Bree Mei age 4yr

Bree Mei    age 4yr







Thursday, August 26, 2010


Monumental day in the Hoffman household....all three girls at the same school...YEAH!
Brynn began sixth grade, Brooke began third grade and Bree started PreK. Since it takes us 30 minutes to travel to their school, the same drop off and same pick up is glorious! Bree was so excited this morning, despite having to get up at 6:30a. She kept repeating "its my first day of school, I am so excited". She told everyone that her new school is "Gesu, like my sisters". Doug and I are taking a leap of faith taking Bree out of the special needs preschool since she will not recieve OT and PT. She has made such excellent strides physically with her feet and legs. She amazes us every day. Fortunately, since Gesu is private, her class is very small thus far, with only six children. Since Bree has been "a regular" around Gesu for the past two years, she is very well known. She recieved a ton of attention today from teachers, parents and students which helped reassure us that we made a wise decision. We met with her PreK teacher after school today to explain that we have never treated Bree as if she has a disability, but in reality she does. She is beginning to notice that she cannot run like other children and has been asking lots of questions about "why she doesn't wear AFO's like me." We ask for God's blessing for guiding us in raising Bree with a good self esteem (something she seems to be mastering thus far!) The PreK teacher related to us that during circle time she told the students to "criss cross applesauce" with their legs. Bree looked at her and said "I can't do that." Her sweet teacher said "thats right you can't so you can keep your legs out straight". When Bree did that, the four other girls decided that they should sit like Bree! God love four year olds. Of course now we will be making more frequent trips to our private OT and PT to ensure that Bree is staying on track with her progress especially her right knee.


Last weekend our beautiful Brynn turned 11. What a sweet, compassionate child of God she has become. She celebrated with a movie themed sleepover party with her closest friends. I think the best part of this age is even though they managed to stay up until Brynn was born (12:38 a.m.)they slept in until 9:30 a.m. Of course I suppose the two hours they spent swimming in the pond might have exhausted them a bit! And boy can sixth grade girls eat....dinner, snacks, breakfast and lunch kept me busy in the kitchen. We praise you and thank you Lord for giving us this gift of a child.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


All I can say is WOW! Two years ago today Bree Mei joined our forever family. We celebrated with a day at the park, shopping and then out for a nice Chinese dinner. When the waitress was taking drink orders, the older girls ordered a sprite. I told Bree no sprite for her, she could have lemonade or water. She looked at the waitress and said "I'll have coffee"! What a hoot. The waitress said she would bring something special for Bree and that she did...a Shirley Temple in this huge white ceramic glass shaped like a cat (?) with a large pinwheel attached. Bree was in heaven. Now as I watch her sleep I marvel at how far Bree has come and the obstacles she has overcome. She will begin preK in exactly one week. It is amazing to watch her develop independence and master some of the physical limitations. Thank you God for entrusting us with this precious gift. I pray that Bree's biological mother and father know in their hearts that she is happy and healthy and so incredibly entwined into our beings. God Bless

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Santa had brought the girls new bikes for Christmas. With the weather in northwest Ohio, bike riding just doesn't occur much before May. We figured what a perfect opportunity to get the girls riding on their new bikes this weekend while camping. Well, I am definitely not a bike master- my bike as described by Doug hails from Alice on the Brady Bunch! So, now we have decided, daddy should have explained the front braking mechanism better to Brynn. Add this to the scenario of lots of other biking kids, golf carts and slow moving vehicles and you have a recipe for disaster. I looked up just in time to see Brynn catapulting over the handlebars, landing facedown and seeing her bike travel over her entire body. Mommy mode is immediately replaced with doctor mode. Fast forward to this morning and I am pretty sure her left wrist is broken. Actually figured it might be last night, but her pain control was fine. So we ran back to Toledo and I got a quick xray which confirmed the fracture. Not a bad one, but not exactly a just splint and go about our day one either. So, down to the ER we went where two very nice orthopedic PA's came and proceeded to explain that her bone would have to be "pushed" back into place. Brynn's first IV with conscious sedation (gotta love those meds-only wish I could have had some so I didn't remember the entire procedure!!). So we are now splinted until casting next week. Four hours later we returned to our campsite and tried to salvage the day. Can you say waterproof cast!! Oh, and just for all those wondering.....Yes she had a helmet on!! unlike the majority of kids in this park.


A couple of months ago we fulfilled another dream of ours to get a camper. This weekend is our "maiden voyage". Not far from home, just up into Michigan by 30 minutes to a nice place called Harbortown. Lots of fun stuff for the kids to do-miniature golf, go karts, bike paths, heated outdoor pool etc. Fortunately, the weather is supposed to stay beautiful all weekend. The girls are so excited to stay in their bunkhouse complete with a TV and DVD player (as my one nurse said-you aren't camping, you are going in a hotel on wheels!) I grew up camping, first by tent then by truck camper and finally by a travel trailer. I am not ashamed to say that I feel no need to rough it at my age! And by the looks of some of the campers at this campground, they aren't roughing it either!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


" Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5: 1

Yesterday was a special day for our Brooke as we celebrated her First Holy Communion.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


With Bree's actual birthday falling on Easter Sunday this year, we waited a week to celebrate her party with family and friends. When asked what kind of party she wanted it was hands down Dora. We figured she would be a natural for Ni Hao Kai Lan but although she enjoys that show it is the Spanish senorita who wins her heart over! Dora is no stranger in our home. Brooke had two Dora birthday parties in a row (plain Dora for her 4yr and princess Dora for her 5 yr). So, Bree has had plenty of exposure with lots of Dora DVD's and toys. The other day the older girls and I overheard her counting, two, three, four, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, ten! It was so cute!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Coloring eggs. Tried a new "Martha Stewart" way this year- don't quite think ours turned out good enough to be in her magazine. But, we had fun doing it anyhow.

Our Easter Beauties. Finally, a sunny and warm Easter Sunday in northwest Ohio.

Definitely a busy day. Egg and basket hunt at our house first then again at mema's house with all the cousins.


Happy Easter to all our family and friends. As we embark on this joyful season, we strive to teach our girls that the real reason we celebrate isn't about easter bunnies and chocolate rabbits, but rather it is about one simple statement.....HE IS RISEN! Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for the amazing gift that He gave us.
This Easter has a second special meaning to us as Bree's birthday fell on Easter Sunday. What a wonderous day to celebrate another gift that He gave to us.


Eight years ago on March 26th, 7:19 p.m., Brooke entered our lives. She was actually due on March 28th (my mom's birthday), but because Brynn was such a big baby (8# 11oz), I elected to be induced a couple of days early so I could walk a bit easier after this delivery! Out she came, much easier I must say, but when they put her on the scale....8# 10 oz. And my mom quite clearly stated at that point "you mean we induced before my birthday to save one ounce"! Oops- oh well- who knew I could have such large babies. Must have been all the ice cream I ate during my third trimester.
We celebrated this year with a big party on the 27th. The theme we worked on for months....a Detective/Suspect party complete with a magnifying glass cake and a 15 riddle scavenger hunt. Having daddy as a real detective helped with many of the props! We love you Brookie!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Bree and her friend Lily---true China dolls!

Our local FCC (Family of Children from China) chapter hosts a New Year Party every year. Last year Bree was still in casts at this time-this year she ran the restaurant! I grew up with Chinese food being my favorite-now, finally, I have someone to enjoy it with me. Brynn and Brooke just haven't acquired the taste yet. I am, however, by no means an adventurous chinese scorpions on a stick, no fried frog legs, no whole shrimp with beady eyes staring at me....just good ole cooked shrimp, fish, dumplings etc. At the end of our dinner, the girls all got ice cream, I was still eating my meal, I looked away for a second and returned to my plate to find Bree's ice cream cone on it and my egg roll in her mouth. Not going to argue that!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Tonight was the annual Father/Daughter dance at the girls' school. The theme for this year was "Oscar Night" and they were to dress as divas! After a busy afternoon at the zoo for their cousins birthday party, we shot home to get them ready. Bree decided that she should be able to go with them and just couldn't understand why she couldn't. She began to cry as they readied to leave...and I mean cry. She hasn't cried for me like this since the first 45 minutes she was in my arms in China. I finally, after 20 minutes, had to bribe her with chocolate chips to get her to calm
her down. When all else fails with this child---chocolate is the answer! Just like her momma!


Just a cute picture of Bree and some of her classmates on a recent pajama day at preschool. Her best playmate is Elaina standing next to her.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Brooke loves to be in the kitchen. With some of her bday money from last year she bought an apron/cook set (which doubled as her Halloween costume!) With some of her Christmas money she bought a cookie baking set. So the other night we set out to use her new stuff. I mixed up a half batch of sugar cookie dough (I mean really, a whole batch made over three dozen cookies and we all know that after decorating half who the rest of the decorating would fall on....). Brooke really went to town and did so much of the process on her own, including cleaning up!


With our vacation behind us it was really grind time for the holiday. We did our usual family get together at Doug's parents Christmas Eve after attending the childrens Mass at church. Absolutely love to get our holiday photo of all the "girl cousins". Bree was much more into presents this year. She understood the Santa thing, but we really tried to instill in her the real reason for the season! Santa brought her a mini trampoline and Brynn and Brooke new bikes.
We finally cracked and bought them a Wii (it might be more for Doug though!!!)
The last pic of Bree is not of disgust, but of determination trying to get the ribbon off her present!
We hope everyone had a Joyous Christmas Season and revel in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.


We had a beautiful day in Honduras, going to Tabyana Beach for the day. Ocean was beautiful and the sand luxurious. Bree could have sat and played in the sand non -stop.

Some other pictures of fun on the ship
Dear Family and Friends
We are so happy to share with you this wonderful journey we are taking to bring home our daughter

Those beautiful rosebud lips!