Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I am going back to work on Wednesday. I can't believe that two months have already gone by! I am so grateful for the time I was able to be with her. She has been going to "school" for the past few weeks for a few hours each day to get her ready for the transition. I hate that she is having to be on her own just when she is starting to bond. She really wants and needs to be held and cuddled a lot during the day. I know that she will have a little setback. She is already wanting her bottle more, and this morning she didn't want to try to feed herself. Hopefully, she will be ok soon.
There are so many things that kids her age do that she has never done before, so she gets a little overwhelmed sometimes, but she has decided she likes the sandbox and she likes to paint. She also likes popcicles!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
We have missed so many "first times" with Cara, but there have been plenty of new first times since she has come home. She had her first doctor's appointment, took her first bath and nap at her new house, and fed herself with a spoon.
We even had our first garage sale!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
PHOTOS AND FUN FACTS ABOUT CAROLINA!
Here - finally - our sweet baby Carolina!
We were going to call her Cara, but in China, especially when people talk to babies, they say things with inflection, kind of sing-song. When we called her Cara, she just didn't respond. When we called her by her full name, Carolina (pronounced Caro-leena) and stressed the leena at the end, she would turn and look and smile.
She is very funny, has a quirky sense of humor, and an adorable personality. She also has a temper, and absolutely lets you know what she wants and doesn't want. Right now, she wants lots and lots of food!
We had such a horrific plane trip home, I really can't even describe it - 15 hours from Hong Kong to Detroit, then 3 more hours to OK - all with a mean, nasty, Delta flight crew - they were so mean to everyone on that plane it was unbelievable! Anyway, as soon as the plane landed in Detroit and we were getting our luggage, she threw up all over Ron and started screaming. I had to take off all her clothes and put her in the sling with only her diaper. We made it off the plane, but we were now behind more than 300 people to go through Immigration. She had all of her Immigration paperwork in a folder so she could enter the US and become a citizen. While we were in line, she threw up again, all over me, and her Immigration folder. We finally made it through Immigration and Customs, but we still had 4 more hours to get home. When we got to OK we were so happy to be off that plane! Then, she had to be put in a car seat for the first time - hated it! Then we got home and the wild animal Jaxon was waiting for her. She screamed her head off like she was being chased by a pack of wolves. Now they love each other - she took a piece of plastic cake and put it in his dog dish today! The whole ordeal was quite traumatic for all of us.
Since we have been home, she has been having some temper tantrums and crying a lot. We are finally on a regular sleeping schedule, and she has slept through the night for the past 3 nights. The doctor said a strict eating schedule will also help. She is laughing more than crying now, and every day she is happier, so I think she is feeling more at home and more rested. I'm sure she misses her life and family in China, and can't understand what has happened. Overall, she is adjusting amazingly well, and seems to be pretty much on target with her mental and physical development. The doctor is still evaluating her, but he thinks the heart murmur will not need surgery, and may be even be completely closed.
Fun facts about Carolina:
1. She has 4 teeth, and likes to suck her left thumb
2. She likes to stand on her head, look at you and laugh
3. She might be a lefty - holds bottle, waves etc. mainly with her left hand. She took a pencil and tried to write with her left hand
4. She likes to tease - she will act like she is going to give you something and then take it and laugh. She especially likes to do this to Jaxon!
5. She loves clothes - every night in the hotel, she took every one of her outfits from the suitcase, looked at it, and put it on the floor. She gets very excited when I show her clothes at the store, or someone gives her clothes as a gift.
6. She hates headbands and bows - her hair was cut when she was 8 months old, so everyone thinks she is a boy. She doesn't like them, but since all little girls here wear one, she is in training. She will now wear a headband for about 2-3 hours (people in China still asked if she was a boy - good grief!). I really don't care if she wears them or not, but it is cute, so we are trying (I have to agree with her, this one was a little big)
7. She loves taking a bath!
Every day she does something new that is so cute and funny! We all love her to death, and can't wait for everyone to meet her!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, July 25th - Finish all immigration paperwork at the US Consulate. No photos - we were not even allowed to bring in a camera or cell phone. We all stayed together as a group and paid our last immigration fees and filed our last batch of paperwork!
Since I have no photos of this event, I chose some photos from around Guangzhou.
The first two were taken at the Art Museum. The dragon was a decoration on the roof.
Many businesses and public places have beautiful red lanterns hanging everywhere.
These were hanging in the front entrance outside our hotel.
Everyone rides bicycles and carries an umbrella - sometimes at the same time - another great reason to have a kid!
There was a McDonalds next to the hotel. They always had a row of bicycles in front - to deliver your food! This guy was out washing the bikes. Too bad we don't have that kind of service at home!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Wednesday, July 20th, we had an appointment to pick upthe adoption certificate and apply for the baby's Visa and passport. They would not allow any pictures in that building. We had the camera ready and almost had a great photo in front of the sign in the lobby, and a police officer said - "No photos!"
That night, all the families traveling with us, came from their baby's province to Guangzhou - everyone starts out in Beijing, then ends up with their babies in Guangzhou to get the baby's Visa and passport, and complete the US Immigration paperwork at the US Consulate. It just happened that our province was Guangzhou, so we were already there - one less plane trip!
Thursday, July 21st, we had the day off - no appointments. Probably so the families coming to Guangzhou could rest from the trip.
On Saturday, July 23rd, all the families in our group took the babies for their medical check to be cleared to enter the US. We took a private bus to the medical office, which is a lot like a DHS office. There were so many babies there! You just go in, stand in line, and visit 3 rooms - one room to check for temperature, and any obvious signs of anything contagious. One room to check eyes, ears, nose, throat. One room to get measured and weighed. As you can see, she did not like any part of this. The good news, it was quick, and we were out of there!
Monday July 18th - "Gotcha Day"
That morning we flew from Beijing to Guangzhou - about a four hour flight - and checked into our hotel. We were scheduled to go to the adoption office at 2:00 to meet XiXin (which now I know is pronounced She Sheen - with long e's and and the tone goes up high at the end)
. We went in a taxi to the adoption office, and there was a big waiting area, or lobby, lined with red and black couches. There were so many families there. Next to us was a family from France and on the other side, a family from Spain. Everyone had a translator with them to do their paperwork. They told us that XiXin had to come about two and a half hours to Guangzhou, and she was not there yet. There was so much excitement, everyone was talking and people were walking around everywhere. Then they started bringing out babies. Most of them started to cry, and many families had older siblings trying to play with the babies and make them stop crying. The children's home director came out to talk to us while we waited. She gave us contact information for the home, the foster family, and more information about where she has been for the last year. She gave us a baby quilt and a scrapbook with lots of pictures of her, including some when she was found. We waited until 3:00, and finally they said she was here. She was in a smaller room with her nanny Rose. She was standing between Rose's legs while everyone was reaching over her, busy getting the papers ready. She was so tiny! We started calling her name and waving to her, then she saw us and smiled. The children's home director went over and picked her up and handed her to me. She didn't cry, she just looked at everyone and we went over and sat down and played with a toy. Rose was afraid she would cry if she saw her leave, so she waved at us and ducked out the door. They finished the paperwork, and we went downstairs and got into a cab. She was fine for a couple of blocks, and then she wanted out! As soon as we were at the hotel, she stopped crying, and didn't cry again until it started getting dark. Then she cried for about 2 hours.
The next day (Tuesday 19th), she opened her eyes, and looked over at me like "Oh my God, that wasn't a dream!", and started to cry, but just for a few seconds. We went back to the adoption office for the official interviews and to take a family picture for her adoption certificate. I had to take her into two different rooms for interviews. They asked me general information about my occupation, salary, etc. and why I wanted to adopt a Chinese child. In the last interview they asked me if I still wanted to adopt her, and of course, I said "Yes!". Then it was official! That night when it got dark, she only cried for about 30 minutes.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Sunday July 17th - Last day in Beijing.
We went to the Great Wall. It was so beautiful, and like everywhere, lots of people. We made it pretty far up. It is very steep and dangerous. All the steps, sidewalks etc. in China have lots of little uneven pavers and doors have a threshold that goes up and across, so you have to be very careful when you are walking.
In the afternoon, we went to the Jade market.
Overall, Beijing was very modern, with more people and traffic than you can imagine. We went to a grocery store (our guide called it the Chinese Wal-mart) and they had lots of American products, with the American logo and Chinese writing. They had Lays potato chips - the Chinese twist- seaweed and lobster flavor! They also had regular flavors. We bought M&M's and Coke. When we went out to eat they have Coke/Pepsi (which they just call Coke) or Sprite. They serve it in a small glass with no ice - no refills. By the time we got home, I was dying for a Diet Coke!
The people were genuinely very nice to us, and we really were impressed with everyone we met and everything we saw there. Everything is very clean, orderly, and everyone polite. Even the traffic, which is like NY rush hour all the time, is very orderly. Every second, cars come within centimeters of each other, each one trying to inch the others out to get a spot, horns blowing all the time, but no one ever gets mad. It is a wonderful place.
I can't figure out how to arrange photos, so I am just doing multiple posts.
On Saturday afternoon, we went to the Summer Palace. We actually only went to the lake.
Before dinner, we went to a tea house - Dr. Tea. All the tea in China tastes much better than anything I have ever had here. We had it with every meal and it was wonderful.
While we were walking down the ally to the tea house, there were some chairs sitting outside. This man was riding his bike down the ally, picked up one of the chairs, and just kept riding!
We got to our hotel at 1:00 am on Friday night. This was the view from the room. Everyone does some type of exercise in the morning - we saw someone ribbon dancing across the street.
Saturday July 16th/Sunday 17th - First two days in China were spent in Beijing site seeing and shopping.
On Saturday we went to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City which is just across from the Square. The only thing I can say is it is amazingly huge and beautiful. Our guide had an umbrella with a flag on the top so we could follow her through the massive crowds of people. The only problem - there were hundreds and hundreds of people with umbrellas and tons of guides with flags on top!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
We are finally home! What an amazing and exhausting trip! I was so sad that I couldn't blog in China, but honestly, I have no idea how anyone has time while they are there anyway. We just spent 18 hours on a plane with a baby climbing on our heads (those were the good times- the throw up - not so much). She is still sitting on me as I type. I am amazed at the number of things you can do learn to do while holding a baby - pretty much anything! You can use both hands, your knees, toes, etc.
OK - That was yesterday - can't seem to finish anything - can't imagine why. I thought that jet lag was really people just being dramatic. I was up for 28 hours straight from leaving the hotel in Hong Kong until we got home Wednesday night. Last night we went to bed at 3:00 am and woke up at 12:00 noon. When I woke up, it took a few seconds to realize that I really was not paralyzed from the neck down. Tonight she went to sleep at 11:30, so maybe we are on the road to normal.
I think now, I will start from the beginning of the trip, and do a little over the next few days. That will help summarize the days anyway.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
OK - it is after 3:00 am. No - I have not finished packing, but I wouldn't be able to sleep anyway. For the last few nights, 3:00 has been my normal bedtime. So far one suitcase completely stuffed - #2 in the works.
We will be leaving for Detroit at 11:00 am. Our flight to Bejing is not until 8:30 pm. We will arrive in Bejing at 11:00 pm on Friday night (which will be 10:00 am in Oklahoma). China is 13 hours ahead of Oklahoma if you want to keep track - so now it is 4:20 pm there.
Cara's room is pretty much ready - just a few things didn't get finished, and the valance needs to be hung a little better, but it's good for now. I love the way the curtains turned out! The cushions for the chair will be ready when we get back.
Jaxon had his haircut and he is all ready to meet his new little sister - he's already started taking her toys - I had to chase him down to get a few things back into the suitcase. He especially wanted Snoopy - he loves toys and is going to take every single toy she tries to play with away from her - that's gonna be fun!
I am dreading this flight, but I can't wait to get to get there . I have got to get to that baby!
I won't be able to blog from China unless I can figure out how to do it on an iphone. I want to thank everyone for all the well wishes, prayers, and support! A few more prayers may be needed to get me through the flight :)
Can't wait to talk to everyone when we get back!!