Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy birthday baby!

Jake's birthday officially is Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, but we celebrated a day early with family who came to town for the occasion. Besides, by the time the pizza was on the plates and the cake was cut it was the 26th in China.

Good pal Elmo showed up:

Practicing for the candles (hey, he couldn't push out air on his 2nd birthday)

Here comes the cake!

No help needed with these candles (thanks, cleft team)

Good cake:

School bus just like Papa's (grandpa's):

Picture's worth a thousand words:

Strike a pose:

Riding his trike with his new Sesame Street riding gear:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jake's Mama no more?

A year ago today, Jake stepped off the airplane to a new world — one filled with a Mama and a Baba and grandparents and aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
We have been so blessed throughout this past year and look forward to many years of being a family.
Some months ago, our little boy stopped calling us Mama and Baba, and as he developed enough English skills to communicate on his own, and he started calling us Mommy and Daddy.
We're not sure when the change was made, but all of the sudden it was there. Kevin mentioned long ago he kind of missed being Baba, but our Little Man is showing his personality by calling us what he would call us. Of course, at the time, he was still calling me Mama some, so I had the best of it all.
His grandpa made himself known as Papa, which for a little boy with a cleft was easier to say than Grandpa, and, of course, Jake being smart and all, he figured out Mama was easier than Grandma for both his grandmas.
However, it was even more confusing because that's Mama's name.
At first, he called his grandmas MaMi (the i is long) and I encouraged that greatly, but eventually the more he called me Mommy the more he called grandmas Mama, even though he still says MaMi and even Grandma some, too.
But it really doesn't matter so much now. To our little man I am Mommy, Daddy is Daddy and he loves his Papa and two Mamas. We are a wonderful family.
He met all his grandparents and some of his aunts, cousins and friends for the first time Oct. 16, 2008.
Yes, it has been a year.
We have said it before: We are blessed.
It is so good to know that all the years of worry and pain all worked out to a perfect ending that God knew all along.
Happy anniversary to our family.

Jake and Grandma:

Jake and Grandma:

Jake and Grandpa:

Jake and Mommy and Daddy:

Jake a few days in our arms:

Jake now:

Monday, October 5, 2009

The time of our lives

It's been one year since Jake entered our lives, one year since our sweet boy was united with us.

That first day was a little rough. Jake obviously was upset, which was totally understandable. He's made such tremendous progress in a year. We truly don't remember what life was like without him. Our big plans for a one-year celebration, though, didn't materialize like we wanted. The weather was kind of yucky, overcast and drizzly all day, and Jake was suffering from a stomach virus. But, just being together was celebration enough.

By the way, the photo of the hotel room door in our previous post was taken just after the two orphanage directors, the nanny and our guide knocked on the door with Jake.

Here are a couple of then and now photos.

Jake and his mommy

Jake and his daddy

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The door

Behind this door stands everything.

Day after Day

How can I miss someone so much who is sitting behind me eating his breakfast?
Every day I love my little man even more, and I love seeing him grow into himself, as he blossoms nearly minute by minute.
Today, I miss the 2-year-old. Next year I'll miss the 3-year-old. I guess that is parenthood — a wonderful, longing journey.


This time last year, we were settling in after a day of wonderful sites — the Great Wall, Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City, the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium and walking around our hotel in Beijing. It was our last night of our old life.
This is where we were.

Baoji City - This is where Jake was.


Closer but not together. A family about to be ...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

One year ago ...

This was the view outside our room in the Poly Plaza hotel in Beijing. We left Wichita, Kan., at 9 a.m. Oct. 2, 2008, and arrived in Beijing at 9:35 p.m. Oct. 3, 2008. In between were stops in Detroit and Tokyo. It was a long day, and we were getting ready for another long day, with tours of the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tian An Men Square.