Getting Our New Son’s Visa in Guangzhou

The day before we were to head to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, the visa issuing system went down. Tech issues. Yep, seriously.

I put a call out on Facebook for positive visa system energy (maybe a first?!) and y’all complied! (Many thanks!)

I’m happy to report that all that positive energy worked! The visa system at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, was up and running this morning! We’re now back at our hotel, waiting for Yao’s passport with his U.S. Visa.

Wait! Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?!

Yes! Yes, it is.


Hong Kong or bust!!!

U.S. Consulate Ticket_Guangzhou

And finally…today’s math equation: Consulate + heat + humidity = sleeeeepy boy. (And one happy mama…)

Sleepy Boy After Consulate Appointment_Guangzhou

A Long Road to Guangzhou…

Cutest Carrefour baby, ever!

Cutest Carrefour baby, ever!

So…of course Friday night’s flight from Tai Yuan, China, to Guangzhou, China, was delayed. We ended up taking off around 10:30 p.m….and landing around 1:00 a.m.

(curse word, curse word, curse word)

By the time we got picked up, delivered to our hotel, and checked in, it was 3:30 in the morning.


We were wiped. All of us. I.had no idea what day it was.

To top off the fun, Yao and I got up early–6.00 a.m.–to join our group for the children’s medical checkup for the U.S. Consulate end of things. A well-organized, but exhausting process. The TB test for the Yaoster was hell. This little guy let everyone know he was not happy with the blood draw.

But afterward we visited Carrefour for necessities (aka chocolate). As you can see, Yao could be the new model for the store.

And so we are a family of four!

On July 13, 2015, we adopted this awesome little guy in Tai Yuan, China. We are happy, tired, and oozing big, big love. More soon!



Chased Out of Shanghai By Typhoon Chan-hom!

So we were chased out of Shanghai two days early by crazy Typhoon Chan-hom. Now settled in Tai Yuan. More soon!


Shanghai, Here We Are!

Yesterday, after way too many hours in an airplane, we made it to SHANGHAI!!!!!! So happy to be back.

Our journey to our new son has begun. Spending a week in Shanghai, getting over jet lag, revisiting old haunts, touring around with Tully to all the places she frequented as a little kiddo, reconnecting with our China roots (and doing a bit of research for the new novel…).


Baggage claim in Shanghai!



View of the Huangpu River from the hotel. Lovely.


I so missed the attention to umbrella care!

First glimpse of the Oriental Pearl Tower!

First glimpse of the Oriental Pearl Tower!

Our Last Sunday Breakfast as a Family of Three!

Today, Andrew cooked up our last big Sunday breakfast without our new son. (You can see his high chair is all set up & ready next to Tully.) Next weekend we travel to China for the adoption. We’ll be home in a few weeks to cook a Sunday breakfast for four! We can’t wait! Not even sure how I’ll survive the anticipation this week…

Last Sunday Breakfast as a Family of Three

Our Family Is Growing!

So, dear readers & friends, surprise!

I’ve got some big, happy news to share! Our family is growing! In just two short weeks, my husband Andrew, daughter Tully, and I are heading to China to adopt this darling boy (see ooshy-mooshy sweetness below). We’ve been in process for an excruciatingly long while so it feels really wonderful to share this news out loud. La la la la! Tully is beyond excited to become a big sister, and we can’t wait to hold this little guy in our arms and hearts.

Nov 12 14 (3)
Did I say “two short weeks”?! Ahhhh, so much to do! Huzzah!

We’ll be in Shanghai, our old stomping ground, from July 6-11, before continuing north on our adoption journey. Looking forward to seeing old friends, eating great food, and showing Tully all the places we used to frequent when we lived in China.

Stay tuned!

Next Week’s Newburyport Literary Festival!

9780425271483_large_The Art of Floating_HIGH RESAttention, lovely people who will attend next weekend’s Newburyport Literary Festival! At 9:00a.m. on Saturday, April 25 (I know, I know…just bring your coffee), Holly Robinson, Lorrie Thomson, and I will be sharing tales and tidbits about the raw, risky business of writing fiction. Do not miss this! It is a perfect opportunity to chuckle, guffaw, weep, nod your head with understanding, and support your local writers!


Fiction | Saturday, April 25, 9:00 AM
Unitarian Universalist Church | Newburyport, MA
Getting Real: The Raw, Risky Business of Writing Fiction

Presenters: Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, Holly Robinson, Lorrie Thomson

In writing, the “what ifs” are endless. What if we never publish? What if our books never find readers? What if our day jobs consume our creative energy? What if we get censored, criticized, remaindered? One of the best things about writing fiction is getting real, and raw. Yet sharing our thoughts and emotions while writing requires risk, and risk is a close cousin to fear. How do we face down that fear when committing words to the page? How can we use fear to our advantage? Each author on this panel has taken risks in real life (including facing bears and avalanches!) and in her novels. They’ll share their personal writing journeys as well as strategies to help all writers become more fearless in the face of uncertainty.


See you there!

Great Fun at the Emma Andrews Library in Newburyport

Last night, at the Emma Andrews Library in Newburyport, author Holly Robinson and I talked about our most recent novels (Hers: BEACH PLUM ISLAND. Mine: THE ART OF FLOATING) and the ins-and-outs of place/setting in fiction. Great crowd, great discussion, great venue (speaking of place!), and, yes, great cookies!

A big thanks to Priscilla and the Emma Andrews Library team for putting together such a spectacular event! And thanks to all who came, listened, asked good questions, and bought books!


Reading at Emma Andrews Library

Book Club Visit in Boise, Idaho!

A big thanks to this spectacular book club in Boise, Idaho! I Skyped in for a wonderful discussion about The Art of Floating. Nothing like a glass of wine and good book talk. (It was my first book club visit in Boise, Idaho!)

Book Club in Boise, Idaho

Book Club in Boise, Idaho