Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy to be Home

We made it home to a banner, pink ribbon and balloons. I was in and out of the bathroom sick for most of the plane ride home. So the 24 hour journey home was less than ideal. However, we all did manage to sleep the same 4 hours on our long flight home. We are Sooooo happy to be home and don't plan to travel internationally as a family for several years (maybe 10 or 15). It took us all a while to get over jet lag but, we are all settling in and getting into a routine.

Mia loves her new home. She especially likes all the new toys and the space. She has learned to crawl and is into everything. And I do mean everything. I do not remember Noah being this busy.

Nana a Poppa came through town for a couple days and brought the 100 wishes quilt. Mia loved the colors.

She has been a great eater. And seems to love ALL food (yes, she must be my daughter). Nana brought some sugar cookies. Mia could not get it all in her mouth fast enough.

It took Mia a while to get back on this time zone but, will sleep through the night again. Noah went back to school. He was happy to see his friends and get back to his life. However, he is very proud of his new sister. He loved showing her to his class, neighbors and friends at church.

Last day in China

How cute am I????
Mark and Mia stayed in the room to nap and Noah and I walked a few blocks to a park. There was a hotel with cool waterfalls on the way.

The park was beautiful with a lake surrounded by different paths.

This is our hotel.

The McDonalds.

The car dealer across the street. They would not let people take pictures with the cars.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where should we sleep?

Check out the kiddos in our bed. Mark just asked, "Where are WE going to sleep?"
Mia is a blanky girl like her brother.


Today we had our appointment with the American Consulate. Our guides actually took our paperwork over for us but, we had to stay in our rooms so they could call us if there was a problem. At 11:00 we were free to leave. We took a taxi back over to Shamian Island. We stopped at the famous White Swan hotel to take some photos.

This is Noah in the lobby. They have a pond with big fish.
And a great waterfall.

Here are the kiddos on the famous red couch. Most adoption groups stay at the White Swan and get a picture of all the babies on the red couch. Our group is kind of scattered today so we will just have to settle for these two cuties.

We had nice lunch at Lucy's restaurant. It is a restaurant owned by an Australian but, they serve a lot of American food. Mia stuck with chicken congee (one of her favorites) .
We then did a little shopping. However, Mia had another poop episode. It actually went though her pants and the carrier on to Noah's hand. He handled it quite well (brotherly love). We had quite a mess and of course I did not have extra clothes (I did not learn my lesson last time). Anyway since both my clothes and Mia's clothes were poopy we cut the shopping short and headed back to our hotel for a bath. There were a couple more things I wanted to buy but, nothing Earth shattering.
Tomorrow we have a free morning. At dinner we discussed our options of the zoo, a park, more shopping, or start packing. We will see what time everyone is up. Mia has a cold so we all may have it soon. In the afternoon we will take our oath and get Mia's visa to come home. I may not post tomorrow night if I am not packed up.
Our luggage will be picked up from our room at 5:00 am China time on Saturday. We arrive in Nashville in NW flight 651 at 4:12 pm Nashville time on Saturday. We can't wait.

Pearl River

Last night we took a dinner cruise of the Pearl River. It was a buffet dinner (Chinese food of course) which was okay. But, we really enjoyed going up on deck and seeing the city all lit up. The cruise is similar to the General Jackson in Nashville but, they don't have entertainment. However, Guangzhou (population 11 million) is much bigger than Nashville and all the buildings have different colored lights. It was really cool. All four of us really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Mark and Noah went to the electronics market and the toy market today. We were all going to go. But, Mia was tired so I figured a nap would be a better choice. Anyway while she slept I uploaded pictures to . She is up and I did not quite finish and it is not edited but, you can check it out. Mom... you can order prints from the site. We are going on a Pearl river cruise tonight so I may not post again until tomorrow.


Today was a wonderful day in China. We really have settled in and are even starting to feel like we are on vacation. Mia is such a blessing. She was truly meant to be part of our family. She is doing great. She gets fussy when she is tired our hungry (like all of us). Otherwise she is so happy. Some other families have commented about how smiley and happy she seems to be. And all of the people on the street and in the stores comment on how pretty both she and Noah are and that they even look alike. She is eating great ..... there will be no counting bites with Mia. She eats her food then she wants ours.
We had a relaxing morning. We slept in a bit. Mark went down to Starbucks and got us coffee as soon as we woke up. It was wonderful to relax and enjoy being together. We did not even make it down to breakfast until 9:00. We then walked with our group to Yuexiu Park. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful park.

There were bunches of people playing hacky sack. However, they use a Chinese hacky sack, which is really a stack of disks with feathers attached. You see men and women young and old playing. There were probably 50 people playing in this one area of the park. They looked like people of all ages however, our guide informed us they were all retired. Yes, Dad and Bruce retired people out jumping around kicking a hacky sack. Our guide said in this area of China people have a long lifespan because of the climate, diet, tea, and morning exercises (which is Tai Chi).

We then climbed a bunch of steps ( I may be in shape by the time I get home) up 50 meters. At the top they have a goat statue. Guangzhou is known as the goat city.

In other areas of the park we saw people playing badminton and ballroom dancing.

It was a lovely relaxing morning. We then headed back to the hotel. Mark and Noah went to McDonald's and I had peanut butter crackers in the room so Mia could nap. We then loaded the bus to go to Liwan plaza for shopping. On the way we stopped at the Buddhist Temple. Several families wanted to have their child blessed by a Buddhist Monk before leaving China. Buddhism used to be the mandatory religion in China. They now have freedom of religion but, about 60% of Chinese people are still Buddhist.

They have to go to the Temple twice a month otherwise they can have a small Buddha statue in their house to worship at home.

This is a picture inside the Temple. They have 3 Buddha statues that are about 15 feet tall. They represent past, present and future. There is something about every 25 million years one is created. We allowed Mia to participate in the blessing of the babies. It was really interesting (Mark video taped it). It is quite similar to a baptism but there are no questions to the parents. The monk says some stuff (but, we could not understand) lights some incense then sprinkles something toward each child. It was not really over each child because we had such a big group. I am not sure if it is water but, it is in a cup and he sprinkles with tweezers. I think (but, I would need to check with my World History insider ... Mom) Buddhist believe in living a peaceful life now and no after life. Mia will still be baptised at Westminster (in Feb.).
After our visit to the Temple we did visit the Liwan plaza. It is a BIG shopping mall. The 1st part of the mall is typical to our malls. It has a variety of types of stores clothes, purses, luggage, food, music etc. Mark went to the music store and got a few CDs and a couple of DVDs for a pretty good price. The second part of the mall is the jewelry market. It is the same size and has over 300 jewelry stores. Our guide showed us two stores one to buy pearls and one to buy jade which was good because the mall is overwhelming. Both have high quality merchandise for reasonable prices according to our guide it is about 1/6th the price you would pay in the US. China is best known for both pearls and jade. From as early as 3000 B.C. jade was known in China as 'yu', the 'royal gem'. In the Chinese empire, jade has always had a very special significance, roughly comparable with that of gold and diamonds in the West. We bought two small jade circle pendants one for me and one for Mia when she is older. We also bought Mia some pearls to give her for an important occasion maybe her wedding.
We got back to our hotel exhausted at around 6:15. However, we were pleasantly greeted in the lobby with a string quartet and a small orange drink (shot glass size). Mia was done for the day ... actually all four of us were. We ordered room service. They are all asleep and I better join them. Thank you for all of your e-mails and posts. We miss you.