Thursday, October 31, 2013

We need your prayers

Julie is throwing up, and Hope refuses to leave her side. Hope seems extra scared.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sickness has hit mom

Last night Julie was up throughout the night with a sick stomach. In addition, Hope (for the first time) kept waking up crying. Also, she talked in her sleep, and in the talking, all we could understand was "mama". We knew who she was talking about.

Mom is her comforter, but with Julie sick and weak, we are not sure what the day may bring.

We exist on your prayers! Thank you!

Andrew, "Hope can't talk! All she can do is talk in baby talk." Actually, that would be called "Mandarin Chinese". =)

Computer craziness

We can't tell what is being posted. We are blocked from most of the internet, and most of our e-mails do not go through.

In addition, when we try to post through our Blogger app, MOST of the time it cannot post either. We are sick over this.

Just to let everyone know, everyone on our team is well--including the Anderegg family. (Thanks for asking!)

Hope is doing well but having a few adjustments issues. We are working together as a family to help her. She has moments of being terrified and crying, and moments of sheer happiness with lots of giggling. Thus, our focus has been on her and helping her to find comfort in our family.

Mom spends much of her time doing laundry in the tub, allowing it to drip-drop overnight, and then the next day blow drying and ironing the laundry. On her "free time", she is holding Hope or holding Hope's hand. Surprisingly, Hope has bonded to mom more than anyone else in the family.

Someone is going to help us with our computer this afternoon. We're going to try to get pictures up today. Thanks for sticking with us and praying for us!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Leaving Beijing for Zhenzhou to get Hope

Today is Sunday, October 27--one more day until we get Hope. We woke up at 4:30 a.m. in order to get our luggage together, set it outside the hotel door for the bellmen to pick it up, and then still have a few minutes for a quick breakfast. Then, off we went to the airport.

Our flight was for 9:05 a.m. We checked in at the airport, and taxied to the airplane by bus (China Southern Airlines). We found our seats and sat. Since we were waiting for quite some time, Cherish and Julie once again had their UNO wars. The time passed quickly.

Soon people began exiting the plane--which had mechanical problems. So we got back on the bus and went back to the gate. We continued to wait, then around 11:00 a.m. they served us lunch (meat balls, chicken nuggets, vegetables, and rice). We were very thankful.

There was a play room at the airport for the children--which definitely helped pass the time. We re-boarded the plane around 12:45 p.m. They pulled me aside, as well as the other men, and had the us sign a form, in order to give each of us money back (400¥ = about $70 US dollars). This was a pleasant surprise.

It was about a two-hour flight to Zhengzhou. When we arrived in Zhengzhou and got through baggage claim, it was so late that the bank was closed (a necessity in order to exchange money for some of the adoption fees). But fortunately, we had exchanged enough money in Beijing that we had enough money exchanged for the nanny gifts. I will head to the bank tomorrow AFTER we get Hope. We leave the hotel at 9:30 a.m. Monday with our group to get our children.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


"I'm glad to be back where I look like everyone else. But, I like living in America better, because I understand what everybody's saying." =)

She concluded that she may be able to comprehend how Hope will feel when she comes to us and cannot understand us. Her heart was grieved for what Hope will experience.

First full day in China

After a full night's rest, we decided to venture out to the Beijing Zoo and Aquarium.

In the taxi going to the aquarium--no car seats.
The children couldn't believe this.

At the Aquarium the children got dolphin lanyards. After seeing how much Andrew and Cherish enjoyed the lanyards, we decided to get another one so we could give it to Hope when we receive her.

Cherish and Andrew with their lanyards:

Dolphin show:

Afterwards we searched for the Giant Panda. And when I say "searched", we searched! First, we don't speak Chinese so asking directions was out of the question.  Every sign pointing to the Panda bear was wrong. It was like someone was running ahead of us and changing ALL the signs. 

During our search, we walked by a group of photographers who were taking pictures of swans and ducks on a lake. When the photographers saw us walk by, many of them immediately turned their cameras on us. After lots of pictures(!!!!) and feeling quite awkward, the photographers gave us "thumbs up" signals and patted their hearts as if to say "you have good hearts". Then, they walked toward us to talk with us. We went to meet them, and one lady who spoke English said, "They are lucky children." Actually, we are the lucky ones! We are so blessed to be the parents of these precious children!
 At the end of the all the pictures,
Derek took his camera and took pictures
of the photographers greeting and talking with us:

And then, we finally found the four Panda bears--at the end of our time at the zoo. It was worth the search.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Divine Intervention

When I wrote yesterday's post, we hadn't yet reached our hotel. So, I'd like to take this opportunity to praise the LORD for watching over us, and to fill you in on what happened after we exited the airplane.

It took us over two hours to get through customs and immigration, retrieve our luggage, wait around for our umbrella strollers to be hand delivered, exchange some money, have a bathroom break, and have another bathroom break as little guy had an accident. We didn't realize so much time had passed when we began looking for information and instructions for getting on the subway. Little did we know we were lining ourselves up to be in the Beijing subway at rush hour, with luggage, with children, and with extreme tiredness from jetlag. (Click here to view the video of the "Beijing subway at rush hour"!) 

A Chinese man began watching us as we got in line for our train tickets. He kept his eye on us as we went through security and then asked us if he could assist us getting the two umbrella strollers through the gate--which at that point had just rolled off the security belt. We allowed him to help--as it seemed everyone was in a hurry, and we didn't want to block anyone.

We had packed lightly. For five people, we had packed two medium pieces of rolling luggage that the strollers could attach to, one rolling "carry on", a backpack and a camera case. Thus, Derek could roll two, and I could roll one and still have a free hand to hold Andrew's hand, who was holding Cherish's hand. We were ready for an adventure but unaware what was ahead.

The man helped us onto the first train. No problem. It was above ground and the first/last leg of the line. Not many people.

The Chinese man began talking to us--in perfect English and without an accent! One of the first things the man said was for Derek to wear his backpack on the front of him. (It was more of an order than a suggestion.) Derek turned his backpack around.

Over the course of time, the man told us we would be getting off where the train intersects with the subway. He said we would get off and get a cab. Told us. He did not suggest this idea. He told us we would get off! Derek asked why he thought we needed to exit the train/subway. The man said, "You have luggage, so you will be distracted. You will be the perfect target for a pick-pocket. And, you have children." He didn't say much more about it, but we knew he was serious.

When we arrived at the appropriate stop, he told us to follow him. Told us! We were nervous to follow a perfect stranger into an area we did not know, but we felt compelled to do as he commanded. We all got off the train, and he kept a close eye on the children. He told us exactly what to do and kept instructing us to follow him.

He got us outside the train station and told us to stay put. He went and got a taxi, began asking us for our bags, and instructed us to get in the cab--as he began putting our luggage into the trunk of the cab. Then, he came to the window and said, "I have instructed the driver exactly where to take you. He will take you to your hotel."

He tapped on the window as a sign for the driver to take off, and simultaneously said, "And I already paid for your cab!" as the driver was driving away. Derek and I gasped. The man was out of earshot before we could even thank him.

At that split second, images of child abduction, child loss (from separation), stolen passports and stolen adoption money stang my mind. I bust into tears of thanksgiving.

After the children were in bed, Derek and I talked about the whole situation. We discovered we had very similar images go through our minds the moment the man said, "And I already paid for your cab!" Also, we each kept hearing in our heads the phrase, "Divine intervention". We are convinced God placed that man in our path to rescue us from potential horror. (While the man was with us, the Scripture verse that says we can "entertain angels unaware" kept going through my head.)

We lifted--and continue to lift--our hearts in overflowing gratitude for God's intervention and for the prayers of the Saints. Thank you for praying for us on this journey!

We are so thankful for a God Who knows the future, and Who chooses to intervene on behalf of His children! 

(Here's another video of the "Beijing subway at rush hour". Imagine finding yourself in the middle of this with children, luggage, jetlag, etc.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

China bound!

We are safely in China!

Derek and I would like to say an extra special "Thank You" to all who prayed for Andrew. He woke up without a sniffle or fever. We are ever so thankful for God's healing!

Cherish and Andrew were troopers getting ready to leave the States. Both children surprised me with being up early--without me waking them up. When I got out of the shower at 2:30 a.m., Cherish was already up and had already gotten herself and Andrew dressed down to their shoes!

In addition, she folded the blankets that daddy had used during the night (when he was lying in the living room not feeling well). She also carefully laid out their pajamas for when we return home--all before I even knew she was even awake!

Also, we said she could take her little backpack for items she would like to enjoy on the plane. This morning, her backpack was full of items she AND Andrew would enjoy--with the largest items belonging to Andrew. She loves him so much!

This trip was surprisingly "easy". Both children were AMAZING travelers! Both were flexible and had great spirits. How thankful we are!

Cherish and I had Uno wars (score keeping) on the plane, and it was so nice just to relax--finally--and concentrate on having fun with the children.

BTW, Derek and I were surprised to have had the same feeling: like we were coming home again. And, hey, after this third adoption,  we'll be out numbered. Maybe this is, actually, our family's second home.

Leaving home - plane laves 6:10am

Waiting to lave Newwark, NJ for China to get Hope.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dance party

This weekend we have been adjusting our sleep schedules a little bit in order to prepare for rising so early on Monday morning (around 2:45)--that is, rising rested Monday morning--to go to China. Friday night we all turned in about an hour early and rose around 6 a.m. Last night Andrew fell asleep around 5:30 p.m. while I was reading to him, and Cherish was asleep by about 6:30 p.m. At 4 a.m. the first of us were up.

Each morning after everyone is awake, we do a dance train around the house. For his birthday the children bought Derek a music card with the song, "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Each morning we take multiple turns being the leader of the dance train, holding the card, and leading the rest of us around the house. We laugh and dance our hearts out. What a fun and silly way to celebrate each morning's "family vacation day".

This morning after the dance train:

Prayer request: Health for Andrew as he woke up with a runny nose and 100.7 degree temperature. Thank you!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Birthday wishes

Derek and Cherish stayed up late Saturday night making me a birthday cake. They were trying to keep it a surprise, but I kept hearing "Oh, rats! How do we fix that?" I had a lot of fun quietly laughing in an adjacent room as they worked.

I will say, though: the cake looked and tasted great!

My candle-blower-outer-helpers:

This cake was extra special, because in the
39 hours prior to beginning the cake-making process,
Derek had slept less than 4 hours. He was so tired,
but because he knew Cherish wanted to make me a cake,
he gladly chose to help. He even went so far as to
make the cake into layers! What a sweet man!

❤ My family is so precious to me! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

First visit with Madison

Silly me. Life has gotten so busy that I forgot to post pictures of our first visit with the newest member of our family--Madison.

Madison, her daddy, and her mommy came to visit us. Boy were we happy!

Here are some pictures of our wonderful visit together:

"Madison. Come look!"

 Andrew, Jon, Madison, Taiteaya, and Cherish

 Sneaky little guy kept running up to Madison with tickle fingers:

 And a special picture of the girls taken by Taiteaya:
What. a. doll. baby!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Some pictures:

Hope, we are getting ready!
We began packing today,
and all your clothes are in our luggage!
We. are. coming!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Counting Down

We are now counting down to our trip to China. We have purchased our international airline tickets, and we leave Monday, October 21st. Just last night we were connected with the group we will be traveling with, and we are working on planning our ground transportation in China.

First, we will be in Beijing to switch our sleep schedule. Then we were to fly to Zhengzhou, Henan. However, I know from experience that we often get sick from flying on international flights, so we would rather not have to fly with congestion. Thus, we are looking into taking the bullet train from Beijing to Zhengzhou. That way, there will be no flying with congestion, and we will be saving money--as the tickets for the train are $51.00 per person.

Typically, we are only responsible for getting to the airport in Beijing, and then our agency does all the rest of the work--ground transportation, airline tickets, hotel reservations, etc. However, we are trying to save as much money as possible, so we are trying to plan our route to make it feasible for five of us to get around.

So, in order to save money, we will be flying home from Hong Kong. We have yet to figure out how we will get to Hong Kong from Guangzhou, China, what hotel we will stay at there, and how we will get to the airport from our hotel in Hong Kong for our international flight.

So, lots of details to figure out.
Lots of plans and reservations to make.
But, we will soon have it all figured out.

In the meantime, we (Derek and I) are not getting much sleep. Our eyes are burning pretty constantly. And, this morning, I made a pot of coffee without all the parts put into the coffee maker. Yep, it. was. beautiful! It gave me lots of time to clear my mind as I mindlessly cleaned up coffee that had oozed all over.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Consulate Appointment

Consulate Appointment made and confirmed. Now to find the most affordable way to get to Ch*na! Here comes another late night. J


"Hope, we're coming!!!! Hang on, Love!!!!!"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Travel Approval!

Today, October 1st, we received Travel Approval! Now, our U.S. Consulate appointment needs to be made and confirmed, and then we can buy our plane tickets! One more step, baby, one more step!