Thursday, January 31, 2013

Moments to Remember!

These events didn't make it into the posts at the time that they happened but we still want to add them to our memories from our trip to China! 
The photos are random.

On January 17th when we were meeting with the Civil Affairs Office for Melissa, she asked us how many children we have?
We hesitated...
Then, I answered 12...
Hubby looked at me and said...
No, I don't think we have twelve? How many do we have?
I said No we have twelve...
I have no idea why I said 12...
We don't have 12, we've never had 12. (okay- we had 12 for 3 days between Abby and Luke) I think I was so flustered I just answered... hoping it would go unnoticed!
The officer started laughing!
Jim and I started laughing!
We recounted!
We had 14 children AND our Melissa would be our 15th child!
Thank goodness she had a sense of humor!

The next time we met with a Civil Affairs Officer was in Guangdong Province for our adoption od Madeline. This time we were prepared and we knew how many kids we currently had and how many we would have with Madeline in our family!
This guy honestly couldn't figure out why on earth we wanted to adopt so many children.

He didn't ask one question, he asked MANY!
He really wanted to understand and he wasn't going to stop talking about it until he did understand.
We told him what we had told the other officers-
we love being parents
we love children
 the children are a blessing to us
it's a faith thing for us, we feel called to serve God in this way
the children need love and a family and we can give that to them

He heard all our answered but still didn't seem satisfied...

So I pulled out my camera and started to show him pictures of our family.
I showed him the girls bedrooms, the children playing in the snow, the little kids under their stockings at Christmas, the family together at Christmas, the children at the table eating dinner, children playing together, big kids with little kids and more.
The look on his face began to change as he saw the pictures. He began to nod his head in as he could see the joy and the happiness.
It was pretty cool!
Undoubtedly God was right there with us!
I wish I would have gotten a picture of him with all of us.
Of course it didn't hurt that Madeline and Melissa were talking away in Chinese to him, inching their way towards him and by the time we were done they were practically on his lap and playing with the things on his desk!
When we were done- we had his blessing!

When Mark was with us we went to dinner at the Chinese restaurant in the hotel. Sarah needed to use the rest room. It was straight ahead and I could see it from my seat. So okay- no problem! Then Mia and Melissa wanted to go to the bathroom. We let them go since it was so close and in my view!

Then Sarah returned...
We asked her- where are Mia and Melissa?
She looked surprised and said "I don't know"?
We asked- "Well didn't you see them in the bathroom?"
"No" Sarah said!
We immediately sent Sarah and Mark to the bathrooms!
In the mens bathroom were Mia and Melissa!
AND Mia was just about to wash her hands in the urinal!
Thank goodness they stopped her in time!!

We went to dinner at a local Italian Restaurant. It was pretty good!
After dinner Mia will often pick her teeth with a toothpick.
She opened up the container and poured few on the table. Then Mia and Katie used a toothpick.
 As we were leaving,  Mia was being very helpful and put them ALL back in the container!
YES, I said ALL of them ; - )
Even the ones they used ; - 0
Just an FYI- don't use the toothpicks in the Italian Restaurant!

Throughout our adoptions I have used Ann of Red Threads to send gifts to our children. It is easy and she translates the letter to them!
 I entered the bathroom on the main floor and a Chinese Lady says to me...
I know you!
You are Jean!
I looked at her with bewilderment?
I had never seen her before!
then she said-
I am Ann! Ann of Redthreads!
It was so fun to finally meet her, even IF it was in the bathroom!!

Mia and Melissa were secretly chatting in the corner. It was a very suspicion looking conversation...
We watched for awhile and couldn't figure out what they were doing and then Sarah said "they have some money".
So we bent down and asked them what is going on?
They both looked at me like "nothing Momma, nothing at all"? I checked Mia's pockets - they were empty. I asked Melissa- she did not have pockets and once again she was certain of her innocence...
But my Mommy intuition knew better...
I lifted up her dress and in her underwear she had stuffed the MONEY!
We told her a big NOOOOoooooo and shook our finger. 
She was bummed. Although I am not sure of she was bummed cause she got caught OR bummed cause she took Mark's money and she really likes him.

Here are some of our new 14th Floor friends! 
The kids have had a blast playing with them!!
Since there is not an adequate playroom for big kids we used the hallway!

When we were on the boat cruise there was a 16 yr old boy that was quite interested in Sarah.He seemed like a nice boy and they struck up a conversation. He asked her IF she was christian?
She answered back -
Oh yeah, I am very christian!
(Of course this make my Momma heart happy!! YAY!!) 

  Big Sis Kate came to me with a complaint.
Her bathroom was very stinky!
The girls didn't listen when Chloe told them what to do with the toilet paper in the bathroom.
So Mom (that would be me) had to do a demonstration! 
Don't worry, I kept my clothes on!
But when the toilet paper went into the toilet, Katie and I cheered!
I think they got it this time!
No more stinky bathroom!
To make sure it wouldn't happen again, Katie removed the garbage can from the stall!


Mama Ds Dozen said...

LOVE all of the stories . . . especially the little girls in the men's bathroom.

:) :) :)

Jennie said...

Jean, Thanks much for the updates. Pictures convey a thousand words, for sure. I am ethnic Chinese (Cantonese is the dialect during childhood) and my ancestors were from Guangdong. I stumbled on your blog and have been reading it regularly as the pictures are terrific. The 3 M's are gorgeous but a bit impish - which is normal. Cheers!

Shonni said...

So many awesome memories!!! I love the story about the man finally seeing your love for your family...what a witness!

Sarah said...

I love all of these wonderful memories and stories!

Suzanne and Adam said...

I love these stories! Thanks for taking the time to share them!!!

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Okay, the not knowing how many kids you have cracked me up because I can totally see us doing the same thing! (We're matched with #9, and waiting to be matched with #10.)

Janet said...

Cute stories! We had the toilet paper problem, even after getting home---so keep checking those thrash cans=)

thesleepyknitter said...

Loving all the pictures and stories!

Sammy said...

So take a family album to China to explain what we're thinking getting this many kids? LOL I'm serious! They think you're nuts at #5. Actually they do here too though. :- ) Love the stories!