Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Our China Trip - It's amazing!

Hi Gladney China,

We are Brian and Jamie Howard from Fort Worth, TX. We received our precious daughter Noelle Weifen Howard on December 11, 2005 in Nanchang, Jiangxi. Noelle is from the Nanfeng SWI in Nanfeng, Jiangxi.

My husband spent many hours documenting our trip on
our blog site. It was an amazing trip and experience. Feel free to share with others.

Thanks,

Brian and Jamie Howard

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Katie - Artist's New Helper from China

Gladney Daddy Paul Reddin is an artist, in China now with his wife Monica bringing her daughter Katie home. Even still in China, Katie is already helping Daddy with his creative work. For more photos, please visit Riley's Girl.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Zoe - Derek & Jessica's China Experience

Derek and Jessica Bonesteel has faithfully recorded their experiences of China adoption with Glandey Center for Adoption in their website. Zoe's Rereral Video shows the moment they received their referral of Zoe. We got her! Here is the video catched the moment when they were united with Zoe in Chongqing. China Blog is their diary of their days in China. Derek and Jessica even let us see how Zoe's room look like with pics of Zoe's room.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Maggie's Story (3) - the Young Dancer

Maggie in Chinese folk costume.

Many china families encouraged their children to learn Chinese language and cultureal by sending them to classes. Maggie is one of them, and an exceptional one. In 2005, she was invited to perform at the celebration of International Children's Day at the Chinese Consulate General in New York. She and her close friend Suxian performed Tibetan and Mogolian dances. They did so well that won the loudest applause that day.

performed in Low Manhattan on June 18, 2006.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Magie's Story (2) - The Matching Room of CCAA?



By Agnes Horowitz


The "matching room?" Is that really how it works?? My goodness. The very term conjures up amazing images for me. It's like playing God, no matter how dramatic this sounds. In the matching room, they literally transform people's lives by the choices they make. In fact, Maggie asked me a few days ago, Mommy, what if I had been matched with a family that didn't care about my love of dance???

How on earth did they know that for us Maggie will be a dream come true? She has all of our best traits and none of the bad ones! She has my diseased mother's talent for dance, my gift for languages, my husband's gift for music, she is a bookworm as we all are - how did they do it? This choice was not accidental. We say so every single day, in amazement. The surprise has not yet worn off in six years.

Many adoptive moms say we can brag since we didn't give birth to our daughters. So, in that spirit:

Maggie takes 4 Bolshoi style ballet classes a week, on professional teenage level, in the school of a former Bolshoi ballerina/New York City Ballet principal. Miss Kozlova, along with another leading expert on young dancers, has pronounced Maggie to be a dance prodigy. They are putting her "en pointe," those painful hard toed shoes that vaguely remind me of the old Chinese footbinding! They are training her to enter a big ballet competition. We're all thrilled for her.

As for Chinese dance, Maggie claims she will never give it up no matter how it conflicts with ballet! At NYCCC, 50 Saturdays a year, she takes sword dance with Gu Bei Bei, a great master; plus 2 folk dance classes with the fabulous Hu lao shi whom you probably met at the International Children's Day event; 2 barre classes; and a Mandarin class. Last summer, we spent 3 weeks in Shanghai where Maggie studied at a leading dance academy, then we travelled around - Chengdu, 13,000 feet high mountains, panda preserve, Yangtzeh cruise (where Maggie performed solo, which she often does). We loved the entire adventure and can hardly wait to return.

Dear George, all the best to you, and your lovely wife, and thank you again for all you have been doing and are doing to make us all so happy and grateful.

Agnes Horowitz

Maggie's Story (1) - Meeting the Person Who Enriched Our Family So Deeply -

By Anges Hodolowitz

Last summer, Maggie and I spent 3 weeks in Shanghai where she participated in an intensive dance program. Then, we traveled to Chengdu where a guide drove us into the magnificent mountains and to a panda preserve where we actually played with pandas! After that, we took a Yangtzeh River cruise through the Great Gorges to the Dam and flew back to Shanghai. It was a great adventure for us and we can't wait to return, the next time heading also for Leping in Jiangxi. Maggie now feels ready.

I still can't believe that tonight I got to meet the person who enriched our family so deeply by matching us with our beloved Maggie. How many thousands of times I had wondered who it was, whose blessed hand it was, and now I met her. (To be continued)

Thank you so much, George.

Agnes Horowitz

Friday, June 02, 2006

Our China Experiences (4) - Bonding and Attachment


By Lynn Bowers

We heard that the baby might only attach to one parent. For me, as the mother, I thought I could handle it, but secretly I thought it would be my
How did we resolve the bounding issue? husband that might be shut out for a few days, never me. After all, I was the mom! As it turned out, our baby definitely showed a preference for Daddy, to the point where she was inconsolable unless she was in his arms. She would not let me feed her, or put her to bed, or calm her when she was upset. Perhaps being a woman, I might have reminded Samantha of her loss- of her birthmother, of her caregivers at the orphanage. Or maybe my husband is bigger and stronger than I am, and he might have felt safer to her during this stressful transition time.

Though I'd like to think I'm a full-fledged adult, this was extremely hard on me- more than once, I had to go outside our hotel room because I was so weepy, thinking our baby would never accept me. It's funny now that we're home in NJ, and we are so bonded and joined at the hip for most of the day. But in China, it was a different story.

We emailed Dr. Aronson a few days after getting Samantha. She suggested that perhaps "Daddy" might have to make himself scarce for a few hours- maybe go out to get a bite to eat, or walk around the hotel to give me and the baby some bonding time. We also decided that even though Daddy was the safety net for calming fears, going to sleep, and general holding, I would take on food. In other words, if Samantha wanted to eat, she was going to get the bottle and meals from me. This really worked well for us- in a few days, Samantha decided I wasn't so bad- after all, I kept giving her these warm bottles and delicious food. And maybe the show tunes I sang to her weren't so terrible either. By the time we left China, we were on our way to full acceptance for both Mom and Dad.

And now we're home and I'm still singing those show tunes to my daughter. I figure I only have a few years before we'll be listening to "her" music, and she tells us to stop playing our Chinese lullaby CD!!!

With the best wishes to all Gladney families, and thanks again to the Gladney team. (End)

Our China Experiences (3) - Seven Things We Could Not Have Survived Without


By Lynn Bowers

1. Chinese Lullaby CD

We were told the orphanage children listen to music at bedtime, and this might make our baby more comfortable. It was almost magic, and the music will soothe you as well. We've continued to play it every night since we got home as part of our bedtime routine. Ours is the Beijing Angelic Choir singing traditional Chinese lullabies- under $20 on amazon.com.

2. Drugs

I could barely lift my carry-on. For us? Airborne, cough drops, Sudafed, Advil, Visine, Alka-Seltzer Cold, Zicam, Pepto-Bismol, Benadryl and prescriptions for Cipro, Zithromax, and Xanax. For the baby? Everything that our doctor recommended. We used most of it, and with the exception of the basic pain relievers, never saw any of it in the hotel gift shops. In Changsha, our baby had to go to the Pediatric Hospital for a respiratory infection. Though this was certainly frightening to us, our guide Ashley went with us to interpret and stayed with us until Samantha's fever broke. For the rest of our stay, he was with us, or on the phone making sure everything was fine. This goes way beyond helping us with adoption paperwork, and it would be hard for us to believe we would get this level of care with another agency.

3. Laptop

Our NY doctor, Jane Aronson, was reachable by phone and email 24/7, and she got back to us immediately with instructions on what medications to give our child, and follow up with us to ensure Samantha's return to normal health. Ashley helped us buy (and use) inexpensive phone cards to call home, but it was great to send back up emails to the doctor- within 30 minutes we had a reply. We also lived for our emails- keeping in touch with our family was easier to do in the comfort of our pajamas.

4. Sneakers

Lots of walking- we even lost a few pounds while we were there!

5. Eye Cream

Pollution and lack of sleep- wow, it was amazing how quickly the dark circles came out. I brought Clarins eye cream with me, which is ridiculously expensive, but every day I was able to give myself a little pampering, and it helped ease my mind that I was appearing in public without a stitch of makeup. Who had time for that now!!!

6. Paperback Books

We didn't dare turn on the TV while the baby was sleeping in the room with us, so it was good to have something quiet to do. Journaling is a good idea but we were too tired to write, and internet service was often erratic, so books came in handy.

7. Snacks

We scoffed at the Been There, Done That crowd who said we'd tire of Chinese food. We considered ourselves NY foodies, ate ethnic food all the time and were no strangers to Chinese takeout. However, though most of our meals were quite good, it was great to have some power bars on hand when the local food seemed different than West Side Cottage on 9th Avenue!! (to be continued)