Sunday, March 31, 2013

the easter story

Phebe has been listening to her big sister's Sunday School lessons.
She seems to have gotten a decent grasp on (part of) the Easter story.

"Jesus died on the cross"

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

sisters are the chocolate chips!

giggling sisters giggling sisters

"In the cookies of life - sisters are the chocolate chips" ~Author Unknown

Monday, March 25, 2013

sleeping, with her besties!

Sssh, we have a secret... Phebe afternoon naps with her Tigger AND Lilah's Piglet - when Lilah is away to school!
I just love how she holds them both, one in each arm and whispers "Awesome!"

I literally ran downstairs, grabbed my camera (it took 30-60 seconds), came back up and this girl was fast asleep. I don't know how she does it!

sleeping, with her two best friends!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

she's a chatterbox!

This post is looooooooong overdue!

My little Miss Phebe is a complete chatterbox! In fact, so much so, when I saw this t-shirt in Old Navy recently, I knew she and it were a perfect match! Really, if this girl didn't sleep, she would absolutely be talking 24/7.

old navy tshirt

Her favourite thing at the moment is asking me what everything is... everything and anything. She'll say: "Mama, whasis?" (what's this?) or "Mama, whosis?" (who's this?). Just this morning, during Church, she pointed to every girl that sits in the row close by us and asked me "Whosis?" for each one of them, and then she'll start back at the start of the row again and make me repeat all their names again. After I say each of their names, she repeats them after me.

I guess it's no wonder she's learning so fast!

The other expression I hear a lot, is: "Mama, have it?" - she'll say this when she wants something. She's basically asking if she can have whatever it is she wants. Some examples are: "Downstairs - have it?" or "Cookie - have it?" or "Tigger - have it?"

She has some very cute ways of expressing herself, one of my favourites is when she dislikes something: She'll turn to me and ask "Mama, almost all done?". It's like she's prepping herself, because she wants whatever it is that's bothering her, to be all done.

After we drop Lilah off at school she'll shout: "Byeeeeeeeeee Lilah..." and then she'll ask: "Kiss? Hug?" and then lastly she tells Lilah "Love you!". She completely melts my heart! And then on our way home she'll sing: "Have fuuuuuuuun. Love youuuuuuuuuu. Laterrrrrrr."

She is something else I tell you!

I'm not sure where she picked this up from, because I rarely order take-out over the phone... however, I've overheard her on several occassions... it goes like this: "Halo. Nom-nom please? Tank you!" (she calls food nom-nom!)

She wasn't so fond of the last course of antibiotics she was put on and each time she saw the bottle, she would shake her head and tell me: "Mama, Phebe no like it!". The funny part is, she slurped it up without any hesiation. Maybe she knew the medicine was helping her!

She has a fantastic imagination. Just today she was playing with an apple slice at the dinner table, and she was driving it around the table like a car. Last week she was playing with some dress up items - she chose a tie, a hat, a pair of high heel dress-up shoes and a tiny suitcase style bag - which she called her Bible bag and said ""Mama. Go meeting. Kiss? Bye-Bye!" She gave me a final wave and shuffled herself (because those heels are hard to walk in!) on down the hallway!

She has many associations with different places, when I tell her we're going to the Dr's, she'll happily shout out: "Dickers!" (that means stickers for those of you who are not bilingual in Phebe's language!). When I tell her we're going to meeting (Church) she'll immediately shout "Singing!".

Another thing she absolutely loves is singing: Her favourite songs are what she calls, "The B.I.B.I." which is in fact, "The B.I.B.L.E." and her other favourite is what she calls, "Winkle Winkle", which is in fact, "Twinkle Twinkle little star!"

She knows and can find a star, circle, heart and triangle. She also knows some of her colours: pink, purple, orange, yellow, blue and green. She must have overheard Lilah counting on many occasions, because she will count now and again, usually it is sporadic like: 2,3,4 or 7,8,9! She will point out anything that there are two of... she holds up both her pointer finger on each hand and shouts out "Mama, twoooooo!"

She loves making up little games of her own and one of her recent ones is pretending something has gone missing. She'll hide something, like a little rabbit and then ask "Where go rabbit? I dunno. Away car? Under table?" And then she'll find it and shout "Oh there it is!" with a massive look of glee on her face!

Can you tell I'm so so proud of her?!

meeting? meeting?\

All ready for Church in her heels, her hat, her tie and her Bible bag!


I love that little face!

Friday, March 22, 2013

my little helper

little helpers little helpers little helpers little helpers

She won't be graduating from the butter knife any time soon, by oh how she loves to chop up the mushrooms!
I love that my girls enjoy helping me in the kitchen!

little helpers

Thursday, March 21, 2013

her second cardiology appointment

Yesterday our Phebe girl had another appointment at the Children's Hospital for a follow-up echo and ecg.

During Phebe's first appointment, on January 9th, she had each of these tests done which showed she had a 5mm vsd. Actually, this time we learned that the vsd is 5mm at one side and 9mm at the other side. Her heart has also become more enlarged since her last visit. So now we know for sure, she definitely needs this surgery.

She did great during both her tests. It sure is a long time for a 2 year old to lie still - especially during the echo. And I can tell it's uncomfortable and at times painful for her, but she is such a happy girl - she just grins and bears it. The staff are wonderful and in the words of her Cardiologist: "She's going to have the surgical team wrapped around her fingers!". Let me tell you, that is the truth! She has that way about her, her grin and sunny disposition can buy just about anyone over!

Did I mention she is the 90th percentile for height?! She's grown 3cms in the past two months! Our peanut maybe isn't going to stay a peanut for long! She still looks so tiny though, especially beside Lilah! Her sickness in the past few months has held her back on her weight, unfortunately. She's back down to the 10th percentile. She does love her food though, but during sickness she regularly gets diarrhea and sometimes throws up. I think it might be the side affects of the antibiotics.

We also got to meet her surgical nurse, who I have chatted on the phone with several times already. She is amazing. We are so very thankful to have this team rallying around our little girly.

children's hospital - echo and ecg children's hospital - echo and ecg children's hospital - echo and ecg children's hospital - echo and ecg

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

unconditional love

Unconditional love. It's a mother's love. It's a feeling so strong, you can't even describe it.

love love love love

Friday, March 15, 2013

march break

This past week was March Break around here... which doesn't mean a whole lot to Phebe, who isn't in school, but she sure was happy to have her sister around all week! We had a fabulous week. It was busy busy busy. But today, I'm so ready for a Mom break!

We fed the birds out of our hands, we went to IKEA and the girls had fun in småland and face painting, we went to the Canadian Museum of Civilization & Children's Museum, we went to the IMAX to see 'The Last Reef', we went to McDonald's play area and we went to the swimming pool (I had the drag the girls our, they were in there for 3 hours!).

The girls were SO happy and by the time Friday rolled around, my husband was even commenting on Phebe having a brand new glow of happiness about her. I think the swimming pool did that - the girl LOVES the water, as does Lilah! It sure was a fun week.

I didn't take my camera along to document everything. However, I did bring it to the Children's Museum, since it was our first time there, definitely not our last! The children's museum has lots of different scenes and activities in different countries, kinda like Epcot at Disney World, although on a much smaller scale! On the way in, the girls were given a passport that they could stamp (themselves) at each activity and country they visited. So neat.

Lilah's favourite part was being a post mistress in the post office, she could have stayed there all day long. And Phebe, well she loved driving the bus... and getting lost! It seemed like I spent 60% of the time searching for her!

The IMAX theatre is in the same building as the museum, which is nice. The girls LOVED 'The Last Reef' show, and with the 3D effect you could even reach out and think you were touching the fish. Phebe was so intrigued! She did complain about her belly hurting a few times, I think she felt a little motion sickness - so I just put my hands over her eyes a few times to help get her grounded!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

sickness... and a surgery date

heart copy

My little Phebe girl is sick again.

What starts out as a simple cold so quickly escalates into a deep chest infection. Today she woke up from her nap feverish and throwing up. I got an emergency appointment with our GP - so thankful for amazing medical care. She is on antibiotics again, 3 antibiotics in the past 3 months - that ratio is a little unsettling for this Mama. But unfortunately for Phebe and her heart condition, medicating her is needed right now to take every precaution necessary - even though the doctors admit that they are probably overmedicating her.

Through all of this, I'm just so thankful for Phebe's attitude during sickness, nothing gets our happy girl down. Our little sweetness has lived with this kind of sickness since she was born (we know this from the medical papers we got at referral) and she really doesn't know any different. Sometimes I wonder how much care did she get when she was sick in the orphanage? It's such a hard place for my mind and heart to go.

But here's the good news. God knew I needed this call today. The (Cardiovascular Surgery) nurse called this morning and my baby girl now has a date for surgery - May 30th, all being well. Yes, that is the day she'll be getting her little 5mm hole closed up and it'll be like a fresh new beginning for that little heart of hers. I so want my girly to be healthy and to live her life with less sickness. Of course, I'm human too, I'm worried and emotional at the idea of my tiny girl going through this surgery.

But my Father in Heaven, He gives me strength in my weakness. Today, he gave me this passage, how He knew I would need it...

"He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3)
"He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names" (Psalm 147:4)
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5).

How great is our Lord! He is going to heal our beautiful little girl's (broken) heart and bring her comfort and healing. Not only does He know each of the countless stars by name, but each one of us by name too, including our little Phebe. How incredible is our God! His power and His understanding is something I can lean on, not only in my moments of weakness, not only in this life, but throughout eternity. He'll draw near.

Monday, March 11, 2013

tigger x 2

Face painting at IKEA today!
When the lady was painting her face, she kept say "Mama tickle, Mama tickle, Mama tickle!"
Of course, she loved the end result!

tigger x 2 - face painting at IKEA

Sunday, March 10, 2013

six months ago today

It's been six months since Phebe joined our family. Half a year! I basically have no words to describe how quickly that time has disappeared.

It seems like yesterday that we walked into that room in Changsha and immediately saw our little girl sitting on that wooden bench, all alone. She had so much fear in her eyes; it literally took my breath away. I still remember that sob catching in my throat.

And knowing the happy carefree girl she is today, I now realize how much stress and anxiety that day, and a couple of weeks after, had on her little soul. It is heartbreaking for me to even think back to those memories.

Like I mentioned, in some ways it seems like yesterday, but on the other hand, looking back through these pictures, wow, it's like our sweet little girl has been with us a lifetime. Phebe, even though she's been through a huge turmoil in her little life, really hasn't looked back - in almost every moment, she embraces happiness and lives her happiness out loud! The selfish part of me is relieved that she has moved on so quickly and yet, a large part of me is torn with sadness, to watch how strong she had to be at such a tender age, in order to move on so quickly.

Her smiles in each of these pictures, puts tears in my eyes. She is so loved.

6 months together

Monday, March 4, 2013

one year referral anniversary

1st referral anniversary

One year ago today, we stood, shaking with excitment, listening to a voice message that basically told us we would be parents again!

Since it was a Sunday evening and no one is in the (Children's Bridge) office on Sunday and files can't be brought home by the coordinator, we had to wait until the Monday to see her sweet little face! Our adoption coordinator - Cathy - drove over to our home the next morning, even though it was her day off, to deliver the package and pictures of our new little girl.

I can still remember Cathy saying to us: "I looked at this little girl, standing in her leopard print coat and I knew this was your daughter, Jill!" I guess she knows me and my love for cute kids clothes pretty well! Indeed, it was love at first sight! A day I'll remember for the rest of my life... the butterflies, the excitement, the tears of joy and the prayers of thankfulness.

And let me tell you, this girl has changed our life - she is one of the happiest girls I know. Always smiling, always funny and generally quite silly! In fact, just today she stuck a whole chicken nugget into her mouth, it was half hanging out because of the sheer size of it, along with her big ole grin! Then she pulled it back out and exclaimed: "Bebe rascal!" (Phebe rascal) Oh yes, she is all that, a rascal on so many levels! But she has this way about her, you just can't help but grin at her funny little self. She is beautiful and silly and sweet.

I'm so thankful God guided us to her and brought us together. Truly. She is one of the greatest gifts we've ever been given.

We love you Phebe Jayne. You make our hearts swell.

1st referral anniversary 1st referral anniversary 1st referral anniversary 1st referral anniversary 1st referral anniversary 1st referral anniversary 1st referral anniversary 1st referral anniversary