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Monday, June 27, 2011

surgery



We have a date! Ajay's surgery is scheduled for July 5th ( not sure of time yet ), and all pre-op testing will be done this Friday, July 1st. I was on the phone all day with doctors, nurses, family planners for hotel stays, registration personnel, etc. Lots and lots of schedules to accommodate :) All of the labs done previously have come back okay, but the surgeon wants to run his own tests.
 
 Its my understanding that part of Ajay's procedures are diagnosed as Tetralogy of Fallot http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002534/
 (and several other heart defects on top). So, yes, its even more severe than we anticipated. However, we are doing the best we can to have only the best doctors see and treat Ajay. The doctor preforming the surgery is world renown. This doctor chooses his cases, and refers others...Ajay's case was chosen....because of the complexity. I was told that this procedure and the ones in the future could not be completed by any text book explanation or diagram, but solely on the skill, knowledge, experience and level of confidence of an astounding physician....lucky for little Ajay we have that doctor.
 
The procedure on the 5th will be "Pulmonary Artery Unifocalization" which is the first of the TOF procedure. You can read more via google if interested. Its very difficult to understand so I opted not to try to explain his procedure. Here is one helpful link for explanation http://jtcs.ctsnetjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/138/6/1269
 
I will post news and events asap :) Please keep Ajay in your prayers!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Updates....

I wanted to be sure I updated everyone on Ajay's last 2 days! We were admitted Thursday night to be under "observation" during the Heart Catheterization and home on Friday. While under extremem sedation, due to him fighting the meds typical children are given, he slept for a very long time in recovery. He awoke to asking for a drink and something to eat. He ate 2 bowls of Cherrios and 4oz of apple juice at 2 am. Then, went back to sleep until 730am, which he awoke to eggs, cereal, muffin, juice and milk. He ate most of the eggs and cereal and drank another 3-4 oz of apple juice. He was given Tylenol throughout for pain, and took it like a champ. He never seems to complain much. He is very easy going little boy. He playes so well with all of us, like he has been here for years! He likes puzzles, card games, and all of the boy toys...trucks, cars, trains, etc.
 
Once home, he was elated to see and play with his brothers. He signed brothers over and over again at the hospital even with his splinted IV covering his right arm. He insisted he see them, signing in a demanding way. Luckily, I took some photos on my phone to show him while at the hospital. We called his brothers at breakfast and that seemed to ease him some. He really wanted to go home. He signed "go" and "shoes" several times...the nurses were smitten by him. :)
 
He has been eating fairly well, steamed rice and veggies (which he seems not to be a fan of veggies at all), yogurt, milk, apple juice, potatos, eggs, and bread. He does like to drink water, but doesn't drink as much as he should. We have an area in our kitchen where we keep water so all the boys can drink regularly.We had cheese ravoli last night
and garlic bread which he seemed to enjoy. We just keep trying different things, along with his rice so that he gets some nutrition while he is adjusting. He can be demanding at times, and will push food away without trying. Although we all encourage him, you can't make a child eat or drink. He has been dehydrated the last 2x in the hospital, so I worry about him not drinking enough. He is on liquid supplements to help with nutrients and vitamins to keep him strong.
 
We are now awaiting further review from the surgeons in Michigan, to give us the plan of care. We should hear this week sometime. I will post when the plan and other test results are given.
 

--
Carrie Reimer
Mary Kay Cosmetics
419-348-0968
 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Jay made it through his heart catheterizaion, for a total of 4 hrs exploration. He did wonderfully, with his strength shinning through. He and I are spending the night and should be released tomorrow. Next step, all the doctors and surgeon will examine all tests over last day, and will send files to surgeon. Then the team will come up with a plan, and schedule surgery asap.

Until then...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday June 19th

We finally arrived home later Saturday night from the hospital. Ajay was thrilled to be out to see his brothers, as he continued to "sign" for them while at the hospital. He is doing much better. He is amazing me everyday with his strength. He is on oxygen now continuously, and hates the cannula as he was used to the full mask previously. The doctors all said that that was not an efficient way to give him oxygen, so I went with their word. He struggles with the nose version, as it does dry out the membranes much more and becomes irritating to him. He isn't used to it, so I have given him small breaks in between, which I cleared with the doctor.
 Ajay also loves being home! He sat right down and played with his brothers immediately as if he had never left. They of course have been so excited to be "big brother" to him which he loves all the attention. He has become quite attached to me, giving kisses and holding my hand countless times during the day. He is so cute when he puckers those little lips!!
His appetite was much better and is eating eggs, pancakes, yogurt, rice (my congee needs work but he ate it) and fried rice and noodles from our local Hong Kong native. It was Father's Day, and we sprung for Chinese. I have tried to keep his diet consistant with what he was used to in China, although Americans don't prepare food the same, at least he is somewhat familiar with the items he has tried. He doesn't eat much fruits but that was not surprising. He doesn't want to try it, so I can't complain.
He has small cold, but received IV antibiotics when at the hospital for a possible ear infection (both ears). They didn't feel he would get any pneumonia with the antibiotic, but I warned that he is very very prone to it based on notes from his foster home.
 Upon leaving the hospital, we were required to have an oxygen tank concentrator and several portable tanks in our home. So, we met the delivery man at 10pm Saturday night for the delivery. The respiratory therapist will be contacting me on Monday to arrange a visit asap so she can monitor Ajay closely. In the meantime, we are to schedule a Heart Catherization for Thursday this week. All tests performed on him over the last 2 days while admitted, were faxed to the surgeon at The University of Michigan for review and plan of care. We will be moving quickly for his first surgery. I will post dates when I know exactly the plan.
Until tomorrow...

Friday, June 17, 2011

In the USA!!!!!!

We had a rough flight from Guangzhou to Beijing, waiting on the runway for over 4 hrs. A Jay got really upset and threw up everywhere. I was initiated, then had to fly at 1130pm. We arrived at our hotel at 3 am. Needless to say, we were all beat and had to wake by 5am for our flight home. All went well and Ajay went willingly and slept for about 3 hours total and did well on the flight. He was antcy some, but I was as well. Its a long flight, followed by a 5 hr drive home. He did well until about 2 hrs on the road, where he omitted in the car. It seems that when he is really upset, he vomits quite easily. I couldn't drive any faster and I knew he had enough travels. We were also delayed. We had some traffic and construction delays, so we didnt arrive home until after 6pm Thursday night.

We arrived home and the other boys were so excited to see us and Ajay :-)  They were bringing out all of their toys one by one, to show him all the fun ahead. It was cute how they interacted without trouble. Ajay  was a little timid for the first hour, but soon realized that they weren't so bad. They played for a short while, and A Jay had a bath, his oxygen treatment, and fell asleep in my arms. He slept from10pm til almost 4am. I thought that was pretty good considering the travels, new home, environment, etc. He did sleep in his own bed which we placed in our room in case he awoke in the night. He never cried...just slept peacefully.

We prepared for our Monday morning appt with the pediatriian at 10am. A Jay woke signing "brothers" and didn't seem to understand why they were not up at 430am :-)  They all woke to eggs and toast, Ajay eating an egg but refused the toast, and did try some milk. We had a good morning.

We went to our appt and the pediatrician immediately told us to go to the hospital. A Jay,s oxygen levels were o ly at 64%, and his pulse was in the forties. He seemed okay like the day we met him. He was actually playing with Anthony when we were told to take him, and the hospital was waiting. So yes, I was a bit surprised. Paul and I drove to the hospital and we were admitted within minutes. We arrived s out 1230 in the afternoon, followed by a series of questions by the nurses, PA, and doctors on call. They soon four d too that he was very u stable, and was not able to let us go ho e,  ut in fact preparing us for a couple days stay. The needed to put in an IV to increase his fluids from dehydration and weak veins. He needed to be on oxygen continuously, to raise his oxygen levels, to 75 range, and to be able to get a CT scan and chest ray, echo, and other heart tests completed. One problem was his hemoglobing is too high, making it not possible to get the dye in for the CT scan. So fluids were given around 9pm this evening. They had a terrible time trying to get his IV started since his veins are so fragile, they blew 5 out from the start. Poor guy was in such pain, and I was not able to help him. He played there crying calling, mama. My heart broke as tears of exhaustion and fear shown in his eyes. They finally got a line I,  and slowly started some fluids. By morning, we are hoping that his veins and hemoglobin levels are improved to continue with the CT scan, which will provide the doctors with a better understanding of how his heart is functioning. I do know he will require oxygen constantly when we are released from the hospital. So i will be working on that process tomorrow.

All in all, it has been an overwhelming day. We are in the right place with the right resources in place. I will keep you all updated as I get knew information.

Please continue to keep little Ajay in your prayers as it will be a long road ahead.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday June 14, 2011


Ajay's leg appears to be a tiny bit better this am. He was up most of the night scratching, restlessly in the night. I couldn't seem to stop him from itching and I felt so bad. I massaged his legs, and tried to occupy his hands from the intensity he felt throughout his infected leg. The scratches were so intense that he looked like he was scratched by a cat. Deep enough to bleed and make him more miserable. I used lotions and Benedryl and nothing seemed to work. When morning came, he awoke with several scratches on his left foot and now right calf was now swollen and reddened just like the left one started 4 days ago. I looked into his eyes and not only saw an exhausted boy but also one with a swollen shut left eye. He apparently got bit on the cheek near his eye and it swelled shut. He looked worse than a rerun of Rocky IV. I felt so bad for him. He itched and itched not only his legs but his eye. Paul and I were amazed and confused by the mosquito bite again, as we have not once been bit during this trip. We saw one in the hallway and once in our room, but killed it immediately. We thought we were free of these pests. Unfortunately, Ajay is attracted to these like a magnet.
 
I gave him more Benedryll and went to breakfast. Poor little guy he looked miserable, but ate well as if nothing was really wrong. Bless his heart. He still had a pretty happy disposition for such a sleepless night.
 
Well, its the day we all have been waiting for...June 14, 2011....Consulate Appt. Today was the day we processed every last piece of adoption paperwork and submitted to the United States Immigration Dept here in China, applying for finalization and processing of the Chinese Visa allowing Ajay to be given permission to go home to the United States. Its the final step! All is well at the appt and went scheduled as planned, only taking about an hour from start to finish, allowing all 10 families to do the same.During the ceremony we are asked to swear and affirm that all the statements you have made and documents you have submitted to obtain our child's immigrant visa are true and correct. If all documentation is complete, the visa should be ready to pick up the next day, and in our case is 330pm on Wednesday June 15th. Ajay's passport containing the visa as well as prepared documents in a sealed envelope, will be returned. We will take the sealed envelope to the United States Customs representative upon arrival in Chicago, and they will open the sealed documents, and further check for accuracy. Then, Immigration will file for proof of Ajay's citizenship, which will be sent within 45 days. (although he is immediately a USA citizen upon boarding the United States airplane, the "proof" of citizenship helps tremedously in getting a US passport and SS card)
 
On Wednesday after receiving the visa, we will be taken to the Guangzhou airport to prepare for our 730pm departure to Beijing. We will stay at the Hilton within the Beijing airport until 6am in which we will depart towards the boarding gate, ticket counter, and luggage check, in preparation for our flight to take off at 750am Thursday morning. We are scheduled to arrive on Thursday 750am in Chicago (yes we lose a day, by leaving a day ahead from China and arriving on the same date in Ohio).
 
I will try to post if Internet is connected via a wireless site at the airport hotel, to let you all know of our safe arrival. If not, I will post again to let know we made it safely to Chicago, for a 5 hour drive home to Ohio.
 
Thank you for everyone support and prayers during this special journey to Ajay!
 
Until tomorrow...

Monday, June 13, 2011

bath time after Safari Park


Despite his sore leg he still has that winning smile!  He loves his bath time and asks for it several times a day!
 

 

more Safari photos




Safari Park June 12, 2011



Today was a free day and we decided to go see the Safari Park in Guangzhou. It was a very rainy day, with storms through the night and still very very humid. Ajay's leg looked about the same, but felt that the antibiotic needed time to work. If not better by Monday, I would take him back to see the physician.
 
The Safari Park here is just that. The humans are the cage and the animals run freely in their own habitat. There are safe guards such as wide trenched areas driven between the cars/buses and the animals. They keep their distances so the lions, tigers and bears (oh my) don't eat the people...the antelope, deer, chickens, etc run freely around people and look into cars. We were in a bus-like train with cable cars attached for traveling throughout the park. Many wonderful animals enjoying their habitat as if we had something to look at. See photos below.
 
After the Safari on train, we were able to see the rest of the park by foot. We walked through seeing the worlds first Koala twins. They were sheltered inside a large habitat of their own, eating and enjoying the high life. Ajay enjoyed seeing all of the animals especially the monkeys. He seems to really enjoy them! Signing "monkey" is really the enjoyable part for us :)
 
As said in the previous post, we left the zoo early and went home to soak his leg, apply meds, and rest for the remainder of the night. He never fussed over any pain, but was frustrated that his leg itched so badly. He did sleep the entire night, 11 hours with only one awakening at 1 am because he was wet. He signed for "mama" as Paul was changing him, and I rocked him to sleep in a matter of minutes. Precious precious boy...we are so lucky to be his parents. :)
 

 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday June 11, 2011

Sunday June 11, 2011
 
Ajay had a good nights sleep, and awoke with a smile and appetite :) He continues to amaze me and gives us such a reason to be happy. He is such a good boy, communicating his every need with sign language. It really helps the frustration and language barrier as well as the ability to meet his needs. He loves being in the car, which is a good thing considering we drive alot of places when we are home. The doctors we will be visiting will be quite a drive as well.
 
Today is a big medical day. We have the medical evaluation, TB test as well as the processing of his papers to be filed within the govenment in preparation for his visa. We met the driver and guide who walked with us to the Medical Center a few blocks away. Its a nice day, very humid, around 95% at 830am. Paul and I are sweating like crazy, and the guide is telling us its a nice "cool" morning.
 
The medical doctor spoke English which was nice, and easy to communicate with during the medical exam. Ears, nose, throat, and TB test went well. He listened to his heart and said said he definitely could hear the irregular heart beating fast as well as the mumurs. I thought he would say more, but I wasn't sure he knew that we knew how bad his heart really is. We do know, so I guess it doesn't matter what the doctor said, I was just curious if he would say anything further. He didn't. He did, however, see a nickel sized bump on the back inner portion of his left calf. Ajay has had some mosquito bites since we met him in Beijing over a week ago, and seemed somewhat allergic to them. He had some previous bruising and swelling on his face and arms were reddened from scratching it, but nothing further. Well, this bite became infected with just  a clear liquid when the doctor squeezed and poked at it. He wasn't allarmed, but did prescribed some antibiotic ointment and anti-itch ointment. No big deal....we went on our way, walking around some other stores and restuarants, throughout the area and returned after lunch for a rest. (Ajay gets really tired easily, so we take naps :) or at least try to and take it easy.
 
We woke shortly early that evening and took a nice cool bath after dinner. (Ajay LOVES the bath by the way and we played for almost an hour!) I was drying him off when I noticed his left leg was really inflammed and swollen. We got his pj's on and the more I looked at his leg, the more swollen I realized it had become. He was complaining of not wanting his shoes on earlier in the day, and was not thinking that his foot may have been swollen...at any rate, his entire left leg from the knee down to his foot was double the size of his other leg. The area was more red and mottled in color and he was itching it like crazy. I told Paul to run down to the Medical Center to see if by chance they would still be there. It was already 8pm at night and it was closed. I didn't think we should wait, because of the amount of swelling in such a short amount of time. We were at the Medical Exam this am, not more than 7 hours earlier...this was swelling quickly and I was afraid that the infection had spread. Having a little medical backround, I knew that an infection can easily spread to the heart. As we all know, Ajay has a heart condition...I was worried that the infection could make him very ill if we didn't get him oral meds. So no one spoke English at our hotel, as the typical staff had left for the evening. We called our guide and thankfully she suggested we go to the hotel nearby, where there is a medical doctor on staff 24/7. We walked to the hotel, and a lady at the business office spoke some English. We showed her Ajay's leg and she took us immediately to the hotel doctor office. We were on our own after that, but were somehow able to convey to the 2 Chinese ladies that we had a problem. I showed her the ointment, and compared his two legs, showing her the bug bite area. She said, "ohhhh" and wrote a prescription for oral antibiotic 4 times a day for the next 4 days. Luckily, it was strawberry flavored so he would take it better.  It was quite scary, being in a forgein country trying to find a doctor for a medically fragile baby who has a pretty bad infection.
 
The next day, we went to see the Safari Park in Guangzhou, and I put the medication on the area with a bandaid to keep the area clean being at the zoo and all...well, that didn't prove to be a good decision. It started draining liquid during the walk through the park, and I had no idea what to do. I didn't want to take off the bandaid with potential for more germs to get in, but it was starting to blister and drain. Luckily, our guide agreed that we should go, and get into a cool bath to calm down the inflammation, take off the bandaid, and let the air dry it up. AND at the sametime, keep him from itching it and keep still :) Okay, first things first...home and a cool bath...went well, and then cleaned the area with sterile q-tips we purchased on the way home, with peroxide, applied ointment and held his foot and him away from the area. Needless to say, it was bothering him and he was not happy with the "keep still" part of the evening, but we did the best we could. He never cried or fussed much when we got the meds on his leg, it over the course of the night calmed down some.
 
Thank God...again, no fever or any other symptoms of illness...just a horriblly swollen infected leg.



 

Friday, June 10, 2011

a few more


ONe of his favorite things are his monkeys!!

more Dragon Boat photos



Dragon Boat Celebration

While in Beijing, we were able to experience the prepartion of the Dragon Boat Festival. Ajay loved the buckets of water that helped soften the rice before it was cooked. He loved the water so much that we were able to give him his own water bucket to play in. He LOVED it :)
 
Qu Yuan

The Dragon Boat Festival, also called the Duanwu Festival, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the Chinese calendar. For thousands of years, the festival has been marked by eating zong zi (glutinous rice(糯米)wrapped to form a pyramid using bamboo or reed leaves) and racing dragon boats.

The festival is best known for its dragon-boat races, especially in the southern provinces where there are many rivers and lakes. This regatta(赛舟会)commemorates the death of Qu Yuan , an honest minister who is said to have committed suicide by drowning himself in a river.



--
Carrie Reimer
Mary Kay Cosmetics
419-348-0968
 

more pics




First moments together



We're in Guangzhou

We made it to Guangzhou!! AND Ajay mad it through like a champ! I should take lessons...our car died on the way to the airport, and it was storming, aside from the already existing anxiety to fly (which I don't do well at all) I was a nervous wreck! The car finally started, which it died right in the middle of the toll road...nothing around but desert by the way, and I thought we were doomed. I should have more faith like my new little man. He was calm, signining "car broke"....amazing what little things children bring to our lives when we least expect it.
 
Once in the airport, we went up to the ticket window, where our guide proceeded to tell the gentleman that we have an oxgen concentrator that we need for our baby AND that we needed to carry it on so it would not be broken in our checked luggage. Within minutes, we had everyones supervisor, and their supervisors supervisor...nothing short of the national guard to help "asst" with this tank. THe main boss, said that we would need medical approval from a doctor. So I pulled out trump card #1 from my bag, that stated from our heart surgeon, that he is "required to have oxygen on flight and in travel to the United States due to a severe medically fragile heart and defect." I had several copies, and gave him the most prestine one. Boy he was shocked that I had documentation stating this was a requirement. He then gave me a paper to sign stating that the airline would not be held responsible if something should go wrong while in fligt. Of course I signed...and although it was over in an hour, it seemed like an eternity. Then trouble was not only the tank, but the actual ability to explain the difference between a concentrator and an actual oxygen tank as a gas. Yes, challenging? You bet, and I was glad it was over. We proceeded to stand in line to go through security, and again we were surrounded by airplane officials. Yep, and a medical doctor!! She was there to listen to Ajay's heart!! I never even knew airports had medical staff at the switch of a button....well another lesson learned...so she listened and her face said it all. You could tell that she was really surprised that his heart was in the condition that it was/is in. She spoke to everyone around us, in Chinese of course, and then our guide said, "yes, she agreed he has a bad heart" and I said no kidding....oy vey!! I coulda told them that 2 hours ago and saved everyone the trouble. :)  All is well, and we got through security, boarded the plane and off we went.
 
Ajay did very well, as I stated before, I was a mess. I thought to myself, its in God's hands...it has been and will always be in His hands....so I took a Zantax ( anti anxiety for flying only ) like any good mama would do and prayed for safe travels for all of us. He kept signing "car" as if he were driving this plane. It was cute and he had no idea the amount of force that was about to hit him when taking off. Well, the force pulled him back into his seat and he just looked at me softly. I held his hand and got out his coloring book. He signed "no" and I started to read it. I just kept talking in hopes to distract him. I started to color and he started to loosen up a little. He was obviously scared and wasn't sure what to make of the airplanes turbulance ( there was a huge storm ). He coughed twice and that was it. They passed out drinks and bread, and he ate and drank like he was king of the airplane. He had his own seat, his own juice, and his own bread. What more could a little guy ask for???
 
We landed at 9pm and waited a short while in baggage claim, found our guide, and headed out for The Victory Hotel in Guangzhou. We arrived around 10 pm and I laid Ajay in his already made up crib, attached him to his oxygen, and he was asleep in minutes. It was the first time he didn't fuss or cry/moan alittle before bed. I'm sure it was exhaustion, but either way, he was content and safe.
 
We have 2 appts in the morning, his medical visa appt, TB test, and to get his picture taken for his Chinese Visa. It will be another packed day, but we will have about 4 hours in between to rest.
 
Thank you for all your prayers. I KNOW that the flight, the comfort and love is filling him up through all of the continuous prayers and concern from all of you reading this blog. Thank you for raising him up in prayers!
 


--
Carrie Reimer
Mary Kay Cosmetics
419-348-0968
 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Friday June 10, 2010

Good morning, I sit here this am typing and wondering what today will hold...we have to pick up ajays Chinese passport, check out, fly to Guangzhou to finish adoption paperwork ( medical visa, Chinese visa, medical exam, TB test) at 730pm tonight. I'm posting early here Friday morning in case we don't have Internet access right away. We will be staying at the Victory Hotel in Guangzhou from Friday night til Wednesdsy night June 15th, when we catch an evening flight back to Beijing in early preparation for 750am flight on Thursday morning June 16th. We will fly from Beijing to Chicago on Thursday....and head for home. So lots ahead, so please keep the prayers coming! A Jay is in for more changes and I pray that he is able to fly and his heart can tolerate the experience without too much fear or discomfort.

Until tomorrow...Carrie

Thursday June 9th

Well, today is Thursday, and we are on our last free day. Before leaving for Guangzhou on Friday evening, we hoped to see more of the surrounding shopping area. We were able to go to Wallmart and some small shops nearby, but it was a quick day as A Jay was not up for any kind of shopping. I'm not sure if he wasn't feeling good, or he just wasn't in the mood for shopping. We went to get a couple of snacks for the airport and travels for Friday. Again, he wasn't interested at all. So we hurried along and got a few things, stopped at the police station for notorization of paperwork and headed back to the hotel. He woke around 415am and asked for some yogurt, and I changed his diaper. I asked if he wanted to rest soem more, and he signed 'sleep' so i layed him on the bed next to me and he cried some. I picked him up and held him close. It was the first time his heart was beating next to mine. It was a fluttering motion really but was wonderful he felt close enough to me to let me in his world. It was another wonderful moment to share....as i felt him drift off to sleep in the darkness of morning. He must have wanted some cuddling because he didnt want to let me go. He ended up sleeping til 815am, and headed for the door for breakfast. (As if he were late for an appt) We played all day, laughing, giggling, coloring, and doing puzzles. Ajay played and laughed like we are old friends....its another amazing day here in Nanchang :-)

Wednesday is another wonderful day!

Today was another free day, waiting for more papers to be processed, and getting to know the people of China as well as our new son A Jay :-)  A Jay slept last night from 830pm till 4 am, then asked for some yogurt. I gave him his yogurt and then back to sleep until 830am. He wanted breakfast right away, so we went right down to breakfast at the hotel. He seems to be feeling better and his cold symptoms are somewhat better. The cold meds provided by his foster home has been a lifesaver :-)  I let him pick the foods he wanted, curious to see what he would choose...and he picked corn on the cob, cherrios, and pork congee. I wasn't sure he would eat any of it, but actually ate the congee first, then the cherrios. He never did touch the corn,  but he did touch it a couple of times. He was quite funny and curious to try everything on my plate, eggs, banana bread, and apple juice were some of his favorites. Paul had a chicken nugget and hash brown potatoes (yes we are at breakfast) and he signed 'no' that he didn't want any. I had to laugh inside, thinking to myself, good choice. He ended up testing a whole piece of banana bread, his cherrios, and several spoonfuls of congee. He signed 'no' to milk and also to any fruit. We had a free day, so we rested and played in the room for most of the morning, until lunch. And like his regular schedule, he asked for lunch promptly at 1130. He signed to put his shoes on and we went to eat lunch again at the hotel. He chose this time, MY Chinese dumpling soup :-)  He ate 5 dumplings and I wasn't sure I had seen him eat that much since I met him :-)  He was the happiest little boy, and was very content with his soup.

After lunch he usually gets a nap, and rest time, according to his schedule at the foster home, which I have tried to follow for several reasons.  But today was different, A Jay was in charge....first dumplings and then he signed to go out. He signed 'shoes'  and went for the stroller, then the door as if he had an appt. It was a free day, and we didn't plan on any outings. We sort of were surprised, but thought maybe we could get some fresh air for a short while. So we found a small park nearby and we walked for about an hour, in the shaded areas. It was so humid and hot that I did t want him in the heat for long. He asked for a drink and we stopped for a drink. We tried some ice cream and he spit it out. I am finding he really doesnt care for sweets :-)  He was very content and just wanted his water. He asked to leave by signing 'car' so we left :-)  Sounds silly but we just followed his lead. We came back to the hotel, and we all took a nap. A Jay was just as content as ever. Almost unbelieveable, yes? He slept soundly but cried a little with his night time oxygen treatment. Not too much, but just the kind of cry that tells a mama that I'm tired...and sure enough he was asleep in minutes holding onto my finger.

Like I said, another wonderful day...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We have judah :-)

Hello everyone! We officially have Judah now officially Ajay :-)  He arrived approximately 930 am this Tuesday morning, scared, tired and a little sick. The nanny reported that he was on the train for 10 hrs, and didn't sleep but from 10pm - 5 am. He woke up and was upset to get off the train. He ate an egg and did end up getting sick. He came to our hotel room, ill looking and upset. I gave him his oxygen treatment and within an hour he was feeling much better. His color came back and he was back to himself. I offered him a yogurt, and he drank some, and gently placed it back on the table. He sat close to Paul and rubbed his leg. He looked to me and we played a little and colored a page in his new coloring book. His nanny brought along his favorite monkey....he signed for it and I was thinking, oh my....what are we going to do without a monkey! Then the nanny pulled it out of her bag, and I was never so happy to see that monkey in all my life! He laughed and we played with it for a little bit. He was so happy, to have something so familiar in such a strange place.
We rested for an hour so he could finish his treatment. He was ready to go! First we walked to the Civil affairs building where we met the orphanage director, and paid fees for entire adoption process for the week. We processed papers, passport, and made a visit to the police station to notorize papers, all in one afternoon! Ajay did wonderful, and slept in my lap during most of the meetings. When he was awake, he liked seeing all of the cars,  signing "beep beep and car" as we drove through the city. He seemed pleasantly amused by the sights, looking and babbling more than I ever heard him before. We had more yogurt at the hotel, and he took another rest in between appts. He slept right after his passport picture in the car ride back to the hotel a third time.

I was so happy he was able to say goodbye to the nanny who headed back to Beijing for another 10 hr trip. He hugged her,  but didnt cry as he held onto my sweater.  I shook and squeezed her hand as tears fell from both of our checks as if to say goodbye and thank you, at a time that didn't seem like the words 'thank you' was enough. It was definitely bittersweet day for her and the staff of the foster home.

He now sleeps soundly as I type this entry. We are very proud and feel very blessed to be his parents and just know that great things are ahead for this little boy...

(On a side note, yesterday was a free day, as we waited for Tuesday to come to finally be Ajay's parents. We ventured to Walmart on the Main Street of our hotel, taking in the culture of the Chinese people. The driving is insane, observing swerving cars, bikes, scooters with 3 people holding on....its China....the people are friendly, kind and are always anxious to help us...and I wouldn't want it to be any other way. This was our sons home. His birth place. Its where he was born. How could I view it in any other light...)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 4-June 5th.....today is Sunday, the day we finally head to Nanchang Ajays province. We arrived around 2pm, met our guide and went to the Galactic hotel in the business district. Its very nice here, busy with traffic, but manageable. We will not be seeing A Jay until Tuesday when all of the adoption paperwork processed. A Jay's nanny and him will be traveling by train to meet us here in Nanchung. We are excited to be his forever family.


Easy day sitting in Beijing traffic, actually 7 hrs inclusively waiting patiently as we observe the maniac swerving in and out of cars, people, and motorbikes to eventually see the Great Wall. It was an amazing site with beautiful mountains and surrounding greenery up a steep path of brick steps. Mind you these steps were uneven, pitted and about 24 inches high. The land was hilly and the grade was easily going to kill our calves, knees, and thighs. But we endured onward...it was well worth the trip but we did venture to a tradional Chinese restaurant after the wall and experienced real Chinese quisine, of sweet and sour chicken and spice deep fried chicken and zucchini, veggies barely warmed and of course white rice. It was followed by a tour of a factory of many good Chinese fortune trinkets. With the intent to see A Jay after lunch, and with all the traffic I soon learned it was the Dragon Boat Festival this weekend which made the traffic worse. So we missed our little buddy until after his dinner. We walked in and A Jay was watching a movie, and when he saw me, he said mama. He reached his arms up for me to hold him and we watched a few minutes of his video. I was able to play with him for almost 2 hrs before his bath. The nanny bathed him and I thought I should exit soon, in case he cried, I didn't want the nannies to have to deal with him so upset. So, I blew him a kiss, and signed goodnight through the doorway. He motioned back the same. I told him I would see him soon, and left him for the night.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 2...we had two meetings today and of course saw our baby A Jay right after breakfast, around 830am after morning prayer with the NewDay team. Our first meeting was with the nurse, who was able to help us purchase a portable oxygen tank to take on our travels within China as well as the USA. She was so helpful and gave such pertant information that will make our trip safer. She handed me a bag full of medicines that we can use if AJay comes down with a cold. She said that he gets a little runny nose could easily turn into pnemonia. She was so helpful!  Our last meeting was not really a scheduled meeting but a couple of hours spent with A Jay outside preparing for the special meal for the Dragon Boat Festival this weekend. I can't remember the name of the lunch item, but we spent the afternoon preparing them. It consisted of rice filled bamboo leaves wrapped in a boat like shaped leaf with a date inside. Its then soaked in water overnight and steamed or eaten cold. All of the preschool children prepared them. A Jay of course was more interested in diving through the water and mashing the rice, splashing around in the bucket and just having a good time messing around. He wanted no part of the actual meal celebrated on this special day. We enjoyed taking a ton of photos and playing in a plain bucket of water. It was soon lunch, then nap time, and we returned for our last visit with A Jay for the day. He was giggling and laughing with Paul, and the other children were in line for giggles too. I was able to help him with dinner, and started to say good night, and as I held him and kissed his cheek, he nodded his head no. He was saying no, he didn't want me to leave! I couldn't believe it! Paul knelt down and kissed his cheek and he started to cry and yell. We had to leave him, for it was the rules for now, but it was a bittersweet moment...he was attaching to us, but also was hard to leave him crying at the door.
I took a few hundred pic today, so I am going to try to post them here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

We're here!  We arrived at approximately 1 am after a long bumpy flight, and long car ride to the village 2 hrs from Beijing. We settled into the guest house awaiting daylight to finally meet our new son. We rested a while and went to breakfast at the cafeteria here at New Day Foster home. We were greeted by several college students who are here during a missionary trip. They gave us the quick ins and outs on a breakfast foods, drinks, and surroundings. All were very weloming, and seemingly knew who we were before we introduced ourselves. We were famously A Jay's parents. I was honestly surprised how much people knew about us and a our new son. He is a hero here at New Day and a true miracle. They all have prayed for a family for so long, and the day has finally arrived. The staff were all so grateful to be a part of our journey.

After breakfast we were given A Jay's daily routine and we were asked to follow him and see how he reacts to us. We began with a team prayer including the main staff members from the foster home, doctors, nannies, students, etc. It lasted 35 minutes of sincere prayers for this special day. The day the Lord has made for Judah to begin his new life...the day so many people have prayed for for so long was here.

The, we walked to the playroom where A Jay was playing and looking at our photo. I entered first as he looked straight into my eyes. He looked down at the picture, then looked at me, then at Paul. It was amazing to see his face make the connection between what was just a photo and a real person. We sat on the floor and played. He started to sign "help" and l signed it back, actually helping him with his block puzzle. It was almost a sigh of relief from him, knowing that I knew what he was trying to say. We immediately connected. It was from that moment he continued to sign to me, interacted with all of his toys and just played as if I was there forever. I felt that  erie kind of familiarity in a way and there was never any awkwardness in his behavior. He quickly called out "mama" and used more sign language to communicate. He learned that I could sign too, which seemed to mark the beginning of our bonding. A Jay was calling me mama the rest of the day, holding my finger, rubbing my leg, and sitting in m lap. We read books, colored and sang finger plays, which I quickly learned he enjoys.
Soon it was lunch and rest time, and Paul and I left him for a quick bite, while he napped. When we returned, they were playing songs, and signing with hand movements to Old MacDonald. One of the nannies said that A Jay asked where his Baba and mama were. That was awesome to hear, that in only a matter of hours, he was looking for us. It warmed my heart.
I also learned today about his heart, meds, and all about the care he will need and has received. I spoke with both the in house nurse and doctor about his oxygen levels, foods, allergies, etc. It was a very informative day. An emotional day. A good day.
We are so lucky to have the care, love and tremendous concern for this child. I truly believe that he indeed is a living miracle that not only He has carried, but his family here at New Day has endured.