Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jonah is home at last!! 1/23/09

After a very long 14 hour flight, we are finally home!! We got through customs at the Chicago Airport just in time to make our flight home. Jonah did very good on the plane ride home considering it was so long and not being able to crawl for that long was tough on him. He slept on and off for the entire flight, this time making sure he woke up for every meal and snack that was served. He flew four times in the last week we were in China, I think he is ready to retire his wings for a while. We were met at the airport by the kids and Grandparents. Everyone was so excited to see him! The kids each held him in their lap before strapping him into his car seat for his first ride home. Let's say that he was not too fond of the car seat and cried all the way to the house. In China they don't use car seats, they just hold the babies in their laps. This was the first of many new experiences that he will have with us. We walked in the door around 10:oo pm and the kids were still very much awake and excited to finally get to play with their new little brother. We got our first family photo under a sign that the kids made for us while we were gone. Now it was time to get all the kids to sleep after a very long day. Jonah fell asleep a little after 11:00, but to my surprise he was up at 2:00 am and wanted to play for several hours before finally going back to bed at 6:oo am. This whole jet lag thing is harder on babies and parents than I had anticipated. We are now on day 5 after our return and he still likes to play at night, but now it is only two hours or so. I guess he is still on "China time" and probably will be for a couple of more weeks. But we are hanging in there and enjoying every minute with our new addition to the family. His big sister is such a big help to her tired mom. She helps dress Jonah and feed him his cereal and bottle. She even keeps him out of trouble when I'm trying to get dinner started. His big brother has showed him that it's fun to brush your teeth and take a bath. He even tried to teach him how to hang from the kitchen table when I wasn't looking. Jonah is such a cutie and full of personality! I can't believe how well he is fitting into our family. It must be a "God thing," how else could this amazing little boy be given to us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

US Consulate Appointment 1/22/09

Thursday we have our appointment with the US Consulate. We have to stand in front of the officials and take an oath on behalf of Jonah's citizenship. We also will receive his official US visa to enter the United States.

We took our last group photo with the families today, since two of the families fly out this evening. Many of the children dressed in their new Chinese outfits. Jonah is sporting his dragon outfit. We were lucky to spend two weeks with these wonderful families and will miss them when we go our separate ways. We hope to keep in touch through our blog pages. Maybe even have a reunion someday.

Today we are packing our stuff to get ready to return home!!! We hope it all fits in the suitcase. We leave the hotel early Friday morning to drive to the airport and then fly to Shanghai where we have a six hour lay-over. Half of the group will be with us at the airport, so the kids should have lots of time to play together. After a 14 hour flight from Shanghai, we land in Chicago and then finally home. The Grandparents and kids will be at the airport to greet us. What a homecoming Jonah will have!!!

Thanks for following our journey to bring Jonah home. Check back from time to time for an update on the kids and how Jonah is adjusting to family life. You can also follow the blog and see how the treatment of Jonah's clubfoot is progressing.

Museum 1/21/09

Wednesday our guides Rosa & Maggie are going to the US Consulate to deliver and review our paperwork with the officials. Tomorrow we have our appointment with the US Consulate. We will be happy when all this paperwork is done! We are so ready to enjoy our three kids together and watch them grow. We are missing our kids at home so much and can't wait to see them on Friday. We can't thank the Grandparents enough for watching them these last couple of weeks. I think our children will always remember spending that special time with them.

After lunch we went to visit a Folk Art Museum. Our favorite exhibit was the hand woven silk pictures. The detail was absolutely amazing.

That evening we went to a Thai family style restaurant with all the families. The Asian staff entertained us with American singing and dancing. It was a little scary for Jonah, but he calmed down when daddy held him.

Medical Exam 1/20/09

Tuesday Jonah had his medical exam. He got a clean bill of health to travel on Friday! He weighs 22 lbs. and is 29 inches tall. Jonah was not happy with his exam, but he made it through o.k. with lots of snuggles from us.

After the exam we did some more shopping and met up with the group at Lucy's for lunch on the patio. The weather has been beautiful this week with the temperatures in the 70's. After lunch, we took a group photo with all the children together. Jonah is the only boy adopted in our group. He is sitting on the far left in the photo.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Yuntai Gardens 1/19/09

Monday we visited the Yuntai Gardens. This was a botanical garden filled with beautiful red roses and other exotic flowers and plants. Jonah slept through the entire walk through the gardens. We got to enjoy some quiet time together and hike up the stairs to the look-out point.

I hate to say it, but we ate lunch at a McDonald's. Guangzhou is a very westernized city, so you can find McDonald's, Pizza Hut, & KFC around every corner. Jonah had his first Happy Meal that came with a toy that spoke in Chinese. After lunch, we enjoyed a long walk around town with some other families. Jonah got a nice nap with his belly full of chicken nuggets and french fries.

Tonight we are planning on eating at the People's Cafe. A cafe we scoped out during our afternoon walk. The weather is so nice in the evening, we are hoping to get all the families together and eat outside on the patio.

Shopping at Ershadao Island 1/18/09

Sunday we headed to Ershadao Island to do some shopping. We found some silk Chinese outfits for the kids and we were very excited to find a Starbucks Coffee shop to chill out at after shopping all morning. Jonah was ready to get out of his baby carrier and stretch his legs and enjoy some apple juice and gold fish crackers (his favorite snack).

Back at the hotel, some of the parents headed to a conference room to take part in a two hour "paper party." This is where all the paperwork for Jonah's US visa was filled out. I stayed back at the room with Jonah and attempted to give him a bath. Let's just say this, taking a bath is not one of his favorite things to do.

That night we ate at an Italian restaurant with two other families and their children. We love Chinese food, but it was nice to have a change of pace and enjoy some food that reminded us of home. After dinner, we let the children get together in a hotel room and play. Jonah has made friends with a little girl his same age. They were speed crawling around the room racing each other and giggling the whole way.

Fly to Guangzhou 1/17/09

Saturday we flew to Guangzhou, our last stop in China before heading home. Jonah did awesome on his first flight, just a little crying on the take off & landing. We had an extra seat beside us and he slept the whole 1 hour flight (he even slept through the meal & he doesn't like to miss a meal)!

We landed after a short flight and met some other families at the baggage claim. After being on our own all last week it was nice to be reunited with the rest of the families again. It was neat to finally meet everyone's child and hear about their Gotcha Day.

We are staying at the Asia International Hotel. A very nice hotel with a revolving restaurant on the top 45 th floor that overlooks the entire city.

Guangzhou is the home of the United States Consulate. This is where we pick up Jonah's US visa.