Thursday, March 13, 2014


This is a series of photos I put together for my middle son's kindergarten class.  The kids had been asking him a lot of questions about why he wasn't at school and why he went to China, etc.  I went in to talk about our trip and also had a few questions to answer about adoption...

This was our first glimpse of A. as he dashed out the doors of the Civil Affairs office to greet us.  He knew right away that it was us and called us mama and baba right from the start.  Most of the kids knew in a rough sense what adoption means- I asked for definitions first and we talked a little about it.  We kept is *very* basic- A's first parents in China couldn't take care of him so they "made a plan" for him to be taken care of until we could adopt him, now he is a part of our family forever, etc.  We talked about how he might have felt as he ran out the door to meet his new parents. 

Getting to know each other.  For those of you planning to travel and wondering what to wear for the day you meet your child, dressy casual all the way!  Look nice- hubby wore khakis and a button down and I wore the sweater you see in the next picture and dark "dressy-ish" jeans.  We were on the floor a lot of the time so I'm glad we weren't dressed up too much but it was important to us not to look schlumpy either!  

Back at the hotel room. This pic may be a repeat from another blog post.  

Just a sample of some of the cuteness you get when you have a bunch of boys.  Ridiculous.  

We talked about how China and the US are similar.  People working for a living, big cities, farmland, etc. We talked about how many people live in China and how hard that is for us to imagine since we live in a suburb of a medium sized American city.  This picture was an example of how in China, the cities have grown so fast in such a short period of time that things that we (in the US) might think of as old-fashioned or only found in more rural areas are often found in big cities right next to things that are uber-modern.  

One difference the kids like to remember is that it's perfectly okay to ride your motorcycle/moped/scooter/bike on the sidewalk!  Steer clear and stay to the right. :) 

Kids on the back of bikes (not uncommon among many of the other places I've traveled, but novel to our kiddos- also (gasp!) no helmets) and also a pretty good idea of how chaotic it can be to cross at the cross-walk...but don't dare cross anywhere else! 

Signing papers at the notary.  

At the Shaolin temple.  This place was seriously amazing!  My brother studied Kung Fu for many years...maybe he was a teeny bit jealous...

These guys are serious.  Look at the muscles on the statue on the left.  Whew! 

Oldest son (in green) at the entrance to a temple/incense burner.  Check out the detail work just under the eaves of the building.  

Feeding pigeons.  This is a variation on another pic that was posted earlier...A. was having a tantrum and these kind monks gave us some walnuts to crack open and feed to the birds.  After hubby took this picture and wandered off with the rest of our group, A and I stayed to hang out with the monks and feed the birds some more.  In this view, the guys are snacking on some walnuts themselves and throwing the hulls away in the trash.  Right after that they whipped out their cell phones and took some pics of the birds.  LOL.

Entrance.  This is the first building you enter off of a big courtyard to walk up the hill to the temples.  


Street scene

The first proposal. 

On the bullet train (200MPH) 

Beautiful farmland and mountains. 

More lovely scenery, as viewed from the train.  

Oldest son making new friends.  He was actually a little embarassed that this girl's father insisted on taking their picture together.  Too darn cute! 

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