Saturday, August 30, 2008

5 years ago today, we met our daughter for the first time

A beautiful young lady at age 6.

Age 5, Oct. 2007.

Grace, age 4 in Hawaii.

Grace-age 3.

Age 2.

14 mos. first time walking!

Grace and I--August 2003 in China.

"Motherbridge of Love"

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not know. The other you call Mother.
Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star; the other became your sun.
The first one gave you life; the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love; the second was there to give it.
One gave you a body, the other taught you games.
One gave you a talent. The other taught you aims.
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
One found a home for you that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child; her hope was not denied.
And now you ask, of course you do, the question others ask me too:
This place or your birth place-which are you a daughter of?
Both of them my darling-and two different kinds of love.

-anonymous poem submitted by an adoptive mother to the charity Mother Bridge of Love.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Look at this!

Yesterday I found Grace and William lying next to each other while watching a movie.(Dumbo) Had to take a picture of that, because it was a first. There is hope...seriously they are playing better and Grace is trying to be a kind big sister. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A very long week

The above photo I'm posting pretty much summarizes my week. Children's Tylenol. Children's Motrin. Omnicef. I was the administrator of those 3. All week long. A very long week. 2 sick kids now on the mend thankfully. Now mommy and daddy are getting sick but we're hoping it won't last long. I'm just happy last week is over and done and we're on to a new start. I had a thought the other day(sometime last week, those days have pretty much blurred together) that I hope I'm not sounding too negative about William and his transition. Though I believe William will be just fine eventually, I write what's happening in our family. When I think of the monumental changes and losses he's had and we've only been home now from China 3 weeks, he is progressing. Each day he's happy more than he's sad/angry. When he's angry he is very angry and we can't always tell why. Somehow we deal with it. Grace continues to have a hard time with it all and acts out particularly to me. I'm kind of concerned about Grace because it's getting worse. Our pediatrician says that this will pass and I'm not so sure of that. We are hangin in there and really taking it a day at a time. The top 2 photos are of our beautiful weekend here in southern WI and a picture of Grace at a happy moment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This little boy

This little guy is teaching me so much.... patience, patience patience. I always thought of myself as a patient person previously but now I have a new definition for that word. We have had some wonderful days. He tests Dan and I a great deal. We still average about 5-7 tantrums a week and they seem more like age appropriate ones. He and Grace don't get along very well much of the time. I hope that will improve in time. Little William has been sick the last 2 days with a high fever. This afternoon I took him to the doctor and Will has strep throat and an ear infection. He's miserable and boy does he want his mommy right now. He's been stuck to me like velcro. I don't mind the velcro part. ;)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Better days

I'm still here, just been tired and not much free time. We seem to be getting into more of a schedule now and Sunday was an amazing, calm day as a family. Little Will still has tantrums but nothing like last week. I see more and more of who he really is, and also what he can be when he's not so angry. William loves to be read to, loves to eat popcorn, cantaloupe and mandarin oranges, loves to ride in his little car and ride his bike, and finally he loves his Jie Jie(Grace). It's so sweet, he calls her "Jie Jie" on his own and insists that is her name, not "Grace." They also can get in fights like brother and sister now so I'm the referee. He can still be quite defiant when he's told no, but there has been great change and better days. This week I've been able to be more patient than I've ever dreamed I could be and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the comments, emails and phone calls. Thank you to the friends who have listened to me. And I especially want to thank this beautiful woman, Gwen who has reached out to support me, offer some advice and checked on me to see how I'm doing. She calmed my fears and gave me great hope last week when I felt very little. Trust will come in time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Home 1 week-toddler grief

Well it's been quite a week. Dan, Grace and William seem to be adjusted mostly with the jet lag, I still have a little ways to go but maybe that's just being tired from being a mommy to an instant toddler. William has had some not so good days with the worst one being Wednesday(Grace's birthday). He is grieving the loss of his foster family and it shows in tremendous rages in the late afternoons. I can deal with the tantrums, what is so hard for me is he hits repeatedly in anger and pinches. He was getting into these cycles of hitting over and over and going after Grace aggressively to hit or pinch. He is either a very happy boy or a very sad/angry boy. I have spoken to my SW, a good friend who adopted a 3 yr. old last summer, and my sister who is a speech therapist and works with age 2-5 yr. olds. They all have been a help, but if anyone else has suggestions I'd love to hear them. He has had so much loss. Thursday night we've seen a great improvement and also so far today. I know this will take time and patience. We didn't go into this knowing it would be easy, it is difficult and toddler adoption is an entire different animal than adopting an infant. Please keep us in thought and prayer, Grace is having a very hard time with all of this too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Grace!

Today is Grace's 6th birthday. Grace is kind, sweet, caring, loves to dance and move, loves to do crafts and draw. She has many friends. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for our joyful little girl. Today I also think of her birth mother and wonder if she thinks of this little girl. My hope is somehow she knows she is safe and very loved. We gave Grace her name because we hoped always for God's Grace in her life. Happy birthday sweet girl! With much love, Mommy

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Well all I can say is that the jet lag coming back from China is horrible. No. Horrible is too nice of a word. Yesterday I felt absolutely wretched, I think we are all starting to feel a bit more human today but we have a ways to go. It makes it harder with Grace and William adjusting to the time change at different paces. We've been trying to spend a lot of time outdoors in the sunshine to adjust and William is an outside boy! He's checked the entire yard out, played in the little playhouse, tried out several of the neighbors' swingsets and sandboxes and met some new friends. He can be quite afraid with strangers(which is good) and doesn't transition well to changes like getting out of the bath, diaper changes, numerous other ones to mention. Our little guy has only been with us 2 weeks and has been through so much. Tomorrow is his first appointment with the pediatrician so that will be interesting. The pictures above were taken this morning. It really is good to be home!

Friday, August 1, 2008

We are home!!!!!

On Thursday we flew from Guangzhou to Beijing(a 3 hour flight), navigated through the enormous Beijing airport and through their extra heavy security, probably due to the upcoming Olympics (where William Michael decided he had enough of it all and had a BIG temper tantrum, the little guy got frisked and monitored and he was very MAD...what can you do?hee...hee, it's funny now, but wasn't really then) boarded a United flight to Chicago which was 2 hours late taking off so we sat on the plane. William Michael slept....10 out of 12 hours of the flight! Grace slept 8 hours! Dan and I were both able to sleep some and even enjoy some peace and quiet. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers, God really helped us on this travel day home. Whew....we are home, with suitcases and dirty clothes all over, but who cares. We are jetlagged, I slept from 1:30am to 5:30am but we'll all gradually get back to central standard time. It felt great to sleep in our own beds. More posts to follow as we adjust to the time, unpack and welcome William into our extended family and friends. The trip to China was amazing, and I miss it already!
© Aging with Grace and strong Will
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