Tuesday, September 23, 2008


     All 3 girls share this room.  I spent 5 days painting this room.  I brushed glaze over the walls with a broom handle for a washed out beach look.  The letters say BEACH GIRLS.  The saving grace of our beach trip (see end of post) is that I need pictures from the girls at the  beach to put all over their room.  That and on the way home I get to meet a friend in person that I met on the internet.  I am a little nervous about this meeting....  the other day, I had a dream that her face looked like a waffle.  Jet lag???
     The picture is out of focus but I wanted you to see how little she looks.  She looks like a little doll.
     My good friend, Amber, who can't quit buying clothes for Emme, brought her these clothes (and more) yesterday.  Her shirt says Little Peanut.  Paul made up a 'little peanut song' which he sings so often I may just gouge my eyes out if I hear it again.  BUT, I love the shirt!
 Headband... courtesy of Kristen and Addison.
   Do you like their grass hut curtain?  It's really a shower curtain but know one would ever know... except I tell everyone!
    That's Emme's friend Nina.  She lives next door.  She's 9 months old and a bit heavier.
     LOVE THE BACK of the shirt too!!  

      We made it home!  Yippee!  Praise the Lord for the United States of America!

     And, I am back among the living for my first post from home!

     The flights home were very uneventful.  Emme is such a great little girl.  Her personality is so pleasant and she is content and happy 95% of the time.  She slept about 6 hours on the way home.  And even with such little sleep, she was still so good.
     We were greeted at the airport by 2 very excited sisters and one happy little brother along with both sets of grandparents and a really good friend.  It was the perfect way to arrive home... to our city.
      Our home home, now... that's another story.  Since the tree landed on our house on Sunday 9/14, we along with one million others (literally) were without power.  My bed was calling my name but I couldn't bare to go home with no electricity, no food, etc...  Instead, we went to the inlaws.  We were very thankful that they were willing to put up with us and feed us.  Of course, I am sure that having a new baby made that easier.
     Finally, on Saturday evening 9/20, about 8 pm, we were able to go to our home.  There's no place like home.  There's no place like home.  I felt like Dorthy.  I had been saying that for about 16 days.  My wish was coming true!
     Emme has not been so fond of her new home.  I shouldn't say she is not fond of her home, she's not fond of her crib.  There is no way is Hades she is going to fall asleep in that crib on her own. She has made that very clear.  You'd think it's filled with fire ants.  Man, she arches her back and holds her breath until she is purple.  If she wasn't so soon out of orphanhood, I'd think it was funny.  Instead, it's rather sad.
     So, we take her in our bed and lay with her.  She still cries and tries to fight it, but it's a short, lazy fight.  The sandman beats her to death.
    Then we carry her to her bed where she sleeps for about 3 hours.  After 3 hours, she becomes the Tazmanian Devil seeking to devour a bottle, QUICKLY.  Then, when we try to lay her back in her bed, those darn fire ants are back.  So, back to our bed where she sleeps like a hound dog smack dab in the middle of her us.  
     This is not entirely true.  It was true of last night.  The other nights there was lots and lots of crying....   As a matter of fact, Sunday night I went to bed at 9:15 pm, Emme woke to eat at 11:30 and by midnight, she was ready to play.  4 HOURS LATER , I finally went to bed, again.  She screamed for 2 hours.  During those 2 hours of screaming, if I were honest, I'd have to say that I spent a lot of time questioning my decision to adopt.  I was SOOO tired.  My little man is 5 now and the youngest.  It just started getting easy.  Did I really mean to start over???
     The answer, yes!  When I see those huge brown eyes and that big toothless smile, yes, it's worth losing sleep and middle of the night feedings and whatever else it takes.
      Until I wake up and I look at the carnage that is my house.  Suitcases, dirty clothes, loads and loads of laundry.
     Speaking of laundry... I have a huge laundry room.  Whenever we get home from a trip, we put the suitcases in there and then I go through and separate the dirty from the clean. Then we run around put things away.  This morning, that's what I had done.  I had just finished making piles for each child, a pile of gifts for Emme to give her as she gets older, gifts for a few friends, etc... Piles, nice neat piles.
     Jackson comes in and shows me two library books he got at school.  He then said, "Mommy, will you read them to me?"  OF COURSE!  He's lost his birth order place so we are making sure he gets lots of extra attention.  
      As all the children look on and listen, Gracie screams, "Mom!! LOOK!!"  Remember that FORSAKEN sink (see earlier post) that my washer dumps water into.  YEP!  It's pouring over the rim of the sink ALL OVER MY LAUNDRY ROOM FLOOR.  Those clean piles... they're now dirty.  I don't want to talk about it anymore.
      I look like Hattie the Witch.  I wouldn't dare take a picture of myself these last few days home.  I am frazzled because if all of the above is not enough for you, let me tell you about my Monday.  Monday, my 5th full day back!
     Since we were without power, we had NO food.  Before I left, I froze some meals.  I also went to the store and bought lots of things that would make easy meals if I just added a vegetable and some fruit.  Salmon, Talapia, Chicken breasts, etc... Bags of frozen fruit for smoothies, etc..  Thankfully, it was all cleaned out but the freezers remained bare.
      So, after having very little sleep Sunday night, I got up, the girls went to piano and while they were at piano, I went to the grocery with Jackson and Emme.  We came home and carried in the groceries.  It was then that that sick feeling washed over me.  You know, that sick feeling when you remember that you were supposed to have done something.  
     Emme had a doctors appointment at 1:30 at the International Adoption Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  I was supposed to have faxed papers over before the appointment and I forgot.  I was also supposed to have shoveled 6 stool samples out of Emme's diapers into little cylinders to take along with me.  MMmmmm boy!  I only had 2 so I was making sure they weren't going to send me back home for only having 2 so I was on the phone with them.  That's when I see Jackson's bus.  He missed his bus.
     That meant I had to take him to school.  Well, Emme was starving and as soon as I returned from dropping him off at school, we needed to leave.  So, I left her with the girls so they could give her her bottle.  They are 7 and 10.  Before you call Children's Services on me, my neighbors and really good friends were both home.
     All was good when I came home.  I changed Emme's diaper and threw her in the car.  (She's already being thrown around, poor kid!)
     I was cruising down I75 to the West Chester campus of the hospital when I see the dreaded orange barrels and the hospital in the distance but quickly approaching.  As I get closer, I can not for the life of me decide if it is legal for me to actually use the exit.  It looks completely closed off  and of course there is not another soul brave enough to take the exit so I can follow their lead.  I decide it's closed.  As I am rubber necking past it, I realize it is, in fact, open.   Darn it all to heck!!  Well, that's ok.  I was early so I decided I'd just turn around at the next exit and go back.  
     I get to the exit, take it and head back.  That's when it occurs to me that I am not sure if I will know the exit when I get to it because I don't know the name of the blasted road it's on.  So, I am coming up on a possible exit...."Is it this one?  Oh no!!  Should I take it???  NO!!  It looks to far away from the hospital, BUT maybe, maybe... No, it must be the next one."  I drive right past the exit and that's when I notice that the exit loops around and WOULD HAVE dropped me right at the hospital.  DARN IT ALL TO HECK... AGAIN!!  I have jet lag made worse by lack of sleep when I could be sleeping and I am driving back and forth in front of a hospital like I have nothing better to do.
      That's when I realize, there are advantages to living in China.  There are so many cars, bikes, scooters and people, one could not possibly drive fast enough to pass their exit!
     Honest to goodness, the SECOND turn around exit was 10 miles away.  Good thing gas is cheap!:-)
     Emme's appointment lasted from 1:30-5:30 pm.  I talked to a physical therapist, a nurse practitioner,  social worker, a doctor, the janitor...  Ok, I really didn't talk to the janitor, I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
      Their conclusion:  Emme is severely malnourished along with failure to thrive.  She weighed 12 pounds 4 ounces (yeah for 4 ounces!!)  She is functioning in most areas at the 9 month mark except gross motor skills is around 6 months.  She needs some physical therapy.  We are to mostly feed her formula.  They said this is where she will get the biggest bang for her buck!  She is not having attachment issues as it was evident to the SW that she is bonding to me.  Yeah me!!  She was giving me lots of eye to eye, hugs and smiles.  After hating me for 2 weeks, yeah me again!!:-)  She then was strapped down for a TB test.  She loved that as evidenced by her purple face and crocodile tears.  So, after that, just for fun, we went downstairs where they jabbed her tiny toothpick arm with a needle and filled 8, yes 8 tubes of blood.  Needless to say, she was worn out and slept all the way to the 6 pm soccer game that we were 10 minutes late for.  After meeting a friend for ice cream on the way home from soccer, we arrived home at 9:15 pm.  I fell into bed at 10:15 where I am quit sure I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
     Have I told you I am heading to the beach for a vacation on Friday?  Why?  Well, because it's not eventful enough around here!



Sharla said...

I am exhausted after reading that! And you're still sane?! What a way to come home... Maybe the beach will be restful?!

I love that another adoptive parent is weaving their child into life as usual...we're having to do the same thing, I don't know how people are able to just stop their lives when they have bio kids... Poor Abby was home from school for an hour, off to soccer, then to BoyScouts (Nick, not her), exchange jeans for Zack, eat Chick-Fil-A in the car, go to bed! Exchange Boy Scouts for Youth Group and repeat tomorrow!

She is absolutely beautiful, when I saw the first photo, I thought, "what a pretty doll!" I was so surprised when it was Emme...she is SO petite! I just keep thinking about how God used the heartache of your first referral, to save little Emme's life...it's such a blessing to see how He redeems our broken hearts!

Can't wait till October 4...

Your waffle faced, wish you were near friend!

The Gang's All Here! said...

omigosh. i don't even have words. i feel like hyperventilating for you.

i hope your vacation relaxes you all and lets you catch your breath a bit before you head back into the craziness of life.

i don't even want to know what's waiting for us . . .except that my MIL is OCD about the house and my church is doing meals (someone leaked the secret!). now if i could just get the routine of bottles and diapers down. i can't even tell you how many times i've messed that up here in china - and she's the only one to focus on right now!

Tony and Rett said...

I agree. I'm exhausted just reading this.

i am SO glad you're home though. Soon enough, you'll flow right into a groove and this will all be a distant memory.

FYI-still praying for you! It sounds like you might just need it! Hehehh!

Pumpkin Head Baby Co said...

You are wearing me out!

When I glanced at the first picture I thought it was a doll sitting on the dresser. Then I looked at the 2nd pic & realized it was in fact Emme! I cannot get over how tiny she is!

Chubby Baby Designs said...

You make me laugh till I wipe away tears and even after knowing all this...I'm STILL totally and completely jealous! How crazy is that?! I want it all...every last moment, I would take it all if it meant to have a blessing from afar join our family. Still praying and praying some more :)

Jodi said...

Beautiful room and even prettier Emme! Told you she would love you! Yeah you! Bless your heart not to have power. We all take so much for granit. Here I am complaining about my stove (which should be fixed this afternoon) and your poor family has no power! I feel for you - really!
Sometimes you can never get those fire ants to leave cribs. I have a thirteen year old who was like Emme as a baby. Brought back memories!! Good news is that he sleeps in his own bed now - thank goodness! Take care and welcome back to reality!

The Gang's All Here! said...

i got your note about the dresses. unfortunately, we had a last minute glitch with finances when we were leaving the states and are running very low on money now because of it. i wish you luck with some of the other gals. have you tried any of them? sorry about that. i'm sure i'll regret at some point not buying more for my family and for aidan but it's what it is.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home... I can't imagine how you feel... it was overwhelming enough starting over after 4 1/2 years... but I didn' thave to deal with jet lag... much dirty laundry... power outages... and an empty freezer. Do you guys need/want a meal? Let me know. I'm cooking for a friend on Tuesday and can bring one down.

okay... retract the offer for Tuesday... It just hit me that I JUST read that you were heading to the beach. (Duh) Anyways, please let me know ifyou could use a night off cooking...

Jenna said...

April... I honestly thought that was a plastic doll on the table... I thought it was a little odd at first b/c she looked like Emme, like why would you decorate with that??? then I read the post... oh my word!!!! she's incredibly little... what a rescue for that little one to have such a loving, nurturing family. can't wait to see her grow and grow!! I pray you get some serious rest soon! Have fun on vacation.

Elizabeth Bergeron said...

What a busy mama you are!! Little Emme is looking great and happy! With all the love you have for her she will gain and grow quickly!

Your trip to the Liberty Campus of Children's Hosp. is 5 minutes from my house! If you are ever in the area I would love to meet your new daughter as well as the other children. We think of you often even though I have only met your husband. :) Our best to you.