Journey to Julie

Dear Family and Friends! Thanks for being so supportive throughout this adoption process. Here is our "blog"-- a way for you to keep abreast of our amazing journey to Julie. We plan to update this site all the way up to coming home from China. After that, I imagine we will be too busy. Plus, you can come visit at that point anyway!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

October Update and GOODBYE

Our baby had her first birthday on October 27th! She has now been home for a bit over 3 months but you wouldn't know it to see her. She seems to understand pretty much everything and is beginning to talk. She is good at mimicking behavior and seems really interested in language.

We have had a couple of successful "road trips" to San Francisco and San Jose. She is tolerating the car seat now and even the stroller. We took her to the zoo last week and she really enjoyed it-- pointing to all the animals and listening to me talk to her about them. She is a social little girl, as long as it is on her terms. She doesn't like it when people touch her and approach her first. She wants to be the one to initiate. Oh, and she's still as cute as a button. We have had a couple of opportunities to put her in her Halloween costume. She really is too precious for words, so I will post pictures.

Now it is time to officially say good-bye to the blog. Happy holidays all and hope to see you soon! Thanks so much for following our journey!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Day in the Life

This is Julie expecting me to chase after her. Here is Julie happy that I am chasing after her.
Julie is not a fan of the outdoors. Here she is looking fearfully down at the grass.

It's officially Autumn. I already miss Summer. This summer was the most amazing summer of my life and it's sad that it's over. We have now been home for 2 months but it feels like we have been home longer. Julie is just so perfect for us that it seems like we have had her since day 1. We have established a nice routine and Julie is thriving.

She has changed a lot since we received her. And I am not just talking about her hair. She is just overall a happier, more content baby. At the beginning I must admit I had secret fears that Julie had ADHD because she was so non-stop. But those fears were just me being my neurotic self because Julie is the most focused baby I have ever met. Plus, she can sit still, especially when read to. The best feeling in the world? Julie hugging and kissing me spontaneously. Second best feeling? Seeing and hearing her laugh. She continues to amaze us. Julie is a problem-solver. Spencer and I set up barriers to prevent her from trying to get electical cords, etc. and she can always seem to manuever around them. Whether that means crawling, climbing or whatever she will figure it out. She is really mastering the English language. She says a few "words" like "dah" for Duck, Dada, Mama, "ha" for hi, "ga-ta" for Gotcha and "nao nao nao" for No. She can follow commands like "sit down", "give me the book", "kiss the baby". She loves music and dancing. On Wednesday we go to a music class at Gymboree and she is quite the star!!!
How do you get Julie to sit still? Promise to read a book to her!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

She's walking!!??!?!????!!!!!


What a cutie! We are so proud!
(click on photos to enlarge)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Summer Lovin'

Hidden walking cam

A week ago Julie took her official first steps. Her ability to balance herself is still pretty hit or miss, but we predict she will be officially walking in about 4 weeks. To date, her record is about 10-15 steps in a row before falling hard. Something has clicked in her brain, however, that told her that walking can be dangerous, so we are happy when she decides to get on all fours as oppossed to jetting out dangerously.

She continues to amaze us everyday with her intelligence and cuteness. With her new teeth she has acquired a new smile and it's gorgeous. Check out the summer pictures we took today.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Uncanny resemblence

Please, no more pictures or autographs.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Julie the Baby Genius

I am going to use this post to shamelessly brag about our daughter. She is 9 months now and has impressed us with all that she has learned since we have had her. Please keep in mind that this little girl was in an institution for the first 8 months of her precious life. Here's what she is already doing:

Julie is almost walking. Yesterday she stood on her own for like 3 seconds and then took 3 steps!!! It's an amusing yet scary sight. You have to be right by this child at all times. Right now she is in her exersaucer bobbing her head to early Beatles. She screamed during the song "Twist and Shout". I guess she really likes that one. Every day she listens to a Slovenian nursery songs CD and loves it. She likes polka. Who would have guessed?

Julie started waving "hi" and "bye" this week. It's cute because she waves towards herself and we find her practicing on her own every once in a while. Sometimes she confuses that hand motion with clapping and will clap "hi" instead.

She babbles a lot of "words" like baba, dada, mama. She fake coughs and sneezes for attention. She shakes her head back and forth when we say "shake shake shake". She imitates screams and intonations. Sometimes she plays a game of imitating screams. She'll scream for daddy's attention, Spencer will scream back, and Julie will scream louder, more obnoxiously back. This can go on for minutes on end. Julie "wins" in the volume and pitch department.

She loves swimming and making splashes in the water.

She seems to understand a lot of words, like mommy, daddy, ball, bottle, more, hi, bye. Somehow she hasn't quite grasped the word "no". ;-) Actually I think she understands the word, but pays no mind to it!!

I am thrilled that she enjoys books! I can read her the same book 3-4 times in a row! She just seems to love it.

I am sure I am missing a lot of awesome things she can do, but I will leave you all with that for now.

Friday, August 05, 2005

New Pix

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I am sorry it has taken so long to post again with a home update. The first week home was actually quite difficult. We were jet lagged and Julie was not sleeping at all the first few days. I became very sick and exhausted and lost a lot of weight. To top it off, Julie became very ill and was diagnosed with bronchitis/"possibly pneumonia". She was started on antibiotics and has been doing much better, but is still coughing.

After about of week of being home, Julie is sleeping better. She pretty much only wakes up for a brief comfort bottle and is back in bed. As a result of Julie feeling better, I am doing better. But I am also doing better because of all the people that have called, visited, and helped out. I can not begin to express the gratitude I have for my family and friends, but let me try...

I want to thank my aunt Mimi for coming over and giving me support, bringing food, and showing me some "tricks of the trade". Thanks to my Mom who came over and cooked, grocery shopped even though she was sick and jet lagged herself. Thank you Steve for bringing over the congee, rice pudding, and lasagne. Thank you Susie for coming over and giving me a bit of rest on "Black Monday". We so appreciated every visitor, every phone call, email, and encouragement from you all. I don't know what I would have done without you all.

But our gratitude extends even beyond. We thank our adoption agency for making our dream come true. We thank the Chinese government for allowing International adoption. We thank our travel group that will be our extended family for the years to come. And of course we thank our daughter's birth parents for placing her in an obvious location so she could be found quickly and safely. May God place in their hearts the knowledge that their birth daughter is forever loved and nurtured.

I will end this post with an exerpt from a Sinead O'Connor song. It's called "My Darling Child" and is from her Universal Mother album. It's just one of the myriad of lullabies I sing to Julie.
My Darling Child
My Darling Baby
My Darling Child
You came and saved me
My Darling Child
My Darling Baby
My Darling Child
You gave life to me
My Darling Child
My Darling Baby
My Darling Child
God gave you to me....

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Our baby is finally home

We made it home safe and sound yesterday afternoon. Julie did very well on the plane, sleeping a good portion of the trip. She had a much rougher time on the way home, strapped into a car seat. But I don't want to get into that.

It's been a little over 24 hours since our return and I am a bit tired. Julie has had a great day and enjoyed a brief visit to the park with her aunty Nancy. Julie is an adventurous spirit and enjoyed swinging much higher than I thought she would. She really is our pride and joy.

When I have fully recovered from my jet lag I will post one more time. Please visit us in the meantime. I have a feeling we won't be going on any long drives soon.

Monday, July 18, 2005

US Approved!

This is Julie in her USA outfit.

This is Julie sleeping in her stroller. For her it was quite a feat!

We had a rough start this morning. Julie was very constipated and in a lot of pain. We had to use a suppository. She was screaming in pain and I shed a few tears myself in sympathy. But after the suppository worked, all was well and now she is playing on the bed with Daddy.

We had our US consulate oath this afternoon and finished up all our shopping. We actually got Julie in the stroller. She used to hate the stroller, too confining we guess, but she is tolerant of it now.

Tomorrow we are off to the airport in the early morning. Home, here we come! Watch out US, our "spicy girl" is hitting the shores. "Spicy Girl" is the term used to describe the girls from Julie's area of China. When we tell locals where our daughter is from they all say, "Ohhh, a spicy girl!" And then laugh like we have our work cut out for us. Fine by us.

This is our last post from China....


This picture was taken yesterday right before the red couch photos with all the babies.

Today we have been trying to relax and help Julie recover from her illness. I was fortunate enough to get a massage and I can honestly say it was one of the best ones I have ever had. Probably because my body really needed it. Spencer will be going on the Pearl River cruise tonight, but I will be staying in with Julie just chillin'. I think Julie has learned to recognize a few English words. One of them is "clap". When I tell her to "clap, clap, clap" she CLAPS!!! But she only really does it for me and Daddy. When others are looking she just stares at them. Be prepared for that when you first meet Julie. She probably won't smile at you at first. She will stare you up and down to see what you are all about. I think that's pretty clever of her.

I am so ready to come home. It is so hot and humid outside. And I am getting bored in the hotel room. Please tell me it's nice and cool in the Bay Area????