"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

To Tell of His Grace

Monday, March 11, 2013

Introducing.....Kaylee Grace Ting Johanson

She's here!!!! We met in the lobby at 2:00 with our entire travel group from Lifeline and drove to the Civil Affairs office. We walked in and as soon as we got to the 8th floor Kennady spotted Kaylee through the curtain in the playroom (they keep the children in a playroom and all of the adoptive families stay out in the big open room and you get called one by one). She was walking around and stood at the curtain and was looking right at us! I had to get my camera out and take a few pictures (which I wasn't supposed to do ;). She was in an Alabama cheer uniform...ha! Too cute! Our guides gathered us all together, had us get our paperwork out and then just as we were getting our cameras all ready they called us - we were first! Her orphanage director walked her out and I got down and scooped her up ;)  She was really whimpery at first and then as soon as we had to walk out away from the curtain (so other families could get their children) she started really crying - poor thing was just terrified. I could feel her little heart beating out of her chest. She would calm down for a while here and there but if I moved to walk to the other side of the room it would all start up again. She HATED the elevator ride - I had her in the carrier and she just about pushed her way out of it - both on our way down and when we went up in our hotel - too bad we are on the 27th floor! When we were in the Civil Affairs office, she watched EVERYTHING that went on around her - she paid attention to each child that was being adopted in our group - in fact, that was about the only time she's stop crying was when she became so fascinated with watching the other children cry...very curious and noticed everything that went on around us. She didn't like going to the busy supermarket with people everywhere and cried the first few minutes but quickly calmed down and just hung out in the carrier - I could still see in her eyes that she was terrified. So glad I have that carrier! She seemed to feel much more secure once we put her in it. She wouldn't really look into my eyes yet - she tried to avoid looking at me at all for the first little bit but then would check me out every once and a while. At first when I would tap her and say, "Kaylee, Ting-Ting" (they called her Ting-Ting) and then tap myself with her hand and say "mama" she would whimper...but by the end of the evening before she fell asleep she would just stare at me when I said it. We could not get her to eat a thing at all! I had to feed her with a syringe (with water and juice - which is what REbecca told me to try) --- but even with that she fought us so hard that I could barely get any in - her diaper was bone dry when we got her and she hasn't wet yet. Rebecca thinks that she will take a big bottle tomorrow. She is TINY! I mean so small -her little ribs stick out and her bottom is so small and boney - we are going to have to fatten her up ;)  But we quickly figured out that her size should not fool us...first we tried to clip her nails (which were like claws and so sharp and jagged) and she was seriously SO strong and fought us so hard that we could not cut them. Then when we tried to feed her with the syringe she used that same strength - crazy strong. But the second we stopped she would calm right down and lay back on my shoulder. Even though she was so sad and scared I feel like she knew she was safe with us - she seemed to accept that we were taking care of her. I feel like today went GREAT overall - although we felt so bad for her little heart she made such progress in just a matter of a few hours! We are going to try to get her to take a little more liquids before we go to bed and we are praying that she will gulp down a bottle tomorrow!
In the lobby about to head out to the Civil Affairs office

Getting on the bus...

Walking up to the Civil Affairs office with our group...everyone is excited and ready!

This is what we saw as soon as we walked upstairs!!!

In a way too big cheer uniform ;)

She was just walking all around checking things out

Here she comes!

They just walked her out towards us

I reached for her

She wasn't too sure....she was already whimpering as soon as I got down to her level

And just kept on whimpering...she had some puffs in one hand and a plastic wrapper in her other hand - her little grip stayed so tight that neither the puffs nor the wrapper came out of her hand until we gave her a bath 4 hours later!

Sooooo... sad :(

Here we are with the Orphanage director and assistant director before they left

The big kids kept trying to calm her down and make her feel better

She just kept crying :(  She watched the director and assistant director leave and that just pushed her totally over the edge...she let out the loudest and deepest cry

After Brodie finished the paperwork he came over to try and hold her

Our big kids were troopers!

Mommy's trying to calm her...

Now Daddy...

She was truly deeply sad - poor girl! We felt so bad

Family picture!

On the bus going to the store...she didn't really cry - just whimper a bit here and there

She was very interested in all of the cars and people on the street - today was her first time so much going on

Heading to the store

Shopping - crazy! 5 families trying to get formula and diapers - people all around staring at us ;)

We got all that we needed!!! Plenty of water!!!
Rebecca (one of our awesome guides!) told me to give her a bath as soon as we got home - I had showed her Kaylee's hand - there was a rash on her hands and she wasn't sure if it may be scabbies or not so she wanted us to really scrub her down. Once she was bathed the rash cleared up :) She didn't love the bath - just kept doing that whimper thing she does. 

She seemed happy to be out :)

Rebecca also told me to rub her down with special lotion since her skin was so flaky and dry

All clean!

Much better!

Sitting with the toys - she really had no interest in them but whatever we put in her hand she would hold onto and not let go of

I could tell she was so tired but she was fighting it so hard - I finally got her to relax on me and she laid there for about 45 minutes

Finally out - what a SWEETIE! 

The big kids LOVE their baby sister! We think she's the best!!!
I can tell that she really has such a sweet side to her - she just kept laying her head on me and every once and a while she would pat my back (as I was patting hers). She also has such a strong side - which we LOVE! She knows what she wants and is not afraid to let us all know! And the second she gets it, she is fine - the big kids thought that was hilarious how quickly she could go from screaming her head off to calm ;) I think Kolson put it best tonight..."Kaylee is the best little sister ever!" We feel so blessed to FINALLY get to love on her. In some ways it really feels like she has always been a part of us - she didn't feel unfamiliar at all - I'm sure it's because the very One who knit her perfectly together has been knitting our hearts together all this time :) We are truly grateful! Please pray that this sweet one will eat tomorrow :)


  1. So happy for you guys! What a sweet post and such a sweet little girl...love all the pictures! Kaylee is truly blessed to be a part of your family!
    -Stacy Sundgren

  2. I am bawling at work!! I love her so much and she is PRECIOUS!! Praying for her constantly to feel peace, comfort, joy and love in your arms. Also praying you all get good rest tonight and have some special time together before you head back to the orphanage. We anxiously await each post....thanks for your diligence in posting for all of us back here!!

  3. I am with Ann....so choked up at work and amazed by that precious girl and her strength. The hardest part is over...the wait....now you have nothing but time to show her love and what a child should feel daily. So happy your family is all together and complete. Prayers for all of you and looking forward to the next update!

  4. She is adorable. Can't wait to meet her.

    Love you all,
    JoAnn Johnson

  5. I can hardly see the pictures with the tears in my eyes! You guys are such examples of God's heart! We're so proud to call you our dear friends! What a joy to see you 6 all together!!! May God's richest blessings fall and overtake your family...and little Kaylee feel like a precious Johanson :) Love you guys

  6. Wow! She is beautiful! We are so happy she is finally with you. Our family loves reading your posts and looking at the pictures everyday. I am crying tears of joy as I read your post today. Love the picture of the kids all on the bed looking at their precious sister. Praying she eats like a champ today.
    The Costi Family

  7. Amazing indeed, and thank you for sharing your journey. We are so happy for your family and Kaylee! Lot's of continued prayers for her to lose her to not be scared and to drink that bottle!

  8. What an amazing love story from God! So thankful she is with you (and think it's too funny she was in a cheer uniform...The Lord's sense of humor!) Praying for her to begin to attach and to know and believe how deeply cared for she is. Praying for wisdom and patience for you all as well.
    Much love, The Washburn Family

  9. What a blessing! God is good!
    The Bragers

  10. Woohoo!! Congratulations!! Soo happy for you guys!!
    I am always so touched and inspired to see all that God is doing through your precious family!!
    You truly are a picture of His heart... His hands and feet!!
    Continued prayers over all of you as you transition into being a family of 6!!
    Cannot wait to meet your precious Kaylee girl!! Blessings over all of you!! :)
    We feel so blessed to know you, and to be able to watch this beautiful story unfold!!
    <3 ~The Dodsons~ :)

  11. Trying to type as my eyes are filled with tears!! We are so happy for your family to be all together at last!! To read your posts and see all of your faces is truly a reflection of Gods love. Kaylee is so precious!! Feel so blessed to know your family and to be able to witness this amazing journey in your lives. Praying that she will finally eat for you and all of you are getting rest. Thank you for blogging, we look forward to it everyday.
    The Barsotti's

    1. We have enjoyed waking up in the morning to see what has been posted on your blog. Thanks for allowing all of us to experience through your pictures and your posts what your family is experiencing as you bond with Kaylee. The Joy of the Lord is evident in your family's faces and I know that before too long Kaylee will have that same joy that all of you have. I have really enjoyed the pictures of Jenny loving on Kaylee, the love you have for her is totally evident and it has moved me to tears... it is beautiful!! I'll never look at adoption the same as I did before following you in your journey. I got a chuckle over the cheer outfit and think it is God's humor and way of saying,"Kaylee, you were meant to be in the Johanson family from the beginning." Something you can share with her someday.:)
      The Alfheims

  12. I am just in awe that sweet Kaylee is in your arms!!! SO amazing! She is just precious and is going to change a little better each day. Your gotcha was perfect!!! SO happy for you and praying for you all! XOXOXOXO

  13. She's beautiful. Overwhelmed with emotion. Thanks for posting! Praying.

  14. What a perfect first 2 days with Kaylee! I have big crocodile tears of joy while reading your incredible blog. She is gorgeous! God is good ALL the time! Love to read the ordered steps and continuous answered prayers. ADORE the pic with your beautiful older 3 watching Kaylee so intently sleeping. The family of 6 photo is precious and the one of Kaylee on Jenny's chest is angelic. We will continue to pray for seamless transitions! Love you guys!-- Sheri