Monkey Boy and Chunky Monkey Girl

February 27, 2006

Noah and Camille had visits to Dr. Eric on the same day. We are happy to report that both are healthy, just built differently...Camille is 14 lbs, 24 inches tall and in the 95% for weight and the 90% for height, Noah is 29 lbs and is in the 25% for weight and height. The Monkey Boy continues to enjoy his new sidekick, Chunky Monkey Girl and luckily they haven't been up to too much monkey business, yet!

It also looks like Camille may be getting two teeth...yikes not even 4 months old and getting teeth!

Happy To Be Home

February 18, 2006

We returned to Okinawa yesterday and are happy to report that all is going well. When we arrived at the Okinawa airport, Miss Okinawa happened to be there and she took a family photo with us. And when we arrived home, we were very suprised to discover that our house had been decorated with wonderul banners, balloons, baby gifts, and two meals in the refrigerator...we have the world's best neighbors and friends!!!!

Camille has stayed on the schedule she had at the "baby house"....eating every four hours like clockwork and even sleeping through the night. Noah is a very proud big brother and is becoming a good helper. He has had some very sweet moments with her...comforting her, singing to her, and showing her his train collection. He is puzzled that she doesn't have teeth and that she can't catch a ball, but he does think she is "cute".

Adam and I have been trying to learn all about bottle feeding and cloth diapering. Luckily Camille has been very patient with us and things are getting a little easier each day. I wonder what Camille would have to say about all of the new experiences she has had in the past few family, first trip out of the baby nursery, first airplane trip, new home, lots of new faces, sounds, smells. She had never really been outside before a few days ago, never been strapped into a carseat, never had a full water bath (the babies are all sponged off each day), never been held so much, never had a big brother singing in her face before!

It feels be great to back home and we hope you all get to meet Camille soon.

Enjoying Taipei

Taipei is a great city. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains and has a number of parks and green spaces in the center of the city. People are very friendly and we were impressed by how many people spoke English (many without any accents). It was very easy to get around the city using the subway system, cab, or walking. We were lucky to be in town for the end of the annual New Year's celebration, The Lantern Festival. The doors of homes, shops, and restaurants were accented with red new year's decorations and lanterns. We visited the famous Longshan Temple where many people were offering prayers for the new year, the year of the dog. The temple was decorated with some amazing lanterns....scluptures made from from paper and lit up from within. Noah loved the lantern scenes with the dogs for the new year. After visiting the temple, we made a trip to Snake Alley. A night market made famous by the shops/restaurants selling dishes made from various snake parts...snake soup for a clear complexion, snake blood for virility,etc. We did not sample any of the snake dishes. But we did have some yummy juice made from starfruit. We also had some delicious native Taiwanese fruits...wax apples and jujubi fruit. We also had a chance to visit the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial which had some enormous lantern displays and nighttime light shows. During our day time visit to the Memorial, Noah had fun meeting a group of Taiwanese school children. There are so many more places we want to visit in Taipei and in the countryside of Taiwan that we look forward to making a longer trip back in a few months (to finalize our adoption and sightsee).

Want to see more photos of our trip? Click this link to view our Kodak Easyshare Album:

Gotcha Day!

February 15, 2006

We have Camille and she is amazing! We had a wonderful and very emotional morning at Jonah House, Cathwel Services....the "baby house" as Noah says. Penny Wu, the assistant director, met us at the door and took us to the nursery. One of the nurses handed Camille to us and it was love at first sight! She is beautiful and very sweet....smiling, gazing intently into our eyes, and very happy to be held tight. We spent a little while in the nursery and had the chance to meet the doctor who was making his weekly visit. We also took some photos of the babies who have families waiting for them in the States. The nursery is very clean and the staff is excellent...very loving with each of the babies. There were some very tiny babies and older babies starting to roll over and sit up. Noah enjoyed watching some of the babies during their bath time.

After our time in the nursery, we were taken downstairs to meet the birth family. The birth mother, maternal grandmother, maternal uncle and his wife met with us. It was a very emotional and meaningful meeting for all of us. The birth family is a very loving, kind, and friendly family. They had special gifts and a letter for Camille. We will stay in touch with them by sending photographs and letters with updates about Camille. It meant a lot to us to have this opportunity to meet them and we are sure it will be something special to share with Camille later on.

We are now back in the hotel room. Camille just finished her first feeding with us and is now taking a nap. We have learned that she likes to suck her thumb, watch her big brother, and loves to eat! Noah is proud to be a big brother and trying to comprehend why she doesn't walk, talk, or play soccer yet. He has been a good helper and did great during this morning's trip to the baby house. He proudly wore his "Ge Ge" sweatshirt (big brother in Mandarin). Camille has a matching bib with "Mei Mei" which means little sister. We are now a very happy family of four!

We're in Taiwan!

February 14, 2006

We arrived yesterday and had a pretty exhausting afternoon....on the way to the airport I realized I had left my wallet at home and we had to go back for it, lost Noah's backpack full of toys, got lost trying to get to our hotel, and it was raining!

We were very happy to finally get checked into our hotel. Our room is very large which is great because the monkey boy has plenty of space to play and spread out. We were also very glad to meet up with our Taiwanese friend, Hsiaowen and her adorable son, Kaden (2 yrs old). We ate dinner with them and shopped for new toys for Noah ($4 matchbox cars...yikes!). We had planned on trying to see the new year's lantern festival but didn't because of the rain.

We woke up this morning to a sunny day. We will be leaving to pick up Camille in about an excited!!! We are also hoping to meet her birth family this morning. Please say a prayer that all goes smoothly. We will try to post later today/ then Noah will officially be a big brother and we will have grown from a family of three to four!

On our way

February 13, 2006

We are scheduled to leave for the airport in an hour. Hard to believe that when we return to our little house in Okinawa, we will have a beautiful daughter. We are running on nervous, happy energy as we try to get all of the last minute items crammed into our suitcase. We were up late last night reading the instructions on the bottles and trying to read up on what a 3 month old is doing developmentally. Our friends and neighbors have been so helpful and generous as we spent all weekend preparing for Camille's arrival. Camille's closet now has adorable pink outfits, soft blankets, diapers, tiny socks, baby swing, car seat, baby bath stuff...amazing how many things a little person can accumulate before she has even arrived! This week we have also started receiving fabric for her 100 wishes quilt. I love thinking about how wonderful it will be to wrap her in that quilt and tell her about all of the people who love her all around the world. We will try to post again once we arrive in Taiwan. We are scheduled to pick Camille up at 9:30am on Wednesday (Taiwanese time) (Tuesday afternoon in the States).

Camille Is Coming Home!

February 10, 2006

We found out yesterday that we will be traveling to Taiwan next week to bring Camille home! This has happened much more quickly than we ever expected. We were given approval to be her foster family while our adoption paperwork is being processed through the Taiwanese court system.

We will fly into Taipei (the capital of Taiwan) on Tuesday, February 14th....a very special Valentine's Day for us! This weekend will be busy as we prepare for Camille's homecoming. It is fun to think about actually having her here and it gets even more exciting as we wash and fold her tiny baby clothes. Camille turned three months old earlier this week.We are still amazed that she is so young and can't wait to hold our special Valentine next week.

We will try to update our blog while we are in Taiwan so check back here for updates and photos. Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!

Noah's 3rd Birthday!

Noah turned three yesterday. He really wanted to be five, but he finally agreed that three was also a good age! We celebrated at home with some of his buddies and a special guest,Bongo the Clown. Bongo impressed everyone with her charm and her quick artistic skills...she made wonderful sketches of each child! We all had fun making musical instruments, dancing, and eating lots of cake. And the celebrating continued today. Noah's classmates had a small birthday party for him.

Noah has grown and changed so much in these past three years, but we still have a very vivid memory of his first birthday and his much celebrated arrival in this world. I will never forget the look of pure joy on Adam's face as he held Noah for the first time and sang to him. I guess that was the first hint that Noah would inherit his daddy's love of music. He is a lively, loving, little guy and we feel very lucky to be his parents.

Cherry Blossom Season

Last week we took a day trip to the northern part of the island to catch a glimpse of the cherry blossoms. We were there a week after their peak, but they were still stunning. Okinawa cherry blossoms are a darker pink than those on mainland Japan and they bloom much earlier due to the warmer climate. We also hiked around the ruins of the oldest castle on Okinawa. Nakajin Castle, built in the13th century, has very impressive stone walls and beautiful ocean views.

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