We Have Our Consulate Appointment!

September 22, 2010

This week started the way last week ended.......

WITH LOTS OF EXCITING NEWS!!!

When we got the call late Friday afternoon telling us that we had finally gotten travel approval, our agency said that they were going to put in the request for our Consulate Appointment. Typically it can take up to 3 business days to hear back so they told us we would know for sure by this Wednesday.

Monday morning, shortly after I walked into my office in Philadelphia, my phone rang.....

They granted us our first choice of consulate appointments, which means that we will be heading to China on Friday, October 15th and I will be holding sweet little Reagan Elizabeth WenYi in my arms for the first time on Monday the 18th.
That is less than four weeks away....{Insert very loud scream HERE}

BW Reagan - Mink BLOG
I have been sitting on this photo for the last few weeks.
This was one that I received from Ann at Red Threads when we ordered the care package. Reagan looks so serious here..... I love her furrowed brows, her beautiful eyes, her little lips and cute nose.
I just can't wait to hold her tight and kiss her pretty little face:)

We are still waiting on our final itinerary, but should have it by Thursday, Friday at the latest.

We are the only family traveling from our agency.... so no travel group, just me, Marla, Reagan, and our guide!

At first I was a little disappointed, but I believe it is actually working out to our advantage as we will have more individualized attention and the freedom to pick and choice what we want to do and not have to go along with what the group wants to do. Kind of like a private tour of China.

We decided not to go to Bejing and will be flying directly to Changsha. While in Changsha, we will be staying at the Huan Tian Hotel.

From there we will head to Guangzhou as most US families do...... we are still not sure which hotel we will be staying at while there. Unfortunately, we will be arriving while the big trade fair is going on and the hotel rooms come at a premium price during that time. It will either be the White Swan(which is where our agency usually goes), the Victory, or the Garden Hotel. I am sure we will make the best of things wherever we stay.... at least we will have Reagan with us! That is what counts....right?

There is one more very exciting little tidbit I got this week.......

The minute I found out that we were not part of a travel group, I inquired about visiting Reagan's orphanage in Chenzhou.

I have been told that it is a 5 and a half hour bus ride to get there from Changsha and normally they will not drive you out that far, so I started to do some research and talked to other people.

I found out that we can take a high speed bullet train from Changsha to Chenzhou and it would get us there in just an hour and a half. I passed this info on to my agency along with my STRONG DESIRE to go see the orphanage and her finding place. They told me that they could ask the orphanage director but they could not make any promises. If she said no, we have to respect her decision.

This afternoon I got an email that said we were granted permission to visit!!
The orphanage director said that she would allow us to come down for the day.

For me, this is something I feel I really need to do. I have to see where she has been living the last 10 months, I want to see the little babies that she has played with, I want to meet the Nannies who have cared for her. It is a little bit of Reagan's life that one day, when she is ready, I will be able to share with her.

If I am interpreting the email correctly, I believe we will be making the trip to Chenzhou on Wednesday, October 20th, which happens to be my birthday...... that makes it that much more special to me.

I realize that this trip will not be easy. We are going to go through a range of emotions......and so will Reagan, but I have to go..... I need to go and see or I will always wonder.

In the end, Marla and I have high hopes that we will be able to spread a little sunshine{and some goodies}to the children of Chenzhou.....and at the same time we will be making memories that will last a lifetime for my daughter.

That is all I have for now.... I will update when I get the rest of our info.

~Happy Wednesday~

83 comments:

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh Lisa! I am so thankful you will be able to visit her home where she has spent all of her days so far. I know you will bring so much joy to the children.

Less than a month!

Maryvel Friesen said...

I could hear that scream LOUD AND CLEAR! LOL!! I know how exciting and nerve recking this things are! All the best to you! We will be counting the days with you!

Virginia said...

Wow!! That's soooo soon (not soon enough though, I'm sure)!! She is just beautiful and looks so, so sweet and squeezable. Her cute lil' nose looks a bit like my Kerry's. Her hair is a lot like hers was, too. We were the only family while in her province, and it was nice. Just us, baby, and our guide. How wonderful that you get to visit the orphanage!

Gin =)

Wanda said...

Lisa, your excitement is palpable (or is that my own heart pounding? Maybe both!!). I'm so happy that you will be able to complete the circle and visit her orphanage.

And through all this excitement and craziness - you're head is still on straight and clear-thinking. Pretty impressive, girl.

Enjoy all the preps - I know you will. I can hardly wait for that first picture of you holding Reagan tight and kissing that pretty little face.

Big hugs to you, my friend!

The Sanders Family said...

Oh my goodness, how exciting! And what a beautiful little girl you have waiting for you! I'm sure you have times of impatience when you just want her sweet little face next to yours. I pray that you may have peace in knowing its just a few short weeks away until she's in your arms!

Kayce said...

I can feel your excitement all the way across the states! The journey is going to be one of the most incredible things you've ever walked and I can't wait to see you take that first step off the airplane. So happy for all of you guys!!!!!

Lisa and Tate said...

Reagan is so cute!!! Only four weeks away and she will be in your arms!

I felt so strongly about visiting Tate's orphanage and finding spot and am sooooo glad that I took that 4 hr drive to the orphanage. The cultural experience of seeing the real China with the beauty of the people and the countryside will forever be etched in my heart. SO very excited for you to have this experience too!

A little packing advise... do not stress about "things". You will find what you need in China. Buy your formula and diapers at the Walmart, pack few outfits, laundry services are readily available. Forget all the toys, Tate was more interested in random items than what I brought for her.

Cannot wait to follow your trip to China!

Annelie said...

Wow! I´m so happy for you!
I have a little tear in my eye.....

Kim said...

Praising Him from Hong Kong!
Kim

Mrs. Deputy said...

How Exciting!!!

Alyson and Ford said...

Such good news! We are excited for you! Pack Cheerios! They were life savers too. And yes, just one or two toys, AA played with every cup and object in each hotel room. If you forget anything, you or your agent can shop for it!

Alyzabeth's Mommy

justine said...

wow, that is such good news, how amazing, the days will go so quickly, great news.

Melanie said...

Wonderful news!!! How cute is that picture?? LOVE IT!

Robin said...

Such wonderful news! The orphanage sirector there is such a kind person. I know you can't wait to leave!!!!

Blessings,
Robin

Love Letters To China said...

Lisa,

There really are no words I can write to express how happy I am for you right now. The long wait, the difficulty getting your TA, the only family traveling at that time. These were are put into place so you could take that long trip to visit her current home on your special day. I know how much that has meant to you. I truly do believe things do happen for a reason. :-)

Hugs,
Grace

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

yeah! I'm glad you got your consulate appointment & could firm up your travel plans. how exciting :) I have heard that the orphanage visits can be powerful, and what a beautiful opportunity you have to capture Reagan's early months of her life...certainly to be priceless for her.
have a great day!
Mindy

Nicolasa said...

Hi! This is my first time to your blog and my first time doing B&W Weds. Thanks for hosting.

Also, congrats on your travel plans! I am SO excited for you and your family!!!

Maddy said...

It sounds like all your dots are lining up perfectly! You see...everything happens for a reason! Maybe had you gone any week day, you wouldn't be able to visit Reagan's home for the last 10 months! Good luck!! And I'm looking forward to hearing all the travel details in the weeks to come :)

redmaryjanes said...

Wow, I am thrilled for you that you will be able to visit the orphanage. That is fantastic. We couldn't even get to the front door because of the swine flu scare.
We stayed at the White Swan and it really is a fabulous part of the experience. I would want to stay there again if we ever went back.

Ellie said...

Lisa, this is all so so so exciting!

I'm really happy for you that you get to visit Reagan's orphanage - I too feel this is very important. We visited Tia's and this is how I found out she was named after the hospital where she was found, confirming the little voice that kept telling me NOT to keep any part of her Chinese name. You will treasure those memories of her first home - and have so much more to share with Reagan.

I have to be honest, selfishly I just cannot wait to see the photos you will take while in China :)

Becky said...

I am so excited that you will get to see the orphanage. We saw Sophia's but not Olivia's and it makes me sad that we did not get to see where Olivia sspent the first 10.5 months of her life. I love the picture of Miss Reagan.

Luv ya!
Becky who btw posted her b&w post :-)

Gail said...

I love this black and white of her Lisa, shows a different expression and she's as beautiful as always!

It's all coming together, all the details. I'm elated for you all!

As someone who's been blessed(twice) to go my children's orphanage and group foster home, I can tell you it will be an emotional visit. An important one for you to understand Reagan's story. Bring lots of Kleenex!

Dan has been on the bullet trains in China and Japan...awesome!

xoxo

Marla said...

Girl, I am getting so excited as the details of our trip come together, I can't believe we're leaving in 23 days! It's going to be amazing and I can't wait to share this experience with you and sweet baby Reagan!!

Jo said...

Oh Lisa,
I am absolutely THRILLED for you! Prayers have been answered and your sweet little love will soon be in your arms. I can’t wait to see your visit through your amazing photos.

Good luck keeping your feet on the ground ;)

Jo

Kristen said...

So much good news!

I wish I could remember where I stayed when I was in Guangzhou for work. I was there for just a night, but had to switch my hotel reservations because I was there when all train traffic was shut down due to the terrible storm during the Chinese New Year of 2008. Good luck with all of your travel!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Going to be the best birthday! That is so exciting! She is a gorgeous girl.

Debberoo said...

Fantastic news!!! Love that photo!

My husband visited the SWI but that was in 2006 when it was the old building. It was so worthwhile and I'm so happy for you that you will be able to too. The trip was more like 4 hours each way but that is still a long day, the bullet train is going to be awesome and make it so much better. I'm really jealous.

The director is a man but it seems like the female assistant director does all this kind of thing.

With gifts you might want to consider that your $$ will go an awful lot further in Changsha or Chenzhou than here. We shopped the Changsha Walmart for clothes, crayons etc. and got way more than we could have afforded or have got into our suitcases! I didn't know at the time we traveled but I have since learned that some visiting families have been able to visit the local market in Chenzhou with Asst Director and she was able to pick out things the SWI needed.

So excited for you!!!

Katie said...

How exciting!!!! She is a doll!

Carolin said...

Oh Lisa, that is awesome!!!!!

You'll be soooo glad you did!

Bridget said...

Lisa,
Such a beautiful update to open up first thing this morning! So glad the wait is winding down, and all is falling into place. Praising Him and loving your updates!

Bridget

Terri said...

I can hear the scream over here in Texas!!! YAY!!!!!
I think you have a bunch of people as excited as you are about your pick up trip. I'm so glad for you that you are able to go see the orphanage. I still look back and stare at all the pictures from Abbie's. They are priceless.

Heather said...

Wow, that's wonderful!! And what a beautiful photo. :)

karen said...

oh best wishes to you and your family-how exciting for you all!!!

Serline said...

Best of luck in every endeavor!

Shell in your Pocket said...

Wow!

that is so very exciting!
sandy toe

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh Lisa....this is so so exciting! I am so thankful for you leaving so soon....for you getting to finally meet your sweet baby in person....and for being allowed to visit the orphanage. God is good.

I remember when I had photos of Lottie and Emma and I studied every little feature in their little faces....I still do that while they are sleeping:) Your baby girl is beautiful my friend!!!

snekcip said...

New to your blog and I just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!! I can't wait to "journey" w/your family to China! Your Reagan is just beautiful!!

Jboo said...

So excited for you!! It's going to be an amazing trip! How wonderful that you are able to go to the orphanage. Love that photo of your sweet baby girl!!!

Janet

Dawn said...

oh Lisa, this is so exciting! We did not have a travel group either, and I have to say, I loved being by ourselves...we did decide what we wanted to do! We also flew directly to Changsha (Dolton hotel for us :)...I am so excited for you...I am happy you get to see the SWI...we were "snuck" into Lucy's because of a connection, and I am so grateful I was able to see it so I didn't have to always imagine the place she called home for 3 1/2 years!! OOOHH this is so exciting!!!

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates said...

I'm new to B & W Wednesday and am a follower of your blog as well. I love your blog!

Pix-Ology said...

Wow Lisa, what a week! Congratulations, can't wait to hear all about the trip and see the amazing pictures of your gorgeous daughter!

Janet

Denise said...

What an adorable picture!! We used Ann too and were so pleased with her. And I am so glad that you are going to be able to see where she has been...it meant a lot to me to see Maggie's orphangage. Have a great day~

Sharon Ankerich said...

SO happy for you and love the pic~ she is a doll!!!
blessings!

jenbusymom said...

I just got goosebumps! Congrats, can't wait to see her in your arms!

Patricia/NYC said...

WOW!! Loud scream here too!! lol!!
This is such wonderful news & I cannot wait to see your NEW family photo!! ;)

And how special to be able to travel to Reagan's orphanage on your birthday!

That photo of her is so, so, precious!! I know it's hard to wait now, but you are ALMOST THERE!!!

I cannot wait to follow along!! I am just SO HAPPY for your entire family!!!
Hugs!!
Patricia

JinXiu said...

WHAT A WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY IT IT

I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU

YOUR ALMOST THERE SO REMEMBER TO BREATH AND TRY TO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT

ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEOS 9 DO I REALLY HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT) OR EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING. i DID AND WHEN I GOT HOME I DISCOVERED GREAT TREASURES
I HAD TAKEN PICTURES OF A GROUP OF WOMEN WITH BABIES OUTSIDE THE CIVAL AFFAIRS OFFICE THINKING THEY WERE MOMS AND THEIR BABIES. IT TURNED OUT THEY WERE OUR BABIES AND THAT IS A VIDEO AND PICTURE I WILL TREASURE FOREVER

GOOD LUCK

Norah said...

I'm very excited and happy for you! I can't wait to follow your trip!

Colin and Jill Canada said...

Yipeeeeeee! She is so GOREGOUS! What a precious photo of your girl.

Oh and kudos to you for pushing for the orpahanage visit. You will not regret that. It's my best memory of China, apart from forever family day. It'll help you understand her beginning and some day when she asks you, you'll be able to tell her from memory and show her photos. It'll mean so much to her.

Our trip to the SWI was a 4 hour drive, each way, and it was exhausting. Our beautiful 18 month old daughter cried and screamed almost the whole way there, she threw up over me and quite honestly, I cried with her. I truly think her only memory of such a long trip was to come into the city where she was handed over to strangers (us), and maybe she thought it was happening again - we'd been together 4 days by this stage. Anyway, we were the only family in that little bus and I said to my husband "Are we wise?". But we were - I don't remember that part as much as I remember seeing her "bedroom" and crib and standing there with tears in my eyes when they put her in there for a few seconds again. And seeing those women all love on her. It was an amazing experience. We all went out and had a meal together too - some of the finest food we tasted while in China.

Anyway, I'm sorry to go on about myself and my girl. But I just want you to know that you are doing an amazing thing for your daughter.

Jill

Anaiz said...

I'm so excited for you and your family! What a wonderful moment in your lives, thank you for sharing :D

Jonni said...

Lisa,

That is fabulous news! YEAH! So happy for you. And what a wonderful way to spend your birthday, traveling to your daughter's province. How exciting. :)

Hugs,
Jonni

Jonni said...

Oh yeah, I know I already sent you a message on Fcebook, but we loved the Garden Hotel Guangzhou. It was amazing and top notch. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Shifu the first trip (Sofia) because we were supposed to stay at the Victory but our guide said it was full. I liked the Holiday Inn Shifu but LOVED the Garden Hotel and it was close to a lot of shopping and there is a Friendship store right across the street.

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

I can just imagine the constant smile on your face as you go through this exciting time in your life.

Donna said...

What wonderful news! Have I told you lately how THRILLED I am for you?


Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

momma zen said...

Oh my gosh she is so precious!!! Congratulations and I can imagine you are having a difficult time being patient for that bundle of joy!!!

Margaret Bednar said...

Congrats - Anticipation of holding her... how exciting!

Ashley Sisk said...

I'm so excited for you...only one more month until the first chapter is over. I can't wait to see Reagan!

Katie said...

Congratulations!

I just wanted to post to tell you that our daughter was also born in Hunan. We met her in Changsha in Jan. 2007. We flew to Hong Kong for a few days with my brother and sister-in-law and then met out travel group in Changsha. We also opted not to go to Beijing.

There are a few things I wish I had done differently and I wanted to share them with you. I would seriously consider asking someone from your agency to meet you at the airport in Changsha. Or for them to arrange transportation for you from the airport to the Hotel.

If you decide to cab it - as we did (really a bad choice) make sure you have the name of the hotel written in pin yin for the cab driver. I can't even begin to stress how thankful you will be. Esp. with all of the cash you will be carrying.

We LOVED China, we felt very safe in general. But not during that cab ride. We could see the road through the floor of the cab. The driver did not understand us at all - why would he - we figured we would be able to say - Dolton Hotel - but he did not recognize the name at all. If we had written it in Pin Yin it would have been much better. We were also not used to the driving style in Changsha at that point and I was terrified. The airport was a little remote and we had a fast and dark drive down the highway at night, swerving to avoid pedestrians, driving on sidewalks, etc.......... On top of it we went to at least 5 different hotels before we found ours. I really thought our lives were over.

Sorry to be such a downer - but it would have been so simple to have our agency arrange for transportation. We could have totally avoided that entire situation. Don't get me wrong - we were able to navigate the city on our own just fine, subway, etc.. I think you will do just fine on the bullet train. I imagine the orphanage will help you get from the train station to the orphanage? Just be prepared with destinations written in Pin Yin! And never turn dow transportation help!

Good luck!!!!! Changsha was wonderful!

Jodee Leader said...

Wow! What a perfect birthday week you are going to have! I am so glad you get to visit her orphanage! She is such a sweet little blessing!

Happy Packing!

Jenny said...

Great News! and thank you for hosting Black and White Wednesday.

Special K said...

Like I said yesterday.... so completely excited for you!! And am so happy you've been given this piece of Reagan's history. :)

Marcene B said...

That is such exciting news Lisa! It won't be long now and you will be holding that sweet girl in your arms. She is so adorable!

Kristen said...

I loved that "God Bless the Broken Road" was playing as I read your post...just perfect!

And I have to say, YES AND AMEN to speed trains in China! This past summer I took one from Changsha to visit an orphanage several hours way and it made the day trip do-able. (Also, they have good coffee at the Mcdonalds at the train station.) :)

Wishing you the best!

Love,
Kristen

Siobhan said...

Ohhh this is so exciting...what a great birthday present....words can not be expressed to how happy I am for you and your family....

All the best and I can't wait to hear more!!

P.S. I think I did hear you Scream...lol

Sharie said...

You will not regret the decision to go to the SWI. It was one of the hardest days of my life, but also one of the best things I did for Amelia.
Since we were in Guangzhou the entire 2 weeks, we didn't see much beyond Shamian Island however 2 days after Amelia and I met our travel group arranged at van to the SWI it was a 4 hour drive each way and Amelia was the only baby that made it.
It was SO good for us. It really helped her to go back with me, see her nanny's and then leave with me. I think it helped her understand that we were going to stay together. Prior to that each time we went out she withdrew, would not make any eye contact, sweat a ton, and was just limp. After our visit she started to come alive outside of the hotel room. It was wonderful to share her sweet personality with the rest of the world.

I've ridden bullet trains in Japan and Europe and LOVE them, better than flying any day.

Enjoy your trip and your special time with Reagan!

Negative Nelly said...

Good luck! Entered your B&W wednesday but nothing is going to be as cute and precious as your little girl :p Blessings!

Buckeroomama said...

This is all wonderful news! I am glad that you will be able to visit the orphanage.

Here's wishing you a smooth and joyful bring-home journey! :)

Mimi said...

tears in my eyes at the immensity of it all!
Lisa, you have a huge heart, thinking so much of the other little children and of making memories for Reagan.
Bless you all!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

We will see you in China girl!!!!! We got our TA too!! We hope to leave Oct 22nd but we should be in Guangzhou at the same time, so you wont be all on your own! :-)

My mind is spinning how about yours???

Need to make more lists, pack, do rooms and all in less than 30 days!!!! Yikes!!

See ya soon hopefully and your beautiful little girl!!!

LedaP said...

I'll be traveling around the same time as you as well to bring home my 9 year old daughter Faith Cui Mei! Congrats to you!!

3 Peanuts said...

Oh Lisa...this is all wonderful news:) Yeah!

La-La-Liene said...

That's great news! I don't know how I missed that Reagan is in Hunan. Warning, these little girls are truly spicy! Emi shows her Hunan spice to us every day!

Never thought about taking the high speed train last year instead of flying but then again there was another family that traveled to Hunan as well from our agency. One piece of shopping advice in Changsha, have your guide take you to the embroidery factory. They do a type of embroidery called hsiang embroidery. Absolutely beautiful. We bought quite a few pieces which were expensive but worth it. If you check out my original blog you will see photos of the embroidery.

Terri said...

YAY, that is FABULOUS news!! Oh, I can't wait to follow along & see your precious Reagan in your arms!!!

It won't be long now!!Congrats on another step closer!!!

Michelle@BornInOurHearts said...

What fabulous news!!! The time until you travel will just FLY by!! So.... with less than four weeks to travel, where are those nursery pics? ;)

Jewels of My Heart said...

That is so happy! After all this time she is almost in her Mommy's arms..... Thank You Jesus for answered prayers. What a gift to be able to visit her orphanage...
Good for you.
God's Speed..
Daleea

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, I am SO HAPPY y'all will be able to visit. That is wonderful news... we are hoping to visit Tonggu (where the Tongginator lived) this next go-around because we were not granted permission the first time. (The Tongginator was only the twentieth child or so to be adopted from her orphanage.)

wife.mom.nurse said...

I get emotional just reading this post my friend.

Another of my friends adopted a baby and went to the orphanage. It was important to them for the same reasons that you mentioned her and it was a very special visit for them.

Glad to have the update :)

~Julie

Dita said...

It's all coming together, my dear...and in 3 short weeks...Reagan will be in your arms FOREVER. I am completely in awe of your patience and perserverence...however, I know once you see your daughter the wait and the unknown will all fall away.

I am right here with you!

xoxoxo
Dita

Sojourning Sadlers said...

Hi Lisa!I'm so happy for you and your family! We will keep you all in our prayers as you travel and make this special transition...
Black & white Wednesdays are great - I'm excited to join you!

Debbie Freeland, Indep Stampin' Up! Demo said...

We stayed at the Garden Hotel... Loved it.. great things to do nearby... that was 2004... We will be in China 10/15 - 10/21 and staying at the White Swan... We will see which is better!!! Congrats.

jeffkny said...

I feel like crying. Such a happy story.

jillconyers said...

I'm so excited for you and your family. It won't be long!

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