Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I would like to start by saying thank you all for all of the wonderful comments over the past couple of weeks. Thanks so much for sharing in ou journey and happiness.We had a wonderful last day in China. This afternoon at around 4pm, Kerry ws sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America. We thought it was pretty special, she pretty much played and babbled through the whole ceremony. She had the mandatory "Red Couch" photo shoot. This hotel has served thousands of adoptive families over many years and there is a red couch (actually two) located down on the 1st floor and it's sort of a tradition to take your newly adopted childs photo on the "red couch". So we did. She was fine with it as long as the cheerios kept "magically" appearing in her little fists. I have to admit she looked particularly adorable in her little traditional chinese dress. We walked (did I mention that Guangzhou is made for walking) to get dinner and an Italian restaurant. To my surprise, the guy manning the brick pizza oven was, in fact, italian. I think he runs the restaurant. Doug and I split the most delicious pizza and Kerry Lu ate her body weight in spaghetti. The girl can eat folks. She's also very vocal and can now say "bye bye", "Da Da", and "Mama" and uses them correctly. She looks right at me and says " Mama" or "Mamama". Of course it's usually when she wants something but it's still music to my ears. She what I'm pretty sure was her first taste of ice cream. You could tell she loved the taste but had to get used to the fact that it was cold, which she did very quickly. Since we're going to be home soon (yay) I think I should give you a quick run-down of some things she likes and dislikes, not that she isn't capable of letting you know in her own sweet way=). She can throw a world class whine fest or all out tantrum when she feels the need, but we're starting to work on that a bit and it's usually short lived.

Likes: Cheerios, chicken congee, crackers of any sort, spaghetti. Also likes playing with Mama and Daddy, bouncing on the bed, feeling things with her hands and feet, having her hands and feet played with, tickle fests, her morning and nightly bottle of formula and rice cereal, hugs from Mama.

Dislikes: being still for too long, being sleepy, waking up before she's really ready, having to wait, being held by anyone but Mama or in a pinch Daddy ( this is a good thing, though, for a little while until she really bonds with us)

Up for debate: The stroller, high chair, car rides, plane rides, diaper changes, baths.

So we will see some of you guys tomorrow. Please pray that she does well on the very long plane ride(s) home. I can't wait to see you ,all.

The famous Red Couch


Daddy apparently made a new friend in the play room. This little sweetheart took to him right away and before he knew it, she had planted herself in his lap. I've heard that alot of these little ones from orphanages rarely get to interact with men, so they're often intrigued by, and drawn to them.

new US citizen

Monday, June 29, 2009

Our travel mates, Joanna, Mike and the adorable Claire.
Enjoying an evening dinner cruise on the Pearl River

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We had another wonderful day in Guangzhou. We went to a bi-lingual church service here on the island which Kerry mostly slept through ,She seems to be used to taking naps about an hour after breakfast, and Lord help us if she doesn't get to =). She sleeps pretty well but sometimes wakes up crying and really thrashing about for a minute or so and then she'll fall back to sleep. I'm sure it's an adjustment/emotional thing. During the day she's as happy as a lark. Our awesome guide David took us to a mall today where I was able to buy a jade bracelet for Kerry for later and a beautiful pearl necklace and bracelet for myself. Kerry finished up her nap there. She is doing much better in the stroller now, but still want's to hold my hand most of the time while she's in it, that is after throwing the initial, now much more short lived, tantrum from being put in it. We had dinner at Lucy's again (ahhh). Kerry once again polished off every last bit of the chicken congee. I really think it's like comfort food for her. She had about the same reaction to it as I did the iced tea . We walked around after dinner and got Kerry, and some others, a few things. We love Mr Jordan and his shop. After that we took Kerry back to the playroom, where she made a few new friends. Today she finally let daddy hold her and started initiating hugs with him. She was quite content to sit in his lap and check out the dvd of childrens chinese music we got her on the lap top, which means I didn,t have to wait til she fell asleep before getting my shower. She was full of silliness and smiles and giggles again tonight, but even more so. Like me, she seems to be at her best in the evening. In fact she was going strong until around 10:30. We had lots of tickle fests and she thought it was hilarious to hold Daddy's hands while jumping on the bed (yeah, I know we may regret that later) She is sweet and silly and smart and feisty and opinionated and we just can't get enough of her.

All ready for church.
I was ready for my nap by the time the service started.

Asleep at the wheel at the mall

This photo is mandatory.. sorry

To the girls at work: Oh yes...these are squeaky shoes. We tested them all for maximum squeakiness and bought several sizes so the fun can last for ages =). I think she needs a few more colors, don't you?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We made it to Guangzhou last night and I think we're going to love it here. The White Swan Hotel is amazing ( aside from the rock hard beds), and it's much more relaxed and quiet. here. Kerry did not to well on the plane ride at all. She started crying in the airport and that lasted pretty much throughout the entire 2 hour plane ride, much to the dismay of the passengers around us. The poor thing was inconsolable, but we made it through and she seemed to feel better after "letting it all out". She still seems most comfortable in our room with just Doug and myself but we took her down to the play room that the White Swan has set up for all of the many adoptive families that come through and she seemed to enjoy that. What she didn't enjoy today was the Doctors visit but the great news is two Doctors listened to her heart and neither one could hear a murmur, thank God. Kerry had a wonderful day aside from that. She laughed and played a lot. We ate dinner at the famous Lucy's Cafe...so good. I was able to get the first tall glass of iced tea since leaving home. In China, they don't generally serve drinks with ice or in glasses as large as we're used to at home.

Let me tell you what my spicy Jiangxi girl did after dinner. We decided to go back to the play room and on the way we stopped by the enormous fish pond/river which includes a two story indoor waterfall. We were out on the bridge when Kerry suddenly tosses her snack cup of cheerios into the pond/river and says "uh" (uh oh)! After we had supressed our laughter we grabbed the first staff person we could find and explained that "the baby" pointing at Kerry "threw that" pointing at the snack cup which was quickly being buffeted away by the dozens of enormous Koi fish that live in the pond/river/thing. She understood well enough, nodded, and scurried off. When she came back the poor lady had to climb through the plants and onto a rock ledge to retrieve it from the marauding fish with a long pole. I'm pretty sure we laughed more about it later than she did.

This is Kerry's new friend Mary from the hotel in Nanchang. She staying here in the White Swan, too, and will make her new home in California.

Enjoying the"Swan Room"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last post from Nanchang

In about one hour we'll be leaving the hotel for the airport. We're heading to Guangzhou, the last leg of our trip. I've enjoyed our stay here, especially the food. The food here is apparently known for it's spiciness. Let me tell you it's not short on flavor. The roast duck we had last night was amazing and I couldn't get enough of the vegetables (some kind of very green cabbage). I'm glad we got to stay a while in the province where our daughter was born.

I'm having Blogger issues so this post is for yesterday and today. First, let me tell you a little about Nanchang. Let me just say, we're so blessed and fortunate in America. There seems to be quite a bit of poverty here but the people generally have such great attitudes. The traffic here is completely crazy, a free-for-all really. I've often heard those adoptive parent's who've gone before me compare watching the pedestrians cross the street to watching a game of Frogger. It's even worse. Lane restrictions are really more of a suggestion than anything. Two lanes here sometimes doubles as three lanes, with an oncoming vehicle passing another one and then veering away right before you plow into each other. The horn honking is a constant thing, so much so that people don't even seem to respond to it. Bikes and mopeds weave in an out of it all carrying an entire family of three or even four ( a small child just stands on the seat sandwiched between the parents). And intersections are particularly scary. Experiencing this in a large van is crazy enough, but one time we took a small cab.....never again. Everyone lives in apartments, and apartments are everywhere. The people here are mostly very nice and curious when it comes to us. We went to a small store around the corner yesterday evening and there were lots of people just hanging out and letting their kids play and by the time we came out of the store they were all kind of congregated around wanting to talk to us and look at Kerry, and they love to introduce their own children and try to get them to play with Kerry. I figured out quickly that they love it when you talk to their children or touch their faces or something like that and the kids are so sweet. And they all want to meet Kerry and the westerners. Speaking of Kerry, she continues to amaze us with her resilience and willingness to give and receive affection. She really seems to be bonding with us well. She will not let anyone else hold her at all and when she's unsure, sad, or in pain (like earlier when she hit her mouth on the arm of the chair) it's me, or in a pinch, Daddy that she comes to for comfort which is very encouraging. Even when she's playing happily she will sometimes get this suddenly serious look on her little face and she will turn around and put her little arms up and lean in for a hug, then she's okay for a while. And she does not want us out of her sight. Her Nannies confirmed that she was in the orphanage only and never in foster care, so I'm thrilled that she's already identifying us as her "home base" and that she is showing such emotional capacity for bonding, love, happiness. She plays well and catches on very quickly to little games we make up and even puts her own slant on them. We took her to the hotel pool, which is amazing, it's on the 8th floor surrounded by windows and it's huge. I'm pretty sure she's never seen a pool before but she took to it like a little duck to water. I started of by sitting with her on the edge of the kiddie pool and showed her how to spash and before I knew it she was leaning out of my lap trying to get in. So I got in the big pool with her and she took to it immediately. She and Daddy were splashing each other which she thought was great fun. She didn't mind being submerged up to her neck and even, on her own, kept leaning over and dipping her face in the water. I just held her under her arms and drug her around the water for a good half hour and she even started straightening herself out and kicking her legs after a bit. Like I said, this kid is amazing.

I'm about as much of a morning person as my mommy

A hamburger! Not that I haven't enjoyed the local food

I like to look out the front window of the lobby and people watch


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day three has gone well, we absolutely adore this girl. She was a bit more clingy at times but played and smiled a lot, too. She played fine with Daddy and NaNa Sandy and had a lot of smiles and silliness for Daddy but would not let anyone but me hold her. I think this is just a normal part of her bonding and adjustment period, so we didn't force it. She seems to be cutting some teeth along the sides of her gums and had a slight temp this morning so this may have had something to do with it, too, but Motrin seems to be helping that. We visited the Teng Wang pavilion which was beautiful, but I didn't get any pictures of that as my Camera battery was apparently back at the hotel. Kerry Lu slept through all of that. The rest of the day we just hung around the hotel and played with Kerry . I can't believe we just got this child on Sunday, it really seems like we've been her parents for longer than that. We can see so many sides to her personality coming out. Serious, studious, silly, sweet, smart..it' s all coming out. And dang cute, to boot. And now for what I know you all want...more pictures =) (thanks, Amanda).

I have a little bottle belly thing going on.

What is this American baby food you're trying to feed me?!

My first french fry! I didn't know what to make of them at first, but quickly decided I wanted more.

Want some cucumber Lays? I love them but I'll share.

Maybe I'll just check out some of these comments you guys are writing about me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Baby Talk

Day Two with little miss Kerry has gone very well so far. She slept straight throught the night from a little after 9 to around 6 am and when she woke up she was not unhappy to see us. She gobbled down a bottle of rice cereal and formula (thick and hot she likes them). We got dressed and headed down to to the breakfast buffet and she polished off some eggs and rice congee (kind of a rice soup). Then it was off to the civil affairs building to finalize the adoption and take a family photo for the certificate, and then to the notary office for another quick interview and paperwork. She started babbling for the first time since we got her and was playful and silly at the government offices. Man is this girl cute, and I think she's going to be something else as her personality unfolds! After that our guide, Helen, took us to Wal-Mart for diapers, wipes, juice and some other baby necessities. We got her a couple of little books which she loves. Her little hands and feet are constantly moving and touching things. The Wal-Mart here in NanChang is quite a bit different than what we have at home. First of all it has a parking garage underneath, and the store itself has two levels. They sell some things in the grocery, especiall,that you just don't see at home. Kerry has played a lot today and is smiling and babbling more and more, it's so awesome to see how she's just relaxing with us and trusting us. She has no problem making lots of eye contact which is a very good sign. She loves playing the typical baby games like "sharing" things with us and then taking it back, she loves having her feet played with and she loves her stacking cups and little books, and empty drink bottles and Pringles lids and things like that. She honestly seems content so far which makes my Mommy heart very happy. Thanks for all of your prayers and good wishes, it's really working. We are one very happy family.

She wore her "I love Daddy" pjs for fathers day last night and was sporting a bit of bed head this morning =)

I'm a thumb sucker

With the Orphanage Director and one of the Nannies after she became officially ours in the eyes of China

Catching a nap at Wal-Mart

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Daddy & Kerry Walking

Daddy & Kerry


I don't even know where to begin about today. We are so blessed and so in love with her already. We flew into Nanchang a little after 2 this afternoon, Got to the hotel a little after 3 and about 20 minutes later we get a call from our guide saying that Kerry had arrived with her Nannies and that they would bring her up to our room. I nearly freaked out with nerves and excitement. She came to me and a few minutes later to Doug with no problem. She came with the little Bunny blankie/lovey thing we sent and the picture album we sent with our pictures. I really think the nannies tried their best to prepare her, as much as you can with a 15 month old. She looks very healthy, just a little bit petite. She came wearing a 12 month sized outfit we sent her and it fit her fine. She is amazing. So brave to be so little. She's already starting to get attached to Me and Doug, She clings to me and kind of whimpers if Doug's mom tries to take her, so we'll have to work on warming her up to her Nana a bit more tomorrow. She is pretty reserved so far, which we expected, but we did get some giggles from her earlier when she was taking her first bottle and we were playing with her feet. She is very observant and is just taking it all in and trying to figure out what to make of us and her new situation. I gave her a quick bath tonight and she did fine, just cried a little when I washed her hair but by then the poor thing was exhausted. After the bath I laid down with her on my chest and she was out cold in under 20 seconds, no joke, and has been sleeping since. I can't wait to see how she does tomorrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hi from Beijing

Hi everyone I am Amanda, Gin & Doug neighbor, they are having problems uploading pics from there trip so I will take over for that part. They seem to being having a good time and are flying out soon to meet Kerry. Here are some pics from there trip in Beijing

Hi everyone, Gin here. Thanks, Amanda, I knew I could count on you =). We had a very busy and enjoyable day here. We were picked up by our awesome guide, Scott and our driver (more on Chinese driving later) after a good hotel breakfast and we were off to see Beijing. We started at Tienanmen square and the Forbidden City which were both very impressive and beautiful. That took a while, then we stopped for an authentic Chinese meal for lunch which was delicious and quite a bit different than the Chinese food we can get at home, but I expected as much. Then we climbed the Great Wall, or should I say the Great Wall kicked my boo-tay. Doug and I made it all the way to the top, though, the end of our section of the wall, all 7 or 8 towers worth of Great Wall ( I lost count at tower 4, or was it 5 ,while gasping for breath). Let me tell you the view was absolutely breathtaking ....no, too easy at that point... it was spectacular. So worth it. Then we came back to the hotel for hot showers, some rest, then we met up with our travel mates Mike and Joanna for dinner..another delicious Chinese meal. We really like Mike and Joanna and are excited to have them as travel mates, however we will be parting ways for the next few days to meet our daughters in their respective provinces and then we'll meet back up in GuangZhou. Speaking of that....I'M MEETING MY BABY TOMORROW!!! Just had to get that off my chest. I packed a diaper bag , my carry on item for tomorrow's plane ride, for her in case they happen to beat us to the hotel, I want to be ready. The cameras are charging up in anticipation of lots of video and pictures. See you guys tomorrow!

Friday, June 19, 2009

After 19 hours of travel...We're in Beijing! I didn't sleep at all on the flight(s) and the last few hours of the plan ride wore on me but we made it. It's Friday night 10 pm here and we got here a little after three in the afternoon (3 am last night for you folks). We checked in with our sweet guide, Susan, and checked in to the Rennaissance Beijing Hotel, walked up and down the street to check things out, had dinner here at the hotel, shower, and now hopefully I can sleep. Its very different here as I expected, but nice. The weather so far feels the same as at home, but there seems to be a lot of smog/pollution which gives the air and everything else an "aroma" I can't even describe. Tomorrow we're off to see the Great Wall, the forbidden City and Ti*namen square. I'm looking forward to it. I will try to post pictures of that tomorrow, but tonight I'm having trouble uploading pictures to blogger.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One day to go!

We are heading out bright and early in the morning for China!! I'm somehow more calm (so far) than I thought I'd be. Since I've been off of work this week I was able to finish painting the rocking chair and a few other last minute projects around the house over the last couple of days.
(notice Salem under the chair, he's got to be in the middle of anything that's going on.)


We've also been busy packing...and weighing our suitcases...and re-packing.

Yes, Salem is in the suitcase. Told you he has to be in the middle of things. Or maybe he just doesn't want us to leave him behind =).

I thought it was kinda neat to see her name on this prescription, somehow it makes it all feel more real.

My photo
I've been happily married to my wonderful husband for 15 years. Two year ago we were blessed to welcome our first child, a Daughter from China and are absolutely in love with her.

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