Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gotcha Day One Year Later, 2012

I cannot believe we are one year out on this side of adopting! It almost doesn't seem real. To be honest it feels like almost 3 years ago that we were in China. Even when we look back and talk of all the memories from our trip, it seems like it was so much longer than 1 year. The good news is that for the first time about a week ago, I realized that it's hard to remember life before Hannah. This is SO HUGE for me because those first several months were very hard and my mind could SO easily remember my easy life before adoption. Now everything just feels so normal. It's funny how we all can look at her and not see her to be any different than us, just as though she were born into this family the same way Mark and Charles were born into our family. When I think of how God brought a child from half way across the earth and dropped her into our family (one day when I finally post her real Gotcha Day video you can see just how she really was dropped right into our lives), I am just amazed at God's greatness.

Thinking back over these last 12 months we are over joyed at all the unexpected blessings that have come our way. Most adopted children are almost 1 year behind developmentally on adoption day. Hannah has never been even 1 day behind...Let's not forget the fact that she was also considered special needs medically when we first accepted her file, and we have never had to deal with anything medical outside of checkups. Hannah knows all of her shapes, colors (both in English and Chinese), alphabet, numbers, can count to at least 10, is now learning the sounds of the alphabet and how to draw them, has excellent speech, can quote a number of books by heart, can help match up socks and PJ's from the laundry, set napkins and silverware for meals on the table, and can say some of the sweetest prayers without any prompting. I can brag this way on her because I have nothing to do with her gene pool...I only wish I had something to do with it.

One of the things that has really flourished in the last couple of months is her love of singing. The girl's mouth NEVER stops!!!!!! She has the sweetest little Texas accent, and I could listen to her sing all day...oh wait, I do. :o) One of her favorite songs is, "God Made Me". This was never one of my favorite songs on one of our children's CD's, but when she started singing it on her own one day it brought tears to my eyes and it has now become my favorite.

Every night when we put our kids to bed we pray with them and sing each of them a song. Each child in our house has THEIR song that we sing them EVERY night. We have switched up 3 different songs to incorporate their names in it. Hannah's song is Jesus Loves The Little Children. So we sing, "Jesus loves our little Hannah". She loves it! Then we always follow up everyone's song with God Is So Good. Last night when I was praying and singing her songs I could not hold back the tears. I was so overwhelmed with God's love for her/us, and all the blessings He has granted us through her. To think of our lives without her joyful, compassionate, sweet spirit makes me sad. Had we said, "No" to God's calling for our family we would have missed out on more things than I care to count...and that's just the ones I know of. It's been (and still can be) a very hard road, adoption always is, but one that is worth traveling. I can hardly wait to see all the blessings ahead for this child and our family as we continue on.

We have a simple celebration dinner planned for tonight. I will try and post pictures as soon as I can (since this one didn't have many). :o(
Happy Gotcha Day Hannah Qingchu Campbell! We all love you so much and are so thankful for how God brought you into our family one year ago today.
Wo ai ni (I love you in Chinese)!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This Time Last Year

It's hard to believe we were in China this time last year leaving Beijing for Houngzhou to pick up our daughter.

Funny how the memories come flooding back as you prepare to celebrate this day! Tomorrow we will celebrate Hannah's "Gotcha Day"...This is the day she was born into our family. It is a day we will celebrate every year of her life, and it is one VERY MUCH worth celebrating.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Let's Go Rangers!!!

Anyone who knows us knows that we love the Rangers in this house...and oh how we love these Rangers! :o)

So every week we dress up to support the cutest Rangers in Texas.

With the cutest little cheerleader...EVER!

We sit in the stands and cheer our little hearts out for these boys.

Whether it's when Charles is up to bat.

Or Mark is running home.

We love to cheer them on...So cute to watch!

If you are wondering where Charlie is in these photos, you have to look closer at the pitcher. The handsome Rangers coach is my husband. :o)

Go Rangers!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

7 Month Fly By! :(

Ok, Ok, Ok!!! So it's been 7 months. The good news is that you all have gone back to having a life and seem to have conquered your addiction to our blog. You have to admit, it was a nice break...but now there is SO MUCH to cover. Some of you thought I was joking about how I plan to catch you up on things here in "Hannah's World" but I wasn't. So here ya go:
Hannah finally got weaned off the bottle. The funny thing about this is that I became very emotional about it...who knew! It felt so weird in the begining giving a 2 year old a bottle, but I learned along the way that it was so much more than that. We got a chance to make up for lost time together through bottle feeding. Holding, rocking, and cuddling her just like she was a baby was a sweet gift we thought we missed out on. So each member of our family took a turn with those last 4 bottles.
Reading to her.

Singing to her.

Cuddling her.

And even shedding a few tears over this precious time we had together.

1st Easter:

1st MOTHERS DAY. This was a sweet day full of Thanks. I am so blessed!



1st RIDE AT SIX FLAGS...The girl is a thrill seeker!

1st TRIP TO THE FORT WORTH ZOO...With her precious friend Myla.

These girls are bonded for life.


FIRST FIREWORKS...This terrified her. She finally warmed up at the end.


Hannah's card for her sweet Daddy made him cry...awww!

Whew, we're moving along now. We are caught up through June...Next! :o)
FOURTH OF JULY. Happy birthday America! Sweet day for her/us.

We spent this with some fun neighbors, and had the best time.

She even got excited about the fireworks when it came time. Good times!

1st FAMILY VACATION. Road trip!!!!!! Ok, we're going to camp here awhile because there were SO MANY firsts. So here goes.

Big Texan steak restaurant in Amarillo, TX.

Breckenridge, Colorado.

We rode the ski lift to the top of the mountain...

So we could ride the cars fast down the mountain...yes, she did it too. Just never got a picture of her and her Daddy doing this cause they beat us down the mountain. :( Maybe next time. But here is one of Mark and I at the bottom.

Here is her BRAVE brother doing it all by himself. So fun!!!

Then we took the gondola back up to our condo...her Daddy has a thing with heights, can you tell?

Clearly she doesn't.

We had a donut treat for breakfast before we headed on to the next stop (this is a real treat in our house due to food allergies). She didn't really know why she was excited about what was coming, all she knew is that her brother Mark was BEYOND excited about the plate with a donut on it so she was too.

This may have been her 1st donut ever.

Welcome to the Wind River Dude Ranch in Estes Park Colorado.

We dressed up.

I wasn't kidding! We are from Texas, why does this make me laugh so hard? The really funny thing is that this is what Charlie's family looked like in EVERY photo when he was younger. Oh this one is going in a frame...LOL!

We danced in a real "Ho-down" square dance.

We played basketball.

She rode her 1st horse. She was a real rodeo queen...which made her daddy proud.

She painted a horse (get it...paint horse). :o)

We went to a real rodeo.

She saw her 1st rainbow...Awww, twins!! My boys loved this. :)

She learned to put her hand over her heart when she hears the national anthem and sees the American Flag. It brought tears to our eyes (and everyone else's) to see her with such joy and pride when she would say, "My America!"

We drove up the Rocky Mountain national forest to take another family photo in the exact spot where we took one when we brought our boys here on their 1st vacation when they were only 5 months old. We never seem to make it over the mountain because my husband is scared of heights (to his credit it is the scariest road I have ever been on). Here's the 1st trip.

And 7 years later. Things sure have changed.

Then we all cried cause no one wanted to leave. It was the best family vacation! It was the perfect place to get away and really have some good family bonding. We look forward to the day God blesses us with another trip back here. It really was a magical place...So glad we didn't do Disney!!!!

Still movin...

BABY DEDICATION. We're almost caught up y'all!

We debated what she would wear for the the longest. In the end we felt that she should celebrate this day wearing her traditional Chinese dress. Yes, she lives in America now, but she is and will always be Chinese...and we wouldn't have it any other way. We even pulled out her pearl bracelet we bought her while in China. She was SO excited to be all decked out. ADORABLE!!!!
It's never too late to dedicate our lives to raising her in a Christ centered home. I love this picture because it shows her praying right along with us. I love her little God heart.

These boys are so proud to be her big brothers. God is so good!


This girl could not wait for this day to come.

She LOVES school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It helps that she has 2 wonderful teachers. :o)

Sadly she has had some regression with going back to school, but it is just something she is going to go through wherever or whenever. We have come to the conclusion that when her foster family had to put her back in the orphanage those last few weeks before we got her in China, that she must have fallen asleep and when she woke up they were gone never to be seen again...SO SAD!!!
There have been many things that have led us to this decision, one being that the girl could hardly wait to do EVERYTHING at school except nap. Very matter of factly she will tell you, "Hannah NOT nap!" Most days she won't. Keep in mind she loves her sleep. The fear of falling asleep anywhere but home is something this poor girl has always dealt with. What's better, falling asleep only to wake with your whole world changed and missing the only family you've ever know, getting distracted for a moment only to never be able to find your family ever again, or being traumatized by being ripped from your families arms...Ugh! You just can't win for losing in this situation. :o( If I could change her past I would, instead we will just keep praying God will somehow use her past and bring healing from it.)

LAST (that's right, we are winding down now).
People keep asking us about her relationship with her brothers. All I can say about this is that you would never know they have only had 11 months of bonding. The 3 of them are so close. I'm still just amazed at the love both Mark and Charles have for her and the pride they have in being her brother. Hannah will follow those boys anywhere and tries so hard to be just like them. Sometimes we just sit back and watch them play and giggle. If the boys could fit one more bed in their room I think they would insist that she sleep in their room with them. It's hard to remember back to those first several weeks after getting Hannah where she wanted NOTHING to do with either of them.

Just another blessing in this process.

Well, we did it. We are officially caught up to the present...YeeHaa! With that said, I really don't have any plans to keep this blog going forever. Just trying to get through the 1st year and/or any major events and moments that we want to keep on record...sorry! With her 1 year mark (a.k.a. Gottcha Day anniversay) coming I do have a few more things I'd like to blog, but until then we will end with this goodbye.