Friday, August 24, 2007

Gotcha Day's 1 Month Anniversary!

Where do I begin? Today is exactly one month to the day since Gotcha Day. So much has happened since we became a family, 1 month ago. Yes, so much has happened since returing home, just 3 weeks ago. It seems like she's been ours forever, because our whole lives seem to literally revolve around her. I have to think hard, sometimes, about what our routine was before San San came into our lives. Life is definitely not the same. I have to say, it has become so much richer and joyful.
Since the day we brought her home, Angeline has blossomed so much. We can't believe how much progress she's made since we brought her home from the orphanage, just one month ago. Taken from the only world she's ever known, given to people she's never met and don't understand, and taken to live in strange places. She's come so far, not only logistically, but developmentally and emotionally. She's gone from a shell-shocked, scared little baby to a radiant, happy (and may I say, flirty) little toddler. Sometimes I forget she's still a baby, because she has so much personality. My mother-in-law says she seems so mature for her age. It's only when she cries, that we're reminded that San San's only a 1 year old baby.
She's like a little ray of sunshine when she smiles. She enjoys meeting new people and is not as afraid of strangers, as before. With people she recognizes, she greets with an adorable smile. With people she's familiar with, she adds a little dance jig and offers a big hug. She's a very curious baby, which makes her a lot of fun. She is interested in everything and everyone. I think since my parents and I have been taking her out and about, almost daily, that she's become more worldly.
Since our last blog entry, that same night, Angeline has slept peacefully in her crib. She actually prefers it, because she has so much more room. Thanks so much Janet, for your advice. It worked! Some things haven't changed though, since Gotcha Day, she still loves to eat ALOT! So much that she's gained 3 1/2 pounds in a month. Her pediatrician said that it's catch-up eating, which is normal, and that she is at the correct weight for her height now. If we let her, she can eat more than me! No, I don't eat that little! Anyways, we figured out a trick, that if we give her a cup of juice before meals, she manages to get full faster. We call this the "baby portion control" diet, or "no spit-up" diet. Instead of grunting, she has learned to ask for more food by saying "mama". She says this even when she's tugging on daddy's arm. Oh, well.
She has so much energy! She wants to walk and climb so bad, that the adults around her have to take turns supporting her or risk over-exhaustion. We expect she'll be walking on her own, in another month and running in two. Watch out world, here she comes!
She's gotten to know her maternal grandparents really well. She sees them pretty much daily. She's got them trained so that they walk her, feed her on cue, rock her when she's sleepy and pretty much come immediately, on demand. She's even trained them to take her out to dim sum 2 to 3 times a week. Mom has to watch this overzealous little toddler and her eating habits. She'll try any food and will like it, too. She even eats BITTERMELON! Even dad can't stomach more than 2 tiny slices in one sitting. You go girl!
Unfortunately, since returning home, William has been battling a sore throat and, we thought, a cold. Just last weekend, we found out it was not a cold, he was trying to get over, but a fever. After taking San San for a dip in the pool, in Sacramento, he immediately came down with a 104 degree fever. I have, also, been trying to get over a sore throat, but since I haven't officially started work yet and have a little, less rigid schedule, I hope to get over this bug faster.
San San will be getting a neurological and developmental assessment check-up in two weeks, just to see where she's at and should be age-wise. We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Home at Last!

Hi, everyone! Yes, we are home at last. It's been 5 days since our return, so I'll, first, update you on our flight home. It was pretty much uneventful. We had a stop off at Narita airport in Japan. Angeline handled it fairly well. She had her own seat and the passenger next to us, who happened to be traveling with a 5 week old baby, was nice enough to move so that we had the whole row to ourselves. She saw seats further up front that allowed her more room, also. Thank goodness, Angeline didn't fuss much.

Since coming home, though, her fussiness has escalated. I think it is because Susan has been meeting her needs 24/7, that she was become even more clingy. It's pretty much the same before returning home, whereby, Susan would walk away a few feet and she would cry. Now, that she's home and not exposed to anyone, but her mom, she has become more demanding. She's not fussy around William, probably, because she doesn't see him as much in the day, when he works. Susan has decided she'll start taking her out more regularly to meet other people. She seems to do better when she's been out and about.

Angeline had a surprise welcome home party from William's mom on Saturday. She got to meet her grandparents, uncles, aunts and little cousin, who's just 7 months younger than her. They'll probably have a great time playing together.

Angeline has achieved quite a few milestones these past few days. Since returning home, she has learned to say "mama" and just today "baba". Not for lack of trying though. She thought she was saying "baba" when she was still saying "mama". You can see, though, that she's trying hard to articulate correctly, but the wrong sound keeps coming out. She's, also, learned to crawl, walk with mom's aide, take out her plastic stacking cups one-by-one and, again, today, learned to put them in a pail, wave "bye bye", and wave "hello" on cue. Mommy and Daddy are very pleased. Now, if we can just get her to sleep in her crib and not cling so much, then, she and we, will really have achieved something!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

We are ready to come home!

This is our finaly day in Guangzhou. Yes, we are ready to come home with Angeline(San San). This will be our last posting in Mainland China and we will have to wake up at 4:00am to catch our flight at 8:00am in the morning. Thanks all of you for following us along this exciting journey of ours and thanks for all the great comments. They really means a lot in supporting us in this transition time in our parenthood. We will see you back in the Bay Area. Bye

2 more days and we will be home…

In 2 more days, we will be flying home with Angeline. It will be our longest flight with Angeline, and we are really looking forward to it……..NOT. Well, we hope it will not be a bad experience.
We are really enjoying our time here with San San. She is such a happy baby since we receive her. Most of the time she smiles to people a lot and to us. Except when she didn’t get enough to eat…well actually, we never can tell if she is full., she could be cranky. San San usually don’t stop eating until we stopped feeding her. Although she eats a lot, she also goes to #2 a lot too. And we will only know when we start smelling it, she never cries even when she needs diaper change… she probably get used to it.
Today, we finally, and I mean finally, our paperwork is done, YuHoo!
Our trip to the US embassy was actually easier and faster than we expected. We left our hotel at 3:00pm…got to the US embassy at around 3:45 (the US embassy had actually moved quite far from the White Swan Hotel), started the Oath on time at around 4:00pm and we are out by 4:20pm. More time was spent on the road than the actual ceremony for adoptive families.
We are ready to fly back, but since we can’t get our ticket to fly back home until Friday, we will hang around a little more and try to enjoy this 5 stars White Swan Hotel.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Today is our second day in Guangzhou, we met with our guide and started the paperwork again,this time for a US visa, for Angeline. We had a nice breakfast buffet at the White Swan Hotel. We were quite surprised that the paperwork went so smoothly. Ms. Liang, our guide, had us fill out and sign the required paperwork and we were done in less than an hour. Afterward, in late morning, we decided to bring Angeline to see a pediatrician. Her breathing seemed somewhat labored and she was still coughing. Thankfully, one of William's aunts works at the Guangzhou children hospital. We were able to get Angeline in to see the pediatrician right away. To our surprise, Angeline was diagnosed with a mild case of bronchitis and she was prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine. The doctor said that since she appears to be very active, shows no problems with eating and daily bowel movements, she should be fine. What a relief!
After giving Angeline her medicine (she really likes taking the medicine, by the way, because it's sweet) and resting a little bit, in the afternoon, we went to do more shopping in a huge shopping mall call "Tee Mall" and bought more baby clothes. The clothes here really are inexpensive and there are many different styles to choose from. Thankfully mommy gave in and decided it was time to get a stroller. You would think our baby would be a very quiet and still baby, considering she's been in an orphanage, with very little interaction with the outside world. But, no, our baby multi-tasks! She can move her head, arms, body, legs, you name it, every which way, all at the same time, non-stop. We are truly grateful for the stroller. Angeline is, thankfully, willing to sit in it and seems to have a great time people-watching. She's in awe of all the new sights, sounds and smells. Her head busily whiplashes back and forth,and up and down. She even likes the taste of her new stroller!