Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We Are Home and Sick

Yep! Troy and I have the stomach flu. I am on the mend, but he is slowly recovering. It is not easy parenting when BOTH are sick and you are dealing with a toddler with jet lag. Enough said.

Friday, September 26, 2008

We Are Packing And Ready

Our bags are packed with a few items remaining that need to go in tomorrow morning. It will be a VERY early morning for us as our luggage needs to be outside our door at 5:00 a.m. and we are meeting our group at 5:50 a.m. Please pray for us as we travel. It will be a very long day, but we are anxious to get home. We are also nervous about having a very active toddler who is learning to walk and has lots of wiggles on a 14 hour flight. Ty is no longer the quiet little guy who goes with the flow. He takes everything in so much that he is in full swing at all times so he won't miss a thing. It might be a few days before we update our blog as we recover, unpack, wash, sleep, play, go on walks, introduce Jack to Ty....etc. Thank you all for your prayers on this journey.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Red Couch Photo Day

Ty turning on his charm in his Red Couch photo.

Ty has a new friend, Mocha the Monkey. Mocha is a world traveler.

Flooding from the rain of the typhoon.

The Pearl Market- 6? story shopping mall with tons of jewelry.

Travel Group #1419

The infamous Red Couch Photo.

The happy RoRo family.

Amy: Our time is coming to an end in China and we are SO READY to be home with Ty. This trip has been full of wonderful memories, history, sights to see and food to eat. But we are ready for a sense of normalcy. Hotel living and eating out is getting extremely old. We are ready to be in our home and introduce Ty to his new bedroom, toys, family and friends. The little guy is a charmer and has attached to us very well. He is a musician banging his utensils on the table repeating his dads beats, an engineer taking things apart and putting them back together, a sweetheart blowing kisses and waving goodbye as we leave a place and a chef, making interesting concoctions with his food. We have also started to eliminate dairy products from his diet to see if it makes any difference in his blowout diapers. Asians are prone to be lactose intolerant and we are seeing if this might be true for Ty. Day 1, we can see a slight improvement. We will see what Day 2+ bring.

Tomorrow we take our oath and go to the zoo. Everything was perfect with our Visa/Immigration paperwork and there were not any questions, praise God. We have been killing time visiting the shops on the island and went to the Pearl Market today with our group. All shops sell the same thing and most follow you around like pests. They do not understand the concept, "I am just looking, thank you" which really means "LEAVE ME ALONE!" We did find a lovely shop that all the profits go to benefit the orphans of China. They were classy and had handmade products that were gorgeous and unique.

We had a really cool experience today leaving the Pearl Market. Our guide was getting a taxi for us and they were all full as each drove by. Finally, an empty taxi approached us and another man wanted it. Our guide guarded the doors and said, "No" and motioned us to get in the cab. We were kind of afraid and could feel some stress. We didn't want anybody to be mad at us. The taxi driver kept looking at Ty and asking questions to our guide. When we arrived back at the hotel, the cab driver would not take our fare. He pointed to his lip and gave a thumbs up to Ty. Our guide told us he too had a repaired cleft lip which I thought I got a glance of when we got in the cab.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Guangzhou Sauna

View from our hotel room.

"Smell my feet and I will honk your nose."

This picture speaks for itself.

This picture too speaks for itself.

Ty looking cute in his new stroller.

" I love my scrambled eggs!"

Ty posing in the playroom at the hotel.

Ty and Dad playing basketball.

Our hotel is on the Pearl River. There is a lot of barge traffic.

The infamous waterfall at the White Swan Hotel.

Amy: We made it to Guangzhou fairly well. Being Ty's first plane ride, he survived the first 2/3 of the trip. The last 1/3 was around his nap time, they had just served us lunch (a 2 hr. flight with lunch and 2 drink services. Never in the US!) and we were descending. He had enough and screamed bloody murder for probably 30 minutes. Nothing worked and we got the stares. Hopefully the flight home will be better.

It is a nice change to be in Guangzhou, but it is HOT and HUMID! Very nasty! The type that drains you. We are to get the wind and rain from a typhoon tomorrow, so we might find ourselves indoors a lot more. There is a nice playroom which is a good distraction with lots of other adoptive families to talk to and share stories. It is amazing the number of adoptive families that are at the White Swan. The Shamin Island which we are on totally caters to all of us. There are stores galore with American names like Jordan's, Susan's, Jessica's, Andy's Place etc. that have all sorts of Chinese merchandise. Very interesting.

Ty got his Visa photo taken today, had a medical examination which he despised and Troy finished up all the paperwork with our guide. It feels good to be nearing the end and getting rid of money. I never thought I would say that, but... we had to take a large amount of cash to pay for all the required adoption related expenses and it is not fun being responsible for it.

We LOVE being Ty's parents. He is truly comfortable with us and recognizes us as Mom and Dad. He is fascinated with the features of our face and loves to touch them and play little games. The boy loves to eat. Today he discovered Gerber Graduates Puffs in Cherry flavor. He keeps pointing and grunting at the canister so much that we had to hide them. Right now we are working on please, thank you and more in sign language so we can phase out the grunts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Shaolin Temple Day

Ty on the bus ride to Shaolin Temple

Warrior Monk Statute outside Shaolin Temple - The Home of Shaolin Kung-Fu

Ty in His Hoodie

Total Cuteness 101

Shaolin Temple Kung-Fu Show

Shaolin Temple Kung-Fu Show

Shaolin Temple Warrior Monks Statute

Pagoda Forest @ Shaolin Temple

Shaolin Temple East Tower (Gorgeous!)

Troy: Today was another great day! A little cool, but nice. We went to Shaolin Temple - 50 miles northwest of Zhengzhou. Shaolin Temple is the Home of Shaolin Kung-Fu. All the children who were a part of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony doing Kung-Fu in white outfits were from this school and temple. We saw them all practicing out in the courtyards together on our way to visit the site. There were hundreds of them - amazing sight. We saw a Kung-Fu show and visited the Pagoda Forest. Each pagoda is the tomb of a Shaolin Warrior Monk. There were 247 pagodas in the forest with the earliest dating back to 719AD. That's more than 700 years before Columbus discovered America! We are back at the hotel and finishing our packing before we fly to Guangzhou tomorrow! We're excited about being on the road again. We have heard great things about Guangzhou and the White Swan Hotel where we will be staying. Very kid friendly. We will be there until flying home this coming Friday non-stop from Hong-Kong to Chicago! Bye for now!

Amy: Today was such a long day that Ty went down at 6:30 tonight! He also presented us with another major blowout that got all over my clothes this time. Chinese children are known for their loose stools and we can verify that whole hardily. It doesn't help that he is teething and that causes a little extra mess. A couple that just adopted their 3rd daughter presented us with a pair of plastic pants to put over Ty's diaper. This will be VERY helpful, especially on the plane. We have a list of things created that we need to purchase when we get home. So far they are Nuby sippy cups (brought one with us and he loves it), plastic pants and a basketball hoop. This boy loves to throw things in the garbage can or on the ground. Ty is also eating scrambled eggs for us, sausage and passion fruit. Today was the day that he wanted anything I wanted and it was all about the mama. He even said "Mama". My heart melted. He is starting to wave bye-bye and blow kisses. His personality is really cute and comes out more each day.

See you in Guangzhou! We are ready for a change after living in the same hotel room for a week. We are also ready to get back to a slower pace of life. We will NEVER complain about traffic, bad drivers or the size of our house. Americans are SOOOOO spoiled!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Water Day

Amy and Ty looking over a pond bridge at Local Zhengzhou Park

Ty pointing out fish at Zhengzhou Ocean Aquarium

Yo - I know I'm cute in pictures, but wait till you meet me in person!

Ty having fun at bath time

Hey Girls - Check out my sexy "wet" look

Troy: Hey everyone! We are doing fine in Zhengzhou. We have been with Ty a full five days now. He is really bonding with us. He does something silly and looks at us for our approval. We have gotten more and more laughs, hugs, smiles and giggles out this amazing little boy. I still have to pinch myself everyday to be reminded that he's our forever son. What an amazing gift of God! Thank you, Jesus! I know I am biased, but this boy is beyond cute. Girls beware! Just wait till you meet him in person, he'll blow you away with those cute smiles and amazing kissable cheeks.
Today was Water Day! We went to the beautiful Zhengzhou Ocean Aquarium in the north part of the city. Ty had a great time being at eye level with all the wonderful fish and turtles and even sharks! He would put out his little finger and go "ooh, ooh". We finish off the experience with some chocolate ice cream in the aquarium restaurant. After that we took a Zhengzhou Taxi Ride back to the hotel. They drive crazy over here! We all held on and prayed for God's deliverance as the bicycles and scooters are cutting across our path. So, after the aquarium, Ty took at nap and then we went swimming in the hotel pool. We've found that Ty absolutely loves the water. He keeps splashing around in the pool and smiling. After swimming, we went to dinner with the other families and came back for Ty's daily bath. He loves bath time as you can see from the above photos. Tommorrow is our last day in Zhengzhou. We are visiting the Shaolin Temple, northwest of the the city. It has beautiful sites and a great kung-fu show. Tommorrow afteroon, we pack up to take a 1.5-2.0 hour flight south to Guangzhou and get Ty's Immigration Papers ready at the American Consulate General. We'll keep you posted! Bye!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Henan Museum and Orphanage Tour

Henan Museum

Ty's nanny at ZZ SWI

All the fun at Swallow's Nest.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. It has not been the best day for us in downloading pictures to Blogger. Not sure if it is us, or the blogger issues. We have tried 5 times, including a slide show, so this is all you get.

It has been an emotional and grateful days. We visited Ty's orphanage in ZZ on Wednesday and Swallow's Nest, his foster home today. We have been able to piece more of Ty's history together and our heart breaks for this little guy. He has had more transitions in his 16 months then we would ever hope for. The good thing is, this little man goes with the flow which is a great survival technique. Ty spent the first 2 months of his life at Zhengzhou Social Welfare Institute (ZZ SWI), then was transferred to an orphanage in Kaifeng since he was being sponsored by Love Without Boundaries (they like to keep the kids they sponsor together) for his cleft lip surgery where he spent a year, then was transferred back to ZZ SWI for a month before Pam got him at Swallow's Nest in July. Then he was placed in our arms on September 16th, 2008. The madness stops. Please don't be offended if we do not let you hold Ty or babysit him for a while. Ty needs to know WE are his parents and WE will NEVER leave him. Ty needs stability in his life and our time here in China is not stable. In a couple of days, we get on an airplane ride and go to Guangzhou where we will be in another hotel with new people, new smells, new food.

While we were hesitant to take Ty back to his orphanage and foster home, we have seen incredible changes in him just tonight. Visiting these places I think made him realize that we are his parents and he is not going back. We have stayed in the hotel for the most part of the afternoon/evening with the exception for a walk in a nearby park after his nap. Ty played and played with his diapers, empty coke bottles, a flashlight, the remote control...seeking our help in figuring out how they worked and making simple games out of objects. He laughed, smiled, cooed and was talking away while pointing at objects in the newspaper. He is truly coming out of his shell. His body is becoming stronger by pulling himself up on objects throughout our room, crawling across the room (he would always stay in one place before), and walking with assistance. Before, he would take about 4 steps while I would hold his hand and then sit down. Tonight, he walked from our bed to his crib which was probably 20 steps for him! It is amazing to see the progress each day! He amazes us. Troy calls him a "soldier".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Registration Day

Ty enjoying his Kix and Cheerios while playing.

Ty's pants and diaper falling off as he pulls himself up.

And he made it!

Troy and Ty reading bedtime stories.

Panda is in the crib...

And Panda falls out.

Ty slowly waking up this morning with his book.

Amy and Ty at Henan Center for Adoption Affairs.

It is official. Ty is ours.

Ty enjoying the baby pool at the hotel.

Troy and Ty drying off.

Amy: It was another eventful day with Ty waking up around 6:30. He was still groggy and laid in bed with me for another hour for cuddle time. We then went for breakfast at the hotel and he enjoyed his congee, yogurt, noodles and steamed bread. The boy likes his carbohydrates. We are still keeping him on similar foods during this time as he continues to have so many changes in his life. After breakfast was the walk to the registration office. It was here that Ty legally became ours in a very informal ceremony. Then we hit the baby pool. Ty LOVED the water with his stacking cups which has become his favorite toy we bought. They would sink to the bottom and he stuck his head in the water to retrieve! We were shocked. It was also during the pool time that he wanted to walk. We still had on a regular diaper which of course was heavy as could be, but we were grateful for it since it added extra weight he needed to drag. Ty has low muscle tone and can pull himself up, but is still very unstable. He enjoyed himself walking in the pool to gather his toys. After this, the boy had a 2 hour nap and lunch of rice cereal and yogurt. At 3:00, our travel group took a bus to the Lotus Center. It is a 3 story Super Walmart type with conveyor belts that take you up each level. Your shopping cart is magnetized which keeps it in place while you go up and down. It was an interesting experience as we roamed the isles and picked up a few stacks and more diapers for Ty. Then we came back to the room for some more playtime before dinner. We were tired and didn't want to leave the hotel. This became a good thing since Ty had a major blowout at dinner and had poop all over his clothes, shoes and high chair. Troy picked him up and got poop all over himself. We attempted to wash him up in the restroom, but it was occupied, so we rushed to the room and put him in the tub. The hotel later came to our room to present us with our bill. We thought we handled the situation pretty good considering all things. Once again, we were grateful we were close and not someplace else. The theme of the day with our travel companions is "blowout day", so Ty was right in line. Tomorrow, Ty is getting diluted orange juice instead of apple juice. Ty continues to blossom and grow in his comfort with us each day. We have gotten more smiles and lots of giggles we captured on video which we will upload probably tomorrow. Ty is also exploring more of our hotel room and pulling himself up on furniture. As always, he is a blessing. We have discovered he prefers his left hand and can use his right (like his mom), gets frustrated when he cannot do/get something (like his mom), is patient and easy going in new situations(like his dad) and likes his books (like his dad).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Forever Family "Gotcha" Day 2008

Amy, Ty & Troy with Orphanage Director (Left) and Nanny (Right)

Amy and Ty waiting for Adoption Photos for Visa & Passport

Troy & Ty after Adoption Photos

Ty playing on Mommy & Daddy's Bed

Amy & Yisha taking Ty's Footprints for Paperwork

Ty taking his afternoon nap on Mommy & Daddy's Bed

Troy and Ty sitting on floor together before Bedtime

Amy and Ty reading together before Bedtime

Troy: What a great day in our lives! Ty arrives! After having a great breakfast and lots of coffee downstairs, Amy and I got ready and went down to wait for the babies to arrive in Mama Mia's Restaurant. When we arrived, Ty and his orphanage director and nanny were already there with him. We all got emotional as Ty was handed over to us for the first time with camera's popping all around. Ty has been absolutely amazing. No crying or whining so far. Just laid back and even keel. He has an absolutely sweet disposition. Everyone was marveling at how easy going he was today. Amy and I had a lot of fun today kissing is cheeks, playing, laughing and giving him a bath for the first time. It's a day, we won't soon forget!
Amy: All of this is very surreal. We are blessed beyond belief. Ty was the only child who did not cry when placed in their families arms. You could tell he was somewhat guarded, but took all of the commotion in. As Troy was filling out the paperwork, he started to smile as he was putting his jelly candy that he came with in his hands between the handle of the photo album we sent him in our care package. It was a little game like basketball. He has been absolutely amazing today with smiles, laughter, eating and drinking well and even having a bath. We were told he does not like his bath and he made a little noise when placed in the water, but I got in with him and it was no big deal after that. We played some more after his bath, read some books, had some milk in his sippy cup and laid him in his crib and that was the end of his day. No fussing, no crying, just easy peasy! I praise God for the people at Swallow's Nest because they prepared him well for us. It was like he already knew who we were today.