Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet Caroline Tour

Currently we are in Kansas City on the 'Meet Caroline Tour.' We are staying with my aunt and got to spend time with several cousins over the weekend. They are all falling in love with Caroline. Over the weekend we attended the baptism of my little cousin was a beautiful ceremony. I look forward to next February when Caroline will be baptized. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the attachment that allows me to download pictures to my computer and then to my blog. If I'm lucky, I can get one of my cousins to give me a cd of some of the pictures of Caroline.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Pictures

Thanks to my next door neighbor Nate Larson for taking these wonderful pictures yesterday afternoon at Matter Park. Nate and Dawnelle, and their daughters Halle and Kenzie went to the park with us. They will be moving in November and we will miss them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

She's a Multi-Tasker

Caroline is trying on Grandma's shoes while attempting to rearrange the placement of the kitchen stools.
Here she is running her 'corn-popper' sweeper while talking on her new play cell phone.
I've decided that Caroline is a multi-tasker. Caroline is feeling more and more comfortable around the house. The last couple of days, when she has talked on her 'cell', she is definitely speaking Mandarin...... and it sounds like she is chewing someone out....what I would give to know what she is saying! Caroline is also understanding more and more English, though not speaking it....except to say 'Momma'......and today she said 'balloon'....we still have several helium balloons in the house from our welcome home gathering. So, every time that she points to a balloon, I say 'balloon.' She can speak it now. Sweet has never been so good!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Welcome Home Caroline Party

Yesterday, a couple of former students hosted a "Welcome Home Caroline" party near the university campus. It was wonderful to see several former students, many of whom now have children of their own, as well as several friends. Amber and Sierra did a terrific job of planning the party...the decorations were lovely and the refreshments were delicious. You will also see a picture of Caroline in her new 'party dress' I needed an excuse to buy Caroline a new dress! Sierra sang 'When Love Takes You In' by Steven Curtis Chapman while showing a slide show of my China trip. Then, Mom read a 'Letter to Caroline'.....which amazed me because Mom doesn't like to speak in front of people....knowing that, I appreciated her reading even more. What a nice day! Thanks Amber and Sierra....thank you Jennifer for your involved. I love those girls!

Who Needs Toys?

While in Mom's closet last night, Caroline found one of the circular belt hangers on the floor. She picked it up, took the hook off and put the circular belt on her head (notice the red thing on her head). She then went to the empty tote that was sitting on the floor in Mom's bedroom and climbed in. Who needs toys? She thought that she was pretty darned amusing, as you can see by the pictures.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Doing What She Loves Best

Eating one of the Gerber 'Toddler Meals'.....not a drop was left when she was done.

This morning at breakfast......rice cereal with peaches. She's pretty proud of how she feeds herself. Again, every drop was gone by the end of breakfast.

Caroline is sitting in her new chair that was hand-crafted by Dick Johnson from Westminster Church. This is one of her favorite 'hang-outs'....sitting near her 'kitchen' and reading the newspaper. If the TV is on, she sometimes sits in her chair and watches TV with her hands perched at her waist. She is so cute to watch.
I thought I would include some pictures of Caroline doing what she loves best......either eating or sitting and reading. Sometimes I have to turn the newspaper around so that it is not upside down, but nevertheless, Caroline loves to look at newspapers, magazines, or books. I can't get her to sit still long enough for me to actually read a book yet, but that will come soon, I think.
Yesterday was a traumatic day. It was her day to go to the pediatrician to be poked and prodded. I dreaded the day. As I expected, Caroline started screaming as soon as the nurse started to measure her head. I tried to make this 'trip' as fun as possible, but I think Caroline has too much 'baggage' when it comes to hospitals or doctor's offices. She spent the first few weeks of her life in a hospital being treated for congenital syphilis....she is fine now and has been cured for quite some time, but she just goes bonkers when she sees anything that resembles a nurse or doctor. She got four shots and had blood work done. The fact that we had to wait TWO HOURS to see the doctor didn't help matters. But, it is over.
I plan to make an appointment with the International Adoption Clinic at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis so that they can do a 'post-adoption assessment.' I want to get their perspective on her eating habits as well as her overall health and development. I also plan to make an appointment with a pediatric eye specialist in Indy. Her right eye strays occasionally, but she immediately pulls it back in to focus. I can tell that she sees well based on the details that she notices, but I'm thinking there is something sort of treatment that should happen.
What a blessing Caroline is to me. I still can't believe that she is my daughter and I'm her Momma. I am so fortunate to have her and she is an amazing blessing to me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Shower for Caroline

Caroline is the center of attention

Notice that Caroline has a cookie in each hand.

We received some lovely and very generous gifts.

Caroline and I with Happi Stoffel and her mom Bekki Johnston, who hosted the shower.

Today was an excellent day......Caroline attended church for the very first time and we were the guests of honor at a baby shower hosted by Bekki Johnston and her daughter Happi Stoffel. They are neighbors as well as members of our church. We received very wonderful gifts from everyone. We SO APPRECIATE the outpouring of love from everyone!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New "Stuff" at the House

Michael, Mark, and Nash assembling the 'kitchen'
Caroline playing with her new kitchen.

Caroline in her new winter attire in the new Jeep Stroller

Ready to take her first ride.

We have received two very nice gifts in the last couple of days. Thank you Michael, Sarah, Nash & Mark for the 'Homestyle Kitchen' that you delivered to the house and assembled last night. Caroline has already prepared several 'meals' in her kitchen and has 'fed' Mom and I several times.......she LOVES it, and so do I.

Thank you, Anne, for the very big and wonderful 'Jeep' stroller that we will use on a daily basis as long as the weather cooperates. I actually took it out of the box and assembled it myself today. Pictures will show Caroline in her new winter coat, hat, and gloves as we are about to take our first outing in the stroller. It even has an iPod attachment....again, LOVE it.

Caroline keeps verbalizing more and more. She is more fun than I ever imagined....I don't even mind it when she has her occasional meltdown. We get passed it as quickly as possible and move on.

Our biggest struggle at the moment is bath time. She literally screams when we get ready to take a bath. She loves taking a sponge bath when she can sit on the edge of the sink and have her feet in the water. I have no idea about this one....I'm hoping that when I get a 'toddler bath' that maybe she won't hate it as much.

Her 'cute factor' rose today when she starting giving 'high 5's', then gives a very big smile. I am also mesmerized by watching her play at her new kitchen....she stirs her spoon in the little pan then 'eats' from it. I love to see that she can pretend.

I'm so excited to go to church tomorrow. This will be Caroline's very first time in church, and I am so looking forward to sharing the love of Jesus with her....something that would not happen if she were to stay in China. I'm hoping that I can hold it together when I take her up to the front of the church for her very first children's sermon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

HOME: A New Daughter, Lots of Purchases, and a BUG!

WE ARE HOME! We've been home since about 12:45 am on Thursday, Oct. 1. Let me begin by offering some humble thank-you' Jim and Sue Sonnefield for taking time to drive us to the airport on Sept 16 and picking us up when we returned. I also want to thank Myrna, Amanda, Lauren, Mark, and Mackenzie for meeting us at the house when we returned. What a nice surprise! Thank you to Heather for making the drive to O'Hare to greet us...that meant more than you can possible know. Thanks to my sweet cousin Ashley for posting on my blog for me while I was in China. I emailed all photos and texts to her and she took the time to post them. And my biggest thanks to my dear, dear friend Anne for making the trip to China with Mom and I....we could not have done this without YOU. No words can really express my gratitude to Anne....truly. I know there are more people to thank...but this will get things started.
I not only brought home a most precious daughter, lots of fun 'stuff' from China, but a nasty bug that was being passed around several people in my travel group. I'm very thankful that I waited until I got home to get sick. At least I could suffer in my own house! I am just now starting to feel human again after 4 days. I hate it that I had to miss church this morning. I was so looking forward to taking Caroline to church for the very first time. Well, that will happen next Sunday.
Things are going well here at home. Caroline is adapting well. She is sleeping pretty well.....she tends to wake up at around 2:30 am....I'll rock her back to sleep....then she wakes up about 4:00 am wanting to play. I understand that it will take several days for her (as well as Mom and I) to get adjusted to the time difference. Caroline continues to eat like a little piggy. I took her to the doctor on Friday because she has a cold.....we survived that visit. She thoroughly enjoys her new 'squeeky' shoes. These are shoes that purposefully 'squeek' when she walks. These shoes have encouraged her to walk...and walk...and walk. That's a good thing considering the fact that only days ago she refused to walk at all.
Caroline obviously has had experience with a TV remote. And, she thinks that she must get in the big recliner in order to work the remote. Since I have two remotes for the family room TV, I've taken the batteries out of one of them so that she can play with it. Also, she knows about cell phones. I gave her one of my old cell phones that I can still charge up...but it is not activated. She punches in some numbers, then puts the phone up to her ear. The big thing is that she has said 'Momma' twice. And she actually sings to herself....quite a nice little singing voice if I do say so for myself. She's playing peek-a-boo and is waving to everything in the house. Today, she found a little 'suitcase' (purse size) that she has carried around the house and waves to Mom and I. I've got to get this on video. Caroline is a wonderful miracle and blessing in my life. I praise God for her every day.