Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two Years Ago

Two years ago, Lin Guo Chu walked into our arms and lives forever! It was one of the incredible moments you will never forget. I thought I would share the travel blog posting from that day...

The day started early... 3:00am. We couldn't sleep. Just a tad nervous around here! We finally headed down to breakfast around 6:30 and we were the first of our group in the lobby at 7:50. Yes, we're in a group now with two other families.

So we met Shiyan and headed out for the Big Day! First, a stop at the bank which took a horribly long time. Then it was off to the orphanage. We were ushered into a big meeting room and sat down to do the paperwork. I think it's just downright cruel to expect us to hand-write something so important while our fingers are shaking so much we can barely hold the pen!

After sitting around for a while, not really sure what was happening, Shiyan finally told us the three kids had all been getting their TB skin tests checked... and all three had tested positive. So they were all having to get chest X-rays. Okay, take a deep breath... and panic. Lin, being over 10 years old, cannot travel to the U.S. if she has tuberculosis. Take another deep breath... and pray.

One of the other dads and I (Lisa) both left the room to use the bathroom. As I was walking back out, I saw two little kids in the lobby and I knew right away they were the new son and daughter of our travel-mates. We were told Lin had gone to get her belongings and would be along shortly. Both of the other kids in our group are 5 years old. The little girl was all smiles. The little boy... not so much. That was tough, to be in the room while that poor little boy tried to run away from his new parents. Shiyan assured them that his reaction was perfectly normal, though, and not to take it personally.

Several minutes later we heard someone say "Lin Guo Chu is coming". We both ran forward to meet her in the doorway, and there she was! She had a smile on her face and she let us hug her. She was clearly nervous and unsure of what to do. That made three of us! But we sat down and showed her some of the things we brought her. One of her teachers came in and told us that Lin is very well-liked, a leader among her classmates, and she will be missed. We were told she is a very good girl, and she certainly seems to be!

 Oh, there's just so much to tell and I don't know where to begin, really! She has been quiet, smiles at us every time we look at her. She says Xie Xie (thank you) anytime we do anything for her; she seems incredibly polite. But probably the most important fact of the entire day: she wants to learn how to play the drums!!!

Just a quick bit of great news... her x-rays came back clear!!!! We'll have to carry the x-rays with us to U.S. Customs and Immigration for verification when we land home. Lin is an amazing girl and we are so honored she is a part of our family. As we were leaving the orphanage, the director and many of the other caretakers walked us to the van. It was truly heartbreaking as they all said their goodbyes. She was truly loved there... and the sight of her looking back at them, waving goodbye will forever stay with me.

We've been under a 24-hour harmonious period to see if it'll work out. Our guide Shiyan called last night to talk with Lin. After they were through, Shiyan told us that Lin is very happy!!!! She is scared of learning a new language though. We were playing around with some alphabet flash cards and she got about half of them correct. She was all smiles and giggles, especially trying to pronounce our last name.

Our first picture as a family of four!
It has been an incredible 2 years. There has definitely been some challenges as Lin became a member of our family, but through it all she has shown incredible bravery... we love her so much!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Whew... what a weekend

Friday was Ruby's last day of pre-school! An exciting and sad time. She has learned so much the past two years and made many friends along the way. Here she is posing with her teacher. Our little social butterfly is so ready to tackle kindergarten in the Fall!

Friday night was also the last day of Ruby's Chinese dance class and the Chinese school had a year-end celebration where her class did a traditional dance. They received a huge applause.

Ruby posing with her Chinese dance teacher after the big show!

On Saturday day, the graduating pre-school class walked in a fun parade through town. It was the last time many of the kids would see each other before heading off to different schools. Although I envision many playdates over the Summer!

After the parade, we hit the local Greek Festival for some gyros. Ruby couldn't stop giggling about how much she looked like her Spongebob popsicle.
After such a Ruby-centric weekend, we took Lin out for a little fun and she really wanted to see this one!

Ka-Pow! When was the last time you saw Norris on a movie poster?! Needless to say... Dave is super excited for this one!
Also, we were visiting Dave's parents and Ruby was just playing around the house when she walked into the room with an old phone. She asked if it was a real phone and Dave told her it was and to put it down. She left the room. Moments later, the phone rings and Dave's stepfather answers it. We hear him say that everyone is okay and then he tells whomever is on the phone that his grandkids are visitng. He gets off the phone and calls Ruby over. He asks if she dialed 911 and Ruby's face drains of all color and she immediately bursts into tears. We told her she wasn't in trouble and that we were happy she knows how to call for help, but only do it when there is an honest-to-goodness emergency. She cried for about 15 minutes and calmed down. But, as we were leaving, we asked her to apologize to Grandpa for calling 911. She started crying again, but the funny thing was that she was also holding onto a kazoo she got from the parade earlier in the day... and her cries sounded like a dying duck. We tried our hardest not to laugh as she cried through the kazoo. It was classic... the poor thing. Lastly... our rock band, LISA CANT SING,  had a rehearsal Sunday afternoon. We're breaking in a new bass player and getting ready to rock a big gig at the end of the month.