Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 28- More observations from Todd

-Pedestrians, if they enjoy their health, will yield to all motorized vehicles. Vehicles yield to no one including, older people, dads named Todd pushing strollers, or bicycles
-Elizabeth's large wide open eyes are captivating to the Chinese. The Chinese think that large open eyes are a very good thing
-I have eaten bacon every day since Saturday and I still love it.
-Most of the retailers here will remember your name in hopes that you will patronize their establishment
-Elizabeth can instantly go from playing and cooing to a full blown cry without a breathe. I have not heard a child do this before. She can also stop instantly.
-All of the hotel workers that deal with the public regularly have American names that they have given themselves. They know that Americans have a hard time pronouncing their names.
-The men of Calvary Baptist have been working very hard on the floor of our home
-When I look into the eyes of the Chinese I see the same lostness and emptiness that I see in Americans eyes. The difference is the Chinese will tell you clearly they are not Christians whereas Americans will tell you they are.I suppose Americans think by virtue of birthplace they are Christians.
-I have seen a tatoo on one person, who was an American male.
-What has made James Cameron so smart now? Maybe I smell a movie coming. Or is he a theologian?
-The smog is pretty thick here. I have not seen a blue sky yet.
-I am thankful for WAFJ 88.3 in Augusta for piping christian music over the internet
More to come...

I love the toothy grin! Sounds like y'all are getting along well there. Love the pictures!
Posted by: Kim O on February 27, 2007 at 05:46 P.M.
Did you have squidburgers or hamburgers at McDonalds?Love,DanielShari's youngest cousin
Posted by: Daniel Hall on February 27, 2007 at 07:13 P.M.
Hey, that toilet looks like "une toilette à la turque" or the Turkish toilet that I refused to use in France!!!Bisous!!!
Posted by: Tante Cheri on February 27, 2007 at 07:23 P.M.
Yep, she looks more like an Upchurch everyday (especially that huge grin)! We're so glad to see ya'll are doing so well there. We love the "Observations from Todd" keep it up!Praying Daily....
Posted by: Melissa and Granny on February 27, 2007 at 07:31 P.M.
So glad things are continuing to go well. Love the BIG smile on her face--amazing what "family" can do! And the pic of that sweet foot and toes is too cute.
Posted by: Lisa Breedlove on February 28, 2007 at 05:51 A.M.
I know you guys are glad you found the McDonalds. Elizabeth looks so happy. Take care.
Posted by: Paula on February 28, 2007 at 06:04 A.M.
i have really been enjoying the observations and especially the photos. congrats to you all! i just can't wait to meet her!
Posted by: lisa hoffman on February 28, 2007 at 09:22 A.M.
Daniel, the hamburgers here in China are EXACTLY like the ones in the US!! No joke!! Maybe one day you'll be over this way and you can try them, too!!His,Shari
Posted by: Shari on March 3, 2007 at 04:38 A.M.

Monday, February 26, 2007

February 26- More observations from Todd

-I still have to think about it when I type February

-Boy, I wished I'd paid attention to metrics in school

-I heard today that the Pearl River Delta (what I am sure is the water source for Guangzhou) is 10 times more polluted than the East River

-The Chinese people are very friendly

-Today we went to finalize the adoption paperwork at the Civil Affairs Bureau. We get the document tomorrow stating this-We have seen a man every morning swimming in the Delta. WOW!

-According to my bride Diet Coke is not the same as China's Coke Light-According to me Coke is not the same as Coke in the states

-The dollar will buy you more in China than in the states

-What hamburgers are to us noodles and congee is to the Chinese

-When you severely overcook rice you have congee

-If you stay in the White Swan in China you had better get the breakfast bar in the mornings

-The effects of Communism are very apparent in this place

-When you think you have it hard and are not pleased with your house, you need to see what these people live like.


AMEN to the last observation Todd! I hope things are still going well and everyone is staying healthy. How did Elizabeth do your first full day with her?
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 26, 2007 at 05:47 A.M.

I love the foot eating picture. Too cute!
Posted by: Big Brother on February 26, 2007 at 05:53 A.M.

I would just like to through in the little luxury that we have back here......the FDA. Something many of us complain about. But as I can see from the above pictures, you have had an unfortunate run in with the FDA lack thereof.It is amazing what ppl call a "home". There were many times during this process that I became angry that I had to prove myself worthy, and think about the state in which the children they keep live in. There has never been one doubt in my mind or heart or soul that we have all done the right thing, that our daughters will be so much better off. Now that you have seen the way the Chinese working class lives, imagine what our daughters would live like being the lowest of low in the social heirarchy. They are all so precious. Soon you will be home and Elizabeth will offically be a CHAP( Chinese -American Princess) AND ALL will be right in the world......Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 26, 2007 at 06:34 A.M.

Hey Upchurch family. Elizabeth is so adorable. I just can't get over it. I hope she gets to feeling better soon. Goodness how adorable is she!
Posted by: Paula on February 26, 2007 at 06:38 A.M.

I absolutely love viewing the pictures of Elizabeth in your arms - finally! God is so very good!
Posted by: Connie J on February 26, 2007 at 06:44 A.M.

Todd and Shari,Congratulations! Elizabeth is even more beautiful than her referral pictures. I'm so happy for you all. I know you are enjoying finally having her in your family. I hope she feels better soon.
Posted by: Bethany on February 26, 2007 at 11:35 A.M.

The pictures are great! Elizabeth is a beautiful child, and so very fortunate to have parents such as you. May God continue to bless. We are counting the days to your arrival home.
Posted by: Don & Pat McCorkle on February 26, 2007 at 11:45 A.M.

Hi Hope Elizabeth is feeling better. She is so precious. I just love the pictures. She looks a lot different in your pictures than the other ones.
Posted by: Helen Phillips on February 26, 2007 at 12:18 P.M.

We're in love! She is so so beautiful! We are so happy to see you all finally together. Let us know if you need anything! We love and miss you!
Posted by: Granny and Melissa on February 26, 2007 at 04:22 P.M.

Hey ya'll i hope she is feeling better now.Love that morter and pestle I can really appreciate that! We love and miss you. Let me get back to my CHICK-FIL-A now! JUST KIDDIN!!!!
Posted by: Casey on February 26, 2007 at 07:21 P.M.

We can't wait to meet Elizabeth!!!! She is adorable. Grandmother wants to meet her as soon as you can get down to Mobile.I do not speak Chinese so I'll say "au revoir et à bientôt." Nous vous aimons!!!Tante Cheri et tous à Mobile, en Alabama.P.S. Tell Josh to teach her to say "War Eagle."
Posted by: Aunt Cheri and all on February 26, 2007 at 07:45 P.M.

Elizabeth is just beautiful, she looks like a little doll!! I hope she is feeling better soon!Love,Kelli
Posted by: Kelli on February 26, 2007 at 08:52 P.M.

I'm so excited for you all. You are missed and we are all axniously awaiting your return. The pictures are just lovely--more,more! Hope you are seeing interesting sights and enjoying your stay. Be safe. Linda Patchin
Posted by: Linda Patchin on February 27, 2007 at 12:48 P.M

February 26- More Observations from Todd

The reason that I choose to post observations is for those of you that know me I do not care for a lot of details. I need the jest of it and I am fine. Most of you know what I mean. Too many details and I am gone.

-Fatherhood is still a WONDERFUL thing-America is a great place to be from and live-Being able to put your toothbrush under the faucet's water is a great thing

-On that note; the first toothbrush is believed to have been invented in China

-Philly cheesesteaks twice in a row from the same americanized delivery place in China named Danny's can do amazing things with your colon. Hey, I'm just being honest

-Almost all men that I have seen smoke. I have not seen one woman that smokes. It is looked down on for women to smoke.

-Baked Beans on a breakfast buffet??

-I am convinced that the water that comes out of the faucet is from the Pearl River Delta

-If you have not been to China and are planning to come you better learn the game Charades.

-Elizabeth sleeps through the night!!

More later...

I have enjoyed reading your observations! They take me back to China and I can get a good chuckle knowing excatly what you mean. I'm so glad that Elizabeth slept through the night!!! That's wonderful. Neither one of ours did the first night.Have a great day!!
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 25, 2007 at 03:38 P.M.
I love you family photo!!! I have to agree with Melissa, it's nice to relive this through you and know that we are all normal when it comes to cultural submersion. Those crazy people that say, "it was the best time of my life, I loved every minute of it!!!", must have gotten alot of crazy genes.I did however enjoy the time spent and feel very blessed to have had the experience, it makes you realize how fabulous we have it here in the USA!!!!I promise, when you look back a year from noww, as we are doing, you will realize how much fun you really did have and what a blessing the entire experience is. We are at that point now.I am happy to hear that Miss E. is sleeping through the night and hope she continues to do so. You will need her to do that when you lag back here at home................Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 25, 2007 at 05:09 P.M.
Praise the Lord-She sleeps through the night. What a wonderful thing to hear.Also, they had the baked beans on the buffet 2 years ago too. We stuck with the omelets, chicken nuggets and tator tots. Enjoy that sweet bundle of love!
Posted by: Kim O on February 25, 2007 at 07:51 P.M.
Your PW sisters have been praying for you, and continue to do so. And they are REJOICING in the Lord with you - thanking Him for blessing you with such a precious, precious wee girl. She is absolutely beautiful!!!!!! And so are you Shari. How absolutely delightful to see you cradling your darling baby, holding her, feeding her, loving her. Your photos have made me weep with Joy - for all of you.Speaking of photos, how surprised I was to see you have some posted already. You must've received Elizabeth on Sunday night (China time). I was certain you said you'd be receiving her Monday. How absolutely lovely that you didn't have to wait that extra night. Methinks you'd waited long enough!Congratulations to you all. Surely our God is good - all the time!!!Blessings,Debbie
Posted by: Debbie Yuck on February 25, 2007 at 09:18 P.M.
Hurray!!! I finally checked your site and am rejoicing with you! Can't wait to meet your daughter... Thanks for all your great posts and pictures. Almost makes me feel like I'm there (except I can run my toothbrush under my faucet). ;-)
Posted by: Kirsten on February 25, 2007 at 10:55 P.M.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

February 25- The Day of Blessing

We have Elizabeth!!!!!!! Her little face has had some irritation which is common. In her pictures I thought she was much bigger. When they brought her in she was a little thing. She stayed so calm.

This is one of the most wonderful days of our lives Elizabeth all because of the Lord and you. You bring SO MUCH joy, love, and happiness with you. The Lord has blessed our lives with you. Now you are ours. Now you will always be Elizabeth Ann Upchurch, my mei mei.
Posted by: Big Brother on February 25, 2007 at 02:47 A.M.

Hey everybody! Watch a video of Elizabeth playing by putting in this
Posted by: Big Brother on February 25, 2007 at 03:37 A.M.

Prayers have been answered for you guys. She is beautiful. Congratulations.Jennnifer
Posted by: jennifer on February 25, 2007 at 04:52 A.M.

Congratulations! I'm so happy for y'all! She is just beautiful. I love how she is holding your finger in the third photo. May God bless this time of transition for her and strengthen the bonding process.
Posted by: Kim on February 25, 2007 at 05:41 A.M.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! to the whole family! I know you will never forget this day. I'm so glad that you finally have her and she has you. We'll be praying for a smooth transition and continued health for everyone while you are there.
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 25, 2007 at 05:54 A.M.

Congratulations on your amazing little blessing! She is just adorable. Praying for you.
Posted by: Dusty on February 25, 2007 at 06:03 A.M.

Praise the Lord...together at last! Elizabeth is even more beautiful in your arms! Praying that the rest of the trip will go smoothly.
Posted by: Lisa Breedlove on February 25, 2007 at 06:28 A.M.
Hey, it was great chatting with you and I know you will be great!!!!!!!!!! if you need anything, I will check in with you later in the week.Thanks for sharing your amazing and phantasmagoric adventure!!!!!!!!!....Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 25, 2007 at 07:07 A.M.

I am looking through the pictures for the hundreth time I am sure. I wanted to point out to you that in the picture of you feeding Elizabth her bottle that she is making really great eye contact with you. This is a great sign that she is trying to attach to you. I suggest humming a little tune and using the same song consistently. I sing a special nite time song to the girlies and when they are upset I use it to clam them throughout the day time. Keep up the good work.Did you take a front carrier? If you did make sure you use it in the face to face position. I notice on alot of web-sites that ppl put them facing out so they can see where they are going, that is fine encourage bonding and attachment from the getgo, get as much "face-time" as you can. The front facing position also encourages you to wrap your arms around her, where the out position kinda leaves her hanging, if you know what I mean.....loveya, Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 25, 2007 at 08:29 A.M.

How wonderful!! You all look so happy and Elizabeth is gorgeous!! Welcome to your new family Elizabeth!
Posted by: anne, gunther and lexie on February 25, 2007 at 08:43 A.M.

Congratulations Upchurch Family!!! She is absolutely beautiful! I am so excited for all of you and can't wait to follow the rest of your journey. We will certainly have to have another Peach gathering so that we can meet Miss Elizabeth soon!!Milledge and Angie
Posted by: Angie Wells on February 25, 2007 at 09:17 A.M.

She is beautiful! I am so excited for you!! Congratulations!!Today is just the beginning of so many more precious years to come!
Posted by: Jennifer Posey on February 25, 2007 at 09:56 A.M.

So happy for you!!! Elizabeth is another beautiful China Peach. Praying for you.Marye Gary Iris and Anna
Posted by: Marye McKenney on February 25, 2007 at 01:48 P.M.

She is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!(Shari, those exclamation points are just for you.) :-) Love, Noelle
Posted by: noelle on February 25, 2007 at 02:45 P.M.

Congratulations! Your daughter is precious. She seems to be comfortable with you. Thats because she can feel your love for her. Be safe, and enjoy the trip.
Posted by: Paula on February 25, 2007 at 07:13 P.M.

February 25- More observations from Todd

Yesterday at the end of our meeting with the guides I talked to a nice fellow in our group about mindless stuff. One of the things that he mentioned is that when you leave this island (our hotel is on Shamian Island) things will be different. Well this piqued my interest because Josh and I wanted to venture out into Guangzhou proper and see real life.

**Keep in mind that I am not being negative here, I am just making observations that stand out.**

-Well, he was right. When you leave the island (just a short walk) things start changing fast. You will be stared at like you are an alien with 4 heads.

-What you and I call pets they call food.

-I would bet that the places of business here have never had a health inspector visit.

-McDonald’s here in Guangzhou is great.

-There has not been one internet site that has been blocked for me. I think staying in this “American friendly” hotel might have something to do with it.

-The men here love to play mahjong. I was invited to play yesterday with a group of men on the mainland who could not speak a lick of English.

-Men and women have their hacky sacks and are amazing with them.

-The island that we are on is American friendly and the people here are very eager for your business.

-On the mainland Josh and I saw a cute cat running for his life with several adults right on his tail. Pet? Food? Who knows.

-Josh and I saw an overweight dachshund walking around amidst the market area. Lucky chap.

-Young Chinese people want to practice their English on you. The older ones are kind but curious.

If anyone has any questions we will do whatever to answer them. It doesn't matter what kind of question it is, ask it.

More to come…


I am glad to hear all is well! We miss you and I hope you don't eat to many stange things there. I'm glad you didn't take Bandit with you. HA!HA!
Posted by: casey on February 24, 2007 at 06:41 P.M.

Hey Todd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, I forgot to tell you, be VERY VERY VERY weery of "pets". No Rabies vac required in China. Peace-out, Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 24, 2007 at 08:21 P.M.

You forgot my favorite part: We walked down the narrow, stone alley and saw a huge, dead rat on a pile of grain and stones. I jumped when I saw that fat thing.
Posted by: Big Brother on February 24, 2007 at 10:05 P.M.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

February 24- Saturday happenings...

Today was full of new adventures for us. It started off with eating breakfast at the infamous buffet here at the White Swan. It is a huge breakfast buffet with everything from cereal to by request omelets and yogurt to French toast. YUM!
After breakfast, we headed to a meeting with our travel group. Our CCAI guides, Kathy and Jocelyn, went over the way things will progress when we received our babies tomorrow. We will leave the White Swan at 2:00 PM, drive to the Civil Affairs Bureau by 2:30 and we should get our babies about 3:00! Elizabeth Ann will be here TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At the meeting, Kathy and Jocelyn gave us each a copy of the routine that our child has followed at their orphanage. Also included was how to make their bottles (a bit different from the way it’s done in the US) along with a box of formula and what they call “rice” cereal (it says “Chinese Yam and Barley Cereal” on the package).
When we got back to our rooms, we found Going Home Barbie waiting for us!! On the back of the box she's in it says "This souvenir is presented by Mattel to adopting parents of Chinese orphan children staying at the White Swan Hotel, Guangzhou, China." If you will notice in the picture Barbie is an American mommy and the baby is Asian. What a wonderful gift for Elizabeth!!!
Joshua decided to go to dinner with most of our travel group tonight. They went to a local Cantonese restaurant- you know, REAL Chinese food. He has some interesting tales to tell about the experience there. Be sure and ask him about it.
Todd, Leslie and I decided to stay back and order dinner from a place called Danny’s Bagels. There’s more than just bagels there. Todd ordered a Cheese Steak Sandwich and Leslie and I shared a BBQ Chicken Pizza- COMFORT FOOD, let me tell ya!!!!
Right before heading to bed, a lady that works for the hotel came to our room and asked “May I turn down your bed for you?” She quickly proceeded to neatly and accurately fold the bedspread, fluff the pillows and unwrinkled the sheets. She left the two little red packages for us on our pillows, too, with chocolates in them!
Thank you soooo much for those that are praying for us!! The prayers definitely were felt today as we are all starting to feel a little more “normal”. Keep praying, though, because starts a big adjustment time for Elizabeth!!
We miss you all!!!

I'm so glad that everything is going so well so far! The staff at the White Swan is SO wonderful! They will do any you need. They are definately hard working. Danny's has great mac & cheese also. It's more than enough to share with someone. I'm glad that you all are starting to feel more "normal". Get a good nights sleep tomorrow will be a day you will never forget. :o)Melissa
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 24, 2007 at 07:51 A.M.
We will be praying for you and Elizabeth. How exciting, I bet you can't wait!
Posted by: Tanya on February 24, 2007 at 08:23 A.M.
I can't wait to see Elizabeth in your arms! We're waiting here with excitement for you!
Posted by: Connie J on February 24, 2007 at 08:57 A.M.
Glad that you made it safely! Danny's Bagels was a favorite of ours in Guangzhou, too. Can't wait to see the Elizabeth pictures tomorrow. :-)
Posted by: Dusty on February 24, 2007 at 07:42 P.M.

February 24- Observations from Todd

Here are a few things that I have observed since 3 am.

-Every room in our hotel has a hotpot so that you can boil the water.The water is not to be drunk until it has been boiled. From what I hear the locals do not drink it.

-Be grateful everytime you put your toothbrush under the faucet's water. (Pat Tracy you were dead-on with this one.)

-It is recommended that no fresh fruits or veggies be eaten until they are cooked. (See above)

-The workers that we have encountered so far would embarrass American workers. Their (China) work ethic is amazing. They anticipate your next move and want to help you.

-On that note. something that bothers me in America is when I tell someone "thank you" they reply "no problem."Did I say there was a problem? I thought when someone says "thank you" that you are supposed to say "you're welcome."Here in China they actually say "your welcome."

-Be thankful for every english speaking TV station. All we have is HBO, ESPN, AND CNN. (Mr. Don I am starving for FoxNEWS. At least I have the internet to read Fox's site.) Watching CNN is absolutely torture. For those of you that don't know me I am a proud conservative and cannot stand liberal politics. So CNN is draining the life out of me like Superman and cryptonite.
I will have more observations later.


If you don't have normally sensitive stomachs, you should be able to eat watermelon and oranges with no problem. For the first week of our trip, we adhered strictly to the no fresh veggies/fruits, but then we started trying things as we finished up in Nanjing. We had no problems with fruits that have to be "peeled"...melons, grapefruit, etc. My husband and I were stuck to FoxNews because we got so sick of CNN. Hehehe....have fun!Mary
Posted by: Mary on February 23, 2007 at 04:34 P.M.

Hang in there. this too shall pass.God loves you and He is watching out for you. He said I will never leave nor forsake you, so stand on that promise because He is trustworthy. When we lose faith He remains faithful so just trust Him.Job said "shall we accept good from God and not bad?"I have a large number of people praying for you for these next days and we will continue to do so. God has great and marvelous things in store for Elizabeth and I cannot wait to see her.God Bless
Posted by: grandpa and grammy on February 23, 2007 at 07:36 P.M.

So Todd.....have you had a bacon cheese burger yet? Watch out for the egg. I wash cloth over the faucet, will curb your desire to run water over your toothbrush.Well boys and girls, there is little time left for you, tomorrow Elizabeth will be with her new family, and the newest "UP"will be the best "high" you have ever had. WE are thinking of you, know that you are in our thoughts and prayer and our hearts runneth got my number.....night or day.............Peace out, Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 23, 2007 at 09:01 P.M.

This place does have it's ups and downs, but all in all, we are here to get Elizabeth. She is our wonderful goal.
Posted by: Big Brother on February 23, 2007 at 10:09 P.M.

I know exactly how you feel about CNN! Once you get Elizabeth, nothing else will matter. China has it's ups and downs, but at least it makes us appreciate what we have here in the United States.I sit here Saturday morning in GA and knowing that sometime in the next 18 hours or so you will be getting Elizabeth. Little does she know how wonderful her world is about to be, even if she doesn't realize it at first. I just can't wait until the morning to see pictures of all of you with Elizabeth!Try to get a good nights sleep. :o)Melisssa
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 24, 2007 at 05:40 A.M.

Todd,When we were there, there was a National Geographic channel. We learned all about an extinct monster elk. That sucker was huge.As far as CNN goes, either take a walk or prayer for them. Either on should help!!!Our prayers are with you!!!!Cris
Posted by: Cris Ward on February 24, 2007 at 02:23 P.M.

Another proud conservative waiting dad here. I am enjoying your trip so far. We are LID 10/28/05 so our turn is coming soon.
Posted by: Charles on February 26, 2007 at 02:02 P.M.

Friday, February 23, 2007

February 23- We're in China!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot believe it!!!! We are in Elizabeth's country of birth!!!!!

We left our home Wednesday morning at 11:00 AM, flew out of Atlanta at 5:30 PM to Los Angeles. We had about a 4 hour layover there (horrible airport, by the way). We boarded the plane to China and had a 15 hour flight to China. We arrived here Friday morning here in Guangzhou at 7:00 AM (which would be 6:00 PM Thursday night in Georgia- y'all are 13 hours behind us).

I had NO idea how hard a 15 hour flight would be. Not only was it incredibly long, but I discovered just how claustrophobic I am!!!!

We were greeted by CCAI's wonderful hosts at the airport- Kathy and Jocelyn. They picked us up and brought us and other families in our travel group to the famous White Swan Hotel on Shamian Island in Guangzhou. This is such a beautiful hotel! We are definitely being spoiled here.
We've spent our day today getting settled into the hotel and walking around Shamian Island. This is such a lovely place and very unlike any other area in China- it was once a British and French settlement so the architecture reflects that style.

We ate lunch at the famous restaurant called Lucy's. It's supposed to have more American style food. While not as good as if we were in America, we'll probably go again before we leave.

OH!!!! Major news flash!!!!!! Most of y'all know that I am a HUGE Diet Coke fan. Well, they do NOT have Diet Coke here!!! They have something called Coke Light that they said tasted just like Diet Coke, BUT IT DOESN'T!!!!!!!! So I will not be able to have a Diet Coke until March 9 when we get to Los Angeles!!!!!!!

We are all more tired than any of us ever imagined we would be. We all look forward to a long nights sleep tonight. However, the beds are as hard as a rock!! So I guess our backs will have to get used to them before we can sleep really really well.
Tomorrow we have a big group meeting and may have a group dinner at a local Chinese restaurant (surprise!!).

PLEASE keep praying for us!! And PLEASE pray for Elizabeth!! Her world is going to be completely changed in a mere 2 days.

More later!!!!!!


We are glad to here that you made it safely there. we will be praying for a good first meeting with Elizabeth. We will also be praying for your safe and good visit and safe return.In God We Trust EverythingDavid
Posted by: David & Melissa M. on February 23, 2007 at 03:51 A.M.

Hi guys. We are glad that you made it. Try the Green Apple Fanta's from the 7-11. They are wonderful :). We are saying our prayers for you guys. Jennifer C.
Posted by: Jennifer on February 23, 2007 at 05:36 A.M.

Good morning. I am so glad you made the trip ok.I hope you have a good visit. I know you can't wait to have Elizabeth in your arms. I also continue to pray for all of you.Helen P.
Posted by: Helen on February 23, 2007 at 05:51 A.M.

Glad to hear that you have made it safely!!!!Just so you know, I don't have a lot of sympathy for you regarding the diet coke, the beds, and how tired you would be when you got there. I WARNED YOU!!!!!!!In all seriousness, congratulations!!!!! Have a wonderful trip and bring Elizabeth home safely!!!!!CrisFather of Emilie-Ann JieYu and Leah FuXiao
Posted by: Cris Ward on February 23, 2007 at 06:07 A.M.

Yay! You're there! I'm so glad you had a safe trip, and I can't wait to hear all about your first days with Elizabeth. We love you guys!Lisa
Posted by: lisa hoffman on February 23, 2007 at 06:18 A.M.

I'm SO excited for you. Reading your post I almost cried. I know you will have a trip of a lifetime. It's Friady night there, so when you wake...only one more day to Elizabeth! It's in times like these that you experience God in such a big way. We'll be praying!Melissa
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 23, 2007 at 06:22 A.M.

So glad you made it there safely. I agree with you about the claustrophobia thing on the plane. But the tight plane and hard beds are worth it. I can't wait to see Elizabeth in your arms!!!
Posted by: Kim on February 23, 2007 at 06:41 A.M.

SORRY!!!!.....I forgot about Coke LITE!!!! does not translate into madarin AND ppl will not buy something with diet on the lable. The Chinese are not pre-occupied with dieting like we Americans are. Try the deli on the same side street as the White Swan, when you come out the street side doors go to your left, the have great bakery items and yummy yougurts to drink!!!!!!........take care, Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 23, 2007 at 07:19 A.M.

I look forward to keeping up with you journal each day. In 2004, we found the best meal in all of China at a restaurant on Second Avenue on Shamian Island, a steak that tasted like steak, ice cream that tasted like home....Have a blessed journey. Robbie
Posted by: Robbie Mattox on February 23, 2007 at 07:37 A.M.

I'm so excited for you! I hope everything goes well and we will be praying for Miss Elizabeth. We once went to the coke museum in Atlanta and tried drinks form China, and you're right, it tastes horrible. Drink bottled water, there isn't much they can do to mess that up.
Posted by: Becky, Marcus, and Madelyn McGhee on February 23, 2007 at 08:11 A.M.

Wow!! So glad you made it okay. Rest today and get ready for the time of your lives! I can't wait to see pics of you with Elizabeth. Go to the Thai restaurant on Shamian Island-it was my favorite!! Tell Kathy hi from Anne, Gunther and Alexandra-travel group 1078!I am loving reading your blog!
Posted by: Anne, Gunther and Lexie on February 23, 2007 at 08:11 A.M.

Monday, February 19, 2007

February 19- What about the pets?

Most people that have pets consider them important. The same is also true of us. Being away for a couple of weeks can make one worry about the state of their pets. But I have to say...that is not an issue with us. We have it taken care of.

How? you ask. His name is Walter. He is my friend and my right-hand man. He cares for our pets when we are gone as if they were his own.

As we leave, we can rest assured that Sam, Martin and Katie are in good hands with Mr. Walter.


YOU ARE IN CHINA NOW!!!!!!!!It'S 10 am in Guangzhou, and a nice day. I hope you have had some rest and are seeing the sites of the Pearl River Delta, they are beautiful! Be sure to take one last stroll alone on the river at twillight. Reflect on how far you have come in the journey and how truly marvelous it is. I am thinking of you, praying for you and shedding many tears of joy for you both. My heart if full reliving this time through you and Elizabeth.Loveya, Sals
Posted by: Sally on February 22, 2007 at 07:40 P.M.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

February 17- A video of Elizabeth

Recently Shari got in touch with a lady who adopted from the same orphanage that we are adopting from. She was at the orphanage in late December. God, in His great providential way, saw to it to have that family film several things including some of the little ones. You guessed it…she was able to film our Elizabeth for a few moments.

This site that you are presently on does not have the video. If you will copy and paste this address into your browser you will be taken to the video.

She is the last child you will see before the ladies start talking together. She is lying on her stomach with a Snoopy (oh yeah Casey!) top and red pants. Of course being her Dad I think she is the cutest little one on the video.


Shari,This is priceless. We have several pictures people took of Rachel when they were at Yangchun but no video. This will be a special treasure for you.God bless!Tamara (another Yangchun mom)
Posted by: Tamara Arant on February 17, 2007 at 09:14 P.M.

How awesome! I can't wait to see the pics of you with her!
Posted by: anne (another YangChun Mom) on February 18, 2007 at 08:42 A.M.

Hi, guys! This is just awesome! I am so excited for all of you. What a wonderful little teaser this video clip is. In just a few days you'll be off to get her, and I just can't wait to hear all about it and meet sweet Elizabeth! You are all in our prayers. Lisa Hoffman
Posted by: Anonymous on February 18, 2007 at 09:30 A.M.

I loved seeing you Elizabeth. Just a few more days and you'll be in our arms!
Posted by: Big Brother on February 18, 2007 at 12:58 P.M.

How amazing! congratulations and best of luck in your travels. We are awaiting the arrival of our baby girl from Korea and only have two pictures. How blessed you are to receive such a special video!
Posted by: Tracey Smith on February 18, 2007 at 03:33 P.M.

I can't view the video (dial-up), but I wanted to take a quick moment to pray God's blessing upon you as you travel in just a few days.I don't suspect you'll actually get to post too much while you're away - you're going to be very preoccupied you know - but I'll greatly anticipate hearing of your entire trip once you've recovered sufficiently from jetlag after your return. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace. And may the Holy Spirit go before you and prepare darling Elizabeth for your meeting. God Bless you all. Enjoy this very, very special time.Debbie
Posted by: Debbie Yuck on February 19, 2007 at 07:48 P.M.

Friday, February 16, 2007

February 16- Fun things at home...

Yes, you are looking at a picture of baby food jars. YIPPPPEEEEE!!!! I HAVE BABY FOOD JARS IN MY HOME!! Some of y'all just may be laughing at that comment, but I've been waiting for 37 years to have a baby!! Baby food jars, smelly diapers, spit up, crying in the middle of the night- I am looking forward to ALL of it, the good and the not-so-good. :)
This little dolly is from Elizabeth's soon-to-be-new-friend, Leah. Leah is almost 3 and she's from China, too! She sent Elizabeth this sweet doll named Calin Yang and a fun puzzle, too!! Thank you, Leah!!!

I am so excited to meet my little cousin (only by 2 months), Elizabeth!!! We are going to have a GREAT time playing together over at Grammy and Grandpa's house!!! I love you already!!Love,Sarah
Posted by: Sarah Farley on February 16, 2007 at 09:42 A.M.
I know how you feel about the good and the bad. It's all great. (Well, most of the time :o) ) I wouldn't trade any of it for anything! Have a great trip!
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 17, 2007 at 08:11 A.M.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

February 14- Our Itinerary

2/21 Leave the U.S. for Guangzhou.

2/22 Families still en route…

2/23 Families arrive in Guangzhou.

2/24 Group: A group meeting will be held to prepare paperwork, fees and gifts.Your CCAI rep will be giving you detailed instructions regarding your daily schedule and paperwork.

2/25 Please be sure you are dressed in Business Casual attire for today’s events. Thank you! Go to the Provincial Civil Affairs Office this afternoon to receive your child. Congratulations! The children will be delivered by the Orphanage Director and orphanage staff.

2/26 Adoption Registration and Notarization.An optional shopping trip to the local department store for supplies. Pay as you go.

2/27 Receive your child’s adoption registration certificate today.Apply for your child’s passport.

2/28 Free time. Optional city tours are available. Waiting for adoption paperwork.

3/1 Your child’s visa physical exam and visa photo will be today. You will be walking to the clinic. Bring baby/child supplies (bottle, diaper, water, snack, etc.). Be ready to go!3/2-4 Free time. Rest, shop, tour Waiting for adoption paperwork.

3/5 Group meeting today (only 1 parent per family please) to prepare paperwork for the Consulate appointment.

3/6 Receive your child’s passport today.3/7 Today is your Consulate appointment.

3/8 Go to the U.S. Consulate to take the oath in the afternoon. Note: The U.S. Consulate prohibits your adult travel companions from entering the building. Your adult travel companions must remain at the hotel.

Receive your child’s visa packet at the U.S. Consulate.DO NOT OPEN YOUR CHILD’S VISA PACKET!

3/9 Families leave Guangzhou for the U.S.3/10 Welcome Home to Georgia!


WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Less than a week before you leave. I know you are getting excited. Are you staying at the White Swan?
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 15, 2007 at 06:56 A.M.

hurray! We will be praying every step of the way!
Posted by: Frank & Darlene on February 15, 2007 at 06:11 P.M.

Monday, February 12, 2007

February 12- Plane tickets are here!!!

Yep, here they are- OUR PLANE TICKETS!!! These arriving today makes this seem all the more real to me. We're NOT waiting anymore to find out about Elizabeth. She IS real!! We ARE going to get her NEXT WEEK!!!
Why are there 5 plane tickets? Aren't only 4 people going over? Well, the fifth ticket is Elizabeth's for her trip HOME!! The four adults have round-trip tickets but Elizabeth's is one way- the way home.
And yes, the ticket is in her Chinese name (Yang Chun Hua Bing) because she will be issued a passport with her Chinese name. We will change it all to Elizabeth Ann once we arrive back home. :)

ok ok ok thay got the tickets, all that is left is to go get her next week yahoo troops!!!
Posted by: walter on February 12, 2007 at 06:19 P.M.
Congratulations!!! What an amazing day for you all! Just a few more days and she will be in your arms!!!
Posted by: Mary on February 13, 2007 at 01:57 P.M.
I love the sound of "one way ticket".....kinda makes me think of our salvation...there's no turning back!
Posted by: Melissa on February 15, 2007 at 09:33 A.M.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

February 10- SHE SMILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once again, the Lord has blessed us with another photo of Elizabeth Ann!!!

This picture was taken on December 28, 2006. Another family was there visiting the Yangchun Comprehensive Welfare Institute (otherwise known as an orphanage) where they adopted their daughter from a few years ago. They were able to take pictures of almost all of the babies in the orphange and Elizabeth just happened to be one of them!!!!

We are SO excited about this photo because it is the first picture we've received with her SMILING!!!!!!! Her whole face is smiling and we are thrilled to death with that big grin!!!!


Oh Shari!! What a beautiful smile Elizabeth has! And look at her little teeth!What are we going to do for the next 11 days??
Posted by: Jill on February 10, 2007 at 09:58 P.M.

Oh my gosh! That picture is beautiful! She looks so happy as if to say "I'm happy you are coming to get me Mommy!" And look at those bottome teeth!!!
Posted by: Kim on February 12, 2007 at 08:59 A.M.

Her face is saying, "I'm ready Mom and Dad for you to come get me."
Posted by: Big Brother on February 15, 2007 at 08:51 A.M.

Friday, February 9, 2007

February 9- The Flight...

We just booked our flight with our travel agency, Lotus Travel, Inc. Here's what the schedule is. Remember, when reading this, take into account the time differences in each state or continent.
DL=Delta CZ=China Southern airline
DL 395T 21FEB WE Atlanta/Los angeles 530P 732PCZ 328G 21FEB WE Los angeles/Guangzhou 1150P 650A + 2 days (arrival on 23 Feb)
CZ 327H 09MAR FR Guangzhou/Los angeles 900P 550P
DL 986L 09MAR FR Los angeles/Atlanta 1155P 700A + 1 day (arrival on 10 Mar)
Next week we should have an itinerary from our adoption agency, CCAI. We will share it as soon as we have it.

ok you got yout schedule next going there & back, be careful & be safe ok
Posted by: walter on February 11, 2007 at 06:12 P.M.
WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I know how excited you are!!!!!! I can't wait to follow along your journey and see pictures of you holding, kissing and loving in Elizabeth!!!!!!!!! Have a wonderful trip.
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 11, 2007 at 07:25 P.M.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

February 8- A shower for Elizabeth!

We are so blessed. Our sweet church family gave us a shower this past Saturday for Elizabeth. Sooo many wonderful ladies showed up and I had the best time with them!!!

The yummy cake for the shower was from Balloon Delights in Thomson. I think this is the CUTEST cake! Years ago, I saw them decorating the cake in their store and commented that I wanted a cake just like that if I ever had a baby shower. Well, they remembered and this cake was at the shower on Saturday!!! Not only is it simply adorable, but it tastes HEAVENLY!!!

The "cake" looking thing is a diaper cake!! Yes, a cake made of diapers!! The lady that made this took time to roll up 90, yes NINETY, diapers and stack them all up to look like a big tiered cake!!!! She lovingly wrapped it in ribbon and fastened so many little things around the cake for decoration- hair bands, socks, scrunchies for bathtime, hair bows, etc. It was topped with a stuffed bunny rabbit that plays "Jesus Loves Me" when you squeeze him! It was SO lovely and I hate the thought of taking it apart.

I truly had a fantastic time and was so very happy to spend those few hours with family and friends.

We are so very blessed indeed!!!!!

Katie has the exact same bunny! That is her first song that I sang to her and she loves to listen to her bunny sing it too. See they both have so much in common besides just being southern girls!
Posted by: Kim on February 8, 2007 at 12:10 P.M.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

February 7- We have our Consulate appointment!!!!


We've just heard from our adoption agency, CCAI, and we have a confirmed Consulate appointment!!!!!

The US Consulate in Guangzhou (which is the city that we will be staying the entire time in China) is the last official stop Americans have to make before returning home. It is here that we will received Elizabeth's Visa and her passport. Once this visit is over, Elizabeth will be officially our child according to China and the US. Once her feet hit US soil, she will be declared a full citizen of the United States of America.

Our appointment is March 7, 2007, with the US Consulate but that's not the BEST date that I have to share. We have just learned that Elizabeth Ann Upchurch will be PLACED IN OUR ARMS on Sunday, February 25, 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!! All these years of waiting and praying for her to be with us will come to an end on that day. Of course, we will STILL be praying for her for the rest of our lives, but we will not have to pray for her to come home with us anymore after that day. She WILL be home. :)

We should have travel plans finalized by Monday, February 12. I will definitely update y'all when we find out the exact dates and times.

Soli deo gloria!!!!!

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO excited to hear that you have your CA and your Gotcha Day is scheduled!!!!!!! Elizabeth has no idea how loved she really is, yet. I can't wait to hear your travel plans and see Elizabeth in your arms!
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 7, 2007 at 11:07 A.M.

WOO HOO! I can't wait for Elizabeth and Ella to meet! -Noelle
Posted by: noelle on February 7, 2007 at 01:27 P.M.
Dear Upchurch family,though I have only met you once during my visit home to see my family in january, I am so very happy for you that GOD has blessed you with this wonderful child. I along with many more, I am sure,will pray for your safety and the blessing of that beautiful child that will be placed into your capable hands. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all.
Posted by: Kaye Bartlett on February 8, 2007 at 12:05 A.M.

Monday, February 5, 2007

February 5- More pictures of Elizabeth- 2 months old!!!

We are truly SO blessed!! The Lord has allowed us to be in contact with another family that visited Elizabeth's orphanage. This kind lady took her daughter, also adopted, back to the Yangchun orphanage to see where she lived for the first few months of her life. While there in July of 2006, the orphanage director apparently let this lady take pictures of all the babies in the orphanage.
She recently posted these pictures online and we looked at all 124 photos hoping to find Elizabeth. We had NO idea how we would recognize her. I mean, she was only 2 months old at the time. But when we found these two photos, there was no denying it- THIS IS OUR ELIZABETH ANN!!!!

She is only 2 months and 4 days old in the pictures and we think she is the loveliest of all children that the Lord ever created!!! We cannot wait to bring her home!!!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.His mercies never come to an end.They are new every morning, new every morning.Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord, great is Thy faithfulness.

I'm not being snarky, I promise, but MAN, I hope you know just how blessed you are! lol Our son is 2 and in a SWI that no one is allowed to visit. So, no updated pictures. :( Elizabeth is beautiful and those 2 month old pics are definitely her!
Posted by: Mary on February 5, 2007 at 07:01 A.M.
She is wonderful-I can't wait to follow along on your trip.
Posted by: Anne, Gunther and Lexie on February 6, 2007 at 10:49 A.M.

How awesome is that! 2 priceless pictures of Elizabeth so young. Hey, how about that CA? Do you know when you are leaving yet? I know it's starting to eat at've got her picture and just so bad want to hug and kiss her and let her know how much she is loved!
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 7, 2007 at 08:19 A.M.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

February 1- Lots of good news!!

We received LOTS of good news today!! Our agency notified us that we received our travel notice (or travel approval to some people). This is China's official "okay" stating that they will allow us to come and adopt from their country. Now we will be awaiting our consulate appointment date and then we can make all the travel plans with our travel agency. WOOHOOO!!!

Also, we received updated information about Elizabeth!! On January 4, she weighed 18 pounds and was 26 inches tall!!! And she already has 2 teeth!! How exciting!!

These are the two newest photos we received of Elizabeth. Apparently they were both taken on January 4 when she was 8 months and 2 days old!! Have you ever seen a more beautiful child????

The Lord is good and He does good!!

YEAH!!!! I've been waiting to hear this news!!!!!!!! I can't wait to hear that you are leaving and on your way to get Elizabeth. I've got tears for you just thinking about the wonderful trip and awaits!
Posted by: Melissa Ward on February 1, 2007 at 11:08 A.M.
Woo Hoo! How very, very exciting for you all. Have you any idea when you might be leaving?Blessings,Debbie
Posted by: Debbie Yuck on February 1, 2007 at 11:47 A.M.
Yeah! I'm so excited for you guys. I hope you get to leave soon. The pictures are adorable.Jen
Posted by: Jennifer Cannon on February 1, 2007 at 01:04 P.M.
Shari,Elizabeth is such a beauty!!Can't wait to meet her. It will be soon! But not soon enough. I want to go NOW!!!Jill
Posted by: Jill on February 1, 2007 at 03:37 P.M.
I just love the SNOOPY shirt.She is a girl after my heart!I love and miss ya'll! Casey
Posted by: casey on February 1, 2007 at 05:52 P.M.
Congratulations! Those are WONDERFUL pictures! They'll get you through until Gotcha Day! :)Mary
Posted by: Mary on February 1, 2007 at 09:53 P.M.