Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finally....We Have Travel Dates!!!

Although I'm a bit disappointed about the length of time we have to wait before we can travel, I'm relieved to finally have definate dates!

Wednesday, 2/18 - fly from Chicago to Beijing
Monday, 2/23 - fly from Beijing to Nanning (we'll receive Ella that afternoon!!!)
Friday, 2/27 (estimate) - fly from Nanning to Guangzhou
Wednesday, 3/4 - fly from Guangzhou to Shanghai to Chicago

I'm so excited...this is finally going to come true! And as a bonus, I'm going to be able to see my great friend, Cathy. Her family moved to Shanghai last fall. She's going to fly into Guangzhou and stay with us to see our sweet Ella! I'm so looking forward to spending time with her and taking advantage of her international bargaining skills! I can envision an afternoon of shopping in the markets and then a late-day Chinese massage :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Updated Measurements

Today Ann from Red Thread China (the wonderful lady who is arranging my care package delivery to the orphanage) emailed me with new measurements of Ella which she obtained from talking to the orphanage director.

At almost 14 months old, Ella is now 28.75 inches tall and weighs 20.9 lbs! She is definately growing since the last measurements which were taken on 9/2/08. She falls at about the 25th percentile on the American growth charts, which isn't too bad. Just for a comparison, Ian was 31" tall and weighed 23 lbs at the same age. I'm very pleased to see that she is growing at a somewhat predictable rate and seems to be thriving.

Now if only we would receive our Travel Approvals so that we can make travel arrangements...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where in China Will We Travel?

We will first fly into Beijing and tour around there for a couple of days, seeing the many sites of the famous city.

Next stop will be in southern China, to Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Province. This is where we will meet our sweet Ella for the first time! We will stay in Nanning for about a week.

Last stop will be to Guangzhou, where the American Embassy is. We will stay at The White Swan Hotel on Shaiman Island. The White Swan is a famous last stop for all adoptive families.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Care Package Sent

I've been reading up on some of the history of the Xingye SWI (orphanage) from other families posts. One of the common things that most of the families have mentioned is that Xingye is very good about accepting and distributing care packages from adoptive parents to the children. I contacted someone in China (Ann at Red Thread China) who assured me that with pre-paid, in-country courier, I could send a care package to Ella and the nannies and it would not cost the orphanage any courier or tax fees. So here is what I sent:

  • fleece blanket

  • Hughes chocolates for the nannies - a real treat all the way from Oshkosh, WI!!!

  • lotions for the nannies

  • disposable camera (all of the families that sent these ahead of time were given them back when they received their children, full of pictures of inside of the orphanage)

  • small snacks for the babies

  • photo book with our family's pictures

  • small toys

  • soft-cover baby book

Ann should receive the package next week, and then will translate a letter I included to the orphanage director and nannies and will courier it to the orphanage. I do hope that the nannies enjoy the treats and show Ella her new family's pictures! And she snuggles up at night to the blanket that smells and feels like her new home will...