Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day!!!

Looking back and trying to describe the day that Lily came into our lives is impossible.  Reading back over my blog from November 28, 2011 captures my feelings from that day.  Every day for the last year, we've just loved Lily more and more.  We've laughed, cried and saw God each and every day through her.  Our life hasn't been completely easy this year, but every day loving Lily is worth it.

Forever a Family
November 28, 2011

Finally in my arms!

Totally loving the cheap sunglasses!

Playing with BaBa, love her little hand on his arm.

Couldn't take our eyes off of our perfect little girl!


Regretting the sunglass purchase, just a little :)

VERY thankful for the netbook that finally helped our sweet girl settle down a little....she grieved so hard!

First English word...Coke!!  It sure saved us on Gotcha Day!

She loved seeing pictures of herself and her friends...she still loves to see her friends' pictures and talk about them.

Holding on tight to HER computer while she checks out the Ipad.

Love how Reece is looking up at her...proud big brother.

My miracles, finally blessed!

No words to describe how it felt to see these sweet faces together!!

The only place Lily would sleep while we were in Hohhot was in this crib...once we visited her SWI, we understood.  It's all she knew.

We were never far thankful and overwhelmed to be her parents!

She fell asleep holding Baba's hand...the perfect ending to a perfect Gotcha Day.

Happy Gotcha Day, Lily Joy!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Remembering Gotcha Day

As I snuggled with Lily on the couch this afternoon, listening to her read, it seems impossible that she has only been ours for a year.  This time last year, we spent our last day without her.  I had not held her yet or heard that pitiful howl as she grieved.  I had not touched her hair, held her hand, or heard her giggle.  A year later, I can't even imagine a life without her in it.

I remember the night before we met her, I don't think any of us slept.  I just kept wondering what it would be like once she was really ours.  I prayed and worried about her most of the night.  Before sunrise, the big kids piled in our bed and we talked about what might happen when we met Lily.  None of could really imagine what would happen.  We were all excited but also really nervous.  We knew our lives would never be the same.

Snuggling early, early in the morning.  Our nerves would not let us sleep. 
As the time came when we knew that Lily had left the SWI (orphanage) and was on her way to us, I sobbed.  I already loved her and my heart broke for the life she was leaving.  Would we give her everything we could?  Love her?  Take care of forever?  YES!! but she didn't know this yet.  She left all that she knew and it broke my heart to think of how that felt for her.  

We went to the buffet for a very early breakfast since we had been up for so long.

Mary Ashtyn and Reece chopstick fighting to pass the time :)

Nervous Mama and Baba...hurry up and bring our girl!!!

Back to the room to stare out the window and wonder if one of the vans had our Lily Joy in it.

Some of her toys waiting for our little ladybug.

Waiting in the lobby for our Lily...this was so agonizing!

Watching and Waiting for the first glimpse of the little girl who had stolen our hearts nine months ago.

As we sat in the lobby growing more anxious by the second, our guide (Aggie) called to tell us that heavy fog had delayed the van!!  More waiting!! was terrible.

Four sad Bambergs went back to the hotel room once again to wait and try not to have a panic attack.  Well, that was probably just me, but it was bad.  Aggie knew how disappointed we were and called to invite us out for lunch to a traditional hot pot.  We definitely needed a distraction.

So thankful for the time we spent at the restaurant with Aggie and our driver, Rocky.  We were laughing so hard at ourselves trying to spear our boiling food with chopsticks, the clock actually started moving again :)

Aggie ordering for us.

Aggie's Mom was our server.

Here comes the boiling pot, Aggie was protecting Reece :)

The hotpot

Lamb and peanut butter sauce...everyone liked it but me!

LOTS of food

Reece ready to cook his lunch.

Trent concentrating to catch his lunch from the hot pot!!  LOL

They felt sorry for the kids and just brought them rubber gloves to eat their lunch :)

Beautiful building on the way back to the Sheraton.

All kinds of transportation in the streets of Hohhot

We made it back to the hotel, more than ready to finally see Lily.  We got back into our room and the phone was ringing.  Aggie let us know that the van with our sweet girl was five minutes from the hotel!!!

Our first glimpse of our daughter, no words can describe how it felt to finally see her coming through the lobby doors...

For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him! 
(1 Samuel 1:27)

Blessed by the year that God has given us with our littlest miracle.

To Be Continued Tomorrow...It's Gotcha Day!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Remembering Inner Mongolia~A Year Later

For the past several days, most our of conversations have started out with..."this time time last year".  It has been so much fun to share memories of our China trip.  

Once we made it to Hohhot on Friday, we had to wait the entire weekend before we got Lily.  We loved getting to spend time in Inner Mongolia.  We were able to visit a Buddhist temple and the Inner Mongolia museum.  We even braved walking down the street from our hotel to eat by ourselves at a restaurant where NO ONE spoke English.  We were so proud to get food that we recognized and were able to eat!!

We were so anxious to get Lily, but I'm glad we got the time to tour Hohhot.  We fell in love with Inner Mongolia.

We saw so many beautiful buildings as we drove through Hohhot...when we had our eyes opened.  Traffic was scary!!

Inside one of the buildings at the Buddhist temple

One of the temples

Streets of Hohhot

Inner Mongolia Museum

Aggie (our guide), Reece, and Mash checking out the museum.

All them!!

Family pic in the museum

Our little family

Our big family :)  We don't have a clue who they were, but they wanted to be in our picture!!  It was so funny!


They made our trip so perfect!

A year later, this pic doesn't even look right... where is our Lily???


Museum Entrance

View from the Museum

More views of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia

Sheraton Lobby

Our solo trip to a restaurant, jet lag was catching up with us very quickly!  My babies were so tired.

Thank goodness for picture and chicken fingers, please!!!

After a full weekend, we were so ready to finally get Lily.  We spent Saturday and Sunday seeing Inner Mongolia and wondering about our sweet girl.  It was one of the longest weekends of my entire life :)