Monday, July 30, 2007

Just because I like this Pic.


This weekend we celebrated one of our China sister's birthdays. Cackie, who is currently waiting on mei mei, turned 3. We celebrated at a water park/playground. At one point another of our China sisters and G and I went to the playground part just as an ex-boyfriend and his current wife and 10 1/2 month old baby girl.

I think he figured out who I was even though I attempted to really stay far far away from him and out of his view. They didn't stay for very long. He is almost 50 now as it was 6 years ago that we broke up and he was early 40s then.

Sometimes, I can be really grateful for the breakups and after seeing him again and seeing his not very pretty baby I am really grateful for the breakup. He had been married 3 times previously when we dated, so this is either his # 4 or greater marriage.

G was worried prior to the party that everybody would not remember her and yes she voiced her concern in excited anticipation about it. Then we reach the party and she wouldn't have much to do with any of them. In her defense the party was at 4pm Sat. Her nap time is usually 2-4ish. She actually fell asleep at 1:30 and was up roughly at 3:30pm then we had to pack (we were at grammie's house) from when she spent the night and drive to the party about 45 mins away. So I think she was still a bit groggy.

I made her get wet though so we could prove to grammie and grandad that she did get in the water. Oh and we had to pee by a tree. Well, not me but I had to hold her which fascinated her to no end as there was no port-a-potty or restroom anywhere. Yuck! Sort of like camping which I have determined to never do. All in all we had a pretty good weekend.

July 30, 2005-Revisited

First night in Guangzhou, going down to dinner.

Italics are current time commentary

July 30, 2005

Looking Better

So we made it to Guangzhou and the White Swan Hotel. I really feel like I have been here before from reading all of the other posts. I have already bought G a chop (stamp carved with her name in Chinese and English) and my neighbor the only boy squeaky shoes I have found (so far). Mom is having a vest made for herself. (literally, someone could read BTDT blogs about Guangzhou and know how to get to any place around the White Swan without asking directions.)

First we ordered Dannys Bagels, turkey sandwiches for the Grandparents and pizza for me (Very good by the way). G took a nap. She did sooooo good on the plane by the way.

Then at 2pm I woke her up for a doctor visit. She has bronchitis. Just Grammie and I took her. She didn't cry very much going down there but boy did she wail in the office. Thankfully the dr's asst. was soooo wonderful and spoke to her in Cantonese. I don't know what she was saying but G had to try really hard to keep from smiling. Then they cleaned out her ears. I had the distinct pleasure to hold her still as they did it. I am stronger than she is!!! I didn't cry because I knew she needed the attention. We have a two day antibiotic, benadryl and cough expectorant. I have to mix it myself. I should earn a PharmD!!!

Then we took a walk up and down the street outside. It is really cool here on the sidewalk, the shops are quite stifling. There is a typhoon about to hit Guangdong province but not Guangzhou which is a city in Guangdong. For all of you history buffs Guangzhou used to be Canton and where we are staying is the European quarter.

Poor Grandad can't even go to the bathroom himself. She cries when he gets out of sight. She is playing though with everything in the room, drawers, light switches, pencil and papers, etc. Our new motto is "As long as she isn't crying!!"

I have to say as far as roominess, Nanning was the best hotel. But we were only there until Wed. Then the whole group went to Guilin. I received progress notes on her beginning at age 4 months. So I have pictures of her as little as four months. I need to get the report translated when I get home. She is not smiling in any picture. She is smiling for us now though more often than not. I also received a map of Wuzhou with the spot underlined of where she was found. Grammie can't even talk about any of it without crying. I received a copy of the finding add. There were like 12 babies faces and you can pick her out. She really hasn't changed much physically in the face much.

She will wave to strangers only after we tell her it is okay. We still need to work on boundaries and helping her to set them. I don't have to worry about her going to anyone but Caucasian men and the grandfatherly types to boot. She doesn't though know it is okay to sometimes wave at people. She is very suspicious of people.(still is very suspicious even with those she knows but hasn't seen in a long time.) And that is okay too. I would rather her look to me for permission to speak to someone whom we don't know.

We left our guide Dennis in Guilin with a new suitcase and shoes and shirts as a thank you gift. There is a rule or policy that you cannot tip more than a months wage and Dennis didn't want us to give him anything expensive. I will tell you though if we could have the group would have given him individually at least $100. That is 15 families but we couldn't do it. He was wonderful and he really loves the babies!!! He didn't really want to say good bye individually either because I think he might have cried.

It truly is a wonderful journey and even though G isn't coming to me of her own free will I am truly glad for the experience. Grammie and Grandad have been wonderful troopers on this trip and we still wake up and say "Can you believe we are in China?"

Dana, I will try to negotiate a price at this hotel because I didn't see your e-mail soon enough.

I have to head to the 7/11 for cough medicine because I am sick now too. Or again. I started another z pack this morning. Grammie has to put up with all of us being sick. She is yet to be so. Maybe she won't catch anything. I also have to say that now that we know what G has, I feel better. I just couldn't fight something that we didn't know what it was.

Love you all, keep the prayers coming.

Something I didn't post then because family was reading the e-mails and because the emotions were just too raw then, I can post now. I became very resentful of my dad on this trip and not because G bonded to him first. That in itself would have been okay but the thing was, he very rarely asked me to help him deal with her. He turned to his wife, my mom. I was treated and felt at times like a big sister to older parents adopting.

The trip brought out the fact that my parents and I do not communicate well at all. We are physically close but honestly I never felt that I fit in my family and that has not changed. My mom sometimes still calls me Aunt Bep to G. My dad also sometimes refers to my mom as Mom to G. It is hard being a single parent and a daughter in a non-communicative family. I think the trip brought it out much more.

July 29, 2005-Revisited

This was as close as I could get to her around Grandad. The second pic is of the phone she loved and we lost the last night in GZ.

Italics are current time commentary.

July 29,2005

Well finally maybe??

She finally reached for me but then quickly retreated to Grammie since Grandad was in the shower. I will take anything at this point. She showers with Grandad just to get her clean. Then to rip her out of his arms to dry and diaper her was terrible again. That was the magic moment, she reached for me to save her from Grammie. But then I had to diaper her which made her mad all over again. So Grandad got ready in a hurry to take her for a walk and push doorbell buttons and push light switches.

I hope everyone has gotten to see the photos posted. Aunt Diane that means you too. Again thank you all for the encouraging e-mails. We leave very early in the morning for Guangzhou. The bags have to be out in the lobby at 9pm tonight (Friday, July 29). Tonight we are going to see the waterfall. Today mom and I took a walk to find a play cell phone while G and Grandad napped. (If I had known then what I know now I would have taken more walks either with or without Grammie and left Grandad with G.)

We met a teacher who wanted to practice his English so he introduced us to the Tea Shop that sold the guilin tea and minority tea. We bought some. The guilin tea comes from a tree grown here in Guilin. It was very good tea. Also the minority tea is not shipped anywhere because it will spoil so it is only sold here. Maybe he was a con man but if he was he did not get a lot out of us. Shay, I can't wait to teach you how the Chinese prepare their tea. We can discuss the difference between the Chinese and Japanese way. The teacher is going to spend a year in NYU leaving his wife and 4 year old son behind.

He is familiar with the book Wild Swans about three generations of Chinese women going from warlord days through1980. The book is banned in China because it is very honest and gives a very well rounded picture of the Chinese way and issues. It is not very complimentary of the "great leader mao". But if anyone is interested in some history I would very much recommend it. It is a very well written story.

He was very concerned about racial discrimination against Asians. I am not sure what he is being told. I guess since I am caucasian I can't really say if New York is racist against Asians or not. I think it has more to do with status than ethnicity though. I would imagine as a teacher he would have minders with him though so I don't think he will necessarily have much free time to meet people who are going to mistreat him. His English name is Robert and he said his Chinese but I forgot it already. He gave us his card to e-mail him and I may or may not.(I never did but still I have his card.) He is an artist and his wife teaches math.

That and the cell phone that G loved was the highlight for the day.

July 28, 2005-Revisited

Pictures are taken on the Li River Cruise. G was so comfortable that she was able to leave bunny with me and Grammie as she and Grandad went up top to view the scenery.


In order to complete the re-visit of the trip two years later here is July 28. All current time commentary is in italics.


July 28, 2005

She let me feed her the morning bottle. Of course she was sitting in Grandad's lap. Last night I fed her some congee. We are trying to keep her hydrated. She is not the best drinker and she really will only drink out of grown up water bottles.(That must have only been in China as she is a wonderful drinker here. She has a sippy cup mostly, except at school, in her hands all the time.) She only takes formula from the baby bottle. She loves putting tops on and off. (She enjoyed doing that top on off thing even when we got home and wanted me to sit and watch her do it. I watched her do it one time for 45 mins.)

Grandad taught her how to turn the light off but she grabs his finger to turn it back on again so she can turn it off again. I have that on video and wish I had a way to attach it. I may send it on a reply e-mail and see if it will work.

She feels much better this morning and has been up since 5:30 or so. Good thing we are going to bed early 9pm or 8:30pm every night.

She has to think about everything. She is probably going to be introverted (or already is) and probably left handed.(She is not left handed and she is def. introverted.) Grandad is letting her play with my pistachios, my comfort food. Good thing they sell the same thing in the gift shop. Prada bags (not knock offs) are about $30 in the hotel gift shop. (The Prada knock offs were much cheaper than the $30 ones. But I don't think the Prada's were the most popular styles sold every where either.) Any takers?

We leave early in the morning flying to Guanzhou and to the White Swan, our last stop before home. We have not done the best at buying souvenirs yet but shopping isn't over yet. We haven't spent much money either. We really brought too much but who knew??? Or rather who believed the been there done that posts??? (Apparently no one believes the BTDTs. I still see blogs etc with people saying they brought to much even after being told not to.)

Sally, yes it is hope for Sean. Remember the babies must attach to one or the other so you try to prepare yourself in case she does attach to him first. It is painful. (Painful wasn't actually a strong enough word to use at the time.) Also, in our group of 15 babies like 3 or 4 other babies attached to the men not the moms. So read every thing you can on attachment and bonding to prepare either way. Leslie, the same to you and I can't wait to see your guys referral and trips.

Gretchen, all we sleep under in all the hotels are duvets. I will see if we can find one in Guangzhou!!! Only sheets are to cover mattresses. Thanks for everyone following and e-mailing. Have a great weekend, it is Friday morning here about 7am.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Retro Friday-3posts in a day


Okay so this one goes back a long long time. This is the weekend my grandparents had their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I was either going into 9th grade or ending 9th grade as their anniversary was around Mother's Day. That makes the year, um, let's see I graduated may of '88 and before ninth grade would be 1, 2, 3, 4 years minus 1988. Hold on I am removing the shoes for the extra digits. I think either 1983 or 1984.
I am in front with the hair cut like John Tyler of Duran Duran. I know but that was what it was supposed to look like. Lovely family though, don't you think.
Me

July 27, 2005-Revisited

Waiting on the bus to take us to Guilin. G is asleep in my arms and I can hold her while she sleeps.


I am sleeping on the bus with her in my arms. She was okay as long as she didn't see Grandad.

Sleeping with Grandad with her bunny on his face. See he put up with a lot from her.



Italics are current time Commentary




We're in Guilin Wed. July 27


In good ole southern, "It is hotter 'n hades here." We have had two very rough days. Since G attached to my dad first and only and since he is so soft hearted, I forced the issue yesterday at adoption day and this morning after breakfast. By "forcing the issue" I mean I took her away from him and would not let her see him. I do not do it very long and never at night since I know we alllllll need a good night sleep. It just doesn't seem fair to anyone.

It is getting better, I even got her to smile at me. I was able to feed her some of my dinner with chop sticks and I can get her to fall asleep (after crying) on me. (Which turns out to actually be her way of coping with stress. So basically she was really just checking out.)

It really is hard and every time my mom thinks about G being sad she starts crying too. I was expecting the sorrow on G side but not so much on our side. I apparently haven't been looking very well as the coordinator is worried about me.(Sabrina our CHI guide who was wonderful by the way). Trust me I am not the only family with attachment issues. (Several moms took a back seat to the dads and were as broken up about it as I was.)

It gets better every day. She is still a very serious little girl and if she wanted dad to do a back flip to stop her crying he would do it easily. She woke up at 4 a m (3pm the day before central time) with a 101.1fever. (I never got the time home right. Still not sure how far ahead we were). We are giving her tylenol and benedryl every 4 hours. We can tell when she feels bad. Hopefully we won't have to go to a doctor as our coordinator, Sabrina, said it would scare her (and probably give Grammie and grandad a stroke). Please pray for her health and our stamina to do what we must for her.

Today we arrived in Guilin and I held her for half the trip then she went to dad and mom. Tomorrow we cruise the Li river in Guilin. We will be able to get souvenirs here and in Guangzhou. We found squeaky shoes in the Nanning hotel gift shop. G found a teacup with top on it and demanded it in her sing song whine so we bought it.(We still have it and I tell her about how she showed us how to use it).

She loves to put tops on and off and to put things into bags or whatever. She also likes to put her hand in Grandad's water. By the way, Grandad and Grammie will not say no to her!!!!! I am trying to teach them small words to say in Chinese like "no"but that is difficult for the grandparents to do. (Still is difficult even though "no" is said here in English.)

I don't know how to tell everyone following how much the encouraging e-mails mean to me. I read them to mom and dad too and they enjoy hearing from you all. It is harder than I prepared emotionally. I knew it would be hard but I didn't factor in the stress of traveling. Seeing G upset stresses us all out.

Scott, mom said if you would fly over and pick us up we could get you a lot of hoses!!! You should have a beautiful yard and fence for at least 2 1/2 weeks since Clementine is destroying, uh I mean staying with Kelly and Ed.

Today mom and dad were stopped in the market by a 12 year old Chinese boy who wanted to practice his English. He is a fan of the NBA. He spoke very well and mom spoke loudly. Then she, dad and G were asked to have a photo taken with two Chinese tourists (college students). Mom wasn't sure what they were asking but she complied.

I will try to post some more pictures. Love you all and miss you very much. China is wonderful though. The people are great!!! Everyone tries very hard to please us and make us feel good.

Five Fun Fotos- From G's point of view

Amy over at Catching Butterflies hosts a Friday Fun Five post of pictures from a kids point of view. G and I have been participating. G is beginning to enjoy take pics with her camera.





Thursday, July 26, 2007

You've come along way, G

Gotcha day, rescued by Grandad.

Adoption Day, July 26, 2005
Adoption Day one year later same monkey suit


Adoption Day 2 years later, eating breakfast this morning.
Adoption day 2 years later, getting ready to go to school

Gotcha day celebration and pink cupcakes July 25, 2007


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 25 and 26, 2005 Revisited -Gotcha Day

Italics are current time commentary.


July 25, 2005

Hello

Posted more pictures in the photo section of this site. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to get to the main site. Then click on the Photo word.

So we made it to Nanning after a 7 hour flight. We had to stop at Guilin because the Nanning airport closed due to bad weather. The internet is not quite as friendly as the Beijing internet so I am having more difficulty with the connection.We really are having a good time and we get G today at 5pm. So this is Monday and it is about noon here. So I will post more pictures when the baby is sleeping. Thanks for following. At this point there may be very little words and more pictures. (I just thought I would be in charge of her and not have a free hand to type. In reality since G wouldn't have anything to do with me, my computer and the ya*hoo group became my solice and companion so there were lots more words.)

I will say we went to the 5 story Wal-mart and there was a mall in the bottom of it. Mom got a curling iron so she feels like a human and I will never live down the fact that I made her pack carry on only. So Tianemen Square was neat but it rained the whole time we were there and in the Forbidden City. I may have already posted info on that day. Yesterday we only traveled.

Thanks for following. Can you tell I am stressed and anxious? Mom says I am like a new bride. I am not crazy about the analogy, but...

Still waiting,


July 26, 2005

So actually today is Tuesday morning at 6 am. Gotcha day happened at 5:30pm. Screaming babies, crying mommas (and Grammies), saving Grandads.

We knew G when she walked in. She had a stuffed pink bunny under her arm. All the babies were dressed alike and in a diaper. They had on a yellow/orange "kids club" short and shirt set. G's family picture with me is in the gotcha outfit. I decided not to make her cry. (changing the outfit for the picture would have made her cry really hard)

The only other outfit we put her in last night were PJs. We have since found out that G has actually been in foster care from day one. She now has a cough, rattly chest, drainage but I think and my parents think it is due to stress. She is actually a very healthy baby.

She is a very serious baby. She cried and cried in my arms and reached out to Grandad so when I gave her to him, mom and I became totally useless. (Actually, I turned to mom and said, "Well that was a mistake" in handing her off to grandad.) She likes Grandad best. She won't take anything from us but will eat from his hands.

She can walk very well. She likes big hard books and drinks from a tea cup. We were handed a bag with some treasures which included a Caucasian baby doll, three pictures (one with foster mom), one pair of socks, and a bag of candy treats. G pretty much was the only one to have so many things with her when we got her. Prayers were answered I believe.

She slept with Grammie and Grandad last night. We didn't want a screaming night fit. We have too much to do today not to have sleep. She is precious and she hasn't much more hair than her referral pictures.

When she cries she says "Ai yee" over and over. I think she is calling her aiyi or amma. (after having her report finally translated that is what she was crying. Later, during the trip we think she is calling for a foster grandad but that is not so.) She loves water and baths. Or actually she loves to play in the water. So Dad gave her first bath, first bottle, pretty much everything. Not sure what will happen when we get to Memphis. (I must say I was beginning to be extremely distressed at this point. G was absolutely terrified and would cry/scream if I came around.)

William, the Mandarin is very helpful now. I can tell her who I am, who mom is and who dad is to her. She looks as I point. They(foster family, director, aunties or amma's) called her Jiangjiang(jianjian pronounced).


She is suffering through the one bottle we bought at Wal Mart so we have to go back and get more bottles. (I still have that bottle. Mom and dad picked up nipples but no other bottles.)

She has been played with, taken very good care of, and has a mind of her own. It is an experience never to forget. Pictures are posted for gotcha day and in the hotel later in the gotcha day and gotcha day1 folder. (mind of her own thing has not changed much.)



Family photo after arriving back to hotel
Last Year July 26, 2007














Today July 25, 2007

Taken sometime this month








(Obviously the pics are locked in a ya*hoo group away from here. I posted the 25th and 26th together as they actually describe the same day.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Out on a Limb as Promised-Black and White Moths

The above site explains better than my tired brain is functioning. What this demonstrates is that although evolution is taught as a fact this being, one example used in schools to teach it, it is only one theory and not very well supported one in science as some people seem to think. I was taught that the black/white moths of the industrial revolution was proof of evolution. I was taught this in high school even though there were huge doubts about the work before I was old enough to be in school.

Industrial Melanism. In 1959 Bernard Kettlewell published his work on the peppered moth as the "consummation and confirmation" of evolution. His work, and the famous photograph of the black and white forms of this moth on the lichen-covered trunk of a tree, have appeared in virtually every biology textbook as definitive evidence of evolution. The story began in England at the time of the Industrial Revolution where it was noted that as the tree trunks became blacked by industrial soot, the white form of the moth, Biston betularia, declined in numbers while the black form proliferated. Later in this century, when anti-pollution laws were introduced, the tree trunks became white and the moth population shifted back from predominately black to white. Kettlewell believed that the birds ate those moths that could easily be seen as they rested on the tree trunk. This shift in population was real but to this day no one really knows the mechanism. As early as 1975 doubts were expressed in Kettlewell's explanation because it was known that there were major problems but nothing was said in the textbooks. In 1998 Michael Majerus published a scholarly work titled Melanism: Evolution in Action in which these problems were spelled out. The birds were not the principal predator since they fly during the day when the moths are well hidden; researchers do not know where they hide. The moths do not rest on tree trunks but Kettlewell assumed they did and glued dead moths to the trunks, hence the photograph. The same population shift has occurred in an identical population of moths in Michigan where there had been no industrial pollution. Kettlewell's work is now highly suspect. He had simply observed a shift in population and is no more evidence for evolution than a shift in population of Caucasian and Black people.

July 24, 2005 was travel day

On this day we were up relatively early and flew out of Beijing to Nanning. Well that was the intent anyway. We actually had to stop over in Guilin because of hurricane winds closing down the Nanning airport. I was physically sick because I get sick on take offs, landings, and close quarters with no fresh air. The interesting thing was that dad and I both without realizing it new we were flying into Guilin. We had never been there but it is very distinct and recognizable from the air. We were surprised that we guessed right because we didn't know until the plane landed to be refueled where we were. Come to think of it I am not sure we knew knew until we arrived in Nanning and found our frantic guide Dennis.



This picture is the room waiting on G to come home from China. It is in our old house and yes G does remember it but probably not in the details.

Monday, July 23, 2007

July 23, 2005 Revisited The Great Wall

Italics added are current time commentary.





Yes!!! We did it. We climbed the Great Wall of China. It wasn't soooooo bad. (Gretchen, Scott, Pam, Shay and Bill the Santorini walk down the caldron steps was much worse.)First today we went to Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City. Now we did all of this in the rain. Pouring, drenching, pruning of fingers rain. Thankfully, it was not hot.

The Forbidden City is totally concrete because the emperor was paranoid of people hiding behind the trees to kill him. HMMMM sounds familiar. The concrete or brick ground cover is actually 15 layers because he was afraid of someone digging under to get him. It was a very interesting visit. We also stopped at the STARBUCKS, yes I said STARBUCKS, the Forbidden City. (As of this month there is no longer a Starbucks in the Forbidden City, 2007)

Our guides have been wonderful. We were almost not going to go to the Great Wall but the majority of the group wanted to go and those who did not returned to the hotel. It rained there too and the steps are very steep and all different heights. We got a certificate for climbing the Great Wall so we have pictures (which I will post from Nanning) and the cert. as proof of our bravery.There is a saying in China that the one who visits but doesn't climbs the Great Wall is not a man.

So.......Tonight due to the rain still we are staying in in our jams (PJS)and resting for the flight tomorrow (dad is already asleep).

We leave Beijing at 12:40 and arrive at Nanning about 4pm. We will not receive G until late in the afternoon on Monday. In the meantime in order to pacify waiting parents we were given updates on the children. Some of the information was the same for everyone but there were also differences. First her schedule was given as 7:00 wake up and have a bottle, eats congee (yucky) at 11 am 3 pm and 6:30 pm. Then a bottle at 10:30 pm.
Her favorite fruit is "Litchi, apples, pears, bananas, etc."
Her favorite juice is "Orange, apple, and pear juice." Her favorite food is "cookie, etc."
Her sleeping habit is up at 7 am nap at 9:30-10:30 and 1-4pm and then sleep at 11pm. She "sleeps with her face down" and with adults. (She is in foster care and they share a bed.)
Her favorite toys are ball, bell, and doll. (Some babies only like the ball) (ball, bell and stuffed animals are still her favorites)
Her favorite activities are "Outdoor activity, watch TV commercials(these two are the same on all babies), listen to music and dance."
Personalities (same on all babies) "She is vivacious, gregarious, smiling a lot, but afraid of new environment or strangers." (great) (she is still unsure in new environments and around new people)
Her special habit is "When she goes to bed, she would like to hold her doll. (Pray they will let us have whatever it is she is sleeping with!!! We will even trade lamby blanket for it.) (they did)
Her size is 74 cm, 9.3kg (20.4 lbs), 4 top teeth and 3 bottom teeth. Pretty cool huh?

When we arrive in Nanning we will mostly do paperwork. The morning of the day that we get the babies we are going shopping for the formula and bottles (we didn't bring any, supposedly the babies don't really like USA bottles).


(G's schedule was pretty spot on and still is so. She is down to one nap a day though instead of two and gone are the bottles but only has of last Aug, 2006.)

Dad is getting a kick out of the postcard hustlers. He just grins as they come around. Mom has learned a few Chinese words such as Bu Shi Shi (no, thank you) and Ni hao (hello).

Anyway, Hello from Beijing.


July 22, 2005 Revisited Summer Palace



(Pictures of the Hutong tour and the Summer Palace)
It is 6:30pm and Mom and Dad are napping after a full day of touring. First we hit the Summer Palace where the emporer would go from April to October every year. This was built in the Qing dynasty. The day was very cool and rained some but not enough to really matter. During the Boxer Rebellion or at least toward the end of it the Dowager Emporess Cixi, lived there and escaped the allied forces from there. Before leaving the palace she convincedher son's favorite concubine, Pearl concubine, to jump down a well and kill herself rather than be captured by the American/English/German forces who had already reached Beijing. She didn't like the Pearl Concubine anyway but after the death the concubine became a famous hero.

After the Summer Palace the group went to lunch at Friendship Restaurant to have a traditional meal. Basically everyone sat around one table and there was like a very large lazy susan in the middle. Lots of dishes were brought out like egg drop soup, sesame seed fish, beef, chicken and pork dishes and watermelon for dessert.

Then Mom, Dad and I broke away from the group to go on the Hutong tour. Hutong means originally well alley or well road. It is a mongolian word that refers to the homes built around the wells. Now it means small alleyway measuring about 6 steps. The walls surround family compounds for the wealthy Beijingers of old (Pre-communism). After/during the Cultural Revolution many of the hutongs were destroyed.

We were allowed to visit with one of the residences, Mrs. Lao. Her husband raises champion homing pidgeons. His family has been in the same hutong compound for 6 generations. It is still totally occupied by family but more like separate apartments rather than a large family compound. I posted some pictures in the Beijing folder under photos.
Thanks for following the journey, Beverly
I was and still am pretty amazed at the ease with which my parents traveled. I am such a control freak type A personality that I was extremely worried about them. I shouldn't have been. Mom was not adventurous with food and dad was. We had little problem finding our way around and actually enjoying our time together. They had never been out of the country unless you count Canada Niagra falls even.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

We Arrived July 21, 2005 revisited

First of all mom caught me talking when taking the picture and Grandad was caught surprised by the photo.


Dad took this photo outside of the Radisson in Beijing.

Last night we arrived at our hotel around 10pm Chinese Time. We actually crawled in the bed at 12:30am Chinese Time. We are currently 11 hours ahead of Memphis. The flights were relatively uneventful and the movies were so so. The Tokyo airport was very nice but flying out of Tokyo we were delayed one hour. Hopefully that will not happen on the return. Mom and Dad were up at 4:00 am too excited to sleep because we are in Beijing!!! I on the other hand would have waited for the alarm.We have discovered though that 6 am is a good time to go to breakfast because the line is really long around 7.

Breakfast was very good and we found the 7/11 on our own. Breakfast consisted of ham, eggs, rice w/eggs, cheese, fruit, coffee, congee,watery oatmeal, cereal with yogurt, dim sum, noodles, breads, bacon,sausage and mushrooms. Forks and knives were at the table so Mom did not have to resort to chopsticks.

Mom is very fast running across the street to get to the 7/11. As you can imagine it is very different here. Instead of chicken wings at the 7/11 they serve dim sum and fish. It was very clean too. Everyone has been very nice. The hotel is very nice. The room is comfortable. I have not figured out how to log on in the room so I will download pictures later. We met part of our group last night at the hotel. As you can all imagine we were extremely tired. I am voting for a nap this afternoon but Dad said he may be too excited to sleep.

It is supposed to rain today and this morning it was not terribly hot yet. We are going to the summer palace and zoo today. I am going to see about going on the Hutong tour separate from the group.

Thanks for following.

There are two reasons to revisit the trip. One is to keep in remembrance every detail of meeting G
 because it seems surreal that it happened. Two is to keep it in our family open so G will always be proud of her coming to our family. Another not so important reason is to have it saved in several places incase of a major computer system crash (prob. never to happen) but I would hate to lose any of this. I also have hard copies of it all with original comments.

July 19, 2005 revisited


I thought that this year to celebrate our 2 year anniversary I would post what I posted on the Journey to G ya*hoo group for our trip accompanied with some photos.

So today is the last official full day in Memphis. We are off tomorrow. Meeting the parents at the airport around 9 am. We leave at 11:10 am for Minneapolis then on to Tokyo and then to Beijing arriving just in time for bed.

Then Friday we will have breakfast, tour the Temple of Heaven and Hutong village which will transport us back in time to old China to the times of the emperors. We will get to ride in a rickshaw (maybe if we can stomach it) and see the very narrow streets which is what Hutong means. And I maybe spelling it wrong too. It could be Houtong. That doesn't look right either. Anyway, dad has the guidebook and we will have a human guide take us.

Saturday we will head to the Great Wall. I am still debating on whether we should climb to the top in the heat?!?!?! Then to Tienamen Square, and the Forbidden City. What a treat and what a chance of a lifetime.

Sunday we head to Nanning and Monday morning we get to meet G for the first time. From that point she will be with us forever. I am sure everything will be a blur until I see her and then it will blur again after.

Thank you all for the well wishes and please keep us in your prayers. Two and half weeks is a long time to share a hotel room for three adults. Pray for mom and dad's health (not that they are sick) just because the heat is going to be very bad. Pray for all of our patience with each other. Pray that G will be prepared to come to us and we will bond well. The laptop is being charged, the cameras are ready, everyone is packed, and off we go.


Friday, July 20, 2007

It is Friday which means Retro




I am going back 20 years (next May) for one of these. First one is high school graduation. Next one is BA graduation and the last is MS grad. I dropped out of the doctoral program because I got to busy traveling and living.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Amy's Five Foto Friday Challenge

5 photos from G's perspective:




Conversation with G

This morning as I packed up ready to head to school and work I asked G if she needed to go potty before we left to which I received this reply:

"You don't matter about me."

I have to take that to mean "Don't you worry about me." But neither is an appropriate answer to a question by a 3 year old back to a mama.

"don't matter about me" indeed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

When G meets some cousins



To say G wasn't to sure about this baby would be an understatement but in the end she enjoyed her company and even got to take a bath with her.