Sunday, January 20, 2008

YAAY!!! It's the Weekend!

Grace woke up much happier Saturday AM. She woke up pointing at the pictures on her wall like she usually does.

Turner and I went to the grocery store and "loaded-up". When I got home Chris had a list of places to visit to run errands. Saturday night we went out to our favorite sushi place. Grace loves the miso soup. The owner is Chinese and always makes a point to walk over and say hello. Grace always has a huge smile on her face when he speaks Cantonese to her.

Oh, in the excitement of the TCMC visit last Thursday, I forgot to mention that Tori now has a "cool car" to drive instead of the minivan.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Appointment at TCMC

Yesterday, Chris and I took Grace for her first appointment at TCMC's International Adoption Clinic. We were there 2 1/2 hours. Grace did very well until the end of the appointment...three shots and LOTS of blood drawn. The doctor talked to us for a while, examined her and then the nurse came in. Grace watched her intently as she put on a pr. of blue non-latex gloves. I held her while the nurse gave her 3 shots. SCREAM!!! We got her calmed down then we went to the lab. After a small wait we were called into the office. The lab tech seemed surprised at how small she was and discussed the amount af blood that thay needed for the labs was more than Grace could give because of her small weight. We decided to do some of the blood work during next months' appointment. Grace was OK until the "blue gloves" came out. I felt so bad!!!
She weighed 16.3 lbs. and was 28in. long. We don't know what her true weight was in China. We think about 14-15 lbs. We know she's gained weight. She went from bottles with rice formula 3 times a day to eating everything we put in front of her! We have found two things she doesn't like; broccoli and peaches. It goes in and then comes out like a machine gun.
Today was a rough day. I don't know if she's mad at me or if she's feeling bad today from the shots. She didn't sleep last night so we put her in bed with us. She was very restless. I couldn't get her to take a nap today. She screamed every time I walked out. I tried rocking her...didn't work. She would hit me in the face. Chris is home now with her. She pushed me away as soon as he walked in the door. It's OK, I need a break. Hopefully tonight will be a better night.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Trying on my shoes!
I can't believe we met Grace one month ago today!!! This past month has been such an overwhelming, but wonderful experience.
After birthing four children, with inductions and Lamaze, I see now now what other adoptive parents have told us... Bringing a child into your family from an orphanage is much more challenging and time consuming than bringing a newborn into your home.
The first priority in bringing these precious girls into your home, is to encourage trust, attachment, and bonding. Unlike having a biological newborn daughter, these little girls have been abandoned by their mothers, have not had a consistent caregiver, and even in the best orphanages, their cries have not been consistently responded to. Each little girl is different in how they coped, but all have had that trust broken which is usually gained through a newborn attaching and bonding with their Mother. It is very important for us to immediately respond to Grace's every need and cry. We cannot let her "cry it out" like a biological child or leave the room without taking her with us. Showers and "Potty Breaks" are the biggest challenge. It is also important that only Chris and I take care of her needs. The kids can help out occasionally, but it is important for her to establish who her Mother and Father are. I am limited to leave the house while she is napping or asleep and have revisited Saturday AM grocery shopping and left-overs. The kids have been real troopers; they have not once complained about the decrease in, or lack of food/snacks. They have seen me go three days without a shower...they are wise.
Grace seems to be bonding to us and adjusting to life here. She has been eating a lot and seems to be gaining a little weight. She makes eye contact, laughs, and loves being tickled. She will let me kiss her and occasionally hug her(as long as it's quick). We will continue to bottle feed her to encourage bonding...but it's a challenge to hold it. She wants to do it. She still doesn't like you to hold or touch her hands. We play patty-cake and have started putting lotion on each other's hands to try to help this. When we were in China, she would not let me hold her chest to chest. She would arch her back and scream when I would try. I took a sling carrier with me to China and she fussed when I would put her in it. It was too intimate for her. I would have to carry her facing away from me. She now will let me carry her on my hip facing in, but "stiff-arms" me if I pull her too close. She loves music and likes to dance, so I've been holding her and dancing with her. She's sleeping though the night now and taking 2 small naps/day, but she refuses to be rocked to sleep.
We all love this little girl with all our steps.
I look forward to my first bear hug!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

We're Home!!!

Grace's last sink bath in China.
At 1:00AM, after 36 hours of traveling and no sleep, we arrived at IAH. As soon as we stepped on US soil, Grace Lian Ciajie Reading became a US citizen. She did awesome on the trip!!! We were in First Class and had overheard a few comments about "the Baby" of course we were nervous. She only cried during take-offs and landings and slept the entire trip!
I have not been to bed yet. Grace had slept for 14 hours already(her normal China night schedule). She just fell asleep at 6:00AM.(8:00pm China) We'll have to wake her up after only a few hours to get her schedule switched from days to nights. I've heard other parents say it takes about 2 weeks until they sleep though the night here.
I'm so glad to be home! I missed Bryce and Ben so much. Going to China and bringing home Grace was a wonderful experience. We are talking about taking a trip with Grace one day when she is old enough to appreciate it. I even got used to the "Squatty Potties" and even preferred them over the western toilets by the time we left.

Thursday we went to the consulate office with all the other parents and received Grace's visa and the "brown packet"(for US citizenship for Grace). Chris and I were feeling under the weather that day.

On Friday, all but two families left early that AM to return home. We missed them. We met some wonderful families in our group and hope to keep in touch. Breakfast was very quiet that next morning, but we were actually glad for the extra day to recover from the nasty respiratory bug. We went back to Shamian Island for the afternoon to do some last minute shopping. Shoe shopping was so much fun. The shops have the cutest little shoes for 25-35 RMB(that's the equivalent of $3-$5) Grace now has 15 pairs of shoes in different colors and sizes! First the shoes...then the outfit to match!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December 26, 2007

Today we had to wait in the room until 12noon in case the consulate had any questions about our paperwork. Grace, Chris, and I have a cold so we took it easy today. We called Pap-Pap and the boys last night to wish them a Merry Christmas. The boys were wound tight!!! They had just awoken to see what Santa had brought.
Thank you, Pap-Pap. We truly appreciate the time you have taken to be there with Ben and Bryce.
Tonight we went on the Pearl River Dinner Cruise. The weather was perfect and the lights on the buildings were all illuminated. It looked like Time Square.

Gotcha Day Pictures December 17, 2007

Gotcha Day

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

On Monday, the 24th, we all took the baby's for their medical exam. The physician seemed amazed that Grace's hemiangioma had faded so much since her pictures at 7 months. He kept asking us if she had surgery. The appointment went quickly and then we spent the rest of the afternoon on Shaiman Island. We had fun Christmas shopping for each other. When we returned to the room, Tori and I ventured out into the streets to shop for Christmas decor. and some things for Christmas dinner. We found a Poinsettia, some fresh bakery items, and got smoked salmon and a salad from the hotel. We placed our gifts under the poinsettia "tree". We exchanged gifts that night.
Grace woke up this morning with a cold. The group visited a tea house for an hour in the morning. Tori, Turner, and I went. Chris stayed at the room with Grace so she could get a long nap.