Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Last Day!!!!

I'm calling this the last day because we will get on a plane at 9:20 tomorrow morning and we will finally be headed home!!!!! I can't believe our China adventure is over!! I've been looking forward to bringing Lynleigh home since the day we got her (well actually longer than that!)!! I can't believe that we have gone from this...

Notice how she's leaning towards her care giver....To this....

It's amazing and humbling how God planned all of this long before we wer even born! I couldn't have asked for a better experience and I give HIM all of the credit! He's taught us so much through this journey and He's made me a better person because of it! The best part is that he trusted us to take care of a sweet orphan who will now be with her family forever!

Our family is now complete and I know that Brady and Kaden are going to love this little girl with all of their hearts! They will watch over her and protect her and beat up anyone who tries to break her heart! Well, Kaden will beat them up! Brady will probably challenge themto a game of wits that will end with some sort of Jedi mind trick!

I'm pretty sure I've given this little girl a lifetime of hugs and kisses in the two weeks we've been here! She is so sweet and snuggly and loves her Mommy and Daddy so much! When you see her you will never have believed that she didn't know us more than a week and a alf ago! It's like she was born into this family! I do know that she was born for this family because that's just the kind of thing God likes to do!

For now, I will finish packing our bags and I will take a train to Hong Kong and say "So long China!!!" Until we see you back home...please pray for us! Total travel time with layovers is about 23 hours!

Once Upon a China Adventure

It's official! When this sweet girl goes through US immigration in Detroit, she will be a United States Citizen!

We took our oath this morning and completed all of the paperwork. Now, we are just waiting for her travel visa!!! It was very non-eventful but sweet none the less!
After our "ceremony," we went back to the island to get a couple of more gifts and to eat western food. Not western like cowboy...western like American! It wasn't the greatest, but I got onion rings so I was super happy!
After our short trip, we decided to check out the pool. At first, she was a little unsure.

But once her Daddy got in, she figured it was ok.

They played....

and played...and played!

I relaxed (only because I didn't pack all of my swimsuit) and enjoyed the nice breeze!

I decided that I would just play photographer and see how creative I could get!

Swimming lasted about 30 minutes before Lynleigh decided she was done!

And then we packed up our things and headed back to the room for a nap! The End!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dirty Laundry and Dragon Boats

As we are winding down on our China adventures, we have done and seen a lot of crazy/fun things. Our trip has been filled with plane rides, crazy traffic, and this....

Yes! Laundry!

And these people aren't shy about what they hang outside their apartments!

You laugh, but this is what our hotel bathroom looks like too! No, I will not show you a picture of that. But I Will tell you that I am so ready for my clothes to be put in the dryer so they will regain their shape! We have been able to send out some of our laundry, but I think I'd rather keep the unmentionables and socks in house to clean!
Today was a pretty uneventful day! No undie sightings for us. It was our off day and we chose to spend it sleeping in and then taking a stroll in the park!

OMG was it hot! I'm talking Memphis in July heat and humidity! We lasted all of an hour before we took cover back in the hotel to cool off!

I thought it would be a great idea to get some pics of Lynleigh....

She did not!

I'm not sure she understands the importance of posing! I guess her brothers will have to explain that one in a few days!
Tonight was the last night our whole group spent together. Some of the families leave tomorrow. Boy are they lucky! So, we got together and took a group photo!

After the photo, we took a bus down to the river dock for a boat ride and Papa John's Pizza.

Guess who likes pizza?

The boat ride was awesome! We got to experience the Festival of Lights. I'm not sure what that celebrates but it was pretty non the less!

I think it was a great way to spend the last night as a group! Tomorrow morning, we head to the US Consulate to take our oath. We aren't allowed to taking anything in with us so I won't be able to show you.
Just two more nights in Guangzhou and then off to Hong Kong for one night! I am so ready to come home I can't stand it! Two weeks is too long to go without my boys! I can't wait to smooch their faces and introduce them to the cutest little sister anyone could ever ask for!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Blessings in China

One of my most favorite things about this trip...besides the obvious....

Has been spending time with some amazing people! We have been overly blessed by the families we have been traveling with for the past week and a half! I know Tony has mentioned them already, but after walking home from dinner, I realized...these are some really neat people!
Basically, this is the way it works. Most of the families meet at the beginning of the trip in Beijing and spend one or two days touring and dining together. Then, we part ways and head out to provinces. I know I have told you about the Blake family that we spent time with in Xi'an. After that, we all head to Guangzhou to meet up and wait for out consulate appointment. When that is done, we part ways.
Today, we all loaded up in a bus and took the babies to the "clinic" again....remember this?

Well, today was a lot easier. We just had to have the TB test looked at and we were free to go. Thankfully, all of the children were ok! Only one child needed a chest x-ray but she is ok and was released! I'm so grateful! God had me up a lot last night and that was one of the things I was praying about! PTL all of the children were ok!!!
After the clinic, some of us stayed on the island and went shopping. Of course we visited Jordan's shop again!

I'm telling you, he's such a great marketer! The first day we were there, he sought us all out and told us to come by his shop and he would write our baby's name in Chinese. This is a wonderful idea because we all bought something that day. Plus, many of us stopped in again today to pick up our names and bought more! "Uncle Jordan" as he called himself, made sure to take a picture with our whole group!

This picture includes us, obviously, the Blake's (they are the ones with the two boys), and a family from New Mexico, the Wolf's. I had such a great time hanging with these families and our kids had a blast playing together!

After shopping (look what Miss Thang scored today)...

we came back to the hotel for lunch and nap! I took a good one because I was up several times with Miss Thang last night!!! Then, off to the group dinner of Cantonese food. Not as many families went to dinner tonight, but God places just the right people with you at all times! We had a great time tonight with our family style dinner.

We saw these guys again...they are everywhere!

The just look so ashamed!!!!

And of course.....this!

Eel! Yuck! I was so afraid they were going to serve us eel! Thankfully, they didn't, or at least they didn't tell us! BTW...I used chop sticks with my whole dinner! I've been practicing in our room! I'm no pro mind you, but I didn't starve!

Today was an amazing day! It is so nice to be on a trip with people who are openly believers and who aren't ashamed to talk about it! Please pray for these amazing families as they get ready to travel home on a super long flight with little ones who are not sure what's going on! And please pray for Rachel....she is 4 and is still a little unsure of the whole thing. I talked to her mom this morning and she had a great night but she still has such a sad face each time I see her!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Tobie blogged earlier, but I have a few things to talk about. Overwhelmed...not by the paperwork, worrying about medical checks, or anything like that. our incredible God! Today I was laying on the bed just watching Lynleigh play and I noticed my eyes start "to water". I started thinking about everyone who God has brought into our lives and all of the people that have been praying for so long and so hard for this precious little girl that I get to call "daughter"! We are truly blessed to have all of you in our lives and I want you to know that you all mean the world to us! God's timing. I know that Tobie and I have had our "moments" wanting things to be sped up, but the other families we have met have become an extension of our family in no time at all. Last night at dinner we sat at a table with "new friends" from Chicago, Nashville, and even as far as Germany and you would have thought we were all life-long friends! It was another traditional Chinese dinner with the big lazy susan in the middle of the table where everyone used their own chopsticks to get the food from the big bowls to our plates. Towards the end of dinner, we noticed that all of the bowls were empty on our table and we looked around to see that the other three tables with our group still had half of their food left! I guess we can see who got their money's worth and who is tired of eating Chinese! We thought it was hilarious! Then we came back to the hotel and went out to the playground to find our friend's, the Blake's, who we had the privilege to spend last week in Xi'an with. Lynleigh and their daughter, Olivia played and played and played!

Overwhelmed...that through the magic of Skype(haha) we have been able to talk to the boys twice a day. Being able to see them (on video at least) makes it a little easier being away...but I'm ready to hug their little necks! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has been keeping them and getting them where they're supposed to be!

So, i've said my peace for now...Tobie will blog again tomorrow...with more pics. But here's one for you...

Writer's Block

I have writer's block today! I've been thinking all day about all the interesting and profound things I could write about and nothing is coming to mind! I think the problem is that just a couple of weeks ago, my friend Rita was in Guangzhou getting her son Michael. You can read her blog here. She is with the same agency so all of the things I've been doing here are just about the same as hers. Now, I know you might not know her, and you probably didn't just spend two weeks stalking her blog. This is all new to you...but it seems like I'm rehashing old news when in fact I am not!
So, I will tell you about the trip to the mountain in just a minute...but first, let's admire this beautiful face!

How can you not just be in love with those cheeks and that pouty mouth!

Can you believe that she has been with us only one week? It seems like she has been a part of our family forever yet it's only been seven days! She shows us a little more of her personality each day. The fits are becoming less and less, and she is a cuddler like I've never seen before. I'm not sure the kind of attention she got in the orphanage but she is all about hugging and kissing! And she loves her daddy!

Today, I introduced her to pudding and she LOVED it!
Now, on to our adventures!!! As a group, we went to this place called Baiyun Mountian. Baiyun means "white cloud" and today, there were plenty of white clouds to be seen! It's basically a four mile/3 hour hike up the mountain but we were lucky enough to catch a ride on a cart. You can also ride on a gondola...but I'm pretty sure these things were installed before I was born thus not something I do not want to do!

The day started out super nice but as time passed, it started to rain.

Before that, we watched the bird show! Now, let me tell you that our friends the Pinnow's had already informed us about this show. The birds are pretty talented....

sliding down slides....

raising flags...etc. But the real entertainment is this guy....

I guess he's the trainer but by the look on his face he hates us all and can't wait to go home for the day!

At the end of the show, you can hold up money and a bird will fly up and take it! At one point the bird caught Tony off guard and scared the bejesus out of him! I would pay money to have had that on camera!

After the show, Daddy and Lynleigh got their picture made.

And then we hiked and walked up what felt like a million stairs! I can totally tell it's been a couple of weeks since I went to the gym!
At the end of the trip, we tried to get some pictures of the city but the rain wouldn't let us. So, we loaded up our sleeping baby....along with the rest of the sleeping babies...and came back to the hotel.

It's still raining outside so we are just hanging out with Miss Thang in the hotel room! I think she likes these days because we give her even more attention than normal...if that's even possible!