Monday, September 15, 2008

Our LONG journey to China

We left the house at 6:30. After 20 minutes, I realized I had left Lilly's sippy cup on the kitchen counter full of milk for the car ride. That was not a good way to start, but David quickly reminded me to put things in perspective- it could have been our passports at home on the counter. We tried a gas station on the way to the airport- no luck. When we arrived at the airport, we cut the plastic lock tie and got out the sippy cup that I had brought for Ellie. Then David purchased TSA locks and then we were ready! I'll be hunting for a sippy cup for Ellie at the Wal-mart in Kunming. Above, Lilly and I waiting in Columbia to board the first of 3 planes for the trip.

Fulton and Lilly in Columbia watching the planes. They both were really excited to fly on a plane.

Hanging out in Detroit waiting on our flight. The plane behind us is the one we flew on to China.

Not looking quite as fresh after the 12 hour flight from Detroit to Tokoyo, Japan. It wasn't too bad actually. Lilly and Fulton did great. Lilly slept a 6 hour stretch, and Fulton also slept for several hours in a row. Can't say the same for David and me, but we were just so grateful that the children slept as much as they did. A 5 year old boy from Hong Kong sat across from us. He and Fulton played together and had fun "going on walks". Finally, we arrived at our hotel in Guangzhou at 11:30 PM on Sunday night- China time or 11:30 EST on Sunday morning for a total trip, door to door, of 29 hours. The guys slept well once we calmed Fulton and Lilly down. As we were walking to our hotel room so ready to rest our weary heads, Fulton says "It feels like daytime!" We quickly said "It may feel like daytime, but we are going to bed." We did go to bed shortly thereafter, but Lilly and I were both awake around 4:30 or 5:00 AM-couldn't see the clock. She did great and stayed very quiet next to me (she and Fulton had been too wired to sleep together) until the boys started stirring. We were all up at 6 and if you know David and me well- that rarely happens if we can help it. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Our first meal in China. The breakfast buffet was quite tasty, and we were all grateful to have something other than airplane food!

The hotel was very nice, and Lilly loved the Chinese lanterns so we thought it would make a good backdrop for a picture.

After breakfast, Lilly and I had to try out the carrier for Ellie. Since we are thinking that Ellie is close to the same size as Lilly, we wanted to make sure it would work. It did! (Thanks Kim for letting me borrow it again)

The plane that brought us to Kunming! Yeah! We are now in the city where Ellie is. It is such a good feeling to finally be that much closer to our child.

This is shortly after arriving at our hotel. As I was organizing our stuff and David was trying to set the computer up (so he could see who won the USC vs Georgia game), Lilly enjoyed watching a movie (Thanks Marybeth for letting us borrow your portable DVD player)!

Fulton didn't take long to find the remote control. This hotel (Grand Park Hotel) has TV in English unlike the hotels on our last trip to China. That is a good thing! Many Chinese people have been touching Fulton's hair. One guy asked if it was dyed. So funny!
So far so good! We are very grateful for the many prayers for safe and smooth travel for us and most grateful to our Father in heaven for providing it and bringing us here to adopt Ellie. We don't know much yet as our guide from the agency has not yet arrived at the hotel. We met another couple from Oregon who are with a different agency, and they said that they were told that the children were still w/ their foster families. We had always heard that the Kunming orphanage had the children brought out of ther foster families several days before the adoption day. That was a concern for us to think of Ellie having to grieve the loss of her foster family in the orphanage with no one in particular to comfort her. However, that also means that she will go straight from the foster family to us. I'm sure it is going to be very difficult for her and us as we try to comfort her. Please pray before you go to bed as we will get her tomorrow although we are unsure of the exact time.
Shelby, Katie, and Ethan we miss you LOTS! Thanks to my cousin, Sheri, for camping out at our house for this first week taking care of them. Sheri, sorry I forgot to get the pack-n-play down. I hope you found it in the attic.


Sharon said...

CHINA!!!! Praise God you are IN KUNMING!!!! I am just sitting here crying because I know how long you have waited for this and prayed for a safe, uneventful trip over. I am so happy for you all!

Jan and David, Granny Mae said to tell you she is thinking about you. I forgot to tell her you were gone and when I asked everyone to pray for you during church she turned around and exclaimed, "They left already!?!?!" Lots of prayers going up for all of you.

Tell Fulton that everyone wanted to touch Brice's hair too. He will get used to it.

Cute picture of Lilly with the lanterns! I know how much she loves balloons. Maybe she thinks those are really awesome balloons! LOL

David, sorry our Gamecocks didn't win. :(

Jan, can you believe that you are finally this close to Ellie??? Can't wait to see new pictures of that sweet little face!

Hugs and love to all of you from all of us!


P.S. Shelby and Katie, I know you will read this. I know you miss your mom and dad and Fulton & Lilly. Call us if we can do anything for you.

Kim said...

Hallelujah!!!! You are there! I have been waiting for this post! I have chills with excitement. After all of the waiting and all of our tears just look where we are, Jan. It makes me cry. I will be thinking and praying for you all daily. Love, Kim

Kim said...

Praising God and rejoicing with you over your safe arrival in China!! God is so good! I too am in tears, overwhelmed by it all. We are praying for all of you, especially as you meet Ellie tomorrow. We are asking God to comfort her as she grieves and to give you extra love and comfort for her. We know God will do this. He has been so faithful during this process. May He be glorified in your obedience.
We love you,
The Sylvia family

Cyndi said...

So glad you guys are in China safely. I know you are so excited to be there. I love the picture of you with Lilly in the carrier, she is too cute. I will be praying for everything to go smooth for you all. Lots of hugs and can't wait to see Ellie.

The Smith's said...


Glad you are all finally in Kunming. I wish that we were back there with you right now. Glad that the kids did well with all the flights.

I can't wait to see the pictures of Gotcha day tomorrow.

Enjoy every minute.


Mary Beth said...

We are so glad that you all made it safely. We are praying for you and will be especially tonight and tomorrow as you meet Ellie. We can't wait to see pictures of her.

Grace said to please tell Lilly hello and she hopes Lilly likes the Strawberry Shortcake DVD.

Love to you all,
Mary Beth & family

Cousin Sheri said...

So happy to see pics and to hear your voice tonite, Jan! We will say prayers before bedtime for Ellie Jean and y'all.
Love ya!

Cousin Sheri said...

Hey Mom, Dad, Fulton, and Lilly I am so glad you made it to China.Be safe.I love you so much.I miss you alot.Katie

Cousin Sheri said...

Hi Mom, Dad, Fulton and Lilly,I miss you so much! I love you! Thanks for calling!I am praying so hard for ya'll and for Ellie Jean!Only 11 more days!Call me tonight before ya'll go to bed(if you can).Tell everyone that I said hey!Love,Shelby

Sharon said...

I don't know if I will be able to sleep tonight! I'm sure I'll check in at least once during the night.
The girls said special prayers for all of you again tonight. They are excited about seeing her pictures of Ellie and Lilly tomorrow if you can post.

Hugs and prayers,

Sharon said...

Call me if there is anything we can do for you while you are with the girls and Ethan. Shelby should be able to find our phone number in the phone book if you need us. If she can't find it, tell Katie to call Hayley to get it.
We are here if you need anything!

Sharon :)

Bobby and Jennifer Barbee and family said...

I could hardly sleep all night thinking about you all. By now I'm sure you have FINALLY been united with your precious daughter. Praying, praying, praying!!!