Friday, April 24, 2009

What's in a name?

When we met our son in Nanjing we learned how to pronounce his Chinese name. We did not have it quite right... the best phonetic spelling I can come up with is JaWin Koo-ah. It sounds best when he says it and he often corrects our pronounciation. His surname is Hua which is also the word for flower in Mandarin. While traveling with us in China he would often say his full name, Hua Jun Ke, when he introduced himself to people. He was given this name when he arrived at Nanjing SWI. We don't know what his name was in his first family and he has not told anyone as far as we can tell.

When we met him he had many questions for us which he asked through our agency facilitators. One of his first questions was "what will my American name be?" We were glad that he was able to discuss this with us through the interpretor. He did not have an American name in mind and when we suggested Allan, which is his Dad's name, he liked the idea. When we first came home he was still calling himself Jun Ke and so were we most of the time. This week I noticed he has begun telling people his name is Allan when he meets them!

More family pictures

Here are pictures from "Forever Family Day" when we finalized the adoption of our son and the next day when we visited the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute. He lived there for almost two years. The lady in the picture is the Director. She was very fond of him.

Meeting our son

Here are pictures from the day we first met our son. On March 30th we met him for the first time at the Civil Affairs office. The younger children did quite a bit of crying as would be expected. He walked in looking very serious, then broke into a big smile. He did not stop smiling all day.

Pictures from Beijing China

In Beijing we visited the Olympic Venues. Here are the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube. Very impressive!

We also visited the Great Wall at the Badaling section. It is really a steep climb up! It was also very crowded with lots of visitors.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


We are back and everyone is doing well. Just trying to get over the
jet lag. We got home late Thursday night. Went to bed and all woke up too
early in the morning. Yesterday we were tired all day, but stayed up until
9:30 PM and all four of us slept through until 7:30 AM. Still dragging a
bit today, but getting stuff done. Laundry, groceries, etc. We are all
doing well, especially Jun Ke who seems to be adjusting great. He is a
good eater and tries everything. He really loves most fruits and veggies,
he esp. LOVES watermelon and bananas. He loves noodles, too. (more so
than rice or congee). We have been working on English words for things
with him. Later today we are going to color Easter eggs. Should be fun!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Guangzhou Part I

Last friday the children received their Chinese passports and we all flew from Nanjing to Guangzhou. Jun Ke felt a bit car sick on previous bus rides so we gave him a half a dramamine. He did fine on this bus ride and the plane ride too. He loved the airport and the airplane. It is hard to fathom how amazing some of these "firsts" must be for him. He got a window seat too! The flight was less than two hours.

Then in Guangzhou we were taken to the White Swan. It is beautiful hotel on Shamain Island along the Pearl River. We have been able to relax here, swim in the pool and walk around Shamain Island. We also went to the Mainland city of Guangzhou yesterday and visited two Buddhist Temples. Taxi rides are very inexpensive so getting around is pretty easy.

We completed all the visa paperwork and had our consulate appointment today. Tomorrow we will all go to the U.S. Consulate and take the oath. Then the children will receive their passports with their US visas in them. They will have a special visa (R-3) which means they will emigrate to the U.S. and become citizens when they arrive there.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Picture of the Happy Family!

We leave today for Guangzhou!