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Our journey begins again

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A summary of Sophie

It has been an amazing week here. Sophie has really blossomed. She is getting a lot more comfortable around everybody. She is learning so much. Her favorite sentence is one her sister taught her. It is "I'm in jail". She will go around saying it all the time. She went to the doctor on Monday. She weighs 27.8lbs and is 2 1/4 ft tall. All her blood work came back normal and she is completely healthy. We have an orthopedic appointment on 6/4 so we will find out more about her spine and ribs. I won't be updating here since Sophie is a part of our family now. Please follow our family at the Cannon Fishbowl. Here is a video I did of Sophie's first week home.

My last post on this site will be about our adoption experience with this agency. I'm still trying to formulate what I want to say.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two weeks since Gotcha Day

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I met this little face. Isn't she cute?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

We are home!

We are home and it feels so good! Sophie did great on the flights. She cried for a little bit from Tokyo to Detroit, but it was because she was tired and couldn't get comfortable. She also threw her first fit. She wanted the window shade up, but it had to be down. At one point she woke up crying and I couldn't calm her down. I opened the shade and she was fine. When we got home we were met at the gate by Terry, Edie and Jadean. It was great to see some friendly, familiar faces. We then went to meet daddy, Maddie and Brandon. Well daddy, Maddie and granddaddy were there instead. I wish I had my camera ready. Maddie saw us and came running. I thought she was coming to me. She wanted her sister. She smothered Sophie with affection. Sophie did great on the ride home in the car seat. It was Maddie who cried. She wanted Sophie to play with her and Sophie didn't want to play. We got home to a slew of family. Thanks to my mom for the wonderful Mexican dinner. After everyone left we tried to get calmed down. We sat on the couch for a few minutes and then daddy went to put Maddie to bed. Sophie was still a little wired. She and I then went to go lay in our bed and she finally fell asleep. She woke up about 2:30 or 3 crying, but then went to sleep and slept until Maddie came in poking her awake.

So far Maddie has been a great sister. She gets her feelings hurt if Sophie doesn't want to play, but we are working on that. Today they went out and played in their cars. It was great to see them together. Maddie wouldn't look at the camera so I didn't get any good pictures of her.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last post from Guangzhou

Well it's that time! I am making our last post from Guangzhou. Our bags half to be outside the door by 5am and we have to meet our guide by 5:30am. Our flight leaves here at 8:20 and we should arrive home at 5:27pm. I am ready. I am even ready for the long flight because I know it will lead us home. I hope Sophie does well on the flight. I'm sure she will. Here are a few pictures from our last day here. She likes to put things next to her head while she's taking pictures. I think she thinks she has to model them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Guess I wore her out today

Yes, she does have her hand in a cookie bag. There was one cookie left and I guess she just didn't have to energy to get it.
Just in case you didn't know, you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

What a great day!

I accomplished all of the shopping that I wanted to get done today. We also were approved for our visa! Tomorrow at 2:40 we leave to go to the US Consulate for our swearing in and then receive the children's visas. I can't wait. I am so ready to get home and see my family. I am so ready to get home and have them meet Sophie. She is the most wonderful little creature I know. She has such a sweet little personality and all of you are going to love her. She is so funny! I can't wait for you to see her dimple up close. I got her pictures developed from the orphanage today. I was worried about them going thru the XRAY machines at the airport. They are so cute. It looks like they took them on the day they were leaving. There is an older girl in a lot of the pictures with her. I'm not sure who it is, but she seemed to care about Sophie alot. When I get home I will load the pictures from the CD and share a few. Here are a few pictures from today. We opted out of going site seeing around Guangzhou. I know that they would have gone to the Chen Family museum and to the Temple and I really didn't want to go. I enjoyed my time walking around the island. Sophie really seemed to enjoy it as well. It is very hot here. It is just like at home during the summer. Hot and humid! Sophie got a little taste of it today. Tonight for dinner we had Lucy's. It was pretty good. Well that's about it for tonight. One last post tomorrow and then we are on our way home!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Here are a couple of videos from today. Ignore my singing.

We are here

If you couldn't tell from my last post, we are in Guangzhou. It is such a relief to be here. Let me tell you about our day yesterday.
It started off at 5:30 with breakfast at 6. Our guide was due at 7 and to my relief he showed up on time. Yes he was still wearing the same outfit :). Now that I'm gone he can move on to another outfit. It really is no deal that he was wearing the same outfit, I just thought it was funny and adds to the absurdity of our trip. We got to the airport at about 7:50 for an 8:40 departure. Guess what? They couldn't find my reservation. I knew it. They finally found it and off we went thru security. Our gate was the very last one and what do you know, they were boarding. We had just made it. Sophie was a dream on the flight. She was so well behaved. Then the plane came in for a landing. We got off and at first I was a little confused. It didn't look like Guangzhou. Well I got to the baggage area and found out it wasn't Guangzhou. We had a change of planes that my guide failed to mention. That was my departing gift I assume. So we got on the right flight to Guangzhou and Sophie was still good until right before we landed. She really needed to go to the bathroom. I kept trying to explain we couldn't go yet, but she kept saying it over and over again. I had put a pullup on her so I was prepared. She held it until we got to baggage claim and then we found the nearest restroom. We were met by another guy. This one seemed prepared. We had to wait for another family to come in. We waited about 15-20 minutes and then we were off. It was going to be very busy. We got to the White Swann at about 4 and had to run to go to the medical clinic because they closed at 5. We stopped and had their pictures taken. There are a total of 3 families. 2 single moms traveling with either children or their sister and then me traveling by myself. So it's a group of women with one little boy thrown in the mix. Sophie cried and screamed at the medical. She did not want to see the doctor. They were all laughing and talking to her. She would fuss at them and they would just laugh. The same doctor who was there with Maddie also did Sophie's exam. We then went back to our room for a few minutes because we were supposed to meet at 6:30 for paperwork. We did all of the paperwork which took about 2 hours to make sure everything was complete and correct. Sophie and I then went out to find some dinner, drop some pictures off for etchings and then came back to the room. She was asleep by about 9:30 and I followed very shortly. It has been a long day.
I want to thank everyone for their continued prayers and especially for the prayers about the passport. I found out when I was talking to the other family how imperative it was to get the passport on Monday. This family had some delays arriving to China. They didn't get to apply for the passport until Friday like us. The only difference was, their agency rep was keeping them up with the situation. Apparently if there was any delay in the getting the passport on Monday and we were not able to leave on Tuesday, than our consulate appointment would have been delayed. We could have begged to have an appointment on 5/17, but if that didn't happen than we would have had to stay here for 2 weeks until the next available opening. That is why I say thank you for the prayers. I guess if I had known this, I would have been a basket case. I'm glad everything worked out.
Right now we are in our room waiting for our guide to go to the consulate at 11am. Once she/he (they've changed a couple of times already) calls and gives us the all clear, than we can leave the room. I've already gone to a couple of places, but I want to go some more.
Sophie had just a little meltdown on the busride from the airport to the hotel, but I am sure it was because she was tired and hot. She fell asleep for just a few minutes. She was very shy around the new families at first, but has really opened up. She is such a little hoot. She loves exploring the room and thank goodness she loves riding her stroller. I don't think I could carry her around Guangzhou much longer.
I dropped off her camera from the orphanage to get developed and I should have them back today. It stinks my CD doesn't work on the laptop or else I would upload some of those. I can't wait to see them. Also go check out Asher's blog. Isn't he just the cutest?
Well sorry so long. I will write more about our day today tonight. I am anxious about the consulate because than I will know for sure we are truly going home! Oh, I've also lost 6lbs.... yeah!

Brief post with longer to follow later

I only wanted to say......... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Today was an awesome day!

Sophie feel asleep tonight without crying and seemed really, really content all day. I'm so glad. I think we are bonding pretty good.


Two minutes after I made my post the door rang. My guide showed up with all of the paperwork! Yeah! That means we can leave tomorrow at 8:40. I am so excited! Please pray for a safe flight tomorrow.

Just for my records

Just for my records when I write my agency about my experience in Shenyang. It is now 6:42pm. My guide told me he would be here at 6pm with my documents. Where do you think he is?

1. Buying a new outfit?
2. Eating dinner happily with his family?
3. Embarrassed because he has to come and tell me I can't leave tomorrow?

I guess eventually he will show up.

We had a good day

This is Sophie saying hello. Today she and I spent together doing nothing. We got up at about 5 or 5:30 and went to breakfast at 6. We took our time since we didn't have anywhere to be. Sophie ate very well. She ate hash browns, zucchini, ham, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and some other stuff. We came back to the room and played. I broke out the playdough. We had a great time. Our guide finally came at about 10 (yes he was wearing the same clothes he has been wearing for 6 days now). I think I'll buy him a new shirt :). Anyway he came to pick up the adoption certificate. I had brought it to his attention on Thursday that there was a comma after AJ's name instead of a period. He said it wouldn't be a big deal. I guess today he thought better. He was going to have it redone and would bring me everything at 6pm. It's 5:05 so I'm anxious for him to get here. I will be so glad when this portion is done. I only have 3 days in Guangzhou now and I know it's going be rush, rush. As soon as we get there we will have to get her medical completed, visa photo completed and the paperwork ready. I'm just glad we are almost on the last leg.
Anyway, back to our day. We spent some time in the room bonding waiting for our guide. After he left, we decided to go out and do a little walking. We went to the Walmart again. This time I bought some things other than food. I got several things for Sophie and then I found the jackpot. I found Wizard of Oz in Chinese. I just hope that it will play on our DVD player at home. The case says DVD, so I can only hope. If not, no big deal but it is pretty cool. One day I will scan the back in so that you can see the translation of what the movie is about. It's pretty funny. We then went to Pizza Hut after Walmart. It was good. I ordered a small and I ate 3 slices and Sophie had 2 and 1/2. We ended up back at the room for about an hour or so and then I decided to go out more. I hit the fancy children's department across the street. I found Sophie and Maddie a really cute dress and I found Sophie some more cute shoes. There was a play area in the children's department and I let Sophie play. She only went down the slide a couple of times. I think she was very timid.
We then came back to the hotel and on our way in we ran into a family that was 2 Caucasian parents and 4 Asian children. I said hello and I thought we might have a conversation, but I got snubbed. They took off. Oh well. It's my last day here anyway.... woohoo! We are on the 8:40am flight tomorrow morning so this will be my last post from Shenyang. Yeehaw! Yes I am from the south :). Oh and in the video, Sophie is holding a gummy next to her check.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Another Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's out there. It's a wonderful day.
Sophie has been great today. She has smiled and laughed and cried. At one point she and I were just laughing at an empty bottle. It was too funny. She loves to eat cherry tomatos, cucumbers and watermelon. She also loves, loves, loves jelly beans. She is just like her daddy. I have actually seen several traits that she has that are just like her dads :). Right now she is wearing a Weekend Freedom Machine Tshirt to bed. I didn't get a picture of it before she went to sleep because she was crying, but I will take one when she wakes up. He will be so proud.

Sophie is asleep and I'm not really tired right now so I will explain a little about our orphanage visit the other day. To Nancy and family, I will send more pictures and details when I get home. The connection is so slow here and I have so much to tell you.
Dandong is by the sea in Northern China. You can see the river that seperates China and North Korea. It was very interesting. I wish I could have gotten a picture. Dandong is very old and trying to be very modern at the same time. For those in GA it's kind of like all of the building that's going on in Panama City right now. Dandong is building condos everywhere. They also have very, very bumpy roads. As we were driving there, Sophie's teacher was telling the driver where to go and Sophie was helping her by pointing. We arrived at the orphanage which looked like a very old building. The orphanage was white and next to it was a pink building that was a mental home. We didn't get to go inside, but we went outside to where the children were playing. Sophie took off and the children all came running up to her. It was so sweet to see. There were maybe 8-9 children total and only one girl who had albinism. I felt bad because she was going to be the only girl among all those boys now. I will have to watch for her on list and really advocate for her. The playground for them was really sad. Sophie played for a few minutes and then another teacher came out to see her and she ran up to her. It was obvious that she was very well taken care of and very loved. The group seemed to be very small and they all seemed to be very close. The teacher's kept telling me over and over how Sophie and Asher are best friends. I think it's good we live close enough that these two can keep a connection. The teachers all seem very nice and caring of the children. They don't seem to have much. Dandong SWI is mostly all SN. All the children I saw had some sort of SN. I didn't think we were going to get to go and even though we are delayed, I'm glad we got to go. Sophie was able to have a sort of closure with all of her friends and teachers.
I can't see my blog or read my comments so I'm not sure how it looks. Please excuse any typos and the longness of this post.

Now back to today. We went to the Fuling Tomb. That's where the huge park was. It was a huge park. There was a lake with paddle boats and people flying kites, but no swingsets or slides. We walked and walked until we got to the tomb. It was interesting. On the way back I tried to take a picture of this huge statue of Chairman Mao that is in the center of the square, but the taxi driver was practicing for his next NASCAR race. Oh and yes, the guide did show up late. He was supposed to be here at 1 and showed up at 1:30. He also brought a mother's day present for me. He said my flight was changed to Tuesday morning at 8:40 so I guess they don't think the passport will be ready until tomorrow afternoon. I am to stay in my room all day until he calls me. He said he would call me sometime in the afternoon. He also said if he had news he would call me in the morning. I told him to please call me in the morning. I guess he has to go to the police station and then to the notary. Maybe after he calls we will do a little shopping at the awesome high class children's department we found. I think Sophie needs a new dress to add to her collection. Until tomorrow. Sleep well and happy mother's day everyone.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Journey continues

We are still here. Today we went to the Imperial Palace. It was interesting. It is a smaller version of the Forbidden City. We then went to a store that sells feather paintings. I bought Sophie a horse and Maddie a sheep. I figured Brandon wouldn't really care about it. That's all we've done. I tried another mall and was able to find a really high class children's department. I found Sophie some new shoes so one of my goals was accomplished. We have spent a lot of time in the room getting to know each other. My guide didn't get here until around 10 this morning and then we got back to the room around 1. He then received a call from the head guide in Guangzhou. He asked me if I wanted to take the early flight out on Tuesday or still take the flight out on Monday. Well, duh, I still wanted to take the flight out on Monday. The problem he tells me is that they don't think the passport will be ready until the afternoon. My original flight was at 2pm. I asked him several times if this would delay our consulate appointment. He told me that it would be an "embarrassment" for that to happen. He says nothing else should change. I guess I really have no choice but to stay here another night. I really don't want to. I'm ready to see some other families and I'm ready to do some real shopping :) and I'm ready to go home.

Sophie is doing great. She still grieves at night, but during the day she has a wonderful personality. She is a mess. She loves to hop, skip, jump, run and talk. She just chattered away in Chinese and I just nodded my head and smiled and talked back in English. She is such a mimic. She knows her name and she was constantly calling me mama. I can't wait to bring her home. We have been very tired. We get up at about 4-4:30 and we go to bed early (Sophie about 5:30 and me about 6 or 7 is as late as I can make it). I'm not sure why we are so tired.

P.S. Here is a tip those of you who will be traveling soon. Don't worry if you have to wear the same clothes more than once. Your guide will be wearing the same clothes that he wore when he picked you up 4 days ago (and he lives here).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Journeys of Sophie and Mama

First, wake up at 4am for a 5am departure to Dandong. Ready by 4:30 and guessing what time guide will show up. Sophie says 5:05 and I say 5:10. We were both wrong. He actually showed up at 4:55. I about fainted.
Second, board very little bus for 3 hour ride to Dandong. Driver reminds you of Bluto from Popeye. On way to Dandong, stop twice for "excercise". Driver actually gets out of the bus and walks around waving his arms and so forth. A few minutes later, driver actually stops and takes a 5 minute nap. What fun!
Third, arrive at Dandong police station. Wait and wait and wait for Sophie's teacher to show up with paperwork. She finally arrives and we are told we have to go next door for pictures. We go next door, take pictures and then come back to apply for the passport. After waiting over an hour (while guide and teacher go behind padlocked doors with police man and mama and Sophie are left with no English speaking people around) we are finally able to leave. Guide says passport should be ready with no problem. Mama and Sophie are still worried. We won't know for sure until Monday whether we are delayed or not.
Forth, arrive at Dandong SWI after a very bumpy and scary ride thru streets of Dandong. Look at North Korea from bus. Bus driver doesn't want to stop so I can take picture. Sophie is created at the SWI by several teachers and children. It seems like she was very much loved.
Fifth, board bus for 3 hour ride back to Shenyang. Luckily driver took a nap at the police station so he doesn't feel the need for another one. Sophie was very good on the bus ride to and from. She cried on the way back, took a nap and then cried a little bit more. When we got back to the hotel room she was completely different. She is constantly calling me mama and seems so happy.
Sixth, we decided to go shopping for shoes. No go. Couldn't find the children's department and the ladies at the mall kept taking Sophie away.

We are going to KFC for dinner tonight. Last night we had McDonald's. Our guide doesn't think we need to experience any of the local foods or anything so he has left us alone every night and at lunch every day. This has definitely been an experience I won't long forget.

Thank you again for all of the wonderful comments and for all of the prayers. Keep them coming because we still aren't out of the woods until Monday morning.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sophie's doing great

Sophie is doing great. Today was and is a very trying day on the adoption paperwork side, but not with Sophie. She called me mama and has said several English words. She is playing right now and seems pretty happy.

On the paperwork side, a new rule has happened after the recent Labor Day. Apparently you have to go to the child's city to apply for the passport. Normally you would apply in the provincial city. Now we have to go to Dandong early tomorrow morning and apply. Hopefully (please say your prayers) her passport can be expediated and we can leave here on Monday has scheduled. I'm really ready to get to Guangzhou.
Thank you all for your wonderful comments. They are very much appreciated. Please say your prayers so that we will get out of here on Monday.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More on gotcha day

I feel like doing the Dora dance. We did it we did it, we did it yeah! She walked in the room and came right up to me. I gave her a little doll and she held it for a while. She smiled and laughed. She was a sweetie, I knew the grieving was going to come though. Sophie is sound asleep right now. She cried pretty hard tonight for about 30 minutes. I tried to take her to Walmart, but she was having none of it. I think she thought she was going to another person. I just grabbed a quick bite and came back to the room. That's when the water works fell. I held her, bathed her, held her again, stroked her face, told her over and over again that I loved her and would never leave her and then she fell asleep. I'm about to hit the hay myself. I'm pretty tired.

Here she is

Introducing Ms. Sophia Elizabeth FuWa. I didn't get any video, but I did get some pictures. She is smiling and playing. She cried when we got back to the hotel room, but she seems okay for now. I'm sure we will have some ups and downs coming soon.

It's almost that time

I am here in Shenyang. I am staying at the Trader's Hotel. It's pretty nice. It's been a rough couple of days, but it's almost time for Sophie Lu. I will post pictures as soon as I can. Please say a prayer that she will have an easy transition.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

First of many stops

Well I am in Guangzhou finally. I left on 5/7 at 11:35am from Atlanta and arrived in Guangzhou (after stops in MSP and Tokyo) at 10:30 5/8. I am not tired. I am homesick. I miss my family. I guess the worst part is I am all by myself. There were no other families on the flight heading to Guangzhou. I have no travel group. I won't have a guide until I get to Shenyang tomorrow. I am so ready to get to Shenyang. Then it will be a little easier.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

It's that time

In 20 minutes it will be May 7th. In 12 hours I will be on the first of many legs to Sophie. Wish me luck and say lots of prayers for me, Sophie also for the crew who is staying behind. Daddy will need it. If for some reason I am having trouble posting to blogger, please go to . Click on the public journals on the top and then type in Sophie for child's name. We are Sophie with WACAP if there is more than one Sophie. Next post will be from either the MSP airport or from China. Love to you all.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Finally a Plan!

I finally received my itinerary today:

5/7 - 5/8 ATL - Guangzhou (via MSP and Tokyo) arrive in Guangzhou 10:45pm on 5/8
Layover at the Pearl Hotel in Guangzhou.
5/9 depart Guangzhou for Shenyang (9:05am - 12:15pm). Check into the Traders Hotel. MEET SOPHIE THAT AFTERNOON AT THE CIVIL AFFAIRS OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5/10 Adoption registration, notarization and passport application
5/11 - 5/13 Wait for passport and other documents. Sight seeing in Shenyang. Hopefully I will get to go to the SWI during this time.
5/14 Pick up passport and fly to Guangzhou. Arrive in Guangzhou at 5:50 and check into the White Swan
5/15 medical exam and sight seeing in Guangzhou
5/16 visa interview at the consulate
5/17 Oath at the consulate and visa to come home
5/18 come home!!

I'm glad to have it in writing. I was getting worried, okay I was worried.

Also the DFACS meeting went better than expected the other day. I think someone stepped in (which I knew it was going to have to be done). I'm just glad that's one box checked. Now maybe I can relax a little and enjoy these last few days as a family of 4.