Family News From China

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by GatorGrowl, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. GatorGrowl
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    Day 10: A Fresh Start in Guangzhou
    by cscottshepherd on March 22, 2014
    Before I begin my blog: I received word tonight that my grandmother from my mother’s side (Ethel Jones) died yesterday. My Nanamama was absolutely wonderful! Some of my fondest memories of my childhood took place with her, and even in her 90′s she was so much fun to be with. While I miss her dearly, I know she has been freed from her pain and now has the chance to be with her precious husband, my Nanadaddy, and her son, Butch.

    I so wish I could be at home to comfort my Mom and to attend the funeral. But we rejoice at her Homecoming!

    I am happy to report that the progress and breakthroughs from yesterday have continued through today! Yea! I (Scott) have been feeling under the weather all day, so we’re going to make it short and sweet.

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    Grace enjoying a banana at breakfast

    The hotel provides a free breakfast for its guests. The breakfasts in both Jinan and Guangzhou have been amazing! Along with traditional American fare, we were also able to choose from steamed dumplings, broccoli, tofu, noodles, rice, etc.

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    We love our healthy eater!

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    Grace took this picture at breakfast

    After breakfast we boarded a bus with eight other families who are also with our adoption agency. (Lifeline Children’s Services in Birmingham, AL)

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    Guide explaining the day’s plan to a full bus


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    Grace at first of five medical checks

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    Grace with ENT

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    Grace and her doll (Shamilla) weighed in at 22kg

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    Mom during Grace’s TB Test

    Grace had to go in for the TB test by herself. She was very brave and only got a little teary-eyed. The clinic was CUH-RAZY with children screaming everywhere.

    She has a few bumps that gave the doctor some concern. Grace told him they were mosquito bites but he has asked to see us again before she is given a clean bill of health. Please pray that we can pass this next health inspection. We are ready to go home!

    After the insanity of the clinic visit, Grace and Mom headed back to the room. I went off to get bottled water, since the tap water in China is undrinkable.

    Also, apparently the mosquitos are bad in this province.

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    Mosquito repellent patch in our hotel welcome bag

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    Crib decorated with stickers

    The hotel put a crib in our room, probably because many families are adopting younger children. Grace thought the crib was hilarious and used it as a place to put about 5,345 stickers.

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    Pic Grace took of crib

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    She was so proud of her work and spent a few minutes photographing it.

    While Scott was out working on MORE paperwork, I stayed in the room with Grace. (Traci blogging now!) I had hoped that she would take a nap but no such luck!

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    Wall Climber

    She started climbing the wall in the room, so I tried to find something else for her to do. I was still dreaming of a nap for her, and I thought maybe she could fall asleep watching a little TV. (My first lazy parenting moment of the week)

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    Creepy kids TV show

    Our options were…um…not good! Plus, since I don’t speak Mandarin, I was hesitant to have her watch just anything. Chinese TV seems pretty tame compared to the US, but I still needed to keep tabs on what she was watching.

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    I have no idea….

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    This brought a laugh!

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    She enjoyed walking around with her belly “poofed” out like the Sumo wrestler
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    So….back to climbing the wall it was!

    Later on in the day our group walked to a Mexican restaurant (!) and enjoyed a great meal and even better fellowship. It was nice for Grace to see other Chinese children with American families. We are enjoying getting to know these families and hearing the stories of the precious children they are adopting.

    Today has been an amazing day! Grace has given us many smiles and giggles and NO tears!!!!! She is beginning to say a few phrases. Tonight she said, “You are so smart” and “You are so beautiful!” I have been telling her that a lot and it is good to know she is listening. This afternoon she had fun pointing at the flowers in the hotel lobby and saying “flower”.

    Thank you all for your love and prayers!
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  2. gatornana
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    gatornana Administrator

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    Love reading these.....Grace is a hoot! What a precious child.

    Hope they can be on their way home soon.
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  3. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    That looks exactly like the Garden Hotel in Guangzhou. And the woman at the front of the bus looks like Erin, from the local adoption agency. Wow! Great to re-live memories. I remember the chandelier in the lobby was especially amazing.
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  4. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    good stuff, GG, really enjoying the great photos.
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  5. GatorGrowl
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    Today was a day filled with emotion-the passing of Donna's mom last night and this whole week in watching Grace being grafted into our family has been special.

    I was fortunate to have a mother in law a man could love and admire. The last three years we have shared care-taker roles with Donna's sister and the times we have had Mrs. Jones have been the best.

    I will miss her, she has been my mother in law for nearly 40 years, but Donna and I dated for three so she has been in my life longer than my mom, who died when I was 42.

    Scott and Traci have another five days in China and then they will be home.... Mrs. Jones had 18 great grandchildren, the newest of which was Grace. One life fades, a new life blossoms.
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  6. GatorGrowl
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    One Week Later: A Day of Smiles
    by cscottshepherd on March 23, 2014
    Today is the one week anniversary of our Gotcha Day–our first day with Grace. Those who have been following our blog know the early struggles we had. But look at the pictures below. Can you believe this is the same girl that tried to escape from our hotel room and convince us to take her foster sister to America with us instead? Thank you for your prayers! They are being answered.

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    Grace and Mom resting at the Pearl Market. Look at that smile!

    The day started out with a big breakfast at the hotel. Grace ate a banana, two yogurts, an apple, watermelon, and dragon fruit (our mystery fruit)! I think she may eat as much as our twelve year old!

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    Grace eating an apple for breakfast

    I would also like to thank my dear friend Stacy Daniels for the sparkle EXPLOSION outfit! Stacy knows me and my “artist black” all too well, so she sent along a little bling for Grace!

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    Breakfast plate #1




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    Grace’s pic of Mom and Dad at breakfast

    After breakfast we hopped on the bus with the rest of the Lifeline families and headed for the pearl and jade market. It was FIVE stories of jewelry stores! We looked around a little but it was too overwhelming. Besides, I already have my treasure/souvenir from this trip and her name is GRACE! :)

    After the market we headed to the Chen Family Temple and spent about an hour exploring the complex. We were able to purchase a wall hanging with Grace’s Chinese name painted on it (Shiyi Wei). We also picked up a few meaningful souvenirs to take home.

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    Ouside the Chen Family Temple

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    Grace got the giggles at a statue again!

    While Dad was bargaining for good souvenir prices, Mom and Grace went on a walk in the courtyard. Grace enjoyed choosing places to have her picture taken. She is my child, afterall! :)

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    Grace’s pic of Mom and Shamilla

    I got quite a few strange looks on this one… No one else was posing with a stuffed animal!

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    Grace also wanted her picture taken by this pot.

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    Mom’s turn! (Grace is the photographer again)

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    Mom and Grace “selfie”

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    A fish was inside the pot!

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    Seriously, could this get any cuter?!?!?!

    She came up with this pose herself! I think I have a wedding photography assistant in training! :) Or at least a sorority sister in training… haha

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    Mommy and Shamilla had to do the same pose!

    Grace is quite a spunky little one who enjoys a good playground. This priceless stone wall was obviously a GREAT place for her to get her climb on. :)

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    Working hard to keep her balance

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    Happy Family – all we are missing is Jordan, Iris, and Gideon! Oh, and a smile from Grace!

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    We got back to the hotel at about 1:45 with the hopes of a nap. Grace didn’t think that was a good idea, so Daddy worked on English with her. Grace even taught Dad a little Mandarin!

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    Grace and Daddy using the translation program

    As we were headed out for supper, Grace said, “I love you!” This was the first time she has said it and it melted my heart!

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    Grace asleep at dinner

    The three of us went to eat at an Italian restaurant for supper. Grace ordered spaghetti but couldn’t stay awake. No worries, though, she had a great meal later!

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    Grace eating spaghetti in her pajamas
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  7. gatornana
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    gatornana Administrator

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    Love seeing her smile.....things are working out nicely.
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  8. GatorGrowl
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    GatorGrowl Forum Admin Staff Member GC Staff VIP Member

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    [​IMG]
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  9. DaveFla
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    DaveFla Well-Known Member

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    She is so cute. You're good people...
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  10. GatorGrowl
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    GatorGrowl Forum Admin Staff Member GC Staff VIP Member

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    Thanks, but lets say wife raised good people... :)
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  11. gatornana
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    She's a beautiful child.
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  12. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    love this photo. what a beautiful little girl
  13. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Is she going into school right away? How's her English?
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  14. GatorGrowl
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    She does not know English-Scott and Traci have home schooled their 3 children and will do so with Grace. In the area they live there as several adopted Chinese children and they get together socially.

    Grace is 4 so any schooling will be basic and they say with siblings it will not take long for her to learn English.

    Music is a big part of their lives and they go to Nashville once a week for the kids to take lessons. Grace is supposed to be musical as well and will start taking piano shortly.

    Here is their school work
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    The family band
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    The folks who teach the kids their music
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  15. GatorGrowl
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    Annie Moses band that the kids take from, as will Grace
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  16. Gatorrick22
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    That is a cute family.
  17. GatorGrowl
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    Traci Herman Shepherd
    2 hrs ·
    She passed her health (re)check! We are all set for our US consulate appointment tomorrow!!!
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  18. g8orbill
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    g8orbill Gators VIP Member

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    Praise the Lord all ye Lands
  19. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    you know, lol, there was a time i was thinking about mentioning adoption after my boys were grown up.

    since it's taken the one so long to fly on his own (due to a bad marriage and career change) i'm now too dang old. she (grace) is so precious, though.
    :)
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  20. GatorGrowl
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    Flying Mice in Forest and Other Delights!
    BY CSCOTTSHEPHERDON MARCH 24, 2014
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    This should make Dr. Whitfield happy!

    After a great night’s sleep, Grace got up, put on her shoes and brushed her teeth. This was the first time we have been able to get her to brush her teeth, and it was so cute to watch her do so in her little methodical way! I was starting to get worried that our great dentist, Dr. Whitfield, was going to need to give us a sedative to get the job done. ;)

    We had breakfast, and although we don’t have any pictures of it (gasp!) I promise it did happen! Our group boarded the bus for the zoo. But first, Grace had to return to the clinic for the doctor to check a few spots of concern. Per the CDC rules, he needed to make sure that the bumps were not a contagious disease. I am happy to report that they are probably mosquito bites JUST like my little girl told him they were! :)

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    Grace looking at the zoo map telling Dad what she wanted to see

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    This pretty much explains it all….

    It was hard to decide between the Hippo Goldfish Garden Birds Zone and the Bear Hill Primates Zone TOILET. For those of you who have been in Chinese public restroom, you pretty much know that this explains it ALL! hahaha

    We visited the tigers first and I was saddened to see these magnificent beasts caged up like this. However, even more heartbreaking are the countless orphans in orphanages waiting for someone to give them a home!

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    Grace plugged her nose to tell us the elephants smelled bad

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    haha!

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    Playing Peek-a-boo with Daddy

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    Waving her map around

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    At the giraffes with Dad

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    Being silly

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    Finally she is wanting to take pics with Scott!

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    Fierce4 Battle on sharks’ Lsland

    It was a hard choice between Flying Mice in forest and Fierce4 Battle on sharks’ Lsalnd but the Shark ride won! If you think carnivals are terrifying in the US…… Oh, mercy!

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    This ride needed LOTS of repair!

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    Daddy and Grace with BIG smiles!

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    Oh, my heart!

    And SUCH a little poser!!!! Isn’t this just too cute for words?

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    TALL elephant with Dad

    Grace took a nap and played quietly in the room after our morning at the zoo. She especially liked typing on Daddy’s iPad!

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    Such a little lady

    We were wanting to go back to the Italian restaurant, but on the way Grace saw McDonalds instead. We don’t eat at McDonald’s in America, but HOW could we refuse her sweet little begging face?

    She actually wanted soup(!), but they were out of it. She ordered french fries and ice cream instead. Don’t judge me, she has eaten healthfully all day! :)

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    We have some work to do….:)

    It takes serious talent to pick your nose AND eat a french fry!

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    Coke!?!?!

    We also she discovered she likes Coca-Cola after she “stole” our cups and enjoyed several big gulps!

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    Want to get a Bronzier complexion?

    What a great slogan – Want to get a Bronzier complexion? We decided to head to the grocery store for bottled water instead. So sad to miss out on the opportunity to tan in China….hahahah
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