Friday, April 27, 2007


Thursday was a big day of doctors appointments. 9:00 am we started with the neurosurgeon. He is not as concerned about the hydrocephalus, but more with tethering of his spinal cord. He feels that the balance and walking issues are caused by tethering not hydrocephalus, partly because his arms do not seem to be effected. That does not really explain the sleepiness though. At 1:00pm we went to the ophthalmologist clinic at the hospital to dilate his eyes and look to see if there is any pressure on the back of his eyes. It took four sets of the eye drops by the resident to get his eyes dilated. Ethan didn’t like that very well, as you can probably imagine. They finally got them dilated and Ethan wouldn’t let ‘bad guy’ resident anywhere near his eyes after all the drops, so they called in a different doctor and he was able to get a great look inside and said that there was no pressure at the back of his eyes, and his opinion is that Ethan has enlarged ventricles but not necessarily hydrocephalus. He also said that Ethan really isn’t cross eyed like we thought, and that his medical information said. He said that there is just some excess skin around the bridge of his nose that makes it look like he’s cross eyed. At some point when we’re through with surgeries we’ll take him into the eye doctor for a full eye exam. We finally were done there around 5, nothing like a 4 hour doctors appointment, and all they had to do was dilate his eyes and look inside.

By the time we got home Jamey had heard back from the neurosurgeons office about the rest of the testing that needs done. On Tuesday afternoon Ethan will visit a pediatric urologist to do a bladder function test. Wednesday morning we go to the pre-op clinic in preparation for his sedated MRI on Thursday morning.

We have a big week of doctors ahead of us.

Thank you for all your continued prayers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Should I wake him?

Just a few minutes ago Ethan took my hand and led me to the door to the garage and said 'bye bye' I told him we weren't going bye bye it was time for bed. He sat down, then layed down and was out.

If I move him, he'll probably wake up and then expect me to lay with him the rest of the night. If I leave him, I can get a few things done before I move him to bed.

Decisions, decisions. ;o)


Today was our first day with MaMa by herself getting both boys ready in the morning. It went well, who knows if it will keep going well, but it’s good for a start. A little more shopping today, we needed some bigger jammies, the size 4’s we had were a little on the snug side.
This afternoon when I told him we would go soon to get GeGe from school he led me to his room and pointed to the top bunk. I wonder if he thought Brandon was still up there. I lifted him to see the bed was empty and we would go pick him up at school. He was quite upset with me when we didn’t leave right then and go get in the van. We were walking into the school when the bell rang and Brandon came out of his classroom. Ethan squealed and Brandon ran up. Ethan gave him a big hug and had to hold big brothers hand all the way back to the van. I think Ethan likes having a big brother.

Monday and Tuesday

Monday morning Brandon was excited to show off his new brother at school. We stopped by his class and Ethan smiled and waved to all the kids. After that a quick trip to Walmart. He did great just sitting in the cart, as long as I don’t need a lot of groceries, he might fit in there with the stuff.

Mama got her first kiss today!!!! Usually if I try to kiss him, he’ll rub it off. Today, I made a kissing sound to him, then he puckered up. I asked for a kiss then leaned in about an inch from his face and let him move towards me. Later that evening Baba got one too! Hopefully those are the first of many kisses for mama. Mama likes her little boy kisses.

Tuesday came with several more kisses. One for big brother at bedtime also! Ethan and I stopped to see a couple of people the off to the pediatrician for his first checkup. Home for lunch and nap, then fun outside playing with Baba and GeGe. Ethan loves playing outside. Now that he’s getting more sleep, his energy has improved. Over the last couple of days he’s swung on the swingset, picked lots of dandelions, pushed around every riding toy he could find, and pushed himself around on the little yellow car, helped Baba mow . . . oh, and don’t forget chasing GeGe. That might end up being his favorite pastime.

Monday, April 23, 2007


We all slept until after noon, then Grandma, Papa and Brandon brought us KFC. Boy was it good. Ethan had a blast playing and exploring everything he could find. He was up, active and alert for 6 hours. I think it was a personal best for him! Grandma and Papa went home, we went outside to play a while, and then we had some dinner. Three bowls of noodles and some fish later, we were ready for bed, did I mention he likes to eat. ;o) He also LOVES playing outside.

He didn’t sleep quite as well Sunday night. I laid with him and he fell asleep, a while after I got up to do a few things, he was up crying. I laid with him again and he grasped onto my hand and wouldn’t let go. So far he’s stayed in bed with me, but too close. Sunday night, he was right next to me and holding my hand. He would start to fall asleep and his hand would fall away from mine, then he would jerk awake and grab my hand again. He was pretty restless all night long. Sometime very early morning, he decided he wanted to sleep in his bed, so we walked in, kicked Baba out and he slept for a while in his bed, then woke up again and wanted back in Mama’s bed. Needless to say, Mama didn’t get much sleep.

Saturday part 2

We arrived at the ER at University Hospital around 10pm. It wasn’t very busy so we didn’t have to wait very long. They did a CT scan that showed moderate hydrocephalus.

We are very blessed that it wasn’t worse than that, and he does not need immediate surgery. He will have an MRI this week, and we have an appointment with a pediatric neurosurgeon on Thursday. They will be checking to see if he also has an Arnold Chiari Malformation

also, I’m not sure if they’ll be checking for this right away or not, but at some point we’ll be checking to see if he has any tethering of his spinal cord.

Ethan was a trooper in the ER, he wasn’t too thrilled at first with laying there for the CT scan, but he was so tired, he fell asleep. He wanted in his stroller sometime after midnight I think, and slept through getting into and out of the van, and getting his clothes changed and put in bed, then slept until around 1pm on Sunday.
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!

Saturday part 1

Saturday was a big day of traveling. Our flight left an hour or so late, because they airline didn’t pick up some of the people who were staying in the city until late, making them late to the airport. Even being late, our flight went off without a hitch. We arrived in Chicago a hour late and with help, were able to get through immigration and on to the next flight. If we couldn’t make that one, we would have to wait another hour and a half for the next one. Luckily, it was running late also, so we made it in plenty of time.
Brandon, Grandma & Papa, and Grandma and Grandpa were there to meet us at the airport.


Friday morning we got up, went to the breakfast buffet, which we loved, but Ethan had no interest in. He eats a ton at every other meal, but so far hasn’t wanted to eat any breakfast. We’ll take an orange back to the room with us, and as soon as we get there, he’s ready to eat it. Friday was supposed to be a very full day of traveling. Our guide brought us to the airport and got us checked in for our flight to Hong Kong. We had a couple of hours layover in Hong Kong then boarded our long 15 hour flight to Chicago. After sitting on the plane for 4 hours, they postponed our flight until the next morning due to mechanical difficulties. By that time, there were no more flights. The airline was putting everyone up in a hotel, but only the first class passengers were allowed to stay at the hotel that is attached to the airport and they said they only had 10 rooms available there. They were bussing everyone else into Hong Kong to stay. We knew that by the time we took a bus for over an hour, got checked into a hotel, then had to get up early to get back to the airport, we would only be in the hotel for a few hours, luckily, we called my dad and he made us a reservation at the attached hotel. We walked over and were able to get one of the rooms, dinner and breakfast from the airline. We also were able to speak with a pediatric neurosurgeon on the phone, he said we would be fine traveling, but to bring him into the ER as soon as we got home for a CT scan.
Now on to Saturday.


I’m sorry I haven’t posted, as you can imagine, things have been busy.

It looks like I left off when we arrived in Guangzhou. Thursday morning Ethan and I went to the medical exam with one guide, while Jamey and another guide went to the consulate then to confirm our flights. Ethan did well at the medical, one doctor kept trying to lead the conversation to mental deficiencies and I kept leading her away from than and stressing the physical symptoms of the hydrocephalus and pointing out all the new things he was learning and the great things he was doing developmentally. Ethan passed the exam then he and I were done until later in the afternoon. We did a little shopping then headed back to the hotel to take a break. When told our guide on Wednesday that we needed to stop and buy a stroller, she called the other guide and they had one waiting for us at the hotel. It was a lifesaver. Ethan is 46 lbs and he doesn’t know how to help you when he’s being held. If he’s standing when you pick him up, he keeps in that position. With his difficulties with walking, there is no way we could’ve done anything, even walking to breakfast would’ve been near impossible. With the stroller, he could fall asleep anytime that he needed too, which at first was quite often. He would be able to stay awake and at least partially alert for at most 2-3 hours at a time. I think that the nannies kept him on the same schedule of the other kids, and didn’t let him sleep a little more like he needed to; I think he was also sleep deprived. After a couple days of sleeping all he wanted, he started to be able to stay awake and more alert for longer periods of time. We met up with another adoptive family and had lunch together. It was very nice to talk with another family, and to meet someone that I’d been following her adoption blog.
Thursday afternoon we headed to the consulate for our swearing in and to get Ethan’s visa. We were the only family that they processed that day, and they only processed ours because of his medical issues and our need to get him home right away. That went well and back to the hotel, then we walked to Lucy’s for dinner. Boy can Ethan eat!!! There won’t be any sharing of a kid’s meal with big brother. I think he ate as much as Jamey and I did. ;o)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A lot has happened

The last couple of days has seen a lot of change for us. When we picked up Ethan, we were told by the orphanage staff that for that last 6 months or so he has been lagging behind the other children and been very sleepy. They took him to the hospital in December for a CT scan and it was determined that he has hydrocephalus. There has been a huge change since the video that is posted on this blog to now. In the video he is walking, running and jumping, now he toddles when he walks. If he is not leaning against something, he will sway when standing or sitting. His health has been deteriorating. Our agency requested and the consulate has given us an expidited appointment. This morning we woke up in Beijing, packed quickly and took a plane to Guangzhou. First thing tomorrow morning I will take Ethan to his medical evaluation with one guide while Jamey and another guide go to the consulate to take care of those things, then go to the United office to confirm our new flights. If all goes well with our consulate apointment, and we recieve our visa later that day, we will be flying out of GZ on Friday, with an overnight layover in Chicago and be home on Saturday. We already have an appointment scheduled with our pediatrician for the beginning of the week.

Ethan has been transitioning very well, much better than I ever imagined. Today he called us baba and mama quite a bit on his own without any prompting. He started sharing his drinks and food with us, first a drink for me, then for baba, and back and forth until the drink was finished. He also told our guide tonight that his Baba likes him. Tonight when I was tucking him in, he took his bear that be brought him and told it it was time to go to sleep and layed his head on the pillow then covered him with his blanket. Ethan then covered himself and layed down.

I will try to update again before we head home, but I don't know if I'll have time until we're home. When I packed us for our trip to GZ things just got tossed into suitcases, not only will we have the offical adoption work to do, we'll need to get packed back up and ready to head home.

Things to pray for:
1. Please pray that our consulate appointment will go well and we will recieve his visa the same day.
2. Please pray that we will get our new flights confirmed. We are on a waitlist for our Guangzhou to Hong Kong flight on Friday. Pray that we will get to Hong Kong on time.
3. Please pray that Ethan will not deteriorate any further before we can get him home and seen by the doctor.
4. Please pray for Jamey and I, we were up half of the night last night on the phone with our agency and pediatricion getting things worked out and we are both tired.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Favorite toy number two, the little red car. He loved rolling it back and forth with Mama on the table at the notary office. He also loved stuffing it in his pocket or clutching it in his hand and carrying it around.

It's after midnight here, I'll post more tomorrow.
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That smile's going to break some hearts some day. Gotta love the stickers ;o) Mama opted to take hers off her face before taking the picture. These are the two nannies that brought Ethan to us.
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Ethan loved playing with the mini magnadoodle that we brought him. He would scribble on it, erase it, the scribble again. He also had a fun game going with our guide on the train back to Beijing. She would draw him a picture then he would look at it, erase it then hand it back for her to draw something else. Once when she drew a stick figure, he handed it back and told her it didn't have hands.
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He's just a little more weary of Baba, but he will let him hold him, and hold his hand but you can tell he prefers his mama, even at times calling me mama by himself without prompting.
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We have Ethan!!!!!

A little after 9:30 we arrived at the civil affairs office in Shijiazhuang, our guide knocked on the door and led the way in and there was Ethan with two of his nannies with them telling him Mama and Baba were here, and having him say mama to me. You could tell that they prepared him well, only a couple of teary times and both were more because he wasn't getting to do what he wanted. When his nannies left, he told them goodbye and kept playing for a while, then I think he realized that they were really gone and he looked around for them a little bit and asked for them. As you can see in the picture, he's a little chunk, and it's not just the three layers of clothes that he's wearing, he easily weighs more than Brandon, and when he's being carried, he's like dead weight, he won't help out by holding on, tomorrow we're buying a stroller. ;o) He has the biggest grin for the camera.
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Monday, April 16, 2007

Tomorrow is the day!!

We traveled to Shijiazhuang this afternoon on the train. I loved riding the train and seeing the real China. Fields and fields with workers hoeing and weeding by hand, the small villages and the small towns with factories.

We are scheduled to recieve Ethan at 9:30 tomorrow morning. We are supposed to be finished with all the paperwork by 4:00 and will take the train back to Beijing, that will get us back fairly late. We will be checking out of our hotel before we get Ethan, so we won't have Internet again until we check back in to our hotel in Beijing. I'll try to post about Gotcha Day then, if not, it will be the next morning.

Please pray for Ethan's transition.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Qian Men, also known as Zhengyang Men, this tower on the southern edge of the square is one of the nine gates of the inner city wall.
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2008 Beijing Olympics countdown clock on the front of the Museum.
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China National Museum, this is also closed for renovations getting ready for the olympics.
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Great Hall of the People, the parliament building.
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The revolutionary statues that flank the mausoleum. I had to get a picture of the guards at attention.
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Tian'an Men Square

The Monument to the People's Heros.
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Tian'an Men Square

This is Mao's Mausoleum in Tian'an Men Square, notice the gift shop. The mausoleum was closed for remodeling, getting ready for the Olympics.
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Heading to Shijiazhuang tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon we'll take the train to Shijiazhuang which is where we'll get Ethan. Originally we were told that we would receive Ethan that day, but now we think it will be the next morning. We're praying that we'll still get Ethan on the 16th and be able to come back to Beijing on the 17th as had been planned.

The time is clicking away until we're a family of four.


The head was all that was left of the fish that we had during our dinner at the end of our touring. The meal was wonderful. There was fish, pork, chicken and beef, as well as rice, corn, eggs with tomatos, and many more items. After our meal, we went to a tea house were we had a tea tasting.
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This is another building under construction for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
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We drove past some of the construction for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This bubble building will house the swimming events.
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This is the fireing process. When the bowls came out they were red hot and as they cooled you could see the design. After it is fired, they will polish it then add gold plating over the copper parts.
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Every color is added using eyedroppers. then the piece will be fired. The enamel will shrink during the fireing so the process of adding color will repeat 7-8 times.
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Siteseeing Cloisonne factory

This might be my favorite part of the tour yesterday. The process to make this enamelware took a lot of time and patience. The base is made out of copper, then thin copper strips are bent into the shape of the design and glued onto the copper base. Then it is fired and the enamel is put on using eyedroppers.
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The great wall 4

Here is Jamey's view from the nosebleed section
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The great wall 3

This is the view from as high as Lisa climbed. They had some really good ice cream bars being sold here. I opted for ice cream, Jamey kept climbing.
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