Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a Month!

It's hard to believe that one month ago we left for China. It seems like it has been longer in so many ways, and in other ways it's seems like we just left. It's pretty amazing how much your life can change in a month. Emma is such a big part of the family now that it's hard to imagine not ever having her.

She went to church for the first time today. We didn't go to our home church, instead we visited Bo's parent's church to surprise his dad for his birthday. They were surprised! Emma was very good. She got a good reception and the pastor recognized her in front of the congregation. She wasn't that impressed. She was doing a lot of squirming at that point. Otherwise she was really good. We went to Bo's parent's for lunch and spent the afternoon with them. We ran home for a quick bottle (for Emma...) and then headed to Lowes to buy tile for the bathroom. A quick trip to Walmart for formula and home again. She managed to make it on a short nap and has been so good all day. She loves a shopping cart.

Things that Emma has learned to do this week: She is clapping her hands, making "Indian" noises on her own (she has been doing it with our help), using her finger to make noises with her mouth. Sounds like she may be a genius.

Things Emma has not done this week: Eaten from a spoon without gagging and acting as though she is offended. I'm hoping that she learns to eat with a spoon this week. I may step it up a notch and be a little more forceful with it. Probably not, just idle threats.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday - Back to Work for Me

Emma with her Nanny and Pap.

Just hanging out with my brother Ashton. Doesn't he have the sweetest cheeks!
Emma and I are just hanging out this morning. I am trying to clean off my desk and she if helping me:) She is playing with all of the papers that end up on the floor.
She is very busy this morning. I am hoping that she settles down for a good nap in another hour or so and then I get to take one as well. I am really not looking forward to going back to work tonight. I just hate leaving her even though she will be fine with her dad. We also have a busy day tomorrow with another band competition and picking out tile for the new bathroom downstairs. The pool needs to be closed, the yard mowed..... The list continues.
I don't have a lot to excitement to offer, so I am going to cut it short. It's hard to believe we have been home for 2 weeks. She seems to be adjusting well and other than the eating issue, I think things are going well.
We hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Brady is standing on the right by himself. It was during the band competition that he was in Saturday. He has another competition this weekend, so marching band is certainly keeping him busy.
Today has been a good but busy day. We went to Melissa's house this morning to start a weekly prayer/devotion type time. Today was spent mostly deciding our plan and playing with the kids. Melissa took some pictures of Emma, Rory, and Camden together that should be adorable. Mason (my friend Angel's son) was also there and at 5 months he is the cutest thing! Emma seemed to take it all in and enjoyed herself.
We also had a visit from 2 of her great aunts and a cousin. She enjoyed that as well. My cousin Dana brought her the cutest stuffed lion that sounds like it is snoring when you press it's paw and Emma loved it. She is down now for a late nap, so we are off our schedule but that's how it goes in real life.
Our afternoon consists of picking up the boys and Ryan and taking them to a golf match. Today is the last regular match of the season and then they will have tournaments in a week or so. Tennis is in full swing as well!
My aunts and cousin were in love with Emma. She is very sweet and just laughs and seems so happy. I just look at her and can't believe that she is finally here and that our lives are so much richer for it. Adoption is so powerful. I know that I have said it so many times, but if you even have the slightest desire to adopt, pray about and let God lead you. It has been the greatest thing. Yes, there are hard times and it costs a lot and it can absolutely drain you emotionally, but God can sustain you. It has been worth every cent and every moment of frustration. When Emma wakes up and has that cute little grin on her face and you know that just a few weeks ago she was waking up in an orphanage it just melts your heart. Now she has a family and we have a daughter. It's so amazing and I give God all the glory.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Emma Goes to Walmart

Okay, so I have to brag on my little girl for doing so well on her first trip to Walmart yesterday afternoon. I had prepared myself for the worse and it didn't happen. That's not to say it won't happen the next time, but yesterday was a good day. I dropped Brady off at Sylvan and headed to Walmart (yes, I usually don't shop there, but I had to yesterday). I put the shopping cart mat play thing in the cart and finally got her hooked in. She's so squirmy that's it's hard to contain her. As soon as I started pushing the cart she started smiling. We entered the realm of the unknown - Walmart.

I introduced her to the toy aisle, probably not the smartest thing to do, but she was not interested. Her favorite thing to play with was the ring on my little composition book that I keep my running grocery list in. She liked sticking her pinkie in it and playing with it. Her second favorite thing to do was lean over the front of the cart and watch my feet as I was pushing the cart. She is easily entertained! I didn't even buy her a toy at all. We shopped for over an hour and she never whined. It was very pleasant and I was very proud of her.

As I proceeded to check out, the cashier had so much advice to offer me. Wasn't that nice of her. She proceeded to tell me that I should never leave home without a sippy cup (Emma only takes a bottle), that I should have a pacifier for her (never has taken one), that the little toe would be all she needs for balance (really), and that when Emma is putting her finger to her nose and mouth that she wants to be fed. Well, I just didn't realize what valuable advice I would receive as I paid for my groceries. No extra charge!

I did notice a few kids looking at Emma's hands yesterday, but I didn't hear anyone say anything. Now that we have had her for 3 weeks, I don't even notice her hands or feet anymore. She is just Emma. I am preparing myself for the comments and questions ahead, but I admit I am not looking forward to it.

We had company last night. The best part was it was company with food and gifts! My life long friend Shelley brought us a delicious breakfast casserole which we enjoyed some of this morning and our neighbors Iris, Robert, Jessie and Ben came and brought Emma an outfit and visited for a while. It was very nice and Emma stayed up longer than she has before. She seems a little more tired this morning, so we are planning an early nap.

No big plans for the day and I am glad of that. We are about to have bath time, which she has decided is not her favorite. She is still not eating any solids, but I am still trying.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday - Getting Back on Track

Today was the first day that I have taken the boys to school since being home and we survived it. Only a few minutes later than I wanted to be, but when you have a 12 year old who doesn't move very fast in the mornings and a toddler who managed to require 3 diaper changes in 30 minutes, it can delay you.

I had the pleasure of taking a stool specimen (actually 3) to Emma's doctor's office this morning. Are you excited or what? I can only imagine being pulled over and the officer asking me what is in the green container. Do you think he would believe me or think I was being a sarcastic? Good thing I didn't have to find out!

Emma has been very pleasant today. She woke up happy and glad to see her bottle. She traveled well and then we went by the hospital to say hello to my coworkers and she tolerated that well. She was tired by the time we got home and is currently taking a much needed nap. The true test of our stamina will be shopping this afternoon while Brady is at Sylvan. I hope she can handle the shopping cart because I have to get groceries. My family is about to rebel if we don't get some food in this house.

Nothing major exciting to report and my computer/Internet is not wanting to load my pictures right now, so I guess I am signing off.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Happenings and Look at Her Go

This is Emma crawling through the house. She looks so funny! But she can get around!

What a silly grin!
Her "bug" look. She loves her shades.
Well, we are surviving the weekend, although it's been a little hard. Emma seemed to have a hard day yesterday. She woke up happy, but refused her bottle, cried nonstop, thrashed about and just generally wasn't a happy camper. I don't know if it was because we were off our normal routine with Bo and the boys at home, or if she was just having a bad day. It's funny, but when your biological child wakes up whining you immediately think about the physical things that could be wrong with them. When your adopted child wakes up whining, you start thinking about what you are doing wrong and is she having some type of adjustment problem. Of course, I am only speaking for myself. Her ears could have been hurting due to the wax removal by the doctor, but it wasn't her best day. We had to go to Brady's band competition which was an hour and half away, but she traveled pretty well and immediately started doing her dance when the band began playing. She was better as the afternoon wore on, but her schedule was completely off yesterday. Only an hour nap, less bottles. She slept great and woke up at 6:30 this morning and took her bottle right away. She has been happy all morning except for nap time. She wouldn't take a bottle again, so I skipped it and put her in the crib. She is loving her new crib toy and played with it for about 45 minutes before finally going to sleep.
She and I skipped church this morning. I still think it is too soon to go, especially after she had such a hard morning yesterday. I might toss around the idea of taking her tonight, but we will play that by ear. Bo thought it would be okay to go ahead and take her to the morning service, but I just have my doubts. I keep reminding him that I was the one who actually read the books about attachment, etc. and that he didn't. I know he just wants to show her to our church family and I do to, but not too soon. It seems like she has been here forever, but it's only been a week.
We have a busy week on hand. She will have to go with me to Sylvan tomorrow while Brady is there for 2 hours, so that should be fun. Ashton has 2 golf matches and tennis practice everyday. Brady has another band competition on Saturday and I intend to go back to work Friday night. It should play out to be another busy week around here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Playing guitar with Brady


Back Home for a Week - WOW

It's hard to believe that we have already been home for a week. Thank God! It's been a busy week with the boys having a lot going on and I couldn't have made it without my mother, my mother-in-law, and Dede! They have been so helpful getting my boys around and I can't thank them enough.

Emma had her doctor's apt. today and overall, she did well. She weighed 20.5, and was 33" long. Her weight is obviously in the low range, but the doctor wasn't overly concerned. He agreed that we should not be forcing her to eat and that we should just offer her a spoon and let her play with it and attempt to put it in her mouth. Of course I have been doing all those things, but she wants no part of it. We are going to keep her on formula and cereal with the added fruit baby food and see how she does. She makes no real attempt to put her mouth on any of her toys or put anything in her mouth, so she certainly has some issues there. I think it will just come with time and as we continue working on it. She didn't like having her ears cleaned out at all. A little Chinese ear wax build up had to be taken care of. She also has some eczema, which I already knew. Otherwise, she checked out well. We have made an apt. with a hand surgeon at Vandy and will be having xrays of her hands and feet and see where we go from there. She also has to have blood drawn in the next few weeks and then go back to the doctor in a month and have another physical and her immunizations. That should be a fun visit:)

Brady has to march at the football game tonight, so we are going to make it a family event and attempt to take Emma to her first big outing. I hate to get her out too soon, but I have not had an opportunity to see Brady march and I will be back at work next Friday night and will not have another chance. I hope she does well and we plan on leaving immediately following the band. I don't want to stress her too much.

She is sleeping better. (Fingers crossed). We are keeping her up until 8:00-8:30 and that seems to be helping. She is so happy when she wakes up. The smile on her face will melt you. It's like her world is just perfect when she sees me coming to her crib. It's wonderful.

I am having a hard time loading my pictures, but I will be working diligently to get them on. I took several of her yesterday "crawling" from the living room to the kitchen. She looks like an inch worm inching along with her behind in the air. Too cute.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday Update

Okay, so I'm not doing real well on blogging. I may have forgotten just how much goes in to taking care of a little one, plus taking care of the big ones as well!

Emma had a difficult time the first couple of nights sleeping. She's waking up and crying and then I put her in the bed with us and all she wanted to do was play. Monday night she did the same thing and I pulled her crib up close to our bed where she could see me and slept with my hand over the rails where she could touch me. She seemed to do well with that. It's like she just needs to know that I am there. Of course, my right shoulder is about to kill me now from laying it over the railing! Last night she went to bed a little later and I prayed really hard that she would sleep. God answered my prayer! I also ran a little fan in the room so that she had some noise. I don't know if that helped or not, but she did sleep until 8:30 this morning! She woke up so happy and smiling.

We made our first trip out in public together today. I had to run to the post office and the grocery and she did well. She loved the shopping cart. We were only in the store for a few minutes and she was all smiles until I began checking out. She wanted to be moving and she let me know it. We also ran to Dede's and she was pretty interested in the cat. She kept a close watch on him. She is still watching the dogs closely too.

She is really using her hands so well. She is picking a few things up and pushing her toys around. She is really showing a lot of interest in things, but seems to tire quickly. The sweetest thing was last night when Brady was in the floor playing his guitar and she was laying in front of him helping. I will post the picture as soon as I have a chance! She was using her little pinkies to pick at the strings. I was preparing dinner (well, crock pot chicken - I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing) and I heard Brady tell her she needed to be careful and not pull the strings very hard because it could come loose and hit her in the eye and then she would be blind as well as missing her fingers and wouldn't that be a problem. It was so sweet because he was so serious. He is really a sweet big brother and so is Ashton.

Overall, I think she is doing well. Still no food, but it will come. I am thickening her bottles a little at a time. She is tolerating the formula change pretty well also. I am so anxious to see the doctor and get his thoughts on everything.

Our downstairs project is coming along nicely. My father-in-law has done a great job working on it and I think the boys will be moving downstairs in just a week or so. The next big project will be preparing her nursery! Nothing like the cart before the horse syndrome.

I will admit that I am pretty exhausted. I slept well last night while she slept, but I'm certainly feeling the effects of parenting a little one. I think I may still be a little jet lagged, but I'm not sure how long I can use that excuse:) 40 is certainly not 26, but I think it will get better as time goes on and we get on a schedule.

I promise to post more pictures soon. I have a few cute ones that I know everyone will want to see.

A couple more homecoming pics

We are finally home. Emma was probably thinking, man my mom looks bad after such a long trip!

I love this picture of Emma looking up at her Giggee and checking her out. I think it's the cutest thing!

A Few More Pics - More to Come

Rory is welcoming Emma home.

A very happy family to finally be home.

Emma meets my Uncle Junior.

Emma and her Pop.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dorothy Was Right - There is No Place Like Home

After approximately 27 hours, we are home. Well, what's left of us!
One very tired girl. Oh, and Emma was pooped out too:)
She put her arms out to my step dad and went right to him. Of course, he couldn't be happier.

Waiting in Chicago for our next flight out. She had just about had all she could take!
Waiting in Nashville was our fan club. There were about 30 people at the airport waiting on us. It felt so good to see those faces!

Leaving China - for now. It was a very tender moment for me. I can't really describe what I was feeling when we left. Somewhere in that vast country was her other mom and I can't praise her enough for giving us the greatest gift. I hope that somehow she knows that her little one is being loved and taken care of. My heart was full when left.
Okay, I'm an idiot and posted this picture twice. Sleep deprivation does weird things to you.

Leaving our hotel in Guangzhou at 5:45 a.m.
Okay, so I know my name is mud for not having blogged in the last couple of days, but I've been a little busy. I'm still doing laundry after 2 days! I will post even more later with more pictures, but it takes so long to load them on my computer that I will have to do it later. I have some great homecoming pictures and I know that everyone wants to see them.
We left Guangzhou on the 12th at 6:00 a.m. and got to Nashville at 9:20 p.m. on the same day. Weird? It was the longest day of our lives and Emma did pretty well. She managed to sleep for about 4-5 hours total on the different flights. When we made it home Friday night she went to bed at 11:15 p.m. and slept until 10:30 Saturday morning. I was right there with her. I have never been so tired in my life and I was suffering from a horrible allergic rhinitis with a nose that looked like Rudolph. It started about 4 hours into our flight from Beijing and didn't stop until the next day. The boys did GREAT. They slept off and on and were angels on the flight home. Bo managed to rest some, but mostly we just kept rotating her around. At one point, I looked up and she was gone. Bo said the flight attendants had her in the back of the plane! She didn't seem to mind and although that breaks all the attachment rules, I was so tired at that point it didn't seem to matter.
Everyone was so sweet when we arrived. We had a wonderful welcoming crew and she handled it well to be so tired. She enjoyed visiting on Saturday with the grandparents and aunt as well as friends. She didn't offer to go to anyone, but didn't mind sitting in their laps. She did keep a close eye on me to make sure I was near, so that was a good feeling.
Her sleeping habits have not been that great the last 2 nights. She is still on China time and is going to bed around 7:30 and getting up at 12:30 - 1:00 a.m. and taking a bottle and then she wants to play. We have let her stay in the bed with us when she wakes up because she screams when we put her back in the crib. She is rolling and kicking and playing and babbling when she is in the bed with us. Too funny. She will get right up in your face and start saying "mama". She is a little monkey.
Well I have to go now and I promise to post more pictures today if I have time. I hear her on the monitor and I am sure she is soaked and hungry.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last Day in Guangzhou!!

Spraying for mosquitoes. Can you believe this?
Hanging out at the park and sweating like pigs!
Taking a quick break from all the action.

This is Ana. She is the sweetest little thing in the world. She is 4 years old and here with her family adopting their second daughter Isabella. They have been a great family to be with.
The remaining survivors. There are actually 4 families left. Kim, a single mom, will be here until next Saturday with her daughter Della. There were some problems with her initial referral and it didn't work out. She is adopting Della, who is a little sweetie, and will have to wait to finish all the paperwork. Please pray for her as she waits it out by herself. Her friends that were with her had to go home after the 2 weeks and now Kim and Della will be here alone. That cannot be easy and I know she would appreciate all of our prayers.

Me and my daddy just hanging out. We do a lot of that!
Watching T.V. with my bubba.
Brady and Ashton managed to ride a few rides at the amusement park. Put it this way, their idea of an amusement park and ours is quite different.
Hollywood! Emma loves Brady's sunglasses.
Emma isn't too fond of hats. We tried to get her to wear this one to keep cool, but she was not too impressed.
A huge school of fish at the park. They were very pretty.

Okay, so where do I start. Let's just say, a stroll in the park was not exactly that! All of the remaining families met up yesterday afternoon and went to a local park. You have to go under the street to get to the park, so that was fun. Up and down escalators with strollers! We finally got to the park and it was pretty. The kids finally discovered the "amusement park" and rode a couple of rides and went through the haunted house. The boys described the haunted house as being like Spencer's in the mall at Halloween. Really lame according to them and then a Buddhist shrine at the end. Weird. Let me also say, it is so hot and humid here that it's hard to enjoy anything that involves going outside.
After the park stroll, 3 of families decided to head out since we were so hot and the babies (well Emma) was getting cranky and her face was getting more rashed. As we were heading out, we passed the lake and they were fumigating the entire thing with this horrible pesticide that I'm sure was pure poison. We ran with our faces covered out of the park, which was quite a distance. The poor babies shouldn't have ever been exposed to this stuff. It was horrible. Can you imagine the uproar this would cause at home? This stuff was reaching the street as we exited. People were just covering their mouths. Nothing else to do! Okay, so we are out of the park and on the street. That's where the story even gets worse. We were on the other side of the park and went the wrong way and then took a very long tour of China that wasn't intended. It was also in a rather seedy part of town and I have never felt more uncomfortable. I was approached by a Muslim guy who wanted to know where I was from. Totally scary situation and after walking forever and asking numerous people, we finally saw the tower that is in front of our hotel. It was our landmark. At long last, we made it to the street and saw our hotel. Once again, we had to go underneath the street and come out on the other side to our hotel. It was an awful experience and I have never been so glad to get back to our rooms. Along the way, we saw several beggars and it was just heart breaking. There was a child laying on a platform against a wall with blood on his/her neck and was just laying there waiting on you to give them money. There was a policeman very nearby and he didn't seem to be doing anything about it. There was also a man in the tunnel begging with horribly deformed hands and looked as though he had been burned. I couldn't help but thing how glad I am that Emma is coming home with us. What if we would have said no to her referral? I don't even want to think about it. Suffice it to say, it was a day that I will never forget and we are not leaving this hotel on our own again!
Today we have our consulate appointment for the oath taking and then little miss is officially our daughter. It's a very simple and quick ceremony, and then it's over. She will be a McGowan according to the law, but she has been a McGowan for 10 days now!
I keep thinking back to the first few days and how hard they were. She still has some of the "tics" that she had from the beginning, but they are getting less each day. She is not grinding her teeth much at all. She still touches her head with her hand in a repetitive motion, but it's not as much. She loves to spit on her hands and rub her cheeks too. I don't know what that is all about. She is still clicking her tongue some and sucking her imaginary thumb, especially when she is getting sleepy. She is such a good sleeper. We went to bed at 8 p.m. last night and she slept until 6:30 a.m. She wakes up quietly and is so sweet when she looks up and realizes that we are there for her. She just smiles and reaches for us. She really wraps you around her little pinkie. She is a doll and I can't wait for everyone to meet her.
Bo and I were talking about adoption and what it has meant to us. It's hard to believe that you can love someone so much. I have had the privilege of giving birth and I am thankful for that, but this little girl is as much ours as our boys are. Yes, I admit at first, I didn't feel that way and it really worried me. But after a couple of days, God allowed my heart to feel what it needed to feel and she is so our daughter. We are in love with her and are so thankful that on the day we received the call about her that we said yes. We both know there are going to be some hard days ahead and we don't know what all will be involved with her hands and feet, but we will take those days as they come. We can't stand to think what might have been her future if we wouldn't have said yes. God had such an incredible plan mapped out for our lives and hers and we are looking forward to seeing what is ahead for all of us.
We love you all and this will probably be our last blog from China. We have to leave very early in the morning to fly to Beijing. We are not exactly looking forward to the long day ahead, but it will be bringing us home and that is the most important part. We can't wait to get there and see grass and smell the fresh air. There is no fresh air here!
Please pray for our flights home and that Miss Emma will sleep most of the way home. It would be an answer to prayer. We will see you all soon!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

2 more days - Praise the Lord

Our new friends Barbara and Chrystina before the group pics.

Crossing her eyes to look at her bracelet. She loves this bracelet that our guide John gave her before leaving Nanjing.

Watching T.V. with dad.

Look at the smirk.

And then there were 3. There are 3 families left here to do paperwork. We all had the consulate appointments (our guide Amy goes to this) today and all our paperwork was okay. We go tomorrow for the official oath taking and getting Emma's Visa and then we get to prepare to leave. That is the part I'm looking most forward to.
Today has been a slow day because we had to stay in our rooms in case Amy needed us for questions. We are now free for the afternoon and are planning on taking a walk in the park next to the hotel. I'm so tired of being in a hotel and living out of a suitcase. Our hotel room is a mess. I'm so thankful that we got the boys their own room. Expensive, but worth it. They are really starting to get stir crazy. They went swimming last night. They said the pool didn't smell that good, but it was a very nice pool.
Emma had a moment last night at bedtime. She wouldn't take her bottle and just screamed and stiffened up in my arms. Bo was with the boys swimming, so I was on my own. She was so tired and she laid her head on her little hands and propped up on my chest. Remember, she has not fallen asleep in our arms yet (except the first day when she was sick). Her little eyes closed and she was so sweet. She then opened her eyes and I think she realized that she was in my arms and she started screaming again. I tried laying her down and she continued to scream and reach for me. I picked her up and calmed her and then put her back in the bed and she went to sleep. She slept all night and woke up happy. She only took 1/2 bottle then took a full one before nap time. We are changing her over to the cereal that I brought from home, so that may prove to be interesting on her system.
She is still just blossoming. She has a rash on her face and hope that it isn't eczema. It started with the heat so I hope that it's nothing serious. I just can't wait until we get her home and see the doctor. I have so many questions and concerns.
Little miss is getting fussy, so it's time to leave Starbucks and the free wireless. Please continue to pray for us. We are really getting tired of being here and can't wait to leave. We fly to Beijing and then we have to check our luggage again there and that will be a huge pain. They don't speak any English and we no Chinese, so that could be a problem. We have a 4 hour lay over and then our flight leaves at 4:20 p.m. for home. When we arrive in Chicago 13 hours later, we have a 3 1/2 hour lay over there as well. What a pain. We will have been on 7 different flights by the time we get home. 2 1/2 years, 14,000 miles, 7 flights, $27,000, hours of paperwork, 3 hotels, the end result - PRICELESS.
We love you all and continue to covet your prayers.

Tuesday - Can You Say Only 3 More Days

Amy and Lineker are our guides. They are also married and have been working for America World for about 10 years.

This is part of the group. There were so many, we did it in separate pictures.

Brady and Ashton strolling down the street in Shaiman Island with sister in the stroller. This area is filled with shops that all specialize is selling to the tourists. Bo managed to haggle pretty well.

What a sweet family picture. Oh wait a minute, someone is being difficult:)

Emma and Daddy hanging out in the lobby waiting on the group pictures to be made. She had on her traditional Chinese outfit that Daddy bought her long ago. Well, it was made in Vietnam.

Ashton sitting on the dog in front of Lucy's restaurant. It's a popular western style restaurant, however the pizza did have peas and corn on it. I'm not familiar with that style at Pizza Done Right.

It ain't over until the fat lady sings and gets a kiss from Brady.

Emma was checking out the parakeets in the cage on the street. There were several interesting things on this street. One shop was filled with all kinds of snakes, fish, eels, turtles, frogs, crabs. These were all for consumption. We did not partake.

Today has been a slow day. The families had there pics made this morning with all the adopted children. Emma was not that happy with it. We finally managed to get a picture or 2 without her crying. The rest of the day has been free for us.
I had the massage of a lifetime. It was a bit different than the states. She spoke no English and I no Chinese. She thought I was from France. Go figure? But massage therapist #5 in the Reflexology Pavilion is my new best friend. My right shoulder feels so much better. Holding Emma has been really hard on my shoulder and wrist and I am feeling it. I didn't say anything to the lady about my shoulder, but she evidently felt the knot in it because she worked on it a lot. It was a 2 hour massage and was only $40. Well worth every penny. There was a lot of talking going on outside of the room, and I kept hearing someone spitting a lot (which they do a ton of here), so it was not exactly like home, but she did a fabulous job on me.
We are hanging out at Starbucks right now and taking advantage of the free Internet. The boys can play their game boys and Daddy and Emma are playing while I blog.
I talked to my mom this morning and I think she is equally as homesick for us to come home as we are to get there. I can't wait to get the next few days behind us and come home! I'm not complaining, but man, it will be so nice to be back home. It's a different world here. So many people and everyone talks at the same time and the traffic and the noise. I love living in the country!!
Well, it's my turn to take care of Little Miss. She is standing a lot more now with our help. Her little legs are so small, so we are trying to build up some strength in them. She also let me feed her this morning (a bottle) while I held her. She avoids my eyes a lot, but then she will look deep into them. I have read that is common with adopted babies. She seems to be attaching well as best I can tell. I guess we will see even more when we get home. She puts her arms out to both of us and seems to enjoy being held most of the time. She did have a little fit last night when I was holding her and letting her look out of the window. She suddenly just threw herself backwards and thrashed about and then it was over. She is very strong willed:) I guess that will come in handy.
Again, thanks for all of the comments and prayers. The comments keep us in touch with reality. It makes us feel like we are home. Brenda, please don't drown in my pool:) And Angel, I am so proud of you for stepping into the 21st century and getting a computer! You go girl!
We love you all and miss you so much. We thank God for our friends and family and can't wait to see you all.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Good morning!

Sweet baby. All smiles and happy.

Evil baby. We have made her mad. She can go from one personality to the next really quick.

My mom loves me and I'm learning to love her too. She is there every morning when I get up. I think I am figuring out that she isn't going to leave me.

This child is fascinated with toes and jewelry. She loves to touch my toes and our shoes.

Yes, I am the queen of my castle. (AKA - hotel room:)

Me and my king. I love my daddy. He gives me my bottles and he finally changed a stinky diaper this morning. Momma wasn't in the room, so he had no choice.
The boys and I (Mayme) are hanging out at Starbucks because it has free wireless and Emma is napping before we go to Shaiman Island. It's nice to have a free morning. I still had to get up early because of NVC paperwork that I needed to get to our guide. She is checking on it today while she is at the Consulate office working on the other families paperwork. Most people are leaving either tomorrow or Wednesday, but we have to stay until Friday due to the late Consulate apt. There are 2 other families that are here to Friday as well and all of us (the ladies) are nurses.
Emma slept well last night. She stayed up a little later than usual and then slept later. She is a good sleeper. I hope that continues after we get home. As long as you lay her down in her crib and leave her alone she is fine. I hope that she enjoys being rocked some at home, but this is good too. The boys never slept like this. I guess when you have to put yourself to sleep for 18 months of your life it's a hard habit to break. She just makes the sweetest noises when she is drifting off to sleep.
She continues to fight us while trying to feed her. She loves the bottle and we just keep putting more cereal in it and she ate a container of pears yesterday mixed with her bottle throughout the day. I can't wait until she eats food. She watches us do it and I make a big deal about how good everything is, but she's not too interested. It will come and then I won't be able to fill her up.
The boys are doing okay, but starting to get a little bored. I know they are ready to go home. 2 weeks is a long time to be holed up in hotels in a foreign country and overall, they have done well. They still have some homework to complete, but it's hard to keep them focused here. I am glad they came and I think they are too. We are all just so ready to come home.
All of the families seem to be doing well. Some of the parents are starting to get a cough and congestion type symptoms. The air is thick and everyone smokes. The humidity here in Guangzhou is worse that Florida ever dreamed of being. My hair - ugh! Oh well.
I suppose I should close and go check on Bo. He stayed in the room while Emma was napping. I'm sure he's getting a good nap too. Our schedules are so crazy and our bodies are feeling it. I am exhausted about the middle of the day and sleeping fairly well at night. I can only imagine how little miss will do when we get home and get her on our time. It's funny to think that we are leaving on Friday morning and getting home on Friday night. We are flying to Beijing around 9:30 Friday morning and have a lay over there for about 4 hours. We leave Beijing around 4:20 and then get home on Friday night at 9:20. Our lay over in Chicago is short and I am hopeful that we don't have any delays. We look forward to seeing our friends and family.