Monday, March 31, 2008

We've got Abby Grace

Last night the moment we have been waiting so long for finally happened, Abbby Grace Liang Mitchell was finally placed in our arms. After a not so long flight from Beijing we took an hour ride to the city of Lanzhou, the capital of GanSu province. We had about 30 minutes from the time we got to the hotel until the time we met Abby Grace. We immediately spotted her from across the room. The director told V to come sit by them, which she happily did. They touched hands and I lost it. Finally my 2 girls were together. We signed some paperwork and showed our passports to Mrs. Yang and then she was passed on to me. She screamed!!! She was not a very happy little girl at all. She was also much smaller than we had been told. We said goodbye to her nanny and V and I took her back to our room while Sean worked on some more paperwork. V and I undressed her from her 3 layers of clothing and she eventually settled down after I gave her some water to drink. I tried a sippy cup and a bottle but ended up pouring it into her mouth from a water bottle. She was so small once we undressed her. Her coat she had on was a 9-12 months and her outer shirt was a 18 months. Luckily I packed 2 18 months outfits but I may have to buy a few things to make it through until we get home. She ended up falling asleep around 10 PM and slept pretty good until 6:30 AM.

Today Abby Grace woke up a different little girl. She has been so happy all day even smiling and giggling. She and Hudson are so cute together. While we were at the civil affairs office, along with about 25 other families, they played happily together. The director of the SWI told us that their cribs were right next to one another and they were always together. She gave us a book with lots of pictures of her and in most of them she is with Hudson. They have such a tight bond. They will share things with one another but not with any other children. Hudson even put puffs in Abby race's mouth for her. It was so sweet. Luckily we'll be with the Teagues until Chicago.
Abby Grace has really warned up to both Sean and I. She like V but is a little leary of her sometimes. I am sure as she grown more comfortable with us she'll grow closer to V. It is so wonderful to see the two of them together!!!

I am attaching a few so enjoy!! I'll post more later.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

We made it!!! make a long story short after leaving SC on Thur 3/27 @ 12:10, we finally arrived in Beijing on Saturday morning 3/29 @ 5:00 AM. It was a long trip but the Lord finally delivered us safely. We did a lot of touring today including a visit to the Great Wall where it had snowed the day before. Yes, snowed. It was freezing cold but very interesting. I'll post again when I can. We meet Abby Grace tomorrow evening!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Delay

The Mitchell's, Jennifer, Sean and Victoria were taken to the Columbia, SC airport this morning at 7:30, two hours prior to departure time as required by Airport and Homeland Security. At 11:30 Jennifer called to say they were still in Columbia, their 9:30 flight had been cancelled because of the American Airlines problems in Chicago. They were being rerouted and were about to board a flight to Dulles (Wash DC), from there to LA, connecting with a flight which would get them to Beijing early Saturday morning instead of Friday night. She said she would call or email at the first available opportunity. At midnight here in SC we have still not had any contact, so we can only assume things are going according to the new schedule. Their two little boys are sleeping peacefully, her Dad is getting ready for bed and I am sending this message on for her. Please remember them in your prayers.
Jennifer's Mom

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Signing off from SC

Tomorrow we begin our final journey to Abby Grace. We leave SC at 9:30 in the morning and arrive in Beijing at 3:05PM on Friday March 28th. We thank you all for your prayers and good wishes. We cannot wait to post from China especially when we can post that we have Abby Grace. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Please also pray for my parents and the boys. I am sure that they will have a wonderful time being spoiled by their Nana and Papa. We will miss them dearly but know they will be in good hands.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Almost ready

I can't believe it but in less than 72 hours we'll be on our way to China. It is hard to believe that after almost 2 years of waiting we'll soon get to hold our daughter for the first time. We originally thought we'd be getting Abby Grace in Monday the 31st but when we opened our itinerary today we were delighted to find that we actually get her on Sunday afternoon! I can hardly wait to see her cute little face and her big beautiful smile. This is our itinerary:

Mitchell's Adoption Itinerary

March 27th – April 11th

* Thursday, March 27th Depart for Beijing
Flight: UA7229

* Friday, March 28th Arrive in Beijing
Flight: UA851

* Saturday, March 29th Beijing Tour (Lunch and Dinner included)

Gotcha Day!
* Sunday, March 30th Summer Palace (Lunch included)
Afternoon flight to Gansu
Meet Abbigail Grace-Liang Mitchell

* Monday, March 31st Civil Affairs Appointment

* April 1st -3rd Paperwork, Sight-seeing, & Shopping

* Friday, April 4th Flight to Guangzhou

* Saturday, April 5th Medical Exam and Paperwork Party

* Sunday, April 6th Church service and Shopping

* April 7th-8th Sightseeing and Shopping

* Wednesday, April 9th Consulate Appointment

* Thursday, April 10th Pick up Child’s Visa

* Friday, April 11th Depart from Guangzhou Depart from Beijing
Flight: UA850

We'll actually be leaving Columbia for Chicago at 9:30 AM Thursday. Then on the return we'll be coming home to Columbia on the 11th at 9:30 PM. I can't wait to see the boys reaction when they finally meet their sister and reunite with us after 2 weeks. My poor mom...I'll have to think of something real special to do for her once we get back home. She has been so supportive throughout this entire process..Thanks Mom for all you have done and continue to do:) You are the best!

Monday, March 17, 2008


We finally have our dates set, our tickets purchased and even our seats reserved. We will be leaving from Columbia on the 27th of March, flying to Chicago then it is a long 13 hour flight to Beijing. We will tour for the first 2-3 days and meet Abby Grace in Lanzhou on the 31st. On the return we leave Beijing on the 11th, fly to Chicago and return to Columbia 11 minutes after we left Beijing. Well not really 11 minutes later but thanks to the 13 hour time difference that if what it looks like on paper. Boy will our internal clocks be confused:) That day is so significant in Abby's life. It will be 2 years ago on the 11th of April that her birth-mother left her on the steps of the SWI. This April 11th she'll be welcomed home into her forever family. I cannot wait to see her reaction as she feels the love from everyone, especially the boys. How we wish they could go to China too but a 6 year old with asthma, a rambunctious 3 year old and a new 2 year old just didn't seem like a good idea.
Abby Grace should have her first appointment with our pediatrician Monday after we get back and then be seen by the pediatric cardiologist in Columbia that same week. Then and only then will Shriner's accept her. Please pray for quick acceptance and surgery.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Kristen called today and after 38 days of waiting we can finally say WE GOT OUR TA!!!
We are going to be traveling with all of my gabby girlfriends I've gotten to know on the 27th to bring our children home. I am so excited. This weekend will involve lots of washing clothes, packing and getting organized. I can't believe it in 2 short weeks we'll be on our way, Yippeeeeee!!!!

Just a few more weeks Abby Grace and your Mama, Baba and Sissy will be there.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The gabby girls (my on-line waiting for TA's girl friends) and I got together last night for some prayer time. It was really refreshing and helped each of us refocus on the Lord and not so much on our illusive TAs' Anyway this is something I shared with them:

As I was reading my devotion tonight preparing for our prayer time I came across this:

"God answered their prayers because they trusted him,"
1 Chronicles 5:20
God answers our prayers. What God does not do is this: He does not always answer our prayer as soon as we might like, and he does not always answer our prayers by saying, "Yes." God isn't an order-taker and he is not some sort of cosmic vending machine. Sometimes--even when we want something very badly our Heavenly Father responds to our request by saying, "No," and we must accept his answer even if we don't understand it.
God answers prayers not only according to our wishes but also according to His master plan. We cannot know that plan, but we can know the Planner...and we must trust His wisdom, His righteousness and His love. Always.

Then, on the very next page was this scripture verse:

Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And, everyone who knocks will have a door opened.

We have all been searching on our own and as we come together tonight and the Lord hears our prayers the doors will be opened. He has watched as we have all walked this path. He has guided all of us to this specific place and time together. He has worked miracles in the lives of our sons and daughters and he is working harder than ever to unite us with our children soon. As we go about our daily grind let us remember that there is nothing too hard for the Lord. He will fix the paperwork and unite Sharon and Mark with Hudson, He will give us all peace in our hearts when the hustle and bustle of packing and traveling finally comes. He will provide the remaining money necessary to unite us with Abby Grace and He will guide us all safely to China and to our final destinations.

Girls I am so excited to be with you all on this journey, You all are a great source of inspiration and support. I thank God everyday for bringing each one of you into my life. I will pray for you all and I can't wait to meet you all in a few weeks.

<>< Jenn

Today many prayers have been answered. No, we did not get our TA yet but we did receive a nice donation from our church. It will be wonderful to be able to present this donation to Ms. Yang and Ping Liang SWI. For those of you that don't know a lot about Ping Liang, it is in one of the poorest provinces in China. The average worker makes the equivalent of $200 US dollars per year. PER YEAR! We easily blow that at the mall or at Wal-Mart. The children in PL SWI are mostly special needs. Most of those SN are CL/CP. The water is Ping Liang is not very clean yet the residents of PL have to use it for drinking, cooking and bathing. The water could be to blame for the majority of the SNs that effect these children. We are taking with us medical supplies to donate to the SWI as well. The air quality of PL is awful. Very hazy. Many of the children have respiratory problems so we have nebulizer tubing and masks to donate. An adoptive mother from PL, Ann, organized the donations, we are merely the transportation to get them there.

Til next time, thanks be to God for all he has done. To him we give the glory!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

And the waiting continues

Well it is time for my now weekly post. As you can see by the title the waiting for a TA continues. We thought for sure we'd get it this past week but it did not arrive. In fact AWAA did not get TA's this week. Don't know why but is sure does have me on edge about the week ahead. I feel 99% certain that we'll be traveling on March 27th. So certain that I already had my VP schedule my sub for my leave. So certain that I am sending a note to V's teacher and principal that week letting them know when she'll be out of school so they can get her missed assignments ready for her. I know in my heart that we will be leaving on March 27th and I can hardly wait to be able to finally post it. I even got on-line this weekend and checked out flight costs. The cheapest I found was just under $1000 per person. I know the closer we get to the date the more expensive it will be so we have got to get that TA soon!

On another note. Our church pastor declined my request to make a presentation on adoption prior to our trip. I had so hoped to be able to share our story with others in the church. I had really wanted to be able to take a sizable donation to our daughters orphanage. They are in need of so many things that I know they cannot afford. Our required donation is a great start but I just wish we could do more. When I think of all of the children we will be leaving behind my heart aches. If more people opened their hearts to these children we as Christians could if not find homes for them we could at least help the home that they do have.

We added a few new members to our little group of Gabby Girls. So far we have Sharon, Denise, Amy and now we have Jill and Lisa. We are all waiting moms to be. All waiting on our TA's that is. I'll link every one's blog or site to ours once I get all of their addresses.

Please continue to pray for Abby Grace. In a few short weeks her world as she knows it will be turned upside down. She'll no longer be familiar with her surroundings and she'll no longer have the comfort of her nannies whom I am sure she is very close to. Please pray for them too. They love these children as if they are their own. I cannot imagine taking care of these children for years and then having to let them go. Also please pry for Abby's birth mom. On April 11th it will be 2 years since she made the painful decision to place Abby Grace on the steps of the SWI. I cannot imagine the anguish and grief she experiences as she thinks back to that day. Lastly pray for us for the remainder of our process. Pray for God's hand to guide us along his desired path to Abby Grace.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

From pink to green

Well no TA this week, but strangely I feel very at peace about it. At least I know that sometime this month we'll finally have Abby Grace in our arms. Whether it is the 17th or 30th I feel confident it will be this month. The Lord has timed everything perfectly throughout this adoption process and I know that he has our meeting time with Abby Grace already perfectly planned out.

We painted today, well at least 3 of us did. I rolled, Sean trimmed and V tried to roll. She wanted to help out so we let her do a little. Of course the boys wanted to help too but I found other things to occupy them. We went from a bright bubble-gum pink that V had us paint the room last year to a nice soft green room for Miss Abby Grace. It looks great. I'll post pictures when we have her room done.

I approached our pastor about doing an adoption presentation at church to raise donations prior to our trip. I sent him a presentation done by another AWAA family. He said he'd speak with the elders and get back with me soon, so hopefully I'll hear something this week. I really want others in our Church to be enlightened about adoption. I had a friend at church this morning jokingly tell me to bring a little girl home for her too. I told her I'd try to sneak one for her in my suitcase. But then I thought, maybe if we do this presentation she'll truly feel led to adopt. As every adoptive mom knows once the adoption seed gets planted in your heart you realize that it is something you just have to do. Maybe that is the case with others in our congregation who think about it but think they can't do it. My mom has a friend who says she'd do it tomorrow but she doesn't think she could afford it. I told her about all of the grant opportunities out there and the tax credit, etc... but so far she is just thinking about it. Maybe if she were to listen to the presentation she would adopt. Please pray for our pastor and elders. Please pray for them to allow this presentation to be made. And if it is ok'd please pray for me. I can talk all day in front of my first graders but the idea of speaking in front of our congregation really makes me nervous, but I know I'll get through it with the Lord by my side.