Sunday, December 27, 2009


Olivia and her new ipod
Christmas Eve

Christmas morning at 5:30 am

We had a great first Christmas with Makenna. She had fun and we all enjoyed seeing her face full of excitement at each new thing. Olivia and Jackson said it was the best Christmas ever! Last year on Christmas we were matched with Fu Yan Hao by the CCAA and we saw her face for the first time 4 days later. So happy she is home now:)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas card picture attempts

Okay there were actually many more pictures. This was just a sample. I obviously was so caught up in trying to get them in the picture I didn't even adjust the camera so there would be no red eye and blurriness. The third one would be my choice but it is soooooo blurry! In my mind the three kids would put on their Christmas pjs and all smile and look cute for a Christmas card picture. Well........ they all managed to look cute but, we will have to try again tonight to get a photo we can use. Makenna is still a challenge to photograph. She is in constant motion and doesn't care if she looks or smiles. She does what SHE wants. I keep reminding myself that being strong-willed and independent are good qualities :)
Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Six Months

We have had Makenna in our lives for six months today. It really has flown by but it also seems like she has been around forever. Just like when her big sister and brother came into our lives now our family feels like we couldn't be complete without her! She amazes us every day with her spirit and ability to let us into her heart a little more. Her first almost 15 months without us are still very present for her but she is also settling into our family. She has made so much progress since we came home. She learned to walk and now she understands EVERYTHING we say. We even spell things already like S-t-r-o-l-l-e-r because if she hears it there better be a walk on the way! Her speech is improving also. She is trying to say things and she says Mama (and she means me!)Dada, Jack, bubble, dog,hot, duck, that, and she says Na when she points to herself. She will point to pictures in a book and can point to all of her body parts when asked...even her! Her balance has improved and she falls less and is doing less walking on her toes. She has also grown alot physically. I don't know her current height but the girl has gained about 5 pounds since coming home from China, and she weighed 22 lbs in China! I feel like I am bragging but we are just so impressed with everything that can happen in 6 short months!

Of course we have a long road until she is completely comfortable. She does NOT like Mama to leave, even though Daddy is home now. She is actually more clingy now that he is here. Bedtime has to be with Mama and if she wakes up at night (which she does now-EVERY night) then only Mama can hold her and rock her back to sleep. She points all of us in our family out (Mama, Daddy, Liv, Jack, and Makenna) about 50 times a day. It seems like she is really trying to reinforce or reassure herself that we are all a family and she belongs in it. If two of us hug or kiss she has to be included, and at bedtime she won't go to sleep unless she gets a kiss and hug from everybody (sometimes several!).

She is our busy, silly, smiley, stubborn, brave girl who challenges us daily.

We wouldn't want her any other way.

We love you Makenna and are so glad you are home.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fun!

We have had a fun weekend. We met up with Kerry Lu and her family at the Jack o' Lantern stroll on Friday. It was rainy and hectic but nice to be able to see them again! It was a challenge to try and get a picture of two very busy toddlers but you can see how totally adorable they are! I hope as they get older they can enjoy being friends. The monkey costume was cute but everyone thought Makenna was a boy, so next year we need to go for a more girly outfit I guess.
We practically had to hold them down and distract them for a picture!

This is Makenna's "cheese" face

Jackson and Makenna ready to head out for Trick or Treat

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I know this picture is tiny, Drew took it with his phone, but I just love it! I really should put more pictures up but things have been busy around here. I promise I will put some pictures of Halloween on here, because I am sure they will be funny. Makenna is going to be a monkey BTW (Thanks Michelle!). Also we are hoping to meet up with Kerry Lu and her family this weekend so I will definitely put some pictures of that double adorable-ness on here!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Picking Pumpkins!

Olivia liked the small ones

Jack's awesome pumpkin!

Makenna giving Daddy a kiss

We took a trip to Hubers today. I love the annual pumpkin picking trip. This was Makenna's first time and she enjoyed it. She wanted to be carried in the patch because it was pretty uneven terrain but she liked looking at all the pumpkins. Olivia and Jackson found some great ones! Beautiful Fall day with the whole family!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Four months ago..

We met a scared, sad little girl in Nanchang. What a difference already. We can't wait to see what comes next. You are an amazing little girl and your family loves you so much!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Pictures

She wanted to ride in the wagon wearing just the football she did.

Makenna with her cousin Sam. I love the look on her face. Like she is really pondering something. Also you can see how much her hair has grown!
I managed to get two little pigtails in on this day!! But did not manage to get a picture where she was actually looking AT the camera.

Makenna is really blossoming every day. She has started being so much more affectionate with all of us. When she climbed into my lap the other day and just laid her head on my chest and snuggled with me I just about cried. And now she will sometimes just walk up and want to give me or her brother or sister a kiss or hug. She would do these things before but only when you asked for a kiss or hug. Not just because SHE wanted to give you one. And just today she did the sweetest thing. I always give her kisses while I am holding her and getting ready to put her into bed. Today at nap time and again at bedtime she would reach up and grab my face and give me kisses. Then look at me and do it again. About three times in a row. I think she is really deciding that we are her family. We were Ok before, but now she has really claimed us for her own.
And it is wonderful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Funny Girl

She is so silly! Makenna had her 18 month check up and all is well. She is a little over 31 inches tall and weighs 24 lbs 12 oz. Her iron is still a little low but improved from 15 months. She was doing lots of things on the developmental checklist but she is not really talking much. Had a meeting with the First Steps (early intervention)coordinator yesterday and she will be evaluated soon. I am sure they will help her get all those thoughts into words! She understands so much of what we say and she is getting more and more frustrated that she can't respond.
I love how you can see all the way to her tonsils in the last picture! She cracks me up.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Brother

Makenna has the BEST big brother in the world. Jackson loves her so much and the feeling is definitely mutual. Nobody makes her laugh like he does. It is so cool to see them together.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Makenna can do lots of things now. She still has no real words yet in English(except mama) but she communicates with us pretty effectively. She uses a few simple signs like more and eat and all done. When I say things to her sometimes she just watches my mouth and moves her mouth but doesn't make any sound. It is like she is practicing the movement of her mouth or something. She understands what we say a lot of the time. She can point to several body parts when we ask. She will give kisses and hugs to me and both the other kids but not all the time. When we ask for a kiss or hug she sometimes will just shake her head no. She LOVES books and will bring me books to read her all the time. When she gets hurt just a little (not really hurt) she makes a little whiny sound and walks over for me to kiss it and make it better. If she falls or bumps into something pretty hard she will usually cry really hard and resist me trying to comfort or cuddle her. She is still very clingy with me a lot of the time. She wants me to walk around the room with her or walk with her to go look out the door. It is so frustrating at times. I know she is trying to learn to explore on her own but doesn't feel confident enough yet. When I get irritated with her I feel pretty guilty because she is doing really well overall. I am just tired of being everything to everybody I guess, and I really want a break. Guess I will just have to wait for that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Article on our family

The Air Force paper wrote a nice article on our situation with Drew being deployed and not meeting Makenna yet. I will save a copy for her to see when she is older and can understand how much her Daddy missed her before they met!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Adoption everywhere!

Apparently, if you didn't already know the Target on Westport Rd. is a hotbed of International Adoption. Today during our hour or so in there we met a mama home four weeks with her adorable Olivia (also from Jiangxi province), a woman with her sweet 8 or 9 year old daughter, and another woman who is starting paperwork for an adoption from Ethiopia! So nice to meet other families like ours. Hard to know how to approach them but easier than before Makenna was home. We can kind of exchange looks and usually start a conversation. I exchanged numbers with Olivia's mom Sara, so hopefully we can get together sometime. I would love for Makenna to have friends adopted from China. We will get involved with the local FCC but it is kinda nice just meeting people by chance (or by blog like Kerry Lu's mama)!

And here are a couple of pictures of course.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Running up and down hills

One of Makenna's favorite things is to find a hill or ramp and go up and down it...oh about 250 times! This hill is at the park on the waterfront and it is made of the recycled rubber stuff so I felt a little better about her running down it. She just laughs her head off while she is doing it. It is hard to get a good shot because she moves so FAST! But my favorite is the one where you just see the outline of her and her sprout of a ponytail! Cracks me up:)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Fun!

Riding in her cousin Sam's new birthday present!

Hanging out at Aunt Joans

I am such a messy girl -but I LOVE noodles!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Makenna with all of her grandparents!
Top photo is Granny (Drew's Mom), then Grandpa Slahta (Drew's Dad), Grandpa Darnell (Dana's Dad), and Nana (Dana's Mom). She is so lucky to have such wonderful grandparents!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Trip to the Zoo

The kids and I went to the Zoo today. It was nice and Makenna liked looking at all the people. She liked the splash park as long as she wasn't really close to any spraying water. She is so hard to get a picture of because she is constantly moving!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Test results

Tests results are back and everything is negative!!! Stool samples and all! So happy to get those results and know that we have a happy, healthy little girl. She does need a chest x-ray due to her positive reaction to the TB skin test but hopefully that is the last thing for a while.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Settling in

Makenna is such a happy baby! Liv and Jack are totally in love and I think the feeling is mutual. We are slowly introducing her to all of her family and she seems to enjoy new experiences. Of course she likes most people at a distance! She is going to have blood drawn tomorrow to be tested for everything under the sun. She had a TB skin test today and I collected 2 of 3 stool samples that I have to take to the lab tomorrow. Our pediatrician thinks she is pretty healthy but for our whole family's sake she should have the tests. Every day she discovers some new skill and it makes her so happy. She started walking a few days after we came home and now she is everywhere! She smiles and laughs all the time. Today she started dancing to music especially cartoon music. Every day I am so thankful to her foster family for giving her so much love and care. She could never be so silly and happy if she hadn't been loved by them first. I only hope that sending updates and pictures will make them happy for her in her new life.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We are home!

Wow what a trip. I don't think I am ready to put my thoughts together about my adoption trip. The journey home was long and stressful. But being home is all worth it. I missed Liv and Jack so much it was terrible. Makenna has really taken to them also. She loves having her big brother and sister around. Now if we could just get back on a decent sleep pattern we would be good. For everybody out there still waiting it really will be your turn one day and memories of the wait will fade (not go away-but fade) and you will think how lucky you are to have this child in your life.