Friday, January 6, 2012

Miracles, The Last Day, Travel, and Home (1/4-5/2012)

AM (This was written before we left. 1/4/2012)As I sit here with my nose burning, body aches, and possible fever….I’m still happy dancing! WOO HOO!!!!

This is good. This is very good. Today we go home. I guess I should pack first.

I wasn’t sure if I would take the time this morning to write a blog post. I mean, I was lazy, I didn’t wake up until 6am! Such a sloth! (Wink)

I had something I wanted to share though.

Something that I honestly can say I didn’t expect to be able to share.

Our own miracle…

When you prayer her fever and bloody noses to go away…within hours they were gone for good.

When you prayed for Jael’s body to adjust…within 12 hours her body stopped flushing completely (which had been going on since custody)

When you prayed for her to show affection….within 12 hours she wanted me (instead of the stroller) and gave me a hug.

Here’s the one that gets me….

When we received custody of Jael, her legs were bundled along with the rest of her. It was humid that day, but her legs until her upper thighs remain cold….really cold. We watched this daily and no matter what we did….cold. We believe they had been that way her whole life.

Until you prayed…

We asked you to pray for increased circulation in her legs. Within 12 hours we gave her a bath. When I pulled her out of the bath her legs were warm. We expected that with the warm water. They never got cold again…her feet are a tiny bit cooler than her legs, but NOTHING compared to before. Even yesterday, when we got caught in almost instant chilly weather….her legs stayed warm. God has improved the circulation in our daughter’s legs! Many may try to make sense of this another way. We had given her baths before, there was nothing else to tie it into….accept prayer….God.

God is listening. Our little girl is being blessed. Our family is being blessed. See you soon friends…on American soil…

Prayer Requests:
*That Jael’s legs continue to improve. That she continues to attach, quicker than ever imagined. That she seeks to love and show love to us AS WELL as seek our love. That God whispers peace into her heart and she comes to know HIS love in a relationship with HIM.
*For someone very close to us right now who is in the midst of a Spiritual Battle.
*For our trip…that it is safe, peaceful, and uneventful….even in our six hour layover. That we may glorify God every second. That all congestion is gone (can be pretty painful on the ears).
*For ALL illness in our family to be healed.
*For our family back home, health…safety…that we may come back together quickly.

*For the Kendall family….Donna will be gone, bringing her boys home, for 23 days (now 19). I believe, by now, she has custody (most likely) of one of her boys. For her husband and two girls back home…peace.
*For Ruby (Uganda~ Hydrocephalus~ around 1 year), Katie (11bs at 9 years old~ Eastern Europe~starting to gain weight), Eden (Incurable currently except by God~ Ethiopia~ toddler), and Tripp (EB~ Non curable except by God/in excruciating pain constantly/Toddler)

See you soon my friends!

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9

This was written once we arrived back.
I didn’t think our last day would be so busy. We spent the first few hours packing and praying our bags would not be over weight. How could we make this much mess in just five days?

Sarah is my complete goof...
What was I thinking? Not busy?!!Crazy talk! Smile…

As we started the day, meeting in the lobby with the other families, it was awesome watching all the kids interact and see relationships built on even more than words, since a common language wasn’t there.

I love this beautiful picture of Jia! Such a treasure!

Anna never parted with her sweet new baby doll.
Can I say my daughter's are beautiful...ya, I'm their mom, I'm allowed!
This is the part of the lobby where we met as a group most of the time.
Sarah's favorite picture of Moriah. I love it, but mine is later on.
Our goofy Jael...

Though the weather had suddenly turned pretty cold, we walked to Shamian Island, picked up some candy from China for the kids (don’t ask me what the solid part inside the lollipop is), and went to Lucy’s (a popular western food restaurant…don’t judge us…smile).
Update: Still don't know what's inside the lollipop and I tried one...little scared :).

The guys were life savers, carrying Jael's stroller up and down the bridge to Shamian Island. She had actually fallen asleep on the way there, but woke up to hold Steve's hand on the way up.
We also went to the White Swan hotel in which (previously) most of the adoptive families had stayed. It's under construction now (Are they sure? Check out the pics!), but is strikingly beautiful inside. Seriously, an indoor waterfall?

Ok, I can't help but post the above picture. It cracked me up.

We kinda broke the rules...not really knowing they existed when we took pictures right above the falls in the little gazebo (???). Oops...but this is one of my FAVORITE pictures of the Haynie family. Ummm...I'm thinking our pic of the Lowmiller family may just have been from the wrong perspective. I believe we were on the move at that! Hint hint...if you're reading this, we'd love a one of the pics that you took!

There's also "traditional" red couch pictures at the White Swan that newly formed families take pictures of their newest blessings on, but when we asked about this specific couch we kept on getting directed to a set of (about) eight red couches...hmmm...we just gave up. They were red after

This, my friends, is blessing...

Oh, I just love this picture! This is MY favorite of Moriah! The beauty is just shining!

Tell me the above pic doesn't make your heart melt? THIS IS IT my friends....
We arrived back just in time to meet our guide, Helen, who had Jael’s passport and visa for us to travel…and would then take us to the airport.

Saying goodbye to the family that wasn’t traveling with us was bittersweet. It’s hard to describe the longing to get home mixed with the longing to understand your child’s culture…also saying goodbye to part of your journey and those who took it with you.

Yes, that stroller was terminally tipped over. We hung everything on back (bad mommy). Unfortunitly, Jael tipped over a couple times...though she thought it was funny.
There is a little sadness mixed in. This leg of the journey is over and though we don’t adopt for the roller coaster of a journey, it’s part of Jael’s story…our story…that we will always cherish. Though I will admit I won’t be able to eat spaghetti for a while since Jael pulled the bowl over to her and threw up in it. At least she knew to aim. Sorry that you may not be able to for a while now too (evil snicker).

Driving to the airport at night is full of more color than you can imagine. Buildings upon buildings are lined with color changing neon lights. Beautiful signs were lit up for the upcoming New Years celebration (about 15 days long starting around Jan. 22nd).

The airport was fairly easy to maneuver (Guangzhou end at least). We said goodbye to Helen and joined the Haynie family on our first and longest leg back home. Jia (their sweet 10 year old) is pure entertainment in herself….seriously in love with this little girl. Think the family is pretty awesome too, though a little to hoity toity for us (inside joke ;)).

Jael AoJing didn’t shut down on us while packing…no arm over her eyes or stopping of interaction. At the airport she did, very briefly, try to retreat into her “safe place”. After all, her memory of the last flight could NOT have been too good. With some prodding and teasing, she came out of it in record time (about 20 minutes). The hardest part was not being able to focus totally on her, but maneuver the airport.

The plane took off an hour late, so we walked around, stocked up on water, juice, and snacks (the drinks are served in these little cups), and waited. Jael decided to conk out on us.

We found this plane was much nicer than our one on the way here. We had the whole middle row with the four of us.

It was an amazing flight. Seriously, we even celebrated her first little rebellion. She slept the first seven hours or so and then when she awoke, she was grumpy and into everything. She threw her toys (meanwhile yawning) and had HUGE bags under her eyes. Mean mommy made her lay down.. After a couple of minutes of crying (here’s the celebration), she looked up to me, said “momma” and raised her arms. She then proceeded to let me rock her and fall asleep, getting some serious tummy time. Baby steps are awesome…. Also, now listen...this is important, there was no vomit (happy sigh).

Anna, oh I wish I could’ve got a picture of Anna. That girl slept flung over everyone. She is hilarious. She makes her comfort wherever she is! Sarah, on the other hand, tried and tried to sleep. That poor teen was just hitting a wall. Could have had a little to do with getting clobbered by Anna…lol.

We celebrated as our feet made it on American soil. Jael and Jia were legally American citizens! We maneuvered our way through customs and were ushered to the immigration station (sounds a little like a kids TV show, doesn’t it?). At this point we were so thankful for Suzanne and Steve. Steve was a lifesaver helping us grab our bags. We were exhausted, sweaty, juggling…and his help was so appreciated.

We then hit another bittersweet point. We said goodbye to the Haynies as we headed to our final destinations.

Six hours of layover never went so slowly. We found we had to exit the international terminal and could’ve spent some time with family that doesn’t live too far. That was a “URG” moment…even amid the joy. I haven’t seen my brother, sister in law, and niece in closing in on two years. Though I will say, at that point, we might not have remembered it though. We were SOOO tired. We dug up a restaurant (Mexican…yum) , found our gate, charged our phone and computer (setting in a back hallway on the tile floor with about ten others in LAX), and submitted to the girls request for dessert. Jael was tired, but hung in there until we hit the dessert and conked out.

The final flight was the longest. Pre boarding is AWESOME by the way!!!

Jael dozed, but didn’t full on sleep. She did snuggle a lot…which is WONDERFUL for the mommy heart.

Sarah, for some reason, again didn’t sleep. Poor girl was almost sick from exhaustion.

Seeing our city lights on landing…like a breath of fresh air…home. Our home can be made wherever God wills, but we could thankfully say we were home.

Already having passed through customs, we could head straight to baggage claim….where our family was waiting.

As we headed down the escalator, I saw a sight I had missed so greatly…two of my sons…my oldest blessing, and our sweet Max. Home…

As we hugged and rounded the corner…I saw my babies Rachel and Gabe, our precious Bekah, and (sigh here) my husband. His smile lit up as he laid eyes on his newest daughter. She smiled shyly. She knew it was her “ba ba” (daddy in Mandarin). He didn’t press holding her as she shrunk into me, but Jael was all smiles. I don’t doubt for a second that God had given her dreams of us.

The twins looked at me (in the WEE hours of the morning) and I think they thought they were hallucinating. There was no “ hug attacks”, but huge eyes…mommy was really home. By the time we gathered the luggage (the teens were awesome) they had warmed up and couldn’t take their eyes off their sister.

I sat in the middle seat, next to Jael and right in front of the twins…holding all their hands (yep, I grew a third one).

Everyone was tired, but everyone was content…and hungry.

After eating and finally making it home, I was ready to kiss the ground (after a shower that is). I think we were all about ready to football tackle each other for the first shower. Anna was so tired she was melting down. Not too tired to stay up for gift giving though. It’s amazing how happy a little one can be with a gift that cost a few dollars (smile…awesome!)

Jael settled in with the twins like she’s always been here. We call them the triplets now…seriously.
They play, argue, and roll around together like little panda bears. Jael can hold her own. She used everything around her to manipulate and do everything her siblings can…seriously cool.

She quickly warmed up to her dad as he swung her in his arms and got her giggling.

We are family…finally.

It is only a year ago, 19 days from now a year ago, that Sarah saw Jael’s picture (as we were praying for God’s guidance) and said, “That’s my sister.”

We see “challenges” as she deals with occasional anger over change. It doesn’t come in rages or such, but in ignoring. Though mostly focused at me, that is truly to be expected. It’s a lot of change for her in only two weeks time, with (most likely) little preparation. She still prefers to face away instead of tummy time, but we see progress even in that.

We are more educated than even with the twins (on what to look for) and know attachment and sensory issues are for the long stretch, instead of the sprint. A child that has only known “caregivers” who may change every year or so may take time to understand there is a difference. I would like to encourage you, again, to go to our blog and look under our categories (to the right after you scroll down) and read the latest series on attachment.

This is the long haul and very worth it.

As most of you know, we do attachment work. The blog series explain why better than I can in this one post. Only we hold our blessing for a couple of months (minimum). We will be the only ones to hold, bathe, feed Jael. She needs to come to rely on us for all her needs. We hibernate, knowing this aids attachment (though cabin fever will set in). Please visit…we can’t guarantee a clean home, but love the company. If you are a co-op friend, we need to find some to be “responsible” for the teens for even a couple of weeks at a time for co-op days if we can work out some hard stuff (though ultimately, it will be 4-6 weeks). Again, we know many might not understand, but if you read the posts…you will start the same road of understanding we did. If you want to invite our kids somewhere…I’m SURE they’d love it. They’ll go stir crazy too.

Hopefully I will be able to write on the first couple days at home soon.


I can’t believe we’re finally home. God is so very good to us. He has favored us yet again. He’s shown us blessing in our daughter Jael that we couldn’t imagine. Thank you Heavenly Father.
Prayer Requests:
*That Jael feel safer with us, and tummy time, bonding, and that intimacy increases. For continued heart and body healing. For her legs to continue with the progress we are seeing. For attachment to continue in a way that can only be from God.
*The doctor appointment a week from today where they will (most likely) have the referral to her highly specialized doctor. Wisdom and discernment on our parts.
*For sleep adjustment, as all our clocks ESPECIALLY Jael’s are off right now. She was up until 4am (though laying in bed) last night.
*For our health...Thomas and I are still sick and we think Gabe is now sick.

*For our friends the Kendall Family. Donna has custody of their first son in China. This coming week she will gain custody of her second son in a different province. She also has a husband two little blessings here at home. Can you please keep them all in your prayers?
*For Ruby (from Uganda-Hydrocephalus), Eden (Ethiopia~ incurable), Tripp (incurable EB severe), and Katie (home extremely malnourished nine year old from Bulgaria~under 11 lbs. upon arriving home). All these children are in desperate need of prayers and God’s miracles. They already so obviously have God’s Hand on them and are beautiful creations of God.

"Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me..."Psalm 66:16

1 comment:

  1. WONDERFUL homecoming!! Praying everyone settles and heals quickly!:) And thankful that Jael is an orphan NO more!:)


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