Monday, February 9, 2009

We're Here!!!

Look what was waiting in our room...........

View from our room of Taiyuan city

View from airplane

Starbucks was just as good here!

Saying good-bye to Helen

OH my, we are here.

Our driver came to pick us up at the hotel right on time and guess who got out of the van? YEP...HELEN! Surprise! SHe said she didn't want to leave me, she thought I might cry if everything didn't go just right. Oh, boy, was I glad she went with us! When we got to the airport, we found out our flight had been changed to 2 hours earlier! There was no way we could have communicated without Helen. NO way. I think I would have just sat down on the airport floor and had a meltdown. Believe me, I am feeling really weepy today. OH, thank you God, for sweet Helen. She got us right where we needed to be.
We arrived at the airport and met our new guide. He took us to the hotel and left. He is coming back tomorrow at 3:00pm. We are on our own for supper, water, and lunch tomorrow. What???? I am so sad. I miss Helen so terribly bad. I am just tearing up as I type this. I am trying to figure out how to call her. Ok, Aimee, just get yourself together. It will be OK.

Excuse me, I have got to grab some tissue.
Ok, I'm back.

I am so happy to see in my comments that my online friend is here in Taiyuan. We are going to try to call them in just a minute. I hope I can figure out how to use the phone. My friend is adopting too. We will both get our babies on Wednesday.

We will find out tomorrow what time we get Lily on Wednesday. It will probably be afternoon because she is coming by bus and it takes 5 hours.

The hotel we are staying at is...well, its OK. Its not Park Plaza by any means. Its clean and that's what matters. The first room they gave us had 2 twin beds. Um, no. They switched us to a room with a small desk and a queen size bed. The beds here feel like you are sitting on a box spring. (its not like I am gonna sleep anyway!). The room is very small. I don't even know how we will open our suitcases. Honestly, I don't care. I just want my baby. I will sleep on the floor and wear dirty clothes and maybe even not flat iron my hair... This city has a lot of pollution. Its very hazy and I keep sneezing and so does Carlton. Helen gave us some masks, maybe we should go for it and use them. It is so loud outside. Today is the last day of the Spring Festival and they are shooting firecrackers like crazy. Its so loud. And it just 5:00pm. I will post some pictures of our view.

Grace Fellowship- We want to thank you for your very generous donation for LIly's orphanage. Lifeline has made contact with the orphanage and they are stunned! We will be buying them an air conditioner/heater. We will purchase this when we arrive in the city on Friday. Your gift will be keeping lots of children warm at night. It is very, very cold here in the winter. It will also keep them cool in the hot summers. Thank you. We will be giving this gift in your name.

Helen, if you are reading this...please call us. OH, we miss you terribly bad. We are at Shanxi number 2908. Phone number: 0351-8829999 Connie, I know you are going to call me again too! SO good to hear your voice today.

OK. I need to go. I am a little homesick and I just need some time. I miss my kids. Please hug and kiss them for me.

Love you,


Sherri said...


It will be okay. The hard, twin beds are just the way it is in China. Even when you get to the White Swan, the beds are pretty hard and both trips we were there, which were 5 and 2 years ago, they had the twin beds in the room. But everything else there is sooooooooo nice.

After you spend some time out in the pollution, don't be alarmed when you blow your nose and the stuff that comes out is black! It kind of makes you appreciate our pollution standards in the US.

I hope your guide checks on you before 5 pm! That is UNREAL that he is leaving you like that! Oh my.

Hang in there, Aimee. What lies ahead is so exciting and wonderful and worth it all! We are all praying for you!


Elizabeth said...

It's almost time!!!! Take a deep breath because this is what you've been waiting for for SO LONG!! We are all waiting and praying with you!

Jenn said...

So exciting! I asked Noah at co-op if he had talked to you guys. He said something like, "have you heard of skype?" It was really cute. We are praying for y'all!

Jenn Campbell

Jessica said...

Oh Aimee
I am so glad that Helen went with you guys to the airport...what an experience that would have been to go through without her there with you. I know how thankful you guys must be for her.
I loved that the first picture on this post is of the crib that was waiting on you in the room...aww!!! (but honestly I know where that precious Lily is going to lay...and that is exactly where she needs to be is in her mommy and daddy's arms) :)

I can not believe you guys are there now!!! It must be so surreal to you both. You are soooo close to GOTCHA! I can not wait to see those pictures and read all about it...BUT you guys enjoy that time togehter, do not worry about putting a post up for us...just enjoy your time together. You can fill us all in later...Just soak it all in because you guys have waited so long for this.

That is so wonderful that you guys are going to be able to purchase a heating/air unit for Lily's orphanage. What a wonderful gift to give!

I gave Noah lots and lots of hugs yesterday at church. He is so funny. He said he knows how to spell jibber jabber now...I will share that with you later...that kid keeps me do you stand it??? Hannah Grace is just as sweet as ever :)

Hang in there guys...not too much longer! Love you and praying for your family!!!


The Ferrill's said...

Oh are doing SO GREAT! It is SO normal to have teary days! Sometimes tears are the evidence of the Holy take heart! He is with you!
Aimee, I remember when we adopted Kimmie and Quan, going to the province after being in Beijing was, well, how else can I say it? It was a bit of a letdown...except of course getting our babies!!!!!!!! Beijing is just such a neat city...Guangzhou is too in more of an island resort kind of will love it! The province is different; I can't put it into words! Just try to find something really special for Lily in her province...THAT will be fun! See? More shopping? And also, you are going to be SO consumed with getting to know your daughter, that the time in her province will fly and you will soon be going to Guangzhou. Aimee, you are going to LOVE Guangzhou! Watch out Carlton! ;)
I am praying that the Lord will show you some beauty through the smog...I have a feeling that beauty will come in a little 3 year old package named Lily! :) You will also love having friends in your province. I can't wait for you to hang out with them. We have such a connection to the other families who were with us in Wuhan our first trip.
Loving you from Alabama!

Shea said...

You are going to be okay! I'm a bit teary after reading your last post. I know you are just so overwhlemed with emotions. Helen sounds like such a blessing! And I know you are aching to not only hold your new baby girl but Hannah Grace and Noah too. Just think, soon you can wrap all THREE of them in your arms. And sweet Sophie will be there too! You will soon be a mother of FOUR. Oh, boy. Love you; keep that cute chin up. Tomorrow is a day of CELEBRATION!!

Aaron and Erica said...

Hi sweet friend,

I'm crying for you and with you back here in Hsv. Let all of those tears out's okay! You are about to hold your new daughter for the first time, you are in a foreign country, you are away from your other two's a lot to deal with. But, you are not alone. Our Father is with you and he will comfort you as he has this entire journey.

This morning I thought of you when I woke up to a sweet smile and hug from Clara YouYou. You will be waking up to that soooo soon! And I can't wait!!!!

I love you friend.


Christy said...

Oh Aimee & Carlton, we are so thrilled for you. Sounds like you guys have had the time of your lives in China. I am so happy that it has been a great experience for you to remember. But enough of that... you are going to get miss Lily this week!!!! How absolutely wonderful. I cannot imagine. We are praying for you & thinking about you constantly. Oh, and Jason wanted to know if you are going to get Lily an authentic Chinese dress? She needs one! She will look beautiful in it :)
We love you!
Jason & Christy Gilbert

P.S. Sorry the converter didn't work! :( I am glad you found a transformer or whatever, though. :)

Tamara said...

Hang in the Aimee! Just 1 1/2 more days! Everything will be fine and nothing else will matter after Wednesday. Try to relax and trust God, as I know you do, to handle all the details. Jess is right. Enjoy every minute...and breathe..maybe with a mask on! :) Remember we are there with you in spirit! Jess on one shoulder and me on the other! As well as many others I'm sure.

Love you girl! You too Carlton!

Tasha said...

Aimee and Carlton,
This has been such a long journey to get to your little girl, we have been so excited to watch it all unfold over the last year and during your trip to China!It's almost here and you'll be holding her and giving her those big bear hugs you give!!Our prayers are with you as you make the last part of this journey and began to start a whole new story! We have watched you as a family truly believe the scripture"Whatever you ask in prayer,believing, you will receive"! Thanks again for letting us take a very sweet and tearful trip with you! Love from home!

helen said...

i am helen . i am so worry about you , i miss you so much .it is so late i can not call you ,i will call you morning time , i already call your hotel and ask them how to use roomphone,if you need your room phone to call someone in taiyuan :0 + phone number .if you want to call long-distancs number (like me ):0+0+phone number .got it ?aimee i will call you , wanting my call

Crystal said...

Oh that comment from Helen is so sweet! She truly has been a gift straight from God to you both!

And what a blessing the orphanage will get with that air conditioner and heater!

Praying for yall!

~Crystal Joplin

Krystal said...

Aimee (and Carlton), I am praying for you, for peace and for wisdom. God will provide, and God will see you through. I think you'll look back on your time in Taiyuan and the province as very special, but of course getting around right now must be scary. When I went with my sister and her family to get their second daughter, we were in a large group and had one adoption coordinator the whole two weeks, so things went smoothly. I can't imagine not having all that support, but I'm praying that God will support you in His special way. I'm thankful for Helen calling your hotel and also writing you. She sounds very sweet.

Enjoy and take lots of pictures!!!

Green, Party of Five said...

Hey Girl!
Im so glad I got to talk with you on the phone and yes I will be calling you again very soon. I went back to work today, so Im very sad and emotional (might not be good to call you today).
Yes....I knew Helen was so good and dont you wish you could have just brought her to Shanxi. But you can do this. I know the area is not at all like Beijing or the White Swan. Our trip was the opposite of yours. We went straight to the province and got to experience all this at the beggining and then each day got better once we had Rebecca at the White Swan and then we had Helen in Beijing.
God will provide you strenth these next days as you prepare for Lily. Yes.....its almost Lily day. I cant wait to see her in your arms.
We love you and I will call you soon!

Barb said...

Aimee & Carlton, so glad to hear you made it safely. I know you must be overwhelmed with feelings. Do try to get some rest if you can before the big moment! Helen sounds so wonderful -- I would miss her too. I wish you could bring her home with you.

It is exciting to see the orphanage will receive the heating and air unit. I am so glad you are able to experience all of this.

I can't wait to see pics of your meeting of Lily, but take time for yourselves and enjoy each moment. We will still be here when you get a chance to share with us!


The Ferrill's said...

Oh look at that sweet note from Helen! I love her too and I don't even know her!

Linda said...

Sherri is right - it really WILL be okay. The province is more difficult because you feel very non-Chinese and very alone. Just remember that you really aren't alone. Our Father is with you and so are the rest of us. Keep in mind that you are viewing a part of China that most American's never see. This is REAL China. It really will be a blessing to you further down the road. And just look at Guangzhou as your reward in the end. You will feel so at home surrounded by fellow adopting families. Blessings.

Friends and Family said...

It is so much fun reading your posts! You have a way of making me feel like I'm right there with y'all! I am so excited for you! What a wonderful trip already packed with so many memories. Can you stuff Helen in your suitcase? She doesn't look that big...just use one of you ziplocs! I cannot wait to read about Gotcha Day! So exciting! Deidre Cartee Bankston

Waiting for Mia Hope! said...

Oh Aimee...take a deep breath! Its going to be okay!!! One of the set backs of traveling without a travel group is that the guides seem to leave you alone more often. Shame on your guide for not showing you where everything was before leaving you alone! Here is what we did when we were without our guide. We thought of all the things we, coffee, the names of dishes we liked, etc. We asked our guide to write these words in Chinese next to our english words. We carried this cheat sheet with us EVERYWHERE and what a life saver it was!!! I hear that very few speak english in Taiyuan so I am going to make sure I find my list from our last adoption to take with us. Also, they have what is called "green" rooms at the Shanxi Grand. I hear they are smoke free. I'm not sure if your room smells but if it does perhaps you can request a "green" room?

The bed...oh my goodness...doesn't that just put "reality" to it all?? I always cry when I see the bed melts my heart.

Rest in knowing you are covered in prayer! God is right there with you!


Misty said...

I am so excited for you! Your day is almost here... I can't imagine how you are feeling. Many prayers for a joyful transition for little Lily.

Hannah Grace and Noah were cute as buttons, as always, at chruch yesterday. I know they miss you both.

I am happy to hear that the orphanage will be getting a heating/cooling unit from Grace. Thank you guys for providing us with the opportunity to contribute.

Love you,

Misty Cobb

Katy Watters said...

oh the anticipation! I can hardly wait to see tomorrow/the next day's blog post!

Lily was in my dream last night.

Know you are being prayed for!!

Aimee...loved your post about the cheeseburger when you said tears came to your eyes! That happens to me here...jk :)

The Terrells said...

hang in there- it will all be worth it when you get your baby!! praying for y'all
love you

destinyshouse said...

Aimee ... hang in there ... all that matters is your precious baby in your arms. When we were there in Taiyuan the conditions shocked us!! Horribly!! The emotions are completely normal - ranging from excited to overwhelmed to scared to thrilled, etc etc. Sooo many thought going through the head at once. Then you'll get your precious baby and it will all make sense. I know you're half way round the world but you are not alone. Walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before you. Enjoy the moments as best you can, before you know it ... you'll be on a plane on the way home! Hugs, Beth

Holly said...

Hang in there... you can count the hours now! I read Helen's post... what a precious God send? It is so evident that His hand is covering your needs. Thank you for allowing me to follow your journey... it is an honor!