Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 8-9, 2010

So, I know I didn't post yesterday, but it was because July 8 and 9 kinda ran together. We left Guangzhou late on the 7th (I think), we stayed in Shanghai for about 12 hours (very few of them were sleeping) and then we flew from Shanghai to SF to Dallas, which brought us home in the afternoon on July 9. International travel is crazy, keeping up with the days while you are traveling is tough. So here are a few pictures of us getting ready to leave Guangzhou.

Xander in a stroller for the first time. We're not sure if he had ever been in one before, but her really liked. Nana and Xander just as we arrived in Shanghai.

On the plane ready for the LONG flight from Shanghai to San Francisco

This was actually the next day at home, but it is the first picture I have of Xander at home, not a good one, but it is what it is. At this point it was a miracle I even knew how to use a camera!

July 9, 2010 was the day our sweet Chinese boy became an American citizen! The process is such that as soon as he arrives on American soil (and successfully passes through customs) he is an American citizen. We joke and say that he was born in China but became a Texan in San Francisco. Sounds like a country song if you ask me!

The first two weeks home were THE HARDEST two weeks of our lives up until that point. Jet lag was HORRIBLE, and it is hard enough for adults to deal with, but when two toddlers are trying to reset their clocks there can be nothing good about that. We lived in a fog for about 2 weeks and then things started to get a little better. It was a good month before we really felt like we had our feet under us.

But, like child birth, you kinda forget how hard it is, because we couldn't be more excited to do it again! In this past year we have learned so much, about our little guy, about ourselves, and about our God. Things we would have never learned without going through the experience of adoption. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us as we waited for Xander, traveled to China to get him and who have continued to pray, we truly know that God answers prayer.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 7, 2010

Consulate appointment day

Sorry this picture is so fuzzy, but it made me laugh. It is funny to me that a year ago, after only having Xander for a week, they were silly enough to play like this. Things like this still happen today, I m trying to get something accomplished and they are being silly.

Ruins that were found when construction began for the hotel we were staying in

In the museum next to the ruins

Macey and her parasols

On our way to take the oath

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 6, 2010

Fun in the pack n play

A little snack on Daddy's tummy

New traditional Chinese duds

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5, 2010

Low key day, just hanging out


Chillin' by the pool

Chillin' in the pool

Our group "pizza picnic" in the hallway of the hotel. It quickly ended when we were told we were a fore

Our travel group, minus one family

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2010

Church service, shopping and dinner

Happy 4th of July!

Macey enjoying her milk cream shake (do not mistake this for a milkshake)

Grandpa Max in front of the Chinese/English Christian church


Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3, 2010

Medical check-up and shopping

Well, this was the only thing on the agenda for the day, a medical check up which then allowed us to get a visa to bring our babies home. I'm having a hard time remembering that day, I remember the check-up, and then I believe we went shopping the rest of the day. The only pictures I could find from that day were pictures of the kids playing in our hotel room.

Xander wearing Mama's PJs

Macey wearing Mama's make-up

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June 2, 2010

Last day in Fuzhou, Fujian

Macey loved the Aquarium so much we went back so we could see it. Unfortunately the mermaids were not performing that day.

I look angry, but I'm really not. Just wanted to show you how I ate most of my meals while in China!

Buying pearls!

The view from our hotel room window
On our way to Guangzhou

Xan's first plane ride. It looks like he had a rough time, but once we got going he was fine.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1, 2010

Xichan Buddist Temple and shopping!




Side note: Today, I was able to meet up with Ashley (in the "eating" picture) and her 3 girls! It was the first time since China that we saw them and it was fantastic! Her family lives in Dallas and they live in Alabama, so they were here for a visit. It was just a nice realization that one year ago today we were also eating together, in a country on the other side of the world!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2010

Xander's orphanage and finding spot

I don't have any words. Such a sad, confused little boy

On our way to Putian City

The grounds of the Xianyou County Social Welfare Institute of Putian City

The baby's room. Xander's bed is on the far right. I was looking at the newest arrival, a baby girl, about 1 week old.

Xander's finding spot

Our lunch with some of the orphanage staff (director Chen on the far left) at the hotel where Xander was found. So many emotions on that day.

While we visited to the orphanage Macey, Nana and Grandpa Max went to an aquarium

These "real life" mermaids started a 6 month obsession with mermaids! (that is not Macey in the corner, just another on-looker)

This was the second super emotional day. Xander was so confused, I felt horrible for him, but knew it would be good for future conversations. It gave us an idea of what his life before us was like. Although we were only there a short time, and were not able to see most of the grounds, we met the people who cared for him, some of his friends and saw the bed that he slept in for 20 months. Wow, to this day I have a hard time imagining his life there, and what a contrast it is to his life now. I am not referring to the material things, those are obvious, but certainly not the important part. We believe that he was taken care of in the best way that an orphanage could. We could see that the people there genuinely cared for him, but they were not his mom and dad.

I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of possession I had toward Xander that day. As we walked around the grounds I just held him tight. At the suggestion of the guide he was in the carrier the whole time, and I will forever be grateful for that. I wasn't sure if I should allow the nannies and others to hold him, but as soon as I got there I did not want to let him go. I wanted him to start to believe that he was with us, from now on, forever.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29, 2010

Panda World
Xander slept through our entire tour of Panda World

We found a mall to do some shopping for the kiddos, Valerie and I were actually posing for this picture.

Xan's first taste of the Chinese version of McDonald's, which is just like the American version

I remember, in this moment, I was so excited that my son was having fun with his Grandpa!