Saturday, May 31, 2008

Loving Guangzhou

We had a really great day here in Guangzhou. This afternoon our guides took us to a local pearl market where it seems most of the women in the group (Jen definitely included) made a sizable contribution to the local economy. After the pearl market our guides brought us to the local supermarket so we could all stock up on much needed baby supplies. For dinner we went with a two other couples to Lucy's which is a western style restaurant. A burger, fries and a beer was a great change of pace after eating Chinese food for the past week. We also found a coming home barbie in our room this afternoon. Mattel gives all adopting families staying at the White Swan one of these dolls holding a baby as a souvenir.

Tomorrow we have a tour planned to the Six Banyan Tree Temple where we can have Grace blessed by the monks. Then we may be going to another jade market to make an additional contribution to the Chinese economy. We are hoping to have some time in the evening to do some shopping in some of the local shops around the area. They sell all kinds of Chinese crafts, clothes and souvenirs that will be nice for Grace to have as she grows up.

Grace continues to amaze us. She is such a good baby, she is always happy and is really getting used to having us around. She no longer cries when having her diaper changed or being bathed and actually seemed to enjoy her bath today after I showed her how to splash mommy. She also has discovered her feet and on top of that realized that she can put them in her mouth. A couple pics from today below.



Friday, May 30, 2008

Babies On A Plane

Sorry for the late posting today, we arrived in Guangzhou around midnight last night so we were pretty tired. Let me just say that the flight was pretty much like the 7th circle of hell. Let's back up first though....

Yesterday morning was reserved for getting the paperwork together for the US Consulate here in Guangzhou. I spent about two hours with the other families getting the forms filled out for the US government to bring Grace home. After the paperwork was done we were really hungry and were getting kind of tired of eating in the same two restaurants in the hotel. We weren't feeling very adventurous so we decided against trying any of the local places. So we just went back to the local supermarket and picked up some peanut butter and bread and made sandwiches. We really love the food here but after eating the same things for a week it was nice to have something familiar.

Grace also received her Chinese passport yesterday. Getting her Chinese passport was the last thing we needed to do before we left Nanchang. Around 3:00pm we all met in the lobby for our bus to take us to the airport to leave for Guangzhou. When we got to the airport there was another large American adoption group there from another agency. We got to talking to them and found that they would be on the same flight as us. I think there are about 14 babies in our group and the other group had around 11. That is around 25 babies...do you see where this is going? Grace was pretty good in the airport, we needed to change her poopy diaper in the airport and gave her a bottle to keep her happy. She actually fell asleep in my arms while we were waiting. We finally got in line to board the plane. After about half the flight had boarded the line stopped and a few minutes later we noticed the guide for the other group yelling at the people at the gate. Our guide back in Nanchang told us that because of the dialect people from Nanchang always appear to be yelling at each other even though they are just saying hello. We were pretty sure the guide was not exchanging pleasantries with them however.

After a little while we found out that there was some Chinese aviation rule that a flight could only have so many babies on it and were were over that limit. We waited in line for about and hour and finally they let us all board the plane. Once on the plane we were in for more fun. Someone from the airport boarded the plane and started talking to the flight attendants. Since we were over the baby limit two people had to volunteer to get on the next flight so we could take off. Two families from the other group quickly volunteered so we thought we were good to go. Apparently the second part of the "too many babies on the plane rule" is there can one be one baby per row so a bunch of families (including us) had to play musical chairs and switch seats. This process took about another hour and then once again we were thinking we were good to go as we taxied out onto the runway. Next we found out that there was some bad weather between Nanchang and Guangzhou so we would have to wait for it to pass. After about an additional hour of waiting we finally took off. Out total delay was about 3 hours.

Grace was quite a trooper through the whole process. We had prepared her ingredients for two bottles which we thought would be enough for an hour and a half flight. Grace went through those two bottles before we even took off. They took our baby food at security but we were able to make her some rice cereal on the plane. We also had Cheerios which I must say is some kind of wonder drug to stop babies from crying. Grace got pretty fussy in the third hour of the delay but we really can't blame her since I think most of the adults on the plane were ready for a meltdown at that point as well. Once we were in the air she fell asleep pretty quickly and was pretty much out through the night. The things babies can sleep through is pretty amazing.

So we finally arrived at the hotel but the fun was not over yet. They put is in a room with twin beds so we asked to be switched. Not for our sake but for Grace's (trust me there is no hanky-panky going on with this trip). It is really nice a large area for her to play which is difficult in a hotel. So they switched our rooms and the new room had no crib so we had to wait for them to bring that up.

But we survived. Grace is all smiles again this morning so I guess her venture into hell didn't scar her too badly. This morning we had to go get a photo taken for Grace's US passport and then had a physical which she passed with flying colors. This afternoon we have an outing planned to the pearl market. I am sure Jen is going to do some damage there.

So here we are at the famous White Swan Hotel. This place is really nice and is pretty much Shangri-La for Chinese adoptive parents. There are a bunch of stores outside the hotel that cater exclusively to adoptive parents so Jen is really looking forward to doing some shopping over the next few days.

Some pics from yesterday.




Thursday, May 29, 2008

Porcelain, chicken heads and meltdowns

Unfortunately we were unable to get out to Yifeng today. Our guide said there was some issue with the roads so it was not safe to make the trip. We were a bit disappointed but really weren't looking forward to spending two hours in a bus. I am sure in the coming years we will make some trips back to China and Yifeng will definitely be on the itinerary

So instead of going to Yifeng our guides planned some shopping for us this morning. First we went to some Porcelain stores where we picked up a nice tea set to give to Grace when she is older. After the porcelain shopping they brought us to a typical Chinese department store. The store looked like a typical Macy's that you would see in the US except shopping in a Chinese department store is a bit different. Jen saw a cute dress in the baby section that she wanted to get for Grace. So we went up to what we thought was a register to pay for it. The woman took the dress filled out a slip and gave it to us and told us that I had to go to the other side of the store to pay for it then come back to get the dress. When we got to the real register we found out that they did not take credit cards which we thought was a bit odd as the little porcelain shop we were in earlier did take credit cards. We finally got the dress paid for and then it was time for lunch.

We have been eating mostly in the hotel since we have been in Jiangxi so it was nice to get out and try something new. Jiangxi is known for its spicy food and this place did not disappoint. We also got to meet one of the courses of our meal.



When we got back Grace was really tired and had her first meltdown. I think you can really only classify it as a mini-meltdown as it did not last too long but it was the first time that we were not able to immediately calm her down when she got upset. I am sure there will be many more where that one came from. This pic is pre-meltdown.


Tomorrow we leave for Guangzhou, the flight there is pretty short so it will be a good test run for the 14 hour flight home. Before we leave we have a little more paperwork to take care of and we need to try to get our bags under the weight limit again.

We just had to post this video of Grace laughing. She really is too cute.
video

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Third day with Grace

It was a pretty quiet day here today. A silk dress maker came by this morning. Jen ordered a dress for Grace, a shirt for herself and a tie for me. No paperwork to do until Friday so our guides planned a trip to the Teng Wang Pavilion.


The pavilion was just a few blocks from our hotel. Unfortunately it was raining while we were there so we didn't get to tour the grounds as much as we would have liked to. We did get to the top though. Not quite as much history here as the Great Wall. The original pavilion at the site burned down in the 1920s and was rebuilt in the 1980s. So it is a pretty modern building but built with a very classic Chinese style. The view was great from the top though. You can see our hotel in the below picture, it is the one with the spires and ball on the top.


I think most of the families that we are here with are starting to get a little stir crazy. We wish that we could just go home now but there is still much paperwork to do. Only two more days in Nanchang, then we leave for Guangzhou for our last leg of the trip. Grace continues to do very well. Yesterday she would fall over when we sat her up and today she was sitting up on her own. She was a little fussy this afternoon and evening probably because she has a couple teeth coming in which you can see in the below picture. She still went to bed pretty easily and we are hoping for three nights in a row of 8+ hours of sleep.


Tomorrow is another off day for us so the guides have some tours planned. Jiangxi is famous for its porcelain so they are taking us to one of the local porcelain factories. There is also a possibility that we will be taking a tour of Yifeng which is the town where Grace's orphanage is located. It is a two hour bus ride away but I think it will be worthwhile to see the town where Grace was probably born. Not sure if we will actually be able to visit the orphanage but we are hoping that we will.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lots of Firsts

We had a surprisingly good first night. Grace slept for about eight hours, she didn't even wake up during the night. She did wake up fairly early since we put her to bed around 7:30 so we kept her up for an extra hour tonight. We shall see how tonight goes. Based on conversations with the other parents it seems like most of the babies are really good sleepers.

We are starting to pick up on some of her cues. When she is tired she makes this little moan that sounds like na-na-na-na-na. We think we finally figured out how to make her bottles how she liked them as we were able to get in around three bottles today. We went and got some baby food today and she tried some pear which she appeared to like. We actually haven't found anything that she doesn't like yet. Except maybe a bath, she had her first bath this morning and wasn't too happy about it.

We spend the morning today doing paperwork. Our first stop was Civil Affairs office to pay some fees, get a family picture taken and we were interviewed by an adoption official. The second stop was a different place but more pictures of just Grace this time. The last stop was at the notary office where we were interviewed once again and officially became Grace's parents.

Tomorrow we have kind of a free day. We are doing some sightseeing at the Teng Wang Pavillion. Only three days left in Grace's province until we leave on Friday for Guangzhou so it will be nice to get out and see a little more of the area. We will just leave you with a couple pics from today.




Monday, May 26, 2008

What a day

So we woke up early this morning and headed down for some breakfast. After breakfast we had an hour or so to kill so we stopped by the room where we would be meeting our babies. The room was dark and there was nobody there so we went back to our room to put together a diaper bag with some things that we would need for the day.


We headed back down to the meeting room around quarter to nine and there were a couple families there already waiting. Everyone was very antsy waiting for the babies to arrive and trying to figure out who would take pictures and video for that special moment. At around quarter past nine the babies started to trickle in. There were around 14 families in the room so to say things erupted into chaos would be an understatement. The actual hand off process is all very official so we couldn't just walk up and grab our baby if we recognized her. I think this may be the just about the cruelest form of torture known to man. After waiting almost three years for your baby that last 5 minutes is probably the hardest.


Finally it was time to start giving the babies to their new families. They call the families up one by one to make sure everyone has enough time for pictures and video. I think we were the 4th or 5th family called. They handed her to Jen and I got my turn to hold her a few minutes later.

video
The next few hours were spent filling out paperwork. We finished all of the paperwork by noon and went for a quick lunch and then pretty much had the afternoon to get to know Gracie a little better. So far things are going really well. She has cried a little bit here and there. Mostly she just wants to be held and fed...this girl likes to eat. Which is probably why she weighs in at 20 pounds. She is definitely not a malnourished baby. She was well taken care of and has the rolls to prove it.
Around mid afternoon a group of us took a little field trip to a local grocery store to pick up some baby supplies. We got quite a bit of strange looks as we were walking along the street. Imagine the spectacle of a dozen white families with Chinese babies walking down a crowded street in China. After our field trip she took a little nap but we had to wake her up to take her down to see the doctor that is traveling with us for her checkup. She passed the doctor's examination with flying colors.
Tomorrow is another day of paperwork and we sign the official adoption agreement. We are right now in what they call a harmonious period. Kind of a trial before we officially are her parents. She seems to like us ok and we are just in love so I think she is stuck with us for the long haul.
Overall our first day with her has gone really well, she has cried a bit but that is to be expected given all she has been through. Our arms are really sore from carrying her around everywhere but she deserves all the attention we are giving here. She has eaten pretty well and we even got a few laughs out of her at lunch when feeding her congee. We haven't really figured out the whole bottle situation as they feed babies a bit differently in China than they do in the US so I think we are going to need to work with each other on that one.
Our real test will be tonight I think. We put her down about and hour ago and were told she sleeps for eight hours so we will see. We will just leave you with a couple more pictures of our angel. Pretty amazing isn't she...

Finally a family





Wow, is all I can say. The moment of seeing and holding our daughter for the first time was amazing. She seems to be doing well. We have had some laughs, some cries and a bottle. So I think we are doing OK. We have a busy afternoon planned so I will post more later.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We're in Nanchang

Just got into Nanchang an hour ago, we haven't seen much of the city as it was dark when we got in. I am sure we will get to know the city better in the coming week. It was a pretty uneventful flight so that is good.

Today was a pretty busy day, most of it spent touring the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. The Forbidden City was great, the place is just huge and the history there is pretty amazing. We spent about three hours meandering our way through.

One interesting thing that has happened to us a few times (well mostly Jen) is Chinese locals will come up and ask to have our pictures taken with them. The first time she was asked Jen thought they wanted her to take a picture of them. But that is not the case. Apparently they don't seem many pale skinned curly haired women in China so they just want to pose for a picture with her. Jen will probably be in quite a few Chinese family photo albums. Most people just stop and stare but it is actually kind if fun. Will be interesting to see what kind of looks we get from the locals once we have Grace.

We did have a little scare at the end of the tour of the Forbidden City. Our guide gave us an hour to tour the rest of the city but we didn't hear where she told us to meet up. We assumed the meeting place was back where she left us. We started to get nervous when we no longer saw anyone from our group about 15 minutes before meeting time. When meeting time rolled around and still nobody from our group was around we knew something was wrong. Luckily our guide gave us her cell phone and we were able to call her get directions back to her and the rest of the group. They were only 5 minutes away but this place is just huge and it would be really easy to get lost. A couple pics from our day below.




The biggest news is that we were told that tomorrow morning at 9:30 the babies will be brought to the hotel. So in less than 12 hours we will be united with our daughter for the first time. Kind of unbelievable that after all this time it is finally happening. Although when we walked into our room this sight made it seem very real.





Saturday, May 24, 2008

Great Wall

We got up pretty early this morning and headed out the the Great Wall. It was pretty close to 90 degrees which made climbing rather difficult but we made it to the first tower in the picture below. The steps are pretty steep in parts so this is not a climb for the faint of heart but Jen was a trooper and stayed right with me. It felt pretty amazing to finally be walking on the Great Wall.




On the way back our tour guide took us through the area where they have built (or in some cases it appears) are still building stadiums for the upcoming Olympics. We saw the Bird's Nest stadium as well as the swimming stadium.



It is pretty amazing how much construction is going on right now all around Beijing. Everywhere you look there are new buildings and cranes. This is one of the cooler ones we saw while driving around.

After the Great Wall we went to a Chinese acrobat show. The show was great but my jet lag caught up to me in the middle of the show and I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. I think I got just a couple hours of sleep last night. We were told that the mattresses here are hard. I did not realize that it would be like laying on a slab of cement. I have a feeling I am going to sleep tonight though.

Tomorrow we tour Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City and then hop on a plane to Nanchang. The plan is for us to meet Grace early Monday morning. Not long now....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hello from Beijing

We finally made it here. I wouldn't say it was the smoothest trip in the world but it could have been a lot worse. Our flight was delayed leaving by about 4 hours so we got here a bit late.

All seemed like it was going fine in Chicago as we were taxi-ing out to the runway then the pilot announced that we were going back to the gate for some hydraulic issue. We waited about and hour for them to fix the issue then we rolled back out only to come in again as the issue had reappeared. We were then ordered off the plane so we went off with K and M to get a beer and were back in time for takeoff - for real this time. Thirteen or so hours in the air and it is 10:30 pm Beijing time and I am working with getting no sleep on the plane so sorry if I am rambling a bit.

Beijing is beautiful at night, reminds us a bit of Las Vegas with all of the lights. It is pretty hot and humid here though. We are off to bed to get some much needed sleep and some rest for walking on the Great Wall tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All packed and ready to go!!!!


We finally got our bags under the weight limit and are ready to go. Not sure how we are going to sleep tonight, we are so excited!!!!

The next time you hear from us we will be in Beijing, China!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Attachment Stuff

Dear Family and Friends,

As we prepare for the arrival of our daughter, we have learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of our baby. In her short life, our daughter will have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle. Imagine how much harder the changes will be for her. While she may not consciously remember the events, she will still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief and trauma. She's already experienced the loss of a birthfamily and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of her birth country. Her world will turn upside down. She will struggle with feeling safe and secure and she may lack the ability to trust that we will meet her needs.

We have prepared to meet her emotional needs so that she does learn that we will always take care of her and we will always keep her safe. We need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment we will allow her to regress so that she has the opportunity to go through all of the emotional stages with us despite her chronological age. Although it may appear that we are spoiling her, we have been advised that it is best that we meet every need quickly and consistently. Until she has learned that we are her parents, we will need to be her primary caretakers at all times. It is essential that we always hold her, feed her, and do all of the nurturing. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. We will follow her lead and trust our instincts as her parents rather than worry about what society expects.

We have all been waiting anxiously to bring Grace home but she has not been waiting for us. She may show her grief and confusion in many ways and we are prepared to help her through it and prove that we are a forever family and this truly is her last stop. We trust that as our family and friends you will help us to do what is best for our daughter, and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

Steve and Jen

** from http://www.a4everfamily.org

Monday, May 19, 2008

Packing....Not quite done

Jen spent the day today getting the rest of our stuff packed. I came home to help with the big weigh in and our bags were overweight by 10 and 15 pounds respectively. This is after round-one of removing items that we probably won't need. So on to round-two. Twenty five more pounds of stuff to weed out. I guess Lucy can't go with us after all. Jen has pulled a bunch of stuff out and will go though it again tomorrow for hopefully the third and final round.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Last Weekend

It is hard to believe that after all of this time this is our last weekend before we travel to China to get Grace. We had a lot of last minute things to wrap up this weekend and we got most of it done. Jen had her last day at work on Friday so just about everything else left to do is on her. I do not envy her at all. She still needs to finish packing which in itself should not be a big deal, the issue is our checked bags need to be 44 pounds or under. They are pretty close to that now and we haven't even packed our own clothes yet. She is in the process of deciding what is "must have" and what is "nice to have". As well as a bunch of other miscellaneous last minute to-dos.

We also tried to spend some time on us this weekend. We went out to a couple restaurants that we really like on Friday and Saturday night. We took our time, drank a bottle of wine and tried to enjoy probably our last time having a leisurely dinner for a while.

Lots of people have been asking if I plan to update this blog and post pictures while we are in China. We are bringing the laptop, camera, and video camera so I have every intention of updating the blog as often as I can. Obviously Grace will be our first priority and as first time parents in a foreign country with a miffy little girl, we may be a little bit overwhelmed. But I will try to get to it when I can. Internet connections in China can be a bit spotty as well so we may not be able to connect at times or in certain provinces. We have also heard that China blocks blogging, I have a backup plan that I hope will allow me to updated the blog if we are blocked. If my backup plan doesn't work I have another backup to that plan as well so I am pretty sure that I will be able to update either way.

So just three more days of work for me and then we are off for the trip of our lifetimes. I can't even imagine how much our lives are going to change. People have been asking me a lot lately if I am nervous. I have to say I really am not, maybe a little anxious but really just looking forward to seeing China, trying new foods, experiencing the culture and bringing Grace home.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Travel Meeting

Big day today.....we had our travel meeting at our agency to nail down the last minute details of our trip. We now have our airline tickets and itinerary and are just about ready to go. For those interested here is an abbreviated version of our itinerary.

Thursday, May 22 - Leave Boston for Beijing

Friday, May 23 - Arrive in Beijing

Saturday, May 24 - Sightseeing - The Great Wall

Sunday. May 25 - Sightseeing - Forbidden City/Tianamen Sq
Travel to Nanchang

Monday, May 26 - Family Day!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 27 - Paperwork

Wednesday and Thursday, May 28-29 - Nanchang Sightseeing

Friday, May 30 - Travel to Guangzhou

Saturday, May 31 - Child Physicals

Sunday, June 1 - Guangzhou Sightseeing

Sunday, June 2 - Visa Interview

Monday, June 3 - Visa Oath

Wednesday, June 4 - Bring Gracie Home

The meeting today was a little overwhelming, so much information to process but fortunately there is not that much time left to stress about it. A week from tomorrow we will be on our way.

I know some of our travel group read this blog and the doctor traveling with us mentioned that we should organize ourselves so that we are not all bringing the same things. So I wanted to put it out there that we are planning to bring powdered Amoxicillin and Elimite. Feel free to use my comments section to post what you are bringing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquake in China

We woke up this morning to news that there was a huge earthquake in China. The quake occurred in Sichuan Province and is reported to be a 7.9 magnitude. The latest reports say that the quake may have killed 10,000 people.

The quake was reported to be felt as far away as Beijing so I am sure that that it was felt in Grace's province as well. It seems though that Jiangxi is far enough away that it didn't sustain any major damage. The capital of the province where the earthquake occurred is Chengdu, which is about 725 miles from the capital of Grace's province. This is about the same distance as Boston MA to Raleigh NC. So it is probably safe to assume that Grace is fine.

Thanks for all of the calls from friends and family expressing their concern. Just two more weeks and Grace will be in our arms.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Hope all of the moms and moms to be out there had a great Mother's Day. We had a pretty low-key day, we visited with our mothers and got some stuff done around the house. Jen did get a Mother's Day card from Gracie all the way from China (well not really). Jen is a little bummed that she has to spend one last Mother's Day away from her daughter but knowing we are two weeks from seeing her for the first time takes the sting out.

We finally installed the car seats into our cars today as well. Just need to get them inspected and we should be good to go.

Last night we had some family and friends over for one last party before we dive into parenthood. Melinda brought over baby James to test out some of my baby proofing and he was quick to show me where I was lacking. Biren and Kris brought us the cool picture cake below. It was not only the cutest cake I have ever seen but those cheeks were mighty tasty.



Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ocho de Mayo


Some of Jen's coworkers threw her a Bon Voyage party after work today. They gathered at a local Mexican restaurant to celebrate us leaving to go get Grace. Jen proudly wore her "Mommy" crown that her friend Liz made. Jen was happy to see some of the recent retirees that she had not seen in a while. Everyone at work has been so supportive of our adoption and Jen will miss them all greatly while she is on her leave of absence.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Comparing The Years - May 2008

Referrals started arriving on Friday and it looks like the cutoff is January 12th. So this is another disappointing batch with just three days referred. The average number of days referred over the past year is exactly 6 days. The chart below shows the number of days referred per month back to May 2005.


If we overlay the above chart by year (see below) the upward trend that we have seen in May the past two years did not happen. Although based on the online polls I would expect to see a bigger batch next month. Overall though I would expect to see more of the same for the next few months until they start referring the days around the end of January 2006. There are very few people logged in those days because of the Chinese New Year holiday so we will probably see one big batch of around 10 days followed by a few very small batches.


The next couple months should be interesting. With the Olympics starting in August there is still no clear consensus with what is going to happen with adoptions during that time. Some agencies are telling their clients that everything will continue on as normal just no travel to Beijing during the Olympics. Other agencies are telling their clients that there will be no travel during August. Some agencies are even staying that travel approvals and referrals will be affected in the months surrounding the Olympics. I think it is safe to say that the Olympics will have some effect but since the CCAA has not given official word we still don't know how it will affect the waiting parents. Luckily for us we will be there and back before the Olympics starts but we really feel for all of the waiting parents who will be affected by it.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Just two weekends left before we leave for China. Time is really flying now. We still have to put the car seats in the cars and have them inspected and of course finish packing. Overall I think we are in pretty good shape, the panic has not set in......yet.

Jen spent last weekend cleaning and getting things prepared for Grace's arrival. This weekend it was my turn. Grace now has an assembled high chair and stroller. I installed safety gates at the top of our stairs and safety latches on all of the cabinets. Also put padding on the sharp corners of some of the tables around the house, don't want little heads to get bumped.

While I was busy, Jen went into the city with the NDA girls for her last girls' night out. They went to some swanky restaurant/bar and it sounds like they had a lot of fun. Jen came home all excited that they saw celebrity chef Ming Tsai, unfortunately I had no idea who he is. I think late nights out are going to be few and far between from here on out. The next time Jen is up until 2am she will probably be consoling a crying baby. A couple pics from their night below.




Saturday, May 03, 2008

Found In China



We picked up a great DVD last week called Found In China. It is a documentary that follows a group of 9 to 13 year old girls as they travel back to China on homeland heritage tours. The DVD starts with the girls and their families touring the Great Wall and doing other tourist things. The documentary goes on to follow the girls as they visit the orphanages where they spent the first months of their lives. Some of the girls are able to meet their caregivers and others are able to meet the person who found them. Other girls travel to their finding locations. It is very emotional to watch these girls travel back to their beginnings. Jen and I watched the whole video with lumps in our throats.

The video is interspersed with interviews with the girls, their parents, sociologists and adult Korean adoptees. They explore the emotions involved with adoptees figuring out who they are. Also discussed in the documentary is the possibility of our daughters someday finding their birth parents.

We really enjoyed this video and think it will be a good tool to use someday to prepare Grace when we take her on a homeland heritage tour.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Flights

The travel agency that our adoption agency uses emailed us our flight info today. We fly out on May 22nd and have a connecting flight in Chicago and then straight to Beijing. On the way home we fly out of Hong Kong connecting Chicago and back home on the June 4th. No info yet on our in-China flights but I am sure we will hear soon enough. Alright, let's get there already!!!!