Adopting a child won't change the world, but for that child their world will change.

Monday, April 30, 2012

One week home with Jayden

We have been home a little over week.  As you can see from the following pictures Jayden is doing great.  He loves playing with my niece who I watch M-W.  He loves his older siblings and is even learning to love the pets.  When we first came home he would scream this blood-curdling scream anytime one of the dogs or cats would come near.  We have two dogs and four cats.  A couple of days ago when he woke up from his nap I found him laying down with one of the cats snuggled up next to him and Jayden was petting him.  What a difference a week can make.   

The first several nights were rough trying to get Jayden to sleep at night.  He would stay awake during the day, but at night would just not get into a deep sleep until about 3:00 a.m.  On day three papa decided he needed to try sleeping in his bed, in his room with the other two boys.  Jayden screamed like we had never heard.  While we were in China, he was sleeping in his own bed and putting himself to sleep so we a little surprised at this reaction.  After several minutes of this, Jayden started sucking on his thumb which we had never seen.  My big, strong husband scooped him up and Jayden has been sleeping in our room since then, but NOT in our bed. The next few nights we held his hand while he went to sleep, but now he crawls under the covers and goes to sleep on his own.  In a few weeks, I hope to transition him to his bed in his room.

Jayden will eat anything you put in front of him, but he always goes for the vegetables or fruit first unlike my kids who go for the junk first and can this kid eat.  If it is something he likes, he eats more than most of the other kids!

He also is quite the little helper.  Whatever I am doing he wants me to figure out a way that he can help me.  He can put the silverware away out of the dishwasher and filled water bottles in the refrigerator.  Yesterday he went with me to the store to get a few groceries.  We came home and we went upstairs without unloading the groceries.  We got to the top of the stairs and he was pointing downstairs very insistently.  He knew we had not brought any bags up and he wanted to help.  So, we went back down and he carried up his own bag.  I know this probably won't last, but I will take whatever help I can :)

As you can see though he can still pout like a champion.  His fits are getting much shorter though which is great.  If you look real close you can even see the snot.  It is unbelievable that he can squeeze out tears and make his nose run without actively crying.  Maybe he will be an actor!


I just wanted to share some miscellaneous photos from our travel home. 

This was at the airport in Hong Kong.  He stood there watching the planes for almost an hour.

A future blogger!

Seth had stayed up most of the night talking to his friends
on the computer before we left China.  Such a tired boy.

As you can see Jayden was excited and Seth was not.
We were still on the runway in Hong Kong :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Deleted blog entry

We are in the process of trying to get into a new schedule and today I finally had some time to work on a blog entry.  I had spent a couple of hours working on it off and on throughout the day and was on the last paragraph when Jayden climbed up in my lap and promptly hit something on the keyboard that deleted it all.  I will hopefully get a chance to work on it again this weekend.

Today was Seth's 14th birthday :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Almost 48 hours home

We have been home for almost 48 hours.  We woke up at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning in Guangzhou, showered, packed and were in the van heading for Hong Kong by 5:20 a.m.  It took us close to three hours to drive to the airport and get through border security.  Once at the airport we stood in a monsterous line to try and get seats together with no such luck.  I sat with the boys and Richard sat ahead one row.  Needless to was a long flight, but all in all Jayden did pretty well.  I would have thought thought during the 14 hours we were on the airplane he would have slept more than four hours and it was not a four hours in a row.  It was an hour here and an hour there.  Seth slept off and on the whole trip.  We got into Chicago around 2:00 p.m. and that gave us a little less than two hours to get through immigration and security plus we had to get all of our checked luggage as well as Seth's guitar, have them cleared with immigration and then recheck them for our flight to Kansas City.  We made it with about ten minutes to spare.  We got into K.C. shortly after 5:00 and our kids were waiting for us.  What a wonderful site they were :)  All of our luggage made it from Hong Kong to Kansas City except the guitar.  It got left in Chicago.  The airline drove it out to house Sunday morning. 

Jayden has adjusted to pretty well so far except for sleep and our pets.  If one of the cats or dogs gets too close he literally freaks out screaming.  It is getting better though.  He will let them within about two feet of him before he starts to get this really worried look on his face.  Sleep...oh how I miss my sleep.  Jayden at the most will sleep two hours in one stretch.  He stayed up all day yesterday, went to bed at 10:00 and was up at 12:00.  He then was wide awake for two hours, slept for an hour and a half and was awake again.  I slept during the 10-12 time and that was it.  Richard went back to work today, but I did keep Sami and Riley home today to help out. 

Seth is being a bit reclusive.  Yesterday he fell asleep around two in the afternoon and was up around midnight last night.  I heard him in the kitchen so I got up to check on him.  He had a snack and went back to his room.  This morning he got up and showered and brought me his dirty clothes to be washed.  He was having computer problems so we worked on that together.  Then he went back to his room.  Riley has tried to interact with him and it has been very short.  He has asked him to play a video game or watch a movie and he has not been interested at this point.  He is polite and will give you a smile.  He has lost so much more than Jayden and grieving hard and I am so tired today that it is taking every bit of energy just to do the bare minimum.  Richard went back to work today, but thankfully Samantha has been a huge help :)  Seth did say four sentences in English which was more than the yesterday and more than the day before.  We'll get there.  It will just take some time. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

We are going home!

Our last day in Guangzhou is coming to an end.  We delivered the requested documents to the consulate first thing this morning and we were told at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon that they were issuing Seth's visa.  We are all very tired and at least Richard, Jayden and I are ready to head home.  Jayden was even packing a bag of his stuff.  Through the translator Seth has expressed that he wants to come to the U.S. and he wants us as his family, but I know being a teenage boy he has to be nervous and excited at the same time of what to expect.

I must say that eighteen days has been an incredibly long time to be away from our family and friends and we are so thankful to be coming home with our two beautiful boys.  A big thank you to everyone and the next time I blog we will be HOME!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Consulate Day

Today we had our appointment at the U.S. Consulate.   For some reason, we thought because we had used an agency this time everything would go smoothly because they process adoptions all of the time...WRONG!!!!  Most of you do not know this, but when we adopted our daughter Maylin from Taiwan we did not use an agency.  When we had her consulate appointment they told us they were not sure they would issue her visa because her birth parents had not signed away their rights.  We had 24 hours to produce a document stating this fact.  Long story short...God was with us and after hours of searching through documents at the police station with Maylin's Ayi who was acting as our translator she found something that would work and we were allowed to bring her home.

Well...Jayden's paperwork was fine and they will issue his visa tomorrow.  Seth's was a different story.  There has been issues with some orphanages not being ethical by saying that kids are younger than they actually are or adopting kids out that really have families.  Because of this, our consulate is being extra careful.  We know this is not the case with Seth.  His orphanage truly cares about finding orphans families.  They have even went so far as to waive the $5600 orphanage fee for any child six years old and up.  They are not in this for the money.  They love the children and believe they all deserve to have families.  The director and her staff told us this while we were there.

Our consulate wants a copy of Seth's father's death certificate before they will issue his visa.  The Chengdu Orphanage had it on a plane this afternoon within a few hours of requesting it.  I am sure thankful that we had decided yesterday not to take the train to Hong Kong and just stay in Guangzhou Friday night and then hire a van driver to take us to the Hong Kong Airport early Saturday morning.

Please pray that there will be no more hiccups, that I will find my cell phone at the HK Airport and that our flight home goes smoothly with Jayden.  Less than 48 hours to go.  I miss my kids, my family, my American food and my washing machine :)

Day 4 in Guangzhou

Wednesday, April 18th in Guangzhou was a very quiet day.  The boys went and had their TB tests read.  You could not even see a mark on Jayden's arm, but Seth's was a bit red and irritated.  It was still read as negative though.  We came back to the hotel and just took it easy.  Jayden took a nap.  An hour afternoon nap was part of his schedule.  The problem is if he takes a short nap then he doesn't want to go to bed until 10:00 and by then mom and dad are super tired so we are foregoing the naps for now.

The next three pictures would be Jayden having one of his very long pouty fits. Papa asked him not to turn of the TV and this was how he looked for the next 30 minutes.  

Since it was pouring down rain we also took him back to the playroom to play.  He had a great time playing with his papa.

After four times of putting the rings on Papa would say which color was
 next and he would get the right one.

Giving papa five :)

Seth is doing fine.  He really is a typical teenager...wants to stay up late playing video games and talk to his friends.  Then because he has stayed up until midnight he does not want to get up for breakfast so we let him sleep in and I bring him something to eat.  As soon as we get home that will definitely change.  

The view from our hotel of the rain moving in.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guangzhou Monday and Tuesday

Monday, the 16th of April, the boys had their medical exams.  Seth had to get three vaccinations and then both boys had their TB tests done.  It didn't even take an hour to get the physicals done and they were both very brave boys :)  Today Jayden's TB test looks very negative...Seth's is a little red and both of his arms are sore.  We will go back tomorrow to have the TB tests read.

Seth was having a rough day so other than the going out for the medical exam, he stayed in the hotel room.  In the evening we went back to Lucy's for dinner and then we took Jayden to the play room in the hotel.  He had a great time!

Today we had a free day so we did some shopping.  We ended up at Jenny's on Michelle's recommendation.  This is a terrible picture, but the only one Richard took.  She was a very nice, Christian woman and shared with us that she met her husband at church.  They have a three-year-old son :)

We got Jayden's photo with a few of the statues, but he refused to get out of the stroller.  That shows you how much he likes it.  

For lunch we went to the Cow and Bridge Thai restaurant which was very good.  Seth had fried rice with some vegetables and chicken.  I had some yummy noodles that I shared with Jayden and Richard had fried calmari.  We are really enjoying the island, but there is alot of down time.  We are just biding our time waiting for tomorrow to have the TB tests read and then Thursday we have our consulate appointment which is just down the road and won't take very long.  Friday we get the visas and we will take the train to Hong Kong.  We are going to stay at the Marriott next to the airport and then Saturday at noon (11:00 p.m. Friday night) we will get on the plane for home.  We can not wait to be home.  

It has also been raining off and on today so we have been stuck in the hotel room.  Jayden has been a little bored as well as the rest of us :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finally to Guangzhou!

I know that some of you knew that Jayden's passport was supposed to be mailed to our hotel in Guangzhou and we had not received it.  It literally came at the last possible minute.  We left the hotel in Chengdu and went to the airport.  We were almost to the airport when our guide received a phone call that it had been delivered to the hotel so they were sending it via taxi to the us.  We were in line getting our tickets and the guide was waiting outside the airport for the taxi.  We had problems getting Jayden on the flight from Nanchang to Chengdu and we did not want to run into that again.  

Guangzhou Airport

We made it to Guangzhou, but Jayden did have an hour long fit on the plane.  He is not impressed with wearing a seatbelt.  It started with pouting and then went into our first full-fledged crying fit.  Other that that our flight was good.  We are staying at the Victory Hotel and I must say we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE staying on the island.  It is so beautiful and so much more our speed.  We got in about 4:00, settled into the hotel and then went in search of dinner.  We did get a stroller which we all are thankful for.  Jayden wants to be carried, but he is so solid and all of us have sore muscles from toting him around.  We had dinner at Lucy's. Richard, Jayden and I had a cheeseburger and fries and Seth had Kung Pau Chicken.  It felt almost like home with the American music playing and western food.  


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chengdu day 4 & 5

It is Saturday night here in Chengdu...our last night before we travel to Guangzhou.  So far Chengdu has been my favorite city.  The Sunshine Tianfu hotel has not been my favorite.  We got spoiled in Nanchang staying on the Executive floor at the Galactic Peace.  The room was huge, the bathroom spectacular and their buffet was fabulous!  Outside the hotel in Chengdu there are lots of good places to walk for food and/or shopping.  Nanchang there was not.

Hotel lobby in Chengdu

Yesterday, we finished up Seth's paperwork.  We received his adoption certificate so it is official as far as China is concerned.

Our guide also took us to a beautiful park called the People's Park.  We did not have our camera with us which was a disappointment as there were so many wonderful things in the park we could have photographed.  After the park, our guide/translator left us and we were on our own.  She had another family coming into town so we will have another guide take us to the airport and make sure we get on the plane with both boys.  At this point, we do not have Jayden's passport.  It was supposed to be sent here to our hotel, but so far has not made it.  In Nanchang, security almost did not allow Jayden on the plane because we did not have a passport.  

We have figured out some communication through Google Translate and Baidu with Seth.  He asked us last night what our plans were for today and we did not really have any.  He asked if we could go to a Contemporary Art Museum here in Chengdu.  He wanted to meet his girlfriend there.  We said we would arrange it.  Through Baidu Seth told us he has been dating this girl for three years!  They are not quite 14 years old and that is such a long time.  We were able to meet her today and she is a very beautiful, nice girl.  

We told Seth that we had arranged for a car to take us to the art museum, we could stay for three hours and then the car would bring us back.  He then asked if he could stay longer and just take a taxi back to the hotel.  We agreed so he spent most of the afternoon with her.  I feel sad for both of them.  She told me she loved us and that Seth is lucky.  

After +we left Seth and Li, we came back to the hotel and then walked to McDonald's for lunch.  Jayden threw a fit when we asked him to eat one bite of a cheeseburger before he ate any fries.  Now...his fits are not the yelling, screaming, throw yourself on the floor kind of fits.  They are the pout until you will hopefully give in to me kind.  He even manages to squeeze out a tear and sometimes a bit of a runny nose which I have yet to figure out how he can do that without crying or even making a sound.  Needless to say...Jayden did not have any McDonald's today.  We went shopping at a store next door which is kind of a like a Chinese Walmart with groceries, clothes and household items.  It is hard sometimes figuring out what you want to buy since everything is in Chinese.  We did manage to buy wet wipes, fingernail clippers and some snacks for Jayden, chopsticks and packaged chicken feet for a couple of friends at home :)  

Jayden is doing very well.  He has bonded so incredibly fast and loves to learn.  He is always checking everything out.  His special need was supposed to be delayed speech.  Hmm...I don't think so.  This boy is smart and he is always talking except when he is pouting :)  The translator told us he is talking very well in Chinese and can count to 17.  We have been talking about body parts i.e. nose, mouth ears.  Today while I was washing his fingers off he looked and me and pointed to his mouth and very plainly said mouth.  He is already saying close to ten words.  His favorite is "Let's go!"  

Our driver and guide will be here at 9:30 in the morning to take us to the airport.  Seth's girlfriend is coming to the hotel at 8:00 a.m. to bring him "something".  He packed all of his things this evening so he can spend the last hour and a half with her.  Our flight leaves at noon and it is four hours from Chengdu to Guangzhou.  Monday we have medical exams and TB tests for both of the boys.  Wednesday the TB tests will be read, Thursday is our embassy appointment and then Friday we will get their visas.  We will then be on the train to Hong Kong and then Saturday, the 21st at 11:50 a.m. we will FINALLY be on a plane for home.  

Just as a quick side note...our hotel telephone rang just a few minutes ago and Richard answered it.   The man only spoke Chinese so Seth came over to figure out who it was.  After a ten-minute conversation where he smiled and laughed...quite a lot, he got off the phone and said the longest English sentence so far...My brother who gave me the computer  (he has his own laptop).  He is 32.  It was wonderful to hear :)