An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet,regardless of time,place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.~Ancient Chinese Proverb

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Can we go home yet???

So, we have our girl in our arms, we have finished all of the paperwork, and Mia Xin has her Chinese passport and Visa which she needs to fly, can we go home YET??? Oh, no, that's right...we have to wait for our flight that doesn't leave until Saturday. I can honestly tell you that our excitement over being in China, is over. We have come here to do what we needed to do, we miss our Boys and family back home, and we are ready to bolt!! We are praying the next 2 days pass at warp speed and that Saturday arrives sooner rather than later!
Brian has been hit with whatever virus Mia and I have shared. He felt miserable allday today and ran a pretty high fever. Not what we need. I took Mia Xin out around the city with a few of the other families here, so that he could get some rest. Please pray that whatever he has, passes quickly. We have both started our prescriptions of antibiotics that we brought with us, but what I think we really both need, is just our own beds, drinkable running water and our normal, American diet.....
Mia Xin enjoyed the best night of sleep she has had thus far,last night. So, PLEASE..keep those prayers coming for rest...because they obviously worked!! She still woke twice in the middle of the night for bottle feedings, but at least she slept longer, uninterrupted stretches in between then....and I honestly don't mind the middle of the pm bottles. The poor thing is so tiny, she really needs all the calories she can get, especially since she won't even attempt to eat solids because of her open palate.
Since not much went on today, I will just post a few shots I snapped around the hotel today. I know you were all expecting to tune in to cute dresses and outfits...Well, after 17 days in a hotel, laundry is running slim, and we have resorted to Chinese WalMart clothing. Oh, how I cant wait to get back home to my washing machine!!!

Today, we said goodbye to the 2 couples we spent the most time with, while here. We were so sad to say goodbye, and I pray that we will visit each other in the future. We exchanged numbers and emails. I cannot wait to watch heir precious little ones grow and change. We have become so attached to seeing them, while here, I found myself tearing up as we hugged and said our goodbyes. Kai Xin and June are going home with your amazing sweet families!!!!

Oddly, the little girl pictured beside Mia had the exact Chinese name as Mia. They were BOTH named Dang Xin Xin. Vety unusual! When we found out about the names...we both instantly ran to be sure we weren't there to adopt the SAME child!! It became a running joke to us about them handing us both the same little girl. Well, luckily there were 2 precious little ones...both sweet and deserving of a Mommy and Daddy. They will forever share the bond of similar names. Kind of like Sisters.....June & Mia Xin....

Goodnight from China!
Boys...only 2 more sleeps till we start heading home!!!!!
We love you!!!!!xoxoxox

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Group photo, Consulate and Shamain Islnad

Last night we all met in the hotel for our Travel Group photos and dinner. It is customary for all families to be photographed on the steps of the China Hotel. Then, all kiddos are photographed on the Couch. We have grown to love these other families who have joined us on this venture. They come from all over the States..some with other children, and for some, this adoption journey brought them their very first child. It was truly touching to watch these lives transform. They became like family to us while we were here. We have laughed, cried and complained and celebrated together. I hope that we will all continue to remain in close contact once we all head our sepearte ways. I cannot wait to see what the future hold for these sweet children who are going home with their new Forever Families!!!

Notice Mia Xin on the far right?? She is thinking, "What the heck is wrong with these screaming kids??"

Next, we headed out to dinner with the group. It was a beautiful night and the place was close to the Restaurant, so we walked.

Dinner was delicious! Our guide ordered us 10 or so traditional dishes all to share. We were stuffed when we left. Brian was hoping to hit the Massage Parlor on the way back....Sorry, babe.......

Today we had our US Consulate Appointment. It's fairly strict at the Consulate and no cameras or videos are allowed inside where the Oath is taken (top secret!!). We basically all stood in a room, took an oath that all of the documents and info we gave during our paperwork was true and accurate. We were then called up individually where we finished up all of our paperrwork. Mia Xin will officially become a US Citizen on 6;30 pm Saturday evening, when our plane touches down in Atlanta!!!!!

Later today we took a taxi to the famous Shamian Island. Although I am unsure of the exact history of this particular island, I do know that it used to be a very famous place in the Adoption world, because the US Consulate used to be located on the island. It is also the home of the famous White Swan Hotel, which has been under reconstruction for several years now, but used to house most adoptive families. The island is really cute and reminded me of Charleston. Old, Southern and historic. It had just rained, so it was great weather to just stroll thru, taking in all that the quaint island has to offer. It is known for its local souvenir shops, Lucy's (an American Restaurant) and of course, Starbucks! (Yes, we stopped there, first!). We even got a picture of Mia in the famous Childrens statue. I have been reading and seeing pictures of this stature for over a year, in everyone's adoption blogs...and so to suddenly be standing in front of it, with my Daughter, was a little surreal! We went on to do some shopping at several of the local shops. Brian did an amazing job at bartering. They name one price, you come back with another, they say no, you pretend to walk away, and BAM...they lower their price. Thanks to Brian's amazing negotiating skills, we came away with some amazing deals. We got some shirts for the Boys, souvenirs for friends and family and 4 pairs of cute shoes for Mia.

How is little Miss doing? Everyday we are seeing more of her personality. We are pretty sure that this personality never had the chance to surface in her Orphanage. From what we have been told, she was left alone, kind of kept in the backround, because they thought she was a "fussy" baby, and one who did not like people. They said that the children with outgoing personalities are the ones who get the attention and love, and the others, just kind of get left in the dark. They said she appeared to "like to be left alone"..(umm...really???), and so that;s just what  they did. We were expecting the delays due to Institutionalization since birth, but we have to constantly remind ourselves that she is 15 months old. She has learned to sit on her own and crawl, since meeting us a week ago, and we have no doubt that she will continue to thrive once we are home, but nevertheless, the delays are there. They say to expect 1 month delay per every 3 months a child is Institutionalized, so that would put her about 5 months developmentally behind. We find that to be pretty about a 9 month old stage in US terms. She will most likely walk late and talk late, and that is just fine with us. She has plenty of time to "catch up", and we will be here, encouraging her every step of the way. I have seen, firsthand, this week, what love and affection can do to a child, of any age. These children, this week have been longing for a family, for hugs, kisses, attention, and nurturing...and now they have it......and the results are astounding.
Although we still see times of grief (upon waking, she cries hysterically, almost as if she forgets where she is), I just hold her tight, whispering her through the fit, until I finally feel her body relax in my arms. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God called us to find this child and bring her into our family. While it may sound strange, after these few days, she finally feels like she is truly MINE. Wierd, I know. I mean, I knew that she was mine, the moment we got the call about her. I knew she was mine, the moment we signed the papers. I knew she was mine the moment they placed her in my arms, but now, after having these days alone with her.;day after day, night after night..learning about each other...I finally feel like she is MINE...and I could not be more BLESSED.....

Goodnight from China,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lions and Tigers and Bears.....OH MY!!!!

Well, we have had our girl in our arms now for just over a full week. In that weeks time, we have learned so much about each other and are certainly starting to bod. She seems to trust us and will just snuggle into our arms and neck, and give a little smile here and there. We are still trying to figure out what has her so fussy in the evenings. We are not sleeping, because she continues to fuss most of the evenings. Not sure if she is uncomfortable or what, but it makes for some looong nights (and days). Hoping her sleep will regulate once home. She is crawling pretty well and seems to be pretty sturdy when sitting alone now.
Take a look at what she was wearing when she was brought to us......

This morning we took a trip to the Guangzhou Zoo. It was a nice morning, perfect weather and provided a much needed break out of the hotel. The Zoo was quite impressive with all of its animals. Mia Xin slept most of the trip, but woke up at the end to catch a peek at some of the animals..

Just had a light lunch and very short nap (SHORT because Mia Xin does not prefer to sleep). We are getting ready to head down to meet up for our group/family photos and our last group dinner. Families from our group will begin leaving at different times during the next few days, so this is our last official group event. It is customary to photograph all of the kids who were adopted all together in traditional Chinese dresses. So, our little Princess will be getting dolled up for the occasion. The group photo is sure to be interesting, with kiddos scattering everywhere.We will then all dine together at a local Cantonese/ Portuguese Restaurant. We are excited about the evening and finally getting to hang out one last time with all of the amazing families in our travel group. We have all bonded so much the past weeks, and it is amazing to see how our families have evolved since arriving in China.
Tomorrow is our BIG DAY. The day that our whole trip was scheduled around..our appointment at the US Consulate. This is where we will take the oath that we are her parents and wish to make her a US Citizen. Then, once we land on US soil, she is an AMERICAN!!!!!

More photos to follow tomorrow!!!!

If you wouldn't mind...would you please pray for some sleep for us? This little girl just DOES NOT sleep and we are running on pure adrenaline, which is beginning to wear off. We are exhausted, homesick and I have started coming down with the virus that Mia had when she came to us. We could use some extra prayers for health and rest...thank you SOOOO much!!!!

We love and miss you all.....and to my sweet Boys......4 more sleeps till Mommy and Daddy begin our trek home!!!!!!!!!


Check-up & Cruise

This morning we woke and headed to the Medical Office for Mia Xin's medical exam. All persons hoping to immigrate to the US must pass a medical exam for entry. They just do a basic ENT exam, height and weight and then quick full body exam. Children over 2 years old must also have a TB blood test. They also took her photo for her Chinese Visa. The exam was pretty quick and painless. Just a little crying when they made us undress her...this girl DOES NOT like to be naked....probably from 14 mos of being layered in snowsuits...maybe she found a sense of security under all of those clothes. She peed all over the exam table once they made her take her undress..and then i was surprised at how they sat there and waited for me to clean it up. In the US, a nurse would have grabbed some towels and taken care of it.Nope. Not here. YOUR KID......YOUR PEE...YOUR MESS!!!
Her exam was good. 16.7 lbs and what they called "tiny" for her age. The Dr noted a persistent rattle in her chest, which we have also noticed since the day we got her. We are hoping that it is the residual of her cold/virus or possibly cleft related due to her swallowing issues. In the back of our minds, we are very concerned that she may could have possibly swallowed more of the plastic that had to be removed from her throat and palate. It wouldn't surprise me if she may have, but when we mentioned our concern,it was brushed off. I swear, NOTHING is deemed urgent around here. Thankfully, we have her scheduled for her complete physical and blood work as soon as we return home, where we will most like request a chest xray and other tests to rule out any other foreign material that she may have ingested.....geez....I cant believe we are even having to worry about this. Definitely wasn't planning on that being a concern.
Kind of had to chuckle when we saw a wine vending machine as we walked into the Medical Exam Building. Guess they figured people would need to drink after that experience.....

Yesterday was Valentines Day in China! Our guides warned us that we may not be able to get a table at any of the local Restaurants because of the crowds eating out for the holiday. So...we played it safe, and had dinner delivered to the hotel.....and it was PERFECT!!!!!

Tonight we went on a dinner cruise through the Pearl River. They light up the entire river at night and it is simply beautiful. Mia Xin did great which made it even more enjoyable. The weather was great, the sights were amazing, and the food was SO SO. There was a juggler, too.
Here are some pics from the night!!

OHHHH!!! And..guess who turned 15 months old today????

Sorry for the lag in posts, but Internet is very spotty here. Still unable to see or read any posts on Facebook. Thank goodness for being able to occasionally facetime our Boys. Thank the Lord.......4 MORE SLEEPS until we leave!!!!!
We are SOOOOO ready to come home!!!!

Thanks for following along!!
Blessings from China,