Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Month

Lily Joy ChunHang Bamberg has been ours for one month.  Every day we watch her getting stronger and more comfortable with her place in our family.  She is an amazing little girl and we are so blessed that she is our daughter.

November 28...First glimpse of our girl
What a feeling to finally see our answered prayer coming through that door, smiling as usual!!  Well, at least for a little while :)  The grieving was tough on all of us, but a month later, Lily is doing fantastic.

Lily can count to 100 in unison with us.  
She knows her colors in English.
She sings her ABCs and recognizes a lot of the letters.
She in comprehending a lot of what we say to her and uses more and more English words every day.  She is using some short phrases...Mei Mei no eat, Mei Mei is cold, Ice is cold, more eat please. 
She does not like her room yet and sleeps in a toddler bed in our room.  She slept in a room with several other children, so we know it's scary for her to sleep in a room by herself.  I love having her sleeping right next to me. 
Her arms and legs are getting stronger!  Tonight, she crawled from our living room into Reece's bedroom.  In China, she couldn't lift her own cup!  Now, she's holding herself up to crawl across our house.  She is a very determined little princess!
She laughs and squeals A LOT! 
Her favorite drink is still hot water...but she has drank a Capri Sun and Apple Juice in the last 2 days.
She loves being outside and riding in her wagon.
She misses her friends in China and loves to look at pictures of them.
Some days, she wants to be called Hao ChunHang.  Other days it's Mei Mei.  She lets us know who she wants to be and she hasn't been Lily yet :)  We don't care, we'll call her anything!
She is a major Daddy's girl!!!  Luckily, she lets me do things for her and is happy with me.  It's just obvious she prefers Trent.  I plan on changing the locks when he goes to work next week!  LOL
Today, she started calling Reece and Mary Ashtyn by their names, makes me a little sad.  Loved hearing her call them Jie Jie and  Gu Gu.
Her favorite toy is her stuffed Mickey Mouse (MiLaoshu)...he goes everywhere with us.

Lily's laugh is contagious.  You can't help but laugh right along with her.  
She cheers everytime we pull into the driveway of our house. 
She is our Silly Lily and we are so glad that she is HOME!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Yes, I am a Princess....

My Father is the King of Kings!!!
No doubt that our Lily is a princess!  She got a Cinderella Princess and Me doll.  Santa brought her the matching dress.  Once we put it on, she wore it ALL DAY LONG!!  She was so sweet when she got it on and smoothed it out.  She just ooooed and ahhhed.  It makes me want to go out and buy every dress up outfit ever created.  Seven years is a long time to go without things that most people take for granted.  Trent and I want to make up for everything that's she missed. It's just hard to know where to start :)

Our Christmas was so special this year.  All three of the kids were such a blessing.  I loved just watching them enjoy their gifts and spending time with our families.  Lily did so well with the many visits we made.  She was quieter than usual, but did great.

Several times throughout the day, Trent and I commented how unbelievable it was that this time last year, we had no clue that we would add to our family in 2011.  We honestly thought our family was complete...
Christams 2010

So amazed at how that day in March when I saw "Angela" on Lifeline's Waiting Child List changed our lives forever.  Our family is better, stronger, and more thankful because of God's sweet gift...our beautiful joy, Lily.

Same couch, Christmas 2011...what a difference this year has made in our family!

Hope that that your Christmas was as blessed as ours!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our FairyTale

Several people have commented that we are living a fairytale.  I'm trying to decide which characters we should be...suggestions are welcome :)

Our fairytale has an odd storyline...
Everyone in the kingdom is suffering from jet lag, we're all ill and grouchy.
Kingdom??  Who are we palace has this much dirty laundry and it should be bigger and newer!!
Prince Charming gets on my nerves sometimes :)
The oldest princess is a sassy teenager who thinks we're stupid :(  LOL
The little prince is having a hard time adjusting to no longer being the baby...but he loves his baby sister.
The youngest princess speaks a totally different language.  She doesn't walk and has trouble using her arms.
The royal family's new schedule involves orthopedists and neurologists and testing and big words that we don't understand and don't want associated with our little princess!
We have to deal with blood draws and collapsing veins that make us ALL cry.
What fairytale ever included people making nasty comments to the royal family that the princess is too big to be carried???  It's happened to this family TWICE!
Cinderella, Snow White, and all those other chicks are skinny and have perfect hair and makeup...right??  OOPS :)

So is this a fairytale??  In fairytales, dreams come that the same as answered prayers?  Yeah, we've got that!  Do we all live happily ever after?  I tucked three miracles into bed tonight and my heart is full of love for this crazy family of mine.  That's happily ever after, right??  Yeah, we've got that! 

The theme of our fairytale is Impossible, Difficult, Done.  God didn't say it would be easy, but He promised it would be worth it.

"He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it"  Philippians 1:6

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Lily loves to play outside.  We spent this afternoon outside with bubbles.  She had so much fun. 

This face cracks me up!!  We see it often, it's the "I really want this, get over here and help me/wait on me" face.  Of course, all four of us rushed to help her open the bubbles.

Lily's smile makes everything right in my this sweet girl more than words!!

The big kids should have been included in our pictures, they played outside all afternoon too.  I just couldn't get a good photo of them as they tried to knock each other unconscious with a football!!!  Luckily, the only injury was a jammed thumb...Mary Ashtyn is really worried about her texting ability :)  Help us!!  LOL

Sunday Snapshot

Thursday, December 15, 2011

For this child I have prayed; and the Lord has granted me the desires of my heart.
1 Samuel 1:27

Lily and I made a quick trip to Wal-Mart today.  I was surprised by the number of people that are following our blog.  A friend mentioned that we were bathed in prayer during our trip to China. She asked if I could feel it, and I can honestly answer YES!!  During the trip and since we've been home, I have no doubt that there have been days that God has just picked us up and dragged us through it.  I am so humbled by the love and support we have received.  It means so much to us!  So many have prayed for the BamFam 5 and God was listening!! 

Miss Priss is doing so well.  The few tears that we have during the day are not really grieving, it's just typical seven year old whining at this point :)  Lily is starting to use more and more English words and even putting a few phrases together.  When Reece didn't sit at the table to eat with us tonight, she looked at each of us and then said, "GuGu no eat?"  We've also learned several Mandarin words, this girl knows how to get her point across!!

Bonding is going well.  Lily had a tough time at the beginning of the week when Trent and the kids started back to school.  She didn't eat on Monday until they got home.  I was so worried, but she ate like a pig once we were together.  She's eating well now but does ask where they are several times during the day.   Once we pick up Reece and Mary Ashtyn and Trent comes home, she is a happy, very silly girl.

Every day, we see again and again that God meant for Lily to be ours.  

Getting to know Heidi, who she calls Hidea.  

It took a few days, but now she loves LuLu or LuhLooUh!
 First Bubble Bath
So excited to be visiting BaBa's school!
She LOVES corn on the cob.
Look what she can make and she can count to smart :)
 Her Bubble Beard, as soon as she put it on she screamed, "Tou BaBa"!!  In other words, I look like my Daddy :)
 Silly Putty Pirate Patch
FINALLY enjoying some MickeyD's!!!

Loving every minute of being SILLY LILY'S MaMa.  Please keep praying for her, it's time to start making appointments with her doctors.  As you pray, please lift up Trent's Daddy...that his body will stay strong during the chemo treatments so he can beat this hateful cancer.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Missing 3 of the 5!

It's way too quiet at my house.  Trent and the big kids started back to work/school today.  Lily is still sleeping here beside me.  I'm a little scared to wake her up, she is not going to understand where they went.  I miss them so much already.  We've spent the past 2 weeks living in the same room and spending every minute together.  I did not want them to leave this morning!!  This trip and our sweet little ladybug have made us appreciate our family so much.  As time moves on, I hope we don't forget this feeling of thankfulness that we have right now. 

Snow in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia

Reece's Snow Angel

My Precious Babies

Circus in was wonderful!!

Our travel group in GZ...great families, so blessed to get to spend time with them!

Still can't believe that I have 3 children :)
 Teaching Baba to write in Chinese, she is Daddy's SPOILED girl!

My sleeping buddy, no wonder I wake up feeling tired...she is a WILD sleeper!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lily at Church

We snuck to church tonight for the Children's musical!!!  Lily has not done well in new places with lots of people.  So, we waited until time for it to start and sat in the balcony.  She sat in her Baba's lap and seemed to enjoy the music.  I am so proud of my nephews and niece...they all did great and looked so cute.  All my church babies did terrific and I was so glad we got to see them.

We worried about taking Lily out so soon, but I was the one who cried most of the musical :)  When the preschoolers started singing a song about Jesus, my tears started.  Then, they sang Jesus Loves the Little Children.  I held my breath to keep from sobbing out loud!  I am a total cry baby :)  I couldn't help but think that this was the first time Lily had been to church and heard about Jesus!!  Wow!  What a blessing it will be to teach this little princess about her Savior.

BamFam 5 first night at CBC all together...FINALLY!!!

The musical was Christmas Around the World...loved the Chinese girl in the middle!!!

Lily Joy's first time at church!!!!
So proud of my church babies, I've taught most of these children during Sunday School or Awana.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our trip

We’re somewhere over the ocean leaving China far behind.  The princess is sitting beside me with her head completely covered with her blanket snoozing away. She asked about 3 hours ago to sit with GuGu and JieJie.  She was as happy as can be entertaining them while Trent and I got some sleep. Reece and Mary Ashtyn have been awesome on this trip…helping with Lily, carrying things for us, eating things that I know they’d NEVER touch at home, and getting along with each other.  I’m so glad that we brought them, it would not have been the same without them.

Thinking back on our  trip, it seems like we’ve been gone for years.  It seems like so long ago that we went to the lobby of the Sheraton to watch for Lily and got they call that heavy fog delayed the van for several hours.  Aggie, our guide, knew how disappointed we were and took us to a traditional hot pot restaurant to pass the time.  It was so much fun.  We laughed at each other trying to stab food with chop sticks to get our food out of the hot pot.  Aggie and Rocky (our driver) finally just started getting it for us.  The server just brought out plastic gloves for Reece and Mary Ashtyn and told them to eat with their hands!  It was hilarious.  Before we knew it, it was time to go back to the hotel to watch for Lily.

I’ll never be able to describe how it felt to see that sweet girl come through the lobby doors.  We had watched the three videos of her and looked at her pictures daily, but I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful she would be in person.  It took my breath away to finally see her and when they put her in my arms, it was perfect.  She had thrown up in the car and smelled like vomit, but we didn’t care!!  The four of us were beaming.  Not even Mary Ashtyn, who always complains about bad smells, said anything.  She had been our daughter and sister in our hearts since March 22 when we saw her video, but to finally have her in our arms was beyond words.  Finally the BamFam 5!!!!

We’ve heard that many people are following our blog…yeah!!!  So, most of you know that Lily did have a rough time with grieving.  It broke our hearts and was so hard on all of us, but we knew it was good that she had made those strong connections before us.  That knowledge did not make it easier while we listened to her howl, but it was comforting to remember after she got quiet.   I’m thrilled to type that she has not grieved since we left Hohhot. 

Lily Joy’s personality is hilarious.  She is a little charmer who know exactly how to make us laugh and keep herself out of trouble.  She’s made up silly songs and cracks us up with her facial expressions.  Last night, as I tucked her in for her last sleep in China…she was a little, well A LOT, hyper.  I picked her up to give her a stern look and get her still.  She bats those little eyelashes at me and puckers her lips for a kiss.  Seriously?!?!?  I would have let her stay up all night!!  LOL  Trent and I keep saying we’re in big trouble with this one.  We are completely falling for every ploy…she owns us!!!  

As we head for home, I am starting to think about what lies ahead for this precious baby.  I know we have to go to specialists and get her legs checked on.  Since we’ve met her, we’ve also realized that she has a lot of weakness in her arms.  Her fine motor skills are good, but she can’t lift her arms up passed her shoulders.  Despite this, she really is perfect.  Her hands are beautiful with the most perfect finger nails I’ve ever seen.  Mary Ashtyn has NO nails and we were both shocked at how pretty Lily’s are.  We had so much fun painting them!!  Anyway… I dread the doctors visits.  Before she was mine, my biggest concern was getting her hips fixed and getting her as mobile as possible.  Now that I love her completely and totally, I don’t want to put my baby through anything that will cause her pain.  Of course, we will do anything to help her.  It’s just hard now that she is OURS to think about how hard this will be.  We stepped out in faith knowing that God would take care of us, so we know He holds her future in His hands.  Whatever she faces, we’ll be right here with her.  Please pray for Lily Joy.

Now, there is a little princess asleep with her head in my lap…time to snuggle as we fly toward home.

***WE ARE HOME!!!  It's going great, after a major meltdown at the airport.  Lily is happy meeting her family and adjusting to her home.  New post with pics coming soon, just enjoying our family right now :)

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west."  Isaiah 43:5

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last Sleep

I watched Lily drift off to sleep last night...guess what? I cried! Just thinking of this being her last night in China made me sad. For seven years, it's all she knew. We are thrilled to give her a whole new world, but it is sad to leave hers behind. The time in China has been unforgettable. What a blessing that all five of us have experienced it together.

Our family will never be the just keeps getting better. We are waiting in the Hong Kong airport to leave for the USA!!! A whole new chapter of our life is about to begin...can't wait see what God has in store for us!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Experiences

Just a quick update to say that we are doing great!!! Lily Joy has not grieved since we have been in GZ. She is so funny...her personality is adorable. We have been very busy msking arts and crafts. So far, she has instructed us on making a bunny and Mickey & Minnie Mouse. She is just as crafty as Mary that!!!!

She is wearing all her new clothes and shoes. Miss Priss invited the guide up to the room to see all her new things. It has been such a blessing to watch her experience all these new things. Last night, we went on the Pearl River Dinner Cruise and Trent lifted her onto his shoulders. She had the proudest look on her face:) She kept looking around with this smug look on her face. It was the sweetest thing!!! She's never had a Daddy who held her on his shoulders. Now, HER Daddy is the tallest in China...well to his baby girl,anyway.

We're off to the Zoo!!! Another new experience for our girl!!!

New site with PICTURES!!!!!

Blogspot is impossible to load, I just started loading pics on a new site until we get home :). We are just too excited to wait to show off Lily Joy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Just Keeps Getting Better

We had the best day yet! Sweet Lily didn't even cry when she fell out of her chair at breakfast....I'm still having heart palpitations, but she is fine. She whined a little and went back to singing. She made up this sweet little song using all of our names. It is precious!!

We went back to have her TB test read, all clear:) one step closer to home. We got to spend the morning shopping on Shaiman Island. We loved every minute of it. Got lots of souvenirs at Jordon's, plus our adoption Barbie. We ate lunch at Lucy's while crazy Trent tried to play hackeysack with a bunch of Chinese people. LOL We also went to Judy's...what a sweet lady. Loved talking with her about our faith!

Lily Joy is a shopper. She wanted everything and did an excellent job convincing Baba to get it for her. That girl has to teach me:) It is such a blessing to watch her taking everything in. It's a whole new world for her and her little face is priceless. Those eyes just twinkle with each new experience.

Tonight, we went to a circus. It was incredible. All five of us were in awe. I may be the only person, other than my hubby, who cried during a circus. Lily was so happy and excited and the big kids really enjoyed it. As I watched them, I couldn't help but cry a little. God has answered my prayers beyond what I ever imagined.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fun Day

Each day Lily Joy is getting more comfortable. She is learning to rely on us and we are building more and more trust. No big tears in several days!!! Lots of giggles...sometimes she laughs so much, she can't get her breath. It is the sweetest sound ever. The four of us just sit and play with her. None of us can stand to be away from her. Love,love,love!!

Today we shopped:) I got my girls a strand of pearls and a set for Reece to give to his bride (IF I let him get married). My girls wore theirs tonight with traditional Chinese dresses for pics. Even my Reece wore a jacket. So mad I can't get pics to post...they looked so precious.

We bought Lily 3 pair of shoes today, she is so proud of them. It's hard to tell her no when she asked for we haven't!! HA She lined her shoes up when we got back to the hotel and just beamed as she looked at them. She tried on every pair and modeled them for us.

It's really amazing how well things are going. Giving God all the glory for my precious family.

My Mary Ashtyn will be a teenager tomorrow!!! Pray that she has a good day. She has been so amazing on ths trip, we wouldn't be having such a smooth transition without her. Lily is absolutely in love with her. I want her to have a special birthday tomorrow...she deserves to be celebrated :) Happy Birthday to my first baby girl...she made all my dreams cone true when I became her Mama.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Loving Lily

We had another great day. Lily was perfect during the medical. She didn't even whimper when they did the TB test. I was a nervous wreck, but she was so very sweet. Reece and Mash were so worried about her. Love to see how much they love her already! She impressed the doctor with her math skills. I think because she doesn't walk, they didn't realize how intelligent she is. Once she quickly told them what 2+2 and 5-2 were, they were impressed.

This same doctor was sure to ask us if we knew Lily would never walk. I wanted to don't know MY God or this determined little miracle or her parents who will move heaven and earth to give her every opportunity in the world. We fully accept that she MAY not walk and continue to feel complete peace about that. Her life will be blessed regardless of how she gets around. It truly does not matter.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Memories

Wide awake, way too early listening to the rest of my family making their sweet little sleeping noises. Well, not Trent....his aren't cute!!! LOL

My heart is so full. This blog is my way to remember all this, so I'm just going to type my memories. I'll forget if I don't :)

Lily has a memory like a steel trap, I know...genius, right? HeeHee she told the driver all about Reeece and MA playing in the snow. Then tells him that we came back in and they went swimming on the third floor. We had to think back to remember what floor the pool was on!! She asked our GZ guide as we checked in the hotel if we would be on the eighth floor again. the guide was just as impresseed as it's not just a Mama thing :)

She is keeping up with what day of the week it is. She knows we went shopping on Tuesday (she told the new guide that we bought her all good stuff) She knew that yesterday was Friday...we can't keep up with this but our 7 year old can :)

As we drive, she talks non stop to the guide. Her sing song voice is adorable! Most of what she tells them are memories of her friends at the SWI. Who plays together, who the boss is, their ages, and on and on and on. She does not even take a breath. We don't get a translation of most of it....she doesn't give Aron a chance to talk. Doesn't she fit perfectly with our family??? HA

She wasn't crazy about McDonald's last night. She ate a few bites of her chicken nuggets and 1 French fry. She did enjoy feeding the 4 of us her food. She calls ours names and holds up a bite. So darn cute! I will be cooking lots of rice and noodles when we get home. Aggie gave me a recipe for the delicious noodles we had in BaoTou...can't wait to try it. Lily also loves fruit.

She loves the Garden and did not want to leave the room last night. When we came back into the lobby, she just looked around in awe. The rest of us are doing the same is very nice! Mash only complained about the staircase...said it reminded her of the Titanic. Reece was watching something on TV about planes exploding in mid air, so he freaked her out a little. BROTHERS!!!! (sure would live to give mine a big hug right now, along with the rest of our family...missing them all)

She loves the outfit that I planned on saving for her big arrival in Birmingham! I think she may actually agree to wear it today:) It really hurts to think that we'll have to shop for a new coming home outfit:) Trent, get the money ready!!!! She loves outfits with the little skirts attached, size 5(HUGE HINT TO THE GRANDMOTHERS). LOL...I'm kinda kidding

Praising God for my perfect family...yeah, we have lots of flaws, but He knew exactly what He was doing when He brought us together. Stop and think about, three kids from three different countries and we just fit! Always have, always will. Would not trade a second of the life HE gave me!!

Time to get the BamFam5 up and moving. Breakfast buffet ang then sweet girl's medical. I know you're praying, don't even have to ask :). Love and hugs to our prayer warriors!!!!!

Hello from Guangzhou!

Loving this city!!! Reece was so excited to get to eat at McDonald's tonight. We are at the Garden Hotel within walking distance of good food and shopping. We are all looking forward to a great week. Also very glad to be able to say we'll be home in a week. Can't wait for everyone to meet our sweet Lily Joy.

Lily did so great on the plane ride. She chattered with her friend,Ammon, who was also born in BaoTou. She ate her meal and most of Trent's. What she didn't eat, she fed to him. Could you see him beaming all the way from China??? This was around a three hour trip, hoping the 13 hour flight goes this well :)

Her sassy personify is hilarious. Our guides and drivers get so tickled at her. She asked Aron, one of our GZ guides, what time she had. When she told her 5:00, Miss Priss said, "well, I have 6:45 on my watch". LOL. I checked Lily's watch and that's exactly what her watch said. Did I mention that she's a genius???? I may be just a little blinded by love, but she is smart.

Our medical appointment is in the morning. Lily will have to get a TB test done (all children are required to do this). She will not be happy about this, I'm sure. Jie Jie and GuGu will have a tough time if MeiMei gets upset. They are already so protective of her. Trent is trying to back out of even going, he doesn't want to see her hurt either. He's going,don't worry! Say a little prayer for all us, especially that Lily will do well and pass the TB test.

This has been an incredible experience. We feel God's presence constantly. There have been no coincidences during this obvious that HE ordered our steps. What a blessing to fully rely on HIM to take care of us.

Did I mention that WE HAD NO TEARS TODAY??? Each day has gotten a little better, just falling more and more in love with our little ladybug. I still look st her and can't believe she's finally ours!!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Last Post from IM

We had a great day! Watching Lily draw shapes and cut them out...amazed at how precise she is. A perfectionist like Mash with Reece's personality...talks up a storm and you can see the mischeviosness in her eyes. We are so blessed.

SWI visit went better than we had expected. Lily Joy seemed happy to visit and give gifts to her friends. She allowed the nannies to hold her but kept looking at us to make sure we were there. When it was time to go, she reached for me, smiled and said "bye bye" to everyone. I will post more on the visit and the children that we saw. I have lots of pics too. Service is spotty here and we can't load them.

My heart is so full. I can never thank each of you for the prayers. We have no doubt that God is holding us up at this point. Each day is getting a little better and Lily is grieving less. Please understand that we expected the grieving, and it is good that she cares enough to cry for what she lost.

No tears or sad posts...let me tell about our journey:
**We love Inner Mongolia. The people are friendly and so proud of their culture and history. I don't think they teach Driver's Ed...just lay down on the horn and GO!! It doesn't matter how many lanes of traffic you cross, they'll stop :)
**We can now eat noodles with chopsticks!!! Reece and Mash are pros, Trent and I aren't starving!!!
**You must wear a terry cloth robe to sit around te indoor pool to watch your kids swim. The big kids enjoyed Trent and I sit and watch them and feel like we're in a Sauna. Hoping I've lost a little weight...LOL
**Lily has no interest in swimming, so she is our photographer. she shouts out to jie jie and gugu to have them pose while she snaps away. She watched me switch the camera into view mode, so now she can do it, genius, RIGHT??? She reviews her shots and then keeps snapping.
**She has copied her name several times using the MagnaDoodle!!! She is a little artist.
**Lily is so tiny. Her hands and feet are itty bitty and so cute. I call her Tiny to have ever had a butt that small!!! LOL
**She loves Mash and Reece. Mary Ashtyn can get her to say anything in English and to eat. She wants to be just like her big sister, so if jie jie does it...mei mei is sure to follow. My girls are precious. Reece is the big play toy...she lives to hit him with a balloon! He lives to do anything that she wants, so it works out perfectly. Having the big kids here has been a lifesaver!
**Lily is perfect:) Her legs and arms are weak, but she does not let that slow her down. She is amazing to watch. She can do anything, and if she needs grunt from her and we all come running!! The phrase wrapped around her finger was invented for us...we are pathetic but so proud of our Lily!
**If I don't get up and pack, we'll have no clothes in Guangzhou...flying out this morning at 11 am. We'll miss IM. So in love with the place that gave us it's most prized treasure...our Lily.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another Day loving Lily

Today started a litte rough...Miss Priss wanted to wear her soaking wet clothes that she came to us wearing. I washed them, but they were still dripping. Wow, the looks she can give when she doesn't get her way. She ate yogurt for breakfast and was content. There is another family whose new son is from Lily's SWI. We were sitting at different tables and Lily couldn't see him. She kept shouting his name and asking if he was OK (in Chinese but I've learned that word...sounds like holla...yeah big kids are calling her "the holla back girl") Anyway, I thought it was so sweet that she was checking on her friend. So thankful that she was taught compassion.

We hurried upstairs to our room to Skype with my side of the family...Granny, my cousin's daughter who is so in love with Lily already, my brother, SIL, and my very excited nephews. We practiced saying Ni Hao, Steven to answer when he called. He is 8 and has really wanted to see his new cousin. Well...guess who started silently crying on the way to our room? She was wailing by the time the Skype came through. It broke my heart to see those grinning boys and hear Trent tell them that Lily couldn't talk to them. She was loud and we did our best to not let them hear. She sounds so pitiful and I knew it would upset all of them. Trent gave them a tour of the room while Lily and I stood at the window outside our room and both sobbed. She was loud but I was holding my breath and trying not to scream right along with her. It hurts so bad not to be able to help her. She is ours now and we love her just as much as we do Mary Ashtyn and Reece. Trent and I switched so I could try to talk to my family, bless was not pretty :) I didn't want them to think anything was wrong with my baby...she really is perfect and I wanted them to see that. I tried to explain she was crying to get some control and to get her way. Sweet Matthew, who is 6, speaks up and says, "why don't you just give her what she wants?". How precious is that? Impossible to understand even for aduls, she needs to have been with us since she was a baby. She wants to know that we won't leave and the only way to be sure of that is to test us. We're passing,barely, but it's just because of that peace that God has given us. It doesn't hurt that our beautiful joy is an absolute doll...even when she's screaming her head off. My family didn't get to see the sweet girl that we experience most of the time. They saw the 45 minutes of each day that bring us to our knees.

Long story short...we ended the Skype broken hearted. Lily lets me know that she needed to potty. As we are leaving the restroom,she sees her clean underwear that she wore on Gotcha Day. She grabs them, lays down, sticks her leg in the air, and gives me the "change me now" look. Slightly damp panties=no more tears!!! Trent's parents get to see our typical Lily who really does live up to her middle name :) Our other nephew, Eli, and niece, Emma Jo, get to see the little diva in action. She says their names and even colors Eli a picture as we talk on Skype. Can't say enough about the support of our families. Scott and Misty called Wes and Ashlie and talked them through downloading Skype. THEY GOT TO SEE OUR LILY!!!!! Brayden and Steven talked to her and watched her play. Matthew was already asleep and won't remember seeing her...his eyes just rolled back in his head when they got him out of bed. HA. So thankful that all of the cousins saw our girl today. No more grieving after this...she ate a good lunch and huge dinner. She pointed to her symbol for sleep and went to sleep with us watching over her. So very in love with this little girl!!!

This was supposed to be a short post...oops.

We have an EARLY start tomorrow...leaving at 7:30 am on the way to BaoTou, where Lily was born, left, and lived for the past 6 years. We will visit the SWI and go to her finding spot. It will be very hard on all of us, but we feel that she needs this closure. She has suckers,stickers, and bracelets for her friends. She knows that we'll leave for Guangzhou on Friday. She seems to understand that we are only visiting, but you know it will be scary. I worry about my baby and my big kids. Heck, I'm worried about Trent and me!!! If you're praying for us...could you maybe hit your knees for us? The song,Courageous, has been on my heart all day, "the only way we'll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands". We need you all.