A Special Visit {From a Special Friend}

While in Changsha, we had a visit from my life long friend! Melodie was my first best friend growing up. I think we date back to toddler years. She has one of the biggest hearts I know, speaks Chinese and cares for orphans here in China. And we were lucky enough to have her here with us for a few days!!

So grateful God afforded us the opportunity to be able to catch up and hear what is going on in her amazingly crazy world! And so blessed that she can communicate with my child. She explained to Anli, “This is your new mommy and daddy and you are going to live with them.” Anli replied with her hands on her hips, “I know!” Can’t get anything past this one!

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Thank you, Melodie, for the sacrifice you made this week– traveling to see us, being away from your THIRTY-TWO kiddos (that’s right, I said 32!), assuring Anli we are good people and she can trust us (though we know this will take months/years for her to believe), showing us where the good Chinese food is, taking us to get cough medicine, and all the insight you have on the Chinese culture, Anli’s first years, and orphan care. Your knowledge and friendship through this tough time is immeasurable. Thank you for asking daily, “How’s it going? How can I help? or How can I pray?” Lord knows the questions or responses from asking might sound absurd but that’s life right now. Thank you for your advise and support! We truly hope to visit again one day when we can be of more help to you!

Here are a few photos from dinner last night. Mel and her guy took us to have traditional Chinese hot pot. Oh, so yummy! We enjoy the food here and loved learning more about their traditions and culture!!

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This girl can down some noodles!

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If you, readers, would like to hear more about what Melodie does on a daily basis visit, www.journeyofajoyfullife.org. If nothing else, lift her and the children in her care up in prayer. This is an amazing woman doing humble work for His glory!

“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”  –Psalms 10:14

What a Day! {2 FEB 2015}

Good morning from Changsha!! We met Anli yesterday at about 11am. It was a whirlwind of a day! There are five families here from our agency and we all met our kids at the same time in the small play room the hotel has on the “non-smoking” floor. They arrived a little late because the children were taken to have their passport photos done before bringing them to our hotel. 10978531_924683787541754_6068400870671647248_n When they came off the elevator and she saw me, she waved smiling with excitement! We didn’t even have to introduce ourselves. She was calling me mama, Will baba, and Ollin dede (sp?) meaning little brother. Her caretakers did an fantastic job at preparing her. We are so grateful to them! 1782061_924682667541866_8125417347496488441_n 1512408_924683064208493_6915117146545205770_n 10252098_924683477541785_3587390796543303294_n 10313521_924683867541746_8036880373528605281_n There weren’t hardly any tears just a whole lot of smiles and giggles, though we know the tears will come eventuality. Her and Ollin chased each other around, played hide-and-seek, and are getting along wonderfully. 

We had two days itinerary combined into one so there wasn’t hardly any one-on-one time. After the families were united in the hotel’s play room, we dispersed for lunch. Then met back up to go to the Changsha Civil Affairs Office to complete our part of the adoption paperwork. It was quite a process given there was such a large group. Both of our kids held up like champs. Ollin went his first day ever without a nap and did amazingly well- considering! 10959497_924970567513076_5522165703521308011_n 10978589_924970660846400_6734449044510968116_n All the meetings and official adoption paperwork are being prepared/finalized this week by notaries and officials. We also had the official interview yesterday and I guess we passed because in the end she was declared our daughter!! She’s a firecracker- full of energy and smiles! We can’t wait to see her personality unfold. 10348619_924683907541742_8682571026585292522_n She’s taken to both, me and Will. She is okay if one of us leaves for a bit but after a while she will start calling for her mama or baba, whichever is gone. 10411398_924683887541744_3778540053334810399_nAt bedtime she does prefer mommy over daddy. (Not surprising given the amount of men in her life over the last 3 years must’ve been minimal). Ollin passed out right away and Anli took a while to settle. I rocked her and sang Jesus Loves Me. There seemed to be some fear in her eyes– understandably, considering we are strangers speaking a foreign language. So I got out Chinese for Adoptive Families, (great book). Then assured her, “You are my precious child. Don’t be afraid. It’s okay. We love you very much.” Not sure I got it all the tones right. Maybe she was just comforted to hear her language. But she quickly had peace and dozed off.

Will and I had dinner at about 11pm last night after we got the adrenalin stricken littles to bed– Pizza Hut that our awesome guide brought to our door. It was an exhausting day but we feel amazingly blessed. We are so grateful for your love and prayers! We can certainly feel them.

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A quick nap while waiting for the bus. So happy to have her in my arms!

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The whole group at the Changsha Civil Affairs Office– right after 5 children became sons & daughters!!