Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Hubby thought I should name this post- That which doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger!

Don't worry it's not the girls - it was the train! Never take the train in China with 7 people and 18 pieces of luggage! I am counting all 4 girls backpacks, the stroller, 3 computers... okay okay, we over packed! - Honestly it was quite a sight with all of us and all that luggage. Our luggage lined the walkway- I think everyone had a good laugh and thought we were crazy. The girls did very well on the train- we took very few pics (if any). The 7 of us were crammed into 6 seats surrounded by our stuff (yes I will be visiting Linny blog post regarding purging and simplifying)! Photography was not high on the list at the time, survival- yes- that was way up there! The train left at 2:23 pm and arrived at 8:15 pm. It was long- and I was not very prepared for it but the girls entertained themselves with their things in their backpack and somehow we made it through! Poor Anna had to go potty the last 2 hours- she refused to use the squatty potty on the train. FYI- you could only use it when the train was moving... hmmm... are ya gettin how it works!

On the way to meet our daughters we found out that for the past year we have said their names wrong- I tried to get it right before meeting them but couldn't. So we quickly went to their new names- they are already answering to them (Emma and Ellie) and even calling each other by them!

Before leaving for China I did say in a much too overly confident manor to my friend Diane- I think our most challenging adoption was Sarah...Ha... I was wrong! I am eating my words. Although the girls are doing great it is challenging. It is also bringing back memories of being in China with Sarah. She has come so far that so many of her behaviors in China are nothing but a distant memory. Well not anymore- it's all come back times 2! Actually knowing how far she has come gives me hope for our two new daughters- they have so much to learn.

We had their personalities all wrong. Emma was supposed to be quiet and shy, she is not quiet or shy! She is a handful! The first day we had to pull her out of the water fountain in the hotel lobby. She thought she was quite funny! After BKF as we were leaving the table I looked down- the girls had left a nice little pile of bone and cartilage that they had spit out when eating their favorite food- Chicken feet! I cleaned it up and made sure to tell them to spit on a plate next time- of course using charades to tell them all this! Ellie likes to please and she has a good attention span. She does like to get her way and was not happy with me when I wanted her to share the bubbles. But after I spilled the water on the bed and sat in the puddle which then made me look like I wet my pants everyone seemed to forget their feeling and started laughing... at Mom!

I would love to keep writing but I have to stop now and go to bed. I will end this post by saying that they are making baby step progress with each day and I am feeling more and more like they are our daughters with each day! It was not love at first sight. It was tenderness at first sight and we are all growing in our feelings for each other!

I will download pics tomorrow and tell you about our time in Nanning! It is late now and we are going on the Li River cruise tomorrow morning at 8:00 am.

Thank You Jesus for the gifts of your children, that we have been blessed with!!


Mary Kate said...

So happy to read your post, and that things are working out....Can't wait for your next post!

Chris said...

Hi Jean and family,
It all sounds par for the course. We traveled pretty light when we went to China last year and I was wishing we packed more. I read your blog to Joely and she said' "Oh yeah, one of the girls likes to play in fountains!" Really she could have offered this info earlier for you. All of your girls are lovely. Have fun in Guilin. Chris

Angie said...

Thank you for sharing! I've been so excited to read how everything is going with your two new daughters. Oh, it does take a lot of time to bond with children, especially when they're older. Praying for baby steps forward every day.

Gayle said...

Thanks for the update, Jean! I have a mental picture of you on that train--makes me smile! can tell Anna that I would hold it too...squatty potty on a moving train--NEVER!!

Keep up that sense of humor amidst the chaos!

Laura L. said...

Hi! Happy to read your post and hear about your progress.
I'm glad things are going okay and baby step progress is happening.

I'd totally forgotten you were riding a train to Guilin! I bet that was really something.

I'll look forward to your updates. We're hanging on your every word over here! :)

Karen said...

Jean and family,
I had to smile at the site you presented on the train! I thought we were bad with our two new daughters at the airport in LA ! When we arrived, our youngest, then 3, pulled down her pants before getting in the taxi to pee! I was mortified as I watched it trickle toward our luggage! All the while our 7 year old was screaming at the top of her lungs! To this day we don't know what she was crying about. Ahh, the challenges of older children with no interpreter. But as so many others have posted, baby steps. Enjoy every bit of their "trying" you out. You will have many stories to tell and I look forward to your posts.

Lori said...

So great to read a new post from you! Your train experience sounds hilarious. I'm thinkin' you should have captured that on video.

Happy to hear the girls are making little bits of progress. It's sometimes one step forward and two steps you know!

Can't wait to see pics!!

Janet and Kevin said...

Keeping you all in our prayers as we know it can be a trying time! So glad the girls are making baby steps. It was not love at first site for us either with our now precious Elijah! I like the way you said it, "Tenderness at first site!" Praying that "tenderness" carries you through and that God gives you the strength and wisdom for each new adventure!

Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and Elijah

David and Sarah said...


I can imagine that it really would be challenging adopting two older children at the same time! But, they will grow and learn quickly! And they are absolutely precious in the pictures. Can't wait to see more. Praying for you.


Pam said...

Oh Jean, I am just laughing at your train story. We went through the same thing, taking the train from GZ to Hong Kong. It is not easy to deal with all the luggage at all. We were not even close to carry on only~ that is for sure!

Sounds like things are going just as one would expect with the girls. I had to remind myself many times while in China and now home, that things WILL get better and easier. It definitely helps when you've adopted before and know first hand the progress that is made with time. Hang in there! It's all going to be good!

soontobemomof9 said...

I'm tired thinking of the train ride! Course
maybe it's the aftershocks of my long plane ride home! ;)

I can only imagine how full your hands are! But not as full as your hearts I would bet!

Love hearing about your travels!

Sally-Girl! said...

It is a good thing you posted as I was about to have our guide her call you at your hotel to make sure all was okay. I have heard the internet in Nanning is horrible. You will be fine in GZ!!!! Oh to miss you only by a few hours is harder today than it has been the whole trip knowing I was going to miss you!!!!

I love how you use humor to get through these tough spots!!!

living4him5 said...

Praying for you Jean! We'll miss you in GZ by just a few days. Our daughter is 8.5 so I'm very interested to read your updates.

God bless and Hang in there!
Amy <><

Motherbird said...


I am praying for you and your newest daughters, as well as the rest of the family as you all transition. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey!


Holly said...

Tenderness at first sight. I think that's a perfect expression!