Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zai Jian from China!

Well, here we sit. Suitcases packed, waiting for 4:30 to roll around so we can get on the bus and head for the airport. Our flight leaves Guangzhou at 9:00 Friday night, arriving 14 hours later in LA at 7:00 Friday night. LOL

This experience has been so wonderful and we are thankful for it. Folks in our group have been very nice and our guides have been terrific! I'm attaching some last pictures of the children from our group on the famous red couch. Caroline is the youngest child being adopted in our group, the oldest being 13, and all with special needs. (Of China's adoptions in the last year, 67% have been special needs).

Can't believe the trip's almost over. Thank you to Lindsey and Chris (our precious oldest daughter and son-in-law) for caring for our kids at home. Thank you, Lindsey, for nudging us to adopt in the first place. :-) Thank you Kevin and Janet Cecil, for sharing your love of the fatherless with us in word and deed and starting us on our official adoption journey. Thank you to each of you who have helped us in so many other ways. Most of all, thank you to our heavenly father who has adopted us as his own. To him be the glory forever! Zai Jian (good-bye) from China!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Info on Homecoming!

So many people have asked about the airport timing on bringing Sha Sha home! They are landing in Nashville and BNA at 4:50 THIS SATURDAY, the 14th. We will be there and would love to see many of our friends welcoming "sweet Caroline" to the USA!

Also, several have asked about bringing meals to the Kelleys when they are home...that would be wonderful! I believe that someone is coordinating at the Kelley's church, but other than that, if you would like to bring a meal and visit the newest Kelley girl, please email me and I will set that up for you!

Thank you all so much for your prayers and hope to see you all Saturday!

~Lindsey (Mike and Kittye's oldest)

Hello there, fans! This is Flaberjob Milkyin, reporter for the Kelley Blog. Yesterday the Kelley fam had an exiting adventure, especially Emily. This is how she described her day:

"First, we went to breakfast. We met our guide in the lobby at precisely 10:30 AM. She took us for a long walk, but we figured that we could handle it. Just to be safe from the overwhelming heat, we brought a Chinese sun umbrella and a fan and off we went. Large bridge. Knowing me, you would know that I am scared to death of heights, rope bridges, and high windows. My stomach felt like there was a bowling ball in it.

The first interesting street we stepped onto was a medical and herbal supply street, full of Chinese "medicines". As we walked, we saw deer tendons, snake skin, and some kind of animal leg bones with feathered feet. I was too scared to ask what they were. The crowning glory was the worm grass. This medicine was used to make your lungs and throat stronger. At some point, worms had crawled into the ground tail first and died. After this, their heads had fallen off, and the worm's body sprouted grass. If you are sick, make a stew of worm grass, and your sickness will be all gone - all for about $100US/oz! If you are not sick, make a stew of this, and your sickness will be doubled! Not really, but that is what would happen to me. Ugh!

The odor in the air was a clash of seafood, medicines, animals, sweat, people, and I have no idea what else. Then our guide led us to the food street. We saw huge tubs full of live scorpions and turtles. Ever thought about a live stingray for supper? Or some delicious lizards? You want it, they got it! Just take your pick and take it home! I very nearly vomited. And there was Caroline, rolling along in her stroller, happy as can be!

We finally left the food and went to the pets. The air was getting hotter by the minute. There were some adorable kittens and flat-eared little puppy dogs. If the dogs were too wild, their owners would tape their ears together to calm them. Poor things! After this, our guide took us to the Holiday Inn, where we rested for a while. Thank goodness it was air-conditioned! While we were there, Caroline threw a fit, had to have her diaper changed, and a little girl took possession of my umbrella. When fully rested and cooled, the rest of our group set off to look at Chinese jerseys and grab some lunch. Our family headed back to the hotel. All this to say, if you ever go to China, bring a breathing mask!"

-Flaberjob Milkyin

This is Emily's mother, making comments about the photos :)

~Caroline's first pair of squeaky shoes
~Assorted pictures from the market: Choose what you want, take it home, and eat it fresh!

Post from Monday

Hello, blogging fans! Caroline said Mama! YAYYYYY!! Yesterday we went to the pearl market, the Yuntai gardens, and the DVD store. The pearl markets were beautiful, and we stayed there for at least an hour. After that, off we went to the Chinese DVD store. When our group finished there, hot, tired, and immensely happy, we went back to the hotel. After a couple of hours, then-guess what! A 45-minute bus ride! Whee! The restaurant we went to had spicy food. If you know me, then you know that I am not a huge fan. I did try a little of everything, though, and Ben kept swallowing whole red peppers on accident. When we came back, then we fell into our beds and went to sleep. After a busy morning, right now we are getting ready to go to the market for tea and a walk. I have to go! Bye!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Neehow! This is Emily. We are in our hotel room after a long day...and I mean a long day. Caroline is going to be a professional baseball player! That child can throw anything anywhere anytime twice as far as I can! Really! We went to a breakfast buffet and then off we went to a Buddhist temple. We thought that we were going to a park area... were we ever wrong! As soon as we entered, we saw a huge statue of Buddha. In front of it were water bottles and oranges and candy and peanuts. On each side were two gods, each in a different pose. Everywhere, the local people were swarming around us. Our guide, Helen, brought us some candy that was supposedly blessed by the monks. There were also some little incense sticks that were a lot like punks, except they smelled good. There were 1008 statues of Buddha in the temple. Wow. Daddy said it reminded him of the Jewish temple at the time of Christ when the people were buying and selling in the temple and going through the motions of religion.

After that, we went to a government store with Chinese things in it. After wandering around for an hour or so, we went to a Chinese store that was a little like Walmart. Then we went back to the hotel, had lunch, and relaxed. Later, we went to a place called Lucy's for supper, then walked home and took a swim in the beautiful pool that they have here. We came back up and got into our pj's. That's all for tonight! Blog you later!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Good Times in Guangzhou :-)

Today is Saturday and we are settled in to the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou (pronounced "gwong-joe") in Guang Dong province. We took the 9pm flight from Changsha and arrived at the hotel around midnight last night. We completed the adoption in her birth province (Hunan) and are doing all the work on her visa in Guangzhou, since the American Consulate is located here. Caroline did great at her medical check-up this morning, though she freaked out when she saw all the people in white doctor coats. Her opinion of doctors isn't that high just now. :)

LOTS of adoptive families are here at the White Swan and other surrounding hotels, so we feel less conspicuous and are enjoying meeting people from all over the world. We were excited to meet a family from Murfreesboro, TN this morning (about 1 hour from our house!) and another couple from New Orleans that works in Baton Rouge, where we lived for five years. Many, many children, most of whom have disabilities, have come to forever families just this week, and it's a joy to hear their stories and watch the families learn to love each other. I cried all through breakfast as I watched new families together - eating, talking, snuggling, laughing, riding on Daddy's shoulders, and nestling into Mommy's arms. How different their lives looked just one week ago. These precious children will no longer be alone, and their mommies and daddies will never be the same after knowing the love of their new child and the journey they have walked to bring them home. Thank you, Father, for bringing Caroline to us!

Hope you enjoy the pictures, and a special thank you to Sallee for the beautiful Poppy Dip dress!!!! Some of the pics are just fun ways we've been passing the pong, dressing the valet, and LOTS of cards. :) Good times together!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pictures of Caroline

Hi everyone! Lindsey here...

The family in China should have landed in Guangzhou about half an hour ago. We skyped last night and they seemed to be doing well! One week down, one to go! These are some pics I took of Caroline while skyping. She loves to Skype. Thank you all for the continued prayers!