Journey To MaryAlice

Join me as I journey to China to find my daughter, Mary Alice.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still Waiting for TA...

I'm anxious to hear word that we've received Travel Approval (TA) from China so we can proceed with making travel plans. My agency is looking at the end of August as a tentative travel date. I've been busy getting the house and nursery organized and trying to fit everything I need to bring in one suitcase and a backpack. I'm planning on bringing size 12-18 month size clothes with me, with the intention of buying clothes and shoes in Guangzhou.

I've also been doing my research on the Social Welfare Institute where she is living, in hopes of preparing myself for any "issues" that are common in the children. I belong to two Yahoo groups started by families that have adopted from Maonan starting in 2001. Here's what I've learned:

1) The children often arrive in Guangzhou constipated after being given something to prevent "accidents" on the six hour train trip.
2) Dry skin, eczema, rashes, mosquito bites and boils are somewhat common.
3) The Maonan children in the past have not been introduced to solid foods as most babies usually are, but are kept on the bottle well past their first 12 months. The formula is served in combination with cereal, is thick, hot and is delivered with a large hole in the nipple preventing good sucking reflexes. Poor sucking skills can lead to speech problems down the road, so good to know.

This information helps me tremendously. I have already packed some prune/apple juice and baby food prunes, but will also bring some infant glycerin suppositories. I will bring a larger tube of Eucerin cream and some Aveeno oatmeal bath powder. Also, some Benadryl and Neosporin cream for bites. I'll have to see how MaryAlice's feeding skills are, but am now at least prepared to work through some feeding issues. I had already planned, but will now really push my pediatrician to order an Early Intervention evaluation. Feeding issues can lead to speech issues, so I want to stay on top of that.

I write these things for the benefit of my friends and family that regularly check this blog. These are the things that I've been preparing for over the past 2 years. These things are common in internationally adopted children. These are things that I may not have to deal with, but I'd rather be prepared and have a plan of action. There is a clinic right in The White Swan Hotel, so if there's any question, I can take MaryAlice there to be checked out and given medicine. I also have the International Adoption specialist, Todd Ochs, MD in Chicago available via email or phone should if I have any questions. He has four adopted daughters from China.

I guess the point of this post is to reiterate how invaluable the internet has been in learning things and connecting to folks who've "been there, done that", that can offer advice and experience. Once I'm home from China, I'll probably take the blog private. But for now, I think it's my turn to pay it forward and help those behind me, waiting for the next step and trying to prepare for their adventure.

So come on China....I want my TA!!!! Then, I want my CA, so I can get on a plane and get MA!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Baby is Growing Up!

She now weighs 20lbs and has 3 teeth!! It looks like her hair has been cut, but at least that made her ears grow!

Right now, we wait for Travel Approval from China before any flight information can be made, so no dates yet. I've sent off for our Visa's and have started packing (okay, really I started packing six months ago, but this time I'm serious). I requested to visit her orphanage when I'm there, but we have to get approval from the Civil Affairs office and the orphanage director. I know other families have had that opportunity, so I don't forsee any problems. The orphanage is about a 4 hour drive from Guangzhou, so it will be a long day, but it is something I really want to do. I'll post more as things start to happen.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Isn't She Lovely??

I've been waiting to post until I officially signed the Acceptance letter today for Nan Qi Guo. I've been holding my breath all week, waiting to receive her file hoping all was well. She just turned 10 months old and is the Maonan SWI in Maoming City, Guangdong Province. She's 7 months in these photos and weighed 18.7 lbs. Her name means South Pray Fruit....huh??? All I can say, is that she's prayed for any and all food products and I'm glad to see that she likes chicken. I think she's just perfect.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Decision

I've been avoiding making this post for quite some time and have even considered taking the blog private. I still may. Most of my close friends and family know that June was a very difficult month for me, as I made the decision to decline my referral. I knew that there was always the possibility, but until you walk in those shoes, you can never know how gut-wrenching it is. I have learned alot. I have met people online who helped quide and support me. It is scary. It is exhausting. It is awful. I have cried over this decision because it is one no one ever wants to make, but in the end, it was the right decision for me and for this little girl. Rest assured, she will be chosen by a family.

So for now, I've used this time to heal my heart so that when the time comes, I will be ready and open for my next referral.

Beijing, China

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