Monday, December 25, 2006

A Christmas To Remember

Well, it's done. The paperwork is finished, and Hannah is officially a Fowlkes. We had a round of paperwork this morning and two interviews this afternoon, culminating in a celebration dinner in a restaurant across the street from the Tang Weng Pavilion (we're going there Wednesday). It has been a good day, but all are tired.

One of the things that I have always enjoyed when I have been in other countries is to explore and do things on my own. I like to go out and do things myself. This proves to be frustrating at best in a country where the writing is in symbols and there is no common basis for language. I went to the front desk today to ask about a place within walking distance where we could go for lunch. They offered to write down the name of the restaurant, but when they handed me the card they had written it in Chinese. I assume that this is the only way it is written on the door, but the thought of walking down the street trying to match the symbols on my card with the characters on the various doors was laughable.

We finally ended up at the supermarket. No problem, right. We'll just pop in and get something to eat. Well, good luck finding anything that you can eat without cooking in China. We did find a deli in the back, but I couldn't tell what they were selling. One thing looked like a corndog, but it was fried and looked like fried chicken. Several things looked like burritos, but you can't pay me enough to put that in my mouth. I at least want to see what I am eating. We ended up getting some Cup of Noodles that we cooked using the quick water boiler in our room. Yum.

Okay, here is my hilarious yet totally embarassing story of the week (so far). After signing all of our papers we made a stop to drop some people off at the Wal-mart (four stories high - no way). Ashley wanted to go, so I took Jaycie and Hannah back to the hotel. Hannah was sleeping, and only woke up when we got there. We came in and I intended to feed her first thing. However, I realized that Ashley had the key to our room, and I couldn't get in. Dennis, our trip coordinator, called to the front desk and asked them to deliver a new key. A few minutes later, and we were in our room.

I fixed a bottle and let Jaycie start feeding her while I got ready to change her diaper. Hannah became very unhappy, and even after changing her diaper she wouldn't stop crying. She loves to walk down the hall and be on the move, so we decided to go for a walk. I told Jaycie to make sure to get the key, which she did. By the way, at this point Hannah has no clothes on -only her diaper - because she was throwing an absolute fit. I figured we would calm her down and then deal with pulling something over her head. I did grab a blanket, and off we went. We got halfway down the hall and I decided that we needed to go ahead and put some clothes on her and possibly go downstairs. However, when we got to the room, the key didn't work. We tried and tried, but to no avail. So we walked and walked, hoping that Ashley would get back soon. After a while, we bucked up and went downstairs to ask for a new key - again - naked baby and all. Fortunately we had already signed all the paperwork, so there is nothing they can do but shake their heads.

Anyway, tonight we went to eat dinner with the whole group (15 families, 16 babies) and came back to crash. A little laundry in the sink, washing some bottles, and this blog, and I'm done. Tomorrow is a free day, so Ashley may blog more tomorrow. We can't wait for you all to get to meet Hannah. Thanks for thinking about us even during your own Christmas holiday.


Grandaddy and Nannie said...

Merry Christmas!!! We are at Pam's house for dinner. She showed us how to get on this site. We are so excited, and can hardly wait to hold Hannah. It looks like she has bonded quickly and we are thrilled. We had printed a couple of pictures at Walgreen's yesterday and more on the computer. Mable and family and Billie are so excited too. They are visiting the web. She's beautiful and we are counting the days till you are back here safely. We think Jaycie's "What I did on Xmas Vacation" Report will win the prize!!! We love you all so much and are praying daily for you. MERRY CHRISTMAS
Mom & Dad Fowlkes.

Anonymous said...

The picture of the whole family in front of the Christmas tree is great! We are so excited for you guys! Hannah has the cutest smile!! We all have been checking the site daily to see what is going on. We can not wait until you guys return!!
-Teri & Tammy Miller

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL family! Thanks for sharing so many pictures. Neat to see Nanchang at Christmas time. Your local guide (is it Mary?) can help you with restaurants. Our guides were always so helpful as we, too, wanted to eat out in the area, not just at the hotel. We enjoyed delicious meals at restaurants.

Our girls are enjoying seeing the pictures of your baby! They get up each day asking to see pics!

The Dorris Family

Dana Gibbs said...

The pictures of the new family of 4 look like you have always been together. So glad you are now one big happy family! Every day is certainly not complete without checking on all of you!

Maggie said...

I'm sure you are all asleep-at least I hope you are. I am so very happy for all of you. She is soooo cute! Jaycie seems to be a natural big sis. I can't wait to see you all!!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! Sounds like your normal routine, just in China! LOL

May God continue to bless you and bring you home safe.

Joe Sellers

Anonymous said...

We are so thrilled with the pictures and especially the videos. Ronnie was laughing out loud at Lee's funny story. I think I know what was wrong with Hannah when she was crying....She was missing her Mommy....even though her Big Sister and Daddy are great, she wants to be with all three of you!!!!! This travel blog is the greatest and I'm so glad that you (i.e. Lee) are such an advanced Techie. We can't wait to see you all in February...Love MiMi and PawPaw

Richard L. Lane said...

Lee and Ashley, Hannah Li is a beautiful child and you are blessed beyone measure. Reading about your trip reminds me of my own a little over three years ago, but also in December. Stay safe and healthy.

Richard Lane in TN
Owner - Fengcheng Families Yahoo Group

vivianbeth said...

Well, I have to say ... this one is funny. LOL You guys should print some of this blog when you get a chance. This would make great reading for Hannah when she grows up.

Anonymous said...

The adventures of Lee sound so me. Are we related somehow? I've had a wonderful time reading the journal and enjoying the pictures. Your a beautiful family and we all can't wait until your return home so we can see Your Christmas gift. Last year was our unexpected year for a Wonderful Christmas baby and this is your year. I must say your adventure is more detailed and a bit more adventure along with it but the outcome is wonderful. God Bless All of You. Your joy is also my joy.
Love you all, Shelia Dunn

Anonymous said...

What you should have done is to go ahead and dress her while she's mad and then when she calms down you won't have to make her mad again by pulling something over her head.
David Dunn

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

Merry Christmas! What a beautiful family!!!