Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Visit to the Countryside and First Trip in Airplane to Guangzhou

We visited a small village (population is ~210) in the countryside during our last day in Nanchang. The village is similar to the one where Olivia was born. The peasants who live in the village are very poor but seem to be very happy. There is no electricity or running water. They collect their water from a community well for washing and drinking. For food, the peasants raise their own livestock and grow their own vegetables. Here are some pictures from our visit.

Olivia took her first airplane trip today, October 31st, to Guangzhou which is located on an island in southern China near Hong Kong. It seemed to not bother her one bit but Laura and I are still not looking forward to the 15 hour flight back home.

It is very nice where we are staying and much different than Beijing or Nanchang. The temperature is similar to southern Florida with temperatures in the 90’s. It is also much more quiet here with parks where Laura and I and take Olivia for some bonding time. Even though the Chinese do not celebrate Halloween we still wanted to do a little something with Olivia. Attached is a picture of her at the airport….check out the skull and cross-bone shoes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One thing you can bet on while visiting China is the variety of foods you can choose to eat. From vegetarian to all different types of cooked meats. Overall, the local foods have been excellent. The few pictures shown from the buffet are braised turtle, chicken feet, and fish heads. I have tried the turtle which I find to be very good with the exception that they make it too spicy for me. I also ate fried intestines by did not taste so good. As far as street vendors, we have been warned to stay clear because 99% of the time they only sell cooked dog or cat. I am still on the look out for a street vendor selling insects because I would like to try scorpion on a stick before I leave. On an important note, Olivia is beginning to eat on her own (somewhat). Here is a picture from that experience. Good times.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Xiang Hu Park

Yesterday morning they took us to Xiang Hu Park. Xiang means elephant and Hu is water, the park is named this because it has a lake in the shape of an elephant. Here are some pictures during our walk.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We did did some necessary paperwork today and then took a trip to the local Wal-Mart. It was massive and had three floors to it. We picked up more diapers and food. But we also picked up a stroller which Olivia seems to really like, so does mom because it is giving her arms a much needed break. After the trip to Wal-Mart we did some heavy napping and we all actually went to bed early and got some much needed sleep.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Adoption Day

First, I wanted to let everyone know that Laura and I made the adoption official today (1st Picture). We went to Nanchang's government Affairs Office yesterday to have our adoption interview and pay all of the necessary fees. It felt good to unload all of that cash I have been walking around since we have been in China. Olivia is definately "Mommy's Girl" and is stuck to her like velcro. I am good to have around while I am putting food in her mouth but that is about it right now. The orphanage director who supervises the foster care families told us that she has only been held by women and lived with a family where the foster mom and her grandmother spoiled her rotten. Because she was left by her original mom, now moved away from her foster mom and is now attached to Laura, Olivia stresses out that she will lose her new mom the same way when she is not in the same room or when Laura is not holding her. We have been working on this by having Laura leave the room for short periods of time to allow time for me to bond with her. After the cries wear off she ends up falling asleep on my belly. Olivia has a red birthmark on her left cheek which is common with infants in China. The orphanage director originally thought it was a scratch when they found her abandoned oustside in front of the orphanage. We think it gives her some character.

Mommy's Girl

Day 4 Bonding with Olivia

Tired, Long Day

Mom knows how to make me laugh!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Nanchung

Olivia came from the countryside located near the very poor agricultural city of Nanchang. They have been hit very hard by the current worldwide economic conditions. Back during the time when China was run by Mao from 1949 to 1976, he recruited all of his warriors from this City.
We are staying in the Jin Jiang Hotel which is very nice and caters to foreigners. I have attached some pictures of the City. Don't miss the post from earlier today when they placed Olivia in our arms!

Day 3 Nanchang OLIVIA DAY!!!!

We arrived in Nanchang around 11:30 am and Olivia was in our arms by 4pm!
She is adjusting well to us and does not want us to stop holding her, We love her. But today is about her because her little world has been turned upside down. Here our some picture of when she was placed in our arms and one with Laura and Olivia watching TV. She really likes the TV haha!! I will write more later to tell all of you about the City of Nanchang and the time with our new daughter!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 2 Beijing

Today was filled with plenty of sightseeing at Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and The Great Wall. We had such a great time, walked for miles and took many pictures. The crowds of people are unbelievable and in most of the pictures it will look foggy outside which is because of the pollution from their chemical and paper factories. I added pictures showing the crowds at Tiananmem Square, a group photo of all of us who are adopting, and some pictures for my geo buddies of limestone with very high porosity in the Forbidden City and structural folding at the Great Wall, and of course some pictures of Laura and I. The food has been great but I have yet to get too experimental.....but it is still early in the trip. Tomorrow is a really big day for us!!! We fly to the Jiangxi Province tomorrow to pick up Olivia and we are crazy excited and nervous about it. I will have photos of us with her updated on here tomorrow. Laura and I know it might be a little rocky when she is first given to us because we do not look, smell, or talk how she is used too but still hope that she will bond with us quickly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 1 Beijing

Laura and I have made it to Beijing and have both been up for over 24 hours. The flight was very long but at least the beer and wine were complimentary. We have checked in to the Poly Plaza which is located across the street from Tianeman Square and have eaten dinner (or breakfast haha!). We are going to settle down and get ready for a big day of sightseeing tomorrow.

Some good news that we were told is that Olivia has stayed with her foster family and was not ever moved to an orphanage. We hope that this means she will adjust easier to us.

Here are some pictures of Laura and I in Chicago getting ready to leave for Beijing and one of us with two other families also adopting whom we met on our flight.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Off to China

I will start posting daily with pictures once we start our trip on October 22, 2009. We have purchased our tickets, hotel reservations, and have filed all of our necessary paperwork required for the adoption during our stay.

To say the least, Laura and I our very excited and have been very busy getting everything ready for Olivia. Her bedroom is just about complete....I just need to put some pictures on the wall.

Here is our Itenuary while we are in China:
October 22: Fly to Beijing, China
October 23 to 25: Sightseeing tour to the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tian An Men Square, etc.
October 25: Fly to town of Nanchang located in the Jiangxi Province - Olivia will be handed over to us on this day!!
October 26 to October 31: Bond with Olivia, shopping, sightseeing tours to XiangHu Park and Teng Wang Ge
October 31: Fly to Guangzhou, China - The Capital
October 31 to November 7: Paperwork, oath-taking ceremony, shopping, sightseeing tours to Yuntai Park, Chen Family's Temple, etc.
November 7: Fly back to USA with a layover in Shanghai, China.