Happy Thanksgiving - and what I'm thankful for...

This post is more than 2 years old.

Hi everyone. First off - for those who celebrate it, I hope today is a wonderful Thanksgiving for you. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I was working on a "project" for the past few weeks and was not able to blog. Now I'm back home and able to share some good news.

On Thursday, November 14th, my wife and I boarded a flight to Beijing, China. We took off from Lafayette early in the morning (early enough for them to need to de-ice, in Louisiana, I still can't believe that), connected in Houston, then San Francisco, and finally took off to the other side of the planet.

China is - incredible. In ways it reminds of something out of a science fiction movie. You know the country is full of people but you don't really know this. Trust me - you have no idea. I can still remember the sight of 8 or so apartment buildings being constructed at once. And then our car drove past them and I could see what appeared to be about 30-40 or so more past them. I'm talking about one set of apartment buildings. It's trite, but all I could think of was SimCity with a money cheat. Remember the intro to Batman Beyond where the skyline of Gotham gradually reveals an entirely new skyline behind the original? That's what it was like. Heck, even the factories were of an unimaginable size.

Of course, there is great beauty too. In Beijing we visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall as well.

Visiting these sites was truly awe inspiring. Again, you aren't truly prepared for it until you are actually there. The Forbidden City was especially amazing. You enter it via multiple "Gates" (which are huge structures themselves) revealing layer after layer of the site. It seems to go forever.

We left Beijing on Sunday and flew to Nanchang. That day we met our new daughter, Maisie. I'm not going to post any pictures because, well, this is public, but she is a healthy, precocious (i.e. naughty), four year old. This is our fourth adoption, and our first from China. This has been in the works for some time now, but I didn't want to talk about until we got back home. Our family now is larger, more wonderful, and without sounding too sappy, I am full of joy at a level I cannot adequately describe.

We spent a few days in Nanchang before eventually flying to Guangzhou. Guangzhou is where the American consulate is and where we did our final preparations. We spent a week there and got to see many sites, but really the time was spent just hanging out with our daughter so she could get used to us.

I had originally planned to write a lot more, but honestly I'm just happy to be back home with my kids. I've got 700 or so photos to go through and there will be work with my daughter to help her learn English, get comfortable with her new home, but this will all come in time.

p.s. You don't know what fun is until a four year old fusses at you in Mandarin. Best - experience - ever.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Gareth Arch posted on 11/28/2013 at 5:42 PM

Congrats, Ray! I was going to ask if you were going to pick up some Mandarin from the four year old, and I'm guessing after your last comment the answer will be yes :)

Comment 2 by Larry R Larson posted on 11/28/2013 at 6:09 PM

Mazel Tov! That is wonderful. Happy thanksgiving

Comment 3 by Jason Fisher posted on 11/28/2013 at 7:07 PM

Very cool, Ray! Congratulations to you and your family, especially to Maisie. A Happy Thanksgiving for the Camdens, indeed.

Comment 4 by Cutter posted on 11/28/2013 at 7:47 PM

Congratulations again, Ray! Your new little one would be hard pressed to find a home with more love, and I'm sure the rest of the young ones are excited about their new sister.

Comment 5 by Okokoh Benjamin posted on 11/28/2013 at 10:10 PM

YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN GREAT IN THIS BLOG. I LOVE THE GREAT HELP OFFERED. MY BROTHER'S NAME IS RAY ANYWAY. now I need assistance. can someone point me to a FREE PHP open source File sharing script online: I just want to build a site where class mates and admin can upload pdf, doc, image etc and they could be able to share, like, download files uploaded by others and admin free. just that. I have seen a lot of scripts but not fine and not exactly what I want. but any good help will be appreciated. thanks pals

Comment 6 by Micah posted on 11/28/2013 at 11:03 PM

Thats too awesome Ray. Congrats!

Comment 7 by Jack posted on 11/29/2013 at 5:16 AM

Big congratulations!!

Comment 8 by Aaron West posted on 11/29/2013 at 9:45 AM

Congrats Camden family. I know all too well the trip you were on Ray. From Beijing to Guangzho. My wife and I spent most of November 2012 in China adopting a son. It was an amazing trip to be sure.

Comment 9 by ChangWei Gao posted on 11/29/2013 at 12:51 PM

In Beijing, do you spend some time to see our Chairman Mao ?

Comment 10 by Guust Nieuwenhuis posted on 11/29/2013 at 4:22 PM

Wauw, great news! Congratulations!

Comment 11 by Raymond Camden posted on 11/29/2013 at 4:26 PM

@Aaron: One thing I didn't mention in the blog post was the constant, sometimes obsessive/creepy staring - did you get that a lot too?

@ChangWei: We see the Tomb (not sure that is the right name), I mean the line for it, but we did not enter.

Comment 12 by Simon MacDonald posted on 11/29/2013 at 7:17 PM

Congrats! Looks like it was a pretty amazing trip.

Comment 13 by Curt Gratz posted on 12/3/2013 at 12:58 AM

Congrats Ray!!! We just finished our homestudy to adopt our second. What an amazing adventure.

Comment 14 by Amy posted on 12/4/2013 at 3:43 AM

Congrats Ray to you and your family!! :) Hope you all had a very happy and relaxing Thanksgiving!