Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas day

Heather's first Christmas and she got just about everything that she wanted from Santa. She saw her Doll House through the stair rails and a huge smile broke out on her face. She also got the doll that she wanted and a convertible carriage/stroller for her baby. There were several other items but these were the ones that grabbed her interest right from the start. Each present we gave her to open initiated a question, Is this for Heather? She smiled each time she was told that the present was hers. Here are two videos of this magical morning.

Christmas afternoon it was off to Grandma and Grandpa's to join the rest of the family for the traditional Killackey Holiday dinner of Turkey and Ham and of course all the other staples of the Holiday. I'm always responsible for the mashed potatoes. I peeled, sliced, boiled, and smashed 10 lbs worth. Then loaded up the car with all of the presents for the nieces and nephews and a case of cold ones along with the mashed potatoes.
The dinner was excellent and no one went away unsatisfied. There were plenty of leftovers for everyone to take home and enjoy the next day. Then it was time for the gift exchange. Grandma took up a new hobby this year and knitted all the children and the girls caps and scarves. Everyone posed for pictures sporting there new winter wear though this was the one time last night that it appears Heather had had enough of picture taking. Karen and I had purchased silk outfits for our younger nieces so Heather, Brooke, and Libby changed into their chinese silk outfits to pose for pictures. They were all very cute in their attire. Heather is very much at home with her little cousin Brooke, she was even prepared to spend the night at Grandma's with Brooke and Nicholas but when we told her we wouldn't be there she quickly changed her mind and said she wanted to go home with us. Guess she's not quite ready for sleep overs yet!!

Christmas Eve 2009

Karen and Mom below and Karen, me, Heather, Mom and Dad above
Heather and Harper kicking back together
Harper in the kitchen


Our new friends and fellow travelers to China Chris, Catherine and Harper joined us Christmas eve at our house. Heather and Harper came home together from China and have seen each other several times since getting home. They are both doing so well and are both adjusting to being Americans.

Heather who spoke Chinese only just a few months ago is now speaking in English and when I attempt to speak to her in Chinese she says no I speak English. If I ask her in Chinese if she is Chinese she responds in Chinese, I'm American. Sure didn't take her long there. She was all excited about Santa coming tomorrow and kept talking about the baby and doll house that he would be bringing her.

Thanksgiving 2009

Each year we celebrate Thanksgiving with those of our family who are home for the Holiday. This year everyone was able to get together at my sister's house. All were happy to welcome Heather and it was as if she had always been part of the family. Here are a few pictures of all the kids gathered around the kids table enjoying their turkey and deep conversation.

What are you going to get for Christmas?
Whats Christmas?
Do you think they'll pass Health Care by the end of the year?
What's Healthcare?
I go to day care!!!
Who do you think will win the game today?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dressed for School

Heather showing off her outfit for her first day at Day care. She was excited to be going to school but sad that Mommy was returning to work. She said, Mommy no worke, Daddy worke......

Friday, October 30, 2009

10/30/2009 - Heather in her Halloween Costume.

Today Heather got dressed in her Halloween costume and was off to participate in a parade at the Day care center that she will be attending mid-November when my wife returns to work. She enjoyed visiting her future school and meeting the kids that she will be spending alot of time with soon. She was a bit nervous early on not really comprehending why all the kids were dressed in different outfits. She warmed up after a little while and did not want to leave.

Her english is coming along and she is speaking in whole sentences. Just this morning Karen went to Heather's room and asked her if she needed to use the bathroom, her response, I have already done that mommy. Karen smiled and gave her a high five.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

10/21/2009 - The Girls bake some cakes

My wife's best friend Adrienne from Canada came for a visit with her daughter Kate who is also three. They got along as well as any two toddlers will. Karen bought a cake mix and they decorated there own cakes. Of course they licked the knife and then applied the icing sampling as they went along.

Cake anyone??

Here's a picture of Heather applying frosting to her Pumpkin cake and below is a picture of Kate checking the frosting to make sure it taste just right.

And here are the end results beautifully decorated and fully vetted for great tasting frosting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10/20/2009 - Rockstars

Heather and Kate having a good time dancing to Pink "So what!".

Monday, October 5, 2009

10/05/2009 - First Haircut

I took Heather for her first haircut tonight. Her bangs were getting in her eyes. She sat still with a sucker in her hand while the beautician cut away. Here she is with her Pumpkin.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

09/24/2009 - Harper comes over for a visit

Just prior to our departure for China we learned that there was another couple in our group traveling to China who live just a short drive from us. Karen and I first met them at the check in line at the airport. We vowed that our daughters would have the opportunity to grow up knowing each other and we have already followed through on the beginning steps with a visit this week. Heather was happy to share her toys with Harper. Here's a picture of the girls on the front porch swing.

Here's a great picture of Heather gathering flowers. She has such a cute expression on her face in this one.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

09/20/2009 - Getting to know her new extended family

Heather has now met most of her cousins here in Georgia and will meet the others next weekend, they are just getting over colds so we agreed to wait until next week. She has won over everyone in the family so far with her winning smile and cute little giggle. Karen and I are feeling blessed every day and were especially blessed this morning :-) when she managed to sleep until 7am.....Yeah!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

09/15/2009 - Old McDonald

One song that Heather has sung from the first time we met her was Old McDonald had a Farm, which of course she was singing in Mandarin. Karen and I have responded to her cries of EIEIO with the English words to this song and today while taking a drive to our nearest Target she broke out in song IN ENGLISH!!!! She is such a clever little girl and is now singing her ABC's as well with a few misteps here and there but who can critize someone who only a few short weeks ago had minimal English exposure.

09/13/2009 - Over the Hurdle

We may have jumped the final hurdle last night concerning sleep deprivation. We went for a visit with my Aunt Lucy and on the way Heather fell asleep briefly but was soon awake and convorting around her house chasing the cats. She attempted to feed them her GoldFish crackers but only got one taker. We then went out for lunch where she was center stage at the resturaunt with everyone oohing and ahhing over her. After lunch we went to the playground in Aunt Lucy's neighborhood and she had a blast climbing and sliding. Once we got home she had somemore visitors so she missed her midday nap. When she went down for the evening around 5:30 she slept through to 4:30 which is encouraging and hopefully indicates that she has made it past the time difference, at least we pray this is so.... :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

09/10/2009 - Arrive Home from China

Heather was a very good girl during the entire flight home from China she slept most of the way. She then had her first experience with a car seat during the ride home. She became a bit restless but fortunately this only occurred within a few miles of our home. Tears were pouring out of her when we came into the house initially but after a short time with Mommy showing her around the house she settled down. We finally got her to bed around 2am and rested for just over an hour before waking up with tears and screaming. Mommy got up and played with her until 5 am at which time I relieved her until 10am allowing Karen to get some well deserved rest. I then took my turn to get some sleep from 10 to about 5pm and now the whole family is up and its about 3am on September 12th. I guess you might say our internal clocks are confused but Heather's schedule will adjust over the next few days (we hope) allowing us to resume our normal schedules. Thankfully I have three more weeks off before returning to work and Karen is off until mid-November. Here is a picture of Heather sleeping in her bed for the first time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Here's a photo of the family, Pappa, Heather, and Momma. We were out for a
walk on Shaimen Island, which has been our home for the last eight days. We
are so looking forward to bringing our little girl home to our cozy home in
Georgia. It feels like we have been camping living out of suitcases. We have
had many beautiful outings on the Island and journeys into the city for
shopping and the opportunity to be immersed into the culture into which our
daughter was born.

This evening everyone in our adoption group joined us in our room for a little indoor get together and all the girls enjoyed playing together.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Today we visited the Guangzhou Zoo where we saw all kinds of animals with the exclusion of the Panda bears who were much smarter than the rest of us crazy people who were out in the heat. We are all finished with the Chinese side of the process and should have the US part of it done by Wednesday afternoon. I’m off to bed now the heat took all of my energy. Here are a few photos of our day today.



Saturday, September 5, 2009

Heather smiling

09/05/2009 -

Today had its ups and downs. First off we had our appointment for Heather’s medical  so we met the others in our group downstairs and she seemed to be fine with all the other girls around. When we got to the clinic she became unsettled but was quickly calmed down by an older lady doctor who either put the fear of God in Heather or reminded her of one of her caretakers, nonetheless she behaved from then on. She really has become attached to Karen in the last few days and it is so cute to see her reach for her mama. She enjoyed eating lunch with everyone and then coming in for a nap which was a little difficult since her normal nap time had already passed, perhaps next time we will just skip the nap if we are not able to keep to her routine. This evening after dinner down by the Pearl river we had a learning session with Heather teaching us how to pronounce Mandarin words for common items, fruits, vegetables, stars, the moon, and body parts and she demonstrated her ability to say name the items in English with our help. She is one bright little tike, watch out Georgia here comes Heather. Tomorrow we are off to the zoo, hopefully we will be able to see a Panda or two. See the picture here of Heather and I after a quick spin around the hotel lobby of Heather smiling, it truly is a beautiful smile when she shows it. As we pass people here we hear some of them commenting on how beautiful she is and we couldn’t agree more but then again she is our Princess.


Good night,

Tom and Karen


Friday, September 4, 2009



What a difference a day makes. Heather spent some quality time with Mommy today and when I came back to the room she was smiling. Mommy finally is enjoying some of what Daddy has been experiencing and Karen really enjoyed it. Heather has suddenly turned the corner and was all smiles this evening playing with her Momma and Pappa. We believe the beginnings of this change occurred yesterday when Karen drew a picture of a fish Heather started to draw fish too and drew a great big fish with a smiley face.

Karen wants everyone at Gwinnet Medical Center to know that Heather is enjoying the book “Goodnight Moon” even though it is in English. She is also enjoying the dresses and her favorite songs that Karen sings to her are “You are my sunshine” and “London Bridge is falling down”.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

09/03/2009 - Guangzhou

We went to the park this morning and Heather caught some fish in the little fish pond. She was the best fish catcher there even better than the little boys. We then came home and she was crying the whole way. Once we got into the room we played a Mickey Mouse video for her and she fell asleep while watching it. We then placed her in the crib where she slept for an hour and a half which is her normal nap time. Then we all went for a walk around the Island, Heather in her stroller watching everything. We have seen a big change this afternoon, smiles and playing with us drawing pictures and playing with play-doo. She is so good at putting things away after she is done. She is now pouring her drink into the cap and drinking from the cap. I believe we will have to get her a little tea set so that she can play hostess. To wrap this up all I can say is hooray!!!


See the picture here with Heather and I with the fish she caught.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Here is a picture of Heather sleeping. This gave Karen and I a break for a little bit, Heather has really been attached to me for the last few days but today she finally will let Karen hold her for longer than a few minutes.  Yesterday we bought some picture books showing both the English name and Chinese name for some common items. We showed the books to her last night and this morning while I was sitting with her she went to the books and brought one over to me. I noticed she was looking for something particular and she was saying che so I got her the book with cars, bikes, and a stroller in it when she saw the stroller she pointed to it and ran to the stroller smiling the whole way because she was able to communicate that she wanted to go for a stroll. Now this of course was not the first time we have gone for a stroll but she was so excited so we went out. She always wants to go out and today one lady told us she is looking for her sisters. She is missing the other girls so much and she has been looking for them every time we go out. Will have more updates later today.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday 08/31/2009

We finally meet Heather today. She cried for the first few hours but here and there we saw a glimmer of the sunshine to come. She let me hold her for a period of time but she really seems to be warming up to Karen. We were told by our agency guide and others that we met here in Guangzhou that she will adjust quickly and we should expect a different girl. She was pointing out the window and saying something that I couldn’t understand but when I said to her do you want to go outside in English she nodded her head, yes, so off we went for a stroll. Anyways I will be posting more pictures tomorrow but here’s one with her enjoying a lollipop.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

08/29/2009 - Great Wall of China

8/29/2009 - Karen and I taking a break along the great wall of China and a
group photo of others traveling in our group. The weather during our days in
Beijing was very beautiful.

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Karen and I at Tinamen Square.

Emailing: IMG_2898

A beautiful day in Beijing. Our group standing on a beautiful very old
marble bridge crossing a canal that was used to bring lumber and other
materials used to build the Forbidden City. We arrived by Rickshaw and were
on our way to have lunch in a Courtyard House in the Hutong Quarter.

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Back entrance to the Forbidden City.
Friday 08/28/2009 - Toured Tinamen Square and Forbidden city. Took a Rickshaw ride through HuTong quarter and had a wonderful lunch in a Courtyard home family style.

08/30/2009 - Temple of Heaven (Beijing)

We visited the Temple of Heaven in the morning and then departed for Guangzhou. Here are some photos of our visit. Our flight to Guangzhou was delayed by 3 hours due to storms at our destination, unfortunately we were already on the plane and out on the runway when we were notified of the delay. So our 3 hour flight became a 6 hour one. I will give credit though to China Southern, they kept the drinks coming and even provided a meal while we waited for approval from ATC to take off.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

08/29/09 - Visited the Great Wall of China. The group was up to the challenge climbing up one very steep section. We had the opportunity to attend an acrobatic show at the Beijing Theater located close to the Olympic Stadium (Bird's Nest). I will provide photos later. Tomorrow we are flying to Guangzhou were we will meet our daughter on Monday at three.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Getting ready!!

We have just about everything done and will be packing tomorrow in preparation for departure on Wednesday. We are looking forward to having Heather in our arms but dread the trip.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We depart in 7 days for China

We are getting very excited here in the Killackey household. We have been very busy getting everything ready for Heather. We will be leaving August 26th for China to bring her home. To date we have received pictures and short video clips of Heather and we cannot wait to hold her in our arms on August 31st for the first time.
Karen and I love the bib she is wearing though we plan not to spoil her it will be tough nonetheless.