Psalm: 90:09- We spend our years as a tale that is told


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ba ba Ai Ni Day

Today was an open day with no appointments and lots of good time to bond with my new sidekick (sorry Harper, Mommy felt the same way when we got you too!)

Talia was sponsored by Grace & Hope for Children so there was a representative in China that visited Talia 9 times in the two years she was in foster care. We are so fortunate because Grace & Hope gives you a CD with all the pictures of your child's past two years and also progress reports that Talia's sponsor family in the United States received. Mary Jane was able to skype and see the interaction between Talia and Sandy. We feel so blessed that Talia was in their care and we are even more blessed to have all of this information. Mary Jane asked Sandy about the foster family and she said they were very sad to see her leave but very happy for her new life. It was nice to hear this and it definitely gave us some closure. She also said that Talia's foster mom made her lots of clothes and was the best foster family to have! We obviously knew that by how well Talia is adjusting. She also said that there were three other babies and one was adopted already. Mary Jane told her that she did already know the one family and has been in contact with them. So apparently there is still one more child with the foster family that has not been adopted and I pray that there is a family out there for her. We thanked Sandy and gave her a gift for the foster mother to signify our gratitude and love for her!

After waving good bye to mommy on Skype we had our breakfast at the "Western" restaurant in the lobby. Only about a third of the items are really western, but it's always good to have fried eggs and toast! After breakfast we took a stroll through the lake park. The hotel is situated right next to it. Just a quick walk across the front yard, down some man made stone steps (that look like something out of Disney World) and onto the giant walk way on the water. There was an exercise park where Talia quickly learned the leg swinging station and then made her rounds to the rest of the areas. She made a friend along the way too with a little boy with her Dad and Mom. Down the walk way we went to soak up the sights and sounds. There were a couple of musicians playing guitar and saxophone too. We ran into another little one with her Mom. I stopped to say "hello" and told Talia to say "Ni Hao"! The mother started speaking to me in Chinese, but I smiled politely and nodded. Luckily, Harper gave me a shirt that said Ba ba in Chinese characters with the word Dad in English below it. The mother eventually saw my shirt and smiled and said, "Oh, Ba ba"!

It was very hot and very humid so we made our way back to the room after about an hour or so outside. It was good to stretch the legs and Talia seemed to have a blast! Talia has been amazing on this journey. Her foster mom has really prepared her well. We saw a movie called "Babies" before we adopted Harper. If you haven't seen it, it's a documentary on 4 babies from 4 different parts of the world growing up from birth to about 2 years old. One from Africa who lives in a straw hut on dust swept land, one from Tokyo, Japan, one from Mongolia, and one from San Francisco. I couldn't help but to think of the Tokyo baby and the African baby after adopting Talia now for only 3 days. The Tokyo baby had a lot of toys, seemed over stimulated and fussy (I think we all know who that is -- eh em, Harper -- no fault but our own of course!) While the African baby had nothing (and I mean nothing) yet the director of the movie said she was the most pleasant and joyful baby with the best disposition. Talia sure does remind me of the African baby's disposition.

Before dinner with our guide, Talia saw me getting ready and started to get nervous. Tears came out her eyes and I knew why. She didn't know if she was "leaving" again. I felt horrible so I sat on the ground with her and held her hand to my chest and kept saying "Ba ba Ai Ni" to let her know her daddy loves her. I didn't know how to say I was her forever daddy, but it's going on the list for my guide to translate for me tomorrow! She was quiet on the way to, during and after dinner. But as soon as we hit the lobby to our hotel she started to get very excited when she saw the elevator. She knew she was going back home with her Ba ba.

For any other adoptive parents I have to add in here be prepared to walk a lot in China! Our guide said the restaurant was right down the street which translates to 15 long city blocks! After dinner I said, "Lets take a taxi back" As I was sweating and I had Talia in my arms! He said in a stern voice, "Americans are spoiled. You walk with baby back"! So we walked even though I mentioned it two other times. They just pretend not to hear you! His tone was not rude. They just say what the think out loud here!

The rest of the night Talia was back to her old self bouncing off the walls and non-stop talking (what she's saying, I have no idea!)Mary Jane skyped with me and she said, "Are you sure it is bedtime? She is bouncing off the walls."  I explained to her how happy she was to be back to the hotel room with me-it is her safe haven! By the way, Harper, honey, you've got your work cut out for you! I got my first hug and kiss and it was amazing. I can't wait for Mary Jane and Harper to get the same. This little girl is truly a miracle. I can't believe I'm here with her, by myself, bringing her home. I'm here because of so many incredibly selfless, generous people around the world and our families and friends who made this journey possible for us. We wouldn't be her without their warm love and support. It's like a strong wind in the sails keeping us on course and headed towards our home port.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-Mark Twain

A lot of sightseeing photos today!
The view of the cars, mopeds and pedestrians crossing the intersection at once

hotel lobby

Happy baby girl!

The food the foster mother packed for KeKe-look at the little eggs!

I am not sure what these are but Talia loves them! At first I gave it to her to drink now I do it with a spoon-not sure how to correctly give it to her!

A picture from the scrapbook that Talia's foster mom made for her! What a lifetime treasure for Talia!

Sandy-The Grace & Hope rep. When Talia saw her she called her "A Yi" for "Auntie"
A very relaxed bike ride
The scenery of the immaculate park

The Winding Stone Staircase

She loved working out!
Talia's Chinese surname is "Hua" for "flower"

I was ready to join in!

Beautiful pathways

Lead to the Nanhu lake!

My wife use to be a wedding planner and she told me "Don't forget to take some pictures of the brides"!
Just chilling out!
Ready, set, go!!!
All sorts of boutiques along the way to dinner
Incredible skyscrapers flank the city-lots of elephants!
parks in the middle of the city
Ready to Eat! Shhh don't tell mommy but I took off my sunhat, hair bow and headband today!


  1. Todd
    Amazing, keep them coming, just love all the pictures and stories.
    Poppy & Nannie

  2. Love your blog!! Talia is just precious! Those little tubs are the Chinese form of jello! :) I lived in a Chinese foster home for 10 weeks last summer, and those treats are their absolute FAVORITE! They usually just slurp them out of the little pouch into their spoon required :) Love seeing the pics! Praying for you all!


    1. Oh Meredith I knew someone would know. I should have guessed it would be you! Thank you! She was probably staring at Todd like just give me the treat! I thought it was like jello!

  3. Todd,

    Your amazing!!!! Talia is truly a gift from God!! A little over a week and your family will all be together!!! Our God is AMAZING!!!!



  4. To think that her foster mother packed her some treats and made her a dress. That woman gets foster mother of the year!! Amazing! So glad that Talia is doing well! Talia, you're such a doll!

  5. Wonderful story and photos! So precious!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy (for 3.5 Years!)

  6. Whew. . .good thing I'm training for a half marathon ;) I better keep it up if I'm ever going to adopt from Chin.a :)
    Beautiful pictures, beautiful daughter, lovely foster mother, and awesome daddy!!!