Thursday, March 22, 2012

march 22, 2012

i'm not updating this blog much any more because ben is now home and an important part of the family.  if you want entry to the private, password protected family blog, email me at and if i know you, i will send you an invite!  :)

things have been hard the past few weeks, tense and worrisome.  ben is being tested for a variety of medical issues.  he has been having some trouble with his blood work since before we brought him home.  he's a complex little guy!  we went to UVa a few weeks ago to see the pediatric hematologist and were sent home with a new appointment.  they want to involve peds genetics and do extensive testing.  some of the stuff they will be testing for:  alpha thalassemia minor (this is pretty much confirmed, so they might wait on this one), leukemia, a bunch of genetics stuff, yet to be determined, and the most frightening, fanconi anemia. 

keep us in your thoughts, meditations, prayers, please.  we knew the potential for this situation existed even before we brought him home.  we are doubly grateful that he is here and loved.  i could not imagine him being in the SWI with one of these ugly medical conditions...  what would his outcome be in that situation?  it's very hard, but better that he is home than still in the SWI.  an institution is not a family.

you can help us with every coffee purchase.  i know it's a bit more expensive than what you can get in the store, but it is fair trade and ethically produced stuff that benefits more people than you can count on one hand.  each purchase gives back to the earth, to the farmer, to the community, to children in orphanages in ethiopia, and to us directly.  i love this coffee for all it stands for, not to mention, it's great coffee!! 

thanks for reading and thanks for your support!  :)
chef benjamin hard at work in the kitchen!  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

august 11, 2011

and yesterday, on her 6th anniversary, hayden FINALLY pulled out a tooth!!!  YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!  now, if she can get the other very loose bottom baby tooth out before her appt with the dentist to pull it out in three weeks, she could save me a bunch of money!  :)  she doesn't like to wiggle them because "it hurts!"  i told her she would have to have them pulled then, because the two adult teeth that would like to move in there are already fully erupted behind the baby teeth, just waiting.  she said, "fine.  will they use that happy gas?  i like the happy gas."  can't win for losing.  just wiggle your damned teeth, kid!

and some gratuitous photos of ben, because i said i would.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

august 10, 2011

wow, i haven't updated in such a long time!  things are crazy busy.  probably to be expected with five kids.  :)  today is hayden's 6th anniversary of her forever family day.  she will be 7 in october!!  wow.  time just MOVES.  grant just celebrated 4 years on august 6th!

ben is adjusting and becoming so vocal.  he is really doing incredibly well.  the other kids are also working things out, but olivia is having the hardest time, as we expected she would.  she has become sort of a pariah, unfortunately.  trying to figure out how to overcome that one for her and the kids. 

anyway, i will try to update tomorrow while they are all napping/resting and maybe even get some photos posted!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

july 26, 2011

tried to post yesterday, but blogger was having none of it.  seems better today, so far.

while at hong kong airport on the way home, ben made a new friend, olivia! - look at her little hand!!  what a coincidence!!  they were thrilled to have found each other.  well, she was glad to have found him...  :)

finally discovering solid food!  what a great soup.  made right there before our eyes in the airport.  cost was 58 yuan for two bowls of soup - about $9 USD, probably the cheapest thing in the airport!!  and very very good, too.

on the plane for the long ride home from hong kong...

 an example of "old, fat and tired."

they look remarkably peaceful!

 captain says, shut that thing off...

a small part of hong kong airport and the wing of our plane (it stayed attached the entire flight!)

look at the mountains in the background...  hong kong is so beautiful, despite the huge plane in the foreground...

first meal as an american citizen!!  and he's eating off the table like the rest of us do!  hahahaha!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

july 20, 2011

in hong kong, again!  getting a lot closer to home.  :)  lovely soft bed here in marriot sky city, but i couldn't sleep last night.  :(  an excellent breakfast - costly: $425.00!!  well, HK$$...  about 60 bucks US for the three of us, so still quite expensive, but unbelievable!!  anything you want to eat, almost anything.  even making fresh noodle soup right before your eyes.  lovely stuff.  beautiful room, too.  still ready to come home, though!!!!  :)

late check out at 2 pm, then off to the airport to wait around for 4 hours before flying home.  had our last skype with the children today and the next time we see or speak to them, it will be IN PERSON!!  :)  they are very excited to have us coming home and can't wait to meet ben.  they all want to touch him.  so funny!!  i guess they want to be sure he is real.  :)

last trip to the white swan playroom

red couch photos

not a happy boy...

sound asleep!!

present guides: kathy and jocelyn

past guide (multiple times!): maggie!  she chose a middle name for olivia.

our plane, in guangzhou

out the window of our hotel in hong kong.

july 19, 2011

all packed back up and ready to go!  we leave for hong kong tonight and will try to update at least once while we are at the hotel in HK.  really looking forward to being home and seeing the children...