Friday, December 25, 2009

Video of Gotcha Day

These videos were taken by proud Gege (big brother), Jordan-age 7. Warning: some parts are very bouncy.) Be sure to have your sound on.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One Month Ago....

One month ago today we first held Taylor in our arms. It is hard to believe that she has been with us just this short time. It feels like she has always been a part of our family. She really has never looked back since that first day. We have discovered that she is a very social and vocal little girl. She talks all the time even if we can't understand most of what she is saying (We don't think it is Chinese, just babytalk.) Here is a list of the words she can say:
Baba or Daddy
Gege (Chinese for big brother)
Popo(Chinese for Grandma)
She repeats alot of things we say to her. She will sometimes use sign language for "more" although she usually just makes a grunting noise to get more of something. She loves to wear the headbands (she made Stefan put one on with her jammies a few nights ago) with the flowers that she has on in most of the pictures. Her hair is growing slowly but surely. She also loves to wear mittens even in the house. If she can't find a pair of mittens, she puts socks on her hands. She loves to go in her stroller or in a shopping cart. She does well in her car seat (we were worried). We will see tomorrow how well she does for the 3 hour drive to my parent's house.

Here are some pictures from our Gotcha Day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We made it to Newark

We are through customs and on our plane for Hbg. Should be close to on time.

Heading Back to the USA

We are now boarding our flight for Newark, NJ. It appears that the flight will gain back some time and may be 10-15 minutes. Bye

Burger King

Grabbing a snack in Beijing airport and then off to our gate. I need to charge my phone, otherwise this will be our last update for a while. I should be able to charge on the flight to Newark.

Bye for now.

Guess what's for Lunch

We have arrived in Beijing. We will have plenty of time to make our next flight (over 3 hours). We've heard that the concourses are huge in Beijing airport.

No big surprise that we'd have rice with our lunch on our Air China flight from GZ. Unfortunately, we couldn't really stomach the mystery that accompanied it. Any guesses on what it was (we think we figured it out).

Friday, December 4, 2009

She's awake

Taylor woke up, but she's doing much better.

We are moving and will take off soon. Bye for now.

Taylor bumped her head

After we went through the gate and showed our boarding passes, we walked a long way and had to show our boarding passes again. As Joy got the boarding passes out *again*, Taylor fell and bumped her head. Now Taylor is madder than a hornet, Joy is frazzled, and Grandma needs a tranquilizer. They offered Jordan a Coke, I guess he won't be sleeping any time soon (and now Jordan needs to go to the bathroom).

We're leaving GZ soon for Beijing

This is the airplane that we're taking to Beijing (flight CA 1330). We are in line to board. Bye for now!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pictures from Beijing, Part 1, by Stefan

Pictures from our time in Beijing... Part 1

Taking the Oath, by Stefan

Today was the day for us to go to the US Consulate. There were a lot of families there to sign their paperwork requesting a visa for their adopted Chinese immigrant child. In our case, when we land in the US and they stamp Taylor's passport/visa, she will become a US citizen. We had to take an oath regarding our request for US citizenship on Taylor's behalf. It was a short, but nice little ceremony. We weren't allowed to take cameras into the consulate, so we took a picture by the sign for the consulate on the first floor.

Tomorrow (Friday), we will be sightseeing and taking a riverboat cruise for dinner. We started packing tonight and will use an extra suitcase that we bought for our souvenirs.

Grandma Judy had a 90-minute massage tonight. She said it was the best money she spent in China. We're all thankful for a relaxed po po (Grandma). By the way, Taylor is now calling her po po :).

Our spirits are lifting in anticipation of our last few days in China and our return to the States. It has been a great journey, and our precious little girl was certainly worth the wait.

Good night from Guangzhou!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another Day Closer, by Stefan

Tonight (Tuesday), we went to Lucy's (again) for dinner with friends.  Afterward, we went down to the river front to check out the riverboats and the lights.  It is hard to realize that our little island is actually a part of a larger city of over 10 million people.

This morning, we had a photo shoot with Taylor and 3 other adopted girls who we've made friends with their parents.  The girls didn't cooperate all that well (glad I don't work at Picture People and have to get great shots with little kids looking at the camera).  Some said the better shots may have been a video of the parents trying to get there kids to look at the cameras.

This afternoon, Joy, Jordan and I had a chance to check out a place that would put Flea Markets in Lancaster County, PA to shame (Grandma stayed with Taylor at the hotel).  Joy referred to it as a "Flea Market on steroids".  Eight floors of shops, there must have been over a thousand vendors with booths that contain all kinds of new things to buy... Just think of all the things made in China all under one roof.  You name it, they had it.

We bought Jordan a micro remote control car.  Imagine a matchbox car with RC controls.  Better yet, it cost us about $4.50.  I'm going back tomorrow to get more with a guy that wants to get some for his kids.

Afterward, we went to KFC for lunch.  The Colonel Sander's original recipe never tasted better.

Another interesting fact is that we took a 10 minutes cab ride and it cost about $1.50 each way (not bad).

Tomorrow (Wednesday), our paperwork will be submitted at the US Consulate.  All the forms that we filled out on Sunday will be submitted on our behalf, for Taylor, by our facilitator.  We will wait to hear from her if any additional information is needed.

We hope you are having a great day!  Good night, from Guangzhou.

Monday, November 30, 2009

We found a play room, by Stefan

After getting lost in Guangzhou trying to find McDonald's, we finally made it back to Lucy's Restaurant (we've been here 3 days and have eaten there 3 times and Subway twice). At Lucy's, you can get some resembling an American style meal with a drink for about $7-8 per person.

Earlier in the day, Jordan and I were looking for a courtyard that is accessible from the third floor and found that there was a "Play Palace" on that floor too. Although far from a palace, it was right up Taylor's alley. She enjoyed rocking on her horse and sliding on the slide. Joy really thinks she'll like Hershey Park!

Regarding the adoption progress today, we went back to the health clinic to have them see if she responded to the TB test (scratch from Saturday). She had a reaction which required a $30 chest X-ray. Thankfully, the results were negative. It is not uncommon to have a reaction, but it is stressful until you know that the chest X-ray is clear.

If you've been following our blog, we'd really enjoy hearing from you. Please send us an email, because Saturday is a long way off and we'd really enjoy answering questions or just hear about what you've been doing lately.

Tuesday is a free day for us. I think we're doing some photos and then some further exploration of Guangzhou.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Today's Word of the Day is "More", by Stefan

Everyone who has a child has these flashes of greatness that convince you that your child is brilliant.  Well, brilliant may be a bit over the top, but we are pleased that Taylor is catching on very quickly to a number of things.  She verbally calls Jordan "gege" (gu gu), meaning big brother, she calls Stefan "baba", for Daddy, and Joy "mama".  She also loves her Grandma Judy very much and often lays on the ground in preparation for the game that Grandma plays where Grandma gets her and tickles her after a she is out of the room for a while.
We've been working on sign language for simple communications like "more", "all done" and "thank you".  Last night, Taylor was having her sippy cup of formula before bed and she was at the stage of playing more than drinking.  So, Stefan took to the cup away from her and placed it on the night stand.  The game of cherades began of "more" or "all done".  Coincidentally, when I took the cup away (or anything else for that matter), she gives the 'cutest' little pouty lip, where her bottom lip sticks out.  After about 5 minutes of miscommunication and some frustration from Taylor, she verbally said a close version of the word "more" and then did the sign for "more".  It was very exciting and we celebrated together.
Joy also working with Taylor to brush her teeth.  It is a slow process, but all things that matter really will take time.  See the picture of the teeth brushing lesson.
Our last day in Nanjing, I caught Taylor with the biggest smile ever during breakfast.  It just makes me smile every time I see it.
Also included are pictures from our day that Joy discussed in an earlier post.

Saturday, November 28 by Joy

     Well we finally made it to our last stop on our trip.  We had a wild trip from Nanjing to Guangzhou (pronounced gwawng zso(long o sound).  Our guide in Nanjing thought that our plane would be delayed because of fog, but we decided to just go wait at the airport.  We go there a little later than we originally planned and found out that it wasn't delayed.  We ended up sprinting for a long time through the airport to get to our gate.  I thought that I was going to pass out because half the time I was carrying Taylor (who is 24 pounds).  We got to the gate and they were loading people onto a bus to take them to the airplane.  We ended up having to take a second bus after the first filled up.  As we were waiting, we realized that nobody's seats were together.  Taylor and Jordan were all by themselves.  We told the flight attendants about it as soon as we boarded and they asked people to switch seats so that Taylor and I sat next to each other and my mom was in the middle seat across the aisle from us.  Stefan and Jordan were in the back of the plane about 8 rows behind us.  We ended up having to sit in the airplane for two hours because air traffic control was trying to sort out the mess from all the previous flights being delayed because of fog.  Taylor would have been fine if we would have taken off on time, but she got really antsy about 1 hour into our actual flight (3 hours of being on the plane).  We had two crying episodes which had to be solved with lollipops.  We are finding that to be a good distraction (bribe) when we know unpleasant things are happening to her.  When we finally landed, two of our bags and D. and C.'s two bags were not there.  Our guide was waiting behind the glass partition and Stefan and D. were able to communicate to her through a crack.  She was able to find out that our bags were sent on another flight so we had to drive to another terminal to pick them up.  We were very thankful to finally get to our hotel at around 9:00.  We hadn't eaten lunch or dinner because of the plane fiasco (we did have a snack on the plane-cherry tomatoes, chocolate cake muffin, sweet roll, and peanuts-and Taylor ate all of her snacks that I packed)  thankfully I had some granola bars and peanut M &M's in my backpack.  We ended up at Lucy's (semi-American food) for a late night dinner.  The food was pretty good.  We will probably go back several times.
     We love Guangzhou. It is on a small island called Shaiman Island.  Our hotel is wonderful.  We chose to stay at the Victory Hotel even though the White Swan is the traditional adoption hotel.  There are many families here that are adopting.  We get to see them at breakfast.  We are getting a suite and another room for not much more money than a small room at the White Swan.  Our room is a Japanese style room so the bed is up a step and the mattress is on the floor.  I almost broke a leg last night when Taylor woke up crying and I forgot that I had to step down.  We love the bed.  It is so soft.  We have had rock hard beds in the last two hotels.  We have a suite so you walk into the room and there is a 1/2 bath on the left and then a sitting room with a couch, chair, coffee table, tv, and a computer desk.  In our bedroom we have a full bath with a walk-in shower and a tub w/a shower.  My mom and Jordan are next door.
     D., C., and E. are staying at the White Swan.  It is a beautiful hotel with a waterfall in the lobby.  We will go there to get photos on the red couch. 
     Today was visa photo day.  Taylor was very mad that the lady took her flower headband out of her hair for the picture.  I am so glad that she lets me put them on her.  After the picture we went for the medical exam.  She had to get a TB test.  She cried for just a little bit because we had given her a lollypop.  We then went to the height, weight, and temperature room.  The next room had a doctor who checked her heart, and then checked her growth on her head.  She gave him her mean look.  She started crying when he made her lay down and took off her pants and diaper to check her hips.  She already hates it when we change her diaper, and she really didn't want that Chinese doctor to do it.  We got her calmed down and then we moved to the ENT room or as Taylor probably thinks of it--the room of torture.  She was fussing and swatting away the doctor's hands as she tried to look in her ears.  Then the doctor needed to look in her mouth and she wanted no part of that.  It took me holding her and pinning her arms down, Stefan holding her head still, and the doctor prying her mouth open.  We have to go back on Monday to have her TB test read.
     We dropped Taylor off at our room with my mom and Jordan (who didn't go to the exam) and then went to the business center at the White Swan to do paperwork with our guide, Helen.  It took a while.  There are so many forms to fill out.  We discovered where a Subway was on our way back so we picked up everyone at the hotel and walked there to get lunch.  We ate in a park in the center of the island.  There were several brides getting pictures taken in the park.  We walked and looked in some shops and ended up in a shop called Jordon's.  We had met him on our way to do the paperwork and in the park when we were eating our lunch.  We told him that we had a son named Jordan and we would be by his shop.  We bought a doll for Taylor and Jordan got a toy which already broke (causing a meltdown due to tiredness).  Jordon made a paper that had Taylor's name on it in English and Chinese.  I kept saying that I really liked him and we found out that he is a brother in JC.  We are going to go back and buy more things in his shop.
     We went out to eat for supper with some new friends that stayed at our hotel in Nanjing.  We were really craving something a little closer to food from home so we went to an Italian restaurant.  Jordan, my mom, Taylor, and I had spaghetti.
Tonight I was looking for the green cup that I make Taylor's formula in.  I said to her, "Do you know where your cup is (after looking all over for it)."  She went over to the coffee table and picked up her other cup and brought it to me.  I really think that she knows what we are saying to her.  She is a very smart cookie.  She is very vocal and makes lots of sounds that resemble chimpanze noises.  We call her our little monkey.  We have had a few two year old tantrums, but overall she is a very good girl.  She loves riding in the stroller and loves her pacifier.  I don't think she had one at the orphanage, but she is attached to it now.
     Tomorrow we are going to go sightseeing and shopping.

Friday, November 27, 2009

We made it to Guangzhou

After a 1.5 hour flight delay, we have arrived in Guangzhou. We had bit of an OJ Simpson moment running to our gate. Our facilitator helped rush us through security. Hopefully our bags made it. Off to get our luggage, grab dinner and go to our hotel. Bye for now.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Goodbye Nanjing

We enjoyed our stay in Nanjing, the city where we met our precious little girl. She was so cute this morning at breakfast and like every two year old is testing boundaries of what is acceptable. For instance, slamming the sippy cup on the table because it makes a loud sound is not a good thing in the restaurant, then a few minutes later trying it again with that sly look of "I know this is wrong and I'm checking to see what you'll do." She is an excellent eater and really enjoys feeding herself using a fork (with assistance to get the food onto the fork). We are ready to come home.

Thanksgiving acrostic by Joy

I am thankful for:

Taylor Grace Liqing Weaver
Her smiles, laughs, and singing when she is happy.
All the people praying for us on our trip
New gege (big brother) Jordan-he has done well although he misses his friends
Kissing Taylor's chubby cheeks.  Today she started puckering for us to kiss her.
Stefan-he has been wonderful!
Grandma Tarbox-I am so glad she is with us to get to know Taylor and help with Jordan.
In the mall across the street they have a really cool light show every night.
Very nice people who speak a little English to help us from time to time.
In our hotel we eat a yummy breakfast every morning.
Nancy, our guide who is very knowledgeable about Nanjing and the adoption process.
God's blessings for our family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, by Stefan

Words can only begin to express how thankful we are at this time of Thanksgiving.  It is Thanksgiving Day morning in China and we are so thankful for all the blessings that we have.  We are so excited that Taylor is a part of our family.

Please see a picture of the pajamas that Taylor was put to bed in last night and a picture of her sleeping.

We have learned that there is a hotel in Nanjing serving an American style Thanksgiving buffet.  We're planning to go.

God Bless you this Thanksgiving!

Bath Time, by Stefan

Taylor hopped in the tub with Jordan and really enjoyed herself. 

Belated Birthday Celebration, by Stefan

Here are the pics from the birthday celebration on Wednesday.

Museum Shots, by Stefan

We went to the Nanjing Museum and tour the city on Wednesday.  Here are some pictures.