Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Updating everyone on what and where Izzy and I are right now-


My last post was about how busy life has been since our move to Texas.  My latest excuse for not blogging has been that I have been preparing to travel half way around the world.   We are now here and can't wait to show you all that has happened.  

When Lori and Doug decided to do another adoption they knew one of them would need to stay home with Rachel, who is waiting for a new heart- just in case that life changing call would come while in China.  That is when Lori asked if Isabella and I would like to travel to China with her and Kate.  
I told her I'd really have to think about it.
Of course we would go to China!!!!  Izzy and I LOVE China!!

Sooooo......to recap the last 5 days.......

Friday the 8th, Izzy and I flew out of San Antonio (awesome airport BTW) and met Lori and Kate in Dallas.  We then boarded our 14 1/2 hour flight to Incheon, Korea where we landed, in a stupor, I might add!  Oh my...we were miserable.  All four of us!  About 4 hours later we took one last plane ride to Shenyang, China.  We arrived in Shenyang late Saturday night feeling like the living dead.  Our guide, Sophie, took us to our hotel room (which is actually a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom, living room, full kitchen/dining room apartment!! WITH a washer/dryer!!)  This place has been amazing for the 5 of us.  So much room and we have used the kitchen many times.  I brought enough food to last a month as I remembered on my last trip to China (to get Sophie and Hudson) there were lots of hunger pains!  Haha!  It has made things convenient for us as it is not always easy to take Abby out.
On our way!

Flying over "HOME"

Siberia!!  It even LOOKS cold!

This has been the most unconventional adoption I have ever heard of.  
On Sunday we had Meetcha Day.  Not Gotcha Day.
Abby has lived with a Christian American woman who has fostered her since she was 2 years old.  Melinda, her foster mom, literally saved her life when she took her home.  Since then Abby has not only thrived but knows all about Jesus.  Abby has a foster sister named Makaila and a foster brother named Ethan.  Both still with Melinda looking for their Forever Families.  Anyone would be lucky to have one of these precious kiddos in their families.
Izzy and Kate waiting for Abby

She's here!

Isabella was the videographer.

Melinda aka Mama and Lori aka Mommy

Lots'a love!!

We rode the subway to Melinda's house

A Chinese statue!!

Lori & Abby

Since Abby turned 8 years old on Thursday the 7th, Melinda thought it would be nice to have a birthday party with all her friends from China and her new mommy and sister.  It was so nice to meet the people who have been a part of Abby's life here in China.
So, we spent the day at Melinda's apartment meeting everyone and celebrating Abby.  Melinda made the most of her last night with Abby and it was bitter sweet.  She has loved Abby for 5 years, yet has always known a mommy and daddy is what she really needed.  It was not easy for Melinda and she handled it with love and grace.

Monday we met at the Civil Affairs office and had our official Gotcha Day!  When we were done we left with Abby and came back to the apartment to settle in.  I will say this is not/ will not be easy for Doug and Lori, but it will be one of the biggest blessings ever!  

We did meet a lady from Abby's orphanage who handled the adoption.  At one point all children in Lioaning province living in foster care had to be returned to the orphanage because of a devastating fire which killed several.  Abby was one of the children to be returned.  This woman from the orphanage, whom Sophie refers to as the teacher, was so moved by Abby and Melinda's grief, that a week later she returned Abby to her home with Melinda.  She was also very thankful to Lori for adopting Abby, knowing it won't be easy.
Sophie translating.  Such beautiful writing!!

Teacher from the orphanage with a very kind heart.

Melinda, orphanage teacher, Lori
Abby wasn't cooperating very well- but "teacher" laughed through it all.
Then....Abby planted a kiss on her cheek!
And "teacher" thought it was awesome.
 I love these pictures showing how she truly feels about these kids in her orphanage.
We also went back to Melinda's to visit and get some more of Abby's things.  We got to visit and love on her other two kiddos, Ethan and Makaila.  And I am completely smitten with Ethan!!
After a good long visit we came back to the apartment- figured out how to get online and posted photos.

Lori & Makaila

Me & Ethan

Is he not the cutest guy ever!?

Today we went back to the Civil Affairs and finalized the adoption.  It was nice to see the lady from the orphanage again.  After a rough morning with Abby we headed back to the apartment.  This afternoon Sophie, our guide, took us to eat and to the market to get a few things.  As the day went along, Abby has improved in her communication and obeying.  Getting a new mama isn't always easy!  She has been making us laugh tonight.  She really is the sweetest little girl!  Hugging Kate and Izzy is her favorite thing.  Along with Pooh Bear, Veggie Tales, doggies and baby dolls!

Every day has been jam packed and we have a lot more to do and see.  It has been a wonderful trip and amazing to watch a family begin a new chapter in their lives.  We will continue to see Melinda throughout the week- something I believe is so great for Abby and Melinda.  She is such a godsend for these kids!  

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