Good morning USA!
We arrived safe and sound to Beijing. What a cool place. A tiny town of 15 million people (less than half of the largest city in China!). Our guide, Anna was at the airport to meet us and took us to our personal van for a ride to our hotel.
The flight, though long, was pretty sweet. We flew right over the North Pole. It is 5:30 PM in China ... we have been in our room for less than 30 minutes and Kate is already sawwing logs :-) I am soon to follow. We may skip dinner "tonight".
Obviously the Olympics are a pretty big deal. One example of what kind of impact the games are having on Beijing ... their pretty decent sized 2-terminal airport will become a collosal 10-terminal airport before the games begin. We could see the construction as we were taxiing in and it looked huge.
Tomorrow we will have breakfast in our hotel and then we are off to see some sights. Only THREE MORE DAYS until we meet Sheehan. It hardly seems possible.
Thanks again for everyone's support ... keep the prayers coming!
Steve & Kate
August 31, 2006
Good morning USA!
August 29, 2006
Well, we're all packed and ready to go. Dave G. is picking us up at 9 a.m. We fly out at noon. It's so surreal. Steve and I actually feel pretty relaxed. The last two days that I've been able to complete all our tasks and pack everything, have been extremely helpful. Can't wait to meet Sheehan!
Feel free to leave comments................. :-)
Wed, 8/30 - Depart for Beijing, China at noon
Thurs, 8/31 - Arrive in Beijing at 2:25 pm (1:25 am-8/31, Chicago time)
Fri, 9/1 - Temple of Heaven in morning; Lunch at Dai Jia Cun Restaurant; and Hutong Tour in afternoon.
Sat, 9/2 - Sightseeing: TianAnMen Square & Forbidden City, the Great Wall. Orientation
Sun, 9/3 - Flight to Xian in the morning, meet Sheehan in afternoon
Mon, 9/4 - Adoption procedure in morning
Tues, 9/5 - Free day
Wed, 9/6 - Sightseeing: Terra-cotta Warriors
Thurs, 9/7 - Sightseeing: City Wall and Provincial Museum, Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show in the evening
Fri, 9/8 - Get all the paperwork back
Sat, 9/9 - Fly to Guangzhou in the afternoon
Sun, 9/10 - Join other CHI groups
Mon, 9/11 - Medical examination for Sheehan
Tues, 9/12 - American Consulate appt; Farewell dinner
Wed, 9/13 - Go to American Consulate in morning, get visa for Sheehan in early evening
Thurs, 9/14 - Depart for Beijing at 9am, Flight to Chicago at 4:20 pm. Arrive in Chicago around 4:20 pm, 9/1 (same day)
Thanks Chuck, Geri and Gina for watching our place and taking care of Fuzzy Kitty (Lolita)! :-)
August 13, 2006
Not Just My Fear Of Flying...
Ok. So most people know that I have a small fear of flying and I take a prescription to get on the plane. Then along come these terrorists who try to scare me with their liquid bombs and what not. Ok. So God can help me out with those fears. My bigger issue is now that I can't carry any liquid, gel, creamy or waxy substances onto the plane because of these guys trying to blow our country away...how am I going to go for 13.5 hours WITHOUT CHAPSTICK??? Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I have had a mild addiction to the stuff since I was a senior in high school and had the flu and at that point, my lips dried out for FOREVER! This will be a major sacrifice. I'm almost brought to tears with the thought of the very few times I've been places and forgot my chapstick. I know this probably sounds trivial to some people, but me without Chapstick is like a crack-addict going through withdrawals. Steve might find me curled up in a fetal position, whimpering out small moans and clawing at the plane window after about 4 hours in flight.
Maybe by the time we travel, the flight attendants will be selling an array of lotions, hair gels and Chapsticks for those of us freaks who can't go for more than 3 hours without this stuff. Just a thought.
August 10, 2006
A Lot Completed Today
Today was a big day.
- We met with our social worker for our addendum to our home study. That went well, it only took a half hour. She checked the smoke detectors, the temperature of the water in the bathroom (so Sheehan won't scald himself) and then we talked about the terrorist stuff going on in London.
- Then we drove downtown to the Chinese Consulate to apply for our visas (because you can't do this via mail, you either have to go in person or have a courier go for you - and of course I'm too cheap to consider the latter). We forgot that we needed a priority mailing envelope AND a money order OR cash to apply for our visas, so we took a short walk over to the post office to pick that stuff up, then back to the Chinese Consulate. Then we went to the new sweet two-tiered McDonald's downtown and had lunch. They had a tv screen that showed portions of old McDonald's commercials, like the guy with the big moon head that sang "Mac Tonight." And they showed what the first Happy Meal looked like...I think that was like 1982. Ahhh...memories.
- Then we went to the airport to finalize our plane tickets for the trip. That part freaked me out a little because of the terrorist stuff going on. I didn't want to be anywhere near the airport. But, God kept reminding me that He's in control of all of this, and I felt better.
- I had our last summer Bible study with the high school girls tonight. They are throwing me a baby shower next Wednesday. I was really touched by their desire to do this. They made me leave the room at the end of the evening, so they could plan it. Then I dropped them all off at Paige's house.
- I got one more cherry tomato off my plant. We're up to a total of 15 now. There are at least 30 small green ones right now. Green beans are trashed. Stinkin' bugs! BTW, I saw my neighbor out with her broom last night chasing a teeny, tiny, little baby bunny away from her drain spout. I wanted to hit her with the broom. But, I didn't.
- Now, I'm here blogging. It's pretty humid out. Good Night.
August 04, 2006
Day 35 - Travel Approval Arrived!
I can't believe we got our travel approval today! I was totally thinking it would be mid-October, maybe September at the very earliest. We're SOOOOOOOOOOO excited! The anticipated travel date is August 31 and we would get back September 14, the day before my birthday and four days before Peter/An Hu Min's birthday. What a celebration!!! We're so hoping that we can fly back before his 2nd birthday, so that we won't need to purchase a ticket for him. That will save us some $. Once he's two, we have to buy a seat for him.
There is so much to be done! I'm starting to make a list and am preparing a calendar for everything that we have to do over the next month. We don't have anything for him except a crib and a dresser and a glider...which is really for Steve and I. We also have some toys. We didn't buy anything, so we wouldn't get our hopes up...plus, we don't know his exact size. We have his weight and height and chest circumfrance...I'll have to convert the measurements from metric.
Sometime in the next few days, we'll post An Hu Min/Peter's new name. :-)
Thanks everyone, for your prayers!
BTW, I got two cherry tomatoes off my other child today.
August 03, 2006
Day 34 of our wait for Travel Approval to China
(Day 1 was the day we sent our letter of intent to adopt An Hu Min/Peter)
We got our referral today!
I went out to check on my tomato plant (my current child) and right in the front door was a package containing our referral! This is our next step in the process of adopting An Hu Min. The referral included the original photos of him and all the original paperwork, and medical forms. There are also additional papers to fill out to send to CHI. These forms mean something major. It means we have to decide on a name for An Hu Min. We can't send them without his new name on them. We're going to nail down the name this weekend, so stay tuned (if anyone is actually reading this...I'm not sure). :-) This is so exciting!
Also, currently, there is a couple in Xi'an picking up there baby from the same orphanage Peter is in. They're going to try to get pictures of him to post on our yahoo group. :-)
I have seen some people waiting a wide range of days for their travel approval. I've seen: 66 days, 94 days, 120 days, 148 days all in the past three weeks. Another interesting thing is that all these people left for China about 2 weeks (!) after they got their travel approval. So, we really need to be ready...and of course, we're not. But, now I'm making a timeline and we're going to stop procrastinating.