Sunday, December 18, 2016

An Afternoon on Shamian Island!

We love this island!
All adopting families "used to" stay here!
We stayed in the White Swan Hotel on Shamian Island 
in 2007 (Anna), 2008 (Sarah) and 2010 (Emma and Ellie).

It was hustling and bustling with new formed families!
It was always easy to find a friend and make a friend!
But now the families stay at other hotels in the main part of the city.
It makes it harder for all of us to connect and meet in person.

Shamian Island and the White Swan Hotel 
are strictly for business people, nowadays.

The children had their medical appointments in the morning!

Grace passed the eye test but I think she may need glasses...
according to her file.

Grace is so personable, friendly and well spoken.
She can start up a conversation with just about anybody!
Everyone loves her!

Jake is friendly too, but 
he understands (maybe) a little more that we are his family!
(And he is very happy about it!)

The medical check up went great for both kids!
No surprises!

We do look forward to getting Grace healthier!
The medical information we get on the files are not always completely accurate.

We have already been connected with Dr Dobbs in St Louis for her foot!
He believes in a more conservative approach to correcting club foot
through a series of casting
(whether it's with Spina bifida with club foot or just club foot).

We will see what he says and which route is best for our daughter!?!

The answer is NO!
Not until you are 21 yrs old!
And yes, he did ask for it!
He asks for EVERYTHING,
whether he really wants it or not!

Ya know, it never hurts to ask!

China has better decorations than my own home!
Look forward to putting up a few decoration once we get back!
We are kind of crawling into Christmas...
it's going to be pretty low key at our house!

We can't wait to have all of the littles and middles together!
And we are excited for our two newbies to meet the bigs!

Ava and Melissa got new jackets for the trip to China!
They needed them anyways bc their other ones were too small.

BUT we can't find Melissa's???
So we messaged our guide in Beijing
and asked if he would check with the hotel!
He did and it was there!
Crises averted, again!
It's being sent to us in GZ!
 William, George and Grace!

Meeting Jennifer Eber and her family was the highlight of the day!
Both families are large and abundantly blessed!

Grace is loving the monkey bars!
In fact so much so that maybe, she wants to stop for a photo op!

I think Dad might be doing most of the work!

Unfortunately, Shamian Island has changed drastically.

This used to be a park filled with children's play structures.
Now there are only a few structures left...

Jake loved Daddy's help, too!

We brought the stroller for Grace...
just in case!
And now she's using it!
Not the way we intended 
BUT she's using it!

Walking with it gives her some stability!

Really, really thankful for our time together with this wonderful family!
Especially, our secret Mom meetings!
Jen and I meet in the lobby and chat,
once we get our kids settled in their rooms!
Since all of our children are a little older I think we are okay
to steal away for a moment!
It's good for our hearts and minds
to share and process
with other BTDT moms!
So thankful for our time together!

There are not many stores like this around any more in the island...

Everything has changed...
There is a youth hostel
were there where once stores
that catered to the adopting families.

Michaels is half the size it used to be
they do have squeaky shoes!

The last time I was on the island was in February 2013,
when we adopted Mia, Melissa and Madeline.
The stores were still here but things were beginning to change...
(Hubby and big brother, Mark made the adoption trip for Ben and Joey.)

I love this island,
 with it's quaint colonial architecture, 
green space, open areas, on the river
and always a photographer or two or three, taking wedding pictures 
(whether it's a real wedding or an advertisement)!

Love these four kiddos!
Feeling very blessed!

Hubby and I got coffee at the Starbucks (for old time sake)
and the children got hot chocolate!

No, that last little guy is not ours!
But he is adorable!

Grace love puzzles,
so we were happy to get a puzzle 
of the provinces in China!

Hubby and I are a little behind the times!
We had many Chinese movies from our other adoptions
so we brought them thinking we would just pick up a DVD player in China.

I guess no one in China uses DVD players any more!
They all down load movies onto their ipad!
We are soooo dated...

believe it or not, 
we were able to find 2 at Walmart in Changchun!
You cannot get them in Beijing!

Jake is watching a boy movie before bed!

And the girls are watching a girl movie before bed!

Life is good and 
we are all doing well!

The kids at home are also doing well.
We miss them terribly and are looking forward to being reunited!

Thank you Jesus!
Please continue to pray for us and our children at home!


Anonymous said...

Oh my gracious, how I love your family. Thank you so much for always sharing your family, and also for allowing us travel to China with you when you bring your little sweethearts home. I sure do miss seeing everyone at home. I can't wait to see the happy faces when you arrive home. What a joyous occasion it is going to be when you are all back home together. It is going to be a very blessed Christmas, celebrating the birthday of Baby Jesus. Little Jake, his beautiful smile goes on and on. His smile, and his eyes, tell the story of the happiness in his heart. Grace pushing Jake in the stroller is so stinkin' cute. It gives Grace more stability walking, and it's fun for Jake. So perfect, a win-win. Ava and Melissa are such wonderful travel companions. They have grown into such lovely young ladies. It has been so much fun to watch all of your children grow and blossom in the loving light of their family. Sending prayers and love xo

altman5 said...

OK, I want to go to China with YOU! LOL (Which means we'll both have to go at least one more time, haha.) Love all your stories and your pics of your sweet kiddos. Enjoy your remaining days there. :)

K said...

I stayed on Shamian Island my first adoption trip and got a red couch picture of my daughter at the White Swan, though we stayed down the street at a different hotel. After that, the White Swan was closed so it was the Garden Hotel. While Shamian is very pretty, I love the convenience to the Metro, TrustMart and restaurants that are available when I stayed at the Garden.

I can't to see you all home and together. Yes, coming right into Christmas will be a bear with jet lag so keeping it low-key is a good idea.

K said...

Forgot to add how much I envy you those moments with other BTDT moms in the lobby. I LOVED getting to Guangzhou just for the chance to meet and speak with other families, especially the ones experienced in China adoption and kids with special needs. It's the only place on earth I'm with "my kind" it seems, those who completely understand what parenting these kids is like.

Alison G. said...

We were just there and saw virtually no other families. We adopted in 2011 and were with a group and I am still great friends with many of them. But even then I was told it just wasn't the same. There is just a certain excitement you get when you see some Americans pushing a stroller!!!