I never blog. For this, I asked Melissa's permission.
Where to begin. We began this journey 9 months ago, and now it has culminated into an 18 day blessing from God. We left Alexandria bright and early, with 3 newbie flyers and one who greatly dislikes planes, jumped over to Atlanta (as all proper flights should) and then on to Seattle. The three girls (Melissa, Allison, and Melissa's sister Kelsey) huddled together in their seats as Corbin asked every possible question for the hour and a half first flight. The girls never seemed to warm up to flying, though they made the trip bravely and much better than anticipated. Corbin finally crashed from the excitement and got 4 hours of sleep en route to Seattle.
6 hour lay-over in Seattle
Nobody knew. Our tickets only said we stopped there.
Oh well. It was a welcome break from the plane, but a bit long for a 4 year old. Big sister listened to her ipod, and was quite happy to be on solid ground.
12 hours to Beijing, on a plane with 1/4 of its capacity---praise GOD for places to lay down and sleep.
We arrived in Beijing at 1040pm (14 hours ahead of Louisiana time), and all our bags met us. Again, praise God!
A long van ride to the hotel, with snow! and smog, got checked in and everybody to their rooms. We promptly fell asleep (at 3 am), and up for 6 to head to the Great Wall.
The Great Wall was amazing to see and climb, but with jet lag and frigid temps, we were more than happy to finish our day of touring and head to our hotel.
January 8, another flight. This one short, and very tolerable, as we headed to Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province. Here, we would culminate this whole 9 month "pregnancy". After settling in to our hotel, we did as any self-righteous Louisiana family would, and visited McDonald's and Wal-Mart! You get a whole new perspective of the meat department after this trip.
Anyway, we managed to sleep some that night, but were up at 5 ready for the day. THE DAY. GOTCHA DAY.
We loaded into the bus, 7 families, backpacks, cameras, kleenex...
This is THE day.
We arrive at the registration office, where we would receive our children.
We walk into the building, look to our right, and there he is...Mr. Samuel WenHao Smith. He was beautiful. I know, boys are handsome. He was beautiful. I wanted to cry, shout, praise God.
His caretakers brought him to us, once we were identified, and tearfully passed him to his new mother. I cannot describe how amazing this felt. I think (as only a human can i guess) that it is similar to what God feels when we give ourselves over to the adoption of sonship with Him. I don't know, but for me, it was incredible. My heart space was filling.
Very shortly after, in walks two precious little girls from Luoyang orphanage.
Adaline, at last my sweet Adaline.
She was gorgeous! So beautiful. And full of life! She came right to us, especially Allie. Finally, the little sister she had anticipated.
My two new babies, in our arms. In our care. Already in our hearts, but now in our presence, and now officially our family.
We have some more paperwork to do, another flight to finish the legalities. But they are ours, and we are theirs.
God, thank you. You have prepared us for this journey, for these children. We rest on your promise to never leave us or forsake us. Go before us and pave this road. Surround us with your protection, your peace, your love. Anoint our babies with comfort as they leave their world and enter ours. We know it is hard for them, but You are the great Comforter, el Shaddai. Lead us Lord.
More to come.