Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Guangzhou 28th 005.jpg
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.

Hey MePa....look at me! Mom and Dad stuffed me into this just for you!



AHHHHHHHHHHHHH Monday night was awful. Big Bear and mama were not feeling good. Emma went down easy for the night and so did I. Well at about 11pm, it all fell apart. Not sure why but she was whinning and moaning. Ok, lets try a bottle. Nope. Ok, is she too hot, too cold. Oh good...got her to sleep. For only the next 30 minutes. Now what? Looks like she has a fever...bust out the Tylenol. Rub her back and back to bed. Great, that worked for about another 30 minutes. Let's see what can we do now? Hold her on the potty. GREAT...this must be the problem as she went for us. Poor baby...you had to really go..ok back in bed. Everyone falls alseep....for another 30 minutes. NOW WHAT???? Hmmmm how about some benedryl. This will work. Ok, everyone back to sleep (this is where mama puts in ear plugs). What do I hear again?? She's still not sleeping. Ok, this time try the bottle. WOW she just sucked down 8oz....this has to be the problem, she was hungry. Ok family...everyone back to bed, nothin' to see here. She's up again...you have got to be kidding? What the heck time is it? 5am....oh my God, please don't say 5am. That's it. Time to play the trump card. "Hey Phil, bring her in bed with us" GASP!!!! I can't believe she's in bed with us. This had better work. We finally are all somewhat sleeping....with her hands in Phil's face and her feet in mine.

Then it was breakfast time, we went downstairs and had breakfast. Oh look.............another cloudy, rainy, blustery, miserable day! How awesome, we haven't had one of those since....uh let's see...yesterday! I know..it's Winter and this is supposed to happen. Which would be fine if I didn't bring shorts, short sleeved shirts and stinkin' flip flops. I have been wearing that same blasted outfits (all 2 of them) since we got here. If anyone see's a huge bonfire in our backyard...no worries, it's me..buring my clothes. So what to do today....how about a nice 3 hour nap. Then we were determined to get out of this hotel room. We got dressed and walked downstair and were just about to go outside when the bellman opened the door and an artic blast blew us. We looked at each other and were like..."we don't care....we're getting out of here". So we ran upstairs and threw another layer on Emma. We ended up going from shop to shop and looking around. Each time we went to the stores we told the attendants that it was the first shop we had visited and needed to "look around some more". Whenever you walk into any store in China they feel obligated to tell you about everything in the store. They try to place things in your hands. If Emma looks at anything on the walls, they grab whatever she's looking at and tell us that we must buy it for her...that Emma really wants it. Today she was drooling all over the place as her first tooth has finally pushed through, of course that meant they were trying to sell us bibs, to soak up all the drool. Phil and I have resorted to speaking our limited Spanish. If you try to use the excuse.." I need to go to my hotel room for more money", they'll say "You can use a credit card or pay us in American Dollar"...these people think of any and everything. The best thing we heard all day...is that all shop keepers where willing to give us a "windy day discount". So everytime we walked into a new shop we said we wanted our windy and cold day discount. We were the only morons out today...we deserved the discount. We did end up buying cute matching outfits for the girls, gifts for many people and a few pair of "squeaky" shoes. I know I sound grumpy, but this weather is getting to us. Be cold and blustery....just stop raining. We really want to do the harbor cruise...hopefully with the few remaining nights here we can. Emma is feeling better today...not sure what last night was all about. Tomorrow we plan to shop for the big ticket items. Our hotel has some of the most beautiful pieces of stone, wood and marble. We really didn't take too many photos today. We are going to upload some video. To anyone on their way...the 2 things we couldn't live without...different sized ziplock bags and granola bars. Can't tell you how many days go by with no lunch.

Monday, February 27, 2006

6 Banyan Buddhist Temple

6 Banyan Buddhist Temple
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.


Before you continue to read this entry...for the love of Pete do the sunshine dance. We're dyin' over here....haven't seen the sun in over 10 days....we'll yesterday for about 10 minutes. Today started out with another tour (getting toured out), this time to the 6 Banyan Buddhist Temple, Folk art Museum (Chen family academy) and the Provincial art and crafts store. The Temple was pretty cool....haven't smelled that much Nag Champa incense since college. Some of the babies received a blessing by the monks. Then it was off to the Chen Family Academy. This is the best preserved Qing Dynasty building in the Guangdong Province built about 100 years ago. In a nutshell this "academy" was contributed by the Chen families in 72 counties in Guangdong, the academy served as the hall for ancestor worship as well as a temporary residence for the Chen descendants. After that we went to a shop that sold all sorts of stuff. Everything from embroidery, jade, pearls, silk, bone carvings and etc.

They tried to tell us that this was not a tourist trap........hmmmmmmmmm I didn't see any Chinese in about a 5 mile radious!

After the tour, Emma took a nap as she is not feeling well. We had to wake her up after an hour as we were off to the examination required to get your visa. They want to make sure that all the children are healthy enough to leave the country. And right now with the bird flu they are really checking out the kids. So here are the big numbers....drum roll please! Emma Bear weighs in at 18.9 pounds (how bout that Kim!) and is 28 inches long. Both of these numbers register on the Chinese growth chart at 75 %. We have a big bear on our hands! After the medical exam it was another nap for the baby that isn't feeling too hot. We ate dinner at Lucy's...totally catered to the people adopting, after all they do have peanut butter and jelly. We are pretty excitied that for the next 2 days we don't have anything planned. We will finally get to shop like we want to. I'm going to bed early...I have a sore throat and feel like hot garbage. We really wanted to take cute video feauring Emma bear...but she can hardly crack a smile. Poor thing has snot pouring out of her head, a fever and is really tired. We'll try for tomorrow. Hey Kim, I'm just teasing.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

One Crazy and Amazing Day

One Crazy and Amazing Day
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.



Wow what a day. We had Emma's visa photo taken. Then we visited a river front park and watched everyone do their exercises and dances. We are staying on Shamian Island which is very small, about 44 acres. There are plenty of shops right outside the hotel. It's funny because all of the shops have American names and everyone speaks pretty good English. It was because of this, that I had the idea today to venture away from what I thought were the tourist traps. I didn't want to pay and arm and a leg for stuff that we could find super cheap off the island. So we walked our way off the island and found ourselves in the middle of craziness. Good craziness. We had walked ourselves off the little map we had been given and just about anywhere we were going was NOT in the travel book we brought. I had seen somewhere that there was a free market. So I thought this may be a good place tostart on the souviners we still haven't bought. Well let me tell ya.....the free market was referring to the market where they sell meat. Oh you know things like dog, goats, pretty much anything with 4 legs. Actually our guide in Nanchang said "watch out when you go to Guangzhou, Cantonese like to eat anything with 4 legs...anything expect for tables and chairs." Whoa was he right. Due to some construction we ended up take a detour. The smell from our detour could have gagged a maggot. I was filming the entire time trying not to throw up. By the end of our detour we both had knots in our stomachs and I had a huge lump in my throat. I finally looked down to see what was making me want to loose my breakfast.....snakes, turtles, fish, frogs, eels...you name it...it was alive and squirming. Later down the street, I did see dead goats hanging out in the street and another "unknown" animal. Later Phil informed me that it was Fido. Yup....a dog. We never really did find what we were looking for. Later as we were on our "adventure", we found puppies, mice, rabbits, kittens and fish all for sale. I felt much better once I looked up and saw animal stores to go with these "pets". You could buy a puppy, leash, food and a puppy sweater all at the same place...out in the middle of the street. We really didn't stop much to take snap shots, but I kept the camera rollin'. So back to Shamian Island for more paperwork. It's funny because all the "stuff" that they sell on Shamian Island is catered to what we want to buy. The cute little silk outfits, chops, pictures..blah blah blah. It's all right here....not on the mainland with the dead goats. So tomorrow I plan to buy our "stuff" right outside the hotel..just like everyone else. We went out for Thai tonight and it was great. Later we took Emma for a night stroll along the Pearl River in the park. We love Guangzhou....it's real pretty and has many comforts of home. Emma is still a wonderful child. Oh ya...today after breaking my wrist with more paperwork, I came "home" to Emma answering the door. Phil opened the door and stuck her cute face out and said I couldn't come in. I laughed so hard I thought I would wet myself...guess you had to be there. For anyone coming to Guangzhou...go off the beaten path. It may be the worst smell ever, but it's something you'll never forget.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Some of our favorite photos

From Nanchang to Guangzhou

From Nanchang to Guangzhou
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.


Another tiring day. We got up and flew from Nanchang to Guangzhou. The worst part of the day was saying goodbye to our CCAI reps. I blubbered like a baby. If it wasn't for these people we would still be sitting in the airport drooling on ourselves in a corner. The reps went so far out of their ways to do absolutely everything. They would literally stop traffic for us. If they overhead us complaining about how hard the beds were...no problem they would order up extra comforters for us to sleep on. Someone didn't think their soda was cold enough....no problem they founded the coldest soda in the restaurant. It was just nonstop services and they were so nice. By the time we checked in to the White Swan Hotel it was after 5pm....no wonder we were so tired and hungry. We order from Danny's Bagels and had them delivery dinner. After 5 minutes in our hotel room, we knew it wasn't going to work. Each floor has an attendant that stand right by the elevators. Our room was next to the

elevator, so on top of hearing everyone and their mother go by, we kept hearing the attendants phone ringing. So we upgraded to a suite...much better. We sorta have a view of the Pearl River. We are sooo happy to be here. If we weren't coming to a place that is so tourist friendly, I would say we are ready to come home now. We both miss the comforts of home and can't wait for Jessica and Emma to meet. Emma is a dream child. Today while walking through the airport with no sleep, hungry and sitting in a dirty diaper she was grinning ear to ear and flapping her hands everywhere. I really hope this personality continues even when it's just us and we're at home. Not much to report today and we didn't take video. Promise there will be plenty more photos and video tomorrow. Just from what we can see from the hotel there will be plenty of things to take pictures of. Hang in there grandma and grandpa...less than a week left.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Last day in Nanchang

Last day in Nanchang
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.


Today seemed to fly by and I'm not too sure what we did. Actually we received Emma's passport, with the cutest picture of her in it. Then we came home and she took a nap. After that it was a group venture to the Open Market. The open market was a big let down. People kept saying how awesome it would be. We found a couple of outfits and some shoes. I had heard that there would be great head bands and bows,the same ones they sell at Nordstrom for about 2 bucks....a 4 story market and not one blasted head band. Oh well. We really didn't take too many pictures and only a quick clip of video. Then we went out for a group dinner. Emma has made huge strides today. She will allow be to hang out with her, cuddle her and even give me an open mouth full of drool slobbery kiss! And last but not least, she finally giggled. We were getting her ready for bed and tried to make her laugh (as we have every day) and finally....giggles and laughs! She and I especially have had a wonderful day. Then it

was time for night night. Phil usually puts her to sleep as he did tonight. After laying her down he went to the store for stuff. Well she flipped out. I tried to console her with a bottle and the nanosecond that she saw it was me who was trying to console her...she lost it. Poor thing was screaming for her foster mom. After a few minutes of trying to make her feel better I gave up. I brought her out and sat her on the couch and gave her some toys. Phil came home from the store and put her back to sleep. Oh well. Jessica will go to sleep MUCH better for Phil than for me any night.....therefore it's his job to put her to bed. So, as long as he's putting down pink piggy he can put down emma bear. Tonight was the task of stuffing 100 lbs of stuff plus souviners into our bags. I had donated all the snowsuits we brought plus almost all the clothes I brought (almost none fit Emma) to the orphanage, therefore we had a little bit more room. We really have liked Nanchang but are ready to

head to somewhere else. We are headed to Guangzhou where ALL adoptive families must end their trips as that's where the US Consulate is. Needless to say the White Swan hotel, where we will be staying, will be cram packed with adoptive parents and their cute babies. Sorry folks,no video today...we really didn't see much. We'll be home in one week.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Originally uploaded by aimeenance.


Click HERE to see Aimee get mobbed by the locals.

Today we took at trip to Fu Zhou (also called Linchuan) and saw the spot believed to be where Emma was left by her biological parents to be found. Whenever I looked for information about her home town it always said that Fu Zhou was a rural town and was mainly made up of farmers. In my mind we would be driving out to an area with nothing but dirt roads and a few building here and there. Wrong. Fu Zhou has over 3 million people (this is rural to the Chinese) and has a full city, tall buildings and crazy traffic. Not what most of us were expecting at all. We drove to the orphanage and were able to get out and take some pictures. I handed Emma to another woman on our trip to watch her (not to chance that she would remember the orphanage and get upset) so I could take pictures. To my surprise Emma was upset that I was handing her over. THis made me happy as she is starting to recognize that "yes" I am her mom. After we picked up the orphanage director he took us around town to the different finding spots of where our daughters were found. We saw Emma's "finding spot" which was in front of a computer shop on a very busy street. Once again, not what I was expecting. In a town like Fu Zhou they don't come across too many white faces. There was a point in our trip today where some of us got off the bus to take video and started to get swarmed. One of the men read my tag and pretty much told the entire block to come over and check out the Americans that are adopting...not like I can understand what he is really saying, but pretty sure that's about what he said. Then a pediatricion on the tour got off our bus with some stickers her gives out to his patients. Well these people acted like we were giving out $100 US bills. That really got the crowd going. After the stickers were gone some of the women noticed the "white" faces with Chinese babies through the bus windows. I told Phil to hold Emma up to the bus window. And of course she's staring out the bus window with her huge Emma smile. The whole thing was crazy. After our quick tour of Fu Zhou it was back to Nanchang. The bus ride one way was about 2 hours. The entire 4 hours round trip was amazing. If you ever think you've seen poor.....you haven't seen a thing. Not to say these people aren't happy. Jiangxi is a pretty poor province all together.

We gave Emma another bath tonight which went OK. We had another great dinner at the hotel tonight and now it's time for PJ's. Oh ya.....months ago I was fretting about what I thought was the worst thing that could happen on this trip. Sure enough I bit into a pot sticker and my crown fell out! ARGGGGGGGG I knew this was going to happen. No worries...I have my stinkin' tooth wrapped in a napkin. Funny thing is I was talking about this in Hong Kong...the worst thing would be a crown falling out. I know the question has been "do they have salsa in China"? Well Hong Kong has salsa, not too sure about mainland China. But the real question is do they have Soy sauce in China? Eating real pot stickers and egg rolls....but no stinkin Soy sauce. Tonight we asked for soy sauce and got salt. After 5 servers we did end up with the real stuff. Emma is warming up and her personality is starting to show. She is an awesome person and we feel so lucky to have her. I think tomorrow we are going to shop.....we haven't bought too many gifts. And to answer and even bigger question.....we found out what was crawling off the plate in Hong Kong. Some sort of giant shrimp. We saw this "creature" again and asked our guide...he said it was a giant shrimp. Still not too sure......Phil and I think this thing was large enough to call a pet. Well it's time to call it "curtains".... More tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A day of touring in Nanchang


Nanchang doesn't have much to offer in the way of tourist sights. Nanchang was built in the 6th century AD and has been destroyed and rebuilt 28 times. Nanchang is where the first shot of the civil war was and lead to the Communist revolution. We visited the Tengwang Pavilion. Not the entire group went today. After touring around we all went out for lunch. Once again to our surprise the food was awesome. The CCAI reps know exactly what to order for us. While visiting the pavilion we bought Emma and Jessica a cute tea set. After the tour Emma and Phil took a small nap while I went downstairs and had a calligrapher make a scroll for us. About 5pm tonight we went to have the disposable camera developed. This is the camera that was sent in Emma's care package with instructions for the foster family to use. Sure enough every single picture was taken. Emma and her foster mom are in all of them. I'm going to guess that the orphanage (which is where the camera and care package were sent) gave her foster mom strick instructions to stay on the grounds of the orphanage. Her foster mom did a great job of taking pictures here and there. The pictures are bitersweet. You can see how much love Emma and her foster mom shared. To clarify, if I made things confusing, Emma was in foster care from the day she was 2 days old till the day we got her. The reason why we spoke with the orphanage director is because he sets up the foster families, not because she was in the orphanage. We will meet again with the orphanage director tomorrow. We (along with 5 other families) are going to Fu Zhou. This is the town that Emma has been living in for the past 9 months with her foster family. Most likely this is where her biological parents are from. We will get the chance to see the spot where Emma's biological parents left her to be found.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Adventures to WalMart

Adventures to WalMart
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.


Bath Video

Walmart Video

August Park Video

Emma had her first bath. It took 2 of us. She can't sit up by herself and when wet is slippery! After a bath and long nap we headed out to see what WalMart was all about. We of course we started at. When two women wouldn't stop staring, after 5 minutes Phil pulled out the tag that stated we were Americans adopting an orphan. Well every Tom, Dick and Harry had to come see what the badge said. By pulling out the badge for them to read it made our situation worse. Many times I found myself with my back against a wall and Emma strapped on my chest. Being a little taller than the rest of the crowd I would look over everyone and just keep walking. We found 2 outfits for her to wear at night and some snacks. After feeling like we had 5 heads each we went to a large park and ate our snacks. Then it was dinner time. A group of us went to a real nice restaurant and the food was awesome. It's served family style. It was a weird mix of this an that but was really good. The babies were very happy...they were finally getting a warm meal of things they were used to. The tofu soup was a hit. At 7:30 Emma passed out for the night. Through out dinner she kept falling asleep. When she's real tired...no one can touch her but Phil. She arches her back and stiffens up if I try. It is really really cold here. The day we got off the plane it was 43 degrees and today felt colder. Which brings me to a point. Most of the babies have flat heads from laying down on their backs a lot. Emma's head is real flat. You don't even have to feel her head to see that it's real flat. But when you think that there is NO heat in almost any of the buildings (Civil Affairs office, airport, department stores) and that she's been living in 4 layers all her life....no wonder when put to sleep on a super hard surface where she can't roll over, the back of her head is flat. Emma was so bundled up she never was able to turn over and her arms would stick straight out. She is just now figuring out how to clap her hands and to feed herself. We're not worried at all, it will get better with time. She has one little tooth starting. For someone who's teething, she's pretty happy. Oh ya, Emma Bear can potty like a big girl. Put her on the potty and say "Shhhhhhhhhhh" and she'll go. So far she refuses to go #2 in her diaper and waits for Phil to put her on the potty. Who would have thought it would be the 9 month old teaching the 2 and half year old a few tricks?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Quick Hello

Emma is taking a nap and we are getting ready for WalMart. Emma was visited by a doctor contracted with our agency. She's healthy and happy. Most of the babies in our group are healthy. Only one was real sick the first night and is doing good now. Most of the babies have attached to the dad's first. It's funny to see everyone at breakfast. All the mom's running around while the dad's sit at the tables with toothpicks in their eyes. I went down to breakfast and told everyone I had slept too much and actually felt worse. I said that we had a great night with Emma and that she only woke up 2 times. Everyone informed me that Phil was saying just the opposite and that we had an awful night. I went back to the breakfast table and asked why he thought we had an awful night if she only woke up 2 times. He informed me that Emma was up every hour or so for a few minutes. I had slept through most of this and had no idea. He looked at me and said " I didn't sleep for more than an hour straight". Oh well, now he knows what it was like for me when Jessica was born. Tonight I'll put the crib on my side of the bed and see if I can help him out. We had someone who speaks Chinese in our group look at the letter we found in her diaper. Pretty much it said what she likes to eat and that they loved her as their own. We're meeting our group tonight at 5:30 and going out to eat as one big group. We will post again after our trip to Walmart and dinner. I'll post pictures then too. I think Phil will also post some video....he loves doing that. THANK YOU everyone for your emails....we love getting them. Sorry that we don't have time to respond to all of them. For those of you who have already done this trip you totally understand and for those about to travel you will. Emma is about a size 9-12 month in the states. Her 6-9 month sleepers fit her long ways but her stinking feet are too big for the feet part. We bought her some seperates and then put socks on her feet. She continues to be a great baby!

Shopping Spree

Shopping Spree
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.


Click here and here to see 2 videos from our day.

What a tiring day!!! Long story short---if that's possible. I started off with paperwork while Phil tended to Emma. Then it was time for Phil to come down with Emma...sign here,sign there and put his red thumbprint in places. For Emma they needed her red footprint. Lots of paperwork! Then it was time to meet the orphanage director. This was during Emma's nap, so Phil took her back to the room and I stayed. We received from the orphanage director (who is responsible for putting children in foster care as well) back the items that were in Emma's care package. We received the disposable camera which it looks like thefoster family has taken all the photos. We received a special gift...the bottle her foster mom has been using. Then it was off to the Civil Affairs office with our completed paperwork to finalize the adoption in the eyes of China. All in all...our day started early and didn't end till 5:00. While getting Emma dressed for the day we noticed something.........she's too big

for almost all the clothes we brought! She has HUGE feet. We actually had to put her in one of the layers that she came to us in. Needless to say......shopping spree. Thanks, to Aunt Laura we stuffed her in the Denver Bronco's snowsuit and headed out the door. Next door to the hotel is a 7 story department store. The bottom 2 stories are a grocery store and the rest sells clothing and household items. Needless to say, walking into this store...we were noticed!! CCAI gave us things to wear around our necks that say who we are and what we are doing. When ladies we're following us around the store and wanted to know what was going on, I showed them this card. The card mentions that Emma is a girl, but dressed in an all blue snowsuit they questioned it. We said yes she's a "girl" and then showed them the 8 outfits we just bought most of them pink. So far Emma is "too good to be true". She is SO happy. People in our group have noticed how much she smiles. She is such a good baby. We're

both kinda waiting to see if this is going to continue or what. She is warming up to me. As long as Phil is in the room I can hold her. She has to know where he is at all times. Tonight he was holding her and they were making faces in the mirror. She loved it! She's funny....I'll hold her and she'll squirm and whimper...so I'll pass her off to Phil. The second he holds her she looks at me with a huge smile! The next 3 days are time to relax and tour around. Tomorrow we are doing NOTHING! I may stay in my PJ's awhile. It's 8pm and Emma had to cry it out a couple of minutes tonight. She's snoozing away now. Think we're right behind her.......super tired. Tomorrow we'll give her a bath. Yes that's right....we still haven't given her a bath. She's used to a bath once a week. Ya she's a little stinky...but we were informed she hates baths and with sooo much going on...we want to keep her happy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Video from Gotcha Day!

Click HERE to see the video!

Gotcha Day

Gotcha Day
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.


Finally the day has come! We flew to Nanchang and arrived around 1:30. Pretty much almost all of us upgraded our rooms. We went real big and got a huge suite. At 3:30 we had a meeting to give us some information. At 5pm we walked into the Civil affairs office and the water works began! The babies we're already there and most were very hungry. Emma came to us no problem. She really didn't cry...of course mama was full of tears. She is yet another "daddy's girl". She LOVES Phil and isn't too happy when she is being held by me. She is about the size we thought she would be. Size 6 months fits a bit snug and she weighs a good bit. Her hair has grown in! A couple times tonight she has called out for "mama". Speaking of her foster mom. Emma had a picture of her entire foster family and a letter tucked into her diaper! We can't wait to find out what it says. In the picture we found Emma is holding the soft photo album we sent. We have not received back the small photo album we sent....maybe

in the letter the foster mom has said she wanted to keep it. The only thing we can make out of the letter is the day that the foster family received her, which is consistent with what we have been told. She just got done sitting on daddy's lap and eating peaches and drinking water. She is much more developmentally delayed than stated. Which is totally fine. She can't sit up by herself let alone stand while holding anything. She's laying on the floor right now and kicking her legs. Kim H. thank you sooooo much for the little rattle you got Emma. She LOVES it. She won't let go. She seems so happy and is pretty quite till Phil is outta sight. Can't tell you how happy (and tired) we are. She's given us quite a few smiles, of course that's cause daddy makes some of the stupidest noises. Today has been so long (especially when you wake up at 3am) and we are sooooo tired. We're waiting for our CCAI reps to bring us Pizza Hut. That's it for now...can't wait to bring her home and show her


Saturday, February 18, 2006

We get Emma in 2 hours

We are starting to really freak out! We upgraded to the Superior Suite.HOLY COW....it's a small apartment with a seperate sitting room and HUGE bathroom. We absolutely love our CCAI guide....he rocks. Well have to go food is finally here and we have to get ready!!!!!!

Last Day in Hong Kong

Last Day in Hong Kong
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.

Click on photo above to see the rest of our last day in Hong Kong. Well today was our tour. It was real nice. We went up to Victoria Peak this morning, it was super cold!! We really didn't get to see that much as it was real overcast. From there we went to Aberdeen Fishing village. We took a small boat tour. It was real neat to see the house boats that people live on. Then we went to a jewelry factory. We ended up buying a jade pendant for both girls. They're purple jade pendants with the longevity symbol in the middle made out of gold. Then it was off to the stanley market. To be honest we're tired of "haggling" for gifts and didn't buy anything. Last but not least was lunch. We had an authentic Dim Sum lunch. I was pretty nervous about lunch. I have already moved on to the Pepto Bismol diet as my lunch yesterday did not agree with me. With an anxious belly and nothing but Pepto I wasn't sure about Dim Sum. But to our surprise it was so good!! We really loved the dumplings. We both ate like we hadn't eaten in weeks. Then after lunch it was free time. We went to the Hong Kong history museum...just so so. About 5pm we finally met up with Mark and Stacey Teague. We have "known" them through one of the yahoo groups for almost a year. We and the Teague's went out to dinner. TGI Friday. I know, I know...come all the way to Hong Kong and eat at TGI Friday's. It was soooo good. And oh ya...they do have salsa in China. So some interesting things we got out of our tour. The average size of the apartment that people live in is about 500 square feet. Families of up to 8 live in these apartments. Hong Kong is so dense that cemetaries are rare. For 70,000 US dollars (yes US) one can be burried. You are burried vertical in the ground not horizontal. And for about 14,000 US Dollars you can be burried but only for 10 years. Then after 10 years you are dug up and cremated. Why only 10 years....cause someone else needs that space. Crazy! We have truely enjoyed Hong Kong but are sooo ready to leave. This is our last night just the two of us. To help with our sleep Stacey gave us each an Ambien!! We hope you are enjoying our blog and please feel free to email us! Still can't believe we get Emma tomorrow. None of this feels real at all. We have to be ready to board the plane to Nanchang tomorrow by 8:30. We still have no idea exactly when we will get Emma. We know it will be in the afternoon....I guess when ever the nannies have completed the 2 hour drive to the hotel with the babies.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Once you click on the main picture to see more of our pictures. Click on the pictures to the right rather than hitting "slideshow" this way you can see the description of the photo.

Hong Kong Day 2

Hong Kong Day 2
Originally uploaded by aimeenance.

By clicking on the picture above, it will take you to all of our pictures. Well last night we set out to eat and to shop at the night market. We decided to attempt the subway as out legs were hurting from walking all day long. About 20 minutes of struggling with the subway, we gave up. We couldn't make heads or tails out of any of it. The best part is that all the signs were inEnglish! I think the lack of sleep was really kicking in. So we walked and found ourselves at an ok restaurant. After our dinner we walked to the outdoor night market. On the way to the market we passed many outside cafes. The cafes had different things out on tables that they were offering. Something that caught Phil's eye was the "shrimp" like creature that was escaping from the table. No lie! There was "food" that was escaping off the table. While we were both standing there with horrid looks on our faces, a man kept asking if we wanted to eat there. Uh...what, like the look of horror hasn't answered your question? We shopped a little at the night market. Most of what we found in Kowloon is over priced junk. Everything is fake and totally overpriced. This morning (Friday) we woke up feeling and looking much better. We started off with a trip to the Art Musuem. For less than $3 we both got in. The first "cheap" thing we have done. It was great to see real "antiques". We then took the Star Ferry to Hong Kong. We LOVE Hong Kong. It reminds us a little of San Francisco. It has great little shops, bars and all types of ethinic restaurants. It was nice to walk down the streets and NOT have men asking every 5 seconds if we want a fake Rolex or tailor made suite. The streets are narrow and steep. We decided on a tourist trap for lunch. Phil had a cheeseburger and I had a grilled cheese with tomate and bacon. All for $40!!!! Hong Kong is NOT CHEAP. They were selling beer at where we had lunch....$7 US dollars for a bottle of Bud. We did find something worth buying. It's a statue made out of bamboo. After spending another day of walking everywhere...we're sooo tired. Our legs are killing us. It's now 6pm and we're in our PJ's watching National Geographic. Yesterday was sooo humid that we sweat through our clothes. We decided to do a little laundry at the hotel today. Nothing much, couple of shirts, pants and some socks. Hello can you say $75 US dollars!!! What some people budget for the entire trip we may have spent in the past two....we don't really have anything to show for it either! Although I am typing this in clean socks. We are so ready to get somewhere rural and cheap. We will meet up with our group tomorrow morning and start out tour at 8am. Then Sunday morning we wake up and fly to Nanchang and get Emma. I know I am writting a lot, but I have heard that we may have a real hard time accessing our blog in Nanchang. Thought I would write a bunch while I could. We are so glad to have had the chance (thank you mom and dad) to come 2 days early. We have seen sooo much and have been able to adjust to the time change. Only 2 more nights just the 2 of us.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

First full day

We've almost had our first full day here. We sent out today to shop shop shop.....didn't happen so much. We were both so overwhelmed with everything we we're experiencing and seeing. The loud noices, constant construction, smog, smells and everything...if there wasn't soo much exhaust coming from the cars on the streets...we probably would have just stood there with our mouths open. We walked along the shore and looked across the harbour at dowtown Hong Kong. Today was really humid and hazy. Then we walked up Nathan street to shop. Things aren't as cheap as we were hoping. Maybe we just haven't found the right places. We did find our way on to some back alley streets...whoa there were some serious smells!! We walked through Kowloon Park and saw many people doing their exercises. There were people singing and dancing around. We sat and took in the sights. One thing we didn't expect to see where the HUGE apartment buildings. We both knew that people live in apartment buildings but they're huge. Walking down the crowded streets you can look up at an apartment buildings and there's everyone's laundry hanging out over the street. Not too sure that the clothes smell too great after soaking up car smog..but hey. We spent a little time in a local bar and took a small break. Then around 2pm we had Afternoon Tea at the Penninsula hotel. Needless to say were both feeling tired and wanted to lay down but not fall alseep. So we went for a massage. There are two massage places not associated with our hotel but under it. The first place only tended to men and was $200 US dollars for a massage. Not the type of massage we were looking for. We both ended up at the other massage place. It's about 6pm and we're looking for something to do. I think we'll go out to eat...possibly the Thai place that Kim H. has recommended to us. Then later tonight we are going to the Temple Street Market.
Kowloon park

Building downtown Kowloon

One of the many HUGE appartment buildings

Chinese New Year decorations in Kowloon Park

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

We're here!!!

We made it!! We got in around 7:30 pm and were in bed by 10:30pm. The flight over was empty. We had a row of 4 seats all to ourselves and then another row of 2 seats. We took turns laying down to stretch out. I slept about 4 hours and Phil was too excitied to sleep at all. All our luggage made it, which is a bonus. We have a Starbucks and a 7 Eleven right across the street. Who could ask for more? Today is overcast and we plan to shop shop shop. About the 14th hour of our flight it occured to me. We wouldn't be on a 16 hour flight to China with photos of our new daughter in tow had I not watched The Oprah Show on Dec 2nd 2004.

Can you say loooong flight?

View of the harbor and dowtown Hong Kong from our hotel room.

For anyone going to China use Skype to call home!! It's awesome. Only 2 cents a minute and everyone can hear us just fine.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

9 months old today!

Emma bear is 9 months old today!
Hang tight Emma, we're on our way

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Itinerary for China

Jessica will be staying at home with her grandparents. We are happy that she will be able to stay at home and continue going to school while we travel around the world to get her baby sister.

2/14 Leave for China 11:25 am

2/15 Arrive at 7pm in
Hong Kong...staying at the Regal Kowloon Hotel

2/16 Shop and tour

2/17 Shop and tour

2/18 Meet up with our travel group and tour Hong Kong

2/19 Fly to
Nanchang, check into the Jiangxi hotel and receive Emma!!!!

2/20 Adoption Registration and notarization. Apply for Emmas passport

2/21 Emma gets checked out by a contracted medical consultant (contracted with our adoption agency)

2/22 Rest or optional city tour

2/23 Receive notarized documents

2/24 Receive Childs passport and registration certificate

2/25 Fly from Nanchang to
Guangzhou and check in to the White Swan Hotel

2/26 Free time

2/27 Free time

2/28 Emma's visa physical and visa photo taken.

3/1 Free day

3/2 US consulate to take an oath

3/3 COME HOME...we land at 9:40 am!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006


We are planning to leave for China on Feb 14th and returning on the 3rd of March.
We will first be flying to Hong Kong for a few days then on to Nanchang in the Jiangxi province (pink color) for a week. We then leave the Jiangxi province for Guangzhou, Guangdong (yellow color) where we will have our exit interview, obtain Emma's passport and visa and then fly home.