Our Baby

2 years and counting......

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's official!

Autumn is officially our daughter. She had her consulate appointment yesterday. We completed all of our paperwork, and how awesome that we did not have to go! All I had to do was sign for Shiyan to go for us! We did not have to do anything! We now have her abandonment certificate. It is so sad that this precious child was abandoned. We also have the clothes she was wearing and her admission pictures taken at the orphanage. She was also wrapped in a hello kitty blanket, and we have this too. These items, her only connection to her real family. She has an amazing story. Once the paperwork is cleared, then Autumn takes her oath to become a US citizen- obviously she can't do this so we as her parents do it for her. This ceremony was today. I was SOOOOO worried about how she would do. It was a 30-45minute busride to the consulate, and then a lot of wait once there. She was a perfect little angel. She loves to ride the bus. I guess that she is amazed at all of the sights- she has never been out of the orphanage, other than her quarantine for chicken pox. Anyway, she did great! No fuss whatsoever. In fact, she was so happy! Even better, on the busride back, she took a bottle for mike, actually 2 bottles, they were small. Once we arrive in Chicago this week, she is officially a US citizen!! YEAH!! She is doing so much more. She is crawling up into my lap now to get some loving and is offering up some hugs. She reaches for both of us too. She is such a sweet girl. She is also more vocal - we can't understand it, but she is vocal. She is not walking, but will walk when she is in the crib and can hold to the sides. She has started to crawl too. Her nanny said that she stopped crawling a while ago when she started to walk. I guess she is regressed and will get back to walking. She is doing a lot more every day that passes.
As for us- Mike and I are doing great. We are thrilled to be coming home the day after tomorrow. And as a treat, I also had a mason jar full of sweet tea and lemmons tonight!!! Never did I think I'd find that in China. HEAVEN!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Turned a corner-

Here is Autumn with the "GUANGDONG BABIES" all from her province. We took so many pics like this, Autumn would not look at the camera. Ezra her buddy is right beside her, the other little girls Emily and Natalie.

Finally, after a week, things are somewhat "normal." Well, for living in a hotel room and eating every meal out, I guess normal. Autumn has gone back to drinking from the bottle. She just started last night. I think she is getting more comfortable with us and this is why? We have let her sort of take the lead, and not pressure her to drink too much. She did 5 oz last night, and 6 this morning. She also took another 4 ounces during the day. She is eating like a champ. And what goes in, comes out too. Mama is happy. She is starting to really show some personality and can get quite cranky when she does not get her way. She HATES a diaper change. Most changes, it takes both of us to get a diaper on. She also let me trim her nails. She gave me a nice scratch on my neck today, so had to be done. She also understands "no." She is getting a lot more active in the crib. She was trying to chew on the side rails, can't be good with her lip. She understood No, and seemed to pout a little but stopped.
We took a dinner cruise last night, she did pretty good. The papa john's pizza was great! Towards the end, there was some entertainment which the kids enjoyed. It was a good distraction. We are finding that children have very short attention spans, especially ours. We hope that everyone at home is doing well- especially Ronnie - hope you are healing well from surgery. Hang in there- can't wait to see you all soon!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And she finally smiles!

Last night- finally got some smiles and laughter from her- it has continued on through today. She is pretty fussy, but is smiling more. She is pretty comical at times. We have had a lot of fun just playing. She is eating much better, in fact, the last few feeds, this has hardly been an issue. She ate an entire ladle of wheat oatmeal and a sausage link at breakfast, for example. She is still not taking the bottle though. Overall, I'd say things are some better. We are going on a dinner cruise tonight, and having Papa Johns pizza! Yes, they have it here. We can hardly wait. The weather is better, very hot. I just went out to buy more diapers, and locals are walking around in masks. I am not sure what kind of air I took in, can't be good. The smog is terrible. I have had a cough for the second day now. Shiyan has spoken to Autumn's orphanage director again, and we have found out the she took the majority of her meals in the crib- she stood while being fed. They also added sugar to her formula and her water. Chinese formula is much sweeter than what we have- it must have been like syrup. Needless to say, we have not done this, and perhaps that is part of the problem? She also fed herself her bottles in the crib. We have tried this too, but did not work. Anyway, here is a new pic of her wonderful smile. Enjoy, and I can't wait to see everyone very soon!! This week!!! :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Pics

Grandparents requesting more pics, so here you go. The one of Mike, Autumn and me is at the Chinese restaurant we went to, and the bucket of eels, evening special. Yes, they are alive and I assume you can pick the one you want. Our dinner was conservative, but delicious nonetheless. Other pics, Autumn at various times. There is one with her touching her toy with her last three fingers. She does not use her index finger, just the last three. She can, and we have seen her grip using the index, but no touching or pointing. She also had a mad screaming fit about 2pm today. I was in the process of preaparing her rice cereal, and turns out, feeding her made her better. She took it all, and some extra pear purree. Along with some left over formula and pedialyte. Still no bottle or sippy cup though. It is the best she has eat yet, so I will take it. The marks on her arms and face are from the chicken pox.
We also learned, thank you Amy, that the formula we brought for her is on the recall list. Not sure if it will make a difference, but while we are here, going to do only the Chinese formula. We don't have much of a choice. I will purchase enough to take with us and try to transition her at home. HOME, can't wait to get there. Enjoy the pics-

Friday, September 24, 2010

Today's update.

I think she may be doing a bit better. We went with our group to an authentic chinese restaurant last night. Shiyan our social worker here, is so wonderful. She wants so much for us to have a good time. She had everything arranged for us- the meal was served family style, and there were about 3-4 families per table. Our group is so supportive. Everyone is aware of the hard time we are having. Most of the kids are doing well. You can really see the difference in the children from orphanages vs. the kids from foster homes. There is a 3 year old with some delays as well. There are others having the eating issues, perhaps not to the extent that we are though. She was fussy about the entire time we were there. But easily calms I think. When we got back, she took about 2-3 tablespoons of rice cereal, and ounce of her vit. c liquid, no fuss. It was amazing. She still refuses a bottle though. We are just doing the best we can.
We took her to the payroom this morning. She played more today than she has yet. Ezra is another child about her age. He was fostered. He seems right on target with where he should be and is all boy. I think that Autumn enjoyed being around him. He will be in Knoxville, so hopefully, they will be good friends for a long time. Autumn did smile twice for me today. I almost cried. I will try to post more later.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Separation Anxiety?

So we've had Autumn since the 19th. She does not smile, does not laugh, and feeding her is pure torture, for her and me. It takes two of us to hold her down to get it in. Last night, she took about 1/2 ounce from her bottle and then it was like she realized what she was doing and refused the rest. We got it in her with a syringe though. She opens her mouth and takes it. Swallows, then screams. I just don't understand. Same with food. Shiyan thinks that she is depressed and it is a trust issue, ie she does not trust us yet. Shiyan thinks a little more TLC is all she needs. I cuddle her as much as I can, and so does Mike. We are using the strap on baby carrier (thank you so much Debbie Crain for this!!!) She likes it. Anytime we are holding her close, she seems content. She does not smile. She does not laugh. This transition I know is hard, but how long will it take her? Otherwise today, a little bit of a cough, no temp. This is very hard. In a lot of ways, I feel like I am a failure to her. She really is so precious, I just wish I knew how to make this all better for her.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mike's initiatiation to what prunes can do!

So yesterday, Autumn did not eat or drink but about 2-3 ounces. That's it. She took about 1/4 container of prunes, washed down with about 1/6 ounce of water. Then, our social worker came. Shiyan is so awesome. She brought prune juice and pedialyte. It took Mike holding her, and Shiyan holding her head, and a lady downstairs came an talked to her in Cantonese (her native language) and we finally got about 4 ounces of formula in her with a syringe. She turned flips, cried, and screamed, fought us to the end, but finally got it in her. She is dehydrated. Shiyan thinks she has a major case of separation anxiety and depression. So lots more TLC and hopefully this will get better. She went to sleep no problem. (probably tired from the fight) This morning, still would not take a bottle, but we got about 5 1/4 ounce of formula with the syringe. She took about 5 forced bites at breakfast and lastly had a major wake up stinky diaper and during breakfast, finished what she started. Mike was a good help, but certainly allowed me to do the changing. I hope things will get better for her. I hate force feeding her. She loves to walk- so going to strap on the baby carrier and take her to Starbucks.

Updates on Autumn

So a few new pictures- grandparents request. Autumn is a handful! She will not take a bottle. She will not eat. She will not drink. All day, I have managed about 1-2 ounces of watered down juice and water, 2 spoons of yogurt, and just now, she took about 1/4 of a container of mashed prunes. The liquids, all with a 5cc syringe! Interestingly, she took the prunes in her crib which makes me wonder if she was mostly fed in her crib at the orphanage. She will not take a bottle in it though. We have contacted our Social Worker who will arrive here later today, and she is going to call the orphanage for suggestions. We have figured out her "mad cry" which happens often. And her sad/scared cry. She loves to go for walks in the stroller. Thank the Lord we have a stroller at home! She loves it. There are cobble stone streets here and she babbles as she jiggles over the stones. This is the most talk we have heard yet. She is still quite shy. I also worry that she is sleeping a little much today, but understandably if she does not feel well. Being a first time mom - this is quite hard. Still hoping she has a good poop!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Last 24 hours -

The last 24-36 hours, not good. The evening of Gotcha Day, she started with a low grade temp. It spiked at 102.4 yesterday morning. She would not take much of a bottle, very cranky. We had several appointments yesterday, and bless her heart - with a temp of 102 - she survived all of it. I took pedialyte, but again, she would not take a bottle. We have infant Tylenol, which controlled it some. Anyway, we had her medical exam for US clearance yesterday, luckily her temp was 100.7. Still not so good, but he gave her antibiotics and "Chinese herbs" which turns out to be Vit. C. The doctor palpated some lymph nodes in her neck, and I can feel them too- he though perhaps she was suffering a sore throat? The nodes aren't very big. It was a nightmare last night trying to get the antibiotics in her- she screamed and let me tell you - she has a great set of lungs. So after finally getting the medicine in- she was so tired, we did not bath her. She sleeps so good. She likes the crib and self soothes very well. All she needs is a dim room, and her blanket. Thank the Lord for that. This morning - fever has broke. I was scared though - she slept about 7-8 hours and her diaper was dry! I was able to get about 5 and a quarter ounce of formula in her. She went back to sleep for another hour or so. Mike was able to get her antibiotics in her, no trouble this time and about 10 spoons of cereal. No poop since we've had her so I am worried about that, but plenty of gas. Sorry for the graphics, but would love some suggestions here. Trying to feed or bottle her is like torturing her. I don't know if she is traumatized by her situation or just doesn't feel good still. She is still very quiet, and timid. She did manage to produce a very wet diaper late morning - so that is good.

We were to go to the zoo today, however, with her feeling bad, we are going to for ego that. In addition, there is a typhoon on the way- I heard it is the equivalent to a cat. 3 hurricane. (overheard in the elevator this morning) and it is to directly hit Hong Kong, which is close to here. They advised all cars off the roads for Guangzhou today, for flooding. We have her passport appointment for later- not sure if we will be able to go with the weather? It started raining last night and is still messy today, lots of wind. Please pray for the weather and for Autumn. Not to mention her new mother who is about crazy with nerves today. I am fixated on what goes in and "out" and I worry about dehydration, but at least her temp is better. Mike however is great. She could not have picked a better Daddy. Very calm and patient with her. I will try to get some more pics up soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gotcha Day!

So about 2pm today, our group ventured over to meet our children. We are a group of 4 families so far. It was a very emotional day. We saw Autumn before we met her. I recognized her instantly. Then, we got to meet. Her nanny told us that she was carsick on the way over. It is a 4 hour bus ride from Guangning to Guangzhou, and her first time traveling. She also missed her nap time. We first noticed lots of small scars all over her body, her face. Turns out that she was hospitalized late August through September with chicken pox. It looks like she is healing, but several spots nonetheless. She is VERY quiet and shy. She sat in our laps no problem. She whimpered a little, not loud, very soft cries. I think more than anything she was tired. She tolerated the bus ride back to the hotel, no problems. She seems to have good sight, good hearing. She watches everything you do. She has not spoken, but I understand she was talking very minimally at the orphanage. She sucks her fingers constantly. She loves to be held. She loves a blanket. Her hair looks very healthy - and quite a lot of it. She hates shoes. In fact, she was wearing a new pair today, and her nanny said that otherwise, she does not like them. She seems to like cartoons. She does have a cleft palate - I cannot tell how much affected, her front gum line is affected. She has had no surgery.
So back at the hotel, we finally got her to nap. She sleeps with her eyes half open. Mike is a little amazed at this. He has now gone to get supper. I hope that she will eat with no problems. Will try to update more in the next couple of days. Hopefully she will open up a little more, but for now, very quiet and shy.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New shoes and BIG TROUBLE!

So, our guide in Beijing said "no trouble buying shoes - take taxi to Carre Four - like WalMart - then taxi back - take a card with hotel name on it." Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, getting there - no trouble. Found shoes - very nice, not expensive. We also got a case of bottled water. Water here, not palatable. Anyway, we got back out to the sidewalk. No taxi. I literally stood for about an hour trying to flag one down. No taxi. In flagging taxi cabs- I also sparked interest in very questionable locals. I called our friends at the hotel - to try to get the hotel to send us transportation. Not successful. So I said a little prayer, or actually, said a big prayer. And about that time, here came a man on a rickshaw scooter built for 3. HALLELUJAH. We were saved! But, I can tell you, the ride back was very scary. There is not highway patrol here.In our ordeal, did not see the first policeman. The cars drive like maniacs. Buses almost running us over. Going the wrong way on a one way street. But in the end, here we are safe and sound. Will not be taking another taxi anytime soon! :) One story hopefully to laugh about someday.

We had a wonderful breakfast this am. The hotel serves a mix of Eastern and Western, so I had bacon and noodles. Topped it off with some cornflakes. The fruit here is exceptionally sweet. And after breakfast - we found some local shops - met Stella and Jordon who will help us hopefully with everything from diapers to gifts and laundry. Also found STARBUCKS!!

But the good news - we meet our guide at 12 (in two hours) to go get Autumn. And to answer other questions - yes, she is in our care after that. We have many days and appointments coming up in order to finalize the adoption, but in two hours, she is officially in our care. Exciting, and scary all at once!!

Now in Guangzhou!

Trying to see if downloading pics works. Here Mike and I are in the rickshaw touring the Hutong.
Mike and I have now arrived at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou. We had to get up this morning at 345am to catch our van to go to the airport. We are very tired. We have to exchange our money, find Mike some shoes (long story) and hopefully find some lunch. I hope that we are able to get lots of rest this evening because tomorrow will be a very busy day! We don't know what time we will meet Autumn, sometime in the afternoon, I think? And after that, she is in our care. We just had the crib delivered.

A little about Guangzhou. I am so amazed at the rows and rows of apartments. I have often wondered how you can fit millions of people into a small area, now I know. It was truly amazing. Life in China is very different than what we are used to. Hopefully this week we can get out and explore the city.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Touring Beijing

Mike and I started with our group at 8am this morning for our tour. We first went to the Cloisonne factory where they make the copper chinese vases. It was very interesting. Then we went to the Great Wall. Unfortunately, it is raining today, but we made the best of it. We got an umbrella and poncho and did OK. The Great Wall is so amazing- it is so much more than what you see on TV. I did my best with the climbing..... step after step, and none of the steps are even. I wish it had of been more clear- lots of fog. Then on to the Hutong ricshaw tour, olympic village. I don't remember a time when I have ever been so tired. And the traffic here... oh my goodness. No traffic patterns in the US match what we have seen here. It is just crazy! All the time, not just at rush hour. Tomorrow, we will be leaving at 530am to catch our flight to Guangzhou. Will update when we get there.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Greetings from Beijing!

It is Thursday, 9/16 7:10 pm. Mike and I arrived earlier today, 240pm. It was a little bit of a process getting through immigration, and then a long bus ride to the hotel. I don't know very much right now, other that I am very tired. We are eating dinner and plan to call it a day soon. We will be doing some very quick sight seeing tomorrow, and then off to Autumn's province. Beijing has a lot of smog, a little rain, but for the most part, temps are cool and a nice breeze. Will update more later! Thanks for the prayers and well wishes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It is finally time!

Well, today is September 14, 2010. We will be leaving in 18 hours to go to China. I am feeling a lot of emotions. I am excited, terrified, happy, sad, all wrapped up in one. I guess that is normal. I am wondering what our life is going to be like when we get home? Mike has all the carseats in place, safety gate up, and a nursery for a little girl half the world away is all ready. Please continue to pray for Autumn. Her world as she knows it is about to be turned upside down. I can't imagine what it is going to be like for her. I pray that we will be able to meet her needs emotionally because I know it will be hard for her. But with a lot of love, hopefully things will all be OK.
We will try to update our blog while in China- stay tuned.

Friday, September 10, 2010


We got our itinerary today. We will be in China during the mid-Autumn festival. There are lots of holidays in China. This one will run from 9/22-9/24. So, lots of government offices will be closed. So what does this mean? We will get Autumn one day sooner! We will not be in Beijing as long. We arrive in Beijing, stay a couple of days instead of three and then fly to Guangdong to meet Autumn. We are so excited. It will be a whirlwind of activities after that, not to mention getting to know our little girl!!