The First Time We Saw Your Face...

The First Time We Saw Your Face...
Shu Hua Wen-Referral Photo

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Home Almost 2 Weeks-What A Difference!

Just wanted to post a few pictures of our first "almost" 2 weeks home. We have settled in to a routine and the temper tantrums have pretty much completely disappeared. We are enjoying Chloe so much. She is so funny and we end up laughing at the things she does. She laughs alot, too, and it's music to our ears. We're so glad she's happy.

We took Chloe to church for the first time last Sunday. She loved the music and clapped along as we sang. I think she was a bit overwhelmed, but she enjoyed the nursery and playing with the other children.

Last weekend we had visitors, Kevin's folks (Grammy & Grandpa). They came bearing gifts and Chloe loved them from the start! I think they kinda liked her, too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finally Home

Boy, am I behind posting an update! The last few days in Guangzhou were a whirlwind, it seems, and I am learning that to do things I need/want to do, I am going to have to learn to manage my time much different than in the past!

Our trip home from China was a challenge. We left Beijing Thursday at 5:00 p.m. Chloe got motion sickness-4 times-on the plane. We had to change her clothes every time, and she wined and whimpered. Finally she slept for several hours. We arrived in Newark, N.J. and had to collect our bags and go through customs? I think. Our bags were the last out on the bag claim belt, then the line for customs wound around and around. Finally after waiting about 30 minutes with an unhappy Chloe, a security guy came around and was asking about her and I mentioned to him about her getting sick on the plane and he let us cut in line! However by that time we had already missed our flight to Houston. The next one was at 5:00 the next morning and we'd have to be on standby. So we decided to stay overnight, at Continental's expense, in Newark. THREE hours later, we're still standing there waiting for our vouchers and key to the hotel. They shuttled us to Crown Plaza, only to find out they are full, so then we're shuttled to Ramada Inn (nothing to write home about, but a warm bed nonetheless). We got in bed around 10:30, only to get up at 3:00 a.m. and start all over again. We all 3 got seats on the 5:00 a.m. flight, but then when we arrived in Houston, we missed our flight to Killeen! The next one wasn't until Saturday morning. We were so eager to get home that we rented a car in Houston and drove the 2 1/2 hours home.

Ever since we've been home, I have been sick. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and got medicine and am feeling much better today. My poor husband has had to take care of Chloe by herself much of Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. He reminds me so much of my own daddy, very patient and nurturing, getting down on the floor and playing with her. Wish both our daddies would've been here to know her.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Catching Up... And Almost Home!!

The last few days have been filled with shopping, a trip to the clinic to read Chloe's TB test (negative), and our appointment with the U.S. consulate for our oath-taking ceremony. I was expecting much more, but it was really pretty uneventful. They called the families by name up to a window where we both signed, then we were all addressed as a group for a few minutes, stood, raised our right hand and repeated after her, and that was that! Chloe threw the fit of all fits and Kevin about had it! Thankfully, one of our travel families had some Cheerios on hand and that worked for a bit.

We are eager to get on the plane for home. We leave tomorrow morning (Thursday). It's been nice, but these 2 weeks have seemed like an eternity in some ways. I'm ready to get back to all things familiar!

This is Lesa.... Thank you Mary for allowing me to help you while you were in China! I know how you feel about wanting to be home.
Norah, you please give them a huge hug from me, okay.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Scene outside our White Swan Hotel...

Happy Chloe....


Our Chengdu Guide, Susie

Chloe in the drivers seat.

Typical traffic in Chengdu and Beijing

Brocade/Embroidery Shop in Chengdu

Transportation and Barbie...

Here's some pictures of some simple methods of transportation in Chengdu. Of course, they have buses and taxis, as well.

Here in Guangzhou at The White Swan Hotel, we were given a Barbie holding an oriental baby, provided by the hotel and Mattel. What a nice surprise. Mattel also provides the toys for the Swan Room, the playroom here at the hotel.

Chloe's Finding Place

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Last Few Days.....

Wednesday after completing the last of the paperwork (in Chengdu, anyway), Susie took us to a brocade/embroidery shop. There were 3 huge looms where men were making brocade items, 2 men per loom. The one on the bottom controlled the colors, and the one on the top controlled the pattern. Some of the items in that store were amazing. The lady said these men start learning this art at a very young age. Some of the most beautiful pieces took the men 2+ years to complete (and they wanted a pretty penny for them, too). We purchased a couple of souvenirs there. It was worth the trip.

Thursday morning our guide, Susie, took us to the Panda Reserve. It was really neat, but we could hardly keep up with Susie. Why she was walking so fast, I don't know. Anyway, we took lots of photos. It was a very nice park. On the way back, we drove by Chloe's "finding place", the place where she was found when she was abandoned. It looked like a little cement drive, with apartments on either side. She was only 2 years old at the time. If she had decided to turn around and walk the other way, she could've ended up in traffic, and the way they drive here, she could've been hurt badly, or worse. It was a sad experience, but one I'm glad we had. I know she may have questions one day, and I intend to tell her all I can.

Thursday evening we flew from Chengdu to Guangzhou. Chloe did not like the plane ride at all. She cried and threw a tantrum (one of many that day) and wanted Kevin to hold her, which he couldn't do. It was a long flight (2 1/2 hrs). Makes me dread the flight home in a few days.

Here in Guangzhou we are staying at the White Swan hotel. It is a beautiful building with a 3 story waterfall in the lobby and a man-made pond full of fish. It is located on Shamian Island and there are many shops to explore. For lunch we walked next door to Lucy's and I had a hamburger and french fries. Felt like home...

Here's a few things I already know about Chloe:
1) She can out-eat Kevin AND me, but everything "western" we've tried, she has not cared for
2) She does not like bath time, which makes me believe they were probably scarce at the orphanage
3) She can be very sweet when she wants to be and already gives kisses, mostly to Kevin
4) She likes to be clean and when you give her a wet wipe, she wipes her face and hands and hair, and when she's done, she starts all over
5) She has no interest in dolls-YUCK!

Will post more in a few days...

Note to Norah:
Norah, I'm not able to access my blog from here, but my dear friend, Lesa, is posting for me. Right now, Chloe is wearing 24 months, but since I brought some 2T, she's been wearing them, too. They fit okay, but just long in the legs. We had her medical exam today and she was 11 kg. (@ 24 lbs.). The diapers we bought here are Pampers Large for 9-14 kg. and they fit pretty good.

Beijing was very cold, in the high 30s, I believe. Chengdu was much warmer, in the 50s, but still required a jacket. Here in Guangzhou, where we arrived last night, it is very pleasant, probably in the 60s. But it is very, very humid here.

We did venture out some on our own in Chengdu, but to tell the truth, it's a very scary place to be after dark...or even light for that matter. Plus you have to cross a street in every direction and, doing that is taking your life into your own hands! I have never seen such crazy driving in my life!

The bed in Chengdu was the most comfortable bed! Now here in Guangzhou they are back to being hard. Oh, well, guess you can't have everything! I'm about to send another post to Lesa that will answer the finding place question.

Thanks for the comments and for the prayers, especially. I can see this is going to be a lengthy process.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Photos of Chloe...

Mary with Chloe, just hanging out...

Happy Chloe!

Pooped Out.

Trying Daddy's socks on...

Hum, should I try to put my shoes on too?

Instead I think I'll just add a couple more socks. hehe...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thing Are Looking Up

Today we went to the civil affairs office and completed a bunch of paperwork which we believe completed our adoption. We had Pizza Hut afterwards, which none of us were too crazy about. I do think we are making progress. Chloe is now chattering away to us and playing and playing. She even comes to me voluntarily at times, but still prefers her daddy. The orphanage gave us a photo album and a memory book of photos they took of her since she's been there. They also gave us a copy of the "finding ad", the newspaper ad they put in the paper trying to locate the family after she'd been abandoned. Today at the civil affairs office we were told she was abandoned, and they even provided the address. The police were called and she was taken to the Chengdu Childrens Welfare Institute (orphanage). Once back in the hotel room, Chloe took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Probably trying to make up for last night! I wish now I had brought more toys. She's already tired of the ones I brought and has worn out the Sponge Bob videos!

Tomorrow we go back to the Civil Affairs office for more paperwork. Thursday morning we hope to go to the Panda Reserve. That evening we will fly to Guangzhou for the last leg of this journey.

Will post more later!

Monday, February 1, 2010


We were up bright and early yesterday morning (2/1/10), exchanged currency, then met our driver to head to Chloe's orphanage, which was an hour away. The orphanage was a very nice building that resembled an elementary school. The took us upstairs to a large room that already had 2 families who had just gotten their children. We completed some paperwork, handed over our orphanage donation, and finally they brought her in. I recognized her immediately. They had her hair fixed so cute and she was bundled up: 2 pants, 2 shirts, and a jacket. She let me hold her, but I could tell she wasn't too happy about it. Kevin held her next, and from that moment until now, she wants nothing to do with me. She won't even hold my hand. She is definitely Kevin's girl! On the way back to the hotel, we saw a glimpse of what we would experience the rest of the afternoon, evening, and through a large part of the night: temper tantrums. She slept last night out of sheer exhaustion. That goes for the two of us, also, not to mention we are still fighting jetlag! I try to remember everything is new and strange to her, too, and in time it will get better.

A couple of other surprises we weren't expecting: 1) at 3 1/2, Chloe is still not potty-trained, so I had to run out and get some diapers. 2) Chloe will need some major dental work when we return as many of her teeth are rotted. The lady at the orphanage said they were like that when she came there. Lots to do and think about when we get home.

Yesterday afternoon when she wasn't throwing a tantrum, she was very sweet and seemed smart. She already knows a few words from the books we brought: eye, nose, ear. She is a great eater. Hopefully she'll transition over to American food with no problems.

Today we will go with our guide to the Civil Affairs Office to complete paperwork. I have posted some pictures of our Gotcha Day.