Wednesday, January 20, 2010

6 Months!!

It's hard to believe that it's only been 6 months since Malia Yongjun Faith joined our family! What a blessing she is to us! I remember being so very excited to see her, and almost in tears. I was crying on the inside, but stubborn me, didn't show it. I remember how incredibly sad she looked. I knew she was crying on the inside, just like I was, but for a very different reason. I pray that in the years ahead she will be able to handle all the upheaval in her life with grace, forgiveness, and dignity.In the first few weeks Malia had many tantrums. Amazingly, Martin and I were both able to take it in stride, not getting stressed about it. For those of you who know us well, you know that is a God thing! Malia continues to love dresses and pretty things! Many people have mentioned that it must be sooo nice to finally have a girl. I never thought I needed a girl, and yet now I'm so very thankful to have a little sweetheart like Malia! It is very special to be able to buy all the cute, adorable little dresses, tights, shoes, and hair pieces. Although finding hairpieces that actually stay in Malia's hair is difficult.

Our beautiful children!!

Our little princess now! There is a light in her eyes that was not there at first! Thank you God!!!!

Precious!!!! Indeed "my cup runneth over!!!"

I love Malia's little hands. They are so vulnerable and hold so much potential!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

'THIS is why we live by the river!!"

We had a wonderful family day today! The weather was very warm, especially for January, and our day was free from demands, so we took the kids tobogganing down our river bank! We don't have a lot of snow, but the little snow we did have was wet enough to make for a fast ride down. At one point Alex looked at me and with a smile on his face said "THIS is why we live by the river!" Indeed it is one of the many perks of living here!

Alex, perfecting the ramp! Who would have thought there was an art to a simple snow ramp?!? Leave it to Alex, the artist!

Morgun enjoying the ramp!

Martin and Malia relaxing in the sunshine. Notice the little smirk on Malia's face. She was trying so hard to be serious like Papa.

Malia soon learned to cover her face so she didn't get the snow in her face.

It sure felt good to join the kids in the fun!

Martin and Malia. Martin's not smiling because he's so happy, its just his little trait of concentration! (I hope he doesn't read this or he'll kill me! :)


The long climb after a fun day!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Memory is a strange thing. Over the past months we have talked about Malia's life in China and have always gotten a response that mentions "airplane". Malia does not talk about her life in China, nor does she mention anything about our time in Beijing. She never mentions a parental figure, even though she was in foster care for most of her life. I find this rather interesting, because all the children that I know who were adopted at the age of 3 or older do talk about their past experiences. On the one had it is a good thing because we are not dealing with a child who constantly mentions and grieves for the lost loved one. On the other hand I do worry a bit. I'm not sure if Malia just simply does not remember, or if she does not want to. I wonder if at some point she will remember and then it may be that much more difficult to deal with.

In the past if we showed Malia pictures of our trip to Beijing, she would be up at all hours of the night, and seemed out of sorts during the day. Yesterday we showed her the pictures of the day we finally met her. She seemed excited and interested . . . and she slept through the night! I hope this is a turning point. We really want the whole adoption experience to be as natural as any other experience Malia has. It was and continues to be an amazing journey that we treasure in our hearts and we desperately want Malia to feel the same way!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Miracles do happen! I began making phone calls in regards to Malia's toothache on Monday. I called my dentist and then Pediatric Dentistry at RUH. I was told there was a possibility of a cancellation the next day and that we would know around 1pm. I managed to get an app't with a doctor in my Dr's office for 5pm on Monday, so that the pre-op form could be filled out. 1 o'clock came and went with no call. I finally called the office just before it closed at 3pm and did not get an answer. I assumed we would not get in on Tuesday and felt like cancelling the pre-op app't because it meant I would have to miss Morgun's piano lesson. I decided to keep the app't just in case something came up in the next week of so. At 8 am Tuesday morning we got a call saying there had been a cancellation! Thank-you God!!! Malia and I were in town by 9am and by 11:15 she was on her way to surgery. I was worried! I didn't think Malia would do well if I wasn't at her side as they put her to sleep. As it turned out the anesthesiologist was Asian (which Malia liked), the nurse, Bev was absolutely wonderful, singing Old McDonald with Malia the whole time. The anesthesiologist commented that he had not thought there were that many animals on the farm!

Malia was terrified to get changed into hopital clothes. Her expression says it all!

Ready to go on her own! She was very brave! She did like the wagon ride and in part it is what convinced her it was OK to leave Mama.

Later that afternoon, finally having a few cheerioes! Still very drowsy.

Ready to go home, but oh soooo very tired! It was difficult carrying her to the vehicle. She was very limp and sleepy. I didn't realize she could weigh that much!

Later that night. Still wanting to cuddle with Mama, dozing on and off.

Today Malia was rather emotional for the first hour or so and then settled in to her normal self, singing for the better part of the day, even though her mouth was still uncomfortable. She has a very high tolerance for pain! Martin and I decided she definitely takes after her Mama! ;)

Thank-you all for praying!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas and all its Wonders!

This is a long post with lots of pictures (Just for my special siblings who I don't get to see often enough). December began fairly slowly, but picked up speed as the month passed. Here are some of the events that we enjoyed!

Osler School's Christmas Concert definitely caught Malia's attention. It was fascinating watching her.

Alex actually sang at the concert rather than just mouthing the words. Its amazing what an awesome music director can do!! Thanks to Pat B!

I always enjoy watching Morgun sing! He has so much expression in his face!

We made sugar cookies one day and the kids helped me decorate them. Each of the kids decorated their own little person. Malia was the first to include eyes and a mouth.

Every year we celebrate with our good friends Ruth and Wayne and their kids. Malia has taken a liking to Jaidyn and loves to play with her. Ruth gave Malia an outfit that matches one that Jaidyn has. Malia thought that was pretty cool.

Malia enjoyed playing with the boxes and the foot spa! Gotcha!

On the 24th the kids exchanged the gifts they bought for each other. I think Alex and Morgun were more excited to be giving a gift to Malia than they were to get their gifts!

Brothers! So sweet to see them get along!

Morgun gave me a very nice candle, which was rather amusing. Not because of the candle, but rather because of how he managed to get it! I had bought the candle for a ladies gift exchange at church, bought something else with the intent of returning the candle. On the day I went to return the candle I couldn't find it. I thought I must have misplaced it, or put it in my messy craft room. I didn't think too much of it, thinking that if I ended up keeping it that would be fine. Well, wouldn't you know, Morgun gave me the candle Christmas Eve! Needless to say I laughed! The little "thief" took it when he realized I wasn't going to use it for the ladies gift exchange. He tried to convince Alex to take part, but Alex, being the conscientious boy that he is, refused! He thought he would get into "big trouble!" Definitely a memorable gift! I love these moments!!!

Malia with her new pots and pans. Lots of very intense playing!

Alex and Morgun at our church's Christmas Concert. No, being goofy was not part of Morgun's role. The both dressed up as chefs and sang in the choir.

The week before the concert Malia kept saying she wanted to sing at church. Her age group was not a part of the concert so there was really no way of allowing her to sing, or so I thought. Malia kept begging, becoming upset when we told her "no". Half way through the concert I finally asked if Malia would be allowed to sing and the answer was "sure!" I had no idea what Malia would sing, but she wowed the crowd with "Sing, Sing, Sing"!

Malia loves to "perform" and will do so at every opportunity whether its at home or at some one's house.

Christmas morning! As I mentioned earlier, not too many smiles, just some very intense playing!

Alex and Morgun with some of their lego. I'm sooooo glad they are still so easy to please!

Martin and the kids. All the kids have the tendency to hoover around whoever happens to be opening a gift!

My family gathering was on the 26th, and for the first time ever it was in a hall. I think homes make for a much more personal gathering, but it's also inevitable that this will likely be the norm from now on. It is at times like this that I really miss Mom and Dad! There were 48 people at the gathering, and yes that is only my immediate family, in laws, nieces and nephews!

We exchanged gifts and Morgun had Malia, much too his enjoyment!

Morgun and his best friend and cousin Levi.

Alex opening his gift! I do NOT like the background. . . stacks of chairs! Yuck!!!

As a family we have tried to carry on some of the traditions Mom and Dad started. One of them is giving each kid a bag of chips and pop. Malia was thrilled! She has never been allowed to eat that many chips at one time before! After she had eaten every single crumb she kept peering back into the bag just to make sure she hadn't missed any! Very cute!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Toothaches :(

I was planning to blog for Christmas today but my plans changed. Malia has been having major toothaches. We've done everything the dentist suggested, but nothing seems to work. We took Malia to the minor emergency this afternoon, ended up seeing a doctor that I was not impressed with and went home with a confused little girl. Malia thought the doctor would "fix" her owie and couldn't understand why we left with only a prescription for tylenol with codeine. The tylenol worked for about an hour and then Malia was in pain again. She is sleeping now and I hope she has a good night. I get very angry at our health care system when I see her in pain and yet I know we have so much to be thankful for, living in a country with the health care we have. Malia is on a waiting list to have her cavities filled but it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to finally get an appointment. We have been put on a cancellation list and I pray that Malia will soon be able to get in.

Our experience with the health care system has always been wonderful, and yet now that Malia needs to see various specialists it seems nearly impossible to get an appointment to see the right doctor. At the beginning of Sept. I tried to get an app't with our family doctor, but was strongly advised, due to Dr. Anne's busy schedule, to see a different doctor. This doctor barely heard a word I said, but she did make a referral. I thought the referral was to have a specialist look at Malia's partially repaired palate. I was not satisfied with this visit so I booked an app't with Dr. Anne and finally saw her in early Oct. At this app't Dr Anne informed me that an incorrect referral had been made. I explained that Malia has food going into her nose and that it can be very painful for her. We try to clean her nose once a day but it is very painful. According to the dr. this is the correct thing to do. I can hardly bear doing this to Malia every day. There are days when I am literally shaking after I have cleaned her nose. Martin and the boys don't like listening to her scream so I try to clean her nose when they are out. Dr. Anne made the correct referral saying she would put a rush on it. At the beginning of Dec. I called her office to see what was taking so long, only to be told there was no record that a referral was to be made. Eventually Dr. Anne was notified of the error and we saw the ENT on Dec. 24. The ENT is now referring us to the cleft lip/palate clinic (which, in my opinion, should have been done at our first app't). Malia will need to have tubes put in her ears. This should happen sometime this month.

All we can do now is pray. . . and make some phone calls! Starting Monday I will call the Pediatric Dentistry at RUH, Dr. Anne, our Dentist, and anyone else that I can think of that may be able to get Malia in for her oral surgery asap! I will call as often as I need to, even if it means everyday! After all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!