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.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

IN CHINA - DAY 2, adoptions similarities to pregnancy

My body finally relaxed enough and I slept for 4 1/2 hours straight and
woke up at 2:30am (China time). After an hour or so I was able to go
back to sleep. Mr. Incredible had the same sleeping trouble as well.
Our bodies were screaming it's 1:30 in the afternoon, GET UP lazybones!
After breakfast this morning, I came back to our room and Zumbaed while
Mr. I prepared for his business meetings. After 30 minutes I was
dying. Don't know if it's from the overall lack of sleep, lack of
exercise while traveling, that I had eaten recently or the air pollution.
Mr. Incredible still shows no signs illness. I joked with him that he's
just one hot daddy and the Chinese thermal scans just aren't used to
that. Still rejoicing that we are NOT in quarantine after our scare
yesterday.
When we landed yesterday, we got the news that Mr. T had a fever and was
coughing. The latest update is that he is holding his own with ups and
downs. I should have known this would happen, but still I am a little
nervous for T and my parents. The closest hospital is 40 miles away.
Fortunately I remembered to pack the nebulizer this time and so there
won't be round the clock trips to the EMS station- although the
gentlemen there were very friendly and helpful.
Mr. I and myself kept commenting on the way over how this all seems so
surreal. Yesterday, after our possible quarantine scare it hit me just
how this whole process is very similar to a pregnancy.
Ovulating- God planted the desire in our heart to expand our family
through adoption.
Conception- We acted on God's leading and began this whole process.
Gestation- Though not the normal 40 weeks (I think we are at week 97) as
our time has progressed we have gone through the ups and downs of
pregnancy-- the excitement, the reality check- "What if something goes
wrong and we lose the baby?", the realization -"We are having another
one?! (Especially after having been up with sick kids all night), "Is
this the right thing?", "We are having a GIRL!!!!!!", "Will the baby be
okay?", "How will God use this if the baby is not okay?", "I am tired of
waiting, will this baby ever be born?!", having some issue near the end
that threatens the baby-abruption like with Mr. T or as was on our
arrival a possible quarantine. Yesterday I looked down and even noticed
my feet and ankles had swollen :-). Talk about similarities!
Birth- Even after being "in labor" with Mr. Z for a month, that seems
like nothing compared to the event of packing for a family of seven
(including Elizabeth since she has 1/2 of Mr. I's and mine's suitcases
and a car seat), getting ready for international travel, driving the 9
hours to my parents, being awake for all but 5 1/2 hours of the 53 hours
from when we woke in B-ville to when we finally got to bed in S-zhen,
China. AND we still don't get her for another 72+ hours. Talk about
LABOR!!!!!!!!
With adopting Elizabeth we know she is not "okay" and we are OK with
that. We know God has a mighty plan for her life and we look forward to
being a part of it. It's still surreal that this going to happen. I
tear up every time I think of how far we've come.
Well, I am enjoying my lazy Friday in the hotel room while Mr. I is
somewhere out in the city doing business stuff. The picture is of the
view out of our hotel room in S-zhen. We are on the 14th floor.
There's water about 1/2 way up from the bottom and mountains on the
other side of the water. Hope you can make 'em out through the smog.
We are heading back to Guangzhou this afternoon and hope to do some
exploring. We think we might even be just a block away from the WS- our
group's hotel- had expected two+ blocks. We ended up in the V and are
already loving the free internet and MUCH cheaper price.
P.S. I have no idea how long this post will look since we are having to
use a bypass to post and cannot access directly. Also have not been
able to update FB, not sure if that is even a possibility.