Thursday, March 31, 2011

We're Here!

We are in Guangzhou FINALLY!  We got settled into the White Swan Hotel a little bit ago and are really happy to be here.  They just brought the crib into our room :)

We will be getting Ariana tomorrow!  Yay.   The group is supposed to leave the hotel around 2p.m. to head for the government offices of Guangzhou where we will get the babies.  I have no idea how far away that is or how long we should expect to be gone.  We think we are 13 hours ahead of Central time.

Our time in Beijing went very quickly.  We had no Internet access and only about 5 minutes with our guide. 

More later.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Cousin Brice!

I can't wait to meet you!  I know you are going to teach me all about play and what foods are the yummy ones like chicken and Fritos and how to get Grandma SG to do anything.  I bet you'll even take me on your pontoon-toon to RR's Beach this summer.

This is a picture of you when you were one year old.

That's how old I am right now.  My mommy and daddy say now you are a big boy and I will look up to you.  They want to tell you, "Happy Birthday" and that they love you.  We hope you are having fun at Disney.  Have you seen Mickey and Minnie yet?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bags are Packed

Yes, that's right, I am even taking my own pillow to China.  Thanks Pack~Mate!  Steve thinks I'm insane btw.  A few little tasks and some cleaning to do in the morning and we're off!  It is not seeming real to me as I'm strangely calm.

Grandma (my mom) brought over a little gold ladybug charm to bring Ariana luck as she makes the journey to the her new life.  She also had a special card for us she's been holding on to for years.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Not Much Longer

It has been pretty hectic since our consulate appointment/travel dates were confirmed last Friday.  First up was finding flights.  I had no idea we would have such a small window between travel approval and the actual travel.  I literally spent all of Saturday and Sunday on the computer obsessing over the options. In the end Linda at Brica International came through with the best prices and flights of anyone and even got back to me on the weekend!  If any readers are China-bound soon I highly recommend her.

I have been collecting packing lists from those who have BTDT for years now.  There is no way I can get all those list items I bought into our suitcases unless we go sans clothes.  Even worse, the weight limit on the in-China flights is only 44 pounds compared to the 50 pounds we Americans are used to.  Hopefully tomorrow we can wrap-up the packing.  When Steve isn't looking I'll just take some of his stuff out so Ariana and I can bring more:)

We also had our own little "new money" crisis.  I've known for years that we were to bring brand-new, crisp, uncirculated hundred dollar bills.  For whatever reason I thought that was just for the official payments. Since our agency wired our orphanage donation and government fees, I didn't think I needed to worry about it.  Wrong! I started the day yesterday by calling every bank from here to Madison begging for new bills.  Thankfully I found some at the Credit Union in Mercer (they open at 9:00, well into my mission) and my rockstar sister found some in Madison.  Crisis averted, but not before the stress level was through the roof.

Today I filled out the forms for the American Consulate appointment and double-checked that all of our paperwork is in order and ready to go.

It won't be long until someone is handing me that little angel at the top of this page♥

Friday, March 18, 2011

Travel Dates!

Leaving on a jet plane...

We have travel dates!  We are leaving on Monday, March 28th and returning Friday, April 15th.  We're still working out the specifics so stay tuned!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baby Shower and Birthday Party

It was a busy week around here.  On Sunday, March 6th, my friends from work had a shower for me.  It was a great time with cute decorations, great food, lots of laughs, and adorable gifts.  Ariana received some fabulous new toys and books and is going to be quite the fashionista.  I would squeeze myself into some of the cute outfits if I could.

Thank you so much to Kristin(left) for hosting. Everything was just perfect.  This is her cute place and she made the ducky and fortune cookie cupcakes.  The theme was Chinese with touches of purple and green like Ariana's room.

I will need to do a separate post sometime with all the gifts. Everyone was much too generous.

On Wednesday, March 9th, we celebrated Ariana's first birthday.  I was a little sad knowing we couldn't be together, but we'll celebrate again when she gets home.  One of my students pointed out last week that her birthday was coming so I told them I would bring cake.  On Tuesday they started conspiring and making decorations to surprise me with.  They weren't exactly discrete so I knew what was up but pretended not to. Some of the girls spent two hours decorating the room after school on Tuesday and everyone hid in the room Wednesday morning.  There was ribbon, handmade cards and decorations, music, and lots of glitter.  They were so proud of themselves and so sweet. I brought a cake and ice cream and we had a nice little celebration.  The cake was really pretty but didn't photograph well.

Steve and I had Chinese take out for dinner that night.  We wanted to start practicing with chopsticks again. There will most likely be forks at our motels, but we read that it's a sign of respect to use the chopsticks so we wanted to make an effort. I was pretty good 5 years ago but seem to have lost my touch!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ariana's First Turquoise Box

The fabulous women I work with gave me something extravagant and wonderful today.  It is a Tiff@any's sterling cross for Ariana!  I know! They are the best aren't they?  Mommy tried it on, but only for a minute.

♥ all of you!