Friday, August 20, 2010

Gracie Pics!

These pictures are from Wednesday when we visited Gracie's orphanage. Jiangyin City is the most wealthy city in China. It received an award for cleanliness. We wanted to give Gracie the experience of visiting her orphanage because Dal and I have read that this helps Gracie see that the people she has grown to love are accepting of us as her parents. She sees that they are ok with us taking her. She was so excited to see her orphanage. When she got out of the van she ran to the door. Her nannies were so happy to see her. We really could tell that they loved her, and that they love the children they care for. We really do feel blessed that Gracie was taken care of by these women. Her circumstances could have been much worse. When we entered the orphanage there was a large electronic reader board that said Welcome Back Jiang XinYing. We were very impressed with the director. She told us if we had any questions or concerns, she could call all of the nannies. She also said there is a full time nurse that is always at the orphanage. There are about 60 children there. Those who are babies to age 3 are in the rooms as Gracie. There are older children who raise a garden that is incredible. There are about six nannies to care for about 14 children with Gracie. They go to different rooms throughout the day, such as to eat, play, get education where they learn numbers, colors, etc., and outside play. Sometimes they go out on field trips. Once in a while they dress them up really nice and take them to KFC. After the orphanage, thewtwith director took us to a nice restaurant. There is a round table that spins on top of the table with the food on it. After we were seated, the table was spun around and there right in front of me and Gracie was a huge fish, the head staring straight at me. I asked why they keep the head on. They said that wherever the fish faces, you will have good luck. It is bad luck to take off the head of the fish. I was really grossed out looking at it. Completely lost my appetite for a few minutes.
I couldn't sleep any more this morning. I napped with Gracie yesterday for two hours, and then she slept this morning until about 7:00, about 11 hours. So when I got up at 5 I wrote a few words on paper because I don't want to forget these experiences. I'll write a little of what I wrote this morning. I have to tell you that this trip has been amazing, exciting, exhausting, emotional, and AWESOME! We are worn out from so many different emotions we have been going through, especially the emotions Gracie is going through. She just walked over to me and laughed. Her pants fell down again. She can't keep them up. She has a tiny Chinese bum. She is skinny, but seems ok. I don't think it will be a problem to put a little weight on her, I hope. We will see the doctor at the US Embassy on Saturday.
Gracie XinYing (nickname is Ying Ying- she says it so cute!) is beautiful, kind, loving, and a BIG TEASE! Do you think she'll fit in? There is so much I could tell you about her. We met her only four days ago, and feel that we have known her for an eternity. She loves to play with toys. Her favorite toy we brought from home is a little styrophom gun that shoots balls. She thinks it is so funny to keep "mama" and "baba: busy running after the balls! She laughs so hard. We have a video we will send you. Her vision must be excellent. She follows the ball with her eyes and runs right to it. Gracie has lazy eye in both of her eyes which the Eye Institute in St. George says is good. She will probably wear correctable eye glasses for a while, then maybe an eye patch on each eye for a few months. Then if she needs it she will have eye muscle surgery. Her special need is so minor. There are so many kids in the orphanages who have extreme needs who will probably never be adopted. Another thing she loves is a blowup pool ball. She says "boing" when it bounces off her head. She likes to put stickers on paper, and she loves to color. She is smart and can draw a perfect circle and then she says "circle". She imitates words we say. She can say the kids names and gamma and gampa. She speaks sentences in Chinese. We try to imitate her, but we think she thinks we are really stupid the way she looks at us and laughs. She is proud of herself when she goes to the "toilet" all by herself. She is goind to wear us out going to the toilet, because she makes mom go with her in there every time. I'm just fine with that though. It's incredible how well potty trained she is. We brought a lot of diapers and didn't need them except for at night. After she goes to the bathroom, she flushes it and says "bye bye". She is proud of herself and puts her thumb up! Gracie loves to play in the tub. The orphanages do things very quickly, like bathing, eating, etc. There is not time to enjoy these things because they just try to do everything so quickly because there's so many kids. Gracie spent an hour during her first bath playing with toys, filling cups with water and squirting us. She is a big tease! She teases Dallen and says "baba" in a really funny voice and laughs, and when we're at breakfast and he is getting a plate of food, she worries that he is gone. She says baba and when she sees him coming she gets happy. But she still won't let him hold her. She'll come around. It will just take some time, but Dal does feel loved. He can tell she really likes him. She's not used to being around men.
Our guide, Susan, laughs at her and says she has a good personality. When Gracie calls Dallen "baba", she says it in a deep, silly voice. Susan told us that when you say "baba" in Chinese, it means father But if you say it the way Gracie says it, it means poo poo. ha ha. There are certain words that if you say them in different tones, they mean different things.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gracie!! (Jul's E-mail from China)

Oh My Gosh! I have soooooo much to tell you. Gracie XinYing is so much more than we could have ever imagined! She is NOT below average developmentally. She is SO smart! She is a BIG tease! Right now she is shooting a ball out of a styrophoam gun at dad "baba" and laughing. She is so funny and has the cutest laugh and smile. Please tell everyone we are doing so great!!! We miss everyone. We have one week left. Oh, I have to tell you that she is skinny. Chinese bums are SO small. I'm so jealous. When she walks her pants fall down and she laughs. We've had to put a clip on them so they don't fall down. We have tons of pictures and videos to send you. We'll have to pick and choose. The orphanage visit was so great. I can't even tell you how much that meant to her. Her nannies are so loving and so fun with her. They told us she is very popular. And she had a boyfriend. When we went to another room he had to come with us because he misses her so much. They gave each other kisses. She is so beautiful. When we went to the Civil Affairs Office, the lady doing our paperwork asked what her special need was. We told her her eyes. She kept telling us how beautiful she is. You are all going to easily fall in love with her. She is so kind and sharing. (I'm sure that will change fast after watching Kinsey and Madi for a few days! ha ha) She has pretty teeth, beautiful eyes, long eyelashes, perfect lips, and a cute little nose. She is skinny but they say she eats well, and she has been eating good. She plays with Dallen but wont let him hold her. She follows me everywhere. I can't imagine what she has been through. She doesn't want us to leave her. I wish she could understand that we love her and will never ever leave her. She will learn that, but it will take time for her to realize that and completely trust us. When its time for a nap or bedtime, she gets a little scared. I lay down with her and put my hand on her face and through her hair and sing to her. She sleeps all night. Gotta go. She wants me to play ball with her.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kinsey and Madi can't wait to meet their little sister. They have been practicing their Chinese... Ni hao "hello", thank you "shi shi", and I love you "wo ani".

We're so EXCITED!!!


It's finally here! We are leaving for China in the morning. We will meet Gracie on Monday morning and she will be ours... This is going to be one great adventure. We're up for it!


Kaitlan posted Pedro on here. Pedro was a gift given to us by my sister Annie. Now remember, this is my awesome sister who wraps birthday presents with toilet paper. You never know what she's going to do to keep things exciting! Anyway, we love Pedro, but he was looking a little plain so the kids dressed him up.