Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lovin' on my girl

I've come to really enjoy the simple moments with Ellie.  Though she still seems confused with her emotions most times, she has begun to find comfort in our routine.  She has figured out that if she's hungry, needs to be changed or wants her shoes put on, I'm her girl :)

I remember praying for her as I packed each outfit...I love putting them on her each morning!

Another favorite part of my morning...doing her hair!

Putting a bow in Mommy's hair

One of her favorite things to do....make silly faces!

Brushing Mommy's hair

Looking forward to LOTS more special times with my girl!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lumpini Park

What a fun family day!  Each day is bringing about a little more of Ellie's personality and we are so thankful for that.  She still really prefers Stephen which is hard when all I want to do is scoop her up and hug her, but everyday is bringing more bonding, and I'm praising God for the small victories :)

Today we spent the day walking around Lumpini Park and letting the kids be kids on the playground.  Max especially LOVED this!  Then it was back to the hotel for more pool time.  Loving my family of four!

Rockin' Mommy's sunglasses.  Seriously, do we not have the CUTEST kids!!

 Such a beautiful park!

Big brother showing Ellie how its done!

Ellie decided going up the slide is way more fun!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The best big brother ever!

Our Max has done it again...blown us away by his awesomeness!  He is SO in love with his sister!  And so patient with her.  We're still really walking through some very difficult grieving issues...but there are moments when Ellie seems to just want to have some fun...and coincidentally enough, they are always times when Max is around :)

The last two days we've just laid low and tried enjoying our time as a family of four.  Ellie had her Visa medical visit today and it all went great.  Max was really concerned...he kept asking "but Mom, what will happen if the doctor says Ellie isn't ok to get on the plane with us?!"  Luckily there was nothing to worry about there :)

Tomorrow we're heading to Lumpini Park to let the kids have some playground time.  The weather isn't as hot as we remember from our last trip so it should be fun!!

Please continue to pray for our sweet girl as she begins to learn what a family looks like and some of her walls begin to come down.  Thanks!!

Yesterday was "Aggie Day" for the kids' outfits :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back to Bangkok

Today we headed back to Bangkok from Pattaya, though it was not planned that way.  Ellie's medical appt for her Visa was scheduled for much sooner than we originally were told.  Though we were sad to leave Pattaya without getting to explore much, the upside is that our place in BKK is at least three times bigger, and we're seeing that perhaps the change in scenery was a good thing for our girl.

She has really started to enjoy playing with Max today.  He's so patient with her, and we're seeing a bit of her goofy personality come out!

Since today was pretty boring as far as blogging goes, I thought I'd tell you all some of the things we've learned about Ellie so far.

* She LOVES to snack on goldfish crackers and fruitloops
* She is a hard sleeper
* She is not tender headed at all!  Last night I had to take out what felt like 50 tiny hair bands that the
   nannies had put in and she didn't flinch once!
* She loves to look at herself in the mirror.  She just smiles and sways back and forth :)
* She's got a bit of a rough and tumble side.  When playing catch with the bouncy ball with Max she
   wasn't afraid to really get after it!

Can't wait to find out a million more things!  Not sure what tomorrow will hold....maybe some souvenir shopping!

Sorry for the lack of pictures today, a lot of the day was spent in the car and getting "moved" out of one hotel and into another.

Crazy hair before bath time

So pretty!

LOVE seeing both our kiddos playing together!

Dancing and smiling in the mirror :)

Such a goof ball!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Today we met our daughter

What an incredible day!  There are no words for the emotions you feel when you first lay eyes on your child.  Ellie is amazing!  She's so beautiful, ten times more so than what we saw in pictures, she has the longest eye lashes I've ever seen, her voice is low and raspy like Max's was and she is 100% daddy's girl already!  She was very unsure when we first met her at the babies home, but within a few minutes she decided she wanted Stephen to hold her and she literally hasn't let him put her down since!

We were originally told that Ellie would stay and the orphanage one more night and then tomorrow we could bring her with us.  But, they felt that since she latched so strongly on to Stephen right away it was best to let her continue with that bonding time and she came back with us today!  We are now officially forever a family of four!!

Ellie has shown some appropriate signs of grieving, but they are definitely much stronger than what we experienced with Max so we are in uncharted territory here.  We would really covet prayers as she begins to hopefully bond with and trust us.

Max is an INCREDIBLE big brother, just as we knew he would be.  He's quick to bring her anything he think she might need or want and he wants to make sure Ellie sees anything "cool" that he's doing.

And now for the part you all really!!!

Our first "family of four" photo!!!

 The photo book we sent her months ago!

Still can't believe BOTH of my children are together!!

I had to wait to sneak in my cuddle time when she fell asleep :)  

We are so in love!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Forever grateful to Pakkred

Today was an amazing, though emotional day!  The nannies and teachers at Pakkred Babies Home clearly loved our son deeply while he lived there and they remembered him immediately!  Max was the talk of the babies home as it spread from one area to the other that "Thanakorn is here!!"  They all commented on how handsome is and couldn't wait to hug him.  What do you say to the people who raised your son before you could?  My words felt so inadequate.  I am so thankful we had this time to visit with them and show them how well Max is doing.  This will be a memory the three of us have for a life time!

I told Max, it seems like just yesterday we took the exact same picture as we drove up to meet him for the very first time.

Mae Sim was the head of House 7 when Max was there (the house where Max lived when he was 3).  She and Max were very close and Max remembers her very well.

The sweet nanny who cared for Max in the clinic after his cleft surgery.  She told us a great story about Max sneaking a bottle of milk he wasn't supposed to have after the procedure :)

Max's favorite teacher, Kru Tong (he taught Max preschool).

Sweet Phanu, the little boy Lek now takes care of.

Of course Max found a way to fit some baseball in!

After our visit we made our way to Pattaya and we are now in the same city as Ellie!  At 10am tomorrow morning, the orphanage director will be here to come pick us up and take us to meet her.  I can't believe I will finally see her face to face!  Tonight it was the strangest feeling packing the bag with her things, surreal almost.  Those of you that have been journeying with us since our trip to bring Max home might remember the picture I posted of the toothbrushes.  Well...tonight it happened again :)

I get a little teary eyed at the site of four toothbrushes (including one very cute pink one!) sitting together on the counter!  Stephen and I have been blessed beyond what he have ever thought to ask for.  Our God is so good!!! 

Ellie will stay one more night at the orphanage tomorrow, but I will post picture tomorrow of our day spent together!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Massage and ice cream anyone?

Oh, jet lag has set in big time!  But, today has been wonderfully relaxing so I can't complain too much :)  We are staying with Lek, the amazing volunteer who cared for Max before he came home to us and her husband Edmond.  They were kind enough to have their masseuse come to the house today and both Stephen and I got 2 hour massages!  You read that right.....2 hours!  It was awesome!

Max has been LOVING his time with Lek and Edmond!  He has settled right back into being with them and its clear the three of them have a very special bond!   It is emotional to watch my little boy laugh and play with the two people who so deeply loved and cared for him before we could be with him. 

Tomorrow we are heading to Pakkred, the babies home where Max lived for his first three years.  Max says he's very excited to go and seems to have no reservations.  I know the experience will be a heavy one and we've been praying for a long time that this visit will be a joyful one for Max.  Please be praying with us tomorrow (it will be 10pm Sunday night for you all) that God will protect our sweet boy's heart and that Stephen and I will have the right words for what I am sure are many questions that will come from our visit.  As a family we discuss very openly Max's adoption and the love that his Thai mommy had for him to chose life for him at Pakkred, but I have to imagine there are hundreds of possible questions we've never thought to address.

Thanks for all your love and support!!!  Its been wonderful reading all of your facebook comments and posts on the blog!

This is the lego set that Max would play with when he would come to Lek and Edmond's house years ago!  I LOVE that they kept it!

Swensen's Ice Cream for dessert!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

We made it!!

Yay!  We are here!!!  We are so unbelievably tired and jetlagged, but, we're here and that's all that matters!  Today, the friends we are staying with have two hour massages arranged for us in their yes please!!!  So looking forward to that!

Max was quiet and pensive as we drove through BKK last night.  Granted he couldn't see much in the darkness, but the importance of being back in the country of his birth is not lost on him and I pray this trip is as special to him as it is to us!  He woke up excited and ready to explore!!  Hoping to post some pictures of our day tonight!!  Thanks for all your prayers for safe travels!!

Our window view from the plane.  As we could slowly began to see the city lights of Bangkok below us I couldn't help myself from tearing up.  All four of us are FINALLY in the same country...we are within just two hours of our girl!!!

Blogging from Seoul!

First leg down!  Man oh, man that's a long time on a plane!  Our little rock star did AMAZING!  Max has been nervous about flying ever since we started talking about bringing Ellie home.  The only other time he's been on a plane was when we brought him home, and it wasn't such a pleasant experience for the guy :(  But, this time was totally different!  He was SO brave during take off (the part he was most nervous about) and had a blast watching movies and playing games!

Now, we're killing two hours in Seoul and then its on to BKK!!  Can't wait to go to sleep tonight...or this morning...what ever time it is!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

And we're off!

Next time I post it will be from Seoul!!  Baby girl, we're coming!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

First stop....Chicago!

Well the adventure has in fact begun!  We ended up bringing four suitcases instead of the three of was hoping for :(  But, we've made it onto the train, back off the train and through crowded Union Station with them and we did ok, so I think we will survive!  It will however be a brand new challenge when we add a potentially squirmy two year old to that mix!!

The train ride did not disappoint for Max!  For the first fifteen minutes he kept saying "this is just so cool!  We're actually on a train!"  Then the rest of the three hour trip was spent doing this....

For me, the train ride began like this...

  But eventually became...."babe, we packed the ___ right?"  or "can you just check your bag one more time and quadruple check all our important papers are in there?"  My mind was racing!!  When it wasn't racing though, I was blinking back tears as the realization that we are FINALLY on our way to our girl hit me in a new wave!  Oh I'm a hot mess....but I love it!

We're going to attempt to stay up as late as we can tonight and get only a couple hours of sleep that way we'll be plenty tired when we board the plane in the morning.  As if he wasn't excited enough about this huge trip....this is Max's view from our hotel room

A perfect view of the O Hare run way!  He's been watching planes take off and land all afternoon and he just keeps saying...."oh, maybe that ones ours, I think its that one!"

Thanks for all the prayers and support!  We love you guys!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Holding our breath

I can't believe it's the night before we head out!  All these months of waiting and here we are!!!  Our big dilemma at the moment is the suitcase situation :)  I'm not a light packer, I'll be the first to admit that...but I'm genuinely trying!  No one, including me wants to lug a ton of super heavy suitcases around the airport!  But on the other hand, we're going to be in country for almost three weeks, and well a girl needs a certain amount of stuff :)  But my sweet hubby reminds me often of the need to be practical so I'll keep the extras to a minimum.  My least favorite time at the airport is when we go to the counter and they weigh the luggage, I literally hold my breath....praying we didn't go over and have to pay the fee :)  well, here's what we have so far

Heading to Chicago on the train in the morning ( Max's favorite part of the whole trip!) and then fly out Friday morning!  We're so close to our girl!!