Archive for » July, 2012 «

Day 13 – Last Day in Guangzhou

This is Jeremy here.  Heidi is busy packing as we head to Hong Kong.  We leave at 5:00…just as soon as we get Mollie Xiu’s Visa.

Happy Birthday to my wife.

We went to the mall and she got a beautiful jade bracelet.  She deserves it.  She has worked so hard to get us to this point.  If you want to know anything about adoption, she is the person to ask.  Thank you Heidi for all your hard work!

Yesterday we did two things.

1.  We went to Mollie Xiu’s consulate appointment and took the oath.  She officially is an American citizen.  We’ll…actually the moment she steps her foot on American soil she becomes American….American Chinese.  After we took the oath while on the bus the adoption families all said the Pledge of Allegiance and recited the Lord’s Prayer.  It was kind of cool.  It was nice to be on American soil in China…we’ll actually the American soil was five stories up!

2.  Later in the evening along with other families we took a boat cruise down the Pearl River.  They feed us a dinner and entertained us with a clown that could juggle and spin a soccer ball.  Mollie Xiu got to spin the ball on her finger while the clown held her finger.  I missed the moment with a picture.  Word of advice to families coming to China…we wished we would have purchased a nicer point and shoot camera.  There were many times that we were late on pictures because we had to hold down the button for so long.  Anyways, China has some colorfully lit buildings at night.  It was neat.

This will probably be the last post until we come home.  We are heading to Hong Kong today at 5:00.  We will stay the night in Sky City Marriott near the airport.  Our plane will leave at 10:25am.  We will arrive at Detroit at 1:40pm.  We will arrive in Indy at 7:10pm on Delta flight number 815…if you want to meet us at the airport.  We only ask that you respect our bond with Mollie Xiu.  She still will not go to Heidi and until she does we don’t want her to go anyone else.  She may not anyways!  Just follow our lead on that…

Anyways, thank you for your prayers and support.  We are excited to get back home and see everyone!

Blessings!

Consulate Office where you take the oath

Some of the adoptive families with us at the American Consulate

Just before the oath

After the oath

Saying the Pledge of Allegiance

Loves ice cream

Heidi holding Mollie Xiu…only when she is asleep!

Pearl Shopping!

Pearl River Boat Cruise

True Chinese!

On the boat

Watchin the clown!

The clown

Hubert Keller Spinning the ball on his finger

Kennedy

 

Day 12 – Free day, sort of….

Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard about the Typhoon that is hitting Hong Kong, but we are getting poured on here in Guangzhou!!

We are actually flying out of Hong Kong Friday morning!!

I think we’ll be fine, but pray for us!

Today was yet again a very good day.

Mollie has come a long way in just a little over a week!

To watch her you would never guess she is the same little girl we met last Monday!!

What a miracle God is doing in her heart!!

We had a “free day” yesterday so we went back to the 4 story shopping center!!

Taking a taxi is an event!!  We have so much fun doing it!

It was actually Taylor’s first time to ever ride in one.

We went back and I bought for my girls and myself these beautiful little jade heart necklaces.

I feel like they represent the new heart that God has given not only Mollie Xiu but also myself.

She had a broken heart when she was born, it was repaired by surgery.

She had a broken heart when she left her foster family, it is in the process of being repaired.

Our heart necklaces will remind us of what God has done for all of us.

How He has adopted us.

This experience has been such a spiritual experience for me.

I am starting to understand more of the Father’s heart!!

How we are unwilling at first to come to Him, but He is patient!

I love that!!

Thank you Lord for being patient!!

Thank you Lord for adopting me even when I was unwilling!

So after we went shopping, we came back to the fabulous Garden Hotel.

We were soaked!!

It is raining and raining hard!!

We thought we’d have about 45 minutes to rest and dry out, but our guide told us that plans had changed and that we were leaving in 5 minutes to go to Shamain Island!!

So we got up and off we went!!

This place is where the adoptive families would stay while in GZ.

It is home to the famous White Swan Hotel and Victory Hotel.

There used to be shops galore!!

But the White Swan is closed for renovations, so a lot of the shops have closed..:(

It is a beautiful place!!

Of course, we were walking around in the rain!!!

We did get some of the famous photo ops with the statues and of course we ate at Lucy’s!!

We had fun, I’m so glad we went!!

I need to go back!!  I didn’t get to visit all the shops I wanted to!!

It was a good day!!

Sorry for the thumbnail pics, I will change later!!

In the lobby of The Garden Hotel

The Garden lobby

Front desk at The Garden Hotel....awesome!!

The Tea Bar in the lobby of The Garden

Front desk..

Ceiling in the lobby

Lobby again…..:) Do you get how lovely just the lobby was??

Spiral staircase……awesome!!

My 3 gorgeous kiddos on the wooden, spiral staircase

Getting a giggle!!

LOVE this picture!!!

Taxi ride to the mall!!

Jeremy in the front seat of the taxi!

Four story mall!!

It was massive!!

Jade shopping!!

It was packed!!

Mollie and her friend at lunch!!

Plaza area outside the mall

Plaza area..

These were pets, not food!!!

Kennedy and Mollie on Shamain Island after our first purchase of “squeaky shoes”!! She loves them!!

Famous statue on the island. Every adopted child has their picture taken here!!

Love this!!

Loved this one too!!

Seriously, she is just too cute!!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one!!

Lucy’s is famous for adoptive families!! It was also fantastic!!!

Lucy’s famous Iced Tea!!

 

Day 11 – Lions & Tigers & Bears….Oh My!

This is Jeremy again posting for my wonderful wife who is extremely tired.  I hope you enjoy!

Mollie Xiu is improving remarkably.  She has become a happy toddler!  She smiles.  She plays.  She laughs.  She runs. She is BEAUTIFUL!

Taylor and Kennedy play a game of hide and seek with her….They all go to the bathroom and get into the shower (it is big enough to fit 10 people).  Taylor and Kennedy quickly run and hide somewhere in the room.  Xiu Xiu runs wildly to find them.  When she finds them she falls to the floor laughing.   It is such a joyous thing to see she her respond this way.  We have video footage but for some reason we are unable to post video to our blog.

Xiu Xiu is warming up to Heidi everyday, but still has a ways to go.  Heidi has gotten some kisses, held her when she was asleep, and feed her some food.  We know in time that in time she will adore her Mama.

We spent the day at GZ zoo yesterday.  We found out the Mollie really enjoyed the animals.  And not only the animals, but also  an ice cream cone.  We let the pictures do the talking today….

Before our group picture! Aren’t they precious?

At the Zoo with JieJei and MeiMei!!

The Zoo!!

Another adoptive family….they are A/G pastors as well!!

Pastor’s here as well!!

Fun bus!!

Mommy and her littlest girl!!

Hungry girl!!

White tiger! Cool!!

Panda!!

Turner family outside the Panda house!!

Turner kiddo’s!! Aren’t they awesome?!

Aww, she is sweet with a little touch of ornery!!

Awesome trees!

Amei, Mollie’s friend!!

Adoption friends!!

 

Day 10 – Shopping……oh yeah!!!

Today….well….how do I describe it….

Well, it was…..

A. Good. Day!!

Mollie Xiu did awesome!!

She woke up happy and that feeling just did not fade.

How am I feeling, well, my pity party is over.

I figure my daughter is happy, so I should be happy as well.

It’s a choice and yesterday I chose to be pitiful.

Today I chose to be happy.

It was a good day.  It was a God day.

We went shopping!!!

How can a day not be good when you go shopping??

Well, I guess that depends on what you’re shopping for?!

But for us it was jewelry, clothes, shoes, and silk items!

China is known for there pearls and jade.

I knew I wanted to buy myself and my daughters matching bracelets.

Wow, isn’t that weird to read, my daughters!!!

I love saying that plural!

Anyway, our guide took us to a pearl shop and I picked the strands and they made us 4 bracelets, and 3 pairs of earrings!

I got Mollie 2 bracelets….one that fits her know, and one that will fit her later.

We put it on her and she loved it!!

Kennedy and I put ours on, and it was precious!

We kept showing her we match!!  She is ours!!  She has a family!!

She showed that bracelet off to our guide Rebecca and she told me that Mollie must really love it because she showed her several times!!  Made my Mommy’s heart very happy to bless my daughter with a gift that she loved!!

I believe that gesture showed Mollie she is a perfect fit to the Turner’s.  She is now officially a daughter and sister!!

We bought this child new shoes.

Let me tell you….she LOVES clothes and shoes!!

She wore her shoes out of the store!!

She thought that was the greatest thing!

Then she kept looking at her shoes and her bracelet.

Yes, she is a fit to our family and she knows it!!

We went to the traditional Chinese outfit clothing store and talk about precious!!

I could not decide!

I wanted one of each!!

I restrained myself and only bought 2, there!!

We are going shopping again on Wednesday and I can not be responsible for what or how much I buy this child!!

If I have to buy my way into her heart, then so be it!!

Just kidding to those of you who think I’m going to bribe my child for love!

I would never do that, I’m to ethically moral!  😉

After shopping, we went back to the hotel and Mollie napped.

Kennedy and I went to Shamain Island for more shopping!!

We, along with a few friends, took a taxi (awesome experience) and headed for more good buys!!

I can not tell you what I bought here, because some are gifts!!

Last night we went to dinner with our Facebook Winter DTC group!

DTC – Dossier to China.

It was so fun!!  I got to meet friends that I’ve only ever met online!!

We then went back to Cow and Bridge restaurant to look for Mollie’s bag.

I’ve lost it!!

You can tell I’m not used to having a toddler yet, because I can not keep up with her stuff!!!

Wasn’t there!!

We came back to the room and Taylor, Kennedy, and Mollie played and played hard!!

She was walking around the hotel like she owned the place!

It was fabulous to see her continually make break throughs with us!!

We then Skyped with our church family as it was 10:30 am in Indiana and 10:30 pm in China!

As soon as we hung up, we went to bed!!

GZ is busy, but fun!!  So we are continually on the go.

Which we love!!

Continue to pray for Mollie and her heart!

She’s making big strides towards me, and for that I’m thankful.

I still can not hold her, but that is coming!!

She did let me wipe her face and give her a drink of water!

She lets me brush her teeth and fix her hair everyday!!

She’s a girlie girl!!  She loves to be pretty!!

I did get to paint her nails last night, so that was pretty awesome!!

Today was a good day!!

Looks who jamming out?!

Already working Baba’s iPad!!

Loving the games!

Riding “Piggy Back”. She LOVED this!!

Mollie LOVES her JeiJei!!

I think Kennedy is going to have a “shadow” when she gets home!!

What is she teaching her?? We are going to have fun with these 2!!

The Pearl Market!! Oh, how I love this place!!

Look at that smile!! Oh, yeah, notice her new bracelet?

Day 9 – Medical Exam…..yuck!

There is power in prayer!!

All I can say is that prayer works and is working!!

Mollie has come so very far in just the 6 days she’s been with us.

Today was a very, very good day for her!!

We are at the fabulous Garden Hotel!!

Which, by the way, did I mention is fabulous?!!

This place is beyond words!!

There is a dessert bar in the lobby!!

A DESSERT bar people!

Um, yes please and thank you!

Oh, wait, my hubby just brought me Starbucks so let me take a sip!!

Ok, back to work…

Where was I, oh yes, telling you how fabulous our hotel is!!

I’m sorry, you may get tired of me saying it….but it’s fabulous!

I told my kids to drink this experience up!!  🙂

Since we have a “larger” family, we usually have to get 2 rooms.

Well, we were able to upgrade our room here to an Executive Suite.

So there are a few different privileges, like getting to eat breakfast on the top floor with the most amazing views!!!

There is one other family with our group on our floor, our DTC FB friends Justin and Kristi Goble and their children.

Their daughter Presley is gorgeous!!  They have Piper, whom they adopted a few years ago, she’s a little cutie as well!!

They also have Chloe, who is Kennedy’s age and Cooper who is 11.

We are thinking our older kids will have each other to hang around with!!

We are all loving life!!

Ok, back to breakfast.

Mollie ate, and ate, and ate, and ate!!

She’s definitely a meat eater….good.

She definitely is a fruit lover…..good.

She’s not crazy about breads….what?!  We are Turner’s…we love our Carbs!!

I’m sure that will come!!  We’ll give her time.

She’s feeling more and more comfortable with our family.

She will actually sit in a high chair and not have to be with Baba the whole time.

Relief for Jeremy and giving his arms a break!!

After breakfast we went to the medical exam.

This place was crazy!!

And we have 13 families with our group, so we were there for a little while!

Didn’t feel that way, but we were.

She had to go to 3 different rooms.

The first room, they listened to her precious little heart.

Of course we cannot understand or read Chinese, so I’m guessing she’s ok.

Then she went to the nurse’s station where they weighed and measured her.

I would so have like to know what she weighs….but I didn’t look….

Too busy trying to get pictures!!

The third room was the ENT.

They check her ears and throat.

She was ok with the ears, but keep that tongue depresser out of her mouth!!

Poor girl started gagging and coughing a little!!

The final stop was the tb test.

Every child being adopted if they are over 2, have to have this test done.

Well, she loves her Baba, so guess who held her??

Yep, not Mommy!!

But she did great!!

She cried some, looked at her arm, showed Baba her arm and let him kiss it.

Baba asked her if Mommy could kiss is and she let me!!

Now, don’t get ahead of yourselves….she’s not running into my arms just yet!!

But she will…

We got back to the hotel and went to lunch at McDonald’s (yum) with some more of my DTC FB friends, Tammy Manea and Rick and Brooke Henningfeld.  Their daughters are lovely!!

We ate outside and during the middle of our lunch, Mollie kept looking at Jeremy and trying to tell him something.

He thought she wanted to play with her friends, so Taylor picked her up and carried her to them.

To our surprise, our little precious Peanut dropped her drawers and squatty potty’d outside McDonald’s!!!

I was like “Oh, my, goodness!!!!  Where’s my camera?!!”

This is culture for them.  This is what they do!

Split pants are everywhere here!!!

It’s nothing to see little boys with their “junk” hanging out!!

So we were not completely surprised, but it was pretty funny!!

It didn’t phase her a bit!

We went back to the hotel, Mollie napped, Jeremy napped, and Taylor played on the computer.

Kennedy and I decided to take a walk around our fabulous hotel.

I didn’t take my camera, so I will take more pictures later and post them.

There is So. Much. To. Do. Here!!

I told my family this is now our vacation, so let’s enjoy it!

This afternoon, I had to go to a meeting to discuss all of our paperwork…

So Jeremy took the kids to the Children’s Play Room.

Yes, in our hotel, there’s a room just for children to play!!

When I met back up with my family, Mollie had really come out of her shell!!

Well, to Taylor and Kennedy at least.

Jeremy said she played, interacted, belly-laughed, and just had a really great time in the play room.

I. Missed. It!

I hate paperwork.

These are monumental moments in my daughter’s life.  Milestones!

And I missed it.

We went to dinner at Cow and Bridge restaurant with my DTC FB friends Tammy Manea and Jay and Misty Womble.  Well, there were several that went, but that’s who we sat with.

Mollie’s playing with the older kids, acting up, coming out of her shell.

She’s starting to enjoy life with her new family.

Well, everyone but Mommy.

I am beyond thrilled that she is starting to attach to her family, but I am sad for me!

I know it will happen, I know it will….but let me throw a little pity party here.

I have told my family to call me Mommy, that way she still has her Mama and I can be someone different than she was to Mollie.

Taylor and Kennedy are just ecstatic that she is starting to love them, so they are clamoring for her attention.

This girl will never need ask for a thing.  She has a GuGu and JeiJei to meet her every need.

But that is where I need to be the provider.

She will not let me close enough to hold her, so I can not be the comforter….

But I can be the provider.

This is hard to explain to your family.  They are happy she is happy, and I am happy she is happy!

(Um, how many times can you say happy in a sentence and it still be grammatically correct?)

BTW, I just write my thoughts here, so I have no clue if they make any sense!!!  Sorry to you the reader…

So last night at dinner, Mollie had a blast.  Taylor and Kennedy had a blast.  Jeremy had a blast.

I was hurt.

Again, I know it will come, just having my pity party.

So, I came back to the hotel and took a nice, long, hot bath in our fabulous bathtub!!

If you’re going to through a pity party, you might as well be wrapped in luxury!

Continue to pray for my daughter’s heart.  It is mending everyday.

You can see it.

I love this girl’s smile!!  She can brighten any room!!

It’s so funny to look at her today.

When we landed in Taiyuan last Sunday, I was nervous!

I started rethinking everything!!  I told Jeremy, I don’t know about this anymore.

Are we making the right decision???

Me, questioning everything I had worked for for over a year and a half.

Now, I can not even imagine our life without her!!

She’s my child…..she’s Jeremy’s child.

She’s Taylor and Kennedy’s little sister.

She’s my daughter and my children are the best blessing God could ever, ever give me.

Brushing her teeth!!

On our way to the Medical appointment.

Medical Clinic

Mollie and her new friends!! Piper and Carmela!

First room…..heart check.

Listening to her precious little heart.

Didn’t like the scale….but do you blame her? Who does?!

She seriously didn’t want this to happen!!

Or this!

TB test….poor baby!

Showing Baba her boo boo….:(

Eating her candy from the TB nurse..!

Her friend Amelia sharing her goldfish crackers!! What sweeties!!

Squatty potty….!! When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go!!

Mollie and Presley hanging out in the pool!!!

Day 8 – We made it to Guangzhou!! :)

Ok, every adoptive parent I know and have talked to say that once you make it to Guangzhou, it is awesome!!

Well, they were right!

Guangzhou, or GZ, does not disappoint!!!

First, we are in The Garden Hotel….now this is a hotel!!

When they say 5 stars, I believe it!!  I will post pictures!!

Not only are we in an Executive Suite, but we have 1 1/2 bathrooms!!

In. Our. Hotel. Room!!!  It’s fabulous!!!

The flight here from Taiyuan took about 3 hours.

Mollie did awesome!!  Taylor, Kennedy, and I had the 3 seats on one side of the plane and Jeremy and Mollie had the 2 on the other row.

They had a lovely Chinese lady and her 18 month old daughter, DoDo that sat beside them!!!

(Yes, you read her name right….poor girl!!)

Anyway, she spoke English and she and Jeremy had all sorts of good talks on the plane!

We found out through the power of paper and pen that Mollie is a lefty!!  Hope I can still teach her to tie her shoes!

She also loves to be clean and to have cleanliness around her.

She wiped off her tray table probably 20 times!!  Spilling her juice down Jeremy’s leg each time!!

What a great guy he is, didn’t even flinch!!  Just let her do it!!

We got checked into our hotel and spent a few minutes in our room before heading to dinner with our friends the Nix and Keller family.

We went to Tequila’s!  Yes, we ate Mexican food in China!!

It was delicious!!  Will definitely eat there again!

GZ is fabulous!!  They have a Starbucks!!  I’m in heaven!  Well, very close!

We are not being stared at now because there are so many Americans here!!  That’s been Taylor’s favorite part!!

While in Taiyuan in our group, there were 3 American families with 3 adopted kiddos!

They were not used to seeing people like us, so we drew a crowd wherever we went!!  It was insane!!

Taiyuan is a very dirty, smoggy city.  The cigarette smoke was so thick I feel like I have black lung!!  🙂

GZ, they smoke, but not as heavily, or maybe I just haven’t seen it yet!!

Mollie has done really, really well today.  🙂

Jeremy got a kiss this morning!!  Lucky!

She’s also calling him Baba all the time.  I think his heart is about full as it could get!!

He has got to be the most patient man, EVER!!  Well, maybe except for Job…..:)

I do believe that is one of the many reasons God chose Mollie to be ours, because He knew her little heart would be so broken and would need someone with more patience and understanding to help mend it.  That is one reason why Jeremy is her Baba.

They way she clings to him is such a great example of how we should cling to our Heavenly Father.

She looks to Jeremy to meet all of her needs!!

And he does.  Without fail and without complaint.

I’m still getting the “stink eye” from our little Peanut, but I know she’ll come around.

I’ve described it like this, I’m the step-mom.

You have a Mama whom you love deeply.

That person is gone and someone else comes in.

You don’t want to betray your love for your Mama, so you do not trust or give in to this Step-mom.

It takes time to build that trust.

Well, guess what Peanut, I’ve got time!  I’m not going anywhere!!

I worked through this paperwork for over a year and a half.

I labored to be your Mama.

I waited for you.

But you weren’t waiting for me…..you were living your life and enjoying every minute.

You had a family who loved you and whom you loved.

I know I need to give you time, and I can do that.

You deserve time and so much more.

Your life is so precious to me and I will wait.  Though it’s not easy!!  I will wait.

Ok, no more crying!!!  I’m so tired of crying!!!

That’s all I’ve done for 3 days now!!!  It’s time for smiles!!  And I’ve got some CUTE pictures for you!!!

Like I wrote earlier, we went to dinner with our friends and I got some adorable pictures!!

Today was a pretty uneventful day, but Mollie was happier.

She still grieves, but not as long or hard.

I still covet your prayers….please pray for her heart to mend.

Pray for her to start to see me as someone other than the Step-mom.

Now, on to the good stuff, pics of the day!!

Jeremy and Mollie on the ride at the park!!

Awwww….precious!!

Feeding the birds!

Our Taiyuan group with our guide Anna!

Mollie and Jeremy walking through the Taiyuan airport!

Mollie Xiu’s first plane ride!! We think…..

Taylor and Kennedy on the plane!

I “mustache” you….:) Hahahaha!!

Look at our lefty!! How fun!

Looking in the mirror! They had a blast!!

JinJin and Mollie Xiu at dinner tonight!!

Awww, isn’t she lovely??!! 🙂

Oh. Good. Grief!!! Can this picture be any cuter?!

It was so cute, I had to get another picture!! 🙂

Mollie’s friend William!! He is a cutie!!

Wow, doesn’t she melt your heart?!

JinJin, Mollie Xiu, and William!! BFF’s for life!! 🙂

BTW…..that is not our beercan you see in the above pictures!!  I promise!!

The wooden spiral staircase at The Garden! It is breathtaking!!

Our bathroom!! Check out that bathtub!!

Shower!! Love it!

Dressing area…..awesome!! Need this at home….:)

Living room!! Except tonight it’s Taylor and Kennedy’s bedroom!! Taylor’s on a cot and Kennedy’s on the couch!

View from our window! AWESOME!!!

Our bedroom….can’t really do it justice with a picture, but it’s awesome!!

Day 7 – Pizza Hut + iPod = Lots of smiles!! :)

Reader’s Advisory…….this is from yesterday, Thursday July 19th…….

Our internet was super sketchy and we didn’t get to post it last night or yesterday morning for you the reader!!!

Sorry for keeping you on pins and needles…..but here ya go!!

 

It’s 11:30pm. Heidi is fast asleep. I’m wide awake.   I thought I would help my wife out and publish the post for her today. I hope I can do it justice like she does.  Bear with me…I hope she appreciates this!

Xiu Xiu (sounds like shoe shoe…it is her nickname and what we will call her while she is in China!) sleeps really well at night.   One of the many blessings we get from Xiu Xiu is that she is potty trained!!!!  There have been no accidents….period!  She wakes me up about 2:00am and says BaBa and mumbles something in Chinese and I take her to the bathroom and she takes care of business!  I am so thankful for this.  One less thing we have to worry about! I believe she has a bladder of steel!

Xiu Xiu wants me to be with her all the time.  From the moment she gets up to the moment she goes to sleep…there we are!  Baba and Xiu Xiu.  Xiu Xiu and Baba.  The only break I get from her is when she is asleep.  [I guess since Heidi did all the work up to this point…now it is my turn!]  It gets a little tiring at times especially when you need to go to the bathroom or brush your teeth.  We have joked that when we get back I will have to preach with her strapped on me in the Ergo!! BTW, I never thought I would say this but…. the Ergo carrier is the best investment we made and well worth the money!  My “man card” has been taken away from me!

Xiu Xiu  cries a lot!  She is experiencing grief.  She is sad. The only time she doesn’t want me to hold her is…when she gets down, grabs my finger and pulls me to the door crying to go see Mama and her sister.  When we are in our room she goes to the door and tries to open it looking for foster parents.  She looks in the closet door for them.  When we are in the lobby she drags me outside all the while she is looking for foster parents.  When we go for walks to the park she is looking for foster parents.  When we come back to our room it is very difficult because she knows she is coming back with us and not to foster parents.  So she spends time crying.   Although I might add the grieving times have gotten shorter and easier.

I have sat with her, held her, hugged her, wept with her, prayed for her, sang over her, kissed her, consoled her and tried to comfort her as best as you can to a Chinese speaking three-year-old.  We have had some great moments, God moments and difficult moments.  Today we got a glimpse of who Xiu Xiu…Mollie…is….

The day started well.

We went to Wal-Mart…Yes Wal-Mart.  We got a few items and headed back to the hotel.  The plan then was for us to go to a park at 4pm with our guide and the other adoptive families.  Xiu Xiu fell asleep in the van ride to the hotel.  We took Xiu Xiu to the room (thank God she was asleep…when she is asleep she doesn’t cry!)  When we got to our room she woke up.  We have learned that the best way to deal with her grief is to distract her.  So we decided to go for a walk.  We went to eat at Pizza Hut.  BTW, I have been here in China for over a week and I have only eaten at three Chinese restruants :(….not by choice.  I thoroughly  enjoyed the Chinese food.     Our guides do not recommend we eat out unless they are with us.

At Pizza Hut our little daughter showed us a glimpse of Mollie.

First she walked by herself to Pizza Hut from our Hotel! (Of course I was holding her hand).  BIG STEP! I am so thankful when she walks because I am the one carrying her….and when you hold her all day, everyday…it’s BIG!

She sat facing the table!  That is big.  She usually faces me.

She then moved to sit between Kennedy and myself in our booth.  Kennedy had her iPod with her and began to take pictures of her .  Kennedy’s iPod can distort images of yourself.  Xiu Xiu thought that was the greatest thing ever!

SHE SMILED!  Not just once.  We have seen her smile.  But for at least 15-20 minutes.  She was happy!

Not only that but she also sat with her food on her plate like the rest of us.   We prayed for our food.  And Ate.  She grabbed her fork and ate!

We were so excited!  We saw a glimpse of a happy Xiu Xiu…a happy Mollie.  We enjoyed it!

Heidi said it best….”My heart is full!”

So there was a big step or should I say big smile for Xiu Xiu.  It happened at a Pizza Hut with an iPod.

Pizza Hut + iPod = Big Smile!

Here are some pictures of the day….

Mollie (Xiu Xiu) and her friend Jin Jin from the day before!

Kennedy and her little MeiMei!!

Chinese Wal-Mart!!

On our way to Pizza Hut! Looks who walking?!

Wow…..looks who’s smiling?!

Love, love, love how she’s holding her paci!!! 🙂

Cutest little girl in China, don’t ya think?! Notice her shirt, she’s now a little sister or MeiMei!! Be still my heart!

Oh, my, word!!! I love this girl!!

Day 6 – Can we say….Emotional Rollercoaster?!

First, let me say to everyone that has sent us emails, posts on FB, comments on this blog…..

You are a ROCK to me!!!  I am so grateful for all of your kind and encouraging words!!

I have needed them all!!

You will never know what you have meant to us on this journey.

There are so many of you and I haven’t been able to respond to anyone!!!  So please forgive me!!

But I do read them and I so very much appreciate them!!

Also, we feel your prayers!!  Keep saying them because God is moving!!

Ok, on to the details of the day…..because I know that’s why you’re here…!!

Well, really it’s the pictures of my beautiful family, but I tell myself you like reading my words too!!  🙂

This morning started well.  Mollie woke up happy for about a second and then started crying…..:(

Taylor, Kennedy, and I just started playing with each other and the things in our room.

We just never looked at her or paid any attention to her.

As the kids were playing, she would stop and look at them.

So we were able to distract her somewhat this morning.

Her Foster Family was coming to our hotel lobby at 2.  So we had to get ready for them.

I had told my adoption friends on FB, that we were meeting Mollie’s family today, but were not going to let her see them.

I had several responses from these precious, precious friends that we SHOULD allow this.

They had and were so glad they did.

I began to talk to Jeremy about this and Taylor was completely against it.  He didn’t want to see Mollie in anymore pain.

We knew it would be HARD again when they left, but we knew that adoption was NOT the easy road to adding to your family.

I told Jeremy the emotions I was experiencing with all of this was probably much, much harder than my labor pains!!  I would take labor pains anyday over the emotional toll this has!

Jeremy and I both decided it was the right thing to do.  To let Mollie see them one last time.

It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.

You’re about to bring the greatest joy to your daughter, and then the greatest sorrow.

But she needed to see Foster Grandma be o.k. with her forever family.

So it was decided, I was set.

I cried like I’ve never cried before.  I’m crying as I remember it.

My heart was broken and this was the most unselfish thing I knew we could ever do for Mollie.

She wouldn’t take anything from us, so we would give her one thing that we knew she wanted.

We read from Jeremy’s daily Bible plan, we NEEDED to hear from God.

It was Romans 13.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”  Romans 13:1-5

This was not really the word I was looking for, but we accepted it and went on.

Kennedy and I went to the lobby first, then, after I asked the family and officials about them seeing Mollie again, I would send her up to get Dad and Mollie.

Our guide was there and I asked her…..

She said no.

The family came in, Foster Grandma, Foster Grandpa, Mama, and MeiMei (little sister).

I cried the minute I saw them.  They cried when they saw me.  It was heartbreaking again.

Then the officials and the orphanage representatives came in and I asked again.

They said no.

We sat down in the lobby and started to talk, and I asked again.

The family really wanted to.  I do not speak Chinese, but I know when our guide translated what I said, I knew their answer.

The officials said no.

So other than just bringing her down to the lobby, I had my answer.

I would be “subject to the governing authorities”.

I sent Kennedy back to the room and Jeremy came down, alone.

As he sat down, we all started to cry again.

I had asked a few questions and had showed them pictures from my camera of Mollie from the last few days.

Of course, she’s not smiling because she is so sad.

I told her family that she was sad and that she missed them very much.

She keeps saying Mama Aiuyuan over and over again.

I was informed, that is not the Mama’s name as I had first thought…..

It was Mama’s name and then her MeiMei’s name.

Again, my heart was broken.  She is calling out for her Foster Grandma and little sister.

That made so much sense now….she was like a twin.  Her little sister is not much younger than her.

They’ve been together their whole lives.

We asked them if they would have like to adopted her, but because of the 1 child policy, they can not.

But I truly believe they would have in a heartbeat.  This child is so very special to them.

Before they left we took pictures and gave gifts.

They brought this beautiful dress for Mollie.

It is her Princess dress.  I was humbled and so grateful.

We have a picture from the family of her in it.

I gave to Grandma a silver bracelet with a heart and Jing Xiu’s name engraved on it.

We also gave the family a Chinese Fire Bible that we had written some very special words on the inside cover.

We did ask if this was ok, and we were told it was.

The family then asked if they could see Mollie from a distance.

That was ok’d by everyone and they went onto the balcony level of the lobby.

Jeremy went and got Mollie.

When he came down he walked into view to where they could see her one last time.

She kept her head turned the whole time away from them.

She had no idea they were there.  They could have called out her name.  They did not.

They respected the authority put over them as well.

We stayed there for several minutes and I looked up and them, they were crying.

Everyone was crying…..family, officials, and the guides.

It was truly the hardest, most  difficult thing I’ve ever experienced.

But this was the only closure we would be able to get.

We did get their home address, phone numbers, and email address.

They wrote me a beautiful note and asked that we would take care of this precious girl.

I informed them I was going to hang their picture in my home so Mollie would always know who loved her first.

I was a basketcase.  I left, came to the room and sobbed.

I prayed fervently for a breakthrough for this child that God had given me.

We left the hotel and walked to the park.  Mollie did well, really starting to take in the sights around her.

We stayed at the park for a couple of hours and just soaked in her heritage.

She slept, we walked, we ate a banana popsicle.  It was a lovely afternoon.

We stopped at McDonald’s and got a couple of cheeseburgers on the way back because no one had eaten all day!

Emotional roller-coasters will do that to you!!

We got back to the hotel….Jeremy stayed in the lobby with Mollie while the kids and I came to the room to clean up.

While Jeremy and Mollie were downstairs, he sat down with her.  She got up, started walking around, and eating part of Jeremy’s cheesburger!!

She informed Baba she needed to use the bathroom, and she walked there with him!!

She walked people!!  That is huge!!  Up to this point she has to be carried everywhere!!

Thank God I was so smart and purchased a Ergo carrier before we left!!  Best. Purchase.

If you don’t have one, get one.

Well, that’s if you’re child is small enough!!  🙂

Jeremy said he started tickling her, and she was laughing!!

Laughing people!!  That again is huge!!

He and Mollie had a few more moments….some very precious moments and I’m so thankful for them!!

We met our guide and the 2 other families at 6 to go to dinner to an authentic Chinese restaurant.

The food was delicious and cheap!  We had our guide Anna sit and eat with us and I paid just a little over $20 to feed 6 people, and this is in a NICE restaurant!!

The greatest thing about our meal was not the food, it was our Mollie.

She got off of Jeremy’s lap and stood up.

Not only that, she initiated play time!!

I brought stackable cups and the girl LOVED them!!

She played with her sunglasses.  She played with her Pleasant Goat windmill we bought at the park.

She played!!

I sat taking pictures of this momentous occasion, and of course, I cried!!

She did not cry, she smiled.  She had fun.

She held Jeremy’s hand and walked to the bathroom.

She is such a trooper!!  She is an absolute doll that I am so thankful for!!

We got back to the hotel lobby, and we just stayed out there with the other families and let the children play.

She started interacting with the other little girl, JinJin.  It was slow at first, but it was happening!

She started interacting with Taylor and Kennedy!!  So awesome to see this!!

Now, she still wants nothing to do with me, but that’s ok.  That will come.

Her heart is beginning to mend and I will take every small victory that is given to me!!

When we came to the room, she started to cry again, but it quickly stopped and she fell asleep on Baba’s chest.

This girl is precious.

She has been through so much in her 3 short years, but I believe that what the enemy stole from her, God will repay.

Her years with us will make up for what she lost.

She is and will be loved fiercely and fervently.

She is and will be protected and cherished.

Why wouldn’t she be, she is my daughter.

She is not of my flesh, but she is of my heart.

I do not believe I could love this girl anymore than if I birthed her.

I love my children, all 3 of them dearly.  My Mama’s heart is full.  🙂

Me, our Guide Anna, MeiMei, Foster Mama, and Foster Grandma. Thankful for these precious people!

Foster family, us, orphanage representatives, and officials

Foster family and us.

At the park!!

Kennedy and her MeiMei!! Precious!

Who knew the Eiffel Tower was in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China?!! 😉

Kennedy’s first car!!

My husband lost his “man” card…but who cares!! What other man would do for his child what this one has done?? Not many!!

Aren’t they both just the cutest?!! I am so proud to be their Mama!!

A boy practicing some form of martial arts. Loved this!!

The older men playing board games. I don’t know what they were.

Chinese Fire Truck!! Cool!

She’s eating these toddler puffs I brought! She LOVES them!!

Seriously, I don’t think she could be any sweeter!!

I love her dimples when she smiles!! Makes my heart so happy!!

Too cool for school!!

BTW, do not let these pictures fool you….

The families sitting behind Jeremy and Mollie are the other adoptive families.

We are the ONLY Americans in Taiyuan!!

And there are 4 million people in this city!!  🙂

Day 5 – Civil Affairs Office, again….

Today started off perfect!!  Miss Mollie or XiuXiu as we are calling her, was happy and wonderful and eating and drinking and it really seemed like we had turn a corner……then

About an hour after waking up, the wave of sadness hit again.

She was inconsolable.  It was heartbreaking to watch…..again.

She will only go to Jeremy and wants nothing to do with me.

I understand this, I expected this.  But it doesn’t make it easier.

Mollie is precious though.  When we saw her this morning, just a bit of her personality came through and she is precious.

Jeremy is in love with his new daughter.

Since we were right smack dab in the middle of a breakdown, we had to leave to go back to the Civil Affairs office to finalize the papers for Mollie’s passport.  Guess what I forgot…..the paperwork!!

I had grabbed everything else under the sun, but not the packet from Lifeline that said Provincial paperwork!!

Good news….we didn’t need anything out of it!!  Our guide had gotten everything out yesterday!!

Thank you Lord for watching out for me!!  He is faithful in the big things and small.

Remind me later that I said that because I will probably need to be reminded often of that fact.  🙂

At the Civil Affairs office, we signed our names about 100 times and placed a red thumbprint on top of them.

We were asked several questions, why do we want to adopt from China?  Do we know about Molllie’s special need?

And the last, probably most important question, do we want to adopt Mollie??

They ask you this after you’ve had your child for 24 hours.  Although she is grieving hard and cries 80% of our day, I can not imagine telling them no.  We love this girl.  She’s our daughter.  She’s a sister.

I cried when I answered that question earlier today and I’m crying again tonight as I remember it.

Mollie was asleep almost the whole time we were there.  She is a trooper.

This afternoon we went to a Children’s Park they have in Taiyuan with our friends Hubert and Vicki Keller.  It was nice, but not a ton for grieving children to do!

We ate lunch at KFC and that was an adventure just telling them what we wanted to order!!

No one, and I repeat, no one in Taiyuan speaks English!!  And there’s 4 million people!!

Ok, that’s probably an exaggeration, but it truly felt that way today.

We got back to the hotel and the breakdown started again.  Jeremy took her in the kid’s room for over 2 hours and this poor girl just cried and cried.  She keeps saying Mama Aiuyuan.  (That’s phonetically spelled out, so I’m sure it’s incorrect!!)

She loved her foster grandma deeply.  That I am sure.  I do not speak Chinese, but I can understand that phrase.

She was loved deeply.  That I am still so grateful for.  This girl is devastated.  It breaks my heart to think about.

Jeremy said he and Mollie had a few moments.  I took that to mean, God moments.

He talked to her, sang to her, held her, and just loved on her.

He told her what a beautiful girl she is and how much she is loved.

What a great Dad.  He has been the backbone of this trip and I think I’m more in love with this man now than the day we met.

When Jeremy came back in the room, she went to Kennedy.

Kennedy….let me tell you something about this girl…..she is fabulous!!!

Kennedy held Mollie and rocked her and stroked her back saying everything will be ok.

I came over to see if I could help, and Kennedy was crying.

I asked her why and she told me she felt so sorry for Mollie.  That she gets why Mollie is having such a hard time.

She’s lost everything.

Breaks my heart again as I remember today.  My precious daughter’s sitting together in a chair….one consoling the other one and knowing what pain she is in.

She wasn’t upset with Mollie for crying, she just doesn’t want her to be sad.

We both played with her and Kennedy got the brilliant idea to see what might be on Netflix.

Guess what was on…..Barney!!  I haven’t watched Barney in years!!!

Guess who loved it?  As soon as Mollie saw it, she instantly stopped crying and watched about 40 minutes of it and fell asleep.

I told Kennedy, she is a genius!!

Taylor is probably not feeling great.  Taiyuan is a very smoggy city and his allergies are going crazy!!  And our sleep patterns are horrible!!!  He was in bed tonight about 6!!

He is wonderful with Mollie.  His heart breaks when he sees her cry.

When Jeremy came back in the room, he didn’t pick Mollie up quick enough and Taylor reminded him that she needs comfort right now.  Made this Mama’s heart very proud of this boy.  I know all the crying is probably driving him crazy, but he is such a great big brother.  He loves Mollie, you can see it.

He wants her to be happy and not feel this deep sorrow.

I on the other hand, am getting a cold.  I’ve sneezed about 1,000 times today and my throat is raw!  My sinus are clogged and I just don’t feel well.

As I type this I’m drinking some very hot tea.  Wish I had lemon and honey.  🙁

Continue to pray for us.

Pray for Mollie.

I found out earlier tonight that we will meet her foster family tomorrow at 2 in our hotel lobby.

I’m so happy and nervous.

I’m not going to let Mollie go with us, I know that sounds awful, but for her poor heart, I just can’t.

She must have meant so very much to her family if they are willing to meet us.

I know if they could have adopted this precious girl, they would have.

So pray for her foster family.

I know they are hurting.

I hurt for them.

Started out as a very good morning!! She is wrapped in the blanket we brought! She LOVES this thing!!

Sorry for the “fuzziness” of my pics!!  I still don’t know how to use my camera apparently!!  🙂  BTW, if they are not fuzzy, they were probably taken by Taylor!!

SWe have pj’s for this girl, but she is a oven!! So all she is wearing is a pull up! Which she didn’t need! She woke up about 3 am to go to the bathroom!!

At the Civil Affairs office putting a red thumb print over my signed name!!

Daddy multi-tasking….signing his name, putting a red thumb print over his name, while still holding our precious Peanut!!

The orphanage gave us this beautiful scroll as a gift. We also received a hand-painted fan from one of the officials. Her husband is an artist. I truly felt blessed today!

This is a “yogurt” type drink that Mollie LOVES!! Her foster Grandma gave us a bag full of XiuXiu’s favorites!! So thankful for this woman!

Kennedy’s first time to “hold” Mollie! They were both taken with each other and now Jeremy has someone else Mollie will go to. 🙂 Thankful for these girls!! 🙂

All 3 of my kids together!! This was a beautiful scene. Kennedy rubbing Mollie’s back reassuring her and Taylor rubbing her arm and hair. Love these 3!! Priceless!!

 

Day 4 – Gotcha Day

Heidi is busy holding our grieving little girl. So I (Jeremy/Husband) am writing this post.  We know you are anxious to see pictures and see how gothcha day went.  So I’ll do my best.

We started the day off by meeting our guide (Anna) at 9am.  It was about a twenty minute ride to the Civil Affairs building.  I told my wife, Taylor and Kennedy that I was more nervous about this adoption than the birth of our two kids!!  As we approached the Civil Affairs building, I turned to check on my wife and kids.  Heidi started crying and said, “She’s here!”  Heidi saw her through the window in the lobby sitting at a bench. She had a red and white striped dress with a lacy came sol, socks and cute sandals.    She had a sucker clinched in her fist.  There were four or five Chinese ladies telling her about her new “Ba Ba and Ma Ma.”  We stepped in the door and she saw us.  She immediately started crying…..no sobbing!  I mean snot flowing, tears falling sobbing!  She cried for quite awhile….probably an an hour long!

We gingerly approached her and tried to bribe her with some suckers, doll, ball, etc…nothing.  She obviously needs time to grieve the loss of her foster family and we want to respect that.  BTW, we are so thankful for her foster family.  She was obviously taken good care of and was loved.  Side note…we received a scrapbook from the orphanage detailing her life.  This book we will forever cherish!  The foster family sent us pictures of them.  One of the pictures shows all the family.  In the background of the picture is a large picture of “The Lord’s Supper!”  I asked our guide where the picture was taken.  She said at their home!  She said they were “Christians!”  You don’t know how much that picture meant to me!!!! To know that our daughter was raised in a Christian home especially in a non-christian culture was comforting!!!!

Heidi has been a real trooper.  Her motherly instincts kicked in.  She held her until Mollie fell asleep in the van on the way back to the hotel.    Mollie awoke as we got back to the hotel.  As we were walking to our rooms to fill out the rest of the papers, Mollie smiled at Taylor and Kennedy!

Ok, Heidi here…..Baba is on grieving duty.  She has taken well with both Jeremy and myself.  Which I am so thankful.

You can see that the grief is coming in waves.  She will be fine and then it will hit.  It truly has been so heartbreaking to watch.  She was taken from everything she knows this morning and then handed off to total strangers!!  Although, she does know who we are!  As Jeremy wrote, she received her care package from us back in January and has seen our picture!!!  Hence the total meltdown in the lobby!!

Right now, she is doing much better.  She is laying on Baba’s belly and thinking about falling asleep.  She has taken a few Cheerios from us, so we are thankful.  Kennedy was videotaping her on her iPod and she saw herself and waved!  Precious!

They just handed her a toy cell phone and that seems to be something she is liking very well!!  PTL for small miracles!!

We haven’t taken anything off of her.  She has several mosquito bites on her and she’s allowed me to put some cream on her.  She likes water.  She is potty trained and after she did potty we washed her hands and she seemed to really enjoy it.

I know she will love bathtime, but that may come in time!!!  When we go back to the Civil Affairs office tomorrow, she may be wearing the same outfit!!  We will let her lead the way and she can make that call!!

She still has a pacifier, and she can keep it for as long as she needs it!!

Continue to pray for her and for us.  We know she was loved and cared for deeply.  That makes my heart very happy.  Because she has attached to her foster family, she can attach to her forever family!

Our family of “4”

Civil Affairs Office

Trying to calm her down…..didn’t work there….:(

Didn’t work here either!! 🙂

You can see the sadness in her face……breaks my heart.

Signing the papers…..:)

I’m about to just “take” her……hard stuff.

My first time to “hold” her…..very surreal!!

First family photo!!

On the way back to the hotel

She’s decided to give me a good look…..that’s promising!

This girl likes water and likes to wash her hands!!

Found out she kinda is liking this guy!!

She is letting both Jeremy and me comfort her. That is a miracle!!

BTW, just found out that I think she’s going to be attaching to Jeremy first!  He and Kennedy left to run to McDonald’s and bring lunch back.  Mollie Xiu and I were in the bathroom and when we came out, she lost it when she couldn’t find them!  She kept opening the closet doors and looking for them, sobbing the whole time!!

Taylor and I were able to get her to fall asleep and that is where she is right now.  We are trying to decide if we should take off her shoes!!  I would love to bath this girl and put a bow in her hair, but I might just wait on that…..