"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." - Isaiah 43:5


Today was quite an adventure. Of course, when you’re only one and your whole life has just been turned upside down, everything is an adventure. Dayna went to bed very well last night. She laid down at about 7:45, played until 8:00 and didn’t get up until ten minutes before 6:00. Her parents, on the other hand, are a different story. They fell asleep at about 9:00, woke up at 10:00, and maybe got another 2 hours of sleep after that. In the last week, neither of us has slept more than 4 hours at a time.

Between Gotcha and bedtime last night, Dayna only ate 4 ounces of formula. We were a bit worried that she wasn’t eating. Never fear…she ate a plateful of scrambled eggs, half a bowl of congee (rice and water) and half a slice of watermelon for breakfast. She also discovered the joy of apple juice and banana bread this morning. It seems that while we were told that she eats from a regular bottle, it’s quite an effort for her. Eating from a spoon or our fingers is much easier.

Breakfast had to be interrupted so we could go to the Civil Affairs Office and finalize her adoption. (On Aunt Donna and Uncle Troy’s anniversary! She wore Aunt Donna’s pretty pink outfit to commemorate the event.) Once there, she was hot, sweaty, and overwhelmed. She screamed for about 45 minutes before finally conking out in her hammock. The nap was short-lived, for we got to the notary’s office and she woke up and started screaming all over again. After promising the notary and orphanage officials we will love her and never abandon or abuse her, they decided that it must be okay for us to be a family!

Since we were out and about and already had a driver, we went with Leila to the local Wal-Mart (they didn’t have Chinese Dr Thunder for Dan, but at least we tried) to buy some gifts to take to the orphanage on Wednesday. Dayna was quite content to ride in the cart and see all the sites.

(DISCLAIMER: DISGUSTING STORY) Back at the hotel, we found out that we have a lot to learn about feeding a cleft affected baby. Dayna had been snuffling all morning, and we were worried she was coming down with a cold. While wondering what to do for her (we brought a bunch of baby medicine, but nothing for colds and congestion), Dayna sneezed a plateful of scrambled eggs all over her mommy. No more snuffling! Daddy fed her lunch (a container of liquid yogurt, a hard-boiled egg white and the rest of the banana bread). They were quite content to be together. While she was eating, Alaina fell asleep. Dayna soon followed for a nice long nap.

When we all woke up, Dayna played on the bed for awhile. She seems to be delayed in several areas. Our two big victories today were watching her sit by herself (for a few minutes at a time) and rolling from her back to her stomach. She doesn’t seem to want to put anything in her mouth (but she’ll happily let us!), nor does she want to scoot, maneuver or pull herself around. We’re hoping that some free time to just explore will get her on the right track.

For dinner, we finally went out and had some authentic Chinese cuisine. Dan had some yummy garlic chicken. We’ll let the picture of Alaina’s dinner speak for itself. (And yes, she finished her meal!) Dayna ate quite a bit of rice and an entire bowl of fish soup. It seems fish is indeed a favorite of hers. (Sorry, there have been a lot of food stories today. We are just in awe of how much this kid can pack away, and how she manages to make the entire chewing/sucking/swallowing process work in spite of her cleft lip and palate.)

Then back to the hotel for a bit more playtime before bed. We finally heard her precious giggle (while smiles are still few and far between). Dayna and Mommy were playing a game of “OINK” (invented by Dayna’s cousin Ashleigh when she was three). Dayna thought this was hilarious, and kept us quite entertained.

A few last observations: Dayna can keep a steady beat (we bought a CD of Chinese children’s songs today); she is a noisy breather when she sleeps; she can cry really loud, but usually stops when food is offered; she can do some amazing tongue tricks (maybe cousin Kayshia can teach her the “clam tongue”); and sleep-deprived parents are very easily amused. Please keep your emails coming! They mean so much to us. Xie xie (Thanks)!

Foot print
We're official!
Orphanage Representative, our family, Jack in Civil Affairs
Thanks, Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Roy! I love my book.
Mommy can use chopsticks!
I just love this game!


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