Home Sweet Home!

Thursday, December 08, 2005 No comments

We have been out of our house for almost a month and have been at Shannon's parents house. Chloe is doing great and enjoys all the attention that she gets from PaPaw and BeBe.

We have been observing our new house being built and have been meeting with pool builders. In the meantime, we have been checking out other houses on the market. We came across a house in McKinney that is on Eldorado Country Club with a pool and really fell in love with it. We put an offer in last week and after some negotiations, it was accepted. We are waiting for the house inspection, but if everything goes as planned we will be in this house in January 2006.

Matt has been busy with new clients in New York. Chloe and Shannon went to NYC for the weekend and we were surprised by snowfall! We left the hotel and headed out for a carriage ride in Central Park. Apparently every other tourist in the city had the same idea and it was complete chaos. Chloe, with her good looks, got us a ride! We also enjoyed going to FAO Schwarz and finding Chloe a Christmas present.

We are eagerly anticipating this holiday season as we are now a family of three.

6 months with the Chloester

Thursday, November 17, 2005 No comments
November 5th marked our 6-month anniversary as a family of 3. It was 6 months ago that we received Chloe and officially adopted her. We celebrated with a little cheescake from the Cheesecake Factory (Chloe likes cheesecake). We will also be completing our 6-month update and starting our paperwork for Emma Claire soon. We will be able to submit our dossier for Emma Claire on May 5, 2006, one year after adopting Chloe. I don't know if Chloe is excited about the prospect of a little sister. When Shannon was completing the adoption application on-line, Chloe walked up and shut down the computer, losing all the work Mommy had completed..hmmmm? Did she mean to do that?

It's also official...we are homeless. We closed on our house this past Monday and have been living at Shannon's parents house until our new house is complete (which will be March). Chloe doesn't seem to mind because she is getting lots of attention. Dinner is always fun because she has 4 adults to watch her antics and she knows if she doesn't want to sit in the highchair anymore that Papaw will pick her up (sucker).

In the meantime, we are gearing up for Chloe's first holiday season with us!! It is going to be great fun!


Tuesday, November 01, 2005 No comments

It was Chloe's 1st Halloween and boy did we enjoy it! The "we" in that statement is: Mommy, Daddy, Papaw and Bebe, notice Chloe has not been included. She was generally clueless to the whole event, only that we dressed her in a ladybug outfit with an annoying hood and people laughed at her all night. When Chloe was handed candy by one of the neighbors, Chloe threw it back at her. She really had no idea what was going on. Nevertheless, she was a trooper (as long as she could hold Mommy and Daddy's hands and walk).

Since Chloe will be more aware of next year's Halloween festivities, she has already put in a request to be a "DUCK!" In Chloe speak, that means she would like to be anything feathered that flies. Anything that meets that criteria is a "duck". This fall, as everything begins to die off and the blackbirds appear, I get to hear "duck, duck, duck, duck!" on every car ride and walk outside the house. So, duck she will be next year...her wish is my command.

What a month!

Monday, October 24, 2005 No comments

October has been quite a month. Matt's Mum, Anne, came to visit her 3 grand-daughters. She was here for 3 weeks. Chloe enjoyed visiting her "Nana" and picked up lots of new words from her like, "knock-knock", "pat" and "tap, tap". We were also able to take Anne and Chloe to New York City for a long weekend. Chloe took a bite out of the Big Apple. She was all "Buy low, sell high!" when we were on Wall Street. She gathered lots of attention as she blows kisses, demands you say "hi" back to her by repeating it thousands of times and her general good looks (hey, she is the cutest baby in the world).

After only 2 weeks on the market, we sold our house. We were very thankful for the quick sale. We will live with Shannon's parents until our new house is ready. Of course, they can't wait to have Chloe come live with them and entertain them (we will have to see if they are still as excited in March when we move out).

We also decided to go ahead and submit our paperwork for baby #2 from China. We will have Chloe's 6-month homestudy update and begin the homestudy process again for #2! So, check out the website for "Emma Claire's Page" soon.

What Can't Chloe Do?

Sunday, October 02, 2005 No comments

We had a lovely family vacation to Colorado to visit Shannon's sister in Denver. Chloe enjoyed her time in Denver, viewing the mountains, Daddy and Uncle John cycling, the trees and all the ducks. That's right, according to Chloe, Colorado is infested with ducks. Everything with wings is a duck. She even called an elephant a duck. Despite her duck fetish, Chloe enjoyed meeting her Uncle John and she even picked up an Uncle John-ism. When she takes a drink now she says, "AHHHHHH!" afterwards, just like Uncle John.

Chloe has reached a lot of new milestones. She will ask for her sippy-cup now and may even take a drink from it, she also is feeding herself (sometimes) and best of all she is taking her first steps (taken for Mommy, Daddy, Aunt Deanna and Uncle John in Colorado).

Chloe's latest achievements caused Aunt Deanna to muse, "What will Chloe do next?". The three photos are Aunt Deanna predictions. They are very amusing and who knows, they could be true!?!

At A Loss

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 1 comment

Yesterday, Tuesday, September 20, we lost Shiner, our Clumber Spaniel, to heatstroke. We are heartbroken. Shiner was 6 years old.

Texas was not a friendly place for Shiner who often suffered in the Texas heat. We laid Shiner to rest with a few of his favorite things on Shannon's Dad's farm. Things just won't be the same without his "shouting" at us all the time, his piles of hair that build-up in the corners of the house, his slobber on the walls, his waiting by Chloe's high-chair for her to drop a Cheerio or let him lick the yogurt off her hands and his "bunny-hopping" to go and get his bone.

Shiner was our boy and we will miss him dearly.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005 1 comment

Ok, ok, it has been a while since I posted but Chloe has been very busy. Here's a catch-up on whats been going on...

  • Chloe is eating like a champ! She doesn't care for baby food. If it is in a jar then she doesn't want it! She wants to eat what we are eating and she wants to eat it off a fork.
  • Chloe decided it was time to hold her own bottle! She is still working on learning how to tip it to get the last remaining ounces out. We hope that she will decide to take the sippy cup instead of the bottle. Right now she likes to play with the sippy cup, not use it.
  • Chloe is cruising around and likes to stand on her own and the fall and say "Boom!". It is a game that we play. Her pediatrician said she is capable of walking any day now, it just depends on if Miss Chloe wants to or not.
  • Chloe LOVES music and dancing. If she hears a beat (even hammering) then she will start dancing. We bought her a little musical piano and she enjoys banging out some tunes.
  • In August, Chloe's Grandad visited from Sweden. Chloe enjoyed the visit and all the attention!
  • Chloe's lastest words are "duck", "up", "down", "out", "bye-bye", "eat", "bite", "Lizzie" (which is "is-e"), "hey!" and "meow" (for the cats). Sometimes she tries to form a sentence and you get "Duck duck down Daddy", but she says it as if it makes perfect sense and you should fully understand it.

Old Friends & Future Relatives?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

We were very pleased to welcome our dear friends, Melanie and Scott Graf and their son Grant, from California. We had not seen each other in nearly 7 years! Grant and Chloe are less than a month apart in age. Since Melanie and I have been close friends since college, we decided it is only sensible that Chloe and Grant should be married. We are planning on an October wedding...that's October 2029. It was great to see Melanie & Scott and to finally meet Grant and have them meet Chloe. Chloe and Grant chatted in their baby babble and both discovered that they enjoy collecting the dog hair off the carpet, swimming and Baby Einstein videos. What more do you need? Chloe was disturbed by the fact that Grant seemed to enjoy his lunch experience at Pancho's Mexican Buffet (which was a request by Melanie). I have posted some photos of the two little ones for all to enjoy. It was a great time and we can't wait to see the Graf family again.

Chloe was glad to hear that her Aunt Deanna's surgery on her nose for allergies went well today. Aunt Deanna can't eat solids today, so Chloe decided to take the plunge and eat them for her. I decided to make food "fun" for Chloe and I let her play in everything. It was funny and she had to take a bath afterwards. But, despite the mess, she ate vanilla pudding (her favorite and the old standby when we try to get her to eat) and even some apple sauce. That's a big step.

Right now the Chloester is up. Daddy is trying to get her to go back to sleep. This is her second wakening tonight since she went to bed. She is getting two more teeth on the top and she has not been sleeping at night or napping well. I hope the teeth arrive soon!

The photos I posted are of Chloe and Grant, Shannon & Melanie with our children and Chloe enjoying her vanilla pudding.

The Newest Citizen!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
We received documentation that Chloe is officially recognized as a citizen of the United States. We received her Certificate of Citizenship on Monday, July 18, along with a letter from President Bush congratulating Chloe. After Kindermusik today, Chloe and I visited our local Social Security office. Chloe enjoyed the 2 hour wait, she had three little girls who were waiting with their parents and wanted to play with her. One of the little girls told me she was an only child and she wanted a baby brother or sister. After our mind-numbingly slow wait, Chloe and I were called back to turn in her application for a Social Security card. The first thing the guy asked for was a birth certificate! I said, "what birth certificate?" Apparently the Certificate of Citizenship is not enough, my 13-month old daughter needs a second proof of identity. He had to settle for our health insurance card with her name on it. In the end, Chloe will be getting her Social Security number and we can set up all her bank and savings accounts. You can't do anything without a Social Security card these days. Once her card arrives, Chloe will get to visit another government office to get her U.S. Passport. She's planning on being an "international baby of mystery" and see the world sites, well at the least her Daddy's home country of England.

In other news...Chloe was upset to hear that her cycling hero Magnus Backstedt dropped out of the Tour de France this morning. She wouldn't "allez, allez, allez" after that news. She was relieved though to see a good stage 16 today and a win for Oscar Pereiro (she kind of thinks he's cool).

Allez! Allez! Allez!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 1 comment

Chloe is continuing to watch the Tour de France in the morning over breakfast. Today, Mommy was teaching Chloe some of the French lingo shouted during the Tour. The people yell, "Allez, allez, allez!" (translation: "GO, GO, GO!") as the riders pass by. Well, seems Chloe has learned a new word, and it isn't English. She is a little parrot. When Mommy yells "allez, allez, allez", Chloe would do the same. I wish I had a photo to post or the camcorder because her little tongue is hysterical when she shouts it. She sticks it out and folds it up and then says the words. Very cute.

Chloe has been keeping her list of favorite cyclists in the Tour. The likes Michael Rasmussen (she likes the polka dot jersey), Jaan Kirsipu and of course, Magnus Backstedt. But, today she got a gift from two cyclists who couldn't make the Tour this year because they are saving themselves for the Pyrennes...Aunt Deanna and Uncle John. They sent her autographed photos from the Triple Bypass. Chloe says, "allez, allez, allez!".

Welcome to All About Chloe

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Welcome to "All About Chloe", the page for and all about Chloe! We decided to start this page after finding it hard to keep a record of all of Chloe's achievements. The website is just a hassle to create a new page or to edit it. A blog serves as a journal and this will be like a journal for all of Chloe's accomplishments, so friends and family can keep up to date on Chloe's fast-paced world.

What's happened up to now?
Chloe was adopted from Guangdong Province in China in May 2005. She is nearly 13 months and has been with us for two months. Chloe is a happy baby and loves to make faces and noises. She is learning quickly and is catching up to other children her age.

Chloe enjoys swimming and playing at Gymboree (ok, if pressed she prefers swimming). We have also recently discovered that Chloe likes dancing too. Chloe has a vocabulary of about 7 words: mama, dada, doggy, uh-oh, hi, yea! and ball. She is not walking yet and she is starting to eat solid foods after some sessions to work on this. Right now she will eat vanilla pudding from a Nuk brush. Hey, it's a BIG step if you saw her a month ago! She applaudes herself everytime she takes a bite.

Lately Chloe is learning to point. Just this morning she said,"dada", and I asked her, "where is daddy?" She looked and pointed at me. She's got the pointing down, she just isn't sure what to point at. Right now, Matt asked her "where's mama?" and she pointed to the potted plant. Hmmm, not quite.

One of Chloe's favorite activities is beating on the computer. In fact, she is in my lap preparing to pounce on the keyboard as I type. That is, after she rips my glasses off my face (another favorite pastime). Chloe is also taking to cycling. She has been taking her breakfast while she watches the Tour de France. She is rooting for Lance Armstrong, but she really cheers for her favorite cyclist, Magnus Backstedt of Liquigas Bianchi. Why is he her favorite? Because he wrote to her and sent her an autographed photo. She would give him a "high-five" if she ever meets him personally (another favorite activity).

That's all for now, check the blog every now and then to see what's going on in Chloe's world. I'll try to post once a week.

Saturday & Sunday

Sunday, May 15, 2005 No comments
The remaining families all left Guangzhou today. Six left this morning around 6 a.m. We, along with one other family took the train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong at 10:30 a.m. We had planned in advance to make the 2 hour train journey in an attempt to see the country side between Guangzhou and Hong Kong. We had also decided many weeks before that we wanted to see Hong Kong and would spend one night there before we left China. The train ride was pleasant and was mostly urban between the two cities.

Chloe did well on her first train ride. We arrived at the train station in Hong Kong and caught a taxi to the Regal Airport Hotel. After checking into the hotel and preparing the baby backpack, we set out to tour Hong Kong. We took the express train into the city and went to the Peak Tram to see Hong Kong from atop the mountains. Chloe did so well as we trekked her all over the city. She was so pleasant and her personality is really starting to come out. She blows raspberries at you and shakes her head "no". She will also grab our faces in her little hands and put it close to hers and make a face at you. Now that she is feeling better her personality appears!!!

Chloe was quite the attention-getter on the tram and many Americans asked us about her. They all thought she was adorable (which of course she is). After the tour,we went back to the hotel, had dinner and packed for the long journey home. Hong Kong is a beautiful city and we were glad we took the short time we had to see it.

Sunday, May 15--

We woke early in the morning and had breakfast at the hotel. Both Matt and Shannon were nervous about how Chloe would do on her first plane ride. We checked in early and found out that our flight was delayed an hour. We walked through the duty-free shops at the airport and made a few purchases.

We finally boarded our Cathay Pacific flight to Tokyo and must say it was an enjoyable one. The stewardesses were very friendly and you would have thought we were royalty the way they treated us with Chloe. They gave us free diapers, Mustela diapering kits and offered to make Chloe baby food. The stewardesses would come and check on us and Chloe. All in all, it was a very impressive airline with impressive service. The 4 hour flight to Tokyo was great and Chloe did well.

After a brief layover in Tokyo, we boarded the American Airlines flight to Dallas. It was night for Chloe so she slept most of the flight. Many of the passengers commented as we exited the plane on how well she did. The service on American is sub-par as usual and we were amused when one of the stewardesses commented that there was a baby on board (2 hours into the flight). Chloe looked at her and blew her a raspberry as if on que. It was very funny and had our row laughing.

Daddy, the Brit, carried Chloe into her U.S. citizenship (which I thought was humorous). We were met by Grandpa and Grandma Dooley who began their doting and oohing and aahhing over their first grandchild.

U.S. Consulate Appointment & Red Couch

Friday, May 13, 2005 No comments
Friday the 13th was not an unlucky day for Chloe. Chloe sat in the highchair for the first time and received her visa from the U.S.
At 11 a.m. we all met in the hotel lobby and went down the street to the U.S. Consulate. We were ushered into a room with another group and were greeted by a U.S. official who told us the statistics of Chinese adoptions.

After that, we all raised our hands and swore that all our documents were accurate. And, that was it. Chloe was free to enter the U.S. and would become a U.S. citizen when she set foot on American soil. An important day, but pretty unremarkable in the delivery.After the consulate, the entire group met at the famous red couches of the White Swan Hotel and had the girls group photo taken (you can see it below).

In the afternoon, we all had a playdate in the hallway as we waited for the delivery of the girls' Chinese passports. Two of the families were leaving for the States' that evening and another 6 were leaving early in the morning. Most families packed.

Matt, Chloe and I went to the Lucy Bar for our last dinner in Guangzhou. It was a nice,cool evening. A very pleasant way to end our stay.

All U.S. families adopting from China must stay a minimum of four days in Guangzhou, where the U.S. consulate is located, to get their child's U.S. visa. Most of these families stay at the White Swan Hotel. Located on the 2nd floor of the hotel are red couches. Travel groups go there to have their daughters' photos taken after the U.S. has cleared them to enter the country. On the red couch in this photo are the babies of Qujiang SWI and then children of our travelmates. Chloe is in the white shirt in the center.

Hanging Out

Thursday, May 12, 2005 No comments

Daddy and Chloe along the banks of the Pearl River.

Chloe woke up with a very bad cough and a runny nose. We had to stay in our rooms from10-11 a.m. today to wait for a call from the U.S. Consulate if there was problems with our paperwork. Luckily, none of us received a call!

At 11 a.m. we all boarded the bus to tour the Chen Family Temple. The temple was pretty, but the heat and humidity was unbelievable. When we returned from the tour, Chloe had a nap. After her nap, the three of us ventured off Shamian Island into Guangzhou proper. We walked through the marketplace and saw all sorts of oddities. We came across monkey skulls, bear paws and scorpions. We found out later that this is a medicinal market and you can buy these items and take them to a traditional doctor to brew you a tea for your ailment. We made our way to the large shopping center. We enjoyed touring the shops and felt very comfortable walking amongst all the locals. It was an enjoyable outing.

In the evening, we walked along the Pearl River and had a drink at the Lucy Bar in the park. Shannon went to Ike's rooms and finished some paperwork for the consulate appointment Friday. Ike gave Chloe a map of Shaoguan and some soil from the orphanage. The director had given these items to Ike for the girls. Inside he marked the location of the orphanage on the map. We were also able to locate Chloe's finding spot on the map. It was a very sweet gesture and will be a cherished item.

Qujiang SWI Visit

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 No comments
The happy family outside the entrance to Qujiang SWI.

Mommy and Chloe outside the SWI. The orphanage had a sign outside their door welcoming the girls and their families. Shannon is pointing to Chloe's Chinese name,Qu Le Wen.

Chloe, Mommy & one of Chloe's Nanny's inside the infant room beside Chloe's crib.

Chloe being held by the director of the SWI.

Chloe was up at 5 a.m. this morning and slept through the night. We took her to the local park on Shamian Island, just outside the White Swan Hotel. We watched the people swimming in the Pearl River and doing Tai Chi. At 8:30 a.m. we boarded the bus for the 3 hour drive to Chloe's orphanage, Qujiang. Everthing started well, she fell asleep in Daddy's lap. We stopped at a rest stop and changed her diaper. When we boarded the bus again, Chloe began to cry and cry and cry. Matt tried to calm her down, Shannon tried to calm her down and Ike tried to calm her down. Nothing worked. We finally arrived in the town where Chloe had lived for the first 11 months of her life. We met the orphanage director at a restaurant and had lunch. Shannon tried the local favorite, chicken toes (feet). Yum! Chloe was fussy all during lunch. The director told us she was hungry. After lunch, we went to the orphanage and took a tour. The nannies brought in some congee and milk for the babies. Chloe sucked down two bottles. Ok, maybe she was hungry! We toured the orphanage and saw where Chloe slept. We also learned that Kate (Le Qui) and Katarina (Le Mei) were Chloe's playmates. After the tour of the orphanage, we went to the local grocery and each family bought a case of formula for the orphanage. The director told us it is the necessities that they need most. The drive back from the orphanage to Guangzhou was not better,but worse. Chloe cried and wailed and screamed for the 3 hours back. We discovered that she was teething! We finally made it back to the hotel and took Chloe for a walk. She was calmer. Shannon was not. Matt handled both his girls well and tucked them into bed at 8 p.m.

Temple Visit

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 No comments
Shannon, being instructed by Ike, on how to light the three sticks on incense properly.

The Chambers' family at the Six Banyan Trees Buddhist temple.

Matt and Chloe enjoying our greatest purchase to date, a baby carrier!

We woke up very tired this morning. Chloe did not have a good night. If Shannon tried to lay her in her crib, she would pop up and cry and scream. Shannon ended up holding Chloe in her arms all night. Chloe would wake up every 1 1/2 hours and have to be soothed back to sleep. Chloe woke up in a cranky mood and would not take a bottle. Matt also woke up feeling ill.

We kept Chloe in her night clothes and took turns going to breakfast while one person stayed on "Chloe watch" in the room. Matt discovered that Chloe does better if she is out of the room and has something to occupy her (she is very inquisitive). We decided to take the group tour to the Buddhist temple. Before we boarded the bus, we went to the gift shop in the White Swan Hotel and bought a baby carrier. We brought the European hammock style which Chloe hated. The baby carrier was a godsend.

We went to the temple with the other families in our group. We all lit incense and said prayers for our daughters. After the temple, we went to another Friendship Store and shopped for jade and traditional Chinese clothing as gifts for Chloe.

In the afternoon, Chloe took a long and needed nap. We started her on a anti-histamine and discovered that her nose is stopped up. We then discovered Chloe had left us a present...a poopie! This is a momentous occasion for all the kids and parents and we are proud to report that Chloe delivered her surprise first in the group!

After the medicine and bowel relief, Chloe was on a turnaround. She played with two of her Quijiang sisters and went for a walk in her baby carrier with mommy and daddy around Shamian Island.

First Full Day Together

Monday, May 09, 2005 No comments

Chloe slept well on Sunday night, we didn't. We would sit up every couple of hours and check on her. Most of the other babies slept through the night and they are all beginning to settle in with their new families.
Chloe woke up about 5:45 a.m. and was in a happy mood. She took a bottle from Daddy and then had a bath (which she handled quite well). Around 10 a.m., we ventured out into the rain to take Chloe's passport photo. When we returned Chloe and her Daddy had an impromptu play date with her Qujiang sisters in the hotel hallway. Chloe got in only a few good moments of play as she became fussy. Though she struggles not to fall asleep, Mommy managed to get her down around 12:30 p.m. Daddy went in search of a USB port in Guangzhou so we could send photos to everyone back home. We are feeling bad that we cannot access Geocities in China. Matt did manage to find a USB port for the camera, but it didn't work! No photos!
At 3:30 p.m. we went to have Chloe's physical done for her visa. It was not a great experience. All the babies go through three stations: height and weight, ear, nose and throat and a physical exam. Being poked and inspected by strangers upset all the girls. Chloe became very upset and it was hard to calm her down the rest of the day.
Later in the evening we went to the Ox & Bridge Restaurant with the rest of the group. It was great, unfortunately we had to call our evening early as Chloe was fussy and cried all during dinner (welcome to parenthood).

Forever Family Day

Sunday, May 08, 2005 No comments

The day that we have waited 17 months for finally arrived!!! We departed Beijing on China Southern at 8:30 a.m. and landed in Guangzhou around 11:30 a.m. It had just finished raining and we were immediately greeted by the heat and humidity. In addition to Ike,our national guide, we met Li, our local guide. Li told us this was the cool spring weather. If we wanted to come back in July, then we would be greeted by 100 degree heat and 95% humidity. We arrived at the White Swan Hotel about 12:15 p.m. and we were to head out to meet our babies at 2:15 p.m. We checked in and prepared for Chloe's arrival. Shannon was all nerves. We stepped out on Shamian Island briefly to find something to eat. Shannon couldn't eat. Poor Matt settled for a Diet Pepsi and Pringles from the 7-Eleven. We went back to the room, unpacked and gathered together all of our documents needed for the Gotcha Day festivities.
At 2:15 p.m. all the families promptly boarded the bus with gifts and documentation in hand. The drive from the White Swan to the Guangzhou Civil Affairs office was the longest of our life! Shannon's heart was racing as we crowded into the elevator to go to the 5th floor. We entered the office and made our way down the red-carpeted corridor. We were the first group of families to receive our children that day. We were ushered into a large room with benches lining the wall and a meeting table in the center. It was very quiet except for the sound of babies playing across the hall...our babies! We all rushed to the door to sneak a peek, only to be met by the peering eyes of the nannies and orphanage director trying to do the same. We were told by Ike that the babies would be brought in one by one according to our family number of the itinerary sheet GWCA had given us. We were family #7. The chaos then erupted as families tried to find another family to record their gotcha moment. Then it began. Nine of the ten families were adopting from Qujiang SWI and one family was adopting from another orphanage.
We were told that this family would go first (which threw the order out of whack). The Civil Affairs official stood in the doorway and announced to everyone, "This child is...(and their Chinese name)". In walked the nanny either holding the hand of the child or carrying the child. One by one the process was repeated until it was our turn. The official announced, "This child is Qu Le Wen", and in came Chloe, carried by a nanny. She had so much hair!!! She did not cry, she went to Shannon and began to take in the scene. She was just as they described her to us, alert and always wanting to see the action. When all the babies had been presented to their new families, we took Chloe down the hall and discovered that she could crawl!! As we were shuffled from room to room, Chloe never cried, just looked around. She is really gorgeous and she is ours!!
After going to get the babies passport photos taken, we went back to the hotel. When we walked into the room, Chloe began to cry. She was tired, hungry and irritable after such a long day. She sucked down two bottles and then went to sleep. We are officially a family of three.


Saturday, May 07, 2005 No comments

In the morning we met in the lobby of the hotel and met the other 9 families also adopting. We all boarded the bus and headed to Tiannamen Square where we had a group photo taken at the entrance to the Fordbidden City. There were lots of people out and about as Saturday marked the end to the week long Labor Day holiday in China. Ike guided us through the Forbidden City. We only got a small glimpse of how vast and beautiful it is. The weather was beautiful. As we exited the Forbidden City, Ike told us that we would meet some vendors. Ha! He must have been joking. We got to know some vendors intimately as the pressed against us trying to sell us knock-off watches and postards of China. Our group formed a protective circle to try to keep them out. Matt thought it was funny and amusingly checked out fake Breitling watches. We boarded the bus and headed to the Friendship Store (a government run store for foreigners that sells every kind of Chinese-made collectible). There, we had lunch and toured the cloissone factory. We then continued on to the Great Wall. I must now stop and apologize. I had, in the past, called those people unable to make it to the top of the Great Wall "wimps". Please accept my sincerest apologies. What a hike! Don't be fooled, it is a tough climb, the steps are not one certain shape, height or size. Each step varies, some are steep and short and some are steep and long!! If you have knee problems, this is not a climb for you. Shannon made it a goal to make it to the top and she did. What inspired her? Being passed by Chinese three-year-olds and Chinese women in high heels climbing and crawling up the steps.

Leaving for China!

Friday, May 06, 2005 No comments
Shannon at Narita Airport in Tokyo, waiting to go to Beijing.

It was a long series of flights! We left Dallas at 9:55 a.m. for Los Angeles and then headed from LA to Tokyo after a short stopover. The flight to Tokyo was 11 hours and 30 minutes. We then headed from Tokyo to Beijing (another 4 hour flight). When we arrived in Beijing at 9:55 p.m. (that is 8:55 a.m. CST) we were met by Ike, our GWCA/Adoption guide. We were then escorted to the Sino-Swiss Hotel. Before we went to bed, we had a nightcap at the Warp 8 Bar in the hotel. What a riot! There was a band playing 80s music and we were amused by the audience members who would jump on stage to join in!


Friday, March 18, 2005 No comments

Chloe is from the Guangdong Province in southern China. You can find out more about Guangdong by clicking on the map to the right. She is currently residing at the Qu Jiang Social Welfare Institute which is in a mountainous region north of Guangzhou. We plan to travel in early May, after the International Labor Day holiday, which is May 1-7. . We will first go to Beijing for a few days to tour and meet our fellow travelmates from our agency. We will then go to Guangzhou for the remainder of our 2 week trip. We will probably be staying at the famous White Swan Hotel.