Friday, June 29, 2012

Saturday 6/30 Guangzhou

We were busy so we missed a day.  Friday we received Emily's passport at 3:30 and had to rush to the airport to catch our plane at 5:55.  When they say the departure time is 5:55 they mean the plane actually takes off at 5:55, we were in the air at 5:55.  The airport was crowded and we had to take a bus to the plane and walk up the stairs to get onto the plane while baking in the 95 degree heat.  We were traveling with a family from New Hope Pa so it helped having people doing the same thing as we are.  Emily did very well on her first flight even with the turbulence.  When we got to Guangzhou we met our guide that we had for Sarah's adoption and that was nice to see someone we knew.  She recognized us right away, she is a very helpful guide.

We are staying at the Garden Hotel this time, what a nice place.  We thought the White Swan was nice 2 years ago, I think this is a nicer hotel.  We have a suite which is great, Emily can play on the floor and is not confined to playing on the bed.  As you can see by the picture it could be a romantic get away if we had no kids.  That is a 5' x 6' window from the bedroom to the bathroom overlooking the tub and shower.  There is a curtain that comes down.  Of course I had to raise the curtain while Linda was in the shower, husbands and wives just don't have the same sense of humor, I thought it was funny.  

Emily had her medical exam today, what a difference from 2 years ago.  We went to a new building and our guide wanted us there for the first appointment and we were first.  There was no one else there, we were in and out in 15 minutes.  The one doctor looked at Sarah's hand and told our guide he had seen her before.  He was intrigued by he surgery to separate her thumb.  Emily did well except when it came to the doctor looking in her mouth.  We handed over our paperwork to our guide and have the rest of the day off.  we walked around town for a little while and had lunch.  Tomorrow we will take a tour and have free time in the afternoon.  Monday we need to be in the lobby at 7:50 am, not going to be easy with 3 girls.  We then go to the US consulate for the swearing in and dropping off the forms for Emily's visa.  We will then receive her visa on Tuesday and head home on Wednesday.  

We will be heading to the pool now, Emily likes to be in the pool but has a bad time in the tub.  Sarah is getting jealous of her little sister getting so much mommy time and Sarah is stuck with Baba.  Our guide even tried to bribe Emily with candy to have me hold her but she is still crying when I pick her up.  She will at least play and laugh with Sarah in front of me now.  We will update more later or tomorrow.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Green Mountain and first carry

Today we ventured out into the jungle to tour Green Mountain.  It was entirely too hot for me but we had a good time.  Sarah and Guy walked to the top of the pagoda and took pictures while I melted at the bottom with Emily.  Guy was taking the pictures and didn't take one picture of the outside of the pagoda.  Sarah played a violin with a man at the top. Emily really enjoys being outside and had fun walking around.  Twice she let Baba get her out of the van and even let him carry her in to the hotel.  She is slowly warming up to him but still on my lap constantly which would be nice if she weren't so heavy.  Once she does warm up and come out of her shell she is real handful and very smart.  Yesterday she surprised me by singing a song in Mandarin with Sarah.  Today they both sang two songs together in Mandarin while we rode in the van.  They both love music.  Tomorrow will be tough day as we will leave Emily's Province on her first airplane trip.  We travel to Guangzhou which is a short flight but it appears it is even hotter there. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday 6,27

Long day of crying for Emily.  She is very upset with me, she cries when I come near her and sometimes just when I look at her.  When I went to the grocery store Linda said she was running around and singing with Sarah.  As soon as I came back to the room she started crying.  When I came back with dinner she was not as mad at me and let me feed her a little.  

We don't think she ever had a regular bath as she will not sit in the tube, even with Linda in with her.  Emily has been potty trained already, she cries to let us know she has to go.  We have had a diaper on her but it has not been wet at all even when she sleeps for 9 hours at night.   That will be nice if she does not regress when we get home.  As soon as she is done she hops off the potty.  

Sarah and I went back to the Peoples Park today while Emily had a nap.  We fed the fish again, there is a huge lake filled with Koi and Sarah loves when the fish are jumping all over each other to get the food, especially when they splash Baba.  We had a lot of fun and she knows she is my travel buddy for the ride home.  I have no chance of sitting with Emily on the way home so i want Sarah to feel special, so I picked her as my travel buddy.  So she knows she is responsible for keeping me occupied on the flight home.

Today I ventured to the grocery store by myself,big accomplishment! The girls at the check out had a good laugh, no English spoken by either of them, lots of people smile and laugh at me.  Had a good walk to KFC, about a 1/2 mile or so each way.  Got to play the human version of Frogger, I learned you walk when Chinese walk and stop when they do.  Crossing the road is crazy, you cannot hesitate at all, everyone seems to move in a fluid motion even though it is very chaotic if you hesitate you upset the balance.  There is a major intersection by the hotel, but is has no traffic light so it is very interesting to watch the traffic.  So you try to cross 6 lanes of car and bus traffic as well as 4 lanes of moped, scooter, motorcycle and 3 wheeled taxi.  I found that when the bike lanes are full the mopes and scooters just drive on the sidewalk with the pedestrians.  It was a very interesting walk seeing how people live in the city, I feel we are very lucky to live where we do.  We will update more tomorrow, we leave for Guangzhou on Friday.   

FW: Day 3 Nanning

Subject: Day 3 Nanning
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 03:23:32 -0400

I am sure looking forward to getting to Guangzhou and our guide Helen who was our guide there last time.  We have been eating the same hotel restaurant foods for days.  Guy had a second failed attempt at ordering food from a none hotel restaurant today.  The breakfast buffet is okay but it is basically the same everyday.  We were truly spoiled by our guides last time as they walked us through ordering food, went out with us to dinners and Cindy, our guide in Yinchuan even bought treats like oranges for Sarah out of her own money, suggested foods for her and would go with us to get take out to bring back.  Our guide this time seems to think we are capable of ordering our own food which is far from true.  It would be easier if we could all go out and sit down to a meal but with 34 pounds glue to me in 90 degree/94 % humidity it's just not happening.  The room is a nice temperature and comfortable except for the occasional whiff of cigarette smoke from the floors below.
After a rocky morning with lots of clinging and crying Emily seemed to open up a tiny bit allowing her Baba to feed her while she sat on my lap and even gave him a little smile.  She has the biggest smile and huge dimples.  She is starting to open up a little bit.  The minute Guy walked out of the room she got up and played with Sarah.  She ran around the room until he came back.  She finds it very funny when told no, no, no.  That will probably be her first English phrase.  I think I heard her attempt it when Sarah said it to her today.  Emily falls asleep by putting her pillow on me and laying on me.  Thank God for the foster Mom's thoughtfulness to send that pillow along.  If we weren't having jet lag issues we would be able to get a good nights sleep thanks to that pillow.
I will try to include a couple of pictures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Isn't it ironic

Isn't it ironic that Sarah is from a Northern Province that gets cold and we go there in the winter and Emily is from the subtropical Southern Province and we go there in summer?
Isn't it ironic that Sarah was a feather weight and she bonded with her Baba who is over 6' tall and Emily can wear a size 5T and she chose me, a 5' 1", no spring chickie to carry her constantly.  

We tried a stroller today and she screamed and climbed out. Her feet can reach the ground so there is no safe way of keeping her in it.  Sarah has been such a good girl on the trip and so very understanding.  She is the best big sister!  She had Emily laughing and feeding us both Cheerios today.  We were having a very good time with lots of smiles and laughs until Baba returned and then the tears were back.  Emily is doing very well considering it is not even 24 hours.  She is sad and still looking for Mawah. 

Guy is having a difficult time with communicating with the locals and I think it is hysterical.  People are speaking Cantonese so our Mandarin is not helping.  It is a shame that all our days in Chinese school have left us unable to order take out.  I had to order the food in the restaurant the other day and today he tried to order take out and when the woman pointed to the door he left.  I am sure they had a good laugh. 

I know stop talking and add pictures!  We have been having some trouble adding photos. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

FW: Day 2

Subject: Day 2
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 02:48:53 -0400

Emily slept well last night, it took a while to get her to sleep.  She fell asleep laying on Linda.  Sarah on the other hand was up at 3 AM wanting to go for breakfast.  Today we went to the civil affairs office and the notary office, so Emily is officially ours!!  Down time this afternoon, trying to stay cool, hot and humid today.  Emily was brushing her teeth by herself this morning, fed herself at lunch, she had congee and noodles.  She is still not sure of me and cries when I get too close, she is very clingy to Linda.   

Tried to get food outside the hotel today, not good.  The first place had no picture menus so I could not order anything.  The second place was worse, they had picture menus but trying to explain take out did not work well, the woman pointed to the door while yelling something, not really yelling more like screaming, so I left.  Linda said she probably was saying "do you want this to go?" but that's not what it felt like.  So, back to the hotel for food.  

Today we met some people from New Hope PA today, they adopted a little girl with cleft lip, they will be on our flight home next week.  Another couple we met is from Canada, their consulate is in Beijing so we will not see them after Friday.  Went to Walmart for supplies today, everything said Made in the USA, just kidding.  We are stuck in the room as it is so miserable outside, high in the upper 90s and it rains a few times a day so the humidity is around 90 to 100%.  I guess the people living here must get used to it.  


She's here!!!

Emily arrived at 2:30 on Monday June 25 2012.  She is BIG!!!!  She is playing with Sarah right now, helping herself to Cheerios.  Sarah is doing very well as the big sister, very helpful.  Sarah will not be the big sister for long, Emily is about 1" shorter and probably weighs at least as much as Sarah if not more.  Linda is doing very well now that Emily is here, more relaxed and very nurturing.  Linda did get thrown up on, congee was on the menu for lunch today.  They were feeding her a lot for lunch.  She was crying in the beginning but is doing much better (Emily that is).  Emily is learning how to open and close the Cheerio container by herself and likes watching Sarah dance.  She has learned to push the button on a toy that plays music and watch Sarah dance.  

Sarah handled everything very well, only a little sad at one point.  Sarah was very excited before Emily got here, she wanted to know when Emily was going to be here.  Sarah said she is very happy that she has a sister,  we will see if she stills feels that way in a year or two.

Emily is now speaking but she speaks Cantonese, and all of Chinese language classes we took were for Mandarin. But we did learn the signs for her needing the bathroom.

We will send pictures tomorrow and will update our progress, right now it's the calm before the storm when it comes to her emotions.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day of rest

We survived yesterday's travel and have today to rest.  We ventured out to look for bottled water and learned that you do not go anywhere without a poncho and umbrella.  It started with a little drizzle and then it poured, filled the street with water very quickly and we took cover under an awning.  Of course at that point Sarah needed a restroom and we have no way of communicating.  Our Mandarin skills are not good enough and the local dialect is Cantonese.  Our facilitator does not go everywhere with us here so we have to try to mime our way through conversations which is rather hysterical.  We went into a bank and asked for restrooms but gave up and walked back to the hotel in the rain.  Of course now the sun is out.  It is very humid here and the air gets thick quickly.  The rain does cool things down a bit but it is subtropical and not what we are used to.  We are getting lots of strange looks from the locals and will be getting more tomorrow when we are parenting two Chinese girls.  
I will try to add a few pictures when I can keep my eyes open longer when sitting.

We have finally Arrived

It is 11:30 pm Saturday and we have finally arrived at our hotel in Nanning!  We have been up since 6:00 am Friday morning and we are beyond exhausted.  We thank God for getting us her with no throw up or bathroom mishaps.  After our 13 hour flight from Newark to Beijing we had a 5 hour layover before we could depart for Nanning which was another 3.5 hour flight.  Sarah was an amazing traveler and may have even done better than the two of us.  She did get to nap when we couldn't but she was truly amazing.  Our guide has let us know we will be meeting our other amazing little one on Monday.
Now we must sleep!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's in a name

For those of you that may be wondering Mei Mei means younger sister in Mandarin.  Emily's Chinese name is Xiu Bei and her foster Mom calls her Bei Bei (bay bay).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


We are only 3 days away from leaving so we are trying to make sure everything is ready to pack and all of the final odds and ends are completed.  I added a map so that family and friends can get an idea of where we will be.  Basically we will be in the airports of Beijing, Nanning, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.  We will be staying in Nanning in Qinzhou Province where we will meet Emily and become a family of four.  We will travel to Guangzhou, Quangdong Province for the second half of the trip.
We fly into Beijing on our way there and fly home out of Hong Kong.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tentative Itinerary

  • 6/22/2012  Flight to China
  • 6/23/2012  Arrive in Beijing  Fly to Nanning 
  • 6/24/2012  Rest
  • 6/25/2012  Become Family of Four 
  • 6/26/2012  Complete paperwork
  • 6/27/2012  Tour City
  • 6/28/2012  Rest
  • 6/29/2012  Pick up passport and fly to Guangzhou
  • 6/30/2012  Medical check, visa photo and paperwork
  • 7/1/2012    Tour Guangzhou
  • 7/2/2012    Consulate Appointment and oath
  • 7/3/2012    Pick up visa
  • 7/4/2012    Van to Hong Kong and flight home.

Friday, June 15, 2012

We love you.

As we go through all of the preparations to travel it is stressful and scary.  The only thing that keeps us going is that we love our new daughter and cannot wait until she is part of our family.
Your Jie jie (big sister) says, "i miss you.  Wo ai ni Bei Bei!"

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Plane, trains and automobiles, Oh my!

Yeah, if all goes as planned we should have Emily in our arms before her second birthday!  We are should have our flights booked by Monday.  It will be a long trip with layovers in San Francisco then Hong Kong then on to Nanning, Quangxi Province where we will meet our little girl.  Hopefully we will get some sleep in somewhere during that travel.  We should all be totally exhausted by the time we get there.
We were also thrilled to receive a brief update of Emily's sizes.  The best part was there were a couple pictures.  If the updates are correct Miss Emily (Mei mei Bei Bei) is a big baby sister.  She 31.5 lbs and 34" tall and will be wearing 3T clothes and she has not yet turned 2.
Little sister not so little.

Our cutie Mei Mei  Bei Bei
 I am not looking forward to the grueling travel schedule but cannot wait to have Mei Mei as our daughter!  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let's get packing!!

We received our travel approval yesterday and our Consulate Appointment was confirmed today.  We will leave for China on June 22, 2012 and should be meeting our precious Emily by June 25.  So much to do in so little time.  No time for blogging.....too much to do!

Friday, June 1, 2012

On pin and needles

Today I will check my emails every 1/2 hour or so waiting to see something from our agency....our TA, an update with new pictures and measurement so that we can get clothes organized for Beibei.  We have now been waiting 14 days for our TA, Travel Approval.  We have been waiting much longer for an update.  I would be nice to know what little sister (Mei mei is younger sister in Mandarin) looks like now.  Our Visas have been applied for and received.
It is soooooooo incredibly hard to wait at this point yet there is so much we could be doing to get ready.
We are praying that today will be the day.  The wait for TA seems to average between 15 to 20 days according to recent statistics on a popular adoption forum.  Please let us be average!