Monday, November 10, 2008

We got her - gotcha day! Here's the first photo of Audrey Min Ann Howes. She's beautiful, healthy and feisty. What a day/night! Overall it went incredibly well. Like her big sister, she's a tough, brave girl. Here's how it all went down. After a morning shopping (at a Chinese Wal Mart) for supplies for us and for our donation to the orphanage we hopped on a bus at 2:30 to go t0 Civil Affairs to meet her. We were the third of about a dozen couples that were called. After our name was called Audrey was brought in. After that I don't remember much except a bunch of photos. Audrey did ok for a while and then it got a little too much. Then the tears came and we got to hear the power of her voice. This lasted until the bus got moving to the hotel. After that she chilled out and really, for the most part, she hasn't cried that much. Janie has helped a lot and Deb has been incredible. I haven't been able to hold her yet, hopefully today. It brings back some memories of Janie and not being able to hold her right away. Overall, an amazing day. Even better than I expected...and I had big expectations. Did I mention she's gorgeous and smart. OK, I need to run. We have to report downstairs in 90 minutes for a day of paperwork and meetings. Enjoy the pictures below. First sisters photo - these are at the Civil Affairs office.

Here's her early look towards us. Actually, it is still the look I'm receiving.

Toys helped a ton. She has fantastic motor skills and you can tell she's really quick. She spent a good hour plus on the bed playing with these toys and her big sister. Since the beginning Janie has had a buddy named Suzy that she's played with. Audrey now has hers and Janie helped name her Lilly. She is very curious and played/explored everything.

Hmmm...maybe these guys are going to be ok...

First dinner in the room. When we get more time we'll post the schedule that Audrey is supposed to be on for food and sleep. Here she did a great job eating and was more interested in trying what Janie was eating than eating hers.

Eventually, we got to hear her sweet voice and her laugh.

At Wal Mart I was giving Janie and her new friend Ally cart spinning rides and Janie looked up at me and said that when she was dizzy it was the first time all day that she wasn't thinking of baby sister. She's a proud big sister and had a very happy day.

Two "people" brought out the Audrey smile. Big sis Janie and Elmo on a box of snacks. Both made her kick her feet and laugh at different times.

She arrived dressed in three layers. The purple top you see here, some green pants and red shoes. All looked brad new. We saw one child arrived with a backpack full of her things, but Audrey just came with the clothes on her back. In some previous pictures she was holding a doll and we were hoping that would come with her but it didn't. One heartbreaker (of many) last night was when she climbed down off the bed walked over to the door (yes, she's walking well), picked up her shoes, brought them to us, and gave us a look that said why aren't these on my feet and why am I not going home. That was a bit of a tough moment.

But then the smile makes it all worth it.

So here's current state. The little one is sleeping peacefully. The big one is rolling, kicking and snoring. Here's she's almost off the bed and sleeping on the table.

Time to get ready. Hate to wake them up, but we have to. Really pleased with the amount they both slept though. Hope you enjoyed the show.


Diogenes said...

WOW!!!! Grandma Howes and I have the two most beautiful granddaughters in the world!!

Sorry you other grandparents. :-)

We cannot wait to meet her and see our Janie again. Come on December 2!!

Grandpa and Grandma Howes

Sue said...

OH MY GOSH!!! She is beautiful!!!
We cannot wait to meet her and see you all!! I'm tearing up at the computer!! How exciting for you all.
Technology is awesome, it is so great to be able to share this adventure with you from the other side of the world.
We love you all,

Amy said...

HOW AWESOME!! She is beautiful. I'm so happy that everything is going good. I just love her smile! I agree, Sue, technology is wonderful that we don't have to wait until you get back in the states to see her and how happy everyone is. Janie looks like such a proud big sister! Good luck with the paperwork - can't wait to see more pictures and read more about your trip. Love to you all!
Auntie Amy

Amy said...

She is just BEAUTIFUL, she brings tears to my eyes - you all look so happy!!!! We can't wait to see you!!!! (I'm blogging for mom and dad here! :)

Grandma LuAnn and Grandpa Darrold!

Amy said...

OK - so I can't stop looking at the pictures and reading what you wrote!!! Sam and Sophia keep looking at me like I'm crazy cause I just keep sitting at the computer crying! :) Love you all!!

Sue said...

I'm with Amy, I'm a blubbering mess!!! I'm just keep scrolling down the pictures!! John, don't worry, Chelsea looks at Steve like that too!!
Wish we could hug all of you. I am so proud of Janie! What a great big sister. And welcome to the family Lilly!!
Love you!!
Auntie Sue

Sean said...

COngrulations!!After All the days you waitted and miles you travled. JC is Right, These are two angels!!

Diogenes said...

The following is from Aunt Bonnie and Uncle George Howes:

"Congratulations! You have a beautiful daughter! Janie is such a good big sister!


George and Bonnie"

Heather said...

OMG!!! I love it! I just got back in town and checked the blog! Looks like everyone is doing great and Audrey is BEAUTIFUL!

And don't worry..Amelie also looked at Jean-Paul like that...wait...actually she would look at him and scream/cry! It gets better!

So wonderful!! Have fun!
Take travels!

Fi said...

Congratulations! I was so excited to log on and see the pictures. I am so happy for you all. Audrey is so beautiful and we can't wait to meet her. Janie looks so happy and proud and Deb it just brought tears of joy to my eyes to see the picture of you with Audrey.
fi & family

jp wong said...

Congrats! Its a tremendous thing you've done. She is a lucky girl.

When we adopted Amelie, she couldn't bear being with me. I presume because there were not any men in the orphanage. It gets better day by day. Soon you'll have that special father-daughter bond.

Look at the bright side; you'll have a more comfortable flight home.

We hope to meet her in person some day soon.


Aus said...

Such JOY - and WHAT A SMILE!! Brings back all the memories of a year or so ago - and don't worry Baba - I was treated like you for the first few days too....and now....well if she wraps herself around me any tighter I may just get crushed!!

Oh Blessings on all you guys - what a great Jeijei too!

Great joy for you here in Cincy -

aus and family

Kristin said...

We were SO excited to log on and see the pic's. She is beautiful and you all look so happy. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I was crying as I read it. Can't wait to meet Audrey and see all of you.

Good luck with the rest of the trip! Thinking about you everyday...


Sue said...

To Janie and Audrey,
We are so anxious to see you, Janie and your new little sister, Audrey. We think you are both so pretty and Janie, you will be a great big sister.
We love you both and can't wait to give you both a hug.
Grandma LuAnn and Grandpa Darrold

Kathleen said...

"sniff, sniff" i will return when i can compose myself.


Kelly said...

Hi guys!

Eli and I are so, so very happy for you. I get chills looking at the pictures. It must be such a relief to have the waiting over and Janie just looks so happy to have a sibling. Congrats and we can't wait to meet the new addition to the Howes family!

Eli and Kelly Farrell

mindy said...

Such a BIG day for you all. Thank you for sharing your journey! I'm sure Janie will be excited to show off her new sis at school. The kids have certainly been asking about her!! Take care and have a safe flight home. :) Hugs to you all.

Teacher Mindy