Friday, November 14, 2008

Hi all - a lot has happened since our last post. Each day until today brought progress with Audrey. We hit the point where Mom was able to actually leave and go the restroom in a restaurant and Audrey wouldn't lose it. Audrey spent a few minutes on my lap and I was able to tickle her and make her (and me) laugh. She had a great day Thursday and Friday until Friday night.

Things went a different direction Friday night and today but the encouraging thing is that we know that things can and will go in the right direction. Friday night was our flight from Nanning to Guangzhou. Didn't turn out so well. Poor Deb, she's been a rock, but has had a very challenging 24 hours or so. So Deb was feeding Audrey a bottle on the plane before it took off. Well Audrey basically threw it back up all over Deb. Then she lost it seven more times (but who is counting) over the course of the flight. Since then, and all throughout today, she's been really lethargic and it feels sort of like day one again. She's thrown a few times today but hopefully it is all behind her. It is strange, after all the medical fun we've had with Janie (for those that don't know Janie was born three months early and was under two pounds at birth, but is all good now) we've had about zero stomach sickness with her. So this is a bit new to us.

This morning in Guangzhou (GZ) was the medical appointment day. This was sort of like slightly controlled chaos. The GREAT NEWS though was that they didn't hear any heart murmur for Audrey - her special need is that she has VSD (a little hole in her heart). When Audrey was a little baby they found a whole in her heart and one of the signs of VSD is a heart murmur. The specialist that listened to her didn't hear it. We're optimistic that he was correct, but still have her lined up with specialists in Portland when we get back.

Overall things are great. Our guide (Kathy) has been super and we're in our final city. The last 24 hours have been tough, but hopefully she'll sleep well tonight and rally tomorrow. Below are some photos from the last couple of days.

She's already working it.

Probably my favorite photo of the trip.

This one is pretty good too.

This is Elephant Hill up in Guilin. We hiked around this place.

Here we are in Ludiyan Cave (also called Reed Flute Cave). Amazing place.

The cave was full of these incredible shots.

Their first sister kiss on a river boat cruise. We took a bus from Nanning to Guilin. Then spent the rest of that day at Elephant Hill and the Caves. Stayed overnight in Guilin and then the next morning we did the Li Jiang river cruise through the most incredible scenary. The cruise was about 4 hours and ended in Yangshuo. We then took another bus back to Nanning.

Here's bubba with her friend Allison (from another family that adopted) on the boat.

Here was the "kitchen" on the boat. We skipped the food.

But I did try the snake wine.

Endless views like these.

Followed by some even better views...

Janie has good friends in Portland (Sammy and Lizzie) that are twins and thought it was funny that they also have twins in China.

The twins and the bear are at the People's Park in Nanning a couple of hours before we flew out.

One last shot of the happy girl. Hopefully she'll be feeling better tomorrow.


Diogenes said...


By the way, I would have tried the food AND the snake wine. I loved the snake soup in Beijing, But then that's me.

Audrey is definitely "adopting" her new family quickly! The next hurdle: Getting used to Portland temps this time of year after living in southern China. Wonder what she'll think of snow?

Grandmother Rita has been on the phone with Grandma Luann and with Aunt Bonnie ever since we saw the photos this morning!

You 4 have generated a LOT of excitement back home!

Love you all!

Grandpa John

Aus said...

Greetings Howes - great to see the meimei with her Baba! Sorry to hear that she's got 'the bug' - but it will pass I'm sure - BEST NEWS about the medical check - we got that same miracle with our first adoption!

Loved GZ - I'm sure you guys will too!

aus and family

Sue said...

We all let out a big "aaawwwww" when we saw the first picture!!! So awesome!! Janie looks so much older, she is really fitting into her big sister role, we are so proud of her. Deb looks awesome, and the pictures of Audrey--we just can't wait to meet her!! Very exciting news from the dr.
Steve is ready to try some snake wine!! The kids said it is "fear factor"!!!
Love and Hugs to you all!!!!!
Auntie Sue

Heather said...

Hello! So sorry to hear about the illness...and on the plane no less! Hopefully it is in the past and will not jump to anyone else!

It is so fun to see your photos! It brings back many, many wonderful memories! I was telling Deb about the "kitchen"! Funny huh! Jean-Paul ate on the boat but I skipped it!

Janie and Audrey look like they were made to be will be so fun to watch their relationship grow!

And finally..great news about the medical check! Amazing!

If you want some great Thai food go to the Cow and Bridge restaurant in Guangzhou!


Kilburg's said...

Today is National Adoption Day - what a wonderful gift Audrey is to the family. We just love her already! The photos are awesome & so are your stories. Can't wait to see you guys and meet Audrey!

Love & hugs to everyone,

Amy said...

That picture of John and Audrey is adorable!!! I'm so sorry that Audrey got the stomach flu bug - hopefully it is only the 24 hour flu. I love the picture of the two girls walking hand in hand, how precious!
That is awesome news from the doctor! I'm just so excited for you all.
Love you!
Auntie Amy

Collector said...

Do you think it's the same snake wine? Do they have small bottles as these ones ?

Danette said...

We are so excited for you to come home and especially to meet Audrey. The girls keep asking if they can go to Janie's and I have to remind them that she is in China.

Looks like you are seeing some fun things and bonding as a family. The Portland temps may not be as bad as Grandpa thinks. It has been a beautiful 60 degrees the last couple of days. We spent time cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn, raking leaves and a bike ride to the park.

Safe travels!

The Scales Family

K2D2 said...

Howes family! We've been thinking of you often as we knew you were making the trek to China to meet your new daughter! I finally had a chance to get on your blog and catch up on how things are going. I am so happy to hear that things are going smoothly and you are enjoying the family time and getting to know Audrey (not to mention taking in the culture!). She is beautiful! And what a great big sis Janie is!

We hope to see all of you and meet little Audrey post-holidays when we make it to Portland for a visit. All is well here in Switzerland but we miss everyone! Best wishes and safe travels back to PDX. Look forward to hearing more on the extended Howes family!

Love to you all!
Kimberly and family

Kathleen said...

Deb, you aren't officially a mom until a child throws up on you while flying. Welcome to this elite club from an honorary member.
Did John throw up on you after drinking the wine? That is a whole other club that doesn't publicly disclose its members....

Janie definitely has her "big sister" hat on....figuratively and literally!

Can't wait to talk!