Thursday, December 3, 2009

Itty Bitty Pretty One

Young love, Zach and Kaylie:) Pretty girl.

My girl is so beautiful, I marvel at her sometimes when I look into her deep dark eyes and and envy her thick shiny black hair and year round tan:) I hope she can grow up with self confidence and pride for her Asian decent. We talk openly with her about her heritage already at this young age, I don't ever want her to feel surprised by it. As her language skills grow, we are trying to talk more about China. Sometimes I'll say Chinese phrases to her and gauge her reaction you can tell even with my terrible pronunciation of Mandarin that she recognizes it, she will repeat me when I call her Zheng Shuang. Maybe it's time for some Mandarin Lessons, I have a CD ROM my Mom bought us.... anyway just rambling. Gonna add some pics we took this past weekend. Has a nice vacation for a whole week and now I am home with strep. On a side note Zach has an appointment to record a demo with a friend of mine that has a studio this Sunday, I am so excited for him, i hope he is not too nervous to perform well. He usually does pretty good, where did that kid get all his charisma hmmmm:)??

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gotcha Day 1 yr Anniversary!

Wow I can't believe its been a year! I don't know where the time has gone. We asked Aubrey yesterday if she remembered when we held her for the first time and said "I am your Mama I love you, I am your Baba I love you" (in Mandarin), she said "Chinese". It was cute. She is cute and funny and healthy and happy and a little stinker sometimes, and so darn smart. When I think about all the things they told us about Zheng Shuang while we were waiting in those weeks after we found out who our daughter was, about her special needs, her heart conditional and her developmental delays, her poor fine motor skills it really puzzles me. Were they watching the same little girl? My little girl has a healthy heart, my little girl came to me with the the best fine motor skills of any child I've ever known, she could pick up a flea and stick it in her mouth, and she's smart as a whip. I know I am blessed that she is healthy when she was supposed to be special needs, and trust me I feel like it was Divine intervention. After all I overcame personally this year, it has been a blessing not to have to deal with medical of developmental interventions. To spite a few little colds here and there and a staff infection she got over the summer, she has been remarkably healthy. Today we celebrate a milestone, life with Aubrey just gets better every day. We finally learned how to be the parents of a little munchkin again, we have her unconditional love, she overcame he initial insecurity over me leaving the room or leaving her with my mom while I worked (that was a challenge), she has bonded strongly with everyone in our family including aunts, uncles and cousins. Her language is continuing to improve (this is the one area where I do feel that she is a little behind for her age, my sister is a speech pathologist and she says she is within normal speech parameters for her age and feels that she will catch up on her own) she is now speaking in sentences. She is the best girl when it comes to sleep and eating, she will eat anything and sleeps 12 hours at night with a 2 hour nap at noon, could you ask for more? She sleeps in her own room now, did not have nay issue transitioning out of our room, and she goes right to sleep when you put her down. And she is doing well with potty training which we have kind of taken slowly due to my work schedule. Amazing! Now don't get me wrong, we have behavioral issues like any 2 1/2 year old, but she is easily corrected. I just feel very lucky today and everyday to have this beautiful Little sunshine in my life. We waited for so long, it thought it would never happen, and it has. Our family is complete and now we can go on living a happy life. Mama, BaBa, GuGu and Aubrey a forever family! I'm including some pics from our Gotcha Day a year ago today and some from our picnic this past weekend.

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Time Last year

Aubrey in her foster home, a few weeks before we brought her home.
Aubrey Trick or Treating on Halloween....

This time last year, In a land far away, the land where you were born, I waited to hold you in my
arms...time seemed to stand still. Only four more days until I finally saw your face, felt your warm breath against my skin. The Angel in my dreams for all these years, the little figurine with dark longing eyes. In this strange land of hustle and bustle and things of wonder, I knew you waited too. We were strangers then sweet child, I wanting the love of a child, you needing the love of a mother. One year ago fate was about to bring us together. Where has the first year gone?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wrapping up Month 11 and a disertation....

Zheng Shuang (Aubrey) at approximately 3 months not long after she was found, she must have been loved by someone.

Well it is fall and the leaves in East, TN are changing, everything changes sooner or later. I've been so busy. It's the time of year with my job that I am really working hard and on the road a lot and so is Jimmy, it's been challenging but overall I think very good for me. It has given me some old my confidence back, confidence that I can work and be a good wife and Mom! I gotta tell ya it was shaken about this time last year. We were anticipating travelling to China, on the countdown with only a few days to go an I was riddled with fear and anxiety. I can't believe I was ever so frightened of this precious little girl I have come to know and love so completely. I thought the feelings would be with me forever, they invaded every part of my life, haunted me by day and night, kept me from sleeping for months on end, the fear eventually turned into a great sadness for the loss of myself, of the joyful life that I once led. I will never forget boarding the plane in Atlanta, somewhat of a frequent flyer, feeling like I was going to loose my cookies any moment, frozen in one place unable to move without being pulled along by my wonderful and supportive family. I can't really explain the fear, it had been building for months. I think back now and I can see that it was a fear of failure greater than anything else, there were feelings of inadequacy, of doubt in my ability to completely give myself as a mother to this child I was yet to know, a mourning of the free wheeling life that I was "giving up". Our adoption was years in the making, followed by years of desire and attempts to have a baby the traditional way. Once if finally culminated I felt I had changed, like I had outgrown this deep need that I had for another child. I was so afraid to voice these thoughts lest God strike me down. The blessing was in the midst and I the one who had begged and pleaded and prayed and worked so hard for this was suddenly uncertain.

Then, we fast forward to China time, I guess from sheer exhaustion (or perhaps the hand of God) kicked in, I slept for the first time in months through the night each night of our journey, on our fifth day in China my precious baby girl was placed in my arms for the very first time. I will never forget my first words whispered in my daughters ear, Ichi Mama, Wu ai ni (sp?), I am your Mama, "I love you", and she looked at me as if she had been waiting on me, her sad eyes pleading for love. It was instant, it was deep, it was like giving birth and holding my son in his first moment of life. Different and the same. My sadness and fear stuck with me for months more only recently lifting to where I can see where I was and where I am now. Each day after returning home I awoke with the resolve to love and care for my little blessing, to teach her how to live a full life, and to watch her grow strong. In eleven months so much has changed she was once a withdrawn, shy little one, now she is strong, bright and funny and deeply loved. When I think about her beginnings in the world, I am sad for her loss, and for the woman who made the greatest sacrifice imaginable for this child. I am also amazed by all the people that came together to touch her life, nourish and care for her as best they could until she could find her way home. I am grateful to Zhengzhou SWI for her early care, to her foster mother who must have been broken hearted to give her up, to Pam and Clay at Swallows Nest for loving my girl so much and providing her with as real a home as they could, with food and warm clothes, with hugs and kisses and medicine, for getting her ready to have a family, and for easing the fears of an anxious mother as best as they could. I thank CCAI for orchestrating what seems like an impossible task, for making this all possible and for doing it with grace and kindness. For our guides in China who became our friends, kept up safe and comforted us through such uncertain times, for my family at home and with me in China, for not really understanding what I was going through but loving and supporting me anyway, my son (my sunshine), my husband (my rock) who must have felt desperate and afraid himself, my dear cousin Kelly who left her own family at home and made such sacrifices to be probably the best travel companion I could have asked for. For my Mom, without her, I could not do what I do, be who I am. For the friends we made along the our journey, families who were very much in the same boat as we were, mothers just as anxious as me. For the support of all my friends at home, who know who they are and how much they helped. For my sweet girl, who hasn't always seen my best side, but has adored me from the beginning. She makes me laugh and smile, she makes our family complete, she makes me see that this journey, this Adoption journey, has been at the same time the hardest and most wonderful thing I have ever done. Our red threads were many, and we are still discovering them, we are happy...I am happy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Aubrey at 1 year of age.

Aubrey at 2 1/2.

It's hard to beleive it has been almost 10 months, this time last year we were just recieveing our LOA. I remember how excited, emotional and SCARED to death I was. Now Aubrey is sitting beside me on the couch and watching cartoons and we are at peace. One day I will write about my emotional journey during our adoption, it has certainly been a rollercoaster I never expected to ride. I always thought adoption was about wanting a child and finding a child that needed a home and then after a bunch of formalities life resumes and your family is complete, A to Z just like that. In reality that scenario is full of giant HOLES. To sum it up it has been the most fullfilling wonderful thing and the hardest thing I have ever done......I'll write a book about it one day I think:)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Just loved this photo thought I'd add it. Jimmy, Aubrey and I went to the beach last week, Destin, FL. It was my National Sales Meeting for work, had a great week. It is always a really exhausting week too much overindulgence, eat to much drink too much stay out too late and come home feeling like you got hit by a semi! I was rather proud that I kindaof took it easy on myself and feel better than usual, i might just shake off the fog by tomorrow, just got home yesterday. Aubrey is doing really great, she recently went through a pretty whiney phase that was driving me nuts but it seems to have passed. I find that with kids these patches usually do if you don't pay them too much attention. She continues to be such a loving, sweet little blessing. Zach is doing great also, school is going well so far, he has a really sweet girlfriend, we are looking for a vehicle for him, he is still playing guitar and singing his heart out. What a lucky Mom I am:)

Monday, August 3, 2009

What's new?

Nothing....nothing new anyway:) All is well in the Lee household. Zach is about to start back to school, he is working really hard on his music. He's been playing guitar for a few months now and he has always been a great singer, but he's putting it all together now and making music. I am so proud of him. I always new he had talent, it is just great to see him be so passionate about something. Check him out on youtube....

He'll have more to come!

Aubrey is doing great too, she is so smart and getting to be quite the roudy one! She's keeping us on our toes. Her language is getting better she's using lot's of phrases and we are really encouraging her. She can count to ten and say a really cute version of the ABC's. She is getting big and her hair is getting long. Oh and she LOVES to dance. We went to Opreyland hotel last weekend and she danced for three hours one night to country line dancing music, it was so cute she was trying to do the moves:) I bought her some cowboy boots with lights in the heal and she just thought she was really something else! Here are some pics....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fun on the Hiwassee River

We've been spending as much time as we can on our pontoon boat, boating season is short so you gotta get out there while you can. As you can see Aubrey loves it, she loves to swim and dance to the music we have playing on the boat. I was just looking back at pictures from China it is hard to believe we are approaching 8 months with our special little girl. What a ride! You know my mind is just starting to clear.... for months I have been on autopilot. Having a little one again is a lot of work, I guess conceptually I knew it would be but refused to acknowledge it. We have a good routine going which is key. I could not ask for a better child I have said this so many times but Aubrey is super flexible, she just goes with the flow most of the time. She is loving and smart and has such a good sense of humor, she keeps us laughing and smiling. She is such a blessing. Since our last post we have had fathers day, and the 4th of July. We took Jimmy out to eat for fathers day, it was a special day with our kids. For the 4th we had a big party at our house. Jimmy worked had for two weeks to finish out deck, we added a huge addition to it and got a hot tub which we are enjoying very much. Summer has been fun so far! More fun to come before school starts again. I'm Cool.
Loving Daddy....

Aubrey loves her gu gu!

I love this wind blown look!

Zach Aubrey and Trey.

Aubrey and Mommy!

Driving the boat.

Are these guys good looking or what?

Swimming with Daddy.