A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: jckrier

Slide Show

A permanent record of our journey

Now that we have been home for awhile I have had the opportunity to create slide shows from our journey. The photo gallery on this site is great but in the slide shows we could be a little more focused and add some additional photos. If you would like check it out, follow the link.
Photodex Gallery
Hope that you enjoy the shows.

Posted by jckrier 17:47 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Conclusions

Reflections on our journey

sunny 33 °C

We arrived home on Sunday evening on schedule and with our baggage, as did Chris, Lora and Lily. It was a very long journey both in time and distance but very rewarding. Given the purpose of our trip it does not seem appropriate to say we had a "good time".

Levi

If you look at the early pictures of Levi you will see a rather timid and anxious little boy. If you look at the latest pictures of Levi you will see a very active and smiling little boy. You will, in other words, see a very normal little boy.He is a very sharp and astute little guy. He likes to "build" and put things together. I expect that when he gets home he will have another period of adjustment but I am sure that within a very few days he will be his normal self.
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Obviously by the time of this photo Levi had decided I was OK.

Lily

Lily is being a good older sister. She plays with Levi and shares her toys. However, she does get a little unhappy if she perceives that she is not getting enough attention. After all, she is used to being the center of attention. Lily is also a very active and outgoing little girl. She is very smart and pretty much zips through her homework (her teacher sent it along).
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Someone asked me if we loved our adopted grandchildren the same as our natural grandchildren. The answer is unequivocally yes. The adopted kids are every bit as much a part of our family as our other grandchildren. I can understand the question, I had often wondered about the answer myself but once we actually met the kids there was no doubt that they were our own.

Chris & Lora

I have to give Chris and Lora, plus all the other adopting parents, my sincere respect and admiration for reaching out and adopting these children. The very adoption process is a commitment of time and resources that is more difficult in many than having children naturally. I am sure that each person has their specific reason for being there but that does not take away from the generous commitment that each family is making. The Consulate reported processing 3,000 adoptions in the last year (down from 5,000 when Lily was adopted) which I think demonstrates that their are a lot of good people seeking to make homes for these kids. The photo is our group in Guangzhou.
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China

China is still a mix of high tech manufacturing and very low tech manufacturing. China has great airports and good air service but people still can't drink the water and electriciy supply can be problematical. There is a modern transportation system but traffic congestion is so bad that in Beijing driving is restricted to one day a week. There is an abundance of electric bikes and scooters traveling the sidewalks. There are too many cars for them to take to the streets. In other words, it is a country that is advancing quickly but still has a long way to go in improving the standard of living for the average family.
China is certainly proud of its progress and anticipates the day when it will be the world's leading economy.
I have been there on both business and pleasure, I would probably not choose to go back unless, of course, someone in the family decided to adopt another child.
I will be posting slide shows of journey on another site and will link it to here. Probably next week sometime.
Good by and thanks for sharing in our journey.

Posted by jckrier 16:38 Archived in China Comments (0)

Guangzhou 2

Busy Work

sunny 32 °C

Notice the weather. Monday and Tuesday were sunny and hot. None of the usual rain.
Before I go further I should explain that we are located on Shimian Island in Guangzhou. Shimian Island is in the Pearl River and is a bit of a tourist area. In particular, it is area where all the adopting families are housed. The island is small and takes only about 10 minutes to walk from end to end. There are two large hotels on the island that are used by the adoption agencies - the White Swan, our hotel, and the Victory. Between the hotels are a large number of small shops that cater to the adopting families. They have names like Susan's and Jordan's. Each of the shops carry a myriad of products, check out the sign for Susan's.White_Swan.png
By the way, I met the owner of Susan's on a walk on Monday. He struck up a conversation, invited me in for tea and we solved a few of the world's problems. Anyway, I enjoyed the conversation and we went back for more tea, conversation and shopping on Tuesday. Profitable venture for him and good conversation for us.
We are in a holding mode at present as the adoption paperwork winds its way through the process. Chris has to be available periodically to keep the process moving but for the next 3 days we will have a lot of free time.
Monday was a busy day for us. We went exploring and shopping in the morning. Levi went to the clinic late morning to have his TB skin test checked and we went to the Pearl Market in in the afternoon. The Pearl Market may have started out as the place to get pearls but now it is one of the largest shopping areas I have seen. Sue did shop for pearls for a granddaughter but the shop was one of many in a large, multi-story building filled with small shops next to an equally large building focused on something else on filled with equally large buildings. We went on a Monday afternoon and the area seemed very busy to us. I am told on weekends that the crowd can be shoulder to shoulder. In the evening Sue and I went on the Pearl River cruise. You will see photos of lighted buildings and cruise boats in the photo gallery.
Tuesday was another shopping and exploring day. We stopped at Susan's as I mentioned earlier.
Wednesday, today, is another free day except Chris and Lora need to stay in their room in the morning. Their papers are being reviewed at the US Consulate and they need to be available to deal with any questions.
Late News: Levi's paperwork was just approved at the Consulate. We are good to go!
Thursday is free except that we need to visit the Consulate to take the "oath". Friday we should get Levi's visa and immigratin paperwork. Saturday we fly to Beijing and then Sunday we fly to the US.
Our stay in China has been great but it has been long enough. We are ready to get back to our homes and our regular routine.
Once we get back to the US I will organize all the photos in a good chronological order and post them to another site. I will post the linke here.

Posted by jckrier 22:49 Archived in China Comments (0)

Guangzhou

The Third Leg in Our Journey

rain 30 °C

We arrived in Guangzhou late Friday evening and made our hotel rooms around 11:30.
Saturday all the adoptees went for a mandatory physical and innoculations. Everyone has to go through a specific clinic and targets Saturday so they can complete the adoption process the next week and head for home. I did not go along but the reports were that the clinic was very busy and not particularly considerate of the kids. Levi checked out ok but got 5 innoculations plus a TB skin test.
Dinner that night was at Lucy's. Lucy's is the unofficial gathering spot for adopting families because they feature a reasonable selection of western style foods at reasonable prices. Our rather unanimous was hamburgers or cheeseburgers and fries. We tend to eat big meals at the morning buffet, a light lunch and then a light supper. By evening we have all been rather tired.
Sunday we were back in tourist mode in the morning. Our first stop was at the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. The Buddhist temple dates back to 1450. It is a tradition to have the adoptees blessed in the temple (optional). I think having the kids blessed is a nice way of establishing a bond with their heritage. The pagoda at the temple has 9 stories on the outside but actually 17 levels on the inside. Contrary to the old days of the Cultural Revolution under Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese now actively promote and protect their cultural heritage.
Next we went on to the Chen House. Chen is the most common name in this part of China and the "family" banded together to build a house and academy to promote members of the group. Eventually the family ceded the structure to the Chinese government who turned it into the Guandong Folks Arts Museum. It is filled with interesting handcraft, many of which are relatively new, lwhich means the old crafts are still alive.
Finally we journeyed to a local craft mall for souvenir shopping. I am sure a very profitable venture for the mall. I think every family cam away with something judging from the boxes and bundles.
Finally, this was the "red couch day". Group photos that included all the adopted children and then the children and their families. Levi declined to participate in the kids group photo. You will see us front and center in the family group photos.
In this photo upload you will also see pictures of the hotel and surroundings. It is quite a hotel and reminds me of the large hotels in Las Vegas. It is 843 rooms, is well maintained and is rated as a 5 star establishment. It is used by visiting dignitaries. Our room compares favorably with a good US hotel.

Posted by jckrier 21:47 Archived in China Comments (0)

Zhengzhou 2

Hurry Up and Wait

overcast 26 °C

Now that we have the kids, signed all the Chinese papers and delivered our gifts we are in essentially a waiting mode.
Our group went shopping at a local mall, the Lotus Center. It was jam packed with products and foods of all types at very affordable prices. We shipped for Levi.
We toured the Shaolin Temple on Wednesday. This is the traditional home of Shaolin Kungfu and there are still a number of Kungfu schools in the area. It is also the home of Zen Buddhism. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. There are about 300 monks at the temple. This latest version was built in the 1980’s and is a popular attraction. While there we enjoyed a typical Chinese lunch and then went to watch a Kungfu show. What the young demonstrated was the outstanding discipline and control. There was no Kungfu fighting.
Thursday was a free day and we visited a local park in the morning and went shopping at Walmart. As you will see in the pictures, it was not your typical US store. This store was in a multi-story building and was located on the second and third floor. The staff was very helpful.
Friday we are off to Guangzhou for another week to handle the US paperwork. Then home on Sunday, Sept. 19.

Posted by jckrier 19:43 Archived in China Comments (0)

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