Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Post Adoption: Month 5

We have been home 5 whole months with this sweet face. It seems like yesterday, and yet it seems like a million years ago.

It is hard to think of life without Maggie at this point. She just fits.
The comment was made at one of our family gatherings during the holidays about how much Maggie just fits right in.

A friend met Maggie for the first time after Christmas and commented on how much she was "totally a Fedell". I smiled as I watched her crawl all over the library floor, heading to the blocks with the other kids.
But then she went on to say that she was not surprised at all that Maggie just fit so well. We had prayed and prayed over her and our adoption and countless other people had as well.
It was not surprising at all.
It was just an answer to prayer.

And that is what she is. An answer to our prayers.

 This month we had the honor of dedicating Maggie to the Lord. We are so blessed to be chosen to be her parents.
We did the dedication at my sister's church so that our family could be apart of it. The sleeping baby to the left is my niece, Emma Jane, who was also dedicated that day.

 Living her best life at Target.

Attachment: This seems to be going well. She loves LOVES her daddy, but is also bonded to me. I tend to do the "hard" stuff with her like doctor appointments, cleaning her nose and giving medication. She did reach for me when the pediatrician was checking her and she started to cry. My pediatrician was SO excited and said that was exactly what she was looking for attachment wise. It is good that she is not comfortable with strangers and she wanted me. It was just one more baby step in the right direction.

Food and growth: She is getting pickier with her food, but also is starting to chew and bite much better.  She is able to use her molars to grind some of her food, which she was not doing before. I think she is ready for more table food, then the softer baby food. We need to start working on using utensils now and are still not getting much fluid in her besides her formula bottles. She is over 21 pounds now, so still growing nicely.
She has popped out three more teeth, totaling 14. I think she is almost ready for some steak ;)

Health: Maggie had a rough month with getting her first real cold that turned into an ear infection. It has made sleeping really hard for her (and for us!) She also was able to get a blood draw at the U of M children's hospital. They got it on the first attempt, so we were thankful for that. It confirmed that she has Thalassemia Beta, a genetic blood disorder that is very common in China. It basically means that she makes defective hemoglobins. It will not really affect her at all, besides a mild type anemia and there is not a treatment for it. It is just something that we are aware of.

Physical and Verbal Development: She is still cruising all over the place and can now walk 15-20 steps between us. Will she walk on her own or without two people for her to go between? No. Can she walk if she wanted to? Yes. So the Early On lady recommended that we just make her walk everywhere instead of carrying her. After we change her diaper, we walk with her (she holds one hand and walks) down the hall way to the living room. We walk her into the dining room for dinner instead of carrying her.  So if you see me walking, very, very slowly, down the halls or around the soccer fields, that is why. Practice makes perfect, right? Or in our case, practice makes walkers!

Verbally she is babbling and "talking" more. Her brothers taught her a new word that she is so proud of: Dilly Dilly. As in, the Bud Light slogan "Dilly Dilly." Perfect. I am so proud my baby can say a beer catch phrase.

Maggie LOVED playing with Alaina, her second cousin, in this little desk nook. Despite her reaction, Alaina liked it too!

Goals: Walking! Talking! Stacking blocks! Using a spoon and fork! All these little things that we do daily and do without thinking, is what we need to work on with Maggie. She is doing great, we just need to work on her fine and gross motor skills.
 We have our six month post-adoption placement home visit coming up, so we will see what the social worker says.

Our winter is filled with soccer, basketball and dance practices, preschool pick ups and weekends on either a field or a court and Maggie just rolls with it. She is in and out of the car so much, spends hours waiting for a sibling in a confined place and she just smiles and hangs out. Don't get me wrong, she has some serious spice to her and will let her opinion known, but she is happy when we are all together, even if that means watching brother's practice. 

We've had Maggie for 1/4 of her life now. We can't wait to spend the rest of it with her.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017: A Year in Review


What a crazy year for our family. A new daughter, a trip around the world and many more moments filled those 365 days.

Here is a photo review.


Macy started preschool for the first time! She was very excited.

We took the kids to the Dog Expo. While it was not my favorite thing, the kids absolutely loved it. We did not come home with a puppy, so I will call it a win.

This handsome guy celebrated his birthday with a lunch date with his girls, eating his favorite, Thai.


With weekends filled with soccer turf and basketball courts, Macy played where every possible. Daddy even joined in on the fun.

My niece, Emma Jane, joined the world!

This guy and his sweet little team won the Winter 1 and 2 season. These boys were just so fun to watch.


A freak wind storm that took out our neighbor's tree, thus taking out our power line left us without power for FIVE days. In March. In Michigan.
Warm coffee and donuts were a must.

Just as we got our power back, a big snow storm stopped by.

We get dressed up fancy one time a year... for the New Morning School auction gala.


We spent our spring break in Kalamazoo, visiting family and museums.

Happy Easter from this crew!


We got the call that we were MATCHED with this sweet little face!!

I spent my Mother's Day cheering on this handsome dude at his first tournament playing in the big leagues! I wouldn't want it any other way!

Once all our paperwork was finalized in China, we told the kids that their new sibling was a GIRL!
Macy was beyond excited!!

Sweet memories were made on Memorial Day, just a girl and her daddy.


We held a yard sale adoption fundraiser that was SO much work, but successful and we were thankful for everything that sold.

This guy (whose sticker says "We Need You") went above and beyond, donating his things and giving us all his money just  because he "wanted his sister home."

We celebrate the best daddy around on Father's Day.

We also squeezed in as many park dates as possible!


You can't celebrate Jack's birthday and the 4th of July without a stop at Tiny's for Blue Moon ice cream.

We said " See you later" to dear friends who moved back to England. We miss them already!

I upped my Mom status with the purchase of a mini van.

This cute dude turned 7 years old!

And we did LOTS of adoption paperwork as we prepared for our trip to China to get Maggie.


Hello from the Great Wall of China!

Gotcha Day where we met Maggie for the very first time. It was a beautiful, heart wrenching, intense, sad and happy day for us all.

Adoption Day!

Maggie's main mode of transportation in China.

Our "pack" that we travel with in China. We are so thankful to travel with two other families who became dear friends. It was such a blessing.

U.S Consulate day! Maggie was ours in China and now Internationally!


Maggie's first soccer game. (Sorry for all of sporting events you will be dragged to in your lifetime)

Sibling love. It makes me all mushy thinking about how sweet these siblings love is.


Colin's first tournament playing on his new A team.

Our first photo as a family of SIX!

Fourth, Second and Preschool, here they come!

One month home with this one and she was feeling good!

This sweet girl of mine turned 4 years old!


Apple picking in the rain with Macy's preschool.

Colin's team won the 2009 (one year up) Dearborn Jaguars Invitational. These boys are gems. Sweet, good boys, every one of them. We are so thankful for his teammates and coach.

Maggie gained 2 whole pounds...mostly in those cheeks!

The best part of my bi-annual work trips is seeing these girls! Friendships are so valuable.

Princess Anna, a mime, Gareth Bale and baby Elephant showed up on Halloween.


My baby ballerina, back in action.

Daylights Savings is hard.

November is World Adoption Month.

We are big fans of adoption in our home.

Happy Thanksgiving from my greatest blessings!


My sweet girls. I love that they have each other.

My Christmas Elf.

Sitting sideline with these handsome guys. Not a bad place to be!

Macy says that she wants to be a "baker girl" when she grows up.

I vividly remember this time last year. The empty stocking holder, holding the Chinese Flag, waiting for a name and a face to fill it's place. It was a bittersweet holiday season, for sure.

This year, Maggie is home for the holidays and this miracle is something that I do not take lightly. She is home. Forever.

Full mantle, full heart.

Christmas Eve. These kids are just the greatest joy of my life.

Christmas Eve in matching Christmas jammies. Jack and Colin know the drill, but Maggie did not know that she will forever be forced into matching Christmas jammies for the rest of her days.
Goal next year: Getting Dad into matching jammies.

Andrew side Christmas morning with the cousins...who also believe in matching Christmas jammies.

My beautiful Chinese princess in her traditional Chinese silks.

What is better than a giant box after Christmas? Nothing.

2017 was an intense year for us. I was challenged in every single area of life. I felt stretched and challenged at every corner. It was filled with high highs and low lows. After 18 months of praying and preparing for a new member of our family, we brought our daughter home from China.

So as we say goodbye to 2017, the year that made a family of 6, I look forward to 2018 as a year of growth.
Growing together as family. Growing in our relationships and our friendships. Growing with those around us.
 I pray that 2018 is a year of flourish and growth.
For Maggie to flourish in our family.
For Ryan to flourish in his business.
For Jack to flourish in school and friendships.
For Colin to flourish in his quiet leadership.
For Macy to flourish in school and with her friends.

And for those that are reading this, I pray that 2018 is the year that you grow into the person that you were created to be. Not the person that others expect, but the person the God created you for.

Let's make it a year of growth.