Friday, June 30, 2006 

We're here!!!!

It's 10:30 pm on Friday and we are safely ensconced at the Zhongya Hotel right next to the Shanghai train station. It’s just a place to crash for the night, we will take the train to Nanjing early tomorrow morning. I’m not sure what time the train actually leaves but we are supposed to meet our guide (Evita) in the lobby at 7:30 ready to go.

Flights were thankfully uneventful. Got where we needed to be when we needed to be there and no delays. Surprisingly I couldn’t sleep, maybe an hour overall. Jeff did get quite a bit of snooze time in which is good. Took 2 hours to get through immigration though, ugh!!! Poor Evita thought she had somehow missed us.

The drive to the hotel….interesting. No matter how often you hear about the driving in China, you can’t believe it until you are in the middle of it. You have to remember we are from Jersey, land of psycho drivers. HA! Rush hour on the Parkway is like a pleasure ride on a country lane compared to this. We were oddly fascinated though and even a bit impressed. Traffic would move much better at home if we drove like this. I can’t figure out what the rules of the road are, but somehow four cars can battle over one lane and no one hits anyone. Very little honking, no sign language and traffic just zips along.

Anyway, it was around 8pm when we finally got into our room. I promptly fell asleep. Had granola bars for dinner, just too pooped to try to figure out how to find a place to eat.

Will try to check in tomorrow!!

Holly & Jeff

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

No..I haven't packed yet. Stop asking.

Since our flight is so early in the morning tomorrow, we are going to stay at a hotel near the airport tonight. That means we are leaving the house in... 9 hours and 18 minutes (car is picking us up at 8:30 pm). Around 4pm things should start getting interesting around here :::snort:::

We have gotten our schedule pretty much figured out now.
Friday afternoon arrive in Shanghai. Stay overnight.
Saturday morning, take a train to Nanjing. Relax and sightsee Saturday & Sunday.
Monday 7/3 meet Hank!!!!
Tuesday paperwork at the civil affairs office, take a train to Suzhou. Stay in Suzhou 3 nights.
Wednesday, visit the SWI
Thursday sightsee and hopefully hit the pearl & jade markets.
Friday back to Nanjing to pick up Hank's passport.
Saturday fly to Guanzhou. Do all the things that need to be done there.
We are not going to tour Hong Kong, just seemed too crazy. We'll hang out in Guanzhou until Friday (7/14) morning and take a quick flight to the Hong Kong airport in time to catch our flight HOME.

For those of you that know her, Judy will be our guide for most of the time in Nanjing and Guangzhou.

Saturday, June 24, 2006 

So where are we going anyway?

We will be making a few stops along the way. First we fly from Newark to Chicago to Shanghai. Once we land in Shanghai, we will be go right to Nanjing This is the capital city of Jiangsu Province. In China, provinces are essentially like our states. We will be there from Friday through Tuesday and will meet Hank there on Monday.

Hank is from Suzhou Social Welfare Institute (SWI) A SWI cares for both children and elderly/disabled adults. A CWI is a Children’s Welfare Institute and is for children only.

Even though Hank lives in Suzhou, adoptions are handled at the Civil Affairs office of the capital city of the province (clear as mud??). Parents have to remain in that province for about 5 days while the child’s paperwork is processed and their passport issued. While we wait for his passport, we are planning a side trip to Suzhou for 3 nights. It is supposed to be a beautiful city and since Hank is older, we think it’s important to get to know where he is from.

Friday we hop back to Nanjing to pick up his passport and spend one more night at the Mandarin Garden Hotel.

Still with me?? Good! Ok, Saturday we leave Nanjing and fly down to Guangzhou.

This is where the American Consulate is located and more paperwork awaits us. All U.S. citizens that adopt from China must pass through Guangzhou so there are lots of new families there! We will be staying at the Victory Hotel

Still trying to tie up the last few days of the trip. Paperwork-wise, we could come home on Thursday 7/13 but there were no good flights so we are leaving on Friday the 14th.

We might spend the last two days in Hong Kong, we might just keep it simple and stay put in Guangzhou.

Then we fly from Hong Kong, to Chicago to Newark!

I think that covers it!

I should probably pack….nah…still too early.....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

We have dates!!

It's official (I think..)
We will leave home on 6/29
Meet Hank on 7/3 (woohoo!!!)
Our Consulate appointment is scheduled for July 11th.
And we will fly home from Hong Kong on July 14th.

We aren't 100% sure where we will be in between all that, still ironing out those details.

I'm fried


We have TA!!!

Hank, June 2006
Originally uploaded by hollysbaking.
They like us, they really really like us!
China has issued our Travel Approval which means we can bring our boy HOME!!! We should find out in a day or two when we can actually travel, most likely the end of next week.

We also got a wonderful surprise in some new pictures of Hank! This was taken on June 6th by a very nice lady I have been emailing with. She used to live in Suzhou and was back there for a two week vacation.
He looks like such a ham in this picture! I think he'll fit in with us just fine!

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