Saturday, November 19, 2011

Red Couch gone wrong...very very wrong...

First of all...I want to thank you all for taking the time to comment here and/or on Facebook or e-mail. Your words of encouragement mean the world to us here. I wish I had time to respond and thank each of your personally. We are grateful.

All families from the United States must end their adoption trip in Guangzhou. The American Embassy here finalizes the visas for the children to be able to enter the US. The standard trip here is one week in Province with your child to complete the Chinese side of things...and they roughly one week here. (It just happens that Jillian is in Guangdong Province, where Guangzhou is located...so we stay put for our entire trip.

Many of the facilities related to the adoption are located on Shamian Island and most of the families stay right on the island. There is a huge hotel there called "The White Swan" that caters to adoptive families. We ended our trip for Lia there in 2006. On the second floor, there are red velvet couches...and it is tradition to take a "red couch photo" with your travel group...with all the children adopted from each province. We have a fabulous photo from our Shaanxi travel group...11 babies...2 tipped over, 7 crying, 1 crawling out of the photo. Priceless.

But alas...much to our disappointment, the White Swan closed for renovations in August.

We couldn't stay there.

I was cheered immensely when I found out I could still go in the first two floors. The red couches are on the second floor. The White Swan totally hooked us up. :-)

Today, after getting Jillian's TB test read (she doesn't have it...eliminating TB as one of the causes of her hacking cough. Ha!)...we mosied on over to the old White Swan with visions of photographic genius dancing in our (okay MY) minds.

There were a few complications.

1) Jillian is still VERY attached to her clothes. We bribed her mightily in order to get a clean shirt on today...but we won only with the addition of the pants she wore from the orphanage (I had them laundered). I guess that's a draw...but it doesn't matter because an apple juice spill at lunch that drenched us both demanded a change into the only dry shirt I had...which Jillian put on with no problem. Jim thinks maybe we should dump some apple juice on her pajamas in the morning in order to facilitate a quick pajama change (not happening now!) to make it to the breakfast buffet in a more timely fashion....apparently we can be a little snarky when we're hungry. :-)

2) Jillian didn't really CARE about tradition and the red couch. Apparently NOT important to her.

3) Lia didn't really care about tradition and the red couch either.

So...I think you are getting the picture here. Epic fail. Except, like most times, I adore the outtakes almost better than perfectly posed photos...and I imagine these will find their way onto my walls at some point. They really kind of capture our day...and our time here.

Our day started calmly enough at 5 am with some coloring...




But by early afternoon...the girlies were done.

The look I got when I asked her to get on the couch:



Big sister was not much help:



She cracks herself up. And if Mommy gets aggrevated...even funnier...



The only cooperative family member. I shudder to think what HE captured on his camera...



...and, so, without further ado...I bring you Red Couch Photos Gone Wrong...







There ends this day in China. They are numbered now...hard to believe. We completed and turned in the paperwork for our Consulate appointment on Tuesday...and I am not ashamed to say that I felt a huge weight lifted off of me in doing that. I have been paper chasing for both of our adoptions since 2005...and I am ready to hang up my pen!!! :-)

12 comments:

The Byrd's Nest said...

God bless her little heart, she just can't let go of the only possessions she had...her clothes:( Praying for all of you and love that Lia! She's a hoot:)

Kim said...

The last post made me cry, but this post, too funny! Love, love the expression on Jillian's face! I knew the White Swan was closed, but didn't know you could still go visit the red couch. You will love these photos....one day!

Kellyann said...

You may not think so but this post is hysterical. Taylor was ok for said red couch picture but jace cried the whole time! I can only imagine you trying to lore Jillian onto that couch and Lia's amusement by it all cracks me up!
Perhaps Jillian isn't as easy going as they thought. She def has opinions about her clothes. I vote with Jim. Just spill something non staining so she'll willingly change.

Laurie said...

Absolutely, without question, my favorite red couch photos ever! That look Jillian gave you??? OH my!!

Melissa said...

OMG I'm laughing outloud! These are so much better than dressy superposed ones. This is totally what my family will do when we finally get there. Love it!

Jodee said...

Oh my word! These pictures are just precious!

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Kate!!!

You still have your humor that I adore. I am sorry the couch idea didn't work out as well as you hoped but these are priceless and the real deal.

Millie was dressed but she was sweaty and looked ridiculous in most of them.

I think you and I should meet 1/2 way and retire our pens together. I was thinking earlier today that my pursuit to build a family started in my 20s and now has ended in my early 40s. Oh the tears shed; the time spent; the prayers uttered--all countless.

I am so happy that you're on the home stretch.

xo~
Lisa

Marla-Dee said...

Lol Kate, that is such a keepsake! I love your spirit and humor in all of it too!

Soon, you will be home and looking back through your photos and reliving it all over again!

Sending prayers for your continued journey!

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

These pictures are priceless!!! I love these pictures!! I have loved following along on your journey!! Jillian is precious!!

Michelle R Photography said...

Red couch photos gone wrong - hilarious!! These are awesome!! You will be laughing about these for years to come!

Casey said...

That might be the best red couch photo ever!! lol. I'm sure it was frustrating BUT you will love it in years to come. Love that look she gave you too!!

Jennifer said...

Hey Kate! Your little Jillian is so cute!! She seems to be adjusting so well. I will definitely tell Kelly you said hi. We love her!! Another friend of mine had her too. :)