Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Last full day in Guangzhou

Yup, it's hard to believe that tonight will be our last sleep in Lauren's home province. This trip has gone by SO fast.

Today one parent from each family had to go to the U.S. Consulate and re-do the vaccination affidavit form. It turns out that the consulate changed the form and didn't let the agencies know, so pretty much all families here in Guangzhou right now had to make a special trip to re-do the form. Joe went to the consulate early this morning with our group and Lauren and I had breakfast, shopped, and hung our on the Starbucks patio for a while. Thank goodness that everything is ok and we are still on track to take our swearing in oath tomorrow.

Looks like our girl likes Starbucks just like mama...


Once Joe got back from the consulate, we had lunch and then packed for our long journey back home. We had to buy a new suitcase and got a nice, big rolling one for about $25 at one of the shops. I didn't realize how much stuff I bought until I gathered everything up on the bed for packing. I stuffed all three big check-in bags and we'll have our carry-ons stuffed two. Luckily, one of the families has a digital luggage scale and we got to weigh our check-in items...we are under 44lbs on each one, so we should have no problems at the airport.

We had our last group dinner tonight and afterwards we had a birthday party for Isabella, who turned one year old today...


The cakes came in such beautiful boxes...


and were so pretty...


The cakes tasted a lot different than the sweet ones we have at home. They were more like sponge cake with whip cream instead of frosting...they were very good and Lauren ate a whole piece by herself...


Tomorrow we will spend the morning finishing our packing and then we'll be heading to the U.S. Consulate at 2:30pm for Lauren's swearing in ceremony and to get her Visa and passport. After that, we go onto the Guangzhou airport to fly back to Beijing at 8pm. We'll be spending the night in Beijing and then flying back to the U.S. at 1:40pm on Friday. We'll fly to San Francisco and then onto Phoenix arriving at 4:11pm on Friday. To us it will feel like 7am on Saturday morning, so it will be a BIG adjustment to get back on U.S. time...especially for Lauren.

I'm not sure if we'll be posting again from Beijing before we leave, so this may be our last post from China. Although we are SO very happy about coming home, it's going to be very sad to leave Lauren's birthplace. We have had such a positive experience here in China and have such a respect for this country and it's people.

I'll definitely post again as soon as we get home and get some sleep. Joe is battling a bad head cold and I'm at the tail end of it. There are quite a few of us in the group who have had upper respiratory problems on the trip and several of the guys were down for a day or so with the stomach flu.

We are concerned about entertaining Lauren for the LONG flight home...I guess tomorrow's shorter flight will be a test for what's to come on Friday. We got a seat for her all the way home on all three flights. Please say a prayer for things to go well and for us to get home safely. Good night all!

Not many photos today, but you have see them here.

41 comments:

Julie said...

You're in our thoughts and prayers for a safe and uneventful journey.

chicknboy said...

don't worry too much about that long flight home. I was SO worried about it-but Elizabeth was fascinated with the things we thought were mundane..the magazines, the plastic cups we got our beverages in, the plastic utensils, the napkins.....let her play with any and everything for those 14 hours! :)

I remember sobbing as our flight left GZ, for leaving behind the wonderful time we'd had, for knowing the HUGE adjustment Elizabeth would be making, for leaving behind her birth country...it's so tough.

Will be praying for your safe trip home!

Reneeks@gmail.com said...

Enjoy your last day there! The swearing in is really quite something, bring tissues! Take the plane ride one hour a time, she may very well sleep for a big portion of it, Sam did.
Crossing the threshold of my house with my daughter in my arms was THE moment for me I realized I was a Mother, I will never forget the feeling. I wish you the same.
Have a great day.
Renee

Cheryl said...

Wishing you a safe journey home -- I can't believe your time in China is already almost over!! Looking forward to having you back on the ECG board -- we miss you guys!!
Hugs,
Cheryl

wellworththewait said...

We wish you a smooth, safe flight. We hope that the time passes quickly. Lily liked to take things out of the pockets, play with them and put them on the floor. We picked them up and it would start all over again.

Even though it's sad that you are leaving Lauren's birth province, China will live on in your hearts!

MotherMotherOcean said...

Best of luck coming home!

Norma said...

I have to agree that the trip is not as bad for the baby as the parents.......but you will be fine in no time. Have enjoyed following along...........God speed and safe journey home. See you on the other side. Job well done!!

Anne said...

What a journey you've had! Hope you have a smooth flight home:)

Katie said...

The good thing about the flight home is that it does eventually end and then you are home with your baby! Seeing our family and friends at the airport was one of the best feelings in the world. Even more amazing was the fact that we had successfully gone to China and adopted our amazing daughter. As much as I loved China and enjoyed every moment of the trip, landing on US soil with a brand new citizen was humbling to say the least. Best of luck for an uneventful ride home. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Bobby said...

The flight home preoccupied my thoughts the entire last few days we were in Vietnam. But as it turned out it was an excellent experience. Congratulations! You do feel sad leaving your child’s country, but hopefully you will return someday. Have a great trip home.

Ava Baby said...

Wishing you guys a safe trip home. My only travel advise is to have a drink available for Lauren to clear her ears as the plane goes up and down. And, keep to her regular eating, napping schedule.
See you soon! Michele

Lisa and Tate said...

Coming home??? I have a morning ritual of getting coffee and settling down with my China fix of Lauren and Gigi..... I will miss living vicariously thru you!!! I guess all good things needs to come to an end.

I cannot wait to hear and see live at home with Lauren. She truly is a beauty.

Huge hugs and thoughts and prayers are with you guy when you travel. Lauren will be a trooper on the flight and will be ready to come to Utah for a Utah Summit mommas gathering in the summer.

Hugs...

Shauna said...

Have a wonderful and safe journey home it has been great to see some of the changes although slow they are coming. Take care and see you on the flip side.

Prayers and best wishes,

Shauna and MacLean xo

Neyir said...

Dear Donna,

I have loved your blog and all the details about your trip and particularly the photos of you beautiful girl. We will keep you in our prayers, we recently did a longish (not as long as yours) flight with our 16 month old son and I was really surprised - it was much easier than I thought. They are so amazing!

rebecca/tarynsjourney said...

You might be home when you get this...but thank you for sharing your experience with all of us! It has been a joy to watch her growing to love you all as much as you do her! I will pray you have a safe trip!

A Waiting Cousin said...

Try to post tomorrow if you can! Good luck for the flights and I'll see you on Friday! :D
~Emily

Jacquie said...

I swear Donna, Lauren looks happier every day. And that is a testament to you and what a great Mom you are. Well, and Joe, too. :) But seriously, that little girl has come a long way in a very short time. I can see it in her face. I so wish we lived close so we could meet your sweet little girl.

Sandy said...

Safe travels and prayers for an easy flight home! So happy to see Lauren's smiling face in the photo!

Ani said...

safe travels home!!!!

OziMum said...

What beautiful cakes! The first photo of Lauren is gorgeous... love to see her smile!

Well... safe travels. I'll be praying that Lauren has a good flight home.

...and then your family life will really begin!

Scott and Kim said...

It seems to us that you have been gone a long time! Enjoy your last couple days in China, you will be home so very soon. We keep you all in our prayers. Looking forward to seeing your family!

Special K said...

Just wanted to say that Lauren is a beautiful girl. It's good to see her smile. I've enjoyed watching your adventures in China. Thanks for blogging it. :)

Natalie said...

Have a safe trip home. It has been wonderful to follow your journey. I am looking forward to seeing many more photos of you and your wonderful hubby and beautiful, brand new daughter.
Best of luck to you three.
Hugs

Doreen said...

WAAAAA you're trip went too fast!!!! Have a safe trip home and I'll be waiting for the details on how the trip went. The family of three is coming home!

Doreen in Montreal single mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

PIPO said...

Wow! Your time DOES seem to have flown in China and I love seeing Lauren's face just lighting up now.

Safe and speedy travels to you all.

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Sending you BIG HUGS and Safe traveling..
I am sooo glad you have had a wonderful trip..
Have a great day tomorrow..

Kathy said...

Donna and Joe,

I have enjoyed following your journey to Lauren. I can't believe that you are leaving already.It went by so fast. It really made me relive being there. I hope that Lauren has an east trip. Have a safe trip home. Can't wait to hear more.
Hugs
kathy

Chrissie said...

I, too, have enjoyed following your journey. I will continue to enjoy reading your updates when you get home, and I will be saying a prayer (or two!) for safe travels home. Moreso, for Lauren's adjustment back in the USA and hoping it continues to go well. She's such a beautiful child.

God Bless,
Chrissie

hiltonsheadeast said...

OMG! You guys are coming home already. Lauren looks like she's really coming out of her shell. What a real beauty. I cannot wait to meet her in person. REUNION !!

Hugs,
Lori**

Johnny said...

Best wishes for your trip home.

redmaryjanes said...

I will keep you in my prayers for safe travel.
You are a beautiful family. I am so happy for you.

Carol said...

Welcome home!!!!!

There I got to say it first!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all your posts. It's great to see your beautiful, smiling Lauren and the wonderful transition she is making. We just missed the cutoff with matches this month, but I hope we will soon be following those wonderful footsteps to China.

Have a smooth and safe trip home with your precious cargo!!!

lisa in sacramento

Sophia's Mama and Baba said...

Donna and Joe, You two are great parents and it shows in how well Lauren is doing in such a short time. Life will never be the same but in the best possible way. Your trip went so fast but we have enjoyed every min. of it. The flight home will be a breeze don't worry to much about it (yeah right i know). Remember when you get home Sleep when she does, get out in the sunshine, drink plenty of water and give yourselves time to adjust to the New Normal it takes a good week to start feeling like a person again and about 2 to feel functional. We love you guys and have missed you on the ECG board. We are looking forward to hearing all the details when you are up to it.

Love ya
Susan, Riz and Sophia

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Have a safe trip home... hugs to you...

amyinbc said...

Wishing you all a safe and smooth trip home! So excited to hear how Lauren settles in :)

Alyson and Ford said...

We have enjoyed reading your blog during your trip. Such excitement! We hope you are safe at home and will post lots of pictures soon!!!

Alyzabeth's Mommy - She's 28 Months old now!

Shelley said...

Welcome home guys - You made it! Yay!!!!!!

:)

Chris & Kimberlee said...

Safe Travels!

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Hope all is going well..
Can't wait to see Lauren in her room and at HOME..
G'ma probably is soooooo HAPPY..
Have a great week..
Hugs..

Allie and Hannah said...

Welcome Home!!!!!

Happy Chinese New Year!! I loved
following your journey!!!!

Hugs,

Sindy