Monday, March 26, 2012

A Busy Week

Anna had a busy week of meeting lots of friends and family. On Wednesday, we made our first trip to Target for a few necessities then drove through chickfila for nuggets and fries. Girl loves the nuggets. We then had lunch with Matthews class and spent a few minutes talking with the class about our trip. She was curious about all the little kids at school. She even met the principle and librarian. They all just loved her.
On Thursday we made our first trip to Walley World. She did great! She just rides and talks to me.
Over the weekend, Anna met and played with all the neighbors kids. We have lots of kids ranging from age 2-10 in the homes next to us. There's 12 kids to 5 houses. The adults are out numbered! We all meet up in the front yards and watch the kids ride bikes and play. Anna fit right in with all the kiddos. Sophia, who is 3 even gave Anna her old radio flyer tricycle. How sweet!
Saturday was just as busy. Anna and I went to my friend Gingers house for a mentoring meeting. Anna had lots of fun playing with all the ladies and eating brunch. After a nap I took her to buy her first pair of sandals. Oh, she picked out a bright pink pair! She's definitely a girly girl
Sunday we all went to church. It was a bittersweet day at church. It was our last day to meet at RHS, we are moving to our new location next Sunday. I was so happy to go and worship there one last time. Lots of memories in that building. Ethan had his baby dedication there and Matthew was baptized there and now it was Anna's first worship service with us. AHhhh.
After church we met our precious friends, ( mike and I feel like they are our mentors) Bill and Becky for lunch to share about our travels and for them to meet Anna. We are so blessed!!!
Like I said we had a busy week and I know I left out lots of details and others she met on the way.
I think we are all finally over jet lag and are starting to get into a new routine that works for all of us.

Sweet Sisters in Christ

Last Tuesday morning, I took Ethan to school and introduced Anna to his class. He was so excited for everyone to meet her. Once we were done I decided to go upstairs to MOMs in Christ and visit all the sweet ladies that have walked this journey with me. Oh how sweet my precious friends in Christ have been to me. Before we left for China, Pam (my small group leader) called and told me they were making a prayer blanket for Anna and our family and would be praying over it while we were on our trip. Y'all this is the most special gift I've every gotten. Well, I surprised the ladies with Anna and of course they all just loved on her. She ate her first chickin biscuit from Chick-fila while we were there visiting. These sweet friends presented us with her blanket and a generous love offering to buy some things for Anna. My heart is so overwhelmed at how God has blessed me with such sweet friends that have prayed for me, cried with me and now rejoiced with me. I can not tell each one of them enough how thankful I am for each one of them. I can't wait until I am able to join you guys on a regular basis again. Oh how I've missed you all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2 weeks with us

I can't believe we have only had Anna 2 weeks. She fit right into our family. Since we have been home she's met the cat- Max. We were worried about this because while we were in china she saw a small cat and screamed like crazy. She has actually been petting the cat cautiously. She's played with our neighbors kids, rode on a scooter and took a ride in her car seat.
She's exploring a little bit in the house trying to figure out what she can and can't play with and where the snacks are kept. Ha! I think she's a goat! Haha. Eats just like the boys do.
I am trying to transition her to her crib, tonight was the first time she slept in it more than 3 hours. Ethan showed her yesterday that her crib was okay by getting in it and laying down and holding my hand through the slats. That's what she did last night to go to sleep held my hand. So sweet.
I guess the honeymoon phase for the boys is pretty much over they have begun to treat her like they treat each other with a bit of brotherly harassment. She gives it right back to them. It's funny. They love her so much.
We are so happy to be a family of 5. There have been some tough times with the adjustment but we are just praising the Lord for all his provisions and pressing forward.
Keep praying for all of us to get well from our colds/ respiratory gunk. It makes a grouchy birdsong house.

Friday, March 16, 2012

We're Home

What a sweet welcome home gathering at the airport. I was overwhelmed with tears to see our family and sweet friends. I can't say it enough. We are SO happy to be home the last 24 hours were long and seemed like forever. Anna did awesome on all the flights especially the 14 hour flight from Hong Kong. The boys are extremely tired from all the travels and busyness. Matthew and Mike are coming down with colds but at least it's on the way home and not the entire trip. Ethan woke up this morning with fever and a sore throat. I think we are all run down. I can't believe the boys and I are actually awake at 7:30 am. I thought they would sleep really late, guess we will all take a nap today.
Anna had a hard night, this baby girl has just endured 3 flights, a car seat ride and a new environment to sleep and live in. She was fussy crying on and off through the night. Fortunately, Mike and Anna are still asleep. Can I say, AHhhh my bed never felt better. Thank you mom for nice clean sheets and a frig with food inside. Thank you Aunt Susan for the LSU blankets and notes to the boys, they love them!
Thank you sweet friends for all the prayers words of encouragement, sweet gifts at the airport, but most of all your friendships and blessing of prayers you poured out on our family while we were gone. Your prayers were felt and carried us through the last 2 weeks. We still need prayers as we recuperate from all the travel and sickness and for Anna as she transitions to her new home.
We are praising the Lord for all the great things he has done and is doing for us! We want to bring HIM glory and praise!

I promise to post more pictures once I download them.
The boys ate yogurt and goldfish for breakfast. Ha! I guess that's better than bacon and donuts they ate the last 2 weeks. So, glad to drink water from the tap. So grateful for all the blessing God has poured out on us.
Love you all! Can't wait for many of you to meet our girl!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


We would love to see you guys at the airport on Thursday night. We are on delta flight 731. Arrives Jackson 7:58pm. If we get delayed I will try to post again to the blog.
Thank you all for all the prayers. Pray for safe travels!
Love to all

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Zoo pictures

Two monkeys!

Consulate appointment

Yay! We are done with all the paperwork! Our appointment went as planned we will have Anna's visa tomorrow afternoon and head to Hong Kong around 4pm. We will spend one night in Hong Kong then board our long flight home at 930am Thursday (Wednesday night for you guys). When we land in Detroit, Anna will officially be a US citizen.
Pray for us all and the long flight. She is VERY busy and doesn't sit still much. It should be interesting. Pray we all get some sleep on the plane. We are anxious to get home and mike and I are getting tired!!! Pray for patience with all the kids and safe travels. We praise the Lord for all he has done for us while we have been here. We have all been safe, well and had a wonderful time. The Lord has connected our family in such a special way over the last 9 days. We are now
Family of 5!!
Love to all

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Guangzhou Zoo

Yesterday we all went to the zoo what a nice treat! The boys loved seeing all the cool animals. It was a really big zoo with pandas, zebras, tigers, lots of birds and fish. We all has fun. We stayed for about 1 1/2 hours and did not make it to all the animals. It was cold and overcast today. We haven't had a sunny day since we have been here. After a nap, our group met to go to the shaimin island to the pearl river boat dinner cruise. The city is beautifully lite up with lights on all the buildings. The meal on the other hand was not all that. We let the boys eat McDonald's before the cruise knowing they wouldn't eat a thing there and we were right. Oh with the exception of ice cream for dessert.
Today we have our consulate appointment. This is where we get the princesses visa! Our last step before coming home. Yay! We are ready to see our families, eat normal food and sleep in our own beds! Anna slept in her crib all night last nite for the first time and she is barely crying when I put her to bed. She must of ruled the house where she lived. She expects to get her way. Mike and I have had to put our foot down a few times, she get mad and cries but gets over it quickly. Mainly about her shoes/ socks, wearing her bib and sharing sometimes. She eats anything, even French fries and ketchup with the boys. Will post some more pictures later.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Shopping Day

Today we went to a local shopping market (mall) to buy pearls and jade. At the pearl store, they had what seemed like millions of pearls on strands. You would pick which strand you wanted and they would make your necklace, bracelet or ear rings while you waited. It was neat to see how fast they made them. We then shopped around for traditional Chinese silks for the kids. The boys want a set too. I can't wait to get a picture if them all in them once we are home. This market was not a touristy place you only saw locals and of course our big group of families. Everyone was nice but sometimes the language barrier is a bit difficult. Tonight we all went as a group to a local restaurant. We sat with a family who's brother lives just around the corner from us. Hard to believe you go across the world and make such connections. I can't wait for them to visit us back home.
We are all ready to come home. Especially the boys. They are getting tired of eating the same foods over and over. Breakfast for them- bacon, donut or toast. After 2 weeks of that I'd be sick of it too. Don't get me wrong they have many choices at breakfast. That's just what they are choosing each day. Can you say Flintstone vitamins while we are here. Yes!
Anna is still adjusting well. Have I said she does not like to wear shoes or socks? She wants to take them off while we are out and it's cold here. No ma'am. She doesn't like being told no.. It's funny if I tell her no, she wants Mike, if he tells her no she wants me. I think she's trying to work us over. Not happening. Girl is smart! She is funny, when she goes potty she sings this little song while she goes. At bed time she twirls her hair just before she falls asleep. She loves the stroller. Oh, and she loves to dance. The last few days we have put on music and let the kids dance around and she loves it. She grabs Mikes hands and dances with him. Have I said yet, daddy is smitten with little princess.
Tomorrow the zoo, after we go get her TB skin test checked. Which looks normal to me.
I'm looking forward to the zoo. Hoping for nice weather and no rain.
4 more days. Not looking forward to the long flight home but know we will see smiling faces once we get home. I'm sure I'm going to look like a zombie. Ha.
Love to all. Miss y'all

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Some pictures of the Princess

Medical Day

Our little princess did not like going to see the doctor. First of all it was crazy chaotic with LOTS of people. We had to see a doctor to check her out physically then an ent and then get her height and weight. Let me say. This was not like any medical visit I've had. Really a joke. She had to get a TB skin test and boy she was not happy. We go back on Monday to get the test read. Pray it will be negative. This process took about 2 to 2 1/2 hours because there were so many families.
We have met so many neat families from all over the US. While we were at the medical a lady had on a wild olive tee and I told her oh we did a fundraiser with them. By my sunrise she said I'm Amy with WOT. She recognized our names. She is here adopting too.

Our girl is doing well. She eats great and is very interactive with us. She is still sorrowful at times. Mainly when she wakes up or goes to sleep. Pray peace for her and a good night sleep for all.

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Friday, March 9, 2012


Today we traveled about 1 1/2 hours outside of Guangzhou to the city where Anna has lived since she was 9 months old. True children's home is the place she spent about 9 months in while she had her surgeries and the transitioned to foster care through TCH. The drive was neat, there were banana groves along the sides to the road. Once we entered Dongguan, you could see a transformation. The city was absolutely beautiful, landscaped like a city would be in South Florida. We were told many factories like sketchers and other clothing are made here. It really looked like a booming town in the states. As we drove to the hotel, my heart breaks for what Anna is leaving her culture and all that is familiar. Once we arrive to the hotel, Jenny the executive director met us in the lobby. She's from south Carolina and has been in china for the last 9-10 years. Her husband and child live in this hotel, their room was basically like a 2 bedroom condo. We met her husband Max who was super nice. He played with the boys while we all visited. Rebecca our guide, Jenny and myself went down stairs to meet her foster mom and Rose the medical director. We meet in a separate sitting area so Anna would not hear or see her FM. I was quite nervous and really didn't know what to say but Rebecca and Jenny facilitated our conversations. Her FM is the shortest lady I've ever met, she made me look tall. I shook her hand and tried to hug her but she was a little stiff about the hug. Jenny said she was sad. She began sharing about Anna, she said she was a very outgoing child who was loved by all the people in the village. Where they lived they could keep the doors open and Anna would run down to other children's houses to play. She also said Anna preferred her foster dad over her mom. Ha Daddy's girl. That her FD would spend time playing with her in his lap. At night time they would all go to the village square and listen to music and Anna would love to dance. She also told us everyone at the market loved anna and will miss her. It was very apparent she has been loved by this family and it was very hard for her FM to come today. I told her about where we live and she would have lots of friends her age to play with. I also told her how much we appreciate the love she has given our girl. She told us Anna can go to to squatty potty all on her own, has been taking showers and loves rice,veggies and fruit and drinks milk.
I had a special present for her FM and FD. I asked her to open her gift and explained my friend Ginger made the necklace I gave her and it was my way of saying thank you. She accepted it and put it on. We then took a few pictures together. Mike and the boys went to meet her next. The boys only said hello but mike stayed and visited for a while telling her more about our community and our backyard were Anna will play and be safe. That seemed to comfort her. We were told while we were switching her husband called wanting to know if she got to see Anna and she said no and cried a little. Jenny told us the dad probably was too attached to her and just could not bear the day. Rose also told us how funny Anna is and how she would play hide and seek when she would visit their home. Rose would make weekly visits to each home to check on the children.
What a wonderful blessing meeting this lady who put so much love into our daughter. This was their 4th child to foster and have a 14 year old son. I also got her email to send updates and pictures to her.
We spent a little more time with Jenny and her husband. I can't say enough nice things about them. Wonderful people. They plan to move back to the states in July. I can't wait to see them again. The boys got to try Chinese Oreos at their house and play with all their little boys toys. They loved it.
It was an emotional day but so glad we were able to see her foster family. One day I know she will cherish those sweet memories.

Tomorrow is her medical visit.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

7 days here. 7 days to go

We had a fun day at a Folk Art Museum. It was a beautiful building rich in Chinese culture. Our guide walked us through and explained all the meaning of what was carved in the walls. This building was made of a porcelain roof, beautiful wood carved doors. Unbelievable. We also did a little shopping. One man was making paintings with black ink only using his finger nails and the side of his hand to paint. It was amazing. Our little one took a ride in the stroller today and loved it. She has begun to open up more to the boys. She let Ethan love on her and play with her tonight. She does not like her teeth brushed, I think i traumatized her this first night with the toothpaste. We ate at a wonderful restaurant the Cow and Bridge. It's a Thai restaurant. Mike and I loved it. The boys basically tolerated it. In other words we had to force them to eat the food. They at Mc D's again for supper. Mike and I had a really good pizza from an Italian place. I will say I'm missing my home cooking. Ive been thinking about all the foods I want when I get home chickfila never sounded better. Ha The boys are missing eating yogurt and chickfila. . They have yogurt here it just taste different. One thing the boys are eating is ice cream. :)
We also walked across the street to a really nice mall. Wow, it was so expensive. We were looking for a few things for Anna, it's cooler than I planned for her. Thank goodness I found a couple of outfits and they were 1/2 off, still more than I wanted to spend. If you know me well, I don't like to pay full price for clothes, but she had to have a few things. I think on Saturday we will be able to shop in a more reasonable place.
Ethan asked today if we were going home tomorrow. When I told him we had 7 more days. He said "what" you've got to be kidding me.
Yes we are ready to come home too. I can't wait to see all our family and friends. And most of all sleep in my own bed with out 3 kids beside me. We all are finally sleeping a 8-9 hour night. I'm still waking up at 5 am but resting well.
Im sorry if this is so random just getting everything off my mind.
Love to all. Pray for a sweet time with her foster family on Friday( today as i type) Mike and I will take turns visiting with them without Anna present. I'm a little nervous meeting her foster mom. I'm so grateful for all she has done for Anna. She has been well taken care of over this last year. PTL

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One more picture

A few pictures

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 3

Today was a more relaxing day. We took a bus ride to the local botanical gardens. Although it was misty and overcast the gardens were beautiful. It was great to be outside for fresh air and let the kids run around. Anna is still doing well with eating, playing and bonding with all of us. I have some cute pictures, I hope to post if i can get them downloaded of her and Mike. She really spent a lot of time with him today. I think she's starting to realize this is permanent and has begun to grieve- usually when she is going to and waking up from sleep. She had a hard night last night, she cried a lot in her sleep and tossed and turned a lot. She also hasn't had a bowel move,ent since we got her. Say special prayer that happens today.

We have another free day of sightseeing this morning. It has been neat to see how different her culture is from ours.

Oh, yesterday morning Ethan was a superstar. It was hilarious. These 3 Chinese women came up to him in the hotel wanting to take their pictures with him. He wouldn't have anything to do with it at first. But soon warmed up to the idea. I think they took 10 pictures of him. I guess red hair is unusual here. We have gotten quite a few looks on the street too. People almost twisting their necks off to look at us. Not sure of its just Ethan's hair or just our crazy crew.
Love to all

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

She's ours now

Today was our official adoption day! Whoo hoo. At approximately 5pm she became Anna Karhryn Birdsong. She has really had a great day. She has a great personality and played a lot with the boys. 3 peas in a pod! She's spending time bonding with both Mike and I which is wonderful.
She had her first bath- in the sink. She wasn't too sure about when I poured water over her head but did great. She is eating really well we went to a Mexican restaurant tonight and she had beans and rice and tortillas. Welcome to the Birdsong family- we love Mexican.
A few things about her- she's very busy, likes to climb, she has a sweet laugh, she loves to play with her dad and brothers.

Tomorrow and Thursday we have a leisurely days. Yay! We are all tired and it will be great to go at our own pace. Friday we plan to travel 1 1/2 hrs from here to meet with her foster family. Saturday we have her medical exam and TB test. So continue to pray for bonding and attachment. She is calling me MaMa and will go to Mike if you say go to daddy. Pray we all continue to stay well and enjoy our time here.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

A few pics

First Night

Yesterday was a day full of lots of emotions. The waiting to get her was brutal. Once we arrived at the civil affairs office, it seemed like in no time she was standing in front of me. I couldn't believe my eyes. It happened so fast we didn't even get to record it. There we lots of other families their a bit chaotic. Anna Kathryn was scared at first but calmed down very quickly with the help of her big brother Matthew. He was determined to entertain her with his iPod. Crazy! She began to laugh and come out of her shell. Once we left to get back on our bus she was really showing us her lively personality. I couldn't believe how playful and happy she seemed. We went to a local supermarket to buys some basic necessities. That was a bit crazy too with nine other families and an additional 11 children in tow. Our guides Rebecca and Miko are absolutely wonderful. Love them!
Once we returned to the hotel, I decide to change her diaper and to my surprise she wasn't wet. I took her to potty and she went. Wow! She seemed very excited running around our room. Oh my! The boys were really excited too. I finally got a little food down them all and got PJ's on all. Bed time was heart breaking for me. Anna cried and cried, I snuggled her tight and she fell asleep. I tried to let her sleep in her crib but about 30-45 minutes later she began crying again. So this momma just snuggled her up tight, telling her all is okay, we love you and are never going to leave you. After a while, I think from exhaustion she fell asleep. I slept with all three kids in the bed. She did sleep most of the night. PTL.
Today is a full day, we go back civil affairs office at 9am where we do the official paperwork for her adoption. Which will take about 3 hours. Then this afternoon at 3pm we go to the police station to work on her passport documents. It's going to be a long day.
The boys have been real troopers, pray for them to be patient today. Pray for Anna to continue to bond and adjust to us.
Love to all
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Gotcha Day

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Today's the day!

I'm up early but at least I got a full nights sleep for the first time we have been here. I am so excited in 8 hours we will have our girl. We will officially be a family of 5 today. The boys are ready. They have been talking about who's going to sit by her and hold her first. Hate to tell them but it will be Momma not them but it's great to see their love for her.
Yesterday, we met 9 other families that are here to get their children, most from the South but a few from other places. What a blessing to see all these families doing what they were called to do. Here at the hotel we see families everywhere with little ones,they are all so precious. It just breaks my heart.
The boys ate McDonalds yesterday for lunch, we do get lots of looks, I think it's Ethan's red hair but everyone is very friendly. At lunch a waitress gave the boys a very tiny ice cream cone just to be friendly. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. It was so small, I mean tiny. It basically was a taster cup size of ice cream. I took a picture but haven't downloaded yet.
We are all starting to settle in to the hotel and hopefully a routine.

I found out last night that Anna did not go back to the orphanage but was able to stay with her foster family until she comes to us today. Yay! PTL.
Post again soon, next time with pictures of Anna!!!!

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

We made it!

We are safely in Guangzhou. Just getting settled in to our hotel and trying to adjust to the time change. The boys are doing really well. Pray they can continue to adjust to all the changes. We will get Anna this Monday at 2pm - this is 12am Sunday night for you guys. Continue to lift her up.
We love you all. Will post pics soon.

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