Well, the count down has started. We officially have our travel dates and will be leaving for China on... June 25, less than one week from today. Woohoo!!!
Here are the official travel dates that we received from our agency:
Beijing arrival: 27 June
Holt orientation: 3 July
Date to Province: 4 July
Baby Butterfly Day!: 5 July
Guangzhou Arrival: 9 July
U.S. Consulate appointment: 13 July
Visa issued: 15 July
Leave China: 16 July
Beijing: 27 June - 4 July
Guiyang: 4 July - 9 July
Guangzhou: 9 July - 16 July
Although the agency orientation is not until July 3, we chose to arrive a few days early to do some sightseeing with the Ladybug. Since this is her home country, we want to experience some of China with her before we get the Baby Butterfly. We also want to make the last week as a family of three very special to our little girl. And, though we are leaving on Friday, June 25, we actually won't make it to China until Sunday, June 27. That gives us six good days of sightseeing and relaxing in Beijing before our orientation.
The really exciting news is that we spoke with the Ladybug's foster mother a few days ago (through an interpreter), and she knows when we will be in China and is looking forward to seeing us again. We cannot wait to see her again, and the Ladybug is very excited to give lots of hugs to the lady that took care of her for the first 7 months of her life. This wonderful woman is very special to our family. She loved and cared for the Bug so much during those first 7 months.
It was very difficult for the Bug's foster mother to hand over our little one to us, a moment that I will never forget. We were all in tears, tears for different reasons. Tears of joy and tears of sadness. Our family was so happy to finally have the Bug in our arms, but at the very same moment the foster mother's heart was breaking as she said good bye to the Ladybug. I saw her heart ache at that moment when she started to hand the Bug to me. Because of this anguish that I saw in her, I didn't immediately take the Ladybug from her. Instead, I pushed the two of them together closer for one last hug, one last moment together.
A few minutes after the Ladybug was handed to us, I had the opportunity to sit down with her foster mother to ask some questions. One question I asked was what she wished for the Ladybug's future. Her foster mother's response was that she live a wonderful life in America, and when she is older, if she could come back and visit.
When we started this second adoption, we never thought that we would be returning to the same province that the Ladybug was born. It seems that so few children who are placed for international adoption are actually from Guizhou province. We are so blessed to have one "spicy Guizhou girl," I never imagined that we would be blessed with two. But, when the referral information for the Butterfly arrived, I was amazed to see that she was from the same province. It was at that moment that I started thinking about making the foster mother's last wish come true.
We have kept in contact with her over the past few years. Letters have been sent back and forth. We have shared photos of the Bug growing up and doing well in her new home. The Bug knows about her foster mother. We have spoken, with much love, about her from day one. We have looked at photos and watched home videos to keep those memories alive in our daughter, memories that mean a lot to all of us. So now, to be returning to the Ladybug's birth country and province is almost surreal. We feel so blessed that we are being guided back to Guizhou. Guided back to the same place where we became a family. Guided back to making a foster mother's dream (and our dream) come true.
Dreams really do come true and prayers are answered.
3 days ago