China Trip: Day 14 & 15

On day 14 we went for a boat ride on the Pearl River. On day 15 we received Lydia’s US Visa and packed our things to get ready to go home!

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China Trip: Day 12 & 13

On Day 12 we got to see the Dragon Boat Festival and on day 13 we had our US Consulate appointment, our last step in getting her US Visa!

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China Trip: Day 10 & 11

Got up and went down to breakfast. We have discovered that Lydia really loves breakfast sausage and just loves breakfast in general. She’s also pretty cranky if she doesn’t get her breakfast, so she and daddy are alike in that way. She had a pretty rough night last night. I don’t know if it was because of all she went through at the medical review and she had a night terror or if it because she still remembers her foster family. She did let me hold her and I had Brian get her water. She sucked on that like a bottle till she went back to sleep. She makes a sucking noise with her mouth when she gets nervous or when she starts to fall asleep. I wonder if she did take a bottle to go to bed. Anyways, she was fine in the morning!

We met our group at 9:30 and headed to Shaiman Island, about 20 minutes away. Our guide, John, is from Guangzhou and knows all of the history. This island was run by the British and other foreign governments till the 1900s so a lot of the architecture was done by them. Honestly it had the feel of a southern plantation, New Orleans, or a city in the deep south. Not only the buildings, but the weather. It was definitely sultry! Shaiman Island had statues located all over the island. It's a thing, even with the locals, to take pictures with the statues (we saw many people doing so). One famous statue that a lot of adoptive families take pictures with is a lady with several children walking behind her. We got a picture with it :) John also showed us where a famous old hotel where Holt families used to stay. At this hotel, there were red couches and it became a tradition for Holt families to take a picture of their child in traditional Chinese dress on the red couch after the child’s visa was issued. John told us Holt was able to get one of the red couches from the hotel and they keep it in room 554, Holt’s office in The China Hotel. Our plan is to take Lydia’s photo on this couch once we receive her visa! A lot of the city was getting ready for the Dragon boat festival. The group kind of split up and Brian and I did a lot of souvenir shopping. We met everyone at the van at 12:45 and headed back to the hotel. We were able to keep Lydia awake in the van (score!) and she took a good nap.

 Taking a picture with the statue popular among adoptive families. 

Taking a picture with the statue popular among adoptive families. 

 At The White Swan Hotel.

At The White Swan Hotel.

 Looking out over the Pearl River.

Looking out over the Pearl River.

 Had to pose with this statue!

Had to pose with this statue!

 Getting souvenirs at a local shop.  

Getting souvenirs at a local shop.  

 Lydia with her China doll :)

Lydia with her China doll :)

We headed back out to the park we went to the day before because we just aren’t sure when it is going to start raining. It was hot and we all got cranky. This afternoon is the time we kind of hit our wall. I took Lydia swimming to give Brian a little bit of a break. She loved it and doesn’t seem to be afraid of the water at all. I accidentally put her in a pull up instead of a swim diaper, so it swelled up to four times its normal size! Oh well, she didn’t seem to mind. Once we got back to the room, we all went to the Muslim noodle place for dinner. After dinner, we talked to lots of different family members and went to bed!

 

 Playing with the elephant statues in the park!

Playing with the elephant statues in the park!

 Getting ready to go swimming!

Getting ready to go swimming!

Day 11: June 17th

Today was definitely our chill day! We all slept in till about 8. We went to breakfast late and really took our time. Then we took the subway station to go buy the boys soccer jerseys. It was a shop of three stories with the jerseys we wanted on the third floor. There were a ton of different shops, but no one was trying to sell us anything which was very different than anything we have experienced in China. It was also hard to find a Guangzhou jersey. Everything there was for the really popular teams like Manchester United. We did find two Guangzhou jerseys, a Mexico jersey, and a US jersey for Brian all for about 20 bucks! We had a lady really looking at Lydia and asking us if we were Chinese. You could tell she just wasn’t understanding how she was our daughter!

We went back to the hotel and Lydia took a 3 ½ hour nap! The girl was really tired. Once she woke up we went with our Holt group out for dinner to a popular Cantonese restaurant. John ordered us a whole lot of all kinds of different foods. I was not a big fan since a lot of it was seafood (I guess since we are closer to the coast than the other cities we’ve been in.) They also had Dim Sum which is a dish Guangzhou is famous for. Lydia loved it although I didn’t give her shrimp our peanuts just yet. If I can, I want to wait till we’re in the US in case she had an allergic reaction. Brian tried chicken feet and stomach lining, but I wasn’t brave enough. My stomach was actually hurting by the end of the meal, I think because I’ve been eating a lot of things I’m just not used to. We went back to the hotel, talked to our family, and went to sleep. We could tell the boys are starting to miss us and we miss them! Not much to do during the day, and we are ready to see them! We have heard from other families this can be the most difficult time during the trip. There is a lot of waiting around for the visa appointment and visa, and this is when homesickness really sets in. At least we have the dragon boat festival to look forward to tomorrow!

 Stomach intestine and pig's feet!

Stomach intestine and pig's feet!

 Eating at the restaurant!

Eating at the restaurant!

China Trip: Day 8 & 9

On day 8 we traveled from Wuhan to Guangzhou where the US Consulate is located to complete the US side of the paperwork. On day 9 we completed Lydia’s medical review to receive her US visa.

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China Trip: Day 6 & 7

On day 6 we visited Lydia’s orphanage and on day 7 we got to visit a popular botanical gardens in Wuhan!

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China Trip: Day 3 & 4

Today we went to see Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It was much cooler today and started drizzling/raining on us during the tour. I got rid of the umbrella to save on weight in the luggage, and I shouldn’t have!

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China Trip: Day Two

Sleep is an amazing thing! I woke up and everything seemed better! I can handle this! We got up and had breakfast and the amazing breakfast buffet and went to the lobby to meet our group.

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China Trip: Day One

My day started at 6:30 in the morning in Texas. Of course the boys woke me up because they are still on their school schedule. The week leading up to the trip and the day we left I really was a nervous wreck.

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We've been matched!

We've been matched! We are so excited that we know who Lydia is and that we will be able to get her soon! 

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Lydia's Room

During Christmas break we decided to paint and put together Lydia's room. Not going to lie I definitely had third child syndrome when it came to putting this room together (Do I REALLY need to paint her room...I mean we have a crib, that's enough right)?

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The Car is Sold!

The car is sold!! Thank you guys for getting the word out on social media and getting us in touch with different people for us. 

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While we wait

So it has been a while since I posted on the blog. I guess I kind of went into summer mode :) , but I wanted to let everyone know where we are in the process. At the end of May our dossier (the big packet of papers we've been working on for forever) was sent and received in China! 

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Love for Lydia Fundraiser!

Life has been crazy this past month, so I am just now getting to writing about our Love for Lydia fundraiser in Austin! Through this entire process, I have been blown away by how giving and supportive people (even people we don't know!) have been and this event was no different.

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I-800A Approved!

One more step in the long process is complete! We just got our I-800A approval letter from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service).

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Home Study

The home study. It has been something that has taken a lot of our time and energy these past few months.

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Why China?

I’ve had several people ask me when I tell them we are adopting, “Why China?”

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Why Adoption?

We have been talking about adopting off and on since we were first married, but we were not ready to make a decision by the time we were ready to have kids. 

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