Bamboo Sprouts

Linda (and Ann too!!), thanks for the tip on the yogurt; we will try to find some. Food is different here! The girls do like a thin yogurt drink but not sure if it has the live culture thingies! We did give her bananas today. The biggest problem is that it is giving her a little rash. She is so easy though that she doesn’t even complain about it! We are sure to change her immediately though and we have some rash cream for her bum.

Things were final today!!!! (Actually they were official on the 28th but they just gave us the papers today) We picked up our final paperwork and we are all official! We have the adoption certificate and her passport now. When we get to GZ next week the US consulate will issue her visa. By the time we are home, there is really nothing to do. She is automatically a US citizen and adopted. However, we will readopt her locally for some reason that I don’t remember!

It feels like a bit of a fairy tale to us too!

Gotta run!

Love,

Tif and Rick and Sophie too

I snuck away from the room for a few while she is snoozing…hoping to make it back before she wakes up. I made a list of emails to answer and of course left it upstairs! (Mommy brain! Finally something to blame it on anyhow!) So will do what I remember.

Congratulations Courtney and Brian- we look forward to the birth of Paige!!

Thank you mom for helping with the chair. I am so glad that it looks right in the room – I got nervous that it would be too big. And yes we need it very much. She is our dream child in every way- including that she loves to be rocked! We don’t have a rocker in the hotel room, so I do it by myself standing and rocking. Between that and carrying her in the carrier, I am a bit worn out. Guess I really shoulda taken Amiis advice and worked out! Sophie is an amazing sleeper. We are told she naps once a day, but so far it is twice. She naps from about 9:30-10:30 or so and again from about 2-4. She also sleeps from about 8:30pm-7:30am! My kind of gal! She takes 5 bottles a day and loves noodles and banana bread the best. She also likes cheerios and potatoes. Haven’t experimented too much yet! We do have her on the antibiotics because she had a little cold when we got her and then she started tugging on her ears. We wanted to nip an ear infection in the bud. I think the antibiotic is giving her diarrhea. Is that possible? Also wanted to tell you what she was wearing when she was handed to us. We didn’t notice until the next day, but her bottom layer (split pants and matching long sleeve top) had a little print all over them and it is some sort of character and the words “just call me the angel of joy” all over it! Thought you would like that.

Some of you know that my mom has prayed for a pill (so that I would need more breaks!), but I am afraid that God answered my prayers for a pure sweetie instead! She is really the sweetest baby here! She is so content and cooperative and gentle. She just loves the floppy, soft little elephant we brought and when I say oh love the eley…she does. She hugs him and pats him. She also loves the blanket that we had made for her.

Grma, you asked about books. She doesn’t know if they are Chinese or not, she just likes them all! We are purchasing a few Chinese books so she will have a mixture.

She is quiet and doesn’t babble too much- although she does moan and make happy noises.

We think that she has not seen her skin much at all!! They keep the babies SOOOOO well covered here (there are clothes police everywhere! Older women in particular are always correcting us!). Anyhow, she loves to squish herself! And she especially loves to feel different textures on her feet. She rubs all her toys and the sheets and everything on her feet!

I know I keep saying it, but we just did not know how beautiful she would be! She takes our breath away! Rick is a good daddy – as we all knew he would be! I don’t know how people could make this trip as a single! I would not make it out the door each morning without his help! As a matter of fact, just this morning, we were out the door on our way to breakfast before I realized that I didn’t have any shoes on!! She loves Rick and he makes her smile. She likes to walk up and down the hallway with him holding one or both hands. She is unsteady, but gives it a good whirl! Rick is efficient and packs a mean diaper bag. He has been very patient as she has attached to me first. We were prepared for the opposite to happen – but in all but 2 cases, the babies have attached to the mommies first. No parent is being completely left out though. All babies seem happy with their parents.

Joanna, our guide who stays in a room here at the hotel with us and meets our every need, told us a funny story on the way to the shopping area yesterday. In China, it is not at all rude to stare or point. We knew this, but didn’t know the extent of it! People will actually come and stand RIGHT next to you and sort of join your conversation. Except they have no idea what we are saying…so what they are really doing is STARING! It is the oddest thing. And they stay as long as they want – sometimes the whole time! Anyhow, she said that once at the shopping area (sort of like a department store – but Chinese style!) a woman about 60 years old stared and followed the group all around. Even followed them out the door and finally asked Joanna about our group. She wanted to know if ALL babies (even foreigner babies!) start out looking Chinese! Seems she just could not figure out why they all had these Chinese babies! It is very different here – very behind the times – people here don’t travel much and many don’t read and write. Their knowledge of foreigners is very limited. When we walk around with Sophie, we are like movie stars. Lots of interest. Most reactions are positive.

I forgot to tell about the birth note. A note was left with Sophie when she was abandoned and we have received a copy of it. It is really just her birth date and time. Nov 12, 2002 1 am. Joanna said that from the handwriting she can tell that the parents are poor and uneducated. That is all we know.

All of the families are doing better then any of us expected/were told to expect. We have a wonderful travel group and have made many new friends. CCAI really takes care of every detail and we have no worries. My only complaint is that they keep us on a tight schedule and not enough time for shopping. We are ALWAYS rushed for the shopping part. It is very important to the Chinese people that babies receive EXCELLENT care. We must provide proper clothing (meaning layers!) and time to rest and the right foods. They have many rules regarding babies and will come up and correct you when you aren’t doing things up to their standards.

Ok, I think I am pushing my time down here now. Better go.

Love,

Tiffany, Rick and Sophie too

Ni Hao again!

Sophie and I are just checking in for a few minutes! Turned out to be a bad idea for me to leave her while e-mailing yesterday! She was quite upset and worried the rest of the day if she could not see me. So she is here in the business center of the hotel with me- sitting on the floor next to me with her new book and a Chinese cracker. I don’t think she will last much longer actually. She is sleepy!

Yesterday went well. We had to fill out more paperwork and finalize with the notary and registrar. Mostly it was dull – but the most interesting to me was that her director, Director Lin said that she is quite a special girl with special talents. They went on to explain that she is super flexible physically and they told us that many Olympic champions come from their area! Maybe we have a little gymnast on our hands! We had noticed that she could put her feet above her head and such- but we thought that maybe that was just what babies do.

We were also given a beautiful photo album with misc. pix from previous months. This is quite a treasure and very unusual. (It is the norm for this area, but not for most adoptions from China)

We did a bit of shopping at the local department store today. Got the shoe girl a few new pairs of shoes, plus a few other things. She especially likes books. She is such a content little thing and we can’t believe our luck! She slept well last night- from about 8:30-7:30! For dinner we ordered in and I ordered noodles for Sophie and I and she could hardly contain her excitement!! She and I shared and it is so cute to watch her slurp the noodles! She likes to be rocked to sleep.

Rick and I can’t believe how pretty she is and how easy she is to get along with! She was clearly loved and well cared for by her foster family. There is a 12 year old boy traveling with another family who can make her laugh hysterically. Cute! She also loves a little 5 year old boy who is with us.

We are trying to figure out the picture situation. Not sure if we will get pix posted or not- but we are hoping.

She needs me now, so we are heading back upstairs.

Love you all,

Tiffany, Rick and Sophie too!

Ni Hao all!!

All is well in Wuhan, China! There is little time to check in even now so I will say as much as possible before we are off to complete paperwork here!

We received Sophie yesterday at 4pm China time. All is perfect…here are the details.

We arrived in Wuhan yesterday (Monday) afternoon and got checked into our hotel, a beautiful 5 star, with an hour to spare. We nervously tried to prepare for what was to come. We loaded onto the bus and headed to another hotel, where their registration office is located and we received the babies there. Rick and I were in the last elevator to go up to the correct floor for the big event with another couple, Tawny and Art, also first time parents. As we got off the elevator, we could see that everyone else was already seated in the event center which was a room narrower then wide making it a bit hall like. We could also see that the babies were already in there with caregivers, lining the walls. We had to walk through the babies and nannies to our seats. Both Tawny and I were suddenly moved to tears at the thought of our babies being in that room waiting for us. We regained composure and entered just in time for the speakers to begin. We could not spot Sophie as there were so many babies there that day.

After the speakers spoke (we have no idea what they said since the back of the room was filled with screaming babies!), they began calling names. We were for some reason caught completely off guard to be the second family called up. It is all a blur and I don’t even know who handed her to us though Rick is pretty sure it was the director of her system. We will see when we get pictures back…if there are any! We don’t even know that – but with so many of us here, we are guessing there are pix.

She came to me easily, but then seemed to realize what had happened and became very upset for some time. She cried for about 30 mins while I walked her and tried every toy and food bribe that I had brought (all of them basically). Nothing consoled her. She eventually fell asleep with me sort of standing and rocking her. During this time, she neither rejected nor accepted Rick. She was simply overwhelmed and needed comforting. She slept for 2 hours and by the time she woke up we were back in our hotel room. She was not upset when she awoke, but shortly after, she did cry again. We made a bottle for her and she was very excited and sucked it all down. We then took her out of some of the layers she was in to look at our baby.

She is beautiful as her name suggests (Jiao). She is also sweet and a bit timid as was suggested in our earlier paperwork. We know now that she can stand and walk with her hands held. We have even been able to get her to take a couple of steps on her own, but they are wobbly, unsteady steps.

She has a pretty smile and we were excited to hear her laugh. She also has a great fashion sense! I showed her black patent leather shoes and she was so excited and immediately knew that they were shoes. She puts them on top of her feet…sort of asking for help. The funny thing is, we have a not so cute pair of shoes with us too and when Rick put those on her she ripped them off immediately and tossed them aside. She is a fancy girl

She now goes to Rick and I about equally although she is beginning today to prefer her daddy a bit. She loves all the toys we brought and especially likes it when we sit her in the middle of the bed and surround her with them. She just looks pleased as punch with all those toys around her.

We are so happy and in love and I am about to cry even now at how blessed we are. On the bus ride over, one of our guides said that although we do not create life this day…we change life. We were all so moved by this. This continues to be an amazing experience.

Must go sign papers to make it official. There is so much more I would like to share…but time is short…plus can’t leave Sophie for too long. I was up most of the night – not because she kept us up (she slept beautifully from 9pm-7am), but I couldn’t stop looking at her. I kept turning on the night light for another glimpse of her sweet face.

Much love to you all,

Tiffany, Rick and Miss Sophie too!

Hi everyone!

We had a long but uneventful day of flying on Thurs/Fri and arrived in good spirits with some of our fellow adoptive parents. We didn’t do anything that first night because we were wiped out. Just dinner in the hotel restaurant and then off to bed.

Yesterday was nothing like that. We toured the Forbidden City (it’s really, really, big) and Tiananmen Square. We had Peking duck for late lunch and then went shopping. The difference between quoted prices and what one ends up paying is laughable. Maybe 25%? We had a good negotiator, though. Chu Hong, a local and friend of a friend, really knows how to wheel and deal.

I’m late for breakfast now, but I’ll send more later. We’re off to the great wall today.

Please keep the three of us in your prayers. We’ll meet our Sophie for the first time tomorrow afternoon…