Garrett’s Travel Journal from China

12/6/11. Today we went to the consulate to swear in and show passports and so my parents became Toby’s parents (technically they were already his family on the china side but now there the parents on the America side also). After the consulate we went to the Zoo (this is the first time I’ve ever seen Red Pandas, Pandas, and believe it or not a porcupine. The bad part about it is around 30 min in to it I got stung by a beeL, but I was fine luckily (it didn’t get me all the way. The stinger didn’t even stick it just stung). The Zoo was cool (I got a head ache half way through itL). But that was it. Thanks for praying for us.

12/5/11. Today was awesome overall. We met our guide after breakfast and went to the Xing Qing market (they sell everything from chipmunks to dog food to live scorpions to movies). After that we went to the exam place they made sure his arm wasn’t swollen and they gave him candy and we left. We went to Jordan’s to get Nolan a souvenir and then we went to Michael’s to get some stuff we ordered and went to Lucy’s (just like Michaels and Jordan’s if you have been to Guangzhou you’ve probably been to Lucy’s). Unlike Michael’s and Jordan’s, Lucy’s is a restaurantJ. Then we went back to the hotel.   

12/4/11. Today we went to the Yun Tai Garden. In my opinion it wasn’t awesome but it was ok. Me and my dad noticed Girls pulling out there IPhones and taking my pictureJ. Today was a pretty ok day. Thank you for prayers. 

12/3/11. Guangzhou is pretty cool, strange, and out of the ordinary. Today we went to Toby’s physical exam. It was kind of strange, for example they took him weighed him, measured him, and looked at him in 1 room, and in another they honked a horn in his ear and when he flinched they said ok he can here, and in the last room they gave him a shot and we were done. After we were done with his physical exam we walked around the island and went to “Jordan’s” (anybody that’s been to Guangzhou island knows of Jordan’s), and Michael’s (same.J). And we headed back to the hotel and it sound like it would take a lot of time but we were back by 2:00 Pm. And Toby hadn’t taken his nap yet so he fell asleep pretty quickly and my mom was tired so she took a nap and my dad and me went and rented ping pong and paddles ( at the hotel you can rent Ping Pong, Squash, & Tennis, but tennis is closed because there repainting it. I really enjoy China. Thanks for prayers. We can’t wait to bring Toby home for you all to meet him. 

12/2/11. Today we ate breakfast and chilled then went to the airport. Toby did well on the flight. We met our guide what we saw of Guangzhou it looks fun. We’ll that’s it folk I’ll be in china all week. Thanks for your prayers.

12/1/11. Today all we did was go to the city wall and Toby’s finding place. We started out the day just like normal, of course we get up and dressed and eat breakfast. At breakfast we met two families that are adopting. I was getting breakfast today and 1 of the Two dads came up to me while he was getting breakfast and asked me how I slept and I just answered “Good surprisingly I slept until 6Am. How did you sleep” Then he replied “Like a baby, I woke up every hour crying” and I just laughed. While we were eating 1 of the moms came up and asked our names and Toby’s name and we were talking about adoption and how Toby wasn’t bonding with mom as much as dad (but he’s still bonding well) and she said that they just adopted a 7 year old that’s doing the same thing. She introduced us to her family (pointing because they were still eating). And we were asking how many times they adopted and she answered 3 times, and then she said “we lost our first daughter to cancer. She was 9 when she died. That was 2 years ago.” It was one of those quite sad moments. Then the other family came over to our table (the guy that talked to me at the buffet line). And they were talking about them having 11 kids including the one they just go, then the other lady got up and said “I’ll be back I have to go get something”. Then her whole family came over. So at a table that holds four we have 10 including us surrounding it. It was cool meeting other Christians that were adopting at the same time. I’ve been looking for these colorful thing that you throw up in the air and a propeller opens up and it spins down to you but I only saw them the first day and I’ve been looking for 1 ever since (yes this is random). Thanks for all the prayers. 

11/30/11. We’ve just been chilling at the hotel since about 2Pm. The jet lag is wearing off finally because it’s 7:30Pm. Here and 5:30Am. In the U.S. so its feeling more like 8:45Pm. Than 7:30Pm. But every day it gets closer and closer to “china time” in our heads. Some of our friend cousin came to get some stationary items that they sent. It was hilarious watching Toby trying to get us to go out he ran to the suite case , while our friends cousin was here , and brought them all and sat them down in front of dad and said shoes on and hold up a pair first he held up his “light up shoes” then he said “choose on”, then my dad put on Toby’s shoes and then Toby ran to the door then say “choose on” then we just sat there thinking he was excited because he had his “light up shoes on” then we went through all his 4 pairs (we brought 4 pairs of shoes because people bought them for him) then when he had his last pair on witch were his “crocs” then he ran to the door and tried to open it and said “CHOOSE ON” then we finally got it.   

11/30/11. We had a tour of the silk brocade factory and museum. When we arrived I was thinking oh great school while I’m off great and this is going to be real boring. So we walk in and our guide goes and talk to one of the people running the front desk and we met another person in the door inside and she walked us through the tour so we started looking at all the silk types and that part was really boring but we got into the room where the made the pieces of silk on there big wooden silk spinning thing that takes to people to man one on top and one on bottom (I have know clue what they do to be honest. They really didn’t say). That was the slightly better part. The best part was taking pictures with my parent’s fancy camera (yes all the pictures in the silk factory where taken by me. I like using there camera). We walked through the part with the ancient outfits (replicas). Then we walked through this room that had the replica of the emperor’s dragon weaving that Mao asked them to make. It took the master weaver 5 years to make. They won a weavers solid gold trophy cup for the work. When Mao died they sent the gold cup and weaving back to them for display. After that was over we went to the gift shop (I was thinking of course here is the part where they sell us something). We walked in and looked around and in the back there was a group of 3 girls (in china I look about 18 to them at least that what our guide says and everybody I’ve talked to) staring and giggling. So we continued on and the giggling stopped so I thought they left. What I didn’t know is they work there. They started talking to our guide while the lady that took us through the tour was talking to us about how to tell the deference between the handmade from the wooden machine woven. Then we were looking for something for Toby when he gets older. Ten our guide started laughing along with the girls, then our guide starts talking to me telling me there were asking if I was 18 or 19 or how old, and they were saying how I was a very handsome boy (I know how to pick that up cause I guide told me but I don’t know how to say it right). Even when they realized I was 12 they stopped except for one of them (that was the oldest of all three is what our guide said) and our guide said she was 22 and she still didn’t seem to care how old I was to her. She was still staring and smiling and waving every once and a while (almost every time I turned). My dad bought something for Toby when he gets older. He bought my mom something. We were still looking around a silk stuff. Our guide came up to dad and asked if she could barrow our HP touchpad (similar to an Ipad) to show the girls our family photo and she was over there showing them and then she laughed and said that they said I was the cutest in the family, then the girl that was smiling at me said something in Chinese then they all started cracking up and me and my dad walked around the corner to see what was going on and then the girl smiling blushed and our guide said she asked if we could adopt her too (sarcastically). We started laughing then our guide asked if we were ready to go so we left. Pretty funny and boring day so far but it’s only 3 (china time) but that’s all were did or doing today. Just wanted to let you know where were at. Thanks for prayers.                        

11/29/11. We came back from the orphanage and Toby handled it well. Well before we went to the orphanage we went to the civil affairs office for the finalization of Toby becoming part of the Smith family. While we were waiting Coco (the assistant director of the orphanage) wanted to hold him so she held out her arms to try to pick him up and he shakes his head no and buried his head into my moms shoulder, and on the inside I was thinking YES! (Because that means the attachment is going pretty well). So after the civil affairs office we headed to the orphanage. When we got to the orphanage we hopped out of the van and there was about 7 nannies waving (including his)and he was smiling with a huge smile, and on the inside I was thinking oh great we’re going to have to pry him away with lots of tears. Before we headed toward the nannies we went into the office of the orphanage and a one of the ladies that works there recognized him reached her arms with a smile he reached out and she grabbed him and was holding him and went to this little box and pulled out a cake thing (I couldn’t tell what it was it looked kind of like a fat Twinkie) so he let go of the back of her neck and grabbed the cake then he started to wiggle in her arms so she said “Momma” and my mom was about 5 feet away (I think the lady did that on purpose so she could still hold him without squirming) so I went closer and held out my arms and said “do you want ge-ge” and he reached out and grabbed the back of my neck and just sat in my arms (I think the lady holding him before me was a little upset). So we sat there for a minute so they could say bye to him and he to them. We headed out of the office with him still in my arms but it just rained and the stairs were slippery so I gave him to my dad and carried the stuff he was carrying, and continued on. We went inside the orphanage itself and walked into the elevator with Coco and our guide (and my mom and dad of course) and headed upstairs to the 2 year old room. We were met up the stairs by his nannies (there was 1 main one and 1 that takes care of him if the other one is busy). He reached for his main nanny with a big smile, and she took him. We got some pictures of them and us together. After that we went into the 2 year old room (there was mostly boys but there was 1 girl and about 10-15 boys). That was sad. We saw handicapped little baby’s one took a liking to me witch his legs crisscrossed like he was sitting. And when we looked through the window I thought he was until we got inside the he scooted using his hands and waddled his legs. There was mentally handicapped little one that rolled around on the floor and that was pretty much all they could do. I saw some sad things today I saw some amazing things today, I saw some surprising things today, I saw some things that make people happy, and I saw things you can’t descried unless you see it (good and bad). After he finished his goodbyes and playing with his friends and nannies we went to his old crib and took pictures and then he came back to us with smiles (unlike I expected). It was pretty fun, cool, sad, and indescribable day today, but still very little tears (from Toby). Thank you for praying and please keep us in your prayers.

11/29/11. Today were going to the orphanage to let him say his goodbyes. We’re preparing for an emotional day ahead. But that’s all were doing today. Again thanks for the prayers. 

11/28/11. WE GOT HIM!!!! I’m so happy (seeJJJ). It went pretty well not very many tears yet. I and Toby played ball for a little bit (more like 1hour). He wanted to play roll the ball and keep it away from “GeGe” (gu-gu)   (Chinese for older brother). But we had fun together he’s attaching pretty we with hugs smiles laughter. We colored while he talked to me in Chinese (I think or it might be a Chinese mixed with baby talk). He loves his monkey and picture book we sent with some friends. He loves to draw, color, and play “stack cups”. Thanks for your prayers.  

11/28/11. GOTCHA DAY!!!!! I’m so excited I only slept for about 5-7 hours last night, but I’m wired because of excitement. It’s finally her GOTCA DAY!!!!!! J. So excited! Hope it goes well.

11/27/11. Were headed for Beijing airport today its going to be Approximately 2 hour flight to Nanjing. Our flight leaves at 3:55 PM. When we get there well meat our guide and go to the hotel and sleep (yeah right). When we get up tomorrow (if were not up all night) then we will head for the meeting point to get Toby! Yeah! We are pretty tired now so we might sleep because of that. Lucky for me I sleep really well on air planes, and I now that because I sleep more than half the trip to Beijing (most people say I’m luckyJ). See you all when we get back (if anybody is reading my journal) hopefully.


11/26/11. We experienced the Great Wall today and pictures don’t do it justice. It’s so much more amazing than you even imagine, especially the people there, there we people determined to make it as far as the possibly can. Most people made it to the second tower then went back down. I and my dad went to the second tower too. There was this one 60-70 (approximately.) that with her family (a boy approximately. 10 with his mom and dad) they were all striving to make it and the 60-70 year old lady made it to the second tower and watching her family cheer and her smile once she made it. It was incredible (I know the second tower sounds easy to make it to but if you ever go you will understand why most people were only going there). The view was incredible once you make it to the second tower. Before we went to the Great Wall we went to the Jade garden. We saw some incredible things but some very sad things as well we saw a Jade boat that was huge that looked amazing, as we continued on we came to the “the Big Budda” and that made me very sad as she said “That rubbing the Big Belly for good luck, the bald head to make you smart, and the long ears for long life” when she finished I just prayed silently because that’s a man made idol and its hard to believe that they believe that when people just like the mad it up and they should be putting more time in Jesus Christ and the Lord instead of rubbing a false God man made statue. All the Jade was amazing. I thought there was just dark green jade but there is so many different colors (Dark Green, Light Green, Red, Yellow, pink, etc….). I experienced amazing sights today.


11/25/11. We landed in Beijing (Finally). It’s so different just from the small sights already. We met our guide right after we got our luggage. We made it to the hotel and we went to bed, but from the little bit we did today is exciting and it was just landing (anybody that’s ever taken that flight or any flight that’s that long gets why it’s so exciting). It was a 13 and ½ hour flight, but we made it.


11/24/11. Today we left for Springfield, Missouri for our first flight I’m excited because I’ve never been on a plane before, I’ve never been out of country for that matter, but I’m excited none the less. I hope I enjoy it I think I will but I’m most excited for getting Toby. My Grandparents came yesterday because there watching the rest of the kids through the weekend, then our youth minister and his wife and daughter are staying with them for the rest of the time were gone. It’s just my mom, dad, and me this time around (until we get Toby of course). Our first flight is going to be out of Springfield, Missouri to Chicago, Illinois. We have a 6 hour lay over in Chicago but luckily for us Chicago is one of the best places for a lay over because there so much to do, so much good food, so much stuff to experience. I can’t wait to get to Beijing. All new cultures, smells, sight, and tastes, it’s going to be awesome to experience it all.


Nov. 24th & 25thMissouri to Beijing

Nov. 26thBeijing touring

Nov. 27th – Travel to Nanjing

Nov. 28th – Gotcha Day

Nov. 29th-Dec. 2ndNanjing

Dec. 3rd – 7thGuangzhou

Dec. 8th – Shanghai

Dec. 9th - HOME