And then there was Pippa!

How to begin describing this day.... wow... wow..... wow! We are in LOVE with dear Pippa!  Right now, we are in our hotel room and seeing so many smiles and fun "talk" from her.  It's amazing all that has happened in just a few hours... so I'll start at the beginning: 

6:00 am  Woke up.. couldn't go back to sleep.... excited today was the DAY! But honestly, I was nervous too...... I guess because this is the day we have been waiting for... for sooo long and it was now here!  So we headed to the orphanage and I loved seeing the place where Pippa lived.  The grounds are beautiful and there are flowers around it and a little park meandering along.  We walked into the main building and straight to the meeting room. Immediately we began signing paperwork, etc.  And then a film crew was there from Shanghai and they asked if they could film and interview us for tv... and we said "Sure!"  Thought it was one more way to share about adoption and share how God led us to this day!  Other families started coming in and it was fun to meet all of them. Some of them I have met through my Shanghai groups on email so putting the names with faces was really special!  And then Mike was videoing the room and the families and all of a sudden he turned around and said, "There is Pippa!!"  And before we knew it... she was right there in the room.... it was like she just popped in!  The fun part is that we have it all on video and we laughed watching it because it was one of those unexpected moments!  We ran over to her and I immediately took her in my arms.  And she just stared and looked and took everything in.

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I wondered what was going through her mind and what she was thinking because she was very quiet at first.... but Mike and I were bubbling over with excitement and talking to her and holding her and taking turns taking photos of her.  It was magical!!

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Lollipops came out and she enjoyed that for a bit and then we gave her some peach puffs... honestly, I think she thought those were not so good...

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And then she started crying some and just getting mad.  She would throw her arm down like she was very "done with it all" and I could tell she was frustrated because she couldn't express herself the way she wanted.  I think she was realizing that she was with these new people with new smells and it wasn't her room that she was used to.  All these things were changing right before her eyes. You can see that sad look in her eyes in picture above. The grieving had already started and we weren't even in the van yet. It broke my heart but Mike and I both realized that she would go through this. 

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So we got in the van after some more photos and Mike was interviewed by the Shanghai film team... and then in the van we had a not so happy camper.  Pippa cried the entire way back to the hotel (at least 30 minutes). It was kind of like a mad cry because there were not lots of tears just frustrated gasps and cries.  We tried to console her but nothing really helped and I think our driver was wanting us to make her happy but we just didn't have anything really to make her happy. She was inconsolable.

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But back at the hotel, we discovered the secret in making her happy.... food.  Mike and our guide went off to buy some snacks for Pippa and when they came back with all this great food, Pippa loved it all.

She ate eggs and rice and almost an entire banana that she loved!  She had a bottle of formula and some apple juice and a whole yogurt cup.  Plus. some chocolate chips that she also loved.  And with eat bite of food,  it was like all the stress inside of her started melting and she started smiling more and laughing.  

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She slept a little bit but wouldnt' sleep by herself, she had to lay on me to sleep and I didn't mind a bit... however, we have no idea how tonight will go.  Am hoping she can sleep well!

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We did end up changing her diaper but she did NOT like her pink outfit being taken off of her.  She was desperate for me to put some of it back on and she was so sad that her yellow sweather was not going back on her.  I think she was so accustomed to the same outfit being worn day after day that it was like part of her identity.  So I put new pjs on her and then put her pink jacket back on her and then she was half way happy.

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The smiles started coming out more and more when daddy read a book to her and then played stacking blocks with her.  And we had fun playing tea party and just being together and giving her more food and snacks.  In fact, in a few hours,  her eyes were all lit up and sparkly and she is talking more and laughing.  Yea!!

It was a day of days!! Full of emotion for all of us and ending with a little girl who is now with her mommy and daddy!  We are so in love with her and I can't stop staring at her and all her cuteness!! She has our hearts and we are sooo happy!  Overall it's been a super great day!  It's hard to see her grieve and cry but also we understand this is part of it.   I can't imagine going from all things familiar to all things not familiar ... with a new language and new people and new smells and sights and sounds.... and surroundings.  

Tonight she is doing great and we are savoring these first moments with her! Have no idea what tonight will bring, but we need sleep badly so as you're waking up and reading this, pray that she'll sleep!

Today has been a gift!! We are sooo happy to have her in our lives!!  She is amazing and we can't wait for you all to meet dear sweet Pippa soon!

On the Road to Shanghai

Tricia's sleeping, so I'm on blog duty tonight.  Here goes.

After 24 hours of traveling, we made it to Shanghai and are safe and snug in our hotel room. Shanghai is huge. We haven't even begun to see the full scope, but there are about 40 skyscrapers in view from our window. Can't wait to explore the city a little tomorrow.

The day started early, getting the kids up and Sam off to school before heading to the airport. Mom and Dad are holding down the fort in our absense. It was hard to tell the kids goodbye but it's a huge relief knowing they're in great hands with GeeGee and Da. 

We got to see Derek, Rushton, and Mei Sims in Detroit on our/their layover. They'd just completed the 15 hour flight home from Hong Kong and were catching a few minutes before their last leg home. God is so gracious to give us that chance to see them and hug necks! Here are a few photos from our trip so far. 

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Mei Sims and Derek... beaming.

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Mei Sims has the sweetest little cry. Breaks your heart, but she didn't stay at it long with mom and dad around.

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Rushton and Mei Sims and blancake.

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At our gate, getting ready to get on the plane for 14+ hours. The flight was long but went fine.

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This is the bridge that crosses the river and connects 2 large areas of Shanghai. It changed colors every few seconds. This city is covered in lights. 

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View outside our hotel window. Can't wait to explore more tomorrow.

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Unpacking Pippa's shoes. Notice a common color?

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No girl can have just one doll! Can't wait to meet her on Monday and see what she's like. 

Thanks for all your prayers. Tricia will have to take over and give a full report tomorrow. Dreamtime. 

Creating and Blue Sky

298012201_5e04df1d43 Nicolas Masse

The Lake District.  Have you ever been? It is one of those magical places in the world.  A favorite of mine.  My mom and I visited this area in the 90's and we both loved it. Beatrix Potter is from this area as well as many other poet, writers and artists. It's a haven for creative land! So, on this cold day ( for Alabama), I am thinking that if I could stay a while in the Lake District, this is what I would create at night. ( photos below)  Because of course, the days would be filled with hikes up and down the rolling green hills, riding bikes through the villages, and painting some flowers along the way.  Then the night would be filled with soft lights and some imagination, fabric, felt, paper, and a needle and thread.... all the while, watching Pride and Prejudice.
Because if one travels in England, one has to have Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett close in thought!

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The paper mache birdie house

2882405318_4335c743ae The magical pixie girl
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Liqued Sky Arts

Oh, and this is the cottage we would stay in. 

Ok... now happy land has been visited.... Sigh....
Think I need to break out the Jane Austen books and start reading.