Sunday, December 31, 2006
We also received another gift from Paul and Angela. I'm telling you, these people are so thoughtful. Angela put together little personalized packages for all of us. She made her own fortune cookies with personalized messages for us. There were gold coins (chocolate) and the best was a little red beaded bracelet for Samara with a ladybug on it. So cute. Thanks Paul and Angela.
It was so nice seeing everyone again last night. You could just feel the excitement in the air. It was great! We feel blessed to be part of such an awesome group of people.
See you all in China!!!!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I'm a little late with this post but here it is anyway. Last week I got Samara's care package all together and sent it off to her orphanage in China. I included a little photo album with her picture, pictures of mommy and daddy, pictures of big sister Victoria and big brother Austin, our house, her bedroom, etc. I went online and found the Chinese characters so I could label each picture. Hopefully she'll get a chance to look at the pictures before we arrive there. I also included a little stuffed penguin (beanie baby). I sent along a digital camera in hopes that the nannies will take some picture of Samara for us during the time we're not there. Hopefully when we get home and develop the pictures, we'll have some nice shots of her at the orphanage. Some people have had success with this in the past and I figure we have nothing to lose. I also had a receiving blanket that I used for Victoria and Austin. It's been in our house for a long time so it smells like Samara's new home. I stitched her Chinese name on it so the nannies would know it belongs to her. I also added some pretty note paper for the nannies. I'm hoping Samara gets to see some of this stuff and maybe sleep with the blanket and little penguin. You never know. It's really hard to be away from her at Christmas but knowing we're just a little over a month away from meeting her helps a little.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Well, I called Mike as I was opening the package this afternoon so we could read it together. It was a lot more emotional than I thought it would be. Let's face it, that's my daughter they're talking about. Reading about my baby being abandoned and found by the police hit me harder than I thought it would. Anyway, here are a few things we now know about Samara:
- She was found near a big banyan tree on March 11, 2006 (seven days old), wrapped in a dark red cloth
- Her initial diagnosis was a low-weight newborn (which didn't surprise me since she's still quite tiny)
- There was a note left with her (there were no details about that but I hope maybe we'll get a chance to see it when we're in China)
- She has been sound in growth and development
- She has never had any serious illness - just some common colds and fevers
- She is fond of sleeping face down (yikes!) and is apparently a deep sleeper
- She gets up at 6:00 am, naps from 12:00 to 2:00 pm and goes to bed around 8:30 pm
- Her most favourite activity is playing on exercise mat
- Her most favourite toy is "sound making toys" (great!)
We also received her growth chart from months one, two, three, four and five which is really nice to have. There's a lot of lab work and other tests that our family doctor will have to explain to us but everything looks normal from what we can tell. We have all her measurements from August 31 (almost six months) but we received that already with the initial referral. They tell us when she started eating solids and what she likes to eat. Apparently she "tended to cry much" when she was one to two months old but then "cried less often" when she was three to four months old.
There's more (the summary was four pages long) but I can't put it all in this post - I'd be here all night. We are so happy to get all this information. We want to know all we can about our precious Samara. I hope we'll get information on her from six to 12 months when we're in China.
Oh ya, one more thing the file said that made me laugh was this: "She is a fairly cute child". FAIRLY CUTE?!?!?! She's more than fairly cute! Again I say, that's my daughter you're talking about . . . she's adorable . . . not just "fairly cute". Isn't that funny?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Here's what Grandma Carmody found for Samara:
Here's what Grandma Zandstra found for Samara:
And here's what Victoria found for her baby sister Samara:
So we were walking in the grocery store on the weekend and just happened to be going down the clothes aisle. Victoria asked if she could pick something out for Samara - so of course we said yes! :) She picked this cute pink sleeper. Well, it wasn't until we were almost at the checkout that I realized it has ladybugs on it! How cool is that? She picked a great one. (For those of you who are reading this and don't know what the significance of that is, ladybugs are a sign of good luck in the adoption community!)
How Could You Know?
As you lay sleeping far away as still as you could be...
How could you know the joy today this photo brings to me?
A few short weeks and you'll be mine, and "I" will soon be "We".
How could you know the love I feel? It's something you can't see.
So have sweet dreams, my precious babe. Sleep well and tenderly.
Some say that you're the lucky one. How could you know it's me?
--- Kris Laughlin
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Yesterday was such an amazing day. We received so many emails and phone calls from family and friends who have been supporting us and praying for us and waiting for this day right along with us. It's great. God has been so good to us!
The kids are pretty excited too (Victoria more than Austin). When I got off the phone with our agency, we told the kids that they have a little sister. Victoria was just shaking with excitement and she said, "I knew it! I knew it was going to be a girl!" Austin said, "hey mom, look at these books." Basically he didn't really care at that moment. Then about a half an hour later, he came up to me with big tears rolling down his cheeks and said, "I wanted the baby to be a boy!" I think he all of a sudden realized that he now has another sister. He already has one of those - why would he want another one? :) He got over that pretty fast though and he carries her picture around the house now. He can't quite get her name right though - he's been calling her either Sasara or Masara or he just calls her his friend. Cute! Victoria already has Samara's picture in her backpack all ready to take to school on Monday so she can show off her new baby sister. She can't wait!
It's so hard to believe that it actually happened. I know I've said it before but I'll say it again . . . it's such a long wait . . . but it's so worth it!
Friday, December 01, 2006
is good news from a distant land."
We are so excited to introduce the newest member of our family!
Samara Michelle Juan Carmody
(Samara means protected by God and Michelle is mommy's middle name)
Chinese name: Xiao Juan Hai
(Xiao means little and Juan means beautiful/precious)
Birthdate: March 4, 2006
Orphanage: Nanhai Social Welfare Institute
Province: Guangdong - southern China
Personality: They say she is quiet and loves to play games and with her toys.
She's soooo cute!!!