Category: China

Chinese New Year Festival!

We enjoyed the Chinese New Year’s Festival at the Boutwell Auditorium today. There were many dances and musical pieces, along with booths and food.  This was such a wonderful event.  Kids 12 and under were free and only $2 per person for 13 and up.

Essie’s favorite part was most certainly the food.  The girl loves to eat!

Then we headed next door to the Birmingham Art Museum to do a few crafts and look around in the Asia galleries.

Our blessings!

And we ended our day out by stopping at Krispy Kreme.  (Thanks for the Gift tag coupons, Aunt Nicole!) We all chose one we liked and we walked out without spending a dime!



Happy Moon Festival!

Don’t freak out!  We have not become Moon worshipping Pagans!
Today is the start of the Mid-Autumnal Festival in China.  It is similar to Thanksgiving for us, though in true China style it is a long holiday.  I think Chinese people like to have many long holidays so all government offices can be closed to mess up families trying to adopt children – just kidding – sort of!  Anyway, I digress. 
The festival celebrates three fundamental concepts which are closely tied to one another:
  • gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops
  • thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions
  • praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction), such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future
The festival is celebrated by eating Moon cake and releasing Chinese lanterns. 
Tony decided that we should celebrate this Moon Festival to help us keep Little Mama’s culture alive, something encouraged by China and our agency!  Instead of going to look for recipes for moon cake he decided we would celebrate with Moon Pies.
notice the pantry door open?  sigh – no one ever closes it!

So we dressed up in our Chinese silks and ate Moon Pies….

then we went outside for some pictures.


Also, Chinese lanterns are released but we had glow in the dark balloons instead.  Really, I don’t know how these are connected…… this was all Tony’s doing!  AND, I do appreciate him putting forth the effort of planning, and purchasing items, to celebrate Little Mama’s heritage!


The glow up balloons were lots of fun for the kids!


Happy Moon Festival, Y’all! 

I’m sure in China they are throwing a much bigger party but ours was still pretty grand!


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Homeschool for Essie

Homeschooling for Essie is mainly all about learning how to play.

Stirring with a spoon!

Looking at a book (instead of throwing it!)

Swinging and sliding!

Fun with brothers!

Being serenaded!

And sneaking in some walking when she thinks no one is looking!

We see the IAC doctors next week so I’m sure we’ll have more true “homeschool” work to do after that, but for now we’re working to bond, show her how to play and letting her explore her enviroment.!

Thanks for the prayers!  We feel that she is making great strides!

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Welcome Home!




We had every intention of videoing as we got off the plane in Birmingham.  However, our camera battery was dead.  It must have gotten turned on at some point by accident and run down.  But I was so excited to see the boys that I didn’t have time to be upset by it.

We were welcomed by lots of family and friends!  It was so awesome to be welcomed home by people who have been praying for and loving us!  This adoption adventure could have never happened without the support of so many and it was exciting to see familiar faces after 30 hours of travel!



 Pure Joy!

Family of 6!
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Off to Hong Kong

We hired a van to drive us to Hong Kong from Guangzhou to catch our flight.  We had a departure time of 5 am which meant a wake up time of 4:15.

The driver drove fast but because it was so early in the morning there was very little traffic.

We had to clear customs at the China checkpoint and immigration at the Hong Kong checkpoint.  While we waiting for the Hong Kong inspector to clear our passport, a lady came out of a booth up ahead.  She was wearing a surgical mask, which you see quite a lot of in China, and had a gun in her hand.  I was watching her and she was walking towards the van.  It was happening so fast and our driver was not responding to her in any way so I just sat there watching and slightly shocked.  She tapped on the passenger window and he rolled the window down and she pointed the gun at each of us, then walked off.  After we pulled away I asked the driver what she was doing.  He kind of chuckled and said, “taking your temperature.”


After we arrived at the airport we had a long time to wait.  The van ride was supposed to take 3 hours and it only took 2 hours and 10 minutes.  We checked in at United to discover our flight had been postponed by 20 minutes.

While we waited, I snapped these pictures in the ladies room.

Interesting concept.  I wonder how many people actually use this?

Our flight ended up being delayed over an hour!  Not looking good for making our connecting flight in Chicago!

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The Garden Hotel

Another beautiful hotel.


Fresh flowers everywhere!

Our room was really like a small apartment.  It was very nice, except no dresser or drawers.

We even had two working TVs!!!  Which is more than we have in our house at home.  We never did turn on the one in the bedroom.

The door almost looked like a secret door!

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Shamian Island

I was very excited to visit Shamian Island.  Sadly, it turned out to be a cool, rainy morning when we went.  It is very quiet here and not much traffic.  It was nice to be able to walk around without fearing you might lose your life to a crazy driver!

One of the best parts of the island was eating at Lucy’s.  American food!  Tea with ice!
That silver container is simple syrup (sugar water) that you pour into your tea to make it sweet.  Yummy!

BLT and French Fries!


We enjoyed shopping for some souvenirs for the boys.  A friend sent me some money to purchase 7 pairs of squeaky shoes for her daughter.  I had a difficult time selecting and I hope she is happy with what I chose for her!


We had intentions of dressing Essie in her Chinese silk and taking her picture on the island with some of the beautiful statues.  However, it was just too cool and rainy.  So we took her picture in our hotel room later!
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