Monday, May 8, 2006

Mae Day

May 8, 7:30pm
Ahhh….What a day. I will start at the beginning, but FYI, our Mae HuaiXiang is peacefully sleeping for the night. According to her info, she wakes at midnight for a diaper change (?) I bet she will want to eat-this girl likes her food! OK, to the beginning:

Our wake-up call was at 6am with a 7:30am paperwork meeting. Very tough for me because I have Power of Attorney, lots of things were different on my paperwork. Daphne and Ellen were great about helping me through it all. We boarded the bus at 9am for the Civil Affairs Office, about a 20min drive. Daphne talked the whole way about what we could expect and what we could do to help the babies adjust, etc. Before we knew it we were there. There were nannies with babies waving at the window..that got us really teary. We took the elevator up to the 3rd floor and marveled at all the hair the babies had…everyone was taking pics and video and sniffling. Then Daphne came in... “Those are not your babies!!” she explained and we all cracked up…figures!! She had us line up with our passports, while Susan took a side position for video access (she did a fantastic job!!! Thank you, Ayi SuSu!!) I don’t even remember what order I was, but the Thomas fam was first…so cool! When my name was called I stepped up and handed the girl my passport. A nanny came in holding Mae and the girl compared her picture. “Big baby!” she said. I didn’t think she was that big, but some of the others are very petite. The nanny handed her to me and she started crying right away and didn’t stop til she was back at the hotel with a bottle in her tummy. But her cry wasn’t very loud so it wasn’t too bad for the rest of the bus. We got back and Ayi SuSu prepared her first bottle, which she CHUGGED. Then we changed her diaper (no Velcro on the one she was in) and her little sweaty outfit into a fresh one. She barely fits into the sx70 Hanna’s I have for her, and the 6-9 month jammies are not going to cut it for much longer. I put her in her crib and she cried for all of 30 seconds and fell asleep. Amazing! She makes a sweet little sucking sound with her lips, as if she had a binky. She does fine without one so I’m not going to introduce one, but it is so cute! Susan went with the group to the local Mom ‘n Pop grocery store and picked up essentials. She slept for 1.5hrs and then we played on the bed (her fav toy is a huge Ramen noodles like Styrofoam container – she’s going to be a drummer!) We ordered her some congee and steamed egg, which she loved. I am going to ask the nanny tomorrow for the recipes-she is a fabulous eater! She also gulped down an 8oz bottle of water. She was rubbing her eyes, so we put her down for another nap and BAM!... out like a light. About half an hour later a noise woke her and then the doctor came, Mrs. Lu. Mae didn’t like that one bit and after that cried when we put her on her back. She was pronounced healthy with lots of mosquito bites. 2 of the other babies have upper respitory infections and are on antibiotics. They have husky coughs and goopey noses, poor things! Then we played with Addie Thomas and Amber McDonald and then went to dinner at 5. Again she enjoyed the congee and egg. She started getting fussy around 6:30 so I took her up and gave her a bath, which she liked, but she was frustrated that she could ‘get’ the stickers on the bottom of the little baby tub. We dried off and played at the mirror-she thinks that is so funny! At the beginning I thought she was going to laugh but she would cry…now she only gives an angry cry when she is frustrated with something. She seems to be adjusting easily…let’s hope that continues! I put on the Chinese lullabye CD and gave her another bottle. I tried to get a burp out of her (the 1st bottle produced 3 burps-I was so proud as I’m not a very good burper) but none tonight. Then I popped her in the crib and she promptly rolled onto her side and went to sleep! According to her paperwork she will wake at midnight for a diaper change. The diapers the orphanage used have no Velcro so I can see that they would get wet easily. Her diapers haven’t been wet, in spite of all she has taken in. She is a lovely baby and seems to be quite happy with us. She will cry when Susan holds her, which is a good sign that she considers me the primary caregiver. She weighed 10kg (about 22 pounds) and my back is killing me. Tomorrow we go back to the Civil Affairs office for our interviews. Now I just have to work on ‘living in the present.’ All I want to do now is come home to the rest of my family!

Pink Bunny Addendum
I forgot 2 important tidbits. We did receive some of the things back that we sent, which was great. We got back both camera, from us and from BlessedKids with a few pics taken. I’m sure we’ll develop them while we’re in Changsha. We also got back the photo album and the pink bunny. This pink bunny, and all the toys/blankets that were returned, were D-I-R-T-Y!!! Not sure if the babies have a lot of ‘outside playing in the dirt’ time or what, but WOW!! We gave her the photo album but are going to hide the ‘old’ bunny til we can power wash it. She sleeps with the ‘new’ one, but doesn’t seem that attached to it. She does love the blanket that Sarah made, though. A blankie girl!
The other bit of info I forgot was that she is quite a talker. Her first word was “Addah” which I was sure meant Ayi or just baby talk, like baba for American babies. Well, she is using it now is the “again!” context, which is cool. We will have complete conversations using ‘adda’ and ‘dah’ as well as mimic sessions. She makes really high squeaky noises, blows raspberries (both the wet and dry variety!), and in general tries to copy any noise we make, expecting us to them mimic her back. I predict she will be an early talker. OK, I’ll close for the night!

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