Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Random pics

This is what we're living off of in the evenings.  Of course this is after a nutritious lunch of McD's Happy Meals and McFlurries.  Yeah baby, my cholesterol ought to be in the 400's by the time I get home....I did have broccoli with my coffee at breakfast - so maybe that makes up for it?  Hmm...

Jenny got tired of waiting for me to finish my 10th micro mug of coffee this morning so she decided to get up on  her knees and look backward in the chair.  Of course she went over in slow motion, and there was no way to catch her.  She was fine, if not a bit dramatic, but at least in confirmed that Americans are bad parents for the watching crowd.  My response?  Hook me up to the hotel internet so I can tell her not to stand on the chair in google translate.

She is HILARIOUS and witty.  We talked with the Rylands at length this morning and she had Colin and Cameron in stitches with her quips.  I cannot WAIT to hear her true personality come out in English - unfortunately, it will be a while.

Rachel confided to me that Jenny is just the tiniest bit getting on her nerves.  Rachel has been a saint with Jenny, and so patient!! But I'm sure we're frustrating her a bit with our inability to laugh at her jokes (they're in Chinese)  I appreciate the fact that Rachel needs a bit of down time as well - which we'll get when the guide arrives to chatter with Jenny.  If I haven't mentioned it, Rachel is the best kid in the world.  Love that girl!!! (and you, too, Katie bug, if you're reading this!!! Kisses from mom!)

Clint - I want to personally thank you for the 4:55am wake up call this morning - who needs a hotel wake up service!  Plus - it was much more cheery to hear from you about all your success in school this week.  We miss you and Kyle so much!

We're off to the Stone Museum, where the souvenirs ought to help us set records at the airline baggage weighing counter.  Suitcases full of books for Angie R. and rocks for Rachel - we'll see if Tumi luggage can do what is says.  Hope Nanny's not sorry she let us borrow it....

We're hoping to get video and pics at the orphanage today for the waiting parents!! PLEASE someone email me about how to mail the videos from my iPad.  They keep going into my iPhoto instead of iMovie....I'll have to work on that today.

Anyway - great thanks to an awesome God for giving us such wonderful Christian friends and prayer support on this trip.  Thank you Colin Rylands for all your conversation and translation help - you are a wonderful young man and are a blessing to all who know you.  We miss everyone and look forward to another day of adventure, mismatched clothing, and laundry in the bathtub.  Boy I miss my DRYER!!!


Notary and Bookstore

Jenny was her usual cheerful self today - but really lit up when our guide arrived.  She is VERY talkative and I can tell that lack of communication is starting to wear on her.  She has so much to communicate and is unable to do it.  How frustrating!

Last night, she tried to show Rachel how to play a card game...

She was very patient and Rachel tried to understand!  Today we went to the notary - I got some cute pics there while she entertained all the adults with her witty remarks.

We then went to the bookstore and collected some terrific books - some for Jenny and some for Colin.  Aesops Fables, Tom Sawyer (which she had already read on a low level) and some Cd's.  As often happens, the Cd's turned out to be something that didn't work at all so I wasted some yuan on that purchase.  Afterwards, we tried McD's - right across from our hotel and on every block for that matter - and it was just like home!  They have a picture menu - so we went back after the guide left for McFlurries!

Rachel practiced on the local studio's keyboard - and nearly froze to death as there is no heat.  She took off her coat so the sleeves didn't interfere with her playing - but then was REALLY cold.  I love this pic of her playing in the shirt and hat!

While we waited for Rachel, I asked Jenny to do a few math problems to see where she is with her studies.  She was game for the first page, but clearly pretended she didn't know how to do the second.  She reportedly knows her multiplication math facts to the nines - but said she couldn't add 40 + 19.  I didn't want to make her do anything she doesn't want to at this point as the communication bit is really hard on her I think.  She will not try any English words - but will mimic occasionally.  I can see that she might think we're going to learn Chinese, lol!  I am using some phrases with her which are actually working (thank you Rosetta Stone and Simple Language!) but she is not interested in saying English words.  Katie wanted to learn words right away - so this is definitely different. 

She seems to like being with us - but REALLY wants to talk to us.  It will be nice when Sarah comes along and they can talk.  Anyway, gotta go figure out something we can all play together - Tom and Jerry is almost done! 

Blessings, Kim

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gotcha Day continued

Jenny is finally here and not the quiet sensible girl that we imagined!  She is witty and clever, however, and already starting to try to use English!  She says, “let’s go,” “thank you,” all on her own initiative.  Our guide laughs at her constantly as she makes quips and says funny things continuously.  She doesn’t like to shop much, but we went to a very expensive store (ouch) and got her 3 sweaters and a pair of shoes today.  She was dressed for Alaskan weather (appropriately) in many layers today.  She asked us, “aren’t we afraid of the cold?”  It was funny.

The director, teacher, and civil affairs officer were all very kind people – obviously having the children’s welfare at heart.  The director asked me to send pictures to him as I had time – he was very nice.  Her teacher was also very sweet.  We are very fortunate that Jenny was cared for by such dedicated and caring people.

She is very petite – just a small framed girl – and looks very tiny next to Rachel.  She is very aggressive about making her needs known – and LOVES to use the communication book that a friend made.  She carries it around and points to  “shower” and “hungry” etc – she loves that book!  Another child might be too shy to use it, but Jenny has definite opinions and a schedule to keep to, lol!
We were able to Skype Perry and he was so excited to see her. J  Poor Katie got woken up because Jenny insisted on meeting her “Mei-Mei.”   She’s quite assertive. (this is an understatement)  She appears to be obedient, however, as she asks for what she wants.  The shower water in her face seemed to bother her, oddly enough, as she was very excited to take a shower.  (she seemed afraid to have it in her face) 

Rachel and she are busy playing iPad apps and having a great time.  She’s purposefully looking for English words on the flashcards – and really likes Math Bingo.  The girls wanted to stay in and eat noodle bowls tonight (they smell pretty good) but I ordered myself a pizza.  I’m very tired – and I think she’s going to crash as well.  We’ll put on a movie and all of us watch it till we fall asleep. 

To sum it all up, we’re praising God for such a beautiful soul that has become our daughter.  I expect that our great communicator will have a hard time soon with her inability to express herself – but for now she’s doing great and has amazing courage and optimism!  Thank you Lord and all who have prayed on our behalf.  Sending love from the other side of the world! 



She's FULL of Personality!!

I'll write more later - but for now she needs our attention.  This kiddo is HILARIOUS!  We are laughing at her and she's talking non-stop!  She eats fast like us and is super confident.  Rachel's comment, "Mom, I LOVE her!" 

Blessings, Kim

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2 hours to go!

We got this pic in front of our hotel yesterday.  The red sign behind the white car is our little grocery store for water etc.   We'll be meeting Jenny in a few hours - we were up all night with excitement - doesn't bode well for this afternoon/evening, lol.  We'll try and get some pics up - but expect it will be a busy day.  She'll need some warm boots as it is COLD outside.  I'm switching over to mine exclusively after Gotcha.  Please pray for Jenny this morning (evening your time!)  We appreciate the prayers so much - they are holding us up!

Blessings, Kim

Exploring and Pianos

Today we ventured out for some adoption business, exchanging $, etc.  All of our paperwork is in order for tomorrow.  Our guide, Michael is terrific.  Since Rachel has a piano competition when we return, we asked him if there was a piano we could use here in Wuhan.  He was able to find a music studio right next to our hotel where Rachel can use a keyboard!!  She was able to practice there today while Michael waited with us.  It was only $17 or so for the week of unlimited use.  God has blessed us with so many conveniences on this trip so far – we are being shown that we are truly “worth many sparrows” to Him.   

We haven’t ventured out to restaurants yet – but are working up the courage.   During an adventurous stroll today, crowds were intimidating – people were everywhere, and there was not much personal space.  

We are meeting Jenny tomorrow and are very excited to see what her personality is like.  Please pray for her first meeting with us – that she will not be too afraid and that we will provide her with the reassurance she needs to be in such an unfamiliar environment.  After our stroll today, I know how unfamiliar surroundings can put you out of sorts.

We have found Wuhan business people to be very friendly – and no one thinks we’re out of the ordinary at all – much different than we had heard.  The funniest things we’ve seen are people walking around with rolling suitcases and everyone honking their horns continuously.    I like the honking as it has saved our lives quite a few times.  Traffic is not confined to the road, but motorcycles freely use the sidewalk when it’s more expedient.  Many establishments are smoky as smoking is very popular here.  Our hotel floor is completely non-smoking, which is a welcome respite.

The hotel food is hit or miss – last night was terrific, (pizza and ham sandwich) - today I ordered stir fried veggies and got a plate of what looked like mini lettuce heads.  It was expensive and after a bite or two I couldn’t eat any more.  I retired to oreos and dried apricots in the room.   The breakfast buffet is good – but we need to find something for the rest of the day.   We’ll work on that tomorrow! 

We’re going to rest up the rest of the day and wait till breakfast to eat again. 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blessings abound!

Everything is going great - here are some pics of Wuhan!!!   We love the hotel, the staff is wonderful, and we've been able to talk to everyone from home.  We're busy getting our room all set for Jenny to arrive. :)  We're all connected, and will Skype you all soon.  The Skype is unreliable - so bear with us as we try to get hooked up Angie R!!!!  Love you all!


Friday, January 27, 2012


Almost there! I love Korean Airlines! We both need sleep - but found some cappuccino so I'm refueled for a while. One hint: choose the omelet - not porridge with green tea sauce for breakfast. Rachel decided to be adventurous...and was eyeing my meal instead...lol!

Blessings, Kim

Thursday, January 26, 2012

On Our Way!!

Can't wait to meet our girls!! Thanks so much for all the prayers - I got your message Vicki W.- love you all!

Blessings, Kim

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Ok - I can't get this suitcase load reduced!  I have a few essentials like the Hello Kitty Backpack and sparkly furry purse..(all girls MUST have a purse)  I did leave the silver sparkly tennis shoes at Old Navy - but wouldn't they have been cute with that purse?

Pink Fleece and a Journal for Jenny so she can write about her trip in Chinese...

The backpack was $3 - don't give me a hard time about the colors, lol!  Jeans and sweaters are HEAVY - not to mention gloves, scarves, boots, and different sizes- yikes!  Then add chocolate for officials, foster moms, converters, my favorite sweatpants...I'm just praying for porters.  Summer was so much easier!!!

I'm so excited - and hubby can't wait to get these suitcases out of our room, lol!  Next time you hear from me, I'll be on the other side of the world eating fried noodles - yum!

Blessings, Kim

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Love in the Mail

I never forget the mail, but yesterday was my travel meeting and I was busy running around doing last minute errands.  So this morning, I found these treasures in my mailbox - made with love by an 11 year old girl:

But this is no ordinary girl - this young woman was adopted from Taiwan and knows what it's like to move to a new family and culture, and not know the language.  She put together helpful phrases and words in small "communication books" for each of our girls.  These are the things she remembered as most helpful to her when she first arrived.  She wrote the words in Mandarin and English, and made small pictures to accompany them.  She also wrote a personal note to each of our daughters, telling them what it is like to live in America and other reassuring words.  

I don't know how I'll keep from tearing up when I give them to the girls - I wept with gratitude this morning when I received them.  Not because they'll be so helpful, it will ease their transition, or it might allay their fears - but because in this small gesture, this child has demonstrated the love of Christ in a real and tangible way - to both our new daughters and to our me personally.  Thank you Jyun Yuan and Tracey - may God bless you both the way you've blessed us.  


By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:35

Friday, January 20, 2012

What I'll be missing...

I can only imagine what the guys will eat while we're gone

and maybe a little dessert

and something to drink

But at least in a few weeks I'll no longer be a

My garage will get cleaned out, bushes pruned, and yard finished.  I'll be able to sit quietly on weekends without three games going simultaneously at 150 decibels +.  And my new girls will come home to a peaceful house - without someone being in the depths of despair about their team losing in the playoffs.   God's timing is perfect. 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sick and Lovin' it!!

I came down with a head cold and I've never been so thankful!  After a super healthy year, I was worried about getting sick before the flight with so much going around.  In perfect timing, it looks like I caught it and will be rid of it before we leave.  Perfect! :)  God relieves even our smallest fears - like having to use sandpaper tissues vs. my beloved "Puffs," lol!  (if you had a nose the size of mine, you'd understand!)  

I've also had time to read, "Kisses from Katie," a terrific book about an 18 year old girl who took off for Uganda with a desire to help the hurting. 

Now 22 years old, she is the adoptive mother of 13 girls, and has wisdom beyond her years.  It's the amazing story of what can happen when someone takes Jesus's words literally vs. just making Bible studies of them.  It is pitiful that at nearly 50, this young woman is teaching ME, but better late than never.  BUY THE BOOK TODAY and watch her testimony here.

Blessings, Kim

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Recital Time!

The girls are having a great time dancing all weekend!

They did a great job and looked beautiful in their costumes - what fun!
Blessings, Kim

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Packing: Can I fit the kitchen sink in there?

So....what can I not live without for 3 weeks of travel?  Coffee and Bible.  What do I need to bring to avoid huge laundry bills ($100+), freezing weather up North, and boring hours in hotels:  LOTS!  And how to get it in today's small suitcases is even more of a challenge.  I would appreciate any tips anyone would like to offer!!  By the way, I did find this interesting carry on:

So here I sit wondering how to fit it all in....

Only I'm older and not so cute.  This girl could wear a bag and look good.
Trying to remember what Jesus said:  "Don't worry about what you'll wear and eat - I've got it all covered."  At least that's a paraphrase of the verse. :)  So thankful and excited that we're at this stage.  

Blessings, Kim