« March 2007 | Main | May 2007 »

8 posts from April 2007

April 27, 2007

Gotcha/Metcha Clothes

Family FotoFun Friday Challenge #29 
Post your pictures on your blog and leave a link and a comment here before 5/4/2007.

This week's photo challenge is "Gotcha clothes".  Want to play?  Here are the very simple rules.


People say they have skinny kids on Gotcha day and they post pictures to prove it but I almost never see it.  Maybe because photos add ten pounds so, if you only weighed 19 to begin with, you end up looking normal?

I decided, in honor of Maddy's 8 month anniversay of our first meeting, that I'd dress her in her Gotcha clothes and see how much she's changed.  I was drawn to do this because I'd been thinking about her Gotcha day a lot over the past week or so.  Another family adopted a little girl around the same time that we adopted Maddy.  They met her in the same room, adopted her in the same room, stayed in the same hotel.  But they didn't keep her.  I can't 2nd guess their reasons but it really made me think about Maddy since every adjective they used to describe their new daughter could have easily been used to describe ours.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  They carried her in and my first thought was that she looked prettier than her referral pictures (if such a thing was even possible!) and my second thought was that she looked much, much, MUCH, skinnier!  So skinny, in fact, that it was hard to not gasp when we undressed her back at the hotel room to give her a bath.  Her back bone stuck out and had little scars where the boney protruberances had met with hard objects in recent months.  She was 25 months old and potty trained but had a butt the size of a newborn!  She was average height for a Chinese girl but her weight didn't even register on the charts.  She had a good appetite and was in Foster Care so what happened?  Did they intentionally starve her? 

It took Maddy about three days to cry.  Until then, she was compliant yet expressionless (except for rare instances when Gwen would make her laugh or smile).  She was filthy and covered in little sores that couldn't heal because she'd constantly pick at them.    She let Daddy tend to her basic needs.  She didn't tolerate me at all and that was the case until long after we were home.  Bonding has been a process that took the best part of six months but we've arrived!  She finally accepts affection and even seeks it out!  She's talking and running and jumping and eating!  She's a happy little girl and she owns our hearts!


Gwen was just a couple of months past her first birthday when we met her but she weighed a healthy 22 pounds!  She's even "healthier" now (that's what we're calling it!) at 35 pounds! 

It was pretty easy to put Madeline into her Gotcha clothes because they'd only aged 8 months (and were large to start with) but Gwen has been our girl for 19 months now!

This really was the very last time we might ever hope to squeeze her into those clothes!  And it sure was a squeeze! They were TIGHT!  But I'm really glad I made the time and took the pictures.

Family FotoFun Friday Participants
1. Rachel Grace Li
2. Raising Cami Rose
3. Search and Destroy Twins
4. The Princess and the Pea
5. Twins!
6. Ryleigh Teague
7. Allison & Quinn
8. Cannon Fishbowl
9. Just Keep Swimming
10. Our Three Daughters
11. Sophie and Sage
12. Waala Family Adventures
13. MississippiZen
14. A Kerrnal Journal
15. Motherhood and Other Ramblings
16. Sophia\'s Journey Continues
17. LadyBug Journals
18. Davis Days
19. Hearts in China
20. Journey with AnnaClaire
21. Zoe\'s Place
22. Bang the drum and Shout!
23. Chopsticks & Tabouli
24. Our Adoption Trip In China- Mei Jun Qian- Mia Kennedy Gifford
25. Hiking Through Life with Ian and LiLi
26. Two "Twin" Terrors
27. mexican chopsticks
28. Loving Gracie... Paperwork Pregnant No More!
29. What\'s Katie Doing Now?
30. kathy
31. Now We Are Six
32. Avery FuMeng
33. Salsa in China
34. Shelly
35. Journey to Sarah Lu
36. With 6 You Get Eggroll
37. Ni Hao Brown Cow
38. The Life and Times of Chloe and Pearl
39. Ladybugs & Dragonflies
40. Our Madden Clan
41. Life with Emilia
42. stacie
43. She\'s a-DORI-ble!!!
44. All About Chloe
45. Rony
46. Journey to Gianna
47. In My Life

April 20, 2007

Sponsor a child?

Smilefamily We sponsor the foster care of a little boy from Maddy's orphanage in QinZhou, Guangxi, China.  We get quarterly reports and pictures of him and it's something we always look forward to.  The cost is pretty minor -- especially considering how far those dollars go and how much foster care affects every single minute of a child's life (as opposed to living in an orphanage). 

The family portrait pictured here is of the family who sponsored Maddy when she was in foster care in 2005/2006.  They also adopted a little girl from QinZhou.  It wasn't just their dollars that touched Maddy's life.  This family is part of her history and she'll, someday, understand how significant a role they played in her happiness.

There are a few kids from Maddy's SWI who don't have sponsors.  If you're interested in helping (tax deductable, of course), here's a link to see their pictures:  https://www.grace-hope.org/(cqxuajar25kj3l45tozb0eq2)/Waiting.aspx?OrphanageID=9.  If you decide to sponsor a family, please post a little comment so I'll know this blog post made a difference.

April 19, 2007

Toddler Art

Family FotoFun Friday Challenge #28 
Post your pictures on your blog and leave a link and a comment here before 4/27/2007. 

This week's photo challenge is "Toddler Art".  Want to play? 
Here are the very simple rules.


Gwen and Maddy made an awesome picture (actually, several!) and didn't make a mess.  Do my kids have remarkable self control? Or was there other magic at work?   

If you've tried Color Wonder, then you know the secret.  I just wish they had this amazing stuff when my teenager was a toddler and drew a huge M on the wall with a yellow permanent marker and proudly announced that it was "McDonalds" (Get it? Golden Arches).

Monsterblueframe When Michael was three, he drew this "Happy Monster". It's always been one of my favorites!

If your babies are budding artists, share some of their artwork and post your link (and a comment) below. 

Family FotoFun Friday Participants
1. Journey with AnnaClaire
2. Journey to Sarah Lu
3. season star
4. Motherhood and Other Ramblings
5. The Cady Chase
6. Raising Cami Rose
7. Just Keep Swimming
8. k2
9. Twins!
10. Random Thoughts
11. mei mei journal
12. Search and Destroy Twins
13. Chopsticks and Tabolli
14. waiting4news99
15. Allison & Quinn
16. She\'s a-DORI-ble!!!
17. mommy24treasures
18. Christine
19. Our Adoption Trip In China
20. The Princess and the Pea
21. Bang the Drum and Shout
22. Sophie and Sage
23. LadyBug Journals
24. Two "Twin" Terrors
25. Rachel Grace Li
26. roylunsford
27. Our Journey to Gracie
28. Lori
29. 4 3=chaos

April 13, 2007


Family FotoFun Friday Challenge #27 
Post your pictures on your blog and leave a link and a comment here before 4/20/2007.

This week's photo challenge is "pets".   If you don't have a real live pet, a stuffed animal will do. Want to play?  Here are the very simple rules.

If you like super-cute babies, sweet kitty-cats, and/or Tom Jones, you'll LOVE this video.  You might have to click the arrow twice (for some reason, I always do).

That's Gwenny last June.  (What a difference ten months makes, huh!)  And that's Kitty, our Japanese Bobtail.  Originally, Kitty was named Baby but that got pretty confusing when Gwen showed up and claimed that name for herself.  So, kitty became "Kitty".  I think it suits her.

Ten months ago, Kitty had only one little Princess to deal with but now, with two little girls around, Kitty is a little bit less willing to sit still and appreciate frequent sessions of tough lovin' which often include ear and eye exploration and backwards fur petting.  But she's remarkably mellow and she puts up with much more of it that you'd expect a cat to.  (If I can manage to capture two 2 year olds and a cat in one picture, I'll post it.)

As spring teases us with sunny warm invitations to come play in the backyard, our Monkey Girls are always asking to go out.  They can open the sliding door to the backyard but can't seem to find the same enthusiasm to close it once they're out so Kitty is getting frequent tastes of delicious freedom.  She''ll be seven this Thanksgiving and she's spayed so she's not really keen on wandering.  Our 19,000 square foot yard is fully fenced and offers lots of fun sights and sounds and smells but we hope she's not inclined to hop the 6 foot fence and see if the green grass on the other side is tastier (and, therefore, better to vomit onto our pale grey carpet). 

Someday, we hope to get a dog.  Since I'm a big James Herriott fan, I've read a lot about this breed and have come to love the idea of getting a Border Collie.  But there's currently enough poop in my life so I'm not looking to get a dog until there's someone else who's willing to scoop! 

Family FotoFun Friday Participants
1. Motherhood and Other Ramblings
2. Journey with AnnaClaire
3. Random Thoughts
4. She\'s a-DORI-ble!!!
5. Just Keep Swimming
6. Desiree
7. From Here to There, The Ladybug and the Dragonfly
8. Hearts in China
9. Twins!
10. Oohs and Aahs
11. Julie - Nathan\'s Mommy
12. My Cup Runneth Over
13. Rachel Grace Palmer
14. The Boy and the Bulldog
15. Mei Mei and Jie Jie (Search and Destroy)
16. Ladybugs & Dragonflies
17. Loving Gracie... Paperwork Pregnant No More!
18. season star
19. Chopsticks and Tabolli
20. mommy24treasures
21. Mountains and Mountains & Oceans and Oceans
22. Cannon Fishbowl
23. mexican chopsticks
24. Our Three Daughters
25. MississippiZen
26. Lilly\'s Pad
27. The Princess and the Pea
28. 4 3=chaos
29. A Kerrnal Journal
30. Journey to Sarah Lu
31. LadyBug Journals
32. Avery FuMeng
33. The Life and Times of Chloe and Pearl
34. Alyson & Ford
35. Sophie and Sage
36. 2china4ayla
37. Journey to Annalisa
38. Smith Family\'s Adventures
39. twinchatter
40. Our Adoption Trip In China
41. Don & Be
42. Journey to Gianna
43. Rhianne Comes Home

April 08, 2007

Easter 2007


This was Gwen's 2nd Easter but her first Easter Basket so that means that it's a first for BOTH of our girls!  They didn't get much candy.... mostly toys and stickers.  But they LOVED it!

We took more than 700 photos.  We didn't set out to do this.... it just happened that way.  I should point out that we have a huge flash card and our camera can take pictures as fast as you can press a button.  So 700 photos didn't take much time even though we could only do 300 at a time.

The first 300 had incredible content (I mean really REALLY good) but there was a flash malfunction so those photos were overexposed and almost completely ruined.  Still, I'll share my favorite.  It's a photo of Maddy that Andrew took on the top of the new play structure in our back yard.  It has a red canopy that that gave everything a pretty red glow.  But the photo was very horribly overexposed so I enhanced it to bring Maddy's hair and eyes back into view but that left her lips really faded.  So I added some cyber lipstick and the result was pretty stunning.   Click <here> to see.

The next 300 were snapped pretty fast as the girls weren't interested in cameras anymore.  Most were destined for the recycle bin as soon they were uploaded but we got one or two good ones before wardrobe malfunctions started to occur. 

Since only a few of those came out, one last attempt was made to get some good pics of their dresses.  Those final 100 netted some fairly good results but they weren't spectacular and I think we only saved one.  We called it a day since we were really tired and just wanted to collapse on the sofa and watch Monster's Inc.  So that's what we did!

The dress Gwen is wearing was purchased in Guangzhou, China, very soon after we adopted her.  It looked SO big on the hanger and I really didn't think it would fit her for many years.  But it's nearly too small for her now.  This is the last time she'll wear it before handing it down to Maddy.

Maddy is wearing the pretty rose dress Gwen wore this time last year.  She's just as beautiful in it!

My Photo

My Other Accounts

Blogger Facebook Flickr YouTube

  • Follow Me
  • Join me on Facebook

Family Blogs

Most Recent Referrers

  • we picture {this}
  • www.flickr.com
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from Donna & Andrew. Make your own badge here.

  • No Hands But Ours