The Story of Gracie

We are in the process of adopting a daughter from China! Our LID [Log In Date] for our paperwork in China is Sept. 12, 2005.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Visit to Gracie's Orphanage

On Wednesday, March 7th, we were fortunate enough to be able to visit Gracie's orphanage. We had a 2 hour bus trip to Dianjiang, and spent part of the day touring the orphanage and the finding places of our babies. The Dianjiang Social Welfare Institute is the name of Gracie's orphanage. The captions for the pictures will explain for the most part what was going on. They prepared a typical Chinese lunch for us and it was delicious. I did get fussed at going to and coming from the room to change Gracie because I didn't have a jacket on her. They sure do like their babies all bundled up! Gracie seemed to enjoy seeing her ayis [nannies] and the other babies still at the orphanage. She sure showed us that she has been around a few chopsticks--she looked like a little bird when they came out with lunch! She started to baby babble in baby Chinese and has continued it a bit since the visit.
It was bittersweet for us to visit the orphanage, but it is a great feeling to get "thumbs up" from the older people when they see that she is with us!
Orphanage Visit March 7, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Day 6: Gracie Up Close and Personal

Here are some random pics of Gracie. Today was a pretty low key day, with a trip to Walmart for clothes and formula. We couldn't do the trip to see the pandas at the zoo because of the rainy weather. A good nap,some soft rice for her, and room service for us! Nice to have a pretty easy day!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Pictures from Gotcha Day!

I couldn't get the picture folder from Picasa to work with the previous blog entry, but I think I got it now:

If Susan or I can get it to work, we'll attach it to the previous blog entry.
Off to make a bottle for a happy baby who is multitasking with cheerios and stacking cups!

Gotcha Day is here!

We finally boarded the bus to go to the Civil Affairs Office..was to be orderly, alphabetically, systematically...NOT! We walked into the office, and there they were with some nannies and the director and assistant director! Mass bedlam ensued, cameras and videorecorders were flung from person to person, babies were given out from last to first! Grace AiWan Barousse was given to Mike, and she has since declared herself a daddy's girl, just like her older sister! She did great! Aside from a heat rash and inability to squeeze into 99% of the clothes we brought for her, she did great! A little quivering lip for a few seconds, water filled eyes for a few seconds, and that was it! She took a bottle great, slept on the bus ride and into the hotel, and played with toys in her crib, checking us and the toys out off and on! She loves the "little sis" bracelet from Jenn, and was attached to the family picture brag book. She loved her bath, and just stares at the other babies when they cry! She likes to socialize, but in a laid back way. She is an angel. Jenn is going to love her like crazy. She points to Mike's picture and Jenn's cheerleading picture in the book!
Well, off to Walmart tomorrow to stock up on 18 month sizes and to see the Pandas at the zoo!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

On Our Way to Civil Affairs Office!

We leave in 1 hour to go to the Civil Affairs Office! We are so nervous with this downtime; it is so hard to WAIT and I am not known for possessing much of the virtue of patience! She is on her way to the office right now; the orphanage is 2 hours away from here. We only have to cross from the southside of Chongqing over the Yantze River Bridge to the North side, so it won't take us long to go meet her. Over 2 years of wait almost over! :)

Day 4 in China...Heading to Gracie's Home Munincipality

Today we had to meet our guide in the lobby of the Beijing hotel at 5:45 a.m. I couldn't believe it when I looked out of the window and saw the cars and grounds covered in a blanket of snow! It was beautiful, and unusual at this time of the year for Beijing. Unfortunately, we had to sit on the plane for 3 hours waiting for them to de-ice the plane. We got in to Chongqing late, and when we opened the hotel door, it really hits you when you see the baby crib, stroller, and baby tub all set up for you! We then had to go to the store, which was several blocks away in the basement level of a 6 story department store, and return and tie up loose ends for the paperwork. It was exciting to experience a culture like this in Chongqing, where it isn't touristy, it is the real thing. This city has over 10 million people in it, and it sure feels like it when you are in the stores or on the roads! Today is the last day that they celebrate the Chinese New Year, and it is the lantern festival. The fireworks are out of this world! We have a terrific view from our window on the 12th floor overlooking the Yantze River and the North bank. I am exhausted and want my energy for Gotcha Day, which is tomorrow! We will post tomorrow with pictures no matter how tired we are! :)
Jill and Mike

Day 3 in China...Lots of Tours of Beijing

Here is a post I recieved this morning from Jill.

Our third day in China was a whirlwind experience; a coldy, rainy day with an all day tour of three places; Tiannamen Square, The Forbidden City, and The Great Wall. If you click on the picture for this post, it will take you to a public library of what we did. It is amazing that we are across the world, having these wonderful experiences, and soon to be with Gracie. We miss Jenn a ton and can't wait to have her hold her baby sister! Tomorrow we leave early to go to Chongqing muncipality, settle in and get our ducks in a row to go to the Civil Affairs office to get Grace!

Friday, March 02, 2007

In Beijing!

Hi, I'm Susan and I will be posting for Jill while she is in China. She is having problems with Blogger in China so when she emails me I will post it here for you to see.

We finally made it here! If you click on the photo, it will take you to our Picasa public photo gallery to see other pictures from our trip. Just experimenting with this, so if it works, we'll be able to send many more pictures in the blog from the trip. Our first day, Feb. 27th, was travel to Houston, then Newark. We decided to stay in New Jersey and just went to a huge outlet mall for a few things that we forgot for the trip. By the weight of our luggage though, you'd think that there couldn't possibly be anything that was left behind! The next morning we headed over to the airport and boarded before noon. That became the 13 hour flight. The food was awesome, but we didn't sleep as we should have because we were so wound up! We landed in Beijing at 1:30 in the morning, which was now 3:30 in the afternoon Beijing time. We met up with Scott and Victoria on the flight, who are also with GW and picking up their daughter in the same municipality. Our tour guide picked us up and showed us to the hotel, and to some stores and places to eat nearby. We ended up just eating in the hotel since we were so exhausted. Went to sleep early, but I woke up at 3. Today we went on a rickshaw tour of an old area of Beijing where the hutong are. Shopping at a 5 story department store, as well as a group meal of peking duck and many other dishes followed. We came back to the hotel and will probably hit the Subway around the corner for a light dinner. Tomorrow is the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Tianamen Square tours! We are exhausted, but having a blast, keeping busy until we head over to Gracie's municipality on Sunday!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Our Travel Itinerary!

We leave Lafayette on February 27th, fly to Houston, then Newark. Since we arrive in Newark around 3:00 pm, we are going to go in to NYC for the evening! Leave Newark around noon on Feb. 28th, arrive in Beijing 3:00 p.m. the next afternoon.
Stay at the Poly Plaza Hotel until March 4th. [top photo]
March 4th: Fly to Chongqing, Gracie's municipality, stay at the Holiday Inn Yangtze Chongqing Hotel. [right photo].
March 5th: Gotcha Day! We will be parents again! Jenn's an older sister! Gracie's a little sis!
March 9th: Get Gracie's passport; fly to Guangzhou in the evening. Now staying at the White Swan Hotel. [bottom photo]
March 10th: Gracie's visa photo/medical exam.
March 12th: Go to American Consulate for interview/visa
March 14th: Return to home sweet home! [also known as the "36 hour day going home!"]
We will fill in with daily itineraries as we take pictures and post while there.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Birthday Girl!

Happy birthday to Gracie AiWan Barousse! She is one year old today! Jenn's little sister is a Valentine Baby!
There was a celebration of sorts in that my coworkers had a baby shower for us today after school! Pictures from that to come. . . It was fun to have the support and well wishes for us, and especially wonderful to have the shower on Gracie's birthday. And the presents were so fun to open--little girl clothes are so cute!
Thanks to Ginnie in our GreatWall travel group, we have found Gracie's finding announcement that was published in the local newspaper in her municipality. It came in email today of all days!! I ran home and verified her Chinese name, and sure enough, this is our Grace! What a wonderful thing to receive on of all days but her birthday!


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