Sunday, November 15, 2009

So Long for Now

This will be my last post to this blog.

It was always my intention to set this blog up for people to follow our journey. But beyond that, I wanted a resource for people who were looking into adoption or going through the process themselves. It helped me greatly during our adoption process to be able to look at other blogs to see how the process would take shape. I hope that this blog will help encourage and give direction to others the way that the blogs I follow have helped me. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. I had lots and I want to be able to answer any questions/concerns that I can.

If we ever travel this road again, I will use this blog for that adoption as well. In the meantime, please fell free to join us at to continue to follow our amazing story that God is creating for us. We are so excited about what He has done for us, and what He has in store for us in the future! See you at Tummy Tickles and Goofy Giggles!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We're Home!!

Sorry this is a couple days late in coming, but I got sick after we got home and this is the first day things feel somewhat "normal".

After 4 plane rides and 25 hours of travelling we arrived home to a group of wonderful people that wanted to welcome Ashlyn home. It was a great moment because I finally got to see my kids after 17 days of travelling. Ashlyn reacted so well to them. She recognized them from their pictures in the photo album that she had of us. It was the best reaction, far better than we ever could have hoped for.

So now that we have been home just shy of a week, I can say that things are going well. We have some things to work out, but,in time, everything will be just fine. Last night she slept through the night for the first time since we returned home. The 12 hour time difference has really messed up her sleeping habits. In China she would sleep from 8:00 at night until 8:00 in the morning and take a 2-3 hour nap. Here she was waking up at night because it was nap time to her. I think we have finally gotten past that problem.

She is not too fond of the dogs. At first she was terrified of them and screamed everytime she saw them. Yesterday she tolerated them in the house walking around as long as they did not get too close. We are making progress every day.

She will not walk around the house without having a death grip on someone's leg or hand. We are hoping that she gets more comfortable in the house and feels like she can walk around on her own. She has a lot of fears that we are helping her through. She exhibited this even in China. This poor child has been through so much. I pray that God will give her a peace about her new family and home.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Last Day in China!!!!!

We woke up a bit late this morning and after talking with the kids we went down to breakfast. I have spent this morning packing to come home!! We have a little more shopping that we want to get done today, but that is all that is going on with us today.

I did give Ashlyn some Benadryl because of our colds/allergies and it did not do much as far as making her tired....I guess it isn't going to help me much on the plane, but it does make her stuffy nose better.

Other than that, we will be getting up early tomorrow morning to catch the plane to Hong Kong, then San Francisco, then Charlotte, then H..O..M..E!!!!!!!!

So, good-bye from CHINA!! We'll see you when we get home!

Here is our flight info in case you are wanting to be at the airport.....US Airways flight 1471 to arrive in Tampa at 9:43 pm on Saturday, Nov. 7th.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oath Taking Ceremony

Not much to post today. We woke up late and went for a walk after breakfast. Then we went to our Oath Taking Ceremony at the Consulate. It was about a thirty minute drive there. Once we were there we waited with about 20 other families to do some paperwork and then take our oath as a group. It was really a neat moment. We then headed back and went to dinner with the two other families left with us (the other two families went home today). We went to the German restaurant on the island and to our surprise it was really good. I would have to say that it was one of the best German restaurants that I have ever been to. Dad, you would have LOVED it!!

Anyways, no pictures today...we didn't take any. You can't take cameras into the Consulate.

One more day and we go HOME!!!! I hope tomorrow isn't too long. There is a sightseeing to a Garden, but I don't think we are going to go. We are just about done at this point. Seventeen days is a very long time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Open Market

This morning we went for a walk into an open market in Guangzhou. We had to go off the island to get to it. It is very typical of the open markets all over China where people go to purchase food, herbs for medicine, pets, etc. It was extremely interesting and was alot like what we imagined it would be. The smells here are very distinct and the market is no different. If anything it is amplified in the market due to all of the open bins of food, spices and herbs. It was definately a very interesting walk and we are so glad that we were able to see this side of China.

The weather warmed up a bit today so we were able to get outside more. We all are feeling better today. Ashlyn can say "Uh oh" now when something drops. She is really coming along. She also waves "hi" and "bye" to everyone we pass now that speaks to her (which is almost everyone). They all think she is so cute...we agree!

Tomorrow we will go to the Consulate appointment for our oath taking ceremony. Then on Friday we will get her visa to come home. Only two more days left here...we are ready to get home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy 30 Something Birthday

Ok... Last night I ate way too much at a Cantonese restaurant. I paid my dues today, so I'm done with Chinese food for the rest of the trip. All three of us were feeling under the weather today, so we spent the day in the room. Gretchen ordered a birthday cake this afternoon. It was a good looking cake, but it was covered with fruit, even in the icing. Not exactly our idea of a traditional cake, but it was nice none the less.

It's great to be one day closer to coming home. China is a wonderful place, but we are ready. Guangzhou is a bit more westernized than other parts of China. We don't get the curious stares we did in Nanning, and the food is much better. One thing that is hard to adjust to is how dirty everything is. The air is typically so polluted there are very few days you can see the sky. The water is a dark brown color, with debris constantly floating by. Yet we are told everything is much cleaner than it was just a few years ago.

Sorry we don't have much to speak of today... Pretty slow day. Tomorrow, we head to the open market. It should be interesting, since they sell everything that should or should not be eaten.

On a side note: My nephew, Chris, goes into surgery in a couple of hours to deal with a bone infection. Please keep him in your prayers.

Take care.- Don

Monday, November 2, 2009

Visit to the Temples

This morning we headed out to a Buddhist Temple and the Chen Family Temple. The Buddhist Temple was pretty, but it was just not for us. We did, however, enjoy the Chen Family Temple, which was a home owned by the wealthiest family in the city and later became a meeting place. It has never been used for any religious purposes.

The wood carvings were beautiful. It is all opened to a big courtyard full of plants and Bonsai trees. It is a very relaxing place to be. We really enjoyed strolling around the home.
Ashlyn is doing better today. She has not had a fever since this morning and she was in a much better mood today. She even allowed Daddy to hold her a bit more today.

Tonight we had dinner at a Cantonese restaurant and to our surprise the food was very good! We ate dinner with the other 4 families in our group. They are a neat group of people and I really hope that we can stay in touch with them once we get home. One of the families in our group actually lives a couple of miles from us!! What a small world!!

Tomorrow is Donny's birthday, so don't forget to wish him a happy birthday!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jade Market and Pearl Market

Ashlyn woke up this morning with a fever of 100 degrees from the shots. I gave her some more Motrin and it went away, but while we were out shopping it came back. She is cranky, probably because of body aches. The good news is that her TB test is flat as can be. What an answer to prayer, since she received the BCG when she was an infant. This usually produces a false positive TB test and then they have to do a chest x-ray to check for TB. She is having absolutely no reaction to it!! We are extremely happy about this.

Yesterday we went shopping around the island and bought lots of neat things. Donny even found a 7 eleven that serves icees! We were able to find everything that the kids asked for. They will be very happy when we get home.

Today we went to the Jade Market and were able to get quite a few things there including a gorgeous tea set for me.

Then we were off to the pearl market. They hand string the pearls for you and hand make the earings. It was a really neat experience. Thank goodness Ashlyn is such a good shopper because we were out for hours!!

The rest of the day we will probably just hang out here since she is not feeling well. We are going to dinner with our group tonight to a really nice Italian restaurant on the island. Tomorrow we will be sightseeing all day. We are having fun, but we are counting the days until we get home to our babies.