Monday, August 10, 2009

Tessa Day - The Details

We started the day with Starbucks...of course. :)

Mr. Yeh and Alex picked us up at the hotel at 11 am. I was really nervous. We drove for about two hours then stopped at a rest area to use the bathroom and to get some lunch. Mr. Yeh is very sweet and super accommodating...he pays for everything.

On to TWCA where we picked up Samantha and got Tessa's schedule. Then just a quick ride to the foster mom's house. On the way there, Samantha (who is the director of TWCA and speaks perfect English) told us that Typhoon Morakot was the worst storm they've had in 50 years. There's been a lot of devastating flooding and mudslides, so please pray for those involved. We are safe and unaffected in Taipei, but the coasts are suffering.

We pulled up to the foster mom's house and I was very nervous by now. As soon as we parked, I saw the foster mom, Mrs. Chen holding Tessa at the door. Wow. She looked SO cute. We went in and sat on the foster mom's couch. She sat by me and slowly transferred Tessa to my lap. She began to fuss a bit, so the foster mom told us to give her a rice cracker and she loved that. The foster mom told us she's a happy baby and that she sleeps in her own crib, all through the! We stayed and talked for about 20 minutes, then left. The foster mom had tears in her eyes, it was very emotional. It was very hard for me to leave...taking Tessa away from everything she had known for the past four months.

Next we went to the baby store to buy formula and all the necessities for Tessa. The diapers they told us to buy are way too big, so future families, bring your own. :) Tessa wears a Pamper's size 2. Little butt. :)

Then we went back to TWCA, where Samantha led us upstairs to a room to meet with Tessa's birth family. Five members of her birth family where there and it was extremely emotional. It's clear that a lot of people love Tessa. I won't go into the details of the meeting because that's Tessa's story, but I will tell you that we asked who named her and found out the social worker did, not her birthmom. I asked if they would like it if we named her Tessa Mei after her birth grandmother and they nodded their heads yes. So, she will be Tessa Mei. We still call her Yi-Hsiu for now, and will for awhile. And she'll always know her Taiwanese name. :)

We signed one paper, got all the stuff back I had sent, and got back in the van and drove back to Taipei. In the car, she taught us that she knows Peek-A-Boo...we were very impressed! We found out that Yi-Hsiu Lay (they say this too her a lot in the videos we got) means Where is Yi-Hsiu? So, I think her foster mom must have played peek a boo with her.

It was late by the time we got back to the hotel, so we gave her a jar of apple baby food (since she wasn't quite ready to take a bottle from us yet), a bath, and laid her down in the crib with her pacifier and little blankie from her foster mother. Amazingly enough, she babbled for about 5 minutes and fell asleep. She slept from 8 pm to 6 am without so much as a peep! I didn't sleep well because I kept expecting her to cry at least once...but nope! Yay! Let's hope this is a trend that continues.

This morning, she took a bottle...we were so relieved! She played for quite awhile and now she's napping. She's a very, very sweet, content baby and we are definitely blessed to be her parents. I'm not sure why we were chosen to be the parents of the three best kids in the world...but hey, we'll accept our fate. :)

Jake and Sara...THREE more sleeps babies!!! I can't wait to hug and hold you two!! Hugs and always.


Tanya said...

Oh my goodness . . . that video you posted is priceless! To hear her laughter is so neat. What a big day for you all. Full of joy, tears, sadness, hopes and dreams fulfilled - so many emotions! We are thinking of you nonstop!! Tanya (Glenn, Evan and Ava too)

Lori said...

Wow, I'll bet you guys were just plain whooped after that full day. I didn't realize that you would have to drive for 2 hours to go get her?

I've been following the news about the typhoon, which is now wreaking havoc in China. I'm glad you guys are okay!!

Tomorrow is my day with your kiddos. I think I'll take them to Subway and the kids' museum and see how we (or I) do! :D

Give Tessa a smoochie from me! :) And I'm SO happy for you that she's laid back and sleeps thru the night. WOW!!!!

Lori said...

Congratulations!!! Tessa is absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful gift to meet her birthfamily. So happy for you guys! Enjoy the time left snuggling with your sweet Tessa!
Lori (revvie1)

Robin said...

Wow. What an amazing day. Thank you for sharing. I am so happy that everything went well. How great that she slept through the night. It is so wonderful that you were able to meet so many members of Tessa's birth family. How nice that you are able to use a family name for her too.

Jim and Juleen said...

Congratulations!!! Glad to hear you are safe and that Tessa is doing so wonderfully! I hope the rest of your journey is as blessed as the first day with her was!!!

Shana said...

Oh my, that peek-a-boo video if priceless! Huge congrats on getting Tess, she is beautiful! And it seems to have gone great for you guys. How wonderful that she slept through the night. What a beautiful family!

Katie said...

Amazing Day! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Carina said...

Congratulations Michelle & family on your beautiful Tessa!
What an amazing day you had!
I've been thinking about you with the news on the typhoon & haven't been able to check your progress due to an internet fault. Glad to hear you are all OK.
Enjoy your last days there before you take your baby girl home!
Take care

Elena said...

Congratulations!!!!! How emotional the meetings with the birth and foster family. This beautiful girl is definitely very loved :) And the peek-a-boo video... so cool!!

QingLu Mama said...

Michelle, I am so happy to hear how wonderful your first meeting with Tessa Mei went! How wonderful you met the birth family too!
And I just adore that video, she is so adorable! I bet her big Bro & Sis are very excited to meet her!
Safe travels

Lisa said...

OH MY GOSH....I have been away and just KNEW I would miss your Tessa day...what a delight to find all of this blessed news waiting!

I am so incredibly thrilled for your family and she is just an absolute doll! AND she sounds like a dream baby too!

AND Michelle.....Mrs. Chen was our Foster Mama too!! Well, Tyler Pei-En's but you know just what I mean!
Our babies have been in very capable and loving hands while we all waited....we just feel Tyler had amazing care with this angel!

Now our babies and families have something special in common. I also know of another family whose baby girl was with Mrs. Chen and they traveled in April. Your girls may have been together. When you get home and get settled we can share the details if you wish!

For now, please know how happy I am for you all...continue to relish this special time and thank you for sharing so much of your joy!!
HUGS! Lisa

Kari J said...

Congratulaions, it sounds like Tessa is adjusting well. I heard about the Typhoon on the news yesterday after reading it on your blog. It did say the worst in 50 years. I am very glad it is not affecting you. I pray for a continued and happy bonding with Tessa.

Anonymous said...

Awww - what a great story. I am so glad that everything is going so well for you.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

John, Kristi, Isabel, and Silas said...

CONGRATULATIONS Newman Family! Sounds like a wonderful first day with little Tessa in your arms! She is just precious...savor each day in her birthland! What a gift! Can't wait to meet your new bundle! God's blessings! Kristi

Chris said...

Such a wonderful day for all of you guys-Tessa is just a gem-you guys are truly blessed
and what an amazing meeting with birth family and foster mom-
sure hope you guys have a quick trip to AIT and a great flight home!!

Joe and Jane said...

Oh to have a good sleeper! Hurray! And to have met her birth family is obviously priceless. So glad you were able to do that. Thrilled that things are going so well!

Tami said...

Congrats!!! Tessa is so beautiful and sounds very happy. I have no idea how they get babies to sleep in Taiwan. Anna would sleep for 14 hours strait. We should figure out their secret and sell a book.
What a precious gift that you met the birth family. Enjoy the rest of your Taiwan.

Terry said...

Congratulations for your Tessa Day! She is absolutely beautiful and soooo happy! I love the video too. Sounds like she is adjusting and sleeping well. I think that's awesome to include a part of her family in her name. Wow, so emotional, happy tears are building. :-) Can't wait to see more pictures of your smiling daughter with her big brother and sister.
Happy Family Day!