Friday, June 22, 2018

Guangzhou/Hong Kong-Part Six

Just thinking back to our time in China, this last week being there was challenging. Of course, we enjoyed being there and seeing the sites and eating the food.  Yet, we had just added a new family member and the adjustments were just beginning. We all missed our home, our language, our people, our routine, our beds!!! Through it all there remained a sense of peace and knowing we have God and each other.  And we felt the prayers of those covering us.

                     Here are pictures from our week in Guangzhou and our few hours in Hong Kong!

During the day on Monday, June 19th we we had a 
visa photo appointment and medical exam for Nate
that took a good part of the day.
That evening  I (Tiffany) took Jack, Brooklin, and Hannah 
on the Pearl River Boat Tour-it was stunning.  
Canton Tower is the second tallest building in China, 
and the fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world. (Wikipedia)
Seeing the buildings and Canton Tower lit up at night was such
an awesome experience.  This tour experience was set up through
our adoption agency and two local(in China) agents for the agency
took us.  It was nice visiting with them and some of the other families 
that were also adopting through CCAI. Adam and Nate hung out
at the hotel and went out for dinner.  We were beginning to figure out
that he was very over stimulated when we went out anywhere, 
and of course very emotional just due to being with complete strangers.

Tuesday, June 20th
For those of us who wanted, we could visit the pearl market in Guangzhou.  
The girls and I decided to go with a few other families while Adam took 
Nate and Jack to a local park. Unfortunately, we only got one photo at the pearl market.  
Adam did much better at getting photos of the boys having fun.

                                    This is the CCAI group that was adopting at the same time.
                             We all arrived in Beijing within 24 hours of each other, after
                        touring all families went our separate ways to go to the province of the
                                      child's orphanage, ours was Beijing so we got to stay.
                           Once you receive your child you must go to Guangzhou to go
                     through the consulate, so we all met back up and the agents took this photo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2018
Today was "THE DAY" at the US Consulate.  
Our last big final step in China.  and then the final appointment with the 
US consulate to finalize our adoption of Nate.  
Being that he is an older child, the government employees are required 
to ask him a couple of questions.   I can't even  remember what they were, 
but he answered them in the affirmative and impressed both of the 
American's that were holding the proceedings with his English. 
I am sad to say that we did not get a photo outside of the 
consulate.  But that is okay, we have TONS of paperwork 
to remind us of all the milestones we hot in this journey.

Otherwise on June 21st:

Hotel living at its finest.

Some random photos taken during the day on the 21st.

                         Here are some random shots from June 21st as we walked to dinner.

Thursday, June 22
Our last full day in China.
Since we had to wait for his passport and visa to be able to leave China, 
today was a "free day".  We had a couple of options of tours-the Guangzhou Zoo or
the Safari Park. We opted to go to Shamian Island on our own instead.  Good choice.  
It was beautiful. The architecture is gorgeous.  And with basically 99.9% humidity,
it is so lush with trees and greenery and flowers everywhere. 
Most of the island has been closed off to vehicles and looks more like a park.  
There are beautiful statues around, some souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels, 
and some other businesses.

Friday, June 23rd
We had to wait until the passport/visa was delivered to the
hotel, around noon before we could head to Hong Kong.  We had a few 
options for transportation to Hong Kong and decided the easiest was to
hire a private van to take us directly to our hotel.  The drive was so gorgeous.

                                                 Border crossing: China to Hong Kong

                     We arrived late afternoon and checked in for our last evening before heading 
home to the U.S.A.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Nate and I stayed in the hotel and ordered room service and 
I got us packed up and ready to travel.
My view out of the hotel window was breath-taking.

Adam connected with an old friend in Hong Kong and took Hannah, 
Brooklin, and Jack to site-see.

One more sleep and then we get to head home!!!!

Stay tuned for one more post of out trip to China.

Monday, June 11, 2018

One Year Ago Today......

One year ago today we gained a son and Nate gained a family.  In honor of our one year I am linking the video from The Archibald Project.  Currently they have Season One (Four Stories) of their show, "The Advocates".  This is an orphan care travel show created by Nick and Whitney Runyon co-founders of The Archibald Project. We sat down and watched together as a family recently, and are still in awe of this story that God is writing.  Thank you Nick and Whitney for telling our story and being a voice to the voiceless.  You ARE making a difference.

Here is a link to their website:

Here is a link to Part Four in their show "The Advocates".

Happy One Year Nate!!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Guangzhou-Part Five

We arrived in Guangzhou on Saturday, June 17th, one day before Father's Day.  Nate did fantastic on his first ever plane ride!!!  We had strawberry gum ready, per his request, because he was nervous about his ears hurting (based on other's reports to him about flying).  Let me just tell you, that boy can out-smack me (and I am a gum smacker-just ask my family) and swallow it so fast.  I am not sure how many pieces he went through before we were actually up in there air.  Haha.

Adam's 20th Father's Day and Nate's first time to have a father to celebrate on Father's Day was spent in China.  However, this was not Adam's first Father's Day to spend in China.  He had taken a group of college students over in June of 2004-the month and the year that Nate was born.  I mean, only God!!!!! Wow!!!! But Father's Day fell during the 10 days he was in China all those years ago, at least this time we were all together.  We had adoption meetings to attend during the day with our group, but we managed to head out on an adventure during the afternoon and evening.  Adam found a Mexican food restaurant, and although it was not like Tex-Mex, it hit the spot. Not to mention there was live music too. 

As we were leaving the restaurant area, knowing we could not walk all the way back to the subway to go back to the hotel, we waited in line for a taxi.  Of course six people cannot fit in a taxi car so very quickly it was decided that Adam would take Nate and both the girls and Jack and I would take the next taxi, whenever that might be.  I did have the hotel address on my phone to show the driver.  I admit I was very scared.  At that moment there was a man, not from China, also waiting for a taxi and he spoke English!!!  I asked if we could take the next one and told him that I was a bit nervous. He assured me in that in the nine years he has lived and worked in China he has always felt and been safe. He very kindly assured me we would be ok and that I could have the next taxi.  Up it rolled and in Jack and I went.  I showed the driver the address and off we went.  Jack and I were holding  onto each other very tightly when we figure out we could not put on the seatbelts.  His face was scared and then I just got a strong sense of peace.  I looked at him and told him that I had absolute peace and that I knew we would be ok that God was with us and that people were praying for us.  I did figure out a plan in my mind if it seemed he was not taking us where we need to go, although I wasn't 100% sure myself.  Somehow Adam managed to get a quick call to my phone and that also made me feel better. Jack felt so peaceful he fell asleep and I watched for landmarks we had passed before and prayed.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I was as our hotel came into view.  And seeing Adam, Nate and the girls waiting for us..... precious.  It was so neat to tell them how I moved from fear to peace.  What a memorable Father's Day!