Today started off earlier than the rest, but it was a BIG day and I think our guide wanted to make sure we had plenty of time and were not late. Don't worry, EVERYONE asked me several times today if I still had my camera to make sure I didn't loose it again. However we were not allowed to bring any cameras into the government building...we knew this was their rule but it still just stinks! One of our biggest moments could not be caught on camera, but don't worry, I still took cute before and after pictures. :)
Hannah went in as a Chinese citizen...
And came out (according to China) a proud American citizen. She will not be given final citizenship until we hit LA back in the states...but this was a huge step!
Oh the fun she had with the American flag!
A little game of peek-a-boo.
In Chinese Hannah means "Sexy Lady", this is her working her sexy.
One last stop for family photos before heading back to the hotel...really, cause it's getting really hot and we are all SO TIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then it was time for the famous photo of all the adoptive families in our group...this is not easy when everyone is tired and hungry. Wow, and are we all tired. This has been a really hard trip on most of us, so I think we look pretty good if you ask me. Some sweet families in this group, and I am going to miss the instant understanding we all have with one another. :(
Our last Mommy shot together.
And our one and only shot of just the children...they will thank us for this later. There are some really sweet children in the group and they all seem to have wonderful parents. We are looking forward to watching them grow and bond with their new families.
Last I just wanted to give a little update on Hannah. She is doing so well with all things considered. She now knows us as Mama and Daddy...Yea! With all the Chinese people around she comes to us for comfort when she is scared or sad. She now LOVES her daddy, she even cried this morning when he left to take the boys down for breakfast before us. She is SLOWLY opening up to the boys (we do still have a lot of work to do on this one), she speaks some english words now (mama, dada, trash, turtle, Papa, diaper, night-night, more...), she likes bath time, and LOVES changing her clothes, putting on shoes, and having a bow in her hair. Here are a few pictures of her over the last week of trying to do those things herself. :)
This one she is trying to get one of the boy's underwear on.
She is doing so great, yet we still have a long way to go emotionally. As Charlie reminded me the other day, being here and going through all of this is really the easy part. We still have to take her home and raise her...and her biggest change has still yet to come (not sure if those were the most encouraging words to give me at that time, but they are so true).
We have had a great time here in her home country of China, but we are all really getting home sick. It makes me really sad when I think of her feeling the same way after being in America, but there will be no going back to the only life she has known. I know this is a great thing, but nonetheless a sad truth we will have to gently walk her through. I am praying and trusting in God that He will continue to give us the strength, energy, patience, and wisdom to do just that, cause right now it all feels a little overwhelming to me (and that's before the big travel back to the States).
I know we have asked for some big prayer request over the last days, weeks, and months, but our biggest challenge is just ahead of us. Please continue to lift our family up in your prayers. We are all going to need it!!!!!
Thank you all for walking this journey with us all the way to China. We are all SO VERY THANKFUL for each of you. We cannot wait to introduce her personally to each of you so very soon! Please understand if that may take us a little longer than we hope...she will set the pace for a little while.
Now, we pack...AGAIN! Tomorrow is our last day here...we leave tomorrow night for LA.