Wednesday, July 29, 2009



Got a call at 7am-ish from friend Erica that the Blackberry farm was still open. HMMMM...can I handle 2 kids at the patch?? Off we go!!! I put Harbour in the sling and gave Thatcher the bucket. Like other plants, she wanted nothing to do with the blackberries..unless I picked them and let her squish them in her hands. Then she was ok with them. Couldn't put Harbour down in the grass so all my pics are of Thatcher. It has been 2 years since we have been so this was fun! Thatcher can find some great ones...and most were at his pickin' level so we got a full bucket pretty quickly. Nice and cool morning. These bushes are thornless which makes it great to take the kids. After about 15 min, Harbour was asleep and I was trying to keep up with Thatcher's mad pickin' skills!! Cobbler here we come!!!



After a looooong day(s) of travel we are home. We sat on the tarmac in the plane because of refueling and a generator problem for 4 hours! We missed our connecting in Newark and had to catch the next plane out from JFK the next morning. Glad to be home. Thatcher, mom, and my sister Elysia met us at the airport with tears ...and a camera that caught some great pictures of Thatcher and daddy.

Things have gone well and our little ones are bonding. Harbour is a little overwhelmed by her brother's energy, but want to play with him all the same. They are too cute together.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We have better pictures with her smiling...but this is more her personality

Everyone loves Jordan!!!

Donation after being blessed by the monk

Height and weight

Lined up to be herded through on medical day


We made it to Guangzhou. Breakfast that first day was eventful with everyone meeting the new kids. What a blessing to be sharing this journey with so many. We have missed them the last week..and were finally able to meet up with families that did not travel to Beijing. We are all in a rush the first morning because we are meeting up to go over to the island for our medical appt. Harbour flew very well on her first plane ride so I'm no longer concerned that she has an ear infection ..pulling her left ear seems to be a "sleepy habit"...but I'm anxious all the same to have her checked out with her being under the weather during the last week. It's chaos...not just our agency is there so there are people everywhere. We are lucky shots for our little one today. The older kids in our group are not so lucky. Harbour checks out fine and we have time to toodle around the island a little. Wish we were staying at the White Swan. It would be so much more convienient seeing as we will be spending a lot of our time on the island this week!

Days 2 and 3 ..TOURING DAYS

We decide to join the sightseeing tour to see the Buddist temple. Neat place to see...statues of Buddah...and the smell of incense burning everywhere. They have a baby blessing ceremony that we were allowed to join. Ken has it on video. Our Harbour is extra blessed now! We then traveled to a mall which we were expecting to be a street market type place...WRONG! It was a regular mall...only with 2ce the shops. Pearls, jade, and amber amongst clothing and nicknacks. We bought a pretty place setting chopstix set..but just felt too weird buying stuff in a mall. We wanted to shop the street vendors! Ken was in a haggling mood :) On the third day, all the older kids had to go back to the medical to read TB skin tests. We caught the bus over with them to do some shopping on the island. We hooked to the WiFi at Starbucks and called Thatcher as well. Missing him terribly!

Day 4...Some free time, but have to meet for Visa paperwork
We all meet in a room downstairs to go over the paperwork that will be submitted for our Visa...of course there is a problem with ours. Not only is one of our forms expired (just filled out another an easy fix), but our most recent homestudy that we had to do specifically for Harbour after we were matched is wrong. Her DOB reads 8/8/2009...apparently she hasn't been born yet! Luckily, we had to renew our paperwork last year and I had that homestudy addendum with me that they were able to use. There were others that had problems as well... mentally stressful day...

Day 5...Oath...IT'S OFFICIAL

Today we went to the American Consulate. Close to 30 families (not just CHI there) were there to submit their papers and take oath. What emotion was in the room.... They asked us all to stand. We took our oath with our children in hands and arms. The moderator then announces her congratulations on our new children. SHE"S OURS....SHE'S REALLY OURS!!! Everyone is crying... these precious children are finally a part of their forever family... When we step on US soil they become US citizens... The highs and lows of waiting, paperwork, emotional and financial stress, worrying if your child is ok because you are soooo far away.... OUR WAIT HAS ENDED..... my daughter is mine...ready to get home...........


Nanjing at night

River in Nanjing

City gate in Nanjing

Fan painter. Harbour has her name on this fan

Fingerprinting Harbour


Tuesday (June 30th) we went back to the Adoption Bureau to complete adoption documents with the notary and registrar. Time to make the orphanage donation too. Once this is done we are outta here with our legal documents to wait and tour Nanjing while we wait on her passport.
During the rest of our stay in Nanjing we toured the City Gate, and 2 was the Brocade museum that Nanjing is known for. Very neat city. One part of the city seems very old, while there is a mall around the corner that is completely Americanized. Water runs through the city so there are bridges and boats to make a nice atmosphere. Harbour's orphanage is too far away and none of our group is allowed in the orphanges due to the swine flu so we didn't go. I have spoken with yahoo group members and our CHI coordinator has also been to the orphangae to confirm that it is one of the nicer orphanages go. We have received a journal of sorts (need to get it translated) with documentation and pictures of Harbour from infancy to now which is wonderful. She seems to improve in her health everyday...another blessing as we didn't want to go to the hospital. She'll have a medical appt in Guangzhou in a couple of days to confirm she is well. If she takes turn for the worse before then, we'll take her before we board the plane. She is a wonderful baby...eats and sleeps well...and soooo happy it's funny! She smiles with her eyes as Ken likes to say. We have been skype-ing from the Burger King in the hotel to talk to Thatcher. I'm missing him soo much. He and Harbour seem to have hit it off through the computer though. She is mocking him and laughing which warms my heart. Can't wait to get home...........


Daddy loves you already our arms!!!!!!

Auntie and orphange director. 1st site of our daughter

GOTCHA DAY! (June 29th)

We started our journey to Nanjing yesterday. After arriving, we went to the hotel, checked in and then straight to the bank... A few blocks walk away with A LOT of cash that we were exchanging to yuan for the orphanage fee. I was never happier to get back to the hotel and money in a safe in my life!

TODAY....WE GET HER TODAY!! We traveled to the Civil Affairs office today and patiently..yeah right...awaited them to bring her in. There is one other family with us, the Loper's, that are adopting an older child with vision issues. Lian AoYun is coming first...longest drive away (orphange is 4 hrs away) so they left earlier. There she is and is beautiful!! We talked to her for a minute, then they handed her to us. We were surprised...she came right to both Ken and I with no tears. The only time she cried during the transition is when we were waiting for Ping to come in for the Loper's and Harbour got thirsty. Unfortunately Ping's transition wasn't so smooth and our hearts hurt for her and her mom and dad. She had been in foster care and the kids are much more attached to their foster parents. AoYun was in an orphange in Lianyungang. We all get on the bus to the hotel to finish a few documents and then downtime to bond. Harbour has no trouble bonding...but is coughing and wheezing (and I know wheezing). We asked our CHI coordinator, Nancy, and she told us no dr's in the area...only the hospital. She slept with us the first night, and the next morning seemed some better. We have tried to follow the orphanage schedule, but she's not interested. She is not eating and sleeping when they have said...but we are chalking it up to being sick and maybe a little emotionally exhausted.

We have completly fallen in love with child already. Is that possible? I guess it is because we have. I can't get enough of her. Those big eyes just melt you!! I have only known her for hours and I already feel she has blessed my life tremendously....

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Ken is the white dot at the top!

Ken halfway up...another part of the wall behind
Hutong City

Water Cube

Bird's Nest

BEIJING (JUNE 25,26,27)
After the ordeal at the airport, we all safetly arrive at the Renaissance Beijing Thursday afternoon. Some took naps...I fought to stay up until 730pm due to the time change. Ken went out for a walk and I think made it until after 9pm... Scary but I don't remember him coming back to the room I was soooo asleep. 1:30 am, I'm awake! Glad I brought 3 books. Friday morning there are a few of us families who venture down to the Olympic park. Neat place. We didn't go into the Bird's Nest, but we did decide the Water Cube was worth a visit. Being a swimmer, had to take pictures of the place Michael Phelps made history! We also did some shopping today. Had to get pearls, so off to the Pearl Market we went. I decided I wanted something different than the classic strand and wanted to incorporate jade...this will be passed to Harbour when she's older (18 or her wedding day). Hutong City was the next stop. It's an old historic city where you can travel the streets by (bicycled) rickshaw. We stopped to see a dwelling and were able to go inside. It's neat how the guide was describing the fundamentals of where each family member lived based on gender and rank.

Saturday was a long and eventful day. The entire group met up to tour TienAnMen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall. TS and FC were neat to see, but so much time was spent that I felt we were rushed at the Great Wall. It was an overcast day so the pictures didn't turn out wonderful, but what a site to see. There was some confusion as to the tier's at the wall, but I think I made it to #3 and Ken went to #5. We were told that if we return to China, the best time to see the Great Wall is in the Fall....not as hot and clearer days.

It was wonderful to meet all the new families and we are praying for safety in travel and a wonderful easy "gotcha day" for all....


So I'm finally updating the blog with commentary and pictures. Most of you have seen this as we emailed, but the blog is like a journal I can go back and read so here goes....


Wednesday, June 24th we left for China. Bumpy ride to Newark so, for someone who hates to fly, it was not an optimistic start to the trip. International flight was smooth, but of course loooong. Was glad to touch down in China. Never knew how nerve-racking getting a temperature taken could be until the ominous workers came on the plane and proceeded to "shoot" everyone in the head with their temp guns. Little did I know there was more fun to come! We met up with many members of our group, for 3 of us to be pulled aside out of nowhere, given masks and excorted to the medical tent for more temp taking. Apparently the infared sensors picked up elevated body temps....and I wonder why...we're walking through a big hot airport, carrying our bags, running our mouths with our new found friends, and had been sitting in a seat for 13 hours...hmmmmmm. Longest 10 minutes of my life. I'm on the left in the yellow in the picture...taken with Ken's Iphone....