Tuesday, May 31, 2011


We made it through the consulate appointment! WooHoo!! I can now breathe a sigh of relief!! Thank goodness I had my own copies of the update though. The guy checking our paperwork saw the address on my adoption certificate and the address on the paperwork he had was different. He asked if I had an updated I800, which I so gladly told him, "YES!, It's in the folder I just gave you." I also pointed out to him that it was emailed to the consulate last Friday. He said "No problem, I'll keep this one & check our email too." Then I signed everything that I needed to sign. He asked me to cross out our old address on the form and write in the new one. Then he gave me what I needed in order to pick up Elise's passport tomorrow with a US Visa stamped on it!! So, tomorrow at 3:30pm (which is 3:30am Indiana time) our guide will pick up Elise's passport (along with all the other kids in our travel group that are getting adopted). We will meet her in the lobby of our hotel at 4:00pm to get the passport and then get in a van headed for Hong Kong! I am so excited to be heading home! I have really enjoyed this trip. I have learned a ton about China, some good things, some not so good. I'll have to elaborate on those things when I'm home! We have made new friends that will last a lifetime. That is probably the only sad part about this journey coming to an end, I will miss the people we've traveled with, they have become friends and I do hope to see them again!

It's now Tuesday afternoon, we are heading to the hotel courtyard with everyone else in our travel group to take some pictures. We are all hanging out there tonight cause it's our last night in Guangzhou. We're gona order pizza and celebrate the journey we've taken together! (I think we've all had enough Chinese food, plus we are all just about broke!! LOL! So pizza is the cheap & easy choise!)

We did some sight seeing today, but  know you'd all rather see pics of Elise, so I took sme pictures of her today playing in the room. I think she knew it was a monumentos day, with her getting a US Visa and all, she seems very happy!! The last picture is a group photo on our sight seeing adventure today. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day in Guangzhou

So, it's Monday eveing here in Guangzhou. We spent the day shopping on Shamain Island again. We also ate lunch at Lucy's again. I bought squeaky shoes for Emmie and Elise! ( and Pam, I bought 6 pair for Reagan with the money you sent!!) I also got Elise the adoption Barbie. Believe it or not there is a blonde Barbie with a Chinese baby and you can only get it here! I can honestly say this is my first Memorial Day weekend without a cookout or family party... kind of sad :-(

We are all getting tired and worn out, including Elise! The count down is on for the trip home. I was pleased to find out that one of the families in our travel group will be on the international flight with us. Hopefully this will make the trip a little more enjoyable! It's the family of 7 that will be with us and they have been a lot of fun to hang out with. At the very least, we will have help finding the check in desk, getting to the right gate and getting through customs! At least we won't be the only white people who can't speak Mandarin! LOL!

Tomorrow morning is our consulate appointment! Please say one last prayer for us that all will go well!

And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!! I love you & miss you! Thanks for holding down the fort!!

Here are some pictures we took today of Elise in her traditional Chinese dress! Love  them! She is just so adorable.... but I'm not biased or anything! :-) 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 2 in Guangzhou

So, this is our second day in Guangzhou and we are having a lot of fun being back together with the travel group. Last night we went to a Japanese steakhouse as a group. Elise was so cute! She loved sitting there watching the cook prepare the food right in front of us. I was afraid to give her any toys for fear she would throw one on the cooking surface, so I let her play with a pair of chopsticks, which she throughly enjoyed! And she did throw it on the the hot cooking surface! Our guide thought it was hillarious, me not so much! But the cook laughed so I guess it wasn't too bad. Elise ate a TON of food! This girl can pack it away like no one I've seen before! I have no idea where she puts it all because she is so stinking little. But, she can devour asian food! She'll eat anything I put in front of her (except french fries) but she really loves asian food, and she likes it spicey!

Today we went to a folk art museum, which I wasn't real excited about going to, however it turned out to be a pretty neat place and we got my nieces & the boys a really cool souvinier! A book mark that was hand painted using fingers! Now if you think finger painting is only for Kindergarten, then wait until you see these amazing paintings! We watched the guy paint one, and it was just crazy! He only used his fingers, finger nails and the side of his hands, but you won't believe the result! It is done on white paper with black ink. He also put the kids names on each one in Chinese characters. I know Lauren (my niece, who is a budding artist) will be happy!

Later tonight we are going to Shamian Island for dinner and some shopping! My two favorite things to do! It is already Sunday afternoon here, and while we are having a great time in Guangzhou, I have started the countdown for home!! We leave here on Wednesday and head to Hong Kong! Only 2 more full days here in Guanghzou!! Please continue to pray for safe travels and for paperwork to go according to plan on Tuesday!!

Some pictures from our Japanese dinner & just cute pictures of Elise!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 1 in Guanghzou

This was our first full day in Guanghzou. I was so excited this morning to see the breakfast buffet. Finally after 8 days in China, the hotel has a breakfast buffet with pancakes, waffles & french toast and REAL syrup!!!! You might think I'm being a little dramatic but, try eating asain breakfast (or an asian hotel's attempt to make a western breakfast) for 8 days, and you'd be excited too!! We are staying at the Marriott, and I have to say, they nailed the breakfast buffet! I will survive!! LOL!!

We were also really excited to see the rest of our travel group again this morning. We were with 3 other families in Beijing, then we all seperated to go to our child's province, now we are all back together again. It's amazing how much you get to know people in just a short time. I guess because we are sharing a life changing experience together! But, it was great to see everyone with their adopted child. Two of the families are adopting infants like me, and one family is back for their second adoption and this time they are adoptig a 10 yr old girl. Everyone is doing great & it's wonderful to be with other Americans again! LOL!!

Today was the big medical exam for Elise. As far as I know she passed with flying colors, however, we are not supposed to know what the doctor writes down about her. The exam gets sent directly to the US Consulate and will be reviewed before our appointment on Tuesday. I do know that she weighed in (fully clothed) at 19 1/2 pounds, which is actually better than I thought it would be. She is 28 1/2 inches long. She is definitely short and slightly on the chubby side! She'll fit into our family just fine!! LOL!! Actually, I'm glad to see the little rolls on her. It makes me think she was well cared for & well fed!

We spent some time at the pool this afternoon. It's an outdoor pool here. I was so excited to get some sun! The weather in Guanghzou is a lot like Florida, so we are soaking up the warmth & sun! We also have a playground and playroom here, so we spent some time there too.

It's now Saturday afternnon here, and I'm off to a "paperwork party" LOL!! Where we set down with our guide and go through all of the paperwork to make sure its all ready for the consulate office. I have my updated paperwork now, so I'm breathing a sigh of relief, my agency thinks everything will be fine, but still no guarantee until that appointment on Tuesda! Keep the prayers coming!

Here are the pictures you are waiting for.....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Last Day in Nanchang & Flight to Guanghzou

So our last evening in Nanchang was really nice. We went to a lovely park and walked around. Then, we went shopping for some porcelain. I got a few samll but nice pieces for Elise. Something to give her when she is older, that I can tell her came from the province she was born in. We ate probably the best Chinese dinner I've had yet. Awesome fried rice (which Elise devored) amazing pork with a really spicey sauce to dip it in, and really good green veggie as well. Finally we went to another park on the Gan River to watch this amazing light and fountain show. It was just like the one in Vegas, only bigger and better! Really a neat show to watch.

We have now made it to Guanghzou. Woohoo!! The last leg of our trip. We will be here until Wednesday, then we will take a bus to Hong Kong. We will spend the nigt there and fly out on Thursday. As long as paperwork goes according to plan! Please continue to pray that all will go according to plan! There is still a chance we will be stuck in Guanghzou and we won't have a final answer on that until Tuesday!

Elise did great on the plane! It was only a 1 hour flight, but I'm hoping its a sign of good things to come!! LOL! Hopefully she'll do just as well on the 14 hour flight!

Here are some pics of our last day in Nanchang.....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Elise playing...

It's Thursday afternoon in Nanchang. Not much happening today. We took Elise to the pool this afternoon, and now we are getting ready to head out for an evening of sight seeing & shopping. It's been a relaxing day, but will be an eventful evening with a light-fountain show. I'm not sure what the show will be like, but I'm picturing the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas! This is our last full day in Nanchang. I'm excited to be flying out tomorrow morning to Guanghzou, which is the last leg of our trip. However, I can't help but feel a little sad for Elise. I'm taking her away from her birth place, probably forever. I know the life she will have in the US with a mommy & daddy & brothers & a sister will be so much better for her, but this is where she was born, this is her heritage, her culture. I know her birth mother is out there wondering about her, and it makes my heart hurt. I wish I could find her and tell her thank you for the sacrifice you made to give your daughter a better life. I would like her to know that Elise will be well loved & happy, in a good home with a mom & a dad.... and probably SPOILED!!! LOL!

So, here are some pictures from the past few days that I haven't posted before. The close up of Elise's feet is for my Aunt Linda, she loves baby feet!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Touring Nanchang

So, It's now Wednesday afternoon for us in Nanchang. I've had Elise for 48 hours now and she is really starting to open up. She has been glued to my side since day one, which I'm not complaining about, but today she seems more open to being set down, which is good. I think it means she's feeling more comfortable with us and not so afraid that I'm leaving. We are starting to see more of her personality. She loves for you to tickle her. She also trys really hard not to laugh! It's too cute. She is playing with the toys I brought for her more and more. She's also very curious. We are starting to hear more of her baby babble & giggles, it's so cute to hear her little voice, and I was surprised that her babble doesn't sound any different than American baby babble. I really thought it would sound different because she's heard Chinese her whole life, but I guess not, baby babble is the same in every language! She loves Skyping with all the family back home! I have to doubt that Elise is going to fit into the family just fine! I am really enjoying the time here getting to know her and bond with her, but I am getting home sick more and more everyday! Missing my family soo much!

Today we had a notary appointment & then we went to see one of the oldest and biggest pagodas in China. It was very beautiful. We took lots of pictures. I'm trying to soak up as much of Elise's culture as possible. Tomorrow, we will go to the biggest park in Nanchang, watch a fountian-light show tomorrow evening & while we are out I'll be looking for some porcelin pottery, probably a small vase. I want something nice to give her when she's older. Something that came from the place she was born.

Now, what you've been waiting for (well you probably already scrolled down and looked at them first) the pictures of our day.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More about Elise...

So, we've had Elise for over 24 hours now. She did great yesterday! The only tears were either because she was tired or hungry. She slept through the night just fine and woke up this morning with a smile! She is still soo quiet, but we are starting to see a little more of her personality. She is smiling, laughing and babbling at us. She is not too sure what to think of her Uncle Scott. I'm sure she hasn't been around men to much, and probably never seen a man with a full beard, so its a lot to take in right now. But, Uncle Scott doesn't seem to mind loving her from a distance!

We ventured out today to the local Walmart ot get formula & some snacks for Elise. I'm still amazed at the similarities, and at the differences! The smells from the meat deptartment make me want to puke! There's nothing like seeing a whole duck, beak and all, hanging there! (dead and skinned of course!!) Today we saw more varieties of meat, like squid, octupus, and LIVE turles for sale in the meat deptartment!! Really, TURTLES!!!! I didn't know people eat turtle!

Other than that, its been a pretty relaxing day. Taking it easy for a few days so Elise can get to know me, and I can get to know her. She got her first bath, and she did pretty good with it. She didn't like it when I washed her hair, but neither did any of my other kids, so I'm going to assume that's pretty normal. She loved getting rubbed down with lotion, just like her sister! She is really a great baby. I'm amazed at how quickly she has bonded with me. We can already see her sort of relaxing a bit. She didn't cry at all yesterday, but she had this concerned look on her face. Today, no concerned look, just contentment! She does have what seems to be ecxema on her face, and it seems to me to be getting a little worse. I am concerned about that, but other than that no worries, all is good!

Some pics from our day.....