Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Congrats April!!!


Congratulations to my friend April! I had the pleasure of meeting her little boy in Taiwan. April and Brandon are adopting a precious little guy who is waiting in Taiwan. He was Janie's roomie at the birth home. Janie misses him and is super happy that his family FINALLY got thier court date. She knows that he is ready to meet his forever mommy and daddy!!!!!

You can follow thier journey at:
www.livingtolove.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Janie Update




Janie is still doing well adjusting to her new home and new life here in Georgia! Here she is chilling on mommy's bed, playing with the neighborhood kids, and waking up from a nap in her crib! She wakes up such a happy baby!!!  Tomorrow she meets her new pediatrician at her first wellness check-up here in America!

Some of my readers have asked what agency I have used to bring Janie home. Next time she is napping, I will write a post about my agency journey. I have been very pleased with them!

Saturday, September 26, 2009



Janie is having a great time exploring her new world! Here she is on her first trip to the mall-playing with her grandpa! She also loves her new baby activity center and loved meeting her God Brothers - Parker and Taylor!

She is such an amazing baby!  Prayers have been answered! What a blessing she is!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Life is GREAT!



Hi Everyone,
Sorry for the lack of posts lately--I've been a little busy! Janie and I are loving life. She is the most precious child. We have only known each other for 11 days and only been home for 3 days but I can barely remember my life before her. Each day we discover something new, yet each day it seems like she has always been with me. Although I know she is really here with me, I often find myself just staring at her while she sleeps. Sometimes I'm just in disbelief that she really is right in front of me. She really is right in her own crib. She really is right in my arms. It really is her that I am looking at, not a picture....It always brings tears of joy to my eyes. 

She is adjusting really well. She has her first pediatrician appt on Tuesday next week so I am excited to see how that goes. She has had several visitors at home already and yesterday we went to the school to meet some of her OCHS Warrior Family. We also went to the last 10 minutes of a cheer practice and to a few minutes of a JV Football game-whew, big day for Janie!
It was definitely fun for her, she loved it all--but was beyond tired when we finally got home. She crashed hard, then woke up a little fussy-which is unusual for her. But, after some calming time, she seemed to get back on track.

Her sleeping is going well at night-I think she is on Georgia time zone now--but we haven't really established a daytime nap schedule yet. She basically just falls asleep when tired during the day. She is eating well. The cereal mixed with formula is working great. I wanted to begin her on some purred, bland fruit or vegetables, but plan to wait until after her first doctor appointment.

I haven't introduced Bailey to her yet. Bailey is my dog. She is still at the kennel. I wanted Janie to adjust to life in her new home before bringing Bailey into the picture. Bailey has been my #1 baby for 13 years so this should be interesting! I plan to bring Bailey home on Sunday afternoon. I just hope all goes well. Poor Bailey--she will always be my #1 dog, but Janie is top priority now...I have a plan-hopefully it all works accordingly.

We had a blast in Taiwan. I will forever remember the time we spent there. It is an amazing country and I am forever thankful for my little Taiwanese princess! I will never forget the wonderful people who cared for my little darling. You know who you are! Thank you so much for loving my child. She is doing so well-and it is all because of each of you! There are no words to express my feelings--just know that I will always remember each of you in my daily prayers. My child is so lucky to have had such a wonderful beginning of life with so many loving people in Taiwan! God put each of you into her life and you are all forever a part of her.

The pictures and video are of our last day in Taiwan-enjoy!

I probably won't update this blog that much now that I am home and busy with my Love Bug. But, I will try to put some info on her occasionally and for special events. 

I mostly began the blog for family and friends to follow our journey while in Taiwan....but along the way I have met so many other wonderful families in the adoption world thru the blog. (Obviously we don't speak everyday so I will try to update on here--just as I enjoy reading each of your adventures!!!)

Thanks again to everyone who supported me thru this journey! What a roller coaster the past 3 years has been-it has all been 100% worth it. I would go thru everyday all over again knowing the end result is this wonderful!

Take care!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We're home!

We made it home safely! We are tired but glad to be home! I'll update later!!!

Take care!

Monday, September 21, 2009

See you soon & Mongolian Spots




Well, as mentioned in the previous post--we are coming home. We have Janie's visa in hand and are set to leave Taipei at 9:35am on Tuesday 22nd (Taiwan time). We then fly to Tokyo for a short layover and then on to Atlanta. We are set to arrive in Atlanta at 2:55pm on Tuesday 22nd (where did that day go?!?!--we lose time over the ocean somewhere). Then of course we have to go thru immigration and customs but at least we arrive home soon!!! YAY! 

We are so excited about introducing everyone to our newest family member. We are nervous about the flight--but we are just hoping for the best.

Now for something a little serious that I need to share with people ready to meet Janie......

Janie has something called Mongolian Spots. They are very common in babies of Asian descent and look very much like bruises. They are kind of like birthmarks or skin discolorations. They can appear in many areas of the body but especially appear on the ankles, wrists, backs, and buttocks. Many people mistake them for bruises and many adoptive parents are often accused or suspected of abusing their child. Mongolian spots fade over time and are usually gone by age 4 or 5. 

Janie has them on both of her ankles, part of her lower leg, her shoulders, and all over her back/buttocks. So, when you see them, don't be alarmed. She has not been abused by anyone in Taiwan! Everyone involved in her life has taken great care of her. I have taken pictures of her spots and will make sure my pediatrician documents them. I just wanted to let you know before you see her so you don't get concerned and think she has been bruised.

Below is a link to a website with a short description and picture of Mongolian Spots:
www.fwcc.org/mongolianspot.htm

See you soon!!!! We love you guys!

We're coming home!!!!

AIT went well! We have Janie's visa and paperwork in hand!!!!!!!!

WE ARE COMING HOME!!! Plane leaves Taipei tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at 9:35am-layover in Tokyo-then on home to Atlanta!!!

Thank you for all the prayers and support! This has been an amazing journey and we could not have done it without all of the support from our loved ones!!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Taiwan's beauty











Grandma and Janie are taking a morning nap, so mommy is going to tell you about our day yesterday! 

We took a tour of the Northern Coastal Region and visited a local mountain village. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Janie was great! She loves to go, go, go! So she had a big time. The coast and rock formations are breathtaking! 

Then we went to a local village and walked thru a long, narrow, winding market. They had the most amazing things for sale. Lots of hand-made crafts and items. There was also lots of food vendors with very interesting foods! Most of the food, we really didn't recognize. I drank some tea and tried a few things--but not too much. Grandma just looked! We took lots of amazing pictures of this adorable village. What a wonderful experience this was. And the people, so kind and loving! What an amazing country.

Funny side note: There was a 7-11 in the village. There is a 7-11 on almost every corner here in Taiwan! It is so funny!! When we left the village, we stopped in at got a frozen coke! So, even across the world, we can still experience a little bit of America!
 
Today we hope to finalize things at the AIT and HOPEFULLY get Janie's visa before the end of business day today (Monday). If so, we will be able to travel as planned on Tuesday to come home. 

I will miss Taiwan. It is an amazing country full of rich culture and wonderful traditions. But, I am ready to come home. I am ready to introduce my daughter to all of you! 

I hope I am taking it all in...I want to tell her all about her birth country!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Janie's Cuteness

I've never put video on the blog before, so I don't know if this will work or not...and I don't know if everyone reading will be able to open it or not....but I thought I would try!

This is the third day we had her, when she woke up that morning!! Too cute!

See you all soon!!

Taipei 101








We went to visit the Taipei 101 building! Wow! It is soooo beautiful. Janie did wonderful on the elevator--she just cooed and sucked her pacifer. The view is amazing. The top of Empire in NY is not even close to comparison! The mountains are so beautiful and the other buildings and architecture--wow!! What a beautiful country.

And the mall at the bottom-I was in heaven. Every possible up-scale store you can imagine (Coach, Gucci, Dolce, Versace, Hermes, you name it). Of course, I couldn't afford anything!! My little girl is more beautiful than anything in any of those stores!!!!! But, it was fun to take her around the mall! 

And remember how I said she attracts a crowd--see the pictures for proof!!! We are loving Taiwan and love exploring but finding it kind of hard since we can't even get around from everyone swarming her. The Taiwan people are so kind and so sweet and they just want to play with her everywhere we go.

The picture of Janie and grandma at the entrance to Taipei 101 was taken by me and several other people. Others were pointing at us and taking the same picture. Then while in the building of course she was a local "celebrity" again. One man even pulled out his own camera and was posing her to take pictures of her!! 

A lady at a jewelry store kept saying she looks like a little doll that you don't think is real until she moves. My baby is adored by all! She did really well with all the attention--but did get overwhelmed so we had to leave. We were going to try a night market last night, but decided against it since so many people are usually there, I'm afraid she'll get swarmed again. At one point, I was looking at a map and I heard mom say "Tonya, help". I looked up and I couldn't even find them...there were so many happy, smiling ladies surrounding them! What a special girl!!!

Special Note to the ladies group at church: Tell everyone Janie should be fine making her debut at church next Sunday! Her little personality is so much fun and I think she is looking forward to meeting all of you! 

Today we plan to take a tour to a local village and the northern coast...should be fun!

We love and miss all of you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

AIT update


Hi Everyone,
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during the AIT appointment. It went pretty well. It was a lot of waiting while they reviewed paperwork and waited our turn in line. Janie was a trooper. She handled it like a champ! Actually she handled it better than mommy did :):)

Grandma walked her all around the building while mommy waited and talked, waited and talked, and filled out paperwork! We think Janie and grandma must have walked in circles in the waiting room for about 2 miles!! Janie just smiled and flirted with everyone there while she was cruising thru the office!

We were told we  just need 1 more document. It was unable to get done on Friday and cannot be done this weekend....so hopefully we will get it all taken care of on Monday. If so, the AIT can process the Visa and we can head home on Tuesday as planned! Let's all take a minute and pray that everything falls into place.

We plan on doing some sightseeing this weekend! We have a couple of tours we are interested in taking. 

We love you guys and miss you all! Hope to see you soon!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

That's my girl!


Well is this my girl or what?? 

To those of you who know me well.....you know EXACTLY how I feel about shopping for purses (especially those Coach bags)! Remember all those NY trips I make just to buy purses??

So after playing on the bed and placing several toys around Janie, she immediately goes for the Coach Purse instead!!!! How funny! That's my daughter all right!!! 

Speaking of shopping: While in a taxi earlier today I saw a Gucci store and a Louis Vuitton store--hmmm---I wonder if the prices are the same in Taiwan as they are in America?


100% Pure Love





We had another great day today. Last night we started Janie on some Gerber Baby Cereal mixed with her formula and she really seems to love it. It helped her sleep so well. She is doing so great! She is the happiest most content little one. I'm told she used to have a big time temper and was pretty difficult at first. You would never know it now....the nannies at the birth home did a great job with her. She is such a joy. 

I love it when she wakes up! She coos a little, stretches a little, and then gets this HUGE GRIN across her face and then is ready to play!!

She loves to Go, Go, Go. We love walking around Taipei and she loves it too! We put her in our carrier (facing out) and she watches EVERYTHING. She is also a big hit with everyone in Taiwan. Just about everyone looks at her (and us). I think we are an unusual sight in Taiwan....and everyone smiles when they see her. Most people in the stores immediately come over and want to play with her. And of course, she loves every second of it!! She just smiles and kicks those legs!! 

She is such a joy! She loves to ride in taxis too. She gets a little bored if the light stays red too long! She wants to go!!! She wants to experience everything.

Check out Janie with the sprite bottle. It shows exactly how small she is! But full of spunk and fiesty!

Prayer request:
We have our AIT appointment tomorrow morning (Friday) at 9:00am. That is 9:00pm Thursday night Georgia time. We have to turn in all our paperwork to the US officials for them to review and issue Janie's visa so we can bring her home to the states! I know all will go well, but I have heard that sometimes they need extra paperwork or they find issues they want resolved. Each case is different. Please pray with me that all goes well with the review and we don't experience any delays. I am ready to bring this beautiful baby home for all of you to meet!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back in Taipei









We made it back to Taipei this morning. Janie was GREAT on the flight. She took a bottle right after take off, then played the entire flight and fell asleep right before landing--even slept the entire taxi ride back to the hotel. What a great baby girl!!

I can't wait for everyone to meet her. Trust me when I say, you will be seduced by her charm. She is beyond adorable and loves to laugh and smile. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to imitate me with her mouth (blowing bubbles, opening her mouth, making kiss smacking noises). Of course I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it too!!!

Leaving Taitung, her birth town was hard. While I am thrilled to have my daughter, I am sad for taking her from her culture. I hope and pray for the right answers to her questions as she grows....meeting the birth parents and getting pictures will help her, I know. 

I am so blessed that Janie spent the beginning of her life in such a special place. My agency and Deana are great! I was able to see their work first hand. I spent several hours at the birth home with the babies (only Janie and 1 other adorable boy right now) and meet the birth moms living there as well as some of the nannies. While I only spent a little time with the birth moms, I hope they saw the difference they are making. I hope they saw how much I love this child. I hope they know that the family they choose will love thier child equally as much!
They are wonderful young ladies who are faced with difficult situations. I admire each of them for their courage and bravery. As the adoptive family, I can tell them first hand how much they have given us! What great young ladies! It was an honor to see each of you. 

And, one young birth mom in particular spent a lot of time with us. She is great....adorable smile! Although we had a language barrier, I could tell how wonderful she is! She spent alot of time with my daughter and I am forever grateful to her as well. What a blessing she is to those around her and to the family she will choose for the child she carries. She is truely a precious gem! I pray they each know how special they are!!

I am going to try to post a few pic from yesterday and some from today! We'll see....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An emotional day!

A few pictures from today.....

Janie after bath time in one of her soft sleepers (thanks Martha!) and a few more of her being silly!

We started off going to do some paperwork for the adoption. We then played some at the birth home and went to lunch with Deana and her assistant (who is fabulous by the way!). We had a wonderful meal! Of course, we had to use forks instead of the chopsticks (oops-crazy Americans). I never crossed "Learn to use chop sticks before travel" off my to-do list!! Food was yummy and conversation was great. It is nice spending time with these 2 amazing women.

Then we went to the hospital and met the social worker and nurses who took care of Janie the first part of her life while she was in the NICU. Oh my goodness, what wonderful people! They were so excited to see Janie--lots and lots of squeals, oohs, and ahhs. And tons of pictures were taken by me and by the nurses!!

Then back to the hotel to rest and get ready for the day's big event--meeting the birth mother. I also met the birth father. Wow, is all I can say. There are no words to describe those moments I shared with them. Deana was able to translate for us and the three of us were able to communicate our feelings to each other. I was also able to take some pictures that I know Janie will some day cherish! I will keep this conversation private--it is for my daughter to know. It is her story. But, I will say there were plenty of tears by everyone and that this precious child has been so loved already in her short 7 months.

Everyone, and I mean everyone loves this baby! What a precious gift she is. I am honored to be her mom!!!

Edit: OK for some reason the pictures won't load.....I'll try again tomorow...I need to go...sorry guys!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Change the blog title!!!












I need to change the blog title!!! I am no longer searching for Janie....I have found her.

There are no words to describe today! My baby girl is all that I ever imagined and more!! She is so tiny and absolutely amazing!!!! All I can say is there is nothing better!!!

What an emotinal day---she is doing great!!! She is extremely observant and loves to watch everything going on --in fact, she is staring at the computer as I type this right now. Mom just said "She'll know how to type by tomorrow!"

She loves to smile, grab noses, she loves to grab my blond hair, and right now her favorite thing seems to be blowing bubbles and making a "pa" noise!! We are so BLESSSED! This child is truely a gift from God. I am in heaven!!!

Here are some pictures from the first meeting and back in the hotel!!!

Hugs and kisses to all of you!!





Sunday, September 13, 2009

On our way to Taitung!

We are at the airport and on our way to Taitung to meet my daughter today!!! I am using a computer at the airport--it is quite interesting...it is ijn Chinese--really hard to find the letterw on the keyboard.

AT&T fixed my air card for my laptop qand it was working this morning but now it won't open any page except the apple home pge. ?? unsure why....

But we are safe and our our way!!!!!!! By the way it is HOT HOT HOT in Taiwan. Being from GA I thought I knew heat!!!! I was wrong-it is hot here!

Love you guys!

We made it!







Hi Everyone,



We made it safely to Taipei and we are currently in our hotel. My laptop does not appear to be working so I have called ATT to try to get it fixed....if not, then my updates may be very slim since I will have to use the hotel computer (and it costs $).

Also, I am having some cell phone issues--but again we have contacted ATT to fix it. I am able to get calls but can't seem to make them.....Please keep in mind it is very expensive to answer calls so emergencies only please!!

We said our prayers all the way from Taipei airport to hotel. Our taxi driver was CRAZY!! He made New York Drivers look like little old ladies!!!

I'm going to try to put a few pictures of us arriving at Airport and our room (if I can)...Our room is great (thanks for the advice Kate)!! Mom isn't thrilled about the airport picture...it was after 22.5 hours of travel!!

We love you guys!! We can't wait until tomorrow when we finally meet my daughter, Love Bug!!!!