Thursday, February 5, 2009


We arrived in Beijing on Feb 4th and were greeted by our GWCA guide at the airport. We met up with a few other families in the airport. I belonged to our adoption agency's online DTC yahoo group and our travel group was from all over the United States. I corresponded with some of these woman for months online and considered them friends. To finally met them in China at the airport, at the hotel, in line at the breakfast buffet was another exciting part of our trip. It is amazing to me how many new friendships that I have formed just from adopting one amazing child. Anyway, we checked into The Plaza Hotel and relaxed the first night. We arrived a day earlier then most of our travel group.

One of the GWCA guides waiting for us at the airport in Beijing

Susan, Emma, and Jim at the airport. After months of chatting with Susan we were finally in China. There daughter was from the same province as Katie so we spent the whole trip together.

The next day(Feb 5th) we met up with a few other families that also arrived a day early and went on our own tour around Beijing. We went to an indoor flea market area and did some shopping. Then we went to the Temple of Heaven. We were not able to go into the Temple because they were getting it ready for the 2008 Olympics. That night we went to see the Peking Acrobats show. It was amazing. When we arrived at the show we were sitting behind a Chinese woman and she seemed excited to see Americans. She said to Dan in English "How are you?" and Dan said "fine". Well the lady said something in Mandarin and all of her friends got hysterical. She kept turning around and looking at Dan and laughing. Dan said maybe someday he will find out what the woman was laughing at. I think she was just happy to try her English on an Amercian. The rest of our travel group also arrived on this day. We were so excited to see Kate and Jim when they arrived in China.

At the Temple of Heaven

Dan and Kevin played "hacky sack" with some of the locals.

I was so happy when Katie and Jim arrived!

Acrobat Show

I was able to take a picture of the lady who was laughing at Dan. She was happy to let me take her picture.

Feb 6th was the day we toured with all the families that were in Beijing for GWCA. We split up into province groups for our tour. It was snowing in Beijing. We toured Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, and then climbed The Great Wall. The Wall was very steep and very slippery because of the snow. Dan went off with another couple from our group and climbed to the top. He left me in the dust. I stayed with a few girls that I had FINALLY met in person after months of chatting online.

Our guide Cindy. This woman was amazing. I didn't want to leave her after 2 weeks. I can't say enough wonderful things about Cindy.

Tiananmen Square

The Forbidden City

On The Great Wall with Susan and Gina


We had a wonderful time touring Beijing but we were ready to move on and travel to Hubei Province to adopt our daughter. We were so close. I couldn't believe the day finally arrived.

On Feb 7, 2006 all the families with GWCA met in the lobby. We split into province groups and headed to the airport to fly to the province of our daughters. I said goodbye to all of my friends that were flying to other provinces to adopt there daughters. We would met up again in Guangzhou.

Gotcha Day morning...leaving for Hubei

Jim and Katie leaving for Lia's province

Saying goodbye to Kevin and Carol. They were leaving for Mia's province.

We arrived in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Stay tuned for Gotcha Day moments....

I didn't have alot of pictures of the 11 families we traveled with at this point in the trip. We REALLY got to know our travel group after we arrived in Wuhan. We had the most amazing travel group. I will tell you all about our travel group over the next week during my walk down memory lane.


Sue said...

I love seeing your pictures. Oh what an amazing two weeks that was.
Did we not just have the best group? and Cindy,,she was like a gift from heaven on our journey, we'll never forget her either.
The story about the ladies cracking up at Dan made me laugh...what a hoot.
We sure share a unique unforgettable experience!

Happy Gotcha Day! Love ya!

Sue : )

Missy said...

Oh I love these Jen! The pics and the documentation are great. The snow is sooo beautiful in these pics...makes China look even more magical. I can't wait for the rest!

Kate said...

Uhhhh...You HAD to do it didn't you??? I believe I might have been the only idiot to take that wieght limit seriously...and I am wearing pretty much the same thing...or some variation the whole trip....perhaps you could have identified me as "Lola Smith" or something or rahter...I'm just saying...also didn't take the hair straightener....all things I promise to amend during our second tour of duty I can promise.....

Love the shots...and Happy Family Day my of the most poignant moments for me was saying good bye to you and Dan...and Kevin and his mom in the pre-dawn darkness of the hotel Lobby beofre we boarded busses for the airport...knowing today was the day we would all become families...still gives me goosebumps.

Love you lots...


Laura said...

Happy Family Day. The snow is beautiful. I still can't believe that we were there the same time. We missed the snow, we were there the day before. We were always one day off. Can't wait to see when Katie Min-Min was placed in your arms.


Jboo said...

So sweet -- can see how excited you all are there! It's fun to go back and relive it, isn't it!
We just saw the Chinese National Acrobats here last night -- fabulous show!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

my4andnomore said...

I am so very much enjoying your walk down memory lane, It gives me such hope. I look forward to you and Kate and others to be come great friends on your too second journey and our first to meet our beautiful Daughters. Keep the posts coming. Amber