stream of thought

How to sum up today?

*Waking up our "I'm not a morning person, thankyouverymuch," girl to get down to breakfast in time.  Seeing that spicy streak as I tried to take her hand so Ian could be Caleb's "breakfast buddy."  Trying oh so hard not to let it hurt my feelings that she is very adamant in expressing her preference for her Baba.  (yes, I know, in time, in time...)

*Elation over receiving our adoption decree.  It was already official in the eyes of the government here, but today there was a brief adoption ceremony back at the civil affairs office.  Celebrating with the other three families ~ all with different agencies ~ that tomorrow we move one step closer to home.

crazy that she let me hold her here
*Appreciating the unique opportunity to visit an orphanage that none of my children came from.  Watching them interact with the babies and toddlers in one of the rooms we were able to spend time in. Nearly coming to tears thinking how it wasn't so long ago...  Holding a tiny baby with the most exquisite face, praying that his papers will be filled out and that he will be able to be adopted soon.  Seeing a little girl with a port wine stain over most of her face...wanting to take her out with us.  Heart breaking over the rooms full of children ~ very well taken care of I will point out ~ without the dedicated love of a forever mommy and daddy.  (no photos though images will be forever etched in my mind)

*Humbly accepting the chance to visit Butterfly Children's Hospice and learn about their work in Changsha.  Realizing the heart these folks have as they care for children who are near the end of their time on Earth.  There are some miracles, but mostly not.  Holding one of the most beautiful baby girls I've ever seen realizing that her time is short.  (again, no photos, but I will not forget)

*Spending an hour during nap time chatting with Amy about her work with Love Without Boundaries and being a "medium size" family.  Knowing that we need to find a way to stay make a difference for the children still living in institutions.

*Exploring the alley way behind the hotel again...getting a feel for what life is like in "real" China.

admiring how quickly this guy was wrapping wontons
(we would have eaten wonton soup in the shop, but it only had 8 chairs at the counter)

choosing some "street breads" to accompany our meal

dinner back at "the hole in the wall" where we had 6 amazing vegetarian dishes ~ carrots, eggplant, cabbage, green beans, scrambled eggs and tomatoes, and spicy glass noodles ~ enough for all ten of us, all for $11.
*Seeing smiles like this and knowing, that while we have a way to go in her trusting us, that she is a joyful, vibrant child who is going to add a lot of spunk and energy into this family.
there's something about that smile


Jen Barbee said...

Tears streaming down my face. My heart is so warmed that sweet Natalie is with her family who loves her so much. I am looking forward to following along as she learns to love and trust you!

Janet and Kevin said...

I love Natalie's smile. So sweet! Praying for her to bond with her mama soon! Know that is hard on your heart even though your head says it will be ok. Been there with one of our littles. Not fun.

janet and kevin

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Yeah! That is so so exciting! Congratulations! Before you know it she will be hanging all over you!

Jenny Wheelis said...

Kristi... do you mean Amy Eldridge?! She is a friend of ours.... her very first trip back to China after adopting Anna, we were all in the same church. She has been such a blessing to me personally and certainly one of the reasons we adopted from China... love how small our world is!

Anonymous said...

Your little Natalie is a Joy Bell, for sure!! Loving her spiky ponytails!


Our Journey to China said...

Somehow I missed this beautiful blog post. Oh, how God is working, even when people are not actively watching. You got to see this miracle, amongst many miracles. God has big plans still for you M Family, BIG. I pray He might let us be a part of it in some way. I love watching God work, through your eyes. What an amazing God we serve. And we are praying for you and Natalie. Oh, how I feel your heart and know how you might be feeling. God is with you, He is working. This I know. I know you are shining with His love and she is seeing it. Much Love and Big Hugs, my friend!

anything but LoKEY said...

I like how you guys eat in country. Adventurous. I think we would like each other. :) ...And that's not all I think about this post. I just needed to say that. :) I am spending the day catching up on your travel to bring home Natalie. I missed it and wanted to read all about it. Indeed, what a beautiful smile!!