Friday, February 23, 2007

We are home!

Yeah! We are home. It seems like we have been gone forever and we are so grateful to be back. We are exhausted and Rosie is taking a little nap. We got home then went and picked up the dogs; it proved to be something of a nightmare as Rosie is terrified of them. She has obviously never seen a dog and she is just overwhelmed. We are praying that she will get used to them, but right now she is just so exhausted - it was just too much.

The rest of us however are so thrilled to see our dogs, we missed them so much. For some reason, I am unable to post photos, as soon as possible I will fix the problem and post some awesome photos that we got yesterday.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yippee!! Homeward Bound!

Another blessing for the Baxters. We are so thrilled and suprised to announce that the German Consulate turned over the paperwork at miraculous speeds and we picked up Rosie's visa today. On top of that, Robert called the airlines and we are able to get a flight tomorrow (Thursday) night. We are so happy. We are just exhausted and sick of being cramped in a little hotel room. We miss our routines and we really miss our dogs. We can't wait to get home.
We are so grateful all the good that comes into our lives--we are so grateful for our blessings.

Life is so good and we are all feeling more healthy now. Rosie continues to keep us in stitches and her smile makes us all go gooey. We can't wait till everyone knows her.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rosie sees her first commercial!

Rosie saw her first commercial, well the first one that she has understood. It was for some girlie toy, not sure which one, but there were little girls playing with girlie things. Rosie was so excited she got right up to the t.v. and started flapping her arms around and pointing at the t.v. and making her little monkey noises. It was so cute.

She also saw her first black people last night; the first ones I've noticed her noticing anyway. We were eating dinner but she was turned around in her high chair just staring at a black family a few tables away. It was kind of embarrasing, but I don't think they noticed. Brother, you just don't consider all the things she has never been exposed to.

We got our first full night of sleep last night and boy do we all feel much better. Also, we spent most of yesterday at the urgent care center and were all prescribed antibiotics, so I'm sure that is helping too. We have basically been in quarantine here in our dumpy little hotel room for the last 4 days; pretty unbearable for the boys - even if they don't feel so great. Anyway, we are thrilled to be on the road to recovery.

We have some wonderful news from our friends whom I've been posting about. I mentioned earlier that they decided to take a leap of faith and go home with their potentially seriously ill baby. Well, they got to LAX and got the miraculous news that she is not Hep C positive as had been marked in her medical records. We are so, so happy for them; it is another confirmation of Heavenly Father's love and grace and we are so grateful to have been a small part of their trial and subsequent miracle.

A bit of good news for us too; we were expecting a snafu with the paperwork this morning, but Robert was able to reach one of the ladies at work in Frankfurt and she went to great lengths to fax us the stuff we needed and we were able to turn in all our paperwork to the German Consulate this morning. What a relief. So far, so good. They say that it usually takes 5 days to process the visas but they noted that our travel date is on Saturday and said they would do their best to have it done by then. Oh, I do really hope so, I so much want to get home. We are praying that this part of the process goes smoothly.

We Made It

We are in the States. yea. We love America. At the airport, it smelled so good and all the restrooms had toilets in them. What a great country we have. China was wonderful but there is no place like America.

Unfortunately, we are all sick. I have laryngitis and everyone has some stage of sore throat, congestion etc, though nothing as bad as Alexander had last week. We also all have terrible jet lag. It is 11pm and Rosie just woke up after sleeping all day; she is raring to go and alert and fully active.

We somehow drug ourselves to the passport agency this morning and got Rosie's passport. We only slept 3 hours last night, we are all in a fugue-like state which I hope gets better real quick!

There is some mess up with the paperwork for the German visa which we will have to take care of on Tuesday morning because of the holiday on Monday. We really hope we don't get delayed too much. We want to get home; I miss my dogs, my friends, and my own bed. I really want to get Rosie on a normal schedule; with waking up in the same place everday, eating in the same place everyday etc. She is doing great though, except for the jet lag.

We have great news about the family with the Hep C baby. They took a leap of faith, signed the paperwork and are on their way home to SLC. We are so happy for them; it doesn't mean their baby is out of the woods yet, but they got some good preliminary news and went forward with that. They couldn't really wait for the final results to make their decision because Chinese New Year is starting and everything closes down for a while. We are so happy for them. I really feel like they have been inspired by the Lord and that He has heard the many, many prayers on their behalf. We continue to pray for them and feel so happy that they return home with their family complete.

Rosie Throws a Fit!

Well, it turns out she is a normal 2 year old afterall. She threw her first real temper tantrum today. She wanted to go in the back of the bus with the boys and I wouldn't let her. She was mad. Real mad. Yikes.

She has now discovered her brothers and she plans to do everything they do. Also, now that she is enjoying life so much, she has also decided she prefers not to go to bed. There are many things to do and see. Much to explore, plus, she often has to keep checking the toilet to see if anything is in there and if the water temperature is still okay in the bowl. Also, she has to make sure all the handles on the dressers are still in the up position. She has lots of work to do.

She is really getting picky about her food. Anything that doesn't meet her standard ends up on the floor. Interestingly enough, this food seems to be delicious if dicovered the next day under the bed or in a corner of the room somewhere.

Until today, she wouldn't wander far away from me, she would always be in hands reach, but now she likes to go running away gleefully swinging her arms for balance and chuckling all the time to herself about how clever she is. She tells lots of jokes and sings songs. Her favorite is now Patty Cake and she especially likes the part about "Marking it with a B for baby and me". I hope she never asks me what that means.

We leave China in the morning at 5:45 am. It is going to be a brutal day. 32 Hours from our hotel in GuangZhou to our hotel in Manassas. I am dreading it but oh so happy to be heading home. We leave our dear, new friends here to sort out what they are going to do about their sick baby whose test results come back on Friday. We so much wish we could fix everything for them. It is amazing how much you can come to care about people in such a short time. One of the people in our party is going to be arranging funds to help them, if anyone wants to contribute or help in any way, please contact me. Also, all prayers for Elainea will be most appreciated.

Our boys are actually quite sad to be breaking up from the other families. They have made wonderful friends with some of the other children in our group. Daniel especially is close to one of the boys his age and is so sad to be leaving him. Someday we hope to get to Alabama and catch up with them.
Five of the Six Babies. Rosie is to the far left, then Ian, Audrey, Emma and Lian. Not everyone was crazy about participating for this picture, but I think it came out pretty nice.
Mommies and Babies. We got a little more co-ordinated this time. You see the pattern? Blue, purple, Boy, Purple, Blue. Cute, huh?
Rosie, preparing for her photo shoot.

A Big morning..

Here we are getting ready to go to the consulate. This is the last step in this long paper process. Everyone is so happy and excited. The family that I mentioned previously is sadly absent and their infectious joy is badly missed this morning. Check out Rosie's t-shirt for the occasion- I think it is so clever, here is the close-up if you can't see it.
It says, 100% American Girl
Hand Wash Only
Do Not Bleach
Made in China
Photo in the White Swan Hotel Lobby
Rosie doing her Model Stance as she checks out the birds.
Rosie and Audrey, looking Native in their cute outfits.

so sad.....

I spoke last night about this amazing family whose baby is sick. They took her for screening this morning but won't get the results until Friday so they won't be leaving tonight with the rest of the group. If she is sick with Hep C, they will have to give her back to the orphanage and either refile their paperwork under "Special Needs" or wait for a referral for a new baby. We are just sick for them. Robert and 2 of the other Priesthood holders were able to give their family blessings and they have such strong faith in Christ, I'm sure they will feel the blessings from that. We are all trying to work together to strengthen them and support them and gather funds in case they have to stay here longer. Anyone who may want to help, please contact me.

Our family is doing great and so, so grateful that Rosie is healthy, we just can't imagine being faced with what this family is going through.

I will post more pix later, but in the meantime, I have a couple of blogs from 3 of the other families we are travelling with. They have lots of picutures and have been much better than I about posting details. Please check them out if you would like. They have some pictures of Rosie too.

The website is:

The username and password is:






Wednesday the 13th

We had a great day today. Wandered around during the day, did some shopping (not much, but the bargains are great here). Rosie spent almost all day playing with her brothers. It was so much fun. The game is to chase Rosie but, of course, not catch her because she is so fast and clever. She finds it hilarious. She is also having a great time playing Peek-a- Boo and is now learning the new song, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes". She pretty much has a captive audience and can make the three boys do what ever she wants. She expects this treatment, of course, so she doesn't really even appreciate it!

We are getting lots of laughs out of her the last couple of days. She just warms our hearts and turns our boys into jelly! Today, for the first time, she reached for daddy when I was holding her. How wonderful. She also says Ba Ba all the time (Daddy).

We just got the saddest news; one of the families we are travelling with has found out that their daughter has Hepatitis C. They are travelling with their bio daughter who is 4 and she has apparently been very ill her whole life. The parents are afraid to take their new daughter and potentially expose their 4 yr old daughter. I just met the mom as I was coming off the elevator and she is just despondent. Robert and I feel so awful for them. We are praying for them, but feel otherwise totally hopeless. We are supposed to go to the consulate tomorrow for the oath ceremony thing and they aren't even sure they will go or what is going on. We have been sitting here looking at Rosie in total shock. If we were to find out today she was dreadfully ill, I can't I've stated before in my posts and it may be hard to understand, she is mine. It is as if she were born to me. Seriously. I know that must sound odd, but it is true.

To all the wonderful friends who have emailed me: I am so sorry if I haven't replied yet. I have read every note and they have warmed my heart and I am so glad to know you are following our miraculous journey. I will answer everyone when I get back home and life is a little more normal.

As a side note; the Chinese people all stop and ask about Rosie -- how old is she? Where is she from? Does she have brothers? Sisters? Does she have her own room? Even the Chinese are shocked by how small she is. Anway, one of the men in our group had some cards made up in English and Chinese that say something like, "We are from America. We are adopting our daughter...." and it gives a little info about them. I think this is such a great idea. I would highly recommend it to anyone coming here for adoption purposes. Frankly, I am surprised by how interested the Chinese are in our family and in our daughter.

We are finding China very interesting but quite foreign. We will be so happy to get home! It is so wonderful to have our son back too. He literally stayed in the room and slept for 5 days and I missed having him with us. We are grateful Alexander is feeling better- it just wasn't the same without him.

Tues, Feb 13

Tomorrow we go to the Consulate for the swearing in ceremony. I can't wait!

Our good news of the day is that Alexander is finally feeling better. His fever broke this morning - thank goodness and thank God and a blessing from Robert. We were really getting scared.

Everyone else is doing pretty good. Robert has a cough and Max has a sore throat. I really think it might be the pollution here, it is terrible and sometimes difficult to breath.

I want to apologize for not posting often enough. I am so exhausted at night and also, I'm sorry for all the typos. I am not used to the laptop and sometimes I'm trying to type with Rosie on my lap. So please overlook them...

Rosie is doing great. She is getting pickier about what she eats now. She loves broccoli and tater tots and french fries. Her favorite food is still ramen style noodles and watermelon. I am not going to do anything drastic with her diet/schedule for a while. Poor kid is getting lots of changes in other ways.

She is really finally warming up to Daddy and her brothers and that is such a joy to watch. She wants to do everything her brothers do and it such a little copycat. I think the boys have finally realized they have to be careful after she observed them sliding down the banister and tried to do it herself too. She is a funny little girl and we can't believe we were ever without her. She is 100% Baxter and we all feel if she's always been a part of our family.

Monday, Feb 12

Getting a kiss from her friend Emma Powell. They used to sleep next to each other at the orphanage. Emma is actually younger than Rosie, but quite a bit bigger. In fact, Emma has been so generous and given us a few items of clothing that she could no longer use. Quite a blessing for us since everything is too big for Rosie. She is wearing a shirt here that my sister-in-law gave me. It is 18 mos and fits great. However, the pants that go with it are huge. In fact she can fit quite well into 9 mos pants.
Here we are waiting our turn at the Chinese Traveller's Medicine Clinic. This is where all the babies have to go to get cleared healthwise for their visas. It was traumatic for most of the babies. First, they get their tempuratures taken, get weighed and have their height checked. Then, they get looked at by the ENT. Rosie did not like the tongue depressor at all. Then they have an "outer genitilia" check. Rosie passed everything. She weighs 18.5 lbs and is 31 inches tall. The folks on the right in the picture are the Cummings. Their daughter is also a small 2 1/2 yrs old. Standing in the middle of us is our guide and expeditor extroidinaire; JoJo. She is awesome and has made this trip a breeze.
Here is Rosie doing "Itsy Bitsy Spider". We can't believe how quickly she learned it.
This is "Patty Cake" and she's doing it all on her own. We got a little video of her doing itsy bitsy spider and she sings while she does it. It is SO Cute.
This is in the Swan Room at the White Swan Hotel. Mattel sponsers this big play room and it is well stocked with toys. Rosie really loved it and the boys enjoyed getting to have a little room to play with her.

Sunday, Feb 11

Having fun in the pool at Sanya. We are so glad Rosie likes the water - a lot of the babies didn't.
This is right before she fell asleep on her little boat.
Finally feeling comfy with Daddy. Her shirt says "Mei Mei" which is chinese for "Little Sister".
She will finally let Alexander sort of hold her or at least sit near her. I think they actually look alike. Robert told me that the day we got Rosie an angel whispered in her ear that I'm her mommy - isn't that sweet. He may be right, she is definately at home with us.

In Guangzhou

We arrived in Guangzhou Sunday night. Sunday was beautiful. We are travelling with 5 other families. 2 other Mormon families, 1 Catholic Family, and one Minister (not sure which demonination) and one other family, don't know their religion. Anyway, we all gathered yesterday morning (Sunday) for a little informal service. Pat, the minister, said a few words and then we all shared something spiritual about adoption. It was awesome! Not only did it bring us closer to the Lord, but to each other as well. Adoption families are the best. We are so blessed to be travelling with this group. They are just the nicest people.

Arrived last night at the famous White Swan Hotel. This is where all adoptive families stay. It used to be close to the US Consulate but the Visa section has since moved. Still the White Swan it crazy. This morning at breakfast it was a sea of perhaps 200 or 300 caucasion (American all - I think) faces with little Chinese babies. Weird! We ate dinner last night at a Restaurant nearby the hotel and there were tons of "us"!

Gotta go feed Rosie will blog more later.

Our China Journey Continues......

I haven't been able to blog the last few days. I've really had my hands full with Rosie and Alexander took quite sick on Thursday. He basically hasn't eaten since then. I started giving him some antibiotics yesterday, but I think it is viral, I will probably know more tomorrow.
I also started Rosie on antibiotics. All the babies had heavy congestion when we got them - lots of coughing and rattling and also some loose stool. For Rosie I waited a couple of days to see what would happen but when she started tugging on her ears, I figured I better get the amoxicillian in her. It may be the time of year because Robert is now sick too and he never gets sick. He has a terrible cough which rips his chest apart each time he coughs. I will be so happy to get home-or at least to the States.
Even though we've met with some sickness, we are still really enjoying ourselves, it is nice just being together and admiring Rosie. I'm afraid the boys haven't gotten much of my time, but as things normalize, things should equal out a bit more.
Rosie is changing rapidly. We really think the first 2 or 3 days she was depressed. She gets this look come across her face that is like a mask dropping into place. I guess it is her coping mechanism. The last few days though she has really lightened up. We've seen lots of smiles and some laughs too. That was worrying us because they say; the first day tears, the second day smiles, the third day laughs. It took us a little longer.
Another thing that we were prepared for but hadn't anticipated how difficult it would be; her sort of rejection of anyone but me. We consider ourselves somewhat experienced with adoption and we know that one of the first rules of bonding is that the child must bond with mom - first. If she bonds with mom then she will be able to bond with others too. If she doesn't bond with mom, forget it.
However, she pretty much rejected Robert and the boys. Wouldn't let them touch her at all, would push their hands away, or turn her head away when they spoke to her. It was heart wrenching. Especially for Robert. After all the wait and anticipation, to feel so rejected was really tough. It didn't seem to comfort him much that all the other fathers were experiencing the same thing. I learned this morning that several of the fathers were actually experiencing depression. However, today we seemed to show some improvement. I noticed it with the other fathers too. Today Rosie played with Robert and let him hold her and when she became antsy at dinner, he picked her up and carried her till she calmed down. I was pleasantly surprised. We are on Day 6 with her today.
She is a little mimic and tries to do everything I do. She watches everything and everyone and then copies as best she can. Today she was singing Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes, but saying "Waa, Waa, waawaa" for the words. She also loves PeekaBoo and finds herself so amusing when she tricks one of the boys by holding a cheerio out to them and then withdrawing it at the last moment. She is a sweetheart and so adorable.
When we came to China I expected my 6 ft 6 inch husband to be the center of attention, but he has hardly created a stir. All the Chinese people want to know about Rosie. They stop and talk to her, ask us lots of questions we don't understand. When we get someone who speaks English they always ask her age and then are shocked by her size. Sigh. I guess we will have to get used to that for a while.
She is 21 months old now and I think she weighs 18 lbs. She is pretty tiny. Some of the 12 month clothes that I brought do fit her, but many are too large. She still falls down a lot and definately toddles as opposed to walking. She falls over easily like a 5 month old. Today she was sitting on the bed and just fell off; really like a small infant. When she is walking she takes lots of falls and still holds her arms out airplane style, I presume to keep her balance. She will also still loose control of her head and kind of fall backward. With all that said though, she is quite independent and wants to do everything herself. We think she is so smart and just marvel watching her learn and grow right before our eyes in such a short period of time.
We are in Sanya today. Our schedule got kind of messed up because the children's passports weren't ready in time. We leave for Guangzhou tomorrow to stay at the infamous White Swan Hotel - well known amoung adoptive families. Our consulate appt is on the 13th, we get the visas on the 14 and fly to Dulles on the 15th.
I feel like I've been on Biggest Losers the last week. You would think that being a vegetarian in China would be the easiest thing in the world but no such luck. We've had lots of difficulties. Luckily, we've had big breakfast buffets in all our hotels so Alexander, Daniel and I have tried to really fill up. Most days that has been either our only meal or very close to it. Robert and Max, on the otherhand, have been enjoying lots of fresh and delicious fish.
Thank you again to everyone who is praying for us, rooting for us and thinking about us. We can't wait for you all to see our beautiful daughter.

The Orphanage

Visiting Rosie's orphanage. This is the Haikou SWI. Notice all the boys. They said that there are about 45% boys in their orphanage. Most of them are severe Special Needs. All the kids thronged us when we walked in. It was an extremely emotional morning and I am wiped out now. These are the children who will never be adopted. They were so sad; such sad little lives.
There were some girls too but they were young. I guess this is what's left. They came up to us to be picked up and to get hugs. They seemed to be mostly unattended. The younger children had nannies, but these guys had a playground attendent.
This is Rosie's nanny. We weren't too impressed with her. Some of the nannys seemed quite affectionate but not this one. Maybe it is just cultural, but she seemed so.....rough. In the end the nanny started crying and so did Rosie and I just wanted to get out of there. I hated going but did really want to see how Rosie lived, how she was taken care of etc. This is a Half The Sky orphanage - an amazing charity organization, so it is really clean and well equipped.
Babies sleeping room. The one with the turqoise quilt over the edge is Rosie's. When she saw this room she started crying.
This is the hospital nearby the orphange. Rosie was found here on July 1, 2005. She was left out in front and then taken to the orphanage. I guess they just estimated her date of birth as May 05.


Rosie caught on to shopping real fast! She convinced Daddy to buy her this polar bear.
Here we are waiting for the second or third phase of paperwork. We came to the ministry to sign the official paper that she is legally ours.
Rosie loves her etch-a-stetch thingy. She plays with it all the time.
Here we are at the beach for the first time. She loved it. The boys went way out into the ocean swimming. Rosie and I ran along the beach and played in the sand. She had no fear of the waves and wanted to go way out there with her big brothers.
Look at that face! She is still in her pouty mood but later that day we got our first smile. Her smile could melt the hardest heart.

Rosemary Edith Baxter

Look at Daddy's happy face
That is "gogo" the dog we sent her a couple of months ago. We are in our hotel, just a few hours after getting Rosie.
Have you ever seen a more pure joy? I don't have words for my gratitude and we are all still in a sort of shocked state. Is this angel from Heaven really ours?
Our first "Family Photo". Was there every another woman more blessed? Wow. On the table are the ever present banana puffs. They saved the day!

She is ours!!

We got Rosie this morning and she is so amazing. She is quiet and shy so far. She was the only one of the 6 babies in our group who didn't cry. She just stared at us. We gave her some food and she kept eating until 11:30 tonight when I finally got her to sleep. She seems a little depressed, which is understandable - she pays attention to everything though and does not miss the tiniest thing. When I took my contact lens out and put on my glasses, she was very interested and noticed immediately. I remember recently cutting 8 inches off my hair and changing the color too; none of my boys noticed!

She is very calm and methodical. When given a bag of toys/ hair clips etc, she will dump it all out and look at it, then slowly put in all back in the bag or box. She is so smart!

The 12 mos clothes I brought for her are quite loose and some of the 9 mos stuff I borrowed from Dawnella fits just right. She is pretty tiny. She watches me everywhere I go and if I go to the bathroom or "disappear" she starts to cry. Usually if I keep talking she is okay. She got a bath today and she loved it -so, so far no problems except that she is very congested, has diarrhea and a runny nose, but she sure has a good appetite.

We love her. The boys were hanging all over her all day and they were so good as we spent the day at the civil affairs ministry getting paperwork done. The boys were so patient and they helped with the other families etc. I am so blessed. Robert is pretty thrilled too. She is still pretty clinging to me but will let Robert pick her up and play with her. She mimics him which of course cracks him up.

After her bath today, I brushed her hair and she immediately took the brush from me and started brushing her hair and then she brushed the hair of her little stuffed dog.

We love her!! I will post more tomorrow, but am bushed right now. It was such an emotional day, I wish I could share it with everyone. I wish my mom were here! I really want all of my family to know this princess - her eyes are so wise and her body so tiny. I will post pix asap.

On our way

We headed out this morning. Or ....when was it. We are in VA right now, a quick night in a hotel and we leave for China in the morning. It was so sad leaving the dogs at the kennel -- can't wait to get home with Rosie! We are all exhausted but excited.
Will try to post from China. Yippee! It still seems kind of unreal....but she will soon be in our arms!