Saturday, April 26, 2008

Snapshots of Our Week

These past few days we have been busy. Emma was in a play at school and made one very cute Pterodactyl. We took Eliza on her first visit to the neighborhood park, went to a "Daughters of the King" tea at church, and visited a Medieval Fair. Eliza is doing wonderful. She has been sleeping much better at night and today she tried some new foods. She is catching up quickly. It amazes us how much she has changed in the short time she has been part of our family. We are so blessed to have her!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting to Know Each Other

We have been home for almost a week and are getting to know each other. Eliza gets more active every day. Today was her first American Dr. appointment. She is on the North American growth charts! This girl is in the 80% for height. She is not sleeping well at night though. This jet lag is rough on babies and their parents. She is also still not open to baby food. Every day she makes some strides and gets stronger.

She is loving her siblings. Big brother is such a sucker for her and she loves it! She gets so excited when they come home from school. We are all very excited when she does anything new or old. We are now grabbing toys, dropping toys, sitting up better, enjoying our bath (big praise there!), and even putting the occasional toy or parent's finger in our mouth. She is also understanding the words for milk, juice, and the all important kisses! Can you tell we are still in the honeymoon stage (good thing or the sleepless nights would be even harder).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We're Home!!!!!

After a long day we finally made it home. Eliza did great on the flight. She had a few fussy moments but who wouldn't on a flight like that. She is doing great. She is a little overwhelmed but she is doing much better than we expected. She slept most of the afternoon and thanks to Grandparents we got a nap with her. She is quite a little Velcro baby but we are enjoying her attachment to us. The ride home from the airport was precious. She looked out the window and played with her siblings. She didn't seem to mind the car seat. The last 5 minutes of the 40 minute drive were the only time we heard any complaints. It was fun to see her study everyone. She likes to look at people when they aren't looking at her. She sneaks in her peeks and then when she gets used to you she'll make eye contact. We are all in love!!! It was a great moment when she finished her immigration admission and became a US citizen! Thank you all for your prayers. We definitely see God's hand in her reaction to her new home and family.

Here are some pictures of the journey home and our US welcome!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Last Post from China

We are so excited to say that we are coming home tomorrow!!! Today we had the traditional red couch photos and then went to get our visas. I have to say that it was an emotional moment when they told us our children would be Americans as soon as they touch down in the USA. We will miss China and our travel mates. We are looking forward to getting home and finding our new "normal". Our flight should arrive in Portland around 8:15 am. We can't wait to see everyone especially Ethan, Emma, & Faith! Thank you all for your prayers and support. Your many comments on the blog and email messages to us have meant a lot. We are truly blessed!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Visa Application Day

Today our guide took our paperwork to apply for Eliza's visa. We did not have to go so we spent the day resting. We started packing for the trip home. Although everything will fit in our suitcases we bought an extra one at a shop. It was only $20 and will spread out the weight of our bags enough that we shouldn't have to pay any excess weight fines.

We were able to have dinner with our friends the Fortlanders and finish up our shopping. We are looking forward to getting home and seeing our family. Although we will miss China we are ready to sleep in our own beds and see how Eliza adjusts to her new home. Please keep us in your prayers. She has surprised us this last week with how well she is adjusting. Today she did have about an hour where she cried and was hard to sooth. She is still grieving and probably will be for some time. She is an amazing and strong girl. Please be patient with us when we get home. She is shy and we will all be very tired.

Here are some pictures from today. One is some Pit Viper Wine Toby saw at a shop. Yummy--not!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Guangzhou Zoo and Mall with Friends

Today we had a free day. We spent the day with Han Lin and his mother Xue Mei. First we went to the zoo where we saw a Panda Bear. Then, after a nap, they took us to a mall in Guangzhou. It was so busy! It was not too different from malls back home. It was just bigger and busier. There were many people and familiar brands of clothing. In China when you want to buy something you tell the clerk who writes out a ticket. Then you go pay for it. After you have a receipt you go back to the clerk and pick up your items. It was hard to say "Goodbye" to our friends. We want to see them again soon but we just don't know when that would be. We will forever be grateful that the Lord brought us together on this trip.

Eliza did so well today! She is very curious and looked around at everything. A few times Xue Mei held her but it was very brief. She wanted her Momma back which made me feel good. She is constantly making sure we are both still there. We don't put her down much but when we do she watches us very closely. It amazes me how quickly we have bonded with her. It's like she has always been ours. I think she is liking us so far. Every day she trusts us a little more. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to going home. We are praying that she will adjust well to her home and to her siblings. Hopefully the dogs won't scare her. Please be in prayer for our flight home and for the transitions that we will all be experiencing.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Eliza's Medical Exam Day

Today we took Eliza for her medical exam. She is doing well. The exam was not near as comprehensive as it will be when we get home but the important thing is that she is cleared to get her visa.

After her exam we went walking around Shamian Island. We went to a store called Jordon's. When we were talking with him we found out he is a Christian! We were overjoyed to meet a brother in China. He was so excited his hands were shaking.

This afternoon we finished up the paperwork for the visa and met up with Han Lin and his mother Xue Mei. They were able to visit from Chengdu. Tomorrow is a free day so we are going to go to the zoo and see the Pandas with Han Lin and Xue Mei.

Eliza continues to amaze us. She is getting more comfortable with us and more active. At dinner she managed to grab some lasagna and try for Mommy's juice.

Sorry if this post is short but it took a while to get onto blogger. Toby had to do some fancy computer stuff to get past the blocks in place today.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chen Clan Academy Folk Art Museum

Today we visited the Chen Clan Academy Guangzhou Folk Art Museum. We were able to see some of the traditional furniture and art from Guangzhou. It was amazing to see some of the artifacts from Guangdong. Eliza comes from a very rich culture. She is a very special girl with a birth country full of amazing history. Of all the things we have seen from Guangdong she is our favorite! She is a trooper. Today we found out she has an ear infection yet she still finds the time to smile and laugh. Hopefully she will feel better soon with the help of the antibiotics we are giving her.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Amazing Story

A few weeks after our referral we connected through email with a Mom of a Yangxi Special Needs baby. We were hoping to visit the orphanage and check on her girl. When we got here we found out we would not be visiting the orphanage. We were disappointed since we know how important any information about our daughters is. Yesterday we developed some disposable cameras that we sent to the orphanage in a care package. When we saw the pictures we recognized the baby Eliza was with. It is the little one whose Mom we had connected with earlier!!!! I am just bursting with amazement at our Lord and how much he loves us! He is definitely a God of details. Please join us in praying for little Sophie and her parents as they wait to travel to their daughter. What a joy to be able to someday reunite Eliza with her playmate. Please pray also for their Nanny. May she come to know the love of our Lord if not already.