Sunday, August 17, 2008

Getting Out and About

Okay, we went to the zoo on Thursday with a friend of mine and her 3 kids. I didn't post any pictures of them, because I wanted to check with her first, but we had a ball. The airshow was this weekend, so the Air Force had an exhibit out there that was too cool. The boys got to put on flight gear. They thought it was pretty neat. I was amazed at how heavy it was. Of course, I am a big wimp. This is Jacob in the gear. Here is my Sammy. Top Gun here we come!!
Sam's favorite pasttime is playing basketball in the backyard. He acts like he gets instructions from Coach K(the USA olympic team coach...and Sam can say his name...)and then he shoots, he dribbles, he steals the ball. He loved it when he played with Grandma because he could get her laughing and he could just take the ball from her. Mom is a little harder sell.
Sam's shot. He would play out there for hours!! Luckily we can all go out there and take turns playing horse with Sam and watching Hannah. Mom is getting better at shooting. Of course, Dad can make it from just about anywhere...and he is pretty fun to watch.
Jacob loves to swing, but on this occasion decided to check out Hannah's swing. Hannah loves to swing, but I haven't gotten a picture yet. What kind of mom am I?????
Hannah finally getting used to the dog. And the child will not keep shoes on her feet!!! She will bring them to me when she is ready to go somewhere and then as soon as we are there, the shoes come off. Oh well. She will be in tennis shoes soon enough and those don't come off as easy.

Jacob and Sam on Safe Walk to school night.
The zoo. Hannah wouldn't look up, because she really wasn't sure about all this. These are the lion statues out front that all of the kids love to climb on.
Plane that the Air Force brought. They also brought one of those machines that spin you all around. I did not try it. If I can't handle a landing after an 11 hour flight, there is no way I can handle being spun for dear life. Nope, never would have made it in the military.

Hannah had one of these horses in her orphanage. She loves to ride it around the house and push it around.

Her other favorite game is to play with the coasters and their holder. It drives Alan crazy, which makes me laugh a bit. She gets them all out and then she might put them back or she might deposit them all over the house. She loves what are you gonna do Dad?

Hannah playing ball with Sam outside. She loves her ball and threw it back and forth for quite a while.

Hannah got a baby doll from her Aunt Kelly and I had to show her how to feed and hold her baby. She's got the hang of it.
She also got a baby from our good friend KK and her daughter Shannan along with this cute purse. You can tell by her face that she loves them both.

Hannah walking with Daddy and her ball. Notice the bare feet.

I just love this smile.

We are settling in really well. The boys love their little sister. Jacob can't get enough of her..hugging, kissing, touching. Hannah is not shy about telling him to stop. They play a game where they chase her around the kitchen and she just laughs!! It was such a joy to see them have so much fun together. Our nights are getting better. Alan and I both seem to be sleeping better. Hannah has been sleeping through the night for about the last 4 nights. So all is well on that front. We went to church today for the first time and we saw so many people. We stopped by the choir room, but the choir was singing at another church today so there were only a few people. Everyone is so excited to see this little love bug whom they have been praying for. She sat in the service with us and did great. Second hour was long because the boys were in class and she was stuck with us and she started to get tired. But we made it through.
School starts tomorrow for the boys and I am happy/sad. They are both ready, but Sam starts Kindergarten and it makes me think back on the cuddle days and the sleeping in days and the lazy days. Now he will spend the majority of his days with someone else and it makes me a bit wistful. It's time to start letting go and this mama bear isn't quite sure she is ready.
Well I need my sleep. I hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics. Our family has and it has meant just a little bit more with our red thread to China.
Sweet dreams to all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Here and there

My sister, Kelly is a blog junkie and has informed me that I am not meeting her blog expectations. So, Kelly, here are some pictures just for you. This is Hannah, in China, helping us pack. She is ready to go. Okay mom. Let's head for the plane. Little does she know this will be an all day affair.
This is our guide Shelly, whom was wonderful. She did such a great job taking care of us and showing us the great sites in China. I would love to go back and have her has a guide on a personal trip...but not for a long time.
Hannah at home reading Good Night Moon.
Hannah playing Legos with Jacob. She loves to watch the boys build and she will sit there and hand them blocks. And then they let her tear it down. It's a win-win situation...for now. They have been so good with her. They love to hug her and try to hold her. She pushes them away, but she does like for them to play chase with her. I think she will fit right in.

She loves her cozy coupe. Jacob will get out there and push her. He just has to watch out for her toes! Meanwhile, Sam is playing basketball. We have had some near collisions, but nothing too harmful!

The boys wanted a picture, but Hannah wouldn't cooperate. And then no one would look.

Chinese pajamas and our first picture of all 3 of our kids. I love the boys pjs, but Sam grew while we were gone and I don't know how long his will fit!!!

Hannah all smiles!!!
Yesterday, I was swinging Hannah and she started to laugh out loud!! It was so cute!! And then today as the boys were playing with her in the kitchen, she kept saying something to them. I have no idea what, but she is starting to vocalize. She better, or she will never make it in this family!!
Hannah has started to sleep better, with the help of Benadryl. We have had 2 nights that have been okay. Now if Alan and I could sleep through the night, we would be golden. We are starting to figure out a routine and that will be great for everyone. The boys start school next week. Jacob will be in 2nd grade and Sam starts kindergarten. That is so hard to believe. Sam is very ready, but it will be hard for me to drop him off. I have really enjoyed being home with him.
I know my local friends are dying to meet Hannah and I promise, it will happen. She is adjusting pretty well to the family but still leary around strangers. We may try church this Sunday and just see how it goes. We also will try some one on one visits, so after the boys start school, give me a call and we can see about getting together. I sure do miss my friends but at least we have email!! It was great when we were in China to pull up email and have such encouraging words.
Well I need to feed Hannah her dinner, so I must go. I will try and take way more pictures and keep up on here.
Love to all!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The trip home and days since

Well, I promised you info on our trip home, so here it goes. We had to leave our hotel at 5:20am, so we had a wake up call for 4. We didn't really sleep much so we were right on time. I started the day a bit nauseous, partly from lack of sleep and partly from nerves. We had a boxed breakfast on the bus, which just didn't appeal to me. We got to the airport and ran the gamut there. Once inside the gate, it seemed like they checked our boarding passes and our bags every few feet. The flight to Tokyo was uneventful. The food was awful. Hannah got a kids meal and for breakfast they brought her eggs with green onions, covered in baked beans, alongside lima beans and half of a tomato. She also had some fruit, a muffin and some juice. She ate a little bit and I tried not to gag while feeding it to her. We had a choice of egg/sausage dish or beef and noodles. I was hungry and the egg looked terrible, so I had the beef. Went away hungry. It wasonly a four hour trip and I felt like we had accomplished something by getting to Tokyo. We got off the plane, went back through security, which was easy and the people were helpful, unlike China or the USA. We found our gate with our group and I ran to the bathroom. I wish I had my camera because there was a squatty potty and on the regular potty there were all these buttons and instructions on the wall. It was a bidet-and the instructions were for on/off, hotter/colder, more/less pressure. I thought it was so funny and my sister Kelly would have had a huge laugh with me. But I had left my camera with Alan. When I got back, ALan went on a McDonalds run. I wanted french fries and a coke with ice. He brought that back, along with a big mac, which he shared a few bites with me. Nothing tasted so heavenly. As we were finishing our snack, our name was called over the loud speaker. It seemed that we were at the wrong gate, and that our flight was waiting on us to leave. Who would have thought there would be 2 Tokyo/Detroit flights within one hour of each other? And of course, as we enter the path to the plane, Alan gets pulled over to be wanded and bags searched. Hello!! We are the last ones to get on the plane. Do you really need to search him? So mad dash to the plane and there we are. The meals were terrible. Neither of us really slept much. Hannah tended to sleep on me and the flight was long. I hadn't eaten much and I was not feeling that great. We start our descent into Detroit and Hannah throws up. All over me. And then I throw up-all over her and the seat in front of me. We land, and it of course takes people forever to get off the plane and Hannah throws up again. So we tell the flight attendant, so she can clean up as best possible(really need to just blow up row 55) and we head off the plane. Not the start I wanted as we bring Hannah to America.

Then we have to go through the line for immigration(which is where I was told we had to go for Hannah). THe US passport holders went through another set of lines which went much faster. So while Alan was in line, I went and stripped both of us down(Hannah and me, not ALan) and we changed clothes. Could have used a shower, but didn't happen. Then we got back in line and waited forever. Of course we picked the wrong line. It was so slow, the American lines were empty and the lady in charge started sending people over there(the Asians). She sees us and asks if we are Americans and then tells us we should have been in the US line. We must have looked really bad, because she moved us to the front of the US line. We got through and then had to go back to the visitor line for Hannah. By that time she was poopy and I couldn't stand to smell her diaper. Luckily the lady checking us in only needed one of us, so off I went to change the diaper, while Alan finished paperwork and got the luggage. We made it through customs, rechecked our bags, went back through security and wanted to collapse. Alan had joined the NW flyers club, so we went in there. We sat Hannah in a chair to play and we looked over and she was sound asleep sitting up. Alan held her and I fell asleep in my chair. After a brief nap(for me)we headed to the gate, had a sandwich(another meal not very good), still queasy, Hannah still sleeping, and waited for our final plane. I took a dramamine, so Hannah and I slept almost the whole way to Omaha. And how wonderful it was to be home.

We walked off the plane and through the terminal, and there at the end was our boys, my parents, Amy and Tonya. My heart was so full!!! I was home. There were so many emotions, I can't even begin to describe. We were home. My boys looked great and they were so excited to meet their baby sister. She was less than thrilled with the whole thing and once we got our luggage and got her into her car seat, she fell back asleep. We got Wendy's on the way home...I was starving and it felt good to have good ole American junk food. We got to bed about 11 or so and Hannah was up at 4:30. We took her downstairs and she played and she smiled and she had a great time. However, by the time everyone else came up, she was tired again, and she slept...all day. Mom and Dad had to leave. Mom had tobe at work on Monday and it is too hard to drive 12 hours in one day for them. I hated to see them go and they hated to leave. Poor mom only got to pat her sleeping granddaughter. We kind of slept in and out that day. The boys kept asking if Hannah ever woke up. When she did wake up, she would sit by them and play Legos. It was really cute. She likes to ride in her cozy coupe(which the boys push) and rock on her little tykes horse. Her nights and days are very confused, which leaves her parents very sleep deprived and tired. Alan has had the least amount of sleep and he started back to work today. When Hannah first saw the dog, he really freaked her out and she would just scream. She is slowly getting used to him, although she doesn't like him to touch her or get very close. SHe is still struggling with Alan. WHen she wants to be comforted, she wants me. In time, it will get better, but it is really hard right now.

Today she started getting the feel for the house. She started walking around and checking things out. She was very funny to watch. SHe would be walking and she would turn around and give this grin that let you know she was up to something. She is quite a character.

We bought the boys some Chinese pjs, which they wore tonight and I will try and post tomorrow. It is getting late, she is sleeping for now, so I should try to be as well.

I can't wait to see everyone!

Friday, August 8, 2008

We made it!!

Hi everyone!!

I just wanted you to know that we made it home. I will post later about our journey to get here, but as of now, we are home and so happy to be here!!!!
The Weeds
Alan, Heather, Jacob, Sam and Hannah....finally

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The rest of Wednesday and Thursday

As we were walking around the hotel this evening after dinner, we heard over the speaker system Amazing Grace(elevator music). What a fitting way to end our stay in China. We have encountered God's amazing grace through out this entire journey. He has brought so many Christians into our life-both Americans and Chinese. He has to just smile to see His children(red and yellow black and white) enjoy each other and praise Him in one voice-even if many languages. We have been blessed-it's nice to travel a journey with fellow believers!! So today say a prayer of praise to the God of China and the USA.

We went to the US consulate yesterday. You go through security and then go into this big room and sit. Then you go up to this window and hand them your paperwork, which they look at you and your child and match faces to pictures. Then you sit back down. Then this lady came out(there was a group of about 50 or so) and she starts talking about the group-the different states that are represented, the different professions, etc. THen she has us stand up, raise our right hands, and promise that all of our paperwork was true. And then Hannah was ours. And we were like..really? Is that all we get? No hurrah? No Star Spangled Banner? Nothing? A little bit of a let down, but she is ours now. Then we got her Chinese passport and her visa.

We headed back to the hotel and got back about dinner time. So we ordered Papa John's pizza. They deliver to the hotel. It is so funny because they answer the phone in CHinese and then you say English please and the guy switched right over. We ordered it and had it in about 30 minutes-they delivered to the hotel. He rides over on his bike. I think they stay pretty busy, because most of the Americans at the hotel order it at least once. It's a little taste of home and it was pretty good.

This morning we did the last of our shopping. I am so worried that I will get home and wish I had bought more. But we packed this afternoon and we actually don't have room for more. Alan said I single handedly raised the economy for China these 2 weeks. I am glad that I could do my part.

We had dinner at the Italian restaraunt again tonight and actually ran into one of the couples in our group. So we sat beside them and enjoyed our last meal together in China. This is another family that I want to keep in touch with. Another family from our group is going to move to Beijing next spring and work in the Peter Hayden orphanage there. THey have a son who is 14 and they adopted a little boy. The older son(Christopher) is so impressive. They came to our prayer meeting the first Sunday and he prayed(the only kid in the group) and it was so incredible. In talking to the young man, I was so impressed for his demeanor, his knowledge of the Lord, his wisdom. I just pray that my boys will be that on fire for God.

So we packed. And we packed. And we packed. My bags are so full, I hope we aren't over the weight limit. And we are ready for home. But I have to admit, I am also a little sad. This is Hannah's home-her country and her people. They have been welcoming and so loving. It has been an experience like no other and I know that once I am home, it won't feel very real. I told Alan tonight that come Saturday, we will have 3 children (at the same time). It has been nice to have this time with her, but I am anxious to see the boys and have them start bonding with their baby sister.

And I am excited about introducing her to the ones who have prayed so diligently for her. God has blessed her with so many people who love her. What a blessing to be so loved.

So tomorrow we are heading home. Our flight leaves at 8:20am(so 7:20 pm-your time) and we arrive at 8:39pm(your time). And we will bring our new American daughter. We fly from GZ to Tokyo, Tokyo to Detroit, and Detroit to Omaha. And Alan wants our first stop to be Taco Bell(although I am thinking Chili's in Detroit). HOME. No word sounds as sweet right now.

I will post some new pictures and then we will try and post Saturday...or Sunday...or when I feel like it. Thanks for following our journey this far and we look forward to walking with you as we travel the rest of the way.

Love to all.

Heather, Alan, and Hannah