Thursday, August 31, 2006

God sets the lonely in families.
Yes, we are home! I will go back and update about leaving China later, but at least wanted to get this update out there so you know we did make it! Our flight from LA to Denver was easy, quick, Sage slept. Coming into Denver they told us it was going to be rough, there were thunderstorm clouds approaching. Which did concern us a little for the flight home. We had a 3 hour layover in Denver, and again, Sage was great. We got on the plane to leave, and then were told we could not take off due to lightening. So for 2 HOURS we sat on the plane. We were able to call home to let them know, but Mark and I were both upset. We were tired, and we were ready to be home. We finally took off and landed in St Louis around 8:30. They announced on the plane a welcome to Sage coming home from China which was very sweet! We hurried off the plane as fast as we could, and we could hear our crowd long before we could see them! As soon as they got view of us, they were screaming and yelling and oh was it a good sound! We had waited for 18 days to hear that sound and see those faces waiting there for us! Makenna and Malaine were all about Sage that is for sure! But Sawyer grabbed on to us and said, don't ever leave me again! Sage did great, smiling and happy as could be to be passed all around. As I stood there with our family and friends holding on to Sage with the love and tears pouring onto her, God whispered to me. She was born there, but this is her home. She was birthed by those people, but these are now her people. These are the faces of the ones who wanted her, and will forever love her. It was a sweet feeling to know that we are all exactly where we belong.
We did lose one suitcase in Denver, but they promised it would be delivered by 9 am friday and it was. Leaving the airport we had fun trying to get Sage into the car seat. Took us a few minutes to figure out getting her strapped in, guess I did nor refresh myself enough on those straps! She did scream on the way home, remember these kids have never been in a car seat, but fell asleep taking a bottle. The kids were fighting over who could lean forward in their seats so they could stare at her.
We went back to our house along with the crowd for a party for Sage. I appreciate everyone coming, it was so late and not what the plan was supposed to be, but we were so glad to be able to be with everyone and share Sage. There was a spread of goodies, along with a beautiful cake that Sage enjoyed squishing her toes in! Our house was decorated so cute in pink from my mops steering team and they had a wonderful bouquet of fresh flowers waiting for Sage. The kids all had a good time playing with Sage and she just lights up when watching them!
Sage was asleep by midnight, the rest of us around 1ish. It felt good to be in my soft, VERY soft bed, but I am coming down with a sore throat, so that kept me from sleeping well. Sage was up at 530, right when i took cold medicine, so thankfully mark was kind enough to get up with her. Today Marks brother Brett, wife Amy and their kids Tyler and Graham were able to come in from Kansas City to meet Sage. Mark's parents brought dinner which was great.
Sage has wanted to sleep alot, but we are trying to keep her up as much as possible to get her switched. We are exhausted. I really do feel about like I did after giving birth. Emotionally drained, and so tired. 2 days of no sleep wears on you! Plus our bodies are just so confused on why we are up right now, when we should be in bed.
It is good to finally be with all of our kids. They are all overly tired, but they really adore their new baby sister. And she is pretty impressed by them! She just watches them. She is really taking to Makenna, probably because she is giving her the most attention of all of them. Malaine is being my big diaper helper, but she is also having a hard time. Hoping some good sleep will help her out, but she is really wanting me to hold her and do things for her. Understandable. It was a long trip and she lost her place as baby. Sawyer had some big brother snuggle time w/ Sage since he is always up so early. And like everyone else, Sage thinks her big brother is funny!
Please pray for all of us as we adjust. Mark and I just want to get out of this fog we are in, we feel as if we are walking zombies! Pray that we can give all 4 kids the attention they need. We have to find a balance in giving the 3 individual time and attention, yet still trying to bond with Sage. I know that we will be fine with some rest and time.
I will probably move my postings over to the blog, after I finish up the travel journal. I do plan to fill in the days I missed, when my eyes stop swimming!
Click Here to See Today’s Photos

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Romans 8 :28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.
Taking a while, but I am finally going back to update this last page of my travel journal, our final day in China.
We woke and went to our last breakfast at the buffet. Mark said we should eat light, since we were planning to eat lunch with some of our friends. But I felt the need to overflow my plate, I would never get that yummy French toast again! It was so weird, knowing we would never eat at this hotel overlooking the Pearl River again.
Right after breakfast we began to make our rounds to the shops who we had ordered things from. Sadly, no one had our things ready. Lesson number 100. Order your things early, and tell them you are leaving the day before you actually do leave. Granted, I ordered a lot. But we were panicked. We headed back to the room to finish up packing. I left lots of things behind. Our suitcases were overflowing. For lunch we ate at a Cantonese Restaurant in the White Swan, with Jennifer & Todd, Lori and Vinnie. We tried Pigeon, and it was really good. Despite the head on the plate! I think we got a good shot of Todd acting as if he is going to try that part! Fried Green Beans were wonderful, all the food there was really good. Sage slept through lunch, in my arms.
Mark went out and picked up the rest of our orders, only one jacket out of 18 custom made outfits was not finished. Jennifer offered to pick it up for me and ship it to me from the states. No other options, we had to go.
They picked up all our luggage(one great thing, every hotel, they pick up your luggage at your room and get it to where it needs to go) and we loaded the bus for the US Consulate Appointment. It was about a 45 minute drive. Sabrina gave a speech on the way over, which did not help my already weepy emotions. Yes, I was excited to get home, but so sad to leave all these new friends I had met. Much less to leave China, Sages birthcountry. One thing she said that really struck my heart. She said, these mothers do not want to give up their babies. And while we have no idea why Sage was given up, I do want to believe that she was loved, and that her birthmother made a choice to give her up in hopes of a better future for her. There were other options that her mother could have taken, and so we are forever thankful that she chose this road for her baby, our daughter.
We were not allowed to take photo’s in the Consulate. We were also not allowed to take in any liquids so some of our group lost their thermos full of water for formula. We had to go through security to get in. Then we were ushered up to a window, they checked to make sure that Sage matched the picture on her visa. We took an oath as a group, swearing to take care of these babies,which was so moving to me. There were about 50 plus families in the room with us all different agencies. Looking around and seeing all these mommy’s and daddy’s, and all these new babies, some screaming, some sleeping, some laughing, it was just amazing. These parents who have been through exactly what we have been through to get our babies… We were then given Sage’s visa and we left. We did not realize that we were going to be leaving our group right there to go to the airport. We jumped back on our bus, presented Sabrina with a parting group gift. We collected almost $600 we donated in her name to one of the CHI foundations, that helps kids in need get much needed surgeries. And then we had to say goodbye. It was so hard. These families who we have been with for 2 weeks. The ones who watched us become parents to Sage, and who we watched become families. They were our support through each day in China. We might never see them again. It was a quick goodbye, but full of sweet memories that will stay on my heart forever.
We headed to the airport and stood in line forever to get checked in. If the line was a sign of our flight, it was going to be full. We had to go through customs and we had these papers we had to fill out and hand over. Well we hand him Sage’s and he said, you should have filled this out in Chinese, this time I will help you, but next time, Chinese. What? Ok, next time, I will practice up my Chinese handwriting and do that. We had a “western” dinner while waiting, but I got a chicken sandwich which was very spicy and very chewy. I am ready for American normal chicken! The wait was short and soon we were boarding the plane. We did have 6 CHI couples on our flight. 4 Hunan Families along w/ the cutie from our flight in, Lillie and her new sister! We settled in on the plane and we were off. It was a very full flight this time, and we did not receive ANY special treatment this time as before. In fact, we did not see much of the flight attendants on this flight. They served dinner right away, which was rice and some sort of spicy meat. Sage fell asleep pretty quickly. Our seats were the 2 on the side. We had hoped for bulkhead, in that area sometimes you can get a bassinet. But it was fine, Sage fell asleep on my lap, and slept for most of the entire flight. I actually slept a little bit myself. Though we had terrible turbulence on that flight, which surprised me, the way over was so smooth. Being on a Chinese airline, the movies were bad. We could find nothing in English! With only about 2 hours to go, they finally served breakfast. And that is when Sage decided to wake up, and have a bad, I mean REALLY bad diaper blow out. Less than 2 minutes after they set down my tray, might I add, WITH the food cart in the aisle. Thankfully one of the bathrooms in our area was a wheelchair accessible, so it was larger. Of course getting out of my seat covered in, well, just covered, getting around the breakfast cart, all the while the flight attendants trying to ignore me and the stench I think, then waiting in line for that one bathroom which happened to be occupied FOREVER!! Thank goodness I had packed clothes for me and Sage both in our carry on. I quickly lost my appetite at that point! And that little incident did help to pass the last part of the flight pretty quickly! We landed in Los Angeles at 7:30PM. Have I mentioned that the Chinese pilots land differently than US pilots? They are rough, I don’t know why, but we both noticed that they land so much harder! It did go through my head, we saw how they drive, and we actually trust them to fly us!? Good thing I flew China Southern before I rode in a chinese taxi! We rushed off the plane as quickly as we could, we were told to hurry and get in line for US immigrations. There was some man there who had us get in one line, then tried to make us get into another line, which we all refused to budge. When we asked why, he said “Because that is the way it is”. And you know me, that just ticked me off and I thought, you want me to move, and stand in a longer line, AFTER waiting in this line, you will have to pick me up and move me. This is America, I know my rights and I have been on a plane for 15 hours. Thankfully we did not get hauled off to the police station, we stayed in our spot and we made it through. It was so nuts that we did not get to say goodbye to all our friends as we would have liked, but it was good to be on US soil for sure! We gathered our luggage and jumped on the shuttle to our hotel for the night.
By 8:30 we were checking into our room at the Sheraton. We paid $150.00 to stay at this hotel, and I guess we were so spoiled from China hotels, but it felt like a dump! I guess I should not go that far, but it was not the White Swan! Except of course for the heavenly beds! They were well worth the $! We dumped our luggage into the room, and went downstairs for our first American Meal. We both had steak, mashed potatoes, it was good! No pointing at the menu to order, we did not have to ask them to leave out the spice or ice from our drinks! But our dinner was so quiet. This was the first time we had been alone and it was strange! Sage had no friends, we had no one, our trip was really coming to an end.
Mark and I were exhausted, but not our little angel who had slept almost the entire flight, she was ready to go! So it was a very short night in our soft beds! At least they were comfy to lay on awake. By 4am we gave up and got ready for the airport. Mark took a hike down the road to get diapers, we were out. We took the shuttle to the airport and guess what, Sage fell asleep and continued to sleep for most of the day. Mark and I were both so anxious now. Home, we are coming home!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above.
Can you believe it, our last post from China! We have been in frantic mode here trying to tuck every detail of this area into our hearts, while also trying to check off our list of what we want to buy! There is no way I can buy as much as I wanted, though Mark would argue and say I bought out all of Guangzhou. I am sure there will be many moments of “Oh, why did we not get that, or we should have splurged on that.” But we did what we could and lets just hope it all fits! We purchased the “trunk” of a suitcase tonight. It is huge, so I am hoping we can fit it all in.
Today we had to be in our room for awhile, waiting to make sure that Sabrina did not have any questions while she was at the consulate for us. Mark stayed in while Sage napped, I shopped. The shopping here is work. It is sort of like buying a car back home, yet you do it over every single thing. They name a price, you say no way, name your price, they say no way, you walk away they follow you and continue to haggle. Then they hang their head as if you are stealing from them. I do not enjoy it whatsoever. I am very ready to be home and just go to target or the mall, see the price marked, and check out. I guess some would think this is fun, I do not. I am sure I got ripped off big time today all over the place, but at least I got a lot done. And as we keep reminding ourselves, being ripped off in China is still cheaper than buying back home!
After I shopped, Mark headed out to the electronics store. He did not come back with much. Lunch was delivery from Danny’s Bagels, I had pizza. Very average. I know a lot of people love the American food around here, but for me it is not that great. Mark and I said we are both ready for a steak, baked potato, good salad, and a huge soda w/ ice! We are both going to have to wean our self off of regular coke at home. That is mainly what we drink as you can’t find diet and it just sounds better to me than water most of the time.
We had a group photo at 4 and you can see it was pure chaos! Sage is the only baby not sitting up, so you can see her slumped over on the Famous Red Couch. It was really neat to see the couch, after having watched so many babies have pictures made on that couch. We headed over for our group dinner at a local Cantonese restaurant, which was ok. Like I said, I think we are to the point we are just ready for American food served with a fork! CHI had made a really neat slide show for us of photos each family submitted. It was very touching to see and we can’t wait for them to send them to us. By the way, did I mention they made us a video of gotcha day? They taped us from standing in the hotel, getting on the bus walking into the building, just VERY special. Hopefully we can upload it once we are home for you.
We did take Sage down to the pool for a quick dip of her toes, just to see the pool and take a picture! It is beautiful here! It reminds me a little of the Opryland Hotel, all tropical inside and out. It is fancier overall, but just makes me think of that hotel. Here at the White Swan, you have a person who stands at a desk right by the elevators, and as you come down the hall, they push the button and hold the elevator for you. We are getting spoiled! Back to the pool… Poor Sage was so tired, you know it was 7pm! But I had to let you see her darling suit, so we went down, she cried, fell asleep on the way up in my arms, but woke up when we tried to change her. So then we really messed her up. But she played for awhile and finally went to sleep w/ a bottle in the crib. She would do so well to take a pacifier, but we really don’t want to do that! So the bottle in the crib just for tonight! And yes I took it out after the 5 seconds it took her to be asleep.
Last night here. I am SO ready to go home. My mom sent over pictures of the kids first day of school, which they did great by the way. We talked to them this morning, so their night. Makenna seemed happy to be back with her friends. Sawyer informed us it was boring, naptime is to long! But I heard from his teacher, and it sounds like he did very well. We can’t wait for us to be together, we are now a half dozen at our house! But as ready as I am to see them, I am also sad to leave here. The gift that I have been given while here still takes my breath away. China will forever be in my heart, because this is who my daughter is. Sage’s birthmother was heavy on my heart tonight. Does she have any idea that the baby she carried for 9 months is about to be carried away from here forever? Please continue to pray for her birthmother, that she would have peace in her heart and sense that the daughter she gave up, is being loved on and is home with her family, where she should be.
I do plan to go back and update the last few days of our journey home. But of course I can’t do that till we are home! Tomorrow is going to be busy and long. We have to finish up shopping, mainly picking up things we ordered. Try to cram it all in to our suitcases. We leave for the US consulate at 2:45 PM. Sage will get her visa and then we are off to the airport from there. Our flight leaves at 9pm, and I think we land in LA around 7PM on Wednesday. We are staying at the Sheraton by the airport. We fly out on Thursday morning, layover in Denver then we will be HOME!!! Please pray that all flights are on time, and that everything goes smoothly. Yes we did read about the airplane crash in Kentucky this week! Please pray that Sage is able to sleep on the plane. We tried to request a bassinet, but they told us they were not available. She does not sleep well for long being held, though she is better this week than last doing that. I dread it, 15 hours… But it is only 15 hours, and we will finally be on US soil. We can do this!
Thank you again for all the support you have given us on this journey. We appreciate each of you so much and know that you have prayed for us daily as we are here. You have been a blessing to us in so many ways! We are sending huge hugs from China and soon we can thank you in person!

Monday, August 28, 2006

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
We all slept well last night and till 7am! Had a quick breakfast because during breakfast Sage exploded again! No more prune juice for this baby ever again!
Did I tell you that we requested softer beds here at the white swan? We made that request before we actually came into our room. And when we sat on the bed, we could tell it was a softer bed than before. They brought in this pad thing and laid it on our bed, we added a few comforters and it is not to bad. Plus the bathtub here is deep, so I have been able to enjoy a few hot baths which are helpful as my back is killing me! Toting around a baby non-stop wears on you!
We had our medical exam this morning. One room they listen to the baby’s chest, and I worried in that room a little. I wanted to ask about the chest rattle, but I also want to go home this week, and I feared if I said anything, they would say she could not leave. So she passed that room. Then on to the weight table. She is a growing girl! She is now 15 ½ pounds! As you can see in todays pictures, half of that is in the cheeks, the other half in her belly! Last room was a peek in the ears, rattle the toys to see if she can hear and all done. That last dr was rough, she scared me! Some of the babies screamed, but not Sage. She just stares at everyone who comes near her! The good news is she is declared healthy and ok to come home!
We did more shopping after that. If Mark and I can make it through this trip it will be a miracle. He just makes it so not fun to shop! But we did get more done today, thankfully. We also went to the pearl and jade market. You have never seen anything like the stores here. Mark is slacking on the pictures recently, but it is amazing. It was at least 5 stories high. And goes on forever. Each store has jewelry everywhere. We looked at Jade, did not find anything we liked so moved on to pearls. Now, we are no jewelry experts by any means. And so the first strand they pull out is $30, which just seems very cheap. So we quickly called in help from Sabrina and that was fun in itself. I showed her the size I wanted, told her how much we wanted to pay, and she did all the work! We bought Sage the strand she is wearing to put away for either sweet 16 or her wedding. I bought myself a black pearl necklace that I really love. It is the larger pearls and just so pretty. We went for quality I suppose over quantity, or at least that is what we are convincing ourselves on! I wanted to get strands for Makenna and Malaine to put away, but Mark says we will get them something in America. See, the shopping thing!
For dinner we went on the Pearl River Cruise. The food was awful, really awful. Our guide told us what each thing was, but I have to wonder what type of meat it was. Everything was grizzly, even the rice was bad! But the view was worth it all. Beautiful, everything was lit up. We ate dinner inside, but afterwards went up on top deck and just loved the breeze and how peaceful it was. I am so glad we went. One of those neat memories that we will try to hold on to for Sage. We came home and mark went out in search of food. He came back with hot dogs on a stick, but they quickly went into the trash and we settled for ice cream bars.
Sage is doing great. Besides the diaper explosions! PLEASE pray the prune juice it out of her system before our plane ride home. She continues to give out more smiles each day. While out shopping today the Chinese girls want to hold Sage. Of course she goes to anyone happily. Today she did look at me as they took her, but she does not cry. Partly probably her personality, partly I think she is still not totally attached. I am still not worried, I realize it could take a long time for her to fully bond to us. And we have plenty of time that is for sure!
We talked to the kids while we were on the cruise. They were eating breakfast getting ready for the first day of school! Makenna begins 3rd grade, Sawyer kindergarten! Of course my heart is breaking to miss that day w/ them. I am really trying not to put to much thought into it, because it just makes me want to cry all over again! We know it is just a few more days, and the 6 of us will be going to school together!
Tomorrow guess what we are doing? Yep, more shopping! One person has to be in the room for 90 minutes while our guides take our paperwork to the consulate. We have to be here in case they have any questions. Then they are taking a bus to the electronics store. I think I am staying back and may visit the pool w/ Sage. She has to have a picture in her cute swimsuit that I bought just for this trip! We don’t really want her swimming with her cough, but need the picture to share w/ you all! Tomorrow afternoon we are meeting for a group photo and the famous red couch photo! We also have a group dinner tomorrow night for our farewell.. Wow, farewell is already here! It will be neat to see everyone again, we do not see anyone here at this hotel it is so big.
Are you all ready to finally see this little angel in person? We can’t wait to see you all for sure!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

1 Samuel 1:27
We prayed for this baby, and the Lord has granted us what we asked of Him. For all of her days, we will give her to the Lord.
Today started early for me again. 4:00am Sage woke up for a bottle and I could not go back to sleep. Maybe I was to excited about the shopping! We had our first breakfast here at the white swan and it was great! But very crowded. We were so used to dining together as a group at the Dolton all week, this was a huge madhouse of people and you had to wait in line for everything. It is neat though to sit and look out at the Pearl River as you eat. And the food was delicious.
We were able to visit the Shamian Chapel of Guangdong Christianity. It was a bilingual service and just really amazing. Things I thought about China and Christ have really changed. I will have to write more about this topic later, to much to say and I am way to tired tonight. I will say though, to sit there surrounded by Chinese people, who are worshipping my God in their language and our language was just neat. We sang songs in Chinese, we sang songs in English. The service was translated in English, and the pastor gave the plan of salvation. I am so thankful we were able to go. Sage was in desperate need of a nap, so I strapped her in her snuggli and she did sleep for part of the service.
Lunch as at the Famous Lucys that I had heard so much about. It was ok. I had a spam and cheese sandwich, that took an hour to cook. We liked the thai food better.
After lunch we took a taxi over to the toy market. Think flea market combined w/ dollar store things that is about 4 stories high and a large maze of rooms! They do not bargain there at all. We did not find enough to get excited over so we came home to do a little more shopping around the hotel. Which is overwhelming both of us. Remember, I need mark to be my human calculator, but he stresses me out w/ the shopping! Hopefully tomorrow I will get more done.
Dinner was Danny’s Bagels again. I had chicken parmesean over spaghetti. Who knew in China pasta would be good!
Sage has been having tummy trouble today. I think she has had to much formula so was having trouble, then we gave her juice to help out, and boy did it! I walked home from shopping covered in, well lets just say a really gross mess! She did not sleep much overall today like normal. In fact when we tried to put her to bed tonight, she was full of giggles and smiles! She is really getting more fun each day. We get to watch her just open up a little more each time she goes to sleep!
Today we received our Going Home Barbie, there should be a picture. Every family who stays at the White Swan for adoption gets to take one of these home. Sage loved chewing on the box!
Tomorrow is the big medical exam! I am anxious to hear what they say about Sage’s runny nose and rattle. She is worse in the mornings, but by evening is so much better, fine all night, then we start over. But still no fever so hopefully the exam will go well. I am not worried about her getting upset, this child is so laid back. We also get to go to the pearl and jade market. Mark will love that.
I am off to join Sage sleeping. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Isn’t the hotel beautiful?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ruth 1:16
For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.
Are you going through Sage withdrawal? We are thankful to our friends the Gove family for being so gracious to share their computer with us. Mark kept saying it is not that big of a deal, we are almost home. But it is a big deal because this journal is for Sage more than anything. And it takes me about 10 times as long to handwrite as it does to type it in. So I am very happy tonight! We are in the final stop of China, so that means we are very close to home. We are in shoppers heaven! And now I can communicate once again!
So Mark was able to post on blogger yesterday. I am proud of him, he covered more than 3 sentences. Once we are home, I will post the full post on that day w/ all the the great pictures from the park, but for now I will just comment on all the information we were given on Sage. I think Mark’s words were “it is cool”. Well, any mother knows, it is WAY more than just cool! It is a true miracle the information that we have on her. First of all, Sage was in the half the sky foundation. That in itself is a blessing and when I have more time, I will fill you in on what that foundation is all about. Then to have pictures of her as a newborn, along w/ a few others is just amazing to me. I often wondered if they just mark boxes on their papers and make up reports, but everything it says about Sage and her personality, is exactly the little girl we have been getting to know for the last week. Mark went to the paperwork meeting yesterday, and we knew we would get a picture of her finding ad. But when he walked in w/ this booklet of information on her, I just sobbed! I will forever be thankful for this history I have of her.
Today we had to be up early for our flight to Guangzhou. Sage did great on the plane. She slept for most of it. In fact she slept on the way to the airport and while we waited, slept on the flight, slept when we got in our hotel, slept through dinner and is now in bed for the night. This is my daughter, she loves her sleep! And she loves her bottles. I tried a pacifier tonight and it just made her mad. But she constantly wants a bottle. I am guessing she might have a sore throat. Still no fever, but still coughing and runny nose. Runny eyes etc.
We were met in Guangzhou by our guide for the week, Dennis. He is a funny guy! We went straight to the White Swan hotel and it is amazing! Of course everyone has heard of the white swan, right? Famous adoption hotel here in China. And I knew it was going to nice, but it really is nicer than I thought. We have a beautiful view of the Pearl River(thanks to those who suggested we get that), and our bed here is so much softer than the Dolton. Now, it is not my bed at home, but better than before. They even brought in a mattress topper to make it softer. It is a huge king bed. Half our floor is beautiful marble and it is is just so nice. It is smaller of course than our suite, but I am glad we did not pay to upgrade here, the room is just fine for us.
We ordered in from Dannys Bagel for lunch, which is an American delivery bakery. Our lunch was ok. We took the babies for visa photos and then we had fun shopping! Oh how I wish we could plan a girls weekend to shop here! Mark is already annoying me, but I do not barter and I can not calculate in my head fast enough to keep up w/ the bartering, so we are forced to shop together. I bought Sage her first silk dress, there should be a picture of it! Just for fun, ladybugs of course! There are little shops everywhere around the hotel. They walk out and practically drag you in to look around. I did not buy a lot yet, eyeing it all today! Just the dress and a little winter coat for Sage. But I have my list and I am ready! We are wanting to buy a handcarved trunk, we are both in love w/ those, and we would have to have it shipped back, which is not cheap. We are hoping to find a few families who might want things shipped back to split the cost. If we buy a trunk, we would be able to fill it and have it all shipped back in it.
Dinner was at a Thai restaurant close by. Food was good served family style which is a lot of fun. They had pigeon on the menu, which Sabrina told us to try, but I don’t know about that. Probably by the end Mark will be eating it.
Tomorrow we are going to attend church. Sabrina is taking us, so I am very excited about that. Also anxious to try the breakfast buffet here, I hear it is the best one! They are taking us shopping at a Toy Store? Monday we go to the Pearl and Jade Market! Shopping, shopping, shopping!
So how is Sage doing now? We are getting many more smiles! She is just a very laid back baby for sure. Sweet little personality, quiet and content. She is not shy, and she continues to study everything and anyone that looks at her. If we are in a new place, she takes it all in. She seems to be responding to her name, though if I say Yi Qiao or Qiao Qiao, she whips her head around to! We are having a terrible time with her face breaking out, so anyone with advice for that, please pass it on. Sabrina had us get this herbal stuff, but it does not seem to be working all that great. Her little head gets dried out also. I don’t have a lot of stuff w/ me, so once we are home I will be trying all kinds of lotions and creams. She is getting to where she wants me to be holding her more often than not. She will fuss sometimes wanting me, but enjoys being in Daddy’s arms also. She is not an easy baby to hold, so the bjorn is wonderful. She just flops in your arms, no help at all. And she is so tiny you can’t put her bottom on your hip to support her! She is sitting up a little more but you can’t leave her at all or she flops. I tried to use a highchair at dinner tonight and they scolded me saying she was to young for it! And she really is, she can’t hold herself up enough for one. Size wise I have done great w/ what I brought. Some things are 3-6 and that is great in the waist. She has a belly on her! 6-9 fits pretty well, though the pants can be big. I would guess fall will be 6-9, maybe 12 month dresses. She is short though. I am anxious to see what they weigh her on Monday at her medical exam.
We are having to use drop shots for our photos now. Hope that you are able to pull them up. We can’t post yesterday’s pictures because they are downloaded on Mark’s laptop, but again, once are home, we will update that day for you.
Thanks again for your prayers. We are so close to home now, we can’t wait! (though I will suffer through the shopping while we wait! Hehehe!) Oh and YES, we do want you at the airport! I know some have asked. If you know me, you know we love a good party! You all have prayed us through 18 months of this adoption, and we know you are praying us through the 32 hours of traveling we have to get home. We welcome your happy smiling faces there! We can’t wait for you to meet Sage! And believe me, she is not going to be scared with a crowd. She has been surrounded by crowds in her face all week and never flinches. Till tomorrow!

Friday, August 25, 2006

August 25th
Sage woke up during the night for a bottle but then slept in today till 730. We had a free day today so it was kind of nice to take our time getting ready, and just relax this morning. After breakfast we took a cab ride over to the Changsha Central Park w/ 2 other couples. Riding in a taxi is much different now that Sage is in my arms. No car seat of course. And boy was it wild! The park was alot of fun and I am really glad we went, despite the heat. Today was very humid, and after walking around with Sage strapped on me, we are both a sweaty mess! The park is a huge place, they even have an amusement park inside of it. That is the kind of place I like to be. Just being able to watch the people be who they are. While walking in the city, it is so rushed and hustle bustle. But at the park it is families and people just hanging out having fun. The parks here are so beautiful and there is so much detail in the buildings. We were quite a spectacle for sure walking around there. I did not notice nearly as many glares there as I have been close to our hotel. After the park we taxied over to Superwalmart and McDonalds. Did i mention they told us this was the biggest walmart in the world? We were not sure that could be true, while it is 4 stories tall, it does not appear to be as big a selection. We really looked at an egg crate for the bed this week, but they want $30(american for it!) Must have been the most expensive thing in the entire city! McDonalds was very good! Even Mark was excited about eating there, and if you ask our kids, they know Daddy does not ever want to go to McDonalds! It tasted the same, except the fries were not as salty. I was really enjoying a big mac till i found a hair, baked in my bun, then I was quickly done! One interesting thing to note, their medium size combo is our small size w/ a small soda. SuperSize is our normal large coke and fries we would get w/ a combo. And we wonder why we are so fat in America!
Mark finished up paperwork this afternoon while I packed and Sage slept. Hopeful I used more here than I am bringing w/ me to Guangzhou! Because we know I need LOTS of space there to shop!
Some interesting things about our hotel here. We are at the Dolton, a 5 star. The elevators are small, and at least a million people get on w/ you each time. Wonder why the one is still broke after our scary ride this week? They are also VERY slow, you wait forever, which is why they cram on I am sure. We are on floor 32, and yet I can hear all the traffic noises below and I swear the other night I could hear a dog barking! 32 stories high and it feels as if the cars are right outside. We have a scale in our room, something I have never had before in all the places I have stayed. I like it! Especially watching it as I sweat off pounds! Our room has a doorbell and the do not disturb is built into the wall, all digital. There is an extra button in the bathroom so if someone knocks, you can push the button and tell them "no disturb" or you can push a button and it lights up w/ clean up please. Neat! We have Guy Smiley working here who is a hoot! His name is Dean and he is a butler. He is very happy and always rushes over to say hello to the babies.
We were all talking today how the chinese always touch the babies faces. In the US when we meet a baby, we touch their feet or legs, but here they are right in their face and they pat on them very hard! I am not that big of a germ phobic, so it does not really bother me, though I was a little grossed out today when the parents were having their little boy up in Sage's face and he had on the split pants and his hands were doing what all little boys do! Thankfully he did not touch her. We do get such a mixed reaction. Some come up and smile and play w/ Sage, some want their pictures w/ us, some just glare. What we find very funny are the ones who act like they are posing their own family for a picture, yet they are pointing the camera right at us!
Oh, did i mention how mark was up last night sick to his stomach as was our neighbor? I found it hard to feel sorry for Mark with all the things he has been eating! I mean come on is it really normal to eat donkey's ***? But thankfully everyone was fine today. I am sure it was just to many spicy things in one day. Amazingly, my stomach has been fine. I have been taking pepto daily as was advised to me, but I have not been sick at all. Of course I avoid anything questionable also.
The computer has still been giving us fits. The screen just comes and goes. So I have to start these entrys early in the day during naptime, then try to finish when Sage is in bed at night, hoping we can keep it working long enough to post. Please keep praying that we can make it just 5 more days. I am really anxious to share the white swan w/ you all! We are praying for a softer bed. We will be sad to give up our suite, but the price difference there was just ridiculous.