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Daily China Journal

Hong Kong 

We made it!!!  Ashley slept pretty much the whole flight from Atlanta to San Francisco that part was a breeze.  She did great on the flight to Hong Kong too!!  Only had to use the 3 hour battery on the DVD player, so we are still good to go with the extended life one!
We got in around 6:45 Hong Kong time and  by the time we got on the shuttle to the hotel around 7:30, Ashley was a dead weight in Rhett's arms - so I got luggage duty and was thankful for it!! 
We all woke up around 1:00 a.m. here and so we watched tv until around 3 and went back to bed.  Woke up again around 6:00 a.m. and started the day as usual.  Ashley and I seem to be back on schedule, but Rhett is still having time warp.
After breakfast - which we pigged out on!!  REAL FOOD! we went for a walk around the Hotel.  We went to Kowloon Park - AMAZING!  Ashley had a blast - with the fish ponds, playground, and Aviary.  It was really nice but getting hot as we started back towards the hotel and the money exchange around 10.  Next stop was a stroller - and Toy's R Us!! We shopped and walked around  stuff close by until around 11:30 when we ate at Mc Donalds!!  We then headed out to find Rhenay's pearls -  That completed we headed back to the hotel for the - First parent melt down and directions to Stanley Market - after two or three offers to the other spouse to divorce each other, we got our sense of hummor back and headed out once again.
We took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong Island and then the bus to the Stanley Market - really cool shopping area reminded me a lot of Savannah's River Street with the restaurants on the water.  We went to the Open Market - very similar to the one we visited in Beijing last time (only that one was ina building) and got a couple gifts. 
Ashley fell asleep at her normal nap time and slept until we were ready to go - she missed almost the whole trip over there, waking up in time for the bus ride back to the ferry station!
It is now 6:17 and we are contemplating dinner - I think a trip to the 7 - 11  across the street is the ticket!!  A couple of yogurs, bannan's and some drinks and we will all be ready for bed tonight!! 
I wish we had more time here - but our flight leaves out tomorrow at 11 for Nanchang, so this will be the only posting actually from Hong Kong!!  Oh, and by the way it was a cool 80 here today!!  I will upload the pictures that we took today from Nanchang - Hong Kong is rather expensive!  May be it is a good thing that this is our last day!
Write more tommorrow!!
12/2/04 - 6:20 p.m. Hong Kong time!

12/4/2004 - 8:15 p.m.
Well we made it!!  Exhausted, but we are here!!  The hotel is nice, the food is AWFUL!! -  I will start at the begining.....  We arrived from our flight right on time, and a little concerned as the airport is out in the middle of no where and there didn't seem to be a city anywhere!  Got off the plane and immediately remembered that this IS a communist country!  Fortunately, the paniced look on my face registered with a member of the military and while at first he scared the pants off me and I thought I would just faint right there in the airport from fright - which would have REALLY upset Rhett,- he was actually VERY kind and helpful and saw us through the screenings, etc. and helped us fill out all the paperwork.  God sent an angel - thanks to whoever prayed for him to find us!
We had our first SARS screening - temp. and everything! 
It took us about 20 mintues and the overly effusive welcome from the hotel staff there to meet us to enable us to relax and enjoy ourselves again.
Immediately upon entering the Hotel, we were rewarded with not one other adoption group - but TWO other groups - one from Spain who left this morning adn one mainly from Northeastern US.  The babies are all about a year old and just beautiful.  We have enjoyed talking with other American families and getting the scoop on food, etc. - more on that later!!!
 Ashley and Rhett took a nap immediately upon check in while I unpacked.  I got everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) all stowed away and then noticed a funny smell coming from the bathroom - we got housekeeping to come in this morning and hopefully we will not have to change rooms - It took me over 2 hours to unpack the first time!!  The room is small - about the size of the White Swan, however, the beds can be pushed together to make a king bed, which is what we have done.  Ashely is currently sleeping on top of Rhett's duvet cover and under mine which eliminates the crack.  I guess we will be stair stepped under the covers tonight.
Back to the story!...  Anyway, after they woke up, we went for a walk around the hotel - and decided to eat dinner in the Western style restaurant - buffet.  One thing I will tell you - if it isn't a Western Hotel - don't belive the western style menu selections!!!  It was pretty inettible (?)  We ended up eating bread and butter for dinner and drinking a sprite with no ice - only one comes with the meal we were informed! and dreaded the thought of breakfast and paniced at the thought of 8 more days here!
Off topic - for most of the trip, we have been thinking of Knox, Rhett's nephew, who we originally though might get to come with us on the tirp - How much he would have loved Hong Kong - his reactions to the airplane ride, etc. - well after dinner - We were so thankful that he wasn't here - he would have DIED!!!!  I can not imagine the phone call that would have gone out to his parents - and what we would have told them when they called us back demanding to know what was going on. -
Back to the story....
We are still not sleeping through the night - usually we are up around 2 or 3 and can't get back to sleep and sit around watching Chinese TV or the DVD player - what a lifesaver that has been.  No ESPN or any English news on TV here in Nanchang - Rhett is going through severe withdrawls!  Ashley then falls asleep around mid morning and then again around 6.  I can't figure out how to get her on a schedule - by the time she is ready to cry it out and just fall asleep at a decent time, Rhett is on his last nerve and we are back to square one.
Then, this morning I was sterilizing Ashley's sippy cups and scalded three of my fingers on my right hand and got a paper cut on my left all before 6:30 a.m. - Then we went to breakfast!>>>> Oh, my gosh, and we thought dinner was bad!!  Can you belive that they ran out of bread??? no jelly and no honey, and no sugar for the coffee!!  Ashley actually ate butter from the container!  We did find some rice crispy's and Ashley ate that pretty good, so for the next 8 days we will be eating rice crispy's and toast for breakfast.
My hand was hurting so badly at breakfast, I couldn't sit there - so I went to find out about food!  Much to our relief, there is a Pizza Hut - ate there tonight, a KFC - ate there for lunch, and a McDonalds!!  We then got directions to Walmart and another shopping plaza. 
We decided to head out to the Walmart first - It was clean and new, and they had fresh fried chicken that SMELLED like fresh fried chicken, coke, cookies, coke light (China version of Diet Coke), chips, crackers, fresh fruit, banana's, oranges, etc.  WE WERE SAVED!!!  Also while at Walmart we stopped by their pharmacy and I showed the girls my hand and asked for anything to help with the pain.  After much giggling, smiling, gesturing, stating, restating, and finally writing everything out using as many antonyms as I could think of, I got some really cool smelling oil, put it on and within 2 minutes my hand was great, like I hadn't done anything!  What a relief!
Ashley was about dead and got really whinney at the store, poor thing, and Rhett was irritated, tired as well and we were all kind of hungry so we all melted down for about 30 minutes, recovered and Ashley fell asleep.  We ended up shopping two different malls before stopping for lunch - I was able to get Ashley the cutest cordoroy chocolate jumper with pink polka-dots, shirt, sweater (tan with horses)and matching leggings for around $30.00 US.  She was asleep while we tried shoes on her - never even budged!!  Rhett tried to find some shoes while she and I shopped for her - he ended up with an entourage of around 3 - 4 people helping to interpret!  They went to five or six different departments all with the same result - gales of laughter over what size he wanted.  Knox would have loved it!
At lunch we were the talk of the restaurant!  So many points and giggles coming our way.  It was fun, but makes you wonder if you have something on your face or a boogy or something!  We had one girl stop us and ask us the time - I think she wanted to pracice her english!  Then tonight, two little girls around Buck's age kept coming by the table asking us questions and introducing themselves.  It was real funny....
We got back to the hotel around 1, Ashely of course then woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep (the point I mentioned above), so we spent some time in the lobby talking to other families and relaxed.  We finally went back to the room around 2:30 and Rhett and I took turns power napping while Ashley watched DVD's. 
We got up around 5 - 5:30 and headed back out to the other shopping mall and Pizza Hut.  Of course, she fell asleep in the taxi - more on that later! - and slept through all the shopping and dinner.  She didn't wake up upon her return to the hotel, let us put on her night gown and went right back to sleep!!!  Which is why I am here doing this! 
Taxi's!!!  OH MY GOSH!! and we thought the food was bad!!  The thought of the trip tonight was how funnny it would have been to watch Knox have to ride in the front seat while the driver is darting around traffic, pedestrians, busses - most of the time on the wrong side of the road in full traffic!!  I swear I think that they must go through brakes every 2 to 3 months!  It is a wonder.... and I mean a wonder that there aren't any accidents - but there haven't been any that we have seen.  The seat covers are currently white, but after that ride tonight, I am sure that if Knox had been with us, the driver would have had to wash his!
Tomorrow, our 'group' arrives and hopefully we will have something to offer them by way of a scouting expidetion with food and shopping.  Then Monday is the DAY!!!  We are so looking forward to Rhenay.  All these families with their babies have brought back so many memories!  I think that Ashley is finally begining to understand what is happening -
Keep us in your prayers - How did BonJovi put it???  Living on a prayer ?- keep us bouyed up. 
Much love,

GOTCHA and other stuff....
Hey,  sorry about the delay - I worked for almost an hour after we got Rhenay and to DONE and blooy - lost the connection!!  After that - got deathly ill and threw up in a sqauat toilett in a department store - out side Wall-mart - several more times in the room - finally got to the other side and back human again!!!  I guess if anything is going to go wrong this trip - it will be to me!
The most important thing.... RHENAY!!!  She is beautiful, loves to laugh, play games, responds well to affection and has actually bonded with all three of us already!  And on top of that ..... SHE IS POTTY TRAINED!!!  I mean it!!  I just finished taking her to the potty - sits backwards like Ashley and you make the shshshshshshshsh sound and away she goes!!  I will now have to make sure that I keep her on a 2 hour timer - that is what the pediatrician said when we started with Ashley and were concerned about her holding it.
The group got in Sunday around 2 and we left the hotel around 3:30 to get the babies - Got them around 4:30!!  We were in a small room about the size of a standard living room dining room combination with all us parents squoose in on the living room side and all the babies on the dining room side - then one by one it happened - much quicker since there were only 7 families vs. 14 with Ashley!
I am working on a quick save and just lost the last 10 minutes of work - so here we go again.
Everyone is doing great - Ashely loves her sister and is responding well, although I think she is ready to come home - US TOO!!  Rhenay is definately a size 12 months and has a long lean foot as opposed to a fat short one.  She is a doll, although very different from Ashley.  She can't crawl worth a cuss, but she is ready to walk and will most likely we doing so independently by the time we get home.
Lost another paragraph or two....
Worst night of the trip.... took place Tuesday night when I was sick.  Rhenay got homesick - was sreaming, Ashley didn't understand, she was crying and both sitting on Rhett's lap while I hugged the toilet in the bathroom.  Not a night to repeat!!  I kept telling Rhett and myself that we WOULD look back on this night and laugh ONE DAY.... WAY in the future!!
I was much better on Wed. but Rhenay and I stayed back from the group trip sending Rhett and Ashley alone.  They had a wonderful time .... they visited Rhenay's orphanage and the place where she was abandoned.  Rhett got video and talked to the director.  Lots of babies.  Rhett got a rock from the place where they leave the babies.  Something solid.  Ashley, unfortunately refuses to use a squat toilet, and teeteed all over Rhett just as they were getting ready to leave.  Upset her a little, but Rhett was great and handled it like a pro!!  This was their first outing as father and daughter and they seemed to really enjoy it, even with the slight accident and wet pants on the way home!
Rhenay and I ventured out around 2 to go shopping with another family and WE ate some mashed potatoes and felt human again!!  We got back to the hotel just after Rhett and Ashley and then went to dinner at McDonalds with about another 3 or 4 families!!  Best double cheeseburgers on the planet!!
Today we went to a Temple - 2300 years old!! and then to buy porcelin.  I got us a Rice dish set - If I knew how heavy it was, I probably wouldn't have bought it! - Big bowl, and 6 serving plates, bowls and spoons.  It matches our blue dishes from Grandmother Turner.  I also got gifts for Ashley's teachers and a really pretty tea mug and canister set.  Didn't find much else that I liked - so we will keep looking.
Details....  Rhenay is a 12 months, but won't be long for 18.... she is VERY petite in appearance - small head and long lean feet and fingers!  She weighs about 22 pounds and is 27 inches tall (I think).  Dark hair and eyes, much darker than Ashley and has more hair than Ashley did at this age, but not enough for ponies yet.  You will all love her immediately!  She has 8 teeth - 4 on top and 4 on bottom and should be cutting some more soon.  You can only see the front two when she laughs and smiles real big!  She is incredibly curious and into EVERYTHING!!  Tissue paper beware - sort of like Ashley and Aunt Brenda's dental floss!  She is used to sleeping with her foster mother... so at some point or another we all end up in bed together by morning.  We will have to re work that again once we get home.  I think the quick kiss I got as I headed down here is the first real intimate touch we have shared since Sunday!!  Not much to bragg about or look forward too!
We go to a kindergarden tomorrow and pick up the Visa's and Passports - then on to Guanzhough on Saturday.  Don't worry if this is the last post before then. - We will have to see - I will try again tomorrow just so that I can catch up with everything and share what an amazing little girl we are bringing home!1  I promise to continue to brush her teeth so that her breath doesn't blow you away though!!! - YUCK!
Much love,
Thursday, December 9    4:20 p.m.


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