To China for Emma in 2004

Two years after bringing her home, we've finally made a blog dedicated to Emma's adoption from China in 2004. The following posts include pictures from our journey and e-mail messages we sent home to our family & friends while in China. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

She's growing!

Those first few days of jet lag!
Sera, Elena, Kayla, Ian & Emma in their Chinese silks
Sweet Emma Grace
Eating cake with mommy
First Thanksgiving
Emma's Baptism
First Profesional Pictures taken
A beautiful little girl..
Our first family picture
Emma meets Santa Clause!
The best Christmas gift under the tree!
Kids at Christmas
Emma with Ivy Mae
Emma's 2nd Birthday!
Learning to ride a bike
Riding with Big Brother
Family at Easter
Emma's Re-Adoption Day
Silly girl

1st Referral Day Anniversary

September 6, 2004

Subject: We are Home!! Our family is United!

Well we are finally all together now!! We arrived in Orlando around
5:00 pm and "Grandpa" Charlie picked us up. Emma even let Charlie
hold her while we were waiting for our baggage. It felt so good to
be home and in Orlando. We flew into LA on Saturday afternoon, and
we had a feeling it would be, but our flight to Orlando was
cancelled. The earliest we could get out would be Monday morning, so
we had to stay in LA. We stayed at the Comfort Inn near the airport
for Saturday and Sunday. I had been up the whole flight from Beijing-
LA because Emma would only sleep on me and she is a very restless
sleeper. Once we got to the hotel, I handed her to Claudio & Sera
and went to sleep!! We were up around 2 am the last two mornings, we
have been all screwed up on our times. On Sunday, we did take
advantage of the day we had in LA. We were all up and ready for
breakfast around 3 am, but had to wait until 6. After being in 5
star hotels the past 2 weeks, the breakfast bar of donuts & juices
seemed a bit weird, but they were good and much needed after our
long trip. We went back to the room and all of us were asleep by
7:30 and then we woke up around 2 pm!! We took a taxi to Santa
Monica and visited tha mall and pierre. Sera and I both had no
clothes left, and had to soak our only undergarments left in the sink
(without soap!). So we both had to get an outfit for the trip home.
Santa Monica was very nice, the mall was great. We ate dinner at a
nice Italian restaraunt and enjoyed the sunset at the pierre. By
7:00 pm we were very ready to get back to the hotel room! This
morning we were up around 2 am again, thanks to Miss Emma! It was
fine, because we needed to be at the airport at 5:00 am for our 7:09
am flight to Dallas. The two flights went well and Emma was a
trooper. All this poor kid has known so far is a airplane ride and
then a new hotel room! It was so great to get back into Orlando, and
even from the air we could see some ofthe devastation left by
Hurricane Frances. While we were coming past Tampa, the pilot
pointed out to us that on the left of our plane was the back side of
Frances! Orlando seems okay.. mostly there are still trees left
everywhere from Charley. We are just praying that Hurricane Ivan
doesn't come towards Florida. Three hurricanes in one month is
enough!! It was so good to see the kids again. Ian looks like a
monster after lugging around Emma these days!! He must have grown a
foot.. I don't remember him being this tall!!!! It is so good to be
hugging my baby boy. Kayla and Elena are doing great.. even Kayla
has grown a bit. Emma has gone to Elena and likes her, but she's not
to sure of Kayla & Ian. This of course is making them sad and
feeling like she doesn't like them, but we are explaning to them
that this is all new for her, and she needs some time. Emma's not
crazy about the dogs.. but give her time and she'll be playing with
them! The girls made us a wonderful meal of meatloaf, veggies,
mashed potatoes and chocolate cake. They decorated the house which
was so sweet. It is so wonderful to be back home and to finally
sleep in our own bed!! Hopefully everything will get back to normal
soon and then I will update ya'll. Right now I've been up since 2:00
am and starting to feel the effects of jet lag!!
The M family- all finally together!

Elena, Kayla and Ian while we were gone.
Emma enjoying her first meal at home!
Someone is happy to be home!
Kayla taking on her new job of "Miss Mom"
All five kids together, at last!

The Beautiful Babies

Photo's of the nine beautiful babies adopted in August 2004 through Living Hope Adoption Agency:
Emma from Beijing
Meili from Beijing
Kelly from Beijing
Lily from Beijing
JereMiah from Kunming (the only boy!)
Esther from Beijing
Elisabeth from Kunming
Johanna from Kunming
Grace from Kunming

Aren't they all precious??
P.S. Sorry about that blue dot you might be noticing in all of the pictures! It's from the scanner.

September 3, 2004

Emma at breakfast
Our Travel group leaving for home
Sera on the red couch with Lily & Emma
Emma on the red couch
Playing in the White Swan playroom
Subject: Thank you for all the well wishes..
They have all made me feel so much better! Being in Guangzhou has
helped tons.. it is sooo much nicer here!! We walked into the hotel
and it was wonderful!!! I took a shower yesterday and by far that
is the best shower I have ever taken!! We have already bought tons
of stuff for us and Emma! The White Swan is 100 times better than
everyone says it is. It is so nice to go down the street and have no
one staring at you like you have 3 heads! Everyone is used to seeing
the babies with Caucasion parents, so they think it's great! Our
flight from Guangzhou to Beijing, was fine, but getting there
wasn't. For some reason we were put on a different flight than the
rest of our group. I was a little unhappy about that, but the flight
we were supposed to take was just 20 minutes after the other one.
Our flight was supposed to take off at 8:55 but it didn't take off
till nearly 10:30. I was not happy about this at all, because we
needed to check in at the hotel at 12, have lunch and the medical
exam was at 2:00. We landed at exactley 12:59, at the new Guangzhou
airport which is wonderful, and our luggage was the first off the
plane. Because our flight was delayed, we were expecting our
facilitator in Guangzhou to not be there, since the other families
had arrived about 1-2 hours before us.. BUT they were there!! We
went straight from the airport to get Emma's vise photo, then to the
medical exam. She passed with flying colors and was the only baby
not screaming! We met the other half of our group there.. (the
couples that went to Kunming.) Their babies are all beautiful, but
malnourished and they have had attachment issues. Except
for the little boy, he is adorable.. and such a chunk! Once we
got to the hotel... it was all worth it what we had been through the
past few hours!! The waterfall in the lobby is so calming and all of
the babies are adorable!! We met 2 couples that were leaving that
day and they shared their experience with us. Their babies were from
ChongQing. We had some lunch/dinner, since we were in such a rush to
get to the medical exam, we hadn't eaten yet. Later that night we
ate at the Cow & Bridge (is this what it's called).. the Thai
restaraunt. We didn't eat because we had already eaten earlier.
Yesterday the breakfast buffet was glorious!! After awhile, the
buffet in Beijing was becoming boring. It was more Chinese food
there, but here at the White Swan it is wonderful!! And you can dine
with all the babies!! We met a couple that just sent their youngest
to college, and came here to get twins!! After breakfast, Sera did
school work and Emma took a nap and Claudio and I went shopping. We
ordered chops, and one of those granite etchings, and did some more
shopping. Our consulate appoinment was at 4:30. It was much easier
than I thought it would be. We weren't allowed to bring anything in
except our passports and the baby. The process was very short, and
the guy came in, we took the oath and were done! Seeing all of the
babies that came from other provinces, makes me so glad Emma came
from Beijing and is very healthy. Many of the children are extremely
skinny, and their heads are completely flat at the back. With lots
of love and food, they will all be fine, but we truly got the most
wonderful baby! (In my eyes!) After the appointment, we went to
dinner at Lucys and waited for our visa, which would be ready that
night! Sera went with the other couples on the Pearl River Tour. She
says she's glad I didn't go since it wasn't that great. It was a
buffet style dinner and all chinese food (complete with octopus &
squid) and they all had to push and shove their way through the
line. She said going up the river was fun and getting shots of the
White Swan at night. She and Patti, Bill & Lily went to Lucy's for
dinner after the cruise. Then she came back, and we just chilled and
watched tv for awhile. This morning, we went to breakfast and there
was a journalist and photographer Sera and the Hannon's met in the
elevator last night who was very interested in our adoptions. The
journalist was interested in doing story about it. The photographer
was with us through breakfast and he got shots of all the girls in
our group, and a few babies from Australia. We are going to talk
with the journalist later because he wants to know more about our
story. Pretty neat.. we may just be in a magazine or newspaper!!
After breakfast, we met the rest of our group by the red couches and
took more photos. All of our group left today except Patti, Bill &
Lily and ourselves. It was sad seeing all of them go. Our travel
group has been beyond wonderful and it's amazing to see these kids
transform from Gotcha Day to Today. We will miss them all so much,
and are planning a reunion next year!! After we said our goodbyes,
the photographer went with us and captured some shots of Lily and
Emma and us. We played in the Swan Room for awhile and then went
shopping and picked up the rest of our treasures here in China. It
is so wonderful being in Guangzhou. I love it here. It's been great
here and we will truly miss China, but I am ready to see my babies
at home. Especially since another hurricane is headed to Florida.
Any news on this?? We have CNN and they give a breif talk about it,
but what is going on?? Where is it supposed to hit?? We come home
early Sunday morning, so hopefully it will be gone. Please say a
prayer for my kids and all of our friends and for the Floridian
people. I hope it is not as bad as Charley. We are praying for all
of you in Orlando. We're almost home, the journey is almost
complete, and Emma will be an American once her little feet touch
the US soil in LA!! See you guys soon!! We're almost home!

Lots of love,
Claudio, Nancy, Sera & Emma

September 2, 2004

Today was the Consulate Appointment! Emma proudly displayed her new colors; red, white & blue! We also took the "annual" red couch picture and spent the day with our travel group since most of them would be leaving the next day.

Getting ready for our big day at the American Consulate!
Don't I look cute with my new bow? I'm not a fan of bows at ALL, so I promptly pulled it out despite the efforts and protests of my big sister.
Emma and Mommy
Emma and Daddy
Emma and Sera
Lily and Sera
Our family (minus 3) in front of the water fall.
Babies on the red couch! From Left to Right: JereMiah, Meili, Emma, Lily, Grace, Johanna and Elizabeth. (Missing from photo are Kelly & Esther)
Family on the red couch
Here's the whole group- minus one family! 5 babies were from Beijing, and 4 were from Kunming.

September 1, 2004

Pictures from our first day in Guangzhou!
First order of business was the medical exam! She got a clean bill of health!
The lobby of the White Swan Hotel!

Top of the waterfall.
A shot of the koi pond.

Views of Guangzhou from our hotel room