|Matthew Chan - Adoption Journey Journal
I'm in China Now -
Greetings from Chengdu
5/8/2005 3:56:17 A.M.
Pacific Daylight Time
Dear Family, Friends and Loved Ones
As you may already know, this weekend is the date when I'm off to
China to bring back our new son, Matthew. Mae is home with the
kids, and I'm braving this trip with Mae's father, who is a great
help because of his command of the Chinese language.
So after a day at Disneyland last Friday, Mae dropped us off at LAX
and off we flew on China Southern Airlines direct to Southwestern
China to a city named Guangzhou, then taking another flight to the
Sichaun Province to a city named Chengdu. This city is large and
busy with over 9.5 million people. After traveling for 24 hours
straight we were a bit tired but we forced ourselves to stay up and
so I found a great place to take a nice picture. I'm now about 15
hours ahead of California time. So while I'm typing out this
email...most of you are still sleeping in the early morning hours of
This picture was taken Sunday at 4:00pm - Happy Mother's Day !!!!
I'll be sending you updates these next two weeks. I thank you all
for your thoughts and prayers as the Lord has blessed Mae and I with
so many blessing these past years. This trip will no doubt be
another example as to His Great Mercies, Joy and Love as I meet my
new son for the very first time.
Will send you more news soon.
Matthew Chan - I
have him now
Friends, and Loved ones
At 10:30a on
Monday we went over to the China Civil Affairs Office were we
met Matthew for the first time. In Adoption terms this was
"gotcha" day and it all went so very well. Matthew was waiting
at the door as we walked in and he was playing with the deputy
director of his orphanage along with a few other people who
accompanied him from the Leshan Orphanage which is 2 hours
away. Mae had made a baby scrap book album for Matthew a few
months ago and he was able to recognize his new "BaBa" - He
only understands the local Chinese dialect so even Mae's father's
Mandarin skills were not able to register with him. But as
soon as I got down on the marble floor with him and started to
show him all the little toys that my kids (Michelle, Jonathan,
and Grace) packed for him he became so excited. He loved
chasing the ball around and rolling the toy cars. After about
20 minutes of just playing together on the floor I had a chance
to asked all the important questions to the orphanage personnel
regarding Matthew's schedule, habits, likes and dislikes etc.
Can you believe it that they said his favorite thing to eat is
Candy. They even left for him in his backpack a large bag of
his favorite candies.
He didn't even
cry a bit as we left the office. I think it was all so new and
exciting for him as we took a taxi back to the hotel.
lunch we played a bit in the hotel and he went down for a nap.
I was expecting
the worse and it is such a joy that Matthew bonded so well with
me. He is so well natured so far and only cried when he needed
to complain about something..ie..being put in a high chair for
the first time, being placed in his new stroller...other than
that he has been a model adoption baby.
At dinner time we
found out that he is an eating monster. I could hardly eat any
of my food as we went to a nice Chinese restaurant were we had
local specialties (very spicy)...Matthew loved the pumpkin dish
that we ordered along with steamed egg, and rice.
Thanks for all
your prayers !!! Everything has gone smoothly. Tomorrow we will
finalize the adoption and start the process of getting Matthew a
passport. We'll let you know more soon.
Bye for now
Daddy - Buddies for Life
3:16:08 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Friends, and Loved Ones
Matthew and I
are doing great !!! We have been together for 4 days
straight - 24/7 and we are getting along well. Today he is
starting to let his guard down and is smiling and laughing
more. The first 2 days he was so very serious and it was
difficult to get him to smile. But you can only imagine what
confusing times he must be going through as he has gone from
living in an orphanage with a bunch of other children, to
living with some stranger in a 5 star hotel for the past 4
days. We've been playing together a lot. He loves to
throw balls and hit balloons. This morning I got him
to laugh a lot as we played air hockey at the breakfast
table with his sippy cup. He is behaving more like a
normal 18 month old, and also getting into a bit of
trouble...like throwing his sippy cup as if it were a ball.
He eats well and hasn't refused anything I've offered to him
to eat. He loves "Cheeze-Its" and French fries. But don't
think that I've been giving him only junk food...He
predominantly eats a Chinese rice soup dish called "conji"
which I feed him every day.
Dinner Out at McDonalds - Chinese Style The
Today we went
and visited the famous Great Panda Reserve near Chengdu...we
were able to get pretty close to see them. We had a fun
a bitter sweet day for both of us as we had an opportunity
to go back to visit Matthew's orphanage that was 160 km away
from Chengdu. We traveled for 2 hours by taxi to Leshan
where we were greeted by the Leshan Social Welfare
officials. We met the director and she introduced all of
Matthew's caretakers. They actually all came running out of
their buildings when they heard that "Zhong-Zhong"
(Matthew's Chinese nickname there at the orphanage) had
arrived. More than 15 of the workers came out and hugged
and greeted him. It was a big relief to me to see the tender
loving care and kindness which they have been giving him
these past 18 months. Matthew had a totally changed
temperament when he realized he was back at his old
surroundings and began to jabber in his local dialect to all
of his helpers. Even the elderly people who also live at
this institution perked up when they say him and they all
waved and greeted him. After 45 minutes we had to go and I
new it was going to be tough. His teacher came up and held
him and spoke to him to say good bye. She told me that he
was one of her favorites and that she knows that better
things we in store for him. She told me how smart and
intelligent he was but warned me that he is very strong
willed (I've already discover that). The rest of the
caretakers said their good byes and I got into the car with
him and then Matthew really broke down and cried. I noticed
several of the caretakers were crying too, but you could
tell they were all happy for him. Before we drove off, I
was able to thank them for their care and I reassured them
that Matthew would be fully loved by my family and that he
would have a fantastic future and life. They were so
overjoyed to see the pictures of my family and couldn't
believe how much I looked like him. Anyways...it was
emotionally tough for all of us, but I know that in
Matthew's future it will be of some comfort to him that he
had some very loving people take care of him in his younger
Matthew with his caretakers and helpers at the Leshan
Today we got
to do more bonding by traveling to other attractions in the
area. The final adoption papers will be ready tomorrow
morning (Friday) and then we'll get on a plane to travel 2
hrs to the city of Guanzhou, where we will get a travel visa
and passport for Matthew at the American consulate there.
We still plan to return next Wednesday. Please continue to
pray for us. God has been so good to us during this journey
and we thank Him for His Care and guidance in all we do.
you posted when we get to our next destination.
in Guangzhou (Canton), China
Family, Friends, and Loved Ones
Sunday evening here at the White Swan Hotel, Guanzhou,
did great on his very first plane ride (2 hours) as we
flew from Chengdu to Guanzhou. We were met by another
guide from our adoption agency at the airport. It took
about 1 hour to get our luggage due to the severe
lightning and thunder showers that fell over the airport
right after we landed. The lightning was spectacular
and the thunder was ear piercing as we got off the
plane. Needless to say by time our bags were finally
placed in the baggage claim area they were totally
soaked. Matthew kept repeating what I said as I said
"boom" every time the thunder would sound. He thought it
was pretty funny.
adoption process is going very smoothly. I have full
custody of him along with his official passport. Each
day we bond more and more. He is less serious now as he
was 5 days ago. He has a very sweet smile and a funny
laugh. It took me 3 days to get a laugh out of him We
have almost been together for a full week. It's hard to
believe that time has gone by so quickly. I'm sure Mae
could say the opposite. But when you see his
temperament going from one extreme to another you'll be
totally amazed. He is so playful and outgoing now and
loves to entertain people. His language skills for a
18mo child are quite extraordinary....but I better not
brag too much about my new little boy.
My very first place ride with Daddy
we had to get a medical check up in preparation for our
American consulate appointment on Monday. Matthew
passed with flying colors and cried only when they tried
to weigh him on this big automatic weighing machine.
But he calmed down quickly when I offered him a
cracker. We and about 75 other families from all over
the states are here processing our newly adopted Chinese
children to get our visas to come back to the USA.
At breakfast time, it is totally breathtaking to see all
the new parents and children. The majority of kids are
all girls and most of the parents are first
timers. There are a few families who are doing their
has been getting more and more used to his new daddy.
He looks for me whenever I have to leave him and calls
out my name. Mae's father has been a great help and
notices how Matthew and I are really bonding well.
day or two have been filled with sightseeing and
shopping. This city is known for shopping...Matthew and
I have had fun just going out and about. The weather
here is hot and very humid (95 degrees). We take refuge
in any air conditioned store when ever possible. In a
few days we should have all our appointments done and
paperwork complete for our trip home.
again for your thoughts and prayers. Mae and I talk
with each day by email..and we accidentally found out
that my cell phone works all the way here in China. My
father, Claude Chan, accidentally speed dialed Mae and
somehow got me. I had my cell phone on in the hotel
room when it unexpectedly began to ring..I answered it
thinking I would have to tell some Chinese person that
he got the wrong number..when all of a sudden..my dad
was talking to me. The reception exceptional and it
was as if I was back there in San Diego.
update you all again in a few days.
Almost Home ...we leave Today !!!
Family, Friends, and Loved ones
Matthew and I are all packed and ready to make our
way back to the good old USA. We are so excited to
leave China and get back into a regular schedule.
These past 12 days have been full of adventure, high
emotions, and a bit tiresome from all the
traveling. We are looking forward to getting into a
you imagine the mental trauma our little Matthew has
endured these past 12 days with his new Dad. First,
he was handed off to some stranger (me), then he is
living in a 5 star hotel, and going out to eat every
meal. Then it probably seems to Matthew, that all
his new dad does is feed him, take him to
sightseeing places, goes shopping for hours, plays
with him, gives him a warm bath each evening,
brushes his teeth, then puts him to bed. This has
been his routine for 12 straight days. Now
going to be facing the real world back in San Diego
with his new mother, and 3 siblings. Mae and I have
termed it that he will be coming to "Baby Boot
really appreciate all your kind thoughts, emails,
and prayers as I have made this trip. My plane
leaves this evening and I will be checking out of
the beautiful White Swan hotel in about an hour. We
will send you a final email when we get back to San
thanks to my father-in-law, Robert Lee, who helped
accompany me on this trip. He left this morning to
Japan to visit his family there. And a real big
Thank You to my dear wife, Mae, who has endured the
tough job of watching 3 little ones. My part in
this trip seems to be just a piece of a puzzle in
getting our dear Matthew to his new home. It brings
tears to my eyes to realize that such a loving
little one has been without a real loving home for
18 months and now he is coming home !!! Thanks
again for all your support!!!
Curtis and Matthew and the Chan Family
messgage from Matthew Chan - I'm Home
Dear Family, Friends, and Loved Ones
I'm writing on behalf of my daddy who is jet
lagged, and tired....he has been getting up at 3
am to play with me since I'm still on China
time. Just to let you all know we came home
safely. Daddy told me that I was a good boy on
the long flight and that we were very fortunate
to get a bulkhead seat so I could lie down on
the floor by his feet and sleep. I slept most
of the way. After we went through customs and
immigration, the man in the uniform told me
"Welcome Home to the USA" I don't know what
that meant, but my daddy surely was very happy
to hear the man say that. After we got our
luggage, we were greeted by some happy
people...my new mommy, brother and sisters....I
was so excited to finally meet and be with
I'm so happy to be in such a loving family.
Everyone wants to play with me and help me get
adjusted to this new life I have in front of
me. My brother was so willing to feed me since
my daddy has been doing the feeding for the past
My new grand parents on my daddy's side of the
family came to visit me too...they were very
happy to see me.
Overall...my daddy says that our China Journey
is now over...but a new journey is just
beginning as I've been told that I am now in
baby boot camp. It's going to be so much
fun.....My daddy says that God has blessed our
family and has carefully watched over me since
my birth...and it is so new to me to have a
mommy and daddy around with 2 sisters and a
brother all the time...I can really used to this
new family thing. I overheard my daddy tell my
mommy that it's hard to believe that I came from
such a hard life because my face is full of
joy....I'm so happy to be finally home !!!!!!
Keep praying for my mommy and daddy and family
as I need time to adjust to my new situation.
But I'm sure as the weeks and months go on, that
my adjustment will be fully secured. Thanks for
all your support. My daddy keeps saying what a
wonderful and safe trip we had together!!!! I
better go wake him up now....I'll tell him to
email you again.