Friday, May 29, 2009


BTW they won gold in Double overtime.

Goal Ball

Most people won't have heard of this sport, as it's really a sport for the Visually impaired. In fact if you have too much sight, you have to wear sleepshades

Three people on a team, and the ball is like a thick skinned basketball with bells inside. Teams bowl the balls towards each other, and throw their bodies in front of the ball to prevent goals. It takes place in a standard school gymnasium, and spectators are asked to be quiet instead of cheering their team on, so that players can hear the ball coming.

With the risk of repetition, here is what is on the Paralympics site:
Goalball is exclusively a sport for athletes with blindness/visual impairment. It was invented in 1946 in an effort to rehabilitate the blind veterans from World War II and was introduced to the world in 1976 at the Paralympics in Toronto. Goalball competitions are set apart from all other Paralympic events due to the unique atmosphere inside the playing venue. The object is to roll the ball into the opponent's goal while the opposing players try to block the ball with their body. Bells inside the ball help to orient the players indicating the direction of the on-coming ball. Therefore, while play is in progress, complete silence is required in the venue to allow the players to concentrate and react instantly to the ball. Goalball is played by male and female athletes with blindness/visual impairment and athletes wear ‘blackout’ masks on the playing court, which allows persons with varying degrees of vision to participate together. The game consists of two halves of 10 minutes each. The governing body of Goalball is the International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) and in 2008, the sport is played in more than 50 countries worldwide.

We have discovered the county next to ours' Parks and Rec. dept has set up monthly goal ball games so off we went. Acer is too young, another couple years for him, but Calliandra was old enough to play. Today she and another girl learned the basics, how to throw it and how to block it. Calli is a natural, flopping and blocking and throwing the ball, the other moms there were pretty impressed.

Calli liked it so much I signed her up for a week of three hour classes next month. I also signed her up for a two week day camp where she'll learn other things including judo. Can't wait to see how she likes that! (both camps were free - excellent!)

Acer had fun during all this as there was a good playground just outside. He and Mum were out there for an hour and a half.

And yes, I was a bad camera mom and didn't take any pictures.

How many more days?

I am counting the days until Acer's summer vacation and I will no longer need to wake up at 6 AM with him. He gets out of school on June 11th, but has June 5th off. So, I make that as only 8 more days of torture before I'll be able to sleep in, at least until 7 and maybe, if I'm lucky, even 8 AM. WhooWHoo!

My brain really doesn't wake up until 9 AM. It doesn't matter when I get up, I can function, but I certainly can't be cheery or speak in more than monosyllables.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Settling in

We're slowly working on getting a schedule that works for all of us. The one we have currently seems to leave me extra grumpy at times.
I think that I'll do more short posts, like the last one, from my cell phone so that I don't forget to post things. That way everyone is still on the loop, yet I don't have to spend a lot of time here in front of the computer.
take care all and if I'm not commenting on your blog as much, it's because I don't get to visit as often :(
Off to acer's iep

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Great moment. We're at the park and a little girl just asked Calli if she wanted to be her friend

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day one at home

Calli had a rough night and ended up sitting up in our bed sniffing for about an hour before we had to get up. I think her clock still wasn't on MI time and she woke up and started thinking too much and got herself into a right funk about it and couldn't shake it. We got up and ate, she's trying very hard to be helpful with Acer, trying too hard, leading him to the table helping him down the stairs etc. I finally had to tell her to let him do it himself (she's very big on doing things herself) and that he really knew the house better than she did.

She's doing okay with the dogs, still a little nervous about them, but not paralyzed in fear which I had worried about.

We tried on one drawer full of clothes and started our bags of stuff to go to LuLu (cousin Lucy) , then we walked over towards Mum's and met her on the way. Calli uses her sight a bit too much and her cane information a bit too little for my comfort. We're going to have to work on her recognition of where the streets start as she'll walk right out onto them. I've switched her cane to one that is too long for her, but more responsive, feeding more information to her hands. She has enough vision to follow me, so I started walking beside and behind her to make her work at it more. If she's still going to trust her eyes more than her cane, I'll put her in sleepshades as we walk.

Right after we got back with Mum, Acer's bus came and then it was lunch time. We ate and then shot off to Bill's work to bring Bill his wallet. Everyone was really glad to meet her and we distributed the small gifts we'd brought back for them.

Had a relatively good evening and seemed to have cured Calli's sleeping issues by letting her sleep with Acer. Thurs. Uncle David will come over and help us lower Calli's loft, that should help too, as she should have more space and feel more comfortable up there. For some odd reason our upper level ceilings are shorter than the 8' normal and so the loft is REALLY close to the ceiling. May drop it by as much as a foot I think.

Having a good day so far, lovely weather, and another drawer of clothing tried on.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's good to be home

We landed an hour early yesterday, which was good because once again, we were the last ones to go through customs. We were so late go ing through they'd even taken our luggage off the carousel. Bill had arrived and circled the lot once tho' so his timing was perfect.
On the way home we stopped for our traditional Erma's frozen custard. Our place to celebrate with delectable frozen goodness came through again for us.
After we unloaded, Alex, Bill and the cutesome twosome went off to buy Alex a new phone as she'd lost hers on the trip. I unpacked and sorted and downloaded my brain.
They all came back just before Alex's grandparents came to take her back home (sniff, wish we could have kept her longer, like forever).

Time to shower and then head out, more later
Love H

Monday, May 18, 2009

The beginnings of a band

At the time of posting, the video had not yet processed, but I am sure it will soon.
Hurrah! Made it through customs and are on our way home.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ready to go

We're heading out the hotel room door in 5 minutes. In just under 24
hours we should be home. I love China love being here and I'm ready
to come home.
See you on the flip side!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Leaving tomorrow

I never knew I could miss anyone, much less two anyones as much as I
miss my Husband and Son. I've always been more independent, accepting
separations from people as part of life, so this missing them so much
is surprisingly hard for me. We leave in just over 24 hours and I
can't wait to see them again.

For us here, after two days of cooler weather and hazy conditions,
last night's wind seems to have cleared the skies and we're looking at
an 88 degree day today. I'm hoping that I'll be able to be picked up
for the non-walking part of today's sightseeing, but am not sure yet.
Yesterday's resting really helped my foot a lot, but it's already
spasmed once today already and with that, my plans for a full day's
sightseeing went out the window.

We had a good meal last night, we found a restaurant that at least had
a picture menu with the title in English so we knew what we were
eating. No more spicy tripe surprise for us, we learned our lesson.
Calli and Alex went into half a dozen places to ask before we found
one that had the English menu, but it was worth it.

Not a good day for me

Yes, Here I am, in the hotel room, relaxing with my feet up instead of
out sight seeing. I seem to have tendonitis in my right Achilles and
about killed myself yesterday even walking slowly. If the Summer
Palace was too much, today's trip to The Forbidden City and the Great
Wall would put me in coffin.
So I sit, and do exciting things like catching up on my comics and
playing 'Solitare 'til Dawn'. I tried to go on facebook, and in the
middle of my session, it froze up and then switched over to Chinese
Characters. Way too many for me, I only recognize about 5, not enough
to handle a website.
I'm going to take my computer down to the front desk and see if they
can help me. I think if I can sign in again, then I could have things
go back to English but we'll see.
No blogger (this is by email if it even gets posted) and No Facebook.
What will I lose next - Yahoo groups?
Slowly losing my technology here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good pic from this "morning"

This was taken this "morning" (8am Eastern, 8pm Beijing)

She is smiling!


Can't fix the blog right now

we can't reach the blog right now to fix Alex's link to Bethel so I
thought I'd let you know that there's a link to Bethel on my Sidebar,
way down.

We are in Beijing in a very nice hotel. We went to the Summer Palace
today. Unfortunately, our guide is not as talkative as I'd like. I
think she felt she didn't have to say as much because I've already
been here. I had to tell her twice and then a third time bluntly that
I wanted her to talked to Alex more because Alex has never been here
and needed to learn these things. After that she really stepped up

Prayers for My Right Achilles Tendon, it's been sending up shooting
pains and has really slowed me (and the rest of us) down. Think I
need to ice it and put it up tonight.

On and odd note I was able to get gel for curly hair at 7/11 of all
places here.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Draft for blogger

Hello All!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post.

We are now back in Beijing. Tonight we are staying at Bethel, which is
the wonderful foster home Calli lived in. When arriving here they were
so welcoming. Everyone said Hello and shacked our hand and helped us
around. A little bit later we were going to go for a walk. All of the
kids were dressed up in dresses and tux's. Man the kids looked so
adorable. Then Calli came out, oh boy did she look stunning. She has a
dress on, her hair in curls and she had a tiara. Instead of the walk
we went into the playroom and danced. These kids were having so much.
It was then that Heather started telling me the stories of some of the
kids. Oh, and yes all of the kids here are blind. One of the boys has
such a sad story. At his previous orphanage he was left in the care of
two retarted men, who beat him and literally left him in a closet. He
was beaten so bad to the point of not functioning. When he came to
Bethel he asked "Are you going to beat me to?" That right there made
my eyes start welling up. For any kid to ever ask that is horrible.

Another little girl was abandoned then was taken into the care of a
man who made her beg. Then he died, after she went to another person
who made her beg. She fell sick and was abandoned again. Then she was
brought to Bethel. She didn't know how to walk, he didn't know she
could choose what clothes to wear.

Most of the other kids here were abandoned because they were blind or
had health issues, some have been in orphanages all their lives. In
china it is illegal to put children up for adoption because of the one
kid law. So if you don't have what you want or have an unhealthy baby
you abandon them and try again. Then they came to Bethel. Bethel was
like their Heaven. Here they have choices, they are taught English,
French, and improve on their Chinese. They haven't had the ideal
lives and yet they smile. They have fun and they are happy. I guess
it's better than the lives they could live. It is so heart breaking to
come here, you hear stories of the kids and you want to wrap them all
up and take them home. To make sure they never get hurt again. I even
asked Heather if we could bring them all home. These kids have a
special place in my heart. After seeing this NO ONE has the right to
ever complain about their lives. If these kids have gone through this
and are still happy and full of smiles we should be too.

I will write more as the words come to me.

Here is the link to Bethel. Go to sponsor a child to read more stories.

I will also be putting some videos up.

Alexandra Lynn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Trying again for the Red Couch Photo

Okay, So I emailed myself and put the pictures in a folder where I think I can access them for Blogger. Cross your fingers and someone please leave me a comment!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wow am I behind on my posts!

So we're at the White Swan and I'm giving up on adding pictures to my posts now. I've not been updating because I wanted to add pictures. I think I'll send them somewhere & have Bill post them later.

So, going back to Friday when we were still in Hefei. We had a visit from our guide, Jane, with our paperwork from Hefei and she helped us work on the paperwork for Guangzhou. The girls had headed out, walking to a bakery Jane had taken us to earlier in the week. Alex had really liked a blueberry danish (lacking a better term) from there and was determined to get another. So, they walked up and found the store dismantled! Great was her dismay and angst. They took a taxi back and went to a closer bakery that did not have the desirable danishes. We headed out that evening for dinner and had a fresh made pita with an egg baked into it. Boy were they yummy. Our ice cream exploits that evening were not quite so fortunate, we somehow ended up with butter flavored icecream. The other two ate it, but not me, I barely put butter on my potato, this was way too much for me.

Saturday we got packed up and waited for Jane to take us to the airport. Jane got the girls each a great gift, a calligraphy version of their name, on handmade paper, done by a real artist. She also told Alex she'd get her a job teaching English anytime she wanted. We flew out and thankfully I had a much better trip than the one from Beijing to Anhui. When we got to our room we discovered that we were once again on the 18th floor. That seems to be a theme this trip, the 18th floor. We'll see what we get to in Beijing! OH yes, Mr Wu, our driver in Hefei, succeeded in getting me a flip flap, a solar powered flapping flower pot. We'd tried earlier, but I'd scared away the vendors because I had my video camera out. Mr Wu made sure I got one, buying it when I wasn't there to scare them.

Sunday we went to the pearl and jade mart, we looked around for a couple hours and didn't buy anything. Alex looked in many clothing stores for herself and we tried to buy both a dress and a pair of shoes for Calliandra, but she was having none of that. There seemed to be a lot fewer vendors there too. We'd already noticed that there were a lot for vendors here around the White Swan but I was surprised to see it hit the vendors at the jade and pearl mart too. Not sure why. That evening we went swimming, I found a cute bathing suit for Calliandra, it was two pieces, but it was a tankini with a skirt so she is covered. I brought three suits, but they were all too small. One was passable, but this is better. This was also Mother's day, and Bill and Acer called to wish me a Happy Mother's day. I was really pleased to get that greeting from the Little Man. He also said he wanted to send Rugby and Lobelia to China to get me. I think that means he really misses me. I also got me first I love you from Calliandra. What a great Day!

Today we had to go get our medical exam. What a difference from 2 years ago when there was a room filled with adoptive families. There was only one other family there when we got there and they were done soon after. We were sometimes in the room with the other people at the Dr's and sometimes we were back in the room where we'd done the exam years ago. Oddly enough, the tile in the room looked new. It was pink, with teddy bear picnic type pictures and it said Happy Birthday. A whole floor tiled just in this.

While we were walking, Elsie, our guide, kept getting calls from someone named Mike, who was lost. Finally after we were done with the exam and back in the room, she told him where we were and our room number. Elsie and I finished up our paperwork, she left and then Mike, and American form Vermont, arrived. It turns out that he was looking for her because she was looking for us to interview us for an article about the adoption process. After Mike and Elsie finally met in our room, they headed out to lunch and we did the same before coming back here to meet with Mike for the interview. He is currently freelance, but if he sells the article somewhere, he'll let us know.

Today I was able to do fancy hair for the first time on Calliandra, and I was able to get her into a lovely damask dress I'd brought, so we just came back from taking our Red Couch Photo. Think i managed to get one with both a smile and a head up. I'll have to see when I download them. You'd think that with just one child, it would be easy to get a good photo, for me, the non photo pro, not so much.

Well that catches me up. I have another scheme for posting pictures, it involves Bill, so I'll have to see if our inter marriage communication can handle it.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Okay, so I'm still seriously failing at this picture posting. You'd think that after blogging for 2.5 years I would know how to post photos. I DO, but only know two methods and can't access either from here.
Going to sleep on it again and see what inspiration hits.

Sorry, guys


Sad me

On the plus side, we are in Guangzhou, and I did successfully connect the computer and sign up for internet.
We've had a boring day, mainly hanging out and taking the plane to here.

Trying once again, Sigh.

Someone please comment so I can see if this one works.
Losing hope :(
almost out of ideas

Friday, May 08, 2009

Trying flicker

Okay, hopefully this link will work.
Click here to see our trip to the Zoo, complete with Red Pandas that you did not see down below.

Okay it didn't work for James, someone please try now that I've adjusted the privacy settings

Strike Two

Okay, so, obviously emailing pictures directly from Iphoto is not a viable option. Thank You Lavonne for being up late and checking this out so quickly. I thought I'd be waiting until morning to find out.
Now I am trying to use flicker. Again an experiment. It will take about a half hour for the photos to up load. Don't ask me why I didn't just up load one. I have no idea.

Red Pandas, I had no idea they were so cute!

This is a trial run.  Someone please comment so I know if this posted or not

Red Pandas, I had no idea they were so cute!


Thursday, May 07, 2009

I'm Home!

Made it home today, just wanted to let everyone know, the plane flight was uneventful, I even had seats that weren't too crowded together from Narita to Detroit. There was even a seat open between me and the next person! Read 2 books on the plane, the same movies from the trip out were playing AGAIN!

The two books were The Tomb (A Repairman Jack novel) and The Shack. I know, not the most closely related books, and I am glad that the person that was two seats over didn't really talk that much, because I did cry a bit during the book(The Shack). It was really well written.

Well, it's late, off to bed, because I have work tomorrow!


Another day down, and we're wiped out

This was a good day today, we were all happy, fed and enjoying life. We started out early to get to the zoo before it got hot and the animals all hid in the shade. Yes, I did take pictures, and no, I have no idea how to get them to you yet. I'm going to think a bit more about it. Bill is currently still in transit so I can't ask him.
We were at the zoo for 4.5 hours and Alex got burnt where she didn't suncreen carefully enough. Our feet were pretty tired so we hung out and relaxed in the room for a bit. I actually tubbed for a while. the tub looks like it should be deep, but it really wasn't any deeper than my one at home, it just looks cooler and, I guess it is more comfortable even if it isn't bigger.
We walked to a little grocery store, checked out a little bakery and then stopped at a restaurant. We ordered three dishes I thought, but only really got two and then didn't finish because we were full anyway. Grand total in USA money $4.00. Calliandra has been doing a good job translating as best she can, it makes a huge difference in our ability to get around on our own and I'm grateful.
We came back and are all so tired from getting up early and walking so far in the heat that we're heading to bed way before we thought we would. Basicall as soon as I'm done typing this, I'm done for the night.
On the plus side, I am starting to get more interaction from her, She put on another piece of new clothing to sleep in, and she hasn't asked to call Bethel or any of her friends from there for moral support as she did the first two days. Prayers that our bonding continues to improve though, even with these advancements we have a long way.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sorry, I'm working on the pictures...

but amazingly enough I've figured out how to post them to facebook (Friend me if you want to see them). I'm still working out the least cumbersome way to get them from my computer to here, but so far it seems to involve my emailing them to myself and then downloading them to my desktop and then to here. Tomorrow's a free day so I may have more time to ponder, and will probably involve Alex's brain in use too.

Bill's landing in Beijing any moment now, we'll miss him for more than his technological expertise of course, but it is just one more reason I like having my guy around.

We did talk with Acer today, he reported on a trip to the park with both YeYe and Unca Dawei. David was over to watch Acer today so NaiNai could go out and about and do her normal Tuesday chores. Acer is counting the sleep overs 'til Bill comes home. He's also astounding Sue and Bill with the amount of milk he's drinking. Aside form having to report that he hadn't wanted to come in from playing on the playset, all seemed good in Acer's world.

more later, but we do have smiles and giggles from our girl!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Trip to Lord Bao's family home and burial cave

We walked about yesterday, to get Calliandra out of the room and out of her funk. It worked slightly but she showed no real interest in what we were doing, seemed resentful and even turned down an ice cream on the way back. They even had her favorite - green pea.
Lord Bao lived about a thousand years ago and was know for his being, just, impartial and reforming corrupt practices.

OKay, so I seem to have failed at picture loading, I will need to try a different route now and figure this out before Bill flies home today.

Thank God for a break through.

Despite a rough morning, there is some hope. We have actually had a few words out of her and she volunteered to translate for me as i was discussing towels with housekeeping. She no longer spouts off the I don't want litany we've heard since last night. We are very thankful to our guide Jane, who spent time talking with her, and buying food for her to eat. Calliandra hadn't eaten since gotcha day and we were getting worried as she even turned down ice cream.

On another note, we've switched rooms, our other room would inexplicably heat up in the middle of the night, Jane got them to switch our room and we got upgraded to a suite for no extra charge. A lot more room, and it's a room that others have complained about being too cold. Should be alright for us!

I thank everyone for their prayers, please keep them coming, I have felt much more peaceful myself since I posted about needing prayers, so I know they are working!

Take care all

More pictures later as we take them.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Day 1 pickup

These are the pictures of the day we got her. Please note, she is still sad.


When I was detained at Narita

As previously posted, I was detained in Narita due to a person exhibiting "flu-like" symptoms. Here are some of the pictures of the experience. I know, those guys look like a weird version of the blue man group, but they are all just wearing scrubs.

We have her!

We have middle child! She is very sad, that is actually good because it means she can attach. It is terrible to see her hurting but she is slowly opening up. Three days of terrible mourning hopefully and then she should adjust, Acer did. Prayers please!

Yes, pictures will follow.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Honk Honk, rattle rattle, Beep Beep

That's the noise we hear from our window, it comes in so clearly that we were convinced that the window was cracked open, but no, it's just the window. If it's this loud this early in the morning 18 floors up. I just have to wonder how loud is it on the ground and be thankful that I'm not there. It's a constant stream of different honks as people head on their way. I know I'll get used to it, but for now, it's like background music in a store; something you don't really want to listen to but you have to. I imagine I'll start singing along to it any moment, but right now I just don't have the pitch, tone or beat down.

We're still adjusting our clocks to this time. Last time was easier, I think because we were out in the sunshine touring around. This time we've all been out of sorts and napping all different hours of the day.

In just a few hours we'll be meeting Calliandra face to face, nerve wracking on both sides I know, for about the same reasons, it is scary to change your life this drastically, but I think both sides have adventurous enough spirits to want to take this challenge on.

More later, with pictures, I promise.

In Hefei, now to get rested and ready to meet Calliandra

Hello to all, we have made it to China Safely.
They almost detained Bill in Tokyo because he was too near to someone
who was sick, Thankfully they were only regular sick not influenza
sick or Bill might still be there. The poor sick man was so
apologetic for keeping the other 12 on the plane with him. The Lord
was good and the plane had arrived half an hour early, he knew we'd
need that time to make our connector to Beijing.
We left Detroit at 3PM Friday, equivalent to 3AM Saturday in Beijing,
and arrived at 10:30PM Beijing time, equivalent to 10:30AM Saturday
Detroit time. We do have killer flat butte syndrome!
We went to a little hotel near the airport for our overnight stay. It
was quite cute with lots of personality and went by the ambitious name
of Rising Harbor Quick Hotel. I'll have to post pictures, few
amenities, but we liked it. We were only there for a total of 8 hours
before we had to leave to catch our plane to Hefei. While there tho'
we got to see our friend Dennis, our guide for Acer's trip and we got
to skype with Acer while Dennis was there. Acer had a HUGE grin on
his face when he heard Dennis' voice.
The flight to Hefei went okay except my tummy, never too secure
during travel, decided to announce in not uncertain terms that it was
not happy with me. I managed to make to to the hotel, a Holiday Inn
where we have a room on the 18th floor, before passing out in a much
needed nap.
Bill and Alex went off with Jane, our local guide, and procured
crackers, water and soda before coming back to nap themselves.
All for now, Prayers for tomorrow when we meet Calliandra face to face
and take her into our family.
I'll post pictures to the blog as I can

Friday, May 01, 2009

On our way! At least to yeye and nainai's house