Frogger

I just recovered from forgiving my husband for posting the last blog without my editing approval of the picture selections and captions, and three hours later seeing the wrong McDonald’s pic with me looking horrible on Facebook. After receiving my wrath, he quickly switched the picture but the old one still shows up as the thumbnail. He’s promised to never post again until I’ve previewed it. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, since everyone is now napping except for me, I will update you all on the things I remembered that I had planned to add into the last thread before it was posted without my consent.

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Joey’s penance – this.

 

Both the babies now have colds. Ugh. Charlotte has been sneezing and runny nosed all morning, and this is not helping her concern with being messy. She wants me to constantly wipe her nose and hands of any trace of ‘slime’ and she is just not happy about it one bit. Putting Charlotte to bed has been very challenging. Last night she cried and cried (her cries are awful to hear- wide, open-mouthed wails) and Joey got on his knees when he could see me about in tears as well (and Griffin fussing from the other room with his stuffiness) and we just prayed. She finally did fall asleep, but she has a hard time getting comfortable. She doesn’t like the blanket to touch her, she is constantly moving around and fidgeting (almost like she has an itchy bottom or restless leg syndrome- it had better not be pinworms like Claire had a few months ago!) and has to be held and rocked and sound asleep before you can even think of putting her down. And, she must be related to Gaige because she talks in her sleep- lots of Cantonese talk last night! Our guide taught us several phrases and words to use to communicate with her. I don’t think we are saying them right, though, because she just looks at us with a blank stare. She actually is responding more to our use of English with her. She is already learning what words mean!

We’ve done some reading in our adoption training about sensory processing disorders and Charlotte is exhibiting some of the classic behaviors. She also has some issues with eating so far. She puts the porridge to her lips, but she doesn’t really know how to chew or take normal sized bites. It sort of just spills out her lips and she then wants me to wipe her face. It’s a good thing she’s so cute because this girl is high maintenance!

She doesn’t want me to feed or hold Griffin, either. It’s a good thing he has some extra fat stores because his meal times have been cut very short since she came along. I thought about trying to nurse Charlotte as she’s watched me feed him, to help with bonding and some better nutrition (all she’s ever had is formula with rice cereal in it and โ€œcongeeโ€- a rice porridge), but the bonding is going well and her teeth grinding stress reaction has made me think twice…

 

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Bubbles! She was giddy with excitement!

 

The mornings start out with her crying because she can’t remember where she is or who she’s with. Once she realized this morning that she was safe, she has been a happy little girl (with the exception of the sneezing and runny nose moments). I’ve been able to put her down for short periods on the floor near me while I shower (she thought that was hilarious- there is no door on the walk-in shower and she just laughed at me the entire time- not quite sure how to take that) and go to the bathroom (just like home I have an audience when using the restroom!)

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Watching Steve Green’s Bible Songs with her Chinese lovey dolly.

 

I gave her a little bracelet and she just loves it. She likes to look at it, then we point at my watch and she shows me her bracelet- I can tell how smart she is from her interacting with me more and more. She is one bright little girl!! Her fine motor skills are so much more advanced that I anticipated. It’s her large motor skills-walking, standing- that are more significant and noticeable delays. She just hasn’t been out of her crib enough to use her muscles. She is very wobbly and now we know it’s not just because she’s in a state of shock. When I stand her near me (she likes to stand in the corner near me now while I type and do things on the computer) she sways and wobbles. When I ask her to walk to me her legs are a bit bowed and she is very slow and uncertain- it’s just like when my other children have begun taking their first steps around age one. I believe these delays will be quickly overcome once we get home and she’s in an environment that will allow her to blossom. Her head is extremely misshapen, too. The back is totally flat and crooked from always lying in bed. She is a tiny little thing! I have tried on a few of the clothes I brought, and the outfit that fits best is a Gymboree 12-18 month size and a size 5 shoe. However, she does not like the itchy tights. Or the headbands, now that she’s gotten more comfortable with me to let me know. She points to it and whines. Unfortunately, she is going to have to get used to it because I’ve told her ‘beauty is pain’ sometimes! ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s a little bitty- the only thing big about her is her noggin- she and Griffin are clearly related! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a true brother-sister first picture of them getting along and sharing so well already:

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“Sharing”…

 

Charlotte is really happy when we’re on the move- it’s no wonder after being in the same room for her entire life that she is excited to explore the world around her now that she’s out! We went for lunch at a local Mexican restaurant (weird, but it was actually good). The menus here are so bizarre. Of course everything has a Chinese flair to it, but the crazy part is that every menu we’ve seen is literally a full 50-ish page book. For someone who has trouble with decision making, this many options is a bit stressful- add to it that most of it I can’t read and you can imagine the dining experience starts out as less than relaxing.

I almost learned the hard way today that pedestrians do not have the right of way here- ever. It doesn’t matter if you are crossing at the rare intersection where there is a green “walk” light. I literally came within a foot of a car running me over. Gaige yelled to me to look out and threw out his arm to hold me back. Joey had no clue what had happened as he charged on ahead of us.

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Boldly ditching his wife in traffic.

This afternoon we went to the police station to apply for Charlotte’s Passport for entry into the U.S. to become a legal citizen! ย It went great!

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say “cheese!”

 

We made a decision today not to go to the orphanage on Friday. We’ve gone back and forth about this so many times, examining every angle and deciding if it’s worth the drive and expense with two not-well babies (and Joey is sick with a cold now, too!) We prayed about doing the best thing for Charlotte and for the Lord to give clear confirmation about what we should do. When we got in the car to drive to the police station, Charlotte freaked out. She has become more and more afraid of getting in the car. When we got back, after dinner, Griffin started vomiting again just like he did on the plane. I don’t think the tortilla we fed him at lunch agreed with him. The common issue seems to be feeding him bread products. Would you go on a 12+ hour round trip car ride in a day with two sick babies and pay over $1,000 extra bucks to do so? I’m sorry, but you couldn’t pay me that much to do it at this point! We regret that we won’t have firsthand experience seeing where she lived, but we do have pictures and we did meet the staff and thank them with gifts. She is doing so well and we don’t want to undo it and confuse and scare her more. She is so fragile right now and I don’t want to put her through that. Our guide actually recommended we not go, anyway, and told us she thought it wouldn’t help Charlotte and could potentially set her back. I am sad we won’t be going, but I feel like it’s the best thing and that the Lord clearly showed us that we shouldn’t go.

We went to an authentic Chinese place tonight. We had no clue what we ordered. It looked like green beans in the picture on the menu, but it was bamboo…it was all so very unappetizing that we hardly ate. We were trying to be adventurous, but sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry. We were sorry. I think tomorrow we’ll try the Italian place or the Canadian place we’ve heard good things about. I prefer the American version of Chinese food. On the way out of the restaurant, we saw a man go by on a bike carrying two dead chickens in his bike basket. Yum.

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I think I’m gonna hurl! ~Griffin

Tomorrow is a day of sightseeing with our guide and two other families. I hope the babies are up for it. We haven’t seen any of China except from the train ride and the streets surrounding our hotel. Most of our time since we’ve gotten Charlotte has been spent in the room bonding with her, so it will be nice to actually get out a bit tomorrow and go to something besides the police station or the government offices. We’ll see how that goes!