Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

Friday, January 29, 2010

All is Well...we have been home two weeks today!

We are happy to report Faith is feeling better! She had her follow up appointment yesterday and her chest is clear and her fevers are gone! Now that she is feeling better we are seeing more of her personality. She did have several vials of blood drawn yesterday and was such a trooper. She cried but really it was not that bad and she immediately settled down when I picked her up to comfort her. She has definitely bonded with us.

She has been the source of much laughter in our home with her silly ways. I will call her a funny girl, and she will say " Ma Ma funny girl!" She also loves confined spaces, on the airplane she would squeeze down by our feet and play for a while. Since we have been home, she will find the kids gym bags, empty them and get inside them. She also likes to be carried around in them. We are not sure what this means. We laugh and think of the Seinfeld episode when Kramer rents out his large drawers to Chinese guests and they say it's just like home. Maybe Faith slept in a drawer?

Here she is in Dallin's backpack !

Jensen's basketball gym bag

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A sick little girl...but still so dang cute! (Gwuy)

It's been a rough few days. Faith had a cough and fever with a sore throat in China when we meet her. We immediately began her on an antibiotic we brought with us from home. Her throat hurt so badly she wouldn't even make a sound. She quickly responded to the medicine we gave her and by her medical appointment in China she just has a small cough but no fever. We were hoping that would be the end of her fevers.
Unfortunately Sunday afternoon she developed a fever of 104 and it continued for three days until we could get her into our pediatrician. We were able to manage it with Motrin and Tylenol, but she was miserable and not sleeping well. The doctor did a few tests and believes her fever is being caused by an infection in her lungs. We have been given a nebulizer and are treating her 3 times a day for 7 days with Albuterol and she had also been given Zithromicine. She is a little trouper and takes the treatments very well. She also loves her bed. She actually slept in it last night. (However I didn't sleep at all because I kept worrying she would fall out of it and I checked in on her every hour.)



Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Our Journey Home!

We are finally home! Actually it's been a few days but we have been so caught up in the moment that blogging was put on the back burner.

Remember my last post where I said we are not phased by tantrums...well I was wrong. Faith is in total control here. I had the best laid plans for her to be well dressed to meet her family. I packed the cutest outfit in a carry on bag and planned to change her in the bathroom at the airport before we met everyone. I knew she didn't like socks and shoes and thought it was a stroke of luck when she fell asleep on the plane. I decided to change her then. She slept through the entire process and I felt such triumph.

However it was short lived because when we touched down and she woke up , she quickly realized her leggings and shoes were on her somehow; and threw the best fit...comparable to the day she got her shots. So in her pictures you will see she is happy and wearing barely anything. The spicy girl won out.

Our friends who also adopted from China were there to welcome us along with Teiha and our children. What a wonderful sight! We are so thankful our friend Dawn brought her camera and captured some wonderful pictures. Truely a moment like none other for our family. We sure miss our dear sweet Spencer who is serving a mission for our church in California...and only can imaging the joy we will feel when he arrives home in July. Then we will really be complete. Faith was well prepared to meet her siblings and recognized them at once. They each got a turn holding her. Our home was also decorated by our oldest daughter Kylee and our good friend Beth came over to help prepare some sticky rice and hard boiled eggs the day before. They also left her a trycicle and some other wonderful toys. Thanks to everyone who made this transition so easy for us and our children at home. WE ARE SO Blessed!

Faith's clock is off and we have been up until 2 am every night... tonight I switched up the routine and gave Faith a bath, she quieted down and fell asleep at 10 pm. We are all hoping she will sleep the entire night.

We are also thankful that the kids are not in school tomorrow, one more day to play together before the crazy schedule begins again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leaving Guangzhou today!!!

Well we are done…today we begin our travels home!  Faith had a great day yesterday.  She is realizing that her little fits don’t work on us,  and when she doesn’t get what she wants she gets over it much more quickly.   We didn’t have any tours scheduled…we just hung out and went to lunch.   We also traveled to the US Consulate to take the oath.  Basically we swear under oath that everything regarding our documents is true and correct.  It was a lot easier than I expected and didn’t take very long. They don’t allow pictures at the Consulate.  Also the young woman who did the swearing in ceremony said she was from Utah.  Afterward we approached her and asked if she was LDS, she said yes and that she had served a mission in Taiwan before working at the US Consulate…she also said there were about six other LDS return missionaries working in her office.  Very cool.   Later that night we ate dinner with some families in our travel group at a German restaurant that is located in a train car.  It was really fun.  Faith was very well behaved and is understanding English better each day.  She also slept through the night and slept in until 7 am.  Too bad we are going to have to readjust again when we get home.  Faith is as excited as we are to leave and has been very helpful packing her suitcase.   We found her some squeaky shoes this morning and she is happily wearing them now.  We could not get her to keep shoes and socks on…until the squeaky shoes!  She now says bubbles when she is in the bath… and she sings, “ E I E I O… as in Old MacDonald.  Very cute. 


We have heard that the train station is a little confusing…so hopefully today will go smoothly.  I have not been able to view our blog  or see any comments while here…just update and make slide shows, I hope I haven’t ignored anyone.   Thanks to my friends and family for supporting and feeding my children at home.   I really appreciate the home cooked meals that were made.  They are excited for me to come home and are tired of fast food.  I guess a lot of pizza was had.  We can’t wait to start a new normal life with little Faith home.  She is such a beautiful blessing to us and we have so much gratitude to a loving Heavenly Father.  This has definitely been a spiritual journey  and we have grown so much.  We feel so complete. 


Till we meet again!




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Guangzhou day 4 {Red Couch Picture}

Ok…I think everyone in our group has hit a wall…we are done and want to be home.  It is getting a little old doing the hotel and eating out routine every day.  Also we have had our laundry done three times now.    At least we got to sleep in and hang out because of the consulate interview.  We also found out that our adoption agency sends a representative for us to the interview; that was nice.  Faith took a great nap during this time.  They had no questions about our paperwork and we get to take the oath tomorrow. 


We also had the traditional red couch picture taken in the hotel lobby…that was a joke.  I will post all the attempts of getting the children to sit still while on the couch… my personal favorite is Faith sticking her legs in the air spread eagle.  She is very Spicy! 


We had two tantrums today…one when we woke her early from her nap to go shop and the other when we wouldn’t let her have the entire plate of watermelon to play with on her plate with chopsticks.  She screamed the entire walk back to the hotel and we had many onlookers.   If she spoke English she would have understood me tell her that I have had 4 children and I am not fazed by tantrums.   We should get it on video. Jeff said to me. “ how can such a tiny thing create such havoc?” 


It’s a bit of a bummer because we were going out with another couple to dessert and hot chocolate, but her tantrum cut the night short.  As soon as we got back to the hotel she fell asleep. 


We also walked around the hotel and the grounds are beautiful…Uploading some pictures of that also.


Putting Faith to bed…goodnight J



Monday, January 11, 2010

Buddhist temple and shopping...

Hello…things are going great here in China!  Faith is feeling much better today and we went back to the medical clinic to check her TB test and it is negative.  She is now clear to get her visa into the USA!!!  We will go to an interview with the US consulate tomorrow, then on Wednesday we take the oath and Thursday we pick up her visa and take a train to Hong Kong for the night.  Our trip is winding down and we are so excited everything has gone so well and can’t wait to get Faith home to meet her family! 

The hotel here is just lovely…there is also a play room where we took her to play with other children and just be silly.  She loved it there.  She was really shy around the other children and kept really close to us.  There were some very aggressive children in there that night.   She definitely has boundaries.  We will have to be watchful of that when we get home.  Also she is a very picky eater .  We have a big celebration when we find an item she will eat.   So far she likes butter pretzel sticks, yogurt drinks, hard boiled eggs, watermelon, apples, egg drop soup with noodles, mandarin oranges and Pringles chips.

After the shots she wanted to be held all day and would not sit in the stroller,  I am just grateful my back has held up.   I have a slight herniated disk and when the back goes I am down for a while.   The beds here are really hard, and I am sure that is helping my back hold up. 

Faith is starting to get comfortable enough around us to really have some fantastic tantrums.  She will not wear her coat, and last night when we would not open a chocolate for her (because she doesn’t like them and spits them out ) she had another one.    I think having been a parent before has prepared us well for these moments, and we really just let her have her melt downs.  Some parents are already punishing or disciplining their children… the only real frustration we have experienced is when we are out shopping and she won’t put her coat on for us…then a nice Chinese speaking woman will explain to Faith in Chinese why she needs to wear a coat and Faith will just calm right down and put on her coat and Jeff and I are like “ I wish we spoke Chinese!”   Also as soon as we are out of sight of the person who told her that she will fuss and scream and take her coat off herself.  GrrRR. 

Also interesting is the constant question of “Is she special needs?”   She looks and acts very normal, and seems to understand and speak Chinese very well.  If she has a disability it seems to be very minor.  I can’t wait to get her home for her MRI and really find out if the CT scan done here was even hers.   From what we see she acts and seems like a normal 2 year old.  

Her blessing at the Buddhist temple was a beautiful ceremony.  There are many similarities in their ancient religion that coincide to ours.  There is also a wonderful Catholic woman in our adoption group and she was amazed at the symbolism that related to her faith.  She made a comment to me that I agree with…”truth transcends all.”  There are pieces of the gospel everywhere when we look for them.  They had three large golden Buddha’s where we knelt for the blessing… They represented “past, present and future.”    We were sprinkled with water and closed our eyes for a prayer.  We also took off our shoes when we entered the temple.  It was just such an amazing experience… I was grateful to be a part of it.  One Christian family decided to skip the ceremony…I think because they thought it would be worshiping a false idol.   I personally don’t think Heavenly Father considers us participating in that ceremony worship, and I am glad he knows my heart.  Also… there was a beautiful spirit there…He loves all his children and wants to bless them.  Once the gospel opens up there it will be amazing, because there are so many things they already understand through Buddhism. 

After the temple we went shopping to the pearl factory…I totally scored a beautiful pink pearl ring!   We got a lot done yesterday and are feeling ready to head home.  We wish the US consulate didn’t drag out the visa process, just this year another 24 hour waiting period was added, so we are here for an extra day.    I am uploading pictures from the temple…they are horrible…we took our little camera and the guide took the pictures and they didn’t turn out very well.  It was also raining that day and the Buddhists’ believe that when someone is visiting the temple  and it rains they are considered distinguished guests. 

Enjoy the pics!



Sunday, January 10, 2010


We just love Guangzhou…it is a charming city.  The weather is like Hawaii and the architecture is a mix of 3 world with French Provincial.  Faith had a rough night her first night here.  He immune system is not holding up very well to the shots she received.  She woke up with a high fever at two am and never went back to sleep.  We gave her a bath and Motrin to calm her down, but we have been holding her a lot.  Day two we went to a beautiful Safari Park.  It was just amazing.  She enjoys the stroller and that has been nice.  She doesn’t like to be too close to the animals so we kept our distance at the exhibits.  There are more pictures to load… Hopefully I will get some time later. 

We have meet up with 11 families here and are enjoying the social life.  We went to a wonderful Italian restaurant the first night and then went to a massage parlor where they do group massages.   They let you take your children in with you and they have cartoons and oranges to keep them busy.  We were surprised that we were able to stay for an hour massage with Faith just relaxing and watching us. 


We also enjoyed Lucy’s Restaurant the second night.  It was just fabulous American style food.  We will be visiting there often.  We met a couple that is from Idaho that is also LDS and we have enjoyed getting to know them better.  This is their 3rd adoption from China and they have 6 children now. 


This morning we are getting ready to go to a temple where Faith will get a blessing.  Then we are doing some shopping.  I never got those Chinese dresses made…and now I hope it’s not too late. 


Have a great day!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Adoption is not for wimps...

Hello...I missed my nightly update because we were traveling to another province (Guangdong) to complete Faith's immigration into the USA. If they made every family who has biological children go through what we have had to do to adopt, our world would be much less populated.

Yesterday we got to spend a little time at the hotel packing and waiting for Faith's Chinese passport. It has been a very long 5 days in her province Hunan. Mostly because there is very little to do when the weather is cold. We are all a little stir crazy. Also...some of the toys are broken in the play room at the hotel and that just makes Faith so mad.

We did get out with the stroller for the first time and took a very long walk. We had the most interesting walk of our lives. We ended up walking past a public elementary school just as it was getting out for the day. It seems none of these children have every seen an American. About 3 girls around the age of 10 said "hello" and were so proud to try out their English on us. When we replied back, they ran and told everyone else, and we had about 50 small children swarm the stroller and us, ( with no respect to boundaries) they were all yelling "hello... Happy New Year!" We felt like celebrities for a few moments. We just kept walking, I was a little worried that Faith might panic, but she did ok. After about a mile of this they slowly stopped following us. We also ate dinner at KFC...horray American FOOD!!!! Faith likes chicken nuggets . Jeff and I both want Mexican food like crazy and that is the first thing we are doing when we get back. These were the only really interesting things we did until our flight which was at 8:30 pm. I will upload some pictures later.

Also Faith has been told she would take a plane to USA with her MaMa and BaBa...she told our guide in Chinese she was excited to go on the plane. She did so very well. We continue to be amazed by this little empress. In China the parents call their girls empress's instead of princess. We got a picture of her first plane ride from Changsha to Guangzhou. We are in a tropical climate now and it's perfect today. We don't even need jackets. Our hotel is on Shamian Island. It is called the White Swan and we love this hotel so much! It has an indoor waterfall, with coi fish, and a beautiful view of the lake.

This morning was rough for all the adoptive children. We met up with 10 other families that are here from our agency. It was nice to have some other people to speak English to other than our guide. All the children needed medical exams and a TB test and shots to immigrate to the US. We sat in a very small building with about 100 other people and many screaming children for over 2 hours. Faith needed 6 shots and her TB test was a long shot in the underside of her forearm. Just as these kids start to bond, we have to hold them down and hurt them. We were all very angry about this. They use to let parents waive these shots and agree to do it in the states, now they have made it a requirement. It was very traumatizing for everyone. Many moms were crying along with their children. Faith was a trooper. When they explained to her in Chinese what they were going to do...she told them she had had IV's before. Very smart ! It broke my heart that at age two she knows the word for IV Therapy.

They gave each of the 7 shots one at a time, and I had to pin her down and hold her head. She screamed and cried "ma ma...ma ma" they should have just ripped out my heart also. After we were all done they gave her a candy...it was coffee flavor..just gross. She spit it right out. Luckily we had some swedish fish and she calmed down very quickly. I would say she did better than most children...probably because of the iv therapy. When we got back to the hotel room the staff had left a Barbie for Faith. It was an adoption Barbie called "Going Home" She was beautiful and blonde holding a little Chinese girl. Faith loves it. She says "ma ma and Si Si" So cute. ( I am secretly thinking wow ...really a hottie barbie for a mom figure. Good luck meeting that expectation)

We are now at the hotel and she is napping. We are excited to go eat out at Lucy's restaurant here... Everyone loves it. Also we have reservations tonight to go with our group to an Italian restaurant. That should be interesting.

Also, Faith didn't have a fever, and no ear infections. Thank you T for helping us out! She is so much more healthy than when we meet 5 days ago.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Changsha Day 4

Today we had a wonderful visit with a representative from the nonprofit group that is working with special needs children in our daughter’s province.  International China Concern.  We also were able to deliver the clothing and knit hat donations to them directly…now we know for sure that the children in her orphanage will get them.  They are a wonderful couple from Australia that moved to China 9 years ago.  Justin and Lisa… we didn’t get pictures with them because we were so involved in conversation.  They took us to coffee, it was nice to get out of the hotel.  We have been cooped up here for several hours since the weather is so cold and we only have one two hour tour scheduled each day.   They have such big hearts they have devoted their lives to these Chinese children. 


Lisa and Justin had 3 failed pregnancies while living in Australia.  Lisa met a representative from ICC and her and Justin knew they wanted to help these children in China, and also thought it would be a good way to be around children.  They gave up everything in Australia came to China and studied Chinese for 2 years here.  Lisa got pregnant while in China…the doctors here in China were able to figure out why she kept having still born children and now they have three biological children of their own.  The children all go to public school here and speak Chinese better than they do.  The organization has purchases 3 homes and now some of the severely disabled children that have grown to adults live there for free while learning a vocation such as card making.   They just do amazing work.  These children would most likely die on the streets when they aged out of the orphanage or be homeless and unskilled.  This couple is one of the most Christ like people we have ever met.  Their life work is all about service.  They also take no salary.  They are supported completely by donations to the organization.  If you can please make a donation to ICC…I have seen firsthand where those funds go and we are so grateful to them. 


We then came back to the hotel and had a nap before our visit to the embroidery factory.  The Hunan province is world know for their work in silk .  Many US presidents have ordered portraits from this factory.  It takes the workers about 1 year working on a picture.  Some of the art had two sides that were completely different, like a tiger on one side and a panda on the other.  Just amazing!


SiSi has done so very well.  She had her first real cry last night,  just big tears and we couldn’t understand what she needed, and she was soooo frustrated

With us.  Luckily it only lasted about 5 minutes we then distracted her with coloring and singing.  She had to go wu baba…poop.  I think her tummy hurt and she didn’t know how to tell us.  We caught her going in her pull up and quickly put her on the potty…she was so happy to be on the potty.  I think she was potty training when she was at the orphanage.  We are glad she is not afraid of the toilet. 


Our Chinese is improving out of necessity and so is her understanding of English.  We are packing in the morning for our next flight to Guangzhou…this is where the US Consulate is.  We are expecting to meet up with 10 other adoptive families from our adoption agency.  It will be nice to speak English again. 

I have my own Chinese accent now, the other day I said “werry werry spicy”… instead of very very spicy.  Ha ha.   This is our last in country flight, we will be getting Sisi’s visa to enter the United States.  YEA!!!!


Dawn J

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Changsha Day 3

Hello everyone!  Happy Birthday to my daughter Kylee who is 17 today ( in China anyway)!  Today is day 3 and little Faith has done so well.  She slept through the night both nights and is following very closely to the schedule we were given.  We are having very cold temperatures for Changsha so our guide decided instead of an outdoor university tour we were going to do an indoor tour.  We went to a museum where they house the oldest archeological discovery in Hunan.  Tombs were unearthed in the seventies and excavated.  Three bodies were found with hundreds of artifacts.  These bodies were a husband a wife and their son. They were very prominent and wealthy.  It is very similar to a Egyptian tomb.   They date back to 186 years before Christ.  SOOOO interesting.  Little Faith fell asleep in the car on the way… so she missed most of it.  We took several pictures I will hopefully get to upload tonight. 


Faith had a few meltdowns today…nothing major.  She threw every single thing at lunch at the waitresses and onto the floor.  She also started crying and threw herself on the ground when I told  her she could not have a tea packet.  Luckily she was very easy to pick up and comfort.  Even funnier is after some time had passed she got a stool and went back to the tea and got it herself…then took it to Jeff to open.  She is smart!   Also…we can tell she is getting frustrated with the lack of communication.  Our guide says she speaks very good mandarin for her age and when our guide arrives they have entire conversations. 


I had my own sort of meltdown today… huge guilt that I cannot speak her language.  She deserves so much.  I felt very inadequate today when the guide was talking to her and she had so much to say.  She doesn’t even try to communicate with us in speech because she understands we cannot reply.   Faith also sings to herself at night…we asked our guide about it, and together they sang the most darling nursery rhyme.  Faith calmed down immediately when she was able to communicate and enjoy that song with someone who understood.  She so badly wants us to speak her words and know what she wants.  I can see the frustration in her facial expressions. 


On a positive note, she knows we are trying and will just laugh out loud at our horrible Chinese words and attempts to sing.  We were able to find and download the nursery rhyme she loves in Chinese and have played it today to her from the computer.   We are still getting lots of loves and we tell her I love you often.  I can’t wait for the moments when she will know what we mean when we say these words.


She was also very sick when we received her three days ago.  She has been suffering from tonsillitis for over a year, and she had a terrible cough and green runny nose.  She would speak in a whisper,  we believe because it was so painful to talk.  We started her on antibiotics the first day, and she is so different.  She is happy and loud and singing.  The coughs are fewer and the nose is not running any longer.  It is nice to see her healthy.  She is also eating better… she likes hard boiled eggs and noodles like top ramen.    She also loves rice cakes.


Every day we are getting to know our daughter better and are so happy to be  parents to such a beautiful little person.  She is still just darling…even with the meltdowns.


One last note…more for my own journaling…I have been suffering with a nasty head cold.  I am hoping it doesn’t turn into something worse…and today Jeff seems to be having the symptoms.  What a bummer we are sick right now.  It makes this just a little bit harder…I must have sneezed 50 times on the tour today, and my nose is cherry red.


Also Faith fell asleep at 5 pm today and it’s now 7:30 pm and she is still sleeping.  We are going to have a late night.  She walked about 100 big steps today in the hotel it must have worn her out early.





Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Changsha Day 3...the adoption is final!

Well it’s official…Faith is our daughter!  We met again at the Chinese Adoption Bureau to finish our paperwork and have the documents notarized.  You will see us putting our fingerprints on the documents and Faith putting her handprint.   After that we went to Wal-Mart…yes there is one in Changsha.  It was quite the experience.  I posted pictures from today.  Faith continues to be just charming and we are having a fantastic time with her.   It’s been awhile since we had a toddler, and our first experience to a restaurant was hilarious.  First they didn’t speak a lick of English…second they had glass tableware already set on the table, and third Faith grabbed everything she could and made the most noise we have heard out of her… I am sure it’s because she liked the attention from the other diners.  Faith eventually got ahold of a plate and threw it on the hard tile floor…it made a huge sound!  I was just happy it didn’t break. We quickly changed our minds about eating out and came back to the hotel to order room service.  


She enjoyed chicken nuggets and her first French fries…she loved them.  She has many behaviors similar to our other children…she stores food in her mouth for hours,  our daughter Kylee also did this.  She is picky like Jensen…she picked out the little white seeds from her watermelon and picked all the vegetables out of her fried rice. She also picked the skin off of lima beans and eats the bean.   She is also a spicy Hunan girl…she likes garlic--- A LOT!  And now she stinks to high heaven  J 


She likes to wrestle with her dad, and they are very playful.  She has repeated all the kids names Spencer, Kylee Jensen and Dallin, and also the words “I love you”  She loves her backpack and takes it everywhere we go.  We have several picture books and a pillow we sent to her with our picture on it.  She loves to look at the pictures and say all our names when pointing to us. 


My mom will laugh about this little habit…she sucks her left thumb!  Yes I sucked my left thumb also.  I always was surprised I didn’t have a child with that habit… well now I do.   She also hums herself to sleep and it is so cute! 


We also got her passport pictures and documents done, we will have those by Friday before we travel to Guangzhou and the American Consulate to get her immigration paperwork done. 


What a journey!!!



Day 3 Beijing

I just uploaded the few pictures we took on our travel day out of Beijing on Sunday… not a day worth remembering as far as the stress and the long wait at the airport…but a day to remember because it made our Monday Gotcha day possible.  The final count of grounded airplanes was 590…with 7 flying out.  We were reminded of the day our daughter Kylee was born 17 years ago…  the hospital was snowed in and no one could get home.  We were lucky we lived close, and barely made it home before another big storm hit.  None of our family could make the 15 minute drive to come see us for at least 5 days. 


It seems there is something to us getting daughters at the same time there is a great snow storm.  I will have to look up some fables and see if it means anything.  Also our official adoption happened today January 5th 2010…our daughter Kylee’s birthday is January 6th.  These sisters already have quite a few things in common.


She is wanting my attention so I will finish my post and upload more later tonight .