New Family Pictures

Last week I suddenly realized that our new family of 5 had not had any professional pictures made!! I also then realized that my sweet Tulah would be getting her casts very soon, and I really wanted to have some  great pictures of her now.... she will be in casts for the greater part of the next year (for her feet first, then for her hips).

Lucky for me, my sweet friend Cassy, is a fabulous photographer and squeezed us in at the last minute. It was REALLY hot and a storm was on the way, so we had to act fast, but I think they turned out great!!

Here are a few of my favorites:)

P.S. Michael wanted everyone to know that he shaves his head on purpose and that he is NOT going bald!! LOL!!


Happy 2 months "Gotcha"!!!!!

Can't believe it has already been 2 months since we became a family of 5!!!

 Happy 2 months Gotcha Day my sweet Tulah!!!!


My Beauty Queen.....

 We are a very blessed family.... for many, many reasons!! One of those reasons is that we (well....my parents) have a small house at the beach. We LOVE it!! And, we try and go every time we get a chance, especially in the summertime!!

Our house is in a campground. It is a wonderful place... family friendly and Christ-centered. There are tons of activities going on all summer long, but during the 4th of July holiday, there are lots of extra special things going on. 

 Extra things like a huge parade, and a beauty pageant. Because of course, what parade is complete without a beauty queen??

We always have a great time going to watch the parade. But this year, my Zoee girl wanted more. She wanted to be IN the parade. As in, "I wanna win the beauty pageant and ride on the top of the car in the parade".

 Oh. My.

Mama here doesn't know a thing about beauty pageants. And NEVER,  have I imagined EVER, being involved in one.  But my girl really wanted to try it. And, this was a very small pageant, that wouldn't take much preparation, or cost very much to enter!

So, I agreed to let her do it. She entered the pageant. And, her proud daddy was her escort.

She did great.  And, she was absolutely beautiful!!!  
(A biased opinion, I am sure!!)

She walked across the stage just as she practiced, posing and smiling at the judges along the way.

 The director of the pageant introduced her, and asked her a question.

"Zoee, who do you most want to be like when you grow up and why"?

And she answered, " When I grow up, I would want to be like my mom. She is really nice, I love her and she is a really good mom"!!!

(Sniff, sniff.... enter mama tears here!!!)

 I thought she would be all nerves and honestly, I wouldn't have been surprised if she would have wanted to back out at the last minute.

 But, she didn't. She displayed confidence and grace. And for the youngest girl in her category, and her first pageant, she did great!!!!!

 In the end, 
she didn't win the pageant...
or get to ride on top of a car in the parade...

BUT, to us,

She definatley deserved a crown!!!!

Though it can surely hurt a mama's heart to see her baby's feelings hurt, it turned out to be a great opportunity to reiterate to her, that our real beauty and worth is only found in Christ.... not what clothes we wear, how our hair looks, or what shoes we have on.

 Zoee, your beauty radiates not only on the outside, but on the inside too!! You are such a smart young lady, and the best big sister ever!!! You make mama and daddy SO incredibly proud!!


Praise the Lord!!!! MRI results are back!!!!!

Wow! I was not expecting to hear anything about Tulah's MRI results until our appointment on Friday, but the Dr. just called with the results! There is absolutely no spinal cord or nerve damage to prevent her from being able to have the hip surgery she needs!!!  This is a HUGE praise!!! Apparently there are some circumstances in which any nerve, or damage to the spinal cord, would prevent the hips from staying in place, therefore surgery wouldn't be an option. We were certainly praying that this would not be the case for Tulah! And prayers were answered!!!! Thank you all so much for your prayers!!!! Prayer is powerful!!!

The MRI did show a very tiny cyst in her spinal cord called a Syrinx. We have been referred to a neurosurgeon to  evaluate this cyst. The Dr. thinks that because it is so very small, that this won't require any treatment, just monitoring. We will see a neurosurgeon on August 7th to look into this further.

God is good, all the time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Post MRI Update

Tulah went in around 10:00 this morning for the MRI of her spine. She did really great with the exception of really wanting a banana this morning, and NOT understanding why she couldn't have it: :(( My poor baby!! However, we managed to distract her enough to get her mind off of that until it was time to take her back. They weighed my sweet girl and we are still at 18 pounds. I thought for sure after vacation, she would have put on  a few pounds... I know I sure did!!

They let me stay with her until they got her off to sleep, which only took a few minutes. I then headed back to the waiting room to wait. A big THANK YOU to my mom for going with me to help out and keep me company!! The test took right at 2 hours to complete and then they took her to the recovery area where my mom and I got to meet back up with her. I was really anxious to see my baby and get her in my arms.

She was happy to see us, but really unhappy with all her "connections". She wanted to get rid of her IV, all of her EKG leads and her pulse ox monitor ASAP!! She also downed a cup of apple juice in record time and thoroughly enjoyed that banana from this morning!! By the time we were allowed to leave, she was back to her smiling self!

Here is a {not very good quality} picture of her waking up in recovery:

I really thought that we would come home, get her a little more to eat and then she would rest. NOT!! That anesthesia put her to sleep for the MRI, but has kept her awake for hours and hours. I honestly don't know how she is still going!! I even packed her up for a car ride... that always puts her to sleep. Every time I looked back to check on her she would just wave at me and say, "Hey mama"! It's now 11:30 and I *think* she is finally resting, hopefully for the night!!

Thank you all for your prayers! They mean so much! Everything went smoothly and safely today, and those are surely answered prayers. Still praying to hear results by Friday, or hopefully sooner, and will post another update then.


Tulah Update & Prayer Request

As impossible as it seems, it has been 55 days since The Hatley Home expanded!! 55 days ago, this scared and unsure, little, tiny girl was placed into my arms.

I can't believe it's already been almost 2 months! The time goes by so fast, and all of my babies are growing up. I can't tell you guys just how GREAT Tulah has adjusted and settled into our family. We just returned from our annual family beach vacation, and you would never know that this was Tulah's first vacation with all of our crazy bunch! She fits right in!! Although, she has no problem letting anyone know when something isn't going her way!! And she will tell you loudly and in Chinese!!! And, in an attempt to lower that sweet, but very loud Chinese voice, she usually gets what it is that she wants... and pretty quickly!!

Though she still expresses her frustration in Chinese, her English is getting better all the time. I still can't believe all the things that she can understand and repeat. She knows ALL of our family members by name ( us, her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins!!) She can say "no" extremely clearly, as well as "stop that"!!! The last 2 weeks her favorite sayings have been "Come on" and "Time to go"!! And...... sniff, sniff, she is finally able to say "I love you, and I love you mama"!!!!!!!!!! Oh my, the first time she said that to me, I melted to the floor with joy! It was just SO sweet! I could not even begin to count how many times I have whispered this to her since the very first moment I saw her, so for her to say it back to me literally took my breath away. One day soon, I have to try to record her saying this.... it's just so sweet I want to remember it like that forever.

 This was her very first "look" at the beach. Just taking it all in!!!

 Getting brave and letting BaBa walk her down to the water. Look at that expression on her face! She is taking in all this "new", and seeing more of God's beautiful creations every day. 

 First time sitting in the ocean water!!! She LOVED it!!! Couldn't get her away from it!!

And finally a few 4th of July Pics for our newest American!!!! There are lots more of these to come in a post soon! I promise!!

Thank you Lord, for placing this precious child into our family. Thank you for allowing us to love her and raise her as our daughter.  Thank you for entrusting her to us, that we might teach her about you, and how you knew her, loved her, and had a perfect plan for her, long before anybody in this world knew.

Please send your prayers up for Tulah in the morning. She will have a 3 hour MRI of her spine tomorrow and she will be under anesthesia during the procedure. I am praying that she won't be too upset in the morning about a certain "missing" breakfast (she can't eat or drink after midnight tonight). I am also praying for the anesthesiologist and the MRI tech, that Tulah would be able to rest and be still to get the images that they need for this test. I pray that she responds normally to the anesthesia and doesn't have any side effects from it. And , most of all, I am praying that the MRI is totally normal!! We will likely not hear anything about the results until our follow-up appointment with the surgeon on Friday. On Friday, based on the results from the MRI, we can start a plan for her extensive orthopedic treatment. I will be sure to keep you all updated on the MRI results and the plan!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for all of your prayers for our family and especially for Tulah!!!!!!