Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Plans are coming together!

We finally have all of our reservations booked and confirmed! Our itinerary is as follows:

November 9--fly out of Atlanta to Chicago, to Beijing, and finally landing in Fuzhou on November 10th
November 11--meet Matthew at Civil Affairs
November 12--finalize the adoption!!!
November 16 --fly to Guangzhou
November 19--Consulate Appointment
November 20--Swearing in Ceremony, train to Hong Kong
November 20-23--Hong Kong Disneyland
November 23--fly out of Hong Kong into San Francisco and finally into Atlanta

We hope to eat at Chef Mickey's for Thanksgiving. They for sure will have turkey on the buffet---don't you think?? We are so excited to be on the countdown for our trip but are running around trying to get everything taken care of. We have our money, a new suitcase, our paperwork is in order, the bedroom is painted, the cat's vacation is planned and some of our clothes are sitting out waiting to be packed! I hope to have everything packed and ready (except last minute items) by this weekend. Then next week I can just review and make sure we don't forget anything.

Today I was told that Matthew had the photo album of his family out and ready to talk about us! He couldn't remember if he was going to be older or younger than Grace. He said he is excited to be going to America! Those are sweet words that brought tears to my eyes! How wonderful it will be when he finally gets to meet his sisters (and his parents), but somehow I think the girls will help his transition into our family.

I know that next week will get here quickly but right now it seems so far away......stay safe Matthew, we are almost there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Official!!!!

We received our official consulate date of 11/19 today! Whew, we were sweating bullets for a couple of days. Our airfares had just sky rocketed and with 6 of us it was going to cost a pretty penny. However, our most favorite and wonderful travel agent, Sue Sorells searched and found some good fares.
We leave Atlanta on 11/9, go into Chicago, then into Beijing where we connect on a flight to Fuzhou, the provincial capital where we will finally get to meet Matthew! Our Gotcha Day is scheduled for the 12th. We hope to take an overnight trip to Xiamen so we can tour the beautiful city where our son spent the beginning of his life. We hope this will help him with some closure. After a week in Fuzhou, we will leave to go to Guangzhou for the medical appointment, visa and finally the swearing in ceremony on the 20th. On the evening of 11/20 we want to take the train in to Hong Kong where we will stay at the Victorian Hotel in Hong Kong Disneyland!!!!
For those of you who know the Disney Hotels, this one is exactly like the Floridian in Orlando, just not nearly as expensive. We chose this hotel over the Disney Hollywood only because it has an indoor pool. We definitely wanted to be able to swim no matter what the weather.
Speaking of weather it will be warm in Fuzhou and Guanzhou but not uncomfortable. It should be perfect for touring! We don't have our complete in-China itinerary but hope to have it in a day or so.
It is just so unbelievable, in 2 weeks Huang Qing Nan will have a forever family and this family of girls will have a brother and a son! How lucky we all are!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An American Tail - Somewhere Out There

Consulate appointment and some changes

We received word of our consulate appointment today---November 15th! Boy did that surprise us and put a kink into our plans! We thought we would get an appointment on either the 13th or 14th and planned our Disney trip and our return on the 16th around those dates. Well, things just did not turn out the way we had anticipated and we have had to regroup and make a tough decision.We really wanted to take the kids to Disney in Hong Kong and realized that with the extra days in country it wasn't feasible, both time and cost wise to do that with an appointment on the 15th.
We decided to delay our trip for one week, leaving on 11/9 and having our GOTCHA DAY on 11/12. Our new consulate appointment is on 11/19 and we will leave for Hong Kong on 11/20. Instead of 2 nights in Disney we will spend 3 as arranging travel on Thanksgiving was difficult.
Even though we will be delayed getting Matthew for one week everything actually works out better this way. I will be able to have more time at home and Matthew will not have to go to school until January. Analiese's surgery is scheduled for December 6th and Dave had already planned on being home during her recovery. Now that Matthew will arrive home AFTER Thanksgiving it makes more sense to keep him home for a few weeks to get acclimated.
So, once again, God's plan is SO much better than ours! It is so amazing how everything has just worked out for the best! Matthew, get ready cause your family is so, so close!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


It's here, it's here! Our travel approval has arrived! We received an email last night from Stefani telling us that our TA had arrived! Our request for a consulate appointment (CA) for 11/13 has been sent and now we are waiting to hear about that so we can make our final plans.
If we get the 13th appointment we will leave Atlanta on 11/2 for Newark, on to Beijing and then landing in Fuzhou on the 3rd of November. After 28 hours of traveling we will be able to put down our bags and RELAX! We will have a day to explore before we meet our sweet, sweet Matthew.
We hope to hear by Friday and be able to finalize our itinerary. It is so unbelievable that in 2 short weeks we will finally get to meet our son! We are so excited and running around trying to get the last minute arrangements done. Matthew, we are so close!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


The TA is coming, the TA is coming!  That's the news from Stefani at CHI.  She emailed me on Thursday to say that our TA has been issued and should arrive on Monday.  Since CHI is in Utah and their China facilitator doesn't get her mail until 6:30 or so that means we won't hear anything until Tuesday.
Our tentative plans are to be in Fujian on November 3rd, get Matthew on the 5th, have the consulate appointment on the 13th and then off to Hong Kong.  We should be home on the 16th!
We are busy trying to get the final items taken care of so we can be ready to leave in 2weeks--YIKES!  I got a GREAT quote on airfare from Sue Sorells which takes us right into the provincial capital after a short layover in Beijing.  We just need confirmation of our consulate appointment.
Matthew, hold on, your family is on their way!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thoughts of Matthew

I've watched during the past few days others get their Travel Approval and then hear nothing about ours.  It is disheartening to realize that we will have to wait another 2 weeks before ours will be here (the CCAA is on vacation and all mail that went out before their break will have already arrived).
I find my thoughts wandering more and more toward Matthew.  I wonder how he feels about being adopted, about moving away from his home and if he ever thinks about his birth family.  I have so many unanswerable questions; what was Matthew's birth name, does his mother wonder what his favorite game is, what his favorite toy is?  Does she wonder what makes him laugh, what his voice sounds like and if he likes to sing?  Does she ache to hold him in her arms?  
Because, as Matthew's forever Mother, I wonder all of those things. I also know that in a few short weeks many of my questions will be answered.  I will have my son at home and learn all about him, love him and enjoy him.  I will also try to teach him to understand and to forgive those parents who, for whatever reason, never came back to get him.  I will help him to nurture the mother who will always be in his heart and whose heart, hopefully, he lives in.