Today is our daughter's 2nd birthday, though it is her first birthday with us. Happy Birthday, Lily Grace. We are very proud of you and love you so much!
We started our day like we most often do, saying a prayer to Jesus. But today it was a little more emotional. We thanked Him for the day that Lily was born, for her sweet, beautiful spirit, for blessing daddy and mommy with the privilege to be her forever parents, and we asked Jesus to continue to stir into Lily's heart a deep desire, love and passion to know and serve Him. These things we pray each day.
But then we also said a prayer for Lily's biological mother and father who live in China, that their hearts would be somehow comforted with the peace of Christ as they remember this day two years ago, and that somehow they would know that Lily was now with a family that loved and treasured her. These words may seem sweet to read, but behind them lies a deeply emotional and very real story. A story of sorrow and joy that touches many lives to the core. A story that happens much too often throughout the world where sorrow is the main theme.
We have now had our children, Lily and Izaiah, for five full months and already cannot believe how much they have grown physically and emotionally. Here are some highlights:
Lily is a busy and very active girl with the most expressive face! Oh how we love to see all her expressions.
She sleeps very well and during her naps, you will most often find her sleeping with her socks on her hands. She is so funny!
Although she cannot identify colors yet, she does know how to sort them and put all the reds together, the blues, yellows, etc.
She has endless chatter but does have a limited vocabulary. She walks around the house all day yelling, "Mama!" She says, "Dada" too. When you ask her if she wants to sing a song, she says, "Jesus" as we most often sing "Jesus Loves Me". Other words she says: juice, eye, teeth, two and poo.
Speaking of "poo", yes, we have started the potty training process and she is doing very well! She won't tell us when she has to go yet, but she will very often, several times a day anyway, go potty and poo on her little toilet when we put her there. She loves getting an M-n-M afterward as her treat.
Our girl is a reader! She loves, loves, loves to read books.
She mostly feeds herself and is getting much better at eating with a spoon.
She loves to repeat animal sounds and is still working on this. Her favorite are making sounds like a lion, snake, bumblebee, dog, cow and monkey.
Although she hated getting in the bathtub when we first got her, she now loves her bath time and will even lay in the water on her tummy. Still doesn't like to get her hair washed though.
Mommy brushes Lily's teeth every morning and night but Lily always controls the toothbrush and finishes the job. She loves brushing her teeth.
She loves music and dancing. She also loves to play with her lego blocks and is starting to build things.
Lily is very helpful and even picks up her toys. We can already tell that she is a meticulous girl, a child after Mommy's own heart!
These are things that he started doing at age 18 months:
He gives "high-five".
He now claps his hands and is so proud when he does. This was really huge for him.
He loves music and swaying back and forth.
He loves bouncing and jumping--the bigger the movement, the better.
This baby was always very ticklish and full of laughter, but now we get the biggest kick out of watching him laugh just because. He loves to laugh at his sister and Sami too.
He eats very well and has gained 50% of his weight in the last 5 months. He weights nearly 24 pounds today whereas 5 months ago, he weighed 16 pounds. He mainly eats from a bottle, drinking formula mixed with baby cereal or pureed baby food, yogurt, applesauce etc. This seems to be working very well for him. He adjusted to syringe feeding for a period of 8 weeks during all of his surgeries in the months of January and February but we are now back to the bottle. Izaiah loves being sang to when he is drinking his bottle.
Izaiah started eating some soft/pureed foods initially by Mommy swiping her finger in his mouth, but now he will even let us put a spoon in his mouth! This, too, was a major step forward. He is still very limited to what he can eat due to his cleft palate and food getting stuck up there. We are scheduled to have his hard palate surgery next month!
He loves being cuddled and kissed! We will often kiss one side of his face and neck and then he will turn it so you can kiss the other, pressing his face hard against yours.
He loves, loves, loves to play ball! This is clearly his favorite thing to do as he gets excited every time you roll the ball to him. His arms and feet get to kicking and we must say, we won't be surprised if he is some kind of ball player because he is good at this!
We have four teeth! His two front teeth are finally in.
Izaiah is very focused on whatever he does. He loves to play with toys and is getting more and more interactive.
He started saying "mama" at 18 months and just recently now also started saying "gaga". Every once in a while we will hear a "kkkk". We believe these two new noises were enabled as a result of his soft palate surgery at the end of February. It's exciting progress!
We'll try to keep this updated as often as we can, but as you may imagine our hands are very full, and time to sit and blog now has to be 'scheduled'!
Love to all.