to China for Clementine: the silks

Years ago, it became the tradition to buy your new child a set of silks, and take a picture of them on the “red couch” at the White Swan Hotel (the hotel where almost all the new adoptive families stayed) on your last day in China.IMG_0614.JPG

Poppy was the last of our kiddos to follow in that tradition.

The White Swan closed its doors in 2011. No more red couch.IMG_0613.JPG

When we travelled to bring home Tallula in 2012, I still wanted a picture of my girl in her silks.

I just needed to find a new backdrop.


So we bought her some silks, and let her run loose on Shamian Island.

And it turned out to be great fun trying to capture a bit of the spirit of Miss Tallula.

Those pictures of her are still some of my favorites.


So today we set out with the same end in mind.

To capture our beloved Clementine, so tiny and precious, just as she is.


Sophie wanted to join in as well. And I’m so glad she did.

(Let’s just say, her red couch picture was less than stellar… momma needed some photography classes).

And I may be biased, but I think the two of them make quite the pair.


What a trip this has been. Truly an adventure.

And being able to bring this precious little one home with us honestly feels too good to be true. I know the journey has only just begun, with twists and turns most certainly ahead.

But today I am feeling so very blessed.


Tomorrow morning we fly out of Guangzhou for home. It’s going to be a long 36 hours.

Prayers for vomit-free, illness-free, rash-free travel deeply appreciated.


to China for Clementine: a day to rest

Yesterday was our consulate appointment.

Before we could do that, we had to run upstairs to revisit the medical doctors who had seen Clementine on Saturday.IMG_0582.JPG

Thankfully we got the all clear and we were given her medical paperwork to submit with our visa paperwork.

One hand-raising oath, some passport checking and a few fingerprints later, and we were done.


Momentous. Exciting.

But no cameras allowed. Wah.


Our tour option for the day was the Guangzhou zoo and the Pearl River cruise. But decided to opt out – to keep Clementine’s outings to a minimum.

Turned out to be a really good call. After feeding Clementine a bottle and some rice cereal, she napped. And napped.

3 1/2 hours.


She woke up in such a good mood.

We decided to go over to Shamian Island for a quick stroll.


To see the sights.


Buy a souvenir or two.


And grab an ice cream cone, of course.


We even got to see the beautiful Pearl River by night.


We might have visited Lucy’s for a basket of the yummiest fries ever, too. No picture necessary.

Today we will return to Shamian Island for pictures of Clementine in her silks.

Sty tuned. It should be fun.


to China for Clementine: sisters


Today was a shopping day. Something I’m usually pretty good at. Sophie, too. We looked at pearls and jade. Silk purses and chopsticks. But we wanted to be sure we didn’t overdo it. And with Clementine in tow, we were all a little distracted. In a very good way. So we opted out of the […]

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to China for Clementine: the medical


Yesterday, I posted as we were leaving Changsha. Things were good. We were ready to go. Bags check. Passport for Clementine check. Tickets check. Food/toys/bib/blanket/bottle/medicine/carrier check.

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to China for Clementine: to Guangzhou


Today we head to Guangzhou. Which means that, other than the necessary traveling we will do, we are staying put in the hotel until it’s go time. Clementine is still rattly, but seems to be making improvements daily. So, since it’s a quiet day for us, I thought I’d take the chance to write down […]

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to China for Clementine: Martyr’s Park


With the okay of our wonderful pediatrician for a short excursion in good weather, we bundled up our girl and headed out. Since this is the closest we will get to her hometown of Loudi (a three hour drive each way so a visit this trip was just not possible), we wanted to see a […]

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to China for Clementine: a down day


Today we rested. It just seemed like the obvious choice with our girl still so sick. Which meant staying in the room and doing everything we could to keep her anxiety to a minimum. It also meant keeping the camera out of her face. But after she woke up, took a bottle and filled a […]

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to china for Clementine: at last


Today was the day. After several false starts and heart wrenching delays, Clementine day has arrived. The day started out slowly as we readied ourselves (much like we did yesterday, as that was supposed to be the big day) and silently braced for the possibility of another late morning phone call with news we did […]

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to China for Clementine: the Great Wall


Yesterday was a roller-coaster of emotion. Before we even headed down to breakfast, we got a phone call from our guide, Helen. Chris took the call. Despite the fact that I was all the way across the room, I could make out a few words. Sick. Hospital. Pneumonia. Our plans for the day – to […]

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to China for Clementine


We are here. We landed safely yesterday and other than a certain someone tossing her cookies in the immigration line, it was a flawless travel day. We arrived at our hotel with just enough time to catch our breath and brush our teeth. Then we went out for a short walk to a local noodle […]

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