Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekly Update~

It seems I can only hope on and update once a week but I am Instgramming often so if you want to see us daily, hop on there and follow. Just IG button on the left sidebar.

Nothing earth shattering here unless you count helping a new little one know and feel love in her new home. While the big kids are swimming in the pool each afternoon, Calla and I play in the water and blow bubbles~

One morning when Calla slept in a little, we came to the kitchen to find EK&SJ making pig-n-the-blankets. Yum! We also attempted a little bit of school and Calla lasted oh.... 5 minutes. :)~

When EK came home, we watched the Chinese dance video a million times. Now Calla loves it too! AND she has started to love her lovie which we call Baby~

Tuesday we had a cardiologist appointment and it was NOT fun making her sit in a carseat! She can not stand to be held down and to her that is exactly how this felt. It lasted the whole way to Atlanta and gradually she began to relax. Finally on the way home, she managed to fall asleep... all three bitties did~
Calla didn't like the dr very well but when Evie jumped up there with her, all was fine~

SJ is taking lots of time with Calla too. Teaching her to color and glue and Calla is starting to let SJ love her. This is a big deal for SJ as you can tell by her face~

One of Calla's favorite things to do is look at our family photos. She always says daddy, mama, Ebie, Mimi, and Gigi. She can repeat all the other names and learning more each day~

Our afternoons are filled with nap, snacking, and playing outside. Calla loves to eat frozen yogurt pops~

My mom wanted to get Calla something special so I suggested a water table because Ben Curtis loves his so much. It has been the perfect toy while the big kids are playing in the pool~
 The big kids like it too~
 Sweet summertime~

My mom and dad gave us some fresh green beans and these three loves helped me snap them~

Calla LOVES to swing especially in the disc swing~

AND this is her golf cart face. You should see Scott and I taking the 7 for a ride around the neighborhood. We look like the Clampetts. LOL~
 and these faces~
 and these faces~

Sometimes it's just fun to water the monkey grass~

Evie and Calla have been friends from that first day in China. This week when Evie hopped on the batman car to ride, Calla wanted on too. What a sweet big sister~

Father's Day was extra wonderful with Calla home. We decided since we couldn't all be at church together, we would stay home and take the boat out. It was SO fun celebrating this amazing dad~


 We grilled for lunch and that afternoon we made homemade ice cream. Call actually like it~

Four weeks today this little love has been in our arms and LOVE she now Knows, Accepts, and Gives. All glory to Jesus. He gave us the courage to say yes, raise the funds for her adoption, and the strength to get her home. Many think we're crazy crazy crazy and we are... Crazy in love with the life God has given us. Content to love the ones we've been gifted. They are all on loan and we pray each day they grow closer and closer to our Good Good Father. Calla certainly has the best on earth~

There are still tough moments with her but we are finding a new normal each day and everyone is adjusting to having a baby in the house again. We are SO thankful to have her home!!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Three Weeks Forever Today~

Calla has been in our arms for three weeks today. And we have been home for one week tomorrow so I picked out some of our best moments to remember. As soon as we were home from the hospital Calla wanted to be outside. She loved riding in her push car! We LOVED gathering around our table for our first meal together. Calla is eating SO well and will eat most anything~

She fit right in with her sibs and was playing 'camp out' in no time. The photo below was made for us on Calla's gotcha day. I sat it on my desk beside my 7 stone. What a beautiful reminder of God's provision when we follow His call to step out into the unknown. SO thankful we get to be her parents!!!~

Family walks and golfcart rides are just a few of the ways we are having fun... so much that it makes her naps long and wonderful~

We hung BC's swing finally and Calla was not the least scared to swing... only when the dog barks. She also loves water so splashing in the pool was a favorite. We are keeping her from swimming until we have seen all the specialists in the next couple of weeks. Memommy ordered her a water table so I think that will certainly keep her entertained~

Just a little personality bursting through~

I am so proud of all the littles as they have welcomed this happy, screaming, hitting, spitting, kissing, hugging, unpredictable precious sister into their normal. It will never be the same but oh so much better. They include her when she cooperative and step back when she's not. It has been beautiful thing to watch and referee~

Here is an example of times when we are a little overstimulated or just didn't get her way. She goes to the same exact spot, plops down criss cross, and screams. No tears and waits for me to walk over. She holds her hands up and as I lift her into my arms, the fit magically disappears. We are trying to keep her world small, stress free, and calm~

Sleep was NOT Calla's thing in China. I think she was stressed from the whole experience and didn't know if we would still be there or not. Then we had the whole hospital thing with nurses and techs in all hours of day and night waking us for terrifying reasons. NOW we are home where things are relatively calm, she is getting some serious naps and night sleeps~

Calla is beginning to notice what the other kids are doing. Evie constantly plays with her dr kit so of course with hospital fresh on the brain, Calla took right up with it~

While the kids are swim, Calla loves playing in a pan of water. Mostly she likes to pour it on her head :) ~

I think one of the most beautiful things I've witnessed since we've come home is the relationships blooming... Ella is taking her big sister status very serious and when I need her the most, she scoops baby sister up while I finish up what I'm doing. Calla is loving her dada more and more now that she knows he will take her outside every time she points to the door. Today she fell asleep with him instead of on me. Baby steps~
AND I was able to move her to the sofa where she still lies sleeping away. We praise God for all He is doing in our family and Calla's heart. He gets all the glory because it is ONLY in Him any of us are able to do this holy work.

James 1:17  Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Longest Day Ever~ MRI Day

Bonding is a full time commitment this the lack of blog posts. Up until this morning she has not let me put her down. If I was worried about flabby arms before China, that has been addressed the last three weeks!!! ;) The more they are held mostly cheek to cheek, the more secure the bond builds.

The whole purpose of being admitted to the hospital was to determine why CA was running a fever daily during the day and in the night in China. There was much blood work done and MRI/ultrasound ordered. We were admitted Saturday at lunch and waited all weekend for things to get going. IV port went in Sunday evening and all food/drink was suspended for a 7am MRI.

The night was hard because we missed dinner due to jetlag then up at 1:30 am... not to mention the blood draw @ 4am. :( I was SO glad when the sun peeked up over the horizon~ I could see the end of the tunnel or so I thought. The MRI was pushed out to 11:30 then 2:30. I think she finally went back about 4:30 and by then we were both spent. It really was the first time she hadn't been in my arms for two weeks. I went to get food and sat in the garden praying for her. We needed answers!

I headed back to waiting area and because it was about 6pm, I COULD NOT stay awake. I kept falling asleep in my chair almost falling out. haha. I was able to go to her about 6:15 and carry her back to our room not long after. We ordered dinner and went to sleep in each other's arms.

We were SO happy to see dada walk in our room about 6am the next morning. And it was heaven to see CA eating again. She ate and ate and ate!!! We were able to let her walk around the halls while waiting for word we could go home!

Egleston was a tough call for us so soon home but it was certainly good for bonding. We were one on one and I was able to meet every need. We were so blessed with amazing nurses~ LaRobbie being our all time FAV!!! We were released about 2 and headed home!!!
You know home is the sweetest place and certainly so when you've been gone for two weeks with a hospital stay. SO thankful for all the prayers and provisions for our family! Even though we have two surgeries ahead of us and most likely glasses, God knew it all and goes before us as well as hems us in! To Him be the glory!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hospital Update~

Jet lag is in full force. Calla and I are sleeping from like 4-1:30 and then playtime ensues. The nurse brought her Mr. Potato Head and she loved it~
It was the sweetest thing to watch when her daddy walked in. Some of her cute sass came back~
It was wonderful to have him here for the day and feel his love!!! This afternoon they put in an IV to get ready for MRI tomorrow morning. So very hard to watch such terror since we can't help her understand anything going on. Hoping for answers tomorrow and thankful for such amazing care. Calla is very loved!!!


Home~

We arrived at the airport to Savannah and Amelia waiting for us. There were no words to describe how it felt to come home to your grown children. God has blessed us big with them! We had about 2 hours to home and when we arrived about midnight everyone was done. Loved that Rosie, EK, and SJ had waited up on us. 

Calla was SO scared in our house. Late at night. Over tired and sick. We finally coaxed her through a bath and into the middle of our bed. We slept from 1-4 and rested until 5 then the travelers were up for a toast party. 

Morning brought some courage and she was down playing in no time~
The kids were sitting around her and I asked Scott to take a photo. They all were excited because it would be in her China book ~
So very sweet for them to finally be together!

Because call had been running a fever for two weeks with us, we felt sure we needed to have her seen right away. We took her to Scottish Rite emergency care and through some testing found she needed hospital care~
We took her toEgleston and she was admitted. Scott and the kids stayed for a little while and then they needed to get home before jetlag kicked in. 

I've been here before about 6 years ago with SJ so I knew the drill. It is so very traumatic on Calla but the best bonding as I lie with her in bed and hold her through all the sticks and vitals~
 When I have moments when I want to be sad we are here away from our family, I stop and give thanks we are home in the States getting the very best care possible. Thank You Jesus for getting is here and hearing our baby!!!



Our Last Day~

We had a free day waiting for our visa so we spent it listening to music~
 
Playing in the hotel~

Another 100 degree walk through the park. Yes, EK that is a duck on the man's foot~

The lotus flowers were blooming beautifully~
we even found a Callalily to take photos with. We have loved China but so glad to be headed home. 

During the day we learned our visa would not be ready until tomorrow right before we leave because of a misprint on Calla'a abandonment decree. Trusting the One Who has gone before this whole time.