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!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28, 2010

Adoption Day

I will NEVER forget the noise and chaos of adoption day. We were in a small room, with lots of people, signing and thumbprinting more pages than I can count. Xander was seeing the caregivers who had given him to us the day before, I could tell he was not having a good time. There was lots of crying, it was hot, but at the end of it all he was officially ours!

The orphanage director and some of the people that took care of Xander

Even with all the commotion, Macey was so good!

A gift from Xander's orphanage

Oh, the thumbprints

Oh, the paperwork

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2010

Flying to Fuzhou, Fujian and GOTCHA DAY!!!

On our way to Fuzhou, Fujian

Waiting to meet her new brother

Sweet, sweet boy

That sad face breaks my heart to this day

One tired sister

Tuckered out after a long and emotional first day in our family

I've always wanted to know what "one year later" feels like. It is a milestone for an adoptive family. It's an adopted child's first birthday, a day to remember the first year together. I often thought that there would be something magical happen on this day. Like maybe this would be the day when I finally felt like I "got it," like I knew how to handle whatever came my way in regards to adoption. Maybe it would be the day that it all made sense to Xander, he had come full circle and now his actions and reactions would reflect his time with our family. Well, neither of these it true. Surprise, surprise, I was wrong again. :)

I remember so much of that first day. The room, the smells, the way he felt, the sound of his cry, my fear, the look in his eyes. Once I had him in my arms I held him close as he pushed away from me and screamed, but I just held him closer and started singing Jesus Loves Me. It was all this Mama could think to do, kind of a reminder to both of us. As we walked up and down the hall, the cries did not stop, just a baby crying and a mommy singing. Today we were on our way to speech therapy, and we had grabbed a quick bite from McDonald's (my all-American boy!), and the opposite happened. There was a baby singing Jesus Loves Me and a mommy crying! That's what "one year later" feels like.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26, 2010

Beijing, China
The Forbidden City, Tian An Men Square and Olympic Village

Our first breakfast in Beijing, China

Macey's new friend Evan! She had come to China with her mom and dad to get her little sister, she was also adopted from China. These two were instant friends!

The Forbidden City

That would be Mom taking a picture of me videoing Tian An Men Square.

Macey and I at the Bird's Nest
Dad at the Bird's Nest at Olympic Village

The Great Wall. Um, btw, that is not fog, it is smog. Our lungs burned the next day after this hike!

On our way back down from the top of the Great Wall

So strange. These women (who worked in a store we were shopping in) were in awe of Macey, like many of the Chinese people were. But Macey actually let them hold her and take a picture!

Our wonderful, amazing, gracious, caring guide Susan! We cannot say enough good things about her!!! She carried that bright umbrella and wore a bright shirt so we could see her in the crowds. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

One year ago

A year ago today Kevin, Macey and I left our home for the last time as a family of 3. We boarded a plane, first headed to San Francisco, to meet up with Grandpa Max and Nana before we took a trip to the other side of the world. I knew it would be an experience, I knew we would be tired, I knew we would need God's strength just to make it. What I didn't know is that it would be life changing (not just because it added a child to our family), the word tired does not even come close to how we felt (and sometimes still feel), and not only did we need God's strength to get through the trip, but He is the only reason we are able to celebrate one year later!

June 24-25, 2010
Flying from DFW, via SF to Beijing, China!
Our little world traveler

Grandpa Max and Nana

Here we go!

Join us from now until July 9th as we relive our trip to China a year ago!