Wednesday, July 29, 2015

it's official!

It's official!  Christine is ours!  God is good all. the. time.  We are so very thankful and humbled at how He's carried us over the last year and a half -- so, so many of you helped to bring Christine into our family.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

And, thank you for your prayers.  Christine's doing well and Payton and Avery seem to have turned the corner with their jet lag.  Now, if JD and I could just sleep tonight.  I was awake at 3 AM today and JD about an hour later.  And I am a girl who likes my sleep.  Ugh.  

It's been a long, but wonderful day.  We're sitting in our room back in Manilla after driving in hours and hours of traffic.  It's unrelenting.  Now, we're chilling and watching TV in our pajamas after ordering room service.   Just what families do when traveling.  :)

With faster internet, I was finally able to upload photos.  I realized I didn't include the video in my last post.  Hoping to soon.  Videos are harder to upload.  Very time consuming and I don't seem to have a lot of that these days.    

Here are some shots from our trip so far...

We met a darling family (with twin boys!) at the Guangzhou (China) airport.  The children were enthralled with Payton and Avery.  

Our first photo with Christine!  This is our first day here in the Philippines.  We were getting ready to leave Manila for Baguio.

Two weeks straight of rain led to dangerous landslides that covered roads up the mountain to Baguio. A treacherous climb, for sure.  But we made it!  Thank you for your prayers.

When we first arrived at the Helping Hands Healing Hearts Children's Home, the little children came running to greet us.  Hugging our legs and immediately wrapping their little arms around our necks!  (I'm have permission to post some group shots!).

Payton and Avery were amazing with them.  

Our darling 'adoption suite' for adoptive parents to stay in at the children's home.  

Fresh fruit, coffee, water, Pringles!, snacks, hot chocolate in our room.  What is this the Ritz!?  :)

We changed clothes and headed straight to Christine's church and loved it!  I have the best video to post.  Such an amazing experience.  They even called us up front and prayed a blessing over our family.  A moment we'll never forget. 

Chilling in our room our first morning...

The sun shining in the window, listening to the roosters crow with the windows open, sipping on a hot cup of coffee and starting my first post.  What a treat.

Avery joins in.  :)

The home is full of scripture.  

The boys loved JD, big and little.

Such a week for Christine...

In Mama Claire's office.  That little love in Payton's lap was such cuddler.  Just delicious.

Sisters chatting overlooking the backyard.

Calamansis are a cross between a lemon and lime and served as a juice all over the Philippines.  So good -- like fresh lemonade with a zing.    

Christine's last day with some of the dear women who loved her so well.  This is Jing and Sally.  

Gary is a missionary at H4 from Ireland.  Great guy!  And great chauffeur/tour guide.  :)

This is from a park that overlooks the Baguio valley.  Stunning views!

Gary, Avery, Christine, and Payton.  JD was golfing.  

A panoramic.

The crisp, clean air at the top of the mountain was fabulous!

Beautiful girls.

A rainbow lizard for our Brookster.  :)

Another view.

In Baguio, they color the white horses and sell rides.  This pink one was especially beautiful in front of the blue sky!

This entire aisle at the grocery was dedicated to whitening creams, ointments and lotions to lighten the women's skin.  I told Christine how ironic that is because we sell tanning lotion in the States!

The 'Western' aisle.  Many familiar items from home.  It's funny because we have 'international foods' aisle in the U.S. 

As we entered Christine's 'despedida' (farewell) party...a true labor of love.  

Waiting for the 'program' to start.

Dave & Marlene.  Big supporters of H4...and big fans of Christine.

H4 director's sweet son who adores Christine.  He just cried in her arms.  Precious boy.

Mama Claire's family.  I can't say enough about Claire and Mark.  Honored to know them.

After the party was over, a huge rainbow.  God keeps his promises!

Christine and her friends from school.

Marissa and Christine.  Marisa runs the Children's Recovery Unit.  Amazing work being done their to help the children heal physically and spiritually.

A beautiful cake Jing made for Christine.  

These women cooked their tails off!   

What a team! 

JD spent hours with the older boys the night before we left (they were in awe of his muscles!).  We will never forget those dear boys.  Our hearts are changed forever.

Up at 3 AM and gone by 4:00 get back to Manilla for Christine's appointments.

A quick last shot with Claire and her daughter.

We made it!  It's ICAB!

Cute little sign on the door.  Made us smile.

Waiting for the social worker.

30 minutes later and we were outa there!  So much to be grateful for!  

Tomorrow morning, our first order of business is to Skype with those boys of ours!  I cannot wait!  Then, we'll check out of our hotel in Manilla and catch our plane to Palawan (Puerto Princessa) to meet our Compassion child, Lyka, on Friday.  I really can't believe this is happening.  I'll tell more about this part of our trip in my next post, but for now suffice it to say that I am so looking forward to it!

Love to all!  We covet your prayers!  You're the best! 

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