Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Introducing Edie Joy Reid

I'm 2 months behind in updating ya'll, but we officially have a new daughter!!!!  

Please meet Edie Joy Reid!

Jade & I started pursing our adoption at the very end of July & quickly had approval to adopt Edie.  Then it was truly a paper chase for me to get us to her as fast as I could!  It took about 7 months from ground 0 to travel!

Jade & I left for China March 1st.  We arrived in Beijing & spent a day and half touring the city.  We absolutely loved our time in Beijing.  For two mid-westerners with not much big city experience we did it all!  We tackled the subway solo & took several city buses!  We ate noodles with the locals, marveled over the great wall & the forbidden city.  We soaked up the culture and fell in love with our girls home land.  

Then we hopped on a bullet train to Jinan, the capital city of Edie's province.  The bullet train was a totally unique experience as well since we don't have anything to compare it to in America.  We arrived in Jinan at night and the entire city was lit up like Las Vegas!  It was beautiful and in some ways eery.  There were hundreds of massive sky scrapers - completely empty - without a light on inside!  It was apparent that this was a quickly growing city, that would be massive in the future!  Jinan has 7 million people and I can't imagine how many will be there in a few years - their housing is ready for them!

Sunday morning we woke up and made our orphanage donation & went to walmart for a stroller.  They were bringing Edie to us at 3 PM.  It was the longest day ever, very similar to labor.  We were so excited and so nervous.  We prepped our room a thousand times, and prayed as a couple over the newest child we would be receiving.

They brought her to us and literally left her with us after 20 minutes.  She was the most beautiful gift we have ever been handed, that wasn't ours to begin with.  It was a long couple of heart wrenching days as our beautiful girl grieved hard.  We knew we could offer her a beautiful life, love, and a family, but giving up everything she has ever known had to be terrifying.  She's 3 years old and has only known orphanage walls and her nanny that's been with her since birth.  Now she was saying good bye, being held by people that looked funny & spoke another language, and they would take her half way around the world to a place that would never be like her home land.  It's overwhelming to imagine doing a change like that as an adult, let alone as a child.

She was officially adopted March 6th, 2017 in Jinan Shandong.  We then drove to Tai'an, where she had lived the past 3 years to file for her passport.  The rest of the week we spent touring Jinan and bonding with our daughter.  Every single day we would get more glimpses into who this sweet girl was and she would expose more of her heart to us!  I can't even begin to put into words what that feels like to watch it unfold!  We were head over heels in love with her from moment one, she took time to feel the same about us.

We absolutely fell in love with her city.  It has several natural springs, a giant lake, an amazing food district, ancient homes & alleys, a square full of life with people dancing, singing, and playing "tops".  Everything about where she is from was beautiful and we tried to just remember it all so vividly so one day we can share our memories with our girl!

After spending almost a week in Jinan we caught an in-country flight to southern China to Guangzhou where all families from the US must go to finalize.  In Guangzhou we had a medical exam to test for TB and to check her over, then we had a consulate appointment to get her visa so we could come home.  It was humbling to see the huge line of Chinese waiting to get appointments at the consulate for a chance to come to America.  I'll never forget how I felt that day walking by the line and recognizing the tremendous gift we have to live a life of freedom here!

We were in Guangzhou an extended amount of time because sometimes her province takes longer to issue passports & we didn't want to have flights to come home, but no passport or visa ready to allow us to travel.  So we stayed clear until March 18th and then hopped on the longest leg of our journey yet to home!

In typical Edie fashion, she traveled like a pro and we finally got home after nearly 26 hours of travel, but also on March 18th.  Ironically but yet not ironically because God - we arrived home on my Grandma's birthday - the Grandma that Edie is named after!

We officially had her in our arms a little over 2 months, and been together as a family almost as long.  She has been a true gift to us all and completed our family of 6.  Everyone adored her from the moment she met them and she adored them quickly after!  I really thought transitioning home would be a struggle and that we may have issues as kids found their new places with 4 vs 3.  I was wrong, they all adjusted beautifully and Edie is just like a bio kid to us all.  She slid right into the mix.  4 kids is actually not that much harder than 3 - especially when you factor in that she sleeps all night, and feeds herself. 

Life is great and we are so over the moon happy with our newest girl & how her siblings adore her!

PS - I took 1500 pictures while in china so I'll spare you all the daunting task of looking through all those ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Why China?

I just wrapped up a great book about adoption in China called in Mine In China.  It has been an incredible resource to answer a million questions I had, but also a great eye opener on what we need to be prepared for.

I've been asked, why China.  Why not the US?  Why not foster care?

My most honest answer is, our daughter is in China.  When I saw her I knew where she was, and where God directed us to go.

But I also want to share how Down syndrome is perceived in the US versus other countries.  I've been told it takes an average of 3 years to domestically adopt a child with Ds in the states.  (This may be longer now?). Ds is wanted here, people will adopt domestically and the list of applications is long.  Just recently I saw a post on Facebook to apply to adopt a boy with Ds in the states and within days they had so many applicants they stopped taking any more.

In China 25% of the children waiting for adoption have Down syndrome.  It is estimated way more than 25% actually are waiting because their files haven't even been completed yet.

Children with DS used to be viewed as "unadoptable" in China.  It wasn't until more recently, 2011, that files even started being prepared for these kids.  The need is great.

Every child needs a home.  I do believe that.  But for our family, we were called to China.  Our little girl had no other applicants standing by.  She was simply waiting.  So that's why China.  We are equipped to raise a child with Ds, and God has called us there.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

We are Adopting!!!

It's with great excitement that we get to announce our future daughter!!!

This has been a long & prayed over journey!  My heart has been called for at least 4 years to adopt another child with Down syndrome.  The timing has never been right, until my whole family was called!

And then one day, the most beautiful little girl popped into my newsfeed.  I fell in love.  Then, I watched a video of her and in that exact moment, I knew where we were going to bring our daughter home!  It was undeniable!

It's been a roller coaster so far, but one that is so worth it because in a short amount of time, we will be embracing this girl in China & bringing her home to meet her siblings!

The kids are ecstatic!  In true Aubrie form, she bawled, and said she's been praying for this for so long!  Everett agreed to sit by his sister in the back seat to make room for her in the car.  And Ollie, well who knows what Ollie thinks!  But Ollie LOVES babies, so she's going to be over the moon for a sister!

Baby sister is 2 years old.  She also rocks designer genes.  We will hopefully have her home within 9-12 months!  She'll be 3 by the time we get her (I honestly think she's older than they say).

So please pray for us!  We have a long road ahead! <3 p="">

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Myth busters - why women need strength training more than cardio!

Cardio won't cut it!  Literally!  If you are wanting a defined, sculpted, toned body - cardio isn't going to get you there!  It's so common that I hear people want to lose fat by doing cardio first.  They literally try to run their behinds off, but truth be told they don't get a round & tight booty from running alone or the sculpted arms & Carrie Underwood legs they are really wanting!  

It actually takes strength training to get the natural butt lift you are really looking for!  And feel like you need cardio for a healthy heart - trust me leg day with 10-15 heavy weight squats is going to get in some of the most intense cardio you have experienced!!!!

Here are my fitness pictures from day 1 to day 90.  During this time I was only doing cardio workouts for 30-60 minutes, 6x a week.  Yes I lost weight, but my after photo still wasn’t the results I wanted to see.  I went down in pants sizes & lost some pounds, but I was not toned or cut like I wanted to be. 

Weight training is where it’s at because you will grow your lean muscle mass!  Yes ladies that’s a sweet thing!  Here is why…the more muscle you have = the more calories your body will burn even while resting.  So you get to eat more food!  You won’t “get bulky” by lifting weights because women don’t have the testosterone men have to get big!  Instead you’ll carve out that figure you are really looking for!

3.  Strength training disconnects success from the scale & places the focus of success on weights or reps going up!  So many of my clients & myself included will vary in weight every day.  Because of this, most of my clients will get discouraged and “give up” before they ever get started because when the scale doesn’t go down fast enough they determine their new routine isn’t working!!!!  However, when we shift the focus on our strength gains & away from the scale, women get empowered.  They realize how strong they are & they fall in love with strength training!  

Here is a fun fact for you from a test group study if you still don't believe me!!

"Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).

The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.

Thirty-six sessions of up to 50 minutes is a lot of work for one additional pound of fat loss. However, the addition of resistance training greatly accelerated fat loss results."  Nerd Fitness


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