Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gotcha Day Anniversary

Wow, has it already been a year!! Time flies when you are having fun. I do not even know where to begin. Our lives have been changed...a wonderful blessed change. Hope came to us very small, scared, and quiet. She has really progressed this year, although she is still small she has gained about 6 lbs and has grown about 4 inches, but the scared and quite are mostly gone. She laughs, runs, plays, sings, dances and is pretty much like most 4 year olds. She does have a few hang ups...some that break our hearts. She wants to be sure we will have enough food. (we can leave Wal Mart without anything from the toy department but we must have some groceries in the cart).

We love her and are so very blessed to have her in our lives.

I'm working on converting our video of this wonderful day to a format that will play properly on the web and will post it once I figure that out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

One Year Ago Today

What a difference a year makes!!

One year ago today we left for China. It seems like it was only yesterday. Really this past year has been a whirlwind of exciting times and precious family memories. I love to think back about how we felt as we were leaving on our Journey to Hope. Anyone who knows me knows that organization is not one of my strong points...I was still packing at 12:30 am on January 9th. We left for the DFW at 3:30 am. I did get about 1 hour of sleep. I was really much to excited to sleep much anyway.

One of the most important details about our trip that we seem to not talk about enough is our travel companion Jewel. Jewel, Ronnie's cousin volunteered to go with us and help us in any way she could. She took most of the pictures you have seen and was a wonderful source of fun and the perfect shopping buddy for me. Jewel we will never forget your unselfish gift to us and Hope will always always be reminded how precious it was to have you with us when she made our family complete. Thank you again...we love you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A China Hope Christmas

We had just finished a little Christmas Day nap

Just thinking

Hope had asked Santa for a "big baby"

If I had a dollar for every time one of us said, "this time last year" I could pay for next year's Christmas in advance. Last year at Christmas we knew who she was and what she looked like (sort of), and couldn't wait for the next few weeks to pass. The last year has seemed to fly by, and Hope has changed so much and so fast.
Her language skills are amazing and funny. She has a huge vocabulary but still has problems with her enunciation. Sometimes we have to get her to repeat something several times before we understand. She comes up with some of the most unusual phrases.
At bedtime she lays between Becky and me and likes to play "I'm Mama's baby, no I'm Daddy's baby" for a few minutes. When it's time to settle down she will say, " I go to sleep fast and you go to sleep slow". Usually she will be asleep within 4 or 5 minutes after that.
A few months ago one of her favorite expressions was "Yes, No?" when she asked us a question. It reminded me of the Mandarin expression "hao bu hao?" meaning "good or not good".
One of my favorites is "remember?" She says this when something that she enjoyed in the recent past is repeated. It may be something she ate, or something she saw in a movie, etc. Sometimes says " remember asterday" she is having a little trouble with Ys. She is so cute when she says it because she cuts her eyes to the left and acts like it is a secret.
Of course my favorite is "I love ooh" The Y problem persists. We get a lot of "I love oohs" and the most fun ones are spontaneous, not prompted. We also get some "I love oohs" that just happen to occur right before Hope asks to bring all of her toys at once into to the living room, or for me to make her a tent, etc.
We know that she looks like a little angel, and we wouldn't want to mislead anyone. We do experience times when she needs discipline just like any other four year old. We pray for special wisdom because we know that she still has struggles adapting and overcoming three tough years before coming into our home. We are thankful and amazed at how well she progressing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Hope Marie

3 extra cakes to celebrate those 3 birthday's we missed.
Let's get this party started...I've waited a long time for this day!

First Birthday Cake.

Second Birthday Cake.
Third Birthday Cake What fun...Happy Birthday Hope

And PRESENTS on top of all the other fun.

December is so very busy...and with a special little girl around here having a birthday on December 12th it was extra busy and extra FUN!!

We had a family party on December 13th...on the 12th we took a small cake to Grandmas and then attended the homecoming game at the school. Two of Hope's nephews...our grandsons are on the Varsity Basketball team and that is so very much fun. The cake we took to Grandma's on the 12th was actually a very small layer of the cake I made last year on Hope's birthday which I froze so that she could have it this year on her birthday. It was pretty good...

Hope LOVES to sing Happy Birthday and it was really sweet when she sang Happy Birthday to herself at her family party...We really really love you Hope Marie..HAPPY BIRTHDAY we are so blessed to have you in our lives.