Monday, October 31, 2011

Sprout Day!

My day began early this morning at 2:00 a.m. I woke up and couldn't go back to mind was racing with thoughts about our upcoming day. I was surprisingly calm (I suppose going through this five times does have its advantages); I was trying to envision every possible scenario, from the best to the worst. Soon enough, it was time to meet our guide and head to the office where we would meet our newest daughter! We were led to a tiny conference room where another adoptive couple was preparing to meet their new child. We filled out last minute paperwork and double-checked documents as we waited for the caregivers to bring the children. The other couple's daughter was led into the room; she was about 4 years old and terrified. As the other couple tried to make friends with their new daughter, I felt my anxiety rise as I knew we would be in that position soon. A few minutes later I looked up into the doorway as a young woman brought in the cutest little girl...our Sprout! She quickly handed her to me and then backed away. For a moment Sprout looked stunned and then the grief started. She tried so hard not to cry but the tears poured down her face. I held her close and rocked her but felt so helpless as I was unable to comfort her. But it was Chipmunk to the rescue! He grabbed a sucker out of the diaper bag and brought it to her. She knew exactly what to do with that. She seemed a bit more content with that little piece of candy and we were able to ask her caregiver some details about our new daughter.
A few minutes later we were led out of the office and about thirty minutes later we were dropped off at our hotel. That was it. She was ours!
In our hotel room, I continued to hold her and let her get used to us before I attempted to take off her shoes or coat. She needed a diaper change but as soon as I attempted it, the sobs began again so I quickly stopped. We pulled out a few toys and played quietly on the floor for about an hour or so. I was encouraged because she was making good eye contact with all of us and would get upset the minute any of us was out of her eyesight.
We went out for a quick lunch of shrimp, rice and dumplings. We found out that baby girl likes to eat! She was eating everything as quickly as I could put it in her mouth (which was wasn't too fast considering I was using chopsticks).
Upon returning to the hotel we attempted to put her down for a nap. She would have nothing to do with that. The terrified look came back into her eyes anytime we tried to lay her down. You could feel her little body shake in fear. I felt so bad. We decided to let her play quietly on the floor for awhile, thinking that would calm her down a bit. Wrong! She must have gotten her second wind because after just a little while she was giggling and interacting with us. I guess she thought we were okay people since we let her skip her nap. We've played for the rest of the evening and her personality is really starting to shine through. I think she was a little slap happy for awhile because she would throw all of her toys and laugh hysterically...big belly laughs that would make her roll on the ground! Sawyer would build towers out of stacking cups and silly girl would knock them down immediately. So funny! I think she is going to be quite the character. She's already starting to vocalize a lot and loves to have all eyes in the room on her at all times which, of course, they are.
We are now attempting to lay her down for the night. We've given her a bottle (did I mention that she only drinks out of a bottle?? and is still on formula??) and it seems quiet for now. I'm keeping my finger crossed that everyone gets a good night's sleep as tomorrow we go and officially register her adoption!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shanghai Sights

Today we had a fun day of seeing some sights around Shanghai. We began at the Yuyan Gardens, a garden area right in the middle of the city. The sun was out so it was a perfect day to stroll around this beautiful garden for awhile. After that we took advantage of some free time and strolled around the shopping area that surrounds the garden. It was quite busy and took Chipmunk a little while to get used to all of the pushy salespeople following us and trying to get us to buy everything that we glanced at.
We also were able to take a quick trip to the Bund, one of the famous areas of Shanghai. Our walk down on the waterfront nice and relaxing; I can't wait to visit that area at night and view the lights that are on all of the buildings. I've heard it's amazing.
Tonight we strolled down to Nanjing Road, the pedestrian street that is full of shopping and restaurants. It reminded us so much of our time in Beijing and our many walks down the pedestrian street there.
I can't believe in just a little over twelve hours we will finally meet the little girl that captured our hearts almost a year ago! Nervousness is starting to creep in as I'm sure Sprout is not going to be as happy to see us...I can't even begin to imagine how scared and bewildered she is going to be tomorrow. We are taking her from every single thing she has ever known; we look different, sound different, smell different. She is 2 1/2 years old and has lived in the orphanage for her entire life. There is no way that we can explain to her that we will be her family forever and that we will love and cherish her. She has no concept of what a family means. There is a very good chance that our sweet girl will be VERY sad to be placed in our arms and will grieve heavily for awhile. Whatever her reaction, we will deal with it and help her as much as possible. I'm hoping it won't be too long before we see that big smile of hers that we've seen in so many pictures.
Next post will be with Sprout in our arms!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

We're Here!

Just a quick note to say that we have arrived in Shanghai! We had a quick flight to Detroit and then a direct flight from Detroit to Shanghai. The fourteen hour flight was uneventful (just the way I like them) and quite smooth. Chipmunk was a champion traveler...barely got his nose out of his Nintendo DS (an early 9th birthday present). He slept very little (as opposed to Stu and me) so I'm hoping that means he'll sleep great tonight and get on "China time" easily.
Tomorrow we are doing a little sightseeing around the area and then Monday is Sprout day!! It's a little surreal to know that we are finally in the same city as her after thinking about her being half way around the world for the past ten months.
Only 36 more hours!!
By the way, Chipmunk is keeping his own blog during our travels. He would love it if you read it and leave him comments:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Traveling and Nesting

It looks like our Halloween will be filled with plenty of treats this year, as that is the day we meet our Sprout! Everything in this adoption has felt like it has moved in slow motion; but now it seems as though time is racing by at the speed of light. We received word last Monday that our travel approval (TA) had arrived...2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Fantastic! We asked for a consulate appointment (when we pick up her visa from the US consulate in China) as soon as possible, keeping our fingers crossed that one would be available before the end of November. Imagine my shock when I woke up on Tuesday morning (at 5:00 a.m.) to an email from our coordinator that our CA had been confirmed for November 9th! I quickly did the math (in my still sleep-hazy mind) - the CA appointment is the last thing we do in China; you usually pick-up the child on the Monday of the week before...putting us as meeting Sprout on Halloween. I couldn't believe it. We would be leaving for China in 10 days!! I was so overcome with excitement I jumped out of bed and did a little happy dance. But then it hit me. We would be leaving for China in 10 days!! Oh my! So much to do. Not only would I have to pack for Stu, myself, Chipmunk and Sprout, I would also have to get our childcare lined up for the 3 kiddos that are staying; arrange plane tickets; talk with Chipmunk's school about his homework during his trip; prepare all Halloween costumes/festivities for Monkey, HotDog and Pudding during our absence; buy birthday presents for Chipmunk, whose 9th birthday is the day we will be flying back home. Did I mention that a few weeks ago I decided to switch all of the children's rooms around? I thought "the girls" (how I do love saying that!!) could be moved to our big playroom thereby moving Pudding from his tiny room to HD's current room and finally moving the playroom into Pudding's former room. Easy enough, right? Of course not. In order for the girls to move to the playroom I've had to strip wallpaper and repaint every square inch of the room. We also have to pull up the old carpet and we have the new carept scheduled to come next in two days before we leave. At this point I'm just hoping that we can get the beds set up and most of the furniture moved back into place before we leave. All of my dreams of spending a quiet few weeks putting the final touches on the room are going to have to wait until things calm down (I'm figuring 2018 or so). My awesome sister-in-law has offered to come over and pull things together as much as possible. We are also getting two of our bathrooms re-tiled while we are away. I'm starting to feel like this is groundhog day. Remember when we moved houses the week before we left to bring Pudding home just last year?? How I vowed never ever to do that to myself again? Ha! Stu is in charge of the kiddos today so I can do all of the shopping for our trip. It is probably the last kid-free day I'll have for a very long time! I'll update with travel details soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I know I've neglected this blog lately, but I've been doing some major nesting. However I wanted to share that we heard from our coordinator that we received our TA today!! I am completely shocked, as we weren't expecting it for another week or two. Still not sure when we will travel but it should be in mid-November. Hang on baby girl....we'll be there soon!