Something I've wanted to do for a long, long time is happening!  Thank you Jesus!

It has been a dream.  It has almost felt like an obligation at times.  Not so much for Lael, but for Arden.  We're heading to China!  Arden was so old when she left China.  She was almost 12 y.o.   She has always wanted to go back and revisit her past.  Lael has gone back twice already.  Both times though she was still a kid.  And, Lael left China when she was 3 y.o.   

The first time Lael went back to China she was around 12 y.o.  I'll NEVER forget her reaction when she found out she was going.  It was the end of our adoption trail to get 2 1/2 y.o. Cokie.  Mike and I were in the kitchen.   I said to Lael, "You're going too!!"  She didn't say a word.  She laid face down on the hard kitchen floor and sobbed.  Mike and I were like.... OK?  Lael said, "I always thought I would be much older when I got to go back."  

One year after that trip, Lael and Bret went back with us to get 11 y.o. Arden! 

So, Lael and Arden's memories are much different.  Still they both want to go back their roots.

Maybe girls are different than boys because none of my boys ever bring up China.  And, we will have to see how it all pans out which kids want to or get to go back.  

But, I wanted to thank my sister for helping with the kids.  Letting me live foot loose and fancy free!  Before my older sister always watched the kids, but this time my younger sister is.  When we went to get Lael my Mom was still alive and she watched Brady.

Also, thanks to my awesome friend,  Ginger!  She is going to be nanny, chef, crime controller and who knows what else she had gotten herself into.  Be nice to Jeeves and he'll be nice to you.  Maybe.   

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This was Lael in our Wuhan hotel, the city she came from.  This must have been the day after we got her, because she is experimenting with her first ever sipper cup.  She was amazed you could turn it up side down, but it didn't leak.  Hey, life is looking up. 

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One time we were in a taxi stopped.   All of a sudden our guide started screaming like a banshee.  I looked over and a motorcycle had fallen into our car.  Weird.  Apparently, no one was hurt.  We drove on.  But, 20 years later I remember it.  Not every day a bike falls into your car.  LOL

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Lael and her little shaved head.  It'll be Lael's first time back to her birth city, Wuhan.  She's thrilled.  Especially, now that her school year has ended.  She actually has time to stress down and think about the trip. 

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This is Wuhan too.  These were policemen sitting in the middle of the road.  They would point at the offending car.  The car would stop.  The police would walk up to the car and say something in Chinese.  The offending driver would speed off in fury.  I know because it happened to our taxi driver.  Our guide told us the driver had to pay a fine as soon as we were dropped off.  I never figured out what our driver had done wrong since, everyone in China drives like a crazy lunatic.   

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There were times I literally worried all morning about crossing the road.  I wonder how many people lose their lives in China just from crossing the road.  Pedestrians in China do NOT have the right away.  But, anyone who adopts 12 kids sucks it up.  I did cross that road.  God was with me.  Ha ha!

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So much has changed since our first visit to China in1998!  It is still VERY different than the US, but much less like being on another planet. 

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This was a Guangzhou seafood market we went to in 1998.  It was fun because you picked out your own smelly fish (actually our guide did).  Then, we took it to the corner restaurant where they prepared it for us.  Heads still on.  I didn't eat much.  But, our guide and Lael loved it!  Ha ha.  The other day  I actually contacted our guide, Sophie who took us there.  She told me the name of it.  What was nuts was we had been walking distance to it  on every trip we've made to China, but didn't know it!  So, we might go to it this time.  

Another memory is looking at those people in their kitchens eating.  They were all up and down the street.  Apparently, they didn't like this prissy foreigner woman walking around in shock, and acting as if she was afraid to get dirty.  One man took a big tub of stinky water and dumped it out by my feet!!  I had to jump back in a hurry.  OK, I got your point Mr.  This time I'll try and act more at home.  

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Arden in China while she was waiting on us to get her.  They let me send money for her a birthday party.  My sweet friend picked them all up and arranged it.  We will be visiting my friend this time too!  It was the first time Arden had ever been to McDonalds.

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I hope all these kids have been adopted.  The little girl in the pink stripes had eczema all over her body.  They didn't have money to treat it.  What a difference a family could have made.  Shame on you people who make remarks about Mike and I adopting 12 times.  


Beautiful Arden.




And my Lael.  She told me when she was little she was in love with me.  I saved her.  Thank you Jesus for letting me have the desires of my heart!








Lael is a senior!!  Both Lael and Arden are relieved school is out and they can slow down a little. They did great on their finals.  I'm so glad so they won't have anything on their minds, but having fun in China.  Also, Lael has an awesome internship waiting for her when she gets back. 


Arden is electrified about her first time back!  It has always, always, been something she wanted to do.  I can't believe Mike, and I are blessed to get to experience it with her.  Of course, Lael going makes it all the more sweeter!


Between work and school the girls haven't had much time to prepare for the trip.  Plus, they worried about their exams.  They were both very satisfied with them though.  Thank you Jesus!  Arden took the day off though... sorta.   She had to take her final test this morning.  So, this afternoon she treated her self to an expensive pedicure.  Of course, she keeps trying to get someone to give her $5 for the movie tonight to help make up for the expensive pedicure.   Sorry, I'm saving for China too!   

China Southern here we come!

Economy Class

China Southern Airlines Economy class seats provide a reasonable standard of comfort, with an average seat pitch and legroom. For the Cabin Seat Layout plans, we suggest you refer to our Airline Seat Plans guide where you can view Air China aircraft cabin layouts. A blanket and pillow are provided, at a 4-Star quality level. The Economy class onboard catering is ranked at 4-Star quality levels, with a choice of Chinese and Western meal options. tea is served with the me Chinese meal and you may have to ask if you want to get a beer or wine served – it is worth specifically asking for this to be served chilled. The cabin staff are quite enthusiastic with a pleasant demeanour. They are trained with standard English language phrases, and you may find that some questions you ask confuse them, but persevere and they normally get a better English speaking member of staff to help. The IFE system is good on International aircraft, and a choice of Western movies is offered, as are Western TV programmes.

We've got Arden who is still fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese!  We should do OK.  

Me:  "Arden tell them I'll take my tea now.  No, I do not want squid with is."