Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

As the year draws to a close, I reflect on the goodness and graciousness of God this year. Never would I have thought at this time last year all that this year would hold. We have been blessed with another child. We are understand Mr. M and his complexities more. Z, J and T have thrived in the midst of mommy and daddy's attention being diverted towards the Elizabeth's adoption and getting Mr. M help. Though our house did not sell, everyone fits and we have rearranged to optimize our space. Our hope is still to be on our land someday, but right now we are thankful for what God has already provided.
May you have a blessed New Year (and remember in ALL things, give thanks).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Well with $$$$ in medical bills lately I've gotten creative for Christmas and www.southernsavers.com has helped me. I've scored great deals at CVS and Walgreens. So much to share, but no time now. Gotta make cookies for tomorrow! Hope to get back to posting soon. We see the ENT 12/23.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What's so special?

Yesterday, at the day surgery "hospital", we heard once again how special we are for having adopted. Giving her a chance she otherwise wouldn't have, so caring, so special, she's lucky... I try to respond, but words sometimes fail me. And at 6am it's even harder to know what to say.
This isn't our first adoption, but it has been by far the most noticed one. Yes, it was expensive to adopt, but God provided what we needed when we needed it. Yes, she is getting a family she didn't have and medical care that might not have been otherwise accessible, but we are the lucky ones. Elizabeth is such a precious girl and blesses us with her smiles and kisses. Now, don't misunderstand, not every minute is great. Life with five children 10 and under, all with some sort of unique need is CRAZY! But even though I am sitting among PILES of clean laundry and have PILES of dirty laundry to deal with and a sink FULL of dirty dishes, my heart is full with thankfulness. Is this where I imagined myself 13 years ago as a prepared to marry Mr. Incredible? No. Is this where I imagined myself after the birth of Mr. Z or Mr. J? No. Do I want to always have these piles of laundry and dishes around? No. But God will get me through this too. Someone once told me some years ago, "God will never give you more than you can bear."- this was said to be well meaning of course. I replied, "But I didn't bear Mr. M!"
Our day yesterday was full of Elizabeth feeling unwell. Yesterday was a result of our decision to adopt again. I can look at it as another chance to promote healing for Elizabeth or a chance for me to be even further behind with all the "stuff" I "need" to do.
Over the weekend our van went into the hospital and wasn't seen again until last night. I could dwell on the fact that we thought it was still under warranty and fight the dealership- I distinctly remember 7 years and 100,000 miles once WE bought it- the contract is ambigious, they were a day late fixing it and we have been taking two vehicles wherever the whole family needed to go or me just not going with the kids anywhere since the loaner was only a five seater. Or am I willing to just pay the $$$$, move on with other more important things- like the kids- and know that God is just and will provide for EVERYTHING we need. Am I happy that the van has required so much this year, or in the last six weeks we have spent $$$$ on medical bills? No. But life isn't necessarily what we expect and we will be further ahead if we pick our battles and trust God. Do my best and let God do the rest. Will this be a Christmas where each child will be lavished with many presents? No. Is that really what they NEED anyway?! Our needs are met and we have many of our wants. And maybe at some point before Christmas we can get some decorations and our Christmas tree up.
We didn't adopt Elizabeth to be noticed by others. We are nothing special or noteworthy. We simply wanted to follow God's heart in providing for the fatherless and His commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our neighbor might be right next door or it might be a child waiting for a family thousands of miles away.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Surgery Day

We, or should I say, I began my day at 4am. Prepped for leaving and we left the house this morning at 5:25. Surgery was at 7:15, but we had to check in at 5:45. There were several other children there to get tubes put in. Elizabeth went through surgery well. She still had a bad infection in her right ear and her adnoids were enlarged. Post op reminded me of the civil affiairs office in China with all the screaming children, but this time Elizabeth was also among the screamers unlike on the day she joined our family. The Tylenol with Codine is our friend right now and we are praying that this is the beginning to getting her ears healed and getting her hearing well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tubes!

Elizabeth still has an ear infection, we have been through one round of antibiotics already. Surgery has been set for next week to place tubes in her ears and get her adnoids out. The doctor will also clean out the massive amounts of wax in her ears that remains. In the meantime, she has started a second round of antibiotics. Why suddenly the surgery? Well there's a few factors involved. We don't know exactly how long Elizabeth has had the ear infection (possibly all her life?), she's over two and should be talking (at least some) already, we need to get her hearing as good as possible before being fitted for hearing aids. Part of me holds out hope that she won't need them after all.
I am a little upset the our pediatrician didn't catch the ear infection 2 months ago, but life goes on. What is happening on other fronts?! Lots!!!! We have six doctor appointments this week, a visit with ECI, basketball practice starts, piano lessons and trying to get school done.
I feel extremely overwhelmed and like there will never be enough of me to go around again. But then I am reminded -
Deuteronomy 31:8
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
I know that He placed our children in our home and has equipped me to be able to be the best mommy they need. This is just one of those stretching times :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mountaintop or Valley?


That was the question posed during worship this morning. Are you on a mountaintop or in a valley? So after I had to leave the worship/service because Elizabeth is becoming more vocal, which is a good thing!, I contemplated that question. This afternoon I realized that I am neither in a valley or on a mountaintop and I am not somewhere in between in the calm foothills. I am hanging from a sheer mountain face, trying to climb the mountain, but with the valley looming ominously below me waiting to swallow me. Now why would I say this?! Everybody has hard times and they do seem to come in seasons of highs and lows. But for us EVERYDAY is filled with peaks and valleys. struggles- Dr. appointments, therapy appointments, cooking gluten free, having a child that's casein free as well!, advocating for my ADHD child, communicating with Elizabeth, feeding Elizabeth, homeschooling a 5th grader and 3rd grader and two in K/preK, keeping the house somewhat sanitized with five children, two dogs and a cat- I am not talking clean freak clean, just livable. victories- Elizabeth is verbalizing more and she is finger feeding herself more foods, my ADHD child is responding to the gluten/casein free diet, our colds didn't last too long, no one else got Mr. M's stomach bug, the generosity of people giving us clothes for Elizabeth, Mr. M is learning letter sounds, long division is becoming less of a laborious task, God provides the money to eat gluten free, Mr. M and Elizabeth are getting the specialized help that they each need, God provided the money for Elizabeth's adoption.
If I stop and think about all that is necessary everyday just for "normal" living, I want to crawl in bed and sleep because just thinking about it makes me exhausted. I feel that I am not doing a half way decent job of anything. One step forward and two steps back. That's the way things have been going. Especially when LIFE happens- a dear friend's marriage is ending, insurance doesn't cover hearing aids, our house didn't sell... But if I can look past my disappointments and look at all that God is doing in our lives, I am overcome with gratitude. I serve a big God who can create the whole world and still cares about even the little things in my life. He knows that I feel like I am hanging on for life and He is giving me the strength to keep hanging on and work my way up to the mountaintop. (the picture is one of our mountaintop moments)

Monday, November 16, 2009

We are SICK

Haven't been blogging because of dealing with sick kids and now Mr. Incredible and I are also under the weather. Hope to be back to posting soon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Awareness

Today is Orphan Sunday.
The 13th is National Adoption Day.

LOVE

Love is a decision. It is a choice you have to make. There are many days when it is not an easy choice. The object of your love may come in a tiny package that is defiant, deceitful and disobedient. But, you still must make the choice to set yourself aside and minister to that little person and meet them where they are and in a way they can understand.

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)

The Way of Love
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

(highlighting is mine)

Mr. M has had some VERY rough days lately. It feels like with every few steps forward, there comes a point where we take those same steps backward. It is in these times that love takes on a whole new meaning and it makes me so grateful for the days that are good. Lord, hasten the good days again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ultrasound Results

NORMAL!!!!! Praise the Lord for no kidney stones.

Dr. Appts

We went for the renal ultrasound on Wednesday. Might have results on Friday.
Today we went to the audiologist and he is recommending we see an ENT. She does have significant hearing loss, but she also has fluid in her ears. Lots of details that I don't have time to post about. He thinks she needs hearing aids. Pray that we can get into an ENT quickly (and get hearing aids quickly), she needs to develop her speech. Pray also for peace/timing if she needs tubes in her ears. Thanksgiving is approaching, life is hectic, house showing again tomorrow..... ahhhhhhhh!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Transitioning

Elizabeth wore tights for the first time yesterday and Mr. M asked if they were really big socks, after a brief explanation that they were tights which were similar to socks. He states with a voice of amazement, "Those are REALLY BIG socks!!!"
Our life is going at break neck speed. Appointments for Elizabeth and Mr. Z this week. We continue to wait on paperwork for Mr. M to get into another doctor. I have more paperwork to send off and file. LIFE!!!!
I just wanted to let to touch base with everyone in cyberland and let you know we are still alive. Elizabeth seems to be adjusting well. All the brothers love her to pieces. We made it through our first bout of sickness and everyone is well. I have adoption grant resources I will be posting soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snipets of Our Life

Medical appointments are finally set up. The renal ultrasound and audiologist will cost us over $700, but by simply waiting another 12 days for our appointments her deductible will carry over into next year. YES!!! I figure we've waited three weeks already, what's another week and a half?!

I was able to snag some clothes for Elizabeth and myself at Old Navy on Saturday. Got a $20 shirt for myself for $1.50. Yahoooooo!!! Love those kind of sales!

The hours in my day are never enough. Really. I stayed up until 3am Saturday cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry and putting it up. Yeah, yeah. I usually get the kids involved and I know I should. But that just didn't happen last week and I am really tired of finding 4T shirts in my shirts, or a child complaining of how they have no pants and come to find out the 5T are with the sz. 10's, or the classic is walking into the living room and finding one of my undergarments on somebody's head. Any suggestions on getting kids to sort? We set up "stations" for the sizes/people and we still end up with confusion! Fortunately, they are able to distinguish Elizabeth's clothes from their own. Don't know how Mr. Incredible would handle one of his sons in pink jeans :)

Mr. T asks when we are going to adopt him. Apparently coming out of Mommy's tummy isn't as cool as being adopted.

National Orphan Sunday is November 8th. Please consider how God would like to use you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Evolution Just Can't Be True

If evolution was really was how animals were made and us intricate humans as well, then things would still be "evolving" and getting better, right?! However I have some examples of how this just isn't happening. My children would remember the first time that they aren't supposed to speak that way to their brother/mother/father. The dog would understand that I don't like senseless barking. The bushes in my yard would stay in their pruned shape and not grow out in all directions. My house would stay clean or clean itself! But alas, the kids need my parenting, the dog needs my instructions, the shrubs need trimmed, my house doesn't clean itself and the dirt doesn't "evolve" and walk out the door on its own accord. The clothes don't say, "Wow, we're dirty. I don't like feeling this way. Let's get clean!" and jump into the washer.
If evolution was in existence and things were getting better, you wouldn't have parents leaving their baby at home in a crib while they went out to party or get drunk or high. Or parents spending all their money on things for themselves while there is no food in the house to feed the kids. There simply wouldn't be a need for foster families and Child Protective Services, if evolution were actually occurring and things improving.
Unfortunately, we live in a world filled with depravity. I am a depraved being, I am not evolving into a better person on my own accord. It is by the grace of God, I am who I am and where I am today. It has not come easily, God is patient though and carries us through those times of us kicking and screaming that we want our own way. It is God's grace that saved me. It is God's grace that helps me everyday. It gives me insight into how to best help my kids understand something in an area that they are struggling in. It is God's grace that fills in my low places as a wife, mother and daughter. It is by God's grace that we will raise our children in a loving home when there are very unloving things that surround us. It is in God's grace that Elizabeth will receive the unconditional love that every child longs for and HE will help us figure out what is the "good and perfect" path to take to help Elizabeth be the best she can be.
Today has been a tough day for her. I am unsure whether the "honeymoon" is over (her adoption was final 1 month ago today) or she sensed that Daddy was going out of town tonight. Whatever it may be that caused her upset it also brought her closer to us. She willingly let me rock her to sleep for the first time tonight while singing "Jesus Loves Me" and "Amazing Grace". HIS grace is sufficient.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emotions- What Really Happened

I have tried for the last three weeks to put into words the emotions of all that has happened with adopting Elizabeth. I can't, but I will try. This will probably be a long one.
The whole experience was AMAZING. There were many ups and just as many downs over the course of the 21 1/2 months it took from filing our application till she was in our arms.
Knowing that your getting on a plane to get a child that you have never met and might not have all the "right" background information on, but that you love so much already is a WONDERFUL and terrifying experience at the same time- EXTREMELY SURREAL. We had never done anything like it before. There was always the question (at least in our minds) of is this really going to happen? There were so many delays with our paperwork in China and then the whole new deal of the US requiring TB tests for adopted children (2 and over), but not regular immigrants....there was always this "catch" in the back of our minds that something would happen. We had that "what if?" looming over us for over two weeks- until we got her US visa. It's not that we didn't trust God, we just know that God will sometimes stretch us (even when we already feel stretched to the breaking point, He can usually find something else we need to work on).
So we arrived in China, Rick almost got quarantined (that wold have meant me too and who knows how many people from our plane) and then we had two hours to shower, repack and ready ourselves for the business part of the trip. The business part went well- now we could focus on the adoption. There is a point where your body is so exhausted it doesn't know how to sleep (really sleep)- I was there. There was the sleep deprivation in traveling to China and flipping days and nights, but since July 2007 I have "heard" a child crying out for their mama. (It may sound strange, weird, psychotic, etc.) I remember one morning "hearing" it so clearly I began crying, I was powerless, Mr. Incredible had said he wasn't ready to adopt. So, back to China. We had two days before we were to get Elizabeth, remember the whole cleaning freakout blog? Yeah, that was in those two days.
We finally arrive at a VERY CHAOTIC room filled with somewhere between 30-50 adoptive couples, families started being united and then we found out that Elizabeth wasn't there yet. BIG "WHAT IF?" HIT ME. When Elizabeth finally arrived and we saw her and then got her moments later, it was like it was happening in slow motion and fast forward at the same time. You've been waiting all this time and it can't happen quick enough in one way. But then there is this child you have never met before, you see her, take her and then the person who brought her is gone! I have read books about toddler adoption and attachment. All of them say the child will grieve and should grieve. So here we are in a VERY LOUD and CHAOTIC room because children are screaming EVERYWHERE, but not Elizabeth! Oh no, another "what if?", she's not going to attach to us! She's not grieving!!! Now the books had said that there were a few children that never cried and still attached well to their new family. I had also been praying that God would prepare Elizabeth for us. That He would prepare her heart for her new family. (A family that got to meet Elizabeth the month before we traveled even commented on how it looked like she was looking for her family.) So her not crying was a bit alarming, but I also thought that maybe God had answered our prayer. That night I slept, really slept. The child that I had "heard" more than two years before was finally safe in her mother's arms. Elizabeth adjusted very quickly to us and continues to bond with her new family.
There have been struggles. I can't say that I relished feeding her with a syringe for over two weeks, but we were able to provide the nourishment she needed in a way that she would take it. Thank you God that I remembered to pack a syringe for medicines and that she coughed all of twice so that I gave her some immune boosters and found out that she would accept a syringe. She had accepted nothing else other than a bottle and cheerios before that.
Our lives are settling down some. We have something resembling a schedule going. We continue to have moments of elation as well. She now gives kisses to Mommy and Daddy. She will feed herself cheerios now. She has learned the sign for "more". She sleeps well in her crib at night. Each day is an opportunity for her to learn and bond closer to our family.
Someone asked me the other day if she was Chinese after hearing we had recently returned from China. I paused for a moment and then replied in the affirmative. During that pause, I stopped to think if she really was. I don't think of her as Chinese, she's my daughter. I may have had to travel to China to get her, but she has been in my heart since before she was born.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Check Ups

Well we've been to the pediatrician and seen ECI. Waiting on pediatrician's office to schedule our audiologist appt., optomitrist appt. and sonogram for kidney stones. Been waiting to hear on the appointments for over a week now, arrgh. Our dentist appointment is later this month. She is finally letting us brush her teeth! We rejoice in the little things!!!! It is hard to believe that in two days we will have had her for a month. Time flies.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Goings On Of Being At Home

Our lives are currently consumed with getting back to life. We are adjusting well to five, but every afternoon I find myself dragging physically and having to lay down for a couple of hours. Maybe it's still the flipping days and nights throwing me. We now have one running a fever and so maybe I'm just trying to fight something off. Hmmm. School is taking a LONG time each day. Hmmm. Life must be starting to resemble normalcy : )
We press on further toward the goal, with Christ (is it in front of us or behind us?). My brain cells are starting their afternoon lull...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finally Home

We arrived home last night under the cover of darkness after about 10 hours of driving and stopping every 70 or so miles for a potty break. My Mr. Incredible has once again lived up to his name. Not only did he drive most of the way home, he unloaded the van while I fed the kids. After the kids were in bed I took some medicine to knock me out so I could sleep through the night and feel better- fighting something. He went to the store bought milk (for breakfast) and the baby gates we needed for the stairs. He also unpacked almost all our things and did laundry. This morning he even cooked some eggs! I am truly blessed to be married to this dear man.
Elizabeth seems to love the dogs and the dogs love her, that's an answer to prayer. Onto the task of making doctor appointments and getting evaluations done. Elizabeth has started taking stage 1 baby food through a syringe and finishing the little container in a meal. She also has started self feeding Cheerios. As with all things it appears it will be a matter of time and patience.
The boys dote on her almost incessantly. I am thinking she best enjoy it while she can.
I am so glad and thankful to be home after 25 days. Thank you to all for your prayers for our travel.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The New Citizen




Things didn't go as we had planned

Well we spent the night in LA. Not what we were hoping, but... Got a room, dinner and breakfast gratis of our airline, Elizabeth is now an American citizen and we got to sleep in a very luxuriosly soft bed. Hoping to make it to SAT by 5 pm. God remains faithful.

Www.elizabethssong.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flight delay

Our 3 hour layover in Korea, just became 5. At this point we might
very well miss our connection in LA. Pray for no further delays and
that we can claim baggage, go through customs and immigration (this
includes the paperwork for Elizabeth to be a US citizen), check in and
get boarding passes, go through LAX security and get to our gate in 1
hour and 20 minutes.
Mr. M is terribly missing us and we need to get to our boys as soon as
possible.

Www.elizabethssong.blogspot.com

We are in Korea


Elizabeth had a great 2 hr and 50 min. flight. The dose of Benadryl knocked her out for only an hour though. One of the stewardessess commented how she (speaking of Elizabeth) had not complained. She was a little fussy when her bottle was done, but otherwise traveled beautifully. We keep getting curious stares and people trying to speak Chinese to her. I have to explain that her hearing is not so good and that she is not being rude by not responding. I got the last flight so I told Mr. Incredible that he could get the next one. He informed me that I got this kid and he'd get the next one. Hmmm..... Our next leg is a 11.5 hour flight after our three hour layover. More fun is yet to come!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

On the plane

Got friendly with security, but finally made it through. About to
start first leg of 24 hour trip.

Www.elizabethssong.blogspot.com

We Are Heading Home

Our last few days here in China have been filled with sightseeing,
shopping and more paperwork, but today we are headed home. Of course we
can't just leave, first I have to injure myself somehow. My walk "home"
last night provided a perfect opportunity. I now have a sprained ankle
and abraised knee. Apparently, I can't walk and pull out a cell phone.
There were no temple steps or "center line" involved this time. I guess
I am just clumsy! I am thinking of starting a support group CIC, Clumsy
in China, because this country seems to be where all my major injuries
occur!!! Well fortunately Mr. Incredible was here to take care of me.
BTW, if at all possible don't clean wounds with hand sanitizer. It's
what we had, it worked, but it hurt like....... So! I've attached a
photo that Mr. I and I did in the Yun Tai Garden ( I don't think it's
rotated correctly, so tilt your head to the right.) See you on the flip
side of the world!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

A few more pictures











Bad Hair Day


Any yet still adorable!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Meeting Elizabeth's main caretaker

Orphanage Trip

I was doing fine visiting the orphanage. I was seeing lots of babies
that needed love and though my heart was especially touched by a few of
them, I was holding myself together. Then we met Elizabeth's main
caretaker. You could tell how she doted on Elizabeth and how much she
cared for her. She started tearing up when we went to leave her part of
the orphanage. I lost it. I started crying and telling her thank you
as best as I could. You could really tell that she cared. Our little
gift seemed like nothing compared to our gratitude over her care for
Elizabeth. All the nurses we met seemed to genuinely care about the
kids. Several came up and spoke to Elizabeth. One nurse pulled us
aside from our little group and showed us a sleeping child. I don't
know if she was saying that the child was Elizabeth's friend or a
sibling or to come back and get this one too. One of our lasts stops at
the orphanage was a room for bigger children. The kids rushed at me and
Elizabeth. Some started pulling on her. They were calling her their
nickname for her and telling her to come back. She started to cry. One
little boy seemed to be the most intent on getting Elizabeth back. He
was undoing her shoes and kept pulling on her leg. I made eye contact
with him several times. I really just wanted to scoop him up and carry
him out as well. He seemed to be only about three or four years old.
We had not realized that her orphanage is mainly for special needs
children, about 90% have some sort of special need. We are hoping to
post some video a later today of our time there. But here are some
pictures to try and glean a feel for it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NEWS FLASH

The TB skin test came was positive for TB. We were worried about this,
because sometimes they give the kids an immunization that will give a
false positive.


BUT WE PASSED THE CHEST X-RAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elizabeth didn't seem nearly
as excited as this as mommy and daddy were. The tech actually read the
x-ray immediately after it was taken. Now we can sleep tonight.

We are about to go and visit her orphanage. We have 6 bags full of
blankets (5 Kohls bags and a K-Mart bag for good measure)

water

Water

Camels

Elephant

Smile

Breakfast?

Mommy and her little girl

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 6- It's REALLY official now, sort of

Well our guide announced today after we went to apply for Elizabeth's
passport that, "it's really official now". Too bad they messed up our
address for a third time. So while the other four families are official
and have a great red book with the adoption certificate, I am left
wondering if we are "official" or not. If the mistake today is on their
part, no charge. We can't remember if the paperwork we looked over
yesterday had an "M" after Drive or not. If the paperwork yesterday
that had our incorrect zip code also contained the "M" then we get to
pay another 250 yuan = ~$40 US. Not a huge deal, but still a little
nerve racking. Three times now we have corrected the paperwork and
three times now they find a new place to make an error. The paperwork
ordeal combined with the fact that we had the TB test today has me
emotionally spent. We have to wait until Friday to see if they screwed
up the paperwork again and that is also when we have to go back and have
the TB test "read". At least we are not the only family having to
undergo TB testing, there is some camaraderie at least there.
According to our guide there was a typhoon two hours away from us (this
was yesterday). However, today the rain has continued which made the
walk to the medical exam a little more interesting. Mr. Incredible's
tennis shoes are soaked, from our morning trek. Three of the five
families in our group are staying at the Victory, but all group
assembling to go somewhere has happened at the WS. Our guide this
afternoon had the bus pick us up at our hotel- NICE! There will be more
families joining us next week and our group will grow, but I have really
enjoyed all of our other families and this whole experience so far, even
if we don't get the "adoption" Barbie that the WS gives out to it's
guests. There's more to life than Barbie.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

(no subject)

Day 7- Medical Exam

We will be leaving in just a few minutes for the medical exam, but I
snapped a few pictures that I thought I'd share.
Toothbrushing last night led to her first real cry and when Incredible
Daddy just got the stroller out, first time, we got an earful. Maybe we
won't use the stroller today after all.
We were able to get her to eat some breakfast, using a syringe! Yep,
apparently she has only been bottle fed or she has regressed to that
with this HUGE change. She did take a couple bites with a spoon and
once with chopsticks. Quite a little bird.

Day 6- Our First Day with Elizabeth

Well, we have had her now for 24+ hours. This afternoon while she
napped I finally let go. It has taken us almost two years on this
journey. A lot has transpired to get us where we are today. There have
been many ups and even more downs. MANY tears, but none of my previous
tears have been anywhere near as joyful as were todays. I have welled
up many times since coming to China this time, but I've just kept
stuffing it back down. "What if something happens?", has been in the
back of my mind for days. When I saw that Mr. Incredible posted our
moment that we got Elizabeth, combined with the fact that today she is
now ours, the ocean of pent up emotions exploded. Mr. I was concerned
that something was wrong, I tried to reassure him that I really was OK
(and I truly am). After we get the all clear from the TB test- medical
exam Wednesday, read the test Friday. That last little niggling doubt
will be a little farther. Though I am not relishing all the testing we
will need to undergo once home.
Elizabeth is definitely hearing impaired. She will sometimes imitate
sounds however. She does make sounds, but does not speak. In the last
24 hours she has eaten 20-30 GF Cheerios, 30 grains of rice, 1 drinkable
yogurt, 4 pea sized bites of egg, 2 1/2 pea sized bites of chicken, 4
spoonfuls of pureed pears and 1 square inch of watermelon. Other than a
straw for the yogurt, she only likes to be fed with my fingers. We now
affectionately refer to her as our bird. She is very possessive of
toys, her bottle and will hold food in her mouth, as was the case with
some dried apples for babies- none of them actually went down. She
still seems to be about 9 kg, we might get an accurate weight tomorrow.
She also HATES getting her teeth brushed, but LOVES bath time. Her
vision and touch senses seem to be heightened. She is always looking
around and touching. She does this great hopping move.
Mr. M asks about Elizabeth every time we Skype. I am missing my boys
for sure. I love you Z, J, M and T.
My Incredible is asleep and I am getting the night shift. He let me nap
a little this afternoon and had great fun with her while I was dead to
the world. Hopefully he will sleep better tonight. I did fine last
night, but he still woke up at 2am.
Well Elizabeth is still toddling around and acting like sleep is
something only for the old. To say she is off schedule, I believe would
be an understatement.
Hope you have a great Tuesday, we did! BTW, the size 12 mo. clothes fit
her great though a little loose in the waist. The size 3 shoes I packed
also fit. I guess all my measuring and questioning paid off. She truly
is our little China doll.

Getting our little Girl

Monday, September 14, 2009

Today is Adoption Day

I've lost track of what day it is that we've been in China and time does
not allow any research right now. We will be leaving in about 15
minutes to go back to the office we were at yesterday and "officially"
adopt Elizabeth. Right now she is napping. Woke up just after 5am.
Hasn't cried at all. Had a bath yesterday soon after we arrived back at
the hotel room.
It is raining and during breakfast we noticed the streets were flooded.
We'll see if it is better in time to go to the WS. The weather was
actually pleasant yesterday.
***Mr. Incredible handled the blog last night and apparently he is blog
challenged. Sorry for the no pictures. We have to do some "extra
steps" to be able to see the blog and so we didn't realize until today
that his post didn't post the pictures.

more pictures

Mommy

Daddy

Pictures

WE HAVE ELIZABETH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 5- Just for Clarification

We are leaving to go exchange money in just a few minutes, getting
Elizabeth this afternoon.
Wanted to make a quick clarification. Our room at the V is VERY nice.
Our bathroom is even nice. The view is WONDERFUL and it is nice to have
two separate areas to our room. They freshen our room every morning and
every evening. I could get very used to this. :-) My post yesterday
was born from nesting. Like most expectant moms you want everything to
be perfect. (or at least as perfect as can be) Well I had noticed that
the grout around the tub had some mildew. Not a big deal. Something
that I deal with at home even. Here I just don't have my cleaning
supplies :-) (Mr. I says I'm justifying, I just didn't want to give
anybody the wrong impression)
We are loving our time that we have had alone and now we are looking
forward with great anticipation to becoming a family of seven. Our next
post will be with Elizabeth.
Good Night to all back home.

Day 4- I Need Clorox Cleanup!!!!

Really, I am not OCD, but I REALLY need some Clorox Cleanup. There is
growth in our bathroom grout that needs it's attention. The playroom on
our floor as well could use a little boost. Not trying to sound like a
snobby American, be like Monk or be some other way compulsed. But I
sure wish that THAT had been on the packing list. I attacked our
bathroom with the hotel toothbrush and the "Colgate" it included.
Slightly better, and I guess it will have to do. My trip to the 7-11
only yielded some Lime-away and Pinesol prospects. What would it cost
to AirMail Clorox Cleanup? Hmmm. Definitely too much for my frugal
mindedness.
Walked around the island more. Met up with another family from our
agency staying at the V. We are going to go "off the island" and
explore some of Guangzhou on foot. We'll see how that goes!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Just Want To Sleep!!!!!

Well, I have been trying to go back to sleep for the last 50 minutes.
It's not going so well. In our new room I can hear a lot more street
noise and the humidity also seems higher. It doesn't help that Mr.
Incredible is snoring. But even in my current state of mind, I still
think he is incredible. :-)

He posted the last post for me since I was not in a good state of mind
due to some coconut milk I had drank earlier in the day and the 1 tsp.
of Children's Benadryl that I had taken to counteract the itching and
"brain overload". Even at 1/4 of the adult dosage, apparently it still
KOs me or at least makes me "loopy" enough that I know that I should not
blog. It least I hope the source of my itching was the coconut milk (I
can avoid that) and not something like the pervasive humidity (not so
easy to avoid). People comment that since we are from Texas we are used
to the heat. Heat I can handle. Humidity rivaling Houston where you
start to sweat within 20 feet of leaving air-conditioning, that's
another story! But I guess living in East Texas has better prepared me
than if I lived in a cool or dry climate.

We ended up buying a stroller yesterday and a puzzle of China. So far
that is all of our purchases, but don't worry we are just price scoping
right now. Someone suggested getting a "Chinese" gift for every
birthday for Elizabeth. I found some cute Cloissenae (sp?) boxes that I
thought a purity ring would be perfect in. (I doubt they are the "real"
stuff that we have seen at the factories on our touring of Beijing
previously, but don't know that we'll be making it to any factories this
trip.) Most vendors appear to be on just two blocks of the island.
With a majority being between the V and the WS.

Our air-conditioner is making the sound of a helicopter again. I really
like our view now. I hope it doesn't require us to move again.
However, that sound might be why everything in the room feels damp to
the touch! .... Whew, it's gone again. Go back and check your
spelling and everything in life works out, Right?!

BTW, we decided to forgo Hong Kong. Mr. I was nervous about going
through immigration again (especially with his last experience). We
don't want to be the cause of any further delay in getting to
Elizabeth. And about 1:30pm I hit a wall, if you translate the time
that's 12:30 am and my late bedtime time. For whatever reason I do not
seem to making the transition to Chinese time very well this trip.
Maybe that means I will transition back to CS time better?! I can
hope. Of course since I analyze things, I have wondered if it has more
to do with being at the end of our time of "expectation" and just that
uncomfortable all the time feeling you get, maybe?! I just wish I could
sleep for more than 4 hours!!!

Well the street noise has died down some. Maybe with a book I can work
on getting some more sleep. Hope you have an awesome Saturday!!!

Note: Just spent the last hour connecting to post and as soon as I
connected our boys called using Skype. I REALLY gotta get some sleep now.

Another day

We have spent the day exploring the island. Not too much to see. All the gift shops are running together. (I think they all get the stuff from the same place). Since we had enjoyed the view out our window to the utmost possible (a blank wall), we asked to me moved. Now we overlook a park. Huge improvment!









We anxiously await Monday when we will finally meet Elizabeth. Below is a picture of my Princess in front of the Pearl River.