Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wednesday Packing Up

Not much exciting going on here. Weather continues to be ugly although we are leaving today and the sun is shining. I asked a shop person when it stops raining here. She told me it rains most of the summer and the mugginess never ends.

It is around noon Wednesday and we are packing up. We check out at 2pm and head to the U.S. Consulate shortly after checking out. After our appointment we are headed to the train station for a 5pm train to Hong Kong. We ended up taking the train again when we found out the bus ride was 3 hours and we would have to change buses at some point plus it was over twice as much to take the bus. Bob is going to help us check our luggage on the train so we won't have to handle it til the end. We will then take a taxi to our hotel which is attached to the airport in Hong Kong.

Patrick is very tired of being in the hotel. The honeymoon is over. He is in to everything and does not like the word "no". He just goes back to whatever you told him "no" to and laughs. We still can't complain..he is still a happy guy and doing well. I think he's as ready to get out of here as we are.

So we are out of here in a bit....headed home. This is a wonderful place to visit but there's no place like home. I'm not looking forward to the plane ride, jet lag, time difference, etc. but we'll get through it. Here's to a quick, peaceful (with Patrick sleeping most of the way :-) flight home.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

New Friends

Another family from our adoption agency have arrived here in Guangzhou. They just got in from Hubei province with their newest daughter Aliviah who is 2o months and very cute. Gail & Steve Maag are from Michigan and they are here with their other 2 adopted daughters Abby (6) and Anna (5) plus Steve's mom. Gail & I have corresponded via email when we were notified our Consulate appointments were on the same day. They have 2 grown children and now their 3 girls from China. We have had a great time shopping and eating out with them. Katie is especially happy to have the girls here.

Today (Monday) is Patrick's physical exam which is required by China to depart the country. It's a basic exam and usually doesn't take that long. You basically move from station to station complete the process.

Not much new here. Patrick continues to do well. He had a bit of a cold but that has cleared up. He is trying more and more to repeat what we are saying. He tries very hard to be understood and get the sounds right. He still does a lot of very serious jibber jabber like he is trying to tell us something but we can't figure it out. He can be a wild boy when he gets wound up. I can see Hailey telling him to settle down and behave. Josh will have to teach Patrick to take care of his toys. Patrick likes to try to kick and jump up & down on whatever he's playing with at the time.

We complete our U.S. Consulate paperwork today with Bob. He then takes it to the Consulate tomorrow. If all is correct we hear nothing. Then Wednesday at 4pm we have our Consulate appointment where we do the oath in a group that all our paperwork is true, blah, blah, blah then we are free to leave. We are going to take a bus from Guangzhou to Hong Kong vice take the train. The train was a great experience but we could not find elevators and we had to schlep our luggage up and down escalators. This was difficult to do especially since Katie had to handle her own luggage. It would be even more difficult to do with Patrick so we are opting to take the bus this time. The bus will drop us off at the Hong Kong airport where our hotel is located.

I have attached a video of Katie blowing bubbles and Patrick going crazy over them.

Happy Memorial Day! I hope your weather is better then ours.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday in Guangzhou

We had some sun yesterday so we ventured back to the department/grocery store we visited earlier in the week. It's kind of like a Walmart. We have gone everywhere without our guide Bob. It's pretty easy to get around here. We picked up some necessities (pull ups, snacks, etc.). Of course Katie had to get a new pair of shoes. We ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken which was located right next to the store. It ain't like home is all I can say. I ordered a chicken sandwich and I guess it was some kind of veggie chicken sandwich. It's easy to order over here as they have plastic menus with pictures and the words in English. You just have to remember to order your drinks without ice or there will be gastric problems later. Patrick had his first taste of mashed potatoes with gravy and he loved it. He had two orders. He is still picky with food. I don't think he got a whole lot of variety in the the orphanage because of his cleft palate. He will try most things but shake his head no if it doesn't interest him. He has really been sticking to rice and noodles. Getting back to the hotel from the department store was a different story. It took us about 45 minutes in the blazing heat to get a taxi. I fell down on my job and did not write down Bob's phone number in case we needed him. We finally made it back to the hotel. Bill now has Bob's phone number with him!

Patrick is still doing well. He has had a few hissy fits if something doesn't go his way but in general he's very cooperative. He loves being in his stroller. He climbs in and buckles the seat belt. Safety first with him. He loves riding in the car or van. He continues to be a gabby guy. He talks to us and we have no idea what he is saying. If he needs or wants something he gets his point across. He is a great sleeper...12-14 hours a night with a couple hour nap during the day. He is well regimented with his schedule from being in the orphanage. We still haven't decided if we're going to visit his orphanage on Monday. I teased him today at breakfast and waved bye bye pretending I was leaving. He cried big time. I felt bad for teasing him. He is well bonded to us know. It's amazing for such a short period. For these reasons, we hesitate to go back to his orphanage.

Today is my birthday...part of the celebration was breakfast at the White Swan Hotel which is the other popular hotel here in Guangzhou for people adopting. It's a beautiful hotel and we stayed there the other 3 visits here. The rooms there are very small which is why we opted for the Victory Hotel this time plus it's pretty expensive. Anyway, the breakfast buffet at the White Swan is huge and delicious plus expensive ($72 for the 3 of us with Patrick being free). We really enjoyed it. The Victory Hotel has a buffet but nothing like the White Swan.

Hailey and Josh continue to do well. It is great being able to talk to them everyday. We can't wait to see them. It is very hard being away from them.

I've included some photos of this morning at the White Swan Hotel.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 4 Let the Sun Shine In....Not!!!

Peace everybody...
Being silly again...

It's Thursday here and we had a bit of sunshine yesterday and today, just a little bit. It's difficult to be out running in the rain with a 3 year old in a stroller so we head out of the hotel whenever weather permits. We went on an adventurous walk through the pet and medicine market here in Guangzhou. It's a pretty good hike from our hotel and the weather cooperated for a while. In the pet market they have hundreds and hundreds of any kind of pet animals including puppies and kittens. I don't know who buys them because you really don't see that many dogs and cats here. Someone must be buying them. We ended up at McDonald's for Patrick's first taste of the stuff. He seemed to like it. It mostly stayed in his mouth so that's a good sign. We ended up taking a taxi back to the hotel because it ended up raining again.

Patrick continues to do well. He's testing the waters to see how much he can get away with but he is beginning to understand "no". We went shopping yesterday and he did a great job of going with the flow. We finished the Chinese side of our paperwork yesterday by applying for Patrick's Chinese passport. We had to go to the local police station to do the application. Katie had to use the restroom and she had her first exposure to a squatty potty. For those who don't know, it's basically a porcelain potty you stand over and do your business. She was appalled by the site of the potty. She had to go bad so she did use it, she wasn't happy about it though.

Bill continues to do what he does best here...sleep. I have never seen someone who can sleep so much. Katie is still having fun. It has been pretty boring with the weather but she's been a trooper.

We finally got access to English TV after three days of mourning for the victims of the earthquake. Bill is a happy man having TV and movies to watch.
Hailey & Josh are doing great. We sure miss them. Thanks Mom & Dad!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 2 in Guangzhou

Patrick slept about 13 hours the first night. We had to wake him up. He woke up in a great mood. He didn't act strange or scared to be with us. He is really a happy little guy.

We went with Bob to do our adoption paperwork and it was uneventful. It took a total of about 15 minutes. We then went to the a local department store like a Chinese Walmart. We bought a stroller but so far he would rather push it then ride in it. There has been not crying except when we tried to get him to ride in a cart at the department store.
Patrick seems very content. He is very smart. He wants to repeat everything we say. He can say basic words and he is difficult to understand but at least he is trying. He had his first bath and loved it. He talks constantly when awake. I think he will give Hailey a run for her money since she never stops talking either. At bedtime, he laughs and talks himself to sleep plus sucks his thumb. Last night we listened to about 30 minutes of jibber jabber until he fell asleep. He did take a nap in the afternoon without a problem. He can dress himself and will got potty when prompted. He does wear a pull up just in case. He went #2 on the potty and we were very excited. He loves books and likes to be read to. In all, I would say we are still amazed at the transition. We are very lucky but I know we are in the honeymoon phase.

Patrick will try any food. He is a chow hound. He can really eat. Like I said his cleft palate is huge. He does OK eating but sometimes he puts too much in his mouth and has to bring it back out. Yuck !
We haven't really done a whole lot of anything but walk around and some shopping. The weather continues to be crappy. It is still raining and per the weather report it will continue to rain. It is hot and muggy. The AC in our palace of a room is excellent!!!

We do more paperwork today. We are contemplating going to Patrick's orphanage for a visit on Monday. He is doing so well we are not sure if we want to take him back there.

Katie and Bill are doing fine. Bill is caught up on his sleep for the rest of his life. We go out, we come back, he sleeps. We eat, he sleeps. He watches
TV, he sleeps. Of course during this sleeping time there is snoring to go with it. Speaking of TV, China has blocked the English TV channels (except for CNN)due to 3 days of mourning for the earthquake victims.
Katie is having a fine time. She is sending and receiving email form her class. She is ready to do some serious shopping. I told her to slow down since we have a week to go. I am fine but could be ready to go home tomorrow. We miss Josh & Hailey terribly but speak to them on the phone daily.
So life is good...now if it would just stop raining.
Here's Patrick trying to use chopsticks.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Patrick Boyle

First things first...I got our room straightened out. We moved to the other hotel building and life is good. Our room is huge and has a nice separate sitting area. It is a bright and cheery room. The assistant manager at the other building was glad to see us go. I know he thought I was a royal pain in the you know what.

We got to the government building where Patrick was to be a little early with no sign of him. We sat & waited and watched other families start their adoption life together. I have to say I was pretty calm. Finally Patrick's nanny brought him into where we were sitting. He is smaller then I thought he would be but just as cute as in his photos. He did not cry initially. His nanny introduced us and he just took it all in. Katie entertained him while we filled out some paperwork. He cried a couple of times but only briefly. We finished our paperwork and Bob said it was time to go. By this time we had Patrick about 30 minutes. His nanny left while we distracted him. He looked for her briefly when we started leaving but never cried. He sat with Katie in the van we rode in. He did great on the ride back to the hotel. He got out of the van willingly with us and Bob. We said our good-byes to Bob and went to our room. Patrick held my hand on the way to the room. And the rest of the day went well with no crying. I would say the day went amazingly well. He laughed, yelled and acted like a typical boy. Cheerios were a big hit with him. His cleft lip repair looks good. His teeth don't look that bad either. From what I can see of his palate, it looks pretty big. It runs the entire length of his mouth. He seems to be a happy little boy.

Our sleep awake time is still pretty screwed up. We were all exhausted from the day and we decided to take a little nap at 530 pm. Patrick took his shoes and socks off and got in bed with Bill. He is a gabby guy so he will get along great with Hailey. Bill said he sucks his thumb. He is somewhat potty trained. If you ask him if he has to go, he will go for you. Everyone is still asleep so we will all be up in the middle of the night again (830 pm).

So far so good today. We go to do our paperwork tomorrow at 10 am.
The photos were taken in our hotel room. Notice the peace sign in the photos.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blog Site

Well it looks like I can post to the site but I cannot view the blog site itself. I will continuing posting but cannot guarantee what things may look like especially when I post photos. I also can't read comments so please email any comments you have.