Monday, July 27, 2009

A Lot of Catch Up!

Okay, here's an upate! I received an email from Marianne, one of the wonderful ladies we met at the Victory on Sha Mian island, and I figured she was ready to see new photo's!
Hello Marianne!
You wouldn't even recognize Jia now! I wish you could see her again 5 weeks home... you wouldn't believe it!
She has learned so much and is doing so well. We have finally got a schedule going and she does fabulous at taking her naps and going to bed. She LOVES to be outside. She plays in my water buckets and just pours water from one to another and on my feet, etc....
She's also a very good eater and eats pretty much what ever we offer her. She especially loves applesauce.
She is also quite vocal now that she's comfortable with us and is very loud! And she can hold her own with her 3 brothers... very well I might add!

This is just a cute picture I took of Jia at Jory's bible school program last night. She loves to have her picture taken and always wants to see the picture.
So now it's hard to get a picture of her at all because she's always coming at me to 'see'!
She is such a ham and makes the craziest faces! I just can't believe her sometimes! It's so hard to imagine her being shy and introverted in the orphanage, she just needed a family so she can be herself!

I thought Jia standing by my butterfly bush would be a cute picture, but she really didn't like the flowers getting on her.
She is really picky about that sort of thing... she hates flies. She hates having her hands dirty. She's very clean and is always wiping up her place at the table and putting things back where they belong! I LOVE IT!!

Jory attended Mega Sports Camp at our church every night this week. We'd take Jia to pick him up and go in early to catch the closing songs. She really loved it!
She does really well at church so far. She sits very quietly with us through the sermon and is just such a big girl.
It's a good thing our Pastor is very good at keeping your attention, because I think Jia could quite easily steal the show... sorry!

Jia was sitting up next to Jory at his VBS program and I tried to get their picture, they were so cute! But she's started this thing where she wants to see her picture as soon as you take it and now she's coming at me to see the camera before I even have the picture taken!
So, like this one, all of the recent pictures of Jia have her very close up!

Waiting for Aunt Sherri to come swing with me!
You can see Jia's foot is blurred... that's because the girl is always on the move!

Enjoying her chicken nuggets! Oh, the other day I took Jia, Jory, Jacen and his friend Clay to McDonalds for lunch and guess what Jia ate...
2 tubs of ketchup. Yes, one french fry... and 2 tubs of ketchup.
It took a while before Irealized what she was doing, but she was dipping the same fry in the ketchup over and over and licking it off!

Here's big brother Jory at his VBS program. He has been such a help to Jia in adjusting.
Jory will be going into 1st grade soon and is growing up so fast! It's been tough getting kicked out of the 'baby' spot of the family and also getting yelled at for being a pest to his big brother. He and Jacen started fighting over everything about 6 months ago and haven't stopped yet. Sigh.

Jory swinging at Grandma and Grandpa's place this summer!

As soon as we got back from China, Jadeth left for Nashville. I've asked him a few times to write a post about his trip, but he's yet to do it, so I'll attempt it!
Jadeth was FCCLA president his Sr.year and they took about 30 kids to Nationals this year! I think last year they took less than 10!
Anyway, his team pictured here (Bailey and Christian) received Gold, along with most of the other kids. They received a lot of recognition and I know if I try to tell it, I'll screw it all up, so leave comments for Jadeth to explain it all!

Okay, I'm going to fill you in on Jacen quickly... he skates. Daily. That's about it.
I have no new picture of him to share, but soon I'll take Jia to the skate park and get some!

Now... on to Jack! Racing.
(Matthew - I hope you see these!)
These pics were taken July11th, the weekend after we got home. He rolled it in the heat race... but don't worry, he made it to the feature! I don't remember how he did, but fairly well considering how the evening started!

As you can see, it landed on the drivers side, so he had to climb up through and exit the passengers door. It's all boxed in on the inside, so it's a pretty tight fit.
Then when he jumped off the top, he slid in the mud and fell.
He come home about 2 AM this night and I was still up waiting for him. He told me that part and I just couldn't help but laugh. That's sick I know. It was after I thanked God for him being okay. Just picturing him rolling the car and exiting... looking all tough after that, then landing on his butt. He laughed with me, so it's okay!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Daredevil Update!

Yesterday was a busy day for Miss Jia! We started out playing dress up with our jewelry! Jory chose this set for Jia a few months before we got her... even then, he knew what she would like! She insists on wearing all the pieces at once!

Later on, we thought we'd try our hand at the pool for the first time! She loves playing in the water buckets and the bath tub, so I thought she'd enjoy splashing around in the baby pool.
I wasn't prepared for her to want to play in the deep end and be so fearless! She loved it! We watched Jacen go down the really fast and steep 'blue' slide and she started pulling me by the hand and went to the stairs trying to go up to it! This big slides makes me squeal and she totally wanted to do it!
There's also a play area that has a huge bucket that fills up with water and dumps on your head. We stood back and watched it from afar because it's pretty forceful. When she seen it dump, she grabbed my hand and started tugging me to stand in that spot! I'm telling you... I'm going to have my hands full!
Here's some fun pictures from the pool! I'm so glad I threw my camera in, but honestly, if my friend Marcia wasn't there, we wouldn't have any photo's. I could not leave her side long enough to get any myself... she's be running off the diving board! So thanks again, Marcia - for taking some shots for us!

Enjoying some snacks on break!

Jack loves this one....

Some of the 'splash' after the bucket dumped.

After the swimming pool, we hung out on the front porch for a bit. Jia LOVES to sweep and clean. So she cleaned the front porch! She also loves to make crazy faces and I was able to capture a couple. This is nothing like seeing them in person, but close!
When you take Jia's picture, she instantly wants to see it... she was coming at me to see the screen and I hadn't even taken the picture yet!
Here's the 'pout' that Jack taught her. He'll be sorry one of these days when she uses this against him!

This look usually goes along with an "Ooooohhh!!!!"

Here's Jia sweeping off the front porch!

After all that swimming and cleaning, she crashed!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Some Pictures to Enjoy

That's what it's really all about anyway, right? The pictures?! LOL! Well, here's some cute ones!

Here's Jia watching Jory through the cracks on the deck! Soon she'll venture further away from Mama and join him!

One day while Jia was playing in the bath tub, I sat next to her and painted my toenails. She kept pointing at them and smiling, so we painted hers! She's admiring them!

To steal a comment from Aunt Ake... "Pretty toes with Missouri dirt between them!"

One of Jia's goofy faces! I wish the sun wasn't shining in her face. You just can't believe the difference in this girl! She makes the craziest faces and just cracks me up!

My beautiful daughter.... I am blessed beyond measure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I know so many of you have been waiting for an update since arriving at home. I can just see MaryAnn checking everyday to make sure we arrived safely! And many of you are wondering how Jia did on the flight and is adjusting now that we're home.
Let me go back to last Thursday, July 2nd. We left ShaMian Island on the 10:39 train. Our trip to Hong Kong was 2 hours. Then we ate McDonalds in the train station. The train station was on Kowloon Island and our hotel was next to the airport on Lantau. So we took a taxi to our hotel, about a 35 minute drive. We were literally a block from our hotel, at the last stop light before getting there... I could see the hotel. And Jia starts throwing up all over herself, me and the back of the cab. Gobs. Apparently she gets car sick. I don't know how she made it 8 hours roundtrip in the back of the van to Maoming without getting sick, but the cab drive did her in. So I get us checked in with vomit all down my front, and proceed to our room to clean us up. After I stripped her, she pee'd all over me! UGH. Anyway, we survived that night and made it safely to the airport Friday AM.
We traveled 22 hours on Friday, going through Japan and Minneapolis again. Once Jia's passport was stamped in MN, she became a US citizen! Yeah! We arrived in KCI about 5 PM to the boys, my parents, my Aunt Ake and cousin Amy! We had a few minutes to get aquointed while Jack went after our van in parking. Jia and Jory immediately hit it off at we suspected they would!
Here's Jia and I after 22 hours of traveling. She slept most of the way on our long flight from Tokyo to MN. She was such a trooper and didn't mind the plane ride at all. She cried for about 30 minutes, 2 hours into our long flight, but I think it was mostly fighting sleep. She fell asleep and we had to wake her up to get off the plane in MN.

Jia and Jory meeting for the first time. She instantly loved him and the 2 are virtually inseperable still.

Here's Jia, Jacen, Jory and I after getting off the plane.

We went out to eat before heading home and Jia really showed a bit of her personality. She is so darn cute. Unfortunately, she didn't want to go to bed until 6 AM... Jack and I didn't sleep on the plane and were so darn tired. I don't know how we survived that first night. It was really horrible.
I think we slept until about 2 Saturday and we went to my mom and dad's Saturday night to celebrate independence day! Jia looked adorable in her 4th of July dress! But it prohibited her riding the tricycle very well. She acted like she knew what to do on it, she just couldn't reach the petals.

Jia loves to take care of babies. We gave her a baby doll in China and she just rocked it, cradled it and took such good care of the baby. She took her stroller to Grandma's and played with it all night.

We were all surprised at how well Jia liked the fireworks. I was prepared to spend the evening inside, but she just ooohed adn ahhhed over them.
Saturday night we went to bed at 4, Sunday at 1:30, Monday at 11 and last night we were in bed by 10:30!!!! Yeah! Jia is still sleeping with us. In China, she slept on a palet on the floor, but since coming home she sleeps with us. She startles awake everytime I move with her, so it's easier to put her in bed with me. I think she's still too unsettled to fall into a deep sleep, but she's getting better. I think last night I could've actually put her in her own bed and she would've been fine.
So! We're getting our days/nights in the right order! She is still such a great eater! She is getting over her fear of strangers and is quite a little ham. She just smiles at everyone and plays peek-a-boo and waves by-by. I just can't describe the differences in her in the last 2 weeks. She is so animated and just hollars all the time! She is certainly comfortable in her home and family. I just can't imagine her in the orphanage. She was so shy and introverted and she is nothing like that now. Actually, she's a bit onery! I think in a couple of more weeks, she'll be a wild child! She's a perfect fit!
She still won't let anyone but mom hold her, but she no longer cries when someone else looks at her. She can say Mama, Baba, Jory, Jacen, baby, dog, cat, no-no... she says these on her own and know's what they mean.
I'll try to do better at the blogging in the future, but it's been crazy around here! A steady stream of visitors, us still trying to get over jet-lag, un-packing our stuff and the boys' stuff from being at Grandma and Grandpa's and packing Jadeth to go to Nashville.... I see a more defined routine in the future... just not yet!
God totally knew what He was doing when He chose her for our family! She was totally worth waiting for!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Last Post From ShaMian Island

Park at night

Molly Joy Jia Jack

Lucy's Place


Joy Jia Jenny

"Our" Jack Joy Jia and "Jack"

Coke Place

This will be our last post from China! We leave early tomorrow AM to take the train back to Hong Kong, spend the night there and then fly out of HK at 8AM on Friday. We change planes in Tokyo, then on to Minneapolis. Once we hit MN, we will go through immigration with Jia and as soon as they stamp her passport, she will officially be a US citizen! Then we hit KCI about 5ish Friday night.
So pray we have safe travels and that Jia does well with the flight! The great thing is that 3 other families have the same flight all the way to MN, so we'll be together that far!
There aren't many pictures to share today, sorry! Jeff and Jennifer's daughter is from a 'Half the Sky' orphanage and HTS kept a journal on Megan. So we loaned them our camera with the video on it and they video's Molly translating the journal. Then the second 1/2 of our day was at the Consulate and no camera's were allowed. The consulate appoinment was really no big deal, but emotional all the same. After the CA, the remaining 6 families headed to Lucy's together for one last meal. It was a really nice evening. I think there's a picture of Jia scarfing down her egg and noodle soup. At one time, she had the bowl tipped up to her mouth getting every last bit, but we weren't quick enough to catch her with the camera.
You'll also see a picture of a few of our friends! There's Jia and I with Jenny of Jenny's Place. She and her husband have a new baby and they're the ones that invited us to church. Then there's "Jack"! He works at Jessica's Place and we both immediately liked Jack! Our friend Aimee who was here just a few short weeks ago told us to go see Jack and he was expecting us! Everytime we seen him he said "Hello Jack Joy My Friends". We actually did most of our shopping at these 2 places because we enjoyed them so much! Anyone fixin' to make this trip... please drop in on Jack and Jenny and tell them Jack and Joy sent you and say Hi!
Also there's a picture of us with Molly, our guide, on the red couch. I can't tell you how awesome Molly is and we totally love her! She is the best!
Oh, and I think you may see the local Coke shop too! Interesting!
Well, I must sign off and find a place in the suitcase for the last little bit of stuff! I did some major shopping here! But we're still returning with just one big suitcase and a duffel that we'll check, one carryon and 2 backpacks! Pretty good!
We love ShaMian Island and will cherish our time here. If we ever bring Jia back, it will certainly have to be in the winter months though. A few more days here and I was going to have to break down and buy some new shorts, I was beginning to have a hard time keeping mine up. You don't eat much, then we walk off whatever we eat, then the rest we've sweated off. It's terrible!
Talk to you all next time from the USA!!!