Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 7:13 PM PDT
I am on my way to Nanjing with Jonas and Laura. I have to say I am worried that I am not going to be able to handle the two of them by myself. I decided to fly instead of going by train. I thought I would be ready to jump after a 20 hour train ride. We will leave tonight at 7pm and will arrive within hours of the medical team flying in from the US. Jonas is hopefully going to get his lip and palette repaired but I am not sure if they can do the two procedures at the same time and Laura who has no cleft lip, she is only getting her palette fixed. I am eager to see what Jonas is going to look like. I think he is already such a handsome dude but he still cries way to much. He is drooling up a storm and looks like a hound dog.
I had one of the sweetest nights with the babies last night because it involved lots of sleep. No one woke up until 3:30am. I got up twice to check on Sarah. She is the smallest and has taken the most work. For the first week she threw up almost everything she ate. I found out that was because the anti-biotics were too strong for her size. Once we stopped that she seemed to keep things down better but still had a tendency to projectile vomit. We were feeding her smaller bottles more often but she threw up none the less. On Tuesday night she had a 3oz bottle. We were just waiting for the fountain but she kept it down. Last night she had a 4oz bottle and she slept until 3:30am. Gabriel is our little crier and I am hoping he is not going to be Jonas number 2. You almost have to force feed him in the beginning because he gets beside himself with hunger. It is only after the first ounce that he calms down. Michael on the other hand is our marathon sleeper. He can sleep for 12 hours straight. I worried about him not eating and so there were times that I would wake him up. Then he does 6 or 7oz bottles and then promptly goes back to sleep. My kind of guy. I have heard that there is another medical mission coming to Xian in August so I am hoping that the three of them can have their lips repaired and then we will wait until they are a year old for the palettes.
The three heart babies Benjamin, Jade and Angel spend the day at the hospital and had echo cardiograms. From what I can understand Jade and Angel's heart conditions are not bad but Benjamin's is. He has to go back again today because the anesthetic did not work yesterday and he was screaming too much. I have discovered that Benjamin does not like the crib. Like Antoinette, he likes sleeping in the stroller. Last night he slept really well and woke up at 5 for his first bottle. Jade is the beauty of the group and is giving Antoinette a run for her money. The Chinese love Antoinette but the foreigners think that Jade is more beautiful. She has the most incredibly long eyelashes I have ever seen on a child and has there big round eyes and does not look Chinese in the least. Jade is getting stronger and is holding her own bottle. That is so amazing considering that when she got here her arms were so limp and she could not even hold any toys. We have been bathing her in a vinegar solution becuase her eczema has been really bad and it itched a lot. We also apply hydro-cortisone cream and baby lotion and that seems to have done the job. Angel is really serious about her food and she drinks her bottles with real intent. She reminds me a lot of Nina. She has the strongest little body, very muscular and her arms have muscle definitions like she had been working out. She is also able to hold a bottle with milk in the air with just her mouth. I have never seen a baby do that before. Her stomach is okay according to the doctors yesterday but it is so big for her body.
As for the rest, they are at times interested in the new babies when they are crying, but for the most part ignore them. They seem to have adapted well to the additions. Susan has a man in her life: Ryan. Ryan kept on picking her up every day even though she cried every time, so now she is used to him. It gives me hope for the future adoptive family. Laura is free standing for longer periods of time and she is going to walk soon. That is going to cause so much commotion!!! I am dreading it. She is going to be a real handful. She has also been sleeping through for the last five nights. Both Antoinette and Jonas are standing up in their cribs and it is too cute when I go in there in the mornings they are often standing up "talking " to each other.
There have been a constant steam of visitors. There are three groups who do volunteer vacations and then they bring the volunteers here for an afternoon to see the babies. I just love these groups because they are so interesting and have such great stories to tell. Last week we had a few reporters and so I got some more people stopping me in the street.
I will send some pictures of Jonas new face as soon as I can.
Love and laughter,
Amanda and the 12 babies