Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas pics!


Wearing Seth's 4-H duct tape top hat. Yes, I know it's not really a Christmassy looking picture, but it was too cute to pass up!

Unwrapping a name puzzle from Aunt Gisele and Uncle Peter.

All the kids together by the tree. Gen wasn't too thrilled about getting her picture taken at that particular moment. (Notice the shiner on Aidan's forehead... He didn't wait for Ethan to get out of the way when they were sledding, and hit Ethan's snowboard head on, Ouch!)

Me and big brother Seth...

Gen just loved this sweater from Aunt Carmen and
Uncle Rod, and wanted to put it on over her dress.

Fascinated by a slinky...

Really? That gift is for me?

This panda from Aunt Jo and Uncle Tony is almost as big as I am!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Copying Daddy....

A little snippet of Gen doing the eyebrow thing. :O)
video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pictures from the Safari Park in Guangzhou

Very beautiful park with tons of animals.
Below is just a sampling from what we saw.
Bamboo trees on one of the walkways. Incredible to walk through...This is the "train" (notice the regular wheels) that we took for part
of the day to ride around and see part of the park. Some of the animals were behind electrified wire but some, like the camel, were roaming around free and came right up beside the train. His head got a little clipped off... hard to take pictures from a moving vehicle...This feeding area for the giraffes was awesome. You can only get a small sense from the picture what it was like, but there were tons of different animals just roaming around in this area. It really made you feel like you were on an African safari. Really cool.This was the walking portion of the Safari Park. Here's Paul walking Gen in the stroller on one of the larger walkways. Very lush surroundings.Me, holding and petting a baby tiger cub (for 20 Yuan, about the equivalent of $3). He looks pretty content here, but he was pretty squirmy, and snarled a few times. It really gave you a taste of the power of these animals. When he snarled and showed his teeth, I realized even this little cub could take a good hunk out of me if he really wanted to. Feeding the giraffes... their tongues were a riot.The highlight of the park... of course at the very end of the park, so you have to walk through everything else to see them... the pandas.A couple pics of birds at the very end before you walk out of the park... flamingos and some kind of red bird that I didn't get a chance to read the sign on what they were.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chaos on the infamous "Red Couch"....

A good picture representation of the chaos that goes on when trying to get 10 fidgeting, sometimes fussing and crying toddlers to pose for a photo together. I thought Gen would do well, but as soon as I tried to sit her down she started to cry. In the end I hid behind her (as did a few other Moms and Dads) and discreetly hand fed her Cheerios one by one to keep her happy.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

We're HOME!!

So glad to finally be home, breathing fresh Maine air, sleeping in our own bed, brushing our teeth with the water from the faucet instead of bottled water, and hugging our other children! The trip home was long but Gen did incredibly well. We brought a car seat for the plane rides and she only cried the first time we put her in it, for about a half hour. After that she was a peach, and slept on and off most of the way home, praise God! If she had been really fussy the whole way, it would have been torture, since we had four layovers coming back... yep, four... Guangzhou to Beijing, Beijing to San Fran, SF to Chicago, Chicago to Portland, Maine. I don't think I want to see the inside of another plane for a long time, ha ha.

Sorry I didn't post again before we left Guangzhou. Gen did end up developing a fever in the middle of the night after her shots on Monday. She went back and forth with it for the rest of the week and we started to get concerned we might get stopped in the airport on the way home. Not sure if they really would have cared since we were leaving the country, but we didn't want to take any chances. We emailed home for everyone to pray and God is faithful; her fever broke overnight!

I also am in awe that she is doing so well sleeping. I was concerned about her having jetlag and being awake all night but when we got home (midnight) she slept through the night and last night was her second night and she slept till 7:45! Thank you Lord for small miracles!

Here's some more pics from our trip. Now that I can post them directly; I can add a bunch all at once. Enjoy!
Eating the famous local beef noodles in Lanzhou... Yum!

This statue was erected by the people of Lanzhou as a tribute to the Yellow River, which is said to be the Mother River of China. We were only two couples receiving our children in the province of Gansu. This is the other couple, Rick and Ann, and their little boy who they named... are you ready for this?..... Paul! We could tell from the pictures they showed us that he was going to be a little bundle of energy, and boy was he! Big Paul was dubbed "Uncle Paul" and he lost no time in tickling his new found nephew, much to little Paul's enjoyment!

Our guide while in Lanzhou - Kaiger (prounced like Tiger but with a K) Picture taken at a local park.Little Paul enjoying a ride in the park. Gen was sleeping on Daddy so we didn't want to wake her.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Medical checkup

Just a quick post to say that Gen's medical went really well.  Her TB test is negative.   Yay!  However, she did have to have five shots...  she wasn't too happy about that....  but she bounced back quickly and has been great all day since, with no fever or after effects.   Will post more later when I have a chance.  Have to get to bed.  We have a full day tomorrow!   Lots of love, Cheryl, Paul and Gen.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A nice smile for Daddy

This is our last day in Lanzhou.  Later today we will be flying out to Guangzhou for Gen's medical appts. and Visa.  Gen is adjusting well.  She does prefer me to Paul, but Daddy can make her giggle better than I can.  Mommy's the comforter; Daddy's the funny guy!  At breakfast the other day he was raising his eyebrows up and down at her, and the next thing I know she is doing it back at him!  It was sooo funny, and very cute! 
 
I started teaching Gen a couple signs in ASL, eat and more.  I had only done them a few times and was floored when she signed more back to me at supper last night!  Such a smart little girl!  She also wipes her chin with a napkin when she feels drool or food coming out of her mouth. 
 
We are getting a lot of attention here in Lanzhou.  Sometimes when we walk outside we feel like a freak show at the circus (Paul's description not mine).  It is good attention though.  Everyone is very curious about the children (we are here with another couple and their little boy.) and want to ask questions.  I don't think people see a lot of Americans here, much less with Chinese babies.  We went to a grocery store and the clerks all gathered around us to talk and ask questions and then before we left one young woman gave us a bag full of little cookies for the children!  Very sweet.  
 
We wish our flight today was to go home instead of another province for another week.  Can't wait to squeeze our other children and breathe some fresh Maine air.  The air here is very smoggy and there is a lot of smoking here.  My throat is hurting me and I'm starting to get a little sick.  Hopefully Guangzhou is not as bad air wise. 
 
Well, I should get off the computer and start getting ready.  Have a wonderful weekend! I'll post more when we get to Guangzhou.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Playing with blocks we brought


Mama, Baba and Gen


First meeting


We have Gen!

Sorry it has taken a day to post this.  Gen came much later in the day then we expected, around 5 pm.  It's an 8 hour drive from the orphanage to where we're staying in Lanzhou.  Afterwards we went to a photo shop to have passport photos taken for Gen.   By the time we ate supper, we were all very tired.  Gen fell asleep at 8:30 and so did we shortly after.   She slept through the entire night, which was such a blessing!   Today we went out to the Civil Affairs Office to do all the official paperwork that says Gen is ours! including fingerprints (us) and footprints (her).  She didn't like getting her foot inked very much and cried a little.  Other than that, not a lot of tears.  She has done much better than the director and caregivers thought she would.   She is already bonding with us a bit.  Paul has been able to make her giggle by bouncing her and her laugh is so cute, sort of high and squeaky.   Well, I'll let you enjoy some first meeting pictures, and I'll post more when I get a chance.  Everything is going very well, and we have been thanking God for such a wonderful first day!   

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tomorrow is the day we meet Gen!

We leave for Lanzhou at 5:15 in the morning to go to the airport.  Yep, you read right...  5:15... AM.
Our guide has the hotel preparing a breakfast box to go for us.  So nice of her to do that.   We got a little update on Gen while we were here in Beijing.  Our last update was 6 months ago and she was only walking assisted.  Now she is walking running and jumping!   She is also saying some words too, which is wonderful news!  Thank you everyone who has been praying for us.   I have felt so at peace while here and I'm praying I feel as peaceful tomorrow.  I'm sure Gen will be stressed during the handover so I want to be reassuring for her.  Will post pics as soon as we possibly can after getting Gen.  So excited!!  

Great Wall



 





Great Wall of China

 

Great Wall of China

Hope these pics all post okay.  Had to resend them a couple times from Yahoo mail because they bounced back due to being over the file size limit.  Sorry if I sent duplicates by mistake!







Friday, November 27, 2009

Great Wall of China






More pics



We're Here!!

Posting this from Yahoo (Blogger is blocked in China) so I hope it comes out okay.   We arrived in Beijing safely Thursday night.  It was a long squishy plane ride but very smooth.   We got caught up in rush hour traffic on the way to the hotel, so it took much longer to get there, and the whole ride was a lot of quick stops and goes with lots of honking.  When we finally arrived at the hotel and I stood still, it felt like my body was still moving!   We were so tired from the trip we just ate a snack and went right to bed. 

Friday morning we had a tour guide take us see the Great Wall of China.  Wow!  Very amazing.  Climbing it however, was no small feat.  The steps are very steep, and the steps are not a uniform height.  So one step might be 2 inches high, while the next might be 10!  Needless to say, our legs are a little sore, and we only climbed to the first tower.  Yes, very out of shape, ha ha. 

I'll write more later but we are off to have breakfast and then have our orientation meeting with our travel group.  Here's some pics of our flight (just for you, kids!)  and some of the Great Wall.  The first few flight pics are from Portland to Chicago and the last few are from Chicago to China.  The very last one is when we landed at the Beijing airport.  I may have to post this in a few batches so they'll post separately.