Monday, September 24, 2012

Quick Update

I’m not as diligent as I’d like to be about the blogging lately. And that is all I’m saying on that. I wanted to give a quick update on Yaya’s lip…it looks fabulous. We are down to one little stitch that you can barely see on the pouty part of her lip. We her “3 week” check up for it on Oct 4. (Yeah I know it’s 4 weeks but I didn’t schedule it…the doctor’s office did.) I hope we get to talk about when her palate will be done. Since surgery her desire to talk has shot through the roof. I think the new lip coupled with being able to hear clearly has really made her want to speak. I had been hoping for a January palate repair date but now I wish we could do it tomorrow, just so she could start learning to talk. We now have to really step up the sign language for her. We also have to force her to use it. She’d rather just scream and make us guess, so we are having to really work with her to use her signs. It is frustrating to her, but isn’t this what you do with toddlers anyway…”use your words honey”. We are doing that with Eden as well. Yaya is back to eating baby food again and we are back down to only 3.5 bottles a day. The eating isn’t where I’d like it to be, but she averages about 3-4 containers a day and we want her eating 5-6…so we are getting there. Yaya (dare I speak this out loud) has slept well the past 4 nights! She has had only one nightmare and that was well before we went to bed. She wakes one time during the night and if we reach in the crib and hold her hand she goes right back to sleep. So it has almost been like normal sleep for us 4 days in a row, with regards to Yaya. (I was still up with Eden with strep issues. I never sleep.)  I’m sure now that I’ve blogged this Yaya will have a two hour night terror but I am at least thankful for the past 4 nights. The girls are “off and and on” sisters. They spent 3 days quarrelling like sisters this past week. I was literally the referee (Foreshadowing, I know)  Now I have to say that Eden had strep and we didn’t know it so that may have played into the fighting…hmmmm…uhhhhhyeah. They occasionally like each other though. We have caught them watching TV together. Once when I had to get up to go get the phone, Eden replaced me in sitting behind Yaya. And when I asked them to pose for a picture on a walking trail they went and sat down next to each other on a step and both said cheese! It’s the little things that are such a blessing that I get excited over now. Below is pictures of most of those moments. My favorite picture in this post, however, is the one of Noah…check out what he did to his hair and how COOL is he?!!! Love that kid. (P.S. Eden took the picture of Eric and Yaya below!)


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Becki…email me!!!

Okay I have been wanting to write this post since the day of Yaya’s surgery and I am finally getting to it. It’s a strange title I know, but I want Becki’s attention if she is still following the blog. On the day of Yaya’s surgery I got the most surprising comment on our blog and it blessed me to tears to receive it. On Yaya’s “Gotcha Day” there was only one other adoptive family receiving a child at the same time we were, and they came to get their son who also had cleft lip/palate. The difference between our two families was that their son had the HUGE blessing of coming from an incredible foster family. Eric and I marveled at the love that poured out of this family and filled the entire civil affairs office. I want to say there were 5 other children and watching them broke my heart. This little boy was loved. It was so hard to watch them hand over this precious little life that they had cared for and clearly come to love dearly. I kept telling Eric, “That is a true calling from God, I don’t know how their hearts survive doing this time after time.” I admire foster families so very much. They stayed for a very long time and waited patiently for the new family to leave with with their foster son. They had to endure much of our experience as well…they got the full force of Yaya’s grief, fear and anger. We were shocked and even further moved for this family when we saw them again the next day at the civil affairs office for the paperwork stuff! I was told that the adopting couple requested them to come back. May I say that I marvel at this family that they would go through a second gut wrenching good-bye. Eric and I talked often of this incredible family who serves and loves the children of China. Little did I know that they would find our journey and follow it! I can’t explain why it means so much that this precious family has followed our journey. Perhaps because they are really the only other people that knew what we went through when we got Yaya. And they gave me so many comforting looks and smiles while Yaya was thrashing about in my arms. They were hurting for our family too. I don’t know, it is hard to explain. I suppose it is a similar connection like when total strangers share a tragedy and are instantly bonded. It was a tragic day as much as it was a glorious day. That is how I feel about this family. So Becki…email me! I would love to keep in touch with you!

I also want to say a shout out to my family at Red Ridge United Methodist Church. Thank you so much for following our journey and your kind words of encouragement and all your prayers; it all helps more than you know. Blogging was never something I thought I’d do, or do consistently, I am amazed at how many lives Yaya’s life is touching. I have always known that this little girl would have a great impact on our family and the world around us but it continues to amaze and humble me how God is using a little Chinese orphan to impact the lives of so many. And really her story is our story.  We are all orphans that God has adopted into His family, so I why I wonder at what he is doing through Yaya, I don’t know. I suppose it is because she is unsuspecting of it all. She has no idea the impact she is making throughout the world. I pray that one day this information will help her hurting heart as she struggles with her story and with who she is. I pray that it will point her to who she really is in Christ; that she won’t define herself by who her biological or adoptive parents are but by who her Heavenly Father is and by how HE made her and for what purpose.

All this to say…to all of you silent followers and all of you commenting encouraging followers…I thank you for sharing in our story, it makes life a little brighter knowing we are in good company along our journey. Thank you.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Scabs Away!

10 days post surgery and finally the big unsightly scab on her sweet lip came off! She still has a few stitches hanging out but she looks a world of better and must feel better too! Do you see that sweet little smile now?! That face is so sweet I want to eat it up!


Four Months

So here we are at four months with Yaya. It is hard to believe that 4 months ago (yesterday actually) we were in that terrible red office in Chongqing, China, changing all our lives forever. So how are things at four months? I’d love to say that life is FABULOUS! But that would be a bit of a stretch. It is good though. I can say that we have more hope now than we did several months ago…and I mean that on a couple levels. We can see glimpses of what the new normal will be and it is exciting. We are seeing more of Yaya’s personality and it is funny and cute. Eden is playing more with Yaya and seems to almost enjoy her at times. Noah is….well Noah is Noah and he is awesome. Yaya seems to have turned a corner with me recently and dare I say we actually kinda like each other…yes, I do dare say it. It was the Sunday after her surgery and up until this point she had been shunning me pretty harshly. After our trip to the creek and her car nap, I took her out of the car and we sat together on the front porch enjoying the cool afternoon. She sat in my lap and let me hold her hand. We talked all about the day and what future days could be like. We must have been out there for an hour or so. Since that time she has shown much more affection and sometimes preference for me. Even more amazing is that we have taken the girls out to a restaurant to eat twice and got to finish the entire meal!! (okay it isn’t as amazing as her and bonding but it is pretty cool).

But it is still very, very hard. Not that any parenting is easy but this attachment parenting for three children is just exhausting. And I remember thinking Eden was hard before we got Yaya…I was so wrong and clearly a much lazier parent. Yaya continues to have sleep disturbances. Night terrors every other night and wakes multiple times. So the sleep deprivation makes everything worse. Eric and I have now taken to splitting up at night and taking turns with her. Noah still wants someone with him so we are in his room with him. I went and bought 4” memory foam toppers for all the upstairs beds. So now I can get some sleep upstairs with Noah and my back doesn’t keep me up all night. Sleep is probably our worst area right now and it touches all the other areas of our lives. Because of surgery Yaya is not eating baby food anymore…well not regularly. She did eat some the other day, but for the most part she is a bottle baby again, but we are slowly working solids back into her life. I’m so glad she was eating before surgery and that eating baby food is not something new to her. She will come around soon. Yaya is more clingy than before, but now in a new way. It is more of an affection clingy than a anxious attachment-fear response. She has taken to giving good long hugs, saying I love you often, and she likes cuddling on your neck. When we are holding her she drops her head down on our chests and shoulders more often now. It is the beginning of what seems to be true affection. So that is exciting to witness.

Sweet Eden is on an emotional roller coaster. We are seeing a shunning of all care taking activities and an increase in anger again. But as stated she seems to like Yaya more and plays with her more now. She is resisting going to school and I drop her off teary eyed every M/W/F. However, I pick her up smiling and she reports having a fun day playing. She even comes home and pretends she is at school and is the teacher telling me what activity we are doing next. Eric took her to her first Thera-play evaluation and he says he will be shocked if the therapist finds anything wrong with Eden. They played together beautifully and had a great time. I just wonder if she cooperated because she was so glad to have Daddy and her time. We will see how her and I do next week together. She had a wonderful day yesterday and was funny, imaginative, kind, even tempered and cooperative…all day! But who knows what today will bring. She is still trying to work it out, and we know that she will. If we can help her we will, Lord knows we are trying.

Noah, he is good but we are seeing now some signs of wear and tear. He is finally of the opinion that Eden as a little sister is rather annoying. And that is stemming from the fact that she tends to shun him a lot and his feelings are hurt. Yaya can do no wrong but Eden is almost too much for him. He clearly has a double standard. And I can’t say as though I blame him. Eden is often difficult and rather mean to him. He is getting to the age where his “tone” tends to get him in trouble. It’s funny and disrespectful all at the same time. He has his “you are so irritating and lame” tone, his “I am so annoyed with you” tone, his “you are so unfair” tone, and his “will you just get off my case tone.” All of which get him into loads of trouble on days when I have not had much sleep and forget that I am still attachment parenting him. He is growing up. It makes me sad…and happy.

Eric and I are weary. We miss our friends and our church family. I am often lonely for my friends. We are doing our best to keep it together and we are making it, although it seems barely some days. Life is what it is and it is getting better, but slowly. We keep pressing on knowing with each day we are becoming more and more the family God created us to be. We have ups and downs, there are really funny moments and moments that make us want to scream and cry. It is an adventure and we are the better for it.

It’s Super Monkey Girl!


These pictures were taken right before Yaya’s surgery so I didn’t get to blog them. But they are so stinkin’ cute! Eden came running out into the living room screaming “Ta-da!” I believe Noah dressed her in this but she loved it and we called her Super Monkey Girl and she also loved it. I’m fairly certain she will one day NOT love that I posted this picture on a blog. But by the time that comes I wonder if ‘blogs’ will still exist.


This photo was taken the same day, I think. I just love it. She does the messy hair look really well.

Noah, Lego Designer, U.S.A.

So Noah wants to be a Lego designer one day…that and several other things. Recently he has pulled away from the store bought ‘builds’ and is branching out on his own builds now. He did a few things recently that were so awesome I thought them blog worthy. The first is a two room classroom.


The portion in the middle with the black rail has doors on either side so you pass through and outdoor hallway to get to each room. That piece also holds the ‘star observatory’ where the student is looking through the telescope, as you can see. The room on the left is a standard classroom with teacher. The room on the right is the science room complete with a ‘cauldron’ in the center. It currently is full of gems they are studying. I love this kid!


Next up is the Mars and Earth bases, complete with chopper teleporter. I’ll begin with Earth Base.


As you can see here, the chopper is in the teleporter docking bay. The colorful thing in front to the left is the ‘oxygen/atmosphere’ link that makes the Mars Base habitable. Note: if you knock one of the hoses off this device the Mars Base can’t breath until you hook it back up. It teleports the atmosphere and oxygen they need from Earth to Mars. On the front right is a science desk that analyzes stuff and the back right is the ‘communications center’, notice the satellite dish. Next up is the Earth Science Lab. It is where they analyze the stuff that is teleported from Mars….rocks, bones, gems and stuff. The box with the clear sides holds all the things they found. The green pod on the left is the alien containment unit, it was being used last week but apparently not this week.


On to Mars Base.


I don’t really know what all this is…but I know some of it. I love that he thought to use the red bricks to make the terrain. You see the teleporter pad for the chopper on the top of the garage for the Mars rover.  I also like that Noah put a red/white bar at the entrance of the garage that actually lifts up and down to let the rover in. The other thing I want to note is the blue pieces on the bottom left corner. Noah built that originally with other red bricks covering the blue. When I was brought to the grand opening of the Mars Base, he “blasted” the red bricks on top which revealed the water hidden underneath. A true and incredible scientific discovery. I love, love, love this boy’s imagination!

Friday, September 14, 2012

I want the Nanny Treatment


The sweet woman you see in this picture holding Eden who was only 2 months old is Nanny. (Helen Norred) She is the beloved grandmother of one of my dearest friends Sunni. I have known Nanny for almost 12 years. Today she went home to be with Jesus and see her loved ones that went on to Heaven before her. She was 89 years old and ready for home. I got the honor and blessing of being able to spend some time with her Wednesday evening. She was expected to go home that day but she had other plans. When I showed up at the assisted living facility I was ushered down to her room by the choruses of praise songs I love beckoning me there. When I walked in the room it was clear that this wasn’t a “death watch”, it was a praise and worship service. The worship team from Sunni and Rusty’s church (which includes S & R) were in her room praising our Lord. There were several guitars and Rusty had a ukulele, there was sheet music spread all over Nanny and her bed and there were several people singing . It was incredible. I went over to Nanny and bent close to her ear and when I spoke she responded slightly. I knew she knew everyone was there. When the guys would take a break from singing and playing…so would Nanny. When they would begin again she would slightly twitch and mover her arms and raise her eyebrows often..especially if she could hear Sunni on the high notes. People kept coming in to visit with Nanny and then Sunni broke out the pictures and photo albums. We all laughed and giggled and ooh’d and ahh’d over pictures both old and recent. Soon there after Sunni’s church brought in several spaghetti dinners and the assisted living facility sent down cookies and coffee…unprompted. I’ve never seen anything like this. It was how it should be, rejoicing over a sister getting to go home. And those that loved her didn’t stop until Jesus gathered her in his arms. I was told that many loved ones gathered around her bed this afternoon and said a prayer. When they all said, “Amen,” Nanny opened her eyes, looked around the room, closed them and took one more breath and then she went home. That is how I want to go out. Everyone is calling it the “Nanny Treatment”. We are joking that she would have gone on to Heaven sooner but she was enjoying the two day music festival in her room too much. She will be dearly missed.

I told her before I left that the angel she gave Eden Marie is one of Eden’s favorite items in the house and that we will always remember her until the time we will get to be with her again. Nanny felt a special connection to Eden because they share the name Marie, and she gave Eden a beautiful Waterford crystal angel..and it truly is one of Eden’s favorite items in the house. We have to get it out of the china hutch weekly for her to inspect it. She begs to hold it and Eric “helps” her do that…I’d kill him if he gave a Waterford crystal angel to a 2 year old to hold. I have so many wonderful memories of Nanny. One of my favorite memories of Nanny is at a sock hop we had at our church one time. She showed up in poodle skirt with little white tennis shoes and was precious! She danced the night away. It was awesome. I also love that she drove a Camaro….a nice one. And hands down she had the best Christmas letters of anyone I know. She typed them on her typewriter…seriously. Then she would have them copied and she would put Christmas stickers all over the margins; front and back AND on the outside of the envelope These had to take her some time. They were always so funny, Nanny had a super sense of humor. But more than that she had an incredible heart. She was a strong woman of faith and served in the Kiaros prison ministry I think since its inception, not joking. In lieu of gifts or flowers for her service she has requested that people support the Kiaros prison ministry. She gives and serves even after leaving this world.  She was an incredible woman, I was blessed to have known her. The world will be a darker in her absence and Heaven will shine brighter now that she is there. Blessings sweet Nanny we will see you again one day.


Yaya 9 days post surgery


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sweet Treat from a Sweet Lady

We got the most wonderful surprise the other day! My doorbell rang while I had both girls in the bath for just some bubble time fun. I went to the door and there was a young man with a gorgeous fruit bouquet for our family! The kindest friend of ours sent it and it was so yummy! The chocolate covered strawberries were a big hit with the kids…well and us too. Eden would eat the chocolate off and leave the berry though. Thanks so much BJ, we love you!


Later that evening…

So we were having such a great day as stated in the previous post. So we felt that it would be okay for me to go to youth group that evening. I normally leave around 7:00 pm to come home, which puts me home about 7:30 pm. I was still there at 8:10 pm and my phone rang. It was Eric asking where Yaya’s old night clothes were because she was refusing the larger size that my Mom just hemmed up a bit for her. Her old ones are too small her new ones are too big…you know the deal. So Mom tacked up the new ones in the legs a bit. It told Eric where to find them and asked if he was okay. He sounded a bit harried but he stated he was trying to get the girls down and that was all. He didn’t ask me to come home. So at 9:45 pm I walk in the house, knowing full well that by now the girls are down and Noah is likely down as well. I walk in the door and look to my right to see Eden sitting on the couch eating a bag of Skittles. Noah is in the recliner with his sunglasses on rocking; both are watching Phineas and Ferb at a high volume. The living room is a wreck. They both greet me with a cheery…”Hi Mom!” I pass into the kitchen where a bomb clearly has gone off and I gaze past it all into the playroom where the the tornado clearly has hit. In the middle of it all is Eric sitting cross-legged with Yaya in his lap and he is rocking back and forth. I take this all in, in an instant and I bust out laughing hysterically and really to me Eric seems to be curled in the fetal position sucking his thumb rather than sitting in the middle of the room. I spun around in a circle and said, “My Mom just left not 6 hours ago, what in the world?” (My Mom keeps this place ship shape when she is here, fyi.)  I quickly pulled myself together and sat calmly down in front of him and asked…”So…what’s going on?” Eric sounding totally frazzled  (actually sounding more like me than himself) begins with, “She won’t go to sleep! She won’t do anything! She freaks out if I try to put any clothes on her! If I even pick up the new jammies she screams AND forget the crib, she goes nuclear if put her in there AND I promised Eden I’d read with her!” I looked into his wild eyes and said, “What can I do for you? Do you want me to put Eden to bed then address Yaya?” As I was finishing my sentence Eric cut in with, “NO! I’m done. I’ve had my limit of her, I’m full up.” I reach for Yaya fearing the worst but she made only a small sound of protest. Eric bolts from the room. I undress Yaya who wanted to fuss, but I talked with her and told her she was a silly billy and and played with her and she came around. I got her new jammies out and put them on her easy peasy and then I took her down stairs and put her in her crib where she made not one sound and fell asleep with in 30 seconds. Total time spent with her was about 4 minutes from the time I took her from Eric to coming back up stairs after she fell asleep. If Eric wasn’t so grateful to be relieved of her I think he might have punched me in the liver. Eric ended up getting some really good, him and Eden time, even though it was like 11 pm before they both stopped giggling in her room. I got Noah down about 10:30 and then came out to the playroom to take this picture. I wish I could have made Eric sit on the floor like when I found him, but that would have been to much.


Those of you that know Eric and I well, know that this evening was such a role reversal for he and I, and really, I had a great laugh at my poor husbands expense. The laugh was on me the next day, however, when I had to straighten up the entire house…it wasn’t as funny then.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It’s not like you are taking her in a creek or lake…



When asked about water our ENT and Facial surgeon both said… “It’s not like you will be taking her in a creek or lake or something…” (we are such good parents) “…and submersing her.” Okay so the last phrase actually saves us in this instance but we couldn’t help laughing that we did indeed go to a creek just 3 days out of surgery.  It was so beautiful here in Alabama this day, low-mid 80’s with a breeze, that we had to get out into God creation! It was a fun afternoon.





All three children actually fell asleep on the way home, but Noah woke up and headed inside for his computer before I could take a picture. The girls slept about 35 minutes in the driveway before waking up. It was so nice and peaceful…we had no way of knowing what would happen later  that evening…dum dum duuuuummmmmm.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

3 Days Post-Op


Okay this I just found on my camera today…but it was taken yesterday morning by my Mom. Hilarious! Eric and Yaya are asleep…not sure what Noah is doing there but he is sleepy too. This was after a horrible night.


My future’s so bright…I gotta wear shades.


Really…is there anything better than $1.00 sunglasses?! Oh and I have no idea why Eden has Dixie cups on her hands.


Here are my two wet water table babies! Yaya is saying, “cheese”. Yaya is healing well and we don’t think she is in much pain at all…unless she bumps her lip. Her top stitches are slowly coming loose and falling out, which makes her look a little weirder, but it is a good thing. So pretty much good news to report except that she is still not sleeping and we are back on bottles only. She likes the idea of eating baby food but ends up just playing in it and not putting it anywhere near her mouth. It will come in time. Eden is struggling again, Noah is getting terribly ignored and Yaya only really likes Eric…and it is just another day in the life. God is faithful and his grace is enough.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back at Home

All things considered, Yaya is doing fabulous. We are so thankful to God for answering so many prayers. Yaya took 3- 8 oz bottles yesterday, played with us and watched EVERY episode of season one of The Fresh Beat Band…a show that I used to love. She hated being messed with every 4 hours for her vitals, and I don’t use the word “hate” much, but I do mean that. She slept marginal at best. Eric did not sleep  and I got maybe 3 hours of fitful sleep. We were able to go home around 9:30 this morning. The doctor said she looks great and go home…so we did. When Eric stepped over the threshold of our hospital room into the hall Yaya fought to get to the floor, so Eric put her down. She bolted down the hallway to leave. It was so cute and funny. She staggered and fell one time while holding Eric’s hand initially…thank you codine. She didn’t have her sea legs yet. So I grabbed her other hand and she walked herself all the way to the car. She came home and hit the ground running…almost literally. It of course was giving me heart palpitations all day. I just knew she was gonna fall on her newly reconstructed face!  How is it that when I WANT her to walk around holding my finger she refuses!? Three months of trying to get her off our fingers and now  we need her to be back on but she won’t do it…isn’t that always the way with kids? She was with me the majority of the day and I am happy to report that at one point when she was on my finger and I needed to pass her off to Eric…she refused him! Sweet glory hallelujah! Of course she was just toying with me I’m sure, don’t want to get my hopes up thinking I may have increased my status with her. Thus far she has taken this surgery in stride. She acts normal and plays normal (well for her) and even threw her arms around Noah when he arrived home from school and gave him a kiss…Noah has got the first and only kiss from Yaya I might add. He got two, actually; but who is counting…oh, wait, it’s me. So thanks for all the prayers, please continue to send them. Eric and Eden spent most of the evening together and he even got to read her bedtime books and put her to bed, a huge thing!!! I know he is a happy Daddy! So progress on that front too. Oh and Noah lost another tooth yesterday. So that is our update, we are praying for sleep for all of us, especially Yaya. Here are 3 pictures from today. One from the hospital this morning, one from bath time when we got home and one from later this afternoon. She is swelling much more in her upper lip but she is still looking great and we can see those sweet eyes again. Also, most of the time when Yaya sees a camera pointed at her she “says” her version of the word “cheese.” In the top and bottom picture she is saying cheese…she just can’t move her mouth into a smile yet since the doctor just moved and reattached her mouth muscles. It will come in time. .


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

She Woke Up

Okay so she woke up right after I published the last blog and she does look more like herself with her eyes open. She woke up a little fussy and wanted a bottle, but when she couldn’t feed it to herself because of the arm braces she started to go nuclear…so we took them off. It calmed her instantly, she grabbed her bottle and started to drink. I was able to do our “itsy bitsy spider” song that we sing while I feed her and she did all the movements with me while Eric held the bottle and fed her. Then we did “I’m a little teapot” and “Patty cake” together. We did all this several times and I was able to get a little giggle out of her. So we are doing our normal feeding “routine”. Then she realized the O2 sensor was on her foot and refused the bottle. I moved to get her favorite songs “Fresh Beat Band” playing on the computer. When I went out of sight she got upset. So we moved her so she could see me. When I started the music she started her version of finger snapping like she does when she dances. The music seems to helping her a lot. Her first bottle is almost gone! I will post more pictures when I can take them. She did say “cheese” for the camera but the bottle was blocking her face…then the blood pressure cuff took her pressure and then she got slightly hysterical. So the good news is that when not things are not bothering her she acts fairly normal. We are seeing normal routines as I said. Her blood pressure cuff will come off soon praise the Lord! She just got another dose of morphine from our nurse Felicia; who we say is a true RN- Registered Ninja…she was able to get n old O2 sensor off and a new O2 sensor back on Yaya while Yaya slept and didn’t wake her. Felicia is very tickled about being a RN (registered ninja). Yaya waved goodbye to her just now when she left the room. Yaya is now playing “Toddler Tapping Zoo” on my phone, a favorite thing to do for her. It shows different real pictures of animals and you tap them to make them make their sound. She is fond of eagle and wolf…much to my chagrin, not the noises you want to hear repeated 200 times. But if it makes her happy she can do it all day long. While we know there will rough times ahead we are encouraged.

The New Hope Lynn

Yaya looks very different. I mean like a different child different. I was shocked at the change…I’m still in shock. I am putting the pictures we took right after we got her up on the blog now. So preview the page before showing little ones. I am putting them on the end of the post. They say right out of surgery is the best time for “after” pictures on the first day in that the swelling won’t begin till a little later in the day.

Okay so to say Yaya was mad as a hornet would be an understatement. She (as many of you know) doesn’t like being messed with or having anything on her except diapers, clothing and shoes. She has a blood pressure cuff on her right leg and and IV and O2 sensor on her left foot…not to mention the 2 ID bracelets wrapped around her right ankle. And let’s talk about the arm restraints…oh. my. word. Loathe is a good word. She dislikes them so much we may just not let her know they can come off and then she just will learn to deal with them. She screamed herself to sleep when we got her. It was about 30-40 minutes of screaming and arching and flailing about…very reminiscent of Gotcha Day. However, the nurses and doctors assure us that almost all their kids wake up like that from anesthesia, which I know to be true from Noah and Eden. So we really won’t get a feel for how she feels until sometime later. She is sleeping right now comfortably on her Daddy’s chest where she pretty much passed out. Dr. Grant stopped by already to check in on her, he is very pleased with how everything looks and said she was acting and responding like normal. So I’m going to try not to freak out and think we have undone all our attachment work. He brought by a cute stuffed bear, it has stitches over it’s newly repaired lip too. I only wish Yaya liked stuff toys…maybe one day she will like this one.


She will be on IV morphine for the next several hours until we can get her to eat / drink something and then we will move to Tylenol w/ Codine for the night. That is the goal at least. They Tylenol apparently works better and longer since we have to give it orally, so we hope she will eat and drink later. Plus, eating and drinking equals going home tomorrow. The big one is breathing though and since she is snoring some serious logs right now I don’t believe she will have too many problems with breathing. But you never know. Keep the prayers coming and pray that she will allow us to comfort her and that this process will aid in our bonding not undo it. Also pray for sleep for all of us. On to what many of you have been waiting for…the pictures. I was the most taken aback at her nose…her nostrils right now look like sqinched up slits but Dr. Grant says they will round out in time. She was so mad that her eyes also looked like little slits, when she calms down and really is able to open her eyes and look at us, I think she will look more like herself. However, there still is the whole getting over how much she looks like someone else’s kid…without further ado…


Giggle Juice Yaya

Okay so here Yaya is 10 minutes after getting her Versaid, “giggle juice,” to chill her out; it worked! She is figuring out how to blow a kiss then she later is saying, “Loooooovvvvvveeee you,” and signing it at the same time. And then she just falls over. So cute! We just received word that she is doing great and her lip is almost done. Then they will put her tubes in. We thought that would be first but not so. She should be out in the next 45 minutes and then we will get to see her sometime later after she wakes up. When that happens the blogging will get slower as I’ll be a little occupied!!! Can’t wait to see her!

Surgery Day!

Okay so we are in the waiting room with one hour down and one to go. The day has gone great so far. We got out of the house about 5:14 a.m. and Yaya held my finger all the way to the hospital. We arrived and checked in and did all the paperwork. While in the waiting lobby Yaya happily explored everything.


They took us back to the surgery pre-op area where they had to weigh her, measure her height, check her blood pressure and O2 levels. All of which she hated and pitched a screaming mimi over. It is her typical “don’t like people messing with me reaction.” When most everyone left the room she calmed down and we read some books and she was a bit better but with every intrusion by hospital staff she would cry. We asked for some “giggle medicine” to take the edge off and while we waited she looked mostly like this…


Then we got the “giggle medicine and after 10 minutes she was blowing kisses and waving at everyone she saw…


She was hilarious! I have some video I will try to upload later. I asked her to blow Mama a kiss and she had to think about how to do that. She first patted her belly then she ended up slapping her forehead before finally finding her mouth. When she did she was so proud. Then we walked with her down to the doors of the O.R. and the nurse took her from us and she made one sound and the reached for us a little and that was it. About 30 minutes later the O.R. called to say they were about to start and all was fine. That was at 7:54 a.m. Everyone here is so wonderful and only as God would orchestrate, the anesthesia doctor has adopted two children from Siberia and is super sympathetic to our concern about her waking up without us and feeling abandoned. She said she would keep a special eye on Yaya for us and call us at the soonest possible minute we could see Yaya. She also said that Yaya won’t even remember being separated from us because of the medicine we gave her before. So God has answered that huge prayer. I lamented the loss of her lip a few minutes and now I am just excited to see what she will look like! We will keep you posted and I will try to get the video loaded! Blessings! Keep praying!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This face…

I first fell in love with this face on November 7, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.


And then I fell more in love with this face on April 20, 2012 at 7:55 p.m.


THEN on May 14, 2012 at roughly 3:00 p.m. in Chongqing, China I fell deeper in love with this face.

daddy says hello



I ADORE this face; this wonderful beautiful face! And I am going to miss it desperately. It is the eve of Yaya’s lip revision and I am so conflicted. Many of you other cleft Mom’s out there are gonna get this as well as some of my close friends and family…but others are not. I just simply don’t want to change her face. Obviously, I want her to talk and to eat well and to be accepted anywhere she goes. I just can’t believe I won’t seeing this specific face in this specific fashion looking back at me anymore. I don’t like that idea at all. Booooo on having to do this! I mean this is why we have her! If her little face had been finished in the womb…she likely would still be in China!

Now having said that I am also anxious to see how God is going to continue to create his little masterpiece named Yaya. I am dying to see how he uses the hands of Dr. John Grant to continue shaping this little one into all that he has desired her to be. The anticipation is almost like Christmas Eve when I was a kid! And by almost I mean EXACTLY! It is incredible to think that God is starting to finish the work he began 2 years and 11 months ago in the womb of a woman we sadly will never know. I think about Yaya’s parents tonight, how I wish I could tell her biological Mother and Father the exciting news.That our Lord continuing the work of making their daughter whole.

My sweet Noah just came in the room and asked for a family prayer…we are great spiritual leaders for our children, eh? (In our defense he was playing and snuggling with Grandma who is really just one step below Jesus in Noah’s world.) When it was his turn to pray he was already crying. He prayed that Eden would not be afraid of Yaya’s newly repaired lip and that she would accept Yaya’s new appearance instantly. When we all finished praying I asked what was wrong. I prompted, “Are you going to miss her face?” He started to sob and nod his head and then he said that he was more worried that she would think we were giving her away again and that SHE would be afraid. Can I tell you that no 8 year old has a heart this big!! I am amazed and humbled by his compassion, it is unreal. It is straight from the heart of Jesus. I am so proud of this young man and I am so moved by his love. He teaches me so much. What an honor to be his mother.

Then as if she knew we were talking about her…Yaya started screaming. Eric just went down to quiet her. I am concerned for her tonight only in that she didn’t eat hardly any baby food today. She is going to be starving tomorrow. Praise you Jesus that she is first on the surgery schedule! We have been telling her for several days what will be going on with her tomorrow. Today when Eric was in the bath her with and started to tell her again she reached up to her lip and rubbed it like, “I know what you are talking about.” I am just praying that the Holy Spirit is translating for us this thought, “We will be separated for a short time, then Mama and Daddy will come get you. We will always come for you. You don’t have to be afraid, we will be back together soon” Noah’s fear is mine as well, but in reassuring him, I think I helped reassure myself. Keep us in you prayers dear ones. I will update as I can. Blessings.