Thursday, August 10, 2006

We are Home!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Well me made it back to Xian. That was a miracle considering that we had two babies with arm guards on so the can not put their hands in their mouths. As soon as they wheeled Jonas out out the operating room I knew I was in trouble and there was no way that I could get back home without any help on the plane. Marney, my friend from Nanjing agreed to come for a quick two day jaunt to Xian. I cannot explain why I thought that I could handle the two of them by myself. The operations were done right after one another. Jonas was first and it lasted two hours. Laura's was three hours. If you look carefully on the photo there is a blue string coming out of her mouth. They put it through her tongue in case there was complications, but pulled it out the next day. I LOVE that picture of her. There were so many people who helped with meals, babysitting and all sorts of things and my ability to survive this was based on well they took care of me. Thank you so much to everyone who involved.

The doctors gave exact instructions for the babies. Jonas was not to bump his mouth. On Sunday, the first day of him crawling around he fell over and bumped his lip. I almost had a heart attack when I saw blood. Luckily it was a little but because he has been drooling so much it looked a lot worse. The American medical team were hardly in the air and Jonas was already damaging his lip. On Tuesday, he used those arm guards to pull the tape off his mouth. It was suppose to be on for five days but it came off after four. For the first two days after we came home both he and Laura were so crabby, but luckily that improved so much on the third day. He has this funny way of laughing at the moment. The top lip he keeps still and he just goes HAHAHAHA from the back of his throat. It is so funny to see. The scar is healing nicely. The scabs fell off yesterday and the swelling has gone down. He has got the cutest little mouth now.

Medical team from the US were so awesome. I was so sad that the whole mission did not run smoothly for them and that they waited for such a long time before they could perform operations. I am so grateful to them for all they did for Laura and Jonas and I got to see the wonderful work they did on some of the other children in the hospital. I am so in awe of their willingness to come half round the world and bless the babies with their skills. Here is their website if you would like to take a look: I do not think they have all the pictures up from the latest Nanjing trip.

When we got back I found that Benjamin had his first tooth. Now we know why he has been a little crabby lately. Giving some some Orajel and Motrin had helped and he is also sleeping better. Angel is picking up a pound a week and she can suck down an 8oz bottle. Nina is getting cuter by the day. Her personality is developing more and more and she is being so much more interactive with people. It is so wonderful to see. Susan lost some weight while I was gone because she cried so much and then she would throw up, but we have made up for lost time since I came back. She is allowing more and more people to hold her and I am so grateful for that. Jade has learned how to shake her head. I was really amused by that. All the older babies do it and when I saw her I just smiled. The best thing is when she does that she smiles to herself and she has the biggest dimples. The cleft babies are doing well but Michael has refused to eat since I came back from Nanjing. He has always slept a lot, but I have never met a baby in my life that does that. It has been so stressful trying to feed him because he fights it so badly. I wrote to a doctor earlier asking for some help.

Jonas and Laura will have their first birthdays next week. Jonas on Monday June 12 and then Laura four days later on June 16. I am thinking of having just one party for the two of them. Many people thought that they were twins while we were in Nanjing and I had a lot of fun telling people that they were four days apart and then seeing them trying to figure that one out. When we went out we drew quiet a crowd.

I got some new volunteers this past week. Tedra arrived for a ten day stay. Robert (17) and Rebecca (15) a brother and sister arrived from California. I have been so impressed with them. They heard about me and decided to raise some money by themselves to come to China. They have one year old twin siblings so they have the skills and they can sleep through anything. They brought some cute baby clothing, food and a SCAN THERMOMETER!!! I was so happy. No more five minute waits for the mercury to rise. We also got another box from Jeannie Butler and my favorite thing in there was Shout Gel. There is also another young man coming next Tuesday. His name is Alex Yang and he will also be staying for a month. Poor teenagers hanging out with me!!! We also received a box with some scrapbooks for the babies. The scrapbooks were partially completed and then photos were added here in China. Trey Lamb did this for his eagle project. They also made a history scrapbook of the foster home. They are beautiful.

Next week there are three men coming to Xian to see what can be done about becoming a charity in China. I am not sure what all the requirements are and I have been told that it is going to be hard to accomplish. I still want to try. I think that I will have some great benefits. I will be able to make medical decisions with out having to wait for the big orphanage to okay everything. I will be able to complete my own adoption papers and I think that I will be able to receive tax free donations within China.

CCAA has received the adoption papers for the six oldest babies. I got the news a few days ago. I am not sure how long the matching is going to take. Once they are matched, we have to wait for the parents to come and get them. I have been putting a lot of sweat equity into this and I am looking forward to experiencing another step in the process. When I told Mrs Liu, one of my workers, about this she started to cry. I know that this is going to hard for us to let them go but I think that this is all part and parcel of what we will do to help the babies. Maybe we will never any baby as long as we have had the first six. I think as we get better at getting the paperwork done we will have the babies for shorter periods of time.

Anyway the daily battle continues and I am grateful for all the people who help with the babies. I could never do it by myself. The volunteers' love and devotion is wonderful to see. There are some Chinese woman who spend their days here and ask for nothing in return. They just love the babies.

Love and laughter,

Amanda and the 12 members of the board.

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