Thursday, 3 September 2015

An Unexpectedly Wonderful Turn of Events

We sold our mountain house!

We put it on the market with the expectation that it was going to be a long haul.  Our house has a certain customer base and they are few and far between.  We were not holding our breath even though we were constantly advertising.

It took a very long time to close due to changes in the Ecuadorian law, but we are so happy to say that today we signed the papers!

One of the biggest reasons we decided to move to Ecuador was so that we could save up money to travel.  Mark and I have always had that itch, and what a great way for Finn and Tali to see the world and to learn all about it.  Finn is so excited to see all of the different architecture.  With the sale of the house and receiving residency in July, we are now free to hit the road and travel at the end of September.   Our plans are to visit with family and friends in Ohio for the month of October.  Mark is desperate to see his mother who is 95.  We plan on spending lots of time with family as well as a side trip to Niagara Falls and a week of camping in Beaver Creek for Halloween.

In November we are going to backpack Europe.  Our plans are to house sit our way around the continent, and to visit the cheaper countries for longer periods of time.  We need to stay within our pension amount and countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia will allow us to do that.  We are also hoping to meet up with some of our expat Cuenca friends in Thailand. One of our favorite families just moved there and our other favorite family will be spending three months in Chiang Mai.  It's all up in the air though.  While I have planned a rudimentary itinerary, it is still going to be loose and slow travel.

We have received two offers from some other friends to house sit their villa in Umbria, Italy, and to
stay in either a houseboat or a two bedroom apartment in Amsterdam.  We are really hoping those offers come through.  Not only would it be AMAZING!, but it would also help to offset costs.

Our great friend, Orit, is going to put us up for the month of December in her home in Israel, which is on Mark's bucket list.  While there, Tali and I will fly to China and back again.  Mark, Finn and hopefully Patrick will continue to sight see while we are gone.

Which leads me to the most important part.  So many of you have given so much of your heart in order to help Tali reach her goal to visit her home country.  There are no words to express how grateful we are that we have such amazing family and friends.  You all mean the world to us.

We know that your donations were given with love, and with that same love we offer the money back if you would like it.  It is an awkward request, but please do not hesitate to send me a personal message if that is what you would like me to do.  We know that money doesn't grow on trees and some of you may need it.  Or, the money could be set aside in an account at CCAI, Chinese Children Adoption International, for another child to have the chance to visit their home country.  If you would still like the donation to go to Tali, please know that all of the money donated has gone towards purchasing Tali's plane ticket.  She might also get to hold a baby panda.  :)

With love we say thank you to all.  You are amazing people and we will never ever forget it.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Tali's Thank You to the World

Dear everybody,

I am so excited to go to China!  Thank you everyone for donating.  It means SOOOO much to me because everyone who donated is making it possible for me to go to China.  So, thank you everyone!

When I go to China I am excited to see all the fancy hotels.  I am also excited to see the Forbidden City.  I really want to see the Great Wall of China.  So, I'm excited for that too.  I'm excited to see the baby pandas.  I hope that I get to hold a baby panda.  I'm also excited to play in all the pools because I looked at the pictures of the hotels and some of the hotels have really awesome pools.

One of the BEST things about going to China is eating LOTS and LOTS of noodles!  Another thing that has to do with food is that I'm going to be learning how to make Chinese food at a cooking school and I like cooking so I'm happy to be doing that.  The last thing that I'm excited about is the Farewell Party.  I like parties, so that's good.

Anyway, thank you all again!


Tuesday, 14 April 2015


After checking out the prices of airplane tickets from Ecuador to China I have realized that we need some help.  Since we are leaving the 22nd of December I am sure that is why the tickets are so high.  The last time I checked they were listed at $2500 a piece.  Crap!

Even though it is embarrassing, I decided to start a campaign on GoFundMe.  I don't want to have to tell Tali that we cannot go, so I am biting the bullet and asking for help.  I have also decided that if we are lucky enough to have more money than we need I would like to donate the rest to CCAI, Chinese Children Adoption International, Tali's adoption agency.  I would like the money to go into a fund to be used to help other families take their children on their own heritage tours.

I'm going to use this blog to help "pay it back" by showing you how much this trip means to her.  Hopefully you will feel like you are there with us.

Please, share the GoFundMe code below with any friends and family members who you think might want to help.  Maybe you know someone who has adopted a child, or someone who has a daughter (or son) from China, or maybe someone who would just like to help make a dream come true for our daughter.

We appreciate any and all donations no matter the denomination.

The code is...

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Mark and Sherry

Our baby girl, scared out of her wits.

Tali's birth city, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province

Tali would not let Mark put her down for almost two weeks.  He carried her in a sling.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Going to China!

Mark and I have always felt it very important to our family that our two children get to visit their birth countries.  Finn is from Guatemala and Tali was born in China.  Tali's adoption agency, CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International), does heritage tours four times a year.  We have decided that Tali and I will be boarding a plane for China in December!  We leave the 22nd or 23rd of December, which means that we will miss Christmas.  Boohoo.  I will miss Finn so much!  But, I hope he can understand how important this is to his sister.  His turn will be next.

We are lucky to also have Tali's babysitter going with us.  Karah is an intelligent, kind and lovely young woman who is interested in travel.  She is considering going to college in Denmark or another European country.  I know that whatever she decides to do, she will make it happen.  Tali and I are both happy to have her along with us on this trip of a lifetime.

CCAI sets up the tour for us and if it is anything like our adoption trip I know we will be very satisfied.  We are visiting five cities, and since I've only been to Beijing and Tali's birth city, Fuzhou, I am excited to see something new, as well as share the familiar parts with Karah and Tali.  We will be visiting Beijing, Chengdu, Guilin (a bucket list item for me!), Yuangshou, and Xi'an.  Seeing the Terracota Soldiers, The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, the famous pandas (we can hold a panda baby for an extra $350.),  acrobats, opera, and a river cruise down the River Li. There is so much more, but I can't remember everything right now.  Needless to say Tali and I are very excited and I can't believe that we have to wait another eight months.  Sigh.