WELCOME TO LEEMINGVILLE!
"What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of the orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world." James 1:27
A strange thing happened today when looking for a splash pool at various department stores. I had to look high and low for an employee to help me. It is in sharp contrast to the past couple of weeks we spent in China. When you go into a store in China there is literally one or more employees for every isle! Very strange. I don't know how the stores make any money with so many employees. And they often just stand there doing nothing. At my work when there is nothing to do you at least try to look like you are doing something! :)
Anna has adapted unbelievably well with our family. The other kids love her.
Landed back in Canada tonight. Canada, we love you! We had a great time in China, a trip of a lifetime, but it sure is fantastic to be back. Currently we are at some friends house in Uxbridge for the night. It's been great to actually view our blog as we couldn't in China because of government restrictions. Its also been good to read people's comments for the first time. Hope you didn't think we were being stuck up by not responding. Very tired as I was unable to sleep on the plane so I've been up for about 30 hrs. Anna of course did sleep on the plane so she's wired and ready to go! This is daytime for her! Will write more tomorrow.
Just missing our eldest who is working on his Grandfathers farm.
Yesterday we went to Anna's orphanage and it was one of the best things we've done. Got lots of photos and video in which we will be able to show Anna when she is older.
The orphanage is American run and is dedicated to orphans on the lowest rung of the ladder - those with special needs. The good news is that the vast majority get adopted!
The Chinese nannies who raised Anna for a year and half were overjoyed to see her again.
Esther standing beside Anna's former crib.
Esther was moved by the whole experience. She's here with a boy with a cleft lip.
Few things are more depressing then leaving an orphanage with only one child. But it was still a good day and we're glad we went. We are so thankful for this little girl!
Yesterday we went to Anna's orphanage and it was a great experience. Last night and this morning I tried to upload photo's to this blog but failed. I'll do it when we get back to Canada. Speaking of Canada we are getting on a plane in eight hours and heading for home! It has been a great experience here but we are dying to get home and see our other kids. We miss them so much!!!!! Thanks to all who have been following this blog but please don't stop as I'll be doing regular updates for a while. Special thanks to the Vanberkels, Batelaans, Powlings and Vicki's father who have been taking care of our other kids while we've been gone! And oh yes, Dan who has been house sitting for us.
After talking with an Australian couple here at the hotel who happen to both be doctors Vicki took Esther to a clinic. Xray's were taken and yes, she fractured her arm the other night.
I think when we get back home we will need to buy Anna a soother? What a little character. My other kids back home are going to love her.
Tomorrow we're going to visit the orphanage that Anna was at before we got her. Previously we were told she was raised by a foster family in Urumqi but........ Actually, we were given their website a few hours ago so check it out. You can even see Anna in one of the pictures. Her name at the orphanage was Wanda.
Mark has done most of the posts so I will take a turn now. For the first week we were here I couldn't believe we were really in China. I have enjoyed our time here very much. Being in a different culture and meeting people from not only China but Iran, Australia, Holland and Germany has been wonderful. I am so used to being stuck in Melrose. Of course, best of all is getting to know Anna. She is very smart and funny. Also full of energy. A precious little girl. My time here has been very emotional, at times stressful and I am missing our other 3 kids so much. I can't wait to see them and introduce them to Anna. It will be wonderful to have our family all together. I am very thankful for our kids, each one is such a blessing. I could not feel richer if I was handed a million dollars. I am so very blessed! Vicki
P. S This is Mark. I agree with Vicki. I'm missing our other kids although a million dollars would be nice. :)
Today we went to the famous Forbidden City. Very hot and the crowds were unbelievable! Speaking of famous we know what a celebrity feels like. People stopped us and wanted their picture taken with us! Esther with her long blonde hair is the main reason. Today wasn't the first time either and once you let one person everyone else wants a photo! A very strange experience! Esther is asking to have her hair cut short and dyed.
Okay, not the best picture but the best I could do with her beside me. Vicki and Esther went swimming and I took Anna for a latta at McDonalds. The local Starbucks is closed for renovations!!!! Arggg!
So happy we have this little girl and with Christ's help we'll raise her and give her all that we can.
Had a window seat to Urumqi. Urumqi is an "oasis" in a vast desert. I've never seen a desert before so it was pretty cool to look out the plane window and see sand dunes. (I did fly over the Sahara 20 years ago but it was at night!)
We arrived back in Beijing Friday evening. Our flight was delayed about three ours because there had been heavy rain in Beijing. Since we were unable to get on the blog while we were in Urumqi I will give a summary of how our week went. Monday was the day we were to receive Anna so at 9:30 am we went to the Civil Affairs office and began doing some paperwork. Within about 10 minutes two women came to the door carrying Anna. We were quite surprised because we had actually seen Anna with her foster mother at the airport the day before but we did not realize this was her. It was a very exciting time, needless to say, but as soon as her foster mother left Anna was very upset. After crying a while she was just very quiet the rest of the time and kept looking us over very intently. It was a busy day of paperwork at different offices and photos for her passport. That evening back at the hotel she began to play with some blocks with Esther. We all joined in and soon she was smiling and laughing. It was quite a wonderful time. She is a very happy little girl and has done very well considering our days have been busy. On Wednesday our guide Jane took us to the Urumqi Museum. It was very interesting. We learned about the many different ethnic groups within the Xinjiang Province. The Han people are the minority here. This is Anna's ethnic background. There are many other different people groups here that are mainly Muslim. Different from the rest of China. We also saw several ancient mummies. Today we have some immigration paperwork to do. We are very thankful for our guide Lily to help us with everything here in Beijing. We are enjoying our time but missing the kids very much.
We had no wireless access in Urumqi so we were unable to update our blog. After a three our delay we are finally back in Beijing! A picture is worth a thousand words so I'll let them speak. She is so darn cute!!!!!