Monday, November 14, 2011

November Is National Adoption Awareness Month

Hello All,
you've probably gotten a little tired of waiting for an update.  It's been almost 10 months since our last post.  Wow! I can hardly believe it.  I feel that maybe I'm rested up enough to share a little about what's happening with the Goudelocks and I think this information that I ran across on another blog, is a good way to start. 

Ever Considered Adopting? Read These Stats.

Statistics in adoption are staggering - the number of children needing families, the number of children who will die without a family, the number of children dying compared to the number who find families will shock you out of your pants. Literally.

If you have ever considered adopting - or even if you haven't, perhaps you should. Read this post from Forever Family and see if it makes you think twice about adoption. To give you some background, the family waited 135 days for their LOA. What that means is this: They were matched with a child. They sent away their LOI (Letter of Intent to adopt their child) and then waited 135 days for the Chinese government to send them a Letter of Approval stating that the family is allowed to adopt their child. 135 days is not the norm. At all. Take a look at these numbers to find out what happened to the world's orphaned children in the 135 days they waited for their LOA...

Some sad facts about Adoption and 135 days...

•a child is born every 8 seconds, which means 10800 children are born every day, which means 1,458,000 children were born in the 135 days while we were waiting for our LOA

•6,000,000 children die of starvation every year, which means 2,220,000 children have died from starvation alone while we waited for our LOA

•762,000 MORE children die in 135 days than those who are born

•there are still roughly 147,000,000 children waiting for adoption

•if one child could be adopted every hour, it would still take 6,125,000 days to adopt all the children who currently need families

•if one child could be adopted every minute, it would still take 102,100 days to adopt all the children who currently need families

•yet, it would only take 26,045 days for all the children needing a family to die of starvation

How can our hearts not be moved to try to change this?! Our joy is a stark contrast to the reality which so many people are facing in the world today. So when people ask, "Why are you so excited about a simple LOA?" ... this is why, because our son is not going to be one of the 147 MILLION orphans for any longer.

~ Courtesy of Forever Family - the Berzenji Family

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I will post a few pictures today since I didn’t yesterday. We went back to Lucy’s the night before last and the girls were tired.
Yesterday was a free day and we just walked, talked and spent money. You know that is my favorite thing to do. We bought the girls some great gifts that they will treasure forever.  

We went to the US Consulate today. There were some families that went yesterday and thought that it was just a formality to take the oath, but it was more than that for me. The United States was built on a man’s word. You shook someone’s hand and promised that you would do what you said. Today, Georgia and I raised our right hand and promised in front of a US Consulate that we would take Presley as our own child and give her the best life that we could afford to give her, and we promise to always be those parents. I thought about when I say the “Pledge of Allegiance”. Those words mean more to me than I could ever express to anyone I talk to. This child is mine, I will give everything in my soul to make sure she has a good life and I hope that she will be better off than me. I would give everything I have for my two girls. My family means more to me than anything I can imagine.   

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We had a free day today but after today we are busy the rest of the week. This morning we slept in a little late and then had breakfast. I went to the bank to exchange currency and was there for about 25 minutes. I can’t explain the differences in the culture that we face between here and there. You have to get a number and wait in line until it is your turn to have the teller. Then it takes about 10 minutes to exchange US dollars to Yuan.

We just walked around and ordered some chops and picked up laundry that we had dropped off. We went to the park and let the girls play before heading back to the hotel.

Georgia tried to order pizza from Pizza Hut but they had a communication problem. I went down to the lobby and got them to get Papa John’s on the phone ad had an awesome pizza ordered to the room. Kendall is sitting in my lap eating her 2nd piece.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Guangzhou Museum Day

I had to run the kids off my lap so I could post really quickly so you will have to bear with me if this is short and sweet. Gi-Gi and I am trying real hard to get out and spend some time in the outdoors but the hotel room is small so we are sort of all up on each other.

Yesterday we went to the museum here in Guangzhou that was built for Chen Family, who were the “Smith’s” of their times. It was the biggest family in China. There were many artifacts that the children could break and a few stores that kept Georgia busy. It was nice to get out of the hotel and ride through the city. We stopped at the “supermarket”, which was a department store for about 35 minutes and bought the girls a few things. Last night we had the Chinese buffet at the hotel and I was not impressed. I searched for fried rice and boneless chicken for an hour till I gave up. The Chinese food we eat is made for Americans, so ENJOY IT!

Today we went to breakfast and then met our group for a trip to the “Friendship” Park. It was a great time for a couple of hours to get out and walk, talk and take pictures. When we returned, Presley had to have he PPD read at the clinic and she past with flying colors.

Gi-Gi took us shopping for a while and then back to the hotel we went. Mattel has created a room in the lobby of the hotel for children adopted from China to play in and donate all the toys they make to furnish it so the children will have a place in the hotel to play. We spent a couple of hours there and then to the room to get ready for supper. I chose Lucy’s because the rest of our group was going to eat Chinese food again. OK, we are off again. We love you all and will be home soon. Daddy, be ready to go to Happy China. You’re buying!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Guangzhou Day #1

Our first day in Guangzhou was again a busy day. We arrived last night in time to eat supper and then sleep. This morning we awoke seeing the sun through the curtains knowing we had to eat breakfast and be at the elevator for visa photos at 09:00. We rushed through it even though we had a malfunction with the drain on the bathtub. We hauled buggy and got downstairs to have a quick breakfast and Kendall to scarf down her second piece of French toast.

We headed downtown to get a visa photo made for Presley. She was definitely a part of our family because she went right through without a problem. Some of the families haven’t been as lucky as we have been with their children. We then went on to the clinic to have Press cleared by the Doctors.

We came back to the hotel and Presley took a long nap until it was time for us to walk around the market again. We are doing great. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and we will be home soon.

Update from Guangzhou

My mother is not too happy with me for not posting the last few days so I better get her some information so she will know how her son is doing. I know she is concerned more about me than her grand-babies. Ha! Ha!

Thursday we spent the day around the hotel in the morning and awaited our guide to pick us up to go to the park. It was nice to relax and walk around the park even though it was in the middle of the city of Nanchang. It still seemed miles away from the hustle of the everyday life in China. Kendall enjoyed it because she got to play on a playground and we bought some fish food and she fed the fish from a bridge overlooking the pond.

Friday morning was a travel day so we all got up, went for breakfast and then headed back to the room to get packed.  It seems like the preparation for an hour and a half flight takes the whole day. We took one more picture of Wal-Mart in Nanchang and headed on to the airport. We arrived after dark in Guangzhou and took about an hour van ride to the White Swan Hotel. This is a famous hotel widely known for adopting families to stay as well as dignitaries from all nations. I guess I fit both of those, Georgia may not agree with that though. We got checked in to the room and went in search for FOOD! After a very short walk, we decided on Lucy’s! Lucy’s is a famous restaurant here on Shamian Island to the westerners because they have license plates from the states all over the walls, domestic beer from the states, hamburgers and French fries. They even had a bottle of ketchup on the table, something I haven’t seen in almost 2 weeks. “Thank you Lord”.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another post from today

Hi! Mark is asleep so I thought I would say hello to all of you that aren't on FB.  I took a long nap today, so here I am, all alone, eating tomato flavored pringles.  Can you believe that we are all the way in China and several nights we have had ramen noodles for supper? I know it's strange, but the girls love them.  We have such a large breakfast (minus the ham) that I haven't needed much else throughout the day.  Well, except for my tomato chips. 
Things are going very well.  Presley is adjusting and bonding well to both Mark and me.  She has cried little tears a couple of times and big tears tonight.  Her feelings were hurt and that can be a good sign too. 
She does have a little game to play with me called "spitting".  She does this just so I can wipe or pat her mouth.  She also likes to blow her nose BEFORE I put the tissue to it.  Both these things are trying to me.  So, I must put my foot down right away. LOL.
Presley has given us many hugs, but no kisses yet.  I think it's just because she doesn't know how.  I'm working on it.  She is very smart.  She has learned many english words already and counting to 5. She enjoys looking at her book and coloring the pillowcases.  (I wonder how much that will cost me?) I had a 15 minute conversation with the housekeeper today about the washcloths that we never got yesterday.  She was looking all around the room for them and I kept telling her there were none.  Very serious communication problem.  We'll probably get charged for them. 
I hope to have more pictures of the city tomorrow.  I'm truly amazed at how different this city is from Wuhan where we traveled to meet Kendall.  I just can not explain it.  I wish that I could capture every moment.  As different as it is from what we know, I love it because it's where my daughters were born.  It's their culture and we are proud of it. 
I'm looking forward to the rest of our time here.  It is truly an honor to share this time with Kendall and Presley in their homeland. 
Love you all.  Thanks again for following along and keeping OUR home fresh in our minds. 

Nanchang 1/12

The last couple of days have been pretty busy for the family of 4! We all went downstairs yesterday morning and had the buffet breakfast at the hotel. Georgia and I were arguing over which hotel was better, this one in Nanchang or the Chang An in Beijing. I said the Chang An. The breakfast sealed the deal for me. I ate a piece of ham and as I chewed it something told me it was bad but I hade swallowed it by then.

We took a walk down the street to, where else, Wal-Mart. It was about a 15 minute walk and the streets we had to cross did have somewhat of a legal crosswalk. I have to admit, I enjoyed the time that we spent together as a family but not all the double-takes that the public gave us. We stand out like a sore thumb here seeing that when we go walking, we are the only Americans in a sea of Chinese citizens. When we returned to the hotel, our guide, Angel, was waiting to take us to the notarization office and the Tengwang Pavilion. We got our paperwork notarized for the adoption and then went to the Pavilion. It was founded in 653 A.D. There have been many Emperors that have spent time overlooking the Ganjiang River from the 5th and 6th floor that we toted Presley to through the staircase and outside steps leading to the Pagoda.

We returned to the hotel and on the way the “HAM” hit me! I had abdominal pain for 24 hours! Georgia was smart enough to bring some medications to keep me afloat throughout the ordeal and I think I am finally over it. We got up this morning and had breakfast and came back up to the room and we all crashed for about 3-4 hours. The trip, changes and life in China had finally caught up with us. The nap was fantastic!

Kendall and I went swimming in the pool today and then I walked back to the RT-Mart for some snacks and noodles for supper. We are safe and sound in the room now for the night. Georgia is washing clothes in the bathtub and Kendall and I are posting on the computer. Presley is into everything in the room and Mommy had to get on to her a minute ago for spitting. Kendall cries when Presley gets in trouble too.