Monday, February 19, 2007

Final thoughts.........

Paul with his new friend Jayde who also spent almost her first two years of life at Chenzhou.
I was visiting another China mom's blog last week and she had a "final thoughts" post. She basically recapped their trip to China. I thought that was a great idea. Now that we've had Paul home for a little over two months there are a few things from the trip that I wanted to "put down" before I forget. Plus I am going to end this blog with this last post. I want to keep this as Paul's blog, but I have so many pictures and stories of the other kids that I want to continue to share. My goal is to update the new blog once week or so. are a few stories from the trip that didn't make it into the blog while we were in China.

  • As we were climbing the Great Wall in the freezing cold weather again ( we adopted Audrey in Feb. 2005 and it was bitter cold) I promised Ted that the next time we adopt it would be in the summer. He responded with a dirty look.

  • After we checked into our room in Changsha we requested a roll away bed for Natalie. House keeping brought it in right away and we told her that we could set it up. She insisted that she do it and then promptly backed into a glass closet that shattered into a million pieces. The poor girl looked like she could burst out into tears at any second. We didn't have time to help her clean it up because we had to leave to go meet Paul.

  • Me, being the organized adoptive parent that I thought I was had wrote out many questions to ask the orphanage about Paul. When they passed him over he was screaming so loud and so hard that I decided to ask the one question that I thought was the most important. "Does he still take a bottle?" Their response "No, you should not give him a bottle." Six days later we finally got the print out of his daily schedule. Of course he was still taking 3 bottles a day???? So not only did we rip him from everything he knew we also unknowingly broke him of the bottle.

  • You already know that we left on of our suitcases at the house. One hour before we met Paul we went the store and bought diapers. Not until we had Paul back in the room we realized that we bought the wrong kind of diapers. These were the diapers that the Chinese use with their lovely split pants, so you "tie" these diapers on the baby. So here I am, the mother of 4 asking our travel mates who were first time parents for duck tape to try to tape these stupid diapers to Paul. YES DUCK TAPE!! Well the duck tape didn't work so Mike and Leigh gave us a few diapers to get us by until the morning.

  • After I finally put a real diaper on Paul.....he was still screaming bloody murder. Who could blame him...some strange woman was trying to duck-tape a diaper on him. Well he was crying and crying and he had this horrible breath ( I think he had ate whole garlic cloves for lunch). I had a brief moment of "why in the world am I doing this? We had it so easy with 3 kids. Why am I torturing myself and this poor kid? Do I really want to do this??" Then I snapped out of it, reminded myself that this moment was not about ME. I can honestly say that was my only time of regret.

  • Once again, we seasoned parents and second time around adoptive parents had to rely on the rookies, Mike and Leigh. When we went to the civil affairs office we totally misunderstood our guide on how much money we needed to bring. If I remember right we had to borrow about $275 from Mike and Leigh to complete the adoption. We paid them back as soon as we got back to the hotel. I felt like such an idiot.

  • Our expensive room at the White Swan stunk!!! Even our travel mates commented on how stinky our room was. I tried to politely complain to the staff but nobody got the hint. Oh well .

  • I actually told someone off on our plane ride home. I am not usually confrontational but "momma bear" came out and surprised not only myself but Ted too. The lady in front of us had the nerve to complain to one of the flight attendants about us. She was trying to sleep and we were being too noisy. HELLO!!! Later on she got up to get a beer and proceeded to tell the person she was sitting next to that "with all of the commotion going on behind her, she needed a drink." I tried to hold my tongue but I just couldn't. I put my head right over the seat and said "I think my kids are doing pretty darn good considering the long flight, Paul having just got out of an orphanage, lots of transitions in a short time, etc." She noticed that he was missing his arm so then she started being all nicey, nice. "OH, what great people you are...blah, blah, blah." Later on she gave Paul a cookie which made him happy but I was still seeing red.

  • Last but not least we lost our van at the Ft. Wayne airport. For those of you who have never been is a tiny airport and the parking lot is maybe a little bit bigger than a Wal-Mart's parking lot. I'm serious it took us about a half an hour to find the darn van.

Is Paul a perfect kid??? NO....just a few days ago he flooded the upstairs bathroom so bad that there was water coming through the ceiling fan in the kitchen downstairs. DON'T ASK!!

Do we live him like crazy???? YES

Will he be our last adoption from China??? The dear Lord only knows. Ted hasn't seen the title for our next blog. I'm sure it's going to make him a little nervous. So if you would like to keep up with all craziness of our house please continue to visit our new blog:


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Busy week

We will cherish these "100 GOOD WISHES" quilts forever
Thank you again to all of you who participated in our quilt projects
Teaching a preschool class a little bit about China
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUDREY!!!!!!! Co-Ed naked birthday party!!!!! Yes, we like to have a little fun at our house!!

We've had a very busy week around here. First of all "The Celebration of Paul" was a success. Can you believe I didn't take a single picture.......I could kick myself now.....but it was so hectic that night. We had around 135 people there and raised $457 for Half the Sky!!! I plan to mail out a check tomorrow to Half the Sky. Thank you so much to those of you who helped HTS. I hope some of you are considering sponsoring a child through HTS. Remember for just $25 a month you can sponsor one infant or even for $50 a month you can sponsor an auntie to care for and provide loving stimulation for 3-5 infants. I still have a handful of brochures if anyone is interested or you could even visit the Half the Sky website for more information: Just remember how blessed you are.........I pray that you would choose to be a blessing in someone else's life. Okay, okay I'll get of my soapbox.

On Wednesday, Paul, Audrey and myself were invited to Two by Two preschool to talk about China. The kids were learning about cultural diversity that week. I had fun teaching the kids a few Chinese phrases. Audrey and Paul had fun playing with the toys in the preschool room while I was talking. Neither one of them was ready to go when it was time to leave.

Friday was Audrey's 3rd birthday!!!!!! Where has the time went???? Just 2 years ago we met this helpless little baby who at 13 months old could NOT even set up by herself. She thoroughly enjoyed her big day.

I found this saying on another adoptive parent's website. They posted this along with their story on why they continue to adopt more children from China:

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!!!"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Paul's first haircut

Don't I look so handsome???
A little bribery goes along way!!
Mom say's I need a haircut......but I think I look cool!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Just for Fun

"I promise I'll be good if you just let me back in."

"The best seat in the house!!!""

"I think my big brother is pretty cool!!!!"

P.S. We didn't take many pictures of Paul over Christmas because he had a big bruise on each cheek. NO, we haven't been beating him......we have multiple witnesses from both incidents. One side he got at the bowling alley and the other was from his "GRAND" entrance at Grandma's (he walked through the door and fell right into the corner of a chair before he even took his coat off).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Our blessings from China

Today was beautiful day in Ohio. I bundled up Audrey and Paul and took them outside while Andrew and Natalie were at school. As they were toddling around I was overcome with many emotions. Seven years ago today our son Luke slipped into heaven. It was the worst day of my life.....I was a changed person from that moment one. Usaully Dec. 18th is a cold, deprssing day and I can't wait for it to be over with. Today was different. I was able to thank God for these two sweet hearts that I get to call "my own." People say how lucky Audrey and Paul are be in our family. But many adoptive parents will tell you the same thing...........we, the parents, are the LUCKY ones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another amazing trip that brought another amazing child into our family

Well the trip is over but the adventure has just begun. Paul could not have done any better. Yes, he cried and screamed for the first 2 hours but some little ones will cry for days on end. This is a very stressfull time for these children. No one asked them if it was okay to take them away from the only people they know and force them into the arms of strangers. Yes, it was sad for me when just over night Paul totally rejected me. He was actually pretty hateful towards me for 2 days. I knew it was best to give him space and not force myself on him. I was so glad that he did bond to Ted because that gave Paul the security he needed to eat, drink, sleep and fill his diaper consistenly. He slept through the night every single night. Paul is terrific little boy. He loves to blow kisses and wave "bye-bye." He is a normal little boy who likes to be loud and rough but still has time to give his mom the sweetest, sloppiest kisses you can imagine. Now that he is letting me hold him and snuggle with him I know that in my heart that he is my son because he fits so perfectly into my arms. Paul is so independent that I have already forgotten that he is considered a special needs child. We had to laugh because our guide in Changsha kept referring to him as "disabled." Let me tell you, there is nothing disabling about this child. Ted's theory is that God gave him only one hand to slow him down just enough so that we can almost keep up with him. While being confined to the hotel room he was constantly opening and closing all of the doors and drawers. Throwing away good stuff in the trash while taking bad stuff out of the trash. The panda phone almost made it into the toilet more than once. This little guy is going to keep us busy!!!
Natalie was quite the travel companion. She only had a few moments of "the world should revolve around me." Over all she was a big help not only to us but to some of the other families too by helping to entertain their children as needed. Natalie totally perfected the use of the chop sticks while after 2 weeks Ted and I were still doing the "two handed" chop stick move if there was no silverware around. Natalie only caused one minor incident when she put the wrong code in the room safe and we had to have the hotel staff come in and unlock it. After that we insisted that only Ted could run the safe........she still insists that it was Ted who put the wrong code in.....hhmm???
Believe it or not I did not get as homesick as I did the last time around. I truly believe that God gave us such peace about this adoption that our worries were minimal. I did have a meltdown the very last full day in Guangzhou. I called home to Audrey and the first thing she did was cough and say "coughing Mom" as if to say "I'm sick and I need you but you're on the other side of the world." Right before we called Audrey we had also learned that Andrew's bad behavior had reared it's ugly head. So I went from being fine to " I need to go home now!! I need to have all of my kids back in my arms!!" I was pretty much useless and on the verge of crying the rest of the day. I'm so glad that I only felt like that for one day becasue it was not good!!
The trip home was bearable. In my opinon Paul did pretty darn good for a sleep-deprived toddler whose world has been turned upside down. He slept about 6-7 hours total on the long 13.5 hour flight from Hong Kong to Chicago. The rest o the time we stuffed him with snacks while trying to keep him entertained. There was only about a 20 minute period when I wanted to jump out of the nearest exit..
Paul is already crazy about his big brother. I wasn't too suprised since he still prefers males. At Chicago's airport he walked right up to a great big black guy and tried to hold his hand. I quickly apologize to the man but he just laughed and gave Paul a big smile. Audrey came back to the house about 2 hours after we had been home. That gave Paul to check things out before "Princess" came in marking her territory. They actually have got along great so far. Audrey keeps pointing to Paul's short arm and saying "boo-boo" and "where did his hand go?" We tried to explain to her about his missing hand before he left but at her age I just don't think she fully understood until she actually saw him. She will learned soon enough that his little arm does not slow him down and that he hits just as well with that arm as well as he does with his hand (we think Paul and the naughty step are going to become well aquainted).None of the kids have held still long enough for a group picture. I will post more pictures in the next day or two.
Will we adopt again?? Only God knows the answer to that question. If we do it will most definitly a few years done the road. Hey, you can adopt from China until you are 55 years old so we have plenty of time to decide. All I know is that God hand picked both Audrey and Paul for us so if He has another child in mind for us we will trust in Him complety. I do know that if we ever adopt again he or she will be another special needs child. Thanks again for all of your comments and emails. Alison

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Closer to Home

Just a few pictures to hold you over until we get home. Paul loved playing in the park close to the hotel. He thought he was big stuff doing pull-ups. Natalie, as usual is the center of attention helping at our "tea party" (Ted and Paul were less than impressed with the tea party). Yes, Paul is starting to like me more everyday.....sorry for two of the same know me and computers. My favorite picture is Paul attacking the Tigger. We were in the Swan room (play room for adoptive families at the White Swan) and Paul grabbed this Tigger that shook when you pulled his tail. Paul got very mad at Tigger and started hitting him and then started biting him.