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Friday, January 31, 2014

Homecoming





I can't believe it has been almost 2 weeks since we arrived home from China!   I can't even begin to explain the joy I felt after 15 months of paper work and preparation and almost 3 weeks in China to be finally home with our new daughter.  The airplane ride went pretty well despite Avery and I being pretty sick.  18 hours is a long time to be on a plane.  We flew from Hong Kong to Tokyo and Tokyo to Atlanta.  She only fussed for about 30 or so minutes when she was so exhausted and couldn't relax enough to sleep. Poor thing was used to sleeping in a crib her whole life and never having anyone to hold her that falling asleep while someone was holding her was difficult.  Thankfully, Lucy came to my rescue as I was so sick and my back was killing.  She was able to get Avery to sleep.  Going through immigration was super simple and we were out the door pretty fast to all our family who was waiting on the other side of the doors.  Addy surprised me the most!  I thought she would start crying when she saw another baby in my arms, but she came right up to us and with a big smile on her face said, "My sister."  Lucy's husband and children were there along with my new friends Amanda, her husband Patrick, and their daughter Morgan.    It was good to be home!  Oma made a great meal that I was unfortunately unable to eat, but it was still nice that she went through so much effort.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SNOWPOCALYPSE 2014 "Corner View Motion"






The day started off like any winter day here in Georgia.  The children went to school and I was home with the little girls teaching them the art of sharing.  Around 10 a.m. we got a phone call from the school district stating that the children were being released and would soon be on there way home.  I didn't really believe we were going to get any snow.  We have had so many chicken little moments like these over the course of our living here in Georgia that I honestly thought everyone was making a fuss for nothing, but shortly after the snow began to come down.  First just small snowflakes that weren't even sticking to much larger snowflakes and it didn't stop until way after we were in bed.  The children had so much fun playing in the snow.  Snowball fights broke out and those who owned sleds were riding down the hills.  The little girls made a very quick trip outside, but didn't stay out since we just don't have the snow gear for this kind of weather.  Reports started drifting in of people being stuck in their cars for hours and some didn't even make it home.  Today the city is trying to move the abandoned car and some efforts to sand the road are being made, but most people are staying home today.  So grateful that my husband had made a judgement call on Monday night to stay home or he would have been one of those stranded.  It seems funny writing all this given it was just 3 inches of snow, but Georgia just doesn't have the capabilities to deal with this white fluffy stuff.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hong Kong




















We left China Friday night ( we are talking a week ago now) after getting our visa for Avery.  After much discussion we ended up switching our plans from taking the train to hiring a van to drop us off at the door of our hotel.  Guangzhou is really only 90 miles away, but with traffic and going through the border it takes around 3 hours to drive.  The drive was uneventful.  We shared the van with Erin, Jeff, and Mayleigh.  As we passed over the border Avery waved her goodbyes all on her own.  No joking!  I didn't provoke her to wave.  We arrived at our hotel around 8 p.m. and given our early start the next morning we grabbed some dinner and went to bed.  The next morning (Saturday) we hired a taxi and drove over to Landau Island where I met my good friend Sue from my Michigan days and German Club Speaking Group.  You can take a taxi, a bus, or the cable car to the top to see the Giant Buddha and we took the bus.  The view was beautiful.  The Buddha is free for all to see!  It was a spectacular sight to see.  It is the largest sitting bronze statue in the world.  We lugged Avery to the top which is no easy task as there are 265 steps to the top.  We made it though!  Yahoo!  Afterwards, we walked to the village and got something to eat.  As we boarded the bus I started to not feel so good and it was all down hill from there literally.  As we boarded the ferry to cross the harbor, I knew I wasn't going to make the rest of the day without getting sick.  So I sad my goodbyes to my friend and Avery and I headed back to the hotel.  The rest of the day was spent with my head hanging over the toilet.  Boo!  I was so looking forward to exploring Hong Kong.  The next day (Sunday) it was all I could do to get Avery and I on the plane for home, but I wasn't going to stay.  I wanted to go home!  I wanted to see my family.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

In a Group "Sunday Snapshot"

It looks like we are beginning to turn a corner and see light at the end of the tunnel. I am feeling much better and was actually able to get my suitcases unpacked today. Yahoo! Avery also seems to feel much better too, but still has a pretty bad cough. She had a pretty good appetite today and gave her older sister by 3 month grieve as she was fighting for my attention. She gets pretty jealous of Addy. Never saw that coming, and would have thought it would be the other way around. Too funny! She isn't too thrilled with Addy, but I hope that will change. She likes the boys, but maybe because they aren't much of a threat. Her language is really taking off. She can now say Bye Bye, eye, wow!, eat, and my mom believe she can say all done and my turn. I am not counting the last two until I hear them for myself though. She blows kisses, gives kisses, can touch her nose, eyes, and ears when you say them, claps, waves bye bye, and knows her name in English.  I have one more post after this in regards to our trip -Hong Kong.  Some of you know we traveled with our adoption agency.  There were 5 families in our group.  While we did not tour with them in Beijing we did pretty much everything from the time we left Beijing with the group.  You don't have to and believe me there was plenty of alone time, but I can't say enough about getting to know the other people in your group.  It was really important for me as I didn't have my family with me on the whole trip and so it was great to have someone to hang with once my hubby and son left, but it was good to have others to bounce off your feeling with as this is one journey that only they can understand and or other who have been through it understand.  Also, I can't say enough about the groups on Facebook and getting to know the families that traveled at the same time as us.  As I mentioned in a previous post about 9 of us from Facebook gathered for dinner one night.  It was so great putting faces to names.  We did it!  Our baby is Home!







Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Colors of January "Corner View"










Hi!  We made it home safely!  Unfortunately, when I was in Hong Kong I picked up some intestinal bug and 5 days later it is still wrecking havoc.  I had gone to the doctors, but at the moment the antibiotic have not kicked in and poor Avery came home with the flu.  She has been so sick!  Sadly, she did not respond to the medication they gave her very well, so at this point I am hoping it just runs it course and she will be better in a few days.  All and all we could use your prayers.  Having not eaten in 5 days has not left me with very little energy.  I am thankful to have great neighbors who have brought dinner and for my mother-in-law who is still here and has been taking very good care of us.  These photos are from our last day in Guangzhou.  Located near our hotel were two beautiful parks.  The parks were filled with people playing ping pong, children, people exercising, couple taking engagement photos and wedding photos, and were being decorated for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Consulate Appointment





Today is the day!  Thursday morning we got up pretty early to be at the consulate at 8:30 a.m. in the morning.  The only have 2 appointments a day with a total of 24 appointments or at least for adoptions. There were hundreds in line I am assuming hoping to get an emigrant visa.  You can't take pictures inside, so we only brought my cell phone with me and afterwards our guide took a couple photos of us in front of the sign.  I will add those once I get home and can get them off my phone.  The appointment went pretty fast.  You get in and take a number.  They call you up and you turn in your papers.  They look them over really quick to make sure you have everything and then you swear that all information is correct.  Then you sit down for a few minutes and they call you back again and you do a finger print scan and are free to go.  The visa's are ready the next day to be picked up.   On Friday afternoon, our guide picked up the visa's and off we went to Hong Kong where we will leave Sunday morning to head home.  I can't believe the two weeks are over!  I am so excited to see my family.  At the same time, I am a little sad for Avery that she is leaving her birth country, but living in an orphanage is no place to live.  Every child needs a family.  The next post will be from the States.  I still have a few things to share about China as well!  See you soon or maybe after I get out of the jet lag coma.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Safari Park






























On Wednesday, we were still waiting for our consulate appointment.  You can't leave China without a Visa.  Avery will be traveling home on a Chinese passport, but the minute she touches down on American soil she will be an American citizen.  Our appointment wasn't until Thursday morning.  So off we went to the Safari Park.  The park is amazing.  Shortly after entering the gates, you board a little motorized train that takes you through about half the park.  Their you can see animals wondering free as if they were in the wild.  Tigers white and orange, lions, camels, elephants, zebras, giraffes, and so on!  They have a really great collection of animals.  Then you depart the train and head over to the white tiger display where they have about 5 white tigers on display.  I could not resist the opportunity to pet a koala.  Then off to the pandas.  What would be a trip to China without seeing the panda bears.  The elephant show was fantastic!  It was worth the money of 250 Yuan which is about $45 dollars U.S.  plus we shared our van with our group so we divided up the cost of getting out their.  I believe you can take the subway there, so that would probably be much cheaper than a taxi or hiring a driver.  Really this park was amazing!