Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I keep meaning to update the blog, but I told myself that it would have to wait until I finished unpacking.... I still have a duffel and backpack to go... hopefully I'll get around to them today (or at least in the next month or so) but I didn't want to wait so long that I'd forget some of the details of our trip and first few days home.  Anyway, because it was the peak of the travel season in China, and we bought tickets with so little notice, the return ticket prices were crazy high.  That meant for our return trip we could have a really long trip coming home, because of layovers, or pay thousands of dollars more to shave 8 hours off of the trip.  Ryan and I decided we'd tough it up to save the money... because we're crazy tough, or just crazy.  Our trip home, including rides to and from the airport, took 31 hours!  The crazy part was that, because of the time difference, we left early Friday morning in China and got home Friday night.  It was the longest day of our lives!

Jordan, on the van ride to the airport, getting one of his last looks at his birth country before leaving to his new home.

Taking it in.

We had to wake up at 4:45am to make our flight.  In her sleepy state, Kaitlyn put her shorts on over her pajama pants and pushed the pajamas up underneath.  Ryan and I didn't know this until we were walking into the airport and a green polka-dot pant leg dropped out of her shorts.  We thought it was hilarious, but Kaitlyn was too tired and embarrassed to see the humor of the situation. 

After I took Kaitlyn to the bathroom to take her pjs off, she perked back up and was much happier.

2 1/2 hours in, we were already tired.

Our first flight from Guangzhou to Beijing was pretty rough.

After a "quick" 2 1/2 hour layover, we had our long flight: Beijing to LA.  And it was just that... long.  Jordan had a few melt down moments but slept quite a bit and really did much better than we had expected he would.  Of course I can say that since Ryan, being "the chosen one", had him 3/4 of the time, including having to hold him through all of his naps.  I did a lot of walking up and down the aisles of the plane with Jordan, which resulted in two days of terrible motion sickness, but kept Jordan happy.  It also helped me make up some ground in "chosen" status and Jordan even let me feed him a bottle.

Just watching some Chinese Mickey Mouse to pass some time.

In LA we had to go through customs and stop in this room where Jordan was granted U.S. citizenship!

After a brutal 6 1/2 hour layover in LA, in which Ryan and I kept asking each other if the earth was shaking, or if it was just us, (you never know in California) we were so happy to finally make it to Salt Lake City!

This kid was a beautiful mess by the time we got home.

Still smiling 30 hours into the day.  The girls were amazing troupers.

I was dreading the car ride home.  It was Jordan's first time being restrained in a car seat.  And with him already not loving cars, I expected him to hate being stuck in a car seat, not in our arms.  Yes, if you didn't notice in earlier posts... no car seats in China, even if you wanted to, there are rarely seat belts to install them so we were told to leave the car seat at home.  It felt crazy at first, especially considering the wild Chinese driving, but after awhile we didn't even think about it.  Anyway, Jordan was completely chill in a car seat and has been on the few quick trips we've made since then.  Yay!

Watching the reunion of our children was one of the most joyous moments of my life.  The kids ran into each others arms and laughed and hugged and laughed some more.  The boys marveled over Jordan and the girls marveled over how much bigger the boys seemed after spending so much time with tiny Jordan.  I wish I would have thought to have the video camera ready.  I know my kids love each other, but they are typical kids and fight their fair share.  Apparently if we want to see this kind of love, we need to keep them apart more often.  Anyway, here is a picture of the "big brothers" with some of the gifts we brought them.  We told Enoch these were Chinese Opera masks and he belted "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!"  Haha... wrong kind of opera kid.

I was so ready to get home and start eating good food again (oh how we missed fresh produce!) but Jordan had a rough first night sleep and I was so exhausted and still motion sick, so when Maddie offered to make lunch for the kids for lunch the next day, I happily took her up on the offer, even if it was just Macaroni and Cheese.  And who would have guessed, Jordan likes Mac and Cheese?  Someone told me Asians don't like cheesy stuff.  This is not the case for Jordan.

Food is becoming an issue with Jordan.  At first I was amazed at how easily he put food in his mouth, unlike Mason.  But Jordan is getting trickier and trickier to feed.  He will eat, but is very particular about what food he will eat and when and how he will eat it.  He will NOT let me feed him anything other than his bottle.  I can't slip food in his mouth when he is distracted like I have always done with Mason.  And if he sees something he wants, the little stinker won't eat anything else until he gets what he wants and will toss what he does have overboard in hope of getting something else.  Even if he has a piece of banana in his hand, he will not eat it if he wants the banana in Enoch's hand.  Sometimes the problem is that I didn't give him the right amount of something.  If he wants more than the few raisins left on his tray, he won't eat any of them until he has more on his tray. Then he'll eat a few and then start tossing what he has for something new and most of the time it's a guessing game as to what that something new might be.  I get out multiple choices and rotate through asking what he wants for his next bite.  He'll act like he is completely done with one item, but after he gets three bites of something else, he'll be ready for it again.  We're getting better at communication with some signs, but meal times have been drawn out and frustrating because I know how important it is to get a child with Russell Silver Syndrome to eat enough and when I'm this tired, it's hard to be patient.  Finally, after reminding myself over and over that it will be okay and the more we get to know Jordan, the better we'll be able to understand what he wants, I've been able to relax some about his eating.  I mean, really, look at the picture above.  Two RSS kids sitting next to each other, actually putting food in their mouths... if you know anything about RSS, that is pretty amazing.  Mason has come such a long way, and he was much harder to feed than Jordan is now.  I need to remember that!

Upon inspecting our house when we got home, look what we found above our front door... a Swallow's Nest.  Does anyone remember the name of Jordan's most recent foster care organization?  That's right, the Swallow's Nest!!  Seriously!?  The swallows marked his new home.

The Swallows weren't the only ones making themselves at home on our porch.  Check out this impressive spiderweb that went up in our absence.  I think Charlotte herself might have spun it.

Our friends made an awesome welcome home poster, actually they made two.  (and my sweet sister's family heart attacked our garage as well)  Unfortunately, when the garage door opened, it tore them up.  I didn't get around to trying to take a picture until the next day.  Sadly, this was all that was left when I finally got a picture of our fun welcoming.  We were also greeted by groceries purchased by both our home teacher and my parents.  And my dear sister ran to the store for motion sickness medicine and more fruit that night.  It was so nice to not have to worry about running to the store early the next morning! 

Sadly, I've taken very few photos of Jordan's first few days at home.  We've had a lot of fun but have also been completely exhausted.  The first time Jordan went outside and played on the grass and his first time playing on the swing set, I was too tired to run upstairs for the camera.  I've missed a lot of pictures of him playing with and getting to know his siblings.  But my tired self is okay with that.  We have a lifetime to take more pictures, and for now, the fun memories will do.  In China, with the exception of a few nights, Jordan went to sleep fairly easily on his own.  At home, he has really been fighting it and sometimes waking up crying multiple times a night.  I think a combination of jet lag and teething are to blame.  Jet lag is hard no matter what, but it is so much harder to deal with when you are up in the night with a little one.  We're slowly working on getting this kid on a schedule suitable for this timezone and have made progress  He slept 10pm to 10am last night!  I thought I was making progress on getting past the jet lag yesterday so I let myself take a fantastic nap, but it totally backfired when I couldn't go to sleep until 5am... almost bedtime in China.  So I only got a couple hours of sleep before I had to get up to get the kids ready for school.  Ugh.  And on the night that Jordan slept so well!  But I can't complain too much because I at least get to hang out at home and just try to survive the day without sleep.  After only two days at home, Ryan had to go back to work as a teacher.  I've never tried to teach Jr. High School students while jet lagged, but I don't think it would go well if I attempted it.  I really feel for Ryan.

After days of putting off unpacking, in favor of trying to keep the house somewhat clean, the family fed, and playing with Jordan, I purposely left my suitcase open on my bed so I would have to unpack it before going to bed.  Luckily, Jordan climbed in and started to "help" me unpack it because otherwise I probably would have just put it back on the floor for another day, but once he got me started, I finally unpacked that suitcase.  I need to have him help me with those last two bags.  I couldn't ask for a cuter helper!

Jordan found Mason's favorite hiding spot!  He is having such a great time exploring his new home.  We all adore Jordan immensely... okay, maybe not Mason yet, but Mason was thrilled to know that he will never have to sleep in the port-a-crib again and appreciates Jordan for taking his spot as the baby of the family, but other than that, he hasn't paid much attention to Jordan.  The rest of us can't get enough of him.  Jordan is happy and chill pretty much all the time, with the exception of when it's time to sleep or when we can't read his mind at mealtime.  He is quickly settling into our family and now lets Ryan and I both share the "chosen one" status.  Jordan's smiles are contagious and he is generous with his giggles, kisses and affection.  I can't even begin to express how much fun he is and how much we love him.  Even though this transition has been exhausting, we are so very, very happy to have Jordan home!


  1. Yay!!!! So excited for you all! Glad to see you made it and are winding down and also gearing up for the new school year- ack, crazy times! We think of you all often & cherish our china memories too ;)

  2. So good to see him in your home with the whole family!