Saturday, September 03, 2005


A Long Overdue Update

Wow. What can I say? Two days ago was gotcha day. We took the two hour plane ride to the Wuhan Airport in the Hubei Province and landed at what must have been a pretty short runway since we bounced about three times when we landed. Jesse thought maybe the pilot was a former bus driver in Beijing.

We never thought we could be hotter or more sweat-soaked than we were in Beijing—but oh were we wrong. Nowhere was this more evidenced than when we were in the room of the adoption offices awaiting delivery of our daughter Ariana. All 16 families were jammed in there waiting and the screaming babies were brought out to us one at a time. Ari was one of the middle kids to come out but I could see her through the door of the room they had them in and recognized her right away.

It was very emotional, hot, and loud in that room. Once we got all of the babies relatively calmed down, we got back on the bus and went back to the hotel. Some babies only wanted mommy, some only wanted daddy. Some didn’t want either. Today is day two and some of the babies have opened up more. Ariana is doing really well. She laughs and smiles and walks all over the room holding on to things. When we get her to open spaces, she has started to do a little free walking so she’s learning fast. She loves looking out the window. She only cried for “mama” a little bit the first day. We can’t call Tiana mama yet because it reminds the babies too much of their foster moms. “Mommy” works okay because it sounds different enough. In Chinese, baba usually means daddy but in this provincial dialect it means poop so we just use daddy.

Ari usually does pretty well with us but has had a couple of flashbacks where she misses her foster family. She was with them up until the day we got her (we found out from questioning the orphanage director) so she wasn’t at the orphanage full time for the month before we came like we thought. When she has the little episodes she cries and it is hard to get her to calm down but this is happening less and less. She does have a pacifier which helps a little bit.

She doesn’t drink formula and doesn’t like all the food we brought. She will eat some baby food, juice mixed with water, and cheerios. One really good thing is that when she does like the food she eats like a horse. She loves Congee, steamed egg, and bean curd (all stuff that we can get really easily in Manistee—NOT!) Last night she wouldn’t eat ANY of the American food I tried and cried until we took her to the buffet to eat Chinese food (by the way, this isn’t like the Chinese Buffet at home, we are all missing the food back home). We’re slowly moving her over to U.S. fare with baby nutria-grain bars, biscuits, and Gerber’s dried corn.

She is a little peanut. She’s wearing 9-12 month clothes and is about how big Reidar was when he was about 6 months old. She is a real cutie and sticks out her tongue when she laughs. Reidar and she are getting along great but she isn’t to the stage when she will let him pick her up yet. Her fingers are incredibly long. I think she will be a pianist when she grows up. Right now she is feeling a little feverish so she is cuddling with mommy. I am working on getting my power converter issues fixed so I don’t have to keep borrowing other people’s to charge up my computer so look for more postings in the next few days. More later…

Long over due is right! I just can't imagine the emotions that you are experiencing right now....WONDERFUL! We are just delighted to see photos and here about everything you are doing. You are all missed dearly. Reider your new baby sister is beautiful. It won't take her long to feel anything but love and comfort with you all.

Love, Kelly
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