Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's our last night in Guangzhou.

It's our last night in Guangzhou. I am ready to get back to Beijing and finally get home. I am really looking forward to sharing some photos of our trip as well. I miss my family and friends. It is also a sad time because you meet such amazing people on the adoption journey. We will miss our friends from Holt as well as our new friends Christine, Matt, Kate, Josie and mom. But we are happy to be going to Chicago next year where we can see them again.

We are happy to let everyone know that Mary and Brian are keeping their consulate appointment tomorrow, and as long as Lexi's passport arrives by Friday they should be home this weekend. We can't wait to see them at Church the following Sunday. So glad that we got to meet them!

Shaelee and Claire are doing great. We are keeping up with most of our homework. Shaelee is a typical 4 year old, everything is a game, and her curious nature keeps us on our toes. Yesterday she learned hide and seek in the hotel room. It got a little loud!

We got her passport today, picked up a few gifts for back home, and are packing like crazy. We see the Great Wall on Friday, and are on an afternoon flight back to San Francisco on Saturday. Ralph has learned the art of negotiating a great price. Not sure how we did, but he was all over trying to get the best deal possible. For those of you who know Ralph, that's not typical. He tends to be pretty laid back. But when it comes to saving money, he's a different man (:

Thank you Kim, Chris, Linda and Priscilla. Claire can't wait to see her "extreme home makeover" bedroom. She is really excited to see how it came out. Me too for that matter. It takes special people to do something so sweet for Claire as well as for the other kids. Again, thank you.

To Diana, thank you for being a daily part of our journey here in China,it's been great to have you with us (: Can't wait to hear about your travels as well.

Claire and Shaelee are watching Angelina Ballerina, hoping Shaelee falls asleep. We have had a wonderful time in China, are blessed beyond belief to have these 5 beautiful children. All is good. J

Monday, November 16, 2009

Well, I think it's time to update that blog. I think it's been quite a while, so if I am repeating myself, I am so sorry. We finally made it to Guangzhou. We were hoping for some warm balmy weather, but instead it is cold and rainy. We are trying to make do with lots of layers, but it's just really cold. The Northern and Central parts of China are really cold. We had a 2 hour wait at the airport last Friday. Not like our airports. Cold drafty and lots of people. They did have food thankfully, and the girl's were starved.

Shaelee is always happy to have food. She loves to eat! She is the tiniest little girl, and eats so much food. William "Quinn", I think you have competition. She continues to be a happy little girl, just a sweet heart, with her unbelievable giggles. She loves taking baths, I think she'll love the pool this summer. She has a little 3 and 1/2 year old friend that she met this weekend. The 2 of them chatter in Chinese. We have no idea what they are saying but they crack themselves up. I think they are both so happy that they found someone that they can talk to.

We did the medicals today. She's up to 25 pounds. Such a tiny peanut. She has incredibly long eyelashes, and a beautiful little grin. I would say that I am smitton. She still prefers Claire, which we understand from the other families who brought siblings, that this is normal. When she falls asleep I just stare at her in wonder. Such a beautiful child, both inside and out. She has a joyful spirit. That is how I would describe her best.

Claire has kept up with her homework in about 2 hours a day. Makes me wonder what they do in school for 8 hours. She spends her downtime being the pied piper for all the little ones here. She loves to play with them.We especially enjoy Jada, who is about 13 months, just a spitfire with no fear and all personality. But they are all darling. I think we have 14 families here. They are just precious.
We went to church on the Island this weekend, and it was amazing to see how China has changed in 13 years. We didn't even have the opportunity to go to church when we were last here. I think we take so much for granted at home, and these people are so on fire and excited to get to attend achurch service. It was in Chinese and English, and a lovely service.

Today is the first trip to the embassy. We don't have to go, but need to be available in our rooms. I don't think we'll be going out. Shaelee has gotten a little cough, Claire has a sore throat and Ralph is all raspy. I am popping zinc and airborne all day long.

We are really homesick and miss the 3kids at home. Love that Aunt Kim and Uncle Chris are taking such good care of them. Thank you Priscilla, Linda, Emma and Katrina for your help as well. Quinn, great job on your soccer game! Viny and Emily, you are looking good on skype ! We love seeing all of your beautiful smiles. We love you all! Today begins Tuesday, only 4 more days till we get to come home. Love and Hugs from China!

Friday, November 13, 2009

We leave tonight for Guangzhou

We leave tonight for Guangzhou at around 8pm. This means we're on the final leg of Shaelee's adoption. She continues to do well except for when we try to get her to take a nap. She hates to take her nap!

We want to say hello to the little one's at home! William "Quinn", Vincent and Emily, we miss you BAD! Thank you Uncle Chris and Aunt Kim,for taking care of the family, Gracie included!
Priscilla and Linda, hope you have a good time in Phoenix and thanks for helping give Chris and Kim a little break!
Quinn good luck on your last soccer game of the season!
Viny thanks for the 2 green cards this week!
Emily thanks for finishing your math for Aunt Kim this morning!

We have had a really great time in Changsha, the people have been wonderful, and the food terrific. We had a great time today visiting the Park, it was a bit chilly and windy, but the air was clear and crisp. It has been wonderful to share the week with new friends. We have especially enjoyed our 6 year old friend Kate, who lets us know when to meet in the playroom and when it's time to swim. She reminds us very much of our Emily.
We have also crossed paths with a family that goes to our Church in AZ. It's a needle in the haystack story, to quote our friend Diana. It seems somehow their son knew that another family was in China getting a sister, and asked his mom and dad to look for them. Last night, they asked if there was someone in the playroom from AZ. It appears our 10 year old's connected at some level and their son was convinced they could find us. And they did. We are saying our prayers that they get their paperwork expedited by both China and the U.S. to get home soon. They have been here for a week longer than we have, and it's possible they could be here another week. Too long to be gone from home. But what are the chances of 2 families connecting in Changsha, Hunan China?

Shaelee's little laugh and happy personality keep us going. She makes us smile with her constant chatter, dancing and sparkling little smile. We can't wait until we can finally understand what she is saying to us. We hope it's all nice.

Love from Changsha! Looking forward to Guangzhou and maybe some pizza!
Jill Ralph Claire and Shaelee

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shaelee is making amazing progress. She is happy, talks up a storm, and has the happiest little laugh known to man. She still loves her Claire, but tonight, we finally got the BIG BIG hugs. Still no kisses, only Claire gets those. ( :
Met a wonderful family from Chicago that we have dinner with each night. They have a 6 year old named Kate, that reminds us of our Emily. Last night the girls refused to eat when the chicken dinner was served with the head still on the plate. Thank goodness for rice.
Tonight we celebrated Shaelani's 4th birthday. It didn't take her long to figure out how to unwrap gifts. Shrieks of excitement filled the restaurant, as we sang "happy birthday" to our precious peanut. I cannot tell you, how incredible she is.
We miss our kiddos at home. William Quinn, Vincent and Emily, we love you all. Thank you Aunt Kim and Uncle Chris for watching out for them and taking such good care of the 3 of you.
We are glad to hear that Papa's surgery went well. We were all praying for you! Can't wait to talk to you!!!

Love from Changsha!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here's the latest update.
We picked up Shaelee up yesterday, sorry, no pictures as we left the connecting cables at home. But we will try to take some pictures on the mac.
Shaelee had a tough time when she met us. She was clearly loved by her foster family, and she cried so hard it broke our hearts. She finally relented and let Claire hold her, and she hasn't let Claire out of her sight since.
She is a beautiful little girl, just incredibly small. She looks like a 2 year old, but acts like the 4 year old (just turned 4 on November 6th) that she is. We have been told that she loves school, and goes to Kindergarten and is doing very well. She refused to let us change her clothes last night, but did let us put some pretty hair bows in her hair.

At dinner last night, she ate well, but loved the ice cream! She ate 2 scoops and we finally took it away because we didn't want her to get sick.
She is most certainly our daughter with that love of ice cream.

She was laughing and giggling by the end of the evening. Still weary of Ralph and I, but glued to her big sister. They are still sleeping with Claire's protective arms around her new little sister.

We hope to go to Wa*mar* today, get some additional birthday gifts and have a little party tonight. We met a family from Chicago that got their daughter at the same time as we did, so we are planning to go to dinner with them tonight, and celebrate her 4th birthday.

She is beautiful, with a lovely smile, and you can already tell, a warm disposition. We are happy new parents (again) and appreciate your sharing our adventure. We are in Changsha till the end of this week. More tomorrow.

PS, Computer connector left at home, so will try to take a picture from the computer tonight.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We plan to see The Forbidden City today, have dinner, and get up super early to get on a plane to meet our new daughter. Claire is holding on tight to mom and dad. She is a little tentative, but curious. She has kept up so far, with her Friday's homework.

Thanking my friends who gave us the supply of Sta*bu*ks instant coffee.
It's really good!

More tomorrow, and hopefully with some pictures. J