Bringing Kennedy Home

Feelings, thoughts and other tidbits along the way to adopting our daughter from China.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Goodbye and Thank you!

This is the final post on "Bringing Kennedy Home". Two hundred and seventy posts later, it's time to put the story of our journey to Kennedy to rest. We've done it. We've travelled around the globe to bring our beautiful daughter home. It's time now for her life to become private. Thank you all so much for your support over the past 2 years. It has truly been the journey of a lifetime...............

All our love,
Marvin, Carolyn and Kennedy Joy Caijiao

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bum scoot....broken tooth

Shall we just say that Miss K has finally figured out how to get around on our hardwood floors...and it happened overnight. All of the sudden she's zooming around the room. It's not walking and it's not even a crawl. I call it a bum scoot. One leg bent in front, one leg bent in back, bum on the floor and two hands grabbing the floor ahead of her, pulling her along. She's much happier and content being able to move about. She can get what she wants now by herself...sometimes not a good thing, depending what it is she wants!!

It will be two months on Thursday, since we met Kennedy for the very first time. Wow, how she has changed. She's grown. She's gone from not sitting up by herself, to now scooting all over the place. She is an excellent eater and is growing like a weed. She LOVES people. Like I've said before, the bigger the crowd,`the more she likes it. Loves to be entertained. She brings so much happiness to our lives...

On Sunday I broke my front tooth while eating a hotdog. I realized later that the tooth probably cracked on Saturday when we were at my parent's house. Kennedy's head hit my chin and my teeth slammed together very hard. At the time I didn't realize it, but I'm assuming that's when the damage was done as a hotdog wouldn't have done it. So off I went to the dentist today...she fixed me up as good as new. Dental work is definitely not my favorite thing but my dentist does a wonderful job and I didn't feel a thing!

If you have the time and would like to read an amazing story, check
this out. It's about a little girl living in the US (adopted from China) who suddenly became sick and needed a heart transplant. Her family is going through so much with finances and being away from their other children. A truly amazing story...


Monday, April 02, 2007

And what does Yazzy think of all this partying????????


Birthday Party with the Clows!

I love when you sing to me...

Birthday Party with the Milligans!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I'm One Today!!!

Our baby is 1 year old today! Wow! She woke up in a great mood this morning, just like she knows it's going to be a great day. Yesterday, we had a party with her family on the Milligan side. Today, we will have a party with her family on the Clow side. I will post pictures as soon as I get a chance.

At the age of 1 year, here are some of Kennedy's milestones:

-Talking, saying the following words: mama, quack, bye-bye,
-Signing: more, puppy, milk, book, ball
-Trying to do some sort of bum scoot to get places. No crawling or walking yet!
-Loves to sway when she hears ANY music (including my singing!)
-Doesn't sleep through the night like she used to :( Guess I bragged too much about that!

And today we remember Kennedy's birthparents in China. I only wish they could know how happy and well taken care of she is...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's all about the food these days...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Keeping up with my China sisters!!

This morning, Kennedy insisted on ponytails. After seeing both Claire and Ava with their ponies in, we knew we had to try to keep up, so here it's a little hard to see them with the background. She actually looks like she has two horns...funny 'cause she's been a bit cranky the last couple of days (teeth again, I think) so the "horns" kind of fit!

This is Claire. She is my China sister. She lives in Edmonton. I miss her. xox

This is Ava. She is my China sister. She also lives in Edmonton. I miss her. xox

I think I want to take a trip to Edmonton!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy 95th Birthday Grammie!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my grandmother, Veronica. On Wednesday, March 21, she turned 95 years old. We had a party for her yesterday. Many of her friends and family gathered to celebrate and all of her 9 children we there with her. I think it is so amazing for my dad at age 68, to have his mother living right next door (still cooking her meals on a wood stove, I might add!). Like my Uncle Fenton said in his speech, we're looking forward to celebrating her 100th too!

Getting together with friends....

Got together with my friends Crystal, Trudy and Jennifer and ALL the kiddos today (minus Jen's big girl, Savannah). We had 9 kids there! Fun. And how well behaved were these kids? Incredible. They had a great time playing...

"Green couch" picture. I couldn't resist.

Jen and Kennedy

Charlotte playing with Megan

Kennedy and Brandan

Cameron holding Megan

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My New Book!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Celebrating Matt and Chloe's birthdays!

Kennedy couldn't wait to play with her cousins Chloe and Breanna!

Uncle Mark with Chloe and Kennedy.

Aunt Pam and cousin Matt...opening his birthday envelopes!

Uncle Doug and Aunt Lisa playing with the girls...Kiana and Kennedy.

Now, this one may need some explanation...Marvin's mom has a wall with all twelve of her children's pictures hanging from oldest to youngest. This is Aunt Arlene, taking Kennedy through the list for her first time! Kennedy was very interested and followed Aunt Arlene carefully as she recited each name!


Sleeping with my cousins Melanie and CJ gave it to me!

Playing with Mommy...all smiles!

Playtime with Daddy!

Reading the new book my friends at Greenfield gave me. I'm having a drooly day... Notice Yazzy is sleeping behind me :)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Looking back...

Marvin and I were looking back over some pictures and video from China and came upon this video clip. I don't think I shared it before. I know it's dark, but it captures the moment. This is within the first hour of meeting Kennedy. We walked back from the government office and went directly to our hotel room. You can see that I'm taking her THREE layers of clothes off. Knowing her the way we know her now, we realize how completely terrified she was in that moment. She was scared and didn't have a clue what was happening. It's actually sad for me to look back at the videos from Gotcha because like I said, I know how scared she was. No, she wasn't crying like the other babies, but I think that's the worst part. She was so sad, yet wouldn't let herself cry. The first cry she let out was after I undressed her and Marvin left the room to go and finish the paperwork. She cried so hard that I went looking for him...all she wanted was her daddy. When we found him she calmed down. The first couple of days she was completely glued to daddy.

Looking back over the pictures and video clips makes the trip seem like hindsight, it passed too quickly. Every now and again I like to go back over it in my mind. Marvin and I often talk about different parts of the trip, the people, the experiences. We just want to keep the memories alive...

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Playing with my cousins

These are my sister's kids, Cody, Paige and Brett. They waited so long to meet their new cousin and boy, were they glad when she finally arrived! We went out to have supper with them (and their Golden Retreiver, Bailey) a couple of weeks ago. Kennedy had a ball! She loves her cousins and they LOVE her. They give her ALL the attention when she's around. Looking forward to many more get togethers.....

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

So we got the snow that usually goes with St. Pat's day. Not too much, but enough to cover the ground. St. Patrick's Day was never a big celebration around our house, unless ofcourse you count when I was in University :) We always used St. Pat's day as an excuse to *socialize*....I do want to say a big "Happy St. Patrick's Day" to my friend Jennifer. It's one of her favorite days...hope you're having a good one Jen!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tugging at my heart...

If you ever had an inkling that international adoption was what you wanted to do, this will certainly pull at your heart strings. Brought me to tears. There are just so many children who need homes and ofcourse so many of us who need children...

The little girl in this video is Shaohannah "Shaoey" Chapman, daughter of musician Steven Curtis Chapman. Shaoey and her two sisters were adopted from China...get your kleenex ready.

Home for one month

Yes, we've been home from China for one month. It seems like much longer than that in so many ways. It feels like so long ago that we were in China and even longer ago that Kennedy was passed into my arms. It's hard to believe that she was with someone else for 10 months. I think of how much she's changed in just one month...and how much she must have changed in those 10 months with her foster family. I wish they, and her birth family, could now how well she's doing now...

Since coming home, Kennedy has learned so many things. Uncle Mark taught her to feed herself. Aunt Kimmy D. taught her how to patty-cake. She sways when she hears music. She waves bye-bye and says bye-bye. She sits independently. She insists on feeding herself and refuses most things that are delivered by spoon :) She sleeps through the night, almost always :) She loves being with people. Her daddy puts her to sleep every night. We cannot imagine life without her ofcourse. We often just look at each other and say how much we love's like so many people told us...they made a perfect match when they made us Kennedy's forever family...

My wonderful staff hosts a baby shower for us!

On Wednesday, my staff hosted a baby shower for us! Wow! I've been to many, many of these and was overjoyed to finally sit in that rocking chair with my baby in my arms! Kennedy received so many beautiful gifts. Thank you to everyone at Greenfield! We love you all. You are the BEST!!! xoxo

Admiring the beautiful afghan our secretary, Judy, made for us.

Playing with the tissue paper...

Our dear friend, Crystal, handing us our gifts!

Miss Tina holding Trudy's baby girl, Megan.

Angie, Sherri and Bryn...looking forward to March Break, I think!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Meeting more friends!

Lisa and her little girl, Olivia, came to visit us all the way from Woodstock!

Visiting with Aunt Rosie!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

PEI-China get together

Today we went to the China Star restaurant for a get together with other PEI families who have children from China. It's so much fun to see all the kids together. We've been going to these get-togethers for 2 years without a baby so it sure was nice to have Kennedy with us today. What's most fun is watching the older girls (4-5 year olds) chat and play with each other and the younger ones (2 year olds) run along behind them. The babies (Kennedy and Roshandra) are only interested in the food at this point!! Here are a couple of pictures...

Luca (Roshandra's big bro) with Lana (in front), Jane, Brielle, Julia and Emily

Kennedy was sooo excited to see her best friend Roshandra again. Both girls are battling sickness (cold/congestion), so when we're all feeling better a playdate is in order.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Clothing Police...

Good thing the clothing police didn't catch us this day!! See Kennedy's BARE leg peaking out? The Chinese people do not think much of us Westerners not keep our babies all bundled up! Kennedy has her hat from Auntie Bev, Uncle Randolph and cousin Asia on!! Thanks guys. It kept her very warm on those cold days in Beijing.
(Thanks to Shea for sending us this picture!)

Love at first sight...

Ofcourse, we loved her long before this moment, but you can imagine our excitement when we walked into the building where we would be getting our babies and there were FOUR of them sitting in the lobby. This picture was sent to me by a group member. I had my video camera running so I captured it on that, but didn't have any still pictures. From left to right is Ava, Claire, Maeve and Kennedy in the right hand corner. Marvin and I both agree that was the heart-stopping moment for us. It was panic because they were telling us to go upstairs but we were trying to figure out if these were our babies. Marvin and I knew right away that it was Kennedy...I was freaking out. Then we had to go upstairs WAIT for them to officially be brought to us. Ohhhhhhh what a day. Easily, the best day of my life.

Friday, March 09, 2007

On the mend...

After a couple of days of feeling pretty miserable, our girl woke up on Friday feeling much better. The doc told us that she should feel better in a couple of days and that's exactly what it took. Marvin was working night shifts, so Kennedy and I slept together for a couple of nights. I felt like I had to have her beside me because when she coughed in her sleep, she had a hard time catching her breath. I had to physically sit her up to get her to start breathing okay (scary!) Anyhow, I wondered after a couple of nights sleeping with mama, if she'd go back to her crib okay. Thank goodness she did. Last two nights she's slept through in her crib. Marvin and I have managed to avoid this sickness, thank goodness. Although I do think a lot of it has to do with her teeth...she had two new ones come through in the last couple of days, so that's 6 teeth now: 3 on top and 3 on the bottom!

The Clow family hosted a baby shower for us last Sunday. We received many beautiful gifts. Here are some pics:

Sitting on Aunt Patricia's knee!

The awesome cake Auntie Pam made for me!

Mommy and Me...opening our gifts!