Saturday, December 10, 2005

The last post from China...PHEW!’s the last night in China. WOW! I can hardly believe that it’s almost over. Am I glad that I did it? Hell yeah! I’ve got one great kid that was meant for our family. It’s like she was destined to be a Wagner kid. One funny thing...she was watching Ping Pong with Wayne the other night and he did the classic Wagner cross over foot rub (all you Wagner women know what I mean!). Guess who crosses her feet and does the SAME THING! So to come full circle on my blog, we need to remember the theory of the Red Thread:

"An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." - Chinese Proverb

I do believe that Lu Yin Gui was destined to be Julia Renee YinGui Wagner. From the moment that I saw her on AAI’s website, I knew that she was my daughter. I knew that she was meant for us. Only God knows how it all happened so perfectly. I remember a conversation I had with Mik about when God asks you to do something (like adopting a little girl from China), who are we to question him? Who am I to say, "Hang on God, the timing isn’t right for us...can we hold off?" If we had held off, Julia would not be with us. She may have been placed with another loving family. She may have stayed in foster care for many more years till she aged out of the orphanage. Those are thoughts that I can’t think about.

Savage Garden had a song a few years back called "I knew I loved you" I’m going to be post the lyrics:

Maybe it's intuition
But some things you just don't question
Like in your eyes
I see my future in an instant
And there it goes
I think I've found my best friend
I know that it might sound more than a little crazy
But I believeI knew I loved you before
I met youI think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life
There's just no rhyme or reason
Only this sense of completion
And in your eyesI see the missing pieces
I'm searching forI think I've found my way home
I know that it might sound more than a little crazy
But I believe
I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met youI have been waiting all my life
A thousand angels dance around you
I am complete now that I've found you
I knew I loved you before I met youI think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met youI have been waiting all my life

So...where does this leave us? Well, it leaves us with a overwhelming feeling of love, compassion and a bigger sense of faith. I’ve met some incredible families along this way. Liz and Brion of course. Liz helped me see through this maze of paperwork and waiting. Brion, helped out with his sense of humor. The Baldwins, Larry and Melissa, wow I can’t believe we finally made it to China and have the girls. I couldn’t be happier to have the chance to have coffee this afternoon. Maddie is a doll and I’m sure her and Julia will have a great time playing together again. To all the families from the late August group...I can’t thank all you enough. We are planning a get together at Shelli and Daniel’s next summer right?? :-)

To those familes still waiting to are a few things I learned:
1. Packmates are ok...but I don’t think that I saved that much space. It was nice to have all clothes or important items not get wet. (Nothing got wet this trip, but when we went to Florida earlier this year our clothes got damp from sitting outside in the rain waiting to be loaded.)

2. Only bring 1-2 diarrhea medicines. I brought a stock pile and only needed one kind. I like Imodium AD. Rolaids were nice to have too. Never used my Pepcid or Pepto tablets.

3. The pull-ups vs. diapers debate...Julia was/is potty trained. I liked pull-ups, buit didn’t bring enough! Diapers are ok too, but they are harder to get on and off and the sticky tabs get wrecked so they don’t stick anymore.

3.5 . All our hotels had toothbrushes and toothpastes.

4. All hotels had shampoo and conditioner.

4.5. All hotels had lotion.

5. Loved having a Panda Phone, it can be a bit expensive, but the convenience was great. We had perfect signal in all 3 cities.

6. Snacks for Julia: She loved Cheerios and the banana flavored cereal snacks from Gerber. There are some good baby snacks here in China that she liked better, so we just bought them. Julia did not like the dehydrated fruit snacks from Gerber.

7. Chapstick! Chapstick! Chapstick! My lips got very dry and I loved having it with me.

8. We didn’t need the lice shampoo or the scabies medicine. So if there’s anyone out there who wants the scabies stuff, let me know. You can have mine.

9. We had laundry done at our hotel in Wuhan (super expensive) and at The China Doll in GZ. For heavier items like jeans, I’d still recommend having them sent out, but for shirts, socks, undies and kids clothes, I wish I would have brought some laundry soap. I did end up buying some Tide bar soap that worked good.

10. Wayne caught a bad cold that moved to his ear. We wished we would have packed more sinus/cold meds. Getting sick is a crap shoot, but luckily for us we had Amoxicillin for Julia that Wayne ended up taking.

11. Toys! We brought Play-Doh (huge hit!), linking rings (another huge hit), books (eh, not that thrilled about those), Magna Doodle (it’s ok), bubbles (loved them!), My Little Pony (she likes it), Sonya Lee 6 inch doll (loves it), little stuff cat (likes this too). She really liked the ladybug back pack to put it all in.

12. Surge protectors Our hotel lost power for a bit yesterday and I think my cell phone (not the Panda Phone) got cooked even with the surge protector. I got 2 at Wal-Mart for $9-something a piece. I’m glad that our laptop or something else wasn’t plugged in.

13. Danny’s Bagel in GZ is the BESTEST! We loved their food. Great Italian and American subs. Highly recommended and they DELIVERED!!!! Great for those nights when we didn’t feel like leaving the hotel.

14. Jordon’s Place: Great shopping, no hustle and nice people. Go past Sherry’s and Jennifer’s to the next corner, turn right and go for a block or so take another right and Jordon’s will be on the right side. You will need to go through a hotel/hostel type place, but well worth it.

15. While in your child’s province (if it’s north of GZ) make sure that you have layers of clothes on the kids. We got in trouble with a few older folks for not having Julia’s legs covered.

16. If you have the opportunity, learn some Mandarin or Cantonese. Most people in China speak Mandarin. Cantonese is mainly in the south part. It would have been helpful to know a few more phrases to help calm Julia. All I knew was Bo coo? (No crying) and Wo ai nee (I love you). And to be honest, neither of them really worked with a screaming 2 year old. :-)

17. ENJOY YOURSELF! This is your child’s country, no matter what you think of the food, culture or the people. This is where she/he is from. It’s a different world here. There’s far more pushing and shoving to get where you need to go/get what you want. It’s not being rude, just that’s how it is. Get used to being stared at. Once again, it’s not a rude thing, just most people are interested in Americans with Chinese children. I got kinda used to it, but I’m BEYOND ready to be home. 2 weeks from Cameron and Anna is too long!

I hope this helps. I’m sure there is more and once I get home I will add more to my list.
Alrighty, well, it’s time for us to go...take care and please pray for Grandpa George and for us as we take the long flights home! I can’t wait to see you all!!!!!!!!!!!

Maddie and Julia on the red couch at the White Swan Posted by Picasa

More of the red couch! Posted by Picasa

Proud Momma and their new babies! Posted by Picasa

Julia on a truck more her size! Posted by Picasa

Julia trying to ride this little truck Posted by Picasa

Julia and Maddie playing at the White Swan Posted by Picasa