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21 posts from August 2006

August 24, 2006

Adoption Day

20060824_adoption_040(Andrew wrote this to Mom and Dad and I don't think I could summarize the last 24 hours any better.  So, I'm reposting it here)

They're just down for their nap, Maddy's first -- coming up on 24 hours that we've had her.  First day has been unbelievably smooth.  She's only cried twice, each time before falling asleep.  She's clearly a little shellshocked, but seems to be settling in very readily.  We went out shopping this morning with our guide, and Gwen and Maddy sat next to one another in the stroller like old chums.  I was walking them around, and heard noises from them, and wondered what they'd found to fight about -- when I looked, it turned out that Maddy was sucking her bottle out of her mouth making a big POP, and Gwen was convulsing in laughter.  It was incredibly sweet to watch.  I got a couple of pictures -- people in the store were just staring at them, they were so adorable.

But they do pretty frequently want the same thing, and within half a second it can go to complete chaos of tugging and screaming at the top of their lungs (mostly Maddy, but Gwen is learning).  But they've had lots of supportive and cooperative moments, too.  All told, I'm sure they're going to be a handful, but they seem as though they could be really close.  It's amazing how similar their personalities are.  We were both worried that Gwen would bully Maddy, since she has a strong personality, but Maddy is pretty scrappy too.  And they're both tough -- there have been various banged heads and the like, but no tears from either.
So that's the latest - we're keeping our fingers crossed, but it's been incredibly smooth going so far....

20060824_adoption_036(Donna posting now) Today was Maddy's adoption so she's officially a member of the T family! 

The woman on the far right is the Director of the QinZhou SWI.  The man on the far left is a Guangxi Province government official that oversaw the adoption.  The woman next to him is an assistant from the QinZhou SWI.

We were given a wonderful assortment of photographs of Madeline from the moment she was found (obviously a premature baby) all the way up to the present.  We were also given a copy of the birth note that was left with Maddy.

August 23, 2006

Gotcha!

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This little beauty is our Madeline Abigail!  She's a darling and she's tiny but don't let that fool you!  She's got an opinion as big as the state of Texas!

She didn't cry when she was handed to Daddy (Gwen was attached to Mommy like Rhesus monkey baby during the whole thing!).  After a few minutes, she spotted some toys and wanted to get down on the floor and play with them.  She LOVES to play! 

Gwen thought all of the toys should be hers so she ran around shouting "Mine!" and trying to take things away from Maddy but Maddy didn't accept that for an instant!  She's SCREAMED at Gwen and Gwen looked at us in disbelief and backed right down!

Maddy is several inches shorter than Gwen and several pounds lighter.  Gwen wears size 2 and Maddy is probably closer to wearing 12 months!  She's TOTALLY potty trained and will grab her crotch when she needs to be taken to the potty chair.  She's also a little jabber box!   Our guide told us that she was counting to six at one point and when Gwen handed her a stuffed bear, she wouldn't accept it and said "not mine" in Cantonese. 

The similarities between these two girls are so amazing.  They have a sweet/stubborn disposition.  They're both really happy kids and smile all the time.  They both were named "Xiao" and they both have double swirls in their hair at the back of their head.  It was really unusual that Gwen had this (two swirls twisting opposite directions right at the crown of her head) so imagine our shock to see it on Maddy's head too!   

Enough talk.  Here are some more pictures.  She's not smiling in these but she's been all smiles since we've been back in the hotel room.

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August 22, 2006

We made it!

It's 11:30 PM (Nanning, China time) and here's our mini update:

We left SFO and arrived in Nanning after nearly 24 hours of air travel and delays and layovers.  We had low expectations of a comfy flight with a 26 month old and it was a pretty tough flight.  The hardest part was Gwen's desire to socialize with the passengers around us.  She'd stand up and reach over the seats in front of us and pat the man and woman on the head as they tried to sleep or watch a movie.  Most of the time we caught her before she did this but many times she was too fast for us.  She also loved looking at the three sleeping teenage boys behind us and screaming "Hi!" at them until they opened their eyes. We really wished we had a carseat even if we ditched it at the airport when we arrived.  I'm sure she would have been more comfortable (and slept!) if she was restrained and everyone would have appreciated that! 

We'll have double the fun on the way home!  ::::cringe::::

We got Maddy's detailed report and she's so much like Gwen it's almost freaky.  I won't go into all of the details since I'm dead tired and tomorrow is our big day so I'll need my sleep!

Gwen_nanning_bouncerToday, we visited WalMart in Nanning and it was really interesting.  On the way there, we found a GIANT inflated bouncer thingy that cost 5 yuan for unlimited play.  Gwen's eyes lit up when she saw it and the weather was pretty pleasant so we let her run around in this thing for about 40 minutes.  We took lots of pictures and even a small movie and we want to share it but the internet connection is slow here at the hotel so one picture is all we can manage right now.  We'll be visiting this bouncy thing again with Maddy! 

We get Maddy at 3:00 PM tomorrow! 

August 20, 2006

China, here we come!

Air_china We're off!

We packed our three bags and weighed them again and again (shifting items from suitcase to suitcase to ensure nothing exceeded 44 pounds).  We also rented a minivan to drive to the airport since long term parking is pretty expensive and we needed more space than our Honda Accord afforded us.  Coming home, we'll have even less space because we'll have an extra person!

I created some "info cards" to hand to curious passers-by in China.  We did this last year when we adopted Gwen.  The card, essentially, said that we were adopting a Chinese baby and we would love and cherish her, etc.  They were very enthusiastically received so we're doing something similar this time too.   I used http://babelfish.altavista.com/ and translated a few sentences into simple Chinese then threw the translation back into babelfish and translated it into English to make sure it made sense.  After a few rounds, I found something workable so I added a couple of pictures and came up with this (click the image to see a larger view).

  Infocards

It's simple but, hopefully, sufficient to get the point across that our girls are adopted and very much wanted and loved by us.  We really are honored to be given the opportunity to be their family.  When you really think about it, you realize what an amazing gift we've been given.

It's midnight and we're wrapping it up and about to head to bed.  Our next post will come from China! 

Thanks to all of our wonderful friends in Bloggerville (many of whom graced us with their company in real life).  I can't imagine how hard these two journies would have been without all of you!  We feel like you're family!

Much love,

Donna & Andrew

August 18, 2006

Parade of Homes -- Dining room

Dining_living_roomI found this on Mary-Mia's blog.  She pointed out that Shannon is leading an on-line tour of bloggy homes -- room by room -- and this week is dining rooms.  Like MM said about hers, our dining room is pretty boring too. We never use it.  But, since last week was living rooms and this week is dining rooms, I thought I could jump in since ours are combined.

We just moved in a few weeks ago so nothing is hanging on the wall and we're still trying to decide what to do with the wall space we have.  There are lots of spotlights for featuring artwork but we're not artists (the previous owner was and you can see how they had the dining room <here>).

Help!  I need a designer!

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