Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Morning America



Elise wanted to send you all some smiles to wake up to today :)


Baby Giggles

video

Stir Crazy in the Hotel

video

Last Day in Nanchang



Today was our last day here in Nanchang. We enjoyed our last Chinese dinner next door last night with K and her crew. Today we fly to Guangzhou at 5PM today. We started the morning off with our usual eggs and toast from downstairs, then we requested to go back to the People's Park that we visited the other day. It was nice to get outside again and just enjoy being here in China.

Before we left for the park though, the girls and I headed out by ourselves for one last stroll around the hotel. I thought that we drew alot of attention when CJ and I were out, but O BOY you should see the attention I got when it was just me and the girls! Of course it didn't help that S and F were dressed in short sleeve shirts. The clothing police were out in full force ;)


Then we were off to the park again. The girls of course enjoyed all the kiddie rides, and the last "ride" they did was where you get a net and a bowl. The little kids then proceed to catch little goldfish out of this bin-too funny! You put the goldfish in your bowl to play with then when you are done fishing, you just dump the little fish back into the water. Lots of fun for the kids for sure.

All the girls fell asleep on the way back to the hotel in the taxi, so we stopped and picked up McDs (yes again) and now we are back at the hotel packed up and ready to go. Next stop...Guangzhou!

Our Trip to the Countryside

We went to Faith's favorite lunch diner before we headed outside the city today. We only ventured out about 20 minutes outside the city, but that is exactly what I wanted to do. I just wanted to see where most people live their everyday normal lives here in China. It was very interesting and we took alot of pictures.



One of the strangest things to see was that they all share a fabulous well maintained community bathroom in these little alleys. If you have been to China, then you know that I am kidding about the condition of these lovely squatty pottys. My naiveness never imagined that everyone didn't have their own bathroom in all their little apartment houses. Anyhow it was interesting and eye opening to the way that most live here everyday.

We are off to Guangzhou tomorrow afternoon, so this is our last sleep in Elise's hometown. There is a bittersweet feeling surrounding the thoughts of leaving tomorrow. We are taking her away from the place she was born, yet we are growing closer to the place she will thrive-HOME!

Popular This Week

Just thought it was funny to see how popular my blog seems to be this week. Hmmmm....wonder why?!?! I checked my sitemeter and was astounded at the numbers. Normally I only get about 50-100 hits per day. Guess Elise's celebrity status is full on right now :)

Straight Talk
(s50StraightTalk)

-- Site Summary ---
Page Views

Total ...................... 109,433
Average per Day .............. 1,250
Average per Visit .............. 2.5
This Week .................... 8,751

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pics Around Hotel





Sights Around the Hotel


I finally was able to get CJ to walk down the little alley next door to our hotel this morning. CJ isn't much for branching out and exploring, so I was glad he finally let us venture out a bit. Here are some pics from our little walk around the hotel.

My Other Kiddos




Just wanted to post about how all the other kids seem to be doing with Elise and our trip. The boys are doing great at home without us. They are staying in their normal routines going to school and soccer and such. We talk to them everyday on Skype and that helps us alot to be able to actually see each other everyday. They think their sister is cute and are able to watch her a bit through the camera. I am glad to see they are doing well and not missing us too much right now. They have Spring Break next week while we are away, so no school or routine to stick to. I hope they are able to stay busy (hint hint to my village out there ;) everyday so that they don't get bored and start missing us. Overall I think our seperation has been easier than I predicted, so that is a good thing. I can't wait for them to meet their new sister live an in person!!


Shelby is doing really well with Elise as her "second mommy". She babys her and watches over her all the time, as I expected. Shelby gives Elise spontaneous kisses all the time that just melts my heart. The first thing Shelby did as soon as we saw Elise (and I mean as soon as we walked up to her) was inspect her little hand. Shelby pulled back all her clothes until she found her little hand and inspected it closely. I was kind of embarrassed when she did this with the director sitting right there. Turns out Shelby just wanted to make sure Elise was OK and not "hurt". After Shelby saw that she wasn't in any pain, she was good with that and moved on without her little hand becoming an issue again.


Shelby has asked more questions than she ever has about her own adoption during this trip (understandable of course). I try to answer her as honestly as I can about what I know about her foster mom and her birth mom. It was a bit too much for Shelby to take in yesterday at the orphanage. As we were upstairs waiting for the foster mom, Shelby had a mini meltdown asking over and over again "Where is her foster mom, where is her foster mom?". She cried and melted but only for about 5 minutes or so. Once the foster mom arrived, Shelby calmed down and was OK the rest of the visit. Last night putting the girls to bed, Shelby pouting told me that I wasn't her mommy and that she wasn't my baby. I asked then who was and she said she was her birth mommy's baby. I told her yes she was and that I bet she missed her very much :( I then told her that I get to be her mommy now and promise to love her forever and ever. I proceeded to give her lots of kisses and then her tiny giggles came back and all was well the rest of the night. I know this is a very emotional trip for my Shelby baby.


Faith, well Faith is everything I predicted with her new sister...jealous :) She isn't mean to Elise though and doesn't show her jealously towards the baby at all, she just really really doesn't want to share the attention with the new baby. Faith is used to a normal routine as well, so hotel living is not her cup of tea! Everyday she wakes up and says she wants to go home. We are showing Faith some extra love and holding her alot like a baby. She has started to play more with Elise, but still working on the sharing part ;) I have faith she will come around! Oh and it doesn't help that she doesn't like any of the food here. She spends most of her time at the table playing the iPhones-LOL.

All Played Out




This is literally what we call here in the South..."Playing until you just fall out!"

Bullet Post about the Baby


Wanted to share some facts about our newest addition. Bullet style is the easiest, so here you go!


  • She is absolutely adorable

  • Elise is a very quiet baby who will sit and play by herself in the room

  • She is quite wobbly when she walks and falls down often

  • Her little hand looks like a little foot

  • Elise is very good with her little hand and she uses it often

  • It appears that she has a pretty good size thumb

  • All her little digits move independently like full size fingers, very interesting to see in person

  • I think she will do just fine with her little hand, but of course we plan to see a hand surgeon when we get home

  • Elise now cries for me when I leave the room

  • She definitely prefers me over CJ now, but we are OK with that since it means she is starting to trust me more everyday

  • We get more and more smiles from her as each day passes

  • Have I mentioned how adorable she is?!?!

  • Her little bottom hasn't shown much improvement yet, but we are working on it

  • Elise doesn't know how to hold on to you when you hold her, so she feels like you are holding a giant slinky or something wobbly on your hip

  • She is size 12-18 month in her clothing, I brought more 18-24 month, so we are managing

  • She wears a size 4 shoe

  • Elise sucks her thumb when she is tired, so cute

  • She is truly a blessing from above and we already love her dearly :)

Our Day Thru Pics




Seeing Foster Mom

video

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Elise and Foster Mom

Nanchang SWI Orphanage Visit

What an experience we had today, visiting the orphanage.  Finally now on our 3rd trip to China we were able to go inside an orphanage.  Elise’s orphanage is right here in the city only about 10 minutes from our hotel.   We had to jump through a bunch of hoops to actually get us in, but our wonderful guide Vivian succeeded!!  We started out in the 3-5 year old room where we met some of the children.  We had asked how many children were in the orphanage before we visited so that I could bring some candies with us for the kids.  We were told that there were only 20 children in the orphanage.  Well let’s just say that I bought 40 little bags of candies and they were gone in the first 2 rooms we went inside.  There are a lot more than “20 kids” in the orphanage for sure. 

 

CJ had a little boy run straight to him and hug his leg as soon as we got there.  Talk about heart breaking.  All of the kids did look happy and they were actually already eating some snacks when we went inside.  Of course they were thrilled to get a special snack from us too.  Then the orphanage director came in and immediately told us no cameras allowed.  Whoops!  Luckily we had already snapped a lot of pictures.  We were then off to the baby room.  WOW, oh wow is about all I have right now to describe seeing around 30 babies just laying there all bundled up staring straight up at the ceiling.  The babies can’t move because they have SO many clothes on, so they just lay there in little hospital type bassinets staring at nothing all day L  Now remember these “babies” range from newborn all the way up to about 10 months old.  Can you imagine your 8 month old child laying flat on their back ALL day long with no stimulation??  So sad.  The babies were all adorable of course, lots of them with unrepaired cleft lips, one in an incubator.  All looking so so sweet of course.  Good thing I didn’t have a duffle bag with me or a few would have been coming home with me!

 

Next we went up to the foster family apartment next door to the orphanage.  This is where Elise has spent the last 2 months of her life with this foster mom and her 3 other foster children. CJ enjoyed playing with the kids while we waited on Elise’s foster mom to come back from the bank apparently.  Now up to this point Elise had shown absolutely NO emotions towards any of the nannies in the orphanage.  Some of the nannies would come hold her and Elise would quickly hold her hands back out to me.  So I had hoped that Elise would show attachment to the foster mom when she arrived, but she didn’t.

 

Her foster mom was THRILLED to see her little Fangfang again.  She was excited and came in, I immediately handed Elise over to her to love on.  About 30 seconds later, Elise wanted me again.  I felt so bad for her foster mom to see that, but hopefully it will give her some sense of peace knowing that Elise already likes me.  The foster mom was very nice and we enjoyed our visit.  I made Elise go back to her several times, but Elise always wanted to come back to me.  Soon it was time to say goodbye, and then that was that.  We said goodbye to the place my baby girl has spent the first 20 months of her life.  Such a surreal moment of so many mixed emotions. 

Up and Walking

video

Little Explorer

video

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cutie Patootie!!







Reality Check

As wonderful and rosy everything sounds about getting this amazing little treasure is, there are a few other things that not everyone realizes. The fact still remains that my daughter has spent her lifetime living in "less than ideal" conditions. Her little bottom is completely blistered from having to sit in her own urine and feces for whoever knows how long :( Here is a picture of what her whole bottom looks like all over. She scratches it in her sleep as well, so we wake up to a bloody diaper-so so sad to see her in this pain. I have tried Nystatin, baby powder, and other lotions I have. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.



She also has a couple spots of ringworm still active on her legs. She has numerous scars of where other ringworm infections have healed on her body. I am treating them with Nystatin as well and that seems to be working.

Elise was not attached at all to the ladies that brought her to us from the orphanage. Even when she saw them the next day, she did not appear to even recognize them. This tells me that she is very used to be cared for by numerous people, and I don't think she has ever had a healthy attachment. Happily today though, she did cry for me a couple of times when she got scared of the loud music, or when I would walk away from the stroller. That is a good sign and I am thrilled to see her "trusting" me more and more each day. I pray she will attach and soon realize that we will be here for her forever and LOVE her everyday!!

People's Park


We went to the People's Park today and enjoyed walking around and enjoying the great weather. I just love China and seeing all the different people and little families in the parks. The girls were able to ride a few of the kiddie rides in the park, and they fed the fish too. It was fun enjoying being out of the hotel room for sure.

Then we made our way over to the flea markets for some gifts for the orphanage tomorrow. We were able to get 20 new overall outfits for the kids, since that is all the director said they needed. We will also be taking some little snacks and candies for the kids as well. I really hope we get to meet the nannies and maybe even the foster family who has cared for her the past 2 months. We don't go until tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm, so I guess we will see then. Here are some pics of the day, enjoy. Oh and of course enjoying the comments, thanks for joining us on this amazing journey...again!

True Blessings



The miracles I found in China. I am truly blessed!!!

Coincidence??!!

Remember my post with this video the other day? I know you may not believe this but even K down the hall was a witness. Actually she is the one that noticed it first. The first night I got Elise , K and I went down together to the business office to make some copies. When we stepped off the elevator we heard a piano playing. K said, "Do you hear that? That is the same song I just saw on a blog that was a girl with a hand just like Elise's was playing on a piano." OMGoodness, yes it was! Here in the hotel lobby on the very day I got my girl, so amazing!! God speaks to us often, sometimes you just have to listen :)

Dinner Out with Friend



Before arriving I was able to sync up with an internet friend who was going to be here getting her daughter. K's blog is here. It was great to meet her in person and to have someone else here to experience this journey with. She just received her 7 year old yesterday. So we asked them to go to dinner last night to adventure back over to the Chinese restaurant next door. It was fun to have an actual English conversation over dinner and share some of our thoughts and feelings about adoption. This is her first child, she is single and a mighty brave woman to venture out into the adoption world alone. Her new daughter is adorable, seems very happy, and let me tell you...she LOVES to eat! So much fun watching her enjoy her first meal with her mommy :)

We did good yesterday by making the girls take a nap during the day. It is now almost 6am and everyone is still asleep*well except me*-YEAH! Great night of rest all around and I am thankful for that. We meet our guide at 10am to head out to the People's Park. Should be fun. The weather is perfect here in the 60s everyday so far. My guide thinks I am crazy wearing short sleeve shirts. Looking forward to a fabulous day!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hmmmm....



For some reason, Faith all of sudden doesn't think China is too bad anymore ;)

Signed & Sealed




Well at least as far as China is concerned. We completed the China side of the paperwork today for Elise to become officially ours FOREVER! We also managed to get our first little smiles out of our new girl today too :)

We made our way over to the registration office this morning, then after all the official stuff, we did Faith's favorite stop in China...McDonalds! We enjoyed our food in the room, then we opted to take naps today hoping to skip the 1am-4am wakeups in the middle of the night I guess we will see how that turns out tonight. Anyhow, here are all the pics of our day, enjoy :)


PS: Don't you just love how Elise sucks her thumb to go to sleep?!?! SO sweet