12.14.2014

our journey to Mary Katherine {reflections from Zhengzhou}

Since I'm usually wiped out by the end of the day and crash soon after putting the girls down for bed, I'm trying to play catch up while I have a few minutes of solitude during nap time :))

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After our long two day passport adventure we decided to lay low and take some much needed rest days to relax together as a family. We ventured out to the local park by our hotel for Spencer to throw football with Michael and try to find a playground for the girls. No luck with a playground, only some carnival rides that weren't open, but the girls had fun chasing pigeons.

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Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan with a population of about 10 million. This is the same hotel where we stayed when we adopted Lily. Michael and I were amazed at the growth and how much it has changed since 2011. High rise apartment buildings are under construction on almost every corner and scooters abound on every sidewalk which makes walking quite interesting.

We walked single file dodging mopeds to the Starbucks one morning for a special treat. Lily devoured a chocolate chip muffin and Spencer was thrilled to have a caramel latte even though he was hoping for a peppermint mocha.  And considering that all drinks in China are served luke warm or hot we were thrilled to find some cold milk...happy day for Mommy and Lily!

Mary Katherine loves to sleep with her legs or feet hanging out of the crib and she is a little wiggle worm.  We decided to ask Michael's parents to switch out the toddler bed we had ready for her and put up the crib :)) Thinking this might make life a lot easier on everyone for at least the first few months home.

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Spencer loving on his girls who both adore him.

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Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of this but we took Mary Katherine and Lily swimming and she LOVED it! She is a little water bug no doubt which is a perfect fit for our family since we spend a lot of time at the lake and beach.

Spencer challenged me to some rounds of ping pong and much to his dismay I beat him. He asked for a rematch the following night, determined to beat me as did with Michael, but no luck.   He said it was because I had no strategy....maybe he should try using that :))

When we adopted Lily they brought her to the hotel on our forever family day. This is the same elevator where we first saw our little angel in the arms of the orphanage caregiver. She was holding an apple in one hand a lollipop in the other. I remember thinking how small she was and how I couldn't believe that moment was actually coming true. Three and a half years later she still loves holding something in her hands. This trip it has been some Chinese coins and a small Chinese paper bill Michael gave her.

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After almost a week in our hotel the walls began closing in on us so getting some fresh air felt great. We bundled up our little peanut and she seemed to love feeling the wind on her face as much as we did.

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We went to a local Chinese restaurant for an early dinner one night and asked for a private dining room to avoid the smoke. The tablecloth was filthy but knew our options were limited and little one was getting hungry. Surprisingly the food wasn't bad...I just had to try and ignore the lack of cleanliness. Ahh...the adoption experience takes us out of our comfort zone in so many ways and reminds us daily of things we often take for granted.

On Saturday, we packed up our luggage and prepared to make the journey to Guangzhou. Lily and Mary Katherine enjoying spinning in the chair to pass the time before boarding the bus.

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Lily loves her mei mei. There have been a few adjustments sharing my time with Mary Katherine but overall she has done amazing.  My prayer is that God will continue to knit their hearts together with a unique bond to share a lifetime of sisterhood.  

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Michael and his girls who also both adore him. Mary Katherine finds great comfort in the arms of her daddy which is such a pleasant change from our adoption journey with Lily.

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I had forgotten when a long hard day of travel this was. An hour bus ride to the airport, Sherpas (aka Michael and Spencer) gathering up luggage, checking in, hungry overtired kids, loading the plane like a herd of cattle, trying to entertain a 19 month old for 2 hours, Sherpas gathering up luggage again, 10 min walk to the bus, and an hour ride to the hotel, waiting to check in, arriving in a room that wasn't clean, moving rooms, trying to find dinner for hungry overtired kids, entertaining kids that now have their second wind...you get the picture. We were exhausted but grateful for our safe journey and that Mary Katherine did great on the plane without any oxygen.

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It was bittersweet leaving the girl's provence. Excited that this is one step closer to being home but also reminded that we are leaving part of their heritage behind.



  





7 comments:

Michelle Hoover said...

Love how you continue to share this beautiful story of your forever family. So grateful for safe travels and protection on your journey. Miss you all.

Anonymous said...

Serious beauty here, a story of perseverance and love. Your Little one looks so comfortable,almost relieved in those first pictures, with Lily in the bed below. Incredible photography. You do not know me just reading blogs, hoping to adopt one day.

Teri said...

Beautiful love how you are capturing these days:) I also loved seeing you in some photos. What an amazing family you have!

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