it is a 2T in size it is still too big.....

Kyla who is a great family friend and one of Bethany's best friends sent Hope a wonderful praise and worship CD which we love and a precious Storybook Bible we have been reading every day. Hope's attention span is growing and I'm lovin' that... we are reading to her every time she slows down for a minute or two!!!

She actually did get into this little bed last night and covered up laughing until we said "night night Hope".........oh well. I'm really thinking of using Carmen's crib for a while................


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Our Little Longhorn

Hope's friend Ronda gave her a Texas Longhorn Cheerleader outfit and it is really really cute!! Ronnie and I are Longhorn fans and Ronda is a faithful OU fan! Anyway Texas-OU weekend is a lot of fun at my job with so many Longhorn fans and so many OU fans.

Ronda was so sweet to "crossover" and buy Hope such a thoughtful and cute gift!!

Thank you Ronda.

Here a few pictures. Hope has a mind of her own now when we are trying to take pictures of her. It sometimes takes 20 or 30 shots to get 1 good one. I am a real fan of digital photos...

This is the only full length photo we were able to get

Carmen and Bethany both tried to help us get a good was a lot of work!!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Aunt Sharon

Happy Birthday Aunt Sharon and Happy Valentines Day too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you like my shirt.........Mom said YOU bought it for me.......
Love You Lots,
Hope Marie

PS My Mom said to tell you to remember to ask her all about how much fun we had taking this picture. It has something to do with my BRAND NEW POTTY CHAIR.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wed. morning and at 8:20 Hope is still asleep. Hurrah! I actually got about six hours of sleep last night and I have a head start on Hope this morning. She looks beautiful sleeping so peacfully. It won't last long though.

It is almost killing Becky to have to be away from her during the day, but Hope is handling it pretty well. Every so often she will just call out "Mama", but she doesn't get upset. I tell her that Mama is at work and will be home soon. I repeat it the same way each time hoping that she will begin to understand some of what we say.

Hope is learning several words in English and using them some, but not in sentences very much yet. She calls out "horsie" when she looks out the window and sees one and she calls our dog "Timber" by name but not our other dog, "Abby". Most of her communication to me is grunting and pointing still. Sometimes she uses words that I am sure are meant to be in her Chinese dialect. Very cute and sweet, but we can't figure out any pattern yet.

I am listening closely for sounds that she is waking because she panics very quickly if she gets fully awake and one of us is not in sight. She generally doesn't want us out of her sight at any time. We will know that she is really getting adjusted when that changes, and are prepared for it to take quite a while maybe. We figure that in her mind she was abandoned by the only people she had ever trusted, (her aiyas or nannies) and now we are all that she has, imperfect as we are. She is learning to love and trust us and we know that time is a healer.

We also know that Jesus is a healer, so we continue to depend on Him, and the prayers of friends, family, and church.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Getting Into the Routine

Hope went to church Sunday and was a very good girl. She had fun, ate 5 or 6 donut holes in Sunday School, and played musical chairs during the song and praise service by switching from one or the other sisters or Mom and Dad after each song or more often. On the way home she had one of her famous meltdowns when she decided about 15 minutes from home that she didn't like the baby carseat anymore. Becky and Sunnie were in the back seat with her, but nothing they tried could make Hope happy.

We didn't take her out and we didn't stop. We just endured her pitiful wailing until we reached our driveway. We are concerned that if we stop and take her out that it will reinforce her belief that if she cries we will capitulate. We do take into account that some unpleasant memory may be being triggered when she is in the carseat, so we are trying to only take short trips until she has adjusted to this issue.

She had a busy and funfilled Sunday afternoon, walking over to Grandma's for a visit and then playing with Sunnie, Bradley, Ben, Caleb, Tyler and her older sissies. Becky took the squeaker out of one of her squeaky shoes. That cuts the noise in half but we still have the benefit of tracking Hope by the sound of her shoes. Also, Hope tried eating with chopsticks and is a natural, not quite coordinated enough yet, but has a good start.

On Monday Becky has gone back to work and I am staying home with Hope. My supervisor is allowing me to work an evening shift for a while so that me or Becky will be able to be with Hope at all times. Today Hope woke up at about 6:45 ready for breakfast. We walked over to Grandma's for about an hour and a half then came back and had lunch at 11:30. She fell asleep in my lap while we sat in the recliner and ate ice cream, and napped for an hour and a quarter. It is almost time for Becky to get home and I know that she can't wait to see Hope. This is the longest she has been away from Hope since we were united with her in China on January 14th.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Few Pictures...From Last Weekend

We have such a wonderful family. Our daughters love Hope so much and are such a blessing to her as they have always been to their proud Mom and Dad. These girls gave us the confidence to know that we really could raise another daughter. Thank you girls for being the beautiful confident precious young women who we treasure and adore.

Can you tell Hope is interested in that pizza?? She loves it!!
3 Beauties... Neice Sunnie Kay, Hope Marie, and Big Sister Carmen
Bethany keeps Hope laughing all the time...what a beautiful smile on your Big Sister Hope!!!!!!!

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's House we go!!!!
Big Sister Misty feeding Miss Hope (or should I say Miss bottomless PIT) an apple!
She has them all wrapped around her little finger they'll do anything she wants!!

Coloring with my beautiful Big Sis..... Misty

Big Sister Carmen and Hope...notice the sucker...that is what the girls used to bribe her into their arms. It worked they are now Best Friends Forever!!
Bethany actually came armed with a new coloring book and colors bubbles to blow and the suckers today!! I'll fix that red eye tomorrow Beth!!
Check out this really cute outfit Big Sister Bethany found on sale at Dillards!!
Hope's cousin Lexingtion came for a first visit...she is such a cutie pie!!