Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gotcha Day Anniversary!

Taryn, one year later!

This was our first attempt at pics!

The girls!

This was the best we could get! You can see Taryn is ready to get up and run again!

Okay, sorry for the week long delay. I misplaced my camera cord and have spent this whole week looking for it! Finally, I have found it and here are the few pics we were able to get! We went out to eat with one of the families we traveled with...of course, Chinese food! It was so much fun and the girls had fun playing together. Of course, trying to get pics out of them was a whole other story! They are definitely both toddlers. I can't believe it has been a year since we were in China. This time last year we were still in China! I have felt so nostalgic about China, our trip and Taryn in general this week. Basically, I feel blessed to have our first year with her. To have been able to travel on a once in a lifetime trip to China. And to now be on the other side of the adoption process. Our one year visit with our SW is over...the process is now FINISHED! This leaves me feeling so happy...and I suppose relieved.
I still have such a heart for those of you waiting and in the process. I have heard that the wait for China NSN is up to 6.5 years! I pray that this fact doesn't discourage those of you with a heart to adopt from China. I know for a fact that there is a child at the end of the wait. A child chosen just for you and your family. Please hang in there and know this!
Until next time...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Movin' Onward and Upward...

It has been brought to my attention (by my sweet and honest sister!) that I should NOT be posting on this page any longer. I am HOME, therefore should be posting on the family page. So, she is right (urghhhh...), and I will now be posting further life "episodes" on our family page! Please continue to join me on this journey that is my life...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spit Peas and Snot...

These are the days of my life...we have all been sick, thus the lack of posts recently! Taryn has been the last women standing at our house...and she has fallen to the "cold" we have all had. When our boys were babies and had colds there was OTC medicine we could give them...well, not anymore! I am just sucking her nose out (to the point she might need therapy later in life!) and using a humidifier! Poor thing...not only does she have all of these changes to adapt too...now she can't breath on top of everything else! And, we were just getting into a routine with sleep and wake time too! Oh well, I didn't take off from work to "play" around...but to get her and us settled in to real life.
Speaking of real life. We have started baby foods (as you can see by the picture) and she is defiantly a baby that knows what she likes and doesn't like! She seems to like veggies better than fruit (that was how they ate in China as well!)...she has also learned that it is great fun to blow "raspberries" while eating baby food! We have to duck and cover with most feedings...shower following!
Besides the sleeping issues that continue to plague us...she is making great strides every day! She is now rolling over and bringing Cheerios to her mouth...neither of which she could do last week! She also HATED her bath...until, last week. Now, she is sticking her head under water and coming up laughing! She loves her "Johnny jump up" and exercise car (a remnant from the boys)...the use of her legs is her favorite thing! We have OT sessions every morning and evening! It has been really fun to help her learn and grow to where she should be at 9 months! She has her first Doctors appointment on April 1st...I don't know if she gets shots or not...lets hope NOT! I plan on posting once a week, maybe twice depending on the "excitement level" in our home!
She sure has been a joy to parent...I feel blessed to be her Mommy every day! Just the other day Wesley summed it up best by saying to her "Taryn, we are so lucky to have you!"...and we are!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"So...how much did it cost???"

I thought I would start a discussion about the issue of "Questions" from total strangers (and sometimes family!) regarding adoption. I have only been out with Taryn once in the USA and that was in the Chicago Airport! But, in the 3 hour layover we had, we were literally approached by at least 5 people that I can remember! All total strangers...all very "curious"...and ALL of them asked "So, how much did it cost?" I always thought I WOULDN'T be annoyed with this...but, and maybe it was because I was very tired and jet lagged, (and obviously still am!) it seemed a bit odd to me! I mean, we don't EVER ask someone how much it costs when they give birth! We just assume that some amount of money was paid...and go on about our lives. So, with adoption, I would just assume that it "cost's alot"! Seriously, most people who know ANYTHING about adoption know that it cost's alot of money to do so! In the end we just told them "25 grand"...but, I couldn't help feeling slightly annoyed that it wasn't any ones business! Steve isn't as "skeptical" as I am and just felt like people were being "curious" and "didn't know it was rude..." And, he is probably right! But, what about the other questions? Ones like "why didn't you stay in the US?" or "is she adopted?" (actually, this one makes me smile...because looking at Steve and myself and then at our China baby...well, it's kind of obvious!) or "You all just wanted a girl..." The latter being the one that makes me the MADDEST of all! This has actually been said A LOT (mostly by family members!) and it is SO NOT TRUE! I feel like that particular question negates my boys! Like they "weren't good enough" so we had to go "get us a girl"...Ooohhh, NOW I am on a soap box people!
And, just curious to know, how do you answer "where is your baby from?" or "are your other children adopted...?" All of this is partially "okay" right now...but, what about when Taryn is older? Old enough to think out the answer herself? Will she not be "from" Kentucky? And will she forever be reminded of "how much she cost"? One last question (and really, that is what I am doing is trying to get feedback on how others have handled/answered these questions in the past!) do I refer to the boys as my "bio" children and Taryn as my "adopted" child...I don't think that sounds correct at all! There has to be a better way to deal with all of this "curiousness" (ignorance is how I am looking at it...but, just trying to be nice!). And, early on a BTDT mom reminded me that how I react to questions is how my daughter will perceive my "feelings" about her...which I thought was a very wise statement. She also said that to handle things "wrongly" or "badly" (out of frustration or anger) will only teach Taryn to do the same thing!
So, all of that being said...I KNOW some of you have dealt with this issue...because 5 people in the span of 3 hours was obviously a small glimpse into what life will be like now! Not to mention, I have to go to Wal-Mart Monday and wanted to be prepared!!!
Thanks for letting me vent...I am now stepping down from the box!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


She usually doesn't look this worried about things...we sat her down for one of the first times on the floor to play with her brothers and toys...she wasn't trusting the idea at first!
...she got used to it very quickly!

Meeting Wesley...
Garrett enjoying being a big brother for the first time!

I have comprised a list of ideas and things for those of you getting ready to travel or waiting to travel to China. These are things that I wish I had known about to bring...or not to bring! I know most of you have a "packing list" to copy or borrow...I borrowed my list from a friend and just made changes as needed. So, I am NOT going to post our packing list because there are like a blue gazillion out there on-line to download! However, these are a few things that I DIDN'T have on the list and they would have been SO great to have had. First, even if the little voice inside your head tells you to NOT bring movies for you to watch on your "down" time...bring some anyway. If you have a laptop you will be able to watch them on the laptop. And...YOU WILL have plenty of downtime. Especially in your babies Provence. We were in our hotel room more than we were out...the weather was horrible and there wasn't much to do outside in her Provence anyway. There is only so much Discovery Channel or CNN one can watch...we would have LOVED to watch a few movies during naps or before bed!
Secondly, if you don't know about "Skype"...find out about it! It is the BEST way to communicate back to home. We DIDN'T know about it at first and in Beijing we used a calling card home...only cost about 8 US dollars. That doesn't sound bad, but, once again, in the Provence the calling cards wouldn't work unless we used an outside phone line...which IS NOT convenient! Skype is virtually free (2 cents a minute) we downloaded it on our computer and called home. Our boys talked to us via the land phone and we talked via the computer! I was able to even call other friends and family (not just the boys!). If you actually download Skype to your home computer before you leave...it won't even cost 2 cents a minute...it will be FREE! And, it gets even better, if you have cameras on your computers (web cams or laptop cameras) then you can talk face to face...for FREE! Don't fall for the "panda phone" or "calling card" suggestions that will be given to you when you prepare for travel...check out Skype...we are totally all about that! So glad our friends in China (props to Evelyn!) showed us how to use it!
Thirdly, I want to emphasise this one...BRING PEANUT BUTTER! If you are traveling with anyone that is a picky eater, this will save you at some point! We brought PB and bought bread at every Provence and ate it at least 2 times in every Provence we were at. You can only eat so much rice...just a suggestion!
Regarding Travel...EVERYTHING MUST WEIGH UNDER 44 lbs! This is a biggy! We witnessed people (even in our travel group) who had to actually open their suitcases and flip flop stuff around because they weighed to much. You don't want to have to wait until you are at the airport to do this...especially a foreign airport! Someone loaned us a small luggage scale that actually weighed less that .5 lbs...it saved us! You only get to bring one suitcase per person going to China...coming home you can bring two. We bought a third suitcase in Guangzhou (if you do any shopping at all you will have to do this to get home!) for 13 US dollars (props to Jesus on that one!). Steve wants me to point out also, that on the way back you actually have to check your luggage at 3 different airports (or however many airports you travel to going home). Because you are coming from a "foreign" country and have to go through customs you will have to retrieve your luggage at the baggage claim at every airport and re-check it and go through customs and security each time (it is acutally worse in the US airports on the return trip). Remember this when you are packing your "carry on" items to go home...Going to China we had 4 carry on's (slightly excessive???)...coming home we eliminated 2 of those. Thank God! All of the checking in and going through security each time was a huge pain...extra carry on's would have been a HUGE hassle on top of everything else!
I am also glad that I brought a whole pack of US diapers. They were needed. I had debated on bringing a few...and in the end, packed a whole pack. Chinese diapers are crappy diapers (excuse the pun!)...they don't hold very well at all and can really only be used for short periods. So, overnight and for long trips the US diapers were needed and worked so much better...FYI!
One thing I didn't have and really could have used multiple times was a formula dispenser. It would have come in handy on SEVERAL occasions...but especially when we traveled home. The mom's I traveled with had them and said they got them at Babies R Us...I just ended up filling a bunch of Playtex refills and putting rubber bands around them! Which brings me to the last thing I can think of .... If you bring any bottles at all bring the refillable Playtex kind. We switched her to those several days after Gotcha day, and they were so easy to pack. We didn't have to have multiple bottles that took up a lot of space...just make sure you bring enough refills (50-100) for the trip. The Orphanage bottles were poor quality and took up a lot of room! We also had our Chinese Guide read the instructions for us on our formula bag...the orphanage told us what they were doing and it didn't correspond at all to the instructions on the bag! They were actually halving the amount of formula needed and upping the rice cereal dose (as a filler...). So, once we figured that out we were able to switch her around on that as well! Okay, that is it...but these "tidbits" of information really would have helped me if I had gotten them ahead of time, so I hope it helps SOMEONE out there at some point!
BTW...if anyone has some suggestions on "changing" your babies schedules to American time let me know! We are having a hard time with this! Granted, it is only our third night...but, all of a sudden she doesn't like her crib and she is waking up ALL OF THE TIME! I don't think I am doing something right! Any suggestions from BTDT moms???

Friday, March 13, 2009

Were Home!

Home at Last!
Taryn had her own seat in the plane...

Her friend Emmalee in the front of us...
...and another friend in the back...we were surrounded by cuteness!
Trying to nap...is it daytime or night time????
Meeting Grandmommy...
Meeting Garrett at the airport...
Wesley, Garrett and Taryn...we are complete!

We made it! Through the 3 flights and 3 layovers totaling 27 hours...we made it home in one piece and halfway sane! Taryn did beautifully...she was still smiling when we landed in Lexington. She had a hard time sleeping on the plane, and you can't hardly blame her-we all had a hard time sleeping on the plane! I believe there were 18 babies on the flight going home with families (3 were NOT adopted...). So, you can only imagine the flight itself! For the most part it was calm...long...but calm!
And we are SO VERY HAPPY to be home in America! The first thing we did in the Chicago airport was eat at Chili's! The plane served fish not once but TWICE! Why??? Why is fish served on a plane? It smells the entire plane up and you know, it doesn't travel well! Both flights too and from had fish...I really like fish here in the states...but on a plane??? So, we had gone almost 24 hours without eating...Chili's was Awesome!!!
We have been home one full day now and it still seems surreal. We are, of course, tired and "off schedule"...Taryn never really has established a schedule...but, it is especially hard when you are trying to "turn around" by an entire 12 hours! The boys are "in love" with her...they say she is "better than a puppy..." hehe! She seems to really like them as well. She doesn't cry when they hold her and laughs when they play with her. She is such an "easy going" baby...I have been quiet pleased so far with her "reaction" to new people!
We are now in the process of "cleaning" old baby items: ex...high chair, bouncy seat, etc... It is bringing back sweet memories of when the boys used them! Poor Taryn...she has a car bouncy seat instead of a "princess" one! Oh well...she has older brothers right???
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, communicated good wishes to us, stood by us through all of this "drama" and especially thank you to those of you who have said they would bring meals...wow! That helps out more than anyone will ever know...especially with jet lag...I don't really know what time of day it is let alone feel "perky" enough to cook! So, thank you!
I plan on continuing to blog...I don't really know when it will switch to the "family" section...but, probably soon. I just can't believe this part of the adoption is OVER! We received an email from our adoption agency saying something to the effect of "Congratulations it is finished..." I still can't quiet grasp that concept!
I hope everyone has a peaceful night...we will!