Monday, June 30, 2008

Jenni is feeling better!

Well, we did have another long night last night. Not only is Jenni still on Hong Kong time but everytime she would go to sleep she would only stay asleep for about an hour to two hours and then when awake she would only stay awake for about an 1 hour and start getting very fussy and need to sleep again. On Sunday morning she was refusing to eat or take any formula. She also seemed to really struggle to breathe. So now we were really worried. We called the Dr. and he suggested to take her to the ER. Rich and I struggled with this as she had been through so much already. In the last two weeks she went from a orphanage, 2 hotel rooms, several airplane flights and now a new home. All I could think about was how the poor thing would have to sit in the ER for hours and then have strange people poking and proding her. We decided to wait until she woke up from her nap and see how she was feeling. If still no bottle than we would take her in. When she woke up from her nap her breathing seemed less labored and she took a full bottle so we decided to wait it out until Monday when she could get into the Dr. She did pretty well Sunday afternoon than once again was very sick in the middle of the night. We did two hot steamy showers which seem to help her breathing and used the humidifer. Rich and I took turns staying up with her and finally at 7:00am, I went into the nursery to find daddy and baby sleeping side by side on the double bed sound asleep. It was too cute. I wish I would have taken a picture but after only 2 hours of sleep I couldn't even muster the engery to find the camera to take the picture. We did go to the Dr. this afternoon and yes it is croup and also they think she has an allergy to the new formula that we had to change her to in China. They put her on steriods and antibiotics and had us change her to a soy based formula. She is now sleeping and her breathing is sooooo much better!! We are hopeful that she will have a good sleep tonight without waking up to cough so much. She did really pretty well at the Dr. she is normally so shy about letting other people hold her and she went to one of my favorite nurses, Shannon and even let Shannon take her to the back without me to show her off to all of Dr's and nurses. She even let our family dr and friend, Dr. Woodruff, hold her. It is almost like she knew they were going to try and help her. She got a little fussy when the P.A. tried to listen to her breathing but otherwise did pretty good considering she didn't feel very well. We are hopeful to start getting into a better routine tomorrow and I need to go into to work for a few hours so hopefully her anxiety of me being out of her sight will be less if she is feeling better. She loves her daddy and calls for him in the night but if I am in the room she prefers me to hold her. I truly think some of this is insecurity is from being in a new home again and being sick. Rich has been trying to give her all of her bottles, change her diapers and get her out of the crib when she awakes to help with the bonding between the two of them but she still gets fussy with him. I know she is struggling with the changes in life and is probably grieving for her nannies. She often will say Na Na and we wonder if this is what she called her nanny. The bonding between all three of us is getting better with each day!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Can't Sleep!!

So it is 1:00AM on Sunday morning and I can not sleep. I guess my time clock is all off. I am also really worried about poor little Jenni. She has had a cough since Wednesday and today she is much worse. I spoke with our family Dr. and he said I could start her on the antibiotics I already have but it may be viral. I did some checking around and it sounds like she has croup. She has very raspy breathing and coughing so hard that she throws up. So now I can't sleep as I am listening to her breathing. Please pray that God puts his healing touch on her. The good news is she has no fever but being the new parents we are we are both probably more worried than we need to be. But she won't take any water and no solid food right now. Bottles only. So I am hoping she won't get dehydrated. I am going to put some pictures up from our traditional "red couch photos". They are too funny. Imagine trying to 12 "puppies" to sit still in one position for 12 families to get photos. Than 1 baby would cry and then it would get contagious and they would all cry. Jenni is in the light pink silk dress with her pearl bracelet on. The pictures are from my friend Lisa as we haven't had a chance yet to download the rest of our pictures. We are hoping to do a journal entry that has almost all of our photos but we first need to get in a routine with the baby and then I can take the time to do that.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We are home!!!

Hello, Everyone!! We have made it home safe and sound. The flight was very long and baby Jenni was not a happy camper. She cried almost the entire flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco. She was running a fever and we think she has a respiratory infection. So this was not the best time to fly for her. We would have posted earlier but Rich starting feeling sick on Wednesday with a cold and then I started having sinus issues and Jenni started coughing alot. So the last two days in Guangzhou we were not feeling too well. Jenni wasn't sleeping well and neither was Rich or I. So we were just too tired to even get on the computer. Jenni is now a legal citizen of the U.S. once we got to San Francisco and according to the U.S. Consulate and China we have legally completed the adoption procedure. However, we will probably still do th legal adoption paperwork for our state. Jenni has been doing pretty well with jet lag. Rich and I are also doing fine. I just wanted to put in a special thanks to our adoption agency, CCAI. The reps were wonderful!! Jason and Kathy stayed with us the whole entire time. I already miss the other families we were there with. We all got to know each other so well and I even got to where I could tell which baby was the one crying just by the sound of their cry.

Thanks again to my friends and family that help make this journey go well for us. There were many things that I was stressing about as far as home and work. But everyone pulled together and I came home to a clean house and food stocked. It was just awesome. I intend to keep this blog going for awhile so we can update with pictures for everyone.

The above pictures are of Jenni helping daddy pick out what pearls she wanted and then Jenni sleeping after shopping. She would put her back and sleep. It looked so uncomfortable but she would sleep like that for long periods of time.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Typhoon in Hong Kong

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are ok. Apparently there is a typhoon that hit Hong Kong. We are in Guangzhou so beside just having rain we are fine. Just been camped out in the hotel room. Ordering Papa John's pizza and enjoying playing with Jenni. We do our traditional "red couch photo" this afternoon with all of the babies. That is done here in the hotel so we won't need to go out. We do have a flight that leaves Hong Kong on Friday so hopefully by then the airport will be up and running ok. It is bad enough being stranded in an USA airport let alone a foreign one but we will be with at least one other family so we won't be alone. We will try and let everyone know if our flight still leaves on time.


9 Month Birthday today!

Today we went to the Pearl Market. I have never in my life seen so many Pearls. Daddy bought Jenni Lin a pearl necklace to give to her when she graduates from high school and also a cute little pearl bracelet for her 9 month birthday today that she can wear now. She looks so cute with it on. We also bought her a beautiful silk dress to wear for our group picture tomorrow. Jenni had a little bit of a rough night last night but I think since she is eating more solid foods now she had a bit of a stomach ache. She woke up 3 times and didn't nap very well today. She had her physical yesterday and she weighed in at just 15 pounds. The doctor said she is so tiny but healthy. I think she will put on weight fairly quickly as she is now eating alot more. She actually tried bean curd today and really liked it! I tried it and it was so salty but hey if she likes it she can have it. She got to talk to her Aunt Dawnitta on the phone today and she smiled listening to her voice and licked the cell phone it was pretty funny. Man, we are so ready to come home. We miss all of the good about the USA. I have to admit though that the Chinese people are very friendly and when our group goes out it is quite a scene. Although, Guangzhou there are alot more Americans than in Changsha so we don't feel so quite out of place as we did in Changsha. Just 3more sleeps until we get home!! I will try and download some pictures tomorrow. Very tired...need sleep!


Sunday, June 22, 2008


We are now in Guangzhou. We actually arrived yesterday. Jenni Lin did fabulous on the flight. I gave her a bottle right as we were taking off and she fell asleep taking off and then only awoke right as we were landing. I am hopeful that the long flight home will be just as easy. We are now staying at the White Swan. It is a beautiful hotel but I have to admit the Dolton in Changsha was just as nice. I think that the hotel staff at the Dolton was just great. It is easier being in Guangzhou as it has alot more to offer to the Americans. We also feel alot safer walking around the Island here. We had a very busy day today with a tour and swimming at the White Swan Hotel. Jenni Lin look so cute in the swimsuit that Aunt Dena got her. We failed to get pictures as we left the camera back in the hotel room but hopefully tomorrow we can get some of her swimming. She loved the water!! We would tell her kick and she would. She tried hard to actually doggie paddle. She is just so smart. She is now saying MaMa and Dada. Rich and I just have been having so much fun with her even when she gets cranky. She is just so lovable. She is getting a little bit better about eating. At breakfast she will now eat eggs or porridge if it smothered in syrup. Hey, you do what you have to do get her to eat! I know you guys want more pictures but they keep us pretty busy here and then we never want to miss a moment with the baby but I promise to eventually download pictures to snapfish and you can see them all. Tomorrow we have to do more paperwork and the baby's physical. Miss you all!!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Another day in Changsha!

Today we had a rest day at the hotel. We received Jenni's abandonment certificate, finding ad and birth certificate. We also got her passport. She is feeling better today and we had such a fun day with her. Now that we got the "potty" situation under control she is feeling much better.

I know she will kill me later when she finds out I put a picture of her going to bathroom on the blog but it is just so cute. Her looking at me and grunting! We are flying to Guangzhou tomorrow. We post more than we need to pack!!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rain, Rain go away!

We have switched Jenni to a new formula as we can't get the one she had in her orphanage here in Changsha. She seems to really like it but not sure if it is agreeing with her as she seemed a little bit more cranky today and very wiggly. She was arching her back alot and tightening her legs so I think her tummy hurts. She is not really fond of table food yet. We finally got her to eat some Pork and Egg Congee and a little bit of Rice and Steamed Egg today but she seems to have some issues with keeping the food in her mouth..she pushes it out with her tongue. She actually gets frustrated as she wants to eat it but it is like her tongue doesn't cooperate. But is getting better each day. She has no teeth yet at 9 months so that may be part of her problem. There are some 7 month old babies in our group that have 5 or 6 teeth already!! She is finally standing pretty good with help from us but refuses to try and crawl. So I think she will start walking before even crawling. Today was very wet and rainy. We tried to go to a local park with the group and it poured down rain! We had umbrellas but everyone was miserable including the babies. We haven't been able to do a whole lot in Changsha just because of so much rain. But Rich and I really enjoy just spending time with Jenni and getting in some bonding time. Thanks for all of the prayers of good health and safety..please keep it up. We are all doing ok so far.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Today was a rest day for the families. Jenni slept 11 hours last night without waking up once!

We had breakfast down at the buffet in the hotel and she ate some banana and watermelon. It was pretty funny as our rep, Kathy, went around and asked everyone if their baby had had a bowel movement. That is when you really know you are a parent. When you are talking about your child's bowel movements at the breakfast table. Jenni was having some issues and we tried everything. We were just about to give her a laxative and another parent that had a baby from the same orphanage said they set their baby over the toilet. So we tried that. Within seconds she peed but no bowel movement. So later in the day after her afternoon bottle we tried again. Now, don't laugh, but I had to actually grunt and then she watched me and grunted and went to the bathroom. I would never had believed it if I wouldn't have been there to see it. She screamed the whole time on the toilet as she was afraid of it but she went. Rich and I had to contain ourselves from laughing as you could tell she was really straining to go. So I guess that is the way its works with her. She is partly potty trained at the age of 9 months. It just cracks me up that we have to grunt and pretend we are pushing and she copies us and actually does it. We also had play time in the baby's room at Dolton Hotel and that was fun to get all of the babies together to play. One of the pictures for this post is Jenni being silly and making a motorboat noise. Her lips pucker so funny when she does that. Jenni also is doing so much better with Rich. Rich had her laughing and giggling and now actually lets him carry her around. Rich is such a good daddy!!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jenni is legally ours!!!

Today our adoption was finalized in the eyes of China. She is legally ours. Today was a very long day. Jenni was glued to me which I have to admit I didn't really mind a whole lot, actually I did love the fact the minute I picked her up she snuggled into me and had a death grip on me! However, it was very muggy today and the snuggli was very warm for both Jenni and I. We went to the Civil Affairs office today and finalized our adoption. The room we had to wait in was full of babies and parents and it was very hot. Jenni loved Rich the first day but today she didn't want anything to do with him. This is very common and I am sure within a few days she will warm up to him. I have to admit I just love our travel group. All of the families are just so nice and we all help each other out. Although, I think Rich and I probably utilize their advice more then they need ours! Our reps, Jason and Kathy are fabulous. They are Chinese and they have a way of making the babies all laugh. Kathy sings a song to them in Chinese and they just calm down. They have such a personal touch. They call us at night and in the morning to make sure we don't need their help. They are staying in the hotel with us. We went to Walmart today and boy was that interesting. Our group had quite the fan club following us around. The Chinese children like to come and talk to us in English and the older ladies love to come over and talk to the babies. The Chinese people have just been so friendly and their customer service in our hotel is just incredible. The U.S. could learn from them. Well, Jenni finally let me put her down and I think I should try and get some rest before my new boss wakes up!!


Monday, June 16, 2008

We are Parents!!

We are finally parents. More joy than I ever imagined. Jeanette Lin Byrd is just so beautiful. She had a little trouble in the beginning. Crying pretty hard but I think it was just because all of the other babies were crying. Once we got her to our hotel room she settled right down. We got to give her a bottle at Provincial Civil Affairs office. But she only took about 1/2 bottle. She seems to be willing to go to Rich or I. And boy is daddy protective of is just so cute. She is now sleeping, Hopefully we can get some photos downloaded for our blog. Well, we are very tired so I will try and post some more tomorrow.


Sunday, June 15, 2008


Sorry about not blogging sooner. We have been having a little trouble with blogging in Changsha. We can blog but I can't actually see our blog. We also can't download any pictures right now. "Gotcha" will be in about 2 hours. We will take pictures but I will need to forward them onto a family member so they can insert them from the states. Also, my comcast email is not working so we are having to use our yahoo account. This morning we went down for breakfast at the buffet. It was very good. Then at about 10:00am we met with our adoption agency to go over what happens this afternoon. We are so excited but at the same time very nervous. I have my own "fan club", Gracie. She is the daughter of one our travel group families. She is from China. She is just so cute. She told Rich and I that she would show us how to change diapers! She gave Rich and I exact directions on how to change a poopy diaper. It was just so cute. I figure if Baby Jenni doesn't come to me right away, I could call Gracie to come over to give me a "love". Gracie also likes me to hold her, she is preparing me for holding Jenni Lin. Gracie is about 5 or 6 and she is smart as a whip. Gracie's sister is also from the same orphanage as our daughter so now Gracie calls me Aunt Terri.

Changsha reminds us alot of Mexico. It is really big. There is more proverty here than in Hong Kong. Our guide said that Changsha was one of the smaller cities. It only has 6 million people! We thought that was funny when the Chinese think that 6 Million is small. It is raining today with 94% humidity. Well, better go and the next time you here from us we will finally be parents!!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Touring Hong Kong!

Today was tour day! In the morning we ate at the breakfast buffet in the hotel which was good. After breakfast we went to Starbucks with some our travel group. It was so nice to have a latte!! It was pouring down rain so we just sat inside drinking our drinks and chatting. It is fun getting to know everyone in our travel group. In the afternoon, we had a traditional dim sum lunch and then got on the tour bus to go the Jade Factory, Stanley Market and Victoria Peak. By the time we got up to Victoria peak I had a bit of motion sickness. We had to go up a very steep moutain with lots of turns. And even in downtown Hong Kong the drive can make you motion sickness as there is alot of strong stopping and starting. I almost got sick but felt better once I got off the bus. Rich and I went to dinner with 3 other families for dinner at the Outback. It was good food!. Tomorrow we are flying to Changsha!! Just 2 more sleeps until we get our little girl! I will try and download some pictures from today once we get Changsha and get our internet hooked up again.


Friday, June 13, 2008

We are in Hong Kong!!

Well, we made it safe and sound. Very tired but in pretty good shape. Our flight was pretty uneventful. The only time there was a little bit of a worry was on our flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong. We hadn't been in the air very long and they announced on the overhead speaker..."Is there a doctor on board?" Not sure what happened. The plane had over 400 people on it so who knows. The passenger in front of us stood up and said she wasn't a doctor but was a nurse practioner but when the steward came over to talk to her he said they got the situation dealt with. so the rest of flight was just very long and actually the food was pretty good. We got two meals and one snack (cup of noodles). The gentleman sitting next to us was from China and he had been in Seattle working with Microsoft on a "hardward deal" He kept calling himself a "tool engineer". His english was a little tough to understand but he said he enjoyed practicing it on Rich and I. We didn't really watch any movies just dozed off and on and met some of passengers and had really neat conversations. Spokane isn't very diverse so being able to speak with people from other cultures is so interesting.

It is rainy pretty hard in Hong Kong right now but the town is pretty lit up. Our entire travel group are such nice families. It will really make this trip even more exciting and fun to have such a group support team. We are staying at the Regal Kowloon Hotel. IT is a very nice hotel. Well, Rich is already fast asleep and I am heading that way myself.

Take care

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Our Schedule of Events

So my friend, Lisa from our travel group had this great breakdown of what is going on each day on her website. So I "borrowed" her info and copy and pasted to our site with our info. Too much to do tonight but wanted to update everyone on our schedule. Thanks, Lisa for the great info!!

6/12 - Flight from Spokane to Seattle at 5:20am! Seattle to San Francisco leaving at 7:23am and than we leave San Francisco at 12:40PM.

6/13 - Arrive in Hong Kong at 6:00pm (skipped a day!)

6/14 - 1/2 day tour and group lunch.

6/15 - Flight from Hong Kong to Changsha, Hunan at 10:55am (China time) Prepare paperwork that evening.

6/16 - Gotcha Day! Family picture taken for Registration Certificate and sign the Guardianship Agreement.

6/17 - Go to Registration office for adoption registration and notarization. Review paperwork carefully.

6/18 - Trip to local department store in the morning. Free time in the afternoon.

6/19 - Optional half day tour to Martyr's Park in the morning. Receive Jenni's notary documents in the afternoon.

6/20 - Visit embroidery factory in the morning. Receive Jenni's registration certificate and passport in the afternoon.

6/21 - Flight from Changsha to Guangzhou at 12:10pm

6/22 - Free time. Rest, shop, tour.

6/23 - Jenni's Visa physical exam and visa photo. Meet with reps to prepare paperwork for consulate appointment.

6/24 - Free time. Rest, shop, tour.

6/25 - Consulate appointment. Reps will deliver my visa packet to the consulate.

6/26 - Go to the consulate to take the oath in the afternoon. Receive Jenni's visa packet at the conclusion of the ceremony.

6/27 - Be checked out of hotel and ready to go. Flight leaves Guangzhou to Hong Kong at 8:30am.

Friday, June 6, 2008

To Do List

Been a busy week getting all of our "to do list" done. We did find out that our Gotcha Day will be Monday June 16th! I just can't believe in 10 days we will be seeing and holding our baby girl. We spent last night putting together the crib and other "baby" things. Once we saw the crib all put together we both just look at other in disbelief. This just makes it finally seem so real. To know that our baby will be in that crib by the end of the month is just so surreal. Our dog seems to know something is up. He just keeps carrying around his dog toys with this sad look on his face. Like "am I still your baby?". He is 10 now but yes he will still be our "baby" also. It is funny how animals can sense something is changing. He is a very good dog so I am sure he will adjust just fine.

On a sad note, one of the families from our online Yahoo Panda support group has had a sad, sad event. Today should be their referral call(they have a log-in-date of 1/16/2006) and yesterday the husband passed away unexpectedly. He was at work and collapsed and by the time she got to hospital he was gone. My heart just goes out to her. I just can't imagine the agony she is going through right now. Not sure if she is still planning on going to China to get their child but what ever decision she makes I will support her 100%. Please keep she and her family in your prayers.


Monday, June 2, 2008

We have travel dates!

Sorry, to be lagging on blogging. Life has been so very busy right now. However, we do finally have our travel dates! We will be leaving on June 12th and returning on June 27th. We will be flying into Hong Kong (arriving on June 13th)and staying at least one or two nights and then flying to Changsha, Hunan. We are not sure if "Gotcha Day" (the day we get baby Jeanette) is on Sunday the 15h (Father's Day)or on Monday June 16th. But just figure two weeks from today we will finally be parents!! My, oh, my will our life be forever changed! After 24 years together (just the two of us) we are so ready to be family and share our love. Once we get a more detailed itenary we will put it on our site so you all know the "plan".