Monday, August 27, 2012

We are finally in the home stretch until travel, and all of our travel plans are in place.  Whew!

We will depart Nashville on the morning of September 6, 2012.  We connect through Minneapolis to Tokyo, then Tokyo to Hong Kong. The boys have already fully plotted out a sushi meal at the Tokyo airport so that they can say they ate sushi in Japan.  

We will land in Hong Kong the evening of Friday September 7th, at about 11 pm local Hong Kong time.  Saturday, September 8th we will tour Hong Kong and fight jet lag.  On Sunday September 9th we will take a two hour train ride from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, China.  We should arrive in Guangzhou at 3 pm on Sunday.

While in Guangzhou, we will be staying at the Garden Hotel.  We will have Sunday afternoon to get settled into the hotel, and on Monday, September 10th, we will finally meet Alexa for the first time!  

After that, our days will be filled with adoption appointments to complete paperwork, medical exams, obtain passports and visas.  We will have a few scattered days between appointments to tour the city and get a feel for what Alexa's birth country is like.  We hope to spend one day traveling about three hours by car to Jiang Cheng to visit her orphanage and see the town where she spent her first 2 1/2 years.  On Tuesday, September 18th we have our appointment at the Consulate in Guangzhou, our last official appointment of the process.  We should receive her passport and visa on September 19th, at which point we are free to fly out to Beijing that evening.

We will arrive in Beijing after midnight the morning of September 20th.  Because we are traveling partially on frequent flyer points, we could not get flights home until September 22nd.   We will spend two days in Beijing seeing the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden Palace, and some of the Olympic Venues from 2008.  We leave Beijing the morning of September 22nd and will arrive home mid-morning on September 23rd.

Lord willing, I will be updating the blog with pictures of our adventure and sharing how the trip is progressing.  We greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our journey to become the Jenkins Party of 7!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The first picture we saw of her on the Advocate's  Website
Her Second Birthday Party, March 15, 2012

The Most Recent Picture of Alexa

I have finally started a blog for our adoption of our beautiful 2 year old daughter.  I'm pretty sure that with Keira's adoption I was in the dozens of posts by the time we got to this point.   In the era of Facebook and Twitter, the whole blog thing is harder for me to keep up with.  Not one of the kids have baby books that are even sorta kind of accurate, and I have never done a single scrapbook or cutesy photo album.  So, this blog is really just to let you follow along on our journey of the next few weeks while we wait to travel, and to let you know how things are going on the trip.   Not a lot of deep thoughts coming your way from this girl.  I recognize my limitations and fully embrace them!   However, we do want to keep those family members and friends who are not fans of social media updated on our progress.   Even if you don't do Facebook, we still love you!

For those who are not quite up to speed, we started the process to adopt our 5th child last October.  In January we requested to be matched with Jiang Song Ke.  We found her on a website that advocates for waiting children in China.  The funny part about that is that the reason that we looked at her file was because the name they had given her file was Keira!  They use pseudonyms to protect their privacy, and out of all the girl names in the world that was the one they assigned her file.    We were matched the first week of January, and we have decided to call her Alexa Jenkins.  Alexa is 26 months old and she is currently living in the Jiang Cheng SWI (Social Welfare Institute- what we would call an orphanage) in Jiangcheng, Guangdong Province, China.  Our adoption is being processed through the special needs program in China.  Alexa does have a history of some neurological issues, but they are issues we feel comfortable we can handle.

Yesterday was a huge day in our adoption process.  We received our Travel Approval from China.  This means that we will be going to China next month to bring Alexa home!  Liam and Cade will travel with us, while Zane and Keira get to stay home and bask in being spoiled by both of their Grandmothers.  We are very grateful to have supportive family and friends that will make sure that the kids at home are taken care of while we travel.   We expect to travel September 6-23rd.  We covet your prayers over the next few weeks and can't wait for you to meet her.