Thursday, August 31, 2017

One month in our arms. . .

Happy one month Gotcha Day Anniversary, Lily Grace!  One month ago today (well the 30th, but I'm not officially in bed yet ;) ) you were placed in our arms forever!  Wow, you are the perfect addition to our family.  It feels so right and beautifully designed by our loving Father for you to be with us and we love you so!

We have felt so loved by our little tribe of family and friends.  We had the sweetest reunion with our family at the airport!  We were so happy to be home after a complete 24 hours of traveling.  Lily Grace did decently on the flight from China.  The flight was 15 hours and 40 min and we had a bonus 1 hour delay on the runway before we even took off.  The flight was full.  We all had colds.  The first 4-5 hours were pretty dicey but after that she did pretty great!  Then we arrived in Newark and we had to go through customs.  The customs officer towards the end was pretty rude (maybe not as rude as I'm remembering bc I was so tired and ready to be home) and basically told us (incorrectly) that Lily Grace was not a US citizen upon arriving on US soil.  I argued and nicely (ha!) explained that we were told at the consulate that some people would incorrectly tell us this information and he continued to argue.  Long story short I cried after we left him and Matt called the manager and he later apologized for the officers actions.  Definitely happy to have that trip behind us.  

When we arrived home our house was full of groceries from our family.  We had all the supplies we needed.  We also had the sweetest welcome home sign from our neighbors with matching PJs for the girls!  Our Sunday School class at church threw us a diaper and wipes shower so we are stocked up on those for the next few months which is amazing!  We have had so many people praying for us and checking in as we transition.  We are just incredible grateful for the love we have been shown.

Thank you Erin and Mandie! :)

Our amazing Sunday School class!

We have finally settled into a routine (that is until I get back from maternity leave) as a family of five.  Jet lag is being us, praise the Lord!  That was terrible.  I may be being dramatic but it felt dramatic.  Around 3pm or so Matt and I would get sooo tired and a nap would sound so good.  Just a tiny one, 30 minutes, that's all.  So we would give in, wake up and BAM!  Horrible feeling, terrible hit-by-a-truck, nauseated, headache feeling when you wake up.  Word to the wise. If you are trying to recover from jet leg. . . DON'T LET THE NAPS WOO YOU!!  Luckily after about a week we were good to go.  I say we, as in Matt and I.  Lily Grace and her teething, cold catching self still would be up some nights.  And when I say up, I don't mean newborn up that just lets you hold them and rock them to sleep.  I mean toddler up.  Like I'm gonna cruise around this joint at 1-3am and eat and play.  Yikes!  But I'm happy to report (fingers crossed) we have been in a good streak now and she seems to be following in her sisters' good sleeping footsteps.  The poor girl has had 5 or 6 new teeth (mainly molars) come in since we have been home.  So that doesn't help the sleeping situation. 

Taylor wanted them to all pose with a bow! ;)

She loves bath time!

We have had so many adventures as a family together in the last month.  Many just every day adventures, but adventures none-the-less.  Lily Grace has been to our neighborhood pool, church, Abuelos (for Mexican!), walked to school with us to pick up and drop off Taylor, and had her first few doctor appointments.  I would say she is handling everything very well!

Church with Naly

We traveled to Nashville last Monday for Lily Grace's International Adoption Clinic Appointment at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.  At first we thought it would be cool to be there during the eclipse, but whoa, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into!  Hotels were booked solid and the few that were available were going for $800/night!   Luckily I have friends in the area and my uncle was able to get us a place to stay close by in Franklin (Uncle Richard for the win!).  And by the grace of God, we didn't hit any bad eclipse traffic!  We took all the girls and surprised Taylor with a trip the the American Girl Store.  She was such a huge help taking care of Madelyn while we were in China and we wanted to do something special for her.  She was really excited!  We also got to meet some of my very best friends for dinner!  That was a special treat to see them and introduce Lily Grace to them!  The appointment went well and Lily Grace seems to be right on target for where they would expect her to be.  We have a couple things to follow up (minor) on but all and all we feel incredibly blessed!   The lab draw took some time and we didn't know if we would make it out to see the eclipse or not, but NICU nurse to the rescue and we had about 7 minutes to spare!  I was amazed by God's amazing creation.  I teared up as it grew dark and everyone cheered.  What a sight to witness.  We won't talk about how I was concerned for a couple of days that I might have damaged my vision for looking up for 3 secs during totality.  (All is well by the way!)  

A little Shiaman Island reminising!

Getting ready for the eclipse!

So we are doing well!  Are things perfect? No.  Are we still adjusting? Absolutely.  Matt and I are learning to navigate our time between three kids and still keep each other as priorities and then there are jobs and homework and extracurricular activities and laundry and everything else in life.  So it can be a little nutty at times.  But we are loving our family.  We can see Lily Grace blossoming in our family with each day.  When we first got her and first at home she would hit her head against the wall or the floor as sort of a self soothing, and I realized she hasn't done that in a week or two.  We are still working on a bit of a biting issue ;)  It's hard when all sorts of teeth are coming in.  But that is improving.  She let's me rock her to sleep some/most nights now which she wouldn't even come close to letting us do in the beginning.  And I cherish the times I get to rock my girls.  She is coming so far in such a short period of time!  It is truly amazing what a loving home can do for these little ones! Matt and I think and talk about all the kids we met while we were in China and from families we know all the time.  The have my heart.  These kids amaze me.  They just absolutely undo me.  What a privilege to know and love them.  I don't even know how we are so blessed to be a part of such a story.  The Lord is so good to us.  

Kisses for Maddie!

The girl loves to climb

Here are some of the things she has learned and loves:
-Bye bye! and to wave
-Splashing in the bath
-Giving kisses and blowing kisses
-Climbing on everything (the orphanage staff warned us about this!)
-Walking across the room (started out with 4-5 steps at a time when we got her)
-yogurt (who knew since they told us in China she had to avoid this!)
-All carbs! (That's our girl!)

Tonight we celebrated our 1 month Gotcha Day Anniversary with Muddy's cupcakes!  Happy 1 month in our arms sweet Lily Grace YaXuan Wallace!  Here is to forever in our arms and family!

These big girls just adore their little sister!

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