Wednesday, December 16, 2015


This morning we had to get going a little bit earlier, so we headed down
to breakfast in the hotel to eat and get our things together.  At 8:45,
Aron met all 5 of us Lifeline families to take us by bus to the medical
clinic that is approved by the US consulate to conduct the medical exams
of all the adopted children that will be applying for a US visa later next
week.  We had seen a couple of the families at breakfast, and then met the
rest in the lobby.  It's about a 20 minute drive to the clinic-- depending
on traffic -- and we had the ride there and wait time at the clinic to get
to know each other and all the new family members.  Our Lifeline families
are from all over:  Alabama, Maine, Ohio, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.  We
also ran into several families from other agencies that we'd met in
Kunming on Gotcha Day and had gotten to know at the hotel there.  These
families were from Washington D. C., Florida, and New Jersey.  The entire
clinic was one big circus!  I'm sure that there would have to be a better
way to organize the whole thing, but in the utter mayhem, we got to know
still MORE families with other agencies while waiting in line for the ENT
doctor's office or the general pediatrician, or the nurses station.  It's
hard to estimate how many families were there, but I'd guess close to .
Little ones under age 2 got to be excluded from the blood draw used to
test for TB, so we didn't have to do that, but while we were waiting for
our other families to be ready, we got to hear stories of how God had led
couples to adopt.  It's not only Christian families that adopt, but most
of the ones that we've met have been.  That common ground is incredible,
and it's one of the things that Dan and I enjoyed most about our last trip
here.  New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho, California, Georgia.... and
more---- story after story of God's providence in leading us all here
through this week to change our lives and those of our sweet Chinese
children!  And, the coolest thing is that this happens week after week.  A
statistics quote by the consular's office said that Americans alone have
adopted more than 66,000 children from China since 1999.  Wow.  So, in
spite of the chaos of those corridors of the clinic, we left encouraged by
all that the Lord is doing and has done!  -- Children entering homes to be
orphans no more..... lots of love, care, and attention offered to little
ones who have had a hard start.  The amusing thing was that so many of the
stories that we heard began with, "We never thought we'd adopt a child!"
God's ways are so much higher than ours!  We met couples that hadn't had
children before, and met others with large families like ours.... and lots
in between.
When we got back to the hotel, we got Bethany to take a nap, and Dan left
with our paperwork to go to a meeting in which Aron would help organize
all the multitude of things that we need for these steps of the process:
our passports, Bethany's passport, her vaccination record, proof of her
abandonment, her birth certificate, all our immigration paperwork, and
more.  If it were up to us to know what to do at which office, we'd be
sunk!!  We praise God for the Lifeline Chinese staff who know this process
backwards and forwards and walk families like us (clueless!) through it
every week!!
Our 5 families decided to get together for supper at a restaurant near our
hotel.  Dan and I knew the way since we'd been here before, and one of the
families that had been in this province for their Gotcha Day had been
there once, too.  It's a Thai restaurant that has great food and a fun
atmosphere.  They couldn't seat us all in one spot (there are 20 of us
total in the 5 families since two couples brought along biological kiddos,
too, and one couple is adopting 2 Chinese boys) so we broke up into 2
groups.  Our group laughed the ENTIRE time at one little 5 year old who
can out-eat all the grown men!!  He is a Hoot!  You'd think that he must
have been starved at his orphanage, but he is chunky enough (like
Bethany!) to know that that isn't true!  He just loves food!  We were
seated at a round table that had the large circulating part in the middle
so that you could spin around the food on the center and serve yourself
from the dishes there.  We each ordered a couple of entrees and shared.
This little guy would stand up in his chair, spin the center to whatever
was left and help himself!!  :)
Bethany is still being such a good little sleeper!  She gets fussy a lot,
but has only cried when we're put her down for a nap or nighttime 3 times!
 Amazing.  And, Dan and I are still going to bed about the same time that
she is!!  (Baby bed time is good for parents with jet lag!)  She actually
likes the crib at the Garden Hotel better than the pack-n-play that the
Kunming hotel had for her.  That's good news for us, because the crib that
we have at home is almost identical to this one!!  Maybe this pattern will
keep up!

P.S.  Mom, Dad, and Bethany are at the airport in China now, and they'll arrive in Atlanta Thursday morning.  We're so excited to see them tomorrow!!

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