Brief Update: Kai continues to wake up several times in the night. It is getting easier because I figured out his routine of getting up. Usually 20 minutes to an hour after I put him down and then again at 2:30 a.m.. And then again between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. He isn't one for alot of sleep and does take two short naps during the day.

Bei is struggling somewhat with being "dethroned". This week we had alot of acting out, peeing his pants, telling me he wanted our neighbor Alison for his mom (It crushed me!). In the two years that we have been together he has never said a mean word to me. Some kids go through the "I hate you stage"...not my angel...he just wants a new mom...poor fella. It is very hard to realize you are not the little emperor any longer.

Okay, before I go I have to share one story with you. There is a BIG difference in the way that Dan and I watch the children. Me, I watch the children, that is what I do. I feed them, play with them, sing with them, dance with them and basically hang out with them. If a dish makes it into the dishwasher, it is a good day. Dan on the other hand has a totally different concept of "watching the children". Here is how it went with Dan "watching" Kai last weekend, while I tried to take a nap with Bei; I hear Dan and the baby playing and talking and I was just about ready to fall asleep when I hear the baby fussing. I'm listening for Dan, when all of a sudden I hear the drill in the next room. I am about ready to get up when Dan goes and starts talking with the baby and I hear the baby is happy again. I am about ready to drift off to sleep again when I hear crying and fussing from the baby, so I listen and I hear Dan out in the garage hammering, he has the garage door open and is trying to talk to the baby in the house to keep him quiet...it is not working. He comes in and the baby quiets down. Again, I hear the baby cry and I hear the wash machine going downstairs. This crazy scenerio last about an hour until I finally get my tired arse out of bed and go deal with the baby. Dan proudly announces that he did 65 loads of wash, built a toolshed, hung the drapes in the boys room and solved the oil spill problems in the gulf coast...great Dan...but what is the one thing you didn't do? Watch the baby!!!!


Tough Love Moms

Kai with one of his new toys from Aunt Julie
After a bath

Handsome Boy!

I don't know what I was doing with Bei prior to getting Kai, but I think it vaguely resembled parenting. I always admired those women that I call "Tough Love" mom's. You know the ones...the moms that have boundaries, say no to their children often and take care of themselves in the meantime. I just couldn't find the way to say no to Bei or let him cry and "tough it out." I always thought, that he has been through so much and he is trusting me, I can't let him down. Well...guess who is becoming a "tough love" mom...yes me! Here is an example of what use to happen; Bei would be hungry in the morning, so I would make him oatmeal. Bei would taste it and say, "it is too lumpy." Okay, let me make a new batch, "this one it two smooth." Another batch, "too hot", "too cold", "too flaky", "too salty", "too icky". All new batches... And finally Bei would say, "I want eggs." Okay, so I made eggs. This week, I served him oatmeal and he didn't like it. I tasted it and it was not fit to be served in a nursing home cafeteria...yuck! Okay, so I poured a bowl of Cheerios for him. He started the "it is too soggy", "too hard", "too milky", "too lumpy", "too yucky" and he wanted to eat my Cheerios instead. Nope! I poured yours at the same time and eat yours because we are leaving in 15 minutes and I don't care if you are hungry or not...what? who me? Can I really be a "tough love "mom after all? I think so! Having two children is alot different than having one child, you are more tired you don't have patience and you realize you need to put boundaries around yourself and your child. This will be a win win for all of us in the long run.
The new parenting really started in China with Dan. I had not overly prepared Bei for getting a new sibling because avoidance and denial had always been effective tools for me. Well, Dan didn't think along the same lines. When Bei acted up in China and wanted to ride in the stroller we bought for Kai, Dan got down on his knee and said, "Bei you are no longer a baby, you are a big boy and that stroller is for the baby." Gulp! Oh no Dan! You let the cat of the bag! I was hoping that Bei wouldn't notice that we were adding a child to the family! If he asked me "mom, why are you feeding that baby?", I was going to use the denial method..."what baby?" "Are you sure you see a baby Bei?" "Maybe you should go lie down you must not be feeling well." Well, Dan was right because Bei has stepped up to the plate and he realizes now he isn't the baby anymore and I think he is okay with being the big brother.

Kai is now a happy eating, sleeping and pooping machine!! Two blowouts in two days! Yeah Kai! I just love that little boy! He is super sweet! Bei still has his nasty cold and fortunately is getting lots of sleep!

Thanks again for all the prayers and support!


The Pooping Has Begun...

First of  all, I wanted to thank everyone who has supported us this past week with emails and phone calls regarding Kai's constipation issue's.   We really needed the advice of the veteran parents and so many of you stepped up with great suggestions.   We implemented many of those and tonight at 9:00 p.m. the little guy pooped on his own.   I think we are on our way with getting his digestive tract on track.   Our challenge with him is that he doesn't like fruits that are sweet or tart, he pretty much wants bland food.  
We decided to take both boys to Urgent Care last night because they both have had fevers, terrible coughs and then Kai had the constipation and the insomnia issues also.   We basically got a clean bill of health for the both of them and the Dr. said she couldn't prescribe anything but she knows in the old days her mom would have stuck some Brandy in the bottle, but that she couldn't recommend that...wink wink.   Don't worry we didn't do that, but it was tempting...   I committed to holding the baby all night if that is what it took to get him to sleep, and that is what I did.    I decided to sleep at the same time, so I sat on the couch and we slept together.   He would wake up every hour and I would rock him back to sleep, and then at 3:00 a.m. I put him on Bei's bed and he slept til 6:00 on his own.   I think I got him over the jet lag hump.   Dan and I were getting worried because Kai seemed to be deteriorating before our eyes due to the lack of sleep.   It broke my heart.  We received this beautiful happy boy and the past two days he never smiled, his eyes were so red and he was just unhappy.   I think he was wishing he was back on Wuyishan Mountain with two old people who mummified him with clothes, where he wasn't constipated and he got to sleep!   But he was with us two bozo's instead and we had messed up his diet and his sleep.   Around noon today, we seem to get our old Kai back, smiles and giggles and no red eyes.   He took a three hour nap this afternoon and went to bed at 10:00 tonight.  Let's hope that he sleeps through the night...he needs the rest.  
I'm including two pictures, one of Kai from when we were in China.  I haven't downloaded any pictures since we have been home.   And a picture of our friend Anita and her newly adopted daughter Elizabeth.  


Everything is going according to plan...NOT!

I spoke with both of my sisters this morning and they asked me how it was going.   And I told both of them that it couldn't be going better.   My mom called the same day around noon and asked me how it was going and I said "Well...let's see, the baby is constipated, won't take fluids, will only eat formula, won't let us put him down in his crib, doesn't sleep during the night but doesn't sleep during the day, oh and he holds his breath when he cries until he turns blue...oh..and he has a slight fever and a bad cough...other than that everything is going as planned... My mom and I laughed and I told her that I told Jeannine and Nanette that everything was going great, but I realized in the 4 hours since talking to them I just think it is going good because the baby doesn't cry much.  Only when we put him in his crib.    The good news is that my mom told me of a way to get the baby to drink fluid, (sugar water) and he has drank 2 bottles.  We thought of some other idea's for food for him too.  Dan also talked to his mom and she gave us some idea's too.   Well anyway, pray that his kid starts eating, pooping, drinking and most importantly sleeping!    Remember the blog about the test...am I failing yet?   I would like to get at least a C-....for the baby's sake. 
No pictures again...sorry...


We are Home!

Well we need to thank every one who supported us with prayer for the safe and easy flight home. The flights could not have gone better and the kids basically slept the entire way home. It helped that we left Guangzhou at 9:00 p.m.
Dan and I are both the youngest children in a family of 4 children. Both of our oldest sisters have really spoiled us this time. While we were in China, my sister, Nanette came to my home and cleaned and arranged the boys room. She then went on to clean all of my closets and put some organization back into our household! What a gift to come home to a clean and organized home. Dan's sister Julie and her daughter Katherine picked us up at the airport and had a nice hot meal prepared for us. It was heavenly. Today she came back with a stack of beautiful new clothes, developmental toys for Kai, a walker, jump swing and mobile and some toys for Bei. Dan and I are both grateful for their kindness and realize how lucky we are to have such great siblings. It reaffirms our belief in creating a larger family so that the boys can share their lives with one another and they will be able to lean on each other in their time of need.
I wanted to share with you a funny excerpt of conversation that we had on the way to the Guangzhou airport. It is about 6:30 in the evening and Bei is very excited, watching the crazy traffic, he is trying to spot the next car crash and making ones up, even when they don't happen. He points out trains, train tracks, McDonald's, he is rev'd up and talking incessantly. He is a Krueger all the way! Anyway, out of the blue he said "let's adopt another baby, this is fun!" Okay...pan over to my and Dan's faces...we are both in catatonic states, we are emotionally and physically spent...our eyes are the size of saucers and we have bags under our eyes. Bei's statement is like saying to a woman that just gave birth, let's have another baby! Going to China for 14 days could be called our labor and delivery pains. Well, Dan pulls himself out of his stupor to engage Bei and asks what do you want to adopt next? Bei says a girl! A really nice girl! Dan asks him to think of a really nice girl that he would want his sister to be like...we both are thinking of our many nieces that love him up. Bei says "a really nice girl like Mama!" The kid knows how to wrap me around his finger! So I asked him, what his favorite part of the trip to China was and he said "the plane ride". Well, today is your lucky day kid because we are headed to the airport and we have a 17 hour flight ahead of us...and that is just air time, doesn't include layovers! But as I said both kids were super on the plane.
One of the things that I wondered was how Bei was going to deal with the "adoption factor" of getting Kai. Would he put the pieces of the puzzle together that he was with someone else prior to being with us? We got our answer the day that we went searching for a new lap ticket for Kai. We were in the taxi and Bei again said out of the blue, "were the people that had me really really nice?" I said "yes, they were really really nice" Then he asked, "did they hug a bug me?" And I said "all the time." He then reached over and gave me a hug and said "I was looking for a really nice mom, with big hair, and I found you". I never knew he liked big hair...he will love my 1980's hair for sure then! I will have to show him pictures.
Unfortunately, Bei got sick the night before we left and it continued to get worse. By the time we reached Minnesota he had a temperature of 104 degree's. This is a kid that has not even had a sniffle in 2 years time, he is my bubble boy. Anyway, he is hacking and coughing up a storm day and night, thus keeping the household up. I would say out of all of us, Kai is having the hardest time adjusting to the new time. We are trying to manage the jetlag better this time than last time, and we limit the number of hours he can sleep during the day. I'm really enjoying my time with him and we are bonding really well. He is a sweetheart!

Thanks again for all the support and prayers! Pictures will be added tomorrow!



We leave tonight!


Let the Pooping Begin...

We have really been struggling to get Kai to eat anything other than his formula, however, the other morning he ate a bowl of oatmeal.   And yesterday he ate some pumpkin squash baby food.   I am so worried that he is going to get constipated and will be screaming on the plane ride home.   When he has pooped they are totally rocks, large ones at that and hard!  So please pray that we get that kid to start eating some food that works with his digestive system.
We had two sleepless nights, until Dan figured out that we should give him medicine for his teething...genuis!  Last night he slept through the night, yeah!   
Yesterday, we spent a large portion of the day driving around Guangzhou trying to get Kai's lap ticket fixed.   The ticket has to match the passport exactly and unfortunately, they put his name incorrectly on the ticket.   Delta subcontracted our flight home out to China Southern, but their two systems don't talk to one another, so it was alot of going back and forth trying to figure out which airline can change the ticket.   We ended up just purchasing a new one to be safe.    Anyway, it was kind of fun to get a "city tour".   Bei thought it was really fun to ride in the different taxi's.  He has been so incredibly good!   He still doesn't want to go home to the "Maplewood House", as he calls it.    I guess he likes this hotel living.   Dan and I on the other hand are so ready to be home!   Poor Dan can't seem to get a good nights sleep because the beds are so hard.   I like them, you can actually feel the boards on the beds, and I told Dan to think of the boards as working his pressure points. 
Kai has made good strides in a weeks time.   When we first got him he pretty much could not do anything.   I would say his development was equivalent of a 4 month old at best.   If we had not adopted previously, I think I would have been very concerned about his delay, but, Lily and Timothy from our previous adoption group were very delayed and we have all seen how well she has done and Timothy is here right now getting his sibling.   Anita (Timothy's mom) said that Kai is much more advanced then Timothy was and now he is a running jumping happy little boy.   For those of you who know Anita and Scott, they adopted a 2 year old girl who has an eye issue, and she is a character!   She is going to give them a run for their money, but she is a happy little girl.  She is a daddy's girl because she was fostered by a single man.  She loves Scott!
Anyway, back to Kai and his development.   Here are a few things that he is doing in a weeks time that he couldn't do when we first got him.
1.   Sit up - I would get updates and they would tell me that he wasn't sitting up because he had too many clothes on and his activity was restricted.   Sure enough they would show pictures of him laying on the ground mummified in clothing. 
2.  Hold his bottle - He still isn't holding it by himself, but he is attempting to do it.
3.  Finger Grip - He would not grip our finger, now he is holding on tight.
4.  His neck muscles seem to be strengthening but they still have a long way to go.   A guy that we were talking to at Lucy's restaurant teased Dan that he saw him drinking beer, but was wondering why the baby seemed drunk.   His head is pretty wobbly. 
5.  He finally took a bath with Dan and Bei without screaming and crying!  He loved the bath!  We figure it must be a trust thing.
6.  He is almost rolling over.
7.  And he is babbling much more.
8.   Bei is engaging with Kai much more often and in a positive way.  I'm telling you, Bei has been a superstar this entire trip.   I am so proud of him!  Man, I love that kid so much! 
We have alot of work ahead with Kai, but I'm praying and hoping that with lots of love, attention and some therapy that he will thrive.  We all love him very much!
Tomorrow we leave Guangzhou!  Hurray!   We are so excited to be going home.   We are staying over in Los Angelos because we get in so late and have to go through customs.  
Please pray for a safe trip, everything to be on time, for all of our health...Bei has caught a cold and for an easy journey. 
Looking forward to you all meeting our happy baby, Kai...but please don't forget to give Bei alot of attention too!   We are so glad that we brought him with us for this journey.   He has been a trooper!
If I find the time, I will put pictures on the blog.


Guangzhou Pictures


We are in Guangzhou!

We are in the last leg of our journey, we are in Guangzhou.   Today was our medical appointment and Kai was given 5 immunization shots...poor kid!   He actually is doing pretty well considering his rough day.   Dan and Bei spent the day in the pool and had a great time! 
Remember how I said that Kai was going into "boot camp", well let me tell you the one that is really getting a workout is me!  That little guy is a tank!   He weighs a ton!  I prefer to carry Bei because at least he can hang on to me and his weight is distributed.   On about day 3 my hip starting hurting and I was thinking to myself, what a cruel irony it is that I probably have a huge tumor on my hip and that the end was near (oh the melodrama I can create in my own mind...), anyway, that night Kai woke up 3 times and I noticed this intense pain on the hip that I carry him around on...Eureka!  What a relief to discover that I was not dying of huge tumor on my hip after all.  Dan has now taken over the night time duty of walking Kai to sleep because my body just isn't up to the task.  His back hurts too, but suck it up big guy...
We have learned a few things about babies and parenting.  Here a few of them:
1.  Did you know babies can tell time?   Boy, if you miss one of their feedings that get really ornery!
2.  If you feed cement (formula and rice cereal) to a baby it remains cement and has a difficult time coming out. 
3.  Did you know babies drink water?  Well Dan and I didn't so refer back to number 2.
4.  Dan does not enjoy getting puked on.
One last thing about Kai is that the "word of last week" was "stink-o!"   How do you nicely say, "My kid smells really really bad."  Honestly, I thought we going to nickname him stinky.   The poor kid probably had not been given a bath in the past year.  He had so much dirt in his bellybutton and he had this smell that just eminated from him.   We wondered if they use cow dung to heat their homes.   So when we were back in Fuzhou, we decided that Dan would keep Bei occupied in one bathtub and I would take the baby in the other bathtub and wash him really good.   Do you see the failure of this plan all ready?    Have you ever tried to hold onto Jello?   Sure you have...but was your Jello screaming at the top of its lungs?   The mission became "not to drop the baby" rather than washing the baby and getting him clean.   Anyway, it took two more scrub downs where Dan and I colloborated together to get him smelling good.   We were very fortunate that we were given all of Kai's belongings including his finding blanket.   Normally, I would covet getting anything from the year that we have missed with him, but we only had the finding blanket laundered because the rest of it was rancid.   I'm happy to have something from this past year.  
Bei continue's to be doing remarkably well.  He is really enjoying being on "vacation" and isn't pestering us to go home yet.  Dan has lowered the boom on some of Bei's behaviors which has been really positive.   Dad's just have a way of getting a message across that as a mom was taking too long to do.   But overall Bei is accepting the situation.  He still doesn't call the baby, Kai, he calls him baby brother.   When I say the name Kai, he says, "I don't like that name."   Oh well...things are going good overall. 
Pictures to follow!