Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hot Day at the Park

Wowza!! It was a hot one today, over 100 degrees! 
Most the the day we spent inside,
But we needed a little change of scenery.
The park just a couple minutes down the block,
Is mostly tree covered. So we walked over with Jonathan, Julie & Silas. 

Once she saw Silas freed from his stroller, she wanted out of the Ergo carrier too.
We were both sweating fierce, so we needed some time to air out. 
I'm happy that she does super great while I'm wearing her. 
She lays her head on my chest, snuggles.  
She's very peaceful in it.

Nate wanted me to make sure you all knew that he was the main photographer today ;)
The park is beautiful! 
Local "interesting" music being performed live through out the park. 
Since it was during a working day,
Much of the people in the park were older folks.
My goodness they are precious. 
We could learn so much from them.  
They are not rushed.
They very much enjoyed each other's company
They stayed close to the music of their ancestors. 
Well at least that was my guess. 
I've never heard a grown man 'sing' like I heard today.
But guessed who loved it?

This girl.

We ventured on after Nate was non-verbally scolded for taking a video of the 'concert'
We came upon a children's carnival. 
Tessa was fascinated! She kept pointing at it, so we checked it out. 

She and Silas both were fascinated by this ride.  
Again, Nate wants you all to know that HE took this stinkn' cute pic of the two of them :)

Look at these rosey cheeks! 
Did I mention it was flippn'n hot today?

She really seemed interested in trying out the rides. 
This one was in a cage, there were 3 large cartoon fish "blowing bubbles" (ping pong balls)
Each little car had a net on a pole so you could catch the balls flying up out of the fish. 
She loved it! She totally understood what she needed to do with the net!

We moved back over to the cars ride that caught her & Silas' attention initially.
He was riding it with Julie!
So fun!!!! 

We thought it would be appropriate that she ride the cars ride with Baba since I got to take her on the first ride. 

And I don't think we got our $2.50 worth on that ride.  
We don't see many tears, but if Baba is making her be away from Mama...there will be tears. 
We finished the day with a great nap, a meeting with our group where we got some documents. 
Held back tears as I was handed her "finding add"
It showed the youngest pic of her that I've seen. 
On a page full of other "foundlings"
We learned a bit more about this piece of her history. 
We are thankful her Heavenly Father has written the whole thing, and He knows it all!
His story of Tessa Joy is exactly how it should be.
Humbled that He chose our family for her!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tessa Joy's Gotcha Day!!!

It's hard to type out words that describe this day.
Even meeting up with all the other families in our group in the hotel lobby...
The Babas were anxious, pacing, checking their backpacks I'm sure for the 5th time.
Camera, check
Paperwork, check,
Gifts, check,
Snacks, check, 
Tissues!!!! Yep! Check!
The Mamas were emotional, clearly holding back is THE DAY! 
For one of our families it was their FIRST baby!!! I loved seeing how excited they were! 

Sitting on our bus, the seats were full. 
Soon there will be full LAPS! Full HEARTS!
Our ride there was harder than I thought.
Tears flooded my eyes.
I couldn't keep them back.
Nate said "oh babe, you're crying."
Yep.   Maybe if I got it all out now, I wouldn't scare Tessa Joy with my wailing! 

It was about 20 minutes of heavy emotions. Our guide talked to us all the way there, very sweet words about this day. 
Honestly, all I heard was Charlie Brown's teacher.  

We all knew that we would take pics for each other, we had cameras hung around our necks and hanging out our pockets! 

We walked up some outdoor steps up to a large government building, into a small room.
I say small because between all 12 of our families, the officials, guides, orphanage directors, and several other adopting families from other agencies, well we quickly filled every bit of that room. 
There was a very small, contained play area for the children too.

We all were wondering if any of our children might have arrived already. 

As we walked in, I heard my friend Julie say "it's him! He is here!"
We all went into action! 
My heart was fluttering.
My hand was shaking, trying to get pictures for them. 
He was scared.
They did amazing with him!
All the other families stood back and let some of our emotions spill would be our turn SOON!
We were taking notes! 
I was praying for precious, broken-hearted Silas. 
I was praying for Julie, for Jonathan.  God gave them just what he needed. 
Patience. Love. 

A handful of us mamas waited right by the double glass doors to the outside. 
Cars should have NOT driven by that day if they didn't have our babies inside!!!
Too many false alarms! 

Days might have gone by... Or minutes.  
Other precious babies were rushed in.

Crying and the sounds of camera shutters going off like celebrities were walking the red carpet. 
This was a million times better than any celebrity sighting. 

THIS was something EVERYONE should witness first hand!
There is NOTHING like this!!!
One less orphan after another!!!!!
Close your eyes and see it! 

The redemptions taking place!
Because each one HAS VALUE! 
Today marks the first day of their new life of HOPE! 

I was soooo thankful for the time to stand back and soak this all in! 
True Beauty. 
But then there was this van....
Nate was by the door....
"It's her!!! She's in there! I see her!"
I rushed over and saw her precious nanny carrying our Tessa Joy.
Our daughter. 

She came from an orphanage where 3 other little ones were too.
The door was swarmed with love.
I couldn't get to her fast enough!

Then she was in my arms..

And then she saw her Baba!!!!

Her precious nanny gave her to me...
She loves Tessa Joy so much

You can see her broken heart as she knows she has to let her sweet baby girl go.
She cared for Tessa when she was a baby with a broken heart in the hospital.
She rocked, fed, changed, sang to her tirelessly while she was in her loving foster care center.
We shed tears together as she said her goodbyes.

 Tessa's attention was diverted by the play area....
But the laughter still couldn't hide the tears...
She was broken...
The healing has now begun!!!

Baba helps with the giggles...
But then we had to leave.
She cried and cried, all the way to the bus,
Most of the way to the hotel,
She was covered in sweat and tears. 
My heart overflowed with pain for her .

We choose JOY.
And right now we had to help her choose JOY.

 Back at our room, she opened up to us, lots of smiles.
 She claimed right into her crib, her toys were there waiting.
She grabbed her baby and did something very familiar to her...Row, row, row your boat! She knows she needs a partner for this song, her baby fit the role.
 We knew she liked baths...and she sure did need one!
She played and played.
Let the healing begin precious one!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beijing to ZZ

More about the things we experienced in Beijing
(thanks to the random internet Wifi, this is Part 2)
The wall was not for the faint at heart. 

Loved seeing all the Forever in Love locks going up. 

Ok, so let me get this straight.  I can not speak cellphone, but speaking Chinese or English is ok? Oh good!! The lost in translation signs never get old
A really good one is one we passed a couple times in town and I could never get my phone or camera out in time.  It was above a storefront. It reads "God Help the Streaking"

If you could hear the sounds, it's huffing, heavy breathing, moaning and best of all, cheers from strangers "you can do it" 
It was packed with people young and old from all over the world. 

So when 4 people from Ohio are at a famous location, one MUST do O-H-I-O. 

Ok...check that off my list.  Going back down might have been just a difficult! 

We left the Great Wall and stopped for lunch. It was at a cloisonné factory. What amazing work!!
Each later of painted on enamel on to the brass bots, vases, plates. 

You have paint over it,them fire it at least 6-7 times. 
Still a cute little vase was 5% off and still over $100! Yikes!

We take over where ever we go! Huge group! We ate lunch there, soooo yummy!!

This guy was nuts! This is all part of the local acrobats team, really with thus extra trip. 

She's balancing umbrellas on her feet!

This guy would roll and still have the girls balanced.  Really crazy!!!

All on One bicycle!!!

The cage of death!! By the end there were 8 motor motor cycles!!!!

Just plain crazy!! 

Such a beautiful performance! I'm so glad we went! 
Well on to ZZ (Tessa's birth city).
It's huge!!! The hotel is beautiful.  
Tomorrow is HER day!!!!
Can't wait to share pics of us with her!!!!😍

We Are HERE!!!!!!!

Pinch us!!!
Still can't believe we are HERE!!!!
I'm just going to dive right into the culture, cuz that's pretty much what we have to do. 
And we are loving every minute of it!
We have a very large group of families, 
Maybe 8 couples plus 4 families (they brought their children)
We very much draw attention everywhere we go!
One family has been stopped countless times for pictures with them. It's so funny! 
Yesterday we toured The Forbidden City and T.Square. 
Lots. Of. Walking. 
Pretty hot weather this day as well.
 And just when you thought THIS was the most important are soon told, THIS next building is THE most important building.
Pretty sure, THIS was the most important building, but maybe not.
Split pants.  Have you seen/heard of them? Babies here are traditionally not diaper wearers. So split pants are handy when it's time to go, they are held over the ground to pee...anywhere.
Look closely, this little one is being held over mama's lap, pants pulled down.  Notice the puddle below. Don't step in puddles in Ch.

Day 2 in Beijing:
Great Wall!!!