Finally more than half way there! Don't get me wrong so much of this trip has been amazing ... I just left 5 huge pieces of my hearts on the other side of the world. And..23 days is really long. I think Africa (though alone) I had hope that each day I was getting closer and I at least hoped it was going to be much sooner. Having a fixed timeline and knowing it will not be sooner than 23 days... well. Why am I comparing? That was incredibly hard and I cried so much and this is incredibly hard (though so much easier having Dean, Azlan and Izrael). I'm just really missing our kids. :(
Today the kids woke after 7 again! Amazing!
We went down for breakfast and were led into the back wing of the restaurant which we quickly noticed was where all the adoptive families were sitting :) We were totally ok with that and got to meet some amazing people and their beautiful children. One family, I totally recognized, then realized I had read her blog!
After breakfast we stepped outside, only to realize the temp had dramatically dropped and it was no longer humid! So we came instead to dress warmer but at about 11:30 Izrael was looking pretty tired. We put her in her crib, closed the blinds...and she had the first normal nap since we left home! 3+ hours. Perfect.
We walked around a bit outside, got a Starbucks b/c it always makes the day a little cheerier...and came back to the 6th floor to check out the 'play room'. It was empty and felt more like an older ICU children's waiting room...but the kids didn't notice :) We played in there for a while waiting til 5:00pm. At 5 we met all the other Lifeline families in a meeting room with our guides and went over documents and the agenda for tomorrow and the rest of the week. It was so awesome seeing these other families and hearing a bit about them and the children they were adopting. One couple came with no i800, Article 5, TA...none of that! But they had to have a gotcha moment with their newly adopted daughter b/c she was about to age out (14 years is the set age for aging out of the opportunity to ever find a forever family...so sad for many of these kids :(...they arrived 2 days before her 14th birthday and China has been expediting every piece of paperwork! They get their other almost 14yo daughter tomorrow and still don't have all the necessary paperwork. They said from application to travel was 5 months! Amazing. Another family just arrived tonight and adopt 2 children at once tomorrow.
The plan is for us to meet at 2pm in the lobby. We all go together. We are told the building has no AC and we are to be prepared for pretty uncomfortable heat and humidity. So fun with little babies :) One by one each family will be called into a room and each child will be brought in. I love how they are giving you some privacy instead of all in an open room at once.
We are soooo excited! We have Zihao's little personalized backpack ready filled with monster trucks (we've sent him lots of these and they are his favorite) Melissa & Doug bugs and magnifying glass etc. Azlan is so excited to have a little boy to play with for the rest of the trip!
Jenny from TCH (where Zihao is from) has been emailing and she is so so excited about his adoption. She says yes of course it is bittersweet for the foster family but that it always is and he needed to be adopted. In fact he was on the waiting list for 2 years when we found him! She is anxiously waiting for pictures of his gotcha day!
We are the second last family to adopt from TCH before it closes it's doors so we will be interviewed and photographed for their magazine publication.
We opted to stay in our hotel tonight. One of the best things I brought on this trip (that we do not eat at home...) is instant mashed potato packets!!! We have hot water kettles in our room and when in a bind...Azlan and Izrael LOVE them. We have used them a few nights now and tonight it was perfect!! They were soon snoring and little Taizi is the loudest snore-er of all ;) Dean said tonight how amazing it is that a little boy with such severe special needs...just taken from all he has ever known (though the changes are all positive...they are new) goes to sleep so well and sleeps 12-13 hours every night. We heard many families say this morning they are so exhausted from their baby sleeping so poorly etc. We are thanking God for the blessing of lots of rest!
Izrael and Azlan have been so healthy as well which is also amazing! They are taking their vitamins along with an immune booster and Vit. D capsule daily. We actually spoke to a highly acclaimed pediatrician who does not immunize since we do not either and this is exactly what she told us to do. While we are doing everything we can to keep them healthy, it is God we thank for protecting them and us. Taizi is the only one who got sick and he seems to be doing ok now. We have been trying to give him Vit. D drops and he really doesn't like the taste :(
Tonight I wrote a lady on Etsy that made Taizi's most adorable pants and asked her to make me 4 more. Hopefully they will be waiting for us when we arrive home. They are the only thing that fits him besides overalls. His legs are long and his waist so tiny and she makes these with a functional drawstring waist. We are running out of options when dressing him in the morning :) I bought him a size 18 m cute little sweatpants and it's no exaggeration to say the waist of the pants were twice his waist size. Adjustable waist jeans just cannot go as tiny as he is.
After the kids went to bed (on mashed potatoes) Dean went to a mexican restaurant and got some food for us. He's now snoring too. :)
*disclaimer: please know that our journey reflects our personal feelings and thoughts on this journey. Obviously other families may view things differently. We in no way intend to offend anyone by any of our thoughts. This trip has been amazing and we will forever have a huge piece of China in our hearts...because of our two beautiful sons being born here.*