Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Sorry I’ve taken almost a week off of updating our blog.  As you can imagine, we had a whirlwind travel adventure getting Maya home.  We spent our last day in Guangzhou taking it easy and packing up all our loot!  Our flight left Guangzhou for Korea right on time.  Maya was a little rambunctious but we figured better that flight than the really long one.  We had time to kill in Korea so we went to the Asiana Airlines club and relaxed for a while.  Everyone got a kick of out Maya.  Just before we boarded our flight for Chicago, Maya crashed out.  She slept through the take off and for the next 30 minutes.  There was too much commotion for her to sleep that long.  We had dinner and got her in her pajamas before they dimmed the lights.  She ended up sitting in John’s lap and watched Toy Story 3.  I think it was her first movie ever!  She looked so cute pointing at all the characters.  She finally laid with me in my seat and fell asleep.  I moved seats and Maya slept pretty much for the rest of the flight.  She woke up about 1 hour before we landed in Chicago.  She was the bell of the ball on our flight.  All the flight attendants loved her.  I woke up at one point during the flight and 3 of them were hovering over her tucking pillows around her and watching her sleep.  As we were walking off the plane, a Korean businessman said to us, “I didn’t even know there was a baby on this flight!  She’s so good!”  John and I just looked at each other and laughed.  It’s a good thing he didn’t see her at the Nanchang airport a week before!  By the time we got through customs in Chicago and got Maya’s paperwork situated, John and I were whipped.  Not Maya!  She was ready to roll.  Our flight took off a little late from Chicago but we finally were on the last leg of our long journey.  Maya made some new friends with the people sitting behind us on the flight.  When I told them we just adopted her from China, the rest of the people around us perked up and started asking us all sorts of questions.  Once we landed, I couldn’t get off that plane fast enough.  I was beyond excited to see Madeline & William.  Of course, true to Kris, I immediately started crying when I saw them and got them in my arms.  2 weeks is far too long to be away from your children!  Maya didn’t know what the heck was going on and she wasn’t too happy when she saw me kissing and hugging 2 other kids.  My mom, mother-in-law and father-in-law were all there to greet us.  Maya wanted nothing to do with anyone and didn’t like anyone else to touch our bags.  Once we got her in her car seat I knew we’d be in for a long crying session.  She probably cried for about 30 minutes then crashed out.  Madeline & Will were fully prepared for her crying so they took it in stride.  When we got home, Maya woke up and we gave her the grand tour of her new home.  Lola scared her a bit but thankfully, the dog pretty much kept her distance.  The kids played with Maya and we handed out their gifts from China.  We finally all crashed out at 1:30 AM.  Needless to say, it was one bizarre Christmas Eve. 

Getting back on track with Detroit time has been a challenge, but we’re managing.  Maya is adapting well and loves her house.  When you see her cruising around on her princess scooter, you would think she’s always lived here.  She’s getting more comfortable with Lola every day.  She even is starting to put her face up to Lola’s to get a kiss.  The kids play with her nonstop, which is going to be hard for Maya and I when they go back to school.  She’s finally gotten used to her car seat and actually likes sitting in it.  Now if I can just get her to sit in a stroller and shopping cart!  We took her on her first Target shopping trip.  I had to hold her the entire time.  Thankfully I had Madeline and her friend Jade with me to help out.  Maya was so excited to pick out the Toy Story 3 DVD and some snacks!  I was happy to just shop in a normal store after being in China for so long.  We love our newest addition and can’t wait to see her blossom even more.  Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers while we were in China.  I will do some more updates as time goes on.  Happy New Year everyone! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The past couple days have been nonstop action.  Even in our down time we seem to keep busy.  We went to a park with the Roberts Family.  Maya LOVED playing on the play structures.  She was a little leery at first but once she watched all the other kids, she went full out.  She loves going down the slides.  What we get a kick out of is watching her interact with other Chinese children.  She talks to them and tries to tell them where to go and what to do.  I guess we know who ruled the roost at the orphanage.  It was nice to see her run around and get dirty like kids should do when they go to a park.  Leaving the park was a little traumatic for her (what isn't when you're 2 and want your way?) but we got through it.  We've done some shopping and a little exploring.  John and I have gotten to know some of the shop keepers.  It's funny when we walk by and they say, "Hi Maya!"  I woke up yesterday with what John refers to as "Buddha's Revenge"!  The stomach bug has hit a lot of people on this trip and I thought maybe I was going to get lucky and skate through this place....Not so!!!  I hardly ate a thing yesterday and just kept drinking water with vitamin supplements.  Thank goodness we brought Cipro with us (an antibiotic made just for this lovely condition).  Maya has proved to be VERY strong willed.  When she has a temper tantrum, look out.  They last 45 minutes and you just need to ride the storm.  The funny thing is as soon as she's done, she'll look up at you and give you a huge smile.  Today was the big day for the group photo on the infamous red couch at our hotel.  I put Maya in her silk Chinese dress (that she picked out thank you) and once it was buttoned up all the way to her neck she decided she hated the dress!  So, I put her in a regular dress and we went to the meeting area.  Put it this way, when you see the group photo she is perched on the back of the couch with me holding her up (hiding below).  We got a few shots in and that was it.  We went to the US. Consulate this afternoon to have our oath-taking ceremony (yes I got teary eyed) and to sign off on the vaccine waiver (gladly) in the presence of a public notary.  We will receive Maya's visa tomorrow and be on our way Friday morning!!!  Whoo Hoo!  Heading home from the consulate was a bit stressful.  It was at Maya's nap time and guess who had a melt down the ENTIRE trip home (30 minutes)?  I had to hold her while she thrashed and screamed.  All I can say is thank god for the wonderful people we are traveling with who are so kind and sympathetic.  Maya of course fell asleep 5 minutes before we arrived at the hotel.  We're exhausted and ready to go home.  It's been a long journey but wow....China really is an amazing place.  I truly hope Maya will be proud of the country she comes from.  It's beautiful and the people are so kind.  Needless to say, I miss my kids, my dog and my house!  And of course my wonderful friends and family!  

Monday, December 20, 2010


We had an eventful day in Guanghzou yesterday. We got on the bus with our group to head to the Buddhist temple. Maya was acting quiet so I assumed she was tired. Nope! She threw up her entire breakfast all over herself and me. Yuck! Thankfully there were so many moms around me that everyone pitched in with wipes, sanitizer gel & baggies. I was worried at first that we would have to take a taxi back to our hotel because Maya would continue to throw up. However, she started acting like the little firecracker she is and all seemed well. The Buddhist temple was really cool. The monks came out and did some chanting so that was neat to see. Maya didn't know who they heck they were and just stared at them like they walked off another planet. After the temple we headed to the Pearl Market. My god it was insane. It was like walking in a basement filled with 1000 pearl and bead vendors. We bought a few things then headed outside for some air. We were happy to get back to the hotel to give Maya a much needed bath and change of clothes. Maya and I took a long power nap after her bath while John went with the group over the bridge to what he calls a freak show. He saw people buying scorpions & snakes (to eat of course - ewwww)! John was happy that Maya and I stayed at the hotel because he knows I don't have a stomach for that kind of stuff. He showed me the pictures he took and I think I made the right decision!
I woke up today with a horrible cold. I knew I would catch something eventually. We decided to skip the tour today and get some much needed rest. Our guide, Helen, who is so sweet, stopped by the room before she had to leave for the tour to bring me cold medicine. After breakfast we decided to walk around the outside of the hotel and check out the grounds. Maya is in complete awe of things. She loves watching the boats on the Pearl River. I taught her to say "boat"! It comes out "boa" (no T), but she's getting it! We did a little shopping next we're off to get the results of her TB test.
We're counting the days to get home. We miss Madeline and Will so much and can't wait for them to see their little sister. Note to Madeline - she already got into my makeup. Get ready!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Our last day in Nanchang was nuts.  John contracted food or water poisoning or something.  He was beyond sick.  We're talking bedridden sick.  So, that left everything up to me to take care of before we left...Maya's passport, taking Maya to lunch and packing up all our stuff to head to Guangzhou.  I felt horrible for John, especially because we had to hop on a plane in the evening.  The airport was a story in itself.  Maya flipped out as we said bye to our guide Jenny (who she loved).  We got her up to security and she didn't want to walk through the metal detector.  Of course it beeped for me so I had to stand on a pedestal and have a guard do the wand deal on me while Maya went into full blown tantrum mode.  Then another guard took her juice cup and emptied it out.  That was it for Maya, she was at the point of no return.  She screamed and thrashed for 45 minutes.  The  family we are traveling with thankfully are the sweetest people in the world.  They sat with us trying to help calm down Maya.  The worst part is that the Chinese think nothing of staring so I literally had 80 eyes on me the entire time.  Steve told me he was staring back at them for me!!  Steve kept saying to us, you'll never see any of these people again, so who cares!  It still wore on me so I had a mini crying meltdown.  A very sweet Chinese girl came up to us to see if she could hold Maya to give us a break.  Maya wanted nothing to do with her of course.  She then came back with cookies for Maya.  Maya wanted nothing to do with that either.  John looked like he was at death's door but he didn't want to leave my side.  Thankfully, Maya finally calmed down and gave us a huge smile.  She was good on the plane ride...a little rambunctious but we kept her in line.  We met some other families through our agency on the shuttle to the hotel.  Everyone looked exhausted.  Maya enjoyed the bright, colorful lights of the buildings and kept pointing to all them for me to see.  By the time we made it to bed, it was after midnight.  We decided to wipe that day off the books.  
John woke up feeling better and ready to eat a little bit.  We had breakfast then had to go get Maya's visa photo and her medical exam.  She cried for her visa photo which made our entire group laugh.  Oh well!  I can't wait to show her the photo some day.  The building where the medical exam was done was nuts.  Crowded and packed with American families with their new children.  The best news we got this morning was finding out that Maya did not have to receive 8 immunization shots.  Obama signed off on a law that allowed Hague parents who are adopting overseas to sign a waiver for the shots.  Wow - the guy actually did one thing right!  What a relief.  The only shot she had to have was her TB test and she actually handled it better than I thought.  Kim had a sucker waiting for her when she was done.  We'll know the results in a few days.  Maya didn't enjoy the rest of her medical exams but she got through them.  We walked home with a couple from Seattle and hit the Starbucks - yea!  Maya and I sat outside and relaxed while John went inside.  I saw a group of teenage girls talking about Maya and I and I could tell they wanted to talk to me but were afraid.  Finally one of them was brave enough to ask if she could take our photo! Guangzhou reminds us of a resort town.  It's really nice and more people speak English here.  We have a great view of the city and Pearl River outside of our room (we're on the 24th floor).
Once we got home, we hung out for a bit then I sneaked out to meet our group to do some paperwork and John hung out with Maya alone for the first time.  I walked in 45 minutes later to find Maya asleep on the floor.  John said she walked around suite looking for me saying, "Mama!"  She had a huge smile on her face when she woke up and saw me.  You can imagine how much I love seeing that little smile.  
We're heading out tomorrow to do some touring and shopping.  Should be interesting.  We'll keep you posted. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bad Weather...

Well, we had a very interesting day yesterday. Nanchang was hit with hail and snow. It's an extremely rare occurrence here so the city is a little bit in turmoil. Our guide took us to a museum. The walk from the van to the museum entrance was like ice skating. I still can't believe not one of us fell. Maya was not happy at all being pelted with ice so she was screaming and thrashing in John's arms. Kudos to John that he made it to the van without slipping with our little firecracker. Stupid me was wearing ballet flats. Thankfully Jenny took us to a shopping center afterward to buy boots! Maya started looking at the kids shoes and ran up to John and I with these bright green boot type shoes. She hopped up on the seat and started taking off her favorite sparkle tennis shoes to try on the green ones. Of course we bought them for her, it's probably the first time she got to pick out new shoes for herself! She was so proud of her new shoes and walked around showing everyone afterward. The best part was that they were only $7! We can't get over how inexpensive everything is over here. The mom we're traveling with told me the shopping is great in Guangzhou so I'm getting excited. Maya will probably pick out 10 pairs of shoes! At lunch we discovered Maya loves hard boiled eggs. They put 2 of them whole in a soup we ordered. Jenny fed them to her with chopsticks and she was one happy camper. I'm going to have to tell Grandma to make her some at home so she can have them Christmas Day! After getting back to the hotel, Maya and I took a nap. While we were napping John decided to video tape the snow outside the hotel. It's nothing like a Michigan winter but we definitely weren't expecting it here. The day we arrived it was 70 and sunny! At dinner Maya got a little silly and hopped off my lap (yep, she still won't sit in a high chair) and ended up bumping her head on a decorative wall in the restaurant. She now has a little bump on her head that she keeps wanting me to put diaper rash ointment on. Yes you heard me right. She thinks because I put it on her bottom it's some magical cream that should be put on all "ouchies"! At one point she was holding the tube while I ran turned my back to put something away. I looked over her and she had gotten the cap off the ointment and rubbed the white cream all over her forehead. She just looked at me and gave me a huge smile. How could I not crack up?! We're not sure if we'll be able to go anywhere today because the temperature dropped significantly over night and the high today is only supposed to be 31! Our driver is worried the roads will be completely iced over. This should be interesting keeping Maya entertained in a hotel all day. I guess we'll be running the hallways together!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



All is well here in Nanchang. We went to a wonderful porcelain shop yesterday. I couldn't believe how beautiful everything was in the shop. We bought some pieces and had it shipped to our hotel in Guangzhou (the next stop in our journey). The shop ships it for free for us. From Guangzhou, we will have it shipped to the US. Our guide, Jenny, told us it's far cheaper to have it shipped from Guangzhou since it's a port city. I'm crossing my fingers it will all arrive in one piece. We found out this province, Jiangxi, is very famous for it's porcelain. They have the certain type of clay soil that's needed to make porcelain. Jenny also told us one of the past emperors loved the porcelain from Jiangxi so much that it become the place to go in the world for it. A sweet, older lady who worked at the porcelain shop asked me if she could hold Maya while I shopped. A lot of them do that over here. Maya wanted nothing to do with her so she clung to my neck. After the porcelain shop, we went to a Costco/Sam's Club type store which actually looked like an IKEA from the outside. We found out that it's actually owned by a German company. It was pretty funny going through the store. Their idea of bulk is nothing like the US. All the packages and cases were much smaller. The last stop yesterday was the restaurant next door to our hotel. The infamous site of our lunch in the window with people crowding outside to look at us! Thankfully we went upstairs to a private room and had a great lunch. The other family we are traveling with, The Roberts, are so nice. We've enjoyed their company. Maya took a good, long power nap after our shopping & lunch adventure. We were so whipped last night that we just ordered room service (thankfully we have a dining room table in our room). We found "western type" food on the room service menu so we ordered spaghetti Bolognese and spaghetti carbonara. We also got a bowl of congee for Maya. She ended up eating all her congee and the rest of my spaghetti. We took a video of her because she was so funny slurping up the long noodles. After dinner our little wild child played on our bed. She thinks it's funny to dive bomb all over the place. I'm having a heart attack the entire time trying to protect her head. She's so silly and literally cracks herself up. Everyday we're seeing her little personality emerge more and more. I can say she's definitely not a wimpy kid and she likes to make us laugh. We're counting the days to bring her home so she can meet Madeline & Will. Not sure how she'll be with our dog Lola. The director and nanny told me she's never been around animals before. And if anyone knows Lola, she greets everyone very enthusiastically. Not to mention Maya is right at the same face level as Lola so she'll have to endure some dog kisses!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Maya :)

Hi Everyone! Well, we have officially had Maya for 1 day. I'm happy to report that her lungs work great. She cried for the first 45 minutes when they put her in my arms. She's super feisty. Once we got her to our room, pulled out some toys and fed her 1000 snacks, she warmed up to us. If you saw her now, you would never believe what a difference 24 hours makes. She's an absolute "daddy's girl"! Of course John is soaking it all in. She actually prefers him to carry her around rather than me. I love watching her smile and she has the most contagious laugh. Today we went to the civil affairs office here in Nanchang. We had our official family photo taken then finally got to unload a lot of the cash we carried over here. Phew! Afterward we went to Walmart and did some shopping. What a trip. I still feel like I'm on another planet at times. After shopping, we got some carry out dumplings and noodle soup for lunch. It was pouring rain all day so it felt good to come back to the hotel, dry off and have some lunch. It was the first meal we could get Maya to eat. And let me tell you, this little half pint can pack in the food. She ate more than me. I changed her clothes after lunch because she absolutely refuses to wear a bib so she was covered in soup. She sleeps like a champ. I put her down wide awake and she falls asleep within a few minutes. I'm slowly starting to figure her out her cues. When she rubs her face and keeps staring at me, she's tired. The only quirky thing we've noticed about her is that she hates sitting in highchairs, strollers and shopping carts. John had to carry her around Walmart, which felt like 100 degrees in there, so the two of them were sweating it out. Not sure how I'm going to handle taking her to my weekly Kroger and Target shopping trips. We'll need to work on this. I will try to download some new photos tonight so all of you can see her silly little self. She's quite a ham. Heard we got hit with a lot of snow back home. If I know Madeline and Will, they're praying for a snow day! Grandma is probably bracing herself for a crazy day if that's the case!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This is Madeline- they have Maya!! They haven't sent me any posts yet but here are some pictures. I skyped my parents and Maya and Maya is very smiley and she just giggles at everything. My mom says she's very tiny and she loves her puffs :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Exploring Nanchang

John & I decided to explore the area around our hotel a little bit.  Wow!  What a culture shock!  You see people dressed up then you look down an alley and see others doing their laundry in pots.  The people are very nice and very intrigued with John and me.  My blonde hair attracts more attention than you can imagine.   I'm surely not the first blonde person to visit China, but because my hair is so blonde, it really throws them for a loop.  Teenage boys keep yelling out to me...I don't even want to know what they're saying.  Little kids are the funniest.  Their eyes bug out when they see me and their mouths are almost on the ground.  Most of the time they grab their mom or dad's hand and point to me.  We went to lunch and they sat us in front of a window.  All of the sudden, you see tons of people coming to the window to look at my hair and take photos.  John thinks it's funny being with "Jennifer Aniston" in China.  A lot of little girls love to run up to John and I and say, "HELLO!" in their best English.  We always laugh then they laugh and follow us for a bit.  The sights are magnificent.  We went to a tower/temple area and were amazed by everything.  I wish we could read Chinese because we had no idea what we were looking at.  At one point we went inside a Buddhist Temple and the men in there had us write our names on some red square plague.  We then made a donation and a man gave us some wood beads.  We learned quickly that it's easiest to communicate by playing charades.  We also went into a grocery store.  It was hilarious.  We had no idea half the time what we were buying.  Prices are good though.  We walked out of a grocery store with 3 full bags and spent about $13!  We'll be getting Maya soon.  We're both excited and nervous.  We have no idea how she is going to react.  I'm thinking if she's like the rest of the kids who saw me in the streets, she's going to be shocked!  

Nanchang Pictures!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Well...John & I made it to Nanchang 2 days and 4 plane rides later! What a journey! We didn't run into too many problems. Phew! Our plane from Beijing to Nanchang was 3 hours late coming in. Our poor guide (Jenny) and driver sat and waited the entire time because it wasn't posted that our flight was delayed. When we checked our luggage in they told us it was only 20 minutes behind schedule. Part of the problem was that we sat on the runway for 1.5 hours! Here's the funny part...John fell asleep while we were waiting on the runway. He woke up about 30 minutes into our wait and thought our flight had taken off and we were already in Nanchang! Going through security in Beijing was a bit stressful. They ended up having John remove the money belts and a security guard proceeded to walk away with the money. Thankfully he saw the look of panic on my face and smiled at me & said, "It's OK Miss" (using the few words of English he knew) then he & another security guard showed me they were running it through the conveyer belt! I think my heart stopped beating for a few seconds!
Nanchang is much bigger and busier than I imagined. The traffic makes Rome & London look tame!
Our guide, Jenny, is a doll! She informed us that we will be getting Maya on Sunday at 4 PM (which is 3 AM EST), I don't know if I'll be able to contain my excitement for another 2 days!
We were so exhausted after traveling here, so our guide Jenny had a pizza from "Papa John's" delivered to our room! John and I were cracking up when Jenny told us they have "Papa's John's Pizza" here!
Looking forward to posting some photos of Maya with us! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hi from Madeline

Hi Everyone, this is Madeline saying that my parents left for the airport at 4:15 and they leave for Chicago in 20 minutes. From Chicago they go to Seoul then from Seoul to Beijing and from Beijing to Nanchang. They are supposed to get Maya on Monday. William and I already miss them.

Love, Madeline