Emails from China

Fri, 9 Mar 2007 15:24:47 -0800 (PST) - Hi, I am at the Peace Hotel...I could not email sooner. I got in after 5 PM local time here. Pretty much fell right asleep, but woke up a few hours later completely confused as to whether it was early morning or late night (no clock in room and TV does not have time either) I had breakfast at around midnight (their time) then ate again at breakfast 6 am (their time). Flight was fine, but it would have absolutely killed you. Over 14+ hours with occasional periods of turbulence. Tell the kids that yes, I did make a new friend on the plane:) Her name is Maggie and she grew up in Princeton. She was coming to visit her boyfriend (that she met in Thailand) from NY who is studying in China. Hotel is very nice. I'm hoping to go to Gway Wah today. But the travel agency hasn't contacted me yet. Already saw sevaral adopting families running around here.

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 03:55:05 -0800 (PST) Had a nice day today. Went to the Great Wall, a pottery works and a rickshaw ride. You can see some of the pictures at the yahoo photos in the Hou Jie album. Calling is a problem, as u can not buy the Panda phone in China. I can buy a sim card for use in a cellphone, but I do not think they will work for a Trac-Fones. I have tried to find a phone calling card...but so far, none in english. Even the internet is a bit pricey, it is 2 Yuan per minute. ($1.00 = 6.77 Yuan) I will see if I can find an affordable way to call...but no gaurantees. The only main snag so far is that "Visa" traveler's checks don't seem to be accepted anywhere in China. So, I will hit the ATM at the next airport. Also, time schedule is very timing a phone call to not conflict with sleep is not easy.

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 20:14:25 -0800 (PST) We have a paperwork issue which we should be able to get corrected and fed-ex'd here in time...or I may have to be here a couple of extra days. The adoption agency supplied an outdated form that you will need to download an updated version and get your portion notarized. (My portion can get notarized here) I'm a little ticked off, because they politely questioned me why I used an outdated form...and I told them that they supplied it. The only way I became aware of it is apparently the other person adopting with a spouse at home WAS just notified about it, and she told me. Other than that, everything is going very well. I got a couple of new recent Joshie pictures..I will try to take a picture of them and email if I get a chance...but my schedule gets hectic for a while. I am out till 5:30 PM today and leave at 6 AM tomorrow for the airport. Don't freak if you don't hear from me....I don't know when I will be settled in the new hotel. Once I have Josh, I can not predict how I will get to a computer...his needs will come first.

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 05:04:41 -0700 (PDT) I'm sorry my emails are so short, but I seem to never have much time (except when I'm up watching Chinese TV in the middle of the night.) The business center closes early, so by time I get back to the hotel, there is little time. Its also difficult, because simple things take a lot of time. Its very hard to figure out where to buy stuff, so simple things take much longer. (Figuring out how to make a phone call at the public phone took 30 minutes to find a place to get the phone card, and 20 mins to have 3 diff. people try to help me use the phone. Finally, someone at the front desk came over to the phone and walked me thru it. The call cost about $7.00 US I wish I could be more helpful with the I864 and 864A form, but since I am getting it 2nd hand...and the the adoption agency people here in China were unaware of the problem until I raised it... I am not sure where the form needs to go. Holt in Oregon told the person who's husband is in the US that it didn't need to be notarized, but I would think it best to know that for sure before sending it. I went to the "Temple of Heaven" today...It was very nice. The orientation with Holt this morning was great, and I got two updated photos of Joshie. I will post to the Yahoo photos. Ask Mike, James, and Alyssa if they prefer an article of clothing (like a t-shirt) or a small toy of some sort. Its really hard to guess what they would like...prices aren't anything terrific here. Occasionally there is a bargain, but the inter-country air flights are very weight I need to watch what I buy. Also, quality is an issue on the local goods...a lot of it is the kind of stuff you see for sale at Columbus. You can buy a "Rolex" (copy) watch for about $4 US...but the tour guides advised it may only last a few get what you pay for here. I hope James did good at basketball on Friday. I did find a cute small gift for Alyssa. I will be surprised if I can email at all tomorrow, so don't panic if I do not. Tell Mike I look forward to meeting PEZ.

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 23:46:13 -0700 (PDT) I have just a couple of minutes...I will ask Eva (my representative from Holt who works in the White Swan office) what we will need for paperwork. I'm pretty sure yours is required...but will confirm asap. I will let them provide my copy, cuz they should have it and be able to notarize mine. Sonic mail may be the way to will get extrememly expensive if I need to stay additional days, as the tickets were non-refundable. I doubt the travel insurance would cover the delay for the it might make sense to be safe rather than sorry. The flight to Hang Zhou was not bad, there were only a couple non-Chinese people on the plane. No problems with flight...modern Airbus plane. The Ramada Haihua Hotel here is very nice,,,probably would be a 4 star at home. I am in room 794. Eva and I did some initial shopping for supplies and gifts. If we stay on schedule, I should be leaving to pick up Joshie in a few minutes. There is always something that needs to get done, so there has been little downtime. (most of the time was I guess that counts as "downtime") Let me know how everyone is doing. This hotel lets you purchase a day (24 hour) period of internet for 40 Yuan ($6 US) a huge bargain compared to the last hotel

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 17:33:43 -0700 (PDT) The best part of being prepared for the when you get the best instead. Joshie is great. He is cute, funny, and happy. He has an appropriate fear of strangers, but still took to me quickly. He does have a runny nose and the Orphanage director said he was on anti-biotic..but they had forgotten to bring it. Apparently, any pharmacy will dispense it without a doctors I will look into it today. Last night he would not let me take off his clothes for bed. Other than that, he slowly gre more comfortable. He slept in his clothes...but I managed to get his shoes off after he fell asleep. This morning he woke up happy and smiling. I was afraid he would be terrified...just the opposite. We played with toys in bed. Watched TV, then took a bath. He loves the tub! Checked him from head to toe..he's got cute toes! I am going to try to get all the new photos uploaded. He is getting since that takes a while...i wont email for about 10 mins at least.

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 23:12:18 -0700 (PDT) Joshie hates the business center...he gets bored within minutes, so I may not have long to type. Had to carry him out screaming the last session...cuz the videos took so long to load. So if you get a real short email from me from time to time, its cuz I can't wait once he gets fussy. Its official by the way, the Peoples Republic of China recognizes Joshua Jie Ferdetta as our legal son. Yeah! OK, I did keep the KFC bowl...but only to use to feed Joshie in the room. Also, the Papa John's Pizza takeout menu in Chinese is a good keepsake. Well, Joshie has great lungs! When he gets mad, he can scream for an hour. How loud you ask...the hotel called my room to ask if I needed a babysitter. I think it may be that he has started to grieve the loss of the orphanage. Today it was pouring rain, and fortunately it was a free we stayed in all day. I decided not to go to the orphanage... There are just too many logistical problems. Joshie is currently quite happy playing with the phone right now (I disconnected it) The adoption agency does not have the rep staying in my hotel. (They put her in a nearby cheaper hotel to save money) Joshie is DONE...gotta go

Wed, 14 Mar 2007 08:01:45 -0700 (PDT) We will need Rice Crispies cereal. His favorite cookie tastes like them. Joshie seems to be a far he spits meat out. He loves spaghetti, noodles, and congee. Mashed potatoes are OK. Mango juice is a big hit. His super favorite drink is Chinese and can be found at and looks like a mini milk can. He is probably right between a 2T and 3T for clothes. He is smart! He knows how to use the room card key. In China, you use the card to get in the room, then it goes into a slot inside the room to activate the when you leave, the power goes off to the room..including the air conditioning. He knows how to put the card into the inside slot. He can be a little TOO smart, so I can not let him see me unzipper the suitcase...cuz he only needs to see something once. He also pushes the elevator button. We ate dinner at the hotel tonight, cuz of the rain. Soup was 20 RMB, Pasta was 40 RMB, and the Diet Coke in a can (I had 2) was 25 RMB EACH! There was a reason that soda was not listed in the price menu...clever. Joshie doesn't care for Minestrone soup. The exchange rate is 6.77 RMB for every dollar. Some things can be very cheap...others very expensive. Joshie is like a people magnet. People are drawn to him all the time...and he works it. A girl from Holland chatted with us all during breakfast. She works at the hotel dining room, primarily greeting and talking to foreign customers. She gets a salary, a grant from the Chinese govt, free room and meals. Not bad for an 18 year old. She apparently was on the lookout for us at dinner, and had a gift of a small stuffed animal pig (its the year of the pig) She and her friend chatted with us through 1/2 the dinner. She "heard" about the baby who screamed from the business center through the lobby (hooray) we are famous. China is vastly different from the US. While I am comfortable here, everything is so foreign that nothing is easy. Its hard to explain. The pharmacy did give us an antibiotic (ceflecor..or something like that) and it is helping. He is also taking Bufferin cold medicine for children...he likes the taste of both medicines. Josh doesn't like to watch TV, though he wants it on... he will only occasionally pay attention to it. He was fascinated on a special about house cats...a good sign...maybe. Well, the biz center is got to run.

Wed, 14 Mar 2007 18:52:12 -0700 (PDT) The Bufferin is just a brand aspirin content. Josh will need surgery, I'm sure. His bottom teeth are fine, but most of the uppers are badly aligned. We were beginning to worry, cuz he had no bowel movements since I got him..he just had his first at 9:30 this morning (China time) I had taken him to the hotel clinic yesterday, and they said wait til today before using a suppository. Glad I didn't need to...everything appears to be functioning normal. Your little genious knows that temper tantrums are a way to get what he wants. I think it was a survival mechanism at the orphanage. He will scream til you give in....and time is no object. 95% of the time he is a wonderful child...but when he doesn't get what he wants...well you get the idea. I am going to try to take him to a museum or something today...he can not last another day cooped up in the room. Josh is done...gotta go. .

Thu, 15 Mar 2007 17:44:16 -0700 (PDT) Just a short note to say all is fine. The amount of time Josh lets me in the business center gets shorter and shorter. I want to get more pictures uploaded, and since that takes a lot of time, I am gonna make this a short note. Check Yahoo photos for any new promises though.

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 07:46:44 -0700 (PDT) I tried calling using a Chinese long distance card...but could not get the codes right. The front desk helped a friend of ours use it, and I think they may have gotten thru to you, but they do not speak English. I got thru, but only got the answering machine. Will call later today or perhaps tomorrow

Sat, 17 Mar 2007 18:28:07 -0700 (PDT) The flight from HangZhou was good....well, except the one little boy who screamed at the top of his lungs for about a half hour until his father unbuckled him. Oh, right...that was Josh. Remember that story about the parents who got thrown off the plane because their child was having a tantrum? Ha...nothin compared to monkeyboy (my nickname for have to meet him to understand) The poor man from India who sat next to Josh...if you saw the panic in his eyes as he tried everything imagineable to calm him down. The elderly Chinese gentleman in the next row reclined his seat all the way back so that he could offer all kinds of advice (I hope thats what he was doing) on what to do. Most of the flight attendants attempted to calm him down as well. Ever have an entire plane full of Chinese people glare at you...clearly certain you must be doing something horrible to the innocent cute Chinese boy...Oh I can't wait for the flights home! He was an angel once unbuckled, and only went into a fit of complete high pitched uncontrolled screaming when I buckled him in for the landing. Forget ANY hope of using the special FAA approved child restraint system we bought..unless you want me thrown into Chinese prison for child abuse. Its bad enough to get the plane seatbelt on him. White Swan is a 5 star hotel, but looks are not everything. Room has a "closed up" mustiness...but not too bad. They accidentally left the heater/air door unlocked, and u could see the filter was packed with dirt. They said they would correct that today. Sink wouldn't drain, but they came and fixed it right away. They gave us fruit and flowers as an apology. Service is very very good. Still a 5 star...but the Ramada was much nicer. Josh is done!

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 04:13:23 -0700 (PDT) Guess you have not logged on yet, cuz my last email was not read. Everything still going fine. We did the "paperwork checking" today with the adoption agency. Everything looked OK to them, just waiting for your form to arrive to add to the packet.

We are doing well here in China. Josh got a haircut... 15 Yaun ($1.95 US) He was not very "cooperative" but the woman moved as fast as she could...Josh moved just a little faster at its not perfect. But its good enough. Many of the families and children have been sick...most with flu-like symptoms. SO far we have ducked it...but odds are against us. Right now the store staff here is babysitting Josh...they all know him and me. We say hello each time we go out, and they know are names. They usually give him a toy to play with...I think they know he gets mad when u take it I bet they are hoping I buy it. I have bought a few toys for him here, and we will be picking up laundry tonight. Some of it could have waited til home, but they let me use a stroller and the internet for I think its only fair to give them a little extra business. I was "guilted" into getting him a "traditional" outfit after this morning's group pictures. Many of the children were dressed in the outfits...what kind of parent am I not to have one...its only Yuan...not like real money. Josh is done. Gotta go!

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 18:24:38 -0700 (PDT) Getting ready to go to the Buddist Temple at 10 AM and Joshie is a little cranky about being this will be short. Today is the Visa processing wish us luck! So far the adoption agency did not say anything else is we will see. I did not fill anything in on your part, as they did not give it to me. Lets hope they know what they are doing...I'm sure I can fill it in at the consulate. Josh and I are having a great time here. China is a wonderful place to visit...shame its on the other side of the I would love to take the family here. Lots to see and do, and we barely scratched the surface. Maybe I'll come back someday if one of our kids adopts a child from China :) But there is place like home. Miss everyone there, and look forward to coming home..well, except for the flight, that is.

Wed, 21 Mar 2007 04:38:22 -0700 (PDT) Josh has been granted permission to come to the US. Yeah! For all those that travelled with a spouse, their adoption is final once they enter the US soil and their child becomes a citizen at that point. Josh's adoption does not become final til we finalize it with State of NJ. He also will maintain dual citizenship. Once he becomes a US citizen, he needs to apply for a US passport and use THAT one when traveling outside the US. Otherwise, if he travels on his Chinese passport, he "may" not have the full protection of US Citizen rights. Do not arrive at the airport any earlier than a half hour MINIMUM after the flight arrival time. You will simply be standing around doing nothing while Josh and I go through immigration and customs. It could easily take us an hour or more to clear both. It all depends on the lines. Well, I am getting sick. I have had a scratchy throat all day (not too bad) but also getting a bit of a headache. Very manageable so far...but don't be surprised if I look like the walking dead by the end of a day of travelling tomorrow. I will try to call and use up whatever time is left on that phone card if I can find it. May be just a short call...but best to use it up. Hopefully you will be home after 8 in the morning

Emails from home

Thu, 8 Mar 2007 17:21:21 -0800 (PST) Hello. In case ur sitting in a business center and bored, thought I would just write this so u would have something to read. Got home safe and sound from the airport. Got gas on the Turnpike. Nothing else new - you've only been gone 1 hour. I'll keep sending u updates.

Fri, 9 Mar 2007 15:27:25 -0800 (PST) Hello if u r there. The time here is 12 hours earlier than whatever time u r in both in Bejiang and Shanghai. So, its 6p here on Friday, and 6a there in China on Saturday. Either email me or call and leave a message. I just need at least 3 messages from u - first, u arrived ok, 2nd - Josh is ok, 3rd, u r on ur way home. So get in touch with me soon so I dont worry, plus I need to let everyone know u r ok. So write or call. If I dont here from u by Saturday or Sunday my time, I'll try to track u down at a hotel. Maybe u can get a cheap panda phone for a few days. If I still can't reach u, I'll see if the adoption agency can track u down on Monday. See ya.

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 08:12:25 -0800 (PST) Hi dad. Its me James. I heard u r in China successfully. Yay!!!!!!!!. Talk to u soon. : ) bye bye. -James

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 08:12:25 -0800 (PST) Hello. Thanks for the email and pictures. I will try to show the pictures to your mother - the kids put them into the little blue thing - usbp or whatever it is called. Oh yeah, the Visa travelors checks may not work. I think everyone takes the American Express ones, but maybe not the Visa. You can try at the hotel or airport. If that doesn't work, Gary said you can use your Visa credit card to charge cash to your room, I guess basically get a cash advance on your credit card if you have to. Otherwise, you may need to try to conserve the cash you brought with you. You can also ask your guide for advice. Have a nice night. Just try to email us every couple days for a few minutes - it should only cost one dollar for three minutes. Oh yeah, Mike got his fish.

Sat, 10 Mar 2007 17:40:55 -0800 (PST) Well, its about 8:30pm Saturday night here, so I guess it's Sunday morning there. We spring forward tonight, I don't know if you do that in China or not, but we'll be an hour ahead tomorrow. We had a busy day today - bowling, 2 banks, James went to Jerry's, went to my parents, 2 trips to Petsmart, etc. Tammy and I had fun at the bowling alley - we told her you were replaced by Mike's new fish, and she suggested we get another small fishbowl and fill it up with its fish supplies and label it the garage - get it - like your garage. I said we should attach a toy trailer to the fishbowl too. Tammy thought it was really funny. You had to be there. I looked at your schedule for today, and I know you are probably too busy to get to a computer today, but maybe you'll have a chance later tonight or before you leave on Monday for the province. Write something directly to the kids too, they like it when you email them, especially James, he keeps asking if you wrote any new messages - he wrote one to you the other day. Anyway, have a nice day today and good luck with everything on Monday when you pick up Joshie. Remember, his gotcha day is Alyssa's birthday. I'll pick up an ice cream cake for her on Monday. See ya.

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 03:40:48 -0700 (PDT) Hello. Sorry I was sleepy when you called but I was up around 1am and when you called it was really 4:30am in the old time. Anyway, its 5:30 now and I have already downloaded the new forms. I thought the adoption agency sent more than one version of something but I think it was the I600, not the 864. I never got an email or phone call about the new 864, maybe they put it in the general mailing, but I didn't see it. I will find a notary today and email the adoption agency also to see where I need to send the forms to. I don't want to send it to Oregon and find out it needs to be in China. Or, maybe I will send one copy to Oregon and make a second copy in case it needs to go to China. I'll also put your mother on alert since I am supposed to be at work all day tomorrow, maybe she can mail it for us, or if it seems like thats too much for her, I can see who else has the day off or I will just take off. I will email Oregon today and I'll call Cindy P. later to see if she has any suggestions. Either way, it will get out by tomorrow. Call or email when you can. I'll update you later.

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 08:23:46 -0700 (PDT) Talked to Jerry, if I need to, I can send stuff by UPS Sonic mail and it will get to you in about 1 day. But i don't know where to send anything to yet - I left the adoption agency messages. Second, I finally reviewed the USCIS forms - I don't think I should do anything because we only need your income to qualify, not mine. And, the forms do not need to be notorized. Can you get onto Yahoo, type in USCIS and look up the forms for the I864 and I864A? If its only you that has to fill it out, just do the I864 which is your newer version. I will fill out the forms the best I can anyway, and so I'll at least have them if necessary to send to you or the adoption agency. Well, that's all for now. If I find out anything else, I'll let you know. But, if you have someone there from the adoption agency, ask them to download the form if you can't, because it really seems to me that only you need to fill it out, not me. Remember, I'll be stuck at work all day on Monday and Tuesday, and it will be difficult for me to get much done. But I'll try to at least check my email once and I'll call the adoption agency once if they don't call me first. If I need to leave work to do something, I'll just say I have an emergency to attend to.

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 13:58:07 -0700 (PDT) Okay. I reviewed the forms today, and if I am understanding it correctly, we do not need to do anything except the I864 which you should be able to get from Holt or download. We are at least double the necessary income with just your income alone, we don't even have to include our assets since we are at least double the 125% poverty level. However, I have copies of blank forms, the completed I864 and I864A - there are a few blanks that you need to fill out and sign - review the directions and ask the adoption agency for help, and I can sonic mail them to you if I have to ( I didn't get them notarized but I can if I need to because it doesn't say to notarize them and there is no place to put a notary seal). But I really don't think we should have to file the I864A. I can't reach anyone at USCIS today, but I can try on Monday. Actually, the adoption agency should try to get this information for us. I will email Kate again today to see what we actually have to do to keep you on schedule.

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 03:39:37 -0700 (PDT) Thanks for the update. Sounds like everything is going well. Things are status quo here. It's Alyssa's birthday and Joshie's gotcha day today. I'll try to pick up food from Shrimp King and a Carvel cake on my way home from work and from my parents. Keep in touch. I probably won't be able to check the computer until 5pm at the earliest tonight. I hope Joshie is okay - if you have any problems, talk to your Holt helper if he is upset or sick.

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 15:33:33 -0700 (PDT) Hello. Here's the update on the paperwork - I spoke with Kate M. twice today and she needs to check with the China contacts to see what to do. It seems like the consulate accepted the outdated forms forever and now they want the new forms. I downloaded the forms from the USCIS, completed what I could, and even had one set notarized on my way home from work. Kate will call me on Tuesday to let me know what to do. She thinks I will just need to Fed-Ex the documents to her, and then she will forward the stuff to China. She's sure you will get everything in time. Update on kids - Mike says his fish says hi, James says Mittens likes the piano and Lis wanted me to tell you she did well on her report card. As a treat for her birthday I got a take out from Shrimp King and picked up an ice cream cake. We just had dinner and will have the cake soon. Work was bad in the morning but better in the afternoon; just one more day and then I am free. I'll try to catch up with stuff around here then. Didn't get much done this weekend - busy running the kids around. Tomorrow, I need to go and pay Alyssa's school bills after work, UPS and my parents. How are you doing? Is Josh okay? Email or call soon to let us know how he is, his size, adjustment, etc. Thanks.

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 17:42:58 -0700 (PDT) An antibiotic for a runny nose? And u dont need a prescription for it? Hmmm. U would give Dr. Surowicz a heart attack. Is it a real antibiotic or an herbal thing? What color is the discharge from the nose? Does he seem to have a fever? I guess u can see what someone there thinks, but maybe he doesnt need anything. You know an antibiotic is good for a bacterial infection, but maybe he just has a little cold. How is is cleft? We are so lucky, I'm glad he seems okay to you. The picture was great. we were a little worried after the last picture you sent, he looked sad in it and his cheeks looked so chapped.

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 17:49:22 -0700 (PDT) I'm glad he has cute toes, I'm just happy he has toes, it would be ok even if they weren't so cute. Maybe he is used to dressing and undressing himself - you could try to put the stuff out and let him try to put the stuff on. Does he speak?.

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 18:12:48 -0700 (PDT) Don't worry about it, just take care of Josh. I'm sure the computer is boring for him..I've got to get some sleep now anyway. We're taking your mother out for her birthday on Saturday. I'll update everyone then. Jerry keeps calling to offer to help but whenever I tell him to reroof the house, he won't. .

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 19:46:06 -0700 (PDT) Its me again. The pictures are great, I really enjoyed them. Just got off the phone with Catherine (on for like 2 hours) wishes you well and sends her best wishes. I'll email her the pictures as soon as I can figure it out or the kids show me how. Got to go now. .

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 18:25:01 -0700 (PDT) Hello. Just getting in - very long day. Work, UPS, parents, school registration. So, I finally got to look at your messages. The videos are great. Mike and Alyssa liked them too. He's so cute. Mike said you will probably bring home the happy meal chinese food bucket (you know you always do that). Lis apparently brought in pictures of Josh to school so all the moms were excited tonight and offering any help I might need (I still can't get anyone to reroof the house - good thing it really doesn't need it yet). I overnighted the documents to the adoption agency, they will get them by 10:30 their time on Wednesday. Kate still never heard from China about what she needed to send you so I sent everything - instructions, a copy of your 864, my 864A, blank copies. I asked Kate to check over the forms, please make sure you review them also, there are some parts you must do and sign, and on my form, I think its part 3, maybe question 13 or 15 it asks what number you put in on your form and to put that on my form so if Kate doesn't fill it out, please put the number in. I raced to UPS after work so I never even made copies of the stuff I sent. The most important thing you may need would be my notarized page which you can attach to any of the other copies since I didn't assemble any of the forms - you will have the freedom to pick and choose the pages you want to use. Last day of work today - hooray, and Evelyn is going away for the next 2 weeks and I can pick up any of her hours that I want and get paid for it. I will do this becaues we can use the money. But I probably will get a little less done around here. I'll really try to catch up tomorrow but when I work a full day and then run the kids around, I get home so late I only have time to do laundry and dishes before going to bed. That's all on this end. Hope everything continues to run smoothly for you. He looks great, I really glad we did it..

Wed, 14 Mar 2007 03:12:31 -0700 (PDT) Good morning. Most little kids hate the business center - boring. It probably would have been too hard and confusing to go to the orphanage. It's okay if you can't write everyday, stop when he gets fussy. Glad he is our son, even if he does scream. We knew you would keep the bowl. We'll just have to spoil the little emperor so he doesn't get mad and scream. He probably did that in the orphanage. It's actually a good survival tactic - the squeaky wheel really does get the oil. If it gets really rough with him, you can see if the the adoption agency rep has a list of approved babysitters if you are stressed and need the break - maybe they could have someone just accompany you and Josh somewhere and they can entertain him while you get a little break, while still being able to keep an eye on him and the babysitter. It seems like he likes toys. We'll have to go through some of the kids old toys and pick out a few for a toy box for him. Got to go, its 6am and I need to get the kids up. .

Wed, 14 Mar 2007 10:16:29 -0700 (PDT) I DON'T THINK YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO GIVE KIDS BUFFERIN (it has aspirin in it right?) ANYMORE BECAUSE IT CAN CAUSE REYE'S SYNDROME -That's why we never give our kids this anymore, no one has given aspirin to kids since we were little. I can't look up all the information on it right now, but you probably should not give it to Joshie. My mother was allergic to Ceclor after she had been on it for a while. Keep me posted so I know you got this.

Thu, 15 Mar 2007 03:32:10 -0700 (PDT) Hello. First, the constipation problem - well, a lot of other families have experienced this in China. Glad he finally went. When he gets here it will be easier. I know you are not supposed to eat the fresh fruit and veggies, but that could help him go more (but don't give them to him since he will probably pick up some other illness), especially something like prunes. If you could get some baby food (like the real stuff in jars that is packaged here and safe to eat, that might help). Other families adopting that you meet at the White Swan probably brought some jars with them from the States or will know where you can get them. The stuff that he is used to eating is what you give kids with diarrhea, you know, the BRAT diet (I think its bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). So his usual diet with all the carbohydrates constipates him. Make sure he gets plenty of fluids also - that can keep him regular (safe fluids, stay away from the tap water and I dont know if boiling it kills everything either+). Everything else is the same here. Lis liked your email so much that she forwarded it to Heather. Sherry got a kick out of your story abouyt him screaming at the hotel, and Tammy thinks its funny how you always meet new friends that are girls wherever you go. I dont know where the days go but I'm not getting done as much as I hoped to, but I'll keep working on stuff. Maybe I will make an appointment now for him at CHOP since it looks like he will need surgery. Is the palate open at all? Or is it just that the teeth are misaligned? If you have any more info on the palate let me know so I can tell the doctor's office. If he wont open his mouth, its okay, I'll check it next week. Wow, another genius child. He's gonna be a lot of fun to take out, especially when he doesn't get what he wants. You know, he is 2 and they usually have temper tantrums. James used to throw himself on the floor and bang his head, so I guess screaming isnt too bad. Do you think the orphanage chose him to be a waiting child like someone chose Sherbert to be a waiting bunny? Hmm, I wonder.. I'm starting to see a pattern here. Well, its time for me to get the kids up. Have a fun day. Maybe you could buy a nice antique or something from one of the markets you visit. See ya.

Thu, 15 Mar 2007 18:39:14 -0700 (PDT) Enjoyed the photos. He's very cute. It looks like he's getting older by the minute and growing up before my eyes. Looks like you're both having fun and bonding and he really seems to have no attachment issues. Well, just one more week and you two should be home. There's no place like home, there's no place like home... so come home soon. Things will be more fun for Josh on Saturday when you get to the White Swan. There's a playroom with all the Mattel toys, park, pools (dont get water in his ears or mouth), and a lot of other families adopting. James and Mike helped set up the train table in the living room so he will have something to do downstairs where we can keep an eye on him. I'm hoping to get more time tomorrow so that I can tape and spackle. Then I need to paint and childproof (hope I can find that stuff you got at a yard sale - if it doesn't show up soon, I'll get some stuff at Walmart). I'll also try to get out a few toys for Joshie and some clothes that I think may fit him. Anything else I accomplish will be bonus stuff - the days seem to be rapidly going by with more jobs than time to accomplish them, oh well. Have a great day in China, and if you dont get to see everything this trip, maybe you will if we get rich and can adopt again some day.

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 03:53:57 -0700 (PDT) Hi. We saw the pictures but are having problems getting the videos to play, even the ones we watched before. It says we need to update the real player thingy. I'll have the kids try to figure it out later. Got to go take them to school.

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 11:07:23 -0700 (PDT) Sorry I missed your call, but I really never am home. Took the kids to school this morning, then work, then my parents, Acme, now home. And this was a light day. Bad weather today, so I tried to leave everywhere early. Its like a sleeting, raining, wet snowy type thing going on. I plan on staying in tonight unless it improves 100%. Plenty to do around here, may have the kids sort through socks - that should be fun. Glad Josh is used to being bundled, it was 58 in the house when I just got home, brr.

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 14:57:57 -0700 (PDT) Well, we did the sock pile. Quite a job. Also had a nice dinner - rice and shrimp. And for dessert - hot waffles with vanilla ice cream and whip cream, mmmm. I have extra time since the weather is so bad that we cant go anywhere. I cant find the spackle knife, I'll pick up a new one if it doesn't show up by tomorrow. Also, cant find the child safety stuff you picked up - tried the van, garage, our room. Do you know where the stuff is? The boys still like playing with the train table. I still need to get some stuff out of the living room but I dont want to trudge through the snow to put some of it into the trailer. We enjoy the pictures and videos but if Joshie doesnt like you working in the business center, its okay, just send a brief update. Sounds like you are both doing well and bonding nicely. He seems like a great little kid. You look good in the pictures - I was afraid you might get sick off of the food, but you look pretty healthy. If you have time and want to write back before you go to the airport today, you can, otherwise just let me know at some point when you arrive at the White Swan. Well, its just a few more days and we'll all be together for the first time - hope Josh likes us. I'll keep trying to get stuff done on this end, and my schedule is more flexible thanks to my reduced hours so I can help out when you get home if you just need to rest for a few days to get used to the time difference. You can also go back to work a little earlier if you want to and I'll just flex my hours. Since Evelyn is out for the next 2 weeks, I'm trying to put in about 20 hours each week to raise a little extra money. My check should be big for at least the next 2 paychecks. Okay, I guess I babbled enough for now. Oh yeah, does Josh sleep through the night?

Sat, 17 Mar 2007 04:50:37 -0700 (PDT) Hello. It's 7:30am Saturday morning our time. Well, we got an inch or two of snow last night. Not looking forward to shoveling it - it was really sleeting yesterday so I imagine its heavy snow. Lis is still sleeping and I'm hoping she doesn't want to go to bowling. Just talked to my brother John - he made it to my parents without a problem and is waiting in line at a rummage sale now. You sounded good on the phone last night. Maybe I'll go to China some day when they make a super sonic jet that can get there in 2 hours. Looks like you have a few meetings coming up in the next few days, but you should have some time to socialize and tour. The adoption agency people have an office in the White Swan, I think. That will be convienient for you. Well, I guess I better start shoveling - James is already out there.

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 04:22:12 -0700 (PDT) Was he that bad on the plane? I hate to not use the system, but I dont want you thrown into prison. Why dont you just have it set up and not use it or hook it completely up until you have to. Or just use the seat belt with him like yours. Maybe he had a bad experience with restraints. Really. He could have a flashback to surgery or something. They restrain you for surgery, but I didnt think he would remember that far back. Keep me posted. I want him safe on the plane, but I dont want you thrown off either. Try playing with it in the room. Maybe get one of those car seat toys that you pretend you are driving. Or try practicing with him in it in the room. Some other people have complained about the rooms in China - I cant remember if it was the White Swan or the Victory. Especially about the mustiness. If you still have a problem, ask for another room or a newer room - you dont want to breathe in all the mold or whatever it is. Also, make sure someone runs off a blank copy of the 864 and 864A for you. And, I gave you POA, so maybe that will count for you to do my 864A if you have to. Ask the adoption agency to put a track on their Fed Ex to see where it is.

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 16:31:50 -0700 (PDT) Hello. Where r u? Its 7:30am Monday morning ur time, I figured Joshie would have u up by now. I'll keep checking back every 30 minutes or so until I go to bed to see if u log on. Is he potty trained? Do I need to buy any special food or anything for him? How about clothes? Toys? Anything? Let me know

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 18:11:28 -0700 (PDT) Nice pictures. Hotel is very nice. Watch him in the room, sharp edges on the nightstand. Face was red on the plane(? in a high backed seat) - just wipe with a tissue, not wipes. Talk to you soon. Oh, I emailed Kate and asked her to check on your paperwork. Glad we did it - he's a keeper.

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 03:48:48 -0700 (PDT) Make sure the adoption agency and you check over the forms - you still have things to fill in and sign. I also took the kids for haircuts yesterday - $45 (that included the tip). Only a couple of more days. Got to go, have to leave for school in 15 minutes

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 17:51:33 -0700 (PDT) Hello. Looks like u might be there. Saw u opened the email. Lis and I were at the PTA meeting tonight. The next couple of days will be busy here - trying to work extra and get jobs done around the house. As usual, I won't get as much done as I hoped. Well, since I'll be home more maybe I'll get my new little helper Josh to give me a hand. Did I mention Evelyn extended her vacation another week? She was just out for 2 weeks and now she's out for another 3 weeks. I'll do what I can to keep things running in the office. I can do some work from home, or go in when u get home from work, or try to catch up on the weekends. The extra income will certainly come in handy. I'm trying to put in at least 20 hours a week for the next few weeks, but I'll adjust my schedule as much as u need me to so u can get acclimated to this time zone again, and so that Joshie has a chance to get used to me and his new surroundings. Okay, well I'll send this to see if u r there.

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 18:24:12 -0700 (PDT) Latest video...very cute. Sounds like he is speaking Chinese. Is he throwing the plate at the end and then laughing about it? He's a little bugger, isn't he? Well, I like a challenge. He's soooo cute. I'm going to look at the pictures now