Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hi. We have been in Guangzhou since Saturday. I have not posted - I'm not too into blogging. Today is the big day - we have our swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Consulate! Our consultate appointment was yesterday where all of our paperwork was completed and Sammy's visa was issued. Today we take our final oath at 4:00 p.m. and are free to leave China. We leave for Hong Kong tomorrow.

Sammy is doing wonderfully and tells the guides he is ready to go to The States. He is very sweet and affectionate and also very smart! When we go out he talks to all of the store clerks, waitresses, etc. - they all say he is a "clever boy." He is very independent and likes to help with everything. He wants to start violin lessons, martial arts and swimming. He has alot of energy and gets bored easily so I think we will be starting activities as soon as he is comfortable. He has been testing some boundaries the past several days and likes to tell us "no," but eventually complies with what we ask - we totally expected this and know it is very normal behavior.

We have enjoyed our time here in Guangzhou. Guangzhou is a very large city, about 11 million people. Our hotel, The Victory, is on Shamian Island which is separated from the main city by the Pearl River. It is small and geared toward adoptive families - lots of shops and restaurants. We ventured off of the island yesterday by foot across the Pearl River to a bookstore - it was more of the "real" China and we enjoyed it. We met another family in Fuzhou whose son traveled with Sammy by bus to Fuzhou - he is from Jinjiang SWI also, however they are with a different agency. Sammy knew their son from the orphanage and the kids played really well together. We met up with them again yesterday and the kids swam and we ate at an Italian restaurant last night that was really good.

Sammy has a great appetite and is not very picky. He can definitely put away the chicken wings! We have visited a temple, the Guangzhou Zoo and Yuntai Gardens (largest landscaped park in China) since being here in Guangzhou. We are looking forward to Hong Kong and hope to see Victoria Harbour at night while we are there. China is wonderful and has blessed us with our beautiful children, but we miss the good old USA!! Please pray for our safe and uneventful return.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Visit to Jinjiang/Anhai City

I will post a short version of yesterday. It was very emotional and this short version does not do justice to the events of the day.

Yesterday, we visited Sammy's orphanage which is located in Jinjiang, Fujian Province. We are staying in Fuzhou which is the capital of Fujian Province, however, the orphanage is located in Jinjiang which is about a 3 hour drive from Fuzhou. We arrived about 11:00 a.m. and the director gave us a tour. The facility is new - it was finished in 2007. We were able to see his room and his "big brother" with whom he shared his room. We were treated to a delicious lunch prepared by the cook there - it was the best meal so far. Prior to arriving at the orphanage we stopped at the local primary school where Sammy has been attending since 1st grad - he is currently in 4th. The students take a 2 hour break during the day for lunch, play, etc. so they were not there. Sammy had already told them goodbye on Friday, however, he wrote them a note on the board wishing them well. After leaving the orphanage we stopped and purchased notebooks and pens for all of his classmates, then returned to the school. We were invited into the classroom and the students were all seated at their desks. His teacher introduced us as his family and told them that he had come to tell them goodbye. Our guide explained to us later that this was very emotional for all of the children as they thought they had said goodbye on Friday. I noticed that a few of the girls had started to cry. Within a minute or so all of the kids were bawling their eyes out, along with the teacher. Our guide explained to us that Sammy was a very popular boy at school and the students were very happy for him that he had a family and wished him a very good life. Apparently, he always came early and stayed late and swept the classroom. The students sang a goodbye song to him that they composed themselves. It was unbelievable. The students all took turns standing up and wishing him well. The teacher gave him many papers written over the weekend wishing him well. Bob wrote our address on the chalkboard so that the children could write letters to him. There are 49 children in his class - the primary school has about 1,000 children - very large. The whole class followed us out to the gates of the school, along with the teacher, director and assistant director of the school. The director of the school walked us to our van.

Above, I have posted some pictures of the day. We are doing well - Sammy was very tired this morning due to all of the emotion of the day - he never cried. I will post more tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Introducing Samuel Yuan Schlossin

We arrived in China on Sunday at approximately 2:00 p.m. with about 5 hours sleep since Friday morning at 5:00 a.m. Our guide picked us up at the airport and we went to our hotel where Sammy was waiting for us. We dropped our bags in our room and went upstairs to a conference room and meet our boy! It was absolutely wonderful, overwhelming, fast - all of those things. We are over the moon happy! Sammy is the most precious child. He took to us right away and loves Olivia. He and Olivia are getting along wonderfully. She wants to do everything he does. We had a good first night. Our guide spent about an hour with us in our room and then left us on our own. The electronic translator has really come in handy, however, Sammy is very smart and is catching on to things already. We went for a walk this morning in the park across from our hotel, then went to Civil Affairs and signed the final papers. Sammy is officially our son as far as China is concerned. We will wait for his passport on Friday and then travel to Guangzhou on Saturday. We are waiting for a woman to come and measure Sammy for a traditional Chinese outfit and then we are going bowling in our hotel.
We have not been able to get acclimated with the time change yet - we are up everyday at 3:00 a.m. We will visit the panda zoo tomorrow. Oliva is doing just fine - she didn't miss a beat on the trip over. She was a great traveler, as usual. We will visit Sammy's orphanage on Wednesday. We got gifts today for his friends at Wal-Mart. Everything is the same as home in Wal-Mart except it's Chinese!!
I will post more later. We are so happy!