Journey to Zoe

Saturday, July 30, 2005

We made it home - Yeah!

The long journey home was not bad at all. For those of you reading this who are preparing for your trip to get your little one this is what I did:

Night before our flight I gave Zoe a tiny bit (1/8 milligram) of melatonin. She was asleep within five minutes (6:45pm). Bill and I got up at 3:30am. I woke Zoe at 4:30am. We left for the airport just before 6. Zoe took her morning nap on the first flight. She did fall asleep during the short layover (unplanned, but ok). She was awake for the first 2 hours of our long flight - Tokyo to PDX. I gaver her the same amount of melatonin and she slept until 40 minutes before we were to land (8:30am). We had bulkhead seats in business class and they set up a bassinet for us. This was great, because both Bill and I could rest and try to sleep and eat our meals without any problem. When we got home all the kids went down for a nap after lunch - no problem and Bill and I slept. We all slept for 2.5 hours and got up for play, dinner and and then back to bed. Jack and Maddy went down at 8, Zoe went down at 8:45 - I did the melatonin again - probably the last time as it is 7am and she is still sleeping. Bill and I were not very tired so we stayed up later than we should have, but both got at least 6.5 hours of sleep. Praise God, looks like we will not have a huge jet lag problem!

Overall, the trip was great. I would highly recommend buying things you like from the Friendship store in Beijing. There were two things there that I did not buy, as it was our first real buying stop and I didn't want to spend too much too early. But unfortunately, I was unable to find similar items at other locations. Also note, we only had 20 min to shop here and there is a ton to see. This is the only Friendship store this large with this kind of selection. DON'T buy from the Jade factory - WAY overpriced. You can indeed find real jade for much less all over in Guangzhou. There is a small gem store with jade down the street from the McDonalds across from the Garden hotel - I got a great oval bangle bracelet for Zoe when she is older and lots of jade chopsticks for gifts on the island. (Jade factory wants 2-6 thousand Yuan for bracelets, I was able to barter mine down at the local shop for 600 Yuan - yes it is real. The pearl factory is worth is, but the real nice stuff is alot of money. The back wall of the pearl factory is a sale section - we got all of our stuff along this wall. The island has a ton of shops, we had great deals on Sunday - not as many people buying - during the week, we could hardly barter at all - alot of people shopping, shops not willing to come down. You will start to notice that most the shops have the exact same items in many cases. Our whole group found Jennifer's place to be way overpriced and unwilling to make a half way decent deal. Lucy's was great for food. If you don't want to use a squatty potty - go to the bathroom at the White Swan before hitting the shops. Also, the map you receive in your brown envelope to take with you for medical info lists a toy market, jade market, etc. These places are hard to find, the Chinese characters on the map are for local landmarks, not the places you want to go and they are wholesale anyway - not many willing to sell one pieces - only large orders, wouldn't waste the time trying to find. We tried, got lost - did however see alot of the local life of China - that was fun. Our best meals in Guangzhou were at a place called The Italian Restaurant - very affordable and VERY good. It is around the corner from Starbucks near the Garden hotel, just over the foot bridge. They do deliver!

Our agency AWAA was great, the guides were wonderful - truly cared about you and the kids, very helpful and willing. Every step of the way we took their lead, but were also given the freedom to do our own thing. Fantastic agency! I wish they did adoptions in Africa or Haiti (where we are considering our next adoption). I would recommend them without hesitation!

Zoe is adjusting, still wants just me, but will play with Bill if I hold her. She is quite overwhelmed by her loving brother and sister. I am looking forward to her dr apt on 8/12.

This is probably our last entry. Please feel free to email any questions about Zoe or our trip/agency at justine@estoresgroup.com

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