Sunday, November 27, 2011


One year ago we submitted our letter of intent to adopt Emery.  I remember thinking that we weren't quite ready to adopt  We had just bought a house that was a fixer upper;  not just a few cosmetic changes, but a gut it to the studs and , upper.  We live in a community where it can be hard to find housing and this one kind of dropped in our lap.  It has a yard and is in city limits.  We really wanted a yard and it is hard to find that here.  So we (mostly me) decided to buy it when we walked around the outside before we went inside.  Some rooms inside we didn't even go in.  It is small.  One of my sons had to go to the doctor right after being inside because he had a severe allergic reaction to cats that lived inside.  We lived in a hotel for weeks while we cleaned it up and repaired enough to move in.   But it is in a great neighborhood, and did I mention it has a yard?  In the midst of this craziness we saw Emery's pictures, read her files, prayed, fasted and decided to move forward in a leap of faith.  Her file seemed pretty straightforward.

Jump ahead a month and her file wasn't quite as straightforward.  There were all kinds of complications that could be happening and time became precious for her chance at a repair surgery.  The cardiologist who reviewed her file gave us best and worst case scenarios and told us realistically she was probably somewhere in the middle but they couldn't tell from the testing that had been done.  The worst case scenario was that we would bring her home to die. 

We weren't really ready to expedite the adoption.  We had planned on a 10-12 month period to go through the steps and get all our finances in order.  And I was a bit scared.  Should we proceed with this adoption when surely there was someone else who was more ready to go forward?  In January I put out the word that we needed help to expedite.  I have never been so humbled than by the extreme outpouring of support and help that we received from friends, family, and strangers.  We did a 10 day fundraiser and were completely overwhelmed by the grace we were shown.  And we had, almost to the cent, what we needed to expedite the adoption and start rushing things through.

Our homestudy writer was amazing, she put in all the visits in one week and got it written up quickly.  We had to fly to Anchorage to be fingerprinted for USCIS and they allowed us to walk in whenever we could, once we explained the situation.  We got an extremely helpful and sympathetic USCIS worker who helped us to expedite.  Our agency representative was extremely attentive to our file to make sure it wasn't lost and to ask if it could be expedited at every step of the way.  Eight months later we were meeting our little girl.

In the last year our family has grown in more ways than the obvious,  we have felt embraced and carried by so many wonderful people, and we have seen God's hand in our lives more. 

I have so very, very much that I am thankful for.  I am thankful for the power of prayer.  I am thankful for the gift of friendship.  I am thankful for the blessing and strength of family.  And above all I am thankful for God, who knows and blesses me in so many ways.

Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas season. 

Hopefully we will have a surgery date soon:)

Sleeping Beauty

First Day

The Little Princess

Monday, November 14, 2011

All Clear

The cath was successful and they were able to get the pressures that they needed to plan a surgery.  In addition the pressures in the collateral vessels were low which is apparently a very good thing.  Emery was a champ and it was SOOOOO much better than last time.  Hard to believe that in less than two months we did not need a translator and Emery turned to me for help instead of the nurses  I have to admit I was strangely happy to be puked all over after Emery came out of the procedure.  I don't think she has ever vomited before and was very scared and disturbed by it all.  I told her that her geges and baba would be so proud of her and that is was a cool gross thing.  She was so excited to call baba and tell him that she puked 3 times!  Eew gross, giggle, giggle!  We still have a predominantly boy family.  We had a fantastic trip.  Emery was hungry and begging for pizza right after she woke up, but we waited until the next day and had pizza for lunch in the airport and then baba made pizza for dinner.  She was one happy little girl.

The exciting thing for me was that her oxygen levels were higher coming out of the cath than before, only a few points but I'll take it!  We didn't have a repeat of last time trying to get her stable at 70.  She was a solid 77 when she woke up.  So great!  It was so nice to sleep the night in the hotel instead of the hospital that night.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  We are so grateful for the way they have been answered.  We are back to the waiting game to hear a surgery date.  It snowed here last night.  I don't think Emery has played in the snow much, or ever.  She LOVES it.  It is really cute to see how much she enjoys these firsts. 

At the Ocean

Friday, November 4, 2011

Three Months

Three months ago today, we came home.  Tired from a long flight with little(Emery) to no(me) sleep.  A doctor's visit that confirmed her diagnosis and another quick flight, with me mostly passed out while Emery colored happened pretty quickly and then we were home.

Emery was so excited to see her baba pick us up, it had been at least 7 hours since we split up not knowing for sure what the doctors visit would bring.  She was so excited to meet her geges.  She walked(almost strutted to be honest) into the house with a huge smile on her face and hasn't looked back much since then.  I was so excited to see my boys.  I had missed them so extremely much in China and was so thrilled to see them, but could barely drag them away from their new sister for quick hugs:) 

Three months ago, Emery barely spoke English.  Now she speaks sentences and can make herself understood without pointing and grunting.  Three months ago she shut down completely if told no or not given what she wanted.  Now she tries to negotiate, Maybe later?  We'll see?  She knows that it's ok to be told no; it doesn't mean we love her less.  Her brothers get told no too.

Three months ago, everyone was walking on eggshells and on their best behavior.  The boys gave her anything she looked like she was interested in(except for the youngest brother:)) Now they are OK with not letting her have things that are special to them and she knows she doesn't have to share her dolls.  Three months ago we were staying up all night watching Strawberry Shortcake(so very girly I really was not prepared for this!!)  and trying to stave off nighttime crying.  I was sleeping on the floor in her room since she kicks.  Now we can all sleep in our own beds without waking up crying in the night.  I wake up to check on her, but not because she is silently grieving in her bed.  She knows she can call for mama or baba. 

Three months ago Emery had short hair that could barely be put in little pony's on top of her head.  Now it is shoulder length and she is thrilled that it is going to be long hair and she can 'let your power shine'.  Her favorite movie is Tangled.

In the past three months, Emery has flown to Seattle twice for doctors visits, passed the dentist with flying colors, and had lab work done twice.  We have had one major health scare and a few smaller ones.  I have gotten a couple of white hairs that I have pulled out promptly and told my husband that he will enjoy the way higher salon bills if I have to start dying my hair:) 

We have had a bonfire on the beach, jumped on the trampoline, hiked to a lake(it is much harder carrying a little girl that just hiking!), gone out on a boat whale watching, gone trick or treating, watched movies, eaten ice cream, bought dolls, baked cookies, gone to a musical, and had so much fun.  It is amazing to think it has only been 3 months, but what a great three months.  We have made big changes in our family and have really been blessed to be able to move forward in attachment and in relationship building.