Tuesday, September 19, 2006

4 a.m. musings

For some reason I have been waking up between 3:30 and 4 a.m. every morning that we've been in Hefei. There's not much to do at that hour, so here I am on the computer. I will try to answer some questions we've received:

Why was Zoe dressed so warmly when you got her?

It is customary in China to dress children warmly, especially in the orphanages, where they may not have good heat in the winter time. Everywhere we go, we see children dressed in long pants and long sleeves, and trust me, it is shorts weather here!

Why are you feeding Zoe formula at 16 mos.?

I attended an adoption seminar in Atlanta in April, and one of the speakers was a physicians assistant, who had adopted from China and has treated many babies adopted from China. She advised starting formula right away and continuing until the child was 2 years old. She said babies get poor nutrition at the orphanage, and we needed to start making up for it as soon as possible. We were also told that Zoe's bottle had corn syrup and rice cereal added to it, so I've been adding rice cereal and a little sugar.

Did you get any of the items back that you'd sent in the care package?

In August, we sent an outfit, blanket, doll, disposable camera, photo album with our pictures, and questionaire for the orphanage director (in English and Chinese) to Zoe at the orphanage. When we got Zoe, we got a bag with the camera, photo album, and questionaire (with the questions answered). We assume they kept the other things for the other babies at the orphange, and know they need them much worse than Zoe does. We developed the photos yesterday, and we know Zoe will be so glad to have them some day. We have not had the questions translated yet, but that will also be a cherished momento from Zoe's life before we met her.

How are Doug and Katie doing?

So far, so good. They love Zoe. To be honest, they were kind of driving me nuts that first day. Zoe needed some time to get used to us. Doug and Katie wanted to be all over her, to hold her, to play with her, to feed her. In the playground, Katie wanted her to go down the slide, and ride on the rocking horses. I had to keep telling both of them no. It was hard not to get totally frustrated with them. Jerry had much more patience. He spent time showing them how to interact with her, without being on top of her! Yesterday was a little better. Mainly because Zoe is happier, and now wants them around. Here is an example of Doug and Katie's conversations lately: "Mom, I want to push Zoe in the stroller. No, it's my turn, I haven't got to push her yet. Mom, I want to hold Zoe. No I do. You got to hold her twice, and I only held her once. Mom, it's my turn to feed Zoe a cheerio. No mine, you did it last time. " You get the picture. Similar conversations are going on in the Derfuss family.

Tell more about the baby that the woman did not keep:

Jerry left out a few details, which I thought were important. The mother is married, and has 4 children at home. She is traveling with her sister-in-law. The child she intended to adopt was identified as special needs by the CCAA. With a special needs child, the adoption agencies distribute photos to interested families, and the parents choose a child. Parents are able to view their medical records, and are generally given details of the problems the child is facing. This family had chosen this child, and were told she had deformed ears, but no other issues. The first night in the hotel, the child had severe seizures all night long. An orthopaedic surgeon in our group (who is also an adoptive dad) told us that if the child has been having these type of seizures her whole life, with no medication, she has brain damage. He said he treats children like this in the U.S., because they often break bones during sezures, and that most are institutionalized. The mom was extremely distraught about not keeping this child, but I'm not sure she even had a choice, because I believe she told me: "They won't let me keep her." Ultimately, she decided it would not be fair to her 4 other children. We are all so sad about it. I know it was terrible for her to get back on that bus with all of us yesterday, after they took the child. Please pray for her and the child. For those adopting from China, I think this is a very unusual situation, and as Jerry mentioned, the CCAA is not happy about it.


At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Guys:

We received Joe and Marie's email yesterday and since then I have been on the blog numerous times.

I am so excited for all of you and can't wait to see everyone. I think I am getting mushy in my old age. Everytime I read the blog and look at the pictures I start crying, of course, happy tears.

What a wonderful experience for all of you. Can't wait to see you all and hear the stories.

All Our Love,

Uncle Sol and Aunt DJ

At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Ruth Ann Hepler said...

I am so sad about the lady who didnt' get to keep the baby, but I'm glad you filled in more details. What a tragedy all around.

I was laughing about Doug and Katie fussing over Zoe b/c Janie and Patti did the same thing! They argued about who got to sit next to Sally at dinner and on the bus and on the plane, and when we got home it was who got to sit next to her in the car. It's a wonderful thing, even though it can drive you crazy!

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa

Every morning I look forward to the new postings! I am learning so much! Too bad about the epileptic baby--I got a cold sweat thinking that could happen--I only hope it was a huge misunderstanding and not intentional deceit by the orphanage. Zoe looks like she has/is adjusting very well. Fran

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Formula is great for babies who need extra nutrition. I fed Kelly(my little preemie) Formula or next step formula until 2 years of age. The doctor said it has more bang for the buck than milk. lots more nutrition in the calories, so thats great for Zoe I'm sure. Can't wait to see her in person. Diane


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