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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Day 12: Mother's Day in China and some thoughts on Katie's cute "insomnia"

Our Mother's Day is wrapping up and they have all gone to bed... but I have a lot on my heart...

But last night Cara was up a few times with her double ear infection and finally, this morning, she asked if she could just lay next to her sister and "hold her hand"- and that would make her feel better. Seriously, y'all, my Mother's Day STARTED this sweet! I don't need anything else! Melt my heart...

Then later in the morning, as Katie was waking up, we were excited to finally successfully Skype to my 
whole family in Texas. This is Kate laughing at cousin Hunter playing Peekaboo! 
We lost our connection part way through but it was fun to introduce her to my sisters and family!

I was DETERMINED to make it a nice day, but I was really in pretty bad shape with my gluten issues still.

My girls! (and the super fashionable money belt/ fanny pack, lol) and {YES, Mom, I know I look too thin, I can't wait have Chipotle and a GF California Pizza Kitchen pizza when I'm home and hopefully well! :) }

We took rode in our van with our driver and guide to Shaiman's Island, a gorgeous place and quickly picked out some traditional silk Chinese dresses for the girls and I (best price for theirs was only $6 a piece, much more affordable than Beijing's prices!) I want them to wear the dresses on Tuesday for our group oath at the U.S. Consulate. 

lol, Doug is not the best photographer: he decapitates people! Katie was not so happy about her dress!

Then we went to a local Christian church on the Island that had been there since the 1800's, founded by French missionaries, but hadn't been free to worship freely for some time last century... It was beautiful to see the growing Chinese church, with a growing freedom of religion. We went to the English/ Chinese service and it was a special Mother's Day one...
It was definitely challenging keeping both girls quiet and happy during the service, thank goodness we have children's Sunday school teachers in the U.S. (thank you to Connie, Robin, and June who are subbing for me while I'm gone, and Robin as I type this! :) )

We got a set of shirts that say "Mama", "Baba", "MeiMei" (little sister for Cara), and "JieJie" (big sister for Katie), though I wish there was a term for just "sister", to avoid confusion, since we usually call K the little sister. Oh well...

The rest of the day was just relaxing and enjoying each other... 

Can you see how determined she gets to build the tallest tower possible?!?

The girls brought me a flower and a precious journal to keep and add to each Mother's Day, with pictures they drew and a super sweet letter from Daddy, 
...and I just can't believe how FULL my arms and heart are tonight as they sleep peacefully next to me! 

I am so ridiculously blessed. This one woman always tells me, "You don't know how lucky you are." No matter what I say, she replies, "No really, you really don't know." Honestly, it frustrates me when she says it repeatedly. Actually, I know JUST how blessed I am, because I spent YEARS aching for these two... dreaming, wishing, hoping, praying, working hard towards, and THESE are the two best moments of my mommy-hood:

11-22-10: I became a mommy to Caraline and 5-5-14: I became a mommy to Katie
(But for both I was very much their mama before I even met them, while I was praying for them and aching to finally meet them).

Some thoughts I had tonight:
Katie has a bit of "insomnia" in a sense, lately, it takes her 45 minutes to fall asleep instead of 15. 
I really thought about it tonight and I think she is just not used to so much brain stimuli and definitely not so much nurturing and love. We had got her calmed down for bedtime, then Cara decided it was time to wrestle and tickle and giggle. Cara fell asleep shortly afterwards, because she KNOWS that we'll be there tomorrow to play with her and feed her and love her. But Katie simply cannot stop tossing and turning and smiling and belly laughing. Just when I think she's almost asleep in the dark next to me, she'll reach out and tickle me and squeal with joy that I'm still there. She'll hold my hand and bring it to her nose to smell me and keep my hand on her face, to know I'm REAL and I'm never going to leave her. We have some indications that life has been very hard for Katie Grace. I think the realization that there are people who adore her and who are there to protect her and nourish her and who AREN'T going anywhere is a truth that she FEELS to her core. 
Tonight, Daddy put his nose up to hers at bedtime and said, "Katie, Daddy loves you and I will be your Daddy forever and ever." She had no idea what he was saying, but she felt his love and sincerity and she grabbed his face and did her million- watt dimpled smile.
THAT makes it all worth it.
Katie, I told you, we aren't leaving you, silly girl. We're your family forever, whether you like it or not, but something tells me, you really do love us. 


  1. Hi Jamie, I found your blog through Sharon at Everything Beautiful and have been following your story with great interest as we are also adopting, just received LOA and are waiting on I800 approval, and I am also a celiac. I have been thinking about you non-stop and will be praying for you. My heart breaks to read that you were contaminated, and are feeling so poorly. I have very serious reactions to contamination, as well as many other significant food allergies, so I will not be eating anything in China but what we will be bringing with us. Thankfully our daughter is in Guangzhou, which I think will make things considerably easier for us as we will not have to travel around! My nutritionist and my doctor have been a great help with how we can make this work for me.
    Your girls are beautiful! Precious! I will pray you will feel well again very soon. God bless you all!

    1. Hi Stephanie, Thank you, you can contact me through Sharon and get my phone number, I'd be happy to talk to you before you go and give you a list of the things I brought to eat, it was around 30 pounds of food but there was plenty to be well nourished... unfortunately, I brought mainly food with a lot of fiber since i knew I'd be eating only steamed white rice. Now I can't have almost any of my GF granola bars (I brought 40 bars- 6 different kinds!), GF oatmeal (I brought 35 packets- 6 different flavors!). I also brought about 9 packets (not cans) of tuna and salmon, different flavors to add to rice, instant Thai rice noodle soup, and my luggage weight sludge was 4 Campbell's bagged soup-- only the Chicken & Quinoa Poblano Soup does not contain gluten. I brought 3 McCormick's spice blend packs (Italian, Mexican Fajita, Garlic & Herb) to flavor my tuna and rice and help me have variety. You can eat the bacon, drinkable yogurt, watermelon, oranges, banana, melon, hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs at every breakfast buffet. Breakfast usually was my biggest meal of the day. There is NO microwave anywhere, only a hot water kettle in your room and a mini fridge. Now I just eat 5 bananas a day, rice, Gatorade, baked Lays Stax potato chips (you can buy here). Yesterday, I had a piece of plain boiled chicken and it was wonderful because I was so hungry for real food! :) Call me this summer before you go!

    2. oops, luggage weight *splurge, not sludge. lol

    3. Jamie, Thank you for this info in your reply! I have planned GF bars (4 cases), quinoa flakes to make breakfast porridge, dried quinoa to use like steamed rice (so thankful to know there is a hot wattle kettle!), beef jerky, nut and seed mixes of all kinds, powdered peanut butter that can be reconstituted (to put on those five bananas a day!) and baby food pouches (many cases) in all flavors. I also have been prescribed a "medical food" that I will be mixing in water and drinking multiple times a day to keep myself full and feeling better. I was hoping there was something at the breakfast buffet for me - thank you so much for this info. We also will be at the Garden Hotel, but for the whole two weeks. The spice blend packets, tuna/salmon, and the Campbell's soup are awesome ideas.
      I hope you are feeling better now, Jamie. I will call you, thank you!!!