Monday, February 27, 2012

One Week Home....Progress!!!

There is a reason I didn't post much after coming home...I didn't want to.

Yes, I was busy, and yes I was so tired from no sleep...but I was also in "fake-it-til-you-make-it" mode. Everyday there has been progress made. Little things like figuring out what they like to eat, Lily Anna warming up to everyone else, the kiddos playing so I can get a shower. The huge one has been Johnny and Lily Anna sleeping with Brianna. I can't describe how nice that has been. 

Then my hubby put his hero cape on and cleared out a room in the basement and turned it into a playroom for the kids. It was so nice to go downstairs as a hubby and I sat and talked while the kids played. 

So everyday there's been baby-steps made. One week ago, I was in Brianna's bed with the kids, Lily Anna would only go to me and I couldn't leave the room without a meltdown, I couldn't even get a shower. 

Here's what gets me; something I really wonder about: I hear about adoptive Moms all the time who let their lives be radically effected like this and it goes on for six or more months...they don't get showers, they quit wearing make-up, they nix their entire social life and just stay at home. I just can NOT do that. I was about 5 days home and I felt like a troll and that's when the water-works started for me. How can people effectively parent their children when they aren't even taking care of themselves? And I know some people like staying at home, (and don't wear make-up anyway) but that is just not me. 

Another thing that got to me, and I didn't think it would happen, is the "my bio children look older" thing. I went through this after I had Brianna. I came home with her and Josiah just seemed bigger to me, and I missed him being a baby. Well, I went through it again this week. We came home and started watching "Franklin" and "Little Bear" with Johnny and Lily Anna...the exact same shows I watched eight years ago with Josiah and Brianna. And now Josiah has a deep voice, and he plays X-box...and he's not four. And I cried. And Brianna isn't two. And I cried.

But we have progress. And I'm looking forward to the progress we make this week...and I'm looking forward to that shower! Thank God Almighty that I can now get a shower everyday again!!!! 

We still covet your prayers; it will take some time to find our new norm. I would love to see progress this week with some English words from them. Just a few would be nice!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thank God For Brianna!!!!!!!!!


Brianna (pic is fuzzy cuz of Daddy's phone, ha, ha).

I was amazed at how well Brianna did with the kiddos while we were in China, but I just did not expect what I would witness from her when we came home.

We were home literally only one day when Le Hai (Johnny...sorry, still trying to get used to their new names!!!) sick. It's bad enough when your bio kiddos get sick, but when you are trying to read facial expressions on your new son's face to try to figure out what's wrong...yeah, not fun. Because Brianna was dealing with a touch of jet-lag and went to bed early at 5:00, she just happened to be awake when Johnny bazooka barfed on me. I'm not going to lie, I was sooooooo tired, beyond comprehension tired and as I was cleaning up the mess, I began crying...and crying out to God...Lord, all I want is sleep...I feel like I'm going to die!!! (Yes, a little dramatic, but come on...this is my reality). Then all of a sudden I heard a toilet flush...the sign of life somewhere else in the house!!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Ha, ha. I went into my former bedroom...the one where I slept BEFORE China, and I whispered, "Brianna?" The most beautiful voice I've ever heard responded back, "Yes...I'm awake." Because she went to bed so early she was up and ready for the day. She helped me strip off the bedding and get me new pajamas. She ran up and down the stairs getting me stuff. And because her and I were now back on China time with Johnny because of the puke incident, she has been my social life-line. 

Then yesterday we plowed through (her, me, and Johnny) and got ourselves back on track sleep-wise. Even though we were tired, we kept on going, went to church and all went to bed around 9:30. Since we got home, I've been sleeping in Brianna's room with Johnny and Lily Anna. Brianna has been sleeping in my bed with Daddy. And Josiah has been in his own bed. Last night Brianna said the most wonderful thing to me..."Mom, I miss my bed." I was scared to try letting the kiddos sleep with her. I just didn't know how Lily Anna would do. I thought she would cry, etc. But I was so tired. And I'm married to my husband, not my kids. So I pushed all fear aside and took her up on the offer. Guess what, I got seven hours of sleep!!! And Lily Anna didn't wake up once!!!!

Praise the Lord, there's light at the end of the sleep-deprived tunnel!!!

I'm praying the kiddos do great with her again tonight (keep in mind she has our old king sized bed, so they're not squished by any means.)

I have just seen a side of Brianna I did not know was there. She's just acting so responsible. And it's not a sacrifice to her...she loves to help, and she plays with the children. She's been playing Legos with the kids on the floor for about 1/2 hour right now. She watches them so I can just use the bathroom!!!

She has impressed me. I am so blessed by this young (10 year old) lady!!!! I told her I owe her big time (and I do!!!!)

Thank you make me proud!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feel Like Death Warmed Over

Lovely title, isn't it? Not a very good confession from a Christian's mouth, but I'm dripping with sarcasm today, so there it is.

Would you like to know how to make jet-lag worse than the worst case scenario? On day two home, have one of your newly adopted kiddos get the flu and barf all over everything. 

Yes, Le Hai got sick. And it got ugly. Poor thing. My poor couch...and floor...and Brianna's bed...and my pajamas...what else did he projectile on? 

In a way, I'm glad he threw up. I couldn't figure out what was going on. He wasn't himself, so tired and wouldn't eat. I thought maybe it was serious jet-lag. He wouldn't eat all day yesterday, then last night my hubby went to move him and that was it, he threw up. We got him cleaned up and got him in bed. Xi Yi is so active, she kept poking and prodding him.

We finally fell asleep, Xi Yi had her normal five minute melt-down about an hour after falling asleep, then Le Hai woke up and asked for water. Great! I thought, this is wonderful, he's feeling better. Yep, I'm a moron. I cannot believe I didn't remember to do the ice chip thing, or start out with a tiny sip. Nope, he drank a big swig of water and because I'm so beyond-out-of-it-tired, when he asked for another sip of water, I honestly thought it was about an hour later. I fell back asleep and he asked for another sip of water...I thought another hour had passed. Nope, I figured out later after he puked this was all within about 30 minutes that he downed the whole bottle. I will spare the details, but like I mentioned above, he hit everything. I was so scared he was dehydrated, so I just took ice cubes and had him suck on them, which he got a kick out of.

He's feeling much better and playing, eating and all. 

But once again, no sleep for me. 

Tonight I'm believing for a really great night of sleep. I know other adoptive parents don't believe me when I say I'm not dealing with jet lag. I'm not. Is it a crime to say that in the adoption world??? I'm just dealing with interrupted sleep by bizarre things like being barfed on in the middle of the night...waking up to my new daughter kicking all the covers off me, or crawling out of bed to play.


Pray that we all get a good night of sleep tonight!!!!

Thanks all!!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

We're Home!!

God bless America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh. my. word.

I wanted to kiss the ground the minute I landed on U.S. soil. I'll save that for another post.

We got home at about 11:00 pm Saturday night. I was really, REALLY scared bringing the little ones into our home. I just did not know how they would behave, or if they would be respectful of the furniture, etc. They walked in and looked around. Le Hai had a smile on his face, and then he did something I don't think I'll ever forget. He walked into the living room and looked at the thick carpet and got this "wow" look on his face. He was smiling ear to ear and he got down on the floor and started to touch the carpet. I started crying. It's carpet and he acted like he had just seen the coolest invention ever.

We let the kids play Legos for a little bit and then I got them ready for bed. The next day was Sunday and I didn't care how exhausted we all would be; we were going to the house of God together. After all, it was Him who gave me these kiddos, right? 

We really haven't had to deal with horrible jet-lag so far. We all went out to eat after church with a bunch of people and just chilled at home in the evening. We all went to bed on time and things seem to be going fairly well...except for one thing...

I'm not sleeping. 

At all.

I get about 2 hours of sleep and then Xi Yi wakes up crying...and that's it; I'm up. She calms down, goes back to sleep and my eyes are staring at the ceiling. It's been this way the entire time we were in China as well. I really don't know how I'm functioning at this point.

To be honest, here's what happens when I am asleep or about to fall asleep. I drift into La La land, and I'm immediately "dreaming" I'm in China, filling out paperwork, getting in a van, meeting adoption workers, going up the escalator. I literally have to open my eyes to get rid of the people and scene that I'm in while I'm asleep. So even when I am asleep, my mind is going, going, going.
Have you ever had to drive all day to go somewhere and you get to your hotel room and go to close your eyes to go to sleep and what do you see? The road. That's exactly like what it's like for me. I close my eyes and I'm in the process again. 

I kid you not when I tell you I think I've been traumatized by the process while we were in China. It's cruel and I disagree with it with all my heart. Who in the world thought it would be hilarious to take new parents, sleep deprive them and then make them fill out more forms, all the while carrying a 500 lb toddler and trying to hold the hand of a 5 year old who thinks it's funny to run off.  I do NOT know what we would have done without Josiah and Brianna there, but again, this is all for another post. I'll just say, now that I've been through the process beginning to end, I disagree with almost all of it. I think it's sick and twisted. 

Right now I'm trying to figure out the best scenario for sleep. Xi Yi is 4 but actually acts about 2 1/2. I'm considering putting her in a crib to help me get some sleep. Right now to transition Le Hai and her to sleeping in our house, I'm sleeping with them in Brianna's bed. I thought co-sleeping would be good but I just don't know anymore. Le Hai seems to be doing ok, but Xi Yi wakes up 2-3 times crying and kicking covers off. I've googled night terrors and it doesn't really fit the description. I think Le Hai would be fine sleeping with Brianna for awhile, but I'm at a loss for Xi Yi. I might try setting up the kids' old crib in our room and see if that works. I don't know. I just know I need sleep!!!!

Concerning their adjustments:  Xi Yi is doing fairly well. She has a strong personality and throws tantrums, which drives me bananas, but that's about it. The thing that I'm dealing with right now with her is she wants to go to the bathroom all the time. Someone mentioned she might be constipated and I think that's the case. So, time for pear juice. Yippie.

Le Hai is testing boundaries. What's hard is we adopted him on a Monday, and he was SOOOO sweet and compliant. Not one issue. Then on Wednesday we received Xi Yi. That's when the testing of boundaries began. And Xi Yi came to us sick, so she was seriously high-maintenance for about 5 days, which allowed Le Hai to bond with everyone else well, and allowed Xi Yi to bond with me. It worked, and was fine. He would have tested boundaries regardless of her coming along; he just has a light-hearted personality and thinks it's funny. 

The biggest obstacle right now is the language barrier. I'm going to look up the word "danger" today in Mandarin because Le Hai watched me cook and then wanted to turn on the burners. Don't worry anyone, these kiddos are not out of our sight for 2 seconds so Le Hai will not be cooking without my knowledge!!

And lastly; their English names...I still call them by their Chinese names as it just is taking some getting used to for all of us to switch over.

Xi Yi's new name is Lily Anna.
Le Hai's new name is Johnny. 

He was named after my husband's Grandfather. And actually it is his Grandfather's nickname. I just always love to hear his Grandma say, "Johnny, do you remember the name of so and so...or Johnny, do you want something to eat?" 

We will keep their Chinese names as their middle names.  

Other than that, it is now officially Monday and I intend on staying home today and just enjoying all four of my children!! I will post some pictures of us all at home when I come out of my sleep deprived coma. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More China Pictures

 When you get out the camera, Xi Yi always gives the “victory” sign. Hysterical.

Right after official adoption notarization for Xi Yi at government offices.

 Mom and new family additions watching a little TV.

 Le Hai’s first bite of stuffed crust pizza.

 Josiah and Brianna showing Le Hai the swimming pool.

 Walking through the hotel garden.

 Who’s not happy in this picture?


 Two kids to four kids in a week.

  "I finally found my Zen."

 Guess what Xi Yi loves to do ...

 Feeding the fish in the garden at the hotel.

 Josiah and Brianna swarmed by fish while feeding them bread.

 Ridiculously adorable.

 Mom and Xi Yi.

 Le Hai at medical checkup.

Xi Yi at medical checkup.

 We asked Josiah to make his “I’m sick of being in China look.”

 Brianna getting pearls at the pearl market.

Xi Yi using Dad’s finger to draw on iPad.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Le Hai & Xi Yi Update

Here's another e-mail I received from Lisa.
~ Posted by Andrea ~

Hi Andrea!!! It’s Lisa...oh my WORD...I finally have a free moment to write!!! Xi Yi is taking her first nap!!!!! Yeah!! Ok, here’s my little update of the past week. Le Hai is BEYOOOOONNNNDDDD cute!!! He is mischievous. His laugh is so cute. He has a big head on a tiny funny. I keep thinking his head should be on the ground from it weighing so much. And it’s hard as a rock; I should know, on the 2nd day we had him, he jumped up and hit my rang my bell big time, thank God I still have my front tooth after that, no lie.

Here’s a heartbreaking first impression of him: the first time I cried in China...I took his clothes off the first night we got him to give him a bath....he was severely malnourished in my opinion. I’ve never seen anything like this in real life, only in pictures, and not from China. He looked like a little Ethiopian child, like you see on the commercials. He was so skinny and his belly was bloated, just exactly like on tv. I was so shocked because he was under 3 layers of clothing so you couldn’t tell. I cried and held him and told him I loved him, and that he would never be without food ever again. And he hasn’t...he has already put on weight, you can no longer see his ribs...after less than a week!!! Want to know why? Because he’s a human garbage disposal!!! He eats, and eats, and eats....everything...milk, fruit, pizza, cheeseburgers...everyone’s leftovers!!!

He has bonded with all of us, and cuddles with all of us. His first word in English was Josiah. He said it three times while laughing. He gets an absolute kick out of his big brother!!! They wrestle and laugh.

Now Xi Yi...she’s another story. To say she’s a princess is an absolute understatement. She is very clingy to me and only wants me right now. I used to read about this and think it was no big deal, but it actually does take a lot out of you. She came to us sick, so she has been crying a lot. Most nights I’ve gotten about 2 hours of sleep. One night I got 5 and last night I got about 5, but other than that it’s been 1 or 2 since being in China. We have medicine in her now, so tonight should be better.

Some fun things about her, she loves to play with my hair. When she was brought to us on the first day, when I was holding her, she played with my hair a bit, but I had no idea how much she likes it. Today, while Le Hai watched cartoons and Pastor slept, she played with my hair for more than an hour, putting hair clips in it, etc. I was in Heaven. What’s funny is God has given me absolutely everything I prayed for in these kiddos. Something no one knows about me is that I LOOOOOVVVVE for my hair to be played with and every night when I read the Bible to Josiah and Brianna I would beg Brianna to play with my hair while I read. Well, the older she’s gotten, the more she doesn’t want to do it. I told Brianna just one week before we left for China that I hoped our little girl would play with my hair so she could retire!!

Xi Yi has a strong personality and throws tantrums. When we get back home that is one of the first things I’ll be working on (actually, I’m working on it now). She is used to life revolving around her as she was the only one in her foster home and she wore the pants in the family, as I have been told (and you can tell anyway.) Did you even know there was such a thing as a spoiled orphan???? Ha, ha.

I’m not sure if Pastor wrote about Xi Yi’s Gotcha’s actually kind of funny. We were sitting in a room waiting with other adoptive families, and they were calling us one by one when our kiddos came in the door. Le Hai got a bloody nose (the air is really dry) so I began attending to him, they called “Philpott”, I thought they wanted us to sign something, so I said, “My son has a bloody nose” and ignored them. They called “Philpott” again and waived me over frantically, I was thinking “JUST WAIT WOMAN!!” I turned around to say something, and there was the little girl from all those pictures: Xi Yi was standing there pouting. She looked like a Chinese Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man. She started to cry. I walked up to her and she was having a melt down. She looked up at one of the women and said something in Chinese. They said, “Oh, she needs to go potty.” Well, I’m the Mom, so I picked her and took her to the bathroom!! That was it, she has been glued to my side ever since!!! She calmed right down for me.

SERIOUS CHEEKS!!! She looks like Droopy from the cartoons...droopy eyes and fat cheeks. When I took her to the bathroom, it was a squatty potty and I thought she’d fall in...she’s sooooo tiny (but plump). Le Hai is about the size of a 4 1/2 year old and she is about the size of a 2 1/2 – 3 year old, which I had expected. It’s typical of adopted Chinese kiddos.

I’m trying to remember everything, as I don’t know when I’ll get to write again. I can’t wait to get home...there really is no place like home. I am so appreciative of our nation and our church family. This is a perspective like you wouldn’t’s hard to even describe. Every day the song “Proud to be an American” goes around in my have no idea. I love you guys!!! We miss you all!! Josiah is going through xbox withdrawl and he misses his friends bad!!! Brianna is happy that we will still be able to go to restaraunts when we get home, as Le Hai and Xi Yi are so well behaved. To be honest, they blend in so well to our family, other than jet-lag when we return, I’m not sure we’ll miss a beat. I think Le Hai will want to go to Children’s Church very soon, as he is extremely social and playful...Xi Yi...we’ll see!!! If I can get her to unglue from my hip, maybe!!!!! Take care, Love you all...Lisa

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gotcha Day with XiYi

Hi there!  This is Andrea (Lisa's "nerdy" sister, as she so often refers to me as).  I'm helping Lisa keep her blog up to date while she's in China.  Below is an e-mail I received from Lisa's hubby a few hours ago.  I figured it'd be easier for me to copy and paste than to try and re-type from her standpoint.  So here's an update on the newly expanded Philpott family:

We've been insanely busy since yesterday morning. Had to fly again to get here which was a 3 hour flight, then taxi van, then checking in, etc. The hotel here is huge and is a 5-star hotel. Tons of restaurants and shopping for us to explore over the next week.

Le Hai is acting like he's been in the family for years now. He wrestles with all of us and laughs like crazy. He loves all of us and you can tell that he knows something in his life is different and better now. He loves McDonalds, probably never tasted it. His little arms and legs are thin from the orphanage, but we'll get him fattened up in no time flat.

The trip to get XiYi was crazy. We are now traveling in a group with three other adoptive families from the USA. They are very nice families, and are Christians too. When we got to the Chinese government office to get XiYi, we were told it would be more orderly than when we got Le Hai. Boy, were they wrong.

Almost the moment we walked in here came a worker holding XiYi. We barely even got the video camera on or got the cameras out before they handed XiYi to Lisa. The first thing Lisa had to do was take XiYi to the bathroom. It was funny.

XiYi got a lollipop right away from Lisa and she began to hold onto Lisa pretty tight. She immediately latched onto Lisa and didn't let go the rest of the day. In fact, we couldn't even get her coat off of her. She kept that coat on for the next 8 hours. She was inseparable from Lisa the rest of the day. She sat with Brianna for a while watching Pucca cartoons on our iPad for a while, but it was definetely "Mom/XiYi" time.  She is totally cute and you can tell she had been doted on ridiculously. She is all petite and hates anything out of order. If you leave a cap off of a water bottle, she begins to cry cause she wants the cap on. If a crumb from a cookie falls on the floor she freaks out until it's picked up. 

Here's some pictures of Le Hai and Gotcha Day with XiYi:

 Le Hai LOVES warm milk.

 Fell asleep with Brianna's iPod.

 Checking out of our first hotel before heading to the next province.

 Le Hai's first escalator ride.

 Josiah & Le Hai.

 Le Hai's first McDonald's french fry.

Gotcha Day with XiYi.  This is the very first picture.

 Close up of XiYi on Gotcha Day.

XiYi meeting daddy for the first time.

 The whole family finally together on Gotcha Day.

 XiYi drinking juice on mom's lap.

XiYi sharing mommy's water.