Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our Day, CA, Answered Questions and Only 24 Hours Left!

Thank you for your encouraging words!!
(keep 'em coming!)
It was so nice to wake up to so many wonderful comments!
I tried to answer some of your questions in this post- sorry if I missed a few!

We walked up Mt Baiyun! 
With a stroller...
Yes we were the only ones with a stroller ;-)
There is a reason for that- it is not easy to push a stroller up a mountain!
I know... what were we thinking!

Of course, we got lots of looks!
As if to say "what are those americans thinking?"

We were going to ride the electric car but we bought the wrong ticket and then decided it was such a beautiful day- Let's walk!

I did not make her push the stroller the whole way up the mountain!
She just so happens to love pushing strollers!
We alternated pushing and having Abby walk a little.
Abby thought it was so incredibly unfair that Luke got to ride and she had to walk- a little!

This is supposed to be a look of exhaustion BUT she has too much energy to be tired!

Someone asked "How is Sarah doing in China?"
She is incredible! 
It has really been a growing experience for her!
Playing with all the families has really helped her grow socially!
She is a little uncomfortable with her chinese. She has forgotten a lot and does bother her. Although she has said she only wants to get good in English and let her chinese go- we are not so sure we will do that?

We really aren't sure what we will do? It would be so wonderful for her to keep it and yet she is learning so much right now AND still has so much to learn. We are just not sure where the chinese language fits in to all of that?

She is really enjoying Abby and Luke and they adore their Jei Jei (big sister)!

It was much farther and harder to walk up the mountain (with a stroller) than we realized!
But great exercise!
It was so nice to take the gondola down!

This mountain and garden area are right in Guangzhou! Only a 20  minute drive from the hotel!

We bought the children each a toy! They were thrilled!

How do we like the China Hotel?
We like it a lot. The rooms are great- larger, the beds are more comfortable and they connect!! It is a big Hotel and the families are not near each other- which is too bad. The BKF is very good! 
we do miss the island, a lot.
We have been back to it everyday!
You can take a taxi to the island for 20 RMB- it's worth it to us!

Here is the garden section of the park! It is beautiful!

The White Swan will open next October BUT it will no longer cater to adoption. The rooms will be larger and the hotel will be more for those who travel for business. We heard prices are going up significantly.

We had a great day!
Of course we would rather have been heading home but since that wasn't an option this worked out well...

I have heard from others in MN that we should just enjoy our time here because of the weather back home -  it's COLD!

Do we talk to the children at home very often?
No, we do not. 
I know some families skype all the time- we haven't at all.

We send emails back and forth. I know the children are counting down the days until we get home!
It has worked for us to do it this way so when something works we continue to do it! The children are doing so well at home and here- why upset anyone(including me) when they all are happy! Seeing us may make them miss us even more? I know it would make me miss them even more!

Can't wait to give them all a huge hug!!

FOR real- this has been our easiest adoption! Both Abby and Luke are easy kids! They are smart and go with the flow- it's been nice!

Once we get home I can see Luke getting into things- he's only 3yrs old and can be a little dickens sometimes! BUT I will have many watchful eyes! 
Our children love tattling, I mean reporting!

The timing of our return flight is a little off. LAst time we flew straight out of GZ to LA and had an 10 hour layover- it was so perfect. Enough time to eat a burger and sleep 5 hours! It was perfect. We left at night and slept! ate in LA and slept some more! Arrived home feeling good.

This time we are flying to Beijing tomorrow night. Sleeping and then heading to Seattle in the morning. have a 4 hour layover and then to Mpls.
We are hoping the flight is not full so we can lay down! And we are praying that between movies and sleep our time will go by quickly...

We were at this park 3 years ago when Katie and I came to China to get Sarah.

The landscaping is beautiful! It is a serene walk around the grounds!

It's almost time to go home...
24 hours left- whew!

We had our CA this morning- it went well!
CA- stands for consulate appointment. We go to the US consulate say an oath for our children and apply for their visa to get into the USA. The Visa's are available about 34 hours later- once we get them in our hot little hand we are FREE to go!! WooHoooo!

I said no- for the first time to Luke today.
Huge crocodile tears welled up in his eyes.
Of coure then I needed to hug him- which was my pleasure!

One more post and we are so outta here!


Vicky said...

I have loved following your Journey to Luke and Abby! As always, great photos! I pray that the flight home goes well for one and all!


Angie said...

I know you'll be so happy to get home, but don't you just leave a piece of yourself in China each time? It is a special place to us. So glad this trip has been so easy, and I recognize the garden...we were there last January and it was all decorated for the Chinese New Year. Have a safe, restful flight home.

Janet and Kevin said...

The gardens are just beautiful! So happy you are about to fly home, but Angie is right, isn't she? Each time you leave China, a little of your heart stays behind! It is a curious thing. When we are in China, especially on those last few days in GZ, we miss home terribly and can't wait to get back. But once back and settled, our hearts long for China again!

Praying for a safe and uneventful trip home and a wonderfully calm adjustment period once there.

janet and gang

Lori at JOY Unspeakable said...

It will feel soooo good to be home!! You're *almost* there! Then the REAL journey, fun! But make sure to find time to blog about it all! You might have to hire a babysitter to do it though. LOL

LOVE all your pics!

alee said...

thank you for posting about the China Hotel! Our agency has us scheduled to stay there when we travel in Jan. & I was curious what it was like versus the Island!
Blessings to you as you travel home :)...

HOPEdriven said...

I have so enjoyed following your journey in China and look forward to next adventure of parenthood!! You make it all look so easy!! I pray for safe "easy" travels!!

Jennifer P said...

What a beautiful park. We missed that although it was too hot to do much walking around in September with our guy. The kids look so happy. Glad that Sarah has done so well. Praying you a "quick" trip home.

Difference2This1 said...

So glad to follow your journey once again....looks like there were many fun times. Prayers for an uneventful trip home!!!

Jboo said...

So sweet!! Praying for good travel for you all!


Jennifer said...

Beautiful pictures! :) Every time I see Sarah her face radiates happiness. :) She looks so pleased to be their big sister. :)
Home is SO close! I've loved following your journey, you're such an inspiration! :)

Nicole A. said...

Yay! Have a very safe trip home! I have enjoyed following your journey and am so very happy for you that everyone is adjusting well. You will have such a remarkable, blessed Christmas this year!

The kids are so very, very cute!

Praying for safe, easy travels, and smooth, easy transitions at home.

All the best,
Nicole A., now in LA

Sherrie said...

Jean, at the very beginning of our adoption journey, 8 years ago, we adopted our first daughter, Mia, she was 9 months old. We stayed at the China Hotel, that was the hotel our agency used, so that was where we stayed. At the time we didn't know anything about the island or the White Swan. I have the fondest of memories of the China Hotel, it was such a special time in my life. I would have never dreamed that at age 43 I would finally be blessed with a baby girl! Now, 8 years and three more children later, the island is my home away from home. I like the White Swan, but I LOVE the Victory Hotel. I stayed in a lovely large room with huge soft beds, and the street outside my window is tree lined, so I could sit in the little sitting room area and look out the window. Abby and Luke are adorable and fit right in with the rest of your family! Merry Christmas! (We arrived home on Christmas morning those 8 years ago with our beautiful baby girl). Sherrie

Cari said...

i can't believe that you have adopted eight kids in just three years...amazing! hoping/praying for a great flight experience home for all of you. :) so glad that this adoption trip is "easy" for you.

kristin said...

Jean - I got your note on my blog about Luke's size and clothes size. My little guy is about 34" and 27 pounds so a size 3 should be good for him. Thank you! I'll be praying for a good trip back. And I can't wait til I can start watching how they blend into your wonderful family.

Rebecca said...

Jean & crew,
It looks like y'all are doing amazing. I am so happy for you!!! What a blessing. You are in my prayers,

Jen said...

Praying for safe travel back and wonderful reunion at home. Can't wait to see all of the kiddos together!