Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Zai jian (goodbye) China

Happy boy eating Mommy's birthday cake!

Checking out the cake...

Me in my glasses and PJ's with William and Grace, Wed. AM.

Becoming a family.

Today is my birthday and this morning I was able to have some quiet time to myself to think while I walked through the Qing Ping market to Shamian Island to finish up some final shopping. 7 years ago if someone would have told me that someday I'd be a mama to 3 (2 of them young children) at my age now, I would have said they were crazy. William is the most precious gift I could ever have today. What a journey it's been and so different from the one to Grace 5 years ago in so many ways. What an amazing, vibrant, rich culture that is China's gift to my children and to share with Dan and I. I tell people that I am part Chinese, I am because my children are. I am happy to be going home in some ways, but also very sad to leave the place of 2 of my childrens' birth and ethnic heritage. William will be welcomed to the United States by 2 Grandma's, 1 Grandpa, a big brother, Aunts and Uncles, a cousin Matthew and too many to count second cousins, a large black lab named Molly and a cat named Jack, many loving friends that we consider our family, and a neighborhood of little children...all waiting to meet him. Today we completed the final step before we can leave for home, the visa ceremony at the US consulate in Guangzhou. When our plane lands in Chicago on the afternoon of July 31, William becomes a US citizen. There have been so many experiences here that I haven't been able to write about. I have a great deal to say in a later post about China's orphans and some long conversations I had with Deena Van't Hul, the director of William's foster home. For all those waiting parents, keep the faith please. I know the wait is agonizing. The orphans of China need you so very much. They wait for their forever families. As for when will we be back to China, I can't say. Sometimes I think that our family will be complete now with a 3rd child, but I never say never. I am forever changed by this country, culture, the children and people of China. Goodbye beautiful China, you are always in our hearts. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers on Thursday July 31, for a safe and calm plane trip with a busy 2 yr. old and Miss Grace. With love and thanks, Gail

15 kind words:

OH MY #6 said...

I have chills!

Happy Birthday!

Love, Lea

Brandi said...

Happy Birthday, Gail!!!!

What a great post! Have a safe trip back home.

suzanne said...

Happyb birthday. Fantastic pictures and have a safe journey home.

The Morris Family said...

Beautiful post Gail- love that picture of the four of you...such a special birthday! Keeping you in prayer-especially for safe and peaceful travels...

Gail said...

Happy Birthday Gail!
"Goodbye China" is a wonderful post. It touched my heart.
I know I cried a bunch of tears.

I also say I am part Chinese.
China is Forever a part of me.

I love the Family Picture.
So worth the wait.

Gail said...

p.s. Safe Travel.

Cyndi and Dean James said...

Happy Birthday, Gail!! I have enjoyed reading about your journey. William is so cute. Love the family photo. Have a safe trip home.
Cyndi & Dean James
Waiting for Alicyn Shea
LID 10/24/06

Steffie B. said...

Happy Birthday girl....how awesome to be in China with your two precious gifts.....I'll be praying for a safe flight home and will look forward to more posts when you are ready!

missy said...

Happy Birthday, Gail!

What a beautiful post. My eyes are full of tears as you so eloquently stated what China means to so many of us.

Safe travels my friend!

redmaryjanes said...

I will pray for you my dear friend. Beautiful post. I am anxious to hear about William's foster home. I would love to see you become their advocate here.

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday.
Have a safe trip home.

The Straight's said...

What a heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to the day I set foot in China once again :) I have really enjoyed your journey.

Ashley said...

Hi Gail, I've been trying to send you an email....not having great luck with that from our vacation spot. I'll keep trying.

I've been following your blog, and thinking of you everyday.

love you tons, birthday girl and beautiful mama to three!!

Denise C said...

Happy Belated Birthday! What a precious gift to be in China with your two little sweeties on your b-day! I know this was a b-day you'll not soon forget!

insanemommy said...

Happy birthday beautiful lady!!! Can't wait to catch up.

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