Sunday, December 23, 2007
We have been enjoying all of the Christmas preparations and watching Emma Rose bloom. She has really learned a lot in the past few weeks. She can now say "CAT" very plainly and is feeding herself sooooo much better. She has learned to give Daddy kisses and hug her Dolly. We got all dressed up for Christmas 2 times lately. So Daddy made our pictures in front of the Christmas tree both times. Isn't Emma the cutest thing ever? And one pretty day that wasn't too cold- we put her in the hiking backpack and took the dogs for a long walk. Emma loved it and did not want to come out of the pack. We will definitely do that again soon! We are anxiously waiting for Christmas Eve when my family gets together. We will take lots of pictures of family and of what Santa brings to little Emma Rose this year. She has been very good and I expect her to get LOTS of stuff! Merry Christmas to all!!!!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
We are all still doing great and loving our bonding time at home. Vanous and I do nothing other than interact with Emma Rose. She is really learning fast. We had pictures made at a local photographer and they are beautiful. ( See link to pictures- Jacksons). We have been to church several times for different events and ER has loved all the attention. This last Sunday, it was our job to light the Advent candles as a family. While I read the scripture, Emma kicked her shoes off and pulled her bow out of her hair to the delight of the congregation. She is a funny girl and is usually all smiles and giggles. Christmas is almost here and we are trying to do some shopping, something I used to find easy to do. Now with a stroller, baby, bottles, diaper bag, etc., it gets a little difficult. Vanous is off until after Christmas and I don't go back to school until end of January so we still have lots of time to bond. I just LOVE this little girl. We can't imagine what we did before she came along?
Sunday, December 2, 2007
We have had a interesting 3 weeks. The first week we spent getting over jet lag. The second we spent fighting Emma Rose's sinus infection. And this last week, both Vanous and I have had colds. We are so hoping that this week will be the week we are all well. Emma Rose is really starting to bloom. Her personality is shining and there are more smiles than tears lately. We have just been staying at the house getting to know each other better. We have been to church and to some small social events.
She seems to handle it just fine. We are still very cautious about "passing the baby around" due to our worry about attachment but that is hard to not do when everyone is soo happy to see her. She is saying mamamamama, dadadadada, and bababababa right now. She imitates well and is learning fast to do whatever Mommy shows her. Daddy is soooo much fun for Emma Rose. They play and laugh and do exactly what father/daughters are supposed to do. I love watching them. Vanous is such a good daddy and he is a natural. I think our homecoming has been a success. Enjoy the new pictures!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
We had a wonderful day on Thursday. Emma Rose woke with a cough but we still were able to celebrate with family. She wore a new pink dress and charmed them all of course. We are sooo thankful this year for this little bundle of love we traveled halfway around the world to get. She has already captured our hearts and we can't imagine life without her in it.
The bad news is that Thanksgiving night- she woke up with a raging fever, had to go to the doctor Friday morning, and she has been really sick ever since. We had to skip church today because she just was not well enough to go. We are hoping by tomorrow she will be a little better. Parent lesson number 1002--- Sick babies get sicker at night!!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Well, we've been home for 1 week now and everyone is settling in. After a few days of NO SLEEP AT ALL, little Emma Rose is finally sleeping through the night. That means her Mom and Dad are sleeping as well- thank goodness. We went to church Sunday morning for the first time and then spent the afternoon at Nannie Rose's house. We can definitely see improvement in Emma's attachment and motor develepment. She now hesitates to go to anyone else and latches onto our necks when a stranger is near. She is definitely improving on her pulling up and cruising skills. I think she will be walking very soon. My cats don't quite know what to think of this new little person in their domain. They just stare at her until she sees them and starts crawling furiously toward them screaming her happy cry. Then they dissappear, after giving me a hateful look. Emma Rose has been shopping 3 times and seems to like her stroller (as long as it is moving). I think that after a week of family bonding time- we are all doing great!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
WE made it home, finally, after 12 hours over the Pacific to LA, 5 hours over the US to Atlanta, and 1 hour to Nashville. WE were met at the airport with signs and cheers as we came out of the terminal. What good friends we have. Little Emma was a bit overwhelmed by all of the new faces but did not cry. ( I cried of course!) She was not so pleased to being strapped into that car seat but eventually went to sleep on the way home. In my yard I had signs welcoming ER home- made by my nephews Michael and Nicholas and by Lilli Berry- Emma's new "older sister". Our parents were there waiting to see their new granddaughter. ER woke up to smiling, happy, but unfamiliar faces and again was a bit overwhelmed. After a little bit of time she was smiling her gummy smile and melting everyone's heart.
We have now been home for 3 full days. WE are slowly adjusting to US time again. Emma is not sleeping well at all. She wakes up several time during the night crying. So- we are all still very tired but I feel it is slowly getting better. She is loving all her new toys and has discovered that watching TV/ videos is great. She watched Seseme Street this morning. (got to start working on that brain- right?) She is training her new parents to follow her every command. haha. We will just be glad to get back on a schedule. Hopefully that will happen soon!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Our bags are checked at the front desk, our carry-ons are packed, and as you can see, Emma Rose is ready to say goodbye to her birth place and hello to her home. We have mixed feelings about leaving. We are so ready to go home and get back to Kentucky, but we know we are leaving the place that has given us more than we could imagine and hope for in Emma Rose. We think she knows. She woke up fussy this morning for the first time. We were packing and we think she recognized a change is coming. But after a nap and bottle, she knows we are not leaving her behind. She knows she is coming home with us forever.
We have a great respect for the pride, culture, hard work, and honor we found here in the people of China. We have a heart felt sympathy for their needs in terms of economics, water, environment, and freedoms we tend to take for granted. We found a book at one of the local shops that made us both cry and realize just how much someone here in China, nine and a half months ago, sacrificed and showed so much love for this little girl we now have as our daughter. For that woman, we are and will be eternally grateful for the joy she left on a Chinese orphanage step for us.
We would also like to say thank you to all who have followed our journey, whether in prayer or in comments made. We feel we are bringing our daughter back to a home and community of love. We will continue to share the next few months with you as Emma Rose adjusts to American life. US....here we come...a family!
So today was our last day in this city. It has been a great trip but we are sooooo ready to come home. Today we finished up our shopping for Emma Rose, ate at Lucy's one last time, started packing, and are fixing to go to bed early, since we all know I WILL NOT sleep on the plane. We check out in the morning by 12:00 and our bus leaves at 5:00 pm for the airport. Our flight takes off at 9:00 pm China time ( which is about 7:00 am US time). Before supper, all of the families in our group got together for a group photo in front of the waterfall in the White Swan. I will miss these new friends a lot. We have become pretty close during the last 2 weeks. But----- Miss Emma Rose Brown is ready to hit that Kentucky border and join the crowd in good ole Scottsville!!!! We are coming home-- finally--- as a family of 3. Just like I have wanted for a long time. See ya folks!!!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
After a good breakfast at the White Swan buffet, we spent the afternoon at the US Consulate. We loaded a bus with a bunch of other families and headed downtown. After some initial paperwork, we raised our right hand, and took an oath that all our paperwork was real and we would love and care for Emma Rose forever. Then they handed us her passport with her Visa stamp inside that allows us to BRING HER HOME to the US. (and we are so ready to come home.) So China has said she is ours, and now the US has said that we can bring her home. It's over- finally. Now we wait for Friday to come so we can catch that plane. Emma Rose was full of herself today. She has eaten everything- she loves carrots- and has laughed, and clapped, and waved at everyone. So tonight she is zonked out on her favorite pillow- snoozing away. Aren't they cute!!!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Yesterday evening we once again ate at Lucy's. By far the best meals we have had since we came to China. We might venture out to another place tonight (but I doubt it). After we had dinner, we walked the Island some more and found a little shop with the cutest little clothes. We found this little red dress and so much more. Now you can see what we do every day and night....sit and stare at the blessing we have been given. Today we wait for Peter to go to the U.S. Consulate for the visa that lets Emma Rose come to the U.S. It is one of the last parts of the long trail of paper work we have done. If all goes well (and we pray we haven't forgotten anything), ER will be cleared to come the U.S. as of this afternoon. Vanous
We had to leave early this morning to go to the doctor to get our medical exam. After waiting and waiting in a crowded waitiing room we finally got to see the doctor. Emma Rose weighed in at 19 pounds and almost 29 inches long. She is very big and very healthy as compared to most chinese babies here. They poked and prodded her and she just stared and stared but no crying. She was very ready to come back to me though. She has learned to wave at us! It is soooooo cute. We haven't captured it on film yet though but we will. After the doctor, we stopped at the local Starbucks for coffee, bottle, and a diaper change. Then it was on to some MAJOR shopping. I just love this place. Lots of stuff for a real cheap price. I don't like to haggle over things though. I let Vanous do that for me. And he is really getting the hang of it too. We made some good deals today. We then went back to the room for some rest. As you can see- Daddy and daughter simply can't keep up with Mommy yet! We are still celebrating one big success. In one of the shops we were at, the owner reached out to take Emma Rose from Vanous so he could help me do something. She refused to go to him and hung on to Vanous like glue. That is what we have been waitiing to see- some sign of attachment. And she sure loves her Daddy. I can't blame her, I love him too!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
We just got back from our tour of some places in Guangzhou. We went to a 1500 year old Buddist temple ( where ER fell asleep within 2 minutes of entering the gate) , the Jade Market, and Jenn's favorite...a well known porcelin house. (which is not a good place for reaching little hands). We got some important gifts for the family (wonder who?) and saw some beautiful history of China. Now we are off to go eat and walk the streets around the White Swan. That means shopping for cute Emma Rose clothes and shoes (and of course water). To all the Mount Union crowd- we miss being at church and can't wait to bring this adorable baby to show off to everyone! Look in the first picture at Emma's first pair of "Squeaky shoes". Only the first of MANY!!
We have read sooo much about Guangzhou and the White Swan hotel and it all seems more than what was described. There is English spoken. There are other Americans (lots actually) walking on the streets. There are shops that seem to welcome adoptive families. There are sqeaky shoes for about 25 yuan (3 dollars) a pair. We had american (close enough) food at Lucy's. We may eat there every night. AND we had the cutest daughter who fights to stay up when things are "happening" around her. But she does give in and sleeps sound. She is so good. God knew what kind of baby we needed, and he has blessed us with Emma Rose...sleeps thought the night...eats well...flys well...smiles big...studies all the things around her....BUT THEN AGAIN, SHES OUR DAUGHTER! SHE'S PERFECT!
Our room is smaller, the beds are hard, but the view is beautiful. Tomorrow we get up for breakfast (big meal here in China) and a tour of the city. We get to go to the Jade factory. When we return, we will hit some local shops. We are on the down hill run now.