A picture of motherhood.


Overcooked eggs and piles of napkins.
Cutting up food for one child while the other one eats off of her plate.
One child in pajamas the other wearing 2 dresses, a wedding veil, and a bow tie.
Mom with her hands full and Dad standing around taking pictures.



Time at Home

We are home and have enjoyed a few quiet days playing together and
exploring the house.

Lucy enjoys playing dress up, paper crafts, popcorn, singing, playing dress up, did I mention playing dress up?

IMG_2647 IMG_2626 IMG_2623


Welcome Home!

We had a wonderful welcome home from friends and family at the airport!
Thanks to everyone who came out to meet us, we are so sorry for those that had to miss due to our flight change!

Here are some great pictures that have been shared with us of our time at the airport.
We are so glad to be home and have ALL seven of us together!!


MAWelcome2 MAWelcome6 MAWelcome3

MAWelcome8 HWelcome2 HWelcome1

MAWelcome12 Welcome1 MAWelcome11 MAWelcome10 HWelcome6HWelcome3 HWelcome5


We are starting to prepare to come home!
This has been an amazing journey…
but we are ready.
If you would like to see a glimpse of our Sparrow
before we go into hibernation,
come see us at the airport Thursday afternoon!
Flight UA896 – Hong Kong to Chicago
12/04/14 11:10am lands 11:45am
Flight UA3713 – Chicago to Omaha
12/04/14 3:08pm lands 4:43pm

Every Journey is Unique

China is a big place, so we know we have seen very little of it. Here are a few of our observations. We saw exactly 3 cats and 4 dogs in China so far. This cat is sitting conspicuously close to the tank full of fish in the park. They let kids catch them with little poles and then their parents pay for them. I’m guessing for pets, but who knows.IMG_0583

This dog was on its way somewhere by itself yesterday. Lucy is not a dog lover, they kinda freak her out. IMG_2370

This is in the front door of a restaurant. It is very common to to have seafood that you pick out and they cook. (I didn’t see any goldfish).


Speaking of food, here are some of the things we ate.


I mostly took pictures of breakfast, and then I wore out.IMG_0373

This is KFC in Xian. I got a chicken sandwich. It had dark meat, and was spicy: gotta say it was a bit disappointing.

We found this restaurant at a large department store.

IMG_9505OK, we didn’t actually eat at the chicken head place.

Picture from inside an art, clothing, suitcase shop on Shamian Island.


This is Lucy watching Becca play the piano at home. Our contact with home has been more limited than we hoped. They are doing a great job.




We have actually learned a few Chinese phrases and Lucy understands when we say them!  She is also repeating many English words and saying “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” and remembering the sequence of #1-10 pretty well.  (We count as we go up stairs).  She knows “flower” and “up” and “baby”. She uses a lot of Chinese we don’t know, but it is very clear when she is unhappy with us. And loves watching TV  Hmmm… We’ll have to figure that one out when we get home.  :-)

Chinese speakers please skip to the next section. Here are a few of the Chinese words we know, with spelling that only makes sense to us.

SEE-uh, SEE-eh – thank you
Ju SHE shem a? - What is this?
TSEE-dan – Egg
ME-in bow – Bread
Shway-gua – Fruit
BOO shing – not ok, an absolute
oo-EYE-nee – I love you
How-hIDE-Za – Good girl
HUNG-HOW – very good
Zo BA – let’s go!
Boo Yow – no thank you
Show-dong” – just a minute. (show like shower)
JAY-ga – this
NAY-ga – that
CHEE-Fan – eat food
MEE-AN-La – No spicy – (Something we say often but not to Lucy)

Lucy makes little craft projects with ziplock bags, hair ribbons, and tea bag tags. She takes pictures of flowers (and picks them if we aren’t able to talk her out of it).



Yesterday we took a walk in Guangzhou to get noodles for dinner… Kirstin suggested we sing a song, and we ended up singing “Jingle Bells” turns out she has an ear for music, she almost has it down!

We have used singing to successfully smooth out of a couple confrontations.

Another great thing that happened is we used the iPad Jason got from work to let Lucy play some games. We got some music making apps, some recognizing shapes and some number and letter naming/tracing games, and she loves them. Hopefully this is going to be a terrific replacement for Chinese cartoons.

Hanna made some new friends, actually I think they just liked her hair, so they asked to take a picture with her.


Taking a break from some shopping at Shamian Island while Baba goes into a 7-11 to attempt to get more data on my China Unicom SIM card (in my phone). I failed.


Delivery vehicles in China.



Lots of photo shoots on Shamian Island today…




Our Consulate appointment is tomorrow Tuesday at 9:00am (7PM Monday night Central Time). This will include a “swearing in” ceremony and more paperwork. Later on we will get a Visa from them for Lucy to travel to the US.


Firsts for the Bravest Girl Ever

We are enjoying getting to share a few firsts with Lucy Joy…
after missing so many of them.
We left for Guangzhou on Friday night… on a plane!!
She was so excited to get the chance to ride on an airplane.
The guide told her just how it would go in Chinese so she would know what to expect and asked her if she was scared.  She said no!  Our girl is so brave. She was zipping the suitcases up for us after breakfast, unfortunately she had to wait until 3:00 pm!

She was just giddy after we finally got off the bus that drove us right up to the plane.  How exciting!  When the plane started down the runway, she repeated, “take off!”  She kept asking for her noodles that the guide had told her they would offer and I don’t think she could believe that she got to pick her own drink… twice!

Today we had our medical appointment that is part of the US side of the adoption.  After spending a very long time in a very noisy and crowded and hot waiting room taking turns between a general check, a vision check, a visit with an ENT, and a secondary vision check for Lucy…
each of the children had to have blood drawn for a TB test.
She marched right into the room (no parents allowed),
had blood drawn and marched out without even a complaint.
Here she is posing for a picture with her bandaid.IMG_2065Then we headed back to the hotel for a little CCTV 14 and even
experimented with “knitting.”
*smile*IMG_2104Next up was touring the hotel grounds.
We fed the fish…IMG_2117And then thought we would take a look at the pool.  IMG_2126

 No way we would actually swim, right?  I almost didn’t even bring suits.
The average person in China would not know how to swim,
and we knew that Lucy had never been swimming before.
With some translation help,we learned
that she did not know what a pool or a bathing suit was.

But she insisted,
and before we knew it…IMG_2129IMG_2153IMG_2154

Another first to share!IMG_2165IMG_2173