Thursday, June 26, 2008

Travel, visas, and more

Yesterday, we received our passports back from the Embassy of China. They had our visas affixed to them. We are now approved to enter China.

Today, we ended up making a slight change to our travel plans. We will be flying to China on Sunday July 6th. This is one day earlier than we had first planned. We will have an extra free day in Beijing before we meet our travel group. While we are in Beijing by ourselves, we plan to visit the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Olympic park, and a few other place. We cannot wait to explore Beijing!

I have to admit that packing for this trip has been a little stressful. Finally, after our fifth try, we have three bags packed that all weigh under 50 lbs. I had talked to an agent at United Airlines today and asked what the overweight fee was for our flights. I almost needed CPR when he told me it would be $300 per bag over 50 lbs.! In China we will more than likely have to pay a small fee for extra or overweight bags, but they are not that high.

Our countdown has changed a little since we are leaving earlier. We now have 10 days to go!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Travel Group Websites

I have added a heading on the left hand side of our page. It is titled "Our Travel Group." These are links to websites for some of the families traveling with us to China. As I get permission to add other sites, I will update it with more links.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


We received our full travel itinerary yesterday. We also found out that our group has 17 families in it including us. We will see many of the other families when we are in Beijing. Then, there are two families traveling with us to Taiyuan, Shanxi. At the end of our trip, all 17 families will be together in Guangzhou with our kids.

Here is what our stay in China looks like:

July 8, 2008 - Arrive in Beijing.

July 9, 2008 - Free day

July 10, 2008 - Free day

July 11, 2008 - Orientation meeting. Acrobatic show in the afternoon.

July 12, 2008 - Visit the Great Wall and Cloisonne Factory.

July 13, 2008 - Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Hutong Tour

July 14, 2008 - Flight to Taiyuan, Shanxi.
We get Michael in the afternoon!!

July 15, 2008 - Adoption registration and notarization.

July 16, 2008 - Free

July 17, 2008 - Visit Double Pagoda Temple.

July 18, 2008 - Visit Shanxi Provincial Museum. Receive all the documents. Flight to Guangzhou.

July 19, 2008 - Medical exam and visa pictures in the morning.

July 20, 2008 - Free day.

July 21, 2008 - Visa appointment.

July 22, 2008 - Go to the consulate to take the oath and pick up visa.

July 23, 2008 - Fly Home.

Michael will be a U.S. citizen as soon as we step off the plane in the U.S.

19 days to go!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake!

We had a cake sent to Michael at the orphanage a couple of weeks ago. We received new pictures today. One included some of the kids and the orphanage workers celebrating around the cake. When we ordered the cake, we though it was going to be something like a sheet cake. We had no idea how big and beautiful it would be.

Last week, we ordered another cake to be sent to him on his birthday (July 1). Hopefully, we can get some pictures of that, too.

Also, we received our hotel confirmation today. We needed to send copies of this with our visa applications. We will send off for our visas tomorrow and hope to have them back next week.

Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I was looking through the blog and realized that we did not post a picture of the mural in Michael's room after my mom made changes to it. She changed the little girl in a pink dress with pigtails to a little boy. Plus, she added a few other things, such as the Atlanta Braves hat, some turtles, a fishing rod, etc. We think she did an amazing job. Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

U.S. to China and Back

We received our itinerary for our flights today. We fly from Richmond to Beijing on July 7th. We fly back into Richmond on July 23rd. We will also get to do a little time traveling. We leave Beijing at 4:10 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 4:04 p.m. the same day.

34 days to go!!! (but who's counting?)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Travel News!

We found out today that our TA (travel acceptance) came in. We also received information about our travel. We are planning to arrive in Beijing a couple of days ahead of our group to see sites that are not on the regular tour. However, we need to meet our group (17 families including us!) in Beijing on July 10. This means we will be in Beijing on my birthday (July 11). . We will go to Michael's province (Shanxi) on July 13 with two other families. I am guessing that we will get Michael on July 14. What a great belated birthday gift! Our consulate appointment is on July 21 in Guangzhou. We can fly home on July 23. We will know our exact dates of travel tomorrow. Hopefully, the next five weeks will fly by!