Jesus said “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” - Mark 9:37

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Home...

I apologize for the delay in posting to our blog for all our faithful prayer warriors, supportors and readers. The last week has been a whirlwind. Our trip home was LONG! And I had prepared what I was going to write... but then jetlag kicked in and well, it's just not worth it now. lol

But what is worth it, is to say that both Kai & Eli are transitioning very well. In fact we are amazed at how well they are doing. Not to say we have not had some rough or difficult spots, but over all we are so blessed!

Instead of trying to tell everything that has happened in a week, I will just post a bunch of pics for all to enjoy. And say, if you are on Facebook, friend me... Cuz I take pics and can post to fb from my phone a lot faster, and time is a coveted commodity for me right now. :)

Eli's first night in HIS bed, and that's Abby our 8 yr old Boston
and he has begged to sleep with a dog every night since. :)

Kai's first night in HIS bed, in his room, and that's Jean-Luc another Boston at his feet,
who now sleeps in a crate in Kai's room every night.

Levi, Kai & Eli all dressed for first church service since home

Kai writing his first Bible memory verse for school

The boys enjoy watching superheros on TV.

Eli, Levi & Kai holding paper chains, a Patton Christmas tradition

The boys and I went for a walk on 12-12-12

Eli doing his Draw Write Now in school.

Kai is photo bombing the pic Eli asked me to take of him & Andy, the boxer

Eli's first haircut was very entertaining...
scared at first, then laughing cuz the clippers tickled

Kai enjoyed getting his haircut cuz we didn't shave all his hair off

And these pics were just having fun at Holiday in the park

Love all my kids!

Notice teh bunny ears Kai is giving Zoe... lol

this pic was taken today when I went to go check on the boys
and found them playing Legos with 6 month old Dallas hanging out with them.
Love my kids and Bostons!

Now gotta run off to a Christmas play at church. I will try to update more often. But in case I miss you, Merry Christmas and remember who and what this season is really about...

Oh, real quick, that reminds me:

At breakfast this morning, I was teaching the boys Christmas is about giving, because God gave us His Son Jesus. I was using my translator app. After leaning on me, Eli picked up my phone, pressed the speak button & said "I love you" in English & smiled...

Awe, my heart melted and reminded me this is why we sacrificed and worked so hard to go across the globe to bring two strangers home and make them family. I love my new sons!

God bless,
Sherry

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Last night in China!


Well, I will try to catch everyone up...

The boys each passed their TB skin tests yesterday. Yay!

Steve brave daddy that he is, took them with the guide and another family, because there was not room in the van for all 6 of us and the 3 of them, plus our guide and the driver. So we agreed, I would stay in hotel with Zoe & Levi.

Monday afternoon Zoe & I did some shopping, with the wonderful Ann of .

Last night we took Chinese take out dinner up to the roof of the hotel. It was too cold to swim, but there was a Foosball table and we had fun just playing and hanging out up there.

Today we made it to, and thru, our US Consulate appointment today...

The car ride to the US Consulate was almost an hour, due to the awful traffic. We got there, got in line & then made it into the waiting area with all the other families. The wait was not real long, and the people were very nice. The kids were great!

Only one little question about Eli's paperwork & the guy says it should all be good. Tomorrow our guide will pick up the boys visas. Yay! So we are ... done with paperwork! Woohoo!!! I am so happy!

Our guide will pick up the boys US travel visas tomorrow.

On the way back to our hotel Eli got car sick... common occurrence. My poor little guy... :(

So after arriving we took a walk to go book shopping... scored some Ultraman books, American stories in Chinese/English, a few education discovery science books in Chinese, Kung Fu Panda, etc.

Then McD's hamburgers & ice cream for lunch, and back to the room. The kids played Legos, video games, card games, watched TV, we put together puzzles & we ate Chinese take out for dinner again, but in the room tonight.

So tomorrow we will sleep in, eat breakfast, and pack...

We have to Check out of our hotel at 2pm Wed China time (12 midnight, CST).

The boys Visas can't be picked up until 3:30pm, so we will be hanging out in the hotel lobby for about 3 hrs. Pray for the hotel... lol

Our guide said she hopes to be here by 4:30pm.

We will load the luggage and people into a hired Van, which will depart at 5pm (hopefully...) and drive us to the China/Hong Kong border. Then apparently we have to move to a new van, yep all the luggage and people, and then continue traveling to the Hong Kong airport. All total drive time we are told is 3 hours.

Thank God I found some motion sickness meds at a Chinese pharmacy this afternoon, with Kai's help of translating. He can help sometimes and it is a HUGE blessing. :)

We will get to the airport with plenty of time to check in and maybe get some food. We depart Hong Kong at 12:55AM Thur (10:55am Wed CST).

Arrive Seoul, Korea- 5:20AM (4:20pm Wed CST)
Depart Seoul- 11AM (10pm Wed CST)

Yup, 5 hr lay-over...

We are scheduled to arrive at DFW, Terminal D - 8:20AM Thur CST (Flight Korean Air 31)
Note: Then we have to process thru Immigration, Customs & Baggage... I'm told 30-60 min.

But the moment the boys feet hit US soil, they will both be US Citizens!!! Yay!!!

We invite anyone interested to welcome them home.

Then we drive home 1.5 hrs in OUR van, and some help for luggage. (lol)

I think I counted like 33 hours of traveling by the time we get HOME Thur. Pray for us...

Well, our VPN keeps going off... it's taken me two hours to post this.
 
So please keep us in your prayers and I will update soon after we get home. Thank you ALL!!! God bless you tenfold for all your prayers and support. Kai & Eli are adjusting very well. We get hugs and kisses at night. They are happy all day long. They are both very excited about the plane trip to America tomorrow. In fact we have been trying to get them to go to sleep for over half an hour and they're still giggling. (lol)
God is so amazing!
I am happy to be going home, but certainly have a new appreciation for home... America that is!
God bless America!
Signing off from China,
Sherry

 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

3 more days to go...

Sorry for no new pics or updates. It's so hard to have to go to lobby to check email and what not. But only 3 days left...

Can not wait to get with our two new boys home, join our two waiting boys and have all 6 Patton kids under one roof.

Yesterday we went to the Safari Park. It was AWESOME! Steve took a ton of pics, but I will have to wait to upload them. We saw TONS of tigers, all different species, including cubs and babies even. We also saw lots of Pandas. We fed monkeys and giraffes, which was totally cool! I mean where can you do and see these things? It was an adventure getting there with our 6 and a fellow adoptive family of 3... all trying to stay together on the very busy metro/subway with two changes on a Sat in Guangzhou, China! But we made it and it was a blast and we are so glad we went.

Today we had another adventure as we took TWO taxis, because there are 6 of us, to the Victory hotel on Shamian Island to find the christian church. Problem is my taxi dropped me, Zoe & levi off at Victory west and Steve's taxi dropped him, Kai & Eli at Victory east and we had no way to communicate... Thankfully after abotu a half hour we found eachother and even made it to the church. lol We missed the music and arrived at the tale end of worship. Got to hear/participate in the scripture reading. The service was Chinese/English translated. The church was PACKED out! The sermon was good. It was about being ready for Jesus coming back and how we do not know the hour and we should be on watch and not be distracted by wordly things. Great word! :) We left as they were getting ready to begin communion. Not a conversation we were ready to have with our two new boys just yet.

Then we just enjoyed walking around and taking in the beautiful sites of Shamian Island. We took lots of pics of us with statues and just having fun. There was even a Starbucks for us big kids and a playground for the little kids... lol

We stopped for lunch at the famous Lucy's. Kai & Eli ate chinese, Steve, Zoe, Levi & I ate american. lol But we all ate till we were full. Then we walked back to the Victory west and took ONE taxi back to our hotel. It was tight, but well worth no more mishaps of loosing eachother.

We have just relaxed at the hotel for a few hours. The kids have played, while Steve & I are still working on the issue of how to get our large family and LOTS of luggage to the Hong Kong airport Wed night.

Trying not to get stressed over that issue, at least it means we are getting close to going home. Yay!!!

Tonight we are meeting some other adoptive families for mexican dinner... yes, you read that right, MEXICAN dinner here in Guangzhou, China. Steve is so very ready for something different to eat. lol It is close to the other families hotel, so we will take a taxi again. I think ONE... lol

Tomorrow morning the boys have the TB checks. Please pray for no problems. Eli's is not even noticeable, but kai's is bruised still. Both have complained of arm pain from their shots and have had tylenol each day and night. My poor boys. :( Tomorrow afternoon Zoe & I will go shopping with Ann of Redthreads, while the guys chill in the hotel. And we hope tomorrow eve to meet up with some more adoptive families for dinner again. We shall see I guess...

Tuesday is our US Consulate appointments. That is the most important reason we are here in Guangzhou. They interview us, check all the boys paperwork and issue their visas to enter the US. We can not leave China with the boys without those visas.

So that's the update. Sorry no pics this time. Maybe tomorrow... if I can find some time to sit in the lobby again. Thanks again for all your prayers and support. We feel them!

Love to all,
Sherry and family

Friday, November 30, 2012

On last leg of this trip

Thankfully we left Xian yesterday and arrived safely in Guangzhou last night.

Eli was very excited to fly on the plane and was rambunctious all day and more communicative to us than ever before. All smiles too. Kai was so happy to be on our way and one step closer to going to America. And the rest of us couldn't agree more. Two weeks and we are so ready to come home!

Everyone was exhausted when we finally arrived at our hotel, and we have no internet in our hotel rooms, so after fighting with my phone in the lobby , we all just went to bed.

We got up this morning, ate breakfast in hotel and met our guide to go to get the boys Medical Exams. Kai new what was coming, so he did not want to get out of bed; he did not eat much breakfast (so unlike him) and he hid in bathroom before we left for clinic. :(

My poor boy! He & Eli had asked the guide in Xian why we needed to go to Guangzhou and she had explained everything to them. He is afraid of shots! So today was not a happy day...

First paperwork chaos again over Eli's paperwork. Ugh! Then finally onto the clinic. But yeah, my dear sweet hubby asked if we could stop by a Starbucks on the way because it had already been a mornign and my head hurt and the coffee at breakfast tasted burnt. yuk! So I did get a yummy Toffee Nut Latte from Starbucks this morning. What a treat! :)

When we got to clinic we started with photos of the boys, and more paperwork.

Then onto the boys exams. Eli has aq cold, but no chest congestion, which was very good news for this momma. Kai shocked the doctor... Dr could NOt believe he can walk around and function at only about 78% oxygenated blood. But after ENT and general screening it was time to talk vaccinations.

Ugh!

Much to my disgrin and tho I argued, and they both had shot records from their orphanages, they had to each get four shots plus the TB test.

They and momma were NOT happy. But they said we did not have a choice if we wanted to bring our boys home. :(  The doctor agreed to stay with Kai because he was very scared. A couple nurses helped hold him still. I was so sad for him. Eli did not like it either, but he sat on dad's lap and nurses helped him be still. I fully expected him to cry and he didn't.

We promised them both hamburgers and ice cream from McDs. So that was lunch. Other than that, we are staying in and letting them rest. Both of their arms hurt and I have already given them pain relievers. Kai's TB test site is bruised. Eli's does not even hardly have a pin mark. Pray all goes well when we go back Monday AM to check the TB test sites. They have to pass to come home.

Anyway, laptop is showing low battery and I need to get back up to the rooms. Here are some pics for all to enjoy...

Nope! Lost the VPN 3 times... Then my laptop battery died... Really?!

So after some Chinese cartoons with the kids; Pizza Hut in the room for dinner; family game of Uno; getting kids jammied, medicated, teeth brushed, faces washed, hugged & kissed and tucked into bed... the laptop battery was charged enough for me to come back down to the lobby to attempt to finish this blog post.

Lord I am grateful for ALL the MANY blessings I have in my home country of America!

So here are the pics I promised:

The luggage for 6 people for 3 weeks.

Brothers playing tic-tac-toe. (Zoe taught Eli)

Passing time waiting in Xian for Eli's passport

The Dramamine must be working...

Eli is very excited to fly for first time

Kai was tired,
but still happy to finally be flying to GZ.

Koi fish were great company for breakfast in hotel this am.

In Guangzhou after McD's hamburgers & ice cream.

I will try to update while here in Guangzhou, but maybe not everyday like before. We hope to go to the Safari Park at least while here, maybe tomorrow.

We just have two FREE days. I told our guide today, NO PAPERWORK tomorrow. I promised the kids fun on free days, and no waiting and waiting around. I think the long journey may be wearing on this momma and I am getting a bit cranky. Today the guide aqnd I had a miscommunication. Her English is not great and I just could not understand what she was trying to explain. Turns out it was oppostie what our agency told us, so that wasn't helping... Anyway, she got upset with me, raised her voice and started yelling the same thing she had been saying, which did not help me understand her. So then she yelled "NO!"... By this time I had had enough and told Steve tag his turn to do paperwork... sigh!

Yep, I just want to come home...

God please help me get through these last 5 days here in China, without loosing my salvation and with bringing all six of us home. Father help me to be peaceful, patient, loving, gentle and kind.

Thank you all for your prayers. Today the kids were all off a little bit. Hoping for a better days to come. The boys arms both hurt them still tonight. I forgot and squeezed Eli's when I hugged him good night. Oops! Bad new momma! But he did give both Steve & me a kiss when we said good night and asked. That's progress! Kai of course wanted his too... and Levi chimed in me too, I want my hug and kiss. :)  I really shouldn't complain, because I am a very blessed woman.

Still a work in progress,
Sherry

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Last full day in Xian (11-28-12)

was spent in our hotel room as a down day...

After breakfast we started with some school. I wish I had brought more school stuff for Levi & Zoe. But we are trying to make do with some light basic fundamental practice at least. I am so glad we brought wipe off boards. They are working great! Plus flashcards, and even stickers for rewards.





 
Tonight when Kobe asked Eli about school he said he likes it. Yay!

Brothers bonding over Mario Kart racing. 
 While the bigger kids were watching something he was not interested in, he kept wanting to play with my computer, so I set him up with a phonics program and he LOVES it. Yay!



Bonding with dad watching Cars
When our guide came by this eve to bring all the notarized documents, I asked her to sorta check in with Eli and ask him how things were going. He said "Good!" Yay! But he would prefer if we ate out and not in the room. lol I wonder what he will think when we get home and do NOT eat out every day. Haha! Then she went over a few things to help explain some stuff. He keeps asking when we are flying to next city and when we will fly to America. He is very excited about riding in the plane! I will be handing out the Dramamine... He already threw up in the drivers van. He and Kai are very car sick guys. Eli more than Kai. Driving at home will be interesting. Levi gets a little car sick, but he's got nothing on these guys. lol

After a down day in the rooms with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips for lunch, we went out to our last dinner in Xian with Kobe. We had to say good bye tonight to our friend and Eli's "teacher", as he calls him. Kobe was a God-send and very important to Eli's adoption preparation. He has been visiting him since June. He has helped to teach him about adoption, English, America and our family. We are so grateful and thankful for him, and pray God bless him tenfold.

And for dinner we went to the famous De Fa Chang dumpling house restaurant. They make all different kinds of dumplings. Including dumplings to look like animals and things.








Xian has been nice, but we are ALL ready to move onto the next city and get closer to going home. So good night Xian, for tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou!
 
This is Kai with "Flipper" his stuffed dolphin that he LOVES!

I will update after we get to Guangzhou... I hope!
Blessings,
Sherry

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Unplanned Tuesday 11-27-12

Yesterday we just enjoyed a relaxed & unplanned day together... no guide and no Kobe. Just us!

Monday on our way to see Eli's finding place he asked our guide what day was it. After she told him it was Monday, he said he goes to school on Mondays. We all kinda chuckled and said yes and when we get back home to America we will have school on Mondays too.

So we started off Tuesday with a little school after breakfast. We tried to kinda unofficially evaluate what Kai & Eli know math wise, while Levi worked on practicing his multiplication. Zoe did a great job working with Kai. He can add and substract simple numbers and knows some of his multiplication facts. Eli knows addition and subtraction of simple 0-10 numbers. And both can write the numbers very well. After a little math, Eli & I moved onto practicing his english. He has practiced writing his ABCs a few times over the last couple months before we came. So he does a good job with his handwriting already. And Kai's handwriting is awesome! I still have my work cut out for me, any way you look at it... and will be praying for God to grant me wisdom concerning their schooling.







After a bit of schooling, we left the hotel on foot to find the supermarket that our guide had mapped out for us. We wanted to take a Taxi, but were told by the hotel front desk that it was too close to take a Taxi. So off we went... 





When we came to the south entrance of the Xian City Wall we figured we were never finding the supermarket. lol But we did see some beautiful buildings. However we walked farther than we planned trying to find this supermarket, and the boys were less than thrilled. So we gave up finding the supermarket and Steve found the Walmart instead on the way back to the hotel. We did some shopping for food in our hotel room: Noodles, chips, cookies, drinks.

Then we ate at McDs for lunch... AGAIN...  sigh!
 
And on the way home a different route, we stumbled upon a Baskin Robbins. Zoe & Levi really wanted to try it and introduce their brothers to 31 flavors. So we did...




Eli tried two flavors "Blue Raspberry Sherbet" and "Cotton Candy"... he ordered Cotton Candy. I don't think Kai tried any flavors, just ordered Vanilla and was happy. Zoe found Pistachio and liked it. Levi tried several and finally decided on Jamocha Almond Fudge, which was the same thing I ordered to share with Steve. And suprisingly, they flavors tasted like they do in America. Plus, the employees were very sweet and even gave us some waffle cones for free. I think that is the first free thing we have received in China. lol


The shopping area where the Baskin Robbins was in reminded us of the Louisiana Boardwalk in Shreveport, LA. There was a BIG empty space between all the shops where folks were letting their dogs play... it was really neat to watch all these dogs run and play, and many of the dogs were wearing clothes! Yes, clothes! We stopped to pet a few of them. Eli & Kai both smiled big, as they both like dogs. Can't wait to get them home to our herd of 10 dogs. lol

As we continued our way back to the hotel, we found a nice Starbucks with western toilet too. Yay! We stopped to use the bathroom, and Zoe & I got Lattes.

After we got back to the hotel we spent the rest of the day relaxing in our room. Steve napped because he is sick :( The kids played computer together and other video game devices throughout the afternoon. In the eve Steve and I watched Kungfu Panda with Eli. He laughed and laughed. We enjoyed watching him more than the movie I think. We ate noodles in the room for dinner.

Then before bed family time consisted of more games of Uno. The kids all really enjoy that. Eli won two hands last night. He doesn't totally understand the game yet, but he is learning none the less.

Oh, and I almost forgot, in the subway tunnels on the way home we found a yellow-orange stuffed dolphin that Kai loves! So now we have three stuffed toys, one for each boy. So last night was interesting playing Uno with the stuffed animals. Hehe!

Today is our last full day here. We do not plan to leave the hotel until tonight when we have dinner with Kobe and his girlfriend. But I will try to post again before we leave Xian tomorrow. :)

A thankful & blessed mom,
Sherry