That's right! Next week! We will leave our home, and our boys on Tuesday July 10th, and stay the night in
Olive Branch with Greg's parents. We will have to be at the airport to check in at 3 A.M. We will arrive in Beijing on July 5th at 12:28 P.M. We will have our daughter in our arms on July 16th, which will be late night July 15th here in the States. Our return home will be July 29th at 5:55 P.M. into Memphis.
This has been such a whirlwind of a day, and there is still SO MUCH to do! Leaving the country for almost three weeks, leaving three kids with my parents for that time, pets, bills, packing, Oh. My. Gosh! I have begun a list of lists that need to be made, lol! We need phone numbers for every possible thing including the vet, doctors, dentists, security alarm, air conditioner repair, everything under the sun! Since my parents live next door, the kids will be in and out of our home the whole time, playing with their toys, and taking care of all the pets, but when you are half a world away, you have to be prepared for any type of emergency.
There is a grocery list of items the kids like to eat and snack on. A list of medications and dosages in case of any sniffles or illness. Schedule of feeding for the cats and fish, and aquarium and litter box maintenance. Dental appointments and testing appointments for the twins for gifted class that need to be kept while we are away. Emergency contact numbers for us in China. Flight data, and itineraries for both Greg and my parents. Church service times, the numbers for our friends and pastors whom might need to be informed of any major changes in our adoption trip.
Are you exhausted yet? I know I am! There was the whirlwind of finding flights as inexpensively as possible, then needing to get those approved by our agency, and then confirmed. Travel insurance to be purchased. Our travel conference call to be scheduled where we will go over all the final arrangements. With all this we still have to make sure we have all of the things we will need for the next three weeks packed for ourselves and one beautiful toddler! This includes toys, snacks, clothes, diapers, formula, (yes, she is still on formula, and yes, we will wean her off ASAP, but in China is NOT the place!) Shoes, swim diapers, a plethora of medications for every conceivable condition she might have when she comes to us, donations for the orphanage staff and children. Still so much to buy. We still have to purchase some of the gifts that we are required to give to officials there, as well as some over the counter items for us.
There is paperwork to be gathered, some that has to go with us to China, and some that will be left with my parents in case of emergency or in case we get there and have forgotten something ourselves. And there is still the fact that we will be leaving our boys for almost three weeks. We have never been away from them more that 4 days, EVER. This is going to be so hard for them, and for us, and for my parents! We have set up Tango, and have all video chatted amongst our computers and Ipad, and Iphones. The kids know that this is how we will be talking to them while we are away, and we've tried to get them used to it. We are trying to squeeze in every last second of time with them that we can doing as much as we can because our lives, and our whole family dynamic is about to change forever. Tonight we made cookies together. Here are our creations!
|Chocolate chip, and Fruit Pizza made with Sugar cookie, topped with lemon curd and fresh fruit. Tonight we used strawberries, kiwi, and sliced grapes, and it was very tart, just the way we like it ;)|
|Notice the mass amount of legos in the background? We've made time for that too :)|
|They captured Andy, and he was none too thrilled!|
|And then this was thrown into my room...|
|It read from the creepers, to you|
|Prepare to be attacked! That was followed by many, many attempts to surprise attack me : )|
As excited as I am, I also find myself a little afraid, and a little sad. I mourn the loss of our family as we know it. It's always been us and "the boys" and that will be changing. It will be us and "the kids" now. The boys are all so independent, and already finding alone time with each of them is so difficult. I know that when we get back from China, that will be nearly impossible. I also look forward to seeing the twins have the opportunity to step into Nathan's shoes in the role of big brothers. I think they will find how amazing a big brother he has been to them, despite all they have put him through! I hope they will be half as good a big brother to Annabella as Nathan has been to them.
I wonder how Annabella will adapt. Will she run to me? Greg? Or allow us both to bond with her at first? I am sad for the fear I know she is about to encounter. She will soon be taken away from the only life she has ever known. A life where she is happy, and where she is loved. The Lily Orphan Care Center is such an amazing place, she has had such an advantage over the children in her orphanage who have not had the fortune to live in that special room. I am sad for the nanny who loves her, who will lose her in just over a week. I wonder if she will be sick, if she will have any other medical conditions that we have not been informed of. Will she be a good flyer? Will she be terrified of our cats...or allergic? Food allergies...I've never had to deal with those, I wonder if she will have any. Will she eat table food? there are so many unknowns, that it is impossible to stop your mind going over every tiny thing.
I'm also so very excited that we will soon have our daughter, whom we already love with all our hearts joined with our family. I can't wait to hold her and kiss her, and love her, and teach her everything! I hope she likes music, I will teach her to sing and dance. I pray she loves books, I will teach her to read. I can't wait to see if she loves sand and water, and slides and swings as much as our kids! I can't wait to introduce her to ice cream, and lasagna, and chocolate cake. To show her how to bake chocolate chip cookies, and take her trick or treating. I can't wait for her to see what Santa brings on Christmas day!
My heart and mind and soul are bursting with so many questions, concerns, and also with joy. So much joy that I can hardly contain it! Remember this song? That's exactly how I feel! Or how about this one? A bit crude, but I think it is hilarious!
Well, our internet has been acting very funny so I'd better close this one quickly to try and send it off bafore it goes out completely. Thanks again, as always for your continued prayers!!