Friday, October 8, 2010

Another First

When you adopt an older child you miss out on a lot of firsts.  We missed Kassy's first time walking and her first words.  I guess we can say we were around for her first English word (good morning).  She has had a loose tooth for weeks but today it finally came out and she has another one that is loose.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Day of School

Wednesday was the first day of school for all 4 girls.  This will be the first and last year that all 4 will be in public school.  Kristy started kindergarten, Kassy started 1st grade, Kelly is a junior and Kourtney is a senior.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kristy's 3rd Gotcha Day

Three years ago today we met a 2 year old in Guangzhou, China for the first time.  She has been spending the summer playing with her new sister Kassy, taking swim lessons at the "Y", going to VBS, fishing, and going to the beach at her Grandmama,s house.  We went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate.  As you can see Kristy could eat her weight in shrimp.  Kristy will start kindergarten next month.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yang Starts School

I will post a picture later but we wanted to let everyone to know that Yang starts kindergarten tomorrow.  She is really excited to start.  She went Friday to visit her class.  She ate lunch with them and went to music.  She has had an English explosion this week so the little girl that was scared to come to America because of her fear of being able to speak English is well on her way. First day of school pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chinese New Year 2010 - Year of the Tiger

Saturday was our FCC Chinese New Year celebration. We started the party by doing some art work and making dumplings. The dinner was take out and homemade Chinese food. The highlight was the dragon dance where the kids got to set off fireworks (stomping bubble wrap).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Xin Nian Kua Le! Happy Chinese New Year

Today is both Valentines and Chinese New Year. We leaned more toward Valentines today and will celebrate Chinese New Year next Saturday with our Families With Chinese Children chapter. I'll post pictures next week. Yang had a great week. She is trying to speak English more and more and she is more comfortable with her new family. We have found that God brought he to our family to add laughter to our home. She loves to laugh and has an infectious giggle.
Yang had a number of firsts this week. She had some alone time with her mama this week as Kristy went back to school. She started naming colors in English. She finally took some medicine for a sinus infection and found it was not as bad as she thought. Chinese medicine tastes terrible so she was hesitant to try ours. The antibiotic knocked out the infection quickly so she is not coughing at night anymore. Yang went to her future school to visit. She went to her first birthday party (classmate of Kristy's) and tried pizza. She did not finish the whole slice. She did finish the entire piece of birthday cake. She also experienced her first snow in the U.S. She was not really impressed.  Most importantly she had her first Sunday School today. Judy stayed in the classroom with her and said that even though she didn't understand because of the language but participated and was proud to show her Dad her work. We think she is going to fit right in when she goes to school in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Am Daddy

Yang Yang started playing and laughing hard for the first time since she has been home. She also started calling her older sisters by name. Kourtney was locked in her room and the younger two sisters were knocking on the door and Yang thought of a way to try to get in. She said in a deep voice "wo shi baba." This translates to I am daddy!

Home One Week

We have been home for a week and it has been a very difficult transition. Yang Yang has been grieving her losses all week and we certainly understand. Our case worker helped by explaining to her that they were her foster family and we are her forever family. There were other calls to our friend Lucia in Florence to help her through her feelings. She has her attached herself to baba (Daddy in Chinese) big time. I cannot make a move without her following me. If I am at the computer she has to be in my lap. Monday night she slept with us with one arm around me at all times. The issue was that she did not want me to go to work again. When she realized that I was going to work she began to negotiate a time for me to be home. She started at 4 pm. She is slowly pulling out of it and at this writing is laughing and talking and playing. Today we went to Ringling Brothers Circus. What were we thinking when we bought those tickets. It takes 2 weeks to get over jet lag from China and we are half way through it. We all were a little groggy during the performance but had fun. The night before Yang Yang was desperately trying to tell us something. We finally had to call our friend in Florence to translate for us. She was trying to ask us what time she needed to get up to make it to the circus. Yang Yang was more alert at the end and was watching intently. Next week Kristy goes back to pre-school so it will be Judy and Yang Yang alone for part of the day. Attached are some circus pictures and a video of Kelly's circus debut.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last Full Day In China

Today was our last full day in China, not including the airport.  We spent our last morning at the Guangzhou Zoo.  Last time we went it was July and the Panda's were zonked out from the heat.  This time we figured that since it was January and the temperature was in the 50's we would get a good view.  Nope, they were repairing the cage.  The zoo must have brought back some memories for Yang Yang because she was sad during most of it and cried a couple of times.  She feel asleep on the way back to the hotel and woke up about 30 minutes later in a better mood.  She started playing and laughing.  She will have more sad days but we will help her through it.  Tomorrow we have 18 hours of flying starting at 10 am.  We should arrive, Lord willing, in Columbia at 8:30 pm.  No my math is not wrong, we gain back that lost 13 hours when we came over.  We are anxious to get back home and into a routine and to start fully transitioning Yang Yang into our family.  She may look sad and be quiet when you meet her but wait till you see her full on Yang Yang.  Her are a few pictures to give you an idea.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swearing In Ceremony

It was a low key day today, the only order of business was the swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou.  There were a total of 60 families bring their new sons or daughters to sign the final pieces of paperwork to complete the adoption.  There were no cameras allowed inside so we have nothing to show you.  Yang Yang's personality really came out today.  She can produce the same volume as Kristy.  Kristy loves to play rough and jump all over her Dad so Yang Yang decided to join in.  That was a big step for her.  Yang Yang and Kristy frequently grab each others hands as they walk down the street.  Her are a few photos from yesterday's visit to the tea room.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Luihua Park

Today's tour took us to Luihua Park.  It is famous for its bonsai trees but has many more plant life within the park.    After the park we went to a Chinese Tea Room to sample tea. Yang Yang had a much better day.  Her personality came out big time today.  She was laughing and playing and chasing us around.  We are going to have our hands full when we get back home with two active little ones.  She is also trying English more and more.  She started counting and doing the alphabet in English.  I also saw that she can read and write a little in Chinese.  Tomorrow is the swearing in ceremony at the U.S. consulate and Thursday we pick up Yang's passport with her U.S. visa.  We are starting to get anxious to go home and get back into a routine, especially with the new little one but we are not looking forward to the 18 hours of flying on Friday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pearl Market

We also went to the Pearl market.  We had to get Kassidy's pearl necklace for her wedding day like we did in 2007 for the other girls.  And where did we eat for dinner?  We come half way around the world in an ancient culture and we eat at McDonald's.  We can tell our newest one is an experienced McDonald's eater.

Chinese Herb Market

Today was a Chinese culture day.  We went to the Chinese herb market in downtown Guangzhou.  Yes those are live scorpions.  The lizard skins can cure what ails you as well.

Cute Sister Picture of the Day

This was taken at the park along the Pearl River.

Blog Comments

Some of you faithful followers have been emailing me ( that you can't leave comments on our blog.  Sorry about that but there is nothing I can do to fix that while I am in China.  Blogger is blocked in China.  I am able to update the blog through email but cannot see it.  If you want to send us a note or need to contact us just email us at my yahoo email address.  By the way, we leave the country and the Saints make it to the Super Bowl.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

TB Test Passed

Yang Yang passed her TB test so she is medically cleared to enter the U.S.

Yuntai Gardens

Today was a touring day.  We went to the Yuntai Gardens in Guangzhou.  It is really beautifully maintained even in the winter.  We went to a noodle shop for lunch.  Yang had a better day.  She had a few meltdowns but nothing big.  She is not ready to trust mama and baba just yet but we are wearing her down.  It will take some time.  Tomorrow we go to the medical clinic to have her TB skin test checked.  If she does not pass we have to have a chest x-ray done.  We will go to the walking street in downtown Guangzhou.  In other words, major shopping.  Here are some pictures from the gardens. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Roary in Jinan

This is one for the New Providence Elementary School people. Because we missed our touring in Beijing Roary did not make it to the Great Wall or the Forbidden City.

First Full Day in Guangzhou

Our first full day in Guangzhou was a little rough.  Yang is feeling the changes and of course still grieving but it is all part of the process.  We have the same super guide, Elvin, from our last trip so the familiarity is comforting.  The White Swan hotel is the same first class place as last time as well.  We are being spoiled by these breakfast bars.  Yang has a rude awakening when she gets home and there aren't as many choices.  The first appointment was the medical exam.  She had a little skip in her step on the way there not knowing what awaited her.  The exam part was fine as there were no problems but she had to have 4 inoculations to get her up to U.S. standards along with the TB skin test.  This is a new regulation that we did not have to do with Kristy.   She cried after the second vaccination, we didn't react any better.  She was mad at us for a few hours afterwards.  She ate a little lunch and we spent the day going to the hotel playroom, the local playground and shopping trying to keep her mind off of things.  We went to the new Italian restaurant that is on Shamian Island.  The pizza was amazingly good.  Yang would not have anything to do with the spaghetti so we went and got her a Chinese soup but she refused so she went to bed hungry.  I think a lot had to do with grieving.  She woke up this morning and was eager to get to the breakfast bar where her hunger strike quickly ended.  Here are a few pictures of the day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We Are In Guangzhou

We just checked into our hotel in Guangzhou.  We have the same guide (Elvin) from last time so we are in safe hands to finish the process.  Yang Yang had a very emotional time but soldiered through.  We were fearful that she would refuse to go to the airport but she put on a brave face and went forward.  She is in a very fragile emotional state so we have to be careful what we say and do.  We have to do the medical exam tomorrow morning.  This could shake her up as her immunizations have to be up to U.S. standards.If they are not she will need to get some shots.  That won't help things at all.  She will be required to take the TB test so there is no avoiding a little pain.  No pictures today.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some Pictures from Jinan Part 3 - Daming Lake & Yellow River

Some more pictures from Daming Lake and the Yellow River.  While we were at the Daming Lake park a very young couple wanted us to pose with them for pictures.  Famous in China!

Some Jinan Pictures Part 2 - Baotu Spirings

Here are some pictures from a very cold and rainy Baotu Springs.

Some Jinan Pictures Part 1

I thought I would update with some pictures from our week in Jinan.  One is Yang receiving a Teddy Bear that the teachers from Judy's school sent for her.  There are also pictures of our two China girls painting and working a puzzle.