Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Headed for home in the morning!!

We are headed home at 5:50 in the morning, and we are so ready! We managed to get all our stuff plus the million gifts we bought packed up and ready to go:) TN here we come. It has been a great trip in a really interesting kind of way. Lot's of really hard stuff, but not as hard as I expected. Lot's of wonderful people met and we discovered that most people in China are kind and generous and gracious and welcoming and honest.......just like everywhere else. Most of all we discovered how special it is to open our hearts to a beautiful child who needed a family and to watch her slowly begin to trust and then love and then totally open her heart to us! We miss everyone and can't wait to get back in the good old USA!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home Stretch

Gaungzhou is nice, beautiful weather, we finally got to see the sunshine! I was beginning to get seasonal affective disorder or something:) The White Swan is a nice hotel by China stnadards but the beds are the size of a match box and there is no mattress only a wooden plank, joking but that is what it feels like! Aubrey is doing great she got over the cold she had, and she has been in a great mood the last 2 days, she is warming up to Jimmy and Zach kind of slowly but loves me and Kelly. Yesterday we had a breakthrough with Jimmy she let him hold her for a couple of hours and he played with her at bed time and got her al wound up! She is a great sleeper, thank you Jesus, and goes right to sleep when you put her down. She is on a definite schedule, which should be interesting with the jet lag going home. She is a beautiful bright girl and the picture do not capture her personality....she crinkles her nose when she smiles and it is just adorable. A word or two abouthe orphanage, it was heart wrenching. They were very nice but the place was cold and institutional and the children we saw had serious special needs we took candy and some donations clothes and such and they were so thrilled, to see their little faces light up was truly amazing we were all very moved by the experience. Here are some more pics gotta run Zach is getting impatient with me being on his computer:)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ok, Enough of Zhengzhou already!!

We are getting restless and ready to move on to the next venue Guanghzou here we come in the morning! The pics below are of the Orphanage and a local school, we were moved to tears at the orphanage, I will share more later we have a fussy baby tonight she is not feeling well. One more day closer to coming home!!! Yeah!!! Being in China has changed me in many ways, it has given me a great gift more precious than I can describe, but more thank anything it makes me grateful to be an American

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Update Day 6

Pretty low key day here in China, Zhengzhou does not have a lot for Americans to do so our time here will go slowly. We are getting to know our group members very well and the hallway in our hotel has become a common gathering place. There are some very nice and very selfless people here. This experience will change your values, it certainly has mine. Somehow I always thought the world revolved around little me and my simple turns out that there is a whole great big world out there, and there are a lot of people suffering in it. I see the daily struggle the Chinese people have just to make ends meet and take care of their families and they are such gracious generous people. We passed a very old man begging in the street and gave him some money and I thought at his age he should be retired and home being cared for by loved ones. Then there were two men who had deformities one had no hands, it is just makes you realize that your small worries pale in comparison to what the vast majority of the worlds population has to endure. The shocking thing to a westerner like me is that these people are very happy with their way of life. I never thought of our family being rich and yet we are in so many ways. Aubrey is sleeping, she went to sleep last night at 7 and woke at 6:30 in the morning, she takes a two hour nap mid day (now). She eats everything she can get her hands on and is quite a little chink of lead. She gets a little fussy when she is tired or hungry but other than that she is happy all the time. She is bonding with all of us well, especially me, but she will readily go to Jimmy and loves to play with him. We got our adoption registration done this morning and received a cetificate....she is officially ours a few more steps to go and then we can come home, it could not come fast enough for me, China has its great aspects don't get me wrong, but I appreciate so much more now what we have at home in the US. Here are some more pics....

Gotcha Day- Day 5

We have our baby girl and we could not be more thrilled. Here is how it went down.....we walked as a group to the provincial office in Zhegzhou to pick up the babies and one by one they called the families in, we were they 4th family.....I could see her in the room all dressed in pink and she was so much more beautiful than I ever imagined. A family ahead of us was adopting a 12 year old who was so excited to be adopted she was abandoned at 10 and she really wanted a family, it was very moving. We were all crying and just estactic at the same time. To say we are in love with this little one is not even close. She is a very special little girl, she is healthy and happy and so loving within seconds she was kissing our cheeks. She recognized us from the book we sent and we were saying through the tears " I am your Mama, I am you BaBa, I am your brother and I love you" in chinese of course. We are so happy have to go do paperwork now. Here is a pic or two. Please ignore spelling errors, I am trying to hurry.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 4

Sorry for not updating yesterday......we had a LONG day. We toured the Great Wall of China and climbed to the top, it was tough going up and tougher coming down your legs turn into spaghetti noodles on the way down:)

We are headed to Zhenghou this morning and we get to meet Aubrey tomorrow, by the way it is an 11 hour time difference from home. We are jet lagged and have been going to bed at 7:00 here and waking up at 3:00 am......actually this morning I slept til 5 and everyone else was up for a change:) I feel rested today and am really excited about meeting our daughter!!!! In a rush this morning gotta catch a flight, here are a few pics.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lolex watches and Cucci Purses

Jimmy and Zach wanted me to add that we have been bombarded with "mosquitos" which are street vendors trying to sell us some rather tempting knockoffs:) and here is my favorite picture so far from the trip!

Day 2

We lost a day somewhere, it is Friday night here already and we are promptly going to bed as soon as I finish this post. Tired does not fully describe how we all feel but we had a great day. Our guides Barbara and George were awesome! We went to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, a great Authentic Chinese lunch and a traditional Hutoung where we had a tour of a common Chinese home, it was really neat. We also rode in Rickshaws and left a very bad tip to the driver because I can not seem to figure out the conversion from US dollars to RMB. We also saw lots of beautiful Children today and got to now some great families from our group. Kelly and I used a squaty potty which was UHH....interesting, and we saw lots of babies with thier butts hanging outof thier little split pants. So many things about China are different but people are the same wherever you go, hey thats a line from a song, I'm delerious are some pics. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We arrived in last!

We had a rather long travel day and are TIRED, but we arrived safely!!! The 14 hour flight to Korea was brutal but we made it none the worse for the wear! Should have pics to add tomorrow....we are touring the forbidden city :) We have our gotcha day in 4 days......we will be A FAMILY OF FOUR!! We are nervous but excited we have seen lots of beautiful children already and are meeting up with several other CCAI families tomorrow. Stay posted I gotta go Zach is trying to figure out how to use skype from here!



Monday, November 3, 2008

Itenarary for our trip.....

11/5 Leave U.S. for Beijing.

11/6 Arrive in Beijing
Go to the Holiday Inn Downtown Beijing. Free time. Enjoy!

11/7- Tour Beijing.

11/9 Depart Beijing for Zhengzhou on Air China flight CA1325 (11:40-13:00).
Go to the Crown Plaza Hotel. It is appropriate to tip the luggage handler about $1 per bag upon arrival.

11/10 Walk to the Registration Office to receive your child this morning. Congratulations!
Zhengzhou – The orphanage’s Children’s Department Director, Mr. Zhao, will deliver your child to you.

Sign the Guardianship Agreement. Take Registration Certificate photos at local photo shop.

11/11 Walk to the registration office to complete the Adoption Registration in the morning.
Please note that your adoption is finalized at the time of registration.
Rest or optional group shopping trip to the Lotus Center (same as Walmart) in the afternoon. Pay as you go.

11/12 Free time or rest. Optional tour may be available.

11/13 Free time or rest. Optional tour to the provincial museum. Receive your Notary documents in the afternoon.

11/14 Free time or rest. Optional tour may be available. Please ask Yisha for details. Pay as you go. Receive your child’s passport in the afternoon.

11/15 Leave Zhengzhou for Guangzhou on China Southern flight CZ3971 (10:50-12:55).
Go to the White Swan Hotel. (It is appropriate to tip the luggage handler about $2 per room upon arrival)

11/16 Sunday. Free time. Rest, tour, shop. Pay as you go.

11/17 Have your child’s visa photo and physical completed today. You will be walking to the clinic with Jocelyn. Bring supplies (water, snack, etc.). Be ready to go! Meet with Jocelyn to prepare paperwork for the Consulate appointment.

11/18 Today is your Consulate appointment.
Jocelyn will deliver your visa packets to the U.S. Consulate Adoption Unit.

11/19 Go to the U.S. Consulate to take the oath in the afternoon. Receive your child’s visa packet at the conclusion of the oath ceremony.

11/20 Please check out of your hotel room and be ready to go by the designated time.
Thanks! Leave Guangzhou for Korea on Korean Air flight KE5816 @ 8:10.Leave Korea for the