a trip to Shamian Island

We’ve been able to skype the little two back home almost everyday. FireCracker only wants to see her sister. I’m sure she misses me some, but I’m am definitely being trumped by Little One right now. And that is just fine.

I am not usually a worrier about germs. However, a few weeks ago Chris and I watched the movie Contagion. Well, it was hard not to replay those scenes in my head when we ventured on the metro. It sure made for a cheap and fast ride though.

If my hair were darker and I wore heels I think I’d totally fit in.

We went over to Shamian Island. I’m a little fuzzy on all the details, but evidently a few years ago Shamian Island was the main hub for US adoptions in China. The US Consulate was located there, but has since moved. A few nice hotels and a lot of shopping were there too. From what I understand a lot has changed, but it is a very beautiful area and relatively quiet.

Relatively quiet…but super full of photographers and models. If you are from the Tulsa area, it reminded me of Woodward Park on the weekend when the azaleas are in bloom. Everyone else was taking pictures, so I just hopped into the mix and took a few for myself.

There are also statues throughout the area. I tried to convince the boys to stand in line with all the little kids. They weren’t fans of that idea.

However, he came up with the idea for this pose.

FireCracker would have loved all the ruffly dresses in the park area. I was grateful for the areas the boys could burn some energy. Funny how they get SO TIRED walking, but all the sudden have tons of energy for climbing and racing.

I asked Chris to take some of me and my girl – I really like this one.

Since they were SO TIRED walking, they got special treats.

Didn’t realize her dress matched mine until later.

She looks just as cute in her headbands as she does in her daddy’s hat.

When we were about half way through the adoption process I connected with a group of other families on the same timeline (thank you Mark Zuckerberg). Many of us were able to meet up at a mexican restaurant for dinner. It was nice to meet in person a few people that have been great sources of wisdom and encouragement to me during this process.

Another great day. We are really enjoying our time here. We miss our other two and look forward to all being together, but we also know this is a really special time with our Little One before we hit the reality of normal life back home and all the busyness that is involved there. We are soaking up our final days and delighting in our girl.

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  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - I love the intimacy of your family story,
    set in this new place and culture… both
    compelling and engaging in their own ways.
    Thank you for sharing all of these views.

  • TEN - Just found your blog. I got back from Guangzhou two weeks ago. Its great seeing pictures of places where we were. The Mexican restaurant was a favorite with our group.

  • nancy - You’re man, (using a camera) just got a little bit hotter. LUV the silhouette of you!
    And goodness that is a smile that I just can’t help but smile back at. It infectious!

  • Jessica R - Love these pictures! So glad you’re getting a little bonding time with her before going home. Safe travels.

  • Eva - Well, I think it’s totally awesome that you got in on the action and shot those models. You’ve inspired me to do the same next time we’re there! I’m totally digging that silhouette shot Chris took of you and Little One. And I just love looking at your boys hanging out on Shamian Island. It warms my heart.

  • Kimberlee Jost - I am devouring each of these posts.
    Thank you for taking the time to do this every day.
    And btw, Contagion freaked me out.

  • emmybrown - and I’m taking GREAT delight in each and every post!!! 😀

  • angie - thank you for posting often and sharing your amazing journey. your daughter is as beautiful as you – her lovely mommy. and your boys couldn’t be any cuter! god bless and safe travels.

  • lindsay - ashley i am just so happy for all of you! i look forward to reading your posts every day and love seeing how well everything is going.

  • Candy - I so wish I could make it through one of your posts without crying. Your “story” is beautiful and I am SO thankful you are sharing it. Your Little One melts my heart and these images are priceless. We adopted too- although she is my maternal cousin, the day that we first saw her and held her was a little like yours… tear filled and yet wonderful. She was 2 1/2 when we met her and my daughter is now 12 1/2! I have relived those beginning days as I read your blog and my heart soars for you and your family. May God truly bless your whole and complete family!

  • Susan - I have to tell you something funny, this afternoon my husband and I were returning from running a few errands when I abruptly remember I had not read your BLOG entry today and said, “We have to get home so I can read about China”. You see, every morning I get up, and like reading a real good book, I can’t wait to read your BLOG. When in the car, my husband just giggled when he learned I was referring to a BLOG I was following, instead of him thinking I was planning a trip to China.

    Again, thanks for sharing. Having been adopted I wish I had these type of pictures to look back on. I faithfuly read your entry each and every day, and say a prayer of gratitude.

  • Razmataz - I am new to your blog and enchanted with your little girl. What a wonderful experience for your boys to travel with you to her birthplace and share in her arrival. She is truly adorable, a beautiful child blessed to be with her family who obviously are already madly in love with her.

    I have been enjoying the past year watching my neighbors with their daughter, also from China. She’s settled so well and I can;t even remember their family before she arrived. She is almost 3 and now speaks English and French (dad is French Canadian who also speaks Mandarin). She’s a delight.

    Congratulations on the expansion of your family.

  • giozi - Nice weekend. Nice time.
    Love her navy dress. You look so young and pretty really. I think your beautiful inside outside through

  • Lisa M. - I have really enjoyed reading about your journey, Ashley. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. She is a beautiful baby! Congratulations once again! I’m anxious to see how she transitions into everyday life with you and your family. I will pray that it will go as smoothly as this first week has.
    And, yes, the sillouette picture of you and Little One is beautiful!
    I don’t know when you’re planning on leaving China, but praying for a safe trip back to the States.

  • Christina Larsen - I love all of the pictures of her smiling. Precious. I also love your pink umbrella. When we were in Korea, it rained almost everyday, but towards the end of the trip it was sunny. I carried around my umbrella like the locals everyday, rain or shine. Tim gave me a hard time, but I loved having it to shade me from the sun. Enjoy the rest of your time there. Wish I could welcome you home, I’ll be thinking of you all as you make that transition. If you need anything, please email me. 🙂

  • Heather D - Love seeing all of the photos from your trip. I just can’t help but smile at my computer every time I read a new post. Little One is just soooo cute!!! Love all the headbands. Cant wait for a photo of her a FireCracker together 🙂

  • Alycia Y - Hi…I forget exactly when or how I stumbled upon your blog, but I am so glad that I did. I almost never read or leave comments on the few blogs that I read, but I just feel so moved by you and your family. I read these posts about little one and your journey through adoption with tears in my eyes. I know you don’t need mine or anyone else’s approval, but I just want you to know that there is at least one person (although I am sure there are many) who think you are amazing! Congratulations on your little one. She is gorgeous. And much love to your extraordinary older four as well. They seem like they are already wonderful, giving, lovely people. You and your husband are so brave. You inspire me to be…better. Thank you for sharing. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Robin - Very cute pictures of Mommy and Little One! She is beautiful!

  • amy jupin - ashley, i am so happy and smiley and content reading your posts.
    it’s as if all is right in the world!
    it really is.
    i love her and i love that she is a campbell now.
    all is right.
    i can’t wait until your home.

  • Mrs. Saukas - Thanks to share the precious moments of your adoption journey with us.
    She is beautiful 🙂

  • Amber - Ashley, I love Little One in Chris’s hat! Totally adorable. Although she rocks those headbands too! I am overjoyed that you have her in your arms now. And I want you to know that your story, your journey, is changing me. I’m not entirely sure to what extent at this point. But on some level, God is using your story to mold and transform me. Thank you! Love and blessings to you all!

  • able mabel - What a sweet story! I’m so happy for your family!

  • jackie - Enjoying reading, would love to catch up on you thoughts once you are home and settled.

  • Tracy A - A Mexican restaurant in China? Full of white people? This just strikes me as hilarious! I am so glad, however, that you have such amazing support. Can you just imagine firecracker lifting up that pink ruffly dress to find her cowboy boots? Makes me smile! Continued blessings as you travel, connect, and complete the process there.

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - Matching is fun!!! I love the dresses from the wedding!! How cute that they let you photograph them.

  • elizabeth - these posts are such a treasure to read about ~ China looks more lovely than i imagined!
    and little ONE is SO SO beautiful!

  • Aneta Kudasik - you are both beautiful and you holding her just looks like you perfectly belong together!

  • Megan - She is adorable! I love reading about her story.

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Whoa- a Mexican restaurant! Was it full of Americans? Or does it just look like that in the picture? On a slightly similar note, I remember eating Chinese food in Mexico. It was the best I’ve ever had!