Saturday, April 27, 2013

My View From China

Tonight I just want to share my view from China.  I have loved walking around with my camera, and viewing it through my lens.  This trip has been so completely different because I have not had a baby on my hip the entire time.  I have seen so many beautiful things.  I am in love with the mixture of modern and tradition.  I love the weathered hands and faces that show so much love and joy.  China definitely holds a piece of my heart.

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We are on our final leg of our journey now.  We made it to Hong Kong this afternoon and will spend the day tourning tomorrow.  We then start our long journey home.  What an amazing that will never be forgotten.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Quite a Day

Yesterday, we left Hunan province...leaving Gracie's birthplace once again.  What an adventure we've had up to this point.  Each day seemed to be an emotional roller coaster.  I had packed up the waterproof mascara and pretty much expected the emotional part of our trip had ended.  Boy was I wrong!  I knew that we would be visiting 3 Bamboo Babies in Zhanjiang, which we did.  And I knew we would be visiting the orphanage...the 3rd on our adventure.  Each orphanage has had its own story...but this one seemed to hit me where it hurts.  We were not allowed to take pictures there, so I will just share my thoughts.  We walked into the first room and immediately I was brought back to this video:

I did not expect to be slapped in the face with Wesleigh's story.

This was the video sent to me by a fellow adoptive mom as we waited to travel to China. This is of my Wesleigh when she lived in her orphanage. She is the little one in yellow who gets held by this precious mom. I am not watching it tonight as I post it because I'm pretty certain I will be reduced to a puddle on the floor of this hotel room.

 As we walked into this room, there were 20 cribs lined in rows...each one with a precious baby inside. They all stared at us with big eyes as we walked around the room. We each started picking up one child at a time. Each one looked to be well cared for, but each one had eyes that shot straight to the soul. As I began picking up baby after baby, my heart began to break a little more each time. Had the orphanage workers not been in the room, I would have been reduced to a puddle on the floor.

 I tried my best to keep it together, but let me just say...a pack of tissues and some waterproof mascara would have been helpful. I was not expecting to be overcome by emotions today, but I was. I am. I feel like I need a really big cry, but now is not the time. It will come though... For now, we move on tomorrow to Hong Kong for a day of fun. I cannot believe that the "work" part of our trip has ended and it will soon be time to go home. I have very mixed emotions about this. It has been the most amazing trip ever. Everything I had hoped and more!

Here are a few precious pics from the day: April 2013-7079cwf

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Thursday, April 25, 2013


For whatever reason, I seem to be having trouble getting a post of my own together, so I am going to link you to my amazing BFF's blog.  She shot some amazing pics over the past few days and is so eloquent at putting into words, what I seem to be having trouble doing :)

We are having an amazing trip and loving every single second of being here.  It has left a mark on my heart that I will carry with me forever.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What a Day!

What an amazing day we had today!  We got to spend most of the day loving on some adorable Bamboo Babies.  I was also able to meet Gracie's foster mother!  It was so exciting to be able to meet her and see where Gracie spent her first years.  She was so excited to ask me about Gracie and see new pictures.

Here are some pics from the day:

This is Gracie's foster mother.  We saw each other and met before Di was ready with the camera :). She was absolutely precious!

She's looking at the book of Gracie I had printed.
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Di made a special connection with this cutie :)
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Ms. Meng sang the song "I Love China" for sweet!
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Our Changsha Bamboo babies and their foster mothers.
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So cute!
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This is in front of Gracie's foster home.  Her foster mom was quite the hostess and was so happy to have us there.  She said Gracie's favorite thing to do was to sing and dance...go figure!


She is showing me a photo album filled with all of her foster children.  Gracie was her 8th!!!  And she presently has another of our baboo babies...amazing!

It was a precious day that we will never ever forget.  Tomorrow promises to be another emotional day filled with precious children and answered questions.  I cannot wait!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Changsha, China

Today we said "goodbye" to Xi'an and "hello" to Changsha.  We finished our time in Xi'an by visiting a buddist temple there.  It was rainy and gross, but still interesting to see so much culture.  We were met with more stares and a couple of paparazzi moments as well :)  The highlight had to be this monk walking up and taking a picture with us.  They made us make prayerful funny!

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 We then caught a flight to Changsha and met Ms. Meng at the airport.  She had flowers for each of us and it was so much fun to finally meet this little firecracker!  You could tell right away that nobody messes with her!  She actually kicked a couple of people out of an elevator so all of us could fit on it with our luggage.  SO FUNNY!

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Our luxurious "taxi" for the day :) IMG_3746

We went straight to find Gracie's finding spot.  It was a very emotional experience and such an honor to be able to come back and experience it.   We were not able to find all the answers we were looking for, but I'm not very surprised at that.  I'm not really going to expound on it here because it's such an intimate part of Gracie's story.
I will share a couple of pics with Ms. Meng. She was commenting on how tall I am (she is tiny!) and so I was bending to get lower. Then she wanted me to stand up and she tip toed to get taller. SO cute! untitled-2418 untitled-2442

We finished the night at a fun restaurant that had some super yummy food. What a blessing! This trip already has been an emotional roller coaster. It continues in the morning when we meet our Changsha Pearl River babies and their foster mothers. This includes Gracie's foster mother! I cannot wait to hug her neck and share some funny stories about our little spicy girl!

Here are a couple more pics from yesterday that I just got :) photo (37)

Di and I tried the tandem bike for about 10 whole seconds...holy moly!! That was an accident waiting to happen!!photo (38) Goodnight from China! Tomorrow promises to be another amazing day!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Xi'an China

What a day! It is such a different experience being in China when you’re NOT adopting! We are having an amazing time and have enjoyed every second of Xi’an. Today we saw the terracotta warriors, which was so much more impressive in person than they are in a book! April 2013-5808blog

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After we spent the morning there, we went for a 7 mile bike ride on top of the city wall! I will admit, I was a little leery of that experience but it turned out to be so much fun! IMG_3723

Next, we enjoyed dinner at a restaurant know exclusively for its dumplings. They were amazing! There were so many types of dumplings in all kinds of shapes. There were chickens: April 2013-5881blog

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And others. They tasted as amazing as they look! We leave Xi’an tomorrow to fly to Changsha…we start the real reason we are here in China. I cannot wait! I expect we will be on quite the emotional journey as well.
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