Friday, February 27, 2009

Missy......I didn't forget!!!

My bloggy buddy Missy from "Live Big and Laugh Often" gave me this award about a month ago. At the time I just started blogging about our journey to adopt Katie. I made that the focus of my blog for the last month.

Missy's blog is one of the first blogs I started to follow after I became addicted to blogging. Right from the start I could tell that I would love to meet Missy in person someday! I just KNOW we would have a blast together. She is a warm, caring, and kind-hearted person. I love reading about her sister Paige and I enjoy looking at Missy's beautiful photos! Missy~I can't wait until the day we can chat in person.

Most of the blogs that Missy gave awards to are some of my favorites. So, I will pass on the awards to some of my other favorite blogs.
The RULES~Pass on to 5 other fabulous blogs and tag the blog that sent the award to you!

KATE from Livin Lavida Lia~Missy did tag Kate but I JUST had to shout out to Kate too. Kate and I became friends before we adopted our daughters. Kate is the reason I blog. Kate has such a wonderful way with words. I am in awe of her ability to express herself with words. I started my blog after being inspired to do so from Kate. I love to read about Lia and look at all the gorgeous pictures Kate has been taken of Miss Lia. Thank you Kate for inspiring me to blog. Thank you for being a wonderful friend.

Sue from Alexa's World~ Sue and Robert traveled with Dan and I to adopt our daughters. We will forever share a bond. I love reading what's new with Alexa. We were lucky enough to have a reunion with our friends in Oct 2007. We are hoping to see Sue, Robert, and Alexa again this year.

Laura from Enjoying Emma Everyday~ Laura and I met at the supermarket on a summer day in June of 2006 just a few months after we had both adopted our daughters. Little did we know that we were both in China at the SAME time and our daughters were both from Hubei! We live 10 minutes from each other. Our families became fast friends. I enjoy reading what's new with Emma.

Tamara from Cancer Sucks even with Lilly Pulitzer on your side~ Tamara and I met at the hair salon. We have the same hair stylist. While I sat in the salon with the dye on my hair I heard Tamara telling our stylist Judy that she blogged about her that day. I started to ask Tamara about her blog and told her that I blog too. She is a stay at home Mom and a cancer survivor with a GREAT attitude. I have such a soft spot in my heart for cancer patients. I was a oncology nurse for almost 10 years. I worked with inpatients and also in an outpatient infusion room administering chemotherapy. Tamara's attitude is infectious and I really enjoy reading her blog.

Ivy from Hunan Spice~I met Ivy on the land of blog and was lucky enough to met Ivy and her family in person. We live about 30 minutes from each other. I enjoyreading about Kira. I love to look at Ivy's photos on her newest blog Shutterbug. Ivy's is also running a fundraising blog to help bring Jailynn.

Thanks for the award Missy!!! I am truly touched!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcome Home Sweet Katie

Aunt Karen tying the "Welcome Home" balloons on our mailbox before coming to pick us up at the airport.

We arrived at Newark, NJ airport about 6pm. We got our bags and went through immigration with no problem. We had the sweetest airport moment. Our family was waiting for us with a sign that read "Welcome Home Sweet Katie". Dan had the video camera to capture the moment and I had Katie. We didn't take many pictures at the airport or at Candela's afterwards. So most of these pictures are courtesy of my Mom who had her friend Liz come and take pictures at the airport.

Waiting for us to arrive....Aunt Nancy, AuntDolores, Aunt Karen, Mom-Mom Maureen, Mimi, Uncle Bill, Aunt Judy, Uncle Jeff. In the front row the kids....Katie's cousins.....William, Brady, Bailey, and Molly.

Katie meeting her family at the airport

We weren't the only ones having an airport moment. Karen meeting her daughter Mia. Remember Kevin and his Mom Carol traveled with us while Karen stayed home with there daughter Maddie.

Two couples who met in a social worker class a year and a half prior finally home with there babies.

Katie Homecoming at Candela's
We went right from the airport to Candela's for dinner. Remember this post.

When we got home there was a surprise waiting for us....a LADYBUG Christmas tree. We got Katie's referral on December 9, 2005. We bought Christmas presents for her and so did our family. My Mom and a couple of her friends from work put up this Christmas tree and decorated it with wallet size pictures of us in China glued to old Christmas cards. They topped the tree with a babydoll with ladybug wings and used a ladybug blanket for a tree skirt. So cute!

Picture of the ornaments.

After we got home, Dan walked Katie room to room showing her our home. Dan showed Katie her room and her crib. He tried to see if she would like her crib at home since she didn't like the crib in China. Well she didn't!

The next day, the tree with Katie's presents underneath.

The day after we come home we had a little welcome home party with family and friends. Karen did a great job with the cake and food for the party.

Katie opening her presents.

This picture makes me laugh. Katie checking out her new family.

We had a wonderful homecoming. Our friends and family couldn't wait to meet Katie Min Min.

I really enjoyed walking down memory lane and blogging about our trip to adopt Katie Min Min.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The rest of our time in Guangzhou

February 15, 2006 we had the famous "Red Couch" photo at the White Swan. We also had a group photo in front of the waterfall in the White Swan.

Family Red Couch photo

Hubei Girls!!

I love these Red Couch photos

Our Travel Group

Todd, Erika, and Madison

Ray, Angel, and Samantha

One Happy Family

Susan, Jim, Kara, and Emma

Robert, Sue, and Alexa

Jacob, Lisa, and Sophie

With our guide Cindy. She was AMAZING! I can't say enough about her.

We had the best time with Jim and Susan's daughter Emma. She is the sweetest little girl. I was lucky enough see Emma again when I went to Georgia.

We also went on a tour of The Chen Family Temple and The Six Banyan Temple. Katie received a Buddist blessing at the Temple. Then we went to a nice market to buy Jade and Porcelain. I bought a circle of life Jade pendent for Katie and myself. I also bought a Jade Rooster pendent for Katie since she was born in the year of the Rooster. I bought a beautiful porcelan tea set to give to Katie when she is older. I have it displayed in our kitchen and I will give it to her when she has her own home someday.

The Chen Family Temple

The Six Banyan Temple

The Buddist Blessing


View from dinner. I can't remember the name of this restaurant but we had dinner with some couples from our group at this riverside restaurant.

Feb 16, 2006

Meeting up with some of the other Mom's from our GWCA travel Group. Erika, Carolyn with Mac, Me with Katie, and Andrea with Gwen. Carolyn and Andrea's daughter's were from Guangdong Province. They were at the White Swan for 10 days so they were able to give us some shopping tips.

We went with Todd and Erika to the pearl market. The pearl market was very overwhelming. So many little shops with pearls. I bought Katie a pearl necklace, bracelet, and earrings to give to her when she gets older. Of course I got pearls for myself too.

Dan with Katie outside of the US Consulate. We were not allowed to take pictures inside of the consulate. It was a beautiful and emotional ceremony. We swore Katie in as a US Citzen with 60 other families from our GWCA adoption group.
Our group back on the bus after the Consulate appointment. Did I say already how GREAT our travel group was?????

Our last dinner together as a group at the Cow and Bridge restaurant. A toast to Cindy our guide. I started to tear up looking at this photos. It was an amazing end to an amazing trip.


Me, Emma, and Katie
Katie back at the Hotel

February 17, 2006 our last day in Guangzhou. Most of our group left this day. We stayed an extra day in Guangzhou. We were flying home the next day with Kevin, Carol, and Mia. I made the most of our free day with last minute shopping. I did so much shopping during our time in Guangzhou that I had to buy an extra suitcase at Sherry's place for $10.

We ran into Kate and Lia while shopping

With Jordan from "Jordan's".

Sketch of Katie's picture we had done at Sherry's Place

Saying goodbye to Cindy, Todd, Erika, and Madison. We were the last family left in Guangzhou from our travel group.

Katie and Mommy

February 18, 2006
Heading home!!! We flew back to Beijing and then flew from Beijing back to Newark, NJ.

Kevin and Mia in the airport

Katie and Mommy in the airport. Look at me I am hands free!

Katie and Grace Ingram. We also flew with Carolyn and family from Beijing to Newark. Carolyn, Kevin, Mackenzie, and Grace Ingram then flew from Newark to Altanta GA. When we went to visit Carolyn and family in GA, Katie had the best time playing with Grace Ingram.

Passing the time in the airport. Mackenzie and I playing "Miss Mary Mack".

Heading home!!! It was 6pm China time when we flew out of Beijing to Newark. Katie sleep almost the whole flight. We were very lucky.

Well that's my walk down memory lane to tell about our journey to adopt Katie Min Min. My last post will be about our wonderful homecoming.