I saw this video on a friends blog who is currently in the process of trying to adopt and I got chill bumps and just cried my eyes out. I think maybe it's because God has been talking to my husband & I a lot lately about adopting another child & some situations have come up that we are having to think about it, but this just broke my heart. I hope you don't mind that I borrowed this Heather. Grab some tissues! You will have to scroll to the bottom and silence the music box ~ (Just click the big circle)
Back in March, I entered Olivia into a contest on facebook called "The Cutest Kid Contest" held by Demetria Hale Photography. Olivia won second place and we won some free pictures & a free photo shoot. Here is what Demetria posted after the contest was over.
So yesterday we had her photo session and she did soooo good. She would even stop at random places and say "Hey, take my picture here." Sooo funny. Then Demetria got out the tutu and she thought she was something special. She just started working it... I loved it. There are times when she seems sooo very shy, and times when she thinks she is all that. It was scorching HOT, but she was a trooper. (So was Demetria :o) Thanks Demetria for the contest, free photo session and pictures. I hope your business is a huge success. I will leave you now with a sneak peek of Demetria's fantastic work and our precious baby girl. There are more to come. She took almost 300 pictures!! Yippee!!!! I can't wait.
Here is Olivia's finding ad in the newspapers in China. Here is what "we were told" it says:
Ad # 1729 Lian Ai Sen A girl On July 20, 2006 she was found at the gate of Jishui Hospital, Lianjiang City. She was dressed in a white flowered shirt. She was a newborn baby, and has black hair. She has a red dot on the right side of her face. Claim unit: Lianjiang City Welfare Institute
Some really good friends of ours (Patrick, Aleisa & Maya Lily Dunn) who adopted their baby girl when we adopted Olivia, were recently able to travel back to China and visit the orphange where the girls lived the first few months of their lives. I will cherish these photos forever. Thank you for this gift.....
The baby building at the Lianjiang SWI Our girls lived on the third floor of this building from 2006 to May 15th 2007!
Another picture of the SWI
We are on the wall! Our group photo plus--The Jones Family, The Batdorff Family and the Ginn Family gotcha day photos were all on display in the SWI reception office. It was great seeing these pictures. (We are middle row, second from the right)
Mr. Huang ~ the director of the Lianjiang SWI (and the Dunn family)
The same nannies are still there! These are the same ladies who cared for Olivia and the other girls in 2006-2007. They are currently caring for more than 30 babies. (Boy, they look like a bundle of joy don't they :-)
Another picture of the nannies with Aleisa & Maya. We love you guys! Thanks for all the information!
The photo on the wall just outside the baby room. Unfortunately they were not allowed to take photos in the baby room. Just imagine 30 cribs each one approximately 2 feet-by 4 feet--no mattress--just a wooden plank to lay on. :o(
Outside the gate of the Lianjiang SWI--many babies are often left here. Olivia was found at the gate of Jishui Hospital, Lianjiang City. She was dressed in a white flowered shirt.
The following was sent to me from Aleisa Dunn on June 16th and I thought I would share. (I also wanted to make sure this made it into Olivia's book) Thanks again Dunn family. We love you and hope to see you soon.
From Aleisa: So we finally got a chance to go and visit where are daughters are from! It was very emotional for me. They had our groups photo on the wall of the reception hall--and a few other family photos from the group--the girls were so little then. The director--gave us Maya's file and in it was a picture of her at about three months old--younger than then her finding ad photo. I cried when I saw it--it was so precious--they let us keep it! They then showed us the babies room. It was on the second floor. Our girls lived on the third floor--but it has since been turned in the clinic--since they do not have as many babies as they did when the girls were there. In the room there were about 30 cribs--each one the same size (2x4) with metal bars and a wooden plank. No mattresses. :o( (This breaks my heart) The babies were all wearing similar tank tops and had cloth diapers on. All of their heads were shaved--to prevent lice--so it was hard to tell which ones were boys and which ones were girls! There were several babies with cleft palates. One baby had birthmarks all over his body and one baby had no fingers on her hand. Overall the babies looked well--it broke my heart thought that we couldn't take all of them home with us. We then drove out to Gaoqiao--the town where Maya and Lexi were found. It was about 1.5 hours away and extremely rural. The level of poverty was extremely high--but the folks we met in the shopping district and at the hospital were so kind and friendly. I hope that you all get the chance to go and visit the SWI someday--it really made an impression on me and I feel like I have a better understanding of where Maya came from and how strong she is. Our daughters are survivors!!! I know we have all been blessed. Love to you all. Aleisa, Patrick and Maya Lily
This year we had Olivia's birthday party at the Jungle Jym and then we left there and walked over to the Gilley Pool for a cool down (which was much needed after the intense heat at the Jungle Jym) I can't tell you how many times our little red-faced Olivia came up to me and said, "Mom, I am ready to go to the pool!" Bless it! At any rate, the theme this year was "My Little Pony". (which was surprising seeing as how we seldom watch this) I figured she would pick Tinkerbell or Strawberry Shortcake, but she picked "My Little Pony". We had pizza, chips and dip, cookies & some yummy cake. She got LOTS & LOTS of presents (that I did not get pictures of because my camera's batteries died as soon as I got everything set up. I didn't even get a picture of all the guests. Every now and then I would turn it on and get a shot, then it would die again. I gave up. I hope to be getting some pics from family soon) We had a great time and we are grateful for each and every one of you that came & made this day special for her. (We missed those of you who couldn't make it) A great big THANK YOU to all of you. Our baby is growing up soooo fast :o( Right now she is in such a super sweet stage and I love it. I hope we stay as close as we are now. Happy 4th birthday my angel!!!!!
Olivia's "My Little Pony" cake
Olivia's "My Little Pony" cupcakes (Yes, I know they're not pretty, but they tasted good!) My Little Pony cakes were not easy to come by ;o)
Olivia's pony cookies. Paula Wanamaker athttp://cookiesbypaula.blogspot.com/ made these cookies for Livie's party and they were a hit!! Everybody LOVED them. I can not tell you how many times people asked me, "Tanya, who made these cookies?" They were DEE~LIGHTFUL!! Thank you Paula! (By the way, if you are wondering why one of those cookies say Sally and Tanya, it's because Sally found out Paula was making cookies for the party and she told me to save her one. She loves Paula's cookies. So, Paula made one especially for her. Now isn't that sweet!)
Olivia & her friend Aleah
Livie and Aleah again
And again... Off to play at the Jungle Jym.
Sweet, sweet Charlie. (Olivia's cousin)~ Model material! (When those little teeth come in, of course ;o)
Olivia & her cousin Rylan (her role model)
Here she is folks: SALLY!! Teehee!!!
My daddy and my stepmom Patsy (Olivia's "Nana Nana")
Pa, Nana and cousin Evan :o)
Another picture of the Jones' ~ Pa, Nana, Deana, Evan, Aaron & Livie's daddy!
From Left: Dyson, Layne, Sandy, April, Brooke, Rylan and Erica
Precious kiddos!!! Carly, Olivia, Aleah and Charlie
And this is all the pictures I got before everyone got there & the real excitement began :o( Hopefully we will have more to post soon.
Everyone who owns a home MUST have this stuff. I have yet to find something it did NOT get up. It dissolved Olivia's silly putty in her carpet immediately. (Although it has left some serious fumes in the house that I am concerned will give us some kind of brain damage), but other than that, a MUST HAVE :o)
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
---1 Samuel 1:27
Livie and Mom
July 11th, 2009
Livie and Daddy
The Gift of Life
I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands.
--- Kristi Larson