Thursday, March 29, 2007

Long Time Coming

It's been a long time since I've had a minute to sit at this computer. We are all doing just fine and adjusting better and better everyday. Maya is a joy and such a smarty pants. Our daughter is amazing. What a change we have seen in her over the course of a month. She loves it here at her home. She is the life of the party. She is so easy-going and love to get into anything and everything she can. She eats just about anything, sleeps all night long in her own crib, wakes happy and smiling, naps for an hour or two each day and is not grumpy if she just gets a cat nap in the car seat instead of a good long nap in her bed. She loves to be outside, loves the pool, loves it when her Daddy comes home from work and loves, loves, loves to walk holding your fingers. She sat herself up all by herself tonight for the first time. She has learned to patty-cake this week and play peek-a-boo. She waves bye-bye but usually after who ever she is waving at is gone.
She is a princess and we love her to pieces!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

There's No Place Like Home!!!

Our home is the best place ever!!! We have seen a bigger outpouring of thoughtfulness and love for us and our daughter than we could have ever imagined! We have the absolute best family and friends. We just have to say...
We're back in the land of super slow internet. Today is the first day I've sat down to the computer. Maya is napping. I'm gonna have to go elsewhere to load some pictures. I miss the fast internet service at the White Swan...
Maya is adjusting wonderfully so far. The time change has us all a little wacky but she's still sleeping through the night. She gets up pretty early but then will take a nap in the late morning. She is happy most of the time and loves her room and her crib. She is eating well. She gives us big belly laughs often. She is so smart!
I do believe that she knew that she was home when we got here. She settled right in and seems to feel very comfortable in her house. She was a little apprehensive around Maggie and Fisher at first but now she love to watch them and she likes to touch fishers floppy lips. He sits and waits for her to drop crumbs. Fisher seems a little sad that he is not the one and only anymore.
I will try to get some pictures up soon. You wouldn't believe that Maya could get any more beautiful but, it's true, she can. We love this tiny girl. We are so happy to have her home!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Goodbye China

This is what we've been waiting for. Maya's visa to travel to the good 'ol USA! Today we got it along with her passport. Many of you have asked if she will have dual citizenship and the answer is yes. We didn't know that until today. The swearing in was rather anticlimactic but it's done and now we can come home.

Maya was all smiles today. It was almost as if she was waiting for this day also. Testing us to make sure we were gonna take all that she could dish out and today she got the answer she was looking for. She sat and looked out the window of the bus on the way to the American consulate as if she were taking in the sights of her birth country and making peace with saying goodbye. We sure hope that peace was made in her smart little mind and soul. We are taking her from her homeland to a place of love and opportunity. We hope she will be a happy and healthy, well adjusted person that will always know love. We want to afford her the things that she may not have otherwise known. We are so happy she is ours! She is so beautiful and lights up the place when she is happy.

Finally happy in her Daddy's arms. Mike and Maya played on the bed today while I took a shower. She has let him pick her up and carry her today. He also changed her diaper without too much fuss from either of them. We are seeing progress. Now if we can just get through the jet lag that we'll all be feeling for the next couple of weeks.

The girl loves some garlic toast. She gnawed on this piece for quite sometime today. It was nice and crusty and it felt good on her teething gums.
We are so happy to say that we will be leaving tomorrow. We don't have any idea how our flight will go but we know that we will be among friends. We say goodbye to China with mixed feelings. We are so excited to get back to our own familiar surrounding. To our family and our friends. To our soft bed. To ice in our freezer door. To water we can drink straight from the faucet. To familiar sounds and smells. But we will miss the atmosphere here and especially the weather (even though it has been cold the past couple of days). I will miss the sound of people speaking Chinese. I will miss the look on Maya's face when someone speaks to her in Chinese. I will miss our friends the Lazars and the others in our travel group who have been such a wonderful source of support. We will miss Kathy and Jocelyn.
We are ready to move on to the next act of the "Maya Show". We thank all of you who sent us love and support from the other side of the globe. It really did mean the world to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We were so excited each morning to get up and read your words from afar. We will continue to update this blog as it is such a great way to keep everyone updated.
So, we say for the last time...Goodbye from Guangzhou!!
Jill, Mike and Maya

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Red Couch

Today we did the famous red couch pictures here at the White Swan. This is Maya getting ready to go to get her picture taken. This is probably as frilly as anyone will ever see her so take a good look. Aimee, one outfit was about all we could do. We may try tomorrow to get her in your outfit.

This is the family shot. It really didn't turn out too bad???

These are our guides Jocelyn and Kathy. What wonderful ladies these two are. They have been our strength and held our hands through some though times. Jocelyn gave Maya a little talking to in Cantonese and she hasn't been the same since. That is a good thing. We could not have done this without these two fine people!

These are all of the Yangchun girls in our group. I don't think I've ever seen a prettier bunch of tiny girls. L-R Mia, Elizabeth, Maya, Ella and Kaytee Beth.

Me and Maya and Laura and Ella. Our bestest buds on this trip. Also great hand holders and supporters during some trying times. We will miss the Lazars so much after this trip and we see many visits to Atlanta in our future. We hope they see some visits to West Virginia for them too.

This is all of the 10 families in our travel groups. A great bunch of folks all with beautiful new daughters. Missing from this picture is Nieve, Jemma and Martin.

All of the new girls except Nieve. She's got a bit of a cold and was sleeping. Every one of these girls are going to loving homes with exceptional parents. We are all so lucky...girls and families!
It's no easy task getting 10 little girls to cooperate for a picture. This is the best of about 10 pics that Mike took.
Good night from Guangzhou...only 1 more night after tonight. We've already started packing!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

We had a breakthrough today!! Mike carried Maya from the playroom on the ground floor all the way up to our room on the14th floor with very little protest and lots of smiles. We had to bypass our room and go to the Lazars to show them our progress. We didn't have our camera and they have some really good pics that we'll have to get. Mike was so happy and they were both sweating. We may try the Bjorn tomorrow so Mike can carry her a little more.

Who knew paper could be so fun? Our guides slip tomorrows detailed itinerary under our door each night. Tonight when we went to answer the door for our turn down service, Maya spotted the itinerary and laughed as hard as we've seen her laugh while crumbling up the paper. It was really cute...I know you may have trouble believing that.

It was quite chilly today. We ventured out to Carrefour (like a Wal-mart) and had to bundle the girls up like snowmen. Maya needs to get used to this anyway. It really did feel like winter after the 70-80 degree days we've been having.

Maya took a couple of steps last night in the playroom all on her own. She loves to be held up like this but so far hasn't offered to step. The progress that all of these girls have made in such a short period of time is incredible.

These trees are at the Guangzhou zoo yesterday. There are paper lanterns and things like these hanging all over. Just like you would imagine China would be.

This is a family shot at the zoo yesterday. It was a beautiful day compared to today.

Goodnight Moon and goodnight bloggers everywhere!
Congrats on your TA'll be here soon!
We are getting so close to coming home. We can't hardly wait. We are almost as excited to come home as we were to come here. This trip has been nothing like we had in mind. Our itinerary for tomorrow says at the bottom, "You can start packing today!!" We are so happy to hear that.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Excuse the Interuption

The "Maya Show" was preempted by the "Sleep Show" last night. We went to the Guangzhou zoo yesterday and we were all pretty tired after a long day. Maya deciced to go to bed at 8:30 last night and Mike and I quickly followed suit. She slept with me last night and we all slept until 7am. She woke happy and smiling instead of frantic like she usually does in her crib. Mike may be getting his wish of her sleeping with us.
I'll try to get a post up again this evening. Sorry to disappoint those of you with worn out refresh buttons.
More later, hopefully...
J, M & M

Sunday, March 04, 2007

In Just One Week

One week ago we received this tiny mite of an enormous blessing.
The real Maya came out of her dark dreary shell today. She has been such a happy baby and was smiling and laughing most of the day. She sat and played by herself and even let me out of her site for a few minutes. She wakes up each morning in a fit of crying angerly. This morning she woke at about 4:30 in her usual way. I gave her a bottle and left her sleeping in my bed. She then slept until about 9am. She woke with a smile and hasn't stopped since.
She finished this jar of apples and bananas today and wanted to show you all what a big girl she is. The perfect gerber baby if you ask us.

We went to the play room tonight to keep Maya up for a while as she had a late nap. Lots of folks showed up to play. It was really hot in there so everyone is sweaty in these pictures.

There are so many toys and Maya loves them all. I put her on this little riding toy after seeing some pics of her at the orphanage on a riding toy. She had a blast. She loves to flirt and smile at her Dad but still hasn't let him hold her.

We journeyed out again to the pearl market today. We ate lunch just before we left. The Lazars were hungry so we went with them to McDonalds. I was feeling rather queezy because it was so hot in the market so Mike and I just had a drink (coke, no ice). Now I think I could eat 2 big macs. This is our wonderful friends and travel mates the Lazars (minus Paul).

This is Miss Ella Lazar. She and Maya are orphanage buddies. They will share this bond for eternity and we have every intention of keeping them in touch with one another. The Lazars have been such a wonderful source of support for us through our trying times. And Paul has saved us a bunch of money. He noticed we didn't get our discount at the pearl market today. Thank goodness someone was paying attention.

This is a pic of 3 Mayas. Ours and the Valentine's Maya and another from the Kinder's and Ferguson's travel group. We never Knew Maya was such a popular name. We had Maya's name written out in Chinese characters today. The characters for her name mean easy and eligant. Ella's means easy and personality. That is so perfect for her because she is just as easy going as can be and so full of personaity.

Maya is so happy to have our friends from home here with us now. This is Klaire and Maya checking eachother out in the playroom. They better get used to this because they are gonna be hanging out often.

This is Emma Ferguson and her sister Daryia. She is a beautiful budda girl. We missed her in the play room tonight.

We are so thankful for the change in Maya today. She actually acted as if she may have realized just how much we love her. I'm knocking on wood as I write this hoping that things will continue to improve for her and us. Especially hoping that she'll let her Daddy hold her before too long. Happy lantern festival to you all. and Yes, the lanterns do light up.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Old Town

Today we ventured out with some others in our travel group to a shopping area in downtown Guangzhou. We went for lunch at a traditional Cantonese restaurant. The food was good and the company was better. We loved going out with Lilly from CO because she speaks Cantonese. It made shopping a breeze and she could tell us what people were saying about our babies. We are so jealous of her ability to communicate on a much greater level with the people of this area.

Maya loves to play with chopsticks. Maybe she'll be a drummer some day or maybe she'll just be good at eating with chopsticks. Just minutes after this picture was taken she puked all over herself, me and her stroller. I changed her clothes at the table and a little Chinese lady at the next table got up and scolded me for having her clothes off. Maya was screaming and the lady said it was because she was cold(we knew this thanks to Lilly). I said she must not have seen the fountain of spew come from Maya's mouth just before I stripped her cloths off. Older Chinese women are lovingly referred to as the "clothes police". Even as warm as it was today, close to 80, people have their babies bundled up form head to toe. The women will walk right up and pull down the babies pants legs if skin is exposed and cover them if you have a blanket.

This is Maya and her shopping buddies. Mollie, Maya and Emily. They obviously shopped till they dropped. We had a crowd around us as I took this picture. I wish I had given Mike the camera to take a picture of the crowd. But take my word for it, we made a quick exit after the picture because we were all getting a little claustrophobic from being surrounded by so many people.

We arrived at the shopping area early this morning. By the time we left, the street was thick with people. Tomorrow is Lantern Festival. There are red lanterns hanging all over Guangzhou. It's beautiful.

Mike bought Maya this Captain Corn Phish onesie last summer. It fits just right. She sure is cute in it isn't she?

Our WV friends finally made it to the White Swan. We are so happy. Just seeing some familiar faces has made our evening. We love our travel group and the friends that we've made in them are irreplaceable. But, having our homeies around takes away a little of our homesickness. We really need that. We only got to see them for a minute this evening. We can't wait to get to spend more time with them.
Good night from Guangzhou, Jill, Mike and Maya.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Another Day Closer to Home

Today has been an OK day. Thank you for all of your prayers. I think they might be getting through. Maya and her Daddy played for a while outside at one of the pools at the White Swan. This is the smaller of the two pools. The other is beautiful and has a cave and a waterfall but no carpet. It was in the high 70s today and we actually saw some sun and pale blue sky through the smog.
Maya will let her Dad play with her, kiss her, tickle her etc. but will still not let him hold her. She is so roudy and is in constant motion. Now that I'm finally feeling well enough to eat, I can hardly do it because I'm always wooling this silly monkey. She will sit in a highchair or her stroller but not for long. She does much better in the stroller as long as she is in motion.

We had Maya's medical exam for her visa today. Needless to say, she didn't appreciate it much.

Notice if you will she is staring at me saying, "please mom, help me." We don't get much eye contact so I guess we'll take it however we can get it.

When Maya cries her little bottom eye lashes get into her eyes. She almost always has wet looking eyes because her eyelashes are in there.

Just another cute shot. This is a Carter's 9mo outfit. It fits great.

Tomorrow is the orphanage visit. We have reluctantly decided to not go visit. We are so afraid that any headway that we have made with Maya accepting/bonding with us might be sent down the tubes by her going "home". We are having our friends, the Lazars, take pictures for us of her finding location. We got the disposable camera that we sent in Maya's care packge back. We had it developed today. They had taken all of the pictures. It's just great to get this camera back as well as all of the other things we got back.

P.S. Mike, if your following along, we miss Fisher so much. Could you send us an email ( or just comment to this post and let us know how he is doing? We know he is fine but we miss his ears and his black hair all over the place. Give him some extra lovin from us today!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

One step forward, two steps back

There is a toy room here at the White Swan. It is a great place to go to get together with other families and for the girls to play. It is sponsored by Mattel so there are a ton of toys for the kiddos to play with. This is another Maya in our travel group. She just walked right over and gave me a squeeze. Believe me, I needed it.

today we did some touristie things. This pic was taken at the Chen family ancestral hall. It's a beautiful place. All of the carvings on the roof are ceramic.

We also visited the Six Banyan Pagoda. We participated in a blessing ceremony for the babies. This is the monk that performed our blessing. It felt so peaceful inside of the grounds of the pagoda.

I think these eyes can see into your soul.

Maya fell asleep on the bus and I was able to sneak her into the stroller. The pink blanket is on the stroller because it is a borrowed stroller and it's pretty nasty. (we took it back tonight and bought our own) Kathy, our guide helped me get her into the stroller and she wrapped her all up in the blanket. It was really sweet. The Chinese people are all about keeping their babies covered. It was about 75 degrees today.

I know I've said it before but this girl loves her bath.

Really loves her bath!
We're hanging in there and that is about all. We want to come home. We miss everyone and especially Fisher. We miss his unconditional love. We miss running our toothbrushes under the faucet. We miss ice in drinks. We miss everything about home...everything.
Keep sending your prayers..please. And keep on posting comments. We love reading them and all of your encouraging words.