Last night in Guangzhou

As I'm typing.. I'm realizing this is our last night in Guangzhou and what an amazing adventure this has been.  I think when I look back on this time, I'm going to have the fondest of memories and I'll always remember China with a happiness that is like a present wrapped up and given straight by God Himself.   The joy in Pippa... the days of being with her and getting to know her bit by bit are priceless.  Discovering her China and it's beauty and all the traditions will be cherished.... sealed in my heart forever.  I will not forget her land.  And I want to her to be so proud of her heritage and where she was born and the country she lived in for 2 1/2 years of her little life.  

My oh my, Mike and I are still so captured by her.. by her sweetness, yet... again her firecracker-ness... her pure glee over things like "breakfast being served" and boiled eggs and congee.  So these are the things I will not forget:

Her Shanghai: the city full of lights and history and jetson like atmosphere of elegance and beauty.

When Mike said: "There's Pippa!" ..... oh, I will always remember those two words.. ..forever!

Her first day with us.... the moment we met her and I was overtaken with such happiness! 

Her first night with us and she wanted to wear her pink outfit that she had on at the orphanage so we put on her American pj's ( target) but put on her secure pink jacket over her pj's... to add that extra comfort for her first night with us.

Waking up and seeing that she is sitting up in bed... just quietly... not making a sound.

Her excitement when we ordered breakfast and she saw her big plate of food in front of her. She would literally squeal with delight....not just for one morning.. but every single morning we have had her.  The orphanage said she is timid and shy... umm... So far, she has no shyness in letting the entire restaurant know that she is very HAPPY about her fried eggs and congee!

Our days together discovering bits of the Big city of Shanghai.

Going back to her orphanage and meeting all her little friends and other precious children in the orphanage too.

All those little faces that were peeking out of their blankets... as we passed room after room in the orphanage.. room after room filled with 20 or so cribs in each room.... 

Our most wonderful cheerful sweet guide, Maggie, in Shanghai.  She was sunshine and comfort to us in a city where we knew no one.

Arriving in Guangzhou and seeing green trees and blossoms and sunshine and getting a "second wind" for the trip.

Meeting the dearest families in Guangzhou and realizing how precious it is to have other Christians to hang out with.

Being in a great hotel... with a waterfall and gardens and watching Pippa discover new things every other moment.

Eating chocolate with Pippa and both of us smiling at each other and having our chocolate bond:)

Carrying Pippa in my Boba ( thank you Ginny!) it is the best feeling to have her so close to me and watch her fall asleep as we are walking around the streets of Guangzhou.

Shamain Island..... A Chinese Charleston.... of sorts.

Starbucks Vanilla Latte.... a happy present!

Shopping for cute little Chinese dresses for Pippa and Rosie.

Skyping with Sam and Rosie and Gee Gee and Da and Nana

Being with Mike and watching him be a daddy to our 3rd child and seeing him fall in love with Pippa more and more each day. He is smitten!

Seeing God everywhere.... in this country... and in the hearts of many Americans adopting these orphans.

Amazing stories from families adopting... inspiring.... uplifting... challenging...totally God filled.

Pippa's smile and laugh.... she is a dream and prayer come true!

IMG_2562

Today was the day that families started packing up and heading back to the states. So we got the girls together for one last photo op.  Love all their Chinese outfits!  I put Pippa in the row of girls and she did not like standing there by herself and made it known very clearly, so she is half way in the group with me holding her.

IMG_2566

Happy mommies and their girls!

IMG_2581
Pippa with her new friend, Hannah.  We will be seeing her more because Hannah and her family live in Nashville.. so we are excited about celebrating some China traditions with them!

IMG_2586

IMG_2590

IMG_2591

Me and Pippa and Jill and Hannah... sweet friends:)

IMG_2604
On way home from restaurant tonight, Pippa would look up in my eyes and say in the sweetest tiny voice... "Mama, mama...and smile.....and then would look up again and say, mama mama"  She had a smile of contentment and tiredness mixed together...."I looked down at her and said, " Pippa Pippa, Mama, Baba" .... just kind of a reassuring that we are all together...... and then about 1 minute later she was sound asleep.  That is a moment I'll never want to forget.

Pippa is a love.  And I can't wait for you all to meet her!   Tomorrow we leave for Hong Kong at 4:30 and then spend the night there and fly out Friday for 14 hours and then arrive in BIRMINGHAM at 4:30 pm!  Would cherish prayers being lifted up for our long flight home.  And that God would cover us with His protection and grace and energy and strength and good health.... and rest and comfort on flight for all of us.

I can't wait to see my kids!  Rosie and Sam... we are coming home!!