The Moment we decided to adopt again!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

The moment we began waiting for our new daughter!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

Monday, August 31, 2009

100 Panda Bear Hugs!!!!

I wanted to let everyone know to check out our new son, Noah's blog at www.heckyfamilygrowsinlove.blogspot.com ! I have published a children's book dedicated to Noah and there is a link that you can go to order it. All proceeds will help us bring Noah home. Take a look!!!!!! Thanks and God Bless!!!

Oh, I almost forgot, please pass on our blog to all you know!!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Finally, an update!!

Well, as many have just found out and maybe you are just learning, we are happy to announce that we have found our little boy waiting for us in China. I have started a blog for his journey at www.heckyfamilygrowsinlove.blogspot.com which will explain how we came to find him and the next several months until we will finally get to meet him.

As far as what has been happening in the Hecky House.......we had a broken laptop which I finally got the other day, so I am able to download pictures and finally update everyone on our beautiful little girl, Mariah. I honestly don't know where to begin. We are quickly approaching the 5 month anniversary from the day that we met her in China. I still can't believe how fast the time has flown by and how amazing she is doing. Five months ago, the scared, distraught little girl we met has blossomed into the Totally English speaking happy, content Mariah Hecky. The little girl who didn't want to be within a foot of Chad and now has become the one who gets to the door faster than anyone to give hima giant kiss and hug from a long day at work.

She has become my hero. What this little girl has been through, what she left behind and what she has become is nothing short than a miracle and we our priveledge and honored to call her our daughter. She has been through more in the past 5 months then most 90 year old adults go through in a lifetime. She is my hero!

Everyone is doing wonderful bonding and just becoming a family. It is so amazing how natural things have been especially for all the kids involved. We have had many memories over the past 5 months and we are so overly blessed. Ryan has taken his role as big brother and I love watching him and the girls together. He however is very excited about getting a brother. Marissa is of course mother/sister and she makes me so proud the way she gives Mariah and Mya such a good example for them to follow. Mya and Mariah have become best friends. The other day, the two girls were taking a bath and Mariah said to Mya "Mya, do you want to be best friends?" and Mya, with her lisp and cute little voice said "SSSHHHURREEE, Aww Shanks Zhan Zhan (jon jon)" Mariah has actually changed Mya for the better and I was certain it would have had the opposite effect. They all have a very special bond and I almost can't wait to wake up each morning to see, what will today be like, come what may.

We also had a wonderful memorable reunion with 3 other families that we met from our travel group in China. I can't express how special the time in China was getting to know the families that were there sharing the same emotion climbs you are and how naturally close everyone becomes in a short time. We all have become a giant family and seeing them again was great! Even everyone's older kids became friends very quickly and we all just had a the best time together, once again. We enjoyed a trip to Rolling Ridge Ranch, a cookout and a China Feast (of course)!

Now trust me, there are bad moments, but for the majority, becoming a family of six has been a breeze! Now becoming a family of seven will certainly have it's challenges that we all are so excited to experience!

God is good!!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little did I know............






One year ago today God moved mountains. Today is the day that I was sitting at my laptop "surfing" and happened to click on a link for Holt Intl. Little did I know that within minutes, I would find my way to the "Waiting Child" list, little did I know that the first profile I would come across would touch my heart so close that I knew in my soul that she was my daughter. Little did I know that my husband would feel the same way when he came home from work that day. Little did I know that moment, we became a family of six. Little did I know that day would spark a swarm of new paperwork from Taiwan to China, but every piece of paper was worth its weight in gold for a little girl so priceless? A little girl that we still had no idea what she looked like until 2 days later, but already her image was in my heart. Little did I know that we would then have to wait 6 weeks because other families had wanted to adopt her also. Little did I know that we would turn two adoption files away still not knowing whether we would be the family chosen for this little girl who captured us. Little did I know that one year ago today would start our family on an exhausting, amazing, unforgettable journey across the world to China. Little did I know a year ago, little did I know a month ago, little did I know yesterday, little do I know tomorrow. I do know however that God moved mountains and continues to this very moment as we get to watch Wu, Miao Zhan transform into Mariah Zhan Hecky. I will remember June 2, 2008 forever!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Growing, Loving and Listening to your heart!






So the little girl that we met nearly 2 months ago is far from the little girl that runs around the Hecky House giggling, singing and doing what little girls do best, have fun! I looked back at all the pictures and video of our first days together in China and I am just taken back by how much she has changed. First off, she is loving her longer locks of hair. This must be the longest she has been able to keep it, and every day she touches her hair to see if has grown from the day before. She just says she wants to grow it long, long, long! So needless to say, we may have a Rapunzel on our hands! "Mariah, Mariah let down your long black hair!" Mariah is definitely picking up more English and the language barrier is pretty much obsolete. I am still patiently waiting for the honeymoon phase to end, but I am starting to get the impression that she is just a happy, go with the flow, super sweet girl! Which is totally OK by me! When you adopt an older child, you read book after book about the honeymoon phase, the night terrors, the hoarding of food, the physical aggression, the emotional turmoil and we have not seen one and I mean one instance of any of these traits. There is also the "Gotta be perfect Syndrome" or they will send me back, but I don't feel that at all with Mariah either. I think she is just comfortable in her skin and knows this is where she belongs. Don't get me wrong, there are the sibling confrontations that she takes a full participation to and a few "No's" to mommy or daddy, but nothing that a few minutes and a little intervention doesn't clear up and then it is smiling Mariah once again.

I still have to admit that I am just amazed that the Lord chose me! Chose me to be her mommy. I can't even fathom how blessed I am! I could talk about adoption forever to anyone who will listen and if there is anyone out there even thinking that adoption is in their hearts, let me just say that it is so worth the sacrifices, the trials, the unknowns. The joy of watching your family grow closer and the love that builds mountains literally fills one's soul with the knowledge of "Why am I here?, what is my place in this world?, and what is my calling or purpose." It has for me, something that I struggled with for years. Whether the Lord chooses Chad and I again to adopt once more or if I volunteer with different adoption organizations, or who knows maybe someday when my kids are grown, involving and giving my time overseas at the foot of the orphanages. It's not by my choosing, its where I will be lead, and I will always be listening for what I am to do next! But for now, the Lord says rest, (well sorta) and enjoy my four blessings, watch them grow and smile every day of my life!

Enjoy the pictures of Mariah and Mya. They are really becoming best buddies!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!!


I can't believe a year ago I never saw Mariah's face before and now this morning, I woke up with her sleeping next to me! It is a Happy Happy Mother's Day for me! I am scheduled for a lots of hugs and kisses, a back massage, a foot rub and a bubble bath! I can't wait!!!!

I encourage all you special Mothers take a moment today and thank God for your little ones, for giving you the special title of Mother. Whether you have given birth to your children, adopted your children, fostering your children being a mother is such a precious gift. Hug your little ones and big ones extra tight today!

Monday, May 4, 2009

One Month Home!!!





May 3rd, 2009 is the one month celebration of being home with our new daughter Mariah! It has been a wonderful month, indeed! And what better way to celebrate than walking for adoption at Brittany's Hope Walk of Love which raised over $25,000! It was a great time and we were honored to be a part of the cause! We walked 2 miles with 3 little girls in tow, so I thought we did pretty good! The girl's were exhausted!!!

I still can't believe it has been one month since we FINALLY got off the airplane:) and became a family of 6. Mariah is doing so well! She is speaking English ALOT and learns something new every day. It is so special to witness her "firsts" and see the awe in her eyes and the giggles she blurts out because everything is funny! She has opened up to Chad so much then before. We now can look back and say, remember when she wouldn't let you do this, or that? She has such a sparkle about her that you can't wait to learn more about what her personality has hidden inside. The girl loves to sing, and even if she has no idea what the words are, she can come up with the rythm and make up her own words! How sweet it was to see her at the Walk of Love, hold her little hand over her tiny heart and sing the National Anthem, in Chinglish, as we call it! I saw a tear or two go down Chad's proud face. And that man just won't stop! He is determined to become that little girls daddy if it is the last thing he ever does. I have never been more proud to call him my husband. The patience this little girl has taught him and the calling he now feels to help all in need. His passion is growing and growing, I think he might be out of control! For the past decade, Chad has been all about growing his business, work work work! I think he wants me to get the job so he can stay home with the family. What a month can do! The kids are still bonding well! Mya, I would have to say is struggling the most. The two girls spend the most time together and Mya has now realized Mariah is here to stay and she is going to make sure Mariah knows who was here first! We knew that would eventually come, but it's not out of control, but there certainly has been some struggles! Sharing struggles, Mommy time struggles, and Daddy time struggles! As to be expected! And Ryan and Marissa still seem pretty content with the new member and go about their daily lives happy!

I probably won't be updating as much as I usually do. We are such a busy family and with summer coming, well my main focus will be on my kids. I feel like the "adoption journey" is coming to a close and I want to focus more on the family journey. Its a nice feeling to finally be in this place and I can't believe that we have gotten this far! I have even decided to start a new blog, which I will let you all know. It will be more of a family blog that will focus on all the lives in the Hecky House! It may not be as exciting, but it will be truthful, hopefully inspiration and of course still talk about the miracle of adoption. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Walk of Love

I wanted to let everyone know that Chad, myself, Marissa, Mariah and Mya will be traveling to Elizabethtown PA this weekend to participate in Brittany's Hope Annual Walk of Love. Brittany's Hope is an organization that offers grants to families adopting waiting children. This organization is dear to our hearts and knowing that it will help bring a child to their forever family, well, I would walk to the ends of the Earth! If you would like to sponsor this event, go to www.brittanyshope.org and click on Walk of Love. Then go to sponsor a walker and search for Mary Hecky. All proceeds go directly to Brittany's Hope and to the waiting children around the world. PLEASE, a little bit can make a huge difference! Help these precious waiting children come home!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's been a while........

Yes, I know I am slacking on my updates. But as we settle into our new family, things just keep getting more normal by the second and I tend to put the "labor pains" of adoption behind me. But I promise to always keep everyone informed "regularly" of our journey. And as you seen by the video or will watch when you are done reading, our house has become a "palace" for princesses! There really is not a minute where there is not music playing, dancing, drawing, finger painting. You name it, we are doing it! I do have to tell you that I believe in my heart that Marissa and Mariah our soul mates! Their relationship reaches beyond sisterhood and I keep anticipating the "honeymoon phase" to abruptly disappear, but every day brings them closer and closer. I can't exclude Mya or Ryan in this chapter, because it seems that they all have with out a doubt, taken their new family role and naturally let Mariah into their hearts! I hope this all doesn't sound cheesy, or buttered up. I find myself trying to come up with some negatives, but honestly I can't find any. So enjoy the video of Marissa and Mariah's dance to the most appropriate song "Make you happy" and I apologize for the shaking of the camera, that is me crying! Oh, this dance is something they worked on without showing me until the performance, and this was the first time I saw their dance. They keep doing it over and over, and it has even gotten better but I wanted to post the first time I saw them dance together. It is so priceless and innocent. Love you all!!!!
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Family Ties

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Time flies when you are having fun!

I can not believe that we have had Mariah in our lives for 24 days! Wow!! Every day gets better and better and with every passing minute we get to see our little girl shine brighter and brighter. Her laugh is contagious and she always is ready to smile! What a personality!! She really is coming around and as I sat waiting for her to wake up this morning, I realized that I could not imagine for a second her not being here. I guess that officially makes her forever in my heart! Not that she hasn't already been, I just haven't thought about it with trying to think about what it was like before she was here versus now. She has brought so much joy! She is very and I mean very ticklish. You can just touch her with a pinkie and she cracks up laughing! She loves bubble baths and can stay in there until her skin is completely pruned! She still prefers chop sticks over a fork! She is a total cuddle bug and will just run to you if she sees a comfy spot that she might snuggle up to! She is a TOTAL girlie girl! Between Marissa and Mariah, our house has become Diva Castle! I think she may believe that she is a princess! Well, she is! She is finally opening up to Chad (a little)! It is so funny because she loves when he is around, but just not too close! She loves playing tricks on him and she loves pretending she is the doctor and he is the patient. She pretends to give him shots! I can see that I will probably only be the favorite for a few more short weeks and then just like the other 3, she will prefer him, and I will just be stuck being the mom! Oh well, that's not so bad! As far as the sibling bonding, I can not tell you how wonderful that has been to witness! It was completely natural for everyone involved and I look forward to watching these four children grow and bond and be best friends for the rest of their lives. I am truly cherishing every moment! I am one blessed woman!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Giving Thanks to the Lord!!!

I know most of you are wondering about how Mariah has been and how our family is adjusting, but I just really wanted to take this post and thank God for everything that He has lead my family through in the past year. We have always, and I mean always felt His prescense and His hand guiding every step we took since the second we decided our family was not yet complete. Adoption is such a miracle in itself, but when you trust the Lord with all of your heart and every single detail is placed perfectly in your lap, your faith grows so strong you just want to climb to the top of the highest mountain and scream thanks to the Lord. So this is my mountain, and I am yelling from my heart, "Thank you God!" Thank you for opening our hearts, planting the seed and taking care of all the details, down to the day where You put it in my heart to let Chad know I wanted to adopt. Thank you for opening his heart instantly and his feelings that he also had more love to give. Thank you for opening up Holt's website in front of my eyes where I instantly, and I mean instantly saw our daughter's profile as she waited months for a family. Thank you for having the other family that saw her profile 6 months before to decide that she was not their daughter. You knew she was ours all along. Thank you for guiding Holt's committee in making the decision to choose our family for Mariah when two other's stepped forward also. You knew she was to be ours! Thank you for guiding me through all the paperwork, the endless paperwork and giving me the perserverance to be organized (I am so not an organized person). I was able to get our dossier done in record time! You knew we wanted our daughter in our arms. You placed the right people, the right circumstances, the right weather, the perfect timing, everything was perfect in your timing, because You knew she needed to get home. Thank you for sending our warriors to our side when financially another adoption didn't seem possible, you sent them, and made it possible. Thank you for giving us "patience" in waiting for all the China Government steps. The wait was gruilling, but You never wavered. You were there, always! Your timing was more than perfect with our travel, Chad's work schedule. You knew we needed to be together when we finally met our daughter. It was worry free and the most unforgettable two weeks we have ever and I mean ever shared! Your perfect timing sent us to China with many amazing families who shared a passion for your orphans and we will remember them all forever! You brought us to our daughter, and even throught the hardship of our initial meeting, through the tears and grieving, the love was building instantly and we will love that little girl forever. You had no doubts! Your timing brought us home to our children on the day spring break started. How perfect is that? Ten days of togetherness, bonding, hugging, giving thanks! Unforgettable! You knew that we were all meant to be together. And together we are forever, a family of 6 and we give you thanks from the bottom of our hearts! Please continue to watch over us, guide us. We know that we have huge obsticles to overcome. We have several barriers to peel away from a heart that was without a mommy and a daddy 5 years. Help her see our love! Show her we are here unconditionally forever. Thank you and we love you. In Jesus Name, we pray, Amen!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

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Our First Days at home!

Thankfully, things are settleing down nicely and we are happily becoming a family of six. I apologize for the lack of messages and photos, but after our crazy journey home, and trying to get over jet lag, we are almost back to normal and it feels great! After our homecoming which we did not go to bed until 3 in the morning Saturday, we had to wake early to take my son who qualified in a Rock Band tournament which he has been looking forward to for weeks. We could not let him down and we were so thankful we went because he got first place! He was so happy and it was so much fun. Mariah did so well being with all new people, which I was worried even taking her so soon. She just takes any situation and makes the best of it and it was our first family memory! The tournament was at a Harley Davidson store, so thus the pictures of the motorcycles!!! The next few days have been getting used to the time change and the obvious other changes! Which has miracously gone without many challenges. There has been tons of laughter, crafts, music, dancing, and a few tears here and there. All four kids have transitioned so well, sometimes I have to pinch myself. Mariah is such a helper. She loves to clean up, when asked and yesterday when I was sweeping, she wanted to use the vacuum. She was a little skeptical of the dog for the first day, but who could resist a 2 lb. Chihuhua? Not her, she is in love! She carries Jasmine the dog everywhere and cracks up laughing when they are playing. I have finally mastered Mariah's favorite food, congee and she has tried a few American items, but not a fan as of yet. She loves Lucky Charms (They are magically delicious) and also took a liking to plain pancakes. So that has been pretty much her diet. Congee, Lucky Charms and pancakes. Oh, and Ramen Noodle soup. I know that is cheating, but it works. It looks Chinese, it smells Chinese and hey it tastes Chinese. She gulps them up with her chopsticks like there is no tomorrow! Our master bedroom has come kind of a camp out of sorts. We did not want to single out any of our children and we left it up to them where they wished to sleep. We really felt like Mariah was not ready to take on her big girl bed just yet, and of course, Mya is a Daddy's girl, so she tends to sleep with us on a regular basis. So our bedroom looks like this: Two twin size matresses on the floor next to our king size bed. Ryan and Marissa have been sleeping on our floor and the two little ones tucked in our bed with us. It has been really special, although we have not gotten the best of sleep!!!

I am hoping that we can finally get into some sort of daily life routine that makes sense. We have just really been going with the flow, especially because the kids our on Spring Break. So I have been basically cooking, cleaning and playing my hours away. My house has been very unorganized as I still have a heaping pile of China stuff on my dining room. That stresses me out a little, but I know things will slowly improve. I just want normal and I can see it coming, I am just really ready!!!!!

Well, enjoy the pictures!!! And there will be more to come!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We are home!!!

I am sorry this post took a while to happen, but it has been very chaotic and exhausting since the second we left Hong Kong. Mariah of course was amazing, but that can't be said for our flight that was suppose to be an 18 hour journey!! At lift off we were told we we would be taking a different route to take advantage of the Tail Winds and going across the Pacific and the good ole USA. This made for a very turbulent ride, which made the flight seem forever. If you have flown before you will know that most planes now have a personal screen that you can watch whatever you want and there is also a flight plan map that you can watch the progress of the flight. This is a good thing and a bad thing like the old saying goes, "Don't watch a pot of water boil"! Anyways we literally watch our path as we flew over Cleveland where we would eventually land after our connecting flight in Newark. As we were about 20 minutes to Newark we began to circle the airport for a while and then all of a sudden the flight path changed and we were diverted to Cleveland. The pilot announced that there were bad storms in Newark and he needed to divert to Cleveland for refueling after our long flight from Hong Kong. Well Chad and I were so happy thinking that we would just get to go home a few hours early. Our hopes were lost when after we landed in Cleveland, just one hour from our house, but was told we were not allowed to get off of the plane because it was an international flight, and we sat in Cleveland for almost 2 hours. We then had to take a flight back to Newark, where we already missed our connecting flight to Cleveland. I haven't cried that much in years! After going through customs, we had to go stand in a line of angry passengers where after almost 2 hours we were told that we would not be able to leave until the next day because all flights were booked. We had the option of stand by, but so many people were opting, the odds were not in our favor to find 3 seats. We opted to be persistant and head to the gate where there was a very slim chance we could board, or we would have to get a hotel in Newark. We RAN to the gate and I signed us in for Stand By. The flight was to take off at 9:30 P.M. three and half hours after we were suppose to be happily sitting on our couch at home! Of course that flight was delayed and we sat and sat as they finally boarded the flight. We were told we had to wait and see if there were any seats once all the passengers boarded the flight. And to our surprise our names were called!!!!! We were going home to our family!!!! We started boarding our flight and then we were told that the people showed up who we were taking their seats and we had to get off of the plane:( It was devastating!!!! Our hope was lost and we walked down to the customer service to find a hotel. We started talking to all the angry people in line when we heard a man's voice yelling our names. Run, run, run, the pilot is waiting!!!! They found seats for us!!!! The airport guy picks Mariah up in his arms, people were cheering and yelling for us to run and we just took off running as if our lives depended on it! My heart never pounded so hard!!!! We literally had to run as fast as we could down the hallway to the plane and when we got on the plane the cabin door was open to the cockpit and the pilot peeked out and gave us a thumbs up! People were cheering on the plane for us, they gave up their seats so we all could sit together! It was so heartwarming and wonderful. It was the best flight ever! We arrived in Cleveland at almost midnight and to our surprise after all the plan changes we were greeted by the most amazing family and friends. It was so special to see everyone there and for Mariah to meet everyone. She was so excited and did so well, saying hello and giving complete strangers hugs. She was happy to be home, forever! And I am glad that trip is finally behind us!!!

As far as Mariah, she is doing unbelievable. She is totally obsessed with Marissa and wants to be by her side at every minute. She loves Ryan and hugs him every time she sees him. He has really taken to her as well! And to my surprise there has not been any drama between Mariah and Mya, which I have been secretly dreading. I know how overbearing Mya can be, but she has opened her world to Mariah and they get along very well. Praise God for that!!!! She still has issues a little with Chad, but it has gotten so much better since being home!!!

Mariah has truly fit right in and anyone who was at the airport or who has come by to visit will tell you the same. It is like we have known her forever and she is just the sweetest little thing!!!!

I however am totally overwhelmed with jet lag, so I will try to post some pictures tomorrow. It is the strangest feeling in the world to be so tired and incoherent. I want it to go away so I can focus on our new life as a family of 6.

Thanks for all the prayers!!!! And for following our journey!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Last Day Pictures!





Last Day Pictures!





End of our Journey!!!!!

I honestly can't believe that I am writing that we are spending our last night in Guangzhou China. We wake up tomorrow and have our EXIT meeting, then go pick up Mariah's Visa and have the Oath Ceremony. Then we run back to the hotel, gather our belongings and head to the train station for our 2 hour trip to Hong Kong. We spend a short night in Hong Kong and wake up and head to the airport!!! Then it is USA!!!! I think I am going to give the Customs Guy a Bear Hug when we land in Newark! Poor guy, he won't know what hit him!!! I enjoyed our trip more than I could have ever imagined, but I WANT TO GO HOME!!!!!

Tonight we went on the River Cruise which was so nice to spend some last moments with all the friends we have come to know very well!!! We also did the Red Couch picture, which is a typical Chinese adoption custom to have your travel group to take the children's picture sitting on the red couch! Lot's of screaming babies and there was Mariah total smiles and happy to show her underwear!! She is the biggest joker I have ever met. Not one serious bone in her body!!! We did some last minute shopping and everything is now packed! Now we just need a Visa and away we go!!!

It has been the most amazing journey for Chad and I. We have never gotten to share a moment like this together and we will remember it forever. If there is anyone out there even having the slightest desire to adopt, trust your heart! There are no coincidences, and God has put this upon you to care for His fatherless. As I look back from the very moment I felt the desire, I knew that God was working and there has been nothing that hasn't worked in His perfect timing, Nothing! He chose the perfect little girl that will fit wonderfully in our family and I bow my head tonight in prayer thanking Him with all of my soul that I can be her mother!

So, for now I say goodbye until we reach Ohio!!! Thank you all for all the prayers, support and dinners provided to my family at home! Thank you for following our journey, Our walk of Faith!

PS: Today is April 1st, 2009 exactly two years ago another miracle was placed in my arms in Taiwan. Our little Mya Min! I still can't believe two years has past. I remember everything like it was yesterday! I love you Mya Min. I am sorry we missed your special day, but Mommy is coming home!!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On the menu today. (no joke) Daily Special Guinea Pig!

Out of order post!!

Sorry for the out of sequence post, but I forgot to publish the incredible video we took the morning we left Nanning. We went to the People's Park early in the morning to see the people that gather each day for excerice, dancing and singing. It was incredible. We saw people doing Tai Chi, ballroom dancing, bands playing instruments and lots of singing. The culture the Chinese people live is so interesting and has lasted generations. It was epecially interesting to see the elders. Everyone is in amazing shape here and it is rare to see overweight people. I am definately going on the slim fast plan when I get home!!! Oh wait, I have been on that plan since we got here!!! Anyways, it was beautiful to witness!

Every morning at the park the people gather for Tai Chi!

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Nanning Park in the morning!

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Busy Busy Busy!!!

Sorry I missed a day, but the last day in Nanning turned out to be a crazy one! We had to check out of the hotel at 3 p.m. but our flight was not until 8:20 p.m., so for 5 hours we were homeless!!! We then got to the airport and our flight was delayed, so we did not get to the Hotel until almost midnight. Mariah loved the airplane, but it was very sad because she kept saying Jie Jie (big sister Marissa) so she thought Marissa was going to be there when we got off. The translator explained that she will meet Marissa in a few days. (Note to Marissa: She looks at your picture all the time and pretends to talk to you on the phone. She says Wei (way) which means hello when you answer the phone.... Wei Jie Jie???) Now she pretends she is an airplane and says Jie Jie all the time. Hand tight Marissa, your sister is coming home! Anyways, we woke up this morning had breakfast and then it was off to take a Visa photo and Medical Exam. If anyone knows about the China adoption process, the dreaded Medical Exam is horrible for the kids. But it all went quick and Mariah did wonderful. The doctors all enjoyed talking with her in Chinese and could not believe how smart she is. (As if??) One crazy thing that happened to us today was we were standing all in a group from our agency and Chad kept looking at a couple and he said "Hey Mary, I swear that is Darren Marvin" (A guy that we went to school with). I just kept saying to stop and please dont walk up to him and embarrass me, because there is no way that we would be across the world adopting our daughter and the same time a friend from little Garrettsville Ohio would be there doing the same. Well folks, as small as the world is, it was him and we all just could not believe it. We actually graduated with his brother and him and Chad were very good friends. Isn't that incredible? They adopted a little boy. We are going to have breakfast with him and his wife in the morning. Just crazy stuff!!!!

Today after all the paperwork and appointments, we walked through many shops and Mariah got to pick out her Chinese Traditional Dress. Well, needless to say she is total girl and it took her almost 2 hours and about 10 shops. She wanted red with flowers and she needed a size 8, so you can tell that Chad is totally trying to win her heart, because he has never and I mean never shopped for on item for 2 hours! It was really fun. It is so awesome to see all of her firsts, even though she is 5. Her eyes light up with happiness and she is just so sweet your heart melts! She has turned the corner with Chad and actually got on his shoulders today with no prompts! He loved that! I can't wait for you all to meet her! All I can say is that this child giggles and giggles and giggles. She doesn't stop. She is always playing tricks on Chad and every time he goes to the bathroom she runs and turns the light off. And then of course she giggles!!!!

Well, the end of the trip is coming and we leave for Hong Kong by train on Thursday evening (Thursday morning your time). We stay overnight in Hong Kong and leave bright and early Friday morning (Thursday night your time). Our flight is due in Cleveland at 5:52 p.m. on Friday and I invite you all to the airport! I honestly think I will kiss the ground when we land. I am really aching for home and to see everyone! So if your schedule allows, then we would love to see you!!!! We are also having a Welcome Home Party for Mariah on April 18th, so if you can't make it to the airport, we would love to see you at her party! You will fall in love instantly! We sure did!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chinese Writing Lessons for Chad!

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More Chinese Writing Lessons!

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Mariah can write to 100!!!!

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100!!!!

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Every day gets better and better!!!

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Our Last Full Day in Nanning!

I can't even believe that we have had Mariah for 6 days now, and tomorrow we leave late afternoon for Guangzhou where we do the last of our paperwork. It has been the most memorable experience of my entire life. When I got Mya two years ago, her being a baby, I didn't experience the ups and downs and the emotions because she was so young. This week we have gone from happieness, to total sadness, to grieving, to liking, back to happieness and pure joy. We have come to know that Mariah is an amazing little girl who is totally goofy, smart, caring, very particular in everything she does. (I have another Marissa on my hands!)

Today we went sight seeing and of course back to the park where we rented a boat (Thanks for forgetting the camera Chad!) It is totally like you are movie stars. We must have said hello 500 times today to people walking past and saying hello to us. It is so bizarre to have people hurry and get their camera when you are walking past because they have never seen Americans before. Chad is usually a shy conservative kind of guy, but he sure does love talking with the people. It has been so nice to see him open up. And especially watch him fall completely in love with our daughter. Again, he is a changed man, spiritually and emotionally. I am such a blessed woman!

We spent alot of time in our room bonding today and I have captured some video of Mariah trying to teach Chad how to write in Chinese. It is hilarious because she was getting so mad that he could not do it right! She would check over his work like a teacher and her student and make the neccasary check marks. I can not believe that time that was put into this little girl and her school work. I watched in amazement as she wrote in English 1 through 100. I could not believe it. So not only is she fluent in Chinese Characters, but she has mastered the ABC's and our numbers. I hope I can help her keep her Native language. It would be so sad for her to forget all she has learned.

Well, I hope all is well at home and we miss everyone so much. Thank you all for the support you have given while we have been gone. I will remember it forever! I can't wait till you meet Mariah. She is heaven sent!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yunling Village





Yunling Village





Another Busy Day, but a good one!

We had a very busy day today. We actually didn't wake up until 7:30 am for the first time since we landed in China. We are usually up by 4 am, so we totally slept in.

Today we visited Yunling Village. It is nothing like the city and nothing like I would have ever expected. We got off the bus after about an hour bus ride and the first thing we encountered was a Village Lady bleeding out a chicken and there were several more waiting for their fate. If anyone knows me, I am a total animal lover, and yes, I eat meat, but the killing part is something I keep far out of my mind. Not today. My second witness was another lady placing a live chicken in a giant pot of boiling water. Then they were plucking and pulling and chopping and all sorts of barbaric things to them, and ducks and fish. And there was not a thing sanitary about any of it! Not to mention the smell! However I completed enjoyed the village children so happy to see us. They all ran up to us, greeting us. We had candy to share and Mariah was so willing to give each child a piece. They were all very friendly and completely content in their squabble. It was a very sad scene for someone who has so much, and we all take for granted. The women were washing their clothes by hand in the spring. The filth and the conditions we far beyond anything I had ever seen. I feel so guilty going back to the states, to our beautiful home, with all the amenities. Their small village home could fit in my bathroom and the floor was dirt, and their was no clean running water. But again, I must say they were all smiles and so friendly! That is all they know. The pictures do not even compare to seeing it up close. It was truly a self sufficient village growing their own crops and livestock. We would not even know where to start if faced with that situation. Their vegetables and fruit looked absolutely delicious, but of course, we could not eat with the fear of getting sick. I was happy to leave.

We did have a fun day with Mariah. She is opening up more each and every second. I can not even begin to tell you how much she giggles. If you just look at her funny, she just busts out laughing. She is a joy. We went back to the park again today, and we got her picture taken in traditional Guangxi style clothing. The pictures are beautiful. She loved to dress up. She is so girlie. Her and Marissa are going to be true best friends. She then got to jump on a trampoline bungee jump and I thought she would be afraid, but she was all for it. It was fun to see her so happy. She even let Chad kiss her a bunch today. She still clams up sometimes though, without warning. But it has only been 5 days. So she is doing remarkably well.

We have also had a blast with our travel group. We have all become friends and will probably try to get together and keep in touch. Our guide Jane is amazing, and her love for the children is so strong. She started to cry today when she was talking to the families about how we have changed the orphans future and they would not have a good life if we did not adopt them. Chad even teared up too! (Don't tell him I said that) I am going to miss her! Only Sunday and Monday left in Nanning, a city we have grown to love. Then it is 3 days in Guangzhou and then home!!!! I can't wait! I miss my kids!!!!! I can't wait for them to meet Mariah. I think once she is home, we will get to see her shine!!!!!! We are so truly blessed to have her as our little girl!