Monday, March 26, 2012


The day has now finally come and has almost gone. What a day it was.

We started out by going to the bank right next to our hotel to exchange money for the adoption fees. When we adopted Rylie, the fees could be paid in US dollars.....not so this time. When the exchange rate is basically 6 RMB (Chinese dollars) per 1 US dollar...well, you can imagine the stack of money we left the bank with. It was a little unnerving walking around with it all, but fortunately we dumped most of it today.

Anyway, we had another 4 hours to kill before it was time to meet our guide and head to the Civil Affairs Office, and we did a whole lot of nothing. We tried to get Jonah to do some homework, but he was literally bouncing off the walls with excitement, so there was no way he was going to buckle down and focus.

Anyway, the time finally came and we headed down to the lobby. Fortunately, we found a last-minute memory card problem and had time to run up to our room to switch it with a different one.....I can't even imagine how devastating that would have been!

So, finally, we headed to the Civil Affairs Office. Jude's orphanage is about an hour away, and they would be driving him in to meet us. The office was very nice, much nicer than in Rylie's province. There were many other families there who had already met their children. Our guide said we would have to do some paperwork first before Jude would be brought to us. Well, we walked in and noticed a room off of the main room....I guess it is the "holding room" for the kids until they get things matched up and paperwork in order. Right away, through the curtain in the doorway, I saw him.

There he is!

Apparently, the "officials" like to keep everyone separate until the official "ok" is given....well, that didn't happen. Jude's nannies were pointing and having him wave and walk towards us. It was really cute....of course, we didn't just stand there. We were waving and talking right back at him which lasted a few minutes until he could come out without making anyone upset.

This is torture!

Hello out there!!'s safe to come out!


Hi Dad!

Together at last! (Minus the girls!)

The kid is happy as a clam. He was really playful, smiley, and interactive the entire time with us. It could not have gone more smoothly. He played with Jonah a lot...who is probably the world's most stellar big brother!

Even though he is 21 months old, physically and developmentally, he seems more like a 12 month old. For us, I think that is beneficial in terms of how he was able to respond to today. He is walking some, but certainly is not steady on his own for long. He also hits and throws things a lot. We'll work on that! :)

We received a small picture album from his orphanage with pictures ranging from the time he entered the institute (about 1 month of age) until now. They also gave us a copy of his birth note! This is a note that was found with him that lists his birthdate/time. We had no idea there was one for him and are so excited because up until now, we thought his birthday was just an estimation. It's awesome for him to know a true date.

We also learned that he has been with his foster family since July or August. They also had one other child there in the home along with the foster parents (who have a son who just graduated from college) and a foster grandmother. Apparently the grandmother would take Jude to the Buddhist temple with her to offer sacrifices and he knows how to put his hands together and bow. They told us that everyone in the family cried when he was taken back to the orphanage last Monday. I am so very thankful for how well they took care of him the past few months.

After some back and forth talking and questions, it was time to wrap things up and leave.

We headed to drop off some laundry and while in the car, we allowed Jonah to hold him. He was amazing....he was talking to him and kissing him the whole time. I see these two being inseparable. :)

World's proudest big brother!

We got back to the hotel, did some paperwork for tomorrow with our guide, grabbed some dinner (which Jude did great with), and got him in the tub. He LOVES bathtime! This is another great thing because so many kids that have been in orphanages have not experienced tub baths and freak out. He was loving every minute of it. His skin looks great and he was very clean. I think he was well taken care of.

He fussed some for the first time at bedtime, but I think that was partly from the big day and lack of his normal nap. He was so tired.

Overall, we aren't holding our breath that everything will be smooth sailing.....we've been kicked off that train before! But, things could not be off to a better start. He has a funny, happy personality and I think he will fit right in at home. Jonah's happy, we're happy, Jude seems to be rolling with things....we're feeling so very blessed right now.

I must thank you all for your comments, messages, emails, etc. They have truly lifted our spirits and encouraged us over the past few days! Thank you so much!!

Before I go, I absolutely must share one video...because it certainly does not get any better than this.


  1. (posting here to, as this you will have to keep)

    Wow - I can't stop the tears. He is beautiful, and so healthy and happy. He looks like he belongs, he is at home, a Middleton.

    The video is precious, and Jonah looks like he is being an amazing big brother.

    I can not express how happy I am for you all.

  2. HOORAY!!!!!! Such a handsome little fella. I'm so excited for you all. Congratulations!!!

    Kevin H.

  3. Love that laugh! So thrilled for you all.

  4. That is amazing!!! He looks like he was made just for your family. :) I'm so glad Jonah has been able to be a part of it too. How special for him. I'll be praying that it just continues to go smoothly!! Love that giggle!!

  5. What a true blessing from God! He is beautiful, happy, and the most blessed baby around. You can see the love in Jonah's eyes while holding him!! Your girls are going to be so excited to take care of Jude!!! I'm sitting here with a huge smile and tears streaming down my face...what a wonderful thing you all have been led to do...prayers are still going out for your health, patience, and safety! Love you all!!

  6. jen, i am speechless (and crying). he is beautiful and you all look like you've been a family forever. can't wait to hug and kiss the little guy!

  7. Wow, you don't know me, but I have been a follower of your blog for some time. Wow. what a sweet sweet day and those laughs are just amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Such an amazing adventure and a wonderful gift to your family!! He is so cute!! Congrats you guys!! Tell Jonah we can't wait to meet his baby brother!! ~The Lehnerts

  9. That brought tears to my eyes as well! He is absolutely beautiful Jenn! You all are so blessed! He fits right in, he belongs! God is doing wonderful things in your lives and his!

  10. How wonderful that things went so well! I pray they continue! I love gotcha day stories!

  11. Congratulations!! Jude looks absolutely adorable and we can't wait to meet him. We hope you are all feeling better..

    Dear Jonah,
    I hope you are having fun in China. Your new brother looks cute. I can't wait to meet him. The next time we have a playdate, can I meet him?
    Your friend, Wyatt

  12. Catherine says "wow that is amazing" She already asked " if he is in kindergarten when Jonah and I are in fifth grade, do you think I can walk him down the hall?". He is sooooo beautiful! And the look on sweet Jonah's face is pure heaven! We are so excited for all of you--what a beautiful family of six you are! Kristen and Catherine

  13. I finally have had a chance to catch up on all of your posts and am sitting here at work in tears from the absolute joy you have brought to him and to he to you and God to you all. What an amazing journey and an even more amazing family! Thank you so much for sharing and allowing us all to be a part of it. Continued prayers for all of you.