Hello friends- We are home.... ahhhh... soft beds. We feel so thankful for such kind, brave, amazing friends who greeted us at the airport in the middle of the night. Thank you for the sweet welcome home for us & our kiddos.
We are all wide awake in the middle of the night...maybe we should have done more research on how to transition the kiddos with the jetlag/time change. You can be sure we will be in for some major adjustment this week. We are all exhausted, but happy to be home & sharing our life with BJ & J. We are praying & looking to God as He knits all of our hearts together.
We brought Lucas home tonight. This was a big step with J. He had mentioned to our guides that he was scared of the dog. What great fun to see J snuggle up in our laps & watch us pet Lucas. J then stretched his little arm out & gave Lucas a scratch. He was so excited & celebrated with Mama and Baba. What joy to walk this road. We are thanking God for every opportunity to build connections with our kiddos.
Much love from all of us...
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Hey Y'all! It is getting late here in China. We finally have little people in bed and we are trying to finish packing for flights in the am. We will have about 30 hrs of travel between flights and layovers. We would really appreciate your prayers. It feels a little bit overwhelming on this side of things. We are sad to leave China. Each of us has fallen in love with China. What a privilege to be here and to see God change our family in this way. We are so blessed and we will never be the same. Both Jacob & BJ are precious additions to our family. Our hearts are full and we are exhausted.... looking forward to sleeping in our own beds eventually!! Much love from all of us!
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 7:21 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Happy Birthday to the one we love!! What a great way to celebrate Art's special day. It was our official consulate appointment day. We got to take oaths on behalf of our new children & complete our paperwork for here in China. What a blessing to call Art my husband and daddy to these kids. He is such a hero to all of us & we are so thankful to God for making him the leader of our family. We certainly will never forget this special time here in China. We will start our flights home early Sun AM. Today was a better day. BJ is changing so rapidly it is shocking. J is starting to acclimate a little bit to correction from us...so tricky when you are trying to build trust & comfort levels. We had dinner with a dear friend from this area. He helped us celebrate Art's bday over some great food & dessert. We treasured this time. We are all sleep deprived & ready for bed. Good night from China. With love & gratitude for your prayers.
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 7:00 AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Ni Hao Y'all!!! We made it to Guangzhou. We LOVE it! This is such a unique & special place. Wow... we look forward to exploring when we can this week. We already had med appointments for the kids today. We had the same flight as our friends with the 10 kids. We are staying just a few doors down from them in this hotel again. Our trips have connected so much. What a blessing. We even had family church together on Sunday. It was awesome. OK.... more pics to come soon. Thank you for praying for our family. Only one week left in China. It is hard to believe it is coming to an end.
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 7:01 AM
Sunday, November 13, 2011
This process has been such an incredible blessing and we know we are just starting the road of parenting/discipling these kiddos. God has used it to teach us so much about our own adoption... how HE came to us, paid a price for us on the cross, how HE loves us & pursues a personal relationship with each of us.... every time we look at Jacob .... we long for him to feel safe in our arms, loved completely...protected & cherished... we know he doesnt understand it yet or feel any of that yet, but what an amazing journey it will be as we lavish love on both of them... teach them... guide them & help them to know the love & security of a family...what a privilege.... there are so many stories to share with you & not enough space... we see the gospel of Jesus Christ every time we look in these precious faces.... how HE places the lonely in families...HE doesnt leave us as orphans but calls us HIS own. Thank you for praying... much love from all of us .... we fly tomorrow to Guangzhou for our final week in China...
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 5:56 AM
Hello Friends- Thank you for all of your prayers. It means so much to us. We are doing well. Zach is feeling better. We are praising God that his cold did not develop into any asthma event. BJ is taking bottles & we are celebrating wet diapers....seems so silly but such a huge relief to us. Jacob is doing well. Both are continuing to adjust. Jacob will eat ANYTHING. He seems like such an easy going guy. We notice he can be pretty serious at bedtime and wake up time in the morning. We are mindful those might have been special times with his grandma & we continue to pray for his heart (hers too). BJ's sleep is really off. We have been up with her a lot. Going down is very hard for her. Naps are hard for her. We knew to expect all of this so we are praying & clinging to God to meet our needs as we juggle the 4 kids. Allie & Zach have been such a great help. They are such a blessing. We continue to enjoy the food & culture although we must admit we found out that there was a Papa John's pizza nearby and we could have the help of a Chinese/English speaker to order...we jumped at the chance for pizza. Wow... it tasted great. Jacob loved it.
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 5:49 AM
Friday, November 11, 2011
It is so hard to put into words how thankful we feel today. We are so blessed. BJ is doing better. Jacob is doing great. Allie is really using her mandarin & teaching us so much. Zach is fighting a cold but hanging in there.... such a trooper. We are really working at building connections. Please pray for that continued process. We are blessed to be sharing this journey with some incredible families. We have met maybe 10 adoptive families so far...most of whom we will see again in Guangzhou. What a joy to see God at work in all of these hearts. He has used this for so much good in our lives. We are blown away at how He is ministering to us moment by moment. We got some great video with all 6 of us tonight in our room. We are going to try to post it. Please pray for paperwork. We found some errors on our docs today. The officials have to redo everything and it is now Fri evening. We leave this province on Mon. The pressure is on for them. We would really appreciate your prayers. Thanks so much.
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 6:38 AM
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Today was a very STRESSFUL day for us. Woke up and BJ seemed weak. She refused her morning bottle again. She was up several times in the night so sleep was off for all of us & it was GOTCHA DAY for Jacob. It was pouring rain & Zach has a cough starting up. We tried to give him a nubulizer treatment just to make sure it doesnt get any worse. The nebulizer started smoking even with an adaptor. Ugghh.... nebulizer gone. Next, Art literally ran in pouring rain to the superstore about 1 mile away to buy every bottle type we could find so we can figure out what is going to work for BJ. She screamed for an hour while he was gone. He got back. We were able to find the one that worked best with the right heat for her. 5 minutes later we got the call that Jacob was here in the lobby & ready for GOTCHA DAY. Whoa. You can see Art in the pictures is still pretty wet. What a stressful time. We were really stressed that BJ may be dehydrated. We are so thankful to those of you who are praying for her eating. She did take a bottle tonight again. Please continue to pray. SHe is very little & weak. It is a little scary at times. Thank you so much. Jacob is doing well. His foster Grandma must be a very special lady. SHe sent some new clothes, his favorite snacks, and pictures for him. That means so much to us & surely will mean so much to him someday. For now...he was looking at the pics and kissing them tonight. Please pray for his heart and for hers. We are mindful this is a loss for both of them. We are so blessed to be his parents & we are thanking God for the privilege tonight. Enjoy the pics. We ordered dinner downstairs tonight, but it wasnt going to be ready for a while so they offered to bring it upstairs to our room. It worked out great. We let Jacob look at the menu & point to what he wanted. He ordered seafood & noodles- mussels on the shell, crab, big chunks of fish with veggies & noodles. Amazing to see this little boy eat this dinner. I have some major cooking lessons ahead. We dont normally eat those types of dishes at our house! :) Wow.
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 8:11 AM
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Hello All- a quick post to let you know we made it to Fuzhou. We are getting more smiles from BJ. Please keep praying for her eating & sleeping. She did take a nap today but still awake tonight. She would not take bottle tonight for dinner. She will not touch ANY solid foods.... no cherrios, no puffs, no sweets, nothing. She only wants milk & rice cereal in a bottle at a very specific temperature. We are trying to get that right. We are hitting it about 50% of the time. We will work on all of that after we are home but trying to keep her hydrated now. We are tired, but ready to get Jacob tomorrow. Our guide says the orphanage director will bring him by train to our hotel. They will arrive about 10:30 ish in the am. Praying through more transitions. Love you all...thanks for the sweet notes & posts. They are a great encouragement to us. With joy & love from all of us....
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 7:42 AM
Monday, November 7, 2011
Hello Friends.... thank you for praying.... BJ had some bottle this am.... she didnt sleep very well last night but we knew to expect that... hopefully that will get better day by day.... we will go to the airport this afternoon & head to Fuzhou. We met some great families in this city also. We have had some adventures in this process & our guide is very experienced. What a blessing to us. We are praising God for meeting us in our needs & comforting our hearts. Thank you again for praying. Off to attempt naptime for BJ :)
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 9:25 PM
Hi Friends... going to post briefly tonight. Some of you are able to view pics & some of you say you cannot. So sorry! We dont know what to do differently. We have BJ. Gotcha Day went a lot better than we had anticipated. We are grateful for your prayers. We felt them. Our girl is doing pretty well. We are asking for prayers for her to be able to eat (she refused her bottle tonight) and sleep (so far still walking the halls with her- 2 hrs past bedtime). Art is taking a shift & I am posting quickly. We will try to post some pics tomorrow. The directors and nannies at the orphanage were very kind to us. They spent a lot of time and let us video a lot. They allowed us to interview the nannies and ask detailed questions about BJ's life, routines, etc. They were great. Also, they took our family to lunch while BJ napped today. That was very special. Lots more to share, but just no time for now. We are tired & our girl is tired. Praying for sleep for all. Allie & Zach are great. They have been incredible helpers & they are so excited. Paperwork in the AM. Plane leaves about 4 pm. This guide says we will probably get Jacob on Wed am. OK... more later. Again, thank you for your prayers.
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 6:22 AM
Sunday, November 6, 2011
It's Monday AM. I (Jen) have been awake since 2 am. I think it's more about gotcha day than jet lag because I have been sleeping better! :) We are all up & going now....ready to go love Bethany Joy in person. Thank you to those who have sent us messages to let us know you are praying for us today. We are so thankful. We dont expect to be back to our room until tonight. The orphanage is 2 hours away so we will have at least 4 hrs of driving today plus our time there. We will really try to post again later. Hopefully after we can get our little lady bug to sleep. Enjoy the photo book of Bethany Joy's area. It is a busy city...larger than Little Rock...very pretty. We will leave for Fuzhou tomorrow by 4 pm. It is only an hour flight & our understanding is that we will get Jacob by the evening. Lots of adjustments, tears, laughter, joy & PRAYERS over the next 48 hrs I think. Much love from China!
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 4:30 PM
Saturday, November 5, 2011
We arrived in Changsha- it is much bigger than we pictured... small for China.... our guide, Amy is wonderful. Gallagher family.... she remembers you & we talked about you lots tonight!!! We are all set to get Bethany Joy on Monday & tour the orphanage the same day. Please join us in praying for her little heart. It just seems like so much transition in a 48 hr period... getting her & then getting on a plane the very next day.... praying that we will be able to comfort her & begin the attachment/bonding process... no photos for today.... so tired tonight.... trying to get some sleep before a busy day tomorrow. We have a crib in our room!! WOW!!! Love to you all!
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 9:11 AM
Friday, November 4, 2011
Friday Evening for us..... we are exhausted & so blessed..... counting down now... we leave tomorrow- Sat afternoon for the airport.... we will fly to Changsha for our Gotcha Day with Bethany Joy. All of us are so ready. We posted another photo book to share. We have been able to see much of Bejing. What a great experience. Summer Palace & Hutong Tour were our most favorite things. We are starting to adjust with sleep...waking around 5 am now.... so grateful for the added rest. Hopefully, we will be able to keep this up as we get the kiddos. We have met some incredible families here also coming to adopt. We met a precious family from Alabama. They are here adopting 2 kiddos to bring them to a total of 10 children- 4 of whom are adopted from China. We exchanged contact info and we look forward to keeping in touch. They have the exact same consulate appointment in Guangzhou. ALso, they are traveling to Fuzhou at the same time we are, too. We are excited to get to know this family more. OK... enjoy the pics. Off to bed for us.... much love to all of you.... thank you for praying for us!
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 8:40 AM
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Hi Friends.... posted 2 new photo books for you to enjoy! Trying to catch up as we finish responsibilities at the Foster Home. This has been a wonderful, incredible, life changing experience for our family. We have been blessed to meet a precious team of people working here... the love the kids and lay down their lives daily. Thank you for praying. Our classes have gone well. We are seeing a few Beijing sights before we fly to Changsha on Sat. Today was a blessing to go to the Great Wall & a few treasures. Will have a little bit more to see tomorrow and then a few more appointments on Sat morning. We send our love.... Art, Jen, Allie & Zach
Posted by Art & Jen Powell at 8:04 AM