Hintons 2015

Hintons 2015

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A few picutres from our special day

To celebrate our Forever Family Day Matt & Maddy came downtown for lunch with another couple friend of ours. For dinner we ordered Chinese take-out from our favorite local place. Matt has guitar lessons on Tuesdays so we gave Maddy her gift right after dinner. Maddy got an ABC Elmo as she is really into her ABC's and Elmo right now so we thought it would be quite fitting.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Forever Family Day - one year later

You can read the whole post here that both Matt & I wrote: http://meetthehintons.blogspot.com/2007/10/forever-family-day

All I can say to those of you waiting, get rid of any notions of what you think the first meeting with your child is going to be like. I had done that for the most part after reading so many blogs of those who had gone before us so I felt a tiny bit prepared. But in reality all the years & months of prep don't get you any near ready for such a moment as this.

Our arrival from the hotel to the airport was a little chaotic as our plane had been delayed by about an hour so we had very little time to prepare. When we got to our hotel Matt & I discovered that our room had not yet been cleaned (which added to my already mounting anxiety). Thankfully Dan & Renee were right next door and they let us put our bags in their room and quickly get ready to go.

The van ride from the hotel to the Civil affairs office was one of the quietest rides for our group of the whole trip. Just 2 days earlier on the way to & from the Great Wall our ride was full of energy, laughing & joking around but on this day is was quite the opposite. When we piled into the elevator you could see all eyes on the lone button that was pushed for the 26th floor where our babies waited for us. Our guide quickly got off & told us to wait as she checked out the scene. She came back & informed us that just beyond the door ahead our babies were all dressed in red waiting for us.

As soon as we walked thru the door, we saw our babies & the nannies sitting on the left. We saw Maddy right away & I think my heart must have skipped a beat as I saw live the face that I had only been able to see in pictures the 2 previous months. One by one we were called up to confirm our identity and take our precious daughters. We were #4 of 5 so the waiting was a little hard. Finally our girl was handed to us and then started the almost 3 hours of crying. We were rushed thru to get pictures for official documents and poor Maddy was crying in all of the photos (including her passport).

Here are a couple of photos from the van ride back where we managed to get her not to cry for a few minutes:

Once we were able to get her in the room and settled down for the night, I remember just sitting in our hotel room at the table crying. All of the years of waiting & knowing the grief Maddy was experiencing being separated from her foster family just kind of overwhelmed me. It's so hard to believe that it's been one year since that day. We are just blessed to have been chosen to be Ms Le Ping Yi's parents.

Maddy's very first bottle that we fed her

She finally wore herself out to sleep

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Final Day in Beijing & Flight to Nanchang

Our last day in Beijing started out pretty rainy so we headed to the Capitol Museum in the morning and Tienanmen Square in the afternoon. Our last night as a family of 2 was spent out for a great Chinese meal shared with our travel group & capped off with the Acrobat show. We were all pretty relaxed, but had the next day's events weighing heavily on our minds.

I remember getting back to hotel & packing & re-packing to make sure we had all of the right items in our carry on as we were only going to have an hour or two after landing until we met the babies. I didn't know how much to trust the ability of the national Chinese airlines to get our checked luggage there so we had to ensure that all of our gifts, cameras, bottle & clothes for Maddy, diapers, etc. came with us on the plane. A few of our group members (including us) still had at least one bag that was overweight. Thanks to our fast talking guide we were able to get these pushed through.

This was one of the pieces on display at the mueseum

Here were the couples in our group having a dinner out for the last time as a family of two

Here are the nervous dads pacing as we waited for the flight to Nanchang, looking back it was a little like they were outside a delivery room

Here we are ready to board the plane for our life changing moment

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beijing photos

Last year on Thursday & Friday we went to the Summer Palace (which if you ever go, plan a full day for touring) and took the full day Friday for the Great Wall (including a stop at the Jade Factory, lunch across from the Cloisonne factory that was closed & tea at a beautiful tea house that had a really noce court yard). In hind sight I wish I would have purchased more tea because we were not able to find the exact teas this place sold anywhere else. I also wish we would have bought something for Maddy at the Jade Factory but I figured we would find something later in the trip- this didn't happen so next time for sure! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from those couple of days:

Here's our group rollin' in the Benz (van) on the way to the Great Wall

Walk way at the Summer Palace

Dragon Boat at the Summer Palace

Matt & I w/ Mike & Sue at the gate of the Summer Palace

Tasting tea at the Tea House

Group 92 on the Great Wall

Monday, October 20, 2008

One year ago this week......

We were on our way to China!! We left on the Monday and landed in Beijing on Tuesday night. Here are a couple of picutres from our journey. Our first day there we went on a tour of the Old Beijing Hutongs in a rickshaw. We also visited the Drum & Bell Tower.
Here is Samson ready to go to his Auntie's house the night before we left

Pictures from our Hutong Tour-

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall in all of it's glory

This week must be peak week in Minneapolis for the fall colors. All week as I've walked to & from the bus the sights have been magnificent. All the reds, oranges, yellows & greens are so vibrant- this is truly my favorite time of year. If I ever had to move away from this part of the country, I know that I would be sad to not have the change of seasons.

Ever since I was a child in school, I always felt like fall was a kind of new beginning. I know this is mainly attributed to starting a new school year, but even now after being out of school for years, I still see fall as a fresh start for things. Here are some of the scenes that I saw this afternoon on my walk home:

This is in downtown Minneapolis by my bus stop

These 2 above were on my walk home by our neighborhood

This is our tree in front of our house

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fuzzy slippers

Maddy's grandma bought these beautiful slippers for her during the wait. They finally fit her which I am very excited about. She is having fun with them in addition to going into her closet and pulling clothes & hats out to try them on. She has also discovered her boom box them we bought for her last year. I put it away in her closet each night, but she drags it out each day. Daddy bought her a Jack's Big Music Show CD that she loves to play over & over again. If we try to put anything else in, she'll say 'no' Jack! Here are a couple of pictures of her in the fuzzy slippers & our clearance from France for our paper chase!! Hallelujah, we only have 1 more clearance to go before we can submit our paperwork to Immigration!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Fun

Maddy & I met my mom at an apple orchard this past weekend & then we met up with our MN Red Thread group at a pumpkin place up the road. Mom & I have a tradition of going to the apple orchard from my younger days. Maddy loved the animals at both places and had fun picking out apples & pumpkins. You gotta love fall in Minnesota, the colors right now are beautiful.

Here Maddy is feeding the animals

Maddy & Grandma having a special moment

Maddy & I picking out apples

Group photo with the Red Thread girls

Maddy shows off the pumpkin she & grandma picked out

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful to have been chosen to be the mom of this precious child. She is at such a fun age & is learning so much, we are just amazed by her on a daily basis.