Friday, September 08, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We're Outta Here!!!

The bags are packed and we are ready to go! This will be my last post from China. I won't miss trying to download pictures everynight to the Blogger.
At 2:45 tomorrow we catch our bus to the American Consulate for the swearing in ceremony and to pick up Bliss' exit visa and passport. From there they will take us to the airport and our flight leaves at 9pm. Hopefully the kids will sleep for 12 of the 15 hours.
Today it rained almost all day. We took turns going to the foot massage and workouts. Otherwise, we were stuck in the hotel room for most of it.
Leaving is bittersweet. I am beginning to feel regretful that I have rushed this trip away. We are now down to our final hours here and I want to get out there and see everything I can. I feel sadness for Bliss as she leaves her homeland and all that she has known. I feel sad she will have very few links to her past. Even with all that I have learned on this trip about her culture and her time at the orphanage, I know that I will never be able to give her sufficient answers to the questions that mean the most.
It has been hard to be in the moment and really enjoy my time here. This has been such a long process. Bliss being my mission. Once I had her in my arms, I just wanted to get her home and begin life as normal. I was telling Barb today that I still don't really feel like she is mine. It won't feel real until I am in Publix and all 3 kids are screaming. That will probably be sometime Saturday.
As I look back on the past 3 weeks, it really has gone by fast. Just when we started to get in a routine, it's time to go. The breakfast ladies stopped asking for our ticket and actually moved all the breakable dishes and knives before we sat down. The woman at the grocery store in the hotel knows I want Coke "Light" and how many. The shop owners outside greet us by name as we pass. We know all the good places to eat. I finally figured out how to convert Yuan to US dollars and Chinese is starting to sound familiar. We have not quite mastered the hole in the ground they call a toilet or the BYOTP thing. The kids have eaten French Toast and Grilled Cheese everyday for 18 days. I never want to see another Buffet. We have strated to accept walking backwards and clapping your hands as a form of exercise. The hotel room seems to grow smaller each day, especially for me. To top that off, the Chinese stand too close and invade my personal space too often.
Most importantly, we have what we came for and she is wonderful! It was worth every bit of having to be here for 3 weeks. Just like Pete said, her name says it all. We look forward to stepping of the plane in Fort Lauderdale and handing her off to her Grammy and Grampy.
Mom and Dad, we forgot to tell you that all 3 kids are yours for a week while we recover. OK?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

2 More Sleeps!!!

Thomas and Madeline are so excited that we only have 2 more sleeps until we get to go home! We didn't do anything exciting today. Bliss has finally learned to pick up food and put it in her mouth. We could tell that she had been taught not to put anything to her mouth. As you can see from the pics, she's keeping up with the other two. She's going to be tough. She has become a little bit insecure at night. Last night she wouldn't stay asleep unless she was touching me. Overall, she is an easy baby.
Hang on Grammy, Grampy and Uncle Steve, we're coming!!!

Birthday Party

At the birthday party, I finally got to meet many of the families that I have been corresponding with via internet for over a year. It was nice to see everyone finally united with their child after such a long wait.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Red Couch Photo

The woman holding Bliss is our guide Rui. She has been wonderful. The baby crying next to Bliss is the baby that came from the same orphanage as Bliss. Her family is the family that received the other "twin" from our first referral.

Nengren Temple

Today we visited another Buddhist Temple. It was gorgeous. The kids loved the coy and turtle pond. There were hundreds of turtles. A few of the turtles had red Chinese characters painted on their back. During Chinese celebrations the Monks will go to the market and pick out a few turtles. They write a Chinese Blessing on their back and set them free. We climbed tons of stairs but never made it to the true top. It is so much hotter than home here. The temples were beautiful with lush gardens.
Today was the last tour we will be going on. Tomorrow is a museum. Barb will go to that. Museums are too much for 3 kids and 2 adults with no attention span. Barb will give us the Cliffs notes.
Tonight we have the group Red Couch picture and then a big birthday bash with about 20 families from our agency. Many babies have birthdays this month and several families missed their child's birthday by a week or two. I'll post the pictures tonight.
Thursday we turn in all our info to the American Consulate. Friday we pick up Bliss' exit Visa and depart China at 9PM!!!!!

More Temple Pics

The Characters above Bugga's head read "May the Mind be Free of Dust".

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Local Fleet Feet

For all the Runners back home. Nothing we would ever run in...

Zhen Hai Tower

Today we went to a park the had a museum and a tower. It was built during the Ming Dynasty in 1380AD. The statue of the 5 Goats is the symbol of Guangzhou. It is believed that the goats arrived like gods to bring the people what they needed to develop the city.

Famous red couch

Everyone that adopts a baby from China has a photo taken on this red couch. Before we leave we will take a photo of all the babies in our travel group.

Cute Babies

I know Grammy and Grampy need to see at least one picture of the kids each day. Thomas' "girlfriend" Elizabeth came over to watch a movie with him today. He spent most of the day playing with her. They played in the playroom this morning , we had lunch together, swam this afternoon, and then a movie. She is a sweet little girl and her family is very nice. We haven't really bonded with many people from our travel group because they are all first time parents or didn't bring kids. I think people run the other way when they see us coming with our entourage. It rained all morning. You don't even need sunscreen here, smog works fine.