Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China

We have spent the last two days completing adoption paperwork, site seeing and playing at the hotel.  Today we received Isaac's passport, so tomorrow evening we will fly to Guangzhou.  Hello sunshine and 70 degree weather!  We have enjoyed our time in Hohhot, but it is very cold and that makes staying out for long periods of time difficult. Today we visited the Inner Mongolia Museum and we were able to go inside a Chinese Pharmacy complete with all the herbal medicine you could ever imagine.   The city is rich with culture including the grasslands, Genghis Khan, yurts, and let's not forget the interesting food.  I almost feel like I am in the middle east as the chinese writing here has a middle eastern flare as well as the building designs.  It's definately very different from any other city we have been to in China.  Last night we were able to fellowship and have dinner with Hannah Samuels and her family.  Hannah cared for Isaac at New Day when he was very sick before and after his surgery.  She and her family were such a blessing to us last night by inviting us over for homemade kids have never been so glad to see pizza!!  We are grateful to Hannah and her family for their passion to care for the fatherless.  We will continue to pray for them as they get established in Hohhot.  Tonight we are venturing out to a hot pot where we will enjoy mutton.  The children will be oh so excited!  Isaac is really doing amazing.  I wasn't sure how the transition would go since he is two and Addie was 13 months, but the only difference is he already speaks some Chinese, but he also speaks a few English words and is very good with signs.  His favorite sign is "please" where he rubs his hand across his little belly....precious!Our guide here in Hohhot was also the guide for The Little Couple and Will and we are staying in the same hotel where they stayed!  Our guide's name is "Sandra" and she keeps telling us Isaac looks like a happy Buddha....I'm not really sure what to think about that?!? 

Here are some pictures of our time here in Hohhot:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gotcha Day

Gotcha Day was Monday, December 9th in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China.  Isaac is from Bayannur, which is several hours away from Hohhot, however, all the adoptions for Inner Mongolia are completed in Hohhot.  We received Isaac at 3pm in the lobby of our hotel.  The orphanage director from Bayannur and a couple of nannies from New Day were with him.  He was one tired boy when he arrived because he had traveled around 6 hrs to Hohhot.  He came thru the doors in a bright red Superman shirt.  I thought to appropriate!  He is an extremely brave boy and Superman is quite appropriate!  He gave us a wave as he came thru the doors and then the tears started to fall as everything he had ever known was suddenly gone.  The tears were short lived as he cried himself to sleep from exhaustion.  Once we were back up to our room the tears came again for about 2 hrs, but they were mostly silent tears with a little tremble.  We just held him close, offered food, and watched Mickey Mouse Club House on the Ipad!  By the end of the evening he had gotten comfortable and would call out for mama or baba if one of us left his sight!  New Day did such a wonderful job preparing him for his family!  We all went to sleep about 9pm and he slept soundly in his crib until 6am.  I brought him to our bed at 6 am for an hour of cuddles and it was WONDERFUL!  He was made for our family and we are so blessed and privileged to get the opportunity to love this little guy!  We both needed each other in ways we didn't understand until now.  Tonight as I type this entry he is belly laughing with two of his sisters while wearing his baba's shoes around the hotel room.  God is faithful and let us never forget that!  Here are some more pictures of Gotcha Day!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Last Day in Beijing

We had a great last day in Beijing!  We started our day by visiting Olympic Park which included the Bird's Nest and Watercube.  While in Olympic Park Gracie decided to have a dance off with a Chinese Gentleman who had a souvenir stand in the park.  She had so much fun and the locals all gathered around to watch her dance.  She even received a round of applause afterwards!!  Gracie makes her own fun wherever she goes! China has been an amazing experience for both girls that I wouldn't trade for anything!  After our adventure at Olympic Park we headed to The Great Wall.  We had been to the Great Wall in 2011 during Addie's adoption, but this time we visited the Mutianyu section of the wall which was really breathtaking.  A much different view than we had the last time.  In order to get to the Mutianyu section we had to travel on two lane roads which gave us an opportunity to see rural China which is much different than the big cities in China where we stay. 

Simple people with simple ways.  I say this everytime I travel outside of the US, but we have way too much stuff and we are so spoiled.  These people work very hard for what they have and material wise it doesn't even come close to what we have.  They walk EVERYWHERE or depend on public transportation.   We get in our cars to drive two blocks....I'm guilty of being wasteful, whiny and spoiled.  I pray that the next time I complain I will be reminded of all I have seen. 

We have seen a few signs of Christmas here in China but it's not the same meaning as back home.  Christmas here is all about the retail shops and children celebrating.  It's not about the hope we have as believers, although being here thru the Christmas season has opened some doors for us to ask questions and share.  We'll pray and let God lead if the opportunity presents.

Here are some pictures from our last day in Beijing:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

More of Beijing......

Today was another really amazing day of exploring Beijing and the kids did amazingly well and had a blast!!  We started the day with Alice around 9:00 am by taking the subway to the Heavenly Temple.  The kids were able to exercise and play with the locals at the Heavenly Temple and they absolutely had a blast getting to actually participate!  The Heavenly Temple was built in 1420 for the Emperor to be able to go there and pray for the harvest.  I can't believe how old some of the sites are and how well preserved they are.  China is definately rich in history and culture!  The kids were also able to practice with the Chinese National Kung Fu Team, which made their day and mine!We had lunch at a local restaurant near the Heavenly Temple and we had some really amazing dim sims and noodles...YUM!  After lunch we headed to the Summer Palace, which was also amazing!  The Summer Palace was built as a place for the Emperor and his family to retreat to for the summer.  We ended our day by going down to the famous snack street for some fresh young pigeon...YUCK! 

Two more sleeps until "Gotcha Day".....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

1st Day in Beijing

We had the most amazing day ever and we have sore feet to prove it!!  We went downstairs for breakfast around 8 am where we were able to have the food we have missed so much!!  Fresh steamed buns, noodles & rice...YUM!!  The kids were even able to find bacon & waffles!  Next we met our guide "Alice" in the hotel lobby.  Alice is very delighful and she and Gracie have already bonded quite well!  We headed to Tiananmen Square via Subway first where we were given the opportunity to view the body of Chairman Mao who passed away in 1976.  Of course while in Tiananmen Square we were like rock stars and had to get our pictures taken with many Asian Tourists who had never seen a caucasion person.  The kids thought this was pretty cool as did the adults!  After Tiananmen Square we made our way thru the Forbidden City which is HUGE and Amazing!  After all of that walking we were hungry and Alice had arranged lunch for us at an authentic Chinese restaurant, which was very good!  My favorite dish at lunch was eggplant, belive it or not, I had never had eggplant until today!  After lunch we headed to "Old Beijing", where we were able to ride in rickshaws through the Hutong Area.  We also stopped got to go inside one of the homes in this area, which was very humbling.  (We really do take so much for granted!)  This was hopefully a good life lesson for our kids. We ended our day with a Chinese Acrobat show, which was pretty cool.  There was a Chinese Minority group sitting near us who were from Addie's province of Yunnan!  They were dressed up in their authentic minority clothing...pretty cool stuff.  Other exciting events of the day included Gracie using a squatty for the first time and it automatically flushed on her...OH MY!!  I will never understand the purpose of a squatty potty!!  We are missing our little Addie J, but we know she is getting loved on by her grandmas.  Here are some pictures from today.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Isaac's Story

Well....where do I even start.  Mike and I knew in 2011 while in China adopting Addie that we weren't done.  God had burndened our hearts for these children and we simply fell in love with the orphans of China.   If you would like to read about our journey to our daugher in 2011 our blog address is  Even though we knew deep down in our hearts we weren't done we never really discussed a second adoption until we were home a year and a half with Addie.  Addie's transition to our family was amazing and almost effortless if I were to be honest.  We have bonded in ways that I never imagined!

Late in 2012 we began really praying and seeking answers as to whether or not we were really suppose to adopt again.  I looked for every sign imaginable pointing to "yes", however, for every "yes" there were 100 no's or "what if's?"  Where will the money come from? What if we disrupt our happy family of 5? Will we have enough time for four kids? Can we finacially support four kids?  What kind of special need can we handle?  We even knew better than to ask these questions because we had just been apart of a miracle with Addie, however, our selfish human nature took over and we got cold feet for a couple of months.

During the time of our cold feet I "stumbled" upon a Facebook site for New Day Foster Home.  I don't believe in coincidences, but instead divine intervention from God.  Anyways we absolutely fell in love with a little guy by the name of "Michael" on their website.  Michael of course is my husband's name and this little guy also shared a birthday with my brother-in-law.  I adored his pictures, read his story and basically stalked Facebook & the New Day website for 3 months until I just couldn't take it anymore and I finally inquired about "Michael" thru our adoption agency in February.  Unfortunately, the agency had no luck in locating his file and there was no way to pursue adopting this little guy.  My heart was broken and my husband was disappointed, but reminded me that God's timing is perfect (even though it makes me crazy sometimes).  So I continued to watch the New Day Facebook site and I continued to pray for God's Will over my family.  When I say pray, I mean down on my knees pleading for Him to show us the right path to take.  I found myself to be a little angry during this time and not understanding what we were suppose to do. 

In April of 2013 we attended an Orphan Banquet and I was brought to tears by listening to one of the speakers talk about their adoption experience and the fact that there are millions of orphans and what a difference we can make to just one.  A few days after the banquet I felt a tug on my heart for "Michael" once more and emailed my agency one more time.  The email went like this:  I know we asked you about finding this little boy for us in February and you were unable to locate him on the shared list.  If you could please look one more time for "Michael" DOB 11/13/11 on our behalf....PLEASE.  We feel such a connection to this little guy and would love to be his family.  I know I am asking for a miracle but we serve a God that is awesome like that.  Can you please help us out? 

This email was sent at 1:48 pm and by 2:20 pm I received an email back stating "HE'S LOCKED FOR YOU!!  We need you to have your dossier submitted in 3 months.......

The rest is history and now we get to receive this precious boy into our family in just 7 days!!  Isaac Michael McCombs is a miracle and the staff at New Day are clearly the hands and feet of God and we give thanks for them everyday.  You can read Isaac's story on their website at