Thursday, September 29, 2011

Consulate Appointment and Guangzhou zoo!

Well, today was a big day for Mei Li. . . and all of us! We went to the American Consulate this morning and applied for Mei Li's visa. We took our oath and now we should have her visa in our hands by tomorrow afternoon!! She will officially be an American Citizen!!! Hallelujah!!! And, that also means we are also coming home soon!!! Mei Li. . . to her new homeland and family!! :)
God's hand has been amazing and hard at work during this journey. So thankful that He brought us together. He loves all of His children. But, He has a special love for His little ones who are fatherless and motherless. We are thankful our Mei Li will be fatherless and motherless NO MORE!!! :) And, we are doubly thankful that WE are fortunate enough to be her father and mother.

In other news, we had a fun time at the Guangzhou Zoo yesterday with our group! Our agency has set us up with a China adoption liason and guide who are absolutely unbelievable. They walk us step by step through everything. And, they line up our agenda every day. We just show up in the lobby, and they take us to where we are scheduled to go. And, the other families in our group? They are super nice, and we've gotten to know many of them quite well. I have felt very safe and "taken-care-of" this entire trip. I'm thankful to Lifeline for doing such an amazing job on the China side of the adoption!!! So, here are a few memories from the Guangzhou Zoo!! :0)

The guide told us "no cold drinks" for Mei Li. Mei Li says, "Boo shir" to that!!! She wants to be Coke's new spokesperson!!! :) LOVES her icy cold "Kuhla"!!!
Monkey business
Panda Bath! This girl knows how to relax :)
Raspberry for us.
Staying cool in the shade
Mei Li spots the elephant!!
Anna Grace, zookeeper in the making!
AG feeding the giraffe. Get a load of that tongue!!
Mei Li getting ready to feed the giraffe
I believe this girl is a future veterinarian. She LOVES animals!
Hungry giraffes
Mei Li trying to determine if this "zoo thing" is good with her.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Pearl River Cruise in pictures

Last night, we had a wonderful time on the Pearl River Cruise. I had no idea how beautiful it would be. We almost considered skipping it!!! I'm so glad we didn't!!! It is one of my favorite memories!! Not the best food on the trip. . . but the view was worth it!! If you get the chance, be sure to go!! I do understand that not all boats are equal on this cruise, but we lucked up!! We got one that had a tremendous view, inside and out! One thing has become abundantly clear to me during this trip and on the cruise. . . the Chinese love to do spectacular things with with light!! What a treat for the eyes! Take a look!

Mei Li loved the noodles with green veggie. . . Kelp???
The Chinese know how to make an ordinary bridge beautiful. Bathe it in light!! That alternates in color!
Amazing open-air amphitheater
Another lit boat on the river

Enjoying the top deck! Mei Li? Not so much. She just tolerated it.
We call this the Star Trek bridge
One of many lit towers. The lights were constantly changing!! It was so beautiful to watch.
Guangzhou from the river
Massive screens at the amphitheater
Just look!!!
Look again!!!! :)
Love this photo!!!
Mei Li was happy when listening to mama's album on the iPhone. That kept her happy the whole cruise. So happy she loves my music!!!
AG and me :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

One Week with Mei Li-and Happy Times in Guangzhou

Beautiful Girls!

The Garden Hotel

Carved gold ceiling in our hotel. This pic doesn't do it justice.
Staircase at The Garden Hotel

The girls
One of my faves :)

If only there were sound effects! Haha! Mei Li LOVES her Coke!!! She drinks and says, "AHHHHHH"
AG stealing Mom's Grande American lemon iced tea at Lucy's!
I took Mei Li to the potty and came back to find my tea GONE! :)
Oh, does Mei Li ever LOVE her "Baba"!!

Shamian Island
New shoes for Mei Li!

Mei Li in her full glory :)
"Big Sis" Anna Grace
Both of our China Princesses (Mei Li is hot and "over" the photo shoot ;)
Well, we have now passed the 1 week mark since Mei Li officially joined our family. She loves us and we love her. She is an amazing little person, and truly is a perfect fit for our family. And, I believe that we are also the perfect fit for her :) She has experienced a lifetime of new things in the past week, after spending the last 4 years inside orphanage walls. It's amazing how open she is to trying new things---and how happy she is almost all the time. I think we all could learn a lesson about life from Mei Li!! She is quite the charmer, and wins people over instantly with her electric personality.

That same dynamic personality can become quite explosive, at times, when things don't go her way. We are having to teach her boundaries--and she is not always as open to that. Her little fighting spirit (which has kept her so strong for all these years alone) also tends to butt heads with mom and dad when the answer is "no". :) I am confident that will get easier as the days go by.

We had a wonderful time on Shamian Island! We finished up some shopping, and Mei Li got some new squeaky shoes (the squeaks are removable, thankfully ;). She is SO proud of them. And, it seems her foot doesn't turn under as much when she wears them. She got a beautiful silk dress, too! And, Anna Grace got a gorgeous Asian doll. This is one that sits on a shelf as a momento. . . not a play toy. She is proud of her doll! She also got some beautiful silk slippers and a silk dress.

Mei Li and daddy are rolling in the floor laughing and playing right now!! Great bonding time. :) She LOVES her "Baba"!! She gets highly upset when he steps out of the room. I dread the day he goes to work. I have a feeling it's going to be bumpy for a while until she gets used to him leaving each day.

Anna Grace is such a big girl, and is helping so much with her sister! I am so proud of my sweet AG!! She adores her sister, and has grown up quite a bit in the last few days. Mei Li is still warming up to AG. Sometimes she is really receptive and warm. Sometimes not so much. But, AG is being so understanding. I am incredibly proud of her.

So, our family of 4 is coming along vey nicely :) We are learning and growing every day. Tomorrow is a new day, and we'll continue to gel as a family. I'm eager to get back home. It's been an amazing journey; but at the end of the day, there is truly no place like home. We have one week left. We'll be home next Monday. Seems so far away. . . In the meantime, I'm going to continue to soak in every moment.
Geoff is uploading some pics too! So, enjoy!!!