Thursday, November 19, 2009

Well, Oct. has come and gone and Nov. is half way through! Seeing as my last post was early Oct. you should come to the conclusion that we are really...really busy, which is a good thing. Kelly is "done" healing from her surgery, and on any and all foods now. The disappointing news is that while the surgery was mostly successful, there is still a small hole in her palate, which will need to be closed by surgery again, at some point, but not for a least a year. We were so hoping that this would be the only one to close her palate, but at least it is far and away better than it was. It does mean that there is still no way for her to create a suction, but we'll deal with that as it comes. The good news is she can eat and feed herself and she is a happy camper now. Even put on a little weight! Her hair is filling in, her motor skills are improving very rapidly and she is even doing a little babbling. She still does not talk, and while that is frustrating for us all, she is using her mouth and voice more and more...shouldn't be too terribly long before we have actual language!! I've been doing battle with the powers that be to get her into Speech Therapy and we are finally approved for Calif. Child Services, just need to get the right referral to the right place. Gotta love State run programs (not!!)
We had a great Halloween, and look forward to a fun Thanksgiving with family. I can't find the pictures of her Halloween outfit at the moment, but will post those when I can. The moment I have now is one where I can find some random pictures of Kelly (Jamie and friend Taylor are in the picts too) helping to wash Cory's car. The one of Kelly eating is when she was able to finally eat with utensils...double handed, like she did when we first brought her home.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

She's 2!

Kelly turned 2 on the 21st, and we had a small family party for her. She didn't understand the gift thing (of course) but did get the hang of the cake thing! She's acting more and more like a 2 yr. old too, which is great to see, just a little frustrating to deal with. We are now 5 1/2 weeks post op from the palate surgery and so far things looks pretty good. The Dr. is concerned with one part of the repair, but there's nothing to do about it at this point but wait, hope and STAY on the "soft food only" diet..poor kid. Her greatest source of frustration these days is still not being allowed to feed herself and not getting the food she wants. She has gotten taller, but not put on any weight, so I can't wait to give her the things she craves like Goldfish, cookies and chips (might be a looooonnnnggg time before she gets chips!)

Kelly and I are attending a Tumbling Tots class and Sign Language, and the Tumbling class is taught by the same woman who taught it 15 years ago when I took Cory to it...yikes! The teacher and I both agreed it was something we wouldn't think about too much. We are seeing improvements in vocalization and mimicing, but other than a very few words, still not getting much vocal language. Kelly continues to sign many things, and can say "Mama" and "hi" much more clearly now, and "more" and "music" if you use a little imagination. Fortunately her receptive language is really coming along now and she understands most, if not all, of what we say. Of course the 2 yr. old in her chooses not to listen sometimes too! All in all we have made it through the 6 week recovery period pretty well, and are anxious to move on past this and on to "normal" life!

Monday, September 7, 2009

One week done!

yeah!! We made it through the first week of recovery after Kelly's cleft surgery.

She did really really well, considering, but it's been a long week and I'm glad we are on the other side of it. She will be off the No-no's soon, and we are only using them nights, naps, and car rides and when I can't be right there with her. As the girls have been on vacation still, that has meant that someone is with Kelly much of the time, so that has made those nasty No-no's pretty easy. And the fact that Kelly really doesn't put much into her mouth. She's till sleeping fitfully, but not bad thank goodness. Wakes several times at night, but goes back to sleep usually. We also stopped the Codeine, and I'm glad...was making her too loopy, volatile, and I think nauseous so she wasn't eating or drinking. She's still pretty mad about not being able to feed herself or get the food she wants, but we can at least get a little into her now!

It's going to be really sad for her tomorrow when Cory and Jamie leave for school. Kelly adores them and loves to "hang" with them or just watch what they are doing. I'm going to be sad too, as they have been such an amazing help to me these last 2 months. With them gone during the day, and the surgery over and winding down (in a month or so) with the Dr. appt.s I'm going to have to get both Kelly and I into some classes to keep us busy. Actually it's really good timing as I think Kelly is ready for some more stimulation now, without getting too overwhelmed. Hopefully this surgery is a complete success (we won't know for a few months) and we can start Speech Therapy in a month or so.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Surgery over

Kelly's cleft palate surgery is over and at this point a success. Acually we won't know if it was successful for a few months, but so far so good. She had the tubes put in her ears, and her palate closed on Friday, and we were discharged on Sat!! Only one night in the hospital, a record short time, thank goodness. While they took good care of us at the hospital, it was so VERY noisy, crowded, busy, and uncomfortable. Fortunately Kelly came thru the surgery with flying colors, and her bleeding stopped by Sat. and pain tolerance was great, so home we came. She is doing really very well considering, but the whole thing is so very painful and the "no-no"s so very annoying that it's best we are here to distract her with whatever we can. She is sleeping well, it's just tolerating the arm restraints and eating that are the trouble. She is in pain when she eats and drinks (not surprisingly) and VERY angry that she can't feed herself, can't eat what she wants, and of course we can't explain it to her, poor thing. Ah well. 10 days to go till the no-no's are off, and the pureed food is done...but who's counting! Meds will be stopped in four days, so that will help too.
Thank you all for your kinds wishes and especially those of you bringing food!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chillin in my room with my dog and sisters

Busy week coming up

We've got a busy week coming up this week. We are hosting Cory's Crew team's Seniors dinner Monday, Ron and I will be going out on Sunday and we will have a sitter (not one of Kelly's sisters!), the Sikoras will be traveling from Oregon and we will see them Tues. for dinner, Wed. all day and evening is our annual High School friends dinner here (can't wait) and Friday early is Kelly's surgery (with pre-op bloodwork on Thurs. ick) Whew. Most all of it is really good stuff. The surgery I could skip, but it needs to get done ASAP and this was the first available time. Luckily we will be able to combine the palate work and the ear tubes in one surgery. We expect to stay at the hospital for 2-3 nights. Poor Baby! Thank goodness she doesn't know what is about to happen to her.
I've been trying to go through some of the paperwork and photos we collected on our trip to China and I'm noticing how seldom Kelly smiled in the photos! She smiles all the time now, and is so happy most the time it's hard to remember when she didn't.
We also will be trying to fit in an additional ABCme Sign class. She was invited to go, and it's a wonderful class for infants thru 5 yrs. old learning American Sign Language. She has picked up SO many signs and was invited to attend this last class where the local cable network is filming a segment on the class. Should be fun! I'll post more if it looks like the segment will air anywhere but right here. Glad we are doing the class, not that she'll be signing much her whole life, but it really helps now with communication, otherwise we'd all be pulling our our hair in frustration with trying to guess what she wants to tell us. So far we are still on just a few sounds, although I think we are finally getting "uh oh" when things fall, but it's not very clear. Might even finally have "Mama", and mean it! Slowly, slowly.
Off to order some pictures and organize food for the team!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"borrowing" her sisters' headbands

She LOVES the dogs

They had corn on the cob in Zhengzhou...

Some new pictures for you!
We are all doing well. Cory is off to UC Berkeley for camp, Jamie is leaving for Catalina, Ron is busy at work and Kelly and I hold down the fort at home. We spent the weekend at the beach with Grandma and Grandpa, and meeting Uncle Steve, Aunt Amy and cousin C. J....and Kelly loves to play with C.J., finally a "kid" to play with! Lots of sand and sun, just the thing for the first of Aug.
Kelly is continuing on the rounds of Dr. appt.s getting ready for her surgery on the 28th. We are screening for hearing, speech, motor developement and anything else they think of. She seems to still be fine on the cognitive developement, learning signs faster than I do, and out smarts me in typical toddler fashion daily. As you can see by the corn on the cob picture, Kelly enjoys her food. She is eating most things, especially if cut up very small, or soft, but is managing other things too, like the corn.
I finally got some help to up load some pictures, and have posted a few of daily life. I'll try for more now that I've got a file going and the correct computer!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer days

Well today is the 28th of July, so we have been a family of 5 for 4 weeks, hard to believe! It's been great to start getting into a rythmn here at home, and start to see family and friends a bit more. Kelly is really getting comfortable now and we see more and more of her personality. She is even showing signs of being a normal 2 yr. old with the hints of temper and some of that wonderful whining that happens at this age. Actually it IS nice to see those things! She is getting frustrated with not being able to communicate, and we are thankful that she is learning some Sign Language to help. To date she is using 11 signs with meaning and intent, and starting to "get" a few more. Just yesterday Ron and I watched her while she was playing, stop and practice making her hand do the "down" sign, a tough one to make small fingers do. It was really cute and really encouraging to see her figure it out and try to do it on her own. She is so proud and pleased when she can tell us what she wants.
We have several Dr. appt.s set up and will be starting the whole surgery process soon. She goes for a hearing test next week and while I think there might be some hearing issue, I'm not worried that it is bad. She LOVES music on the radio and "dances" to it in stores, so I know she hears some sound. We will also see the ENT the week after that, and so on and so on.
We are hitting the beach, pool and park whenever possible, and enjoying the relaxed schedule very much. The "big" girls are gone now in the morning, and Kelly hates to see them leave, and is very cranky when Daddy leaves too....Mom is not nearly as much fun as the girls and Dad are! She is starting to enjoy books a little now (hadn't any idea what a board book was when we got her) and actually watched a few minutes of T.V. this morning with me. She prefers to move around and play and is pretending a lot too. I watched her "make" food and wanted me to join in the meal with her. She has alway pretended to eat and feed you, but I hadn't seen her prepare the meal yet...too funny. She was also putting the dogs to bed, blankets and all...sweet, long suffering dogs...they adore Kelly and put up with her sitting on them, pulling on them and crawling on them. Good dogs!!!
It's a bit crazy, being my age and re-visiting the toddler stuff. Especially when you shift from making a bottle, changing a diaper and then helping with a college application or handing out money for them to have lunch and a brain sometimes has to take a minute to shift, but it manages.....weird, but wonderful!!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The New Safari Zoo

Daddy's Girl

We are home and almost recovered from jet lag. Very thankful to be here, safe, sound and with all the t's crossed and i's dotted on all the immigration work!! It was a wonderful/exhausting/strange/exciting trip. China is so very different, in so many ways, and 2 weeks is long enough. We had a very good trip home, well not good, but under the circumstances it was good. Kelly slept on the second flight, the long one, for most of it, thank goodness. We made great time thru immigration, and Kelly is now a legal U.S. citizen, hurrah!! It was wonderful to sleep in our own beds and spread out a little in our own house. Both Cory and Jamie were troopers thruout the whole trip and have been a HUGE help since coming home...they play with Kelly, take her for walks, take Kelly when I need to get dinner on or a shower, and get her to mimic them in most all things. Kelly thinks they are wonderful.

Ron had to get right back to work and has finally gotten close to catching up, Cory is back to crew and Jamie is "hanging" with friends, and I am remembering what it's like to organize your day around a toddlers schedule. I am so fortunate in the timing that I can take it all slowly and have nothing really to juggle other than just being a family.

Kelly is amazing. She has such a funny personality....she pretends, she mimics, she hams it up to get her sisters to laugh at her, and she is making great strides forward in her progress. She seems to be attaching very well, thank goodness, and is soaking up everything around her. We sometimes overdo it, and I have to remember that just going for a car ride can be a new and exciting event, and you add that to a trip to Target, swimming in the pool and walking the neighborhood and you get an overwhelming day for a 21 month old who's spent her life up till now in an orphanage. We saw some of the CHOC cleft "team" today and will be setting up a surgery date soon to repair her palate, just to add tor the excitment! The only real issue different from other toddlers is she is having trouble getting to sleep, which she struggles against, but this too shall pass.

We are continually amazed and thrilled at this whole adventure, and are so very happy to be almost done with the "exciting" part and are more than ready to settle down to the everyday, "boring" part...being a family.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hi All!
Seems I've gotten on to blog and it's letting me post for the moment so I'll type fast.
We are GREAT...we had a difficult past 24 hours with a surpise problem with Kelly's visa, and for a short while thought we would be delayed for an unknown amount of time...luckily we resolved the problem and are still planning on making our flight!!! Good thing as we are really "done" here, and very ready to come home. Kelly is amazing us daily with new things, personality and progress. She is cracking us up and cute as a button. We have pushed the limits of a toddler (zoo trip all day, bus rides, changing schedule etc.) and she has come thur like a trooper. We are all exhausted, but so very happy and looking forward to getting home and settleing in. I will try to post more when blogger lets me, or China does. Hope the last 3 pictures posted, they are random shots.
Note to all NON Hague, adopting families about to travel or here now, either see my post on the CCAIWCP big board, or post here for info on the new problem of the Visa 37...if you are Hague, never mind.

Monday, July 6, 2009

all is welll

All is VERY well but blogspot blocked most of the time here in China, so I'm typing as fast as I can to get it out....seems to be a time limit.
Kelly is GREAT, a real toddler, and we are seeing much progress every day. She is giggling, playing and cuddling now and showing a really cute personality. I am going to stop this post, try to publish and come back to it, but wanted to say all is well, and we are so happy!!! just frustrated not being able to blog,,,,be right backe.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We have Kelly and she has us!

Wow, what an amazing 2 days it's been. First of all, everything is great. Second of all, sorry for the delay in posting....our time has been chock full of screaming baby, giggles, paperwork and more paperwork. Also, China has blocked Blogspot, so we had to work around it, more than just "anomouse" and stuff like that, but my computer whiz of a husband figured out a way, but it's super slow for me to post, let alone find the time and get a chance at the computer (lots of skyping).

So, what you are waiting to hear....Kelly is adorable. We are all doing well, and Kelly is slowly but surely adjusting to us, and moving past her grieving for her nanny. We were given a memory book from Half the Sky and it's clear from the pictures in it that Kelly has had the same caregiver from the time she was an infant. She is basically healthy, and bonding well, just slowly as anticiapated. She is miserable with an ear infection, a few digestive issues, and a bad rash, but getting better by the minute.

Ok, that first paragraph was written yesterday and not posted...I was interupted and have finally gotten the chance to get back on. We are now here at Thurs. am and doing better by the minute. Kelly is now playing with Ron, happy to walk away from daddy to play with her sisters, and didn't cry when she woke up this morning. She's eating better, and scratching less. We have giggles, and much more inter action.

There are 7 other families here getting their kids and doing well too. We all finished our Chinese paperwork and they are officially "ours" and tomorrow we leave for GZ to do our American paperwork. We hope to do a little shopping today, and maybe the pool again, we'll see how it goes, R and I are remembering the lifestyle of parents to toddlers...naps and meals being the most important part of your day!

I'll try to post some pictures here now, and do another post soon....just got to get in line for this computer to do it!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

we're here!

Well, we make it to Zhengzhou, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Kelly! Our flight was ALMOST uneventful, but true to Darling tradition, the trip here HAD to have some type of drama. For those of you about to travel and are keeping tabs on the way things are being dealt with regarding Swine Flu, you'll love this..... On the flight over, Ron sat across the asle from a man who was obviously sick (cough, runny nose ect.) so as the plane was not full, I moved back an asle and over, then Ron, Cory and Jamie all moved over...then Cory moved next to me and Ron over again. The plane landed, the crew with the forehead temperature scanners came on board and scannned everyone. Of course the man who was sick passed, but the young woman next to ME was the only one on the whole plane who didn't pass. Poor girl, it took 30 min.s of 5 masked, goggled, clipboard wielding officials interrogated her, then took her away!! After sweating it out, they did not take me, or Cory or anyone else. Whew. They DID put an odd purple stamp on all our medical paperwork we had to fill out on the plane.
We made our way to ZZ, had dinner, slept, and this morning we went with the 6 families getting their amazing experience, truly amazing. All went well for them, and we are supposed to get Kelly, here in our room in 2 hours!! We are headed off to eat, then will be back and try to stay calm. Bye for now. Beth

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sat. June 13th
Well, we have our tickets, and are finally fully approved by both China and the U.S. to go!! Our itnerary is as follows (at this time)

Fri. 6/ 26 leave for LAX
Sat. 6/ 27 our flight leaves at 1:40 am
Sun. 6/28 land in Beijing 7:40 am, change planes
Sun. 6/28 land in Zhengzhou, Henan, 8:55am, go to hotel
Mon. 6/29 Gotcha!
Fri. 7/3 leave Zhengzhou, land Guangzhou
Thurs. 7/9 leave Guangzhou for LAX via Beijing
Thurs. 7/9 land LAX 6:00 pm

Looks like we have at least 6 other families in our travel "group". Our agency, CCAI, tries to have families travel in groups to get their children that are being adopted from the same Province (Henan). We will all stay at the same hotel in Zhengzhou, get our children at the same time and then travel together to Guangzhou to finish the paperwork before going home. These families children come from all over Henan, different cities, different orphanages, all but one child, who I believe is coming from Kelly's CWI.
I'll post more later, but this is the latest.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27, 2009
We got an update last week, including this wonderful picture of Kelly!! Love the hair, and the healthy look. We were pleased to see her looking so well. We also received some updated measurements, but as the height update claims she grew 2 inches in 2 months, we pretty much have disregarded all the numbers as being inaccurate. Oh well, the picture is worth a MILLION words.
The best news was today though....we received TA!!!!!!! For all of you who don't speak the strange language of International Adoption, that means we have Travel Approval, which is China's way of sayng "ok, you can come get her!" We will not be traveling with the next group from our agency to go (June 10th) but we will wait till Cory and Jamie are out of school. That means probably traveling June 25th or 26th, but we will need to wait a week or two to get our final days and times. Still, this is the final piece in the puzzle and we are REALLY on our way now.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kelly's Shower

Well, on Sat. March 25, my dear friends, Maryam, Kai, Lucia and Jennifer threw a beautiful, fun, emotional baby shower for our family. There was wonderful food, wine (the joys NOT being pregnant!) flowers, friends and family. It was a wonderful day and here are the pictures to prove it!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

About Kelly

Hi all,
On March 16th 2009 we were given Pre-approval to adopt Zhang Yi Ran. Yi Ran was 18 mos. at the time, and her birthday is Sept. 21, 2007. She is in the Xinyang Children's Welfare Institute in the province of Henan, China. We have named her Kelly and will keep her Chinese name for a middle name. For those of you who are in the adoption world, our stats are these:
MCC 12/7/07
LID 3/21/08
LOI 3/9/09
PA 3/16/09
LOA 4/27/09
For those of you who don't have any idea of what all those numbers mean, I will give you the answer to the most important question most people have: when will we get her? Hopefully, if all goes well, we will travel somewhere in late June to early July. We hope to be in China for about 10 days, and all four of us will travel to get her. We probably won't know our actual travel dates till late May or later. It all depends on the Chinese government and how fast, or slow, they process our infomation. So we will try to be patient and work on finishing her room and a few other projects before we travel!