I started this post the day before we left China:
As our time in China draws to a close, I am reflecting on God's goodness. Not just over the past 8 months, but over the last 9 years. If you'd told me that God would grow our family by 8 children in 9 years, I wouldn't have believed it.
We've heard amazing testimony of God's sovereignty in the last 2 weeks. We knew that many families were fully funded within a week or so of travel - praise God! But there have been so many things that only God could orchestrate and bring to fruition. The timing of our travel was nothing short of miraculous! The timing of meeting friends (old and new) while in China was amazing! The timing of Brad and Kim's availability to move into our home and care for our family was incredible! I truly stand in awe of HIM!
It's true the enemy tried so many schemes to destroy our joy, but the enemy is not victorious! Three weeks before we left we still needed over half the funds to complete the adoption. One and a half weeks before we left we had an ice/snow storm that left us without power for days. Because of the outage I wasn't able to prepare the food I'd planned for the family while we were gone. We weren't able to work during that time. We learned that our in-country costs were much higher than estimated. Our travel to China was one nightmare after another with delays and missed flights, making us arrive a day late, only to find out our Gotcha Day would also be delayed, due to another reason. And so on...but GOD! He allowed these things to happen, and HE worked out every detail.
Catching a much-needed cat nap on the luggage during our 7 hour layover in Beijing...
And now it is 5 am, and although I thought I was gonna kick this jet lag, tain't so! I didn't sleep a wink last night. I am determined to press through it today and not give in to the 2 pm shutdown of my tired body. I'll let ya' know how that turns out :)
My inability to sleep gives me lots of time to talk to the Lord. I am still overwhelmed by all that transpired over the last few weeks. I can't believe our friends would move their entire family to our home (a state away) and not only care for our children, but entertain them and love them the whole time. I can't believe the only time Kim had to cook for this krew was the weekends because the church provided food the rest of the time. I can't believe so many people showed up at the airport to welcome us home. I can't believe how well Khloie has taken to her siblings. I was afraid her shy self would struggle so much with the realization she is not an only child :) Quite the opposite actually. My goodness, she loves the attention. She has already explored the entire house. She has said new words, out loud! In fact, we are reining in a little because she would be perfectly content with her sisters feeding her full-time and Mommy just scooting out of the picture. So, things will need to be a little different today.
Just the two of us going to China was a much-needed time of bonding for Khloie. She needed to know who Daddy and Mommy are, and we needed to give our full attention to her. With ten kiddos at home, we pretty much hit the ground runnin' once we are home. We are so grateful for the time to refocus.
But I know some things about myself.
*I like soft beds.
*I like routine.
*I like my tiny shower with soft water.
*I like doing my own laundry.
*I like my drinks with ice, please.
*I like preparing meals.
*I like ground travel...
But seriously, all selfishness aside, we witnessed so many miracles while in China!
*Khloie's transition has been incredible
*Hiccups for families in our group caused us to pause and pray right there in the lobby of the ginormous Garden Hotel lobby (and every one of those prayers were answered!!!)
*We met friends we never dreamed we'd get the chance to meet
*As a group we witnessed to one of our guides in *GZ, a family bought her a Bible and she'd already started reading it before we left
*We attended an international ch*rch where 50 countries are represented
*We never got sick
The day before we left China I pulled a doozy! In a rush to get a pic with a dear friend I'd only met on line until last week, I lost my camera battery. Yep, totally lost it. Only phone pics after that. Had the entire hotel staff searching for the battery. Turns out, it had fallen into a gift bag my friend delivered to an orphanage that day :) Ah well.
Truth is, we have so much to be thankful for! I'm sure there will be lots of pictures to follow, but for now I will share some of the phone pix I took and some of the airport pix from my friend, Anita.
Goofin' at the Terra Cotta Warriors...
We were so captivated by this archaeological find
Buckwheat tea...my fav!
Saying goodbye to Xi'an, bittersweet.
And in Guangzhou...
Fried rice noodles with beef, yumilicious!
My favorite flower arrangement at the Garden. So many beautiful flowers!
Stroller, no thank you!
On a quest for something the Peanut would eat, we found baby cereal. Finally a full tummy! It's only a matter of time now ~ she loves mac n' cheese!
Ah, sweet sweet Rebecca! Not everyone can name all my kiddos :)
First Wal-Mart shopping experience. In China, no less!
This daddy loves kids! If his own aren't around, he'll find others to love on. Love this man!
Just two of the amazing friends I met ~ Angie and Amy!
Another precious friend ~ Sonia!
Thank you, M'Dee's OJ in the HK airport!
At the airport~
Look at that beautiful greeting party!
Kasidi Joy walked to me...and then we both melted!
Oh, the joy!
In biggest sister's arms!
First day home~
After a 1 am party in the living room, we all went to bed :)
Breakfast was glorious!
Jet lag :)
Trying the chicken feet we brought home. Eww, no thanks!
And despite the fact that Ms. Kim had my house clean and the laundry completely done (seriously!?!), there's no denying that today is laundry day!
Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for loving our family!
As we reflect on what the Lord has done, just watch and see what He will do...