Saturday, February 21, 2009

Can't believe

I can't believe I didn't write any emails from the time we got Felix to the time we got to Guangzhou. I guess it shows how tough things got. I miss my friends from our travel group so much. You don't realize how you get so use to seeing them every day. Boucing ideas, comments, questions and concerns off of each other. Having hallway play time. You bond with each other in a way you won't with anyone else. We're all in the same boat, I mean bus, plane.....oh what ever. My friends respond with any thing I say " Oh, that's normal for a toddler boy that age." No, it not. It's very difficult to know the difference from being in an institution to regular toddler behavior. These kids have experience trama that my friends kids couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't go through. Does your child eat like it's his last meal because maybe sometimes it was for a long time? Doesn't want to sleep because they've never had a mama/dada there in the AM? Yes, these are some what normal toddler behaviors, but why they do them is totally different and have to be treated differently. Any way, I'll update more and with photos soon.
Thanks for reading


John asked me to some up China in one word the other day. It took me all of one second to think, Chaotic. I think I made have said that in an earlier post. I guess part of it is just the way of life here. You talk fast, move fast " I mean your guide/rep does it for you" and think fast. Our reps always seem like they are arguing about something to the locals but we've decided that's just the way they communicate. BTW, there's someting wrong w/ my H key and I'm tired of going back to fix the missed H's. Anyway, another part of the chaos is that we have 12 other families in our group. So if one person is missing we wait, if one family is late we wait. We were ALL so happy to leave today and go down South to Guangzhou, Shaiman Island. One reason, it's WARM, another is we're that much closer to coming home. OK. So this AM we're all ready to go, everyones there, we load onto the bus. 20 min into te trip to the airport, dead stop on the road. People just get out of their cars here and walk around when this happen apparently. Hot, annoyed americans on a bus wanting to get on a plane, not good. Our rep is calling people to see what going on. She decided that there is a VIP here and they close down the roads both ways wen tis happens. She said president fromr other country maybe. Any who, she called the airport and told them to hold the plane for us, apparently you can do that here. So chaos in the airport of course, she has us all cut the line of people going through the check point all as she's yelling at everyone in the airport. It's pretty cool actually to get such treatment. We got pull here. We had a great plane ride Felix and Sami slept the whole 2 hours. Shaiman Island is beautiful and warm. We ate a ton at lunch bacause we hadn't eaten yet and it was 2pm, that happens often that you miss meals and have to just eat your snacks that your sick of. Lonae and I went shopping after lunch, had a tea ritual and the kids are sleeping. I love every family we're with, everyone is so great. Yesterday after we went to get our kids passports, the moms went over to a tea shop. I asked te guy how to do this block of tea and then he sits us down for a tea offering. it was such a cool experience. They put so much into serving a cup of tea. Any way, tomorrow we have a city tour, not anything to intense like in Beijing, the hard parts are over now. We'll be going to temples and church and shopping and then a group dinner. Here's a tid bit about Shaiman Island. BTW, as tough as it's been doing all the things we've had to do, I'd do it again in a heart beat. Don't be surprised if we're back in a couple of years!!! We are at the famous White Swan Hotel. Shamian Island, formerly known as Shameen Island, from its Cantonese pronunciation (Chinese: 沙面岛, pinyin: Shāmiàn dǎo) is a sandbank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, China. The island's name literally means "sandy surface" in Chinese.The territory was divided into two concessions given to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing Dynasty government in the 19th century. The island is a gazetted historical area that serves as a tranquil reminder of the colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. The island is the location of several hotels, a youth hostel, restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs. Since the early 2000s, Shamian Island has become well known for the many Western couples who reside there while seeking to adopt Chinese babies and young children, most of whom are orphaned and female. The White Swan Hotel is perhaps the best-known hotel in Guangzhou, having been in operation for many years, and is usually the hotel of choice for these couples. One reason for this popularity is that the hotel is adjacent to the United States consulate, making it convenient to file paperwork and handle bureaucratic matters. The consular section has since moved to the other side of the city (the whole consulate will move in 2012 as well), but the hotel is still the most popular destination for adopting couples. Beginning in 2007, the Chinese government slowed the rate of adoptions, and as a result the percentage of tourists to Shamian Island who are Westerners has decreased as well

side note

I just realized the dates might be off because I'm cut/pasting them from emails and it shows up as PST

02/01/09-Gotcha Day

We finally got Felix after a 3 1/2 year wait and it was so worth it. The day was hectic. We walked to the office, 5 families from our orphanage. We were the first family. He cried for a long time. The only way we could stop him was to feed him. After about an hour, with a rush to the passsport photo shop, he stopped. He's eaten a TON so far, won't stop. Sami was a little scared because all the kids were crying. She did really good right away, feeding him, giving him lollipop and toys. She's very concered. Now she won't leave him alone. She is all up in his face, she loves him already. This AM she was saying "sister, sister, little sister. Any way gotta go for now

Fri 1/30/09

I wish I could put into words right now what my day was like. I'll start off with-Amazing. We woke at 2am because we all went to bed when we got to the hotel @ 18:00. Went down to bfast at 6am. Met all the other families from our agencies adopting as well before our tour at 9am. I can tear up at how amazing these people are. They are giving, humorous, strong, down to earth, selfless, I could go on. Some families are here to adopt there 3-7th child. From minor special needs to missing parts of ear/hearing, clubed hands, albinism, heart conditions. We went to Tianamen square, Forbbiden City, "we walked this btw-2hrs, then went to chinese lunch "so good," then to the silk factory "John has a new found respect for silk making," then took a rickshaw through "common folk" town and home. Yes, we went into a chinese home. Sami was a trooper with no nap except for the hour she took before we went out in the AM. She fell asleep in John's arms on the rickshaw. So this house we went into, the man of the house was so cool. He was so greatful that we came, wanted us to ask questions...but it was not anything like you might imagine. He had crickets in his bed room. No, not to eat...they like to feel like they live in the country still. It's like a sound sleeper for babies. LOL. He had pet turtles, not to eat. Then finally back to the hotel at 17:00. Oh I forgot, we know what it's like to have a daughter as a celebrity. Sami was a big time hit. We had crowds of 20-30 people at a time taking pictures with her, of her, holding her. She would stop crowds and people would yell-oh, baby hi baby, pretty baby. Apparently it's good luck to have blonde hair and even good luck rubs off ih you touch a blonde and take a picture with them. Being the new year, everything that signifies good luck is 10 times more luck. I guess. Speaking of which. The fire works here go off all night until about 2am and the are like bombs. They aren't the wimpy M80's we have in the states, they are serious. It actually hasn't bothered Sami at all. She's sleeping right here and they are soooooo loud. And she had to have soy milk instead of reg milk. I couldn't find New Zealand or Austrailian milk in the market by the hotel. Then again, nothing is written in english soo..... I'll post pics tomorrow. So tired. Can't believe I wrote this much. Oh and my mom in law is such a trooper too. It was a lot of walking, stairs, crying Sami......I might have doubled this email to some of you on facebook, sorry to overload you.nite

Thu 1/29/09

Ni hao,
So we made it . We're in Beijing. The flights was fast. Didn't seem like 12 1/2 hrs from San Fran. We were able to upgrade to Business class which was great because Sami had a lot of room to run around for 11 hours. Yup, that's right. She slept a total of about 1.5 hours. Needless to say, that's probably why it went so fast. So unfortunately we really had no use for those wonderful reclining chairs in Business Class. We got to our hotel yesterday te 29th at 4:30 and all went to bed at 6pm. Sami was crying the way to the hotel "bath, milk, bed." Over and over again. She knows the order. Now it's 3am and we are up and ready to go. We have to find out where our phones are. They were supposed to be delivered to the hotel. But there not.Mom/Terry-I just tried to skype you. You no home. XOXO

China updates

I was to tired to post in China so I am posting the emails and facebook entries I sent out. Sorry!!