Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Riverboat Cruise on the Pearl River

Last night we joined our guide, David, for a riverboat cruise on the Pearl River. The Pearl River is the third largest river in China. The legend is that when it flows past Guangzhou city, it encounters a big stone island in the river, which is as smooth and round as a pearl. Hence, the name the Pearl River. It was a wonderful way to see Guanghzou's city skyline and Oakley thoroughly enjoyed going under the many bridges. David offered to order us a pizza to take aboard, but we decided to try the Chinese fare buffet and we all found something on there we could eat. Oakley was a happy camper because they had watermelon!!

We completed our final adoption business this afternoon when we travelled by bus to the US consulate to take the oath. We were there with 35 other families. I had heard that the oath is just a formality and so I wasn't expecting to get emotional, but I think Michael and I both felt such a sense of "family" -- it's really difficult to describe the wave of emotions that has overcome us these last two weeks. We received her visa following the oath, clearing her to travel home. Once she goes through immigration in Newark, Oakley is officially a US citizen!!

Tonight we are packing; our bags have to be ready and outside our door at 5:30 am. Our flight from Guangzhou departs at 8:30 and we travel to Hong Kong where we only have one hour to make our connection to Newark. We are SO READY to come home and begin our life as a family of six!! We've had a wonderful time here in China and are so thankful for our many blessings and for this precious gift that this country has bestowed upon us. But we are ready to reunite with family and friends, enjoy the comforts of western civilization and have a bowl of cereal in the morning with COLD milk.

Many thanks to all of you who have followed our journey, left comments and sent emails with words of congratulations and encouragement.

We love you all!

Farewell from China. A new journey awaits us at home!

Sullivan and Hagan:

We cannot wait to see you tomorrow night!! We love you both so very much and we hope you are waiting at the airport to greet us. Please remember that although Oakley looks really happy and well adjusted in the photos we've posted, it still takes her a long time to warm up to people and she still gets scared easily. She'll recognize you from the pictures and she will know that you are her brothers, but you're going to have to be patient and give her time to get to know and love you. Also, because we haven't yet started to call her Oakley, you might want to address her as Xinxiang (pronounced Shin- Shee-yong).

We'll call you when we get to Newark! Please pray that all of our flights are on time and that Oakley travels well. She's going to be exhausted when we get home.



Karen Whitt said...

Jana and Mike,

What a wonderful picture of your family!!

I love that this little girl has a family. God has been good!!

Adoption is an incredible experience. It is hard to believe you can love a child,that you do not give birth to, but you do and it is wonderful.

We can not wait to meet Oakley.

Caeleigh is excited to see Oakley and catch up. See you this summer.

We will pray for your travels home.
Karen and Caeleigh Whitt

Felicia said...

Jana, I've enjoyed following your journey. What a transformation. I love seeing Oakley smile. Congrats and have a safe flight home.


Mom of 5 said...

Safe travels. Thanks for sharing your journey. It just gets better and better....

Anonymous said...

Have enjoyed so much sharing your journey with you! Glad that all has gone well so far. Praying you will have a safe, on time journey home. I know you are ready to be here and I'm sure the boys are so anxious to meet their new sister!
Safe travels!
Jamie, Chuck & Briana

Nicole said...

Crying, I can't believe it is over. This has really helped us all to feel like we were there with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to include us. We'll give you some time but please call as soon as we can come meet her. LOVE YOU and prayers for safe travels!

Anonymous said...

Oakley is adorable! She seems so happy with you. It is amazing how much her expresions changed. I have been looking at her pictures every day with Mom and I just love them. I want to meet her really bad! :)


Adam and Cynthia Farley said...

That's my DAVID!!! Isn't he a doll? He was SO good with the families!!! I am so thankful you are just about home! It's a matter of hours until your family is all together again!!

Much love and prayers


Jennifer said...

Hey Curd Family! We realize that you are probably just getting up and getting ready to go. Our prayers are with you - and I especially hope Sawyer has a better SEAT MATE this time around. :)
So excited to see you all...

Much love,
The Hanks

Francie said...

If I have the time right, you're probably already on your way to the airport. Thank you all so much for letting us share in your experience via your blog. Have a safe trip home and remember you now have a devout legion of fans sending lots of love and best wishes :)

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your safe return. I have enjoyed following your journey to Oakley. Be safe and have a great trip home. Your family, friends and fans await you.


Lisa Porter said...

Following your trip has been a priceless experience. I never thought I would be so absorbed or moved or worried or happy or intrigued or.... There were too many emotions to name. This trip to get Oakley has just been the Prologue to the book. Now the real story begins. Can't wait for the next chapter. I'm SOOO glad I live close enough to you to see how this 'story' contnues!

Wishing you a safe trip home and a heartwarming reunion with Hagen and Sullivan.

Love, Lisa P.

Anonymous said...


Prayers for a great trip home and a wonderful reunion of your whole family. I've so enjoyed watching your China experience and seeing such great joy in each of you and Oakley.

Rest well and looking forward to seeing you eventually.


AnnaClaire's Jie Jie said...

Oh, she is so beautiful. I know you are just loving every minute of your sweet Oakley! Praying for a safe trip home! I've so enjoyed watching your journey!

Anonymous said...

I know you all are already in the air but just wanted to let you know I'm praying for a safe flight and can't wait to see you all at the airport. As I have said before, you all are special people.

love ya
ronnie & donna

mum2brady said...

Hope you have a safe journey home and that Oakley has a wonderful home coming!

I found your blog through Nicole, but have several friends who have adopted from China :)


Anonymous said...

First of all congratulations to all of you. I told Lori this morning how happy I am for you and that it's been a pleasure reading your blogs and I too feel like I've been on this adventure with you. Thank you for sharing such a special time in your lives with all of us. I think Oakley is adorable and from what I'm told she's smart as a whip. Beauty and brains now that's a great combination!!! Ya'll take care and I look forward to meeting Miss Oakley one of these days.

Congratulations again,
Lisa O'Neill

The Ferrill's said...

praying for you and your beautiful family...