Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sam turns 2!

The day started with a new-to-Sam (gently used) tricycle. When he saw it with the bow, he said, "Happy to me!"

Next came a big party with 65 people (including 26 kids) at our new house. Yikes.

There were mimosas and bloody Marys for the grownups; juice pouches for the kids. And chocolate cake for everyone.

Thanks to this cold damp weather we've been having, the pinata had to be taken downstairs. It was filled with Tootsie Rolls and peanut butter cups.

Once the party was over, the sun came out (of course). So Sam went for a walk with Auntie Trish, who was visiting from Philadelphia. She was a great help at the party, too!

Playing in the park. A perfect birthday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More pictures!

There's a little smile! Many people have commented on how (ahem) "healthy" she looks, with those chubby little cheeks. At 6 1/2 months, she weighs 14 1/2 pounds, while Sam at 7 months weighed just under 12 pounds. We're telling Sam to "eat up," lest he get his butt kicked by his younger sister.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How we learned about our daughter

Dear Sophie,

Your Dad and I are embarrassed to admit that we were eating lunch at Chili's, a rather pedestrian suburban restaurant that we rarely if ever frequent, when we learned about you for the first time. Here's why.

We had learned the day before that we had been included with this batch of referrals and that calls would be made the next morning at 11 a.m., our time. Your Dad had to teach his class at Aurora University until 11:45, and I didn't want to get the news without him, so Sam and I traveled with him to Aurora that Tuesday morning. While he taught his class, we went shopping at a nearby Jewel, visited Auntie Amy in the library and a bunch of other AU people, and ran around on the quad. It was a chilly but sunny fall day.

Around 11:30, I still hadn't gotten the call, but Sam and I went to hang out side your Dad's classroom door, just in case. Some students saw us peek in, and your Dad came running out. False alarm. Class let out at 11:45, but still no call. So the three of us found an empty classroom, where we could show Sam Sesame Street videos on the computer and waited.

And waited. By 12:15, still no call and we were hungry. So we decided to go to lunch. Auntie Amy came with us. We were going to go to Panera's, but I decided I needed a little mid-day glass of wine to calm me down. So Chili's it was, since they have a bar. (I ended up going with a strawberry mojito!)

We ate lunch and jumped every time the phone rang, but it was always friends calling to see if we had news yet, so we didn't answer. Dad had a turkey sandwich and I had a shrimp taco salad. Sam ate lots of my shrimp and threw his milk on the floor.

Just as the bill arrived, the phone rang and I saw the 303 area code. So off your Dad and I went to the vestibule, where we put the phone on speaker and got the news that "It's a girl." I was taking notes and crying, because all the news was so good. We had been worried about virtual twinning with your brother, but that won't be a problem. We were also happy to learn you have been in foster care almost your whole short life, though we know that will make it harder for you --and your foster mom--when we come get you. Still, it means you have attached to someone, and that's good.

Auntie Amy tried used her iPhone to see if the email with photo had arrived yet, but it hadn't. So we dropped her back off at work and drove the hour home before we got to see your cute, chubby little face.

Oh, and Auntie Amy paid the bill for lunch. She's always doing that. Thanks, Amy.

Love, Mama

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's a girl!

We are happy to announce we have a daughter!!!!!!

Name: Feng Yue Chun (Yue means "moon"; Chun means "Spring")
Born: Dec. 29, 2008
Feng Cheng City Social Welfare Institute (in foster care since Jan. 5)
Jiangxi Province
At 6.5 months: 24.8 inches tall, 14.5 pounds, 16.3 inches head circumference

Likes to be carried to the street to play
Favorite toy is a rattle.
Likes to be gently rocked or patted to sleep.
Deep sleeper!
Sucks her fingers
Can hold up her head, roll over, grasp toys
Laughs out loud, knows her name, responds to faces
Likes music
Smiles (though not in this photo. And it looks like she might have curly hair!)

We'll have more photos tomorrow. Story of how we got the news to come...

(Also looking for help in pronouncing "Yue.")

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's a boy!

No, not our child from China.

Ed's brother's wife, Kremena, had a baby boy today. They named him Nicholas. Congrats to Tom, Kremena and big sister Elena!

The Butlers will go from two grandchildren to four practically overnight.

BIG NEWS!!!!!!

I've been meaning to post to this blog to let everyone know that we sold our condo, bought a house, moved and that Ed is now teaching a class at Aurora University. Also that we finally got approved for the I-800 immigration paperwork and technically could be getting a referral any month.

But now the bigger news is that we are getting our referral--tomorrow.

I can hardly believe it.

Four years ago (to the month) when we started this process:
* I worked for U.S. Catholic (now I work for Aurora University)
* Ed worked for ABN-AMRO (now he is a certified teacher)
* We lived in a two-bedroom condo (now we live in a 4-bedroom house)
* We had been married one year (we just celebrated our 5th anniversary)
* We had no children (now we have Sam)
* George Bush was president. (Now we have Obama!)
* I had never written a book. (My book of reflections for adopting parents just came out--see sidebar to the right. And I'm working on a second.)

But one thing has remained constant: We can't wait to be the parents of a little girl (or boy--which is a possibility) from China. We'll post the news as soon as we get it tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for your years of prayers and support.