Group Photo

Friday, March 31, 2006

Today was another rest and bonding day. We got up at the usual time of 6:00am for a bottle. We played awhile and got a bath, then we woke up the big girls. We all got dressed and went down for breakfast. We ate with some friends from our group. We came back up to the room for a little while and decided to go out for a while. We walked a new way and found a beautiful open air mall. We looked in many stores and shops. Rosie found some cute capris. We were hungry and you guessed it, we ate lunch at Pizza Hut. We have eaten there at least once every day since we got here. Ella took a long nap before we had to be down in the lobby for group pictures. You can see the pictures we took. It was quite a scene to get all the babies on a sofa and take pictures. As you will see, Ella did very well. She has already gotten used to all the pictures we take. We are going to dinner tonight with our group in the hotel. We have a 6:00am wake up call, 7:00 breakfast, 8:00 luggage out and we are on the bus to airport by 8:30. We will leave for Guangzhou @ 10:30. it is only an hour and a half flight. We will have time to get settled before night. We will meet a new CCAI rep there and get ready for the final leg of paperwork to be finished before we head state side. We are excited about Guangzhou because there will be so many families there with their new babies. All adpoting families must go there to finalize everything. We actually have some friends flying there as well on Monday and will get their baby on Tuesday or Wednesday. We will get to see them. It will be so wonderful for our girls to meet for the first time in China. We hope they can be lifelong friends when we all get home to the US.

I wanted to tell all our friends at Duncan Creek that we decided as a family that we would take the candle wishes you all wrote with us to China. We brought them to read each day that we had Ella Kate. On Ella Day, we read the first and the second day we read 2 and so on. We have added a wish each day. We think we will have read them all by the time we get home. They have all been such a precious blessing to each of us. We love you all and hope to see you when we get home!!!

Old Towne Chongqing

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today we went on a tour of the old town where many shop keepers sell wonderful Chinese items. We were able to buy Ella Kate and Rosie Chinese outfits. Ella Kate will wear hers for the official baby picture tomorrow. We walked for about 2 hours, looking, bargaining, and buying. This was one of the places where the prices were not fixed. We were able to barter the prices. The owner types on a calculator of the price they want. We would clear and type what we would give, always bartering low. They always laughed and put in a new price. We would continue until we both agreed or we walked away. If we walked, they would follow with a better price. It is sometimes fun and sometimes annoying. All in all, a great day.

We then boarded the bus, and rode to a beautiful area called the People's Building. This building is on a plate the orphanage gave us on Ella Day, so it was great to get a picture of this building. There were many Chinese people there enjoying the day. Some are happy that we have Ella Kate, but there were some that bickered at us about her. We have two wonderful CCAI reps that were with us and would translate what the people were saying. One lady went on and on about us already having three daughters, and why would we want a Chinese baby. Anita, our rep told them we love the Chinese people and we love our baby Ella. She finally took that as a good answer but continue to follow us around. We are stared at every where we go so we have gotten used to it.

We loaded back up and went back to the hotel. We dropped off our purchases and headed for Pizza Hut for our lunch/dinner meal. We just snack the rest of the day. We are all relaxing and playing with Ella Kate now. The girls are working on homework and I have to go and change a stinky diaper. Who would think I would LOVE to change diapers but I DO!!!!!!

We continue to fall more and more in love with Ella everyday!!! She is a sweet, happy, and loving baby. Thanks to everyone for reading our blog and praying for us!!!

Chongqing Zoo

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hello! I have been trying to load pictures for about an hour and a half now. They finally loaded and I could write about today. Yesterday was a total rest and bonding day. We ate breakfast and then hung out in the room all morning, allowing the girls to work on some homework. In the afternoon, we ventured out to the grocery and to get Ella Kate some shoes.

The cool thing about shopping here is everything is in the same building. The grocery is on the bottom floor, and the other floors are like a dept. store, with the baby things being at the top. We went upstairs to buy Ella a pair of shoes. We bought the cutest pink pair and then later we bought a white pair. She loves playing with them.

Today, we went down for breakfast and then met our group in the lobby @ 9:30 for a trip to the Chongqing Zoo. We road a bus for about 20 minutes and then took a 2 hour walk through the zoo. The greatest part was the pandas and the tigers. I carried Ella Kate in the snuggly and she really had fun.

We also went to an Art Gallery and watched a demonstration of how Chinese art is made: painting on rice paper and silk embroidery. We plan to buy some pieces at Old Towne tomorrow.
We also took a bus tour through the city and saw where the two big rivers in Chongqing meet. Ella Kate's Chinese name means Twin River, so it is thought that she is named for these two rivers. We took a picture for her.

We made it back to the hotel and everyone took a nap. We were able to sent our laundry out for a local lady to do. We picked it up at 5:00 and then went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. It was really good. We are all eating really well. We have eaten authentic Chinese food three times. Chongqing food is the spicest so far.

We all continue to love every minute we are here. We love being outside to be around all the people who live here. They walk up to us and touch Ella Kate. They stop and stare as we all walk by, mainly because Scott is wearing shorts. We are having to keep Ella Kate in lots of clothes because the older women here think babies should be in three layers. We are trying to follow the rules. So far, so good. We are going on a tour of Old Towne Chongqing tomorrow. Until then... goodnight.

A Day of Bonding

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Today was just a day to stay close to the hotel and allow EK to bond and adjust to her new life and family.

The Sweetest Face

Monday, March 27, 2006

This is the sweetest picture!!! She just looked at us at first. We were able to get that first smile out of her, and she has been laughing ever since. She loves to be rocked and bounced (gently). She cackles out when the girls bounce her and play peek-a-boo. She mocks us when we do things with our face and mouth. She slept very well last night with me of course. We tried to put her in the crib, but she couldn't get comfortable. She got in with me and went right to sleep. She slept soundly until about 6:00am and took a bottle. She scarfed it right down and started her playtime. It is about 9:30am now and she is fast asleep - napping.

EK is Here!

We can barely breathe, she is SO beautiful!!! We got to the registration building before the babies, so we had to wait. The minute they got there, we knew Ella right away. She was third in line. She was being carried by a man, and walked over and sat her in a chair and left her there. WELL.... I started snapping pictures like crazy!!! She was precious. We had to wait until the last to get her but that was great because we could watch all the other families get their babies.

They called our names and we all went up to get her. She came right to us and smiled so big. She loves us all and laughed and played the whole time we were there. She did not want her bottle and loved all the toys. We brought her blanket and she took it right away - she snuggled it all the way home.

We came home and let her play for a while. We then gave her a bath after we took the three layers of clothes off she had on. I can't wait for you to see the little shirt that was the second layer - probably been washed a thousand times - worn out!!! I will cherish it always!!! She is now in a little pink warm up suit - still three layers and.... a white headband!!! It feels like she has been an Ankerich girl!!! What do you think???


Sunday, March 26, 2006

We are now in Chongqing, the province where Ella Kate lives. She is in an orphanage about 10 hours away. We are pretty sure we will not get to visit because it is so far and the roads are being worked on. We met our new CCAI rep today when we arrived at the airport, and her name is Marie. She is very nice and helpful. She gave all the families a packet of info including a list of things the orphanage told her about Ella Kate.

We know:

  • The orphanage has told her she is getting a family
  • Her physical development is average
  • She hasn't had any serious illnesses or injuries
  • She has no allerigies to food or medicine
  • She has had cold medicine
  • Her immunizations are up to date
  • She eats at 6am, then every four hours and at 4pm she is fed rice or congee
  • She drinks milk formula and rice cereal
  • She drinks from a bottle
  • She has no teeth or ear problem
  • She sleeps by herself in her own crib
  • She can sleep through the night but may need a bottle if she wakes up
  • She naps from 12 to 2
  • She wears diapers and is not potty trained
  • She likes to smile and is OK with strangers
  • She gets excited if you play with her or hold her
  • If she is upset, hold her ot give her a bottle for comfort
  • She cries when she is hungry or had on a dirty diaper
  • She is used to a nickname: Li Shuang Jiang (We may call her Li Li)
  • She doesn't speak a lot but she can say Da Da (Scott liked that!!!)
  • She can sit up and crawl, but can't stand up alone
  • She likes to play outside and her favorite toy is a toy car
  • Her favorite nanny is Ping Jia You
  • There was no note with her and her birthday is not for sure - it is estimated
  • It's hard to know her family background from the clothes she wore or by the place she was found

We went to a meeting at 3:30 to fill out all the paperwork for tomorrow's registration. It took about two hours. We then met our group in the Chinese restaurant for dinner together. We are so excited to hold her and love her forever!!! This time tomorrow, we will celebrate Ella Day!!! Praise the Lord!!! Praise the Lord!!!

March 25

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Today was another day of touring. We woke up about 6am, got ready, and went down for breakfast. We left our hotel @ 8:30 and head toward the Great Wall. On the way, we stopped at a Jade Factory. Jade is mined in great amounts in China. We were able to see workers making sculptures and jewelry. It was fascinating because these people sit in one spot all day to work on such tedious work. We were amazed. We were able to buy the girls each a jade bracelet and also a jade pendent that I will wear for Ella Kate until she is old enough to wear it, and then I will give it to her.

We then headed to the Great Wall of China. That was the most amazing work!!! We were able to climb the wall up for about 20 minutes - straight up!!! The steps were very steep and we held on for dear life. The girls zoomed right up - Scott and I were behind but we made it. We took some wonderful pictures!!!

We went to another Chinese restaurant for lunch and saw another factory that makes vases and tea sets. We bought a vase and tea set - beautiful works of art! We left there and made our way to the Tombs of Ming Dynasty. There were many stone sculptures to view. We did a lot of walking throughout the day. We finally made it back to the hotel, put our things away, and hailed a cab. We took the girls to Hardrock Cafe for dinner and to get a Beijing t-shirt. We made it back about 8:00 and got ready for bed. Of course, I am on this computer trying to get pictures on so everyone can see what is going on.

Day of Touring

Friday, March 24, 2006

We got up around 5:30am, because we couldn't sleep any longer, and went down for breakfast. The food was delicious. We all met in the lobby and loaded a bus to drive to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We walked for about two and a half hours. The most exciting thing to happen there was an arrest made when two ladies tried to cross a gate. The ladies were loaded into a van and taken away. Everywhere we turned, Chinese people tried to sell us stuff. We were haggled the whole day. We finally learned the Chinese way to say no.... Boo!!!

We then went to a very beautiful restaurant for lunch. We had many Chinese dishes. Everything was very good and we were ready to move on. We loaded the bus once more and drove to the best part of the day. We went on a tour of Hutong area of Beijing- flat houses of the poorer people. We rode in a ricshaw which is a little cart peddled by a Chinese man. We were able to go inside a real Kindergarten and then into a home where a very nice family lived. We all, 48 people, crowded into the extremely small house and she talked to us through a translator. We were able to ask questions and then walk through the house. We rode around the rest of the area and then loaded the bus for one last adventure. We were taken to a Chinese acrobatic show. It was amazing to say the least. We were all so tired, we could barely stay awake. We got back to the hotel, took showers, and ordered room service. We are ready to hit the sack!!!

Tomorrow, we will be going to the Great Wall of China, the Tombs of Ming, and silk/jade markets. We hope to get the girls a strand of pearls and a jade bracelet. We will see if we can stand the haggling and get a good price. You never pay what the people ask for - they will come down when you start to walk away. We are one day closer to Ella Kate. The other really great part of the day was when we were at the restaurant, a big group of people came in with their babies and we all could not quit watching them. It was so wonderful!!! We can't wait for our day to come - Ella Day - March 27!!!

We're Here

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This is the third time I have tried to post so I will make it short since it is midnight. We left this morning @ 5:30 and got to the hotel @ 10:00am Atlanta time, Beijing time - 11:00pm. We are off to bed, as we have a big touring day tomorrow that starts @ 7:30. Thanks for all the prayers and we will post more tomorrow. We are very thankful to be here. Can't wait until Ella day - March 27!!!

Can You Believe?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It is Tuesday, March 21 and we are ready to go!!! There are five suitcases and five carry on bags in our foyer. An annonymous friend has lined up a limo to pick us up in the morning (5:30am), but the girls don't know about it. They will be so excited!!! It will be their first limo ride. The limo will be picking us up on April 6th as well, so Ella Kate will ride home in grand US style! Thanks for all your prayers!!! Hold on Ella - Ella Day is coming - March 27!!!!!

New Bedrooms

Friday, March 17, 2006

I took pictures of the girls' rooms today. We painted Rosie and Ella Kate's room a bubblegum pink and Rosie loves it. She thinks Ella Kate will think their room is great! We have a few linens ordered as well as some room assessories that will pull it all together. We painted Amelia's room a darker purple than before. It is definitely a teenager's room now. We hope you all will come to visit when we get home from China to see the finished project.

There are only 4 more days until we leave for China. I finished up the last minute details today. On Monday, I will go to our pediatrician and pick up meds to take with us. Other than that, we just have to pack our clothes, and we are China bound!!!