Thursday, April 17, 2014

An adventure....

Today, I started a new adventure.... cloth diapering.  



Let me just say up front, I almost quit after the first diaper!  

Yes, the first diaper that I put on little Ms. Sarah Joy was soon filled with poo...  Even with the little insert that is supposed to help with that, I was still having to clean out a diaper.  However, after a nice chat with my friend Sabrina who encouraged me greatly, (she is super mom and does this with her toddler and 1 year old twins!) I decided that I could do this.  

I now have a new found respect for the older generations who had to use cloth diapers without a choice.  My mom recalls being 5 years old and changing her younger brother's diaper while her parents worked in the field.  She had to not only hold him still to get the diaper on, but had to PIN it on!!  



Thank goodness for the invention of Velcro and little snaps that make it easier.  Hoping now that little miss will soon want to potty train :)



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two Weeks...

We've been home now for two weeks.  In some respects, I feel like we are simply babysitting.  It's so very different having a toddler in the house.  I feel like at any minute all of this fun will be over.

Then again, it feels like she has been ours forever!  The joy and excitement we all feel is just so overwhelming.  She has brought so much more life and entertainment to this household.  To watch each of her siblings interact with her is priceless!!  I truly am blessed!!

This is what two weeks in a loving (sometimes crazy) family will do to you:






Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What to say...

I've had thoughts rolling around in my head for a few days, but have been unable to find a spare moment to write them down.  Being home with Sarah Joy is absolutely grand!

Anyway, many of you know a bit of our story on adoption.  I have wanted to adopt for over 10 years, but Jim was hesitant.  I even took him on a mission trip to Chi*a to visit orphanages in hopes that he would see the need and be moved.  Nothing! 

I prayed for years before he consented to Samuel's adoption.  Jim loves Samuel just like the other two.  He loves to wrestle with him and finds his humor quite entertaining.

Then I found Sarah Joy's picture and knew this was our daughter. Jim was very hesitant now.  Again I prayed and sought the Lord.  I assured Jim that at any point we did not have the funds, we would stop.  He watched as God provided every cent!  Finally it was time to go get our little girl.  Daddy was smitten!!!  It's absolutely amazing how he interacts with her.  It's so different than any of our other three children.  I can tell God has done much in his heart.

Sarah Joy's orphanage is much nicer than any orphanage we visited before in Chi*a.  Yet, it was here that something really clicked with Jim.  We were visiting one of the rooms and there was a precious little girl sitting in a walker with only a rice cake to play with.  There was no visible toys to be played with or even a television to distract the children.  Jim got down and talked with this angel while I visited with the other sweet girl in the room.  This began to break his heart.

Later we were talking with someone who was very open and honest about what women have to endure.  He told us how women are forced into having something inserted into their bodies for birth control (I'm assuming an IUD).  It doesn't matter if they want it or not, or even if it harms their bodies, they must have it.  He also went on to tell us about women having a health check every three months.  This isn't to ensure their blood pressure is good.  No, it's to ensure they are not pregnant.   This totally jumped up and slapped Jim in the face.  He was so taken aback.  Even after returning home, just the mention of a rice cake brings back all these thoughts and memories.

God has truly been moving in this man's heart and it brings me such joy.  While we were out and about many people asked if Sarah Joy was our first.  We explained that no, she was our fourth.  Of course the next question was if she was our last.  Jim was quick to respond with "No, I think at least one more."  WHAT?!?!  Oh happy day!!!!!   I am singing praises as God has moved in my husband's heart.  I'm not sure when or how, but he is open to adopting more!!!

God is faithful and worthy to be praised!!!  It has been 10 years of praying and crying out to God, and He has answered.  It was not my time frame, but His perfect timing!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

All done!!!

Today we visited the Consulate for our last appointment.  I was a nervous wreck because we didn't have one piece of paperwork, but Jack, our guide, assured us it was okay and that we could complete it there.  Sure enough we did.  But then the consulate officer is looking back and forth between our different papers.  It worried me for a bit because he had a look on his face.  Then he asked about our address.  One paper had our physical and one our PO Box.  He simply verified which one to use for their records.  Whew!!!  I was so glad when that appointment was over.

From the Consulate we went to the zoo.  It was kinda sad because the animals had such small enclosures.  It was way better than the zoo in Vietnam we visited, but still nothing like the U.S.  However it was fun and a chance to get out.  We tried getting Sarah Joy to stand next to statues, but she would have no part of it.

After the zoo we had our driver take us back to the island to pick up some laundry we had done.  Robbie, we found Lucy's and had lunch there.  It was also here that we saw how little our girl is.  One of the shop owners had his son there.  In conversation we found out that he is a month younger than Sarah Joy, but much bigger.  Even though our girl is so very smart, we also see that she is behind developmentally.  Even so, we know that she will catch up fast.  She has three eager teachers waiting at home for her.  There were lots of brides there having photo shoots.  There was even one young lady, a model perhaps, having a photo shoot.  When it was time for a wardrobe change, she just changed right there in front of the world!  I was shocked!

Next came hailing a taxi.  I had feared taking a taxi because I had heard all kinds of stories.  However, this taxi driver was pretty good.  He was safe and rather pleasant.  I was glad to reach the hotel, because during the ride Sarah Joy graciously wet thru to my pants.  Now, I won't blame it on Jim, even though he put the diaper on, but I will say he has been out of practice for a while.

The early morning had worn my two loves out, so while they napped I walked the city some more.  I really do enjoy walking the side streets and getting into the lesser traveled areas.  When I got back we headed out in search of supper.  Jim found a dumpling shop and ordered his.  He watched them stuff the dumplings and then steam them.  I wanted Chinese food but everything was too Chinesey.  I wound up settling for Pizza Hut again.  It was here that Jim ordered hot corn juice!  I swear he has a stomach of steel.

Tomorrow we leave. We check out tomorrow afternoon and the driver will take us to Hong Kong.  Yes, it is an island, so we will be taking some long bridges.  It makes me a bit sad that we will be driving right by Disneyland, but won't be able to stop.  From HK we fly to South Korea and then Atlanta.  We then land in Savannah at 3 on Thursday afternoon.  YAY!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Accomplished!!!!

That is how I feel.  Today we took the subway again, but this time we had to change trains, TWICE!!!  For a country girl whose "town" merely has a caution light, I felt like I had conquered the world.

We took the subway back to Shamian Island.  This is a beautiful place and a we were able to get a couple of things for Sarah Joy as a way to remember her heritage.  While on the island we ate lunch at Subway.  A turkey sub is a turkey sub no matter where you are.

After returning to our hotel, we let sister play a while before heading out again.  This time we took the subway back to the part of town we had visited last night.  We strolled around the park and just took in the city.  It really is a beautiful place.  Jim had already decided he wanted street food so little sister and I opted for Burger King.  So far while here I have eaten Burger King, McDonalds, Subway, and KFC.  Pretty much the same as home with the exception of KFC.

Jim found his street vendors and tonight he dined on chicken hearts and mystery meat kabobs with an egg.  Sarah Joy, or littl bird as we have dubbed her, was eager to eat with dad even though she had just eaten.  We have found that she loves to eat no matter the food.

Tonight we rest well because tomorrow we have an early morning visit to the US Consulate for our exit interview!!!  Almost home.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Adeventure

Oh what an adventure this afternoon has been.  After nap time, we decided to head out.  Where we wanted to go was a bit far to walk so we opted for the Chinese subway system.  We made it there and back with no problem.  It was actually quite fun and we plan to use it again tomorrow on our day off.

We traveled to the hip new area of town.  While in Shanghai we had watched a discovery program about a tower built here and we were out to find it.  We hit the jack pot!!  Not only did we find the Pearl River Tower, but also the Canton tower, which lights up beautifully, and the Guangzhou Museum.  It was late on Sunday evening so we didn't make the museum, but that is on our to do list for tomorrow.

While wandering around Jim decides he is hungry.  We passed a few food vendors on bicycles and Jim had found his supper.  He opted for squid kabobs. (Yuck!!!).   However this made him very happy :). Sarah Joy and I decided to wait awhile to eat.  As he ate we wandered over towards the sound of music.  There were these two clowns dancing around and tying balloons.  Sister was given her first balloon by a kind gentleman who saw us standing back a bit from the crowd.  After the clowns came a group of girls dancing to Elvis' "You ain't nothing but a hound dog" came out.

When the show was all over we walked closer towards the Canton Tower.  All around us buildings were lighting up and changing colors.  It was a spectacular view!!  Soon I was getting hungry so we started back.  Again we navigated the subway system with ease.

I decided on Pizza Hut for supper as it is close to the hotel.  Sarah Joy and I were enjoying our pizza when Jim pipes up, "Mmmm.  I just burped squid."   WHAT?!?!?!?!   I promise you, it is never a dull moment with him around.  This made me bust out laughing and had the whole restaurant looking at me.  :)

Last night we gave sister her first bath.  In Shanghai all we had was a shower and she seemed used to that.  So last night I turned on the water and just sat her in.  It took all of about 30 seconds and she was splashing and playing.  Tonight she played until every bit of water had drained out.

I can't express how much we are in live with this girl.  We see bits and pieces of our other children in her and that makes us miss them all the more.  I have loved China and Guangzhou particularly, but I will be so glad to get home to my other three loves and kitty (bet she is thinking we abandoned her)

Fun times

Yesterday afternoon after little sister and daddy had their naps, we ventured out a bit.  We got a map and walked to a park.  It was very nice and serene.  We found a park with what appeared to be a playground.  When we got closer we realized it was a workout area for adults.  It had all these awesome exercise things.  There we folks the ages of our parents out there.  We didn't dare try for fear of making a fool of ourselves.  The park also offered peddle boating which we may go back and do.  The time there was very relaxing.

When we finally began walking back it was nearing dinner.  Close to our hotel they offer food from around the world.  We decided on Vietnamese food.  It was a so so place, but baby girl sure enjoyed her pho.  By the time we made it back we spent a while in the playroom before heading to bed.

Today we got up and went to Shamian Island.  That was such a nice visit.  I really felt like I was walking the squares of Savannah.  We took some really cute pictures and had some amazing Chinese food.  Now we are back in the room and dad is napping and little sister is supposed to be :)