Sunday, June 2, 2013

Taiwan–Trip One!

So, we have been home from Taiwan for a week, and I am finally getting around to updating the blog!  As you can imagine, we have lots of pictures, so this post is a little lengthy!

First, let me say, our God is good!  He blessed us and showed us favor over and over again on our trip.  We could not have asked for anything more…except to have gotten to bring him HOME with us!  We are so, so, so ready to go back and bring him home.  Of course, we do not know exactly how long it will take, but we are praying no more than 2-3 months.  So here goes…


The night before we left, the girls had their AWANA awards night at church.  Selah was very excited about her Puggle certificate.  At this point (of the picture) we were meeting my parents to pick up the girls.  They stayed with them and Michael’s parents some during our trip.  Myla and I are in the front seat both bawling our eyes out. It was very hard to leave them…I was fully NOT prepared for the emotions that we endured during the drop off.


On the first leg of our trip…Memphis to Los Angeles. 


Once we got to LA and made our way to the international terminal, we got some lunch.  We ate at Panda Express, which is hysterical. If I had only thought about how much Chinese food we were going to eat over the next 8 days, I probably would have chosen McDonald’s.  Ha!!  Michael read the Duck Commander book while we waited for our flight.  He literally laughed out loud every other minute.  I got so tickled at him!


I mean, he was seriously cracking up!  And he was giving me a summary of each paragraph/page even though I had already read it!


Our big plane!  It doesn’t look big in this picture, but it was huge!


Next stop…Taipei, Taiwan! Such a rush of emotions at this point knowing we were so close to meeting our son and being in his birth country.  Like I said earlier, I really wasn’t prepared for ALL of the emotions of this trip!


Michael in his nice “slippers” that were provided on the airplane.


Right at 14 hours later, we finally landed in Taiwan!  The flight was LONG…very LONG!  Once we landed, we got our luggage, literally walked through customs and met Tim, the man than was picking us up.  After an hour and a half drive, we finally got to the orphanage where we were going at around 1:30 am.  One thing I was totally unprepared for in Taiwan was the HEAT.  Sweet goodness, it is HOT and HUMID there and air conditioning is RARE.  We did have it in our hostel where we stayed, so I was super thankful for that!


Saturday morning, the moment finally arrived!  We had Ramsey in our arms!  (We cannot post pictures of Ramsey’s face until the adoption is final, in case you are wondering why a heart is covering his face in every picture!! It was a sweet meeting with his nanny, and I was just overwhelmed by all of it.  Of course, tears were shed by all and we were just grateful, grateful, grateful!


Ramsey cried soon after his nanny gave him to me, which is totally understandable!  We were complete strangers, and he was in a brand new place!  After we got back into the car, Michael reached his arms out to him and he went to Michael and didn’t cry again.  Melt.My.Heart!  It was seriously the sweetest moment, and from that point on, it was if he had been with us forever.  He didn’t miss a beat.  Did I mention that God is good?  He answered many prayers about Ramsey adjusting and attaching to us.  Simply amazing!


Our first night together…I think the shirt says it all!  He even slept great!!


Our hostel was a short walk to the orphanage that we served at while there.  The island of Taiwan has beautiful vegetation.  So much different than what we are used to!


The driveway to the orphanage.


LOVE the tall trees!  Michael was pushing Ramsey in the stroller, which he LOVED, by the way. I think he would stroll all day!


Getting some play time with Daddy!  Ramsey really attached to Michael, which was so sweet!  I helped a lot with the babies in the home so they had a lot of alone time together!


I guess iPhones are international with kids!  He loved it.  And, yes I introduced him to smocked Jon Jon’s!


When we would say the Chinese word for telephone, he would hold the phone up to his ear.  We’re pretty sure he’s a genius!!


Poor Ramsey’s hair stayed soaking wet with sweat most of the time, so we sported a mohawk while running errands one day!


Ramsey’s favorite toy was this bike! If he wasn’t riding on it, he was pushing it around everywhere!


One day while we were there, we went to a place called the Cultural Center.  It is set up like Taiwan would have looked many years ago.  It was very interesting, and we had a great time getting to explore and shop!


There was a parade/play that came down the street….


…and ended at a pavilion.  The acrobats were really neat!


I was so excited to see a 7-Eleven at the cultural center!  We went in to get a snack, and I almost picked up these Lay’s until I realized they were seaweed sushi flavor.  No, thanks!


I didn’t get the chicken flavor either.  Ha!  I did get some plain Pringles and a Coke!! YUM!


At lunch, I did try some squid.  That was about the extent of my craziness.  I pretty much stuck to rice and fruit!


Still so surreal to have him in our arms!


Me and my SON!!  I still love saying it.  Notice the shiny face.  I sweated gallons every day!


Ramsey loved playing with this basketball!  He would kick it and chase it forever.


Michael enjoyed playing a little ball too!


We stayed at a great hostel that had air conditioning, plenty of room and a great bathroom!  I was very thankful for this place!


The morning we had court was the only morning I tried to “fix up” by drying my hair, etc.  Needless to say, by the time I walked to the orphanage, my hair was in a ponytail and all my make up was pretty much sweated off! That morning, we had a wonderful meeting with Ramsey’s birth mom that I will remember and treasure forever.


This was the building where we had court.  I thought about getting a picture on the way out, so this was the best I got out of the back windshield!


We ran some errands after court, so I took a chance to take some pictures of some of the scooters.  They were everywhere!!


Lots and lots of them!


After court, we came back to the area where the orphanage is and walked down by a beautiful lake that is very close one last time.  There is one little street with some vendors and bike rentals.


The lake is very beautiful and serene and has a walking track all the way around it!


If you didn’t want to walk, you could rent these bikes.  Four people could peddle at the same time!


The hardest moment of our trip.  Driving away from Ramsey.  Oh my, it felt like my heart was breaking.  The only peace I had leaving him was knowing how much he loves his nanny, and she takes wonderful care of him.  Of course, going over, I knew we were going to have to leave him, but again, there is nothing to prepare your heart for that. 


When we got to the airport in Taipei, we headed straight for the Burger King.  Best french fries I’ve ever had.  Ha!


About to board to head back to the USA!

As I said, our trip was great! There is much that I didn’t share because I just want to keep some things private.  We are praying every day for the call that we can go back and get him for good.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mother’s Day…


We had a great Mother’s Day this year!  We had both of our families over for lunch and, as always, we had lots of fun!  I am so thankful for these girls who make me a mommy!  Being a mommy is BY FAR the HARDEST job, in my opinion. 

This is the third Mother’s Day we have celebrated since we started our adoption (4th if you add the May we actually decided we were going to adopt), and I never would have imagined our child wouldn’t be home by now.  Unless something very tragic happens, Ramsey will be home long before next Mother’s Day, and I am very thankful for that!!

I hope all of you Moms out there had a great Mother’s Day to!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

TOT Shine Time, Naptime & The Easiest Supper Ever….

Yesterday was a very busy day!!  The girls got to participate in TOT Shine Time, and they were VERY excited! They have been doing TOT once a week since September, and they have loved every minute of it!  Not only have they learned 25 basketball handling skills, they have also learned to count in Spanish and French, parts of the body, mixing colors and many other things.  It was fun to watch them show off what they had learned.  Selah was in a two year old class that met before Myla’s class, but in January Amy, the teacher, told me just to leave Selah for the big class so I wouldn’t have to come back to the church to pick her up after 30 minutes.  Of course, she adored being in the “big kid” class!


I forgot my “real” camera, so the pictures from my phone aren’t the greatest, but they’re all I’ve got!  Selah was very proud of her trophy, if you can’t tell!!


Myla was so excited to get her trophy as well!  I forgot how exciting it was to get a trophy as a kid!


The girls with Mrs. Amy!  They ADORE her!


Daddy ran over from work so he could watch the performance!


Happy girls with their trophies!


We love our girls!


I mentioned in my last post how Selah’s naps are hit and miss.  I think she was sleeping pretty good on the couch yesterday.  Ha!


I wanted to share one of my favorite suppers to cook because it is EASY and GOOD!  You stare with frozen chicken (I use tenders), but you could obviously use chicken breasts if that is what you would prefer.


Next pick your favorite salsa and taco seasoning.


Pour in the salsa, then the seasoning.


Stir it up well, then turn your slow cooker on Lo and let it cook for 6-8 hours.  When it’s done, shred the chicken and serve it on tortillas as tacos or on a salad.  We also eat a side of Knorr’s taco rice ($1).  Yummy, easy and cheap!  It doesn’t get much easier than that!!