Saturday, March 30, 2013

We're HOME and Doing GREAT!!

We made it out of Guangzhou with a slight delay in flight departure but had a delightful time standing in line for 57 minutes as the older Asian couple in front of KK and Kourtney did a round of stretching and maneuvering to stay agile. With Kourtney being the photographer extraordinaire that she is, she, of course, took pictures of them - behind their back.

KK just stood their slurping her "to go" Japanese-style soup & rolling her eyes while lookin' back at us. My little posse of girls and I had just polished off our own meal sitting down at that very Japanese restaurant. 

I had cheese pizza.
Told ya. Not an adventurous eater in other lands.

The manager of the little eatery came over to inquire as to where KK and Kourtney got their bottled water. They politely let her know it was from their establishment's cooler.
Touch those bottles and that manager will draw back a nub.
Hands off.

Ah. The flight home.
I was as irresponsible as I've ever been.
I told EVERYone with me, "Do not wake me up. I do not want to eat airplane food anymore. I'm done. Get a buddy to take you to the bathroom or put on a Pampers...either one is fine with me!"
I was serious.
Poor KK. My kids made her escort them to the bathroom over the ocean.
Several times.
I owe her.

It's strange to leave a country/continent at 10:00 pm and arrive in the US at 9:00 pm that very same day.
It's the International Date line that does its do.
We left in darkness. Flew into the light....but returned to darkness hours and hours later.
W.E.I.R.D.
You have to leave your window shades down on the plane - per the strong request of flight attendants b/c it just messes with your head to be flying at midnight in the daylight.
Oh well. Enough about elapsed time.

We arrived in the US at midnight and had the distinct pleasure of going through Customs and Immigration.
Folks often say big airports like this one have rude people.
Honestly - every single person in that area of the airport was extremely kind...
except...
the Customs agent with a gun -- the one with whom I had the pleasure of dealing.
Somebody licked all the candy off his cane.

After being in lines that did not move fairly, he summoned us - Molly, Emily, moi - to his desk...and not with any eye contact. Just the throw of his hand.
I should've run the other direction. Seriously.
He doesn't say a word to us but attempts to finish processing the papers of the ever so fortunate family who was in front of us. Dear souls.
As he's doing this, he gets his stapler.
It doesn't work.
I quivered.
He reached for a rubber band to put on those papers.
It broke.
I pulled my girls close to me for their protection.

He barks out, "Who is Vicki _________."
"That's me, sir. I'm the mother."
He studies my passport.
Studies my face.
Assumes I'm an idiot.

Then he snaps and says, "Who are YOU?"
Softly little Emily says, "Emily."
"I canNOT hear you!"
She said again, "Emily."
"Speak UP!"
I said, "She's EMILY."
He studies her passport and facial features.
I then said, "That's Molly and she doesn't speak a bit of English."
Stamp.
Stamp.
Stamp.
"Take this down that road and give it to the personnel at desk 1!!!!"

I wanted to take the papers and look at him and say, "How do you manage to keep that bald head sooooo very shiny? You gotta great sheen on going on."

I.Did.Not.

I took those papers and ran like the wind to desk 1 - a mile away.
Those folks were sooo kind.
Hmpf.

Molly was greeted at the airport by friends and family - with balloons, gifts, outfits, cards, hugs, kisses, and many well wishes. It was wonderful seeing familiar folks once again. We headed home to visit, eat, chat, relax. Eventually both girls wiped out. I was fantastic - thanks to KK letting me sleep all night long on the plane while she assumed my role as caretaker.
Did I say I owe her one?
I owe her many.
Kourtney, too, and so many others who have cared for us in more ways than can be counted.

So...time to dye Easter eggs and get ready for the morning.

We'll be checkin' in soon and giving updates about the looniness that lies ahead.
Happy Easter.
He is risen indeed!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Farewell People's Republic of China

Well, today is our last day in China. 

When we went to bed last night, it was Molly's last night to sleep in her homeland.

At least for a while.

I feel sure we'll all return again one day - not in the near, near future - but one day.

Marlene sent me an email and asked if it seemed we'd been gone that long.

In some ways, yes. In others, no.

This has been a fairly easy trip overall for us - mainly because of Molly's resiliency to adjustments at hand.

I'm not so sure if I woke up in a strange room, in a strange city, with a strange woman that I'd be this adaptable.

Not at 11 years of age.

Many grown-ups on this journey are ready to return home - to family, familiarity, and home sweet home.

Yes. One can grow weary of the same foods, same smells, same sounds, but this is the type of trip you need to, if possible, savor.

I got a call last night while I was in the bathtub. Emily answered it, and it was my guide, Kelly. I yelled, "Tell her I'm in the tub."

Hmmmmm. That answer did not seem to be the one needed, so I stepped out of the tub and used the phone in the bathroom.

Strange. I know.

Kelly said, "I got a call from the U.S. Consulate this afternoon about 4:30…"

I gulped.

"….and they forgot to get you to sign the DS230 form."

My reply, "….AND…..?!"

"You must return to the Consulate in the morning and sign that document."

My stomach kinda swooned a moment.

Maybe cuz I was standing' nekkid as a jay bird in the bathroom talkin' on a telephone. I dunno.

Long story short, NO one else had to return.

Just fortunate me.

I asked if this would hold me up at all, and Kelly assured me it'd be rectified quickly. I have to fly out a mere several hours after signing that form.

All must go well….like clockwork.

Another guide, Michael, was to meet me this morning in the lobby at 9:30. He did.

And off we went in one of the 40 million taxis in China.

In their morning rush hour.

On wet roads.

I truly claimed angelic protection. Psalm 91.

All went well. There were boatloads of people at the Consulate, but none were going to the Adoption Unit - where I was headed. 

The building was full of Chinese folks aiming to get Visas to come into the U.S.

We're back at the hotel and have taken a group photo of the travel group. Precious people who have come to mean soooo much over the past 2 weeks.

But it's time to come home. 

Time to return to our lives and families - our own beds and routines, friends, schedules. People and events that I appreciate so very much.

Molly will now embark on her new life as a member of our family - loved and cared for by all.

Emily has become a little sister - still the sweet little girl that she is.

And our futures are bright with the light of the knowledge that the Lord prepared these paths, and we'll continue to walk them daily.

So with a small sigh of relief and holding back tears…we all say a hearty "Goodbye" from China - the land that has graciously given me these two daughters to love.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

57 Packets of Travel Kleenex

…and I had to borrow tissue to "use the facilities."

Oh my.

All the little Kleenex doo dads were packed away neatly in my luggage BACK at the hotel.

Arranged in neat and darling plastic bags but of no value if I didn't have them when I needed them.

Been livin' life out of Ziploc baggies, and it's really helped me stay organized.

IF one does use a squatty potty, then there is no reason to assume tissue will be provided.

Speaking of which -

We went to a Buddhist temple. It was on the tour, and our guide was wanting us to see this historic site. It was older than the town we were in. Seems the temple was built in the 1500's. There was LOTS of incense burning going on. 

Food offered to the….idols. Our guide said that was a common gift to the higher-uppers.

I asked the guide, "Well…if all this food is being offered, why is none of it eaten?"

She said, "Workers come behind and pick it all up."

Oh.

I was very respectful during the tour. I really liked our guide. She was my translator, mediator, etc., and I wanted to be sensitive to her religion. We got along very well.

As she was showing me a diagram about the many layers of hell and the area of heaven, she emphasized how bad people go to one of the regions of hell while good people went to heaven. The happy place.

In all honesty, I listened intently, then asked her, "What if you're good AND bad. What if you are a good employee and kind to those with whom you work but go home and are mean and horrible to your family?"

She thought about the answer.

I cannot really remember what she said….but she thought a while.

She continued telling about the good and bad, the layers and beliefs, then I VERY respectfully asked, "Who defines good?"

There was a reply - after much thinking again.

We're wrapping up the explanation of that area of the tour, she's still talking about being good and being bad, and my last question was, "Do you EVER feel good enough?"

Her response, "No."

She knew some of the monks at the temple because she goes there and works as a volunteer sometimes. She took us around back and got us….what we thought were to be souvenirs….but turned out to be candles to place on an altar for prayer. Uh hum.

I smiled as I asked her and the monks, "May we light the candles and pray to OUR God?"

She laughed and laughed. We'd gotten to know each other pretty well over the last week.

ANYHOO…we all lit our candles…..KK, Kourtney, Emily, me, and Molly….and agreed in advance that we'd place them solemnly in the right spot and pray for the Lord to show Himself BIG to these people….to meet them in spectacular ways - agreeing together for this precious people who need Him here in China…in the Name of Jesus. Amen."

When we were finished, I asked KK, "What did you pray?"

She said, "I prayed I'd get the heck outta Dodge!"

We soon left. 

I DID ask our guide to ask Molly if she'd ever been to a temple like this. Molly said she had not.

The guide also noted that MOST people in China are of no religion. I'm not sure about the stats, but I've only seen one Christian Church - and it's on Shamian Island.

It was a real experience!

Outside U.S. Consulate

Deja Vu Em - At this Exact Spot in 2008

....with Samm and his family. Emily lost a little butterfly off her shoe while playing with Christie H.'s little girl. Colleen's family and Christy T. All walked this path with us! Ah. Memories!!!


Lid Came Off the Toilet


Roh Roh!

SUCH a Nutritious Meal

Provided by 7-11 next to our hotel


This One's for You, Skipper

NASCAR from China

View from Our GZ Hotel Room

Babysitters in the Making


Tis the Season - I Reckon

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

more pictures Tuesday night

Here are a couple of additional photos from Vicki.
Where Emily and I stayed in 2008


Very sentimental to see this spot again...

Reading Nancy Drew and Listening to It On CD

Tuesday update (US Time)


Here are pictures from Vicki and the crew today. 

Botanical Park

another beautiful flower!


Rub a Dub Dub

3 girls in a..........clog?!
To Market We Go

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tuesday Post 2 from GZ


Just in case you haven't figured it out, GZ is the abbreviation for Guangzhou -- pronounced Gwang Joe.

I see that the airline abbreviation for GZ is CAN for Canton - the old timey name for this area.

Beijing's abbreviation is PEK for Peking - former name for that neck of the woods.

All is going well. We've been out and about with our travel group - 5 families. It's nice being in a group that small. ALL are really FUN folks. I'm thankful for that.

We've been to Shamian Island for a small shopping spree. This is the island where the famous White Swan hotel is located That is where most ALL adoptive families have stayed thru the years. Again, not me. I was downtown New York City (not really) on my 2008 trip to Emily. We're in a high falootin' spot right now, too. The island is beautiful - lush with foliage, trees, you name it. Also about 99% humidity level. Birds were chirping and gorgeous flowers were literally dropping from trees far above our heads. So lovely.

That's my new word: lovely.

KK says I've been saying it about every other sentence.

Why does that happen? It does, though.

I saw a lady at the museum in Hohhot and she had on a tee shirt with the words…written really BIG….LOVELY SMILE.

I would've taken a picture of it, but I didn't wanna make her angry on her turf. I had to no where to run and hide if she came after me.

We're even eating Western food at the restaurant across the street. I know. Bless our hearts…."across the street".

The girls have had spaghetti and chicken sandwiches. 

I had a chicken sandwich one day and pasta Alfredo another.

As IF anyone cares.

Had to do another round of producing papers yesterday. The guide asked for documents that I had printed off back in the U.S., had notarized, but we had to leave certain lines blank.

It sure was a good feeling to say, "Ah. Yes. I have that right here in the plastic sheet cover."

EACH document gets a different sheet cover. 

NOTHING else is allowed to go into that expandable file. It's locked in the safe in our hotel room - along with any American cash that I might happen to have left (uh hum)…side by side with our passports.

NO can lose any of these things.

Adoptive parents have been held up here in GZ because of certain paper issues, medical concerns, etc. The U.S. gov't has had to intervene at the int'l level to help, as my former guide said, "make things right".

So far, we're good to go. Thank heavens for that.

I told Forrest via email that I've cringed going back and reading the blog entries and seeing my typos. 

He said with all my Vicki-isms they're hard to catch.

Actually, most have been real words with letters left off: I for It, etc.

Sorry.

Molly has had some folks speaking Chinese to her - telling her that we are soooo pleased with how she is adjusting and that life will become more interesting outside of the hotel room.

Emily, on the other hand, loves this and could stay another few weeks.

She'll soon be back to makin' her own bed. So there!

I'll sign off for now. We're headed to a park of some type. I cannot wait to hit the door and have my hair blow up like a bullfrog. 

Lovely.

 Editors note:  To make things worse, the spell checker on the blog is broken tonight.   The editor takes no responsability for Vicki-Isms or spelling!

Tuesday AM Update from Guangzhou

A few photos from the day in Guangzhou.

I Felt Thin Next to Her

On Shamian Island


MORE Paperwork

Tuesday Breakfast

Emily and Kourtney

Arkansas Friends

Missouri Buddies

Big Piw Wow at the Table

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Sunday in Guangzhou


Yikes.

I'm having to get accustomed to the keyboard in the business center at the China Marriott here in GZ. 

To everyone following along on this journey via the blog, thanks so much for checking in. When a friend set up the blog for me back in 2008 - as a surprise and a gift - I told her, "Uhm. We ain't so interesting."

As you can tell, I just have to write about the "common stuff of life". 

One of my family's favorite Walton's episodes (Yes. I've bought the first 3 series and will be buying the rest.) is one where John Boy meets an author. The wise writer tells JB to quit waiting to write about the BIG events to happen in life. Celebrate and write about the everyday happenings that are near and dear to his heart.

I've already printed the blog into a paperback CATALOG - might I say - with all the posts from 2008 to sometime in 2012. It'll serve as a journal to my sweet Emily of the ridiculous ramblings of her mother.

I said I printed a catalog.

Not true.

I ordered TWO.

The saying around our house is, "If one's good. Two's better."

We arrived in GZ about 1:30 in the morning, or that is the time we got to the hotel.

I think.

To bed. To bed.

Hit the breakfast buffet here at this fancy, shmancy hotel. Mercy me.

I was thrilled to see hashrown cakes - with KETCHUP!

The girls grazed around, Molly gagged a bit on one piece of Chinese cuisine (We think it had bones in it.), and both girls are enjoying drinking yogurt with a straw.

Not being the meat eater that I am and not wanting to take too many chances with veggies and fruits that MIGHT still have water drops on them (Remember: 5 Star Hotel but I won't drink the water.)…I've had toast and eggs or eggs and toast pretty much each day.

I've done enough carb loading to run 6 marathons.

Molly ate a hard boiled "tea egg" - right out of the cracked shell…..with a spoon.

I say "ick" if there's something like an egg shell or pecan shell in a food item.

As my brother Michael says, "I don't like a crunchy in my squishy!"

We went to eat one last time at the local spot in Hohhot - before leaving.

Someone had the bright idea to let Miss Molly do the ordering in Chinese b/c, as they say, "She speaks the language."

We got double orders of one dish, a pizza that was unwanted, and then the items we actually did want.

Needless to say, I got it all in a takie outie box and tried to hand it off to our new friend at the hotel, Rocky Huang…the head porter.

When he learned English, his teacher was from England so he speaks with a British accent. I LOVE a British accent, but he is Chinese.

As KK and I approached the front of the hotel after one of our car dodging expeditions, I held up my arms in classic Rocky-style and yelled out, "We made it. We survived."

His polite Brit response, "Impressive!"

Where we are now, everything is soooooooooooo Feng Shui-ish. (Look that up, mother.). 

The architecture and design is very stealth.

I don't know whether I should push a door, pull it, slide it to the left or right….or merely attempt to become "one with it".

I keep hearing the elevators dinging, but I cannot find them.

We have a lamp in our room that I've yet to figure out how to turn it on.

The girls are doing well and adjusting nicely. I'm sending pics which seem to say a lot.

Forrest has been out of town and not able to spend time on the Internet posting for me.

He DOES have a life. And a family. And a job.

Yesterday we spent the morning having medical exams for Molly and all the other young ones in our group. Our Beijing group reunited for this time in GZ. The rest of the day we ALL lounged outside, eating Papa John's pizza (PTL!), and talking about the many varied and unique stories of what had happened over the last week.

Common bonds.

Good talk.

Great time.

Can Superman Leap THIS Building...
....with a single bound?

 
Thank Heaven for 7 Eleven

....and for little girls!

First Update from Guangzhou


Guangzhou Emily's home province.



...our final stop along this journey.

Happy Buddha in the Middle
 
                                                                                            I KNOW those thighs.     Those ARE my thighs!


Emily at Temple
On a Tour of a Temple

She's not cold. She just doesn't want to smell the incense being burned!


Too Much Luggage!!!


Arrived in Guangzhou at 1:30 a.m.


She's a trooper.
 Molly at U.S. Required Medical Exam


New Friends

Friday, March 22, 2013

No Update

We have not heard from Vicki and the crew today.  Hopefully there will be more updates over the weekend.

In a previous post Vicki asked me to post a few pics of our family and the new son we will leave to adopt just after Vicki gets home.  We have been covering the blog for her while she has been traveling. 




In addition to the girls we have 3 older sons and will be adding the handsome little guy below just a few days before his 2nd birthday.   So there is your update for today.  Not Vicki but an update none the less.

I will post more when we hear from V.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Pics from the last day in Hohhot



Bok Choy Baby


Sweet Smiles and Noodles


They Just Park on the Sidewalk

Last Night in Hohhot - New Sisters


Goober KK with a Doily in Her Ear

A Man Near and Dear to My Heart

.......................................................................................that would be Andy Griffith on the                                                                                            DVD    player. Yes. We brought this!!!

Adios Hohhot. Guangzhou Here We Come!


Well. I probably should have said "Sie Jen" Hohhot. I believe that's how the Chinese version of "goodbye" sounds. Sorta. Kinda.   Then again, maybe not.

Go Forrest. Tell them what it REALLY sounds like.

My expertise with the Chinese language ventures from hello, goodbye, thank you, and happy birthday.
Case closed.

Forrest and his darling wife, Robin, are soon headed to China themselves to adopt precious little Shaun. This will be their 4th adoption trip. ( In essence, they are in the 4th grade. I'm still primary-ish. Never mind that our IQ's vary by many, many miles. F and R - PLEEZ post a pic of Shaun and then one of you and your family so folks can see The Blog Master and Mistress....and little chillin's!)

Yesterday we toured a famous museum that tells all about this region - Inner Mongolia. Interesting.
Today we are to visit a temple. I'll try to keep my voice down like a good little Southern US Tourist.

Needless to say, these 2 weeks in China are not going to be representative of life as we will all know it. We have doors opened for us at every turn, meals served on the spot with no cleaning up afterwards, the girls are not in school, I am not at work, and we do the best our best to make hours and hours in a hotel room as interesting as we can....BUT....it's a "biding of time" part of this journey.  It's soooooo much easier for me this time mainly because I'm not a newbie. I've got a little China-adoption-visitation experience under my belt.

One of the soon-to-be adoptive moms (with 4 kids at home) was with us in Beijing. When I met her, I asked very perplexingly, "Are you here alone?" She said, "Yes. I just could not take my older kids out of high school to miss all that work, and my husband stayed home to care for all 4."    I paused and sympathetically said, "Well...just know this...we're here for you to help you in any way possible because you'll find this is the trip of a lifetime, but it's not always an easy trip."

At that moment she broke down into a hot mess of bawling tears and whimpered, "I will get out of this country. Won't I? Will I make it back home to my family?"    AND SHE'S BEEN WAITING SEVEN YEARS FOR THIS ADOPTION!!

To outsiders, that comment might seem extreme. I can understand.   To me - it was NOT at all unusual to hear...especially since the darling mom was all.alone.on.the.other.side.of.the.world.with.no.one.to.support.her.emotionally.
That is WHY I reached out to her.   That is why I told her to +/- side of how an adoption trip to China can be.
I remember feeling like was alone at times during my 2008 trip to meet Sweet Emily - but I wasn't. It can just feel like it sometimes.   I let her talk, cry, vent, sniff....and then we did ALL we could to include her and watch out for her.  I told her to order bottled water at lunch. I ordered it for her, actually. I came. The lid was off. I politely sent it back and told them the bottle needed to have the lid on and be unopened.   When I was here in 2008, a dear family I met had a son with them who became violently ill because he drank water from a bottle that had been opened and re-filled with local water.   My new friend thanked me repeatedly. She's alone.    She canNOT afford to get sick.

The folks who were all together in Beijing....preadoption...will meet up for approx. 1 week in Guangzhou. That'll be fun to reunite and meet the new little darlings who have been added to our families.
We'll all be changed from the last time we were together.   Our lessons about these precious children, our own calling in parenthood, and the commonality of being together on this journey will begin to etch new stories on our lives.

To those who've adopted from China - Sherrie H., Colleen B., Rebecca L., Christie H., Rina S. - people who live no where near my home state but I've met them abroad nationally or internationally...are people who are precious and so very sensitive to how moms (like the one mentioned above) can feel.  To my peeps back home in our Cultural School Group - folks I love more dearly than they'll ever know - we all have had different experiences, but we are bound together by this bond of international adoption.  To those people back home - friends and family - people I value and cherish....you've all been incredibly supportive at each juncture of this winding road of life.

My theme song for this past year, one that helped me stay focused spiritually on the task ahead - for me, my family...my precious mom, everything - has been a song entitled Grace Flows Down by Christy Nockels. It's compelling, and watching the YouTube version with scenes from Passion of the Christ....frankly...it's difficult and almost too much to take. Then again, the sacrifice Jesus made for us, for me...WAS soooo much.
It required ALL.   I've watched it on YouTube numerous times and wept - bitterly. When I saw the movie...it's not a movie one can enjoy - it can only be experienced... but every single time I the whip snapped across the back of My Saviour, all I could do was whisper a name.   I whispered the name of someone that I knew and loved.

I whispered the name of someone for whom I knew He'd done this.
I whispered the name of someone who needed Him still.
And I wept more and more...saying, "Thank you. Thank you."

Grace Flows Down
by Christy Nockels

Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
Amazing Love
Now flowing down
From hands and feet
That were nailed to the tree
As Grace flows down and covers me

I'll sign off from Hohhot, Inner Mongolia - the beautiful and majestic land that has graciously given me my new daughter and a new life for us all.
His grace still amazes me.



 

Thursday PM Post


Remember the song?

Neck Bone Connected to the Jaw Bone

Darling and Dino-Mite

Molly and Mongolian Art Design

Em at Mongolian Museum

Comfort Food
....and I might add...CHEAP!!!

1. Drive to alley where a shady lookin' convenient store is located. (We are with our guide so we're safe.)

2. Pick out cheap packaged bowl of instant noodle soup - with heaven only knows what flavoring. (Pig kidneys. I'll pass!)

3. Throw in some pickled sausage (Molly's fave), ice cream on a stick, and chips. Trash. Trash. Trash.

4. Return to hotel.

5. Boil water in hot pot.

6. Feed to children while mother sits nearby drinking bottled water and eating small bag of normal Lay's potato chips.

Voila!! Lunch in China.

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thelma and Louise on Soy Sauce

Yep. KK and I are quite the example of 2 goofy women gone Asian.

We walked to McDonald's to get food for the crew. Kourtney stayed behind to babysit Emily and Molly. Miss Molly would not be able to walk that distance. I'm not sure she's ever had to walk great lengths...just because of her living environment in an orphanage. She had a small challenge with flights of steps (but she did fine); however, I'm not going to have her out attempting to RUN across 12 lanes of traffic coming at us from all angles. (NO way) So - KK and I set off for the Mickey D adventure.

She was telling me to go straight across the street but straight was really diagnolly across.
I started off one direction, she grabbed me by the nap of my neck and pulled me another.
I shouted over the noise, "I thought you said THIS straight."
"No," she replied. "The OTHER straight...and watch out for that lady on the bicycle."
Uhm....that lady was none to happy to have US in her path of chaos on concrete.
My mantra at the Great Wall was, "Just don't look up."
Mine for crossing these streets, "Our Father Who art in heaven..."
If I were Catholic, I'd be Hail Mary-ing left and right.

A time or two we only made it 1/2 way "across the street" (the 3 most dreaded words in China) and had to hug and hold on to each other - quivering like Eskimos as the vehicles zoomed past us on all sides.
KK advised that I run next to the heavy cart being pulled by some cyclist - U Haul on a Trike. Said she'd run on the other side of me.
That was IF we got hit, then that car would hit the cart, before it hit me, before it had time to impact her.
Friendship at its best.

Oh. And the puffiness under my eyes.   I asked, "Geesh. Do I look 106 or 107? These BAGS under my eyes.....ugh."   Her reply, "More like 110. Vicki, you ALWAYS have bags under your eyes, but your hair looks great."  I didn't know whether to smak her or what.

Between her "airplane cramped up knees" and my "Great Wall climbing thighs" we're almost a pitiful sight.
Looks like we've both recently had surgery.
Of some sort.

I do believe we've been gone for over a week now. We're all doing well with wearing clothes over and over again.  That's sorta my style anyway. Not Kourtney's. She wants to rinse and hang things up.  KK told her we've been wearing the same clothes so long that we can just "park them in the corner and plan to wear them again tomorrow."

The girls are doing well.  There were a few tears from both of them yesterday. Emily's comes out as, "I'm tired, Mama." = which can be interpreted as the emotional aspect of adjusting to having a sister around, her mother's other daughter

As we were eating breakfast yesterday morning, the ladies from her orphanage returned one last time to say goodbye. We were all surprised.  It was hard to watch.  Hard to imagine the grief they all are feeling.
Molly is now isolated in terms of communication and comprehending what the next 5 minutes in her life might hold.  She's trusting. She's still smiling.   Thank you all for the well wishes and prayers.


 

Thursday AM Post

The 12 lanes of traffic are across the street. Look how clean the roads are. Workers are constantly sweeping the streets. Their faces are weathered, wrinkled, and tired looking. I smile at them all and say "Ni Hao." My heart aches for their souls...I want to bring them all home with me. I'm crying typing this, and I just put on my make-up. Phooey!
Boulevard Outside Our Hotel
 
And YES, brothers Michael and Skipper...I DID buy you each a really cool Genghis-type. My little brother and switchblades....

Best be carryin' these babies thru international customs/airports via CHECKED baggage only. Any slip ups with these 2 souvenirs and you might catch us live on FOX News begging our Congressman to intervene on our behalf.

What we do for love.

Emily says, "Hey to Oscar and Felix, and there is no go go git it git it in China!"

The Dude Himself...Ghengis Khan