Friday, August 25, 2006

Laptop Problems

We have run into computer problems. The laptop screen has gone completely blank on us and all of the files we need for the website are on it. You will have to follow the rest of our journey here. I am typing this on the hotel computer so I will not be able to upload any pictures tonight. We are hoping to be able to borrow a laptop the rest of the trip just to be able to upload a few pictures. Shannon is so upset she sent me down to post tonights update.
Anyway, today was pretty uneventful. We had most of the day free so a few of the couples and us went to the park. It was very beautiful and fun to see the Chinese people just being themselves. We were stopped many times and took pictures with some giggly teenage girls (just like American girls). They were very friendly and fun. After that we took a taxi to Wal Mart to get some baby supplies. No matter where I go I cannot get away from Wal Mart. Ugh! We then went to McDonalds which sounded very good after so many Chinese meals. The donkey meat may have caught up to me because I was sick to my stomach for half the night last night. I actually just think it was all the spicy food I have been eating. I then did about an hours worth of paperwork which was extremely tedious. Last we got some additional information about Sage. We received a picture of Sage the day they brought her in wearing the clothes that they had given to us. We both we teary eyed. We also received her finding add which shows when they tried to find the parents. Very neat.
Last, we had another pizza party. The last one was so much fun that we decided to do it again and we had more fun than we should be allowed.
Sorry, if this is not as entertaining, but writing is really not my thing. While I have the chance I thought I would post a few things that I believe guys would be interested in. These are just random thoughts.
1) You see almost no American made cars here. Most are Honda or Toyota but not brands you see in the states. Most of the taxis are to my surpise either Hyunda Elentra's or Volkswagon Jettas. They must be cheaper here.
2) Staring is not taboo here. It is not unusual if you are on the sidewalk having a conversation for someone to come about a foot from you and just stare. It takes some getting used to because my natural reaction is to always turn to them to see what they need. They just continue to stare. Very weird.
3) All driving signs and stoplights are only a guideline. It is survival of the fittest. They just go until about an inch away and then someone stops. This includes pedestrians and bikes. However, nobody every gets mad because if they are able to cut in front of you it is your fault for letting them!
4) A couple of interesting food items. They do not put Soy sauce on their food. They think it is weird when we ask. They use it only to cook with. They think it is way too salty. Also, they have never heard of Crab Rangoon so it is definately not a Chinse thing. The local specialty here is Pigeon. We passed on it, but I have tried donkey, lamb, and shark. The most disgusting thing I tried was a big hunk of Calamri. It looked like a big fat noodle, but when you bite down juice squishes out and it is very hard to chew. The only time my gag relex was tested.
5) The big sports here are ping pong, badmitten, soccer, and basketball. They have highlights on these every night.
6) They show most of the American movies here, but with Chinese caption at the bottom so we can watch movies on HBO with no problem. They also have ESPN sportscenter with different hosts and highlights.
7) The most popular TV show is "Super Girls" which is basically American Idol with only female singers.
8) The most popular weekend event is karaoke. They like to sing period. At the parks you will see a group of 20 or so singing together impromptu.
9) The vendors here are unbelievably aggressive. They put a toy in Sage's hand we she grabs and then they ask for the money. We also had a guy that walked 3 block with Shannon trying to get her to buy a Rolex for $5. Sometimes it is easier to just pay the $2 or $3 which is the point. Some people beg with their babies.
I am sure I will think of others but these were some random thoughts. Shannon should be posting tomorrow night. Please keep praying for us.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

And we are Off!

We are now moving to our website for our travel posts. Please join us as we meet our Sage!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

We're Leaving on a Jet Plane...

In less than 48 hours we will board our first flight towards our daughter. Wow! We are ready, oh so ready. Not only are the bags packed, the house is scrubbed, the closets are organized, the lists are made for the grandparents, we are ready. I have little moments of panic that creep in. The thought of being away from my children for 18 days, breaks my heart. That is so long! Sure there have been moments this week, MANY moments, that the idea of quiet has made me smile! And I know they are going to have a blast! They are going to get so spoiled and I am so glad that they are going to have 18 days to build forever memories w/ their grandparents. But we will miss them terribly. There are the panic moments of "please let the plane stay in the air as it should". Or please let my luggage make it to China. But those fears are few and the JOY I feel outweighs all of them that is for sure. I am going to hold my baby! For 18 months we have wondered so many things. What does Sage look like? What does she sound like? Does she have hair now? When she smiles, what is that like, or the sound of her laugh? Does she eat food, does she gulp down her bottles? Does she sleep on her belly and who is holding her when she cries? What does she feel like when she is in your arms? Soon there will be no more wondering. She will be in my arms forever and every question will be answered. How Great is our God?
So, Monday we go. Our flight leaves St louis at 2pm. We will be in China on Wednesday at 11am. For you here that is about 10pm here on Tuesday night. We will be updating at our website which is I hope you will join us on our journey to Sage!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

100 Good Wishes Quilt

I copied this off of another blog, lets give it a try...

Sage: "Mommy, my family and friends must not love me as much as Ellies family does."

Me: Sage why would you say that, of course everyone loves you.

Sage: " Well then why does Ellie have 200 wishes on her 100 good wishes quilt and i only have 50?"

So, there you have it, is that enough guilt for you yet?? ;) I do have dreams of getting this quilt made, by someone else of course. But in order to do that, I HAVE to have at least 100 squares, and I am still not there yet! I realize you have only had 18 MONTHS to work on your quilt squares and wishes, and for some, that might not be enough time, but we all now know, She is a SHE and SHE is coming home in just a few more weeks!!! So....If you have no idea what I am talking about, please visit our website and read all the directions for the quilt at If you need our address, just email me at
Unfortunatley right now, there is no way I can exchange squares if you are looking to swap, sorry!
So, when Sage is older and looking through her special book of wishes, will you be in there? ;)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tickets Are Booked!! (updated)

Someone, not sure how, we ended up doing upgraded tickets. I guess leaving someone behind results in something good? ;) So we will be flying in the reclining seats w/ slippers and the works! Here is the plan...

depart St Louis Monday August 14th 1:58PM
Arrive Denver, Co 3:12 PM
Depart Denver 5:21 PM
Arrive Los Angeles , Ca 6:46PM
Depart LA 11:50 PM
Arrive Guangzhou , China 6:20Am (yep, that flight is 15hours and 30 minutes, YIKES!)
Depart Guangzhou, China 8:20AM Arrive Bejing 10:55AM
I don't have all the in flight details, but here is the coming home info...
Depart ChinaWednesday August 30th 9:00PM
Arrive LAX Wednesday August 30th 6:50 PM (do you catch that time/date thing?)
Spend night in LAX
Depart Lax Thursday August 31st 9:20 am
Arrive Denver 1240pm
Depart Denver 3:23Pm

I will post all flight numbers on our website. But if you add it up, we will be flying a total of 22 hours to get to China. And i think it is 32 hours from the time we leave St Louis till we land in Bejing. Think that will wear me out enough that I might actually sleep? ;)

Here We Come Sage!!

We got our appointment we were praying for. We will leave for China on August 14th and return on the 31st. I think. We are working on flights now, but just wanted to pass the word. We should have Sage in our arms around the 20th, we think. So only 11 more nights till we leave!! YEAH!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Updates on our Sage

After writing about our little princess this morning, we got an email w/ updates on her growth! Sadly no pictures, as we had hoped, but information is a good thing!!
Sounds like we have a tiny little girl waiting for us! Sage is 14 pounds and 25 1/2 inchese long. Her little foot is 4 inches!! She also has 2 teeth. I am very thankful for this information on her. Mainly it tells me she is ok. She is still there waiting for us. Don't you wonder how much of that weight is in her cheeks still?

Chen Yi Qiao

I keep meaning to post about this but always run out of time... If you missed Sawyer's birthday pictures, scroll down the next post!
While we were in St Paul, Mark was able to talk to one of his co-workers there, who is Chinese. He showed her Sage's chinese name and asked her about the "symbols" because at the chinese restaraunt the night of referral, our waitress there said what her symbol was did not match. His coworker agreed, but said she would look it up. So she did and said that it was very similar to another symbol so yes Chen was her last name. Which of course we knew because that is where she is, the Chenzhou Childrens Welfare Institue. ANYWAYS... The coworker also told Mark that her name was so beautiful. She said that Yi means always andQiao was the name of 2 beautiful princess during the 3 kingdoms era of China known for their beauty. She said anyone in China would recognize her name as "always beautiful". And her name is said Chen E Chow. Our agency said they probably call her Qiao Qiao. Isn't that SO neat? While we were in St Paul Mark called me to tell me the story and I just wept as I thought of that. Of course we knew she was a princess! But did you get her name by "luck"? Do they just pull it out of a hat and rotate the names? From our other translation I would say it is because they wished her a beautiful life, maybe they thought she was beautiful, as of course we do!
And that is my prayer for Yi Qiao soon to be our Sage. She may not be a "princess" in the China sense, but we know w/ out a doubt she is a princess, because she belongs to our Father above, who is King of Kings! We pray that her life will always be beautiful and that she will be as beautiful inside as we think she is on the outside. I believe that God has big plans for the life of His little princess. I am SO thankful He allowed me to be a part of His amazing plan.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Sawyer!

Today Sawyer is 6! Hard to believe our boy is so old! Sunday we celebrated w/ family and friends with his party at Krispey Kreme. His choice of location. He had a great time! All the kids were able to go back and tour the kitchen, and then the best part, this tub is the donut cake. They fill it w/ donuts, bring out the whip cream, sprinkles chocolate syrup and let the kids make a mess! Sawyer was on sugar high all day and night! The first picture is where they let the kids(and adults!) test making a chocolate glazed sprinkle donut, YUM!! As you can see, Sawyer dipped his ENTIRE hand into the chocolate! At least he did not climb in, which if you know Sawyer, he just might have tried it.
Today we had lunch at Chuck E Cheese w/ my cousin Dawn and her kids Colby & Dalayna. Fun till the bus of 90 kids came in to play. That was our sign to leave! In just a few more weeks Sawyer will start kindergarten! I am thankful I was home to share his birthday with him, however sad to miss that special day of school. However, we know he will do fine and the Grandmas' & Grandpas will spoil them rotten and make the day very special. Next week we are going in to see his desk, put some of his stuff away etc.. Will make me feel a little better.
So... What does TA mean? Well as anything else does in the adoption, WAIT some more!! TA is travel approval, which china had to give us. They are now working on setting up our appointments at the consulate, which is where they tell us in China we can bring Sage home. Once we know the date on that, which we hope to know tomorrow? we will know when we can leave here. We are praying on the week of the 14th still. That would mean only missing 1 week of school. But we really feel like our lifes are on hold right now till we have those dates. Can't book tickets, parents can't book vacation w/ kids, can't make babysitting plans, etc and so on. PLEASE pray that we could get the dates we want, as the most important thing is getting to Sage. And if we go as planned, we would get her on her 9 month birthday!! It would put us home labor day weekend, which would be a nice long weekend for the kids from school.
One last note, the suitcases are getting there w/ packing. This might be a bad sign tho. We weighed our large suitcase tonight, and it weighed in at 42 pounds, that is w/ none of our clothes in it! I think 40 pounds is our limit! I will try to post pictures soon of our packing chaos!! Even w/ all the helpful tips i am getting, I am still obviously overpacking!


Just got word that our travel approval is here!!! Hopefully by days end we will have ALL details!!! Praise the Lord!