Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

1 Week Later

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

Home and Adjusting

Home and Adjusting Part 2

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

A Final Word From China

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. we come...a family!

Last Night at Guangzhou!

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

It's Final- She is ours!

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

Pretty in Red

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

She's healthy!

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

Back from the tour!

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.

Finally, a Change of Scene!

We really liked Chongqing, and it is the place where we received the most precious treasure of our lives, and we will forever be indebted for that, but we were all ready for a change of scene. We got up this morning, quickly ate breakfast, finished packing and got on a bus for the hour long bus ride to the airport in order to fly 2 hours to Guangzhou. We had to could we have more than we started with...oh yea...we have a daughter who is in diapers and needs her own food supply. She is cute...think we'll keep her;-)
The night before, we had a birthday party. One of the adopted girls turned 1 while we were here. We ate from the hotel buffet and had a wonderful cake from one of the local bake shops in the square. We got some strange looks from the locals, but it was great for us all to get together in the home city of our new daughers one last time.
So...after an hour on the bus, zipping through the airport at the will of Xuelan, our guide, as no one spoke English, we got on a plane, then on another bus for the White Swan Hotel to start the first leg of our journey home....GUANGZHOU. Every child adopted in China goes through Guangzhou. Emma Rose was the perfect trooper. She never cried and waited until that evening back at the hotel--- to poop. That's our girl!!!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pajama Party

Emma Rose slept LATE this morning after our big outing last night. We went on a bus tour of the city and did not return until after 10:00 pm. ER has been going to sleep around 7:00 pm. She stayed awake until we were on our way back to the hotel and then slept until 8:00 this morning. (That's my girl! Stay up late and sleep late!) We played in our new pink pajamas and even went to breakfast in them. She is just toooooo cute with her goofy grin. We leave tomorrow to fly to Guangzhou to finish the paperwork. All my group members say that there is a lot more to do and see there. I can't wait to get there. We're tired of this hotel, this room, and this city.

Lets go out again!

Today we took our second family outing. We wen to, of all places in China, Starbucks! Once again people on the street and in the stores stare. Those that stop to say something (that we can't understand) are very nice. By the time we got back, little Emma Rose was tuckered out in her fancy Chinese stroller. How cute is that. You have the before, during, and after. AND you can see, when she wakes up in the mornings in the last picture, she needs her coffee (like her parents).

Mr. B's Extra Credit: Here in China, we can not drink the water or let it get in our mouth when we shower. We even have to brush our teeth with bottled water. It is full of harmful bacteria and pollutants. What is a "Bacteria"? Diagram one. Explain how they differ from the other kingdoms of living things.