A couple of signs at the Guangzhou zoo today that amused me.
Matt wants to live in a carnivore zone ;)
This precious lady has helped us every step of the way. Grace is appropriately named. Samuel really enjoyed talking to her in Cantonese about the zoo animals.
The zoo had statues of all the Chinese zodiac animals. Matt & Courtney were both born in the year of the ox.
I was born in the year of the rabbit.
Cassidy the year of the horse.
And Samuel, the year of the rat (I remember seeing Mickey Mouse a lot for this year).
Now, for a couple of zoo animals. We were disappointed to find that the pandas who normally live in this zoo had been transported to the big panda facility in Sichuan for fertility stuff. Sorry, y'all, no panda pics.
If you have a weak stomach, you may not want to look at the next picture too closely. The giraffe was giving birth. We found this absolutely fascinating. Well, Cassidy just kept hiding her eyes and saying, "Disgusting."
Martha Elaine Meadors, it doesn't matter which side of the world we're on, when I'm in your arms, I'm home!!! You are a beautiful, amazing woman and I'm so proud of you. You have been spectacular in this trip. You've been called to be a mommy again, and you're awesome at it!!! I love you!!!
We have no room for complaint, whatsoever when a car gives us trouble, or a washing machine or refrigerator, or whatever other creature comfort we have goes out. If China is any comparison, the standard of living is far superior in the U.S., even for us middle-classers, than anywhere else on this planet. We are so blessed to live in the country we live in.
The metro Tulsa area, and Sand Springs fit me just fine!!!
I'm sick of rice. Ready for a big juicy steak.
Kids are remarkable, and Martha and I are blessed with three of the greatest kids ever!! Cassidy amazed me with her resiliance, and Samuel is doing the same. He is just as smart as Courtney and Cassidy, and his capacity for studying a situation and figuring out what's going on is nothing short of amazing. Courtney showed remarkable grace when Cassidy came into the family. As a matter of fact, she showed more grace than many of the adults around her did. I remember seathing at times whenever an adult would abruptly end a conversation with Courtney in favor of Cassidy. Courtney always seemed to take it in stride. Courtney now is more like an adult figure to Samuel, and Cassidy is faced with extending the same grace to Samuel and so far she's been incredible. I'm so proud of both my girls, as well as my son!!!
Oklahoma sunsets are breath taking!
I'm sick of noodles. Ready for some Mexican food!
I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut in the shower to make sure I don't swallow any water.
Samuel will be blessed to have such incredible family surrounding him. His Pappy is the smartest man I've ever known. I love him dearly and the greatest compliment I can give him is that he has my utmost respect. Samuel's Aunt Cheryl is pretty cool too (even if she's a Poke)! I think the world of her. His Uncle Joe might be a bit tough on the outside, but when it comes to Courtney and Cassidy he's always been like a teddy bear, and I think the same will apply to Samuel. Cousin Jacob was always a protector to Courtney, and Samuel is going to be loaded with sisters and cousins, including Ryan, who will watch after him. They can mess with him all they want, but anyone else better lookout... Samuel's Memaw is one of the strongest individual's I've ever know. I have so much respect for my mother and I love her more than words can say. She is an awesome example to Samuel of the ability to persevere and overcome! His Granny was one of the most kind hearted, faithful ladies I've ever known. He never got the chance to meet her, but she's watching over him from heaven along with his Great Grandma.
The Soul'd Out family he is joining is nothing short of remarkable! The lives of Todd, and especially Mark and Lisa and their families have been so intertwined with ours, that there are very few memories I have over the last 20+ years exclude them. You guys have been friends that stick closer than a sister or brother, and Samuel is going to be able to enjoy not only the music we make together, but the honor and privilege of having his life intersect with theirs. His life will be richer for it, just as Courtney's, Cassidy's, Martha's and mine are.
His first Sunday in the USA he will step into Olivet Baptist Church and be introduced to many prayer warriors who've helped him find his family. They will love on him, just as they have loved the rest of us. They will help Martha and I teach Samuel about the love of Jesus Christ, and, who knows, might even help lead him to Jesus! (Amie Taber, I've always been a little mad at you - not really!) They will be friends, mentors and brothers and sisters in Christ to Samuel. He doesn't know it, but he will be blessed beyond measure with the OBC family - the greatest there is.
Thanks to our family, church family, and China friends for helping us. We will never forget how you've blessed us.
I don't necessarily prescribe to the notion that it takes a village.
But it's sure nice to have the right ones there to help!
All our love!