Tag Archive for: China

This year, the anniversary of a very important date in our family’s life quietly snuck up on us.

Happy Gotcha Day

Exactly 11 years ago in a hotel lobby in China, my life was changed when our son Kai, was first placed in my arms.

He was 2 1/2 years old and wasn’t sure what to think about me at first.  But, by the next morning he was calling me “mama” and was following me around our hotel room.

Happy Gotcha Day

The first photo we ever saw of Kai, which captured our hearts.

Kai wasn’t our first child adopted from China, he was the second.  However, he was and still is our only son.

Happy Gotcha Day
Happy Gotcha Day

Our two oldest daughters came with us on this journey to China as well as Gracie who was excited to have someone her own size to play with.

Happy Gotcha Day

We spent 2 weeks in China completing the adoption paperwork, which was filled with touring the sights as well as enjoying our newest family member.

Happy Gotcha Day to my wonderful son

My husband was fast learning that little boys take wrestling more seriously than little girls do.

Happy Gotcha Day  to my wonderful son

Kai spent the first year of his life in an orphanage and then the next 18 months in a foster home.

Happy Gotcha Day to my wonderful son

It was obvious to us that he had been well cared for.

Happy Gotcha Day to my wonderful son

Our Chinese guide saw us through the maze of paperwork as well as showed us around some beautiful places in China.  We traveled in January and it was cold!

Happy Gotcha Day to my wonderful son

We took some time to visit the orphanage where Kai grew up and say “thank you” to the nannies who helped raise him.

Happy Gotcha Day

As we neared the end of our trip, we paused to take this family photo before we left to fly home.  Little did we know that we would be back to adopt again 2 1/2 years later.

Happy Gotcha Day to my wonderful son

After a long flight home, we stepped off the plane and into the arms of family who were anxious to welcome the newest member of our family.

Happy Gotcha Day

Our first day home was spent with Gracie showing Kai some of her favorite things to play with – a yard stick and a wooden spoon ๐Ÿ˜‰

The age difference between these two is only 6 months (Gracie is the oldest) and it’s funny to see how much taller that she used to be.  Now, Kai towers over her.  

Kai had some severe special needs involving his feet, hip and hands.  He has been through countless surgeries and doctor office visits. But through it all, he has shown us how resilient he is and the joy that he finds wherever he goes.

I can hardly imagine life without him.

Kai and Gracie

“Happy Gotcha Day” to my wonderful son

Kai and Gracie still get along (most of the time) and he knows what she loves most for Christmas – ‘sugar’ cereal and chocolate.

So, “Happy Gotcha Day” to my wonderful son! We will enjoy your favorite dinner and dessert tonight ๐Ÿ™‚

**If you would like to learn more about Kai’s incredible journey along with the other challenges that he has faced, you can click here.  

Chinese dragons

Chinese dragons

Who would expect to find dragons in the garden?  Well these two Chinese dragons look quite at home in the park gardens.

When I first visited China, I fell in love with the beautiful landscaping that I found everywhere.  However, I also found some interesting anomalies as well which I will share along with some photos of the beautiful landscape areas.

Chinese dragons

This November scene above was found at Martyr’s Park in Changsha.  If you look at the trees in the background, you can see that they stake them rather differently then we do.

Chinese dragons

Look carefully and you can see that there are young trees beginning to grow out of either side of the window of this Catholic Church in Guangzhou.

Chinese dragons

OK, there are no anomalies here, just a beautiful setting.

Chinese dragons

While visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing, we were warned to be careful and be sure not to climb those perilous hills.  So, I warned my kids who looked at me like I was crazy ;^)

Chinese dragons

The scenery was just breathtaking in many of the areas we visited.

Chinese dragons

Don’t you think that this tree has outgrown it’s original planting area?  Maybe they should have read the plant label ahead of time to see how large this tree would get.

Chinese dragons

Beauty can be found everywhere, such as this museum garden in Hangzhou.

Beautiful Banyan trees

Beautiful Banyan trees just a block from our hotel.

Beautiful Banyan trees

Okay, I admit that this photo has nothing to do with gardens or gardening.  But, since there are two trees in the background I thought I could include it. This street worker had propped up his ladder in the middle of the intersection and had it resting against  the wires.

I have more pictures to share, some beautiful and others that are humorous, but that is for another post….