Holy Crap...we are going to China!!!

I received an email this morning from our adoption agency telling us that our Travel Approval will be arriving in their office on Monday morning! Yikes...double yikes! AND,here is the biggee news...we may be traveling as soon as April 22nd!!!...really??? what?? oh my gosh...I can't believe it!

I feel like one of those women that you hear about in the news who didn't know that they were pregnant and they get to the hospital with what they think is heartburn and are told, "you are pregnant AND you are going to have that baby within the next 22 days...I mean hours. All that paperwork that I was doing really does mean something...there really is this beautiful little guy on the otherside of the world waiting for us! And we are going to get him this month!

My fear is that I am going to get to China and I'm not going to know what to do with a baby... I've thought about that feeling you get when you know that you haven't quite studied for a test, but you think you know enough to pass and then you get to the first question and you have to skip it because you don't know it and you go to the second question and you start getting that sinking feeling in your stomach because you have to skip it again and by question five you know you have totally blown it. I sure hope that doesn't happen to me when I'm in China...

Question 1. what do I feed a baby? (skip)

Question 2. do I bring jars of baby food? (skip)

Question 3. what if he is teething? (skip)

Question 4. what if he crys incessantly (skip)

So if you know the answers to the above questions, email me, call, write a letter, send a singing telegram...anything really!


March Update!

I've been on cloud nine since Friday because I finally received an update that I had requested several weeks ago. So here are the questions and the answers received from the orphanage. Additionally they sent 12 pictures!
1. Can we get a copy of his birth note? And his entire file?
Zheng Kang is 12 months old now. when you come to get him, we will give his birth note to you. we also have clothes of him when he was found. We will bring them to you as well, so Zheng Kang can keep them.
2. How would you describe his personality?
Zheng Kang is a brave happy boy. He seldom cry, even when he is getting vaccinations. He has a ready smile. It’s easy to make him laugh. When he cries, just give him some little things to play or something to eat.
3. Does he sleep in a crib or a bed?
He sleeps in his own crib. (Hooray, I'm excited about the crib!)
4. What is his routine before he goes to sleep? He goes to bed at 11:00pm after taking a bottle. Rock him for a little while, he will fall in sleep. (Oh Lord...11 p.m.? Really??...you have to be pulling my leg?!?!)
5. How many naps does he take? And at what time of the day?
He takes 2-3 naps a day. 10:00am, 1:30pm and 5:00pm. (ah ha!...now we now why he doesn't go to sleep til 11:00 p.m....fixable !).
6. Is he on a bottle and when is he given the bottle?
Yes, at night before bed time. (I'm happy to know that he is on a bottle yet...good bonding time!).
7. Is he eating solid food and what type of food?
He is eating rice, noodle, and stuffed steamed buns. (Mmmmm...I wonder what they are stuffed with???)
8. Is he currently teething?
He has 5 teeth now. Upper 3 and lower 2. looks like he is teething. He drools sometimes.
9. What do you do to comfort him when he cries? Does he have a special toy or blanket?
When he cries, just give him some little things to play or something to eat. (Food is universally comforting!)
10. Will the foster parents be there during the transition during the adoption?
No, the foster family won’t be there. It’s too hard for them to let him go and they will cry.
11. Can you tell us anything about the foster family and the area that he is from?
Zheng Kang’s foster family is in the city. Foster mom often takes him to the park to bask and listen to music. Everyone loves him.
12. Who is Kang Kang’s closest caretaker?
Kang Kang’s nanny’s name is Xiu Hua. She is a capable woman. She has taken many children of our institute who have been adopted now.
13. Would you like us to send you updates and pictures of Kang Kang as he grows?
Yes. Our email address is: (I'm not publishing the email address, but I am excited to have this direct connection to the orphanage/foster family. With google translater it is really slick now to write a letter and to easily translate it into another language.)
14. Is there anything you think we should know about Kang Kang to help him transition?
His current measurements are:
Height: 75cm; Weight: 10kg; Head: 46cm; Chest: 47cm; Teeth: 5; Foot: 12.5cm. (they may not be exact because he moves around. Hard to get him stay still. Hope you can understand. )


We are on the Home Stretch!

We received really good news today from Great Wall Adoption Agency. We received our Article 5 today! In the adoption world that means we are about 20 days from receiving our Travel Approval! At this time we think our agency thinks that we will travel April 3oth! Hooray! If everything goes according to plan, it will mean that we will be in China during the exact same dates as we were for Bei's adoption 2 years ago! Additionally, we may be traveling with one of the families, the Lee's,that we adopted with 2 years ago. We will go to different Provinces, but will meet up in Guangzhou since all adopting families have to go through the US consulate there. We are excited to see them again!
We are slowly getting everything ready for our trip to China. We started with big stuff like a new refridgerator, which led to a new dishwasher, which led to a new dryer...okay...none of that led to one another...it just was the realization that we have been in this home for 19 years. Things worked but not as well as they use to...the dryer would take two cycles to dry the clothes and then we needed a new dishwasher because Dan didn't like to drink out of freshly cleaned glasses that had a cloud of film on them...(and sometimes chunks of food)...he is just so picky. In addition to our new appliances Dan built us a pantry in our kitchen, because of limited cabinet space. I'm one of those grocery sales shoppers who see's boxes of macroni on sale for $.68 and I buy 40 boxes! Honestly, that man knows how to make my heart sing...I LOVE my new pantry! While Dan has been installing appliances and building a pantry, I on the other hand have pulled out all of Bei's old clothes and washed them for China. I also have painted Bei's room twice...the first time I thought it was going to be a warm brown...like the color of coffee. After I was done painting Bei kept saying "mom where is my brown room?" That is what I want to know too kid! Unfortunately, it was the color of cement...gray and very institutional looking. Now, it is a very pretty blue color and goes fabulous with his Thomas the Tank Engine bedspread.
Now that we are truly on the home stretch to China, I am going to pull out the suitcases and start packing...I'm very excited about it all!


My W#E W#E Hurts!

Cousin Elizabeth snuggling with our little man
Sometimes to pass the time Bei and I do what we call project work...

Bei woke up the other morning and immediately said to me "my wee wee hurts". Crud...I'm thinking to myself, I don't know anything about what to do about a little boys wee wee hurting... I didn't even know that a boys wee wee could hurt. So, Bei said again "mom, my wee wee hurts REALLY bad!" Uh oh..."Okay honey, let me take a look at it". So then Bei bent over and pulled off his sock and pointed to his baby toe...sure enough the little piggy that goes "wee wee wee" all the way home had a cut on it! Were you as fooled as I was? I definitely did not think he was talking about that wee wee! But what a relief...I could just put a band-aid on it and it is better.

Well our little Nick Nick had an excellent report this past week! The tumor is gone! Yeah! Please know that his battle is not won yet and please keep this sweet little guy on your prayer list.

I also wanted to direct you to Pamela and John Block's blog for those of you interested. If you remember, they are the parents to Lily, who was adopted with Bei. She is the little girl that had open heart surgery immediately coming home. Well, they recently adopted another little girl who has some severe medical needs and this past week she underwent surgery to repair most of it. Anyway, their story is one of hope for a new life for this little girl that was being passed over by many due to her medical conditions. They could use alot of prayers right now during Anna's healing process. Their blog is http://www.johnpamelablock.blogspot.com/
Lastly, I would ask everyone to keep my dad in your prayers. He is having several health issue's that are really affecting his daily living.


Test Email

Hi Everyone,
This is a test email to see if I can send a blog via email because China has shutdown all social networking, including Facebook and all blogs sites.  
Warm Regards,.


Adventure or Fiasco???

We took a 5 hour family snowmobile ride which included a stop at a local bar for lunch. Bei rode with me and loved every minute of it! He was sad when Dan went riding the rest of the day with his friend John.

We are in the preparatory travel phase of the adoption journey for our baby. I've gone through all of Bei's old clothes and pulled out the ones that I like and washed them again. Dan saw me folding his clothes and said, "I can see the excitement on your face Liz." And I have to admit that I am getting excited to bring our little one home. The neat thing is that Bei was so darn tiny that I am assuming that the baby will fit into the same clothes that Bei wore while he was in China. In a way, I was lucky that Bei was so tiny at 27 months, because I feel like I have experienced some of his babyhood with him, so I don't feel so cheated. Man...he is such a great kid! Have I said that recently???? That kid makes me sooooooooooooooo very happy, happy!!! I just hope that he adjusts well to the baby...that is for another blog, not tonights blog.

We are planning on flying into Shanghai rather than going to Beijing. This means we will be on our own to navigate ourselves from Shanghai to Fuzhou city, we won't be with our adoption agency tour guide. The other night I mentioned to Dan that I really think we should consider taking the 6 hour train ride from Shanghai to Fuzhou, so that we can see the Chinese countryside. I told him that I confirmed with our adoption agency that a guide will meet us either at the Fuzhou train station or the airport, we just have to tell them the date and time. Dan was pretty exhausted from work and he listened to me without saying a word, then he smiled in his Dan Krueger way and said , "Liz, let me play this train scenario situation out for you. We will get on the train and for the first hour you will run around like a chicken with your head chopped off , jumping up at every stop asking if this is where we get off. Which nobody will respond because nobody speaks English, except me and you. I will calmly remind you that we have 5 more hours. After the first hour you will finally calm down and immediately fall asleep. At around the 5 hour mark you will wake up and I will be exhausted because I have entertained Bei for 5 hours! And at the 5 and half hour mark, we will hear an announcement over the train for the next stop that will sound like "Fuzhou", but we both know we still have half an hour to go. However as the train is pulling away from the station, we both will look out the window at the same time and in the sea of people, we will see a sign being held up with the letters K R U E G E R. We will have that moment that we lock eyes with one another and we both will say "Shit!" you will say 'I thought they said Suzhou' and I will say I thought they said Xuzhou! Then Dan went on to say "Liz, an airplane has one door, we see people getting off, we follow, we are in Fuzhou". Okay, point well taken...so much of what Dan described probably would be true...especially the chicken comment! Graceful under pressure...I am not! There is an inherent level of stress in adopting a new child, plus bringing Bei back to a communist country and then being on our own in a country where large parts of it you can't find an English speaking person for miles upon miles. "Alleviate stress" is my mantra, let's do what is easy and if we want to take adventures in China, we can do that later in life...after the boys can speak fluent Mandarin!

On a more serious note, please keep little Nick Nick in your prayers. Friday, March 5th he has a procedure at Mayo. On Monday he has a follow up appointment in New York City to see how the tumor in his eye has reacted to the Chemo treatment. Pray that the tumor is receding and that he goes back into remission or a miracle happens and the cancer goes away forever.