Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thankful For Blessings

All is continuing to go well since we have arrived home. Thanks to our church family, and my mother, we have been extremely well cared for and loved beyond measure. I don't know what we would have done without you. You are such a blessing to us!

Jet lag seems to have finally ended for both of us. We have spent the last week battling a bug, and the children have had Roseola. So thankful that we are all starting to feel better now.

The children love their little brother, and we haven't noticed any jealousy at all. They all play well together and it just seems that things have always been this way. Andrew just stepped right in as though he knew he belonged in our family, just as we had been praying for so long that he would. He is such a precious child. We are thanking the Lord for all of His great blessings.

Please pray for our friends Becky and Rodney, who left today for Taiwan to get their precious son Carson. They have to go through the same process that we did, so pray that they find incredible favor at AIT and have no difficulties in bringing Carson home.

Here are a few new photos for you all. Hope you enjoy them

Fireman Small Making Silly Faces
Bath Time

Leaning To Jump Rope
Precious Baby Boy

Sporting Big Brother's Hat

Pre-Bath Turbin

One Very Happy Baby

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Play Time At Home

Andrew is fitting into the family beautifully, just as God planned. Just a few pics from play time today....
Enjoying Big Brother In His Crazy GetUp Playing The Harmonica
Sissy and her "Little Slobber"...her fond new nickname for baby brudder

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jet Lag.......And Blessings

WOW. Never expected jet lag to be this bad! Thank the Lord for the blessings of children who are all doing well. Andrew is adjusting amazingly well, far beyond anything we could have hoped or dreamed. He is continuing to eat and sleep well and seems completely bonded to all of us, particularly Jarrod and myself. He seems to be adjusting better to the time change than we are.

We hope to post more pictures soon, when we are better able to keep our eyes opened. Thanks again to all of you for your sweet comments and continued prayers. Also to those of you who have helped in many other ways as well. We love you all and are truly blessed to have you in our lives!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Photos From Taipei International Airport, LAX, & Nashville

Taipei Airport Hello Kitty Nursery
Align Center
Change a diaper, baby can nap, feed baby, or surf the net for free
Entrance to feeding area in Hello Kitty Nursery
Touch Down! A precious new American Citizen steps foot on US ground!

Meeting Nina In Nashville
Worn out...night night

The Journey Home

God is so good, and has answered all of our prayers. Andrew is continuing to bond very well to both of us, and is such a sweet baby. He slept for the first half of the plane ride back, which was our goal so that he would also sleep after we checked into our hotel in LA for the night. The trip went very well. He continues to only be fussy when he is sleepy or hungry. The process at LAX through immigration and customs was really a breeze. Not sure if it was the time our plane came in or not. We landed around 9pm Pacific time and were out of LAX awaiting our shuttle to the hotel by 10pm! Truly amazing! We checked out of our hotel around 6:30 am and headed back to LAX. We flew Southwest back to Nashville. There is an area on the second floor where families with children can get through security MUCH faster that through the outdoor line!!! You take and elevator to the second floor security area. We grabbed a quick breakfast from McDonalds and boarded the plane around 8am. The flight went smoothly and we landed in Nashville around 3pm EST. We had a two hour drive back home, and were all very thankful that the trip went so well. There were so many prayers answered by the Lord! We can't believe that he is home now and a part of our lives forever. He seems to be doing well with everything that's new to him. The children love him and are so glad to have us back home. I am still waiting for the jet lag to pass, and don't feel so great, but it is so worth it to have him home. Please remember to pray for those who are continuing to wait to bring their babies home. We know that prayer has made an amazing difference in our lives as well as in Andrew's. Thanks again for all of your love, prayers, and support during our adoption process. Love, Jarrod and Anita

Visa In Hand, Hearts Are Full, Heading Home......

Merry Cafe! YUM!!

Playing At Starbucks
Just A Slinging
Nice Teether Too
Daan Park

Taipei 101 From Daan Park

Hanging Out At Din Tai Fung..AGAIN!
Me loves sticky rice!

Today around 10:30 am we received a call from AIT. Andrew's visa is ready! We are thrilled! Jarrod headed there right away, and was back to the hotel room promptly with visa in hand. Around noon we checked out of the hotel room (this is check out time at the Rido). As our flight did not leave until around midnight, the Rido staff allowed us to leave our bags at the front desk with them. They arranged a hotel car to take us to the airport at 9pm, at which time we also picked up our bags. 

Anyway, after checking out around noon, we walked out the hotel door to be greeted by the first rainfall that we had witnessed since landing in Taiwan. Glad we had umbrellas! LOL! So we headed for our 3rd time to Din Tai Fung, whose dumplings are, YES, addictive! (Important about an hour ahead to get on their priority listing. You won't have to wait long at all! It's a great thing!) 

We also found this fantastic little pastry shop a little ways down from Din Tai Fung (same side of the street) called Merry Cafe. OK...if you stay at the Rido, you HAVE to get some of their pastries. OH YUM! This is a great choice for breakfast as it is a nice little walk from the Rido. They do not have tables or chairs, but you can always take them to go and either eat them in Daan Park or if you want to dine indoors, why not head to Starbucks just down the street and grab a coffee to go with your pastries? They have sweet and savory things. The one that looks like a pizza on a long breadstick is amazing! 

Sooooo, after eating at Din Tai Fung we checked out a few areas for some traditional Chinese clothing for the children. We were not successful in finding them, even after following the suggestions of several different ladies. 

After that walked through Daan Park, finally! It is very beautiful and peaceful there. We then headed for a taxi, to a market area nearby. There were many shops and we walked around for hours. Fun place to look, but still no children's clothing. Did find learning chopsticks though, which were on my list, along with a bunch of Hello Kitty things for Matilyn. LOL! 

Then we walked to the EVA office and added Andrew's lap seat ticket. Next it was off to a Starbuck in the area, where we drank coffee and rested from all of our walking. We then took a taxi back to Merry Cafe for some pastries to go, headed back to the Rido, loaded our bags into the car, and it was off the the airport.

Our journey to Taiwan was a whirlwind. There was so much to be done in such a short time. We fell in love with the country and it's people, and pray that we are able to return some day. We are bringing back our precious little dumpling, and life will never be the same!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Official, God Has Answered And Andrew Is COMING HOME!!!!!!!!

Writing again to thank all of you for your precious friendships and many prayers. You have no idea how much it has meant to us, and how we have felt the Lord's presence and seen His miracles as a result of your lifting us up to Him. We are still in Taipei, and after a VERY long day of multiple appts. and interviews, the officers at AIT have decided that they are granting Andrew's US visa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are beyond thankful. "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Please continue to pray as we still do not have the visa in hand and are not yet through US immigration. Feels like smooth sailing from here though. We will share more details with you all later, but right now we are both beyond exhausted and heading for bed. Praying to sleep for a long time. LOL! Love you!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

11am appt update

At our 11am appt we left andrew's visa photos with AIT. We were asked if we had our new fingerprinting update sent here. We said, yes we did, but not sure if they have sent it yet. They do not have it on file. He said they will check their computer system to see if it was sent in that last day or so, if not then AIT will email the US national visa center to request that it be forwarded here directly to AIT. He said if this needs to be done it "should" ONLY take 1-2 days. LOL! At this point we just have to laugh. Now we are to return to AIT at 1am EST for andrew's visa interview with the boss there. So at 1am, we will head back for the third time today, and see what else we need, hopefully to pick up his visa tomorrow. We may be calling the national visa center and congressman in the morning when they open to expedite the process if necessary. Please keep praying. :)

UPDATE regarding AIT appointment this morning's the scoop. Please keep praying. We are going back for another appointment at AIT for Andrew's visa at 11pm tonight EST, as they have requested some additional time to review the new documents that we brought to them this morning. Also, they needed a few additional passport photos of Andrew, in the event that they do give us a US visa for him. We left there, went and had the photos done, no problem, Kodak place just next to AIT. Then had breakfast...croissanwich at Burger King! LOL! Back to the hotel for Andrew's nap time, as he was passing out. They did ask about one additional piece of paperwork, that we do not have, but we can get it today if they absolutely need it. Please keep praying that we say all of the right things at our 11am appt., and that they approve his visa without any difficulty whatsoever. Thanks and love you all! Will post an update sometime later after our next appt at 11PM your time tonight!!!

Visiting The Original Din Tai Fung..Delicious!!

Oh YUM! Think we will be going back to Din Tai Fung tomorrow. It's just right down the street from our hotel, just near Starbucks. Only took a photo of one of our dumpling dishes from tonight, because I'm embarassed to say how much we ate. Mmmmmmmmmm. LOL. 

Then went strolling looking for AIT, which is very nearby, but we never found it. :) Getting online now to find out where we went wrong. Tonight will be spent completing some last minute paperwork and getting it all together for our visa appt in 12 hours! WOW...we LOVE Taiwan! Taipei is great. Seems quite safe, and all are friendly here. We have SERIOUSLY turned some heads tonight on the streets of Taipei. It is pretty funny to see people walk past you staring and then doing a complete turn around to check you out! LOL! Here are a few pics from tonight for you.....Andrew enjoyed the rice again, and fell asleep in his sling on the way back to the hotel.

Night View Of Taipei 101 from Din Tai Fung/Rido Hotel
Din Tai Fung

Sleeping Like A Baby
Din Tai Fung Dumplings

Daddy And Andrew At Din Tai Fung

Andrew Enjoys The View Of Daan Park From Our Room