Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Home One Week

We have been home one week now and it has been a hard one! Both children had doctor appointments, blood draws and shots. Lots of tears! Jet had to go to the ER as he had a bad case of croup. On top of jet leg and just trying to find our new norm. I am glad to have this first week behind us. There were some beautiful things about this first week though. Jet leaned in and gave both me and daddy our first kiss!! Ruiby learned to sign more and now says "all done". Her smile lights up a room! And we get lots of kisses form her daily! They love to swing! (thanks aunt Jene for letting us have one of yours) I feel tired, but so blessed! Looking forward to seeing what this week holds for us and what knew things these little treasures learn this week. Love to All!!

Monday, March 24, 2014


There is nothing like coming home!! I could not stop the tears as we landed in Seattle!! It felt so good!! The kids did great. We had to leave our hotel at 5:00 am, so we were up very early. Our first flight left at 8:40 am to Be*jing. After some crying getting on the plane by both children they settled in and took a good sleep. After landing, we then had to get our luggage and recheck it and go through multiple security checks where both children did a lot of screaming and crying. Isabelle and I were so glad to be done with that part of our trip. We sat at Starbucks for the next few hours waiting for our 4:25 pm flight to Seattle. Since we had already gone through security we thought we could fill the babies bottles, WRONG! we had to go through another security at the gate where they made me dump the contents of their bottles. That went over real well! I was so glad when the ladies came by with beverages on the plane and we could refill their bottles!! Both of the kids did really well on the flight home. Ruiby fell asleep around 7:30 and Jet around 8:00. They both almost slept the rest of the flight. Ruiby woke with about an hour and a half left and fussed and cried a little about her shunt hurting. Jet woke with about a half hour left in the flight and did great until we started making our decent and he started crying. Then Izzy and I were stuck in customs, immigrations and baggage claim for a very long time. As there were 6 other international flights that landed around the same time. We finally saw Sam and Dakota's beautiful faces about three hours after we landed. There are no words that can describe the feeling I had as I spied their faces in the big crowd of people looking down from the top of the escalator. Pure JOY!!! I don't remember much of the trip home other then the kids not liking their car seats. I was so tired and just could not keep my eyes open any longer. We were so happy to see the rest of our family as we arrived home that evening. Three weeks is a long time to be away from the ones you love!!

James 1:17 says " Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." These two beautiful babies are a very perfect gift from above and we can not be more thankful that we were chosen to be their forever  family!!

Thank you for your prayers and love!!
 First taste of whip cream!! From Izzy's birthday!

 First four wheeler ride with daddy!

First Wagon ride!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coming Home!!!

Last post from Ch*na!!!
We are packing up one last time! My emotions are all over the place. I am so blessed and grateful for this place that has blessed us four times with beautiful gifts and treasures in our 3 daughters and one son, I have enjoyed the sights and experience once again, but my heart is longing for HOME!! My heart is heavy for the little faces that are etched in my memory, the ones left behind. My life will never be the same again! As long as I have a voice I will always speak for those children!! Our life before we left home will not be the same when we come home, instead it will be richer and fuller, it will have its ups and downs, it will be full of laughter and tears. I am so glad we said YES to God!! Has it been easy? NO, it has been very hard. But, God never promised easy,  He promised He would never leave us or forsake us and I know that to be a fact! So as Izzy and I get ready for our last leg of this amazing journey I know that God will be walking with us. Thank you for your prayers! We have felt them over and over again! Thank you to those who have loving cared for my family at home!! It means to much to me and thank you God for these two amazing little children whom I love so much! They have come a long way in just a short amount of time and I can not wait to see them burst into full bloom!
Next post from HOME!!



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3 More Days!

Hi all, we are down to three days here!!! Yay!!
Yesterday we visited the zoo. It was fun to get some exercise and see the animals.
Also yesterday Ruiby went to see a doctor about the abscess she has on her ear and he thought it could wait until we got home. He is a little concerned about the fluid on her brain and the long flight home. We could really use all our prayer warrior praying that our flight home will go well for her.
Today we went to the Five Ram Statue which is the Guangzhou city symbol. It was fun seeing all the people out exercising. We also went to my old stomping grounds Shamian Island where I have stayed the other times we have adopted. So nice to be back on the island and visit all the shops.
Tomorrow is oath and US visa day!!
Enjoy the pictures from the last two days!

                                                                            Our group

                                                                               Jet copying Izzy


Monday, March 17, 2014

Sightseeing and Missing Daddy

I started the day off by throwing up for several hours in the night.  I really haven’t felt very good all day.  But we went out to sight see anyway. It was good to get out of our room for a little bit. We went to the market and the Chen Clan Academy. That is where the pictures were taken for today. Pray for Ruiby girl as tomorrow she has to go back to the hospital to have an abscess by her ear drained. Pray that I am feeling better soon and pray for Izzy as her tummy was hurting this evening. Both of the babies are doing good. Ruiby has been a little out of sorts since Jon left. In fact today when I showed her his picture she got mad and wouldn’t look at him, but later in the day I found her looking at his picture and kissing it.  So sweet. She has also been adding to her English words Jet is making slow but steady improvements in making eye contact with me. Izzy said that when I left to do paperwork yesterday he said mama. His very first word!! Enjoy the pictures!
 Love to All


Saturday, March 15, 2014


So it has been two days now since I last wrote. Let me take the time right now to say thank you to my beautiful niece Dakota for posting these posts for me! You are one special girl and I love you so much!
Okay, Friday we arrived at the airport at 2:30. Are flight was to leave at 5:25. Instead they loaded the plane and we sat for another hour. Talk about crazy with two, two year olds. First they had both of the babies in one row and Izzy and I in another. I told the guy who was to sit between them that he could have my seat. He said no problem. They made us buy a ticket for Jet because he is over two, but he is the size of a one year old and the seat belt wouldn’t stay on him,. He was very agitated. So I sad forget this! Izzy you come and take Ruiby’s seat and Ruiby will sit between us and I will hold Jet. No one said a word to me about it.  As the plane started to take off Ruiby had this scared look on her face and she buried her face in Izzy’s lap and closed her eyes. She slept the whole 2 hours and 40 minutes. Jet, well he ate or cried and screamed the whole way, except the last 10 minutes of the flight. He was very agitated, and every time they would shut out the light he would start to fuss! I fed him every cheerio and cracker that I had. Then I stood in the isle for awhile trying to get him to go to sleep. He was so tired. But has not yet felt safe enough for me to rock him to sleep. He has many self soothing habits and when I was finally made to take my seat to make our decent he was beside himself. He rocked violently back and forth trying to suck both his thumbs and scream at the same time. All the while Izzy and I were being stared at by the many people who were around us. There was nothing I could do, but let him cry. Finally he let me pull him close and he buried his little head in my neck, stuck his thumb in his mouth and closed his eyes, that was ten minutes before we landed. We finally made it to our hotel at around 11: 00 pm. All of us completely beat!!
We thought today was going to be a better day. Well it was not! We started the morning off with breakfast and that was good, until suddenly Jet started to cough. I didn’t think much of it as he has had a runny nose for a couple days now. I had to go up to the business center and make some copies of the kids passports before we went to their medical check. I left the babies with Izzy. When I got back I could see the fear in Izzy’s eyes. Jethro was crying and gasping for air. Being that I know what it feels like to not be able to breath and what it sounds like when your airway is closing off, I knew right away that something I had fed him was causing him trouble. I started giving him lots of water and called my guide. She met me in the lobby and took me to the clinic here in the hotel. Slowly he started getting better, but had a barking cough. The doctor was not there so we were headed to the medical check and the doctors there checked him over. He was fine by the time we got there, but they did give me some medicine for him. It was a very scary few minutes for Izzy and I.
At the medical check both children cried at every station!! Our hearts broke to hear them cry in a room with the door closed as they did the blood draw for their TB test. Ruiby is also headed back to the hospital on Monday because she has an abscess on her ear that needs to be drained. All I can say is that as I have encountered all these little obstacles with these two precious children is that I have the same mama bear love for these children that I have for my five other children! I will protect them with my life if I have to. My Love for them just keeps getting bigger and bigger!
Tonight Jethro for the first time let me hold him and talk to him in his ear and tell him how much I love him and instead of him rocking himself to sleep tonight he let his mama rock him instead!! A huge step for this little man! 
Izzy and I feel like we are on the amazing race, but instead of a prize of a million dollars, our prize, is priceless! A smile, a hug, sweet giggles and belly laughs, Jethro looking into my eyes, Ruiby holding my hand and saying mama. All these things out way the challenges we face everyday. We have shed some tears the last couple days, as our best traveling partner made his way home yesterday and we miss him so very much!   Ruiby wonders around the room asking for Dada baba and I can tell she is sad that he is gone. She looks at his picture many times a day saying his name over and over.   Izzy and I made our way this evening over to a place that felt like home STARBUCKS!! don’t be critical! A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to survive! Okay, well I think you are all caught up! Thanks for the prayers!! Keep them coming we need them!! Love and hugs to all! We love you! Teresa, Izzy, Ruiby and Jet
PS sorry there is no pictures! It was all we could do just to survive the last two days.
Sent from Windows Mail

Friday, March 14, 2014


It has been awhile since I have written and a lot has happened.
We spent Wednesday evening visiting with two ladies who live here and volunteer at Jet’s orphanage. It was wonderful to spend time with them. One of them has an amazing story of how she was adopted in America by a Chinese family. Such a beautiful story and the other Has been living here for almost two years teaching English, but is from Ohio and ironically has a brother who lives in Wenatchee. Thank you Mollie and Christie for taking time out of your day to spend with us!!
Ruiby had been fussy all day. She had been pointing at her shunt and fussing that it hurt. I had been worried about it, but then she started throwing up and from all I have learned about hydrocephalus I knew what I had to do. But I had Izzy txt Kristen for the push I needed to take her to a hospital here. It was late at night and our guide took me to a children’s hospital Lets just say it was an experience I am hoping to avoided the rest of the trip. They did a CT scan and an ultrasound to check her shunt function and how much fluid was on her brain. SHe does have fluid, but the doctor felt it was not an emergency and he could tell that her shunt was working. Praise God!! and thank you for your prayers!! We needed them!! She continued to fuss about it yesterday, but I am thinking she might have had a stomach bug also. She was back to her smiley self last night! Another praise God.
Because Ruiby was not well yesterday I stayed at the hotel with her and Jon, Izzy and Jet went with our guide to a really neat market. Later in the day when the kids took their nap Jon walked with me back down to the market so I could see it and Izzy stayed with babies.
We leave here today and start the last leg of this journey! We are so ready to be done and are starting to feel that tug in out hearts for home. We miss you all and our family that is at home! We miss our country home! One more week and we will be heading home.
Love to all!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Paperwork, New Steps, and Crazy Hair

Jon and I went for a walk along the water last night and enjoyed the night lights.
All we did today was paperwork. But Jethro is now Jethro XiangMao Tall!! Our little man has decided that he can walk and is taking about 10 steps at a time. He is so proud of himself and so are we. He had a rough night and did a lot of crying. Poor little guy was so scared, he held on to me so tight. He won’t make much eye contact with us yet, but silly mommy put stickers on her nose and we spent some time looking at each other, smiling and laughing.  He really is the sweetest little guy!
Enjoy the faces of our sweet Ruiby!! She is such a silly girl!! I love her laugh and she has the cutest little voice!
Love to All!


Great Wall

Ok, so the photos from the Great Wall are finally here!
I know that blog post was a while ago but they weren't wanting to upload to my computer and we finally fixed it all up! Enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Another Gotcha Day!!

Forever Family Day Number Two!
We left our hotel early and took the train to Tianjin. We went straight to the orphanage. We went up several floors to a very small room and sat down and again started filling out papers. Half way through, in came Jethro and his teacher. He was all bundled up in three layers of clothes and a coat. I scooped him up and there were no tears. Then he went to daddy and again no tears. We finished some papers and then took a short tour of part of the orphanage. He never cried once. We left and went to out hotel and checked in and then went to get some lunch. I think my boy is going to have some food issues that we will have to work on. He ate and ate and ate some more. Finally I decided that this little man was going to make himself sick if he ate anymore. Then back to the hotel where we gave him a bath and played for several hours. Here is what we have learned so far about our boy. He can not walk, he crawls and wants to walk so bad. He pulls himself up on things and will try to take a few steps and then falls. He is tiny! About the size of a 12 month old. He is very quiet. Not sure if that is because of his hearing or not? He does hear, but I am not sure how well. He reminds us a lot of Leila! He has the cutest little laugh and smile. He sucks his thumbs, and they gave him one of their very special haircuts. He is so sweet! We are so in love with this little man.
How is miss Ruiby with adding little brother? She wanted me to hold her and she didn’t do much with him at first, but a little bit after playing in our room she came over and gave him one of her cheerios. It was so sweet. She also brought him his bottle and tried to hold it for him. Later in the evening she gave him several more of her cheerios and fed them to him. So cute!
Little man is now sleeping and he finally cried when it was time for him to go to bed. I could tell he was so sleepy, but he wouldn’t stop moving so he wouldn’t fall asleep. I finally picked him up and gave him his bottle and rocked him. He didn’t like it much at first, but finally put is foot up on my shoulder and stuck his thumb in his mouth and was asleep with in minutes.
Praising God for yet another smooth Gotcha day! I know there will be many bumps in the road as they learn to trust us and bond to our family, but I can feel God here with us on this journey and know that He will walk with us all along the way! Thank you God for these two little treasures! And thank you to all of you who have been praying for these two precious children! and for us. Your prayers have been felt!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


We are here in Be*jing. We arrived Friday evening and Ruiby did great on her first flight. She laughed when we took off and was awake the entire flight, I hope that is not a sign for our flight home! We pretty much got settled into our knew Hotel and then went to sleep. Today we toured the Forbidden City. It was very interesting and beautiful. And Isabelle became a celebrity. Everyone wanted her picture. Finally our guide said just don’t stop moving or we will never finish our tour. After the Forbidden City we went on a tour of part of the city that has been preserved like it was many years ago. We rode on rickshaws around this area and visited one of the homes there. Then our guide took us to one of her favorite restaurants. We were not able to visit Tiananmen Square, because it was closed for some special meetings that were being held there, but we did drive by. Then it was back to the hotel. Later we went for walk down several of the streets near where we are staying. We found a fruit shop, and wouldn’t you know it, Jon found red Anjou's from Hood River, Oregon.
Ruiby is doing better and better. She is starting to give us kisses and lay her head down on our shoulders. She still cries pretty hard when it is time for her to go to sleep at night. She does great in the Ergo and snuggles in. We are finally figuring out when she has to go to the bathroom. Yay! mom and dad!! She must have been thinking what is wrong with you people I am trying to tell you that I have to go!
Two more sleeps and then it is Jethro’s big day!! Can’t wait to meet our little man. Love to all!
Photos will be up tomorrow!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ruiby's Orphanage

Written on 3/4/14:
Today was a big day. We visited the orphanage where Ruiby lived. We met the director and were given a tour of the grounds there. This orphanage is doing so much for the children. We saw where they are teaching the older children that have major special needs  how to cook and bake. The things they make help feed the children and the workers there. They also sell it to help make money for the orphanage. They have so many therapy rooms for the children to help with development. We saw a lot of one on one therapy with the kids. We went and visited Ruiby’s friends in her class room. She knew as soon as we rounded the corner where we were and wanted to go play. We got down on the floor and played with the children. One little girl started crying and was afraid of us. But Jon had her blowing kisses at him before we left. One little man stole Izzy’s heart and I think if she could of she would have brought him home too. We played and loved on the kids as long as we could. Ruiby cried just a little when we had to leave. Next we went and visited her foster family and saw where she has lived for the last two years. There were tears in her foster mama’s eyes when she saw her. AT first Ruiby wouldn’t look at her, but after she gave her some candy she started talking to her. Ruiby showed us where her little bed was and we visited there for a few minutes and then it was time to say goodbye. Ruiby gave her foster mama a kiss and I  cried as you could tell that this amazing women cared deeply for our daughter. Ruiby didn’t cry when we left, but has being grieving more since we have come back to our hotel and on the ride home. We could not thank this woman enough for the love she has given our girl, truly a blessing to have been able to meet this lady and spend time visiting the place where our daughter has lived.
Only two more nights here and we will be moving on to another chapter in this amazing journey. Love to all!

                                                                Outside Rui's orphanage

Meeting Rui's foster Momma


Written on 3/4/14
Today was pretty much a day where we stayed in and spent time with our girl. Here is what we know about her so far. She has started doing some grieving (mostly when it is time to sleep and when she doesn’t get what she wants). She has an amazing laugh, her smile lights up a room, she loves bananas, she is learning to speak English very quickly, she is tiny and we are so in love with our daughter and sister!
We did get out and go to a park, that I am sure is even more beautiful in the spring and summer. But I enjoyed walking around and seeing the beauty that winter brings! Later in the day our guide had told us to eat at the restaurant next door, She had written down on paper what we should order so we could just give it to them and point. Lets just say that our pointing skills were not working all that well! by the end we were laughing and so were the people trying to help us. The food was great, although we did order way to much! 
Today we are visiting her orphanage. I am excited about this, but know it could be a very hard day for Ruiby. We were told that we may get to meet her foster family. So would love to hug this family who has cared for our baby.
Sorry the pictures are not coming through hopefully when we get to a place that has a better connection we can add more. Ok, that's all for today. Love and miss all!