Monday, December 27, 2010

Hello! Do You Want To Go For A Walk With Me?

Eva loves being outside...   
Her smiles make us smile.   What a gift it is to enjoy her enjoying life.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our First Christmas: Simply Special

Our first Christmas with Eva.

No spoiling except for loads of kisses and hugs, tickles and time together.  With only a few presents under the tree, mostly from Auntie Shelly & Uncle Bob, it was Simply Special.  We are fully aware that there could be no greater gift than what Christ did for us.  And in our house, no more special present than a little girl that traveled so far to come home.  It's quite magical.  To look in her eyes, to hear her sweet little voice, to listen to her laugh and see her dimpled smile...  She is doing so very well and we are truly blessed. 

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 12, 2010: Eva Monet's 1st Birthday

We celebrated Eva Monet's 1st birthday on Sunday, December 12th.  I later posted on FB simply "My heart is full".  Given some more time and rest, I was hoping I would be able to better articulate some of the thoughts rolling around in my head...  Unfortunately, the need for rest/sleep continues to overrule...   And often times, words aren't even necessary; "a picture says a thousand words", right?

Enjoy the words...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hello Dr. Amy! I'm wearing red today.

Little Miss Eva weighed in @ 15.15 lb and just over 26 inches.  She's definitely a little thing for having such a voracious appetite!  A picky eater we do not have!  (yeah)  The Pediatrician was very pleased with Eva's initial check-up and we are so thankful.  We will return in the next few weeks to begin a plan of care for her.

We have been so blessed by friends in the Charlotte area.  We have received numerous adorable 'gently used clothing' that are just too cute.  There is something very special to me as I think of the other  precious children who have worn these clothes.  I have been very touched by the thoughtfulness of families as they have shared such pretty things with Eva Monet.  I thought this outfit was so, so sweet when a girlfriend gave it to me right after our referral.  It was an outfit her daughter had outgrown and I had my doubts that Eva would ever be able to wear it, but I was hoping...  How pleasantly surprised I was when I was dressing her for her first visit to meet her Pediatrician, Dr. Amy, and found that it fit!   I think she looks really cute.

Red in China represents Happiness.   While this appears to be Eva's contemplative look, perhaps she overheard that we were getting ready to go to the Pediatrician.   ; )

Home, Home, Home SWEET Home - North Carolina

Since arriving home from China, the last 5 days have been a blur...   We have loved being home and Eva has been a gem.  After getting little or no sleep, in addition to the extensive travel, etc, however, David and I are both on RX/antibiotics and still not feeling up to our best.  

In spite of illness, we are loving little Miss Eva Monet.  She keeps us smiling and continues to bring joy to our world.  We are quite smitten with her.  I still look at her and ask myself if this is Really Real...   Is this precious child really my daughter?  Am I really a mom?  It feels so very natural to be her mom.  I do not feel nervous or uptight mothering her which is wonderful.  It feels really comfortable to hold her, feed her, talk with her, tease her, love on her, kiss on her, tickle her...  All of it.  I love that.  It's very special to see how the 3 of us seem to fit so well in this short period of time.   How special it is to watch my husband play and love on our daughter.  David and I both feel so blessed to have Eva in our lives and thank the Lord for what we believe to be His plan for all of us.  

We were surprised at the airport with a welcome by some friends and my sister, Auntie Shelly, who is more than excited.  Very, very thoughtful...  Eva was happy to meet the crew even after 24+ Hrs of travel!  (sigh)    Thank you Melissa, Carrie, Hilary, Les & Shelly!!  We enjoyed watching you all with Eva.  Your smiles made our homecoming extra special.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Home, Home, Home SWEET Home: 1st Stop Newark

Monday:  12-6-10

Over 9,000 miles and more than a day later, we arrived in Newark, NJ and then finally on to Charlotte, NC where we landed around 8 PM on 12-6-10.

Eva did really well on the flight...especially considering she was confined to such a small space for such an extended period of time.   She wasn't too fond of the bassinet since it restricted her movements, as well, but we were able to get her a little bit of rest.   David and I were not so fortunate.

We arrived in NJ feeling quite wiped having not really slept for 24 Hrs + and still feeling sick.  One of life's best medicines, however, is sharing time with friends.  We were fortunate to reconnect with special Philly friends/one of David's former pastoral work colleagues during our layover in Newark.  You can always count on great laughs and encouragement from Tim & Donna.  Eva took to both of them right away.  You can also tell from the photos that's she's also had just about enough of the traveling for the time being...

In addition to seeing friends, Newark held great significance for our family.  As soon as wheels touched the ground, Eva Monet Jiawan Baltes offically became a US citizen!!   When we hold her Republic of China Passport it's all still very surreal.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

4 Days in Hong Kong & Headed Home!

We have shared an amazing 4 days in beautiful Hong Kong!  Love being here!  The 3 of us have spent time together as a family.   I look forward to posting more pictures once we return to the states.  A special highlight was meeting my work colleagues based out of HKO.  We are preparing for a long journey home and are ready to be back in North Carolina, sleeping in our own bed though we leave a part of our hearts in China.

Please pray for us as we travel.  We are returning to the states with Upper Respiratory issues.  Eva Monet is doing well though we have all gotten sick.   In spite of this, each day seems to bond us together more and more and we are seeing the attachment begin.  There have been several occasions, whether during a taxi or bus ride, or while we are visiting a museum or other sight, when I look down into her face to see that she is staring at me.  Our eyes lock and she seems intent on studying my face.   Those deep brown eyes seem just as curious about me as my blue eyes must appear staring back at her.  These moments are magical.  I can not explain them though I am sure it is what every parent in love must experience with their child.  David and I feel so blessed as she lets us kiss and hug on her.  We are nose-to-nose with her and enjoying tickles and giggles on a daily basis.  Tomorrow will mark 2 weeks since we've be joined together.  We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed this time with such remarkable connection so quickly.  

During the busyness of the holiday season, thank you for taking time to read this blog and send comments via the internet.  We understand many of you have had difficulty with the blog and your responses have not posted.  Thank you for sending messages via other avenues and for your encouragement.  We are happy you have found it uplifting.  We love you and are grateful for the blessing of your love and prayers on our behalf.

See Ya' All in the States!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

"All Dressed Up for Our Big Moment"

The White Swan Hotel:  11-30-10

Mommy...   Daddy...   Ahhh....  d-i-a-p-e-r...  Hello up there...

Don't cry, Zoe, this is your Big Moment.

Who chose this color?   The lavender really clashes with the couch.

Hi, Lilly Grace.  I like your bow.  You wanna trade me some time?

"Wa -Wa, Wa-Wa, Wa-Wa"

(Eva Monet's expression makes her look like she could be in a Peanuts Cartoon in this photo...)

Hey did you see Marica's red coat over there?  Stunning!!  And the teal blue dress?  Beautiful!  

Oh Hi, Lindy!  Glad you could join us! This is our Big Moment!

Yo, Jillian!  It's our Big Moment!


Where's everybody going...

No, not you too.

Can't Lindy stay just a little longer?  

It's just you and me, Lilly Grace!

The Party's Over...  

Guangdong Folk Arts Museum

The Guangdong Folk Arts Museum was one of our favorite stops in Guangzhou.  Here is just a small taste of what we saw.

Eva loved it as well.   We find she is very happy when she is outside in the sunshine and fresh air.  It was a perfect day to share together.

Chinese Family giving us 'Thunbs Up" in the gardens for our "Lucky Girl".