Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yesterday we flew to Guangzhou, China. It was a 2 and a half hour ride. Jadon did great on the plane. All adoptive families from the USA come to Guangzhou to finalize their adoptions because the US consulate is here.
Guangzhou is a very large modern city and it is also cleaner than most cities in China. 13 million people live in this city. It is funny to think that 5 million people live in the whole state of Colorado.

This is a picture out our hotel room window.

Jadon is doing very well! We are starting to see more smiles and laughter!

He is very fair skinned.

I have been carrying him in a front pack but the weather is too hot and the heat gets to him. We borrowed a stroller from the hotel now and he is more comfortable.

The shoes we brought him are way to big so he has just been wearing socks. All the clothe we brought are too big.
When he walks he swings his arms and it is so adorable.
Bonding is going very well with him.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2nd China Update

We had a rough third day with Jadon. He did not sleep well and was lethargic. He seemed to be depressed and we could not get any smiles from him. I was really worried about him but the next day he perked up.

We went out to eat two times with our guide and his wife and daughter. One of the restaurants wanted us to come back and watch their preparations.

One of the restaurants we went to the waitresses stood and stared at us. They watched every bite we took. It was very nerve wracking. In China it is okay to point, stare and talk about people in front of them. I often wish I knew what they were saying.

After one of our meals we walked down a street called the Muslim street. Hundreds of Muslims have little stalls where they sell many different things. I wish we had gotten a good picture. The noise, smell, and mass of people were incredible. You could hardly walk through the people and bicycles. Our guide made us carry our backpacks in front and keep our hands in our pockets because of pickpockets.

This picture was out the window of our restaurant where you could not see the people.

Jadon loves to eat. At breakfast he will eat a large plate of scrambled eggs and a bowl of oatmeal.

We went to visit the tomb of the terracotta soldiers. There are three large pits that have been uncovered. Each soldier has to be pieced together. 8000 soldiers have been uncovered. They have only just begun excavation on one of the pits. The soldiers are all strategically placed to protect the emperor from his enemies. Originally they all held real weapons. The first pit was discovered by some farmers digging a well in 1974.

The heat was intense so we did not stay as long as planned. Jadon did not deal well with it and started throwing fits.

This is Emperor Johnny.

My picture is funny because I was carrying Jadon in the front pack and his head is sticking up.

Monday, July 14, 2014

An Update From China

We are in China now. When we left we got a VPN number so we could use Facebook and Blogger but it is not working. There is a paper in our hotel that says even Google, Yahoo, and Gmail are now blocked by the government.

We flew into Shanghai and spent the night there. The weather was really bad and our plane was the last on they allowed to land. The next morning we flew to Xian, which is the capitol city of Shaanxi. We met our guide Tom at the airport. The funniest thing he said after he saw us was, “You have waited a long time for a child.” I think he expected a younger couple. Then he was shocked when Johnny showed him our family picture.

Jadon came on a train from his orphanage. It was an eight hour trip and they traveled overnight.

Here we are waiting for Jadon to come. 

He was very open to being held by us. He knew how to swipe the screen on Johnny’s phone. He is very thin and obviously not in very good health.

After doing some paper work we went to our hotel room. In China you have 24 hours with the child to determine if you want to adopt them.

His orphanage gave him a tin cup and spoon to take with him. He played with it and pretended to feed us.

Our first night with him was very rough. He has horrible diarrhea and he threw up all over my bed. We put him in a crib at first but then he started rocking and banging his head on the crib. This is a common issue with children that have been institutionalized and left in a crib most the time. We then put him in bed with me and he tossed and turned most the night.

The next morning we went back to the civil affairs office to do a lot of paper work.

You can see from these pictures that Jadon is very thin. We asked the orphanage if they knew why he has been losing weight and they said they had no idea. He has a good appetite. He only eats soft foods because he cannot chew well. When we give him water he only takes a little sip at a time so it is hard to get fluids down him.

He is very sweet and loves for us to hold him and cuddle.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ten Days

We leave in 10 days! I am so glad June is over! It was a very busy month for our family! I am so ready to head to China and finish our adoption. 

On the 11th of July these three will all be 5 years old, until Janna turns 6 in September.
They sure can be a hand full!

Talking into the stethoscope.

Summer is such a fun time because we can spend most of our time outside!

Janna sure has grown a lot this last year. She is very smart!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Josie's Gotcha day

This month marks the third anniversary of Josie's adoption. June 13, 2011 was Josie's gotcha day in China.
When we first started our adoption we did not think we would be able to adopt from China, because we did not meet all of their qualifications. I was looking at waiting children on WACAP's waiting child page and found a little girl with Down syndrome from China. I contacted them and asked if they thought China would consider us. They said they did not know but that we could fill out the paperwork and they would ask. As you know they said yes and we were so excited! Since that time I have found that China often waives some restrictions for special needs children.
 By that time the little girl that we asked about had already been adopted. WACAP then sent us some files for other little girls with Down syndrome and we chose Josie.
Josie had been abandoned at three months of age. When she was found she had an IV installed in her head. Her diagnosis said she had a PDA ( Patent Ductus Arteriosus) .

These two pictures were the first ones we received of her.

We later received this picture in an update.

Most adoptions have some kind of crisis that happens before it is over. We had received travel approval from China when we received word that China's adoption center had shut down our adoption of Josie. We were told that she had probably died. It was hard to believe we had come that far and just like that it was over. The only thing we could do was choose another child and wait four more months. At that time we chose Janna (The same Janna we adopted 18 months later) and started preparing our paper work for her.
While all this was happening someone with WACAP was in China and decided they would investigate and try and find out what had happened to Josie. They discovered that she had been in the hospital and had been very sick but she was doing better. We then got a call from WACAP that we could continue with our adoption of Josie! This all transpired in a very long ten days.

On June 10th I flew to China by myself and my husband came two days later to meet me.

The ladies that brought Josie to me were so sweet and you could tell they loved Josie! They were sure I would not want to adopt her because of her heart defect.

At first they would not let me hold her and all I could do was sit and look at her.

My guide finally suggested they let me hold her. I was so thrilled!

They had the hardest time letting her go! Giving her one last bottle was very important to them.

She was two years old and weighed 17 pounds.

It has been an incredible experience to watch Josie transform. She was well taken care of in China but nothing takes the place of a mother and father!

For me Josie was a dream come true! Since I was a teenager I had hoped that sometime I would be able to adopt from China.

One month after we brought her home she had her heart defect repaired. Her pulmonary pressures were very high and at first there was a question about whether or not they would be able to repair it. We are so thankful that her heart is now perfect and she has no long term damage.

She was a very grumpy patient and was terrified of anything medical.

As soon as her heart was repaired she started to gain weight and her development took off.

One month later she started to walk. We tried everything to get her to crawl but she would never even try.

The last three years have been a time of learning and experiencing new things.

She definitely learned to love chocolate!

Learning what it is like to have a Daddy to love you!

Experiencing how cool it is to have big brothers!

Getting extra cute haircuts!

Developing a very close bond with her sister!

Loving baby dolls.

Getting to go camping and boating for the first time and getting very dirty.

Helping Daddy do the chores.

Looking adorable in her first Easter dress.

Getting to celebrate birthdays with a family!
3 years old

4 years old

5 years old

Becoming very active and loving to play outside.

Learning to cope with two new sisters was very hard on Josie. It took a few months before she really began to relax and be friends.

It has been a joy parenting Josie for these last three years.