Monday, November 16, 2009


wow. It is hard to believe we have only been home for 6 weeks. It feels like Anna has been part of our family forever. What a journey this has been. Anna has come so far in just the short time we have been with her.

When we meet Anna she would not or could not walk. Within a few days she would walk but only if we were holding her hand. A few days after we arrived home she took her first steps by herself, now she walks all over the place without problems. She climbs all over us, she gets on Colby's bed all by herself, she can climb on the couch without difficulty.

In China bathtime was a total nightmare. Just the sight of water made Anna fuss. When we tried to put her in the tub she would not even sit in the tub. She tightened up her entire body and screamed so I just layed her down in the tub and washed her as fast as possible. When we got home I would get in the tub with her but she continued to cry. She is now taking a bath by herself and splashing the water and playing with the bubbles.

We were told she was eating soft rice and noodles but we were unable to get her to eat anything. They gave her to use holding a bottle filled with apple juice with a huge hole cut in the nipple.When we put anything in her mouth she would hold the food in her mouth and scream until she eventually swallowed the food about 5 minutes later. When we offered her anything to eat or drink she would turn her head. She is now eating soft table food. She still has trouble chewing firmer food and is still drinking from the bottle but no juice only milk. However she is letting me put other liquids in her mouth using a straw. She has gained 8 lbs since we have been home.

We were told that she could understand Chinese but did not speak even in Chinese. She is starting to understand English pretty well. She can say "up" because she likes to be picked up alot and she says something like "bye bye". She is definitly is an on the go kinda girl.

She is now sleeping in her room however she still prefers to sleep on the floor. We put her mattress on the floor in her room and sometimes she does sleep on it but she was sleeping on the floor in the living room until last week.

She has been evaluated by all kinds of doctors. But things look good so far. She is recieving PT and Speech therapy and is on a waiting list for OT. She started preschool last week and will go twice a week. She does not need surgery at this time. It looks like she had surgery while in China to close the meningocele. According to the orphange she had not had surgery. Her kidneys and bladder look normal. The neurosurgeon said that she should develop normally.The doctors will continue to follow her to make sure she is developing as expected.

She seems to very happy and adjusting well. She loves to play and spend time with her brothers. She has a contagious laugh. Sometimes she just starts laughing which gets Colby laughing which gets everyone else laughing. She loves music and dancing. She loves books and coloring and playing with her toys.

The past 6 weeks have been exciting, anxious, busy, tiring and wonderful but I would not change a thing. Anna has a long way to go but she learns something new everyday and it is such a pleasure to watch her grow and learn.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I finally have found time to update my blog. It has been on my mind every day but just haven't found the time. So here I am now at0 06:00 in the morning.

China was wonderful, China was torture. I have a new appreciation for what it feels like to be in a foreign country and not speak the language or know the culture. I have a new appreciation for home and my family. I never want to be that far away for that long again. I am so glad we were able to use Skype while we were there otherwise I would have been completely home sick and miserable. I love being able to talk to the boys almost everyday and keep in touch with family. I did not have access to my blog and only limited access to email. I could send emails through my yahoo account.

I loved learning about Chinese culture and history. The architecture and art was beautiful. The history is long and complicated full of superstition and excess. Chinese culture of today I could do without. For one shopping is no fun, YES I said shopping is no fun. When you go to a store the sales ladies follow you around and I mean follow you around right behind you trying to get you to buy just about everything, don't worry if you don't see it they will find it. We went to some markets which is where all of the knock off stuff is that they insist is real and want to sell it to you for brand name prices but the key to getting a good price is to bargain. Bargaining in China is more like fighting. The only way you know you got a good price is to make the shop owner mad. Some keys to shopping in China, don't look at an item for too long and what ever you do don't touch it otherwise even if you didn't want it, it will be easier for you to buy it than to walk away. One day while we were shopping we had 3 shop owners begging us to look at there shop while we tried to walk away they are pulling you by the shoulder to come back. I don't deal well with stranger touching me. There is also no rules about waiting in line. Line jumping is a sport in China. There also is no personal space in China if you want to get somewhere you just walk right in front of them no matter how close you get. The best part is the driving. I had heard not to walk out in the street alone but I thought perhaps this was being blown out of proportion but little did I know that it was worse that I thought. There are very few street lights or stop signs and no driving rules. Noone uses turn signals, if you want to get over into the next lane you just go even if there is a car there, they better get out of your way. Even if you need to get over 3 lanes while turning that is ok. Everyone accepts this behavior. Drivers may honk but there is no "road rage". For example, one day our driver need to turn around so he could let us out on the correct side of the road so he went to the next intersection and did a U TURN in the middle of the busy intersection with cars coming at us in all directions I might add that the other cars did not stop they just turned to not hit us and keep going. This was one of the few time I saw my life flash before my eyes.

Now to the part that I loved about China. ANNA. We arrived in China on September 12 and we got her on the 13. She was handed to us in the parking lot of the hotel. (Not how I had pictured)She has amazed us ever since. Anna developmentally was far more behind than we had been told but she is learning very quickly. She does not speak, not even in Chinese, but she is making new sounds every day. She also learning sign language very quickly. Since we have been home she has started walking. She is very curious and loving and is learning quickly. We have many evaluations to go to and lots of therapy and possible surgery in our future. But she is amazing and brings us all much joy. The boys love her. When we used to go out to diner the argument would be who would sit next to mommy now the argument is who will sit next to Anna.

We had a wonderful group of people that we traveled with. All of our groups children were from the Beijing orphange. Beijing orphange has 1300 children in it with 400 nannies to care for these children. 96% if these children are special needs. Anna has a meningocele, there was a 22month old boy in our group that was missing the lower part of is right arm, there was a 3 and half year old girl who has cerebral palsy, and a 7 year old girl with elephantitis of her left leg. It was wonderful to share our experience with them and will be forever friends. We also had a wonderful guide that help us with everything including interpreting, make sure we ate the right food and didn't eat things that would make us sick, she taught us about Chinese history and culture, she got us good deals on the things we purchased, she got us medicine if we needed it. Our experience would not have been the same without her.
We did some amazing things while in China. Since Anna was in Beijing we had to stay longer because it takes longer to get her passport. So we saw some things we otherwise would not have. We went to Tienenman Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Great Wall, Lama temple(which is a working Buddist temple), we went on a rickshaw tour, we saw and acrobatic show, went to some beautiful Chinese parks. We ate at many Chinese restaurants and the food was actually really good. We also ate at McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC, Hooters and Hard Rock Cafe.
We have been very busy since we've gotten home. There is still alot of paperwork to complete and of course doctors appointments and the jet lag is kicking my butt but I am so glad to be home.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We are on our way.

We found out this week that we will be traveling on September 11 and will return on September 30. Yes this is a longer trip than we expected. Our agency told us that because she is Beijing that we have to stay longer. Don't really know why that is but I guess we will find out soon enough. They said we will also do all of our sightseeing with Anna which was not the original plan so I was glad to hear that. I recieved all of the paperwork that we need and I am starting to pack and prepare for being gone so long. I am going to miss my boys terribly. This is the hardest part but I know they will have a great time with my mom. So let the packing begin. This is going to be a challenge since we need to take so much stuff and can only take 1 suitcase and 1 carry on per person. Guess I will just have to make it work.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am very anxious these days. I am thinking and preparing every day for our trip. However I am waiting on the arrival of a very important piece of paperwork. For those who are familiar our I797c needs to updated to say that we can adopt a 3 year old. We had not planned on getting a child that old so our I797c states up to 18 months. We submitted a request to have this changed but to do this so we can travel as planned it needs to be expedited. So our travel now depends on the kindness of a complete stranger sitting in an office doing paperwork. I hope this person has a kind heart and understands how upsetting it will be to delay our travel. I am going on preparing as usual and trying to keep from completely losing it.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I got an update today. Not much different information but it did include updated measurements. She only weighs 22lbs. That means she has only gained 2 lbs since January. OMG. She is tiny. My heart breaks seeing her being so thin. I was glad to get the pictures but it makes me more anxious about how she is being taken care of and they make want to go get her right now.