Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coming home soon...

The last two days have been pretty relaxed. We took the adoption oath yesterday. We went to the zoo today. Other than that, we have pretty much just shopped and hung out at the hotel. Tomorrow will be more shopping and packing to leave.

It is with mixed emotions that we prepare to leave Guangzhou. We have loved being here. The little area of this HUGE city that we are familiar with feels like a small town that caters just to adoptive families. The shops are fun. It is a treasure trove of trinkets and knick knacks. We have been here so many times that there are several shopkeepers that remember us. The weather is (usually) good. Unusually cold, wet weather has made this trip a little less tropical feeling. So overall it is fun to be here!

On the other hand, it is becoming more and more challenging to entertain the children even with two hotel rooms. It is cramped and noisy. We call the room that my dad shares with Jesi and Graci “The room of peace and tranquility.” We call our room “The room of churning human life.” It is pretty crazy with all of the luggage we have, the meals we eat here, the toys that make noise for Lexi, the paperwork from an adoption, two strollers, a crib, the gifts and goodies we have purchased to bring home. So overall we are very excited to get home!

On the other hand, while we are here, we don’t have to face reality. I don’t have to go to work. Christi doesn’t have to get kids to school and sports and dance. We aren’t worried about paying the bills. Christi doesn’t have to fix meals. We don’t have to help kids with homework and science projects and scouts. The house isn’t getting any messier with each passing minute of a 10-person family living in it. In our hotel, we have the “drawer of happiness” (filled with Dove chocolates, red vines and other American methods to cope with stress). So overall, we are loving it here!

On the other hand, we are DYING to get back to our other kids! We miss each of them so much. We miss coaching and helping with homework and science projects and scouts. We miss their smiling faces telling us they love us. I miss reading to Taylor and Parker each night before bed. Also, Sophi and Lexi are really needing more space and more stimulation than the confines here are providing. We already mentioned why we haven’t gone swimming more often. Sophi seems to have a phobia of the children’s playroom here at the hotel. (It may have something to do with the abundance of stuffed animals that make their home there.) So overall, we can’t wait to get back!

On the other hand, we have a 30-hour journey with four small children to endure before we arrive in Herriman. The 12-hour flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco is likely to be a nightmare with the two new ones. I basically can’t sleep on airplanes. Lexi has to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. Sophi can be a princess who hasn’t yet learned that anyone besides her exists in the world. Once we get home, we’ll have days to weeks of jet lag. The last time we tried to help a child with no visual cues switch her nights to days it literally took months. The new children will have to adjust to the old children and vice versa. So overall, we’re terrified to leave China!!!

On the other hand, there’s no place like home. Despite any difficulties, challenges, tears and trials that may await, Christi and I are so excited to get to the most important part of this journey: bringing Lexi and Sophi into our home and helping them become a comfortable and integrated part of our eternal family. We have both commented on how much the boys will love these two new dollies and how much our dollies will love the boys. We are excited to see this process get started. We are excited for the girls to meet grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles and cousins. They will feel the tremendous love that all of these extended family members have for them. We are excited for the girls to meet their church family, of which many members have been anticipating their arrival almost as much as we have. We are grateful for the great support we have there! We are excited for our bed! Chinese beds are as close to sleeping on the floor as you can get while actually lying on a mattress. We are excited for Christmas! Although our Christmas season has been different this year, we still have the Christmas Spirit. Our decorations were up before we left. We still have a week or so to try and enjoy as many of our traditions as possible. Santa Claus is coming to town, and we are ever so grateful to our Father in Heaven for the gift of His son, baby Jesus. So without equivocation, we are looking forward with great anticipation to our arrival home in 3 days!

See you soon☺



  1. When exactly will you all be traveling back (USA time)? I will be in prayer for you all.


  2. Well, we can't wait till you are home!!!!!! However, we still haven't done some of things we were planning on, (bowling, another swimming trip, etc.)so we will have to hurry madly to be ready for your return. You have WONDERFUL children. I continue to be amazed by how good, nice, kind, loving, responsible, smart, and on and on.....they are. Talk to you tonight.

  3. We're also so excited for you all to get back together in Herriman! There definitely will be times you'll just want to evaporate and come back a few days later, but hopefully there will be more times when you feel like you're in heaven. :)

  4. So So SOOO excited for you! I was commenting on a previous post but then my computer died and I don't think it ever published...
    I was offering some "advice" not that I should be offering any...
    I remember you, Christi, and Becky telling me each time when I had Treyden, Colten, and Lincoln to give myself 3 months. 3 months to not feel like you have to have your house in order, 3 months to not feel bad if you're in your p.j.'s all day, 3 months of getting adjusted to the new one/s, etc. SOOOoooOOO...
    when you come home, don't feel like things have to be perfect so quickly. Give yourself a huge adjustment period. Let the kids already at home and the kids with you adjust to each other, adjust to their new life, adjust to more noise, etc. Don't feel like you have to stay on top of laundry and cleaning, and cooking, and homework, etc. etc. etc. don't feel like you have to put your Christmas decorations down by January 1st, or to clean out your closets, or to vacuum every day.
    All of this is STUFF.
    Designate these next 3 months to LOVING your two new beautiful girls and helping them and your others adjust to their new home.
    And THEN, say by Easter you can get your life back to "normal" :-)!!!

    Enjoy Christmas--don't let it stress you out. This Christmas will NEVER come again! Have FUN!!!

    If you need a nap, take one! Have the older kids help! You'll be a happier parent because of it!

    Same with going on a date. Maybe just do a quick dinner with each other and if you have to get a FEW babysitters to help, do it! At least once in the next month!

    Continue your traditions but don't stress out over them. Enjoy the change and adaptions you might have to make!

    I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! I miss you! I wish we lived closer!!!

    Don't panic about your trip home, about the jet lag, about the Christmas chaos. Before you know it, it will all be a memory. So make the best of it!!!

    LOVE YOU!!!!

  5. One guess who is ensuring the "The room of peace and tranquility” stays that way! You will miss your nannny. :) I am excited for all your kids to meet each other. What an amazing gift you have given your chilren!

  6. and the Aus man has manned the posting but I do need to chime in. We are so excited to see your family keep growing! I so wanted to do something for you all, and wanted to make some clothing for Sophie, only, after researching, there is little info out there. From your days with her now, is there any type of shirt of top or dress that might make it easier for you and comfortable for her? I thought about the onsie type and stitching the arm hole closed to keep drafts out, the snaps keep it from riding up her torso...then other clothing layered on top anchors better? tell me and we will see if I can help?
    hugs to you all!
    Mrs Aus....Marie

  7. I see that my Bride chimed it - guys - we just couldn't be any happier for ya'll.

    We know all too well the angst of leaving GZ with the desire to be HOME - yeah - we get that too!

    We are just glowing with you guys - and it show in your pics how much glowing is really going on for ya'll too!

    In case you don't post again - know that you'll be in our hearts and prayers - fair winds and following seas on your travels - love you guys -

    aus and co.