Thursday, July 31, 2014

A visit to Shamen Island

Levi had his medical check up today.  We thought he was going to have to get 4 shots but thankfully his orphanage had already given him them all .  He was very relieved I know.  We then went to Shamen Island.  It is a great area.  We spent our entire time on the island for our first 3 adoptions.  Most people adopting stayed there because the medical clinic was there as well as the US consulate.  It was a hustling and bustling place.  The hotel that we stayed in shut down for renovation a few years ago and the consulate and clinic moved off the island.  We have great memories of being there.  Today was once again blazing hot so we didn't make it long outdoors.  Most of our time was spent in Starbucks drinking a smoothie.  This is by far the most relaxing trip we have had.  We have these 2 easy going boys and there is no one else in our travel group right now so we are taking advantage of the down time.

The Visa issuing system is up and going again so we just pray that it stays that way.  That is about all I have to report.  Another evening of swimming is on our boys schedule.  Life is tough.  Thank you for all of your prayers.

This is for you Leah

DonLi asked why you couldn't play your trumpet here.  I'm so glad I left mine at home.

We have some hot tired boys

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A few photos of our day

Levi enjoyed some English speaking movies.  He laughed right along with them even though he probably didn't understand a word they said.

Off to the pool.  They have the best time in the pool.

It's a hard job adopting a 13 yr old boy but someone has to do it

A VERY hot day

Ok, there is hot and then there is HOT!!!!!  We were in China 5 years ago at this same time.  I haven't forgotten how hot I was the day we visited the zoo here.  I was reminded of that heat today as we tried to enjoy ourselves on a walk through a park.  Scott summed it up well as being short of miserable.  Whew.  We have just about decided to just have a stay cation in our room.  We will come out only when we have to.

Levi has had a very wordless day.  He seems happy but I guess feels words are useless with us.  He has laughed and giggled a few times but other than that not much.  We spent a part of the day with another family adopting an older boy.  The boy doesn't know if he wants to go home with them.  It is so hard to watch a family walk through this.  The boy has no idea what his future could be like with a family that loves him.  He only feels the strong discomfort of the present situation.  One where he can't communicate with his family.  Unlike Levi he tries really hard to talk to us.  I can say a few things to get his attention and then I'm done.  He blurts a lengthy conversation back at me and I just have to smile and shake my head.  They need lots of prayers not only to convince their son to come home but the difficult road ahead of them.

On another note, the visa system that was down all last week keeping many families stuck here unable to go home has once again gone down.  We are still over a week away from Levi's visa needing to be processed but please pray that get this fixed.  It is causing families big expense on top of the already huge expense they have already had.  It took 6 days to fix before.  Hopefully they learned something and get it working quicker this time around.

Tomorrow we go for Levi's medical check up and he will be getting 4 shots.  That is never fun.  Scott and the boys are about to go for an evening swim.  They slept really good last night after swimming for 2 hours.  As a matter of fact they were all sawing logs at 7:30 last night.

We are doing great and the kids at home are doing good.  I know they are ready for us to come home.  We miss them all so much.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.  We are feeling every one of them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

All Chinese children age 12 and over must also give their consent to being adopted.
This very important signature above is Levi's consent to joining our family.
I cannot imagine how much courage it takes to give your life to a total stranger after spending
24 hours with them, but our son does.

Just in case you wanted some fish to cook for yourself at home, the grocery store has plenty.

Squid, too.

While in the U.S. chicken "fingers" are popular, over here in China,
it is chicken "feet" that are popular.

Fortunately, we can have a few snacks that remind us of home.

Around town & shopping

Anyone hungry for fish?  Yum yum.   (we passed.)

Riding the escalator is fun in any country!

Our celebration meal...Chinese, of course!

The shopping mall

Cool escalator without steps so grocery carts can go on it.
And, it is magnetized so the carts won't roll.

Levi was quick to give us all a chop stick tutorial

Hanging around...

A few photos

Levi is officially ours!

Today was the day that we signed everything to make Levi our son forever.  He also had to accept us as his forever family.  Now just think about that.  Would you have the courage to leave everything you have ever known behind and go with a strange looking couple.  Now we may be pretty nice people but I am pretty certain I would not commit myself to US after just 24 hours.  When he bravely walked towards us yesterday and then again signed his name today he agreed to leave it all and take a chance on what everyone has told him will be the best thing for him.  It will be a tough road for him.  The language is so hard and the sounds that we use to speak aren't all so easy for him.  As I sat down with him today just to see exactly how much he might know about basic letter recognition I was so overwhelmed for him on how much he is going to have to learn and take in.  It will come and thankfully he doesn't seem to know at this point how difficult it will all be.  What he does seem to know is that he belongs to us and he welcomes that.  I look at him and my heart just melts with love for this precious little boy.  Everything just feels so right about him being with us.  God has worked a beautiful miracle and I am so honored to be a part of it.

We had a fairly relaxing slow day.  So slow that all we want to do is sleep.  The jet lag hasn't been too bad but we just feel drained.  We did spend a couple of hours at the pool.  Levi had told us he liked to swim or really just be in the water.  He jumped right in and did pretty well swimming to Scott.  Him and DonLi played together the whole time.  They really get along well.  DonLi is so patient and kind to him.  There is no need for language when you are playing.  He has been fairly quiet today with fewer words than yesterday.  If you could just continue to pray for peace for him.  I know he probably is having all kinds of emotions that he can't express and would be too afraid of even if he could tell us.

God is so good to us.  He lead us on this wonderful journey.  Along the way we are able to encourage and build up others that adopt around us like that young family we met yesterday with the little girl who didn't want to come to them and was crying her eyes out.  The mother sat there in distress.  I read her mind.  She was wondering if this little girl would ever love them or be happy.  I went straight up to her and looked her in the eyes and said "it is all going to be ok.  It will be hard and that is to be expected.  Your daughter is acting very normal for what is happening to her."  This morning when we saw each other again she came right over to me and thanked me for my words yesterday.  I loved being able to do that for her.  I love all of this.  I guess that is why we are in China for the 6th time.  I am grateful and thankful.

One other thing that Levi did today was play ping pong.  He is very good ping pong player.  It was really fun to see Scott, Levi, DonLi and another older boy being adopted play and have such a fun time together.  Heart warming for sure.