Friday, August 20, 2010
Well everyone, we made it! After a brutal day of travel (man is not meant to sit in coach class with a 19 month old for sixteen hours)we touched down in Newark and were greeted by a slew of family members. Robin and I have now been up for 32 straight hours and are complete zombies, yet we seem too charged up to sleep. AJ handled the flights much better than we thought. On the big 13 hour flight from Beijing to Newark, she slept for 10 hours straight!!!! Because we were able to acquire bulkhead seats (7 extra inches of legroom), all for the low price of $350(SCAM!!!) we placed AJ on the floor in front of us on a makeshift bed of four airline blankets and three pillows. I was very jealous! Some final thoughts...I just finished brushing my teeth and it is so nice to be able to stick my mouth under the faucet again to rinse. The bottled water was getting very annoying. I am going to Yoccos tomorrow!!! AJ seems to like her new home (beats the orphanage!!), although she is a tad bit scared of our pit bull Jaz, who just wants to lick her over and over again. After only one hour in the house, there were toys all over the living room (I guess I need to get used to that!) and AJ almost knocked an entire cake off of the counter (which is the biggest crime you can commit in this house), but daddy sacrificed his body and made the diving save. Oh, and my favorite sandals in the world had to be left behind because they were infected by the dreaded Hong Kong feet. I am glad to report that my feet are getting better thanks to baking soda and mint!! Finally, I would like to thank all of you for following along on our journey. Your comments really helped keep us going and we looked forward to reading them every night. A special thank you to Eric Ruddy for being our Sherpa on the tall mountain that was this blog. Your guidance and tech know how saved the day! I promise that each and every one of you will get to meet Addison very soon. We have our first appointment with C.H.O.P in about two weeks and we will get the ball rolling on repairing her cleft lip and cleft palate. One final thing... if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend visiting China, especially Beijing and Guangzhou. Words cannot accurately describe the amazing beauty and the fascinating culture. Robin and I cannot wait to bring Addison back when she is a teenager. Take Care!!!!!!
Eric, Robin and Addison...Jaz too!
Eric, Robin and Addison...Jaz too!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Well, in just about seven hours Robin, AJ and I will be off to the airport, where we have a three hour flight to Beijing, a four hour layover, and the ultimate treat...a 13.5 hour flight to Newark!!! How is my ADHD butt going to survive this?? Add AJ to the mix (btw, the over/under on plane meltdowns is five, with at least one being a Three Mile Island style meltdown) and this will be such a grand old time. I may need to find my tea guy, Dong, to see if he can give us some magic "sleepy" tea. To my dad, I apologize for complaining about the two hour Easter masses with the 10 baptisms and holding those damn candles that dripped hot candle wax over my hand. Those were the good old days compared to this 16 hours of flying I am facing!! Oh, and speaking of church, I checked with the Buddhist monk, and he told me that even though you served six years in the Monastery, that still is not enough to cover my brother Jeff...his get into Heaven free card will be rejected at the gates for years of torturing me and that time he drank beer when he was 12 in the woods behind the Jordan creek!!!!!!! Sorry bro! Now, on to our day today. AJ received her Visa and Passport, so she is good to travel!! We celebrated by dressing in our Chinese gear, and getting pictures on the famous White Swan couches, where all adopting couples who stay here get photographed. Robin can never have enough photos, so she drug us around the rest of the hotel for photo ops (it runs in her family!!). Speaking of Robin, another funny tidbit to add to her list of Shenanigans...she has taken to addressing Addison's bad behavior by seemingly starting each sentence with the word Child. Now, the thing is, Robin stays on the "I" in child for at least three seconds. I swear to God it is like I married Mrs. Evans from the hit 1970's TV show "Good Times." I keep waiting for JJ to pop in the room and scream DY-NO-MITE!!! We have been hanging with some couples from the deep South, so maybe their language is rubbing off. Well my friends, this is the last post you will be getting from China. I will post one last time when we arrive home, and that is all she wrote!! All good things must come to an end! Until Friday, when we are back in the greatest Country in the world, the good old USA!!!! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Due to some technical difficulties, I must keep this short. Today was AJ's oath ceremony and it was very special. It was done with an entire group of adopted children, mots of whom we hung out with for the last two weeks. Unfortunately, camera's were not permitted in the United States Consulate, so we could not capture the moment on film. Pictures today include a little Tea Party with our friend Dong, who has had us over to his shop for tea the last several days. Now, I know what you are thinking, but I did NOT drop any "Sixteen Candles" lines on him. Also pictured is the infamous Starbucks, AJ's first experience with Crayola (Thanks Aunt Linda!), and my "healer." My body has never felt sooo good!!! AJ wanted all the kids to know that when she arrives to the United States, she will soon have all of her new American friends under the age of 10 over for a tea party. The girl loves her tea! Until tomorrow and my FINAL blog from China....
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Today began with a trip to The Six Banyan Trees Buddhist Temple, where a Buddhist Monk helped facilitate a blessing on Addison from Buddha. It was a very intense experience and AJ seemed to be in awe the entire time (as was her mommy). The Temple was incredible. The smell of incense was everywhere as people were burning it to honor Buddha and in turn to receive his blessing. Robin, AJ and I chose to light three sticks of incense that represented Buddha's blessing of longevity. I would share with you what I wished for, but Buddha forbids it. At one point, one of the monks approached me and asked if I would consider Buddhism. When I inquired as to the rewards for doing so, he stated that I would experience an afterlife of peace and tranquility. When I countered with the fact that my father spent several years in the Roman Catholic Monastery and I would be receiving a get into Heaven Free card, he just nodded and said, yup, those are the rules, Congratulations!! Thanks Dad!!! Anyway, the adventures of the Green Lantern continued today. She experienced some serious stomach problems (can it be the Caramel Frap from Starbucks every day??) and almost did not make it to the temple. She has also been experiencing some back and Hip pain (She needs to get back with her yoga guru, Linda Sheftel), so she did what every American in China should do, she went for a one hour Chinese Rub down complete with essential oils, acupuncture, etc. (and only $20 American!!! The dollar is strong here people!)) Upon inspecting Robin before working on her, her "healer" was able to correctly pinpoint that Robin had a stomach problem earlier in the day as well as the fact that she has very thin blood. She told her the key to strengthening her immunity was Red Tea. She also told Robin to bring AJ in tomorrow and she would show her certain pressure points on AJ that will help to sooth her. I will be tagging along and getting the treatment as well!!! One final note before I leave you...the Chinese people here in Guangzhou really like to spit. And they just don't spit...they hocker up big loogies and fire away. Men and woman. They do it everywhere. Robin says it reminds her of her brother! Until Tomorrow...
Monday, August 16, 2010
The Roberts family took an early morning walk along the Pearl River this morning. All of the sights and sounds were truly amazing. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the people of Guangzhou love to get up early and exercise and age knows no bounds when it comes to working out. We saw small children all the way up to very old men truly "getting after it!" We saw karate, sword training, meditation, yoga, just about everything that you could imagine. There was also an assortment of music being played...all instrumental and very zen like. But, what truly continues to freak me out every single morning are the number of people who swim the Pearl. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer and friends swim the Hudson. Now, the Pearl is filled with every kind of boat you can imagine (fishing vessels, cargo freighters, etc.), so it is not the safest place to swim, but they still do it...every single morning. After our stroll, our guide took us to several open air markets, where they sold just about everything...herbs, nuts, roots, vegetables, fruits, teas and live animals (including dogs and cats and yes...it is true...they do eat dog and cat here in China...Robin was about to go P.E.T.A. on their A$$es, but our guide quickly pointed out that the dogs we were seeing were for human pets...but two blocks down were the eating kind.) Now for some AJ updates. She continues to experiment with food and today she was introduced to broccoli and mashed potatoes...and she loved both. She now allows me to change her diapers and actually taps on the diaper several times when she needs a change. Unreal. Anyway, I finally found something that smells worse then my feet...AJ's poopy diaper. Seriously, it was horrible!!! But I made it through unscathed and she even gave me that look like "hell of a job daddy!!" She has become very difficult at night, and it is getting very hard to get her to sleep. For the last two nights we had to put her in a stroller at 10pm and walk her along the Pearl. It works very well, but it takes at least a mile for her to fall asleep. I can picture Robin and I walking Addison and Jaz every night in the West End of Allentown, trying to get both of them to sleep. AJ is also refusing the high chair...she has to sit in Robin's lap to eat while daddy feeds her. We can't wait to hear the screaming when she gets in the car seat at the Newark airport. We have to wait until Newark because here in China, they do not use car seats...Ever...and these streets are freakin' crowded. Anyway, tonights pictures consist of our walks along the Pearl and in the open market ,Robin and our guide Lucia, and obviously some AJ shots. Until tomorrow...