Jun 30, 2008

Photos From the China

One of the ladies that traveled with our group was a photographer and has posted several slide shows of our trip on her blog. Enjoy!

password: adoption

Jun 26, 2008

Chloe is 11 Months This Week

Chloe will be 11 months this week. So many things are happening and changes taking place. Chloe likes to clap for herself, she's saying 'mommy' and 'daddy', a form of 'lydia', 'dog', and her favorite is 'uh-oh' which we hear about 100 times a day. She plays peek-a-boo, does so-big, loves to play ball, and can stand by herself if leaning back against something. Now she spins in circles while she's sitting. She's beginning to really reach out for things, so we think the crawling position will be next. Chloe still seems to lack arm strength, so this may take a little time. We signed her up for the Holmes County Help Me Grow program that will help Chloe with her gross motor skills and monitor her development. It's a free program to us and we're very thankful to have it available.
Chloe still has no desire to feed herself and is raking with her hands instead of finger pinching. She doesn't hold her own bottle, but has recently begun to hold a sippy cup. She loves to eat macaroni and cheese, green beans, pears and Popsicles. Baby food is almost a thing of the past even though she only has 2 teeth.

We have continued to battle illnesses this month, with a round of strep, colds, and ear/sinus infections. Chloe's sleeping most of the night when she's feeling well (hurray!). We've moved our bed off the frame and put her mattress next to ours. When she wakes at night I can just reach out and touch her. That seems to be enough reassurance for her to go back to sleep again. We really haven't made any progress with a babysitter. Her attachment to our family is great, but she cries when alone in room and hangs on tight when we're in a crowd or around someone outside our family. She's very happy when she feels safe and secure with us nearby.

We were thrilled that all Chloe's blood work came back great. Even the immunizations we were told she was given seem to be accurate. That will save her a lot pokes! Please continue to pray for Chloe's health. She seems to catch everything these days for all those new American germs. She is scheduled to go to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor in July for her repeated ear and sinus infections. It looks like tubes might be in our future.

Bob, Patsy, Nick and Alexandria Brown from Pittsburg came for a fun visit on Sunday. It was great catch up with some folks who traveled with us. Chloe and Alexandria were in cribs next to each other in Qian Jiang and its uncanny how much they sound alike.

We took Chloe to see Greg's grandparents for the first time this week. It was treat for them to get to meet her.

Jun 8, 2008

Two Months Since our Travel Date

It's been almost two months since we left for China. In many ways it seems a lot longer as our China trip is like a distant memory. Chloe is adjusting more and more to our family life and showing her true personality. We're finding her to be a screamer, especially as she pulls hair.

Nilla our dog stays just beyond arm's reach as she's learned about Chloe's hair-pulling obsession. She also screams with delight or to say, "Don't mess with me!" when her sisters get too close. In general, she's just becoming more vocal.

One of her favorite things is to empty her toy basket. She'll spend quite a while doing this as long as we're nearby. Chloe still wants to stay close to mom and dad and doesn't let us set her down much to get something done. Elaine has arranged to take at least two more weeks off work to give Chloe more time to adjust. Otherwise, she'd be starting back this week.

Two weeks ago, a reporter from the local paper in town, The Budget, had come to interview us about the adoption. He was here more than an hour and asked lots of questions of us and the girls and took several pictures. The paper is a weekly publication and came out on Wednesday the 4th.

Last Sunday we met with several families who have either adopted or are waiting on their adoption. Altogether, there were 5 girls from China, two from Kazakhstan, and a single lady who had been adopted several years ago from Columbia.

One couple from Alliance who is waiting for their own China doll really enjoyed Chloe. They had never met an adopted Chinese girl so young and were really glad when Chloe warmed up to them. Talking to them brought back the reality of how long we waited. They're expecting another two years, but hoping and praying for the system to speed up. The family with the Kazakhstan girls are also expecting to wait another year for a daughter from China. We love the support of families with similar experiences as well as lending support to those who are waiting. Knowing how hard it is to wait, we want to be a shoulder to lean on.

Wednesday was another trip to Oak Adoption Clinic at Akron Children's Hospital. This visit was to assess Chloe's development and to check her hearing. First we came into a room full of toys and sat to play. The developmental therapist watched her as she played and gave her certain scenarios to see how she'd respond. All the while, she asked us questions about her at home. As far as her speech, her understanding of us, and ability to figure things out, she's right on track. Her hearing was perfect. Physical development, such as muscle tone and mobility, is a little behind, but she's made great strides. She suggested several things that we work on with her such as crawling and sitting from the lying down position. I thought to myself that we'll have lots of help in that department.

We were also told about an early intervention agency in Holmes county that provides free developmental assessment and rehab for children under 3. We'll be setting up an appointment with them soon. Much of what they do is teach us how to work with Chloe to accelerate the process of her catching up.

Chloe loves hanging out with her big sister Lydia, who would love to spend hours babysitting.

"Hold still one second while I grab that hair!"

Chloe after breakfast with her bib pulled up over her head.