Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,

But still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute,

You didn't grow under my heart--but in it.

--Fleur Conkling Heylinger

I didn't give you the gift of life,

But in my heart I know

The love I feel is deep and real

As if it had been so.

For us to have each other

Is like a dream come true!

No, I didn't give you the gift of life,

Life gave me the gift of you.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Summer Fun!

The past several months have been busy with fun events!  Kinley is really blossoming, and teaching us love and lessons every single minute.  We squeezed a ton of activities in this summer, including parades, parties, going to the lake and lighthouse, a week at the fair, the zoo, camping, swimming, a trip to Chicago, and much more!  Kinley is a trooper and adapts quickly to all her surroundings.  She has fun in the big city, and feels right at home on her Grandpa's farm chasing the kittys and throwing food to the goats and pigs. 

Kinley is growing up way too fast!  She runs from place to place, tries to jump, tries to do somersaults, knows how to do "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes", Pattycake, ring around the rosie, If you're happy and you know it, etc.  She even tries to sing the song as she does it!  Her language is amazing.....she speaks 3 and 4 word sentences, and she knows many signs and uses them to get everyone's attention.  She loves music and dances and shakes her "bupp", lol.  Kinley also likes to get our attention by yelling "mommy!"  or "daddy!", and will continue to yell it until you respond.

She has recently discovered Sponge Bob Squarepants and Dora.  It will keep her attention for a bit, but soon she's running around looking for something to get in to.  She loves her best buddy Brayson, and screams and laughs when she sees him.  She calls him "Bubba" or "Bubby", and gives him hugs and kisses. 

We continue to be thankful for all of our blessings, especially this loving, bright, giggly little girl.  Mommy and Daddy love you SO MUCH Kinley Jade!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Busy and "all in"! Now that is Lucky!

It's been quite some time since I have posted, but I've been so busy being a mommy to Kinley that the blog has definitely suffered!  Oh well, guess that comes with the territory of parenting a toddler. 

Kinley has been very busy as well, learning so many new things!  She has long since mastered crawling, and is days away from being upright for good.  As for now, she can easily take several steps before stumbling to the floor, only to crawl to the next object to pull herself back up to her feet to try again.  Kinley has been doing well talking and using some sign language.  She says Mama, Dada, Bella, Uh-oh, No, Yes, Hi, Flower, Eye, Nose.  She signs Mama, Dada, More, Eat, Flower, Milk, Drink.  She can point to her hair, nose, eyes, ears, toes.  She can do Patty cake, and especially likes the "roll it" part.  Kinley has also mastered kissing, and will pucker up and blow kisses to anyone who wants them!  She waves Hi and Bye, and will hold her foot up for me to put her socks on.  Kinley also "sits like a lady", and will cross her legs.  She enjoys copying people, and will copy a sneeze or yawn several times, especially when she has a willing audience.  She's a little hambone and we are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Someone recently was talking about how some people are just Lucky.  Meaning that good things just seem to happen to them.  They win a lot on scratch off tickets.  They win lots of raffles.  They are the Bingo champs often at the Bingo hall down the street.  But are they really "lucky"?  Is there some force that bestows gifts upon them just because?  Are they lucky because they win?  Or do they win because they are lucky?  BUT in order to win, they really have to be involved don't they?  They have to be active in one way or another.  In essence, they have to be "all in".  They have to be willing to Lose, just like they are willing to Win.  Many times in life I wished that I would be Lucky.  Why is it everyone else in the world is lucky except for me?  What makes them so darn special?!?  The difference between someone who is lucky and unlucky in part is this:  Only the lucky ones have FAITH that they will win.....someday.  They jump.  They're "all in".  Maybe they'll stumble.  But sooner or later they know that they'll get Lucky.
Just recently we celebrated 3 months since Kinley was delivered to us.  Three months is such a short amount of time, yet we feel like she has been with us forever.  Kinley Jade is truly the light of my life.  Never have I known a love as sweet as this.  She is amazing and perfect, beautiful and sweet.  Kinley Jade is mine...and I am so Lucky.  Finally.


I didn't come out of my mother.

I don't have my father's green eyes.
No one in my family looks like me.
People are always surprised.

I think we're a happier family
Than if we were all kings and queens.
We're so lucky we all found each other.
That's what being adopted means.

--- “Luck” by Pamela Espeland and Marilyn Nelson (Waniek)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lots of firsts for Kinley

We've had an amazing first week at home with our litle Kinley!  She's adjusting well to the time change and bonding with friends and family who visit.  We've had lots of firsts this week, including our first time in a car seat (they don't have these is China), first ride in a car at home, first trip to Walmart here, celebrating her first birthday, first time eating cake, first time opening presents, etc....

We are planning a large homecoming and first birthday celebration for Saturday.  We are so excited to introduce her to more friends and family tomorrow!  We cannot wait!

Enjoy the pictures!

xoxo Heather

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Home, Sweet Home

Well, after 48 hours of endless planes, trains, and automobiles we have finally made it home.  We left Guangzhou on Thursday and took a train to Hong Kong.  We basically checked into a hotel connected to the airport to sleep then wake up very early to check into the airport for our long flight to Detroit on Friday.  Due to the time difference, we left Hong Kong on 03-11-11 at 11:00 am and arrived in Detroit on 03-11-11 at 12:30 pm.  The flight was 14+ hours.  Kinley did amazing on the flight.  She slept some and played quietly for the rest of the time. 

Shortly before we landed we heard the news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.  Our flight route was over Japan, and we are stunned to realize that we would have been flying over Japan about the time of the earthquake.  We are very lucky to have not had a stop in Tokyo on the way home, because we did have a few hour layover there on our way to Beijing.  Our prayers go out to those affected by this trajedy. 

Amazingly we narrowly missed another earthquake on our travels.  On the 10th there was a 5.8 earthquake in Yingjiang City, Yunnan Province, China.  This is the same Province that we stayed in, although not the same city.  (A Province is equivalent to our States--Kinley is from Kunming City, Yunnan Province).  Apparently there are 25 dead and over 250 people injured, and many more with damages to there homes. 

Upon our arrival to Detroit we were suprised with a warm welcome home from several of our family members, and we were driven home in style in an Excursion Limo!  What a surprise that was!  It was awesome being able to see everyone and interact with them and Kinley during the drive home.  After all of the traveling we did, it made the 1 1/2 hour drive home seem like 10  minutes.  My family never ceases to amaze me!  It definitely was not expected--and not necessary, but thank you so much!!!!!!!

Once home we were greeted by more family and spent the night watching Kinley get to know everyone.  She is adjusting wonderfully and I know she will continue to bond with everyone more as time progresses.  We had a great first night home, although today we are exhausted with jet lag and the task of doing 16 days worth of laundry and unpacking and organizing everything else.  Regardless we are glad to be home and we look forward to a nice first weekend home with family and friends.

Love you all!  Thank you for all of your love and support throughout this entire process!  For those of you who have been following the blog, thank you.  It's been a nice way for me to document the process and express my thoughts along the way.  I plan on continuing the blog as my own personal project because I really enjoy doing it.  I'm sure that the posts will not be as frequent with real life getting in the way though :)

Today I've included some pictures of our last day in Guangzhou and our first day home.  Hope you enjoy them :)  I also wanted to take this opportunity to point out that we are all inspired to "do good", whether the inspiration comes from your parents, your church, or perhaps your own instincts--or for most of us, a combination of all three.  I hope that sharing our journey has educated some of you on the plight of the orphans, and perhaps inspired you to help in some way.  Live life everyday with an open heart so you can hear God speak...

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a Chickadee sang.

But, the man did not hear.

So the man yelled "God, speak to me!" And, the thunder rolled across the sky.

But, the man did not listen.

The man looked around and said, "God let me see you." And a star shined brightly.

But the man did not notice.

And, the man shouted, "God show me a miracle!" And, a life was born.

But, the man did not know.

So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!"

Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man.

But, the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Last full day in Guangzhou

Today was a fun day on Shamian Island, even though it was rainy and chilly. It's a lot of fun walking around seeing other adoptive families out and about with their newest members. Kinley seems to be feeling better today and is mostly all smiles again. Thank God the fever is gone, and we've yet to have another digestive explosion out of her so we are crossing our fingers that is over also! She ate pretty well at today and she has finished her 3 days of antibiotics so I think we are on the right track.

After breakfast we did some shopping and walked around exploring a little more. We had to get mommy a coffee at Starbucks and Kinley got an almond creme puff! Shopping really has not been as fun as I thought it would be. There are no price tags on anything and the shop owners follow you around everywhere commenting on everything you look at. I feel like saying "Yes, I know those are chopsticks. Yes, I know that you eat with them...." Ugg! And they always say that they will give "only you" a good price.

This afternoon we headed to the White Swan, a hotel where the Holt office is located. We opted to stay at the Victory Hotel just around the corner because we got a suite for the price of a standard room at the White Swan. Of course we thought we'd have a baby crawling all over, but the extra room has still been nice here. We met the other 3 Holt families to take pictures on the red couch, which has become an adoptive family tradition. Kinley did pretty well holding still and smiling; I swear she knows what to do when she sees a camera already! Some of the other children were a lot more wiggly! After lots of pictures and trying to get kids to hold still, we headed to the Holt office to get our paperwork ready for traveling and Kinley's citizenship paperwork.

We are so ready to come home! China has been an absolutely amazing experience and we have a great respect for the Chinese people and the culture. We hope that we have captured enough pictures and memories to share with Kinley as she gets older. Leaving China will be bittersweet...but we are ready to stop living out of suitcases and get back home to introduce Kinley to her amazing family and friends!

I am convinced we will be back someday soon...I'm already asking Jason when we can start the process to complete another adoption. He just looks at me wide-eyed and says we need "time to financially recover". Ho-hum. It makes me sad that money is an issue when it comes to orphans....I will continue to pray that God's will be done and He will find a way to provide if we are meant to return to adopt again. Until then I cannot shake the image of the many pairs of eyes staring up at me during our visit to the orphanage, as if asking me "what will you do"...

I asked God, "How much time do I have before I die?"

He replied, "Enough to make a difference"................

--- Unknown