Saturday, August 4, 2007

Here Is Where Are Flying Today - Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province

It's getting closer to Gotcha Day, a little over 24 hours until we meet Miss Mary Audrey in person. This morning we'll fly out of Beijing and fly into Nanjing a bit after noon. It's hard to believe we only have a 2 hour flight now and we will be in the same city as our precious Nanjing children.

Wow, I am getting excited and nervous all at the same time. Giving birth at my age to a 29 month old Chinese child is not as easy as it used to be. I am practicing my breathing exercises, but I am not fully prepared just yet. Yesterday, instead of touring with the group, I opted out so that I could prepare my body with the essentials for labor:

  • Manicure - check
  • Pedicure - check
  • Random Lunch From The Novotel Hotel's French Restaurant - Pesto Pasta & A Rather Full-Bodied Glass Of Australian Cabernet - check
  • Traditional 1-Hour Chinese Full Body Massage - check
  • Traditional 1-Hour Chinese Foot Massage - check

I know you must be worried about me traveling alone without my 3 darling daughters and my precious husband; but I am trying my level best to rough it alone. So be assured that I will finish preparing for the last stretch of my labor & delivery. All that is left on my list is:

  • Shopping for a stroller, more bribery toys and snacks
  • And finally, a hot bath - ALONE.

Yep that will do it. I feel like I am close to being ready to deal with my SPECIAL DELIVERY!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Climbing The Corporate Ladder

Now, this gentleman is a prime example of a highly ambitious and competitive radio sales executive. He started at the bottom of the ladder on the ground floor. The ladder itself is very tall and challenging to climb, much less to perform dangerous acts like this. BUT, this dude is on the fast track. He added wooden chairs (about 6 of them) until he reached the ceiling, while performing more dangerous acts at each level of growth. (Jimmy, it's ok to use this in the sales meeting. I know how much you LOVE this stuff!) I'll leave it up to you to end the story for me.

Radio Sales In China

Well, in radio sales we are always saying that it is not a particularly difficult job as long as you are fairly good at spinning a bunch of plates all at once. Well, I think these ladies are Senior Account Managers. They are able to spin multiple plates while dancing, tumbling and not bumping into each other. I would call this a combination of cluster selling using integrated marketing and problem solving, and of course....creative problem solving. I wonder if Dina Pancoast from Cox Radio Orlando was in charge of the CPS, Creative Problem Solving Session prior to this customer-focused and outstanding performance of teamwork at it's best? "IWWMW" In What Ways Might We "WOW" This Diverse Audience During Our Performance Without Dropping A Single Plate Today?

Amazing Chinese Acrobatics

This is something I just learned while in China. It is a simple little exercise where you hold a Christmas tree-like stand on each foot, on each hand and on your head, while s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g on your belly. It's ok to try this from your home.
This is the warm-up exercise, with just 2 tree's. It will make it so much easier when you stretch and warm up first. Trust me. Also, when you are in as good of shape as I am it really helps. Whew, I feel better after this little work out.
This woman in the hot pink outfit is holding a Christmas tree stand on her foot in the air while bending over backwards. Yeah, I can do that..................BORING.

Triple Happiness

Here is a photograph of my 3 daughters home in Orlando, Florida. This is a video still photo from a video message sent to me in China. I tried to post it on the blog, but Orbra said it would not open? Wow, it's so nice to hear their voices! Wait a minute, did I just say that?

East Meets West at Tian An Men Square

Becca from our travel group with a girl her age in China.
Check out this chubby chub little sleeping baby! I tried very hard to catch a shot of her naked bootie hangin' out the back of her sunsuit! I think her momma outta lose the umbrella and cover her butt crack. It is not uncommon to see naked babies and or kids with their fannies exposed so they can take care of their business. Split pants are designed for convenience. Yes, we have lots and lots of antibacterial hand wash. Notice that the baby has socks on her little feet. This is a prime example of the cultural differences....West meeting East. Interesting isn't it?
Crowd shot of lovely Chinese families on holiday also enjoying touring their historic sites - just like us!

Rickshaw Ride In Beijing

Yes, this smiling, small-framed Chinese man is "happy" to give us "super-sized" Americans a ride in their vehicle (bike) for 20 yuan (a little over a buck!). You should see their leg muscles. Imagine riding in this rickshaw, & beside you comes a woman on an old bicycle selling you Chinese merchandise, while avoiding crazy cars passing by in tiny alleys. Ralph (on left) and husband Jim smile, as I document this momentous and rather daring occasion!

Kindergarten In Beijing - Impressive

Here are some precious local children in class. We arrived at this private Kindergarten school via a rickshaw vehicle. Regarding school in China, kids are not permitted to go to government subsidized primary school until they are 6 years old. So that means their parents must be quite well-to-do if to afford the high tuition required to send kids to a school like this. We were told that some of the children even reside at this multifunctional boarding type preschool that operates year round. We were so excited to see that this school was well-equipped with so many nice amenities especially the playground stuff. The children seemed to be accustomed to the interruption of their classes by American tourists like us. We really enjoyed popping our heads into the children's classrooms to observe their learning environment. The kindergarten teacher ratio is about 3 full time teachers to 35 children, when at capacity.

Tian An Men Square 2007

Today, our travel group left the hotel at 9am. We immediately went to Tian An Men Square where we stayed until lunch time. The tour was incredible except for the heat. It's just hard to concentrate when you are so very overheated. I contemplated not going on today's tour since Linda Dowdell and I did a "drive by" tour in 2005 - 2006. At that time it was soooo cold that we were unable to spend any quality time at these historic sites. Well, lemme tell ya, today, it was NOT cold. I have never been so hot in my life. But I did it. Woo Hoo. Hurray for mommy! I can only imagine the crowds that will fill this city for thee Beijing Olympics a year from now - August 8, 2008. Our CCAI Beijing guide, Lisa explains that the date stamped 08-08-08 is one that is considered to have a very positive inpact on China's people. A lucky, and prosperous sign I believe. Emily, Madeline & Charlotte, I miss you all terribly! I wanted to send you some photos from my tour of Bejing today. Since I promised that I would send you pictures of Peyton and Carson Hall, I thought it would be wonderful if I could have them pose with some local girls at Tian An Men Square. You know how much your mommy loves children from your birth country, and it was really cool to see them enjoy the rich history of China with us! Here are some photos taken of Peyton & Carson with girls their same age. It is really funny to see how much the Chinese people LOVE to have their pictures taken with Americans (especially people with blonde hair!) because they believe that it brings them good luck. So, when I spotted these precious Chinese children, I asked their parents for permission to take their photos. Why not? Possibly it would bring us good luck as well! Nah, We are already lucky enough, aren't we? YES INDEED. I also took a photo of this darling little girl with the "fancy-pants head dress", cuz I knew you girls would love it! Do you think she is a Chinese princess or just a plain ole girl that likes to play dress up, JUST LIKE Y'ALL? "Wave to the crazy American lady honey. She will eventually go away if you smile for her camera."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Enquiring Minds Wanna Know How 46 Year Old Woman Gives Birth To A 2-Year Old Chinese Child

If you want to communicate with Belinda, please e-mail me at my regular e-mail addresses. For whatever reason, I am able to post but cannot view my stinkin' blog! I hope to add photos from Beijing tomorrow. So, send me a line when and if you'd like at: and/or

Cross-Eyed In Bejing!

Well, I made it. I am checked in my hotel and getting ready to crash. It's 6:11pm here and I haven't slept for over 24 hours. Remember Phoebe from "Friends"...with her hit single, "Smelly Cat"? Well this smelly cat is nite nite termite! But I thought I'd jog your memory on my QUESTION about what may happen in the event that my luggage weighed in more than allowed 50 pounds per bag heading to China? ANSWER - nothing $390 US dollars can't solve in a pinch. Ouch. At least my expensive, weighted down luggage arrived with me at the airport. Anne Elizabeth's entire family is waiting for their checked luggage to be found. That includes her husband, 2 daughters, her mother and the new little one she is adopting. Finally, I sure hope ya'll will be receiving my posts as China is blocking me from reading, but allowing me to post? Much love to all! Belinda

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

'Twas The Night Before China, & All Through The House.....

everyone is sleeping - except ME! It's 3:00am, and I am UP & WIDE AWAKE! My flight leaves at 9:30 in the morning. My husband and the the girls are taking me to the airport at 7:30am to catch this short little junkit to China. I packed for 17 days in one suitcase to check, a backpack and pilot for carry-on. Hmmm, I wonder if they make you unload your suitcase if it weighs 100 pounds instead of the 50 lbs required for domestic flights and the required 40 lbs in China? For the cost of this flight, I should be flying 1st class on my own private plane... Oh well, nite nite, gonna try to get some sleep before my early morning departure. I will post as soon as I make it to Beijing! Please pray for safe travel for Mary Audrey and me, as well as a comfortable transition for my family waitng for us here in Orlando. XXOO Belinda

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mary Audrey - Updated Photo May 2007!

This updated photo is such a reminder of how our Chinese toddlers are still such little babies! Those little chubby fingers and the sweaty hairdo! Soon enough sweetheart, we will bring you home so you can play with your jie jie's and cousins!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Mary Audrey's Orlando Cousins - So Far!

This photo was taken on Christmas Eve 2006 at Aunt Lizzy and Uncle Mike's house. Our Orlando cousins are enjoying time with "MY MY" on the fireplace hearth. Next year, we are expecting new cousins, me of course, and Aunt Becky & Uncle Jeff's twin babies! Pictured left to right include: Back -Bronson, Lawton, Maddie, My My. Emily, Weston, Parker, Front - Charlotte & Bennett

Chinese-American Cowgirls!

This year my mom started a new job as the Local Sales Manager for WWKA, K92FM, Cox Radio of Orlando. K92 is a heritage country music station that has been in format for 25 years! So...... in celebration of her new job with K92, mom dressed up my sisters as cowgirls for Halloween. From what I understand, they were THE HIT in Baldwin Park, our new neighborhood.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Charlotte Whatley & Mary Audrey, Sisters & Roommates!

This is my sister Charlotte. We will share a room in our new house. Our bedroom is painted a dramatic red color. We are going to share a Victorian bed that's a turn-of-the-century walnut bed. Our bedding is custom made with the fabrication of red, gold, white & creme toile bedding, combined with checks, plaids and matlaisse. We're so excited to inherit Emily's bedroom furniture and lovely bedding. Mom will post a photo of our new room, which mom thinks is the most lovely of all the bedding in our new house. Little Girls Rule! My precious outfit was a gift from "My My" from Chloe Lane.

Go Seminoles............. Scalp Em!

We're tailgating with best friends Peyton & Carson Hall on their dad's lap. Mr. Brian sits next to daddy with Emily & her giant sweat shirt! Our daddy is a BIG TIME Seminole Booster who has attended all but one home Florida State University (FSU) Seminole home game since 1984! Daddy and friends, Mr. Herb, Mr. Brian Martzolf, Mr. Dann; Mr. Dave; Brother Brian and friend Gene; Mr. Charlie; Mr. WW & Ms. Gail, & hundreds of their friends stop by to enjoy tailgating at its best during all FSU home football games.

Madeline Watching Television With Her Eyes Closed!

This is Maddie-Boo. She is my 6-year old sister watching TV with her eyes closed!

A 4-Year Old's Birthday Party Checklist..

Charlotte Whatley's Birthday Wish List: Strawberry Shortcake Cake - Check

Loving Sisters To Hug - Check

PINK Candles - Check

  • Grins & Giggles - Check

Disney World With Family - Check

WOW, Being 4 is Wonderful - Check!!!

Easter @ "My My" & Mr Harry's 2006

Look at my sisters sitting on the Easter Bunny's lap. Pretty cool stuff. They hunted for eggs at my godparents country club in Vero Beach Florida. Each egg was filled with lots of candy. Yummy! My aunts, uncles, cousins, Grandma Mary, Steve & Judy, Chuck, Stephanie and Emma - all enjoyed a wonderful Easter holiday at My My and Mr Harry's.

Bathing Beauties!

Bathing suits will be a very important part of my new wardrobe in Orlando, Florida where I will live. Sunbathing and swimming are very popular activities to enjoy!

My Lovely Jie Jie's (Big Sisters in Chinese)

Wow, look at my beautiful sisters in their Easter dresses, pearl necklaces and hairclips. I cannot wait to dress up and go to church with them next year!

Sydney - My Kitty Cat

This is a funny photo of a cat that looks a lot like my cat named Sydney, who adopted my family. She was homeless and starving. She is an indoor cat, and she is very, very FLUFFY (we say fluffy instead of FAT!).

Beasley & Baxter Drawings

Here are some more drawings of the kinds of doggies I have waiting for me at home!

Baxter & Beasley - My Doggies!

I have 2 doggies - Baxter, who is a "Westie", West Highland Terrier; and Beasley, who is Scottish Terrier. Aren't they cute!

My Family on Christmas Eve 2006

Charlotte (4) is sitting on my momma's lap; Emily (9) is sitting in between momma and daddy, and Madeline (6) is sitting on my daddy's lap. My family loves me and cannot wait for me to join them.

Monday, April 30, 2007

"Ya'll....Like I Am Soooo.......Totally Serious, Like... can you expect me to face the other pre-schoolers at Winter Park Presbyterian Preschool with this haircut?" All the girls have cute little bob haircuts and big 'ole hairbows!
MOMMA -This is a "Fashion 9-1-1"!
Call in Aunt Lizzy, Aunt Becky, Granma Agnes, Granma Dot, My My, Mimi, Ms. Judy, Grandma Mary, Lola, LaLa, Na Na....WHOMEVER it takes.
This Ladies... Is Top Prioritiy!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Little Miss 2 Year Old!

Hello there Momma, Dadda & Friends - I am sooo excited to join my new family in the United States of America. I will be very proud to be a Chinese-American along with my 3 other Chinese-American adopted Jie Jie's: Emily Annabeth (9)- Hubei; Madeline Clementine (6) - Guangdong; & Charlotte Whatley (4) - Heilongjiang.
I am LOVED by sooooooo many people!

This is OUR child!

Mary Audrey with her AYI, who obviously loves her VERY. VERY much! AYI is the Chinese word for Auntie. All of the children affectionately refer to all their caregivers as AYI. Check out Mary Audrey's clinch to this AYI's chest!

April 2007 Updated Photos!

Mary Audrey is 2 years old as of March 28, 2007. We just received these updated photos due to the generousity of a family who recently traveled to China (Nanjing SWI) to bring home their precious daughter. This family took these "special photo gifts" for many waiting families of waiting children, like little Miss Mary Audrey!
Check out this precious gem we cannot wait to bring home. We think her chubby little cheeks are just screaming for lots of kisses and raspberries from all of her family! We love those luscious lips!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mary Audrey's Special Foot

From what we have been told, Mary Audrey is a lucky little girl to have such a sturdy little heel. She will be a strong candidate for prosthetic/orthotic treatment which will allow her a fairly normal life, physically speaking. Thanks to our dear friend Penny Newell, we have learned about the Tampa Shriners Hospital who specialize in the care of children who require special care for conditions like missing limbs. Apparently, the treatment is the best around and free to children who require this type of treatment. We share this to inspire you to consider children like Mary Audrey (Yi Fang) to join your family!

Introducing ..........Mary Audrey!

We are so very proud to introduce you to our 4th precious daughter to be adopted from China. Her name is Cao, Yi Fang. She is a "waiting child" and/or a special needs child because she was born with a special foot. Her special foot is missing the upper part of her foot. Her medical condition is called congenital missing foot. We, of course, think she is absolutely PERFECT in every way! Her new name will be Mary Audrey.