Monday, April 17, 2006

The scene...

Bubbles and white chocolate! The experience of October 17, 2005 seems like it was ages ago. Posting these pictures it really hit me hard at how quickly time flies. Wow! So little time has passed, but so many changes have taken place. We are so thankful for the time we have shared with Rylee and could not imagine our family without her. The wild hair is a bit more under control than it was those first few months, but just like her personality you never can predict when it will cut loose. Her little personality has just the spark that our family needed to keep us on our toes. Her innocence and zest for life have given us a great appreciation for life and all that it offers! Her humor and antics have brought us great joy and laughter which, in turn, has brought us all closer together as a family. For all of those things, we are forever grateful to have the pleasure to parent this beautiful girl - our daughter! We love you, Rylee!

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Rylee's 'One'derful Party

Yesterday, we celebrated Rylee's 1st birthday. We figure it is never too late to have a party! Rylee had a blast and especially enjoyed her cake and ice cream. Presents were first this year as we knew a trip straight to the bathtub would follow the cake. She didn't quite know what to do with the cake when we set it before her. As you can see, it did not take long to figure it all out. I wonder what goes on in her little mind..."These people strip me naked, sing a bunch of mubble jumble to me, put this chunk of red and black stuff in front of me, and then clap while I smear it all over my body...Hmmm...." Rylee got the hang of opening the presents and like all children loved the large boxes just as much.

Rylee continues to transition to us and the house. She is beginning to explore the cabinets and is finding all kinds of neat things on the floor. She is eating very well and sleeping through the night. We are working on her taking a early afternoon nap, that is somewhat slow going. This week we will really work into a routine as Mike is going back to work full-time and I will go back to driving Morgan to and from school. I think once our routine is set, we will all be in great shape -- Now that I think of it, I don't think our routine will every be really set as the holidays are approaching and so is Morgan's basketball season. Oh well, a routine from drop off to pick up time will be better than nothing!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

We are home!

We did make it home! Life changed dramatically once we set foot on American soil. We are all going through quite an period of adjustment. Thankfully, each day is getting better! Rylee has been through a lot of changes and is gradually adapting to them all. She has been sleeping through the night now for 4 nights and is beginning to take a nap here and there. Once we returned home, all she did was cry and she would not let me put her down! Wow! What a change that was from China. She is now playing and feeling more secure by herself as long as I am within eye sight. The car and a car seat was a new thing for her as well - She did not like the car seat and would cry from the moment we put her in until the time we arrived to our destination and took her out. Now, she pouts for just a moment and is quiet, for the most part, until we get where we are going. She loves to be out shopping and in the public (unless it is lunchtime - mistake for the day). As you can see, there have been many adjustments, but she is slowly easing into the changes. I think once we are on a "regular" schedule she will be even more comfortable, secure, confident, etc.

Yesterday, she had her first check-up with the doctor that specializes in international adoptions. Rylee weighs 17 lbs. 14 oz. and is 28.5 inches long. She is petite, but boy does she love to eat! The doctor gave us the okay to feed her whole milk, yogurt, eggs, peanut butter, etc. Rylee wants nothing to do with baby food so, we have jumped to table food. Today, she ate a whole jr. burger from Wendy's with a few french fries and animal crackers. After all that, she was asking for more. She is able to sign "more" for us now. Back to the doctor visit... She is in great health. We do have some bloodwork that has been sent to the lab and are waiting for her TB test to be read tomorrow. Developmentally, she is doing fine - probably still a slight delay, but nothing of concern. For those of you that have seen a few pictures where her eye is turned in, it is an angle illusion that has something to do with the bridge of her nose being wider. The doctor gave us her lingo for it "Pseudoesotropia". We will return to this doctor in May for a 6 month follow-up visit.

Mike and I are beginning to get our sleep cycles adjusted. I can not keep my eyes open past 9. I think he and I have changed roles - He is now the night owl and I am now the one that can't function past 9. Hopefully, it will all turn around in the next week. Morgan is doing great and is going to do a presentation with Mike today for his class. He loves coming home to see Rylee and we are so thankful for his gentle spirit! Yesterday, after asking him about his day, he asked how Rylee's doctor's appointment had gone and if she was okay. What a sweet boy!
Well, I am going to close here...We are home! I will post again soon!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Last post from China

Well, tonight is our last night...Our afternoon was spent at the US Consulate waiting to take our oath. Basically, the oath was just affirming that all of the paperwork we submitted was true to the best of our knowledge. Once we land in Chicago and Rylee's passport is stamped, she will be an American. After our appointment, guess what we ate for dinner....Chinese? Nope - We had Vietnamese food. Vietnamese, Chinese, it is all the same to us at this point. We also had an opportunity to take a group photo of our travel group. The picture of the big crowd is the group from our agency that we have traveled with. I think we had a total of 16 adoptions. The first picture is of all the girls/moms that received children from the Suichuan Welfare Institute. There were a total of 5 girls - all have the name Long Wen ___. Hmmm...Notice anything about our lil' darling compared to the others? :o) Best go as we have to have our bags out ready for the bell men. Check back as we will continue to do posting even after we return...Homecoming, 1st birthday party, etc. Good night!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Last Day in China!

We are heading home tomorrow morning. We will fly from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. Then, we will fly from Hong Kong to Chicago. From Chicago to Lexington. It will be a very long day, but we are so excited to be coming home! Our flight leaves Hong Kong tomorrow at 12:45 in the afternoon (12:45 am EST). We have enjoyed the time in China and have learned so much and yet we look forward to so many of the comforts of home: real maple syrup, fluffy beds (beds here are like sleeping on ironing boards), using tap water to brush our teeth and as drinking water, good ole' home cooking, etc. The pictures above were taken this morning. Tonight, we will try to post pictures of all the Suichuan girls and a group photo. See you soon!

Hanging Ten

Hanging ten - Am I dating myself? Is that a 70's term or what? Of course, I was born in the very late 70's. ;o) Okay, can anyone guess what is different about these pictures? Yep, Mike has made his way from behind the camera. Yippeee! Today, we decided to just hang out and opted out of the trip to the Guangzhou Zoo. I know, we did not see the panda bears...I am sure we can find some zoo in the US with pandas. It was the first day the entire trip that we did anything we wanted. We spent the day enjoying the hotel and it's activities. Morgan did homework with help from Rylee. He also spent some time in the afternoon at the pool. It was a great day and much needed! Tomorrow is our last appointment. We will head to the US Consulate to take our oath. Not sure what exactly the oath is, but hey I guess we will find out when we get there :o) Til' tomorrow...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Energizer Bunny

Still going...Nothing outlasts the Energizer bunny except maybe this travel group...Today, we began the day with a devotional time. It was a very touching experience as the guides sang and several people from our group spoke. Then, we went shopping again. This time, we went to a wholesale baby market. Not too much there of interest to us. You would not believe this place...It was very overwhelming - little stores in a big warehouse...not much room to walk...merchandise coming and going...Too much for me! We have gotten Rylee some squeaky shoes - something that adoptive families cannot resist bringing home for the babies. They are little shoes with squeakers in the heel so, when the baby walks, the shoes squeak. Very cute! The other outing was one that Morgan and Mike went on which was to the countryside/working fields. This seems to have made an impact on Morgan. There was a little girl in particular that he seems to be concerned about. She is the one in the pictures. In the pictures is her home as well. When the mom saw that they were taking pictures of her daughter, she went into the house and put on a knit vest - We are assuming so that she would look nice for the pictures. Brings tears to my eyes every time I see the pictures or think about it. How blessed we are to have the freedoms and comforts we have! You can never imagine how this trip has totally changed each of us -- we have seen and heard so many things that have forever changed our perspective. Rylee and Mike are beginning to bond. She is becoming much more comfortable with him and is allowing him to hold her. Today, while he and Morgan were gone, she continuously pointed to his picture in her baby photo album. We even think she said "Dadda" earlier. We continue to learn more about her each day. She loves sleeping with a blanket and gets it near her mouth and does some sort of sucking thing. She extremely happy and exuberant during meal times. And, she loves to bounce. Tomorrow, our guides will go to the US Consulate with our paperwork. Other than that, we will just "hang out" - I think we are skipping a last minute trip to the zoo. We have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from everyone. Words can not express our gratitude to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, support, and words of encouragement! Goodnight from Guangzhou - We will post new pictures of Rylee tomorrow.