New pictures

Yes, we’re still here. Everybody seems to be on US time now; Alex adjusted much faster than we expected.

We’re still working on the journal of our adventures in China–do you all want to read about it day by day, or in one monstrous entry? Leave a comment, let me know.

As a reward for your patience, I’ve added the pictures from our adventures in Hong Kong to the photo gallery.

Home…

…is where you hang your hat.
…sweet home.
…is where, when you go there, they have to take you in.
…is where we are now, and where we won’t be leaving any time soon.

We made it.

Guangzhou and the White Swan Hotel

We’ve arrived at Guangzhou and are at the White Swan Hotel. Guangzhou’s greatest attraction, as far as I’m concerned, is the presence of Danny’s Bagels, which provides American comfort food. Chinese food is fine, but after 10 days of it, we were desperate for a taste of home. Yesterday’s meals consisted of hamburgers, macaroni and cheese (which Alex loves) and pizza.

Guangzhou is much more accessible to us, and many things to do and see are available within walking distance. Here we are with Greg and Ann and their daughter Miya, in a park just a couple of blocks from the hotel.

The White Swan has a playroom designed and stocked by Mattel. We’ve been told that the kids in Desheng had a total of three toys to share, so Alex wasn’t too sure about an entire roomful of playthings. After a few minutes, though, she got the idea.


The White Swan has a two-story waterfall in the central atrium. Unfortunately, it’s a little difficult to make out in this shot.

We got the word this morning that all the paperwork for the adoption is done. We have our interview at the American consulate this afternoon, and that’s the final step. The adoption is final, and when Alex steps foot on US soil she’ll be an American citizen.

We leave for Hong Kong tomorrow afternoon, a 3.5 hour bus ride. Home is close–this part of the journey is almost over.

Final night in Guilin

The Internet access is still terrible. We’re hoping for better once we reach Guangzhou tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s some pictures to prove we’re really here in China.

Here’s Lauri and Alex on Gotcha Day, moments after Alex was handed to Lauri. The orphanage had dressed all the girls in matching red outfits.

The next morning Alex demonstrated that she could stand by herself, and had apparently never experienced carpet beneath her feet before. A couple of minutes after this picture was taken, she showed us that she could walk as well.

This is two days after Gotcha Day. Congee is a thing of the past. Getting her to eat is not a problem.

We went to a Buddhist temple in Nanning for a blessing of the babies. There was a large pond filled with koi in the same park, and Lauri and Alex watched the koi feeding. Alex really likes watching fish, and wants to stop at every fish tank and goldfish bowl.

Yesterday we took a 4-hour boat tour of the Li River. Lauri and Alex sat by the window and watched the scenery.

Last night we went to Elephant Trunk Hill Park, one of Guilin’s signature attractions. Here’s a picture of all three of us, to prove that I’m actually in China, too. That’s Elephant Trunk Hill behind us.

We haven’t been able to get any email yet, so nobody should feel like we’re ignoring them. Hopefully, we’ll be able to stay in touch in Guangzhou.

Gotcha

We have her. She’s amazing. She’s walking, has six teeth, and quite a personality.

Internet access is terrible here, so other postings will have to wait. There’s a story about ham sandwiches you all should hear, as well as all the details of gotcha day. I hope we’ll have better luck in Guilin.

Keep us in your thoughts.

The Kendalls,
Lauri, Jay and Alex

We’re here

We made it.

We’re in Hong Kong, and safe.

We’re exhausted.

More to follow, including which one of us is the new poster child for the Transportation Safety Administration.

We meet Alex tonight.

First stop, Newark

The World Tour has begun. We’re at the Marriott at the Newark airport.

It’s been a long couple of days, getting everything packed and in order. I don’t know if everything is in order, but everything that can be packed, is. There isn’t a spare cubic inch left in any of the luggage. If we forgot something, we’ll either have to buy it in China or do without.

We’ll continue to do postings, but we may not be able to upload them until we get to a hotel with internet access. If you don’ t hear from us, don’t worry…just keep checking back.

If you want to communicate with us, the email address is [redacted]. We’ll share the best emails here with everybody (unless you ask us not to).

So here’s the situation: we fly out tomorrow afternoon. The next time you hear from us, we’ll be in Hong Kong. Keep us in your thoughts, please–I can’t tell you how grateful we are for your support.