And then there was Pippa!

How to begin describing this day.... wow... wow..... wow! We are in LOVE with dear Pippa!  Right now, we are in our hotel room and seeing so many smiles and fun "talk" from her.  It's amazing all that has happened in just a few hours... so I'll start at the beginning: 

6:00 am  Woke up.. couldn't go back to sleep.... excited today was the DAY! But honestly, I was nervous too...... I guess because this is the day we have been waiting for... for sooo long and it was now here!  So we headed to the orphanage and I loved seeing the place where Pippa lived.  The grounds are beautiful and there are flowers around it and a little park meandering along.  We walked into the main building and straight to the meeting room. Immediately we began signing paperwork, etc.  And then a film crew was there from Shanghai and they asked if they could film and interview us for tv... and we said "Sure!"  Thought it was one more way to share about adoption and share how God led us to this day!  Other families started coming in and it was fun to meet all of them. Some of them I have met through my Shanghai groups on email so putting the names with faces was really special!  And then Mike was videoing the room and the families and all of a sudden he turned around and said, "There is Pippa!!"  And before we knew it... she was right there in the room.... it was like she just popped in!  The fun part is that we have it all on video and we laughed watching it because it was one of those unexpected moments!  We ran over to her and I immediately took her in my arms.  And she just stared and looked and took everything in.

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I wondered what was going through her mind and what she was thinking because she was very quiet at first.... but Mike and I were bubbling over with excitement and talking to her and holding her and taking turns taking photos of her.  It was magical!!

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Lollipops came out and she enjoyed that for a bit and then we gave her some peach puffs... honestly, I think she thought those were not so good...

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And then she started crying some and just getting mad.  She would throw her arm down like she was very "done with it all" and I could tell she was frustrated because she couldn't express herself the way she wanted.  I think she was realizing that she was with these new people with new smells and it wasn't her room that she was used to.  All these things were changing right before her eyes. You can see that sad look in her eyes in picture above. The grieving had already started and we weren't even in the van yet. It broke my heart but Mike and I both realized that she would go through this. 

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So we got in the van after some more photos and Mike was interviewed by the Shanghai film team... and then in the van we had a not so happy camper.  Pippa cried the entire way back to the hotel (at least 30 minutes). It was kind of like a mad cry because there were not lots of tears just frustrated gasps and cries.  We tried to console her but nothing really helped and I think our driver was wanting us to make her happy but we just didn't have anything really to make her happy. She was inconsolable.

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But back at the hotel, we discovered the secret in making her happy.... food.  Mike and our guide went off to buy some snacks for Pippa and when they came back with all this great food, Pippa loved it all.

She ate eggs and rice and almost an entire banana that she loved!  She had a bottle of formula and some apple juice and a whole yogurt cup.  Plus. some chocolate chips that she also loved.  And with eat bite of food,  it was like all the stress inside of her started melting and she started smiling more and laughing.  

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She slept a little bit but wouldnt' sleep by herself, she had to lay on me to sleep and I didn't mind a bit... however, we have no idea how tonight will go.  Am hoping she can sleep well!

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We did end up changing her diaper but she did NOT like her pink outfit being taken off of her.  She was desperate for me to put some of it back on and she was so sad that her yellow sweather was not going back on her.  I think she was so accustomed to the same outfit being worn day after day that it was like part of her identity.  So I put new pjs on her and then put her pink jacket back on her and then she was half way happy.

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The smiles started coming out more and more when daddy read a book to her and then played stacking blocks with her.  And we had fun playing tea party and just being together and giving her more food and snacks.  In fact, in a few hours,  her eyes were all lit up and sparkly and she is talking more and laughing.  Yea!!

It was a day of days!! Full of emotion for all of us and ending with a little girl who is now with her mommy and daddy!  We are so in love with her and I can't stop staring at her and all her cuteness!! She has our hearts and we are sooo happy!  Overall it's been a super great day!  It's hard to see her grieve and cry but also we understand this is part of it.   I can't imagine going from all things familiar to all things not familiar ... with a new language and new people and new smells and sights and sounds.... and surroundings.  

Tonight she is doing great and we are savoring these first moments with her! Have no idea what tonight will bring, but we need sleep badly so as you're waking up and reading this, pray that she'll sleep!

Today has been a gift!! We are sooo happy to have her in our lives!!  She is amazing and we can't wait for you all to meet dear sweet Pippa soon!

On the Road to Shanghai

Tricia's sleeping, so I'm on blog duty tonight.  Here goes.

After 24 hours of traveling, we made it to Shanghai and are safe and snug in our hotel room. Shanghai is huge. We haven't even begun to see the full scope, but there are about 40 skyscrapers in view from our window. Can't wait to explore the city a little tomorrow.

The day started early, getting the kids up and Sam off to school before heading to the airport. Mom and Dad are holding down the fort in our absense. It was hard to tell the kids goodbye but it's a huge relief knowing they're in great hands with GeeGee and Da. 

We got to see Derek, Rushton, and Mei Sims in Detroit on our/their layover. They'd just completed the 15 hour flight home from Hong Kong and were catching a few minutes before their last leg home. God is so gracious to give us that chance to see them and hug necks! Here are a few photos from our trip so far. 

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Mei Sims and Derek... beaming.

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Mei Sims has the sweetest little cry. Breaks your heart, but she didn't stay at it long with mom and dad around.

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Rushton and Mei Sims and blancake.

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At our gate, getting ready to get on the plane for 14+ hours. The flight was long but went fine.

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This is the bridge that crosses the river and connects 2 large areas of Shanghai. It changed colors every few seconds. This city is covered in lights. 

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View outside our hotel window. Can't wait to explore more tomorrow.

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Unpacking Pippa's shoes. Notice a common color?

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No girl can have just one doll! Can't wait to meet her on Monday and see what she's like. 

Thanks for all your prayers. Tricia will have to take over and give a full report tomorrow. Dreamtime. 

One Month

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We've been home for one month and wow, in some ways it seems so much longer.  In other ways, it seems as if we were in Russia  just the other day.  Ahh Russia.... a  land that we will always treasure because our two children are from there; it is their birth place... their history... part of their life story.

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To think back to that day.  That fresh, exciting day of getting Rosie. When I look at this picture, I just smile. 

Pure glee for each one of us!

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The day at Red Square. 

It was absolutely amazing.  Beautiful.   Better than what I expected.  It did feel magical to stand in front of St. Basils.  I will never forget that day of blue sky and color filled buildings that took my breath away.  I look back to that special day of sightseeing, being with my new daughter and standing together as a family of four...and I can almost feel my heart growing deeper in love....

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And Rosie... From the moment your face made that big smile of yours... our hearts melted.  And each day, as you smile and laugh and talk to us and sing little songs, I am so thankful for you! You are a gift.

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This photo says it all.  Sam eating his beloved ice cream... even in very chilllllly weather.  Rosie hanging out in the stroller, a happy mommy,  and the fairy tale monastery.  Sweet, sweet memories of our time in Russia.

One month we have been home..... what will the next month bring?   Maybe some candy canes, turkey, beach time, bike riding, gingerbread making.... tree trimming and hot chocolate! yipeeeeee!

Pumpkins, Roses and New Friends

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We headed to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens  ( one of my favorite places in Bham!) and it was filled up with pumpkins and flowers at the front entrance. Has Rosie ever seen a pumpkin? Just wonder what goes through her mind as she sees and experiences all these new things. And yes, that is a bow in her hair! She actually kept it in for quite  while!

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The rose garden was beautiful even towards the end of October... Rosie had fun running through the flowers with her beep shoes!

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Beautiful fairy tale pumpkins!

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The best part was hanging out with our friends! Rosie met Lainey and Betsy for the first time today and it's great that Rosie already has little friends close to her age! yea! 

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Favorite part for her... playing in the fountain.  Yep, she got completely soaked....

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But the laughter and smile on her face made it all worth it!

Happy fall day to everyone!

Days with Little Rose....

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Our days here have been so full and surprisingly smooth with transitioning toddler Rosie into her new world.
It has been such a treat to watch Rosie's expressions, her choices for food, music, her laughter, her ever so sweet smile. Getting to know Rosie better each day is a true gift... filled with new discoveries each day! 
Love watching her with my dad.  Even though dad can't communicate well, he was so dear to her as he held her close.
Rosie has much love surrounding her and it seems as if she may know a bit of the love that she has been showered with as she walks around the house and chirps and laughs.... just like a little bird.

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So our first day, just the two of us, started off perfect.  We had a tea party and I showed her about sharing her tea with all her little stuffed animals and dolls.  We played with hair bows.. getting closer to wearing bows and we walked around the yard in this wonderful fall weather.  Lots of yellow butterflies were fluttering in our yard today,  so it was fun to watch them play in the air.   It was too pretty to stay inside so we headed to the park close to our house. Blue sky, 70 degree weather, puffy white clouds and Rosie smiles = perfect morning.

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I had no idea the "beep beep" shoes were the craze right now.  I bought some at the consignment sale... not knowing they beeped.  Now these shoes are Rosie's favorite and pretty much the only ones she wants to wear.  They are a little big on her, but oh well,  at least I know where she is in the house.. just listen for the beep... beep... beep!

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Picking out the prettiest leaves on our morning walk.
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Love to watch Rosie watch her big bro.  Amazing how she will sit and "write" as long as her brother is working... hmm.. can this become a habit???

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Rosie's new friend, Caleb, came over and they had a great time feeding the fish.
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Theme for this day:
Grateful.
Thank you God for our little Rosie bird! tweet tweet!

HOME SWEEEEET HOME!!

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AHHHHH, we're home!!! Can home be any sweeter when one's away in a foreign land??? Don't think so!  After hours and hours of flying and boarding planes and waiting in airports and toting all our stuff everywhere, we finally arrived in beautiful Birmingham. We were exhausted and so tired as the tires touched down on the Birmingham runway, but once the tires hit.... I got a new burst of energy.... WE"RE HOME!

Mike's parents and my parents were waiting so happily at the airport to meet little Rosie.  I just love watching them all with her and this official first day for Rosie has been filled with lots of love by her grandparents!  Our parents are so wonderful! Rosie has no idea how much fun she is about to have with them!
We came home to a big sign in front of our house to welcome Rosie ( thank you tutle!) and a big sign made by Sam's class ( thank you friends of Sam and Ms. Hambrick!), to a fridge filled with really good food! ( thank you Katie and our parents!) and balloons and fun presents on the table and of course, our nice comfy bed!  Yipeee!!  I felt like I was floating when we arrived home last night and the fun has just begun!

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Rosie loves to run and run and be chased and fall down and get up and run and dance and laugh and fall down again!

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Nana made a great  ride for Rosie.. she looovvesss to be pushed around in her own laundry basket o fun!..... Think she will love amusement parks!
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Early in the morning, both grandma's plus mommy had a great time dressing her up... let's see.... first is the Raggedy Anne outfit ( thank you Leigh Anne!.. we love it!)  It was fun to get the "hat of hair" on her...... just to see, "hmmmm, what will Rosie look like with normal hair or rather yarn hair?"

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She loved her frolicky "anne" outfit.... and the stocks stayed on into te day!  Candy cane striped socks....perfect!

 

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Love this photo!  Happy Rosie and happy Gee Gee!
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Paris girl... love this dress ( thank you Liane!) Oh, she likes fluffy boas!  Yes, she is ready for dress up and play! We even had a small tea party with our paris tea cups! ( thank you Jilly!) 
And as I write.... 2 little tired kiddies are snuggled in their beds asleep.  Our bodies are trying to adjust to the new time but our hearts are already adjusted to our home and it feels completely perfect to have our Rosie here..... finally!!! yea! Little birdie is in her nest...... and our birdie family is all safe and happy back in the USA!

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P.S. And to sweet Mo Mo... we are so happy to see you too!  And you are going to have lots of attention by one sweet little girl ........so get ready to hear "Guff Guff!" and "Subaka!"

The Candy Land!

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Red Square.. here we come!  We had a great time seeing St. Basil's today and loved walking around Red Square. When we adopted Sam 5 years ago, Red Square was closed so it was really special today to see all the buildings and walk around the very grand and beautiful square.  Fun how you imagine something and then it exceeds expectations. That is exactly what Red Square was for us.  However, Sam thought they would sell candy in St. Basil's because  I said it was the candy looking building.  So, he was kind of disappointed when there were no swirly lollipops for sale.  But he did have a good time taking pics in St. Basils.

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The painting and design in St. Basil's was absolutely beautiful. To think about the artists( hundreds of years ago)who designed this cathedral is really inspiring. We walked up steep staircases and walked through large wooden doors and very small doors. There were many many rooms and it was an extra treat to look up into the spiraling ceilings.  Every part about it was inspiring and beautiful.  We loved it!

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True inspiration for some art projects coming up!

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Beautiful....

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This grand building was built in the 1800's for shopping and is still a very nice mall.  Many designer stores.... wealth, wealth everywhere. Can see more and more why Moscow is the most expensive city on the planet!

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Monument at entrance to Red Square.

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And happy Sam in front of his candy land cathedral!

We went to the Embassy today, Russian Consulate tomorrow and hopefully the Pushkin museum tomorrow afternoon.  And we''re looking forward to dinner with Mike's uncle tomorrow evening!  

And then Saturday we head to the USA! yipeee!

Oh Happy Day!

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Walking in the square this afternoon with our little pink riding hood!  We can only can be in the hotel room for so long, so we have to be out and about and making small excursions even if it is just to look at the fountains. Rosie is mesmerized with the dancing fountains.

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She loves being outside and carrying her plastic spoon.

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Happy girl!

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Happy family!

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Sleepy girl...

IMG_4410 Waving to the fountains!.... one more day of fountain watching and then we are off to Moscow!!

and the sparrow...

"And the sparrow has found a home."
from Psalm 84

The day of days!!  October 4, 2008

Today we brought our Rosie home ( well, our home for the next 3 days:) and what a day it has been!Wow, I feel like we have lived 2 days in one!  It was such a whirlwind going to the orphanage to get her.  When we arrived, they pretty much said, put on Rosie's clothes, give presents to social worker and let's go.  So that is exactly what we did!

IMG_4202 Little Rosie shed some tears as we were leaving. She is going to be experiencing many new things and I can't imagine what is going through her head.  But my prayer is that she will sense safety and love with us and know deep within her heart and soul, we are her family. 

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The drive home was sooo sweet. We just couldn't get enough of this little bird, our little Rose!  She slept in our arms for the first hour and then woke up and played with us and ate almost 2 bananas, cheerios and goldfish! She was hungry!

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Sam and Rosie had a great time in the car playing and laughing.  Love watching them interact with each other!  Sam definitely has his biggest fan sitting right there beside him!

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Ever so sweet as she sleeps on the car ride back to Kras. ( and the dress pick for the day was the matryoshka dress my mom made for her.. so cute on Rosie!)
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Here are some fun facts about Rosie that we just discovered tonight when we returned to our hotel:

1. She actually went to the potty on her potty chair. She is so cute because she'll just sit there for a while on her little plastic chair. She tried to get up, but the chair stuck to her!'

2. She loves to laugh and be silly and is in constant motion!  ( yes, we have a very active 2 year old on our hands!)

3. She loves baths! I plugged up the drain in the shower and turned on the water and to my surprise, she LOVES water!  She could have played in the water forever!  She would put her head under the running water and just laugh and laugh and she splashed around and had a great time!

3. She's an amazing eater!  During dinner tonight, she ate lots of food: mashed potatos, soup, meat pies, bread and barley.  I think we'll be putting some lbs on her soon!

4. She is fearless ( which could be good or bad!)  She will race around the room and fall down, but then get up ( no tears) and keep going.

5. She doesn't mind if I dress her several different times within 30 minutes! ( yes, I'll have to admit, I love dressing her in all her fun girl clothes!) .. however the bow will not work because she kept taking it out.... time will help with the bow thing.. so we've decided she is a little pixie/ tinkerbell with her short hair!

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Off to dinner in her fairy pink coat and red shoes!

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A little stroll by the fountains before dinner.

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And she loved the fountains just as much we do! 

So now, here we are... a family of 4! Amazing how it happens.. whoosh, in one day!  But in reality, this has taken several years to finally become reality and it's so sweet to see how God has worked in bringing us our "little sparrow".
Mike and I are now sitting here in our little bedroom... Rosie asleep in her crib. Sam almost asleep. Our day of getting Rosie has come to a close and our hearts are filled with joy!  Happy day it has been and we look forward to waking up tomorrow and waking up to the chirps of not one, but 2 little birds... Sam and Rosie!

ps. I am making a little scrapbook for Rosie and thought it would be sweet if the ones who are reading this blog would comment below and write a little wish and/or prayer for Rosie bird and also write where they live. And when I get home, I'll copy this blog page and put it in her scrapbook! It will be so special to have these memories gathered together and placed on paper to show Rosie and share with her about the ones who followed her journey.
Thank you so much for all your prayers, love and support you have given us during this time!  It is amazing how this dream of getting Rosie is now reality!
God is so good!

Tomorrow... I love ya tomorrow!

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Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow. You're only a day away!
We are now on the eve of getting Rosie and can't believe we are only one night's sleep away from getting in the car, driving to Kansk, and getting our little Rosie!  Wow! Wow! Wow!
We are so excited.... hope we can all go to sleep tonight!

Our journey today involved heading to the flea market to get some fun Russian shoes/boots for Rosie and this is what we came away with!.....

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