Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ben's Party and a Lily Update!

Lily has almost been home a month and I cannot believe how well things are going. Before we went to China, we read books, watched videos, talked with friends and social workers about what to expect during our first few weeks home. We were told that at first we might not love her like we love our other kids, that it would feel like we are babysitting, that she might reject us at first and a whole lot of not so warm and fuzzy. All of that is normal. Very normal and very expected. We were prepared to work hard to get through these issues and expected that someday things would get easier for all of us.

I almost feel guilty saying this because I know not everyone experiences this, but as it turns out, we fell in love with her immediately. We LOVE this child so much. You know that love you feel when you give birth? That is how we both feel about Lily. There is no faking it. We don't feel like her babysitters, it does not feel like she doesn't belong or that she is "new." She's ours. There is no question about it.

Of course, I cannot speak for her feelings. She has experienced great loss and her world has been turned upside down. I know we have not seen the real Lily Shu Xing (as she refers to herself). I do not claim that she loves us as much as we love her, and that is okay. She has only known us a month. We snuggle and play and tickle and giggle. She comes to us for comfort, looks to us for approval, and really seems to enjoy our company and the company of her siblings. She loves to sing a little song she made up "Mama, Baba, Lily Shu Xing, Benjamin, Madelyn, Nicholas, Kayla"

 I'm terrible about taking photos but I promise to make an effort to use my camera more often.  We did remember to take some photos of Ben's party yesterday at a local park.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


She's HOME! She's HERE!!! After a year of waiting and missing her, she is HERE! Praise God!

While we were in country, I wrote about our experiences and progress on a shutterfly share site. China blocks blogger and facebook, but not shutterfly, so this was a great option for us just in case we had internet troubles.

If you would like to read about it, the link is in the post below.

We've been home for less than 48 hours now and so far things are going well. The kids have been wonderful, though I can tell we will experience some growing pains as everyone adjusts to their new roles and gets used to having a new sister.

Lily (aka Shu Xing) is doing very well. She's having some crying episodes at night, which is to be expected, but she's happy during the day and really enjoying her new siblings- especially Ben.

We really thought that due to the closeness in age, that Ben would have a hard time sharing his mama and his toys with her. We've found that of all the kids, he is the one who seems to get along with her the best. I think that has something to do with the fact that he just wants to play and he doesn't let the language barrier stress him out. He talks to her and she talks to him and they just play and have fun. Nicholas and Maddie are always thinking about the fact that she doesn't yet speak English, so they hesitate to talk to her and feel awkward when they don't understand what she is saying. 

However, even with all of that, they are really happy to have their new sister and are doing very well considering the changes of the past two and a half weeks. I know they missed us very much while we were away.

Mike is going back to work tomorrow and we really need to get back into the swing of things with school. I think we can do it, even if it ends up taking all day long to complete the work we need to do. If we weren't already behind, I would put it off for another week, but we really need to catch up.

Friday, January 18, 2013

We are here in Shanhai!

We arrived on Thursday night around 8:30 pm China time and have been enjoying this wonderful city! Since blogger is sometimes unavailable in China, I'm posting updates and photos on our Shutterfly Share page-

Friday, January 4, 2013

American Girl Doll and Bed for Sale

We are so close to having what we need for our adoption but we don't yet have everything we need, so I'm selling this American Girl Cecile Doll with accessories and also the Half Canopy Bed that  goes with her.  Both items can be seen on the American Girl Doll website and both items are brand new, still in the boxes from American Girl.

Current selling prices on ebay are $90 for the doll with accessories and about $70 for the bed. I'd be so happy to get that much (not including shipping), but I am also open to offers. Please contact me at kathywiehl @ if you'd like to purchase either of these things.  I will need payment no later than 1/11 so that I can ship the following morning.

Monday, December 31, 2012

21 days!

We will meet our daughter in 21 days. As long as it has taken us to get to this point, I feel like we are on a high speed train to China right now. Prior to Christmas, it seemed so far away, but now it seems like the entire process just flew by.

Because she is not a baby and can probably speak  quite well, we are going to try to learn some Mandarin Chinese as well as encourage her to continue to speak Chinese.  The plan is for her to become bilingual and for the rest of the family to continue practicing Chinese for many years to come. One thing I plan on doing to encourage this is to play Mandarin videos for the children to watch often. Obviously with no native Chinese speaker in the house, this is going to be the best option for daily exposure to her native language and as the other children pick up some phrases and practice what they have learned.

Hopefully in China we will find dvds that can be played here in the US but for the time being, I am creating a playlist of Chinese Children's Shows on Youtube. We can just connect the laptop to the tv using the HDMI cord and watch  on a bigger screen. Just in case any of my friends in the adoption community would like to see the playlist, I am linking it here.

Many of the videos are Chow Hu, a really cute children's show. If you'd like to search for these on your own, the Chinese characters are below. Just copy and past it into the youtube search box and you'll find lots of videos.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lily, here we come!

We have TA! Also known as Travel Approval! This means that there is only one thing left to do and that is to go get Lily and bring her home.

Our consulate appointment is scheduled for January 29th, which means we will meet her on January 21. 24 days from now, my sweet girl will be in my arms.

It has been a long journey for us, filled with crazy delays and scary roadblocks. At times, I thought we'd never make it. It almost seems like a miracle that we were able to push through some of the insanity that happened during our process.

While we worked our tails off raising money, chasing papers, begging- yes begging God to move mountains, Lily grew.  Look at how much she has grown in the year we've loved her from afar.

Photo from her original file Sept 2011

Update from Agency January 2012

This was taken in June 2012 by another adoptive mom.

Taken in July by another adoptive mom friend.

Official update from China in October

It saddens me to think of all we missed during her first 4 years and I wonder who, if anyone, celebrated the first time she rolled over as a baby, or the first time she crawled, talked, walked. I wonder about her birth family and wish I knew their story.

I pray that we'll be the parents she needs us to be. We will try very hard to make up for what she has missed these past four years. Please pray for the Lord to give us what we need and for us to find the correct resources to help us along the way.  We know it may be challenging at times, but we also know it will be worth it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

American Girl Doll Winner!

Thank you  all for entering our last giveaway! We are so thankful for all of you and wish we could give everyone a doll! I put everyone's name on a spreadsheet and used to choose the number of the winner.

The winner is......

Karen Johnson!!

Thank you Karen! I will be mailing your Marie Grace doll today and you should have it on Saturday at the latest!

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