Thursday, December 31, 2015

The First Four Days

Enough sleep does wonders for a trip.  Between handling our sleep on the plane better and Titus doing so well at night, it's been a lot more fun this trip.  So much fun that I'm pretty far behind on our days.

Day 1, Dec. 23
We landed in Shanghai about an hour late, but we made it to our connecting flight with just enough time to spare.  Our guide got us checked into the Shangri-La and we headed to bed.

Day 2, Dec 24
Las time we took a few days to acclimate before we met Liz.  This time, some of the offices are closed on Jan 1, so we had to change our itinerary.  Although it made our trip two days longer, the upside is that we got Titus three days early, and before Christmas!  God blessed us both with a good nights sleep, and at 10:30, we met Titus.  He seemed very chill and smiled for us right away.  The director brought him to the hotel, so she wasn't able to answer a lot of questions.  We went back up to the room to complete paperwork, and then the guide offered to go purchase water and formula while we fed him.  The one note on the orphanage paperwork said "good sleeper" and boy, were they right.  He went right to sleep after eating and slept until we had to go for more paperwork.  A whirlwind of offices later, we were officially parents of one adorable, happy little boy.

First time in my arms!

Katie picked out some toys for Titus--the ball was a big hit.  

Big smile for Daddy

Day 3, Dec. 25

Merry Christmas!  We spent the morning at Teng Wan pavilion, a famous landmark in Jiangxi province. They had a lot of beautiful porcelain paintings, and our guide shared a lot of the history and culture about the pavilion.  We stopped by a restaurant that served braised meat and enjoyed our first dumplings of the trip.  We headed back to the room for nap time and ended up just ordering room service for dinner.  The noodles were recommended by another family who had been to nanchang, and we ended up ordering them a few times during our visit.

The smog was not too bad, but on cloudy days you could hardly see across the river.

 Nanchang is known for its porcelain--here is a painting done on porcelain tiles.

Outside the Teng Wan Pavilion
Day 4, Dec 26

Our guide took us to a beautiful park in the morning...I could definitely get used to the kind of parks they have here.  Even in December there was a lot of greenery and even flowers.  We were also able to stop by a shop that sold porcelain and chose some tea cups for the kids.  Sadly, by this point David and I both had raging colds.  We had a quiet afternoon while Titus napped, then tried to walk around the area a little bit.  I was pretty wiped out, though, so we headed back and just ate at the hotel restaurant.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Together at last

The official told us that when the nannies said he was going to see mama and baba, he smiled and clapped.  Titus is already laughing and playing with us...thank you so much for all the prayers about his transition!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Songs of the Season

This is my last post before closing the blog.  My security expert doesn't want me posting about dates, etc.  If you want to follow us on our journey, I'll be happy to add you to the private list--I just need your email.  

The temptation toward avian tendencies at this point in the game is sometimes overwhelming.*  I alternate between trying to complete single thing that has ever been on my mental list and wishing we had left yesterday.  It's been a little strange to have all this happen around Christmas, but it's really helped to have all these lovely songs to listen to.

I'm firmly ensconced in the "no Christmas music till after Thanksgiving" camp, and I love how the songs are so tied to all my Christmas memories.  I've been listening to Michael W. Smith's "Christmas" for a long time now.  As we face another huge change in our life, it's comforting to remember that God has brought me through a lot of Christmases, and it's not like that's going to change. 

But I also appreciate the reminder of how, long ago, there was another baby boy who was longed for, who was awaited by his mother, and that his arrival heralded the greatest upheaval the world has ever known.  My favorite songs also remind me of why he came--to fulfill the promise, to change the world, and to free us forever.

*Sticking my head in the sand like an ostrich or running around like a chicken with her head cut off.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Feeding the Freezer

Thanksgiving week saw a flurry (perhaps even a blizzard) of cooking and freezer stocking, and it has continued through this week as well.  It's so much easier in the winter, when soups are appreciated by the whole family, and having so much turkey on hand means I HAVE to do something with it before it spoils.  Sadly, endless hot turkey sandwiches cannot be on the menu.  I'm also working on ham (black bean soup), pork shoulder (korean and mexican), and another batch of spaghetti (Luke's and my favorite meal).

This may seem like overkill, especially since so many people have offered to bring us meals when we return.  Given our experience with Liz, however, it's not.  Trust me.  We'll take all the meals you want to bring.  It took about 5 months before I could easily cook in the kitchen when Liz was awake.  She was so sensitive to food, if she saw it, she would start crying because it wasn't in her mouth.  Well, we had maybe a 30 second window to serve it to her.  I would not wake her up in the morning until I had her breakfast plated.  Even after she'd had a meal, she'd start crying when she saw the fruit I was cutting up because it wasn't in her mouth.  Maybe Titus won't be like that (I just saw a post from another family who can't find anything their daughter likes to eat!), but I'd rather be prepared. 

If only other things were as easy to stockpile, like sleep and energy, or grace and patience.  There's only so much training in those things before the rubber hits the road and you get to put it into practice...and it's quickly coming near!