Ariel’s Corner

Good Morning! And welcome to Ariel’s Corner, which is my little time to say “Hey, this is how I feel” to the whole World Wide Web. 😀

Where do I start??? I guess when I woke up last week and was like “woah… I’m going to China?!” It’s a weird feeling waking up in your bed and knowing that the next time you’ll sleep will be next to some random Japanese dude, and your Dad, on a 13 hour flight, in a plane seat…

First thing I’d like to say. I don’t like plane food. It’s always so weird and just thrown together and smells funny, etc. My first dinner was chicken covered in weird sauce, slapped in sweet potatoes with canned green beans on the side. Yeah… I ate the fruit and roll mostly for dinner. I just don’t like my chicken covered in weird smelling, mashed up sweet potatoes. Call me crazy… But Then, on the flight to Nanning, the food was DELICIOUS. So now I have mixed feelings and I’m all confused about plane food.

So then we were in Tokyo! And I was like “GODZILLA!” Actually, I didn’t say that because that just seems downright racist and I didn’t want to get in trouble. 😀

Welcome to Tokyo Yo!

What actually happened was I used a squatty potty. For all of you Americans, that is a fancy hole in the ground where a toilet should be. At first I was like NO. But now, I find it quite convenient because it just feels much more sanitary than using a gas station restroom back home.

Next, I’m extremely famous and beautiful. Everyone loves me and I get lots of presents daily. lol OK well maybe that’s not ALL true, but people do stare at me a lot. And while at the Bird’s Nest these kids asked for my photo. I got all embarrassed, but now I’m like “Heck Yes, Bring on the Paparazzi!” (Today (Monday) the orphanage director’s kids came and they wanted their picture with me and there was a LOT of pictures taken. It was SO CUTE! :D)

Oh Nanning. So freakin beautiful! The first thing I saw when I looked out the plane window was GREEN. It’s so green! There are trees and shrubs and plants of all sorts EVERYWHERE! It’s so pretty! Apparently it’s called the Green City or something like that. Our FANTASTIC guide Mary told us that and loads of other interesting things about Nanning in the car ride to our hotel. WHICH IS AWESOME! It’s SO NICE! They told us it would stink but no, they were wrong! THIS PLACE IS DA BOMB BRUH!!! Go Marriott!

Ordering food has been quite the ordeal. Before Nanning, we had Shirley to save us, but now, who knows what we’ll get? Not many people seem to speak English so we do a lot of pointing to food and holding up fingers of how many of that we want. But Dad is pretty awesome and knows a good amount of Mandarin, so we have gotten what we’ve wanted everytime. So far, I LOVE KFC here because the people are so nice! They have a pointing menu for us Americans and yesterday this super sweet girl spoke English to us. She was so excited she got to use it! And when I cleaned up our table to leave, this other girl sincerely thanked me a bunch. They are so cutely awesome there!

Wal-Mart. Is. AWESOME! It’s HUGE! It’s underground and like takes up the whole bottom of the mall! I love just walking around and looking (NOT smelling) at all the food. There hasn’t been that weird of meat (chicken feet, sting ray, star fish, sea horse, squid, eel, GIANT fish) but there IS weird Lays chips (blueberry, seaweed, tomato, cucumber) and like 50 different kinds of Wii Tennis Rackets.

Oh yeah. I also have a brother now!  He’s pretty much the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. He’s done really well and I think this is gonna be totally awesome. He loves his beach ball, cars, and the lap top!!! Tomorrow and the next day will probably SUCK (I mean every time he cries, I do too) but who knows? 😀

"Xander and the Lap Top"

Xander LOVES the Lap Top!!!

Well I need to shower or I’ll pass out. I love ya’ll! I ate seaweed soup today! PEACE! :o)

Seaweed Soup was Yummy!

7 Responses to “Ariel’s Corner”

  • Aunt Bev says:

    Loved reading your version of the trip!!!!!! :) So much fun seeing everything through your (young) eyes and enjoying your wonderful sense of humor and creativity :)

  • Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ariel. Xander is very lucky to have such an awesome big sister :)

  • Mom/Grandma says:

    LOVED seeing all of you on Skype this morning – made my day!!! Loved your report – treasure each moment (even the bad ones – good to laugh at later) of this fantastic experience!! You need to write a story when you get home! Soooo glad you are all bonding. Luv you bunches.

  • Jamie says:

    Ariel, you are too cute! Love your post and candid humor. Glad you’re experiencing china – both the good and not so good. And very excited to see you and Xander. Congrats on being a big sister. He’s gonna learn so much from you…and you, from him. Having a sister with blonde hair, he probably thinks he’s going home with a celebrity. :-)

  • Aunt Ree says:

    Ariel, you should become a writer. You are soooo talented. I wish I could have seen the squatty potty since I spend half of my life in the crapper !! You are such a great sister to Xuan Xuan so far as you are to Jack and Lily. Enjoy your trip and new family. Much love, Aunt Ree

  • Laura says:


    I almost died when I read this. You’re soo funny! I miss you so much bestest friend. But, I can tell you’re having a fantastic time. (hey you only used fantastic once in this little piece here, GOOD JOB 😀 haha) You’re adventures in China seem to be quite awesome! KFC sounds really cool and so does everything else (i.e. GODZILLA hahaha) Well, your little brother is soooooo cute and I know he must LOVE his fantasmerific new family! Mom, Dad, Josh, Kristen, John, and I all say Hello! And we’re sending you guys a REALLY big hug!! I love you all SOOOOO much! I pray for you guys all the time, can’t wait to see you!


    p.s. Thanks for my birthday card! I almost cried when I saw it, I miss you! And I have LOTS to tell you. :) I LOVE YOU SONIC!

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Adoption Timeline
  • Summer 2010 - started talking about adoption
  • Aug 19, 2010 - participated in webinar
  • Sep 22, 2010 - mailed in adoption application
  • Sep 28, 2010 - adoption application accepted
  • Oct 8, 2010 - fingerprints for home study
  • Oct 14, 2010 - fire inspection done
  • Oct 25, 2010 - Patrick & Kimberly complete physicals for the adoption
  • Nov 4, 2010 - finished Heart of the Matters Parent Education
  • Nov 9, 2010 - Ariel's physical is completed
  • Nov 15, 2010 - 1st Home Study Visit
  • Dec 10, 2010 - Kimberly's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 16, 2010 - Patrick & Ariel's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 19, 2010 - Received rough draft of Home Study to review
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Received Final Home Study
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Sent I800A form into USCIS
  • Jan 18, 2011 - We see our son's face for the 1st time!
  • Jan 21, 2011 - Submit Letter of Intent to China
  • Jan 27, 2011 - Receive Pre-Approval from China
  • March 7, 2011 - I800a approval
  • March 24, 2011 - Dossier to China
  • April 2, 2011 - Log In Date
  • May 16, 2011 - LOA
  • June 2, 2011 - I800 Approval
  • June 10, 2011 - Cable sent by National Visa Center
  • June 13, 2011 - NVC Letter & final paper work sent to Agency!!!!
  • June 23, 2011 - Article 5 papers dropped off
  • July 8, 2011 - Article 5 pick up
  • July 19, 2011 - Travel Approval!!!!!!
  • August 15, 2011 - Forever Family Day!!!!!!
  • August 25, 2011 - Arrive home; Xander becomes a US citizen :)