Friday, July 27, 2012


Well Blogspot seems to have eaten my earlier posts, so we'll give it another try and share all of our trip in Hangzhou all at one time, so here goes...

After all the excitement getting into Beijing (see Baba's first ever blog post about that adventure) and then to Hangzhou, we can consider our time in HZ somewhat uneventful (except for meeting our boy of course!)

We finallyy got in around 10pm on Sunday night (we left on Friday) and got a little shut eye befor the big day on Monday morning to meet Xuan.  One thing I forgot about was the beds of brick.  I'm sore in places I didn't know I had courtesy of the rock hard mattesses.

We met our guide at 9am and began our day.  First to the bank to exchnage USD for RMB, then over to Civil Affairs to meet Tristan.  As soon as we entered the meeting room we could see him sitting with his CWI director and his favorite ayi ( a nice young man).  He was immedicatly handed to Len (and didn't shed a tear) while I started the paperwork.  Paperwork was finished and when the Director and ayi departed, he began to cry.  It only lasted a bit and he calmed down.  We then off for our first ever family photo.  He had a good night at the hotel and slept almost thru the night and we began our new day together.  Back to Civial Affairs for more paperwork processing and a small presentation of our red adoption folder.

That afternoon we struck out on our two hour drive to Ningbo to file for his passport.  While we didn't anticipate being able to visit EnMei CWI, we were pleasantly surprised to be invited for a visit before our appointment at the Police Department for his passport. 

When we approached the gates of EnMei Tristan became very upset and climbed onto my lap for comfort.  While I hated to see him frightened, I was happy he sought us our for comfort.  We asked our guide to explain it was only a visit to see his friends and he seems ok with that.  We again saw the Int'l Adoption Director and his favorite ayi as well as the overall Director for the CWI.  We were able to visit with some of his friends (he was most happy to see DanQi - as soon as they saw each other they smiled, went to each other and held hands the entire time they were together).  We also got to see his class room and later went to a delicious lunch at a local restaurant hosted by the CWI.  Once all our official work was done it was back on the road for our two hour drive back to Hangzhou.

Tristan has been done very well.  For the first few days he didnt utter a solitary word.  But on Wed. as he sat on my lap he looked me square in the eye and in perfect English said "Hello".  He has the sweetest little sing-song voice.  He has also has a picture book of family, with our help he can say the names of his brothers, sisters, grandparents and his aunts, uncles and cousins.  For the first few days after waking, he would cry for a bit.  I don't know if that was more from waking up in unfamiliar surroundings, grieving or both.  That has pretty much stopped now.  He is a sweet little boy who will now pucker and give kisses.  Says mama and baba when he want our attention and loves to be carried.  Actually he's given up on walking and if we don;t pick him up on depand, he will drop to the group and throw a bit of a fit (ok more than a little bit).  He also won't ride in a coach.  Should be interesting when we get sister on Monday who has a leg condition and very well may need to be carried.

During our down time we spend it walking around the city to take in the local area as well as spending a couple afternoons at the beautiful West Lake.  One thing for certain, Hangzhou is a booming city.  Alot of young men and women are in the area, building is going on around the area and they had many highend stores such as Rolex, Lamborghini, Benz, etz.

On Sat. we we will head out to Guangzhou to start the second part of our journey.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Greetings from the PRC

Subject: Greeting fromthe PRC - Inital Report

As smooth as the first trip went, this one has had some glitches.  On Friday, we awoke at 5 am to get on the road at 6.  No problems traveling up the NJTP.  We checked in around 8 and found out that the flt was delayed over three hours getting out.  We left out at 4 pm Friday.  The flt was uneventful until we had to circle over Beijing for about 2 hours due to weather.  We finally landed at 7pm Saturday Beijing time to find that we missed out connector and the last flt ot Hangzhou was canx until the following day (Sunday).  This was due to rain, the heaviest Beijing has seen in 60 years.  I can't get away from this stuff - 10 inches of rain, 40 dead due to flooding, power outages, etc. We stood in line for about 3 hours to book our connector.  Now to find a hotel for the night.  The airport found us a room at a nearby hotel and called a driver.  We wound up going down this dark alley in the rain.  I felt like someone in the movie Bladerunner.  We pull into this darkened alley and I thought "On S*%^!!!  Here it goes.  We are getting rolled and no one knows where we are, including us!!!"  But that was not the case.  It was a rundown hotel, 1/2 stars out of 5 , maybe.  Rain was pouring in from the street.  A couple of stray dogs found their way inside out of the rain.  The lobby was thick with cigarette smoke.  However, a young boy booked us in the room, their "deluxe room."  Scared as to what we would find, I opened the room.  We were surprised.  The room was clean, although a little beat-up.  We stayed the night and checked out at 8 am to return to the airport.  We finally were allowed to check-in at 3 pm, boarded our flt at 6 and arrived at 10 pm Sunday.  So after approx 60 hours, we arrived in Hangzhou.  Today, we get Tristan at 10 am. 
Stay tuned, sports fans!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The trip...

Received our itinerary for our in-country travel.  Hard to believe in only three days, we'll be taking the first (super long, 13 hours in a pressurized tube flying at 30,000 feet at 500 miles per hour trip, did I mention long) flight into Beijing.  So here goes...

7/20 - Depart Newark for Beijing
7/21 - Arrive Beijing, catch our connection into Hangzhou, Zhejiang Prov.
7/22 - Happy 3rd Birthday Tristan!! (Free day to rest as best you can with a 12 hour time difference - JET LAG))
7/23 - We travel to Civil Affairs to meet Tristan.
7/24 - 9am to Civil Affairs to register his adoption and at 11am off via van for a two hour ride to Ningo to file for his passport (can you say Dramamine)
7/25 - Shopping day to get the little man some things he might need
7/26 - Site see at Xihu
7/27 - Pick-up his passport
7/28 - An early flight from Hangzhou to Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
7/29 - Rest day before we meet our little girl (perhaps a trip to Shamian Island is in order - we will need Starbucks by then)
7/30 - Afternoon trip to meet Ms. Marin
7/31 - Civil Affairs and Public Notary for adoption registration
8/1 - Visit to Zhongshan orphanage
8/2 - Take kids for Visa photos, to medical exam and for TB tests (oh, joy)
8/3 - Visit Yuexiu Park
8/4 - TB test results day
8/5 - Visit Chen Family Temple
8/6 - Pick up Marin's passport
8/7 - US Consulate Appointment and Oath Taking Ceremony
8/8 - Pick-up US Visa for the kids
8/9 - Depart Guangzhou for Tokyo, then Tokyo home

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Almost Time...

Wow!  That's all I can say.  For all the waiting and never thinking we'd get off the ground and to this point, the time has come.

I just four short (hectic, panicked, frantic) days we board our first of several planes to get to the kids.

We depart NJ with a stop in Beijing before we get to our first stop in Hangzhou where we'll spend a week.  From Hangzhou we fly for a couple hours to the exceptionally hot city of Guangzhou.  After two steamy weeks in Guangzhou we'll make a pit stop in Tokyo and back home again with our arms full of little ones.

Prepping the house has been a challenge.  What we pick-up and clean gearing up to go, one of our little darlings follows behind leaving a little more to do.  But the big things have been taken care of. 

The new van (yep the 15 passenger variety - there goes any hopes of me picking up any hot guys - unless they're on their way to the airport and think I'm Rapid Rover) has been purchased.  The bedrooms have been flip-flopped to make room for the new additions.  Three weeks of groceries have been purchased and stored so no one goes hungry while we're out and about.  All the new clothes have been washed and put away.  And a whole lot more still to do.  It always gets done, somehow.

I should be able to share our itinerary tomorrow, there is a lot to do in those three weeks, that 's for certain.