cantwaitbentons

Who knows what you might find here... but likely it will be about our kids and the wonderful family that God has built for us. As always, we can't wait!! -- "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27 NIV

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Look out - AJ's WALKING!!!

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Pictures from Bill and Toni - China and HOME!!


Pictures for you! Shutterfly

From: Bill and Toni Benton

You're invited to view our pictures at Shutterfly - GZ, China and HOME. Enjoy.
Love,
Toni and crew


Pictures from Bill and Toni Benton

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Headed Home!!

We're in Hong Kong and so ready to go HOME!!!  The US Embassy appointment on Wednesday went fine, and we had time to do more shopping with the other family afterwards. Faith, of course, simply didn't have enough shopping, but that's another story.  We had dinner with the other family and our guide on Tuesday night - as the husband/daddy called it, out for a cheap Chinese dinner (better than the Arabian restaurant with the belly dancers that we went to this time 2 years ago:)... and that was after taking a stroll thru town that afternoon looking for a restaurant with an English menu, or at least a picture menu... which we succeeded at, btw.  It's amazing the different culture and the stares we get - we just politely smile and say the requisite, "Ni Hao". Sometimes I hear them say, "san ge ar-zhi!", thinking I don't understand what they're saying (3 sons), to which I often reply, "chi ge hi-zhi" (7 kids - too hard to explain Johnny being homegrown - sorry John). And that kicks of a whole other conversation, 98% of which I don't understand... so sometimes, I just leave it at them saying, "san ge ar-zhi!" and smile pretty and keep walking. Today, I actually had a grandfatherly gentleman and his buddy drilling me about why I want to adopt so many - how can we support so many - it's too much of a burden to have so many - and so forth. I told him that God gives us what we need, and he didn't have an answer to that. By the end of the conversation, he simply said, "God bless you." and I said, "He has, He has... look... see, He has!!" 
 
So, dinner with our previous guide on Wednesday night and a sweet goodbye afterwards.  She's really special and very good at what she does. Not that our guide this time was bad or anything, by any means, but this other one is just special to us. She helped us bring Theresa, Abby and Sam into our family and she really cares so much about the kids and their families... asking at breakfast how you're doing, how the child is eating, making suggestions to make things better, etc.
 
Ok, back to the other story (Faith and shopping):  All trip long, whenever she's had "retail opportunities"... everytime... she buys something... for her friend... but then says, "This store only has things for old people (after buying something for her [teenage] friend). Old people?... thankyouverymuch... I didn't see a single thing in there that this particular old person would like to wear. So by Wednesday, she's panic-ing, that she's not going to get to spend every single cent that she brought with her (the girl knows how to save!), and starts getting grumpy on me while we're shopping with the other family. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to make them wait with their toddler hungry for lunch, while you and I discuss what size jeans to buy... and after that "discussion", they're not going to wait still more while you look for another pair too. After that excursion, Daddy and the boyz went back to the hotel for a nap (4), while the other family, Faith and I headed to the Island, where you buy all the Chinesey stuff... the gifts, and adoption mementos... and stuff. She certainly could've found stuff there, but of course, all they have is stuff for old people, so the grumpier she got. Finally, I said, I'm not sure what'll happen tomorrow - I can't promise you that you can shop again or not, but you CAN be SURE of this... if you continue with that attitude and that look on your face... I can promise you for certain, that there won't be ANY shopping tomorrow. This trip is not about Faith, I've given you plenty of opportunities, each of which you've turned your nose up at, and it's not fair to Daddy to keep asking him to keep the boys while I take you shopping. We're here for the boys, not for Faith... yes, you get the benefit of being here, but that's not the point of the trip.
 
Thankfully, she got herself together and we had a pleasant afternoon. She even said, "I know it's a little selfish, but..."  That girl's growing!!  And even more thankfully, Bill was willing this morning (Thurs), to take her back to the first place we were on Wed with the other family... and BOY DID SHE SHOP!!! ... while I stayed with the boys and gave all 3 a bath (not sure who got the better deal... must've been Faith!).
 
Also, she and our guide have been discussing all week that they both wanted to get their hair cut, and just never quite getting a time/date nailed down, so this afternoon - literally an hour before we were to leave GZ - they went and got hair cuts (TYL). Faith looks drastically different, but definitely cute. She found a picture on the computer, took it to the salon (sounds expensive, but not) and got just what she asked for. She's not completely sure she likes it, now that it's on her and not on the computer, but it's growing on her.   :o)
 
So, after packing, we left the China Hotel (my favorite place in allllll of China) at 3pm to get to the US Embassy at 3:30 to pick up the boys' visas and such from the day before, then on to Hong Kong. It used to be that you'd take sort of a commuter bus to HK - but have to get off the bus (with all your luggage (and kids)) at the border leaving China, go thru customs or whatever, then back on the bus for half a minute's drive to the border entering HK, then back off the bus (with all your luggage (and kids)) and do it all over again. But since 2 years ago, our agency discovered that if you have 4 or fewer people in a car/van, you could stay in the vehicle and go thru it all with only minimal time delays... from in the vehicle (think toll booth, but it takes a bit longer as they check your passports, etc). Yes, we have more than 4 people, but getting 2 vans was still cheaper than trying to fly 6 people... and way quicker/much easier than the bus thing.
 
So, here I sit in a nice airport hotel in HK, ready to fall asleep, but knowing that if I don't post now while it's quiet, it'll be dayz before I get to again... all day flying tomorrow, then a few days of jetlag after that, not to mention the fact that we'll have 7 kidz at home.  Haha - what did that grandfatherly gentleman say about so many? Nevermind - I know that I know that I know that this is what God's called us to, and that He's never NOT been faithful before... there's certainly no reason to start doubting His plans for us now (Jer. 29:11, Eph. 3:21).
 
We're all dreading the flight tomorrow and coveting your prayers for us... esp. for David and Andrew, as we take them from their homeland (where things weren't so great, but they were normal), and hopefully to the "promised land" where they will have the opportunity to know not just earthly parents, but especially their heavenly Father too... the One who loves them far better than we!!  -  the One who said, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18 NIV
 
Got more pictures to post, but it ain't happenin' tonight. Got a big day tomorrow and better rest up for it... got 2 new US Citizens making their way HOME tomorrow - can't wait!!!!!  Love you all and oh so very grateful for your love and support!!
Toni, for the Benton Bunch

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pictures from China


Pictures for you! Shutterfly

From: Bill and Toni Benton

You're invited to view our pictures at Shutterfly - Leaving Lanzhou for
Guangzhou!! Enjoy!


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Ahhhhhhh Guangzhou!!!

I know I've posted with the exact same subject line at least twice before. But I gotta tell you, the China Hotel in Guangzhou is my favorite place in all of China (not in the world, of course - that would be home - but in all of China).
 
In Guangzhou, it starts to feel like vacation. Not just because the hotel is so nice, tho it is, and not just because the area and the weather are so nice, tho they are, and not even just because of the shopping opportunities, tho they're good. Really, it's because by the time you get here, you've been together for a week or so, and you're starting to feel like family. Each day the child opens up a little more, sorta like a flower blooming… just a little more open to you, trusting you, exposing their vulnerable heart, coming out of their shell, just a little bit more each day. It's really a beautiful design that God has created in adoption and I'm oh so very grateful!
 
Our "day off" turned out to be a blessing, because that morning, I hurt my knee somehow - don't recall doing anything to it, or turning it funny, but my knee was really not a happy camper. So I sat for most all of the day, using ice and Advil as appropriate, but it got no better and wasn't any better even the next day.
 
So, leaving Lanzhou was slightly stressful, not just because of my knee (airports = walking), but also because after just one day - ONE DAY - in our hotel, David decided he just didn't want to use squatty potties (Chinese toilets) anymore. Absolutely, positively would NOT use them anymore… and of course, as soon as we got to the airport, he needed to go. We tried a few times, Bill found a handicapped bathroom, but by then he wasn't having any of it, so we tried to hold out until we were on the plane. Anyway, suffice it to say that by the time we got to GZ, he was dry.
 
Andrew was a trooper on the plane - I remember Sam crying the whole time during that flight when we adopted him. We were all split up on the plane - Faith and Sam, Bill and David, Andrew and I… and Andrew and I were stuck between 2 business men, but thankfully, they were not too bugged by us and Andrew was pretty calm the whole way. Bill said David was fine too, once he didn't need to go to the bathroom anymore, and Faith said Sam slept the whole way. :o)
 
First on the agenda in GZ is the medical exam, so they can get the visa started. Because David is more than 3, he also had to have a TB test, which thankfully he passed with no problem… but of course, didn't like the needle stick one little bit. Neither of them particularly liked any of the whole ordeal, but our group was thrilled that we'd gone early, because we were the first ones there and done pretty quickly. That was pretty amazing since it's the first week anyone would've been here since the Chinese New Year holiday - meaning big crowds. TYL.
 
Second on the agenda for GZ is of course, Shopping. :o) We've certainly partaken in that, but the last 2 times we were here, we thought it was our last time, so there's a lot of stuff we already have. I've learned not to say "We're done" anymore, but I do at least have a sneaking suspicion that this is our last time here. If it's not, and given our last week "in province', I think I'd be looking for a child from Guangzhou. :o) (can't believe I'd say such a thing!)
 
The weather the 1st day (Mon) here was pretty chilly and Sunday too, but not too bad. On Sunday, we went to church on Shamian Island (very interesting, btw) and then shopped or strolled until 5pm when we met the group at Lucy's for dinner (tho we'd seen everyone as we strolled too… or strolled together). Lucy's is for the homesick, with real burgers and fries, grilled cheese, even fish-n-chips, and such. Faith and a few others in our group still ordered Chinese, tho. And on Monday, we went to the park for a wonderful stroll (70 degrees!) and then to Danny's Bagel for dinner as a group again. Danny's Bagel is an Italian restaurant, also for the homesick, but used to be mostly a delivery place, and now a pretty good Italian joint, complete with red/white checked table cloths… and pretty good ravioli, I must say. Thankfully, they also had a few Chinese dishes, so Faith wasn't left out.
 
Today, Tuesday, most of our group headed for Hong Kong to spend the night in the airport hotel for an early flight on Wednesday. They had earlier US Embassy/Consulate appts, but we had to wait for David's TB test results (planned) for ours, so we head for HK on Thursday, for the flight home on Friday. Pretty cool that we take off in HK, and then land in Chicago exactly 16 minutes later… minus the time difference, that is. We so miss the kids at home tho… and certainly would've LOVED to be headed home tomorrow too. In the meantime, there is one other family here and another AW group too, so we'll hang out and make the best of it.
 
In the blooming flowers department, David's definitely blooming in the brother department… asserting himself with Sam more and more, but also playing and giggling and running and general boy stuff, as well as the bath tub. The hotel in Lanzhou, of all things, didn't have a bathtub, only a shower, so of course that was traumatic, tho it got a little better as the week went on. But here, there's a huge (wonderful) tub, and we started by dumping all the plastic toys in it. David still cried the first time, tho he'd resolved himself to the fact that he'd have to do it, so he tearfully complied. The second time, he started off crying, but after a few minutes (thanks to the squirty toy) he was actually laughing and smiling. After each time tho, he loves having lotion put on him and I've been using that to make all things ok again.
And Andrew - his blooming has been in eating. I'd been sneaking bits of egg or egg yolk or whatever when we ate, and pretty much each time, he'd cry. But this week, he's taking rice cereal, smashed banana, scrambled eggs, etc and even enjoying it. He's still not sitting up without holding him, but when laying on the bed or in the stroller, his little legs are just-a-going. The other guide suggested his age of 20 mos might be a little off, and perhaps he's barely 12 mos (he only has 4 teeth too). And come to think of it, he definitely reminds me of Theresa at 12 mos. We certainly weren't expecting a baby - both Alex and Sam were the same age - but we're certainly warming up to the idea. He's a sweetie, that's for sure.
Sorry I've been such a lousy blogger - something to do with all these cute little boys running around, I'm sure, but still. Thanks so much for praying for us and for the kids at home - as I said, God's been so gracious to us. Please pray for Alex - he has a sinus infection and AMC had to take him to the doc's yesterday. Can't wait to get home and hug them each tight!!
 
Love you guys,
Toni for the Benton bunch

Saturday, February 11, 2012

PICTURES FROM GOTCHA!!!!!!!!!


Pictures for you! Shutterfly

From: Bill and Toni Benton

Here's our pictures from gotcha and the week in Gansu Province. Enjoy


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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Beijing Pictures


Pictures for you! Shutterfly

From: Bill and Toni Benton

You're invited to view my pictures at Shutterfly. Enjoy!


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