Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ali's First Visit with Santa!

We all wished we knew what was going through that little mind
when Ali saw Santa for the very first time!

On Dec 9th, Russ, Ali, Aunt Michele, Uncle Mike and I
went to Santa's Village in downtown Huntsville.
Man was it cold!!
We sat in Santa's sleigh, saw some reindeer,
decorated a gingerbread cookie,
wrote a letter to Santa,
stood in the snow of bubbles,
and saw Santa!
It was very pretty, and nicely put together
to cater to children!
I hope this will be a tradition we can stat with Ali.
Once she gets older she will have fun there.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

November 2010

1st Birthday

1st Birthday!!
Ali had a princess party.
We had a nice turn out for her 1st birthday.
She had such a good time!
She didn't know what to think of that cake.
Ali got to spend 2 nights with her
Nanny and Paw Paw.
Paw Paw loves to play with his Grand Baby!
All smiles!
Ali always makes my day with that sweet smile.

October 2010

Just to catch you up on what's been going on with Ali...
October was a very busy month for us.
It was my last month home with Ali before I had to go back to work.
Here are a few Al's FIRST...
Our FCC group held our very first Truck or Treat!
I decorated the car and we all had a wonderful time!
Ali's Nanny and Aunt Stacy and
Cousin Calvin came with us to celebrate.
Ali and I are getting ready to pass out the good stuff!

Aunt Toni and Uncle Troy came
in from Michigan to see Ali for the first time.
Ali ran up to Troy like she knew him already.
It couldn't be that he looks like her Papa!

We went up Monte Sano to the park and took
some pictures with Troy, Toni, Michele and Mike.

We went to Tate Farms and played with
the animals in the petting area,
went through the hay maze,
and then went out to the pumpkin patch to pick put our pumpkins.
Our friend Andrew got to come and spend the day with us too.

Friday, November 19, 2010

October Fun with Uncle Troy & Aunt Toni

In October, Toni and Troy came to see Alison.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Old Rocking Chair

OK, I will start you off with some recent photos of our angel.

She has recently started holding her bottle like a big girl.

Alison working on her balance riding her rocking horse.

Alison's first Fall in Alabama

Sorry we have not been posting since we returned from China. I guess you know we have been busy. Alison is doing fine and we are enjoying every minute of everyday with her. We are getting to know her habits, likes, dislikes, temper, etc... Today, when I walked into the house from work, Alison got a glimpse of me and literally through down the bottle she was working on and held out her arms for me to pick her up. She instantly lit up when she saw my face. It is those little moments that make this whole journey worth it. I look forward to many more.

Back in 1990, Lisa and went on a dinner cruise for our first anniversary present. I also bought her a wooden rocking chair. I did a little research and found out that the traditional 1st anniversary gift is wood. I gave that some thought and decided on a wooden rocking chair. I guess I was secretly hoping to be using it to rock a little one to sleep one day in the near future. I remeber buying the chair unfinished. I sanded it, stained it, and put a couple of coats of polyurathane on it. After giving it to Lisa she found a back and seat pad for it. It looked really good. I don't remember sitting in it much that first year and in 1991 we moved to Arizona. The chair made the trip and was put in the spare bedroom where I am sure it was used as a coat rack or something similar as we had very little room in that apartment. I am sure after 3 years the chair still looked brand new. In 1993 we were on the move again to Colorado Springs. Again, the chair made the move and was put in our bedroom at my parents house while I went to college. Here the chair was again not used for any rocking purposes. When I graduated in 1997 we moved to Huntsville, AL. The chair survived the move without a scratch and was place in the spare bedroom where it remained for the next 13 years with very little survice. Now the chair is 21 years old and has become a background ornament in our house. 4 years ago we placed the chair in Alisons room when we painted and remodled the room. It has waited as patiently as Lisa and I upon Alison's arrival. Recently I have started rocking Alison to sleep at night in the chair. While rocking her to sleep I think of all the years the chair remained unused. I rejoice in the fact that it's original purpose is finally being fulfilled after 21 years. We rock each night at bedtime and as Alison drifts off to sleep on my shoulder, my mind drifts off to events that have not happened yet. Her first steps, learning to ride a bicycle, going to school for the first time, boyfriends, etc. It is sort of like a time machine for my mind in that regard. The chair has much more meaning for me. It will most likely become Alisons one day. I hope that she does not have to wait so long to get some use out it. I also hope she gets as much joy out of it as I have in the last few weeks.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010


There was a large group of family and friends at the airport to welcome Russ, Lisa and Ali home. Their flight got in about 15 minutes early and everyone there was so happy to welcome Ali to her new home.

A few of Ali's new friends from the FCC group.
Ali's Grandma's and Aunt's waiting patiently.
The welcoming committee lined up with signs in hand waiting.
They are finally HOME! ! ! !
Daddy showing off Ali to her new friends.
Both Grandma's.
Grandpa introducing Ali to some of her new friends.
Momma and Ali!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010


Today Russ got to celebrate being a Dad for his Birthday. After breakfast he and Louise went back downtown to the watch stores so he could get himself a nice birthday gift. However, before they had a chance to leave there was a knock on the door; It was the Hotel, they had brought Russell a birthday cake complete with candles and matches! We held off eating any cake, one because we had JUST had breakfast and two, because he was headed out the door.

Ali and I were going to go around the Island and try to spend what little bit on yuan I had left. But it started raining cats and dogs! So, we stayed inside and played in the hotel play room instead.

Once Russell and Louise got back we had some cake and sang Happy Birthday to Russell. Surprisingly the cake wasn't that bad, in fact it was very good! For lunch we ordered a hamburger and fries from room service.

Later on I went out by myself to get a few more things. It was still raining, but not as bad. We had wanted to go out on a dinner cruise, but didn't want to get Ali out in this weather. She is about all cleared up from her cold and we didn't want to take the chance that she could get sick again.

We did make it down to the red couch to get a few photo's but Ali wasn't having much to do with that! lol We bought some batteries at the care free the other day, cheap things..I think we may have gotten 5 pic's per set of batteries!

Anyway, We head to Hong Kong Saturday morning by train. Hopefully we will be able to get some good pictures to do a Hong Kong Update. Till then......

Love, Lisa, Russ & Ali

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Is It Time to Go Home Yet???

Gosh, We have been in China for almost three whole weeks!
We are so ready to come home.

Today we got up, went down to breakfast and then to the Chen Ancestral Lineage Hall.
The main gate was under construction, so we had to take a long was around to get in. We walked thru some very old housing. It was very interesting. The Family Hall was very very pretty. But I must say... There hasn't been one single place that Russ and I have gone to that wasn't just absolutely beautiful. We spent about an hour there this morning.

Afterwards, we went to the Carefree super market. It was like walking into a military PX or BX. We got a few things to get us through the next few days and our trip home.

Once we got back to the hotel Russell and Ali took a nap. Or I should say that Russell took a nap, Ali acted like she took one! I think it lasted about 15 minutes. Then she was ready to play.

Today Russ and I had to swear that all our information that we have given to Immigration was true to the best of out knowledge. Ali was the 3rd person called up. But, now she goes from first to last! lol I got a little emotional. But that lasted about a few seconds because I had to change a wet diaper. We were told we couldn't bring any camera's so we didn't get any photo's at the Immigration department. Tomorrow we will get Ali's visa and our Brown Envelope!

When we got back to the hotel we gathered up ALL the medications we brought with us that we haven't even touched and gave it all to our guide to donate to a couple from Australia that comes and helps sick children. I can't remember the name of the Mission they do. We were going to do a little more shopping before dinner but someone had other plans for us. She went down for a nap and we headed to Lucy's. Now we are back in our room. Russ and I are ready for bed, but Ali is wide awake!

Last night we let her stay up till she was ready to go to sleep instead of rocking her to sleep at 8. Guess what!? We got some sleep! She woke up around 1:30 and we quickly changed her and gave her a small bottle. She was out like a light real fast! She slept till at least 7:30 this morning.
Right now she and Daddy are on the bed. Daddy is watching the Discovery channel...(Just like at home!) and Ali is sitting next to him playing with her toys.

We are almost on the home stretch. Just one more full day in Guangzhou then to Hong Kong on Saturday then HOME on Sunday. These three weeks have really gone by fast. China is a very beautiful place, But there is nothing like HOME SWEET HOME!

Thanks for following us through this wonderful journey. We have been so blessed with a Beautiful child and great Family and Friends. We just don't know what we would have done with out those of you who have helped make this journey come true.

We thank God everyday for all our blessings!
Oh before I forget...Last night while we at dinner, we sat next to the Alabama license plate and Russell was trying to get Ali to say Alabama....EVEN Louise thought Ali said ALABAMA!! lol So, when we get home and you think she is saying Alabama...SHE MIGHT BE!! hahaha

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

September already!

What a nice day today.

We slept in this morning and had a late breakfast. Louise went for our Consulate appointment today and so we had to stay in our room till 11am and wait just in case she had any questions and needed to call us. Once she came and went, we went to the bank to exchange money. While I waited at the bank Russell and Ali had to go get some etchings we had made. Once we got our errands done we just came back to the room and gave Ali some lunch.

We were suppose to meet Louise in the lobby at 3 to go to a park. Our phone rings and it is Louise wondering if we were still going to go to the park because it was 10 after. lol Russell had on his "Rolex" that he got yesterday and it doesn't keep time very well! lol Anyway, we went to the city park and saw the 5 ram monument and then we went to a museum.

Once we got back to the hotel we changed Ali and fed her then we took Louise out to dinner.
When we got back from dinner Ali and I took a bath together so she could play. She loves the bath now. I know I may have said that before, but oh well! We played so I could ware her out so she would go to sleep and sleep ALL NIGHT!! Please God, LET HER SLEEP ALL NIGHT TONIGHT!

Only 2 more days here in Guangzhou. Tomorrow we go to the swearing in ceremony and that is when all of our documents will be officially filed and complete!! We are also going to go to some kind of family temple.

We will be home soon!
Lisa, Russell, & Ali

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday in Guangzhou

Today was a free day for us. We spent most of the day here around the Hotel while Louise went to pick up the medical results. The knot on the back of Ali's head is still there and now she has 2 more forming. I do not want to take her to the Dr. here but we are also scared to wait till we get back to the states. Her cold seems to be clearing up. Every time she sneezes clear snot comes out. She STILL will not sleep all night. I can't just let her cry herself to sleep. I don't want all the folks in the hotel thinking we are being mean s we walk, and walk, and walk, and change, and change, and change, and eat, and eat, and eat, lol get the picture? lol But when she wakes up in the morning with that great big ole smile...It just melts your heart!!!

I thought I wasn't feeding her correctly so I went on line and found that I was doing a pretty good job. She LOVES oatmeal and bananas and we have found that she does not care for the rice cereal or congy. She drinks formula or watered down apple juice. I brought some apple sauce and carrot baby food but she will not eat that either of them. We have learned to give her a FULL belly when we go eat breakfast and 7 times out of 10 she will sit and be good while we eat. We will feed her a little after we are done and then we will save the rest for her for later. Russ and I have ate pretty good everywhere we have been so far. I did get American fried chicken from Lucy's the other, it tasted more like Capiton D's! lol I had to de-bread it so I could eat it.

We went to a few more shops today here on the Island. I got some silk Christmas stockings to hang on the fireplace. I think the guy was upset because Russell wouldn't buy a watch from him, so I don't think he gave me a good price but I just loved them so I had to buy them. We found some "Made in China" t-shirts in this same shop. I am going to get Ali a pink one before we go home. We got an etching ordered for Ali and it should be ready on Thursday.

On our way back to the hotel there was some type of festival going on in the park close to the hotel. I think it was something to do with the Moon Festival. There were 2 Lions dancing at the gate of the entrance along with some drummers. The hotel is selling Moon Cakes and I am thinking about getting some mini cakes to bring back home with us. Russell said...YUCK! lol Russ & Ali got their photo taken again by a Chinese lady this time. You would think as many families come here for their adoption that the local people would know what a baby carrier is. All the people, Louise said, know we will be good parents because the Father is taking care of the baby and not the mother outside the home. She said it is the Mother who carries the children not the Father. While at the free market the other day a little ole lady came up and was telling Louise that we have a very lucky baby.

We have a very nice lunch in the hotel then walked it off, gave Ali a nap and then played. Then we went to do some "Fake" shopping. Russell got a Rolex and an Omega watch. It was way to crowed and hot for me and I was getting claustrophobic so we had to go. Poor Russ didn't get to shop very long. He was in Heaven with all those watches! For things like this I wish we had someone here with us. I can't go out in very crowded places like that as I get so so uneasy and I do not want Russell to go alone. I don't dare go someplace like that without Louise! lol me a scaredy cat!

Last night we spent some time by the pool. Of course only one of us could swim. I took care of Ali so Russell could enjoy the pool. She couldn't get in the water with her cold. Don't want it to stay any longer!!

Consulate appointment is today. We have to stay in our room till 11 just in case Louise has to call for any reason. I think Russ was hoping to go with her. I know I was. I have no Idea what we will do today. I know I am ready to come home. I need MY CAR, MY BED, MY HOME, MY FAMILY & FRIENDS! Can you tell I miss you all! lol

Have a great day. Till next time...
Lisa, Russell, & Ali

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guangzhou Sunday and Monday . . .


I am sorry that we didn't post an update yesterday. We went exploring around the Island and were a little tired.

Yesterday we got up and had our first breakfast down stairs. Wow, we learned to make sure for the rest of the week to get down there a little bit earlier than we did! IT WAS busy!

We walked around the hotel and found the Red Couch area and the play room. We took a few pictures of Ali in the play room. There is a piano in there that she likes to play with. She didn't last to long in there when we were there yesterday as it was getting close to nap time; and boy was she in need of one!! We tried to wear her out yesterday so she would sleep good. The last few nights she has been getting up about 3 am and she is in need of a diaper change, she is also wanting to eat, and wanting to play!

We found a lot of the same type shops. We did get a few things for Ali. She ended up with another CNY dress, 3 pr shoes (2 are squeeky shoes). While we were out shopping the staff in one store gave her a China flag and the staff in another store gave her a cross necklace. We went into Jordon's and he was so kind to write Alison's name in Chinese for us for free. I got a fan to fan myself off in this heat and this is where we got Ali's 3rd pr of shoes. When we got back to our room, Ali and I took a nap. While napping there was a knock on the door and there was Ali's barbie! That was a nice surprise to wake up to.

We walked almost the whole Island. We watched a few of the local's swimming in the river. There were a lot of photo shoots going on all over the Island. A few of them took a few pic's of Ali in Daddy's arms. I think they thought they were being but I saw them. I would just smile and wave once they realized that I they would wave back. We got a lot of "Happy Baby" from the older women. We only have so far experienced one rude person. It was a man who I guess didn't like the fact that we had Ali. Our guide wasn't with us, so I have no idea what the man said.

We had dinner at Lucy's. Well I should say, Russ had dinner at Lucy's. I had to box mine up and bring it back to the room. I still didn't get to enjoy it. Ali does not like to sit still very long at all.
She likes to be on the go and thankfully she loves the baby carrier. We face her out front and she loves to look at everything.

She didn't sleep very well last night. Ali has been taking a morning nap and an afternoon nap. I have been trying to get her down for sleep around 8pm. But she will wake up not long after she goes down. I even make sure she has a clean diaper and a full tummy. But, she will wake up with a very full diaper or still wanting more to drink. Last night it seemed like every time we turned around she was awake and I know the whole floor knew she was awake. She was screaming at the top of her lungs. She does have a cold and her poor nose is so runny. I have been giving her Tylenol and I am wondering if that's why she isn't sleeping well.

Today she had her medical exam. She is 15.9lbs, and I forget how long. The Dr said it sounds like she might have a heart murmur. He said she should grow out of it. The knot on the back of her head is still there, so it can't be from hitting her head. If it was that, it should be gone by now. It does seem to be smaller, but I really can't be positive on that. The Dr didn't say anything about it today. We are going to make an appointment with Dr Chambers as soon as we can once we get home to have her look at it.

After medical, we went across the street to the free market. I tell you, the smell of all the dried goods reminded me of a farm when the farmers are harvesting the hay. It smelled so fresh. Russ tried to get me to touch dried snake! NO WAY!! lol There are so many strange things that they dry and used for food or medical. I wanted to take some photo's but Louise said most of the locals do not like to have pictures taken, so I didn't even get the camera out. Once we left the free market, we came to a really nice street with upscale shopping and a very nice "town square". I did take pictures of that street.

Not much more going on tonight. We ordered lunch from Lucy's. Once again. Russell got to eat his food first while mine got ICE COLD! He told me this morning that I needed to eat fast so he could go get his food. NEVER ONCE HAVE I COMPLAINED when I let him go get his food first and let him eat while I cared for our daughter!! Sorry, I had to vent there! I don't think I have got to complete a meal with Ali glued to me body. lol She is a Momma's girl!

I think tonight we are just going to take it easy. We may go to the pool. Russell went down by himself last night while I tried to get Ali to sleep. Guess I will let Russell finish this so I can go take care of Ali. She is waking up from her nap.