Merry Christmas to all...and six months home

I swear I did not intentionally take a three week break from posting.  The weeks after Thanksgiving, and leading up to Christmas, are always really busy for us and this year is no exception.  It is hard to believe it is Christmas already and we have been home for six months with our daughters.  I fully intended to post something on the actual date, December 15th, but somehow I just never found the time.   That seems to be a familiar refrain lately, but better late than never, right?

A little over six months ago, we gathered with 9 other families in a hotel lobby in Nanchang, China, filled with anticipation and nervous energy.  The day we had all waited for had finally arrived and we were about to meet our daughters for the first time.  We took some photos and chatted about nothing and everything and then it was time; all we had to do was cross the street outside our hotel (no easy feat in China) to the Jiangxi Province Adoption Center, and the babies would be brought to us around 10:00 a.m.  Our good friends, Susan and Riz, snapped this photo of us while we were waiting for the babies to arrive.  They were coming from 6 or 7 different orphanages, so we had no way of knowing when and who would arrive first.  This picture illustrates the best I ever looked in China.  After we got the babies, all attempts to do hair and makeup were pointless; if I actually had time for either, it didn't matter since it would all melt away as soon as we stepped outside into the hot and  humid Chinese air.  

There were two or three families who received their babies before us and everyone was so excited and happy for them. There was a bit of a lull and then there they were, Xin Ling and Xin Long, soon to be LilyKate and Eleanor, in the arms of two nannies and wearing the outfits we had sent in our care package. The moment was beyond surreal, yet more real and vivid that any other time I can recall. They were handed to us and we spoke with the orphanage director, who gave us several items, including some small toys we had sent, a book from the orphanage with photos of the girls and their foster mom (a treasure!), as well as their finding ads. We can hardly remember what was said, because all we could see was those two beautiful babies and we just wanted to hold them and kiss them over and over, through tears of joy and happiness.

They have grown and changed so much since then, we look at the pictures and marvel at how small they were. They have blossomed into two funny, feisty, adorable little girls and every day with them is an adventure and a blessing. Happy six months sweet girls, we love you more than we could ever put into words, and having you here with us is the best Christmas present we have ever received.

LilyKate and Eleanor - home for one week - July 2008

Eleanor and LilyKate - August 2008

LilyKate and Eleanor - September 2008

LilyKate and Eleanor - October 2008

Eleanor and LilyKate - November 2008

Eleanor and LilyKate - Christmas 2008 

Merry Christmas!  Thanks for all the sweet comments, helpful advice and much-needed support.  It has been a great year for us and we wish you all love, peace and much happiness during this holiday season.  


  1. John and Brenda12/24/2008 7:36 PM

    Susan and Jonathan.

    There is an old saying that daughters are a special blessing from God.
    We have now been blessed three times.
    Love Dad and Mom

  2. Wow....today is our one month Gotcha Day celebration. You described it perfectly. We too feel so blessed and honored to be picked by God to be the parents of this amazing wonderful little soul! I will forever be grateful! Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!

  3. Happy Anniversary, and Merry Christmas! I know you'll have a wonderful holiday this year.

  4. Happy 6 month anniversary! They are beautiful!

  5. What can I say??? But yeah... the best Christmas gift ever...
    Have a merry christmas... take care

  6. Merry Christmas!
    Your daughters are beautiful!!
    What wonderful gifts!

  7. Merry Christmas guys!!! Love the pics, especially the one of Santa sneaking up behind the girls. Adorable.

  8. Merry Christmas! I am so jealous of your Santa picture:)

  9. Merry Christmas girly..
    Happy 6 months..
    The girls are soooooo BEAUTIFUL..
    Have an AMAZING Day..

  10. Merry Christmas! I know this one is your best yet!

  11. And it just keeps getting better! It is still a miracle to us to see our beautiful Chinese daughter grow, change and thrive! Merry Christmas!

  12. We have been home for 14 months from Vietnam with our "Twins" and you have much more to look forward to. Believe it or not it only gets better. I forgot how much fun 18 months to 2 yrs is.

    Your girls are beautiful and I am so happy for you!!

    Merry Christmas!!
    Heather-Mommy to Meliah and Khai 20 months old from Lang son,Vietnam

  13. Susan, I read this post this morning and it brought me to tear, Happy tears. I was just telling Riz that this memory is something we share with you and J. I cherish it and will always hold it close to my heart. Happy six wonderful months..

    Love you guys
    Susan,Riz and Sophia

  14. Your daughters are beautiful!
    We are still counting weeks since forever family day: 14.5!

    We love catching up on your news and seeing how well (and adorable) they are doing!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy