Tuesday, May 28, 2013


We have now been home for a week and a day. The first meeting with the dogs didn't go so well. Dylan screamed and cried for a while. We slowly introduced them to him and he is much better now. He is definitely not a dog fan like Lizzy was, but he is tolerating them. He is still doing awesome. He has adjusted very quickly to his home and room. He has been sleeping on his own. However, last night he and Lizzy slept together. It was so cute to hear them laughing and playing in the bed.
Dylan also really likes clothes. We took him shopping to Carters outlet this weekend. He knows what he likes! He loves button-up plaid shirts. He wanted to wear one today. When I put it on him he said, "Cool". He also played Starfall this morning. He is learning to use the computer and was repeating the letter names and sounds. I don't use a mouse so he has had to learn to use the pad. He kept doing it too hard and it was not moving. After a minute he looked at me and said, "Easy". Then he gently moved his finger over the pad. He is so quick! He really enjoyed it!
 Lizzy and Dylan are learning to share and take turns. This is not going so well with Lizzy. She has been the only child for three years and is not used to sharing her things. We haven't bought Dylan many toys, yet. We bought Lizzy lots of toys in the beginning and she played with nothing. We are waiting to see what he really likes to do. He mostly likes to draw and play with the kid's laptop Rheannon gave him of Jackson's.
On Thursday, our friends the Johnstons came and visited. The kids had a blast and so did the adults! It was so nice to do something "normal" after being alone in China for so long. There were seven children here and they were all SO good. It is so nice to see children who are so well behaved. (Good job, Amber and Trent!)  They have such good manners as well. Dylan and the kids decided to play Disney Just Dance. It was hilarious to watch Dylan. He was SO serious and was really doing a good job doing exactly the moves he was supposed to do! We recorded it.
On Saturday, Paul took Lizzy to the CVS Minute Clinic because we were sure she had an ear infection. Yep. Time for new tubes :( She saw the DVD National Velvet at CVS and Paul let her buy it. When they got home, we pulled out the couch bed, ate popcorn, and watched it. Lizzy loved it! She was excited that Elizabeth Taylor had the same name as her.
 I am excited because the Bacons are coming to visit Wednesday through Sunday! I haven't seen them in FOREVER! I know the kids will have a blast.
I think that's about it. At least we are finally over jet lag. It was rough!

Candace, Paul, Lizzy, and Dylan

Monday, May 20, 2013


So after three plane rides and 30 hours later, we are home! We arrived this morning at 12:30. Steph and Rick picked us up at the airport with welcome signs, food, chocolate, and a toy for each kid. It was so sweet. Dylan and Lizzy did awesome the whole trip. The were both tired, but still really good. Dylan couldn't believe the bookshelf with books in his room was for him. He was shocked. Stephanie told him she was bringing the dogs back today and he said no. We'll see how this meeting will go!
I also have to thank Rheannon. Not only did she go grocery shopping for us, but also made a pasta and put it in the fridge for today. I have the best friend, ever! Sweet Jessica kept the two guinea pigs for us! Without her, I am not sure what we would do with them!
When it was bedtime, Lizzy crawled into bed with Dylan so he wouldn't be scared. It was so very sweet! I read them both Brown Bear, Brown Bear before bed. When I got to the dog, Dylan said, "Pa!" which means afraid. I also asked Dylan what he saw and he said pizza :)
I am so excited to be home! The family is still asleep and I am enjoying quiet time. I can't wait to see how Dylan does at home. Not sure what he will think when we pack up and leave again for IL on Wednesday! Oh, well! I am excited to Dylan off to family and friends :) We'll write again and let everyone know how Dylan likes his new home.

Candace, Paul, Lizzy, and Dylan

Saturday, May 18, 2013


We finally got Dylan's Visa Friday afternoon! The consulate was so nice and so quick about everything. I have to say I was impressed. Paul had decided at 8:00 pm Friday night that we were going to leave the next day at 5:00 am. I said there is no way! We hadn't packed a thing and the kids were getting ready for bed. Luckily there were flights available for Sunday. We leave at 5:00 am and fly to Shanghai. From there to Newark and then to Atlanta. We get into Atlanta at midnight Sunday night. My sister still said she wanted to pick us up from the airport. We are very excited. She was going to go ahead and have the dogs at our house, but I asked her to wait until Monday. Dylan is not an animal lover and I wanted him to meet the dogs after he's had some rest! Lizzy will go back to school on Tuesday and half day Wednesday. Then we have to repack and drive to Illinois for my sister and brother-in-law's custody case. Whew! It will be exciting for Dylan to meet his family, though. I know everyone will adore him! I will be happy to be back home for good, however, after we get back from IL. I then have to pack up my classroom and move it to my new classroom for next year! I am very excited about changing to second grade. It is a GREAT group of teachers and I am ready for some more maturity from the kids.
I will miss some friends that we have made here: Jim, Tammy, and girls and Liz, John, and family. It has really helped to have people here who are experiencing the same thing you are. We still keep in touch with the friends we made in Ukraine. Well, time to finish packing, get the kids out of the tub, and get some sleep. We'll be home soon.

Candace, Paul, Lizzy, and Dylan

Thursday, May 16, 2013


We finally decided today that we were going to get Dylan some clothes. We brought a few things we borrowed from Rheannon and brought some shorts. However, not a lot fit without safety pins. We went to the mall today by our hotel. I almost lost it! There were FOUR ladies trying to help us pick things out. I can't stand that. I finally sat back and let Paul handle it because I was about to scream. They also kept calling Dylan a baby. After we left, with some clothes, I told him to tell people he's not a baby. He is five. He nodded. (He told somebody this later in the day!) It was raining today and Dylan was a little stressed out about getting wet. He was happy we had an umbrella. When we got back from shopping, we received a phone call that we were to have our consulate appointment in 45 minutes! We were so excited. They brought in 100 families and did all the paperwork at once. I thought we were going to be there forever, but we were only there for about an hour and a half. At the end we had the swearing in ceremony with everyone together. If I had tearducts, I would've cried :) Some people did. We still have to wait for his Visa, but they think they will have them by tomorrow afternoon. If this is the case, we will try to leave on Saturday or Sunday! We are very relieved. I am a little sad to leave, however. It will be back to cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. It has been a nice break. I will be happy to be in my own bed, however! This evening we went to Pizza Hut to eat dinner. Pizza is Dylan's favorite food, so we thought we would let him pick tonight since he was officially adopted today. He, Lizzy, and Paul are at the pool now, but I didn't feel like going. I think he may be sad that our house doesn't have a pool! :)  Will write again soon.

Candace, Paul, Lizzy, and Dylan

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


So our trip has been a breeze. Until Monday. There was a white powder scare at the US Consulate office on Monday morning. The office has been closed since then. Our appointment was this morning to finalize our paperwork and apply for Dylan's visa. We are supposed to fly out Friday. That is now changed. Our appointment was cancelled and at this point we have no idea when it will be rescheduled. We are hoping it won't be long. Another couple we talked to this morning said this happened two years ago and they just gathered all the families together and did the paperwork all at one time. We are hoping this will be the case. Lizzy is ready to go home because she said she misses the dogs and guinea pigs. :)
On a happier note, Dylan is doing wonderful. He is so well behaved. I don't know if this is a honeymoon phase or if it's just the way he is. Our other child was so difficult, and sometimes still is, that we were prepared for the worst! However, he is very sharp and very well  behaved.
Tonight we are going out to eat with another couple from Delaware. We found a delicious Italian restaurant. We have tried to eat the local food, but are finding it very difficult to find vegetarian Contonese food. Oh, well. We have found some awesome food anyway.
We will keep everyone updated as to when we will be leaving.

Candace, Paul, Lizzy, and Dylan

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


We visited the zoo where we saw primates, big cats, hippos, and birds. The lions were mating and roaring excuberantly! It was extremely hot and humid, upper 80's but according to accuweather.com with humidity the real feel is over 100. John admits it is unseasonably hot and humid, but claims he won't turn on his air conditioning yet, maybe in July! When we went back to the hotel, we had some trouble hailing a cab as it was near a shift change and rush hour was beginning. Once we found a cab, I had a little trouble getting the wheelchair in the trunk (shared with the cab's natural gas tank) and the driver tries to tell me to leave the trunk open and it will be fine, I refuse and sit it the seat with me. I've found they tend to get pretty cranky if you take more than 3 seconds to load in the cab :). We got back to the hotel and went swimming to cool off. For dinner, we opted for peanut butter sandwiches in our room instead of the $70 per person hotel dinner buffet!

Dylan proudly displays his frog watch!

Lizzy was happy to find wolves, and Dylan is once again touting his watch!


We again gorged ourselves on the breakfast buffet! Before we headed out with John in the afternoon we ate at a Sports Bar Paul found earlier. We enjoyed chickpea burgers, quesadillas, nachos, and some spirits. Then John took us to visit Shamian Island for some shopping. We walked through a beautiful park where locals and tourists were leisurely strolling and couples were taking wedding pictures. We found some traditional Chinese outfits and shoes for the kids and some other souveniers. We enjoyed a great dinner and drinks at the famed Lucy's, then back to the hotel for some swimming to cool off. Dylan has been great; other than protesting about the stinky public bathrooms and blaming the smell on Paul he's had no complaints!

Exploring the garden area outside the hotel

Posing with the children statues at Shamian Island

We enjoyed dinner at the famed Lucy's!

Enjoying a stroll in the park at Shamian Island