Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Keeping it real...

As much as Joe and I love Josie and have known since we saw her picture that she's our daughter, we have realized that we need to parent her differently than our first three.  Having an adoptive child is different, not in our hearts of course, but certainly in Josie's....for now. 
I found this post from another adoptive parent and thought she explained it great!

As strange as it may seem, adopted children who act very outgoing and affectionate with strangers is not a healthy thing. It is called "indiscriminate affection" and can mean that they haven't really attached to anyone. It would not be a good sign that our baby has attached to us if during her first months home she will let just anyone take her and hold her without searching for us. Joe and I have to be sure that Josie will not go to practically anyone. In one of the books we are reading it states that when parents see their child seeking attention indiscriminately, they need to intervene quickly, firmly, and kindly. This behavior is pure and simple her using survival skills. From our observations, Josie is acting mostly out of pure survival. She craves attention and most likely is fearful of being abandoned or having her life change YET again. We have no idea what she has endured during her short life. But we do know that how we interact with her and what we allow others to do will impact her future and hopefully she will blossom into a healthy child both emotionally and physically.

In the book we are reading now it tells you how to establish relationships. Josie needs to learn and must be taught who her parents are and who will ultimately be the one she can rely on. It suggests the following interactions:

Parents and Siblings ~ hugging, kissing, sitting on lap
Extended Family ~ Blowing kisses, sitting close but not on lap
Friends ~ Shaking hands, sitting nearby
Acquaintances ~ Waving, but not touching
Strangers ~ Nodding, keeping near parents, no touching

love you all!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Water Baby...

Josie is fitting right in....she thinks she can swim and being in Florida, we spend a lot of time at the pool.  We are getting on a great routine, she goes to bed around 8:30, wakes up about 7 and takes a two hour nap.  In between, she is hysterical, loves to play and chase the kids around.  I'm a lucky mommy! 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Josie!

We celebrated Josie's first birthday with us today.  She had a very small family party (just us) and was overwhelmed  with the entire we sang to her, blew out her candles and opened her presents while she watched.  I can't wait to see the difference in a year.  She is definitely a 2 year old with the little temper tantrums to go with it:)  Jacob, Camdyn and Charlie are great with her, I'm so proud of how sweet and patient they are....and really excited to get on with living life with all of my kids together.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

We arrived home to a house full of presents and food, not to mention all of the sweet presents we received at the airport and the special cookie delivery.  We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and great friends.  Here are a few pics of the first 24 hours home.....


After 25 hours of traveling, we arrived safe and sound in Orlando!! We were completely overwhelmed by our greeting at the airport...over 30 of our family and friends were waiting with signs and hugs and a lot of cameras.  We stepped off of the tram and I could hear the cheers. It really was incredible to have so many people there to meet Josie.  (But the prize for the farthest drive goes to my sister Erica, who drove down from NC with her boys:)  My kids ran up to give her hugs and they haven't been separated since.  I don't have any airport pictures yet, but will definitely post them when I get them.  Here are a few pics of Josie's journey home...looks rough, huh?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

US Consulate and Train to Hong Kong

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's true.  After 3 days of 'Mr. Toad's Viral Ride' I am more than able, and truthfully just plain ready, to escort my lovely wife and our new daughter home!  We made it to the US Consulate, took the oath, grabbed her US Visa, and the oh so important 'brown envelope' for US immigration stateside and bolted for the train station.  The train ride was not bad, only 2 1/2 hours and was fairly comfortable.  Of note, considering my fun filled days of late, is that they were performing temperature scans again at the train station in Hong Kong.  Haven't had a fever since last night, but you can imagine our concern on the ride over.  Of course while in the cattle line for immigration at the HK station they pull me aside (not Julie!?) and took my temp.  All clear thank God!  So from the comfort of our airport hotel in HK I write my sincerest thanks to all who have prayed for us along the way.  Your love and support has meant the world to us.  It's been an incredible journey, one filled with wild swings, but I would do it exactly the same way again to bring this little beauty home.  We really look forward to seeing all of you soon!

Posted a video on the shutterfly site of Josie on the train.  

All our love,
Joe and Julie

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goodbye Guangzhou!

Today we head to the US Consulate to pick up Josie's passport and visa and then straight to the train station.  We leave for Hong Kong tonight and catch an early morning flight to JFK then HOME on Thursday!!
Thankfully, Joe is feeling well enough to travel, but it's been a rough 5 days. 
Jake, Cam, and Char...we're almost there!! Love you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Serious Cuteness!

Traditional Red Couch Pictures

For my praying friends....Joe has had a fever and been in bed for the
past 36 hours.....please pray that he is well soon and that Josie and
I do not catch it.....thankfully, no more official appointments until
Wed. afternoon.... much love. Julie

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's Sunday night here and all I can say is..what a difference a week makes!  Josie has changed before our eyes since Monday.  She has a favorite pair of shoes already and puts them on by herself, if we take them off she cries.  And I brought linking rings for her to play with, but she'd rather wear them as bracelets...such a girl!  She loves her magnadoodle and sits and looks through books.  She will mess up all of her toys and then line them up in a row.  She sleeps with her 'little people' cow and sheep, one in each hand.  She has a great sense of humor and will smile and giggle.  She is finally feeding herself and doing a great job at learning how to more mush for meals:)  It has been beyond what we could have imagined on Monday, she is such a doll and we have loved catching up on all of the spoiling!

Here are a few pics from the last two days.  They've been pretty low key, no appointments.  Saturday we went to a buddist temple (not our choice) and then shopping.  Today Josie and I met our friends Julia and Victoria again.  They wanted to treat us to the zoo (think disney in july with no rides).  But, it was great to get to see them one more time.

I'm definitely ready to head home. Jake, Cam and Char...Josie is going to love you!!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Guangzhou Friday July 10

We had a fantastic day with Josie today.  We were free of appointments, so we went for a stroll on Shamian Island, did a little shopping, had a relaxing lunch and spent time in the hotel room just playing with Josie.  She really opened up today and began initiating play with us.  The best news is that she started to show her personality and laughed / smiled a lot today, which you can view in two new videos we posted on our shutterfly site today.  We also added additional pictures  along with the videos.  We hope you enjoy seeing Josie laughing and giggling as much as we did!


Guangzhou Thur July 9

Hello family and friends!  Today we visited Josie's orphanage in Dongguan City.  We've included a couple of pictures of the outside of the orphanage as well as the the outside of the hospital and 'fever clinic' (sign with red writing) where Josie was found, about 30 min south of the orphanage.  It was definitely a moving experience in that we had the opportunity to basically see the parking lot area where they believe Josie was found.

After our visit our guide took us to her home to have dinner.  We've included a few pictures of Molly, her husband Joe, and our driver 'John' (the American name we gave him).  Best meal we've had since we've been here.  As before, we posted more photos of the day on our shutterfly site if you're interested (

Again,  thanks for your support.  We love and miss all of you.

Joe and Julie