Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eggs -N- Emma's Shiner!



Yesterday morning Emma decided that we wanted to "help" me make her breakfast. She enjoyed sitting on the counter and beating her egg, she even used her fingers a bit to stir. : P
As you can see Emma had a bandaid on her cheek. The night before she had fallen asleep in our room and tumbled out of bed catching the corner of the night stand with her cheek. Yesterday afternoon I took the bandaid off and the cut is healing well. But, her black eye continues to get darker...and DARKER...now she has a "U" under her eye! This picture does not do justice, trust me! I do have to say though for as much as this little girl runs and jumps around I am surprised that this is the first injury that she has gotten; she lives up to her zodiac sign-The Monkey! ; )

Monday, July 14, 2008

Emma's First Pony Ride!!





Yesterday afternoon we took Emma to Watson Park in Wichita. We researched the Park online and found that they offered Pony Rides, Paddle Boat Rides, and Train Rides...all three sounded right up Emma's alley!
As far back as we can remember Emma has always been hiking up her leg and trying to ride something; Daddy, other kids, animals at the petting zoo and our dogs, her toy rocking horse, you get the idea! From these pictures it is pretty apparent that horse riding lessons will be in Emma's future! : ) She was not frightened AT ALL of the ponies, she ran right into the pen with the employee (we were not allowed in) and chose a pony to ride. We were the two nervous and stupid looking parents standing by the fence telling Emma to sit straight and hold on with two hands! : ) She barely held onto the saddle and was as relaxed as could be! We actually had to take her back later in the day for a second ride!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ride the Cow!




WalMart is getting quite expensive these days, and it is not only the price of groceries! I can not get in the enterance with out paying 50 cents for Emma to ride the Boar. She insists that it is called a COW and tells me "Emma Needs to ride the COW at WulMart"! It is always the best 45 seconds of her day. :)
Emma is really into Barney these days-and if I knew who introduced him to her I would *kill* that person...Greg and I are not fans of Barney. ;) Anyway, when Auntie Bertha in Michigan heard that Emma wanted a stuffed Barney she went through Cousin Katie's old toys and found one. Lao Lao promptly mailed it & as you can see by the look on Emma's face Barney has found a good home! :) (Thank You Bertha and Katie)!

Pool Fun!

Walking to the pool (Emma no longer wants to ride in her stroller)!
Emma just loves her pink tube! (It's too big for her but she can fit in it with her life jacket on perfectly....).

Playing with Daddy-her preferred playmate these days!

Emma loves her Daddy so much!!
"Emma's Swimming"! (This is what she told us).
When we first brought Emma to visit the neighborhood pool after Memorial Day she was very frightened and refused to leave the steps! It is amazing to see her at the pool now just 5 weeks later! :) She LOVES it! While she is still cautious she will float around with her life jacket on and likes to use her tube too.
Note: I am still having issues rotating pictures, I press the rotate button but nothing happens-ARGH-frustrating!! ; )

Happy Birthday.....AMERICA?!





Over the weekend Emma kept informing us that she "NEEDED" a piece of birthday cake. We have no idea how she came up with this, but she had cake on the brain. So, being the pushover that I am-I baked her a cake. She wanted candles in it and she insisted that all three of us sing Happy Birthday! When I asked her who we should sing to she responded "EMMA"!! :) I explained that since it was not her birthday we could not do that, instead I suggested that we sing to America since it was the holiday weekend. She agreed (although she will sing to anything...). So we had quite an impromptu party for America on Sunday! : )

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Trying to Bring Sophie HOME...

If you are reading my blog most likely you are family or friends, therefore you know that we are in the process of adopting Sophie (A.K.A. Sophia, Sophia Grace, Sophie Pants, "Baby Soapy" or Yang Xi Zi Ye)...she has many names. : )

Although my blog is mostly about the princess Emma these days, I decided to dedicate THIS entry to our daughter Sophie tonight. It does not matter that she is half way around the world at the moment, she is already our daughter in our hearts and she had been on our minds EVERY second of every day lately.

It has been almost eight months since I saw her little black eyes and spiky hair staring back at me from her little red chair. It was November 8, 2007 and we were so certain that we would be traveling by this summer or fall to bring Sophie home. Now it is appearing that the end of 2008 will come and go with out boarding a plane to China. Unless of course God grants us a miracle.

Although Greg and I have completed all of our paperwork on time and stayed one step ahead of the adoption process, in the end we simply could not control others incompetence or lack of compassion for our beautiful daughter. It started with our Illinois Social Worker, Erika cancelling our Home Study appointment in October (Yep-I had scheduled it before I even found Sophie!!), apparently she was too busy to make it and we did not even meet with her until mid November. Then to add to that she waited a full month after her visit before she even wrote our home study, it turns out she had a full time job at UPS and Social Work was a side gig for her! She continued to make mistakes that cost us a lot of time. FINALLY by the later part of December our Home Study was done and DCFS had approved it. We received a filing date from USCIS in January and were fingerprinted in February. So we waited and stalked the mailman for our I171H approvals that never came, in April we received a notice from USCIS that they needed additional information and we promptly complied. And, then we waited and waited some more....still not I171H approvals. I obtained an email address for the orphan unit and to make a long story short I got no where emailing them.

My next plan of attack was to contact the media...a Chicago TV station and Chicago Newspapers...I received a few responses but nobody willing to go out of their way to help. I am currently working with TWO Senator's offices, one back in Illinois and another right here in Kansas. We are running into an issue now-our move might delay things more.

Greg and I will NEVER stop advocating to bring Sophie home. We will no longer accept any more delays, we simply can not afford to. Sophie is sick and needs to begin her medical treatment plan. She also needs to eat ice cream with her big sister Emma, play silly games with her Daddy, and fall asleep at night in my arms. We are her family and it is up to us to find a way to get her home.

So, for all of you that were too nervous to ask what how Sophie's adoption is progressing-now you know.

Below are two pictures that I'd like to share. The first is of Sophie (in the red pants) with her friend and crib mate Ella. Ella's parents shared this picture with me when they traveled to China to bring her home in April, so I am assuming that the SWI staff took this picture of our daughters sometime in March or April of 2008? The second picture is of Ella with her AYI ("Auntie"). I'm pretty sure that this woman is Sophie's AYI too!



Sophie (on the right) with her friend, Ella.

Presumably Sophie's Ayi (holding Ella).

Please keep Sophie in your prayers as she waits to come home.

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