Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home Sweet Home







We are finally home!! Still recovering. We definitely feel the jet lag and just plain tired from the trip. Lily's sleeping pattern, or lack of it doesn't help. She goes to bed fine after a little crying but is still waking up at 4:00 a.m. Yikes. Way to early for me. She didn't do this in China. She went to bed at 8:00 or 9:00p and got up around 7:00 a.m.. I am hoping this early rising stops soon. I have even been cutting her naps short, hoping she will sleep later. No luck. Any suggestions? I am wondering if she is waking because she is hungry. I still can not believe all that she eats. I am going to try and hold her off this morning for breakfast and give her just a few snacks and then feed her at a more reasonable breakfast time. We have been feeding her a full breakfast at 4 or 5 a.m. Maybe her stomach is getting used to eating that early. That's gotta change!



Over all we had a good trip. This experience has been amazing. Very difficult and exhausting but amazing. I am glad we got to see Lily's culture and her birth place. I don't think we will be traveling back any time soon though. Expensive and long flights. We found the Chinese culture to be some what rude and pushy. I guess you need to be with 14 million people living in one city (Guangzhou). Not my cup of tea. They cut in line, interrupt your conversations with people so they do not have to wait. The spitting, nose picking and children using the sidewalk as a bathroom was gross. You can only take so much of that. It feels great to be home. Good ole U.S.A.



In China Lily was a dream. Very easy. Not so much at home. Having many temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way. Doesn't want to get dressed, doesn't want to brush her teeth, getting in the car seat is a night mare, etc. I know she is experiencing many changes, trying to adjust. She really is going through a lot. New people, new food, new smells, new rules, new routine. These tantrums will get better, right? Please. Hard to feel all lovey when your going on little sleep and your nerves are shot. I am trying to have patience. I'm trying really hard. She is just so fresh now. Very sassy, hitting and demanding. Pointing and yelling for things she wants. Demanding things she wants really. I know she has limited communication with us, making her frustrated. I was in la la land thinking we were going to have an easy transition. Not so easy anymore. I guess this is where we have to find our inner strengths.



It's not all tantrums. She is still funny and silly. Loves to laugh. Loves to be tickled. Loves her bath. Loves to be naked and chased around. Still does her "happy dance" when she has a full belly. Loves Gavin and Sophie. She wakes up happy, full of smiles. She has great eye contact with us. Not so much with strangers. So it's not all tantrums. Just difficult to deal with at times. I guess I forgot what it is like to have a two year old.......

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Last Post from China

I can not believe this is our last night here in China. We are so ready to come home but sad this will be Lily's last night in her birth country. I know her life with us will be filled with love, something she would not get being at an orphanage. I know she would not get what she needs here in China. I know she belongs with us. I just can't help but feel a little guilty about taking her away from her culture. That feeling of guilt is just a little feeling. I wouldn't change things though. She is our daughter. We are so in love with her. I couldn't and wouldn't leave her for anything in the world. I feel for her birth mother too. I hope she has peace in her heart with her decision. I want to thank her for Lily. She has given us such a special gift. Our daughter. My daughter. No one else could have given us that gift except for her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Know that Lily will always be loved and cherished.

We had our swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Consulate today and received Lily's visa to enter the U.S. What a relief to have that final document. Lily becomes a U.S. citizen when we land in Newark, NJ. Can't wait for that. I have the American flag ready to go!! Pictures to come......

We also had to say good-bye to some very special friends today. So sad. J and M will be our friends for life, we have a very special bond. The time line for our adoptions have been the same. We have experienced most of this process together. Thank you J and M for your support and friendship. We WILL see you again soon! No more tears!!!!!!!!!


With that said, we are preparing for our travels back to the U.S., 28 hours to be exact. This should be interesting. I will post when we recover from our travels. Until then, wish us safe travels.

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Pictures, Sightseeing
















We only have a few more days left in Guangzhou. The time has flown by but yet it feels like we have been here forever. We are so ready to come home now. Only 3 more days and we will be on our way. The heat is unbearable. The temperatures have been 90-100 degrees. With the humidity it feels like 105-115 degrees. The heat makes it difficult to fully enjoy our sight seeing excursions. We have been trying to get out in the mornings and evenings when it is a little cooler. The sweat just drips off you as soon as you walk outside. Lily only wants to be carried by me when we are out, she will not sit in a stroller or let Anthony hold her. She will walk a little and hold my hand but when she gets tired she wants to be carried. She gets so sweaty I think she is going to slide out of my arms. We can not wait to feel the crisp September air at home. I don't want to leave the impression we are not enjoying ourselves because we are. The heat is just sooooooooooo damn HOT!!!

We went to the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum. The roof is incredible. The buildings took 17 years to build because they are so ornate. Beautiful. We also visited the Qing Ping herbal/animal market. This was, by far, the most amazing cultural experience we have encountered since being here. Truly jaw dropping experience. Amazing pictures.

Lily is still doing great. She is very silly, definitely independent, and LOVES to eat. She will eat just about anything we eat and more. Her appetite is huge. Snacking ALL DAY plus full meals. If I had to list all the things she eats in one day I would be here forever. I don't know where she puts it all. Sad in a way really. Her little body is so HUNGRY. She mostly is well behaved still. Only a few melt downs so far. She entertains herself a lot. She loves to sing and dance around. She loves her bath and running around naked after. She loves her dresses and hair bows. She can't wait to get dressed in the morning. She is just so cute. We are in love.

I would like to take a minute to thank our friends and family who have helped us out while we have been gone. Without all of you this trip would not have been possible. It gives us piece of mind to know Gavin and Sophie, the house and Sampson are well taken care of. We have been able to mainly focus on Lily during this trip which is priceless. Thank you all so much!!! Not enough words can express how much appreciation we feel. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We love you all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sight Seeing in Guangzhou






































Lily is doing great. I am still amazed at how smoothly things have gone. She generally is well behaved, easy going, helpful and happy. She has been a little fresh with Anthony though. She will walk up to him, hit him, say something in Chinese, laugh, then walk away. I told Anthony I think she is swearing at him. Ha Ha. It is rather funny. I don't laugh when she does it, but it is funny. That really is the only thing I can speak of about her behavior that is fresh. I know it isn't even anything to complain about. We are so blessed that our transition has gone so smoothly. I know that is not always the case. She definitely prefers me over Anthony. She won't let Anthony carry her but will play with him. She loves to laugh and be silly. She is speaking some English words too. Mama, baba, up, ball, hi, bye etc. She sleeps great, eats great and goes with the flow. I only hope this continues at home.

We have done a little sight seeing over the last couple of days and plan to do more in the upcoming days. Time is flying by. I can not believe we are coming home in 5 days. We are ready to return though. It will be sad to leave China, removing Lily from her birth place and culture. I want to have many pictures/videos/mementos for her as she grows. We have spent time here (by the Pearl River) where the locals go to relax, exercise, dance, socialize. I want to have this documented for her, to always remember what her Province is really like. Enjoy these pictures by the Pearl River.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dream Girl










Let me start by saying I am totally amazed right now. Lily is a dream girl. She is so sweet. She is so easy. I am probably jinxing myself right now. Her adjustment has gone rather smoothly. She is definitely bonding to both of us. More so to me than Anthony though. She will play with him but doesn't like him to pick her up. She follows me around everywhere. Wanting to see me all the time. She is very soft spoken, gentle and silly. We have seen many smiles and laughs. She loves her new clothes, hair accessories and especially her back pack. She will not leave without it. She has been sleeping great too. She will climb into bed during the day on her own for a nap when she is tired. She has slept in her crib every night without any difficulties. She has been eating great too. She LOVES raisins. I can't believe how little she is though. She is a peanut!! 23 pounds at 2 1/2. She has little chicken legs. Too cute. We need to fatten her up. Wait until Anthony's mom gets a hold of her. She will beef her up in no time. The food here is very good. We are not too adventurous though with ordering strange things. Playing it safe with different types of noddle dishes. Yummy.

We haven't done too much sight seeing yet. We have had many appointments. The next couple of days will be free days so we are planning to do some shopping and sight seeing. Can't wait. There was a typhoon that came up from Hong Kong. Tons of rain, winds and flooding the last couple of days. The Pearl River, across the street from the hotel we are staying at, rose up and flooded the streets. The water almost flooded the lobby of the hotel within inches. The typhoon has now passed, thank goodness. The sun is partly out today, hot and HUMID beyond belief. My hair is crazy curly. Can't wait to come home and straighten it!! I won't even bother here. The moment I would step outside it would be crazy again.

Lily had to get 4 shots today at her medical exam. 2 more scheduled for Saturday. The U.S. requires all adopted children be caught up too date on there immunizations before entering the U.S. She was not happy with all those shots, neither was I. Poor little thing. The crying was short lived though. The raisins did the trick. The power of the mighty raisin! I am praying that her TB test is negative. We need to have it read on Saturday. If it is positive she will have to have a chest xray. If that is positive for active TB, well I can't go there right now. I can not even think about that possibility. She would not be able to come home with us until she had been treated for TB. Again, don't want to go there. Send positive thoughts our way, please.

Off to go get lunch and do a little shopping. Will post again soon. Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, September 14, 2009

GOTCHA DAY



















We have her! What a crazy, emotional, draining, wonderful day. We are exhausted. My heart breaks for Lily knowing she is scared and grieving for her Nannies. She screamed for about an hour when her Nannies left. She kept looking for them at every doorway, putting her arms out to Asian women she didn't know. She wanted her backpack on her back and kept trying to leave out the door to find them. She sobbed and kept screaming Mama (obviously not for me, but for her nanny). We tried everything to distract her but nothing worked. Toys, lollipops, M&Ms. Nada. She just needed to have her time to grieve. I just held her the best I could (she truly was kicking and screaming) and told her it would OK and that we loved her. I haven't watched the video yet but I am sure it will be heart wrenching for us.

Now for the upbeat news............Once she stopped crying, she stopped. We could tell she was still nervous and scared, but at least not crying. She popped a lollipop in her mouth, still had her backpack on but started walking around just looking at the other kids and adults. Anthony had our backpack on and she with hers on. Lily kept following him around, both with their backpacks on. Too cute. She would let us BOTH hold her. We even got a few smiles by tickling her belly. I was thinking at that moment, this just might be ok (when she was screaming, I certainly had my doubts that all of us would be ok).

She definitely is gentle and kind. She has shared her goldfish snacks with others, on her own, not prompted. A little girl dropped her stuffed bear in front of Lily. She quickly picked it up and handed it to the Mom. How cute.

Lily is Tiny!! I haven't weighed her yet but once she wakes up I will get her dressed and weigh her then. I highly doubt she is the 25 lbs they said she is. She looks more like a 18 month old than a 2 1/2 year old. I got a quick peek at her cleft. It is not as bad as I thought but is still pretty wide. She does have two front teeth. They are crooked but at least they are there. I was concerned about that. My glimpse into her mouth was quick, hard to tell the extent of the cleft. I couldn't see her gum line in my glimpse either. Curious to see how that is. Maybe tomorrow I can get another look. Her little nose is flat and will definitely need a revision at some point. We will deal with all this when we get home. We just want to love her up right now. She is sleeping right now. I just want her to wake up so I can see her. I need to kiss her again!!

Enjoy the pictures. Only time to post a few. More later.




Sunday, September 13, 2009

Delinquent, So sorry

Ok, I feel very badly I did not post last week. This last week has been CRAZY!! It was one big blur. I thought I was better prepared than I was. I thought I had everything under control. Obviously not. Something had to give and it was the blog. The kids started back to school this last week along with us preparing for China. The kids activities are in full swing. Everything added together equaled a crazy cyclone of a week. Friday a.m. came so fast. It was so very difficult to say goodbye to the kids. I was so emotional. Two years of emotions coming to the surface the day before we left was not pretty. I was a sobbing, blubbering idiot. Leaving the house Friday for the airport was extremely difficult for me. All those motherly concerns. The what ifs. Glad that day has come and gone. I still am having a few teary moments but much improved from Friday.

The flight was long but tolerable. We had a delayed layover in NJ. That sucked. We watched MANY movies and slept quite a bit once we were on the plane to Hong Kong. 15 long hours. We had an extra seat next to us which made all the difference in the world. It felt so good to finally get to Hong Kong. We were only there for 12 hours, not much sight seeing could be done. Just around the hotel area. Took the train to Guangzhou today. Not so bad. Saw a lot of poverty on the train route. Kind of depressing. I am relieved that we are finally here. Both of us are tired but in one piece. Our luggage arrived in one piece also. So very thankful for that. We met with "Gracey" today once we got here (our adoption agency guide) to go over our schedule for the next 11 days. Which leads me to this.....................WE MEET LILY TOMORROW AT 3PM!!!!!!!!!

I am in a state of shock really. I feel like this is still a dream. I can't believe all those long tedious days of paperwork and being "patient" have paid off. We ARE really going to see her tomorrow. Someone pinch me. Is this really real? It won't feel real to me until she is in my arms. I know tomorrow will be emotional for many, many reasons but I can't wait to see her cute little face in person. I pray the transition won't be too traumatic for her. I pray she likes us. I pray things go smoothly tomorrow. Please send those positive thoughts and prayers to us.

More to come tomorrow, with pictures!.........................How am I going to sleep tonight?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy, Busy

This last week has been a blur. So busy with the kids. Trying to fit in last minute summer fun, school shopping and preparing for our trip. We leave one week from today. YIKES. We are all very excited but nervous. I know the kids are nervous because they are being a little clingy. Totally fine with me, I love the extra hugs and snuggles (You don't normally get a lot of those from a 12 year old boy). I am feeling nervous about being away from them for two weeks. Its hard to leave knowing you won't be able to be there if they should need or want you. Being SO far away scares me. I know they will be just fine but once you are a mother you always worry. My sister and brother in law are coming to our house to watch them while we are gone. (Thank you Renee and Cody!!!! Couldn't have done this without you). We will Skype of course. So at least we will be able to see each other. Nervous, but can't wait for this adventure to begin.....