Friday, April 20, 2007

A New Name for the Blog

Now that we're home and Autumn is truly a part of our family, it seems appropriate that the Blog no longer be just about her, but about the family as a whole.

We'll post about family trips and adventures, fun photos and great exploits of each of the Caley kids. Anyway, China won't let us adopt again until Alexandra grows up and leaves home (as of next month the family size limit is 4 children). Hmmmm. Maybe Viet Nam next.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Homecoming Video

With apologies to those who expect to see Bill Gaither and Friends when they hear that title.

More homecoming Pictures!

Anna and her baby sister Autumn! She does great with her--her only complaint is it's not enough time!
Alexandra--a very sweet big sister!
Aaron has always wanted to be a big brother!
My four babies!
Autumn didn't even get to enjoy a little Chick-fil-A for Alexandra's birthday!

Home Again!!

Autumn with Cousin Rachel (we met them in Detroit on our way home)
Autumn in the carseat for the first time.
Playing with Daddy!
Aaron and Anna like to push her around in the stroller before heading to school!
Autumn modeling a hat that was Alexandra's when she was a baby!

Sorry that it has taken this long to get an update from us. We arrived home on Saturday evening at 6:15. We survived the flights--a four hour, a 12 hour, and finally a one hour. Autumn was a bit restless on the long flight. However, Daddy walked her around for a bit to help.

Our kids were in great hands while we were away with Grandma. She took them places and told me while I was away that they were now "on a schedule." I just hope that I will be able to keep them on it. -:)

Autumn has adjusted well. She is sleeping good--going to sleep in the early evening (as early as

5:00 pm) and waking up around 3:30 or 4:00 for a bottle and going back to sleep with Mom and Dad in our bed. She has taken to her brother and sisters pretty well. She will let Alexandra walk around with her. Anna and Aaron push her around in the stroller before going to school. We took her to the park yesterday afternoon. She seemed to like the swing. She is finally today warming up to Grandma and Grandpa ( they are heading home tommorrow). It just takes her some time to adjust to new faces. There have obviously been many changes in her life. I am proud to say that she loves Mommy best!! She likes Watson (our dog). She will watch him and has pet him a few times. He is a bit jealous at times, but overall doing well.

Guy will be posting the homecoming video. For now here are some pictures of Autumn and family here at home! Today she is 13 months old!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Final Post From China

Well, it's hard to believe we're finally on our way home! We are ready! Today we went to the US consulate to get Autumn's visa and to take the oath for her. Though we didn't post about it here because we didn't want to raise any concerns (especially for our 3 kids waiting at home), this was a cause for serious concern over the last couple of days. People in the groups prior to us had not gotten their visas on time because of a computer glitch in D.C. these people missed their flights and may still be on standby. We were told last night we would not get our visas today and we didn't know where we were going to go to wait because the hotel was booked along with all the others in Guaungzhou for a major trade fair starting tomorrow! Plus all flights were booked solid until the 19th.

We got on the phone to Congressman Holden's staff in Lebanon PA, and everyone else started calling congressmen and sentator's offices too. I guess the pho ne lines got hot because we heard that no less than 16 senators and numerous congressmen called the state department and the Consulate in Guangzhou. There was a rumor the Secretary of State herself got involved, which wouldn't be surprising given that level of congressional interest. Anyway be the time we left for the consulate we were told all the visas but two were done and when we arrived we heard that all were done. A cheer went up from the assembled hosts (our guess is 30-50 families total.

So here's a shot of the 3 passports--2 US and one from the People's Republic of China (Autumn will have her US citizenship as soon as her visa is stamped in the US).

And here is that all important Visa.

Here is a photo of us and another couple in our group with our favorite shopkeepers, Dong and Susan and one of their employees

Here is the famous "Red Couch Photo" It's a tradition for the groups from each adoption agency to take a photo of all the children on this red couch in the lobby of the White Swan Hotel. These are the 16 from the Bethany group we traveled with. Most but not all the girls came from the same orphanage as Autumn. 3 are boys. Sorry we couldn't get one with all the girls smiling. If you can't find Autumn, she's the one on the floor in despair in the second photo.

We love and miss you all and can't wait to get up in 5 hours
at 4 am for the 25 hour journey home!

Autumn's Fan Club and Birds of a Feather!!

We went to a place called "White Cloud Mountain" today--or rather I should say I walked (Kathleen) up a mountain 1.5 miles carrying Autumn in the carrier. Guy walked carrying the backpack which weighs as much as Autumn. It was very beautiful--however, there was some fog so you couldn't see the city too good. Autumn caught the attention of lots of Chinese people during our walk--when our group stopped for a break the people would almost mob us wanting to talk and touch the babies. I imagine and hope that they are so happy that these precious babies are getting a chance to have a good life. Many of the shopkeepers around here say how lucky she is--we respond with "WE are the lucky ones."

We went to a restaurant that served Cantonese cuisine--our guide who is Cantonese told us that the Chinese have a saying that "the Cantonese will eat anything that flies but an airplane and anything with four legs but a chair." Guy and a couple of the guys from our group decided to try roast baby pigeon. It wasn't too bad--I had a small bite. When you first walk in the place they have everything in buckets--beetles, snake, toads, silkworms, aquariums with fish, and dead pigeons hanging on hooks waiting to be ordered and cooked. Very interesting to say the least!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Alexandra!!

Happy Birthday to our oldest baby, Alexandra Kathleen Caley!!! 12 years ago our first daughter was born in Springfield, Missouri at 2:25 pm during her daddy's final week at seminary. We love her so much and are very proud of the beautiful sweet spirited young lady that she has become. We know that God has a great plan for her life and are so thrilled that he chose us to be her parents. She is going to be a wonderful big sister to Autumn! Happy Birthday honey!! We will celebrate together as a family when we get home. We love you.

Alexandra and Mommy Christmas 2006

Alexandra's Baptism by her Pastor Daddy, October 2006

Alexandra and her best buddies from School!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Passing time in China

Note: The pictures for this blog were eaten by the internet. Mrs. Caley resent them so here they are. Sorry! -Matthew

We're just waiting now to get the passports for all of the babies. We toured the Chen Family Cultural & Folk Art musuem yesterday. Autumn slept through the entire thing. We found a great Thai restaurant that we went to for the last two nights. Today we did more shopping--we had a list to help us stay on track. We are ordering in Italian food tonight (I know it just doesn't seem right to do that in China). Thursday is when we have our Consulate appointment.

We are teething for tooth number 5 hence the red-eyed, snotty-nosed picture. We are headed home on Saturday. We have one more tour tomorrow morning. We are well and enjoying this time--however, anxious to get back home with our whole family. Blessings! Thanks for all of those who are posting comments. It is lots of fun checking in everyday!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Gotcha Day Video!

Note from Matthew:

Hopefully everyone can see this video right in the blog. If you are not able, here is the direct link to the video which should provide you with better results. I am "believing" that the video will work for all.

Medical Examination

Autumn with wet hair before getting her bows!

We took all of the babies today to have a physical examination in order to state that they were in good enough health to immigrate into the US. They measured their heads, did weight and height, and checked their ears and throat. Some of the babies cried--however, Autumn slept through half. That was nice!

Another baby we passed on the walk back!

A bride getting some pictures taken--one of them by us! -:)

Autumn getting a little tickle from Mommy!

It's [Really] Official!!!

This is our official adoption registration certificate. China says she belongs to us. We went yesterday to apply for her Chinese passport; this will take about 5 days. We need this done to get a visa for Autumn to come home with us. As soon as we get to the states she will be a US citizen, but until then she is a Chinese citizen with American parents. Today we go to have an immigration physical and that's it until we have the passport. The Chinese paperwork is complete, everything else is for the US.

Autumn continues to sleep well. She is laughing more and crying more(but no more than any one year old). We had a meltdown over hair bows, Autumn made it clear that she was not in favor of this and Mommy made it clear that it doesn't matter what she thinks. Both the laughing and the crying are good because she is opening up, the first day or two she was pretty flat emotionally.

She is eating consistently, but not nearly as much as she needs to. Eventually she'll get hungry enough and used to the American formula we're giving her. We've been encouraged to get her to transition because the nutrition is much better.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Flashback Beijing!!!

Our visit to the Forbidden City.

I have been making Guy take pictures of the "faces in China"--could possibly be someone with two girls--who knows!

Our rickshaw driver!

We visited a local family--this is the husband Mr. Lu. He is famous for raising fighting crickets in Beijing. This is a sport--in years past people would gamble on the cricket fight--now it is illegal (however in some places it still might be happening.) He showed us a grasshopper which are raised specifically to hear their song kind of like song birds.

Soldier on the Tian'an men Square

Tian'an men Square

Another face of China

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

End of the Harmonious Period!

Well we had our first night with Autumn. She fell asleep at 9:30 and woke up at 6:30. YEAH God!! She slept with me (mommy) in a twin bed and did great. I know all of you are thinking (you shouldn't be starting that, but we are bonding and it's OK!!!)

We had a great buffet breakfast this morning before going back to the Guangdong Adoption Office where we had a family photo taken. The period between yesterday when we got her and today when we went to the adoption office is called the "Harmonious Period." This is a time that they give you to decide whether or not you want to keep the baby. Of course you do--however, I guess that there have been some instances where some people decide they don't. We can't imagine how that could happen. We had an interview with two different officials asking us basic questions and making sure that we wanted to keep Autumn.

This is Autumn and Lilly. Lilly is a couple weeks younger than Autumn, came from the same orphanage, and will be moving with her parents to York, PA, about an hour from us.

We came home and took a great nap--woke up and toured the hotel a bit. They have a big playroom for all of the babies where Autumn enjoyed herself. We ate (all 16 families with our babies) at a great Chinese restaurant across the street from the hotel. It was only $12 per couple--super cheap.

We are now back at the hotel where Autumn is enjoying her stacking cups. She loves to feel the textures of everything.

We are able to view the blog site now and see all of your comments. Thanks. We will talk tommorrow. Love, the Caleys