"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared." Author unknown

Monday, October 31, 2011

Beijing - Day 1

We arrived at our hotel, Holiday Inn, at midnight-thirty last night, thankful the 14 hour flight was behind us!  After getting settled in, we finally climbed into bed. Sleep was deep but choppy, kept waking up for some reason and we were up and moving around 6am. Short night. 

After a visit to the huge breakfast buffet here at the hotel, we met up with our guide Ivan for the day's events.

We started the morning at a jade factory store where I purchased two Zodiac Ox jade pendants for the boys when they are older.  I also purchased a jade family ball, it is quite amazing how they make these.

Next we went to the Great Wall.  It is quite foggy today so, unfortunately, we were not able to see the amazingness of the wall.  We all climbed, over 300 steps, to the first tower, tower number 8.  Mom and Aunt Sharon's legs were done by then.  Therefore, Ivan and I left them behind to rest and we trekked up another few hundred steps to the next tower, number 9. Then we turned around and worked our way back down.  Going down is an awkward task due to the steep steps. Thankful for the many squats I do weekly, my legs felt pretty good. Only had slight shaky calfs when I was done. 

Can you find me?

After working up a slight appetite we were taken to a copper factory called the Yu Long Friendship Store, we learned about how copper vases are made.  It is quite fascinating and the vases are beautiful, then we ate at the restaurant located behind the store.  Sounds kinda scary huh?  They served us about 12 various Chinese dishes that we could self serve from.  The sweet and sour chicken was good. 

By then it was about 1pm and we could have come back to the hotel but what fun would that have been, there's a lot of Beijing to see and not a lot of time to see it; so, our guide had our driver take us near the 2008 Olympic stadium called the Birds Nest it's architecture was neat, wish we could have gotten a little closer.  We also drove by the Water Cube, which is where the swimming events of the Olympics took place.  I was not able to get a very good picture of it.  I believe it lights up in different colors at night, which I'm sure is very neat.

To finish out our touring for the day, we visited a silk factory store.  We learned about how silk is made and that there are two different kinds of silk, single string and double string.  Who knew?  We saw how they make the silk duvet blankets.  I would have loved to have purchased one but they weren't cheap and I just don't have room in my luggage right now. 

After returning to the hotel at about 3:30pm we all took a nap.  For dinner, we decided to venture out and found a KFC. It took us a while to find it as it is inside a huge multi-layer shopping center.  Ordering was interesting but we accomplished it, after being cut in front of at the register multiple times.  Thankfully, they have a menu they bring out for foreigners and we were able to point at what we wanted.  I think mom and Aunt Sharon were happy to have some "American" fare after our Chinese lunch.

We aren't scheduled to meet our guide till 1pm tomorrow so we will see how productive we are tomorrow morning.  Looking forward to the big buffet breakfast again!

Check out pictures of today: http://wewereledtoyou.shutterfly.com/pictures

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We made it

We arrived at our hotel about 6 hours ago, rested a few hours and are up and moving.  Today we will visit the Jade store and the Great Wall!!!  This all feels like a dream, I can hardly believe I'm here.

3 more days and till Tegan time!!!
7 more days and till Corban time!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Now 3 full weeks in China....

We received Corban's travel documents!!! YAY!!!  But, they were not able to add Corban onto Tegan's consulate appointment; therefore, Tegan and daddy will be returning home on the 17th.  Corban's consulate appointment is on the 17th; therefore, he and I will be 2 days behind them, returning home on the 19th.  Not thrilled about traveling separate but at least it is only 2 additional days. I was worried it was going to end up being almost an additional week. God is good, it's all His plan!

Tomorrow begins the 3 week journey!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Testing Post via Email

I am testing the posting via email option just to be sure I know what I’m doing.  That way, if I can’t get to the blogger site to post directly, I can email posts instead.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Corban's TA is confirmed

Our agency received notice that our travel has been approved, yippee. Now a slight problem, the actual TA paperwork paperwork likely won't arrive at the agency till Friday. I leave on Saturday.  Therefore, they may have to turn around and send the documents back to China so I receive them there.

Another potential problem is, if the paperwork doesn't arrive till Friday, we won't receive confirmation of Corban's consulate appointment till Monday.  We hope the consulate will piggy back him onto Tegan's Nov 15th appointment. If they cannot, Corban and I will likely have to stay in China for several more days while daddy and Tegan fly home on the 17th.

Either way, we will have the boys and that is all that matters!!!! PTL

100 Wishes Quilts

While we are waiting to travel, and to create a special gift for the boys on their baptism day, we are working on a project with which we need your assistance. We are creating a “100 Good Wishes Quilt”. There is a tradition in the northern part of China where they make a Bai Jia Bei, or “100 Good Wishes Quilt” to welcome and celebrate a new life. It is a custom to invite 100 people to contribute a single square of material. The 100 pieces of material are then sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the family and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.


(1) Choose any 100% cotton fabric that you like.

(2) Cut two 5" x 5” squares of fabric. Before you cut the fabric to size, please wash, dry, and iron it.

(3) On two acid free 5" x 5” pieces of paper or card stock include your “good wish note”. The wish design can be as simple or elaborate as you would like - let your creative juices flow. Please also include why you choose the fabric and your name & address. We will then have one for each of the boy's quilts and memory/scrapbooks. You can share the same wish (and material) on both or a seperate wish (material) to each.

(4) Please take a picture of you/family with the quilt pieces and good wish notes.

(5) Place the 2- quilt pieces, 2 - good wish notes and 2-photos in a plastic bag and mail them to us. (Pelase send me a private email message for our address to tnjdowney @ msn.com  - remove the two spaces)


(1) Select a fabric that is meaningful to you.
(2) 100% cotton fabric is best as it washes and wears well.
(3) If there are several members in your family, each family member is welcome to do this.. In China, these quilts were originally made from the garments of family and friends surrounding the child with luck and good wishes.


Think about what you would wish for a child to have in their life? Some ideas are good health, perseverance, compassion, a sense of humor. Good wishes may include a poem, bible verse, favorite quote or saying, advice etc.

Please take a few minutes from your busy schedules to help us create this very special keepsake. The miracle of this adoption has been helped and nurtured by so many of you and this will be so incredibly meaningful for us as well as our new arrival. 

We currently have 50 squares for each of the boys' quilts after the adoption celebration our church held for us, so we are half way there.  I would be thrilled to have more than 100 wishes for each of the boys.  I want them to know they were thought of by many, even before they physically joined our family.

Thank you !

China Itinerary

Oct.30: Arrive in Beijing @ 11pm

Oct.31: Visit the Great Wall

Nov.01: Visit Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden City, acrobatic Show in the evening.

Nov.02: Leave Beijing, arrive in Shanghai

Nov.03: Meet Tegan in the morning, visit orphanage in afternoon

Nov.04: Adoption paperwork

Nov.05: Visit the Yu Garden, the Bund and the old Shanghai.

Nov.06: Leave Shanghai, arrive in Guangzhou

Nov.07: Meet Corban in the afternoon

Nov.08: Adoption paperwork

Nov.09: Apply for boys' passports

Nov.10: Visit the Six Banyan Temple. My husband arrives in the morning, mom and aunt leave in the evening
Nov.11: Pick up boys' passports.

Nov.12: Take boys' VISA photos, then do medical and TB test for them.

Nov.13: Visit the Safari Park.

Nov.14: Pick up TB test result.

Nov.15: 08:30am visa appointment and oath-taking ceremony at the Consulate.

Nov.16: Pick up the visa in the afternoon. Leave Guangzhou for Hongkong by train after picking up the visa.

Nov.17: Leave Hong Kong on 10:45am flight, arrive at airport back home at 5:45pm

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One week from today...

In one week I will be two hours into my flight to China, I can hardly believe it is less than a week away now. 

I am thankful that we are to this point but really not looking forward to being away from my family.

I know the Lord will continue to be with us, just as he has been, through the union with our boys.

Only 7 days and I'm on my way, PTL!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

9 days till China bound!!!!

I can't believe we are down to single digits in our "days till China" countdown Oh me, oh my!

No news yet on Corban's travel approval but we have another week before we need to panic.  I'll try to keep this in mind, patience hasn't been in my vocab lately.

We should have our finalized travel itinerary tomorrow. After "e-stalking" the travel agent for the past week, she  finally sent me an email letting me know she would send it tomorrow. Really I was more worried that she wasn't getting my emails so I sent one from a different email address.  Once I receive it, I will then post what our trip will look like.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Church family's love...

Yesterday, our family saw one aspect of what it is like to be a part of the AUMC family. 

What is a church family?  I'm sure it is defined somewhere on the web but this is a portion of what would be included in my definition:

It is a group of people who become connected because of their love of Christ and shared worship together. Even more than that, they are children of Christ who step up to help and show the love of Jesus to other church family members, even to members they don't personally know.

Yesterday, our family was in awe of the number of people from our church that stopped by our adoption celebration.  For 2 hours, we shared our journey and thankfulness of their support and prayers. We are so very blessed to be apart of such a wonderful church, one who supports us and doesn't question if we can handle it.  They know that God is with us and that he lead us down this path; therefore, he will lead us through the ups and downs we will face, as any growing family does.

For those of you who showered us with love and support yesterday, thank you.  We appreciate all the clothes, books, stuffed bears, blanket, gift cards and encouraging words we received.  We also thank you for sharing your wishes for each of the boys' 100 Wishes quilts. What comfort and love they will feel, when they are older, knowing that they were so loved and thought of before joining our family. You have helped to make this journey a little easier.  Your prayers are appreciated, over the next few months, as our family faces many changes. We can't wait to share these children of God with you.

In Christ's love~

The Yummy cakes!!!!

The much appreciated gifts we received...we were overwhelmed with the generosity of our church family.  THANK YOU!

Tickets bought...12 days till take off!!!

It's official, the plane tickets are paid for!!!!  In 12 days, my mom, aunt and I will be on a plane heading to China!!!! I can hardly believe it.  Praying that Corban's travel approval arrives in the next week or so,. Our agency has requested that it be rushed and faxed instead of mailed.

On the morning of Nov 3rd (about bedtime of Nov 2nd for you here in the states) I will meet Tegan for the first time!!!! Then 4 days later, in the afternoon of Nov 7th (while you here in the states are fast asleep), I will be united with Corban.  Oh what a glorious two days those will be!!!!  Their daddy will meet up with us in China on the morning of Nov 11th.  Finally, returning to the states on Nov 17th, one months from today!

Needless to say, the next 12 days will fly with the final preparations that are being made.  I can't wait to get to China to meet the boys but I am dreading being away from my family for almost 3 weeks. Thankfully, I know they will be in good care and watched by our Heavenly Father.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not much info but lots of pictures!!!!

Well, there isn't a lot to update on.  Corban's Article 5 (A5) was scheduled to be picked up today and will then move on to wait for Travel Approval (TA).  I pray we will receive TA next week otherwise, we will be pushing it to leave on the 29th but still do able.

I finally heard back from our travel agent in China and she said she would send us a tentative itinerary while we sleep (or while I wake up every few hours to check email) tonight.  She was able to confirm that we will be able to expedite Tegan's paperwork; therefore, only needing to stay in Shanghai for 3 days. 

We did, however, receive notice that the boys receive the care packages we sent.  Corban's orphanage is no longer providing photos or updates so we did not receive much info from them, though they were appreciative of the package and are glad they can begin to introduce him to our family with the photo album we sent.

Tegan's orphanage also relayed a message to us that they too appreciated the package and all the goodies for the kids and that photos would be sent soon.  We received 11 photos yesterday evening and hold onto your hats because Tegan is actually smiling in two of them.  It gave me great joy to see a smile on his face, though I also see some orneriness it his smile too.  I can't wait to find out!!!!  Without further ado, check out these adorable pictures:

Isn't that just the sweetest look, with a hint of orneriness.

And he shares! Be still my heart!

Meeting his family.

Ok, and he is fascinated that he is in the photo album too. 

Must be something good on the back side of the toothbrush package.

Pictures of our Journey to bring Tegan and Corban home!