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 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.