We were able to meet with Beckett's birth parents while we were in Taiwan. They were so sweet and funny; what a blessing to be able to get to know them just a little bit.
They wanted to do something fun, not just sit in a restaurant and talk, so we decided to take them swimming. It was their first swimming experience (swimming is not a common activity in Taiwan), but they seemed to have a good time. After a little time in the pool, we hung out on the deck and exchanged gifts. We asked questions and expressed our gratitude (all through a translator) and they did the same. I am so thankful we got to meet them and I look forward to a continued relationship in the coming years.
Our family of four (and Columbus) holding the packet containing Beckett's visa.
Our adoption was final before we headed to Taiwan, but we still had one last hurdle to jump, our AIT appointment. AIT is the American embassy in Taiwan and they decide whether or not to issue Beckett's visa which permits him to enter the US.
We had a little bit of a scare at our appointment because they asked for a document that was sitting in a filing cabinet at home. Thankfully, my parents were able to find the document and e-mail it within an hour. As soon as AIT had the document, they issued Beckett's visa and put it in the mail. We got the visa Thursday afternoon, just before we started our journey home on Friday! :)
On our way to Taiwan, we had a long layover at LAX. We were hanging out at our gate about an hour before boarding when a random guy approached us and asked us if we would do something. He had a stuffed raccoon named Columbus that he wanted us to take to Taiwan. Columbus is supposed to be passed around from traveler to traveler in hopes of sending him to countries all over the world. I have to admit, my first thought was, "That raccoon is either full of drugs or it's actually a bomb. There is no way I'm taking it anywhere!" After giving it some more thought, we decided he probably wouldn't have made it through security if either of the above were true. So, we took our chances and agreed to take Columbus to Taiwan. We are supposed to send a letter and this picture to the class in Germany that originally sent Columbus on his journey. They will respond to us once they get our letter, kinda cool! A friend that volunteers for His Hands is headed to Thailand in a few weeks so we gave Columbus to her so she can pass him on and see where he ends up next!
We met Beckett on Thursday morning and by Thursday afternoon, I was sick! I think my body just reacted badly to the jet lag this time around because everyone else stayed well. Whatever it was, I was pretty miserable for a couple days (which is why you haven't heard much from me). Yesterday, I finally felt well enough to get out so we took a trip to the Kaohsiung Zoo. Can you believe that they only charge about a dollar to get into the zoo?!? It's a real zoo with tigers, and elephants, and lions, and they only charge ONE dollar! The weather is pretty pleasant here (equal to a warm summer day at home with humidity) and it was fun to get out and walk around after being stuck in bed.
Beckett is doing great and seems to be getting more and more comfortable each day. He wasn't crazy about taking a bottle at first, but he's pretty ok with it now. He LOVES cereal and lunges at the spoon with each bite! We are enjoying getting to know his personality and learning what makes him smile.
Caysen is doing better than we could have expected! He really seems to like Beckett and has been so patient when we aren't able to give him attention as quickly as he would like. He's been getting a lot of QT with Lance because Mama is frequently busy with Beckett (Beckett has been cared for by women only since he was born so he is taking more time to warm up to Lance). Other than being a little clingier than normal, Caysen is pretty much just being himself. It can't hurt that many of the people his aunties here have been spoiling him and giving him all the attention he could ask for.
Here is the Kaohsiung skyline from the zoo. Different, but the same. :)
And one more picture from the zoo. Some of the monkeys hang out by the trash and wait to scam on people's leftovers. You have to watch out because they are little pickpockets. ;)
We spent the weekend soaking in as much of Taiwan as we could and we're looking forward to the week ahead which includes birth-family meetings, our AIT appointment, and a few other fun adventures!
We had a long layover in LAX, but eventually we saw our plane arrive. We took Caysen for one last walk through the boarding area and then we hopped on the plane.
Caysen did so well! We put him in the bassinet after dinner (about two hours into the flight) and he slept...for 10 hours!! When he woke up, we only had two hours to go and he did great! Lance and I were both able to get sleep too. Seriously, we could not have asked for it to go any better!
After landing, we made our way through customs, picked up our bags, and found our hotel representative waiting to take us to the shuttle. I don't know what it is about the Novotel, but we've been upgraded both times we have stayed here. We ended up in a premium executive suite! Caysen was pretty excited when we got to our room!!
We managed to get a few hours of sleep and now we will get showered and ready to catch the train so we can finally meet our sweet Beckett!! In fact, we need to be downstairs to catch our shuttle to the train station in about two hours so I better get to it! Next up: Beckett in our arms!!!!
We made it to LA! Two flights down, one really long one to go!!
Caysen has been such a good traveler! Our last leg, LA to Taipei, will be the most trying (yep, it's 14 hours), but we're really hoping he will sleep for a good chunk of the time since we leave LA in the evening.
He's handsome. :)
He's handsome too! Can't wait to meet my other handsome guy in less than 36 hours!!