Our Journey to Bring Our Son Home . . .

June 30, 2009

Adoption Day

Today we received our official adoption certificate. After a short ride to the Registrar's office and lunch, we attempted a nap again. We both laid down on a bed and Brett crawled up too. He immediately began sucking his finger, indicating he was tired, but soon spotted Thomas the Train on the floor and was down again. The good news is we had fun playing. We ended our afternoon with none other than a trip to Wal-Mart for supplies and drinks. Brett fell asleep on the bus ride and missed most of the excitement. Interesting to see the raw, unwrapped chicken on the ice tables for shoppers to pick up and the exotic dishes in the deli window. Most of the meats include either the head or feet still attached not to mention the entire pig hanging in the open air. Yummy!
It is near impossible not to fall in love with this little guy. He seems to capture the hearts of many with his smile and giggles. We ended our day with some PB&J and noodles in our room. Of course a bath followed and we pray for another great night of sleep.

June 29, 2009

Family Day - part 2

Brett adjusted well today. The highlights of his evening included having his footprint taken for our adoption paperwork, playing ball in the hallway with the other kids in our group, getting a bath, and Skyping with the grandparents and Uncle Scott and Aunt Melissa. (Sorry we woke you Melissa and Scott.) Brett is giving hugs, kisses, and saying quite a few English words. He seems to understand most of what we tell him between his English, our few Chinese phrases, and some sign language. We've learned he loves to look out windows, joke around, giggle, eat french fries, splash in the bath, suck his pointer finger during sleep, and just plain look cute!
We're adding a few more items for your viewing pleasure, but we are off to bed after one exciting day. Brett is peacefully sleeping as post this.
Good Night (Abigail, sorry we confused you about the night/day differences here.)

Brett's Family Day Part I

While I have a few minutes, I wanted to post a quick update. Russ will try to upload some video later tonight and fill in some details.
This morning we left the hotel around 9:40 to go to the Civil Affairs Office. Six of our eight families were receiving their children there. Four of the children arrived right away. We had to wait for almost an hour along with another family. Boy, I thought the last year was tough! Our guide called to check on their status and told us Brett was crying in the car. Why did she have to tell us that? Tears started right away as I knew he had been taken from his nanny at New Day. His home orphanage wanted to be the ones to deliver him to us.
Finally, the van pulled up, and Brett was hysterical. Poor little guy was overwhelmed without a familiar face. He went to me right away, and we calmed him down with our poor Chinese and some M&Ms. He even shared with us and anyone within arms reach.
After our quick reunion, we headed for the family photo for his adoption paperwork tomorrow and back to the hotel. By this time, Brett was over-stimulated by the noise and events from our walk home. Upon entering the room, he found his suitcase and proceeded to pick out a Cars shirt and underwear. (Addison, you have a buddy here!) We then played with every car and train in our suitcase until Russ got out the Bugles. Boy was Brett amused with food you could play with. He had a Bugle on each finger. We later ordered some noodles for Brett. He settled for a banana and french fries. Like Abigail, he loves ketchup and finished it off with a spoon. Better head to Sam's for Ketchup!
Nap time was a no-go. He became very upset and wanted out of the room. We decided a nap was not necessary today and started to sing ABCs. He sang right along with us until he noticed the phone. He has "pretend" called his sisters and half of his friends I am sure.
Brett has the sweetest voice, cutest laugh, and the biggest heart. No matter what he is eating, he tries to share. So far, he seems comfortable with both Russ and I. We hope this continues as he is one heavy boy to carry without a break. We'll try to get him on the scale later today.
We thank God this long journey has ended and pray for our new journey ahead of us. We look forward to updating more later. We are off for more paperwork. My apologies for any errors in this rushed post.

June 28, 2009

In Henan

We arrived safely in Henan yesterday afternoon. It is now 4:45 Monday morning, and we are already pacing the floor. We leave the hotel at 9:40 to head to the civil affairs office to receive Brett. We pray he had a good trip here, and the transition goes well. Next post will be more exciting!

June 27, 2009

Our Visit with Brett and New Day

Because of less than consistent Internet connections while at New Day, this post covers both Friday and Saturday.
Well, I’m not sure where to start. I guess the primary thing that everyone wants to know is that we meet Brett and were able to spend two days with him before the actual adoption. He is a very happy little boy, who is all boy. Needless to say, we are completely in love.
We meet Brett in his pre-school class and completely disrupted any teaching that was going on. In addition to Cindy and I, there was probably about 10-12 New Day employees and interns that either preceded us or followed us into Brett’s classroom so that they could see him meeting us. We brought about 20 coloring books and 12 horns for Brett to share with his classmates. Brett is an assume sharer. He handed out the coloring books and horns to everyone without much prompting. At first Brett really only sat with Cindy, but after I showed him the screen for the video camera, we became pals. After a little bit of play time, class started back up with music time. Brett and Cindy sat in the back row, both singing right along with the songs. Then the class moved on to snack time. Brett shared his animal crackers with both “Mama” and “Baba” – what a special moment. Next, Brett and I worked the lacing cards. When Brett and I turned lacing into a game to see if I could lace his hand and foot to the card, I really received some big smiles.
And now for the story that says that Brett is a true Bolton! Lunch was a very large pile of sweet and sour chicken that was intended for Cindy and I to split. Brett was allowed to sit with us and eat his lunch. When Brett saw the chicken, he handed Cindy his bowl of rice and said “For Mama” and then ate almost the full plate. Cindy and I only had a couple of bites.
The rest of the afternoon was spent playing in the playroom with all of the children of New Day. At the end of the day, we just wanted to bring all the children home with us. You just cannot imagine the love and dedication that the New Day staff has for the children.
Saturday was a simplified schedule for the children, and mostly consisted of play time, inside and out. We enjoyed watching Brett maneuver around the home, interacting with his friends, and the trust he showed in his nannies. Brett loves to help others. Each time his friend Liam needed a breathing treatment, Brett would hold his mask for him. He was often seen sharing his treats and checking on others. During his nap, we had the pleasure of spending some more time with the Brennenmans. They have led one amazing journey to New Day.
After a while playing with us, Brett would go check on his nanny. We were touched by the love he has been given here. When it was time for us to leave, Brett wanted to leave with us. Although it was hard to leave, we feel he knows who we are and has allowed us in his heart already. We can’t wait to hold him again Monday morning!

June 26, 2009

Message from Cindy

The sporadic internet connection at New Day is keeping Cindy and Russ from posting, but I got a brief message from her to pass along. They will post when they return to their hotel, so we should see an update by tomorrow.

From Cindy:

Brett is doing great. We just need an extra job to feed this boy! Addison and Kate will love him. He is ALL boy and very protective of others.

Sounds great! Now let's see that handsome guy!

Lucky Mama to Kate and Addison
Proud Aunt to Abigail, Brett and Chloe :-)

June 25, 2009

We are now in Beijing

After a long flight, we are now in Beijing. After working on the luggage for about an our to make sure each bag was under the 50 pound mark, Cindy has now re-organized each of the three bags so that it contains the proper items - our clothes, the New Day donation, and Brett's clothes.

Apparently, I shifted too much of the items between the bags to even out the weight that I messed with Cindy's OCD tendencies.

When we head out for Brett's home orphanage, I guess I will have to shift things around again. This time it should be much easier because the New Day donations will have already been delivered.

For those that followed us on our trip to get Chloe, I posted some pictures of our flight over the North Pole. This time, I didn't take any pictures as it was just too bright outside the plane. With the summer solstice just passing, it is light 24 hours a day, so all that would have been seen is ice.

I will have to say that Continental's in flight entertainment system was a great way to pass the day. It had a selection of about 240 different movies - some old and quite a few new - plus a large number of prime time shows.

As far as we know, our entire flight passed through the N1H1 medical screens without any issues. That was our biggest fear that someone on the plane would be sick causing others, including us to be placed into quarantine.

Tomorrow, we are off to New Day Foster Home to meet Brett. We will post pictures in our next update.


June 22, 2009

Transitioning . . .

Well, we spent our last weekend together as a family of four and look forward to our journey this coming week to bring Brett home. Thank you all for the many gifts, donations for New Day, and prayers!

While I prepare to go through a box of tissue after my parents pick up the girls, I know they are in good hands. Granny, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, and Aunt Jen have all planned great adventures and surprises.
Granny is making the girls a nice calendar filled with activities and giving them a chance to mark the days until our return, Nana has marked out where the new Slip and Slide will go, and Aunt Jen has plans for a Luau. In between, we'll be checking in and Skyping with them from China.

We hope you will all follow our journey. Here is our general schedule:

Jun24th: Leave Orlando
June 25th: Arrive in Beijing
June 26th-27th: Visit New Day and deliver our donations
June 28th: Leave for Henan
June 29th: Family Day
June 30th: Official Adoption Day
July 3rd: Leave for Guangzhou
July 4th-10th: Brett's physical, Consulate appointment, etc.
July 10th: Leave Guangzhou
July 11th: Arrive home in Orlando at 9:05am!!!!

June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday/Father's Day!

Happy Birthday and Happy Father’s Day to my best friend! For those who know us well, it isn’t a secret that my husband has the patience of a saint. I’m definitely strong-willed and stubborn at times. My mother often reminds me, “You better hold on to him.” Russ loves me unconditionally. Above all, he is the best Daddy! He plays on the floor, gives the girls baths, and even plays dress-up. I fall in love more and more with him each day.
Russ, I thank God for you each day!

June 10, 2009

Travel Dates

We will leave on June 24th and return to Orlando on July 11th! We can hardly believe this long-awaited day has arrived! More details to come . . .

June 3, 2009


Next week will be the one year anniversary since we first laid eyes on our son. After a long process with US immigration and new Hague requirements, we finally received news that our TA is on the way. We will hopefully have confirmed travel dates next week, but our agency hopes we will leave around the 24th of June. Praise God through whom all Blessings Flow!

Above is a recent photo I received from a special angel at New Day. Needless to say, we are extremely excited and in high gear to prepare everyone for this huge transition. We'll post when we have firm dates.