Tomorrow we come home.

Funny that as I write that sentence I am filled with such mixed emotions. What a journey this has been. For two years Kylie had been a paperwork dream. Just when it seemed like we'd never get word, we finally got a picture of the baby that would soon become ours. Then we waited out the torturous time for permission to come meet her. Despite snow at home, we then traveled half way around the world. In addition to the wonderous joy of meeting Kylie, while here we've done some sightseeing,(we've filled 7 mini-dv tapes on the camcorder and taken over 1000 pictures to share with her about her homeland as she begins to understand) but we've also crossed our t's and dotted our i's on pages of paperwork to make the adoption legal in the eyes of two governments. Today we went to the US Consulate here in Guangzhou and took her oath of citizenship for her. Tomorrow we pull her from this land.

I'm not sure I can really explain the sadness I feel about leaving China. Maybe it is because of my extreme humble gratitude to the woman that gave birth to Kylie. Maybe it is because I'm thankful that the Chinese government will work with the American government to make adoptions happen. Maybe it is because of the overall warmth of the people here. Maybe it is because to this point this is all my child has ever known, at least here she can still hear Cantonese being spoken as we walk around in public. While we are still here it is so easy for her to spend time with the other girls from Lianjiang, when we return to the states we are in NC, VA, KS, IN, & MN.

I know in time that America will be all she remembers, and maybe that is a little bit of what makes me sad too. After all, you need to know where you came from to have an understanding of where you are going...

A good bit actually happened today, but it is so late and we have to be in the lobby at 5:45 in the morning to catch our flight to Hong Kong. We have a 9 hour layover in Hong Kong, so maybe I'll find Internet connection there. If not, I'll type again after we reach home...

I leave you with three parting shots. One last image of the peaceful side of China...
Kylie with Amy, our guide. But it really doesn't seem to do justice to Amy to just call her our guide. She has been so helpful during our time here!!! I think that Amy has connections everywhere in Guangzhou, she was amazing and so instrumental in this entire legal process! I wouldn't want to try and navigate the in China portion part of our trip without her! And she wasn't just business, she was also very encouraging to all of us with our girls, especially us first time parents.

Apparently Kylie was concerned that we might try and leave without her. She was crawling right into the suitcase. Don't worry baby,Daddy and I wouldn't go anywhere without you!!!


Anonymous said...

Kristi and Ian,

We have enjoyed meeting Kylie through you and traveling to her homeland with you. Thank you for sharing her with us all these months and giving us insights to your hearts and home. We cannot wait to meet this bundle of joy. She is absolutely the most adorable one of the whole group. We love you and have a wonderful trip home. Love and peace, Cheryl & Dave

LaoLao Shultz said...

Makes me happy and sad that you will be bringing Kylie to the USA.
I know without a doubt that she is God's chosen child for you two...however, there is that part of her leaving her heritage behind.
But I know that you two will take her back at an appropriate age for her to see her heritage first hand. What a blessed little girl.
We are all anxious to have you home. Know Maya will be elated as well! God be with you. LaoLao

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kristi and Ian, for sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience with us. You have a wonderful way with words; we almost feel like we could have been there with you. Kylie is a lucky little girl. We'll all be waiting with open arms to receive her into this circle of friends and family that have missed you while you've been gone and waited anxiously for your return.
God bless you.
Ann and Mickey

Anonymous said...

Kristi, Ian, and Precious Girl,

I am teary eyed at seeing your first days of parenthood. I love the pictures of her giggling and can not wait to see the smiles in person. God has blessed you. The long wait has been worth it!

Laura Pennell

Anonymous said...

There are many things we don't understand in this crazy life. . .but now after reading this blog. . . I have no doubt why God chose you to be Kylie's Mommy. Love you, Jen

Anonymous said...

Dear Ian & Kristi,
We fully understand your mixed emotions in bringing your daughter home and away from her country. We are so grateful that God hand-placed her into your arms and home though. Thank you so much for keeping us updated each day. Our prayers are with you in your long journey home. We have been there. It WILL end, we promise!!:)
Love, John and Joanna

Aunt Traci said...

Wow 9 hours in Hong Kong! Thats a bummer. We only had about 30 minutes to wait! :) The airport had some neat gift shops though... just incase you missed anything. Even though it is already 7:20am Friday there and you are probably boarding the first of the 3 planes you will be on so you won't see this until you get home... oh well.
I am sad (but also very excited) for you to bring Kylie home too. It does seem weird to take a child out of the environment that she has known and go to a place where everything is different and poeple don't look like her. And it is the only place that the three of you have ever been together. It's what you know as a family. You all seemed so at ease there in that apartment, I was trying to imagine you all in your house now.. and it seems weird, but I know that as soon as you step in the house that will all go away and it will feel right, because God is the center of your family and he makes all things new! I feel so blessed to have gotten to be apart of your trip and now anxiously await the chance to spoil that little girl rotten! :)
See ya in about 36 hours! Wow doesn't that sound great!!

Allison said...

Great post. I totally understand your feelings. I hope your flight home is uneventful and safe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your postings! It makes us fell like we have been right there with you the entire time! Neil even said he wants to go to China now because everything looks so beautiful! We are so blessed to have you guys as friends and we can't wait to welcome Kylie to "the group!" We love you guys and will see you very soon. God bless you all.
Rebekah, Neil and Katie

Anonymous said...

I have left a HUGE part of my heart in China. We have been home for a week and I miss it greatly. I completely understand your feelings :-) Since we missed each other in China, hopefully we can set play dates for the girls. Kylie is sooooo cute!
Safe travels and prayers