Friday, October 30, 2009

Does the tooth fairy know the way to Taiwan?

Yes, big happenings here in Taiwan!
We were in need of the tooth fairy last night as Simone lost her first tooth yesterday!
So amazing, when we first were handed our little baby girl she had but one tooth in her mouth. Almost five years later and half way around the world from home~ but right around the corner from where we first saw her~ she lost that very same tooth! Such a big girl, she was so proud and so excited!

And in all other news...

We are doing wonderful! Sammy Wei is just a doll and is so easy and so sweet! We are just falling so in love with this little guy! We've been busy and he has been just keeping up and smiling through it all! Adam's parents joined us for a few days so we've been even busier.
We had our AIT appointment today and all went well. We should have our Visa late today and we'll be heading out on Monday. We had a bit of a scare as the AIT office will be closed Monday, the day we thought we'd pick up his Visa...also the day we leave, but the office will be closed on Monday! Our wonderful guide got the office to rush the Visa so we can still leave on Monday. Phew!

Below are some random pics of the last two days.


See below!!! He does laugh and smile....I caught this one when he didn't know I had the camera. He was bouncing on his Nonna at the zoo.

Not only is he a crawling machine, he's pulling himself up on the furniture. We are in so much trouble!





Lisa and Terry asked about the hair...maybe there were some curls in it they asked....
Actually we just have one sweaty little guy. He sweats when he eats, drinks a bottle and any other activity involving food. He is just a sweaty guy and I am constantly wiping his head. Funny, cause his Sis was exactly the same way!
So we are off again, to get some lunch!
J

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting to know you

We've spent the last two days just getting to know our little Wei-Che.

What we do know is that he is right where he belongs.
He is a fun little guy with a sweet smile, and he loves to be cuddled, tickled and is easily amused. He has a raspy little voice~we've nicknamed him DD, as in Donald Duck, because that is exactly what his little voice sounds like. And he is vocal...he can cry like I've never heard, but he states his joy with just as much exuberance! He is a flirt in public, charming any body who looks his way and he has a smile that makes his whole nose wrinkle up. And he loves his food, be it bottle, Mum Mum or baby food. He loves it all....

He is getting to know us too. He's taken quite a liking to Adam and totally looks to him for comfort and favors him above me, although he readily goes to both of us...most of the time. He watches Simone very closely and her goofy antics have been keeping him amused.
He slept a good part of the day yesterday so we kept it low key, just hanging out around the hotel and hitting a local market. He had a rough night last night, he was definitely grieving and had moments of very sad tears. He did let us hold him through each of the bouts of tears, so at least he wanted us to comfort him. He slept with his foster mom, so of course he is in bed with us here. Picture the four of us crammed into one bed....Yep, it's close quarters but nobody here is complaining!
And today? He's been wonderful and seems very okay with us. We walked up to S.Y.S. Memorial Hall and saw a dance and the changing of the guard, very exciting and neat to watch!

And Simone?
She is a great big sis. She is a wonderful helper and seems to really love her brother. She proudly shows him off to any person who will look and really has been a help to us! My big girl, I am so proud of her!



Our little guy loves to smile and giggle, but the moment the camera comes out he gets the most serious of looks....stinker! I swear he giggles all the time! Daddy too!

Isn't he handsome!


And big sis...pushing the stroller around the balcony. She loves to help!

He is such a cuddle bug!

And is very interested in everything going on around him. He probably had a smile on until he noticed the camera...seriously!


And the changing of the guard. Very cool, Simone really enjoyed watching this.

So we have 5 more days here and plenty more to do. And plenty more to learn about our little dumpling.
Until I post again...Zai jian
J

Monday, October 26, 2009

And then there were four...

Wow....
Words cannot begin to even describe the moments. I am amazed at such an incredible journey we have taken to our son today. I'd love to post more but we are enjoying some wonderful moments on the floor together...all four of us. So photos below....














I will end this by saying Samuel Wei-Che has been just a love, he is so cute, so sweet and so very adorable. He is doing well so far, a few tears, some quite big with some loud cries, but he seems to like us a bit. He really seems to love his Daddy which is too cute to see!
Oh, and he is crawling...full speed crawling!
More to come...
J


Sunday, October 25, 2009

First days in Taiwan & 2 hours till we leave!!

Here's a recap of our first two days in Taiwan.

Let's just start by saying either we got us some jet lag or the 32 hours of traveling kicked our patooties. We haven't been on our normal sightseeing whirlwind. Poor Simone has been waking up around midnight-unable to fall back to sleep each night and is just worn out during the day. I am hoping we get on track today!
But what we've seen so far has been great. We have enjoyed our first two days here a lot and just love the people and feel of Taipei!

Below is the airport welcome sign...
Our first day here it rained a bit...more like a drizzle. So we explored our neighborhood and got some supplies at 7/11. We found a fountain and park near our hotel.

Ya, I just let them be....crazy kids.

Here's the view of our hotel.



And the Taipei 101 at night. This is the view from an angle on our balcony. What an amazing building.


And yesterday we got on the MRT and went to Longshan Temple and the nearby market. It was very pretty, and interesting because all of these newer buildings were constructed litteraly around it! There were tons of people there and a woman gave Simone some cookies to give as an offering. It was a very beautiful temple.
Simone & Mama!
And Simone and her bestest Dad!


And a random street photo. It is soo busy here, so many cars, taxis, buses and scooters...so many scooters!
We went to "New York, New York" last night to get something to eat. What a bustling place that was! It's right around the corner of our hotel and at the base almost of the Taipei 101. Of course I forgot my camera...I was too excited about the prospect of our tasty food! But it was so cool, all the young people, older folks too and families and dogs! We will definitly be going back this week!
Okay, when I started this post we had TWO HOURS until we leave to get Samuel Wei-Che....Now we have an hour and half!!!
Yikes...talk about some major butterflies! I am so excited and nervous, I just can't wait to see and hold my sweet little guy, and I know Adam and Simone feel the same! We are all going on very little sleep since we have all been just soo anxious to go and get him! How will life change for us in the next few hours? I know it will be so wonderful and I am just counting down the seconds till we get that first live glimps of Sammy Wei!
Till then my family and friends...till then
J

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Forty minutes for nap time

Oh yes. Nap time.
This time was one of the biggest challenges, one of biggest lessons of patience as a new mom for me. Not the actual nap...the getting her to sleep part of nap time.
Forty minutes, like clockwork, it would take me to get her into lala land. Forty minutes of rocking my small baby, stroking her tiny forehead and back, singing sweet lullaby's. Forty minutes that at first seemed to me like wasted time, time I should spend getting things done.

In my former life forty minutes was a well calculated amount of time. Forty minutes rarely went by without much planning and good use of each and every one of those minutes. In forty minutes at work I could prepare a HUD-1 for closing or I could complete a purchase transaction. Forty minutes was twice as long as I ever took for lunch!

At home in forty minutes I could clean both bathrooms and tidy the house, I could dust and vacuum and even sweep & mop if I was ambitious! I could prep, cook and server a good meal to Adam & myself. Outside I could weed a flower bed or two, water all the plants and sweep the patio or maybe even take the dogs for a good long walk.
And now forty minutes was an amount of time that I counted in my head the many many things I should be doing and was not. I rocked I rubbed and I sang instead.

But eventually I learned the real meaning, the true importance of what I could accomplish in forty minutes. I could get my sweet baby not just to sleep for a nap, but I could help her ease into a nice sleep feeling safe, knowing I would be there when she awoke. I learned that the most amazing amounts of bonding can happen in those forty minutes, and that there was something magical about the way those minutes slowed and flowed. In those forty minutes I found myself relaxing and giving up any thoughts of me. Without even realizing it I was learning to stop rushing through life trying to accomplish all the things I could in the shortest amount of time, I was learning to slow down and just be.
And I learned that the biggest accomplishments can sometimes seem like nothing at all, until you realize how precious and wonderful every one of those forty minutes really were.

Now almost five years later I again took forty minutes~ like clockwork that child of mine is~ to get my big girl to take a nap. Again I stroked her forehead and back, sang "Twinkle Twinkle" and lay there with her for those minutes knowing that my sweet girl is drifting off to lala land feeling safe, happy and knowing that she is very important to me. And I know those forty minutes till nap are some of the best spent minutes in my life.

I guess being so far from home, and honestly not putting Simone down for nap in 2+ years I've gotten a bit nostalgic. And I guess until now I didn't even realize how special and important in so many ways that time spent has become.
And now knowing that for the next two years I'll be spending those forty minutes again, only this time it won't be so hard to let them go...
J

In Taiwan

Yes after many many hours of traveling to get here we can finally say We Made It to Taiwan!!!

We left bright and early (Okay maybe not "bright" - it was really quite dark...) on Thursday morning and landed on Taiwanese soil this morning (Saturday).

Below is our last "family" photo short of our little guy. Poor Emma & Ollie are not happy about us not bringing them! Thank goodness for our wonderful dog sitter!


We had a long (can you say 12 hour!) layover in Newark so we decided to take the train into NY City. We had high hopes of doing some sightseeing. Simone was ready to go....

We had a fun time seeing some sights and stopped for a great slice o'pie on some random corner. Mmmm Mmmmm!
And we headed back to the airport for some zzzzz's. It really was a long journey to get here and Simone was such a trooper. We all did our best to make this a fun adventure, but I am really proud of how well she handled the seemingly endless hours of travel!
And we decided to be adventurous with our morning flight meal. We had the choice of pancakes or the meal I opted for below. We all shared and it was quite yummy! It was conji (sp?) and a roll with a bean curd side item. Oh and the tuna floss...yes, it came with tuna floss. And went back with it...I wanted adventure but at 3 AM couldn't get past the tuna floss...


And we finally arrived at the Taipei Airport where we met our guide and came to our lovely hotel room.

We have unpacked and wandered the streets already, and then we all decided to "rest our eyes" for just a minute. My travel mates are still snoozing...three hours later! I'm sure we'll be heading out for some dumplings and noodles once they wake up!

Tomorrow we are heading out to a temple and whatever else we feel like, and Samuel Wei-Che day is Monday. I am so excited and yet so very nervous! This is so huge, meeting our newest family member. My stomach is in knots and I just can't wait to see and hold him!
We'll post more tomorrow on our Sunday adventures!
And then a restless night will await us before we head out to baby #2!
J

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Holy cow! We leave tomorrow!

Yes, finally our travel plans are all set!

Flights booked~~~~~check
Hotel booked~~~~~~check
bags packed~~~~~~~check
nerves calm~~~~~~~not so much a check-I've got some butterflies in my tummy!

But I am sooooo ready to go. We leave bright and early in the morning (thanks Starla for the lift to TYS)...with a looooong layover in Newark. I mean loooonggggg-like 12 hours long. But hey, we're going to get Wei-Che so I just don't mind!

Our official Family Day is Monday the 26th. Can you say WOOOOHOOOOO!

We are so very excited! I found myself all day saying "this is the last time I'll be doing this...with one child, without Sammy Wei, as a Mama to just one, without 2 car seats..." I am so stinkin excited!

We will be posting from Taiwan with our handy dandy little netbook so I hope to be able to add photos as the week goes on. I know my Mom & Dad are just so excited to see their first grandson with us as well as the rest of our wonderful families, best friends and all my blog buddies that have been waiting this out with us...I can't wait to share the joy!

So I best get my good little travel mates (Adam & Simone of course) fed and to bed...
tiring work- this making a family of four!

Until I post again.....
J

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our flights are booked!

We are heading out to Taiwan on Thursday!!!!

We will arrive in Taipei on Saturday morning and we get to pick up Samuel on Monday the 26th!!!! Yay, I am just so excited!

Our AIT appointment is on October 30 and we'll have to wait until Monday to get the Visa so we will be in Taiwan for Halloween. That's okay, as long as we have our two dumplings!

We are still working out hotel, but at least we know when and how we'll get there. And boy do I still have a lot to do!
J

Friday, October 16, 2009

And the day has finally come!!!!!!

YIPEEEEEEEEEE AND HOORAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

We got an email late late last night with the wonderful news, our Final Ruling has been filed!!!!

Wow, I am still trying to wrap my head around this! We are just so thrilled and excited and relieved that I just don't even know where to start or what to do next!

We are waiting for our AIT appointment to be set, and then we can book flights and hotel. We are really hoping to travel early next week, say Tuesday or Wednesday, but should know more details later.

Thank you all for sticking by us through this, I know I've been a bit gloomy and sad...this really has been extremely difficult and very trying emotionally. But the end is oh so very near!!

Soon I'll be holding my sweet baby boy!
J

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nine

Nine weeks have now gone by since our first ruling.

Our coordinator told us the record is 3 months...I don't know if I can possibly make it that long.

I know it's only been 9 weeks, but really its been 7 months since we got our referral and we had so hoped that we'd be with our little Wei-Che months ago. I hear myself saying "it's just not fair", a phrase I never use because I really believe there is no "fair".
But this...ya, it's just not fair.

The hope is diminishing quickly, the dreams of my sweet baby too painful to conjure anymore. The end of each day just so frustrating, because now we have another night and day to wait and hope and pray.

So this little paper work glitch- we are told that TWCA is checking on it and that the final needed to be "re-typed". So we don't know if that means it has been re-typed already or if it will be re-typed in the coming days or weeks, and either way what the time frame after the re-typing is. We were told "soon" which is a word we've been told for many weeks now.

So then, soon...
J

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Adam!


Yes, it's Adam's birthday today!

I hope your day is as special as you are!
You are a wonderful hubby, an amazing Daddy and the love of my life.
J

Friday, October 9, 2009

Parent/Teacher Conference

Yes, I haven't been up to posting much lately, but I just have to share the tidbits of my 1st parent/teacher conference.
I am amazed at the fact that I am old enough to be the "parent" in such an event, and I'm amazed I have a child old enough to require me to attend said event!

But I do, and I sure am glad!
I learned some new and interesting insights about my daughter. Things that maybe I see but just don't take special notice of. These are things that had been fostered and nurtured by her Pre-K teacher and are now qualities that are helping Simone in her first year of "Big girl school".

What I learned is that my daughter is a leader in the classroom. She loves to help her teacher and the other children and has been dubbed the "room mommy" by her teacher. (I still call it "bossy" but hey...she probably gets it from me anyway!)

I learned that she loves to clean up and straiten up the centers and will help others if she has finished in her area. (Oh really...wish we could see a bit more of that at home!)

I learned that she is very social and very inquisitive. She is friends with all the children in her class and is polite to all the adults she comes in contact with and loves to question the who, where and whys of things. (ya, that may get old...but wow, she puts herself out there!)

I learned that she truly enjoys learning and takes pride in each accomplishment.
And that she has a natural ability to learn and is excelling in her work in reading, writing and math concepts.
Her teacher said from the first day to now she has made huge strides, and that first day she tested on or above average with everything!

I also learned that we need to work on her handwriting, because she gets frustrated when it "doesn't look right". I want her to succeed so we will be doing some extra work in that area. I'm not sure if being a lefty plays into it, or if it's just a skill she needs to practice on more. Either way, I know we'll get there.

And I learned that without any one pushing or asking her to do so, she has decided to be the helper of a child that sometimes needs a little extra help. He is not very vocal and has some difficulties in other areas, and Simone helps to make sure he gets what he needs in class. She guides him to make the right choices with crayon colors, opening his lunch, playing on the playground. She also talks to him quite a bit even though he rarely responds. I asked if this interferes with her playing with the other children and was told "no, she finds a way to do it all". That was so interesting to hear, that she possesses that quality to nurture.

So my big girl has made her Mama so very proud, in so many ways. Starting school was a bit rough for her- she's not big on change and new situations- but she has just blossomed at her big school. I cannot wait to see what the coming year brings!
J

And on Sammy Wei news...well nothing new.
We did get word that there was a mistake done in Taiwan on our final paperwork and it had to be re-done but that we should hear soon. I'm ready. Really ready.
Happy 8 months my little boy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eight weeks...

Yep, today makes eight weeks since our first ruling.

Also this week our paperwork has been logged into the Taiwan courts for over six months, with no word of a final ruling.
And this week our little boy will turn eight months.

Not much more to say.
J

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What I've learned in school

This is for you, Poppa!

video

This was taken with my camera so the quality isn't so good, but I thought it was pretty cool!

We now return to our regularly scheduled program. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz