Wednesday Morning Update

Good morning from Guangzhou!  Today I had a little taste of normalcy.  I woke up before everyone else and read my Bible and drank some coffee.  All that was missing was oatmeal and a run with Gabby.  🙂  Yesterday, was our official adoption day.  Anne is now Anne Elizabeth Ru Shun Palumbo!  We met our guide from Holt at 9:30 in the morning and then headed to the Civil Affairs office.  We had two short interviews and a family picture.  The notary asked us if we still wanted to adopt Lian Ru Shun and if we would ever abandon her.  Yes, we want her and already love her!

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There was a little mix up of paperwork with the other family from our agency. Our names were on their daughter’s forms!  Our guide went in and checked all the forms over. All is well.  After the adoption, we went to a local foodstore to get any more supplies we needed.  Then, we had some pb & j for lunch in our room and the kids did some homework.  We tried a Chinese restaurant recommended by Holt for dinner.  Thankfully, they had a picture menu and we also got some help from a group of other Americans on what to order.  We finished the day of watching a movie together after Anne went to sleep.

Today, we are free this morning. We are heading down really late for breakfast and we will meet together in the afternoon to apply for Anne’s passport.  This is our last set of Chinese paperwork, then we work on making Anne an American citizen!  This morning, I was reminded in Matthew 6 (verses 34 and 35) to “not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Amen!  We will trust God for today.  Have a blessed day today.

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Posted in Adoption News

Our Anne Girl

It is day 3 of having Anne as part of our family and I thought it would be fun to share what we’ve learned about her:

-she waves bye-bye…at first we thought she wanted us to leave, but now we think she just likes to wave.

-she has a very quiet laugh, but she does laugh with her mouth open.  She looks very cute when she laughs because of her cleft lip.

-she loves toys.  I’m so glad that I brought all that I did to China.  She loves the book from the Dennisons, the sea horse from the Fitzgeralds, and her phone.

-she likes peek a boo, especially when David does it.

-she is a good crawler, but not very fast.

-she likes to practice walking with us holding her hands.

-she claps at music.

-after the shock of getting in the tub, she discovered that she loves playing with toys in the tub and splashing the water.

-she isn’t used to being held, so she does not hold on very well.  My arms ache at night from holding her because she is like dead weight.

-she loves congee, a Chinese food that is like very thin oatmeal.   Maybe she’ll be my oatmeal partner for breakfast at home.

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These days have been an up and down roller coaster of emotions.  I think it has been reminiscent of when we brought David home from the hospital because I was so exhausted both times.  This is a joyous time for us, and I realize that it won’t always be as easy as it has been the last two days.  There will be grieving – if not soon, then definitely when she is older.  We can’t help thinking of her birth family, the loss they have.  She is a joy to us, and they will never know her.  We all love her so much already.  Everyone is vying for her attention and we can’t wait for you to meet her.  Thank you to so many that helped to bring her into our family.

The Psalm that I’ve turned to is Psalms 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord

who made heaven and earth.

he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

will neither slumber or sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil

he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.

 

Posted in Adoption News

Gotcha Day

Today is a day all over China that many, many families were meeting their adoptive children for the first time.  All of the families from our agency left Beijing yesterday and flew to the capital of their province.  We are in Guangzhou because Anne is from Lianjiang, which is in Guangdong.  I won’t detail it here, but I was amazed yesterday by our lovely travel guide Lily.  She took a huge busload of families to the airport with tons of luggage and children, then checked them all in for their flights and sent them off across the country AND it worked.  She was amazing and we needed her.

Even though we already have Anne, we still needed to go to the Civil Affairs office to make it legal.  We met our staff person from our agency at 2 and she took us and two other families to the office.  Downstairs in the office, we met three workers from Anne’s orphanage.  We actually had to give Anne to them.  They took her upstairs, where we joined many other families waiting to meet their children.   The plan was for them to complete some paperwork, and then do the official hand off to us (really hand back).  Well, in the last day Anne has decided that she really likes me – which is wonderful!  So, poor Anne was sobbing when I handed her off and we saw her screaming in the other room the whole time. We felt bad for her, but it was amazing to me that she already trusts me.

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Before we went, I told my kids that we were going to have a wonderful opportunity – to be a part of something so special. We could watch others, because it wasn’t really our day with Anne.  We  saw so many families waiting and then meeting their child.  Things have changed in China in that the need is for older children or children with special needs to be adopted.  Dave and I were particularly affected by a family adopting a 6 year old boy with downs syndrome.  We actually met the dad in the elevator of our hotel and he told us he came on his own because his wife stayed home with his three kids and they were adopting a 6 year old boy.  I told him how hard it must be to be alone and he said that this was going to be some good father/son bonding time.  We did not realize then that his new son had downs.  It was the most beautiful thing.  He was so gentle with this boy.  He didn’t touch him at first, but just played a soft whistle toy.  Then, we saw them later with the boy on his lap eating a snack and drinking from a water bottle.  He was prepared. 🙂  Later, Dave saw them out of our hotel window playing with a kick ball, and then they both left with their backpacks on.  This was so beautiful!  Adoption is a picture of how God adopts us as his children.  This was made so clear today.

 

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Posted in Adoption News

Day 4 and 5 in Beijing and Guangzhou

On Saturday we did another tour with Holt families – this time going to Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City.  Lilly was our tour guide again, doing a great job relaying some of the vast history to us.  It was really interesting to visit Tiananmen Square in particular…knowing some of the revolution-like scenes that have been played out in that very spot.  Both Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City were really crowded…  and it was a fairly warm day in Beijing.  And as time went on, I think both the crowds and the heat started to get to us.  I’m certainly glad we went, but honestly we were all feeling pretty drained by the time this tour was done (about 4 hours).  After the tour, we again went to lunch together.  It’s been nice on this trip to connect with these other adoptive families in Beijing.

After lunch, most of the other families were going to a silk factory…  however our family as well as one another were taken separately to get our children.  For those of you who don’t know, Anne has been in Beijing for several months now… she was born in Guangdong province, in Lianjiang City.  But she came to the Peace House in Beijing to prepare for her cleft lip surgery (which she received), and to recover from that.  We feel so fortunate that Anne was moved to Peace House…it’s a wonderful place!

Although we didn’t spend too long of a time there, it was a very special time on Saturday at Peace House.  Jenny may write more later about this experience, so will save the details for now…  but suffice to say we took many pictures and will cherish the memories of picking her up.

Since we are mostly on our own for dinner, it hasn’t been that simple to find places where we can read and /or order in English…  so for Anne’s first dinner we headed to, of all places, KFC!  (I think I saw more KFC’s in Beijing than I’ve seen in all of NJ).

On Sunday morning we boarded a van at 7:00AM and headed for the airport… to catch an 11:00AM flight to Guangzhou.  In China, you officially complete the adoption from the capital of the province where your child is from.  And since Guangzhou is indeed the capital of Guangdong, that’s where are now.  🙂  Today ended up being a travel day mostly…     Air China treated us pretty well – a nice lunch on the plane, two sodas (Cokes again!)…. not too shabby!

Tomorrow (Monday) we go to the Civil Affairs office to officially complete the adoption.  Right now we are Anne’s guardians, as we actually were permitted to take her on the flight with us from Beijing (they gave us a power of attorney doc).  But tomorrow we officially and legally become her parents.  And she our daughter.  Another memory I’m sure.

By the way, I think Jen is planning a post or two on Anne…and our experiences so far with her… but suffice to say we are very in love with this girl!  Thank you for praying – please continue to pray for our attitudes and patience for each other (all of us!).

Good night!

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Posted in Adoption News

Day 3 in Beijing – Friday

Day 3 in Beijing was one we will certainly remember, I’m sure.  After having breakfast at our hotel, we took a bus ride with other Holt families (Holt is our adoption agency) to The Great Wall (8:00AM I believe).  We were told it can be pretty steep at times, and that the steps are sometimes uneven and slippery.  It didn’t take long for all us to feel pretty winded climing this beast!  The Wall didn’t look that bad while you were climbing — but the grade going up indeed was steep.  Before we started, our tour guide Lilly told us that we are heroes for trying to climb…not heroes for finishing!  🙂  Actually, David and I got about 90% of the way to the very top….but even past the “I Climbed The Great Wall” t-shirts that were being sold.  But even still we–or at least me–felt like the final 10% was just a bit too challenging!

After coming down the wall we treated ourselves to a Coke (never tasted so good!) and relaxed for a bit… After The Great Wall we all went to lunch and had a number of authentic dishes family style.  Some more Coke tasted good!  After lunch we toured a jade factory which was downstairs from the restaurant.  We saw how jade is cut and the artistry which goes into refining just one piece.  Of course there were also items made of jade for sale–most of which were jewelry.

After the jade factory the tour took us to the Hutong area of Beijing.  Hutongs are these very narrow alleys and streets flanked by modest homes and even some storefronts.  The Hutong area is one of community where everyone lives very close and depends on one another.  Because the hutongs are so narrow, the primary way to get around is to use a bicycle.  So to tour this area, we took a rickrhaw ride through.  Seeing these modest homes and storefronts up close and personal like this was very educational…and fascinating.  At the tail end of the Hutong tour, we actually got to visit someone’s house and hear a short presentation from her.  I really enjoyed this part of the day!

At this point it was about 3:30PM in the afternoon and it was finally time to head back to the hotel.  A tiring day for sure, but one we’ll remember I’m also certain!

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Posted in Adoption News

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Jenny, Dave, David, Daniel, Laura...