We have almost made it to the end. Tomorrow, we have our Consulate appointment and then Wednesday, we pick up Ashby’s Visa and fly back to Beijing to spend one night before flying home on Thursday. Whew. I’m ready.
One quick thing…I have been absolutely blown away by the emails from you sweet people wanting to know more about adoption for your own families. BLOWN AWAY! I have received hundreds of them. Hundreds. There is no way that I can personally respond to each one (though I wish I could!)…it would just be impossible. Once we’re back home, I will do a Shade of Shay on this and hopefully answer most of your questions. If for some reason, you still have a question or two, then you can email me then and I’ll get back to you. I typically answer every single email that is sent to me, but there is just no way that I can tackle all of these. I’m sooooooo happy that so many of you are opening your hearts to the idea of adoption.
One other thing, several of you have asked about Kensington missing two full weeks of school…due to the Christmas break, she will actually be missing exactly one month of school (December 19 to January 19). I am so grateful to her sweet teacher and administrators for being so encouraging and supportive of this family event. They were cheering us on and encouraging us every step of the way :). They provided Kensington with plenty of school work to be done while she’s gone and we’ve faithfully completed it each and every evening over here in China. That being said, we’re more than ready to head back home and jump into our new routine…we all miss the routine of regular life.
Here is Miss Priss yesterday morning at breakfast…trying so hard not to smile at me. Trust me, this girl is all smiles…she just likes to play the game of “I bet you can’t make me smile” :).
After breakfast, we went to what the Americans call the Pearl Market and bought each girl a strand of pearls that hopefully, they’ll have forever and always remind them of this trip to China.
He really wanted a watch…not pearls. So, we went to hunt down a little watch for him.
We stopped by a little embroidery shop where we purchased three pillow cases for Ashby’s room at home. They were so sweet and gave the two big kids fans.
Smith said he is saving his for his daughter one day. (I mean…isn’t he just the sweetest?!?!)
We found Smith a watch and took a street selfie. In only 24 hours, we have taught him how to tell time on it (big hand, little hand kind of time). Kensington has no interest in learning how to tell time…she assumes that’s a skill she won’t need in life. Sigh.
We walked to Shamian Island to look around. Everyone looks thrilled right?!?!
I just love these two 🙂
After lunch, we hit up Starbucks again and then headed to the room for Ashby to nap. I’m currently reading this book and it is so good! If you’re a mom, get it :).
We found a restaurant online that we wanted to try for dinner, so around 5:00, we loaded up and headed out in a cab. The taxi driver assured us that he knew where we were going…but 30 minutes later, he pulled up to an industrial building and said “you’re here” and we said “ain’t no way”. By this time, Smith was sound asleep and Kensington was really car sick. We told him to just take us back to the hotel and around 6:00, we showed right back up where we started. This time, Smith was super cranky because we woke him up, Kensington was moments away from puking and shaking really badly and Ashby was crying because she was hungry. We called it quits and just ate dinner in the hotel.
Andrew took this pic at 2:30 am. Bless his Dallas Cowboys loving heart. He woke up at 1:45 to watch the Cowboys play and ordered room service. He went to sleep again at 5:00 to a Cowboys’ loss. This guy is such a fan. The kids and I slept right through it.
My crew this morning. I love how Smith is laughing with Ashby about Mickey Mouse :).
Before bed last night, Andrew and I were talking about how much Ashby needed a family to love on herself. She didn’t just need to receive love, this girl has so much love to give! She is already so into giving us kisses and hugs. She is snugly. She laughs at everything we do, she wants to do everything with us…she just has so much love to give. For 2.5 years, she has had no one to love and now, she has these four fools who are head over heels for her and she is totally into reciprocating the affection.
So much love to give.
We only packed enough clothes for 10 days (and we’re gone 18), so we’ve been having laundry done along the way. This is our last batch before going home!! There is a great laundry service here that will do all of our laundry so that when we get home, I just have to put it away. Woohoo!
Today, was the BIG day that my kids have been looking forward to since before we left…the Safari Park day…and it was cold and raining. It was 55 with a steady stream of rain all day long but since this is our last site seeing day of the trip, we had to bundle up and make the most of it. Listen…rain or shine, this place was AMAZING! I’ve been to many zoos in my life in several different countries and this zoo was hands-down without a doubt the prettiest and best zoo that I have ever been too.
He is ready to get wet and have fun!
Thankfully, every animal exhibit had some sort of covering so that I could snap a few pics between being soaked.
Not only is this zoo beautiful, the exhibits were so close to the people that you almost felt like you could reach out and you know…touch a giraffe or something. One of the biggest bonuses to visiting the zoo when it’s raining is that no one else is there. We had this zoo all to ourselves.
Me and the white kangaroos 🙂
This zoo is known for their panda exhibit. They are the only place in the world with triplet panda bears (born this past August). Look how close we are to these amazing pandas. The sign out front said that millions pass through this panda exhibit every year…but today, we were the only five in the entire exhibit. So cool!
He wasn’t impressed by us.
…and then chillen and eating them here.
We only saw two of the three triplet pandas (one guy wasn’t around today). Famous little guys :).
We stopped at one of the little zoo restaurants for lunch. All three kiddos picked sausage on a stick for their lunch.
Ashby took down her sausage!
And then on our way out, Andrew and a white tiger had a staring contest.
You can’t see the kiddos very well in this pic but I wanted to capture the lake in the middle of the zoo. Even though it was cold and rainy, we had the very best time! Tomorrow morning, we get down to business (finally!) and finish up all of steps that need to be done in order to get the heck out of here with Ashby. It’s been fun China…but we’re ready to be home!
Click here to see Day 16.