Join Us On Our Journey to Bring Sophia Jane Home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

God is Good

Things are really going well. Eli and Sophia seem like they have been together all of their lives. They are truly brother and sister. Sophia answers to both her American and Chinese names. She seems very comfortable with us. Last night she brushed my hair. And she is very free with her kisses. She still can be a little stand-offish with Baba/Tim, but she is growing more and more affectionate with him too.

She has had two temper tantrums. One last night and another the night before. They were both near bedtime when she was tired and when she couldn't have something her way. Let me tell you...the girl can belt it out.

The people here have been very kind to us. Today we went to the Summer Palace. I'll post those photos soon. Tomorrow is our last day in Beijing and then we are off to Guangzhou.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Decision

Sophia and Mama at the pool. Love those mandatory swimming caps!

Sophia still packs up all of her treasures and places them around her before she will sleep.

There has been a change with Sophia. When she calls me Mama now, I can tell that it isn't because someone told her to. She is not the same little girl they placed screaming into my arms. Now when she calls me Mama, I can sense in her that she has decided to give me the chance to truly be Mama. I cannot explain it, it is a soul thing. When I look into her eyes and when I see her smiles and receive her kisses, I know she has decided to try with us.
I am doing everything I can to show her how much I want to be her Mama. I am in complete awe of this child. She is fragile yet strong, vulnerable yet in charge. A little pixie dancing around our hotel room. Her laughter is so loud that I wonder if people can hear her in the halls. She is a stunning beauty, she draws attention and holds it. Gives love and then witholds it. An old soul I cannot wait to know better, a hand I love holding every day, a face I can't stop looking at, a dream I just can't believe that has come true.

Tiananman Square and The Forbidden City

Today was truly an amazing day. I love history. I am constantly glued to the history channel. For me to stand in Tiananman Square and the Forbidden City was the experience of a lifetime.

It is very hot here right now, so the struggle on this day trip was to keep the little ones hydrated. One woman had a heat stroke while I was standing nearby. The temperatures are in teh 90's. The pace is quick with our group and I was pushing 100 pounds in a stroller. Tons of stairs! But it was fabulous.

People here are very attracted to Elijah and Sophia. They are constantly photographing them and asking to have their pictures taken with them. We get lots of pointing. Some people smile and some people look disapproving. Chinese women are all about Eli, they want to talk to him and hug him. The waitresses bring him goodies and one of the waitresses here at the hotel calls him Superman. It is totally going to his head. With Sophia, people want to touch her. They try to talk to me about her, but I do not speak Chinese and cannot understand exactly what they are saying. I know they are wondering about adoption and how she came to be with us. Many say beautiful.

For Robin

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We are here and we have our daughter!

We are here and we have Sophia. It has been a crazy 3 days.

We knew we were going to have a 6 hour layover in Chicago, but the 6 hours turned into 12. It was a complete nightmare. By the time we made it to Beijing we were absolutely exhausted and ready to go to bed. They took the temperature of everyone on our plane before we could get off. There were heat seeking machines in the airport that scanned the body temperature of everyone walking through the airport. Eli was singled out as having too high of a body temperature. We were put into a curtained area where they took his temperature again and lucky for us, he was ok and we could proceed through the airport. Our agency guide was there to pick us up with a big smile on her face. She told us that the next morning we were going to get Sophia. So we got a few hours sleep and were up early to meet our daughter.

Yesterday we climbed into a bus with two other families heading for
Sophia's orphanage. It was a gray rainy day. It took us about an hour to get there. Her orphanage was a nice looking building surrounded by a very run down neighborhood with small cinderblock units used for housing and storefronts.
We were allowed inside of the orphanage gates, but not into the orphanage itself. They are very concerned with swine flu here. We waited in a guard building right by the gate.

We watched through the pouring rain as a woman came out of the orphanage with a small girl in her arms and an umbrella. There were two of us watching to see whose daughter it was. I could tell that it wasn't Sophia because she had longer hair. It was
Rosalee and Tim's daugthter Arianna. Arianna was all smiles and hugs for her new family.

Then we saw a woman come out of the orphanage with a small girl in her arms. She began walking to the guard building, but then turned and went back. Eli was glued to the door watching for his sister. After a few minutes the woman came out again and headed toward us in the rain. I knew she was carrying my daughter. Sophia was not all smiles. She was screaming and crying that she wanted to go back and calling the same name over and over. She kicked at me and pushed me away. Eli burst into tears saying that his sister hates us and will never love us. My heart was just torn, both of my children were in turmoil.

Shiyan our guide said something to Sophia and we were able to get onto the bus. All of the families decided to go to McDonald's. Let me tell you, there is magic in a chicken mcnugget. My daughter smiled at me for the first time while eating them. Daddy got the first smile, but the next one was for me and it was priceless.

Since then, things have gone very smoothly. She is a very happy girl, lots of smiles. She eats very well, no over-eating or food hoarding. Last night was our first night with her and she fought really hard to stay awake, but once she was down, she slept all night with no terrors or disruptions. She is very polite and thanks me all of time. She does wonderfully with the potty, but she does not know how to wipe. She washes her hands every time though. She knows how to brush her teeth.

She is a COMPLETE PRINCESS. She always checks her hair to make sure she still has her hair bow in and wears the head band also that she came to us with. She must have both a bow and the head band on. She refused to take them off to go to sleep. I took off the head band while she was sleeping and when she woke up, she had her hand in a little fist holding the bow. She will not take off her tinkerbell bracelet and converts hair ties and anything else into little bracelets she puts around her wrist. She also must have a sticker on the top of her left hand, it appears that any sticker will do. She loves dolls and her cell phone.

She puts everything we have given her into her Shay bag. She takes it everywhere and the handles can fit over her shoulders like a little backpack. I think she is afraid that we are just a temporary situation and wants to make sure she has everything with her in case we leave.

Today was a free day, so we did not have to go on different appointments or fill out any paperwork. It was a nice day for us to relax together. She is becoming more comfortable with us. I can tell that she was loved and very well cared for.
She knows how to kiss and how to blow bubbles. She woke up from her nap today and looked at me and her eyes filled with tears. I know she misses her nanny. We ate some banana chips and we cuddled for a bit and then had a wonderful afternoon.

Tomorrow we have more places to go and paperwork to process. Blogger is blocked. Tim can bypass so I can blog but I can't get the pictures in. I'm e-mailing them to Kelly and hopefully she can get some on. I tell you, Sophia is just darling. Her photos did not capture her spunk and her smile with 3 little dimples is completely enchanting.

More to come.

Hey all, it's Kelly here -- just letting you know that I haven't received any photos yet from Kimberley or Tim. As SOON as I get them, I'll get them posted! I'm chomping at the bit like the rest of you to see that beautiful girl with her Mama, Baba & ge ge! Kelly (aka Truly Blessed)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We are finishing our packing and preparing to head out first thing in the morning.

Wish I had a good photo to post of the chaos in the living room, but Tim is doing something with charging up the cameras (I have no idea, it must be important I'm sure).
I am packing our main bags, putting spare outfits in the carry-on in case they lose our luggage. I have a suitcase filled with American snack food...granola bars, fruit name it.
I have a full pharmacy it seems. I tell you, when you have been buying things to get ready for a couple of weeks, you end up with a lot more than you thought.
Eli's been in bed for an hour and won't go to sleep. I'm wide awake, don't know if the sandman will be coming my way tonight or not.
I have our clothes laid out so we can throw them on in the morning.
We will be up bright and early.
Keep us in your prayers...

Friday, June 12, 2009

2 Days Until China

I have decided to transform the auction blog into our travel blog. I just think the design is darling. Thank you so much Daleea for tweeking the header for me.
I am hoping that this blog will be a lasting tribute to our daughter and a place where she can read about how much she was loved before she came home.
I also have every intention of telling it exactly as it is. I have learned so much and am so much better prepared to meet my daughter because of the brave mothers who went before me and documented their experiences exactly as they happened. There will be no sugar coating on this journey, I intend to share everything that happens.

I have been hearing that blogs are banned right now in China and people cannot access theirs to post. Luckily, I am married to an IT guru and believe I will be able to work around this, but if not, I have an inside operator (thanks for volunteering Kelly) who is willing to publish the updates that I e-mail to her.

We also just receive notification from our agency that if anyone sitting 3 rows ahead or behind us on our plane to Beijing has a fever, we will be quarantined automatically for 3 to 7 days. So please pray that we make it off our plane and to our hotel. If we can get past that hurdle, all should be well.

I also want to say thank you to all of you. I would not have made it through the past 3 years without you. Your guidance, friendship and support has been invaluable to me. I will carry you in my heart to China. I have never been a part of such a sisterhood and I hope that we all are still together for years to come.

To my Sophia. You are so precious to me. I have waited all my life for you. You are my only daughter and my dream come true. This is going to be a big adventure for all of us. Your new home is so different from anything you have known. It is filled with love and laughter, crazy boys and lots of noise. We have waited a long time to see your face and welcome you home. Now is the time, we are coming to take you home where you belong.