Monday, July 12, 2010

Home for a little over a week

On the one hand it seems hard to believe that it's been only 10 days that we've been home and on the other hand it seems like we've been home for a lot longer than that.  It is strange and unreal to look back and think we spent two weeks in China!  I would've never thought I would end up there in my lifetime.

Marisa is slowly adjusting.  She is doing better each day with Ron and I.  We knew it would be more difficult to adopt a toddler and we read about it but until you live it, you can't really know what it is going to be like.  I can understand why it's so important to limit visitors and activities in these first weeks that we're home.  Last week I think we had too many new people stopping by to see Marisa and too many new situations.  Marisa seems to do fine when people are visiting but it's later at night that she then can't seem to settle down and be comforted.  She'd wake up screaming every hour, or less, and it was really difficult to calm her down, if we even could - sometimes nothing worked.  Plus last week we also had to go to Riley Children's Hospital to check up on her PKU and learn a little more about what we are to do with her diet.  It was a 4 hour appointment and that doesn't count the long drive down to Indianapolis and back.  We met with a nurse, two dieticians, the doctor, and then Marisa had to have 5 vials of blood drawn.  So the day was a very stressful day for her.

This weekend we played it really low key.  Ron did have to work till early afternoon on Saturday but otherwise it was just a family day the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday.  Sunday was such a good day for us and the night was better.  Marisa would still wake up but without the screaming.  It was something we needed and continue to need is that family time with just the three of us so we can figure out who we are as a family.  I'm still figuring out our routine during the day so it's very nice for it to be just Marisa and I.  Plus we are limiting our usual activities and not attending everything just so Marisa isn't overwhelmed by it all.  With neither Marisa or I getting much sleep at night, it is helpful to keep our days low key and be able to put her down for a nap.  I know family and friends are very anxious about meeting or spending more time with Marisa but it will happen.  It just can't happen in these first several weeks.  We would just really appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we continue to get to know our daughter and her needs.  We want only what is best for her.  There will be lots of time for family and friends in the months to come.  It's not like anyone is missing out on much right now with her.  We need that alone time with her so we don't miss out on anything with her and can continue to build that attachment to her and her with us.  That is just so important and it's not something that's going to happen in a few days or weeks.

We continue to ask for prayers as we all make the adjustment to our new life.  And please be patient with our decisions as we try to make the needed adjustments in our life. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back at home!

We are home!!  We made it home on Friday, July 2 about 6 pm.  We flew out of Hong Kong about 9 am Friday morning, China time (that would've been 9 pm Thursday here at home).  We got up early and had checked out of the hotel in Hong Kong by 6:20 and had hoped to get on that shuttle to the airport but the shuttle was full.  And there were some pushy people that wanted to get on so we just decided to wait 20 minutes for the next shuttle.  It was good we didn't decide to get up any later.  We had lines to stand in to get our boarding passes and check our luggage.  Then we had to go through security, another long line.  Then we found our gate.  We had kind of a long way to walk to get to our gate.  Once we got to our gate we didn't have that long to wait until they started boarding the plane.  It's been interesting how other countries board their planes.  They don't give any special priority to families with young children like they do here in the states.  So we just board with everyone else.

Let me go back a little and tell a little about our day in Hong Kong.  We took the train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong on Thursday morning.  Our guide arranged a driver for us and she went along and helped us get checked in at the train station.  We had a little bit of a wait there.  Once we went through security our guide could no longer go with us.  And there were three of us families that were taking the train to Hong Kong.  It was nice to be traveling with people we knew.  I think our guide, Veronica, had become quite attached to Marisa.  And I guess we were kind of attached to her since we were with her for most of the trip.  She was a wonderful guide.  It was kind of sad to say good bye to her but we have her email address and she wants us to keep in touch and send pictures.  The train ride wasn't bad.  It took about 2 hours to get to Hong Kong.  Once we got to Hong Kong and got our luggage, each family got a taxi and we headed to our hotel near the airport which was about an hour away from the train station, I think. 

It was so strange we had to turn in our departure slip at the train station saying we were leaving China.  I guess, Hong Kong isn't considered part of China??  (On our flight arriving in China we had to fill out an arrival to China slip and turn it in with information about us and how long we were staying, and why we were there.)  And Hong Kong uses different money than China.  So we had to exchange the China money for the Hong Kong money.  There was an exchange place right in the train station.  I think Hong Kong was governed by the British government at one time and so they drive on the opposite side of the road and people drive the cars from the right side instead of the left. 

The hotel was pretty modern and nice.  We had a room on the 8th floor.  When we got to the 8th floor it seemed like we had to walk forever down the hall till we got to our room.  We decided not to venture out and just eat at the hotel.  They have a couple different restaurants in the hotel.  The one we ate at had a buffet or you could order off the menu.  We decided to eat off the buffet.  Wow!  It was expensive.  It was like $600 Hong Kong dollars!  Doesn't that sound incredible?!  That was something we had to get used to in China when our dinner bill would come to like $182 RMB - which is actually around $27 which is a normal amount to spend on dinner. But the $600 Hong Kong dollars was like $85!!  What an expensive lunch!!!  I'm not sure what we paid for the room!  In all the hotels we stayed at in China there were two beds that were a little bigger than a twin but smaller than a double bed.  So Ron and I would each take a bed.  But here in Hong Kong we had a king-size bed and the bed was softer than what we had in China.  And here when we asked for a crib, they brought a nice pack-n-play for Marisa to sleep in.  We spent the day in our room because we were tired and didn't really feel like going out and about.  It would have been a nice opportunity to see Hong Kong but by this point I think we were just tired and ready to be home and tired of the whole traveling thing.  Marisa played, I fell asleep and then Marisa fell asleep on the bed by me.  We decided to order room service for dinner which we knew would be expensive but decided to do it anyway since we didn't feel like going out.  We got to bed at a decent time so we could get up early.

The flight home even though it was long was't too bad otherwise.  This plane had three rows of three seats.  So we were in the center row and it was nice to have the row to ourselves and Ron and I each to have an aisle seat so we could get up if we needed to.  Plus we were in the very last row of the plane and there were two bathrooms in the back - one on Ron's side and one on mine.  The bathrooms were also a little bigger than what we had experienced on previous flights so it made it nice when we had to take Marisa in.  She did quite well on the flight.  I had taken some food for her and her formula in my carry on and no one said anything at the security check points.  I didn't make up the formula ahead of time in case they would not let me take it on the plane.  It worked out okay mixing her formula on the plane.  We had ordered her a vegetarian meal but she still couldn't eat a whole lot from it.  So we supplemented her meals with stuff I had packed or if there were any fruits or veggies in our meals she could have that.  It worked out nicely because they would pass out the special request meals first, so we could get Marisa fed before our meals came.  But Marisa's body seemed to operate on China time.  Around 12 noon or so (China time) she fell asleep and napped for a couple of hours.  Then what would have been about 8 pm  China time or a little later she fell asleep again but could only sleep till about 12 because our flight landed and she woke up as we're going through security and stuff at the airport.  On this flight we each had our own personal tv screen in back of the seat in front of us.  You could choose if you wanted to watch a movie, tv episodes, or play a game.  But they were having trouble with the screens because they would freeze up, as Ron's did and there was nothing that could be done.  Finally they made a general announcement that they were going to shut the system down and reboot it and no one could use it for about a half hour.  Later Ron was using it again and his screen froze up - I think it was the game he playing.  What was interesting too, is that you could bring up a map of the flight and see where we were at and the route we were taking.  (Actually many of the flights we were on had a map on a screen so you could see the flight route and where we were on that route.) On the way home we flew up through China and the Artic Circle.  I don't think we flew directly over the north pole but we were near there.  Then we flew over Alaska and Canada and then made our way down over Michigan to Detroit.  So coming home we had no darkness just like when we flew over to China we were chasing the sun and it didn't set until we were in Tokyo or soon thereafter.  Ron and I didn't sleep really on the long flight - maybe dozed off a little but nothing much.  It was funny because after we boarded the plane to South Bend, we all three were out almost right away even before the plane took off because we had to wait on the runway a little for our turn to take off.  

When we got off the plane in Detroit we had to go through immigration for Marisa.  We had a brown envelope filled with papers that we had to give to the immigration official and we were told we could not open this envelope when we got it.  They looked through the paper work and stamped her visa.  She's officially a US citizen!  Then we had to claim our luggage, go through customs, and then check our luggage in.  We found our gate and sat and waited for a couple of hours for the flight to South Bend.  I told Ron I was a little nervous because the plane we were on was a little turbo prop plane with only 11 rows of seats on it - 3 across!!  But it was fine and the shortest flight we had for the entire trip!  It was only like 30 minutes or a little bit more!  It's so crazy to think how much flying we actually did on this trip - not only over to China but through China as well.  Glad I'm not afraid to fly!

At South Bend Ron's parents were there to pick us up, as well as Karen & Denny (Ron's sister and husband), Steve & Ramona (Ron's brother and wife), and Nicki - Andrew's girlfriend (Andrew is Ron's nephew).  Actually Andrew was flying in as well (from New Orleans) and originally his flight was supposed to get in 5 minutes before our's and he was going to surprise us!  But his flight ended up getting delayed for 2 hours.  He was disappointed but he'll be in the area for a few days so he's hoping to stop in so he can meet his cousin, Marisa!  My parents and sister Ruby were waiting at the house for us.  Ron's parents brought us home and stayed for a little bit.  Marisa let Grandma Huber give her a kiss, she let Grandma Hochstedler hold her a little, and she pulled grass up and gave it to Grandpa Hochstedler.  So she met a lot of the family but still has another Aunt and Uncle to meet and cousins.  She did okay around everyone.  She likes being the center of attention.

When we first walked into the house, Zoe (our cat) was right there to greet us.  Zoe really missed us as we could tell by all the attention she wanted from us.  Zoe was the first thing Marisa saw when we walked in and she was so excited!  And she kept saying "meow" like she did when she saw her picture.  Zoe actually did okay with her.  Later we took Marisa outside barefoot and she seemed to really like walking on the grass barefoot and I wasn't sure if this was her first time or not by the way she acted.  We walked to the back yard and the neighbor dog came up to the fence like he usually does so we can reach over and pet him.  Marisa was excited to see him but a little afraid, I think, because he was so big.  The dogs she's seen on the streets of China were small dogs.  I had also set out a little tea set I had gotten from one of my cousins at a shower.  She played with that and pretended to pour tea from the teapot into the cups.  It was cute to watch.

So our first evening at home consisted of eating dinner, unpacking a little, and going to bed.  Marisa had some trouble being put down.  And then in the night she woke up and she couldn't be quieted down.  Ron and I took turns and it took like 2 hours till we could get her settled down and she slept some more.  We slept in quite a while then.  It was probably noon or 1 pm till we got up.  So our day was messed up but we figured we'd sleep as we needed it and then on Sunday try to get back to a little more normal schedule.  Marisa played with some of her new toys today, and took a nap with daddy.   Later getting her to bed wasn't much of a problem but once again she's up now (after 3 am) and she's crying and we can't seem to help her settle down.  I don't know if she's scared or having bad dreams.  It's so hard when you don't know what's going on in her head.  

Well, I am finally finishing this post - 12 hours later.  Marisa was having a hard time all night.  I don't know if her internal clock is messed up with the time change or what.  She hardly slept until about 7 this morning she finally settled down and slept until about noon when Ron got her up.  Since she settled down about 7 am it makes me wonder if her internal clock is still on China time because that would have been 7 pm in China.  Or is that she doesn't like the dark and felt better once it was light out so then she fell asleep.  It is so hard to tell.  So needless to say I was up with her and didn't get much sleep until she finally went to sleep.  I was hoping at least Ron would be able to sleep and he did get more sleep than I did but I think he still would wake up when he'd hear Marisa cry.  It's amazing how when we didn't have a child we'd sleep through about anything, now Marisa can be kinda restless and make one little peep and we hear her.  We've decided not to have her nap today in hopes that then by this evening she'll be so tired she'll fall asleep.  I guess we can at least hope.  Ron will be going back to work on Tuesday so I hope we can get her to sleep better so he can at least get some decent sleep then as well.   

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

next stop Hong Kong, then home!

We're packed and almost ready for bed.  Got to have our bags packed and ready to go by 6 am and also ready to go to breakfast by then.  Then we'll check out and be ready to head out by 7 am.  I guess it takes about an hour to get to the train station.  I think our train leaves for Hong Kong at 9 am.  There will be at least one other family traveling with us if not two.  The train ride will be a couple of hours.  Not sure what we'll do in Hong Kong.  We may venture out or just relax in our room -- I guess we'll see when tomorrow comes.  I think we fly out of Hong Kong on Friday at around 9 am. 
 
The families that we are with have also expressed they are ready to go home.  Praying for a safe trip home for us all.  We came here as couples or smaller families and are leaving with new additions and changes to our lives and our little ones' lives forever.  We've made some new friendships, people we would've never met had we not come to China.  All of this has been an experience we will never forget -- the journey to our daughter Marisa, a dream finally come true. Who knows what else God has in store for us. 
 
Thanks to all our families and friends for all the support and prayers.  See you soon!  We love you all!   

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last day in Guangzhou

Well, today is our last day in Guangzhou.  It was a nice day again today.  Well, I guess it's sunny is what I mean by nice.  It's very humid but it was nicer to walk around the island when it's not raining.  We stopped in a few shops today but things tend to be made cheaply and in some places things are kind of dirty and you can tell they have had some of the things in their shop for a long time.  So we didn't purchase a whole lot of things.  After breakfast we walked around the island for awhile and got some lunch and then came back to the hotel.  We put Marisa down for a nap and she slept for a couple of hours.  We've had to wake her up from her naps because she sleeps so long.  I don't know how long she'd sleep if we'd let her.  We packed as much as we could while she was sleeping.  I just didn't want to be up late packing things.  I don't know how early we'll have to be ready tomorrow morning.  And I don't know how long it takes to get to the train station. 
 
After we got Marisa up, Ron held her for awhile and then she wanted to come to me and wanted me to hold her for awhile.  That hasn't really happened  before and was nice that she wanted that.  When we give her kisses she doesn't always pull away anymore.  She kind of acts like she doesn't like it but smiles and laughs when we do it.   Just a little bit ago Marisa and I were playing with some stickers.  I'd pull them off the sheet and she'd put them on her coloring book.  Then she found her crayons and was coloring a little.  Now she is taking her crayons out of the box and putting them back in.  I don't know how long she could do that but it seems for a while.  It's so fun to watch her.  She's also been looking at the pictures we brought of her grandpas and grandmas, her aunts and uncles, and her cousins.  There are some pictures of herself too, that she likes looking at.
 
So this is our last night in Guangzhou and tomorrow we'll head for Hong Kong and spend the day and night there.  We'll be leaving Hong Kong on Friday morning (Thursday night for those of you at home).  We're ready.  We hope Marisa is too.  Depending on what kind of fees the Hong Kong hotel charges for internet service we may not connect.  So if you don't hear from us tomorrow, I'll try to post soon after we get home.  I wonder how the jet lag will be.  It didn't seem that bad once we got here but don't know how it will be going back home. Please pray for a safe trip to Hong Kong and safe trip home to the States.  Also, pray for Marisa to do well on the long flight.
 
Thanks for following our journey and we hope to see you soon!

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

finishing another day

I had posted earlier today, but since everyone else is in bed now I thought I'd post a few thoughts from the day.  It's interesting how early I feel like going to bed since I've been here.  Ron and I are both usually tired by the time we put Marisa down at about 8 pm and then we're ready to go to sleep soon after.  I guess when we're at home there's always more to do but here there's nothing so I just go to bed.
 
We went to the American Consulate this afternoon to take an oath on behalf of our adopted children that the information that was given to immigration was accurate and true to the best of our knowledge.  There was a room full of parents with the children they had adopted.  It didn't take very long but long enough when you have small children.
 
Marisa had been able to take a nap so I suppose that helped some.  After we got back to the hotel we made dinner plans.  Ron and I decided to go with a Papa John's pizza but since Marisa can't have that we had to get some rice and broccoli for her.  It's pretty sad to see your child get excited when her daddy walks into the room with a bag and she knows it's dinner!  Soon we'll be home and that will change. 
 
Marisa is such a little character.  She can find small things to amuse herself with.  She discovered the signs you hang on the door knob outside your door -- Do Not Disturb and Please Make Up Room.  So she was playing with those and I was showing her how she could hang it over the door knob.  She loves to tear paper and she can do that for a long time.  She will tear it into such tiny little pieces and then she wants to put them in our hand.  She was pushing her stroller around the little that she could here in the hotel room.  I put her stuffed animals in it so she could push those around.  She put a bag on top of them, I don't know if it was supposed to be like a blanket or what.  Then I was writing out our email address on small paper so we could give them to the others in our group, and she comes to me with a card I had given her and she would point to different places on the card and want me to write on it.  Later this evening she got my shoes and put them on and was trying to walk around in them.  When she takes her shoes off, she will put them by our shoes.  It's just so fun to watch her play because she can come up with things on her own so easily.  And she is just so curious about stuff that that makes it fun to watch her as well.
 
Tonight we had a hard time getting her to sleep.  Last night we had some trouble but tonight was the worst it's been since she's been with us.  She just cried and cried and tries to find an excuse for us to get her out of bed, like she'll say she has to go to the potty when she just went.  It's really hard to hear her cry so hard and not know what to do for her.  I did hold her for a while and her crying subsided some but when I put her back in her crib it started again.  I think she didn't want to go to sleep.  I don't know what she's thinking and if this is part of her grieving?  I just hope she can get past it soon because it is so hard to see her cry like that and not be able to comfort her.  She did finally fall asleep but she probably spent over a half hour crying.
 
Well, tomorrow is our last full day here.  We may go to some of the other little shops nearby.  Maybe it will be a nice day again tomorrow.  I will also need to spend some time packing so that we can be ready bright and early on Thursday morning to head to the train station. 
 
Good night but I guess for those of you back home it's Good Morning! 
 

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Marisa playing

We were in the playroom at the hotel last night and she found this doodle bug thing.  She was really concentrating on her writing and had to get a real close look.  She tends to make dots rather than scribble.  Not sure what's up with that. :) 

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some more pictures


She loves wearing daddy's hat.  Why doesn't she like wearing the hat I have for her?
 
Found out she likes jello!
 
Marisa likes to sleep in her crib.  We just got a new one because the one she had the bottom fell out twice while she was in it!  The new one is a little bit longer so she has more room to stretch out.  She doesn't want to lay in our bed, she wants to be in her own bed.
 
 

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some pictures

Marisa seems to like to be silly.  Here are pictures of her wearing her skort as a hat! 

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sunny day in Guangzhou

Finally we have a sunny day here in Guangzhou.  It's been hard to get out and walk around when it's been rainy, and everything's wet and muddy.  When I say it's hard, just hard for us to want to go out with a little one and walk around because you're trying to maneuver the stroller and umbrellas.  So it's almost easier to stay in.  So the days are kind of long. 
 
Yesterday was a long day without much happening.  After breakfast we had come back to the room and played with Marisa until her nap time.  We really have not been able to keep her nap time until yesterday.  So she was not very happy about having to go down for a nap.  She slept for a couple of hours and then we went shopping for a little Chinese dress for her for the picture we were going to be taking on the red couch later in the afternoon.  Our guide had a photographer come and take pictures of our group's little adopted ones sitting on the "red couch".  Actually we found out there isn't a "red couch", but there are several red couches.  We also had a photo taken of the whole group.  Those taken by the photographer are a gift from our guide.  Those will be nice to have.  Marisa kept pulling up her dress.  I really like having her in a dress but she seems to just pull it up.  I guess I need to make sure all the dresses I have, have matching bloomers!  In the evening some of the families in our group went with the guide to a Chinese restaurant within walking distance from the hotel.  I ended up not eating that much.  Marisa really liked the green beans and she ate the whole little bowl of rice that they brought for her.  She eats rice but hasn't eaten that much at one time since we've had her with us.  There was a cat walking around the restaurant.  Doesn't that kind of make you a little sick?!  Because the cat didn't necessarily look that healthy.  I was trying to take Marisa to the bathroom but she saw the kitty and wanted to go up to it.  She went up to it and put her hand out to it, and the cat didn't run away.  It just sat there and closed its eyes.  Marisa did actually take hold of it's ear and I made her let go.  I didn't want her to hurt the cat and I also didn't want her to touch the cat because we know nothing about the cat.  The reason the cat could get in was because the restaurant was open in the front and they also have outdoor seating so if people go in and out that door or leave that door open accidentally, it could get in.  Needless to say, I tried to take Marisa to the bathroom but they only had the squatty potties and she doesn't like those and I can't seem to hold her over it correctly anyway without her peeing on her clothes for some reason.  You just never know what kind of toilet you'll find when you go to the restroom.  Sometimes they have both the squatty potty and the stool and other times there is only one or the other.  And you can't count on their being toilet paper available either, so we always carry some.
 
Well, since I didn't eat much for dinner.  We ended up calling our guide and she ordered some McDonald's for us.  They deliver to the hotel but the hotel won't allow them to bring it inside, so you have to wait outside for it.  I can't remember if I posted before that they deliver on bikes.  So we had some McDonald's.  It tastes pretty much the same as in the states.
 
Yesterday was kind of a trying day.  Marisa is now testing her boundaries with us.  We have had to be more firm with her in our expectations and of course that doesn't make for a happy little girl.  Going down for a nap and going to bed have now been a little more difficult.  When she's happy she's very happy and such a sweet little girl but she can be very stubborn and want things her way in her time.  After she has her meltdown and she can stop crying she does usually comply.  I'm sure if she was with a foster family in which the foster parents were older she was probably allowed to have her own way more.  And if the nannies at the orphanage really liked her like they told us, I'm sure they let her get away with more.  So that makes our job a little more difficult but I guess that's part of parenting.  She'll learn her boundaries soon enough. I think she knows that her mommy and daddy still love her even if she can't have her way all the time.  And she can get past her stubbornness and be her sweet self. 
 
Today after breakfast we got out for awhile since it was nice and sunny.  It was very hot and humid but it was nice that it wasn't raining.  We went into a couple of little shops here and picked up just a couple of things.  We might go out again later to look in some other shops.  We saw some school children out with their teacher doing some exercises. I think we'd heard that kids are in school till the beginning of July.  So I think they're almost done.  Then later this afternoon we go for an oath swearing ceremony with our adopted children.  Yesterday our guide, Veronica, took all of our paperwork to the American Consulate in the morning and we should be able to pick up our child's visa tomorrow afternoon.  Well, actually I think Veronica will pick them up and hand them out to us.
 
Then on Thursday morning we head out on a train to Hong Kong.  I guess the train station is a fair distance from the airport hotel that we'll be staying at.  I think we have to get our own taxi to get to the hotel.  Our guide will not be going with us to Hong Kong.  I think all of the families in our group are flying out of Hong Kong but going to Hong Kong at different times from here.  I think one family leaves tomorrow afternoon.  We and another family or two will be leaving Thursday morning and the last family will be leaving here for Hong Kong on Thursday evening.  We will fly out of Hong Kong on Friday morning.  I'm not sure when the other families fly out.  I will be so ready to be home and hope and pray that the flight home will go well.  When we get to the Detroit airport we'll have to go through immigration because of Marisa.  I didn't even think about that.  
 
So still a few things to do and then soon we'll be on our way home.  I'm ready to get into a regular routine and help Marisa adjust to it.
 
The picture is of Marisa in her little traditional Chinese dress.  The other picture is of Marisa trying to put on her sandals.  She likes to try to put them on herself.
 

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

another day comes to an end

So another day comes to an end.  It is hard to believe still, that this sweet little girl is our daughter and she will be coming home with us.  I suppose once we are home it will be very real.  This is what we have prayed about and worked on for so long and it has finally happened.  I am excited for those of you waiting for us to meet Marisa YiChen.  She is such a sweet little girl.  And you think about a 2 1/2 year old having to go through what she has gone through (being with her birth mom, being in an orphanage, then living with a foster family, and then back to the orphanage and now with her forever family), I am just amazed at her resiliency.  Would we be able to handle that many changes in 2 1/2 years? 
 
It seems Marisa is really adjusting well to us.  I believe she is feeling like she can trust us.  Even though she seems to be daddy's girl, she has been coming to me more lately.  She picks up on the routines we've established here in China.  She knows when we come back to the hotel room we kick of our shoes, and she's ready to take them off.  She knows when we eat she puts on her bib.  She knows when I give her a bottle at night she goes to bed afterwards.  She went to the crib tonight after I gave her her bottle.  It just amazes me how quickly she picks up on things. 
 
I brought a small bottle of bubbles along and got it out this afternoon.  I was blowing bubbles and she loved it!  She had such a high shrill excited squeal it hurt our ears.  And she didn't just squeal once!  It is fun to give her those new experiences.  To be a part of those fun new experiences she's having is such a joy because it is so fun for her.  She just seems to fully enjoy life and it's so fun to watch.  She's so curious and just wants to experience it all it seems.
 
We have felt so blessed that she will go into her crib and not fuss.  She will go to sleep on her own and sleep through the night except for waking up early and not going back to sleep the past couple of mornings.  I hope that doesn't continue.  I suppose it's fine if she can get her nap in the afternoon but if we have to be out and about it's hard if not impossible for her to get a nap unless she just falls asleep like she has a couple of times.  I know there could still be some grieving that she may experience.  We just haven't had any serious meltdowns or crying spells where she couldn't be soothed except for the first day when we met her.  I know God is with us and has really helped with this transition.  I know He'll continue to help with any grieving that Marisa may go through and will help us to know how to help her go through that.  I just wonder if she will experience any of that once we leave China and we are in a totally different country and she won't see Chinese people every day but instead American.  I just hope it won't be a difficult adjustment for her.
 
It's a little after 9 pm here on Sunday night and I am so tired and ready to go to bed.  For those that know me, you know that doesn't sound like me.  I haven't been much of a night owl since we've been in China.  Whether it's the emotional drain, or taking care of a toddler all day, I don't know.  I just know we've been going to bed much earlier than we did at home.  And I'm actually able to sleep pretty well on the hard bed. :)  I guess when you're tired enough you can sleep on whatever.
 
A funny thing here in China is that McDonald's and KFC deliver!  We were walking back to the hotel and a Papa John's delivery guy went buzzing past us to the hotel, but get this he wasn't in a car - he was on a bike!  We had seen a McDonald's delivery guy on a bike earlier when we left the hotel.  I just get a kick out of seeing that.  Who would think that McDonald's or KFC would deliver?  Do you think that would ever work in the states?
 
I can't wait for those of you back home to meet Marisa.  The orphanage described her as an extrovert and I'd definitely have to agree.  I'm sure you will all get to see that in time if not right away. 
 
Well, it's time for bed.  I'll post more tomorrow and sorry for no pictures tonight, but will try tomorrow since I should have plenty of time.
  

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