Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 2- Hutong

After leaving the Forbidden City, we went to tour the silk factory.  We thought this was very interesting...we were able to see how they take a silk worm cocoon, soak it in water,find a single thread of the silk and then thread it through a tiny hole to attach to the machine to spin it.  We learned about double cocoons and single cocoons.  After the intense sales chase, we were off to Hutong.  These are the flat houses that we toured and road in a rickshaw.  The rickshaw ride was fun, but touring the flat houses was depressing.  It is also sad to think that although Jackson has been in fostercare, which is the best situation for him, it is possible that he has been living in something like the flat houses.
The pictures are of us riding in the rickshaw, a view of the outside of the flat house and the kitchen.
After visiting Hutong, we went back to our hotel to rest for a little over an hour.  Then it was off to the acrobatics show.  This was enjoyable, but we were ready to head back and pack up.
Tomorrow morning we meet our new guide, Cherry, and she will get us to the airport, help us get our tickets and then send us on our way through security to catch our flight to Taiyuan (pronounce Tie-yen).  This is the capitol of Shanxi and is where we will get Jackson at the Civil Affairs office.  We are hoping that when we arrive, we will have time to check into our hotel room, freshen up, and then pack a backpack of much needed Cheerios, DumDum lollipops, a couple of toys, some diapers and anything else we can think of.
Our next post we will be honored to finally introduce our son, Jackson Kuan to you.  We will probably start the posts with the earliest picture we have of Jackson at 1 year old, then 20 months old, 25 months old, and then Gotcha Day pictures-29 months old.
Please pray that we have a safe flight.  Also, Jackson will be riding in a van from Datong with another little boy who is being adopted from his orphanage and will be living in Sweden.  It is about a 3-4 hour drive.  They will be exhausted and hungry, I'm sure!!  Please pray that the Gotcha Day transition will go smoothly and that Jackson will allow us to comfort him when he grieves.
We miss everyone and are so thankful for each of you!  Thank you for your prayers and your words of encouragement and wisdom this past year! 
We are looking forward to sharing this miraculous moment in our family's life with you all!  (This is much better than inviting you all into the delivery room with me!) HA!
It is our prayer that our call to adoption and our journey will somehow touch your life and that you will be forever changed!  God has called us all to take care of the orphans and the widows!  Please ask the Lord to show you what He has planned for you and your family!  You might just very well be God's plan for an orphan!!!
Tomorrow there will be 1 less orphan in the world, but only because we w

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 1- The Great Wall

After the Jade Factory we headed to The Great Wall.  It was simply breathtaking, and then we had to climb it!!!  Unfortunately I was not able to make it to the top.  Between the cold weather and my body still adjusting to the time change, it just wasn't happening!  Kurt did make it up.  We were able to get beautiful pictures of it and the surrounding area.

While at the Wall we ran into the adoptive family that we met on our flight.  They had just been at the Jade Factory.

We hope that you enjoy the pictures.  I'm not sure how crisp the pictures will look.  It is extremely hazy here.

Tomorrow we will go to The Forbidden City, Tiennamin Square, visit a flat house and ride on a rickshaw.  In the evening we will go to the acrobatic show.  Then back to the hotel to pack!  Our little mini-vacation before getting Jackson is almost over.

We were able to Skype again with the kids.  Please pray for Sydney, she has caught a stomach virus from school.  She really did not look good and I'm sure us being gone is not making her feel any better!

Day 1-Jade Factory

Our first day started early.  We woke up at 2:15am and then were able to go back to sleep until 4:15/4:30.  We got up and turned the tv on and were able to find something on HBO to watch.  After getting ready we headed down to our hotel restaurant for breakfast.  I was already feeling adventurous, so I ate some traditional Chinese breakfast foods with my scrambled eggs....fried rice and fried spaghetti!  It was YUMMY!

We met our guide and another WACAP family that we are traveling part of the time with.  The entire family is deaf and then I realized that one of the grandmothers in the group was a woman I had worked with at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind when I went to Flagler College.  It truly is a small world!

We went to the Jade Factory and learned how they carve the jade, the reasons for the different colors of Jade and also how to identify the glass "jade" and the marble "jade" and the authentic Jade.

We spent quite a long time walking around looking at everything they had.  There were many beautiful pieces.  While shopping you were constantly followed by a salesgirl...and I mean followed as in right on your heels.  We did make a small purchase for Jackson.

The weather is cold, but not unbearable.  We're not having to wear long-johns, so it's all good!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

We Have Arrived In Beijing!!!!

We arrived right on schedule this afternoon at 4:31pm in Beijing
We are thankful that the flight is over.  It was very easy getting through customs and immigration and we walked through the thermal scanners without a problem.
The ride to the hotel was quite fascinating!  6 lanes of traffic without really having any lanes!  And it appears that red lights are optional!!!
Tomorrow morning we meet with our guide at 9:00am to visit the Great Wall!  We are hoping to tour with the other WACAP family that is staying in the same hotel.  They are a deaf family that is adopting their daughter who is also deaf.  I guess I will be brushing up on my skills tonight!
We are unable to view our blog, so we hope that it all turns out ok.  We do not have any pictures yet to post.
I forgot to mention that when we were able to get out of our seats on the plane and stand for about 30 minutes we were able to view Siberia!  It was breathtaking!
Sydney and Jadon, we love you and miss you!  Mommy and Daddy are safe!!  Do a great job in school today and Jadon, good luck at your soccer tournament!  Put the moves on them!!!
When we got on the plane this morning, Kurt surprised me with a 10 year anniversary card.  Our anniversary was Dec.  When we were first married, we dreamed of going to Alaska for our 10 Year Anniversary.  Before we decided to adopt, we decided to go to Charleston and just do something small.  But when we began the adoption process we joked that we would be going to China instead!!!!  (And be having another baby!!!)  He then surprised me with a necklace that I had been looking at for a year!  I had wanted it so that I could wear it on Gotcha Day for Jackson!  It has his photo on it!  I was stunned!!!!  Kurt is going to take a picture and try to post it!  I must apologize for the way I look!!!  We just got in from the airport and wanted to see if we could blog!!!!
Thank you for your prayers!!  We have felt God's blessing and covering on us throughout the trip.
We are going to head down to the lobby and take a few pictures and see what is here.
Blessings!  Stacy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

We are packing the suitcases in the car.

Heading out to OIA.

Kids just finished playing charades with Oma and Grandma!

What a hoot!

If we don't post tomorrow before we leave from Chicago, we will post once we are in our hotel in Beijing.

Thank you for all your prayers this past year! We have felt His covering over our lives! Thank you for joining us in this calling on our lives!

We love you all!!!

Stacy and Kurt


Today's number is 24...24 hours! or 1...1 day

We are set to leave at 8:00am TOMORROW!

We were awake until 2:15am...for those of you that know bedtime, if I had my choice, would be 8:00pm!

So, this morning, it called for a large Coke AND a large sweet Tea from Chick-fil-A! I'm not liking the thought of NOT having a sweet tea to start my morning, but I'm banking on finding the local 7-11 that all of my bloggy friends have been stopping by while in China to find a Coke or at least a Diet Coke.

Our bags are mostly packed.

We are a walking pharmacy!

We are a walking vending machine!

We are a northern winter clothing store!

We are a mild FL winter clothing store!

We have diapers,


nose suckers,

stacking cups,






and so much more!

Now all we need is our


We are 121 hours away from our son, our little brother, our grandson, our nephew, our cousin, our neighbor, our brother in Christ, a child of God!

This little boy is getting so much more than a mama and dada; he has an entire forever family waiting to hold him, tickle him, kiss him, and just stand in awe of a miracle right before our very eyes. And he's even getting...

a dog!

But with all of that, our son is losing all he's ever known.

And it will be heartbreaking!

Please pray! (I will send out another post of specific prayers requests for our family and our son!)

We are still hoping to upload a practice video clip.

Still so much we feel we need to do...

but it's time to let some of that go!

All that matters is that we're going to get our SON!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

5 More Days!

Can you believe that we only have 5 more days until we head out?

Today was spent packing my suitcase...well, it turned out to be Jackson's suitcase! We decided to go ahead and go to T*rget to buy Jackson his own little suitcase with a cute rocket on it. After running errands and picking up the last minute items, except for the travel Charmin toilet paper that no one in town seems to have right now, we arrived home and starting looking at Jackson's new suitcase. Boy, it sure looked bigger in the store! I managed to fit a few pairs of jammies in it and a few outfits, but everything else were the gifts that we take to give to our guides and the officials to show our appreciation. I'm praying that Kurt will have extra room in his suitcase to accomodate my clothes, too! Thankfully, on our return flight we will be able to check a full size suitcase for Jackson. You can pick them up in GZ for next to nothing!

Kurt is making the final electronics run. Skype is set up on all of our computers. We were practicing in the house, checking video, sound checks...gotta say I love it! We usually use MSN Messenger with Kurt's parents in Michigan. 2 THUMBS UP for SKYPE!

Kurt's parents should be arriving on Monday evening. We're hoping Sydney can make it just 2 more days with a sparkling, clean room!! Well, maybe not sparkling, but probably the best it's looked since I cleaned it while she was gone this summer!

We will try to do a test of posting video to the blog before we leave. Stefanie over at NiHao Y'all just returned from adopting their sweet Vivi and was able to post a brief video each day. It is truly remarkable to see the progress these little ones make each and every day that they are with their Forever Family!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

7 Days and counting....

We received our Travel Itinerary tonight.

It's beginning to feel more REAL!

1/28- Fly out of Orlando 8:00am

1/29-Arrive in Beijing 4:25pm (3:25am 1/29 back home) PEACE NOVOTEL HOTEL

1/30-Sight-seeing in Beijing: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutong Tour

1/31-Sight-seeing including the Great Wall

2/01-Fly to Taiyuan, Shanxi GRAND SHANXI HOTEL
GOTCHA DAY!!!!!! Pick Up Jackson Kuan in the afternoon!!!!!!!!!

2/02-Adoption Processing

2/03-Sight-seeing in Taiyuan

2/04-No arranged activity

2/05-Pick up notarized documents and Jackson's passport. Fly to Guangzhou

2/06-Medical Exam for Jackson, to include TB test

2/07-Sight-seeing in Guangzhou

2/08-Medical Exam follow-up: TB test read and prepare documents for visa interview

2/09-Visa Interview with the American Consulate at 10:00am

2/10-Oath Ceremony at American Consulate

2/11-Pick up Jackson's visa in the afternoon. Fly to Beijing and stay the night at SINO-SWISS

2/12-Depart Beijing 1:40pm to San Francisco to Orlando
Jackson becomes a U.S. Citizen once he steps off of the plane onto U.S. soil!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

9 Days and counting....

Our flights are reserved and we are packing our bags!

We tried hard to get flights out of Daytona, but the logistics of everything wasn't in our favor.

So instead, we fly out of Orlando on Thursday, January 28th at 8:00am to Chicago. After we change planes we fly directly to Beijing and arrive at 4:24pm January 29th (China time) China is currently 13 hours ahead of us, so that will be 3:24am on Friday, January 29th for all of our family back home! On the flight back, we will fly out of Beijing on Friday, Feb. 12th into San Francisco, have a 4 hour layover to get through immigration and customs and then we'll catch our plane to Orlando and arrive at 9:15pm on Friday the 12th.

We should be receiving our travel itinerary soon. Once we have that, we will post it so that you will have a better understanding of what our trip will entail. We do know that our "Gotcha Day" will be on Monday, February 1st. This is the day that we are given temporary custody of Jackson for 24 hours. On Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, we will sign all of the legal documents in China that will be binding. And then we can post pictures of our sweet Kuan Kuan!

It's so hard to fathom that one year ago Kurt and I were praying again about this calling that God had for us. And here we stand, ready to go get our son. Our son that God had planned for us and called by name from the beginning of time. The child that I have cried out to God for, for the past 5 years. The child that God answered my prayers with.

Only 9 more days!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


WE GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! our TA arrived last night!!! We are so excited and just thrilled to have this final step completed. We are waiting for our CA (Consulate Appointment) to be made. Our agency is trying to get the appointment for Feb. 2 or Feb. 3. If either one of these dates are available, then we will be leaving on Thursday, Jan. 21st and return Feb. 5th!!! Yes, you read that right!! It is only 9 days from now! If those dates are both full, then we will try for Feb. 9th or 10th and then will leave on Jan. 28th and returning Feb. 12th.

We are happy with either scenario. Soon we will be meeting our son for the first time!

Right now, we are quickly finishing the painting of his bedroom door. I have one last load of baby clothes to wash! I LOVE walking into his room...when I open the door all I smell is DREFT! Sydney and Jadon both had sensitive skin and mild eczema so we were unable to use Dreft or any sweet, baby-smelling lotions!

We will keep you updated on what our official travel dates will be. Thank you for your prayers! Please pray that the weather will start warming up in Beijing. We really want to be able to do the Beijing tour when we arrive, but the weather is quite unbearable right now. Last week the Beijing airport was closed due to snow! Please pray for Jackson. Everything that he has EVER known is going to be gone, but he will have the one thing he has NEVER known...a FOREVER FAMILY!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Well, when most children sleep in on Saturday mornings, our children have been bright-eyed and bushy-tailed since 6am! The weather forecast of possible sleet and snow was even a little more exciting than Christmas! Hope you enjoyed the pictures!!