many, many hours later…

We left our house at 4:30am…we arrived at our hotel in Hong Kong about 30 hours later. Our flight from Chicago to Hong Kong got delayed 4 hours, which gave us an 8 hour layover in Chicago. If you are going to have a long layover, Chicago is a great city for it to happen. We caught a train to downtown and explored a little bit.

Can you guess which little boy has been EXTREMELY excited?!

Deep dish pizza. The boys declared it the best pizza they have ever eaten.

Finally, it was time to board the plane to Hong Kong!

15 hour flight. Not looking forward to the return home flight…

Eventually we landed…took a train…took a taxi….collapsed in our beds. Then we ‘face-timed’ the little ones at home and gave them a glimpse of Hong Kong.

The boys wished we had a bike park like this at home.

We have a couple of friends from Hong Kong, so we got to spend a day with them. It has been too long since we last saw them. We ventured out to Ocean Park – which had crazy long lines, but beautiful exhibits.

I was so proud of my oldest. He does not like being high – a little bit of fear of heights. However, he doesn’t let it keep him from doing things as a family. He was not pumped about a cable car ride, but he did it and allowed himself to enjoy it some.

My boys and our friends’ son…such a handsome boy.

The boys at dinner….

With our sweet friends. I wish Oklahoma was closer to Hong Kong!

Tomorrow we take a train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou…where we will meet our Little One on Monday!

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  • Fliss - I have been away for a few times but it was awesome to see you were on your way… how exciting… I am so happy for you all… let the fun begin until the ‘real’ journey begin.. hugs

  • kassondra - I am just SOOOO excited for you and your family!!!! can not wait to read the post about meeting your daughter!

  • Kimberlee Jost - Been praying like crazy!
    Glad you made it this far and can’t wait to see and hear more!!!!!

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - Beautiful adventure.
    I feel honored to witness these glimpses.
    Thank you!

  • Cathy Shealy - Glad to see your family has arrived in China. My youngest is from the Guangdong Province and we met her in Guangzhou. She’s from the Qingcheng SWI, in Qingyuan. Wondering which SWI you little one is from? Love the pics of your time in HongKong but can’t wait to see you post photos of your Monday excitement.

  • marie - Im constantly checking your blog to see if there are any updates…this is such an exciting and amazing story to watch unfold. Come on, Monday!!

  • Jamie - You are awesome…. so excited to be reading your blog on a Sat. morning. Something in my heart just made me check it out today! I just knew I would get to hear about your journey!

    So happy/excited for you and your family on MONDAY!!

  • Kimberly Troth - AWESOME! Thank you so much for taking time out and sharing with us!!! We were just at “The Bean” a couple of weeks ago. LOVE Chicago 🙂 Have a wonderful train trip and still praying for you and your family!

  • Michelle - Having been in your shoes twice, I am so excited for the miracle that awaits you on Monday. Blessings!!

  • Sophie - Wow, Hong Kong is so beautiful! Best of luck for Monday, my thoughts will be with you both, the boys and of course Little One, when you meet for the first time!

  • Heather - I love that the boys are getting to be a part of this amazing experience. Kudos to your oldest, with my own extreme fear of heights, I admire his resolve to participate. This is such an exciting time, and I have been thinking of you guys constantly (& praying) Knowing you will meet your daughter, and the boys will meet their sister, on Monday is just so super amazing. Thanks for including us in your journey. Many Blessings!

  • Eva - How awesome to see you half way around the world…even if it took you longer to get there. Yippeeee!!!!!!!!!

    It looks like you are thoroughly enjoying your time in Hong Kong with friends. We are seriously thinking of stopping there next time we travel. Can’t wait to see Little One in your arms!

  • Melyssa - I am so happy for you and your family! I have to tell you: I dropped my husband off at the airport yesterday for a 22 hour series of flights, not including layovers, to Malaysia from Ohio. I find great comfort seeing and hearing about your trip. I’m waiting for my face time after he collapses in his bed! It should be soon, he was due to land in Malaysia about an hour ago.He will also be gone for 2 weeks. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Debbie C - Glad you had fun in Chicago, and that you had a good perspective about getting stuck in Chicago! I live near O’Hare airport, and it is one of the worst when it comes to delays. So excited that you are in Hong Kong now! 🙂 Praying for you.

  • Jenni - It’s wonderful that you all had a chance to decompress before the big day! I can’t believe how beautiful it is! That sounds silly but it really is breathtaking! Hope you all are having fun!

  • amy cornwell - So excited for the update! I love (and miss) Chicago…glad you got to spend a few hours there. I think it’s my favorite city, probably because I grew up near there. Can’t wait till Monday for you…how amazing that it’s finally here! Congrats!

  • Sherry Eckblad - Looks like it is quite the adventure already and you haven’t even met the main event yet. Will be thinking of all of you on Monday as you meet the newest member of your family.

  • Lanny Lou - I can’t hardly wait 🙂 I am keeping you guys in my prayers & for a safe journey …

  • Esther Cheng - Welcome to HK! All the best to you and your family~!

  • Tanja - I don’t know if I ever commented on your adoption journey – but for sure I am following it every time in my feed reader and shed some little tears on the way!!! Can’t wait for you to finally meet your little one on Monday and see pic of her and her new family.
    Your blog and the things you do as a mom and a creative soul are really inspiring to me!!!!
    Greetings from Germany…..

  • Ashley E - So glad you made it to HK safely!!! I don’t envy that flight, but makes me miss HK!! Safe travels to get Little One!

  • Michelle - I have a frog in my throat…we are anticipating your family’s Monday. Sooooo close. Just breathe & soak it all in.

  • monica - oh thank you for updating us. i thought about you and your family all day long. my daughter and wondered where you might be and if you how much fun it would be to visit such a different place and get to meet a new sister. many blessings for this incredible journey ! Here’s to MONDAY !

  • Stephanie - A few weeks ago when you found out when you would be going to China I commented that you would be there around the same time as my husband and how I had secretly hoped he would “just happen” to be on the same flight as you guys.

    I’ve been following along since you first posted about adoption, crying through so many of your posts. I’ve also shared them with my husband. My heart has been very tender to adoption for 9 years now and two years ago just before we made a big move across the country we were getting ready to begin the process of actually adopting from China. After the move those plans were put on hold.

    After reading todays post I am completely in tears and trembling. My husband is not only traveling to China next week but to Guangzhou! Of all the places in China! Part of the plan while he is there is to also visit an orphanage. I am completely in awe! Of all the cities in China, of all the orphanages, of all times. Whether it is the orphanage your precious little girl has spent the first year of her life in or not or whether or not he happens to be on the same flight home to the states, I feel so intimately connected as I’ve followed your family along this journey. So, if some strange American with a southern accent comes up to you and introduces himself you’ll know who he is.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers next week as your family begins this beautiful new journey. I pray Little One’s transition will go very smoothly and she will instantly feel right at home in her Mommy’s arms. Because, God knew when he formed her in her mothers womb the arms and heart who would hold her close.

  • Kathie - Yay, you made it! It’s such a long journey, we had layovers too (in LA, in Taiwan and in Hong Kong) and from the time we left our house in Colorado, we traveled for 36 hours before we collapsed at our hotel in GuangZhou! Can’t wait for the next step of your adventure! Blessings from Colorado!

  • Miranda Hazeveld - We can not wait too see more pictures. Have safe trip to guangzhou.

    For monday Xxxxxxx

  • Miranda Hazeveld - We can not wait to see more pictures. Have a save trip to guangzhou.
    For monday xxxxxxxx

  • beth - how exciting…all of it !!
    i’ve been to hong kong and from my experience, i wish you all the best on your flight home….it’s such a long one, even with tail winds.

    my sister recently told me about an adoption blog she reads and how the mom writes SO REAL…. i’m not sure if she’s one you know or not. any how her name is jen
    hatmaker and she is wonderful. if you don’t know her, i think the two of you could be best friends !!!

    continued safe travels….you are all in our prayers !!

  • Missy - So good to hear from you! Glad everyone made it safely! Praying for your Monday. Can’t wait to see pictures!

  • Sandy - What a nice surprise to see a post from Hong Kong this morning!!! Your boys and their sweet, sleepy faces!! So glad they are getting to experience this with you. Rest up momma, Monday’s a comin’.

  • Liane - I cannot imagine how excied you are!!
    Good luck for Monday! x

  • ria - Glad your trip is going great. So excited for you all. You are in my prayers.

  • Tiffany A - So happy and excited for your family!

  • Stoich91 - Wow! Thanks for making the effort to post these beautiful pix! Your sons are getting a great experience to go to Hong Kong at this age, and of course it’s also great that they’re seeing the place their little sis’ will be coming from, soon! ;D Hope you all have safe and happy adventures. Can’t wait till Monday! Your whole internet fam will be ready to cheer you on.

  • Leslie - Thank you for taking the time to post. Praying for your entire family of 7 during this important trip. Can’t wait for you to meet your girl and shower her with love.

  • emmybrown - so awesome to hear from you…..but I’m a mess! Just seeing a glimpse of your trip and knowing you are so close to HER has me all messy crying over here in Iowa! *hugs*

  • Sheena - So excited for you all! You have been on my mind and in my prayers this weekend. Can’t wait to see that sweet baby girl. Have fun!!

  • mary from tenn - not much longer! so happy for you.

  • Sara Torbett - So happy to read you all got their safely. I teared up thinking about you meeting your daughter on Monday. I pray it is a peace-filled, God filled moment. I know it will be. 🙂

  • nancy - Still holding my breath for you over here in the desert. Not that I need to. Just so so so excited for you is all! Did I mention how I excited I am for you?

  • natalie - came here to check for an update, so glad to see things are going smoothly, and I agree Chicago is a great place to spend 8 hours!

  • donna - Thanks for taking the time to include us all who are waiting with baited breath for the end of this journey. Good luck Monday

  • Jenna - This looks like such a fun time! Long travels are so difficult- but your boys look like they held up quite well. Such a sweet embrace awaits you! Enjoy every second!

  • Jade - I think your two boys are better travelers than I and do the 24 hour London to Sydney flight return every year!

    All the best for your next part of your journey!

  • Alice Sears - Very jealous of you! I am totally white and American, but I was actually born and raised in Hong Kong (I lived there for 18 years and then came to the US for college and am currently living in Texas with my husband and family. Hong Kong is a fun place to visit and I hope you enjoyed your time there! Ocean Park was a favorite place to visit growing up. It was only about 5 minutes from my house. I can totally understand why your son would be a little afraid of the cable cars. They are a little scary!!! Especially since you go through the what-ifs of what if it came of the cable? It’d totally roll down the hill and go into the sea! Anyway – enjoy meeting your daughter for the first time. I hope that first cuddle is everything you dreamed of and waited for.

  • Rachel B. - Wow. I am getting butterflies just reading your posts!
    Continuing to pray for safe travels! And, praying for the troops at home, too!

  • giozi - wow wow wow I’m so happy for you. I’ve never been in a cable car :).
    Tomorrow is the great day!!!

    AHHH you must to have a bike park like this!!

  • Emily - It is already tomorrow for you – I’m excited to read your next update! I am so, so happy for your family 🙂

  • Annie HUTCHINGS - Wow, what a blessing I found your blog. My husband and I have both always wanted to adopt. I love reading about your experience, thank you for sharing it.

  • keri - forever folding laundry - Oh the anticipation….
    Can’t wait to “meet” Little MIss Song.
    Praying that the hours between now and Monday fly by. 🙂

  • Brooke - YAY! You are getting so close to her! Glad you had a quick chance to eat the best pizza in the world. I’d know that Giordano’s pizza anywhere! 🙂

  • cassie - I am so excited for you. Thinking about you often throughout my day and praying that Monday comes quickly! Your older two look so much older without the littles around! Blessings!!

  • Wen - Wish we knew you were stopping in Chicago! Glad you got to explore! Love all the photos and glad you are having fun and safe travels! Many blessings to you and your family!

  • Jenn - Wooooohoooooooo

  • Lisa - FINALLY there, YAY!!! It is such a long flight!!! You will LOVE Guangzhou!!! Wonderful little shops (squeaky shoes 🙂 visit Mark & Jenny at Jenny’s Place. They are wonderful Christians and sell beautiful Chinese/American Bibles-a wonderful keepsake-tell them Jason, Lisa and Emma sent you!)…..LUCY’S (you must try the Satay, so delish)…..Starbucks (no words needed!!! Amen & Amen)…..Subway (avoid the fresh veggies)…..Cow & Bridge (authentic Thai restaurant, picture menus ;)…..Venture over the bridge and check out the big market of the back streets of China (an overwhelming cultural experience)…..AND take advantage of getting your laundry done on the island, it’s AWESOME!!! (good idea to get it cleaned just before heading home too-you’ll be too tired to do laundry at home) 😉 Hope some of this is helpful! HAVE FUN & ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!!!!!
    SOOOOOO VERY HAPPY FOR YOU ALL!!!!! Following your journey makes me want to go back…..if it weren’t sooooo much money! :/

  • McLain - These are awesome. I’m so excited for you and anxiously following your journey!!

  • Angela - You are on the same continent as your daughter! You are breathing the same air as her! I am so unbelievably excited for you guys. Your blog has been such wonderful motivation for us to continue our adoption journey. God Bless!!!

  • Lisa - Thanks for posting and letting us all in on the excitement. I’ll be praying for that long ride back home…with three of your sweet ones!

  • liz - so excited for you guys! thinking of your family often and imagining your excitement! God be with you and bless you and keep you as you travel!

  • Jolie - I was just thinking of you and yours this evening, Ashley. And how since it’s night in Australia, it will be afternoon in China, and therefore less than 24 hours until you get to hold the Song in your heart! I’m thinking of you, Chris and your babies, on both continents!!!

  • Alicia - Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us, it is truly a beautiful incredible thing.

  • embee - the picture of you and your husband on the cable car…. the background has given you cute little kitty ears on your head.

    praying for you.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh Ashley! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I believe God is watering seeds planted in hearts in all of your readers with your journey.

  • Amy Lowry - I cried tears of joy for you and your family the entire post. I’m so happy for you and your new little girl.

  • Bethany - Congratulations on your precious girl! I’m so excited for you and your family and so happy that your little girl is already adjusting. Glad it is a peaceful transition. The pictures of her smiling and giggling are priceless. She is beautiful!!!