Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We are home!

It's Wednesday (10/28) we got home Sunday morning (25th) after a horrible experience/14 hour delay leaving Newark. It was a disappointing ending, but we were so glad to get home. I had started getting a throat thing... Caleb has been a little sick, too, since being home.
Sorry about the lack of updates. I'll back-track a little.

10/20 was the Consulate Appointment - which our adoption guide went to with all the paperwork. We just had to wait at the hotel for her to call if anything was needed, which wasn't - so all went well there. We walked to the park that afternoon but it was rainy so didn't stay long. We went on the Pearl River boat cruise that evening.

10/21 Wednesday was the "swearing-in" ceremony at the embassy with about 60 other families. It was fun seeing and talking with some of the other families. We went back to Shamien Island after that for a little shopping and dinner at Lucy's. It was also my birthday!

10/22 Thursday - our check-out time was expended for which we were very grateful. Our guide brought the packets of paperwork and visa/passport at 5:00 for us and the 0ther 2 families with our agency. After that we left for the airport for Beijing. The flight was delayed an hour - getting us into Beijing around midnight. Rachel Heffield met us at the airport and we stayed with her at her apartment. Rachel's family lives in Orlando - she was in our homeschooling group - now works in Beijing as a youth pastor and counselor.

10/23 Friday - Beijing! Rachel had our day planned - we met up with Cindy (our Shenyang adoption guide who lives in Beijing) Caleb loved being able to TALK with Cindy. Saw the Forbidden City, Tianemmen Square, rode in the bicycle rickshaw, Terry & Rachel got their Starbuck's coffee, looked at lots of stuff on "sticks" and ate lots of different things. My risk was eating silk worms on a stick. Walked around the Olympic "Bird's Nest" - and then went home to sleep. It was an exciting and full day.

10/24 Saturday - had to get up early to ride to the Great Wall, about 1 1/2 hours - walked around the Great Wall - rode up on a gondola (ski lift) and tobogganed down! It was really awesome being there. I left my card in the ATM machine (HA!) not on purpose. And thankfully the card was captured by the machine - we called and it was to be destoyed. At least no one got it. I think leaving an ATM card at the Great Wall is a good story. The last time I used my ATM was in Kenya... I'm just not an ATM user. After the Great Wall we had to get to the airport. We got there fine - checked in fine - and then waited for a delayed flight. It was about 2 hours late - the flight was okay, but due to the delay there, and the inefficiency in Newark - we missed our connection home. We were suppose to be home 10:45 pm Saturday - instead got home 9:30 am Sunday. At least we're home.

10/25 - now... Terry is back at work, Andrew is getting into his school work, Cassi came over for 2 days, Tanya came by Monday afternoon/evening, I am getting over this cold, Caleb is adjusting and getting over his sickness (cold/tummy) - he is loving our piano and his room. He enjoyed meeting his jie-jie Cassi and jie-jie Tanya (older sisters) and is looking forward to ge ge ("guh guh") (older brother) Matthew being home this week-end. We are getting over the jet lag, but it has hit us hard at times.

It was so exciting when the Manubens family and Claire and her son John met us at the airport. Asher (FuPeng) grew up in the same orphanage as our FuJie - we were exhausted - and Asher was near tears he wanted to play with Caleb. They had a couple hours at the airport (waiting for our luggage - uh, 2 went to San Francisco, so we got them Monday afternoon) We'll get the boys together to play as soon as we are over our colds.

My sister posted from our emails while we were gone - and she posted the photos... guess I'll have to learn how to do that!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good News

Monday-Oct 19th:
We are glad and thankful to report that the TB test was clear! We knew from the look of the quarter-size red mark from the shot that he had a positive test indication. The center where we had the medical examination had us pay for an x ray of Caleb’s chest. It took less than a minute, the doctor looked and said it was clear…followed by great relief. We are very thankful for answered prayers as this was the one major step we have heard about being a potential huge delay. We celebrated by going shopping, followed by lunch at Lucy’s for a hamburger, fries, ice tea with lemons in a Mason jar, and onion rings!

Tomorrow is the Consulate appointment which we don’t even have to go to, except Terry will be going with the guide to get a form notarized which we had not been informed about until we got here. The guide takes the packet to the Consulate and we were told to wait for a phone call if there is a problem. We were told our packets are in order and no problems are anticipated. We plan to take a Pearl river cruise in the evening to celebrate Nancy’s birthday.

Thanks again for the prayers – we are so grateful for God’s mercies.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

our sunday afternoon

Sunday-Oct 18th:
We don't have easy email access here. The hotel we're staying at is very over-rated and we're not having a very good time. shenyang was fun. So far guangzhou is just... well.... we're doing what we need to do.The big thing now is Caleb's TB testing. He had the shot on Saturday and goes back in Monday morning. He has a huge red circle on his arm. We are so concerned. Most likely he will need a chest x-ray. Please pray that the x-ray is clear. This could be very critical... and complicated. We know God has a plan, but we would like to get home. If his check x-ray is not clear, we will not be given clearance for him to travel. Please to all...Nancy

from Shenyang to Guangzhou

Saturday, Oct 17th
5 pm our time… we are so mixed up with our time schedule… We are now in Guangzhou at the China Hotel. It is a very nice hotel although not on Shamien Island where the White Swan Hotel and all the nice little shops are. There are 2 other families with our agency here – sharing our guide, Elsie. This morning at 10 am we went together in the van to the Medical appointment. FuJie had his check up and TB test, which will be read on Monday at the follow-up appointment. We are a “pre-Hague” family (long story about adoption rules) so FuJie did not have to have his vaccinations re-done. Some kids have to have 7+ shots in one day. It’s our government, not China. And really a stupid thing if I may say. Many of these kids have already had the vaccinations (as Caleb has) and there is no logic in having them done again, other than ridiculous bureaucracy. Anyhow, I’m a little sleep deprived at the moment, so I’ll stop.

Yesterday we checked out of our hotel by noon, Cindy met us and we headed for the airport. We drove by the Olympic football/soccer stadium, and complex where they had Olympic volleyball and some other sports – on the way to the airport. Things went smoothly at the airport – with Caleb’s new passport and security and all – although it was a domestic flight, not international. It was about 2:00 so we went to eat at a restaurant – since our flights (us to Guangzhou, and Cindy back to her home in Beijing) were at 5:30. We ate – Terry taught FuJie and Cindy how to play Uno, FuJie taught us a hand game (which we noticed the servers were watching and then started playing, too)
At this point we were the only ones in the restaurant. FuJie loved having Cindy with us and talked up a storm with her. At around 4:00 we said good-by and headed for our appropriate gates. Then, we sat and waited with a few hundred/thousands of other people as a huge rain, thunder and lightening storm began… and the whole airport shut down. No flights coming in. No flights going out. We waited… and waited.. after about 6 hours, flights started leaving. Lots of angry, yelling people, security… We just sat. Several people sitting near us started conversing with Caleb, and for over an hour about a dozen or more people sat focused on him – asking questions, him talking & talking, and people nodding & smiling at us. Oh how we wish we knew what he was saying. Our flight finally left around 11:30 pm which got us into Guangzhou after 3:00 – getting to our airport around 3:45 or so – getting to sleep after 4 am… with a 10 am time to be in the lobby to leave for the medical.

FuJie did well on his first flight. I had given him some Dramamine before the long wait, so bit another in half right before we took off & gave another half to him. A couple of flight attendants answered all his questions, and when his ears started hurting on the descent, I summoned a young man flight attendant who promptly stuck a tissue in both ears and got him to hold his nose - it helped and the tears/panic went away. So – that all said – we are exhausted. We just had a couple hours of napping - Andrew and Caleb are playing Uno. We’ll walk down the block and around the corner soon for some activity and to go to Starbuck’s for the free WiFi – to send this email. Our room in this hotel is way too nice – due to our middle of the night arrival – and who knows what else – they put us in a suite. We have a big screen tv that swivels all the way around, tv on one side, a beautiful carving on the other side, dividing the area with the bed – from the area with the small roll-in bed and couch area.
At the medical appointment, Caleb again showed his leadership skills in his discussions with the 5-6 different doctors/nurses he met with… and we really didn’t need our guide to move us through the different rooms/stations as he just took his papers and asked the doctors where to go next and off we went. He was very scared going into the shot/vaccination room, and was relieved to just get the one little TB needle prick. All his fears, tears, and covering his eyes… turned to elation on his face when it was over “just like that.” (Kind of reminded me of Cassi…HA!)
We walked around Shamien Island – visited some of the little shops – ate lunch at Lucy’s and had “great American hamburger,” with US license plates and photos of American actors on the walls. Shamien Island is a place where all adoptive families come – as the medical facilities are there – the US Consulate use to be located there. Thus, the shops, etc. catering to adoptive families.
OK, now the funny highlight of the day: in the middle of the park is a garden/park/ playground area. Several brides & grooms have their professional photos taken in the park. We saw a few couples being photographed today. There was also a photo shoot with a couple of beautiful models taking place near the playgrounds. Andrew and Caleb went across the monkey bars… uh, and then so did Terry. All of a sudden a dozen professional photographers with huge cameras and light reflectors, had turned – forgotten about the beautiful models – and were shooting away at the crazy American man going across the monkey bars. Oh, it was truly very funny. SO, Terry did it again! It was a hilarious, spontaneous moment!

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 10 am we meet our group in the lobby to go to a different park. One of the families in our group is adopting a little boy who is blind. They already have an adopted daughter who is hearing impaired. The other family is adopting their 3rd daughter. They have their other 2 little girls with them, too. We’ll do paperwork in the afternoon with Elsie here at the hotel. Then dinner together tomorrow evening at a Cantonese restaurant.
We are thankful that, other than the 10 hour stay at the Shenyang airport, things are going smoothly. Caleb had one big melt-down right before lunch today, having his pouting spells when we visit shops – “mother, one, mother, one” so we are not buying things. We decided that we’ll split up, and purchase things when he’s not around so that he isn’t overwhelmed with it all. We also realize he is frustrated that he can’t talk with us – and we all were very tired. He really is doing great and is such an amazing person! He told Cindy at the airport that he was going to study very hard and take good care of Mother and Father. Because of his age they had shown him our profile and when he saw that we had our Masters, he said that he was going to study hard and go to the University, too. He was also very excited to see in one of the photos that we have a piano and he wants to play the piano.

Love to all…
NancyP.S. – to the Manubens – we didn’t go into the shops where you said the blankets are – We’ll be back on the island on Monday and on Wednesday. We did go into “Emma’s” and met the guy who has the “Jordan’s” shop. Did you have a favorite shop? We noticed they all have similar things… any advice? Our guide said to ‘bargain’ and usually to buy if half of what they say

more emails from China

Wednesday-Oct 14th:
we had a fun morning at Shenyang Forbidden City. here are some photos of the fun "dressing up as emporers/emporess" - Andrew, Caleb, and our guide Cindi.

Caleb had lots of fun talking with Cindi and our driver today. I can tell he loves to talk, so must be frustrated with us. one funny thing - he told Cindi that the word "O.K." was a very convenient word! He is really smart. We also discovered today a glimpse of his singing ability - he sang "Oh, Susanna" "Do,Re,Mi" and "Happy birthday" - all in chinese, of course. Oh, and Marty - I hope the family can handle another photographer... he is loving our cameras.Andrew is watching soccer on t.v. Caleb is listening to music with the earphones, and playing Gameboy. Terry is sleeping... and that's what I need to do. Tomorrow is a "free day" - no sight seeing, no paperwork. Cindi picks up paperwork for us - Caleb's passport, etc. I don't think we're spending enough money here at the hotel cuz when we got back to our room from dinner - they had been in our room. They had put the room service menu on our bed, as well as the bag for laundry with the slip of paper. They had hung the hotel robe in the bathroom... little hints around the room that , uh, perhaps we need to take advantage of all their services :)

Thursday-Oct 15th
it's thursday night 5:30 china time. today was our "free day" meaning no paperwork appointments, no scheduled sight seeing with the guide. We went to the breakfast buffet (as we have each morning, part of our hotel arrangements) and enjoyed another great breakfast. We have selections of Chinese food, Japanese food, European and American food (that's the bread and white stuff) as well as an assortment of fresh fruits, juice, tea, coffee. Terry and Andrew have usually had the omelet man make them a specialty omelet. I like the chinese vegetables, noodles, dumplings... and there is a really good pastry with almonds on it that caught my fancy. Terry goes for the coffee (no de-caf in china) and I like the green tea. The servers are surprised when I don't want the English yellow tea. Andrew has been brave in trying new things - but none of us have ventured toward the japanese vinegar, fungus, slimy things... whatever they are. Caleb is eating really fast, so we're working on slowing him down. He is a good eater and likes bananas, pears, apples... as well as the noodles. Green vegetables get a "no" from him. We ventured out and had a 15-20 minute walk (with a few thousand others) toward Carrefour - a version of Wal-Mart's competition - a 3 story store kind of like a mall. We bought some batteries, Dr. Seuss books in chinese/english, a chinese/english dictionary (with the help of a nice young man - who talked with Caleb - to make sure it was his dialect,) more water, AND a little battery operated car. Trouble getting the car to work right kept Terry busy for over an hour after getting back to our room... little disappointing, but Caleb was screaming with joy he was so excited when it would run! he was jumping up and down, so happy. Then total opposite despair when it quit working. It was real emotion. NOT like the kind we get with his "play pouting" when he wants something and we say "no." We get stared at alot when we're out in the public. the older people are very nice, smile, and sometimes talk with Caleb. But, we never see any other "foreigners" - there have been a few American men at the hotel, but not many. Caleb helps us out, like when we were checking out in the store, he had quite a conversation with the cashier girl... not sure what they said, but she smiled and laughed. I heard him telling one guy about Dandong, Guangzhou, Beijing, and Merca ("a-mer-i-ca") we're working on that one.We stopped at KFC for a snack/lunch before walking back to the hotel. That was interesting, too, as we never go to KFC in the US. Oh, and have i mentioned the traffic? The only way to cross a street is to make sure you cross with someone else, either someone walking or a bicycle. We haven't seen any wrecks, but i just can't quite figure it out. it's continual motion, cars, vans, buses, bicycles, walkers, bicycle carts, walkers, more bicycles... Very amazing. And lots of horn honking. andrew is starting to call me "mother" and says "thank you very much" - hhhmmm...Terry and Caleb are at the swimming pool. "yo-yo ma" means "do you want to swim." Ma at the end indicates a question. yo-yo is apparently "swimming" - We broke the rules the other day with having more than 2 from our room and we just didn't want to deal with the communication gap, so andrew and i stayed here. I washed out some "undies/t-shirts" and have them hanging in the bathroom on the convenient clothes line. tomorrow we check out before noon and head to the airport - leaving at 5:30pm for the 3 hour flight to Guangzhou. Caleb's first time flying... he felt a little car-sick riding to Shenyang from Dandong on the bus - and then in the van with us. He hasn't been in vehicles much. He is excited about flying but scared. Stepping on an escalator at Carrefour caused a little anxiety and hesitating but then he was on and said "whoo!" He had a nose bleed yesterday while we were at the Forbidden City. Our guide said it was very common with chinese children and he needed more water. (?) okay...we had fun this morning connecting with guh-guh matthew on skype. it was around 11 pm for him/ 11 am for us. We'll be at the Marriott China Hotel in Guangzhou tomorrow night. Medical appt. Saturday, medical follow-up on Mon, Consulate appt Tues, Swearing in ceremony on Wed, and all the paperwork, Visa, etc to us on thursday. We go thursday evening 8pm (3 hour flight) to beijing. We'll stay with Rachel - sight see Friday, Sat am, and leave out Sat 3:30 in the afternoon for the USA. this is all China times. We get back to Orlando Sat(10/24) 10:45pm Orlando time (which will be 10:45 am Sunday 10/25 in china) Flying on china Air in-country, Continental Airlines international. We appreciate your prayers for the upcoming paperwork, appointments. We pray that Caleb will pass the TB testing with flying colors. hope all is well with all of you -Love,Nancy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

from China

emails from Nancy: (posted by her sister)
Friday, October 9th~We're in Shenyang, China."hello - it is so weird to be emailing from china! after 27 1/2 hours of traveling we are in our hotel room. the trip went well."

Saturday, October 10th-Happy Birthday to Cassi.
"hi, it's 6:30 am sunday morning for us - so saturday night for you. Happy birthday, Cassi! hope you are having a fun day! we can't get on Facebook or on the blogspot - but are HAPPY to be able to get on email.This morning at 10 we meet with cindy, the adoption coordinator, to do paperwork. Tomorrow morning we meet Jie! We are making a list of questions to ask the orphanage people when we get him tomorrow. if you have any questions, send them to us! last night we ate here in the hotel at the Cafe that is mostly for americans and europeans, although has mostly food we don't recognize. It is a buffet. One of the (English speaking, well a little english) waitress/girls followed me around. she was really sweet. She would say what each food was. When she said "dog, You try?" - I said "uh, no, thank you...." i had visions of Elly, and Ivy, and just couldn't try it. She asked if I wanted dumplings or noodles, so I said "yes, dumpling" I thought I'd get one or two - she came out with this plate with about 12 dumplings! And then came back with a bowl of noodles - Andrew and I ate the noodle soup with our chopsticks just like on "Kung Fu Panda"yum... "

Sunday, Oct 11th-Monday.
"we are to meet Fu Jie tomorrow morning (our Monday) at 9 am (this is sunday night at 9pm orlando) "

Monday, Oct 12th-Gotcha Day!

"We have Fu Jie (and you say his name "gheeah" and it goes up at the end in tone) symbols for words are written differently with the same word; Fu means "bless" and Jie means "purity" He is good. When we first met him, he was very reserved and cautious. He knew "mother" and "father." The orphanage director and nanny communicated through our adoption guide/coordinator and gave us lots of information. We signed our name about 15 - 20 times. Jie signed a paper, too, stating he wanted to be adopted. We promised we would not abandon him and that we would take good care of him. there were 3 other families in the same room. Lots of commotion, but no crying, HA! our guide said when there are little babies sometimes can be chaos. We went to lunch with the director, nanny, guide, and van driver (which the driving is a whole other story!!!) at a local restaurant. It was very nice... the 2 ladies from the orphanage said they were going to miss Jie very much - they feel like mothers to him. He will be missed by his school class and the 35 others at the orphanage. he came with a bag - a couple of toys, and notes & photos in a book. The nanny had prepared a gift for mother - a beautiful jade necklace. Jie, andrew, and I came back to the hotel so andrew could poop in a real toilet, instead of hole in ground. Terry went with the others to WalMart to buy water and stye medicine for Andrew's eye. Jie loves our room - I gave him a bath - he enjoyed jumping on the bed, but quit when i told him to - has LOVED our cameras, gameboy, computer, and Ipod. Andrew is getting him started on Mahler. He stood in the window of our 18th floor room - looked out - and said "Father".... waiting for Terry to get back from the store. terry is back - we are going to hang out in our room this afternoon. soccer is on tv. (It's two really bad english upward team is guy tried to shoot the ball in the goal, and a guy blocked it, and then he got hit in the's REALLY funny!-Andrew wrote that.) Jie is playing gameboy... I think all is good... we don't understand each other - but so far so good. He is smiling. He wasn't smiling at first - and looked really scared. But he is smiling."

Tuesday, Oct 13th-Terry's Birthday
"Today was registration at the same place we were at yesterday - the adoption office. It's a room on the 6th floor of a building with offices, and hotel rooms on some of the floors. Not a fancy building at all. It is the building where people come for all official business - marriage certificates, etc. Yesterday we signed several papers, starting a 24 hour "harmony period" within which time we could decide to not adopt. Today made it official. We signed a few papers, AND signed with a red fingerprint on a couple of documents. FuJie signed with his red fingerprint too.

We gave the orphanage donation, paid the registration fee and the notary. The nanny and the orphanage director said their final good-bye to FuJie when we took them to the train station for their ride back to Dandong. (They came on the bus.) The 2 other families had gliches in their paperwork, so have a slight delay. We are very thankful that all our paperwork went very smoothly! Thanks for all the prayers! The only problem we had was that I had counted the orphanage donation wrong and was short 1200 Y. We had to go to 3 different banks before we could exchange more money for that. I had counted money for 6 different envelopes after exchanging on Sunday, and just must have gotten confused :) This morning at breakfast the hotel staff welcomed FuJie and asked if they could bring a cake to our room for his "birthday." Since it was Terry's birthday - we had fun celebrating both occasions!

After all the registration, we went to Wal-Mart - bought a couple pair of pants, some water and snacks, "bite" lotion (I'm loving chinese meds!) The older women would get excited when they saw FuJie with us and would smile and congratulate him. He told Cindy, our guide, that he hadn't been in a store before. FuJie talks alot with Cindy and the other adults. We went swimming tonight at the hotel (and broke lots of rules... another story) and he talked up a storm with the lifeguard. It was his first time swimming - he used a ring - at first was really scared, but then after getting into the water, was okay. The lifeguard tried talking with me, he knew very little English. I fudged a little when he asked me if Terry was a doctor. I said "yes" - it was just easier. :) Sign in ladies dressing room: "warm tip: watch valuables" Time for bed now - tomorrow we sight-see at the Forbidden City here in Shenyang.Thursday Cindy gets all our documents and FuJie's passport. We will leave around noon for the Shenyang airport to go to Guangzhou (5:30 flight) FuJie is very scared to be on the airplane. He's having some trouble riding in the van - new experience for him - and feels carsick, but hasn't gotten sick."

xie xie


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

thank you -

Thank you for your prayers - so many have called, given "trip gifts" for the boys, worked all day at the "Snack Shack" - and encouraged. We are grateful. We are excited and scared and peaceful... We leave early in the morning and will try to update the blog. So, try and check in. Love, Terry & Nancy - and Andrew. (and if anyone wants to make sure Matthew, Cassi, and Tanya are hanging in there okay, it sure would help one Mom out a little!) :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Next Sunday we'll be in Shenyang, China

Today was a great day of worship this morning at church and tonight at Kyle's concert. God is so good! It is weird to think that next Sunday we'll be in China - meeting our new little son either on Monday. A group of very special friends met at the Manubens' home last night for a time of prayer for our trip. Asher is so excited that his friend Fu Jie is getting a family. We also enjoyed Ian's slide presentation of "Dandong, and what to expect in China" AND even ate some moon cakes. It's the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in China... have you noticed the full moon? Three more days until we leave!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

6 more days

Each day is going by with so much to do. Just regular life stuff - not to mention packing, etc. Today we're extremely thankful that our oldest daughter, Tanya, is safe. She had a car accident today, totalled her car, but she is okay - AND it was not her fault. :)

Sunday we'll celebrate Cassi's 24th birthday a few days early since we'll be spending her birthday in China. We have our girls' "adoption day" Oct. 7 - 22 years! We used to go to Bryan's for breakfast until everyone decided to grow up and schedules became harder to coordinate. It's fun thinking back on that day. We had a moment of "oops, maybe he won't sign the papers" as Cassi was running around the big table in the judge's chambers. It was a memorable morning for sure!