Monday, August 27, 2012

Home Sweet Home

This is one of the pictures that was given
 to us from the CP hospital.
Well, we made it home!  On Thursday night, my mom brought my Cavan and my Little Kian home about 20 minutes after we arrived at our house.  I have never seen such a wonderful smile as I saw on Cav's face that night!  He was beaming!!!  Little Kian had just woke up so he was just large eyed, dazed, and confused.  Airlie?  Well, it appeared to shock her that she had to share me with two others.  She squalled in my lap, Kian sympathy cried with her, and Cavan was smiling from ear to ear.  It was quite the scene.  To put it minimally, we had a TERRIBLE night.  Airlie was so was just pitiful in so many ways.  New environment, new kids around, and so on...

On Friday, I came down with some sickness.  Sickness + Terrible Jet lag + Minimal Sleep = ????  I can't really remember, but everyone is still alive.  In China, we bought Little Kian a pair of squeaky shoes.  I recall lying on the couch Friday with my eyes closed, listening for the squeaks.  Airlie stuck close.  I trust Cav.  Little?  You just never know about him.  I think I will buy squeaky shoes for Little from this day forward.  I remember on Friday hearing Chris crawl off the couch and tell Little to stop playing in the toilet.  The squeaks and the toilet are all I remember.

On Saturday, I was still terribly jet lagged, sick, sleep deprived, and questioning whether I could parent three kids.  We played outside for a few minutes.  Airlie was scared of the cat so there were some troubling moments for her while outside.  I don't think she had ever had wide open space to just run.  I am not convinced that she has ever even walked on grass.  She was so scared to take a step.  I am thankful for our 11-year-old neighbor, Tori, who helped and continues to help me with outside play time.  I tried to get her to move in with me, but her parents objected....ha ha

Sunday was a bit better.  I went to the doctor and received medicine.  I told the doctor that I needed a quick fix.  He appeared sympathetic, thank goodness.  All in all, we had a great play time outside on Sunday.  Airlie is still scared of the cat, but we learned that she is even MORE scared of the neighbor's dog.  She screams in sheer fear when the dog comes close.  Poor baby.  However, she started walking on the grass on her tip toes.  I saw improvement in just one day's time.  I can't wait until she can run carefree with the boys.

Today I am taking the crew to the pediatrician.  Cavan is my helper.  Little needs a check up.  He was borderline for a pneumonia diagnosis last week.  Airlie has a few issues that I am concerned about.  Her stomach is still really unsettled.  She also has extremely dry skin and itches constantly.  I can't seem to find anything that will give her relief.  I am sure our sweet pediatrician will be able to help her.

Thanks to all of our precious friends for all of the prayers.  Please continue, specifically in these areas:

1.  The last week that my mom had the kiddos, my daddy got very very sick and landed in the hospital.  My sister took off work to stay with my daddy, and mom had my babies who were sick as well.  My daddy is recovering slowly.  Please keep him in your prayers.

2.  Please pray for the transitions that are occurring in our family.  It's been hard.  Words can't really even describe how difficult it has been.  I know the jet lag and sleep deprivation haven't helped...but it has still been hard.  My precious Cavan looked at his Sissy a couple of days ago and said, "Sissy...don't cry anymore.  You have a home now."  It's going to all be okay...

3.  Please pray for Airlie to bond with Chris.  From visiting her orphanage and the CP Hospital, I think her male contact has been minimal.  The directors tend to be male and the nannies are female.  When the kids are moved, they are taken by the males.  I think she associates males with loss.  It's been difficult to be the ONLY one she is comfortable with.  We have had to make the decision to leave her alone with Chris every few days for a few minutes, because we have to get her to realize that he is safe and that I am always going to return.

Thanks everyone for caring.  I still have so many thoughts to share with you.  I will write more blog posts in the coming days. We love you all....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 9 Amended: Kenny Roger's Chicken House

I failed to write about the evening events of our ninth day with Airlie.  It is certainly notable....

After our farewell, we journeyed to the toy market to try to find a few goodies to take back for the kiddos in our life.  It was a really neat place.  It not only had toys in mass quantities, but it was filled with souvenirs and household decor.  We had a nice time strolling through.  Once again, Airlie was a trooper (when given continuous snacks...ha ha).  When we were finished shopping, we took a taxi back to our hotel.

We went to our friends at the front desk, as we do several times a day.  They always have given us great suggestions on what to do and see in Guangzhou.  Chris asked the clerk if he would write down the address to Kenny Roger's Chicken.  Yes, he still wanted the chicken he had smelled several days earlier.  The nice folks at the desk searched the phone book, googled around on the Internet, and even called other coworkers over to help find the address to the chicken joint.  Finally after about 20 minutes, they told him that they didn't know of such a place and the Internet didn't list an address in Guangzhou.  Chris was frustrated, but some other people that we met were going to a Mexican Restaurant.  We decided to join them.  We had the address written down on a card, and there were enough people going for three taxis.  The other families loaded into the first two taxis, armed with the same address card we had for the Mexican Restaurant.  And so the story begins....

After several English/Chinese conversations with the cab driver, we realized he didn't know where in the world the Mexican Restaurant was.  He ended up dropping us off on a corner somewhere in China.  At that point, we weren't near any restaurants, and we were starving.  In the far away distance, we saw a Pizza Hut.  We headed that way and ate lots and lots of food.  When we got ready to leave, we stepped outside to discover that is was pouring rain.  Thunder and lightening were surrounding us.  I have never seen such a downpour of rain.  Chris and Jason, the admirable men of the group, took one for the team and stood out in the pouring rain and hailed a cab.  By the time all six of us climbed into the cab, we were wetter than words can describe.  The driver had the air conditioning going full force, and it was useless to try to communicate with him and ask him to turn it down.  We had learned previously that the Chinese/English communication system with cab drivers is quite ineffective.

In summary, we drove home soaking wet, freezing cold, and still with no Kenny Rogers chicken.  Ha ha ha

Day 10 Together = Off to Hong Kong & A New Life Together...Forever

I am so excited about today!  I woke up at 4:30 so that I could catch up on my blog.  This will be the last entry I make from China because we will be traveling HOME!!!  We pick up Airlie's passport and VISA this afternoon at 3:30.  We have been pretty good at keeping ourselves busy during the "wait" time.  Who knows what we will come up with today. 

The important thing about today is that we travel to Hong Kong after we pick up Airlie's passport.  After a brief sleep in Hong Kong, we board a plane for Detroit.  In Detroit, someone will be there to discuss citizenship with us, and then we will be off to Nashville.  Our wonderful neighbors are picking us up at the airport, and I will be headed home to see my baby boys!!!  I miss them so much.  I can't wait to hold them and see their sweet little faces.

My sweet baby boys...
My Little (a.k.a. Kian) likes to have my lap all to himself.  He often tries to push Cavan out, and I have to remind him that Mommy has enough room for two babies in my lap.  Cavan and I thoroughly discussed the seating arrangement that will happen when we get home with Airlie.  He decided that Little will maintain his seat on my left leg, Cavan will keep his usual seat on the right, and Airlie (a.k.a. Sissy) will be placed in the middle.  I will let you know how that all works out!  I love a lap-full of babies!

Day 9 Together = Our Consulate Appointment & Farewell

Today was bittersweet.  We were overjoyed to attend our consulate appointment, but sad to say good bye to several of the families in our group that were departing for Hong Kong in the afternoon. 

Airlie was all decked out in red, white, and blue for the consulate appointment. As a group, we took an oath declaring that, to the best of our knowledge, we had been truthful on all of our paperwork.  Then, the officer called us up to the counter one by one and checked our paperwork packets.  She kept Airlie's passport, and we will be allowed to pick it up tomorrow, complete with a VISA to America!  She will not become a U.S. Citizen until we hit American soil in Detroit, but the VISA is one step closer to our goal!
Such a happy girl....

Excited about her Consulate appointment!

Following our Consulate appointment, we said goodbye to some of the families in our travel group.  Some families received their child's passport today and were allowed to leave.  Our Airlie's passport will not be available until tomorrow.  Here is a photo of all of the beautiful, remarkable, and inspirational people that God allowed us to travel with.  I pray that we will all be given multiple opportunities daily for the rest of our lives to share with others the plight of the orphan, the need for these children to have forever families, and the desperation of the orphan situation worldwide.  Typically, these babies do not even have their basic needs met.  As Americans, we have so much compared to people from other places.  My prayer is that our adoption family group can share their adoption testimony with others and help change the world one child at a time.  I truly love these folks...

Day 8 Together = She's a Trooper!

On our eighth day together, we had to go back to the medical clinic to have Airlie's TB test read.  She was found to be free and clear, so here we come America!  I am really looking forward to getting home!  We didn't have any structured plans for the afternoon so we decided to venture to the leather market with another couple.  It was really hot and about a 25 minute walk.  We made it and had lots of fun!  We only bought two little things, but Airlie was a trooper through the whole shopping experience.  She even slept for a bit in her stroller.

Getting ready to go to the clinic.

On the way to the leather market, Chris saw this fruit stand.  We have no idea the name of the fruit he is holding, but he saw it on Bizarre Foods and thought it would make for a cool picture.  (Shhhh....he didn't try it though!)  A few fruit stands up the road, a farmer had one cut open, and it stunk terribly!
When Airlie saw Chris coming with ice cream, she could hardly control herself!  She ate every last bite!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 7 Together = Kenny Roger's Chicken House

On our seventh day together, we went to the Guangzhou Folk Art Museum.  It had exhibits created by local artists.  All of the items were quite beautiful.  There were carvings from ivory, bone carvings, magnificent embroidery pieces, sculptures, and splendid gardens.  Airlie really liked it there.  We let her run around a little bit in the garden.  Here are some pictures.

Airlie loves wide open spaces, and there are very few here.  I can't wait to get her home so she can run free with her brothers!

On the way home from the Folk Art Museum, our tour guide stopped at a supermarket so we could get some baby supplies we needed.  Chris ran in and got a few things while Airlie and I waited on the bus.  Next to the supermarket was a restaurant named Kenny Rogers Chicken.  One of the men from our group was missing when it was time for our bus to leave.  When he finally appeared, he jumped on the bus and began eating a half chicken from Kenny Roger's Chicken.  The aroma filled the bus, and Chris was salivating.  Remember this story.......

After we returned from the supermarket expedition, we went with another couple to attempt to find the leather market.  We walked and walked, and we didn't find it.  We turned to our plan B and decided to take a taxi to Shamain Island.  It was so pretty.  It made me feel like I was in Savannah or Charleston.  The buildings were beautiful island colors, the trees draped of moss, cast iron fences lined the streets, and people were taking pictures in the beautiful gardens.  It was a really neat place that actually didn't remind me of China at all.  Here are some photographs...

Airlie enjoyed herself on the island...Starbucks drink and no hair bow.  She was in heaven!

There were many photography shoots happening on the island.

"Ma ma ma ma ma ma"....I think that meant she was ready to go back to our hotel!

Back to Kenny Roger's Chicken......In all of our strolling around on the island, Chris developed quite an appetite and was fantasizing about the chicken he had smelled earlier in the day.  He had a somewhat English speaking shop owner on the island Google "Kenny Rogers Chicken" and write the address down for us in Chinese.  We gave the address to the taxi driver, and began our journey to Kenny Rogers Chicken.  The men in the car were so excited.  They were discussing whether to order a half of a chicken or a whole chicken.  Just as Chris decided on the whole chicken, we noticed that we had been driving for quite some time and were in an area we did not recognize.  The other girl in the car and myself were starting to panic but the boys kept trying to explain what Kenny Roger's Chicken was and even added "house" to the end...Kenny Roger's Chicken House.  As the driver became more and more confused, and the boys kept trying to explain where it MIGHT be, we (the girls) noticed we were in the slums.  We were sticking the hotel address card through the wire that separated us from the driver.  Finally, 70 yuan later, the boys gave up.  No Kenny Roger's Chicken House.  We ordered Papa John's Pizza instead.  It's a great story though and totally worth the 70 yuan!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 6 Together = Doctor Visit

Airlie was a champ today!  We went to the doctor to have her health evaluated.  On her paperwork, we had to record all of her diagnoses.  According to our referral paperwork, she had Jaundice (cured) and possible CP.  The doctor evaluated her, and he took his pen and marked through "special needs" and circled "normal health!"  We are still going to have the International Adoption Clinic at Vanderbilt thoroughly evaluate her, but it was elating to see his remarks!  She seems to be on-target developmentally to us, but we are not pros.  However, I will be surprised if there are any delays found.  She is picking up our language left and right.  Today she said "mama," "dada," "baby," and "love you."  She has the smallest, cutest little voice.  Just heart melting!!!

Not happy about the TB test....maybe even a little mad.

We are so blessed to have such a happy, healthy girl.  The clinic was full of American families and their adopted children.  We saw children with no feet, club legs, seven-year-olds that couldn't walk, and children that clearly had physical anomalies that I can't begin to describe.  What we couldn't see were the cognitive delays and the emotional scars these children hold.  Please join me in praying for all of the families that have adopted children with disabilities in this country and in countries around the globe.  Also, please join me in prayer for all of the children we are leaving behind.  Their future is bleak, as medical care is either unavailable or cost prohibitive.  I keep thinking about the sweet baby boy in Airlie's orphanage that needs heart surgery to live...

We were tired from our night flight last night, so we napped after our medical appointment and ate at a "western" restaurant at night.  Chris ordered a steak cooked at "medium" (which they didn't understand what in the world that meant) and it came out mooing.  I was so grossed out.  He sent it back.  It came out charred...ha ha.  Similar things happened with each steak at our table, and I truly think the folks at the "western" restaurant were glad to see the complaining Americans go!

Day 5 Together = She likes us...

On our fifth morning together, we awoke to a new child!  She was rip-roaring happy all day long!  My theory?  I think she may have realized that we had visited all of the places she had lived before and we didn't leave her at any of them.  What a blessing and relief to have a happy baby!  Thank you so much for all of the prayers.  We certainly felt them!

Our day consisted of a couple of fun events.  We went to a cool museum, the Henan Province Museum.  That's where, out of the complete blue, I received my first kiss!  Actually, I was given four in a row.  During the first three, I was screaming, "Get the camera Chris, get the camera!"  We captured the moment on the fourth kiss....

We took pictures of a few things Airlie liked.  She began talking to us constantly, even though we weren't real sure what she was saying. 

We also went to a garden with some friends of ours that adopted a cute little guy this week.  The garden was beautiful and Airlie was so happy. 

We are so thankful that her happiness has returned.  The orphanage staff had told us that she was happy all of the time.  It is heartwarming to hear her precious little laugh.

In the afternoon of our fifth day, we flew to the city of Guangzhou.  Our medical appointments take place there and our appointment with the U.S. Consulate.  We are missing our boys very much but they seem to be doing more than okay at Gigi's.  My Little Kian always has his pacifier in his mouth when we Skype.  That's enough to make his life pleasant because he wants it all of the time (and even wants spare pacifiers in his hands).  Gigi gives his pacifier to him all of the time so he is a happy boy.  He kisses the computer screen when we talk, and they say he randomly walks by the computer all day waving at us....ha ha.  Cavan is such a big boy.  He is having fun on the farm.  He helps the neighbor do the yard work and has had play dates with my nephew and sister.  He is working for a Spiderman bicycle when we return, and I think he is going to get it.  Gigi says he has been so good!  I still miss them like crazy.  We will be with all of our kiddos on the 23rd.  I can't wait!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 4 Together = A Little Better

After I closed my blog for day three, Chris, Airlie, and I decided to go get dinner.  I was feeling so down.  Airlie was so sad, and Cavan had cried when we Skyped together.  As we were walking down the hall to get on the elevator, Airlie stopped and started laughing.  As I looked over, I noticed that her pants had fell down!  ha ha....She thought it was so funny.  She has no waist and many of the clothes I brought for her do not fit.  It was a perfect moment.  It really made me feel better, and it made me see that God has a great sense of humor.  We participated in a bit of retail therapy, buying her a few things that actually fit and then had dinner.  That was the only smile we received that day, but it was classic.

Our fourth day together was difficult as well but in a different way.  In an effort to piece her little life together, we requested to visit the CP (Cerebral Palsy) Hospital.  We discovered from the orphanage that she had been sent there in August of 2009 (her approximate birthday is June 20, 2009) and stayed until about two months ago.  Most of her life she had lived there so we felt it was important to visit, ask developmental information, observe the facility, and thank the workers. 

It was a four hour round trip to the hospital.  A couple of hours were on an expressway.  The other two hours were rough terrain with a crazy (maybe even cah-razy) driver.  The entire street was up for grabs.  Lanes didn't really matter.  There was a dotted line in the middle of the road, but no one appeared to care/know its purpose.  Somehow, Airlie slept all of the way there.

When we arrived, we were immediately welcomed by a photographer and a group of doctors.  They were so glad to see Airlie.  She was a bit hesitant at first, and did not willingly allow them to hold her.  However, when we were taken up to the floor where she had lived, she became much more comfortable.  I stayed right beside her the entire time because I did not want her to think that we were going to leave her.

Before I describe the facility, I must say that I believe she was truly loved.  The doctors and the nannies were so delighted to see her.  They hugged her over and over.  They immediately picked up on the fact that she had a fever, took her temperature, and began treatment by spoon feeding her warm water.  As we traveled down the long hall to her room, all of the nannies stopped us to say hello to Airlie.  They talked and talked to her in Chinese, and I heard an occasional "ma ma" roll from their lips.  The love inside the hospital was was beautiful.  I truly think she was a loved orphan.

However, the surroundings were heart breaking.  One hundred seventy children lived in approximately 17 rooms.  Each room had one or two nannies.  The rooms had white walls, clouded windows, and were lined with silver baby beds.  The toys were few.  I only saw a few of rocking horses scattered about.  There were potty seats everywhere.  The children sat in potty seats around a nanny that fed them lunch.  Most of the children wore shirts.  However, many of them wore no pants or shoes.  Urine was all over the floors, and the smell was overwhelming.  There were many very disabled children sitting in rows of walkers.  Each room had little babies that were sharing cribs, two to a bed.  Some of the babies noticed we were there and attempted to position themselves so they could see, and some did not.  Almost all of the children's heads were misshapen from laying in cribs as infants.  One room had three children laying in beds with IVs in their foreheads.  Chris had brought little cake treats for the children, and they were chasing him around so absolutely excited to receive a treat.  Some children visited him several times!

The staff gave us some of the best gifts we have ever received.  They made Airlie a jade necklace.  The name of the hospital is inscribed in Chinese on one side and her Chinese name, Jingshu, is inscribed on the other side.  They gave us a CD with videos and pictures of our baby's first three years of life.  They also gave us a beautiful book of all of her friends she met while she was at the hospital. 

It was an overwhelmingly emotional day for all of us.  It was heartbreaking to see the sheer poverty of the surroundings our baby called home.  But it was amazingly beautiful to see how much the kind folks at the hospital loved her.  I am so very thankful she was loved so much.  She is such a beautiful little girl.  God has certainly given her a fantastic group of friends at the CP hospital.  We asked about sending toys, formulas, diapers, etc.  They told us that all they needed was for us to keep them updated on how Airlie is doing by sending pictures and notes.  I am so proud we were welcomed at the hospital.  Praise God for people that care for children that are alone in this world.
CP Hospital

The doctor at the CP hospital

Airlie's nanny at the CP hospital

Airlie's bed

Airlie dining on watermelon after our visit to the hospital.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 3 Together = Rough Day

Our sweetie at breakfast

Yesterday was a rough, rough, rough, rough day.  Did I mention that it was a rough day?  Whew...let's hope that today is better!

Airlie at the zoo.
We ate breakfast at our hotel to begin our day.  Airlie ate two eggs, about a cup of noodles, a glass of apple juice, and a half of a piece of dragon fruit.  She is such a good eater!  We were free yesterday to do as we pleased, so we decided to take her to the zoo to see the pandas.  Well, us and 500,000,000 other people decided to do the same activity.  There are what seems to be millions of people everywhere you go.  The zoo was fun.  I learned that animals in America's zoos live in the lap of luxury!  Airlie wasn't real interested in the animals.  She was more interested in people watching.  She is from a small town (small means only 2 million people here), and I wonder if she has ever been out and about.  She didn't smile and didn't seem to be happy.  The lady at the ticket counter was trying to tell us something in (hateful, rapid, and repetitive) Chinese, and we didn't understand at all.  It upset her terribly, and she burst into tears.

After the zoo adventure, we ate lunch at McDonalds.  She didn't want a chicken nugget or anything.  She just drank water.  I did make a couple of interesting McDonalds notes....
Don't ask because I have no idea...and no one spoke English

Chris ordered a strawberry shake.  It was the consistency of water and had a raw egg (we think) in the bottom.  He still drank it, and he is currently still alive.
After the zoo, we came back to our hotel room for a nap.  Airlie slept for three hours, but woke up crying.  She had a 102 degree fever.  I was able to get it down with Tylenol, but it scared me.  We began her antibiotic.  I hope she feels better soon.

She was just so sad and mopey all day.  A few times, she just burst into tears and was so hard to console.  Grieving is tough.  She must have really been loved.  I have noticed a few things that make me super sad though.  When I pick her up to hold her, she has no idea what to do.  She is like holding a board.  She never learned to wrap her legs around someone and hang on.  She makes a noise with her mouth when she awakens from sleep.  I think it must soothe her.  She itches all over all of the time.  I have lotioned her up and used anti-itch cream many times.  I am beginning to think it may be a nervous habit.  She never makes any indication that she wants food.  When we place it in front of her, she won't touch it.  We have to spoon feed her or place it in her hand for her to know it is okay to eat.  I don't know if she has ever looked at herself in a mirror.  She loves to just stand and stare into the mirror, and she seems to love pretty dresses.  She fluffs them out and rocks back and forth.  And, much to my pleasure, Airlie likes hair bows!  She doesn't have much hair but we have found a way to keep them in!  When it falls out, she picks it up and hands it to me.  She waits at my feet until I put it back in her hair.

We have a long road ahead of us.  I think Airlie is shy and had possibly faded into the background at her orphanage.  She has yet to talk to us, and no one would even know that she is around.  She is so precious though.  Please keep her in your prayers.  I really could use a smile from her....

August 14th....It's Official!

Today we returned to the Civil Affairs Office to sign all of our paperwork so that Airlie could officially be ours.  We stamped our fingers, and she stamped her hand on the official paperwork.  It was sweet, and we learned that she doesn't like her hands dirty.  Such a little lady!  After her red stamp, she hopped down to the floor and smeared red all over the floor before I could get a wipe to clean her hand!  She smiled some and was happy this morning!

She smiled this morning and played with her doll!

Stamping our paperwork...

The adoption official granting us our adoption!

After our appointment at the Civil Affairs Office, we journeyed to another government building to have paperwork notarized, ate lunch, and began our exciting afternoon...

Airlie is a GREAT eater!

Following lunch, we went to Luo he City, Airlie's hometown.  It was a two hour drive, and her demeanor changed the instant we stepped in the van.  She was sad.  It was nap time as well, so we were dealing with sad plus tired. My hypothesis, which may or may not be accurate, is that every time she has taken a trip in a car, a different placement has occurred.  She has lived at two different places in her life, and they are long distances apart.  I believe the sadness in the car might have been rooted in fear.

Her orphanage granted us permission to visit when we asked.  Given her sadness the day before, we seriously thought about only one of us going in to the orphanage to visit.  However, I really wanted to go and currently Airlie is stuck to me like glue.  She likes Chris but just doesn't want him to hold her or to be left alone with him.  This is common for children from orphanages because they have been cared for by women only, for the most part.  We decided that ultimately it would be best for her if we could get as much information as we could about her first three years.  So we all went in.

The front of Airlie's orphanage

The playground

Her first sign of affection toward me...playing with my hair.  By the way, they call it "golden" hair in China.

We had to wait several minutes outside the orphanage for the director to come to the door.  While we were waiting, children were waving at us through the windows and nannies were looking at us with curiosity.  Finally we were able to go in.  We met Airlie's nanny.  She was beautiful and so very sweet.  She hugged me, and I thanked her for taking care of my baby for so long.  There were nine children and two caretakers in Airlie's room.  Most of the children were disabled.  One little boy (that I would have taken home in a second) had a heart defect.  Our guide told us that it could be repaired in America, but not in China.  If he doesn't get adopted, he will likely die.  Another child was born without a nose.  Several children were in walkers and had difficulty controlling their trunks.  Airlie was clearly the healthiest of all of the children. 

Airlie's Nanny

The bedroom at the orphanage

My sweet baby in the garden outside the orphanage.
As we were leaving, one of the little girls asked if we would adopt her too.  It was a bittersweet moment. We came to say goodbye and offer our gratitude but were so sad to leave the other children. 

Following the orphanage visit, we completed her passport application in her town and went to the place that she was abandoned.  It was an emotional day in so many ways.

Here is what we learned about our baby today:
1.  Her favorite toy at the orphanage was a stuffed bear.
2.  She is shy.
3.  She talks nonstop.  However, she hasn't said a single word to us yet!
4.  She has bites all over her and scarring from bites.  The staff said they were mosquito bites.
5.  Her Chinese name means "beautiful book." 
6.  She wakes at 7:00, naps from 12:00-3:00, and goes to bed at 9:00.
7.  She worries during car rides.
8.  She tells us that she doesn't want to eat by turning her head away.  She never asks for food and doesn't even pick it up when we place it in front of her.  We have to spoon feed her or place foods in her hand.

She's Ours!

On Monday morning, we walked into a civil affairs office in the Henan Province.  It was a large room full of families waiting to get their babies.  Everyone was waiting patiently, and the room screamed of excitement.  About 30 minutes after we arrived, the babies began arriving.  One by one would come in, and the orphanage directors would walk to the adoptive parents and hand them their baby.  Chris was on the look out.  He was standing outside the door waiting. I was just too nervous.  I stayed in the room and watched all of the "deliveries."  When he saw Airlie, she hopped out of the car and was chatting it up with her orphanage director all of the way to the door.  Then he picked her up and brought her to us.....

It was such a happy moment for us and such a sad moment for her.  Of course, I cried and cried and so did she.  It was quite the sight for onlookers I am sure...ha ha.  She cried for quite some time and then began to settle down a bit.  I pulled out my bag of tricks (i.e.  the doll that Gigi had sent her) and opened her roll she had brought with her.

Before we left the Civil Affairs Office, she took a stroll around the place.  She is very observant.  She walked to every child and looked at them intently and also looked at their parents.  When we returned to our hotel room, we fed her and then it was time for her nap.  She couldn't rest.  She was so very sad.  It broke my heart.  She would occasionally burst into tears, sobbing so loudly.  She finally let me hold her.  It seemed like it comforted her some.  I held her like a baby.  She just looked at me and studied my face for what seemed like hours.  As she looked at me, tears just streamed down her face (and mine). 

She is so precious.  Such a beautiful girl and a beautiful gift.  Please pray for her.  The experts say that it is good when adoptive kids grieve.  It shows that they are attached to their caregivers and have been loved.  It's so hard though to see their hearts so broken...