Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Dr. appointment & Therapy appointments

Today was Lottie's first Dr.'s appointment with her Pediatrician Dr. Enders.  We received great recommendations about Dr. E and she was also an adoption expert, so it was a no brainer, and boy are we thrilled with the outcome!

We were able to spend 1 hour talking with Dr. E and going over all of our questions.  She was so kind and listened to all our stories!  Her laid back attitude and easy going personality made it so easy to just talk with.  We were so impressed!  Dr. E even laughed at us when we confessed we were adding some sweet flavor to Lottie's American formula since it wasn't as sweet as the Chinese formula.  Dr. E was very impressed with Lottie's progress, health and her emotional well being.  She said "I have seen many adopted children in my day, but Lottie is by far the healthiest, and happiest baby I have met. Someone loved her fiercely as she is so willing to accept and give love" Melted this Mama's heart!

Later that day we also met with our SLP & developmental specialist and they evaluated Lottie.  They were also impressed with her current development!  We were able to write some goals for feeding, speech, and gross motor skills. Lottie's therapists will come to our home every week and begin working on all of these goals.  Her SLP was impressed with her speech and we both sat in amazement at we heard babbling sounds including /t/ /d/ & /l/...for all the SLP's out there crazy huh!

So here's some stats on our lovely Lottie Lee

She is tiny but STRONG!

She is 18 lbs 28 inches long- which puts her in the 1st & 2nd percentiles on the American growth chart.

She is above age development for social/emotional & cognitive skills.

She is healthy!

We scheduled our first appointment with our Cleft Team in Dallas and look forward to meeting the famous Dr. Hobar in person in May!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Updates are coming!

We are AMAZING!  Had a wonderful homecoming & were surprised by family & friends.  It was WONDERFUL!  We are still a little jet lagged, fighting colds & Winn as a slight infection on her arm & is now on some antibiotics.  Otherwise we are all doing excellent.
Update Blogs:
Pearl River Cruise
Good Bye China
Chinese Silk
Stuck in Atlanta
First weekend home

Friday, March 15, 2013

Our Homecoming

Words are hard to find as I fight back tears trying to make sense of this amazing moment as I write this almost two months later (posted date on 03/15/13- actually written on 05/06/13).

We finally arrived home about 12 hours later than expected after spending the night in Atlanta. We were clean, refreshed, and oh so excited to be heading home...FINALLY.  Although we were devastated we missed our special homecoming party we knew all was in HIS timing and tried to be thankful for our flawless trip to China, our seamless  finalization of our adoption process, a happy healthy well adjusting baby girl, and great health for the past 2 weeks but it was hard missing our special reunion with our loved ones.  We HATED knowing our parents had to spend another night in Austin waiting to meet their granddaughter.  Oh and did we mention how badly we wanted to sleep in our own beds?! 

Our morning flight was on time and easy.  We were so excited as our plane began to descend  we changed Lottie into her red, white & blue.  We laughed and cried at the same time that finally we were home.  We departed the flight smiling ear to ear.  It was a little sad knowing most of our friends would be at work on a Friday at 10 am,  but ultimately we were so so thankful to be home.  We began to exit the terminal and head to baggage claim, eager to see the faces who could be there to welcome us home.

Well like we mentioned all in HIS plans, we were SHOCKED to see so many of our family members who chose to be there flying across the country to see Charlotte even if it was only few hours.  Can you say amazing and so meant to be.  HE wanted us to really focus on what mattered...FAMILY.  Oh it was so amazing to see all the smiling faces who we had no idea would be meeting us at the bottom of the stairs.  It was so intimate and beyond anything I could have planned.  (I am usually a bigger is better kinda of gal-so this was so perfect and obviously the best kind of homecoming)

Lottie just took to everyone, she smiled and laughed, and clapped her little hands. She is so full of life and love.  Its a joy to see her go to anyone and how much she adores to be loved.  We read what all the experts say- but how could we not pass this beauty around to all these people who have loved her so for so long.  This moment will forever be ingrained in my memory.   It was one of those magical, couldn't go better, take your breath away kind of day.  

A HUGE overwhelming THANK YOU to THE ARCHIBALD PROJECT for these gorgeous photographs documenting this amazing moment. The founders Whitney & Nick were heading to LA  the day we arrived (since we were arriving a day later) they actually hired a photographer to be at the airport to capture these special moments.  It was truly an amazing blessing and we are forever grateful!  Looking for a new way to support adoption? Think about donating to this wonderful cause.  Learn more here!

A Letter to Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,

As I'm writing this, you are on a plane bound for The United States of America.  Leaving behind your birth country and everything you've ever known, for a new life with Winn & Scott..with your Mom & Dad.  I can't imagine what you may be feeling right now.  Are you scared? You have been so brave since the moment you met your parents, taking in the world with open eyes.  Are you nervous? You have already responded so positively to the changes- a man holding you, learning your new name, traveling, and wearing new clothes, hats and hair bows   Are you homesick? Although the orphanage isn't an ideal home, your caregivers and nannies took wonderful care of you and loved you dearly.

I want to tell you a story about what is waiting for you in America.

Sweet Lottie, your mom and dad wanted you so desperately.  You.  To say they were excited about adopting a baby is an understatement, but from the moment they laid eyes on you- saw your picture, looked into your eyes, examined your features-it was YOU.  There was an instant connection and without a doubt, YOU were meant to be their daughter.

Your parents were relentless in their quest to adopt you and give you the family you deserve.  They were so passionate-they made history and changed lives, and turned all of us into advocates along the way.  They knew that their daughter was alone in a crib on the other side of the world, and they didn't slow down until the moment you were placed in their arms.  Your mom and dad never faltered.  Not once.  For over two years they kept us engaged, and hundreds of people-friends, family, and strangers  have prayed for you, participated in fundraisers, and followed your journey.  They cheered when adoption milestones were reached-getting a government approval or a log in date- and cried when there were setbacks along the way.  ( Let's be real we cried at the milestones too!)

Your parents also made it a priority for us to learn about China.  We celebrated the Chinese New Year, learned Mandarin phrases, watched documentaries, and listened to Chinese lullabies.  Your heritage has been, and will continue to be, very important.

I am telling you this because I want you to know you have a place here.  A place in the world, in your family, and most importantly, in our hearts.  Your support system is huge, baby girl. You are loved.  So very, very loved.

On April 13, 2012, your parents asked me to be your Godmother.  I have never been more honored or proud, and didn't hesitate to say yes.  Know I take this role I've been blessed with very seriously.  You have a hold of my heart, my love.  I promise you that I will always be here for you-no matter what.

In a few short hours, I will see your face, touch your hands, and cry tears of happiness.  I will kiss your puffy cheeks and try to make you smile.  I will squeeze your Mama so hard she may burst, and watch your Baba's face as he looks at you, his beautiful daughter. But above all else, I will thank God for you.

Welcome home, baby girl.

Love always,

Auntie Kimi

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Flights & Stuck in Atlanta

What a busy day (s) (42 hours to be exact) of traveling!

On Thursday 3/14 we flew from Hong Kong to Japan and then from Japan to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Austin...

So the question of the day did Lottie do?!

Well Lottie did AMAZING, she is an expert traveler & never made a peep!

The first flight was 3.5-4 hours and it was in the morning time-so Lottie sat in our lap played and happily watched Disney movies.  She watched Cinderella and Finding Nemo!  We arrived in Japan to discover our 2 hour layover was extended to a 6 hour layover, boy were we bummed.  We were so happy from our successful first flight we were ready to take on the 12 hour flight, and disappointed with the delay.  Luckily the delayed flight took off on its 2nd departure time, we were so ready!

The second flight now delayed 4 hours was late in the afternoon, we settled into our seats, and Lottie did even better then the first flight.  She satin our laps, and played.  She drank her evening bottle and went down to sleep for 6 hours straight.  She woke up and we fed her and she fell back to sleep!  Can we say amazing baby?!  The flight was harder on us as we had more trouble sleeping yet we were exhausted!

Landing in Atlanta, we knew we would be cutting it close to get through immigration and recheck our baggage.  Our assumption was correct after waiting for immigration for about 45 minutes we realized we would be missing our flight to Austin.  After moments on the phone with a Delta representative we then realized we were stuck in Atlanta for the night! Talk about disappointment! We were so tired, basically had been up for 24 hours straight, we were stinky, and so ready to be home!  After a 3.5 hour wait in immigration, we missed our homecoming celebration and introducing Lottie to her Grandparents. Thankfully Delta took care of everything, bought dinner, and put us in a very nice hotel.  We didn't make it to Austin but will be landing at 10 am on Friday morning.  It will be so nice to be home!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Garden Hotel-Guangzhou

The Garden Hotel  an impressive 30-story building in downtown Guangzhou, 
Garden Hotel Guangzhou offers 828 rooms including 42 suites. The Garden Hotel Guangzhou,the modern architecture is distinctly characterized by traditional Chinese decoration and impressive works of art. An outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, squash court, a comprehensively equipped health club and an extensive shopping arcade are all on the facilities's list.

The Garden Hotel Guangzhou has 14 dining halls specializing in Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine as well as French and Italian food. The seafood restaurant atop the hotel is certainly the best treat after a hard day's work in the busy city.

Enjoying good reputation for affluent cultural background and excellent service, The Garden Hotel, Guangzhou sets another milestone by winning the prestigious Platinum Five-Star Award issued by the China National Tourism Administration. The Garden Hotel Guangzhou is one of the three hotels in China and the only national brand hotel in South China to receive this significant award, which is the highest hospitality award in China.
Garden Hotel Guangzhou,a luxury platinum 5-star hotel in the city centre of Guangzhou in the People's Republic of China, The Garden Hotel Guangzhou is centrally located on Huanshi Dong Lu, in the heart of Guangzhou's prosperous business district. The Garden Hotel is also within easy reach of many of the tourist and leisure attractions of Guangzhou including the historic Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall and Yuexiu Park as well as some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in town!

We loved staying at The Garden Hotel.  We truly felt like royalty & every amenity was 5 star!  All the flowers in the lobby were real, we watched them change them out in the evening.  It was truly amazing.

Traditional Chinese Silk dress

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pearl River Cruise

Our last night in Guangzhou, we spent the evening on a Pearl River cruise taking in the sights and sounds of GZ.  The cruise included dinner so before going to the top of the ship to take photos and enjoy the sights we enjoyed our last dumplings in China,  The city lights up and the colors were amazing and it was a special way to spend our last evening in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou Zoo Part II: The story

We spent the morning at the Guangzhou Zoo, sadly Baba has caught a flu type illness and decided to stay back at the hotel.  So Lola and Mama took Lottie on the subway and headed out to the zoo.  It was a beautiful day, a perfect day for baby's first trip to the zoo.

The zoo was small but there was very little crowds and we could get up close and personal with the animals. We saw tigers, bears, monkeys, peacocks, and we even were able to feed the giraffes and we got to see the pandas!   We all posed next to our Chinese zodiac; Lottie and Sarina were too cute next the bunny statue, too bad we didn't see any smiles.  It was a very fun morning and Lottie enjoyed strolling around and seeing all the animals. 

Guangzhou Zoo Part I: The animals