Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Micah was actually born in the year of the ox, he missed the year of the tiger by a few short weeks.  Notice the bubble tea:)

The long plane ride home.

Elliana so excited to have Micah home!

Andy actually asked to hold Micah before Elliana!

This is what EVERY bottle has pretty much looked liked!

Gotta end with a good one!

Monday, June 28, 2010


We made it home!!  Micah did great on the flights.  He cry only for a short time, with only 2 hours left!  I would say that is not so bad since we got him up at 5:30am and it was 12:00 am to him.  He slept off and on most of the way.  My mom and Bill picked us up from the airport and we met everyone back at Chris' parents house.  Elliana and Andy were so excited to see Micah!  Andy was actually the first to ask to hold him.  He was very gentle and sweet.  Micah cried most of the introductions, little crazy with the kids:)  Elliana has helped with every bottle!!  She has been an excellent helper and cannot stop her self from loving him too much.  After swimming and eating with family, we headed back to my parents home for the night. 
On Sunday, we stopped to see Chris' grandmother who was put in the hospital while we were in Taiwan and just moved to a nursing home for short while.  She loved meeting her newest great-grandson and she seemed to be doing pretty well.
We finally pulled into our driveway around 8:30pm.  We all gave Micah a tour of his new home and settled in to relax and get ready for bed.  Today, we took it easy and stayed in, just hanging out together.  The kids are relearning their routines and adjusting to being one of three:). 
Chris went into work for a short time and will go back all day tomorrow.  I do not see much on my plate for tomorrow either.  Micah is liking the slower pace!  I am still not complete recovered from traveling time zones and traveling in general, hopefully a good nights sleep will help.  I will post pictures, hopefully tomorrow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Taipei Zoo, Taipei 101, and National Palace

Yesterday we started our day by taking the subway.  It was very easy to figure out and not a far walk from the hotel.  We went to the zoo first to beat the rain.  We, however, did not beat the heat.  The Taipei Zoo is home to two pandas!  It was the first time for me to see them.  They have a nice indoor exhibit and one bear actually woke up and walked around for a minute.  The koala bears, kangaroos, and hippos are at the zoo too, all animals that the Cincinnati Zoo does not have (the hippos will be there by the end of the summer).  They did not wake up for us.  The zoo lay out was great and we had a great time.  Chris took 140 pictures!!!  I thought it was a little excessive, but he still has to weed out the blurry ones, so he says.  He took lots of butterflies and giraffes.  We highly recommend the zoo, even though the travel books did not!

After the zoo we went to Taipei 101.  It is the second tallest building in the world, it was number one until this year.  It is home to tons of business and the most expensive mall in the world (that is my estimation).  It has Prada and all the red carpet designer names that I can not spell or pronounce.  We had a snack in the basement food court before heading up to the top.  Chris was more impressed as the engineer, but very pretty views from all directions.

We ate dinner back at our hotel.  Micah has been getting fussy around dinner time so we were not sure if it would work out.  He did pretty good and there was another baby, just as big and the same age so not a big deal if he made some noise.  Micah has been a real trooper going all over the city from morning to night so it is very understandable that he not want to be out anymore in the evening.

He has been only having five bottles instead of the six he was drinking at Hannah's Hope.  It is too difficult to wake him when he is sleeping and he doesn't want to eat when he wants to sleep.  However, dropping a bottle means that he is hungry very three hours instead of hour.

Today we went to the National Palace Museum first thing because the guest relations person said we would need a lot of time and that we should do the English tour, which is at 10:00 or 1:00.  We opted for the 10:00 tour.  The guide was very funny!  If you should go, go on Friday since it is the only day he volunteers.  He was very knowledgeable.  It is supposed to be only an hour, but he generously went one and half to get more in.  One of the famous displays is a jadeite cabbage.  Yes, cabbage with two grasshoppers on it!  Interesting story about two princesses too, but I will let you come and hear it for yourself.
We did not make it more than three hours before we began to fade from hunger and needing a break.  We headed back to the cafe by AIT for lunch:)

Once energized we went to the Handicaft Market.  It is one of the few places to buy Taiwanese items.  We ended up getting a set of tea, water, juice cups.  We thought about heading to the night market but we think Micah may have had enough for one day.  We will try to leave the hotel by 5:30am to head back to the States!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In a little bit

Okay, I know I have not bloged about the last couple of days, but I hope to have the time tonight.  :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


On Tuesday morning we headed over to MorningLight, the unwed mother's home and office of Deana and her staff.  We recieved all of our documents for AIT and Micah's passport.  His little picture is so cute!  After that we picked up some rice box lunch and headed to airport to wait for our flight back to Taipei.  While we were eating, of course everyone was watching us.  Women love babies!!!  These three women came up and gave us some more food, but it was homemade and very good.  It was rice with pork and mushrooms wraped in leaves.  So fun to try homemade food! 
Micah slept the whole plane ride back and with lots of tuberlance that was a good thing.  After arriving back in Taipei we relaxed and checked out the area around the Westin, our hotel.  We are in the banking area so mostly banks are all you can see.  Michelle, you will be gland to know that we have had no problems getting food or around.  (She was worried about us.)
Micah slept from 8pm to 7 am, when I woke him to feed him.  Deana said that some babies handle stress by sleeping, I am thinking Micah may be one of those.  Chris is also that way!  He is bonding very well though.  He loves to hold our hands while falling asleep and loves to be touched.  He seems to love to play with Chris and be comforted my me, just like Elliana and Andy!
This morning we headed to AIT for our appointment at 9:00.  After changing their minds of what size visa picture they wanted we had to go print another size.  Otherwise we had no issues, very easy.  Micah's birthmom was required to come too.  It was good to see her again.  She was able to hold Micah one more time before being interviewed.  It was very short too, only 20 minute.  Some have taken 3 hours!  There were two other families adopting at the same time.  We exchanged information with one of them since they only live 15 minutes from my parents!  What fun!
The temperature was already around 95 degrees when we left.  We walked around Daan Park and melted in the heat.  It is a pretty park and the only green area in Taipei.  We found a fun little coffee shop and had lunch.  Maybe my favorite food here in Taipei! 
Micah is napping now, but his visa will be ready in 30 minutes.  We will head back to AIT to get it and then off to the Woodpecker Baby Store.  Others before us recommended it, and asked up to pick up a few things to bring back for them:)
This is Alexi (Deana's assistant), Michelle, and us at the MorningLight Home.

Monday, June 21, 2010


On Sunday night we went to the night market in Taitung.  We were the only Americans most saw, so we stood out and everyone really enjoyed staring at us:)  Michelle helped us get food and tell us what everything was.  We tried stinky tofu.  I can say it is very stinky!  I am glad I tried it, Michelle likes it.  I finally got to try bubble tea too!  It was good and fun to drink.  It is tea with little tapioca balls in the bottom!  The night market has tons of games for kids.  Elliana and Andy would have loved it!
When we got back to the room, we skyped with the kids and introduced them to Micah.  It was very cute!  Elliana does not understand why it takes so long to come home since we obviously have Micah already.  Next we talked with our friends in Bolivia!  And finally, we saw that our community class (Sunday School) at church was on, doing a test run for talking to the Wardens (in Bolivia) next week.  So we called them too!  It was so exciting for us to introduce him to family and friends who have been praying for him and us for so long!  They both, the Wardens and community, prayed for us again. So precious, thank you guys.

On Monday Michelle came with a new driver, her landlord. She is so sweet, it was difficult for her to find another driver, she called all her friends.  Jake, her landlord, is very nice and runs a Chinese Medicine store so he said he had a flexible schedule.  Deana had a change of plans, really our paperwork from the court was not ready.  We did not know this at the time so we were not worried or stressed about the change.  It worked out good.  We went shopping on the streets to see all the fruit stands and shops.  Michelle took us where she shops, the grocery store:)  She is afraid of the fruit stands because once the fruit had ants all over it and they speak Taiwanese instead of Chinese.  Too funny, also she does not cook so she doesn't know what do do with all the stuff in the little shops.  At the grocery store we got some fruit and dried mango for a snack.
Jack came back and took us to the beach.  We thought we would eat our snack there, but with the heat index at least 114 degrees it was too hot!!  Michelle works at a place called Hookies, named after VT Hookies.  So we went there and ate.  Chris had his only Mountain Dew of the trip!  It is the only place in Taitung that has it.  Next we met Deana for lunch and ate some more yummy food!
It was almost 2:00 so we headed over to Hannah's hope to meet the other babies and special mothers.  Deana went to go pick up our birthmom from the train station and go get some papers signed at court.  The babies were so great!  I will send pictures to all you waiting mom's and dad's, hopefully today!  Without Deana there to tell us all the English names, we did not get pictures of all the new referrals.  The special mothers are so loving and truly care for each little one!  We got to see the ones that cared for Micah.  It was very difficult for them all to say good bye to him, so sad.  At about 3:00 Deana called so say they would be there soon.  As soon as they walked in, she got a call that she had to get to court right away.  Michelle would have to translate for us.  She did a great job, I am sure she was very nervous, was were we!  But she was wonderful.  We learned lots of stuff to share with Micah as he grows and we were able to video the whole time.  One thing she made she sewed "Good Man" on it, which is what Micah means.  That was pretty neat, since she would not have know that!  Micah took a much needed nap as we talked, but she had to be at an appointment at 4:00 so she was rushed away and we had time to decompress and relax for a few minutes.  I went back to say goodbye to the babies and give the clothes that a few families had sent. 
Chris asked about going to the House of Registry that we were supposed to do that morning.  Well, after a little confusion, our paperwork was still at court, but we, Michelle, Wuli (social worker) and us headed over anyways.  They said we were missing a document and we had to wait.  Deana came running in after finishing a families first hearing and tracking down our missing paperwork which had just been completed moments before.  Stressful day for Deana!  We were totally exhausted and came back to our hotel at 5:30.  After eating dinner we headed down to look at the shops.  We saw the traditional tribal show going on and stayed to watch it for a bit.  It was pretty cute to see. 
After a long busy day, Micah was very glad to go to sleep!  He had his bottle at 8:30 before we went down for the show and only woke up at 5:45 to eat again.  That is the time that the special mothers always feed him, so he was right on:)  Yesterday was very difficult to him too, so he is soaking up all the sleep he can get! 
Today we have to go sign the rest of our paperwork and fly back to Taipei!  It will be sad to leave Taitung.  It is such a warming, not to mention super hot, and sweet place.  Michelle has been a huge blessing and help. I cannot wait for the other families to meet her too!  She taught us so much about the young culture of Taiwan!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gotcha Day!

I will try to start at the beginning and please excuse any mistakes in typing!!!  We got up at 5 to leave our hotel at 5:30.  It did not take long to get to the domestic airport.  Surprisingly, there were many people out at that time of the morning.  The sun had been up for awhile too:).  When we got the airport, and figured out what line to stand in, the guys told us our reservation for for a 12:05 flight!  We found the other airline and waited for them to open.  They had the next first flight on Sunday mornings at 8:20!  It was fully booked so we found the standby list and were the first ones.  They said come back 20 minute before leaving to see if we made it.  While we waited a really nice group gave us part of their breakfast sandwiches from McDonald's.  Chris and I were getting pretty hungry since nothing was open when we left the hotel so we were very thankful!  At 8:00, a man gave a us a look and said that we could go buy our tickets.  We made it!  I praised God for His timing, I am not sure I would have made it to 12:05!
Once in Taitung, we found Michelle, a student from Taitung University.  She will be taking us around while we are in Taitung.  She took a picture for us at the welcome fountain at the airport.  She is a lot of fun to talk with and has been very helpful. 
Our first stop, of course, was Hannah's Hope.  Deana met us there.  She brought Micah down right away.  He is perfect!  I am not sure I have words to describe it!  We will go back on Monday to visit the special mothers (nannies) and the other babies.  So don't worry, all of you waiting for pictures of you little dears, I send them as soon as I can.  We did not even see them yet.  We then headed to Deana and Luke's church.  It was fun to hear the hymns I grew up singing sung in Chinese.  Deana translated the youth pastors sermon and told us what was going on. 
Luke, who had been preaching at another church came at the end to pray a blessing for us.  We recorded it, but did not get pictures of that. 
Okay, next we went to get our stuff and get checked into our hotel.  It is a great place and everyone is so very nice.  With hunger setting in again, our driver picked up her kids and we went to lunch with Michelle and our drivers family.  It was great to go to a restaurant and not have to order a thing, since there were no pictures and we would have been totally lost.  Micah had his first bottle there and my arm was breaking by the end.  Deana had told me that Micah had to be moved to another room in the home because some of the special mothers could not hold him for very long,  I completely understand!  Wait until you see these legs!  He is five months and wearing a 24 month shirt:).  The picture below is our driver holding Micah while we were eating.  Apparently I must have looked like I was struggling trying to eat with my chopsticks and holding him LOL.
We are now back at our room for a nap and rest time with Micah.  He is doing great!  He loves to "talk" and does a great big belly laugh with Chris.  We will be headed to the night market here in Taitung.  It is only on Sunday nights here.  There is lots of food and shopping and all around fun to be had, so we heard.
Tomorrow is a busy day again.  We will change Micah's permanent address, meeting with his birthmom, and visit Hannah's Hope.
Here are a few pictures from today:

Saturday, June 19, 2010


We have finally arrived in Taipei. Yah!!  After 22 hours of travling, we are at our hotel for about 6 hours.  We will leave for the airport again at 5:30 to go Taitung.  Tomorrow is GOTCHA DAY!

The first picture of the trip is Chris in Japan.

This is the Taipei International Airpot.

Friday, June 18, 2010


This morning we were so thankful to be able to participate in my Pop's funeral.  We were not able to go the military salute, but know that it was meaningful and we are blessed to be part of his family!
We have now returned say good-bye to the kids, change clothes and throw our bags in the car to get to the airport.  Next time we write, it will be from Taiwan!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Prep Week

We are on the count down with only four days before we travel.  I made Chinese food, well cashew chicken, for dinner in my excitement.  I realize that we will only be eating Chinese food on our trip, but it is so good and I am so excited:) 
We have the packing list mostly done and the plans mostly done too.  Chris booked our hotel tonight.  We do not have a way to call internationally so I suggested Skye.  He said it was awesome and worked better than if he was on a real phone!  Free too, that's what I like.  However, while he was talking to the hotel people, my mom called to share bad news.  My step-dad's dad, Pop, passed away today.  This is only two and a half weeks after my mom's dad, Grandpa, passed away.  Thankfully, we will be able to make it to his funeral before we leave on Friday.    I guess God knew why were needed to fly out of Detroit more that we did.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Travel Dates!!!!

We will leave Michigan (we will be dropping Elliana and Andy off at the grandparents) on Friday, June 18!  We will eventually arrive in Taitung sometime on Saturday evening/night.  Hopefully we will get Micah that night, if not, then on Sunday.  We really want to go to church there and see where Micah has been going the past 5 months:)  I think that Luke, the pastor, may still be in China, but I cannot remember what dates he will be traveling. 
To make is easier to follow:

Friday: leave the USA
Saturday: arrive in Taipei and fly to Taitung
Sunday: church, if possible
Monday: go to house of registry and finish adoption paperwork
Tuesday: travel back to Taipei
Wednesday: AIT visa appointment, and meet with birthmom
Thursday: free day
Friday: free day and pick of visa if ready
Saturday:  leave Taipei and return to Detroit
Sunday: return to Cincinnati

It has been a pretty crazy day figuring it all and booking the tickets.  We still have to decided on hotels tonight:)  But Chris is still getting cleaned up from playing beach volleyball.  He just started on a league.  I took the kids to watch and watch a friend's kids while they all played.  While there, I noticed a family that looked familiar to me.  I asked the mom where she was from and if she had a blog.  I have been reading her blog for almost a year now!  They adopted from Taiwan last year.  How neat it was to see her and see their precious little girl!!  It was just the energy booster I needed since I was ready to fall asleep putting Elliana to bed.  Well, we better get to figuring out where to stay in just a week and a half.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What a week!

Monday was Memorial Day.  I usually call my grandfather on Memorial day and thank him for serving his country, but he passed away on May 26.  After the funeral, which I was not able to attend since it was in Nebraska, my grandma rode with my aunt and uncle back to Ohio.  They dropped her off at my home to spend the week with me.  This was the first time that she has been able to come to my house.  It has been so wonderful share stories and memories of my grandparents and hear stories about my grandpa that I never knew before.  Elliana took right to her and enjoyed the time together.  Andy was a little funny to watch as he would not get too close, but just keep a watchful eye on Grandma.  He eventually warmed up to her:)  We even made it to the zoo for an afternoon.

Also this week we were told to email AIT with a request for a date after June 18.  We did that the first second we were allowed!  This morning we received a message that said they would give us an appointment for two to three weeks from now.  That is great news!  The difficult part is that we can not buy plane tickets or anything like that because we do not know the exact date.  Hopefully, next week will be more informative.  We are so happy to have this news and now I am stop telling Elliana that is have no idea when Micah will be here.  Now I can say, "At the end of JUNE!"  It has not slowed down how many times a day she asks, but I do not think anything but having Micah home will.