Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hudson's first trip to America

I wish I knew what was going through his mind sometimes. This little guy went from a life having never left the orphanage to being adopted by us riding cars, buses, subways, trains, and now a plane.
The plane wasn't there yet, so he gave us his little (fake) pouty face.  It's so cute.
Yeah! The plane arrived.  He did great!  He is such a trooper!  The first flight was 15 hours and the second was 2 hours.  He started throwing up 30 minutes into the first flight and every time we hit turbulence. Poor little guy. We were about 25 minutes from landing when he asked if we could go home.  He never cried or complained.
First steps on U.S. soil! Welcome to America to our newest addition and newest U.S. citizen! We just had to get his picture when we got off the plane...and how appropriate...a store called Hudson News and one called America. Welcome home Hudson Michael Sheddan!
True to his style...posing for pictures :)
We had to start things off right with a meal at Chic-fil-A :)  I love this picture.  Brett and Josh at age 13, Hudson at age 5, and Granddad.
Brett and Hudson
Grandmommy and Hudson
Lauren and Katherine hanging out with cousin Ashley (who just had knee surgery the day before).
This guy fell in love with Aunt Kim right away.  Every time we would walk into her house or go anywhere knew, he would call out for "Ayi" So sweet.
Mammy and Hudson
Meeting Ryan for the first time...for all of us.  He was born after we went moved.  They seemed to like each other.
These sweet girls have so much fun together.
Hanging out with Michael and Shelby and their families
This guy is so silly.  He hid every time I tried to take his picture with granddad and thought it was just so funny. I'm sure he would have stopped sooner if we would stop laughing at him, but he is just so cute. it's hard not to. :)
 Granddad and Hudson
 Playing catch in the back yard.  He has a decent little arm.  I was impressed.
 Jonathan, Lauren, Hudson and Sonny
 Katherine and Sonny
 Hudson's first photo bomb. Haha! He knew exactly what he was doing and thought it was hilarious.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 5 ... Zoo Day

Today was so much fun! There were no boring appointments for the kids to sit through, and no long trips on the road, just some family bonding time. The kids were so excited about today.  It took Hudson a little while to get used to the zoo. He was not so sure what to think. He started to warm up by the time we got to the monkeys that you could feed and by the time we made it to the giraffes he was hilarious.  We made lots of great memories.  I will let the pictures tell the rest :)
 We have been to this zoo before, so we knew to rent a stroller for a tired kiddo :)
 looking at the "teenage" tigers
 a very active red panda
 Our favorite part of the zoo!

 Look at those tongues!

 All the kids wanted to do this, but it cost extra money to pet the koala.  Lauren decided she wanted to use her own money to pet it.  How fun!
 Again, used her own money to feed a baby tiger.
 So did this guy. Look at the love in his eyes.  He just loves animals so much!
He's a natural :)
 Entering the panda exhibit.  They have the world's only triplet giant pandas.  They are only 6 months old.
 The mom panda is in the background and one of the cubs is in the tire. WE saw all three of them, but could not get them all in the same picture.

 He wanted a little panda hat. I just couldn't resist :)
 So glad he had some money to spend. He picked out some little soon animals and a car.
Lauren drying her hair before bed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 4 ... Orphanage Visit

Today was the day we got to see where Hudson has grown up.  Because adoptions are completed in the Provincial capital, most families had a significant trip ahead of them to visit their child's particular orphanage.  Truthfully, I have been looking forward to this day, but also a little nervous about how Hudson would do. I just couldn't imagine what might be going through his mind to have finally gotten adopted and a family of his own, to his Ayi leaving him with us, to being with us for a couple of days, then we drive him back to where he just left.  Would he be scared? happy? nervous? Would it be traumatic?  Well, it was incredible!  He understood exactly what was going on!  It started as a very long trip, Hudson getting carsick, and the other kids itching to get out and move.  When we pulled up, he said, "Mom! Dad! It's my home!"  He wanted to hold my hand and show me around. They were very strict about where we could go and what pictures we were permitted to take, but I was so impressed with this orphanage! It was so much nicer than I ever expected.  It is new...they moved to this location a year ago.  There are 80 children at this location. We were first taken upstairs for some tea and to meet the director (very briefly) and give our bags of gifts, one bag full for the kiddos and one for the Ayis/Nannies.  We were told that Hudson had 2 or 3 close friends, so we bought little hot wheel cars that he could give specifically to them.  On our way to the building that is where the children live, we heard this choir of little voices yelling, "Fan! You came back to see us! Fan is here with his family!" As we got up the stairs to the hallway, it was the sweetest sight I have ever seen...about fifteen 5 yr olds cheering for their friend.  I wish we were allowed to video that because it was precious, but we were not allowed to take any picture with children in the photo.  They did make one exception for his 3 friends.  We were allowed to get one picture for his memory book of them standing together, but I cannot post on here.  I was also not allowed to go see his bed, but the director of the children was so nice. She took my phone and went and took a picture of his bed for me. Then she brought out his name card that labeled his bed and gave it to Hudson as a gift. We met all of his favorite people and they got to say goodbye.  I thought he would have a hard time, but it was good for him.  He went quickly to one lady in particular, but only stayed with her for a minute before calling us to hold him.  As we were leaving, he had the biggest smile and kept waving saying "Bye bye! Zai Jian!"  After seeing the orphanage, our guide, who had all of the information about where he was found (including a newspaper article and news broadcast from several months ago when they tried one last time to find any of his family or relatives), took us to see the exact place he was found.  It was very surreal.  We took picture of the exact spot and then the surrounding area.  After that, we headed back to the provincial capital.  On the ride home, Hudson was pretending to talk on the phone.  He said, "Hello? Mom? Where are you?" So I said, "I am at the zoo." He said, "The zoo?" I said, "Yes, the zoo. Where are you?" He responded, "I'm on the phone. You remember that, ok?" Funny guy.  We got back, ate some Burger King, and the kids were ALL asleep by 7:30!! HA! I guess they were tired, too!  I really thought it was close to 9:00 when we were putting them to bed, but I guess it was just after 7:00.  Oops.  They will be well rested tomorrow :)

 One of two "children's directors"
 living quarters
 He couldn't wait to show us around! He was leading the way!
 Hudson's bed
 play area
 his favorite Ayi
 a covered play area
 a poster they had hanging up showing the old orphanage and the move to the new one
 the playground
 his favorite slide

 He was found outside this clinic.
 The street in front of the clinic
 Family photo (clinic in the back)
 everyone got sucker for the long ride back!