August 28, 2009

The Journey Begins

Thanks to Sue for having us over for dinner the night before we left.  It was a delicious dinner as usual.  It was tough saying good bye to my daughter, Madison.  I know she will be in good hands with my mom and other family/friends but I have never been away from her this long.  Here is a picture of the two of us at dinner the night before we left.
Madison and I

Some of us were up until 1 a.m. packing (yeah, that would be me). The alarm went off at 4 a.m. I never did find my camera, but I borrowed my mom’s. Thanks to Candice and Alisha (and any others I missed) that offered their camera to me!

We had an uneventful ride to Dulles and all went smoothly at check in. Jamie, my brother is flying separately and took off at 9:15 for a connecting flight in Newark. Christian, my sister and I had a direct flight on a packed flight. I got word just before taking off that our story was on the home page of the CNN website. I believe it is airing on CNN international also. A second part will air after the reunion.

Here are some shots of us flying over the North Pole.


We arrive in Beijing and only one camera person was there (CNN producer) so it wasn't too bad.  The funny part came when we arrived back at our hotel, where the birth family is also staying.  Our travel guide and the CNN producer go into the hotel to check us in and to make sure the birth family was not in the lobby area.  They don't want us to run into the birth family before the actual reunion takes place tomorrow so the entire evening was very tricky.  They thought the coast was clear so my sister and I go into the hotel and are standing with the CNN producer at the hotel front desk, when all of a sudden the producer very calmly says "uh oh, there's Granny. Quick...turn around, don't look back and go straight to the ladies room."  We go into the business center by accident and ask where the ladies room is, so the very kind Chinese lady starts taking us to the ladies room.  All the while Kelly and I are ten steps ahead of her trying to locate it based on her hand gestures so the grandmother doesn't spot us.  We dart into the first stall together to hide and pulled out our cell phones to wait for further instructions. Finally Wen-Chun calls to tell us we are in the clear and can go directly to our room, where we have been ever since.

The night before the reunion with the "Baby Come Home"  in our hotel room

About 6 volunteers with the "Baby Come Home" organization came to our room for about 2 hours tonight to talk about tomorrow's reunion. We determined the room they have reserved for us is not big enough for all the media now (ABC called in the middle of our meeting to ask permission to be there too). This is getting crazy! Kelly and I are so exhausted that all we could do is just laugh about it all. Jamie (my brother) and Christian pretty much went to sleep right after we checked in, so they missed all the craziness. Anyway, time for us to get some sleep so we are not zombies for the big day tomorrow! Thanks to everyone for your prayers!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  -Isaiah 41:10


  1. We're following along, can't wait to hear more!
    (just arrived home in July with our 14yr old Luoyang daughter)

  2. Julia,
    You and Christian are famous! Wow! Can't wait to read more. Be safe..and we are praying for everyone.

  3. Our very best wishes to you for a safe, memorable, beautiful experience.
    We look forward to watching your story.
    Warmes wishes and prayers.
    The Ottenbreit Family (blessed with 2 bio children and 3 from China)

  4. Woke up at 6:00 this morning in Washington State saw your story on the internet. Julia you are a Great and wonderul mother. Please let Christian know as well as yourself best wishes and prayers. The Martinez Family

  5. May the Lord bless and keep you, your story brought tears of joy to my eyes. Keep up the good work, Julia! "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up". Gal 6:9