Archive for the ‘China 2014’ Category

  • Stage 2

    Date: 2015.01.02 | Category: Adoption, China 2014

    Zhengzhou – Stage Two is complete.  (This blog post is late.  I couldn’t get my phone to post from China on WordPress.  We are considering this post – better late than never.)

    The excitement is always overflowing when you arrive in Zhengzhou.  Everyone gets settled, meets the other families, and there is a buzz in the air because they know they will be seeing their child in a day or two.  Most of the time, everyone rides together to the Registration Office to receive their child.  The child may be there when you arrive or they slowly show up as the morning goes on.  These days always bring tears to my eyes.  I can not watch a video of someone’s Gotcha Day/Family Day without crying.  Once you know what it means for these children your heart will be forever moved.

    Many agencies have special affiliations with certain orphanages.  CCAI does quite a few adoptions out of Henan Province.  Zhengzhou is where you end up staying if you are adopting from this province.

    We stayed at the Marriett Hotel which had been recently renovated.  I know there are many, many families who stay there during their week in Zhengzhou.  I wish they would have set aside a couple of rooms that were toddler proof.  The glass closet doors, glass bathroom door, and automated everything from curtains to lights, is too much for a small child to take.

    Max 16

    The lobby was decorated very beautifully.

    Max 17

    A couple nights they even had carolers.

    Max 9

    Wal-Mart is a few blocks away.  You spend your time walking on the sidewalk avoiding motorized scooters, bicycles, and small cars.  Yes, travel in Zhengzhou is exciting to say the least.  There is a lot of road renovations going on making it a little more interesting to travel in this particular stretch of town.

    One night we even saw many biking Santas

    Max 18

    Stephanie and I were especially happy that they put a Subway sandwich shop down by Wal-Mart.  Many of the breakfast menus have American cuisine.  Lunch can be a whole different story though.  I am not adventurous and I do not like my fish looking at me when I eat them.

    Max, however, was very happy with KFC, double deserts, and anything else they put in front of him.  🙂

    Max 3 Max 6

    I chose to visit the orphanage this time.  Max, Lainey and Maisey were all adopted out of this orphanage and I had never had a chance to visit.  When we arrived on the street leading to the orphanage Max’s demeanor changed.  When we were waiting at the gate, the tears started to fall.  When we arrived at the front doors, he was pretty much hysterical.  I had never had a child respond this way.  Jasmine was excited to show us off.  Ben was 3 1/2 and he just held on tight to Dan, but really didn’t make a sound.  Max took it the hardest.  On one hand, I was upset that we had upset him that much but on the other hand, it was good to see him respond with such a strong emotion.  He hadn’t really showed that much emotion up to that point.   It showed he knew what was going on and understood to at least some degree that he was safe with us.

    The orphanage looked like a nice place.  There were many rooms set up that looked like any other preschool you would see in the U.S.   These buildings can be clean, new, with all the newest gadgets, but they still aren’t a mama or a baba.

    Max 14 Max 13 Max 12 Max 11

    While in China, you receive the child and have 24 hours to change you mind.  There was not going to be any changing our mind and on the second day our adoption was complete.  Max was officially our son!

    Max 7

    We spent our week bonding and getting to know each other.  He loves Zach and Steph. It was sweet watching them bond.   Max liked to curl up on the bed between them all the time.  He likes to snuggle and pat your head.  His little kisses on your cheek are the sweetest thing ever.  He is non-verbal but that doesn’t stop him from communicating.  He is already signing quite a few words.  We knew he was getting it when Steph signed “shoes on” from the other room and he went and found his shoes and put them on.

    max 1 Max 2 Max 5

    At the end of the week, everyone’s emotions change.  They have their child.  They are bonding.  They are ready to move to the final stop, Guangzhou.

    That is where I am.  I just want to go home and hug my husband. I miss him so.  I want to hold my babies and get on with being a family.

  • Stage One Complete

    Date: 2014.12.21 | Category: Adoption, China 2014, Elyse, Max

    I am going to try and post from my phone. This ought to be interesting.  🙂 (Hint- it didn’t work. -Cassie)

    We will be traveling to three different cities on this trip.  Stage one – Hefei, stage two – Zhengzhou, and the final stage – Guangzhou.

    This has been the most relaxed adoption trip ever so far.  They messed up our room at the Hilton and we ended up in a suite. A two bedroom suite with a jacuzzi tub that Elyse has loved.



    We have played cards, shopped, ate pizza and watched some really interesting shows on a channel called Diva.



    We visited the orphanage and met Elyse’s foster grandmother, mother, father and assorted family.  Elyse spent the first 7 years or her life with them before being called back to the orphanage.  It was a very moving moment in time and I believe allowed Elyse some closure.  Elyse had not seen them for two years and yet she acted like it was just yesterday.  Elyse’s foster grandmother told her to go, love her family, and be happy.  What a gift!




    Tomorrow, bright and early, we head out to Zhengzhou for stage two of our trip.  We meet Max on Monday.  I am so ready to hold our boy.  Praying that he isn’t too frightened and ready to he loved up.

    Please surround our little guy with prayer.  I can’t imagine what it feels like to all of a sudden be with other people who look so different from you.   Elyse has done really well. She has been prepared well for adoption. Praying the same is true with Max.

  • China 3.0

    Date: 2014.12.13 | Category: Adoption, China 2014, Elyse, Max

    Well, the day is finally here.  We leave bright and early at 4 a.m.    It didn’t sound so bad when we bought the tickets.   What was I thinking?

    It will all be worth it when we meet these two….

    Elyse 1

    bi 2

    I’ve been informed that Elyse says, “To hurry up.  What’s taking you so long mom?”

    The countdown chart has been prepared.


    Friends even dropped off a little gift for each and every day that we are gone.

    Thanks Foerch family!!!

    This trip will be different in that Dan is staying home.  With Evie and Elijah recently having surgery, we decided it would be better if one of us stayed home.  It won’t be the same without Dan with me.  We’ve never been apart more than a week in the 30 years we have been married.

    He’s sad and I’m sad.

    But he is going to fly to Chicago so that he can meet the kids before everyone else does because that’s what daddies who wish the could go….do.  I love the way he thinks.

    The kids have been kissed and tucked in.

    They all told me to hurry up and get Max and Elyse so they can come home and see the Christmas lights.

    Cassie and daddy have the fort covered.

    Everything’s packed and ready to go.

    So even though I’m sad about leaving my loved ones behind.  I am reminded of the reason we chose to adopt in the first place.  It’s not always an easy journey but well worth it.

    lainey 1

    Look how far Lainey has come!  She is such a happy girl now.

    Family is a beautiful thing.

    Cassie will update while I’m gone.

    She’s a little busy with some wedding plans, but I think she can handle it.

    Wedding plans you ask?

    Oh! Did I forget to mention what happened the other night?

    Well, Reece graciously included all her siblings and surprised Cassie by proposing at Jolly Holiday Lights.

    Jolly Holiday Lights is a couple miles of lighted up signs and at the end you can get out and get a picture with Santa.

    So we loaded up the bus….

    family Christmas

    and the siblings had their picture taken.

    And then…


    She said “Yes!”

    It seems we have lots of good news to share!

    We will be home soon!  Please continue to keep us all in your prayers.

    Max and Elyse as their lives change.

    All those that wait at home.

    Zach, Steph, and I for safe travels.