7
Jun

A moment I don’t ever want to forget

 

{Psalm 31:22}

I had said in my alarm,

“I am cut off from Your sight.”

But You heard the voice of my pleas for mercy,

when I cried to You for help.

12
Mar

We’re Home!

More once I figure out what time it really is supposed to be…

Love,

7
Mar

From the Mainland to Hong Kong

We did a bit of poking around this a.m. and hit a dead end in the information we had been pursuing.  Not to worry though.  Grace was able to watch it all unfold and although it was tough, it was good as she was able to grasp more of what we have been talking about.  God does work all things for good.

We really enjoyed our time in Zhongshan, but the ferry ride was really interesting.  Samuel was fighting sea sickness (even with the Gravol I gave him), but he’s such a trooper that he managed to doze off for the last half of the trip.  I took a bunch of photos through a murky window, but I couldn’t help myself as it was so interesting approaching HK from the water.  As we left Zhongshan the water (from the industrial area run off, I’m guessing) was so brown and riddled with bits of garbage.  As we entered the waters near HK the water became blue green and clean looking.  Such a contrast! 

We laughed at the way they managed to cram all of us and our 12 bags plus 9 carry ons into 2 taxis! Saved us money and gave us a laugh too.  And yes, we’ve bought some luggage along the way since my initial rejoicing and gloating.  :)

HK Disneyland is everything good anyone has claimed it was.  Our rooms face the ocean and are on top of the hotel.  We overlook the lawns, palm trees, pool and the ocean.  Absolutely amazing!  And our kids?  The highlight of the night was finding a real children’s playground outside!  They love the excerise areas in China, but they’ve been missing the kiddie playgrounds too.  We also ate at the Chef Mickey buffet tonight.  So many choices and a chocolate fondue too.  😉

Tomorrow we play HK tourist.  The next day we do Disney. 

You can visibly see the kids relaxing.  The kids were excited to watch Pleasant Goat in the lobby on the Disney channel and I think it finally hit them that we were in Disney when they began to look around notice all the character themed things.  i.e. Grace in the guest room hallway: {Gasp!}  It’s Cinderella! (on a poster) 

It’s been a pressure filled trip in many ways.  So many amazing things, but very emotion packed for everyone too.

6
Mar

Zhongshan visits

Ah, how to sum up today…

Maybe saying we went 3 for 3 as far as the homeland visits went would be best. 

Yueyang was amazing.

Yinchuan was surprising and yes, amazing.

Zhongshan, well, it definitely was otherworldly in so many ways!

We visited the orphanage for a few hours.  We toured the usual places everyone has been in as of lately, but this time with personal stories and lots of children accompanying us (older ones mostly – I’ll upload all of the photos including other children to my private photo blog once we are home for all of you who are waiting for your kids just in case you see them). 

We then went to a local restaurant with Grace’s closest adult friends and the director.  Wonderful Dim Sum.  Grace’s volunteer had had his wedding party there.  Beautiful!

Afterwards Grace, Faith and Garnet got to ride scooters with Grace’s adult friends over to first one volunteer’s home and then the other!  I haven’t ever seen them grin so much!  Through traffic, over a huge bridge, zipping here and there.  We have had an amazing guide and driver here.  Our guide is super spunky and our driver purposely drove down the middle of two lanes of traffic at times in order to provide a sort of “pilot car” for the scooters carrying our children!  Talk about personal service.  haha

Just a note about Zhongshan.  I knew it was beautiful and full of flowers and palm trees before.  But now that I have seen the old town and its side streets and also the modern urban centre with its riverwalk and koi ponds, I’m very taken with it.  It’s got so much character and beauty.  Blue skies and soft breezes. 

We found out so many personal details about our little girl.  We feel as though she is finally ours.  And Grace?  She’s now claimed us for sure!  We had the opportunity to receive blessings from a number of people who dearly loved her and she was able to finally see with all of us in the same room, that we all love her and that the relationships do not have to end.  I think we were all (Chinese and Canadian alike) holding our breathe, but it went incredibly well. 

She (we) are all exhausted tonight.  And she’s a bit strung out.  Pretty normal considering!  It was draining to say the least (a very emotion packed 7.5 hours) and we fully expect lots of ups and downs yet, but the new foudation has been laid. 

Mission Accomplished.

On to Hong Kong via ferry tomorrow.

6
Mar

Yinchuan Touring photos

5
Mar

Arrived in Zhongshan

Thanks for the prayers!  More than I can say. 

Faith is on the up swing, as is Grandma.  Grace had a high temp and threw up just as the bellboys came for the luggage before our flight to Guangzhou.  She’s amazing though and we carried on with a good dosing of Advil and Gravol.  Garnet is having a tougher time since we landed.  Even let Grandma snuggle him a bit (unheard of as he says he’s too old now).  We’ll beat these bugs yet!

Beautiful, new boutique style hotel here in Zhongshan.  Wonderful guide (Joanna).  We had teeny rooms at first and shuffled around enough to get enough beds and all are alseep now. 

We approached the city from a new angle (for Adrian & Roberta).  More factories than we had seen (we knew they were there, right?).  Loads of ads for LED factories.  Porsches and RAV4’s.  All shiny and new. 

Cantonese now.  Lots of smiles.

A crazy, speeding driver for our minibus tonight.  We made it here in record time!

Saw 2 parents each on a scooter.  Each carrying a small child in a Mai Tai wrap.  One on Mom’s back and one on Dad’s front – legs sticking out and around Dad.  Mom grinning as she raced after Dad’s scooter to beat the red light.  Hair blowing.  I will never forget, 

Our Grace is doing amazingly well.  She has crossed the line and now claimed us.   The may sound strange, but it has taken until this week. And yes, that’s a long 15 1/2 months since her adoption.  We still have a ways to go, but so many things have shown us a determination in her to claim us that we are actually starting to believe it may be real. 

Faith is struggling.  She’s tired.  She’s asking many questions of her own.  We are praying for her and trying to help her carry on until the end of our trip.  It will do her heart good when we are in one place for longer than a few nights again and can actively build our new normal.

Samuel is doing really well.  Loves his naps and yet will snooze in the carrier or our arms in we are on the go.  Loves water.  We hear “He shui!” all the time.  :)  We are working on the please and thank you.  He knows so much English.

Our Beijing guide (“V”) has a strong ND connection.  Sponsored 3 kids there until their adoption.  Visited frequently.  We were delighted to hear of her heart and her spunk and excitement for ND!  She recognized Samuel from the photos online.  She told us that she initially found ND online herself after deciding to do something to make a difference (since her exposure to FOI adoption groups).  Huge and amazing thing.  We are thankful for her heart and will be praying she finds others to join her in carpooling out to ND as that is all that is preventing her from more visits!  WOW! If you ever read this V – you are amazing!

Gifts are packed.  Diaper bag packed.  Camera packed.

Time for some sleep for Mom.

4
Mar

Challenging Day

We ended up travelling with all 9 of us to and from Yinchuan.  Samuel works better with everyone at his disposal and it was great to have everyone there to support Garnet.  Unfortunately, this morning, both girls woke up with bad colds.  Grandma is still recovering from one she caught last week (all three were sharing a room this past week).  Samuel refused food and slept through breakfast.  After his impromtu nap, he rose to the challenge and downed 4 sausages though.  We rearranged some of our plans and had a slower morning, a Hot Pot luncheon including an interview with a local journalist (“Surprise!” our guide sprung on us as we drove into the restaurant parking lot with sick and tired and rumpled kiddos – Oh well!) and a tour of the Wetsern Xia Tomb site and museum in the afternoon. 

This evening, we arrived at the airport and attempted to check in only to find that some of our tickets had odd comments attached and so we almost missed out on our flight, but for the diligence of our facilitator and our guide.  Yay!  Then we cleared security (they let Samuel be carried through this time and thankfully didn’t confiscate our liquid cold medicine or “Grandma Soap”/hand sanitizer) only to find that our flight had been delayed two hours.  Many odd gift shop food iems later, Samuel took a long crawling tour of the departures area and we finally made it onto the plane intact.  Half the kids slept or dozed.  The other half caught a meal on the flight. 

After sending four of us in the first taxi at the Beijing airport and almost being charged highway robbery for a van-taxi, we found a regular cab driver who would take the remaining 5 of us in one cab (the cabs are only supposed to take 4 passengers).

Arriving at the hotel we found out that our gear was still in our rooms, but our key cards no longer worked.  The front desk quickly made new ones up and after picking up some gifts left for us at the Concierge desk courtesy of our dear facilitator and friend, we made our way upstairs.

Soft snoring is calling to me from the other side of the room. 

Off to Guangdong tomorrow afternoon. 

Good Night!

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Please pray for health and rest for our bunch.

We received some information that we hope to persue for Grace, just this evening.  Pray that God would move clearly one way or the other on her behalf.

Pray for Jia Yi who I referenced in the other posts (Yinchuan).  She is a very special little girl who very much deserves a forever family.

Pray for my brother and his family who are holding down many forts with us all gone.  They are all very ill with strep and eye infections.  Healing, rest and encouragement for all of them. Love you guys.  Thank you for everything.  It had meant so much to all of us. 

Love,

3
Mar

Yinchuan CWI photos

3
Mar

Yinchuan CWI Visit

Garnet was treated as the returning hero.

He glowed.

The end.

Well.  Not really.

He had a banner with his name on it (“Welcome Back Huyan Baoer!”, in characters).  A crowd of people who knew him “when”.  Children who remembered him. Speeches.  A professional movie camera trained on him.  Gifts.  Baby photos.  His special Ayi was delighted to see him and ran out after him once we left for a few extra moments with him.  The director called the finding person and they came and held him, pointed out the EXACT place and details of his finding story.  Garnet got tears in his eyes (total joy) more than once. 

My heart actually felt it would burst for him.

He’s played second fiddle to the other kids’ stories for so long just by nature of a lack of information.   No longer. 

We were so proud of him.

I think I glowed too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We have video and photos, current medical info and eyewitness stories for Murong Yilan, Mu Rong Jin Bo and Jia Li.  We gave the updates to the staff (they were delighted).  We toured the physical therapy rooms and many other class areas (no sleeping quarters) and have photos.

Lisa, Garnet’s Ayi asked after Yang Yang too. I told her about both boys fishing trips.  :)

E-mail me for a quick update to the parents of the children I named above and I’ll send photos and video once we are back in Canada (a couple weeks).  [email protected]

27
Feb

Yueyang County Photos (Part 2)

Click to enlarge photos.

Hover Cursor over photos to see short description.