Land in Beijing, spend the week touring.
- Great Wall, Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Cloisonne
Factory, Temple of Heaven, Wal-mart.
Fly to Nanchang
- Meet Faye on Feb. 4th.
- Visit Fengcheng orphanage
- Lots of paperwork
Fly to Guangzhou
- More paperwork.
Return to USA.
- Bond with Faye
- Return to salt mine
- Ungodly amounts of paperwork.
Status: Dazed and Confused
We landed in Beijing at 5:30pm local time. We made it but our luggage
didn't, they don't know what happened to it but hopefully it will
make it in on the next flight. We got here two days before the tour
is supposed to start so we are just wandering around trying to get
acclimated to the environment. It really sucks not being able to communicate,
Jill and I keep wanting to speak Japanese but that only seems to confuse
them even more. Jill is real happy about the fact that there are public
bathrooms about every ten feet on all the streets here. Today we went
to the Marco Polo bridge, a park(??) and have been checking out the
local restaurants. I am amazed at how cheap things are over here.
You can sit down to a good meal for around $5.
Status: Time Zones Suck
Our luggage arrived! Better late than never. It is pretty cold in
Beijing today (about 39 deg.), nice to have a coat now. Jill and I
spent the day in downtown Beijing checking out the malls and local
venders. There are a lot of chain stores here including Starbucks
Coffee. There are many open markets on the streets where you can barter
for trinkets and things. I found a traditional Chinese dress shirt
for 150 yuan (around $15). Bartering is actually fun once you get
used to it, wish I could do it more in the states like at Albertson's.
Most of the vendors know the basics of english, when it comes to selling
anyway. There are also a lot of food vendors on the streets selling
things like "starfish on a stick". Hmmm, do people actually eat that
or is it one of those jokes they play on the foreigners, like getting
them to eat fish eyes? Other families that are adopting childeren
here are starting to show up. We had breakfast with one of them and
spent the morning hanging out at the hotel waiting for our luggage
and moving from room to room getting to know each other.
Status: Bonding with Beijing
We have been on a rigorous tour through Bejijng over the past two
days. I thought this was going to be relaxing but its more like Beijing
tourist boot camp. We get up in the morning around 8am to catch the
tour buss and we don't return untill 9pm. Where have we been, you
ask? Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven and
The Summer Palace just to name a few. Today we also had lunch at a
local resident's house with the other waiting parents. It was real
interesting to see how an average person lives here. I have so many
pictures that my 1gig memory stick is starting to look small. There
is not enough space or time here to write about everything so enjoy
the pictures. Jill and I have been having a lot of fun bartering for
"knock-offs" around the area. You can buy North Face Jackets, Rolex
watches, Polo shirts and sweaters for around $20USD (Authentic, you
ask? Ahh, at that price who cares?). Tomorrow we are going to see
the Great Wall. I wonder if Amazon will ship memory over night to
Beijing. We are starting to think a lot about Faye and are getting
restless about finally getting her.
Status: We are soooo freakin cold.
Hello! Jill here today. It's Monday night, we're packing for our
trip to Nanchang tomorrow. We are BESIDE ourselves with excitement
for this next portion of our trip. The first order of business is
that I want to clarify that we won't get Faye until Wednesday. We
have a 2:30 appointment at the Civil Affairs Bureau in Nanchang. Apparently,
we will get Faye along with 60 other families at the same time. Doesn't
that sound crazy? We don't care though. In the end, we will have our
daughter. So, if I calculate correctly, 2:30pm here, will be 10:30pm
Tuesday night for you guys, so please pray for all of us!
Second order of business, a quick recap of events. While Brian was
at the hotel relaxing last night, all of us were enjoying a hotpot
dinner and an acrobatic show. I got pulled onstage with their clown/intermission
entertainment. I was a dork, but we all got a laugh. We have very
supportive fellow travelers who clapped and hooted encouragingly.
Today, oh man, today, if you thought YESTERDAY's photos looked cold,
mercy me, it was COLD today. We went to the Great Wall of China, and
the wind was blowing very hard. It was spectacular. The sky was blue,
and the view was amazing. Walking on the wall itself is a very athletic
event. Brian went the distance to "the third watchtower" which is
the token finish line, but I only made it just past the second. I
would have made it, but we only had an hour, and this little girl
needed to rest more often. But it was cool none the less. We also
went to "The Secret Way", which was a path of statues leading to the
Ming Tombs. It was very beautiful and very old, and there were no
stairs, for which we were very grateful. We visited a silk factory
and then had Peking Duck for dinner. Gosh, they're feeding us well.
We have had a very good time here, but are so eager to move on to
the real reason we're here. Two more nights, and then, parenthood
here we come!
Status: What a difference a day makes!
We have FAYE! She is absolutely adorable and we love her to pieces
and we feel like she is adjusting fabulously. But man, it was not
this way 24 hours ago! When we got her, we were crowded into a room
in the Civil Affairs Bureau with 12 other families, and they called
us up first, and just handed her, screaming to us, right there in
the room, there was no quiet place or explanation or anything. So,
I didn't cry until later, when the shock wore off. She was so upset,
poor thing. She'd been on a bus for 1.5 hours, and then waiting for
us, and she had at least 5 layers of clothes on, we had to take off
a layer to find her hand so she could take the little key ring rattle
we brought for her. We were so shell shocked at all the pandemonium,
and then to leave, on the bus, with 12 crying babies and 12 families...that's
when I (Jill) lost it. We were parents! When we got to the hotel,
she was wet, and so we peeled off all her layers and changed her diaper,
and put on clothes (she's right at 12 months!) and then she wolfed
down a bottle and she finally calmed down a little. Today we have
been discovering her personality, she is very friendly and outgoing,
and has clear likes and dislikes. She has begun smiling and cooing
and vocalizing (loudly!) and she likes BOTH Mommy and Daddy. Other
families are not so lucky. We really worked at trading her off last
night, even if she was upset. She got over it. Tonight we will give
her her first bath with the Donnelly's, hopefully she won't tell we're
novices. We are very very very much in love with her. We can't wait
to introduce her to all of you. We are truly blessed. We are having
a great time in Nanchang as well. There are firework shows almost
every night and its good to be somewhere that is near where Faye came
from. Love to all.
Status: Just the facts Ma'am!!
DUE TO COMPLAINTS FROM SOME "VISITORS" TO THIS SITE, I WILL NO LONGER
BE POSTING PICTURES THAT DO NOT INVOLVE FAYE. I mean if you you've
seen one foreign country you have seen them all right? Its not like
China is 4000 miles away or anything like that. Its not like people
might want to see pictures of the CITY FAYE CAME FROM or anything
like that, man what was I thinking? Why did we send a rover to Mars
anyway? Its just another stupid planet! ;) ;) But I digress...
Here are more pictures OF FAYE ONLY.
Status: Breaking in the parents
Okay, sorry for no news yesterday. I should never let Brian update
this on his own. :) Faye is continuing to adjust famously. She has
been very very responsive and playful. She likes to imitate and she
really likes to have a toy in EACH hand.
She has had a difficult time with the whole Number Two business..but
at least it started moving and she's getting over it I think. Last
night was rough on all of us. I hope that's not TMI (too much information)
but its what happened. ha!
We went to two government offices yesterday and promised to take care
of Faye and never abandon her. Then we received our adoption certificate.
It's official, she's a Donnelly, like it or not! I think she's okay
Brian is an awesome Daddy. He was so nervous about it, but he's so
in love with her...and he's really picking up on how to feed her and
get her to go to sleep and acting like a monkey to make her laugh
while Mommy changes her diaper...all that Daddy stuff. He's a pro,
after only 48 hours! Truly, though, its very overwhelming. We are
both sleeping soundly trust me! After all that tense-ness leading
up to Faye now that we have her we're sleeping like babies ourselves,
Im so relieved.
Today we have nothing on the agenda, Brian and Faye are sleeping while
I escaped to the business office to check in on the world affairs...I
guess I haven't missed much on american idol yet. :D Gosh, it seems
like we've been gone for about 8 weeks or so. We want to go shopping
for another suitcase, which means we have to cover ever inch of skin
on faye except her face...people kind of look disaprovingly at you
if you dno't have layers upon layers on your child...we have been
very grateful for the little polar bag sleeper we brought which doesn't
have any legs...so no one can tell there's only one layer on! We shall
see how it goes.
[Brian] I really don't know what Jill is talking about with this monkey
stuff, I do that all the time anyway. I will have more pictures as
soon as the dork next to me gets off the only computer in China that
excepts USB peripherals.
Status: Faye blah, blah, China, blah, blah
Nothing much to report on today. We went to visit a temple in Nanchang
its supposed to be famous or something, whatever...I HAVE A DAUGHTER!
We are still getting used to each other, although I think most of
the shock has worn off. Faye is quite comfortable with expressing
her dissatisfaction/needs in any situation now, she was quite reserved
before. I knew it wouldn't last. Jill was quite reserved when I first
met her... But I digress.
Yesterday the group here traveled to the orphanage that some of the
Children that were adopted from lived. Jill and I opted out of this
because Faye was one of the lucky few to have been in foster care
with a family before we got her and she was never there.
I have become comfortable with most of the parenting needs on my end.
Jill has been great all along. Tomorrow we need to fill out more paperwork
for the American Embassy in Guangzhou in preparation for travel to
there. There will be a bunch more paperwork to fill out over there
during the four days that we are there but hopefully it will go smooth.
As usual here are some more heart wrenching pictures of Faye.
Status: Fun in the Goungzhou sun.
Hello everyone, sorry about the information blackout but we have
had our hands full. We arrived in Guongzhou yesterday at around 8pm
local time. The weather here is absolutely fabulous, it was around
65 today. We have gone from China's extreme cold to t-shirt weather.
The atmosphere here is much better as well, the people are very nice
(most speak english) and goods are dirt cheap. You can buy new music
CDs for around $1.50 (feeling a little ripped off?).
The White Swan hotel is the best we have stayed in. It is filled with
families from all over the world that are adopting from China. Unfortunately
all three of us have come down with colds, Faye is caughing and sneezing
(quite discustingly I might add) Jill and I are bed ridden for the
rest of the day and probably tomorrow. Faye went to the Doctor today
to be examined, other than some small issues she passed with flying
Thank you everyone for the emails you have been sending, we have attracted
quite a crowd and we are very happy to have heard from all of you!
Please keep your comments coming. We are still counting down the days,
although I wish we could spend more time in Goungzhou, Its a completely
different world than Nanchang.
I'll have pictures as soon as I find a computer that will
let me upload them.
Status: Ready to bail
Hello folks. I finnally got some pictures uploaded. This might be
my last post from here, the internet is painfully slow and I don't
think I'll have the time again. We just got a call from the American
Embassy here saying that our application has been approved and we
are clear to take Faye into the US. We leave tomorrow night after
taking a day tour of Guongzhou (a tour, can you believe that?). I
am mostly over the cold, Jill and Faye are still recovering. We look
forward to seeing everyone again and hope all is well.
PS If you are having a bad day tomorrow, just kick back and repeat
"At least I'm not on a 14hr flight from Guongzhou to Los Angeles".
You'll feel right as rain in no time.
Status: Home Sweet Home!
WE ARE HOME! Everyone is well and accounted for. Thank you
everyone for your love and support.
Status: Home Sweet Twilight Zone
This will be our final entry for the jouney to Faye, we
will continue to post pictures of Faye and family events though
so keep checking back.
We wanted to share some final thoughts about Faye and about
We are home. That's about all we can say for certain. We are
all suffering from jet lag...Faye's schedule is a little more
off than ours. After sleeping through the night every night
in China...she has now been awake just about all night for
three nights. Brian and I are tired and unpacking is getting
done very slowly. We went out for the first time yesterday
to do some grocery shopping. I know we're exhausted because
today I found a package of mushrooms in the freezer! Rats.
I love mushrooms too. Sometimes I turn around and think "hey!
there's a baby in our house!" I have to pinch myself
to make sure I'm not dreaming and I'm also not babysitting.
This is the real thing. We're glad to be home so we can try
different foods on her. So far we have added prunes (thank
goodness) cottage cheese, graham crackers, and green beans...to
the eggs, applesauce and Chinese Food diet.
Our biggest fear coming home was the mutual adjustment of
the child and our two spoiled, dopey dogs. So far, all has
been fantastic. She tolerates them when grumpy and engages
them when happy. They are interested in her all the time,
but have really been good at restraining themselves. Dax tends
to be the one to go sleep in the other room when she cries,
and Chan is the one who will be running to wherever we are
to make sure we've heard and are on top of the situation.
They both have discovered that mealtime with a child is a
wonderful thing for dogs. We will probably never have to sweep
around her chair _ever_ and when I spilled an entire container
of cheerios the other day...I just had to call the dogs and
presto-whammo no more mess!
Another big adjustment has been that Faye has finally allowed
us to set her on the floor. In China, she would only sit on
the bed, or sofa...but never the floor. No wonder she couldn't
crawl, roll over or sit up stably. Just in the ten days we
had her in China she was sitting up much better, and she already
has rolled over today, and she loves to stand, so we're foreseeing
a very quick transition to walking. Yikes! Before you know
it we'll be sending out graduation announcements!
Well, that's been our Journey to Faye. We can hardly remember
life without her, and yet current reality still seems surreal.
Truly, we are a little in shock. Faye is so amazing, she is
charming, observant, quick to smile, not one to cry without
a very clear reason, altogether a wonderful little girl. We
couldn't have made this trip without all the support of our
family, our work places, our many co-workers who hung in there
with us and waited with us and our friends from around the
world. Thank you all of you.
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