Count of Chicks for Children

God's Plan For Us

This is our journey - God's incredible plan for our lives. When we followed the moving of the Holy Spirit, He opened the windows of Heaven and poured out upon us blessings we never dreamed of! Indescribable joy!

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Xiaoyun (Evelyn)is a beautiful girl with a beautiful heart. I cannot imagine the courage it took for her to leave all that is familiar. We did the paperwork as soon as we got to the adoption affairs office, which is far different than what we are used to. The other two adoptions, we went to the Civil affairs office and it was all very formal. Here we were just in their offices with people coming and going, and most of them were just waiting on us to get there and do the paperwork. Since we came right before a holiday (Labor Day) they were rushing the paperwork through. Xiaoyun was there waiting on us and was so sad it broke my heart. Her foster parents were there and I was able to meet them. Her foster mom and I sat and cried together. I wish we had had time to get check in at the hotel before meeting her, because it was chaotic getting unpacked and settled in. She is being such a great help with Enya Li. Enya really listens to her (unlike me ;-) As far as the sleeping arrangements, I asked the guide to ask her if she wanted to sleep in a separate bed and she said she wanted to sleep with me. She has given me kisses and hugs, hops up into my lap when we Skype, and asked me to dry and brush her hair after her shower. She gave me a slender silver ring that she placed on the finger beside my wedding ring. Such a precious moment. We painted her fingernails today and I think she enjoyed that. She loved getting her camera and we were both excited when we realized we could change the directions on it into Pinyin so she could read it. Both girls are very lovely and we look forward to getting them home!

Friday, April 29, 2011

As I sit here typing my two beautiful new daughters lie sleeping peacefully near me. It has been a whirlwind that has left my head spinning, and I've barely had time to catch my breath and reflect on what has transpired in the last 5 days (has it only been 5 days!!!!?). We were in Harbin such a short time we only saw the few stores around the hotel and then the streets we went through to get to and from the Civil Affairs Office. Everyone involved in Enya Li's adoption were so very kind, and truly cared for her well being. I was asked several times, by different ones, if we would be able to get her eye fixed (the drooping eyelid). I did reassure them that that was first on the list once she was comfortable enough to have the surgery, and then they asked for pictures after the surgery was complete. They do not have many adoptions from her orphanage. It is very small (around 100 children) and many have special needs.
Enya Li was all smiles very shortly after I met her. She pulled out her photo album we sent her and could point out all the family and knew her big brothers and sisters. It was obvious her Nanny had been working with her on them. I was able to meet her nanny, since she traveled with Enya Li to meet me. She had been Enya's nanny since she was brought to the orphanage as a baby. Enya is very affectionate and free with kisses and hugs. She also is a strong willed child :-)!!!! If we are in the safe boundaries of the room she does pretty well, but once we leave the room she either must be carried or will sit down in the floor and throw a fit. I used to be the mother who said 'My kids will never do that!' ;-) Now I'm saying"Please don't do that -I'll give you anything you want- just don't scream!" Of course, right now we're in a place where some aren't particularly fond of a foreigner adopting and I'm sure many are thinking I'm kidnapping Enya. The funny thing is, Enya will obey whatever someone speaking Mandarin tells her and does it immediately - just not for me (or Mom). The guide here in Evelyn Xiaoyun's province said she likes to hear Enya talk because her accent is what true Mandarin sounds like.
We left Harbin yesterday morning for a two part flight to Guiyang.We had 2 hours before our flight left and Enya started getting ansy. A kind family talked with her, and then a young man came over and introduced himself. He had overheard us talking to the family and he asked questions about adopting and took our picture to put on what he called his 'microblog'. He ended up helping with our luggage getting on the plane and also when we exited after the flight. We flew to Beijing, had a four hour layover and then another 3 hour flight. Enya enjoyed the plane, but we had issues with wearing the seatbelt, and had to get flight attendance to help us out. At the Beijing airport Enya started getting upset and by the time it was over we were sitting in the middle of Beijing International with Enya kicking , screaming, and trying her best to get away from me. when I say sitting I mean on the floor surrounded by many people waiting to catch their flight. I'm fairly confidant that all of them would have called me an unfit mother. After several failed attempts to find someone who spoke English, a woman walked up and offered to talk to her (she spoke English!). I'm pretty positive it was an angel. She picked Enya up and held her and asked her what was wrong. Somehow Enya had gotten into her mind that the police were coming to take her away for being bad. I don't know if someone told her that (a lot of people spoke to her throughout the day and I couldn't understand what they were telling her, so who knows how she got the idea in her mind. Well, the woman starts telling me what Enya had said, and I just start bawling - my own meltdown, I suppose. After that she calmed down, but it was a long lay over and a long day. The flight from Beijing to Guiyang seemed to take forever. Both Mom and I were exhausted - from jet lag and Enya Li. We were hoping from some rest, but it didn't happen. Enya was busy the entire trip. Everything is so new for her and I think she is in sensory overload.Once we landed in Guiyang our guide took us straight to the adoption affairs office to meet Evelyn Xiaoyun. I'd hope we would have a chance to freshen up, but no such luck. She was there waiting for us. She is wonderful, so sweet, and she has been quite a help with Enya. She knows about 100 English words and we have a pocket translator that has proven invaluable. It was difficult for her to leave her foster family - she has been with them for 9 years now. Her foster mom said they couldn't afford to adopt her themselves and wanted her to be able to get surgery that they could have not provided. I cannot even imagine what they must be feeling right now. They were comforted by seeing photos of the extended family and knowing she would be loved by family and friends. They requested photos after Xiaoyun's surgery, if we are able to get the surgery.... Virgil here, please continue to pray for all these ladies. Cindy really needs strength and wisdom to handle what's ahead.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Received from Cindy this afternoon... It has been a day - but we are safe and have both our daughters, and at this point, that is all I ask. Evelyn is so sad and so is foster mom and dad. It broke my heart and we sat and cried together. The flight was a nightmare but we're alive. All I want to do now is get the girls settled. We have to be back to the lobby at 8:30 to finish paperwork. Cindy ............. As you can see, it has been an ordeal the past twenty four hours. Pray for strength and discernment for Cindy and Wanda. We ask for God to calm the hearts of these little girls. Evelyn is thirteen and has been with her foster parents for seven or eight years. We knew it would be difficult for Evelyn and want to be as sensitive as possible to this young ladies needs. Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cindy sent this out earlier...
just finished packing. We leave tomorrow morning at 7:30 heading toward Evelyn Xiaoyun. Enya Li is incredible! She has such a tender, generous heart. She never eats or drinks without sharing with us first - even if we don't want it ;-)! Her hugs and kisses are freely given, which has been a very pleasant surprise. When we left the adoption affairs office today, we were telling the director goodbye in English and Enya Li turned around and said goodbye - also in English and gave her the I love you sign (which we had been doing on skype the night before with Baba and Em). We were all laughing and shocked!!! She picks up on things quickly and repeats English words back quite a bit. The assistant director of her orphanage was there for the final paperwork today, and so were the orphanage officals here locally, and all were very kind and took tons of pictures. They somehow managed to not only get everything notorized quicker than normal, they also were able to obtain her passport and will have it for us when we leave for the airport in the morning! Our guide, as well as our adoption agency representative in Beijing were shocked. It is normally a long process and they had been hoping we would get it in a couple of weeks. What a praise!!! Enya Li likes to be held all the time, especially when we leave the room. She loves to sing and look at books. She is very neat, and when she takes off clothes she folds them neatly and puts them away.

Be in prayer for the two flights tomorrow that they will go well and that we are refreshed when we see Evelyn Xiaoyun, thank for all the prayers, will write more when able, love to all.
I was able to spend a few minutes this morning with Cindy and Enya on Skype. What a beautiful little girl Enya is! To see her hugging and kissing Cindy is the sweetest thing I've seen lately... I've seen a lot of sweetness as of late. It's obvious that two of the three are worn out. However, what great attitudes and determination. It is wonderful to see how God is leading through this marvelous journey. I do know the ladies are looking forward to going south. This province or area does not cater to well to westerners. Not to many adoptions come out of Heilongjiang. So I look forward to them leaving here as well. Not to mention that Cindy and Wanda were looking forward to a nice set down breakfast, hasn't happened. Cindy says the only thing woorth eating has been some hard boiled eggs. And she's not fond of eggs! Enya is just a lovely little girl and is keeping both Wanda nad Cindy on their toes. Pray for safe travel as they depart for Guiyang this evening at 10:00pm. They'll receive Evelyn at the hotel upon arrival about 7:00am eastern time April 28. Thanks for all your prayers!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is how our Gotcha day with Enya is playing out... The first few minutes were great as well. We were told she had saw other kids get chosen and wanted to have a family herself. The lady who brought her has been her nanny the entire time. She has smiled almost continuously. She puts her arms up to be held all the time and is sitting in my lap as I type. she just comes up, puts out her arms and when you lean down she gives you a big kiss. I so wish you were here with us!!!!! I almost lost it when I saw her come in with her bag and she pulled out the things in her bag and there were tomatoes!!!! They had her in new clothes and new light up shoes (Mi Ya-ya!!)She found the shoes I brought and before I knew what she was doing she had already put the new ones on and laughed and laughed. We are going to McDonald's to get some lunch and then to Walmart for a suitcase. Just finished Skyping with Cindy and Enya has had a major melt down. Cindy called the guide who spoke with Enya. She is upset that she'll not see her friends again. We're very pleased to see this emotion. I was able to talk with Cindy, Wanda and Enya for over an hour this morning and she had calmed greatly. She sat in Cindy's lap for the majority of time we talked. Enya is very affectionate and freely gives Cindy hugs and kisses. She is such a beautiful baby. It's amazing to see God's hand at work continually in this journey. We are blessed beyond measure.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yeah! We've been trying and trying to get through. The guide will meet us at 9:00 to go to civil affairs office so I'd think we'll meet her around 9:30-10. She said the people at orphanage have the kids broke down into little family units with one nanny and a few kids that all stay in the same room, versus dormitory, and the orphanage is small - around a hundred kids or so. There is another family picking up a 3 year old, I think from her orphanage, and the guide will introduce us to them tomorrow. They said we'll have notorized paperwork before we leave and that the passport will be sent to Guangzhou on time for our consulate appointments. She said Enya hasn't ever spoken to her, but does make eye contact every time she is there. She said they are all so happy that Enya is finally getting adopted after waiting so long. I got the impression that she is behind a bit developmentally, because she made mention of the fact she only goes to preschool at the orphanage and she is in a class with kids who have cerebral palsy, and if she had been adopted when she was 2-3 she wouldn't be so far behind academically. She also said they were glad a family was getting her who had already adopted, since we understand some of the challenges associated with a child who is an orphan. They think it will be good for Enya to have a sister her age and that I will be staying home with her. She seems to really care for these little ones and was very open and seemed very grateful for what we were doing. I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her in the morning!!!!! I've got my bag of goodies to take with us, and also have laid out all the other things that might make her smile (beach ball, fruit loops, etc) once we get back to the room.
The room is nice and our room is facing the river. The only drawback is it is a smoking room and they don't have any non-smoking rooms available so our eyes are on fire, but at least it is only for three nights.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cindy and Wanda left this morning for China. Gotcha Day for Enya - April 26, and Evelyn - April 28. What a wonderful way to start our Easter with the excitement of adding two more daughters to our family. We've been blessed beyond measure in these past few weeks watching God orchestrate His plans. Pray for health, wisdom and bonding in these next few days. It was a little sad walking into the house without seeing Cindy's beautiful smile and the joy she brings to all of our lives. The sadness will soon pass as we approach May 14, and the opportunity to meet our new daughters and sisters. Again, please continue to pray for these ladies and these little girls as they say goodbye to their friends and all they know. Remember Elli while her Mama is away. I sent an email earlier and asked Elli if there was anything she wanted me to pass on to her Mama, Elli said to tell Mama "I love you with all my heart." Pray that Elli sleeps well and has peace. Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Travel Approval!!!!!

We have travel approval!!! My mom and I will leave Easter morning and return May 14 with two beautiful girls! Enya Li's Gotcha Day is April 27 and Evelyn's is May 2 (we will actually get them probably the evening of the 26th and evening of the 1st -our time- they are thirteen hours ahead).

Friday, April 8, 2011

The paperwork is now in China, waiting to go to the US Consulate. Hopefully, we'll have firm travel dates on Tuesday (they don't process this type of paperwork on Mondays). It is a relief to know the paperwork I'm responsible for, is finished. Now I can focus on getting things ready to pack! We did hear today that Evelyn likes to read and her favorite color is red, and Enya likes to sing and dance and play with dolls. She and Elli share the same interests! It is hard to believe that I'll be typing these messages from China in less than three weeks!!!!!!! Just a little longer, my daughters!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Paperwork at National Visa Center- hopefully being expedited as I type. Beijing is saying perhaps Gotcha days will be April 27 for Enya Li and May 2 for Evelyn Xiaoyun! Sooner than we'd even hoped for!!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

We have LOA's!!!! We received our Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Adopter from China this morning on both of our girls! We checked the box that said we accept the adoptee mentioned above, signed, and sent both letters on to our immigration officer. One more major step out of the way. Hopefully I'll be on a plane in 4 weeks!