Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
So instead of going to Yifeng our guides planned some shopping for us this morning. First we went to some Porcelain stores where we picked up a nice tea set to give to Grace when she is older. After the porcelain shopping they brought us to a typical Chinese department store. The store looked like a typical Macy's that you would see in the US except shopping in a Chinese department store is a bit different. Jen saw a cute dress in the baby section that she wanted to get for Grace. So we went up to what we thought was a register to pay for it. The woman took the dress filled out a slip and gave it to us and told us that I had to go to the other side of the store to pay for it then come back to get the dress. When we got to the real register we found out that they did not take credit cards which we thought was a bit odd as the little porcelain shop we were in earlier did take credit cards. We finally got the dress paid for and then it was time for lunch.
We have been eating mostly in the hotel since we have been in Jiangxi so it was nice to get out and try something new. Jiangxi is known for its spicy food and this place did not disappoint. We also got to meet one of the courses of our meal.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
We headed back down to the meeting room around quarter to nine and there were a couple families there already waiting. Everyone was very antsy waiting for the babies to arrive and trying to figure out who would take pictures and video for that special moment. At around quarter past nine the babies started to trickle in. There were around 14 families in the room so to say things erupted into chaos would be an understatement. The actual hand off process is all very official so we couldn't just walk up and grab our baby if we recognized her. I think this may be the just about the cruelest form of torture known to man. After waiting almost three years for your baby that last 5 minutes is probably the hardest.
Finally it was time to start giving the babies to their new families. They call the families up one by one to make sure everyone has enough time for pictures and video. I think we were the 4th or 5th family called. They handed her to Jen and I got my turn to hold her a few minutes later.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
All seemed like it was going fine in Chicago as we were taxi-ing out to the runway then the pilot announced that we were going back to the gate for some hydraulic issue. We waited about and hour for them to fix the issue then we rolled back out only to come in again as the issue had reappeared. We were then ordered off the plane so we went off with K and M to get a beer and were back in time for takeoff - for real this time. Thirteen or so hours in the air and it is 10:30 pm Beijing time and I am working with getting no sleep on the plane so sorry if I am rambling a bit.
Beijing is beautiful at night, reminds us a bit of Las Vegas with all of the lights. It is pretty hot and humid here though. We are off to bed to get some much needed sleep and some rest for walking on the Great Wall tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
As we prepare for the arrival of our daughter, we have learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of our baby. In her short life, our daughter will have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle. Imagine how much harder the changes will be for her. While she may not consciously remember the events, she will still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief and trauma. She's already experienced the loss of a birthfamily and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of her birth country. Her world will turn upside down. She will struggle with feeling safe and secure and she may lack the ability to trust that we will meet her needs.
We have prepared to meet her emotional needs so that she does learn that we will always take care of her and we will always keep her safe. We need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment we will allow her to regress so that she has the opportunity to go through all of the emotional stages with us despite her chronological age. Although it may appear that we are spoiling her, we have been advised that it is best that we meet every need quickly and consistently. Until she has learned that we are her parents, we will need to be her primary caretakers at all times. It is essential that we always hold her, feed her, and do all of the nurturing. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. We will follow her lead and trust our instincts as her parents rather than worry about what society expects.
We have all been waiting anxiously to bring Grace home but she has not been waiting for us. She may show her grief and confusion in many ways and we are prepared to help her through it and prove that we are a forever family and this truly is her last stop. We trust that as our family and friends you will help us to do what is best for our daughter, and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding.
Steve and Jen
** from http://www.a4everfamily.org
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
We also tried to spend some time on us this weekend. We went out to a couple restaurants that we really like on Friday and Saturday night. We took our time, drank a bottle of wine and tried to enjoy probably our last time having a leisurely dinner for a while.
Lots of people have been asking if I plan to update this blog and post pictures while we are in China. We are bringing the laptop, camera, and video camera so I have every intention of updating the blog as often as I can. Obviously Grace will be our first priority and as first time parents in a foreign country with a miffy little girl, we may be a little bit overwhelmed. But I will try to get to it when I can. Internet connections in China can be a bit spotty as well so we may not be able to connect at times or in certain provinces. We have also heard that China blocks blogging, I have a backup plan that I hope will allow me to updated the blog if we are blocked. If my backup plan doesn't work I have another backup to that plan as well so I am pretty sure that I will be able to update either way.
So just three more days of work for me and then we are off for the trip of our lifetimes. I can't even imagine how much our lives are going to change. People have been asking me a lot lately if I am nervous. I have to say I really am not, maybe a little anxious but really just looking forward to seeing China, trying new foods, experiencing the culture and bringing Grace home.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Thursday, May 22 - Leave Boston for Beijing
Friday, May 23 - Arrive in Beijing
Saturday, May 24 - Sightseeing - The Great Wall
Sunday. May 25 - Sightseeing - Forbidden City/Tianamen Sq
Travel to Nanchang
Monday, May 26 - Family Day!!!!!!
Tuesday, May 27 - Paperwork
Wednesday and Thursday, May 28-29 - Nanchang Sightseeing
Friday, May 30 - Travel to Guangzhou
Saturday, May 31 - Child Physicals
Sunday, June 1 - Guangzhou Sightseeing
Sunday, June 2 - Visa Interview
Monday, June 3 - Visa Oath
Wednesday, June 4 - Bring Gracie Home
The meeting today was a little overwhelming, so much information to process but fortunately there is not that much time left to stress about it. A week from tomorrow we will be on our way.
I know some of our travel group read this blog and the doctor traveling with us mentioned that we should organize ourselves so that we are not all bringing the same things. So I wanted to put it out there that we are planning to bring powdered Amoxicillin and Elimite. Feel free to use my comments section to post what you are bringing.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The quake was reported to be felt as far away as Beijing so I am sure that that it was felt in Grace's province as well. It seems though that Jiangxi is far enough away that it didn't sustain any major damage. The capital of the province where the earthquake occurred is Chengdu, which is about 725 miles from the capital of Grace's province. This is about the same distance as Boston MA to Raleigh NC. So it is probably safe to assume that Grace is fine.
Thanks for all of the calls from friends and family expressing their concern. Just two more weeks and Grace will be in our arms.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
We finally installed the car seats into our cars today as well. Just need to get them inspected and we should be good to go.
Last night we had some family and friends over for one last party before we dive into parenthood. Melinda brought over baby James to test out some of my baby proofing and he was quick to show me where I was lacking. Biren and Kris brought us the cool picture cake below. It was not only the cutest cake I have ever seen but those cheeks were mighty tasty.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
If we overlay the above chart by year (see below) the upward trend that we have seen in May the past two years did not happen. Although based on the online polls I would expect to see a bigger batch next month. Overall though I would expect to see more of the same for the next few months until they start referring the days around the end of January 2006. There are very few people logged in those days because of the Chinese New Year holiday so we will probably see one big batch of around 10 days followed by a few very small batches.
The next couple months should be interesting. With the Olympics starting in August there is still no clear consensus with what is going to happen with adoptions during that time. Some agencies are telling their clients that everything will continue on as normal just no travel to Beijing during the Olympics. Other agencies are telling their clients that there will be no travel during August. Some agencies are even staying that travel approvals and referrals will be affected in the months surrounding the Olympics. I think it is safe to say that the Olympics will have some effect but since the CCAA has not given official word we still don't know how it will affect the waiting parents. Luckily for us we will be there and back before the Olympics starts but we really feel for all of the waiting parents who will be affected by it.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Jen spent last weekend cleaning and getting things prepared for Grace's arrival. This weekend it was my turn. Grace now has an assembled high chair and stroller. I installed safety gates at the top of our stairs and safety latches on all of the cabinets. Also put padding on the sharp corners of some of the tables around the house, don't want little heads to get bumped.
While I was busy, Jen went into the city with the NDA girls for her last girls' night out. They went to some swanky restaurant/bar and it sounds like they had a lot of fun. Jen came home all excited that they saw celebrity chef Ming Tsai, unfortunately I had no idea who he is. I think late nights out are going to be few and far between from here on out. The next time Jen is up until 2am she will probably be consoling a crying baby. A couple pics from their night below.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
The video is interspersed with interviews with the girls, their parents, sociologists and adult Korean adoptees. They explore the emotions involved with adoptees figuring out who they are. Also discussed in the documentary is the possibility of our daughters someday finding their birth parents.
We really enjoyed this video and think it will be a good tool to use someday to prepare Grace when we take her on a homeland heritage tour.