We all share the same moon no matter where we are in the world!

Nov 28, 2010

Kendy is 16 Months Today

Today is Kendy's 16 month Birthday!

Grandma Greta made Kendy a night-time coverall out of pink fleece so when she kicks her blankets off she will still be warm. It is so cute. Kendy is becoming her own self more and more each day. Her face lights up when she is playing peek-a-boo or giving a high five. Still trying to walk and stand up on her own. Kendy loves music! She will start to dance and rock to the beat. So cute! Tonight she was fussing because I was sitting with Taylor reading a book, Tangled. I put her in Kip's lap and she settled down. Eventually she fell asleep in his lap and I took her up to bed. It was the first night that I was able to spend time with Taylor until she fell asleep. Kendy is showing her jealousy when ever Taylor sits with me. This was something we did talk about before going to China.
Grandma Greta & Grandpa Bob are leaving in the morning. Makes me sad, but they need to get home to their daily things. Grandpa Bob delivers Meals on Wheels on Fridays and Peggy is home alone. I know they miss their cats too. Grandma Greta gave Taylor the book Heidi and they have been reading a few chapters each night. There are a few scary parts, but we talk about it each night in bed. Taylor is truly enjoying the book and Grandma reading it with her. After one particular upsetting chapter (Heidi is taken from her home with her Grandpa) I asked Taylor how she was feeling about the book. She said she really liked it and Heidi because she stood up for herself. She and I will finish the book this week.
Grandpa Bob always finds a project to work on with Kip. this time it was the leak under my kitchen sink. The floor board had rotted and it was just gross. It is still leaking, but the board is new and waterproof now. Grandpa Bob enjoyed feeding Kendy whenever she would let him. She is not using a spoon anymore, only wants my finger. I was able to brush her teeth without a struggle! Grandpa said he was going to look for a spoon that looks like a finger! My girls are so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents on both sides of the family. We can't wait to share Kendy with G'ma & G'pa Kropp. (picture by Natalie)

Nov 27, 2010

One Week and Counting

Wow! What a difference a week makes. Adjustment and ??? is constant. I will not let her cry herself to sleep when she is standing up and just getting all worked up. At night she has small little outbursts but. she stays down and soothes herself. But last night she was back to double checking if I was still there...yes, I'm here little one. One touch on her back and she was good.It just took about 100 little touches. At 6 am she woke up and I gave her to daddy who was coming to check on us. Kendy and daddy went back to sleep in our bed and I went for coffee with grandpa.
This morning she is all smiles and giggles! She is eating and walking with help in her squeaky shoes. She loves playing with the house that Taylor had when she was little. It is set up in my family room. We have the square of play set up right on the carpet. She just finished lunch with Grandpa Bob when just yesterday she would look at him and give that face that says, stay away from me. Grandma Greta is her new friend. Kendy still prefers me to change her (yeah poop!) and put her down for nap and bedtime. We have the house child-proofed finally. Gates are up, blind ropes are up, blockades to the kitchen and stairs are up, and she was up almost all night last night! Me too!
The funniest thing happened...Kip and Grandpa Bob went Black Friday shopping with Taylor's Wish List to Santa. In he walked with the item for Kendy that Taylor picked out from SANTA. Off Kip went to get something else from SANTA. Can't ruin the magic yet!
Actually the funniest thing was Kip going shopping on Black Friday!! After years of harassing me I am all over this one.
It is 60 and sunny. We are going out to find some fabric with Grandma Greta today. She is making a one piece suit that Kendy can wear to bed or out to keep her warm if her blanket falls off. We are in love with this little gal! XOX

Nov 26, 2010

The Red Couch Photos

The red couch photos taken in the lobby of the White Swan hotel have become very special for adopting families and CCAI. It is the final step unofficially to the adoption process in China. It is also the first of many family photos! The 12 families with their daughters all from Lianjiang are pictured along with six other families that traveled with us, but their child came from another orphanage. We hope to keep in touch with all the families that now make up Kendy's red thread.

Nov 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving! I have to admit this year took on a whole new meaning for everyone at my home this year. We had such a good day that my mother in law even commented that she was going to rethink Thanksgiving! It is not one of her favorite holidays having spent most in the kitchen separated from the family and guests. I hope they can come every year while they are able. For me it was adding beautiful Kendy to our family after such a long wait. Never did we even consider giving up. Kip and I both felt we had a child waiting for us and we would go get her. Also I am thankful for my lovely Taylor and her beautiful spirit. She will be a wonderful big sister as she is a daughter. I am thankful for a healthy and happy family. Kip is truly thankful for the safe journey to China,and for the addition of yet another beautiful female into the family. Taylor is most thankful for friends and family and kittens and our house. Kendy is probably most thankful for good food. She ate turkey dinner and all the fixings like a pro! She ate mashed cauliflower, turkey, potatoes with a titch of gravy and then some cherry pie ala mode. We were all thankful to see her eating. Grandma & Grandpa Altman both are thankful for our two beautiful girls who came from half way around the world to become part of our family, that Charlie is getting better, that Peg is spending the day with neighbors, and that they are able to share things like reading books with their grand kids.
To quote Kip, "We begin the holiday season in good health and send good wishes for those family members who are in our hearts but not at our table" Amen.

Nov 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home!
We are home now after flying from Guangzhou to Hong Kong to LAX, with a 6 hour layover, and then off to Denver arriving 8 pm on Thursday. The 15 hour flight home was uneventful except for the 8-legged baby we brought with us! I was still recovering from the flu, so Kip was Dad-in-charge for most of the flights. He was awesome with the girls. When he needed a break, he would hand me Kendy and I would lay her in my arms and she would fall asleep. He had the octopus while I had the lamb! She was a good baby on the plane and Taylor was great too. She is a seasoned traveler so this was just another fun trip. We spent our time in LA with Auntie Sherry and cousin Mandy and her baby Halen. I will admit it was fun showing off my girls! Taylor was so happy to see them and spend some time with them too.
Arriving at DIA was so special. We were met by Grandma Greta and friends Pam with Sydney & Miah and Natalie & Don with Isabella & Elliana. Taylor's classmates had made her a Welcome Back poster and they all signed her messages. So sweet! We were all in tears introducing the newest granddaughter and friend to the group. Thank you Sherry, Mandy and my Denver family for making our homecoming so special

Beautiful Grandma Greta

My First ride in a car seat!

Nov 17, 2010

Missing Taylor

While Taylor was in China, Ms. Lily, Taylor's teacher enjoyed showing Taylor's classmates back at home the blog. She would log on in the morning and the kids would all enjoy seeing Taylor and her new baby sister. The class enjoyed commenting and making a welcome back poster for Taylor and Kendal.

Nov 15, 2010

Monday 15th US Consulate Today

We call Kendy Shinfan-fan most of the time. Hard to believe since we have called her Kendy for 4+ years. She is so cute and I just can't get enough of her. She is wearing 12 month and I just roll up the 18 month items. She has a cute wardrobe already thanks to my friends and family!
Today was a big day! We had our Visa appointment interview at the US Consulate. Once approved we will be issued a Visa for Kendy to enter the US. This is the step that the US took away from Nepal and left 80+ adopting families hanging, one of them a family we know in Denver.
All immigrants must take an oath and so the adoptive parents all say it together. It brings tears to your eyes knowing this is the final step before going home. Actually, shopping is the final step but more on this later when Kip is not watching me. There was a small group of Boy Scouts from a local international school earning their badge for patriotism, so they stayed in the room with all of us. It was cute watching them watch all of us. You know when you get teary-eyed at a hallmark commercial? Well that is what it is like walking in the US consulate and seeing our flag. It is a very proud moment.
Dinner tonight was a huge success. Kendy ate mashed potatoes from a spoon!! She sat in the high chair at Lucy's on the patio and took about 5 bites of actual food. We count this as a major moment in China! Lucy's serves American and Asian food and the best french fries. We have had dinner there a few times so we can sit outside and Taylor and friends can play in the playground. The lighted boat parade goes by every night. It is really pretty. We also eat at the Deli (just outside the hotel) which serves fabulous BBQ Pork and rice with Bok choy. Their ice cream is awesome. We have tried the local Subway and McDonalds and both were delicious. We have had a group dinner and one more tonight at the Thai restaurant down the street, Cow and Bridge. Hopefully tonight's attempt will be much better than last week. Kendy is sitting in the high chair now and maybe she will eat again. My favorite dinner was at the Orient Express in an actual train car. We ate with the Davis family and enjoyed good wine and fine French cuisine. We are not going hungry.
The exchange rate is at 6.58%. We are getting great deals on everything, but it is still money spent. I am buying gifts for Kendy to give her on her yearly gotcha day. Some are very simple, like silk wrapped chopsticks and then some very nice, her pink pearls.
Taylor is playing with Kendy on the bed and taking pictures of her with daddy's camera. I love the sound of them together. Stop laughing; I have heard the not so nice sound from Kendy as well.
Green poop. Need I say more.
Off to the breakfast buffet we have every day at the White Swan.

Official Appointments and More about Kendal

Today we are going to get Kendy’s medical exam. It is a short walk about 4 blocks away. When we get there several people are wearing masks…no worry….sure, the clinic is full of healthy people! You should have seen the parents in our bunch freak a little over this….us included. I remember well how much Taylor screamed during this exam. I can only image what Kendy might do since she can hit a high note! We are to go to three stations 1-Check body weight, height & temperature, 2- A general medical check-up, 3-Check ears, nose & throat. Kendy weighed in at 21.6 pounds. I didn’t catch her height, but we will get the report back today. She did not have a fever. I was worried a little about that only because she always feels warm. It doesn’t help that it is 80 degrees with 50% humidity and hot flashes! Everything else looked fine and she only fussed a little. Really pretty simple and we will definitely have our pediatrician take a look at her. She appears healthy and well fed, but by no means chubby. Compared to Taylor at this age Kendy is about 6 pounds more. We know she must have eaten foods not just a bottle, but she is only taking a bottle. Her head whips away so fast when we offer food. I can’t believe she hasn’t bitten my finger! We keep trying with every meal and snack, but so far no interest in food. I even offered an Oreo (sorry to beat you to the punch Grandpa Bob).
The afternoon trip was to the passport agency to apply for Kendy’s Chinese passport. Again, the tour bus. It is actually a very nice bus, but crowded with fussy babies it becomes claustrophobic. One of the guides, Jocelyn, speaks the entire time giving us valuable information and knows just about everything we could ever hope to learn about Guangdong Province. I appreciate this since we received very little information regarding Taylor’s province of Guizhou. At the same time a little quiet time would be good too. Nothing eventful with this trip, but we do get to see a lot of Guangzhou and the people. We see lots of babies and small children and wave to them. Most people make a quick glance at us, but we are not unusual in this part of Guangzhou.

Kendy wakes up a few times during the night but immediately soothes herself and goes back to sleep. It is amazing how well all the babies are sleeping through the night. Our bus trips to official appointments are the hardest and she enjoys about 50% of the time while fussing the other 50%. It is too warm to carry her all the time so we have a stroller to walk around the island. We carry her everywhere else. I should have the best arms. She will walk a few steps when we hold her hands, but she is still unsteady on her feet. Kendy will walk around the bed and play with everything on the bedside table including the buttons which operate the lights, TV, radio etc. She is so cute and has several facial expressions that crack us up and scare us when we think of her as a teenager. The side glance with just her eyes…watch out! She will allow Taylor to touch her more and they play on the bed. We are reading to Kendy while she tries to eat the books. I love listening to Taylor talk to her. She is asking her if she can say “Kendal”. Very sweet.

Nov 13, 2010

About Kendal

We call Kendy Xinfan (pronounced shinfawn) or XinfanKendy and she likes it. We were told the babies from Lianjiang were not used to strangers since they did not get out much. You could have heard a pin drop in the room when they told us this! One of the 8 year old girls back to get her baby sister is from Lianjiang and she is a cute girl, very tall. Kendy is the oldest in our travel group #1655 at 15 months, then the rest follow by two weeks, a month, etc.; the youngest is almost 10 months. The babies all were wearing the same outfit~pink corduroy pants and a long sleeve flowered sweatshirt.
Kendy weighs 21.6 pounds and I feel it. She has four teeth and soft skin. Her hair is soft too, not as coarse as some or as thick. I tried a bow and she let me take on picture and then off it went. We have a few special gifts for Taylor, the first one a charm bracelet. She is enjoying her sister and the friends she has made on the trip. She is the youngest and they occasionally let her know it. Ahhh, girls.
Kendy sleeps all night and takes a bottle for meals. She definitely does not like food...what?! Can she be mine! So far any attempt to put food in her mouth has been unsuccessful. She acts like she has never had anything in her mouth before. Until yesterday, she wouldn't even pick anything up. Definitely a sign of shutting down. Our first bath! No, Kendy does not like it!
It is good to see her reacting to things and reaching out now. She makes noises but like a 9 month old would. Oh so very different from Taylor. She is coming around and we are looking forward to a fun day today with our group. We are going to do some sightseeing. More to come, Kendy is waking up after sleeping all night again. Happy baby, happy mommy.