Saturday, September 16, 2006
We are back...Safe and sound. We arrived this morning into Orlando International at 1AM. That is 23 hours after arriving at the Beijing airport for our journey home as a family of three. The flights were good, Chinese security was a little over ambitious in their attempts to meet U.S. TSA regulations. For those traveling the 13 hour flight to Newark or Chicago that meant being stripped of all baby wipes and the beloved hand sanitizer… Life goes on.
Kylie flew like a champ and helped to keep Judy’s hate-hate relationship with flying in check.
Speaking of flying, I have noticed that Judy and I now have our own pre-trip checklist like the pilots on most aircraft, accompanied by a new set of parenting hand and eye signals…
Teether? No, Oh wait yep.
Sippy Cup? (One thumb up..)
Bottle and Formula? … Blankie? …
A 28 lb. pack and 8 minutes later we can resume making progress on the daily itinerary (or sub-daily when divided by nap time).
I liken our start to parenting with a fired up 13 month old who runs like a gazelle to someone who wants to drive a full blown Harley or a 40 foot RV on their first try. It can be done, but be careful and hold on…
Since we are still on China time (EST + 12 hours) and in need of a nap, I am going to end this with a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has read along, commented on or physically participated in Kylie’s much awaited trip home. Judy and I are so lucky to have such a special group of people around us. People who have provided emotional, logistical and even financial support along the way. We could not have done it without your help and consideration.
We are glad to be home, look forward to introducing Kylie to the public, and have sworn off Chinese food… at least until Chinese New Year…
Pictures to follow soon…
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
We'll be home soon...
Sean (and family).
Sunday, September 10, 2006
This pic was taken on our last night at Lanzhou. We had a nice dinner complete with singing, dancing and a birthday celebration for our girls.
The proud mommy and daddy helping Kylie blow out her 1st birthday candle. Notice we did all the work while Kylie just watched
Our friends the Welsh's from Maine with their beautiful daughter Caris. This pic was taken in the Lanzhou airport. We were on our way to Guangzhou.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
A visit to the village in the mountains.
A proud great grandfather, farmer and head of household. Our local guide Steed w/ Kylie and two school girls.
In the small home of a kind family.The hospitable spread, accompanied by pears, steamed potatoes, asian dates and tea.Yummy dumplings for Kylie...
More to catch up on soon.
Friday, September 08, 2006
With love from China
Sean, Judy & Kylie
Thursday, September 07, 2006
We are having difficulty posting pictures but the link seemed to work fine so we will continue to post links and hope that by the time we get to Guangzhou, we can post them again. I'm a day behind on events but I'm still glad to be able to document them as it is the only journal I will have from this amazing experience.
Yesterday the weather was cold and rainy and our trip to a beautiful park and a zoo complete with Pandas was cancelled. We went to a museum instead. Sean took great pics which we will post later. However the kids were restless, they needed a nap and would not fall asleep in their strollers. I opted to get out of the next trip to a park by the yellow river so that I can get Kylie to lie down for a nap. She is starting to get a runny nose and I didn't want to keep her out. Sean however went on the trip and came back with some great pics despite the weather. He also scored big on the shopping and came back with wonderful gifts for us.
Today we are scheduled to go to a village to visit a family. I believe other Wuwei families have taken this similar trip and based on their pictures, I'm really excited to go. I realized I haven't described Langzhou. When we arrived from the airport, the smog was really thick and visibility was not that great. The bus ride was an hour long and all I saw was landscaped that look like a desert and huge mountains. My first thought as a paranoid mom to be was please don't let there be a typhoon, we can seriously get buried by a mudslide! Anyway, I'm not doing it much justice as the scenery really is quite breathtaking especially when you consider that we live in FL where the scenerey is flat. Once we got into town it looked quite different. It is definitely a busy area as most of China is with its large population. My understanding is that it is not a 'touristy' area and there are little if any western type amenities. So far all of our meals have been covered and arranged before hand by the agency so we haven't seen too many off the charts fear factor style food.
In the past two days our princess has gotten a bit 'clingy'. I'm not complaining but we are beginning to wonder if she is grieving a bit. It breaks my heart when she cries. Whenever we enter our hotel room, she starts crying. We discovered that the other families are experiencing the same thing some have started to leave their doors open. We have not tried this yet. Sean literally put one foot into our room and she started crying and as soon as he took his foot back out into the lobby she stopped. We think she may also be associating the room with her diaper changes. For the most part she has been a happy baby as you can gather from the pictures. Last night we skipped dinner with the group and ate at the hotel restaurant. Kylie was happy and ate Chinese spaghetti, congee, bread she chatted, we walked around the hotel a little and as soon as we came back to the hotel room, she cried. I had to rock her to sleep:-( I welcome any comments from anyone who may have experienced something similar and appreciate any advice. It could be that we just have to let it run it's course. Maybe she'll do alot better at the White Swan. I'm hoping anyway.
Here's a link with Kylie wearing a cute red t-shirt complete with a red bow which I placed on her head while she was sleeping, and her cute tennis shoes and bracelet. She was all the rage that day. It was so cute because at first she was not quite sure how to walk with these shoes on her feet. By the way, all of the children are doing very well, are very happy and adjusting nicely which is quite different from Gotcha day. They are all absolutely beautiful. I have not posted pictures of the other families because I keep forgetting to ask for permission. I know there are family members of people that we are traveling with following this blog. As soon as I get the ok, I will post them so that you can all see how absolutely beautiful the girls are for yourself. Sean has been capturing alot of candid shots.
That's all for now. Thanks for following our journey.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
The mtg with the orphanage directors offered a glimpse into Kylie's world pre-adoption. Her foster parents are in the railroad business. The Asst. Dir. wanted me to know that thefoster parents economy situation is better than most. She had a big sister too. She is a 16 or 17 yr old high school student. We think Kylie may have been a little spoiled. She is feisty and not afraid to express her dislikes. She loves to throw stuff (I guess she knows we will pick it up 100 times) but something tells me she is used to this and at times finds it humorous. She has a little temper and she is stubborn. Kylie enjoys the bus rides and the constant movement. It's when we finally settle in to the room that she has a melt down. We think she may be associating the room with a diaper change. The Directors are very proud of their Wuwei orphanage and are proud of the well cared for and healthy babies. They also jotted down the names and other info of the foster parents which I was very surprised about but very pleased. We can send them care packages via the orphanage. I need to get this translated from the Chinese characters into English from our guide. They asked that we provide updated photos of Kylie every six months for the first year or two. (Actually, I'm not sure for how long but we are more than happy to do it).
The Wuwei orphanage is fairly new. It was previously a retirement facility and as recently as 2000 it was turned into an orphanage for domestic adoption with participation in international adoptions. There are currently 800 babies for adoption with half being special needs children. Sean and I were astounded at this number. This is just one orphanage out of many orphanages in this huge country. Much to our horror, we were informed on Gotcha day that she slept with the foster parents. Picture jaws dropped and a look of confusion in both our faces. I'm happy to report that although she starts off on the bed, we are able to move Kylie into the crib provided by the hotel without a fuss. We know that she is not unhappy about this arrangement because she wakes up with an angelic smile on her face. I hope she's not saving it up for when we get home.
The pediatrician we are traveling with has been making his rounds giving our babies physical exams and aside from an ear infection in one or two of the children, they are all in great shape. Our princess has no issues so far. I brought every medication recommended and then some because I rather be safe than sorry. I would definitely recommend it to waiting families for peace if mind because every situation is different and who needs one more thing to stress about, right? Dr. Steve is absolutely wonderful and loves the children. He has also been caring for some of the adults who have unfortunately gotten sick possibly from low immune system due to sleep deprivation, grueling schedules, anxiety and food. In case you are wondering…I’m surviving on steamed rice for lunch and dinner with an occasional room temperature water or coke. The meal I look forward to is the western style breakfast at the hotel, everything from scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, bread, etc. It is my fuel for the day (and M&M’s). Sean has been a bit more adventurous tasting stuff that looks like chicken but tastes like pork. Kylie eats everything we give her, that is everything that doesn’t end up on my lap. She made pe0ple laugh yesterday by eating the food items that fell in her bib pouch. There is nothing we have not given her that she has not liked. Dr. Steve lets us know what food items to feed her which is a pretty wide range of foods. We are absolutely in love with this angel. To us she is beautiful, smart and a perfect match. She screams bloody murder when we change her diaper. I'm terrified at the thought and thank goodness I have not had to change her in public. Our schedules have gotten lighter and we often come back to our room. She is almost 13 months old and the size 12 months clothes are a little big. When we carry her around on our trips, she is fairly quiet. We placed her in a grocery cart yesterday and she was chatting up a storm, touching everything and at times waving at the workers. She will not wave on command. The first time we found out she can wave was Monday evening when we played with her outside our room. She got just far enough away that when I called her name, she responded with a smile and what seemed like a wave and dashed off. She often demonstrates her ability to climb out of the crib. We even snapped a photo of her attempting to climb back into it to get a toy. We gently and lovingly were able to coach her into not doing it. It's these little things that we continue to discover about her that make our hearts melt. Kylie's nick name from her foster parent is Ya Ya. It is a term of endearment and we find ourselves often using it.
Okay enough rambling, here are some pics.
Thank you for following our journey. Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Clicking 200 shots a day, fighting the jet lag, no sleep, culinary challenges…
I took a selfish self-imposed 24 hour hiatus from all but the essential and irresistible.
I’m back snapping again, and thrilled at the results through the trip. Some of the blogging challenge is all of the photos are 8 mega pixel, limiting the number of pics per post.
I have Photoshopped some of the sights and experiences along the way.
Thanks for traveling with us…
PS- Thank you for all of your comments and support. We are definitely in a whole new world (in more than one way). More to come later...
Monday, September 04, 2006
Well, it is now 5:45am and she slept through the night. Like her daddy, born in the year of the Rooster, we are hoping we get another hour of sleep out of her.
The Director of the Wuwei orphanage gave a general guideline schedule for all the girls from foster care (11 for our Wuwei group).
Up at 6:30am.
4oz. of formula w/rice cereal every 3 hours.
Water between every feeding.
1 morning nap.
1 afternoon nap.
Last feeding at 9:00pm.
Bedtime at 10:00pm.
Our little one finally got settled at midnight last night, and we got to unpack. (Sean had to complete legal paperwork from 11:00pm to 11:30pm with the group.)
Blah, blah blah.... here are a few more pics.
The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square was fabulous. We then had lunch in the Beijing airport and boarded a 3:30pm flight to Lanzhou. We arrived at 5:30pm, and quickly took the 1 hour ride to the hotel. Arriving at 7:30pm, we were told to come get our babies at 8pm!!!!! We had to scramble to our rooms. Our luggage didn't arrive until 5 minutes before 8pm. We were all emotionally charged because we new our babies where waiting in the conference room. It was all very overwhelming and exciting. As you will see from the pictures below, we were fortunate to get one happy baby!!! I will post more details tomorrow.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
We arrived back at our hotel room at 8:30pm. We’re now preparing our luggage for our trip tomorrow to our daughter's province. Tomorrow is G-Day (Gotcha Day), the big day and emotions are running high!