Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Still in Chicago

We are still at my Mom and Dads. I am looking forward to seeiong some old friends this weekend. Then it's Christmas and Brandon will finally be coming back to Chicago with Alexei! The girls are learning so much with the help of my family. Lilly has learned a bunch of new tricks from Poppy. She is having a blast with her cousins and thinks Rye rye is the funniest thing ever! Rory is standing now and can almost walk. I am hoping she waits until her Daddy is here to see her! We have an offer on the house in Utah so that is a good thing. Also we should be in the new house the first week of January.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Remember to be thankful for your Family and Friends everyday. They are the true gifts of the season!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Well we made in to Chicago. It has been a busy week. The girls are starting to settle into life a Grandma's. I am almost finished Christmas shopping. It is amazing how much I shop here! Brandon and Randy headed to LI on Monday. It was sad to see them go without us. Brandon had to start work though and and Randy needs to find a job. It is nice staying in Hodgkins for Christmas. The town tree lighting is tonight! I will try and post some pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moving Day

The Movers are here! We are almost ready to leave.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

More pics

These are from our Trip to NY and PA! It was great to see my Mom and spend time with her! We can't wait to get back to the East coast!

Here's Rory really really enjoying She crab soup!

Lilly was having fun with the crab crackers from our Lobster
Daddy and Lilly ready to eat! I am so excited that the girls will grow up near the ocean!

My Brandon, My Mom and the girls checking out the new kitchen

It's not a trip to the East without a visit to Wegman's

Lilly hitching a ride and checking out the sites at Sesame Place!

After all the planning Lilly was terrified of Elmo and all the character's! Also it was poring so we only stayed about 30 minutes after breakfast. Rory however couldn't get enough of the Character's. This is Elmo crying because Lilly wouldn't go sit by him. You can see my mom comforting her on the left. Rory went right over and was hanging out on his lap. Of course this was when my battery in the camera died so I don't have a picture!

She also loved Ernie!

And was esspecially thrilled with Zoe!

Bert was very interesting. I wonder what they were talking about?

Some pics from this past weekend

This past weekend we went to Boca De Beppo for Lilly's Birthday (one of her celebrations!) She sure loves her aunt Amy!This is her before her big Party!

She loves her Princess Lilly purse from Snapaholics! Sisterly love! They hold hands in the car. In case you were wondering Rory can face forward because she weighs 20 1/2 LBS!!!!
Rory playing at the Herzog's

Rory Laughing at home in her excersaucer

Some Halloween pics

We spent Halloween with the Herzog's. The kids were all so cute. Piglet and Roo were adorable and Isabelle was our favorite Princess (Aurora). Jade matched me as we were both cats. She was by far cuter though!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lilly's Big Day!

We had Lilly's birthday party last night. Some friends came over to help her celebrate. Thanks for celebrating with us! She had fun running around with all the big kids and seeing the Hunan girls that came home with Rory.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I just wanted to mention for those who have expressed concern. Rory is doing fine. We won't have the Cat scan results back until next week. However she is OK. They just want to check the spot out. Sorry to scare anyone.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lilly is 2 years old!

As of midnight tonight! So her Daddy bought her a new house!!!
Today was a long day. It started out with me taking the girls to Rory's Dr's apt at the U of U. The Dr. saw her spot on her forehead which I thought was just a birthmark and said that it wasn't. It was a concentration of blood, I honestly cannot remember what he called it, and he wanted to check it out more. Apparently these can sometimes be worse on the inside and cause pressure on her brain causing a seizure or worse it could cause calcium to form on her brain and effect her brain development. So he ordered all the new adopted baby bloodwork. A LOT OF BLOOD IS NEEDED! and a cat scan and ultrasound for another issue (mostly just to be safe). So Lilly, Rory and I spent 5 hours at Children's Primary today! Rory was a little trouper though. She hung in there when they drew 15 CC of blood and did the IV for her cat scan she barely fussed and then fell asleep for the Cat scan. Lilly was entertained by this amazing woman who is a child Life specialist. I had no idea these people existed but she was my angel! Brandon was working so it was just us girls and Lilly was restless. Anyway, we were waiting in the lab to have blood drawn and it had been about an hour. Then this woman Kim comes over and introduces herself and starts playing with Lilly.
She tells us who she is and says that they are there to help families and kids waiting for lab work or needing anything. She said that she is there to help with Lilly so I could focus on Rory and making sure she was comfortable. She said if I was not stressed over Lilly needing to be occupied I would be more relaxed for what Rory needed. She played with Lilly while I took Rory in to have the bllod drawn and then she then went to the Cat scan with us! She was with us a good 2 hours. She even went to find Dr's and the Radiologist for me to ask questions to. AMAZING! I would have never thought of this as a job at the hospital but after meeting Kim I think it is the best thing I have ever experienced. She was our Angel today!
So while we are at PCH for 5 hours...Brandon is unknown to me...Putting a bid on our new house. Going back and forth with counter offers and calling mortgage people and the people who will be buying our house if it doesn't sell first. All while calling the insurance people for me and not telling me all the other things he was doing. Oh yeah and WORKING!
So at the end of today Lilly turns 2 with a new play kitchen. Mommy and Daddy have a new house in NY! They accepted our offer!!!! The babies are asleep and we are exhausted! What a day today was! Being at Primary Children's is always an eye opener though. We are so blessed to have our healthy children and have the life we do. When you see the families who's babies are really sick and they are just making the best of everyday, it makes you realize how precious life is. It makes you want to go watch those babies sleeping safe in their own beds.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Leaving for the week

Rory all bundled up like Kenny from South Park (No I am not a fan!) This one is totally for Spero!

Rory loves to play with balls! She is a happy baby.

Smiley Smith

Lilly wearing my Uggs! I think she needs a pair.Lilly and Daddy at Elizabeth, Emily and Chucks BBQ!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Not like she wasn't before but the very last thing is finally here! She has an official US birth certificate stating that she is

Lillian Chrystelle Rain Smith

With us as her parents. It was just nice to see. Now we need to get Rory's!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

A little about me

First I want everyone to vote for Aaron again! And pass it on!!! The link is in the last post.

OK, now about me. I stole this from a friends blog. I just thought it would be fun. Here goes...

Jobs I have had: past tense
1) Bridal Consultant
2) Nanny
3) Bank teller

Currently I am a Mama

Places I have lived:
2) Hawaii (for a short time)
3) Upstate NY
4) Chicago

I am currently moving to Long Island (closer to Alexei!!!)

Food I love:
1) Chocolate
2) Lobster
3) Almost all seafood
4) Turkey and swiss croissant
5) Eggplant Parmesan.

Places I would rather be:
1) Disney World or any Disney park
2) Chicago
3) Hawaii
4) A beach in the Caribbean
5) New England

Movies I love:
1) Goonies
2) The wedding singer
3) A walk to remember
4) St. Elmo's Fire

TV Shows I Watch:
1) Gilmore Girls
2) Monk
3) Pushing Daisies
4) House Hunters

Books I Love:
1) Any Murder Mystery
2) Disney Travel guides
3) A walk to remember
4)Love in the driest season

Monday, October 08, 2007

CNN Hero

This is a man who is helping Haitian children. This is a topic close to my heart because Lilly could have had a much more healthy first 14 months had a parasite not threatened her life. Lilly, Brandon and I were Lucky. Lilly was taken to Marie and we found her. She was brought home, safe and healthy. How many of the other Haitian children have that opportunity? This man is trying to help as many as he can. Please go to

Thank you

Hi All,

The email below is from Aaron Jackson - a man who has donated
de-worming medications and hopefully multivitamins orphanages in Haiti. He was featured on a CNN show for his
charitable works and is now part of the CNN Hero Poll. As Aaron
points out, intestinal worms steal nutrients from their hosts –
sometimes as much as 20% of their already limited food intake! These
de-worming meds could mean the difference between living and dying to
some children. Please take a minute or two to vote for Aaron and then
to share news of his important work and this poll with others so that
Aaron can continue his efforts on behalf of the people of Haiti.

Thank you!

Aaron Jackson
Planting Peace


CNN is conducting an on-line poll to select the viewer's favorite CNN
Hero. Each week viewers will be able to vote in one of six different
categories, with the winner in each category going to a second vote.
The viewer nominated Hero from the second vote will be awarded $25,000
towards their cause and will be honored at a live global telecast in
December with Anderson Cooper. This week is the "medical marvel' category!

PLEASE go on-line and vote and if you wouldn't mind, please, please,
please share this email with all of your friends, co-workers,
students, etc. The more exposure Planting Peace has, the more we will
be able to do in de-worming the world of this parasite that destroys
so much of the nutritional intake of already malnourished children.

Together WE can make a difference!
The link to cast your vote is

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank each of you again
for your generous contributions. Since the airing of the CNN Hero
segment, we have raised enough money for almost two million de-worming

From the bottom of my heart I appreciate all of your giving, your
blessings and your letters of encouragement. Together we ARE going to
make a difference.

May peace be your step,
Aaron Jackson

Friday, October 05, 2007

Our Anniversary!

Today is Brandon and my 4 year anniversary! It is hard to believe that 4 years ago we were in Saratoga dancing the night away at Longfellows! Next year we hope to celebrate there!
Four years we ago we could have never imagined the path our life would have taken. In the course of our Marriage we have been to Hawaii, Mexico, China, Haiti, and All across the USA. Were not finished yet though! Of course we always talked about adopting. But never would I have imagined the 2 amazing daughters that we have been blessed with. God truly had a plan for us. From the day 8 + years ago that we met at a Buffett concert to now, I couldn't be happier. I can honestly say that Brandon has fulfilled every one of my dreams! Now we just cannot wait to sell our house and move back to NY to have all three girls together.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Still getting the house ready

Hopefully the house will be on the market tomorrow! We have found a few houses in LI that we really like. One in particular. It has an apt. that comes with it that would be great for my cousin, who is living with us. It is also a block from a lake and next to a state park. It reminds me of a small town in Michigan! Please pray that our house here sells fast. We are planing on a house finding trip at the end of this month! We want to get moving!
The girls are doing great. Lilly is almost 2! We are planning on a pumpkin patch trip for her birthday. Rory is really feeling like a part of the family now. Even fighting for her toys with her sister. They are really sisters now!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I know a lot of adoptive families read my blog and I wanted to bring something to their attention. There are twin girls at Lilly's orphanage that really need a home. They will be 7 years old the day after Lilly's turns 2. They are not at the orphanage yet, until they find a family. The girls mother passed away and their father is not involved at all in their life. They live with a family in their village that they are not related to. These people say they cannot afford to care for them anymore. I worry about what will happen to them if they do not find a family soon. Slavery and child prostitution is not a uncommon thing in Haiti. They are beautiful girls with big smiles. I pray that they can find a safe and loving home soon. If anyone has an interest in these girls of knows of anyone who could be interested please take a look at the PAC site for more information.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Busy packing

Sorry I haven't been updating! We have been diligently trying to pack up the house to make it presentable for the real estate market! I never realized that you shouldn't live in your house when selling it! The girls are down to 1 basket of toys and a excersauser and a bouncy riding zebra thing that says YAHOO! and gallops. Lilly adores this thing! My little cowgirl! Now she just needs a pink cowboy hat and to start singing Kenny!
Not much else is happening this week. Oh yeah I turn 32 on Sunday. All my friends wanted to take me out. I however convinced them that it would be much more fun to come over and have wine and paint! I want to get this house sold fast! What can I say. I was thinking last night about how excited I am to get to have all our girls together. We all miss Alexei. Lilly kisses her picture when she sees it. Oh wait now we have no pictures. We are ghosts! No one lives here!!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We Are Moving!!!

Brandon was offered a management position at The Weather Service in Long Island. So we are moving back to NY! We should be there sometime in Nov./Dec. We will miss out Utah friends deeply. This is a great move for us however, this is 2 hours from Alexei lives. She will get to see her sister all the time! Brandon is closer to his reserve location for the NAVY and it will be easier to see both of our families.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Getting settled

Everything here is getting back to a more normal routine. Lilly and Rory are getting used to being together. Now if we could just get them sleeping in the same room! Sleep is still varied. One night Rory will sleep through from 10 to 7, and the next night she is up every hour. We don't want them to wake each other but it is starting to drain our energy!
We were supposed to be on out Free dining Disney trip this week. It is sad thinking where we should be right now. However I am not too sure it would have went well for Rory. Stability is good for her right now. It does give me a chance to start planning another trip. I am planning a huge PAC reunion trip for next fall. I am very excited to see all those Haitian babies at Disneyworld! How cute will they be! I am also trying to figure out a way to go in February or April. I am having withdrawal symptoms!
And on a happy note, I am so thrilled to tell you that 2 children from PAC came home last week. Jeff and Jon both went home with their families.
Also this week Tamar and Tessa will be going home to Georgia with their family!
I am so happy for them.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

For those in the adoption comunity

I feel that recently I have been hearing of a lot of people not wanting to adopt from Haiti because their families or they themselves are worried about travel etc. So anyway I posted this on RQ site (a china adoption site that has other countries on it now as well) There was a discussion about how you shouldn't adopt from Haiti because of various reasons stated above. This just breaks my heart.

I have to proudly state that I completely disagree with everything that has been said. I spent a total of 5 weeks in Haiti during the adoption process. I felt safe the whole time. Haiti is very poor and it is sad what you will see. However the people are AMAZING! We have been to the beach, to Church, to the shopping area and to the grocery store MANY times. As far as no trips back I have been twice and already am thinking of taking Lilly back to visit. I speak to the Orphanage director as well as other moms from the Orphanage that Lilly is from daily. We know if we adopt again it will be a haitian child and from the same orphanage. Another important thing to note is that Very often you can meet the birth parents. You will know more about your childs medical history and you can keep in contact with their birth family!
We had our baby home 8 months to the day I first called about her. Most people have a year to a year and a half wait to bring their child home. Yes, you do know who your child is most if not all of that time. However you will usually get your referral when or even before your dossier is turned in. So the wait is still half that of China if not a third of China's wait. Knowing your child and not being their every minute is torture for you in one respect. However there are no questions about how they are or what they are doing all day. Depending on the orphanage you choose to work with, it is possible to visit whenever you want. We have parents at our orphanage that visit once a month. And there are always new pictures and information about your child. You will see them grow. Lilly had NO adjustment issues when coming home. I spent a month their when I went to pick her up. Yes, that is longer than normal. However I think being with My DH and I and going to the Orphanage daily really made a difference in how she dealt with leaving. By the time we left I WAS HER MAMA and she was totally ready to go home. You can always ask questions about your child. Even if I called today and said when you had her did she do ..... they could tell me. In China we got nothing. Absolutely nothing! They handed us Rory and left. We figured it out, and after 3 days of screaming and greiving so much we were worried about her stability as well as our sanity. It did get better. But man I wish I could ask them questions over there!

If anyone has questions I am more than happy to answer then. Please don't rule out the children on Haiti because you heard that it is a scary. Inner cities are far more dangerous that a guest house in Please feel free to look at my blog and read about our journey.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lilly's Big Day!!!

Tomorrow Lilly will officially become a United States citizen. We are completely thrilled that the final step in her adoption will be over tomorrow. From day 1, a year and a half ago there has never been any doubt in our hearts where she belonged. Tomorrow it will be complete! Her new US Birth certificate will read Lillian Chrystelle Rain. Thank you God for bringing the Lilly Monster into our lives! It will never be the same in our home. I don't know how we ever lived without attack kisses?

Friday, September 07, 2007

At Home

I thought I would give a little update on being home. Rory is doing great. After her serious grieving in Changsha, she seems to be a new person. She is quiet and Happy. Always smiling, unless she is hungry or dirty! She loves to babble and thinks everything is great. Brandon says she is like ut dog Molly. "Oh, a block MY FAVORITE! Yeah Mommy, MY FAVORITE! Look at shoe, MY FAVORITE! It is very fun to watch her explore.
Lilly is doing much better with her sister. She is very protective over her. I did have to step into a little tiff yesterday over who's wooden spoon it was. Lilly wanted both, go figure! But overall I think they will have a good relationship.
Now for a few new Lilly adventures. While cooking dinner yesterday (I know not a normal occurrence) I turned around and there is miss Lilly STANDING IN THE CAT"S WATER! New stride rites and all. She just looked at me like it was perfectly normal. About an hour later after Brandon woke up (he worked nights this week) we are in the kitchen talking about the day and we look in the Family room and there's Lilly stirring my drink with the remote control. Needless to say we need a new remote. This one is fried now! We are looking at little kitchens now for her birthday. She loves to cook, just like her dad!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pictures from Chicago

This is one happy sister. This picture is of Alexei meeting Rory for the first time. We were at O'hare and we had just found Alexei and April .This is Alexei with her sisters! FINALLY!
April (Brandon's mom) brought Alexei out to my Parents in Chicago. It was her first time meeting Lilly and Rory. Lilly really seems to have taken to her!

I am a bit tired after 32 hours of travel but I assure you I was very happy to be sitting in my Dad's big chair with my babies.
Rory may be a mommy's girl but these two are all about their daddy!

We took Rory to Bucks for the first time! She sure likes bread. My parents friends own Buck's pit stop and it is a very important place for Brandon and I. It is among many other things where we got engaged.

The morning of the Baptism it sure was great to have a big sister around!
Our family with Pastor Bob at the girls Baptism.

Pictures from China

This is Rory landing at LAX!
Rory in her first crib in Changsha, Hunan Rory in the pool at the Dolton with Daddy.
Isn't that the cutest thing ever!

Rory sleeping on the bus after we got her.
I think all the crying wore her out!

Us with the director from PingJiang CWI. She had an ear infection and was so upset that we were kidnapping her!

The new dads with their girls

Me trying to comfort a sick and scared Aurora Grace.
She wanted no part of it.

This is Aurora Grace's first felony! We are so proud of her. She was a US citizen for approximatly 2 minutes! We are leaving customs at LAX and wanted a picture to remember it by. After we took this the customs officer said that he would let us keep the picture/camera but to not ever take another picture in there. OOPS!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We made it home!

We are finally home with our girls! We had a great visit at home. Alexei and Brandon's Mom flew in and all of my family got to meet the girls. The girls were baptized on Sunday and it was a beautiful service. I will post pictures soon but our computer is not working soI am borrowing my cousins right now.
The girls are doing fine. Aurora seems to be adjusting to her home. Lilly is having an interesting time dealing with the split attention from mommy. She goes between caring for Rory (patting her head and Kissing her) to trying to sit on her and taking her pasi.ffier out of her mouth and plopping it into hers. She has never had a pasifier before so it isn't as if she needs one. I am sure it will be fine. I am trying to unpack and get the house in order too so forgive me for not posting much this week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

We made it to Chicago

We arrived in Chicago after 32 hours of travel! Lilly was a little mad at us at first but after a day she is doing wonderful now. She is very protective over her baby Rory. She likes to pat her head and hug her when she cries. Alexei met us here on Wednesday and we are finally all together as a family. It is such an amazing feeling.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Were coming home!

We leave tonight for America! We will post more about our trip once we are home.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

We are at the White Swan

This is the first time we have been able to post. We leave to go back home tommorrow! Rory has been with us a week now. She is so pretty. She has had a rough time getting adjusted to us. But now she seems fine. She is happy and laughs alot. We have shopped a ton. Lots of presents for everyone. Here are some pictures of the beauty queen!

Rory's 1st Pizza

My pretty hat

I finally get to wear my pretty dress

Daddy kissing Rory

Happy baby

New Daddies

Mommy and Rory