Monday, January 31, 2011

Chinese New Year Celebration

Audrey Kate and Jada at the party.

Samantha in her beautiful Chinese dress.

The girls in the parade.

Adam and Greg in the parade.

The Lion Dance

Samuel Fang the founder of Living Hope Adoption Agency.
They helped us bring home Samantha.

Adam with his best buddy Richard.

In front of the Project Orphan Blessing donation tree

Us with Sherry. We sponsor her through LHI. It was so nice to meet her and talk with her.
She wants to be a tour guide when she grows up.

Mr. Richard broke out the big boy toy Sunday morning.
The girls loved going for rides on it.
I can't tell who is having more fun...

Mr. Richard or the girls

Sam and Ruby had a turn too!

Adam and C.J. had a turn

So did Stephen.

As always we had such a good time with our TN friends!
We just wished we could see them more often.
We had a great time at the CNY celebration.
They had more that 300 people in attendance. We enjoyed the food, the parade, the Living Hope Angels performance, and seeing all those children who have found forever families.

Thanks Richard, Sheila, Jada and Ruby for such a fun time!!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Memories of Taiyuan City, Shanxi China

Typical street. See the girls in the background holding hands? That is how best friends in China walk. My guide, Jenny, told us that if she and I walked around arm in arm people would know we were best friends.

Adam got lots of attention.

People were curious about the Americans with the Chinese boy.

Asian children are so beautiful.

The crowd followed us.

Daily life

Our hotel The World Trade Hotel

Local shop.

The best part of Taiyuan City

Fresh meat for sale right on the street.

We found this in the children's department at the mall.
Isn't it funny how a bear likes apple?
I always thought Pooh Bear liked honey!
Plus it rhymes!

We have enjoyed looking back at the pictures of our trip to Adam.
I long to be back in China at times.
We just had such good trips both times.
We really did love it.
I can't wait to take Sam and Adam back one day.

We also sent one last update to our travel site.
You can view that post here.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gotcha Day Memories

There is a tradition in Chinese adoption that the day
you meet your child is called "Gotcha Day".

I am not sure how it got started but we didn't go against the system and try to change it.
We went with it.

So each year on the day we met Sam and Adam we
celebrate"Gotcha Day".

In any adoption the day you finally have your child in your arms is special day.

The smiles you see are genuine. There is an intense happiness and joy to
finally be together forever.

We had a special mother/ son bond from day one. There are hardly any pictures of Greg with Adam this day because I would not let him go. He was so happy to be with us. We had prayed for this since Adam was almost four and it could have been tearful and heartbreaking. He was leaving everything he had ever known. He was happy in China. He was loved and well cared for. He needed a mom and dad and a permanent home but at four he could not possibly understand such things. God answered our prayers that day.

He was so precious.
We could not understand each others language but his face said it all.

The adults in his life were God chosen. From the orphanage director, who originally contacted Harmony Outreach to help with his care, to his nanny, to the house director where he lived to myself and Greg we were all there with him January 25th 2010 to help him make the transition.
Some goodbyes were hard. His nanny had a hard time letting go. He was a favorite and I know why now. I wouldn't want to say goodbye either. Selfless work to raise a child for 4 years then say goodbye. I promised her he would have a good life and we would take very good care of him. I was crying too!

God bless her!
Adam never shed a tear. He was asked if he wanted to go back with them or stay with Mama and Baba. He quickly said Mama and Baba. Can you imagine what must have been going through his head. Total strangers coming for him, saying good bye to his friends and home but yet all the while he smiled.

After all the papers were signed we headed to Walmart.
Really why should Gotcha Day in China be any different that a normal day in Charlotte.
Adam was so curious about where we were.
We are certain Walmart was not part of his routine.
It is now!

I could not take my eyes off of him.

It is not quite like the Walmarts of south Charlotte.

There are meats of unknown origin.

And very long skinny fish.

But in other ways aren't all Walmarts the same.
We actually needed a stroller, some diapers and other supplies to keep our boy happy.
Our guide helped us find what we needed and we were on our way back to the hotel.

Finally a little father/son bonding time.

A bath and some new pj's and our day "Gotcha Day" was complete.
Dang Hao Ren was given a choice. We told him we would call him by whatever name he like the best. He told Lily the house director he wanted us to call him Adam.
Even just today he told me he really like the name Adam.

Thanking God today for January 25th 2010.
We will never forget it!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23, 2010- Memories of a very special day

January 23rd 2010 we were asked to attend an orientation meeting for all Holt families.
We were given information about Chinese culture and what we should expect while in China.

We could also meet other families and get updated info about our child.
All of it was very important information to have but there was something more important waiting for us.
Although it was not Gotcha Day, Greg had arranged for us to go to Harmony House to meet Adam. John Bentley, founder of Harmony Outreach, offered for his driver to pick us up and take us to Harmony House that Saturday. We skipped out on the meeting for the chance to go.

Harmony House is in Langfang 45 minutes outside of Beijing.
We were so excited!
He was napping when we arrived. We saw him for the first time when he was brought down the stairs.
I wonder what he was thinking!

Our first kiss.

Our first hug.

Our first moments together.

One year ago today.

It was a happy day.

Adam's bed at Harmony House.

Ni Hao Yall

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