Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Last post from China.....

We want to invite all of our friends and family to meet us at the airport. We will be flying into Birmingham. Please...before you leave....check the status of the flights to make sure that they have all been on time...

We plan to call someone if we miss a flight...(Jess?)...and then she can post it on the blog. We don't want you to drive so far and not actually get to see us!!!

Here is our flight info:

February 20th, 2009

Guangzhou to Tokyo- Northwest NW28 Depart: 8:30 Arrive 1:40- 4 hour flight

Tokyo to Detroit- Northwest NW12 Depart: 2:30 Arrive 12:10-12 hour flight

Detroit to Birmingham- Northwest NW3637 Depart: 3:35pm- Arrive: 4:35pm-2 hour flight

One other note:

Many of you have emailed me and asked to have access to our private blog. We would love for you to continue on with us on our journey!!! Because of Blogger's rules...we can only have 100 registered viewers. I am well over that limit. SO, what I have done is created a "generic" log-in that many people can use. Its fairly easy to remember and you will need to use it each time you visit our blog. When you comment on the blog (and please do, I like to know who I am sharing my heart with...), you will need to just type your name because you will be logged in as "friends and family". My email inbox is out of control right I am going to ask you to do me a favor. Please email me again and type "BLOG ACCESS" in the subject and just let me know who you are. I will then send you the sign-in info. I know this sounds confusing, but its actually quite simple. Email me here:


Today, we woke up really late! We all slept for 10 hours. Can you believe it? Right when I get adjusted to China time, its time to do a big switch-a-roo! I no longer have jet lag over here and I feel normal. Oh....I am soooooo dreading the flight and getting adjusted to the new time zone. Honestly, I am a little worried about it. Anybody got any tips for jet-lag and quick adjustment? Jet lag is the worst feeling...its like you are walking in some kind of a zombie! I hope the weather is nice at home..I have heard that getting outside in the sun is the best thing for jet-lag.

Ok, enough about that! This morning, we went to the Chen Temple. It was nice, but I will just be honest here...when you have done Beijing and seen the things that we have seen, well, it just wasn't that impressive. We saw lots of carvings out of wood, jade, bone....I bought several things from the gift shop. I was happy to get a beautiful tea set that was of good quality and did not contain lead. There are lots of tea sets on the island for much cheaper..but I want my kids to play and drink from them..and I cannot be worried that they are gobbling up lead. I also got some more ornaments for our China tree and a few other knick-knacks (is that how you spell that?) Lily played hide and seek and screamed "BABA" so loud. It was cute. She passed out on the way home and took a little nap. I remember our pediatrician back home telling me that when a child (or baby) is growing a lot, they will sleep a lot. Well, Lily is growing. Her hair has already grown nearly an inch or so in just a week! I know her little body is in shock and is starting to grow. She is still eating non-stop. I mean non-stop. She eats anything and everything. The only thing we have found that she does not like is carrots and spaghetti sauce. She loves warm milk, so I am going to have to start purchasing whole milk again. (we are a skim milk family). But, I think she needs the fat. She also loves Wahaha and drinks it all the time...boy, are we in trouble....I don't think they sell that at Wal-mart??? Carlton said he would drive to Atlanta to buy it if he needed to. (he is so smitten!) Wahaha is some kind of milk drink with a cocanut smell. All the kids drink it here.

This afternoon was our "swearing in" ceremony. We were not allowed to take any pictures due to security reasons...but we made a lot of mental pictures today. All of the families (13) all held up their right hand and said the oath. I made Lily hold up her hand that was holding the American flag and Chinese flag. I thought the little dress I made for her was perfect for this occasion. Originally, I had planned on her wearing it for her homecoming...but I have something else in mind for that! I looked at Lily today and thought about how much this is changing her life. She doesent understand right now....but her life is totally changed. Today, was a big day for my little one.

Tonight, we will eat our last dinner together in China. Of course, we chose to eat traditional Chinese food.

It will be hard to say goodbye to this amazing country. I will be leaving a good portion of my heart here in China. I am sad in a lot of ways....but my heart does flip flops when I think of seeing my children. Its been a long time and I cannot wait to give them a million kisses. I also cannot wait for them to meet Lily. Its going to be a great reunion. We know the road ahead holds many bumps and curves, but we also know the One who ordained all of this. We are fully trusting in Him to help us along this journey.

Thank you for loving us and "being there" for us. You have made us feel at home at a time when we are so far away! Thank you for your prayers and the precious comments and emails you have sent.

This has been one amazing we will never forget...

Aimee, Carlton and Lily


Anonymous said...

the dress is too cute, Aimee. i hope i get off work in time to come greet you guys at the airport! praying for safe travels! love you all!

Sue said...

Dear Aimee, I've been following your journey with Lily! How precious she is and you are! God's blessings are amazing! Love to you from our family in Tennessee!
In Him!

Cathy said...

OOOOHHHH! I am praying for safe journey back and that jet lag to be quickly over or not there. I can't wait to see pics of your reunion and their new little sisters arrival. Thank again for letting us share this part of your life.

The Princess's Mommy said...

Aimee, Carlton and sweet Lily,

I have so enjoyed following your journey and seeing the amazing change in your precious daughter over the past week. God is good all the time! I am praying for safe travels home and no delays!


LeighAnne said...

Oh Aimee,

I can't wait for you to get home!! I am praying for a smooth, uneventful journey home and safe travels. I can't wait to see pictures of the kids and you united at the airport...there is going to be some much love and excitement in that place! Thanks for letting me be a part of this amazing journey!!

Hugs, LA

Aaron and Erica said...

Could she be any cuter?? She is just adorable. I'm sad to know I won't be able to turn on my computer first thing in the morning and see an update from you, but I'm glad that I'll just be able to pick up the phone and call you now :)

Praying for safe travels for you...


Misty said...

I have never seen such a little model! Lily is very photogenic! Excited about you guys coming home. Many prayers for safe travels!


Misty Cobb

Anne Marie said...

Thank you Aimee, we have loved reading your blog. My ten year old son likes to read it with me. We are getting ready to go to China soon, and he gets to go with. Sorry I haven't left a comment lately. I just want to say that Lily is adorable!!!! Congratulations, we are excited for her to be part of such a wonderful family and you for having her as part of your family. Take care and good luck with the flight.

Nancy said...

Tears of joy for you right now! She looks so precious in that dress. I will email you to follow your blog. I am so thrilled for your family. I am so happy you have Jessica as a best friend. The past year you have really been there for each other in a million ways I'm sure. Praying for your safety!

Amy said...

I LOVE her dress! It also looks like as the days go by the pictures are showing Lily coming out of her shell more and smiling a lot more. She looks so happy!
Have safe travels home... I bet your other children are bursting at the seams to see you again as well as their new sister!!!


Chris and Christa Burbank said...

I love the dress you made it was beautiful..We hope that you have a very uneventful travel back home..It has been great reading about your adventures and how Lily has changed in a week!!! God is truly WONDERFUL and His timing is also!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Chris and Christa Burbank
Burbank's 3 to Be

Tamara said...

She looks so cute sporting red, white, and blue! Will tomorrow ever come?!! I know Hannah Grace and Noah are so excited to meet their little sister and to see mama and daddy too.

Praying for safe travel and a smooth transistion when you get home.

See you there!!!

Love you guys!

Tasha said...

Praying for a safe trip home and for Lily as she still is adjusting to new things and new faces! She has come so far,you can see it in her eyes!! I am also praying for Hannah and Noah as they meet their new sister,it will be different but she looks and acts so much like them both! God is such an AWESOME GOD! We are so happy for ya'll and again, thank you for taking us to China with you!
His Grace is neverending!

Crystal said...

Praying for safe travels and easy adjustment to the time change once you get HOME! The dress you made is adorable!!!

Jessica said...

Love that little dress..Aimee you are so talented! Miss Lily looks so precious in her red, white, and blue! I love that she is holding both a chinese and american flag.
Praying for you guys as you begin this journey home. Praying for safe, smooth travels. Praying for an easy transition once you get home.
You can certainly call me if anything changes and I will update the blog :)
Can not wait to see you guys at the airport!
lots of love and hugs!

Linda said...

What a fun trip this has been on this end! Thanks so much for sharing with us every step of the way. Life will normalize, but you will never again be a "typical" American family. No matter where we go, people will smile, look, and ask questions. I know that bothers some people, but I feel very honored. I know for certain that several of the people we have spoken with have investigated international adoption. It makes me feel as though I am helping some of the little ones left behind. You will be great adoption ambassadors!

Lily is such a cute little American, and I love her dress. Very patriotic!

I pray that your trip will be quiet and non-stressful. Blessings as you reunite with the rest of your family!

Krystal said...

Woo-hoo for Lily and her Forever Family!

I wonder if mixing some vanilla yogurt (or other flavors even) with milk would taste good to Lily. I do that for my kids periodically, especially if I want them to have more calories and substance when they're sick or something. Or, and this is a thought I haven't tried, coconut milk and yogurt for that coconut flavor.

I'm specifically going to pray today (Thursday) and tomorrow for your traveling safety and comfort. Then, I'll be praying for your homecoming and Lily's introduction to your kids and loved ones, and then the jet lag issues. I'm so glad God has given you this sweet girl, wonderful trip, and experience of a lifetime.

jill said...

Praying for safe travel!!! I wish that I could be there to see y'all come home! I would love to see a video of you guys coming know, for the bloggy friends that live forever away.
:-) Love y'all!


Barb said...

You are so talented. That dress is adorable. She looks so comfortable, what a little ham! I love all the posing in the Chinese dress! Pray you will have safe travels home and there will be little turbulence if not any. Can't wait for you return, to see your whole family together.

The Tucker Troops said...

What sweet pictures and your words made me tear up. You are a gifted writer and I know it's coming from your heart. I'm praying for you as you travel home and adjust. I just sent my two guys off on the plane to China this morning. They will be meeting our Lucey Lu in two days. I am so excited!


Erica said...

Thanks for letting us be a part of this AMAZING journey!! I LOVE the dress!! She is SO perfect!! Can't wait to hear about your arrival home. Praying for safe travels.

Shea said...

Not sure when you will get this but have a safe trip home! I'll be praying for you all and hoping that you get adjusted easily and quickly to being back home. I love the red, white and blue dress. SUPER CUTE! I'm going to start placing orders with you soon! :) Love ya'll and am so proud to have been a part of this journey and look forward to participating in your life from here on!

P.S. Because we are both Bachelor SuperFans I have to tell you....HE LET JILLIAN GO! I finally watched the show last night; this is probably old news to you by now but I am still in shock. COMPLETE SHOCK! I was way off I guess. Now I'm picking Melissa because she was always my #2 but because he completely took me by suprise with letting Jillian go I'm think Molly might just have a shot. SHOCK!!! But let me tell you my friend.....the last show is going to be a DOOZY!

Corie said...

Once again....tears. Tears of joy and excitement for you. This little girl has no idea her life has changed and yet she will soon know about the amazing parents she has and the amazing God who perfectly made her(without a hand) for a home in China for 4 years and a home in Alabama now! Your story is so incredible and amazing. I just can't say enough about how in awe I am of the story God is so perfectly writing for you...His child. I love you and can't wait to see you in the summer.

Angie Ramdog Lu said...

Hi Aimee,
I am childhood friend of Corie's and found your blog from her blog and I am just moved to tears each day when I read your posts. Today was no different - I got goosebumps reading about the swearing in ceremony. Lily is precious and you and your husband have such incredible big hearts - so open and full of love. Thank you for sharing so openly with so many - you and your family are an inspiration to me and my family. Safe travels back home.


White House said...

We can hardly wait to have you home again. ....and cannot wait to see all yur family together. It has been awesome sharing this experience with you. Hugs,
Nana J

pooja said...

hey i cant wait 4 yall to come back with lily.she is sooooooo adorable.i feel like ive known her 4 soooo long. today is my birthday and im turning 13.well i gotta go.cant wait!!!!!!

Holly said...

Almost home! YEAH! Praying for a safe and uneventful journey home...sleep, Lily, sleep!

amy said...

I have really enjoyed following your journey! It is a great way to pass the wait for our son. You are a wonderful writer and have such a huge heart! I hope your journey home goes safely and you see your other 2 soon. We are waiting on LOA for our son and we too will be traveling without our bio kids.

Tamara said...

Wishing and praying for safe travels, quick adjustements for everyone and mostly, that the memories you have of your time in China will never fade from your heart; it has been an honor to watch this unfold and words cannot express how thankful I am to have been apart of it. I will pray tonight that you all have a smooth transition into your new lives together. Won't be there at the airport (although I do pray we are able to meet in person one day) but my heart and thoughts will be there, waiting with everyone to welcome Lily HOME!

God bless you all,
Tamara G.

Amado J. Ortiz said...

Aimee, thank you for sharing so much of your story. I have learned so much and enjoyed seeing the symbolism of the Gospel and my adoption in Christ through Lily's. I have been so excited to read updates and look at your beautiful pictures. Lily is an absolute doll! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey. Can't wait to see y'all!


Anna Lee said...

Hey it's Sina! Just wanted to let you know we are praying for you all and have been following the blog. Brady & Emma have really loved all the pics and the videos. Emma says "I want to see Lily laugh" she is talking about the video with the stickers that is her fave. We are so happy for your family. Lily is so blessed to be joining such a great family and she will be such a special piece of it. Hope yall have a safe and quick trip home. We will be thinking of you all!! God Bless!
Sina Pitts

Deb said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have been very touched. I am also getting ready to go pick up our son in Henan who is almost 3. I would love to see your family blog, to help prepare myself for the grieving. He has been in foster care for the past year. Thank you again for your heartfelt words and pictures. Blessings, Deb