Thursday, September 4, 2014

my thank you....

I just recently finished reading a book, it was written from the perspective of both a young girl who was giving up her baby for adoption and a young woman who had struggled for years with infertility.  These words pulled at my heart and have left me with great joy at the blessing of our daughter, but also with great sadness for her birth mother.  I can only imagine the pain that she felt upon giving up her baby, how difficult of a decision that must have been.  
While infertility is not what led us to adopt, we still had a hole in our heart that only Haylie could fill.  I wish that I could reach out to Haylie's birth mother, to hug her and thank her, and to show her what a beautiful girl Haylie is.  I wish that she could know that the daughter we share is safe, thriving, so smart, and so loved.  
Instead I will continue to hug our daughter, to love her, encourage her through life, and forever be thankful of the gift that was given to us.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

5 months

Wow, it's been 5 months already. Sometimes it feels like an eternity. Just the other night Sage and I were talking and I said, can you believe that we flew to the other side of the world and came back with a daughter? We're such simple people, sometimes it still amazes me! 

This month proved to be a disappointing one for us.  While Haylie's surgery looked so promising, unfortunately her palate repair was unsuccessful.  After about 5 week her palate opened back up. Our surgeon isn't sure how this happened but he feels confident that the next repair will be a success. We'll pray for that! Surgery will be in September.  Until then we are continuing to live life in true Dilka fashion, non-stop-go. The big kids are keeping us busy with their sports, Haylie has really gotten the hang of going to all of these games! 

We love introducing her to new things, recently she's getting to enjoy time at the lake. We took her out on our boat and she quickly became a fan of the lake!

She got her first mani/pedi....

Who can resist this face? Don't be fooled...behind this innocent charm is a handful of sass! :-)

Next week we're loading up to go meet Sage's family. Wish us luck with this long drive, hopefully Haylie will fall in suit and be a great traveller! 

My brother took this picture, it's adorable. Middle name is actually spelled Mei, but none the less, this is adorable! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Who is this child?

Do you recognize her?

The left photo is in the waiting room the day of surgery, and the right photo is one week post-op.  Hard to believe that it is the same girl! 

Surgery went amazingly well and recovery truly was just as smooth. We stayed less than 24hrs in the hospital and she adapted well to a liquid only diet. In fact, she gained a pound in her first week of liquids only! 

Today marks four weeks post-op, the day that she can finally eat regular foods and use a fork again! As I type she is chowing down on a toasted waffle,  the girl is in heaven! 

This week also marked the four month anniversary of our gotcha day! Haylie has come such a long way.  Here is a quick reminder of her on the day we met. 

Such a brave little girl! Now a days she is full of sass! She rarely knows a stranger, loves when people are willing to tell her how beautiful her clothes and shoes are, and she still loves to accessorize! Thanks to some great friends she now is the proud owner of a doll house that is bigger than she is, and some very lovely Barbies to go along with it. 

I'll leave you with some photos to show what has been happening in the last month!

Three days post-op she came along for her first 5k!

She got to play in water for the first time, and loved it! 

She certainly loves her grandma! 

She learned that she has a pretty cool Uncle! 

Sometimes she and Hunter can even get along long enough for me to get a picture of it!

And finally, our attempt at posing for a photo...she naturally poses, but trying to do it on command ended up being quite difficult! :-)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ours for 3 months!

OThis Easter Sunday marked 3 months that miss Haylie has been in her forever family! It was a beautiful day here in Kansas! It's the first time (in a LONG time) that the chocolate candy melted in the yard while waiting for kids to start their hunt! 

Haylie really enjoyed her first holiday, she liked dying eggs, loved getting dressed up, tolerated being baptized, and quickly caught on to hunting for eggs! Like most kids she has turned into a fan of candy!

This is our first photo with the entire family, it only took 3 months to get! Lol

Riley picked out this adorable outfit for Haylie. If you are familiar with the adoption world then you know the significance of the ladybug. It's the perfect outfit! 

Haylie has adjusted wonderfully. She has become confident that food will always be available, and has even started deciding that there are foods she doesn't like and will leave them on her plate. That's a pretty big step!  She speaks some english, mommy, daddy, Hunter, bye, hi, and of course no. The english is not pronounced correctly (obviously) so probably only people around her all of the time realize what she is saying.  She's still very girly, loves dresses and bows, and purses, oh and sunglasses! She's getting really good at cheering Logan and Riley on at their games! Here she is cheering Riley on at a soccer game.

This Thursday (the 24th) is her first surgery.  We're a little nervous but excited more than anything else.  Please pray for her to have a smooth surgery and as easy a recovery as possible!  

We'll finish this post with pictures from last month or so! The day she got this tiger from grandpa, she was terrified of it.  Now it's always in our living room and constantly wrestled with! 

First ponytail!

First parade...

First trip to the zoo....

I'd say she's fitting in quite well!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

One small action = HUGE leap of faith

The title of this post is directed towards many things. From Sage and I having our first conversation about adoption, to signing our Letter of Intent to make Mei Jing (Haylie) our own. Each step seemed tiny to others but we truly were going on a huge leap of faith. Faith in each other, our marriage, our families, spiritually, in so many things. We dug deep and found an entirely new purpose to how we viewed things, different things became more important, and we felt pulled to change the way we live.  In doing so we have removed one child from an "empty" life, and she has filled the void in our lives.  

Today has left me emotional.  I'm exhausted, we are busy, and while I would like to hit pause for a moment, the world continues to press on around us.  Then it happened, Haylie decided to take a leap of faith on me.  She came to me (completely unprompted) and gave me a kiss, then a hug, followed by laying her head on my shoulder while we held each other. It was beautiful.  Until then she had only allowed us to give her kisses on her cheek, she has never returned a kiss to us.  Despite our differences, stresses, struggles, and stubborness, she is slowly - yet surely - allowing herself to fall in love.  And baby girl, those feelings are mutual! Our love story is forming! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

One month markers

This post will be done in 2 (actually yesterday, Feb 20th) marks our 1-month anniversary of having Haylie. It's kind of crazy, a month...sometimes I think it feels like she's been here forever and other times it seems like just last week!   So, flashback, here is Haylie the day we got her

And here she is today enjoying the warmer weather....

Since being home we have visited her cleft team and the international adoption clinic in Kansas City. Her first surgery is scheduled for April 24th and they'll be repairing her lip and hard palate (gumline).  It's taking us longer to get in for surgery then we had hoped, this is a busy surgeon! 

What's new in Haylie's life? She is sleeping through the night about 80% of the time, and she even puts herself to sleep now without Sage or I staying in her room. It's amazing the difference that made for all of our sanity! She is sleeping longer and we are sleeping soundly.  She still doesn't care for mac n'cheese, she's pretty good at eating everything else though. On occassion she'll be stubborn and refuses to eat unless she has ketchup to dip it in...and once the food is gone she proceeds to eat just the ketchup, and gets mad when we stop her! She is adapting really well to our extended family. Grandma and grandpa have both had a chance to keep her, with her brothers close by to make her feel safe of course! Sage is working a lot of hours so we are greatly appreciating the help that our family has provided us.  Last weekend Haylie got to go see Logan play basketball, and then she had her first visit to Burger King - she was a big fan! 

Then on Sunday we took her to church with us. She was looking stunning in her gorgeous dress and shoes!

A friend came by and brought her some clothes and her very own kitchen! She loves it! As do Hunter and Riley! ;-)

She has joined us for one of our famous family movie nights, she thinks the little couches are pretty cool! 

Today we enjoyed the 60° weather and finally got outside to stretch our legs and breathe the fresh air, she is quite the fan of being outdoors!

That's all for our 1-month gotcha anniversary. I'll finish this post up at the end of next week when we've been home for a month! 

March 2nd-home for a month

Well we have survived a month home as a family of 6.  Honestly, it's become hard to remember what it was like before Haylie was here! She's fitting in with the boys like a natural and the boys don't seem to mind the overload of pink that has taken over our house! 

So during this month Haylie has joined us at church, basketball games & practices, doctors appointments, and hauling her brothers around to their many activities. She enjoys playing with her cousins and has done well with our family members watching her when our lives get so busy that we need the extra help.  Sage and I got to go out last night to celebrate our anniversary, she enjoyed having her cousins and grandparents here while we were out! I have learned how to get through Walmart with two toddlers, that was seriously one of my biggest fears! 

(Excuse Hunter's goofy expression!)

Haylie being silly....

She is finally ok with Hunter hugging her!

1-month comparison photo, her cheeks are definitely filling out!