Thursday, January 31, 2013

DAY 21...

YAY!! We are done with our Consulate Appointment!
It went smoothly!!

Then it was off to the Botanical Gardens!  The children are pictured here with Selena!

We are excited to go home BUT we don't want to say Goodbye to Katie ; - (

The children LOVE ice cream treats!!

 This little one is a spiller! Every outfit has food on it!

The gardens were lovely BUT my mind is beginning to think of HOME!!

Almost all of our friends have left...
So the 14th floor is a bit more quiet than usual...

We had our guide talk to the children about going home and about what to expect at home. 
They listen intently and asked questions!

Here are a few of the families we traveled with!

It has been a joy having Sarah with us!
She is a great helper and loves to play with all of the children!

We went to the noodle place right next door! They were filming a piece on the homemade noodles for a Korean TV show.

The children loved watching all that was happening!

Mia is doing very well! And seems ready to fly to America!
Her voice is no longer a whisper- in fact she is very LOUD!
UPDATE- Total breakthrough! She wants her daddy to carry her AND toss her on the bed! She has come a LONG LONG way!!

The next thing you know we were part of the TV segment for Korean TV!

They talked to the children and filmed them eating the noodles!

It airs on March 8th!

Katie and I are going to do a little shopping with Ann of Red Threads now!
Can't wait!!
Update- we had a successful shopping trip! So glad we had Ann!! We would have gotten lost without her and she let us know when it was a fair price!

Tomorrow- we pack and tomorrow night we fly to the USA! 
GZ to LA!
Can't wait to have a cheeseburger!
(this may be the last post from China...

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!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Foot Massage, The Island and The Pearl River Cruise!

Today was a free day!
So Katie and I left the family for a short while and had a foot massage!
Oh, it was so wonderful and only $13 dollars for one hour!!!
In fact they recommended that we come back again!
(Not really, but that's what we told hubby!)

He had the girls for about 2.5 hours! Just him and the girls! 
I said to Katie as we walked to the foot massage place- how much do you want to bet that at least one of the girls goes into the pond!

When we got back I found out I was wrong-
 all four girls were in the pond and two needed to change clothes!

I guess a toy fell in and they needed to retrieve it...
ahhh, yeah, sure honey!
All four girls needed to hike up their pants and get one little item that fell into the fish pond?
 Mia was the brave one and actually got it- the other were her support staff!
(Now hubby is thinking we need a cabin for our crew- he grew up with one and many people in MN have them.)

Then it was on to the island!

You should see the look we get when we all pile into a taxi!
They make us pay double but that's better than two taxi's- we like to be together!
And it's a great opportunity to sit super close and have littles on our laps!

 The girls love the brides on the island!

  Madeline is such a happy girl and has lots of energy! She has a mind of her own and right now NO is her favorite English word!

Another pow wow- they are gathering to solve the worlds problems!
I wonder what they will come up with! 

Universal sign language for "carry me Daddy"!

Looks like she got what she wanted!

We got back just in time for the Pearl River Cruise.
This was the first time we have been on it!

The five of us sat together!

Katie and Mia sat at the table next to us with our friends!

Vivi is as cute as they come! All our girls just love her!

All the people we are with are so nice!

We feel like we are watching others come and go only we don't get to! We always stay- we're like the welcoming committee on the 14th floor! Wonder who are next neighbors will be ; - )

I am not complaining! Our agency already turned a four week trip into a three week trip so we are very thankful!

Once again they gobbled up dinner and loved it! They had many many whole shrimp and are little darling ate the whole thing! The tenacules were sticking out their mouths! So ladylike!

They loved the lights on the bridges and the buildings! They are noticing planes in the sky now! They know we will be flying home in a few days! Ge ge Mark will pick us up at the airport!

Then they had a clown show! We all scurried in but Mia was especially excited! She found a seat front and center! The smile never left her face! She did not know I was taking pics- sneaky Momma!
The pics are a little dark because I took them from a ways away.

Everyone loved the show as you can see by all the smiles!

Two different times she became part of the show. At first she resisted but then she went ahead and did it! I was not quick enough with the camera to capture the moment.

It was so much fun for me to just watch our children's faces!

The excitement carried onto the bus! Where they waved at people out the window and giggled non stop!

Remember the kids in the back of the bus!
Loud, laughing and causing a bit of a ruckus...
Well, that would be us!

This is day 19... today is day 20... and tomorrow we have our consulate appt!
The end is in site and we are beginning to think about 
Home Sweet Home!
Praising God!