Thursday, April 19, 2012


First time at church....she did so good. Sat quietly in my lap the whole time:)

Mommy getting some lovin!

Fun around the house.


Love it!!

This was in China....the one thing she WILL do with Stephen is let him give her a bath. He is way more fun than me! ( please pray for a strong father-daughter bond)


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Good days and bad days

It has been a while since I have posted because I have either been too tired to do it or I have been afraid I may say something I shouldn't;) We have had Hannah for just over a month now and overall she has adjusted really well. I would say that it is me who is having a hard time adjusting. Trying to divide my time between three children who need me in three different ways is quite a challenge. There has been some acting out, behavior-wise, with Sarah Grace and Jacob. Trying to find the balance between  giving grace and discipline has been tough, but that is getting better. Some days I feel like I am failing terribly, but this week I feel like we are all turning a corner. I will say something that is still very difficult at times is Hannah and Stephen's relationship. Weekends are great because he is around so much, but when he has been at work all day and then gets home it is AWFUL. I really dread this time of day for many reasons. Hannah Marie has found her voice and she is NOT afraid to use it. When Stephen gets home all he wants to do is spend time with her and she wants nothing of the sort. If I leave the house all together she cries for a bit and then will do great with him, but if I am home and she knows it, she will start this blood curdling scream until I come "rescue" her. I try to ignore it but she is relentless. I went to bed with the most severe headache last night, due to her scream. Poor Stephen, he gets really frustrated. Sarah Grace and Jacob have always taken to him so he is not use to the rejection:(.
She is starting to interact with her brother and sister more which is really good. They love her sooooo much. Sarah Grace has been such a huge help and thank goodness Hannah is tolerating her more and more each day. (SG smothers her at times;)) Looking back over the past few weeks her appearance has changed too. She is filling out more and has gotten 3 new teeth. She is babbling a lot more and understands most of what we say to her....which still amazes me. The doctors talk about a speech delay, but I am not worried. We had her hearing checked and it is fine. It will just be a matter of time before we hear her speak some English words. I have some really sweet pics but don't have them uploaded yet. I will post them soon, I promise.

It has not been easy, but overall I think it has gone better than expected. When people ask how it is going it is very difficult to sum it up in just a few short words. My heart is so thankful when Hannah looks into my eyes or when she snuggles into my chest. I also feel torn to pieces when I cannot meet everyone's needs and all I want to do is jump in my car and drive. There are so many ups and downs and my emotions can change in seconds! It is, however, starting to feel more "normal" around her but I think with three kids dinner to bedtime will always feel like a circus. I am overwhelmed with the love I have for each one of my munchkins! Praise be to God!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Since we've been home

Well, we have been home almost a week now and let me tell ya, there is NO place like home!!! The flight from Hong Kong to Detroit was LONG. The big kids did great, Hannah and me....not so much. Nothing made her happy. She was super cranky, very restless and busy. She didn't sleep that much. I would get her to fall asleep in the ergo as I stood at the back of the plane, then I would go sit down. She would stay asleep for a few minutes and then start fussing. So I would get back up and go sway her back to sleep in the back of the plane. This went on for about the last four hours of that flight. We landed in Detroit and made the trek across the huge airport to find our gate. I was pooped and a bit cranky myself. I changed Hannah, freshened up a bit and waited anxiously for our next flight home.
Let me begin this next part by saying that Sarah Grace has asthma that we have had under control for about the last two years, but being in the smog and cigarette smoke in China made her asthma rear it's ugly head again and it got worse as we got closer to home. So, we start to get off the plane in Birmingham when, bless her heart, she starts coughing so hard she throws up in the aisle. By this time Stephen was long gone. So standing there was screaming Hannah, my mom, Jacob, me and Sarah Grace (with vomit all over her) and the rest of the people on the plane staring at us like a deer in head lights. I am soooooo DONE at this point. My mom gets Jacob off and I am trying to clean up SG and strap Hannah in the ergo. All the while the rest of the plane just stands there and stares (including the CLUELESS flight attendant). In a less than tactful tone I tell them to step over the vomit and MOVE ON. (It really wasn't that much) I got it together, threw a wipe over the mess and got the heck outta there. Luckily, I had a change of clothes for SG (thanks for the heads up on that, Janet Turner). So, I get her changed and off we go to the best homecoming ever. We were greeted with smiling faces of family and friends, roses, signs, balloons, panda stuffed animals for the kids. It was great!

We came home to dinner in the oven, a stocked fridge, all kinds of goodies, and the kids rooms were decorated with a sign that their sweet classes had made them. I have the most amazing friends and family!! The kids were dying to go outside and play as soon as we walked in the door, so they went across the street to play on the tire swing. Not ten minutes after getting home Jacob comes in crying with a busted lip and a bloody nose. Oh great! I was sure he had broken his nose.....he didn't, PTL. I doctored him up, we visited with the neighbors for a bit and then sat down for a nice dinner. Dinner time was a very sweet moment, short lived, but sweet. It was so wonderful to be home sharing our first meal. After dinner we were all ready to crash, so we snuggled in for a long restful nights sleep.........NOT! Sarah Grace starts coughing her head off then throws up, yet again, so Stephen is on night duty with her. Jacob wakes up a few hours after putting him down saying he wasn't tired and Hannah wanted to sleep on me, climbing closer and closer to my head like a little spider monkey. So needless to say NONE of us got any sleep.
Bright and early on day two, Jacob starts that barking cough, and being very familiar with the croup around here, I knew we needed to see the doctor. All five of us loaded up in the van and headed to Vestavia Pediatrics. Dr. Hamm checks out Jacob's nose to make sure it wasn't broken, perscribed SG a new inhaler, J some steroids and some heavy duty cough medicine.
From then to now is all a blur, but two nights ago Hannah came down with the croup. Back to Vestavia Peds we went which led to a very hard day and an even harder night. Let's just say I have cleaned up more snot and vomit in a few short days than I would even care to in a year! ( Sorry if I am grossing you out) Stephen, being the wonderful husband he is, sees that I may have a meltdown at any moment and decides to work from home today to give me a hand. Bless him!!!
Okay, but on a positive note, Hannah is doing so, so good! She is adjusting very well and seems to be more and more comfortable with her new family and her new home. Her sleeping has gotten better each day (well except her being sick) and she wakes up smiling when she sees us. I feel like she is attaching very well to me and will be with Stephen in small doses. She is having fun with her brother and sister.
Sarah Grace and Jacob are hanging in there. My sweet friends Caroline and Laura have been so helpful in entertaining SG. For the most part, Jacob says that he wants to be with me. I can tell they are missing some of their mama's attention:( This makes me sad.

Anyway, it has been a week of ups and downs. I know things could be worse and amidst all the sleeplessness and fits and sickness I truly am grateful. I was told that the first week home is rough. Please continue to pray for us during this time of difficult transition.
Until next time.....


Monday, March 12, 2012

Guangzhou Zoo

My friends reminded me this morning that we have had our daughters one week now! (they had to remind me because I can't figure out what day it is most of the time). It is amazing how far Hannah has come in just one short week. All the kids here seem to be adjusting well. Adoption is a wonderful gift and I am truly thankful the Lord called our family to do this. This trip has been extremely stressful at times, but the sweet moments and the overall objective far outweigh the hard times. Stephen asked me at dinner the other night, "when are we doing this again?" honestly on that particular day I didn't even want to think about it, but now that the "labor pains" are subsiding I can say only time and the Lord's guidance will tell.

Our huge group! (above)
The coffee group, minus Mary Ann (below)

Today we went to the Guangzhou Zoo. It was wonderful! It was literally a breathe of fresh air. I guess all the foliage made the air seem cleaner (well other than the occasional stinky animal smell, of course). The ironic thing is that the zoo was a million times cleaner than the shopping mall we went to yesterday! We really could have spent all day there. They had so many animals, unfortunately we didn't have time to see them all. The kids had a blast! The biggest attraction was the pandas, for obvious reasons;). They were so cute. SG and Jacob got to feed the giraffe which was really cool. Hannah was content just being held. Not sure what was going on in her little head. If you think about it, her world has been completely opened up in the last week. She is just soaking it all in with her new family. I have to go get ready for our river boat cruise now so I will leave you with some more pics.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

A little more about Hannah

I thought I would share some more details about Hannah. She is a little bitty thing. At the clinic today she weighed in at 18lbs and is 29 inches tall. She turned 19 months on the 8th. We have so enjoyed getting to know our new daughter. I am amazed at the connection and bond that is being formed each minute. She is getting more and more comfortable with all of us. She warmed up to the kids slower than I expected, but after two full days with both of them she will now play and interact with them. We had some sweet moments as a family of five last night while grandma was recovering. Hannah let Stephen bathe and dress her. After bath time we played then watched American Idol. It felt a little like home. She is very playful and has a sweet, shy demeanor. She has a smile and laugh that will melt your heart. I know that it was very difficult for her birth mother and nannies to say bye to her. I am thankful that her birth mother had the strength and courage to let her go in hopes of a better life for her. Whatever the reason, I am sure it is something she thinks of daily. I pray that God gives her a peace in her heart that Hannah is well taken care of and loved dearly.
She loves to snuggle up to me when she wakes up and when we are out of her safe zone of our room. She LOVES being in the ergo. She will look up at me with sweet grins and pat my chest. Sleep time is very hard for her. She really fights going to sleep. Please pray that she would have peace and rest and that her fear and anxiety would quickly pass.
We had her medical exam this morning and she was not a happy camper when I had to pass her off to different people. This is a good sign though. It makes me happy to see her so eager to get back in her mama's arms.

We hung out in the room the rest of the day. At this point we are all home sick and going stir crazy! We decided to venture out to the local Irish Pub ( no kidding!). It is so hard to find descent food! We later met up with our friends from B'ham and went to Hagen Daz. We had a lot of fun! It was the most I have laughed since we have been here.
Tomorrow is shopping day, yippee!!

Enjoy the pics....

Chowing down! Oh, I forgot to mention, the girls LOVES to eat! Not picky at all!

This was from sightseeing the other day. SG and Jacob and another little girl in our group.

Laughing at her big brother.

Medical exam:(

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our first bump in the road...

Wednesday started off pretty well. We didn't have to be anywhere early, so we took our time getting up and around. Mom, Jacob, Hannah and I went down for a late breakfast and Stephen and SG stayed back in the room. SG was feeling better, but we were still playing it safe about what she could eat. After breakfast our group was going sightseeing, but we decided to stay back and have some much needed downtime. We pretty much hung out in the room where Hannah seemed to be comfortable playing. She was still doing good.....almost too good. As the morning went on she seemed to be more mellow and a little less interactive, but perked up by the afternoon.
That evening we did our bedtime routine of bath and bottle and I got her ready for bed. It was a fight to get her to sleep and it pretty much got worse after that. She was very restless and would only sleep an hour or so at a time. She did not want me to put her down. I was exhausted to tears. I had taken two simply sleep assuming she would sleep through the night like the two previous nights. But oh was I wrong and was wishing I had not taken them. Hannah was pitiful. Clearly she was grieving and it was so sad to watch. Around 5am she woke up and looked at me like 'who in the world are you'. She began screaming and pointing to the door. She was trying to get out of my arms so I stood her up in her bed. Stephen went and grabbed her shoes she wore from the orphanage and the bunny we sent her when she was there. She clung to these familiar things and continued to point to the door. She was saying what sounded like, "yay-yay." I felt like she was crying out for her nanny. She finally let Stephen pick her up and console her. I reached for her and she turned away. This had not happened since gotcha day. I fixed her a bottle to see if that would comfort her and it did. It was like a switch had been turned on and sweet little Hannah returned. The rest of the day went great. We went out sight-seeing and she was content as could be in my ergo carrier (I can tell she feels very safe in it)
I explained what had happened to our guide, Rebecca, and she reassured me that it was normal and over all she felt like Hannah was taking to Stephen and I very well. She gave me some helpful tips and it made that days nap and bedtime much better.
I have written this post over two days, so it is now Friday morning. She did beautifully last night, praise God! We woke up at ten till 5 this morning to go to the orphanage at 6:30, a trip I have not felt peace about since we got here, especially after that bad night. I was afraid that she would not want to leave with us after seeing her nanny. She was doing so well and I didn't want to go backwards. The kids at Maoming are taken really good care of compared to most orphanages. This is evident in Hannah's behavior.
So we got ready, ate breakfast, and loaded the bus. All of a sudden I felt like I was going to pass out and I looked at Stephen and said 'I don't want to do this.' Feeling very torn we got off the bus. This trip is grueling enough as it is. I didn't think Hannah or I had it in us. We prayed over Hannah hoping we made the right decision not to go. I feel okay with it.
I am loving getting to know my precious new daughter each minute that goes by. I love her so very much. Please continue to pray for us and the other families on this trip, my mom is now sick:(. We discovered this when we went over to tell them we didn't go. Pray for a speedy recovery!
Love, Kim

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gotcha day, and a little more

I am so exhausted, so sorry if at any point I don't make sense...... Monday, March 5-Gotcha Day. 2:00 rolls around and we all eagerly load the bus to the civil affairs office where we (us and 8 other families) will be given our children. The sun is shining for the first time since we have ben here and it is warm outside. We take a twenty minute ride over, pile out of the bus taking deep breaths. We walk into a crowded waiting area where we wait for our 'batch' of families to be called forward to take our child one, by one. All of a sudden Rebecca, our guide, says gather around and then begins frantically calling our names and passing out children. Sound like an assembly line? Well, it was, but much more traumatic. We hear 'Miller', then 'Mao Zhongxia' we quickly step forward and she is passed to us and before she could even get completely in my arms she begins to scream. Although I fully expected this reaction I did not anticipate the way the process played out. It all happened so quickly and it was just so chaotic. Her shoe had been kicked off during the chaos and when someone handed it to me, she grabbed it for dear life. It was the ONLY thing familiar to her. After trying to calm her down with toys, suckers, whispers, she finally tired and let me feed her some puffs. Ever since then this sweet little angel has been mommy's little girl. She has attached to me exceptionally well and the Lord gets all the credit. She is a happy, playful, tender, shy little girl. Today she has really warmed up to Sarah Grace and Jacob. She loves Stephen, but mostly when I am holding her. She is making small steps toward letting him hold her. Tonight she left my lap and walked over and reach for Stephen. It was precious!
Today has been long and busy. We went back to the civil affairs office at 9am to take an oath, answer some questions and sign some paperwork. We came back to the hotel for a bite to eat and hopes of a nap (that didn't happen). Then off to the police station to get a picture for her visa and passport and o finalize the adoption. She's finally a Miller! Mao Zhongxia is now Hannah Marie Xia Miller.
Once we got back to the hotel, where mom had ben keeping the kids, she told us that SG had thrown up:(. My anxiety just went up! I was so said to not be able to take care of her and worried that this bug may spread. Please lift her up in prayer to recover quickly and it not spread to anyone else. If there was one thing I hoped wouldn't happen it wad that!
You all are now filled in up to this point and I will do my best to post more often. If you want to see pics you will have to check out my page on Facebook. Love you all!
Night, night!