Sunday, September 04, 2005

9 1/2 Weeks

Right now in China it’s half past noon on Monday September 5th. In approximately 3.5 hours the families in groups 105, 106 & some P’s will have their lives forever altered when they have their Gotcha Day and are united with their Chinese daughters.

It’s hard to believe that we were there meeting Tenley not quite 10 weeks ago – not even 3 months yet... because to us it seems forever ago. This got me to thinking about how much has happened and how far we’ve come in this short amount of time.


We were handed Tenley shortly after 3 pm on Monday June 27, 2005.

She was 9 months old.
She had 1 tooth.
She was filthy, smelled bad and had never had a real bath.
She had very little hair in general, a bald spot in the back, and they had shaved the front 2 inches of her hairline where her bangs should be (we have no idea why).
She could barely sit up on her own.
She couldn’t crawl, but she could scoot army style with amazing speed.
She weighed only 16 lbs, her ribs stuck out, her legs were like little sticks, and the skin on her knees and elbows was really dark because when undernourished the skin will grab on to anything it can.
She wore size 3-6 month clothes.
The only “food” she would willingly eat was formula. She had no idea what to do with Cheerios & biter biscuits.
We had to introduce the sippy cup to her to get fluids in her, because the only thing she’d ever had from a bottle was formula, she would choke on water or juice because it was so thin and if you took the bottle away she’d go ballistic because she thought you were taking away food.
The orphanage report said she was active, and it was a huge understatement. If she let you hold her you had better be standing and preferably moving; but she’d rather just be on the floor moving herself.
The SWI report also said that she was a deep sleeper- this was true. What it didn’t tell you was that you had to get her to sleep, which she would fight with everything she had including kicking, screaming, backbending- the works.
When terrified (like the day they handed her to us) she would go silent and her legs would go completely stiff.


Today is Sunday, Sept. 4th. Tenley has been with us for 69 days.

In 9 days Tenley will be 12 months old!
She has 4 teeth...and she knows how to use them.
She’s clean, smells like Gerber Grins & Giggles, and loves the bath.
Her hair is growing, the bald spot has grown in, and her real hairline has started appear in front.
Not only does she now sit up confidently on her own, but she crawls, pulls up, stands, takes steps with help, and is starting to stand up without holding on to anything.
She now weighs almost 19 lbs. and has grown 2 inches.
She’s starting to outgrow size 6-9 month clothes... several of which are rompers that no longer fit because she has developed proper chubby baby thighs.
She still likes formula (preferably mixed with barley baby cereal), loves goldfish, puffs, and biter biscuits; and has given the finger to baby food- she wants big people food.
She now knows how to use a sippy cup with a no-spill valve, and drink from a straw. Now if we could just get her to hold the sippy cup....
She remains a deep sleeper, and now knows when her bedtime is and usually goes down without a fuss. The rest of her schedule is ...flexible
She waves hello
She smiles and giggles lots.
She babbles Ma-ma-ma & Da-da-da...and has started associating them with the correct people
She loves to be tossed in the air.
Kitties and doggies are very exciting.
Swimming is a favorite activity.
She wakes up happy.
Loves music (reggae, bluegrass, punk, 50’s rock) loves to dance.
She’s a US citizen and has a SSN & a e-mail address.

There’s something new everyday. She’ll be walking in no time, and it will be interesting to see what her first real word is- she understands alot of what is said to her.

I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 months. I feel like I was hit by a truck- but it also seems like Tenley has been here forever. Those nice people in China have no idea what’s about to happen to them. It’s been quite the rollercoaster ride already, and I can’t wait to see what’s at the top of the next hill.


Donna said...

I loved this! I just read it aloud to Andrew from the hotel room here in Guangzhou. Thanks for your wit and wisdom. We're heading to the lobby in ten minutes to hop on a bus to the civil affairs office and get our little pumpkin! Lots of love from our family to yours! Donna & Andrew (group 106)

Catherine said...

This beautiful post moved me. It touches my heart that you haeve extended your love to this little girl. I hope more people can afford to adopt the orphans of China and all over Asia, especially the girls. Tenley is a very special creature with so much inner strength to have achieved good health and adjust so well in such a short amount of time. Thank you for making this world a better place. :-)

Stacey Teague said...

This post was amazing. Tenley (and you guys) have come so far in such a short time!! I also love the Happy Meal great!!

CindyB said...

wow. I loved this post. how awesome for all us waiting parents to see the progress that Tenley has made, and also to know that event if the first few months are very difficult, things will get better and easier each day. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. and by the way, I think your previous posts have been funny and real. Ignore those people with no sence of humor.

Susan said...

You guys are fantastic! Thank you for sharing your journey and experiences. It brings true light to those of us who are waiting and waiting and... I can't speak for everyone but I know many of us are thankful to have your blog to read about the ups and the downs.

Many blessings as your family continues to blossom.


One Lucky Mom said...

Isn't it amazing that when you are in the trenches you forget how far you have come? Great to read of your many successes. Tenley will be tamed before you know it!

Kristin said...

loved the post!
Tenley looks amazing!

it IS amazing how much happens in such a short period of time!!

Mom to Catie & Meigan, both from Maoming...

Babygirl's parents said...

HI guys...
Here we are in China....Miss Norah is an amazing little being who, yes, has transformed our lives in mind bending ways. At the moment she is fighting bedtime and doing this while feeling very sleepy....
Congrats on your beautiful daughter....
We'll be home soon.