Thursday, November 12, 2009

Leaves, oh wonderful leaves!


Kai was the cutest little puppy for Halloween. He loved dressing up and especially enjoyed the trick or treating! He wore the same costume the girls all wore when they were two, but it fit him just fine!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kai 2 months post op

Here's our little cutie enjoying his first parade at Anne's house. He loved the fire trucks, marching bands and candy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baelyn's 9th Birthday

Baelyn had a big slumber party for her 9th birthday. She invited eight girls from her class and they all came for an indoor campout. It was a raging success and everyone had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Little Posers

Good News!

We had Kai's post op visit yesterday. They did three different hearing tests on him and his hearing is 100 % ! I forgot to mention that he had tubes put in his ears during the lip operation. He had a cronic ear infection in both ears that the doc said was one of the worst he'd seen and Kai had probably had since birth (ear infections and clefts go hand in hand). We are so fortunate that there is no permanant damage or hearing loss. They also said during surgery that he has "good, healthy ear drums". YIPPEE.

The plastic surgeon is very happy with the way Kai's lip is healing and wants to do the palate repair in three months. The lip doesn't look as good as it did a week ago because the scar is making his lip pull up and tighten. The doc said this is part of the healing process and always happens and makes parents panic a bit. We have to massage several times daily and use Mederma or Vitamin E.

Kai's nose is as close to perfect as any repair I've ever seen. It's the hardest part of a cleft repair and almost always has to be re-done in the teen years. Dr. Flores said his goal was to "do it right the first time so no future repairs are needed". Boy, did he ever live up to his word! As the swelling goes down each day we are just thrilled beyond words. It looks amazing! Could he be any cuter?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One week past stitches removal

We can't believe how great Kai's lip is healing. It's been exactly one week today since the stitches were removed and you can hardy see where they were. He just looks like a kid with chapped lips. He's enjoying having his picture taken again and is experimenting with new smiles. It's pretty funny.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kai update

Kai is doing fantastic! We traveled to Riley again yesterday for the stitches to be removed. They had to put him under again and I thought he would be terrified the second we walked in the door, but he was a little brave man again. Didn't make a peep. Now he has a big piece of white tape where the stitches were. We thought the stitches were pretty cute and we're not too fond of the tape. He has to keep it on for two weeks and the no no's (arm restraits) too. He's eating everything in sight, but we have to feed him and it takes such a long time to feed a three year old! Plus his mouth is a lot smaller now so he can't take as big of bites. He doesn't like to look at himself in the mirror yet, but has just started looking at his pictures on the digital camera without looking away. Of course it took us a couple of days to get used to him too, but now we think he is just the most beautiful boy ever!!! Thank you to Dr. Flores, the incredibly talented plastic surgeon who performed Kai's operation and to the wonderful staff at Riley Children's Hospital.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here are a couple of photos of Kai post op. His eyes aren't as bright as usual because he's still a little doped up, but you can see the results.

Getting ready for surgery

Kai's out of surgery!

It's 3:20 and Kai has been out of surgery for about 2 hours. He is doing so well. The nurses are amazed as he hasn't cried once and has already drank two glasses of Gatorade. He's super groggy and sleeping right now. His lip and nose look really good, but are pretty swollen. Dad and I are having a very hard time adjusting to it. He looks like a completely different child, but very cute. We'll post a picture as soon as he's awake and we can get a good one. He's not a big fan of the arm restraits and keeps holding them up for me to take off. When he's more alert I think I will show him the mirror and explain why he can't bend his arms. He's such a trooper though!!! Jo

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Well, tomorrow is the big day (1st of many). Kai is having his lip surgery done at Riley Children's hospital at 9:00 a.m. (August 26th). He has no idea what is about to happen, but we did watch a documentary on cleft repairs a couple of weeks ago and he was enthralled by it. We're staying at the Ronald McDonald House tonight as we have to be at the hospital at 7:30. He is sleeping with his finger in his mouth like always and it's so sad that this is the last time he will be able to do that. He has to be in arm restraints for three weeks after surgery to make sure he doesn't touch his mouth. That is going to be rough! We'll post more tomorrow.
I need to add that the Ronald McDonald House is amazing! What a blessing to soooo many families. Please drop all your change into that thingy at McDonalds from now on. Jo


Kai had a great 3rd birthday on August 2nd. We had it down by the lake and it was a beautiful sunny day. He didn't know what to make of a day devoted completely to him, but he really enjoyed himself. Of course it was car/truck themed since that's what he's CRAZY about. He got 22 new cars, trucks and motorcycles to add to his growing collection!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Finally Home!!!

Oh it's so nice to be home! The flights were torture. Four in all and a total of 30 hours travel time. The girls did great and Kai did well too except he hated take offs and landings because we had to strap him in and he couldn't be on my lap. We bribed him with m@ms and chocolate cake which he ate a ton of for the entire flight and then threw up just as we were landing in Chicago. Thanks to Baelyn's quick grab for the air sickness bag we kept the mess to a minimum.

It was so nice to arrive home to a well cared for dog and lots of yummie things to eat! Thank you Michelle, Beth, Martha and our neighbors. You guys are the best! Martha, how did you know Mac and Cheese was the one food the girls missed most in China???

I worried about Daubie so much this time, because he's so old, then on the flight home they showed that movie Marley and Me which I vowed to never watch. I ended up watching it on the peoples screen in front of me without the sound and I still bawled like a baby. I needn't have worried cause Daubie was happy and healthy. Papa watched Miley for us and we are super grateful to him. The girls missed her terribly and talked about her every single day.

Jet lag is a horrible thing. We are all mixed up. We went to bed at 1:00 a.m. and all six of us ended up in our bed at 5:00 a.m. this morning watching Uncle Buck and eating rotisserie chicken and hot rolls (which I had made last night, but no one was hungry then). Hopefully we'll get straightened out soon.

Kai loves his new home with all the toys. We put new batteries in every toy we had before we left and had them all out for him. He's played for hours and hours. He's such a good boy! He loves to play with his sisters or by himself. He shares really well and so far hasn't shown any aggressive behavior other than the throwing which has ceased. He's fully potty trained (we finally cracked the code) YEA!!! He understands a lot of what we say already and can say all our names plus several other words. He has slept through the night every night since we got him. He's a really good eater and is starting to fill out. In 10 days his little stick arms and legs look so much healthier and he's getting a chubby little belly now. He's terrified of the dogs. In China he pointed to every single dog on the street or tv and said "ooh wah", but now that there are two in close proximity he is very frightened of them. He won't walk by them, but likes to watch them and gets very excited so I don't think it will take long.

Kai has his first doc appt. at Riley on June 1st. We should know more about his upcoming surgeries after that. We are already dreading it. Jo

Monday, May 11, 2009

A post from Emelia

I am having fun in Guangzhou. I like the fish, pool, and shopping. I miss my class and my dog.


Hanging out at the playground

We had a nice day yesterday, no paperwork just hanging out with each other learning more and more about one another. Kai seems to not be afraid of too much will try anything swimming, playground toys, all kinds of toys in the big playroom here at the hotel.
He still likes Jo as the" go to person "(when he is tried or unease about surrounding). But I'm the main guy for clean-up duties ( spills or bathroom runs). Wayne

tweet tweet

  • Look whats in our hotel. Theres a big bird cage on the 2nd foor. My favorite one is this one with lots of colors.Bulleted List And its the only one I could get. written by Baelyn.

Hay , look at that dress !When we walk down to an awesome park there are thousands of girls in wedding dresses getting their picture taken. It is really fun to watch. And fun to take pictures of. There's so many of them. See you soon Baelyn.

We were unable to visit the Kai's orphanage due to the swine flu. They wouldn't even let us drive by it! We did visit his hometown and go to see and climb the Hanging Temple which was absolutely amazing! Well worth the four hour trip each way. Here are some pics.

I know we haven't posted for a while, but we are in Guangzhou now which is very much like a wonderful tropical vacation spot and there are just way too many fun things to do rather than sit in the room on a computer. Plus, we have to pay for internet here and we're cheap. We've been spending our afternoons in the hotel pool with other families in our group. We've gotten really close with the Broadfields, a wonderful family from Texas who traveled here with their two boys to adopt a five year old little guy. Our girls are really enjoying their kids.

Today we went to the zoo. Kai loved all the animals, and would stare, point and roar at each one until it was time to move on. He'd still be there looking into the cages if we would have let him. The older kids were always ready to move on way before he was. The zoo made me sad as there was obviously way more money spent on the grounds and landscaping than the animals themselves. I hate zoos, but I put up a brave front for the kiddos.

All our paperwork cleared the US consolate today and we go for our swearing in oath tomorrow. This means the end of a long adoption journey and Kai gets to become a US citizen. Yippee!!!

We went for his medical checkup a couple of days ago which is just a quick exam to make sure he's healthy and everything is on the up and up. When the doctor, a gentle, older Chinese lady took off Kai's diaper, she practically shrieked, "Oh my! It boy! I think it girl, it so pretty with so much hair!" Then she just laughed and laughed, as did I. Kai had been crying because he had to not be held for 2 seconds, but he stopped abruptly because of our laughing and didn't cry again for the rest of the exam which the doctor continued to giggle through. I never video tape those exams because they're so traumatic for the little ones, but I sure wish I would have had a tape rolling then! I have to agree, he is a really pretty boy! There are many American couples here at the hotel with their newly adopted children. I had wondered if I would see the couples with their tiny baby girls and be a bit envious, but instead I'm prancing around with this darling little guy that I'm so in love with and thinking, see my gorgeous child? Don't you wish you had one just like him? Ha, ha. Love is a powerful thing. Jo

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Goofin off with my new big sisters!

A few things about our little Kai

First of all, he is small. I mean VERY small. All the clothes we brought are too big. A size 6-12 months fits him perfectly. We made a Walmart run last night to buy him a few new duds. I was worried that he would be very behind developmentally because of his size, but that's not the case at all. He's very smart and quick to pick up new things. He loves to figure out how things work and has a great attention span.

Second of all, he's got a lot of hair!!! It's actually driving me crazy and I can't wait to trim it. We've got the only boy in China who doesn't have a buzz cut. Everywhere you go there are little boys with hardly any hair and then there's Kai who could be a child spokesmodel for Pantene.

Third of all, he speaks Chinese. I know what you're saying, this shouldn't be a shock to us because of his age, but from all we had read cleft babies have very limited speech until their palates are repaired. Well, Kai talks quite a bit. His caretakers told us he did, but he waited until the fourth day to show us. We do a lot of smiling and nodding which must seem pretty dumb to a 2 1/2 year old.

Fourth of all, he's half way potty trained. Meaning he goes number 1 on the potty, but so far not number 2. It's pretty confusing because he doesn't tell us he needs to go, but just waits for us to remember to take him.

Last of all, he is loving, sweet, smart, fun and a little rotten. He thinks his sisters are pretty funny, but occasionally likes to lob hard objects at their heads without warning. He really shows his personality in the hotel room, but shuts down when we go outside. I can tell he understands what the Chinese people are saying about him and it makes me feel sad for him. They stand very close and stare without looking away for a long time. They talk and gesture about him and he clings to me for dear life. Their loss.


Son and Dad

Kai and I are trying to catch up on life and learn a little bit about each other.
Things I have learn about Kai is that Dad is number 1 when Moms not around and he likes to tease me by handing me toys then putting them behind his back.
Things Kai learned about me--maybe I'm not that bad and we will be pals soon

Finding place

Hospital 5# Datong was where Kai was left over 2.5 years ago. He was found in the lobby very early in the morning by the cleaning crew. The hospital is very big and located in the middle of town.

Emelia and Kai trip to Datong

Me and Kai in the van to Datong to visit Kai's hometown.
Miss everyone alot, see ya soon
Love Eme