Oh how I love the night before referrals get into a new parents hands :) Here is a Mom and Dad- to- be that have waited over 3 years to see their daughters face for the first time. Tomorrow they will no longer be wondering..
UPDATE- My guess below was WAY off :) - Take a look at her beautiful smile!!! M+S have some shopping to do~!
I'll put my guess out there for the record..
Province = Jiangxi (staying in Nanchang while in Province)
Age = 10 months
Weight= 16 lbs when they take all the layers off :)
Hair = wispy strands of dark brownish black :):)
Congrats M & S!!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Oh how I love the night before referrals get into a new parents hands :) Here is a Mom and Dad- to- be that have waited over 3 years to see their daughters face for the first time. Tomorrow they will no longer be wondering..
Saturday, December 27, 2008
This year it was my intention to keep Christmas simple. I did very little shopping and decided to focus all energy on making a festive and memorable day for my family without the commercial influence as much as possible. We did end up with much more under the tree than I would have liked, but mainly the goal was accomplished.
My Mom came and is sleeping upstairs as I type. I can't tell you how much we treasure our children's only Grandparent left. We had a wonderful home cooked meal of Citrus herb turkey, apple sage dressing, holiday corn pudding, fresh fruit, and more seasonal favorites. After dinner, we watched old videos of Christmas's past, the birth of John David, Elizabeth's 'Gotcha' day in China and many other memories. I would look over from time to time as we were watching them all and see tears trickling down my Moms cheek. It was really the first time we watched anything that had my Dad in it who passed away not long ago.
Our son John memorized much of Luke Chapter 2 and this was his gift to his Grandmother. He drew a picture of the manger scene on a card for her, wrapped it up, and then when she unwrapped on Christmas day he jumped up and stood in front of the fire and recited it. What a joy it was to hear his precious sweet voice and knowing these verses will be tucked in his heart for the rest of his life.
I realized that time is passing so quickly. Life changes unexpectedly and we never know what the next year will bring forth.
I can't help but feel a sense of urgency to stay even closer to our Heavenly Father as we enter such an uncertain time in 2009. Our family's goal this year will be to focus ever so strongly on Him as we travel along the path God lays before us.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Here is a portion of a Christmas letter written by Mary Beth Chapman. Her entire letter is found here. Thinking about how the mother of Jesus might have known the time with her son was short and how she translated that into those precious years she had with Him on this earth...
As I anticipate Christmas 2008, I have many thoughts flying through my heart and head. The last several days, my mind has not been able to stop thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Pregnant and scared, knowing that the baby she was carrying eventually would pay the ultimate price of His life. How would I have lived differently if I knew that my time with Maria was going to be this short? Regretfully, I would have lived much differently. I would have purposely hugged and kissed more. I would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. I would have colored more and worked less. I would have laughed more and fussed less. Bedtime wouldn’t have become a chore to check off the list of things to get done. Instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. The swimming pool wouldn’t have been too cold to swim in. The flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definitely more ice cream would have been consumed!
Friday, December 19, 2008
OVER 1.5 BILLION U.S. taxpayer dollars (YOURS AND MINE) are being considered for the Abortion industry bailout by President Elect Obama
I went to bed but could not sleep thinking about this tonight. A very large chunk of this money would be designated to fund Abortion Groups like UNFPA, an international aid organization connected to coercive abortion as part of China's coercive one-child policy.
As I read the emerging data on "the Abortion bailout" being considered by the next administration, I am *beyond disturbed* to know that part of our family income will be given to these "causes" by the future President.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
One day I saw Elizabeth perched on the dining room table near the window posing for John. I asked him what they were doing and he said he was drawing her portrait using natural window light. ...humm, ok... sounds like a plan... so I resumed my daunting laundry chore and left the room.
Later, he presented me with the finished work.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Christiana Campbell’s Tavern *AMAZING* Rum Cream Pie
(one 9-inch pie)
Crumb crust (see below)
1/2 cup dark rum
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
unsweetened chocolate (opt.)
Prepare a crumb crust (see below).
Soften the gelatin in 1/2 c. cold water. Place over low heat and bring almost to a boil, stirring to dissolve.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until very light. Stir the gelatin into the egg mixture. Cool.
Gradually add the rum, beating constantly. Whip the cream until it stands in soft peaks and fold into gelatin mixture.
Cool until it begins to set, then spoon it into the crumb crust and chill until firm.
Grate chocolate over top if desired.
2 1⁄4 cups graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons sugar
1 ⁄2 cup butter,melted 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine the ingredients and press into a 9-inch pie pan.
or.. just go buy a pre-made one :)
For more "tastes" of Williamsburg such as Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Sweet Potato Muffins and Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread, go HERE!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Join my sweet friend as she embarks on a journey of a lifetime to Uganda bringing these children home. She just turned 50 and she's not finished yet!!! Go grab a cup of tea and pop over to read a story you won't forget!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Gentleman- Did you adopt her from China?
Me - yes.
Elizabeth with a gasp- How did he know I was born in China???
Me - Because you are so beautiful.
Elizabeth - oh. Can we eat here?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
We spend a great deal of time in the car driving from one activity to another during the week and recently I calculated how many hours a week were spent on the road. Usually, we are 'in transit' for about an hour (or more a day). This has actually turned into quite a blessing for our family especially since we started listening to THIS kids program whenever possible from 3 PM to 5 PM on weekdays.
It has been amazing how much John and Elizabeth have learned and grown through it. Sometimes we let them call in and they have actually been on the air on several occasions with "Mr. Matthew". It is one of the very best things we do on a regular basis. I can't tell you how much J + E enjoy the programs and how much I am thrilled with the content! On days we are home, the children get to listen to it while they clean their rooms :)
On average, I would estimate they get to hear about 3 hours a week worth and that adds up to about 150 hours a year! Then, as this chain of thoughts progressed, I realized how many minutes we could translate into similar learning experiences and how it really does add up to a worthwhile amount of time!
If you live in the broadcast area of this wonderful station, you can pick it up via 91.5 FM from 3-5 PM weekdays or listen online.
Be sure to check all the other programing offered as it's been an incredible blessing to our entire family.
Monday, December 1, 2008
we were very blessed to begin our journey with a group of families in our community that were also in the process of adopting from China. Its hard to believe that was almost 5 years ago now and it has been a wonderful experience to watch these children grow, celebrate fun times together, and become almost like extended family with them.
Even though as all the children get older and lives seem to become busier, it is still wonderful on those rare occasions when we gather and enjoy the incredible gift of these amazing little boys and girls we share. This, was one of these special occasions. As you can see in the pictures below, our "princess" was overcome and humbled by your kindness. Thank you friends.
A special welcome from visitors coming from Kelly's Korner linky!
Friday, November 28, 2008
For weeks our children have been looking forward to their cousins coming in from out of town and it brought back many memories of childhood and the anticipation building for those special moments and times. Cousin Josh spent the night with us and you couldn't pry John away from his 'buddy'! We call him our cousin brother :)
The boys decided they wanted to watch a marathon of 'star wars' (VHS!) and we decided they have such little time during the hectic week normally, that we would let them do whatever they wanted.
Elizabeth was equally enthralled with her female cousins and there were very few moments that you didn't see them together. A very Happy Thanksgiving was had by all!! We are hoping to have Hannah (the oldest cousin ;) live a little closer as she starts college this coming fall and might be just a few miles down the road!
Next stop.. the Christmas tree farm~!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Even though we know this happens in China and elsewhere it is still very disturbing to read accounts of this. I am so very thankful to Elizabeth's birth mother and many other women in China who most likely endured many sacrifices to protect and preserve a life.
Below is the article. The link is at the bottom.
Chinese officials have caved to international pressure and will now release a woman who is pregnant with her third child.
The woman was being held in a hospital in order to undergo a forced abortion. China has a strict one child policy, although two children are permitted under certain circumstances. Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute is thankful that officials have released the woman, but says now is not the time to forget her situation.
"She's been released now because the world is watching," he points out. "But as soon as the world blinks I'm afraid this woman could be rearrested and…[the child] forcibly aborted. She is by no means out of the woods."
According to Mosher, if she does have the baby, it will have to be in a government hospital because it is illegal to deliver a baby elsewhere. "And when she goes to the hospital to give birth they may very well take that baby and give it a lethal injection while it's being born," he warns. "That happens all the time in China."
If she gave birth privately, she would still not be free said Mosher. "Because she's given the population control police an enormous headache…they will be looking for her," he contends.
China plans to continue the forced abortion population control program another 42 years.
Here is the link to the entire story.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Why is it a clean and empty refrigerator makes you think your whole house is clean? and..corn pudding!
After cleaning out the.. errrr humm,.. old stuff and sticky spills from our refrigerator, it feels like the entire house is clean. Gotta make room for the TuRkEy :)
The above picture has absolutely nothing to do with cleaning out the frig. it's just a sweet memory from last year's Thanksgiving day.
Here's one more recipe our family enjoys during the holiday season!
Holiday Corn Pudding
1 large bag frozen white or yellow corn ( at least 32 oz of corn- I use 3- 16 oz. packages and mix white and yellow)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
4 T. butter
beat eggs, milk, and sugar. Melt butter in the bottom of a 13x9 pyrex baking dish. Pour egg mixture into pan and mix with butter.
Bake @ 350 for about 1 1/2 hours. (check it after an hour. It should be a light golden brown on the top when done.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
update note: Welcome to those visiting visiting from Kelly's korner's Thanksgiving linky!
In a quest to diversify and expand John's horizons, I signed him up for a "Chef's" class at a quaint victorian tea house in our area. It is actually a children's cooking class but we decided to re-name the activity for the sake of gender security :) So, A culinary class for budding chef's began.
John actually really enjoyed it and they went into great detail about table manners (YES!), nutrition, kitchen safety, and of course preparation and finally ..the feast! It was a several day a week class and we went for 3-4 weeks. I have to say the recipe's he came home with were some of my all time favorites! We didn't waste much time trying a few things at home.
Here are recipe's of the winners from our home to yours!
Crispy Brown Sugar Bacon!
Hint: Twist the bacon for a texture that's crisp on the ends and chewy in the center.
1 pound hickory-smoked bacon slices
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
Cut bacon slices in half.
Combine sugar and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge bacon in sugar mixture, shaking off excess.
Twist each bacon slice, if desired. Place bacon in a single layer on a lightly greased baking rack in an aluminum foil-lined baking pan.
Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp. Allow bacon to cool before serving.
ApRiCoT-AlMoNd GrAnOlA! Without a doubt, the best granola we have ever had!
2 3/4 cups regular oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine oats, almonds, and next 4 ingredients (through raisins) in a medium bowl. Combine honey and butter. Drizzle honey mixture over oat mixture; toss to coat. Spread mixture in a single layer onto a cookie sheetl pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes; stir. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on pan. Break into pieces.
This didn't last long at our house! -so, the next time we doubled the recipe. We ate it warm served with vanilla yogurt :)
Southern Living Double-Delicious Banana Cake
This was AMAZINGLY EASY and SO good!
Prep: 5 min. Ripe bananas, with brown speckles on the yellow peel, add the best flavor.
The Cake Batter:
1 (16-oz.) package pound cake mix
3 large bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1. Beat all ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds. Scrape down sides, and beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Use batter immediately, following directions for desired cake.
Note: we used Betty Crocker Pound Cake Mix.
Banana-Pecan Cake Batter: Prepare Banana Cake Batter as directed; stir 1 cup chopped toasted pecans into batter. Use immediately, following directions for desired cake.
After making the batter you:
gather the following:
Banana Cake Batter
3 large bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Buttercream Frosting (see below)
1. Spoon Banana Cake Batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
2. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
3. Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices; toss with lemon juice, and drain on paper towels.
4. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread top evenly with 1/2 cup frosting. Arrange half of banana slices in a single layer over the frosting. Spread top of second cake layer evenly with 1/2 cup frosting, and invert, frosted side down, over the first layer, sandwiching the banana slices between the 2 frosted cake layers. Repeat sandwiching procedure with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
Prep: 10 min. This recipe makes a generous amount of frosting for all the layers of the Double-Delicious Banana Cake. Halve the recipe for your favorite sheet cake.
1 cup butter, softened
2 (16-oz.) packages powdered sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I was particularly inspired this week by an elderly lady named Phyllis Burgess. She was attacked by G*y activists during their protest of the Prop. 8 amendment in California.
Alone, she peacefully held a cross and was there to support traditional marriage values. While there, she was spit on, verbally and physically assaulted, her cross was grabbed and stomped on breaking it into pieces, and this continued until the police were called. The elderly lady maintained a serene and non-combative attitude during the entire ordeal.
If this had been reversed and happened to one of the G*y activists (ie, being attacked, spit on etc..) by a conservative group can you imagine the headlines? As far as I can tell, this story has not been widely publicized.
As I tucked our children in bed this evening it really struck me how difficult it will be for them to maintain the values we hold true as our nation drifts further and further from Christ. It appears there is tolerance for almost anything except for conservative and or Christian viewpoints in many facets of our daily lives.
If almost 70 year old Phyllis Burgess can take a stand, so can I.
*A special note to Haley concerning her link here - Haley you have given us a very small glimpse of what Phyllis Burgess must have gone through that day and really triggered my thoughts above when I said goodnight to our children. For that, I am grateful.*
You can watch part of what happened to Phyllis Burgess HERE. It is well worth the few minutes it takes to view it. Be sure to watch the last half of the video as this is where you see her in great jeopardy.
Please consider passing on the link to the Burgess story. Thank you friends.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Four years ago at 8:47 a.m. November 13, 2004 our telephone rang and as a daughter, I was suddenly hearing the words I have dreaded to hear my entire life. It was my Mom and she told me the rescue squad was at their home, and my Dad wasn't breathing. I had just visited with him only hours earlier the previous evening. One minute he was laughing and with us on this earth, and without any warning, he was ushered into the arms of his Heavenly Father.
That very same mid autumn morning four years ago, unbeknownst to me at the time, our daughter had just been born in a Province called Hubei in central China. 3 days later as we were preparing for my Dad's funeral she was found on a step under an overhang at a nursing home wrapped in a white blanket with blue animals printed on it.
We don't believe this was all by 'chance'. Rather, we know the intricate threads that brought our lives together almost one year later were woven by the hands of a loving and merciful God.
Elizabeth, our prayer is that God will always be the wind beneath YOUR wings.
Happy Birthday number 4 our precious sweetheart.
Thank all of you so much for your kind wishes for our E'beth. She had a wonderful day enjoying simple little things like a new hair style and painted fingernails with glitter on them :)
We allowed her to choose a restaurant for dinner and of course she chose a Chinese one! They even put a candle in a piece of 3 milk cake :) and sang Happy Birthday to her in Mandarin!
.. after dinner the princess was escorted by her Daddy and brother to a play while Mommy dashed home with the balloons and cake for a "surprise" party. She opened her one special gift which was a cradle for her "Papa" (aka Panda). I wish I had the opening on tape. She squealed as if we had given her a bar of gold. Our precious sweetheart was SO appreciative of her present.
We are blessed.
(Welcome to those visitors from "Kelly's Korner"!)
Spend ye nary another second wondering - . HERE it is!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Here are our tax dollars at work in a public school system in N.C. How would you feel if happened to your child on either side of the political spectrum? Also note the teachers incorrect grammar and use of the English language during her "lecture"..
Click Here to watch what happened.
UPDATE: Michelle Obama 'interviews' private schools for her daughters in Washington D.C.
Are the public schools our tax dollars fund not good enough for his own family? What about the people that would like to send their child to a private/ Christian school but aren't as financially able as Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama?
Here is the info on the school the Obama children attend in Chicago:
(CNSNews.com) – As chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) from 1995 to 2001, Barack Obama helped distribute $49.2 million to help improve Chicago’s public schools, a task for the CAC that two studies showed had little or no impact on improving public education.
Despite his work to improve Chicago’s public schools, the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee sends his two daughters to the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School, a prestigious private school in Chicago – and he opposes school vouchers, which would allow parents to send their kids to the school of their choice.
Tuition for the Chicago Lab School where Obama’s daughters attend is $18,492 a year for grades 1-4, the grades Obama’s daughters attend. The tuition climbs to $20,286 a year for grades 5-8, and $21,480 a year for grades 9-12, according to the school’s Web site.
“That’s not unusual. Loads of people opposed to school choice send their own kids to private school,” said Dick Komer, senior litigation attorney for the Institute for Justice, which supports school vouchers.
“Wealthy people like Obama have school choice,” Komer told CNSNews.com. “This is garden variety hypocrisy.”
Thank you Amy C. for bringing up the subject of the Obama daughters private education in the comment section under this post.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Do they just think it's a 'cool thing'? They are about to find out what its all about.
For example, talk to physicians and surgeons who practice in US cities that border Canada. Their practices are thriving in a major part by Canadians who have a 'government managed health care system' (lets cut the flack and call it what it is, a Socialistic health care program).. Canadians are crossing into the USA with cash in hand, to obtain lifesaving procedures such as bypass surgery etc.. It is either that, or die in many cases. The wait time in Canada for many potential lifesaving surgeries or procedures is like playing "Russian roulette" with your very life.
Anyone for major surgery in a Chinese hospital?
Oh, and BTW, Got a 401 (k) plan? Think you'll be able to keep it...??? Click Here.
Monday, November 3, 2008
The following is from a Hillary Clinton supporter who obtained a paid staff position on the Obama campaign. She exposes some of the internal 'strategy' of the Obama campaign.
Here is the text/ post from http://hillbuzz.wordpress.com #18 on Oct. 27
Ok, I want to clear my conscious a little. Hopefully you could make a blog post to help some fellow clinton supporters out.
I work for a campaign and can’t wait for this week to be over.
I was doing it for a job. I was not a fan of any candidate but over time grew to love HRC.
The internal campaign idea is to twist, distort, humiliate and finally dispirit you.
We pay people and organize people to go to all the online sites and “play the part of a clinton or mccain supporter who just switched our support for obama”
We do this to stifle your motivation and to destroy your confidence.
We did this the whole primary and it worked.
Sprinkle in mass vote confusion and it becomes bewildering. Most people lose patience and just give up on their support of a candidate and decide to just block out tv, news, websites, etc.
This surprisingly has had a huge suppressing movement and vote turnout issues.
Next, we infiltrate all the blogs and all the youtube videos and overwhelm the voting, the comments, etc. All to continue this appearance of overwhelming world support.
People makes posts to the effect that the world has “gone mad”
Thats the intention. To make you feel stressed and crazy and feel like the world is ending.
We have also had quite a hand in skewing many many polls, some we couldn’t control as much as we would have liked. But many we have spoiled over. Just enough to make real clear politics look scarey to a mccain supporter. Its worked, alough the goal was to appear 13-15 points ahead.
see, the results have been working. People tend to support a winner, go with the flow, become “sheeple”
The polls are roughly 3-5 points in favor of Barack. Thats due to our inflation of the polls and pulling in the sheeple.
Our donors, are the same people who finance the MSM. Their interests are tied, Barack then tends to come across as teflon. Nothing sticks. And trust, there were meetings with Fox news. The goal was to blunt them as much as possible. Watch Bill Oreilly he has become much more diplomatic and “fair and balanced” and soft. Its because he wants to retain the #1 spot on cable news and to do that he has to have access to the Obama campaign and we worked hard at stringing him a long and keeping him soft for an interview swap. It worked and now he is anticipating more access. So he is playing it still soft.
This is why nothing sticks.
The operation is massive, the goal is to paint a picture that is that of a winner, regardless of the results.
There is no true inauguration draft or true grant park construction going on. There will be a party, but we are boasting beyond the truth to make it seem like the election is wrapped up.
Our goal is to continue to make you lose your moral. We worked hard at persuasion and paying off and timing and playing the right political numbers to get key republican endorsements to make it seem even more like it was over and the world was coming to an end for you all.
There is a huge staff of people working around the clock, watching every site, blogs, etc. We flood these sites. We have had a goal to overwhelm.
The truth is here. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
I am saying this because I know HRC was better for the country, and now realize this. I was too late by the time I connected to her. To me Barack was just a cool young dude that seemed like a star. I didn’t know him or his policies, but now I understand more than I care to and I realize his interests are more for him, and the DNC and all working like puppets with dean. I always thought a president wanted the better good for the country. The end result I see is everyone dependent on the government, this means more and more people voting for the DNC. This means the future is forever altered. I don’t see this as america, so I am now supporting John Mccain.
Sarah Palin is a huge threat, and our campaign has feared her like you can’t imagine. If it seems unfair how she has been treated, well its because she has had a team working round the clock to make her look like a fool.
this is a big conspiracy and I am so shocked that its not realized.
We released a little blurb the other day that the Obama campaign was already working on reelection and now putting our efforts towards 2012. This was to make it seem like it was above us to continue caring about 2008. Trust me, its a lie. David is very smart, but its a sticky ugly not very truthful kind of intelligence.
Its not over yet, but I think the machine is working. And its a hill to climb.
I will be quitting my post on nov 5th and my vote will be for John Mccain. Fortunately, my position has been a marketing position and I don’t feel I had any part of anything I would feel guilty for. But I look forward to getting out of this as the negativity and environment upsets me.
I wish you all well, and goodluck.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
She came to us with a simple yellow bottle tied around her neck with a blue string, her layered clothing, and the Panda we had sent in a care package. Elizabeth and all her worldly possessions were suddenly in my arms 3 years ago.
One of our wonderful travel mates had a beautiful post about how brave these little girls are. I have to agree totally. They are taken from everything they have ever known (good and bad) and suddenly find themselves in the arms of total strangers who look different, smell different, talk different, and hold them differently.
Elizabeth my sweetheart, words simply won't come this evening as I reflect on how far you have come and how proud we are of you. We love you with all our hearts and you have made our home complete. My prayer is that I can be the Mother that God wants me to be .. for you. Your Daddy and I will always be here for you until God calls us home. Even in the absence of an earthly Mother and Father you might face someday (hopefully a very long time from now), we will teach you that you have a Heavenly Father that wants to live in your heart forever.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
And we were off. We boarded the plane that would take us to Elizabeths province and even though it was a reasonably short flight, it seemed like eternity. We landed and followed the mass of parents to be and other travel companions through the Wuhan airport terminal to meet up with our new guide/s. There he stood with the only English words in sight printed in bold red letters, so he would have been hard to miss.
Once again, after retrieving our luggage (keep in mind 22+ families packed for a +/- 3-4 week adoption trip to a foreign country) so you can imagine this was no small feat! :) .. we were ushered off to another large nice AIR CONDITIONED bus. Our new guide was amazing. She had ice cold bottled water for all of us and proceeded to give us information on the schedule from here on out. She handed each family updates on their children which included feeding schedules, sleeping schedules, and other small bits of info about our children. It was like Christmas Eve. Each little tiny bit of information was like a peek under the tree. We learned if all went well, the babies would be brought to our hotel the next morning. We would attempt to get a good nights rest (yeah right..) and be 'ready' to go early in the a.m.
It was about an hours ride from the airport to our hotel in downtown Wuhan, so all this information was given during the ride. What a blurr! Wuhan was a very different city than what we had just left. Situated along the Yangtze River, Wuhan is a more industrial area, I would say much like Detroit or Pittsburg, only MUCH more polluted. I think if you ask anyone in our travel group, they would agree the pollution is indescribable. What we thought was fog, was smog. It never seemed to leave. We were glued to the window of the bus as we traversed the city and attempted to soak the culture in despite the barrier of the bus walls between us.
We later learned that parts of the Yangtze River are so polluted that there are cities along it where the men won't choose a wife that was born there due to the very high cancer rates (and thinking she will die young). I can believe this after seeing some of these areas as we passed. Very sad.
Finally, our big bus chugged into the Wuhan White Rose Hotel parking lot and we all piled out marching behind Johanna (our new guide) like little soldiers. She was our security blanket for the next week. She truly knew her stuff. Obviously she had been there done this before.
We took the elevator to the 18th floor and stepped out, turned the corner, walked down the hallway, found our room, opened the door, and saw the crib. Suddenly, we knew this was it. It was real.
to be continued..