Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our lives with Grace begin!




I know a lot of you have been looking for an update, and we apologize that we didn't get one posted on our first day with Grace. It was a pretty hectic day!

We woke up very early (still not completely recovered from jet lag) and headed to the Hong Kong airport. It was a beautiful drive via taxi and there was absolutely no traffic, so we got to enjoy the island scenery. The Hong Kong airport is one of the coolest airports we've ever seen. The plane ride was short (about 1:30) and very empty. We were on a large plane (2-4-2 seat setup) that was maybe 25% full. They served us breakfast even though the flight was short. 

Customs and Immigration were much more stringent than they are in the US and Hong Kong, but we got through without problem and our guide, Helen, met us outside. She and our driver (a man whose name we didn't get) took us on the long drive from Fuzhou airport into the city. The city is very mountainous (actually the entire province is as well) and the airport is out by the coastline, while downtown is about 40 kilometers inland. Needless to say, it's a very large city (around 10 million in the metro area), but actually relatively small for China. Helen told us a lot of interesting details about the region and city, and told us Fuzhou is known to be a place that (for now) is easy going.

They took us to our hotel and we checked in and got cleaned up. We ate lunch in one of the three restaurants which was serving a Mother's Day buffet. Probably quite a bit different than the Mother's Day lunches many of you had, but the food was great! Suzanne enjoyed the stir fry and the pork ribs; Adam ate a lot of the eel and the dumplings. Adam had a little nap after lunch (thanks again, jet lag).

At 3:30 (right when Helen told us she would be calling), we got the summons to come down to the third floor of our hotel. We were so excited that we forgot to bring some of the required stuff! We got off the elevator, and no one was there. However, we could hear some baby noises coming from just down the hall. We went down and saw mass chaos. Helen was there, along with a photographer, three workers from the orphanage, a woman from the adoption organization, and two other families. We looked around a little, and Helen pointed to the corner indicating that Grace (or Rongzhi as they are still calling her) was there. We turned and saw our little baby girl standing and looking a little bit confused. They had dressed her in a pretty green Tinkerbell dress. We sat down by her and did our best to project calm and warmth toward her. They made us get a quick photo for the records of the whole family, and then we had to get busy with the initial paperwork.

Adam held Grace on his lap while Suzanne was signing documents and passing them down to him. Grace was pretty upset at this point; we found out that she had been in foster care the entire time, just having been taken out of that family the same morning. She cried and was not consoled very well by snacks or toys. She continued to howl and cry when we got her back up to the room, but eventually (thank you, Wendy!) we piqued her interest with the stacking cups. The tears ended! We played all kinds of games with stacking cups for hours. 

There were some more tears at bath time and a lot more at bedtime, but overall things are going better than expected. Please continue to pray for our bonding with her. 

Things we've learned:

1. She sleeps like a crazy person! I was awake several times throughout the night, and she was in a different position every time. Sometimes her feet were propped up against the crib wall. 
2. She really does not like bath time. Please pray for this.
3. Her finger deformities look worse now than the photos from six months, but she seems to have adjusted just fine. No problems picking up multiple cups with the same hand. She is definitely right handed!
4. Her club foot is not nearly as bad as we expected. I'm not even sure it's going to require any surgery. Of course we'll still be going to the doctors to have it checked out, but she walks and even runs just fine.

Everyone is awake now! We have to take her out of the hotel today; adventure awaits!

We love you all and thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement.

-Adam, Suzanne, and Grace

17 comments:

  1. She is adorable! I will certainly be praying for the adjustment!!

    Not liking bath time can sometimes be a blessing....get her in and out quick. It's hard when they want to play in the bath but there's still lots of other things to get done before bedtime.

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  2. Congratulations! She is so cute, and YEA for stacking cups!

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  3. How incredible! She is so adorable!

    We are so very excited for you guys and will pray for some miraculous bonding to happen, and quickly.

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  4. Awesome! Jayne and I are very excited and happy about this news.

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  5. So very, very happy for the three of y'all.

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  6. Oh I love her already so much!!! She is the cutest. I cant wait to get more updates. :) I will be stalking your blog! And I am definitely praying for adjusting for all of you. What a beautiful story this is! And yes, quite an adventure as well! :) Love you!

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  7. yaaaaaaaaaay! I cannot express how inspiring you are and will be for Grace, especially as she grows under your care and in your love. Congratulations!!

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  8. So I probably shouldn't have looked at these a few minutes before leaving for Pilates because now I am crying!!! Grace is absolutely beautiful and her smile when playing with the stacking cups is amazing!! Good Luck for the rest of the time you are there - I'm sure that every day, even every hour she will get more used to you! Continue to show her love and she'll blossom! Can't wait to meet her in person!

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  9. She is ADORABLE! SO, SO excited for ya'll! Natalie can't wait to play with her new friend. Praying for all 3 of you!!!

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  10. Oh my! She is beautiful! We are praying for everything! Thanks for the wonderful updates! We are so very happy for the 3 of y'all! :)

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  11. She truly is precious. It is easy to feel your struggles and joys through your writings. Thank you for making me connected to you and what you are experiencing. Baths can be a necessary evil........for a long time. Just consider it one of many opportunities for "bonding"!!

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  12. My heart was pounding reading about your day and feeling the anticipation leading up to seeing Grace. Thank you for the wonderful update! I will be praying that a fast and fierce bond forms.

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  13. She is a cutie. We're so happy for you guys.

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  14. What a precious little Tinker Bell she is! Love the smile in the second photo.
    I'll be praying for a quick adjustment for all of you!

    I look forward to seeing a photo of the whole family real soon!

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  15. So glad my mom linked me to your blog. Grace is beautiful and it sounds like the pair of you will be the perfect parents for her! All my best!!

    P.S. The bath time thing was just a stage for us. Charlotte hated it for a while and screamed and fought the whole way, but then just miraculously stopped and started enjoying it. She likes toys in the tub, particularly crayons for drawing on the tile walls, so maybe that will work for you.

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  16. My heart is full of happiness for your new family, Grace is precious!

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  17. We are so happy for your guys! What a blessing that she has you guys! You are already a beautiful family!

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