Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! And a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 20th

The beautiful flower girls with the bride and groom. Sarah and Chayah have a second big brother now, too!
*More pictures to come..

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wedding Rehersal

Chayah and Sarah helping set up for the wedding. Gorgeous girls.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Three Years Ago

December 11, 2006. We finally had our beautiful baby girl in our arms forever. The day was crazy, complete with an almost 10 hour drive, being extremely tired, and getting really sick, but I wouldn't change that day for the world. That was the day I became a big sister. That day, three years ago today, I held my 2 year old mei mei (little sister) at last. Our dream became a reality when she was finally in our arms forever. Now five years old, this little girl has definitely changed my life. Watching Barbie princess movies, building very complicated tents and houses that fill entire rooms with a maze of blankets, or reading a book (she's getting so good at reading!!), I cannot imagine life without Sarah Lu. She's my little princess. I love you, Sarah Lu! Happy three years Gotcha, gorgeous girl!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

For a certain day..

We have two of these..

These for Sarah Lu..

These for Chayah..
(currently being made with a special lift on one shoe)
And some of these..

Of course this big day would be Chrissy's wedding day! In just two weeks, it'll be here! On December 20th.. two certain little girls are going to be beautiful flower girls again!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chayah's Story

This is one amazing story! I've been meaning to share it for some time, since Chayah has come home, actually. Finally, almost 11 months later, I'm getting around to posting it!

It all started after our Sarah Lu came home. She was 2 1/2 exactly on Gotcha day. It was December 2006. When she came home, still only being 30 months old, she had a big heart for her friends still in China. She began to tell us about two children in particular all the time, every chance she got. When we would play at the park, she would talk about "Di Di", a little boy she called her little brother. And as we would all be together, she would talk about "Duo Duo", a little girl who was two years older than her from her orphanage. These children became a part of our daily lives. We printed out their pictures and put them up around the house. We all began to talk about them as much to each other as Sarah had told us about them. These two kids, half a world away, became a part of our family.

In April of 2007, we were browsing Rainbow Kids website. We stopped as we saw a tiny picture, the agency assigned name of "Jane", and "Asia" as the only other part of her description. Still, when we clicked to enlarge the tiny picture, we knew it was her. It was Duo Duo, the very same little girl that was already on our hearts! Scrolling down the website, with the same agency, we found that Sarah's "Di Di" was also on their waiting child list, only listed as "Michael". We were overjoyed that we had found their files!

However, at this time, we had only been home with Sarah for not quite four months. With another eight months until we had been home a year, and also being in the middle of a move across state, it wasn't the right time for us to adopt again. So, we waited. We kept in contact with the agency and there were several families interested in Duo Duo. Each one, though, fell through. Little "Di Di" remained without a family as well. In July 2007, we watched as their files were returned to China, without being matched with families. We were devastated and desperately wanted to do more, but each time we would consider the possibility, it just continued to be presented to us that it was not the right time.

For the next four months we continued to have their pictures around the house and pray for them and that they would find their families. We weren't sure if another adoption was in the making for our family. But in November 2007, my Mom knew that we needed to adopt again. And so began the process of contacting agencies with waiting child lists. We thought, even if we couldn't bring home one of these kids that we have been praying for, we can bring home one more. We received the passwords of several waiting child listings and several little ones caught our eye. Each time we would ask an agency about a specific child, though, that child would have just been placed with a family; they were no longer waiting. This happened five times within the span of about a week.

The last time we contacted CCAI about a little girl on their list who was born just one day before our Sarah and in the same general area as well. Could this be it? But when they wrote back, it was the same as the ones before, she had been matched with a family. In replying to CCAI's email about this little girl, my Mom just had to ask one question. The chances were extremely low, seeing as this was when all files went to individual agencies only and not a shared list. There was nothing to make us suspect this, but still, we knew that we needed to ask. She asked if there was at all a possibility that CCAI had received any files of waiting children from the Langfang SWI in Hebei province. And then asked specifically about a certain "Dang Duo Duo", a little girl we had been praying for for some time.

After sending the email, we thought the chance that they possibly could have even heard of this small orphanage in northern China was slim. But then they wrote back to us. The message wasn't long but only said, "Call me ASAP!!!!!!!!!!" followed by her direct phone number. My mom called right away. Then the lady at CCAI told us that at the moment when she had opened our previous email, asking if there was any chance of them getting a referral of a little girl named Dang Duo Duo, she had had the same little girl's file sitting out on her desk! CCAI had had Duo Duo's file. The lady at CCAI was just getting ready to send it back to China, as she had been unable to find a family for the second time. That was it; we now knew that Duo Duo was meant to be a part of our family.

We started her adoption within days and started the process to bring her home. And finally on January 24, 2009, Chayah came home.

Chayah at home

Sarah and Chayah together

**Note: The little boy that we prayed for, "Di Di" was placed with a family and came home in March 2008. He now lives less than an hour away from us.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Snapshot: Chayah

Chayah Elizabeth Enduo, 7 years old

For being seven, Chayah is tiny. She wears mostly size 5's in clothes and a size 11 shoe. She is much smaller than little sister, Sarah. Her hands and wrists are so tiny that I'm afraid they will break. She just has extremely tiny bones.

She is silly. Extremely silly. This little girl loves to laugh and to make everyone around her laugh. She is always saying "tickle, tickle, tickle" and giggling.

Gum must be her absolute favorite "food", if it can be called that. Her favorite is fruit flavored gum because mint is too "spicy" for her. Although her other favorite thing to eat is rice with very hot sauce on it, in which case she loves the spicy taste. Silly girl.

Home for less than a year, she has picked up English very quickly and everyone who meets her is surprised when they hear she only came home this past January. Now in Kindergarten, she is learning very quickly. She sings the alphabet song around the house with Sarah and is even learning to read!

Chayah means life restored in Hebrew. We chose this name for her because of her diagnosis of NF1, Neurofibromatosis, as well as her leg which was broken. Since coming home, Chayah has had surgery and her lower leg has been 'rodded'. She walks so much better than when she came home; finally able to walk easily and has the hope of learning to run. Having Chayah in our lives is such a blessing. I am so thankful that God led us to her through a miraculous story of finding her file, but that story is for another day. For now, I am just so incredibly blessed to have my Chayah as my little sister.

Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Live United

There's my Sarah and my Chayah, along with their teacher and their Kindergarten class, all dressed up in United Way's "Live United" shirts. This picture is featured on a billboard in our city! Such a sweet picture! And I still can't believe that it is up on along the highway for everyone to see as they drive by! My sisters are so cute :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chayah's Shriners Visit

Last Monday Chayah had her Shriners appointment. And it went really well! We found out that her leg is healing wonderfully (something we were concerned about) and that it all seems to be doing great! The doctor encouraged us to touch her leg- although she still screams if you get near it, but he assured us the screams are not from pain, as she happily let all the doctors nurses and therapists examine her foot and leg. She had also been hesitant to walk what we call "open leg", which is when her leg brace is not locked and she is able to bend her knee. Well, we were afraid she just couldn't do it yet, or perhaps that it hurt, but she ran and walked all around open leg for the doctor! She was really good at showing off! They had a physical therapist there and he gave us "homework" a paper of therapies and exercises to encourage Chayah to use certain muscles in her leg, such as pretending to walk on a tight-rope with feet heel to toe and hands out and marching and criss-cross leg. The brace/prosthetics man re-did Chayah's brace and took out the "lock" and also made another shoe for her (adding about 3 inches in height to the bottom of one). She had x-rays taken and layed perfectly still for them and got stickers and a beanie baby when she was done! Everyone commented on how cute and SMART she was! She had a fun time in the appointment when Dr. Smith started drawing on the chalkboard with her! He kept spelling her name up-side down, which she found hilarious! The highlight however of the trip was after the appointment was done, in the bathroom getting ready to walk out and out popped her tooth! She was SO excited! We had been waiting for it to come out all day! On the drive home we ended the trip with a stop to Panda Express where Chayah got her favorite of noodles and orange chicken!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shriners and Sleepovers

Tomorrow Chayah has an appointment at Shriners. They will be looking at her leg as well as making her another pair of shoes. The hospital does not want anyone under the age of 18 who is not the patient there, so right now Sarah is at her very first sleepover! She is having a fun time with big sister Rachael and her husband David! We said bye as they were leaving to go out for pizza! Sarah could not be more excited about her special time with Rachael. She gave us all hugs, but assured us she is gonna be fine! She was definitely anxious to start her fun time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sister Time

I was watching the girls the other day and so as a fun, sister evening, we decided that popcorn and watching Barbie Fairytopia were both required. Definitely a classic Sarah Lu time with her all-time favorite food (and also a favorite of Chayah's) and of course, none other than a Barbie movie, which are Sarah Lu's absolute favorite movies. Ever. Pretty awesome sister time!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Orphan Sunday HOPE

Today, November 8th, is Orphan Sunday. Steven Curtis Chapman, Show Hope, and Cry of the Orphan put on an awesome Orphan Sunday special this evening. We watched it through a live webcast and I loved it! No matter how many times I hear the statistics on orphans worldwide, each time it still strikes me. There are 143 million orphans around the world today. Before, Sarah and Chayah were apart of that number. Today, they watched the broadcast with us, in our arms and cuddling on the couch watching the TV. They even jumped up and danced along with the adorable and excellent Children of the World Choir. Chayah sang along and excitedly said, "This is my favorite song!" when Steven Curtis Chapman sang Hillsong's "Mighty to Save". With speakers and music, it was just an awesome show!

Also, I just finished making a video to the song "Orphans of God" by Avalon.. For those of you who have followed for awhile, you may remember that I posted another one to this song a while back, this is the updated version to that one.. also, I made this one to specially feature Our Creator's HOPE: Helping with Orphan Placement Expenses.
Here's the video:

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's the..

..most wonderful time of the year! =)

Chayah and I were both very excited to be walking around Macy's the other day and see all the Christmas decorations up. It's just so beautiful! Christmas decorations and Christmas music and pretty much just everything about Christmas makes me happy. It's just wonderful!

This will be Chayah's first Christmas at home. That fact makes everything that I love so much about Christmas time even better! Seeing a bunch Christmas trees with all their decorations set up in store is a new "first" for her. Having missed 6 years of firsts, these little ones that we get are pretty special!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009