"Adventures, I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull...But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually...I expect they had a lot of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten."

-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Its been a whirlwind two months. We received out TA, and requested consulate dates.... And what was available had us leaving only a week and a half later. Talk about crazy!

We left on January 13, and arrived in Shanghai on the 14. We spent the night there and then flew to Zhanjiang and spent two wonderful days there with friends who run a foster home, Grace Village. Oh my, what a blessing to watch this family be the hands and feet of Jesus! Seeing those kids who now know love, family, and faith. It was absolutely incredible! If you are looking for a cause to support, please consider Grace Village. They currently have 5 little ones and soon are opening a new home for kids with Down syndrome. Truly doing the work they are meant to do. And they need support!

Anthony in Shanghai

At Grace Village in Zhanjiang

Outside Grace Village and the Bennett Home

On the wall at Grace Village. Could it be any more perfect?

Anthony found a star fruit tree!

Watermelon Juice at WiMi coffee in Zhanjiang

At the waterfront in Zhanjiang

Grace Village

We all fell in love......

Anthony had a great time playing with all the babies. I wish I could show all the pictures and all the babies. Please consider supporting Grace Village.

On the train ride to Nanning

We took a train (seriously the oldest train I've ever seen.... And we rode lots of trains in Ukraine!) to Nanning on Sunday and arrived at our hotel ready to meet Zoey! On Monday we were to be ready in the lobby at 2:30 to head to civil affairs. What seemed to take forever was suddenly in hyper drive. I realized how much I missed having my husband with me for this part! Meeting our new child. When we got there, Zoey was already there and we got to spy on her a bit before meeting her. She was just as precious as her pictures and videos! I had to sign more documents and then we were ushered into a little tom with our guide and the head of civil affairs. And then they brought her in. Oh my.... I can't describe it!

Signing a few last documents

Zoey was already there and waiting for us!

Signing the harmonious period agreement

There she is!

Saying hello

Anthony gave her her doll

It was so sweet, she loved it!

Then she came to me and let me hold her!

Anthony was pretty sweet

She kept giving us these smoochy kisses. It was pretty cute

And away we go!

Back at the hotel we got out the toys and goodies to break the ice a little. 

She got a little overwhelmed and let me comfort her. 

Harmonious period over, time to make it official!

All done! She's ours!

With a few of her nannies. She was in foster care but she obviously had a very good relationship with these women. She adored them and they her. They were crying as they said goodbye. 

We spent a few days in Nanning finishing paperwork and waiting for Zoey's passport. We were able to go sightseeing a bit, though it was raining and pretty cool the entire time we were there. We went to the mountain and that was beautiful. Anthony and I climbed to the top of the pagoda at the top of the mountain. We were a mile up above the city, it was a gorgeous view and such a great time!

Getting ready to go up the mountain

Anthony on his way up!

The pagoda at the top of the mountain

Anthony at the top! The view was amazing, though it was raining and foggy

Zoey and her snacks

Then we took a train to Guangzhou (this time a speed train!) and made it back to the Marriott where we spent our two weeks when I came with Hilary to get Hannah. Wow... flashbacks being in that same hotel and room again! Zoey was very upset on the train and by the time we got to Guangzhou, she was a hot mess. We got some room service and hit the sack for the night!

Anthony at Chen Clan Academy in Guangzhou

Chen Clan Academy

Fun fact.... it snowed the day we went to Chen Clan Academy. It hadn't snowed in Guangzhou in over 50 years.... and of course it snowed for us! It was a big deal, people were out taking pictures and dancing around in it. Nothing stuck, but for a bit there were huge snowflakes and it was very pretty!

Anthony in front of Chen Clan Academy

we found out Zoey takes her noodles very seriously!

We bought some new silks!

Anthony telling Zoey about the waterfall in the garden of our hotel. She was very interested!

With a Banyan tree on Shamian Island

On Shamian Island

Anthony on the Pearl River on Shamian Island

Shamian Island
Zoey with the statue that all adoptive parents try to get pictures of on Shamian Island. She was so cute with it, and drew quite a crowd!

Anthony and Zoey

Seriously.... so cute!

Ge Ge and Mei Mei

We really had a great trip. Zoey is amazing, and doing very well. She needs a little help in the sleep department, but she's adjusting very well and is pretty easy going. We are so blessed and so happy to have her home.