Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day 2: Hangzhou

We woke up Saturday morning feeling so much better!!  And starving!  All 5 of us were excited to get to the breakfast buffet in the hotel.  It's a great combination of American and Chinese food...fried rice, noodles, pancakes, hash browns and tons of other things. Lily was very excited about the fried dumplings!!

We rested most of the day until meeting our guide, Nancy, to get some groceries and look around Hangzhou.


Our hotel, The Merchant Marco

Nancy & BamFam5 checking out Hangzhou

Shopping for snacks...excited to find our favorites from Lily's trip!!

Nancy, our guide

First dinner in Hangzhou...if you can't eat with chopsticks, just pose with them!

We woke up bright and early Sunday morning after going to bed before 8 pm. After a huge breakfast, we are waiting to meet Nancy and go to some museums. 

Breakfast Buffet

We sat at a table for only 2 days, the empty chair will hold sweet Ava!!!!

We are getting anxious to finally know how this sweet girl will fit into our family. We are ready to watch God's plan unfold. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 1: Travel

We left our home early Thursday morning(5/29) around 4:00 am  on our journey to Ava!! We traveled for over 24 hours and it was CRAZY.  Lily's manual wheelchair ended up with a flat, Reece completely ran over a sleeping Chinese man while pushing Lily in her chair, Lily lost her microphone (like her security blanket...if you know us you understand how huge this is), we almost caused a major collision on a Beijing escalator, and I got locked out of our hotel room without pants (only for a few seconds and there were only a few women who saw me and my shirt was really long). It's been an interesting 2 days!!!

 Very thankful that we had our own screens and lots of movie choices!

Sleeping Beauty :)


4 hour layover in Beijing 
Sooooo tired

Boarding our final flight to Hangzhou...bigs were exhausted. 

After we landed in Hangzhou, we were met by a guide, Bing, and a driver. We made it to the hotel after an hour drive and got to sleep around midnight. After 29 hours of traveling, we were pitiful. We slept great and had a big breakfast at the hotel. We're waiting to meet Nancy, our guide for the week, to do some sight seeing.

Ava will be forever ours in 3 days!!!  Keep on praying...we need our prayer warriors.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Everything seems impossible, until it is done. Y'all, it's DONE!  In a few hours, we fly out of Birmingham on our way to our sweet Ava. A year ago, she was an impossible dream. Tomorrow, she is reality!!!

I could type all night and never do justice to how thankful we are to each of you who prayed, encouraged, and loved us throughout this adoption. Every donation meant so much to us.  There are just no words.  Know that as we finally wrap our arms around her, each of you played a part in bringing our family together.   We are humbled by the support.  I will always remember and be thankful!

We know so many will pray us home over the next 18 days. Pray for Mash, Reece, and Lily on these long flights...that they can rest and stay healthy. Remember sweet Ava every day, that God is preparing her heart for our family.  Trent and I appreciate every prayer.  Ava has shown us what faith can do...we know God is holding us.

This is our last night in our house as the BamFam5!!  I am amazed by what God has DONE!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

One Week

It's finally quiet at our house.  Mary Ashtyn is in her room, Trent and Reece are playing the X-box, and Lily is sleeping on the couch beside me.  We sat outside and watched a meteor shower tonight.  I realized as we sat outside in the dark, this is our last Friday night at home as BamFam5.

A week from now, we'll be in Hangzhou...Ava's provincial city.  We'll land around 10:00 pm after traveling for more than 24 hours.  As we lay our exhausted heads down this time next week, the youngest Bamberg will be sleeping 2.5 hours away, finally in the same time zone.  We'll be in the city where we'll finally meet the daughter that we've dreamed about and prayed for since this time last year.

We found out today that Ava will not have to be transferred back to her original orphanage!!  She'll get to stay in Ningbo until she is forever ours on Tuesday, June 3.  We already see God moving and taking care of sweet Ava.  Please keep praying for her as she loses the only life she knows but gains the family that she longs for.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
 Philippians 4:6 

Thursday, May 22, 2014


In one week, we leave for China!!!  Ava's Gotcha Day is June 3.  We are so ready to meet this little girl that we've loved for months.  On Tuesday night (5/20), we got to QQ with Ava.  It's like Skype and it was awesome!!!

There is no way to describe how it felt when we opened the video chat and she saw us.  She started smiling and waving and her face lit up when she saw Lily.  They just looked at each other and waved and waved.  Later, she asked the translator if Lily was a little Chinese girl.  It was so cute!!  She also saw her gu gu and asked if he was from Korea :)  The translator helped her tell Mary Ashtyn in English that she was beautiful.

We got to talk with her for almost an hour.  Throughout the call, she would throw her head back and was adorable.  She told us that her favorite color is pink and asked us to bring her pink clothes.  Obviously, Mama has that covered!!  She also asked us to bring her a baby doll and barbies.  Lily is thrilled to hear that she finally has a sibling that WANTS to play.  Lily asked her about her favorite animal and she said she loves birds.  Ava asked if we had pets and we told her about the 2 dogs and our fish.  She was quick to tell us that she liked fish, but she didn't comment on the dogs.

She told us that her favorite foods are noodles, meat and KFC!!!  She was so sweet and thoughtful, she asked us what we liked to eat and then said she would do her best to eat American food.  She also asked if we thought she was beautiful and shook her little ponytail to make sure we saw it.  She looked at her sisters and told us she wanted to let her hair grow long like them.  We all assured her that she is beautiful with long or short hair.  Mary Ashtyn asked her if she could play with her hair and Ava just beamed.

I'm not sure I'll sleep well until Ava is in my arms.  After this video chat, I am just too excited.  She was absolutely perfect.  She told us several times that she's excited about having a big family and can't wait to meet us.  We are so ready to have this precious girl in our family.

Love that you can see Trent's Grace for Orphans shirt reflection and see Lily and him smiling at Ava

Counting the days until we are officially BamFam6....12 to go!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Ava Frances Bamberg is coming HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got the call around 1:30 this afternoon to let us know that we have Travel Approval.  WOW!!  We only waited four days from Article 5 pickup.  We are waiting to confirm our Consulate Appointment, if we get the anticipated appointment...Ava will be forever ours on June 3!!!! 

Every great work of God first is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done!! 




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Final Update

As of yesterday, we are waiting for our Travel Approval/TA!!!  Our Article 5 was processed and picked up from the Consulate yesterday (May 12).  Travel Approval takes around a week, so I was doing my best not to obsess about checking my email today...there will be no news this week.  As I got in my car to go to a meeting this morning, I checked my phone and was SHOCKED...

 Yu Fang final update for the Bamberg family

What??  The FINAL update comes right before travel.  I've seen other families post their final updates and I wondered if we'd ever get to this point.  By the absolute grace of God...we are here!!!

Doesn't this smile just keep getting better??  

Pray every day with us for Ava.  So much change is coming, so very soon!  A day that we are longing for is also the day that this sweet baby will lose EVERY thing that she knows.  We love her already, and it breaks our hearts to think about how scary this is for her.

Pray we get Travel Approval quickly and we get a consulate appointment in early June.  These appointments fill up quickly, but we want to get Ava and come home to have the entire summer to get her adjusted.  Please say a few tiny prayers that we are fully funded, still trusting God on this one.  

Many of you have taken this journey with us before during Lily's adoption.  So many prayed for us and we felt every one.  Pray us to China and back, friends...start now and don't stop until Ava is HOME!!  It's so close and we can't do it without our prayer warriors.   

Love you all!!!