Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Friday, December 21, 2007


We made it to the beautiful Waikiki on Sunday morning. The flight was brutal. We left our house at 6:15 am and flew to Tokyo where we had an 8 hour layover. After hours spent in the playroom, we finally boarded the red eye to Honolulu at 9 pm. Maddie Rae slept on the floor, the boys slept sprawled out on the middle seats, and Jon and I hunched in the aisle seats just praying for it to be over! After 6.5 hours, we flew in to the good ole USA and Maddie Rae touched down on Oahu soil and became an American. We then went to our hotel at around 10 am, which was the middle of the night in Hong Kong and we were told we couldn't check in until 3 pm. AiYa! Exhausted and weary, we layed a blanket out on the beach and tried to rest for 5 more hours. After a good night's sleep we were all feeling much better the next day and we had our first appointment to turn in our paperwork for Maddie Rae's citizenship.


  • Maddie Rae is officially an American complete with her own US passport.
  • The blue, clear, nonpolluted sky. I keep taking deep breaths just to try to detox my lungs from the China filth.
  • The beach! The kids love it and could spend hours there. Maddie Rae throws a good ole fit every time she has to leave.
  • The hottub. Jonah's personal favorite.
  • Being able to walk into a convenience store on any block and find Nutter Butters, Dr. Pepper, Yoplait yogurt, Reese's cups, medicine, Tide, Bounce, and all the other items that I search in vain for in Asia. I'm wondering how long it will take once we move home for the feeling of elation at everything being so easy to wear off!
  • Being in AMERICA!
  • Have I mentioned the blue sky?

Jon put some of our pictures up on Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007


Aunt Becca, Uncle Bobby, JD, and Clara. These are really cool pop-up books. We love and miss you!

The Girl's Got Curl

This one's for you, Mom. I swear I'm not making it up that Maddie Rae's hair curls under at the ends.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This is Maddie Rae's first word (excluding the "Mama!" she screamed when she came out of surgery). She loves this Nala stuffed animal that she got from her shower. When she lays down to sleep, she has to have her "bear bear" from the Gregorys, her Nala, and her blankie. She sees Nala and starts giggling and getting all excited. Yesterday, Nala even got pushed around the plaza in a stroller (with a purse slung over her arm, I might add...a proud moment for this handbag loving mama!). I am so encouraged that she is starting to try to imitate sounds. Jonah's first words were all dog words. Since our dog is currently residing with Mammy and Grandude, it is fitting that "Nala" would be her first word!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Family Photo Session

It's not easy getting a good photo of 3 kids. Not sure if we got one, but these will have to do. Bring back memories, Dad?! At least Jack's not picking his nose in any of these like he was in our 2003 Christmas photo, but why oh why did I let him wear red shoes?!

Jonah's Xmas Concert

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Monster

Those of you who knew Jack when he was about the same age as Maddie Rae will undoubtedly remember his famous trick, "The Monster." We would tell him to do the monster, and he would tense up his arms and face and not breath until he absolutely had to. When he had a really large audience, sometimes he would get so many laughs that we would think he was going to burst a blood vessel or pass out. So you can imagine our surprise when we were sitting at dinner a couple of weeks ago and suddenly Maddie Rae busted out the infamous monster. She of course got laughs, which egged her on, and now she will do it on cue. There is a Chinese proverb that the adoption community likes to quote as evidence that our children were meant to be ours. "An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet...regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." We would refer to this "red thread" as God's sovereignty in bringing our daughter, who was woven together by Him, into the thread of our family. I would say that not only is this proof that Maddie Rae was meant to be ours, but also that God certainly has a sense of humor and delights to give us glimpses of himself and his will through these "red thread" monster moments!

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Baby" Shower

My good friend, Ellen, feeding me yummy cake!

My good friends Carol and Nadine hosted a shower for Maddie Rae at our church on Saturday. I was so overwhelmed at the love and care for our little girl from our church family and friends in Hong Kong. We have been truly blessed with wonderful "family" here who have showered us with such encouragement, support, prayers, and love. Thank you!!

Maddie Rae got the hang of opening presents pretty quickly, and she loved the cake! She got all sorts of fun things like a new kitchen (which her big brother, Jack, put together for her), books, toys, and clothes. She even got a party dress with sequins on it from Bangkok. She will be quite the glittery girl! We had a great afternoon, and we thank everyone for giving our little girl such a nice welcome home party.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Boys and Girl

Wrestling is Jack and Jonah's favorite activity together. If you give them even a moment's freetime, it inevitably always ends up right back here. Give them another moment, and someone has lost a tooth, gotten kicked in the stomach, or been punched in the face. They assure me that this is "fun", and Jon says "they're boys...they need to wrestle." I get it...sort of.

Now the tea party...I get it! I'm still working on getting Maddie Rae into handbags and dolls. I'm hoping when her cousin, Mallaney, visits, she will give her some good lessons in how to play with dolls. Of course, she still likes to push cars around and tackle pillows. I need to teach her how to tackle her brothers if she's going to survive around here!

Bug Show

Jack's class did a show about bugs for their school assembly last Friday. He made a pretty cute click beetle!

Pre-surgery, First day home, 1 week post-op

11 Days Post-Op

Today marked almost 2 weeks since Maddie Rae's lip repair. She has been doing great. The first week was pretty much miserable for all involved, especially her. It seemed like once we hit the one week post-op mile marker, she turned a corner and went back to being her happy little self. We went to the surgeon today so that he could remove her stitches. She started screaming her head off the second she saw him, and I didn't get many words in with him because she didn't stop her screaming until he was out of sight. I told her that one day she would be thankful for him. She just kept crying. He said that everything is healing well, and he will do her palate repair in May. She's asleep now, but I'll try to get a good shot of her without her stitches when she wakes up. After her appointment, we quickly stopped into "Oliver's", a nice supermarket here that carries more American products. Joy of all joys, they had Mini-Wheats. And Twizzlers. And Candycanes. It's the little things that get you excited over here. I grabbed as many boxes and bags as I thought I could schlepp back and headed on my way. I'm including 3 pictures of Maddie Rae's grin...pre-surgery, first day home, and one week post-op.

A New Blog

I took my first try at blogging while we were in China adopting our daughter, Maddie Rae. Since then, I've had several friends and family members ask me if I was going to keep on blogging. I don't think it's because our life is particularly thrilling or interesting, I think it's just because we live so far away from home and blogging seems to be the new way to keep in touch. I'm also having "postpartum" feelings of wanting to show my new baby off, and here we are stuck 24 hours away from the nearest family member. Somehow skyping with a webcam and blogging online don't quite equal sitting in the same room together, but I guess it's the next best thing. So here goes the new blog!