5.31.2008

Mamma saves the day and creates a monster

Believe it or not, Bei does do other activities other than taking a bath, but it seems like alot of excitement happens around bath time! Tonight was my turn to give him a bath. Dan and Bei spent the majority of the day together, so I needed my Bei Bei fix, since his dad was hogging him all day. We had given him a late dinner...do you know where this is going already??? And lo and behold, 20 minutes into his bath time, he got that look on his face. I'm sure all you mom's know it well...yep, he was going to poop again! I was on top of my game and grabbed him and put him right on the toilet! Ta da! All is well!! Dan had just come in from the garage as that was going on, so we praised Bei up and down for going poop on the toilet. Of course, then he wanted to sit on the toilet over and over and over and over again. I PROMISE no more poop stories!!! If he poops a rainbow, four leaf clover or a lucky star, I won't even mention it...





Here is a picture of Bei with his new table and chairs that was given to him by our friend Terrie. Her grandfather had made it for her children and he recently passed away, she loved the idea of it being put back to use. Bei loved it right away, children are drawn to small things like themselves. (By the way, ignore the toy clutter...)

Today Bei went to his first birthday party, and he did very well. And he got up close and personal to two different big dogs today and did well. I'll definitely have to teach him that all dogs are not the same, because he doesn't seem to have a fear of them and I almost wish he did.
One of the first day's that we were home he had a tantrum down the street because I wouldn't let one of the neighbor dogs eat his face off. He saw the dogs as we were walking and wanted to run to them and I don't know anything about the dogs, so I wouldn't let him near them...tantrum!

On Monday, we go to the Pediatric Cardiologist for an echocardiogram and a consultation.

Bei Bei Doll

Remember I mentioned that there was a family that sought us out in Guangzhou because they had learned some Mandarin and their daughter Susan kept talking about a little boy named Bei Bei and insisted on naming her doll after him. They were so happy to hear that Bei was adopted!!! So here is a picture of Susan with her Bei Bei doll. On the Gotcha day there were three little girls (Susan, Chloe and Sarah (Doe Doe) )and Bei that came from Suzhou. Susan's family was also at the Civil Affairs office at the same time that we were but since they were with another adoption agency we didn't get a chance to talk to them prior to Guanzhou.

5.28.2008

International Adoption Clinic

Today we went to the International Adoption Clinic. It comes highly recommended within the adoption community. They provide a two year evalulation and assessment of Bei, including infectious disease, developmental and psychological testing.
The assessment is that Bei is a genius, but is a little skinny, only 19 lbs. So, we are on a mission to fatten him up.

One of the primary messages that Dr. Kang was adamant about was that Dan and I should be his only primary caregivers. Basically, she said that people can come and play with him, but should not give him anything unless Dan and I give permission, along with no holding, picking him up, consoling, so basically hands off. It should come to the point, where is is looking to Dan and I, if a new person is introduced to see if he can approach them and then seek our permission.

This is aligned with everything we have read about adopting an older child from an institution. Bei needs to know that we alone are his primary caregivers, because he is from an institution, he has had multiple caregivers, some that he has probably bonded with and then they left him. He needs to know that we are his permanent forever primary caregivers and nobody else. She said it is alot of work and hard to do, but it is about his future and making sure he makes the attachment and bonding to us.

My new analogy is that bonding is similar to a tree; if you have two tree's side by side that are two years old, one that was planted as a seedling and one that was just planted that month, they both may look healthy and appear the same. However, if you look underneath at the roots, the tree that was planted as a seedling would have deep strong roots, the one planted that month may have damaged roots and is not yet firmly planted deep into the soil. So Dan and I are the soil and Bei is the tree that was just planted. You get the picture and I'll stop with all the stupid analogies.

It is hard and somewhat stressful for us to implement this because we so appreciate everyone's overwhelming support and then to have to turn around and say thanks for all the prayers, gifts, emails and overall support, but you can't engage with Bei like you would a normal child is difficult. We hope you all understand that we are following the advice of research of institutional children and what our pediatrician is telling us. It is all for the good of Bei in the long term.

Here are a few tips that Dr. Kang suggested when others are interacting with Bei.

  • If you have a gift for Bei, please allow us to give it to him. We will say, "here is a gift from Auntie J and she is giving it to you" as we give it to him.
  • If he asks you to put on his coat, we ask that you would redirect him and say there is Mamma, she'll put on your coat.
  • If he falls you can pick him up, but then redirect him to Daddy, because he will make it better.
  • If he wants to be picked up by you, please redirect him to Dan or I.
  • You get the picture...

Hope you all understand and still support us!

5.27.2008

Men at Work!

Bei is his father's son!



Bei and I throwing rocks...okay pebbles...


Pooping and Visits




Okay, the heading doesn't go hand in hand, but I had to come up with a title. Last night Bei delivered to Dan a big poop while he was giving him a bath!!! And it was no Baby Ruth, it was the real deal!! I'm sure alot of you parents have gone through that same experience, poor Dan! In light of the fact that Dan has been a cleaning, cooking and shopping machine around here, I thought it best if I volunteered to clean the bathtub for him. Tonight another bath for Bei and we made it through okay, no poops, til we were out of the tub! Come on kid, why don't you poop in the morning like normal people???? I've never even knew that people could poop at night.




Bei is starting to get a few visitors. He is making great strides in his sense of security and trust issues. When we were in China, he pretty much did not leave my lap. He didn't engage with the group well, for example, several times all the families would meet out in the hallway, to allow the kids to play and walk around. I would try to coax Bei out in the hallway and he pretty much wanted to stay away from others. Jen and Doug were the exception since we spent much more time with them, he even went up to Jen to have her give a raspberry on his belly on the last day.
Flip to today, he is playing shy guy for about 10 to 20 minutes and then he starts engaging with new people. He is holding hands as you can see in the picture above with his Grandma that he met today and even sat on her lap to put his shoes on. It probably didn't hurt that she is the best baker in the world and brought Chocolate Chip cookies and Poppie Seed cake!!
We are still trying to limit the visits in frequency and amount of time, because of bonding and attachment, but also to help keep his schedule on track.
It is hard to believe that we have had this wonderful little person in our life for less than a month; but I would lay down my life for him in a New York minute. He has been such a joy and a blessing.





Playtime

Unfortunately, Bei's favorite toy is the most expensive to execute and maintain, it is Dan's Hemi truck! No lie, we can hardly walk outside without Bei running to it and trying to get in it. I'm thinking of telling Dan to park it around the corner, because I've been spending alot of time driving around the neighborhood to keep him happy. Once he is in it he is so curious that he is constantly looking around and watching the cars, people, dogs, life... We have tried to use the truck to get him to go to sleep, but to no avail, Curious George will not be detered. It will be interesting to see what he thinks about being in the truck after a 2.5 hour ride up to the cabin...maybe not so much fun anymore...
Another one of his favorite outside toy is the Big Wheel! It makes alot of really cool noises that he is fascinated by, while we try to keep him from going down the driveway at 60 mph.


He also loves to go to the park and play on the slide.




And who needs expensive toys when there is a laundry basket around to play in??


5.24.2008

Pudding King

Bei loves his chocolate pudding; the video speaks for itself. Watch his little tongue, it is so darn cute!!! Most of you probably think that Bei is going to sprout a halo from his head, the way that I talk about him, so I thought I would show you that he is a normal two year old. I took the picture of Bei today, right before we were going to leave to go shopping. I had opened the refridgerator and he saw some of that delicious chocolate pudding that he experienced the day before and wanted to eat it. I figure there are days that I feel like throwing myself on the floor too, because I didn't get my pudding...or my bud light, Bei just has the luxury of doing it...lucky boy!!! Okay, once again, I'm having problems uploading the picture and it is late and I will try to do it in the morning. Stay tuned...

Bei finally got 10 hours of sleep and he was a pistol all day. Go figure, he only gets 8 hours and he is fine, 10 puts him over the edge. I figure the jet lag is finally catching up with him.

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Bei is a certified Minnesotan!!

Bei became an American Citizen when he landed on American soil on Friday, May 16th and a week later he became a certified Minnesotan! For those of you unaware, Minnesota is not only the land of 10,000 lakes, but it is also the land of mini donuts and anything on a stick, for us it was a corn dog. Usually, these are experienced at the Minnesota State Fair, however, we took a short cut and went to the Como Park Zoo instead. Here are some video's of Bei enjoying his visit and his mini donuts.

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5.23.2008

Bei's pictures from the Orphanage






(Sorry the CD that they came on wouldn't allow me to flip these right side up). Thanks to Eric Rogers, who right sized these for me and sent them back to me! He is a techno genius!!!


Here are pictures of Sarah (Doe Doe) and Bei while they were in the orphanage. I had sent a camera to the orphanage with my care package and asked that they take pictures. All the pictures of Bei look the same, he looks extremely sad. I am in contact with a with an American volunteer at the Suzhou orphanage. It is really interesting to hear what Bei's schedule was and for here to share what life is like in the orphanage. She is going to check out Bei's blog and see if she recognizes him to see if she can give me any insight to his specific care. Obviously, his life today is 100% better and hearing what their life is like makes me want to adopt 10 more.


On a more positive note, I have to tell you that we adopted Felix Unger, remember from The Odd Couple? He is fastidious about cleanliness. I broke up a shredded wheat on his tray to see if wanted it in addition to his cheerios. He separated all his cheerios to one side of the booster and the shredded wheat remanants to the other and demanded I clean the shredded wheat off his tray. Yet, he won't hestitate to eat a cheerio off the playground floor. He loves to have his hands washed, and he loves taking a bath!!~ Yesterday, he took two!


We also found that he doesn't like any food hot, if it is even luke warm he opens his mouth and wants me to blow in it. I spoke with Jen, (Sarah's mom) yesterday, she said that whenever Sarah gets on the phone, she shouts Bei Bei. So, I paid attention to Bei when he gets on the phone and is playing and he does says Doe Doe, mmm hmmm and then just listens. Those two are really connected obviously and I know we want him to stay in touch with her.


There was another family while we were in Guangzhou that was asking if Bei Bei got adopted because they had learned some Mandarin and their daughter had told them about Bei Bei, additionally she named her doll Bei Bei. Obviously, Bei is a lady's man and all the girls loved him.


Well, we are still struggling with the jet lag, but I spoke with Jen yesterday and they are too.

5.20.2008

Bei mad at mom and dad

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Bei playing with his truck

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Bei's investigates his new home

The first clip is when Bei first saw his room and the second clip is after he discovered one of his toys.

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Bei in his Chinese Costume for Pictures

Here is a video of Bei seeing some birds, while in his Chinese Costume. We are waiting to have his picture taken with the other children on the famous red couch at the White Swan Hotel.


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We Finally Feel Human Again...

We think we have conquered our jet lag. It was pretty ugly around here regarding our schedules. Bei and I were starting our days at 2:00 a.m. and then he would sleep all day and be up again between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. I felt like a zombie! To be honest, we had not managed the jet lag well from the beginning with Bei. I think we were so exhausted that we just went with the flow, which turned out to be the wrong move. Yesterday, we only allowed him a 2 hour nap, but to be honest, he and I sneaked another one in the afternoon. Neither one of us could stay awake. Poor Dan, he was talking to me at about 4:00 p.m. and I was trying unsuccessfully to keep Bei awake, and I fell asleep while Dan was talking. I think he understood.
Now that we are home, Bei decided to sleep on top of me again. I can't imagine he finds my boney body comfortable, but somehow he manages to fall asleep. Last night, he slept next to me, he is really making strides. Every night when we go to bed, he grabs my face and kisses me unsolicited about 5 times. It is hard to believe he was in an orphanage. Dan and I are just awed and amazed and keep saying that God has been incredibly good to us!!
This morning I slipped out of bed around 6:00 a.m. to take a shower. Boy, the simple pleasures in life, like putting on deodorant take on an entire new meaning now. When someone is completely dependent on you, it really limits your own personal hygiene. Anyway, Bei woke up without me next to him and he didn't have a complete meltdown. Since his grieving day (May 9th), I have always stayed with him to ensure that he wakes up to me and it seemed to eliminate his meltdowns after he woke up. He let Dan feed him this morning and even went to him several times for Dan to carry him. Yeah!!! Maybe, I'll even get to wear make-up soon!!!
Another huge victory for us today was a ride in the truck using the car seat! We were dreading having to deal with putting him in the car seat since he wants to sit on my lap all the time, but he sat in there like a champ!
I'll close with one last cute story about Bei and his bugar picking. When we were in China we would be pushing him in his stroller and all of a sudden his little hand would go straight up in the air and his pointer finger would go straight up. He wouldn't look up or anything, he just knew we would clean the finger off. Well, he does that when he takes his nap, he'll spend 10 minutes picking his nose and each time his little finger comes out and he wants it wiped clean. All the kids from the Suzhou orphanage were the same way with their nose picking. So I have this image in my head of all these little children being laid down for their naps and the nanny running from crib to crib wiping tiny little bugar fingers. I have a hard time keeping up with his busy nose picking schedule, so I can't imagine 40 little ones doing the same thing at the same time. Once he grasps the English language, we'll have a little discussion about the proper etiquette of cleaning ones nose, but until then you'll probably see him pick his nose.
I promise that Dan will get some video's out!!

5.18.2008

Transitioning

So far the transition home has gone really well with the exception of the jet lag. Our schedules are really messed up and it is hard to get them back on a regular time schedule. Today, I got up at 2:00 a.m. and went back to bed at 3:00 a.m and Bei woke up at 4:00 a.m. We finally got him down for a nap around 12:00 p.m. He wasn't cranky or anything but I figured the little man needs to get some sleep, I know I wish I could. He is kind of funny though because he fought it, so Dan and I pretend we are sleeping and Bei must be wound up because he couldn't sleep, so he decided to see how many fingers could fit into daddy's nostril...three, wow he has some big nostrils! Okay, how about mama's? One... Believe me it tickles and it is hard not to laugh. Then he decides to clean his feet, off come the socks and out comes his tongue and he licks and sucks his toes. If going to the University doesn't work for him later in life, he definitely can join the circus as a contortionist. He is babbling the entire time and singing and then he comes and looks into my face to see if I'm really sleeping and then he does the same to Dan. Finally, he fell asleep! Thanks goodness! Unfortunately, I couldn't and I'm going to be exhausted tonight.
We had a big victory today with Bei. He would always want to sit on my lap when he ate, well Dan assembled his booster chair today and lo and behold the kid loved being in the chair!! He sat their for an hour playing with his Cheerios! Yeah for us!!!

5.17.2008

Slide Show

My very bright and kind niece, Squirrel aka Elizabeth, put together this wonderful slide show for us! Hope you enjoy! Thank you Squirrel! One thing that I forgot to share is that Bei has taken to two blankets as his security blankets, one was given by Squirrel which I had sent to the orphanage prior to us going to China. The other is one that we brought over with us, that his Grandma Rudene made, he loves both of them.


http://www.slide.com/r/6G8AH_Si2D9vdB5LJGcuxFNQ8uuCvoKQ?previous_view=mscd_embedded_url&view=original

We Arrived Home!

Overall, our flight home went very well. Bei was restless and cried alot from Guangzhou to Toyko, we think the people around us must have done something really bad in their previous life to be subjected to Bei's terrorizing cries for 4.5 hours. On the flight from Toyko to Minneapolis we only had one casualty, Bei chucked a matchbox car into the head of the guy in front of us, the man was not very amused. Obviously, he had some bad Karma too. Bei was great on the flight from Toyko. He only cried the last 20 minutes and I think it was because he was so sick of sitting in the seat and perhaps his ears were hurting from the pressure change. I know I was tired of sitting and my ears hurt!

When Bei came into our home for the first time it seemed he had been here his whole life. He immediately began playing with the toys in his room and became his normal giggly self! He found Reggie's old toys and added them to his toy pile in his bedroom (we have since removed those toys due to dog wear and tear!). Bei explored all the rooms and then settled in for a snack. We felt he was saying, yes this is my place and what took you guys so long to get me here!

We are hunkering down for the next few weeks and trying to get Bei acclimated to his new life. We know that people are dying to come to meet him, people are welcome to come for a short visit, however, we ask that everyone respect the fact that we are still bonding with him. So we are asking people to act as if they are visiting the zoo and follow three simple rules:
1. Don't pick up the animals.
2. Don't try to feed the animals
3. Don't try to comfort and hug the animals.
The books that we have read have indicated that this is a critical time for us to bond with Bei and we need to be his sole primary caregivers. The past three days in China, Bei really starting bonding with Dan, so we really want to keep that momentum going for the both of them. Dan was phenomenal on the flight, he entertained Bei almost the entire trip. We had a flight attendant stop us at the airport and ask us, "Was he the little guy that was giggling the entire flight"? He was champ!!

One last thing, please be aware that due to his heart condition Bei has had no immunizations, so if there is anything that you could potentially carry to him, please wait til you are over it.
Dan will post a video of his reaction to his new home very soon.


Thanks again everyone for your support, we feel very blessed to have such a supportive group!

5.14.2008

Lily Mei

Correction on the blog name for Lily Mei: JohnPamelaBlock@blogspot.com

Two more nights in Guangzhou







Our American Consulate appointment was today and all the paperwork is finalized. Everything went smoothly. Our very efficient guide Michelle, went to the consulate for us and we just had to stay in our rooms to wait by the phone in case there was any problem with our paper work. We also had the honorary "Red Couch" picture taken at our hotel today. It is customary for every adoption group to have a picture taken with the kids and then parents and kids. It was chaos!



I wanted to share with you that we found out that Bei was saying he was afraid of the fish. There are birds right by the couch and Bei had the same reaction to the birds as he did to the fish and Michelle told us he said he is afraid. He would say it, but then laugh, so you can just tell he has a pretty easy disposition overall. He is happy as long as he is getting everything he wants and he throws a tantrum only when we say no or take anything away. We are still stunned that he was in an orphanage, but all the parents say the same, their kids behave the same way. Bei has actually gotten better with time. He really is a great kid!!!!

Dan is dreading the trip home and my strategy is not to think about it. Keeping my head in the sand has worked before for me before and I'll continue to do it. I figure I will deal with it when I'm there and I don't want to fret about it because there is nothing I can do about it. Bei is going to cry, throw a tantrum, but he will also sleep and be okay. We'll deal with it as it comes.

One last thing before I post the pictures, remember a few posts back when Dan told me to give up trying to talk in Chinese because I have a Tin Ear? Well, back in Beijing the group spent half the day touring the Temple of Heaven. Our guide Jerry had a strong Chinese accent and you had to pay attention to what he said, well Dan spent the half the day thinking he was at the "Temple of Kevin". Oh, that made me laugh when he told me couldn't wait to tell his brother Kevin about the famous Chinese "Temple of Kevin". Talk about a tin ear...

Here are the pictures from today. Enjoy!

Tribute to Diva Sarah (Doe, Doe)











We wanted to share some pictures of Bei's girlfriend Sarah with her family back home. Jen and Doug have been wonderful friends on this journey. We really get a kick out of Sarah, she is really a funny kid. She is always bossing Bei around telling him Boo, which means no. Yet, the minute, she see's he has food she demands that he feeds her. And he does! She is a little beauty queen, so we think he is smitten with her. Enjoy the pictures.







5.13.2008

New post

Hi Everyone,

Just a FYI, there is a new post dated on May 10th if you want to read it. I started it at that time, so it published it at that date rather than today. Thanks again for all the emails, we love hearing from each and everyone one of you.

Dan and I both are very ready to come home!!!

Prayers

In addition to the victims of the earthquake, please pray for a very special little girl in our group named Lilly Mei. Lilly has a very serious heart condition and has spent many days in Guangzhou at the hospital preparing for her trip back to Seattle. We are very concerned about her safe journey home and ask for everyones prayers.

If you want to know more about Lilly please go to johnandpamelablock.blogspot.com.

Thanks to everyone for your support and prayers.

The Local Kids

Here are a couple of videos of the local children, they are very curious about the Americans and the teachers encourage them to interact with us. The first video also had a picture yesterday where the children ask us to sign their books and have a photo taken with them. The second video is a group of school children we saw walking down the street and we said hello and filmed them. Note, they all speak the English hello very well. Bei is pretty comfortable with this age of children and you will see he is trying to grab one of the the girls water bottle.

Overall, Bei is opening up more in public and he is more comfortable in group settings. Today we had fun in the pool for the second day in a row and he actually left Mama's lap and walked around in the pool and played. We're thinking tomorrow he will be swimming!


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Bei and the Fish

I showed a picture of this yesterday but the video is better. This is Bei looking at the fish in the hotel stream, we are not sure what he is saying but he says it every time he sees the fish so we have heard it often the last few days. We are going to ask our guide if she knows what it means.


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5.12.2008

We are Safe in China!

We have received several emails asking if we are safe because of the terrible earthquake, yes we are safe. We are in the very southern part of the country and the earthquake happened in the mid to northern part of the country. We are watching CNN so we are seeing the same thing you are. If we learn more here we'll send another update.

We also want to thank everyone again for the wonderful emails, thoughts, and prayers. We are getting the emails but still are failing on our sends. Please watch the blog for updates.

Dan, Liz, and Bei.

Pictures from Guangzhou

Finally, my last picture of the day. Here is Mama and Bei after his first day in the pool! We actually had our first bit of true vacation time today by taking Bei to the pool. We weren't sure what he would think of it and he was his usual very shy self until I went into the kiddy pool with stacking cups....then the fun began! He and I splashed and played with those cups until he was out of control with laughter. You can't tell that by this picture because he was very distracted at this point watching a boat on the river.


This picture is of a bride and groom that will give you a feel for what we have seen in every city many, many times. 10 is a lucky number in China and the year 2008 equals 10 so everyone is trying to get married this year (I translate this into good luck for adoptions also!) It's been really neat seeing all these wedding and they (especially the brides) are always very cordial to us and usally say hello in the middle of their pictures when we are walking by.






Bei and Mama after we got his Visa picture and we're on our way to get his medical exam....I can tell you there were no smiles at the medial exam! We've got our work cut out for us when we get back to the states, this little man can raise some serious noise in the doctors office! Someone please warn Childrens of Minnesota.










Guangzhou along thePearl River at night, this is a view from our hotel. The river, buildings, and boats are full of lights.













These are local Guangzhou schoolchildren who the teachers bring by the western hotels to practice their english on the americans adopting babys. The children are so cute! They all give the same line...Hi my name is xxxx, how are you? Will you sign my book? And then finally, can I have my picutre taken with you? Liz and I did about 15 kids between us and here is Liz and Bei with a small group of them.


















Here is Bei and Mama looking at the giant goldfish in a pool inside the hotel, there is a really nice 3 story waterfall and stream inside the hotel that we use to put Bei to sleep.





















Bei is good at sharing, here he is giving Daddy a Ritz.

























We have finished another wonderful day in our life with Bei! BaBa, as you may recall...maid in Chinese :), has finished putting Bei and Liz to bed, the days laundry, and now I'm taking some time to enjoy a TsingTao local beer and upload some pictures. I'll work on some video tomorrow as its getting pretty late here and I need to get rest, it appears a 2 year old is what I need to finally achieve my weight loss goals. Bei loves playing a game with me where he walks up 2 or 3 steps with my help (not much help needed I must add) and then walks back down. He can do this for anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes! We both love it and with the heat being in the high 80's we both work-up quite a sweat.







Enjoy and I remember Liz is the blog expert so the pictures may be in the wrong order.

5.11.2008

Guangzhou

We are on the last leg of our journey, we are in Guangzhou China, where every American adoptee has to come to meet with the American Consulate. Bei did pretty well on the flight here with one little tantrum. Since his grieving day, he has really made a turn around again. He accepts us saying no to him without a tantrum and he is a smiling happy kid again. He still has his moments, but they aren't as extreme. Yesterday, he only had one mild tantrum when I wouldn't allow him to run into the street to get hit by a car. Mom's can be no fun at times!!! He went to Dan for comfort and was mad at me and wouldn't look at me. He has made great strides with Dan and seeks him out for both comfort and play time. He says Mama often and very clearly now. Unfortunately, we have not been very consistent in what we called Dan, we have used Baba (Father in Chinese), Dada and Daddy. So we think he is calling him Dada, but aren't sure.
We are skipping all the optional tours and only attend the mandatory official meetings. We think it is really important to spend the time with Bei and try to keep as much of a routine as possible for him. Now, is not the time for us to be touring China. Today is Bei's Medical Examination, we went at 9:00 a.m. but they told us to come back in the afternoon because they had a few emergencies and the place was a zoo. So we are glad that didn't ask us to wait. I really encourage everybody to visit, because it is so steeped in rich history and culture. Unfortunately, with the globalization of the world, the culture may be lost. .
With that said, I do want to come back some day and see it. China is changing rapidly and is not the China that I had pictured in my mind from movies from my childhood. It is progressing at a fast pace.

To my sister Nanette, we are staying at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, China. We are in room 2622.
I will post pictures and video's after Dan the Man, techno master uploads them to the computer.

5.10.2008

We've come a long way baby...

For the first five days with Bei in Nanjing, the families would all meet at the hotel restaurant for the buffet breakfast and there the "veteran" mom's would be; their hair coiffed, make-up applied and their child sitting perfectly quiet in a high chair. No screaming, no yelling, no tantrums. Not Team Rookie, I had not been able to do my hair, apply my make-up to my satisfaction and the sacred lipstick had not touched my lips since Beijing. Oh and I forgot to mention the high heels, I brought them, but they haven't left the suitcase. None of you would recognize me. Meal time with Team Rookie is quite a sight, Dan is racing back and forth to and from the table to the buffet. Juggling three plates to five plates. Bei is orchestrating it all, stand on your head mamma and suck noodles through your nose, Daddy, now race back and get me more congee or I'll throw this plate across the room. You get the picture, he was the little Emperor and we are at his beckon call. Dan and I realize that we will have to lower the boom at some point with Bei, because as it stands now, not a one of you would ever have us over for dinner. We decided we have bigger fish to fry at this point and we'll deal with proper etiquette when we get home.

I was ravenous by the time we got to Guangzhou, in Nanjing we would feed Bei, Dan would eat and it would be time to go because Bei was so antsy...notice anything missing?? Yes, I never got to eat, so I would shovel a few spoonfuls of rice in my mouth as we left the table. As I mentioned, I was so famished by the time we got to Guangzhou, so we went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant. I saw my window of opportunity, Bei was distracted and their was a full plate of fried noodles sitting in front of me. I started shoveling it in my mouth like there was no tomorrow and all of sudden Jen (Bei's girlfriend mom) said hey, look at poor Bei Bei. He was holding his arm up like a shield, he had fried noodles all down his face and a big pile of noodles on his head. He reached out for Dan and wanted to get away from me. I figure it was a bonding moment for them. In the beginning Jen who has three kids teased me alot and kept telling Bei, "Bei Bei, don't worry, I'll sew my phone number into your clothes so that you can call me, if these two nuts don't get it together." She meant it all in fun...at least I think, we definitely have had alot of laughs along the way.

One last cute story before Bei wakes up from his nap. At night I would lay Bei in the middle of the King size bed and Dan and I would lay on either side. That worked for about 4 days and then he started getting restless and I couldn't figure out what he wanted. Two nights ago, he finally came and laid right next to me, grabbed my arm and wrapped it around him. It is kind of like he was saying, "Come on woman, get it right, I've been in an orphanage for a year, where is the love??" So now, we fall asleep to me spooning him in my arms. He is like waking up to a real live China doll. He is so beautiful. He woke Dan up the other morning by rubbing his feet on Dan's beard and moustache...hey dad, thanks for exfoliating my feet! He is such a cutie!

The really good news is that we are feeling like we are settling into a routine with Bei and each other. Not only is it a new experience to have a child, it is an experience and journey to figure out how to parent together. We feel like we are communicating well and figuring out our roles and responsibilities to one another...Dan does all the work and I sit around and hold Bei...it works well...just kidding...okay, there is some truth in it, but man is Dan a good worker! He definitely was raised correctly when it comes to work. No whining either...he is a good man.

I better go before Bei wakes up, we think he has separation anxiety and needs to see me right away or he gets out of sorts and is inconsolable for some time.

Love ya all!

5.08.2008

We have only had him three days!!
















Here are a few pictures from our day. When Bei is in our room, he is the biggest ham. Smiling, trying to get Dan and I to smile, which is not hard with him around, but when he is out in public he has the stoic face which is shown in the picture with Sarah in it. He is just one of those kids that it will take him a longer time to warm up to outsiders. That is why I find it so amazing that he warmed up to Dan and I so quickly.
In the Chinese Zodiac he is the sign of the dog, can you believe it? Most of you know that Dan and I are dog lovers. Anyway, one of the best things that I did previous to coming is I went out and read about the Dog's personality in the Chinese Zodiac and it pegged Bei's personality to a Tee. Based on the zodiac and the orphanage description, I had a picture in my mind of what type of person he would be and he fits the description, the only surprise to me is how silly he is and how much he loves to laugh. I'm also suprised at what a cuddler and snuggler he is with me. Dan and I are still amazed that we got this great kid!!

Poopie Diaper Change Video

On May 9th we were invited to visit the Suzhou orphanage along with two of the other families, but we decided to fore-go the tour due to our physical and emotional exhaustion. It turned out to be the right decision for us, because Bei appeared to be grieving the entire day. He basically cried from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It was very hard to watch and I really didn't know what to do except to comfort him. It just breaks my heart that he has to experience any of this, but we will work through it with him. As I've mentioned previously, he has quite extreme tantrums which we guess have to do with his abandonment issues. Once I get home, I'll put on my investigation cap, to find out the best way to help him work through his issues. Until then, I'll focus on stability, consistency and lots and lots of love.

At some point in Bei's life he must have received alot of tender loving care because he is such a loving little guy. Today, he threw a short little tantrum and he ended up crawling on my lap still sobbing and then turned to me and kissed me on the lips and held my face. In the morning he likes to be cuddled and be held before he starts moving around and at night he likes to be rocked to sleep. The other Suzhou mom's both told me their children don't like to be touched when going to bed, so my assumption is that Bei's family loved him and nurtured him very well the first year of life and for medical reasons made the most difficult decision of their life. Additionally, I'm very impressed with the care that the children from the Suzhou orphanage received when compared to some of the children from the other orphanages. It is obvious that they were well cared for and stimulated.

So today, we started the last leg of our trip, we are in Guangzhou where we meet with the American Consulate. In the mornings we will conduct whatever official business needs to be completed and have our afternoons to spend with Bei bonding.

I took this video the day prior to his grieving day. I went to change Bei's diaper and as usual he started to laugh and giggle, so I captured his very fun personality on video. Hope you enjoy it!!



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Bei's Girlfriend

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I'll start with the Video, this is another Suzhou sweetie. As you can see Bei has gotten it into his head that his friend Sarah (formerly called Doe Doe) wanted some Cheerios and raisins. And being the gentlemen that he is, he thought he would force feed her. It was obvious that these two know each other. They would say a few words to one another. Bei is extremely shy around all the other families but is willing to be himself around this family. I think it helps that he knew Doe Doe previously. We'll definitely stay in touch with them.

Remember how the growth reports described Bei's personality? Shy, Timid, Introverted and Obstinate. Holy Buckets, they should have capitalized OBSTINATE. A better description would have been over-indulged little emperor. He had three tantrums before we left this morning for our tour of the park at 9:00 a.m. He will accept no, unless he already has his hands on something. For example, I was feeding him his congee (rice porridge) and he was helping me by holding the coffee mug handle and spoon feeding himself...you can just imagine how helpful it was to me. Anyway, Doe Doe's (Bei's new girlfriend) family was at the door knocking so I wanted to put the congee down, therefore I wanted Bei to let go so he wouldn't dump it all over the couch. Huge tantrum!!! But the surprising thing is when I give him what he wants he doesn't tantrum or cry, I just have to deal with a huge mess. Anyway, I figure you should all see us on Super Nanny by the fall.

Honestly, he is a great kid, but he is two years old.

Dan has been claimed by Bei!!!

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Today has been a great day for Dan! He finally was claimed by Bei. Bei awoke from his nap and was inconsolable. Dan picked him up and tried to console him and then gave him to me. I still couldn't console him, so I laid him on the bed and then Dan talked really soothing to him in his deep rumbling Johnny Cash voice and the next thing we knew he was reaching out his arms to Dan to hold him. Dan held him and cuddled him for a long time. It was really heartwarming and I could tell Dan was really pleased.

Another biggee, is that Bei gave Dan at least 5 kisses today. It is so nice that they are bonding and that Bei is willing to go to him, because it gets to be alot when you are the sole caretaker, even though we have Dan running around like a maid.

Another big thing that happened today is that we went to the park today for a few hours. Bei loves to push his stroller. I was helping to guide the stroller and he was babbling and all of a sudden our guide Michelle smiled and started talking to him. She told me Bei said "Mom, this is mine". I was so delighted, I asked if he really said Mom and she said yes that is exactly what he said! I was tickled pink!!! I realize now that I never asked Michelle what she said back to him. Bei talks often but I hadn't given it much thought since he is only two. I wish we could spend more time with Michelle and she could tell me what he is saying. Fortunately, we don't seem to have any problem communicating, he snaps his fingers and Dan and I run...or at least Dan is at the moment. I started repeating the Chinese words that he says and sometimes I get a smile from him. Dan said I should give it up because I have a tin ear, linguistics is definitely not my strength.

5.07.2008

Ooops, I meant to send a picture with the previous one.


This is moments before the meltdown at the Confuscious Temple. As mentioned our picture taking hasn't been that good. One thing is that we have a camera that reacts as quickly as the old ones from the Civil war. We should have gone out and bought a new one but we didn't, we have lots on video tape instead.

Kisses from Bei

It is 5:30 in the morning over here and I've been up since about 4:30 a.m. I have to admit, my sleep cycle is still off and I could use a really good deep sleep.

As I laid in bed holding Bei's hand thinking about how incredibly lucky we are to have this really loving child in our life, I realized I forgot to mention the most important thing that happened yesterday before the meltdown, I received 4 kisses from Bei and they were all unsolicited. I'm kissing him constantly and he seems to love it, so I think he has the concept down.

Anyway, when he and Dan were playing Choo Choo's in the morning, I came into the room and he looked at me and pursed his lips like he sent me a kiss. I kind of dismissed it because I thought it was more wishful thinking on my part. Later on, we were sitting on the couch and he was eating his Cheerios and feeding them to me and he was studying my face and got real close and put his mouth on mine, his mouth was open in a big O, but it still was kiss. He did several other times in the morning. Then he tried to slip a Cheerio in my mouth when he did it...okay, son I'm crazy in love with you but that is going a little over the top. I cracked up laughing and he did too. He really loves to laugh and smile.

He is such a different kid with Dan and I then when we are with the group, he is so happy when it is just the three of us and so darn serious when we are with others. To me it is just a miracle that this super shy introverted child has bonded with Dan and I from the beginning. How did he decide, yep you two are okay and not turn inward like he does? It all feels so much bigger than ourselves and I feel that I owe God a big one after this. When I think about what a loving little boy he is and how much he loves to be held and cuddled, it just makes me get emotional.

Dan whispered to me this morning that Bei held his hand all night long. We are so incredibly fortunate that not only did we get a kid that needs love but wants to give it back. This journey has just been amazing and far exceeds any of my expectations. We truly got the perfect child for Dan and I.

Bei Information


I thought I would share some of Bei's personality with you. He is extremely shy around others and puts on what I call his stoic Chinese face. Alot of people come up to him and compliment us on how cute he is. He has super long beautiful spider eyelashes and as our guide Michelle told us, he has a face that it is hard to say no to.

We realize that we are going to have to start setting boundaries with him because he likes to take things and pitch them. Of course, he gets the cutest little smirk on his face when he does it and looks at Dan to say come on hairy american man run after that one. That is fine when we are in the room alone, but doesn't work so well when we are at the restaurant.

He is really bonding with Dan, even though he still doesn't let him hold him. Bei loves to feed Dan Cheerios, play ball with him and he likes to tease both Dan and I to get us to laugh. He will hold out a french fry to us and pull it back at the last minute and then giggle really hard.

This morning when I got out of the shower Dan was playing with his matchbox cars with him and making the sound Choo Chooooooo and Bei was copying it. Some of the words that we think he has said are Choo Choo, Baba, Dada, Eye, Nose and lamb. The Choo Choo and Baba are for sure the rest are questionable.

Bei is a really good nose picker, however he is very polite about it and he always makes sure he gets his finger cleaned even if he came up empty handed. He also can blow his nose by himself. We handed him some Kleenex to wipe his nose and he blew his nose like an adult. It was very funny to watch.

One of the funny things to me, but probably not to Bei is his expression when we are putting on his clothes. Both Dan and I are all thumbs and alot of times his shirt gets caught on his head and he ends up yanking it down for us. He is probably thinking their are 370 million people in the U.S. and I get the two ninnies who can't get my clothes on right. I usually start laughing and he usually gives me one if his cutie smirks.

He goes down for bed really easy, tonight he laid inbetween Dan and I and fell asleep holding each of our hands. He is such a sweet and most wonderful little thing. Dan keeps saying to me, God has smiled on us and he has indeed.

One of the things that Dan and I realized is that we haven't taken alot of pictures, everything is on video. So I don't have very good pictures from today. Dan went to bed already tonight, so we'll try to get some video on the post tomorrow.
Thank you again to everyone for all the supportive emails. It is so nice to know that we have such a wonderful group of family, friends and co-workers who also want the best for Bei. You all have been very generous with your kindness and support. We are very fortunate!!!

Mommy and Daddy learn a few lessons on parenting




We found out that the Little Emperors cage can be rattle after all. Let me count the multiple of things that Dan and I did wrong today. We went on a the tour today, even though we are all exhausted, we didn't change Bei's diaper before we left, we didn't feed him enough food for breakfast, he was in too warm of a sweater and we cinched his pants too tight, so he probably had a stomach ache. Do you see where this is going? Meltdown!!! It was a very rough morning to say the least. We went to the Temple of Confuscious today and I have to say I didn't hear one word our guide told us. I was exhausted before the meltdown and emotionally exhausted afterward.

It was Bei's first cry with real tears and I have to admit it broke my heart, especially later once Dan and I reflected on all the things that we did to contribute to it. Oh well...we are parents in training and I'm sure it will not be the first mistakes that we will make.
We came back to the hotel and Bei and I napped while Dan ran to the store with our guide to buy a stroller, another big mistake, not purchasing one from the get go. Poor Dan, he has be on the go since we got here. He said that he knows that the word 'Baba' means maid in Chinese rather than daddy. :-) Bei woke up pretty owly and I cradled him and rocked him, until he fully woke up. After a good napper snapper, he was back to his old happy sweet self.

We spent the rest of the afternoon with him bonding and skipped the group dinner and went on our own instead.

5.06.2008

First Bath


We decided with all the pooping that Bei did today, that it was time for a bath. We had heard that kids in the orphanage are not use to baths and usually scream, but not Bei. I put on a swimsuit and went in with him and we brought lots of toys with us and he loved it. Dan did all the scrubbing and I kept him occupied. He pretty much is in a stupor by the time this picture was taken, because it had been a very long day. We are suppose to go on a tour tomorrow, but we may forego it. We thought it might be nice to have a day where we are not on a schedule and we can spend the time bonding with Bei. We'll see in the morning what we decide for sure.

Making it Official Pictures


Bei Bei and I waiting in the Civil Affairs office. His orphanage directors were there and came to him and he wanted nothing to do with them. Several of the other little girls cried and held out their arms and wanted to be held by them. I'm so grateful that Bei is bonding so well with us.

More pictures of second day with Bei!

Okay, my computer is acting up and won't let me go to the hard drive to get the pictures, so I'll write about our day and have Dan the techno master work his magic.
We officially named our son Daniel Bei Krueger, but we are calling him Bei or Bei Bei. I just can't express to you what a wonderful child he is! Perhaps, we are in the honeymoon stage with one another but it has been a GREAT honeymoon. He is so mild manner, it is really hard to rattle his cage. Believe me, we are trying not to, he just wants to be held and cuddled and he loves to laugh and make others laugh. It just all feels so right, like he is ours and was always meant to be ours.
Today we went to the Civil Affairs office to make Bei officially ours! We came back and ate lunch and then we all took a nap! Bei wanted to sleep on top of me and of course, I let him. He is a lover. We all needed to take a nap because Dan spent all night working on getting the video's working and we have had such computer problems. So he was exhausted, as well as Bei and I since he wants to be held all the time by me. I told one of the other mothers that I was concerned that Bei couldn't walk and she reminded me that we watched him walk in from the van. So the little guy is sand bagging me, but I love it! Dan and I had our first poopie diaper, we learned a few lessons, don't start the changing process until you have everything ready, like a fresh diaper, wipes, etc. Bei was looking at us like he was adopted by Bozo the Clowns :-) Some, of the other first this afternoon is that we have been fully examined by Bei. Bei has noticed that Dan is a big hairy american, he pulled his whiskers and then noticed his arm hair. He looked up both of our noses and we must of passed the inspection. Plus, he wanted to pull a scab off of my arm. His touch is very gentle and he hasn't been aggressive in any way. You can tell he is exploring. He is very funny about being clean. If he gets anything on his hands, he wants us to wipe it immediately. It seems that all the children from the Suzhou orphanage are similarly clean. Tonight, we gave him a bath and then laid him down for bed. He was exhausted and for the first time didn't want me to hold him. I laid next to him and he would touch me, but if I touched back he would pull away. Everything is on his terms at the moment and that is fine. He is the GREATEST kid!! One last thing, he is super teeny tiny, which I knew but I guess I didn't realize he would be in 12 month clothes. So we brought 18 month clothes and the pants are swimming on him, but Dan is really good with the safety pins that I brought and we are pinning his clothes up. Well, it is getting late, so I'm going to sign off.
Thanks again to everyone emailing us at danlizk@comcast.net! We enjoy receiving your emails and wish that we could email back but haven't figured it out or had the time to do it.
God Bless!

Our Second Day


Here are a few more pictures, the first one is of Bei Bei and daddy getting acquainted in the morning. He slept like a champ, we finally had to wake him up at 7:00 because we had an appointment at the Civil Affairs department at 8:00 to make everything official.

5.05.2008

Being Claimed!

A mom that adopted four children blogged last month that at some point the children claims you as their own. When we got back to the hotel, there were three female workers in our room. They oohed and ahhed all over him and one of them went to take him out of my arms. He would have nothing to do with it. He wanted me! They came back 20 minutes later with food in their hand, they gave him bananna's and peaches and then tried to hold him again. Ha! He would not be bought!! :-) He only wanted me! I feel like we have bonded and will continue to bond. He made great strides with Dan yesterday and I think he will continue to today. When he wakes up this morning, Dan wants to be the one that picks him up and comforts him if he will let him.

We are so blessed!!!

More of Hit the Jackpot!

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As our caption states, we hit the Chinese Jackpot!! Bei is everything I thought he would be and much more. He truly is wonderful and feels like he is meant to be our child. First impressions of him are that he is extremely stoic, curious, loving and happy. He is yearning to be loved, wants to be hugged and cuddled and seeks out his daddy's approval.

We arrived at the Civil Affairs office in Nanjing at 2:00 p.m. Clients from another adoption agency were already there receiving their babies. Immediately, some of our group received their children because they had come from other orphanages. The process was very informal, as parents identified their child, they would walk up to them and start engaging them in activities with soothing voices. The Suzhou children still had not arrived, so we waited and shared in the joy of the other parents. Personally, I was very quiet and sat on the couch and just watched because I wanted to keep my emotions in check. Our guide had suggested that we all try to be 'Chinese' and control our emotions for the sake of the children. I felt very emotional, so it was hard for me not to cry. Finally the Suzhou children were spied coming into the building. There were two little girls and then Bei, he looked very bewildered. As he walked past our window he looked straight at me and I waved and said hi Bei, Bei. It was a split second in time but I know he saw me and we were connected.

By the time he came into the room, he was in the nannies arms. I moved over so she could sit by him us and help transition him, like I saw the other nannies from the other orphanages do with the other families. Instead, she put him on the couch and walked away. Dan and I offered him treats and he stoically looked at us and just took everything in. After about 5 minutes he started to whine, so I grabbed him and put him on my lap. He immediately nestled his little body into the curvature of my body. He still wouldn't smile or laugh but he was content.

We ended up going to a store and I held him the entire time. As we waited for other parents Dan brought a ball out and he and Dan played ball. He still wasn't smiling but in all that time he never cried once.

We came back to the hotel and he sat on my lap and played cars and ball with his daddy. It really took him no time to warm up to Dan with smiles and laughing, but always sitting on my lap. He fell asleep in my arms and I held him a long time afterward, he so wants to be held, you can feel it. Right now, I'm his security but we are hoping that he will let Dan hold him today.

He is so very loved and I can't wait til he wakes up today to find out more about him. He slept with us and will continue to as the hotel has no cribs.

Love you all, thank you for the support, prayers and well wishes.

We Hit The Chinese Jackpot!

Please see a few of our videos from Gotcha Day, we'll write more later. We are very tired and having some computer problems in China so it is about 4 a.m here and we are trying to update the blog while Bei is sleeping. He went to bed about 8 p.m and he is still sleeping without any problems or waking up! We hope these videos come through, Dan is learning how to trim so we can shorten for uploading. It has been a truely incredible day, we prepared for the worst and we got the best!! We feel very blessed, more than ever after today. The day could not have gone any better as we think you will see.
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