This is blog was created to share some tidbits of our daily lives

and advocate on behalf of the 143 million orphans around the world!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be HOME. The flight home was... LOOONG. :-) Our little princess wasn't sleepy..hee hee..soo...she was awake all but 2 hrs. and 50 min. of 22 hours of flying and layovers..etc. ha. She was an angel though and played and giggled and snuggled. Needless to say, Doug and I were exhausted from entertaining, but nothing matters now..all is forgotten..well almost. And we're sooo happy to be home. As we arrived in Louisville our hearts were pounding with anxious excitement to see our family and friends. We caught a glimpse of our 3 kiddos waiting for us and the tears began. It was such a SWEET homecoming. Here are some pics Doug took. sorry, they're not great, but it's all I have until I can steal some from someone else. :-)

Big brother Bryson holding little Hopie. Brennan was next.

And finally, the new big sis, Lola Joy held her partner in crime.:-)

Finally!!!! All four kiddos together!!!!! of SIX!!!

This is how Bryson felt about us being home that night...priceless!!!

Once home, life began for us and we are beginning to start our new normal. Sat. we had two basketball games. It was interesting trying to watch my girls while Doug was coaching and the boys were playing ball. Thanks to some of the bball Moms for the helping hands!!! We went to church on Sunday. It was so nice to be back in the house of the Lord. Thanks to our sweet church family for all of the prayers and love. We are so blessed. Monday morning the boys were off to school.:-( I don't feel like I've had enough time with them, but then again, I never do. :-( They're growing up so fast. So, the girls and I tackled our first day by ourselves as Daddy went back to work. shew. I did it. And I was EXHAUSTED!! ha!

Here are some pics of the girls while the guys are away.

We love our new puzzle Cheddar..thanks!:-)

Sweet Sisters!

I took the girls in the stroller for a little walk. Lily was out in no time. All she needed was her thumb!

How is everyone sleeping? Sleep?? What's that?? Ha! Well, hmm..we play musical beds..again..(we did this with the boys too). The girls do acrobats while sleeping. Ha. They turn in cirlces and flip and flop. It's definitely a hoot.

How are the boys doing? They are the most amazing big brothers and sons we could ever pray for. They help in any and every way possible and totally blow me away with their love, compassion, and consideration for others. They will make some amazing husbands and Dad's someday. I'm just sayin'!:-)

How is Lola adjusting to Lily? Lola Joy is the most thoughtful big sis. She gets them matching toys. One for you, one for me. She gets me food for Lily, sippy cups, toys, etc. She smiles and adoringly talks about her sister. So far. :-) Lily watches everything Lola Joy does. They are precious together.

What does Lily think of her new home/family? Lily seems to be happy now that she is home. She loves to crawl all around our house and explore all of the new things around her. As for her family? She has the BEST extended family, brothers and sister and friends..that's for sure. She has taken to all of them! She allows the boys to carry her all over the house. And her Daddy and I are smitten with her. We want to do everything we can to help her become the beautiful creation God intended her to be. We are praying for healing for her heart and mind from the things she's had to endure in her first year of life. We aren't perfect people, or perfect parents. We are praying for Wisdom and Guidance from our God to mold us and make us and USE US for HIS GLORY. We do not know what the future holds for Lily Hope, but she now has a HOPE and a FUTURE because of our Lord and his compassion for the Fatherless. He set the lonely in our hearts for her...and for Lola Joy..and right now...

our hearts are FULL!


The Stanley Family

We would like to thank everyone who made the long drive to Louisville to welcome us home. I know it was difficult to work out getting there, but it meant the world to us to be welcomed home by the BEST FAMILY AND FRIENDS in the WORLD!!! We love you guys!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

we're in Hong Kong!

Just wanted to let you know we made it safely to Hong Kong. step closer. Your comments made us cry...and gave us just what we needed to make it home. Thanks with all our hearts for your prayers and sweet words of encouragement!
We love you guys soo much!


Blessings for the last time from China!
Doug, Julie and Lily

ps. there was a burger king at the airport..we scarfed that down..YUM!

15 hour flight...yikes!!!???

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our last night in Guangzhou!

I cannot believe I am typing that this is our last night in Guangzhou. This has been an incredible trip. One that we'll never forget. It hasn't been an easy one, though. We started off with Doug having surgery right before we left. He has been a trooper, but I know he has endured A LOT of pain and really tried to be strong for me. This is an emotional ride in itself, and with the added stress, pain, and worry for doug, shew, it's just been challenging to say the least. Leaving behind our other three children has ripped our hearts in two. We know how important the time we've spent with Lily has been, but it hasn't made missing our children and our heartaches for them go away by any means. Skyping was wonderful, but so difficult to hold back the tears..especially when one of them was crying. Bryson was the one that had the hardest time this time. Bren did when we went to Ethiopia. Lola Joy has started some temper tantrums we hear, so we're thinking this is her way of expressing that she misses us as well. The past few days, Doug and I had some kind of stomach issues. We were visiting the restrooms frequently to say the least, smells made us even sicker, and seeing the foods here just made us want to throw it's been ONE CRAZY RIDE!! We are dreading the 23 hours of travels home, but cannot wait to get home. Doug asked me to click my ruby slippers cause there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!! Lily is doing well. The only struggle we have with her is bedtime at night. She just falls asleep so easily in the daytime, but tonight she SCREAMED! Finally she fell asleep on my chest. I held her until she was really good and asleep and laid her in bed with us (where she has slept each night with us). We know there will be many challenges when we get home. The challenges of giving attention to all four of our children and making all of them feel treasured and special. Going ANYWHERE with the little girls will be a challenge.ha. School, homework, work, ballgames. Laundry.Surgeries. and more. Yep, it will all be there waiting for us. But God has called us to this place and He will equip us and see us through. Please keep us in your prayers as we fly...and return home.
I have to say a HUGE thank you to our "VILLAGE" back home that helped keep our kids going through all of this. Words cannot express our gratitude. We know we are so blessed and have shared that with everyone here. You are priceless and we thank God for the BEST FAMILY and Friends ever!
And to our 3 babies at home...WE'LL be home soon! We're are so proud of you! Can't wait to snuggle and catch up on everything. You're the best little ones a Momma could ever have. LOVE YOU!!!!!

Thanks for the love and prayers,
Doug, Julie and Lily

We fly out at 9:50 a.m. tomorrow morning for Hong Kong. We spend the night there and hop on our flight to Michigan. It's at 9 something a.m. We aren't sure if we'll post in hong kong, but if not, hope to see you in Louisville on the 17th at 4:39 p.m.
pray for lily and mommy and daddy on the looong flight:-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Red Couch photos!

Today was a fun day. We started off by going to a Buddhist temple, a museum, and shopping. While other families had their child blessed by monks, Doug and I stood in the back and prayed to God for Lily Hope and for China. There aren't many Christians here. :-( They need our prayers.
The shopping was fun. As you can see, it was raining, but we didn't mind! We came in for a little down time, then it was off to have the traditional red couch photos. All of the adoptive families get pics on these famous couches. It was a sight!
Here is Momma and Hopie:-) awaiting our turn.

Here she is with her sweet Daddy! So precious.
True Love!!!!

Lily wasn't so sure why everyone was staring at us!

As soon as I sat her down, she BAWLED!!!! Isn't this pic hilarious? Our new friends have the little girl in the front row on the right..she was asleep. too funny!!! love that girl.
30 pics later...ha!!! Sweet babies!!

Here are the families in our group.
After red couch photos, we all headed to a Thai restaurant. This is what the guy sittin' across from Doug ate...ha!! Doug ate chicken wings. I had some noodles with chicken.

We were blessed to eat with these wonderful people!!
Lily is really doing well attaching to us. She is all smiles with us now. She is laughing with us and we are enjoying her so much. She is really an easy going baby for the most part. The one thing she doesn't like??? BEDTIME!! She fights it..yep..she is soo a STANLEY!!!!!!!! The other day we were walking down the street and a Christian song came to mind that reminded me of what Lily is going through...
This is where the healing begins..
This is where the healing starts!
It is amazing to be a part of this journey.
Keep prayin'!
Doug, Julie, and Lily

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our first day in Guangzhou

Our day started with breakfast, then off to have pics made for Lily's visa. She did great, however they made me remove the headband...ha! We then headed to the medical examination clinic. Definitely an interesting experience. It was very hot, jam packed, and sort of organized chaos. Lily fell asleep shortly after we sat down. Sweet baby. After waiting a while, we got in lines for the three stations. First was temp., height and weight. She weighed 20 lbs. :-)

She cried when they wanted to get her height...but calmed down right after I picked her up.

Off to the next station...she did so great.

We saw our friends that we stayed with in Nanjing...and stole a shot with them.
Then we ate at Lucy's..which has some western foods. Doug got their version of sweet tea.
Here is the waterfall in our hotel.
This is at our hotel as well. So beautiful here.

We sat by the pool and had some lap time together.

Daddy and Lily by the pool.

We went to the playroom in the hotel for a change of scenery. She loved the toys there.
It was a really nice day. We've met some more new families and they are really nice. So nice to chat with them and meet their little ones. Tomorrow we go for a tour in the morning. Nap in the afternoon, then red couch photos in the afternoon and dinner as a group...Asian food..hee hee..
Lily is like a little butterfly...growing and changing with each new day. She is letting us snuggle her much more, I can rock her to sleep, and we even got some kisses on the mouth at dinner.
Sweet baby girl!
Thanks for your prayers.
Love from Guangzhou!
Doug, Julie, and Lily

Friday, September 10, 2010

We made it to Guangzhou!

Just a quick post today. Just wanted to let you know we made it to Guangzhou. Woo hoo! Lily did so great on the flight! What a joy she has been! We love that we are getting to see her silly side! She was laughing so hard on the flight. Adorable! We traveled to The White Swan hotel. This hotel usually hosts many adoptive families. We walked around to check it out and ...the outside looks like paradise! The pool area is incredible and Bren and Bry..they have palm trees!!:-) Tomorrow we have Lily's medical examination along with the other families in our group. I am dreading this day for her. :-( Please say a prayer for her. Sorry there are no pics...but I will post some soon!

Thanks again for all the love and prayers. You guys are the best!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What are we up to now?

We start off our day like this. It is so precious to play with our little cutie in the morning!Then we head out into the streets and see this.
More playtime in the room. Love this girl!

And tonight, a special treat. Our new friends that we met at the airport on the way here invited us to dinner. It was so nice to get to talk to them, see their sweet little ones, and get out of the room.
Here are The Smith's with their adorable little guy. He ate noodles like no other!

Here are The Denny's from Ohio. They have a Lily too! So sweet!
And they offered to take a shot of the three of us.
Tomorrow morning we pack our bags..again. We fly out of Nanjing to Guangzhou. This place is supposedly wonderful..and tropical. They don't have 4 seasons. So, we are ready for a change of pace. We fly out at 4:10 p.m. for us..a.m. for you. We will be meeting up with the other families that we met in Beijing. Looking forward to seeing them with their newest additions.
Blessings to you!
Doug, Julie, and Lily
Bren, Bry, and LJ... hang in there guys. We'll be watching movies and snuggling before we know it. Cannot wait!!!
Love you bunches!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Loving Lily

Today we have spent our day...Loving Lily. And I have to say, we enjoyed every second of it. We already see her learning to trust us more. She was so adorable today. We held her hands and she walks everywhere..and thinks she can let go. Ha. She still needs lots of practice, but it's so much fun to see her walking everywhere with our help. She also enjoyed playtime with Daddy on the bed. Superman and patty cake is so much fun!Daddy steals a hug!

I can do it all by myself, Daddy! :-)

I tried to upload a couple more pics, but it wasn't working, so thought I would just send the ones that did. Lily is so precious and we are just so in love with her already. We are in awe of this precious little one and still can hardly believe we have her.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Princess in Purple!

Here is our little princess when she woke up and got dressed to go out. :-) Isn't she stunning? Tuesday we went to the registration office to sign some papers. It was an important day for us. We promised never to abuse or abandon Lily. It was very emotional as we made this promise. Here we are with the assistant director to Lily's orphanage.

Daddy snuggles with his newest little princess in the taxi on the way back to the hotel.
Seeing her in the mirror for the first time was adorable! She smiles and smacks at the mirror.

Sleeping beauty. Soo tired!
We had a very good day with Lily pie. Each day we are seeing little bits and pieces of the beautiful personality inside. She finally bawled her little eyes out last night at bedtime. This was hard. She didn't want to be held. She stiffened out her little body and cried..but she didn't want to be laid down. We soothed her, sung to her, and wanted to cry with her. Eventually she allowed Doug to sit in the chair and hold her and fell to sleep. We put her in bed with us, hoping this would help her learn to trust us and eventually love us. It's so hard knowing she hasn't had much human interaction. She doesn't know how to love, how to cuddle, how to be held, but her own good time she will know that we are her forever family. Here in the hard times. Here in the good times. Always and forever. Please continue to pray for healing for our sweet baby girl.
Love from Nanjing,
doug, julie, and lily
Thank you for your sweet comments and emails. We are REALLY missing our other 3 kiddos back home, so the love and encouragement from home has meant so much to us...more than you know.

Gotcha video

Monday, September 6, 2010


I couldn't sleep at all last night. I woke up at midnight..then 3:00a.m. I got up at 5 and got my shower. We ate breakfast and got everything ready. The anticipation of this special day was unbelievable. All night I took time to pray for Lily and our first meeting together. Our hearts pounded as we went to the Civil Affairs office to meet our daughter. After a few minutes of walked Lily's orphanage director and Lily in her arms.... oh my heart grew a thousand times bigger...INSTANT LOVE!!! Just like with Lola. God is so good!!!!
Introducing....Lily Hope Jiatong Stanley!!!Daddy gets to hold me for the first time!
Lily didn't cry one tear. She curiously looked at us. She had a quiet and calm disposition. She has the most beautiful long eye lashes!!! Just like her sissy.On the way to the hotel Lily fell asleep in my arms. :-) I was in heaven!!! Once we got back, we had to do some paperwork with our director. As soon as she left...we skyped the kiddos. They were basically asleep and really didn't get to see her do anything but sleep. Then, we skyped Aunt Deana and Uncle Darryl and she decided to put on a show!! Here are some pics only about 2 hrs. after we got her!

Is that the sweetest smile??? She was belly laughing as I tickled her belly!!!
She says, "oh my tummy hurts from all the laughing!"

She likes to patty cake!!!

I had to put a headband on!:-) She loves playtime. I have never seen a baby enjoy and explore toys the way she does!!! She LOVES them! At the civil affairs office this morning we gave her a little rattle toy. She loved it. They tried to take it from her to take our pic and she cried for it. She stopped immediately when they gave it back.
Daddy lovin' on his sweet baby girl!!
Since these pics, Lily has had a bottle and a bath. She ate her bottle like a champ...and she loves a bath. WOW! Our rep called her ...easy baby! :-) I cannot express in words what our hearts have experienced today. A miracle, only orchestrated by our God.
Thank you God for this indescribable gift.
Gotta run..we meet with our rep to do some paperwork again for tomorrow.
Thanks for your prayers and love.
We have felt prayed for and are so grateful.
More to come soon!!
Doug, Julie, and LILY!!!!!
Lily feels heavier than Lola...and is wearing about the same size clothes as Lola. :-) Lily is crawling, but not walking yet. And..she's a thumb sucker:-)