Monday, April 30, 2012

Packing, packing and repacking

I had forgotten how difficult packing for China is.  Our entire living room floor is strewn with clothes, toys, medicine, paperwork and more.  It's all going, we just have to figure out how to put 5 lbs. in a 10 lb. bag.  No problem!  We are allowed one check in for the in-country flight that has a weight restriction of 44 lbs.  The last few trips, we've made it just under.  This time around, I'm feeling packing challenged.....I want to pack everything but the kitchen sink for the kids, especially for Leah.  Thankfully, Ralph is all packed, bag sitting by the front door ready to go.  So we're 1/5th of the way there.....

Our little man is bouncing off the walls with excitement, which is awesome considering that just a few months ago, he wanted nothing to do with getting on a plane and going to China.  His fear has given way to pure joy and we are so happy.  We know its from lots of prayer and talking about how much fun the plane ride is.  I think what pushed him over the top was telling him that the flight attendants would bring him soda.  And he is over the top excited about pulling around his little angry birds suitcase.  Meticulous Makena is making sure that everything is just so and she keeps checking with me to make sure we are taking what we need, especially for Leah.  They are going to be amazing with their mei mei (little sister in Mandarin)

A friend's kids were asking about our trip and she suggested we post some info in case anyone else was curious.  Our flights going and coming back have a layover in Seoul, Korea.  We took the same flights when bringing Josh home & it is a really cool airport, with little indoor playgrounds for the kids to play in.  Our flights are 15 hours going (13 from here to Korea, 2 from Korea to Beijing) and 14.5 coming back (3.5 from Guangzhou to Korea, 11 from Korea, home).  The time difference is 15 hours easy way to figure it out is to take NY time and in China it is the same time, just the opposite (pm vs am & vice versa).  Its always a little confusing when making travel arrangements and trying to make sure we get there the day/time we need to get there.  And I still think its cool that we arrive home a mere 3.5 hours after leaving China!

In addition to all of the "stuff" we are taking, we are also carrying precious cargo to take to the of children previously adopted from where Leah is.  Contrary to what some might think, the orphanage staff love these children and, while they are happy to see them united with their adoptive families, they miss them and want to know how they are doing.  It has been amazing to see the photos and the beautiful glowing smiles on what was once an expressionless face.  We are also taking photos from a family to a little girl who waits for them.  Hopefully they will be traveling in August, but until then, she will have the gift of seeing photos of her forever family.  Rest assured families, these precious gifts will be carried and presented to the staff with love.

Well, back to packing.  We'll check back in before we leave.  Have an amazing day!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

And Leah makes three.....

By God's grace and for His glory, here we grow again! We're packing for China and in a little over a week will get to kiss this beautiful face. Can't wait to hold her tight and tell her how much we love her. We have all of our normal pre-trip jitters - me about flying, Ralph about making sure all of our electronic devices will work properly.....the kids are rollin' with it all, just looking forward to meeting their sister. Well, Josh is also a little concerned that they might not have hot dogs in China. We're headed straight for something amazing.....our adoption of little Leah Hope. Despite having been through this twice before, we're still in awe of God's amazing ways. We have been blessed beyond measure and can't believe we are standing here, on the brink of our third (and for those of you who might be wondering, last) adoption journey. We continue to pray that Leah's transition to our family will not be too difficult. It will be a big adjustment for all of us, but this precious little girl, our daughter, is about to have her entire life turned upside-down. Sometimes, in our excitement that she is joining our family, it is hard to remember what that means for her. It is going to be a completely new sights, new smells, a new language, new foods. And while many will say, and we agree, it is a better world for her, it is different. And different is scary for a 3-year-old. She didn't choose this life. Unfortunately, she is joining our family as a result of someone's else's choice. Poor choice or wise, it left little Shun Mu Yi (her Chinese name) without a family to love her, hug and kiss her, teach her right from wrong and show her all of the wonderful things this world has to offer. And this is where we feel honored that our desire for another child was met with her need for us. If you're checking out our blog, thank you :) We are humbled to have others care enough to share in our journey. We'll try to post daily and include lots of photos!