Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Praise the Lord - it is amazing what a little love and affection can do to change the life of a child. Jenna is doing so well - she has her own little vocabulary, and just knows her way around. Of course, her big sissy has showed her the ropes. Madison said to me just a few weeks after we returned home from China "Mommy, how does Jenna know how to do everything already" - I had just said to the girls "let's get ready to go" and "go" to Jenna meant get her shoes on and that is just what she did. She is such a cutie pie, so happy and just full of life - nothing at all like she was when we first met her - we want to thank each and every one of you who prayed for our little angel - prayer is so powerful!

Just to give you an idea of the things this little 2.4 year old knows already: she can say her name "nenna" instead of Jenna but we know what she is saying; of course knows how to say "sissy, mommy, daddy, pappa, G-daddy, gamma, cole (cousin), corney (for Courtney her cousin), K-lyn and A-lie (for Kaitlin and Hailie her cousins). She also knows how to say, booboo, eat, hungry (her two favorite words with the exception of mommy) shoes, oline (for trampoline), potty, byebye, luv you (just melts my heart to her hear say those two words). And she copies any and everything we say and do. It is so cute sometimes to see her prop her feet up like her daddy does when he leans against the stove sometimes. She also tells us when it is "night night" time and when she wants her "milkmy".

We all just love her so much and to see Jenna and Madison together just warms our hearts. Madison has already decided she will one day adopt a little girlie - not sure from where but she definitely wants to adopt and is ready to go back and get more little girlies if God calls us take another journey. Madison has blossomed into such a wonderful big sister - We are so proud of her and how well she has adjusted to having a new little sister in the house. She is such a big help!

Feel free to view the updated photos of our girlies on the photobucket - I plan to post more soon.
Blessings, Teresa, Rick, Madison and Jenna

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Linda Cole, Teresa's Mom, is hosting a floating Welcome Home/Happy 2nd Birthday Party for Jenna Sunday, June 17, 2007 at her house in Burgaw from 2:00 until 4:00. For directions, please email us at

We welcome you all to come out and celebrate with us! We would love for you all to come fellowship and celebrate Jenna's coming home.

The Gilberts


To Rick's Mom and Dad who helped us in so many ways and went with us to China to help us with the girls; to Teresa's family, mom, sisters, sisters-in-law, brothers, aunts, et cetera who helped us in more ways than words can express; to all of the people who have donated their hard earned $$; to all who have generously given their valuable time, time they could have been spending with their family, working, or doing something they enjoyed to help us with the many fundraisers we have hosted throughout this past year; to all of my sisters in the Glow Sunday school class at Northside Baptist Church who not only prayed for us and supported us throughtout this journey, but also took up a collection to help purchase much needed supplies for the orphanage, left special welcome home gifts for our family and so much more; to all of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have prayed for our Jenna, our family, Jenna's wonderful big sister Madison and for our safe travels; to our family and friends who have listened to us moan and grown about the grueling wait, helped us in more ways than one can imagine, and who have loved and supported us throughout this journey; to all of the wonderful people we have met going through the adoption process - we say THANK YOU! Words cannot express how grateful we are for all of you and for all you have done for us. May God Bless you all and your families for your generosity and hope you all know how you have blessed our family!

The Gilberts

Friday, June 1, 2007

Poppy and Grammy's house

Wow, look what Madison caught!

Jenna touching the fish daddy caught.

1st boat ride, Jenna did great!

Jenna didn't like walking on the grass.

The girls are having a great time at Grammy and Poppy's house. Madison has been itching to go fishing all day and actually caught a large mouth bass on her spongebob fishing pole which was only 1 inch shy of being supper. Rick, on the other hand, caught a large mouth bass that was a keeper - Jenna even touched it. She is pretty laid back and does about anything once. She didn't seem to be bothered by the boat ride, even when Poppy kicked it in high gear for Madison. Jenna was a bit intrigued by the feeling of the wind on her feet.

We let her walk in the grass, which she did not like. She didn't want to walk in the grass at all. Probably never felt grass under her little toes before.

We are learning more and more about Jenna every day. Her first shopping experience today was at Walmart. She likes to throw her dolly on the floor and watch us pick it up, so we started showing her how to pick it up herself. We discovered that she didn't know how to bend or squat to pick up things from the floor. As Grammy was grocery shopping, Madison and I taught Jenna how to bend over at the waist to pick up her dolly.

As Poppy, Grammy and I watched Jenna play with her leggos we discovered, she probably does not even know how to crawl. She definitely does not know how to get up from a seated position. It is so sad thinking about the first two years of her life were spent either laying in the crib or sitting in the walker.

My heart just breaks for the children who are still in the orphanages not getting the love, care and stimulation they need to thrive and be happy. In retrospect, it is probably a good thing we were not allowed to visit the orphanage because I know I would want to take them all home with us.

I have really enjoyed blogging about our journey - I may continue to do so for a while.

Check out the photobucket - we have updated it with lots more pictures.


Back to the good 'ol USA!

Jenna playing with her legos

Madison feeding Jenna congee

Hello again,

We are finally back in the states. While we enjoyed our time in China, learning about Jenna's heritage and experiencing first hand how others in a third world, communist country live, we are so thankful to be back to our wonderful USA. This experience has been a major eye opener for us all. As Americans, we tend to be a "stuff" happy country. We never have enough "stuff", the right stuff or the newest stuff, the biggest and the best stuff. We are always searching for more "stuff". Most americans are guitly of this, incuding us. There are so many more important things to worry about like the millions of orphans whose basic needs (food, water, shelter and TLC) are not being met. This experience has helped us put things into perspective.

Our flight from Guangzho to Hong Kong was uneventful. However, the 14 hour flight from Hong Kong to Chicago was quite scary - there was so much turbulance - one of the worst episodes of turbulance was during our lunch, so our drinks were shaking around so much that most of it landed on the tray table instead of in our bellies. Who can eat after a white knuckle episode of about 15 minutes or so anyway.

Surprisingly enough, Madison and Jenna didn't have a clue. They played with their sticker books, ate snacks, enjoyed the scenary from the plane window. Madison slept approximately 60% of the time. Jenna, after about the first 6 hours was a little fussy. She was very tired and would fall asleep but could not get comfortable while sleeping and would wake up screaming. To top it all off, an older lady sitting in front of us on the 14 hour flight back home was not very tolerant of the kids. I knew we were going to have a problem with her from the very beginning - when she first found her seat she said "Oh no, we are going to be in front of them" I assumed she was talking about the kids since she was american. During our flight while Jenna and Madison were having such a good time with the sticker books, laughing, giggling and being silly, the lady leaned up and said "Some of us are trying to sleep". Well, most of you who know me know I do not typically "bite my tongue" but since Madison was right there, I didn't want her to see me lose it on this lady, so I bit my tongue. Rick, on the other hand, had smoke coming out of his ears - we couldn't beleive she would say something to us when the kids were laughing, not crying.

Oh well, Jenna gave her an earful of screaming a few times prior to landing! hee, hee!

When we got to Chicago, Jane and Gil's (rick's parents) luggage was taking forever to come down the belt - we found out later, one peice of their luggage never showed up. Two peices of our luggage were damaged.

As usual, we got stuck in traffic in Chicago - it took us 4 hours to get to Jane and Gil's lake house. Surprisingly enough, we beat them home. They flew from Chicago to Milwaukee but their flight was delayed and they had to file a claim for their missing luggage. Jenna, never fussed about the car seat, which was shocking. She actually slept in the car seat for about 2 hours.

We all made it back safely, which is the most important thing.

Jenna slept until about 9:30 this morning - about 12 hours. She was a tired girlie! Madison, on the other hand, was up at 4:00 full of energy.

As I am typing this message, I am watching Madison feed Jenna congee - they are both so happy and comfortable with each other - my heart is so full of happiness and joy seeing my girls together finally.

Thank you all for your support and prayers - we couldn't have made it through this journey without all of you!

Many Blessings,
Teresa, Rick, Madison and Jenna Gilbert

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's Official!

We are now officially a family of "4"

Me and my girls!

Happy Birthday, Rick!

The Gilbert Family

Soon we will be on our way back HOME, USA here we come!

Hello everyone. We have had busy few days here in Guangzho. The children had their physicals which was not fun for them, on Tuesday. Then, yesterday, we all went to the Consulate to take "oath" and to get the baby's visa and passports. All went well.

Now, we fly out this morning at 8:30 to Hong Kong and then to Chicago about 15 our flight. Please pray safe travel and that Jenna and all of the other children on the plane (probably about 50 families) will do okay. For most of them, this will be their first time flying.

Check out the photobucket, new photos posted last night.

Thanks to all who have followed our journey and prayed for our family. I will post updates periodically so all can see how well Jenna is doing.

Rick, Teresa, Madison and Jenna Gilbert

Monday, May 28, 2007

Guangzho Day 1

Do we have to do this?!?

Moving through the different check stations. Ears look good!

Hey guys were almost done!

Other families waiting at the Medical Examiners facility.

Sweet dreams, precious little one!

Our flight was very smooth from Nanchang to Guangzho on Sunday and Jenna did very well. Madison did a great job of keeping Jenna occupied with magazines, drawing and of course eating snacks.

We have been having some trouble here in Guangzho getting on the internet which is why we haven't posted any updates. I can get in to the site to post but can't see the site like you all can - very weird.

Anyway, yesterday we took Jenna to get her physical exam - she passed with flying colors. There were lots of other families there getting PE for their adopted children as well. It was heart wrenching as some of the children would not let go of their mommies, clinging on with both hands and legs due to fear of either the doctors or fear that the parents were going to leave them - very emotion experience.

Jenna's personality is really starting to come out more and more each day - Sunday, on the way to the hotel from the airport madison had her laughing and singing, which was the first time we'd heard her talk at all. Yesterday, she goofed off a little with mommy and grandma playing peekaboo and just being silly - it was just an awesome feeling to hear her laugh and sing.

When we got back from a very short shopping trip, Jenna finally made a poopy on her own. It wasn't very big, but we were all excited about it. I am a little concerned, though, now that the damn has broken (hee, hee) and we are gong to be out most of the day today.

Today, our guide will take our paperwork and fees to the Consulate where they will check to make sure everything is in order. She also will send off the paperwork for Jenna's Visa. Then on Wednesday, we go to take the oath at the Consulate which is the final step here in China.

Please pray everything will continue to go smoothly. We appreciate all of your prayers!

I will post more later.

The Gilberts