Saturday, November 29, 2008

Today is another day!

After putting Ema to sleep about 5 different times last night and finally succeeding at 10:00PM I decided that I have to go into the next day with a different attitude. Tomorrow is a new day and we will try to have a better day. I got my shower before going to bed, washed my hair, got it dry, and went to bed. This morning I woke up bright and early, brushed my teeth, put on my face and then Ema was awake. I could have used another 30 minutes but , hey, the one thing I have learned during this new journey of my life is that I am on her schedule and she could care less about mine. So, I got back in bed, put on cartoons, and we ate Ritz crackers and drank apple juice. Because she seems to hate our room, we decided to eat breakfast right before going to the pottery village, then maybe napping in the van on the way. This seemed to work like a charm. I was able look at everything, Ema was a happy baby, and I am not completely exhausted!

Kirk and Ema are making progress. I can tell she loves her daddy but the way she looks at him. She still cries when he holds her but hopefully this is going to get better. It is so hard to sit and watch her cry because of where she come from. I know that with most children, they usually only cry for so long but because we have only been her parents for 4 days it is extremely hard to just let her cry. Kirk cannot just take her from me and get out. This is not how you handle adopted children. We did that exact same thing to her on Wednesday. We drove to her orphanage, took her from the only person that she ever knew for her entire life, and just like that she became our daughter. While it is VERY difficult for me to hold her 24 hours a day, it is also VERY difficult to build a trusting relationship with a 17 month old person that just had her whole world turned upside down. After talking with a couple that we met here in Vietnam that is very familiar with adoption, Ema is doing well. We are thankful that she is so comfortable with me and that she is laughing and is so outgoing. Please continue to pray that she is open up to Kirk and that she will be able to feel the love that he has for her. He is being far more patient than I could be. Pray that the Lord will give us both the strength and courage to get through the remainder of this trip.

Saturday in Vietnam

Well today has been a full day. We had to move to another hotel, we went and visited the oldest and first university in Vietnam (The Temple of Literature) which is thousands of years old, and we also visited a silk shop road.

It has also been a rough day for us and Ema. She does well while we are out and about walking around the town but when we go back to the room she goes crazy! We wonder if it might remind her of the orpahange or she just doesn't want to be cooped up in the room. It's hard to find a lot of time to blog so we are trying to do it as much as we can. Ema is still clinging to mommy and won't go to anybody else. She only wants to play and throw things at daddy and laugh while doing it. Problem is that she doesn't want mommy to put her down at all. This is totally wearing Emily out but we are tough and getting through it. I want to hold her so bad for my own sake and also to give Em a break. I said today that if she would let me I would take her and walk around this whole city with her while Em gets some rest. She is getting better though with me and hopefully soon she will break through. Here are some pics of the "true" Ema right now that nobody has seen yet!! It hurts to see her so scared and we can't show her enough how much we love her and that we will never leave her.

Here she is just a few minutes later having a good time b/c she is sitting on mommy and mommy can't do anything...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Random pictures

I know everyone wants to see Ema so here are some pictures that we took this morning. One of her favorite things to do is take something and put it in and take it out. She will sit and do this for 10 15 minutes, over and over again. This morning it was Ritz crackers. She loves these so before we went for a walk she actually got out of my lap and sat on the bed and we played a little and ate a little. (Mom, you were right, whatever keeps her occupied. If she wants to smush crackers all over the bed it's ok because it was Kirk's side of the bed...ha ha ha!)

Isn't this sweet! We appreciate everyone reading our blog and posting comments. We read them everyday, several times a day. They keep us going and it really helps us to know that people are praying for us.

We love you and miss you!

Lane and Bo,
Ema says hello! She cannot wait to go to a tiger game! :)

A free moment...

I have a free moment (Ema is napping)so I decided to blog.
Each day seems to be getting a little easier. I am not sure if that is because I am getting used to Ema being glued to my hip or that she is actually making progress. This is MUCH harder than I thought it would be. When we started our adoption I knew that it was a POSSIBILITY that she would cry and scream when we got her (which she did neither of the two), I knew it was a POSSIBILITY that she would have a difficult time bonding with one of us, and I knew that is was a POSSIBILITY that the change would be frightening to her. I have to be honest, while I knew all of that and our adoption agency told us these things thousands of times I guess in the back of my mind I thought Ema would be different. Well, she is TEXTBOOK!! She did not cry a drop when we picked her up from the orphanage, only a few whines. She screamed for two hours once we were back to the room. She finds ALL of her security in me and hardly any in Kirk. He has held her maybe twice the entire time we have had her. She will play with him and she will try to feed him when we eat but that is it. Kirk and I said that we prayed over and over again that the Lord would make her that one special child that the orphanage workers would want to hold and play with. I think he answered our prayers. Kirk and I think that the orphanage workers held her a lot. I rock her to sleep (without a rocking chair - my back is killing me), she sleeps, she wakes up crying hysterically until mommy picks her up. From this point on she is either on my hip or in the carrier until she naps or goes to sleep at night. This is the biggest adjustment I have ever had to deal with and I am exhausted. This morning, I needed to take a shower so Ema took one with me, if I have to use the restroom, Ema is there. Have you ever tried pulling your hair up in a ponytail with a baby strapped in a carrier. Whew, it is difficult but can be done. I love her so much and I try to remember that she has spent 17 months in the same room with her nanny and I just removed her from that. We are trying to be patient but sometimes it is hard. Please continue to pray that Ema will adjust to Kirk and that she will soon understand that we love her and will never leave her.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Photos of the Princess by "Daddy"

Here are some more pics of the most beautiful little girl I know. By the way this is Daddy's turn to write because Ema won't leave Mommy's side right now. I just finally got her to open up while playing with a piece of candy on the bed. She laughed her little heart out (this was right after she just had a little fit)! I think she may be left-handed like her daddy because she grabs everything with her left hand and was even throwing with both...

Giving and Receiving Ceremony

Next we went to the giving and receiving ceremony. This is what makes Ema officially ours in the eyes of the Vietnamese government. We went into this little room with another family that was adopting a little girl and signed a bunch of paperwork that we couldn't read. This ceremony is where we said we would always take care of and love this child and promised to give updates on her progress. Ema sat through the hole process without a wimper and did so good.

Ema's last day at the orphanage

This is a picture of Ema's orphanage. This is where she has lived for 17 months.

Today we went to the orphanage for the last time and was able to take baby Ema home with us. She did surprisingly well. The orphanage worker brought her out to us and she immediatly recognized me. We could tell by the look on her face she knew something was about to happen. We had given her a toy the day before and she still had this tightly clinched in her hand. If Kirk or I went near her she would whine and if I looked at her she turned her head. She obviously loved her caretaker and you could tell her caretaker loved her. Henry finally just peeled her away from her caretaker. Naturally she was not happy with Henry. We all immediatly began walking to the van and Henry gave her to Kirk. This was the first time he had ever held her. He was gleaming! Once in the bus she held her arms out to me and I took her and held her as tight as I could. She never cried a tear after that. We then went and had her visa picture made. This was scary to her because it was outside. Henry said she had only been outside the orphanage one time to go to the doctor. Now, for all of you who have been reading my blog, you know how amazed we were at the scooters, honking horns, the smells - I can only imagine what she was thinking. Her eyes were as big as silver dollars.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Our First Visit with Ema

Our first visit with Ema was very exciting to say the least. First we met with the orphanage director and drank green tea with him. The workers went and got Ema and brought her to us. She was not a happy camper from this moment on. She screamed, kicked,flailed the entire time. Her personality seemed to be that of a very determined child. (Kristi Escue...I know what you are thinking :) She did not want any part of me or Kirk and any toy that we had was not going to pacify her. The orphanage worker that had taken care of her since the moment she entered the orphanage was there and she was the only one that could console her. I hugged her as tight as I could and she would calm down for a brief moment but it was all so overwhelming to her and us.

During this visit we spoke with the orphanage worker about what foods she likes and how her appetite was. We were able to take pictures of her bed and visit with some of the other children there. And the orphanage director said a few words of encouragement to her.

Words or pictures cannot describe how beautiful she is. Kirk and I both said she is more beautiful then we ever imagined.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pictures from outside our window

These pictures were taken outside the window of our room. We have not gotten up the courage to venture beyond our four walls yet. The way of living here is way different than back in the US. People riding on scooters all over the place, women and men carrying HUGE baskets on poles with fruit and vegetables in them. It is crazy, nothing like I have ever seen.

As I woke up this morning, I began to think of home and realized that I am home sick. I knew that I would miss home but not this soon. I guess with all of the changes going on and having to be at the mercy of everyone else, it's just is a little overwhelming. Please continue to pray for us and for little Ema. Pray that she can feel the love that we have for her and that she will find comfort in that. Pray that God will provide us the strength and energy that we need to be patient with everthing that is about to take place in the next few days.

We have arrived!

We finally made it. Our plane touched down at 9:41PM. Praise the Lord. The ride over is not that bad but it is forever long. On the 13 hour flight I did really good by using my nursing knowledge on preventing DVT's. I wrote my ABC's using my feet and I got up at least every 1-2 hours and walked the plane. For all of you who are confused at why I might be doing this, riding on a plane for 13 hours then 6 hours without any break in between puts you at really high risk for blood clots. The 6 hour flight into Vietnam was another story. Kirk and I were so exhausted that we immediately fell asleep and we slept the entire 6 hours. All of my coworkers know what happens when you sit for 6 hours with your feet dangling. That's right- our ankles and calfs are SWOLLEN!! Oh well, I told Kirk when we left worries, no getting frustrated, this is a trip of a lifetime and we will just trust that God is making the way for us to meet Ema.
Henry picked us up from the airport and shuttled us to our hotel. I could not tell a lot about the scenery because it is 1:oo AM on Tuesday. Henry is going to pick us up in the morning, after breakfast, and take us to meet Ema. I still cannot believe it. I cannot tell you how I feel right now. I am so excited but I still do not feel like she is ours. I guess that is because I have not met her yet. It will probably hit me once we are back in the hotel with her. I am sure that tomorrow when Kirk and I first see her we will be speechless. Keep checking the blog because tomorrow I should have pictures! Good night for now!

Up Up and Away!

Today our family took us to the airport to see us off on our big adventure. It was such an exciting time. Once getting through security with a camera, video camera, and laptop it was a piece of cake. We were able to get some breakfast while waiting our chance to board the plane. Everything seemed to be going well....UNTIL....the captain of the plane come over the loud speaker and said that all passengers would have to get off due to something be wrong with the hydraulics and that it was going to take at least 45 minutes for the workers to get to the airport to fix it. This was the first bump in the road. Kirk and I patiently awaited while American Airlines tried to get us on a another flight so that we would not be late for all of our other flights.We ended up flying to Dallas by Northwest then catching an American Airlines plane from Dallas to Tokyo. We just arrived in Tokyo and exhausted does not come close to describing how we are feeling. We just flew on a plane for 13 hours and are waiting on our flight to Vietnam which is another 6 hours. Please continue to pray for us, our health and sanity. Just thought I'd let you know what was going on in our crazy world right now. That's all for now!