You want to do something beautiful for God, there is a human being that needs you.....this is your chance.
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back to family blog..

Since Savannah is home and we want to begin our family of 7 together and not separated blogs we are going back to our family blog:
to update on what is going on in our family. Please visit and comment. We would love for everyone to keep updated how Savannah is doing and how are family is 6 months we will be a family of 8!!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our Wonderful Welcome Home...thanks everyone!!

Sorry about the run ons into the design part of the blog........

Finally an update on our trip!!!

I am so sorry this took so long!! Could not update in China because I forgot to down load information I needed to over ride the blocks...sorry! I did update through an email to those addresses I had which included pictures from Snap Fish. You will have to sign up for an account if you don't have one to view the pictures. Let me say it is so worth it. I will also add the text email messages I sent out for those who want to read them. So here I go:

May 20th:
We wanted to connect with all of you to let you know that we made it to China. We got in around midnight China time and around 11 am Friday time. I just checked and at this point I cannot update the blog...:(. I have no pictures but we did meet another family who is adopting their 2.5 year old son. They came with us from Chicago. They are staying in the Whte Swan and we are in the Victory. Their son is from Guangdong province so they remain here while we go on to Wuhan tomorrow. Sierra is so excited. We are doing well with the time change being we got some sleep last night. We are so looking forward to meeting Savannah on Monday.....only two more days and she will be with her family...I wonder what she is thinking? Please pray for all of us as that time nears...especially for Savannah!! Talk to you soon!!

May 21st:

I promised pictures from today....check out the link below. I am not sure if you have to sign up but please do!! This might be the only way I can share pictures!!
Today was wonderful, emotional, and tear jerking!! We were at Sierra's orphanage for around 3 hours. We got to spend time with the children....Sierra even made a new friend. Mike and I are praying about sponsoring the precious little girl who will never be adopted. She was placed in the orphanage due to mental issues with her biological parents. So Chinese laws are sad because unless they die ishe cannot be adopted. It is so scarey to think of what her life will be like after she ages out of the orphanage. It breaks my heart. I guess anyone who walks in an orphanage is changed and more aware of what reality of life is about.....

May 22:
We made it to Wuhan today. We met Miley's Dad friend today and his daughter. Very very nice man. He is the one who paid for our beautiful hotel in Wuhan. It amazes me the love of people through out the world for our little girl.
I have to say today it played on my sensory issues. The airport was crowded and to get to our plane they took us by shuttle but I would say they packed us like sardines into a bus and transported us for about 5 minutes but it felt like an hour. Then we had to climb two flights of stairs to aboard the plane. It was very humid and very unconfortable the entire way...............I know I am complaining but oh my gosh we have it good in America. Then when we got to Wuhan we had to board another shuttle or sardine bus and was transported back to the terminal.............When I got in there I looked at Mike and said now that was an over sensory stimulating situation. Hoping we don't have to do that on our flight back to Guangzhou!!
Well the big day is tomorow!! Mike and I are feeling the jet lag today because after dinner we both feel asleep on the beds while Sierra finished eatting and cleaned up. She is so awesome! I am wondering what Savannah is thinking. I hope if their is fear that she is also having some hope and excitement. I just have to say both our girls are brave...........I mean I complained above about being a sardine and look what Savannah has to go through about sensory overload!!! It brings back memories of Sierra's Gotcha Day...she was so scared but so brave too!! Please pray for her as she makes a huge transition tomorrow!!
Blessings to you all!!

May 23:
She is so beautiful!! She was so excited to meet us that she asked to go to the Civil Affairs office early. She and Sierra have hit off right away. She loved riding the esclators at the mall. She loves her American Girl doll!! She played string beads with Sierra. They have been laughing and running around together. The bank was a long wait but both girls did great. I just hope this remains. I do know God has been with all of us and we are so thankful for that! The prayers are working and we are so blessed to have each of your in our lives!!!
Here is the link:

Correct link:\

May 24th:
It has been a wonderful day. The girls are getting along well. They love playing with the bubbles. We had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel before heading back to the Civil Affairs Office. It is then that we adopted Savannah. In China they require that you wait 24 hours before adoption. The Civil Affairs Officers ask you a few easy questions and then papers are signed, finger printed and for Savannah she puts her red hand print on the paper. Awesome to be apart of. She began to open up more after the adoption. I had to tell her no, walk, and stop a few times but she is getting it and coming around. Hey if she was not pushing the boundaries I would be nervous. She is ornery like Sierra.........she is going to fit in fine!! Loves ice cream.........yep already tested
After getting back, we headed down to a recommended store similar to Walmart........thank God for the adoption world and their experiences!! We picked up soda for Mike, candy for the children in the orphanage where we are visiting tomorrow, cookies for me and the girls, crayons, coloring tablet and sharpener for the girls, and Kleenex's and wipes......Savannah has a hard time with the car trips...:(
We then ate at McDonald's and then headed back and we have been hanging out since. The girls coloring and drawing, watching Free Willy 3 and just relaxing. It has been a great day but I have to admit........we are the only ones adopting in Hubei province this week and we stick out..........cannot wait to get to Guangzhou with all the other adoptive families!!
Thanks for listening and enjoy the pictures on the link below!!

May 25th:
We visited Savannah's orphanage today. She at first said she did not want to hold my hand but after she ran into her friends and teachers she kept a hold of my hand the entire time. She even acted shy with them. Her room is where she slept with around 10 other girls. She ate in a very very tiny room........maybe 10x10 with all the other girls from her room. It broke my heart. We were taken around the area orphanage that was similiar to clinic or mini hospital. Visited the room that housed the very sick babies. Many with heart conditions. We saw the therapy rooms and many other medical rooms. We did run into a group of children.. One of the little girls who have visiable burns on her head and face is being adopted. Once again many children with Down Sydrome. Met a man who was raised in the orphanage who had deformed arms and legs......reminded me of the little boy at Huiyang SWI, Sierra's orphanage, even made me feel I needed to find him a forever family. Actually when going into the Notary today there was a "street" person with deformed legs and arm and it made me think of that little boy too. I truly feel God pushing me to find him a home. So sad to think that these children could end up like that....I cannot help but let my heart break and want to do something for them! I am forever changed and their lives are what reality is truly about. I wish I could take each of you here so you can see why my heart aches and opens for the love of these children. I was not only given two daughters because of these type situations but I was given each of these children to pray for and to help find families for........

May 26th: East Lake Pictures:

More pictures from East Lake:

May 27th Yellow Crane Tower:

We ended our week with a wonderful trip to the Yellow Crane Tower. Miley's dad's friend paid for our stay in Wuhan and if that was not enough he paid for our trip to the Yellow Crane Tower and to lunch. His daughter was our guide and she is so sweet. We had a wonderful time even though the temps went up higher that day. It is around 6 floors high and yes only steps. We made it to the top floor. The actual top floor was closed from visitors. So we went as high as we could. You can see Savannah's orphanage from there. I remember standing there two years ago......wishing things were different. Yes, Corey and I went there after the decision not to adopt Mei Mei was made. It felt good to take our God given daughter up there. Even though the girls would be 6 or 10 steps ahead of us. Once again we enountered a man with special needs. This man was without hands. He was a beggar. I wanted so bad to put 100 RMB in his can but we were warned not to because many others might "jump" us too. I felt so bad to leave him there. This visit was a true heart opener. This adoption has touched my heart very very deeply. Do I want to adopt again,......NO....we are done. I promise you that. BUT I do promise you that I want to do more for the oprhaned and forgotten in China. Sierra's orphanage wrote us again and said they are looking forward to our visit. I would love to get a large group....around 6-10 people who wants to join me next summer for one week at Huiyang
SWI. I am not sure about country clearances but I will find all that out......and then we can begin to fundraiser and find sponsers who want to help us to help the fatherless.
After our visit to the Yellow Crane Tower we went to lunch at the Western Resturant which gave each group their own private awesome to be able to connect in such an intimate environment. Miley's friend ordered for us. The food was so good.and whatever I said about Chinese food.........this trip both by Huiyang SWI and in Wuhan.......AWESOME!!! I think I could do this easily.........well for a week or two......the blocks are driving me nuts!! I am talking about the internet blocks!!
Anyway,, Savannah's first plane ride went well. She loves to fly but still hates to drive places...that is good because a 12 hour flight is not good if you don't like to fly!!! She did scream on take off and on landing but she is a girl........:)
Pictures of the Yellow Crane Tower:

May 28th:

We have had a great time in Guangzhou today. We beg and our day with Savannah's medical visit. She needs an exam before she can get a visa. She did very well and was brave for her TB test. Then we got to started our gift shopping, went to Lucy's to eat....meaning we had some wonderful western type food......chicken wraps and turkey club sandwich, and fries. We did a lot of strolling what which a nice break from the busy city of Wuhan. The island is busy but not with all the cars, people and pollution. We found the play area/park and the girls got to climb, slide, and just be girls. There are tons of statues that have been placed around Shamin Island so we had to take pictures at many of them........yep........girls idea......Sierra loved to 'pose' at each one too..telling her big sis where to stand and how. It was cracking me up. They continue to be getting along so well. I am holding my breath...:) Tomorrow....Sunday we have another day to ourselves. We want to go to Church at the Catholic Church on the island but it is closed for reconstruction.......I was so bummed. Not sure what to do. There is a Christian church on the island and in the afternoon it is in English.....not sure yet. ive.
Thank you so much for all your prayers!! Like I said it is being felt and we are so appreciative!! I hope you all can be at the Airport on June 3rd. We will be at 9:30. Corey can you please make sure that Billy can pick up Grandma. I know she really wants to come.....thanks so much!! She is such a wonderful little girl and we are so blessed to be her parents!!
Pictures from today:

May 29th:
I would only say one word Amazing!! It was awesome to be with many and I mean many other people from all over the world to celebrate the Mass with. It was standing room only and there were others outside looking in the doors the entire Mass. It is amazing and you could feel the love of Christ in the place. MANY men from Africa. It was so awesome to hear them sing together. I asked if they were from a seminary and they said no. I felt I was back at IHM listening the young men again.
Savannah did very well. She was mad at me for making her drive again. She does not like that and she made it known but I also made it known that you need to act proper in church and scolled her. I gave her the mom look a few times. The problem after church we had to find a taxi back and that took a while. It began to freak Mike and I out so I called out to Mary to pray for us and then came a taxi. I know all my non Catholic friends find that odd or strange but trust me........Christ mother truly will pray and ask her son and our heavenly father to come to our aid. Seen it through Savannah's adoption, through out my life, and now in China.
We are finishing our day with Subway. Yes they have it here on the island now and we need a true taste from home again.
We miss you all and please know we truly appreciate all your prayers and love!! It is being felt here!!
Bless you all!!

May 30th: Guangzhou Zoo:

We had a great day at the zoo. It was Savannah's first time to see animals in real life. She was terrified at first but became ok.....and I mean ok......meaning she might run ahead or walk on the opposite side of the walk that the animal exhibt was on. We stopped for ice cream and both girls wanted Strawberry!! Then we ended the day with feeding the fish in the huge lagoon. Both girls had a great time. It was wonderful to watch both of them attempting to feed the fish that were in the back of the group and the ducks....the less fortune. It touches my heart to once again to see God is the eyes of a child. I attached a movie of the girls feeding the fish. Let me know if you if you can view it or not. First time doing this...if it works then I will added another video we took earlier in the week. Here is the links to the pictures:

May 30th...Fun around the island:

The girls went swimming this afternoon..........the water was a little cold. The pool is on the roof top which was an awesome view.
We also visited Lucy's again for supper........attempting two meals a day with snacking between. It is pretty much working out.
Here is the link to some pictures......a video or two also:

May 31st:

We visited a Temple today and a very popular Museum. It was such a wonderful morning. The girls received a blessing. I know.......don't freak out is something I wanted to do for Sierra but was not given the chance with our travel group. This time since we are alone our guide has given us chances we would not have in a group so the girls got it done together. We can never forget their heritage and one part of it is Buddhism. It might upset some but for us it is the same as them being Chinese. We respect all of them...not just part of who they are. Many of the customs of the Buddhist is similar to the Catholic religion...many of it is not. I would like to cherish what is similar instead of focusing on what is not...since it will help our girls love their heritage and adjust to their new heritage.
We are now feeling home sick. We want to come home. The girls are tired of walking and shopping. Yes we take them to the park and to the pool but after a while it all gets old. Tomorrow is the big appointment. We meet our guide at 7:20 in the morning. This the earliest we have had the girls up since we began this they have had us up that early but not out of bed, showered, and eaten. Oh step closer to home!! This appointment is the consulate appointment where we swear to love our child, not abandon her and to teach her to be a good citizen. They put in for our visa and the next day...Thursday...our guide will pick it up. Then on Friday morning we make the long but wonderful trip HOME!!
We want to thank all of you who have been emailing us through this trip. Honestly it is what is keeping us strong. Adoption is wonderful but to be so far way from home and doing so more paperwork and to be almost like celebrity with being very few Americans can get old. Mike and I just want to be home among all our family to celebrate our newest child with all of you. We even think Savannah is ready to come home. She is getting cranky with all the have to that we have to do.
Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts during this time...those mean so much. Savannah is doing great transitioning into our family. Oh yes..time out has been used a few times but we use time in after we get done which is talking with her about her wrong choices by using a google translator on line. It has worked and she understands.

May 31st:

This forward comes from the agency and website that we found Savannah. It is my soul to help find ALL children a home. I know in most eyes this is unrealistic but in God's eyes...maybe one of you might be their mom or dad. Even if you have not consider adoption, maybe God is knocking now. I just know that for the first time the thought came to me to forward this information and so now I am doing so. All you have to do is sign up on their website to view the children. Please....maybe just maybe God is calling you into the adoption ministry??
May God Hold You In The Palm of His Hand,

Lisa Wanless

--- On Tue, 5/31/11, Bringing Hope to Children <> wrote:

From: Bringing Hope to Children
Subject: Eight Children Added
Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 12:34 PM

Hello Everyone:
We have added 8 new children to the waiting children list in China. These children range in age from under 2 years of age to 13 years old with various special needs. Please take a look at them if you or someone you know is considering adoption. The child you are looking for just might be here.
You can see them all and others by going to . Just log in, click on China, then the child's name and complete the form to receive a childs complete file.
Have a great day.
Dick and Cheryl Graham

June 1st:

Today we had our official appointment at the American Consulate. Compared to last time with Sierra....we were in a room only about 1/4 the size and with only around 14 other families. With Sierra, we were in a huge room with around 100-150 other families. It was standing room only then. I wonder if they have more appointments or less adoptions. I knew the adoptions have decreased but did not know that it was that huge of a difference!!
We left there and went to the White Swan to have the Red Couch picture taken. This is a tradition with American Adoption families. I guess the White Swan is redirecting again and I heard Holt Adoption Agency bought the couches to make sure they remain for the families to be able to continue with the Red Couch pictures. So awesome to is a special picture.
Today because we had to be on the road at 7:30 to make our appointment in time began rough. Savannah does not like being woke up and had an attitude until the end of the appointment. She refused to go with us and we had to physically guide her. She did not run just would be in lock down in one spot. When we got to the consulate I just let her be and then on the car ride back she came around. I wonder if she is fearful that we are going to "leave" her. When went off the island...walking to find suitcases. On the island they were going for 4 xs then off the island. She does not like to do that.. I think the stores make her nervous. We did find two cute with hello kitty in small print for only $30.00 American dollars........on the was costing us at least 60.00....we love to find a good deal!! We also found some shirts for the girls school next year and sandles for me that were less than 10.00 Amercian dollars......very cute and very comfortable!
We began packing today and we are so excited to know that in less than two days we will be coming home!!!
I continue to want to support Huiyang SWI (Sierra's orphanage) and I still want to do a trip back to help for one week at Huiyang. We are also going to begin sending packages with children's clothing for the kids. I can tell they truly are needed. We are going to hit garage sales and where ever we can find nice but used clothing. My hope is to send a package over once a month. We also are going to send a couple special items for a special girl who Sierra connect with during the visit. If any of you want to help by I am very open for that. I will add the other pictures of the children of Huiyang in a special blog when I get home. I will share it with all of you.
Blessings and we are so looking forward to seeing each of you Friday night!!!
Link to pictures: