Monday, December 21, 2009

A Very Blessed Christmas!!!

For the last four holiday seasons my prayer has been "Please Lord, bring KayLi home before next Christmas." God has answered that prayer in His perfect time and in ways I never could have imagined. Not only is she home but she is healed. Glory!

While I haven't had time to post, bake a single cookie or even wrap a gift we have been celebrating around here. Ryan & Ana were here last weekend and helped decorate the tree.

They also drove KayLi and I to Dallas to have her stitches removed last week and I'm so thankful for them. Allie had no time off left and the thought of driving almost six hours alone with KayLi and than navigating Dallas was, well...ugh!

Emily has put the angel on the tree for the last ten years and she was happy to do it again this year. We have teased her the last few years that next year KayLi would do it. Somehow it just felt right for her to do it one more year.

KayLi loved having Ryan and Ana here. She simply adores her big brother!

Sunday Emily went to see the Nutcracker ballet with the girls youth group. Oh, how I wanted to go but I'm not sure KayLi is ready for that yet. So we went for pizza and then relaxed while we waited for Emily to get home and we could take a few pictures under the tree.

I love these pictures beyond measure. They are an awesome reminder to me that the same God who kept His promise of a Savior for the world over 2000 years ago, also kept His promise to bring this sweet child home.

And He is keeping His promise to heal her. Less than two weeks after surgery, she is doing so well. She is still a little swollen and the interior stitches haven't dissolved yet but look at what God has done!

I am so glad that KayLi's surgery is over and that she is home this Christmas. But for the record we have a new rule around here. There will be no more surgeries during the month of December unless it is a matter of life and death. We have kept many of our traditions in spite of two trips to Dallas and KayLi's surgery. I'll be posting about those after the holidays. There simply isn't enough time to to celebrate, enjoy the holiday and blog about it.

I am behind on my Christmas "To Do" list like never before. And to be honest, that list has been spoiling the season I have waited too long for. If no cookies are baked, oh well. If I don't have time to finish a few gifts, everyone will understand. Because for the rest of the holiday season I am choosing to focus on the fact that God has given us the perfect gift in His son Jesus. Oh, how I want to give him my life in return.

May you have a very blessed Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was completely and utterly amazed when we walked into the recovery room yesterday and saw KayLi for the first time after surgery. I knew we had found a wonderfully talented doctor. I had seen all of his before and after patient pictures. And I KNOW God is a mighty and powerful healer. But to see Him heal and restore MY child, almost physically brought me to my knees.

Her lip no longer arches higher on the cleft side. The wide scar from her first surgery is gone and only one small line will remain after stitches are removed next Wednesday. The old slipped tubes in her ears came out without any problems - PTL! Dr. Genecov built up the cleft side of her nose and once the swelling subsides, her nose will be very symmetrical. Perfect is the word I really want to use!!!

She was doing so well at the hotel yesterday that we decided to come home. She sleep well through the night and has been awake since 6:30. She hasn't even needed Tylenol today! Amazing!!!

I fought anxiety so hard over this surgery. Did she really need it? Was it worth it to cause her pain and possibly cause her to be fearful of doctors? Should we wait until after the holidays? What if we put her through this and something terrible happens? Yeah, our enemy was fighting dirty but our God was victorious!

Nothing terrible happened. Her pain level was very manageable. I'm pretty sure Christmas will go on as scheduled. KayLi is home, happy and has less of a stuffy nose than she did with a previous sinus infection.


Oh, just for the record...I'm a terrible photographer to start with and these pictures were taken with my phone. Have I mentioned that I'm having camera issues. And if you are wondering why her upper lip is shiny, there is surgical glue on the incision to minimize scaring and create a protective barrier from germs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Three Years and Three Surgeries

KayLi's first surgery was to repair her cleft lip and it took place in 2007 at the Hospital of Jining Medical School, in Shandong, China. She was seven months old and I pray that one of the nannies from her orphanage was with her as she recovered.

Her second surgery was to repair her cleft palate and it took place on Sept.23rd, 2009 at the Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas, Tx. Praise God we were with her to comfort and care for her as she recovered.

Now she is having her third surgery to revise her lip, reconstruct her nose and replace both slipped ear tubes, this Wednesday at Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas, Tx. We will be with her again and would like to ask you to pray for her. Last time she had know idea what to expect. This time there is no blissful ignorance.

When we took her for pre-surgical clearance last week she was not happy about it. She wanted to take one of her babies with her and the nurses and doctor were so sweet to take it's temp, blood pressure and check it's ears. All was well until they had to draw blood. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. Now when we talk about going to the doctor "to fix her lip and nose" she says "No KayLi doctor. Baby doctor."

It should be a simple day surgery to "build more of a ball tip and make her nostrils more symmetrical." I'm praying that the shorter surgical time will mean less anesthesia and that she comes out of it easier than last time. I'm certain that God placed her in our family to heal her and trust that He will be right there in the operating room with her.

Her palate surgery felt so necessary that I really just wanted to get it done and over with. This time...well I'm going to miss her little smooshed nose. I can't help but think that since I no longer notice it that no one else does either. My head knows that her appearance will play a huge part in developing a positive self image. And that it's best to get this done while she is hopefully young enough to forget all about it. But my heart wonders if it's really necessary to put her through a third surgery. Can't we just send her to karate classes to take care of the teasing kid on the school play ground? I'm kinda having to talk myself into this one. So would you be so kind as to say a little prayer for KayLi's mama too :0)

Oh Yeah, the silly picture above...she loved it when Allie came in from the cold last week and put his coveralls on her!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

First Snow?

For the season yes but most likely KayLi has seen and played in it before. Shandong, China gets a lot of snow each year. We just weren't sure if KayLi and her friends had been allowed to play in it.

We have been making a big deal out of the seasons lately and getting excited over pictures of snow in her books. I've asked her a few times if there is snow in China and she very casually says "yeah." We still weren't sure though.

When she looked outside for the first time this morning, she gasped and said "Oh no. Snow."

Right when we walked outside to play, Allie pulled up to see how she liked it. She loved it!!!

He quickly started to make a snow ball to throw at show her and she just as quickly told him no! I think that's a pretty good indicator that she has seen this cold white stuff before. He hadn't even finished making it when she warned him.

Emily was so happy to be home until 10 am and be able to enjoy it with KayLi. She and her friends were playing in it before I could get all three layers of clothing on KayLi!

She was thrilled when they canceled school for the whole day. Yep, it probably wasn't two inches and they called it a snow day. It snows so seldom here that this is a very big deal!!!

Emily had never seen snow at all until we moved here just over three years ago. She still loves making snow angels! She tried to get KayLi to make one but she was not having it. She just kept looking at Emily like she was crazy or laying down in the snow.

She thought it was pretty funny that there was snow on her scooter though.

Not long after I took this last shot (with my phone because I'm having major camera issues AGAIN!) we headed in to make a warm breakfast. Our friends Sundai, Shelby, and Logan came over for pancakes. Then the older kids went to the baseball field for a block party in the snow.

They will all be here again soon to watch the movie "Up". We are hoping KayLi will enjoy it. Until now she hasn't shown much interest in actual movies. This girl loves her some Sesame Street and Ni Hao Kai-lan though!

It's almost two in the afternoon now and most of the wonderful snow has melted. KayLi thinks it's raining because it's all dripping off the house. I'm hoping Allie will get home soon to pile on the couch with us and start the weekend a little early. I think a big pot of soup and a warm fireplace is in order! Hot coco anyone?

Favorite Photo Friday

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So Much To Be Thankful For...



Favorite Trees

Good Food

Aunts & Uncles

New Tricks

Sweet People

I hope you all had a very blessed Thanksgiving!!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Mama, KayLi China?"

Tonight as I was putting KayLi to bed she wanted to sing a song about going to China from Ni Hao Kai Lan. So, of course we sang it. When we finished singing this was our conversation:

K: "Mama, KayLi China?"
M: "Yes, you are from China."
K: " Ahhh, China."
M: "Mama, Daddy, & Emily went all the way to China to get you and bring you to KayLi's house."

She smiled her biggest smile and whispered "KayLi's house."
Then she feel asleep, literally still smiling.

KayLi & Bella

Not long after we moved to West Texas Isabella, or Bella as KayLi calls her, was adopted by some sweet friends of ours.

So often as we were waiting to bring KayLi home Bella's mom and I would wonder if KayLi was the same age, the same size or going through the same stages as Isabella was.

(KayLi had jumped off the step...I can't believe I caught her in midair!)

When we received KayLi's referral it was exciting to learn that KayLi was just a few months older than Isabella. When we received an update we learned that they were almost exactly the same size. And while we waited for travel it was so fun to watch Isabella and think that there would soon be someone just that size in my house.

Since KayLi has been home they have created quite a special bond. KayLi simply loves Bella. While KayLi was recovering from her palate surgery, Bella left a "get well" message on our answering machine for her. KayLi knows exactly which button to push and loves to listen to Bella's sweet message.

"KayLi, dis a Bella. I hope you feel betta. I praying you. I luv you. Bye"
Over and over and over!!!

It is a complete joy to watch these two precious girls play together. They are both such amazing answers to prayer. I love that they are growing up as friends and neighbors just a block away from each other.

We love you Bella!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Door

A couple weeks ago a door closed that I was certain we would be walking through. My faith and attitude about it have been pitiful.

Normally I would remind myself that God opens and closes door for a purpose...for His greater glory. Normally, I would be fine, if not happy, with that. Not so much this time.

This particular door is one I have thought and dreamed about for over four years. I had no idea how set I was on it until I realized that it was not just shut but very firmly closed.

I know God can open it if He so chooses. After all it is His door. I don't think He he will though.

I'm praying like crazy that He opens another that is similar. Oh, how I want to see Him glorified!

It has all made my heart heavy. Very heavy. Until this morning...

During the sermon our pastor reminded us about a few things that I desperately needed to be reminded of. Things that changed my attitude about the situation...hopefully for good.

Things like being anxious for nothing. Even if those things will glorify God.

And to think on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, are virtuous or bring praise. Not on what might have been.

And to take EVERY thought captive. Even the ones that want to scream "Why not?"

And above all to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS because He is so worthy of our joy and praise!

So until He opens the next door or triumphantly returns, I will try to give Him reason to be gloried. Even in my thought life. Especially in my thought life. I WILL rejoice in Him and in the amazing blessing He has given us. He is so worthy!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Think I Exhaled

I spent a few hours in my craft room today being blissfully creative.

I haven't been in this room since we started to prepare to travel.

All I made were a few simple little note cards.

It was wonderful. I think I finally exhaled!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just Look At The Cuteness

Well, apparently it's a miracle that I got through KayLi's adoption paperwork the first time. Our agency reminded me that our Adoption Certificate was translated and notarized in China. I totally spaced off that said document was one of three given to us in Shandong. Hopefully we will find favor with the HR department and a Chinese notary will suffice.

I posted more of the pictures from the "carousel" in the hopes that you will be so stunned by KayLi's cuteness that you will forget all about how much of an idiot I can be :0)

Help Please

We are working on an adoption reimbursement that my husbands employer provides and need a translation service to translate KayLi's adoption certificate into English. The translation needs to be notarized. Do any of you know of such a service? I would really appreciate any leads :0)

The picture above is of KayLi playing on an awesome "carousel" in one of the waiting areas at KayLi's surgeons...I just threw it in for some random cuteness!

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Tricks, Just Treats!

Ok, say it in unison with me..."Aaawwwwww!!!" I KNOW!!!! Is she the cutest Minnie Mouse ever or what?!?!?

For at least 18 years Allie has begged one, if two of my children to be a robot for Halloween. I am raising intelligent children who understand how uncomfortable cardboard can be after 20 minutes and they have always steadfastly refused. This year Emily humored him. Either that or she just wanted him to shut up, I'm not sure which.

She really was a cute robot though. I hate that I was having major camera issues.

Once the robot costume was complete and Minnie's face was sufficiently painted we headed for a Fall Festival that one of the local churches put on. It was a blast! Thanks so much Trinity Baptist...Great job!!!

Ryan graciously slide with KayLi on her first inflatable slide and she loved it!

Emily and her sweet friend Shelby walked the cake walk several times and I'm fairly convinced that there is large cake walk conspiracy across the great state of Texas. In over 21 years of parenting, countless carnivals and festivals, my children have never won a single cake. E.V.E.R. Shelby and her brother Logan won this one festival. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want to but I'm just sayin'!

Since Emily's costume was not jumping castle attire Shelby took KayLi in and bounced with her until she was sure of this large inflated box.

It didn't take long before she was having a great time with my friend Traci's little Asian Sensation!

A great time until I said, "KayLi, no more candy until we get home."
Seriously this was the reaction!

It's just pitiful to fill an entire pink purse full of candy and tell her to stop eating it after piece number, who knows what!

She cheered up fast though when we went to take this picture in this cute little spot. There was a barrel full of apples and plastic pumpkins set out and well, let's just say I'm really glad the place was almost deserted before she and Toryn found them.

I love this picture though! Em is soooooo done with her costume and Logan finally decided he would like to wear one!

This was the first Halloween for both these little cuties and they totally loved it!

I loved how Minnie's nose rubbed off throughout the evening and she smiles so cute when you ask her to say "Cheese!"