Saturday, May 12, 2012

Guess who allowed herself to be put in the stroller today! Wouldn't even get close in China! But of course, that one wasn't PINK! Smart girl!

We also went to the Chinese restaurant tonight and she squealed with delight over egg soup! We asked one of the waitresses to help with the highchairs. She said something in Chinese, held out her hands, and Kaylee allowed her to put her in. She whimpered and squirmed a little. I said," its okay" in Chinese (one of my few phrases i know), but stayed put and forgot all about it when she saw the soup! Mimi and Pop Pop got her a highchairs for my Mother's Day gift! Now we pray she adjusts easily to it! Also found out she LOOOOVES jello squares!

Still working on Taffy not jumping out of excitement and scaring her. I know the quick success is due to all of the faithful prayers of friends and family! It brings me so much strength too!

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Location:Another milestone!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I so appreciate your prayers and support regarding Kaylee's transition. We did have a huge milestone! Yesterday she rode in the car seat for about 7 minutes. The 1st 2 were spent screaming, the next 3 or so crying loudly, the next whimpering, then silence just as we pulled in. I was in the back seat right next to her. Mimi had the divinely inspired idea to start singing "the wheels on the bus go round and round" which helped immensely! Then tonight Pop Pop and I took her to eat and her first trip to a real American grocery store. "crying" (no tears) only lasted 1 minute! So grateful! It helps that she LOVES having her pic taken! After we take it, we show her and she squeals, MEI MEI!!!"

Next big thing to conquer is the booster seat. So grateful for the suggestions from the China adoptive Been There Done That parents through this!

And the big step remains of Kaylee and my little Cocker, Taffy, getting along. Please pray this goes quickly as it's quite stressful!

Kaylee is most "helpful" at the grocery store and tries to add anything at eye level to the shopping matter how heavy! Guess she really wanted oatmeal! At least she doesn't have expensive taste!

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Location:Little by little

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

So glad to say we're finally home!  Kaylee did wonderfully on the flight.  In fact the man sitting next to me on the plane commented that he had never witnessed a child so well behaved on a plane ride.  And that was a FOURTEEN hour plane ride from Hong Kong to Chicago!

When we went through Customs in Chicago, little Kaylee became an official US citizen!   We were so excited!  Kaylee?  Well, she was much more interested in her new grape flavored gummy candies!  :)

All was going splendidly until we went to check on our connecting gate and saw the word "CANCELED" printed there instead!  Let me tell you, when you've been in a foreign country for over 2 weeks, you're hot, you're sleep deprived, you're dying for American food, you have a sleepy toddler who wants to be carried 90% of the time, and all you want to do is get home, you do NOT want to see the word CANCELED!  Needless to say, we did not have our "happy attitudes"!  We switched airlines while standing in the 1 hour long United line due to all of their canceled flights.  We finally arrived home at 7:30 PM to a precious group of friends carrying balloons and welcome home Patriotic signs for Miss Kaylee!  We were blessed beyond words!  

Since being home Kaylee is continuing to attach extraordinarily well to me, however, this means constantly wanting to be held.  (Not easy on someone who is under 5" tall with a child who weighs 23 pounds.)  When that's not the case, she wants one of my hands.  Needless to say, I'm learning how much one can do using just one hand!  However, we are both suffering exhaustion from jet lag, extreme change in routine, and the newness of the situation.  It's not an easy road but will be so worth it.  

Please pray for the process of Kaylee trusting that I will not leave her, that she will not wake up one morning and be taken from me and placed with yet another care giver.  She was taken care of by a faithful nanny in China up until age 1, then they removed her from that floor and placed her in the orphanage program on another floor.  This was done because she was physically ready.  However, upon seeing the brief reunion between the 2 of them while in Hohhot, it's clear to me that Kaylee adored her.  I don't know if she then attached to another nanny or not, but it's easy to see how trust could become hard to come by for this little one.  She has definitely attached, but is understandably not yet trusting that her situation is a forever one.  She has times of great joy, letting down, silliness, and sweetness.  She also has times of grieving, fear, and anger likely due to the lack of control she's felt during all of these changes.  Though she knows this change is good, she still had no choice in it.  She seems to feel the need to exert control in any area she can in order to compensate.  And really, I'd do the same thing!  Please pray the jet lag ends soon so that we can get into more of a routine.  This will be very helpful to both of us.  We also need prayers for her acceptance of the booster seat and car seat.  Obviously, I need to be able to go places with her.  The booster is optional, although would provide me some much needed relief.  The car seat isn't.  She screams and cries to the point of gagging when placed in it.  We need some serious heavenly intervention on this one!  It's not an uncommon thing to occur in these situations, but we do serve a God who is able to accomplish peace in this situation for her little heart.  And while we're at it, the darling little one needs to be okay with a bath of some kind....I'd settle for a sponge bath at this point.  Same reaction as the car seat.

In the meantime, below you'll see what made me fall in love with this little cutie pie!  


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Made it safely to Hong Kong! I can't tell you how thrilled I am to know that we'll be on a US bound plane tomorrow morning, Lord willing!

We'd appreciate continued prayers as this will be a LONG "day" for Kaylee. Children who have been in orphanages are used to extremely regular and predictable schedules. Poor little Mei Mei's has become nonexistent all of a sudden. I'm also praying they allow her to be on my lap since she's so small. She has refused to even try a highchairs for fear of being separated from me. As long as she's on me, she seems to feel safe. They did allow her on my lap on China Air. I'm praying United does the same.

Can't wait to be back in the good ole US of A! I've decided I want to make my way from one eating place to the next all over town...from Ted's to Subway to Olive Garden to Goldies to Chick Fil A...and so on and so on.....Mmmmmmmmmm!

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Location:Hi from Hong Kong!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Had to begin the blog with my new favorite pic taken by Mimi! How could ya not love this face!

We had Kaylee's US Consulate appt today. I'm an extremely patriotic person anyway, but I was fighting back the tears as I walked in and saw that American flag Then the realization hit that China really is going to let me bring back this darling child with me to the US, and she will be a US citizen with all the wonderful and precious privileges that holds! There were 11 other families in the room. All the parents stood and held up our right hands and took the citizenship oath on behalf of our children. Then we were called up to a window one by one for facial recognition and a signature. Tomorrow we pick up her passport and Visa and head to Hong Kong! As soon as we pass through immigration in Chicago, Miss Kaylee Yumei Mitchell will be an American!

Although she will be an American, Mei Mei will always have a Chinese heritage.. It's important to me to make sure she values that as well.

And on a lighter note, earlier today, Mei Mei dug into the diaper drawer and found a pair of protective plastic panties she'd refused to wear a few days ago. She's decided it's okay to wear them now...on her HEAD!

So glad only 1 more day till we board that plane for HOME! See you soon! Thanks so much for all the prayers and encouraging words! I can't begin to tell you how that has helped!

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Location:Almost a Yankee Doodler Girl

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All clear on the TB test! Thanks for your prayers. She hated even going back to that place, so I can't even imagine if she'd had to have the chest X-ray!

We're so ready to get home, although today was a nice free day! We went to the pearl market with Ann from Redthread. She knows how to bargain! Any of you who are adopting, she's wonderful! Mei Mei wore out pretty quickly though. After her nap we plan to go shopping for squeaky shoes on Shamian Island and get her name done in Chinese calligraphy.

She's sleeping very well, although has the occasional bad dream where she wakes up crying. Probably nightmares about the medical exams!

When I first got her she'd try anything to eat, but now has suddenly become very picky. She does however, unfortunately, like French fries best! Girl after my own heart.

She weighs 22-23 pounds according to her medical exam. Tiny little thing, but strong as an ox!

I've been battling quite a bad ear infection...not what you want before a long flight. Getting better though. So thankful Dillon recommended we bring along precautionary antibiotics.

Sure do miss home! See you all soon. In the meantime here are a few pics..,

(still lovin' my cool shades!)

(Mongolian girl doll at Hohhot Airport)

(met this little 14 month old at the airport. Gives you an idea of Kaylee's size!)

(Mommy and Mei Mei sacked out on the plane after waiting 2.5 hrs for takeoff)

Tomorrow is the big day! The swearing in at the US consulate! Almost an American, little Kaylee Mitchell!

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Location:All clear!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

(A little blurry because we like to shake our head and say, "YEAH!" when we sport our shades!)

We arrived at our hotel at almost 3:00 AM this morning. We were scheduled for an arrival of 10:15. What caused the flight delay? We still don't know because once again that part of the announcements was not translated. We sat in the hot airport for an hour and a half where poor Kaylee had to be changed on a disposable changing pad on the waiting area chairs because there were no changing tables in the bathrooms. Big thanks to the "been there, done that" China adoptive parent who gave the heads up to bring those disposable changing pads along. We put up a barricade made of our carry on baggage to shield her from onlookers because it seems like everyone stares anyway at the Americans with the "very beautiful baby" going to U.S.. We've gotten that comment a lot. Of course I beam!

Then we sat in a plane on the Tarmac with no AC for another 1.5 hours. When we finally did land, we were last off because of the baby and needing to gather things. We walked to the glass doors that led into the airport and they had been LOCKED!!! Fortunately the pilot hadn't de-boarded and saw us. By that time we were panicked and afraid our guide and driver would think we'd missed the flight and leave us! The pilot and head flight attendant sounded quite irritated at the person who had locked the door on us when they called for help! Oh, and did I mention I REALLY needed to go to the bathroom when we BOARDED the plane?! But I didn't want to wake the sleeping sweet Mei Mei so I waited thinking I'd go as soon as we landed...which turned out to be 5 hours later! So, back to our the time the door finally opened, we had to rush to baggage and pray our guide was there...which she was...and kindly led us to the bathroom!

The great part about this very tiring and frustrating night however, was that little miss Mei Mei never cried! She was an angel and played contentedly with the instruction placard in the seatback pocket for about an hour before falling asleep again. I can't say the same for the adults in our Mitchell crew who were tired, cranky, and whining loudly about our ordeal! So yes, Kaylee was the mature one...just sayin'!

Guangzhou is very pretty and I'm happy to report we had KFC for lunch and Papa Johns pizza for dinner! Yeah! tomorrow we see the museum. We'll be taking advantage of the rumored inexpensive squeaky shoes deals tomorrow too since only 1 pair of Kaylee's shoes are even close to small enough. Her tiny feet are more like an 18 month old...max. Maybe younger.

I'm still trying to get videos to attach here, but to no avail so far. Using Blogpress app on the iPad if anyone has any tips? We have some darling ones and we do have Wifi in the rooms here!

Today Kaylee had her medical exam. It was horrifying for her. Hence, it was for me too. From the very beginning when they took her picture, all the way through each exam room, ending with the TB stick test, she wailed. I mean screamed bloody murder. She was terrified and clung to me for dear life. She's been through SO much this week. It absolutely killed me. I wanted to grab her and run with her as far away from that place as I could. 10 minutes later we had her giggling. It took me a little linger. I tear up even now just thinking about it. Please pray the TB test comes back clean so we don't have to revisit for a chest X-ray.

We had a similar reaction when she had to have her passport photo last week. :(.

Here are a few new pics!

(waking up after nap following terrifying medical exam)

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Location:Made it to Guangzhou!