Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gotcha Day!! (5/31/04)

(More from 2004)

Lindsey is sleeping in her crib behind me. We got her a few hours ago. She is precious, beautiful, and sweet.

She didn't cry at all when they gave her to me or since. She was very inquisitive, looking all around and banging the toy keys I gave her. She loves to scratch at things including Jay's neck. :-) Her fingernails are long and dirty but otherwise she is very clean and smells good, although very sweaty. It is HOT here! She has on a really cute outfit. I can't tell you much more about her right now because she has been sleeping so long.

The hotel we're in here in Guangzhou, Dong Fang, is awesome. We're staying here until Friday and then moving to the China Hotel which is supposed to be even nicer.

It's hard to write everything I want to say but I just don't have time. I'm so tired. :-) I will try to write every day.

Eileen (and Jay, Ben, Lindsey, and Mum)

Ben getting ready to video the big moment

"Gotcha" moment

Oh sooo sweet!

With Lindsey's nannies

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May 30, 2004

(Still reliving trip 2 years ago - post from 2nd full day, a Sunday)

Our last day in Beijing! Tomorrow morning we fly to Guangzhou at 8:00 a.m. That means we have to be out of our rooms by 6:00 a.m. I didn't sleep very good last night. I woke up several times, the last time at 4:30 and that's when I got up for the day. Very unlike me. :-)

We started the day again with the breakfast buffet. Then we went to a church service-Beijing International Christian Fellowship. It was so awesome. Only foreigners can attend the service. You must show your passport proving you are a foreigner. We didn't have to do this, however, it is obvious from our appearance that we are not Chinese. :-) The service was in both English and Chinese. They would sing a song through in English then in Mandarin. The sermon was by a preacher from Hong Kong, and he had an interpreter. The interpreter was so good! She did such a good job reflecting the tone of what the preacher was saying.

From there we went to the jade factory. I had chops made for Ben and Lindsey. It's like a stamp, with the animal from the year of their birth on top (Ben was born in the year of the horse, and Lindsey the sheep). Then their name is carved on the bottom and that's the stamp. The salespeople are soooo pushy. You cannot "just look". They hover over you and tell you things about the merchandise. I don't like that at all. Then we went to lunch, another lazy susan on the table type of meal. I found enough to eat but I didn't exactly stuff myself. :-) The restaurant was attached to a Friendship Store, a government run shop that sells all sorts of things.

After lunch we went to the Great Wall. It was pretty incredible. We didn't climb very far though because it is very steep and we are all very tired. Jay wasn't feeling good by the end and hasn't felt good all night. I've been pretty queasy all day myself. Next we went for a Peking Duck dinner. Of course I didn't eat any duck but Ben did. He really likes the food and has become a pro at using chopsticks. There wasn't much there I liked but I wasn't really hungry anyway.

When we got back I had to repack all of our things and have our checked luggage outside our door by 10 p.m. They are going to pick it all up tonight so that is taken care of since we have such an early flight. I'm not so sure I'm ready to fly again but I have to if I want to get Lindsey! I can't believe that our lives are going to change so much tomorrow. It's still really hard to believe. I am feeling soooo nervous about tomorrow-about another flight and getting Lindsey. Very excited of course but very nervous. They just came to pick up our luggage. I need to get to bed. I'll write again after Lindsey is with us. Good night!

Pictures at the Great Wall:

Monday, May 29, 2006

May 29, 2004

(Reliving our first trip, 2nd day in China, Saturday 5/29/04)

Hello from China!!! We are in Beijing! We are TIRED but enjoying ourselves very much. We flew and flew and flew to get here:

(Local airport) to Chicago: 55 minutes
Chicago to Los Angeles: 4 hours, 12 minutes
Los Angeles to Shanghai: 13 hours
Shanghai to Beijing: 1 hour, 40 minutes

The flights were pretty good although the last 5 hours of our flight to Shanghai was mostly turbulence. I felt pretty sick the last 2 hours or so, and was starting to feel very warm. That made me very nervous as they take your temperature in Shanghai and I didn't want to think about what would happen if mine was too high. I took 4 Motrin and I started to cool off and passed through Shanghai with no problems. I guess I could go on and on about our flights but I'll spare you that. I'll just say that my first time flying went fine and I can say I do like to fly. Ben did great too. It was so awesome to get through customs in Beijing and see our AWAA guides, Sherry and Lineker, holding up the AWAA sign.

We got to our hotel at about 12:30 p.m. last night, China time. We got to bed around 2:30 and slept until 6:30. At 9:00 we left for a full day of touring, and didn't get back until after 8:00 p.m. We went to Tianenman Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, a pearl factory/shop, a silk factory/shop, and a restaurant for lunch and again for supper. I found a little to eat at the lunch buffet but didn't eat much for supper.

Supper was an interesting experience. :-) The restaurant was pretty fancy and very large. The waiters and waitresses were on roller skates. Jay got up to take a picture of something and almost ran into one speeding by. The guy had to brake a little. :-) They put the food on a large lazy susan in the middle of the table. There was nothing there that I liked, it was all meat including squid. (side note: I'm a vegetarian.) I took a little rice and put a few vegetables from one of the meat dishes on top. I couldn't master the chopsticks so I used a little fork. Ben and Jay used the chopsticks. They had entertainment, girls doing different dances in different costumes. It was interesting.

We take a bus to and from each place and while we are driving along Sherry stands at the front with a microphone and tells us about the city and China, and some about herself. She is so nice and very funny. She's very interesting to listen to. She said she talks Chinglish. :-) Lineker is the same, very nice and funny. I don't think we could ask for 2 better guides.

Driving in Beijing is just as people tell you it is -- crazy! Our bus driver is always honking as he maneuvers around people or tells people to get out of the way. Lineker said he is the best bus driver in Beijing.

Now we're back at the hotel and ready for bed! Good night!!!!

Can you read the name of the restaurant? :-)

Outside our hotel

Me and MIL at pearl shop

Sunday, May 28, 2006

More from 2 years ago...

Since our second trip to China is taking longer to happen than we hoped, I am reliving our first trip, 2 years ago, and will be posting the emails that I wrote to the Yahoo group I started to document the experience.

May 28, 2004

I wasn't able to write from China right away - there was no internet in our room and we got in much too late. We got in to the Beijing airport at 11:30 pm China time Friday night so by the time we got to our hotel it was bedtime! I wrote my first post the next day. Watch for it tomorrow. Here is the view from our hotel that first night (Yu Yang, our guide said that was the first and last time AWAA would ever use that hotel! The one AWAA normally uses, the Radisson, was booked.)

And again, back to the present, here is Lindsey in an adorable outfit I got from the Children's Place outlet. I took the picture this morning after church.

And finally a scripture read by our pastor this morning that really spoke to me about the wait:

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Saturday, May 27, 2006

2 years ago....

May 27, 2004 - Got up about 3:30 am and got ready to go to the airport, going to China! The night before we watched Fantasia win American Idol as we packed our bags. We left for the aiport about 5:00 am and I felt like I was going to throw up the whole way there. My sister took us (she's coming with us this time, I can't wait!) and she and Ben were talking on the way there, to my ears all I heard was "wahh waaahhh, wahh waaahhhh" like on Charlie Brown. :-) I had never flown on a jet before and here I was going halfway around the world! I'm getting that feeling in the pit of my stomach as I remember it. Now even though I've done it before, I know I'm going to have that same "I'm going to throw up" feeling on the way to the airport again.

So for my first flights, we flew from our local airport to O'Hare, then to LAX, then to Shanghai, then to Beijing! I think it took about 28 hours start to finish, something like that.

We only have a few pictures of the trip over (have to change that next time!) but here's one of me and my mother-in-law at O'Hare, then a view out our plane window somewhere between Chicago and LAX.

And back to the present day, here's a picture of Lindsey I took yesterday:

Friday, May 26, 2006

Getting on with it

Okay, pity party over, time to get back to life. From the start I've been committed to enjoying the journey - but sometimes it feels like there is no journey! We are just spinning in circles it seems. But we ARE moving forward, inch by inch, and I'm going to try to enjoy things again.

Here are the latest 2 bibs I've received in the October DTC group bib swap. One more month to go with that. Next month we are starting a sock swap in the September group. That will run for 4 months and should be fun, easy, and inexpensive.

Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of the day we left for China to adopt Lindsey. I had a Yahoo group for our trip (will do that again for this one when it gets closer, whenever that might be!). I'm going to post the messages I sent to that group each day along with a picture or two from our trip. If I can't go on this journey yet, I might as well relive the first one. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006



Monday, May 22, 2006

Another week

So I woke up this morning thinking "It's Monday, let the rumors begin!" LOL Then I go read RQ's blog (yes I read it, every day, but never post) and read the clarification of the "June 15" rumor - the CCAA thinks they will get to the 15th this month, maybe the 18th or 20th, but that would be difficult. So at this point this is still a RUMOR but it certainly isn't out of line with the way things have been going. So I am SO DISCOURAGED and wonder when this is ever going to end. Are they ever going to start referring full months again? 3/4 months? 1/2 months for pete's sake? We're going to have to reapply for our I-171H, I just know it (it expires 2/17/06). So any financial benefit from waiting longer than we planned is totally OUT the window. Not to mention the hassle of doing that all again. Did I ever mention how much I hated paperchasing????? I don't enjoy the thought of reliving any of that over again.

BOY AM I CRABBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Half the Sky

We've been giving to Half the Sky for almost 3 years now - to their Baby Sisters Infant Nurture Program. Our sponsored baby has a nanny assigned to her, to help her grow and develop and give her love. We get an initial photo and report about our baby, and then quarterly reports and a picture after that. We are sponsoring our 4th baby! The first one was adopted, the second one went into foster care, and the third one was also recently adopted so we just received information on our newest sponsored child. She's only about 6 months old and she is quite young in the picture we just got. All 4 children are adorable! It's not quite the same as getting a referral, but it is so special to get the updates and pictures. I love it!

Half the Sky is just one of several wonderful programs helping children in China. Love Without Boundaries is another great one

It has been so rewarding knowing we are helping these children. If you are looking for a way to help, check out these wonderful organizations!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

DTC Pins

I belong to both the September and October DTC groups. We were DTC 9/9 so I joined the September group, never dreaming we wouldn't get logged in until 10/12! With Lindsey's adoption we were logged in in 7 days. Anyway, I love both groups, and both groups have pins. I bought 2 of each - September Moongazers and October Autumn Dreams.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

7 months!

We've been logged in for 7 months today. A milestone - yes, but who would have thought that at this point we wouldn't have our referral yet. The worst part is that there is no end in sight. I'm trying not to be too pessimistic but who knows if we will even go to China by the end of the year.

It's cold and rainy and we're off to a field trip to a farm! We'll be wearing hats, mittens, and our winter coats! Not what I envisioned when I signed up for this field trip. Oh well, I think Lindsey will love it no matter what the weather.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

CCAA Website

Hope I'm not being too snarky here, but I need to say something:


There, I feel better now. If I had a dollar for every time I've read someone say the website is down, must mean something, I could fully fund this adoption (okay not quite!) You do not need to take a website down in order to update it. Besides, referrals just came out not quite 2 weeks ago, and the CCAA was off last week - I doubt more are coming this week. (I know it's happened before, in June 2004 a batch came out just one week after the previous batch, but that scenario seems unlikely to be repeated with the way things have been going.)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Encouragement

It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:8-9, 24


My 5 year old Westie, Chester

He just got a really short haircut and looks nothing like this right now! He's so cute and sweet, he's the best dog!