Monday, October 31, 2011

TB Tests were Negative

Woo hoo -- both TB tests were negative so no chest x-rays required!  We have a meeting with our guide tonight to get all of the paperwork ready for tomorrow morning's Consulate Appointment.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Finally--A moment to Catch our Breath!

Okay--So I know we have been kind of leaving pretty quick messages, but we have very busy.  When we haven't been transitioning, we've been at appointments.

BUT today we were able to have a pretty easy day.

We began our day at church on Shamian Island.  Yes--Finally a chance to worship!!

The service we attended was half Mandarin and half English.

We sang two songs that everyone sang together.  We sang Amazing Grace and I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.  The most moving part to me was that it was a glimpse of Heaven--all of these different people worshiping the One True God.  All of these voices blending together--simply beautiful.

The other thing that brought me to tears was that the church was completely packed.  If anyone got out of their seat, someone else filled the seat.  There was literally "no more room".  It was certainly a priority for these people to attend.  I wish you could have seen the joy on most of their faces.  Happy to be at church, sitting on hard benches, and CROWDED!  I'm sure God was pleased with the praises He received.

I'd like to say that we got to enjoy the preaching, but this was the girls first time in church, and it was quite eventful.

(Note to our VBC Family: Watch out--we will be doing some training over the next few months) LOL!

While we were on the island, we also gave each child a budget envelope and took them shopping.  No better time to start teaching our newest girls about the value of money.  We had our guide Kelly, explain that we were giving them a gift, but that they had to buy things with money out of their envelope and when it was gone it was gone.  They could not ask for anymore.  It actually worked out pretty good.

This afternoon was a trial, Hannah is grieving hard for her foster parents and her previous life.  She had a pretty good meltdown this afternoon.  She gets mad with us, because we took her from her previous life.  It is such a hard place to be.  She's crying and will not let us comfort her, and at the same time she is crying big tears.   We have had to work hard to make it through these kind of afternoons, they drain you physically and emotionally.

 SongYan on the other hand (at this moment) has been pretty easy going.  Only a few times have we seen grieving.  The hardest part right now with her is the language barrier. (Of course we are not naive to think the meltdowns are not coming--we know that she too will grieve more.)

Let me just take a moment to brag on Leighanne and Zach.  They are really cool kids and I have loved hanging out with them for the past couple of weeks.  They have kept the focus on helping the girls make adjustments, and they have been very giving of their time and love.  I'm so proud of them!!

NOW let me tell you what we were able to do on last Thursday.  We heard about this family who moved to China in 2005 and opened a home for truly special needs children.  The other couple that we met during our week in Fuzhou had also heard of this family and also wanted to go see their home.  On Thursday, we were able to go visit them.

This family had renovated a rundown Kindergarten School and turned it into a wonderful home.  They have 24 full time staff that help to run this home.  They currently have 43 children in residence.  Oh my goodness!!! I can't tell you how wonderfully these children are being loved and cared for.

We were able to love on some of the children.  I got to hold sweet little Monique who was born prematurely, but has made up for lost time in her little 4 months of life.  Monique arrived at this home with 12 other children who did not have a great chance of survival.  They are being cared for in an inclusive environment with other children and you could feel the love of Jesus throughout the home.

One of my favorite rooms was a room that had several blind children, and children with downs syndrome.
We got on the floor and played and loved on these little ones.  Sweet little "Amy" attached herself to Zach.  He held her and played music with her for a long time.  The "mom" said that Zach should feel special because she doesn't readily attach to many people.   We also saw Hannah in her "big sissy mode"  she found a little girl that was blind in both eyes and played with her.  Before we left, we found her at the table feeding this little girl her supper.  (Oh so sweet to see Hannah loving on this child)  Leighanne and SongYan played with some of the other children also.

I was able to play with James and Issac who are pretty much blind in both eyes.  They loved to be tickled and hugged.  Such precious little gifts.  These children have literally been put into a life-saving environment.  They are getting the stimulation, physical attention and love of Christian people.  AMAZING!  God is at WORK!

This home has volunteers that are coming from all over the world.  Some are doing 1 year stays to help with the kids.

This home can certainly use your prayers, and gifts of love.  You can look them up on the web at

Some of their immediate needs are:  3 or 4 full time staff,  plastic backed baby bibs, small socks and/or children's clothes and money for needs.  This family constantly has medical needs/surgeries for the kids at this home.  They also need volunteers--it would be an awesome opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

This was one of our highlights of the trip!

Okay--back to today.  Here are a few pictures of our day.

Christ Church on Shamian Church

Some kids just joined right in the play

Have a great Sunday--Worship God with all You've Got and Go with a Grateful Heart!  Be thankful for your church family!  We certainly are!

Oh Yes--Just remembered.  Please pray for the reading of the girl's TB test results.  We go for those tomorrow.  THANKS!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Only 4 shots required

Praise the Lord!  I don't like that we had to give even 4 shots, but Praise the Lord only 4 were required for Sara so it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  They excluded a series of shots because her blood-work showed that she had the antibodies which indicated that she had had the immunizations in the past.

Tomorrow we will go to a Christian Church on Shaman Island and then do some shopping for a few hours.

On Monday we will go back to have the TB Skin test read.  Please pray that it is negative so we won't have to deal with the chest x-rays and the stress that would go with that.

Tuesday we have our Consulate Appointment.

Wednesday afternoon we should get out visas for the girls and be on our way to Hong Kong by Train.

I can see the light in the end of the tunnel now!

Although we have had our moments, this has been a great experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.

I know we still owe you a blog entry for 2 days ago.  It probably won't happen tonight (but it might),  but I will give you a hint...... We had the awesome privilege of going to visit a Foster Home near Fuzhou that is for extreme special needs children and run by a couple from Florida.  This blog may take a little while for us to write because we obviously have to figure out what we can and cannot tell you about the visit, but it would be an under-statement to say that God is at work here.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Rushing out the door!

Ok--a quick post to let you know we arrived in Guangzhou.  Our flight was delayed and we are wiped out.  Functioning on little sleep.

Everyone is a little grumpy.  Yuck!

We are about to walk out the door for the medical appointment--if you are up--please pray for mercy on shots for Songyan.

Pray for us to have lots of grace today.



All Paperwork for China Completed and Received

Woo hoo!  We just received SongYan's passport today so we are completely official at this point.  We leave in 2 1/2 hours to head to the airport for Guangzhou to work on the American side (visas).

 Please pray for SongYan especially in Guangzhou -- We have the medical appointments on Saturday in Guangzhou and we have no immunization records on her.  Because she is over 10 she will almost certainly have to have all of the shots unless there is a Divine intervention.  Please pray for the doctors to find a way to not require so many shots at once and pray that there is not negative reaction on the shots that do have to be given.

We still cannot believe that our government, who knows that so many shots should not be given at one time would require that for newly adopted children.  So please lift this up--that we would know how to have the translator explain the process in a way that makes sense, and/or that someone will have mercy on her and be lenient.

God has been taking care of every little issue, and we know that He has a plan in this also.

We still plan to give you most of the details from yesterday, but some things will just have to wait and perhaps never be blogged.  Just know that our God is at work all over this world.  It has been AWESOME to observe some of his work in action.

We are on the down hill slide to home!  YAY!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 14: More to come later

We had a wonderful day today sightseeing, but we got back later than normal and are trying to get packed up so we will try to blog about it tomorrow after we get to Guangzhou and get settled.


Sara's Paperwork has been corrected

We just got word from our guide that Sara's paperwork has been corrected and she has it.  We are still waiting on the passport, but we didn't expect to get it until tomorrow anyway so we are back on track.  Thank you for your prayers.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 13: Life is Not a Fairytale

You know when you were a little child and every story ends in happily ever after?

Well that is not reality.  Reality is what happens AFTER the happy event.

I don't want to come off upset, or unhappy--I'm NOT any of those things.

I am new mom who is living in this new reality that has a lot of happy, some frustration, and some aggravation.
That is reality.

Adopting older children is not for the faint of heart.  We certainly did not believe this would be easy--we KNOW better.

Life is about what we expected.  Ups and downs.  Give and take.  Picking and choosing.

Imagine this:  You are at Disney World on Day 13 and you can't communicate effectively with 2 out of the 6 people on your trip.  You are getting tired of all the rides, and if you have to eat anymore fast food you think you will die.  Can you imagine that?  That's kind of where I am.

We ARE in a fantasy world right now.  We are in 5 star hotels and I'm sure our new children think that their parents are going to continue this fun and adventure for the rest of their life.

SO while the adventure has been fun, I'm ready for a dose of real living.  In our middle class neighborhood, with all my kiddos under the same roof, home cooked meals and my very own pillow in my bed.

Okay--that was my REAL MOMENT.

Now I will tell all the things I am grateful for:

1--I am grateful for  my husband--he has been such a rock these past two weeks.  He helps keep me grounded.

2--I am grateful for adjoining rooms this week, so much better this week with everyone together.

3--I am grateful to all of the folks helping with our big guys at home--thank you SO MUCH!

4--I am grateful for sleep.  Believe it or not I am getting more sleep on this trip than I ever do at our home in the U.S.

5-- I am grateful for drinkable water.  Believe it or not that is the one thing I always miss on a trip out of the country.

6--I am grateful for computer service and skype.  We got to talk to our guys this morning.

7--I am grateful for a washing machine and dryer.  We have been handwashing our clothes and drying them in our room everyday.  (I've decided I would be grateful for a turn of the century wringer if I had to do this all of the time.) LOL!

8--I am grateful for our guide who is working hard on getting a paperwork mistake fixed.  She's doing a great job.

9--I am grateful for adoptive families who are making forever homes for children all over the world.

10--Most of all, I am grateful to God for making this adoption possible and who gives us the strength to keep going when we get tired.

P.S. from Ben

11 -- I am thankful for a wonderful Godly wife who puts the cares and concerns of others before herself.

12 -- I am grateful for tonight's bedtime routine -- it was a slight struggle but I think the most peaceful we have had in over a week.

13 -- I am thankful for a wonderful couple we have met that are adopting from Fuzhou too.  We have so many things in common even though they are from a state in the U.S. about as far away from us as they can be (Washington State).

14 -- I am thankful to have had SongYan with me and Zach yesterday when we took a Taxi to KFC for am American Grease run -- we wouldn't have gotten a Taxi back without her.  Our friends that we met here ended up having to walk home from KFC after they couldn't get a Taxi back the same evening.

15 -- I am very thankful for God granting me a glimpse of the country and people through His eyes.  There have already been some things that He has shown us on this trip that we never expected to see and know He has other things for us to see here.  This is a country with wonderful people, culture, and history and millions of people that God loves so much.

16 -- I am grateful for our church (VBC) and all of the other churches and individuals that are praying for us as we continue on this journey.

In the midst of your difficulty never forget to take a moment and be thankful for the great things God has provided you and never take them lightly.

End P.S. from Ben

Here are a few pics of our day at Panda World.

Have a great Day!!  What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 12: Tours in Fuzhou

Make sure you make it to the end of this blog.  I'm including 3 funny stories from the past 24 hours.

But First . . .

We began the day going to the West Lake Park.  Here are a few pics from this part of our tour:

Our hotel for the week

Next, we went to an ancient city street that has been modernized.  It was a beautiful mix of old and new.  However, it made us feel like we were walking in the China section of the Epcot Center at Disney World. LOL!  The girls all got traditional decorative hair sticks to hold your hair in place.  Our guide Penny took the time to "fix" each girl's hair.  Aren't they pretty princesses?

 Finally,  we took a tour of an ancient home, and then went to another tea ceremony.  The girls loved this event.

That's all for the tour. 

 There is a small glitch in our paperwork for SongYan though.  We our supposed to get details in the morning. It's supposed to be "fixed" by Thursday, but we would appreciate prayers that all will be ready and that no delays will take place.  Our Consulate Appointment is scheduled for November 1st, so there is not much room for an  "oops" at this point. 

Now for our Funnies in the last 24 Hours.

# 3:  Hannah had to go to the bathroom at the notary's office.  I didn't see which door the guide pointed to, and they were not clearly marked.  Hannah and I marched into one only to greet a man using the restroom.  I said, "Oops! Sorry" and quickly backed out.

# 2: It's all in the translation!  Our guide was talking to SongYan on the phone about a phone number.  When Ben got back on the line our guide says to Ben, "She has forgotten the numbers in her memories."  We got the point! :)

# 1: Supper last night.  Ben's has done a great job ordering for us by looking at pictures.  And last night was no exception, especially the delicacy he decided to delight us with.  He thought he ordered fried chicken pieces, but instead they brought us these special squid --including tentacles still dangling to the table.  We all got a good laugh.  Hannah and SongYan tried it, but wouldn't eat all of it.  Ben and I  took a small bite, but that was enough we couldn't get anymore down. ( In defense of Ben--the picture did look like chicken, apparently the tentacles were hidden in the picture.)

Hope you have a great day!