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Wow – It has been a VERY long time since I blogged on Lydia’s website!  So much has happened since then and now that school is out and I’ve gotten through some of the fog associated with adding a new child to the family, I can post more often.  I will start out with a few pictures of our trip to Winter Park this past February to go skiing with two other families.  We had a wonderful time and Lydia loved the snow!!

Skiing in Winter Park, CO

Skiing in Winter Park, CO

Enjoying the Snow with Grammy and Nathan

Enjoying the Snow with Grammy and Nathan

One of the things that astounds me about Lydia is her instant recognition of all people who are Asian.  Anytime she sees them, she pulls my finger – making sure I notice, then she laughs and claps.   We gave her Ivy, the Asian American Girl doll, for Christmas and she absolutely loves it.  Well….actually it’s for all three girls 🙂

Lydia and Ivy

Lydia and Ivy

Lydia is a budding musician.  She loves playing the piano when the other kids are practicing. She is really determined!

Lydia and Rebekah playing a duet!

I guess we need to start the indoctrination to KU early, huh??!

KU

In April, we had the unfortunate incident of running Lydia to the ER for her first time!  We were at Crown Center and she fell, lacerating her left eye.  By the next morning, she had somehow managed to untie two of the four stitches and by twenty-four hours, she had all of them untied and removed!

Lydia's stitched eye

Some of my favorite photos of Lydia:

Lydia and Daddy!

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Christmas Snapshots

Michael and Chris

Michael and Chris

Getting ready to go out!

Getting ready to go out!

Aunt Linda and Cousin Scott

Aunt Linda and Cousin Scott

All the Grandkiddos

All the Grandkiddos

Aunt Lisa and Cousin Jessica

Aunt Lisa and Cousin Jessica

AUnt Sharon and Uncle Lou

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Lou

Celebrating with Grammy

Celebrating with Grammy

The Reddick side

The Reddick side

Climbing up and down boxes with Aunt Darla

Climbing up and down boxes with Aunt Darla

Playing at Crayola Land

Playing at Crayola Land

Hugging on Uncle Roger's Teddy Bear

Hugging on Uncle Roger's Teddy Bear

Zonked out with Aunt Kim, Grammy, and Aunt Helen

Zonked out with Aunt Kim, Grammy, and Aunt Helen

Last Sunday, we were so blessed to have so many friends stop by and see Lydia for the first time! We had such a great time and want to thank everyone who took precious time out of their day to join us!

Tonya, Sandy, and Joan

Tonya, Sandy, and Joan

Tonya, Sandy, and Joan did an awesome job providing goodies, cake, fruit, and flowers. Way to go and thank you SO MUCH for all you did!!!!!!!!!

One HUGE cake!

One HUGE cake!

These friends also graciously donated money to an organization called, “Packages of Hope”, which is located in Tulsa, OK. This organization raises funds specifically for Lydia’s orphanage (QianJiang Social Welfare Institute). They asked us to shoot for a goal of between $250 and $500 in order to set up a library at the orphanage. All together, we raised $460 – YAHOOO!!!!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!! You all have literally changed the lives of all of the orphans who will live there!

My running buddies!

My running buddies!

Lisa

Lisa

Landon and Rachel

Landon and Rachel

Alan and Regina

Alan and Regina

Lana and Grayson

Lana and Grayson

Eleanor

Eleanor

April and Patty

April and Patty

Grammy

Grammy

Alan

Allan

Wally

Wally

The Jones', ZhunShan, and Xiang Yuan

The Jones' and Zhangs'

What a blessed day – we are overwhelmed with gratitude!!!!!!!!!!

Okay this is my second blog post in less than a week – miracles can happen!!!

Well, I have to hand it to Lydia…..she’s quite brilliant 🙂  Yesterday, Lauren came up to me and said, “Mommy, there are two policeman at the door.”  I thought Lauren was joking because she’s always teasing me by saying, “Mommy, such and such is at the door….”  Only for me to go to the door and no one’s there!  So I said, “Nice try, Sweetie!”  She said, “No, Mommy, I’m SERIOUS this time.” So I thought I should at least go and check.  Sure enough, there were two police officers at my door asking if someone had called 911.  I told them everything was just fine and there were no worries on our end.  So he radioed back to the operator who confirmed that the 911 call DID come from our house.  Then I remembered that Lydia likes pushing the buttons on the phone and was the one who’d managed to do the deed.  After I profusely apologized, we all had a good laugh.  I hope she’s not calling 911 to get away from us!  With all the attention she gets around here, she’s probably getting too overwhelmed!

Lydia has also shown us that she has a tremendous capacity to empathize with those who are crying.  Whenever Rebekah cries, she will imitate her and then go and put her head in her lap.  It is SO cute!

Also, she is communicating amazingly well.  At meal times, she will point to whatever food she’d like to eat, point at herself, then point to her mouth!  I guess it doesn’t take long to figure out her needs!  She’s also getting quite picky about the foods she eats.  She’s picky about the texture, temperature, and lastly, it has to be extra peppery.  I have even put pepper in oatmeal and peaches just for her.  Since Lydia comes from a region in China that’s so accustomed to hot, spicy food, she has natural tendencies for it.  She’s our SPICY GIRL!!!

BIG NEWS!!!!

Hi everyone!  Before I get to the BIG NEWS, I really should post those pictures of Lydia’s birthday that I promised umm…..let’s see….about a month ago??!!  I am so sorry.  My running buddies have been holding my feet to the fire to post them.  So here they are 🙂  We actually celebrated Lydia’s birthday three times!  Once was with Jeff’s family:

Lydia with Aunt Lisa and Cousin Jessica

Lydia with Aunt Lisa and Cousin Jessica

Aunt Shelley, Uncle Chris, Taylor and Eryn

Aunt Shelley, Uncle Chris, Taylor and Eryn

opening presents

opening presents

Lydia LOVES cake!

Lydia LOVES cake!

Then we celebrated with my side of the family.  My brother’s and Lydia’s birthdays are just one day apart!

Celebrating with Uncle Dave, Aunt Kim, Grammy, Rachael and Molly

Celebrating with Uncle Dave, Aunt Kim, Grammy, Rachael and Molly

Then….we had our own family celebration with a special candle that we purchased in China.  You light it and it pops into a large, pink flower and plays “Happy Birthday”!  The picture below is quite funny as the flame looks a little weird and Lydia looks pretty scared by the whole thing!!

Lydia will be a........chef??!!

Lydia will be a........chef??!!

The above picture is a traditional Chinese game that we have played with each of our kids on their first birthday.  The Chinese believe that children are born with natural tendencies and abilities and that, even at one year of age, those abilities shine through in their preferences with what they play with.  So the game is played by lining up a series of objects which represent various professions.  The trick is to pick objects which they are unfamiliar with.  Then put the baby on the other side of the room and whichever object the baby crawls to and picks up first will be their profession!  Lydia picked up the spatula, representing a chef!  Nathan picked up a calculator and to this day really enjoys math.  Lauren picked up a pen and has never really put one down since.  She loves to write stories.  Rebekah was indecisive and picked up a medal (athlete) and a microphone (actress).  Those two things have proven true in her life, too!  So we’ve always enjoyed that game in our family!

Now….on to the BIG NEWS!!!

LYDIA WALKED FOR THE FIRST TIME TONIGHT – YEAH!!!!  She has been standing for about four weeks now but tonight, she took about ten steps like a pro!  She has been crawling up the stairs as fast as she possibly can in recent days and loves investigating literally everything in the house 🙂

Lydia's first steps!

Lydia’s first steps!!!

Lydia’s birthday!

Hi everyone!

I plan to post some pictures really soon about Lydia…..so check back in a few days and we’ll have them up!

Thank you!

I wanted to share this article that our social worker gave us when we went through our home study.  I pulled it out the other day, realizing how much it truly depicts what these sweet kids go through when they are so young and cannot understand what is happening to them.

It is a long read but well worth it.

Imagine for a moment…


You have met the person you’ve dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiance’. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by “soul mate,” for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow.

The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day’s events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the world…the person who will be with you for the rest of your life.

The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner’s arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face.

But IT’S NOT HIM! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man? Where is your beloved?

You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn’t understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back,…even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay.

But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him?

Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn’t speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn’t seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened…that your sweetheart is gone.

You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact.

Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He’s finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don’t understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it.

More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?

You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried.

The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you.

You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy.

The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to “get along.” You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation.

Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair.

Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you’ve ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you’ve never heard before.

He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you’re used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black.

You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to asleep.

People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy’s hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you’ve fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness.

Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you’re hanging on for dear life, you’ve learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along.

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait.

–Written by Cynthia Hockman-Chupp, analogy courtesy of Dr. Kali Miller