The Many Adventures of Keira!

This is our page to document our family's adoption journey- starting from when we first started planning for our little one, to when we brought her home. We're also going to keep this updated with all of the things that Keira has been up to since she's been home with us here in the U.S!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Year Ago...

...I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Dan and I boarded a plane to go to Guiyang not knowing what kind of flight we were in for. It was such a rocky flight. I remember at one point being in a cold sweat and reaching over grabbing Dan's hand closing my eyes and praying and squeezing it so tight out of fear that we weren't going to make it. PLEASE don't tell me that we would end up dying in a plane crash on the way to meet our little girl for the first time! We'd come so far! I had never been so relieved in my life when we were taxiing in that we made it in one piece. A young man met us at the airport and along with a driver brought us to the hotel. I don't remember his name anymore because he was only with us for that trip.

We were so tired and beat up from the flight. I actually had bruises from being thrown around on the plane so much! We settled into the hotel and the phone rang. It was Aggie, the guide that would be with us for the duration of the trip. Dan was having a hard time understanding her because she was talking so fast, but we understood that she was going to be meeting us at 8:30AM in our room----with the baby. Wow! We had some dinner and went to bed. Believe it or not, I was able to sleep just fine---I think it's because it really still hadn't sunk in!
We woke up in the morning, grabbed some breakfast and headed up to the room. It was about 8:05am and Dan and I were pacing around the room waiting for the phone to ring. Dan had the camcorder all ready to go and once in a while, we would just hug each other and squeeze each other's hands. I can't even begin to describe how I felt. I was nervous, happy, scared, and excited all at the same time. I wanted to laugh, cry, scream... we had waited SO long for what was about to happen and the moment was finally here. Our lives were about to change SO much in a matter of minutes. What if she didn't like me? What if she rejected me? What if I'm a bad mother? What if she cries and doesn't want anything to do with me?
The phone rang and I almost jumped. I answered the phone and it was Aggie. They were downstairs with "the baby" and were on their way up. DAN! DAN! DAN! Get the camera ready! They are here!!!! I opened the door. Should I keep it closed? Should I wait in the hallway for them? Would it better to be in the room? Should I be sitting? Should I stand up? This was all SO crazy! Just as I went to the door closing it again for about the 4th time of closing and opening it up, I could hear talking. I KNEW it was them... Opened? Closed? Isn't it crazy that I was so obsessed with what to do with the stupid door??? I have no idea why!
Before I could do anything with the door, there they were. I didn't even know if Dan had the camcorder on or not...I was in a daze. First was Aggie. She introduced herself and introduced some of the instructors from the orphanage. I greeted them and turned around to see a man and a woman holding a baby. It took me a split second for it to sink in....oh my gosh...this is MY baby!!! The only pictures I had seen of Keira was when she was 5 months old. She was now 14 months old and right in front of me. I remember looking at her thinking that she had more hair! lol Of COURSE she would...duh! Her foster mother and I stood there for a second looking at each other. Actually I have no idea how long we stood could have been hours for all I know. I could hear Aggie saying, "Here she is! You can hold her!" I rubbed her back for a second then finally started making the motions to take her. There we were...Mom and baby...
I could see Keira's foster mother start to cry. I couldn't even imagine how sad she felt having to bring Keira to us---having raised her since she was 3 days old. I started to cry as well and so did Keira! There we all were standing there hugging and crying. I thanked her and realized she didn't understand what I was saying. I told Aggie that we wanted to thank them for all of the love and care that they gave her and that we promised that we would be good parents to her and take good care of her. We all talked a little bit here and there. I remember one of the teachers from the Orphanage pulling me aside to show me the pictures of the children from the orphanage and to tell me that they were a Christian Orphanage. I told her that we were Christians as well (Catholic) and she seemed to be so happy. Somewhere along the way, we gave them all some gifts---this part was kind of a blur. The whole time I was holding Keira. She would look at me with such a confused look on her face. She would cry here and there...but not much. More than anything, she seems curious. Her foster mother gave us a duck backpack with Keira's rice crackers, some of her milk, a bottle and some precious pictures of Keira as a baby with their family. We cried a few more times and somewhere along the way in all of the commotion, Dan and I were in the room with Keira and Aggie. It was such a blur..but somehow here we were. I remember trying to change her diaper that she had through her split pants and Aggie was making fun of me because I just couldn't do it! YOU try changing a diaper through split pants! lol We got her changed into a different outfit and headed out to walk to the place to take pictures and get her paperwork ready. I put her facing me in the baby bjorn. She had been through so much that she fell asleep. Here was my sleeping baby right there with me. I was afraid to break her! We got to the office to take pictures and she woke up for a bit to take the picture, then went right back to sleep. She woke up while we were doing the paperwork and looked at me with a very confused look on her face. I had some Sweet Potato Puffs and gave them to her rubbing her back. We bonded over puffs and she looked at me and for the first time smiled. I will always remember that moment...always.
Here we are...a year later. Part of me feels like it was just yesterday...yet the other part of me feels like it was SOOOO long ago because I just can't remember what life was like without her! She is 100% our child and I absolutely could not imagine life without her.
Happy Family Anniversary Keira! Mommy and Daddy love you so very much!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

The timing of Lent was a little different this year. Normally it's a little later in the month, but this year it came very early. So early that Valentine's Day just happens to fall right in the season of Lent. Dan and I gave up chocolate for Lent so no chocolate heart shaped boxes for me this year!

Dan made up for it by making a candy bouquet for me out of lollypops, runts, jelly beans, mints and just about any candy you could imagine that was non-chocolate! Isn't that sweet?

I hope that all of you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

This Weekend

This weekend ended up being very different than originally planned. Keira was very sick last weekend with a water faucet nose and 102.4 degree temperature. She became a little velcro monkey and would not let go of me. I had to wash dishes, cook and basically do everything including go to the bathroom carrying my poor sick little girl. By Monday, her fever was gone, but she still had a horrible cough. Because of this, we decided to postpone her liver biopsy. I recall the doctors saying that having a cold and congestion was not good mixing with the anesthesia. She was pretty much completely recovered by this weekend, but I still feel better about not taking any chances. We will most likely be rescheduled sometime in April.

Because she didn't go the hospital, she WAS able to make it to Maddie's birthday party! Maddie turned 4 and had a birthday party at The Little Gym. She was so bummed when she heard that Keira wasn't going to be able to make it at first. "It just won't be the same without Keira- now that she's two!" I'm not sure how the cut off for fun became two, but somehow it was for Maddie! Keira had a BLAST but unfortunately, her disorganized Mommy brought a camera with dead batteries so I wasn't able to take any pictures. Mark, Maddie's daddy took lots of pictures and promised me that he would send me some copies. I'll post them when I get some.

Sunday, Keira and I headed over to the Chun's for a Chinese New Year Celebration. My friend Laura Chun will be Keira's Godmother. It was a great celebration with lots of great food (Chinese of course :) ) and even a traditional Lion Dance performed by the White Dragon Kung Fu school--where Dan takes Tai Chi.

Here is Laura explaining to all of the kids what to do with the red envelopes. You feed the Lions or course! :) She even had Chinese firecrackers.

Laura did such a great job organizing everything! They even had the head of lettuce hanging from the tree for the Lions. The Lion eats the lettuce symbolizing good luck.

Here were the Lion Dancers. Keira saw the Lion Dancing back when we were in China, but this time, it was really up close. It scared her to death! I don't think her feet touched the ground the whole time there were there since she climbed on me the second they came close.

Here is the Lion "eating the lettuce"

We had such a fun weekend. Thanks to our friends for allowing us to enjoy this special weekend with all of you!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Wishing everyone happiness and prosperity for the new year!

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Little Mouse Emergency Fund

Last year around this time, the weather was very different in China. It was chilly in Beijing, but in Guiyang and Guangzhou, it was warm enough most of the time to where you didn't need to wear a jacket.

This year, the winter weather has hit China very hard and very unexpectedly. Many of the SWIs (what orphanages are called) have little if no heat, running water or electricity and are running out of food, blankets and diapers. Many of the children are sick and need treatment. I thank god that Keira is home with us, but my heart just breaks for all of these children in the orphanages that are suffering from the conditions.

Half The Sky is a wonderful organization that helps the orphanages in China. They have listed the some of the different SWIs in China and the needs that they have due to the harsh conditions. Keira was taken care of by a foster family, but she was sponsored by the SWI in Guiyang, Guizhou. Here is the site for more information and if you want to know how to help the children. The Little Mouse Emergency Fund was set up specifically to help the orphanages experiencing hardship due to the current weather conditions in China