03 February 2011

Thursday, February 03, 2011 - 7 comments

2/2/10 and 2/3/10 - Two for one!

Shower me happy! 
February 2, 2010
I’m still in awe at the fact that I am sitting in a hotel room in China with my husband, son and new daughter.  Wowza!  Looking around me I’m surrounded by lots of smiles, many good laughs, and LOTS of dirty diapers!  We’ve had lots of first here in this little hotel room have been enjoying every single moment!

The weather here in Nanchang has been quite rainy and is not expected to stop for the remainder of our time here, but we’re loving it and making the most of what we got.  Today we went to see the beautiful Teng Wang Pavilion with a few of our traveling families and enjoyed getting out of the hotel for a few hours.  While it was still pouring rain and really windy we still had a great time!  Mike was the photographer of the day and took some incredible shots!
Jennifer wasn’t the happiest to be put in the little “snow suit” thing we brought though, as soon as we put her in there she just shut down for a bit.  She has so enjoyed being free of her confined life in layers upon layers of clothing and today must of reminded her of what life was like just a short 48 hours ago.   We have made so many strides in the last 24 hours that is was hard for us to watch her go back a bit.  Soon enough we were back in our room and got her back to enjoying her hands and feet again though and the smiles returned quickly!

Our time with her these last 2 days has only been about bonding and helping her gain the skills she’s not had the chance to learn yet.  She has now discovered that the things inside her layers of clothes that she plays with are her hands.  We’d watched her play with her fingers without looking at them and now she just stares at them non stop.  We’re working on the feet but she still can’t get over the hand thing yet.  Today she used her legs to hold herself up while being held for the first time.  When we first got her her legs were as limp as a wet noodle.  She is now beginning to bounce up and down on them and do a little jig for a few seconds, sweet stuff!  Besides working on the legs we’re also doing some daily tummy time along with some exploring of toys.  She’s doing much of what a two or three month old is doing but slow and steady we move along and soon she will be caught up.  

Sweet girl has had her first experience of a few things as well....solid food for one, which we were originally told was a daily thing and come to find out she’s only had formula.  She takes such sweet petite bites and has enjoyed rice cereal, prunes, pears and congee (a rice soupy baby food in China).  She also had her first shower with mama yesterday and completely enjoyed that!  Sorry no pics.  LOL!  The best part of the day though was that she pooped!  YEA!  That’s a huge deal in the adoption world here and is celebrated by everyone.  We were pretty happy because poor thing had been working on getting that thing out for most of the day.  And no I don’t have a picture of that either.  :)
Well all is silent here in the room and I’m fading fast!  I’m going to post this without pics today because we need sleep when it comes and it’s here right now!  We have some great ones from the day, so as soon as time allows in the morning I’ll get them up.  For now love to all and enjoy your Tuesday...ours was GREAT!!!  Oh and sorry about the video yesterday...got that up tonight....go enjoy that!

Love and Joy!
Mike and Kayce

Going to the Teng Wang Pavilion was a fabulous experience and so worth going out in the freezing cold that day even if I left my jacket back at the hotel.  We were really enjoying ourselves until the point when we saw our cricket shut down.  We had her all bundled up in layers and layers of clothes with a bunting on her and she went right back to that listless stare.  It was heartbreaking.  I felt horrible and knew I'd done the wrong thing.  All I wanted to do was rip that mass of pink fabric off her and throw it on the ground.  But I couldn't because we'd already been warned to, "keep the babies bundled up!"  So I just tried my hardest to tell her she was fine and show her my love.  I also said I'd never put her in one of those again.  I haven't.  I actually gave the buntings to the orphanage before we left Nanchang.  

Our girl can not stand being covered up.  If she can't see her hands she panics.  Gloves are a no-no.  I'd love to put a blanket on her when she sleeps but I can't because she will fight to get it off unless she's already sound asleep.  To help her get her hands through her shirts we tell her to get them out fast so we can kiss them.  She loves that!  :)  I still find her looking at her hands in awe sometimes.  She still twists her fingers up when she is slightly worried about something.  She still amazes me.

Also at this point in our journey we had gone into "newborn" mode, which we were completely unprepared for.  Our little cricket was in no way the child we had read about in our referral papers.  This was pretty shocking to us.  I remember packing that "what to expect" book and Mike laughing at me and saying we don't need that!  Oh boy did we need it!  We pulled it out as soon as we realized we didn't have a 9 almost 10 month old on our hands to try to figure where she was at in development.  When we realized she was between a two and three month old it broke our hearts and immediately we started working to get her up to speed.  Now I look back and wish I had been more prepared for the developmental delays.  It was hard for me to swallow as a mom, especially as my daughters mom!


Team player 
February 3, 2010
We have had a very quiet day today, just what we needed!  We did a quick excursion out in the rain to a mall for some shopping and then came back via a taxi to our hotel for some playtime and naps. I’ve unfortunately come down with a nice chest cold and am feeling very run down to say the least, so a day in our room has been a blessing.  
I think the word for the day for me has been teamwork.  That is what this part of this journey has been for all of us.  Once Jennifer was placed in our arms, Mike, Jacob and I have been working at helping each other out with different needs of either Jennifer’s or of our own.  When we are out and about and I’m wearing Jennifer, her daddy and big brother are all about helping me make the most out of that bonding time.  Today Mike was the one to wear his daughter and he was the one who was had lots of help including an umbrella following him all over town or his team getting him all strapped in the ergo!  You should see the people stare at us!  We got quite a few laughs today.  It’s not too often you see a woman fawning over her husband.    
The biggest team member here has been Jacob!  It has been wonderful for me to watch my son offer help to any family who needs it.  He’s the first to hold the door for a new mom or take her diaper bag from her to give her a break from the weight.  We are very proud of him on this trip.  It isn’t an easy trip to say the least.  This is no vacation for any of us.  There is no pool time or an amusement park to go spend the day at.  It is either go go go or sit in the room and play with a baby.  There is the same food day in and day out and a bowl of cereal isn’t exactly the size of bowl or spoon he’s used to.  His days are filled with all things baby and homework.  Poor guy!

Funny thing is though is that he’s having a really wonderful time and isn’t at all bothered that we spend more time in a 12 foot square space all day now than we do outside.  This trip is changing him in ways I didn’t think could happen.  He is blossoming into someone who will go forward in his world and teach others of the things he has really seen here.  Again this isn’t a vacation spot for any teenager.  The drive from the airport to our hotel in Nanchang was heartbreaking for him as he put it.  Outside our room is a world that most teens in America have no idea exists and if they did know, they chose to ignore it because it’s just too heavy to really absorb.  It’s ugly heavy.  But when you live it for 5 days you begin to see the enormity of it and that is what is happening to Jacob right now.  He has been absorbing this life and you can see the impact it has had on him.
I sit here tonight staring out our room to a land that is my daughters homeland.  Her family is somewhere out there.  It is filled with severe poverty and yet I am in a posh hotel in the middle of it surrounded by God’s grace and love.   I pray that Jacob takes what he’s witnessed on this trip and puts it in the minds of his friends to let them know that life isn’t really about the type of shoes on your feet, the skateboard you ride or the status they think they have to have in life.  Life is about making a change in the world even if it’s one brick at a time.  

I love you my sweet son!  And I thank you for being a part of this incredible journey with us and for all you have done and continue to do for Mike and I and for the other families who are walking this path with you.  I believe it when you say that you will come back here one day and I can not wait to see that happen! I am looking forward to tomorrow when we will get to spend the day wondering around your sisters province continuing to learn and absorb and of course find you a tea set!  

Love and Joy!
Mike and Kayce


Oh goodness, the experience of this journey was the start of a series of life changing events for Big J!  I will never regret taking him on this trip, ever!  I will admit though, that he is still a typical American teenager but he has a little picture in the back of his mind that reminds him of another place in this world.  When he catches a glimpse of that picture now, you can see him humble.  As for him being a team player...he's still number one on the team!!


I love that last paragraph. I think Big J is pretty awesome ;-)

These pictures are stunning!

And, boy has your handsome boy ever changed in the year! He is growing up!


Kayce, I just love reading these wonderfully detailed looks back at your trip. Oh how I wish I had done this about our trip.

Would really love to get together. Do you have any time during the week or is that too crazy?

What beautiful glimpses into your lives both then and now. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

Now, if you and M3 are getting together...I wanna come! Think they'll miss me here if Hannah and I just hop on a plane for a couple of days? Oh if it were only that easy..... Have fun when you get together and sometime this year that fun will be all of us together!

She was soooo tiny! What a change in both of your kiddos in a year! Wow, it's cool to look back and see the places where our lives changed forever! Hopefully someday soon we can get these YY girls together! Hugs and Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Sofia did that wet noodle thing with her leg too and I'm still looking for her to catch up in some areas. But we'll get there just as you are. Loved reading about Big J. helping others on the trip - your son sounds an amazing young man.

The pictures....Breathtaking!!
Your son.....Wow, I think he's still # 1 too!
Your new baby.....She is just perfect in every way! She makes my heart skip a beat!
Thank you for sharing your journey!