Our Journey to China and beyond…

More Pictures

April 7th, 2008 Mark

If you are interested in seeing more China pics (none of Sophia), click here.

First Weekend Home

March 31st, 2008 Mark

We heard the people were addicted to the blog and still looking for updates. I promise to add more pictures this afternoon when Sophia goes down for a nap.
The first weekend home with Sophia has been a joy. She is coming out of her shell more and more each day. She does not know what to make of the dogs, I think that transition may take a while. We had quite a few visitors over the past couple of days and she is becoming friendlier with people she is just meeting.
Sophia also went for her first car ride in the car seat on Saturday. She is not used to her winter jacket or the car seat, so she sat there very stiff with only her eyes moving back and forth the entire time. Sunday she went to a birthday party and fell asleep to and from, so I think she is getting comfortable with the car.


Here are some pictures I did not upload while in China due to the slowness of the internet connection



We are home !!!

March 28th, 2008 Mark

We made it home with no problems. Sophia did not mind the rushing through airports or the long flight. It was great seeing everyone at the airport. She came home, ate some congee, took a bath and fell asleep around 1AM and slept until 6:30AM.

Finally coming home !!!

March 25th, 2008 Mark

We will not be posting any pictures today, even though we plan on taking quite a few on our last day in China. Last night was the first time Sophia did not sleep through the night, she had a belly ache (no pooping) and Mommy had to give her something this morning to “open the floodgates”.
This afternoon is the oath, then back to the hotel for our last dinner in China with our friends. We will have to pack tonight since we have to be ready to leave for the airport by 6:00AM on Thursday. We have a 3 hour flight to Beijing, with a 4 hour layover, then a 13 1/2 hour flight to Newark.

Go Yanks

March 25th, 2008 Mark

Pink Yankee Hat

It seems that we are really getting home sick and ready to get on that plane home. Now that I think back, I cannot remember doing to much today and sorry to say, not too many pictures today.
We did hear from the American Consulate and all of our paperwork is in order. Tomorrow afternoon we take the oath (sorry, no cameras). Most of the evening will be spent packing, we leave the hotel Thursday morning at 6:50AM.

Playing before bed

Red Couch Day

March 24th, 2008 Mark

Today we had to visit the doctor’s office for a quick examination, and we have the whole thing on video, which we can share once we are home. Sophia made it through it with a few tears, but was a little tired after and took a long nap.

The afternoon while Sophia was walking outside by the pool with Nana and Mommy, Daddy completed hopefully the last of the paperwork needed to get Sophia’s Visa and we can finally come home. After the paperwork, it was off to the second floor so everyone can have their pictures taken on the red couch.

The weather was beautiful today and we ate dinner outside at Lucy’s, one of the American restaurants in the area.

Easter Dress (forgot to post yesterday)

Feeding myself breakfast

Me and Mommy

Upside down girl

On the Red Couch

Yes, I do cry

Happy Easter from China !!!

March 23rd, 2008 Mark


We decided to have a relaxing day today. We had breakfast then went off to the large playroom located in the hotel. From there, Sophia took a nice morning nap, got up and went to lunch at Lucy’s for some hamburgers. We walked around the village, back to the playroom and now off to another nap this afternoon. Tonight we are going to a Thai restaurant for dinner with all of the other families in our group. As promised, we have more pictures for you.

Easter Eve nighttime

Eating Breakfast


Shoeless Sophia

On Daddy’s Shoulder

Typical Tourist Shot

Chatting with local girls

Non-Sophia shots

Catching up with the Pictures

March 22nd, 2008 Mark

Today was a travel day for us, we flew from Nanning to Guangzhou. I have to say early in the morning, Li Li seemed to be a bit off and was crying a bit in the am. Then at the end of breakfast she actually walked from Mark to me! We then brought her up to the hallway and she was crawling and laughing and then grabbed on to my leg and walked a few steps so quick I didn’t even expect it.
She did really well waiting in line at the airport and during the flight. She slept for most of it and woke up smiling just in time to enjoy the landing. On the way to the hotel, she was the life of the party enjoying her sweet potato puffs. We ate dinner at another authenticate Chinese restaurant, where you could pick your own fish, snake, frog, turtle or water beetle for dinner. We didn’t go that extreme with our picks but Sophia had some noodles and part of a sweet roll.
Tomorrow we are going to skip the optional trip and explore around the hotel and enjoy the sites and shopping in town. We also have plenty of new friends for Sophia to spent time with and maybe an Easter Egg hunt. We are also going to try the Thai restaurant tomorrow night. The internet connection here is much faster, I promise to upload some nice pictures for you tomorrow, and if I get time, one of the videos I took of the past couple of days.

Taking a Bus Ride

Lunch Time

End of a long day!

Sitting and Crawling

Guangzhou Airport

Trip to Xingye

March 21st, 2008 Mark

Hello. I am sorry to say no pictures tonight as we are packing but tomorrow we will make up for it!

Today we started out with a trip to the area where Sophia Li Li was born. It was about a 2.5 hr bus trip from our hotel. Can I just say that Sophia was incredible. She played a little on the way there, and then slept on her Mommy for today. The first part of the day was a Mommy day. The sites were amazing from farmland with water buffalo and people farming the land to beautiful mountains.

Once we arrived in the town we stopped and had lunch at an authentic Chinese Restaurant. Well I was christened as you say as my daughter quickly poured an entire bowl of soy sauce on her Mama! What a way to start off lunch. Then our guide ordered for us and we were served squid which Mark and Val did eat but I was not too interested. We then had fried rice, chinese rolls and other dishes. Mark and Val were very brave. I was not so brave :) We then drove through the towns and the countryside. Believe it or not there are a lot of dogs in this area which all look pretty similar to Chow Chows. We saw children on the front and backs of bikes, various shops and some of the most interesting sites I have ever witnessed in my life. We then had to drive quite far from Xingye to get close to where Li Li is from. She is truly from very far out in the country and the ride was on dirt covered roads. The farmers were all working very hard in the fields and some of the living conditions were incredible. I would have to say although it is obviously the total opposite of how we live as for us it is what you know and grow up with. I have found that the people in China so far are some of the most gracious people I have ever met. There was a gentleman from the restaurant who drove with us in the bus in order to show us where our girls were from. I would say that is pretty gracious to take a whole afternoon to spend with total strangers.

Li Li slept most of the trip on the way there but suddenly on the way back we saw a new child! She was jabbering and spinning around on my lap and laughing and being so silly I could hardly contain her. We were laughing so hard and cannot wait to see more and more. Needless to say, she was tired tonight but I could not have asked for baby to behave so well on a 9 hour bus trip.

Well tomorrow morning we travel to our last leg and can hopefully post tomorrow night which would be Saturday morning for you. I miss all of you and I will say it again, I cannot wait until you meet the most precious little girl!


Chinese temple and pagoda

March 20th, 2008 Mark

Today we took a trip to a Chinese temple and pagoda that overlooks the city of Nanning. These buildings date back to the Ming era. Sophia was also blessed by the monks this morning. Since we are both pretty sore from lugging this tank around, Mommy and Nana are out getting a massage this afternoon while Sophia is napping with me. She had another great night sleeping.
After the massage we went to a Chinese book store and then to the grocery store to stock up on diapers, formula and baby food. We got back a little late and Sophia was itching for some dinner. Danielle and Nana had a great adventure getting the massage, and came back feeling very refreshed. Tomorrow we will visit the city of Sophia’s orphanage. Yes, we will be bringing back some rocks from her home.

I found my thumb

Outside the temple

Bamboo Bridge

Standing up in my new shoes

Blessed by the monk

Sophia’s Fan Club !!!

Lunch Time

Our non-Sophia shot of the day