Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ready To Go!


I have spent all day finishing up the packing and cleaning the house and doing a whole bunch of laundry so I don’t have to come back to dirty clothes at the house. (I am pretty sure that was a really long run on sentence.)  I have kept my mind occupied this weekend by working, it has worked well and between that and things at home, I haven’t worried much at all.  We have packed sort of light.  All the kids have a carry on and a backpack,  Kendell and I have a backpack each and one carry on and one larger bag.  I had to pack a bunch of presents for our trip and I also have all of Will’s things and backpack in my bag.  I think we have done fairly well.  I have packed 4 outfits for each person, one pair of shorts that can double as PJ’s, actual PJ’s, a swimsuit, winter clothes, hat/gloves.  The kids all have to take their homework, books to read, numerous electronics, and candy.  You know, just the important things.  I am so excited to be able to share this trip with our whole family.  One week from today at exactly this time we will be meeting Will (if you consider we will be on Chinese time).  What a lucky mom I am!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thoughts Of China

nEO_IMG_Chang Rong  Dong-Aug-008

Today I was talking with someone about how much things were going to change for our family soon.  I don’t really think things will be much different.  Most people probably think we have too many kids already (by most people I am generally referring to our family).  I can’t see that going from 4 to 5 kids will be that big of a deal.  I am nervous about starting with another preschooler after having all the kids in all day school for the last couple of years and I am nervous about having a child who will need surgery.  Other than that we will just keep being a family – going to work and church, bedtime stories, eating together, playing Uno, playing with the puppy, watching I Carly – you know, the usual.  In 10 days, Will is going to lose everything he has ever known.  This never really hit me that hard with Claire and Benjamin.  I realized they had big changes, but leaving an orphanage seemed like a good deal, at least to me.  Into a family, with a mom and dad, your own room (sort of), love, hugs, and all the food you could ever want.  Will is different.  He has been in a foster family.  I don’t know for sure, but I think he has been in the same family for a long time, he probably has been loved, well fed, held, hugged, and talked to.  He will be leaving a relatively good situation to come into our family.  I can’t imagine how scary this is going to be for him.  I pray that they have read our letters to him and showed him our pictures and prepared him for this big move.  In a couple weeks he will lose everything he knows – his language, his family, his food, his home, his school.  There is no future for him in China – his special need will make him undesirable, he will never go to a good school, he would have little hope for a permanent family.  He is only 4 though and my daily prayers this week are that God will make this transition as easy as possible for him. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The One Week Countdown

One week until we leave for China. I have been listening to way to much Dave Ramsey lately as I have been getting the house picked up, bags packed, and paperwork organized for our trip. He had a show a few days ago where he had a discussion Occupy Wal* Street supporters. I basically took from that show that this movement has little organization and is unclear on what their purpose is. They also offer few thoughts on how to fix the problems they see in America. I agree that there are problems with America, but every day I thank God that I was blessed to be born in the US. Having travelled to Africa, Dominican Republic, and China, I learned that we have so many advantages. We have clean running water, free education, and poverty here is so different than it is in other countries. Any child, boy or girl, has an opportunity to be whatever they want, regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, where they live, or who their parents are. We are free to worship God without fear. We are free to vote for our government and if we don’t like what they are doing we are free to speak out against them. If our children don’t have food to eat we have programs to feed them and hospitals to treat their illnesses. I know things here aren’t perfect, but we should be so thankful for everything we do have. Thank God for our democracy! (This is not meant to be a political statement as I would like to avoid that sort of discussion, just my thoughts on this as I get closer to meeting my son who was born in a country where children are discarded for having a minor birth defect – whether that is because his birth parents couldn’t afford to fix it or because they didn’t want him because of it I will never know.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We Are Going To China!

We received our Travel Approval on October 3rd, but because of holidays in China had to wait over a week for our consulate appointment date.  This is the date Will receives his visa so he can travel to the US on a Chinese passport.  Once he arrives in the US he becomes a US citizen and can no longer use his Chinese passport.  Here is our itinerary as it stands now:
Nov. 1 - Leave for China, Fly from hone to Chicago, connect to Shanghai on Korean Air flight #5893
Nov. 2 - Arrive in Shanghai at 7:30 pm, stay one night at the New Harbor Service Apartments
Nov. 3 – Tour Shanghai in the am, take the high speed train from Shanghai to Hangzhou in the afternoon, meet Lynn’s family
Nov. 4 – Tour Hangzhou with Lynn’s family (they don’t speak English and we don’t speak Mandarin – we are excited!)
Nov. 5 – Fly from Hangzhou to Changchun in the afternoon, stay the at Shangri-La Hotel
Nov. 7 – Adoption Day!  Child Handoff at 9 a.m. at the Civil Affairs office – It appears we complete the adoption that morning
Nov. 11 – Receive Will’s Chinese passport and fly to Guangzhou at 5 pm
Nov. 12 – Will’s medical exam, TB test, and visa paperwork
Nov. 14 – TB test read
Nov. 16 – Visa Appointment/Oath Taking Ceremony at the US Consulate
Nov. 17 – Receive Will’s visa, take train to Hong Kong at 6:15 pm, stay overnight at the Regal Airport Hotel
Nov. 18 – Fly Home via Korean Air, Arrive home at 10:10 pm the same day (thank you International Date Line!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Introducing Will

This is Will.  He lives in Changchun, Jilin, China.  He apparently knows how to drive a motorcycle at the age of 4 and a 1/2.  He is joining our family in November and we are so excited about his arrival. 
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