Blog

view:  full / summary

Finally Home

Posted by mmneilitz on December 3, 2018 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (0)

  We finally made it home late last night after a long day of travel. Our trek home started on Friday when we flew from Guangzhou to Beijing. We arrived at around 3 pm and enjoyed one final walk in the neighborhood near the hotel before having our last Chinese dinner. We took the hotel shuttle to the airport Saturday and made it to our gate with plenty of time to spare. As usual, I spent my last Chinese yuan on a Tsingtao beer from a vending machine. Benjamin slept for about 2 hours for the 10 hour flight so we didn’t get any sleep. We arrived in Seattle around 10 am and had to go through immigration and customs. My sister and niece picked us up at the airport and took us to their house for a little “R and R” before driving home to Jacksonville. We were all pretty tired when we got home. We figured we had been up for at least 30 hours. We spent Sunday unpacking, relaxing, and trying to recover from jet lag.

  Benjamin is doing well. He had fun today exploring his new house. He found the broom and dustpan and was having fun “sweeping” the kitchen floor. He also had fun playing with Elizabeth and Timothy. He seems to be attaching well and does a good job at letting us know if he needs something. We love having him in our family.

  This trip went very well and I feel so blessed that we didn’t have any major issues. This has been a wonderful trip, I will post more thoughts in a reflection later but I wanted to make sure to thank everyone for thinking and praying for us throughout this journey.


Julie and I on one of the exercise machines in a local park near our hotel: 




Benjamin is an official US citizen: 


Benjamin with his cousin Austin:


This is what happens when you are trying to recover from jetlag:


 

Our Last Day in Guangzhou

Posted by mmneilitz on November 30, 2018 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We spent our last day in Guangzhou exploring another park. This time we thought we were going to another Pagoda but ended up in a garden of sorts that felt a little like Disneyland. There was a big greenhouse, a couple water falls, some huge sculptures, and a long 400 stair hike to a pavilion that overlooks the city. We took a long walk along a greenway when we were done visiting the park before taking a taxi back to the hotel. It was a nice way to end our time here in Guangzhou.

 

We will be boarding a plane tomorrow for Beijing and then flying back to Seattle on Saturday. It’s hard to believe this journey is over but I think we are all ready to get home. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we make our way home.








 

Exploring Again

Posted by mmneilitz on November 28, 2018 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

We visited the HOLT offices at the China Hotel today before heading over to a park. The kids had fun exploring the park. There was a little bit for everyone; table tennis, amusement park rides, play structures, and a path to stroll on. We had fun exploring the nearby neighborhood and navigating lunch again with Julie’s phone. We explored a pagoda after lunch before heading back to the hotel. Julie, Grace, and I enjoyed a cheap foot massage near the hotel that included a pedicure. We had Chinese take out for dinner that included jiodsa and wonton soup.

 

Benjamin is doing very well. We are learning that he loves stairs and will make a run for any stairs he sees. He would be content going up and down stairs all day. He also likes to jump on beds which has become problematic when the middle littles are trying to go to bed. It is such a joy to get to know him. He seems to be a happy little boy.

Grace and Joshua at the Pagoda


Having  fun at the park







Trees at the park


Julie and I enjoying a Chinese pedicure


 

Consulate Appointment

Posted by mmneilitz on November 27, 2018 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

We had our consulate appointment this morning with Benjamin. This was our last step in completing his paperwork on this side of the Pacific. We will get his visa on Thursday. He will be considered a US citizen once he lands on US soil on Saturday! A lot went into completing the paperwork and it’s nice to finally be done with most of it.

We explored one of the main walking streets around lunch time. We found a little “hole in the wall” Chinese restaurant for lunch. It was quite the experience trying to order food. Both Julie and the waiter were using translating apps on their phones. We ended up with some fried rice, chicken, noodles, pop, and some Chinese beer. We went to one of the many parks here after lunch and enjoyed a nice walk. The middle littles had fun going on one of the rides. We headed back to the hotel after a few hours.

We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers as we end our journey here in China. We are thankful that we have remained healthy. We are also blessed that the process has gone smoothly. We have a few more days left here and then we head home. Please keep us in your prayers as we get ready for our journey home.

Our attempts at taking a nice family picture at the park





Timothy and Elizabeth enjoying a ride at the park


 

Exploring

Posted by mmneilitz on November 26, 2018 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I’m really tired so I’m going to make this post short. We didn’t have any adoption related items to do today so we spent the morning at Baiyun Mountain Park and the afternoon at the Sun – Yatsen memorial. We had fun exploring as usual. Enjoy the pictures.





Benjamin spends each day going 100 miles per hour and then he crashes for a nap.


At the park


Shamian Island

Posted by mmneilitz on November 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (5)

We took a trip down memory lane today when we visited Shamian Island which is where the White Swan hotel is. The US consulate used to be here and most adoptive families would stay at the White Swan during their time in Guangzhou. The consulate has since moved and adoptive families stay at a different hotel. We stayed here when we adopted Grace and Joshua. This is where we did their medical exams and paperwork. They used to have a lounge area with a lot of red couches. It was tradition to take your new baby’s picture on the red couch. We have a picture of all of our kids on a red couch from the White Swan hotel. Joshua and Grace’s pictures were taken at the hotel while Timothy and Elizabeth’s pictures were taken at the HOLT offices where they kept an original red couch. We were pleasantly surprised today to see that the hotel kept a red couch as a memory of the tradition. We took Benjamin’s picture on the red couch and then we tried to get one of with all of the kids. I have to be honest that this moment made me a little emotional. As I’ve said before I feel like we are starting a new chapter in our life as parents and it dawned on me that this is our last “red couch” picture. I was feeling very sentimental. It also made me a little sad since the face of adoption is changing a little in China. I won’t go into detail but, it’s not the same as it was 12 years ago when we first started our family.


We enjoyed walking around the Island after our visit to the White Swan hotel. We visited many of the shops that we visited before. Some of the shop owners even remembered us from previous trips. We enjoyed some American food at Lucy’s for lunch. Mike went back to the hotel after lunch with most of the kids while Julie, Grace, and I explored the Pearl and Jade markets. These are two huge complexes that have small shops specializing in different types of fine jewelry. You can buy Pearls and Jade at highly discounted prices there. I don’t wear Jewelry so I had fun just looking. We took a taxi back to the hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening relaxing.


Benjamin is still doing great. He is a curious little boy. He likes to check everything out in our hotel room. Today he managed to break our safe so the manager had to come fix it. We also had a minor crisis when he locked himself in the bathroom. Luckily we figured out a way to unlock it from the outside. We were close to calling the hotel staff for an emergency. He is very playful and laughs a lot when you play with him. He is such a delight and we are enjoying him tremendously.

A family picture at the White Swan Hotel waterfall


A meeting of the minds


THe Red Couch






This one is for my colleages at work


One of the famous bronze statues on the Island


 

 

Medical Exam

Posted by mmneilitz on November 24, 2018 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We took Benjamin to get his visa photo and medical exam today. He passed the exam with flying colors. He also had to get a TB test which he passed as well. We had lunch at a “Chicken to go” restaurant where they served Middle Eastern food along with New York cheese steak and hamburgers. It was run by a French man. We went back to the hotel after lunch for naps and a swim. We ended the day with a stroll through a park that honors the martyrs of the Cultural Revolution.

We are learning more about Benjamin every day. He’s becoming quite the night owl because he doesn’t go to sleep until 11. We are seeing a little bit of a strong will too. So, we have our work cut out for us. Regardless, he is stealing our hearts and we are so thankful he is part of our family.

Hanging out at the park: 





Hanging out at the hotel


Benjamin getting weighed at the medical exam


 

Medical Exam

Posted by mmneilitz on November 24, 2018 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We took Benjamin to get his visa photo and medical exam today. He passed the exam with flying colors. He also had to get a TB test which he passed as well. We had lunch at a “Chicken to go” restaurant where they served Middle Eastern food along with New York cheese steak and hamburgers. It was run by a French man. We went back to the hotel after lunch for naps and a swim. We ended the day with a stroll through a park that honors the martyrs of the Cultural Revolution.

We are learning more about Benjamin every day. He’s becoming quite the night owl because he doesn’t go to sleep until 11. We are seeing a little bit of a strong will too. So, we have our work cut out for us. Regardless, he is stealing our hearts and we are so thankful he is part of our family.

Hanging out at the park: 





Hanging out at the hotel


Benjamin getting weighed at the medical exam


 

Goodbye Tianjin

Posted by mmneilitz on November 23, 2018 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

We visited the orphanage one last time before we packed up our bags to head to the airport for the flight to Guangzhou. This is where all of the paperwork for US citizenship takes place. We learned that Benjamin does not like flying, he struggled a lot on the flight but Aunt Julie stepped in to help which made it a little easier. We found our guide quickly after we collected our luggage. We all loaded on a mini bus that took us to our hotel in Guangzhou. It was a little surreal taking this little drive since we have done it 4 times before for the same thing. It’s becoming all too familiar now. Also, it’s the last time we will be making this drive, I had to take a second to think about all of those other trips we’ve done. Part of me feels sad that a chapter is closing in our life but I look forward to the new chapters that are ahead.

I had some time to reflect on all of our adoptions as we left today. Each one went smoothly and Tianjin was no different. The staff at the orphanage was very helpful in answering our questions. They showed a lot of gratitude towards us and seemed very happy that Benjamin was joining our family. The experience was very positive and, to be honest, I feel so blessed that it went so well. Benjamin seemed to fit right in from the start. I really have no complaints, only thankfulness in my heart for such a wonderful week in Tianjin.

Benjamin finally smiling on the flight.  


Timothy with his favorite guide Candy.


One final visit to the orphanage



 

Thanksgiving

Posted by mmneilitz on November 22, 2018 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Thanksgiving Day is ending here in China while it’s beginning over in the States so Happy Thanksgiving. We enjoyed our day taking a morning walk in the Water Park Garden. We considered this our “Turkey trot”. We went to a restaurant we enjoyed the second day we got here for Thanksgiving lunch. Our meal included Kung Pao Chicken, eggplant, fried rice, sweet and sour pork, and Chinese wine. I would say this was not too bad for a Thanksgiving meal in China. We strolled through the neighborhood on our way back to the hotel. I believe we went through a pet market since the street vendors were selling cats, dogs, crickets, mice, crabs, turtles, and worms. We also visited the local Catholic Church. We went to Tianjin’s version of Little Italy in the evening and then enjoyed a stroll along the river to the Tianjin Eye before home.

Benjamin is doing very well. He’s been sleeping through the night and is eating well. He is getting along with the other kids. I am amazed at how he has eased into our family.

The Tianjin Eye


Italian Architecture in "Little Italy"



Enjoying a morning stroll




 


Rss_feed

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.