We are Home!
The night before our flight, James had a high fever and chills. We tried to reschedule our flight, everything was booked for Chinese New Year, so we just went for it.

After 15 hours, 3 flights and 3 countries we finally landed at LAX with our good friends Serra and Jules thankfully waiting for us with smiles, goodies and a balloon for Lucy (her favorite thing). They were a welcome sight! After an hour drive home, James couldn't find the key to the house. We had to call a locksmith to come out and open the door. Jules and Serra stayed with us and then got us dinner.

We've been home a little over a week. Lucy is doing great! Our first couple of days home was pretty rough. A lot of crying and tantrums. Can you imagine the shock for a 3 year old flying for 15 hours, then coming home to a strange house and new environment. Our hearts went out to her. By the third day Lucy really started settling in with everyday getting better. Today was our best day with Lucy. She's just a joy to be around. We're getting into a nice routine and getting over the jetlag. Still not quite there yet. We took Lucy out to Ruby's (a local hamburger joint) and she loved watching the other people and kids and had her first ice cream cone.

Lucy is happy and making new discoveries all the time. She amazes us every day.

We will be adding new pics to the gallery soon!

Some firsts for Lucy:
Doggies and Cats (she's still afraid)
Ice Cream Cone
Frozen Yogurt
Turkey Burger
Sleeping in her Toddler Bed
Bath Tub (no longer afraid)
Car Seat (no longer minds being strapped in)


We're on our way Home!

Today we obtained Lucy's visa and took part in the swearing in ceremoney at the US Consulate officiated by our good friend, Bill Martin. It was a very touching and special moment. We are going to miss all the people in our group, having shared this experience has brought us close together. We'll definitely stay in touch. Also, all the people we've made friends with in China. Wo ai Zhongguo. How can we ever thank China for our beautiful gift, Lucy.

Bye, got to finish packing!


Medical Examination

Today was Lucy's medical examination, it was not a good experience. Lucy was very traumatized. It entailed checking her temperature, ears, throat, weight, height and a quick body exam. She fought tooth and nail. With the help of another mother holding her tightly, the doctors finished their exam and then Lucy was fine as if nothing happened. Everything checked out fine, except for heavy wax in the ears which we need to address when we get home. So now we know, she hates baths and doctor exams.

Afterwards the our group of parents met in the executive room of the 22nd floor at the White Swan to finish up the rest of the paperwork. Two hours of filling out papers and signing signatures. James did the paperwork while I watched Lucy. James and the other parents were pretty spent by the time they finished. Later in the day I did some gift shopping for family and friends, while James watched Lucy.

We are at the tail end of our journey, Wednesday and Thursday left and then the flight home on Friday. Our stay here, away from all the distractions of home was a blessing to get to know and bond with our daughter. We really needed this time to really concentrate on her, but it is time to go home and get Lucy in a structured environment. Bye for now, got to get our little firecracker to bed.


Last nignt was a real experience in culinary dining. We went with our friend, Bill Martin, second in command at the US Consulate, whom we went to high school with and his good friend, Hong-Geok, also from the US Consulate, (see pic in gallery) to a fish restaurant. I'm not talking about the Crab Cooker on Balboa, we're talking live alligator, sea turtles, beetles, snakes, eels, weird things that squirmed. There were huge fish tanks with every kind of fish you can think of. You can't get any fresher than that. Bill ordered for us. We had steamed shrimp, where you tear the heads off, take the shell off and dip them in soy sauce, sweet and succulent, they were delicious. We also had scallops in their shell and halibut, we even tried pigeon. While there, someone bought one of the alligators to be cooked, afterwards they displayed the head. Very fun evening with great company. Hong-Geok presented Lucy with a beautiful necklace she made of venetian beads. I know Lucy will love and treasure them.

Today we took the ferry over with Steve, Sheila and Erin to the other side of the Pearl River off of the safe haven of Shamian Island into real China. We were the only Caucasions on the ferry. People gave us stern looks trying to figure out what these Chinese babies were doing with these Caucasions. and then Lucy decided it's a good time to have a temper tantrum creating even more stern looks, especially from the older women. We were saved by the gummey bear. Lucy came into mommy's arms with hugs and kisses and the older women smiled.

We had a great lunch at a Thai restaurant for $17. On the way back, people were selling today's catch laid out on the sidewalk. There were also baked sweet potatoes, looked really good.

After today, four more days left then travel day on Friday back home. There are a couple more things to do, Lucy's medical test and the Consulate appointment where our friend Bill Martin might do the swearing in. Got to go and put Lucy to bed.


5 more days!

Well it seems like we have been here a lifetime, time has really slowed down. We will be leaving Friday the 9th for that long journey home. Of course hoping that Lucy will flow with all the new things she has to deal with. Imagine being 3 years old and thrown into this situation and then just getting settled, then off again on an airplane for 15 hours and then into a car seat to another home...pretty crazy but she'll make it and we will get things settled. Lucy has been a real joy to be with, making friends wherever we go and entertaining us all the time. It was a treat to see her be so gentle with Erin (one of the other babies in our group) and also so generous with her toys and food. But still a bath is just something Lucy does not want to deal with or a shower for that matter..she cries and cries and we feel bad to put her through it..we even tried taking her to see some other 3 year olds taking a bath but still no go..we'll think of something and then take it real slow..


Fun with fun-fun


One week together

Lucy is amazing. She's a real character, she loves to make you laugh. She talks to us in baby talk and Cantonese and we repeat what she says and she gets a big kick out of it, totally laughing and giggling. When we sing to her, she sings along with us phonetically, it's really cute. She has a big personality when she's in her comfort zone. When she smiles, she smiles with her whole face, it's amazing. She's really attaching and bonding to both of us. We took her to a big department store in downtown Guangzhou and bought her beautiful leather pink shoes. There were a couple of pair that I liked, but she wanted only the pink shoes. She already has her strong likes and dislikes.

Her favorite dish is conjee, rice gruel with bits of meat in it. She eats it perfect with a spoon with the skill of an adult without spilling a drop. She loves to eat and will almost eat anything, any vegetables, seaweed, spicy food.

She is very active and can get over stimulated to where she can have a meltdown. We are getting to know her and to know what works for her and what doesn't. We learn something new every day.

She doesn't like baths or high chairs. High chairs we can live without, baths are full of tears, we just have to take it a day at a time, where she will eventually get used to it.

After we put Lucy to sleep thinking we'll have a couple of hours to ourselves, we nod off within 10 minutes. James just fell a sleep on the couch!

We have gone on some field trips with our facilitator that have been educational about the history of China, but the most interesting thing is when we just go out and start walking the streets and mingle among the locals.

Downtown Guangzhou is amazing, the streets are literally people to people, very exciting, bustling city. Incredible shopping, I really haven't had a chance, because we've been so busy with Lucy, but I'm going out next week with another mother to do some serious shopping while dads watch the kids.

I have to mention the traffic, we've never experienced anything like it, it's unbelievable the way people drive here, it's hard to explain, you have to experience it. We are going to try and video tape it from the front passenger seat of a taxi. It's the ultimate E-ticket ride, and somehow you always seem to get ther in one piece.

I know we're really going to miss this place, it really grows on you. It's a very exciting time to be in China. We definitely will be coming back.

We also are getting homesick. It's hard living in a hotel room with a 3 year old. We want to get her home and get her into a routine. Lucy is our precious gift from China.