Saying Goodbye to China 3

Saying Goodbye to China
Shopping like a local We woke on our last day in China with one final errand to run: shopping. We still wanted to buy a few things for ourselves and for a few friends, and knew of a store only a few subway stops away that would be both familiar and distant, a place, strangely, ...

Sibling Rivalry disorder hits home 1

Sibling Rivalry disorder hits home
Shamian Island We had a big day yesterday. It was our first “free” day when we had no appointments to keep, no morning events planned, not historical or cultural heritage sights to visit. Just us and our last day in China. We decided to visit historic Shamian Island, a local tourist trap. During the Song ...

How having kids shuts down productivity 5

This morning, when the boy woke at 530AM when I had only just sat down and begun to write, I was reminded of something my friend Tony told me once. “Don’t let kids see you’re being productive. Once they see it, they’ll do everything they can to shut it down.” Little j seems to understand ...

Adoption Reality Show 1

Any viewer of American television over the past decade knows of reality television. There’s a reality show on almost every night, and the big ones—Survivor and The Bachelor/Bachelorette—have been on longer than most. It struck me today, as we were waiting for our consular appointment, that adopting from China in the way we have, the ...

Vacation at Last 1

Vacation at Last
The final leg of our trip, in Guangzhou, has presented us with the opportunity to have an actual, almost family vacation. I consider this to be our first vacation as a family of four, in fact. The continuation of a long tradition of July family vacations we have taken through the years, and we shall ...

A special m pool moment 1

We were at the pool at the China hotel in Guangzhou in the late afternoon. There was one other family swimming, a Chinese woman with her son and her mother. The mother was helping the woman teach the boy, about eight-years-old, how to swim. He was wearing a turquoise one-piece boys suit—a single shirt and ...

First Flight 1

Our internal flights were booked by a travel agency that specializes in China adoptions. They picked flights and schedules based on years of experience with families traveling with new children. So I thought nothing of the fact that our flight our of Taiyuan left at 120PM which is smack dab in the middle of j’s ...

Jinci Temple 2

Jinci Temple
So much happens in a day that it is hard to record it all. Our last official day in Taiyuan we visited the Jinci Temple, a garden park that is home to some of the oldest buildings in all of China. In the 11th century BC, King Cheng made his younger brother, Yu, the ruler ...

Visiting the Happy Place, part 2 3

If you haven’t already, read part one of our visit to our son’s orphanage. There was a cry from a window above. A woman called out to us, and though I didn’t understand most of what she said, I could make out two words. “Pengjun!” she cried. That is the name the orphanage director gave ...

Visiting the Happy Place, part 1 1

Visiting the Happy Place, part 1
We finally left Taiyuan after 130PM for the 90 minute drive to Xinzhou. The road had been closed all morning due to mudslides as a result of the heavy rains the day before. It is a major highway that connects the two cities, and from Taiyuan it starts literally on the edge of town, at ...