Thursday, October 30, 2008

Le Kai

I'm not sure what happened...

All we did was show Kai some Nineteenth Century Impressionist French Paintings and the next thing we knew he starting wearing a beret everywhere and insisting on having his bottle prepared exclusively with Perrier:

Maybe we should have just stuck with Pooh theme in the nursery instead of Monet...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Random Pictures

Before we go to pictures, first, a news flash - Kai's first tooth broke through today!!!

Moving on....since we didn't do a great job of keeping our blog up to date while in Taiwan, we thought we would share a few random photos:

The day we picked up Kai, Kent practiced changing diapers on a stuffed's an action shot -

Here is the finished product - not bad! Since this was taken, Kent has had lots of practice doing the real thing!

Kai in his new stroller. We had quite an experience trying to purchase a stroller from sales people that did not speak English. Kent did a great job of pantomiming the pushing of the stroller to get his point across. The effort to buy the stroller was worth it - Kai loved it and it gave us a chance to do things like eat out without having him on our lap.

"SuperKai" at the Dumpling House on our last night in Taiwan. Kai is able to transform himself from a drooling baby into a superhero with cape and all, able to leap Taipei 101 in a single bound! The Gladney Agency hosted a dinner for the four families adopting that week in Taiwan. This was without a doubt my favorite meal all week. Thanks, Gonghzan!

And now, onto one of my less favorite meals...the taste was ok, but the whole prawns freaked me out...of course, this was better than the soup we had in the town of Jiufen. The soup had fish and pork meatballs....I tried to give some of the broth to Kai and he was having none of it!

We went to a tea museum our last day in Taiwan. Here is a picture of Kai, flirting with the woman at the tea house.

Mommy and Kai at Yehliu Park

Another cute picture while riding in Mr. Yeh's "magic bus"

A final picture of Kai and Daddy, home at last!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Home at Last!

The traveling is over! Yeah!!! We do really miss Taipei; it was such a wonderful visit - but it was time to come home.

Kai did so well on the flights, it was unbelievable. Really. Granted, it is no picnic changing a diaper in an airplane bathroom ;) but apart from that minor inconvenience, the trips were not at all bad.

Kai is SUCH a trooper! He either slept or was happy. Said the woman sitting in front of us during the flight home from San Francisco to us when we landed: "I didn't even realize there was a baby behind me!"

The weather may have been cold, but the welcome sure was warm!

Granny (Kent's Mom) meeting Kai for the first time:

Grandpa (Kent's Dad) with Kai:

What a great surprise... Aunts Shar and Kim met us at the airport!!

A long day for Kai... asleep before we even left the airport:

And a warm welcome from LaoLao (aka Gammy - Kim's Mom) at the house!

So comfortable in Aunt Billie's arms...

However -- Kai says... okay, Mom & Dad - let me get this straight?!?!?!

Taipei Forecast:

You better buy me some warm jammies!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Catching Up...

Sorry it's been a few days since we've given an update... this little guy keeps us very busy :)

It is time for a short nap now and unfortunately there is not enough time now to write about our trip so far, but I wanted to post a few photos from the past two days...

Nappytime in the crib:

Kai looks so cute in his little ball cap:

Cruising around in the stroller - he likes to ride in it, which is great:

Mom and Kai in front of Taipei 101:

Here we visited a Buddhist Temple in Keelung:

Kim and Kai with our new friend Gongzhan from the Gladney Adoption Agency, who has been so helpful to us:

Daddy and Kai playing together in the hotel room:

Time to snuggle after bathtime!

Mommy and Kai, so happy together:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gotcha Day!

The Big Day finally arrived! Everything went quite smoothly, though it was a very long and emotional day for all.

We rode down to Taichung, it was about a three hour ride. They took us to visit the foster family's house, which was very nice.

Mom's First Moments...

Dad's First Moments...

Kai, Mom, Dad, and the Foster Mother:

Family. The wait was well worth it!

Mr. Yeh - our new friend and the best driver in the world! He is amazing. He has been so helpful to us... I don't think we could do it without him. He is so good with children. He kindly took us shopping to the baby store for formula and many other necessities.

And a special Thank You goes out to Gongzhan from our agency, who facilitated the process and accompanied us on our trip to TWCA.

The ride back, and a happy little boy:

A short and grainy video of the ride back to Taipei. (yes, we do have a car seat at home - they just don't use them here).

Finally, back at the hotel - father and son!

Sorry we don't have time to write more... just wanted to get these pictures out. All is quite well here!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shi(h)lin Night Market

This evening, we took a cab and visited the Shilin (sometimes spelled Shihlin) Night Market:

Here I am, feeling overwhelmed by everything, but happy to be here:

What a crazy place! So hectic! Check out this short video:

Plenty of Pork Brain Soup available for those who are brave enough (not us!)

The kids riding the carnival-type rides were really cute! We imagined Kai here, if he were a little bit older:

It's now midnight here. They are picking us up at 7:30 a.m. for the 3 or so hour ride to Taichung to meet Kai!!!

We are packing the diaper bag now - yikes!

Much more to follow tomorrow...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Arrived in Taiwan!!!!!

We finally made it! We are in Taipei!!!

Things were actually quite smooth, except for a few minor things. We had a slight delay getting out of Charlotte, which was actually nice, since it gave us just a few minutes to grab something to eat.

Unfortunately, Kim and I were not able to sit next to one another one any of the three legs (Pgh to Charlotte and Charlotte to San Francisco, we both got stuck with middle seats). The seats were so cramped on the domestic flight!

We were not even directly next to one another from San Francisco to Taipei, but we did both have aisle seats, and she was only one row ahead of me, just across the aisle, so it worked out okay. We basically slept most of the way, anyway. Eva Air was awesome! Comfortable seats, a mini touch screen for every seat to watch movies, TV, music, whatever. The service was excellent - those stewardesses really work hard.

Everything went smooth during arrival:

As expected, Mr. Yeh and his son were waiting for us at the airport. They are so very nice! They are so helpful to us. We got in a little later than expected, and the line was long for immigration, so we kept them waiting for a while - we felt very bad about that...

They brought us to the gorgeous Agora Garden hotel... what a beautiful place - probably the nicest hotel we've ever stayed in.

It was pretty strange to see the crib in our hotel room.

Okay... time to get something to eat... later!

We get Kai tomorrow... yeah!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Updated Pics and Good News

First, the good news. We received a call from the agency and were told that our NEW Gotcha Day is October 20th! This is one day earlier than our original Gotcha Day. I think the agency felt bad when I e-mailed them and told them I was afraid our date would be changed when we pointed out that they overbooked the number of families on the same day.

We also received new pics of Kai today. Kai has a haircut. They have him in an outfit that my mom bought for Kai. In my opinion, he looks cuter than ever.

Notice Kai is no longer on solid he has flowers for a background!

I think this one is my favorite...

And finally, an updated video. He is really becoming active. I can't help to notice there is a man's voice in the video now, as well. Must be the foster parent. You will notice they call him Kai, quite a bit!

Ok, last update....we had to buy Kai a few more outfits, since we will have him for an extra day. I bought this outfit with my dad in mind, since he is a digger by trade!

I also bought this bib for Kai with dad in mind. I bought dad a book where he is supposed to write information about himself. One of the questions is "What did you want to be when you grow up?" Dad's response was, "A cowboy".

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Countdown is On....and Things Continue to Change

So, here is the latest......first, let me say UGHHHHH!!!

Last week, we met with our agency and four other families traveling to Taiwan the same week we are. During that meeting, one of our agency workers said that only two families can pick up their babies on any one given day because there are only two workers at TWCA and that's all they can handle.

Fast forward a few days - The agency sent us the e-mail addresses of the other families traveling, in case we want to get in touch with them. Through the course of e-mail exchange, we find out that three of us have the same "Gotcha Day". Kent and I discuss, commenting how odd this is, since our agency specifically said that only two families can get their babies on any one given day.

Being the overly cautious people we are, this morning I contact our agency and point out that three of us are scheduled for the same day. I was told not to worry about it and that the Taiwanese agency did not comment on this, so it must not be a problem.

About 20 minutes ago, I get an e-mail from our agency saying that three families cannot, in fact, pick up their babies on the same day. So guess who was bumped to the next day?? You got it...US. So, now, we will be in Taiwan for three days before we are able to get Kai. Not a big deal, but it's one more day we have to wait(Gotcha Day is now October 22nd). The kicker is that, when Kent and I discussed whether or not we should bring this to our agency's attention, Kent commented that if we did, we would probably be the ones to get the shaft! He was right!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Firm Dates

We finalized our travel dates late this week.

October 17th - Fly to San Fransisco

October 18th - Leave for Taipei at 1:00 a.m. - Not only will we be spending our anniversary on a plane, but this year it looks like we will lose 12 hours of it :>

October 19th - Arrive in Taipei in early morning

October 21st - Gotcha Day!

October 23rd and 24th - Meet with American Institute of Taiwan

October 24th - Leave for San Fransisco in late evening

October 24th - Kai becomes a US Citizen! Arrive in San Fransisco.

October 25th - Leave San Francisco late afternoon, arrive in Pittsburgh around 9:30 pm.

Last update - We received an e-mail from the agency stating that the birthmother has "prepared toys" for Kai to bring home. I have mixed feelings - She obviously loves him very much, which makes me sad. But I am thrilled to have a keepsake for Kai, as well as a great story to tell him - not only does she love him, but sent him to us with toys!