Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good Days and Bad Days

I know many of you are worried sick about us wondering if we are still alive and surviving this crazy season of our lives...and then there are those of you who are just addicted to our blog and NEED a daily update. :o) I am so thankful for all the messages, texst, and emails checking up on us, but I just cannot find the time or energy to respond to all of them. I will try to give updates on my bog when I can to keep you all in the know, but life as mom of a new adopted toddler, mom of twin 6 yr. old boys who still has to catch up homework on top of the regular homework, wife to a husband who is in the height of his busy season at work, and the list goes on...did I mention doing this while SO SLEEP DEPRIVED???????

Now for your fix:

Sweet little Hannah over all is doing so well with all that she is going through. The first few days home went really well outside of sleeping at night (which is when she seems to do most of her grieving). The last few days however has been a different story. Don't get me wrong, the girl still has many HAPPY and content moments, but we've seen her regress in a lot of ways.
1) Sleepless nights got worse
2) Night terrors
3) Waking from naps not knowing where she is or who I am, and completely terrified of me when I try to come to her.
4) Shaking and crying when we say, "It's time to go Bye-Bye" with fear she is going to be left.
5) Not being able to walk through most doorways without being carried (she did this a lot in China, but we thought she was over it). She will freeze up and cry almost every time.
6) Terrified of random loud noises (garbage truck outside, or even me calling out one of the kid's names from across the house.
7) Her pulling her hair out when she has one of her meltdowns.
8) She is still very jealous of the boys time with me. She does not handle very well the boys sitting next to me doing homework.
9) Meal times are still very hard, however I think this is starting to get better.
10) Then there is the fact that she is almost 2!! Trying to decide whats a 2 year old tantrum, and whats an emotions grieving moment...sometimes it's just hard to know.

Now let me say that most people do not see this side of her. Most people would look at her (and they do) and say, "She has adjusted so well." And in most ways she has (the girl can work a crowd), but unless you are in our home these last few days you would not know the real hardship this poor child has in her life. It's also really hard to talk to people about this, because most people just don't understand the hardship and needs of a child her age who has been abandoned..sometimes we struggle with it. Parenting a child like her is nothing like parenting my other children...and it's SO HARD to re-train our parenting style!

Charlie and I are doing OK. Last night was the first time I felt like the jet lag might be wearing off (no more extreme nausea, headaches, drugged feeling, severe fogged brain...although that last one is still trying to hang on). Now if we could just get better sleep at night we would be great. I am SO incredibly thankful for the meals coming our way cause that is the hardest time of our days hands down. It's the simplest things sometimes that mean the world in moments like these.

Her relationship with the boys is getting better every day. It's so cute when we have to go get the boys from school. The moment she recognizes them she gets all giddy and starts squeeling with her arms out to hug them. She truly has a love for them and knows them as her brothers, she just is still not comfortable in her role in our family when they are around. This is just going to take a lot of patience, time, and love. Mark and Charles are just smitten with her and I think they understand that she just needs time.

We have been so amazed at the things she is telling us about her past through playing. Like the fact that she or someone in her foster home slept on mats on the floor, and that they sponged bathed in a large pot while sitting on a stool, and a few other things like that. Every day we learn a little more about her past...good and bad. Just amazing what you can learn about a child through the way they play and a little research.

Today has been a good day, and we just keep praying every day will just continue to move forward vrs. backwards, but whatever comes we will be there to see her through it...because that's what parents do.

BTW, I still have that last big suitcase that needs to be unpacked. :(

Sorry no fun pictures. Till next time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Home SWEET Home

Praise God for His faithfulness to get us through this trip and bringing us HOME!

What a way to come home too, with all our family and close friends there to greet was SO SWEET and felt so good to see all those familiar faces cheering and holding signs, balloons, and gifts. I couldn't hold back the tears.

Even the family who planted the seed of adoption in my mind all those years ago...Greg and Angie Hutto. This was a special moment for me.

Our girls together...where has the time gone...look how big Alana is now!

My family drove all the way from OKC just for this moment.

Charlie's parents.

Charles' teacher Mrs. Diaz from last year even came.

And lots of friends who have supported us along the way.

And my sweet friends who have walked this road before me and know exactly what we have been through, and the comfort these ladies bring me without even speaking a word...priceless!

I'm sure I'm missing a few people, but please remember my brain is fried from SEVERE jet lag and it was not my intention to leave anyone out...Sorry!

We loaded up and headed for home.

Her 1st time in a car seat. Once the car got rolling she was fine.

Only minutes later all 3 of our children were fast asleep...We were exhausted!!!!!

We had a sweet greeting at our door from family who could not make it to the airport. HEY, WERE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hannah seemed right at home when she walked in. We all couldn't wait to show her her room. I had taken photos of her room and put them in a book along with pictures of family members who she might soon see, praying it would help the transition. All I have to say is, "I am one smart lady!" When she walked into her room she looked around and started pointing at all the things she recognized with the biggest smile. I put her up on her bed and she began to roll around and giggle with pure joy...AMAZING!!!!!!!

It's a good thing cause I made half the things in here, but I think it's safe to say she LOVES it! :o) The best part is that she has been sleeping in her room ALONE since the very 1st night, which means I have been sleeping in my own bed...I cannot tell you what a blessing and miracle this is. God is SO good!!!!!!!!

She has adjusted to being here so well! We have seen less of the melt downs, and while she does still wake at night (guess I can't have everything), all in all she is doing great.

She is such a girl!!! She came to us with a love of shoes, purses, bows in her hair, clothes...

and dancing! So different, yet so fun.

Now if I can get the last suitcase unpacked and get over this jet lag, maybe I'll be dancing too. :o)

More pictures of her 1st room for those who care.

All the furniture was bought 2nd hand from Canton or my new favorite little shop, Golightly's Antiques and Tearoom. Bedding from Target, pillows and curtains made by my talented friend Amanda Eisenhour.

Song bird painted by yours truly.

Bookshelf made out of old french doors.

Tree branch from our neighborhood, with little decorative bird houses (thanks Gina for helping me make these).

Cross painting by yours truly.

Such a happy room...if I do say so myself! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ground Hog Day

Last picture before we left our hotel in China.

Both boys got very quiet and very sad about leaving.

Charles almost cried a couple of times. :(

Sadly we got to live Thursday October 20th twice (because of time changes). :-/ However, it was not a bad day...somebody has been praying! :)

Hannah did GREAT! Had it not been for the mean flight attendant who made us get Hannah off the bed on the floor we made her, I think we would have made it through most of the flight without any crying. Hannah had a hard time with being curled up trying to sleep in a ball in her seat. She slept most of the trip on her back with both legs hanging over Charlie's seat (almost upside down)...but hey, she slept!!!! We only had about 2 moments of fussing.

The boys also did really good and they too slept almost the whole time (wish I could say the same about Charlie and I). Honestly, the trip home was way easier than the trip over...and we had an almost 2 year old with us. SO VERY THANKFUL!

Can I take a minute and introduce America's newest (and cutest) citizen to you? Miss Hannah Campbell!

This was a very anti-climatic moment...not even a "Congratulations!
Welcome to America". Kinda bummed me out. :( They did let me take a picture of her with a sign (that's all they would give me). Oh, and yes she is wearing pajamas...sorry, but that's all I had in her bag after she pee'ed all over the plane seat...that's what the mean flight attendant gets for not letting her sleep flat in the floor.
After checking into our hotel in California we headed for an In-N-Out Burger.

I think we spent the entire dinner counting all the blessings and things we love here in America. It feels SO good to be back!!! Now we are counting down the hours until we're back home...WE CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As of now, we are scheduled to arrive on AA 2448 at 6:55 pm.

Note to self...If Hannah comes up missing, check Kevin's suitcase. The boy has fallen head over heals with her! :)

Goodnight from California, USA...whoohoo!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 15 (Travel Day)

We are all packed, waiting for Hannah to wake from her last nap. I cannot explain the nervousness I'm feeling about tonight's flight. It's one thing to deal with her crying here in this huge room, but it's another thing on a plane of sleeping Chinese people (who cannot NOT stare at you with this "poor child" look/glare) in those melt down moments...just makes those moments SO much harder. Thankfully, we are seeing less of them, but they can still come out of no where, and almost always meal times.

I DO NOT know how people do this trip without having a close relationship with God. I am so thankful I am not (nor will I be) alone in this. He is my rock, friend, counselor, and source of strength. I am so thankful for how He has guided each step along the way, and how I KNOW he will continue to guide us.

I am also so thankful for my sweet husband whom I am still madly in love with (even after all of this). He has been amazing throughout this trip. He has been right there with me (even when he was sick) to do whatever needed to be done. It has been such a joy to watch him gently win Hannah over little by little. This little girl has one AMAZING new daddy! :o)

To our boys who have been the ones hit the hardest in all of this, I just need to take a moment to tell you just how proud we are of both of you. You boys have been such troopers in all of this. This trip is not easy for us adults much less 6 year old BOYS, but you handled it all better than we ever expected. I'm sorry Daddy and I have not had the time or energy to be there for you at times like you needed us to be, but hope you never questioned our love for you. Words cannot express just how much we love each of you. You both have been so sweet and patient with your new sister even when she has not shown the same respect back. It has been a blessing to us to watch each of you in your own way try and win her heart over. Watching the 3 of you run and giggle last night was a sweet taste of all the loud joy coming into our home soon. We love you both 10 times more than you could ever say!!! :o)

Kevin and Amanda, we could not have done this without your help. Thanks for helping at mealtimes, giving us rest time in the afternoon, playing a first grade school teacher, hauling our overweight luggage, and being our boy's playmates. You have put your own lives on hold to make this trip with us and we hope you will always look back on it with fond memories. We've prayed God would bless you through this trip and we're excited about your future, in whatever way He chooses to bless you.

There is SO much more I'd love to blog about from our time here in China and I promise you it will be worth the time to read! But until then here are just a few last minute random pictures from China. :o)

Taking in the sites of her 1st home one last time...and yes, no seat belts!

Red couch pictures from the White Swan.

Poor girl really fits right in!

Thank you Honey for always being willing to play my reindeer games!


Over and out to our 250 plus followers during our trip. Big thanks from the crazy Campbells! Hannah, we love you ALL the way to China...and back!!!