Saturday, September 18, 2010

Home At Last!!!!


Just wanted to chime in for a bit..we are Day 1 into our lives with Natalie. Got in to Raleigh last night around 730. Stopped and had some dinner with Grandma/Grandpa & Aunt Kelly! What a nice surprise to turn that corner at the airport and see so many loved ones there waiting! Flight home from Hong Kong was awesome! Not a bump in the whole ride. Our plane was 2 levels, had 16 flight attendants, 4 engines on each side and 12 escape doors! Talk about a monster! Regardless of how large the plane was, we were packed in like sardines and not an empty seat in the whole house! How weird was it that we went from daylight to night and back to sunrise/daylight all in one flight! Such a huge experience for the girls!

It is Saturday night and after a day of trying to convince myself that I could stay awake, I finally collapsed this afternoon at 3 pm and took a 5 hr nap. And the really sad part is I am quite certain that I won't have any issues giving in to a lofty slumber here shortly!

Took Natalie to Sweet n' Sassy for a new hairdo & some new earbobs! First thing she said to the stylist, who need I mention had platinum blonde hair, she says "I like black hair!" How funny, she just new she was gonna be the next Asian Barbie! Bless her heart! So, she is dolled up and ready for her Welcome Home party tomorrow!

Here are a few more pics!

Hope all is well!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Last Post From China

Good Morning/Evening !

The day has finally come! We are headed downstairs for our final breakfast here at White Swan. Wow! Have we been spoiled! We went to the US Consulate yesterday afternoon for our oath ceremony. Such an emotional packed event. A milestone of one journey coming to an end and the start of a new and more exciting one. We leave Guangzhou today at 4 pm headed to Hong Kong. Taking a train ride which should be about 3.5 hours. Another chance to get to experience all the aspects of China.

I caught Natalie staring out the hotel window yesterday and at that moment I came to realize that she really understands what is going on now. Such a brave little girl. Cannot wait to get her home to meet her family and friends. Please be in prayer with us during this leg of our journey. Not only for our safety, but for the smooth transition of our daughter into her new family.

See you guys soon!!


P.S.  Here are our last photos.  You can view all photos here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 12, 2010

Good Morning Everyone!

I know I've not been the best blogger since being in China, however the last little "world-turning upside down paperwork catastrophe" has kinda got me a little gun shy in regards to posting. With everyone's prayers and the Lord's blessing not to mention poor Todd's above and beyond call of duty dedication we worked thru it. The package should be arriving here at the White Swan on Monday. The time has flown by! It is already Sunday! We are headed out to the Safari Park today with the kids. Is it wrong that I've already started packing my luggage to come home? :)

Christy J and her crew met us for dinner last night at Lucy's. It is soo nice to hear someone else with a Southern twang in their voice. We introduced Natalie to saying her blessing before meals. With all of the ups and downs we have had this week, I admit adding another facet to our already huge pile of frustration was something I had decided to do once we got home.

We have our days. She is 11 yrs old, however her stature suggests around 8 or 9. She is definitely tiny. However, our guide says it's because she is Cantonese. They are always small structured people. I was wondering about the squatting thing of Chinese people. So, what does every curious American do? They GOOGLE it! And I discovered that the Chinese believe that squatting vs. standing helps alleviate the stress standing places on the spine. Wow! Who would've thought.

So enjoy our pics from our outing last night! The live animals in the tanks are choices for dinner if you are interested! Yes, flounder was normal, however the water beetles, eels and snakes kinda pushed me over the edge. The once thought deep-fried  pigeons that we saw suspended from their necks have later been identified as some sort of duckling. Yummy!

Where is Olive Garden when you need it!

Countdown has begun!

See ya'll soon!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 7, 2010

Good Morning!  Finally! All of the nerve wrecking paperwork at the Civil Affairs Office is complete as of yesterday. Our little Nat has definitely come out of her shell so much! We went swimming at the pool yesterday for the first time and went out for hot wings last night! Let me tell you, that girl can put a serious hurtin' on some wings!  She decided that she wanted some sunglasses like Ashton's. So we got her some LV's (I'm sure they are genuine) :) and she is a self-proclaimed movie start. Hilarious! As you can see in the pics she is awesome and is doing well. We have some moments but considering only one day into the process, we are going to be just fine.

Headed to the security office here in Guangzhou today to apply for her passport to come home. She calls Ashton, "sista" and me "Mather"...still working on the mommy thing. For some reason "mother" makes me feel like I should be about 60 years old and in a wooden wheelchair.  :)    All is well...all of our buddies will be here on Sunday. Cannot wait!

See ya then!


China Trip/Gotcha Day Photos

You can check out all of the photos at Photobucket.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 2 – September 5, 2010 and the Adventures of Peng

Sunday September 5, 2010

Early this morning we left Beijing headed to Guangzhou. After flying with China S*outhern Airlines and realizing that the Chinese people do not like anything cold i.e. air conditioner, cold beverages etc. needless to say that 3 hr. plane ride ended with a class on Chinese acupuncture coming across the TV monitors in the plane.

All of my preconceived notions about how Guangzhou was this tiny secluded place where I thought there would be a lot of rural areas were totally shot out the window when we arrived. Wow! Never will I let my predetermination's set the tone for what's to come. Our guide Lucy meets us at the Guangzhou airport. We head out talking about what our day will consist of tomorrow. Go exchange money at bank early in the morning. Make more copies of your passports and the list goes on! Meet us in the lobby at 2 pm to go to the Civil Affairs you will meet your daughter! Why is this so hard to believe? After all this time..less than 24 hrs. we will have our Nat!!! Amazing it has finally hit! The tears start flowing as we leave the airport. Just thinking I am in the city of my child's birth parents. Somewhere out there in this crowded place walks a woman who has no idea that in less than two weeks her daughter will be gone from here. Gone to be with her new family. I sit here and think about the huge sacrifice this woman has made. I pray for her conscious, I pray for her ability to know that somehow her child is loved already. I pray for Natalie to be able to see our actions in a positive light. Not just another couple who comes and take these children away from all they know. I can only imagine how Natalie is going to feel. After being in country for only 3 days now, the smells are different, the language is different, the people are different...I get it! I totally understand how hard this is going to be for our child. Please pray for her to jump back into life and understand that we love her even though we've never touched her soft hands. Only admired her photos from afar...

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Peng takes and elevator. Peng missing his cell phone.

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Hanging out in Beijing. Peng at the Forbidden City

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Making one last call. Waiting for a bus.

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Obeying traffic rules. Peng checking out.

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Saying goodbye to Water. Checking out the White Swan.

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View of Guangzhou from room.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 1 - Beijing

Hello from Beijing:

Well, it's 2 am here and I was hoping to be a little more acclimated at this point but I'm sure a few days will be better. Yesterday was crazy! Ashton and I started out around 0530 got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. So excited to see French toast & bacon! Yummy! Had a nice, satisfying breakfast and then headed outside to check things out.


Hotel restaurant



Our hotel

Not too much going on in Beijing at 0630. But let me tell doesn't stay like that long. By 1000 the streets were packed, horns blowing in his strategically orchestrated dance of city traffic. Not an angry or stressed out face was to be seen. Amazing! Already China has taught me that there are some things in life you have to accept and realize it is what it is!

Our guide picked us up around 9 in the lobby. We were heading over to the Great Wall. On our way we stopped off at a local jade factory. Not only was it a museum, there were sculptors displaying their works and a huge store ready to be immersed with those American dollars. I am not a huge jade fan. Some people can pull it off...not me. I'm the same way with turquoise, really weird. So instead of spending money on something that I knew I would never wear, I decided to pick up a few small things for the girls. I'm sure before I leave there will be something I just can't live without.



Traditional way of putting on a jade bracelet


Those girls again


Lined up outside the Jade Factory

At the Great Wall the heat and aridness of the mountains really kicked in. Why had I never figured out that these steps were so steep? I'm talking nosebleed section here! Thank goodness I wasn't the only one struggling. Whew! I think my legs were still shaking when I went to bed last night. It was really random. Being the nerdy tourist that I am, Ash & I get our pics taken in the traditional Chinese garb. While standing there looking as out of place as we did, these random people just kept showing up in the middle of our photo shoot to stand beside us for family pics. It was almost flattering however the expression on my beet red face does not convey that at all.


Great Wall


“Great Crowd” on the Great Wall


Our guide, Water


Getting ready



Still getting ready


The “Great Stairs” of China



New friends


Did I mention it was 400 degreesF!


The rest of the afternoon went well. Headed downtown to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Still smoldering from the Great Wall the walking around brought a hugely deserved breeze. Again while walking around this young Chinese teenager asked for our photo with her as well. Not that I mind that at all, it's just weird to know or not know rather where these pics are gonna end up.




Forbidden City






Chairman Mao on Gate No.1


Tiananmen Square

Off to acrobatic show. Boy, this day has really took it's toll on me and Ashton. Hoping to get some sleep.We fly to Guangzhou in the morning and still in denial that on Monday, less than 48 hrs, we get to meet our little princess...Cannot wait!

See ya soon!

Teresa & Ashton

Friday, September 3, 2010

We Made It!

Just got to our room in Beijing about an hour's now 7:41 pm  here...after a 2 hr delay from Chicago it has been a long, long day. Traffic is horrendous here in Beijing. Our guide "Water" is so nice. We are staying at the Holiday Inn-Downtown Beijing. If I weren't so exhausted Ashton and I might go look around. But I think I'm gonna take a rain check for now.

Headed to The Great Wall/Forbidden City & Tiananmen tomorrow...Will post pics later...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Night Before Forever

Well, here we are! After 5 days of haggling with ticket agents and trying to adjust agendas, not to mention a little incident that came up with our agency, I can honestly admit I am exhausted!!! Physically, mentally and emotionally. The excitement of this journey still hasn't set in yet. Not sure because the travel came about so quickly that I haven't had time to enjoy it. But I think it was a saving grace of going now rather than later. If I had to wait two more weeks to travel, like we were supposed to then I think I would be a basket case, well more than I am now.

Ashton and I are headed out in the morning. We leave RDU @ 0745 headed to Chicago not much of a layover there. Then headed to Beijing. We arrive there Friday China time at 240 pm. Headed to Tiananmen Square BEFORE we check in to our hotel. By that point, I'm sure I will have shut-down. But in an attempt to get acclimated to our new time zone, I think it's the guide's duty to keep us as awake as possible.

Sunday we leave Beijing and head down to Guangzhou. We get Nat on Monday at 230 pm. Then the fun begins. I pray that she will not have hard feelings towards us because we are taking her away from all she's ever known. But I hope she will understand that a family and sisters and will be good..I just know.

Headed out at 840...forgot to get my passport pics done...ugh! Where has my head been...

Until next time....Beijing!