Sunday, August 31, 2008


On a chilly-ish morning (August 30th) we woke very early ~ we had a long journey ahead ~ the time had finally come to leave our boys and meet our daughter! I remember having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, my mind racing: missing our boys, meeting Mia, a journey to China...CHINA! It wasn't hard to wake up on this morning. We rechecked our paperwork - this was very stressful! We had to bring along a ton of paperwork and we filed it in an accordian folder and placed it in hubby's backpack - never to leave our sights!!

I remember Anthony was up and gave us one of his world class hugs good-bye. We were SO excited and had my dad drop us at the local train station... we both fondly remember talking to one of the conductors and some passagners who were curious about all of our bags ~ we boasted about our journey to China to meet our daughter; and pulled out all of our precious pictures of Dan Dan. They were so happy for us and it made our ride extra special :)

We boarded our plane to China and I remember thinking it was HUGE! So many rows of seats and we were in the middle row. Ed remembered a 20-ish year old Chinese girl who sat beside him, she threw her bags down and made sure she was comfortable, banging into him over and over again...he said he was very weary about who we would be encountering once we were in China! (This was NOT our experience once in China, we were so impressed with the people, the smiles, the thumbs up signs, etc). To say the flight was loooong would be an understatment ~ wow! I know I blogged about a 2 year old boy, who drove his mom and all of us crazy - he was so active and loud, hmmm he reminds me of someone :)

Once we finally arrived at our destination, a day later - it was now August 31st!; we were very overwhelmed! Beijing was a huge airport and it was foreign ~ really foreign! We remember being nervous, would we find our guide, our travel group? It took us a few minutes, but there she was holding up a GWCA green flag with a huge smile on her face, ahhhh we felt "safe". I remember seeing some of our travel group, whom I regonized from pictures, we had been corresponding in our Yahoo group for months and it was time to join together and meet our daughters! Oh, the excitement and what fun!

~ With our guide ~

Our guide, Rui, took care of us like little ducks :) We just followed her everywhere! We boarded a small bus with a couple and headed for the Poly Plaza Hotel ~ it was fun meeting this couple and learning about them. I remember them having picked out two names for their daughter and not being sure what to name her; one of the names was Mia (and they did choose this name for their daughter too) !

We had a beautiful room and I remember we unpacked a bit and then layed down ~ exhaustion!! We were late meeting our guide and travel group in the lobby, we were to go to a local store to buy lots of water!! We were in the lobby like two lost puppies ~ we are rarely late for anything and this had to be a late-moment?! Nerves set in - we could not communicate with anyone and we could not read signs - it was a scarey feeling! All ended up working out and we had one of the hotel employees call our guides cell phone (after some sign language and begging!) - our guide took just the two of us on a walk down the streets of Beijing for our beloved water. We soaked in all of the sights and smells - it is just so different there - memories you just never forget and feelings that come back to you. . .

That evening we were on our own, said our guide...what?! already?! She said there were some restaurants in the hotel and pointed to one across from the lobby - easy enough! When we entered the restaurant I remember thinking how "quaint" it was. It was seperated into tiny rooms that were surrounded by bamboo, and each little "room" had a beaded door for privacy ~ adorable! We had a bit of trouble ordering and wished that someone (like our guide) was there to point out what we should order - the little ducks needed help! We did manage (well, hubby did ) - I made a bit of a spectacle out of ordering and eating dinner. I had practiced using chopsticks and thought I was pretty good at it; until a giggling waitress ran and got me a fork and then proceeded to mix my meal and show me how to eat it! All along Ed (my husband) was eating expertly with his chopsticks! Boy, did he show me up!

Big chopstick man !

I really don't remember much after eating our yummy dinner - we must have gone back to our room for some much needed sleep - knowing the next day was a big sightseeing day! Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China!! Was this a dream?!

Friday, August 29, 2008

What a character I have!

Last August 29th, in this spot where my half-naked, high heeled daughter is standing, our suitcases were sprawled out on the floor. It was time to begin our journey to China! In the next few days I will be backtracking, reminicing and dreaming of our wonderful journey ~ while in China last year I did not write down so many details (which I'm sorry for) - I was so focused on meeting Mia and how she would be, is her heart condition worse than we thought? Will she attach? Oh, so many thoughts where racing around in our minds. . . and here I sit today, with memories I cherish more than I ever could have imagined. It is hard to explain, but China is such a part of us ~ we feel so connected to this beautiful, historical and precious birth country of our Mia Hope Yudan. . .

Some photos below of my 10 year old enjoying his birthday gift! I was so surprised he didn't want the W*i and really wanted a new bike and some more wrestling "guys" ~ whatever floats your boat honey!

Careful honey, mommy's gonna have a heart attack!!
He's getting so big, yet he is still such a boy :) Oh, how I love him!!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Our wonderful friends let us borrow one of their boats for the day ~ what a day it was ~ one of the best family days we have ever had! We were all so excited (kind of like Christmas-excited) and we quickly gathered up all of our stuff and some food, including lunch and headed out to the marina to meet up with our friends, the "B family". We were all smiles as the 5 of us headed out on the boat. It was a gorgeous and sunny 80 degree day - perfect boating weather (listen to me, now I'm a boating pro!) and we were all changing seats and taking turns at the wheel :)

Cute even from behind!

Look out! A 10 year old's behind the wheel!!
This was our view during lunch!

Mia was not happy when we first plopped her on the boat, however after getting used it, she was all smiles and wanted to roam around! She was trying to hold onto the "bars" on the boat and lift herself up - our little gymnast! Daddy grabbed Mia's boots on the way out the door ~ isn't this common boating practice? Boots?!
We met up at a cove with the "B family" and played in the water, in the sand and on the sand dunes. The boys went out for some tubing and then we walked around the cove, climbed on rocks and found little crabs ~ what fun!

Taylor gives Mia a pretty shell.
(Notice the boots!)

The girls look for more. . .

"I think we found some"
(The boots came off!)

Back from tubing!

"I buried my feet!"

Kings of the hill (and Queen)

Little man tried his hardest to get to the top!
Before boarding the boat for our return trip to the marina, I changed the princess into some cleaner clothes and packed up our beach stuff. Mia saw some seaguls and wanted to "play" with them - off she ran!

"Birdies come back!"
The ride back on the boat was very refreshing ~ it was a hot day and the breeze and fresh, fresh, fresh air was welcomed. My little princess cuddled up on mommys lap and feel fast asleep.
Thank you "B family" for a memorable family day. The boys are still talking about the sand crabs and "driving" the boat and they want to save up some "change for our own boat so we can do this all the time" !
"The traveling circus" survived a day with a boat :)

Friday, August 22, 2008


You are kind and loving,

You are the best big brother,

You are compasionate and sweet,

You are so very special,

and today you are

10 Years Old!!

I love you sweetheart and I am incredibly proud to call you my son!

Happy Birthday, honey!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


To my wonderful husband and daddy!

We love you and hope we made your day
half as special as you are to us!
Thank you for all you do,
and thank you for believing!


Sunday, August 17, 2008


Have you ever worn rain boots to the beach?

I have not, but this is one thing Mia can check off her list of "things I've done in my life" ! Heee, heee! I got the idea from a neighbor and friend when I told her Mia's reaction to the sand. She told me she had seen a little girl the week before at the beach in boots. Hmm, I thought; Mia LOVES her rain boots (they are ladybugs too!) and that would be sure to keep the sand off of her little toes. We love to go to the beach and I was not giving up, even though Mia can be quiet persistent with her "bye-bye's" and wanting to go home; I do not give up that easily!! So off we went to the beach with boots!

"Yeah, so I have boots on?!"

The two "Ed's"

Working hard on a sand castle!

Toes in the sand!!
Alert the lifeguard!!
All the boys down by the water,
we met up with our neighbors (the "boot" idea neighbors)

Yes, these boots are made for walking ~
even for down to the waters edge!
Our princess did take off her boots for a while. She delicately touched her toes in the sand and I believe she liked the feeling. . . for a while. She switched back and forth between boots and bare feet ~ I think she was pleased she had that option :)
Anthony, always the good sport,
agreed to be buried in the sand.
You can't tell from the photo, but we
put muscles and a speedo on him!
"My bro looks hungry, here's a chip"

Anthony's awesome sand castle!
Needless to say, we were a bit of a spectacle at the beach - or should I say Mia turned some heads. She just strutted her stuff and did as she pleased ~ I hope she always has it in her :)
It was a fun morning at the beach and I cannot wait to go back
Boots and all!!

Friday, August 15, 2008


My girl is growing and changing constantly; and I'm so glad I have this blog to document her every move! It is still so much fun to dress a girl and our princess is a real girly girl! She still loves pocketbooks, although the bunny bag is still a favorite ~ it is not a must have anymore! She is happy to take along just about any bag as long as she can fit a few of her precious items into it.

Mia notices what I am wearing and wants to have something similar on: jeans or a necklace and anklebraclet! It is fun and I'm really enjoying this! I know it's only the beginning and I often imagine what she will be doing next year at this time ~ not that I want to rush any of it! I am so touched by Steven Curtis Chapman's song, Cinderella; the words just touch my heart (especially after all they've been through) ~ it really has a strong message!

Ponytails!! I am getting such a kick out of putting Mia's hair in a ponytail ~ I just crack up at the little "paint brush"-like hair do; and even though most of it falls out in a few hours. . . well, she just looks darling! Of course, she insists mommy has a ponytail too :)

*I gave up trying to upload an adorable "ponytail" video of my princess ~ it's taking way too long, maybe I'll try another time...


All of us have been obsessed with the Olympics! I was (and still am) so upset that we missed the opening ceremonies. We were on our way home from Myrtle Beach and I forgot to tape it! I keep hearing how incredible it was and I believe it may be on sale on DVD ~ did anyone else hear about this? If so, please let me know - I would love for Mia to have this.

I am thrilled to have these plush Olympic mascots

in our possession ~ thank you to our travel mates for the package!

Our princess even watches the competitions with us and copies what is going on! The other night she pulled up a small plastic container and turned it over to stand on. She used it as a "diving board" and jumped into daddy's arms over and over. She even had her hands up over her head for proper form :) Her giggles and smiles are just pricless!

Doesn't Mia Hope look more mature in these photos?

Even so, she will forever be my baby girl!

P.S. I heard from our adoption agency today and they have received our 12 month post-placement report. It is being sent out to the CCAA and this means our "formal obligations" for Mia's adoption are complete!! Our agency also thanked us "for providing Mia with a home and a forever family" ~ I am the one who would like to thank them for making our dreams come true!!

Thank you GWCA!!