Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lucy At the Beach

Lucy just returned from her first beach vacation in Hilton Head - and I'm happy to report that she loves the beach! She went to the beach everyday and went in the ocean, played in the sand, ate the sand, played with her cousins, her aunts and uncles and grandma and grandpa. Not only was it her first vacation it was also the first time she met many of her cousins and aunts and uncles. She loved them all. Her cousins were all so sweet to her and played with her everyday. They would start the day playing patty cake and peek a boo and then they would continue playing with her on the beach. Her older cousins would walk her on the beach, and they would take her in the water. Every morning one of her cousins would help pick out her bathing suit of the day. In the evening there was always someone helping with her bath and picking out an outfit for her. She was surrounded by cousins and aunts and uncles who loved her so much. She also got to see her Granny and Grandpa all week - she loved being with them. She continues to be a sweet and happy girl. She was great on the flights and she was so fun all week. She can't wait to go to St. Louis and meet the rest of her cousins and aunts and uncles. She is one lucky girl to be part of such a big family!

Until next time - Take Care!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Things Lucy Loves

So not only is Lucy so easy to love - I am finding out all the little things that she loves. She loves to play peek-a-boo and laughs every time we play. She loves to play patty cake- especially with Granny or Molly. She continues to love to eat and finds something new to try everyday. She loves playing with her stacking cups and is getting better and better at stacking the cups. She loves her bath especially when I wash her hair. I learned early on that she doesn't like me to pour water over her head so I had to figure out another way to wash her hair. She loves to lay down in the tub and have a little bit of water cover her ears - she laughs and laughs every day we do this. She loves her little Chinese doll that is in her bed next to her. We were given the doll as a gift prior to getting Lucy. I put it in her crib until we brought her home. The first time I put her in her bed she looked at the doll and smiled (it kind of looks like her). Now whenever I put her in her bed for her nap or for bedtime she always turns to her right and finds her little doll- she puts her arm around her and then closes her eyes - I must say it is pretty sweet. She loves her dad and is missing him as he is out of town. She saw a picture of him today and touched it and got a big grin on her face. I think she missed him coming home tonight as it seems to be a highlight of her day when he walks through the door. I must admit it is the highlight of Rich's day - he is always welcomed home with a huge smile and outstretched arms (this is from Lucy not from his loving wife:)) No I miss him too.

We went swimming today with some good friends from our neighborhood. Lucy was sitting in the baby pool with her new little buddies splashing around and having such a good time. She was all smiles. As I sat and watched her I thought her little life has certainly changed in the last month. She has a new name- in a new language, she lives in a new home, she lives on a new continent, she has a mom and dad who love her but look like no one she has ever seen before, she has family and friends who love her and send her sweet wishes every day, she has taken several plane rides and she now rides in a carseat in a car almost everyday. All of this in a short time. One month ago she was living in her orphanage having no idea what changes were coming her way. We on the other hand knew when and where we were going to meet her - we had planned and planned for her for so long. We stared at her little pictures for 8 weeks prior to meeting her. Although we knew that our lives were going to change as opposed to Lucy - I must say I never ever imagined the happiness we would feel every morning that we wake up to the sweet little voice we hear coming from her room or her big smile, her loud laughs or even her sad cries. Every little thing about her makes my day. We are so happy and so thankful that she is finally with us. We can't wait for her to meet some of her cousins and aunts and uncles in the upcoming week. I know her life has changed dramatically and so has ours - all for the better.

Until next post - Take care.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bathing Beauty

It''s been another good week for Lucy. She had so much fun this week with her Grandma - she was sad to see her leave yesterday but can't wait to see her again at the end of the week. Lucy went to the pool for the first time this week. Like mother like daughter - she loved it!! Which is good because Rich told her she wouldn't have much of a choice in the matter. She loved seeing all of the kids who were there. She watched them all play in the water. Especially her cousins Molly and Conor. She got in the pool but was a little unsure about it - she seemed to like it more after a little while.
She went back to the doctor for her initial visit. All things look good according to the doctor. He was surprised at how well she is doing both socially and development wise. She is pretty much right where she should be. She had to have bloodwork done yesterday - which was no fun. It seems that it is pretty hard to find a vein in a baby's arm to draw blood - so the experience was a bit traumatic - but in the end she was a real trooper. Hopefully that is our last visit to the doctor for awhile.

We have been having beautiful weather in Minneapolis. Lucy loves to be outside. We took her for her first walk in the stroller yesterday - she liked it so much she fell asleep. She loves her bouncy walker thing (I can't think of the name of it). We bring it outside and she just bounces up and down and laughs and laughs - oh yeah and eats her Cheerios. It was hard to get a good picture of her as she seems to be in constant motion in the thing.

So all things are well. We have had Lucy for three weeks now and it seems like we have had her forever. She is the best!!!! She discovers something new everyday so it is so much fun to watch her. We will continue to keep you posted.

Take Care!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

First Things First

It seems like everyday there is a first for Lucy - which for the most part is so fun to watch. On Monday she sat in her carseat in the backseat all by herself for the first time - not very fun. She did not like sitting backwards and not being able to see me. She then went to the doctor for the first time and found out she had her first double ear infection- not much fun either. Then I drug her to Walgreens for the first time to pick up her prescription - they had a hard time filling it because she was not showing up on our insurance coverage which made the wait that much longer - not a fun first. Despite her ear infection and all of her unpleasant firsts she was still playful and happy.

Tuesday was a better day of firsts. She had her first visit to the grocery store and she juct loved it. She looked around and grabbed everything she could. I would put something in the cart she would pick it up and observe it. She unfortunatly loves plastic bags so each time I put in a produce item she grabbed the bag - such fun for her. She found out that grocery shopping can be a social event as well - we ran into our friend Kim and her daughter Jessica and she was so happy to meet them. So I think her first grocery experience was a fun one. We then went over to see Granny at Aunt Maggie's house. Lucy played with Molly and Conor and loved spending time wth her Grandma.

We came home and she had her first try on the swingset in our backyard. She loved it!!! she laughed and laughed and didn't want to stop. We had so much fun out there. This was a good first. After swinging we went inside and played with her new toys - she loves all of them and doesn't know which one to play with first so she just grabs them all. While we were playing she heard footsteps and strained her neck to see who it was - she got the biggest smile on her face when she saw her dad walk in the door. She loves her daddy and was so happy he was home from work.

After dinner she had another first - she watched part of the All-Star game on her Dad's lap. They looked quite cute together. She seemed to enjoy the game - so I guess this will be something that she and her dad can do together. Not a bad day!!!!

Today's another new day and it is beautiful in Minneapolis. So we will see what firsts Lucy has today. We hope you are all having a great day! Until next time - Take Care.

Love -

Bridget, Rich and Lucy

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Our American Girl!

We made it home. Sorry it has taken me so long to post - but our trip got the best of us. We have all been sick since we came home. Today is the first day that we are all feeling a bit better.

So about the trip. It was very long. Lucy actually did great on the flights but it was a very long day. We started out by meeting those in our group going to the airport at 5:00am. The bus took up to the airport (the unairconditioned airport) where we went through cutoms, etc. We all began our trip with a heavy sweat. We then went to the gate and our plane left at 8:30am. It was about a 5 hour flight to Tokyo. We had about a one hour layover in Tokyo where we cleaned Lucy up a bit and put her in her second pair of pj's for the next leg of the trip. The flight from Tokyo to Minneapolis was 12.5 hours. Oh so long and so misserable. I only slept about 2 hours. Rich was able to sleep a little bit longer as was Lucy. It just seemed like it was never ending probably due to the fact that none of us was feeling that well.

When we landed in Minneapolis we went through immigration which was a really quick process. Lucy got her Chinese passport stamped and she was then an official American citizen. We gave her a little American flag and she waved it around like crazy. We collected our luggage and went through customs with no problems. When we walked out we were so excited and surprised to see Granny and Pa. We knew Granny was coming from St. Louis but Grandpa surprised us. Maggie, Kelly, Molly and Conor were there to welcome us as well. Molly made a big welcome home sign for Lucy and all of the Keady's wore their Chinese Aunt,uncle and cousin shirts and hats. Granny and Pa were decked out in red, white and blue to welcome home their newest granddaughter. Lucy was so happy and seemed so excited. She went right to her Grandma and Grandpa. She gave them each a big smile and wrapped her little arm around her grandpa's neck - it was so sweet.

When we got home we were surprised again - Grandpa had lined the entire walkway up to the house in American flags. He had a big pink bow on the front door as well as on Lucy's bedroom door and had pink streamers hanging throughout the house. Lucy's cousins, The Barry's from St. Louis made a big poster of themselves with signs welcoming home Lucy. It was hanging on the front windows of the house. Maggie and Kelly were nice enough to have a b-b-q dinner waiting for us. We all ate dinner and Lucy played with her cousins, Molly and Conor. Everyone left and we all went to bed early. It was a great welcome home! We are so glad to be home and Lucy seems to be adjusting well. We all just need to continue to catch up on our sleep and start feeling better.

I will post later this week so that you can see Lucy in her new surroundings. She looks around with wide eyes as everything is new to her. she continues to be a sweet, good girl. We are crazy about her!!!!

Until next time - Take Care.

Love -

Bridget, Rich and Lucy

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Goodnight and Goodbye to China

Well it's our last day in China and it was somewhat busy. Lucy did not sleep well last night and she woke up with a cold. Wouldn't you know it would be the day before her first long flight. Sweet she is but she is also a bit stubborn. She wills her self to stay awake and she certainly doesn't want to miss out on anything. So needless to say she was a bit crabby all morning. Rich stayed in with her and I ran around trying to get in all of my last minute shopping. Why I felt the need to wait until the last day we were here is beyond me. Oh well.

We went to the American Consulate at 4:00 and had our swearing in ceremony. All of the parents took an oath for their daughters and then we were congratulated on our girls, their adoption and their soon to be citizenship. We then receiver their visas and we were free to go. I cried. It was the culmination of everything we have worked toward over the past two and half years. I guess it just hit me that all of the paperwork, interviews, filing, traveling, etc., etc. has come to an end and we are now the proud parents of Lucy. Although we received her over a week ago I felt like this was really it. I would do it all ten times over again just to have our sweet daughter. She was worth every single second that we waited for her. Everytime I hear her cute little laugh or see that smile that melts my heart or have her give me a little pat on the cheek I know that she was meant to be ours. We can't wait to bring her home and begin our lives together in Minneapolis.

We ended the day with a farewell dinner with our travel group and coordinators. I am so ready to come home but I will really miss the people that we have met while in China. I am certain that we will remain friends with some of the families whom we have met. So many of us hit it off and we all have our daughters as a common bond. I loved the time that we spent here and I can honestly say it has been the trip of a lifetime.

We are all packed and ready to go. We have one suitcase more than we came with (due to the shopping). We meet in the lobby for the last time at 5:30 am and then we are all off to the airport. I hope that everyone has a good flight home. The girls have been on a whirlwind tour for the past ten days and this will be a test of their stamina. I hope the flights go well for Lucy - I will let you know. I plan to post after we return to Minneapolis -so stay tuned.

Thank you all so much for your great posts, fun messages and kind words while we were here. It meant so much for us to hear from you all when we were so far away. I am glad that you followed along with us on our journey to Lucy. We can't wait for her to meet all of our friends and family. She doesn't know what's coming- and she certainly doesn't know how lucky she is going to be to have all of you in her life!

Until we return to the States -Good night and goodbye.

Much Love -
Bridget, Rich and Lucy

Monday, July 2, 2007

No news is good news

We had to stay in our room today until 12:00pm just in case the American Consulate had questions about our application, dossier, etc. I along with everyone else in the group were hoping for a no phone call morning. We all had a phone call free morning. Which means everything is okay and we get to go the Consulate tomorrow for the girls swearing in ceremony. We are taking the Citizinship Oath for the girls tomorrow afternoon at 4:00pm. I can't believe that it is the final step of this long path to adoption!

Once 12:00 hit we left our room and took a cab ride into downtown Guanzhou. It is a bustling downtown with lots going on. We drove through the financial and business district. You would have thought you were in a big city at home on a Monday afternoon. We went to a shopping mall for awhile because Lucy fell asleep in her stroller and it was just too hot to be outside.

When we retuned from our excursion we had to get Lucy ready for her photo shoot. It is a tradition here at The White Swan Hotel for all of the girls to have their picture taken as a group on a red couch. The majority of the girls in the group wore traditional Chinese clothing. It was so cute. Quite a number of the girls cried throughout the photo shoot - not Lucy she just sat in the middle of the couch and smiled.

We finished the day with a dinner cruise on The Pearl River. It was very fun and so pretty. The river is lined with beautiful trees and high rise buildings. We went to the top deck after dinner and Lucy loved looking at all of the lights of the city. We had a great day.

Tomorrow is our last day in China - I can't believe it.

Until tomorrow - Take Care and know that we are thinking about you. We look forward to being home soon!

Love -

Bridget, Rich and Lucy

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Greatest Week in The World!

It's been exactly one week since we received Lucy - and what a wonderful week it has been. We still can't believe she's ours. She is the greatest gift ever. She seems to get sweeter, cuter and funnier with each passing day - we love her more than we knew possible.

Today was a good day. I had to complete our final paperwork this morning. Our guides will deliver it to the American Consulate first thing tomorrow morning. Rich spent the morning with Lucy - and they had a very fun time. Rich went to an outdoor market place with one of the guys in the group while Lucy and I went shopping with our friends Wendy and Quincy. We had a fun girls day out, that is until it started to rain and we realized that we forgot the umbrellas. We walked from shop to shop and tried to stay dry. The shopping experience wore Lucy out so we came home and she took a nice long nap.

We got together for dinnerwith three other couples from our group. We have all hit if off and enjoy spending time with one another. One of the couples were the ones whose daughter had to go to the hospital last night - thankfully she is doing much better and was so much fun. There was a big group dinner tonight but we all decided to decline, as we are a bit tired of the entire big group thing. We went to an outdoor restaurant in the hotel that is right on the water. They had a wonderful b-b-q and seafood buffet - it was so good and so American - I for one ate way too much. We all packed up the strollers and called it a night. Lucy is fast asleep and we aren't far behind. Tomorrow morning should be quiet as we have to stay in our hotel room from 9:00-12:00. As I said our guides will be delivering our paperwork tomorrow morning, therefore we have to stay in our room in case the Consulate calls with questions. No call is good news - so I am hoping for a phone call free morning.

Not much longer and we will be on our way home! We are looking forward to our return home but we are really enjoying our time here - it is actually flying by. Lucy makes the day fly!

Here's to a good week. Thanks for keeping in touch and we can't wait to see you all soon.

Love -

Bridget, Rich and Lucy