Saturday, October 31, 2009

Annabelle is home !!!

She did so well that she was able to come home a day early.  Annabelle was originally scheduled to stay at the hospital at least two nights.  She recovered very quickly so, the doctors discharged her Friday night October 30th.

This is Annabelle and Rebecca getting checked in for the surgery.

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She had some fun while we were all waiting.

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Rebecca and I took turns strolling her around.  I think we played with every toy there!

We were delayed two hours because of an emergency surgery that came in while we were there.  They had to take our operating room so, we had to wait for another one to become available.  We ended up waiting in this one area for almost 4 and half hours.  Annabelle had not eaten anything since 9PM on Wednesday night.  She did not go in for surgery until 1 PM Thursday afternoon.  She did not complain once for food or drink this entire time!  What a trooper!

Loma Linda University Medical Center had a treat for the kids in the hospital for Halloween.  this is one thing we were able to do while waiting for the surgery.

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We took Annabelle around to get toys and treats.  We did no let her see the cookies that were available though!!

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She even got some necklaces!

Well, that first night was really rough for Annabelle but, we got her home early and she is doing very well.

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This is our first family picture with Annabelle back at home with her new mouth.

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This is Annabelle having her first meal at home.  She loves Malt-O-Meal.

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Daniel is real happy to have us all back together as well.  He was not allowed to go visit Annabelle at the hospital.  You had to be 18 years or older.  We had some family help us out at the hospital and hanging out with Daniel while we were out.

Here is a before and after picture of Annabelle with daddy.

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Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!  I know Annabelle felt God’s blessings all the way.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Annabelle’s Surgery on 10-29-2009

Annabelle had her cleft lip and palate repair surgery on Thursday 10-29-2009 at 1:05 PM.  The surgery was delayed almost three hours because of an emergency that took the room.  Poor baby, the last time she had food was the prior night at 9 PM.

She was done with the surgery and off to the recovery room at 4:45 PM.  The surgeon stated she was very happy with the results.  It was really scary seeing her right out of recovery.  It was a LONG night for Annabelle and daddy.  She kept waking up crying.  She was probably in a little pain but also uncomfortable with the arm braces (they keep her from picking at her stitches), the sourness in her throat from the tubing during surgery and the odd feeling of her new mouth.  Daddy stayed with her last night and she looks much better this morning.  She is eating from her bottle already and doing well.  She may even be able to come home today if she keeps getting better.  We will know for sure when the doctor checks on her tonight.

We will try to post updates to her progress as we can.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind words!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Annabelle’s schedule for surgery

Hello all, we are doing well over here.  Annabelle is doing very well.  We’ve had many Doctors appointments lately and wanted to give you an update.  Today was a very stressful one.  She has to get some lab work done so, we went to the local Corona hospital lab where they had to take 8 tubes of blood from her!  Poor thing.  They had to go into both of her tiny little arms.  Daddy held her while mom was in the other room . . . crying.  She was a very good girl.  She did not fight it.  So far, she has seen a pediatrician that specializes in internationally adopted children.  We will also see him at 3,6 and 12 months from now on to keep track of any development and attachment issues that could arise.  He is very good and we look forward to reporting her progress.  We’ve seen our regular family practitioner , just to keep them up to date, as they will be handling all minor/regular health needs.  We’ve also been to and are finished signing her up with the California Children Services.  That way we are able to start the process of correcting her cleft lip/palate.  AND we’ve already seen the Dr.’s from her cleft lip/palate team, including her plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will be performing the repair.  She is very nice and we’ve seen a book with some of her past surgeries (before and after).  They look real good.  She has travelled to several countries around the world, donating her time and talent, so she has worked on children from infancy to teenage years.   Also, all three pediatricians that she has seen noticed that Annabelle has a slight heart murmur that has, so far, not seemed to have affected her growth and development, but needs to be checked out. 

So here is a list of her upcoming doctor’s appointments:

  • Sept. 30th – an echocardiogram (to check her heart murmur)
  • Oct. 16th – ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat specialist) to clean her ears (she has so much wax in there, they cannot see her ear drums clearly) and to run a hearing test.  This is to see if she needs tubes placed in her ears during the surgery.
  • Oct. 21st – pre operative appointment (paperwork and family history-hahaha-like we have any)
  • Oct. 29th – surgery to correct her cleft lip and palate (so we will be able to see her real smile)

Please keep her in your prayers !  She has a lot to go through, but with everyone’s prayers and support…she will be just fine….better than fine!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

We’re back!! FINALLY!!

We arrived late Thursday night around 9 PM.  We are still on China time but recouping rather quickly.  Annabelle too is adapting well to the time change.  We are still very exhausted both physically and mentally.  That is the main reason we are so late in posting anything about our return.

The flight back was so much better than going to China.  The food was decent enough, the service was much better too.  Since we left China at around 6 PM, we were able to sleep most of the 12 hour flight back.  In fact, Annabelle slept about 9 hours of it.


Annabelle on the flight back with her Heffalump doll.


She slept well.  We did OK.  She only screamed a couple of times during the night.

We really do appreciate all the wonderful comments we received while away.  It helped us more than you know. 

Annabelle has adapted very well to her new home.  She loves the dogs and the rabbit.  She fit right in with all the changes as if she had been here before.  She is an amazing little girl.  We are very blessed to have her.  We are still stressing over the major change that bringing a new child into your life gives.  Any parent would understand the changes that occur.

A big thank you to Rebecca’s dad, Ed and his friend Nina for picking us up at LAX.  It was such a relief when we saw their faces.  It really felt like we were finally home.  My sister Jennifer and Duane were at our house to greet us and Annabelle of course.  A nice very welcome.


Annabelle got comfortable quick to her new home.  She took up her play stroller and cruised the house.

The dogs were so very excited about us coming back home.  They gave us lots of kisses.  I can imagine that they wondered if we would ever return.  Or if they thought they did something wrong to make us leave.  They seem to really like Annabelle.  Especially the two corgi’s.  They follow her around hoping for food to fall, which often does.  Our little vacuum cleaners!

One of our family members told us that this type of travel will change our lives forever.  Yep, she was right.  Are we glad we went?  Absolutely.  Would we go back to China? . . . . .  . . right now, we would say, no.  Maybe when Annabelle grows up.  Not anytime soon.

What a crazy mix of emotions we all went through, and are still going through.  The flights, the travel, time change, getting a new daughter, meeting strangers who now are taking you everywhere, dealing with bad water, language barriers, expenses, etc.  But the love.  The love we have for our Lord and His love for us endures it all.  We still need your prayers to help us all adjust; to be able to pay back the funds it took for this adoption; but mostly for Annabelle’s future surgeries.  That is what makes me, daddy, so concerned.  She may have to have multiple surgeries and/or stay in the hospital for up to five days or more recovering.  That is the most stressful thing we still have to go through.

Here are a couple more shots of our final days in China just waiting for time to pass until we can go home.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Photo Gallery web

I am going to add photos of our trip to my Live web site.

Use the link below to get to the public photo albums:

We will try to update both the blog and the photo gallery as often as we can.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday in Guangzhou

Today was a very tough day for us all. We had to take Annabelle to the medical clinic. The exams were very basic but she had to have 5 shots!! Ouch!! She had one shot in each arm and each leg. Then another TB shot in her forearm. She was pretty tough actually. She did not cry until they gave her the fourth shot. At that point, I guess she had enough. Very rough on Daddy too, he had to hold her. Mom had to leave the room. Daniel just played his Nintendo DS game. she is 24.5 pounds.

Our room here is very nice. It is very roomy. The room we had in Nanchange was pretty small. Even worse when you add a full size crib. This room in Guangzhou has two areas and a large bathroom with a bath an a shower. Three beds and small crib fit just fine. Great view as well, we are on the 32nd floor. Yikes! The breakfast buffet is on the 45th floor and it rotates. Very cool! It takes some time to get used to the movement.

We had some lightning storms yesterday too. It struck the mountains quite a bit. We saw a small fire start after the lightning strikes. It did not get too big, they put it out very quickly.

Annabelle seems to be having a great time. She just loves her stroller. To push and to be pushed. After all the shots yesterday she got a small fever. We gave her some children's Tylonol and she was better. She slept from 5 PM Saturday night to 5:30 AM Sunday morning. Whew!! all those shots and excitement did her in. Poor baby. She is still eating VERY well. Her skin looks better every day. Her hair is softer. Her cheeks are getter a little poofier, too. She is very happy with us. Apparently, she is an outside girl, we cannot wait to show her our house and animals! She will probably be in our back yard with Becka most of the time.

I will try to get some pictures posted soon. I may just put them on my Live website and put a link in this blog. I am guessing all of China is blocking blogger. I cannot log in from any hotel so far. Oh well.

More to come. . . . . . .