Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, March 6, 2017

DJ: Adoption Finalization Day

Psalm 145:9 "The LORD is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made."

I feel like I am in Boy Mom 101 class today. DJ is an awesome kid. He is full of smiles, energy, and has a crazy ravenous appetite. I am going back to the drawing board on affordable meals to feed these two additional growing boys!!

We started our day off with some robot building and then we headed downstairs for breakfast. The breakfasts at these hotels are no joke. They are buffet style with all kinds of food. The hotel staff loved DJ and helped him acquire his food. At one point I saw him holding a plate with only two little things and I was wondering if he was feeling okay. When I got to the table I discovered that was his second plate of food, along with a huge bowl of something that looked like eyeballs. As adventurous as I am being, I did not try those. I did try octopus for dinner! 

Typical Chinese breakfast!

Once breakfast was over, we went upstairs to collect our bags for the day. My backpack is with me at all times because it is full of all the paperwork I need for both adoptions. Our guide in Beijing told me, as she handed me my original travel approvals, don't lose these or you cannot finalize your adoptions. My backpack has become part of me. It walked the Great Wall, Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and all over Jinan this afternoon.

We went with our guide to the Civil Office where we spent the next two hours working on paperwork. Thankfully, they have a playground which kept DJ busy. I have been utterly impressed with the staff from DJ's orphanage. They are super sweet ladies and are so generous. They gave us another gift today. 

DJ signing papers to be adopted!

Group picture - DJ is holding the other gift they gave us

After the paperwork was signed, we headed to the bank to exchange the orphanage donation. That banking experience was very eye opening and interesting. It took almost an hour to complete paperwork to exchange the money.

Daniela did a good job keeping DJ busy in the van while they waited for us in the bank.

Because the bank took so long, we had to move our notary appointment to the afternoon. We headed back to the hotel to eat lunch. After lunch, we met with the orphanage staff to give them the donation and some thank you gifts. They told me to stay in touch and that they would love to hear how DJ is doing. I'm so thankful for their hearts that cared for and loved on DJ!

We all piled into the car and headed to the notary office where we filled out even more paperwork. Thankfully, this step went rather quickly. The notary gave us a very sweet gift with stamps and pictures of the main places in Jinan/ Shandong. All of these amazing gifts, pictures and documented memories will be placed in a special spot for DJ when he gets older.

We finished the day off by walking around the city. We walked to the springs and the lake. We had a phenomenal meal, including octopus. I had our guide pick out the food. Daniela and I have wanted to experience as much of China as we can, including authentic food! I'm not sure that I would order octopus again, but it wasn't that bad. The other dishes were unique and amazing as well.

Three natural springs that feed the river and the lake.

Perfect place for a picture and he didn't want to smile.

Lotus flowers in the lake.

(Evening reading with DJ - my attempt to read a book in Chinese)

Back to Boy Mom 101 class lessons I've learned today. I had to tell DJ tonight that he cannot sleep naked and that underwear do not make you that much hotter. Thankfully, I was able to contact Mackenzie who translated the message better to him in Chinese, including reminding him that he will be living with 6 sisters!! She tackled another issue as well for us. Thankfully, these are minor things and overall, he is doing amazing. Please keep praying for us as we journey to Chengdu tomorrow. Wednesday morning we pick up Shan Chen. DJ is very excited about our trip to Chengdu and keeps asking when we leave to get Shan Chen. He is also anxious to get to Guangzhou and go swimming. So, please pray it's warm and the water is warm...for my sake because I don't do well in cold water. 


  1. DJ seems great and seems to be transitioning really well, what a blessing... I cant wait to see Shan Chen too!

    also, thank you for keeping this updated and with all the pictures - we adopted from China in 2013 and I miss it so much, so seeing your pictures remind me of so many good memories!

  2. You have no idea HOW FULL my heart is to see this boy we love so much with a mama who loves HIM! <3