Thursday, December 3, 2009

We're on our way home

We're on our way home!

We survived the first leg of our trip, and right now we are in the Tokyo airport!  After a very early morning wake-up call, we flew out of Guangzhou, China at 9:00 a.m. and are connecting through Japan.

The past two days have been simultaneously long and a whirlwind.  On Wednesday we took our oath at the US Consulate.  On Thursday we toured around a bit on our own.

Although we were discouraged from leaving the island of Shamian, where our hotel was, we had island fever, so we disobeyed.  We took a ferry across the Pearl River, and it was a highly different experience.  On Shamian Island, every fourth person is carrying a baby that they are adopting.  Everyone is preparing their final paperwork for Citizenship and Immigration.  Once we stepped foot off the other side of the bridge, it was like they had never seen Westerners before.  The stares were thick, and everyone was a little dumbfounded by the Chinese baby in our arms.

On Thursday afternoon we received Orli's visa.  Outside of that, all we needed to do was get on the plane, which we are rather happy to say that we did.

The flight from China to Japan was…interesting.  Although this was actually Orli's second flight of the trip, the first one was short and she slept most of the way.  This one offered us a bit more chance to be the annoying couple on the plane with the screeching baby.  :)  With the generous help of  the two Chinese women behind us and one Japanese couple, Orli's crying was cut short, and like I said, we survived.  We were also in good company, since there were a few other adopted (and crying) babies on this flight.

Now it's time for the big leg home--10 hours from Tokyo to Los Angeles.  But for now, Orli is sitting in a large leather chair in the Admiral's Lounge, surrounded by businessmen who seem to be talking about very important things, and working on their laptops.   Meanwhile, she is working on her stacking cups and chewing on her stuffed monkey--but she does look very distinguished in the big leather chair,  :)

So as you read this (assuming you're not up at midnight), we are somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.  Thank you so much for joining us on this rather incredible journey of ours.  We'll continue to update the blog on a sporadic basis as our lives begin to take shape in Sunny Southern California.

Lots of love and blessings from Corey, Ted, and Orli Jia-Mei.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Guangzhou Picture Day

Tuesday December 1

Happy Anniversary to us!

Today we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary!  We got lots of good wishes from the other families in our group, and the common question was, "Would you have imagined that 18 years later you'd be in China doing this?"  In every way, shape and form, "this" would have been pretty hard to imagine.  :)

After our physical examinations yesterday, our guides collected all of our paperwork.  On our behalf, they filed everything with the US Consulate.  This morning we got the call--everything was acceptable in the eyes of the US government, and we received approval to bring Miss Orli HOME!

We taught Orli how to clap, and she actually knows how to do it at appropriate times.  This would be one of those times…Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!!

Tomorrow we will go to the Consulate with her and take "an oath."  We actually have no idea what we are promising, but we do know that at the end, we will have a visa for Orli so that we can board that plane in 3 days…  Have to say, we are definitely ready to get home.

After our call of congratulations, we convinced Orli to take her very first nap today!!!  This was big-time folks.  Girl just refuses to nap, unless she is in her carrier against one of our chests.  But today, it was actually fairly painless to get her to nap for a bit.  There is hope.

Unfortunately, we interrupted her nap to dress her up in her new Chinese silk outfit, and we headed downstairs for the infamous Red Couch photos.  We took pictures of just the babies, all lined up.  We took pictures of each family.  We took pictures of all the babies from our specific region, and then just the ones from our orphanage and town.  All together, it was a pretty hectic and hilarious hour.  I don't think there was a moment when at least one baby wasn't in total breakdown.  And yet, we did get some really cute photos.  :)

The rest of the day was very relaxed.  It was nice to have a day with not too much to do.  We are getting a bit run ragged, so we opted out an optional river cruise.  We're looking forward to an early bed time and a good, solid night's sleep.

We hope all of you are doing great.  We miss you all, and will see many of you very soon!

xo-c and t

our entire group

All the babies in our travel group

The girls and boys of Chongqing

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California, United States