Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another day in Chongqing...

We had another exciting day here in this city. Woke up, went down to breakfast buffet, went out walking around the same shops and malls we've already been in 4 times already, now back in room thinking about supper. Now I have to admit that sounds really boring. And it is somewhat- but we have found that with a baby now that the simplest thing sometimes is tough. Planning around naptimes and bottle times is confusing to 2 people who usually have no schedule at all. We took Emma Rose out shopping today and bought her a new Chinese outfit and new shoes. She really loves them, at least I think. We are so bored we just take lots of pictures of her to show to you all back home. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We pooped!

What joy - what joy!! Never thought I would say such a thing as this. We thought about including a picture but decided
against this one. haha She is now asleep after such a "hard labor".

Mr. B's Extra Credit: All mammals poop. Explain the process of digestion and it's importance to the human body.

Monday, October 29, 2007


2:17 here is China. Today we woke with a smile and we ventured out of the room as a family of 3. We went to breakfast where we found out we like congie. We strolled the hotel a little. We had a bottle and took a nap (see pic). We even, and this is big, went to the underground market. Every where we went, groups of women would gather and look. Every so often, one or two, with smiles on their faces would come up and talk to Emma and touch er little feet. A few would even use some broke english to say "beautiful". Jenn was able to get some great advice from many of the ladies on clothes to pick and size diapers to buy. Funny to watch Jenn communicate without a clue as to what is being said. And if you know how much Jenn does not enjoy change and the unpredictible, you know to laugh. She is so wonderful and is such a good mother (even after just two days). Tonight we are planning to go out to a steak house. Not sure where or what is meant by "steak", but we are feeling adventurous! We did buy Emma a Chinses "piggy bank". Mike, Micheal, and Nick will like to know that. haha Love to all. Thank you so much for your kind words and comments. we plan to keep them together for Emma to read years from now.

As for China...Its official!

Its 7pm here. Emma is asleep in her crib and Jenn is sacked in the bed. Today we went next door to the Chinese Imagration and Adoption office in Chingqing. We got our picture taken as a familiy, we placed our finger prints on our names, and China recognized us as Emma Rose's offical adotive parents. Outside of that, we have spent the day being parents. We have changed wet diapers, played, bottled, napped, and never left the room (actually I went out to buy a stroller and water). Now we have to wait for 2 days for the passpot paperwork to arrive then its off to another city to start on the US side of things. Keep sending those comments. We will save them, print them, and give them to Emma when she is old enough to appreciate them.

Mr. B's Extra Credit today...After buying water to drink because in China you can;t drink the water from the sink in almost all locations, explain how it is (in detail) you can drink the water in the us.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

First Bath!

We tackled the bath tub and Emma Rose loved the water. She splashed and splashed and let water run all over her face.
Therefore, we will be hitting that pool this summer!!!! First picture is right after her bath- note the Mavericks rattle in her hand- a gift from cousin Nicholas. The second is after we are dressed and ready to go see someone. (outfit courtesy of Myra). We have had a good morning. But we still haven't pooped yet and we have a bad rattle in our chest. So prunes have been added to the diet as well as apple juice. At 2:30 this afternoon we have to go to some government office to sign more papers and take our gifts. I've already been warned to dressed her in layers or I'll be in trouble. Isn't she a cutie!

From the new Mommy!

First of all- scroll down for lots of Emma Rose's picts! What a great but emotional day. I did not cry very much- I was too overwhelmed I think. Emma Rose is a trooper. She came off that 3 hour bus ride without a tear in her eye and came right to me. She then proceeded to keep vanous and me entertained for the next 4 hours. She laughs the sweetest cackle and her smile lights up her whole face. She is by FAR the prettiest baby of all of those brought here today. haha. We finally got her to sleep. That was the first time she actually started crying and it broke our hearts. I think she was realizing that we weren't just here to play with her and she wanted to go back to her bed to sleep. But she finally got sooooo tired that she fell asleep after I put her in her crib. We are already nervous about what to do with her tomorrow. We hope she wakes with the same happy attitude but are ready if she does not. Thanks to all of you for your emails and comments. I love reading them and it makes me feel so blessed to have such great family and friends. As you all get up and go to church this morning- we are fixing to try to sleep a little. However, I can already tell that every little sound she makes will wake me up! VAnous is going to tackle the diaper change tomorrow, and we are going to have a first bath in the tub. I then have to go clothes shopping because most everything I brought is toooo big. (I so hate to shop for baby clothes!- oh well, you do what you gotta do!) Good night/ Good day to all! Keep the comments coming!



Emma Rose laughs and giggles, smiles and crawls, makes cute baby noises, wets her diaper (no poop yet), and we are so not sure what to do next but look at her in wonder. She hasn't cried yet, but she is showing signs of sleep. We signed the papers saying we would love her and care for her forever. What a day!

And all the world was good...

We wish we could tell you the awe we feel, the thankfulness we have, and the love we have spilling over right now, but words will not touch the beauty that has entered our lives today at 3:20pm china time (2:20am scottsville). Introducing Ms emma Rose XueHua Brown. Just look and you will see the most beatiful girl in the world who just finished her first bottle.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

3 hours and waiting

The crib arrived and is waiting. We can't describe the feelings right now. Anxious, nervous, scared, excited, releived, did I mention scared. haha. We receive our daughter for the first time in about 3 hours. They are probably on their way here right now. We could just cry we are so happy. As the Napiers say...we are "in a twitter". We are not getting to go to the orphanage as planned. Instead the babies will be brought to the hotel. Wanted to go, but then again that would have been six hours on a bus. The important thing is she is coming. We took one last walk as a family of two. Bought a few things and now we wait to meet in the lobby at 3:00. No sleep tonight for good reasons.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Xuelan is here!!!

Yea!!! We just got a phone call from our guide- Xiulan (shoelawn). And then we went to her room to meet her. She is really nice and really Chinese. She speaks good English but talks really fast. She told us that tomorrow we WILL BE GETTING THE BABIES. But we might not go to the orphanage as expected. Somehow the orphanage has changed their mind- unless we are willing to pay extra. She is not happy with them at all. But she said if we don't go to the orphanage then they will bring the babies to us tomorrow afternoon. So we have just one more night of being a family of 2. (Yes, I know, sleep now because I will never sleep again) If we don't go to the orphanage then we will use the already rented bus to tour the city in the morning.

Today- we got up at 6:30 and went down to the breakfast buffett. We recognized bacon, fried potatos, bread, and yogurt. Everything else looked nice but I'm not sure what it all was. We tried some of it and everything was good. But I'll probably be sticking with the "normal" looking stuff. We then went out walking the streets. We were the only Americans anywhere. And the Chinese people stared and pointed at us everywhere we went. They would pick up their kids so they could get a better look at us. It felt really weird! We found a department store, a supermarket, and a Mcdonalds. Now just need to find a Starbucks to be really happy. Oh, and the toilets are going to be dedicated in a post all of their own! Wow.

Our hotel room is really nice and is apparently a 5 star hotel. But the tap water is not drinkable and we cannot get it in our mouths at all. I showered but now feel dirty because I know the water is contaminated. We have a minibar with a frig. And 2 chairs and table to look out the panoramic window. I feel so much better today and am starting to get excited about tomorrow. Not sure what Ill do when I get handed Emma Rose- but I'm sure Vanous the camera/video freak will capture every emotional moment on film. And Im sure he will post all pictures of me- especially the bad ones. ha ha

Sites from our room.

Thought you might like to see where we are and what we see out our window. The sites are amazing. To one side you see a developing city and to the other side poor housing. The room is very nice. It is one of the few high end hotels that is environmentally aware. The esculators don't run until you walk on to them, the temps are set to save energy, and even the key to the room is used to power the entire room itself. When you leave the room, you have to pull our the key from a slot in the wall and about 3 minutes later, all the lights, TV, etc go off. Wow. Is that not energy saving aware or what.

Mr. B's Science extra credit...list 10 proven things you could do to save energy at your house.

Oh how sweet to sleep... last time (haha). We both were wiped out when we arrived. We stretched out for a nap at about 12:30pm in china and we woke up at 12:00 midnight. Now we will have to find a way to get some sleep to get on the right time schedule. The pictures are the progression of expressions Jenn had as we traveled (not across the ocean, but up the coast of Cal, into Canada, over the bering straights, clipping Russia, and finally down from Norther China. Every bit of 15 hours flight. We had heard it would be a long, painful flight and they were right. Our advice is to upgrade and fly premium without hesitation. Worth the money. matter..we are here.
Tomorrow we hope to get out and see some sights, shop a little, and try a little local food (cooked or we peel it food). Oh yea...we are unable to see our blog spot page. We can edit and add updates in "edit mode" so keep checking. We just can't see it. I have now set comments you post to go to our emal as we can get them that way AND I have set it so anyone can post (not just registered users) so post on. We will continue to post as we go each day.

Mr. B's extra credit for science..."What is the science value of sleep on the human body?"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And we arrive....

WOW! We have never been so glad to get off an airplane in our entire lives. 15 hour in coach. Jenn says never again will we fly coach if we ever come back. Tiny seats, hard cushions, not good at all. haha But I keep saying "keep your eyes on the prize". We got here with the Young's about 9:40 china time. We then hopped another flight to get to Chongqing. We are totally out of our small town KY element. The youngs breifly lost their bags (our made it all the way) and we found out that we can not communicate very well at all. Almost resorting to pictinary. There is some broken English here which helps, but we really struggle to talk with anyone.
We are in our hotel now and resting. We are afraid to go eat without a guide as, like I said earlier, we aren;t the best at communicating here yet. But we are here and we get to hold emma rose in less than two days now. That is worth every inconvenience we have had or will have. More later when Jenn wakes up and we feel up to it. haha

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

About to become the minority.

Walking into Bradley International was an immediate culture shock. Not a lot of small town KY folks here. haha We are listening to the announcer speak in all kinds of languages and we know none of them. Oh my, are we in the minority now? Check in went smooth and we ate our final "American" meal at McDonalds U.S. Now as we prepare to board the longest flight of either of our lives, we ponder...sleep? In regular economy? On a flight to China? We hope so! It has helped calm our nerves a little by running into the Youngs. They are a couple from Bowling Green who have adopted from China before. Stay tune for more.

Mr. B's second bonus: I just exchanged $220 of U.S. money. How much in Chinese Yuan did I get back?

Our almost first glitch in travel...

As we taxi out to the runway in Nashville, the captain comes on and says....." there is a delay on Atlanta and we will not take off for an hour". Now that may not mean much, but our connecting flight to LA is an hour and a half from when we land...that means getting to the next flight in less than 30 minutes without knowing where to go. BUT...our luck turned as five minutes later, the captain says "must be a day for miracles. They have cleared us to take off now". So...we are in Atlanta eating Chick-Fil-Lay waiting (on time) to hop on our "on time" plane to LA. (Rose...she is eating!)

And we're off...

Hi all! Mike has dropped us off at the airport in Nashville, bags are checked, we have taken our shoes off, pulled out all the "stuff" in our bags, gone through security, and now we are awaiting the first leg of our time in the air. WOW! its already been a long morning and it has just started. Is this not cool. Sitting at the airport updating our blog. We left the house full of excitement, bright eyed and all smiles. Hope we will look even half that good when we are flying home! Will update when we get to LA! Remember to leave us a comment if you want to give us a message!

Extra Credit for Mr. Brown's class: Explain how airplanes really fly? As we sit here watching them take off and land, it is amazing to us geeky science nerds. (a.k.a. Mr. and Mrs. Brown) How can such a heavy object stay up in the sky? Research this question and write your explanation on paper with your name, date, and class and turn in to Mrs. Ellis. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Emma Rose- here we come!!

We are packed. The house is clean. The pets are taken care of. We are ready. It is almost midnight and we leave for the airport at 9:00 in the morning. It is hard to believe that this day is finally here. We are so excited that we can hardly think about sleeping. We will post again as soon as we can. Thanks for all of your kind words and support. We are very blessed with family and friends. We will post again from the airport. When Vanous is bored he will want to play with the computer and all his tech gadgets so we will be posting a lot I am guessing. haha
(To our students at school-- Work hard and study lots! Science rocks!!)

Jenn and Vanous

Monday, October 22, 2007

Packing nightmares!

We're in the homestretch now. Only 1 more day to get ready. We have spent today packing. Yeah, sounds easy right? Ha. We spent 2 hours getting everything we wanted to take to fit in the suitcase. I used every trick I have been told and have read about. We put cheerios in every available space we could find. We used ziplock bags for everything. And everything fit. Whew- we thought we were done. And then we weighed them. Both weighed in at 55 - 60 pounds. (remember that there is a 44 pound limit). So back to the drawing board. We first eliminated some clothes. Still to heavy. We them removed some items we figured we could buy in China. Still overweight. Took out some of my snacks I was planning on living on for 2 weeks. Still too heavy. Took out more clothes and crammed them into the carryon. Still to heavy. Finally, we took out more clothes and we are now successfully at 44 pounds- but we barely have anything to wear. Now we are 2 people who like to take LOTS of clothes when we go anywhere so if you dont know us you can't appreciate this amazing feat! But never fear! We traded off pairs of underwear for coffee, creamer, and sugar packets. (I do have my limits).

Its almost time. We are soooo ready to go. Watch out EMMA ROSE- HERE WE COME!!! We'll be hungry, tired, barely clothed, but caffeined up and high on love! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

More showers...more than words

We are four days away from getting on a plane to China. In the past week, we have been so blessed by friendships and community support in all kinds of ways. I have had not one but two "showers" since the Church gave us the most wonderful celebration (and I am the dad). My school faculty gave me so much in celebration of Emma Rose on Wed. Then, and this is the kicker, all 115 my students, my softball players, and my wonderful team honor teachers blew me away with a surprise going to China to become a daddy party. That moment, their gifts of love and kind words meant more to me than any words I could come up with. I tear up now just looking back on it. It all seems so surreal to think we are receiving such a gift as a child to love and to raise. WOW!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Baby Shower Sunday!!

Wow! What a baby shower I just had! Mount Union is the greatest church in the world! How can I ever truly thank
them all of their kindness, support, and love? A thank you note just can't relay my gratitude. I can't wait to bring Emma Rose to church for everyone to see. Soon.
I recieved a BUNCH of presents today. Clothes, monitor, LeapPad, exersaucer, diapers, money, toys, blankets, sippy cups, and more and more. It was amazing. The fellowship hall was decorated with a "China" theme. It had white tablecloths with red accents. Panda bears and bamboo arrangements graced the tables. A special cross stiched picture featuring ladybugs from my sister sat on an easel beside the gift table. One of my good friends had Emma Rose's name written in Chinese characters framed and sitting in the middle of the gift table. It was so very special. My mom brought the quilts she had made for Emma Rose so I could show them off. But my favorite gift was a basket of items given by my 2 nephews. It contained a pink basketball, a WKU onesie, a UK sippy cup, a Mavericks rattle, and a handmade doll chair made by Nick. What memories I will have of this day. I almost hate that it is over since I had anticipated it for sooooo long.
Only 10 days more to go til we board that plane to go get my baby! May they FLY BY!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Could we be any more blessed!

So many couples get one, two, and at best three pictures of their child as they wait to go get her or him. We have been blessed to have joined a discussion group of parents who have adopted from the same orphanage we are getting Emma Rose from. The blessing is that they have shared pictures of their visits. She has been in a number of the pictures. Because of that we know she is has been in Gracie's room and we have seen her in pitcures as she has grown and even as of a few days ago like the one here. She is so beautiful. We are saving and printing like crazy. haha

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Travel Plans!

Airplane flights are booked! We leave for China on October 24th. Gotcha day is October 27th.
And we return on November 10th with our little Emma Rose. We also got some really exciting news this week. We actually get to go to the orphanage to get the babies. Therefore, we get to take lots of pictures and video of where Emma Rose spent her first 9 months. I'm told that as she grows older she will love that we have these pieces of her past to share with her. Most families do not get to go near the orphanage much less take pictures there. We are so lucky. What is funny to others but not to us is the packing ordeal. We are limited to 1 suitcase each that weighs less than 44 pounds. Keep in mind that Vanous and I pack that much if we are going to the mountains for the weekend- we are in China for 16 days. (and we have to pack for the baby too!). Yep. We are having trouble. But we WILL DO IT!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What are the odds

When a friend of ours called and said she had found some pictures of our orphanage, we thought wow, lets see what the conditions are like. As we went to the site and started looking, you can imagine our amazement when we were looking into the eyes of our daughter. To top it off, she is spending time in Gracie's Room. This is a room at the orphanage where nannies work with their development and interact with them beyond the norm. Though no one has confirmed it is her, we look at her eyes, eye brows, her face, etc. and believe without a doubt it is her. Here are 2 of the pictures posted. Not sure who the boy is. Volunteer maybe?


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October 28th- That's the Day!

What is so important about that date you may ask? Well, that is the day that little Emma Rose gets to meet her crazy new parents for the first time. That is the day we will get to first see her, hold her, and begin the process of making her ours for good. Now you need to remember that China is one day ahead of us so the 28th is actually the 27th here in the US. We are looking into travel arrangements this week. We plan on flying to Chongqin a couple of days early in order to get a little rest before the BIG DAY! Temtatively we are looking at leaving the US on October 24. Yea!!