Monday, February 28, 2011

2/26/2011 Update from Ruthi

Sorry no new photos yet, maybe later....but first of all great news!!!! As usual rules change in China daily or even minute by minute and we are allowed to pick up the visa a day earlier!!! So am going to try to change flights so we can get home Friday instead of Saturday!!! sweet!!! TMZ had her medical exam today. I hope she gained even more trust in me when I got her in the cubicle with the one female Dr. there, when I explained that she WAS keeping on her cami and panti's and when I handed her the tissue thin gauze "sheet" to cover with....all the while holding her hand saying it is ok....the Dr. was quick, examed her nicely and said ok... I quickly helped her dress, all the while letting her hold the sheet against herself...what 12 year old wants to expose herself so soon to a new mom? Let alone on the other side of the flimsy curtian is many more people waiting for her spot? Then thru to the eye exam, to the ent exam, then to the horror chamber...I mean the shot stable...I mean the little area where they give the tb test. That was shot #1-then expose the left arm, shot # 2 and # 3-expose the right arm, shot #4 and #5 then pull down the pants and expose the thigh for #6....what can you do? Administer Tylenol...say I am sorry, hug her. We waited 20 minutes to make sure she was ok and then left....have met the rest of the maa group...great friends! Filled out paper work, got our agenda and now are off to shop! Love to all....will take camera so we can supply some more photos....

Later that day: YES I AM SHOUTING!!!! TOAST AND COFFEE FOR ALL!!! MINUTE BY MINUTE CHANGES HAPPEN IN CHINA AND WE GET TO GO HOME A DAY EARLY!!!! We will arrive, God willing , in Peoria on Friday March 4th at 9:20 am!!!! American Airlines #508 coming from Chicago. Be ready for a tired group.....but we are going to get home early....S-W-E-E-T...I cannot wait to get home...this trip was different from the start that I was already missing home before I left.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25 Update

Just got back from the park where the monkeys are. We saw lots of them...I don't like things like that -- so kept my distance The girls did well. TMZ slept terrible last night. She woke Carrie and I up a couple of times having dreams, and she had a cold when she came and still does. S between the two she is tired. TMZ, Penny and I are in the hotel room and they are both laying down together to nap now. TMZ seemed sad to me, so I had our guide Richard ask her if she was ok, or maybe sad. Se says she is sad today, also missing her friends. We told her we understood and it would be ok. I think rest, good food and taking it easy is we will. We leave in about 3 hours for the airport to go to GZ. Richard said it is 90 degrees there now....hmmm, winter clothes packed...may have to strip dwn to a tshirt.... I have to find TMZ some clothes...her waist is really a bit larger than any length of pant. Maybe capris will work best as jeans...will find her something. Penny let her use a tshirt today as most of the ones I bought are way small. It was very long so I used velcro dots to hem it and she was really pleased....Penny agrees she will be a nice sister.

Thursday February 24 Update

The candy that Morgan and Penny are holding is spin a dial and it picks a character for you, then the lady had a pot of honey with a spoon, a hot plate of sorts that was about 18" inch square, and she took the spoon with honey in it and made this wonderful piece of art that you then ate...crazy talent! The honey tasted a bit heavier in flavor than ours. Morgan had a rooster and TMZ had a bird form. We ate supper at Pizza Hut..crazy that you could order everything from ice cream desserts to soups to fried rice and other Chinese food. We even ventured to the pharmacy with our botle of cold meds and secured a bottle that matched it, except in Chinese writing. TMZ told me how much the dose is for her...all the while saying no thank you...she really does not like the taste but hey. We understand home is to get 6-8 inches of snow...about the same time we will be on the plane going to GZ to hopefully see 70 degree weather...hopefully the snow stays away from GZ.

Thursday February 24 - What do you want to be when you grow up?

Today we went to an ancient village turned tourist trap :) But it was truly great. TMZ was game to put on the traditional Mao garb and get her photo taken. The other girls said no. Penny was forced to use the squatty potty and I seriously do not know how she managed since I am certian she was holding her nose with one hand :) We also saw tons of water buffalo along the highway walking. Carrie wonders how many mph they walk. We saw so much that really to describe it is so difficult. In all the people that we saw today we saw only 3 women expecting. Did you know that silver turning colors can tell you if water is safe to drink or not, the villagers use silver to tell them. We ate lunch at the ancient village...not too bad but Carrie and I agree we are trying Pizza Hut tonight. Yesterday on the way to Zunyi I asked the guide to ask TMZ what she wanted to do when she grew up. Her answer? (tissue moment) She said that until now she never had any dreams and now she can have them. That she might want to be a scientist, or a teacher, or a jewelry designer. I am so glad this child can have a dream now. And a we just have to figure out the English name issue...she uses Judy. She thinks Callie Jo sounds like a boys name. hmmm...

2/23/2011 Update - Visit to Orphanage

Today we did a 2 hour drive to Zunyi City. We met our friends Zoe's mom there. It was great meeting a lady that can email me from China with concerns about her daughter and I in a matter hours can email her back and say she is fine, she just left her phone in the bottom of her purse. I told her today that she has a wonderful daughter and that she is a wonderful mother.

We went to a walking street. It was peaceful and had shops. Morgan got a fan and some earrings. We tested a few bites of different food items for sale and resisted buying baskets that are too large for our suitcases. We ate a lunch that was great...didn't bother my stomach. And then we headed to the orphanage. It took several tries to get there. We even ended up stopping and the guide, Richard, caught a motorcycle taxi and had them lead us for a ways.

We finally pulled in….what words do you use to describe a place that amazes me has children thriving in it? It is difficult to fathom that our daughters, and others daughters, have came from here and are as beautiful as they are? The blue two-doored metal gate with a padlock...a concrete courtyard with concrete playground things...even the slide was concrete. Metal framed windows that had to leak as if they had only screens in them...all the while the kids wanting to see us and see what we had, etc. TMZ’s room that slept 6 girls had bunk beds...two desks, wash tubs under the closet, and nothing on the walls. There were no Justin Bieber posters, no mirrors, no thick mattresses, no bed spreads with matching pillows...but lots of quilts bundled on them. Two blind girls were there at the desks and got the radios that TMZ had wanted to give them as gifts. Another girl was brought in, the third girl there in the room that is also blind and she got her radio. They all said thank you and I made sure to hold each of their hands when saying you're welcome... Then the other 3 girls that she gave pens to...then she handed out some hair items, a brush, etc. We had the apples for the other children....

TMZ was so excited to share her gifts, the guide summed it up well saying that she is so excited to be adopted and yet so sad to leave her friends that it evens out a bit. The smile has not left her face...maybe one does outweigh the other??

Then we drove to the girls imagine our daughters walking to school on the road that we traveled was just not a good feeling. We said goodbye to Zoe's mom after we left the school and started the 2 hour drive back. Thank goodness that since 2007 there is a road put in that is passable. Before this drive had been 4 hours or more. We are back in the hotel now...tomorrow we go to an Ethnic Village and hope to just spend a bit of time walking, the last full day here in Guiyang. Now we have to figure out how to pack the suitcases!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Update from Ruthi - Tues Feb 22

Tues Feb 22

From Ruthi:

Today we ate breakfast here at the hotel in Guiyang, China. It was raining a bit so we skipped going to the park where they have wild monkeys. We will go there Thursday instead. Today we went to two stores to buy some gifts from China. They are pictures (artwork) and some jewelry and other items to remember China by. We went to eat at KFC but could not read the menu so we came back to the hotel to eat. I had French fries and fruit. They do not have Pepsi here so I drank water. I want a Diet Pepsi SO BADLY! Tomorrow we are driving to Zunyi City, China. It will take us 2 1/2 hours to drive there. We will visit with some friends and we hope to get to go to the orphanage there so Tao Ming Zhu can take some of her friends some gifts. If we cannot visit then we will send them in the mail. Today we are really suffering some from jet lag and so are going to rest a bit this afternoon and then the girls have to do some homework. After that we will just rest again as we have a long day tomorrow. Here are some one it shows you that we ate “hot pot.” It is where you have a pot of broth at the table for yourself and you pick out what you want to cook there. It was "ok."

Monday, February 21, 2011

TMZ - Officially a Coats!

As you can see from the pictures, TMZ is officially a Coats and she is already very tightclose to her two new sisters. One of the things I talk to people about when adopting is you have to SEE that they are your child. You cannot adopt to "save a child" no matter how hard that have to have a connection.
In 2009 when leaving China, I tried to take off the red beaded bracelet and I kept putting it back on (read earlier blog posts about the significance of the red beaded bracelet and the red thread that has connected each of our children)...when leaving GZ, I saw a bracelet that was beads that reminded me of Zunyi City and TMZ...I bought that bracelet and have worn it ever since. I had this overwhelming feeling of "memory of TMZ and of leaving her behind in China." When the news arrived that we had first been able to find an agency that would help us find her paperwork, and then when we found her and then when we were approved to adopt her, I always was able to touch these beads at my reassurance of her and my memories. Even though she and I had never met--at home I had Vicky, who has spoken of TMZ probably every day. Vicky would talk of hoping TMZ was ok in China, and how TMZ wanted to come to the United States and be adopted. Oh how Vicky prayed for her friend TMZ to find a forever family.

So today the adoption paperwork was finalized. I spoke to the SWI people who questioned me if would we find a physician for TMZ’s back. They had always felt it was better to hope she would have a physician in the United States. I was able to tell them that Claude had found the #1 physician in the world and that he was about 3 hours from our home and we were making appointments for her to see him. They were very pleased, so much so that they asked for us to email them how and what we found out about her back.(TMZ has curvature of the spine) Today the paperwork was perfect. They announced to me that she is our daughter now...and I had tears rolling down my face. I kissed TMZ and said thank you to God for this child. This child that covered up in bed last night and looked at me and said “I love you mama.” So dear to my heart those words were!
When we got back to the hotel though, I was crying. I was crying because I realized that I had saved my daughter. Not adopted to save her, but my daughter was now saved as ours. I knew that she would be safe in our home, have enough food, have the proper medical care for her spinal condition, and have parents arms to hold her forever.
TMZ has really attached herself to her new sister, Penny. At supper tonight, anything that Penny did, TMZ was doing. I wondered at one point if Penny fell off her chair, if TMZ would too. At lunch, her plate of fried rice was served first. She passed it to us to share and we told her it was all hers, that our food would be here in a minute. (Note from Nan: I remember when Kate first came to her forever home with Ruthi and Claude – Kate would put her entire elbow in her bowl of food – a defensive motion to keep anyone from taking it before she could eat, I imagine TMZ was not used to large servings of food either.) Every article of clothing that I bought for TMZ today she said thank you mama. Penny showed her how to play a game on my Ipod and in about an hour it is lights out…tomorrow we are going to the park where there are wild monkeys. The last time I went there I was glad the wild monkeys did not show up. I sort of hope they don’t again. J

To Vicky: I asked the people from the orphanage if they will look in your file and give me copies of photos that may be there to see if they have any of you when you were very little and they said yes they will look. So maybe Wednesday we will have more photos of you. In a photo book that TMZ has there is a photo or two of you as you were growing up and in a “foster” family that I think you visited a few times…and a picture of you with him I think. You will see these when I get home. Vicky, the orphanage also asked me to show them photos of you with them so on Wednesday when we go there, I have photos of you for them to keep. I will take some gifts for the lady that bought you the new shoes, the tall gentleman, and the lady that came with you when you came to me to be adopted. I will take pictures of them to show you what they look like now. I do not know if I get to see inside the orphanage where you lived but I will tell you when we get back on Wednesday what I got to see ok? I love you. Penny, Carrie, and myself are all getting sore throats from the smoking and the smog. I barely have a voice. What is it with China and my throat? I always lose my voice. Give all the girls hugs and kisses and all my love. We will be home soon!


This is Ruthi's sister, Nan. I have to apologize to everyone. I am updating Ruthi and Claude's blog while Ruthi is in China. I somehow managed to type in the wrong name of my new niece. Please forgive me, Tao's name is Tao Ming Zhu. I hope I didn't cause too much confusion.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tao Zhu Gotcha Day - 3rd update from my sister: Well --no tears, Tao Zhu isjust worried about how she will communicate with us. She is saying lots of “thank you’s.” She said when she found out she was being adopted to Vicky's family she cried she was so happy. She ate some supper-tucked in bed now in the Aeropostle t-shirt that Vicky picked out and red pj pants with a big smile on her face. I bet this little girl is a sweetie over and over....our guide Richard has made the paperwork seamless! Plus we have warm fingers since this hotel has heat...if you are seeing us on the blog, or someone is posting to Facebook, don't forget that my e-mail while in China is . Now I am going to bed...I admit being tired. The cigarette smoke and smog has brought back the hoarse voice and scratchy throat. This trip I packed a steam vaporizer and will be plugging it back in! To Claude: Tao Zhu is not as tiny in size as we thought...I am not sure any of the pants will fit her but will try. None of the shoes fit a bit of shopping is due! To all a goodnight, Vicky, Gracie, Addie and Kate Ilove you...and Vicky, Tao Zhu said she thinks you look like a rock star....

2nd Update from Ruthi - Reunion Day for Penny and Morgan with their Foster Families!

we have arrived in Guiyang and are at the Ramada inn but we will be moving tomorrow-i think a tent outside could be not only cleaner but much better managed-I hope that the little space heater they brought Morgan and I to our room will help the chill. Carrie and Penny already in bed under several blankets so said they passed on heater. We have had a perfect trip so far-some highlights include American Airlines saying that our connection was too short of a time and moved us right down the line to Delta...thank you! The flight to Beijing was great...Carrie and I figure we are on the "Lose 16 pounds" plan and the plan food except for the cookies have been a good start. I slept the bulk of the way as did Morgan but Penny and Carrie were hit and miss. We got to the hotel and I knew Penny's foster mother was already there -- but the biggest surprise was when we walked in and there was a piano just sitting front and center stage. Needless to say Mama G got a very emotional and heartfelt piano concert given to her before the guards at the front desk scattered us away. She and I both had tears at this child's success. Mama G spent the whole day with us visiting the Great Wall and then she went on her own to T. of all also was all of my worries were needles when Morgans foster family came. What basic lovely people this family is. They brought their two daughters and an aunt to Morgan (foster) and they brought Claude and I a Beijing duck! yep cold in the bag!!! hummm What am I to do with that? Mama g was so thankful for the gift when i put it on the plane with her, Morgan was crushed that we were not going to eat it but i asked her if she liked it and she sid "never had it"! How funny. They also brought us a huge gift of tea. Lovely people and I pray to always stay in touch with them. They raised Morgan from not yet walking age to 11 years old....Morgan reduced the mother to tears when she gave her a coat that Morgan and I had found for Morgan for the trip....the coat is now on a lady that I am sure needs it. Carrie is doing great but is tired. I am doing great but tired...Morgan hit the wall today about 6 pm...and Penny followed shortly thereafter....Morgan though, relishes Chinese tv so guess what she is doing here now at 1:30 am?? That will end soon. We get TMZ tonight at 7 pm. I wished that we had been able to Skype it but we get her at the adoption office...we will Skpe shortly after! Say a prayer for her please....signing off....R and the rest of the crew

1st Update from Ruthi - China Trip

I leave this Thursday with Morgan, Penny and my sister Carrie traveling with me. We land at midnight Friday the 18th to wake up and meet Penny’s foster mother at the hotel in Beijing, go to the Great Wall and a Hutong tour then in the afternoon we have been able to arrange a brief visit with Morgan’s foster parents. We then get on another plane that evening at 8 to go to Guiyang and receive TMZ on Sunday. At moments like these where we will be tired I always pray to get the daughter in the afternoon so we can rest some and catch our breath but normally they arrive in the a.m. and they see me exhausted but so excited.