Thursday, February 27, 2014

We Are Home!!!!!

Whoo Hoooo!!!!!!!!!

Sorry I couldn't post; my VPN quit working on my computer after the first province. I even had two of them and neither would connect. Seriously irritating because I had to lug my stupid, worthless, heavy computer through every single airport. I will post three weeks of pics soon when jet-lag reaches a minimum. 

For now, here's the long and short of it:

We are doing great!!!

Fu Chao saw Daddy in the airport and took off running for him with his arms stretched out yelling, "Baba!!!" My hubby was in absolute tears, as was the rest of the airport. One of those moments you never forget. Min Jia was a little shy, but is doing fine now. Jet lag is taking a tole on her. She keeps rubbing her eyes. Poor thing!

So want to hear some drama from the trip? Landed in Shanghai and the entire airport staff was rude and wouldn't help us get our boarding passes, except for one man. Thank God for him. We missed our flight as did others. Our agency said in over 30 years they've never had that happen. Then we had delays with flights etc, and even coming home, we were on the flight at LAX ready to come home and they had an "issue" claiming it was the luggage door, then called a mechanic, then an hour and a half later (yes, we were all sitting on the plane that entire time) they announced they had an issue with the luggage itself and were going to unload all the luggage and reload again. After sitting on the airplane for 2 1/2 hours, we finally took off.

I seriously thought I was going to have a psychotic episode but jet-lag took over and I feel asleep waiting for them to fix the "issue."

What was sad is people who fell asleep right after boarding waking up thinking we were in Minneapolis and then being told we hadn't even taken off yet. 

I had a really hard time seeing Josiah and Brianna. I couldn't hold back the tears. I really can't believe I held it together for three weeks, without any emotional hiccups. I told my Mom, "I've got this." And I pretty much did. It helps being experienced at all of this. Not one issue with the littles has thrown me. I started working on behavior issues almost from the beginning with Fu Chao...slowly. I agree with what one of my guides many people adopt and just start with the word "no" being said over and over again right after Gotcha Day. Start slowly, work your way into it.

The day before they met you, they had behaviors, and those behaviors won't be fixed overnight. These children are overwhelmed and to hear "no" to everything, or disciplined, etc., can really throw them for an emotional loop, and can backfire. 

So I chose my battles. Fu Chao came with a Coca-Cola in his hand...literally. So when we went to restaurants I let him order it. It is NOT the time to do battle of the wills while in a public restaurant in HIS country when it is a simple food choice, unless you enjoy public melt-downs and your child screaming insults at you in Mandarin and you have no idea what they are saying until your guide translates and you are horrified beyond believe that he associates him receiving Coca-Cola with your level of love for him.  

And Min Jia is doing fine, although she is horrifyingly skinny. I have skinny jeans on her and two layers of clothes on under those. 

I swear Johnny and Lily grew while I was gone. Johnny towers over Fu Chao and Lily is ummm.....pudgy. I asked my hubby what all she ate while I was gone. It was buffets. Lots of buffets. 

Fu Chao and Lily chased each other for over an hour in our house today, which was fine by me because my little lady needs to work off a little of her jelly-belly!! 

My Mom helped make noodles for the kiddos everyday and was good company. I'm so glad she was with me!!

So right now, we are enjoying each other's company. The kiddos are being kept out of school tomorrow just to bond with Fu Chao and Lulu. I am going to relax tomorrow and Saturday, and nurse this jet-lag. 

I cannot wait to go to church on Sunday as a family of eight!!
I'm so glad God took me on this journey of adoption, and I am so thankful to be blessed by these little ones, and right now, at this moment, I am so thankful to be HOME!!!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

On To Guizhou Province

I can't remember if I spelled that right or not, but I really don't care right now! We fly out later tonight for Lulu's province where we will spend ANOTHER week. I'm doing just fine, amazingly enough. God's grace is all over me right now. I'm not having any freak-out, home-sick, melt-downs, ha ha. Fu Chao is doing great as well. He is telling everyone that he is getting on an airplane. At first he didn't like the idea of getting a little sister until I told him that she needs a family also, that she might be scared, and I need him to be a good big brother. Now he's fine with the idea, but we'll see how he does on her actual Gotcha Day!

I met a lot of adoptive families this week and I'm going to miss just seeing them at the breakfast buffet, hanging in the hallways, etc. I'm going to a province that won't have any other adoptive families, most likely, so I'm trying to prepare myself for that.

Other than that, everything is going well. Fu Chao is helping me throw away his food that he has hoarded through the week, so that's good. At least he can say good-bye to it before it ferments or fossilizes! Ok, next post from Guizhou province, if I can get on my computer again!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Little Valentine

It is Feb 14 in China...the day Fu Chao was abandoned. Can you imagine?? I am so glad he is with me on this day. He was 3 1/2 at abandonment and he remembers it well...5 years ago today. If you think back to traumatic things that happened in your childhood, are you amazed that you can remember in great detail from such a young age? I was accounting to my Mother all the details I remember from when I was 3 years old...traumatic things. They are imprinted in our brains forever. But I love how God comes in and heals. The healing balm has begun in Fu Chao and it will take time. Lots of time.

Today is a nothing day. It's kind of nice before our flight tomorrow. So we are washing clothes in the room, trying to get organized before the flight tomorrow. Fu Chao does a few interesting things that I want to post so I don't forget...

He orders the staff around at the breakfast buffet like he's a 40 year old man, and oddly enough, they comply! Weird! They speak with him as if he owns the place. He tells them to clear the table and they do. I keep intervening but they actually like him and get a kick out of him. He doesn't demand, he requests. It's interesting to watch. He asks for a baggy to put food in to take back to the room. Once again, I intervene but the staff complies with his wishes. It's better being in the room between meals and appointments because he is too social right now...not Mommy shopping or anything, but let's just say the world is literally his stage!!! He greets people as if he's a local celebrity, quite funny actually.

His manners concerning me and others is off the charts...he pulls my chair out for me to sit down, etc.
He sleeps soundly through the night, he performs for me everyday...he stands on the bed singing into the blow dryer and speaking, then takes a bow...he does this probably 10 times a day. Either this little guy has watched a ton of tv, or he's been to Las Vegas to see Neil Diamond perform, ha ha.

I am ready to get to Lulu's province! I've been doing great...I'm too busy to be home sick at this point. I'm so glad my Mom is with me and my hubby is with the kiddos at home. It's making the time go quicker and the journey go more smoothly for all of us. I'm over 1/3 done with the trip so that's a good feeling! I'm not posting pics right now because my wifi, vpn, everything keeps getting booted, so I post quick before everything gets messed up. Hopefully I'll have more luck in the next province!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

3 Full Days With Fu Chao!

It is early on Thursday here. I am going to give a description of my three days that I have had with Fu Chao, because he is super busy and I can barely post! Monday was beyond amazing, Tue was a day of grieving...not for what he lost, but because he was afraid I was sending him back. He cried the whole day, clinging to me for dear life, telling me he loved me. When we were getting dressed he looked worried, then I put his coat on and mine and he just lost it. I tried google translate but it was actually making it worse. Finally, he hung his head and grabbed his bag of clothes that he had brought with him the day of Gotcha. It was as if he was saying, "Ok, I understand, you're sending me back." I looked at my Mom and said, "We need our guide to translate to him." So we went downstairs and waited...thank God for the guide! He translated, but it was still a rough day. It was all scary for Fu Chao...government buildings, lots of people, then we went to his abandonment/finding place. He recognized it before we were there. He told the guide we were right down the street and he was freaking out...wanting to leave, etc. We drove a bit because the guides couldn't find it, then Fu Chao began screaming in the van pointing at the building...sure enough, the guides confirmed that was the place. It had a red door to the building. It dawned on my later on that he was abandoned in front of a red door almost exactly 5 years ago, and he will be coming home with his forever family and walking through a red door to our home...I love how God takes the wrong in our life...the little things...and turns it into something good. Walking away from a red door of pain, into a red door of love, hope, a family, Jesus' presence, peace.
When we left, he was a new boy. I told him we would never come back there again. We did not even get out of the van.
Then yesterday began testing and hoarding food. It's amazing to watch all of it in action. My Mom is kind of freaking out, but I'm as calm as still waters. I've been so immersed in China adoption for so long, that really, I've got this. I told my Mom at least his hoarding is keeping him busy while we're cooped up in the room. Fu Chao is busy and talkative with people and very sociable, without boundaries so keeping him near me in tight space is best!
Words he knows: cool, ok, good,
He does thumbs up, he understands "hold my hand," come,

Ok, Fu Chao is hungry...time for breakfast buffet!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm Here!!!!!

I AM here!!! I DID make it!!! I have had no access to my computer, hardly any of my phone...nothing. Absolutely no access to any of it to let anyone know all is well. I had to use my Mom's phone to text my hubby. I will post in a bit when my cyclone of a little man is asleep! Let me just say though...

I am in love with this little boy! He has had a rough start to life. We had a 2 1/2 hour ride yesterday to and from an office to get his passport processed and I took advantage of it and asked the guide to ask him a million questions. He answered them all. Because he's a talker, he talked the entire trip, both ways! We saw his abandonment/founding place. I will post about that later. Over-all...God has a plan for this little extroverted, type A personality child. He leaves an impression on all he meets.

God has been good to us on this trip! I had massive drama in the Shanghai airport...missed our flight, no one would help us...they sent us all over the place until we finally missed the flight. Mom and I were praying out loud as we were running all over. It was beyond scary...but we are finally HERE! Next flight is to get Lulu, and I'm trying to put the Shanghai fiasco in the back of my mind because I don't want to repeat that nightmare!

Btw, thank you Jesus for men's brains!!!! It was another adoptive father who had mercy on me and helped me get this computer hooked up, get our wifi going, get things on the charger, etc! I am not electronically inclined at all, so I was thankful for his help!!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Johnny's 2 Year Gotcha Anniversary!!!

I'm frantically packing the last minute stuff...but I just gotta say...

I am amazed at God's timing!

Two years ago today, I met Johnny and today...on that very anniversary, I will hug his neck and head out to get his brother, who was by his side in that memorable photo in the orphanage, which seems like an eternity ago.

And two days from now, on Lily's 2 year Gotcha anniversary, I will land back in her birth country once again, to complete another adoption and bring back her little sister.

God is SOOOOO good! 

I am so thankful for this journey!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Little Thief

Last night Johnny's stuffed monkey disappeared. 

He takes that thing EVERYWHERE, so there was NO reason why it went missing. It sits at the dinner table with him. We checked there. Nope. We retraced Johnny's whereabouts since he last saw his monkey. We searched every room, top floor to bottom floor at least 3-4 times. 

There was only one explanation for the disappearance of his beloved monkey: 


I asked her if she hid his monkey somewhere. "I don't know. I don't think so. Maybe." It was the "maybe" that caught my attention, because she said it in a sing-songy in "I should feel guilty about this, but I really don't, and I'm having fun watching you all frantically search for Johnny's toy."

I asked her where she may have hidden it. "I don't know." She acted like she wasn't sure if she hid it or not, so I wasn't sure I should be accusing her at that point. Finally after 20 minutes of us looking, I looked at Johnny, who was laying in bed, so tired, but wanting his poor stuffed animal, and I said, "Buddy, do you think you could do without it just one night?" Choking back tears he said, "I don't know, maybe." He began twirling his hair, looking off to the side, tears started welling in his eyes...and I knew I was going to tear that house apart until I found that monkey.

I looked at Lily, who was trying to go to sleep so she could torment her brother a little longer. I just looked right into her eyes and said, "Spill it girl. That monkey doesn't go missing unless someone hid it. Where did you hide it?"

"Maybe it's in the sun room behind the door."

You've got to be kidding me. 

Hubby and I went downstairs and there it was, right where she hid it. Of course my husband thinks her devious ways are hilarious. 

Johnny completely lit up when he saw monkey, and Lily sighed in disgust because she got busted. I made her say sorry, although I think she was just sorry she got caught.

So then the discussion started with hubby...what are the next two going to be like?


Saturday, February 1, 2014

6 Days!!

I typed this so many times, but I keep getting interrupted by little ones, so I'm going to hurry up and post this before it happens again! The title was originally "10 Days" then "8 Days" and now we're down to "6 Days."


It's crazy to think that, had my agency rep actually checked his phone messages, I would be to and from China already. That missed phone call tacked on 6 weeks to my wait...6 WEEKS!

But here I am 6 days away from my trip and I'm thinking about some serious deep thoughts! Want to know what they are?

Crud, no ice for 3 weeks.
No fountain pop (that's soda for you Southerners) for 3 weeks.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. 

I'm so excited to meet my new little ones and at the same time I'm soooo worried for them. Most people think that they come running into the room, so excited to be adopted, and actually it's the opposite. They are just SO scared!

I'm praying for them...Fu Chao will be saying good-bye to his foster parents whom he has been with for four years!!! And Lulu has been in the orphanage her whole my knowledge, she has no clue what "family" is, not even a foster family.

So I think no ice and no fountain pop is something I can handle in comparison to what they are losing.

I do not have any pictures to post as I am too stinkin' busy getting ready for China. I've packed, then unpacked...looked it all over again, then packed again. 

Like a complete moron, I decided to cram dentist appointments, my hair and nails, all of it until this up-coming week. Heck, even the dog is getting her nails done (a trim don't actually think we paint our dogs nails, do you? Actually, that sounds really cute). And Johnny and Lily have their two year Gotcha anniversaries coming up. One of the benefits of adopting before is I can see how far Johnny and Lily have come in these few short years. I think that is why experienced adoptive parents are so calm in the process and afterward...they've been there, done that, and they have experience on their side. Not to mention, we saw how God was in the middle of all of it, including delays and chaos...he had it covered and it all worked out.

Ok, time to go unpack and repack again...just for fun!