China here we come!!!!!! Big plans and important details for those close to us.

Posted By Kelley on Oct 4, 2015 in My Life Song | 1 comment

4 days till travel ya’ll! Yikes! So I wanted to update everyone ( I have some new followers yay!) on what it actually looks like for our 15 days in china. Why two weeks? Well thats about as short as you can get it. The first week is spent in Ridge’s home town province city. When you adopt from China you have to travel to their province that child lives in, and the adoption must take place in the provincial city. This means Tianjin this time! Ridge’s birth province is a port city. Bordered by the pacific ocean and bo hai bay. I have been told by several that have traveled here that it’s a beautiful province! We will be staying in the city at a hotel that overlooks the river.

So excited to be able to walk around my baby’s city! Tianjin is the 6th largest city ( by population) in China! Thats HUGE ya’ll! close to 12 million people


So we fly from Atlanta to Seoul Korea

( same route we have always taken, love the S Korean airport, if you have a lay over this is the place to have it) then on to Beijing . Nicole and I will have a day of sight seeing on saturday the 10th and travel by speed train on sunday to Tianjin! Gotcha day’s are almost always on mondays. So we will arrive at Ridge’s Orphanage for our Gotcha day. which is pretty uncommon not to have this happen at a civil affairs office, but this is how this particular orphanage does Gotcha day’s. We will take a tour of Ridge’s orphanage where he has spent the first 2 years of his life at and get to meet his nanny’s who have loved on our boy. I am kinda glad we get to do this all in one day. Gotcha day’s can be so draining on these sweet little ones.  WE know we will have grief and adjustment and shock whoever that comes is ok, and whatever comes we will roll with it and just keep showing and helping Ridge to see that he is safe and loved. I know from experience this day could go multiple ways. Regis’s was very very sad. Our boy cried in terror and He knew he was being taken from his precious “other momma” it was tragic and hard. But Adoption comes with loss, we must acknowledge that, we have to give room for that and not put a time limit on how long our children need to grieve. Our children through adoption will always have a life before us, their stories before we laid eyes on them is very important to us. While this is a sweet part for us mommas who get to finally hold our babies. this will be one of the most traumatic days for our little ones.  WE have had months to prepare and long for our little boy but on gotcha day Ridge will be JUST starting the transition and adjustment to us. I pray for the best, expect the worst and give room for Jesus to do his work while creating a safe place for my boy. Nicole has seen it all so she knows to stay her distance, she knows the rules that she gets to be fun play mate sister and that all the holding, feeding and hugs come from momma. This is hard on her but she is such a pro at it now. With all that said I really really covet your prayers over this day.

On tuesday after Gotcha day we do the adoption ceremony where Ridge officially becomes a BERRY!!!! We hope to be able to face time baba so he can witness this live. We then apply for Ridge’s passport. It takes several days to get his passport so we will be spending time in Tianjin getting to know my babies birth province and on friday when his passport is ready we will fly to Guangzhou china where the U.S. side of the adoption takes place. This will be Ridge’s first ever plane ride and will be a good test to see how he reacts to travel.  In Guangzhou ( south china) we will go to the medical facility where Ridge will get checked out by several docs so that he can pass the medical exam required to get a U.S. Visa to come home! On wednesday we go the U.S. consulate to swear everything is true and accurate and they hopefully  grant us Ridge’s visa to come home!!!! WE have to stay a bit after this to make sure the visa is granted and we will be headed home on the 23rd of october! We will arrive home October 24th at 10 am in Atlanta!


This is a loose schedule of what is to come. I am anxious to get to my boy at this point. This is the LONGEST we have waited to travel after getting all the approvals and visas. But due to china holidays there were just no available gotcha days till October 12th! SOOO ready to get on that plane but It’s going to be soooo hard to leave my other babies here. I have special “prizes” for the babies to have each day while I’m gone, and a paper chain that should help them see how many more days till momma comes back, a parent leaving is always hard especially when that child has previously had abandonment in their past,  so we will be sensitive in this and try to face time daily and have been reassuring Momo and Regis that momma is coming back! Please be in prayer for my babies left at home! And of course pray for David. Bless him

Baba is taking off 3 weeks, two while I’m gone and then one once we are home so he can get to know our baby boy. So crazy to me Ridge and David will be meeting for the first time at the Atlanta airport. We plan on having a photographer to capture these precious moments. WE welcome anyone at our airport home comming! Just give us space for a bit and of course time for David to meet his new son and my other 3 kids to meet their new sibling. This is such a special and fun time for everyone to see our new member of our family before we hunker down and do our normal “cocoon” period of time where we limit outside the home activities and just begin to show Ridge what a family looks like. Here is a more detailed post I wrote during Momo and Regis’s  process  about cocoon and why its so important.


So no visitors until we say- but everyone is use to this by now and has always been so respectfull of this time we need as a family.  We never put a time limit on our cocooning period, it will just depend on Ridge’s needs. He has some orthopedic needs so we will be using this time to visit a few docs just to say hello and get him use to medical professionals in a heathly and safe way. We know from expeeicne this can be a very very scary thing to our new little ones. They have not had pleasant experiences with doctors so we work on building that trust with them because unfortunately doctors and specialist visits just come with the territory and we know our boy needs to get checked out as soon as we can to make sure there are no immediate medical needs we need to attend to. Hopefully any surgeries or procedures we can push off for a while till our boy is more adjusted and we see that attachment is getting to a better place. This part is so so delicate and I know we will need prayer in this department to find the right Doctors and corse of treatement for our sweet boy.


Many have asked what our Ridge’s medical needs are and we don’t mind sharing at all. Because they are obvious when you meet him, and answering questions is something we will have to get use to.

Ridge  has what we are pretty sure ( we will need a diagnosis from the doctor) Is ABS, otherwise known as Amniotic Band syndrome.

This website does a better job at describing this than I can.

We know ABS has effected several fingers on one hand and several toes on both his feet. If you ask me his feet and hands are just about the most precious hands and feet I have seen. Cannot wait to kiss all over them!

He also has one Club foot, this is the same medical need Regis has and we of course are familiar with this need and all ready have awesome doctors we see so Ridge will be visiting them as well now! Regis is stoked cause baby brother has “special feet” like him.

Questions are ALL ways  ok. From experience  I welcome questions rather than stares. Kids are curious as well and thats perfectly fine. Don’t ever tell your child to be quite or don’t talk about our son’s differences, Children are naturally curious and it’s always a good thing when they have questions. granted they arent derogatroy or mean,  then we hope that you will help guide them in a better use  of appropriate terms.  All I would suggest is talking to your children BEFORE they meet Ridge and let them know that yes his fingers and toes are different and thats ok, there is nothing to be scared about, they don’t hurt him. This is how God made him and he can do everything they can, just with less fingers! I know this all ready before even meeting my boy.From the videos we have seen he lets nothing stop him from doing anything another toddler is doing at his age- he just may do it in another way. Of course WE will have a learning curve on this as well so have paitence with us as we navigate how we answer questions and or issues that may come up about our boy. Yea I likely will be sensitve about how he is talked about cause thats my baby boy. All parents get that. And I so so appreciate  people being supportive and respectful when asking about his medical needs.

We are very open with our kids about how God made them each unique and different and thats ok. They are wonderfully and fearfully made and watch out- we for sure have some World changers on our hands! Nicole and Clayton of course know way more medical knowledge then most kids there age, their worlds have changed and we acknowledge that and trust that God has a plan for their lives because of the adition of these 3 precious souls in our Family. Adoption is hard, it is a calling I’m certain on a dail basis I am not cut out for. But God is good, he is sovereign, HE loves all 5 of my children even more than I do. HE has done great things and he is WORTHY to be PRAISED!!!!


How Can you pray?

first thank you for praying. I know the power of prayer. I have felt it carry us through some hard times the last few years. Here are the most important things we need prayer over.


1- safety and good healthy while traveling. We don’t have time to get sick, especially momma since I am the one parent traveling. We are pretty sure Ridge is sick so taking lots of meds to hopefully help him get over any cold before that long haul home.

2- Ridge’s heart, and that God will continue to prepare him for his new family

3- my Family back home. Safety and that Regis and Momo will do well with momma gone for so long.


So next post will be from CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you ALL for your prayers and support!!!!



1 Comment

  1. I’m so excited for y’all! Your family is in my prayers.

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