Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Alex is in meltdown as the new school year kicks into gear with the boys all at the new school - no ties no notebooks - all missing - all on the first morning... and more... sigh... (I was sad - yet glad to be at work and hearing about the mayhem from work :-)
However, Sharon and John kicked off the new year for us with an invitation to the Chinese Association of Victoria New Year dinner. Althugh Sharon, John & Jessica could not make it in the end, 20 month old Jade loved the Lion dances and the Chinese dancing and the Tai Chi - she joined in arms and all. It is the first time she has been in a Cheong Sam - and although it was totally soaked with her molar breaking dribble, I think you'll agree she is gorgeous - slight bias here... (& Aussie thongs excused)... But with hair nearly ready for pigtails!!
Taylor is doing well settling into a new routine & at a new school and we are hoping to have his 'lows' under some sort of control soon. Thanks to everyone who has sent him well wishes... It's a tough time for a teenager....
Friday, January 2, 2009
This photo is from Josh's Deb August 2008.
What an end to the year for us! It was soooo exciting to have our first Xmas with Jade - it made it very special. She is talking baby talk rapidly and gleefully and is managing to get her point across - we have had a few tantrums (over not having a handbag! or being asked to say "Ta"), she is so strongwilled. She has also started using the potty successfully!
However, the focus was really on our dear Taylor this year, as he was unexpectedly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes - only 2 days before Xmas. It has been a rapid learning exercise for all of us, and I am just so grateful I have had a few weeks off work. Luckily the Hospital discharged Taylor on Xmas Eve, and we have tried to keep things as 'normal' and as enjoyable as possible. Taylor has an extreme needle phobia, poor kid - but he is doing really well with his 4 daily insulin injections and the 8 or so daily Finger pricks required from now on.
2009 is going to be a great year with all three boys now moving to Kardinia International College - a big year for Joshua in his final Year 12 - Josh should be getting his own room and ensuite built on our property, so Jade will move into his room and we will extend our parents bedroom into a bit more of a 'retreat'.
My current contract with ANZ continues until June, and we will be hopeful for a 12 month extension at that time (all going well in the financial sector :-)
Alex and I plan to give each other more time to be creative (him with his watercolour and me with Photography and scrapbooking - I must get the China trip done !!) - although I am really looking forward to Jade being able to get involved in this with me more during the year.
Our Social Work visits and final report to China should be finalised early this year, and Jade's Australian Citizenship (& passport) should come through. We are looking forward to celebrating our first anniversary of our allocation day in February.
Take care everyone - may your 2009 be filled with many blessings.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I feel guilty for not blogging for so long... This week my little girl turned 18 months, but also has now spent more time in our arms than outside of our arms in her lifetime. It is a good feeling. The last few weeks she has turned into a little miss lady. I thought bringing her up exactly the same as our three boys would equal the same results. But no. If we leave home, (even if only to pick Mum up from the train station from work) we MUST have our handbag. Doesn't matter which bag - any bag will do. The shoes are important (she was found a few weeks back in my walk in robe - shoes off, trying on all of Mums...) but she will go without shoes as long as she has the bag...
During this time we have have spent time with Jessica (foster sister) who loves "In the night garden" and Upsy Daisey as much as Jade does! We have been to see Hi-5 live (courtesy of ANZ) where Jade danced for 2 hours straight and then slept for 2 hours straight! We have been to see the renovations of the Poyntons, and most recently have bonded with Uncle Robby who has headed off around the world on a journey of a lifetime at 24... (Only just, as his plane set sail 24 hours before he did !!!!!!!!) Recently we bought a 3 wheel stroller, and she will quite happily climb into it all day... Now it is up to Mum and Dad to take her somewhere in it. She is still very much Daddy's girl.... Unless she has been with Mum >24 hrs - then she switches... :-) The boys continue to adore her - Josh (16) inbetween time for Work, Girlfriend Moni, & study, Liam (13) does whenever he is awake, but Taylor will do anything, anywhere for her without even asking (unless it is a nappy :-). We had our first wee on the potty the week before she turned 18 months!! She eats anything and everything - switching her tastes and preferences at least weekly. She sleeps only once a day now - roughly 11.30am -1.30pm. She loves to draw - and had started to use a pencil nicely, but they were replaced with crayons quickly as she runs around with them. She puts nothing in her mouth that is not food (thank goodness - not another Taylor!!). She talks in baby talk constantly, but if you listen carefully you can understand. She says "Iyuyyoo" (I love you) every day with cuddles now. Rusty is now "Uree" instead of just Dog. She continues to bring such laughter and light to our home. We cannot imagine our lives without her...
Monday, May 26, 2008
Our precious little poppet has turned 1 on the 17th May... Jade is talking clearer now with "Mama" coming out properly on Mothers Day! She is currently saying "Bububu" for Butterfly as she is fascinated at them all around her room, on her clothes and on her rug. She is so close to walking - with Alex swearing she took a single step between two pieces of furniture. But still no teeth!!
The boys are wonderful with her - they have learnt to make her bottles - but still no nappy changes :-) Jade had disappeared for a second the other day, and I found her in Josh's room - sitting in the middle of his bed bopping away to his guitar playing just for her - very cute.
Josh got his L's last week. Very nerve wracking - but so far he is proving to be a capable and confident driver. He has obviously been watching and absorbing it all for a while.
Taylor was in a play in Geelong that we had to buy tickets to. He played Carson Kressley (from Queer Eye) dressed in a lovely pink jacket and sunnies - he was simply Fabulous!!
Liam and Taylor have an interview coming up with the principle at Kardinia International College - where Josh goes, so we are hoping it all goes well for them, and we can get them in for next year. (Year 8 for Liam and Year 10 for Taylor). We have been very happy with the school for Josh and he finishes up next year - Year 12.
My big news is I have changed jobs - moving out of IT altogether and into the business side of ANZ. I have accepted a 6 month contract and have resigned from DWS. At my age, it is time to start looking at a longer term career than what DWS can offer.
Dad and Chris have been over to stay with us for a terrific week - and they almost could not bear to leave Jade... Mum and Al and the girls Trinda and Dana have already been over (we had a great time at Easter), and my big sister Joy and Dean & their girls Hollie and Meg are coming for June long weekend - I cannot wait!!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Jade has been with us for 2 months now (she is 11 months old tomorrow) - and what changes we have seen. She could not sit up on her own unaided when we first had her in our arms. With some floor time (not in a walker...) she quickly built up strength to sit, roll and now commando crawl. (She just can't get that belly off the ground :-) She is now starting to pull herself up on furniture and loooooves standing up. Her hair is growing and the bald patch at the back is disappearing. Interestingly, she has a distinct difference in the growth of her toenails. There is a ridge and a change in the nail growing out since we have had her. (Hopefully for the better). She has her paediatrician appointment next week, so I am interested to hear what she has to say about our little poppet.
She eats everything and anything. Her latest great love is avocado!
Words still revolve around "DaDa" with "Do" (for the dog) and "Du" (for her duck). No sign of "MaMa" yet. & no sign of any teeth yet either - top or bottom!!
She goes to an intercountry adoption playgroup in Geelong (more for Dad's benefit) and has started swimming lessons with Alex - she is not really sure about that yet... Here is a picture of her going through the 'shower tunnel'...
We have put together a trampoline for her, and the boys enjoying giving her a bounce. The up and down stimulation is meant to help with attachment, but she does not seem to need that side of it. She is very attached to us and still wary of strangers.
Her first birthday is coming up next month, and I am dreading planning a party while working full time (even if it will be a fairly small affair), but I am sure it will all turn out fine. Butterfly theme, of course!
We were invited a while back to Jessica's welcome home party and it was lovely to get the girls together for the first time since China. Such a precious bond for the girls - 1 week apart in age - first 4 months with the same Foster Mother, and the next 5 months in the same orphanage. Here is a photo of the girls...
I hope to post an update after the big hospital check up next week...
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
We had requested a baby bassinet for the big overnight flight, and when we
collected our tickets were assured we had one. However, on boarding we
found that although we had a bulkhead seat, there was no bassinet. Luckily
the stewardess was able to organise a row of four seats for Alex and I, so that
Jade could sleep in the two seats between us. It worked out really well and
she slept all night. The padded suit she is wearing lets her know this is
bedtime, and we continue to use it here, so hopefully we don't get any hot
nights soon. Our flight home from Shanghai was delayed a bit and we just
missed our connecting flight to Melbourne from Sydney - due mainly to one
of our bags being one of the last off the plane. The next flight was already full,
but they managed to get us onto the one after. Sigh. Some quick phone
calls let those waiting know that we would be late.
flights, but we had to go through customs in Sydney with the bags. My
nightmare of the hassle with 5 suitcases, 5 carry ons, baby and coats etc on
and off planes came true. What a pain. The boys were tired and cranky (as
were we) and we were rushing them to try and make our flight. Not a fun
experience for any of us.
lap and fell asleep before we took off on the domestic route, and she slept
through the entire trip and even the rough landing. She woke only when
people started moving about the cabin. As far as she was concerned, people
got on the plane, sat down and then turned around and got off the plane.
excited bouncing Jacqui, with flowers and balloon. It was very special and it
took away the stress of trying to fit us all (and the luggage) into the Prado,
as the Stents were able to take a couple of cases, and Joshua too, who was
eager to beat us home and see Moni.
Avalon Airport for us, as they were flying in to meet their niece and cousin
and flying out the next day.
place with welcome home banners, balloons, cooked up a storm and
restocked our fridge. What an amazing thing to do for us. For the drive home,
I was on cloud 9 - so excited!! Jade looked tiny in her big car seat (still
reversed), and she played happily the whole trip home, as we were all singing
and clapping hands. She is not fazed at all by a racket - just joins in with her
many people have joined in this journey with us, it was lovely for them to see
her arrive home. Sue, James, Jacqui, Kim, Patrick, Jonathan, Benjamin,
Nicholas, William, Jackson, Princess Jazmin ("do I get to meet my sister
Jade today?"), Melissa, Rob, Kelsie and Andrew, gave us all a lovely
welcome home and some lovely gifts for Jade too. We all had something to
eat and drink and then the visitors took their leave, to give us some quiet time
settling Jade into her new environment. It was lovely Melissa and her family
could make it over, as it might be a long time between visits.
his school work. Jade had gone to bed about 11.30pm (8.30pm China Time)
and woke at 9am (6am China time). I was hanging around in her room for her
to wake up, so I could reassure her and show her around her room. She woke
with a lovely smile. We visited the Dr, and he thinks it is best to continue with
the antibiotics she is on until the end of the week. I will give the other
medicines a rest though. We had a lovely day on Tuesday with her Uncle,
Aunty and cousins, (sweet Taylor spent so much time with his young cousins,
playing games and taking them fishing), and they then cooked us a lovely
BBQ and salads, so that we could both focus on just the baby and unpacking
the suitcases. It made our first day home very special. We collected Rusty
the Jack Russell from the kennels, and she is really not sure about him -
prefers to be in your arms when he is around.
full nights sleep. Today she woke at 7am, when Alex was up with the boys
getting them ready for school, and he put her in bed with me, where we both
slept until 9am. She has been a bit fidgety this morning, and I actually think
she is missing the boys who have been so much a part of her life over the
last few weeks. I can't wait to see her face light up when they get home from
school. Alex has been de-spidering (how quickly they take over!!) with the
vacuum and Jade in a sling. So cute.
work for me, although things will never really be the same again.
has been a huge wait of over 4 years, and a real pain to get here, but it is oh
so worth every single moment and so much more. I would like to thanks
those that have been there on this journey before us, that have supported us
through the tough times. I hope we can do the same with families on their
own journeys in the future.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Hotel and then the Airport with no luck.
This is Sunday's email:
Well today is our last in China. We catch the bus for the airport at 4pm,
and arrive in Melbourne at 1.30pm tomorrow after transferring in Sydney.
Jade continues to be a delight, but we now remember what sleepless nights
are all about, as Jade has had two trips to hospital and has been diagnosed
with bronchitis. Finally we were able to get antibiotics after they took
blood to check her white blood count. Interesting mix of medications we
have been given after the two visits. We have drops for up her nose, adult
cough mixture, fever medication, 2 kids cough mixtures, anti diarrhoea
medication, and powdered sachets of antibiotics – I need to mix 1/3 of a
sachet of granules with water, quite tricky. Anyway she takes the medicine
like a trouper now, and after 3 doses seems to be improving. I am looking
forward to taking her to my doctor though. The Chinese Dr asked me if
Jade had a rash, and I just mentioned the spots over her that seemed to be
old scars. Again maybe scabies scars, I queried, but no-one seems to
know. The Dr. asked me how long she has had them, and I said she has
had them since the first time I saw her last week, but really I have no idea.
I can’t believe how little information I have on her past health.
She has fared better than her batchmate Jessica, who has been visiting
hospital for drip medication for pneumonia. Poor little mite. But she too is
improving and will be visiting her own Dr in Australia very soon.
We enjoyed our visit to the Zhou Zhang Water Town – China’s answer
to Venice, and where Arthur had his first date with Susan. We had a
lovely day there and the shopping was amazing. The boys helped Gerard
with Zheng Fei who is 4 and who was missing his new Mama who had to
return to Melbourne early. He thought our boys were wonderful and he
hung off their arms all day.
We were looked after wonderfully by the ANZ on Friday. We got to
have a good look at the new office in Shanghai, and Daniel organised a
lovely Shanghaiese lunch with Fang, her husband Mark, James and Frank,
and Daniel even had some lovely gifts for all of us which will be treasured.
We were very spoilt. After lunch Mark then took the boys shopping,
giving Alex and I some hotel time with Jade.
There is a photo of Jade from the 26th Feb, when she tried to pull off my
red thread and jade bracelet, and I decided to give it to her to play with.
The bracelet was an adoption gift early on our journey from Sue Stent,
and has been on my wrist for almost 4 years without ever being removed.
There is a saying in China that two people destined to be together are
connected by a red thread, and it will never break. Jade and I have now
been drawn together, and I no longer feel the need to wear it. She
seemed very excited by it.
Saturday was Alex’s 45th Birthday. The Hotel Manager rang to say that
they would be sending up a cake from the kitchen, which was a lovely
surprise for him when he answered the door. I had organised some bird
and flower water colour books for him, sadly all in Mandarin, but he can
see the pictures. I had given the boys some money to get him something
else, but they failed to find anything suitable. So we will have to make it up
to him when home. As I had a bit of an upset tummy, I sent him out with
the boys to enjoy themselves, and they caught the fast train, 431km, to the
airport and back. This was the exact time when Jade’s temp went through
the roof and I had to manage a hospital trip with her in a sling on my front,
my backpack on my back, our coats and medical documents in my hand,
and my upset tummy. While waiting I had to prepare a bottle and feeding
at the hospital, and then get back to the hotel when I failed to take their
card with their address in Mandarin. Argh. I do not know how single
parents can do it.
Later in the afternoon we met up with Fang and her family again, and we
got to go to the Peoples Park where the boys had bumper car and pirate
ship rides with Fang’s daughter Ming. We thought the gardens themselves
were busy but still relaxing. It was funny to see the number of groups of
middle aged+ folks sitting around advertising their marriageable-aged
children for matchmaking purposes. We then went on to the Yu Yuan
gardens with them to finish off our purchases, where Fang assisted us with
the bargaining, and we had a lovely meal of dumplings before Fang took us
back to our hotel. The Bund Hotel, not on the Bund. Tricky.
This morning at breakfast we met Australia’s newest twin Chinese girls
and their parents from Darwin, who have just started their last week of
their journey before flying home. Today Alex and the boys have headed
back to the Yu Yuan gardens, to collect some orders from last night, then
it will be time to pack these 2 bomb sites that are our rooms into 5
suitcases. We are hoping we will not have to organise another China Post
Parcel, but we will see. Luckily we have 10kg allowance for Jade, so we
will be able to be over our 20kg each limit a little.
We are looking forward to seeing those of you that are meeting us at the
airport, and those that are gathering at our place to welcome Jade home.
I know that you will understand if we seem a little tired and Jaded (no pun
intended), but here’s hoping we, and the rest of the passengers, get a good
nights sleep on the plane. Although so sad at leaving, I am really looking
forward to being home again, and getting into our own normal daily routine
with our little one.
I hope to catch up with everyone sometime real soon, and you can meet
our little treasure in person.
Jade and Yasmin - travel buddies
Monday, February 25, 2008
Well we survived the Medical. After weighing, with
clothes on at 9kgs, and 72.5cm tall and 43 cm head
circumference it was time for the Dr’s checkup of
listening to heart, lungs, tummy, sitting skills (good),
crawling skills, ie.None. The lady Dr. asked ‘me’ what
the spots were on her tummy & back? I said I had no
idea, but suspected scars from scabies? They look old,
just darker dots remain. She thought overall she was
very healthy and happy.
Next came the dreaded Nurses with the blood tests. They
actually took very good care of her, the two of them
spent ages checking her arms, elbows and wrists for
veins with no luck and then each leg and ankle. After
about 10mins while Jade was getting quite upset they
finally decided on the Left ankle. By this time we had
to hold her down, alex and I on the arms and me grabbing
the kicking right leg. After some horrific screaming at
the pain only a few minutes passed and it was all over.
We calmed her sobbing while Alex pressed hard on the
cotton wool ball. Once I picked her up the sobbing
stopped and she was giggling again while we dressed her.
The Dr came in to check and couldn’t believe it had been
done, by her smiling face. We thanked her and told her
we thought the nurses did a great job and showed lots of
care to get it right the first time. Apparently poor
Jessica was not so lucky having both arms tried before
her leg. Poor little mite.
We relaxed afterwards as a group at a Starbucks, my
first real coffee in two weeks. The weather here is
very cold to us around 7-8 degrees each day and down to
0-2degrees at night. After Nanchang 13-14 degrees it
really shows and we rug ourselves up for outside. Our
batchmates that have been up North(-17degrees) think we
Dad is back in charge of Jade, as he is dosed up from
the Chemist, and the medical is no longer an issue.
Anyway, no photos for today.
We are really hanging out for home now. We want to get
our Visa and get back to a regular routine. We will
make sure we do enjoy Shanghai though, as we don’t leave
until Sunday. The Medical was really our last milestone
and as long as the blood tests get passed in Sydney
within the next few days, we are clear.
Thankyou all for following our journey, I have enjoyed
writing these and recounting our adventures. It has
saved me writing a journal, as I have sent them to
myself, and will print them for Jades benefit when she
is older, as well as the lovely messages I have received
while we were here.
I will sign off with a comment from Jades Doctor today.
She thanked us with tears in her eyes, for our love that
showed for our child from China, and we told her we
were honoured to have her. Very heartfelt and moving.
Take care, hug your families,
We are in Shanghai and finally together with all our
batch mates - at least until Helen leaves tomorrow. It
has been great to catch up with everyone and everyone
seems to be doing really well with their little ones.
Although Jessica has been ill with a chest infection,
she is now on antibiotics and should be fine. Alex is
also coming down with some sort of flu, cough, chest
thing too, and as our medicals for the babies are
tomorrow, he has had to back right off from her in case
she gets a temperature or something and we are held here
for another week. So I have had to take over everything
for Jade, whether she likes it or not, with some welcome
help from the boys when called on, and she has been
really good with me. She is starting to love my kisses
and cuddles and little games we have. Alex will see a
doctor tomorrow if he is still bad in the morning - and
will be trading rooms with one of the boys tonight to
stay away from Jade. Sandi and Steve's Ming is such a
little 3 year old bundle of energy, and he had the boys
in fits of laughter with his pew-pew-pewing and turning
everything into a gun at dinner last night.
The hotel is fine, after a room change again to once
accommodate our request for a king bed, and although I
had heard stories about how unclean it is, it is a vast
improvement on our last hotel where we could play guess
the stains, on the carpet.
Shanghai is a completely different angle on China for us.
It doesn't have the same feel as the provinces, as it is
a modern day city. I was surprised to hear that 200
years ago it was not a city at all, but only a fishing
Today we went up the Pearl TV Tower - the 3rd largest
tower in the world after Toronto and then Mexico. The
boys were amazed to get off on the 263rd floor. What a
view. It is hard to get your mind around a city of
23-24 million and there is a vast sea of skyscrapers as
far as the eye can see for 360 degrees.
We have seen the celebratory status that Molly and
Yasmin have bestowed on them,but our boys got a taste of
it up in the Tower. A Tibetan tribe traditional family
asked the boys for photos and kept following them and
shaking their hands. Especially Joshua with his blonde
hair, and Taylor with his long hair.
Liam was upset that he did not get to dye his hair
before the trip, as he did not gather as much interest.
We have a new guide Jenny, and although she seems nice
and helpful, she is not Coby. I miss him already, we
all connected really well with him and he adored Jade.
We all gave him a very large tip, and Josh stayed up
late on the last night burning a dvd of all our Jiangxi
photos and video to give to him (he had requested it).
We have his email address and we plan to stay in touch.
I asked Jenny to point out the Raffles City building
where the ANZ is located, and where we are heading on
our first free day on Friday to meet up with Fang and
Daniel. It turns out it is only a couple of blocks away
from the Bund Hotel, about 5 minutes walk, and it can be
seen from our hotel window. Pure luck. I am looking
forward to see the new office and of course the Comms
I have been hearing about the best every Chinese
dumplings from a place directly across the road from the
hotel, so as Alex was giving us a wide berth, he went
out to get some for lunch. Poor guy, went to a place
for locals that did not understand him at all, but he
pointed, and came back with a pack of cold, uncooked
dumplings. Cute. We will have to try and find the
correct place tomorrow, Sandi has it on a map.
Tomorrow is the day we have been dreading - the medicals.
This step in our long journey is pretty horrific by all
accounts, but necessary to get the clearance back in
Australia for her to be allowed in. I just wish they
had perfected the art of gentleness. Even the guide
said that tomorrow has no plans in the afternoon, as you
will need to stay in the hotel with your very upset
babies. Great. Poor little soul. I can see a phobia
of men in white coats coming up. And no doubt I will
have to be the one to hold her down. Better for Alex
to stay bonded I guess. Wish us luck!
Tonight we have been told to stay in the hotel, so the
babies don't get cold and sick at the last moment before
tomorrow, so it is off to the Russian Restaurant in the
Hotel tonight. That should be quite a change!
I will send an update tomorrow on how we got through the medical.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Another day passes bonding with our little one. She is
eating everything she can get her hands on and does not
seem to react (so far) to anything she has been given.
We went to the Teng Wang Pavilion today and then for
some Jiangxi Pottery shopping. We have decided to
chance China Post to send it home rather than their
shipping as the shipping would have cost over double the
cost of the items again. We will wrap things well in
bubble wrap, and see what arrives unscathed. I was
recently discussing that broken pottery could make a
nice outdoor garden mosaic, so that will be our worst
We also went to a department store and bought some nice
clothes for Jade for now and this coming winter (marked
down, as it is spring now in China) including the
requisite down jacket. She looks so cute in it. I
shouldn’t mention that we also bought a sippy cup and
some grape juice as we left for the shopping in a hurry
and left the baby bag at the hotel. I got the boys to
join us and bring the bag, and they turned up after the
1km walk also without the bag. So it was off for a
rushed dinner and taxi ride home to get Jade her nappy
change and bottle that were way overdue. Such a good
baby though, she only got a little grizzly.
The boys have been a godsend, and I am so thrilled to
share this journey with them. They are always ready to
pick up the video camera, or still camera or share the
load of the backpacks or shopping, as well as playing
with Jade, and taking over the feeding when needed. I
really don’t think we would cope as well without them.
She recognises and adores them. Unless, like she is
with me, when she is cranky, then she wants only Dad.
Today Taylor 14 has been our biggest worry. Firstly he
also had a bout(thankfully mild) of upset tummy, with
vomiting etcetera, and he stayed home and missed out on
the Pavilion. (Sadly, as they do family snapshots in
full Chinese regalia, but it did not feel right getting
one without him). Secondly, when the boys stayed back
at the hotel when Alex, I and Jade went to the department
store for baby clothes, I get a call from Josh saying
Taylor had cut himself with John’s leatherman that he
had borrowed for the screwdriver for his models, and
bled a lot, and although it had stopped he had nearly
passed out on the bathroom floor. We got him to call
reception for first aid, and dashed for a taxi (we were
only a few minutes away). On our way down the
escalators Irang Josh for an update, and he said they
were not going to call downstairs, Taylor was fine now,
it was a surface cut, and had stopped completely. Taylor
had just reacted to the blood on an already weakened
stomach. Only one of the hotel towels had really
suffered. Whew. Not a nice feeling to be even a few
minutes away when needed.
Today is the last day of the Spring Festival. What a
time to be in China. There are literally thousands of
fireworks exploding across the skyline. We even had
them being lit from the building right next to us. The
boys had earlier tried to talk us into letting them buy
some for tonight, but after todays accident, I know we
made the right decision to stay firm on that one.
Alex and Josh are walking the street at the moment,
soaking it all up and videoing. Although we were very
saddened not to spend it with Meng and her family, our
thoughts are with them and her ailing Mother in Law.
May there be better news for you just around the corner.
Tomorrow is a free day for us with shopping and a trip
to China Post, before we start packing ready for our
early Saturday morning flight to Shanghai.
It will be sad to leave Jade’s province but it will be
great to catch up with all the other batch mates from
Victoria. So with sounds of exploding fireworks filling
the room, and the soft sounds of a sleeping baby, I
will sign off.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Today was a long, tiring and emotional day. Yichun is
about a 2 hour+ bus ride one way from Nanchang. We left
after 10am (I had forgotten how much there is to
organise for a days outing with a baby and we still
managed somehow to only take one nappy change). After
having lunch on arrival in Yichun I was able to take the
Director of the orphanage himself shopping at a local
supermarket with the funds raised by ANZ. They were
facing a real shortage of Baby Milk Powder, and with the
$400 AUS raised we were able to overfill 3 shopping
trolleys, with lots of Formula, as well as some Rice
Cakes, Fruit and Bread for the little ones. We drew
quite a curious crowd of onlookers in the shopping
The visit to the orphanage was started by meeting the
Foster Mother. We had just found out the day before
that both Jade and Jessica (also being adopted in
Melbourne) were cared for by Foster families from Birth
until 4 months of age (once they start preparing for
adoption they must return to the orphanage apparently).
On stepping out of the bus, we found they were cared for
by the exact same Foster Mother. So not only are they
one week apart in age, and spent until 9 months of age
in the same orphanage they were with the same carer for
that first crucial time in their lives. A very special
bond. The foster mother had a visible attachment to
Jessica, and there were lots of tears.
Then it was into the babies room. Oh my. 5-6 little
toddlers walking around. 4 or 5 in walkers and a couple
of newborns asleep in the beds. They were a select few
of the 20-30 babies currently living there. We had only
just walked in, and this little darling walked straight
up to me and put her arms up. Of course I picked her up
(split pants and all) and she started chuckling away and
talking to me. Coby, the guide, tried to take her from
me, but she reached back for me. We had a bit of a play
together, and then I put her down. Straight up came her
arms, so I just had to have another cuddle with the
precious little soul. At one stage I handed her over
to Sharon, who got a few steps away and back she reached
for me… She was a hefty little thing and after 10
minutes or so, I needed to put her down, so the only
option was to sit on the floor with her. At one stage
a carer came and got her, and I was able to walk around
and have a proper look at the tiny little newborns and
the tiny 3 month old in the walker, but she was like a
homing pigeon, and she was quickly back in my arms. I
finally put her down for some formal family photos with
the Foster Mother, but if you look carefully there are
little fingers holding mine, waiting to be picked up.
So then it was time for one last cuddle, before I had to
say goodbye to her. There was much laughter from the
carers, they kept calling me Mama, and Jade her Mei Mei
(little sister), if only it was that simple. I was
able to find out a little more information about her and
was thrilled to hear that this little 2 year old is
about to be adopted (boy is she ready) in about a month.
She was abandoned at 1 year old. Very sad.
From there we went to the babies Finding Places at
opposites ends of the city. Mr. Deng was gracious
enough to guide us through the streets to find the exact
locations. Very special. Jade was left at an aged
persons home, and the old men gathered around to see why
this foreigner was taking photos with a baby at their
gate. I asked the guide to explain it to them, but
apparently his mandarin has changed a lot from theirs.
However, the story must have got through, for as we left
there was a group at the gate, clapping and cheering us
We got back to the hotel at 7pm, tired and ready for a
quiet night in.
We are starting to learn Jade’s little quirks so we can
anticipate her needs. So far we are bumbling our way
through ok. She is a delight.
All the boys are getting more confident with holding her
and Taylor even did his first bottle today, although
when she fell asleep in his arms, he had to hand her
over after about 10 mins (how is she so heavy?)
Anyway enough for now. Tomorrow we are visiting a local
Pavilion, and shopping, and it now looks like we will
meet up with Mengs family late tomorrow afternoon/evening,
which will be lovely.