Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fan appreciation day at the Ranger's game quickly turned into cry hysterically day for Madeline when the mob mentality took over at the the home plate gate to meet the players. There were about 1O Ranger's at the Home Plate gate and Madeline got to meet Michael Young, Pudge Rodriguez, and Eddie Guardado with no problem then all stink broke loose. People were pushing, security was yelling at you to go one way then another security guard told you to go back then the first security guard told you to go back, it was a never ending cycle. We just stood there and waited for a hole to open up then we took it only for it to close up again and then the security guards would yell at you again. When we thought we saw day light these 2 adults ~ yes I said adults, people who should know better ~ came barreling at Madeline and Me and pulled a redrover stunt and broke our hands free from eachother. Madeline was quickly out of my reach and sight and being pushed away from me with the crowd. In my panic I grabbed the two adults who pushed us apart by the shoulders and pushed them apart nearly knocking one over, to see Madeline with shock and horror on her face as she thought she had lost me. I grabbed her up in my arms, with all the other stuff I was carrying, and we just beat it out of there. I did not notice she was crying until we were well away from the mob. She sobbed for about 1O minutes. 3 Ranger's employees came over to see if she were alright and they got an earful from me at how it could be run better, nicely though. They were all very kind and thoughtful, one even gave Madeline a hat. She was very nervous about having to go by 5 people after that experience.

All in all we settled into our seats with nachos, hotdogs, & a cola slushy and all was right again, except the Rangers blew a 5 run lead in the 8th & 9th. It was very nice to spen the afternoon with Madeline, she loves baseball and it was fun to see her eyes light up.
Madeline with Eddie Guadardo, Relief Pitcher

Madeline with Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Catcher
or as Madeline likes to call him "the man who looks like Ethan"

I love watching the pitchers and how they put every ounce of effort they have into throwing the ball. Our seats were GREAT and I was able to get some good pictures of the pitchers tonight.
Brandan McCarthy, Ranger's starting pitcher for the game

Neftali Feliz, Relief Pitcher

Frankie Francisco, closer

CJ Wilson, Relief pitcher

Darran O'Dey, Relief Pitcher ~ side arm thrower...very weird

Elvis Andrus being caught stealing 3rd...he usually is safe

Rookie, Elvis Andrus trying to tag a stealing Ray...missed it by that much

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Madeline & Rebekah experienced their 1st camp out. They had a blast! Both went to bed way past their bed times and got up with the sun ~ YOI! We had a great time on a cool autumn evening. Although, by 1Oam it was pretty darn hot. The mosquito's were enormous and everywhere. Thank goodness for bug spray.

Always good to throw rocks with friends

Daddy spending quality time with Rebekah

nothing like riding in the back of a truck

Hanging around

chasing bubbles

climbing trees

where shes always wanted to be

un~doctored sunset

chocolateless smores by firelight

In the tent @ 1Opm getting ready for bed

Saturday, September 12, 2009

this is exactly why I do not let Kelly use the camera

I am teaching Mads how to roller skate while skating backwards myself ~ flattering Eh?

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Year Ago Today

It was just 12 short months ago today ~ can you believe it ~ that Kelly, Madeline, and I were in a room with 15 other families anxiously waiting to get the first glimpses of our daughters. All of us had waited about 3 to 3 1/2 years for this day to come. At 2:30p we got the call to meet in the conference room at 3:30p. Kelly, Madeline, and I tried to wait the full hour before we left our room but were out the door within 5 minutes. It seemed the other families had the same idea we had. Everyone was smiling and laughing in an attempt to cover up how anxious we all really were. We all kept looking out the door and down the hall hoping to see the girls coming as we waited. 3:30 came and went and no girls. The groups laughs got louder and smiles were on every face while cameras and video cameras were checked and rechecked to make sure batteries were good and video tape was cued up. You could hear comments of anticipation and "where are they???"and "Oh, I wish they would get here." It was close to 4pm when we heard the commotion and the first crys and whimpers of our girls as they were coming down the hall. It was as if all at once everyone lost their voices, the room became almost dead quiet when the first caregiver entered the room with one of our daughters, I think we all stopped breathing for a moment. We all looked to see where are daughter was. When the parade of babies was over there were 14 caregivers holding 14 precious baby girls. {two families girls were coming from another SWI that was farther away and they had to wait about 2 hours longer. However, they joined us and celebrated with us at our Gotcha Moment.} We all just stood and stared in silence...Then you heard someone say, "There she is, I see her!" It was as if we were all 5 years old again and it was Christmas, we were standing in front of the Christmas tree with all the presents sitting there less that 5 feet away from us and we just stood there! Stood there with our mouths agape, waiting for permission, for Mom and Dad to get up and say it was OK for us to open presents. Then the permission came. One at a time, each family were called up to meet for the first time, face to face with their daughter. Tears were falling from both the girls and the families as they were gently placed into our arms. Sighs of relief were let out, hugs and kisses given, laughter and tears shed and families were made instantly. We were the last family united that afternoon. Rebekah was very quiet when they placed her in my arms, even her crying seemed silent, just big tears running down her cheeks. Other than tears, she seemed to have no emotion, she just sat there in our arms looking around taking it all in.
Camera's were snapping off pictures and video was being taken. The room was filled with joyous laughter and fearful crying. The toys all came out of diaper bags and grown adults suddenly had goofy looks on their faces as we tried to get our daughters to smile. The caregivers were all over in a corner now just watching the new families. There were smiles on their faces but also in their eyes you could see sadness. Slowly, the caregivers began to mingle in with the new families, broken English and Chinese were being spoken and it seemed the word of the day was 谢谢 "xiè xie" {thank you}. Slowly, the new families slipped away back to their rooms and the once buzzing conference room was silent and still. What a wonderful day that was. We did wait for almost 3 1/2 years for our daughter but in the end the wait seemed like nothing compared to the feeling we were feeling at that moment. Precious memories that will be cherished were made that day. Whenever we sit and think on this day tears will always come to my eyes as I remember the feeling that moment, that instant, Rebekah Xiu Hua Wei was placed into my arms ~ PERFECT FIT!

The Moment Families Were Created

Not only was our family united on that wonderful September afternoon there were 15 other families with us and 7 other families in another province in our travel group that were united. It was a blessing to share that moment with these families. Seeing the moment their precious daughters were placed into their arms and a family created was amazing. Seeing their smiles, their tears, hearing their laughter, their OOO's and AHHHH's, and experiencing their JOY will forever be etched in my mind and heart. Rebekah Wei did not just join our family but we also joined a much larger family that we like to call the 23rder's. We have kept in touch with many of these families over the past year and have enjoyed watching their daughters grow and hearing stories. We have been truly blessed and even though not all our moments over the past year were pleasent we have enjoyed each and every one of them, yes even the ones that push us to our limits. I want to wish all the 23rder's a very happy Gotcha Day! Hug and kiss your precious girls for us, we love and miss you all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

不要 怕寶寶 ~ Bù Yào Pà Bǎo Bǎo

O.K. ~ With Rebekah's 1st Gotcha Day Anniversary quickly approaching my mind has been drawn back to that day, that moment we were united with Madeline and Rebekah. When we were in the process of our first adoption I found several children's books about adopting from China, but none that looked at it from through the "child's eyes." So I sat down and thought what it might have been like. Since our first adoption, I have had this deluded idea of writing children's book. As I sat down, back in 2004, and reflected on the day we saw and held Madeline for the first time and what it may have been like for her, this is what came to my mind. Mind y'all, I am not a writer and I have the most difficult time putting the thoughts in my head in words.

不要 怕寶寶 ~ Bù Yào Pà Bǎo Bǎo ~ Don't be Afraid Little One
I can almost remember that day. I was very little and the woman holding me was crying, I don’t know why but she held me close and kissed me softly. She wrapped me up tight in a white blanket.

Her tears fell on my face and she gently wiped them away with a kiss.

We went outside, it was cold. She held me close and whispered to me tenderly as we walked for a long time.

We stopped and she hugged me very tight as she whispered, 我愛你 “wǒ ài nǐ (I love you),” then she kissed my forehead and put me down on the ground in front of a big gate and tucked a red piece of paper inside my blanket. Then she walked away.

The woman’s crying faded. I was alone, I was afraid and began to cry, it was cold and getting dark.

A long time passed. I could hear a woman’s faint cry and wondered if it was the woman who left me there. Suddenly, I was picked up and a voice said whispered in my ear, 不要 怕寶寶,讓我來照顧你 “bù yào pà bǎo bǎo, ràng wǒ lái zhào gū nǐ...(Don’t be afraid little one, I will take care of you).”

Her arms were warm and I stopped crying. She took me past the big gate into a room where it was warm.

She fed me, changed my clothes and laid me in a warm bed. There were several other babies in beds around me and some of them were crying.

I feel asleep and dreamt of the first woman. I wondered why she was crying and if she were alright, I wondered if I would ever see her again.

I stayed at the house behind the big gate for a long time. They called me Du Ye.

The people who cared for me would tell me of a mommy and daddy who would come for me one day and love me very much. They said they would come from a far off place to take me home.

Early one morning I was wakened abruptly, bathed, and put in new clothes. The women who cared for me told my mommy and daddy were here for me and I would have to leave. I did not want to go, I was scared. They put me in a bus and we drove for a very long time.

When we stopped, I was taken into a large room with many other babies waiting for their mommy’s and daddy’s, we were all crying.

I was sitting in a chair by myself crying when this man and woman began looking and pointing at me. Who were they? Why were they looking at me? Then the woman called my name. “Du Ye,” she said, I looked at her but did not know her.

They did not look like any of the people who had ever cared for me. They were crying but smiling at the same time.

It wasn’t long before I was picked up and given to that woman, I was told she was my mommy, and the man standing behind her must be my daddy. They were both crying. I was crying because I was afraid, but I wondered why they were they crying, they did not look afraid?

I did not want to go with them. Then the woman whispered in my ear, 我愛你,不要 怕寶寶,讓我來照顧你 “wǒ ài nǐ,”bù yào pà, bǎo bǎo ràng wǒ lái zhào gū nǐ...(I love you, Don’t be afraid little one, I will take care of you).” She wiped my tears away with a gentle kiss.

My mommy held me for a long time then handed me to my daddy, he kissed me and held me tight. I felt safe.
Madeline's first day of 1st did not start off as we had planned. I did not sleep and Kelly had to get up at 4:15a to catch a flight to Lubbock. When Kelly was leaving he slipped in to kiss Madeline goodbye, as he usually does on these early mornings, and she woke up. Thinking it was time to get up she ran into our room crying becasue daddy was leaving. When I finally got her settled back in bed it was almost 5 o'clock. YOI!!! 6:30 came quickly, and after getting to sleep around 5am I was really dragging my knuckles. Madeline woke up crying, fussy, and in a very disagreeable mood to say the least. It wasn't like she was really getting up any earlier than usual just that she had to get ready for something she had been eagerly waiting for. After about 20 minutes of crying fits she had worked it all out and was good to go. We got to school and she was a big little girl carrying her backpack and lunch.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One year ago today we were leaving on a jet plane heading to China. Our adventure started with 34 hours of travel ~ NOT including the 22 hour layover in Minneapolis. Who know what adventures we were going to have as we left.

~ Our first adventure, Madeline got sick and threw up in an airplane blanket as we were leaving the plane in Tokyo and then proceeded to throw up and cry throughout the layover, security checkpoints, and the flight to Guangzhou.

~ Our second adventure, Madeline came down with a 105 degree temp the day after Gotcha Day that lasted 3 days. She put on a good face but was having a very tough time.

~ Our third adventure, went to several resturants where the waitstaff did not speak any English and our Chinese was less than adequate. Thank Goodness for menu's with pictures of the dishes. We enjoyed our dining outings though. How bout serving this fried food at the Texas State Fair...HUH?

~ Our fourth adventure, Rebekah's 1st flight ~ it went better than expected and Madeline did not get sick.

~ My fifth adventure, Taking a taxi to the Wal*Mart equivalent by myself and shopping with no translator. I made it there and back with flying colors. By the way, this is not the taxi I took but it was a taxi in Chongqing.

~ Our sixth adventure, Talking to a class full of 3rd or 4th graders outside the passport photo place while they practice their English on us. WHAT FUN!!! The students gravitated to Madeline but she was a bit scared and shy.

~ Our seventh adventure, Typhoon Hagupit. Get this we leave Texas right before Hurricaine Ike is to hit the Galvaston Coast and move up into North Texas only to sleep through a Typhoon in Guangzhou. GO FIGURE. It wasn't all that bad becasue Hagupit passed way south of us and we got a lot of rain and storm surge. Shamian Island where our hotel was got effected by flooding from the storm surge, ironically, it was the worst flooding there in several years. Water in some places was waist high and our hotel lobby was flooded. And the beautiful crystal blue swimming pool was river mucky green. This did not, however, stop the locals from going to work and opening their shops. In the picture of Kelly and Beks sitting by the window you can see the water right up to it but what you do not see is the approx. 1O foot walk way between the hotel and river.

~ Our eightth adventure, sitting on the plane to leave Guangzhou for 2 hours while we waited for a work crew to come and change the front nose tire on the plane. The tire was there but no one to change it. Kelly was ready to get off the plane and change it for them but alas they finally came and we were off 2 hours late hoping our connecting flight would be held.

~ Our ninth adventure, getting a migrane on the plane during the delay. It is not fun throwing up in a airplane bathroom while it is taxing to the runway, not easy.

~ Our tenth adventure, running through the Tokyo airport trying to make our connecting flight as we go through 3 more security checkpoints while airport workers point and shout Minneapolis so we do not go in the wrong direction. It was pretty frantic carring 1 child and dragging a 5 year old behind you. We found out that the airline will hold planes 2 hours past their departure time if it is one of their "baby flights" as they call them. It was great for us but not for the other passengers sitting on the plane for 2 hours. We were very lucky becasue our layover in Tokyo was about 2 hours 15 minutes so our flight was held but several families going to Detroit had a hour and a half layover and they missed their flight all together.

Well that is it for our adventures. I am sure there were more but they are not coming to mind right now.