Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hello Blog, old friend...

It has been a while and I am ASHAMED that I have not updated.

We were having technical difficulties uploading to the blog in China, but I had no (or little) issues facebooking, so we stuck with that.

Then we got home and things got VERY busy with Phoebe.

I am hoping to dedicate at least once a week to come back to blogging: both reading yours and posting on mine. I love it all so.

So...catching up:

China was great.

I still hope that post on packing and travel suggestions that I promised. Here are a few I can type quickly:
  • Bring snacks (wish I had peanut butter), 
  • Bring a stroller (at least for us I was wishing I had one, I know other people beg to differ), 
  • Bring a coffee cone for individual use in your hotel rooms (we used Starbucks at the end, but until then it seemed very difficult to get coffee, and at the Dolton it was hard to communicate that we wanted it, as well as get more than a tiny tea cup sized coffee, or smaller, once a day. Then they over charged us greatly once for tiny cups of it.)
(the fun stuff, as well as the information that may prove of help or interest to other adopting families)

Phoebe is the LOVE OF OUR LIVES.
We are yet to get to CHOP, but they are helping us and have been great at the International Adoption clinic.

Phoebe is a diva, a sweetheart, very bright, growing like a weed, has a beaming smile, is strong willed, charming, and she is very strong. She communicates very well.

She has about 14 English words she currently has as well as her own made up signs. Beginning language is great. She still says Thank You in Chinese, which makes us smile.

She was 16 months when we got her in China, she is now 20 months. She went from not sitting up on her own when we met her, to now practically running and she is climbing the couch.

She hid her ABS hand often in China, she now uses it with 110% confidence, and SO much ability!! 

She had many, many sleep issues when she first came home, but is doing incredibly well now. 

While she was slow to warm up to my husband in China, she now adores him. He always had adored her! :) She is inseparable with me. I am completely in love with her.

She does throw tantrums, most often when shopping and while with me. Not so much for my husband. Funny thing is that I am pretty strict about proper behavior publicly, yet she chooses to do the old throw down with me, I guess because I am her main person who spends days with her, feeds her, naps, her dresses and changes her, etc. 

The hardest thing is that she has had several illnesses, she appears to be lactose intolerant which I have since learned is something that many people in the Asian community suffer from (and so does her Irish-German-American mom who can commiserate). She was at the hospital for 5 days with lethargy and spiking fevers, so the Infectious Disease specialist kept her there and thought she had a "China Thing" going on, turned out it was a run of the mill virus. She has had other repeated lower GI issues and also other bouts of fevers.

We opted to do all of her presumed-given vaccines over again, but started with the ones we knew she had not gotten yet so that she would have coverage against those things immediately, such as meningitis and MMR. 

Here are 2 pics of her in China, one at the Dolton play room in Changsha, and one the day of her US CA  in Guangzhou first week of June 2012, and then a few of her from just the other day at home, November 2012 when our town in coastal New Jersey had Halloween (it was late here due to Hurricane Sandy).

My, how she has grown!!
In China, she rolled everywhere. No crawling, no walking. I have some pics of her in the playroom propped up by toys, but she was only "up" for seconds. Holt families can see her on page 19 of the Fall 2012 magazine, I caught that image of her with the toy horse in a split second before she fell. ;)
she did not sit independently, she always was propped with something or hanging on, like holding this chair. Now she climbs, balances, practically runs.
Little Red Riding Hood is running to get candy...
This was the very first trick or treat house, at our neighbor's who she adores. She thought mama had dressed her oddly, in this image you can see by her expression that she did not "get it" yet. In a flash, she caught on though!!
Hoping to do {almost} Wordless Wednesday posts, with perhaps only a subject line. Let's see how well that goes. ;)

Blessings, Lynette

Saturday, July 7, 2012

We are in GUangzhou!

Firstly, sorry in advance for odd autospellchecks. ;) It is so wonderful to finally be in GZ. Phoebe had her medical check today, it went very well. She was very well behaved, and only cried a little when her heart was checked with the steth. All of the families here are so nice. It was exciting to meet some friends from my Internet adoption groups. That has been a highlight. It is great to have Starbucks right here IN the China Hotel. It is a nice place. Later when home I will do a positive vs negative list of things, but overall it has been a very warm, friendly, good experience. little princess girl is a charmer for sure. She likes to smile a cheeky grin to get a reaction. She eats a lot, but we knew to expect that...if we try to tell her it is time to stop eating she throws a mini-fit. But usually gets over it fast. She seemed to originally be regressing a bit almost as if she was testing our trust, and seeking attention, though she has come leaps and bounds. She is and has been very bright. She figures things out, and is able to communicate her needs, as well as being very curious. in only about A week she has learned to say the word UP. Hmmm,m...guess she is motivated for that one. LOL. She goes to nap and sleep for us like a pro. What a nice gift for this mama! The only issue is her schedule has been turned upside down with required appointments and our very late, delayed flight when she ended up going to bed at 2am!!!! The poor thing. Then had to be awakened at 7am e next morning. Phew! Tomorrow we ink we are going one tour to the pearl district (?). There is a dinner to attend. And the next day and island to explore, then her consulate appointment the day after, and a night mini cruise on the river with pizza. Busy busy busy. Heading to bed now. Cheers, Lynette Praising the Lordfor our safe travels all over China, and our amazing little girl. My heart is so full.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An update while in changsha

Hello. We are having a grand time. Changsha is so nice, the people are sweet, and the hotel is nice. Kevin is walking her in a stroller in the lobby as I type. She is slow to warm up to him, but does smile at him if he plays with her from a far or sings to her. She does enjoy his singing, how nice"! She lays on me and looks for me ALOT. She has allowed my mom into her little world today, and mom won her over with some corn on the cob. I will try to make another post with photos, not sure if it will be a success or not. Will share when I can, wifi is sketchy, and time is short, we are kept busy, and have been warn out but very content. Our guide, Vicky, is the best. The other family we are with, the kitchen family, are wonderful. Xo blessings, lynette

Friday, June 29, 2012

we are in CHINA

Not much time to blog right now but we are here. Got in late last night. Toured the Great wall today, rode a rickshaw, etc. The temperatures were mild and it was over cast. But tomorrow should be very hot. Hope to check back in soon. From Beijing, goodnight.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2 weeks, 4 days, and counting!!

what do I do first? Can you say whirlwind?

I'm happy my mom will be here soon to help me clothes shop for the trip, pick up the local-flavor gifts for the orphanage, take care of odds and ends, assist with packing which includes not only clothes but a small pharmacy and important paper work.

I cant believe I have to fit in fix-it jobs around the house, and medical appts all before travel.

No time left!!!!

Oh, add the hair cut in there.

Mundane things are now all like big boulders in the stream. I know I will get past them, but it will take some flexibility and maneuvering!

My social and work calendars are FULL. There will be nothing more added between now and travel. (actually, I believe our social worker is coming by too, note to self, check-in and add to the calendar)

We are coming Phoebe! Praying for you and your caregivers, honey!

In one month plus a few days Phoebe will see this darling doggie face, I wonder what she will think?

Blessings, Lynette

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


CA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our visa appt for Phoebe is in GZ on July 10th!


I have chills.

I'm still holding out hope that a dear internet friend can be there with us, Rose, I am praying.

Here are some fun pics of gifts from from my secret pal, and from Rose; I also included a pic of the flowers my preschool class presented to me upon the graduation ceremony with my co-Teacher.

I have some things to get out in the mail myself, I better get a move on and send them SOON!!!!

Blessings, Lynette

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's a great day! We have TA!

TA (Travel Approval) was today:
20 days from the day that we rec'd our consulate email, the next day Holt Int'l picked up our A5.

We hope to travel in Holt's end of June, or early July travel groups. 

 Blessings, Lynette

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Buy a T shirt and help bring Phoebe home

Hey, we all need clothes, right, and these are pretty cool.

Can you help bring our Phoebe home? She is a "Special Focus" child in China.
We adore her and can't wait to bring her home!!

Important: You must use our code in checkout in order for us to get the credit.


Here is the link:  http://store.wildolivetees.com/adoption-fundraiser-tees-c6.aspx

  There are a few places to purchase Tees on their site, these must be ordered from the "Adoption Fundraiser" T shirts area. . ;)

The instructions say the following (not a discount- just a place to give them our code):  During the checkout process, there will be a coupon code option under the shopping cart. They will click on that box and it will open the coupon code field up in the left hand corner. That is where the code is applied.

Here are some images to give you an idea of just how AWESOME they are~! I just love the designs, and that they glorify God.
This is the one I mentioned wanting for Christmas. *Short run (and have T-style, too)
this is a personal fave
so cute!
cute for an active little guy. It says "whatever"!

such a pretty color for a little girl...and lovely sentiment.

Here is the diddlio:

There are a few size options, so they have body huggable Tees, and looser comfy fitting. There is a short run sale of a long sleeves items that I am eying up for Christmas (yup, I will buy it and save it to stat wearing in November!) .

Be sure to click on each one to read what is on the back. That's right they are COLORFUL and have front and back designs!!

They sell for around 30 dollars each.

For the following quantities of tees sold, Phoebe's fundraiser will receive:
·       1 - 49tees - $7.50/tee 
·       50 or more - $10.00/tee
So, I am really hoping that we break 50! 
Can you help us? spread the word, share this link, get a Tee for everyone in your family, or get yourself a few so you look COOL during this HOT summer! :)
Thanks for your support. You are Tee--riffic!
(ps- let me know you bought one so I can thank you. Share a picture of you wearing your Tshirt, I would love to see you.) 

(ps- These Tees really are beautiful, but if this is not your thing and you would rather make a direct gift through paypal, then contact me, please at photosplease@gmail.com)

Blessings, Lynette

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Health and Exercise Update :-/

As quoted from the last post: "Please pray for weight loss as I am trying hard. I really want to be thinner for China for several reasons, the greatest being the fact that we will be on a plane for 14 hours, and in serious China summer HEAT."

Well,  I have been at this for several weeks now. I'm trying!!!!

I don't see a big difference, but Kevin says he sees a little difference.

This is the story of my weight-loss-life, little differences with lots of output.

Always seems wrong. :(

Getting in the way are some serious aches and pains, but even in the midst of the worst moments, I am quite a positive person and I keep moving forward the best I can.

I am doing workout videos.

 (Dear Jillian Michaels, I cannot do your Ripped in 30 every day, but I have been doing it, just spacing it out. "Running man" and the squats are NOT going to work with my Knees in this condition, and I think the thing with the barbell behind my head may be contributing to the back cricks I have had in my neck! yuck)

I am drinking lots of water drinking.

I am adding more (non-meat) protein to a change the way I had been eating with my vegetarian based diet (on advice from a trainer).

Also on advice from the trainer, I walking each morning before breakfast to get my body to burn the stored FAT.

I can't run or do deep squats due to my knee issues, but I am doing my personal best with what I've got, and I am proud of myself for the effort.

Hoping and praying so much for some REAL results!

Blessings, Lynette

Pre-Travel Prayer Requests

Phoebe's previous foster-grandma became ill, so we are praying for grandma. We are forever grateful to this woman and her husband.

Praying for Phoebe and her new foster family, as she recently had to be moved to a new foster home.

Thankful that she seems to be acclimating, but now she is fearful of strangers, and she was not before, so it clearly had an effect on her...and she will go through another change when we come get her soon. This makes me sad.

She has had some trouble digesting recently, on meds.

Praise the Lord however that we received pictures of a very healthy, happy looking toddler! :) who is sitting up on her own now, and just tarting to try to take assisted steps, (photos @ 14 months old, she is now almost 15 months old, and will be about 16 mo. when she comes home).

There was a sweet looking man in the pictures, but for his privacy I have cropped him out of the pictures. 

Not sure if I am seeing fear of standing alone, or attitude about the person holding her? Hmmmmm. Fearful, or head strong? IN all other images with people near her or holding her she has been very happy, so I am thinking, fear.:( poor baby.

I am told the dot on her head is a blessing, of someone pouring all of their love into her, someone special loves her very much. I am SO thankful that someone cares that much.

I'm convinced she is pointing to her mama on this side of the screen. ;)

Her USA Adoption Specialist doctor based in Pittsburgh receives her updates from me, via email, and she says that she is right on track with her milestones and her size, head circumference, facial features, etc. All great news.

We will travel at the end of June or the beginning of July. Just waiting on our TA (Travel Approval) to finalize plans now. We should have TA if all goes well by about Wed, June 6. After that we can set up travel, which will hinge on when CA (Consulate Appointments) are available.

The later into summer we travel, the more the airfare and possibly rooms will cost. 

Praying for our dog sitter situation to work out well. We have a an awesome neighbor who can help out (our own personal dog-whisperer), and a wonderful newly married couple as well. We are working on setting up visits with the dog now to see how it all goes, and we need to map out the calendar for the dog and house care.

Whether we travel in June or July, the coming weeks will be a flurry of packing, excitement, last-minute orders of supplies, and a wonderful GLOW has come over me.

Please pray for weight loss as I am trying hard. I really want to be thinner for China for several reasons, the greatest being the fact that we will be on a plane for 14 hours, and in serious China summer HEAT.

Pleas pray in general for the house to be all set, and packing to go smoothly, and for Kevin and I to be on track with each other, and supportive of one another, as we plan, prepare, and meet each step. We both wish to be in God's perfect timing and plan. (he and I are not always in track with each other, but we both want to be in track with God)

My mom is traveling here prior to our leaving for China (she is coming with us), so please pray for her to organize as she needs to on her end, and to have safe travels, and for my nephew to be ok with her leaving for this extended period, the two of them are very close and he just tuned 7 years old. 

Blessings, Lynette

Thursday, May 17, 2012

(you've asked about our registries)

(This post is solely for friends and family who have asked where we are registered because I use this blog as a way to keep them updated. Thank you for asking where we are registered. Thank you for sharing in the fun and excitement as we prepare to bring her home! )

Here are links

Blessings, Lynette

Hand me down Heaven


Well we are in "Hand me down Heaven" because Phoebe has received so many beautiful hand me downs.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done, and sent over. Truly thankful.

So many cute things for our little fashion diva to try on!

From this point we really cannot "house" anything over size 2T. (ok, so if you have something really special, send it over, but regular everyday second hand clothes over 2T are maxed out)

Some 3T and 4T pieces (adorable!) have been saved in a couple of large totes, the extras will be sold to raise money for the adoption and/or given to another friend who may need hand me downs, or given to a local charity. Oh, also this includes the toys that we had second of, or were unable to use.

They may debut at the upcoming yard sale. :)
Either way, they have helped Phoebe tremendously, and I know that pretty much all of you have said to use them, or to pass them along, as needed.

So, that is what we will be doing...using or passing along! :)

 I'm not the type of person to just put this out there, but people are asking me, so here you go, and thank you for asking :)

What we can use, and do need, either new or very gently used are:
  • crib sheets (let you in on  a secret: we only have one right now)

  • various onesies in size "12 to 18 months" or "18 to 24 months", or "1 to 2 yrs" (this mama loves onesies)
  • socks, tights
  • shorts-set summer pajamas in size 18 months (or "1 to 2 years", etc) (we don't have any of these yet)
  • feetie pajamas for fall-winter (18 to 24 months-- one to 2 years--2T) (we only have one of these)

Love to you all.

Blessings, Lynette

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Counting our blessings 1. phoebe 2. phoebe 3. ph...

I had the **extreme pleasure** of overhearing my dear husband go on and on to his friend about our daughter, and how excited and proud he is, calling her "daddy's little girl", and beaming about her...saying she is beautiful, and saying that "the best thing is that this is from the Lord". <3 I am blessed beyond measure to have a husband who loves Jesus!

After the chat with his friend, he came to me and said "If you asked me 10 years ago if I thought I would be adopting a child from China, I would have said you're crazy, but here I am, and it's great." 

This is the man who at the start of this journey was very concerned about being a good dad, very worried about how this would all work out, and praying for the Lord's clear message to do this because he was just so unsure of what Jesus wanted in all of this.

{We've come along way baby!}

Blessings, Lynette

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30

(links in this post are embedded in words; so hover)

ok, so my sister suggested this video to me, and if you read my comments for the post just before my last post her husband has been very motivational and supportive.

The issue here is that I am "jiggly jelly at 41", rather than "ripped in 30." (yes, comedic statements help me through my feelings of weight gain depression).

Despite recent attempts to lose weight I feel that I keep failing, and I have been up and down all my life.

I LIKE to workout. I mean, I am no Olympic athlete, but I enjoy a workout.

But I seem STUCK. Maybe it is the menopause, but I refuse to let it get me down any longer.

well, my dear blog readers, I am starting Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30; TODAY!

I don't expect to look like JM herself (Image from her website):

But...Check back with me in 30 days, when I suspect we will see a slim super model standing where I used to be...Or well, at least a smaller version of myself?

Those rascals at amazon got the video here in record time, four short days. Sigh. So, I begin NOW. 
Like it or not, today I start shaking what the good Lord gave me to lose what he did not. 

Phoebe, I vow for your mommy to be a healthy role model! I hope to be able to look and feel much better for the trip to China in about 2 months, when we go get her.

Here is a recent image of 5'4", 200-and-too-much, ME. I am in baggy sweats painting the nursery, but it is quite correct.

For you ladies out there, I am in about a size 16+, though I dream of 14 which I was a few years ago when I got married (and dare I say  would like to be a size 12?!).

My body has never been made for much smaller than that. I only saw 10's and 8's in college when I really was not healthy food wise!

So here we go... let me know if you are trying as well. I am happy to share some motivation, and the journey.

Blessings, Lynette

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

While waiting for Article 5 and TA: Home and Body Renovations!

While we wait for this current stage in the game we are getting things done in the house.

I will take some photos along the way to share.

I call the house work during the wait "Operation China"

And my hopeful weight loss "China Boot Camp"

Let's all hope there are some marked results on BOTH fronts!

Blessings, Lynette

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Donate to our yard sale, or have your own for Phoebe :)

To our local friends:
The Adoption Yard Sale is in planning phase.

It will be May or June (?).  I will update here and facebook with details.  :)

Please help us by saving items to donate the night before or morning of the yard sale. (because our home is not large, we cannot save them all here in advance...our drive way is not over-sized either, so this should be interesting.)

If you would like to donate to our adoption, you can do so by dropping off your in-GOOD-shape sale-able items that you would be getting rid of anyway.

When the sale is over the items will be passed along to freecycle or a charity.

To anyone, friends and family near and far:
You can help too by hosting your own yard sale, or other event, in Phoebe's honor, then gifting the money made to her fundraiser. This is a way that many families and friends help support adopting families, and we would certainly welcome this with much gratitude!

Will you commit to doing a fundraising to support one beloved orphan, our Phoebe, and to bring awareness to the plight of the 147 million orphans world wide? 

check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5Xigq_bBaQ

We in fact have paid for the huge majority of adoption related fees with our own hard work, with sweat and tears. I took many extra hours (until now) at work, and kev has been working over time.  So please know that we are not looking for mere hand outs!

We still work and spend as needed to live our daily lives, we still give to charity ourselves when we can and according to prayer, both now and in the future we will live our lives, we will go away for to do something special, we will move if it is in our future, etc, and these all cost money out of our own pockets.... But the reason why adoptive families do fundraising (and MANY of us do) is because adoption fees are extraordinary.

 {ex·traor·di·nar·y  (k-strôrdn-r, kstr-ôr-)
1. Beyond what is ordinary or usual: extraordinary authority.
2. Highly exceptional; remarkable: an extraordinary achievement.
3. Employed or used for a special service, function, or occasion: a minister extraordinary; an extraordinary professor.}

The fact remains that adoption is not covered by insurance like birth-labor is, the list goes on, and so if you choose to support our fundraising, then we thank you so much.

We only ask that the Lord bless us with fundraising as HE sees fit, so lead with your heart through prayer dear friends. 

Blessings, Lynette

Sunday, April 29, 2012

she will be 16 months old when we go get her...soon, baby, soon!

Excited to go to my favorite local consignment shop, Cherry Pick, in Eatontown this week to pick some up some "just in case she is small" outfits in sizes 12 month +.


We need just a few smaller outfits to bring to China in case she is on the small side.

I have mostly 18 month clothes and she will be 16 months when we go.

Most, not all, orphans are slightly smaller than their American counterparts for there size-to-age group whether in orphanage or foster care, though the ones in foster homes tend to get more attention and nutrition. she is in a foster home.

They catch up once we start feeding them! ;)

Funny thing, I have had several people ask me in the past few weeks if she is wearing 3T or 4T clothing right now (what?) 
Not sure where they got that from...I guess just their busy lives ... 

But she is only 14 month old right now, as I type this, a mere little pudgy toddler baby.

We are putting her crib together in the coming week or two. (convertible type so we can easily convert in the coming months as needed)

She will only be 16 months old when we go get her. little.

I. can. not. wait.

Here again is one of the most recent pics of her, not sure if this is on the blog yet, but it was taken at her one year old birthday party, just 2 months ago. I like that we can see the man's hand in this image so we can get an idea of her size. 

Isn't she amazingly beautiful? we just adore her. 

(want to kiss those pudgy baby cheeks)


Blessings, Lynette

Sunday, April 22, 2012

sneak peek at the nursery

There is much to do, but here is a look at the furniture, wall, and closet colors.

Aqua is the design splash of color. The frame was bought by mom during one of her NJ Shore visits.

We went for our jelly doughnuts and coffee at Muller's Bakery (A Landmark!)   http://www.muellersbakery.com/ then to the shops next door where we found the frame.

The pics in the frame are the most recent we have of Phoebe, when she turned one at the end of February (we hope to travel to get her at the end of June or beginning of July).

Blessings, Lynette

Friday, April 20, 2012


So excited to simply report our approval. Another step on the journey to Phoebe, completed. Almost there little'n.

.Blessings, Lynette