James 1:27 " Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. "

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

Sorry for the long delay between updates. We have been home for 2 weeks today and things are going really well. During the last part of our stay in Guangzhou Jamie and I both got sick, so we were really concerned how we were going to do on the really long trip home. But thanks to the prayers of many people we had a really good trip home and Carsen did extremely well. The past couple of weeks have been kinda busy. So far Carsen has been to church, the fair parade, football game, therapy and the doctor (of course). He also gained a new baby cousin, Lane, last Friday. He continues to do very well and opens up more and more each day. He seems to really be attaching to Jamie and I very well, he doesn't like for us to be out of his sight for very long. Before coming home one of our worries was how he would adjust to Max, our Cairn terrer, as he had never been around dogs at all. Well he LOVES Max and we think Max kinda likes him as well. Our trip to the pediatrician was pretty uneventful, except for the finding of an ear infection. We go back next week for our 18mth check up and to catch up on immunizations, so I'm thinking that one won't be as easy. Carsen will be evaluated by the cardiologist in November, so we will see what that will bring. Here are a few pics from our first days at home.

Off to my first football game!

Learning to feed myself

My favorite activity...bath time!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yuntai Garden

Today we went to a beautiful garden, the Yuntai Garden. It was filled with all sorts of different plants and flowers. It was also decorated extra special today for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival which is today. Tonight at the garden they have a show in which all the lanterns and figures light up and some of then shoot out bubbles. I'm sure it would have been really pretty lit up at night. Jamie got his first photo request today by some young guys. Our guide said they don't see foreigners very oftern and think its funny to get their pictures taken with people like us.
This afternoon we walked over to Shamian Island again to visit some of the shops and purchase some things to take back home. Carsen got squeeky shoes they are a hit, hopefully they will encourage him to get to walking. We put them on and bounced him and up and down and he was all giggles. He continues to do really well, inspite of the fact that he appears to be cutting some teeth, but baby ibuprofen works wonders! Here are a few pics from today, but the iphone pics don't do it justice, hopefully the ones on the regular camera are better.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Medical Exam and Chen Clad Academy

Yesterday we took Carsen to the photo shop to have his visa photo taken. Then we had to go to the clinic to have his medcial exam. Which consisted of height, weight, quick hearing and vision screening, a look in his ears and throat and then quick once over by the physician. He did very well with only minimal tears. He is starting to become alot more vocal and seems to be happy. He loves to eat and cries when we say we are done and get up to leave the table. We have to distract him with a toy or something to avoid a crying fit. He is starting to come to Jamie and I wanting to be picked up and reaching up for us. We took him swimming for the first time yesterday and we may have a little fish our our hands. He loves the water whether in the bathtub or the pool. He is not afraid either, he occasionally with stick his little face right in.
Today we went to the Chen Clad Academy which is the oldest building in Guangzhou. This academy is home to many arts including silk embroidery that looks like paintings, ivory carving, wood carving, hand painting and many other things. Then our guide took us to lunch at the Lotus restaurant, which is over 80 years old. Our lunch was very good, but still not like Chinese food as we are used to at home. We are glad our trip is on the downhill slide and ready to be in our own home. We know that the plane ride will be very long, but it will be worth it to get back to MO!

He's quite adept at using his feet!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Orphanage Visit and on to Guangzhou

It's been a long couple of days. On Thursday we went to Xuzhou to visit Carsen's orphange and to see his finding place. It was a 4 hour drive each way, so it made for a very long day. Carsen did really well in the van and didn't fuss too much. The director of the orphange was very kind and too us out to lunch when we arrived. It was nice, but some of the dishes were a little too extreme for our tastes, things like the lining of a goat's stomach and shrimp that were not deheaded or anything. She then took us to the place where Carsen was found. He was found at the entrance to a park at about 7pm one evening and they estimated him to be about 2 days old. That was a very emotional place for us, it was hard to imagine him lying there cold and helpless. But that was just a small part of God's plan for his life, because if he wasn't left there we wouldn't get to be his parents. We went back to the orphange to see his nannies and the places where he had slept. We meet several other sweet children, some that are waiting for their parents to come and get them. They care about the children there and do the very best they came in this situation to provide for the children, but its just not the same as a mom and dad. On the way back to Nanjing Carsen really started to play and giggle with us. He is becoming more open to us and reaches for us and likes to be cuddled. Overall he continues to do very well.

On Friday we made the trip from Nanjing to Guangzhou, where the US Consulate is located. Our guide got us to the airport very early and we sat there for hours and then our flight was delayed for 45 minutes. We did not get to Guangzhou until after 7 and it was after 8 when we finally arrived at our hotel. We were all exhausted and pretty much went straight to bed and the boys are still asleep as I type this. Today we will go to the medical examination office and get Carsen's exam, apprently this is just a very quick exam and he will not have to receive any shots because of a new law that allows us to do vaccinations when we get home and he is under 2 so he does not have to have a TB test.

Carsen and daddy at his finding place

Having fun on the van ride

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Xuanwu Lake and stuff about Carsen

Sorry for no post yesterday to all of you who were waiting. We just didn't really do alot so I didn't have alot to say. We went back to the civil affairs office where the adoption was finalized. We saw the couple from Ohio that we met at O'Hare, their little girl is adorable. Then we came back to the hotel and basically just hung out. Carsen has got to see all his grandparents yesterday and today via facetime and skype. It's really cool that we can talk to them when they are on the other side of the world. Carsen is doing wonderfully so far. He is eating and sleeping very well. He is starting to smile and giggle more with us as well. He is getting to like taking a bath. He loves scrambled eggs, carrotts, rice and cabbage. They told us he likes fruit, but the only fruit we have gotten him to eat is baby food fruit.
Today we went to Xuanwu Lake, otherwise known as Dragon Lake. It was very nice weather wise as well as very beautiful. There is a very nice path that walks around the lake. There is a big statue of the Goddess of Lotus and a Buddhist temple on the grounds. Then we went to a Jade showroom and a traditional Chinese lunch. After lunch our guide took us to a clothing market where we got Carsen some more pants, because most of his are too big in the waist. We paid less than $5 for 2 pair of athletic pants. We are now back in the room for the day and Carsen is fast asleep.

Jamie and Carsen sporting the MU gold and black.

Carsen really likes hanging out in the stroller.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Wow what a day! I don't really know how to explain it. We arrived at the civil affairs office before Carsen and were waiting with another couple for their little girl. We were standing in the lobby and I see a lady walking up with a little one in her arms and I realize it was Carsen. He has done fairly well. We were told he likes toys that make noise and light up. So we gave him a little phone that plays music and lights up, well until he became so tired he didn't know what else to do that phone was in his hand. When we got back to the hotel he began to play with some other things as well. Just like in the last pictures we received he really likes the beach ball as well. He has taken a liking to my phone already and played with the Tom the Cat app, which actually brought out a few giggles. Then shortly after that it was over, he was very tired from the long day and all the changes. He fought it very hard and cried for what seemed like forever. My heart just broke for him, because I knew he was so very scared. He is fast asleep right now, so we will see what happens when he wakes up. Here are a few pictures from today.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Today is Carsen Day!!

In a couple of hours we will meet our guide in the lobby of our hotel to go and meet our little Carsen!! We are getting excited, nervous, anxious and anything else you might think of. We arrived here in Nanjing yesterday afternoon. Our hotel, the Holiday Inn Aqua City is very nice. It is attached to a mall, where there are many Western choices to eat and shop at. We found that Papa Johns pizza is just as good here as in Missouri. We will try to post pictures this evening. Prayers are much appreciated at this point!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 2 in Beijing

Today we went to Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City. It was very interesting to see all of the buildings and hear some of the history surrounding them. Our guide told us that many older Chinese people wait in line to see the Chairman Mao, who is entombed in his crystal casket. After walking through the Forbidden City we then went on a tour through the Hutong, which is the original neighborhood of Beijing, and there are still people who live there now. We were driven through the Hutong by a man on a rickshaw. Jamie says he defintaly earned his money today. We also had lunch in the Hutong in the home of a family, it was very good and we really enjoyed it. Jamie is also getter a little better with his chopsticks, since that was his only choice today. Tommorrow we will be off to Nanjing where we will meet Carsen Monday morning.

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Day in Beijing

Today we went to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace. The Great Wall is so incredibly steep and we did not attempt to climb very far, but there were alot of people who did. There were older ladies with canes trying to climb, I really doubt if I would advise any of my patients who use canes to attempt this. It was really neat, but they need a gondola or something so those of us who don't really trust ourselves on the stairs can get to the top to admire what I'm sure is a tremendous view. The Summer Palace was really nice, lots of shaded ares so it was cooler. We got to take a dragon boat ride there. We met a Marine family there that is stationed in Korea and they are over here taking in as much as they can before they go back to the US next summer. Our guide is really nice and helpful. Tommorrow we go to the Forbidden City and take a Hutong tour. Here are some pictures of the Great Wall. I forgot to take some with the phone at the Summer Palace so those will have to wait until we get home.