Sunday, December 8, 2013


Well, we made it!
It felt like an eternity (30+ hours) but we made it.

We landed in Houston somewhere around 6:30 and then when we got to our vehicle, the battery was dead :/


It was freezing and we couldn't even get into the car bc the electric locks wouldn't work...Perfect.

After about 20 minutes, the Eco Park ppl came and jumped our vehicle and we were finally on our way...HOORAY!!!

THEN.....I saw a text from Ali..."Call me when you land."

So...I called...

What I heard from her was, "I don't know how to tell you this, but.....Pixie died..."



Pixie was my 9 yr old teacup chihuahua, and I loved her dearly.

She was my baby.

Even now my heart is hurting bc I SO wanted to see her after a long 2 weeks away....

She always gets so sad when I leave, and I just couldn't wait to see her and tell her, "Mommy's back!"


To top off the evening, after all of the above and fighting exhaustion and nearly running off of the road while driving 4 hours home from Houston...We got a speeding ticket only 30 minutes from home...Yay....


On to the good stuff...

We got home at about 12:45 a.m. and were so excited to show Ann-Jolie her home and, best of all, her room and toys :)

I can honestly tell you, she was SO excited!! She was like a child at Christmas!

She was so happy to see her sisters and brothers and hugged them all right away.

We finally went to sleep somewhere around 2:00ish and let me tell ya...I.was.pooped...We all were

Scotty and I were up around 7:30, but the little ones slept until 9:00 and after.

Maddox woke up and saw Ann-Jolie for the first time this morning.  He was so excited we were home, and when he saw Ann-Jolie, she was playing with his building blocks...

His first words to her were, "You have my blocks." LOL!

The kids played so well today and Ann-Jolie was really an absolute angel.  She played....

and played....

and played...

I let all of the littles stay up later than normal bc, well, I think this is a special occasion...Don't you?

They are now all cozy after their baths, and sleeping like angels :)

I am so thankful...

Right now, as I'm typing this, all 7 of my children are under our roof.

We're getting into the Christmas spirit and just enjoying being together.

And even though I am grieving the loss of my little fur baby, and find myself grateful...

Grateful for all of the good in my life...Grateful that I had 9 years with my little Pixie.

Grateful for family...Grateful for home...Grateful for being back in the good ole USA...


I can tell you with complete confidence that this is our last adoption...our last child...


And so with that, the Richard family is complete...And my heart is full to know that we have the privilege to raise the children that God has blessed us with.

The view from my chair *sigh*
Been waiting 2 weeks to see this again.

Peighton fighting the jet leg

Ann-Jolie eating her rice and boiled eggs....She loves that!

Paige & Peighton playing

Here comes Maddox....

....and then...BAM! Down go the blocks.

Scotty's turn to fight jet lag...Jet lag won ;)

The girls watching The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Today we went to the US Consulate and turned in the necessary paperwork, along with Ann-Jolie's passport, to get her visa so that we can skidaddle outta here and go back home. This visa states that when Ann-Jolie lands in the States, she becomes a US Citizen! WOOO HOOO!!!
We get her passport with that beautiful visa in it tomorrow evening, and then we spend our last night in China.
We head out to Hong Kong early Saturday morning; 6 a.m. to be exact. We will be taking a van to Hong Kong and that's about a 4 hr ride. Our plane leaves HK at 12:30ish Saturday!!! 
The plane ride from HK to Sanfranciso is about 13 hours; then we have a 4 hour layover there...THEN we fly from Sanfranciso to Houston...THEN we drive 4 hours to our lovely home!
Since we won't get home until really late (like 11 or 12) we'd like to ask that no one come over for a couple of days so that we can have some time to recover from the jet lag, and so that Ann-Jolie and the rest of the littles can have some time to adjust to all of the changes.

Before I end this post, I'd like to mention that a very lovely Christian woman (Jenny) who lives here in Guangzhou and owns a little shop on Shamien Island, told our little girl about Jesus today...In her language. She told her about the Bible, and she is bringing a children's Bible story book to our hotel tomorrow night for Ann-Jolie....priceless...What a gift.

Here are pics from the day:

Eating at an Irish pub in China :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday & Tuesday

Well, I haven't posted bc there really hasn't been anything new and exciting going on. We are just waiting and waiting until Thursday to have our consulate appointment. UGH!! 
Fortunately, I was able to go shopping with a friend of mine and a special guide yesterday. The husbands and children stayed at the hotels and we went on an adventure. It was so interesting to be in the part of China where only locals go. We got some great things that can only be purchased in China for amazing prices!! Like...UNHEARD of prices! (Yay us!)
Last night my husband and I and the girls ventured out to the famous restaurant, Tekila's, to eat Mexican food...You read that right, China...
It was very good, but on the way there we passed a very very crippled man laying on the street, and it bothered me so. He could not even sit up and was barely clothed. After dark, merchants set up these blankets and/or tables and sell things. This crippled man was laid in the middle of the sidewalk with a can to "beg". I've heard that the families do that bc the crippled person cannot work and contribute to the family, so THIS is the way that they can contribute to the family financially--by begging.
I was (and still am) honestly disturbed by what I saw. And everyone was just walking by as if nothing...including us. What could we do?.......nothing.
I just don't even have words....

We are having to endure days of "nothing" just waiting for our consulate appointment and I am SO over it all. I just want to go home. I'm so homesick it's ridiculous. 
This hotel is FABULOUS, but it's not home.
They have Christmas decorations up, but it doesn't feel like Christmas.
I just want to get on that plane and get home.
I don't want to sound like a grouch-butt, but anyone who's ever walked in these shoes knows exactly what I'm talking about.
I never thought I'd want so desperately to hear Nickjr and Disney Jr...but I DO!!! Lol!

Even thought I've been here for almost 2 weeks, it is still surreal to me that we are on the complete opposite side of the world.
It like an alternate universe. 
It's funny how we take something as simple as getting in your car and going to Walmart for granted. There is no such thing as "simple" here...For us anyway, lol!
Getting out of your hotel to walk to the nearby this or that is risking your life bc you've got to cross the street, and people driving the cars will NOT stop for you or your child...They will either nearly run you over or honk...Not lieing.
 Well, I'm done with my homesick post for today. I wish I had pictures to post, but my phone was not cooperating, so I'll try tomorrow.

Until then :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday & Sunday

Yesterday was Ann-Jolie's medical exam, so we headed over there with the other family that is here with us from our agency (The Mahiai family).
As usual, it was crowded and we were herded from station to station like cattle. I was able to see a few familiar faces and got to talk to Shannon Mahiai for a while so that was nice.
We went back to the room, walked to McDonald's and ate a good old fashioned American junk food lunch, lol! Then we went to Starbucks and got some delicious joe to go :)

Today we ventured out to the Safari park with Shannon Mahiai and her husband and son. It was a beautiful day and the park was nice, and the company was nice; great day!! I would definitely recommend the Safari Park for those of you who'll be here for the 2nd leg of your adoption journey. 
I think the highlight for the girls was feeding the baby white tiger!

Things have been pleasant and I really can't complain; I'm just so ready to go back home and be with my family in my home. It's been nice that the hotel has decorated for Christmas and is playing Christmas music in English, makes it feel a bit more homey.

The room is nice and big, too, so that helps it to not be so claustrophobic when we decide to call it a night by 4:30 ;)

The girls are getting along well and thank God for that. Ann-Jolie is doing great. I can't wait to see how she will be once she's home. Everything will be so different. Here, she understands what everyone is saying and can communicate with the majority; at home all of that will change. It's going to be interesting to watch. She's already beginning to say more and more English and you can tell she understands more and more everyday. Same with us, we're learning more and more each day what this word means and what that phrase means.

Ok, here are some pics from the last 2 days :)

Peeling and eating a boiled egg at breakfast :)
Peighton not too sure about the Chinese version of a chocolate donut.
Fresh fish at Walmart 
Doing math for fun
A moment of peace and quiet for Mommy
Nuggets and fries at Mickey-Dee's :D
Looking at the baby monkeys at the safari park
Baby tigers
Feeding the baby white tiger :)
Peighton was so enamered that I couldn't get her to look at the camera ;)
The tiger didn't want to let Peighton go!

She wasn't too sure what to think about it ;)