Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On Our Way to Hong Kong!

No pictures today. It is another dreary cold, rainy day in Guangzhou. That part has stunk, we had looked forward to the warmer sunny weather here and we got cold and rain every day! Oh well...we are soon on our way home. We didn't make it back to the island today due to weather, Grace still not 100% and I now have a terrible cough and Olivia and I both have fevers. This travelling here in the winter stinks...everyone on our trip in this travel group has been sick. We are ready to be home. We did walk around for about an hour this morning and had one last lunch with our dear friends the Leonards and in about at hour we will get Olivia's visa paperwork and take a van to Hong Kong. We will get in around 8pm tonight spend one last night in a hotel and then we fly out at 11am on Thursday morning. Not looking forward to that flight for sure....I just get so ansy sitting that long....but it is worth what waits on us at home our boys and our family and friends which I dearly miss! I can't wait to see everyone, hug my boys and let everyone meet Olivia! Please pray for safe travels and a smooth, easy flight for all. We fly through Chicago this time and will be home at 5pm Thursday! See you all soon!

Our Beautiful Girls

This morning we went to the US Consulate to take the oath. We then came back to the hotel and had a meeting as a group about departures. Unlike our first travel group in 2010 with Grace this group has families with consulate appointments on 3 different dates and leaving today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday! We are counting down. We leave out tomorrow!!!! Today will be our last night in Guangzhou! Normally it would have been the nicest of the cities we visit but it has been cold and rainy the entire time! We are ready to get home.

We then had our family and group photos. Again unlike our first travel group with Grace - we were the only ones to dress our kiddos in Chinese attire - but I am so glad we did! They look beautiful. Enjoy the photos of our group, (and yes a family did get 9 month old gorgeous twin girl!) as always there is a beautiful story with each families journey, photo with the Leonard family, and our beautiful girls.

Say a prayer for Shelly - she has not been feeling well for a couple days and today couldn't even hold on for the group photo.

We had hoped to go back over to the island this afternoon to get Olivia's name done by Jordan, pick up souvenirs for boys and get some photos of girls, but weather not cooperating -hoping to do so before we leave tomorrow...gosh I miss the convenience of staying on the island.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Another Day In Guangzhou

Last night as you can see Grace knocked out early which was good for her. Olivia played her Polly Pockets which she has really enjoyed.

Today we went over to the Medical Clinic and had Olivia's TB test read - she passed so that was good news. Then we went to the Pearl Market. We didn't stay long since Grace still has fever and it is cold and rainy, but we did want to get Olivia's pearls like we got Grace (and hold for their wedding day). We had some KFC and headed back by taxi for naps. Grace slept 3 hours so that was great!

Just two more days in Guangzhou-so ready to be home!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Day of Recovery

Grace came down with cough yesterday and then fever hit her of 102.6 during the night. So today we got up moving slowly and had breakfast, but spent rest of the day in the room chillin and pumping my girl with Tylenol and Motrin tying to keep fever under control and her feeling better. As you can see from pictures they enjoyed those tablets, suckers and movies on NetFlix. We napped and Guy picked up McDonalds again.

This afternoon I had to meet to get Olivia's visa paperwork together but that was all we had today so that made for a good day to take it easy and let Grace rest.

We did meet the Leonards for dinner in the hotel because we just had to get out of the room. The food was way over priced and just average but the laughs were well worth the adventure. I laughed so hard!!!! It all started when the sesame chicken came out a little different than we see in the states....take a peak...and yes we ordered half a chicken, so we got half a chicken head too! That did the guys in...check out their plates...nothing on them! Shelly and I did eat though and so did the kids. The fried shrimp also looked a little different, yes those are the eyes - we pulled those off and at them though - they were actually really good and Olivia loved them. I have to laugh though at one point Keith literally had to walk away from the table, so I put the half of a chicken head on his plate, check out the look when he returned - priceless....omg this had to be one of the funniest dinners ever! I got my moneys worth in laughs!

Please pray Grace's fever breaks and she feels better tomorrow and no one else comes down with it. We have to go get Olivia's tb results read in the morning and then are going to the Pearl Market. I tell you I think almost every family has been hit with sickness this trip, it has been crazy, fevers, stomach bugs, and lots of coughs adn cold.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our Final Day in Zhengzhou- First Day in Guangzhou

We had a low key day to begin with on Friday. The kids (our girls and Alex and Annabelle-the Leonard's, bounced between rooms as we packed up - see photo to the right of them grazing the snack table). Then we went and let the kids play in the playroom. They had a blast with the ball pit and throwing them at their parents! The photo I took is out side the window of our hotel from the playroom. You have to love Olivia's gorgeous smile - you can't help but see the glow in her all the time. Gosh we love her! The other two are Annabelle and Alex. Alex is a fireball and adorable! Annabelle is a right there with my girls each step of the way and we have become quit attached! Gosh I am gonna miss this family when we leave. Grace was too busy playing and wouldn't pose for the photo with the other 3 - no surprise right?! Olivia is just so photogenic, I don't think we have a bad picture of her. She just cracked up at the photo of her with all the static in her hair . This girl is a trip!

Then we got our travel group photo on the steps of the lobby with our sweet guides Yisha-who I dearly love and cry each time we leave her, Cindy and Vivian. We also grabbed a shot with Shelley and I with Yisha.

Then what started as a easy day ended in a very long night. Flight was not until 6:15 which put us at hotel in Guangzhou at like 11:00pm! We were all tired and hungry! I am so glad Guy went down and got our luggage and did not wait on bell boy which took 2 hours to bring luggage to room because there were 50 families checking in with adoptions! He then went next door for McDonalds and got propositioned twice by prostitutes - asking him if he wanted a massage fallowed by a happy ending! Hysterical right! Girls hung in there though and did great on flight which had some crazy turbulence - Grace yelled out "hang on everybody"! Olivia got an attitude at me on the playground at the airport I will say - she can surely be obstinate if she wants, and it even carried over to Guy for a bit too...ha! she shook it off though.

This morning we woke up and went and did Olivia's visa photo and medical exam on the island. She smiled beautifully of course for her photo. Did great on the medical exam. I will say we have had some breakthroughs today me and my girl! First at the medical exam when the nurse took her for eye exam she pulled away and grabbed me - score one for the momma! Yes! She was pitiful when she had to get her TB shot. She knew something was up and started to whimper and cling to me when we entered the room. When our guide told her she had to get shot - she said no I do not want a shot and pulled both arms away crying - poor baby! I spoiled her though after wards with shopping and ice cream. score some more points for momma, this girl had my hand all day! She is gonna be my shopper and my priss pot all girl! As she picked out coloring pads, dress up stickers, pink light up ball etc and Grace picked out cars and planes! Gotta love it! But these girls do so amazing together! I will say one store had a cat and Olivia FREAKED and jumped into my arms clinging to me. I remember her report said she had never been exposed to animals, this the fear at the aquarium and with the cat. The lady in store tried to tell her the cat was nice - but Olivia said back to her in Chinse - "I do not like cats at all!". Ug oh Molly! We stayed back from the group and enjoyed lunch at Lucys and shopping with the Leonard's and took a taxi back to the hotel.

The rest of our afternoon we have spent chilling around the room, took baths and ordered Papa Johns and girls are eating noodles. Olivia has spent more time wit me today even in the room she came to get on my lap - yes my lap! I was on the computer and she bent down and kissed my hand - melt my heart! Guy said she hasn't' even done that for me! Then I looked down and she was writing her name - she had written "Oli" and asked me how to spell the rest? She began writing her name! Love it! Then she asked me how to write my name, and Daddy and Grace. She began writing our names. Then put my name and hers together in a box and put stars around it! Okay I was melting. This once little girl who kept me at a distance was letting me love on her, and rub her back....oh it has been a very good day! We have had lots of tender moments and many laughs ! We are ready for an early night after a late night last night, early morning and no naps! Olivia did ask me to skype her nana and brothers - so hope they are up early so we can talk. It is rainy here in Guangzhou but we are making the best of it it! Enjoy some photos

By this

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Day at the Aquarium

The girls wore their big sister - little sister shirts today so cute, a little big but they work.

We went to the aquarium this morning and the girls enjoyed for the most part. There was one show where a mermaid was swimming with the fish that absolutely freaked Olivia out she was in tears so I took her out. She was scared, her legs gripped me and she held me so tight. After hearing the story I understand her fear, not sure how killing an evil king is a kid friendly story, obviously she was the only one who understood the story though since told in Chinese. Other than that all was good.

Getting ready to go check out papers out back from notary to ensure all accurate. Then out for Chinese tonight at traditional Chinese restaurant. Last night in Zhengzhou. We head out to Guangzhou tomorrow. We are half way through our trip and ready to be home. Miss the boys very much! They seem to be doing great though. So thankful to my mom who is staying with them, she is a true blessing to me!

Before you enjoy some pictures can I please ask for prayer for something heavy on my heart today. There is a family in our group that has been her to pick up their sweet little girl. The baby girl's condition is more severe then they understood it to be after having the baby with them and a hospital visit for MRI and CT scan. They made a decision that I can not imagine every having to make. They decided to send their little girl back to the orphanage. The orphanage came last night to pick her up. (and yes I did ask if I could take her, but the Hague rules won't allow it! Shelley and I have been in tears). Please pray for this sweet little girl and that God has her forever family waiting very soon and that her going back to the orphanage is temporary and not a hard transition and that God would protect her. Pray also for this family who is heartbroken, devastated and grieving, numb - they are going to be leaving to go home tomorrow, but they will be leaving without this little girl they had hoped and prayed was their own. This was a daddy I talked to at the bank on Sunday that wore his heart on his sleeve ,full of excitement and anticipation in meeting his little girl, a daddy whose eyes were full of tears at the beauty and the moment of their Gotcha day, a mom whose heart is broken. Please please pray, as they leave tomorrow and go home without their baby.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Trip to the Notary and Orphange

Today we took a 2 hour drive to Jiaozuo to get our documents notarized. There were two other families that took this drive with us, one being our friends the Leonards.

We also got to drive by the "old" Jiaozuo orphanage. This is where Olivia spent the first 2 years of her life. The sign you see below points to the orphanage, and the building in the middle of the 3 buildings was the orphanage.

We also got to visit the new Jiaozuo orphange. See pictures below of htat as well. There is a picture on the wall of the main floor with many children - in that photo was ou
r daughter when she was about 2 years old - see photo below as well.

Although Olivia never lived in this new orphange the floor of Eagles Wing that has the babies was worth a visit. Olivia freaked-crying. We didn't understand since she was never there. WE asked our guide and she talked to her in Chinese. Olivia said I do not want to go in there. Guy and her sat outside and she was fine. The Eagles Wing administrator talking time said that she took Olivia from the orphanage to the foster care and also would take her and pick her up some times from foster care home and take and pick her up to school. So she recognized her and did not want her to take her. Our guide said do you want to go to America wit houri mommy and daddy and Olivia said yes. She has been happy with us ,but we can not stalk to her so this was great news to hear!

Tonight we decided to have Momma Mia's Italian in the hotel here and settled back in for an early night.

Enjoy the photos, tomorrow we visit the aquarium and get our notary documents returned...