Thursday, August 30, 2012

Today we toured Yu Gardens and an area called the French Concession (I think- I got confused on this). Anyway, they are both absolutely beautiful!

Yu Garden

French Concession

This was too funny not to post!

EG is doing so well. She is happy, smart, and sweet!  She is a little mimic and is picking up English much quicker than we are learning Chinese.  Of course, she not only speaks Shanghainese, but an older form that not even our local guide understands everything that she says. Our driver is an older man and has been able to help us learn a few phrases. 

Thank you all for the kind words, encouraging comments and persistant prayers.  God has truly blessed us.  Tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou so it will likely be a couple of days before I have a chance to post updates.  We are anxious to see how Gracie does on a 2 hour flight, since we have a 14 hour flight coming up in a week!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Special places

Today we visited some special places in the morning and spent the afternoon playing in our hotel room.

Gracie is doing really well! She is learning English way faster than we are learning Chinese;-)

I also have to say that Michael has been so wonderful and patient with me and Gracie. I am stressed beyond anything I have ever experienced and I can't imagine being here without him. He has let me cry, spaz out and crash at night with Ambien! At times Gracie has been very timid towards him. He has not gotten frustrated or upset and has let her maintain control of their interactions. She played with him for nearly an hour this afternoon and let him bathe her tonight. I will say he is quite smitten!

Here are a couple more pictures that were too cute not to share!

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Officially ours!

Today we went and signed papers with the Chinese government that made our adoption of Ella Grace official. It was quite unusual. We had to promise to never abandon or abuse her and to treat her like one of our own children. Then we had our picture taken on a podium with flowers.

Michael was instructed on exactly where to stand and how to hold the official document.

Last night we tried out a bath and she loved it!

Ready for bed!

Finally out.
This morning getting ready to leave for official appointments.

So far everything is going so well. She is happy and content. Eating is not an issue. She eats constantly and pretty much anything she can get her hands on. I am very pleased at the care that she received at the orphanage. She is obviously used to getting her diaper changed quickly when it is needed because as soon as she is wet she lets me know and wants a new diaper. She has no diaper rash and very few insect bites (which is good this time of year).
She is a funny little girl with lots of personality. She likes to stay clean and will hold her hands out to be wiped. She is independent and wants to do things herself. She has something in at least one hand at all times. It doesn't matter what she is holding as long as she is holding something. Sharing is going to be an issue because once she has something, giving it up doesn't come easy. That's probably the only way to really survive in an orphanage.
I was worried last night that she would wake up frightened or sad this morning. Thankfully, she slept well and woke up with a smile. Because I know she was cared for and loved her nanny, I am expecting her to grieve at some point. She had a hard time leaving her nanny yesterday, and I could tell her nanny cared for her too. It was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. I can't imagine how scared she must have been. Please continue to pray for her. She looks happy in the pictures, and she seems happy to us. However, deep within her are hurts and losses that she will deal with for the rest of her life. My prayer is that whether it is tomorrow or 20 years from now, God will give me the wisdom to know how to comfort her.
The next few days will be spent sightseeing and spending time together. We did not get approval to visit the orphanage. As much as I would have liked to see it first hand, I am somewhat relieved that we didn't have to make the decision about whether to go. I think it would have been hard on Ella Grace and selfishly, very hard for me. We will fly out of Shanghai on Friday for Guangzhou.
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just pics for now. Playing with my girl! We are in love!

Location:Ella Grace

We have had a fun but relaxing day. We left Beijing at 9am and took the bullet train to Shanghai. It was a little less than 5 hours, but flew by (literally)! The train is fast and so smooth. It really is a great way to travel and gave us the opportunity to see more of China. It truly is a beautiful country and far more agricultural than I had imagined.

Forgot to add that we started our day with breakfast at McDonalds. As you can see it is pretty hard to keep my eye on Michael. He really blends in with the people;-)

Train station in Beijing.

We met our guide at the station in Shanghai. As we rode to our hotel, we were discussing the upcoming days and what to expect. The reality that we are actually in the same city was overwhelming! Our guide assured us that the nannies have been preparing Ella Grace for tomorrow. She said that they will have told her that her mommy and daddy are coming to take her home. I don't truly know if that concept even makes sense to her since she has never known a mom and dad or a real home. I can only imagine how she will feel tomorrow. I am sure she will be sad, but my prayer is that she won't be afraid.

Once we arrived at our hotel (which is incredible), I began unpacking and preparing for tomorrow.

After dinner we walked around an area of Shanghai called The Bund. We love this city! It has such a different feel from Beijing.

Our guide will meet us in the lobby at 8:30 in the morning to drive to the orphanage to meet Ella Grace for the first time! Next post will be all about her:-).

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