Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shopping with Ann

Today we heading to Shamian Island to do some shopping. We had made plans with Ann from Red Threads to take us shopping so met up with her. She took us off the island to some street shops and hit some bargains! Boy does she know where to go and really looks over your purchases to make sure they are perfect. If your coming to China I would highly recommend using her. Do not buy your items in Beijing as tempting as it is she can really help you make some great deals on some nice items. Also make a list ahead of time, it helps save time.

When we were on the island we head some beautiful music and before I could think of the song Ann told us it was coming from the church. It was a hymn that we sign in church. Sure enough there was a beautiful church just ahead of us signing in Chinese and in English. It was simple beautiful! I was a bit confused as to why Chinese people could enter at will in this church and could not at the one in Beijing. Ann had no answer for me and seemed very surprised when I told her we had to show our passports to get in.

On our way back to the hotel she was able to get us a van to bring us back. All the kids piled in the very back and the adults in the front. Seemed very strange to pile our kids in the back of a van with no seats or seat belts. They thought it was the best thing though. We can now say we've taken the subway, the local bus, the taxi and plane in China. I think that covers all the public transportation in China except the train! LOL Our guide said we were the first group ever to use the public bus and that scares her.

Tomorrow we go back to the island to have Evan's TB test read. We are thinking he will need a chest x-ray along with two other children in our group. Please keep these children in your prayers. Thanks for your emails and comments. It is so nice to hear from everyone back home.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Medical Exam

Today was Evan's medial exam appointment. All the children had to have their Visa pictures taken before the medical portion. This went pretty fast. We then moved over to the medical center and waited for the vaccinations. Evan received four shots today and a TB skin test. We were able to explain to him that he would be receiving shots. When we entered the room he let us know he didn't want them. He was very brave and did not cry. He did make faces and some noise but no tears.

We moved through the next stations rather quickly. We decided to kick out the ENT station first. This exam is kind of a joke. Most who have adopted understand what we are talking about. Those of you who don't let me tell you what we mean. To test the hearing they have an electric piano on one side of the child and a squeaky toy on the other side. If they look in the direction of either than they can hear! Evan did not but we did not expect him to. If he had I probably would have laughed to myself.

The second station was the main medical doctor. He was a very nice man and pleased with how well Evan was doing. He asked if we felt Evan was on track developmentally. Of course we said yes! Sometimes China will not only make the diagnosis of Deaf but they will also say dumb as well. Our child is far from being dumb!! He is actually pretty darn smart if I so day so.

The last station was height, weight and eye test. We didn't even bother checking to see his height and weight. He has an appointment less than a week after returning home. The eye test was interesting but he was able to do it. :)

Praise God for our sweet little guy. He is amazing and we can not wait to get home to meet the kids in person. We are missing them something firce. Tomorrow will be a day of shopping. We are looking forward to that very much. So until tomorrow.......

Bob, Cheri, and  Taylor

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heading to Guangzhou!

We are all packed and ready to go. Our flight does not leave until 4 or 4:30 pm but we will check out and head to the airport at 2 pm. This will be Evan's first ride on an airplane. Please keep us in your prayers. He seems to understand that we are all going somewhere together.

We are leaving you with some more photos of the city.

Here you can see the cities skyscrapers. They are everywhere and they are huge.

Here in the center of the square is the Clock Tower. It chimes on the hour up until 11 pm at night. It is really tall and very beautiful.

This is very neat. This is the year of the tiger and in this picture someone made a tiger out of used Coke cans!

This is only a block away from the the above pictures. They are tearing down these buildings to update this part of the city. It is amazing to see the start difference only blocks away from each other.

This woman was working on the same street as the above picture. There were little markets up and down this street.

So if you don't see the pictures just give Carla some time, she'll have them up soon.

Bob, Cheri and Taylor

Day On The Town

Today was a fascinating day of touring Chongqing. There are 39 million people in Chongqing. It is the largest city in all of China as well as the most industrial. Imagine what the skies here look like. We were told Chongqing is the size of Austria. There are no bikes in this province due to the mountains. There are MANY cars, motorcycles, and stick boys. There are a 1,000 cars added to the streets of Chongqing a day! We have seen quite a few accidents here.

We were able to go to the Three Gorges Museum. We saw a wall mural that showed how many people and towns were affected by the dam. To actually see it the way we did really put it into perspective. Some towns/cities are completely under water. The reasons the dam was built  is for flood protection, increase power by 50%, and reduce polution due to burning coal. Burning coal is the number one reason why the city always appears to be be hazy.

We drove to Chongqing Eling Park. On the drive we saw caves within the mountain side that were built back during WWII. Some of them have little shops, many are locked. The park was beautiful. There were items from WWII there as well as a pagoda. On a clear day we could have seen the Yangtze river and Chongqing city sky line. The People's Great Hall is the landmark of Chongqing. The whole building has an elegant design and the colors of the building is spectacular. Especially the dome above the front gate, a typical architectural creation in Chinese sociaty.

We head out to Guangzhou tomorrow afternoon. We are looking forward to meeting back up with our group and their new children.

We have noticed Evan doing a full body "twitch" when he is completely relaxed. Please pray that this is nothing more than a twitch. Tomorrow's post may just be photo's. :)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Orphanage Visit

Evan and Taylor - Heading to the orphanage.

Today was very interesting and a day we will never forget. We headed to the orphanage around 10am and it took about 45-55 minutes to arrive there. The scenerary along the way was interesting. We went from one extreme to the other extreme. I love to drive the country side and view the daily life of people.

Evan was fine in the car for awhile and then became very quite. It was pretty clear he knew where we were going. When we arrived he was afraid. Bob, Michael and I got out at the front gate and took some pictures. We explained to him to stay in the car with Taylor. After I got out and turned to explain to him to stay with Tay he waved good-bye to me. :( I shook my head no and tired my very best to let him know that we would be leaving with him.

Front of the Orphanage. Houses the babies and toddlers.

We all drove up to the orphanage and walked around the grounds. Michael asked Evan if he wanted to go inside. He nodded yes. He asked if we wanted to, of course we jumped at the offer. The building is separated by the childrens ages. We went into the school aged section. This consisted of the children 7-18 years of age. We reached the doors of the building and a man came out and started talking to Evan. He had my hand and Taylors, I can tell you his grip became a bit tighter. I don't need to speak Chinese to know the man asked or told Evan he was coming back. Evan started shaking his head no. This man grabbed his arm teasing him and Evan had the look of fear on his face. He just started pulling away, he was not going back.

Children's Hospital on the grounds of Orphanage

We went upstairs to where the childrens bedrooms are and that is where Evan froze. He did not want to move. There was no way to explain we just wanted him to show us his old room. In fact he was backing up like he was afraid we were bringing him to the room and going to leave. That is when Michael received a phone call from the assistant director telling him to finish up quickly and get out of the building. The CCAA is still retricting visitors due to the fear of H1N1. I quickly went and took a picture of what I thought was Evans bedrrom but later found out from him that it was the next room over. I would have loved to look in the room a bit more but a group of older children had heard Evan was there and was now surronding him. They all seemed nice except for one. She seemed to be tounting him or telling him something me. I saw the head teacher get upset with her and tell her to stop. I believe she was telling him we were going to cut his tongue out. I can't be certain but if you were to see the motion I think you would come to the same conclusion.

Houses school aged and children up to 18 yr. old.

Evan was able to see his head teacher and big sister. He didn't want anything to do with his big sister. I'm pretty sure it hurt her feeling. She looks pretty sad to say the least. He would barely look at her. The head teacher gave us another picture of Evan and three other sweet children swimming. As we were leaving the building they we looking out one of the building windows and waving. It was truely sad. He was happy to wave good-bye to everyone and his feet barely hit the steps as we went down. He seems so much more relaxed and is very happy. We have yet to see him cry. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Dining Room

Bedroom - sleeps eight children.

3 Towers

Evan is starting to test his boundries a bit more. We were in a store today and he was touching everything. I kept signing no. He was not listening. He kept letting go of my hand as well and that we will not stand for right now. He was not happy. I thought he was going to hit the floor and start to melt down. I help escort him out of the store before that happened. He loves to hang out with Taylor. The two of them together is so cute. When they get off the elevator they race down the hall to our room. I thought for sure he was going to end up sleeping in her bed but he is in ours.

He is picking up so many signs it is amazing. He has about 15 signs that he has learned and then a few that he uses from the orphanage that we understand. He compunnicates his needs very well. I don't think we will have a problem doing his hearing test in a couple of weeks. Oh did I tell you how clean and organized he like his things? He goes around the room making sure everything is picked up and put a way properly.

Tomorrow we are going sightseeing around Chongqing. We really have not seen much of the city except for walking around the streets outside our hotel. Thank you all for your prayers. If you have wondered why I have not sent messages to the other children at home that is because we talk to them once or twice a day via Skype. They know we love and miss them. They are doing really well and have a great friend taking care of them. We leave Chongqing on Friday! Wecan hardly believe it.

If you've read this far thanks, if not I don't blame you! LOL I'm off to bed. Everyone else is sleeping already as usual.

Bob, Cheri and Taylor

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

He's Ours!

It is official, Evan is our son. We finished up all of the Chinese adoption paperwork today. We had to go back to the civil affairs building and to the police station to finish it all but it is finished. Chongqing does a special ceremony when everything is all done and they hand you your child's "red book". It really was very special and I'm glad we had an option to buy pictures from them. They had someone taking pictures while the ceremony was taking place. We did have to go to the police station and wait for about an hour so they could issue Evans Chinese passport at the end of the week. Seemed like forever.

Evan became pretty quite when we all loaded the car for the civil affairs office. Then it became apparent he was nervous. He had a hold of Taylor's hand and was not letting go for anything. The assistant director came into the room and approached Evan. He let go of Taylor's hand and waved to her. He thought he was going back. He looked so sad. We did our ceremony, paperwork and left to go to dinner. When we all went back to the car you could see him relax again.

We took him to McDonald's for dinner. He loved it except I'm thinking he is going to only like ketchup only on his burgers. I wasn't about to try and explain that one. ;) You should have seen him open up while we were there. It was amazing. It was like he could relax. He was giggling and pointing things out. Was a bit too shy to go play on the playground even though he really wanted to.

When we returned to the hotel both he and Taylor had to go to the bathroom. I told Taylor to run to the room and go. My thinking was by the time we arrived at the room she would be done and Evan could go. Well Evan and Taylor raced towards our room with one boy giggling all the way. It was way too sweet for words. So now the both race to see who is going to make it there first. Last time Evan was hiding around the corner in front of our door and tried to pop out and scare Bob. I'm telling you this boy is sweet! He loves Taylor and I truly believe it is because of the young lady that helped him in his class.

Evan watch a bit of Signing Time DVD today and picked up the signs fast! Awhile later he was watching a cartoon and there was an airplane in it and he started signing plane to Bob. He is learning really fast.

Leslie, the toy he is playing with in yesterdays pictures is a little flashlight that casts a picture on the wall or a seat. He loves that toy. Mickey Mouse is a big hit with him. The measurements the orphanage sent is dead on. The clothes we brought fit him great.

We're off to bed. I hope we can all sleep past 4am. Evan was up at 5am and I think it was because of us. Tomorrow will be another day where Evan may be a bit unsure. We will tour the outside grounds of his orphanage with the possibility of the inside. Please keep us in your prayers. Thank you for all who have been emailing and leaving comments! They mean the world to us.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Meeting Evan!

Today we met our second son and it was one of the most amazing days ever. Our flight ended up an hour late due to a passenger being removed from the plane by security. Luckily we were not meeting Evan until 2pm. Our guide Michele is great so far. He told us a ton of information about Chongqing. He dropped us off at the hotel so we could drop off our luggage and get our items ready to head over to the Civil Affairs Building.

At 1:30pm we headed to the Civil Affairs Building and entered right at 2pm. As we walked in the door there was our sweet boy. You could see he knew who we were and that he was excited. He came to me, grabbed my hand and did not let go. What an answer to prayer. The orphanage staff really prepared him well for our arrival. Thank you Lord.

Evan was able to say Mama and Baba with verbal cues. He either has some hearing and or really great lip reading. We were able to meet a young lady that acts as a big sister to him. You will see her with him in a couple of the pictures. They seemed really close. We learned that she was teaching him a bit of sign language. Please pray that we will be granted access to the orphanage on Wednesday. This will be iffy and we pray that it can be made possible.

He is a sweet, sweet boy! We can not wait to see his full personality come to life in the next few days. There have been no tears as of tonight but we will see what tomorrow brings. Thank you all for your prayers. They have worked. Please do not stop now.

Carla: I tried to fix some of the shadows on the photos rather quickly. Anyone meeting your child here, know it has some "wonderful" lighting conditions in the afternoon with backlighting going on. Fill flash or "spot metering" mode might be better. I know these are a tad too red, going to work on it now. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More Beijing Sight Seeing

Today was yet again another day of busy sight seeing. We started our day at the Beijing International Christian Fellowship Church. The message was awesome and so fitting. It spoke about fear and anxitey. What adoptive parent does not have either of these the day before you meet your child? After church everyone commented on how they were in awe of the timing of the message.

When church was over we headed to the Olympic Park. This was under construction when we came at the end of 2007. It was great to see it up close and see its beauty. Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City was very busy. It is a huge area and I think it took us three hours to cover both places. The air quality was amazing today. You could see for quite a ways in to the distance. It was also warmer than the other two days.

The pearl factory was very nice. Taylor loved it. She used some of her spending money to buy some items. She probably could have used all of it there but we needed to remind her that she still has two weeks to go. I feel like all we do right now is eat. We eat as a group as it is included in our tour package for Beijing. We have like pretty much everything so far. Wonder what our province will be like. We will find out tomorrow!

We have to wake up at 3:30 to start our day. We need to be in the lobby to go to the airport at 5:30 am. We will meet Evan tomorrow afternoon, we are not sure of the time. So we are of to pack and try to sleep. Please keep all of us in your prayers.

Noah, Kera and Lia, we love and miss you very much. Tomorrow you will meet your new brother! :) Be good for Michele!

Bob, Cheri and Taylor