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.
And even shedding a few tears over this precious time we had together.
1st MOTHERS DAY. This was a sweet day full of Thanks. I am so blessed!
1st MEMORIAL DAY.
1st REDNECK SLIP-N-SLIDE.
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 TIME TO SWIM.
FIRST FIREWORKS...This terrified her. She finally warmed up at the end.
FIRST FATHERS DAY.
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.
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!!!!
WE ARE OFFICIALLY POTTY TRAINED...Thank you Jesus!
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!
FIRST DAY OF MOTHERS DAY OUT.
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.