Thursday, July 8, 2010


Well, after reading my LONG posts in China, I never thought people would be asking for more updates! :) Also, I am 17 and was missing my friends for almost a month, so I haven't been sitting here writing updates! :) Sadly, you will only find two pictures in this update. I feel like Gracie and Charlie think that all I ever do is take pictures... so I'm trying to live the moments without always having the camera!

*We are doing GREAT! It's hard to believe that we've only been home with our newest additions for 4 days. It seems like they have been here forever. They are really amazing additions to our family.

*Everyone is pretty much adjusted to NC time. The jet lag hit me HARD the first 2 days, and even yesterday. I am feeling MUCH better today and am very thankful for that. Mom has felt no jet lag at all!

*Charlie was up overnight Monday and Tuesday night A LOT. We were a little worried after his perfect sleeping in China. Last night, he didn't get up at all and woke up at 8 this morning! Naptime yesterday was a struggle for him, but he napped very well today. Gracie has been sleeping well, but getting up pretty early! Considering in China, she was waking up at 9:30, I'm not too worried. I'm sure once she's used to our time, she will be back to sleeping in. That is, in fact, one of the big questions she had for us when we talked with her before we got her- "Will I get to sleep in late?"

*We have gone to our neighborhood pool everyday and it is a huge hit. Gracie LOVES going. Our neighbors (the ones she played ping pong with) were there one of the days and she had the BEST time playing with Ella and Riley. I think she was glad to have some people her age to swim with! :) They showed her all the different strokes, and she is now swimming freestlye really well! Charlie likes the pool, but mainly just likes sitting on the steps with the watering can and his trains. He loves splashing himself and drinking the water (ugh). AnnaClaire is loving being back at our pool and has now mastered going off the diving board without her floatie and is swimming to the ladder!!!! Gracie wouldn't go off at first, but today, she was even doing that! She has come so far since her first time in the pool... less than 2 weeks ago! Kate likes her tube :)

*Last night, Mom read the our "Big Picture Story Bible" to the girls. This morning, we found Gracie sitting in her room with the translator and the Bible, translating the words!!! It was sooooooo sweet. Mom ordered her a Mandarin story Bible shortly after:)
*We went to the mall today to get some new shoes for Gracie. The only shoes she has are the pair she had on when we met her. They are very cute tennis shoes, but they are starting to smell from wearing them everywhere and having to wear them to the pool, too. We "asked" her if she wanted Crocs, and she got really excited about them. She picked light pink and kept looking down at them the whole time we were at the mall (she wanted to wear them after we bought them.) They are so cute on her! We tried to find her some sandal type shoes for Church and such, and she is picky about her sandals! They were all way too girly for them... even though they were just basic white CUTE shoes! We did finally find some that she likes :) Oh by the way- she has TINY feet!!! One measured an 11 and the other was an 11.5!

*We do not use a translator very often. She does have one that we think her FF bought for her, but it has to be plugged in and is big, so we don't use it often to communicate. We do type things to her on Google Translate if we need to, but we probably don't use that as much as we should either. We typically just use words we know she knows and do a lot of pointing. We laugh so hard because AC will get really close to her and slowly pronounciate everything to her. Like that helps! It's hilarious!

*I think that Gracie has a crush on Joel :) I was looking at their blog today, and she was on my bed and got all shy when she saw a picture of him. It was hilarious. She smiles so big and then tries to hide her face whenever we show him to her. I told her (on google translate) that I know a cute boy when I see one and I thought Joel was VERY cute. She looked at me with the biggest smile and started saying all of this stuff in Chinese, rolled her eyes at me, said "JOELLL!" and shut my computer! She was so embarassed :) Oh to be 10. L. we HAVE to let them skype sometime!

*Gracie can REALLY play soccer, which doesn't surprise us at all! She is SO athletic.

*No, we still haven't gone to Chi*ckfila since we have been home. We are saving Gracie and Charlie's first Chi*ckfila for tomorrow... because it's Cow Appre*ciation Day! Two of my friends and I are getting them all dressed up to go and enjoy FREE meals! What a perfect first Chi*ckfila!

*AnnaClaire and Kate are doing fairly well with everything. AC is struggling the most of anyone. She's just having a hard time with the fact that's she's not as big as Gracie. She wants EVERYTHING that Gracie gets and it just doesn't work that way. She is, after all, 6 years younger. She is also craving attention and it makes me sad that she is doing things she knows annoy people JUST to get attention. She is normally SO sweet. I know it's just a phase and it will get better.... just all part of the process.

*We have had little issues with food. Charlie has had GREAT breakfasts and lunches, but is struggling with dinner. He will not even try it- just pushes it away. Gracie will eat whatever you give her. We give her options and she will point to what she wants for breakfast and lunch. She LOVES fruit and so we have stocked up on that. For dinner, she eats whatever we are having. Lasagna last night, and soup the night before (both thanks to Aunt Linda!!!!)

*I am missing the round tables with lazy susans in China. We can't even all fit at our table! We brought the plastic picnic table inside, and Kate and Charlie sit at that and everyone else is at the table. We NEVER thought that we'd outgrow our table!

*In ways, these adoptions seem to easy. I'm just amazed at how well both are doing. It's hard to believe we've ONLY had Charlie for 3 weeks, and Gracie for 2.5. Absolutely crazy.

*Gracie is still really sweet with all of the littles. It's so fun to watch her and Charlie talk and interact. I love that they are going through all of this newness together. I also love that they can understand eachother (even though Gracie does pretty much all the talking). This is bad, but it is hilarious to watch her "scold" him, too. She hears Mom do it so much that she has the "No, Char-lay" thing down pat! She also adds a bunch of Chinese to that.

*Charlie is incredibly sweet. He will just walk up and give kisses and say "ello!" It is precious. He and Kate are quite the pair. They are young and this is cute. :)

*He hasn't had as much trouble with the stairs as we had thought. AnnaClaire showed him how to go down on his bottom, and he goes up on his knees! He also doesn't mind his carseat at all and has already learned how to buckle the top!

*Gracie loves to watch movies! She was laughing so hard at Cars yesterday, and Shrek, today. Charlie is so uninterested. As much as he likes electronics and turning the TV on, sitting still and watching it is just not fun in his opinion!

*I don't know why in the world people think that adopting a 4 year old is adopting an "older" child. 4 is still so little. I just love this age... and our sweet little guy who just so happens to be this age! He's actually officially 4.5 now... as of Monday.

*I think I've thought of everything. I'll post again tomorrow with some pictures of our cows :)


Janet and Kevin said...

Thanks for the updates! Those first few weeks at home just zoom by, don't they?? It was amazing that I could post every day in China with our crazy schedule but could not always find the time to do it once home!

Love hearing how well everyone is doing. Will continue to keep you all in our prayers.


Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, Elijah (and maybe Sophia soon too??)

Keri said...

I love Kate's shoes! She won't outgrow those soon will she! It is truly miraculous how well both children are doing. The story of Grace and the Bible brought tears to my eyes.


The Greens said...


I have loved following every bit of your China journey! I am thrilled that things have gone so well for everyone. Grace and Charlie will be so grateful to have a day-by-day record of the first few weeks with your family!

You're such sweet sister!

Jenn said...

Great update Emily. So glad things are going well. The sleeping will get better (as you know) Abby Grace was also a big fan of fruit and ate noodles if nothing else @ dinner. Poor AC she is so sweet and I can totally understand her wanting attention our 3 year old was so annoying to everyone but he too was starving for attention when we brought AG home.
Joel...yes he is a cutie :) So happy he and Grace were able to meet in GZ. Hope they are able to keep in contact.
We're planning to do cow day tomorrow too :) Hope Charlie and Grace enjoy their 1st CFA nugget.

Jeanette said...

Sounds like everyone is settling in so nicely! Thanks for the update Emily, we all appreciate it! And I am amazed that all of the jet lag has worn off already! I'm so glad it never affected your mom! I'll be praying for AC, I'm sure it's a difficult thing to try and find her new place/role in the family. I can't wait for Christopher and Alex to meet Charlie and Grace!

Lexie said...

I love what you said about Grace finding the children's Bible! So sweet!

And of course, love the picture of Charlie and Kate.

Have fun at cow day!! I was going to take KM....but I guess not now! Although a little bitty baby dressed as a cow....might just be the cutest thing ever! Haha!


Kristi said...

I read EVERY word! So glad to read how well your family is adjusting.
My heart smiled at the picture of Grace using the translator to read her bible. How precious!
Enjoy the first Chick-fil-A visit!

Dana said...

Thanks for the update, although you do deserve some friend time just for you. So glad that things are going well for you guys!! Love the two pics that you posted.

JEN said...

I follow your blog and am thinking and praying for your family. I enjoy the updates and all the cute clothes your little sibs are always wearing :)

Joy said...

I am so glad they are doing so well. They are both so cute. I can't wait to see the cow pictures.

Laura said...

Thanks so much for posting! You have become such a part of my morning routine and it has been strange to not have any new updates. I am glad things are going well. Your Charlie sounds a lot like our Benjamin, busy!!

Love for Lilly Yin said...

LOVE IT! And I think it is the perfect age too! After adopting Lilly at 5, its such a mixture of still little, but not too little, and such a fun age. I have never understood why not adopt at that age either. Its especially funny to me now to see someone talking about adopting an "older" kid who is 2, haha. Next time we will ask for 4 and up for sure again!

Anonymous said...

So glad everything is going well! it was such and honor to watch your family grow - Charlie and Gracie are a perfect fit:)

Blessings, Ashley

Julie said...

thanks for the update! sounds like yall are doing great! emily, have you been able to get your suitcase of clothes from the airport??

Anonymous said...

I would like to think that, if I had raised a daughter, she would be as loving, gracious, kind, generous, and articulate as you are, Emily!