Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Little Bits of Catch Up

I'll try to catch you up the last 2 days since I skipped yesterday. Sorry there was no post, but I believe you got photo's at least, which are the most important part!
Yesterday, Monday in GZ, we had a free day until our dinner cruise at 6. We did a little shopping and and as always, sitting in the park. We love to just sit somewhere shady and let Jia watch all the kids. She usually will wander a couple of feet from mama and really takes things in. She is so curious!
All the families come to the park and excercise, ride bikes, ride ripsticks, we see a LOT of hacky sack and badmitton. The park area is ALWAYS full! Yesterday there were some boys riding a bike and I'm not sure what happened but they all started working on it. Then the mom was helping.. they were kicking on it and couldn't get it to work. So Jack rescued them! I think their chain guard was bent and none of them could bend it back enough. Always the mechanic....
Last night was the dinner cruise... from about 6:30 to 8. It was really nice we enjoyed our evening very much! We shared a table with the lone boy in the group, ChiChi, and his dad and grandma. Jia even shared her cell phone with him!
Today we took the traditional red couch photo. I knew that as soon as I stepped away from Jia, she would cry. Most red couch photo's I've seen though look like utter chaos... ours was no different! The babies are all adorable! In the photo of the babies, there is Nola, Mae, Mia, Megan, Brenda and Chi Chi (Conrad) and Jia on the bottom. We thought all the crying girls would keep Chi Chi away from girls for a while! He was such a big boy!
Tonight we had dinner at Lucy's with Jeff, Jennifer, Matthew and Megan. They are the family that has been with us since arriving in GZ and we really enjoy spending time with them. After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and stopped in the park for a while. There were several kids playing on the slide and Jia was really enjoying watching them. I decided to see if she'd try the slide. Just yesterday, I would not have tried this, but tonight, she did it! Over and Over and Over again! She loved it! Such big smiles!
This evening she has been wonderful! I was downloading pictures on the computer and she got her stickers back out... she was sticking them on the desk and just singing and talking! She was in such a good mood. Finally Grandma Mellanie woke up and got on Skype... Jia talked her leg off and even talked to Grandpa a bit. She just loved it! Everyday more and more of her personality comes out. She is such a silly little girl that is so happy and loves to smile. She's very ticklish and loves to imitate mommy. She can say no-no very clearly and loves looking at her book of photo's with the boys in it.
Speaking of the boys... Jadeth is holding down the fort at home, but Jacen and Jory have been at Grandma adn Grandpa's. They've been busy swimming and fishing and maybe mom will add a couple of photo's of them for you today as well!
Tomorrow we meet our group at 2:45 to go to the consulate. Molly had our big appointment today and when we met for the red couch photo's she said all went well! So I think tomorrow is not a big deal at all... we'll just pick up Jia's passport with her Visa in it. Sometime tomorrow, I have to pack everything. I haven't quite figured out where it's all going to go and how I'm going to do it with a 3 year old that's 2 steps behind me. I guess it will get done though! We're excited to get back to Hong Kong then on home on Friday. The time in HK in the beginning went so slow, but since we've got Jia, time has flown by. Tomorrow we must say good bye to our friends we've made here... the sweet ladies from the Consulate office we see at breakfast everymorning, the lovely Jenny from Jenny's place who invited us to church and of course our friend Jack. We just love Jack and will always think of him and wonder how he is. All but 2 families will be traveling all the way to Minneapolis with us, so that is a great comfort!
Enjoy the pics!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

We attended Christ Church this morning and it was really awesome! The service was in Mandarin and English. We didn't understand a LOT of it, but they did sing a couple of songs in English and then the sermon was translated.
About 1/2 way through church, it started just pouring and the wind blew so hard it blew branches out of the trees. By the time church was over, it was just a light sprinkle. So we headed to our end of the island, got Subway on the way and spent the rest of the day inside! We took a big nap and have just looked at books and had a very lazy day.
As always, Jia is such a good eater! She will eat anything and a lot of it! We haven't had any problems feeding the girl at all!
Since it was so rainy, there's not much to share today. We did get a picture of Jia before church in one of the little dresses that I made for her... it's huge on her, but still cute. The other pictures are from last night. I got out some stickers that I brought for Jia and it didn't take her long to figure them out! She was peeling the backs off and throwing them on the floor, then stuck the stickers all around the end table. She did this for at least 30-40 minutes... just completely entertaining herself! She is just such a little doll.
We got a few more smiles today, but today was rough for her because she likes to GO! This AM was better... didn't seem to take over 5 minutes to get woke up and stop crying. Everyday is better and better. she is such a good little girl and is picking up so many new things. Today we were eating on the bed and I picked up some crumbs and put them on the towel... she kept doing that after I did. It was cute!
We are so entirely thankful to have been able to take it day by day and to be almost done here. It's really lovely and we've enjoyed our stay, but we're ready to be home! Tomorrow (Monday) we don't anything going on until the dinner cruise in the evening. So hopefully the rain will stay away so we can visit the park and do some shopping. I also want to try and get pictures of the island for you all to see.
A note to all my blogger friends... since blogger is blocked, I cannot see your blogs and I'm hoping all is well with you! I'm especially wondering about little Lucey Lu! Jia reminds me so much of her, especially when she grins!
And my work friends... I've heard from Stephanie and Dr. T and Beth... I hope the rest of you are just too busy at work to leave a comment! I hope things are going well, but that you still need an optician in a few weeks! You should see all the cool glasses people here wear. Especially the guys! They are all so trendy and cool looking! I'm so proud of them for choosing such stylish eyewear! I wish people in Missouri would catch on!
Thanks for all your comments! We enjoy waking up to them each day!
I hope to have more pictures tomorrow...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Slower Day's on ShaMian Island

Things are slowing down for us now. All we had to do today was paperwork. Jia is pretty fussy in the mornings, I don't know if she wakes up disoriented, not knowing where she is or what. But this AM we spent an hour probably fussing and unhappy. But the girl loves to go! As soon as we start putting stuff in our bag, she's all happy and following us everywhere! She is still such a good eater and has begun to feed herself in the last day or 2.
Each day more and more personality is emerging. I think she's has a tiny bit of OCD too! She just cracks me up! At breakfast yesterday, after wiping her hands she was wiping the high chair tray and she was meticulous about it. She spent a lot of time getting one corner of the tray very clean! Tonight she dropped some rice on her tray and picked up each grain of rice and flung it back in the bowl. She doesn't like her hands dirty or things on her clothes, but she does wipe her nose with the back of her hand... she will totally fit in with her brothers!
There are 7 families now that the others have joined us after getting their daughters in their other provinces. So today we met in Molly's hotel room to fill out all the paperwork for the consulate. Only one parent had to do this, but Jack isn't fond of paperwork and Jia won't leave my side, so all 3 of us went. Jia was the only child there and it took 2 full hours. She stood right at my knees the entire time and kept looking at my paperwork, almost like she was making sure I did it right! She was so incredibly good! She just stood there watching me and every once in a while she'd thumb through the stack of papers. I just can't tell you how good this girl is!
Anyway, we had supper in our hotel dining room and then took a walk. It was on our walk that we figured out a sure fire way to get smiles. They have been very few and far between and totally random. We had no idea if she would laugh or cry at us. But tonight I lifted her high in the air and said "Wheeeeeee" and she got the biggest grin on her face! Every time after that she would grin great big. I think Jack was able to get a couple of pictures of her smiling.... it's so precious.
She is just such a joy and so, so good. She's perfect! Tomorrow, we're going to attend the church on the island. Jenny, from Jenny's place, invited us and she's excited we're going! Then Monday night, our group is planning to take a dinner cruise and see the lights of Guangzhou. Tuesday is totally free and Wednesday we're meeting to take the official 'red couch' photo at the White Swan. Then we'll go to the consulate and take the 'oath'. Not sure what all that entails, but if it's like everything else, no big deal. We just will be able to pick up Jia's Visa. Then we're taking the 9AM train on Thursday back to Hong Kong. We'll spend the night near the airport on Lantau then leave Friday at 8AM! We go back through Japan, then Minneapolis and on to KC. 3 of the other families are on our same flights all the way to MN, so that will be nice. We arrive in KC at 5ish... so 8AM to 5PM, plus the 13 hour time difference.... you get the picture! We'll be so tired!
Anyway... not much happening the next few days. But we'll continue to work on those smiles and keep you all posted! Thanks so much for all your comments. It really helps to feel connected to home. We truly do enjoy reading them each morning when we wake! Keep them coming!
Good night!

Friday, June 26, 2009

yet another busy day

Today we were free until 2 PM, but it was still very busy! We had breakfast in the hotel, then skyped with the boys for a while. Jia LOVES to go, go, go... so after that we headed out to take our laundy to be done and look for white squeaky shoes!
We ended up at Jenny's place and spent quite a lot of time there. Jenny and her husband are Christians and had many Christian gifts to look over. Jenny is also a Maoming girl! So she gave Jia a free fan and an American flag and an olympic flag. She also gave me a free bracelet, the beads on it mean 'happy family'! She was so kind, we helped her with some English words on an email she had and she was very grateful! We'll probably stop back in there a time or 2 before leaving!
At lunch today, Jack and I were both fortunate enough to receive a few smiles from Jia! They were precious! She's changing everyday and is just truly amazing. Today she fed herself for the first time. One thing most people comment is that Jack is left handed. Well, when Jia was feeding herself, she put her phone ( the one she always has with her! ) in her right hand and put the spoon in her left to eat. She continued to use that hand... so I think our girl may be a lefty! It must be pretty uncommon here so I think that's pretty neat!
After meeting our group at 2, we went to Liurong Temple, Six Banyan Pagoda. It is a world famous ancient temple. This temple is over 600 years old. The people burn incense to Buddha and have their babies blessed by the priests. Jack and I know Who got us to where we are and we politely refused to participate. I must say I was worried about offending Molly, our guide, but she really didn't seem to mind. Jack went in one building but Jia and I stood outside. We did go in the temple area and it was very beautiful. That's where the picture is of her sitting on the rock. But all I could think about was not so much 'offending' our God, but breaking His heart after He's answered so many prayers on our behalf. It would've been so easy to just participate and go along, but neither of us could do it. We just told Molly we were Christians and believed in the one God. She understood.
After the visit at the temple, we went to the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum. It is a very ornately carved hall displaying many different works of art from Guangdong. It was very interesting and an important part if Jia's history.
After the museum, Molly took us to a shopping mall to buy good quality items for keepsakes. I can't tell you what I bought to give Jia in the future, because then she would know! But I can tell you we were able to purchase a few high quality gifts that will be able to be passed down generation to generation and are all representative of Guangdong. They will be precious keepsakes!
We wrapped up our evening by having dinner at Molly's home. Her husband is an electronic engineer and he cooked for us! He does not speak English, but understands it pretty well. He fixed a traditional Chinese dinner and her mom fixed us porridge like she made in the country. It was a very nice evening and we are so honored that Molly opened her home to us.
That brings us to now... I'm the only one still up.... blogging! Jia passed out as soon as we got home. Jack walked to the 7-11 and bought us snickers and now he's out. So now it's my turn!
Oh, I wanted to add... the picture of Jia where I'm beside her is in the shopping center adn that's about all the further I'm allowed from her. She is doing better with Jack everyday and we know soon he'll be able to help care for her. Until then, he's doing a wonderful job taking care of me, getting me this, or that, fixing my plate, etc since I always have the baby on my lap!
Goodnight Friends!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh Uncle Hobbie.....

Little Jia wants a laptop!!!!! She loves to sit on my lap, well technically she won't get off my lap, but she loves to push buttons and pull cords on the laptop!
Today we drove 4 hours each way to Maoming City. That is where Jia and Megan (the other couples daughter) are from. Jia was in MaoGang and Megan in MaoNan. We were not able to visit MaoGang, as it was 'under construction and inconvenient'. But we did get to go inside MaoNan with the other couple. The Director and the Vice sat down with us and gave us boiling hot tea as an extension of their hospitality. Jeff and Jennifer were able to find out more about Megan's life there and ask questions. The Director gave the 2 girls and Matthew (Jeff and Jennifers 5 year old son who is with them) a little piece of jade on a 'red thread'. It was very sweet of him to include Jia.
We then got to walk by the babies rooms and look in. It was nap time, so we couldn't interact. Most were sleeping. But the nannie's did come out and see Megan and they showed her parents where her bed was. They were able to take some photographs together as well. As we went down the 3rd floor hall, I walked by a baby without even noticing it. I was looking in all the windows and when we stopped and I looked back, I noticed a baby lying on a cart with sides about 6 inches high. It was so quiet and still, and honestly out of place, that I passed right by it. I had Molly ask why it was out in the hall alone and she said it had just been brought in this AM and was under observation before putting it with the other babies.
The director said there were about 60 babies there currently. It was so incredibly sad. After our visit, the Director and Vice led us to McDonalds where we grabbed lunch. We ate it in the van and drove to where Megan was found. Jeff and Jennifer were able to take some photo's at Megans finding spot.
When we left, we had intended to drive to MaoGang, but it is quite a distance from MaoNan, and we weren't going to be allowed in, so Jack and I told Molly we didn't have to go. It was so hot and the ride was horrible. I was afraid Jia might recognize the place and it just didn't seem worth it.
We at least got to see MaoMing, where she is from. It is a relatively small city, only 400,000 compared to Guangzhou's 30 million! It was really crazy and I cannot even begin to describe the traffic. Our prayer life has reached a new level because we seriously take our life in our hands each time with get on the road! Our drivers have all been wonderful, but the others are not. And there are not carseats!
Jia also had her first chicken nuggets today and LOVED them! Oh great... at least Jack and I were an even team against Jacen and Jory,now they have us outnumbered. They always want to eat at McDonalds!
Tomarrow, we are free until 2 PM! WOO HOO!!! We will probably get up at 1 PM! Molly has 5 other families coming in the morning she must pick up at the airport and get settled. Then she taking just our 2 families to do a little sightseeing, the pearl market and then to her house for dinner. Her husband is cooking for us! Also, we'll get to meet Molly's mom. Molly just got back from taking her mom to visit her grandparents the day before Jack adn I arrived, so her mom is still staying with us. Molly is wonderful and I'm so honored she wants to invite us into her home and to meet her family! She wanted to do this before our group got too big! From now on, there will be 7 couples.
Anyway... we are sooooooooo tired! I cannot even begin to tell you. And I wish I wasn't so picky about spelling and punctuation or I would've been done 30 minutes ago. I'm so tired I keep hitting all the wrong keys!
Until tomorrow.... Oh! I forgot to tell you... Jeff and Jennifer pointed out that today marks the 1/2 way point of our trip. It's all down hill from here. Thank God! It's been wonderful, but I"m so ready to get home to Dr. Pepper and Oreo's and Milk!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 3 with Jia

Today we got to sleep in... a little bit! We met our other family at 10 and went to have Jia's photo taken for her Visa. She was such a big girl and it only took one shot! Then we went for her medical exam. There were 3 different rooms, one for Height Weight and Temperature, One for ENT, and one called medical/surgical where they reviewed her info from the orphanage and checked her over.
I really think she would have done just fine through all of this, except that at each office they felt they shoudl take her from me and put her on the scales or the bed... She screamed and clutched on each time! She really does not like strangers at all.
Then we come back to our hotel and rested... we did not nap, but we did rest! We decided to go out about 1:30 and do some shopping before meeting our group at 3 again. We bought Jia a beautiful Navy blue traditional chinese dress and navy shoes to match. We also bought her this rattle/shakey thing that goes on her wrist. So now she's trying to organize that, her phone and her purple lamb all in her 2 hands! We finally got her to put it on her wrist and that was fine. We walked up and down our hotel hall for a bit tonight and she sounded like Santa Clause coming!
At 3 we went back into Guangzhou to the police station and picked up her Chinese identification... sorta like our passport. Then back for a bath and Papa Johns pizza!
It's now only 8 PM and we are all sooooo ready for bed! We're leaving at 8AM and driving about 3 1/2 hours to Maoming where Jia is from. We do not get to visit the orphanage, but we can see it and just see where she was born.
Friday, I believe our guide has us scheduled to take a tour of the city that morning, then have lunch in her home. I don't know what is beyond that, but we're staying too busy to miss home for sure. That's good I guess!
Well, we have a very early day tomorrow and a very long one too so that's all for today! Enjoy the pictures and keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One in a Million

It's about 8 PM Tuesday night in China and we are exhausted! It's starting to get hard keeping the days straight, keeping in touch with the boys, what day is it there? Is it day or night there? Etc... so I know if I don't write this post up, I'll forget what happened today!
We had to be up and at it very early today and meet our guide and the other family at their hotel by 9AM. We made it to breakfast and Jia had a scrambled egg and a banana. She is such a good eater. The orphanage said she had 4 bottles a day, but I didn't bring one and she doesn't seem to know how to suck on her sippy cup either. We have to take the lid off and she drinks out of it like a big girl!
Today we went back to the Providential Office where we got Jia yesterday. We were interviewed by the registar and notary and they said she is officially ours! We took a passport photo today as well.
After that visit, while we were still in Guangzhou, we visited Carrefour. The grocery store. Our guide Molly said that 35 million people live in Guangzhou and I think that at least 1/2 of them were in the grocery store today!
We came back to the hotel this afternoon to rest, but Jia didn't ever really go to sleep. I was checking my Facebook, which by the way is very lonely when its 3 AM there, and she was sitting on my lap and had her elbows up on the desk just looking at her pictures. She started talking, which was a first! She has such a sweet little voice! I can't wait to hear more!
Also, outside our hotel, there is a school. There are 2 floors of many children and we can hear them at times in our room. I pushed the ottoman up to the window and opened the curtains. Jia just stood there forever watching and listening the kids. She really likes other kids and babies. The other family that is here with us has a 5 year old son and she just watches him all the time!
Tonight we went back to Lucy's for supper. It was fairly decent outside so we sat out on the patio so Jia could walk around. Tonight she ate her entire bowl of Chicken Congee and drank her whole cup of juice. She also had a bit of grilled cheese and a couple of french fries.
She is just doing amazingly well! I'm just so taken aback at well she's doing with us both. She's still a little leary of Jack, well not just him... all men. The dad of the other family was sitting by me this morning and he'd talk to her and she was fine, but he reached out to touch her hand and she wailed! Then I was trying to climb out of the van holding her and the driver took her from me before I even realized what was going on...(let me say here that it would've been okay with me, if she would have let him. He has been awesome and drives very well! He's very kind and we trust him, but I knew she wouldn't like it.) She bawled and screamed and he immediately handed her back to me. She wrapped her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck and didn't let go for quite a while! Then our notary was a man and he was talking very cheerfully to her in Chinese, probably trying to coax a smile out of her and she let loose on him!
So it's not just Jack, it's men. But she did sit in her chair like a big girl and Jack fed her and took care of her entire meal. She was totally cool with that. She doesn't like for him to push her stroller at all... she looks back to make sure it's me. But her personality is emerging and I feel we'll see a lot more in the next few days.
Again... I'm just truly amazed at how well she's handling all this. I know it's all the prayers that have paved the way working. So thank you for all those and keep 'em coming.
We're so very tired. Tomorrow is her medical exam and taking her photo for her visa and then we have something else at 3ish. But I don't remember....it's starting to blur. But we're staying so busy and tired that it will go by fast. We haven't even had time to go visit the shops!
I hope you all enjoy the photo's! Don't forget to leave comments... they are very encouraging. Just to know people are following along and care!
Thanks Friends!

Monday, June 22, 2009

all Gods grace in one little face

Note from Joy's Mom.....
We are Praising the Lord for this Blessing in our life, can't wait to have her here!
I am sorry the pic are bottom to top, don't know how to change them, so
enjoy them anyway :-) and keep prayers going up.

I don't know what we were worried about! Today went perfectly! It's now 9PM and I just put Jia down for the first time since we got her at about 3. She is totally glued to me.
She cried quite hard for about 5 minutes when they gave her to us. We had about 3 minutes to hold her before they made Jack go take care of the paperwork and such. So I had her alone for at least 30 minutes... long enough for her to stick to me. I think this is the reason, she won't go to Jack just yet. If he reaches out to her, she shakes her head sharply! She will take baby snacks from him and play with her toys with him. It will all come together in a few days, we're not too worried!
She's such a good girl. After that initial crying, once in a while she would pucker up and start to whine, but we were able to distract her. The only time she flat out bawled after that was when she seen the nanny that brought her. We had the opportunity to visit with the nanny and ask her questions, but she upset Jia so much, I told our guide Molly to just make her go away. Molly assured us that she could call the orphanage for us if we needed any questions answered. We posed for a picture with the nanny and she come and stood right by Jia, so you can see in the photo, I turned and put Jia on the other side.
Beyond that, our girl has been such a trooper! We come back to the hotel and she almost fell asleep in the van, so we laid down thinking she would nap. Not interested! So we got up and tried out the stroller. Again...not interested! So I carried her to the other side of the island where we ate supper. She ate Congee with Chicken and was such a big girl! She was swinging her feet in her high chair and looking around at everything. She has been so good and so brave!
After supper when we arrived on our floor at our hotel, I put her down and let her walk. Our room is at the very end of the hall, so she was able to take off and really seemed to enjoy it. Then we took a bath and she just did so unbelievably well! It's incredible!
Right now, we've made a palet on the floor and she's zonked. It's been such a big day for her. Jack and I are totally exhausted as well, but so thrilled that this day has come and gone and has went so well!

Oh, it looks like we won't starve afterall. We found a place that serves hamburgers and GRILLED CHEESE!!!! YIPPEE!!!! It was sort of funny, I was sitting there eating and the scripture from Matthew came to me that I read this AM... about not worrying about food and clothing... that even the sparrows are fed. I thought that was awesome when I seen grilled cheese on the menu... and it was good!
You can see from the pictures that she likes suckers! And she's just like Mom and Dad... she loves her toy cell phone and her toy car keys! One in each hand!
More tomorrow!
Jack N Joy

Sunday, June 21, 2009


It's amazing what a good nights sleep can do to your perspective on things! We are getting around this AM, getting things ready to get Jia! We are both so excited and can't wait!
This morning we spent a little time in the Word and that always helps. For 3 years now, I've had some 'adoption' scriptures that have helped get me through...
I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. John 14:18
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans adn widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25
Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the East and gather you from the West. Isaiah 43:5
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27
And of course, my life verse for the last couple of years... For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:3

But this AM we were reading in Isaiah...we were still feeling a little displaced and unsure of what the day would bring...
I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:9-10
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Is. 41:13

We read several others, but those were are favorites. THEN!!!!! I was looking for a verse in Psalms and couldn't remember where exactly it was... I thought Ch. 66 or so... but as I was looking for it, I found this. One I've read over and over and over again... but I didn't finish it or God conceled it until this day for me...
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling... that's where I would always stop, but if you read the next verse... God sets the lonely in families, Ps. 68:5 & 6a
Today is Jia's day! Today God is keeping His promise and setting the lonely in families. Today... JIA GETS HER FAMILY, because I serve a faithful God. I am praising His name and so grateful He called me, not only to be set apart for His purpose and plan, but that that plan included Jia!I just wanted to share that this AM... now I really need to go or be seriously late! So much to prepare! Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!
Love - JMS

Our Last Sleep!

It's almost 9PM here in China. We are staying on Sha Mian Island in Guangzhou. Tomorrow is the big day.
My plan to have pictures up for you when you wake has been spoiled by the fact that Blogger is blocked here. Grrr.... But my back up plan is to email everything to my mom and she will post for me! So now you have to wait for her to wake up! LOL!
Leaving HK and entering China has definately been the most challenging portion of our trip. They took our temperature at checkin, then they riffled through my carryon because I had fingernail clippers and tweezers. My bad, but they've been in there all along. The funny thing is that I looked all over for those tweezers the night before and figured I had left them at home! Not! Then when we landed, we were unable to even stand up and get our bags. The 'guys in the white bubble suits' entered the plane from the rear and took each person's temperature. It hadn't even been an hour since we had it taken in HK, but oh well! A guy 2 rows up from us set the thing to beeping... twice! He had to remove it hat and lift his shaggy bangs and it still beeped. So the guy in the white bubble suit made him shut the blinds and turn on his air vent. He returned and tried again and he was fine! Whew!
Our hotel room is very small here, it's making me miss HK! We have a King size bed here as well, but it's about 1/2 the size of the one in HK. Oh, well, the room is about 1/2 the cost too. The food in the hotel is terrible, so we're going to HAVE to venture out.
Our guide is wonderful! She's so sweet and we're going to enjoy spending time with her. Tomarrow, at about 2:30 PM here, 1:30 AM there, is when we are scheduled to get Jia. This at times just overwhelms me if I pause long enough to let it. Mostly we've just been on survival mode... just get our selves through this 14 hour flight, just get ourselves through Japanese immigration, customs, get ourselves to and from the hotel in Tokyo because we missed our connection, just trust the airline will reschedule our flight, just get in the taxi and tell them where your hotel is, just do this, do that, etc.... etc.... I know once we get home, this is all going to hit what we've been through, but for now, we just do what we gotta do and don't think about it.
I can't even begin to tell you the emotions... there are just too many. Of course there's fear, doubt, fear, doubt, we're tired, we're hungry for some real food (oreo's), we're homesick at times when we let our selves think about it, and part of us is just ready to come home.
BUT.... tomarrow is the day we've waited over 3 years for! We're overjoyed. I really feel such peace about getting Jia. I know she's meant to be part of our family. I know she needs a Mama, Baba and 3 Ge-Ge's desperatley. I know she needs us. We will hold it together and get her home. The thought of 2 more weeks here though is excruciating. We'll certainly have to take it one day at a time. Once we have her I know it will be different. We'll catch that 2nd wind for a few days... then we'll just have to take it one day at a time again!
We did spend a little time walking around the island tonight. I must say, I can't wait to shop! All those adorable little Chinese dresses made my head spin! I can't wait to buy some! Our guide has a hertiage tour of 12 adoptees coming in the 26th, and she said when we have the big group, she'll take us in to Guangzhou to the pearl market. She's also invited us to her home to have her husband cook for us one night! And there's another family that will be getting their daughter with us tomorrow. Their daughter is not from the same orphanage, but the same city! So our guide is going to ask if our 2 families can travel to the city and visit the orphanage. I'm not getting my hopes up because of the swine flu... but I truly hope we can!
I can't think of much else to say except that if you're reading, please comment. Please email us... we get them just fine. Please leave me messages on Facebook! It's so lonely to get on Facebook when you're all sleeping! We've had a couple of emails from Brad and Tolane and we just look forward to them! Please leave us some encouragement, some scripture, some Rah! Rah! Ree! Something. It really is nice to hear from you all and feel connected.
We Skype with my parents and the boys most every night and morning, it's really working out well. We can talk free via the computer through a headset and it sounds like they're right here with us.
Anyway... 2:30 PM here for us, 1:30 AM there for you.... if you're up and feel compelled to pray for us, please do so! We need it!
Love you all....
Jack and Joy
PS... I just proof read my post and thought portions of it may sound a little troublesome. We truly are fine, we just feel very displaced. Can't wait to get our daughter and get home!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Can you believe it? It hardly seems real to me. Just one more sleep!
Our flight leaves at 1:10 today and we go from HK to Guangzhou. Arriving there at 1:44. Our guide, Molly, will meet us there and take us to the Victory Hotel, which will be our home for the next couple of weeks.
Tomorrow afternoon we will get Jia! I hope that by the time you guys get up, I'll be able to have a couple of pictures up. But we'll see. My priorities will be different after today!
Talk to you all soon!

Saturday in HongKong

Let's start at the beginning. This is on our flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong. We sat right about the wing... Jacen check out how long it is! And Jory, can you see that we're higher than the clouds?
THIS... is the view from our hotel!
I need one of these to finish drying my pants!

We got up and had a wonderful breakfast then walked to the Star Ferry Pier. We rode the ferry to the Hong Kong side. This is taken from the ferry looking towards HK.

Another from the ferry towards HK

Once we got to HK, we took a taxi to the Victoria's Peak Tram Station.
This is while we're waiting in line for the tram... here it comes!

On the way up! It is so steep that the floors are slanted for those who stand! At one point it was so steep, that it hurt your neck. You could feel the strain to just hold your head up!

Once we got off... looking back down.

One view from the top. Looking back towards Kowloon.

Once at the top, there's an entire shopping area, walking trails and lots of gorgeous flowers. I saw this up there and thought of cousin John!

It is soooooooooooooo hot and humid here. My straightner wouldn't work this AM, not that it would've helped. The humidity is reaking havoc on my hair... making it so curly that even my curls have ringlets. UGH! Hate it.
From the top of the peak...

Jack from the top...

This is the sky tower that is at the top of the peak. We were on the top of this taking pictures.

Here's inside as we were walking back down.

Another view down, you can see the Disneyland HK ticket counter at the bottom!

Some of the flowers up there....

This butterfly was huge. It felt like a bird flying by.

Inside the Galleria shopping center at the top of the peak.

PR... here's one for you!

Children playing in the fountain... it was tempting!

After Victoria's Peak, we still had plenty of time left to do something else. We hopped in a cab and went over to Lantau Island for Ngong Ping 360. We had seen this when we come in from the airport and thought it looked cool! So we went for it!

Taking off....

On our way... it actually takes you between like 5 mountain tops. Then you end up at a monestary and a little shopping area and there's a huge statue of buddah.
This was our first glimpse of buddah. You could walk all the way up to him, but we passed.

Looking back from our cart... where we just come from!

Ahhhhhh.... we were soooo glad to see this sign! This is home for now!

We had a very busy day! We are so tired and hungry. We skipped lunch, but it was to hot to eat anyway. We have enjoyed our stay in HK, but look forward to moving on and getting Jia! Just 2 sleeps and a wake!
It all sort of seems unreal... I know we're going to crash when we get home!
Love you all..... JMS