Today we took it easy, no government offices, and no sight seeing tours. We just strolled around the local park and mall, ate at the McDonalds (Karlie said she needed a break from Chinese food :) ) Lillee is getting much more comfortable with us, and starting to enjoy herself more.
We spent most of Monday at the Civil Affairs office finalizing all her paperwork and getting her passport. It was still less than 12 hours after getting her and she really missed her nanny. Lillee cried her heart out when she saw her at the CA's office, and we could see that her nanny was crying for her. Against what we've been told, we let them hug one last time. They were both so happy. There is no doubt that our little Lillee was loved!!!
We got off the plane from Bejing, were whisked away to the hotel and our little Lillee was waiting on us. All of the waiting and praying came to life in one moment! It was evident that Lillee loved her nanny and her nanny loved her just as much. We are so happy we had the chance to meet her nanny and talk to her. She even spoke English and answered so many questions. Lillee was extremely upset when the nanny left and we headed to the room. She cried, hit and pulled away for hours. Finally, a little after midnight, she passed out, We had a few tears when she woke up (in bed with us) in the morning but she started showing us glimpses of her cute personality and an occasional smile!
We have had the most wonderful time in Beijing. There is so much culture and history here and I cannot say enough about how kind the people are. Karlie is loving her new celebrity status. Everyone wants to have their kids picture made with her and she is being a very good sport about it. The food is different but delicious. Stephen did, however, think he was eating a red bell pepper only to discover it was some kind of pepper from hell!
We visit the Temple of Haven and The Summer Palace today and then catch a flight on Air China to Jinan. Lillee will be waiting on us at the hotel! Please pray for her heart to be open to us. We love that sweet girl so much!
We hope to update in about 18 hours with pictures of our new daughter! Internet is hit or miss here but we are going to do our best!
We have Travel Approval from China!! We have a confirmed “gotcha” day of October 20th! We will be leaving for China October 15th and returning on the 29th which was wonderful news to Karlie since she was worried Lillee would not get to experience Halloween! :)
Please pray for safe travels and that everyone stays healthy. I am so nervous leaving Taylor behind, especially with this new respiratory virus going around. I have never left a child for this long and will miss Taylor, John and Katherine so very much.
And please pray for LIllee’s heart as she is about to experience more trauma in her little life. I remember a social worker telling us, during one of our adoption trainings, that on “gotcha day” the parents are hearing the Beach Boys playing in their head and the child is hearing the theme from Jaws. Sweet Lillee had never been outside until very recently and I don’t know how long she was out of the orphanage or if she has ever been outside again. Everything will be new, exciting and most likely very scary. I wonder if she has ever seen or heard a bird singing? What about a butterfly or flower? Has she felt rain? I know she has never traveled and they will be bringing her to me by train. She has never felt air conditioning and lives in a city that had temperatures in the 100s all summer with 100% humidity. I wonder if she has ever had a bath?? What foods has she tasted? I am pretty sure she has never had a caregiver with blonde hair and big eyes! What if she is scared of me, or Stephen, or all of us? I wonder what her voice sounds like? Can she say any words yet? I wonder if she will let me hug her or if she will pull away?
And then there is the orphanage visit on October 23rd. I am looking forward to meeting her nannies and thanking them for taking care of her but I won’t lie, I am scared to death! How will I ever be able to leave the other orphans? When I walk out of that orphanage gate, I can promise you it will be faith and God carrying me. Lillee is the first international adoption from her orphanage and I want to say and do all of the right things so that they will be encouraged to complete paperwork for the other children. When we received Lillee’s birthday party pictures, it actually took me a few days to really appreciate them and find joy in them. All I could see were tables full of beautiful children that needed their own Mamas and Babas. I saw beautiful dimples, smiles and love just waiting to be reciprocated. How will we walk away? What can we do? I am praying especially hard about the orphanage visit. I have prayed for so long for the Lord to “break my heart for what breaks His.” I have a feeling my heart will be absolutely crushed on the day we visit the orphanage.
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
We are less than 30 days from travel!!! We are putting the baby bed together this weekend. Her closet is full of beautiful clothes, hats, sunglasses and headbands after the most wonderful baby shower this weekend! Our packing list is printed and luggage is down from the attic! Lillee will have a mommy and daddy in a month!!
Thank you so much to all the friends and family that have already contributed to Lillee's puzzle!
We still have some pieces of Lillee's puzzle available. For $10, we will write your name on the back of one piece of the puzzle. The puzzle with be assembled and framed in a 2 sided glass frame and hung in her room. I know she will treasure this for the rest of her life! Thank you to everyone who have already purchased a piece or pieces! I tear up every time I get to add another family member or special friend's name to a piece!!
Click here to donate!
We are in the final steps of this adoption journey and pray we are able to travel the first part of October! Lillee’s Visa and Immigration Paperwork are now in China and we are very close to receiving Travel Approval. Lifeline automatically requests an update on your child at this point for all of their families, although some orphanages do not send one. We had no idea if or when we would get one but on Friday, we received our final pictures and measurements. The next time we see her, she will be in our arms!
She is almost 13 months old. She is 25 pounds,30 inches tall, has eight teeth, and she is WALKING!! It looks like they gave her a fresh buzz cut but we cannot wait to kiss that fuzzy head!!
It felt like Christmas last night around 3am. We finally got new pictures and video of baby Lillee on her 1st birthday! She celebrated with a lot of her friends, and had a birthday cake and bananas.
She wore this cool crown so she would know that she was a Princess for the day!
We love you Lillee!!