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International Adoption Stories

The China Adoption of Sabrina Rose.

Our Trip to China!

August 18 - Day 3 in Wuhan
Whew! I'm finally able to post. I apologize that all of the pictures are not there from the last post. The connection here at the hotel is painfully slow, and I am not really able to upload pictures easily. I will keep trying. For today though, no pictures. Just a post! We /div> went shopping today and I have to say, I now know how Brad Pitt feels. Seriously. I've decided I would not want to be famous. At one time, we had a crowd...a literal crowd, of 20 people deep surrounding us on the street to look at us and the babies. In the mall, we were a spectacle, and we had some people following us around, pointing. They are extremely friendly, just extremely curious. Our guide, Veronica, says that the people of Wuhan are not really that used to seeing Americans at all.

We had a little adventure today, in that a young Chinese Man tried to pick pocket Brian. Brian felt the hand coming OUT of his pocket and turned and grabbed the man's hand. Brian yelled "Hey!" and the guy got very frightened and dropped the money and ran. He would have gotten a grand total of about 160 Yuan (20 dollars), but it was the principle of the thing. After the pick pocket attempt and the shopping mall experience, we were all quite ready to get on the bus and come back to the hotel.

Sabrina is doing better every day. Today we got some smiles and she will now give us kisses. She loves the photo album I put together of the grandparents and her brother and sister, and the dogs. Today in the mall was the most animated we have seen her. She was reaching for the toys and yelling...which was funny. She did pick up a toy telephone and said "Ni Hou" in the phone, which is Chinese for "Hello". Of course, we now own that little phone. We bought it and she has been playing with it non stop. The malls here do things quite differently than in the states. You point out what you'd like to buy, they write up a slip, you go to a register to pay for the item, they give you back another slip, which you then take BACK to place where you originally wanted to purchase the item, and they wrap it and give it to you. Imagine them trying to explain this to us in Chinese. It was comical. But we got the hang of it. We bought a stroller, and outfit and some diapers in the mall. We ate Pizza Hut for lunch, which was a welcome change! Yesterday, at dinner, I was perusing the buffet when I came across Marinated Duck Head. I thought it couldn't actually BE Duck Head, but I was wrong :-) It was duck's head cut in half...and it was easily recognizable as a duck's head. Yuck!

Needless to say, I stuck with the steamed eggs. I have to say, I have not been very adventurous with food. But, if I get a hankering for turtle soup, I can have some very fresh! The grocery store down the road sells live turtles and snakes and when you pick out your turtle or snake, they will kill it for you right then to use in your soup. Brian told this to me, as I would NOT venture over to the meat section. I knew I would find nothing good there! :-)
We are in Wuhan until Saturday when we go to Guangzhou. Surprisingly, the weather in Wuhan has been unseasonably cool for them. The weather has been much like our North Eastern USA weather in the summer....of course, they are all wearing long pants and shirts since they are used 110 degrees in August. Thankfully, we have not experienced that...although we may in Guangzhou. We leave to come home in one week. We miss everyone so much and every night when I talk to the kids I get a little sad...but they seem to be doing so great. We can't wait to bring Sabrina home to see everyone.

Well, that's it for today. Like I said, I'll keep trying to post the pictures....maybe I'll have a better connection in Guangzhou. Talk to you all soon! ~Jenna

August 19 - Day 4 in Wuhan
Sabrina is just doing beautifully. She is attaching to both Brian and I and seems to be adjusting. A lot more smiley today and boy, did she eat a lot at lunch today! She is playing much more with all of the toys we brought and is becoming more animated everyday. Her scabs finally fell off and we can see her gorgeous face even better now. You can see a photo from today by going HERE. she had just gotten out of the bath tub here and was eating her favorite....Cheerios. We went to the yellow crane tower today in Wuhan. It is a replica tower, but still very interesting. There was a great view of the city from the top of the tower. I had two young teenage boys come ask if they could take their picture with me. I of course said yes, even though I'm not sure why they wanted me in a picture! But, it's a common theme amongst our group. We've all had our pictures taken.

Sabrina walked around a lot today too. She is going to be a kid that gets into everything. :-) You can see the pictures of the yellow crane tower by going HERE and a cute picture of Sabrina almost asleep is HERE . HERE is a picture of Sabrina and Mommy walking around the tower...we did a lot of this! And HERE is a picture of the three of us at the tower.
I know I still owe everyone a story of the gotcha day. I promise I will do that later today. Bye for now! ~Jenna

August 20 - Day 5 in Wuhan
Today is our last day in Wuhan. We leave tomorrow for Guangzhou. We have 4 days in Guangzhou, and then we get to come home! We can't wait for Sabrina to come home to meet everyone. She is becoming more and more animated every day. She is a pistol! She can stand well and walks ok. We are seeing more and more just how depressed she really was those first days. She is smiley and lovey and cuddly now. She's always been cuddly, but the smiles are new...and the kisses are just in the last couple of days. She is also starting to understand some words that we say. Amazing, but true. When Brian was holding her and he said to me "I'm going to put her down", she started to whine and hold on tighter. It was obvious that she knew what "down" meant. When we say "give me a kiss" she will do it. She is a doll. And she amazes us more everyday. The adoption is now finalized as of August 17th and she is all ours! Pretty overwhelming. How someone could leave all of these precious babies that I've met here, I'll never know. The 4 year old that has been adopted is doing miraculously well. She yells sometimes in Chinese, but overall, she's adjusting beautifully. Not much to write today. We went to a museum and to the Eastern Lake in Wuhan. We also filled out a lot of paperwork for INS. I'll spare you the details. Here are a few pictures from yesterday and today. This one is of Sabrina walking around the room. This one is of a tentative smile from Sabrina when she was playing on the bed. This one is of Sabrina with her little pal Caroline. Caroline is Glenn and Lisa's daughter...you've heard me talk about them before. What great people. This one is of Sabrina in her stroller holding her favorite toy...a water bottle. We bring all of these toys, and all that keeps her happy is holding a water bottle when we are out. Too Cute.

By the way, as I was typing this, Sabrina has said her first English word. It just so happens that it is also the same first word Joshua had. She just said "NO!" and now keeps saying it over and over. It might have something to do with the fact that she is tearing the room to pieces and we keep saying "No, Sabrina". So, she just looked at Brian and said "NO!" and we laughed...so it's now the word du jour. Could this kid be any cuter?
Also, check the gotcha day post for an addendum with more information. I wanted to post a little about this before I forget. That's it for now! Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday Pap Pap Joe!!! We love you!!! ~Jenna

August 22 - Day 1 in Guangzhou
We are finally in Guangzhou. It was a long arduous trip to get here, but we are here. It was a little sad to leave Wuhan yesterday considering we were leaving the province of Sabrina's birth, but we knew we'd have to leave someday. And, leaving Wuhan meant we were one step closer to coming home. We left Wuhan for what was supposed to be a 11 AM flight to Guangzhou. Our flight was delayed and we left at 12:50 instead. Not too bad because we knew a little ahead of time that the flight was going to be delayed so we stayed at the hotel a little longer. So, at ten till One we boarded the plane. We were supposed to land in Guangzhou by 2 PM. At 2:20 PM we were wondering what was going on...and then they came on the speaker and said that due to bad weather in Guangzhou, we were going to land in another airport and wait until the storm passed. We were told we would then leave for the 25 minute flight to Guangzhou. At 3 PM we land in another airport (I have no idea where we were really). They would not let us off the plane. It was hot and yucky, and we were wondering when the heck we were going to get to leave. Our group alone had 10 babies on board,and there were some other groups as well with babies. None of us had enough provisions because we expected to be in Guangzhou in the afternoon. If we'd only known. Five hours later (yes, that's right....5!) we were finally cleared for takeoff. We sat on the tarmack for 5 hours! It was a nightmare. Babies crying, hungry, hot...oh Lord, it was just overall terrible. So terrible in fact that a Chinese man on the plane was arrested because for punching a flight attendant. Who could blame him. So, at 8 PM we finally leave for Guangzhou. We land a half an hour later at 8:30. Our nightmare wasn't over yet. Because of all of the planes that had been diverted, the airport was full, and we had no gate to land at. We sat on the tarmack for ANOTHER hour until they finally had a gate for us...and then we waited ANOTHER half an hour until they could find stairs for us to deplane. All in all, it was after 10 PM before we finally got off the plane, after having gotten on the plane at 1 PM. If I never see another plane again.....Oh yeah, I forgot, I still have a 20 hour trip home! So, anyway, we are here.
We are staying at the White Swan Hotel on Shamian Island here in Guangzhou. What a beautiful hotel. It is very resort like. The entire area caters to adoptive parents. It feels like 'fake China'. Wuhan was the real China. This is where the rich in China go, and it's also full of American's at all times. I could be in a Marriott in Orlando, Florida for all I'd know. We went to the pool today and Sabrina did OK. She liked it for the most part, but did cry if I went in too deep. We have no pictures of this though for two reasons....One, I couldn't figure out how to get Sabrina in a picture without getting ME in the picture (although I do like that the scales here area all in Kilograms!), and the second, and most realistic reason is that the hotel staff doesn't let you take any pictures at the pool if anyone else is in the pool. Who knows why. We also went shopping today. I finally got to go into the famous Jennifer's Place that I have heard about online for a year. It's a cute store, but frankly, a lot of the stuff is hard to tell from dime store stuff. But the I did get some of the nicer stuff....I got Sabrina a christening dress and I got some gifts for the nieces and nephews and our 2 babies at home. Don't worry family, I got the nicer stuff for you! Brian hated every store...he just has no appreciation for the Chinese art or products. I want to redo our dining room in an Asian theme, but he hates nearly everything I like, unless it's 16000 yuan, then he likes it. 16000 yuan is about 2000 dollars...so needless to say we are not getting anything for the dining room here. We will end up getting it at the local furniture store made probably in North Carolina, but Brian will be happy. Have I mentioned lately that I'm ready for him to go back to work!? LOL! Just kidding. Really, I'm just kidding. Really.

So, that's it for today. We are just having fun in Guangzhou and doing some shopping. I waited to do most of my shopping here, which may not be good since most everything is more expensive here. We are ready to come home and have everyone meet Sabrina. She is very serious in new situations and studies her environment carefully before she loosens up, so we'll have to see how long until she warms up to everyone, but it won't be immediate, that's for sure. I can't believe we've only had her one week. How could that be? We are learning more about her everyday. Today she waved for the first time, and added her second English word to her vocabulary....DOWN! She now is walking around saying 'down, down, down', just because she can. She is too cute for words. I'll be posting more tomorrow, but for today, no pictures. Signing off from the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou! ~Jenna

August 23 - Day 2 in Guangzhou
Hello from sunny Guangzhou! Today was a nice day here in Guangzhou. The weather was great, even though there are two typhoons on their way to just North of here. We are told that this will NOT affect our travel plans, but after our last experience with China Southern, I'm not betting on it. After this trip, I will never fly China Southern again. At least not domestically in China. The international flight went without a hitch...but being kept hostage on an airplane for 5 hours in the middle of China does not exactly sell me on them! They had the nerve to even THANK US for flying China Southern after that awful flight. I was amazed.

Anyway, so today we ventured out on our own a little bit. Something we would not have done in Russia. We, along with Glenn and Lisa and Dawson, took a taxi to the government run Jade and Porcelain store. Apparently, the government run stores guarantee authenticity, where the street vendors obviously do not. We were told to only buy valuables at the government stores because you can be assured of the quality. We looked for gifts for other people, but we then realized we had gifts for pretty much everyone....so Brian bought ME a Jade ring! It's really beautiful. He talked them down quite a bit...something I am so uncomfortable doing that it's actually become quite the joke here amongst our group. For example, we were shopping in this dress store this afternoon when the lady that owns the shop told us that SHE has THE lowest prices on baby clothes. I pointed out a dress to Lisa that I had bought at Jennifer's Place down the road yesterday. Glenn said, "oh, but you paid less down there" obviously trying to bring the lady down on her price...but I am so oblivious, that I start saying "oh no...they are the same price!" I just got rolled eyes all around! Too funny. I am so uncomfortable with the bargaining that goes on here. Tell me the price and I either want it or I don't. But no, not here. It's a big fun and games trick to determine the final price. Brian loves the bargaining. Not me. I bought shoes for Sabrina the other day that ended up being $5.00 a pair...how do you bargain with that? They were 5 bucks and a great deal I thought!! Brian will bargain with people on art work that obviously took them days to create and we are being offered it for the equivalent of 10 bucks...I just have such a hard time with the bargaining. Like I said, It's quite the joke. So today, when the lady told me the price of the Jade ring, I just called Brian over and walked away. 10 minutes later he was back with it for almost 100 dollars less that I was just about to pay.

The other big event today was the medical appointment at the Clinic. All babies have to have an exit medical exam to be allowed into the U.S.A. Brian got the whole thing on video, but we did not get any still shots of it. Sabrina screamed hysterically from the time the took her temperature till an hour later when we were finally finished. Prognosis is excellent! She is completely healthy. 9.1 Kg which rounds to 20.4 pounds, and 78 cm which rounds to 30.4 inches. She does have excema however...which I could have told them. Her face gets very red and blochy in the morning and when she cries and she scratches a lot. At first I was worried that it was scabies, but it wasn't. It's excema. We'll see the doctor at home for some cream and all will be fine.

We also tried the pool again today, and it seems determined by Sabrina that she really does NOT like the pool....at all. We'll work on it though, because my other two kids are little fishes in the pool! It was also nap time again today, so that could have had something to do with it. This kid has had so many changes this last week, it's amazing she isn't hiding under the covers at every minute. But, she's not. She laughs, giggles, and plays it up like a ham...just not in front of anyone but us! Definitely a studious little creature who likes to really examine her surroundings. The pool, she has determined, is not a surrounding that she enjoys!
Well, that's it for today. We leave the day after tomorrow! Hooray!!! We just can't wait to bring this baby home to meet all of our family and friends.

August 25 LAST DAY in Guangzhou!
We are heading home tonight!!! Whooo Hooo! We can't wait to get home to introduce our newest baby to our other two babies and the rest of the family! Yesterday we were sworn in at the consulate, which finished up Sabrina's INS procedures....so now she will be considered a citizen as soon as we land in LA! So, this is my last post for a while. I am just about out of free space on alltel.net, so I am not going to post any more pictures until I am home and can clean out the site of stuff that may not be needed. soon I will update the site with our travel list and the items I think we could have done without. That may help some of you in the planning stages. Other than that, I will be updating the site on occasion and I'll post some pictures now and then....but for the most part, I will not be writing every day any more, since there really won't be much to report on a daily basis. But, I promise, when there is something to report, I will! Keep checking back for updates! ~Jenna...leaving in 3 hours for the airport!

September 2 - Home one week
We're home, and we're surviving.

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