Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ready Or Not...

Here we are with TA in hand, flights and hotels booked and bags (almost) packed.  Soon we will kiss our sweet boys good bye and pray that Skype works once we get set up in our hotel.  Beyond the excitement of the adoption, a big part of me is looking forward to this trip as an adventure with my husband.  Even though we'll only have a few days alone together before Princess Petals' "Gotcha Day," I'm hoping the jet lag doesn't keep us from enjoying our time together.  It's been about six years since we've gone on a trip just the two of us.  Leaving my boys will be the hardest thing I've ever done.  I have to admit that reading the blogs of so many families that have walked in these shoes before us has really prepared me.  Following their journey's to China and seeing them return home to their families safe and sound has helped me find peace at a time when I thought I'd be panicking.  But more comforting than the blogs is being told by so many people that they are praying for us - some of them I barely know - some are great friends.  The support we've received has allowed me to let go and give my fear to much as I can anyway...I am only human after all.    

I recently ordered an update from Princess Petals' orphanage so we have answers to some questions and new measurements but, unfortunately, no new pictures.  We were very disappointed not to get a quick peek at her before we travel but are completely at the mercy of the orphanage director and what he has time for.  Here is her updated information:

1. What and how much does she eat/drink each day?
She is eating formula mixed with rice cereal 5 times a day. 220ml each time.

2. What calms her when she's fussy?  Is there a special song or motion she likes?
When she is fussy, just pick her up and walk around or caress her face.

3. Do the nannies have a nickname for her?

4. Is she walking yet?
She is walking by holding onto crib.

5. Is she hearing and/or speaking Mandarin, Cantonese or a different dialect?
She is not speaking yet. She can understand Cantonese.

6. Who are her crib mates?  Have any crib mates been adopted?
She sleeps alone in her own crib. No child’s crib is changeless. So all the children are her neighbors. (I asked if she doesn’t have crib mate, how about children sleeping next to her crib. So the orphanage was saying the children’s crib changes, so there is no certain child sleeps next to her crib. )

7. What makes her sad or angry?  

Speak loud to her will make her upset.

8. How many nannies care for her?  Does she have a favorite (who?)?  There are 12 nannies take shift to take care of her. She is really close to a nurse at the orphanage whose name is Chen Qiao.

9. Are there any items and/or police report from her finding that we will be allowed to have?

10. Updated Measurements:  Height: 72cm (28"); Weight: 8.29kg (18 lbs); Head: 43cm (17"); Chest: 44cm (17"); Foot: 11cm (4"); Teeth: 8.

If all was done correctly, it would appear from the updated measurements that Princess Petals has grown very little over the past four months.  This could be from errors in measuring or lack of nutrition  as it appears she is still only on formula mixed with rice cereal at 14 months old.  There is some growth though and that is always good to hear.

So that's it.  The last bit of info about Princess Petals before we travel.  On her Gotcha Day we will take temporary custody of her and then go back to sign the official adoption paperwork 24 hours later.  After that she's ours and we'll have become a family of five!  Our week with her in China will consist of tours of Guangzhou, a medical appointment and a visit the US Embassy to swear an oath and pick up her visa.

We are already dreading the flights back home.  We fly from Guangzhou to Hong Kong at 10:00 PM which will put us arriving at our hotel a little after midnight and then we have to be back at the airport bright an early for an 8:00 AM flight just a few hours later to continue the journey home.  If we are lucky she will be so exhausted that she will sleep the entire trip...I don't want to even think about the other scenario.

So, for all of you that are praying for us, PLEASE keep it up!  All of the encouraging emails and Facebook and blog comments are more appreciated than you can ever imagine.  Hopefully there won't be any computer problems in China and we'll be able to have access to email and blogger so we can continue to share our experiences through this crazy maze of international adoption.

There's an old Chinese proverb that reads: "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.  The thread may streatch or tangle, but it will never break."

For us the time has come to follow this red thread.  We look forward to finding the other end tied firmly around the heart of little Princess Petals.