Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ying-Ying and Ge-Ge. Kai is wearing his Ge-Ge hat today. Karsten - you are getting one also.

In front of Dr. Sun's Memorial Hall

Kai's skating picture for the day!!!

Part of the Guangzhou Folk Art Museum

One of the guards that guarded the doors in the old days

Tea house, we tried black tea and green tea

We haven't been very good at keeping you all updated on the process and what we have been doing. I will try to give a quick update. My time at the computer seems to be more and more limited.

Monday: We got Leah!!!

Tuesday: We went back to Civil Affairs office to finalize the adoption from the Chinese side. We took family pictures and had two interviews. The first interview was with an official person (I am sorry I don't know her official title). The next interview was with the Notary. He was the real funny guy that Kai talked about in his post. When all that was over, Leah was officially ours.

Wednesday: We went to a official office and applied for Leah's passport. After that Jack took us to the super market, I posted pictures from there yesterday.

We have done some walking around on the island and done some shopping. For you that have already been here, we visited Jordan's shop. He wrote Leah and Sofia's names in Chinese. We hope to frame it when we get home. We had our laundry done in a local shop right by the hotel. Kai loves that place, because they played hacky sack inside the store with a girl there. When he left, she kicked one out the door for him - free gift!

We have been eating supper every night with our best friends here, you have seen pictures of them in our other posts. Kurt Onken and his cousin Jan, and Kurt's beautiful, mischievous boy Aidan. Kurt's wife is afraid of flying, so his wife's cousin is traveling with him. This is their second trip to China. We received our children together and we have really enjoyed being able to do things together with them. This is their link if you would like to follow, they often write about us and Kurt is much better at telling the details of what we are doing. You would enjoy his blog.

This morning we went to Dr. Sun's Memorial Hall and Guangzhou Folk Art Museum. We had a lot of people be very curious and staring at us. I don't know if it was in a good or bad way because I could not understand what they were saying. But we defenitly stood out today. We came back to the hotel to drop off our stuff and eat some snacks. I am trying to do some blogging. I feel like I have not been very good at keeping everyone updated. It was a lot easier to stay on top of it when we were in Beijing.

Kai and pappa are resting and watching TV. Leah is sometimes sitting on my lap and sometimes playing on the floor right by my feet. She seems to be more attached to her mamma today. She wants me to hold her a lot or hold her hand. She will go to pappa, but it seems like she prefers me more today. We are hoping this is part of bonding with us, but it makes it harder for me to get anything done.

We had a great evening last night when she was laughing and giggling. She is very active today, just like she was last night. But so far today, we have not seen a single smile. I wish she would smile, but I don't feel the same hopelessness I felt yesterday at this time because I know she can smile and have fun with us. I believe she will do it again. She started whimpering again last night when we went to bed. I was holding her and she was lying on me, I would tell her that we love her, but nothing would make her stop. I finally gave her some water from a zippy cup, she settled down after that. She laid with me and Kai in our twin bed until she fell asleep, then I moved her over to her small bed right between our beds. She woke up crying again this morning. I wish I knew what she is thinking (or maybe I don't want to know). She is a different child today than she was the day we got her, but I think we still have a lot of ahead of us when it comes to bonding.

We have been talking to Jack about going to visit the orphanage Leah lived at. He could arrange a car for us tomorrow, but no English speaking guide. We have heard it is between 2-4 hours to go there. And not real safe since the driving here is crazy, compared to US and Norwegian standards. We are not too excited about making the trip. But I want to go if it is going to make a big difference in her abilities to bond with us. To those of you that have adopted before, do you have any advice for us? We would love to hear your opinions.

We are now heading out to explore some more. We will have dinner with our best friends again tonight. The choice for tonight is Chinese food (what a surprise) I actually love the food here and could eat Chinese every day.


  1. Hei! Bilde av en leende Leah og pappaen var helt herlig. Det vil bli flere smil etterhvert, det er en stor omvelting i livet hennes. Hils Kai og si bloggen han skrev var kjempe fin. Slik er det når mor er lærer. Kjekt at dere tar dere tid til å holde oss oppdatert fra Kina, det er så en får lyst til å reise dit selv. Svein lurer på å utligne til 4-4...HIldegunn og Solveig sier hei til Kai, banana...Klem fra Svein og Ingvild + Peter.

  2. Hello.
    Beautiful pictures. Leah looks pretty in pink today. Kai love the hat! I have sent you an email...hopefully you can read them. Do you remember how I worried so much about bonding with my look at them. It will happen, you are doing everything just right. It seems that Leah has already started bonding with her new special family.


    Debbie & family

  3. She is SO beautiful! What an awesome, amazing experience. Thanks for letting us stay updated with your journey.
    Peter & Erica Hang

  4. Kai,

    I love the Ge Ge hat, that is cool. You need to see how many different buildings and monuments that you can get the "skating" pics on :-)
    My favorite pics so far are Leah laughing while being tossed about and Kai being squished by the Samurai warrior in this post. What fun.

    Anne Marie - you are doing a marvelous job of keeping us up to date on your events. There is no way that I could do nearly this much blogging with everything else your doing as well. If it was up to Jeff we would get one pic and a text message for the whole trip!


  5. Great pictures again! I can only imagine how thrilled you were to finally see her smile! We got one of Kai's hamsters tonight from Sturms--a little black and white one. At least I think they were from your litter--I hear there's been a few litters between your hamsters lately!

    Melaina had her 5 yr. physical today--4 shots and 2 finger pokes--a pack of gum and new ballet shoes made her feel better though! Be careful if you travel (well--I guess you wouldn't have much control but we prayed for you all tonight). Tracy Selof

  6. It is such a joy to share in your journey! Considering the short time Leah has been with your family, she is doing really well! As for the orphanage visit, it really helped Gracelin open up towards us a great deal. We, too, were undecided if we should go as we had heard mixed reports from others who had done it before us. After praying about it, we decided we would go. I'm sure Gracelin would have opened up to us more in time if we had not gone, but it seemed to create good closure for her with her past life. Would Jack go with you? It would be quite helpful to have someone there who could translate between you and Leah so that she totally understands this is just a final visit with her friends (she's not going back for good). It's really important that she understands that. Gracelin's care givers knew we were back for a final visit and they said a lot of "good-byes" with hugs and kisses which created a very positive experience. We took little candies for Gracelin to share with her friends as well as toys and clothes for donations. That made the other children really excited and Gracelin was able to share in their joy.
    The roads are doubt about that...but you can see so much of China that you would only otherwise read about. As for safety, I would say it is typically Chinese style driving but with more open, bumpy roads (and much more speed).
    In summary, we are thankful we went. However, had we not gone, I have no doubt that God would have provided other bonding opportunities. The Scholles