Life at Home

Coming home was so much fun!  Although we were in a fog for the first week, we had so much fun showing off our girl to our friends and family!  We have been spoiled with cakes, meals, desserts and lots of love.  Seriously, the meals were such a huge help.  It was so nice to have the time I would have spent meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking on the kids and all the adjustments around here. 

So many people have asked me how she is adjusting to our family.  First of all, I hesitate to call her Vivienne because we're still trying to work that name in.  We have been calling her by her Chinese nickname, which was Yu Yu, short for Shan Yu.  Now we're blending Yu Yu-Vivi so we can get used to Vivi. 

She has come into our family pretty seamlessly.  The first few days in China, she was scared.  We only got about one smile a day and when we look back at pictures, we can see confused eyes.  Although her transition into our family was a loving transition, she seemed to be watching the first few days to see if we would meet her needs. 

On Gotcha Day, when we got back to the hotel, John took the kids out and I held Yu Yu for her whole nap. I didn't have the heart to lay her down, nor did I want to. After months, I finally had this treasure in my arms.  She came to us with a pretty bad cold, which turned into a three day high fever.  I got to spend lots of time taking care of her and making those trips to the orphanage for shots of penicillin and those traumatic IV's.  Looking back, I think her sickness and the fact that she needed me sped up our bonding so quickly.  At the end of the week in Kunming, I remember thinking we had a serious baby, but once she got better and trusted us, she started letting her true personality come through.  In Guanghzou, she laughed and giggled a ton and we saw her sense of humor. 
She loves her brothers and sisters more than I can explain.  All of my fears of not having enough time for the other kids are gone.  John's Mom has a saying that love multiplies, it doesn't divide. We have seen evidence of this.  The kids have been so loving to their new sister and someone is always paying attention to her.  Not because we ask them to, but because they want to.  We started back to school full time last week and she has been an amazing independent player when I've needed her to be.  She absolutely loves crawling around the huge carpeted basement and playing at Sydney's kitchen with the food toys.  The fact that she can play on her own for periods of time is another huge blessing for me as a homeschool Mom.

I feel like our kids learned and saw so much in China that they matured quite a bit.  Even though it cost us a boatload of money to take our kids, the experience for them was priceless.  I am so grateful that they got to see so much history as well as where their sister came from.  They already had a heart for the orphan, but now they experienced both what orphanage life is like and the lack of freedom in a country like China.

My friend Tara, whose family played a huge part in our adoption, had a great idea for her kids, which I stole earlier this year.  There is a website called "Reece's Rainbow" http://www.reecesrainbow.com/, which has children who desperately need to be adopted from the Ukraine and other regions. Each of my kids picked a child from the website to pray for daily.  We printed their picture and they pray for them each day at prayer time.  It has helped our kids to personalize and narrow down the term "orphan".  It also gives them the opportunity to pray for one of God's least of these. 

On the way home from Chicago we stayed overnight in an Embassy Suites.  We were exhausted and it gave us a good night's sleep before attempting to drive three hours while jet lagged. The kids were thrilled to have Chicago style pizza in this picture!  We woke up in the morning and to our surprise Vivi started crawling!  The first thing that went through my mind was that my house wasn't baby proofed!  I didn't expect a crawling baby right away.  We are so thankful for her development and for her health.  She seems to be right on track with where she should be for her age. What a huge blessing for a child from an orphanage!

She also had her first pediatrician appointment last Monday and her doctor didn't hear her heart murmur.   We will get it checked with a cardiologist just to be sure, but that was great news!  Now we are doing other routine tests that international adoptees go through.  Let me tell you, the stool samples are an adventure! 

I always end my posts thanking all of you for all of your prayers, kind words and encouragement as we made our way through this journey.  We love you all!

I almost forgot to mention that tomorrow we will have known her for one month!

Some fun facts about Yu Yu:

She loves when we sing, "Hot, hot, hot" and she knows some crazy hand motions to it that I made up in China
She loves when the kids come toward her down a hallway and sneak towards her
She laughs more than I remembered babies could laugh
She has black eyes
She loves to touch people's faces
She was completely frightened of our goldendoodle, Emma for the first 24 hours in our house, but is now best friends with her..phew!
She LOVES splashing in the bath
She learned the actions for hooray and bye bye in China
She calls us Mama and Dada
She points to what she wants and repeats most little words we say
She only likes real food, no baby food and rice and congee (see photo) are her fav
She has gotten three teeth on top since we've been home
She sucks her thumb with her thumb turned down to go to sleep..so sweet

We met her exactly four weeks ago and we love her so much.  The blessing is all ours and we give God all the credit for hand picking this child for our family. 



  1. I meant to catch up with you Wed but didn't get a chance! so glad she is home!!!! we'll continue praying for your family! so thankful things are going so well!!!

  2. Aw - so cute! Isn't it amazing how quickly they change, in just a month's worth of pictures! Look forward to seeing you all again soon!

  3. The pics are soooo cute, the story even better! Thanks again for this new post

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