Wednesday, January 31, 2007

WEDNESDAY-DAY 14-January 31st

This morning was a bit crazy! With all the noise and commotion the night before Flower was wide awake. She finally got in bed with me and I think we were all finally asleep by 5 am, happy with our pillow top additions. We were awakened by a phone call from our coordinator at 8:20 am. Blah! We then heard the phone ringing next door and then he called us again! He told us they weren't answering and that if we happened to see them, to give them a message! Are you serious?! We don't even know them! He then started asking KG questions and he just hung up and went back to sleep. He said he was going to call at noon. We finally woke up about 11:15. We started unpacking our luggage, hanging things and putting them in drawers. As soon as we got done we got a phone call from the lobby saying they had a room with a king sized bed if we wanted it and to come down. We decided we did and just as we were about to leave, there was a ring at our door. It was our coordinator. What happened to calling?! He was ready to fill out the paperwork for Flower's visa. KG had to go with him right then. So I called the lobby and said we'd be a bit later. I then packed everything back up, got dressed, got Flower dressed, and went looking for KG. He still had quite a bit to do so I decided to do the room change on my own. It went rather well and I didn't forget anything! :) Flower was also given an 'Adoption Barbie' by the hotel. It's the cutest thing! It will remain in it's box until she's old enough to take care of it. Flower and I then went back down to KG and waited for him to be finished. We finally went and got something to eat. We were all beyond hungry by 2 p.m.! We went to the hotel Deli. One dish was good the other not so much! After that we met up with our coordinator again, as well as another family from our agency, the Smith's, and went to Flower's medical appointment. This is where they make sure she is healthy. She didn't like being man handled so much but she did well. She blew kisses to the doctor as we left and he loved that! We walked there so on the walk back we stopped at a market to get some milk. We also bought Flower a chinese drum. Once back she took a nap. When she woke up we went shopping. We got more souvenirs for the family and for Flower. We also bought an instrument, the first thing for ourselves! Once it got dark we were ready for dinner. We went to a cute little restaurant and Flower and I shared a really good spaghetti. KG's steak was not so great! When we got back I went to the clinic to get her some more cold medicine. She had a runny nose and we have used up all of the stuff we brought. When I got back KG and Flower were playing so cute. She was in such a good mood and I was able to join in. I then gave her a bubble bath which she loved! The photos are great and there's even a little video! We realized by watching her in the tub at Amanda's that she only likes it if she can stand. This tub is so deep that bubbles just surrounded her, even while she stood. As the bubbles started to disappear she finally trusted the water enough to squat so she could reach them and was eventually sitting when I let more out. She had a great time and so did I! ;) She went right down to bed and was out for the night by 9 p.m.! We also went to bed and it was so nice to share a bed again after 10 days! KG watched Terminator 2 while I read and I was asleep pretty quick.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

TUESDAY DAY 13 - January 30th

Angee is asleep so I have been delegated the responsibility of writing todays chronicles. Today was our last day in Xi'an. We met Amanda at 9:30 for breakfast at the buffet in the hotel. We had a nice breakfast. Flower still isn't eating a lot at breakfast. But she still likes to have some fried noodles every morning. As we said goodbye in the lobby Amanda got a little teared up. I think Flower must have sensed this because she hugged Amanda a long time without moving. Thats when Amanda really started to cry. I got a little choked up and I am pretty sure Angee did too. Flower started to cry a little as she saw that we were not going outside yet. So Amanda walked us to the elevator and we said our final goodbyes there. Flower said bye, gave Amanda a kiss and then got in the elevator with us. She did not shed a tear, probably because she did not realize it would be a while before she sees Amanda again. Ang teared up all the way up to the room. We finished packing, triple checked the room and sat and watched TV until the bellman came for our bags at 12:15. We checked the room one last time and headed downstairs to checkout. Jo met us in the lobby and we packed our bags into the van and headed to the airport. Flower fell asleep a few minutes into the drive. It takes about an hour to get to the airport from the hotel, its in a smaller city called Xianyang outside of Xi'an. It was a pretty quiet ride. Flower was asleep, Angee and I were still kind of groggy and Jo and the driver were having their own conversation. I think since Jo knows we are leaving she didn't feel like she had to entertain us anymore, so I was fine with that. Everyone knows I don't much care for pointless small talk. When we got to the airport Flower woke up. Jo got us checked in, convinced the guys to let us take an extra bag for free, and walked us to the security gate. Before we said goodbye I remembered the 300 RMB that Flower was given in a piggy bank. It was all in 1 Yuan coins. I didn't really want to carry around 20 pounds in coins so Jo was nice enough to trade me the coins for bills. We said goodbye and went through security and off to our gate. We only had to sit around for about 40 minutes before we piled onto the bus that took us out to our airplane. For some reason we weren't given a choice if we wanted to buy a seat for Flower or not. But her ticket only cost $18 so it wasn't that big of a deal. And it turned out to be really nice to have that extra seat. This is the first time she has ever flown. She did OK. We had to distract her with pictures in the magazine during takeoff, and that seemed to work well. She did not like having her seat belt on so she would fuss about that off and on. And she did not care for the turbulence much, but over all I was proud of my little girl. Across the aisle was a Chinese family that had a child, probably a month or two older than Flower. It was cute to watch because whenever the other child would cry Flower would stop her crying and look over to see what was wrong with the "baby". Angee and I also started to notice that whenever we would do something to help Flower forget about her discomfort with the flight, like look at pictures in magazines or let her look out the window, the mother across the aisle would watch us. When it worked she would do the same thing. Its kind of scary to think that we are now "model parents". Heaven help the Chinese =). So about 5 p.m. we got to the airport in Guangzhou. We got all our stuff and headed out. There was a gal from the White Swan Hotel with a sign for "Kennoth Jensen", I figured close enough and we went with her. Jo had already told us that Chris, our facilitator, would not be able to meet us at the airport and that we probably wouldn't meet up with him until the next day. We followed the gal outside and our bags were loaded into a nice white Mercedes. This hotel goes all out! The back seats actually recline. Im sure this isn't anything special to all you nice people out there, but to us simple folk this was pretty tight. The driver sped us, at 80 mph rather then the 30 mph we were used to in Xi'An :), to the hotel in about 30 minutes. We did notice that the driving here in Guangzhou is considerably better than Beijing and Xi'an, but still pretty scary. This city looks a lot like Orlando Florida. The weather is very nice and everything is really green. There are even palm trees. This city looks like it has a higher standard of living, but there were still lots of very poor looking buildings. We have been told that this place is a lot more expensive than other other parts of China. The hotel is pretty nice too. It is on an island of sorts. It is on the Pearl River. Our room is on the 11th floor and faces the river. Across the river is Barstreet. It looks like a mini Las Vegas, but I don't think they allow casinos here so its probably just what it says, a bunch of bars. I held Flower up to the window so she could see all the lights and the boats in the river. She loved it. I pushed a chair up to the window so I wouldn't have to keep holding her, and she just stood there for a long while. We finally had to pull her away from the window and then headed out to take a look around. The hotel has some very fancy decor. There is a waterfall that feeds into a little river that is full of huge gold fish. Flower loves fish. So we walked around looking at all these huge fish. She thought the waterfall was really neat too, until we got to a spot were we can stand underneath it. That kind of freaked her out. It was loud and wet. There are foreigners all over this hotel with small children. Its like the adoption hub of China. Actually, it IS the adoption hub of China. All adoptions in China have to be finalized in Guangzhou to get visas for the child to travel. So this whole island is the White Swan hotel and tons of shops to try to sell to us foreigners. We chatted with an older couple and found that they are traveling with their son and his wife for their adoption. They were a neat older couple and they told us about a decent restaurant just down the block where Angee could get some mashed potatoes. Poor Idaho girl is getting a little home sick for potatoes =). After we finished walking around the hotel we took their advice and headed to Lucy's bar and grill. Ang changed her mind and got a cheese burger and fries. We got Flower her old standby, stir fried noodles, and I got a BLT. I love Chinese food! I mean I have been in hog heaven here most of the time. But having been a little ill for the past couple of days Chinese food does not sound like anything I want to vomit up. The past couple days all I have eaten is bread. So I decided to live on the wild side and add some bacon, lettuce and tomato to my bread diet. It was pretty tasty. We were eating outside and we started to hear some music over on the river. Flower quickly lost interest in her food and just wanted to dance. This girl likes to dance! Ang did not like her cheese burger too much. The cheese here is a little different, its hard to explain. Its not terrible, but it is just different. As I waited for the check Ang took Flower over to the river to hear the music. After I paid I went and joined them. I got there just seconds too late. Apparently the music was part of a light show that the other hotels across the river put on. Ang said it was pretty cool, maybe I will see it tomorrow. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at 7 Eleven to buy some bottled water and Ang got some Skittles. It is funny that Angee keeps trying to buy American foods here like Oreos and Skittles but when she tries them she is always disappointed to find out that they do not taste the same as back home. We got back to the hotel, put Flower down to bed and started to relax. We only have two twin beds, and unlike the hotel in Xi'an we are not able to push these beds together. And worse these beds are hard as rocks. So Angee asked me to write this update as she started to fall asleep. She woke up a little bit ago with her hand, arm, and feet dead asleep. The hard bed has caused her to loose all blood flow to her limbs. I made her get out of the bed, I put all the pillows on her bed, covered them with her comforter, and then had her lay on that. Then I covered her with the other comforter to keep her warm. It must have worked cause she has now been asleep for a couple hours while I watch TV and try to write this update. That is my story. Adios. Addition by Ang at 4:00 a.m. When KG came to bed at 1 a.m., since he didn't have any pillows or blankets, I told him to join me in my little bed. We, not being small people, were essentially sharing the width of one pillow, the short way, across and four pillows down. He still hadn't fallen asleep at 3:30 and I kept waking up. I was not happy that we were spending $100 a night to have to sleep on pillows in one twin bed! I finally went down to the lobby to see if they had any softer beds. They brought up two pillow top mattress covers and made the beds up nice. KG is now in bed, and seems to be ok. Now I am attempting to get Flower calmed and to sleep. 'Night.

Monday, January 29, 2007

MONDAY-DAY 12-January 29th

Today we both woke up feeling considerably better. The ear that hurt the most yesterday got more of the drops and is feeling better but now the other one is hurting worse. However, once I take an Exedrin Migraine, I don't feel a thing! :) We have taken more drugs this trip then we have our whole lives combined! Kay, Amanda's main helper, is from Boston so she had good western medicine. She hooked us up with Dayquil and Nyquil, which is what we normally take if we need medicine, the day of the hand. Plus Amanda gave me the thickest Cough Syrup I have ever taken. It's a Chinese brand. We both have been taking Dayquil every morning, Nyquil every night, and guzzling the cough syrup when we think about it. Plus we're taking the Exedrin Migraine. I also have the ear drops and an inhaler! Wow. I was using the inhaler morning and night until about 3 days ago and I've only used it three times since then so that is great! We both still have the hacking cough but, like I said before, I just don't think that will go away until we're home. Not too fun but very manageable compared to what we were dealing with. We decided not to press our luck and just have another inside day to ourselves. We slept/lounged around until 9:45. We then got all our clothes together for laundry service. We decided one way to help ourselves stay sane when we get home is to not have to worry about doing three week worth of laundry right away. We sent out everything we have worn so far other then our under garments. It was three hotel laundry bags full. We have already set clothes aside for Guongzhou that we never unpacked so these clothes can now be folded, packed and not taken out until we return home. We were finally ready and rushing out the door to get to breakfast at 10:15. The buffet comes with our room and stops at 10:30. By the time we were done Jo was waiting in the lobby. KG just had to go with her to Flower's passport. When he got back we decided to go for a walk to check out a local supermarket just a few streets away. This was in the hopes of making Flower tired. When we got back, we gave her some lunch and then she fell right to sleep. They are both asleep now as I slave away uploading photos. ;) They slept about an hour. We lounged the rest of the night until about 6:30. We went to a restaurant in our hotel for dinner since it was the last night. She had spaghetti and loves it. She likes anything with noodles. KG had pork chops and I had salmon, both very good. We then spent then rest of the night in and were in bed fairly early.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

SUNDAY-DAY 11-January 28th

Today was not very exciting! We didn't sleep well because from the time we put Flower to bed at 8 p.m. the night before, she woke up about every half hour crying. That lasted all night! Finally at 3 am KG brought her in to bed with him but that didn't make much difference. It just meant that we didn't have to get up to rub her back but she kicked all night. We didn't fully wake up until 10 am. Flower just kind of played on the bed. I woke up with my ears worse and I can't hear out of the right one. I am no longer sick to my stomach and don't have a headache but I don't think my hacking cough with subside until I'm out of this crappie air. My voice is coming back little by little. KG is worse. He has a fever a stomach ache. We ordered room service for breakfast and attempted to watch The Wild but it kept skipping. We realized that the case we were keeping the movies in is scratching them. Nice. We then put in Chicken Little. None of the movies have kept her attention like Finding Nemo and Tom and Jerry. At noon we got ready for church. We decided to go just because so many were expecting us and wanted their last good-byes with Flower. As we were leaving, KG vomited. We decided we'd only stay for the first block of church. Amanda was here to pick us up at 12:30 in a taxi. It was a very nice meeting. It was so different having church with just 15 people. We said our goodbyes and then walked with Amanda to a pharmacy to get some ear drops. When we got back to the hotel we all lied down. We wanted to make sure Flower got a nap because Amanda suggested that perhaps she woke up a lot the night before because they didn't get a nap yesterday. Unfortunately, since she fell asleep while we were walking, those plans failed. Flower finally got up with me and I did my best to entertain her so that KG could sleep. I was enjoying my alone time with her a got a really cute video of us singing the 'I love you' song. Well cute of her anyway! He woke up at one point and had a fever of about 102*. He took a cool bath to try and bring his temperature down. It was pretty cute because Flower could tell he didn't feel well and wanted her daddy so she kept laying down looking under the bathroom door to find him. :) He loaded up on medicine and just kept sleeping and by the time I ordered dinner, his fever had broke. Around 8 I took Flower for a walk through the hallways. I was running with her to get her really tired with the hopes that she's sleep through the night. When we got back I gave her a bottle of warm milk and put her to bed. Unfortunately by 9:30 she woke up crying! I went to her and hugged her and rubbed her back and laid her down and by the time I got back with her bottle filled with water, she was asleep. We'll see how the night goes. We aren't really sure what to do. Should we go to her every time? My thought was to talk to her and hold her the first time, then talk to her and rub her back then next, and then just rub her back each time after that and maybe just letting her cry for a bit. We just don't know if we go to her every time if it will create a pattern because she knows she will get attention. The cry, like this time, isn't a real cry but more fake and forced. Anyone from the adoption community that could respond and weigh in here would be so appreciated! We just want to make sure we are doing the right thing for attachment and for her best interest. I was able to get onto myspace and my blogsite so I spent a good part of the day and night adding all the daily updates to them while I uploaded lots of photos and videos. Well, I've made it an hour and she hasn't woken up yet. I ended up putting a blanket over the top of the crib, except over her head, hoping that would make it darker keeping out the light of the tv and computer. The room she was in was always very dark. KG is also snoring behind me. ;) Before last night, all three of us had fallen asleep at the same time so maybe that makes a difference. Perhaps she can sense that I'm still awake. It's now midnight and she still hasn't woken up again! Yay. I am done for the night. If I upload one more photo I will lose it! Goodnight!
Day 11 Photos

Saturday, January 27, 2007

SATURDAY-DAY 10-January 27th

We were up at 8 am. I felt the same as yesterday which is better but not great. I also woke up with earaches to boot! KG however is not feeling well now. We got dressed, had breakfast and met Jo in the van by 9:00 am. We went to the Terra Cotta Warriors which was about an hour drive away, although still in Xi'An. On our way there, KG was holding Flower and I put my hands out to see if she would come to me and she did! This is a first. It only happened once today but I'll take it! :) I used the carrier today and had Flower on my back. It was very easy and I'm so glad that we got it! KG had used it twice with her on his stomach. I was able to carry her the whole day with no problem! It also keeps others from wanting to hold her and or just picking her up if we let her walk around. We really enjoyed ourselves and ended up buying a book about it so we can become more familiar with it. We first went into the Terra Cotta Museum, then pit one for a few minutes, then to another room to watch a 20 minute video about the pits, then back to pit one. It is the biggest pit and very fascinating! We then went to pit 2 and then on to lunch. We had the 'famous' noodles other adoptive parents have talked about. They were right, the noodles are delicious! We were sitting right by the guy who makes them and it was fun to watch. Flower ate 2 bowls. I then put her back on my back and we were off to pit three. It was much smaller so it didn't take long and then we were headed for the van. We got back to the hotel around 3 p.m.. Since KG isn't feeling well he took a nap. Flower was supposed to be taking a nap but she was entertaining herself in her crib instead. I got a really cute video of it that I will send along soon. At 4 we reluctantly, because KG woke up with a fever, met Jo in the lobby just so the driver could take us to Amanda's. There was a party on our behalf. There were families from the Church Branch, other volunteers and all the nannies. Amanda made brownies, cookies, queso with tortilla chips, cheetos, and soda. Flower also also had her last bath with Jonas. Flower wasn't as bad this time. We left pretty early because Flower was grumpy not having had a nap and we didn't feel good. The other times we've left we have snuck out without letting her see Amanda to avoid a tamtrum. This time we decided to have Amanda follow us out and say good-byes. She gladly hugged and kissed Amanda from KG's arms but still wanted to come with us! This is huge! She still won't come to us if Amanda is holding her but that may not happen. We got back to the hotel at 7 and ordered room service. we just played with Flower for an hour to get her energy out. She even willingly gave me kisses at one point, my second so far! :-D Those just make my day even though it was super wet and slobbery! ;) Flower was in bed asleep by 8. KG tried to be asleep and even took Nyquil but is still awake now at 10:00 PM. :( I am uploading photos and have a long way to go as I just got to day 4! Oy!
Terra Cotta Warriors Photos
Fairwell party Photos

Friday, January 26, 2007


This morning was really nice. I felt a whole lot better and I got some alone time with Flower. KG has started to get my cold so he took some Nyquil last night. So as he lay comatose Flower and I got to spend some time together. It went really well. We got along great. We went down to breakfast around 9:30 am. Flower has really started being a picky eater in the morning. The first day she would eat pancakes, eggs, fruit and dry cereal. But now all she will eat is a banana. I think she is trying to test us. She is still eating well at night, and I know she will not let herself starve. But its kind of annoying that all the waiters in the restaurant are always watching us. They always seem happy to see us and like to play with Flower, but I don't like knowing that there are always eyes on me. After breakfast we came back to the room. Flower had a nasty poopie diaper. I lost a bet to KG so I am supposed to change the next 10 poopers, but he has still been nice enough to change some of them because I am sick. Anyway, I changed her this time. The way these diapers are sometimes the sticky tabs will stick to Flowers leg. So when I tried to pull this diaper off it got stuck, I pulled harder to unstick it and the huge ball of poo flew off the diaper and onto the bed spread. I started to scream for KG's help as I tried to hold back the vomit. He scooped it up and took the diaper away as I sat there gagging. The poor housekeepers are really going to hate us. =) Around 11 I took a bath while KG and Flower lay on the bed watching Finding Nemo. They fell asleep during the movie. We met Jo in the lobby at 12:30 to go get Flower her last immunization shot. We took a taxi to Amanda's. There was a little tension between Jo and Amanda. Jo is not aware that we have been over to Amanda's or that we have been spending time with her. We are not telling her because of the whole issue with Jo's company and the fit they threw when they heard our plans were to stay at Amanda's instead of a hotel for part of the time. So Amanda is already annoyed with Jo just because Amanda had several heated conversations with Jo's boss, Chris. I think Amanda was a little hard on Jo today. Jo is pretty annoying about some things, like it takes her forever to say goodbye and leave after we are done for the day. So Amanda was offering to give us some of the chocolate milk from her apartment for Flower. Jo told her that she is familiar with the brand and can just take us to the market afterwards to buy our own. Amanda snapped at her and said "I will give them milk if I want too, is that ok with you!" It was a little uncomfortable but we just had to let them be and stay neutral about the whole thing. We walked from Amanda's to the hospital. When we got there we found out that Flower has already had all her shots and did not need another one. So we took a little trip for nothing. Oh well, it was a pretty day and a nice walk. KG, Flower and I left with Jo and had lunch at Pizza Hut. The pan pizza tasted exactly the same. But trying to order a custom pizza was a huge ordeal. Jo tried to explain to several waitresses and a manager that we wanted a pan pizza with Pepperoni, Pineapple, Green Peppers, Mushrooms and Olives. The same pizza we order everywhere. These people could not figure out how to do that. They were trying to figure out if it was easier to place the order as a pepperoni pizza and add four toppings, or as a super supreme and remove 6 toppings. It seriously took Jo 10 minutes to explain this order until it was finally figured out. I really don't know what they ended up doing. The meal came to about 125 RMB which is $15.64 which isn't too bad for a large pizza and a bowl of soup. With the receipt we got some sort of scratch card. Jo scratched it for us so she could tell us if we won. We actually won 5 RMB. I was kind of excited about that, until KG explained that was only $.64 but free money is free money! We went back to the hotel and let Jo go on her way. We called Amanda, after changing Flowers diaper again, and she met us outside in a taxi. We went to the Muslim market near the center of Xian. We bought a ton of stuff for gifts for family and some for Flower to have when she is older. We shopped for several hours and only ended up spending about $220. Not bad for the amount of stuff we left with. We took our bags and headed over to the Britton's for dinner. Last night after the little branch dinner they had invited us over for tonight. We had a nice evening with them. They are a very nice family. In fact they are the ones that contacted Heinz Dickens in Beijing to set us up with a ride and a place to stay there. The one observation we made today is that Flower acts up a lot worse when she is around Amanda. At Amanda's apartment Flower will cry and whine because all the nannies and Amanda just do whatever she wants. And again at the Britton's she got really fussy. She wouldn't eat anything. She would just whine a lot and constantly want to go to Amanda because she would do whatever she wanted. We feel bad because we don't want to appear as "mean" parents in front of these people that have known Flower almost all her life. But we also don't want to appear like we are complete pushovers. It is difficult to balance. It is almost making us feel like we would rather not get together with Amanda because it seems counter productive to our bonding process. But we don't want to hurt Amanda's feelings because she is the most attached to Flower and has had a closer relationship to us than any of the other adoptive parents. Knowing that we are already supposed to see Amanda again tomorrow at a little farewell party for Flower and then again the next day at church is making me wish we were going home tomorrow.
Day 9 Photos

Thursday, January 25, 2007

THURSDAY-DAY 8-January 25th

Today I felt even worse. :( I had pneumonia about 8 years ago and this is starting to feel very similar. My lungs feel like they're burned and therefore I think they are not fighting things off. I did get around 10 hours of sleep and so did Flower. :) She didn't wake at all during the night. She was in her crib though. Co-sleeping is supposed to be good for bonding but if she'll sleep better in her crib then it's better for her and us! ;) We finally got up and got breakfast at 9:30. She wanted nothing to do with me! I went a bit ahead of KG and one of the waitresses put her hands out and Flower went right to her. The waitress took her to the fish tank so then she wouldn't eat for either of us. But I would try and give her something and she'd glare and hit it away or throw it on the floor. She tried to throw her whole plate at one point. If KG put it on her fork she'd take it. Feeling so crappy just made me emotional about it. She is constantly giving him kisses and hugs. If he sets her by me and walks away she cries. With being sick it's harder to handle and I finally just came back to the room and cried. I think if I wasn't sick it wouldn't bother me as bad but I already want to cry because I hurt so that doesn't help. After they came back we watched Cinderella. I also ended up throwing up. My body can't make up it's mind whether my head's going to hurt or my stomach, all in the midst of the hacking cough. I fell asleep for a bit. Around 12:00 KG took Flower on a walk so I could fall back to sleep. I attempted to watch A Prairie Home Companion but it must have been scratched because it kept stalling so i finally gave up. She was asleep when they got back. KG bought me a pretty orange tulip. He didn't realize it was fake until he gave it to me and I tried to smell it. He seemed a little disappointed to find out that it wasn't real but I told him that I liked it more so it will last longer. After Flower woke we put in some Tom and Jerry that the Briton's had purchased for us. She laid in front of me and I cuddled her for three whole episodes! KG laid behind me so she couldn't see him and she only looked for him a couple of times but then she'd lay back down. She let me do her hair too and it looks so cute! Around 5 we left for Amanda's. She was so happy to see the kids. She certainly acts different there. She was much more whiney there and cried there which she doesn't do with us. I think it's because they let her get away with everything! All the nannies asked her who mommy and daddy were and she still pointed right as us. :) She was also excited to leave with us again. We left with Amanda to go to a dinner that the church members get together for each Thursday. When we got out of the taxi I even got my first kiss from her! KG had also taught her to say 'I love you' and she'll say it to both of us. Since I don't have a voice and am mostly whispering, she is now copying me and whispering back. It's pretty cute. After the dinner we went to the market and we weren't allowed to take Flower in because she wasn't tall enough! Like it's an amusement park?! Even when we put her in the carrier they wouldn't allow it so KG stayed outside with her. After that we were all tired so we dropped Amanda off and came home, around 9:30. Flower had already fallen asleep. KG and I are about to watch a movie and go to sleep. KG and I talked about the attachment issue and agree that Flower is probably more hesitant with me because she thinks I am replacing Amanda. She has never had a man in her life so it is easier for her to bond with KG. But tonight in the cab on the way home she actually asked me for a kiss. It was great. I think with a little bit of time things will be ok.
Day 8 Photos

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WEDNESDAY-DAY 7-January 24th

We woke up about 7:15 am with a phone call from Amanda. She was calling to see how our night had gone. We told her that Flower slept ok most of the night but a couple times woke up crying a little. I think she was just too hot. We got up, got dressed and ready to go by 8. Our guide for the day, Jo, showed up a little after 8 at the hotel room. She looked over the papers so we could be sure to have everything in order for our appointment at the civil affairs office. I was holding Flower and Jo tried to take her and she clung to me. :) Then we went down stairs and had breakfast. The wait staff was just inthralled with Flower. They kept asking us questions about her and then one said, "thank you for choosing chinese baby!" as she walked away. She was so happy to have American's adopting their babies. We arrived at the civil affairs office shortly after 9 am. It was a pretty painless process. An officer just asked us some questions about our employment, our ability to provide and take care of Flower, and why we chose to adopt her. We paid them a bunch of fees, signed a bunch of papers and then left. KG asked Flower who mommy was and she pointed right at me! :) We had to go to another office to do the passport stuff. There, we recorded Flower giving daddy her first kiss. It was very sweet. Then we returned back to the hotel. I haven't been feeling well, and feel worse today. We got back to the hotel around 11:30 am and rested. I want to try and just stay in for a couple of days and see if that will speed up my feeling better. Around 2 p.m. we took her swimming and hated every minute of it! It was kind of cold. We decided after only 10 minutes, her screaming the whole time, to come back to the room and put her in a warm bath. She hated that too. We loved baths at Amanda's so maybe she is just not ready for that yet. I then soaked in the tub and read and they finished watching Finding Nemo. She fell asleep around 4:30 and we watched She's The Man. We then woke her up for room service dinner about 5:30. So far she will try anything and had liked almost all of it! She is also pretty much responding to Flower now which surprised me. She totally identifies us as mommy and daddy. She is much more bonded to KG! She will only let me do things for her if he's not in the room or he's not paying attention. She gives him kisses gladly. I'm very happy she's attaching but it's hard feeling like she doesn't like me. I now it will take time and it doesn't help that I'm just not much fun right now. She wanted to be put in the little crib about 7 so she'll likely be out soon and KG and I are going to watch The Kid and I. She is laying in her crib as I write this saying, "mamma" so I'll respond "Flower". :) That's partly due to KG being nice and pretending he's asleep so she'll pay attention to me. Unfortunately my voice is still shot so she can't hear me respond most of the time! ;)

Day 7 Photos

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

TUESDAY-DAY 6-January 23rd

I was wake by 5:30 am. I wasn't able to sleep well and woke up all throughout the night unable to breath. I finally went and turned the shower on as hot as it would go and then sat on the counter and inhaled the steam for as long as I could take it! It helped for a bit but not as long as I'd hoped. We finished watching the Illusionist. I also want to wish Marco a happy birthday. He's still in Argentina. What better birthday gift then getting a new niece!? In just under two hours we will have our little girl on our arms! :) We are going to finish getting ready and go eat breakfast!
We got back tot he hotel around 7 pm. The meeting/hand-off at the civil affairs office wasn't as emotional as we'd all expected. Actually none of us cried at all. Perhaps that's because we know we'll still be seeing Amanda throughout the week. With her was Kay, who has been a part of her foster home from the beginning, and Laura, from the Big O(bigger orphanage). After the hand off we went to the Hyatt with all of them and Kay's boyfriend Will for lunch. It was awkward for us because we felt like we were being watched and not knowing her eating habits/likes and dislike, we didn't really know what to do. The meal went fine though. After that we went to Amanda's. We spent the rest of the afternoon there. We gave her all of the things that we'd brought and she was so surprised by all of the scrapbook stuff. We pretty much spent the rest of the day in her room while she went through everything. Nina(Flower-I will refer to her the same as we are going to call her through the name change transition just so you can see the process and how long it takes) took a nap as well as played. We got some photos of the other babies and the nannies. We also met the Britton's who have been helping Amanda every Tuesday from the beginning. I was really bummed because I just wanted to get in there and cuddle with the babies but I didn't want to get them sick, therefore I pretty much stayed away. :( She is deffinitly warming up to KG quickly. :) I'm just not feeling very playful right now and it's taking everything in me to just keep smiling! KG had her laughing most of the afternoon though. At one point he left Amanda's room and she was not happy. He left her on my lap so she screamed and slapped her hands against my chest and when I didn't react she looked down at my hands and then scratched the tops of them pretty good. We were so thrilled when we went to leave and one of the nannies tried to take her from KG and she clung to him! That is a great sign! We watched Finding Nemo that night in bed and she loved it! I took Nyquil and was out cold for about 5 hours until her crying woke me. KG said she had already woke up a few times and he had rubbed her back till she fell asleep. Since I'd already had five hours of sleep I told him to go to sleep and I'd take care of her since we had to be up in 4 hours. I gave her a bottle and took her pajama top off and she slept 4 hours straight so I'm thinking she was just hot.
Day 6 Photos-Official hand-off-Gotcha Day

Monday, January 22, 2007

MONDAY-DAY 5-January 22nd

Monday was full of ups and downs but we made the best of and it and just tried to have a good attitude about that which we could not control. For me it started with only four hours of sleep because I feel horrible. My lungs haven't ever hurt this bad. I coughed all night long. I finally used the inhaler Lance gave me and that helped and I was able to sleep. We were also both anxious knowing we were one day closer to meeting Flower. That also meant that we'd be leaving the Harvey's and Beijing. We would love to have had a couple more days there. If that we were possible, as we earlier thought, they had planned to take us around site seeing themselves. They just had too much going on during the weekend. As we got out of bed we both about fell to the floor. I cannot believe how sore my legs are! they didn't hurt at all when we were hiking the Great Wall and other stuff the day before. My lungs were the only thing holding me back. My calves feel like rocks, they are so tight. My lower back also is quite sore. I want a massage so bad! KG got DJ singing a couple of his songs. I will post them when I can. We also talked to Amanda. She told us that Flower woke up pointing to our photo and asking, 'where's daddy?'. :) Most adoptive parents I have talked to said that the children typically pick one parent and bond to them really well and don't want a lot to do with the other parent until they're home and in a more normal routine. I have a feeling I know which parent that is going to be. :) I wonder if she's more excited about it because, in a sense, she's had a mommy in Amanda. The daddy thing is new to her. It will be fun to see how it all plays out. The conversation also left us really bummed. Amanda informed us that they were organizing an officially branch out of the church group they had. It will be the first Branch in Xi'An. This is very exciting. However, with all the church leaders there, she is going to have them give Flower a Priesthood blessing, and we won't be able to be a part of it. It would have been so neat for KG to stand in on that! But, unfortunately, we are unable to see Flower before the officially hand off at the Civil Affairs office. :( We enjoyed a nice breakfast with Donya, Lance and DJ. Lance and DJ then took us to the airport. It's a good thing Lance was there to help us, otherwise we would have had to leave 2 of our suitcases behind to be shipped. He convinced them to allow us to take it! Phew, they are life savers! We shared a Subway sandwich and then were in the air by 11:40 am, landing in Xi'An at 1:30 pm. We had a lady and driver waiting for us, set up by our agency. I was thrilled that the in country coordinater, Chris, was not the one there. He is the one that had caused us so many issues. They took us by a bank so we could exchange money and then we were off to the hotel. We are staying at the Sheraton. It's very nice, its a 5 star hotel. We got everything unpacked since we'll be here for nine days. Our original plans were to stay with Amanda and Flower for 4 or 5 days and in the hotel for the other half but that was nixed. Admittedly, it will be nice to have our own space and, feeling so yucky right now, it will be nice not to have all the noise. It's also going to be nice to be in the same place for 9 days rather then packing and unpacking again. We are just still unsure whether Flower will ever see us interacting with Amanda and that would really help the transition and bonding. *sigh* KG called Amanda. I haven't had a voice for a couple of days so I haven't been able to talk to her, or anyone else and it's frustrating! Anyhow, it was important for all of us to at least get Amanda the outfit that we wanted Flower to be wearing for the official hand off. KG's parents bought the dress and my parents bought the tights, shoes, and shirt. we bought the head band. That way she had something from all of us at our first meeting! She was originally going to send someone to pick it up but when she found out Chris wasn't here, she was thrilled and relieved! She came herself and it was so nice to finally meet her and be able to hug her! We gave her the bagels we had purchased, the calendar that we had given all the parents and grandparents for Christmas, and the outfit for Flower. It was just a quick 5 minute thing in the lobby because we didn't want to risk getting in trouble. She also gave us a cell phone for our use while in Xi'an so we can keep in contact with her. We then toured the hotel and are thrilled there is a big pool. The hot tub is out of sevice though, so that was disappointing. It will be so fun to swim with Flower for the first time! We discovered they do massages here. We were determined to end our day on a happy, relaxed note! We ordered two in-room massages. They were 45 minuted massaged for only $25 each! So cheap! We then ordered room service for dinner. I soaked in the tub until it arrived. It was the most well presented room service we have ever had and the food was delicious! We then put the Illusionist into the laptop and were both asleep by 9:45 pm.
Day 5 Photos-Flying from Beijing to Xi'An

Sunday, January 21, 2007

SUNDAY DAY 4-January 21

Sunday started early with getting everyone ready for church. We enjoyed a nice breakfast with DJ and Melissa while Marc still avoided us. :) We played a lot with DJ teaching him some hand clapping games and songs. We also gave him his first piece of gum with this family. We were impressed that he chewed it for an hour, not spitting it out until right before church started. Their branch is bigger then our ward! It was a lovely meeting and imagine our surprise when the couple speaking said they were from Boise. Then they said their names and I realized I new them. I spoke with them after and sure enough, they used to live across the street from my grandparents. Brother and Sister Lyons. His brother and SIL were friends with my grandparents. Their son Scott is either friends with my brother or my cousin John. She wasn't sure and I can't remember but know the name. They were so welcoming there and several people came to introduce themselves right away. One gal had the cutest skirt on and hooked us up with the place to shop! After sacrement meeting we quickly changed and met Lance. He had arranged a driver for us for the rest of the day. I was so excited to hear the Beatles playing all the way there. He was amused by my Beatles sweatshirt I just happened to be wearing. It was a nice ride to our frist destination, The Great Wall. That was amazing! We took a cable car up the mountain and then walked lots and lots of the wall. It was so darn cold! I was really struggling with the cold and the bad air that i kept getting dizzy because I just wasn't getting the oxygen that I needed. We still had a really great time though. We road a slide car down which was fun but since it was controled by them, not as fast as it could have been. At the end of that area there were lots of bears to look at. Since we took the slide car down it brought us out a different side so we had to get a taxi to take us back to our driver because I jsut couldn't handle a 5 mile walk at that point! We were soon on our way to the Ming Tombs which were fascinating! The under ground palace was just neat. We spent a couple hours there, choosing the automated tour again. I broke one side to my earphone and was so annoyed because we had to pay a deposit of 200 RMB for each! they were the cheapest little things and not worth that so KG rigged it back together and we got the full deposit! Probably not the most honest thing but oh well. ;) After that he took us to the market where the gal had gotten her skirt. It was huge! There were five stories and the building was massive. We found the skirts right away in two different sections. It was fun to haggle with them. One skirt was originally 560 RMB and I talked them down to 100 RMB. The next was 450 and I talked them down to 100 RMB. It was fun and knowing they are paying only about 15-25 RMB I don't feel so bad. I do feel bad for the people that don't know to tlak them down because they are getting taken! Luckily Donya filled us in and said not to ever pay more then a quarter of their original price. I didn't do too bad. When we got home we played Uno Spin with the family. Finally Marc's personality came out. He is a fun kid. He loves computer games. He is also competive at board games and isn't allowed to keep score because he hates losing so bad he cheats. :) He handled losing just fine tonight. KG acutally won and they all slautered me. I was the only one with a zero score. The kids went to bed however and we finished the game out the Donya and Lance. We then taught them Toss Up! and I redeamed myself and won that. I know we have made some life long friends in the Harvey's and if we lived close we would easily get together often. They are a neat family that we feel like we've known for years! We all finally hit the sack at about midnight. I didn't fall asleep till after 2 am however. Maybe I'm anxious about our trip to Xi'An?! I also got hooked up with another inhaler. I hacked and wheezed my way through the game and after explaining, without a voice, that I had forgotten my inhaler they metioned that Lance had been perscribed one but never used it. It's not as high strength as mine but will do the job for now! :)
Day 4 Photos-Great Wall of China
Day 4 Photos-Ming Tombs
Day 4 Photos-Yashow Mall

Saturday, January 20, 2007

SATURDAY-DAY 3-January 20th

Wow we slept well. We woke up 8:30 am. The Harvey's had scouting things and were gone until 1:30 pm. I got in the bath because I had a headache and was congested. the air here is terrible and the one thing we've discovered that we forgot so far is my inhaler! Hopefully I will be fine without it but but we really haven't even gone anywhere and my lungs are hurting and I am wheezing. So is KG. We also talked to Amanda on the phone. After our conversation last night we discovered that we wouldn't be able to stay with Amanda prior to the officially hand off. That was very disappointing but we have to follow the rules. That would mean staying in Beijing longer then we thought. We started getting exciting thinking we would be able to relax in Beijing and and take our time seeing the sites. Now that has changed again! We learned by this conversation that they were able to pull some strings and get our first appointment early and now we have to leave Beijing on Monday. Crap, now we are going to be rushing again to see everything we wanted but now the Harvey's are gone and half the day has been spent relaxing inside instead of seeing the sites! Ah well, roll with the punches! We finally decided to call them around 1:30 pm to make them aware of the changes. They came home right away, made a deal with a taxi to stay with us all afternoon and sent us on our way by 2:00 pm. We went to Tian'anmen Square first. I wasn't that impressed and was annoyed by all the hagglers. We just weren't expecting that. We only stayed there for an hour. We then went to Temple of Heaven from 4-5:00. We purchased the audio tour and really enjoyed that because it helped us know what we were looking at. It was very entertaining. We could have spent a lot more time there! Unfortunately most of the tourist things that we wanted to do closed at 5:00 so we came home after that arriving about 6:00 pm. It was so nice having a taxi just waiting for us at the end of each stop and not having to worry. Lance speaks Chinese so he gave him all the instructions. Plus they gave us Donya's cell phone in case we needed anything or had any questions. I can't imagine how we would have gotten around without them! We beat the Harvey's home so we stood outside and walked the neighborhood until they arrived. They ordered Chinese take-out and KG was in heaven. I liked it too. Jeremy is an incredible piano player with quite the set up. He is legally blind and therefore can't read notes. He just plays and composes and the electric piano records it on a computer and shows the notes really large on a screen and then he makes cd's. We were very entertained by him for a good portion of the night. He also does a fabulous imitation of Bill Cosby and has most of his skits memorized. We had fun getting to know all the kids a little better that night. Melissa was excited to have a couple things in common with me like disliking fresh tomatoes but liking tomato soup and tomato sauce as well as our dislike for watermelon. :) She is also a good artist but lacks confidence so we had fun building her up. She drew a great picture of me that will now go on our fridge, maybe even framed as a memento of our trip. DJ decided he needed in on all this fun as well and drew a great picture of KG. He also drew some Chinese characters and spent time trying to teach KG what they meant. Very cute. He is such a smart kid and eager to learn. He will do well with his new family. We are just in love with him and if he wasn't already spoken for, we'd nab him up. He just needs to get to where he can get some surgeries for his back. His poor little spine is in the shape of an 's'. Marc has been a little antisocial so far but we will crack him before we leave! :)
Day 3 Photos-Beijing-Tian Anmen Square
Day 3 Photos-Beijing-Temple of Heaven

Friday, January 19, 2007


We stayed up all night last night in hopes of being able to sleep on our long plane ride. At 6 am we loaded up the car. Confident that we had everything we needed we left our apartment. We stopped at Rivercity bagel to get the bagels that Amanda wanted. We went to Jim's Coffee Shop for breakfast to see my northend end mom. She didn't know we had received the ok to leave so what better way to tell her then show up right before we had to be at the airport. She fed us an omlet and then we picked up the Rummlers. Because our luggage wouldn't all fit int he trunk and therefore took up half the back seat, we had to wait for Glen to come back home so that they could all follow us in the van. We met KG's dad there so he could get us all checked in. Robin and Tristan drove our car to their house and that's where it will stay till they pick us up. We got on our plane and we were finally on our way at 9:30 am.

We landed in Seattle at 10:40 am. We had a 2 1/2 hour layover and in that time got a message from Diana at our agency. Only 12 hours after our original 'ok' to fly and there were already issues. I won't go into everything now. We were talking online with Amanda and Diana at the same time. But in short, one person got involved and started questioning a few things with our plans that were previously approved but now everything is screwed up and we had a few minutes to decide whether to stay in Seattle until things were sorted or just go to Beijing on the faith that everything would work out. That's what we decided to do to. It was risky because we didn't know whether we'd end up getting stuck in China for 1 to 2 extra weeks! It was worth it to us however because we just wanted to get there! We got on the plane not knowing where we were going to sleep in Beijing or what we would do! Amanda just said trust me and call me when you touch down there and I will give you the details. KG was very uneasy! ;) It's the first time I've really seen any sign of stress in him since I've known him! At 1:15 pm we were headed for Korea. The flight was great. Very long! we each had our own screen on the back of the seat in front of us. We had about 20 movies to pick from, 10 different games that could be played alone or with someone else, and lots and lots of music. We slept on and off for about a half hour at a time throughout the flight so we were exhausted!

We landed in Seoul, Korea at 5:40 pm local time. We had a layover there and I lied down on some seats and took a nap. The set up there was amazing. There a flat screen tellie with full surround and all. Better then most have in their homes at home! Finally we left Korea for Beijing at 7:15 pm

We arrived in Beijing at 8:30 pm local time. We were completely relieved to see a man standing there with a sign that said JENSEN really big! Phew! This was brother Heinz Dickens. I just want to say how grateful we are for the church! Amanda had called sister Britton in Xi'an and said we were on our way and needed a place to stay so that we cold save money in case we ended up being in china a lot longer then intended and also someone to help us get around. She called the relief society president, sister Donya Harvey, in Beijing and it was all set up and they were so excited about it! She arranged for Heinze to pick us up and being us to her home. He had his own driver. Wow was that smooth! I cannot say enough how grateful we were not to have to worry about any of this! It was amazing to walk into their home, seeing all their Christmas stuff still up and being members of the church, just feeling so at home! Across the world in another country with people we had never met and feeling at home! We couldn't ask for anything better! What a small world it is too. Turns out Heinze daughter, Rian, married Chad Oiler from Boise whom I graduated high school with. Go figure. They had a huge bedroom for us with our own bath and were thrilled to have us there. They opened up their home and gave us fee reign. We talked and got to know them as long as we could but finally just had to go to bed because we were in such a fog! They have three children, all adopted from Taiwan. Jeremy, 15, twins Melissa and Marc, 11, and are fostering DJ, 5 until his parents get their travel approval. We hadn't really slept in about 46 hours so we went to bed about 11:30 pm, Friday night, and were fast asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow!
DAY 1 AND 2 PHOTOS-Flight from Boise to Beijing
The Harvey's Photos

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Leaving for CHINA!!!

I can't believe I can finally write this! We are going to get our little girl! We have to be at the airport in 2 hours. Whew! I can't believe it. It is two days later then we originally had planned but everything is worked out now and we or leaving! Thanks for all the continued support! We are so nervous and excited, scared and anxious and so many things! I cannot believe we are about to become parents! Please keep us in your prayers!

Friday, January 12, 2007


We finally got out TA! Yay! Hopefully we will be traveling soon. It's seem like we have been waiting for travel approval forever! We are deffinitly doing the happy dance!

Friday, January 5, 2007

I'm fine with ONE!

KG and I were having a conversation yesterday and kind of reflecting on this whole adoption process, our dreams before our marriage, our dreams during and so on. As far as "us" as a couple, we've never really had a set amount of kids that we wanted. We always sort of felt we'd have the number we were meant to have. At certain times I wanted more children then him and vise versa. Through the whole adoption process I have pretty much worn my feelings on my sleeve with KG. He has always known what I'm feeling. I, on the other hand, have figured he's feeling cruddy about it but he shows nothing. I just have to assume his cranky mood or being extra tired is brought on by the stress. The stress of this process and the toll it's taken on KG finally made itself apparent in this conversation. At one point, before we decided to adopt, I had made a comment that I would be 'ok' with one child, especially if I was birthing it because pregnancy sucks. He always said, "It's at least two or none so you better decide and commit before we even get started. It's unfair to a child to not have any siblings and be alone in this world." I would just smile and nod. Well, in our conversation last night I brought up our next child and when he thought we'd want to start the process. He said right away, 'I'm fine with ONE!' I mentioned our previous conversations and he said he doesn't know if he could do this all again. :) Now I'm feeling a little less crazy knowing it's getting to him too. He said, "Well, maybe we'll birth one then". I said thanks but no thanks. At this point, I am not interested in being pregnant and we've discussed, and agreed, my being pregnant is just not a good thing for me or us. Besides, if we birth our own, they'd be 4 years apart at least! If we adopt again we have to adopt another toddler or it's like having two 'only' children because their too far apart. So what's the point of that? I may change my mind about birthing but right now it's a NO! It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Here are a couple of photos from a raft trip we were blessed enough to go on with KG's parents.
You can just barely see KG through the splash of water!

This next one is the after math of that splash. I am in the back with the cream shirt, KG is front left with white shirt and yellow shorts, his dad and mom are front right in black.

We had so much fun!
Peace OUT!

Let's kick it.

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i love life. i love my family. i love adventures.

past ramblings

peace out