January 29, 2010

I can see the moon...

First of all - we're in Hong Kong and WE HAVE BLOGGER!  Omg.  I was having withdrawal on that travel site we set up.  It was so hard to post and maneuver around, and put up pictures...ugh.  So glad to be back here and didn't expect to this soon - but heck!  Why not?

We left Guangzhou this morning and made a trek via train to Hong Kong.  The train was a double decker, very clean, and the ride was smooth and lovely.  We really enjoyed it!  I'm so glad we didn't take a plane.  It was only a two-hour ride, and so much cheaper.  Half the price and way more roomy and comfortable than a plane.  Yay!

After arriving, we made our way through customs, etc. and really found ourselves to have already left China in so many ways.  It's very different here.  For starters, they have lanes on the road that they actually use.  That's sarcasm for the drivers still in China using those lines as "suggestions" rather than defined driving space.  Oy!

Most of the people here speak English - which is nice.  Obviously, it's just easier on us since we're on our own for the first time since arriving in China.  Without the help of our guide to translate and help us navigate a little bit, we were a little bit relieved to find that most of what we've experienced in HK seems to be very Western.  A nice treat at the end of a long trip...
Our hotel is the Marriott SkyCity and it's just outstanding.  I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone traveling to HK.  First of all, it's right on the ocean.  So yeah.  There's THAT.  Second, it's at the airport - so it's super easy.  Third, it's gorgeous.  The room...it's just a piece of HOME that we weren't planning on.  The bed is SOFT people.  There must be ten down pillows on that bed.  Oh.  My. Gawd.  I wanted to cry.  The room is nice and cool, and you can actually control the temperature for once.  (Don't get me started...they don't let you control anything...not even your room temp.)  The bed is HUGE.  They brought me a lovely Graco pack-n-play for Keira - all made up and adorable.  The room itself is just classy...very nicely designed, the bathroom is amazing, and our room looks out over the ocean.  So awesome...we had no idea.  Just expected another so-so hotel experience, since we didn't have anything to do with choosing the hotels. 

In fact, once we saw our room/hotel - I was actually glad we had an extra night just to get some much needed rest and relaxation.  We ordered room service, because we're too sick to go out.  The food was just wonderful - another little piece of home.  We have nothing left in us.  We wanted to explore the city...my friends, it was not gonna happen.  All we could think about was medication and rest

So here we are, and it's actually quite late for us.  Anton and Keira are fast asleep, and I should be too.  But I just couldn't get over that we had all of the websites that have been blocked to us for over two weeks.  So exciting!  Facebook, Blogger, and e-mail...oh my!  I could shed a tear...(tee hee)

I looked out the window tonight and up in the sky, for the first time in over two weeks, I saw the moon.  I actually saw sky.  Friends, you do not realize how much you miss clean skies until they are no more.  What a wonderful sight that beautiful moon was for my homesick eyes...haven't seen the sun since the first day we landed.  Double oy!  Kind of depressing...

We leave tomorrow morning to head back on our long journey home.  Half dreading the long flights with an infant, but so relieved to be heading HOME, and overwhelmingly happy to get to see our boy.  I can tell you that more than a tear or two have been shed over missing that little guy.

Even though we leave on Saturday morning in Hong Kong - we actaully travel back in time.   Not too often you can say that.  So even though we travel greater than 24 hours total - we still get home tomorrow night.  Isn't that great?  We'll be so tired and it will be bedtime for us all - hope we can make the most of that!

I did want to ask for prayers for those of you that can/do/will:  we are still sick.  In fact, Anton and I are so depleted that today was almost our biggest challenge.  You know we must be sick when we're so happy to have a day to rest before coming home.  As badly as we miss home, we are quite miserable physically.  To be blunt - I've been throwing up for two days.  Ack.  There you have it.   I know, too much info.  But I want you to understand what we're facing so that you know how to pray.  Anton, bless his amazing heart, has carried Keira all over China - and pretty much had to wait on me daily.  This has taken a toll, and now he's out for the count.  Breathing is not something you necessarily think too much about.  But here...you think about it.  And we aren't able to breathe very easily.  Whatever we had or have...it's gotten worse.  My breathing in particular is extremely labored.  Our chests are full of congestion, and our coughs are non-stop.  That is the reason, I believe for the vomiting.  Too much crap in my lungs and chest and my stomach is just upset all the time.

We are dreading the flights, because I can't seem to keep food down, can't breath, Anton's nose is completely stuffed up, - and I have to tell you, we've been on anti-biotics the entire trip.  We're not hatching some horrible plague.  We were feeling sickly before we came.  It's just compounded daily.  The air quality here is a force to be reckoned with.  If you're planning a trip over here, I would highly recommend bringing along an inhaler and a lightweight face-mask.  It could only help you.  I wish to God we had those with us right now...

I'm drinking lots of water, so I'm not feeling at all dehydrated.  We are both still coughing fiercely - and it's causing those around us to feel understandably uncomfortable.  Add in a small enclosed space on a plane, and you're not the most popular people.  Add to that, an infant that doesn't exactly like us just yet...and screams at the top of her little lungs...  We need your prayers to get us home - are you getting that?   

Also, we're a little nervous about the jet-lag.  We've heard it lasts at least a week and sometimes longer.  We're going to be introducing Quint back to his home, his parents, and his new sister.  We're switching time-zones, and everything will once again be new for Keira after long hours traveling.  Anton has to return to work Wednesday, and I'll be on my own. 

So, before I sound like I'm hosting a big pity-party...I just wanted to ask for your prayers.  It's a big transition for us coming up - and I'm praying we have the health and the stamina, presence of mind, and fortitude to get through it each day with grace and wisdom.
I'll be sure to post when we're home - probably a short one on Sunday...

Thanks for loving us - we sure love you!

January 13, 2010

One last post

Yesterday we took a 4 hour drive to meet Anton's parents at the halfway point.  After a quick meal, we walked to the car smiling and speaking encouraging words to Quint.  But once the toys, blankets, boosters seat, luggage, and all the tiny details of everyday life with my boy had been transferred to Grandpa's car, there was only one thing left to do. 

Say goodbye to him.

Even now, the next day, I get choked up writing that.  I know all the positive things - they're there floating around the sadness and comforting me in waves

He'll be fine
He's with family
He'll have fun with his cousins
He is so loved
He's so young, he'll hardly remember this time in a year
He'll be so happy to have a sister
You're doing the right thing
Everything is fine...


I cried and Anton did not.  Not because Anton wasn't sad to leave Quint behind, because that goes without saying.  More so because one of us had to drive the car and keep it on the road.  Since I had already buried my face deep into several tissues and the sounds of sobs emanating from my shoulders and moving upward had filled the space of our small sedan, Anton took the reigns and graciously got us home.  He made the four hours we had to trek back unbelievably fast and I was grateful.

I slept part of the way, cried part of the way, sat in silence...stared out the window watching the movement of small towns fly by. 

I was able to recognize even then, and I see more clearly now, that my tears weren't just about leaving our sweet boy behind.  Though it nearly broke my heart to drive away from him.

It was about much more. 

I think I was crying because it's finally time.

Four years kind of time.

So much was put on hold.  So much waited.  So much sat shelved.  So many plans in limbo.

Not just things.  Hearts.

Throughout this wait for Keira, I rarely let myself weep over the increasing timeframe.  I think it was my way of coping.  For me, to cry was to say "this is hopeless" and I refused to believe that.  I refused to believe that her name on the wall was a pipe-dream that I needed to release myself from.  I refused to think that in this lifetime I would not hold our daughter...our Keira Joy.

I had even rationalized that I might hold a second daughter, whose name I have no idea.  (yet)  But letting go of Keira was like breaking my heart into tiny pieces.  And so I couldn't.  Wouldn't.

So, while it would be foolish to say that I've not cried these past four years - I can say with some certainty, that very rarely were my tears over our China process.

Hope is worth holding onto.  Without it, what then do we have?

So, there I sat in the car.  Shoulders shaking.  Sobs coming from my mouth and tears draining down my face.  Anton quietly supportive and keeping his eyes on the road.  Occasionally reaching over to touch my arm or pat my leg. 

So much to be thankful for.  So much to be proud of.  I made it.  We made it.  I'm happy.


I'm not afraid to go to China.  I'm not afraid to fly for hours and hours.  I'm not concerned about a new culture and new surroundings.  I'm not overwhelmed by being away from home. 


I'm happy.

Aside from missing my little man, which I surely will, I felt like four years of bottled up tears were finally letting themselves go.  Off to be free.  Out of my system and moving on.

I was happy to say that I had made it.  I was happy to realize that Keira was never just a dream.  She was not just a far off someday.  She was part of me.  She was real.  And she was coming home.



That's how I got through it.  That's how I survived the wait.  That's how I made it this far.

She's part of me.  And nothing that I could hold in my power was going to keep me from her.

Certainly not money.  Certainly not waiting.

There was more to my tears than parting with my son.

There was a depth and a texture to them.  Almost like each tear that fell gently whispered to me "finally....." as they slid down my face and into those tissues.

Releasing me...

Releasing Keira...

Releasing our family...

And so now we move on.

Now we can.

It's finally time.

We leave early tomorrow morning.  You can follow us starting today over at our TRAVEL BLOG HERE.  

Or just click this link - http://keirajoy.shutterfly.com/  

Be sure to bookmark us to your favorites, so you'll remember to visit!

We'll post to the travel blog while in China, so look for pictures, video, and daily posts as we have access to do so.

I'll return to regular posting here at Bushel and a Peck after we return to the States on January 30th.

Pray for us.  Safe travels, well-being, health, attachment, safety, learning experiences, new friends, bonding, and anything else you can think of.

Pray for us.  A huge journey that we've been on for four years is about to come to a finale.

Last night I was walking through the kitchen, and I stopped and looked over in the corner.  There was a picture of my upcoming life.  A chair that had been relegated to the garage for the past year as our boy had outgrown it.  A chair that had been brought back in, cleaned up, and put in its place - ready for use again...

It's time...

January 8, 2010

Lists for my lists

Remember this?  Some of you will...he was six months old.  We were in Africa.  I posted this picture from Africa.  I'm pretty sure I've used it again since then - because, well darn it, it's cute.  And I'm pretty sure Africa was the last time Quint was in it...

until today...errr...yeah...

We were checking to see/remember how to use the darn thing, after I had washed it, etc.  That's when a certain little man popped his arms up in the air and said "me, up?"  We asked if he wanted in, and he said "dep" - which we've come to learn means a hearty "YEP!"  So up he went.  All 25 pounds of him.  Ahem.  See that's a joke, because he's so tiny.  Oh, but how I love that boy!

So a few things to share - and I'll number them, because I'm mentally a geriatric over here.  That's because I'm drowning in details.  That's my phrase.  I've said it at least 100 times and I plan to keep right on saying 100 more or until I'm on that plane next week.  I'm drowning in details.  Ok, 99 more times then.

1.  We leave next week.  See, I already said that too.  We fly out on Thursday at the crack of earliest, darkest, coldest possible dawn known to all mankind.  Ok, just to those of us suffering from unusually cold weather here in Texas.  Just us big-babies.  And we're heading into a blazing hot 14 degrees in Beijing.  During the sunshine hours.  A meager 5 degrees at night.  Gulp.  Big baby indeed! 

2.  Packing/Planning/Preparing has been underway for a week and the stack of paperwork that has to travel with us is pretty impressive.  We decided that in order for Keira to look both warm and cute in all her photo-ops, we will forgo the excessive packing of clothing for ourselves and opt instead for a very limited selection.  This will give ample space in the luggage for hair-bows, cute hats, and layers of adorable pink stuff.  Hopefully with our heavy winter coats, gloves, and scarves on, no one will notice AB and I are wearing the same pants and shirts day in and day out.  Ahem.  (Thank God it's winter...)

3.  I'm kind of a mess.  Nothing new there, except that this is a different kind of mess than the everyday mess.  It's the kind of mess that happens when I obsess about traveling overseas.  Details.  Drowning.  (see, technically I didn't say it...so I'm still at 99)  I just can't let go of some of the things running around in my head.  Do I have enough Kleenex?  Am I taking enough diapers?  Are these the right size clothes (for me...ha!)?  Should we this or should we that?  I'm sort of resigning myself to the fact that all things will come together and have their own flow.  This much I know...some things you just can't control to death.  Alas.

4. Dealing with leaving Mister Q behind is proving a challenge.  I know it's the right thing at this time.  I know he'll be fine.  In good hands.  But oh.  We are both beyond sad to say goodbye even for two days, let alone over two weeks.  My mind can't get around it.  I'm not sure how we're going to do when we reach that moment of last hugs and kisses.  It's quite possibly going to break us.  Send prayers for us if you can?  For strength, and for Quint to be able to adjust and not revisit any abandonment issues over those two weeks.

5.  I'm pretty sure that my lists have lists.

I'll stop there, because unfortunately, I just realized that I'm just making another list.  Ack!

Here's the important part anyway:

After hearing the basic horror stories of those trying to connect to blogger from China - we've decided to do as others have done and open up a TRAVEL BLOG HERE  It will keep us connected, allow me to share pictures and video, as well as updates and I shouldn't have any trouble posting.

It's only temporary...but at least we won't be cut off.  Had a hard enough time with that from Ethiopia.  So, that's the scoop.  I won't start posting there until after we arrive in China and once we are home, I'll switch back over here.

So for the next week, you can keep coming by and I'll be sure to announce the transfer as a reminder.

Also, Keira's Fund-raising Blog has it's final post up - thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged us though that process these past four months.  You made this possible!

Well, I guess that's the latest...I've got to be back to my lists and my pacing.  Save me!  Someone...anyone...ha!  I'm drowning in details over here.  (98)

January 5, 2010

A request

I have a new blog post up over at BRINGING KEIRA HOME if you'd like to stop by or refer others.  But since it's a last hurrah, I'm posting the information here as well.

We've been so deeply touched by the support and encouragement we have received from so many.  It's been humbling to say the least.

Now we're in the last couple days of fund-raising and we still need to raise about $2,000.00 to make everything come together.

So I'll only ask this, as so many of you are well versed on the reasons for the fund-raising and the goals:

Can you please please spread the word for us today?  Facebook - Twitter - Blog - E-mail - whatever you like.  If you can be specific and let people know we're trying to reach our final goal of $2K.  If each one reach one...or something like it.  We just need exposure to help reach that last little bit.  My mantra is that if God provided this far, He certainly isn't stopping just shy of the finish line!  People wishing to do so can donate via the "DONATE" button on the sidebar of the blog.  Donations must be received by Wednesday, January 6.  Thank you deeply!!

My family suffered a huge loss today with the passing of our beloved family dog, Molly.  I know many of you are pet lovers and can understand what a huge loss this can be.  Molly was like no other dog, and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that she was in many ways more important to me than my own puppies.  She was my parents dog - and subsequently, mine and my siblings dog.  And didn't she know it!  For ten years, she made a special connection with each of us - and each of us in our own special way are grieving her loss deeply.  She was a one of a kind.  There is just no other dog I can think of that comes close to her, not even my own.  That's just the kind of profound impact she made on all of us.  She was more like a person than a dog - with many emotions, a deep affection for her family, and the most pathetic set of "sad eyes" you've ever seen.  When she was mad at you, you knew it.  When she loved you, her head was on your knee.  When she was tired...like a little old lady, she went and found her bed and slept soundly for hours.  Her missing presence in our family is such a huge loss.  There are just no other words I can give to it.  After battling cancer and old age, she was just too tired to keep going.  So we parted with her today, and it's tangible that she's gone.  Tangible and so sad for us...

Goodnight sweet little "sister"....keep a cozy spot warm for me and I'll see you there

January 2, 2010

So much to say, so little time...

Oh, it's true!  I have so much to share, and so many pictures I would love to post...and I'm out of time...and what if we can't talk from China?  I mean, what if the internet is lousy and we can't have our little "coffee time"?

I have like, I don't know - ten days or something left.  Gulp.

Ok, well let's do a brief pictorial of the last few weeks and I'll try and keep up til' we leave. 

Well first, let's just all confess that Kim is the best gift giver and she's so sweet to so many who she follows...she's just so positive and wonderful.  So my first gift received post-referral was from Kim and it was INCREDIBLE!  Look at this pic - which does not and cannot do it justice - but you can see how many goodies were in this package.  The tutu alone was enough to keel me over.  But the wings!  The hairclips...the ivory knit hat with the gorgeous flower on it?  Oh my dear heaven...look at those mini-bracelets, the wand....on and on!  I die!  Kim, mama hearts you big time!

It was a really nice way to be reminded that I'M HAVING A GIRL!!! 

Well, then again...we went for a fun play-date recently with Jodi and her two sweeties J & J - and I think Keira might like to know that her brother has a penchant for pretty.  Just sayin'...

Christmas was a hoot - because when you're 2, everything is either funny or it's not.  Well, for the most part - Quint found opening oodles of presents sent with love from his Grandparents to be ten kinds of fun.  Until he wanted to stop opening and start playing...and there we were hollering in the background of cameras rolling and clicking for him to do "just one more".  Note to self: 2 year olds are fine with wrapping paper.  Never mind what's inside.  Noted.

We did have a White Christmas, and I for one was SQUEALING with delight, as I ran from one window to the next checking for "stickage".  It did finally stick, and we had ourselves a good old-fashioned Texas winter wonderland(ish).  It was only a couple inches, but I was shouting hi-dee-ho just the same.  Observe:

Let's see, ah yes - we also had our 1st Annual Christmas Crafts at the kitchen table.  Play Doh was the biggest hit, although we did convince the little man to make a couple drawings of some sort.  He's into stickers, but we find he just pastes them one on top of the other and so on...building a stack of stickers on a single sheet of paper.  All in the same place.  So when we gave him the Doh, he proceeded to blend it all together into little nuggets.  Um hmmm.  Yes he did.  My little mister.  He's artsy like that.

We did have a great time in Arkansas post-Christmas, but that's a whole nother' post unto itself that I may or may never get to...however, I would love to post a few pics from the trip.  Keeping in mind that while at an old but quaint park, riding the teeter-totter was fun for me from the waist up.  The arse did not enjoy the tiny seat so much.  You know, in the spirit of honesty and such...just keepin' it real folks.

New Year's was a blast - we had a great time with friends and went to a really fun Back Door Comedy show - ringing in the New Year with a big kiss and a lot of hope for what's coming up for our little family!!!  Despite AB appearing to have had "one too many", we had had "none too many" and were just goofing around...for you, our viewers

Last but not least, we did take down Christmas decor today in an effort to get the house back to normal and start preparing to leave town.  We have this uh...trip we're taking.  You know, not a big deal or anything...just leaving town for a couple of weeks and uh...have to pack, prepare...you know...the basics...ahem...just a little trip where I'm going to need this stuff...


Pinch me.

Or buy a T-shirt...whichever...

We're still fund-raising with about $3K left to raise - spread the word if you can - we're SO CLOSE!  There's a DONATE button to the right and a Fund-raising Site HERE!!  (New post up)

Leaving on a jet plane in 13 and counting...(gigglesnifflesnortsigh)  Egad!