Monday, June 30, 2008

A Good Day

Today was a good day; no meltdowns and we dined out with one of the other families in our group and their daughter who is also two. I decided the morning tour would be too much for Emme so we opted to stay back and hang out. In the afternoon, I went with a few of the other moms for an outing. 70 minutes of foot-washing, back massage and foot massage complete with watermelon and tea for $7. I picked up a dress for her red couch photo for tomorrow and came back to giggles. Tomorrow is our appointment at the US Consulate and we leave 5:30am on Wednesday for our long journey home. Goodnight from Guangzhou

Sunday, June 29, 2008

She's a Swan

The Empress had a night terror at naptime for about 40 minutes. After it was over she giggled and wanted to play so we again tried to take her down to the Mattel playroom (The Swan Room). She kvetched at first but 10 minutes later was playing and interacting with others. Baby steps but we're getting there. Goodnight from Guangzhou

The Countdown

The Empress slept through the night; no screaming at 3am. She did great today at breakfast and I opted to leave her back with grandma-ma while I went shopping. My back was crying and I needed a few hours to myself. I brought her back a few treasures including a jade baby bangle bracelet, pearls for her 16th birthday and a traditional Chinese party dress. When I returned with bananas in hand she was sitting in the stroller. We "think" she was afraid of the straps which secure a child in. I didn't think of it and feel like an ass. She has marks on her thighs which suggest she was tied to something and the center had tried potty training but said she was "uncooperative". Without being secured in, she rode in it for over an hour while we had lunch (came out and went back in) and perused the shops by the hotel. I am hoping this will continue so mama's back gets a rest. I don't mind carrying her for security reasons but can't do it non-stop. I am hoping tomorrow she will ride a little so we can go to the Buddhist Temple and have her blessed. I know some people reading this will not understand but she is petrified of Chinese women; particularly if they are wearing uniforms. The only exception is the housekeeping staff because she loves to clean AND they do not speak to her so there is no threat. I am hoping in time she will feel more comfy since we live in an Asian community with opportunities to participate in cultural events if she chooses. All in all a better day for mama and baby who is napping at 5:30pm which means she will be up until midnight. I guess her night owl behavior will help her acclimate to NY time. We went to the local Walmart-like store where you can buy your fresh chicken feet along with your Jissbon Condoms and adult diapers. It was quite the experience.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Royal Bath

Her majesty had her first bath (with me anyway). I spent the afternoon showing her a photo of her as a baby in the tub and she giggled. I filled her bath with bubbles and some sea animals and she ran back and forth but wasn't having any part of this nonsense. I finally just stripped her and put her in and gave her a 5 minute special; hair and all. She wasn't happy but it's over. Now she will hopefully stop scratching her tushy (which is very cute). After she was done I taught her how to brush her teeth and she did them and then let me do them. This morning we successfully ate at the restaurant buffet in the hotel with another couple and their daughter who is close in age. Emme loves banana yogurt which is good since she hadn't been given any milk or formula in over a year. I want to increase her calcium intake but not go nuts with the milk while in China. I think the mostly carb diet gives her highs and lows in the day which is why she is always hungry. I went to 7-11 and picked up some yogurt and fruit for the room so she has a snack in the AM and the PM. She is a real stinker though. She won't walk but when I left to get lunch she put her brown bear in the stroller and took him down the hall. She puts the bib on brown bear too but won't wear it herself. Today we had the obligatory police station photo and boy was ours a doozy. She was not fond of that OR the medical but she passed with flying colors and her ears are A-OK. I was able to go out for 2 hours to complete all the paperwork for the consulate which was good. So we're doing better in some ways but still having challenges. Tomorrow we are venturing to the pearl market but it's close enough we can cab it back if she isn't digging the scene. I would like to get her a strand of pearls to have when she is older. She likes reading the travel book in the night table and is particularly fond of David Yurman. I did promise her cash and pearls if she cooperates tomorrow. Goodnight from the White Swan


Hi all! I"m Lisa's backup poster for her while she is in China and she sent me some pictures to post for her on Thursday night (I saw the email yesterday morning). She wasn't able to post them herself. But the internet connection here sucks (I'm on vacation) and yesterday I couldn't open the pictures or even log on to Blogger so I wasn't able to post these for you. So very sorry!For some reason the connection isn't bad this morning so here they are for your viewing pleasure.

P.S. Lisa, you can delete all of these nutty words when you get home if you like.
P.S.S. I'm heading home this morning so thankfully the internet connections from here on out will be A-ok, in case she sends me any more pics to post. They will be up post haste.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Like a library book, we're way overdue

Saying the past few days have been easy would be the lie of the century. We're all tired. Last night was REALLY hard on all of us. Emme screamed on and off from 2am-8:30am. It doesn't help when the neighbors bang on the walls. She is actually attaching to me in early stages and today gave me some unsolicited kisses. She prefers me and wants to be carried everywhere. She is going through the various baby stages (crawling, feet to mouth on her back) wanting to be fed and the next minute she is showing her independence by feeding herself, dusting the furniture (cleaning I've been told can be an orphanage behavior) and unpacking all the suitcases. It astounds me how bright she is and how quickly she learns. Today she said her first English word; banana. She is a bottomless pit and eats just about anything but has a love for bananas. It's a good thing we bought a bunch at the grocery store. Tomorrow we leave for Guangzhou and we arrive home on 7/2. I know tomorrow will probably set us back but I hope some fresh air and change of scenery will do us all some good. I couldn't have asked for a better agency who is doing what they can to take care of us across the miles. Our local guide this week is without words, one of the most amazing young women I've ever met. There is so much to Emme's story and so many people whose lives she has touched. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we depart Chongqing tomorrow; the capital of Emme's birthplace. I would have loved to have seen where her life began but I already know we'll be back. We have way too much time to make up for and many special people to share it with.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Official

Despite the rough few days, Emme is officially my daughter as of 3:00pm local time. We completed her adoption (in new shoes) in the provincial capital of Chongqing and despite her utter and complete meltdown, they deemed I am an acceptable parent for her. She totally freaks out in elevators and anytime she is expected to "perform", like her adoption photo that must have her eyes open. We received a lovely gold plate as a gift along with her adoption certificate and photo album. She was the loudest babe in the place and the French families receiving their babies took many video and photo clips of the screaming child. I was fond of Pierre, an eight month old wearing pink. He was fond of his daddy and came over for a visit. I did get an unsolicited kiss on my chin today and upon waking she laughs.

The Empress's New Shoes

The princess has new shoes. She wasn't happy about it but it's done. Not that she'll walk anywhere but they're little pink/white sneakers a la Bob Dog. They'll do until we can come home and hit Stride Rite. The ones on the left are the too large sandals she came to me in but we will save them along with her dress. She is petrified of leaving the room and the elevator and lobby just brings her to hysterics but the periods are a tad shorter. I was able to leave this morning for an hour to handle finances at the bank with my wonderful guide (and shoe shopper). Emme was fine with grandma-ma. She still doesn't "like" her but she tolerates her and accepted a scrambled egg from her this morning in my absence. She slept 10 hours last night but woke and cried and ended up with me for a bit. I did receive an unsolicited kiss just a bit ago on my chin. She is quite the character. Pics later though not many since we're low key. Leaving for the adoption office in 45 minutes. Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Love the tongue

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Queen has Spoken

Miss Emme has her royal subjects locked away in the castle. After three outfit changes and smiles we set out for a walk to get lunch. She was having NONE of that. I think the lobby handoff was traumatic for her and while filled with good intentions, 2 nannies plus her best friend to send her off was not in her best interest. She suffered a great loss indeed. I don't know how we'll get on that 8am flight tomorrow but I imagine bribery will be involved. She slept great in her crib though not enough sleep and was up quietly looking at me so I invited her in for a cuddle. Well she won't go back to the crib. SCHMUCK first time mother. So she is passed out after some tylenol (she was biting her fingers, maybe 2 year molars?) I am going to nap with her but wanted to post since I know people back home are waiting. Without further ado, here is the fashionista otherwise known as the Divine Miss Em. Disclaimer****** She thought spilling water out of her cup was funny and got a change of clothes right after.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jet Lag is NOT my friend

Jet lag has officially set in as I wait for Emme's arrival. She is due to arrive around 10pm or so. She is coming by train with another child and 2 nannies. Last night was nice, was up at 5:30am and met other families this morning and later today. Saw the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square and then went to an acrobatic show (all I can say is WOW). The latter totally exceeded any expectations I may have had. I will be sad to miss the the Great Wall tomorrow but shit happens. It's more important I tend to little one and her needs. Besides we have a special treat tomorrow and what I know will prove to be a true gift in every sense of the word and the fostering of what I am sure will be a long-term friendship with some special people in China. Here are a few pictures from the day. Bear in mind, it was only 85 degrees but HUMID. Some observations.....Starbucks tastes different, you can find Schlotsky's Deli, the department store charges $90 for a kids tee (European store..see stroller mom bought herself) and bare tushies in split pants are really cute unless you are 42.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We're HERE

Yesterday went smoothly even with the 2 hour mechanical delay taking off. The only major snafu was mom forgetting her camera USB connector so she cannot charge or upload any pictures. I forgot the "Where you were born in China" book I wanted people to write good wishes in. We arrived in China at a little after 4pm local time and were escorted to our hotel. Mom crashed and I went out to dinner with James, who I did business with when he lived in NYC. He and his lovely wife picked me up for dinner at a beautiful authentic Chinese restaurant where they ordered a buffet of items for me to try. In addition they gave a lovely tea seat for Emme and I and a watermelon they got at the market special for us. Sweet, eh? Today we are meeting our group at 1pm and going to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City and then an acrobtic show at 5pm. Emme's arrival has been delayed until 10pm tonight. Poor thing :-(

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Until China

"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." -- Kristi Larson

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kosher HAM?

The pictures just keep coming. Don't you just love that little belly? The photo she is looking at is from the album I sent her. I hope it comes with her along with the blanket and Raffi (the pink Giraffe)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Blog Makeover

A HUGE thank you to anyone who contributed to the blog makeover raffle. There's still time and I can tell you Danielle does awesome work.

Showers of Happiness

On Sunday my mom who I love more than life itself made a beautiful party to celebrate Emme Li's impending arrival. 30 women gathered on a 97 degree day at a local Chinese restaurant for a luncheon. I was utterly amazed at the generosity of family and friends who traveled from near and far to be here to share this special day. I tried to make a speech but failed when I started to cry. The short version was, this day really wasn't about me or Emme but about celebrating all the wonderful women in my life who have supported me and brought me to this point. As I said on Sunday, "some people think the best presents come in little blue boxes, but I know different" Each and every person there has contributed to my life in some way and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I hope Emme grows up surrounded by their love and knows she can do anything and be anything she wants to be. I have to take more pictures of some of the uber cool gifts (if you look close you can see the beautiful Emme Li" puzzle I received" but have been in a mad dash to get my home ready for for Divine Miss Em (M). The favors were beautiful pink cherry blossom fans with coordinating chopsticks and the ribbons said "Celebrating Emme Li, June 8th, 2008"