Monday, June 3, 2013

She's our little fighter! :)

On Thursday May 23rd, Little Miss Liberty went in for her corrective heart surgery.  She was born with a CHD called Tetrology of Fallot. We knew that she had this and would need to have surgery but didn't know that she would have to have it so soon. After her heart catheterization, The doctor recommended that we have it corrected asap. Her oxygen levels were running at about 80% when normal is 100%. One would never know it by looking at her. We figured that she was so used to being short of breath, she just overcame it. She has overcome a lot in her 4 short years. I think that is what makes her so strong.
We had her surgery at Advocate Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL. We have nothing but wonderful and outstanding comments about this hospital and its staff! Dr. Ilbawi, Dr. Javois, the nurses,(Sarah, Megan, Molly, Krista, Sue), workers in the cafeteria and housekeeping, the registration girls, I mean seriously, everyone we came in contact with was so nice and helpful. We were so comfortable while we were there.
Liberty had some versed going into surgery so she was happy as could be as she was wheeled away. Sarah, (our nurse) came out and updated us every 1 1/2 hours which was so nice.  We did find out during the surgery that the doctor was not able to open up Liberty's pulmonary artery so they had to use a conduit from her Right Ventricle to her Pulmonary artery. This means she will have to have another surgery to replace this as she grows.  After 7 hours of surgery, we were moved to a waiting room and told that we'd be able to see her in about 15 minutes.
An HOUR later, Sarah came out and told us that everything was fine but Liberty had pulled out her arterial line so they had to put in a new one. They kept her sedated pretty much the rest of the night. She was on pain meds, a medication to help her heart rhythm, Lasix and a antibiotic. They told us to help her to sit up and that she had to stay in bed. Yeah, that wasn't going to be easy.
The next morning, she was lying in bed, opened her eyes and sat straight up. She was ready to go! :)
She was never really whiney or crabby. Every once in a while she would say her chest hurt but that was it. Everyone was saying she was the toughest little thing they had ever seen. The P-SHU had a doctor on the floor 24/7 which was so reassuring. But one night, the doctor that was working came in and said "Well, we have a problem. I am supposed to be working but I just keep getting distracted by all of the cute things Liberty is saying so I had to come in here and see her!" She really captured everyone's heart.
On Sunday, May 26th, we were released from the hospital. She has been doing great since we have been home. She is only on the Lasix until we go back to the doctor. She has pain meds but as of yesterday only takes them at night.  She is running and jumping around like a wild little monkey. :) We do our best to keep her as quiet as possible....BUT that's quite IM-possible! haha We are so happy that she is energetic and not lethargic. I would be so worried if that were the case.
The doctor's told us since she was on the Heart-Lung Bypass machine for 7 hours, her immune system will be compromised for about a month. So if you come to our house, don't be offended by the sign that says, "If you are coming in, you have to wash your hands first!" Also, Don't laugh if you see me with my disinfectant wipes. Getting sick is the last thing we need.
I will finish this entry with again, my thankfulness for God's blessings to our family. From the talented doctors and nurses to everyone who has helped us out during this time, we thank you all!
I also pray that as God heals Liberty's heart that He continues to heal the heart of Liberty's biological parents who I know truly loved this little girl or they wouldn't have given her family heirlooms or left her in a medical clinic. God hold them tight to You and somehow help them to know that Liberty is doing well, cared for, happy and loved.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Blessing sprinkled with a little pain...

Things have been going so good for Little Miss Liberty! She has been exploring the wonderful, beautiful and BIG world! So many "FIRSTS" for her! Every day is a new experience for her. Whenever we are out, I think, "I bet this is the first time she's been to a place like this!" We were at a grocery store and she was so excited to see so many watermelons! It was so adorable.  Her english is coming right along. She's about 50/50 when she speaks. 50% English and 50% Chinese. So we are having a much easier time communicating. We have a friend who teaches ESL who is going to work with her this summer. We are super excited and appreciative for this!
Many times people ask me how she is adjusting and we honestly have to say that it has been a pretty good experience. It is difficult when she does something she shouldn't and we are not to be able to explain why she shouldn't do it. Like why she has to hold my hand in the parking lot or why she can't play with a knife. We tell her why but she doesn't understand why. Then we feel bad because we just have to force her to do it or not do it. I know it will come with time. But it is hard.
She eats well. She sleeps well. She plays well. AND she repeats well!!  Going back to the "why" issue, sometimes we say to her "sshhh" like when she is interrupting adults or talking way to loud in a quite place. So now if she is talking and someone else talks, she tells them "sshh!" It is so hard not to laugh because it is so comical! Or she will tell me, "time out?" Kind of like when I ask her if she wants a time out when she is misbehaving.  From the mouths of babes!
Moving on to her health. She has been as healthy as can be since she got here. Her physician told us she had more vaccinations than an US born child. So thank China for being on top of that! We also found out that there is nothing wrong with her leg. (She has a funny walk sometimes) but she is just flat footed. We can deal with that.  But we did have an appointment with her cardiologist and he performed a Cardiac Cath on her. We were informed that she needed to have surgery sooner...not later. Most babies with the condition she has go through the corrective surgery at 6 months old. She's almost 5!
When we went in for the Cath, she was so enthralled by all of the attention we thought she'd be fine when separated from Mama so I told then to skip the oral Versed. Boy, did I make a mistake! When they took her from me, she was crying and screaming, "MAMA!!!MAMA!!" I thought I would die! And the "Worst Mom of the Year" goes to....ME!!! I told my mom that she will always get the versed before hand!   When she woke up, she would not even look at me for almost 2 hours. She was ticked at me for leaving her. After a bit, she forgave me and was such a good girl during recovery. She is such a busy little girl, I thought it was going to be very hard to make her understand some how that she needed to lay flat for 6 hours! I know from experience, some adults can't do that after a Heart Cath!
The Cardiac Catheterization didn't really show anything they weren't expecting except her right coronary artery comes off her left coronary artery instead of coming off her aorta. This causes a slight problem because her pulmonary stenosis sits directly behind this area and the right coronary artery rides across the aorta. :( He said he hasn't ever seen this before.
This week we went to see the cardio-vascular surgeon that will be performing her corrective surgery. He is such a nice guy and comes very highly recommended! We have the upmost confidence in the team at Advocate Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn.  He explained everything to us and told us that once he gets in there, he will determine if they are able to fix the pulmonary stenosis (blockage in the artery going to the lung) or if he will need to put in a conduit from her right ventricle to her pulmonary artery. If the latter happens, she will have to undergo another surgery later in life because the conduit will not grown with her. :( We are praying they don't have to put in a conduit! That will be the 5th time she will have to be opened! :(
We are so blessed that she is having her surgery here in the US. First, because we love these doctors and they know exactly what they are doing. Second, the staff at Advocate Children's Hospital are remarkable! I am not exaggerating when I say from the minute I walked in until the minute I walked out, every single person I came in contact with was super nice and professional! I was so impressed! And third, I know Liberty, although in pain, will have her family who loves her by her side comforting her and caring for her every step of the way!
Prayers on May 23rd and for the recovery weeks that will follow are much appreciated!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A hard-boiled egg and some happiness

Hello! It's been awhile since I wrote. We've been a bit busy so I thought I'd catch everyone up.
Liberty is fitting into our family as snug as a bug in a rug! She's sweet and sassy. She's funny and adorable. And she's a bit bossy. But so is everyone else in this family! :)
She is learning so much! We took her to a pre-school screening to see if they could give us any ideas if she was behind at all. It's difficult because she knows her numbers, colors & shapes in Chinese but not English. But as far as they all could tell after modifying the tests, she's doing great. She got an A+ for social skills. We thought that was funny because since we have had her, she has been a little social butterfly. She says, "Ni Hao" to everyone she sees and wants to be friends with anyone.
     She has learned how to ask for help instead of grunting. She has also mastered saying Thank you. I must say, it is so cute!  She can count to 10 and knows the ABC song...not perfectly but she's getting there. Potty training is coming along. She is just too busy to take the time to go but she will let me know she needs a dry diaper. She has a book with common pictures in it like an apple, an elephant, a flower. She can name them all in English but a X is for xylophone. Really?? They couldn't  have used x-ray?? or I is for ink. How about ice cream??  Maybe I should write a kids book. haha. :)
     My mom, Paulette mom-in-law Carolyn, my Aunt Mary, Sisters Lori and Donna and my life long friend Debbie had a shower for me. It was so nice. Liberty got a lot of learning tools, LOTS of clothes and a few special gifts like a blanket with pics from our China trip on it. (Thanks Holley).  It was especially nice to see all of the love for Liberty. She was in heaven from all of the attention. It really touched my heart.
     Since we have been home we took her to the pediatrician. She got caught up on her immunizations. (Not a happy girl). We also took her to the pediatric cardiologist and he performed a cardiac Catheterization on her to get a road map for her upcoming surgery. She was a trooper!  They didn't find any huge surprises which is a blessing. But they are going to have to modify a part of the surgery because she has one deformity they haven't seen before. That's OK. We knew she was special. Maybe she'll be in the text books. :) We are planning the surgery within a few weeks. Send up some extra prayers for her. :)
    The day before her heart catheterization, I was copying and re-reading all of her medicals reports from China. I came across her routine from the orphanage. As I was reading her schedule, I noticed for breakfast, it said she ate oatmeal and boiled eggs. I had not given her a hard-boiled egg before so I thought I would feed her dinner and then make her one. I told her I had a treat for her if she ate all of her supper. I am sure she was thinking it was ice cream (her favorite) but when I placed the egg in front of her, she picked it up and was kissing it and saying "Oh my goodness!!!" She started dancing in her chair. It was the cutest thing ever! Here is this little girl who probably LOVES these eggs and hasn't had one for 2 months. She was probably thinking," What kind of place is this? They don't even have boiled eggs??" I could not get over how excited she was about a hard-boiled egg.  It melted my heart and reminded me once again how one small act of kindness can mean so much!
Thank you again, God for allowing us to raise Little Miss Liberty! We love her so much!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's the little things in life!

It has been two weeks now and things are looking a bit different.  We are settling in pretty good. Getting into a routine, experiencing new adventures and... learning what a "time out" is. :(
Our youngest son, Sam, says it is so hard to watch her sit in time out but we explained to him that we can't have no rules today and then start rules in a few months. We have realized that she had to fight for anything she wanted in the orphanage so that is what she does here when she doesn't get her way. I guess that is the way it is with any child, right? :)  She is such a cutie and Sam is right, it's hard to see her sad.
She is really learning the routine of the day. After dinner, she always says "Dae-o" and "Conga" which means "bath" and "sleep". She is right! That is our routine for the night. :). She is going on 3 nights in a row without waking up, AAHHH! now THAT is a blessing. :) A full nights sleep makes the works of difference for us all!!
She is so smart and learning so fast. This week, along with getting better at Twinkle Twinkle, she is trying very hard to sing the "ABC" song. She only has bits and pieces of it but she is getting there! We have a friend who teaches the ESL kids at school that told us she would work with Liberty all summer! YAY! We are also still trying to get Liberty into the pre-school program at the school. I think it would really help her. I am pulling every string I can grasp to get her enrolled. Say a little prayer!
This week was filled with so many "little" blessings that I don't think I can list them all. But one that really stands out is today. Brandon went to the city to run the Shamrock 5K so Liberty and I drove to Dunkin Donuts to get a few! First blessing was that we made it there and back without any tears or whining about the car seat. WHEW! When we got back to the house, I let her sit on my lap to eat our donuts. As she was eating her little munchkins, she had the biggest "powdered sugar" smile on her face. I was thinking, "she is so happy about these little donuts!" It just meted my heart to see how happy she was about something so small.  It's moments like this one that I wish anyone who is even thinking about adoption could see. I mean, it was a donut. But there she was, sitting on HER mama's lap, in HER house, with HER donut. It was just awesome.
Later, we attended my great-nieces birthday party. I knew that she had never been to anything like it. so she was either going to have a great time or be shy and scared and just watch.
When we got to "SPARKLE", the place where the party was, she had her nails painted. The girl told her "Don't touch it" (wet nails) and so she was holding very still. After her nails were dry, she got down and another little girl was going to have her nails done. Liberty placed her hand on the little girls arm and said, "Don't touch it. " It was so funny.
She was then in line to get her hair done. All of the little girls had long, light colored hair. They were getting braids and pony-tails with bright colored hair spray. When Liberty got into the chair with her dark-haired pixie cut, the girl said, "And what are we going to do with your hair?" (sweetly not in a rude way) She put two little pig tails on top with tulle ribbons around them. Liberty was so proud of her mini-pig tails!  "Piao-long!", she said! (which means beautiful)
They got a little lip gloss and a star on their cheeks and headed to the dress-up room. After choosing their outfits, we blared the music and they held a fashion show with an actual cat-walk! The first
time through, Liberty had no idea what to do so she just stood there but after watching the other girls, the second time through she was dancing up a storm!
They got to do a little karaoke afterwards. The other little girls all knew a certain Disney song which, of course, Liberty didn't know so I just shut her mic off and she went to town, singing her own song.
I loved watching her as she sang and danced and played dress-up right along the other girls without being shy or scared or caring what anyone was thinking about her language that sounded so different.
She had a total blast!!
It's the little things that we are getting to share with her and watch her experience that I wish I could just inject into other people's hearts so they too would take a chance on adoption. It's so precious!
Thank you Lord, for leading us down this path and taking us on this journey!

PS. Hat's off to SPARKLE! in Bourbonnais! They did a great job with Liberty and with the party! Awesome girls and an awesome place for little girls to have fun!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's been a week!! :D

Well, it's been a week since we have been home and our world sure has changed. We have gone to a family of four with the youngest at 15 to a family of 5 with the youngest at 4!  There's no more sleeping in or a quick trip to the store. No more jam sessions for Damon in the basement at 10PM or Sammy having a group of kids over till midnight watching movies. But we would have it no other way!
A lot has happened in a week! Liberty is in her new home, in her new bed, with her new family! She loves being the center of everyone's world! She has had many visitors who have been been anxiously awaiting her arrival.  Her grandparents, aunts, cousins friends, neighbors. We joke that she is going to start thinking every time the door bell rings, she is going to get a gift! :)  One of our very elderly neighbors was outside yesterday while we were doing Po-Po's (bubbles) and our neighbor said, "WOW! she's gotten big since the fall!" and as she got closer she said, "She's Chinese!" I explained to her that we adopted her from China. I think she was thinking of a different neighbor but it was so cute when she realized Liberty was Chinese.
We have taken a visit to our favorite pizza place, Monical's, and she loved it! I guess she is a true Myers if she loves Monical's Pizza! :) She also loves ice cream and bath time! She has discovered the bunnies that live in our yard (and tear up our yard, grrr!) We sit at the window and watch for bunnies. She gets so excited when she spots one. It's a whole new world for this little girl! She is getting used to it and figuring everything out.
We visited the park for the first time and she loved the see-saw. She was even a little dare-devil and tried letting go. I think my hair is going to get even more gray!! :)
She loves playing with her brothers and all of their friends who have come to see her. No one can stay away. I think it's great that so many people love her so much and want to meet her.
She has been adjusting very well as have we. The boys understand that after 8pm it needs to be fairly quite in the house. They also understand why I am in bed at 9pm. haha We think the hardest thing so far is just being tired. We have a routine and try to give each other breaks. When Brandon goes back to work.... and the kids go back to school, I'm on my own. I'm a little nervous about that but I think by then, she'll understand a bit more english and we will understand one another better.  We are so luck that Brandon got to take 6 weeks off and I get to take 12. (Shout out to the co-workers :D)
When we got back to the US, the local paper called and wanted to do a story about Little Miss Liberty. We agreed because we thought it would be neat for Liberty to have later in life. We also thought it would be an opportunity to share our story and maybe give someone the little push they might need to choose adoption.  Needless to say, we were shocked when she ended up on the front page of the paper, "above the fold" my husband pointed out. It was such an amazing article! (besides calling Damon, Mason.) Our hope is the article has inspired another family to give adoption a chance to change a child's life forever!!
One last little bit of "twinkle" for you! We have been singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to her since we were in Guangzhou. A few days ago, we were driving somewhere and she hates the car seat. So I asked her to sing for me. I couldn't believe it when she started singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!" Of course, it was not perfect but I was so amazing at how quickly she learned that song!
We always knew she was brilliant! :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We've only just begun...

We have been in China for 16 days. Tomorrow we are headed home. Although, we are SO ready to be back home with our boys and our family, it is bittersweet. This is the land where Liberty was born. This is where her roots began. We pray for her biological family every day... for hearts that will heal and be comforted by the Lord. I cannot imagine giving my baby up for any reason, under any circumstance. But imagine the pain these families go through never knowing what has happened to their babies... never knowing if they are OK, if they were adopted, what they will grow into. The pain has to be unbearable. So we pray that her family somehow knows, she is ok. She is loved, cherished, protected and taken care of. She will always have the best medical care, the best education, the best upbringing we can give her.  She will know the Lord as her Savior and the love He has for her.  She will know He is always there by her side... along with her family.
We thank God every day that he brought us together with Liberty to be a family along with Damon and Sam and all of our family and friends. The love we have felt from home has been out of this world. It has helped us get through the pain of missing home, the middle of the night tears our little one cried and we didn't know why and increased the excitement for Liberty when she sees how many people have been in the US praying for her, following her story and cheering her on.
We may not know what the first four years of her life contained but we are excited to see what the rest of her life will hold! We are almost home to start the next part of this journey!!
We love you Liberty Jane-Yirun Myers...forever and always.
And Debbie Brumitt....I'm ready for coffee! :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A little piece of home...

Today we traveled to the Chen Clan Historic Home. All of the details and pics are on FB. It was very interesting to hear all about the home. We also traveled to Shamian Island for some shopping. I love how the shop owners let you bargain for what you want. We arent very good at it but it was fun to watch them try to get us buy more and more..."I will give you a good deal!" is what we heard. We bought a few things that we were looking for but we did not find what we really wanted to get. "Adoption Barbie" :( We have heard all about it and where to look but we didnt have any luck. Oh well. Guess it wasnt meant to be.
After shopping, we walked around by the river. It was so calm and peaceful. We were telling our guide how during the day, our parks are usually empty because everyone is working ect. He said that everyone goes to the parks because no one has a yard. Everyone lives in an apartment. Its true. All of the parks that we have been to have been filled with older people playing cards or hacky sack or grandparents with their grandkids. We saw a choir singing and people learning dance. There was one lady doing Tai Chi with a fan. Just so neat to see stuff that we dont see in the USA.
We then went to Lucy's for lunch. It is about as American you can get in China. I had a cheeseburger and fries... and it was heaven! We gave Liberty peanut butter and jelly. She loved it. :)
After lunch, we headed back to the hotel and went over all of our paperwork with our guide for our US Consulate appointment tomorrow. Our guide told us that all of Liberty's medical came back good. So no problems there.
We walked around a bit and bought a fruit smoothies for a treat. The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful besides Little Miss Liberty's first real fit. She was trying to shove way too many M&M's in her mouth so we told her that she couldn't do that. We tried again and she tried to shove them all in her mouth so we took them away and said no more.She cried and cried and wouldn't let us comfort her. She would cry for "Mama" and I would come by her but she'd push me away. We figured she was calling for her other "mama." :( Poor thing. We felt so bad for her. But soon she was over it and happy as could be.
We hope she learns quickly that we will always be here for her and we love her with all our hearts!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Little Blessings!

Today was a free day for us. Jack had some adoption documents from the Medical Center to take care of so we were on our own today.  We slept til 8:30 which I thought was pretty late considering we have a four year old in the house now. :)
After a leisurely breakfast, we headed the opposite way of our hotel just to explore a little bit. We found lots of little shops and food places. We werent brave enough to try any of the food from these places. I am sure it would have been fine but coming from a person who doesn like to use a straw that wasnt wrapped, I wasnt taking any chances. Oh there was a man squeezing fresh orange juice at his shop. It looked SSOOO good but he was putting it in what looked like used water we passed.
We found Friendship Shopping Mall and ventured in. It was so interesting because the whole mall is set up by brand name. Like one floor for men's clothing, was separated by brands...Like Nike, Ralph Laren, Polo ect. It would be easy to shop if you knew what brand you wanted.Kinda different.
So we were on the hunt for a t-shirt for Liberty since it's suppose to be 80 degrees tomorrow We found a mall map and it said the kids clothing was on the 6th floor. We got on the elevator and it only went to 5.
So we got off on 5 and asked someone. They said the kids clothes were on the 6th (showing 6 fingers) floor. We went to a different elevator but never found it. It was strange. Sometimes this language barrier is a pain. :) Especially, when you are trying to tell a four year old to stop doing something and she thinks its a game. Oh boy.... She definately has a stubborn streak in her. :) I figure its because she always had to fight for what she wanted. :( It makes me sad to think about but Im glad she is with us now.
Little Miss Liberty gave us three little blessings today.
First, when we were getting her ready for her bath this morning...(she gets 2 a day because she loves them so!) she went potty on the toilet for us! Its the first time! Trying to teach a child to go potty is one thing but when they have no idea what you are saying, It's a whole other ballgame!
The second blessing was that she sat and watched cartoons for 30 mins today. We arent trying to use tv as a babysitter but she is on the go the ENTIRE time she is awake. It was so nice just to lay with her, Baba on one side, Mama on the other for 30 minutes! But then she was done! I dont think they watched much TV in the orphanage so she has no interest in it.
Our third blessing was after her night-time bath. I had her on my lap and I started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She must have recognized the tune or something and she started reciting all of the nursery rhymes that she knows. It was so adorable! We have it on video but the internet is really slow here and we cant download it to FB or the blog.
It was an incredible day!  Simple but filled with blessings. Thank you again, Lord!! Again and Again!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Today we visited the Gangzhou Zoo. It was a beutiful place. The trees were so tall that we werent able to see all of the surrounding buildings.  This zoo sits in the middle of the city but it didnt feel like it at all. It felt like we wee in the center of paradise!
Liberty was so cute! She loved the monkeys and was scared of the tigers. Her and Baba rode the train. We werent really sure if she liked it or not.  Maybe she was a little scared or was thinking whats the point of going round and round in a circle. Haha.
It was nice to spend some time talking with Jack about the Chinese culture. He like our other guides knows alot about Chinese culture and history. Brandon really enjoyed this history lesson.
After the zoo, our guide dropped us off and we headed to the "mall" to look around. We just picked up some diapers and some of Liberty's favorite cookies. We bought the biggest bag of them we could find. Not sure what we'll do when we run out in the USA. I'm going to have to search for them in Chinatown. :)
We stopped by McDonald's for a chicken sandwich, fries and a COLD pop and headed to the Garden at our hotel to enjoy a picinic. The grounds of this hotel is so gorgeous!! After we enjoyed imagining we were in the US and eating our lunch, we took our leftovers to the feed the fish. It's so cute to watch her get so excited and talk, talk, talk in Chinese. All we can do is smile and say, "Oh really?" :) I wish we knew what she was saying but it's so enjoyable to see her so happy.
We went back to the room for a restful afternoon but found out about a playroom the hotel had. So we ventured the the 6th floor to check it out. We were hoping for more but Liberty had a good time. It was so funny to watch her pretending with legos. We will be glad when we are home and she has more room to play and more toys to play with. Its so hard to bring a bunch of toys with us but there are plenty waiting for her at home.
She had a great bedtime and let Baba rock her to sleep. It only took about 5 minutes. She sleeps like a rock! 12 hours...ahhh. And then she's up and running the seconds she wakes up. She is a lot like our Sammy. He was the same. They are going to wear each other out. :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Medical Center World Record!

Today we had to go to the Medical Center for Liberty's last physical and blood test in China. Now I know this is crazy and probably so outdated but I had heard somewhere along this adoption journey that one shouldnt ask for all kinds of blood work to be done due to dirty needles being used in lower income areas. So I have always worried about this. Silly, I know but once you hear something like this, it sticks with you. So as I fell asleep last night I was thinking about this and praying, as far-fetched as it seemed, that this would NOT happen to our little girl. When I woke up this morning, I had had a dream that I saw the medical staff use the same needle on two kids and Liberty was headed into the room next. That's all I remembered. When Brandon woke up, he told me that I leaned over to him in my sleep and whispered that the medical staff was using dirty needles and that Liberty was next. I said we had to make sure they used a clean needle. He said my eyes were wide open and I was very demanding. haha I guess that means I was pretty stressed about it somewhere in my mind.
When we got down to the hotel lobby, it was filled with adoptive families that were all going to the same place we were. We were in for a long day of waiting and crying babies. Then we were even more discouraged because a bus-load of these families left before our guide picked us up.
When we got to the clinic, IT WAS PACKED!  There sure was alot of love in that room today!  Jack, our guide, went right up to the counter and got us in right away. I dont know what he said or what he did but we were in and out of the medical clinic in less than an hour.  It was great! We saw families that were at the clinic getting back to the hotel 2 hours after we did.
Liberty did great during the physical. We were told by the ENT that she was such a polite little girl. We don't ever know what she is saying so that was good to hear. :)  We didnt get to go in with her when she had her blood drawn but by the time she came out, she was done crying. But the tears started again when she realized that we werent going to give her the "treat" the lab girls gave her. A hard piece of candy??She's four. We dug around and found a fruit snack to satisfy her while the hard candy when in the garbage.We did notice that she had a huge scrape on the front and back of her arm where they strapped her arm down. Being in the medical field myself, I can't imagine what would have happened if a child left with a mark in the US. I understand they didnt intentionally do it but still, we felt bad for her. Now we wait for her TB test and US visa and that's it! :)
After the appointment, we went walking around and found Liberty an authentic Chinese dress. We thought she needed at least one. :) It is so cute. (its on fb) She is so adorable. I know everyone is probably sick of hearing us say that. :) We also tried the garden park behind the hotel. It was gorgeous and what was even better...NO STARES!  I guess adoption is just seen more here since eveery family has to come to the US Consulate.
Tonight Liberty fell asleep at 5pm. :/ Too early for bed and too late for a nap so we woke her up at 7:30, fed her and gave her a bath. We are just playing now and trying to wear her out so maybe we can get to bed by 10.
Tomorrow is the zoo because it looks like rain the rest of the week. :(
Thanks for following! We love that so many love this little one and she's not even in the US yet! We plan on printing out all of the FB messages and the blog to keep in her baby book along with the TV interview, and the bangles and gold penant the orphanage saved from when she was found. I think she'll treasure it all! :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

There's a first time for everything

Today was a day filled with "first times"as we left Shanghai for Guangzhou. We were talking a bout all the "first times" Liberty has and will have in the next few months of her life. It started with the first time she had a mommy and daddy since she was 9 months old. :)
Today was her first airplane ride and her first time out of Shanghai. We were a little anxious about this because we weren't sure how she was going to react or behave. She didn't seem to mind the take-off (besides the seatbelt) and she was adored by the staff. I am sure they get lots of adopted children on this particular flight route so they pay extra attention to them. One flight attendant stopped to talk to Liberty and then scooped her up and took her to the back of the plane to talk with the other staff members. At first, we were thinking, "Hey, that's our baby!" but then realized that she really couldnt take off with her...we were in the plane. haha Liberty came back with extra snacks and a yogurt. (They drink their yogurt with a straw, by the way).
After the plane landed, we were all standing, crammed in the aisle of the plane waiting for the doors to open, while Liberty entertained everyone around. She is so social and friendly. Brandon and I have no idea what she was saying but they were all laughing. She was probably saying, "These people are crazy! They do anything I say and give me anything I want!" haha We are not that bad. :)
Once we were picked up by our guide,Jack, we headed to the hotel while Jack asked us questions about our adopting journey. Of course, I love telling this story so he heard the whole thing and I ended up in tears. Happy tears though. When I say out loud the things that have happened, I get overwhelmed with emotion. We have been thanking everyone who has helped us along this China journey,. They all have played a part in giving Liberty a family. It's just so incredible! Jack told us he has helped over 1,000 families in his career. I love hearing things like this!
For dinner, we headed over to PIZZA HUT where we got a good old USA pizza and pop WITH ICE!! Everything is just warm here so ice soounded so good in my pop.:) It was Liberty's first time in a restaurant and the first time she had pizza. This was the final test. Was she destined to be a Myers??(hahahah) She loved it! :)
So we are headed to the physical tomorrow and then we will have a few days of site-seeing.  Liberty will have even more "firsts". We are going to the zoo where she will see all kinds of animals for the first time. :) Can you imagine what is running through this little sweet potato's head?? She must just not really understand it all.  Later we will go to a market to do some shopping. (Not too much though, Our bags are getting close to the weight limit!!)
The busy-ness of our trip is winding down and we are ready to head home! Just a few more hoops to jump through and then we can not only end this trip but start a new one as a family!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thanks SWI and ICShanghai

Today we had the privilege of visiting the Shanghai Childrens Welfare Center where Liberty spent the last four years. It was a beautful center that was really clean and had everything that any US school or pre-school would have. Everyone was so nice. We got to tour her room and the classroom she went to for pre-school. We were really nervous about taking her back there because we didn't want her to think that we were leaving her there. We had MingMing explain to her that we were just going to visit and meet her friends but she would be coming home with us. She ws fine with it earlier in the day but when it got closer she told MingMing she didnt want to go...she didnt miss her friends. I was pretty nervous. But she did great. She let Brandon put her down but just so she could show us where her bed was. Then he had to pick her back up right away. She was fine with saying goodbye but she did get a little teary-eyed. When I asked MingMing what she said when she was upset and she said she didnt want to stay there. So even though we explained things to her, she still was scared.
When we went to visit her pre-school classroom, we met her teacher while she played with her last time.  Her teacher told us a funny story about her. She said that when she would ask Liberty a question that she didn't know the answer to, she would say she needed to go to the bathroom. haha Such a funny little girl. :)
As we left, I started crying. I just couldn't hold it in. I thought of all of the people who have helped Liberty and us get to this point. From her birth mother, to our adoption agency, to her caregivers and most of all God, I just was overwhelmed and so so thankful to all that my family has been given.
We headed back to the hotel to get ready for our newspaper interview. We were a little nervous. We didnt want to say anything that would offend anyone. There was a knock at the door and the journalist was there....with his camera-man!!!  Oh My Gosh!!! It turned into a television interview! HAHA We were so nervous then!!  Not only were we going to be on TV but we had to be careful what we said and then had to worry about Liberty behaving. It was nerve-wracking but it turned out to be a cool experience. (Thanks to the ice cream! ) We will see how it turns out at 9pm Shangahi time. 8AM home time.
Tonight has been a little rougher with her. I think she has just had a hard day. A little whiney and crabby but arent we all?? We feel locked in our hotel because we get bombarded with questions about why we have a Chinese child when we are American and how we dont have her dressed warm enough ect. I know they mean no harm but we feel more comfortable in the safe haven of our hotel. The staff all are used to us walking the halls with our China doll.
Tomorrow Liberty Jane-Yirun Myers leaves Shanghai. It is bittersweet but we would have it no other way! She's ours from now until forever!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I am starting this post with tonight's activities. At bed time, Liberty crawled right into bed, no crying, no tears. Just laid down and went to sleep. Every night she cries and says the same thing over and over. We found out she was saying that she was wet and wanted to be changed. awww, I felt so bad!
But tonight...NO TEARS!!  YAY!! It made us feel so good, like she trusts that we will be here when she wakes up. :) It was also good because B and I are not feeling that well today. Both of us have upset stomachs. :/ It'll be better tomorrow.
Today we went site-seeing to the Pearl TV Tower. Relate it to Sears/Willis Tower. Sort of the same thing. We walked on the clear flooring. Liberty had no fear about that. Mom, on the other hand, stayed close to the cement flooring.
After, we went to the market that was previously a Buddist Temple. It was some of the coolest architecture I have ever seen! While we were shopping, I had bought something special for the boys and was waiting for it to be made so B took Liberty around to look at stuff. People started gathering around asking questions. So he headed back to where we were. It is not the "Melting Pot" atmosphere we are used to in the USA where its nothing to see Caucasian Parents with an Africa-American child or Caucasian Parents with an Asian child. Its rare here so they are curious. We decided that we are carrying our adoption papers with us for the rest of the trip. Just to be safe.
After getting some lunch and dropping off our laundry, we headed back to the hotel because it was raining and windy and cold today. We ate lunch and went for a walk around the hotel to try to expend some of this little one's energy. When we got back, Ming Ming our guide, was calling us. She said that a Shanghai Newspaper wanted to interview us for an article about adoption. HOW COOL IS THAT?? It is cool on two parts. In one way, we want it for Liberty later in life. We think it will be great for her to see. Also, it could be a comfort if her bio parents saw it.
Secondly, We feel God's hands are still at work with us. If this interview could spark even one adoption, it would be so worth it! We are nervous but our guide said she will be there and help us.
We feel like it took so long for this adoption to actually happen. The entire time, even thought it was so hard, we held to the fact that we started this journey because we were trying to be faithful to what we felt God was telling us. Now the blessings are overflowing! From how sweet Liberty is and how well she is bonding with us, how good her health is considering her CHD, how many people have been supporting us and cheering us on through email, our blog and FB, and now this interview!!  It is so emtionally overwhelming to feel all of this love and experience all of God's blessings. We dont feel worthy of it. But if this is what it feel like to be faithful to God even through the rough times.... Well it sure is worth it! Thanks to  God who we give all of the glory!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

She's a Spit-fire and she's officially OUR Spit-fire!! :)

We have definately found out this little one has a personality! She is such a fun little girl and so happy!!   It took us awhile to get her to sleep last night, but she slept like a rock! We got a crib today to see if that helps with the bed time thing.
Today was a gorgeous day!!  Sunny and about 65! We traveled to the Civil Affairs office to file the adoption paperwork. They interviewed us and asked us why we wanted to adopt this little girl. Also about what are plans were for her health care and education. It was a little nerve wracking but it helped that our person was very young. We had our official picture taken (posted on FB) and then headed to the Notary Office. On our way there Run Run had a messy diaper so I asked where I could change her since there was no place in the restroom. MingMng said, "Oh Chinese women change the babies right here!" On the bench, in the public! haha I am sure the people next to us were not happy having to smell that! But even though the Chinese culture is different from ours, they dont really find anything offensive.  After I changed her, she said, according to the guide, that she had to go to the bathroom. I took her and she did go on the toilet so I think potty training will be easy when we get back. For now, she is wearing diapers since we are not close to a bathroom at all times.
At the notary office, everything was made official. China calls her ours! :)After getting back to the hotel and having lunch, we decided to head to the park behind our hotel. It's not a kids park like US parks, More like walking "Perry farm" type park. Anyway, as we were walking around, EVERYONE was staring at us. Run Run was so social! She'd go up to all of the people at the park and say, "Ni Hao!" Oh it was adorable! But then it got a little scary. We had one woman following us around. Then she and another woman came up to us and started speaking in Chinese. Thank God my husband knows how to say,"We dont speak Chinese."  They kept asking questions at us. Finally, one pointed and Brandon and said, "BABA?...then pointed to me,"MAMA?" then pointed to Run Run and said " Chinese!" and shook her head no. So I walked up and said with gestures that I wasnt pregnant (Big belly) but she was adopted.(writing on paper). Then it clicked. BUT we were a little freaked out and left quickly. We decided that we will carry our adoption papers with us if we go out alone again.  We did pick up ice cream on the way home and after she got used to the coldness of it, she loved it. She kept saying "Tong Lau"(sp?) which means hot. I guess because it was so cold.
We've just been playing with her in the hotel room. Getting ready for dinner and her favorite time of the day BATH TIME!! :)
Tomorrow we are headed to the Pearl Tower and a shopping market. It should be fun and we will feel safe because our guide will be able to explain any questioning, staring, people.
My favorite time today was when she was singing all of the little nursery rhymes she has learned at pre-school. One was to the tune of  "Oh my darling! Oh My darling! Oh my darling Clementine!" Then we said "Bonglau!" which means good job!!
We are BEAT but loving every minute of it!

Monday, March 11, 2013

She's in our arms!!

Wow! What a day! Brandon and I have forgotten the energy it takes to have a four year old!!
Our appointment with the Civil Affairs office wasnt until 12:30 so we met our guide at 12, exchanged all of the money we needed and then headed over to the office. When we got there, we filled out all of our paper work that was needed.
Then we waited... There were two other families adopting from Shanghai Childrens Welfare Institute so we were all nervously chit-chatting away. The other families had already paid but we hadn't so Brandon left the room with our Guide, MingMing to do so. That was when the other two families children came in so I was able to video for them.  Then when brandon came back, MingMing said Run Run was coming and Brandon said he heard her talking in the hall when they were headed back.
She came running into the room towards me saying, Mama,Mama! and then went right past me to see everything that was going on in the room.  All three families had gift bags and she wanted to know what was in them! :) So we got out the toys we had brought her and she came over to get the toys. haha. But the her caregiver took the toys until she said Ni Hao and gave us a minute of her time. She was so inquizitive and talkative. It was so adorable!!
Her caregiver and the orphanage gave us a bag of gifts which included a seal/stamp of her chinese name, a flash drive with all of the pics they have of her, a photo book, and the gold bangles and pennant that she was found with, I was hoping she would get these and she did!! What a great symbol of the love her parents have for her.
When her caregiver was leaving, she started crying...It broke our hearts because she was calling out "mama". But MingMing told us the children call all of the workers mama. When Brandon got her a snack and MingMing told her how much we loved her, she stopped crying and was fine.
We left the Civil Affairs office and headed to the grocery store.  She wasnt too happy about the seatbelt..I wonder how she'll like the car seat at home. haha We let her pick out what she liked to eat. Fruits, noodles and some cookies. Then when Brandon got 2 packs of Coke, our guide told us she said, "Thats so much soda!"  when we got back to the hotel, she told MingMing that she was tired, (she missed her nap) BUT when we got up to the room, there was so much excitment she was NOT going to sleep. 
We played with all of her toys, tried on all of her shoes and her coat.  She ate and ate and ate and drank and drank and drank. They say that this is normal because at the orphanage they never get more, just enough. Then the three of us went to the lobby to try to get some help ordering pizza. RunRun and I went exploring while Brandon was getting help. When we came around the corner and Run Run saw Brandon, she yelled "BaBa!!" (which is what she calls him) and went running to him. My heart melted!! 
Its funny though to see Chinese people look at us like we kidnapped her or something. Its hilarious!
After the pizza ordeal, we went back to the room and tried to get her into the bathtub. She wasnt having it. But she did agree to a sink bath so we did a sink bath with her feet only in the sink. Then we coaxed her into sitting in the sink.  Then when we couldn't get all the soap out of her hair, we finally got her into the bathtub and she loved it!!  About 45 minutes in the tub! Brandon and she played while I took a shower. When she came in and saw me in the shower, she insisted in getting in too. Bath # 2. Then when we were done, she wanted to get into the bath tub again. bath #3!!  At this point, we were saying, "Whatever makes her happy!!"
We finally got to SKYPE the boys and they got to see RunRun. She was a bit confused about her brothers IN the computer but they were so happy and she was laughing and talking to them in Chinese. She is quite the talker! It's like she has four years worth of stuff to fill us in on! She doesnt care that we dont know what she is saying.  She is so funny!
We thought bed time would be a breeze but....we were wrong! We were trying everything! But she is so funny! She wears diapers but everytime she is wet, she will try to take her diaper off so we have to change her. This happened 4 times in about 30 minutes. She most likely hasnt slept in a bed before so she kept getting up and jumping around, falling on us and laughing her cute little face off!!  She really is a happy little girl! She hasnt cried once. But she does have a temper. If we say something she doesn't like... you can see it on her face. I think we are going to have our hands full.
Finally, we shut off all the lights and Brandon held her and sang to her until she fell asleep. This took about 45 minutes.
Our journey has started! It is going to be challenging but so worth it!
Thank you, God for your faithfulness and blessings to our family!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shanghai Nights and KFC

We made it to Shanghai!! We chose to take the High speed Train instead of the airplane so we could see the countryside. WOW there is alot of poverty on the country side. But it was very interesting to see. One of the most interesting things we saw was farmers using handtools to farm the land. I am not sure if it was because of what they were growing or not but it was neat to see. Of course we would only see it for a brief second because the high speed train travels at 320 miles per hour. It was so fast! Alot of my pics didn't turn out because of the speed. Another thing is there will be no more pics while we are in Shanghai due to the fact that they dont have Wi-Fi at the hotel... only cable hook up. All of our pics are on my IPad. :( So sorry!!  But as soon as we get to Hong Kong, I will post all of the pics we take of us meeting Run Run for the first time.
We asked our guide, Jack, about Zheng Yi Run's name. He said it is pronounced Cheng Yi Wren. We thought this was funny because now she can be our little birdie (wren) and her English name is Liberty (li-BIRD-ty) haha.
We had a great meal tonight. We found a KFC. Although it took us a long time to order, those mashed potatoes were the best I have ever had!!  We need a Monicals's pizza or some Texas Roadhouse Fed-Ex'ed to us! We were starving today. Once we get Run Run, maybe she can order for us! Brandon actually has been doing great speaking Chinese when needed, like tonight. He said to the KFC girl, in Chinese, "Excuse me, Can I ask, do you speak english?" She smiled and went to get another girl who spoke English. As we were waiting for our food, we were brought back to the days of Hardee's when all the girls would scream their orders back to the cooks. It was so loud and then adding the Chinese language to the situation made it even funnier. It is such a harsh, loud language. And you wanna talk about line-jumping!! These people would for sure get kicked out of Six Flags. Everyone just cuts and pushes you out of their way. And no one goes off!! I told B that I will probably blow at least once before we leave. I was already run over by a wheel chair. Needless to say, we are having a good time and realize it is just cultural differences that we are not used to.
Tomorrow is the big day!! Our appointment got pushed back to 12:30 though. We have all of our gifts and money ready. We have her bag packed with toys, stickerbooks, sippy cup and snacks. We are nervous but excited to start the next part of our lives with her as a part of our family! As of tomorrow, the Myers will be a family of FIVE! Love you all and keep the prayers coming! I can feel them!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We conquered th Great Wall!

Today is day 3 in Beijing. It is very cold and windy here today.  We are getting to see so much but we are so tired! :) We both agree that we can catch up on sleep Sunday night so we did all we could today.
Today we visited a Jade factory. Here they take the stone and create all kinds of beautiful items. Necklaces, statues, earrings, and Family heirlooms. We purchased one of the family heirlooms. It is so cool! I truly love all of the history behind everything in  China. As our guide says, " In China, There is a reason for everything."
We then traveled to The Great Wall..... AND WE CONQUERED IT! We went as far up as we were allowed. 2872 steps to the top and back down. Umm, yes my legs are sore!! We agreed there should be a medal given to those who make it to the top! (I got a sweatshirt! Haha)
As we were climbing, I would think, "I can't make it to the top" but then I would see someone older walking down so I had to keep going! We were so glad when we reached the top. What beautiful scenery!
We traveled to the Olympic City and saw the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube from the 2008 Olympics. It was really neat to see it for real. But not a lot to do except take pictures.
After freezing our tails off taking pics, we went to the largest Tea House in Beijing for a tea tasting. B was a good sport about it since he really doesn't like tea. We tried, Jasmine, Olong (black dragon), Pu'er (pure), and fruit tea. Pu'er is supposed to be the most valuable because it is only found in China and it is rare. We didn't like it. We bought some fruit tea. Yummy! It will be good hot or cold!
After that we went to the Chinese acrobat show. AMAZING! Just when we were amazed by something, it would get even better.
Now we are back in our room for a much needed night in the hotel. We are beat!
We leave for Shanghai tomorrow on the Bullet Train. Excited for the new adventure and to see the countryside of China.

Friday, March 8, 2013

We are famous!

It is day 2 here in Beijing,China. We had an incredibly busy day but we are loving every minute of it! Today we had breakfast at the hotel and actually had some good "American"stuff.  Then it was off the Tinenaman Square but we were not allowed "on" the square because there are some governmental meetings going on and the government buildings are right next to the square. Then it was into the Forbidden City. So cool! Who knew this place went on and on forever? So much history and tradition to learn about. Our guide, Jack, is filled with tons of information. We are so lucky to have such a great guide!
After the Forbidden City, Brandon agreed to go out on a limb and have lunch with a local Chinese family, in their home, cooked by the mother. Now THAT 'S authentic Chinese living! She taught us how to make Chinese dumplings. Oh how delicious !!
We then took a Rickshaw tour of the Hunan (?) alleys. This is the older neighborhoods of Beijing. Made us really realize how "over the top" us Americans live. There were 3 generations in a 3bedroom home.
We also visited the Temple of Heaven. So interesting to learn about these places.
Then we had the famous Peking Duck dinner which B and I didn't enjoy so much but we tried. The last item on the agenda was the Red Theater and the Kung Fu show. This was really fun to watch. Some incredibly talented people!
Tonight we definitely will sleep well!
PS. I said we were famous because we had two different people come up and want to take their picture with us because we were American. It was funny!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We made it!!

Well we made it! We are in China! The flight was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  We sat next to a man who lives in the US but is originally from China. After talking for a bit, we shared that we were headed to China to adopt a little girl. He was so grateful for this and praised us for our decision. We explained that we are really the ones who are lucky. We get to get to have Run Run as a part of our family.
When we got to Beijing, we met our guide, Jack, he is super nice and full of knowledge about Beijing. He told us that one day for lunch he wants to take us to the home of an authentic Chinese family and they will make us "real" Chinese food. I agreed but Brandon is nervous. :) It will be a once in a lifetime experience!  Tonight we were on our own so we walked down the main strip where our hotel is and found a huge indoor mall. Not too exciting because all of the stores are the same ones we have in the US. But we ate at Pizza Hut. Interestingly, Pizza Hut here is a higher end restaurant. I tried a peach hot tea from a recommendation from our guide. It was so good!!
So far the city is really cool and I cannot wait to see what is in store for tomorrow....
PS The only negative is the smog and the matresses are so hard...Wheres my Sleep Comfort?? :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The cherry on top!

As we are preparing to leave this morning, I checked in on our little Zoey. She is the little one we had to pass up adopting this past summer. She is the other little one in China who holds a piece of my heart.
 Zoey not having a forever family has always been the one little splinter in the wonderful joyous event of adopting Run Run.
But once again, God is so good...ALL of the time! We found out this morning that Zoey has been matched with her forever family! I didn't want to start my crying fest this early in the journey but the flood gates have opened before I have even left my house.
I praise God today for all of His wondrous plans that I cannot see. I love you,Lord!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

We are ready to go!!

Its time to travel and there is a huge snow storm going on. We have everything packed and ready to go. Now we are just hoping that our flight will not be cancelled. There are so many emotions going through our heads. Fear, anxiousness, joy, excitement and every other emotion one could feel!
We have had so many prayers and blessings from so many people! We are so lucky to have so many people that already love our little Run Run! The next time we post, we are hoping we will be in Beijing! :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's time to travel!

After all that we have been through...all the waiting, the ups and downs, the anticipation, the defeat, the heartbreak and the joy...... It is time to travel!  We have received our Travel approval and will be heading to China real soon!
One would think that we would be ready. Not physically but mentally. But I told my husband the other day, "I'm not ready!" He said, "How can you not be ready? We have been waiting 6 years!"
It is a strange feeling but it's the truth. Some of these feelings come from the fact that I am not a good traveler. I get achy,cranky and restless. Some of it comes from fear that she won't bond with us. Some of it comes from my fear of being a "girl" mom. Silly, I know. But it's the truth. I just pray she feels the love that has been bursting out of our home since we first saw her face. Little Run Run. :) Even when I think of all of my fears and doubts, future struggles we will face, I know it is worth it.
It is worth is because we are giving this little angel a true home where love will surround her.
It is worth it because she will have a family where she is accepted unconditionally.
It is worth is because she will feel protected and safe from harm.
It is worth it because even though it has been very, very difficult for us with many bumps in the road, we are being faithful to what we feel God has led us to do.
The seed in my heart that was planted when I was just a little girl, is now ready to be harvested.
Thank you God, for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful thing.
It's time to come home, Little Run Run! :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Hope

     After a mourning period, we knew we had another decision to make. Were we done with this journey? Were we giving up? Was God just wanting to see if we would be faithful to Him even if we ended this path without a child? We weren't sure about it all. If we continued, that would mean to re-new everything and pay all of the fees one more time. But if we didn't..... were we going to be ok with that choice? I mean, with the age we were, it wasn't like we could change our minds in a few years and try again. It was all or nothing. After talking about it, we both didn't feel right about letting it go. We did decide though that this was it. We weren't renewing anything after this.
     We made an appointment with our case worker and went to see how she could help.  She showed us two files. One with Downs Syndrome and one with Spinabifida.  Both were outside of our boundaries. We left very discouraged. Almost to the point of saying "We are done."
     But then I got a message from my friend Amy who had adopted 3 girls from China. She encouraged me to look on shared sites for our child on our own. I wasn't sure about it but she gave me a few sites. One week-end I was determined to look at every child on a certain site. I looked at different files for about 12 hours. Finally, I saw a little round face with a red and white striped shirt looking at me.  Run Run.  That is what they called her.  I opened her file and saw that she had a congenital heart defect.  We didn't feel apprehensive about this because I work in the cardiac field and have connections in this area.  I emailed the contact and said we were interested. I also called our caseworker to tell her what I had found.  We were then informed that this particular child was only to be adopted through a certain adoption agency. It was not the agency we were with. UGH!!!!  How many road blocks were we going to hit??  After talking with our agency and emailing the other agency, we all agreed that we all had the same goal in mind.  Together, we could do this! We took the file to our cardiologist friend and got the OK. Of course, she'll have to follow up with a cardiologist when she gets here but all looked good according to the file.   We also got to talk with a Physical Therapist who travels to the orphanage where our little one lives.  She worked with our little one last summer and said that she is a real joy. A great personality and healthy as can be. :)  Still there was no real excitement from us like before. Not yet.... Still a little gun shy.
     So here we went again! Jumping through hoops trying to get everything completed. From interviews with Gladney, the new agency, and updates with our other agency, it was almost like starting all over.
It looked like we had everything in order pretty quick and soon we were approved to be her parents!  About a week later, we got a phone call that the wrong LSC had been signed and the agency had to send for a new one from China, send it to us to re-sign and then send it back. No big deal but with all that had happened, we just didn't want anymore speed bumps! We got that taken care of and cleared up.  But then, of course, Immigration told us they decided we would have to re-file our I-800 and I-800A because our other one was attached to Zoey. I have never had to do so much paper work in my life! After filing these forms and traveling one and 1/2 hours to be re-fingerprinted, (for the 4th time) everything was approved. Whew!
     Everyone could tell that we were a little skeptical about everything still. Not wanting to get excited just to be let down again.  But then our case worker called to say that we could send our little Run Run a package. This is when I think we started to understand that it might just work out. We shopped for an outfit, got her a panda bear, a cozy blanket, a back pack and winter hat with her name on it.  We also made a hard back picture book with pics of our family so she could actually see us. On the cover it said  "My Family".  On Dec 12, 2012, (my birthday) we received 36 pictures of our little Run Run opening our package. There was even one pic that looked like she was pointing to my face. :) What an awesome birthday gift! She was so cute in her hat and all of her little friends behind her looking on.
So incredible!  I couldn't believe that she was actually touching stuff that we had touched. It finally seemed real.  I posted a pic of her with all of her friends. Some of the other adopting families posted that they could see their child in the back ground. Then another family posted they had adopted from the same place last summer and had a bunch of pics of our little one from when they were there! This particular mom said if she could have she would have scooped up Run Run and brought her home because she was just full of personality and fun. This really warmed our hearts! It is great to be connected with families who are adopting children from the same orphanage so we can keep up the friendships of our children for years to come.
     On Christmas Eve, we received an e-mail that NVC had sent our letter to China! This is the final step before we get our travel dates to go get our sweet potato. We are waiting to hear back from our agency but due to the holidays, they have been out of the office. Hahah... another speed bump.
We are on the final stretch of this race we began 6 years ago. Please pray that in light of all that is going on with Russia closing their adoption program that we can cross this finish line with little Run Run in our arms and bring her home to her forever family!
I will continue to post when information comes about and when we travel. Hopefully, that will be soon.... WITH NO SPEED BUMPS! :)
You might ask how we have gotten through all this??  The following words explain it all......
For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Sadness sets in

     This chapter of the story is a sad and difficult one to write. It is one of loss and heart-break. It is one that represents a wound on my heart that still gives me pain. If you look closely, you will see there is a missing piece. This piece belongs to a little girl in China whom I will never hold but will always love. It is held by my little Zoey.
     When I got into the house, I broke down. I didn't even really know what had happened. I just knew that our dream of bringing our little one home was somehow gone. My husband suggested we go for a walk to be able to talk openly away from the kids. We went for a walk and he told me of all the information in the email from our case worker.  She told us that when we asked for the updated health report, the medical staff "suspected" that our little Zoey had a genetic disorder. The testing would take 6 weeks. So they sent the report without the results of the genetic testing and without mentioning they had tested her. If they would have, we would have proceeded with caution and probably waited to see the results before moving ahead.... but they didn't mention it.   When they got the results back, it was confirmed that she was missing her 7th chromosome and had something called Williams Syndrome.
         This part of the story can be tricky. I don't want to offend anyone and would never want anyone to think that a child with this syndrome doesn't deserve a family. That is the farthest from the truth.  My husbands brother is mentally disabled and we know what it entails to care for him.  But as I said in my previous posts, we had set up boundaries that we felt our family could handle. I want everyone who decides to continue reading that I never want to offend anyone.
     My husband and I, thankfully, had a trip to California planned for the following weekend. We wanted to sit down with our kids and discuss what was happening before we left. We shared with them the info our case worker had given us and what we had found on our own. We wanted to know what they thought about the situation because their lives and futures would most certainly be affected. Our 19 year old told us he understood why we would take Zoey and he understood why we wouldn't. He needed no explanation and would stand by whatever we chose. Our 14 year old felt a little differently.  He said that he couldn't believe that we would turn our back on her just because she wasn't perfect. He couldn't believe this was his family.  It killed us. We understand that it is the narrow sight of a child, that he couldn't see the complete picture, the full repercussions on a family to have a child with this syndrome, but it was still like a punch in the stomach.
Was this the reason? If we didn't take her, could I even look at myself in the mirror everyday?  We had a lot to talk about on our trip.
     Needless to say, we cried many tears in California. We walked on the beach and talked about our Zoey. What we could handle and what we couldn't.  We kept coming back to the boundaries we had set back when we chose to look at the special needs list. If it were just the two of us, we would have taken Zoey in a heart beat. But to choose this for our sons futures, we just didn't think it was fair. We had no idea if her issues would be a huge financial strain on us and then, in turn, our boys and their families. This syndrome has mental issues along with medical and we also worried that a huge change might magnify her mental issues. We also had first hand experience of how a medical need could financially cripple a family. We didn't feel right making that choice for our children and their future.  But it didn't feel right not taking Zoey either.
     Even though it took us a few weeks to say it out loud, we decided not to take her. My case worker said she is cared for by a foster family who loves her and is fully sponsored through her foster home.
      I know some may read this and think my sorrow was brought on by my own choices. One would be correct in saying this. But I do know that it was one of the hardest decisions my husband and I have ever had to make. We felt as though we lost a child.  We will live with the sorrow of this decision forever.  Zoey has a piece of our hearts and always will.

Uncontrollable Events

     After receiving our log-in date, we thought we would be traveling to China around the summer of 2008. Our lives were going to be changing and all of us were so excited.  But we couldn't see what the next few years would bring us.  Waiting.... Waiting.... and more WAITING....2008 came and went with no match.
Over the next year, China experienced a horrific earthquake.....  A  speed bump in the road.
The summer Olympics were held in Beijing. This meant every governmental agency would shut down their normal activity to help prepare for the Olympics.....  Another speed bump.
Then yet ANOTHER terrible earthquake.  China made the decision that any family whose child was killed or severely injured would have the chance to adopt a child before anyone from outside of China. Although we agreed with this, it was still another speed bump to slow us down.
     2009 came and went. We were asked by our adoption agency if we would be willing to look at the Special Needs list of children. With our "American" understanding of Special needs, we said no. We wanted to wait for a healthy child.  Hindsight is certainly 20/20. I wish now we would have been more open to understanding the term Special Needs from an adoption stand point.
     Countries have a healthy child list and a special needs list. Children on the healthy list are just that.... healthy, with nothing wrong with them as far as anyone knows.  Special needs is anyone else. SO this means if a child is missing even 1/2 a finger... they cannot be on the healthy list. We didn't know this. We were thinking special needs meant the child would always need to be cared for, never live on their own.  We just thought that it wouldn't really be fair to our boys. For us to make that "choice" for their lives once my husband and I were gone. So we continued to wait.
     Our Home Study expired. Our fingerprints expired. Our immigration papers expired. We had to have a discussion about how long we were going to wait and if we were going to pay the fees to re-new everything.  We decided to try one more round of waiting and renewed all of our paperwork.  Now don't get the wrong idea. I know that a child's life is worth more than any amount of money we could obtain but this was getting a bit expensive for our budget. It's one thing to budget for the fees once but this was the second time we had to pay a pretty big lump of cash. Not to mention, we were getting older.
     And the waiting continued through 2010. Although our family had the happy times a family has, we were all just losing the excitement that had been building for so long. It was a real let down.
     In the winter of 2010, we decided to just look at the special needs list. We were given a few files that we reviewed and considered. We would take them to our physician to get a true understanding of what the particular disability entailed.  We would pray about it, talk about it and try to decide if it would work with our active family.  After having to make these heart-breaking choices not to take these little ones, we thought it would be best to set boundaries that we all agreed on. These parameters weren't set by any means to be hurtful.  Please know we always wanted to make the choice that would be right for everyone involved. It's easy to say what your limits are but when there is a picture of a beautiful child that deserves a family, it's hard to say no.  I wasn't sure about the "boundary" idea but I am so glad that my husband thinks with his head first and heart second. I am the opposite of this. It would be helpful later in our journey.
We continued to look through some files but the disabilities always seemed like way more than our family could handle. Finally, in April 2011, we made an appointment to go to the agency to talk about a game plan.
     My mother-in-law came too since she is a nurse and we thought she could help with the medical jargon.  Our agency had a file for us on a little one who was about to turn 4.  The file said she had been born with a hole in her heart (ASD) but it had been corrected. We must have looked at this file 200 times searching for something else this little one had.  Why would this little angel NOT already be adopted? I mean there are lots of people who are born with an ASD and don't even know they have it! Had we found our little one at last??? We asked our case worker to put a hold on her file so no one else could look at her for 72 hours. We wanted to take the file to our doctor to look at and take a few days to pray about it. Over that 72 hours, we must have looked at the picture of this little angel 1000 times. We were trying not to get too excited until we heard from the doctor. Our pediatrician, along with a cardiologist who had looked at the file, called the next day to give us the great news.  Neither of them could see any reason why this child wasn't going to live a perfectly normal healthy life. We decided to ask for an updated health report anyway just to be on the safe side. A few weeks later, it came back that she was healthy and had no other issues except the corrected ASD we already knew about. YIPPEE!!
We were more than excited! We were so in love already!
     Over the next few months, our love grew as we jumped through all of the final hoops of pre-adoption travel. All we were waiting on was the invite from China to come and get our little one.
     In late August, my best friend, Debbie and I had our kids at the Indiana Sand Dunes when I received a call from Beth, our case worker. I was jumping up and down before I answered it, thinking she was calling me to tell us when we would be traveling to China.  We had a very bad connection and all I could hear was "bad news"... "I'm so sorry" and "talk with your husband... Let us know how you want to proceed."
I text my husband and told him to check our email and call me if he could. My day was filled with anxiety and tears. I wasn't sure what was going on but I knew it wasn't good. When I pulled in the drive-way and saw my husbands face..... my world came crashing in.

The Starting Line

So we had made the decision to adopt. But what next??  I was at the starting line, feet in the blocks, ready to run this race.  But my husband was just warming up, stretching, slowly walking up to the starting line. Once again, we were on different pages of the adoption plan.  I decided to just start asking around about a reliable adoption agency.  We had a few friends who had adopted...The Blairs, the Devenoughs, the Grosso family. whose advice we trusted.  After investigating a bit more, we decided on Lifelink. I went to their web-site to see what direction we needed to go to start this journey. The first step was the application process.  This was to see if we even "qualified" as adoptive parents.
WHAT?? QUALIFIED?? We wanted to add to our family and give a child a loving home. What more did they need to know? I was about to find out!
     The application was filled with questions about ourselves, where we worked, did we go to college, how much money we made, how many times have we been married/divorced, where we lived, where we grew up, how many siblings we had, if our parents were still living, how were we raised, how were we punished, how we punished our children, how much we weighed, and on and on and on the application went.
     I finished my part and told my husband, who was still sauntering around the starting line, that he could get on the computer whenever he wanted and fill in his portion. I checked the application frequently hoping he had started but a few months passed and I was starting to doubt his desire to adopt.
     Christmas morning 2006, (yes this journey started that long ago), after all the gifts were opened, my husband said there was one more gift to open. He handed me an envelope. I was looking at this gift trying to figure out what it could be. The events of the past year were running through my head as I drew a blank to what was inside the envelope. I could see writing, like a list. And then, I thought, "Oh My Goodness!!! My husband has made a list of all of the financial accomplishments for the year! Are you kidding me??" You see, that past year, we had worked really hard to pay off some things and get our finances in order. He had typed it all out to show me all we had accomplished. I couldn't believe it. I was so disappointed......
     But then as I opened the folded papers, I saw that I was so wrong. He had completed the adoption application and written a check for the application fee. He was at the starting line standing right next to me! I broke out into tears as we celebrated the start of our family's new journey!
     A few weeks after mailing the application, we received a call from Lifelink and Beth, our caseworker. I remember seeing the words "Lifelink" on the caller ID and thinking, Is this really happening? I was jumping around before I answered it. :) Beth said that our initial application looked good and the next step was to set up an interview. Its a good thing she couldn't see me before I answered the phone. She would have thought I was crazy! :)
     A month or so passed and we went in for our initial interview. We were asked questions about why we wanted to adopt, if gender mattered, where we wanted to adopt from and what our fears were. We have two bio boys so we were really hoping for a girl. We were open to any country or nationality. Our only fear was, in the future, someone would come back and try to claim our daughter as their own and take her from us. After reviewing all of our answers, they suggested China. Mostly because they allow couples to pick the gender, they have an abundance of female orphans and that the chances of her parents coming to claim her would be slim. It is against the law to abandon your child in China so to step forward to claim a child would mean a penalty fine would have to be paid. I had read somewhere that this fine equals 5 years salary.
     So it was set.  We were going to get a little China doll. :) The next few months were filled with passports, physicals, immigration paper work, dossiers, family photos and anything else Lifelink told us to do. Our dossier was finally ready to go in May and was sent to China with many prayers of safe delivery. If you haven't prepared a dossier, you have no idea how stressful it was to place that packet into someone else's hand.  I know the post office girls thought I was crazy!
     We received our official log-in date on June 26, 2007.  This meant that China received our paperwork and approved us as adoptive parents. We were told 12 months for a "match" so we spent this time thinking up names, reading up on adoptive parenting tips, travel tips and anything else we thought we needed to know.  Little did we know we would have PLENTY of time to prepare.
From the beginning.....
        Where did this story start?  Well, let me head back a few years to when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  My Uncle Bud and my Aunt Mary had a son, Gary, who was a few years older than me. But they wanted to adopt a child too. I am not sure of all of their reasons and how they came to this decision but they were successful and soon Samantha a cute little thing from South Korea joined their family....and mine. She was my cousin and I was in awe of her. She was so adorable. I remember asking my mom to buy her and I matching Holly Hobbie sweatshirts to give her on the day she came to meet us.
      Now I know that the thoughts I had about adoption were immature and of 9 year old nature, but I remember feeling so proud that I was related to people who would become parents of a child who had none. So proud that I was now family to this sweet little girl. That was the day that God planted a seed in my heart for adoption.  He used my Aunt and Uncle in a way I don't think they realized.  He used them to bring another little girl to the US.
     My Uncle and Aunt's journey continued as they adopted 2 more girls from South Korea.  Each time, the seed God had planted in my heart grew. I knew someday, my desire to adopt would develop and I would also take this journey of adoption.
     Time raced on and I grew up, went to college, started working, got married and had two children of my own.  My husband and I were very content with our two wonderful boys.  But every once in awhile there would be a tug at my heart...a whisper from God telling me not to forget about the seed planted so many years ago.  When I mentioned this "seed" to my husband, his answer was "No way!".  I know it sounds harsh but let me tell you a bit about his experience with adoption.  It started long ago too.
     My husbands parents were very active members of the Illinois Foster Care Association for many years. They were so involved that they even held the VP position at one point.  Along with my husband and his four older brothers, the Myers house was filled with over 30 foster kids, mostly special needs kids.  Of course, not 30 all at once but there were always a few extra children running around the house.  This was difficult for my husband. First of all, he is an introvert and likes his alone, quite time to re-energize. Secondly, everything was shared. Food, clothes, toys, bedrooms and most of all, the attention from his parents. Since he was the youngest and the smallest, he had to learn to fight for what he wanted. Now this is not to say that my husband had a difficult childhood. He had loving parents and admired their desire to help those in need. But he wanted something different for his boys. He wanted to give them everything we could. He wanted them to have their own rooms, clothes, toys and quite time and attention. :)
     So here we were. On opposite sides of the adoption spectrum. But I was faithful to what I truly thought God was putting on my heart.  Whenever I felt Him tug, I would speak up and mention it to my husband. He would say, "No way".  Then I would say a pray asking God to work on softening my husband's heart toward adoption.
     Time continued to pass. Life went on. The boys grew up. We grew older. Everyone was happy and healthy. Our family was truly blessed in every aspect of life.   But I still felt a longing for something I was missing. Until one night.  My older son, Damon, who was involved in Manteno Youth For Christ, was asked to speak at a YFC event.  While we were there, we listened to a speaker talk about how everyone is given Gifts from God. He went on to explain that it didn't matter what the gift was but only that we use it. It could be that one was a plumber and helped those who couldn't always pay or that someone was full of compassion and could just sit and listen to someone who needed a shoulder to lean on. The speaker went on with different examples but always coming back to the importance of using whatever Gift God had given to you.  As we were leaving the facility,my husband stopped me in the parking lot, under the night stars and said, "I need to tell you something.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to see this but  after hearing that speaker and listening to a radio program about adoption, I realize God has blessed our family so much and we could easily take care of another child. We need to adopt."  It was so awesome to see that God had done it. He had softened my husband's heart and now the seed in my heart was ripe!