Friday, September 21, 2007

An update on Madison

On the Monday or Tuesday that we got to Guangzhou, we had the chance to go to a Buddhist Temple and have our babies blessed by a Buddhist monk. It was an amazingly spiritual experience, despite the fact that we had no idea what he was saying. The Liurong Temple is a compound with hundreds of images of different Buddhas (some happy, some fierce).
Buddist Monks marching and chanting before Maddie's blessing.
the Blessing ceremony

After the Blessing, in front of a "Happy Budda"
The "Flowery Pagoda" at the Liurong Buddist Temple (a.k.a. Temple of the 6 Banyon Trees) where bones of Buddha are supposed to be buried.

Our Fantastic Travel Group!

Home at last!

Alex helping feed Maddie on her first night home.
Maddie's second day in WI.
Alex rocking Maddie (does she look tired?)

After a few days, it got cold (typical Sept. in WI).

She seems to have completely adjusted to being here after only 30 days! Actually, after only a week, her sleep schedule was great and she was happy and active. She's babbling, crawling everywhere, starting to creep along furniture and even attempted to go up the stairs the other day (guess we'd better get the gate installed, huh? ;-)

She went to the pediatrician on Monday and she was amazed at how well adjusted and happy Madison is! She said to me: "Does it seem to you that she's been with you since she was born?" I said, yeah, it does!

Monday, September 3, 2007

We made it home!

Well, I lost motivation while in Guangzhou. Pretty much everyone in our travel group (10 families) got sick after we got to there. I got it too, but only for one evening, thank God! Some people had to go to the hospital! It's weird, because pretty much everyone was hyper-careful about the food and water, too. Anyway, being sick all night left me too tired to shop the next day, so after that, any free time I had, which wasn't much, really, was spent shopping. There's lots of that to do in Guangzhou! I ended up not buying that much, but I wanted to comparison shop, since you have to haggle with everyone. Shamian Island, where we were staying, is like New Orleans, I think. Very hot, very very humid, and the buildings have a very colonial look to them (as most of them were built by the Brits over 100 years ago - I guess that was they set up their int'l trading companies).

I got Maddie's traditional dress in white with long sleeves, so she can wear it for her baptism. It looks nice! We took a group photo of all the kids in our travel group, which was so disorganized it was a disaster! But there are some funny action shots and you can see Maddie in her dress.

This one's not too bad. Maddie's in the middle in white.

On day 14 we went to the US consulate, got her visa to enter the USA, and swore that we would raise her to be a good person, to the best of our abilities. Jeff and I both got a little misty at that point, but for different reasons, I think. For me, it was the final step...there's no turning back now (not that we would have!)! For Jeff, I think he was thinking about the life she's leaving behind and the new life and opportunities she'll have.

I'll add more later when my thoughts are more organized because we did some cool stuff the last couple of days.