Saturday, May 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The arrival didn't happened as planned....the plane had a problem so Dan decided to drive home. They arrived at 4:00 pm exhausted, but still upbeat. They had been traveling for over 22 hours. Dan said Quinn did great on the return flight and the car ride home.

She is sweet natured and a happy- happy little girl. It just is shocking to see how little she is....really like a 9-12 month. I was thinking 12-15 months, but she is so much smaller. Many of you know how small Wren is - Quinn is about 2/3's the size of Wren. They are 11 months apart! Wren has really grown up in our eyes. Quinn's hands and feet are like the size of an infant. Katie, Jake and Kara's feet were bigger than Quinn's at birth. We have lots of doctor appointments ahead. We have scheduled her to be evaluated by a developmental specialist, going to the pediatrition and plastic surgeon regarding her misshapen head. It may be to late for her to wear a helmet to reshape her head but we are going to look into it.

She has a bright personality and is alert and active. We know that God has sent us this child to love and nuture and help shape her into the women He will use for His purposes. To us that is exciting! So we would ask you to continue to pray for little Quinn....that she can get strong phyically and mentally that she can catch up. One thing that is very clear that she says is "High Five" Isn't that funny?

Thank you for following the journey to bringing Quinn home. Katie and Kara did great and so did daddy. Dan is struggling with jet lag more than the girls. Quinn has a bad cold now and is having some sleep issues....basically keeping us up!
Overall, we feel so blessed and look forward to what the future brings....

With grateful hearts,
The Helliges

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Hey Everyone!

Tonight is our last night! We are back in the States tomorrow and are we excited! Today has been a very long and tiring day. We started off bright and early to catch a train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. Then we caught a flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo. That was a little rough as Quinn was a little fussy, but she finally fell asleep and was really good for the rest of the flight! The Tokyo airport was crazy. With the swine flu, everyone is really nervous about bringing it into the country so the amount of people who were in line to go through the disease and quarantine line was insane! Everyone one was trampling each other and the lady at the line was yelling at us in japanese and we didn't understand what they were saying. It was just not good. We are now at the hotel and can't wait to get home tomorrow.

Again, Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

The Helliges

Monday, April 27, 2009

Barn Day

When you take a horse out on a trail ride, they can smell the barn about 1/2 mile away, and they want to make a break for it. The rider has to do all they can to keep the horse on the path. That is what this day is like for us. We have made the turn and we can smell the barn and want to make a break for home. Its taking everything we have to stay the course and finish -- but the finish line is close!

It has been another beautiful, but overcast day here in Guangzhou. (actually it has been rainy or cloudy every day in Guangzhou -- need some full sun!) Once again, we head down to the breakfast buffet at the Swan-Dad loves their full breakfast! Kara and myself stick to chocolate cake, french toast, fruit & OJ! After breakfast, we went back out shopping, our favorite past time, and then returned to the hotel so that we could take Quinn swimming for the first time. She loves splashing in the water! Was a bit cold in the water to really take her in, but she seems to be a little water bug! (yes Mom, Dad is making us where our sunscreen)

After Swimming, we came up and had some lunch, and put Quinn down for her nap. Dad went out to do some power shopping while Kara "tried" to do homework. When Dad got back, Kara and Suntan Dan headed down to the pool for some layout time while Katie stayed up in the room to get some homework done. After Quinn's nap, we headed to our favorite spot for dinner, Lucy's. A round of sweet and sour chicken for all -- except lil Quinn -- another delicious bowl of congee for her! 

While shopping and laying by the pool sounds lux, it is starting to get old. We can't wait to get home in a few short days to see everyone!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers,

The Helliges in China

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Glorious Sunday

Today has been another wonderful day here in Guangzhou. We woke up early this morning and went to church at 9:30 thinking that it would be the chinese/english service. Turns out that service is at 11. So we went went for a stroll before church. It was really interesting to see a chinese church service. To see them worshipping the Lord is such an amazing site! Katie was a little distracted as the lady next to her kept touching her "beautiful" hair! Quinn made it through the first twenty minutes and then was a squirm worm so Dad took her outside -- they had speakers outside so he could hear, and Quinn just walked all over the place holding dad's hand. After church we came back to the hotel for a quick lunch, and then our wonderful guide Shinko came and took us to the jade and pearl markets -- where we did some damage!

The markets here are unlike anything I have ever seen! The pearl market was inside this 7 floor mall that was rundown. It was shop after shop of strands of beads -- nothing to special. The jade market was an outdoor/indoor market that had lines of stalls selling all kinds of beautiful green jewelry. After walking around a bit, we decided it was time to head back. On our walk back we walked through the ping marketplace. They definitely have some interesting things for sale. We walked by cages of puppies, kittens, rabbits, turtles, and tanks of fish and other sea creatures. They also sell a lot of natural medicines -- dried roots, mushrooms, fish and snake skins, etc.

We then got back to hotel where Quinn took a short nap. The sisters went out to shop -- we are getting better at it! Tonight we headed to Lucy's for dinner (again) and then did a little shopping. Mom, you would be so proud! The girls have made friends with one of the local shop owners, Grace (pictured). She loves to give us deals! But worse yet, we are starting to deal with Susan. She remembers Mom from the last trip -- "the tall crazy lady who laughs a lot and bought twenty pairs of squeaky shoes"! She now wants to deal with us and is going to give us good deals on the rest of THE LIST.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!


The Helliges in China

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Swan ....Awwwwwww!

We made it to Guangzhou! Quinn did great on the plane other than she wanted to grab everything around her including the reading material of the lady in the window seat. Fortunately she was very kind and played along. While waiting to leave Nanning everyone around us wanted to come over and hold her. Made Katie a bit nervous, but it was all in good fun. Lots of laughter with everyone. Babe I am so sorry -- the girls fell down on their job and didn't get any pics of Quinn on her first plane trip - I wonder why I brought them along - can't even do a simple job?!

We arrived late into the hotel, about 11:30PM and Quinn was in no mood for going to sleep. She wanted to hang out and play with everything in the room. We finally let her cry herself to sleep around midnight when we all crashed. The girls slept in while Shinko and I took Quinn for her routine medical exam. As you can see by the pics she wasn't ant too happy. 17.3 lbs and 75CM -- just a peanut. 

Came back to find the girls all ready to go. They enjoyed  a great breakfast with fresh squeezed OJ -- something they have been missing all week. Off to the shops. we showed KT the ropes and went back to all of Janet's favorite haunts. Most of them are still around. I showed them how to bargain on a few things to a point where I think I embarrassed them. We were stopped by many people wanting to talk to us and these two ladies wanted their picture take with the girls. Back to the room for a break while I got my haircut. I look a bit Chinese, but not bad for $12. 

Then the first solo (duet) shopping trip for the girls. I gave them the math and the percentages to pay off of asking price, and off they went while I put Quinn down for her nap. They came back arms loaded -- not bad on negotiations, but I see that I will need to go with them to hone their skills.

Tonight we are heading to Lucy's for dinner, and probably more shopping -- Mom gave the girls a big list. I can already tell I am going to have to purchase another piece of luggage! 

We are looking forward to tomorrow as we'll go to this neat little church right next door. They do the service in both Mandarin and English. We are going to meet our friends from PN there. Will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Well enough for now, the big American Grilled Cheese sandwich is calling the girls.


The Helliges in China

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last Day in Nanning (but who is counting?!)

Hi Everyone!

Today is our last day here in Nanning, China! We can't wait to get to Guangzhou and the White Swan Hotel. This morning when we woke up, it was kind of rainy outside and very humid!  We headed down to breakfast, (our last day of canned peaches and toast!) and then went out to the People's Parks which is a 5 minute walk behind our hotel. It is a very beautiful and large park. When we first entered we walked by a group of people who were singing together. Dad got some good video of it, as it sounded to us like Mom & Kara doing their opera thing!


The Helliges in China