Monday, November 2, 2009

3 Months With Julianna

It was 3 months ago on Sunday, August 2 that Julianna was placed in my arms. It is amazing how much she has grown and changed in 3 short months. She was 15 lbs. in China and she had such a bad cold. Now, she is healthy and weighs 19 lbs. She is crawling everywhere and pulling up on anything. She is relaxed and happy.

Sometimes I sit and think "Wow, did we really go half way around the world just a short time ago and have a wonderful baby given to us?" It all seems a bit surreal to think of 12 families all waiting in a conference room in a downtown hotel in Nanchang, Jiangxi China and someone walks in and gives you a baby!!!!! We are so blessed!!

It is true what they say, time does fly when you are having fun!! These 3 months have gone by so fast. I am loving every minute of it!!

Enjoy the Halloween pictures. Caroline was a butterfly and Julianna was a caterpillar!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fun With Friends

This week we had the chance to meet up with a travel buddy at Chuck E. Cheese. This is a very special travel friend because this family lives only about 45 minutes from us, used the same agency as us, and they were logged in the same day as us. ( oh those many years ago). In the adoption world, this is truly amazing. Anyway, I remember us saying to each other 4 years ago that our babies would probably be from the same orphanage because of all our similarities. That prediction came true.

Julianna and Allie lived together in the same room at the same orphanage for the first 9 months of their lives. They were born just 6 days apart. It is a very special friendship.

The girls had a good time riding the little rides, seeing the singing characters, and just seeing each other. It was so sweet to see both of them so happy and thriving.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Somebody Turned One!!!!

Julianna turned one year old on Tuesday!! We had a small party, and she loves her new toys.

She is doing so much. She crawls every where, she pulls up on anything, and she stands alone for a few seconds. She has been teething alot lately, and I have the bruises on my right shoulder to prove it.

It just amazes me how much she has changed in the two months she has been with us. She has just blossomed. She loves the pets and Caroline. It cracks me up to see her sitting in her highchair every morning beside Caroline. They watch cartoons together!!! and I mean she really watches them. If I am in her way trying to feed her, she will lean out of the way to look around me! She loves Sid the Science Kid!!

Here are a few pictures of the last few weeks. Be sure to check her out in the birthday hat.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Pictures

Julianna has been with us for 8 weeks now. She is such a sweet little baby!! She is always happy. She sleeps well, and she is eating great. She has gained 4 pounds in the two months home. I said the other day that I think the memory of the horrible 15 hour flight has now left my memory. I could truly do another China adoption if it were not for the fact that the wait is now 7 + years. Hmmmm???
Life is good!!!!
Hello to all our travel buddies out there. We miss you.

Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Been Home 2 1/2 Weeks

Hi to everyone!! I know I am bad at posting. Mainly because I talk to all that I think would want to see the blog anyway. But, I know a few of you still check for pictures (mainly you, Georgette!!!) So, here are some new pictures of our happy baby. Julianna is doing really well. She is such a sweet, happy girl. It is hard to believe we have been home with her for 2 1/2 weeks. Things are starting to settle into a routine. Caroline and I play with her all day. It is so much fun. Caroline is the best big sister. She is so much help, and she just loves the baby so much. Life is exactly how I wanted it for so long! Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home and New Pictures

Things are settling in for us here at home. Here are a few pictures from this week. She is such a happy baby!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Hi All!
I just wanted to quickly update the blog to let everyone know we made it home safely. We have been home now exactly 24 hours, and all things considered, we are doing ok.
The long flights to and from China are just killer!!!! There is now other way around it, the flights are baddddddddd!!! I guess once you survive that, you can survive anything!!
We are adjusting to US time, and Julianna is doing great. I am trying to shake the worst cold/sinus infection ever. I will post new pictures later.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We are doing great!!!

Hi from Guangzhou!!!
I have to apologize for not posting much on this blog.   I have  been communicating the most through emails to my sister and cousin.   It is a bit hard for me to post to the blog and I find it even harder when I can view the blog to see what I have said in the past.
So, a quick update.   We are all doing great!!!   No one is sick.   Julianna has an ear infection that was found yesterday at her medical exam.   She now has an antibiotic.   I know she had the ear thing last week when her cold was so bad, but anyway, she has some medicine now.
You never  would have know she felt bad.   She is all smiles and laughs.   She drinks a ton of her formula with rice cereal.   Usually she wants 2 8 oz. bottles each time.
She loves Caroline!!!!!   Caroline is her personal fetcher when she throws her toys.
She loves her bath time now.   She has even kicked in the pool her at the White Swan.
I am doing some shopping which is fun.  Today will be a busy day with the Pearl Market and a dinner cruise.
I have not really been homesick like I thought I would.   I think the 2 weeks has gone by really fast.   We will be home on Saturday.
Have fun looking at the pictures.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We are in Guangzhou!!!

Hi All!!!!
Just a quick post to let everyone know we have made it to the next part of our journey.
We left Nanchang, Jiangxi today at noon and took a short flight to Guangzhou.   It is here that we will spend the next week finishing up the paperwork to bring Julianna home.   We already have her passport.   We will get her visa in this city.
We are having a fantastic trip!!!   I am surprising myself by not being home sick.   Julianna is doing great.   She is really opening up to us.   She is all smiles and laughs.   She loves Caroline, and she already has her playing fetch with her toys she throws down.
This trip is so organized and everything is so easy.
As I type this, both girls are asleep on the king sized bed, and I am looking out our window to the beautiful Pearl River.
Here are a few pictures over the las few days.

Monday, August 3, 2009

China Day 5

Hello, we are in Nanchang, Jiangxi.  We arrived her on Sunday afternoon.  We just had time to check in to our rooms and go to a meeting room to hear instructions from our guide, Evelyn.   She told us to bring everything - cameras, camcorders because the babies were due to arrive at 5 pm, but they may show up early.
What a crazy feeling to be sitting in a room glancing out the door to see if any babies are there.
The first two babies arrived and it was so sweet to be able to watch it all happen.   It really was not how I expected.   The babies came from 3 different orphanages, so they all arrived at different times.  
Wouldn't you know, we would have to wait to the last for ours to arrive.   Caroline was watching and waiting looking out the front window from the second floor where we were.
Finally, they got there.   She was dressed in a yellow split pant outfit.  Only one layer of clothes.   Thank goodness because she was sweating so much.  They told me she had been car sick.
She cried just a little when I took her.   She is so sweet and pretty.   I love her eyes.
She had a pretty restful first night with us.   Monday was a busy day with paperwork appointments and a trip to Walmart.   We had Pizza Hut pizza for dinner.
Caroline is finally feeling herself again.   It has taken 4 days to be back to normal.  Jet lag and motion sickness stink.
Here are a few pictures of our first days with Julianna.   We love her so much!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore"

I hope this post makes it to our blog.   When I try to access blogger here, it only comes up in Chinese!!
We are all fine and adjusting to everything.   The time change and motion sickness kicked our butts yesterday, but I think we are on the mend.   Caroline was able to get a good 9 hours of sleep, and she is feeling much better!!
Our big international flight was delayed by 7 hours, so we arrived in Hong Kong at 2 am their time.   
We ventured out yesterday with the Winslows to Hong Kong Disneyland.   It is much smaller than ours, but still fun.   The parade was a hit with Caroline.   They sprayed water from every float.
The trip is very organized everything is taken care of for us.   As Gary says, "How could anything go wrong?   We are doing the same things 18 other families are doing."
Today, we fly with all the others to Jiangxi to get the babies in the afternoon.   Wish us luck!!!

The Spruill's have arrived in Hong Kong!!

Hey, We made it into Hong Kong after traveling on the"flight from Hell". 15 hours is crazy!!!!!!!!!!!! I managed not to open the plane door and take my chances by parachuting out!! LOL
We all got some sleep on the plane. Gary probably the most, then Caroline then me last. Lots of kids on the flight were air sick including Caroline. That made me feel terrible.
Once we got to the airport things were better and easier. Customs easy, luggage easy (and it all arrived) we found our guide easily and the ride to the hotel was easy. All 3 families were in a tour van. We didn't even have to waste time and energy checking in to the hotel. Our guide had done that for us and had the room keys ready.
We crawled into bed around 4:30 am here and slept for about 3 more hours. I think my body is still on your time. We still plan to go to Disney today with Tara's family and call it an early night tonight. We take a short flight tomorrow to where the babies are and get them in the afternoon. I hope it is not too stressful tomorrow.
I will try to call home today, but I am not sure the cellphone will work.
I miss the pets alot and I can tell Caroline does too. I haven't tried to post to the blog yet. This is the first thing I got to.
I'll email again later.
Love, Lanie

Friday, July 24, 2009

This is a Test!!

This is a test to see if I can post to my blog through my email.    Here is a cute picture of Julianna!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our Itinerary

Well, with flights booked and hotel reservations made, we now know our schedule for the trip.
We leave on July 30 and get into Hong Kong on the night of the 31st. ( Don't forget, they are 12 hours ahead of us)
-Aug. 1 - Hong Kong Disney
-Aug. 2 - fly to Jiangxi Province and get Julianna that afternoon
- Aug. 3 - paper work
- Aug. 4 - Rest or city tour
- Aug. 5 - waiting on paperwork to be completed
- Aug. 6 - Get paperwork back
- Aug. 7 - Get Julianna's passport
- Aug. 8 -Leave Nanchang, Jiangxi for Guangzhou on China Eastern Flight
- Aug. 9 - Free time
- Aug. 10 - baby's physical and visa photo taken
- Aug. 11 - more paperwork
- Aug. 12 - Consulate appointment
- Aug. 13 - Go to Consulate and take oath
- Aug. 14 - Leave Guangzhou for Hong kong
- Aug. 15 - Fly home!!!!!

So, after 17 days, 4 hotels, 4 cities, and a total of 7 airplane flights, we will be home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Showered With Love

Julianna is all set!! I can't think of anything more we could need or want. My sister and niece gave me a fantastic Chinese themed shower on Saturday. Everything was so pretty - from the Asian decorations and food to the pretty cake. We got a beautiful stroller, high chair, and money for the car seat along with clothes, toys, and even a wagon. I bet you can guess that Caroline likes the wagon the best! We spent the night and Sunday taking everything out of the packages and getting it all ready. Caroline washed up all the bottles, cups, and plates. I think she is ready for her real live baby doll.

Flights Are Booked

This has been a CRAZY week! We were told of our Consulate appointment date, so we were able to book our international flights. You talk about crazy. One minute I was about to book a flight for $4,000.00 then 5 seconds later the prize jumped to over 10,000.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two of my friends were able to get the good price for the flight and I was left in the cold. You talk about stress. I couldn't find a flight much less one at a good price. Then, Tara came to my rescue. She helped me find a good one on Continental and now its a done deal.
We leave Norfolk on Thursday, July 30th and get home on August 15th. Oh, and you know what, we are flying with Georgette and Tara on the flight over to Hong Kong.

Friday, July 17, 2009

TA's Have Arrived!!!!

Caroline and I went to the beach today with some friends. When we got home, Georgette was on our answering machine. She said, "Oh my gosh, why aren't you ever home when important things happen???" ( I wasn't home yesterday when we all got updated pictures.) So, I knew TA's had arrived!!!!
TA's are travel approvals issued by China. So, CCAI faxed the consulate and requested consulate appointments for all of us. We will know our consulate date early next week, and then we can book our flights. It looks like we will leave on July 29 and be home Aug. 12. can you believe it?????? We will be leaving for CHINA in less than 2 weeks - 12 days to be exact!! We will probably get Julianna on Sunday, Aug. 2. Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here Is Julianna

We received some great new pictures yesterday from our Agency! The pictures were taken June 23, 2009, so she was 8 1/2 months old. I just love her hair!! I think she already needs a haircut!

When will we go??

Our agency called yesterday. They wanted to go over all the important information to make sure everything was in order. They gave us 2 possible dates we may leave. We could go on Wednesday, July 29 and return Wed. August 12 or leave Wednesday, August 5 and return Wednesday, August 20. We will take the first dates, please!!!!!! We will know for sure very soon.

We Have Our Visas!!

One of the last things we needed to do for travel was visas. In addition to a passport, you also need a visa to enter China. Who Knew?? Anyway, thanks to Carol and Dependable Adoption Services, we were able to get all 3 visas quickly. I just mailed her our applications, passports, and fees, and she hand delivered everything to the Chinese Embassy in Washingtion, D.C. All 3 passports came back to me in the mail yesterday. So, what is a visa?? A pretty, fancy sticker attached inside our passports, of course!! Now, we can officially travel to China!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

An Updated Picture!!!!!

I have an updated picture of Julianna!! ( Actually I have 4 with her in it.) A family posted to our orphanage yahoo group that they had just returned from China, and they had the opportunity to visit the orphanage. I just knew she had to have a picture of Julianna. I waited all week for this family to return home and to post pictures. Here she is!! She is in the pink walker, and she has just turned 9 months old!!! She looks so sweet! The baby next to her is Allie Grace. Allie is going to be adopted by my friends who live about an hour from us. We have the same agency and will travel together. You can check out their blog listed under my favorites.