Bamboo Sprouts

The last few days have been a whirlwind! Let me catch you up a bit, but start by saying we are happy to be home! We loved China though and look forward to returning…

The big bummer of the trip was that Wed night (last night in Guangzhou) we got deathly ill. We ordered teriyaki beef stir fry from room service (a Marriot hotel!) and spent the night puking. Rick was considerably better on Thursday morn and was able to run out and pick up a few last minute things. I was stuck in bed! Was so hard to not even be able to take care of Sophie. Luckily she took her power naps and gave me a chance to rest up. She is sweet too – when she was up and I was lying down on the bed, she came and layed her head next to mine. Only for a minute of course, but it was a sweet gesture. It was as if she was as sorry as I was that I couldn’t get up and play and lug her around town! The manager called while I was sleeping and said that to make it up to us he would like to send up food and chocolate. This struck me funny. My stomach was churning and gross and he wanted me to eat more hotel food. Oh well. He did send up fruit (which we just left there) and chocolate truffles which we put in a baggie and enjoyed later on the plane coming home.

We headed to Hong Kong on Thursday eve and stayed one night there (saw nothing, just slept and left – big waste of time in my opinion!). Friday we headed home. Funny thing is that we left at 1pm on Friday China time and arrived at 2:30pm Friday Denver time! Only took 1 hour! That 1 hour was actually a pretty long 20 hours of traveling all said and done!

We arrived to a wonderful homecoming party at the airport though!! So nice to see familiar faces upon arrival! Thanks to those who came. We hope to see more of you soon!

We have been home for a day and a half and so far so good. Sophie should have her days and nights mixed up, but at this point I am thinking she might not! We got home around 4pm Friday (I think) and we kept her up ‘til 8pm (almost her normal bedtime except that to her it was more like 7am!). We gave her a bottle and rocked her in her pretty chair that was delivered while we were in China and she went to bed in her crib. She woke up crying several times though. She actually wasn’t quite awake – or I should say she went back to sleep IMMEDIATELY when we picked her up. She usually sleeps through the night easily so this just seems extra needy to us. All new bed and room and house and even all new mommy and daddy! Amazing to think we have only had her for 13 days! The first couple of nights in China, we put her in our bed when she was upset. She would roll frantically over us in her sleepiness. She gripped on me so tight and wouldn’t let go and felt every bit of me as she rolled back and forth and across ways too. It is hard to explain what she was doing. Well, last night after rocking her for 4 hours straight (I finally decided that it was more important that she sleep then where she sleep), I moved her to our bed and she did that roll thing again. It seemed a bit regressive to me – but understandable for sure so we just let her do it even though it is awful for us!

Today she played a little, we went outside a little (I heard sunshine is good for jet lag/time adjustment) and she slept a ton. Couldn’t believe that she slept so much since she really slept a lot the night before. Even though she slept longer then normal for her naps, her naps were at normal times. Then tonight she went down at 9pm. However, she is requiring that reassurance again tonight. Less of it though.

It is hard to imagine what she has been through in these past 2 weeks. We chose to do this, but she had no say. Now I think it is the best thing for her to be with us here in the US, but still, for a little person to experience all these changes – it is just unimaginable! My niece is 10 mos and it is hard to imagine her switching homes and parents at this point! Sophie’s foster parents obviously cared for her very well so even though their standard of living is different then ours, she was ok in China. We got pix developed today and finally got to see the orphanage (foster home in this case of course) camera ones. We sent a shoebox of goodies ahead of us to her before we got to China and we included a disposable camera and asked them to take pix of her in her environment in China and return the camera to us (this is a pretty common thing for adopting parents to do but you never know if you will get the camera back or not). We did get it and were anxious to see what was on it. We were hoping for pix of the foster parents, but no luck. But we do see her in her home which is much fancier then I expected! The couch has tassels and fringe and they have a nice flat screen TV!! It isn’t a fancy home by our standards, but by Chinas, it is. It is also very clean looking and Sophie looks happy in some of the pix. This surprised me because they didn’t send us any happy pix before we got there. She always looked sad. She is holding a stuffed animal in some of the pix and smiling big. She loves stuffed animals and that is the first thing she got into in her room! She especially loves the panda that her great Aunt Ann and Uncle Jerry sent her! Her fav is a little elephant that I took to China for her, but she is pleased as punch with the bigger ones that were waiting for her in her room! She is also holding toys in some of them. I will try to post some pix to the website soon.

Tonight, her Grma Gail and Grpa Glen treated everyone to pizza dinner. Everyone came to our house since we are trying to keep Sophie in her home for awhile and we had a nice visit. The pizza was great…especially to Rick and I since the cheese in China just didn’t measure up! She enjoyed playing with cousins Sarah and David and meeting Grpa David and visiting with the other grmas and grpas. Uncle Ryan stopped by earlier in the day to meet her. While a little shy, she took to him too. She seems happy with all of her new family.

Cousin David is quite funny with her, paying much more attention to her then I would have thought. He watches Sagwa (TV show for children that is about China) so he filled us in on lots of info about China. Yesterday when he was here for a minute when we were being dropped off from the airport, Sophie spontaneously got up and walked across the room on her wobbly legs with her arms outstretched and hugged him. I have never seen her do such a thing! So cute. And he is so gentle with her. He has obviously been practicing his big cousin skills on his baby sister.

Well she is back to sleep now and I am a fool for not being in bed myself! That was one of the plusses of living in a hotel room – when she slept, we slept (at least I did). But here there is always something else to do! And how on earth do you do things with a baby around anyhow?? She would not let me put her down today so I finally put her in the baby carrier that straps to me (couldn’t have lived without that contraption in China and she loves it but she is heavy to lug around!! I was able to do some chores with her strapped to me, but can’t imagine doing that ALL the time! We have some time to figure these things out though – Rick is home for the next few weeks so he will be a big help. (Rick was running some errands today so I was on my own for awhile).

Well, really am heading to bed for a little sleep. Never know when she will be up again.

Not too sure what to do with this group at this point! We can just stop it, or we can continue. It has served its purpose really since we are home now. We will continue for now and then probably just post to the website so you can check it when you are interested and not be bothered when you aren’t!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this child?? When not holding her, I miss her face, her smell, her everything. I had no idea it would be like this.

Much love,

Tiffany, Rick and Sophie too

Ni Hao from Guangzhou!!

We are in GZ now for our US consulate appointment to get Sophie’s visa to come home. GZ is very different from Wuhan! Much more modern and big city like and the deals are WAY better here!! I should have saved the majority of shopping for here! But, we are only here 3 days and much to do in that time so not as much time for shopping as I would like. Sophie is doing great. We still can’t believe she is all ours! We had her physical yesterday and she is quite healthy!! Our whole group is very healthy actually- meaning well fed! Here in GZ it is very noticeable that our girls are much larger then most of the adopted girls. All US parents have to come through GZ so there are zillions of us here. Everyone keeps commenting on how large and how well developed our girls are. The Chinese people are very pleased that they are so large and they rub Sophie’s chinS (yep plural) and say double happiness. . .

So she weighed in at 21 lbs. We think that she is more like 20 (according to the bathroom scales) but what’s the difference really!? I knew I was lugging around a lot of weight in that baby carrier! Seems that their foster mommies took very good care of them! All of our girls weighed in at 18-22lbs! Although that is pretty normal for US babies, for adopted Chinese babies that is quite a lot. We are glad she was well cared for and we love her rolls! Her thighs are great for squishing and her chins are great for smooching!

Speaking of foster families, I had been thinking that it was strange how little she has seemed to grieve. She is so happy and content and adores both Rick and I, hating for us to be out of her sight! However, I noticed yesterday that she looks out the window intently while we are driving around in taxis and busses. I had noticed this before, but yesterday I noticed that it is motorcycles she is watching for. Then I remembered that in the little photo album they gave us there is a pic of her standing next to a motorcycle that probably belongs to her foster family. Now I think that she is looking so seriously at the drivers of the motorcycles to see if it is them. Sort of breaks my heart really. She must be baffled at what has happened. But then again, she does not complain or cry for them. Also, even though she looks intently at the motorcycle drivers, she is at the same time has a death grip on me. If they look back at her, she buries her head in my chest. I think she is happy…but really do wonder what on earth she thinks of all this.

Today we go to the consulate to swear to something – have no idea really. Tomorrow we head to Hong Kong where we will just stay one night then Friday we head to Denver. We leave on Friday China time and arrive on Friday Denver time! Weird! To us it will be Saturday! Hope she adjusts ok. She is such a scheduled little thing! She religiously takes her 2 naps and bedtime is at 8:30. Some of the babies just go with the flow. Sophie doesn’t really care where she sleeps – but she has to sleep. Plus she HATED the flight to GZ from Wuhan. She was the screaming baby on board!! We are definitely using meds for the flight home!! It was just 1 hour from Wuhan.

She is getting so good at walking. The only one in the group who walks not holding onto anything. Her little personality is blossoming too. In the pix we were given, she looks so solemn and sad. She is not that way at all. She has a reputation now for being one of the happiest little babies! Smiley and easy going. It is as if the babies have been set free. They smile and laugh now-but they throw fits too. We were handed little lumps- and they are just coming to life!

She had an upset tummy yesterday so we are going back to basics with food. We had been letting her try some different things. It is back to congee and eggs and noodles for Sophie! Mommy did NOT enjoy being POOPED on and PUKED on!!!!!!!!!!! I guess it is official though. I am a mom!

She will wake soon and once she realizes that I am not there, she will be unhappy which will make her daddy unhappy! He is doing great with her still and was able to put her to sleep last night. She requires some serious rocking usually and mommy has more of that rocking touch usually! The look on his face when he looks at her is priceless. I am afraid that I have moved to second place.

This may be the last time I am able to write. Not sure. See some of you on Friday hope to see all of you soon.

Much love,

Tiffany, Rick and Sophie too!

PHOTOS!! I am almost certain that we will be posting pix in the next few hours! Yahoo (or maybe it is China not sure) does something weird- so we will post them and if you do get them, please forward them on to those who don’t! And if anyone knows how to get them from e-mail into the yahoo group photo section of this group please do so for us! (Torey Lam maybe?? or Kel, if you are on here??) We can’t post them there from here so we will send them as an attachment. I expect to have them ready to post by about 6pm our time which is about 3 am in Denver.

Oh, now a request! I am wondering if anyone would be willing to take Ralph and Molly for just a day or 2 when we first get home. I know this is asking a lot…so we understand if there aren’t any takers! We think she will really like them eventually, but are worried that they will be so excited at first that they will scare her. That isn’t the homecoming that I want for her! If no takers, mom, please make sure they are put outside before you all come get us at the airport. Thanks!

Gotta run- will write/send pix later.

Love,

Tif and Rick and Sophie too

I forgot to mention. . .

She began recognizing her name on Wednesday! We had planned to combine her US and Chinese names for awhile- something like Jiao Jiao Sophie. However, we are unable to say Jiao with the correct accent anyhow – so it was not recognizable to her. Of course we are not even sure she was called Jiao (although it is common for them to double the baby names into something like Jiao Jiao) because they could have used a different pet name for her. So now she knows she is Sophie.

Some of the babies call out for their foster moms and grieve here and there. Sophie seems to be adjusting so well. She was certainly upset at first, but no serious grieving. And she does not call out for a ma ma like some do. This seems odd to me since we can tell she was very well cared for, but of course we can’t know the whole situation! At 11 mos she just can’t tell us! We know she was well cared for because she is healthy and well fed and responsive and developmentally on track or ahead. Plus she easily allows us to do things for her like feed her (bottle and table foods). She does not naturally do it herself and as a matter of fact makes no attempt to hold her own bottle while we feed her (she holds her own water bottle fine so it is not a dev. problem). We just think that her foster mother did not bottle prop but instead held it for her.

I didn’t mean to go on and on

Tif

Hello all,

I look forward to reading your hellos each day! I don’t have time to respond to each one, but want you to know that I really do like hearing from home!

Today we went to a beach. It is not like home beaches, but was a great place to visit with some local people. It is not the kind of beach where people wear bathing suits or anything…some people were in spike heels and formal dresses actually!! Even saw a wedding couple! Beautiful! The people here are much more reserved and a bit more formal then home. They are also more friendly. We were all like celebrities today! We were stopped by the local people and everyone wants to take our picture and have their pic taken with us.

It is funny to us because in the US, Chinese adoptions seem fairly common. But to many Chinese people, it is something very new! To Rick and I, many people said, oh she looks like Chinese baby! As if we didn’t know this! Cute. And constantly we are told she is so beautiful. To us, she is the prettiest baby of course! But we also think all the babies are beautiful. Our agency guide, Joanna, who lives here, told us today that Sophie is considered especially beautiful by the Chinese people because of her fair skin. I guess while we like nice tan skin in the US, in China, fair skin is pretty. Also she told us that Sophie will not be as short as many Chinese people. (she can tell this not because she is tall now but because of her hands) She will be more like Joanna herself (maybe 5’ 5” – not sure!). Joanna is stunning…

While at the beach place, we managed to get separated from the group. We are with 12 other families and 3 families got separated. We were a bit nervous but we always carry hotel business cards so we can show a taxi driver to get back. Luckily, we didn’t need to use that. George (Joanna’s helper) finally found us! We had gone back to the entrance gate hoping they would come back for us. It is quite weird to be in a country where we can’t understand anyone and they can’t understand us. Those who can speak English enjoy showing it off to us. Very fun.

We can’t believe we are more then half way done with our trip! Though it will be nice to get home, there is still so much to see and do here. I am glad that it is required by China that adopting parents come spend time here. We will have so much to tell Sophie. She is from a special place. It is beautiful and the people are so friendly and kind. And they adore the children. It must have been so hard for her birth mother to leave her.

George told us more about the one child policy today. He and his wife are expecting their one and only child in Feb. While it is a hard policy for us to understand, he said that he understands why it is necessary. He thinks it will end in about 20 years. We see both boys and girls with the local people, which seems good. I thought that maybe we would mostly see little boys since they tend to place so much importance on having a boy. Maybe this is more prevalent in rural areas. George and his wife had to apply for permission from the government to have a child. Once granted, they were able to go ahead but they are only allowed to have one ever.

We are in Wuhan only one more day. Monday we head to Guangzhou to get her visa from the consulate. I think we can send photos from there. I am hoping! So sorry about the photos situation! We are dying for you to see her! We are told that they don’t have Internet in each room here in Wuhan because there are only 3 AT&T lines in the WHOLE city!! This is very unusual. We had internet in Beijing and will again in GZ. Then we should be able to send pix from Ricks PDA.

We have to go to the department store and to pick up our dry-cleaning tonight. We keep her on her schedule pretty well even though we are busy! She does best this way and that means we do better too!

Ok, back upstairs to see if she is about ready to wake up for our outing.

XO,

Tiffany, Rick and Sophie too