Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Frida is Coming Home!!

Meet Frida.. she is currently waiting in the Hunan Province of China. Although she doesn't realize it.. in just a matter of days her whole world is going to change when she meets her new mommy and daddy and becomes part of a forever family.

Did I mention part of our (extended) forever family? Tomorrow, my aunt and uncle are heading to China to bring her home! We are so excited for them and can't wait to meet Frida! Our sweet cousin will turn three on Friday. I'm not sure when "Gotcha Day" is, but it's sometime this week.

It's amazing to think that just one year ago, my dad and I stopped in California to visit his (my dad's) brother and family on our way to China. While there we shared with them the video I made of Emma's Adoption in 2004. Little did we know that as we headed across the ocean, we had left some seeds planting in the heart of my aunt and uncle. Just a few days later, Mom called and said that Aunt Norma and Uncle Mauri wanted to adopt a baby from China! It was a bit of a shock because my cousins (their kids) are 18 and almost 16, and here they wanted to adopt a baby! In October, we found out they had been matched with Frida. She was a waiting child just like Esther and has a repaired heart defect. Good thing she's coming home to a daddy, uncle & grandfather who are all cardiologists!

And here we are just a year later and they are on their way for their little girl. =)

If you don't mind, please pray for a smooth and quick adjustment and that Frida bonds well to my aunt & uncle. I've been there, done that, so I've offered as much "wisdom" as I could to my aunt, but nothing prepares you for adoption.. much less adopting a three year old. We're just hoping she adjusts as well as Esther did.. well minus the night terrors!!

I'll keep you updated when I hear something! Hang on sweet Frida.. mommy and daddy are on their way! (And hopefully we'll meet you sometime this summer!)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

FFFF Challenge #19- Bad Photo's

Well, I didn't have to look very far before I found a bad photo! This photo was taken Monday night of the girls in their Chinese outfits. Here, Emma looks just darling... but poor Esther has definitely had better pictures taken!

And to be fair.. here's another bad photo!! This was taken at Disney World a few weeks ago and the girls were so excited to see Mulan! But looking at Emma's expression you'd think otherwise!

Chinese New Year

Well, we must deserve the award for worst family- we forgot about Chinese New Year on Saturday!! Actually, we did celebrate Chinese New Year with our local FCC group, but that was back in January! So, on Monday night we ordered in some Chinese food and I dressed the girls in some of their (many!) Chinese outfits and they went with me to pick it up. They were so excited to go and get the "China food!" Unfortunately, our local Chinese restaurant isn't all that nice and they hardly noticed Esther and Emma who were trying so hard to get their attention. But, the girls didn't really care, they were just glad to get the food! (I think we'll start visiting other local Chinese restaurants-maybe they'll be nicer!)
But... the girls enjoyed some tasty Chinese cuisine and dressing up in their outfits. They're still too young to understand what CNY is all about, but once they're older I'm sure we'll start the traditions of giving them money/gifts in red envelopes like they do in China. Who knows!
Chinese New Year is a huge celebration in China and lasts at least a week! I think this year they're celebrating from February 17-24. Everything in China shuts down while they celebrate and it's like a huge week long Christmas/New Year's/ 4th of July over there!! 2007 is the Year of the Pig- although we don't really get into any of the Chinese astrology.

Anyways, Happy Chinese New Year or Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Family Comes to Town

This past weekend we had some of our family- Uncle Bobby, Aunt Connie, Zach & Cordell- come down and visit us! They were here at Christmas time, but we were all sick so it was kind of a blur..at least for me! While Uncle Bobby and Zach spent Saturday and Sunday at the Dayton 500 races, we enjoyed spending time with Aunt Connie and Cordell. It was a short visit, but we had a wonderful time and are so glad they were able to come!

Sweet Cordell, age 2
Miss Emma riding a scooter
Ian and Esther
Cute cousins down on the dock

Later that night, Emma gives Dad a hug and shows off her balloon animal while at dinner.
Here Esther shows her new balloon "horsey"
Cousins Zach (13) and Ian (almost 9) are both pretty obsessed with their gameboys.
Elena and Cordell
Mom and her "baby" brother
Cordell and I
Kayla, Zach and Elena

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hidden Treasures

I found this video today and thought it was adorable! Incase you don't know, the little girl in the movie is Shaohannah "Shaoey" Chapman, daughter of musician Steven Curtis Chapman. Shaoey and her two sisters were adopted from China and she was the inspiration for our adoptions. Anyways, I just thought it was adorable and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Karate Movie

Wanna know how Ian ended up like this?
Click HERE.

I just uploaded a really funny video that I made of the girls and Ian play Karate. Ian has been teaching the girls all of his new moves and they just love it when he plays "karate" with them. He decided to dress them up in his karate uniform, and his plan sort of back fired on him because they ended up beating him up! (Well.. not really.. he was letting them!!)
Anyways, click HERE to see the movie I made. Unfortunately I can't get the movie uploaded to any video sites like YouTube because of the video formatting. (We have a Mac computer) So.. for now, until I can figure it out, you'll just have to click the link above and view it! It's really funny, so I hope you all enjoy it.

And just as a disclaimer, NONE of the kids were injured, upset or hurt during the "filming" of the movie. I think you'll see and hear that they were quite happy and thought it was hilarious!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Our Valentine Emma Turns FOUR!

The princess and her "princess" bear get ready for the celebration!

Look! Birthday Balloons fit for a princess!

Time for decorating the Princess cake!

Now.. a few photos to capture our little Valentine/Princess on her special day..

The princess takes time to pose with her big sister..

After the Princess's favorite food of pizza, her guests arrived and got ready to blow out the candles on her specially princess decorated cake! (Are we seeing a theme here?)

Candles are all blown out!

A birthday card from PopPop arrived in the mail with money for the Princess!
Thanks PopPop!

As you can guess, Emma had a "Princess" themed birthday party this year! She loves anything to do with any of the Disney Princesses! Her favorites are Belle, Cinderella and Ariel. We had a small get together with a few of Emma's favorite people- Catie, Judah and Nana. She was so excited to have them over to help celebrate her special day!
And boy.. is she glad that she's now FOUR! Over the past few weeks, newly four-year-old Esther has had a lot of fun teasing her sister that she is older, and that Emma is "only three" or "a baby." But now that Emma's four also, there shouldn't be any more teasing! Boy.. it's going to be fun when Esther turns 18 first! I can already imagine what she'll do to her sister.. but good thing I'll be gone by then!!
A lot of people have asked us if February 14th is Emma's actual birthday. Truth is, we really have no idea! She could have been born the 13th, the 10th.. who knows! All we do know is that Emma's paperwork says she was found on February 15th and they guessed she had been born the day before, probably by the way her umbilical cord looked. Emma's birth parents didn't leave a note with her, so we'll never know for sure when she was actually born. But, I think Valentine's Day is a pretty cool day to have a birthday on! We actually believe Emma may even be a few months younger than she actually is. There was very little information in Emma's medical reports compared to the information our travel group's children had. And it's common for orphanage's to use false/incorrect information in medical reports because they have so many children. Developmentally, she acts much more like a 3-3 1/2 year old than a just turned four year old. But, we're keeping her birth date for now.. I'm sure she'll appreciate that when she's older!
We didn't really have a "birthday party" for the girls this year. We did have a get together of a few of our close friends for Esther's birthday in January.. mainly because it was a celebration of her first birthday with us. Then, we took the girls to Disney to celebrate their birthdays in late January. Next year we'll have a joint birthday party for the girls and that's probably what we'll keep doing until they are older and voice their opinions!!

Esther and Emma..

..have some very exciting news to share with all of you!!

They are proud to introduce their new big brother, Asher Fupeng who is waiting for them in Dandong, China. Esther and Emma are so glad that China said "YES" and can't wait to play with their him!!

They wanted to share a picture too..

See isn't he cute?

And, you can check out more details on Asher's blog.

Don't forget to come back real soon because the girls want to tell you all about Emma's 4th Birthday, which was yesterday! Stay tuned!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Disney World: Day 4

Although it's a little blurry, here's a glimpse of Esther and Ian during breakfast on our last day at Disney.. they seem a bit tired!
Inside a telephone booth in "England" at Epcot
Ian making a call.. to one of his girlfriends?
Emma hugging the Beast while Esther gets an autograph from Belle
The girls pose with Belle & the Beast
Ian, Kayla & Emma in "Morocco"
Kayla, Esther & Emma pose with Jasmine & Aladdin

Disney World: Day 3

Day 3 at Epcot was a lot of fun! Disney has started a new project, the "Year of a Million Dreams" where they're giving away tons of free stuff including a night in Cinderella's Castle.. etc. Well, as we were getting off the Spaceship Earth ride (the one inside the big "EPCOT Ball") we were met by a Disney Employee who asked if we were the last group of eight. I noticed he had on one of those "Year of a Million Dreams" tags so I went nuts thinking we had won the night in Cinderella's Castle! Well, we didn't win it (unfortunately) but we did win a Dream Fastpass to eight different attractions! It was a wonderful gift and made us all feel so special since we didn't have to wait for some of the longer lines!!

Entrance to Epcot
Kayla was chosen to be a Scientist during one of the shows promoting Kodak digital cameras. So, I used my Kodak to take a picture of her on their quite large digital camera!
Esther and Emma sporting their cool glasses before one of the shows
Mom with most of her brood!
The kids posing with a Spanish Donald Duck and his friend.. who I don't know the name of.
Esther & Emma with a smaller version of the Teracotta Warriors during our visit to China.
The girls were so excited to meet Mulan.. even Emma who looks a bit tired here!
At dinner later that evening.. here's Esther's expression when she tried some of Dad's sushi!
We got to see the fireworks from the roof of one of the hotels. Here's my camera's twisted view on what Disney looks like all lit up at night!

Disney World: Day 2

Entrance to the Magic Kingdom
The girls got to meet Tigger at the Character Breakfast
The girls with Pooh Bear
Mom with her favorite character, Eeyore
Piglet and Ian
Finally.. the chance they had been waiting for... Cindella!
And next was Snow White!
The younger four show off their new ears
Emma driving a race car.. notice how she's not looking at the road?? Good thing I had control of the gas!
Mom and Kayla after finishing their race
Ian and Dad
Two Sleeping Princesses (while the girls slept, we big kids got to take advantage of Space Mountain!)
Our family in front of Cinderella's Castle-wishing Asher had been with us.
Esther enjoying her special Birthday dessert!
Fireworks as the day comes to a close