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

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.


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,

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!

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,

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Free Monday in Xian 11-26-12

Monday was another free day for us here in Xian.

Of course we started out with breakfast in the hotel. The buffet is HUGE and we get to ride the elevator which the boys love. Kai has been wanting to wear his PATTON shirt, which was made and sent to me by my facebook DTC Spring/Summer Secret Pal. I think he likes it because it says Patton and he knows he is a Patton now. I wanted them to match, so I had Eli wear his too. The note from my Secret Pall said the 02 is for two less orphans, two more Pattons and two more children of God. I like that!

After breakfast our guide met us and we went to visit Eli's finding place.

Eli was found as an infant sick with pneumonia abandoned at the Xian Children's Hospital. This is the best hospital for kids in Xian. So obviously his birth mother and father loved him very much. The hospital is next to the west entrance of the Xian City Wall. Our guide said it is possible his birth parents were not from Xian, but traveled here to the hospital. Parents stand in line with their children all day to try to get medical care for them here. We will never know the situation that led Eli's birth parents to leave him. I just can not imagine the feeling of having to leave your child...

It was very crowded today when we arrived... cars and people everywhere. Because we do not know where at or in the hospital Eli was found, and because of the crowds and not wanting to expose the children to any illnesses (especially Kai), we decided not to go inside. Just posed by this plaque that says Xian Children's Hospital and some dates it was founded.

Next we headed to the nearby children's park. Along the way I noticed a children's shop with shoes in the window. Kai had just gotten to go shoe shopping a week or so before we came, so he has new shoes. But Eli's shoes were old, smelly and too small I think. I had been saying I wanted to find him some new shoes.  So we stopped and went in the cute little shop. It was very small and had a little selection, but Eli spotted a pair right away. The guide asked how much and the store clerk told her 100 CNY, but that was the only pair like that they had. So Eli sat down, we tried them on and they were a perfect fit. He smiled so big! So we bought the shoes for a little over $15, and were in and out in a few short minutes, which made Steve very happy because he hates shoe shopping and was not feeling well yesterday. Oh, and we even bought Kai some Ultrman stickers he found while we were in the shop. It's so hard to have three boys here, becuase when you buy one something the others want something too. (lol) But that is part of parenting and family life with kids.

Onto the children's park, where we found carnival type rides for the kids to experience for their first time. Both Kai & Eli asked to ride and their eyes were so big and they were so anxious waiting for their turn in line. Levi joined them on the little boat ride, and Zoe joined her three brothers on the carousel. Our cameras did not capture all the smiles. They had such a great time!

The park was beautiful, with gazebo, pond, shapped bushes in animals. We saw a peacock shapped bush, which was unique. It also had these rocks and caves to climb and walk thru like a maze.

At the end of the walk around the park the boys spotted a statue of a boy and wanted a photo op. (lol) And Steve wanted a family pic, so our guide took one for us.

After that we hailed two taxi's and went back to the hotel to rest for the afternoon.

Kobe met us in the eve for dinner and more shopping in the muslim market. We barginned and barginned...

We bought chopsticks, because Kai eats everything with chopsticks. Eli eats with a fork if there is one. (lol) The lady started at 320 CNY, we all laughed. I must look like a rich american Kobe said. Haha! I ended up offering her 40 CNY, which Kobe said was too much. But is about $7 for 4 sets of 4 or 5 pairs of nice wooden chopsticks.

We also got all three boys chinese outfits to wear for celebrating the chinese holidays & festivals. I, with help from Kobe and Eli (that was funny) barginned for Eli's down to 65 CNY, about $10 for very nice outfit. Then we went back to get a matching outfit for Levi, while Kai & Steve barginned for a nice shirt for Kai. Haha! Steve said Kai did all the barginning. He had been watching us. (lol) He got a very nice double layed shirt for 100 CNY (about $15), only problem is he did not get pants with it. Haha! I told him when we got back to the hotel it was ok. They all tried them on when we got back last night and seemed very pleased with themselves.

We enjoyed some family time with a game of Uno again. That has become a nightly favorite. Kai is very competitive and we discovered he likes ot cheat... He will look at your cards & laugh. (lol) Eli likes playing Uno because he can match the colors, and he is learning to say the english color names.

Last night we saw a new side of Eli. We brought him a stuffed monkey with velcro feet and hands that were wrapped around a fleece blanket. We got it for him last Christmas and have held onto it during the adoption. So we brought it and gave it to him on Gotcha Day. He LOVES it. We called it "Monkey" and he repeated it's name perfectly. So he calls it Monkey and he sleeps with it and kisses it and plays with it. Well last night Zoe was playing with him with Monkey, kissing it and he was laughing and got wound up laughing so hard. Levi would throw Monkey off the bed and Eli would jump to get it and laugh and laugh. Zoe took a ton of pics, which Eli loves to do, of her and him and Monkey.  Kai got in on the fun and tried to steal Monkey and Eli tried to save Monkey laughing. Kai also punches Monkey and Levi's panda bear he got here. So we obviously need to find Kai his own stuffed lovey thing I think. Kai acts like it's funny and laughs. But I think he needs his own. He didn't want one when Levi got the panda, but that was before Eli & the Monkey. So next item to purchase, a stuffed animal for Kai to love. :) Oh, and sorry I do not have any pics to share because they are on Zoe's iphone, which she can not upload here because we have no wifi. It was so funny and cute, but it was at bedtime, so we worried he wouldn't go to sleep now. (lol) But we played another round of Uno, brushed teeth, and then kissed and hugged everyone before bedtime and all was good. Eli gave Steve (Baba) a hug and kiss on the cheek. I got a hug. Which I totally took! He seems happy and whenever the guide or Kobe asks him, he says he is good and happy. So we are patient... He is loosing the only family he has every known, and a very loving foster mom. So I understand. Kai called us mom and dad right away, but his situation is so totally different; and he waited so long for a mom and dad of his own. He is just so happy and comfortable with us.

All in all we are doing very good. Steve, I, Zoe & Levi are just getting tired of China. And we are only half way thru this trip. Xian is very nice and we like it better than Zhengzhou. But it's just not home. The kids have a hard time eatign here, which I knew would happen. So frustratign for a mom to see yoru kids NOT eat. Sigh! And living out of suitcases and not being able to do laundry is hard. I spent hours yesterday afternoon handwashing all the boys and my underwear & socks. We are still waiting for them to dry. (lol) We did send out 9 pairs of pants to be laundried, but it was expensive. So I guess I will hand wash all the shirts today...

Today, Tuesday 11-27-12, is another free day and I think we are laying low. No guides no Kobe today. We might walk to lunch and/or dinner. Maybe to the supermarket our guide drew Steve a map. Steve wants to find some chinese DVDs for the boys... and himself (lol)

Thanks all for prayers and listening.
A tired mom,