Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Happenings

A lot has happened in the last 6 weeks in our house.  In the midst of welcoming Lily to our family and trying to adjust to one another, we have done a lot!  Here are some pictures from our December together.


We taught Lily how to ride our famous train and play the DS.


We tried really hard to get a good picture of Lily for her Adoption Announcement



We had fun watching Lily learn and enjoy new things.


We threw a few fits.


We made Christmas cookies.




We enjoyed lots of yummy treats.


We had fun playing with friends.


We, sisters, started getting to know one another.


We laughed watching Lily ride in the Barbie convertible.


We got lots of packages from Taobao.


We took more pictures.


We watched Hailey’s class’s Christmas performances.


We watched Madison perform with the 1st-5th graders (she’s in the red on the floor in the center).



We enjoyed performances with friends.


We bundled up for cold weather and even saw a little snow.


We loved laughing at silly Sydney!


We took lots of silly sister pictures.


We loved our matching ‘jammies. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Look who turned 2 today…

Today is dear Lily Grace Xiuli’s 2nd Birthday!  We are so thrilled that we get to celebrate her birthday with her this year.  Here are some pictures of the day.


IMG_9753 Travis with his little 2 year old!


Lily Grace Todd with her Birthday Twin, Lillian Grace! (Pretty cool huh…they have the same birthday and almost the exact same name!)


Lily probably having Happy Birthday sung to her for the very 1st time ever!!! 


She’s not sure what to do with the cake


Big sister stepped up and started feeding her with a fork…no fingers for our clean Lily.



Present time!!!!



This is what our life is like right now….lots of girls….lots of smiles….lots of time close together…some tears….and dear friends loving on us!  Happy Birthday Lily!  We are so glad that God choose you for us and us for you!  We love you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Better late than never!

Here is when Travis and I first walked in the door…being greeted by 3 big sisters.


Our very first family picture…not a great picture, but it is historic!


I love those little painted fingernails so sweetly holding Lily’s face for a first kiss from the NEW BIG SISTER!!


I think Sydney is in LOVE!


The oldest sister couldn't wait to carry Lily around…and this is still what she does everyday!


Another not so great family picture after the big girls’ tennis lesson.


Here Lily is celebrating her first Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for her!


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Long Overdue Update

So sorry it has taken me so long to post again!  I hardly know where to start.  I guess I’ll start with the disclaimer that this post will have no pictures…sorry!

We are doing really well….just tired and overwhelmed at times.  Lily is doing great and I really can’t complain.  I will just say having 4 children is a lot of work!  I think in general the adjustment to 4 kids is difficult especially when one of them doesn’t know you and you don’t really know her either.  We are thankful that everyday we are getting to know Lily more. 


Here are some things we are learning/have learned about Lily:

When she is tired and going to sleep she sucks her thumb and with her other hand she rubs her ear.

She can be a neat freak….she doesn’t like for any crumb of food to be on her fingers, clothes, highchair tray, etc. 

When she gets tired…she is tired…and it happens quick.  If she is not in a bed quick…she has a major (and i mean MAJOR) meltdown.

She LOVES her sisters!  She loves to chase them around our house.  The feeling is mutual.  Madison recently asked our friend who was driving carpool if she could drive faster because she was ready to get home and see her sister.  (How cute is that?!)

She does NOT like having a bath…no matter how fun we try to make them look.  She will watch her sisters in the bath and no matter how much I tell them to laugh and smile, she will not get in voluntarily. 

She is super smart…she remembers everything you tell her or show her.  She is starting to talk more in Chinese and English.  Her favorite Chinese word is “Bao Bao” which means to hold her.  She calls Travis “Baba” and me “Mommy”.  She has learned “More” and “No”.  Thankfully she uses “no” in reference to something being all gone…like when the corn is gone she will say “no”. 

She is following in her sister’s footsteps and loves shoes!  She has two new pair that have squeakers in them and she loves to take them on and put them back on….again and again.

She can not fall asleep unless someone (me or Trav) is in the bed with her.  We started out having her sleep in our room in a pack n play, but that wasn’t working so well.  We would have to lay down with her in our bed for 30-45 minutes…once she was asleep we would try to get up and move her to the pack n play.  This usually didn’t work very well and she would wake up and end up staying in our bed…which meant neither Travis nor I slept well.  So, after about a week at home, we moved her into her room in the big bed there.  We still lay down with her but don’t have to move her.  She is sleeping great…usually about 12-13 hours each night!!!

She really likes the carseat.  I was afraid that was going to be a disaster. 

Her eyes really do look like Travis’.  Dark Brown and beautiful!

She prefers playing with cars, noisy toys, or stackable toys.  She is kinda scared of baby dolls….even the very cute Chinese one that I bought hoping she would love. 

She likes to run around with kids but kinda runs with her chest out and I’m always afraid she is going to fall. 

She likes to be carried and her sisters will carry her all around if we let them…she is definitely the little princess. 

We are so thankful for her and really pray that we all attach to each other as quickly as possible.  Most people say it takes about 3 month to a year for it to happen…I hope it is more like 3 months! 

I am back in Guangzhou with her right now for 4 days.  We had to come back for her Consulate Appointment.  This is the very final step in the adoption process….this is where the US gives her a visa that allows her to be a US citizen from the moment she 1st enters the US.  Today we went to the US Consulate (like an Embassy but not in the capital city) with about 30 other adoptive families to take an oath that all the info we have submitted to the US government on our adoptive children’ behalf is true and accurate.  It was a “raise your right hand and repeat after me” type of thing and it was very moving!  Here we are standing in a big room with about 100 plus American parents and 33 Chinese children all repeating an oath together.  2 of the parents were adopting 2 children at a time and one lady was completing her 4 adoption in China!!  The Consulate Officer even wished 2 children “Happy Birthday” from the front….and one of them was Lily!  (Her birthday is on the 29th.)

So sorry if this post is all over the place.  I will post again with pictures when I get home.  Also, I really hope this post will leave the spaces in.  For some reason when I go to post the blog to my blog it takes out all the spaces…sorry….I know it makes it difficult to read. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Orphanage Visit

Thanks so much for all of your prayers for our visit to Lily’s orphanage in Dongguan. The day was perfect and we couldn’t have planned a better day.  From the ride to the orphanage all the way to our flight home…it was amazing!  We were so thankful we got to go to visit the place she spent the 1st 22 months of her life.  I left there with such a thankful heart for the dear people who had taken care of my daughter for almost 2 years.



From the moment we walked into the orphanage, people with great big smiles on their faces were calling out “Xiu Li!  Xiu Li!” (that’s Lily’s Chinese name).  They were so glad to see her and their love for her shined through them.  What a great welcome to us!  I was very impressed that the random ayi (caretaker) walking through the lobby would know her….they care for 200-300 children and are in charge of another 500-600 who are in foster care.  They also have 300 employees!!  


As soon as we got there we went up to a small receiving area on the 2nd floor and meet several of her ayis and even one of her close friends, Fei Fei. 



We asked her ayis all about her personality and her likes and dislikes.


They were so loving towards her and I really could tell they were so thankful that she was being adopted.  A couple of them got teary eyed while playing with her.  I was so thankful that we speak Chinese and were able to talk directly to them instead of through an interpreter. 




This is one of the nurses that was there the day that Lily entered the orphanage.  An orphanage doctor is who named her.

We also were able to meet some other children who are about to be adopted and got to take pictures and videos of them to send to their adoptive parents.  It was fun to be able to hug those kiddos and tell them that their parents were coming quickly and that they loved them.



This is me and Lily next to her old bed.

We also were able to find out some about Lily’s surgery.  It is pretty crazy but our sweet little baby’s surgery was just on August 10th of this year!!  Our precious Lily was in the hospital for 48 days preparing for and recovering from open heart surgery.  It is amazing how quickly she has recovered.  The more I’ve thought about the details of surgery, I’ve just been so thankful for a lot of things.  Thankful that we have a daughter who came to us well, for the orphanage being willing to spend their funding and donations to pay for her surgery, thankful that God chose to leave us completely out of it so that He could get the Glory, thankful that He really held her when I wasn’t even aware she needed special holding, thankful that God spared us the stress and worry (and possible trips to see her) of even knowing what was going on. 


Above all…we left the orphanage that day with a very happy little girl who got to say good bye to her friends and caretakers, and parents with very thankful hearts to see how well our Lily was cared for. For the Lord is so good to us!