Friday, July 18, 2014

Homeward Bound

We are about to board. Sarah is about to leave her birth country which always brings some mixed emotions for me. I am so grateful that we get to take her with us. It's been a great start to Brifs birthday too. I can't think of a better present we could give him ... home!

My claim to fame - I still have never used a squatty potty. Thank you dehydration!

Super Typhoon Rammasun

Well ... Our exciting day in Hong Kong was not what we were hoping for because of the typhoon. You gotta hate it when that happens. We went to Disney Land Hong Kong only to find out that no rides were open - that was a big fat bummer. With every road block we faced today we just kept telling Brig, "Happy Birthday!"  It is his birthday tomorrow. Nothing like a 14 hour plane ride, a three hour layer over, another two hour plane ride and a three hour drive home to help solidify the celebration.

As close as we got to Disney Land

So we headed into Hong Kong. It reminded us a lot of New York, just more confusing and crowded. We walked for hours. There is clearly a lot more money here than in mainland China. We found a Mazarati, Porsche and Lotus car dealerships. Not too far off from there we found a very familiar and happy place. 

Of course we went inside, hung out with some missionaries and got our bearings. 

Brig was having a blast as you can see

This helped perk him up

We took a ferry to another island. It was so great to see the city skyline. 

It was SO windy and rainy

We saw sone pretty incredible shopping. We've never seen so much money in one place ever. 

We took the metro over to see the big Buddah only to find out that it was closed because of the typhoon. At least we had the subway to ride. It took us all over and kept us nice and dry. We are exhausted and more than ready to be home. Sarah was an angel. She remained as cute and happy as can be. What is up with this kid?  We feel like we won the lottery with her. Tomorrow - America or bust!

Sarah puts herself to sleep by bringing her hands to her mouth

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Goodbye Guangzhou, Hello Hong Kong

Today was our last day in Guangzhou. We waited all day to get Sarah's US visa. It came by 4:30 and we left by 5:00. This morning we walked all over the largest park in Guangzhou. Walking through these local parks is such a great way to see life in China. There were tons of people singing (we won't be buying any Chinese music anytime soon), many people were out exercising and dancing, and it was so hot and humid we were literally dripping - delightful!

We had another afternoon of swimming, said goodbye to the other families who we have grown to love and took a three hour drive to Hong Kong. Sarah cuddled up next to me almost the whole trip. This little girl really knows how to win friends and influence people :).  We thought we would have a lot of energy to go sight seeing, but we got to the hotel room and just wanted to crash. 

This has been a great adoption trip and it has gone by quickly. However, we are SO ready to go home. Tomorrow we are doing whatever Brig wants to end the trip on a fun and positive note. 

The Park in Guangzhou
We veered of the paved path for a little while 
And found lots of interesting things to see
This man was dancing

Feeding the fish 

I love the English translations in China


Brig and Rick play some sort of all star wrestling/Kung Fu thingy

This is called the mountain of flesh

Saying goodbye to Jason our amazing guide

Look how Sarah goes to sleep

Brig really loved this little boy.  He had a lot of fun playing with this cutie

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our American Girl

Today we went to the US consulate. Because of today, once we land in the US and make one stop at immigration, Sarah will be a US citizen. It is the reason we come and stay in Guangzhou, so today was definitely significant in our adoption journey. Significant too in the sense that we are one step closer to coming home and seeing all of our cuties again. We really miss our kids and can hardly wait to be together again.

Today was also the day we took pictures of our kiddos in their traditional Chinese clothing. Sarah looked like a china doll. She is just so darn pretty we can't stand it. 

I have had a lot of time to reflect this experience with our Sarah. It is amazing to see Heavenly Father's hand in our life and the guidance during this adoption. Rick and I were definitely willing to adopt  again to show our obedience to God and do what He asks us to do. However, we were so afraid to add a seventh child and have felt that we have been barely capable of raising the six kids we already had. In certain moments over the course of this past year, I have had moments of serious self doubt, really just unable to see how I would be able to be a good mom to all these beautiful kids. In those moments,Heavenly Father very clearly let me know that adding Sarah to our family was exactly what needed to happen. Sometimes this adoption just felt like a leap of faith - especially when we were guessing how Sarah was going to act. Now that I know Sarah, I can say without any reservation that she is our daughter and is supposed to be in our family. She was the missing piece to our family puzzle, and I am almost certain that she will bring a peaceful feeling and influence into our home. Heavenly Father always knows more than we do, and I'm so grateful that He has trusted us enough to allow this beautiful child of God to join our family. Heavenly Father is loving, and He knows what is best for each of us. I love this little girl so much. My brain can hardly remember when she wasn't with us. We are made for each other.  

"I did not give you the gift of life, life gave me the gift if you." -Unknown Author

Brig eats close to this same breakfast every day
Outside of the US Consulate
These are all the Chinese wanting US visas
Pictures with our group
All the cuties that were adopted this trip
All the cuties and their siblings
Our Chinese Doll in her Silks