22 January 2015

London, England

We are smack dab in the middle of waiting to be chosen to receive a baby through adoption. Some days, like today, you just can't give it one. more. thought. Distraction is a must and since all the laundry is either done or being tumble dried, all bedrooms are cleaned- vacuumed even!, there was nothing else for me to do except post photos from our family vacation to the lovely United Kingdom.

From 6 months ago.

I give the people what they want, when I want.

Now. If you could all turn on your inner British-English accent voices in your head, we can proceed.

There will now be many more photos than any of you care to see of us standing in front of important British places where we can't touch them or are too thrifty to pay an extra quid to go inside.

And we're off. July 2014.

Malaysian Airlines
Non-stop flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to London, England
On board their top of the line A380. I daresay a more uneventful flight with 4 Littles in tow has never been.
Maybe you don't care to see how we still only occupy a very small smidge of space, no matter if the plane around us is the biggest one in the sky.
But I post this because a mere 2 weeks after these were taken 30-something thousand feet above the ground, a Malaysian airlines flight flying nearly this same route was shot down over the Ukrainian-Russian border.

The gravity of that reality gets me every time.
How many other Mama's took pictures of their sleeping babes aboard that aircraft and never got to show them off on a blog or to friends?

I post these because I feel a little more human by doing so.

And LESS mind blowing is that this was a 12? 13? hour flight. I have a friend who repeatedly shakes her head at the prospect of being on a plane for that long. Or maybe some of you can't imagine taking your kids on big trips. Well, this is what it looks like. You just kinda deal. (and pray you get a bulk-head)

You also have to deal with this. (granted we were MOVING back to the US temporarily...we don't normally take this much crap on a holiday)
Y'all. On the flip side of the EASE of being on a plane for 12 hours is the sheer Olympic EFFORT of getting those kids to WALK through flippin' Heathrow Airport while you have a baby strapped to you and push your bags ridiculously far and try not to be TOO loud with your Yank accent as you holler for the Bigs to "PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE, SON! JUST PUSH THE STROLLER!"

Y'all, we've had several moments over the years that got testy as we traveled. But lugging that luggage across 3 terminals with 4 kids all 6 of us jet-lagging. There's just no way to communicate that.

Near the end of the epic terminal trek we met GRANDMA! Yaaaaaaaay!

She timed her flight to near perfection and arrived about an hour or so after us.

We found the BEST cabbie in the world. (his name is Ray and we can put you into contact with him if you'd like) And once we made it safely to our hotel, got unpacked, and washed the "travel funk" off of us, things perked up. 

And now I'll stop with so many words and just get to the photos already....

Within 5 minutes we found a rundown, trash-filled, never used famous red phone booth!
The Tube. It should be noted that we have about 6 photos of Zayah and Grandma sitting together on the tube. :)

Big Ben! Just, right there!

And then across the street, Westminster Abbey (and all the cool buildings apart of it)

You don't need Big Ben in the frame, when these cuties are filling it so well. One of my favorites!
One thing that has changed irrevocably about us since moving overseas is that we are now "football" fans. And since we saw Chelsea play the Malaysian National Team, we decided to make Chelsea "ours." Blue is the Color and football is the game and we could not miss a chance to go to Stamford Bridge while in London. Sure, the players were on summer break and off doing things like playing the World Cup, but we braved the light London rain for some photo ops outside the Bridge. We love them. I will stop now. (but I miss David Luiz...and Mata...and Lampard...but I love Mourinho...ok really...done now...)

My babies in Hyde Park.

And the Queen's House.

Fish-n-chips (with vinegar!)
I realize this is flattering of none of us. Jet lag is REAL.
But when you get off the train and you're right there at the castle (aka- The Tower of London) where King Henry VIII kept a couple of his wives before he executed them... them jet-lags just shake right off. (Confession: I'm a history dork. HISTORYYYYYY!!!!)

JUMP FOR JANE! Well. At least we're all smiling!

The Tower Bridge (NOT the one with the song)

Fact: THIS is my favorite family picture of the whole trip.
Question: "Isaiah, what happened to you at the Tower Bridge in London?"
Isaiah: "A bird pooped on my head."
Question: "Why?"
Isaiah: "Because I was chasing birds everywhere I went."

And then we got our Harry Potter nerd on.
Y'all. I have ZERO problems being a touristy-tourist in a city where I have a ton of anonymity.

Guys, do y'all know that THIS was where Hagrid walked Harry to catch the Hogwart's Express in the very first movie?

No. Shame.

We're near the end. Just two left. (for this post)

This may be hard to believe, but travel isn't always cool playgrounds and magical luggage trolleys.

So much whining during this meal.
So much.
Such a cute, trendy, healthy little eating establishment, ruined by incessant crying.
Shortly after getting up from this table I had Ivy in the infant carrier facing me (because she had been crying so much at the table).
Then, she vomited.

Holy Hogsmeade Harry.

Travel Tip: King's Cross Station has a family restroom where, say, if you need to strip down to your knickers to wash your clothes out in the sink, there is one located just past the Harry Potter photo op behind the escalators. Paper towels for days. Take as long as you need.

The boys succumbed to the jet lag while I was de-puking myself, rounding out our big days in London.

Next up! A call from the adoption agency?!?! Scotland!

20 November 2014

Adoption Fundraiser = Success!

Well, it's official.
We've paid off our home study fees and it mostly happened because of the lovely faces you'll see below. (Also, we've saved, done odd jobs and others have given through our "Go Fund Me" account)

We raised over $1600!

We had hoped that maybe we could eek out close to a thousand, so this total just blew us away!

One thing in particular stood out to us about our friends through the shoots and the editing...

They're all good looking.
(I realize at this point you have probably already scrolled down and glimpsed that first pic of little Miss Jenna, but stay with me y'all! It'll only take a second THEN you can go look at the rest, okay?)

How is that?

Statistically speaking this should not be. Let's be honest...we ALL didn't win the genetic lottery. It's just the way the world works. Yet, these photos are proof against the odds. 

And I don't think I'm saying that just because I think my hubs did a bang-up job capturing these images. Or because we know everyone personally and it was SO encouraging that they wanted to help us add to our tribe.

Though, I could just be biased because everyone gave us money? Sort of a, "they paid me to say that" kinda thing. (*wink wink*)


See for yourself.


Just scrolling through these makes me feel ten different kinds of grateful and humble. Isn't it neat how being on the receiving end of generosity makes you feel that way?

God has just knocked it straight out of the park in how He's blessed us with friends.

Our deepest thanks to all of you who participated. 


A quick adoption update:

We are now in the "waiting" period. (happens a lot in adoption)

Meaning that our profile book is ready to be shown and read by expectant parents who are wanting to make an adoption plan for their children.

Hopefully we'll get chosen soon! Our prayer is that we will get chosen by the end of the year so that we can return to our "normal" life in Malaysia as quickly as possible.

We know adoption has this crazy habit of not going like you hope.
We also know that our God is capable of doing big things and giving us even more than we ask or think.

So we're praying for the Lord's will to be done as we wait.

Thanks again all of you who participated in our fundraiser! When we DO get a child, we plan on putting all of your faces in their baby book so they can see exactly who some of the people were who helped bring them home!