Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Has it really been four years.....

As I am writing this much needed update, I have to stop for moments of "sampling" the plastic food that Emma is preparing in her kitchen. As I watch her play, it doesn't seem possible that we were in China over four years ago. Our lives have changed so much over the last several years. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family. God truly sent us two of the most beautiful girls! They are filled with so much spirit. We are forever blessed with His wonderful gifts!

As we prepare to celebrate our Adoption Day, I pulled up my travel journal from our trip. It was a little sentimental to read the daily posts. After we came home, we discontinued our original blog so I thought I would repost our travel journal. Enjoy!

Day 1
Date: 02/22/2007
This has been a wild day. We didn't go to bed until about 12:30 a.m. We got a phone call around 1:30 a.m. from United Airlines informing us that our flight was cancelled from Charleston to Chicago. After many phone calls with the airlines, our travel agency, our travel insurance company, and our travel companions, a United employee was able to route us to Pittsburgh via another airline. We meet us with the Kinder family in Charleston and began our long journey to China. We went from Pittsburgh to Chicago with relative ease. When we got to Chicago, we were once again told that we didn't have a ticket on the flight to Hong Kong. Curtis was able to work some magic with his USAir contacts who made certain we go on the plane to Hong Kong. After sixteen long hours on the plane, we landed in Hong Kong. We are staying at the Regal Kowloon Hotel for the next two evenings. We enjoyed a nice dinner of authentic McDonald's food! The lack of sleep over the last two days has really caught up with us. We are off to sleep land!

Day 2-3
Date: 02/24/2007
We have lost a day on our trip to Hong Kong. We got up early this morning to go to a nice buffet breakfast. Our agency, CCAI, arranged for a tour of Hong Kong. We boarded the buses for a day of sightseeing around the city. We visited Victory Peak to see an elevated view of Hong Kong. We visited the Aberdeen Fisherman's Village. We rode a water taxi through the fishing village. We saw lots of fishing boats as well as a very large floating Chinese restaurant. Our next stop was to the Aberden Jewelry Factory. They handmake all of their jewelry in their shop. They had many beautiful pieces of jewelry. We worked our way to the discount shop. We each got a jade charm for a necklace. Jade represents a long life. Our next stop was the Stanley Market for some more shopping. We got some Chinese name stamps and Chinese PJ's. The saleslady kept trying to get Curtis to buy a pair of silk PJ's. She was certain she had his size. Our last stop was to the Jade Terrace Restaurant for a dim sum lunch. We enjoyed a family-style Chinese lunch.
We have stopped by the hotel for an hour of rest. Although we would like to go to sleep for the evening, we are trying to get adjusted to the time difference. We are thirteen hours ahead of West Virginia time. We are going to a laser light show this evening.
We will leave the hotel at 8:20 a.m. tomorrow morning to go to the airport. After two long years, the day we have waited for will finally come true. We will travel to Nanchang to get our baby girl, Emma. I'm not sure that words can express our emotions. Please keep us in your prayers that this will be a smooth transition. We can't wait to post new pictures of the newest member of the Ferguson family.

Gotcha Day
Date: 02/25/2007
We arrived in Nanchang around 1:30 p.m. Although we enjoyed our stay in Hong Kong, we feel that we are really experiencing China. Nanchang is not a tourist town. While it has some modern structures, it has many poor areas. The traffic is crazy!!! We've been told that traffic accidents account for many deaths in China. We are going to try to visit the non-vehicle roads. We had a group meeting from 3:30-5:30 p.m. to prepare us for the big event. After a dinner of Pizza Hut, we meet in the baby room around 6:30 p.m. We were the fourth couple to get our baby. Emma is so beautiful. We didn't have any trouble recognizing our daughter. (Curtis actually saw her in the lobby when he was exchanging some money!) She was very pleasant when we first brought her to the room. She drank a bottle and ate some Cheerios. She also took her first bath with us. She seems to be very healthy! We will probably have to go to Walmart tomorrow to buy her some more clothes. I think she is going to be wearing between 12-18 months! She is so robust. God truly picked her for our family. She wasn't so eager about bedtime. She cried for a long spell. She finally laid down in her crib for a few hours. When she awoke around 12:30 a.m., we put her in our bed. She is now snuggled next to Darya. We have a busy day tomorrow filling out paperwork with the government. We will send more pictures later this week. We praise God for the prayers that brought us to this wonderful day!

Adoption Day
Date: 02/26/2007
We are officially the parents of Emma Xiao Di Ferguson. We had to complete some additional paperwork this morning for the Chinese government. After a morning or resting and getting to know our baby, we boarded the bus for both the Civil Affair and Notary Office. Our first stop was to the Civil Affair office to pay our fees. We then meet with the Notarty to sign our official paperwork. We now will have to wait until Thursday or Friday to get all of our official documents before we leave Nanchang.
We also had the experience of going to Walmart. Due to a lack of building space, the Walmart is housed in a four story building. The first and fourth floor are rented to other tenants. The second and third floor are connected by a flat escalator that allows customers to move their shopping cart from floor to floor. While we found typical supplies, we also saw some interesting food. They have an array of food with the most interesting selections of meat and seafood. The food is very fresh. They allow YOU the opportunity to take your meat while it is still quite alive. The prices were very low compared to the US. The most difficult thing to find was Diet Coke. The Chinese people are not used to drinking it. They are true to the original Coca-Cola. Curt ventured out with Don for a taxi ride to KFC. They said it was a wild experience. The chicken and mashed potatoes were just like home. This has been a tiring day so we are heading to bed a little earlier tonight.

Doctor Visit/Free Market/Chinese Dinner
Date: 02/27/2007
We had a free day to explore the city. The doctor came this morning to examine Emma. She has a cold so she is going to be on several medications for the next few days. We spent a quiet afternoon in the room catching up on some rest. We were supposed to go to the park and zoo, but the weather didn't cooperate with those plans. We did go to the Free Market and Chinese dinner. The Free Market was a fun shopping experience. The facilities are not very sanitary. There are numerous vendors throughout the four floors. We picked up some baby items, clothes, and shoes. Darya got a pair of Chinese Power Ranger tennis shoes. We also found Emma some ladybug shoes. The most entertaining aspect of the market is the way in which you negotiate the prices. Curt had a great time bartering with the vendors. They find him very interesting because he is not your average Chinese size.
After an hour of shopping (we could have used 2 more hours), we went for a traditional Chinese meal. They served the food family style at our table. The dishes were tasty. They have very spicky food in Nanchang. Although our food consisted of primarily pork, lamb, and beef, they did have an assortment of live seafood. You just go to the area with the various tanks and pick out your seafood. This sure beats Krogers fresh seafood section! We are having a great time in China. We already know that we will return in the future. Although the people are very curious about Western people, they are very nice. Our guides with CCAI are wonderful. We love you James and Evelyn. They are teaching us to sing Chinese lullaby and phrases. They are so helpful in getting the things we need for our trip. We have the best adoption agency!

New Nanchang/Temple
Date: 02/28/2007
We visited the new part of Nanchang. It is much cleaner and less crowded than the original city. Although they have a lot of new buildings, the people are waiting to move across the river until the business tenants also move into the new area. We also went to the Nanchang Temple. It was a true Chinese experience. We got to see a traditional Chinese performance. We had to climb a lot of stairs to get in the temple. I now understand why we were told to get into shape before we came to China. I should have listened a little better! We did get to take an elevator to the very top floor. It was a beautiful view of the city and water.
We had a very good lunch at another Chinese restaruant. They also had a nice selection of fresh seafood. We went with the pork, chicken, and beef.
Curtis and I had a Chinese massage. For such a small Chinese woman, she had some really STRONG hands. We were fully dressed. She used pressure point techniques. Although it was nice to relax for an hour, I had to clench my teeth to get through some parts of the massage. I guess I'm all limbered up for another week in China!
We ventured out into the city this evening. We took a taxi to Pizza Hut. They had traditional menu items as well as some Chinese dishes. We were not sure about the soda. It didn't come in a bottle, so we were a little fearful about getting sick. We only took a few drinks and decided we would rather be dry than get sick. Hopefully, we didn't doom ourselves!
We are back for a night of rest. We are going to FengCheng tomorrow to visit Emma's place of abandonment. This is a bittersweet visit. I can't imagine anyone leaving her alone. Yet, I know that angels held her until someone found her. God truly does know the plans for each of our lives! Goodnight from China.

FengCheng Visit
Date: 03/01/2007
We boarded the bus early this morning for a day in FengCheng. This is the county where Emma lived before she came to be with us. There are six babies in our group from this area. They were all in foster care. The bus ride was very interesting. They really are carefree about driving. I'm not sure that traffic laws really worry many people. We say a lot of the China countryside on our trip into the county. This area is much more rural than Nanchang.
We visited the spots where each baby was abandoned by her birth mother. While this sounds so inhuman to us, these women feel that this is the best life for their child. It was a very sad moment when we stepped in front of the pharmacy where Emma was left to be found by the town's people. We were able to photograph and video this site so that we can share this information with her. I think both Curtis and I really felt a connection with her birth mother at that moment. She is the woman who brought us this beautiful life. We will be forever grateful for this precious gift.
After visiting all of the sites, we went to KFC for some American lunch. The people are not used to seeing Americans in their city, so they were very curious as to why we were there. They gave us the "thumbs up" when they read our necklace card that said we were here to adopt a baby girl. They truly appreciate the opportunity that we are giving this children. They are very facinated with the American life. Yet, we have also become envious of their life. They seem so content with their life. They have what they need to survive. They enjoy their family. While I'm sure they would soak up all that we have in our lives, they do not seem to complain about what life has brought their way. I guess there is a lot to learn in this way of living.
After we returned to Nanchang, we decided to go to the zoo. This zoo was sooo different than our zoos. It was very smelly! They had enough animals to keep the kids entertained for a few hours. We decided to stop at McDonald's on the way back to the hotel. The Big Mac, french fries, and fried banana pie were a tasty dinner. We are tired from our excursions so we are retiring for the night!

Date: 03/02/2007
We went to the Police Station early this morning to get Emma's Chinese Passport. We will take this on to Guangzhou to get the US Visa so she can enter the US. We continue to get closer and closer to gaining her US citizenship.
We went shopping in the porcelain district. Nanchang is known for its fine porcelain. We bought some nice gifts as well as a tea set for the girls to use at home.
The weather turned out to be very nice this afternoon, so we deciced to go to the park. It was very nice. We got to visit with the local Chinese people. They are so accepting of us. They want to learn about us just as we are curious about them. The park had a lot of exercise equipment as well as performance areas. We had a great day. We wish we had found this area earlier in the week.
We ended our evening with another Chinese meal. This will be our last group dinner in Nanchang. We leave for Guangzou tomorrow afternoon.
(We also got our disposable camera developed acrosss the street. It has a lot of pictures of Emma and her foster mother in FengCheng.)
Good Night from Nanchang. We have bittersweet emotions about leaving this area. We know we will one day return to visit our daughter's birth home.

Leaving Nanchang
Date: 03/03/2007
This has been another emotional day. We were sad to leave this city as well as our wonderful new friends, James and Evelyn. I suppose we feel like we have a bond with this area. We had a great time on the bus trip to the airport. Evelyn and James would teach us Chinese songs to sing to our children. Then, they had us sing English songs to them. We had a lot of fun!
We have arrived in Guangzhou. It is so different from Nanchang. We feel like we are in a tourist town in the US. We are so glad we got to experience Nanchang. The White Swan isn't as great as we had heard from so many people. We really enjoyed our hotel in Nanchang, so this was somewhat of a disappointment to us. Our CCAI guide is Raymond. He seems like a nice guy. We were tired so we just went to Lucy's for dinner. We had Western food. It was fine. We have some free time tomorrow, so we are going to do a little shopping for the girls. We also have more paperwork to fill out for the US Consulate. This will allow Emma to enter the US. When we land in Chicago, she will officially be a US citizen.

Date: 03/04/2007
We had a nice breakfast this morning. Yet, there are too many people at this hotel. We don't have the same cozy feel as in Nanchang. In case you couldn't tell from reading my posts, we really loved Nanchang. It became another home to us. We just walked around town taking in all of the street shops. Curtis had to fill out the paperwork this afternoon, so I took the girls to the Matel playroom. They had a fun time. We are doing some touring tomorrow afternoon. We will be home in four days. We will be anxious to see everyone.

Pearl Market
Date: 03/06/2007
We've had a free morning. Curt has a cold so he stayed inside with Emma. It is a lot cooler here today. Darya and I ventured out to do a little shopping. We are not very good at bargaining with the merchants, so we just got a few items.
We went to the Pearl Market this afternoon. It is located in this huge mall. I think there are 2100 stores. You just go to a store and they start bringing out strands of pearls. There are different ratings based on size, roundness, and color. We bought 3 strands as well as 2 pairs of earrings. We had the strands made into necklaces and bracelets. They double knot between each pearl.
We also bought new DVD movies for $2. We got Happy Feet, Night at the Museum, and several other new titles. We hope to find Nintendo DS games tomorrow at the Electronic Market.
We had dinner at McDonald's and walked back to the hotel. We have one more full day in Guangzhou.

Last Day in Guangzhou
Date: 03/07/2007
This is our last day in Guangzhou. We leave the White Swan at 5:00 AM to go to the airport. We will arrive in Charleston around 4:30 PM. We had our appointment at the US Consulate around 4:00. Emma has her visa to enter the US. She should get her citizenship papers in about 4-6 weeks. We are anxious to get her home. She has done so well living out of a hotel for almost two weeks. She has so many new friends and family to meet in WV. Keep us in your prayers as we travel back home. God Bless You!

Home Sweet Home
Date: 03/14/2007
We arrived home on Thursday, March 8 around 5:00 p.m. The trip home was a little crazy. Our morning started out on a sour note when we had to repurchase Emma's lap ticket. We didn't realize that we had received a paper ticket before we left home. The flight was still long from Hong Kong to Chicago. Emma did pretty well sitting on an airplane for 14 hours. Darya slept most of the trip. We were only missing one piece of luggage when we arrived at US Customs in Chicago. Yet, we had no luggage when we arrived in Charleston. It did come late that night. They delivered our last bag on Friday. We were surprised that everything made it back from China.
Emma seems to be adjusting to her new home. We are all having some issues with the difference in time. Everyone slept until 6:30 a.m. this morning. Yippee!!! We felt so great in China, but we have been feeling sick since we arrived home. I guess it is the adjustment to a new schedule.
We took Emma to the doctor last Friday. He was concerned about the congestion in her chest, so he put her on breathing treatments. She is sounding much better this week. We've been so tired that we have not snapped any new pictures. We'll get the camera out tonight to capture our beautiful girl's smile. She truly is a blessing from God.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! The girls are so excited to celebrate Christmas. Emma loves a good birthday party, so Jesus should be excited for His special day. She has Happy Birthday, Jesus! cups that she brought home to share with Darya and Jesse. I imagine we'll also have cake or pie for Jesus. She isn't too keen on Santa. She refused to sit on his lap, so mommy got to hold her in the picture. She hasn't really tried to get into the gifts. I have caught Darya shaking a few boxes. She also caught a peek at something in the garage. I told her that she better act surprised! We'll be home for the holidays. We're looking forward to getting a little rest and playing lots of Wii! We hope your family has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Fall 2008

We've been having fun this fall at our house. The girls had fun on Halloween. Emma wasn't too sure about wearing the costume, but she sure loved the candy! We are having Indian Summer weather this week. The girls have enjoyed being outside playing in the leaves. We are getting ready to go to Denver for Thanksgiving to visit with my brother, Timmy, and his wife, Katy. We are looking forward to seeing their new home. During this time of giving thanks, we want to praise God for all of the blessings in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We LOVE Summer!

We can't believe that it is actually summer. We have been busy since school let out for summer break. We left to go see my Granny in Michigan on May 23. We had a nice visit over Memorial Day weekend. She seemed to be in good spirits. She did just get over a spell with pneumonia. Cheri says that she seems to be getting better because she is asking for her beer! We left for a vacation in Tennessee on June 7. We visited the Longaberger and Hickman families and went to the Zoo in Nashville. We spent a quiet evening in Knoxville before heading to Gatlinburg. We spent 5 days with several of the families from our China Travel Group. We had a great time watching the girls play with each other. We went to the Ripley's Aquarium, Dollywood, and Cade's Cove. We really enjoyed our time with our extended family. We're looking forward to another great week next June at Lake Tahoe! Darya was sick last week with a sinus infection. She spent a lot of time resting on the couch with her cats. We left early this morning for Preschool Summer Program and Girl Scout Camp. This is the first week of my Preschool Summer Program so Emma and I spent our day at the church. Darya began her third year at Camp Rocky Ledges in Milton. She really enjoys going to this camp each summer. I'll be spending Tuesday and Thursday with her. She said that I picked some great days because we get to cook our lunch and go in the canoes on Tuesday. We are also starting the digging for our garage on Satuday. It will be so nice to have all of the junk out of the other garage and attic! I'll try to upload some recent pictures within the next few days. The girls seem to grow more and more each day!