Monday, January 27, 2014

Trouble Shooting


1st Doctor Visit

Today was our first Doctor's visit.

Our Doctor was quite impressed with Faith's development and attachment to us (so are we;) Faith is small for her age and is in the low percentile for growth.
And of course we had to give blood and poo for the lab. Now we just wait to see what is next for us. So far we know that Faith's Spina Bifida is internal and not external, meaning it was never open. Her little spot is very low on her bum and not on her back and she is walking. She has mild Eczema (hence the scratching). We do not know much about her Spina Bifida at this point-without the MRI and sonogram.


So far her English vocabulary includes:

No
Ya
Don't do that
Mama
Dada
Dede (Frederick)
Ma (Mackenzie)
Op (Hope)
Yaya (grandma paternal)
Nana (grandma maternal)
I La Hoo for I love you
Good Girl
Hello
Bye Bye
Ryder (our dog)
Peekaboo (and covers her eyes) Paith for Faith (she says this often)

Her comprehension is off the charts. She blows kisses and give high fives. She will go and get her shoes and put it on herself. She will clean up her toys. She will climb up and down stairs. She will answer the phones. She's obsessed with the dog cage and climbing in it (eww).

Faith will turn 3 years old in March. But we plan on celebrating her birthday with Hopee this February 15, God willing.





Thursday, January 23, 2014

I LA HOO

I have decided to blog today!

Everything is happening to fast and it is hard to keep track of the time and the days.
Faith is still adjusting to her daddy-and she smiles and talks to him on the phone but she does not want to sit with him alone yet. It doesn't help that he has been snoring lately either-I guess we're all tired with the new changes. Her sleeping patterns are up and down and it has been hard figuring her out. Her eating habits are also...uhm interesting as she is always hungry! She hides food in drawers and in her high chair and in her clothes. She is the only child in the house that runs to the dinner table every chance possible. So yes there are behaviors that she has brought from the orphanage and we know she is trying to figure this all out. She is picky as well. She doesn't like milk, Almond milk, chocolate milk, formula or Pedia Ensure. None of it. So we have been giving her yogurt. She loves eggs and cereal but not oatmeal. Our neighbors from Taiwan have been so wonderful, they bring rice congee every three days for her and that has helped. But food is still a trial and error ordeal around here. Our dog Ryder seems to be very happy, as Faith is constantly, flinging mysterious foods over to him. He is also very protective of her that it kind of drives me nuts at times to hear him barking at who ever is approaching her. We have gotten back into homeschool rather smoothly, it helps me keep my mind sane I think with the lack of sleep and with Faith being so clingy to me. She does some pretty, funny things at times though: like when she throws her hands up in the morning for me to hold her and then whacking me in the face and saying, "Ma I la hoo!" Yes, we can thank the boys for showing her that hitting is funny. Because I am constantly putting creams on her for her itching and scratching, so she now attempts to put cream on us. I can see that she finds that funny and I guess relates that to caring. She is constantly screaming out "ma" and sometimes she sings to me and I don't understand her and my neighbors from Taiwan say they don't understand her either. So go figure. She also has a habit of talking on the phone...she walks around and babbles and laughs on her play phone-guess I am looking at myself in the mirror? She is running around here like she's got wheels on her heels and she climbs the stairs...scary, yes but she is quite confident now. She loves Hope's room and I am glad because it will be nice when they are in the same room. She's still sucking that thumb but smiles at me when I ask her what she is doing with that...that's when she responds in English and says "dondodat" and then "BUYAOW" which is Mandarin for don't. She often wants to snuggle with me and kiss me and she loves to be kissed back. Its adorable to have her around here and its so funny discovering her little personality-as every day its something new. I am sure its hardest for my husband though, and I sympathize for him greatly...we've tried to do certain activities like bike riding, where she is in the wagon behind him-she loved that. I've also left them together, like twice which didn't go great the first time, but went better the second and I got to see her smile at me when I returned home. We have not seen her Pediatrician yet, in which I am kind of anxious because now she has a slight cold. I have been blessed that I have been able to be home with her all this time without disruption. As next week I will begin tutoring again and I will have to leave her in the nursery-I hope it goes well, sigh. I just want to protect her because I know this has all been so hard on her. Faith's adoption is definitely unique because of her loss. It wouldn't be right not to blog about it. I am sure every child goes through their own way of grieving and Faith's has been obvious to me. So I take her 'I la hoos' very seriously when she expresses them. We are trying to speak to her in English and in Mandarin, so that she understands what we are saying and at the same time, we want to communicate effectively with her. Though my neighbors and I agree that there was probably not a lot of dialogue between Faith and her nannies...as she is very intrigued by conversation. When we play videos of her orphanage she always stops and stares....and it kind of breaks my heart I know they are apart of her and so they are apart of us too. We miss China and those precious kids.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Reflecting on The Other Ones...

Here are some pictures that were taken with a camera that we sent: MARK 9:37 "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Adjusting...

I guess its time for another post as Faith is coming out of her shell. She continues to babel in Chinese. Her file said that she only said 'Mama' and 2 families refused her because they thought she had low intellect. Some of the doctors we spoke to also said that her file was too risky because of her intellect. I must say, that Faith is very intelligent! So intelligent that she does not like a lot of the changes that has occurred in a short period of time. Every time we moved to a new room and she was in a new crib she cried-all night long. When we placed her into her official crib at home, she has been crying-all night long. So we are not getting great rest on top of the time change-its been confusing for all of us I guess. Faith is also very picky with foods. She refuses the formula we bought in China, milk, juices and anything else we've given to her in a bottle and cup. She likes water...and so that is what she has been drinking mainly. She has been eating chicken and meat, something she refused in China (which was frankly better there). We're glad that her appetite is getting better here. Our neighbors from Taiwan brought over congee for her-how sweet is that? She loves the congee, and our friends have it made with chicken broth and shreds of chicken that she likes a lot. Today marks the first real day that she has been cruising around the house by foot. Her walking is somewhat wobbly though which has us so nervous. We don't know if she is wobbly because of her spine or hips or if she is wobbly because her legs are just weak because of diet? She is what you can call a 'flappy baby'. Hope was like this as well when she left the orphanage in Russia. So I don't know if this is because they have not received protein, did not get many chances to walk around in the orphanage. But her being so fragile makes us nervous when she's bumping into things and/or when our boys are trying to hold her or play with her. She continues to suck her them (drives me nuts) as you can see what it has done to her teeth;( but I guess a day at a time, as we now try to line up doctor appointments and brace ourselves for what lies ahead in the next few weeks. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss...I'd rather not know than know at this point. I just want to love on her and feed her and watch her laugh and play as we get to know her better. I sometimes wonder what she is thinking. Am I another nanny to her at this point? I know she likes us...but she knows we're clueless about what it is she wants at times. The other night she cried at 3am and so I went to pick her up and I placed her in bed, next to us to try and comfort her. She continued to whine and so I asked her "what is the matter with you tonight?" She opened her eyes and then pointed to my sleeping husband! Poor Freddy! So I put her back in her crib with a bottle of water. I must say it is more challenging with an older child. I know Faith knows a lot and she is feeling as though we have taken her away from home. We are definitely building a bridge a of trust with her and it will take time. I also want to add that my connection with her has been very good. I feel that she is my daughter and I lay awake thinking how amazing is it, that another woman carried a child meant for me? I adore Faith and feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be her mother. But I am rusty! At church yesterday I forgot to bring a bag with her diapers and bottle and change of clothes. Those are things that I no longer did with my kids...so I need to refresh a little. We have been nothing but blessed with great neighbors, friends and church family who have brought over foods and have brought over clothing in which I didn't realize I was lacking...because Faith is a lot tinier than we had expected. We're content...and the children are as well. Noah's birthday is coming up around the corner and this will be the first year that he will not be sharing it with Hope-So I am excited for him. I will have Hope and faith share a birthday instead in order to give the big boys their space and much do attention. I have made it my New Year's resolution to not start planning things for myself. I will let God put my schedule together day by day. That may sound like a big deal but its really rest for me and such a refreshing thing. I am trying to put aside my foolishness. Let God do what He does...it is just so evident that God is in charge of our lives. Having Faith around feels like its always been. Everything feels as it should and that she was meant to be here all along. My sweet husband says the same despite her fear towards him. We just feel so blessed and pray God gets all the Glory. It is God who has mended this family whole. It is God who has broken our hearts and equipped our hearts for adoption. The cry of the orphan is God's burden and He allowed us to hear as well. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen.

Friday, January 10, 2014

We're Home!


So did you know that TOYOTA is ATOYOT backwards? Well that was what we were staring at for three and a half hours long-during our car ride to Hong Kong. Because we travelled light, we decided to just rent a van and ride right into Hong Kong from Guangzhou. There was a serious one hour security check at the border, where they made us get out of the car and then get back into the car; then take our luggage back out of the car, then place it back into the van...check our passports again and again...and then ask our driver to step aside for some questioning. We then stayed a night at the Regal Hotel Airport and smoothly, caught a flight into Chicago O'Hare Airport, where Faith stepped onto American soil and became a Citizen! Later we connected to Fort Lauderdale and arrived home. Faith did great on the plane but because of some strong turbulence, she vomited twice! It's been quite a trip and we are so happy to be home and Faith seems happy too. It is the first time, that we are actually observing her walk around here and play with toys. And I must add: that we have the best neighbors and friends in the world, who were all here to greet us and meet Faith. Thank you guys for your prayers and amazing hearts! I do not know where the camera is so I will post pics and update stuff later, as I am now looking at the awful blogging I did from China. I think our kids actually miss the pee pee potties?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our Final Days

Well we received our confirmation from our rep Jocelyn, that Faith has tested negative for TB-yeah! And today marks the day, that we took our oath at the U.S. Consulate. We met another cool family from Kentucky http://whitledge.blogspot.com/,they adopted the beautiful Caroline May, from the Guangdong province-blessings to them! After our oath, we headed back to Shamian Island for squeaky shoes like Carolines'.
For future reference, the squeaky shoes are at 'Jenny's Gift Shop' and they are Christian! She was giving out so many things to our children-the kindness here is so note worthy! After that we ended up walking, all the way to the pearl river cruise and ate buffet style. It was quite impressive but chilly, so faith and I stayed in eating yummy cookies. Daddy and the boys took pictures of all of the pretty lit up bridges and of the Canton Tower-the third largest tower in the world. Tomorrow, we will receive faith's visa to leave the country and we will head out via van to Hong Kong (we're on quite a tour of China). Hopefully, we can catch a flight somewhere into the U.S.A. by Friday.But there are apparantly, some serious weather conditions and a serious number of flight cancellations-which could affect us. With all of our travels thus far, on foot and with five kids in tow through some harsh traffic conditions and side-walks and allies....I have to say, that God has really been watching out for our safety on this trip. It has been such a blessing to be on this trip with our children and journey to our daughter. It has been all so worth the troubles...and at the same time, it really has not been us and/or our abilities. Its been God the whole time. We really do undestand this better than ever now. When we allow the Holy Spirit to operate through us out of obediance or when we align our hearts with His-we can reap His harvest and bear fruit. There were multiple times during this trip where I thought-'what am I doing?' 'Where am I going?' 'How am I going to do this?' or better yet, 'who is it that loves this child I am carrying more than me?' God obviously does love Faith, more than me because He isn't worrying about her special needs as I often do. He isn't staring at her with confusion and with worry as I sometimes do. I thank you and praise you Lord, that you have this figured out more than I do. I am sure God understands Faith better than I do also, because in the last two days she has been blabbing in Chinese and she waits for me to respond with a "ahhhhhhh?" I have since learned some more mandarin too' mostly, 'don't and stop and no' lol....she gets upset and screams back at me. I don't know if its Mandarin that she is speaking though.....but she has been singing too and it's quite adorable. Her eating has picked up but she remains quite picky and she is still terrified of Freddy. So we're even more excited now to pack up around here and head on a path to home.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Medical Exam Day

Today we had to do Faith's physical for her visa. They did not allow parents to be with their child during the blood drawing. This was an awful moment for us. And Faith was screaming...all I could think of was how far we've come with her trusting us but after the blood draw, we are probably another 5 steps backwards. After the medical ordeal, we headed back to the hotel to do some more paperwork and then we headed to Shamian Island! I gave faith some Motrin and she passed out for most of the sight seeing. When she woke up we started snapping pictures and of course we came across the famous violin statue with the children...but Faith was not thrilled about having to stand up by herself, for a picture. so I have to post this tradition, even though it didn't come out so good:( Faith is much better tonight, she's blabbing away saying things we don't understand. mainly, she is repeating us and the kids and she has us laughing hysterical. She will once in a while touch my face and say mama...it melts my heart. We bought some pearls today with some jade, I am very excited about it. We had a girly shopping day I guess...Fred wasn't too thrilled about the waiting around for us to decide...but its oh so fun to be a mommy of two girls now! I also must say that Freddy and I are so impressed with the affection coming from our children. they are so warm and loving towards their little meimei. I don't know what we would do if our children didn't come along..they are teaching us so much about love. Sigh...God bless them. We are a very blessed family, I cannot thank the Lord enough for the treasures that he has entrusted us with. Glory to the highest!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Arrived in Guangzhou!

We have arrived in Guangzhou already. Faith did great on her first plane ride and she is still resisting her father. Jeanette, I feel better that you have reassured me that Grace went through the same thing-because I find myself quite worried at times
or="1" >s with Faith and her behavior towards her dad;( Last night she woke up every 2 hours, crying and nothing seemed to comfort her-despite the chronic thumb-sucking habit! It could be her new surroundings, we're in a very differnt hotel room.It is quite beautiful at this Holiday Inn. I must mention that the service and staff here have been so amazing to us. They provided us with a crib and are just so patient with our lack of. I cannot recommend enough that you consider the Holiday Inn for your Chinese travels. We are right in the heart of downtown here and it is very exciting around here and easy to travel around by foot. Everything is at an arms reach.I cannot post up pics just yet because things are still glitchy on this VPN....but I have to say that picture taking, is awesome in Guangdong province-its hard to turn the camera off! I have never felt more like a tourist than I do here in china! The people are a lot busier in Guangzhou but more confident and curious. And there are no mopeds around (sigh of relief) like in Zhengzhou, that had us terrified to death. I also must mention, that China's fashion is by far my favorite. The women are dressed up as dolls here....the style is so femminent-I feel like a slob! We have already bought some souvenirs here for more pictures! I had only bought 2 pairs of shoes in Zhengzhou for Faith; an initial pair to cover up her for her tiny, tiny feet and an authentic handmade, traditional pair of chinese shoes that are so impressive. And we bought Faith's baptismal dress here in Guangzhou. I was also going to buy these adorable pink dresses for the girls, but we were told today-that second wives and conqubines where pink, first wives wear red...hehe...that is why brides wear red dresses on their wedding day. So uhmmm I guess we'll buy red instead? Also, it is tradition to buy 'jade stone' for our children at birth and then again at marriage and a third time when they become mothers? I forgot the third one but I thought that was so neat. But it is also hard to find 'authentic jade' even in China and the prices do vary...so I told Fred, we'll need some time to accumulate some money to buy something very special for the girls, on their wedding day. We have been managing our way around quite fine-and people are very friendly here and always willing to help. When we walk down the streets people count our children and giggle. They ask, "are all these kids yours?" And they hold up the palms of their hands and point to five fingers. It is a reminder I guess, that big families are not common in China because of the one child policy. At the same time, I wonder if it is painful to them? Alot of times they kind of gesture, lots of children-so expensive? Mackenzie is a show stopper here and people request to take his picture. I hope this doesn't go to his head! My husband is also grabbingg attention of the ladies and I hope this doesn't go to his head either...or he will end up buying me jade on this trip! Almost everyone lives in apartments in the city and living space is an issue. The cost of living is also high, and the penalty of having another child would be a very high price to pay. Our guide Jocelyn, says that a fine in Guangzhou, would cost around $50,000.00-more than most people's annual salary...even in the U.S.A. that would be a hefty price to pay. We visited some arts & crafts shops and the Qing Dynasty temple and an older Buddhist temple where we observed many people praying and burning incense with their offerings. It was very educational I am sure for our children to see, as they had many questions for us. Again, I am so happy we brought our children along. Its hard to believe that we are already half way through our journey. Tomorrow is Faith's medical exam...and I doubt she will be thrilled about it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Cannot believe that we are ringing in the new year in China! What's harder to believe is the exhaustion that we are experiencing as well-we went to bed at 8pm! We woke up and forgot that it was new years! So we celebrated it over SKYPE with the family. Faith did wake up screaming today and she is grieving terribly for her caregivers. We visited the orphanage yesterday in LuoHe, and that was a treat but faith was confused about it. She was happy to see her nannies, but at the same time she did not want us to put her down with her friends. We were happy to see her own and meet some of the other children who do not have families yet, but we got to play and ptay with them-and it touched our children very much. Thank you Beka for all of your advice and all of your help-God bless you. Faith has also rejected Freddy. Which has made things even more difficult for us. I cannot put her down or leave the room-she cries and sleeps often...and I am concerned for her. I knew there would be challeneges with an older child but I just hate to see her suffer, and I feel like I cannot even console her at times or I worry it just makes things more confusing, for her:( On another note: we keep bumping into 'John & Amy'! They speak mandarin and so its been such a blessing to be with them as they have been helping us order food. And we have been comparing notes and our babies' experiences and they are already talking about adopting again asap! What a blessing! Something that has me bothered is the pollution here is awful I feel terrible for our kids and I feel terrible for the people in China! We take so much for granted in the U.S.A. So I have to admitt I have been so lousy at blogging this time around, and I apologize for that. I praise God for this new year and I thank God of all of you and your support and prayers. Even our picture taking has been ughhhh....I will have to do a lot of revision when we return or maybe when Faith gets more comfortable. A funny thing to note; is the dirty looks she gives Freddy when we are eating...everytime he looks away, she looks at him and when he looks back at her she closes her eyes or looks away. I feel so bad for Freddy...its a good thing men don't take these things to heart...I know she will love him like Hope adores him. Hope is adjusting great as well. She is thrilled to take on the role of big sister and she adores Faith. I have to also recommend the Holiday Inn Express here in Zhenghou again-they have been so fabulous and their morning buffet is AMAZING! YUM! Faith is not eating much though, we are trying to give her familiar foods such as congee and noodles and hot milk/formula.
Things that we have done here in Zhengzhou: We take almost daily walks to Walmart-the kids love looking into the aquariums and every so often a fish or frog hops out. We walk to parks, went rollerskating and we visited the ZOO! Or we took our Zoo to the Zoo as Freddy likes to say. The Zoo is worth seeing! Very exotic animals-we got to see a Panda!!! Its very stinky but we rode in cable cars over the lions and tigars! The kids are having a blast and we will miss Henan terribly-we're already feeling it especially with Rita. We love her and will never forget her-she works very hard.