Friday, August 31, 2007

NI HAO FROM BEIJING!



We made it to China and we are tired, but happy to be in our daughter's birth country!

Aug 30st - Thursday: we left real early for the airport and didn't encounter any problems with delays or lost luggage! The plane ride was extremely l-o-n-g, as we sat across from a 2 yr old boy and his mother - for the entire 13 1/2 hours he was either yelling, crying, running up and down the aisle or crying!! We were not able to sleep, but had a safe trip!

Aug31st - Friday: we arrive in Beijing and find our guide easily. We also see some of our travel group that I have been "talking " with online for the past few months - it was sooooo exciting to meet Shandra at last!

We took a small bus to our hotel, which is very, very nice! We were to meet downstairs in the lobby if we wanted to go to the grocery store to buy waters at 5:30pm. Ed and I unpacked alittle and layed down for a few minutes, but we were late by 5 minutes (which is NOT like us) and we missed them leave!! We panicked and tried to commuicate to the hotel staff that we wanted to call our guides cell #, but they wanted us to use the business ctr and we had to convert $, but the person at the $ counter was not there! They finally took pity on us and called her and told her what was going on...needless to say we got to the grocery store and all was o.k.

Everyone was doing their own thing for dinner, and our guide told us we could eat at this restaurant in the hotel, she pointed it out and told us that the menu was also in English and it had pictures. Perfect, since I'm a slightly picky eater :)

We got to the restaurant and sat in a small room surrounded by bamboo and it had some pretty haning beads for the doorway - adorable! The waitress comes in with the menus and tries to take our order, but it was somewhat confusing. I asked if anyone spoke English and she smiled sweetly and pointed to herself and said "little" and I asked if there was anyone who spoke "more" and she gave me that sweet smile...

One funny thing: as I saw dumplings on the menu - I thought o.k, we'll have these, but it said 26 and I thought that was way too much for us - turns out that was the price - we've been laughing about this in our exhausted state!!

I hope I can upload the picture of Ed eating expertly with the chopsticks - we didn't get forks until a waitress walking by starting cracking up at ME trying to eat with them. She ran past us and came back with forks and then proceeded to stir my meal for me!

The beds are as hard as everyone says, maybe harder. Especially when you are so tired that you trip over the edge of the bed and fall flat on your face...at 1 am inthe morning!

Today: Saturday, Sept 1st: We are off to breakfast and then for our tours ~ I'm so excited to see the Great Wall!

*I'm unable to load pictures at his time - the computer has been very difficult to use here! I will work on that and hopfully be able to share with you.

ANTHONY & EDDIE: Mommy and daddy love you and will call you later, we'll get this skype working sooner or later -

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

HOW DO I SAY GOOD-BYE?

I've talked to them and hopefully prepared them for our absence...but how do you really say good-bye for 15 days? This is so hard and almost heartbreaking when I think of how much I'll truly miss my boys...I've NEVER been away from them this long and missing their first days of school is just the mud on the cake!

I have some gifts wrapped for them and we made a chain out of construction paper. They will take a ring off each day and countdown to our homecoming ~ just typing "homecoming" makes me smile :)


"A" and "E" I love you more than words can say; and I honestly cannot wait until we drive up the driveway, open the door and feel you guys jump in our arms!!!!


You are the BEST boys ever!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

~ MIA'S SHOWER ~

I cannot post all the picutres at this time (I'm just a tad bit busy these days!), but hopefully one day I can share them all in a slide show.

The night of the shower is a treasured memory ~ all who attended took part in an amazing tribute to our Mia. It was truly a memorable evening; thought out to the last detail and overflowing with love. I feel like the luckiest "girl" alive!

I picked a few pictures to share with you and I hope it gives a good idea of the love and frienship I am surrounded by:

I was "supposed" to go to dinner to celebrate a friends b-day (Lisa), instead I was "kidnapped" - this is my reaction to that:

















As we turned the corner, I saw a vision of pink:
everyone in pink shirts and holding pink balloons!















Miss Meaghan stopped by to honor Mia!
















They even arranged for my dear friend, Kara
to call (she moved away a few years ago).















The presents!















Mia is set!















Yes, I am crying like a baby, but there's a good
reason: Meaghan (and her mommy) sent out
Mia's 100 Good Wishes letter and collected them
all in a beautiful album. Her aunt will sew the quilt ~
This is Meaghan's gift to Mia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!







Monday, August 27, 2007

~ A WEEK AWAY ~

A week from today, "Dan Dan" will wake up for the last time in the only home she has ever known.

Her nanny will bathe and dress her for the last time, and (hopefully) tell her that she is going on a trip to meet her mommy and daddy.

"Dan Dan" will say good-bye to all her little friends; and take a 3 hour drive. Her nanny will take her to a strange building and will hand her over to her new parents; where she will become a daughter, a sister, a granddaugther, a niece and a cousin ~ in that one second she will have a family...

She will become Mia Hope Yudan (______ ).

**Please pray that her transition into our family is peaceful,
thank you.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

~ OUR ITINERARY IS SET ~


Well, the countdown has begun to Mia Day!
THURS:
Aug 30th: Leave for Beijing in the morning
FRI:
Aug 31st: Arrive in Beijing, 1:45pm
(yup, we lost a day)
SAT:
Sept 1st: Tour Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tian An Men Sq.
SUN:
Sept 2nd: Fly to Nanning (near Mia's province!)
MON:
Sept 3rd ~ Labor Day ~ 2:00pm ~ Meet Mia!
TUES:
Sept 4th: Adoption Registration!
WED:
Sept 5th: Shop for babies!
THURS:
Sept 6th: Sightseeing (tour Qingxiushan)
FRI:
Sept 7th: Get passports and fly to Guangzhou at 8:40 pm!
SAT:
Sept 8th: Mia's visa picture and medical exam
SUN:
Sept 9th: Sightseeing: Chen Family Temple
MON:
Sept 10th: Our guide will bring our documents to American Consulate
TUES:
Sept 11th: Bring Mia to American Consulate for interview and visa!!!
WED:
Sept 12th: 9:30am flight to Hong Kong ~ where we will spend the day!!
THURS:
Sept 13th: Fly Home and see my BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*** Cannot wait to introduce Mia to her family and friends :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

BLOWN AWAY!

It is the "morning after", the morning after the most amazing baby shower I have ever witnessed - full of people I adore who went above and beyond my wildest dreams!

I cannot wait to share pictures with everyone - I am in awe of how blessed I am - of how loved Mia already is by my friends and family!

I will leave you with this imagine for now (until I can post pictures): I am driven up to my neighbors house and all I see is everyone on the front lawn, dressed in PINK and holding up PINK balloons . . . what a tribute and a moment I will hold dear in my memory forever!

~ God has truly blessed us ~

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY TO MY BIG BOY!

Anthony you are my heart and my soul and I adore you more than I can put into words.


I love you completely with all of my heart and I am so incredibly proud to call you my son.


Happy Birthday, Honey!


Love Always, Mommy



TOUCH OF LOVE

You were six months old and full of fun,
With a blink of my eye, you suddenly were one.
There were so many things we were going to do,
But I turned my head and you turned two.
At two you were very dependent on me,
But independence took over when you turned three.
Your third birthday, another year I tried to ignore,
But when I lit the candles there weren't three, but four.
Four was the year that you really strived,
Why look at you now, you are already five.
Now you are ready for books and rules,
This is the year that you go to school.
The big day came; you were anxious to go,
We walked to the bus, going oh so slow.
As you climbed aboard and waved good bye,
I felt a lump in my throat and tears stung my eyes.
Times go so fast, its hard to believe
That just yesterday you were home here with me.
And tomorrow when the bus brings you home,
And you jump to the ground,
You'll be wearing your cap and graduation gown.
So I'm holding to these moments as hard as I can,
Because the next time I look, I'll be seeing a grown man.

-Anonymous

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


TA YESTERDAY, and
CA TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Snoopy dancin', laughing, crying we're leaving for China NEXT Thursday, August 30th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Woooooo Hooooooooooooooo!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

WHEN "E" DRESSES HIMSELF !

Inside out, backwards shirt, winter pants ~ boy was he proud!

Friday, August 17, 2007

NO TA TODAY :(

I waited and waited and at the end of the day (of course) , I got the email from my agency saying it didn't come today. They expect it first thing Monday morning <"sigh"> and then things will move quickly from there....that's all folks

~ BUTTERFLIES ~

Yes, this is the title of my post today, "butterflies"! Pretty, light, fluttering butterflies . . . except these are in my STOMACH!

Every morning I wake early and these butterflies are there. I am thinking of what I have to do, what I have already done and what am I forgetting to do??

I'm soooooo glad I found my travel mates - we "talk" on our group everyday and share feelings, concerns, fears and most of all excitement! We know what each other is feeling and it really helps to have a sounding board during this process - thanks guys :)

Today, I expect to get TA ~ and then I'm guessing on Monday is when we should know about our Consulate Appt (CA) and have our travel itinerary...except on Monday is when we will be on our mini vacation to Hersheypark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be bringing our laptop and try to check-in with our agency from there. Not ideal, but I am so looking forward to this time with our boys and want to enjoy every second with them!

Oh, I cannot even express how much I will miss them . . .

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

~ THOSE EYES ~

Mia's eyes
I know all mom 's believe their children are the cutest and most beautiful around; and I am no exception.
Just look at those eyes ~ Mia's eyes ~ they are breathtaking, and it seems as if she is looking for us . . .
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've been to bed late and up early and have one thing on my mind - China! When exactly will we leave, what do I need, did I forget to write down something down on my list, where is my list??
I've bought out the travel size section in Walmart and all of their OTC med's we or Mia may need, but am I still forgetting something?? I am collecting paperwork (yes, there is more of this) and making copies and filing things - wow!
I "found" some families we will be traveling with and what a blessing that is - we "talk" and exchange thoughts, ideas, fears and excitement! I cannot wait to meet these families in China and see them untied with their children ~ the excitement is growing and so are our nerves!
My mind is constantly racing and then I lay down at night and close my eyes ~ and I see Mia and those eyes...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Saturday was a day of painting ~ Mia's room is all done!! I'll post the finished product once we have it all together :)

















The boys were so good all day while mommy and daddy painted. We enjoyed a nice family swim and BBQ and then smores ~ yum!






Is it possible to think of someone so much,
that they will actually appear is your arms?

Unfortunately, no




Friday, August 03, 2007

~ A GIFT ~


When we were reviewing Mia's files, I did some reseach into the orphanage she was living in and found out that it is relatively new (built in 2005) - spanking new! I joined their yahoo group and was very pleased to hear the comments of other mom's with children from this SWI (mats on the floors, a bar to pull up on, mirrored walls, etc).
While reading through the messages on this group, I noticed one mom was bringing her daughters back to this very same SWI the next week (to experience their beginnings)!!!! Of course, I did what any mom would do and I emailed her like a crazy woman!!! I asked if she would try to see, hug or just tell Mia that her family is coming and that we love her!! This wonderful woman emailed me back immediately and said she would do all that could for us !!
What a gift !
The following week, I do indeed get an email from this angel...I mean woman and she basically writes that she saw "Dan Dan" and she is beautiful. She walked into the babyroom and Mia was standing in her crib. She walked over to her and she started to cry - but she looked very healthy and had a great set of lungs (he, he) ~ that's my girl :)
The orphanage director wouldn't let her take pictures, but she gave my angel...I mean woman 2 updated photos for our family!!! These are the photos you see below :
Mia at 14 mos.
Mia at 15 mos.
* Thank you "M" for this wonderful gift you gave my family and I. I will always be grateful and will never forget the comfort you brought to us at a very emotional time. You really are an angel :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

L.O.A. DAY TWO!!!

WOW! Still flying high with happiness over here :)

Yesterday the Fedex man came earlier than we expected. He did the old "ring and run" back to the truck. I heard "A" yelling,"he's here, the Fedex man is here" and he opens the door and yells to the F-man "wait, wait, we have to take your picture!" What would I do without my boy!

The poor Fedex guy is in his truck trying to understand what is going on. I just took a picture of his truck - see below; and one of my awesome helper!!






















In a matter of 2 hours we signed the L.O.A. (what a beautiful piece of paper that is!) and I ran up to the Fedex place and sent it on its way. I just got confirmation from my agency that they received it ~ yay!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today we got together with my friends/neighbors for a playdate. "A" was having so much fun playing with Meaghan. He and his friend got a huge kick out of her and I could just see Mia in the mix (so soon!). I took some cute pics:


Meaghan kissing Mia's picture

The kids


Anthony, Stevie and Meaghan
Meggie wants Anthony's lolly!