Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Last day in China!!!

Yesterday we traveled to the US Consulate and took the oath and today we should receive Landon's visa around 4:30pm. During Landon's nap-time I ventured to the Pearl Market which was a pretty exciting experience. I love pearls and it was such a treat to watch those ladies work. To say they are lightening fast is an understatement. Last night we had dinner as a group at a Portuguese restaurant chosen by our guides. They ordered for us and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the family style dishes. The menu included roasted pork, rice, noodles, chicken with curry, and garlic/butter cauliflower. Interestingly enough, the green beans was one of our favorite dishes. That makes two restaurant experiences where green beans were a big hit with the Hall family!
All that is left on our agenda is a group picture and a final travel meeting. On one hand it seems like we have been away from family and friends forever, on the other hand our time here has passed quickly. You know that feeling of spending a long-awaited vacation at the beach and the week just flys by? Well, this isn't the beach...but...we have been so busy with appointments that two weeks passed faster than I anticipated. All any of the adoptive families can talk about in our upcoming travel. Other than falling madly in love with these precious babies we have another thing in common...we ALL dread the upcoming travel.
Our day will look like this:
In 24 hours we will be boarding a plane to Beijing. Once in Beijing we will "enjoy" a six hour layover before boarding a thirteen hour flight to Detroit. Following a very quick pass through immigration (our layover is only one hour and forty minutes = nervous) we board our final flight to Knoxville. If you are counting that is 18+ hours of flight, 8 hours of layovers and 1 additional hour of taxi/car rides. Including boarding etc. we are looking at a day and a half of travel. BUT...When we arrive in Knoxville at 9:30pm we will joyfully introduce our boy to family and friends! I can't wait! Other than the crying and general fussy behavior, we also expect the baby will do his fair share of crying and fussing! LOL. I have reserved a few new toys and a couple new snacks (yogurt melts, etc) that he has never seen before in hopes that he will be occupied and content for at least some of the trip. Also, we only let him see the TV a couple times while in the hotel hoping that once he sees the screen on the plane he will be intrigued enough to watch a movie??? Who knows?
Keep us in your prayers for travel mercies and a hedge of protection around us and our pilots!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Consulate Appointment today!!!

We can't believe it! Today is FINALLY the  Consulate Appointment and day after tomorrow we will board a plane for our (long) journey home to Tennessee.
The medical appointment went off without a hitch. It was all about $$$.
The Pearl River cruise was very nice. We took Landon to the top deck and he loved it! He thought the lights were beautiful but going under the bridges made him super excited. Danl says it's the engineer in him. He may be right!
We have decided he has the Thacker dimples (Mamaw Brenda noticed that right away). He produced what I refer to as a Kinder-fit (tantrum) yesterday. Temper much? And he definitely has Danl's self proclaimed flair for  drama.
He is perfect!!!

Pearl River Cruise

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Medical checkup today.

Say a little prayer for Landon today. He is scheduled for a medical exam. Who am I kidding? Say a prayer for his mom and dad!!! He screams when we put him in the stroller or when a stranger gets too close to us. Can you imagine how much he is going to love seeing a doctor and nurse? Thankfully he is under the age of two and doesn't have to have blood drawn.
Tonight is the dinner cruise and we are looking forward to that. Everyone says it is beautiful and a great way to see the city.
Just a few more days and we are Tennessee bound!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Guangzhou! We are one step closer to bringing our little guy home to Tennessee.
We flew (Landon's first flight) to Guangzhou for the big day...Consulate Appointment Day! 
This place is hot. The airport was 92 degrees, but I think it felt more like 93. LOL! Just about everyone in our group was pouring sweat and lapping up the water our guides handed out as we boarded the bus. 
Today, Sunday, we have a free day and get to sleep in! Kristen and Justin have us excited about the breakfast bar according to their glowing reviews. 
Monday is the medical appointment and a River Cruise complete with Papa Johns pizza. Tuesday we visit the US Consulate in the early morning and will get to spent the afternoon doing a little shopping. I am super excited to visit the pearl market. Danl is not as excited about shopping for pearls. What's up with that? LOL. Wednesday we wait for Landon's visa and then Thursday we fly home to Tennessee! 
Landon ate a good breakfast on Saturday morning and spent the ride to the airport playing and laughing (mainly obbessing over his ability to adjust the air vent). We spent all of our time at the airport walking and exploring. Like any American boy he got excited when we passed a store with cars, toys, etc. He even started reaching out his hand and walked toward the store. We walked past a Mickey and Minnie store (the airport version of a Disney Store) and he wanted to go in there too! Danl and I can't get over how opinionated he is already! We are taking that as a good sign that he is feeling secure with us. If he did not feel safe and secure he would most likely appear timid and accept anything that comes along. That is not our boy. He knows what he wants and he is happy to let us know. Once he acquires language things will get really interesting!
When we boarded the plane all the walking and exploring paid off. He was asleep before take off and slept until we landed. I was in shock. ***PLEASE pray that our long trip home goes half as smoothly.*** We will spent 20+ hours traveling on Thursday. I can't begin to imagine that kind of exhaustion, but I guess we will find out soon enough. Frankly, the plane ride/travel home is the only thing that is causing me anxiety at this point. The trip is as follows: We leave Guanzhou early Thursday morning and fly to Beijing. That flight is followed by a 6 hour layover before we board the 12-13 hour flight to Detroit. We only have 1 hour and 40 minutes to get through customs with our new little citizen and board the next 2-3 hour flight to Knoxville. The incredible part is that with the time difference Danl and I (and Landon) will have traveled 20+ hours and must then subtract 12 hours from that, arriving in Knoxville at 9:30 pm. Confusing? I can't wrap my brain around it!!!
Our hotel in Guangzhou is very nice. They obviously cater to Westerners and adoptive families. There was a pink basket with a small bear and baby wash in our room when we arrived. Apparently they don't come in blue? lol. 
We found one important location right away...Starbucks. I had something similiar to a Chai tea latte, which was good enough for me!!! lol. Danl ordered a coffee and then we visited the small hotel market and purchased something Landon and Daddy enjoyed more than you can imagine...frosted flakes. It was so cute to watch them eat their cereal before bed. We also got Landon a banana. He ate about half of it without letting up before hitting the frosted flakes. Danl and I just sat and watched him chew. Precious!!!
Landon still won't let me put him down for a split second...not even for a stroller ride. We have only ventured out (successfully) in the stroller for a few minutes on two occasions. The stroller is a work in progress. Thank God for the ergo carrier. Chloe' helped me shop for one right before we left for China and I have been very grateful for that purchase!!! His attachment to us is obvious and we are so thankful. This little guy has been the picture of health (despite a tiny runny nose) compared to what we expected. Putting on some weight and developing musle tone is our #1 priority for him. Bathtime is his biggest deal (he is not a fan). We will have to ease him in to that transition. 
We don't know how long it will take him to build trust but for now I hold or carry him whenever he wants, which is all the time. We call him a spider monkey (insert Danl's Talladega Nights impression of Ricky Bobby's son here..."Son, I am gonna climb you like a spider monkey"). You get the picture.
Continue to keep us in your prayers...

Outside the orphanage where Landon lived for 18 months.

They are obsessed with the World Cup and have placed a huge screen by the pool at the hotel.

With their guide Rita in Zhengzhou.

Waiting on Landon's passport in Zhoukhou City.

Eating Congee (milky rice), favorite of Chinese kids.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

He's doing fabulous!!

This is a guest post as I am filling in for Dedra due to technical difficulties with uploading pictures and video in China. So here are a few I have received over the past couple of days from them. Landon seems to be doing extremely well and other than not being too happy about bath time yet, he's learning new things every day and really enjoying his mama and daddy. He is particularly fond of his mama and I know that Dedra is head over heels for this little guy! He has laid on daddy's arm to sleep though which is so so sweet. Keep the prayers up for health and safety! They have one day left in Zhengzhou and on Saturday will fly to Guangzhou in southern China for their US Consulate appointment to get Landon's visa to enter as a US citizen next Thursday!! Enjoy the pictures! 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014