Friday, April 30, 2010

fyi...

The Internet connection is miserably slow here!  It took so long to post yesterday's post w/ all of those pictures.  But, it did work so I'm happy!  I'm able to get to blogger through 'hotspot shield' that creates a VPN  for you to use.  It's still slow, but does work for now.  There is a great video I took yesterday of the rickshaw ride through that 'neighborhood' I'd love to post but I'm not sure I'll have time.

Also, from reading back through my post I can see I have some grammar errors...expect that for a while b/c I typed that when I was SO TIRED last night!  I didn't even take the time to fix it.  The pictures seem distorted some on my computer, but if you click on them I think they go back to "normal".  Not sure what that's about.  So glad I have my small point and shoot for this journey.  It's much easier to handle than the DSLR, although I would have loved to be able to take some better quality pictures too.  It's just not the focus of the trip...this time.  The Nikon Coolpix I have is pretty good actually, I'm just not used to the delay.  Also, I LOVE the flip camera!  It's amazing! 

So basically our thoughts after yesterdays adventures was that some cities/countries in the world you may be able to navigate on your own, but China is not one of them.  When we approached people at the 'tourist center' of places we assumed they may speak some English...they don't.  That rickshaw ride took us to some nice outdoor shopping area that was full of great stores like Sephora, KFC, MCD's, high end clothing stores, etc.  But we didn't see any 'restaurant'...I guess we were looking for a Logan's or something.  We were so tired from the day we didn't want to venture off the beaten path to keep looking so we got a taxi and went back to the hotel and ordered a hamburger from room service.  It was good...hoping it was actually hamburger meat we ate! ha!  We passed out about 6pm got up at 10pm did a few things and then went back to bed for the night.  This morning we are feeling pretty good. 

The language barrier makes it so difficult to communicate.  It puts you in a whole different perspective! 
We are about to go eat breakfast now and meet with our guide for the day!  You know how thankful we are to have her after yesterday!

Bejing, Day One


Today was an interesting day full of much cultural awareness for Eddie and me.  This is the only day that we will have without our guide, Rosa while in Beijing.  So it was a ‘on your own’ kind of day.   Eddie and I are both semi-adventurous people so the thought of exploring a new city wasn’t scary to us.  We had our hotel information in our pocket and with a somewhat overconfident attitude thought we could somehow navigate our day!  Ha!!!  He’s been to several different cities/countries in Europe which far outweighs the few countries I’ve been to within the Caribbean.  But still, we didn’t want to stay within the confines of our hotel, we wanted to explore a bit. 
At breakfast this morning we met up with the other families who are already here.  They all seem like a wonderful group of people.  They were already eating together when we walked into the breakfast room and somehow I could tell they were in our group…it was every mother carrying her ‘referral picture’ proudly with her at the table that gave it away!  We introduced ourselves and agreed that nobody had any “plan” for the day.  On that day we went walking around the hotel blocks to see what was close by…hunting cases of water to bring back.  On that adventure we quickly saw that nobody was taking charge of “steering” the group in any kind of direction, so Eddie and I tried to formulate a plan.
Breakfast was good.  There was an omelet bar, cereal, fruit, juices, bagels and pastries, and a lot of asian things like steamed rice, noodles, egg rolls, and things I can’t pronounce!  Also, there was a salad bar which Eddie and I almost made a salad (we love salads!), but realized we shouldn’t eat the lettuce and or vegetables b/c it could be washed in the water???  So, no salad for us!
 We did find a grocery store/market along the way and were all able to come back with bottled water!   We all met back in the lobby for the days adventures.  We decided that we would see most regular tourist attractions with our guide, Rosa, tomorrow.  But one thing not on the list was the ‘Temple of Heaven’ so we made that our game plan for the day.  The hotel helped to get us all taxis for the group and we were off!  When we got there we were missing three people from the group who were to be right behind us.  We waiting at the entrance for about 30 minutes and they never came.  Eddie and I went ahead and went inside to see if they had entered from another gate.  Once inside, we realized there could have been many different entrances and there were so many people it would be almost impossible to locate them.  So, we ditched the group (sorry guys!) and went ahead with the tour. 
The Temple of Heaven is where the Emperor would make sacrifices and pray to heaven and his ancestors at the winter solstice.  As the Son of Heaven, the emperor could intercede with the gods on behalf of his people and pray for a good harvest.  Off limits to the common people during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the temple complex is now fully open to the public and attracts thousands of visitors daily, including many local Chinese who come to enjoy the large and pleasant park in which the monuments are set. 
There are 10 different Features to the Temple of Heaven:
1.        Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, built in 1420 without using a nail!!
2.       Painted Caisson Ceiling, has a guilded dragon and a phoenix at the center.  They imported the wood columns from Oregon at the time because China had no trees tall enough!
3.       Marble Platform,   three tiers of marlble form a 300 ft. circle in diameter and 20 ft. high.
4.       Red Step Bridge, connects the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests with the Round Altar
5.       Imperial Vault of Heaven, once held the wooden spirit tablets that were used in the ceremonies that took place on the nearby Round Altar.
6.       Echo Wall, (very cool!)…The Imperial Vault is enclosed by the circular Echo Wall which has the same sonic effects as some European Cathedrals where even a whisper travels round to a listener on the other side!
7.       Echo Stones, these are three stones at the foot of the staircase; stand on the 1st and clap to hear one echo; stand on the 2nd and clap once to hear two echoes; stand on the third and clap once to hear three echoes!
8.       Round Altar, the center of the altar represents the center of the world and it is where the emperor carried out sacrifices.
9.       Hall of Abstinence, a mini “Forbidden City”.  This is where the Emperor would spend the last 24 hours of his three day fast prior to partaking in the Temple of Heaven Ceremonies
10.   Temple of Heaven Park, the park areas were just beautiful all around this area!



One view from our hotel room, at one place there may be a nice hotel and right beside it a very run down building.
The streets of Beijing...busy with tourists, locals, bikes, cars, taxis, rickshaws, and so much more!

Out and About...do you think I stand out??  We got many stares and many more people came up to both Eddie and me all day and asked to take their picture with us!  It was so funny!!  The children are SO CUTE!  They are everywhere and they just look and stare...I hope Molly has the same curiosity as other children seem to have with me!
I am IN LOVE with Chinese children!  I mean I was before, but after today their cuteness is overwhelming!  This little girl was waving at us.  Eddie and I both noticed how unusually quiet and obedient they are with their families.  They just look at us and...well behave!  None of the children we saw today were throwing fits or tantrums.  I'm sure they do...but we didnt' see evidence of it.
Look at this little cutie in her leggings and coat.  We also noticed that the adults and children are dressed very warmly.  Eddie and I had on shorts, capris, and Tshirts all day.  It was a beautiful day...probably about 75 degrees. But most of the Chinese had on coats and all the kids were bundled up...meanwhile Eddie and I are both trying to figure out how to 'rig' up our a/c in the room to get it very cold.  It's not working out so well so far!  ha!

This little one was so cute in that coat!  Then he came outside and did this...
Split pants at their best...came right out of the grocery and peed!  This was so funny!  It is VERY COMMON to see children do this...sometimes it's more than pee!!
She was so cute...but look at the bundles!
Many kinds of tea
Lot's of rice!

Looks like a great seafood department!  Some of the kids in our group saw the turtles for sell...I told them those turtles were for dinner, not for pets! ha!!
Everyone has water!
This man was taking pictures of our group...we would see him again.  

This was another adoptive family we met.  They were not in our group.  The little boy was so cute, just smiling and waving at us all.

Entering the Temple of Heaven

The marble platform



Here we are with that man and his wife again!  He wanted more pictures!
These ladies grabbed Eddies arm like he was Tom Cruise!   It was so funny.  They gave me equal attention and took pictures with me too!
Echo Wall
Split pants

Gorgeous!

The detail is amazing!
The firewood stove where they would offer up a calf as a sacrifice to the gods.
OMG!!!!  This was by far the most interesting part of the day!  When we were leaving the Temple of Heaven we had chosen a great restaurant to eat at for dinner from one of our Guide Books.  This man grabbed us from the exit (we were trying to figure out how to get a taxi) and said he could take us on his rickshaw!  As you can see it is....small and we are ....big!  Poor guy!  We showed him to restaurant name and location and he was saying yes, he could take us.  We thought a great meal in a cool place sounded wonderful!!!!!!!!!  Well he took us through this 'neighborhood' I guess that was very poor.  I videotaped the whole thing.  It's both funny and sad at the same time.  Funny that here we were who knows where trusting this man who doesn't speak English!  For a moment I thought we could be killed.  But, sad because we saw first hand what poverty is like in China.  And the neighborhood we saw was probably mild considering other places.  The kids were out on the street playing, laundry was hanging to dry, so these are people just like the rest of us living in very deplorable conditions.  I'm so fortunate!  It did make me wonder if Molly's biological family was living in conditions such as these. 

Tomorrow is a big day...Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Pearl Market, and The Summer Palace!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We're up!

Well, after a 3 or 4 hour sleep I was up wide awake this morning at 5:00 a.m.; even after taking a sleeping pill the doctor gave me!  Eddie was still snoozing pretty good, so tonight I may have to try his pills...he took 2 of "something" and it seems to have worked better.  It is my intention to stay up today all day so I will sleep tonight and be on China time from here on out.  We'll see how that goes!!

This morning since I'm dressed and read at 6 a.m. I had some time to get on my blog (which works by the way!...so Danielle I was able to post this myself!  Not sure how long that will last. ) I've added some pictures from the last two days.  They aren't real exciting, but will give you some idea of what's going on.


Leaving at the Nashville Airport...I think the whole big red suitcase of Eddies has power bars, peanut butter, bread, peanuts, etc.  He is really freaked out about the food situation and has already eaten 5 of his power/protein bars!

Waiting to depart...getting the last bit of emails and texts in before the journey!

Enjoying my last treat from America for a while...Godiva Truffles and a Diet Coke with lots of ice!!!  delicious!


Airplane mean #1...shrimp cocktail, salad, roll, bbq chicken w/ cheese grits, and a brownie.  It wasn't bad at all, but you can see from the size of the meal that Eddie was looking around wondering where the 'real food' was stored!!  We were so hungry at this point b/c we had no time for any snacks  since we left home and it was probably around 4 or 5 p.m. when we ate this.  After this meal they served a midnight snack of a cheese sandwich and grapes, then @ breakfast we had eggs, sausage, potatoes.  All on this flight from Detroit to Tokyo.  Then on the Tokyo-Beijing flight we had another small meal like this one.  Obviously since I've discussed the food for a whole paragraph here, you can see that is very important to us!!!!!!!!!!!

Going through inspection.  We made it!!!  This was a very calm and quiet process.  I was expecting chaos in the airport, but it was really nice and orderly.  The Tokyo airport was as well.  It was very clean and "zen" like.  It could have been the time of day we were there (night), but the workers were all very nice and cordial.

The hotel is nice, frankly we are so happy to be here we aren't too choosy!  We've probably already run up a $50 tab on bottled water between us b/c we haven't had time to go to a store yet.  So we're drinking all the water that is in our room.  The beds are a bit hard, but I was expecting that.  There is a nice, deep soaking tub that I was looking forward to getting in this morning.  It felt great after 2 days of travel to soak in warm water!

I'm about to head to breakfast and see if any of our travel mates are there as well.  Eddie got up and just got back in the bed so apparently his pills are still working...

Not sure what all we will do and see today, but I'm sure it will be an adventure!!

First post from CHINA!!!

We're made it! I'm so happy to have the first part of the longest traveling day over.  (The next one will be on our return trip which I'm dreading even more b/c we will then be trying to sooth Ms. Molly.  I'm selfishly praying for a calm child because from what we learned over the last 24 hours there isn't much room to "play" on flights with kids...it will be a challenge!!)

But back to the day at hand...We left Nashville at 11:50 a.m. and once we were in the airport we had time to sit and relax for a moment.  I treated myself to a box of Godiva chocolates and a diet coke!  It all works itself out!  Anyway, with a combined effort of Eddie and Ambre we avoided our first crisis of not having a memory card in my new camera!!!!!!!!  I just got this small point and shoot for the trip and unpacked it and took a few pictures which were fine.  At the airport we took 1 picture and it said "no more memory"!!!!!!!!!!  I immediately realized I had not purchased a separate memory card and if we didn't have one it would only hold 20 pictures at at time!  So Ambre had to leave work (after she just arrived b/c she took us to the airport), buy a memory card and met Eddie at the passenger pick up lane to give it to him.  I couldn't believe the airport didn't have one, but they didn't.  I looked and asked several people.  Everyone said no.   Now, I'm ready to take (and hold) up to 2,000 pictures!  So I feel much  better!  I'm sure it is something I could have bought in China, but I wasn't sure if it would be the same thing?  Why risk it!  So....thanks Ambre!!!  That was a huge save!

We flew to Detroit and were supposed to have a 2 hour layover.  But, we didn't leave at the expected time so that made us rush through Detroit to make our connecting flight to Tokyo.  It was hectic!!  We saw on the screen the plane was "boarding now" but we REALLY needed to use the bathroom. So we went ahead and took care of business and as we were in the bathrooms they were paging us by name "last call for Amy and Eddie Maze"!  Yikes!!!  So we booked it to the gate and made it! whew!  I was so parched!  I needed some water!  So this flight was the 13 hour joyful flight to Tokyo.  We were in the middle two seats of a four seat row.  It was pretty tight.  Eddie's a big guy, and I'm a big girl, so we had no room.  Plus I tried to cram my backpack that was crammed so full under the seat and it wouldn't fit all the way.  Too much stuff!  Eddie's seat wouldn't lounge back any, so he sat upright for 13 hours with some walking intervals thrown in for good measure!  We at several meals or "snacks" as Eddie put it!  They were decent, not terrible at all and we were hungry!

After that flight we went straight to our last flight that was also already boarding for Beijing.  That flight had slightly better seats and a small screen on each seat for movies/etc.  I watched It's Complicated and Eddie watched some alien movie.  We had another meal and landed in China after about 3.5 hours. 

We just got to the hotel, called mom and Ambre on Skype, took two sleeping pills, and are about to be asleep like the rest of the city!  We are looking forward to exploring tomorrow as it is a "free day".  I'm sure Eddie will decide on something to do that will be interesting. 

Thanks for all of your comments!  It really is fun to see who is reading along our journey with us while we're here!  If you are reading my blogs from facebook you can still comment, but I can't comment back.  Facebook and Blogger are both blocked websites in China so I'm doing this all through email.   The pictures are taking forever to attach to email, so I'm going to send this and work on sending pics tomorrow! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Molly, here we come!

In one week I will be holding my daughter. 
In one week all the stress and headache will be worth it.
In one week I will have 'seen' China.
In one week I will be a mom.
In one week I will want my mom with me.
In one week I will be comforting my scared daughter.
In one week I will be longing for the comforts of home.
In one week I will have traveled 8,000 miles...only half of the journey.
In one week I will be breathing easier with my daughter in my arms.  
In one week...168 hours from now.
One.  Week.


It's hard to explain how you feel when you are looking towards a 23 hour day of travel to fly across the world to be united with your child.  My feelings right now are calm.  I'm quite amazed actually.  I'm sitting in the quietness of my home trying to formulate words for my final blog post as a single woman sans kids!  I just feel like every bit of effort, time, money, and energy I've put into this journey is about to come to fruition.  That is a wonderful feeling, but also a feeling of such calmness and rightness...as if I'm so certain this is what I'm supposed to do in my life at this moment.  God has prepared me for this exact purpose and for that I'm extremely grateful!  I'm praying he maintains this sense of peace within my soul throughout the next two weeks...and beyond.  There have been questions and doubts along the journey, but not now.  Everyone has asked me..."how are you feeling?"  I feel great!  I wonder how I should feel that within a few days from now my whole life is about to change?  ha!!  Should I be scared of the journey to come?  

I have packed, charged batteries, stuffed small toys into side pockets of our luggage, purchased prescriptions for any number of illnesses that may occur, precisely organized my paperwork for the officials, reserved plane seats, read about attachment, adoption, single parenting, cleaned the house, left instructions/requests for my mom and my neighbor, paid the bills ahead of time, and most importantly prayed it up! 

So as I get ready to embark on the journey ahead, I ask you to pray for Molly, Eddie, and me.  I don't know where I'd be without the blogging community!  I will keep the blog updated as best I can through my good friend, Danielle.  So keep checking in!!

*  For detailed prayer requests specific for our itinerary, check under the "Journey to China" page.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Journey to China!

Travel Dates
April 28th - May 13th, 2010
 

Daily Prayer Requests`

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Date

City

Activity

Specific   Request

April   28th

Nashville

Leave   for Detroit-Tokyo-Beijing

Safe, smooth travel

April   29th

Beijing

Arrive   in Bejing and check into Best Western Premier Hotel

Energy and strength as we deal with   time change, new environment, and jet lag

April   30th

Beijing

Free   Day

Pray for all of our travel group as we   all meet today

May   1st

Beijing

Sightseeing:  Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer   Palace

Pray for the orphans in China who do   not have families waiting for them.

May   2nd

Beijing

Church   Service; Great Wall

Pray for the People of China, that   they will know the love of Jesus!

May   3rd

Jiangxi

Arrive   in Jiangxi

Pray that God uses this time to   prepare Molly and me to meet; that he works in supernatural ways to create a   connection between us the moment we meet.

May   4th

Jiangxi

;MOLLY   DAY ;


Civil   Affairs Appointment

Praise God for His Blessings!  After 5 years I have been united with my   daughter!

May   5th

Jiangxi

Free   Day

Pray for Molly’s adjustment to us and   my adjustment to her.

May   6th

Jiangxi

Free   Day

Pray that I can comfort Molly as she   grieves the loss of everything that is familiar to her.

May   7th

Guangzhou

Arrive   in Guangzhou

Pray for our health and energy for the   second phase of the journey.

May   8th

Guangzhou

Molly’s   Medical Exam

Pray that Molly is healthy today at   her Medical Exam.  Pray that we would   move quickly through this step and that Molly will be treated gently by the   medical staff there.

May   9th


MOTHER’S   DAY

Guangzhou

Free   Day

Praise God for blessing me this Mother’s   Day!

May   10th

Guangzhou

Consulate   Appointment

Pray that all of the necessary   paperwork is in order and completed in a timely manner

May   11th

Guangzhou

Consulate   Oath taking Ceremony

Pray that I may know, understand, and   be equipped to live out the call that God has given me to parent Molly.

May   12th

Guangzhou

Get   Molly’s Visa


Travel   to Hong Kong



Pray that the connection between Molly   and me is growing deeper and deeper with each day.

May   13th

Hong   Kong

Leave   for HOME!!!

Pray for our flights home, that we   would be able to sit together and that Molly would be comfortable and happy   for the long flight/s  home. 


Sunday, April 25, 2010

last minute projects...

I had wanted to clean up and paint my garage ever since I moved in last summer.  Finally this spring I painted it a beautiful 'chocolate froth' from Home Depot and taped off space for a chalkboard for Molly, Madison, and Eddie to play with.  I love the idea and would have enjoyed this extra large space when I was a kid if I had it!  Of course I added pink hooks, a pink alphabet chart I found at TJ Maxx, pink shelves, pink frames, etc. 

Molly's "lipstick" stroller!  Really, that is the name of it...lipstick!  I have to admit, it was the main reason I registered for this one.
 I also painted the kitchen door and added these organizational hooks.  I love the quote on the door I enter after a hard days work!  I bought it at Michael's.
I kept debating between a high chair or booster seat to save space.  I decided a high chair would keep things a bit neater and would keep her "contained" for a moment if I'm finishing dinner in the kitchen or cleaning up.  I can roll her in the kitchen with me...hope she like it!
Maple "seeds" or helicopters are covering my yard and street at the moment!  
I'm being overtaken with PAPERWORK!  I'll be SO HAPPY to be home with Molly and not responsible for keeping official government documents, immigration papers, and adoption stuff all around!
Will it all fit????  That is the question.  I have two days to condense!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm thankful

I am so blessed.  I want to record all of the specific ways God has worked throughout this adoption journey here in one place.  I never want to forget how his hand has guided me in this process.  Throughout the last 5 years I've felt his "wink" of approval (if you will) and over the last 3 months it has been so strong I couldn't deny God was in control.

Fall 2005...God places me in a wonderful school, with a great team, and a Christian principal.  I know with the support I have there I can pursue being a single mom. Achieve National Board Certification which gives me a nice yearly bonus that will go towards funding my adoption.
February 2006...Completed my 2005 tax returns and received a refund with exactly the amount (within a few dollars) to pay off my car and pay for the $250 application to my adoption agency
Placed on singles waiting list
September 2006...Begin paperwork/paper chase/paper pregnancy
January 2007...Met another adoptive mom (a stranger) in a store and discovered many similarities.We are both teachers, single, and will name our daughters very similar names.
February 25, 2007 Log in Date
mid 2007...China closes doors to single parent applicants, but I'm in through the old rules!!!!  Had I waited any longer to begin the process I would not have been able to adopt from China.
June 2007...Received a $3,000 grant!
Read blogs, start researching and studying adoption, meet many wonderful adoptive families...start to consider special needs
Spring 2009...start to look for a house
find a great foreclosure that puts me in an older and nicer neighborhood I would not have thought of originally.
Close on my house, it's located on the exact street I used to babysit for several families many years ago.  I know my neighbors!!

November 2009...complete special needs application, feeling confident that this is where my daughter is
View 5 different files of children before I see my daughter.  Not accepting those children was heart wrenching, but necessary in order to find Molly.
February 2010...finally see Molly's face
fellow adoptive mom puts me into contact with other adoptive parents who have children with similar needs.
Things go smoothly, paperwork completed and filed, showers are planned, home is prepared
*  God shows me one of the girls I had looked at before I saw Molly... she has a family!  I'm truly at peace knowing he's working every detail out!*

Eddie is able to go with me to China...a blessing!

My greatest fear is financial...The end of the journey is the most expensive!
April 11, 2010...have large friend/family shower and have a "money tree".  over $1,200 is given!!!!!!!!!
Flight tickets are reserved, agency calls to tell me my rountrip ticket is $1,233.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
April 20, 2010...go to the mailbox and open a check for $836.33 (I was not expecting this, but it is a refund from my Escrow acct. from last year)  Molly's plane ticket is $833.00!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, I needed about $7,500 to take to China...the week I got my referral in February I had a minor flood in my home.  It was a nightmare, but maybe a blessing in disguise at the time.  The work was not done properly and the company refunded me $632.50 plus my Insurance readjusted the damage and added $1,475 to the original estimate.  My tax return gave me $1,140 dollars back and my NB mentoring job paid me $750 for the work from last year.  That totals half of what I need.  The remainder I had already saved. 

I'm only documenting this because the money was my biggest fear at this point in the journey.  People said "it will come" and I thought, no...that never happens to me!  How often do you just "find" money you were not expecting?  But it truly did come to me that way.  I know it was God working it out for me. 

It's not to say I still haven't had to charge many agency fees over the last few months and I still have carpet that looks like *?!*, but I can live with it for while longer until we are back from China and have recovered a bit financially. 

There were SO MANY "God winks" on this journey.  Too many to list, but hopefully I've recorded them throughout the journey and will remember when I needed an encouragement from HIM, he was here in HIS perfect timing. 

The road to and through international adoption is overwhelming at times!  Add to that, as a single person, I felt like it was/is all on my shoulders.  It is only me who can be responsible for filing the paperwork, keeping things in order, packing the right things, taking the right amount of money, sending things in correctly.  Looking back, now I can just say....wheeewwww!  I did it!  I'm so glad I'm here looking back at what has been accomplished.  I'm not saying this to be boastful, but I'm only saying this to remember it was hard, overwhelming, but doable. 

As I closed school yesterday and left everything in the hands of my Interim Teacher, I felt such a relief.  A relief of leaving the stresses of school and work to look forward with expectation at what is about to happen in a matter of days for me.  I'm so ready.  I'm at peace.  My principal took me and my Assistant Principal in his office and prayed for me, my trip, and for Molly.  What a true gift! 

Finally, I'll close with a fun fact!  Madison was born on March 3rd, Little Eddie was born on August 3rd, and God seeing fit to include Molly with her cousins has chosen May 3rd to be the first day I meet her!  Molly Day is May 3rd!!  In his sovereignty he has also "arranged" for me to actually have my daughter the week before Mother's Day!  What a true gift!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

China or Bust...travel dates!!

April 28 - May 13, 2010
Let the countdown begin!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blog Friends are the Greatest!

I mentioned on the previous post how generous my friends and family have been.  I also have to give a huge shout out to some friends I have "met" through my blog who have been so nice to Molly!  My very first gift was a very generous Target gift card from a loyal reader, Suzie.  Thanks again!  Then my friends Danielle and Jill sent me contributions to the "Molly fund"!  Thanks girls!  And then, last week I came home to a package at my front door from another reader, Brenna, who I've not met in real life but thought of me during this special time.  Brenna, that meant so much to me!  Your gift (bath toys...a necessity!)  was put to good use this week when Madison came over to try out all of Molly's toys and things!

Shower of Blessings...

Last Sunday we had my second and final shower in preparation to bring Molly home.

 My friends made this cute invitation with Molly's picture on it...


I typed this Question/Answer sheet for all of the guests to take home and read.  Everyone has the same questions and curiosities in the world of adoption, so I thought I'd make it easy and answer the most common questions up front.
 All the wonderful hostesses
 These petifores were simple, beautiful and delicious!  


These little fortune cookies were the party favors and had individual prayer requests with scripture I had sent to one of the hostesses.  Love the detail!
Molly's coming home dress from Mama Maze
This is a really cute 'sign in' idea from one of the lovely hostesses!  I have a special place in her nursery for it!
Ambre and Me...I'm excited to be able to experience motherhood with her!
Opening presents...such FUN!
Molly's first backpack!  I love it!
Stop opening gifts for a quick hug from Eddie!!  Love it!
Madison had to make her arrival also!
Super cute...Mama Maze with her grandkids and 2 daycare kiddos!
My third grade teacher made this lavender afghan for Molly!
My best friends mom made this Asian blanket with matching purse for Molly!
Eddie...looking for something to play with that isn't pink!
This is such a treasure...my third grade teacher and my fourth grade teacher came to celebrate with me!
Everyone on the left of the picture are faithful friends from church and the lady on the right is my first grade teacher!  She is still teaching after 38 years!!!!!!!!!!!!
My Granny
My Grandma (pray for her...she fell Friday night flat on her face on the street as she walking to her neighbors and broke her nose and fractured her wrist.  She is all black and blue, but doing OK and is at home)
Three Gorgeous Blondes!!!
This is a wonderful friend I met during my first year of teaching.  She was a retired teacher who substitute taught at my school and I have stayed in touch with her through the years.  The other lady is my best friend from Elementary/Middle/High School, Carey.
Another wonderful retired teacher, she was the first teacher in my district to get maternity leave for adoption!
Me, my cousin, Jill, my uncle, Tim, and my aunt Julie
My besties!!  Amber and Deb (Candace was not able to attend)
Me, my aunt Faye, and my cousins
The shower coordinators!!!  Thanks Donna and Kelly!!  It was wonderful!  Kelly, I owe you big time when you get married!!
More family
We had a money basket and amazingly I collected enough money to pay for my complete plane ticket (round trip) to China!!  Thank you, everyone!!
All the loot!  I got some wonderful presents.  

When it was over I enjoyed packing it all up and taking it home and opening it all again. It was just so fun to turn my home into a 'toddler friendly' place!  The shower was perfect!  Everything I ever wanted my baby shower to be.  Great food, Great people, and fun gifts!  

My heart continues to overflow with thankfulness to everyone who has been so generous to Molly and me!  Thank you!!

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