Anna's Adoption

We adopted our daughter in August 2005. Take a peek at the process!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Our Friends Are in Guatemala!

Our friends are in Guatemala visiting their son, Oliver. Take a peek at their blog!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It Still Amazes Me . . .

It still amazes me that a year and two days ago, a little girl was waiting here, in Guigang, China, totally clueless as to how her life was going to change.
Life was busy with little friends all around!
She shared one of these cribs with a friend. I often wonder who that was!

And then, on August 22, they packed Jiang Xiao Lei, and eight of her friends, on to a bus to make the journey to their families. What an amazing feeling to hear "Jiang Xiao Lei . . . The Bashaw Family" and see this little one come in for US! She was handed over to US! I was no longing watching a video, the internet, etc., but experiencing what I had been dreaming about for years. Happy One Year Home, Miss Anna Bannana! We love you and thank God for bringing you into our family.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Flying the Friendly Skies

My dad promised that he would get us to China using his frequent flyer points. So when I went to make our reservation and only first class was left, there was little he could say except "Shoot . . . Won't promise that again! "

We flew over on Asiana Air, and went from Chicago to Seoul to Beijing. The flight will forever be one of my favorite memories for the following reasons:
1. I will NEVER be able to fly first class again and
2. We were treated like royalty.

We left Chicago at 1 AM, had a huge dinner, took a little Benadryl, and slept for 8 hours. We woke up less than two hours from Korea which was amazing! We got up, washed up in this amazing bathroom on the plane, had breakfast, and landed in Korea. After another 1.5 hour flight, we were in Beijing. Piece of cake! Sort of like a mini vacation!

Coming home we flew business class. It was a rough flight home for one main reason; we did not give ourselves enough time to make our connecting flight in Beijing. We made our own flight reservations because we used our FF points. We allowed 1.5 hours in between flights, and we still missed our connection due to a delayed flight from Guangzhou. If you choose to do your own arrangements, give yourself plenty of time to make your connection. Domestic flights are on the opposite end of the airport as the international flights! Little known fact at the time we were making our reservations! The Beijing airport is HUGE, and we were quite the sight racing, sweating, and practically dying from the cigarette smoke as we ran from one side of the airport to another.

We bought tickets to Korea at the gate which was pricey. I'm glad we bumped up our Visa limit for emergency situations such as these.

While in China, I feed Anna off of our plates. On the flight home, there was little that she could eat. Bring baby friendly food for the flight home, and be prepared for emergencies that could have you spending extra hours overseas. An Oatmeal on the Go, Raman Noodles, etc. would have been great to have for Anna as well as us! We flew an early morning flight from Guangzhou to Beijing, and breakfast on the plane was a square of fish. I just could not stomach it. I would have given anything for an Oatmenal on the Go!

If you can afford it, fly something other than coach. If you do fly coach, buy the extra seat for the flight home. What I loved most about the seats in first class was the ability to lay flat. In business they recline a fair amount which is still great. Anna rode with me most of the ride home so I was very glad for the extra space.

I was all gung-ho to get the baby bassinet for the flight home, and we were lucky enough to get one. They are wonderful and Anna slept in one for a few hours until we hit turbulence. Then she had to come out and sit with us. It doesn't matter if they are sleeping. It doesn't matter if you are sleeping. It doesn't matter if the sanity of the plane depends on it. They need to come out as soon as the fasten seatbelt sign comes on! I would have slipped the stewardess as much yuan as she wanted to let our daughter continue to sleep (how much safer can they be in your arms vs zipped into a bassinet!?!?) but there was no way around it. So I held a tired, disoriented, and all around confused little girl for the remaining 10 hours of the flight. I don't know who was more miserable, Anna or myself!!

In all honesty, the flight was not the bad. I was prepared for the worst and was pleasantly surprised! By the end of the trip I was so excited to get home, show Anna to her brothers, etc that little bothered me. We were going home! Anna was finally going HOME!