Thursday, July 5, 2012

Heading Home

Today we leave our hotel by 7:30 for our flight to DET, all goes well. Our seats are the 2nd to last row from the back. I'm quite irritated that all bulk head seats were taken up by teenagers seemingly annoyed to have to look down at their tv screens. What a waste for these seats not being able to be used for families with small children on an 14 + hr flight. Evangeline doesn't sleep for more than 2 1/2 hrs during this entire trip. We walk the plane many many times and know almost all passengers by the time this seemingly never ending flight is finally over.
We are very very happy to land in DET especially after we had been told the flights may not go so well for our baby girl. Landing in Detroit makes our daughter officially an american citizen.
Customs, Immigration and all  take long enough that there isn't much spare time to get to our last flight to Charlotte. This 2 +- hr flight goes well too and we are only 1 more leg away from home.
Once Dad picks up the car we finaggle the car seat which has to be adjusted so much to get E to fit into it properly.
Once in the seat Evangeline is NOT HAPPY. She HATES the car seat.
After the first 1 1/2 hrs of screaming she finally falls asleep for the last hour.
We arrive finally just past 9 pm. All our older kids are home and welcome us warmly.
Everyone is excited to see and hold the baby we have been waiting for soooo long.
We are so very happy to finally be a united family.
After a quick, late dinner at Applebees we spend our first night at home. Evangeline and Mia both pack into our bed making for a cozy night.

6/12/12 heading to Hong Kong

today we leave for Hong Kong, Guangzhou has been extrem ely hot, humid and it's been hard to be outside. We hope the evening in Hong Kong will be better.
The morning is spent packing, making sure all our paperwork is in our carry on etc.
Check out of the hotel, one last walk then heading to the Embassy to pick up Evangeline's Visa (in the chinese passport) then to the train station.
We check in our luggage with a gentleman, whom our guide just happens to have the cell phone number for.
Of course it's an arm and a leg in addition to the tickets to check in the bags.
Once we are allowed to board the train we find our assigned seats where we spend the next few hours.
The "restaurant" onboard is pretty decent and we have some Chinese cuisine.
We had some "neat" conversation with a russian man who lived in Florida for a long time now in China and now trades "herbs"... Interesting.
Once we arrive in Hong Kong we get a cab to the Intercontinental Hotel.
The hotel is pretty nice, but definitely could use a remodel. Being an Interconti and all... we expected to have our socks blown off by this place, but the Holiday Inn in Xian was actually nicer...
We don't even bother to unpack but rather take a nice long walk to the Boardwalk with a bunch of famous actor's handprints. Pretty neat. On the way home we get a bit to eat at an ultra expensive german restaurant.
Actually not bad food for a German place in Asia. Impressive.
We head back to the hotel after getting caught in the rain and go nighty-night.

Day 3 Monday 6/11/12

Today we have our Embassy appointment at 8:30 am so getting up early, skipping breakfast and heading out by 7:30 am.
At the Embassy we see a few of the families we previously"met" at the Dr. The swearing the Oath is pretty informal, all families swear at the same time from their seats after attendance is taken.
We sign a few things and we are done before 9am
Back at the hotel we get a late breakfast and I meet up with Helen again at noon to do some shopping at the Pearl Market. This is where I get a piece of Jade for Evangeline, some gifts for the kids at home and get to see a bit more of the city.
Later that evening we walk a bit and explore a BIT more as Dad still isn't feeling well, but at least the 2 hr 10 min massage for $30 won't make him feel worse,lol
I explore the Shaiman Island while he relaxes at the massage and I get a few traditional outfits for Evangeline.

Day 2 in Guangzhou 6/10

Helen wants us to sleep in, however Evangeline decides that is NOT going to happen, she wakes at 5:30 so I take her for a walk so Dad can get some rest. He still doesn't feel well so we take it easy. We meet Helen at 10:30 to go to a tomb of an Emperor buried 2200 yrs ago. Even there we stay in AC area and walk through pretty quick. We d/o our laundry and hang out at the hotel for the remainder of the day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hotel rooms are booked

Our flights will be as follows...
6/1/12 4:33 pm leaving Charlotte to Detroit, 3hrs 24 min layover
           9:55 pm leaving Detroit to Beijing arriving at 11:55 pm (flight is 14 hrs though,lol) we will spend the night in Beijing at the airport Hotel
         the next leg of the flight will be on Sunday morning from Beijing to Xi'An , this part is arranged by our guides and not set yet just like the next two legs mentioned below...
The same afternoon we will get our wonderful baby girl and stay in her province until Friday the 8th of June
   On June 8th we will fly to Guangzhou where we will get Evangeline's Passport etc.
On June 12th we will leave to Hong Kong, spend the night and on the 13th we fly from Hong Kong to Detroit where we arrive at 1:40 pm we have a 3 hr layover leaving Detroit at 3:48 pm for our final leg of our flights to Charlotte where we arrive at 5:40 pm
After an additional 2 1/2 hr drive we will finally be home with our baby girl to meet the rest of the family.
Oh my I'm tired just thinking of all the flights and layovers...
It will be very neat to see so many different places in our daughter's place of birth.
I can't wait!!!!
Thanks to our friends Beth Arrowood, Amie Stewart, Kristi Jackson and Colleen Feldman our 3 older kids will be taken care of while we are away. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

transatlantic tickets are booked

We got the call this morning around 10 with the earliest Consulate date we requested... right at 8:30 am, yippee!!!
So that led to the entire day filled with phonecalls to several different travel agencies, the lawyer (to do our will), the vet, friends who will keep our kiddos etc etc etc.
By 7 pm tonight, victory... Yay us, our tickets are booked thanks to Ming (works with our agency) she saved us almost $2000 on our tickets, she is amazing...
We are officially leaving Charlotte on 6/1 at 4:30 pm to Detroit to Beijing stay a short night then fly to Xi'An the next morning. That same afternoon we should (if all goes as planned) finally be able to embrace our youngest child. I can hardly believe there is a date to it, not far off.
I'm soo very excited!!!!!!
Now all we have to do is book hotel rooms and In country flights. Bags are already packed, lol.
To a wonderful day, Cheers!!!!

booking tickets

This is soooo exciting, we got our CA Consulate appointment today, 6/11 8:30 am
This means we leave 5/31 or 6/1, meet Evangeline on 6/3 return home on 6/13 :-)
Happy Happy Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012


We just received notice of our arrival of Travel Approval, I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited I can hardly write!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We've been waiting for this day for so long... words can't express my emotions, they are ALL phenomenal though!!!!!!!!!!
Now the agency has to request an appointment with US Embassy in Guangzhou China then make sure it works for our daughter's orphanage then they give us the ok to purchase tickets on a specific date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMG I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

waiting is so hard

I feel like I'm going just a little crazy waiting for Travel Approval... I want it and I want it NOW!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A long wait

Waiting for our little precious Evangeline has been much harder than I ever thought. This process is much more like being pregnant than I ever could have imagined. It's a roller coaster ride to our daughter's arrival!!!
The wait will absolute be worth it once we hold her in our arms and can embrace her forever!!!!!!!
Waiting has always been the hardest thing for me... this process is teaching me patience (or NOT)
We have been in process of adopting a child since September 2011, specifically Evangeline since 1/3/12.
4 1/2 mos ago we first saw the 3 pictures of our princess. She was 14 mos old then, today marks the day she turns 19 mos. I had hoped she would be home for a couple of months already by now.
Hopefully we will be leaving to get her soon though, very soon.