Monday, February 26, 2007

She is amazing!

Jailyn is amazing! She is learning so much and she is such a joyous blessing in our home.
The kids are smitten by her and love helping out with her or other household chores so that Mom
can tend to Jailyn.
Jailyn is learning sign language. She has learned signs for milk, more, please, and mom. She is
very quick to learn and use the signs correctly.
She has been answering to her name "Jailyn". And is beginning to respond to games that we play with
her over and over again in English. Hopefully, she is beginning to understand us.
Jailyn loves to walk while holding on to someone's hand. She's getting pretty good at that but she still
needs a lot of work on her balance. She is getting better at exploring the house while crawling. She even
found the dog bowls tonight -"no!no!" Cosmo has been pretty patient so far... but his bowls - that's another

We were going to get Jailyn's portrait pictures done tomorrow, but she has had a fever this evening - so
I think it will be a good day to stay home. :) Hopefully, sleep will help and we can get her portrait done another
day this week.

Thanks for keeping up with our journey with Jailyn Hope!
Jodi Sue :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dr appointment

Well, we met with a surgeon yesterday. He was very positive about Jailyn's prognosis. He wants to wait until the end of April/beginning of May to do the first surgery. The first surgery would consist of putting her palate together, fixing her lip and possible tubes in her ears. We really like the surgeon and his office. There is only one hurdle. Insurance. All of the Craniofacial Dr's in the Dallas area are merging their insurance contracts together - so presently they are all in limbo with insurance. We need prayers that this will all work out and coverage will be good. We were told that the surgery (not including anesthesia) runs $12,000. ouch! lots of prayers are needed concerning this!

Jailyn had her first taste of donuts today - yummy! they melted in her mouth!
We are off to the mall today with some other little friends and my friend Cindy.

Thanks for all of your concern and prayers!
She is a little blessing to our family!

love ya,
jodi sue :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Finally home!

Though we have been home a few days we have not gotten a chance to write on our blog again. It is so good to be home!
Mimi, Papa Paul, Uncle JB and the kids were at the airport to welcome us home! We were later than expected due to a flight schedule change, but we made it! Jailyn did better than mom on the flights! If I would have had to get on one more plane I think I would have cried!
Jailyn is settling in at home. She is still the princess and has everyones attention! Like we had anticipated she has Brady wrapped around her little pinky. He is her protector! Kinda cute!
Kenzie is loving having a baby sister to care and play with.
Conner is wonderful will Jailyn too. He was definetely glad to have mom home though! He has spent a lot of time sitting with me and playing with my hair!
Jailyn wasn't too happy with her car seat on the way home from the airport but has fallen asleep in it every car ride since. She is also getting used to her stroller, still would rather be held, but loves the stroller that faces the person pushing her. She feels much more secure! (and we love looking at her!)

Jailyn's personality is bursting at the seams! Every day she shows us more. She is so animated! She has been to two soccer games already and one karate class. We arrived home Wednesday evening and Thursday morning Kenzie and Conner were showing her off at school. Jailyn did great and met a lot of new people. :)

Jailyn had her first dr's appointment here. She weighed in at 16 lbs 11 oz. and 29 inches long. A very little girl!

I hope to load some pictures tomorrow our our homecoming!
Thank you for all of your interest and prayers for our adoption! Jailyn is truly a blessing to our family!

Love y'all!
Jodi Sue :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Logging out!

It is Wednesday, February 14th in China and we are on our way home!
We have a long flight ahead of us - we are leaving Guangzhou about 8:30am and will
arrive in Dallas around 4:30pm. (doesn't sound too bad - but remember it's Tuesday at 3pm right now - and Wednesday at 5am in China).
Our body clocks are going to be so messed up!

See y'all soon!
Love ya!
Jodi, Bryan and Jailyn

Monday, February 12, 2007

Day 12: Finally out and about

Finally today we were able to get out a little bit. Everyone is feeling some what better.
We went to the Zoo and Jailyn even sat in her stroller for a lot of the visit there. We finally gave in to picking her up near the end. It was great to get outside and walk around without someone trying to sell you something.

We were able to come back to the hotel for a nice nap before Jailyn's breathing treatment. The treatments seem to be doing a great job of breaking up some of her congestion. We'll see what Dr. Vernier says at home. Jailyn has an appointment with our pediatrician on Friday and an appointment with the surgeon on the 21st of this month. We are very interested in hearing what they both have to say about her health! We think she is perfect! :)

This evening we went on a Dinner Cruise. That was really nice. We didn't eat any of the food, after being warned by more than one person. But the atmosphere was great! We enjoyed the city lights!

Sorry this is a short one - Bryan will probably edit it later and add more - so check back again.
I need to tend to Princess Jailyn!

Love you all!
Can't wait to see you kiddo's!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Day 11: Sleep

Sorry we haven't posted in a while.... we have had a sick baby on our hands. We made it through the medical exam Saturday - thankfully Jailyn's fever broke and she passed, so she is eligible to receive a visa to the U.S. - yahoo! She does have an ear infection, bronchitis, sore throat, and a lot of congestion! And her fever has returned. Poor thing!

We were supposed to go shopping with our group today but since Jailyn and Mom got very little sleep Saturday night and now dad feels sick as well, we decided to stay home. We slept all morning and got up around 1pm. Jailyn was feeling much better. We went to the clinic at the White Swan hotel and they gave us more medicine and gave Jailyn a breathing treatment. The treatment seemed to break up some of the congestion. She will have two more treatments before we leave to come home on Wednesday!

For those of you who are waiting your referral... please take note - if there is anything you need while in China - go to your guide! I didn't realize they were there to help us with the babies health too. Our guide is wonderful and very helpful! She even called later at night to make sure we were doing well and if Jailyn needed anything else.

Hopefully, we will get a good nights sleep and be able to go to the zoo with our group Monday morning. We are also supposed to go on an evening dinner cruise around Guangzhou on the Pearl River.

I will post more pictures as soon as possible. Jailyn has enjoyed playing in the hotels' play area.
We miss y'all! Can't wait to get home!
See you soon kiddos!
Have you been to IHop lately?
Fuddruckers sounds great to me and Dad!!!! A great big beefy American burger!

Love y'all,

love ya!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Day 10: Medical Appointment

Today was stressful! Jailyn had her medical appointment, and we were very worried that with her fever that she would be quarantined and Jodi and/or I would be stuck in China for another week. But thankfully, prayerfully, her fever broke! She passed and is feeling better today!

That occupied the morning. Jailyn and mommy spent the afternoon sleeping - getting some much needed rest to fight off their colds. Daddy spent the afternoon with our wonderful guide Rebecca doing paperwork for the U.S. Consulate. Rebecca will take that to the consulate on Monday morning. If all goes well, we will go Tuesday to take the oath and Jailyn can come home to the United States! :-)

We ordered Danny's Bagel for dinner (highly recommended). Food much to our liking. Bryan ate nearly an entire pizza, Jodi basically ate fries for dinner. So yummy!

We also spent some time in the White Swan play room. Jailyn had a ball! We will be going back tomorrow. Hopefully we are over the hump and she will continue feeling better.

Love you kids! Hope you are enjoying your time with Mimi, Papa Paul, and Uncle JB.
Mom & Dad

Friday, February 9, 2007

Day 9: Nanjing/Guangzhou

Our last day in Nanjing! We have heard Guangzhou is a more international city with many more restaurants that we will enjoy. We cannot wait to get there - let alone that means we will be on our last stop before heading home!!! :-)

Nancy brought us Jailyn's passport, vaccination record, and medical report from the orphanage. That means we are ready to leave Nanjing. Very exciting!

We spent the day packing and worrying about Jailyn's Saturday's medical appointment. We have heard that if the kids have a fever of over 38c (100.4f) that they will be quarantined for 7-10 days. Ugh! Fortunately we have some Motrin and a great family we met gave us some Azithromycin antibiotic. We will see how Jailyn is doing in the morning.

Nancy (see picture) brought us to the airport and helped us get our tickets and pass through security. We were sad to leave Nancy - she was wonderful! We cannot tell you the value of having a great guide, especially in a city like Nanjing that is much less internationalized than Beijing or Guangzhou.

We arrived into Guangzhou about 7pm. Rebecca picked us up at the airport and took us to the White Swan. A fabulous hotel and the nicest we have stayed in so far. We have a river view room which is gorgeous at night. There are so many lights, it looks like a laser light show. I will have to see if I can manage to get a picture!

Guangzhou is over 10 million people, and its not even in the top 3 largest cities in China - wow!

Busy day tomorrow (Saturday). We have the medical appointment in the morning and much paperwork to complete in the afternoon, necessary for receiving Jailyn's visa.

Less than a week away from arriving home! We are so excited to see Brady, Kenzie and Conner again!

Bryan and Jodi Sue

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Day 8: Visit to the Orphanage

We woke up to a wonderful surprise Thursday morning (about 7am here, it was 5pm Wednesday back in Dallas) when the kids called our hotel. It was great to hear from them and we are so eager to see them again - less than a week and counting!

Our first stop was to the orphanage where Jailyn spent the first 16 months of her life. We are very appreciative to our guide Nancy who helped make the trip possible. China is instituting a new policy which requires a $150 fee to tour the orphanage - and none of that money makes it back to the orphanage. Since everyone in our small group was adopting a special needs kid and with the encouragement of Nancy, they gave us a tour without the fee. Also, many thanks to all our friends who donated to the orphanage - Nancy said the gift was another factor in the orphanage wanting to be sure we had a chance for a tour.

We began the visit by exchanging gifts. I could not believe it, but the orphanage gave us two gifts. One was a crystal ornament with Jailyn's Chinese name (Cao Yun Yan) while the other was a beautiful placard. We gave them the digital camera and a box of bottles specially designed for children with cleft lips and cleft palettes. We discovered they had to borrow a digital camera (apparently from the Civil Affairs office) every time they wanted to take photos to send to people. Now they will have their own - they were very appreciative.

The Orphanage (aka Social Welfare Institute) was rather nice. It was well organized and clean. All the kids had their own steel crib. The play area had a fair number of toys with a padded and colorful floor. Decorations (both from Christmas and for the Chinese New Year) were everywhere. Based on comments from other adoptive parents who have seen other orphanages in China, they agreed. This was the nicest they had seen. I was pleasantly impressed with the number of nannies I saw relative to the number of kids. The assistant director (Coco) is terrific and really loves all the kids. She speaks better English than the director, so she is likely the one who you'll meet.

Carrying Jailyn, Jodi was accosted by the nannies. She was clearly a little princess at the orphanage. It was amazing to see. Jodi was surrounded by nannies to the point she and Jailyn felt very uncomfortable. Jailyn's main nanny was the only once she was excited to see (see picture). Also pictured is the crib where Jailyn spent much of her time. Our guide was nice enough to decipher her daily schedule for us - we will have to try to get this posted for those whom it may interest (a little insight into their lives at the orphanage).

Our second stop was to the Nanjing City Museum. The third largest museum in China, they recently moved into a new building. Chinese history is extensive, and it was great getting just a small glimpse of some of that. Pictured is Jodi and Nour feeding Jailyn and Eli in front of a 3000 BC suit made of jade. It weighs 200kg (about 440 lbs) - I don't think the emperor ever wore it!

We also found a foreign languages bookstore today within a 10 yuan cab fare from the hotel. Hopefully we have a chance to get there and find some additional reading material. We are nearly finished with the books we brought. (Lesson learned - only First Class and Business Class on the plane have power for a laptop, so we spent much of our time reading or sleeping)

Tomorrow (Friday 2/9 in China) we get Jailyn's passport and travel to Guangzhou. We will spend the morning packing and hopefully getting Jailyn an early nap.

We are missing Brady, Kenzie, and Conner sooo much! But we are over the hump, past the half way point in our trip. We can't wait to arrive back home and see everyone!

Bryan and Jodi Sue

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Day 7: Many faces of Jailyn Hope

We had a nice relaxing day today. Had planned to go to the park with Nour and her boys but her baby went down for a nap early and when he got up Jailyn was ready for cereal and a nap. We had fun playing in the room and learning her personality! She is showing us new things that she can do every day. She is a good crawler!

We went to the Department Store to purchase a digital camera for the orphanage. This is what they asked for - it will help the orphanage send more updated pictures for the forever families waiting at home. Those photos are priceless so we agreed that a camera is a great idea! Thank you for all who helped purchase this! It will help bring more families together!!

We had a great dinner last night - Papa Johns! Can you believe Bryan found a Papa John's on the other side of the world. The other four adoptive families joined us in our room for pizza! It was great! I was so hungry since I haven't eaten much in the last few days, not feeling well and all. I am feeling better now. Our friend Nour had some antibiotics that she gave me.

Tomorrow we are off to visit the orphanage and then a little sightseeing at a museum.

Love y'all!
Miss you Brady, Kenzie and Conner J! Uncle JB comes to see you tomorrow! Cool!

Jodi Sue :)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Day 6: Nanjing!

We have only had Jailyn for one day and it seems like she has been with us forever! Her personality has really come out today. She loves to play! We think that she weighs about 15 lbs. The 9 month outfits that I brought fit her perfectly! She loves to grab on to things - give her a shiny piece of paper and she is happy for hours! Jailyn is not walking, she can stand while holding on to something but is not cruising yet either. We did get her to crawl. She wasn't happy at first, because she is "Princess Jailyn" and mommy and daddy should come to her. But when mommy got down on the floor to crawl with her she thought that was funny! I can just see Conner and Jailyn crawling around the house. :) Jailyn is eating well. Loves her congee and rice cereal. She has really taken to the cleft lip/palate bottles. She also likes to mimic - very smart.

We went back to the adoption building today and signed papers that we accept the adoption of Jailyn. So she is officially ours!
We also went to the place Jailyn was found. It was an apartment/residential area. Very sad. I can't image what pain her birth mother was in to leave her there. I wonder if she still lived there. Probably!

Jailyn doesn't seem to like being in the car. Could mean a long flight home.

Tomorrow we actually have the entire day off - may go to a near by park to hang out.
In the afternoon we will go shopping for gifts for the orphange and we will go visit and deliver gifts on Friday.

Thank you for all your comments - makes us feel a little closer to home! Jodi is very homesick!!!

Love y'all!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Day 5: Gotcha Day!

What an incredible day! Of course I didn't sleep... was up at 3:30am again and no chance of going back to sleep. Bryan actually slept til 7am - so at least one of us had some rest. We went to breakfast and met another adoptive family, Nancy and Jim. The American section of the restaurant was loud with anticipation and nerves. While we ate we were able to see some the first quarter of the Super Bowl! The dad's were all glad they were able to see some of the game.
At 9:00am we met Nancy, our guide, in the lobby and she took us to the Civil Affairs building were we would meet Jailyn! We arrived about 10 minutes before Jailyn and five other babies. Jailyn was the first into the room and of course I wanted to go into my "ugly" cry - but I held it together and just let a few tears come. Didn't want to scare her. She had no problem coming to us. She has a pretty easy going personality. We notice immediately that she likes to look around and take everything in. She doesn't miss a sound - a phone rang in the room where we were and she was checking it out. That put our concerns about hearing problems to rest for the time being. Our friends Nour and Hamid's little boy did great too. Jailyn and Eli do seem to find comfort in having each other around. There were there 3 boys and 3 girls, ranging from 16 months to 3 years old. Jailyn and Eli had the easiest time. The older kids had a real hard time leaving their nannies. It was heartbreaking.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped by a type of Walmart store. (Nancy doesn't like Walmart, she said it is too crowded. Imagine that! We were able to get diapers, formula, cereal, snickers bars, diet coke - you know the essentials. :)

Jailyn was starving when we got back to the hotel and took a nice warm bottle! We could tell she was exhausted but she wouldn't give in to a nap. I finally got her down for a nap around 3pm (2 hours later than her normal schedule). She slept for two hours. Woke happy and hungry! She downed another bottle and then had a bowl of rice cereal. She eats really well!

I don't know how Jailyn has pulled it off but some how she was spoiled in the orphanage. She loves to be held and does not like playing on the floor or beside mommy - but on mommy or daddy. This has been great for the bonding, but her nickname will be Princess. (Diva is already taken by Conner.) She is so sweet and has already bonded to mommy really well. She will play with Daddy for a little bit but has already learned that mommy does the feeding and cuddling. First thing she noticed on Mommy was her jewelry! Love that!

Today we sign more papers and then will go by Jailyn's finding place, and do some shopping for Jailyn's friends that have not been united with their forever families yet. Tomorrow we will visit the orphanage and bring them their gifts.

Prayer requests: Continued strong bonding with Jailyn.
Health - pray Jailyn stays healthy. She has been sweating and very clammy - so not sure how healthy she really is at the moment.
and that mom will get feeling better. I think I have bronchitis and a UTI. This is not fun!

Only 8 more days and we will be home! Can't wait to get home!!!

Love y'all,
Jodi Sue

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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Day 4: Nanjing

Good morning! It is 3:30am and I am still not on local time. Yesterday I slept in until 6am and thought I was getting on track but I guess I am just so excited for today that I can't sleep. I'm going to be a new mommy in 6 hours! Oh my goodness! :)

Nanjing is much smaller than Beijing, only 6 million people. We took a tour of the city gate and met some locals. Bryan met a store keeper and his daughter. The gentlemen didn't speak any English but just kept talking... so Bryan smiled and listened. We took a walk along a river and were amazed by some local kids. We were walking towards a girl (about 10yrs) and her grandfather. She looked shy and was leaning into her grandfather. As we approached we said Nee HaOW... Hello in Chinese. She answered "Hello" with a huge smile. She was being encouraged by her grandfather to speak more but she was just too shy. A little bit further we met a little boy (about 8 or 9 yrs). He had a huge smile and said "Hello". Now we realized that these kids want to practice their English. Jodi went closer to him and asked him how he was doing. "I am doing fine." with a big smile. Jodi gave him a big high-5 and complimented him on his English. Our friend Hamid, asked him what his name was... "My name is Jimmy" he said with pride. He was adorable. And of course made me miss all four of my kids!!

At the city gate we met a Bonsai gardener. Some of his trees are more than 100 years old. The city gate is over 600 years old. Nanjing used to be the countries capitol until an emperor (can't remember which one) from the north came into power and moved the capitol to Beijing, North China where he was originally from.
We are overwhelmed with all of this history, but trying to take in as much as possible! Can't wait to get scrapebooking!

One of my favorite things in China is the special sidewalks. Kids we have a summer project! Some sidewalks, especially in gardens, are made with the rocks protruding out of the cement by half an inch. This makes a wonderful food massage when you walk over it with your bare feet. It is great!! We didn't get a picture, but at many parks they have exercise equipment. Rather than paying to go to a gym everyone goes to the park and works out. Not really muscle beach but really cool! There are people of every age exercising.

Okay, I know y'all have been waiting for a picture of the local cuisine. I went to a market place with Nour, Hamid and Sue. For those of who have shopped Trade days on a busy day... that doesn't even compare. It is amazing! Thousands of open shops and thousands of people. I didn't even buy anything... guess I was a little overwhelmed. Conner, I don't like crowds either. Anyway, I was looking for some local candy to buy and what did I find? Duck heads! I just find this very interesting. I really wonder how they taste. Guess I will never know.

Today is the day! Can't wait! We are scheduled to meet Jailyn at 9:30a.m. I pulled out all of her clothes last night. I first went to Nour's room to see all she had brought for Eli and then she came to see what we had for Jailyn. We are hoping that since Eli and Jailyn have been in the same room in the orphange that they will find comfort being together and being able to play together. Guess we'll see! Be ready for anything.

Love y'all! Next post will be of our sweet baby girl! Thank you for traveling with us! We are homesick and it is so nice to get messages from y'all! Our email is not working that great so that is why I haven't emailed people specifically.

Love y'all!!!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Day 3: Beijing/Nanjing

Whew - a whirlwind day! Sightseeing, authentic Chinese cuisine, travel, and too much alcohol!

We began the day once again waking early! Jodi was up at 3:00 am, Bryan at 3:30. We think we have adjusted to the time change, perhaps it is the excitement waking us early! After yet another wonderful breakfast with Nour and Hamid, we packed our belongings and departed the Peace Hotel for a sightseeing trip to the Temple of Heaven. Very Chilly in the morning (about 35 degrees) and windy. Yet we found thousands of people at the temple participating in all kinds of activities - Tai Chi, a Chinese form of hackie-sack, dominos, cards, dancing, singing, instruments, exercising, and more. The Temple of Heaven is a Taoist temple and many people flock there every morning.

Our guide Oscar (see picture) showed us some very interesting aspects of the temple. The whispering wall (you can stand anywhere along the wall and whisper to someone standing elsewhere along the wall, the "pulpit" where the emperor stood to speak where the sound reverberated back to him so he could also listen to himself speaking, and the echo stones where depending which stone you stood on you could here 1, 2, or 3 echos. But watching all the people partake in so many various activities was the highlight! Much more activity than you'd ever find in an American park.

Our next stop was the Silk Factory. We learned all about the silkworms life cycle, and how they get the silk from the cocoons. It takes 7-8 cocoons to form a single thread of silk. Each thread is almost 1000m in length - wow! We then saw how they used what are called "husband-wife" cocoons (because each contain 2 pupae instead of one) to make comforters. Because the two silkworms interweave their silk, the strands cannot be separated into a single thread. We purchased a little present for mimi and papa Paul from the factory... Thanks for watching the kids! This is definitely the place to buy silk if that is the material you love - best prices anywhere!

Oscar took us to a very nice authentic Chinese restaurant in the afternoon. We were a bit nervous, but he helped us order (from a 50 page menu all written in Chinese). It was delicious! Oscar did a wonderful job picking some foods (various dishes of beef, chicken, and vegetables) that we would enjoy. Jodi got through the meal using only chopsticks, but Bryan succumbed and asked for a fork.

We then journeyed to the Summer Palace for our last sightseeing in Beijing. Very gorgeous. This is where Empress CiXi stayed. It is also where she "house-arrested" her nephew for purportedly planning to kill her. Not a bad place to be restricted. We've included a picture of the marble boat that the Empress had built.

Finally, it was time to head to Nanjing - only two more days until we unite with Jailyn. Oscar was very helpful, not only taking us to the airport, but checking us in at the counter and ensuring that we made it through security. He was a terrific guide - if anyone is ever looking for a recommendation, we will gladly pass you Oscar's contact information. The flight to Nanjing was relatively uneventful. Bryan ordered the noodles on the plane - they were rather good! Jodi ordered the rice - not a wise choice - yuck! They also had this great after dinner candy - at first it tasted like a mild hard candy we'd find in the States, but then it started fizzing! Yummy! We need to try and find some for the kids! We arrived, looking for Nancy, but Lily (Nancy's friend) picked us up. Nancy had been delayed by a previous flight arriving late. On our way to the hotel (Mandarin Garden in Nanjing), Lily spoke to the driver for a few minutes. She then turned and asked us how much we'd been drinking. None at all - apparently that was the same question she had asked the driver. He had also not been drinking (thankfully). But Lily smelled alcohol - lots of it (we are not sure why we didn't). When we arrived at our hotel room, however we discovered why. In the airplane, someone's liquor burst and spilled all over our luggage. Jodi spent the rest of our evening washing our clothes to get rid of the foul smell. Ugh! We now have clothes hanging all over the room drying and the suitcase still smells like alcohol! While hanging out in the hallway trying to air out the room, we also met another adopting couple from Chicago. Sue and Jodi had previously corresponded on a yahoo group. They are also very excited to meet their 2 year old son.

We look forward to tomorrow and Monday. Sunday, a little sightseeing with Nancy (our guide in nanjing), Nour, and Hamid. Monday we meet Jailyn for the first time!

Here are a few observations we have made that some may find interesting:
We love the showers - very hot water and no flow restrictors, the water comes gushing out!
1$ = 7.68 RMB (aka yuan).
Don't drink the water - its great for a shower, but not consumable - all the rooms come with a boiling pot. They also all come with two plastic bottles of purified water.
The Peace Hotel in Beijing has a wonderful breakfast buffet - 5 star! The Mandarin Hotel in Nanjing is not quite as good, but not bad - we'd say 4 star.
The Peace Hotel also has wireless (free) internet access in/near the business center. This appears to not be true of the Mandarin Hotel, although the maximum cost for a day of access is 40 yuan (very affordable compared to the US).
Listen to your guide.... they know where all the good bathrooms are. :)

Miss you Brady, Kenzie and Conner J!
Can't wait to get Jailyn home and all of us be together!!!!
Good luck on your soccer game today Brady! Play hard! :)

Friday, February 2, 2007

Day 2: Beijing

What a great day! We enjoyed the wonderful breakfast buffet at the hotel, with our new friends Nour and Hamid. Nour is the mom and Hamid is her 12 year old boy (a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan). We will be traveling with them to Nanjing to meet our babies. They will be adopting a little boy (Eli), 23 months old. Also, with cleft palate.
After breakfast we met our guide, Oscar, and driver, Bin. They took us to the Great Wall of China. On the way we stopped at a Jade factory. It was amazing to see the craftsmen carve the jade. We bought the kids a little surprise there. :)
Then we were off to the Great Wall. It was a nice day. Chilly, approximately 44 degrees, but not much wind. We began hiking, and hiking, and hiking.... a few towers up the hill Jodi decided to stop for a break. (hip and back have been sore due too the long air flights and the extremely hard bed in our hotel room.) Bryan kept going. He got up to the top tower and got some great pictures. Jodi went up a little further but didn't make it quite as far as Bryan.

After the Great Wall, Oscar and Bin took us to lunch. At the restaurant there was also a Cloisonne factory. We learned how these copper products are crafted. Once again, very impressed! Beautiful workmanship!
We had dinner at what Oscar calls a Chinese fast food restaurant. We really liked it, but I guess since there wasn't any "weird" foods we felt okay.

Then we went to the Hutongs. We were taken around on a Ricksha. That was so cool! The Hutongs are old Beijing neighborhoods. Some are over 600 years old. We were even able to go into a home and visit with the man of the house. I think that this was my favorite part of the day.

The scariest part of the day is sitting in the back of a car and letting someone else drive. Not that I would ever want to drive in Beijing. They are crazy! Of course, if the bicyclers and pedestrians would get out of the way traffic would move much smoother. Just amazing we have made it home to the hotel every night!

Tomorrow we will be visiting the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. We are not too sure what to expect but it'll probably be great! We travel to Nanjing tomorrow evening and we will be that much closer to being united with Jailyn! We can't wait!!!!!

Take care! Love y'all! Kids we miss you more everyday! Kisses and hugs!

Day 1: Beijing

This morning at breakfast we met another family from our adoption agency. We had a nice long breakfast chatting with them! It was a great way to start the day! We had been away since 3am - so by 10 we were exhausted again. After Jodi took a short nap and Bryan played on the computer a little bit we headed out to sight see on our own. Our hotel is about a mile a way from the Forbidden City. We walked there and found a guide who took us through the ancient city telling us all the history. It was great! We really enjoyed the day! We have posted a few pictures. Can't wait to scrapbook about our trip!
Crashing in bed too early again, we have been up since 3am. Jodi even took a sleeping pill. Tomorrow we will have a busy day touring The Great Wall, and the Hutongs.
We are enjoying Beijing, but definitely miss you Brady, Kenzie and Conner! Have fun with Mimi and Papa Paul! Be good! Love y'all!!!