Saturday, July 30, 2011

I havent fallen off the earth (yet)

I promise I am still kicking haven't quite fallen off the planet yet. Jet lag has been a meany this time around I haven't slept through a night since being home. I am about as exhausted as one can be most days!! Now to sum of some of my stay at Starfish the last few days I was there since my last post was about the hospital. All my days kind of ran together so bare with me I don't remember what happened on a Monday versus a Tuesday. Most days we were with the babies and enjoyed going from room to room picking up and playing with those that wanted the attention. Megan finally after a month almost let me pick her up and carry her around she is the sweetest little girl after she gets familiar with you. She loved to walk and kept wanting to even after she wore herself out and couldn't hold her body up anymore needless to say my back didn't like that too much. I am so glad I took the ergo carrier Ethan loved to be held and once I picked him up there was no setting him down until he wanted food sleep or his nanny! The nannies were convinced I was bringing him home with me and asked me all the time if I was taking him on the plane with me! The Saturday before I left we made another trip to the Muslim market for me to pick up some gifts for friends and family. It is always an adventure to go out the amount of stares and foreigners you see that aren't American. We lost the Dutch girls after me and Tracy made a run to the Bank of China which was much nicer then the one close to us they all spoke wonderful English. We stat out by the exit/entrance for the longest time waiting on them and had given up when we were going to go find a cab I looked across the street and yelled at Tracy stop I stop I see white people (horrible I know) but long be hold out of a city of 8 million within the gates we found the two people we needed! Know that cab was a different story we had literally sat down on the side of the road and watched cab after cab go by full we tried the bud everyone of them slammed and it didn't sound like a good idea to stand for over an hour on a crowed bus to get back where we needed to be. We made the decision that IF we ever did get a cab just hope in and refuse to get out even if he had no idea where he was going we of course had to choose the hottest day to go to the market (bad choice)! Our cab finally came after about an hour of searching he wasn't 100% sure where he was going but we didn't care at this point we knew eventually we would get back even if had to call Apple (who is a hoot by the way!!). We finally did make it back and did a light dinner of noodles for dinner. Saturday night Jet and her family also came for their visit back to Starfish for Norah. It was weird to watch two Chinese children walk around speaking Dutch. Norah was too funny feeding Grace when Grace wanted to be done with her bottle Norah would just shove it back in her mouth like the milk it not all gone therefore you are not done! Sunday I spent all day loving on some adorable babies soaking up everything. Sunday night we went out to Indian food which I love! Monday was a travel day so I spent 24 hours of my life on planes and in Airports! Loved Korean Air they were great would fly them again in a heart beat!! The Seoul Airport was even better so clean way different then China. I got back to LA at about 4:30 pm. Immigration was way backed up but the people at LAX have it down to thread and are amazing at what they do flying through DC last year the line was about the same length and they took twice as long and we worried about missing our flight back to Charlotte. By about 5:15-5:30 I was through Customs and immigrations and on my way to Karen and Doug's. One of my great friends Ashton was also at Karen's so it was nice too see her again as well since I had not seen her in almost a year. I enjoyed my stay very much with Karen and her family they were amazing. Tuesday I had a full day in LA and enjoyed it with Karen and her family, Ashton left for home and while she ran for her plane in Atlanta I was shopping at a lovely mall not far form Karen's house yes Ashton be jealous!! Wednesday was another travel day back to the east coast 9 hours more of Airports that I do not care to see again in a while. After a small delay in Houston I made it home to Charlotte by about 11:15 and was greeted by my family and friend Hannah who had Bojangles and Diet Mt. Dew. I got home early Thursday morning at about 12:45ish or so gave the littles their presents which they liked the princess has asked everyday to wear her princess dress. Now getting back on schedule has been a different story normally I am back within a day or two sleeping til about 8 everyday after going to bed at about 10 or so not this time around I am a 9 to 4 type person I just lay in bed hoping to go back to sleep which never really happens. I think this about sums everything up. For my SF mommies I promise to get you all your pictures very soon I have started sorting them by your child's Starfish name haven't gotten far but hopefully by next week you will all have them. Now to go play with the princess who is wanting my attention!!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Goodbye China Hello Korea

I have offically made it safely from Xian to South Korea! I have a 4 hour layover which I am half way through then onto LA for a day roughly to see Karen and then Home late Wednesday night! The Korean Airport is Amazing so nice clean and they have Mt. Dew so I am in HEAVEN haven't had it in over a month!! I am ready to be home or at least back to the US where they speak the same language as me and there are no more stares or pictures!! I love China but can only take so much of hearing Mei Guo (American) every five seconds that and the Chinese attempting to act like they are not taking a picture rediclous I nkow you are taking it just ask and I will smile! I met some amazing people this trip and they know who they are I a so thankful for their new friendships and I will miss them along with the babies!! If you ever get the chance to fly Korean air anywhere take it they are simply amazing I have no complaints about them other then my flight from Xian to China the safety DVD is not in English but that wasnt a big deal I knew what they were talking about! I will update more about my trip when I get to Karens and post the pictures everyone wants. I am so ready to be home there is a little Asian Princess in North Carolina that I am missing!! For all my SF mommies I will email you all the pictures and videos I have of your babies when I am home and a little settled to go through them and name all of them. Everyone of your children are simply amazing!! Nava and Olivia's mom's watch out you are getting some little girls with attitudes!! Jack is a sweetie but knows how to get what he wants. Jane is too cute for words and also like Jack can get what she wants she is starting to walk and can do it well! Karl has trouble written all over him but at 7 am waking me up he is not so cute other then that he is adorable! Malin loves to be carried pack the ergo. Sally is a chubby monkey but so cute! I will post more when I am home my computer is dying and I cant charge it in Korea! I will add a video link later!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wireless is down

Hey everyone everything is great wireless is down so this post will be very short!! We have had two massive groups here lately so things have been crazy!! The babies are as cute as ever I am still in love with Ethan!! Hate to cut everyone short just wanted to let everyone know I was still alive over here!! Dont know when my next post will be praying wireless comes back soon!!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Way Behind

Hmmm... Lets see what all has happened the last few days I haven’t had internet.. A LOT!!! All but 2 babies are home from the hospital Alice who is due home any day and Joseph who is having heart surgery in Hangzhou. Starfish has grown by 2 there is now a Taylor ( I didn't name her) and an Iris. We rushed Seth to the hospital and I went because I happen to be the one holding him at the time. Hospitals in Chi*a SUCK!! They are dirty, nasty, gross, stinky, smell like urine, leaking roofs, people sleeping in the floor. We walked in and you know how most hospitals in the states smell TOO CLEAN total opposite here Amanda told us not to touch a thing or to sit anywhere and made sure we had hand sanitizer. She said you are more likely to catch something here than anywhere else in Chi*a. They are horrible!! Tracy and I were literally running with the baby amidst super crowded hallways, rooms, up and down stairs, just making or sometimes pushing our way through heaps of people. I’ve done this kind of thing before where I’ve pushed and shoved my way through a crowd just not while I was carrying a small child, but we had no choice. Seth wasn’t digesting any milk and whatever he drank was coming out of the hole in his stomach and this was an emergency (I thought and even commented that if it were a child bleeding to death, by the time we finish all the paperwork and wait for that number, he would already be dead. I know it’s harsh, but Tracy and I were kind of just frustrated at the whole thing…the whole system. Finally, after running through all those places, we rushed to the neonatal section of the hospital and got into a room, which was supposed to be a surgery/operating room. There were 2 beds inside and what I saw inside shocked me. Not that what we saw on our way here to this room didn’t terrify me just a little bit. By the time we reached the room, I was already in disbelief. This was supposed to be one of the best hospitals here. I won’t mention all the details I saw because…..anyway,…but yeah I will never forget it in my life. Inside the room, there were two huge trash cans of medical waste that were overflowing… ‘Medical’ waste means used syringes filled with a little blood, cotton swabs, used needles, surgical bandages, dirty gloves… And who knows what not. There were empty trays of surgical instruments from operations they performed earlier that morning which were still lying there on the counter…dirty…part blood maybe and part what looked to me like iodine. Watched horrified as the doctor came in, put Seth on the operating table and his bandages removed….while another mother came in and put her baby… who was about 3 months on the table beside us. In walked in a nurse too and the mother just left that crying baby there and left.. The room was really small. I watched as Seth began to cry and we were trying to comfort him, as stuff started to ooze out of the hole in his stomach. All the food he had eaten was coming out. As I watched that, rubbing my finger softly on his shin and calves, just to comfort him, the baby next to us started crying hysterically. I looked in horror as I saw the nurse inserting a long needle inside his head…on the top of his head….what she thought was close to the vein but what clearly looked like it was still a far way off……and now stuck inside the baby’s head. Finally when everything was over, we left, still shocked by all we saw. We stopped by another baby’s room Chris who was admitted to that hospital a few days ago for emergency surgery. I carried him some, sat by his bedside, played with him a little and then we left. Won’t mention what we saw while on the way to his room too much for one post!! It was really sad seeing the healthcare in a communist nation. I won’t say more because I can’t type everything on here, but this will definitely make for some good conversation someday with someone who feels equally very concerned by the healthcare that people get in some places... especially when kids are involved. I won’t post pictures of anything at the hospital while I am here just know that it was horrible!!

We have had many volunteers in and out lately Wei Jen has left us and it is very sad our only Chinese speaking person minus Amanda is gone :'(. Wei Jen got us around in Taxi's because no one knows where Chong La Gong is.

Today was kind of relaxing I played with my favorite Ethan I love that kid he is so sweet and reminds me so much of you Josiah Donna!! Ethan is a laid back kind of kid nothing really bothers him. All I have to do is walk in the room not say a word he is in my arms within seconds. The nannies know I am so attached to home when I walk in his nanny will hand him to me sometimes she even asked today if I was going to take him home with me!! Well YES of course I would if I could and would sit in Chinese prison for baby stealing!! We took a TWO hour bus ride today for Indian food and the 600 bus which takes us there was jam packed nothing in the states compares to it!! We were smooshed and the driver yelled at us to keep smooshing thankfully after a few stops me and Chloe got seats so it wasn’t as bad but it was the longest ride ever and HOT!! But it was so worth it for the food we ate I love that place it is amazing!! We took a cab home and as usual he pretended to know where he was going and didn't so it ended with a call to Apple Amanda's driver for directions we made it back to say the least and so did Tracy and Elisha who took the cab after us we hate splitting up because we never know how long it will take the people we had to leave!! I think this about sums everything up not much else to say!! I will attempt to maybe post pictures later if I can and internet cooperates with me it is still testy!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Taylor's mom again.  Taylor still has limited internet access, so for those who are not on Facebook here is a picture of the new babies at Starfish.

Taylor                                       Iris          

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NO internet!

This is Taylor's mom.  The Internet at Starfish has been down since Monday.  Taylor will update when she has connection again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Catch Up Post!

The last few days have been an adventure! I have been sick, experienced Amanda's driving, and been to the Chinese version of a hospital. I was hoping I had gotten food poisoning but after much thought I believe I contracted the bacteria that the isolation babies had. Me and Tracy ventured out into the local town and had a nice look around it was very neat to get out and visit with the locals! I have also had Indian food and had horrible night mares after wards. Lets see what else have I done we went for an outing today with Amanda. We went to the hospital which I have to process some more before writing about too hard to put into words right now what all I have seen there in less then an hour. We picked up two new volunteers at the airport funny story on how Amanda remembered she had volunteers coming. After all that and we had the new volunteers back to Starfish we went to a Japanese restaurant by walmart for dinner and then shopped for items we needed before coming home to Starfish. Well I think that about sums up my last few days if I left anything out I will post an update to this post or add it in, in another post

Thursday, July 7, 2011

No Post

This is Taylor's mom and she is very sick in China.  She doesn't know if she has the bacteria that has been running through the babies room or if it is food poisoning.  She is taking her Cipro and Zofran and hopes to be better tomorrow.  She will update when she is better!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 5

Today was a rather hard day baby Jules passed away from the bacterial infection that is spreading through the issolation room. Lewis came home this morning but went back at about 8:30 tonight.  Other then that we did a low key day hanging out with the babies, a large group of volunteers with some program are here for the next 4 days so there are a ton of people here. For dinner we went to the Indian place and it was as I remember wonderful!! Amanda droce and offered to let me drive which I declined "mother" so don't worry.! Well no pictures today really might post some in the morning I am off to bed for a much needed sleep!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 4

Today we ventured to the city center for some shopping at the muslim market! As usual me and Chole were attractions for locals and our pictures were taken several time. We came back after a lovely lunch at Pizza Hut and on our way home we ran into a man who was homeless and we happened to box up the pizza we didnt eat to bring back for later but decided to give him the pizza and he was so happy and greatful! After our city adventure we came back and play with the babies! Now we are all relaxing and enjoying the the AC before dinner. Amanda comes back later tonight; Happy fourth to all my American friends out there!! Will post pictures later check the facebook group until then.

        Geoff I think he is my favorite!!
                               A random merry go round outside of Starfish about a 10 min bus ride!
 People wanting to take pictures with me and Chloe

                                                          Windee, Xander, Kathryn
                                                                 Tracy, Mia and Joy

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 3

Taylor's mom here; she is having trouble downloading pics to her blog.  Here are just a few pictures of the babies she cared for today.  It is already July 4th in the AM for her so she is on her way out to explore the city while the babies nap!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 2 walmart, babies, and downtown

Today me and Tracey started out with a nice conservation at breakfast about where we have traveled and other things. Then me, Chole, Tracey, Wei Jao verntured to walmart for some items we needed for dinner and during the days we were here the bus is an adventure in itself it runs by the foster home about every 30 mins and is always slammed packed. Walmart is easy to get around in nothing to hard to do but very different then walmarts at home. Cannot get over how chicken just lays out. After Walmart we came in cooled off and then went to play with the babies. Mary Ann is adorable and would come home with me in a heartbeat she is always so happy!! I also walked out of my room today and Aaron came running at me and hugged my legs tightly. He is so sweet!! Tonight we had the lovely Mcdonalds for dinner and it was great!! After Mcdonalds we ventured around town and then asked 26 cab drivers for rides back to Starfish and all refused to take us back. Wei Jao speaks very good Chinese but was having problems explaining where exactly Starfish was so a really nice local helped us out and basically told the last driver to take us here or else so he agreed and we got back eventually then banged until Marie let us in the building! I am now exhausted and off to bed in a few after Legally Blonde!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Morning Skype with Taylor

This is Taylor's mom posting.  Taylor is holding one of the new babies!  She skyped me at 8:00 am her time before venturing out to Walmart with the other volunteers.  It is nap time for the babies, so she gets a little break for her own time.

Day one travel and babies

Today has been a long day all of my flights were great! I slept quite a bit but air plane sleeping is far from restful! Olivia met me at the Xian airport but getting through immigration was a hassle the woman could not scan the right visa so I watched my bags go around twice. The ride here was nice I have missed China driving not crossing 3 lanes of traffic on the interstate no stoplight is not fun and quite scary. We drove through the small village that is right by Starfish and is neat to see. The babies are all adorable and they are the ones who are responsible for keeping me up this long! It is so nice to see some familar faces from last year and to meet some new little ones! There are 11 babies in the quarentine room and all are in need of some prayers for health! Well now what all of you have been waiting for the pictures of babies! I dont know all the names so only the ones I know I will name! Goodnight!
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