Thursday, August 31, 2017

One Month since we met!

ONE MONTH ago this amazing boy joined our family ❤❤

He is brave ❤
He is sweet ❤
He is loving ❤
He is charming ❤
He is silly ❤
He has the best sense of humor ❤
He is demanding ๐Ÿ˜‚
He is amazing ❤

I can't believe I am so blessed to be mama to Henry Mingyu ❤

He is adjusting to a new mama, a new family, a new life amazingly well ❤

Henry spends a lot of the day in my arms or by my side. We are doing a lot of bonding/connecting. It does my mama heart good ❤ 

I don't get much done besides loving sweet Henry Mingyu, but I am trying not to worry about tomorrow (or making dinner!) and focus on my job of mothering our sweet boy ❤
(This week my mama is helping me which makes this A LOT easier since my family does appreciate eating!). I did order a preschool size child carrier that should arrive next week. Counting on that to help with school and future food preparations!

Erik and I both agree....this Henry sweetheart sure does fit well into our family. He is a lot of work, but his charming self - with such a great sense of humor that spans all language barriers - is so worth it!!! 

 This sweet boy amazes me!

Is it weird to take a picture of Henry Mingyu just walking?! He was just so cute working so hard carrying his buckets!

 Busted! Henry was caught reading in bed after lights out - ha!

 Henry Mingyu mostly peddled backwards (so applying the break) but he had fun anyway!

 Nap time cuddles ❤

 We start out the day with lots of cuddling on the couch ❤

Henry Mingyu is happiest when mama is close by ❤

 Henry Mingyu loves to play outside. He doesn't like to smile for pictures, but communicated to me he wanted me to take his picture and that he would smile ๐Ÿ˜ƒ It hasn't happened since but it was so cute ❤

 Bike ride with BaBa ❤

More sweet cuddles with my boy ❤

 Nothing cuter than a baby in a box ❤

 We have had a few rainy days. The boys have enjoyed playing in the rain ☔

A few funny messages I sent my mom over the weekend:

Henry needed to go potty. He walked half way to the bathroom and then motioned to the floor (drawing an invisible line) that he was unable to walk the rest of the way and that I needed to carry him. We now call him "King Henry" - ha!

He is a bit of a roller coaster today....super happy....and then crying. Erik just announced that he is going back to bed...or to the gas station for pop...or maybe just back to work - ha!

 I have been blessed with a cuddly boy ❤ We spend every afternoon nap snuggled on the couch ❤

This is my "real life" photo ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Henry was impatiently waiting for his turn with the watering can. It made him even madder when I took this picture (bad mama! ha!).

Although he is a sweet and happy boy - he still lives up to his "boss baby" nickname - Henry is a demanding little fellow and can throw a good "fit" with the best of them - ha!

My 5 Positives:
1. I love Henry
2. My kids are adjusting well
3. I am feeling less overwhelmed
4. My mama is helping us this week
5. I messaged with Henry's Ayi (nanny) - he was well loved!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

12th Day Home

I may have to frame this picture - I just LOVE seeing my boys help each other ๐Ÿ’—

My mama heart just swells looking at this picture ๐Ÿ’—

Our Bryan is the most joy filled little boy and would LOVE to be able to walk up the hill by himself. I ache for him that he can not. I love, love, love that Darren and Henry without being asked ran over to help Bryan. ๐Ÿ’—

Brothers learning to help each other ๐Ÿ’—

Brothers learning to love each other ๐Ÿ’—

The boys have really enjoyed playing together.

Darren and Bryan have had A LOT of patience with Henry. 

Henry Mingyu is still learning to share, not "da" (hit), not melt down when he doesn't get his way, and to share mama.

Henry Mingyu can fly!

Henry has learned to tease Erik by sometimes calling him ShuShu (uncle) instead of Baba (daddy). He laughs and laughs at Baba's reactions ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Henry Mingyu and Baba were playing kick ball on the driveway. Henry wanted to kick the ball down the hill but Baba kept blocking the ball. Henry Mingyu pointed to a toy that he motioned to Erik that he should put back in the garage. When Erik made a move to put it away....Henry kicked the ball down the hill and giggled as he had tricked Baba ๐Ÿ˜€

Henry Mingyu has a GREAT sense of humor!

He doesn't like to smile for pictures - but laughs and smiles a lot throughout the day ๐Ÿ’—

Baba took our two non-bike riders on a bike ride. They loved it, but we determined they really are both too big for these child size seats. We may need to look into a pull behind bike carrier for next summer.

Did I mention that every afternoon Henry Mingyu cuddles with mama for his afternoon nap?


I think Henry was trying to block my picture, but I think it is perfect since his shirt says

"Ten Fingers are Overrated"

I agree! This boy is amazing!!

Nap time ๐Ÿ’—

I have tried to focus on today and not worry about tomorrow (or how in the heck I am going to start homeschooling again in 1 1/2 weeks!). After my first day solo I may have snuck into the laundry room with a bowl of cocoa rice ๐Ÿ˜€. It was a big bowl - but not half the size of the washer as this picture makes it appear - ha! Maybe I should have picked a bigger bowl - ha!

Henry Mingyu heads to the pediatrician in a couple of weeks. Thankfully his special needs are not life threatening so we could give him a little time to settle in before dragging him to scary doctors.

I have been trying to set up some specialist appointments. I am not sure if our amazing U of M Mott hospital is the best place for his limb differences. We are looking into Shriners St. Louis and Mary Free Bed Hospital in GR.

While we wait we needed to figure out how to keep a shoe on his small foot. It isn't a perfect solution but is working. We bought high tops in two different sizes! (Size 8 to fit his big foot and then the smallest size they had - size 5 for his small foot. He doesn't want a "baby shoe", but hasn't seemed to notice or at least comment on the size difference of his new shoes). So cute!!

Henry Mingyu gave big bro Bryan a hug while waiting for me to get them out of the store cart and into the van ๐Ÿ’—

Did I mention how loving and cuddly my boy is? ๐Ÿ’—

I carry his cute, chubby 41 pounds around much of the day. We hug, snuggle, kiss, and say "Wo Ai Ni" (I love you) to each other much of the day ๐Ÿ’—

I am one blessed mama ๐Ÿ’—

We took a short walk yesterday. I was pulling Henry Mingyu and Bryan in the wagon. As we came up the driveway Henry decided he wanted to pull big brother Bryan up by himself - so sweet!

Henry is a very sweet, loving, silly, busy/active little boy. He is also demanding.

Although none of us have seen the movie - we may have given him the nick name "Boss Baby" - ha!

As he gets more of a grasped of English I am sure we will drop it. But for now it provides the rest of us a little comic relief as we meet the demands of "Boss Baby" ๐Ÿ˜€

grateful, Sandy

Friday, August 18, 2017


It could be the 5:15am wake up

day 7 of jet lag

Erik heading back to work on Monday

homeschooling 7 kids looming in the distance

but today I feel OVERWHELMED.

please don't remind me that we chose this. that we did this to ourselves. that we should have KNOWN this was going to happen. what were we thinking?

that isn't helpful.

when I reached out to my sister she shared:
You can do this. Psalm 61:1-4 O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter!

that is what I needed to hear. a friend reminded me that I can't do this alone. God is with me ๐Ÿ’—

Henry is WONDERFUL. his attachment to me and mine to him is growing everyday. he likes to be with me all.the.time. it is a VERY good thing but makes getting anything done impossible. he LOVES to be carried and cuddled ๐Ÿ’— it's all good but I think that is where I got overwhelmed.

how can I do this when I can't make dinner, keep the house clean, keep up with the laundry?

I missed a "mandatory" dance parent meeting last night....

I am trying to focus on today and not worry about tomorrow. that is easier said than done.

UPDATE: Saturday - a better night of sleep, trying to remember to only worry about today, and savoring a sweet "baby boy" who loves to be held by his mama ๐Ÿ’— (Don't worry mom)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Henry Mingyu update

My mom texted that all the "Henry fans" would probably like an update. 
(I am thinking she would like more pictures than the few I have texted!)

In some ways our journey to China feels so long ago already! When I count I realize we have only been home 5 days. It has only been 2 weeks and 2 days since we met Henry Mingyu! WOW! How time is funny! It makes me realize how far we have come already...this boy is definitely stealing my heart ❤

Henry Mingyu is 
  • sweet (very loving and cuddly), 
  • silly (his laughs are THE BEST, his smile lights up his face, and he has a great sense of humor that crosses language barriers), 
  • is shy (around new people), 
  • is busy (he doesn't sit still long and plays hard), 
  • is so brave (it breaks my heart to think of all that he has lost)
  • stubborn (he knows what he wants and is not easily convinced or distracted otherwise). 

Horsey rides with baba ❤

Henry Mingyu has been faster to warm up to Erik then our other Chinese blessings. He still wants mama near and still heads to me for comfort, but he has realized this goofy man is pretty awesome!

Henry LOVES having big brothers! The brothers have done really well adjusting to a busy little brother.

The boys were laughing so hard I thought they might wet themselves! 
Sorry baba...just had to include this picture ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Henry plays with the three youngest boys. He is quite demanding and although 4 1/2 years old at this point acts more like a 2 year old. They don't speak Chinese and he doesn't speak English. The three big brothers have been amazingly patient so far with our "sweet tornado" as baba calls him.

Henry Mingyu is determined....I love this ๐Ÿ˜

I love getting to know and learn about our new son. He is so capable! I love having a front row seat to watch this amazing little boy ❤

This might be my FAVORITE picture so far ๐Ÿ˜

Bryan was struggling to walk up the grassy hill with his walker so Henry Mingyu came behind him and started helping/pushing ❤❤❤ (baba noticed and ran over as backup)

Bryan is the sweetest most joy filled child. I was praying that Henry Mingyu would have a heart for Bryan and not bully him/make fun of Bryan's challenges. So far we are heading in the right direction and this mama's heart is full ❤

Erik got his first kiss yesterday ❤

Although demanding and fairly quick to throw a fit, Henry Mingyu is very loving and cuddly to his new mama and baba. He spends a lot of time with a hand on me to keep me near.

We ventured to the lake yesterday for our first outing. Henry Mingyu was braver in the water than we expected. He was very determined carrying his heavy bucket of water. I ordered a Paw Patrol swimsuit (in a much larger size!) from Amazon while in China. I guessed right...he was VERY willing to put it on yesterday for our trip to the beach (one point for mama!).

Jet lag is a beast. That's all.

Seriously. Each day is getting a little better. It takes a day to adjust for every hour of time difference. That will be 12 days for us. How can one person be so tired during the day?! And so wide awake during the night?! Nuts!!

A friend texted asking how Henry Mingyu is adjusting. I answered:
He is doing well. He is learning to live in a family. He is loving having a mama and baba. He is learning there are limits and that we still love him if he throws a fit. He loves having big brothers. ❤

Another update I texted: Henry doesn't want me out of his sight. He is more open to Erik than the other boys were at this point, but still wants mama within eyesight. My Darren needed me so close that he would stand in the shower with me. Henry will usually just peek in once to make sure I haven't disappeared. Erik calls Henry our sweet tornado. He is sweet, busy, and demanding. I can't believe we have only been home 5 days. It feels much longer...although we still feel so far from a new normal. I am trying to focus on today and not worry about how I will handle everything once Erik goes back to work next week.

Another message sent when asked how we are doing:
Good, working hard, good.

Grateful to God for all His love and many blessings,
(How was that mom?)

Saturday, August 12, 2017


             There is no place like home ❤

Henry Mingyu has LOVED being home ❤

He has been playing with Jason, Darren, and Bryan almost non-stop! ❤

He has been very comfortable with Erik since Baba held him up away from the scary dogs. ❤

 It only took a short time for Henry Mingyu to get used to the dogs. Now we have to teach him "gentle". ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Alex was so tired he was dizzy so he laid down for a nap. I just took a 20 minute power nap and am trying really hard not to lay down again. So.tired. Jet lag is a beast!

Thank you for all of your prayers ❤

Erik has the week off of work so we will cocoon as we teach Henry Mingyu what a family is ❤

Grateful, Sandy

Friday, August 11, 2017

Still Friday!

We have gone back in it is still Friday!

We arrived early to the GZ airport. We enjoyed the shops and walking around. We finally found our gate assignment. It was in the "throw back" area. It was old seats, not much air, and packed with people. Then we had to take a tram to our plane and WALK UP THE STEPS INTO THE AIRPLANE!! Keep in mind we now had 3 back packs, 3 carry on suitcases, 2 neck pillows and 1 baby blanket, 1 slow moving toddler and 2 tried travelers!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ But we made it!!

 Henry Mingyu (and Alex and I) did AMAZING!! I guess leaving at 10:15pm has its benefits!! We had very few tears (from any of us!). Thank you for praying us hone!!

It was an almost 12 hour flight. We were served dinner twice. Not really sure why...but oh well!

We slept, watched movies, played, ate twice!, and felt happy to be heading home ❤

Pretty view from our window just before taking off.

We are now in San Francisco. We had a 3 hour layover. We needed it to get through immigration and find where to check in and our gate.

We leave at 10:45pm and arrive home around 7am Michigan time ❤❤❤

Praising God for safe travels and an amazing China adventure to get our sweet son ❤๐Ÿผ

Grateful, Sandy


We get Henry Mingyu's visa to enter the USA at noon today. Once his feet hit USA soil and we turn in his paperwork at the immigration counter at the airport he will be an American Citizen ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Our flight leaves China at 10pm tonight. We are leaving for the airport at 4:30pm. We will be super early but the traffic is so bad we can either sit at the airport or sit in traffic.

A mama can't help to cuddle with her sleeping sweet baby once she lifts him from the stroller ❤

Last night Henry Mingyu fell asleep at 5:30pm on the way to dinner. It is 5:20am and he is still asleep! In his foster group home he took naps. He is 4 1/2 and I can't see that he will be willing to take naps at home. We haven't fought him to take naps in China although most days he has taken a "cat nap" somewhere along the way. I guess all this activity caught up with him. We can only hope he sleeps so well on the plane! ✈

The first words Henry Mingyu spoke when he woke up this morning were "mama wo ai ni" ❤❤ this boy ❤❤

Just being real....THIS FLIGHT COULD BE LOOOONG ๐Ÿ˜–. Sweet Henry Mingyu is also very stubborn. On our 2 hour flight from Zhengzhou he had a couple of melt downs. He didn't like the seat belt. He wanted to stand during take off. He wanted to kick the seat in front of him. He used the bathroom twice. He spilled his drink. Our flight home is 12 hours from GZ to San Francisco. Then we have 3 hour layover and then a 4 hour flight to Detroit.

Just pray. That's all.

 Yesterday we spent a little time at a park on Shamian Island. It had a cracked, very old and dirty slide (Henry is pictured coming back down the stairs after deciding not to go down the slide). The only other playground item were the monkey bars.

Have you heard me say "My friends son has a similar limb difference and the only thing he can't do is the monkey bars"?!

Really?! Monkey bars!! What are the chances?!!

If my back wasn't hurting so much I could have lifted him up just like my friend was doing for her son. I could barely lift Henry Mingyu to my hip.There was no lifting him above my head. He didn't ask...but my mama heart broke a bit for our boy ๐Ÿ˜ช

 The hotel next to ours has this really neat arch
 Don't judge! We have eaten more Chinese food this trip than both of my other trips. It has been really really good!

 There is a McDonald's right across our hotel parking lot.

 We just had to try one of the unique cones! It was "green tea and Oreo"....and really YUCK!

 The street sweepers use such unique brooms!

We have a budding artist! Henry Mingyu was so proud of himself that he showed Baba (The Chinese word for daddy) on Wechat video calling this morning! Henry Mingyu had the cutest little proud smile on his face ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

 We spent our last hour and a half touring a museum that is only a block from the hotel.

Super interesting to get to walk around the tomb!!!

Off to the airport ✈! It is 4:30pm. Our flight is at 10pm, but our guide says we can either spend it sitting in traffic or sitting at the airport. We are choosing the airport. We fly 12 hours to San Francisco. We have a 3 hour layover and then fly to Detroit. At 6:30am Saturday August 12 we arrive !!๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ I can't wait to hug and kiss my babies ❤He


Thank you for praying us home ❤

We are so incredibly blessed and grateful to God for our new son ❤