Monday, February 4, 2013

Gotcha Day

Monday, January 28th 2013 a day we will never forget.  It will forever be etched in my mind along with Sunday, 04/14/02, Monday,09/20/04 and Monday, 08/13/07 the day I gave birth to my precious babies. 

We woke up early, we were so nervous and excited.  We got ready, had breakfast and met our guide in our hotel lobby for the 30 minute van ride to the Civil Affairs Office in Changsha.  My heart was pounding as the van came to a stop and our guide said "We are here are you ready to meet your new baby?"

We walked in the building and made our way to the 5th floor.  We were then told to wait in a room with another family. I immediately, along with the other mother who was with us, went to the window to watch and see if I could see his car pull up.  And then all of a sudden there he was...............

I knew it was him as soon as I saw him. I thought they would never make it in the building and up to the room we were waiting in, it was the longest 2 minutes of my life!  We watched as two women made their way into the room with him.  I didn't know what I was allowed to do, could I take him from her immediately like I wanted to or did I have to wait? They arrived earlier than expected so our guide was not back in the room with us yet.  No one gave us directions or rules so I just went for it and as you can see in the video I obviously wasn't supposed to take him from her just yet!


I was very surprised when he didn't cry when I took him from his "care giver's" arms.  I kept waiting for him to start screaming and to see the look of fear in his eyes.  Minutes went by and still he was calm and there were no tears.  All I could think about was the many prayers that have went up on our behalf for him. I was so in awe of God at that moment, He was there and he had us in the palm of his hand. You see only God can connect a child to his two parents that have lived a half a world away from him for all of his life.
I can't even begin to put into words what it was like to hold Adler for the first time.  This is the child that God had placed in our hearts more than 5 years ago.  This is the child that we have prayed for, longed for and shed many tears for.  This journey was not easy but oh was it worth it. When I looked in his eyes for the first time I saw his future, his role as the little brother in our family of six.  Our family is so blessed to call him ours. 
Psalm 68:5-6
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows-
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

We made it to China!!!

Wow, what a whirlwind the last 48 hours have been.  I never dreamed that we would ever be halfway around the world from our 3 babies and all of our family and friends.  I never thought I would have any reason to, but when God calls you answer, and that is why I'm sitting here at a desk in room 3015 at the Dolton Hotel, Changsha, Hunan, China.  Tomorrow morning we get to meet our precious baby boy, Zhi Yuan Lou.  We have named him Adler Lou Browning.

We left Marion airport Thursday, January 24, and flew into St. Louis, Mo. The next morning we flew into Chicago and then boarded a 13 hour flight to Beijing, China. 

Last picture as a family of 5.

Once we landed in Beijing we then flew 2.5 hours to our final destination, Changsha, China.  We met our guide Amy at the airport and drove by van to our hotel.  Changsha, is huge......5 million people!!!! The smog is HORRIBLE, I have no idea how they breathe this air day after day.  Our hotel is very nice and our room is very comfortable.

View from the lobby.

We took a walk after breakfast this morning and it was interesting to say the least! HA We had to walk about 6 blocks to get some bottled water.  Here are some pics from our little adventure. 
 Leaving our hotel.

 Tons of people ride these have to be very careful our you WILL get ran over.

Yum Yum

We spent the rest of the day unpacking, getting ready for tomorrow and sleeping.  We had dinner in the hotel restaurant.  Once again, that was an adventure.  First of all, no one can understand us so ordering was a hoot plus we had no idea what to even order.  All of the waitresses just stared at us and then went and got what looked like a manager to take our order.  She spoke very little English but we all managed. 
It can all be very overwhelming at times but I just keep praying and we can feel the prayers from everyone back home.  There is no way we could do any of this without them.  Tomorrow morning we meet Amy our guide in the lobby at 9:30am (Sunday, 7:30pm central time) and make the 30 minute drive to meet Adler for the first time.  I can't even put into words the emotions we are going through right now.  Please pray for Adler, I'm sure he is going to be scared and confused.  My heart breaks for him right now, yes this is an amazing experience for us but he has no idea what is about to happen. I know God is in control and will take care of all of our needs.  Since we left Marion on Thursday I keep hearing the words to Chris Tomlin's song "Whom Shall I Fear",
I know who goes before me,
I know who stands behind,
The God of angel armies
Is always on my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a Friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
We have no idea what tomorrow will bring but God does, He's already there and orchestrated everything.  I know He is preparing Adler to meet his parents He has already given us the same love for Adler that we have Aden, Amelia and Ava. Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. Time for us to go to bed, tomorrow our lives will be forever changed.