Thursday, April 26, 2012

Finally Home

How nice it is to be finally home!!!  From the time we left our hotel in Hong Kong until we arrived at home it took 27 hours.  That was our third "all nighter" of our trip.  Needless to say we were pretty exausted!  As of today, we are starting to feel back to normal and it was a good day for Paityn.  She was happy all day,  we took a trip to Target and she loved it (ecspecially the sock monkey that sings that Aunt Amy introduced to her)!  She started swinging her hips right in the store and right away threw it in the cart.  She helped me clean a little and she was opening up to Matt more then she ever has!   We pray each day continues to be better then the day before!  Madison went back to school on Wednesday and Paityn did not like her leaving.  Thankfully there are only a few more weeks of school left.  Today Madison had left before Paityn woke up and when she got out of bed, she looked for Madison right away.  I told her she was at school and will be home later.  We showed her on the clock when it would be and several times she went to look at the clock.  We worked on learning a few words today and she is doing EXTREMELY well!  Her favorite words to say are banana, apple, bubbles, tomato, shoes and brush. 

I have a few photos of our trip home, but not many.  I wanted more in Chicago since that was where she officially became a US Citizen, but we were not suppose to be taking photos.  I managed to sneak one in (without using a flash) :)

We are so thankful for a safe trip and for being blessed with another daughter/sister to love!  I will be posting every now and then, so please check back to see our progress.

At Chicago airport right after going through immigration and right before customs...our official US Citizen!! :)

The last leg of our trip from Chicago to Philadelphia...sporting their RED, WHITE & BLUE!!

Meeting Uncle Nate at Philly airport

Cousin Rylee, Paityn & Madison at Philly airport

                      One of her souvenirs from China that she wanted to wear ALL afternoon! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hong Kong then HOME .....

We have had a nice time in Hong Kong walking, shopping the street markets and of course eating!  On Friday when we left Guangzhou it was raining and when we arrived in Hong Kong it was raining even harder!  That did not make for a fun walk to dinner, but we did have a good meal at Outback.  We were so thankful that Saturday the rain had stopped even though it was pretty cloudy all day.  Today we woke to bright sunshine and blue sky, which is rare here.  It was a beautiful but pretty warm day.  Our time in Asia has come to an end...after 5 plane rides, 1 train rides, numerous subway rides, 4 hotels and approximately 15 meals at McDonalds we will be heading out early tomorrow morning and cannot wait to get home!!!!!

Thank you again for praying for us.  We have seen a MAJOR difference with Paityn just in the past week.  Last week at this time she really did not want anything to do with Matt or Madison, but now she is starting to open up and will go to them pretty much anytime.  We are so thankful that it has gotten better because the first week and a half were VERY emotionally draining. We are anxious to get home and settled into our lives as a family of four!

Will try to keep up posting once we are back home!

Mei Mei (Little Sister) Paityn & Jie Jie (Big Sister) Madison
leaving Guangzhou

On the Star Ferry from HK Island to Kowloon

Dinner with some friends!

Waiting for the light show over the Harbour

Just had to share another delicacy on a stick...lizards...Yum!

Our last day taking a walk through Kowloon Park

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Week in Guangzhou...

I am sorry I have not posted this week, maybe because we have been more active here in Guangzhou and have been on the go every morning and exausted at night! 

Monday morning started off back at the medical examination to check the TB test...thankfully, all was ok!  We then headed to the Guangzhou zoo and made it through just in time before it started raining.  We spent the afternoon relaxing in Mom-Mom & Pop's room watching Soul Surfer. 

Danielle Trimbur this is from Madison! :)

Tuesday we met up with Ann from Red Thread China to take us around to different shopping areas in Guangzhou.  We added another 1st for Paityn by taking the subway all around town.  We were able to get a few great deals! 

Waiting for the subway with Ann

Wednesday was our final step in the adoption process.  We had an 8:30am appointment at the U.S. Consulate.  We waited until 9:45 until it was our turn.  It only took about 10 minutes and our process was complete...or so we thought!  On our way back to the hotel our guide received a call saying there was a problem with our paperwork (not our fault, but an error made here in China), and they would not be able to issue Paityn's visa until it was corrected.  After a couple hours on the phone, our guide Helen was able to get the correct paper, have it translated, and turned in to the Consulate by the end of the day...again, another answer to prayer!  They said there should not be a problem and we should receive the visa by Thursday afternoon.  Unfortunately, we were not able to take any photos inside the Consulate, so I do not have any to post for the Visa appointment.  Once again it was off and on with Paityn.

Today (Thursday) was a free day.  It stormed really hard at breakfast.  After breakfast the rain let up for a little so we quickly changed the girls into their Chinese traditional clothes and took them to the garden at the hotel to take some photos.  We managed to get a couple before the rain started again.  All us "girls" (Mom-Mom, Madison, Paityn & Heather) decided to take a taxi to Shamian Island to walk around and do a little shopping.  When we got back, it was time to pack up because we are leaving tomorrow morning for Hong Kong, the last leg of our trip!   Praise the Lord...Helen called and we received Paityn's visa!  We went to dinner at Pizza Hut...AGAIN!!!  (I will not be eating there or McDonald's for a LONG time!)  The hotel buffet is $60 per person and the other hotel resturants are also very expensive.  Maybe the prices are higher because of the trade fair going on?  Took one last trip to Starbuck's and came back to finish last minute packing before we head out early tomorrow morning. 

We have had several good days this week with Paityn opening up more, and a couple not so good.  Continue to pray that every day gets a little better and she will feel more and more comfortable with us as her family!  Today she repeated several words in English to us so we know she can speak!! :)Will probably post one more time from Hong Kong before we leave for Pennsylvania...we cannot wait!!!  Thank you all again for your support and prayers over the past several weeks.  We would not have been able to get though some of these tough times without the Lord seeing us through.

In the garden at The Garden Hotel

Our BEAUTIFUL daughters...Madison

and Paityn!!

Posing with one of the statues on Shamian Island

One last Starbuck's treat!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


We checked out of our hotel in Hefei and headed to the airport at 4:30pm on Friday.   We arrived in plenty of time and headed upstairs to the gate.  The airport was very small and was lacking air conditioning.  It became extremely warm with so many people.  The flight before ours to Guangzhou was delayed due to the weather so we thought we would be delayed also.   Needless to say it was delayed...9 hours and it was an extremely L-O-N-G nine hours!!!  By the time the airport cleared out of all the other flights that had left and the only ones in the airport were the ones on our flight.  We tried to curl up on the chairs and sleep a little but that was not working.  I could barely breathe because they allowed smoking there!  Finally, at 2:15am our flight took off.  Didn't expect to take a red-eye for a 2 hour flight to Guangzhou.  Thankfully, Paityn did really well and seemed to enjoy flying...Praise the Lord!!!  By the time we landed, got our luggage, found our guide and driver and got to the hotel it was 5:45am.  We decided we should probably just stay up so we went to the room dropped our things off and went to breakfast bright and early.  Paityn, Mom and I had to meet Helen our guide in the lobby to take Paityn for her medical visa physical appointment.  She became extremely upset when the needle came out for the TB test, but we made it through!  We went back to the hotel and rested until we met Helen for a Pearl River Cruise with local cuisine for dinner.  By this time I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open and felt like I was suffering from jet-lag once again! :)

Today we did a bit more sight seeing at a couple different buddist temples and headed to a Cantonese lunch.  We were just in the room resting and about 4:00pm it was like a switch was turned on Paityn started playing with Madison, she let Matt hug her, started blowing kisses, giving high fives and even spoke a few words!!!!  Within the next hour Matt was picking her up and she was not letting him alone!  Praise the Lord...this is a HUGE answer to prayer!  Continue to pray that each day stays like that and even gets better!  Tonight we decided to walk down to Subway and it was nice to have a familiar face to join us.  Nathan Rohrer is here in Guangzhou for work and was able to come hang out for a couple hours with us.

Overall today was a great day and we pray that it continues for the days ahead! We head back to the clinic tomorrow to have the TB test checked and then off to the zoo to see more Giant Pandas :) Will try to post soon again. Have a good day!

Pearl River Cruise & Dinner

An artist at one of the temples...he painted the girls pictures with only his hands!!
It was amazing!

Having a taste of some yummy flower tea

Our local cuisine Cantonese lunch with our guide Helen

Hanging out at Starbuck's after dinner with Nathan joining us!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sight Seeing

The last few days has had its ups and downs...we expected there could be a little rejection, but we did not think it would be quite this hard.  Yesterday Paityn seemed to be so sad and depressed most of the day and we have had our share of crying spells!  She will definitely come to my Mom and me, but not Madison, Matt or my Dad.  It hurts me for Madison.  Please pray that the bonding between them would come quickly!!!  Madison has been such a trooper through this whole process.  We went to see a temple yesterday morning and just stopped by McDonalds for a quick lunch on our way back to the hotel.  We again went to the pool.  She has been scared to death to even walk in the pool area to a chair.  Got back to the room and went right to bed.  She has been sleeping real well through the night. 

This morning we went to breakfast then met our guide to head to the zoo.  At the beginning of the day she was really sad, so the driver said to our guide that he would join us at the zoo and try to cheer her up.  Between the two of them talking to her back and forth in a language I REALLY wish I would have learned, it worked!!!!  About half way through the zoo (after the panda picture below) she started to cheer up and smile more and more.  We came back and again got ready to go to the pool, this time we thought we would at least put her suit on to see what would happen.  It only took about a minute of being there that she had her feet in the water and 5 minutes later she was ALL THE WAY IN!!!! :)  We all started trying to make it real fun and she even started splashing  Matt, Madison and my Dad and giving high fives and blowing kisses!  What a turning point that was.  We went to a famous Noodle House for dinner, which was delicious, and she ate and ate and ate. 

Please continue to pray for Phoebe and her family.  She is still having a really hard time and has been asking to see Paityn over the past couple of days.  It didn't bother Paityn too much the first couple days, but now when she sees Phoebe so upset, Paityn starts to really cry.  It breaks my heart for both of them.  We know that this is all going to just take time, and the Lord will get us all through.

Tomorrow we receive her passport and will be flying to Guangzhou in the evening, so I will not be able to post again until Saturday.  Thank you again for following along.

Enjoying and ice cream cone at McDonalds

Our driver Mr. Cheng who was a huge help

Giant panda Bing Bing

Madison & Paityn (not too happy...yet) in front of Bing Bing

Paityn's 1st swim and she did great!

Madison showing off her chopstick skills

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gotcha Day & Civil Affairs Appt ~

We left the hotel at 9:00 to go to the Civil Affairs office to meet Paityn.  We were taken to a small room with about 12 families, it was so crowded and alot of commotion.  A few minutes later around the corner came Paityn, Phoebe and Makenna (all friends from the same orphanage).  She was really shy, which was expected but did give us a couple cute smiles.  We didn't realize she had several layers of clothing on until later.  She was in long PJ's, a wool sweater, sweat pants and sweat shirt and it was in the 70's!  We had to have a family photo taken by the office but Paityn got really upset and began to cry.  It took a little while for her to calm down just enough to get the photo but after that it was heart breaking...she cried for about 4 hours straight until finally falling asleep.  It was an exhausting and emotionally draining afternoon for all of us. When she woke up we decided we should just stay in the hotel for dinner so Matt & my Dad took a taxi to McDonalds and brought it back.  She ate a nugget, part of a hamburger and a few fries and seemed to like them.  Just wait until she has Chick-Fil-A!!!! :)  She didn't give any problems and crawled right into bed about 10:00 and slept all night!

Today we went back to the Civil Affairs office to make the adoption official.  We took care of more paperwork and received our adoption certificate that states that we are now legally Paityn's parents!  On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Walmart to buy her a pair of shoes.  I had brought 3 pairs for her but I think they were way off when they sent us her measurements because they were HUGE on her!  The only kind of shoes they had in her size were "crocs" but she smiled and said she liked them.  We are now back in the room and she is sleeping.  Some friends we have met (Amanda & Brandon) are adopting an older daughter (Phoebe) she is having a pretty difficult time, PLEASE pray for all of them.  It is so hard to even comprehend what these older girls are feeling being taken from all they have ever known.  It is just going to take time and we are just taking baby steps one day at a time.  Madison is doing GREAT and is really enjoying being able to swim each night.

We just took a taxi to Pizza Hut for dinner and that went really well.  She smiled more there then all day and LOVED the pizza :)  Getting ready to head to the pool to watch Madison swim.
Tomorrow and Wednesday we do some sight seeing.  Will update again soon.

                                                     Meeting Paityn for the first time!

 First Family Shot

Such a Cutie

Finally Asleep

                                                                   She LOVES oranges

    Watching Tom & Jerry

       She also LOVES doughnuts and cake

       Madison just chillin' watching a movie

         Loving the IPad

      Madison & Paityn coloring

        Waiting at the Civil Affairs office for Interview

Her first taste of Pizza Hut...the most she smiled all day!!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our First Day in Beijing

We were able to get a GREAT night sleep and felt very  rested when we got up this morning. It was a long day of sight seeing...we went to the Great Wall (where we had our first ever green bean popcicle..oh my was that different)! Summer Palace and where they held the Summer Olympics here in Beijing in 2008, followed by a dinner with our guide Li at a very good Sichuan restaurant. We will be checking out of the hotel first thing in the morning and off for another day of sight seeing before heading to the airport for Hefei.   We will post again as soon as possible. We will be meeting Paityn on Monday morning at 10:00 (Sunday night 10:00 USA time) and we cannot wait!!!  For now, here are some pictures from our trip so far...

Madison during our layover in Washington Dulles

She tried so hard to stay awake but just couldn't make it

She did want us to wake her up over the North Pole

Swimming at the hotel after we arrived...yes, they make you wear swim caps :)

Enterance to The Great Wall

Family Shot

Before our climb

About half way got really steep

Our HUGE lunch after the Great Wall

At the Summer Palace

Hotel shaped as a dragon that was built for the Olympics 2008

The Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium 2008

Could not decide between raw squid on a stick...OR

Sea horses or live scorpion on a stick???  hmmm...NEITHER!!!