Friday, May 27, 2011

Doing good...

Well, we have been home with Anna exactly a week now and things couldn't be any better! She is doing absolutely amazing with everything from sleeping, to eating, to playing with her toys and feeling comfortable in her new home. Last night she woke up only one time and all we had to do was reassure her that her mommy and daddy were there and she went right back to sleep! At night the past week when she does wake up she just sits up and fusses and as soon as she sees us or hears our voices she lays right back down and goes to sleep. Poor baby girl, we think all she wants is be reassured we are still there and it's been getting less and less each night that she does that. She takes great naps in her crib in her room (sometimes we wake her after 3 hours so she'll sleep at night) and she sleeps about 12 hours or more in her pack 'n' play in our room at night!

As far as her eating goes, the entire time we were in China we only fed her soft foods such as oatmeal, mashed potatoes, yogurt, etc. She had surgery on her palate back in March and these kinds of foods is what she was eating at the home she was in so we just did the same. Earlier this week I called the specialist we will be taking her to next month just to see if we were on the right track with her eating and the nurse said we could actually start feeding her pretty much anything. We just needed to start slow with different textures of foods and see how she does. Well, that day (Tuesday) I gave her some lunch meat, cheese, cheerios and a banana (all cut up) and she ate every bite!! Woohoo!! I'm sure she was so excited to be eating those foods and that will make it much easier to feed her as well.

We haven't gotten her out much, only twice and the two outings have been to the doctors and then to the lab to get bloodwork done. Poor girl, we need to get her out and take her somewhere fun, or she will think everytime we go somewhere it's to the doctors. On Wednesday we took her to our pediatrician and were there a total of 2 hours so considering the length of time of our visit she did great! They gave us some labwork for us to take her to do the following day so we took her in for that and oh....poor baby girl! The first lab we went to had a hard time finding a good vein to stick but stuck her two times anyway and were unsuccessful. So they then sent us across the street to another lab for them to try. They stuck her once and were able to get some blood but the needle came out, so they stuck her again in the other arm and were able to get some more blood until it started clogging in the tube. So we were done, and are hoping they got enough so we don't have to take her back there. Poor girl was crying so much she was sweating! Needless to say we took her for ice cream after that, that's the least we could do after going through all that!

Just wanted to update the blog and let everyone know how things are going. Jaime is working on updating the website with pictures of being home so check it soon for new pictures. I'll include the link...

Thanks again for continued prayers and support! We appreciate you all!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We're Home!!

Yes, we are home and so excited to finally be here! We got in Thursday evening, around 7:30 p.m. and had our family waiting for us at the airport. Anna was able to meet all of her grandparents and her aunt Genna and Uncle Brent and cousin Mason. She was very shy, only letting Daddy hold her but we did just get through flying for about 15 hours with a 3 hour layover in LA. She did incredible on the plane, sitting in her own seat just playing, or sleeping. She slept for about half of the first flight and dozed on and off during the 2nd one. The big girls did really good on the flight too. Avery slept quite a bit but Abby, not so much. Jaime nor I slept at all so we figured by the time we got home and went to bed, we had been up for about 32+ hours straight! Needless to say we were EXHAUSTED!!

After visiting with our family at the airport we headed home, to Anna's FIRST real home ever! We showed her around the house and her new room and she really seemed to love it! She dove right into the toys playing with them and just walked around exploring the entire house. It was so cute! Then it was close to 10:45 so it was time for bed! We slept pretty good, with Anna waking up some throughout the night. Avery woke up around 3:30 and we tried getting her back to sleep and finally just let her sleep with us (desperate times call for desperate measures) and that did the trick. Abby got up around 9:15 and then Jaime got up with her around 10:00 but then they both came back to bed at 11:00 and then we woke up at 12:30 p.m. I can not even begin to tell you how awful I felt! I seriously have never felt that bad, in fact I was so weak I couldn't even lift Anna up into her highchair to feed her, so Jaime had to that. Avery slept til 1:30 pm and that was only because we woke her up!! Friday was rough, but we made it through...barely. The last two nights have been pretty tough too, with both big girls waking up at 3:45 and Anna getting up around 6 to 8 times each night crying. She seems to be ok once she sees us, so it's almost as if she's waking up just to make sure we are there...poor girl! We want her to know we are here FOREVER and will never leave her! Yesterday the big girls were up at 5:45 am and this morning Avery was up at 3:45 with Abby up at 5:00 never going back to sleep! Ahhhhh!! I am praying we get over this jetlag soon! Abby heads back to school tomorrow so hopefully she will be all rested up to go. We are all about to take a nap now.

Anna has been doing great since being home. She seems to feel very comfortable with her new home and just loves playing with all her toys and playing with her sisters. So far it seem the toys on the fridge are her favorite! :-) She is taking great naps in her crib in her room, while at night we are having her sleep in a pack and play in our room. At night, she could do better, but she's probably suffering through jetlag as well, so I am hoping soon she, too, will be able to sleep through the night!

I'll post in a few days to let you all know if things are getting better. We appreciate your continued prayers as we adjust back to Texas time, as well as having Anna transition to her new family!

Thank you!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I hate to say it but...

Anna really is the CUTEST one here!! I mean I know I'm her mama and am suppose to think my child is adorable but after seeing all the children with their new forever families there is no comparison, Anna is the most precious one here! Even Abby will look around and whisper to me 'Mommy, Anna is the cutest baby here'...such the proud big sister!

It has been a nice change of pace and scenery being here in Guangzhou this past week. It is much different than the last city we were in. The sidewalks are safer to walk on, there are many more shops, the hotel is super nice with beautiful landscaping as well as a swimming pool with a water fall (the big girls favorite part). Before we came here, our last day in Nanchang was spent getting an 80 minute foot massage for only $8.00. That included tip too! Definitely can't find that good of deal back in the states. They even massaged our arms, legs and back too! For that price, we all went, so Jaime, me and the girls split one and that costs us all a whopping $25. We flew here Friday night and that was Anna's first time on a plane. Thankfully the flight was only about 1 1/2 hours and she did pretty good except getting a little fussy at take off and was crying a bit at touchdown. We have one other short flight (tomorrow to Hong Kong) before the long one to California which is Thursday. We are praying that one goes smoothly and she can sleep some, as well as be occupied by her sisters.

The first day we were here, Saturday, we had to take Anna's picture for her Visa and then went to have a medical exam done. Not much to that exam so we will definitely take her to see our pediatrician when we get back home. We did some shopping and walking around as well, and then that night we had a group dinner with the other families from our agency (13 families total). The following day, Sunday we had made arrangements with our agency ahead of time to not go to some temple the group was going to but instead go to the safari and boy was that an AWESOME decision on Jaime's part! That was an incredible safari! There are two parts to the safari, first on a train (or car) where you drive through to see all the animals and then the other part is on foot walking around just like at a zoo. This place is by far better than any zoo I've been to! So many animals to see and many were up close and we were able to feed some too. I'll include the link to our website so you can see all the pictures of that and others we've taken on our trip. If you click 'view slideshow' it goes pretty quickly to view all the pictures to music.

After the safari we took the girls (all three of them) swimming and they loved it! Ok, the big girls loved it...Anna, well, not so much. She did ok, she cried a little bit and then tolerated it and then was ready to get out, but hey, at least she got in. The water was very cold so maybe if it was warmer it would have been a different experience.

Yesterday was a low key day, we slept in, went shopping and then in the afternoon we were finally able to meet Jenny, the executive director of True Children's Home, where Anna has spent the majority of her life. We would have LOVED to tour the place but it's almost 2 hours away from here and then we weren't sure what to do with Anna because we didn't want her to go in and see the place as it might make her sad seeing her old friends and caretakers and she has made such great progress. We didn't want to do anything to cause a setback. But we were so thankful to at least have met Jenny...she is the one that always kept us in the loop about Anna Wei Wei, sent us pictures and video footage of her, so that was wonderful getting to meet her. And another amazing thing about Jenny, in talking to her yesterday, is she is a Christian, so how much more comforting that was to find out the place in China where Anna was is run by a Christian woman. She even told us they'd sing Jesus Loves me a lot to the kids....just precious!

Today we had to get up early and go to the US consulate for an oath taking ceremony (on Anna's behalf) for her to receive her Visa which will be ready tomorrow. Once we touch down at our first stop in the US she will officially be a US citizen...woohoo!! Right now Jaime is swimming with the big girls while Anna is napping and I'm getting this blog caught up. Probably the last time I'll post in China, as we will be packing tomorrow and then heading to Hong Kong tomorrow evening, where we will stay one night and then fly home on Thursday!! We can not wait!

This has definitely been an amazing journey that we will always cherish and never forget. I'm so glad we brought our older girls and they were able to experience this with us. They have done an amazing job and we are so proud of them. Yes, they've had their moments but considering they've been stuck in a hotel room for 15 days with just each other (no friends from back home, no backyard to play in, no pets, no tv, etc.) and in another country as well as getting used to a new sister, I'd say we coudn't have asked for them to be any better! Thanks to everyone for their prayers and we ask for continued prayers for our flight back home!!

Our website link if you want to view our pictures is...


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Anna & her mommy!

We've taken almost 1,000 pictures on this trip, but so far this one is absolutely the best!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Making progress...

Ok, it's been a few days since I've last posted and there has definitely been some progress made in all areas from sleeping better at night, to Anna opening up to us girls more too! Yeah!! On Monday (the day after Gotcha Day) we had some paperwork to take care of so we went to the Civil Affair's Office that morning. This is where the adoption was official and Anna Wei Wei became our daughter!! After that we went to where any visiting family in China would Walmart!! We had to get some necessities like more diapers, wipes and since we were hungry as it was lunchtime, we got many snacks. The girls had fun taking turns pushing Anna around in the shopping cart and she did great! We got some KFC for lunch and headed back to the hotel. Jaime put Anna down for a nap while I took the big girls to the playroom in our hotel to burn off some energy. I came back an hour later to check on them and Anna had only slept for 15 minutes before waking up. I guess better than nothing! That evening she had her first bath...well, not her first  bath ever, but just as our daughter! :-) She didn't care for it too much but she did tolerate it. She went to bed around 7:45 and the rest of us went to bed around 8:30. The big girls did better this night, as they slept til 5:45, not toally ideal but that wake up time I can deal with, but then Anna was up at 4:30 in which this case mommy was a little glad for her prefering daddy because guess who got up with her while mommy got to sleep a little longer??

Now we are to Tuesday and are headed to The People's Park. It was our guide, Jenny's, idea to go there and we are so glad she took us there as it was lots of fun. We had no idea what to expect but they had lots to do for all the girls! The park was huge, so lots of walking and beautiful scenery as well as stops along the way at different park like features, like swings, monkey bars, etc. But the girls favorite part was when we got to the amusement park! There was all kinds of rides so the girls picked about 4 or 5 to ride and loved them all! Anna had a great time too and loves being outside. We got lots of smiles and even some laughs too! On the way back to the hotel we stopped at McDonalds for lunch to go (can I just tell you how ready I am for a home cooked meal??) and Jaime and our guide went inside to order while I stayed in the car with the girls! So, that means Anna had to sit with her mama and she wasn't too happy at first, but she calmed down pretty quickly. And not only that but I even got her to smile at me as well as laugh as we were playing, so that just melted this mommy's heart to have my daughter show me these emotions instead of being sad and crying. Again, making some progress!!

At the hotel we did the same as the day before, had lunch, Jaime put Anna down for her nap while I took the big girls to the playroom and this time she slept for abour 45 minutes. Not great, but again, better than the day before with her 15 minute nap! We just hung out in our room, ordered room service (rice and noodles) and then to bed around 9:00. We all slept in til about 5:45, even Anna too so getting better. She did wake up around 1:45 though and Daddy got her back to sleep but it took about 40 minutes or so.

Today, Wednesday, our guide took us to an inside park as the weather was very cold and windy. It was hot yesterday so that part of this trip reminds us of home and that infamous Texas weather...We told our guide, Jenny about that saying we Texans say 'If you don't like the weather just wait 5 minutes' and she loved it! The girls had lots of fun at the inside park today, there were trampolines, swings, slides, a ball pit and even boats! Anna had fun too, but the big girls definitely had a blast! Anna took a great nap today-just over 2 hours!! We are hanging out in the room right now just playing and about to have dinner but not sure just what yet. Rice or noodles?? Who knows?? Maybe we'll branch out and order something else and with that too, we will make some progress.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Gotcha Day!!! (and other stuff)'s gonna be a long post!

Wow, ok where to begin?? I guess I haven't really posted since we've been here, though Jaime has and he's also done an AMAZING job keeping our website updated with pictures all along the way! What a great hubby he is!! I guess, I'll start with our first few days here in Nanchang and then to Gotcha Day as well as the day after...
Well, first we have still yet to fully adjust to the time difference. It's funny, because we actually did better in Hong Kong which is where we spent our first two nights, and now the past three nights here in Nanchang have not been so good. If it were just me and Jaime I think we'd be fine but the big girls just can't get it right. The first night we arrived all three of us girls could NOT keep our eyes open and finally gave in and fell asleep super early....5:45 p.m. I was hoping all of us would be able to sleep all night but that was not the case. Both girls were up at 1:45 a.m. Yes, you read that correctly, 1:45 A.M.....ahhhh!!! I mean that is only 8 hours-almost, and at home they sleep more than that on any given night, so not sure why only 8 hours was enough here. We tried everything from making them go back to sleep, to letting them stay up for awhile and having a snack, to laying back down but nothing ever worked and we were up for good by 5 something...ugh! That was Friday night/Saturday morning.  On Saturday we didn't have any plans so we just did some shopping along the street next to our hotel and hopefully you've seen the pictures of was an experience! We all were exhausted so we took a nap from 1:15 to 4:15 and it felt good! We went to bed between 8 and 9, and then that night the girls got up between 3 and 4, so again only 7 to 8 hours of sleep which is nothing like how they sleep at home. We tried all the 'tricks' like the night before but nothing worked! Of course this was the night before our Gotcha Day so we were all very excited so I'm guessing that is why we were all up early...or so you'd think. But then on Sunday, after Gotcha Day and only Avery napping (for 1 1/2 hours) we went to bed again around 8ish and they were up AGAIN at 3:45! So I am PRAYING hard that tonight we will all get back on track. We had NO naps today and we will stay up later, maybe until 9-10 and surely that will do the trick. If you'd like to pray for that as well, I'd sure appreciate it!

Ok, onto Gotcha Day and to how Anna Wei Wei has been doing...yesterday was Mother's Day and our Gotcha Day! The time we got her was 3:30 p.m. and with waking up around 3:30 a.m. that sure made for a LONG time to wait! We knew our guide, Jenny was going to call us around 3 and then that is when we would make our way down to the playroom in our hotel where a lot of the adoptions take place here. We were anxiously waiting by the phone by 2:30 (ok, Jaime and I were really ready  by 2) and Jenny didn't call until about 3:15. We made our way down to the playroom and can I just tell you how fast our pulses were racing?? Well, you can imagine...very fast! We heard the elevator ding about three times and kept thinking it was her, but it was a false alarm all three times, but then the 4th time was her! We saw her caretakers first, and then the one that travelled here with her was holding her hand walking with her and she looked absolutely adorable! Her pictures really do not do her justice! I started crying the moment I saw her (Abby did too...precious big sister) and then Wei Wei started crying...wait no, not just crying but bawling!!!! She was not a happy camper at all! We tried to hold her but that was just not going to happen. We were talking to her, telling her it's ok, we love her, etc. but she just kept crying. I went ahead and took her and walked around the room with her trying to calm her down but other than getting swatted at, that was not successful! Jaime took her next and she eventually calmed down and let me tell you so far she is a complete DADDY'S GIRL!!!! She LOVES her daddy, and I mean LOVES! She wants him to hold her, feed her, change her diaper, etc. She will let me do these things without crying, but often she cries. So, yesterday after we filled out some paperwork, we came back to our room, fed her some juice and then skyped with all of our parents (It was 5 am their time so what troopers they were!) and as we were skyping Anna fell asleep in my lap so Jaime laid her down and she was out for the count and slept til 5:30 a.m. so almost 12 if only her big sisters would do the same!

Ok, as I'm looking over this post I realize it's a REALLY long one so I'll post tomorrow on what we've been up to since Gotcha Day as well as how she's doing, but the short summary is; we signed papers today to make her ours officially, as well as she's coming around and playing with her big sisters more and still is a daddy's girl!

Thanks for your continued prayers as we covet them all!
In Him,
Melissa (mommy to Abby, Avery and Anna)

Here's a link to our on-line photo albums... (Gotcha day) (Nanchang, Jiangxi) (Hong Kong)

Friday, May 6, 2011

A link to our photo album

Here are some pictures that we've taken so far on our trip. Jaime updated on our website and added music too, so you can view the pics as a slideshow while listening to the songs. Enjoy!!

Hong Kong Disney

In 2010, we started planning a "family vacation" to Disney World for 2011 (afterall, we still thought we had a few more years of waiting for our baby girl). But when we got "the call" last November our plans changed suddenly...  for the better! The girls were not disapponted when we told them we weren't going to WDW, but instead were going to China to get their baby sister. When we found out there was a Disneyland in Hong Kong, and we were going there anyway... we knew we had to go.  So... we left a day sooner. That would allow us to spend 1 full day at Hong Kong Disneyland. We all had a great time. The weather was perfect. The girls were excited to see all of the Disney characters and ride the rides. It was another long day and when we got back to the hotel we crashed hard... sleeping over 9 hours! I guess we needed it. Next stop... Nanchang, Jiangxi!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hong Kong and Avery's birthday!

Yesterday was a very LONG day (and Avery's 5th birthday)! First, we stayed up until 1:30AM packing Monday night and then woke up at 5:15AM to start our day. Our flight left DFW at 8:50AM. We arrived in San Francisco, had a 3 hour layover and then left for Hong Kong at 1:30PM (California time)... still May 3rd. We arrived in Hong Kong at 7PM, May 4th!
Due to an "unexpected" head wind, our flight lasted a little longer than scheduled...15 hours! As you can imagine, that is a very long time to be on a plane (that's a long time to do anything)! After watching a few movies, a couple naps, lunch, etc... we were only half way finished with our flight!
We can't say enough about our airline "Cathay Pacific". They were very professional and it was the best service we've ever had on a flight...ever. They were awesome with the girls, had tons of in flight entertainment including 100's of movies, TV shows, games, etc. all "on demand".
By the time we got to our hotel at Hong Kong Disney we were wiped out and ready for sleep. The time difference is 13 hrs (We are ahead of you all in Dallas). So it's now 7AM in Hong Kong and we are getting ready to set out for HK Disneyland. We'll post some pics of that later, Only 3 more days till we meet our baby girl!