Oyler children

Oyler children
...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday 1/31 Shamian Island

This morning our guide took a group of us adoptive families to Shamian Island. We arrived just in time for the 11:00 am service given in Mandarin and English!! I was so blessed by the singing. Obviously I could not understand the songs sung in Mandarin, but praising the Lord in song is universal!!! Tia didn't last real long sitting still and quiet, so Craig spent part of the time listening from outside. Kian was confused about why he could sometimes understand the preacher and sometimes not.....interpreter!!!!!

We did some shopping and had lunch at Lucy's before meeting back with our group to return to the hotel. We didn't get finished in Shamian Island so are hoping to go back for a few hours another day!
Many places we go we see people decorating for Chinese New Year. Trees with red envelopes hanging from them and orange trees are very common decorations, similiar to us decorating a pine tree for Christmas in America.

Saturday 1/30 Medical Exam and Apply for Visa

This morning was Tia's medical exam. She did very well with being weighed and measured...poked and prodded. But the sweet little girl came to an end when they took her out of his arms to draw blood and TB test. She went into the room screaming and came out crying. When they opened the door from her to come back to us, she couldn't get to Baba quickly enough!

We enjoyed chatting with several other adoptive families this morning. With all American adoptive families spending their final week in Guangzhou, we get to interact with several throughout our time here. It is amazing how the common tie of adoption causes a bond to form with families who we have never met before. This is the third adoption for one of the families in our group and fourth adoption with the other family. Two more other families will be joining us tomorrow.

Kian made quick friends!! The boy on the right is the son of our guide. The one on the left is the newly adopted son of another family in our group.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday 1/29 Last Day in Nanning

The weather warmed up and it quit raining long enough for us to enjoy a walk through the park near our hotel before we left Nanning.

Tia has been much happier today! Lots more smiles and chatter from her. Warms my heart!

We packed and left to catch our flight to Guangzhou around 5pm. Tia did well on the plane.
...As long as she has her Baba close by, life is pretty good!!

First plane ride!

Kian was very excited to get to "his China"! We are staying in the same hotel here in Guangzhou as we did for the full two weeks we were here to adopt him... lots of memories! We also have the same guide. She was amazed at how grown up Kian seemed in a little over a year! It was fun seeing her again. She said that one of the best parts of her job is seeing families return!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday 1/28 A Lesson in Chinese Culture

This morning our guide took us to a museum. Museums can get a little tedious for small children (and big ones too) but our two did very well. It was interesting to learn about the Chinese culture a few hundred years ago in comparison to today! Our guide did a great job of answering our numerous questions. 

Tia has had a harder day! We don't always understand when and how grief will hit!! But it is part of the healing process. She has been very quiet all day....with the most sad little face. We got a couple of smiles while she was eating her sucker, but they are few and far between.

The view out our window at night. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday 1/27 Birthday Celebration....Tia is T.H.R.E.E.

We have learned that celebrating birthdays is not a big deal in China. Our family, however, enjoys birthday parties (we even celebrated Kian's without him before he came home to us). So we ordered a cake from our hotel, stuck candles in and sang happy birthday. Tia was not overly impressed, but we had fun doing it anyway!! Kian got to blow out her candles. Chantel's birthday was yesterday {happy 17th, Chantel} so now we have birthdays a day apart in our family!

Tia still prefers her Baba. In fact she usually squawks and shakes her head if I get close but I did manage to dress her this morning much to her dismay!! Mostly she plays quietly by herself. Occasionally she will check out what Kian or Baba are doing but then goes back to her book or toys. When we leave the room she clings to Baba and stays very quiet.

Tia was warming up to me this afternoon. We played ball together and she even offered some kisses. Melted my mama heart. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday 1/26 Finalize Adoption

Tia is doing so well! She is a very brave little girl! Last night it took her some time to fall asleep but she never cried. She slept the whole night through without making a sound. She is a sweetheart.  Before bedtime she was giving us all smoochy kisses. 

Today we went back to the civil affairs office to finalize the adoption. Tia is now officially an Oyler!!

Kian and our guide, Matthew, have really hit it off!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday 1/25 Gotcha Day

The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived!! This afternoon, our guide took us to the Cival Affairs office where we would meet Tia. She wasn't too sure about us at first, and sort of backed away as we began to talk and reach out her. We distracted her with a ball and fruit snacks and Craig picked her up. She looked scared but was so brave!! Never cried at all!! We finished up some paperwork, got an adoption photo taken and were soon on our way back to our hotel. She clung to Craig the whole time. She finally decided that Mama was ok, but likes Baba best. Kian is doing a great job interacting with her. He is a wonderful big brother!!

Introducing Tia QingQiao Oyler

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kian's Reactions

A question several of you had before we left for China was how Kian would react to returning after being home a year. So while we are anxiously waiting these final couple hours before meeting Tia, I will share a little of his reactions.

While we were waiting in Newark to board our flight to Beijing, we were mostly surrounded by Asian people. Kian commented how everyone was speaking Chinese. I ask him if he could understand any of it. He said he could not. It was interesting that he recognized the language but could not understand any of it.

When we finally got to Nanning and were leaving the airport, he made the comment that this was not his China. I told him that we were at Tia's China and we would go to his China the second week! I am not sure what he was sensing as different than the area he was from.

Yesterday while we were out he exclaimed about all the big buildings! Yes, it is all city here but he was used to city when he lived in Dongguan.  I guess a year in Carroll County surrounded by corn and bean fields has its effects! I am sure not a city girl!!

Most of all, he is loving the food!!!! He is not a picky eater and likes what we feed him at home, but he is REALLY enjoying the authentic food here!! Eventually we have to tell him he has had enough!!

Kian is taking it all in and asking tons of questions. So far he seems to not be bothered by anything. He is enjoying having his mama and babe to himself but that is soon to come to an end! He misses his big brothers and sisters but is not sad about it. Just talks about them often. Now we excitedly await his reaction to his new little sister!!

Sunday 1/24 Acclimating to China

The breakfast buffet at our hotel is good but to Kian it is beyond wonderful. All of his old favorites...

Chicken feet.....

...watermelon with chopsticks. He doesn't understand why we don't eat it year around at home...

...and noodles...three helpings!! He finally got enough....for today!!

The rest of our day was spent resting and then later in the day our guide took us to a yummy Chinese restaurant. Fortunately he ordered for us.....no English or pictures on menu!! Matthew, our guide is a believer!! He has been doing adoptions for 25 years and has lots of stories.  He had fun interacting with Kian, trying to reteach him Chinese words such as "chopsticks" and "spoon". 

We are coming, Tia, only a few more hours!!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Nanning, China

Our flight to China was fairly uneventful....which is how we like it! After arriving in Beijing, we took a flight to Nanning, the capital city of the province where Tia is from. On Monday, Tia will travel from the city where her orphanage is to Nanning to meet us in the afternoon.   She has been in foster care for the last year and a half but usually they go back to their orphanage just prior to adoption. We can hardly wait to meet our little girl! Sunday we will have a chance to get rested before Gotcha Day on Monday!!

His siblings covered Kian with goodbye kisses before we left home!

Our children and Will went with us to Indy airport to see us off. 

Goodbye Ashlyn!

On the plane at last

Kian's excitement about getting on an airplane and going to get Tia was very contagious. However, he was not prepared for how long the trip actually took! He did exceptionally well! We are so thankful to be here. 1 1/2 days until Tia!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Countdown...

Kian excitedly slashed through another day on the calendar! Only one more day of doing school and being at home...and then he gets to get on the airplane...and go to China...and meet his new little sister!! He can hardly wait! His mama, as excited as she is about meeting her new daughter in China, is a little more reserved about it all. Going half way around the world to meet Tia also means leaving my four older children at home. And as capable as they are, along with our wonderful support group of family and friends, a part of my heart stays here with them. For me, this is the hardest part of the adoption process....leaving some behind for two weeks. But the Lord gave me a calm heart and peace the first time and I am confident He will do it again!!! We want to thank each of you who have journeyed with us so far. Whether you have given of your time, money, prayer or encouragement in some other way, each of you have made this possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your support means more than you will ever know! And we are especially grateful to our four troopers at home, Ashlyn, Chantel, Jadrian, and Preston, for all they have done and sacrificed to prepare to bring their little sister home from China. We are blessed by how our children have come along side us every step of the way!