Monday, March 19, 2007

We are home

We've been home for more than a week now - time flies when you are having fun! Ava Lu continues to bring us joy and new insight on a daily basis. And. . . we're working on taking naps too. Truly, she is adjusting well and loves her new home.

In the time that we've been home, Ava Lu has been to Fairytale Town, Funderland, the neighborhood park, church and out to lunch and dinner at some of our favorite local restaurants.

It's been great to share Ava Lu with family and friends in person. The reports we've heard is that "pictures don't do her justice." She has an amazing spirit and personality that lights up the room.

We'll plan to update pictures on our blog of Ava Lu so that all can see her latest exploits and adventures.

Feel free to call us or stop by to meet Ava Lu. She loves people!

We sound like a broken record, but, thank you for your support, prayers and love during our amazing journey. We truly are blessed by the outpouring by so many.

Love to you,
Jim, Michelle and Ava Lu

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Last days in China


Here are some photos from our last few days in China.

We went out to downtown Guangzhou yesterday and on a Pearl River cruise (it was cold - hence the scarf and hat). Also, we were so happy to have Ava smiling during her bath that we took pictures! You can see that she was the belle of the ball tonight at our farewell dinner party. Is she amazing in her pink outfit? Oh my, she danced her feet off. In fact she cried when it was over and time to leave. She truly was outstanding at the party. Individuals we didn't even know were taking video of her dancing and twirling around. You can see, by the end of the party, her bow is off.

We have our farewell group lunch tomorrow and get Ava's visa, then off to Hong Kong for our last night in Asia. It truly has been a remarkable time. All of my months of holding back the tears have come to an end. Our hearts are full with joy and sentiment. What an amazing journey God has allowed us to take to get our daughter. We wouldn't trade it for the world.

We may be able to post an update from Hong Kong - if not, we'll be in touch after we return home later this weekend.

Love to you from China -

Jim, Michelle and Ava Lu

Monday, March 5, 2007

A ride on a mini airplane and a check-up visit today

Ava Lu had her adoption medical clearance today. She is, as we knew, healthy. I didn't jot down all the notes from the report but I did catch her weight - only 20 lbs, with clothes and shoes on. She's a petite baby girl.

While we were at the Shamian Island (place where the medical clinic is), we shopped, had Starbucks and enjoyed the island. One of the highlights was Ava's first mini airplane carnival ride. She squealed and laughed the whole time. Below are photos from our day.

Tomorrow is a half day of paperwork completion in preparation for our consulate appointment later this week.

All is well here - just enjoying our time together with Ava.


Jim and Michelle

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Back in Guangzhou

We made it back to Guangzhou. The USAA China Team is amazing. We really can't say enough about their care and concierge services for us. We just leave our bags outside our hotel room door and they have them picked up, taken to the airport for us and checked in. Then, somehow they arrive outside our room at the next hotel. They truly are a blessing.

Ava slept through the entire plane ride (1.5 hours) - now, how can we repeat that sleep on the 12 hour flight when we come home? Her transition to the new hotel room seems fine. She and I played on the escalators in the lobby at the China Hotel for about 15 minutes - she likes action, motion, lights, color and new experiences. I guess she is truly a "spicy girl" - that's what they call the babies from Chongqing, the Sichuan (spice) region.

Here are some pictures from our last day in Chongqing. You can see that Ava Lu was intrigued by Jim's shoe shine service that he received on the street. Also, Ava is enjoying her first ice cream sundae!

We felt a bit of a tug when we left Chongqing today. I think Jim and I will forever have a love in hearts for that city - the very place where we received our dear daughter!

Thanks for all your comments on our blog and e-mails to us while we are away. We so appreciate your love and support.

Jim and Michelle

Friday, March 2, 2007

Going back to Guangzhou

We've had a glorious time in Chongqing and really don't want to leave. It's a beautiful city on hills (kind of like San Francisco) with a wonderful feel to it. I'll post more pictures later tonight after we get back to Guangzhou.

Thanks so much for checking in on us. Our Ava Lu is doing well. Pray for our flight to Guangzhou - it will be her first plane ride.

Jim and Michelle