Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lucy is an American Citizen and is blessed.

This morning we had the interview with the U.S. Consulate that made it official. Lucy is an American citizen! We are free to come home. We all hugged and congratulated each other. Just another thing to be thankful for on this journey. Later we took the children to a Buddhist temple where they did a blessing to send the babies off. After that we took them back to the hotel for the famous red couch pictures. We can hardly believe our journey is almost over. But really this is just the beginning.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rest and Recuperation and Shopping

The next few days we had to our own to catch up on rest and experience the city. I really love Guangzhou. Through out the day people are fishing in the Pearl River, (not that I would eat anything that came out of it) but it's fun to watch. The scenery is beautiful I shared a few pictures above. People take their pets with them everywhere. If they have a bird they hang the cage in a tree. Dogs are unleashed and well behaved. It was fun to see some playing in the park. Made me wonder how Bucky was back home. People are in the parks exercising all day long. And the trees are unbelievable. That's me standing next to one and roots are coming from about 20 feet up and are 12 feet out from the main part of the tree. Very weird.

Medical Check Up and Visa Picture

So today was another big day for Lucy. She needed to pass the Medical exam in order for us to be able to leave the country with her. She passed with flying colors. They were all impressed with her thighs. They are pretty darn cute. Then we went to get her visa picture taken. Progress in the right direction. The rest of the day we had to ourselves so we walked around Guangzhou. They have many statues around the city so we got Lucy with one. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our trip back from Maoming City

Today we started out our day at 10:00 am and didn't get back to the hotel in Guangzhou until 7:00 pm. As a new parent this was a true test. We stopped at a beach before we got on the road and also stopped for lunch but it was a LONG bus ride. Amazingly these babies did extremely well. Lucy napped, ate and played like it was no big deal. In fact the babies kept the adults from going insane. We hit a traffic jam towards the end of our trip which added another 2 hours so I was getting a little concerned we were going to run out of formula. Luckily our little trooper just kept playing and laughing reminding us all it's all about the attitude and she has a great one. Still, I hope we never have to do that again. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The orphanage

This is a picture in front of the orphanage with the directors and nannies. We were not allowed to take pictures inside. I think today was a really confusing day for Lucy. Having her return to this building only a few days after we had gotten her was hard as a mother. I kept looking at her face and she didn't smile once. Which once you meet her you will know how odd that is. All in all it was an experience I feel blessed to have had. It was much more difficult to witness the all of the children and lack of nannies than I had prepared myself for. From what we have been told this orphanage is considered a rich one in comparison to many. This really isn't saying too much. I can not imagine what the less fortunate orphanages are like. We walked from room to room witnessing what little they have to offer the children. I was trying to hold it together for Lucy's sake because you could tell she was scared enough. It was when I turned the corner and saw the room of children with special needs that I lost it. I spent a few minutes sobbing in the corner. There really is no words to describe everything we witnessed. I've seen many documentaries thinking it would give me perspective and there is nothing but being in the presence of these children that will provide you with that. I try not to think too much about what Lucy's first 10 months were like. We really do give thanks so many times a day I begin to loose count. Everyone who lives here keeps saying how lucky she is. It really is us who are the lucky ones.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Everything is official. She's our daughter.

This was the day we needed to make everything official. We went back to the building where we received Lucy to sign some documents, pay some fees and swear that we will love her and never miss-treat her. Pretty simple stuff. We have had her less than 24 hours at this point and it feels like we have had her all along. I hope she is feeling the same. Her personality is hysterical. I gave her a bath and she LOVES water. She splashes around, sticks her face in the water and screeches with joy. If I would have let her she would have swam around for 2 hours. For bottle time when she is being burped she pats her own back. To funny! She also loves to be upside down. She constantly swings her head back and giggles once she is hanging upside down. Also her flexibility is kind of amazing. While sleeping last night she kept doing a back bend while lying on her side. I kept trying to adjust her back to what seemed like a more comfortable position and in less than 5 minutes she would be right back. I see yoga will be in her future.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gotcha Day

So this was the big day! I was up early and went for a stroll down by the river with my dad. Scott was tring to make up for major loss of sleep. Guangzhou is my favorite place that we have been to in China so far. The people are nice the pace is calm and peaceful, and the environment is serene. There is a park by the Pearl River that people are playing in all day. In the morning several different groups of people are doing Thai Chi and there is beautiful music playing. Oh yeah the birds in the early morning are like something you would expect to hear in the jungle or something, loud and beautiful.
So our nervousness during the morning was uncontrollable and I felt like I didn't know what to do with myself. I kept thinking I need to get myself together for Lucy's sake. We got everything together that we could imagine we would need for a 10 month old and all piled onto the bus around 2:30 in the afternoon. All of us were quiet and jittery. When we got there we went up on the elevator to the 8th floor and once we hit about the 6th floor you could hear the crying of babies. That pretty much did all of us in and what we walked into wasn't quite what we had pictured. There were numerous families from Spain and Italy who had just received their children. Most of the babies were about 2-3 years old. Since they knew a little more what was going on than a 10 month old, they were screaming. So there we stood for about 45 minutes with about 30 other parents and 15 toddlers stressed out and screaming. UUUGGG! I pulled myself together and went to the bathroom since we had been told that our daughters were being fed on the bus. When I came out of the bathroom Scott was all teary eyed and told me that Lucy had just gone by with the nanny and that she was wearing the dress that we sent. Yay! It was 10 minutes later and we were the second family up. All of a sudden I felt very calm. We walked to the nanny and next thing you know I was holding my daughter. The entire day was very surreal. I think back now and feel as if I were on autopilot until she was sleeping at the end of the day. As I was watching her sleep that was when everything hit me. I can't begin to explain the amount of joy bursting in my heart. She did exceptionally well her first night. It took her about 2 hours to warm up to us in the room. Lucy never really cried that night. She was crawling around on the floor with me and every so often she would get a pouty bottom lip and a look of fear in her eyes. As soon as I would pick her up she would take a few deep breaths and seem fine. Then she would go back to playing. Oh yeah during this time Scott had to finish up the official documents for the next day......which took about 2 hours. So I was all by myself. Oh darn again. Ha Ha.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 1 & 2

We arrived in Beijing at 4:00pm (China's time). 3:00 am USA time. I hadn't slept at all on the plane I was WIDE awake the whole time. Scott and dad dozed a little but we all were exhausted the first night we arrived. Charlotte or Du Yong, is our guide and she met us at the airport. You can see her is the pictures holding the Faith International sign. Joanie is is the picture with her she is here to bring her sister home wither her mom and grandparents. We all loaded onto a bus and had about another hour ride to the hotel due to traffic. Du Yong taught us a few Chinese words and then suggested taking us to a local grocery store to get anything we still needed. Scott and dad went and picked up some snacks and McDonald's Teehee, yes all the way to China for MceeDee's. We all had a great night sleep and were ready to do some sight seeing the next day. Du Yong is like a living encyclopedia. The amount of information we got from her on the first day alone is AMAZING. The pictures above are of the Olympic grounds,The Forbidden City (now called The Palace Museum) and Tian'an men Square. We went out for an authentic Chinese lunch and had a wonderful selection. The food here is unbelievable! I really do wish I could come home with some recipes. I am also amazed that there are so many foods I have never seen before. The fruits we have encountered already on the first day is just incredible. We also went to a silk factory and learned a lot about the process. Then we got to SHOP! Yeay. We ended our day with a 90 minute, yes 90 minute foot massage. What more could we ask for, other than to receive our daughter,on our first day here.
Oh yeah. We have met a lot of wonderful people. Our group has been a lot of fun to be with. Also, we have all realized how our group is drawing a lot of attention by the locals. There are 3 women taller than me so you can only imagine. I almost feel as if we have reached celebrity status. People are trying to get us into their pictures all of the time. If you smile and they realize that you are o-kay with them taking your picture you get mobbed. We'll try not to let this go to our heads.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Itinerary in China

Nov. 19-Wednesday
Leave Milwaukee at 9:18 am Arrive Chicago 10:07 am. Leave Chicago 12:33pm.
Nov. 20-Thursday
Arrive Beijing 4:25 pm. Our guide Charlotte will meet us at the airport with all of the other families that will be traveling to Beijing. Off to the Jianguo hotel.
Nov. 21-Friday
We get to tour TianAnMen Square, Forbidden City and the Olympic Green Park today
Nov. 22-Saturday
The days big adventure will be to tour The Great Wall.
We will be leaving Beijing at 11:15 am and flying to Guangzhou. We will arrive in Guangzhou at 2:20pm and met at the airport by Cordelia our guide and transported to the White Swan Hotel.
We will get no sleep , I'm sure because Monday will be...........you guessed it! GOTCHA DAY!
This day will be one of the most glorious day of our lives. We get to see and hold our daughter for the first time. This all will happen in the afternoon, I'm not so sure how we will be able to make it through this morning with out exploding. There are no word so I will just end here.
Nov. 25-Tuesday
We need to go through 2 interviews to swear that we will take Lucy for our daughter and care for her as our own. Of course! One is with the Civil Affairs Bureau and the other is with the Justice department. Our adoption registration will also be completed.
Nov 26-Wednesday
We need to apply for Lucy's passport in the morning and then we will be taking a 5 hour bus ride to Maoming City. Uuugg! Hopefully Lucy likes buses because she will have made this same trip to us on Monday.
Nov 27-Thursday
We get to visit Lucy's orphanage. I'm sure it will be a very emotional day for all of us.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Nov 28-Friday
Make the trip back to Guangzhou. Yes another 5 hour bus ride for Lucy.
Nov 29-Saturday
Lucy will be getting her official medical check up that will allow her to leave the country and get pictures for her passport. Hopefully Lucy will smile for this picture. :)
Nov 30-Sunday
We will be touring the zoo in Guangzhou. Can't wait to see the pandas.
Dec 1-Monday
Our agency has listed rest and relaxation for this day. Who needs that? Teehee. Hopefully we will have time to get a foot massage. We hear they are worth traveling to China for.
Dec 2-Tuesday
We have yet another interview. This time it is with the U.S. Consulate.
Dec 3-Wednesday
The plan is to get Lucy's visa so we can go home Thursday.
Dec 4-Thursday
Home Sweet Home!
We will be flying out of Guangzhou at 8:40am. Arriving in Beijing 11:20am. Flying out of Beijing 5:20 pm. Arriving in Chicago 4:24 pm. Leaving Chicago 5:58 and arriving in Milwaukee 6:48pm.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Shower for Lucy

Well, I think we are all set for Lucy. We had our family shower this past weekend and Lucy was given A LOT of nice things. We had a great time visiting with family and friends. There is so much to be excited about and this just adds to it all! Thank you everyone for your generosity it is definitely helping us with the all of our preperations to bring Lucy home. I thought I knew that babys came with a lot of stuff but WOW!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What a Weekend!

Our weekend started Friday night. We thought we were going to our friends house for a "end of volleyball season" party. Instead it was a shower for us. We are really lucky to be blessed with such awesome friends! We were overwhelmed with all of the gifts. First of all by the generosity and thoughtfulness of everyone and secondly by all of the things babies come with!! Thank you everyone. Then on Monday we received our final travel approval. It is official we will be leaving on Nov. 19th and returning Dec. 4th. Our flight leaves from Milwaukee goes to Chicago and then directly to Beijing. Only 13 1/2 hours from Chicago. Yiippeee! It travels the same route only backwards :) on the way home.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lucy looks healthy!

Today we received the translation of Lucy's medical records. After talking to the nurse practitioner down at Children's hospital...who by the way also has a daughter named Lucy. Weird! But our daughter looks healthy and from all that they see she seems to be right on track developmentally! Yeah! Some of the fun things we found out about her is...her height 68cm/27.75in, 7.8kg/17.2lb The nurse said she is tall and skinny. Wouldn't have guessed that from them cheeks. :) She wakes up at 6:00am naps between 12:30-2:30 and goes to bed at 8:30. We will see about that. Her favorite toys have motion, sound and lights. Between 1-2 months she was holding her head up and her eyes would follow movement of toys, 3-4 months she would hold head up while lying on stomach, turn her head to follow things, grab toys to put them in her mouth and roll to side when on her stomach. Between 5-6 months she could sit up, roll back and forth freely and crawl backwards. As far as her personality they described her as quiet, lovely and a ready smile. But of course! Be tween 3-4 months she started making sound like "yi -yi and ya-ya" and by 5-6 months she was able to laughed loudly. I can't wait to experience that for the first time. The thought of it brings tears to my eyes. We are happy to have some more information that everything seems to be great with our daughter. Again more answers to our prayer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lucy Gill

She is here! What more could we ask for! Born 1-25-2008. We recieved the call yesterday around 1:00 and saw her cute face for the first time around 1:30. I can't wait to hold her in my arms. Today we recieved the Letter of Confirmation and need to get that back to the agency A.S.A.P. so they can start planing our trip to China!!!!! We expect to travel mid November and will probably be there for Thanksgiving. Quite appropriate! God is Good!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This is Bucky. He has no idea what is in store for him over the next few months. Poor guy. :)

Scott-n-Carrie on our Wedding Day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The beginning

Scott and I(Carrie) decided to start our adoption journey in June 2005. Both of us newbies to this entire process really had no idea what we were in for! When we first stepped into our adoption agency we REALLY thought all we needed to do was fill out some paper work and it would be smooth sailing. Boy were we in for a rude awakening. As most of our close friends and family are more than aware of, it didn't really go just like that.
Over the past 3 years Scott and I have had to ask ourselves many times what to do, we wondered if we made the right decision, and we would think are we really cut out for this? Individually I don't think we would have made it this far but, together I truely believe that this is exactly where we are meant to be. How could we question it. I mean come on, we got fingerprinted 3 times, had our background checked locally and by the federal government, we proved that we are finacially ready, we even proved that we are healthy by having our Dr's give us every test known to man.......among numerous other things that really don't seem to matter anymore. Honestly the fact that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel brings such anticipation and joy.
During this process we have been told by people who had completed their adoption already, that once you hold that baby you will forget everything that you went through to get to this point. And I know that they are right. I chose to start the story of our journey now because all of that which is behind us may have been a struggle at times but we know that our story will begin once God brings our family together. We have trusted that God knows what he is doing and that is what has allowed us to wait patiently (sometimes no so patiently). I am grateful everyday that I had Scott to go through this with, I don't think I could have managed to move forward and keep the faith without Scott's insights and humor (of course). It has all been a matter of perspective and Scott is always good at putting that twist on things. When Scott pointed out how difficult these little babies lives are from the start and how good we have it, it was like wow! I started to focus on all the blessings we have around us daily. I also started to realize that waiting which seemed like such a hard thing really became, well no so hard. When realizing that when I'm hungry I can eat whatever I want. When I am cold I can grab a blanket or turn up the heat. When I want a hug I have plenty of willing arms around me. Many of these simple things that we take for granted, daily, these little babies go without. So that is what kept us going strong and with a smile on our face. I'm lucky to be blessed with such a smart man.