Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life; if not through me, and no one can come to the Father" (John 14:6)

Isaiah 43:5

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west"

Monday, September 17, 2012

Twenty Five Years

Let me just start by saying , I am way too young to be married for 25 years. Or I feel to young to be married 25 years or I was a child bride. You know , child brides were very popular in NYC 25 years ago. If you would have asked me 25 years ago what my dreams and hopes for our future was, I could have never in a million years imagined the adventure that God was planning for us.
In 25 years we have-
-lived in California, Chicago, New York  & finally settled in North Carolina.
-Greg finished medical school, residency & built a practice that he loves.
-paid off both of our school loans.
-traveled to Disney World, more times than I can remember because its Greg's  happiest place on earth.
 -can't imagine how many loads of laundry, but we have gone through 3 sets of washers & dryers.
-blessed by  seven children.
-visited the ER a few times.
-got my passport.
-traveled to China 3 times.
-got my wisdom teeth out.
-watched baby teeth come in  & fall out.
-graduated 2 children from high school, one more soon to follow.
-graduated 1 child from college.
-sent one off to law school
 -have two in elemenatry school.
-still have one at home in the nest.
-lived through the the 80's ,90's and the millennium event or non event of New Years 2000.
-we have lost loved ones along the way.
-made treasured friendships.
-introduced to pagers, cell phones. iphones,  texting, emails, facebook. blogging, computers,CDs, DVDs
- went from a compact light blue Nissan Sentra without cup holders to a dark blue Chevy Suburban that we can eat. sleep and survive in to the end of time.
-kids were in car seats until they were 4, now I think they will be in carseats until  drivers ed.
-the trees I planted in our yard are towering over the potted trees I put in the ground.
-I accepted Christ as my personal Savior after many years of rejecting the gift. Many years of fighting against the truth. Many years of making it on "on my own".  Many, many mistakes along the way. But God never left me. Without Christ, I know Greg & I  could have never made it here, not on our own. We would have been lost along the way. Every day is not easy, every day is not good, but everyday is the day that God has given us. I pray that in the next 25 years  we can do things to glorify God, on our good days & bad, for better or worse, for richer or poorer. in sickness & health. So thankful today.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Catching Up

I feel like I kind of left the story of our adoption journey unended. As most of you know, we made it home safely. The trip home took about 24 hours, 3 planes later and a short ride home from the airport, we were home. We were welcomed home at the airport by good friends and family-LOVE! Mia did great on the trip and at the airport.  She loves the dogs, she actually gave her first kisses to the dogs and of course they are loving another little one who shares all of her food with them. We are figuring out the best sleeping arrangements. I think we are good for now. I took the bunk bed down so they are two single beds and then there is one more twin bed in the room. Tylar offered to give Lily her room, but Lily said she still wanted to share a room with Cali & Mia.
We visited the UNC cleft clinic. Mia is scheduled to have her surgery on September 19th. She has has also seen the pediatrician, to whom she was not very happy with. She definitely knew who a doctor is. She cried for about an hour, all he did was take out his stethoscope . That was enough for her. Poor kid. Never know what their previous experiences were before coming home. When we went to UNC, she was seen by about 6 different doctors. One came in wearing a, white coat, she started tearing up and he immediately took off his coat, and all was good!She is a happy affectionate child. There are times when she gets a bit sad (mostly at bed time or when first waking up) but she is easily consoled. She is my little buddy.
She loves rice, noodles, fish, shrimp, warm milk, all kinds of soup, pasta, crackers, gold fish. No sweets, no ice-cream .

The girls painting-Mia's first art project!
Cali is feeling better about miss Mia. I think part of it was Cali was just not feeling great in China. The time change and her fever and a bit of the stomach bug and then throwing in a new 3 year old was a lot for my Cali to handle. But we are falling into a routine that suits our family, so all is good. We have  even been to play group so Mia has met some of her new friends! She loves bath time and the swimming pool. She is a perfect fit for our family. We are so very blessed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Changing of Power

I know there are elections and campaigns going on all of the world. The US, Arab nations, ect. But there is also a changing of power much more local to us. It is a battle going on inside of our family. Cali is not letting go of her status of power too easily. Mia seems to be oblivious to the battle going on around her. Mia , at this point is easily distracted but I know that will most likely change too. Give the kid a spoon and a container containing cereal or crackers makes her happy. Throw in some noodles and broth and she is good for an hour.
There is a little outside play area set up at the hotel. It's actually nice because it is outside and completely contained so Cali & Lily can be "free". It has a nice garden and some fountains. The pool is nice too, if I would have known how nice it was I would have brought a swim tube for Mia. I even went in, I know shocking!
We bought some nice things for our kids at home and for some of Madison's friends. I bought  my  mom and I matching tea sets. Not sure how I am going to get some of the stuff in our suitcases, but I have faith!
TV has been fun to watch. Cali's new favorite movie is Fast and Furious 2. Lily is liking Erin Brokovitz. Don't ask. Madison is catching up on every movie from the past 5 years or so. But at least they are in English. When we traveled for Lily we watched Stuart Little in Chinese several times. Table tennis was big on TV then too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Consulate Appointment

We made through our consulate appointment. They did question why Mia's passport was issued December 2010. When I explained why, they said no problem - her hair has grown so much. Wait till we get home. The changes that occur both inside and outside of these kids are nothing short of amazing. I have had to assure some of the first time adoptive parents of the transformation. Some of them don't look so sure. They will be OK! More than OK !!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The mountain and the Jade Market

We went to the Jade Market  yesterday . Today we are going back to the medical clinic to check Mia''s TB test. Then we are off to the Baiyun Mountain. Hopefully the rain will hold off. Yesterday there was quite a down pour but that is usual for this area of China during the spring and summer . Madi continues to be a great help.she is tired of Chinese food. Yesterday I got her a chicken pannini sandwich from Starbucks. Last night at dinner Cali ate mini hamburgers.
So today we went to Shamian Island. Sadly, the White Swan Hotel is closed. Thousands of Chinese orphans adopted into American families have traveled through that hotel. If the walls of that hotel could come alive, what incredible stories it would tell. Stories of  tears, joy, sorrow, survival, blessings, laughter, incredible  miracles .
As we were walking around the island many of the stores were closed. But one of the store keepers remembered us from our previous trips. It was sweet.
This trip has brought up some more questions from Lily (not surprising) . She just looked at me and said, "what would I do without you ? "  . " did you look on an the adoption website and just know I was the one?!? "
Oh my sweet Lily, "what would I do without YOU ?!?

Saturday, May 26, 2012


We made it , the flight was good our hotel is excellent and the weather has actually been wonderful. I think a bit of a virus is going around. Cali had a fever for a couple of days, then Madi and now me. But it will pass. I think a good night sleep will do me wonders. The Internet here is harder to access than in Fuzhou. Tomorrow will be going to the jade & pearl market. Some of the others families from our agency that we just met  today in GZ don't want to go but Madi and I want to go so we will be setting out for the market tomorrow. Then we will going to a mountain and the island although The White Swan Hotel is closed. We went to the medical clinic today and that is no longer on the island either. Mia had to have a TB test and that did not make her too happy! She is a carb monster. Noodles, rice... Can't find a fruit or veggie that she will put in her mouth. The first morning she ate watermelon but none since the first day. If I put any thing green in her soup, she will push it to the side. No mistaking what she likes and doesn't like. Greg will have her drinking kale shakes when we get home. Good luck to him!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Orphanage Visit

Visiting the orphanage is such an incredibly emotional trip for me. My heart aches like I can not explain for the children left behind. This orphanage is probably one of the best in China but my heart just aches. The staff was so so so very sweet to us. Their reaction to seeing Li Xiaol Li or Cali as we all know her was so unbelievable . As we were looking around , it seemed as though word got around that Li Xiaoli was back . Several of the staff members came to find us and all wanted to love on Cali. Many many photos were taken by them so many smiles, hugs and holding her. Some of you know parts of Cali's story and I think they all were amazed by how love of a family can make a little girl so beautiful and strong . They all just kept saying, she is so beautiful. Honestly at some point in the orphanage I just broke down . I can't even explain why I just could not control my emotions but I just could not. I think part of it was their reaction to Cali and me thinking what if ... What if she were one of the 300 children still left in that orphanage. And for the ones that are part of that 300. And really I do believe that this orphanage is one of the best , it is still a life without a family to call your own.
Then my Mia, today was a bit harder than the previous days. I think for one thing she is having a hard time pooping. :(  She is completely potty trained, she is dry even at night. But she has only pooped once and it was very painful. She cried on and off today but if I had to describe her in one word I would say SWEET. She is easy to console and laughs quickly.
When we were at the orphanage, Mia definitely knew she had been there before. But she was in no way frightened of the place. I guess she was hungry so she sat down and ate with some of the other children. The food looked fresh ( rice & cooked vegetables) and the kids really seemed to be enjoying it. Mia liked it better than the hotel food !
The directors took us out for a lovely lunch. At lunch they asked lots of questions about life in the US . They were especially interested in the concept of homeschooling. I also got to ask lots if questions. At points in the lunch i had to kind of remind myself where i was because it was a bit surreal.  They also gave Cali & Lily gifts, each one got an art kit. They asked us to come back and visit Xiamen again - and bring our whole family next time. I assured them we would be back again .
Then we said our goodbyes and headed back to the train station. A day that will last me a life time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On the way to Xiamen

Looks like the weather for our orphanage visit looks great. We will be departing Fuzhou on the 8am train to Xiamen. It should take about 2 hours. On our previous visit the train line did not exist so it was a 4 hour van ride. The orphanage building is also new. I am praying it will be a great experience for all of us and them as well. Mia continues to go with the flow. Simply amazing .

View from the hotel

These are some pics from our hotel window in Fuzhou. We actually saw the sun shine today. We really never saw a blue sky with the sun on either of our previous trips, so waking up and seeing the sun was pretty exciting for us!

Fuzhou- May 21

The weather was great so we decided to walk around Fuzhou for a bit. We went to a area that had been renovated for pedestrian traffic, so that was refreshing. The girls could walk and look at stuff and I didn't have to worry that a car, bike, bus, scooter, or taxi would be within inches of their bodies! We bought a few things. Madi bought a really pretty dress. Madi has been an incredible help to me, could not have done this trip with out her. She is still sleeping, but this will be her first full night  sleep since we have arrived in China. She has helped me with the girls during the night. Lily & Mia are also still asleep (5:30 am). Cali has been awake for a while.
Everything went fine at the civil affairs office yesterday. I signed more documents and answered some more questions. Lily had to go to the bathroom toward the end of the appointment .thank goodness she has retained her talent/heritage of being a gifted scatty pottier.
So as our journey continues, all is well !


Three little monkeys jumping in a crib