Monday, June 8, 2015

Friday, September 5, 2014

Some Lulu highlights from our summer!

I am so very sorry it has been so long! Summer seemed to fly by. I blinked and it was school time again! Here are some highlights of Lulu from our summer. She continues to grow so much. Her heart is doing great! At her 6 month check up they continued to give us awesome reports! She goes back in January. Her oxygen level was actually at 100% on the first read. We are so grateful to God for such a great report and that her heart is doing so well. I know that there are many children that have just as complicated of conditions as her's and have undergone so much. We continue to pray for heart children. Later I will post a fundraiser I heard about specifically for orphans in China that need heart surgeries. If Lulu would not have gotten her first surgery in China she would not have survived. People realized her need and stepped up to provide the funds for her surgery and care until she was matched with us. I will be forever grateful to those people. They saved my little girl, my daughter that I could not imagine life without.

                                                      4th of July! It sure was a chilly night!

Farm park! This girl would play all day long on a playground if she could! Nothing stops her, she is a CLIMBER!

Another chilly summer day! It took her a VERY long time to finally feed an animal!

With Keri at my sister, Taylor's, wedding. Lulu was a flower girl.

Loving life after the wedding while pictures were taken. This girl was a TROOPER! She was on her feet all day long and kept a great attitude all day. She loved running around the fountains, I was sure she was going to get drenched!

I have to remember her at this age... I know she won't be this little for very long! And, if she happens to be my last little one I sure must treasure every single moment and event.

Mamma and monkey kitten. This is her new nickname because she constantly sings Monkeys jumping on the bed and acts like a kitty cat...all at the same time!

Some day it will be her wedding, dancing with Baba.

First time for Lulu tubing! SHE LOVED IT!!!!

When they aren't frustrating each other they are loving on each other. Kaden tried to manage her all. the. time, but she just won't have it. Truly two strong willed souls finding ways to come together to be great siblings. God knew what he was doing. Yes, he sure did.

What a great personality the Lord picked out to blend with our family. I'm so proud of how all of my children accept and love one another. This family has been sewn together from many different walks of life and backgrounds. Our household is messy. When I say this I mean we have our problems. I am so glad we can come together and love one another and have a good time too.

Our first annual lemonade stand to collect crafts and money for The Children's Hospital of Illinois! We raised $52.00 in 2 hours to buy crafts for the children as they stay in the hospital and collected a few supplies as well. I look forward to growing this event a little more each year! Our favorite moment was when 2 young guys drove over from the golf course across the street in their golf cart to buy some lemonade. It was so neat for my children to see that. They had to cross 4 lanes of busy traffic!

What can I say. Her first day of preschool! This girl LOVES to learn. She was a bit apprehensive to get on the bus the first day, but now she loves it all. I know she is going to be a life long learner! She is always wanting to learn something new around the house, especially the kitchen! I thank her early preschool teachers at Maria's Big House of Hope and her orphanage! They obviously fostered her desire to learn.  

Trying to stay occupied and cool at Cameron's first football game of the season. She gets hot rosy cheeks QUICKLY when she's outside. I do worry about her in the heat, unless she's swimming, but she's a trooper and she knows when she is too hot and needs to cool off.

Always exploring! She found a treasure in Grandma's purse during the game.

Monday, January 20, 2014


She is so good at using them and we never realized until 10 months home! LOL!

If you are wondering what's on her face, she has had little warts that she has had since before we got her. They go away and then pop up somewhere else. The doctor told us they could take a year for the virus to go away. She doesn't have them anywhere else, only her face. She has two near her eye that are now healing. She sometimes picks at them. The ones near her lip are getting ready to move on, but another little one is starting right under it. I keep putting aquafore on them and that seems to make them go through their process faster. If anyone out there has any advice on how to get rid of them please let me know! Thanks!

 Now most of us are practicing with them again too!

Turning Four

Wow, it has been so long! I am truly sorry. I have probably provided most updates and information through facebook, but I am looking forward to sharing through our blog again. It may take some time to get caught up! I will start with the most recent events first and little by little work backwards!

Today Lulu (often called Lu), turned 4 years old! (we joke she could have been 4 already! LOL!) She has been waiting patiently for this day to come for several months now. She has gone through 6 birthdays within our family since she arrived  home, so she could not wait until her's came!

 She also could not wait to eat her big iced brownie! She kept picking at the icing and I had to constantly try to cover up her picking!

 Same with the cupcakes! There are some that have huge pot holes on them where she dug her finger nails in time after time! She just could not wait!
  We celebrated with a few friends and family members. What a special time it was finally getting to celebrate with her home! We have sang happy birthday to her picture for 2 years!!! Ty always thought it was weird! But, I insisted on doing it! I am so glad that I did. It made this year that much more heartwarming and special.

We began the night with Chinese food and brought out the chop sticks. I wish I had pictures of that! I guess I can do that when we eat the left overs! I wish I would have offered her chop sticks all of these months! She wanted them right away and used them to eat her low mien. We could not believe it! Did she use them at the orphanage and Maria's? I guess I just thought she used those little ceramic spoons she still uses here at home. If you are still going to China to pick up your precious child, my advice is to bring home some of the training chop sticks they  have there. I wish we would have gotten some.  I'm sure I can find them on the internet...just have not looked yet. She seems to use them well regardless.
 Lulu is absolutely in love with minnie and mickey mouse! She received so many wonderful gifts!

 One  year ago Lulu would look at the pictures of our dog and cat and cry. Then, when she got home and met them she warmed up to them. Today, she acts like she is a cat often and meows to me and wants me to pet her. This electronic cat is so fitting! It purred and meowed at me in the isle of the store, continued to embarrass me as I walked around the store, and then kept me company all the way home! I had to take it out of the box just to shut it off. I knew she would just love this cat! It has not left her arms since!
 She seemed to shy away from the singing, but hung in there. I think she was worried about the candles...
 But daddy saved the day and showed her how to get big breaths to blow them all out.

 Happy Birthday, my precious girl!
With her birthday I also spend time praying for the woman that had to give her up. I am sure it was not easy. I cannot imagine the grief. I hope and pray she is finding healing. I thank her for making the decision to help her baby girl by giving her away. The differences among countries in the world amaze me. To think Lulu could not get the health care she needed without the help of such great individuals and organizations. Then, to ultimately be placed with us to continue her surgeries and care. It is so sad that there must be so many orphans due to health care expenses. If you cannot adopt, I encourage you to find an organization to support that makes it a priority to help children get the health care and surgeries they need. By doing that, you are helping children prepare for their forever families. China does not allow every child to be adopted. If they think the children are too sick, their mind set is that there is no one that will adopt them. They are finding out that is not the case! Many Americans and others all over the world are willing to love and support children with health needs and other special needs. And, for that I am grateful!

Happy Birthday Kynleigh Lulu Love Whitford!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Surgery Day

Wednesday is the big day! We are packed and ready to go. I know that God has gone before us and He will guide us all (surgeon and everyone involved) through this surgery. I know this has been His plan all along.  I am in awe and still soaking in our adoption journey as well as daily life with this little sassy gem.

Loving her purple sand! We also have pink, blue, and green! Only breaking open one bag at a time though!

(Remember, you are not judging me on the the blue carpet! Prior owners... Oh well, new flooring someday....when the kids are out of college!)

I will be sending updates out through Instagram and Facebook. I am not sure I will have access to my blog to post pictures at the hospital, so it is just easier to follow Insta or fb. I thank you so very much for your prayers! Lulu is such a precious gift. She has adjusted so well to our family and her new life. She sleeps so well, she is growing, she is happy, very very lively, and emotionally very stable. I credit the care she received at Maria's Big House of Hope for over two years as well as her orphanage for the last 5 months before placed with us. She is just a doll and we feel so blessed, and completely unworthy of such a gift. Thank you so much for the encouraging words and prayers. It means so much to have prayer warriors lifting her up.

So grateful,


Monday, May 6, 2013

What a Miracle She Is

We met with the heart surgeon today. The more I find out about her little ole heart, the more I just feel she's a complete miracle. I know all children are a blessing from the Lord. She's just a little rejuvenation into my life though, and I just adore her. I have spent too many years striving for the next thing....paycheck, house, fun, kids, more kids, stuff, cars, boats, degrees, you name it, it's on the list somewhere. When Kaden was born he slowed me down and made me relax. (For only a  year, then he turned into a toddler!) 

Then, life got busy again and striving for the next thing became more intense. I don't know if this touches home with you or not, but life isn't all that fun when you're striving for the next thing, even if it's just to get the daily to-do list done.  I'm always in the mode to get the next task done. Our church counselor even helped me to finally see that. I didn't realize I was always in that state. I've always known that I've needed to enjoy the here and now, and I have never wanted to regret these years with my children because I know I won't get them back. I know God wants the best for us and I also know that He chooses to bless us, that he enjoys blessing us in this life. Lulu is a blessing. I feel settled. I feel joy. I have always had a happy life overall, and all of my children are blessings to me, and my husband is great. Sometimes though something felt like it was missing. TRUE JOY. I'm living with joy now, and a new kind of love I've never known on this earth. My other girls were older when I became their mamma. We love each other, but we missed out on a lot of things. My mother was too sick and I was too young to remember her affection. I am just completely humbled God would think so much of me to bless me like this. You know, He wants to bless us all in some way we need and sometimes don't even know we need it. All it takes is saying "yes" to him. That can be hard and scary, but the other side of your "yes" just may be pure bliss!

Jeremiah 31:13 tells us He will give us joy.

(Now don't get me wrong, I've felt content before, and I know that we are to be content with our life and find joy in the Lord. I've been there, and have learned those things the last several years, and God has blessed us greatly because of our finally submitting and saying "whatever you want Lord, we give it all to you". I guess I'm talking about a different kind of joy. I believe it's a joy that maybe many mothers feel, and I'm sure I've felt it before, but maybe it had been a long time. And, I'm talking about a joy that I personally have been missing because I grew up without my mother.)

Lulu's heart surgery will be June 15th. We will be in the hospital for 1-2 weeks as long as she adjusts well to the new pressures and oxygenated blood that will now go to places in her body she has never had it. With how great her circulation is now though, he feels she will do really well and her body will handle everything well. She will need to be on a restricted activity level for about 6 weeks. I told Ty I sure need a swing set in the back yard so I can push her on the swing and she won't have to exert any energy at all! She LOVES to swing! Plus it'll give Kaden and possibly the big kids something to do since we will not be able to swim as much this summer as usual.

Here are some recent pictures!

When she woke up from having her heart cath and needed to eat, we found out she liked Jello! 
It's not something she'll eat regularly though.

First ice cream cone since she would never try one before now. She liked it, but couldn't eat it fast enough. It was melting, but at least she tried it and seemed to like it! We then had to teach her that she could eat the cone! She did not like that part and Kaden ate it for her!

I mean, have you ever seen a kid have such a face eating an ice cream cone?  I've never had to make a kid try ice cream before! She's a cookie girl! LOVES COOKIES!

Loves being in the kitchen, and in fact is my little shadow while cooking dinner each night! I had to find her something to do while I was preparing meals, so I made her a bean container she can play in all she wants! She loves it! Why do we buy all of these toys and even kitchen toys????? It's the simple things they love!

I heard she "ruled the roost" at Maria's Big House of Hope. Yeah, I'll say she tries that around here. I'm sure she'll have her nurses wrapped around her finger! She already does when we visit them at her appointments!

God is so GOOD. My heart is full of joy and has found a place to settle.