Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Birthday

Wanted to share the photo on the left of our Chongqing travel group of momma's and their babies!! :)

The Birthday
(video below)

It was a fun gathering of the families coming and going with their little ones. All of us got to kick back a bit and share in the birthday cake Aly and I purchased at a little bakery Marie had pointed out to us when first arriving in Chongqing. We simply took over the "sitting room" on the 30th floor of the Golden Resources Hotel and turned the kids loose!
A few folks walked past us and smiled and you could see the puzzled look on their faces as they tried to figure out exactly what was going on :)

Tonight is our last night in Chongqing. Tomorrow morning we catch our flight to Guangzhou and take care of the final piece of paperwork before heading back to the States! We're hoping like everyone else that the little ones do well flying. If Alyzabeth does have her meltdown, well, she just has her meltdown. I'm sure it'll drive everyone around us crazy but you know, we control what we can and try to do our best. We'll see...

Alyzabeth does great during the day. She is playing more. She has napped the past two mornings after falling asleep in her stroller ride with mom. Loves to have me lift her high in the air, which every daddy must do, it allows the angels a closer look and she likes pony rides on my leg.
I can't just reach down, pick her up and walk around but she does come running towards me with open arms to play. We just have to make sure she can see mom or actually, she wants mom to see her :) She will stay in the same room with me without crying when Aly uses the bathroom. Hey, as said before, we celebrate everything around here :)

Going to bed at night and first waking in the morning continues to be hard for baby girl. However, once down last night, she slept for 9 hours!! Woke up crying but then settled down once we left the room to go have breakfast. At breakfast she insisted on getting out of mama's lap (she will not sit in a high chair) and running around before circling back for another bite of steamed egg - yum yum...
It was good for her. She smiled, laughed and generally had a good time and she did eat well, just always on the go :) It was early enough that only a very few people were there so it was easy to gently herd her back towards mom every now and then when she strayed too far.
Alyzabeth is making great strides and so are we :) We're all learning what it takes to be her family. We make our mistakes and we have our moments of doing it right. We don't mind sharing both. It may be painful for some to watch or read but we didn't go into this expecting it to be a rose garden. Even our beautiful rose comes with her own set of protective thorns :)
We're convinced that given time, Alyzabeth will have us trained up just right...

At some point I plan to do a bullet list of our China observations. It is a unique culture to say the least. Fascinating and puzzling all at the same time. Then again, I would imagine they would find a trip to America to offer much in the same. The contrasts are both beautiful and sobering.
Our journeys abroad have always helped us to view our everyday world in a more open light. We find it's best for us not to view one culture as better or worse than the other but to view them as they are. To be more tolerant of their individual nuances. We can and do love our country without wanting or expecting each country to be as our own.

That's it for now.
We love reading your comments and wish we had more time to read our favorite blogs. Hopefully, we'll post again soon. If you happen to have any questions we hope you will feel comfortable in asking them.

For all you in The Wait - get ready for the ride of your life!
ac & fm & aa
Monday @ 11:10 AM


3D said...

Happy Birthday Sweet A!!!!

Keep smilin!

Don and Be said...

It is uncanny the way Alyzabeth An's progress with the bonding mirrors Joanna Mei's - it's just wild! JM had a meltdown on the plane from Guangzhou to Tokyo. As she reached a fevered pitch and maximum level squirming, she turned off the switch and went to sleep. I was so relieved I stood up and made the announcement to those around me "We hope you enjoyed this afternoon's inflight entertainment. That was little Joanna Mei doing her interpretation of Yoko Ono's 'Why?'. She'll return later, I'm sure, for your further listening enjoyment."
Happy Birthday, Alyzabeth An! Now, give your wonderful parents a present ---- sleep.
D, B & JM

PIPO said...

What a funny birthday celebration! The kids are all just so cute.

I know your perspective may be vastly different but it seems, to me, that your time in China has flown by very quickly.

In my mind you win a prize for best in-China bloggers. You have helped each of us feel as though we are there with you. I know I feel like I have a better idea of what to expect now and I thank you for that.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I so agree with pipo. I'm not sure if it's the video or your journaling, but I do feel as though I'm there with you. I also notice the way you've shared the experience while still striving to protect your daughter's privacy.

Now onward to Guangzhou! Have fun with the medical exam. Don't let those rattles scare you!!!

Laurie said...

Count me as another vote for best in China blog...I appreciate your honesty and your humor. Can't wait to get there myself! ;-)

Cora said...

Happy birthday Alyzabeth! Looks like a great party. Hope you have a good and safe journey to Guangzhou, looking forward to the post.

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Happy Birthday Alyzabeth An......
LOVE the video...
Have a safe flight.. will be looking forward to the next post in Guangzhou...
First question.. Alyzabeth looks very tiny.. What size is she wearing..

Alyson & Ford said...

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy:

She is a peanut :)
Alyzabeth weighs 22 pounds and is wearing 18 month old sizes. 12 month is too small and 18 month is still a tad too big... but the girl has to wear something! :)

Catherine said...

What a great party Alyzabeth An! You sure know how to throw em!

Love the part of the video with all the babies crawling on Aly. Too cute!

Praying for you as you fly today although..heh, you've probably already flown by now. Oh well, praying Alyzabeth does well settling into the new hotel.

Love and prayers for all of you friends. xoxo

Sammi said...

Oh, things are sure looking up!! I knew they would. Happy Birthday Alyzabeth An!!! You are a lucky, lucky girl, you just don't realize it yet. All the babies look so great! I'm wondering. Are they all from Nanchuan or different orphanages??? Good luck on your trip to GZ. Buy lots of good things! If you love to bargain, you'll be in "Heaven!" Be sure to visit Jordans while you're there. He's a very nice man. Also, if you get time, I highly recommend that you have a stone etching done of your little one. They do it at the little shop next door to The White Swan, if that's where you stay. They are quite impressive and a nice keepsake.

Truly Blessed said...

Happy Birthday, sweetie! What a lovely celebration you had -- with so many of your little friends and their families in attendance!

Great video, as always, Ford. I hope you also have been taking some pictures, 'cause you'll enjoy them as well (and can make a fantastic Shutter*fly book of your trip with them!).

You three are doing great. Alyzabeth is doing very well with the huge changes in her life. Continue to be patient with the sleep thing, it WILL get better. I'm sure you'll agree that everyday brings a little more of Alyzabeth's personality out and the three of you are getting into a nice groove. Remember, this is a process, not an instant thing!

Great post again, as always. Fun to wake up to!

OH MY #6 said...

safe travels!


Debbie & Barry said...

Every morning before work I must sign on...tears of joy for the fun, playful times you are having with your daughter. Then I lost it during the birthday video when she waives...must now remember - waterproof mascara!

Prayers for an easy flight for you sure to finish off a bottle of water so that you can add some peanuts during the flight. It makes an interesting rattle...

Debbie, Barry, and Sophie

Briana's Mom said...

What a party! Happy Birthday sweet Alyzabeth!!

Billy and Maggie said...

Hello Guys! You truly have done a wonderful job in sharing your journey with us. I agree with Pipo you definitely have got the winning prize for the best blogger. Watching your journey gave us a real sense of what this upcoming trip is going to be.

That birthday video is priceless. I hope when you guys get home you dont edit a bit of this journey. Its perfect just the way it is. A safe and happy trip on the last leg of your amazing journey!

Jenn said...

Thanks (again!)for sharing the video with us. Ford, I think you could have a nice career as a China adoption trip videographer. We think we will be traveling in March if you want to check your calendar....;o)

Happy Birthday Alyzabeth An! And safe travels to the three of you!

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

Happy Bday AA! Good luck on the next leg of your journey!

Jen said...

I'm so glad things are improving so much. Praying that bedtime will get easier as well!

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday Alyzabeth! What a nice video of the event. Glad to hear things are looking up for all of you. Have a safe trip to GZ. I am really enjoying following your journey.

Dita said...

You know, I have a new addiction...following your blog! Forget "Best China Bloggers" BLOG in my book! You write with such eloquence and thoughtfulness. Having the opportunity to watch the three of you bond before my eyes is just so moving and inspiring.

People often tell me how lucky my son is to have had me step into his life at such an early age and I reply that the lucky one was me 9 years ago when he changed my life, and my heart, forever. I imagine that the two of you feel the same about your beautiful angel. I am so touched by your words and the love that grows between all of you each day.

So many happy thoughts coming to the 3 of you from our home and thank you so much for sharing!!!

rubyiscoming said...

i love how Alyzabeth and all of the babies on your trip are coming out of their shells! beautiful video.

Happy Bday, A!


sea star said...

Happy Birthday Alyzabeth An, what a birthday to remember!

I love seeing all those babies, it just melts my heart and gives me hope.

Elisa. said...

Happy Birthday Alyzabeth.
Looks like things are improving every day, safe flight to Guangzhou.

redmaryjanes said...

I think you are doing a wonderful job. Making mistakes with the best intentions and getting it right the rest of the time is the way it goes with parenting.
It seems like Alyzabeth is adjusting very well. I hope that we do as well as you guys are.

Melissa said...

I would like some more please?! Can you bring that cake to Maine....yummy!
Love ya!

Love, Aunti M

Dana said...

Happy Birthday to Alyzabeth An! I'm so happy to see how she's progressing. Loved the video of the giggles! And thank you for sharing the birthday party video. It was great seeing all the babies. I'm hoping for a safe and quiet flight to Guangzhou. As always, my thoughts are with you all.


Doreen said...

You guys are doing just great. Like the saying goes..."they don't come with an instruction manual".It's all trial and error and it seems like Alyzabeth An is bonding at the right pace for her. What a wonderful feeling it must be, these milestones.

Doreen in Montreal single Mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

Laureen Burke said...

Feliz Cumpleanos, Alyzabeth!
We can't wait to meet you in person, Birthday Girl.
Your Florida friends,
Isabel and her mom

sarah said...

Hey Aly and Ford! I've been checking here as I can! We are in room 1413 in the White Swan! Tomorrow we go for our consulate appointment and Thursday we fly home. . . I looked around for you guys at breakfast thinking you were here already. This is a big place. . .

Beeb said...

I agree with those above that you guys are doing a fabulous job of documenting the trip. I look forward to reading your blog every day.
Happy B-day A! it's good to be two!
I loved the video so much - was sad when it ended.
Safe travels.

Carol and Taylor said...

Happy Birthday, AA! I'm so happy that you all got to spend it together. What a gorgeous cake!

We're wishing you safe, healthy and uneventful flight both to Guangzhou and back home.

Kind regards from Miami,

Shane & Irma said...

Happy B-day!!
Be safe on your next traveling place..

Have a awesome day!

Nan and Dan said...

happy birthday little girl!!!!