Friday, June 29, 2007

Our Last Day in China!!!!

I was going to post pictures but I am so tired so I will just post one of my favorite ones and then when I get home and have some time, I promise I will post lots more. Anyway, we leave China tomorrow at 1:20pm Saturday and get home at 11:30am on Saturday. It's very weird to leave on the same day and get home earlier! Our trip to China has been an eventful one and on one hand am sad to leave Gracie's home country but on the other, can't wait to get home. I am very homesick and miss so many things. Jerry and I have seen a lot of China and have ventured to places most adoptive parents probably have not seen. I felt it was very important to see as much as China as possible. We have taken a lot of pictures and one day will show Gracie the beautiful country that she comes from.

Yesterday, we went to the U.S. Consulate and got sworn in and Gracie got her Visa which means that once we make it through customs, the minute we step through, Gracelyn is an automatic U.S. citizen. The swearing in was very emotional because the journey has been so long yet it feels just like yesterday when we started this process. I'm not sure what the future has to hold as far as adopting from China again but I do know that we have gained a very beautiful daughter from this country and Jerry and I are so grateful that we have been given the wonderful opportunity to have such a precious gift. Please have us in your prayers for a safe flight home.


Tanya, Jerry, and Gracelyn

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday, June 25

Yesterday we went to a beautiful mountain called White Mountain. It's the highest mountain in Guangzhou. It was nice because we got to take an electric car up the mountain instead of walking. At the top, you could see a beautiful view of the city. I'm sure the Chinese people thought that we were pampered americans because a lot of them were walking to the top. There was no way I was going to haul my butt up there, in the scorching heat and humidity!

At the top, there was an interesting bird show. The birds went bowling and everything! I say interesting because in the states, I am used to the bird trainers talking throughout the show but in this one, the trainers stood there staring straight ahead while the birds did the tricks. Below, I have hodgepodged a bunch of pictures together because I am trying to get as many on my blog for you as I can. I'm also beat tired because we went to visit Gracie's orphanage today. I will blog more about that tomorrow.

Gracie loves being swung into the air. Notice her cute ladybug outfit? Mom bought that and a bunch more while shopping the day before.

I love this picture! Gracie's toothless smile is awesome!

Daddy has discovered that one of Gracie's favorite toys is a water bottle. That figures that she likes water, just like her daddy!

Daddy and Gracie playing together on the floor. Gracie already has daddy wrapped around her finger. By the way, Jerry is trying to teach Gracie to talk already!!! He swears she says Da, Da!!

At the bird show. If you held out 1 Yuan, the bird would come and land on your arm and take it from you. Of course, you didn't get it back!!!

The 3 Buddahs in one of the many temples on the mountain

This is kind of like a fountain of youth. The elderly come up the mountain every day and take the water back in bottles. It supposedly brings good health to people.

Jerry spotted a wild mountain lion on the hill!!

Here is our family with a view of the city in the background.


At the White Swan, there is a tradition that adoptive families do. They have a red couch where you take your son or daughter's picture. Jerry and I couldn't figure out which coach it was as there were several so we took a few pictures.

Another red couch photo

At one of the lakes at White Mountain, there were tons and tons of fish and turtles. People bring them to the lake to set them free to save a life. As I said before, saving a life is one of the 7 good deeds one can do to get to heaven.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday, June 24th

Today we went to the zoo and did some more shopping. The zoo was fun and interesting. Dogs are rare in China because of the high tax on them so there was an area that they had a dog at the zoo!! I think the dog was a pomeranian. It's still very hot here, about 90 something degrees with 80% humidity. I call China the never ending hot flash!!! I can't wait to get back and to the cool beach breeze. Poor Gracie sweats like crazy whenever we go outside. Her head sweats the most and even does so as she is sleeping. She was very tolerant and good today in her stroller while mom and dad shopped. So far, I have bought Gracelyn 9 pairs of shoes!!! They were around $5 a piece. Of course Jerry is having a heart attack. We also bought Gracie another toy and Jerry got some sort of tool. Hey, how could Jerry come to China without buying a tool?!

We are going to have to buy a suitcase to bring home because all of our stuff won't fit as we have two tea sets, toys, clothes, etc. The suitcases are really cheap here, about 100 yuan a piece which is $13 american dollars. Did I mention that shopping isn't as fun as it is at home because you have to calculate how much each item is which takes twice is long if you forget your calculator. Also, when you go to the department stores, you aren't allowed to walk around with the items. You tell the girl what you want, they write you a ticket, you pay the cashier, and then go back and get your stuff.

Jerry and I are looking forward to coming home this Saturday as we miss everyone and everything. Jerry is really missing his grass!!! I miss the food!!! Tonight we ordered from a place called Danny's Bagel which is western style food as they call it here. We ordered pizza and I ordered bagels with cream cheese for tomorrow. Jerry even ordered 4 rootbeers which they call imported because it's from the United States. Well, I better get going.

P.S.: When I was changing Gracie's diaper, she peed on me today but I forgive her! :)

Gracie loved the animals at the zoo. She takes after mommy. Here she is staring at the pigs.

The dog that is at the zoo.

Here is the restaurant we ate at after the zoo. All the young workers took the babies so the moms and dads could eat.

Jerry and I bought Gracelyn a panda at the zoo. I love this picture because Jerry is making Gracie laugh by showing her the panda.

Here is Jerry at the Buddhist Temple yesterday bowing 3X , making a wish, and then burning the incense.

Here is the Buddhist Monk blessing the babies. We got Gracie blessed because we felt it was important to her culture. It was a very spiritual ceremony and I felt so pure. I was told that to get to heaven, you need to do seven acts of kindness but if you adopt, you go straight to heaven.

For the ceremony, you had to take your shoes off and be on your knees with your hands in prayer in front of you. It was hard to do with the babies squirming around.

Daddy and Gracie getting ready for the zoo!

In front of the monkey cage

Gracie's toy we bought her at the department store. She loves it as it makes music.

Gracie's first Winnie the Pooh outfit. I of course am in my pajamas. Gracie loves pooh as much as mommy does!

Forever a family at the temple.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Yesterday we had a very busy day but all of the days seem to be that way. I swear, we go from 6am - 10pm every single day. It is very hot and humid here so your engery gets drained very quickly. Jerry and I have also discovered that no matter how early we wake up, we seem to always be runnng late! We used to be on time for everything, but now that we have Gracie in our life, it takes twice as long to get ready. Anyway, yesterday, Gracie had her medical exam and she got a clean bill of health. They weighed her and she is 16.4 pounds! One of the biggest babies in the bunch. Our friend Natalie and Don's baby is only 12.4 pounds. Let me tell you, when I am carrying Gracelyn, I feel every pound of her. I think I am going to be very buff when I get home.

I have already lost 4 pounds here. I think I am sweating a bunch of my weight off. Plus, when I am about to sit down to eat a meal, Gracie usually becomes fussy because she knows mom wants to eat. I have learned to eat very quickly over the last couple of days. Tomorrow we are going to the zoo which I am looking forward too. I have heard they have dogs in cages there because they are rare in China. I will get back to you on that one. Speaking of dogs, I really miss Wrigley and can't wait to pet him. Jerry and I showed Gracie a picture of Wrigley and she really liked it!!!

A beautiful park that we visited in Guangzhou.

Gracie on the horsie at the park. They wouldn't let her ride because she was too young.

We attracted all sorts of attention with our babies at the park. Tons and tons of people came up to us and would surround us speaking in Chinese. They were very curious and positive about the babies. We could barely make it two steps without groups of people coming up to us.

Gracies exam

Sleeping baby

Right before we went into the examining room

Jerry has not felt the best some of this trip. His tummy has been bugging him the poor guy. The fingers in the background our from our friend Natalie. They look like a weird growth out of Jerry's head!

Gracie and her thumb. Isn't this adorable?!

Her head isn't that big!!!

Poor Jerry and Gracie were exhausted at the shopping mall!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We gave Gracie her first bath this morning. She liked it at first but then started bawling her little eyes out. It was hard giving the bath to her because the tub was so deep and she's a slippery little thing. We finally ended up putting her on the edge of the tub and that seemed to do the trick. I think tomorrow, we will bathe her in the sink!!!

Things seem to be settling down a bit her. Gracie hates having her diaper changed so Jerry and I do a tag team thing. I get everything ready and hand it to him while he does the changing. We both then put the diaper on. We rotate doing this. I think we've also learned the trick to putting Gracie down for her nap. She has to be laid on her tummy and then we rub her back. She loves sucking her thumb!!! Anyway, off we go to the park. Will write soon. We love and miss everyone!!!