Saturday, November 18, 2006


This evening, Kate and Christi and Eddie arrived in Nashville, thus ending one journey and beginning another. We were met at the airport by Granny Faye (Eddie's Mom), Nanna Sue (Christi's Mom), Poppa Tim (Christi's Step Dad), Aunt Sandy, Uncle Harold and cousins Leah, Michael, Seth, and Sam.

Nanna Sue and Cousin Leah:

Nanna Sue and Poppa Tim:

Uncle Harold, Cousin Leah, Nanna Sue:

Granny Faye:

Cousin Leah and Nanna Sue:

Granny Faye, Cousins Sam and Seth:

Granny Faye and Cousin Michael:

We'll be going back through all the previous entries in this blog and adding more details from our trip, making this the definitive record of our Journey To Kate. Those updated entries will be designated as "revised." Again, we really appreciate all the friends and family and strangers who have followed this blog, and especially those who have taken the time to send us comments and keep in touch along the way.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Back in the USA

This morning, we all arrived in the United States, and Kate became a United States citizen. Our first stop was San Francisco, where Christi's sister Erin lives, and where Christi's dad Rick and step-mother Ginger are visiting.

Christi and Kate as we de-planed, our last international airplane visible in the background:

Just outside of United States Customs, Kate takes her first step into the US:

Waiting for our bags:

Kate meets her Granddaddy Rick ...

... and her Gigi ...

... and her Aunt Erin ...

Resting in the hotel room after a long journey:

Breakfast in the hotel:

And a wonderful vegetarian dinner at Greens, celebrating both Kate and Eddie's birthdays:

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kate's First Birthday (Revised)

Kate's Birthday lunch with Spencer, Tina and Maddy at Lucy's:

Eddie here - I had a wonderful encounter today during lunch. Lucy's is right along the waterfront, and when Kate gets fussy during one of our meals there, one of us takes her for a stroll along the river. Today, as I was heading back to join Christi and Kate and Spencer and Tina and Maddy, I heard scuffling footfalls approaching from behind. A Chinese gentleman of indeterminate age caught up with me. He looked somewhat poor, and was missing quite a few teeth. I'm ashamed to admit that my first thought was that he would be soliciting me for money. He asked, in very good English, if Kate was Chinese. I told him she was, which I think confused him a bit. He thought if she were my daughter she would look more western. I explained that we were adopting her, and we had a lengthily conversation about the adoption process. He was very curious about how long we were staying in China and where we had been. I told him about Beijing. He told me he would like to see the Great Wall but never had. He told Kate that she was a very lucky little girl. I told him that Christi and I are very lucky as well. He insisted that she was the luckiest, because she was going to get a much better life. He was a very sweet man. I complimented him on his English. He said I was just being kind, and that he had learned English from television and radio. He had never been taught. Honestly his English was as good as anyone's I have met while being in China, and I told him so. I think he was a bit enamored of Western culture, and enjoyed the chance to practice his English. He said it can sometimes be a frustrating language. "I have people ask me where is the bathroom, where is the toilet, where is the restroom, where is the lavatory. Too many words for toilet." I must admit he had a point. We parted with a friendly handshake and some sincere good wishes. I was very glad to have met him, although I never got his name.

In the afternoon, we went to the American consulate to get Kate's Chinese passport, and to take the oath of United States citizenship on her behalf. We were both a bit surprised at how moving this was, and we both teared up a bit. It's one of the last steps in a very long journey, and the last one we will take in Kate's homeland. No cameras were allowed in the consulate.

The building that houses the consulate:

During the trip back to the hotel, Eddie Graham lead everyone in a chorus of "Happy Birthday" for Kate.

Approaching the White Swan:

The family with our Children's Hope International coordinators, Elsie ...

... and Simon:

Our new friends the Grahams (Greg, Maryann, Eddie, and Margie) provided us with lots of photos they took on their trip to the Maonan Orphanage. We'll post some of them when we get back to the states.

This evening, the hotel delivered a beautiful birthday cake for Kate:

This is our last post from China. Our bags will be picked up by the hotel staff at 4:45 AM tomorrow morning and we leave for the airport at 5:30. This has been an amazing journey. We've actually grown very fond of China and Guangzhou, and will miss it here, as well as the new friends we have made.