Sunday, September 15, 2013

Packed and ready to leave for Guangzhou!

The internet has not been kind to me this week. It seems to be pretty good right now, in the middle of the day when I have not typically been in our  room (NOW I figure it out!!  If you want to blog about being in China stay in your room!!)
All of our documents are in order and done! I just  got the call that Levi's passport is READY for us to fly to Guangzhou this afternoon and everything else is copied , recopied  and ready to go get his visa and come home!!!!!
We have walked the neighborhood of our hotel a bit; we found KFC and yes, Walmart, a number of other fun stores and have successfully navigated the amazing perpetual labyrinth which is moto and auto traffic as pedestrians maneuver their way into it. Levi liked the hamburger  and fries I ordered from room service the other night so we ventured to KFC. OH YES!!!!! That too was a hit! While I will miss broccoli and other stir fried veggies for breakfast, I was amused that he took to the non Chinese cuisine so readily! We went to an aquarium yesterday, which kind of smelled like being in a large can of tuna , but was fun. I have to say feeding Koi fish with a baby bottle was a first AND a hoot!!!

While we were watching a seal show at the aquarium, Levi told our guide, "I am SO lucky!!" which she promptly relayed to me as he leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek!! He has bragged to everyone who speaks to him when we are out " This is my Mamma!!" I don't understand anything other than the word "mamma" but the beaming and the grinning and the happy faces of those with whom he speaks say it all in any language!!
We got to Face Time with HOME this morning for the first time!!! That was wonderful and much needed!!!   The next chapter of this journey is about to begin so I will close for now and next post will be from Guangzhou!!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sanmenxia SWI, a very special birthday!!

I have been working on a blog post all week but the time, Internet connections and thoughts have not meshed so I could write and post. We just  left Senmenxia  City where Levi's orphanage is located. We took a " bullet train" which is an incredible mass transit train which travels at up to 300 kph!!! The 4 hour car drive is reduced to1 hour and some minutes, the staff at the orphanage truly care for the children, the volunteers were some amazing people who I didn't know had been part of a large group praying a family for Meng Meng And then praying us through our 
"Times of Road Boulders." I have some great photos of children and staff as well as a very old blind man who Meng Meng/ now named Levi called Grampa. What a dear old man he was!! And the children? Precious, mostly special needs of some kind or another and except for one boy who sadly is already too old to be adopted and who cried that his friend was leaving , the other children were so happy for him! When we got to the front door Levi ran in shouting ( I presume) " Hey I am back and I have my mom with me!" because  he then ran back out, grabbed my hand and dragged me inside to meet his friends and the staff. We took photos and I toured the facility. Oh readers!!!! The baby room didn't just break my heart, it crushed it!! There were at least  20 babies from newborn to 2 years, but most in the preemie to 6 month size, lined up in infant seats along a wall or laid out on blankets on the floor.....I don't think there was one who was totally healthy. The staff were loving and kind, but the huge responsibility in that room alone was staggering! One of the sweetest faced people I've ever seen was a young woman, with no legs,in a wheel chair, holding and loving on those babies. Words fail me!!!!   Because it IS Levi's birthday today, the staff bought a cake to celebrate with . It was quite the lovely creation with creamy topping and decorated with fruit . We sang "Happy Birthday" to Levi and another boy whose birthday is also today. A Chinese custom is that the birthday celebrant dip ones a finger into the  icing and smear a bit on the nose or forehead and cheeks of someone else. It was great fun ! We had a meeting with the Director and staff, took more photos,said the good byes and it was time to leave. Levi did well with that. I got the sense that since he found out a out us the staff has been preparing him for his " goodbye day". The staff took us out to lunch at a fabulous restaurant! I know I experienced some of the best food I have ever eaten !!! From there it was time to head back to the train station. Oh I didn't mention that we applied for Levi's passport this morning as well.  There was so much joy for Levi that he was leaving with his mom. He told everyone several times, " This is the happiest day of my life!"  I am going to have to log backwards from today to tell the story .
Levi's "Grampa", a very kind and wise man!

he said , "This is my bed no more!

one of the volunteers at the orphanage, and I discovered also a prayer partner in Levi's redemption story!

Birthday cake, China style!

while family at home celebrated Riley's 2nd birthday and Charlie's 4th birthday with family all around, we celebrated Levi's FIRST birthday with family as he turned 14!

Singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY in Mandarin and in English!!

at the orphanage

On September 11, 2013....................

He discovered "selfies"!!
With all the boulders  miraculously moved out of the road to   Levi's adoption,we headed to the Civil Affairs office to sign the required documents that would  finalize the adoption. Guess what? There was another boulder!, The Chinese Authority made a misprint on the certificate and after all the mad dash to get completed by Sept 12, Levi's 14 th birthday.......the certificate stated August something in 2007 as his date of birth!! Multiple calls to the CCCWA ( Chinese authority ) to request as speedy pair went unanswered until moments before they broke for lunch and at 11:50 we officially finalized Levi's adoption! Photographs were taken and his adoption decree has our photograph together on it. We were red-ink finger printed   The documents stamped and assembled and the Director of Civil Affairs spoke a congratulations  and thank -you message to me, charging me to promise to always be a good parent. We have a new son!!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aiding adoptions: Ringwood church group provides grants to parents

Aiding adoptions: Ringwood church group provides grants to parents

. We were made aware of this organization through a mutual friend just a few weeks ago. This weekend we were notified that we had been awarded a grant...from funds raised literally hours earlier than the phone call. Every step of the way in this adoption God has provided guidance and direction, showing us clearly as we have prayed, that He open the doors which are supposed to open and close tightly the doors which we should not enter through. There are a few more steps to take to get to China IN TIME, but at this moment it looks very certain that I will be on a plane bound for China on Saturday!