Brooklyn's New Beginnings

Welcome to our travel blog. Come with us to China as we become a family of four.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Beijing Tours, Day One (part 1): Tiananmen Square

Picture one: Mao's masoleum. The tiny thing in the center of the building was the count down to the olympics.
Picture two: Memorial to all those killed fighting for their country.
Picture three: The senate building
Picture four: Rita, our tour guide. We absolutely loved this young woman. At the end of the next day's tour, she gave us a tassle-momento to remember her. We have it hanging in Brooklyn's bedroom. It's said to bring us good luck. It's a shame I didn't think to ask for her address before we left Beijing. :( A year later I still kick myself for that.

We woke up early, had breakfast and were soon picked up by the tour group. Our first stop was Tiananmen Square.

I still can feel the sacredness I felt as we walked around Tiananmen Square. Everyone has heard about the massacre that occured there in the late 80s. My heart still swells with both pride for those standing up for democracy, and with grief over their unfortunate demise. Our tour guide never breathed a word about the massacre. It makes me wonder if it is because she does not know anything about it (surely not, being a tour guide. And yes, some people in Beijing and other Chinese cities do not know about this) or if she was forbidden to talk about it. Either way, that is sad.

It is said the square is the largest in the world and can hold one million people in it. This is where Chairman Mao gave his infamous speech standing at the gate of the Forbidden City while his supporters held up his red book of quotes. (This book is illegal to own in America, but I happen to know someone that bought it while in China. heh.) Chairman Mao's still lies in a masoleum (is that what it's called?) in Tiananmen Square. I wanted to view it, but the lines were very long.

We got to see the senate building, and if I recall, it was in session while we were there.

As we made our way out of Tiananmen Square a couple beggars approached us. These people had it SO much worse off than anything I have ever seen or could have imagined. One was accompanied but what appeared to be his brother. The poor young man looked like he had been burned quite severly and was missing the upper half of some of his fingers. It seemed like he may have been tortured. I went to give him money but the tour guide discouraged us. When she turned around, I quickly gave it to him. Just a few dollars is SO much money to them. How could I in good concious not do it?

People have asked us about the safety of being in China. Edward and I felt absolutely no threat while we were in either of the three cities we stayed at in China. When we were in Kunming, there was a day when Edward went out with Josh on a tour while I stayed at the hotel with Brooklyn. I didn't want to just stay in my room so I pushed Brooklyn in her stroller all around Kunming for a couple of hours by myself. I never felt that we were in danger. I've heard that there is a horrible punishment to those that bring harm to tourists, since China does not want to discourage people from visiting their country. We loved walking around and getting to converse with people there. Some loved getting to use their english with us. :)

Even though this was not as "glamorous" as other sites we saw during our tours, this was still one of my top favorite sites we visited because of the overwhelming humility I felt while we were there. So many sacrificed themselves in the name of freedom. I can only hope that one day their cause will come to fruition.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Departing night, August 23rd, 2006

As promised, I am going to chronicalize our days in China. Not only because I was a lousy blogger while in China (imagine that!), but i also need to write everything down before i start forgetting some of the details. First off, that picture of me? Gorgeous, but totally not staged. I really was that delirious from lack of sleep. It wouldn't be right for you all to see me in all my glory in the coming pictures w/o seeing this treasure.
It was the longest flight of my life. In Dallas our flight was delayed by 2 hours. The stupid plane finally arrived, and I have to give the flight crew credit. They cleaned up that plane and we were on the runway in 10 minutes after the people coming into Dallas unloaded. I've never seen anything like that before. I was nervous that we were going to miss our flight to China. Thankfully we arrived at LAX about 45 minutes before the flight took off.
We met several other families on the flight that were also going to adopt a child and had opted to take a Beijing excursion instead of going straight to the child's province. It was nice getting to meet people that I had actually "met" online several months before. It was also the first time I had ever met a Buddhist monk and nun. They were on their way to Lhasa, Tibet and I was SO jealous. I enjoyed getting to talk with them a bit.

We landed in Guangzhou after a total of 21 hours of flying, not including layovers. Not so much fun being stuck in a tin can that long buzzing high over the Pacific ocean. Thankfully we paid $500 more per seat to take Business Economy. I seriously could not imagine being in coach that entire time.

It took forever to go through customs and get our bags. We had one more flight to catch- to Beijing, another 3 hours. I was exhausted but knew this was the last one.

A young man that worked with the airport came up and offered to show us to the other flight since it was clear across the airport. He walked so fast that I was getting pissed. I finally told him bluntly that he doesn't need to jog a marathon since I was running on 36 hours straight of being awake. We finally got to our desination and he said it would be $20. I about told him to go to hell, but since I was making sure we had all of our 80 bags and our son, Edward gave him the money. I then agreed with his decision that he likely needed it more than we did. We sucked up our loss and learned our lesson.

The next few hours were a blur from the severe sleep deprivation. All I remember was being relieved to see a woman holding a sign with our name on it. I vaguely remember walking into the hotel at 1:00 p.m., but do remember all of us completely crashing on the beds. I literally fell on the bed and about broke my chin.....i had forgotten that people warned of chinese beds- hard as cement. Nice. We woke up at 4:00 a.m. the next morning but we were completely on Chinese time at that point and we were very pleased. The itinerary timing I intentionally set up this way had actually paid off.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Last set of zoo pics....

More zoo pics....

Okay, you all better start commenting or.....OR ELSE!

Day at the zoo....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Going on a short trip...

I will post the long-awaited zoo pictures after I return on Sunday. Believe me, they are worth the hyped-up wait.

In the mean time, here are a few pictures from when we recently went to the aquarium. We had a blast with a friend of mine and her daughter, who is Brooklyn's best friend. Josh read every single piece of information about every animal and could have spent hours watching the otters. Too cute! Brooklyn was truly studying every creature with great awe. I loved watching her soak it all in.

I know you are giving an odd look to the flamingo picture. There they were with their bent up necks loudly threatening to peck the other. I couldn't resist laughing and taking a photo.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Candid Camera...

No time to chat, but I knew you would appreciate photos....

Zoo photos up next time, then in the following posts I will borrow an idea from a friend. (I would link, but her blog is pw protected.) It is her two year anniversary of becoming a family so she decided to detail each day she was in China with photos and commentary. I thought this would be a great idea for me to do since I wasn't able to post much in China (sloooow computers and restless baby :) ) and there are SO many photos I've been wanting to show.
~~please note the prestine clean kitchen floor. Miracles do happen.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why, yes it is a new post.....

I knew all of you were tired of looking at my mug, so since all of you come here solely for pics of the children, I can say I have now appeased the masses.

Obviously by the pictures, it was Brooklyn's 2nd birthday a few weeks ago. It was her first bday with us, and the last of our "firsts" with her. Then August 29th was the anniversary of when Brooklyn was placed into our family. Of course the day after that was also significant- she had been with our family longer than she had been in an orphanage. So boomboomboom non-stop celebrations. This year has been full of joy, but also a long year of adjustments for both her and I. I promise I will elaborate more on the adjustments at a later time. It really is hard to believe that one year ago we were in China. It truly was the trip of a lifetime.

So the birthday party. It couldn't have been more beautiful. We had family and close friends over to celebrate with us. She enjoyed chowing down slice after slice of pizza, playing with her friends, making sure she socialized with the adults, and ripping open presents. She now fully understands the concept of opening presents. Christmas will be even more fun this year.

She has played with every single toy she received and has worn every outfit given to her. Not to my surprise, her favorite toy was the asian baby doll we got for her. (Don't get me started on how difficult it was to find an asian babydoll!) She will not put her baby down. In fact she is the only baby Brooklyn will even hold now.

Stay tuned because shortly (!!) I will be posting more pictures of the day we had today---the zoo! My favorite part of the day was watching my kids and hearing them laugh, play together, and then break out in little screams of excitement. Can't get any better than that.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Yes, it's been 10 years since we were married. That is so hard to fathom. Last weekend (yes, i'm just NOW getting around to posting) we celebrated by going to a very nice restaurant in downtown inside the Reunion Tower, on the 26th floor (I think the rest. was called Anatares?). Anyway, the food was divine and the views were breath-taking. The restaurant actually revolves, so we were able to see all around the metroplex from each direction.

We then drove over to Las Colinas where we were married (and had our first kiss at, and got engaged at...). It was relaxing to be alone with each other and sit and talk in the place we said our vows. It was incredibly romantic. While we were there, Edward gave me a mother's ring. It is a gold ring with Joshua's birthstone on top, the Brooklyn's on the bottom. It is gorgeous.

I love you very much, Edward. I couldn't have chosen a better spouse. I look forward to celebrating the rest of our anniversaries together.