Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last Full Day In China

Today was our last full day in China, not including the airport.  We spent our last morning at the Guangzhou Zoo.  Last time we went it was July and the Panda's were zonked out from the heat.  This time we figured that since it was January and the temperature was in the 50's we would get a good view.  Nope, they were repairing the cage.  The zoo must have brought back some memories for Yang Yang because she was sad during most of it and cried a couple of times.  She feel asleep on the way back to the hotel and woke up about 30 minutes later in a better mood.  She started playing and laughing.  She will have more sad days but we will help her through it.  Tomorrow we have 18 hours of flying starting at 10 am.  We should arrive, Lord willing, in Columbia at 8:30 pm.  No my math is not wrong, we gain back that lost 13 hours when we came over.  We are anxious to get back home and into a routine and to start fully transitioning Yang Yang into our family.  She may look sad and be quiet when you meet her but wait till you see her full on Yang Yang.  Her are a few pictures to give you an idea.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swearing In Ceremony

It was a low key day today, the only order of business was the swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou.  There were a total of 60 families bring their new sons or daughters to sign the final pieces of paperwork to complete the adoption.  There were no cameras allowed inside so we have nothing to show you.  Yang Yang's personality really came out today.  She can produce the same volume as Kristy.  Kristy loves to play rough and jump all over her Dad so Yang Yang decided to join in.  That was a big step for her.  Yang Yang and Kristy frequently grab each others hands as they walk down the street.  Her are a few photos from yesterday's visit to the tea room.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Luihua Park

Today's tour took us to Luihua Park.  It is famous for its bonsai trees but has many more plant life within the park.    After the park we went to a Chinese Tea Room to sample tea. Yang Yang had a much better day.  Her personality came out big time today.  She was laughing and playing and chasing us around.  We are going to have our hands full when we get back home with two active little ones.  She is also trying English more and more.  She started counting and doing the alphabet in English.  I also saw that she can read and write a little in Chinese.  Tomorrow is the swearing in ceremony at the U.S. consulate and Thursday we pick up Yang's passport with her U.S. visa.  We are starting to get anxious to go home and get back into a routine, especially with the new little one but we are not looking forward to the 18 hours of flying on Friday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pearl Market

We also went to the Pearl market.  We had to get Kassidy's pearl necklace for her wedding day like we did in 2007 for the other girls.  And where did we eat for dinner?  We come half way around the world in an ancient culture and we eat at McDonald's.  We can tell our newest one is an experienced McDonald's eater.

Chinese Herb Market

Today was a Chinese culture day.  We went to the Chinese herb market in downtown Guangzhou.  Yes those are live scorpions.  The lizard skins can cure what ails you as well.

Cute Sister Picture of the Day

This was taken at the park along the Pearl River.

Blog Comments

Some of you faithful followers have been emailing me ( that you can't leave comments on our blog.  Sorry about that but there is nothing I can do to fix that while I am in China.  Blogger is blocked in China.  I am able to update the blog through email but cannot see it.  If you want to send us a note or need to contact us just email us at my yahoo email address.  By the way, we leave the country and the Saints make it to the Super Bowl.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

TB Test Passed

Yang Yang passed her TB test so she is medically cleared to enter the U.S.

Yuntai Gardens

Today was a touring day.  We went to the Yuntai Gardens in Guangzhou.  It is really beautifully maintained even in the winter.  We went to a noodle shop for lunch.  Yang had a better day.  She had a few meltdowns but nothing big.  She is not ready to trust mama and baba just yet but we are wearing her down.  It will take some time.  Tomorrow we go to the medical clinic to have her TB skin test checked.  If she does not pass we have to have a chest x-ray done.  We will go to the walking street in downtown Guangzhou.  In other words, major shopping.  Here are some pictures from the gardens. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Roary in Jinan

This is one for the New Providence Elementary School people. Because we missed our touring in Beijing Roary did not make it to the Great Wall or the Forbidden City.

First Full Day in Guangzhou

Our first full day in Guangzhou was a little rough.  Yang is feeling the changes and of course still grieving but it is all part of the process.  We have the same super guide, Elvin, from our last trip so the familiarity is comforting.  The White Swan hotel is the same first class place as last time as well.  We are being spoiled by these breakfast bars.  Yang has a rude awakening when she gets home and there aren't as many choices.  The first appointment was the medical exam.  She had a little skip in her step on the way there not knowing what awaited her.  The exam part was fine as there were no problems but she had to have 4 inoculations to get her up to U.S. standards along with the TB skin test.  This is a new regulation that we did not have to do with Kristy.   She cried after the second vaccination, we didn't react any better.  She was mad at us for a few hours afterwards.  She ate a little lunch and we spent the day going to the hotel playroom, the local playground and shopping trying to keep her mind off of things.  We went to the new Italian restaurant that is on Shamian Island.  The pizza was amazingly good.  Yang would not have anything to do with the spaghetti so we went and got her a Chinese soup but she refused so she went to bed hungry.  I think a lot had to do with grieving.  She woke up this morning and was eager to get to the breakfast bar where her hunger strike quickly ended.  Here are a few pictures of the day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We Are In Guangzhou

We just checked into our hotel in Guangzhou.  We have the same guide (Elvin) from last time so we are in safe hands to finish the process.  Yang Yang had a very emotional time but soldiered through.  We were fearful that she would refuse to go to the airport but she put on a brave face and went forward.  She is in a very fragile emotional state so we have to be careful what we say and do.  We have to do the medical exam tomorrow morning.  This could shake her up as her immunizations have to be up to U.S. standards.If they are not she will need to get some shots.  That won't help things at all.  She will be required to take the TB test so there is no avoiding a little pain.  No pictures today.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some Pictures from Jinan Part 3 - Daming Lake & Yellow River

Some more pictures from Daming Lake and the Yellow River.  While we were at the Daming Lake park a very young couple wanted us to pose with them for pictures.  Famous in China!

Some Jinan Pictures Part 2 - Baotu Spirings

Here are some pictures from a very cold and rainy Baotu Springs.

Some Jinan Pictures Part 1

I thought I would update with some pictures from our week in Jinan.  One is Yang receiving a Teddy Bear that the teachers from Judy's school sent for her.  There are also pictures of our two China girls painting and working a puzzle.

Our Meals In Jinan

We have not been starving in Jinan.  Our guide has made sure that we sample the best of everything in Jinan.  We have all kinds of seafood (fish, crab, eel, squid, clams, etc.), pork, beef, soups, and vegetables.  Yang likes the seafood since she is from a coastal city (Qingdao).  The usual lunch and dinner routine is we go to a restaurant and sometimes are seated in a private room.  Then the seemingly endless parade of food is brought to our table in large bowls in the middle of the table on a lazy susan.  We take what we want, all with chop sticks of course.  Yang has us all beat with her chop stick abilities.  We always leave a lot of food behind because it is way too much even for the six of us.

Last Full Day in Jinan

Today was our last full day in Jinan and it was extremely cold but at least we did not get any snow.  We visited Daming Lake and the Yellow River.  Daming Lake was nice and I am sure if we visited it in the spring it would have been beautiful but when it is -7C it isn't the same.  There was a Merry Go Round at the lake so we let the little ones ride it.  We visited the Yellow River for a brief time because Kristy and Yang got cold.  By the way we have not made the transfer to Kassidy yet since she is dealing with so much loss right now.  Her emotional state is very fragile so we are being careful.  She has had great mornings but after the touring and lunch when we go back to the hotel she starts tearing up in the afternoon.  We have to keep her busy to try to keep her mind off of what she is going through.  She will get better but it will take some time.  There is a little boy from Yang's orphange who Yang knows that is being adopted by a family from Spain.  We knew them before coming here from a Yahoo group.  We compare notes every morning and whatever Yang goes through is exactly what Wen Ti experiences.  Tomorrow we pick up Yang's Chinese passport and then fly to Guangzhou in the late afternoon to finish the American portion (medical exams and U.S. visa).  Guangzhou is in the southern most part of China.  It as far south as Havana so the weaather will be much warmer.  It will also offer some benefits for Yang as she will see other American families with Chinese children and there are numerous playrooms and playgrounds for children.  We are the only U.S. family at the hotel and it looks like Jinan (13 million people) from what we can tell so Yang thinks she is going through this by herself.  I'm not sure if I will be able to update tomorrow since it is a travel day.  Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Very Challenging Day

Today was a real rollercoaster.  With all of the official business completed we started our tours of Jinan.  Our first stop was the Baotou Springs.  It would have been a really nice and interesting tour but it was raining and the temperature was above freezing.  We cut the tour short and went to the Quancheng City Park.  They have an underground shopping mall so we went there to find a few things for Yang.  After another huge lunch at a great restaurant we walked out to find it snowing.  That cancelled the tour of Danming Lake.  It continued through the afternoon and also cancelled tomorrows tour of the Thousand Buddha Mountian.  We will just take a van tour of the Yellow River tomorrow.  Yang started the day well by finally eating better.  She really started to eat normally at lunch.  Since we did not tour during the afternoon we stayed in the hotel all afternoon.  That gave her time to think about what was happening and she had several meltdowns.  I was able to somewhat distract her by drawing pictures with her as we have discovered that she loves to draw.  She asked me to draw some things and than strted joining in between tears.  After an hour or two the big meltdown occured.  She folded up the papers and wanted them put in an envelope to send to her foster family.  Needless to say this understanding took a while to come to since our Mandarin and her English are not exactly in sync.  Our guide helped us come to an understanding.  She is now sullen and probably angry.  This will be a long road.  There is a little boy from Qingdao that she knows who is being adopted by a family from Spain and we have been told he is angry as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Here She Is

And the moment you have been waiting for, a few pictures of Yang.  She is really struggling with the language and missing her foster family but is one brave little girl.  We have made slow progress today.  There were only a few times where she teared up.  It will take time but she will come around.  She is not eating or drinking very well.  We keep pointing to different foods and for the most part she shakes her head no.  Tonight we tried to just put food on her plate and she ate a little more than yesterday.  We finalized all of the adoption paperwork so in the eyes of the Chinese government she is in our family.  We only have to wait for her Chinese passport on Friday morning and then we will fly to Guangzhou to finalize the U.S. portion of the adoption.  Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, January 18, 2010

We Have Yang

We have Yang and it has not been easy.  She is a beautiful very introverted little girl.  She is very scared and there has been a lot of crying.  She is very scared of the language barrier and did not want to separate from our guide because she does not understand us.  This just part of the process and will work out in time.  She is very drawn to Kristy and they played alot this afternoon until Kristy fell asleep just before dinner.  Thats when Yang really started to realize what was going on.  We came up to the room and she picked a bed to sleep in with Kristy next to her.  She fell asleep really fast.  Your prayers are needed for this transition as this is day one of a very difficult transition.  I cannot post pictures until the adoption is finalized tomorrow.  I am having technical difficulties due to Chinese restrictions with certain internet access (I am in the middle of the "discussions" between China and Google) so I am updating the blog via yahoo mail.  My email address is if you need to contact us.  Until tomorrow goodnight from Chris, Judy, Kourtney, Kelly, Kristy, and Yang (Kassidy).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Are In Beijing

Ni hao y'all.  We got into Beijing around 4:30 pm Beijing time on Sunday after a very long 13 hour flight out of Chicago.  When we got here we checked into our hotel and our guide took us to dinner then we went straight to bed.  Our internal time clocks are already working against us as we were up at 3:30 am.  We leave for the airport at 7:15 am to travel to Jinan where we will get Kassidy sometime in the afternoon.  I'll post pictures later when we are settled in Jinan.

Friday, January 15, 2010

We Didn't Make it to Beijing

Due to mechanical problems with the plane in Columbia we missed our Beijing connection. We are spending the night in Chicago and will make the 12:43 flight to Beijing. This will mean we will miss the Forbidden City and Great Wall. We saw them last time but it is still disappointing. Tienanmen Square is a few blocks from our hotel so I think we may take a quick trip there, we missed it last time.

We're On Our Way

We are sitting in the Columbia airport waiting for our flight to Chicago where will get our 13 hour flight to Beijing. We have an hour and a half layover in Chicago. We arrive in Beijing at 4:30 pm Beijing time Saturday which is 3:30 am eastern US time. We will update sometime Saturday night from Beijing.

Zaijian y'all.
Chris Maron
122 Landing Drive
Lexington, SC 29072
Home: 803-996-6359
Cell: 803-206-3757
Work: 803-939-2693

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Travel Itinerary

We finally have our travel itinerary.

January 16th: Arriving in Beijing by UA851 at 16:25.

Stay in Wang Fu Jing Grand Hotel

January 17th: Local sightseeing: Forbidden City and Great Wall

January 18th: Flying from Beijing to Jinan by SC1152 (09:40/10:30).

Stay in Zhonghao Grand Hotel

Meet the child in the afternoon.

January 19th: Adoption Finalized by Chinese Government

January 20th: Local sightseeing: Daming Lake (the Great Lake) and Baotu Spring

January 21st: Local sightseeing: Qianfu Mountain (Thousand Buddha Mountain).

January 22nd: Local sightseeing: the Yellow River

Flying from Jinan to Guangzhou (U.S. Consulate) by SC1171 (17:05/19:30).
Stay in White Swan Hotel

January 23rd: Paperwork and medical exam.

January 24th: Local sightseeing: Yuntai Garden (Cloud Terrace Garden)

January 25th: Local sightseeing: Walking Street

January 26th: Visa appointment at 9:00am

Local sightseeing: the Temple of Six Banyan Trees

January 27th: Swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Consulate

January 28th: Local sightseeing: Local Zoo

January 29th: Flying from Guangzhou to Beijing by CA1330 (10:00/12:50),
and then transfer UA 850 to Chicago then to Columbia, SC