23 September 2010

Nature Walks

This interesting earth house, and the large acreage associated with it, were recently added to the State park down the road. Prarie (well, what should be prarie) is interspersed with oak forest. Prescribed burns will, hopefully, restore the prarie to its former beauty and resiliency.

Closer to the River:

Cruising Downtown On A Sunny Saturday

Our teeny town hosted a crafts fair and we decided to go for a spin downtown. The weather was crisp, and the leaves are beginning to change color. Tupie wasn't overly thrilled with the stroller at first. We kept it simple and slow (and not overstimulate the littlest little one, who had only been home for 10 days).

Ooops. Don't put me down!
Willow has her first ice cream sandwich :)

Miniature cows are very docile:

21 September 2010

Willow: Preschool

Here is a picture of Willow, along with her preschool colleagues, at the mill pond. And, as usual, she marches to her own drummer and is focused on something more interesting:

15 September 2010

Catching Up: The first few days home

Everyone is zoned out. In fact, I am fast asleep (catatonic) as the gang eats dinner. Tupie kicks up her heels as she enjoys baby formula and pizza:

Chloe and Gus don't seem phased by the new addition in their midst:
I read that "daylight" helps reset the biological clock faster, from jetlag. So, we ventured outside right away:

Willow under the willow tree :)

09 September 2010

We Are Home (But Not Done With China Pictures)

We again visited Six Banyan Temple to request a blessing for Tupelo (and our family), and, because it we find it a place which instills reflection.
Below, Chris holds Willow (and Tupelo) so she can light some insense. To the right, Dory places incense while praying for relatives who have passed. We also prayed for those who are still alive. On the left, several monks leave that temple (there are several other temples for specific prayers, e.g., for mothers and women):

The monk chants for our family (and another adoptive family in our group); at prayer's end, the monk sprinkles us with holy water:

Weary from the heat and humidity, intensified by clouds of insense, Meryl and Dory rest for a moment before leaving the temple. This picture made me laugh because we both look awful!:

08 September 2010

Just Magical and Perfect: NOT entirely

Although I tend to post the magical pictures that hint at the perfect family living in harmony, that isn't really the way it is all the time of course. It happens, and it is wonderful because it is something to hold onto to when the going gets rough, but it is very hard to tip the three-some apple cart and add another child. Hard because we have again gone out on an 18-year-long blind date. Hard because we can't know what she needs all the time: is the crying from gas or grief? Heat or hysteria? Constipation or constitution? And, of course, we all are in various stages of shock and elation.

07 September 2010

Pool "Psychopathy"?

Informative signage for guests who wish to utilize the pool. No psychopaths allowed

Below is a picture of the "rinse/shower" to clean off before entering the pool; after passing through this outside shower area, one had to walk through a very shallow wading area to wash off feet.

Tupie (too-pee) was initially terrified of water, but has gotten fond of warm showers; below is her first pool experience. Dory took Willow to the pool each afternoon (and on this day we all joined them).

Willow with her Ayi Sara, our friend and adoption facilitator in China:

General shock (good shock, though), exhaustion (it took about a week to get over the jet-lag hump), and sketchy access to posting to the blog rendered me without extra words to describe all our experiences here in China. For example, our adoption agency's in-China partners book all their families at 5-star hotels (at special rates). It was delightfully posh and over-the-top frankly, but the comfort was welcomed at the end of every day. Above, Auntie Dory converses with the girls outside her suite at the Garden Hotel, standing on the beautiful plum-blossom carpet (above). All going quite well with Tupelo's adjustment. We finally had a straightforward bedtime in the cribs, with smiles and barely a sound (contrasting with the dismay and crying of previous nights). Below, the little ones (and teddies) luxuriate on puffy linens and pillows:

Dory catches some shade in a small bamboo grove:

We promised Dory a panda, so our guide arranged a trip to the zoo:

06 September 2010

Airport: Nanning to Guangzhou

Leaving Nanning (capitol of Guangxi Province, the province Tupelo was born in) and heading to Guangzhou (Guangdong Province, the province Willow was born in). This is the last city in our journey, and we have come here to complete some additional tasks and paperwork before we bring Tupelo home). We will also have some great R&R—we love this city and there are so many interesting places to visit.

Guangzhou & Tupelo's Medical Examination

The scene here is interesting and hectic. The adopted children are seen by a series of doctors in different specialties: general medicine; weight & height; ear, nose, and throat; and lastly the injection room. Tupelo received 6 vaccinations (and thankfully did not have any negative reactions, injection-site pain, or run a high fever). She does not have any ear infection (which is fabulous for a cleft-affected child). The doctors nibbled and cuddled her, and were so pleased with her girth. She weighed in at a whopping 21 pounds.

Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf

Pleasant Goat (and sidekick, Big Big Wolf) is the HIT cartoon in China right now. He is the character that was on Tupelo’s clothing in her referral pictures.

(... post continued from below: days 3, 4, and 5)


Days 3, 4, and 5

Still a lot of technical blips trying to post. My friend in the states has been posting for me but is now encountering additional blocks. Soooo … I am going to try using blogger’s email-to-post function. Here we go….


Day 3: Tupie has decided she wants to walk. In fact, she actually can walk great distances (though slow and tipsy). On Day 4, she decided she wanted to feed herself (and feasted on pumpkin/spinach baby food and baby pureed prunes). Most ended up on her face and body. Day 5: Though gentle and quiet (we think), she loves to knock things off surfaces and generally wreak havoc by moving and tossing everything around. She’s also still grieving as of this time (spoiler alert: as of day 6, she woke up smiling and by day’s end, was actually laughing). Willow has also become a wee-bit jealous and it culminated in a 30-minute hysteria-meltdown when judiciously brought (i.e., carried kicking and screaming) into a closed room with Mommy (who decided it was time for a little tough love). After which the 3-year-old rose blossom smoothed off most of her thorns and opened her petals).


03 September 2010