Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday, July 31-- A Day at the Pool

Sophie slept through the night again in her pack n' play. She even let Dustin give her a bath last night, but she gave Dustin a little surprise in the tub. I thought it was funny, because David Ryan has done that to me a few times when he was little.
Anyway we did our morning routine, getting our showers before Sophie woke up, eating our breakfast, and coming back to our hotel room to skype the family. We were able to talk to everyone this morning since we didnt have to be anywhere this morning. Dustin got to talk to his brother's family. I was able to talk to my sister; she said Zach can't wait to see her Saturday. We talked to David Ryan and his Grandaddy. David Ryan was good, he is ready for us to come home. I showed him the Chinese musical balls I got him and he told me to bring them to his Granny's house in 10 minutes (only four more days, buddy). We talked to my mom for a while and she was happy that Sophie was wearing one of  the dresses she got for her.

Today is pretty much a free day for us. There are some families that have their U.S Consulate appointments today and some families that are even leaving tonight.

We went to the pool today. Sophie loved putting on her swimsuit and sunscreen. She gets excited every time we leave the room. She loves being on the go. When we got to the pool, Dustin just jumped in with Sophie. Surprisingly, she didn't like the pool. We thought she would love it since she loves the bath. She cried while being in the pool. I sat at the edge of the pool and Dustin and Sophie came over to me. Sophie wanted  to sit by me on the edge. Then, she started diving into the arms of Dustin in the pool. She did this several times, she enjoyed that. Since it looked like she was doing fine now, I went to the lounge chairs to take pictures. I guess Sophie didn't like me being that far from her, so she joined me. Then, she started playing a new game where she would sit with me on the lounge chairs, run to her daddy in the pool, splash Dustin and herself, and run back over to me and dry her face with the towels. She had a ball doing this. Dustin tried getting her back in the pool, he got her in for a few seconds. Then, she wanted out to continue her "little game." We started to get hungry so we headed back to the hotel room. It was about one o'clock when we ate lunch. We decided to have those wonderful chicken sandwiches from Starbucks's again. Sophie picked herself out a fruit cup for her lunch. Dustin treated me to a blueberry cheesecake (yum).

Then, it was nap time. We had us a nice long nap. Sophie fell asleep watching a movie in between Dustin and me in bed. We were going to go back to Shamian Island for more shopping after our naps, but it was kinda too late to go the island and were afraid of more bug bites. We wanted to be safe rather than sorry since our big, important day is tomorrow with the U.S Consulate.We can tomorrow after our appointment. We just stayed in our hotel room for the rest of the day, I know exciting, huh !?!

For supper, we ate light, because we were still full from Starbucks's. Dustin just went next door to McDonald's. Sophie gets really excited when she sees her daddy enter the hotel room with food in his hands. We have now "Americanized" her, because she loves some chicken nuggets and french fries from McDonald's.

It is bath time for Sophie now. We are going to go to bed early tonight since we have an early morning. We have to meet in the lobby at 7:40 in the morning. The Medical Clinic is in the same building as the U.S Consulate, so they will check Sophie's body for any spots (chicken pox) first. If everything is okay, then we will proceed onto our consulate appointment. This is the final step in our adoption process. This is where the U.S will officially recognize Sophie as our daughter and she will be become an U.S citizen when we land in Chicago.The U.S Consulate is really strict. All we can bring inside is a diaper and our passports in a clear plastic bag. No cameras. Our agency guides cannot even go in with us. We have only two more days left here in Guangzhou. Wish us luck tomorrow, tomorrow is a very important day! Goodnight.

                                                        Pool pictures

                                        Sophie doing her surprise face

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday, July 30 -- Shamian Island Day

Last night Sophie slept the whole night in her pack n' play. Dustin put her straight in it, she whimpered a little bit. She was standing in her pack n' play and falling asleep, you could see her little her hand nodding off. Dustin finally laid her in the pack n' play with no fuss from her. She slept through the whole night without waking up (Success!). I got up and got my shower in before she woke up. Dustin also was able to get ready before she work up.

We went down for our breakfast feast, we missed it yesterday. After breakfast, we did our routinely skyping with the family. David Ryan was in a good mood again and was ready to tell us what he did that day. He had Taco Bell, went swimming, and saw the movie Despicable Me 2. His granny is keeping him busy.

After skyping, we went to Shamian Island to do a little shopping and drop off some laundry. I am glad they deliver the next day. We bought gifts for our family and friends. We bought the traditional silk dresses, squeaky shoes, and some future Gotcha Day gifts for Sophie. Sophie is a good shopper. She loves to shop and she behaves while you are shopping. We were at one store and the shop owner spoke Cantonese to Sophie. She said Sophie is very smart. She translated to us some of the things that Sophie was saying like "don't touch, just look" and pointing to my camera she said "photo." Sophie was a hit at the shops today. Two different shop owners just gave her a bottle of bubbles and bracelet.

After doing a little shopping, we ate at Lucy's again. This time I got the cheeseburger and so did Dustin. It was very good. Their onion rings were very good. Sophie just shared with us. I think she will fit in just fine when we get back to the states. She has no complaints on American food. After eating, we walked around in their parks and garden area, which is very beautiful. This is where the brides come to take their pictures. One couple was having their picture taken and I guess Sophie was really interested cause she just walked right up in their photo shoot. We took many pictures around the island. And she loves taking pictures. She will stay still and sometimes smile. Taking the picture is easy, but getting the smile is harder. I can also get her to pose (sometimes). Then, it was time to get a taxi back to the hotel for nap time. It really didn't take Dustin long to get us a taxi.

Back at the hotel, we laid Sophie down for a nap and she was out in two minutes. She did do a lot of walking around the Island today. While Sophie was napping, one of our agency guides called and asked us if we would like to go on a River Boat Cruise tonight. Of course, we said yes! Finally, we are getting to venture off on some tours. Then, she reminded us of our meeting at 3 pm. Then, about 10 minutes later another one of our guides called. She said the CDC called her and had a list of questions for her to ask us. Questions like were Dustin and I born in the states, were we vaccinated for the chicken pox, what is our port of entry, etc. I asked her what time we had to go to the Medical Clinic tomorrow. She said we didn't need to go back tomorrow ( yay!), but they will still check Sophie over for spots the day of our Consulate appointment on Thursday ( boo!). Hopefully, no more heat rash or bug bites on Thursday. But, at least we don't have to make another trip and taxi fare tomorrow.

I went to the 3pm meeting so Dustin and Sophie can do more one on one bonding. This meeting was about what to do on our last day with getting to the Hong Kong train station, going through immigration and customs, and what to do with Sophie's Visa and paperwork. This was our exit meeting since some of the families are leaving tomorrow. I also found out at this meeting that there was going to be a group picture after the meeting is over. So, I had to rush upstairs and get Sophie ready. I wanted her to wear the traditional Chinese silk dress that we bought today. We made it in time for the group picture and it was a big group. I didn't really know how big the group was since we have been "quarantined." I am just happy and surprised that we were able to be in the group picture! Our friends from Idaho were on their way to leave for the States when we were headed to the lobby for the group picture, so we got to say our goodbyes. We took the group picture, it took a while for the guides to use all of our cameras giving all of us copies. The group picture didn't even include everyone, some families I think were sick. After the group picture, we went back upstairs to get ready for the River Boat Cruise on Pearl River on Shamian Island.

We met in the lobby at 6:00 pm. Two of the families from our group of  our "quarantined" six werent going. However, we had a new family from outside our "quarantined" six going with us. There were 10 of them and they are from Arkansas. It is so nice to get out and be with other adults. Our agency ordered Papa John's Pizza for all of us to eat on the cruise boat. After we ate, we went on the deck to sight-see and take pictures.
The River Boat Cruise was real nice and the kids enjoyed it. Our guide Catherine's thirteen year old son came with us also. He was our tour guide for the cruise, he did a good job. He may have a career with Holt in the future. He spoke English really well. On the boat, Sophie showed everyone her little personality. Our guide said Sophie is really smart. Our guide was also impressed how well Sophie has adjusted. She thinks Sophie will be talking in English very soon. We had a great time!

We got back about 8:30 pm, so it was time for bath and bed. When we got back, our guide received a phone call about one of the adopted children having a seizure. I don't think this was a pre-exiting condition or special need, so keep this family in your prayers.

Okay, it is bedtime for this woman. Tomorrow we pretty much have a free day. Then, Thursday is our U.S Consulate appointment plus a check up on her "spots" and Friday we leave for Hong Kong. Finally, Saturday we will fly home- yay! Not too much longer.

Enjoy the pictures!      
                                                          Success Again!

                                    Getting Sophie's name in Chinese Letters

                                          Pictures on Shamian Island

                                             Sophie in her traditional Chinese silk dress

                                                  Our travel group

                                           Eating pizza on the river boat cruise

                                             Pictures from the Cruise

                                                Waving "hey" to the passing boats

                                               three of the "quarantined" girls

                                                   Our boat

                        Sophie making new friends with the family from Arkansas

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday, July 29 -- Day of Blessings

Last night was rough. What I mean by that is Sophie was a rough sleeper. She can't on kicking, kneeing, and slapping Dustin and me last night. She had me on the edge of the bed. I guess Dustin had enough so he picked her up with a pillow underneath her and placed her in her pack n' play. She didn't wake up, so Dustin and I did get some peaceful hours of sleep in before we had to wake up in the morning. I showered and got ready for a day at the clinic. Then, Dustin woke up soon after me. Sophie was still asleep. We are going to just eat granola and fruit bars in the room for breakfast this morning since we have to meet early in the lobby. Sophie finally woke up to us rummaging around in the room. She was like what I am doing in this crib thing. However, she didn't cry. We got her up and I noticed as I was getting her dressed for the day that she had a heat rash on her arm. Great, this is just what I need! The spots on her arm and on her back that the doctor pointed out earlier were gone though. Hopefully, the doctor will take that into consideration. We skyped Dustin's mom real quick. David Ryan was in a better mood. He even told us all what he did (his) today. Well, I think my nerves was getting to me because I was afraid what the doctor may say about the heat rash, so I said something to Dustin about him taking her. I thought he may be in a better state of mind and actually hear what the doctor has to say. You know us women we have a million of things going on in our heads at once. Plus, he needs some bonding time with her. She still won't let him hold her, so now she may not have any choice. Once (or if we ever) we get home, football season starts for Dustin and he will be gone a lot during the fall with coaching high school football, so he needs to bond with her now.

It was about time (9:30) for them to go to the lobby to meet the guide, so I started getting the bag ready for Dustin. Sophie knows this routine, she even got her shoes and put them on by herself and was waiting at the door. She loves to be on the go. Dustin and her went out the door and she turned around and said "momma" like come on momma lets go. I said momma is staying here and I  told her bye. She eventually said bye and seemed to be fine as her and Dustin headed out. While they were gone, I prayed and prayed that everything would be okay especially with the heat rash. About 11 am, house keeping knocked on the door. So, I decided to go downstairs to the lobby and hang out while they cleaned the room and possibly wait for Dustin to get back I ran into Catherine, one of our guides, in the lobby and she said Dustin should be back soon. Three minutes later, I see Dustin and Sophie get out of a taxi by themselves (what happened to the other family) and holding hands. I met them by the door and I told Dustin housekeeping was in our room. Sophie had a big smile on her face and said "momma." I picked her up. And I asked Dustin to give me the news. He said by the time they got to the clinic's room and had undress her the heat rash on her arm was gone (Praise God!). Dustin did say he made sure that he pointed out those two spots that they were concerned with before were gone. He said they did notice that. Dustin said after they looked her over they talked to each other for a very long time. The doctors said they will have to talk to the CDC before they can make their final decision. There isn't too much to tell you about this, because the doctors spoke Chinese and Dustin had a guide interpreting back to him. All he knows is that the CDC wants us to come back 24 hours (which is Wednesday) to be checked out again prior to our U.S Consulate appointment. So, we are still not in the clear. Pray for no more heat rashes or bug bites before Wednesday. The other families (including the little girl who they thought had the chicken pox for real) who had to come back today has their U.S Consulate tomorrow morning and they didn't really say anything to them either, so I guess it is okay for them to go tomorrow. We just want to be able to go home Saturday. We haven't been able to venture out too much out of our hotel and can't mingle with the other families. I also asked Dustin had Sophie did with just him and her. He said she was fine, she even let him hold her. When he was telling me this, he reached out to hold her and she shook her head no. She will let him hold her if I am not around.

It was lunch time for us when they got back since we didn't have our normal feast for breakfast. We decided to go back to the Japanese restaurant inside our hotel, because it was close and we were hungry. Plus, Dustin wanted that sushi platter again. I got the beef tips again and Sophie had white rice. Then, we came back to our hotel room for a nap, because we had to meet in the lobby at 2:30 for a tour to the temple for a baby blessing. Sophie fought her nap today, but after a few whimpering she finally went to sleep.

We met in the lobby with our six "quarantined" families, but two of the families were not going. So, it was just four families going and our guide David. The temple wasn't that far, we were there like in 10 minutes. We got a tour of this temple and at the end was the baby blessing. You had to take your shoes off before you entered the temple. We knelled with our babies and a monk said something in Chinese and sprinkled water on us and the babies. Our guide reassured us this doesn't interfere with our own religious beliefs. I know who my Christian God is, and I have already been praising him for clearing the heat rash at the clinic today. Then, they gave us 15 minutes to walk around on our own and take pictures. They were burning incense (plus it was really humid) and didn't go well with what I had for lunch. I was nauseated for the rest of day.

When we got to our hotel, we had David get us a taxi to the China Plaza, because we needed to get more snacks. On the way to the Plaza, I started feeling bad. I think the mixture with the incense and the crazy cab ride did it in for me. Thankfully, the cab ride wasn't that long to the Plaza. The China Plaza is seven stories. It is a mall with a grocery store on the 4th floor. We got more water, Pepsi (the Pepsi here tastes better than at home), baby smoothie drinks, Chinese candy for a gift, and more Oreo cookies. All of this cost $7.00 U.S dollars, couldn't have done that at home. It took a little while getting a taxi back. But, we eventually got one. We ran into one of the families that we are quarantined from in the elevator. The are from Idaho. They leave tomorrow afternoon, their U.S Consulate appointment was today, so they are good to go. They were also the first family to go through the newly located U.S Consulate. Once you take the oath at the U.S Consulate, you are good to go home. They give you your child's VISA the next day and then you can go home. That is why it is important that we are cleared on Wednesday from the Medical Clinic so they won't reschedule our Consulate appointment. Anyway, the other "non-quarantined" families are going on a river boat cruise tonight.

We just hung out in our hotel room for the rest of the evening since I wasn't feeling so good. We even ate in our room tonight. We had peanut butter crackers to save some money from going out to eat. We are having to pay taxi fare everytime we go to the Medical Clinic.

Sophie is starting to test the boundaries more and more. She wanted more cheerios after having two bowls already plus some gold fish and peanut butter crackers, so she wasn't hungry. She just thinks she has to eat all the time. We told her no and she cried bloody murder. She doesn't just cry but she screams this piercing scream at the top of her lungs. She doesn't like being told no and not getting her way. She better get use to this. Dustin and I left her and went in the bathroom to let her cry it out and guess what, she stopped crying. I think we will be having an early bedtime tonight. As I write this now, I am making her bath water. Hopefully, tomorrow we can go back to Shamian Island to do some shopping and more laundry, because I don't know when else we will get the chance. Wednesday we have to go back to the Medical Clinic. Thursday is our Consulate appointment. Friday we leave for Hong Kong (yay).These Medical Clinic visits has gotten in our way in doing any tours like the zoo.

So, today we had the baby blessing at the temple. However, we have had many blessings given to us by our Lord. The blessing of today that I am praising is the fact that the heat rash is gone and we are getting closer in being cleared to go home. But, the biggest blessing of all is that we are in China and we do have Sophie and now a family of four. Thank you everyone for your prayers!

                                                   Sleeping in the pack n' play

                                                   Baby blessing at the temple

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday, July 28-- Day of Leisure, Rain, & Pizza

We had to wake Sophie up again this morning. But, we are not complaining. Dustin and I are able to get our showers in and are able to get ready for the day. We woke Sophie up and she was all smiles. I guess she is getting use to waking up to us being here. She is starting to get the hang our of routine, because she knew it was time to go eat breakfast. She was all smiles all the way  to the buffet, she practically ran to the buffet. She does well sitting in a high chair, some of the adopted children don't like it and they sit in their parents' laps. I am glad she likes it, because she is a messy eater. Breakfast is becoming my favorite part of the day because we get to see more adults, English speaking ones that are going through the same thing we are and the food is great, too. This is about the only time we get to see the families from the other provinces, it is good catching up.

After breakfast, we came back to skype the families. The novelty of skype is starting to wear off of Sophie, she is not too interest in it as she once was. But, we still can get her to say "hey" and "bye" to them. David Ryan was a little ill (sleepy) when we skyped him. I asked him what he wanted us to bring him home. He said "Sophie." I don't know what to think about him. He seems jealous over skype then he says things like that.

Before lunch, we went down to the playground area. Don't worry, I sprayed Sophie down with OFF. We tried getting her on the playground set, but she wouldn't do it. I even slide to get her interested, but she still didn't want to do it. So, we walked around the scenic area. She liked watching the waterfall, we even took some pictures by the waterfall. Then, there were two adoptive families out there playing so she stood and watched them play for a few minutes. We decided to show her the pool since she loves the bathtub. She seemed very interested, but didn't try to get in the pool. One of the families from our "quarantined group" was there. Their son who is six was having a blast, but his new little sister didn't seem to like it. She just sat on the edge and watched her brother. Sophie watched the people swim in the pool, too. We talked with the family for a little while, then it started pouring down raining. Back to being quarantined in our room. By this time, it was lunch time. Since it was pouring, my lovely husband decided to go next door for us to get McDonald's. Every time Dustin comes in the room with food, she gets so excited.

Then, it was nap time. Nap time is going better, she even throw a fit today. For the most part today, we were stuck in the hotel room watching movies on HBO (thank goodness the TV has English channels). Sophie watched most of the Disney movie "Meet the Robinsons," this movie is about a little boy who lives in an orphanage and wants to be adopted (how appropriate). I got Sophie to play with her baby doll for 5 minutes. I don't know why the paperwork from the orphanage said she liked dolls. I hope by Christmas, she likes dolls or I have already wasted some money.

Since it was still raining, we decided to order Papa John's pizza for supper. It has been a long time since we have had pizza. The last time was at our fundraiser for Sophie at Lost Pizza Co. And it has really been a long time since we have had Papa John's. It took about an hour and a half for it to get here though, but it was delicious. Sophie had her first pizza tonight, and she liked it. Again, there hasn't been anything that this girl doesn't like to eat. She also saved her pizza crust to dip in the sauce just like her daddy did. As I was writing this, one of our agency guides called to remind us about the medical check tomorrow (please pray that we get clearance to come home as scheduled). Also, that one of us only needs to go that way that wont have to take a van only a taxi since there is another child and mother going. So, I guess it will be Sophie and me tomorrow. Dustin will get to explore, I guess. Also, planned for tomorrow is a baby blessing (nothing that interferes with our religion) at 2:30. Our guide felt that all that we (the quarantined group) have been through we could use a little blessing- lol.

I am not 100% feeling better, but I am getting there. Sophie isn't still answering to "Sophie" , we have to call her Weina Sophie to get her attention. Then, we will eventually drop the Weina. Again, there wasn't that much to write about since we were stuck in our hotel room today, but hopefully tomorrow will be more eventful, but not too eventful at the medical clinic. We want that part of the day to go smoothly.

I am going to get off her to get this girly in the bath and ready for bed. We have a very important day tomorrow. Wish us luck tomorrow!

                                           Sophie not getting her way

                                             Yum! Pizza time!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday, July 27--A walk in the park

We had to wake Sophie up this morning. She likes to sleep in, which is a good thing. Last night, Dustin tried to move her from our bed to her crib, but she woke up and kinda whimpered. So, maybe will try again tonight. We down to breakfast and it was nice, because we got to see some of the families that we met in Beijing (this will probably be the only time we will get to see them-breakfast time). It was fun seeing them with their new sons and daughters. I just wish we could spend more time with them. After breakfast, we did our routinely skyping the family back home. David Ryan is now with Dustin's mom ("Granny"). He was playing the piano and harmonica for us. Seven more days and we will be home (pending the chicken pox scare).

We pretty much have a free day today. The only thing on the schedule today is a meeting at 3:30 (only one parent has to go) to do some paperwork and plan some tours. We went to the park (no playground, just a scenic area) that is about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. We let Sophie walk around the park to burn energy from being cooped up in the hotel room. While we were walking in the park, a bug bite Sophie, I was great now they are going to think this could be another pox spot. Then, it started raining on us, luckily we had an umbrella with us. We also ate lunch at a restaurant in the park called The Garden, it was suppose to be a western restaurant. However, none of the workers spoke English and the menu didn't have that many dishes from home. Dustin had some beef tip looking thing with peppers and onions. I had a steak, which tasted different from our steak in the States. Sophie had french fries which tasted more like chips. It was really expensive and wasn't the best food that we have had here. Sophie started yawning so it was time to go back to the hotel for a nap. She was even falling asleep as I was carrying her back to the hotel.

She cried  a little bit when we laid her down. Dustin and I also took a little nap. I was going to go to the meeting and leave Dustin with Sophie so they can bond (more on this below) since she is still not letting him hold her. About 3:15, I gathered up our documents for the paperwork meeting, and Dustin and Sophie was still asleep. So, I sneaked out. There were some families in the lobby from the Beijing group and they said they were going to the group dinner tonight and asked if I was going. Nope, we weren't invited, so I had to explain to them the "quarantine situation." They even separated our paperwork meetings, theirs was at 3 and ours is at 3:30. Then, it was time for the six "quarantined" families meeting. We filled out more paperwork, this is for U.S Consulate appointment (ours is on Thursday). Then, they discussed the chicken pox situation. One of the guides went to the orphanage that had the outbreak (not Sophie's). They said the first outbreak was on July 1st with one child. Then, a couple of children got it on July 5. Then, another one on July 12 and no one has had an outbreak since then. So, only about five children got the chicken pox and the orphanage children that did get the pox stayed in a different area that the 3 girls who were adopted into our group on Monday stayed. But, they are still taking precautions. And since Sophie has been in contact with these children like being in the same room and bus, we are having to be quarantined also. Plus, the two mosquito bites that concerned the doctors at the medical clinic. Our agency guide said as long as we make it to Monday and cleared, we will not have a delay going home. She recommends us staying in our hotel to avoid any more bug bites since they look similar to the pox here. I wanted to go back to Shamian Island tomorrow to do some shopping since we have another free day, but I rather be safe than sorry avoid getting anymore bug bites at least until Monday. So, if we are cleared on Monday, we probably can go back to Shamian Island later on in the week. I hope so, because I already told David Ryan I would get him something. Prayers are still needed. The one bite on her back has cleared up, but the one on her wrist is still there. Now, she has another one on her arm from the park today. One of the families from the Beijing group has let me borrow her Neosporin to help clear up the bites quicker. Hopefully by Monday, they will be cleared so we can be cleared to go home.They didn't set up any tours for us until we hear from the doctor on Monday. The other families are going to the River Boat Cruise Monday night, which we can't go. Being stuck in your hotel room stinks! I am so ready to go home after all of this.

Tonight we ate in our room again. Dustin and Sophie went downstairs to get sandwiches from the Starbucks. After supper, Sophie had her bath. Sorry I didnt write so much today, but there is only so much to write when you are quarantined to your hotel room.

Sophie is starting to really come out of her shell. I don't know where the orphanage gets the shy, reserved little girl from. But, she is shy and reserved in crowds and in public, but in the hotel room, she is loud and wild. She is also independent, she likes doing things her way and herself. She likes to help out. Today while walking in the park, she had to carry my camera bag.

While I was at the meeting, Dustin said Sophie didn't cry. She just said "Momma" about 50 times. He said he gave her an oreo cookie and she was fine. They were just playing in the floor when I came back. She was happy to see her momma though.

Goodnight, everyone. Not feeling so well, I think it is something I ate. See you again tomorrow.

                                                  Pictures from the park today.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday, July 26-- No free day today!

We were suppose to have a free day today, but we have to go the Medical Clinic to have Sophie checked for chicken pox. Dustin went to the breakfast buffet by himself since we are quarantined. He brought us back rolls and bananas. Sophie and I also has granola bars. We skyped with the family real quick since we have to be in the lobby at 9am. David Ryan talked to us for a little while today, he was saying he missed us and loved us. He told us to be careful driving and be safe on the plane. He also told us to bring him some chicken nuggets and french fries (LOL, I hope he is not that hungry, it will be a while before he gets those nuggets). I really miss him. I like seeing where Sophie is from and being here with her, but I am ready to be home and have both of my children together with me.

We met our guides and the rest of the travel group in the lobby. Then, we took a van to the Medical Clinic. We waited about 10 minutes before we saw a doctor. Two doctors had us undress Sophie, they looked her over thoroughly. They did study those two spots that I was worried about. One is on her arm near her wrist and the other one is on her left shoulder blade. (I think they are just bug bites because the night before we had dinner outside on Shamian Island and she was was wearing a strappy dress). She hasnt really been scratching them. I dont think they look like the pox, I thought the pox were in clusters and started on the tummy. She hasnt had fever either. They did check her fever there at the clinic and no fever there either. They want us to come back on Monday to look at the spots again.They said they may be heat rash and to just keep her skin clean. There is another family that needs to come back on Monday, too. The clinic also wants all of the six families to come back before we leave for home to check us out. She didnt cry when they gave her the vaccination, she just whimpered a little. We had to wait 30 minutes to make sure the children didn't have a bad reaction to the shot.

We got back to the hotel around lunch time. Our guide said that we could venture out of the hotel, but we just cant mingle with the 14 families who are coming in tonight from the other provinces. I hate that, because I really wanted to hang out with them. I really enjoyed them while we were in Beijing. Maybe Dustin or I will run into them in the hall or at the breakfast buffet as long as Sophie is not with us. We asked how long we had to stay away from them, they told us the whole we are here. That stinks! So, the six families here will have separate tours and meetings from the others.

For lunch, we ate at the Coffee Club again. Sophie loved it and she was introduced to ketchup, which she loves. After lunch, we came back to the hotel room and took a nap. She didn't want to take a nap, she cried for a little while then she finally fell asleep. Dustin and I took a nap also. We slept for about an hour and a half. Then, we woke up and had a little snack. Sophie had her first oreo cookie which she loves. I don't think we haven't found any food that she doesn't like. We were going to go to the playground after nap time, but it was raining hard. So, I guess we are quarantined in our hotel room. We walked around our hotel for a while then back to the room to play. It gets really boring in the hotel room all the time.

A little about Sophie: she loves to wear dresses. When I put dresses on her, she likes to twirl around in them. She likes to use her head as a weapon. She can't use the restroom as long as Dustin is in the bathroom, as soon as he leaves, she goes-lol. I can't be out of her sight. I walked out of the room to see what she would do with just Dustin in there with her and Dustin said she was about to freak out. She still wont let Dustin hold her, but he can kiss, hug, and play with her. She loves looking at herself in the mirror and in pictures.She likes to sing, but I have no clue what she is singing.

We ate supper in the room (since it was raining) from McDonalds. Dustin went next door and got it for us.We hung out in the room until it was bath time for Sophie. She loves taking baths, every time I start her bath water,she starts stripping. She just  sits there like a good little girl playing with her stacking cups filling them up with water and then pouring it out. It takes some persuading to get her out. After her bath, we checked her out for spots, they ones she had already look like they are clearing up and no new spots, so hopefully we are clear of chicken pox. Continue to pray for us because there is still a chance for pox and we have to go back to the clinic on Monday. Well, we are getting ready for bed now. Tomorrow we pretty much have a free day except for a short meeting in the afternoon that only one parent has to attend. I think it is more paperwork, its like getting a house all the paperwork you have to fill out. Goodnight and see you tomorrow.

                                                Back at the Medical Clinic

                                             Having fun with daddy while waiting to be discharged

                                             On the outside covered patio watching it rain

                                           Rain, rain go away little Sophie wants to play

                                            Sophie not wanting to get out of the bathtub

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday, July 25-- Medical Exam Day!

Sophie woke up smiling this morning. Then, we went downstairs for our breakfast at the wonderful buffet. Then, we skyped the family. Aunt "Manders" got to see Sophie today. David Ryan even told Sophie that he loved her. Dustin's brother and his family saw Sophie for the first time over Skype. Everyone just loves her already.

Then, it was time to meet our guides and the families in the lobby for we can go to the Medical Clinic. The U.S requires all adoptive children have a medical exam before entering the States. This includes blood being drawn for the TB test. She will also get her picture for her Visa. We were originally planned to go this Saturday for the medical exam, but since our adoption agency is awesome, we went today. Let me explain... Usually adoptive families (not only our adoption agency but other agencies) go to their Medical Exam on Saturday morning, but our guides were telling us there will be about 300 people at the clinic so they arranged for us to go today that way it will be only us 6 families.

Sophie fell asleep on the way. She must be resting up to what is coming ahead. She did really well taking her picture, some of the babies cried. Then, we were taking to another room where they do the medical exam. I guess they saw how well Sophie was doing we were chose first to do all the exams (I guess they were hoping the other children will follow her lead). First, they weighed her, took her height, and took her temperature (but they didnt tell us how much she weighed, etc). She loved it, she thought it was funny being on the scales. Then, we had to go to the ENT room (ear, nose, throat). The doctor checked her out and looked over her, he gave us a thumbs up. Sophie still being a being a trooper. We went to 3 different rooms. All children two and up have to have a TB scan, they draw blood to run the TB test now. If the TB comes back positive, then they will order an x-ray of her chest.Usually it is just a misreading, but if not, children with TB will have to stay in China longer for more tests and etc (And we dont want that). So, pray for her TB test comes back negative. We will know the results in a day or two. They don't let the parents to go in the TB test room to draw blood, because the children tend to act up with the parents and it is hard for the nurses to draw blood. So, of course, Sophie was first. They came and got her, she was fine with that. Then, they took her in the room and shut the door. A few minutes later, we heard her crying. They brought her out to us in tears. After momma's touch, she stopped crying. Daddy also gave her some Goldfish. Let me tell you how she eats the colored Goldfish, she eats them by colors. She will eat all the one color first, then she will move on the next color, then after all the different colors are gone (she usually saves the orange for last) she eats the broken ones first. After all the families (all but two because their child were younger 2) were done with the TB, we were back on the bus to the hotel.

For lunch, we ate a Japanese restaurant in the hotel. Dustin got a huge plate of sushi and I got the most tender beef cuts with rice. Sophie had a little of everything off our plates (except the sushi, I didnt want to give her that). They brought Sophie out some watermelon (which she loves) and some ice cream (which she loves too, I think they may have been her first time eating ice cream).

We wanted to take Sophie to the playground outside but it was raining. We took her to the little play room they have here for the children, but she freaked out. She started whimpering and was withdrawn. I don't know if the room reminded her of the orphanage or what, so we got out of there. So, we just walked around the hotel for a few minutes since it was raining and you get bored sitting in your hotel room all the time.

We went back to our room and Dustin decided he was going to walk around the area to see what kind of restaurants they have to maybe eat at one of them for supper. A few minutes later, our hotel phone rang (I thought it was our laundry at the concierge office, hey Satchers, if you do laundry here, do it at Micheal's on Shamian Island, they are cheap and will deliver it to the hotel the next day for only $30 RMB extra. We had a big bag full and it was only $130 RMB including the delivery, the hotel has a laundry service but they want $30 RMB per shirt). Anyway, it was the the concierge desk, it was Holt saying that we had a meeting in 10 minutes downstairs in their office. I knew this wasn't good because they usually tell us about meetings or outings  way ahead of time. Then, the phone rang again and it was our the concierge saying our laundry was here. So, Sophie and I went downstairs, stopped by the concierge and picked up our laundry, then we headed to Holt's office. I was thinking 'Oh, no, Sophie's TB test.' All three of our guides except Joyce (who is pregnant) was in there. They said that one of the orphanages (that 3 of the children came from, not Sophie's) had an outbreak of chicken pox. They also said that they thought our children would be safe because our children was vaccinated for the pox a long time ago, but they found out that somehow our children weren't vaccinated for chicken pox. And one of the little girls (not Sophie) showed some symptoms of chicken pox today while  we were at the medical clinic. So, since all of the children have been exposed to it in one form or another, we all have to back to the Medical Clinic in the morning and get checked out. If they dont show any symptoms of the pox, then they will get vaccinated and should be fine. But, if they do show signs, then it is a whole different ball game. We may have to stay here longer until the pox clears up because the CDC may not allow us on the plane back home (and I really dont want that, I have a little boy that I have to get back home to and that I miss dearly. Plus, I want to be there to take him to his first day of kindergarten, and his meet the teacher night the night before school starts. Plus, we dont have the money to stay longer). The whole time they were telling us this Sophie started scratching her arm (oh no). They came over to inspect it, it look like a cut she was scratching cause it was a line not a circle. Then, there was a circle spot on her arm and another one her back. Dustin said he thought they were mosquito bites not the pox, I sure hope so. I heard the pox usually starts on the trunk, neck and face. So I am praying she doesnt have it. I think there would be more than just two on random spots on her body. We need your prayers again!

Also, they are quarantining us. When we go to the medical clinic tomorrow instead of all of us taking a bus, we are taking separate taxis. We have to stay away from the families that are flying in tonight from the other provinces until they figure this out. I hate that because I really wanted to hang out with them, I enjoyed being with them in Beijing. Maybe we still can. Also, they told us if the other families are in the pool, don't get in the pool. So, that kind of put a damper on my and Dustin's spirits. So, no going out to eat tonight. We are all ready getting tired of being stuck in the hotel room, now we are being quarantined and possibly have to see here longer. We are all ready to go home. Dustin went downstairs to Starbucks to get us a couple of sandwiches to eat in the hotel room, which turned out to be really good. I guess Dustin know I was stressing about everything because he bought me my favorite, a cheesecake.

We gave the little one a bath. When I was making her bath water, Sophie started taking her shoes and clothes off. LOL- she loves taking baths, so does her brother. She played in the bathtub a little while. When we got her out of the bath, we inspected her for spots. We didn't see anything expect for those two spots, they look more like bumps or little pimples. But, it has been so long that I have seen the pox that I dont know what they look like. Then, we got her in her PJs and ready for bed. Before we went to bed, Dustin skyped his brother. We were suppose to do that in the morning but now we have to go to the medical clinic. Finally, we went to bed.

Tomorrow was suppose to be a free day, but now we have to go to the medical clinic. Dustin and I were looking forward to a free day. There were also an option to go to the orphanage where she is from. We were debating about that because we didnt know how Sophie would react going back. Now, it made our decision easier. I dont think they would let us go back with her exposure to the pox and plus, I dont want to go back knowing that she may catch something.

Oh yeah, Sophie has been giving us kisses nonstop today!!!

                                                Before the exams at the medical clinic

                                                        ENT room

                                                     TB room

                                            After the TB room

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wed., July 24- Grocery shopping and passport picture day!

Sophie slept in with Dustin and me waking up at 6, so we are slowing getting back to our normal sleeping schedule. We had to wake Sophie up this morning and she started crying so I had to console her. She was not her happy self, so we down to breakfast. When she realized where we were, she perked up. She loves food! After breakfast, we came back to our room and skyped the family. Her grandaddy enjoyed watching her play. Her aunt played peekaboo with her while her cousins got to hear her laugh and play. Then, her big brother got to see here beat up their daddy. David Ryan told us "I dont want Sophie there (he pointed to the computer screen), I want her here." Then, he told his daddy that he wasnt his best friend anymore that Sophie was his best friend. I am enjoying my time here, but everytime I see my baby boy I am already to go home and be a family of 4. I do miss him so much!

Today we hung out in the room until it was time to meet to go the grocery store. Now, that was interesting. The grocery store was in a mall in a seven story building. We got some snacks, drinks, and more baby items. Then, we had to go and take passport pictures for Sophie.

We also went to Shamian Island (15 minutes from our hotel) to drop off some laundry and do a little shopping. We bought a shirt that says GE GE which means big brother in Chinese for David Ryan and we got one for Sophie that says MEI MEI meaning little sister. We also got Sophie some squeaky shoes for $3 in US dollars (what a deal). We will definitely be coming back here to do some shopping later.  Then, we ate at the famous Lucy's, this restaruant is famous for American food. A lot of adoption parents eat her to get a taste of home. Dustin got a hamburger and fries. I had got a grilled cheese sandwich and fries, I know boring, but it has been a long time since I had one. Sophie had a little of both of our dishes. Also, Sophie had her first taste of Sprite tonight and she was crazy for it. The face she made when she drank it was hilarious! I took a video of it, I will try to upload the video on here. If I cant, then I will try it on Facebook.

We didnt get back to the hotel until  8:30. Sophie took a bath and loves it. She didn't want to get out. Bedtime was a lot better tonight. We told her it was night night time and she said "night night" back to us. I put her in bed between Dustin and me, she sat up for a few minutes then she laid down. In about 10 minutes, she was asleep. I think we wore her out today. She did a lot walking on Shamian Island today. Tonight at bedtime I received my first kiss from her. Dustin leaned over to kiss me good night and then she just leaned over and planted one of my kiss, it two days to get a kiss back. Then, she gave me two more right that. Dustin tried getting one, but she isnt ready for him yet. However, she did give him a big hug today. I am still the only one who can pick her up, but she does allow Dustin to play with her. She plays with him more than she does me.

Oh yeah, let me tell you about her brushing her teeth. She loves to do everything you do. (She even had to hold some of the shopping bags today).She loves brushing her teeth. When Dustin and I spit in the sink after brushing our teeth, she spits on the bathroom floor--LOL. She finally went number 2 today. They are concerned about the children doing this, she did go but it was only a little bit (is that okay, Tobie?).

Sorry for the short blog today, it was a long exhausting day.

                                             Her favorite time of the day (and her daddy's)

                                           At the grocery store

                                           Trying to Americanize her....Cola and Oreo cookies

                                          At Lucy's loving her first taste of Sprite

I tried uploading the video of Sophie with her face and reaction of her first experience of tasting Sprite, but it will not load on the my blog for some reason. I will try it on Facebook later.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday, July 23 ---More paperwork and a hungry baby

We got to sleep in this morning. Well, by sleeping in... we have been waking up about 4 am here in China and just cant go back to sleep. Today, we slept to 5 am, but Sophie still slept until 7 am. So, were able to both take showers and get things ready for today before she woke up. We were worried that she would freak out when she woke up, but she didn't. She just looked around for a few minutes. Then, Dustin got her laughing. I took her to the potty and she peed and her diaper was dry (yay- you parents know about this excitement). Well, she doesnt fit in the 18 months clothes, but she can wear the 18 months pants and shorts, just not the dresses or shirts. She is more of a 24 mo/ 2T. She didn't cry again me changing her. She had to have a bow in her hair.

We went to breakfast and she was a bottomless pit. She ate everything on her plate. It takes me bribing David Ryan to get him to eat, so this took me by shock that she cleaned her plate. She probably would have ate more if we put more on her plate. They say you need to monitor what they eat, because they tend to gorge themselves since they are not use to all this food. She loves feeding her daddy. And daddy was eating it up, physically and literally.

We went back to the room to Skype before our morning appointment. Of course, we skyped the grandparents, but this morning it was the first time we skyped my sister and her family. They loved seeing her and Sophie was just of waving to them. We even got her to say "Sissy" that is what we call my niece Kennedy. I think Kennedy really enjoyed that!. Then, we skyped my mom again because my other sister came over after work to see Sophie which was her first time also to see her. Sophie stole her heart as well. She saw her PawPaw and said "pawpaw" clearly as day. I dont know what it is but all the grandchildren especially the girls love their pawpaw. David Ryan enjoyed seeing Sophie this time, he was just of laughing at her hitting their daddy and would tell her to do it again. Then, he tried getting her through the computer. David Ryan told us "I want Sophie home." I am glad that he taking more of an interest of her now. I can't wait to get these two together. She is going to love her big brother! She loves watching the other big brothers here play with their new little sisters.

Time to go back to the Civil Affairs Office to do more paperwork. I afraid about how she was going to react going to the same place we got her the day before. She did good, she just didn't want me to put her down. We took our family photo. (Hey mom, she had to wear her backpack today because we were wearing ours and she wouldnt take it off for the photo) We had to go into two different rooms and sign papers and to answer some questions. The questions were just general questions about us like how old are you, how many biological children do you have, how long have you been married, etc. Then, they asked questions like are you satisfied with this child-duh. No, giving her back now, we are already in love. Then, we had to promise to never abandon her, never abuse her, and to give her a good education. Then, we were done. Oh yeah, they also gave us back her photo album that we sent months ago to prepare her (which it did!). She loves looking at it and pointing to things and hearing us tell her who everyone is. She especially likes looking at our house. They also gave us a copy of her newspaper abandonment article, which is in Chinese- lol.

Today we ate lunch in the hotel room. We just snacked on bananas and peanut butter n' crackers. Then, it was nap time. The nannies said Sophie takes an hour nap after lunch. I got her to pee on the toilet (sorry about all the restroom talk but this is part of it). She cried again. She doesnt like bedtime, so I had to hold her again until she fell asleep. Both Dustin and I took a nap also. She woke up exactly an hour later. We played in the room until it was time to meet our travel group in the lobby for a group supper. Our guides are taking us to a local Cantonese restaurant.

The Cantonese restaurant was great. It has a lazy susan on the table where you spin and get whatever you want. Our guides are already ordered for us, which I am glad because this was a local restaurant (not very many English speaking workers here). Pretty much everyone at our hotel speaks and understands English. You could tell what dishes everyone liked. We had to order some more pork barbecue slices. Sophie enjoyed everything. Unlike breakfast time, we didn't put so much on her plate. At breakfast, I gave her a little bit of everything to see what she likes. Well, we had to sit there until she ate everything. She wouldn't let us take her plate until she had eaten everything (poor thing - did they starve this child). Anyway, we learned our lesson. Also, you don't want them to gorge themselves too much because they will get sick. They just dont know when they are full or when to stop eating. It was funny, tonight she literally licked her bowl clean. I was so amazed how much and all of what this girl eats. I have to bribe David Ryan to eat his vegetables. Maybe Sophie can teach David Ryan how to eat. Dustin now has an eating partner-lol. The family at our table was so impressed of how she is doing (their little one is around 15 months). They commented about how she has such a personality. They were also impressed that Sophie turned to me last night, pointed to me, and said "momma" (which she has been doing since day one). We told them we got lucky that her foster parents really prepared her- another answered prayer. I do love hearing her say "momma."

When we got to the hotel, we let Sophie play awhile. According to her schedule from her orphanage, she usually has a bath after she eats and then they let her watch tv for about an hour and a half before bedtime. We are trying to stick to her schedule for now.

I have heard horror stories about the adoptive child's first bath experience. Some orphanages just sponge  bath them. We didn't bathe her last night. It was a long and overwhelming night. I made the bath water and put her in. She just sit there. Dustin gave her stacking cups. Then, she started playing. She started pouring water in them, she loved it. She let me wash her. Then, she even let me wash her hair. David Ryan hates that part. She even poured water on her own head and laughed, she is so precious.

Bedtime went a little better tonight. I held out my hands, laid on the bed, and said "night night time." She kinda of whimpered for a little bit, but she crawled to me and just laid her little body on my chest (like I had her to do the night before) and she was asleep in like five minutes. I was going to move her into her crib after she fell into a deep sleep, but I feel asleep myself. Oh well, maybe tomorrow night. During the night, Sophie had to be real close to me or always touching me. If she moved, she would feel around and would make sure at least one part of her body was touching mine. Then, she did the same with Dustin when I got up for the morning (Dustin was eating that up, he even admitted to me that he is going to spoil her but not that much he says). I guess she is checking that we are still here and haven't left her left her. Did I mention how precious she is ( a gift from God)?

Enjoy the pictures:

                                                         Sleeping in Tuesday morning                                                      

                                               Breakfast Time!

                             Waiting (with her backpack on) at the Civil Affairs Office for more paperwork