Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Sweet Izzy

Today is our 2nd Anniversary of Isabella's Gotcha Day!
This may be one of my favorite days in my whole life!

We waited for over 4 years for a referral.  The day after we filled out the special needs application our agency called and said they had a file for us.  We took the full 2 weeks to think and pray about it.  Actually, Trent didn't need to.  He said he knew without a doubt she was ours.  I had a hard time going from a "healthy" 2 year old to a 5 1/2 year old bilateral cleft lip/cleft palate child!  I agonized over this referral.  We told no one about her (except Lori- whom you all saw visit last week).

I had literally been praying for a "slap in the face" answer from God.  And I knew the night Trey told me he wanted his sister to be 5 years old and with a cut on her lip that she was ours (he knew nothing of the referral!).  That was my slap in the face!  Trey had never mentioned age before.  We had never talked about cleft lips (I had no idea he even knew what it was!).

Two months later we were in China.
I can't even begin to think about life without this ray of sunshine.  It brings me to tears every time I think how BLESSED I am I get to be her MaMa.
She is the joy in our home.
She makes us laugh.

We love you Isabella Hope XiaoHua Richmond!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

No, this video has nothing to do with Chinese New Year.
But it is such a sweet song- so grab your kleenexes.

Josh Kelly wrote this about he and Katherine Heigl's adopted daughter from Korea.
So sweet!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another First

A couple days before I left for China to bring Hudson and Sophie home, I ran into my UPS man, Ben.  I told him I was going to China!  Bringing home a couple more!
He was surprised as he hadn't heard the news.  (Usually in a small town everyone knows everything about everybody-- it seems.)
After I told him I was bringing home an 8 year old boy and 14 year old girl he looked straight at me and said, "You know-  they have really good wrestlers in China!"
I didn't know.

You see, Ben was a wrestler, as were his boys.
Wrestling is a big deal here (along with a few other sports) in our little town.
I casually said, "Oh.  Do they?"  And thought nothing more of it.

Fast forward.

I knew within a few weeks of coming home that Hudson would be a wrestler.
He's got it in him.

So, yesterday was another first for Hudson.
And boy was he excited!!
His first wrestling tournament!

Both boys wrestled.  Both did a GREAT job!
Trey's age division is much tougher this year so he really had to work hard for his medal.
I don't think Hudson cared what place he got as long as he got that medal to hang around his neck!

Trey has been the biggest help to Hudson.  He goes to beginners practice with him to make sure he understands.  He helps him at home practice the moves.  And most of all he encourages him.
Hudson would not have had the confidence he does without his GeGe.

Hudson won 2nd place
and Trey won 4th!!!
Both winners in my book!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

What's Left

This is what's left of an apple from a child that has lived in a country where food is sometimes hard to come by and then later in life you are put in a orphanage for far too long.

Never again will she have a shortage of apples.
Unless I've not been to the grocery store and we run out!   :  )

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


That's what this weekend was!!

It was so COOL to see all these Chinese children together!!
There was never a squabble, fight, disagreement, jealousy, bad attitude (except for my kids) or tears.  Unless you count the time that Kate and Hudson ran smack into each other while playing baseball!

They ALL were the best of friends.

There was only one missing for most of the weekend and that would have been the blond haired, blue eyed boy, Trey!  Was he feeling like the minority?  No, he loves Kate, Ellie and was smitten with Rachel!  He had a wrestling tournament on Saturday and was gone most of the day on Sunday.  That is why you won't see him in any photos.  He'll catch up with them at Kamp in June!

It was wonderful to finally meet Rachel and get to hold her and tell her how happy I am that she is home with her family.  She is so precious!  And smart!!
And her English?!  Holy cow!!!  She sounds like she's been home for years!!!!
She is absolutely amazing.

Hudson and Kate seemed to hit it off.  They were together most of the time.  Lori and I are definitely
pre-arranging these two!  (Sorry, Sonia!!)   ;  )

Wesley and our nephew, Caleb, came home to meet the McCary's.  Caleb hadn't met Hudson and Sophie yet either- so it worked out perfect.  It was so good to have those two back home for the weekend.  It has been awhile since they've come back together.  They are so fun to be around and the kids couldn't get enough of them.

When I told the kids it would be another 5 months before we saw the McCary's again:
Hudson said, "Gosh!!"  (as in really disappointed!)
Isabella smiled and said, "5 days?!" (as in really excited!)
Sophie just smiled sweetly.

So, the countdown to June begins!

Here are a few pictures of our weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Visit

The Richmond's have been counting down the days for today to arrive.
Our awesome and very dear friends are coming from Florida to visit!  They requested snow while they were here, but sadly that won't be happening here in Kansas.  Only cold and windy!

Our husbands met while working with Men At The Cross a few years ago.  When I traveled to Dallas with Trent for an event I met Lori and her two girls, Kate and Ellie.  It was an instant friendship.  I had not been to China yet to get Isabella as I was still playing the "waiting game".   Lori encouraged me to check out the special needs kiddos.  It took us a whole year to take her advice and do just that.  When we did decide to switch to the special needs route we had our referral the next day!  If we hadn't switched- I would have only been back recently with someone other than my sweet Isabella!  Lori was the only one I shared my referral of Isabella with.  She noticed her eyes and how spunky and joyful they were.  I was still trying to get use to the idea of an older, special needs child rather than a very young (2 years and under) and perfectly healthy baby.   Everyday I am so thankful I have my sweet, fun (and funny), loving, bossy Isabella!!!  All I think is how lucky I am that I GET TO BE HER MAMA!!

The last time Lori and her family were here to visit was one week before I left for China to get Isabella.
She helped me pack.  The girls tried on Isabella's clothes to see if they would fit and then helped choose which ones to take.

6 months later they got to meet Isabella at K-Kauai Family Kamp and our girls have been fast friends ever since.  You see, Kate and Ellie are from China.  Kate is a few months older than Isabella, and Ellie is a month older than Isabella.  To see the three together makes me teary.

Lori has been with me through all of my adoption pregnancies.  She is the one that encouraged me to bring Sophie home.  Was "with me" in China (through Skype and on the phone) when it was hard with Sophie.  She's been my constant shoulder to cry on and ear to listen to since I've been home.  She is seeing me through the other side of the hard parts of adoption.  I couldn't love her more.

2 1/2 weeks after Isabella and I got home with Sophie and Hudson, Lori and her family left for China to bring home sweet, sweet Rachel.  You can read Lori's blog here:  .   Don't go there without your box of kleenexes!!

So, today we will get to meet Rachel for the first time and I am MORE than EXCITED!!  Isabella can't wait to see Kate and Ellie again.  In fact, she thinks it's Kamp time since that is the only place she's ever seen them!!   When I told Hudson about Kate, Ellie and Rachel he got excited until he found out they were all girls!  Haha!  And then he asked, "Why they no boy from China?"    Hmmmm.  How do you explain that one?  When I told him that Doug (the daddy) would play Xbox with him that made him happy.
Sophie has been writing words on paper for Rachel and Trey is just as excited to see everyone.
We can't wait until they get here!!!

Kate and Isabella

Ellie, Kate & Isabella

Isabella and Ellie

Me and Lori

Ellie, Izzy & Kate

The McCary's

Monday, January 2, 2012


Remember this photos from the other day?
Hudson got a tomahawk for Christmas!  He loves it!  It is probably his favorite gift.
When they go down to the farm they do a lot of guy things like hunt, fish, play ball, eat frozen pizza's, built forts, chop down trees, and be smelly like boys.  
Well, while Hudson was waiting for his Dad to take them down to the farm for Trey's birthday party (which consisted of 8 smelly boys and 5 of their dads), he was out back cutting trees.
Don't worry- safety instructions have been discussed.
As Trent and I were standing in the kitchen talking the front door opens and in comes a tree followed by and 8 year old Chinese lumberjack!
He was so proud of his tree that he had cut down!

This was my Christmas floral arrangement that got taken out with the tree!

The 8 year old Chinese lumberjack.
See how proud he is?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

More Exciting New Around Here!!!

Remember this sweet face?
The one that went willingly and happily to China with Isabella and I to get Sophie and Hudson? 
 She was upbeat, positive, happy, adventurous, helpful and encouraging.
I couldn't have made the trip without her.
It meant a lot to be able to share the miracle of adoption with her.

Well......she is officially engaged.

To none other than this guy!!
MY Wesley!!
Who will now be HER Wesley!  
That IS the way it goes, right?

First he is mine.  Then he is hers?
OR!  MAYBE!  I'll just claim them BOTH!!!!!    :  )

Congratulations Wesley and Kim!!  I love you!!!