Friday, November 25, 2011


It's 10:30 on Thanksgiving night and also exactly one week since we have been home. Almost exactly a week ago, after 27 hours of travel, we came down the escalators at the SA Intl Airport. There Hailey and Hannah met for the first time and we received a welcome home that we will never forget. We were blessed to have so many friends come to welcome us back and to meet Miss Hannah. She was so excited that she slept through the entire event! We were also so blessed to come home to a stocked fridge a pantry and welcome home balloons and signs for each kid. We really have awesome friends!

Once home, we were able to see the girls interact with each other. Hailey seemed excited and wanted to show Hannah all of her cool toys. Hannah was a loyal subject and delighted Hailey by partaking in whatever toy/game Hailey placed in front of her. Finally at about 1:30am it was time to get the girls to bed - Hailey in her room and Hannah in her crib that we set up in the guest room. Hannah cried some that first night, but did eventually fall asleep. The sheer exhaustion of such a long day took its toll on all of us and we all slept hard. The girls woke around 10 the next day and the boys slept until 3pm!

The question I get the most is how are the girls doing with each other. The first day was rough - Hailey had a hard time sharing (her toys and her Daddy) and Hannah resorted to her Kung Fu smack attacks when she didn't get her way. There were lots of tears that first day. Each day the girls do better and better with each other. Of course we have daily episodes of hitting, not sharing or jealousy crying, but we also have plenty of time when the girls are happily playing with each other, sharing and laughing together. It's a big adjustment for both of them and I'm so proud that they are doing so well and trying so hard. We are doing our best to give them each lots of praise, affection and love. It's a process and it is cool to see how God is knitting us all together more each day.

This week we have had some trouble getting Miss Hannah to sleep. We had 2 nights that took 6 or more hours, yes HOURS, to get her to fall asleep. Thankfully, the last few nights have been much better. She understands it's bedtime and feels comfortable enough to allow herself to lay down and let me cover her up. After getting Hannah, she has changed sleeping spots 3 times as we switched hotels along the journey. Poor baby was so stressed those first few nights as she adjusted to yet another new sleeping spot. I'm glad she is getting the rest she needs and therefore so are we!

Hannah amazes us each day with her progress. She seems to understand the things we are telling her and she is saying more English words all the time. She seems more secure here in our house and with her brothers and Hailey. She is an amazingly brave, strong and feisty girl. She is sweet, lovable and a total blessing! I'm so thankful for the gift of all of our kids. Each one is a unique and wonderful blessing. I'm so grateful to have experienced becoming a parent through adoption. God has displayed his redeeming love for me through this process. He goodness is evident in the gift he has given us in Hannah. The journey to the other side of the world to get her was a thrilling adventure for us and the boys - a trip full of memories that are so precious! God's glory is best displayed when he makes the impossible, possible. He is found in the ordinary parts of our daily lives, but He is never ordinary. I'm thankful that He laid an extraordinary journey before us and we said yes! Oh, what adventure, blessings and love we would have missed if he hadn't said yes. More importantly, to walk God's path for my life is so much more fulfilling than my own narrow trail. He has used this journey to display his goodness, glory, love and power of redemption to our family. I'm so very very thankful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hong Kong Disneyland - A Fabulous Finale for our Trip!!!

Here are some pictures from our last day in China that we spent at Hong Kong Disneyland.

We fly home in just 11 hours. We can't wait to see Hailey and have all 4 kids together! We land in San Antonio on Nov 17th at 7pm (United flight 862). If you want to come and welcome Hannah home, we would love to see you!

This might be the finale of our China trip, but the adventure of being Hannah's family and being a family of 6 is just beginning. Please continue to pray for us and Hannah. God has been so good and I'm confident He will knit our family together nicely. Thank you for being a special part of our journey to go get Hannah!

Blessings from China (one last time)!

Chris, Amy, Travis, Chase and Hannah

The best surprise - Hong Kong Disneyland!!!

We spent out last full day in China at Hong Kong Disneyland!!! The boys had no idea until we pulled up that we were coming. Even then they weren't too sure what to make of it all. They only thought there were Disney parks in California and Florida. Once they figured it all out, they were sooooo excited!

Let me back track some.... Back when we thought we were all done having kids, we started saving (as a family) for a trip to Disney World. The boys added money to the fund along the way too and little by little we had saved enough money to go to Disney World. We were all set to go in the summer of 2011! Right after Christmas we booked our trip and told the boys the good news. They surprised us by saying they didn't want to go on such a big family trip without their sister. Then Travis said that he had heard us talking about the adoption expenses and he thought we should use the Disney fund for some of the adoption expenses. Chase totally agreed!! So we humbly and thankfully cancelled the trip and converted the Disney fund to be our adoption fund. That money was key in us being able to pay for some of the early expenses. We were blown away by the generosity and self sacrifice from our boys. You can read more about it in my blog post from Feb 19, 2011.

So, a few months before we came to China we noticed that many families were finding it cheaper to fly home via Hong Kong. Also, a few families had spent a day here at HK Disneyland and had great things to say about it. I still didn't get my hopes up, because I wasn't sure if we could afford the added expense. Then, God made a way... the DISNEY hotel here is cheaper than the hotel our agency wanted us to stay in and the park tickets were quite cheap (like the cost of Fiesta Texas tickets). Reports from other families were that the food in the park was very reasonable, unlike American theme parks. So, we decided to end our trip here and to surprise the boys!

We got Hannah's passport (with US visa) back and left Guangzhou, via private van, on Tuesday evening. This morning we had breakfast with 4 of the characters and then headed out for a full day at the park. We are here for one more night and then tomorrow we head to the airport to fly HOME!!! Here are some pictures from our breakfast this morning...

The huge Christmas Tree in the Lobby

Look who the boys found in the lobby!

See the excitement on their faces!

Hannah's excited too!!

See the Mickey waffle and pancakes...


Diasy trying to get Hannah to like her



Mickey trying to get a smile out of Hannah by playing peek a boo!

It's a Tradition

We Aggies love a tradition! Taking a picture of your newly adopted chid on the red couches at the White Swan Hotel is an adoption tradition. Look at our little China doll!!!

Last Trip To Shamian Island

On our last day in Guangzhou we went back to Shamian Island to take pictures of Hannah on the red couches at the White Swan Hotel (see next post) and to finish up our shopping. We love this place! Here are some more pictures from the island.