Another "UP" day

Today was a great day! Gemma got a good night sleep again last night...whew! No tears today, either. Thank you, Lord! We had a lazy morning. Ate a good breakfast (these breakfasts are going to be the death of me! Seriously! I don't eat this well at home!!), fed the koi with a little more vigor today, and swam in the pool for almost 2 hours! Oops, I forgot to put sunscreen on Gemma and myself. Got a little bad. But she liked the kiddie pool, so we'll probably do that again tomorrow. It's so hot and sticky here. Even with no sun, it's HOT!

Gemma is coming more and more out of her shell. She's still pretty quiet during the day, but she's playing more and more. Today she kept looking to me for approval and even with an impish little grin on her face when she was doing something silly and she wanted me to notice. She saw a picture of our family, and she pointed to Simon (baba) in the picture, and then she pointed to Simon in real life. She doesn't say "mama" or "baba," but she looks for us when we're out of the room or when we're in another part of the room.

We're planning a trip to Gemma's orphanage on Friday. We're really nervous to take her. Because of her reaction to us on Gotcha Day, we're afraid that she may do the same thing if we visit her orphanage. Those of you who are prayer warriors...please pray for us/her...we covet your prayers for that day. Anyway, it is customary to take gifts to the orphanage, so we went to a Chinese "Walmart" kind of store to shop. We got lots of toys and candy/snacks to take with us on Friday. We're hoping that Gemma will feel a sense of pride to be able to pass the toys and goodies out to her friends because SHE now has a family to go home with. That's our prayer for her, anyway. So again, please pray for Gemma and her visit to the orphanage. God has shown himself so faithful this whole journey, and I know he will continue to do so through your prayers.

We went to the local police station to apply for Gemma's passport today. She had to get her picture taken, and they had to see our passports to verify our identities. We should have her passport in a few days. There were many families at the police station applying for passports...mostly Americans, but some Europeans as well. Almost all of the families adopting babies have been waiting upwards of 5 years. Had we not switched to the Special Needs/Waiting Child program, we would probably be waiting for a baby until 2013, if not longer. Almost all adoptions from China these days are special needs (SN).

Speaking of SN, some of you may not know that Gemma's special need is Developmental Delay. When the Dutch family decided not to go through with her adoption last fall, the Chinese officials required a medical reason to disrupt the adoption. So, they gave her some kind of IQ test where she scored very low. That earned her the SN label. Simon and I both feel, however, that we have one smart cookie on our hands. We don't pretend to be experts in the field of child development, but we feel that intellectually, she's pretty much right on track. Of course, there will be some social and/or other delays because she's been in an institution her whole life. We are confident, however, that with our love and God's love, she will overcome. Speaking of being a smart cookie, she discovered Simon's netbook today. Hello! She started manipulating the mouse and pressing keys like crazy! She knows what it's for! :)

Oh, and she's also eating EVERYTHING we've given her: Chinese noodles, Mexican rice; chicken nuggets; fruit snacks; ritz crackers; and and ice cream. We've also had the first signs of jealousy between the two girls today...from Gracie. We knew it was coming. We know we have to give Gemma lots of attention right now, but we're trying REALLY hard to make sure Gracie is included in everything we do, and that she knows how much we love her. There will definitely be some adjusting to do, especially once we get home. ;)

Breakfast time gain!

Lambie feeds bread to the koi.


Computer guru

Combing Barbie's hair


All these people were at the police station applying for passports for their new children.

She LOVES the stroller!

Another shot of a human tractor-trailer

Silly picture in the van

Strolling through the Trust Mart (I HATE shots from the "rear" but I thought this one was cute because you can see Gemma's purse hanging crosswise over her shoulder.)

Our van driver...he received this shirt as a gift from another family. We HAD to get a picture for all our Coug faithful!

More strawberry smoothies!

First baby-sized ice cream cone


Dee said…
Love, Love, Love you sharing the various moments of the day, and seeing God knit a family together! Even Gracie's jealousy shows that she sees you loving and nurturing Gemma, and that Gemma is finding her own place in the Miller 4. Very exciting! Lots of prayers for you all!

MotherOfTwo said…
LOVE the updates! Keep them coming! I will pray for God's Peace and Calm and Joy over your whole family on Friday. I will pray also for Gemma's brothers and sisters she will be leaving behind.

Right now I can picture Gemma wanting to be carried by her baba the whole time maybe?
Hilerie said…
Too bad you didn't have a Vandal shirt for him :) Great update, it looks like Gemma is doing better each day!
rooskie said…
LOVE LOVE LOVE THE BLOGS! Thank you for taking us on your journey with you! I can't wait to get into work in the mornings just so I can log on and read the latest! Little Gemma has been through so much - I can't wait for you to get her home and watch her flourish!


Cheryl aka "Rooskie" !
Tammy said…
Oh friend sigh, looks like things are coming right along. I pray for gracie that she feel secure and understands. This is the one area I am pretty nervious about myself. Keep having those lazy days...they are the best. I rememeber the heat...we came home last year July 1
Martha said…
Go COUGS!!! :) Thanks so much for the GOOD update. Will be praying and praying......Love you...Martha
Vicky said…
Good Morning! Just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you and the other "Z" families today!
Unknown said…
Congratulations! I only just found your blog via ChinaAdoptTalk. Being at the very beginning of the China process (homestudy) it's so great to follow along with someone on the final leg of the adoption journey.

Good luck with the rest of your time in China. Prayers for the visit to the orphanage. My husband and I go back and forth if we should go if we are allowed when we are in China.

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