Sunday, June 19, 2011


Praise the Lord; we are starting to see some progress with Emma. Yesterday, she held on to two toys for the longest time. One toy was a little rattle that one of the local shop owners gave her and the other was the purple stacking cup. She wasn’t going to let go of her toys and so she took them to supper with her. We have begun to notice that she looks up at us when we are caring her and then we have been getting several smiles and a few laughs. She is also letting me sit down more with her. Tonight I made it through half my supper sitting down. Yippee Jesus! For you folks who haven’t walked this adoption journey you have to know how significant the baby steps are; things that I wouldn’t have thought twice about with Eli and Ethan are now monumental with Emma.

Today we went to the Folk Art Museum. Thankfully, we didn’t stay long at the museum but it did have beautiful architecture. We then headed back to the hotel and Matt and Eli went to get lunch while Emma and I took two other couples in our group around and showed them some of the better shops to visit. Our travel group is made up of 12 families but five of us have been in Guangzhou ever since we left Beijing, since our daughters are from this province. It was nice re-uniting with these other families and to meet their new daughters. Anyway, we’ve had to kind of show them around.

Our big adventure today was visiting the pearl market. I’m talking a building of 5 floors of pearls and beads. We had already determined that we were going to be purchasing various gifts from China for the milestones in Emma’s life. One big milestone of course is her wedding and so we knew we wanted to buy her a pearl necklace for that day. Nothing but the best for Daddy’s girl either. Matt had already done his homework and knew what to look for and then with the help of our guide, Matt secured not only a pearl necklace but the matching bracelet and earrings. He did really good I might add.

We also wanted to buy some piece of jade for another milestone in Emma’s life and we found out that what is sold on the island is all jadeite, not jade. After the pearl market our guide pointed us in the direction of the mall to find jade. Most families headed back to the hotel but we went to look at jade and quickly realized that the language barrier was going to pose a real problem. We knew that we would probably end up getting ripped off so we decided to head back to the hotel. There are several gift shops in the hotel which are expensive but it is good quality stuff. Matt found a jade necklace with the certificate and within reason, so we now have jade. I really started to think we weren’t going to be able to get any jade and so I’m so happy now. Pearls and jade were the two big gifts we knew we really wanted to buy for Emma while here.

This evening our guide took us to a Chinese restaurant for supper and it was pretty good, especially the fried noodles and the pancakes. Now when I say pancakes I’m not talking about pancakes with maple syrup poured over them, I’m talking about what looked like a pastry but had the texture of maybe a yeast doughnut (not sweet) with green onions sprinkled on top. Now that was yummy, I wouldn’t mind having a few of those right now to nibble on. After dinner, we ended up gathering down by the pool, overlooking the river and had our own church service. It was such a sweet time and so wonderful to be among fellow believers.

Tomorrow is our big day. Tomorrow morning at 8:30 we meet our guide and we’ll head over to the US consulate for Emma’s visa appointment. This will be our last official business here in China. It’s hard to believe we are down to our last couple of days here. It’s been long, it’s been hard but it’s been good and as we sang tonight “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. God truly has been faithful to us.

In closing, I just want to stop and say Happy Father’s Day to the love of my life. My heart just melts when I see him holding Emma and how he talks so gently to her. Let me just tell ya, Emma loves her Daddy. She knows she is safe in his arms. When I look at the two of them together, I so see the love our Father has for us as His children. I’m so glad I’ve been adopted… into the family of God.


Katie said...

Tell Matt Happy Father's Day! We are getting so excited to meet Emma. I pray your visa appointment goes smoothly.

Becky and Chad Wesselman said...

Yay!!! Sounds like you all are doing good! She is still just soooo precious! Thanks for the update!

Anonymous said...

I just LOVE looking at your adoption time line. What a journey you all have been on. And this is God's perfect timing. Emma is just adorable and it will be wonderful to get her home and continue bonding. It seems like yesterday at we were at the CA. We had all of our children with us and it was a little crazy, and hard to sit and wait, my oldest son was so sick and layed over several chairs as we waited.
Now, to bring a smile to your face:
I was chatting with another family's translator (everyone was always so interested in our family!) I looked down at her large purse and about choked on the water I was sipping from the water bottle! She was older, 50s and so soft spoken and sweet which didn't fit with the large glittery words "PLAY BOY" on her purse
I'm positive she had no idea what it was! Several of the other adults noticed as well and we all giggled. Poor sweet soul! My kids couldn't figure out what was so funny. Let's keep it that way!
I guess I will always remember that when I think of the CA day.
Press on Shawna and Matt! The end is in sight! We are praying for you all.
Laura and family

Jean said...

So glad for the baby steps. Tell Matt I know that he had a wonderful Father's Day. Emma has a Daddy she will be very proud of. Love seeing Emma responding to ya'lls love. I can't wait to meet my great niece. She is adoreable. I know that ya'll are ready to get home. Praying that your trip will be safe and you will be able to sit down most of the way. Love ya'll. Jean

The Francis Clan said...

We are praying everyday for the flight and the first few days with Ethan and Emma together. I want to see her when you get off the plane, but I figured you will be soooo tired and with more transitions that lie before you when you get home. Us folk here in Chattanooga are anxiously awaiting to meet your China Doll, she sure is a doll!! LUL...Renee

Lisa said...

I'm so glad I checked my blog dashboard today! How exciting that you are finally holding your precious little ones n your arms! Praying that your transition continues to go well.