Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On our way home from Taiwan

Ted took us back to the airport early on Saturday morning, May 3. We had a few hours layover at the airport, so we found a nice children's playground where Kayla could hang out.

Picture of Kayla having fun:

Close-up of Kayla:

Kayla at San Francisco airport:

Picture from airplane of Rocky Mountains in Colorado:

Video clip of our arrival at Kansas City airport
where Austin got a first glimpse of his little
sister Kayla:

Austin and Kayla at home. Notice that Austin
gives Kayla a kiss on the check. He is such a great
big brother! :)

The Home of God's Love orphanage - truly a place of God's love!

As most of you know, we also adopted our 3 year old son from Taiwan and from the same orphanage too. For memories sake, we posted a picture of Austin at the same orphanage when we went there 3 years ago to pick him up to be part of our family:

So, it was very cool to be able to go back there to pick up our daughter this time around.

Below is a picture of The Home of God's Love
orphanage in Lo-Tung, Taiwan:

In the video clip below, you can see what the kids
at the orphanage do every night. They sing worship
songs and have a devotional.

Each night, everyone gets together to eat dinner
in the common area near the kitchen. Below is
a picture of the scene at dinnertime:

Video clip of dinnertime is below. You can see
Kayla in the highchair as Mommy gets her food:

Here is a picture of everyone who sat at our table:

Video of one of the girls helping to feed Kayla:

All of us with Ted and Bev (orphanage directors)
before we left to head back home. Kayla was
pretty upset in this picture as it was traumatic
for her to leave. Completely understandable.

Pictures/video from our trip to Taiwan

On Thursday night, May 1, we were able to bring Kayla back with us to the apartment we were staying at and she slept there in a pack n ' play. She slept very well that night, but before going to bed, Daddy Mark had some fun playing with her and making her smile and laugh.

Kayla has a very sweet laugh to her. You can hear
it in this video clip:

Kayla sleeping peacefully:

Pictures/video from our trip in Taiwan (continued)

We took off for Taiwan on April 28 and arrived in Taiwan on April 29 after roughly 18 hours of travel. Our first flight from Kansas City to San Francisco took 4 hours. We had a hour and a half layover in San Francisco and then we flew from there to Taipei, Taiwan. That flight was a very long 13 hours. We got in to Taipei at 6 pm. We went straight to the orphanage from the airport. Another family who was adopting their first child, a baby boy, was in Taiwan at the same time. They are from Altoona, Iowa, so we will get to see them sometimes when we are in Newton to visit.

We got to see Kayla that night for a little bit before she headed to bed and we did the same. We were quite tired from the trip there. We stayed at an apartment that was about 5 minutes (by car) away from the orphanage and this place was very nice for us so we could be there and bring Kayla there at times to bond with us.

The next day, Wednesday, we went to the orphanage from the apartment and got to see Kayla for a longer time. The first video below shows Shari playing with her at the orphanage. The other kids in the video used to play with Kayla everyday as they were too young to be in school and too old to be on the infant side of the orphanage. A "house mother" always watched Kayla and the other little kids. We spent most of Wednesday playing with Kayla and getting her used to us. I mean, she had to get used to this tall, weird looking man that she now called her father! :)

On Thursday, we went in to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, to have a final interview done at AIT (American Immigration Office) and after this was done, we grabbed lunch to go. We had a Taiwan delicacy called "potstickers" which are Chinese dumplings. They typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. They are very good! If you are ever at a Chinese restaurant or buffet, be sure and try them. After eating lunch, we went to go ride on a cable car that takes you way up in the air where you can get a birds-eye view of the surrounding mountains and the city of Taipei.

Kayla and Shari as we waited for a cable car:

All of us on the cable car including the family
from Altoona, Iowa with their baby boy:

Picture taken from the cable car looking out
towards the 2nd tallest building in the
world (Taipei 101). You can see the building
way off in the distance.

Remember, you can catch up with the latest
news going on with our family at our regular blog
located at http://hawkeyesinkc.wordpress.com.