Wednesday, June 30, 2010

many musings ...

this is what is referred to as a random post. very random, i might add.

with few pictures.

things that come to me in the night that i want to take from my head and put them to paper. for no particular reason :)

* you can understand cartoons even though they are not speaking in your language.

* thank you preacher for getting ben and sam and the others safely to camp.

* although some days are painfully long, they are good. and necessary. the process is spread out over two weeks and there is little, to anything, you can do to speed it up. so you spend a lot of time swimming (even in the rain), watching television, eating, reading, playing, walking and shopping. not all things i would be doing at home. but it is very important to keep them on their 'home turf' so to speak as they begin their long transition into your family. if you received your child and left (you would spend a lot less money :), you would get home and quickly re-enter into your normal routine. or at least i would. and i would have missed out on a really special hanging out time with her and doing not much of anything other than learning more about her and vice versa.

* abigail does this thing that i absolutely love. at home, when someone asks a question, to respond 'yes' we bob our head several times. she does one quick downward nod. no words, just one little motion. "can i fix your hair?' nod. 'can i tie your dress?' nod. and it is so dang cute. i hope she doesn't stop doing that.

* she also is not used to having a mom do little nice things for her. putting a pillow behind her back. putting a blanket over her. i can see she is loving it, but she certainly doesn't understand it.

* for the most part, the service here is unbelievable and refreshing. people are so friendly, so wanting to please you. it is a breath of fresh air.

* on monday evening, i 'happened' into an out-of-the way shop which was really an art gallery. the artist, kenny, is a believer and is so much fun to be around! God has gifted him greatly! he does life-size oil paintings, water color, and microscopic engraving of verses of Scripture on pearls and bone. there is no way my words can do his work justice. and his cause? the orphan. all proceeds go to his work in the chongqing orphangage where he teaches them art. a good portion of his gallery was done by 12 year olds. he explained many things about orphanages that i will not write here, but his life goal is to give them a trade. once an orphan turns 14, and not one day past, they can no longer be adopted. they are allowed to remain in the orphange until they are 16. then they must leave. by having a skill, they are a little better equipped to survive without a family to care for them.

* i took greg and the kids there the next day as i wanted them to meet kenny and see his beautiful art. he asked us to stay for tea. this is an honor. it was so amazing to watch him carefully prepare the tea for us. we had three different kinds - black, ginseng, and i cannot remember the third. the bamboo tray and cups and tongs, and teapots were sooo beautiful. there is much tradition in serving tea. it is not casual. he just laughed as i would ask him questions about why he was doing something or what something meant. he would say, "oh, i show you that later!" we were there for over an hour, just fellowshipping. it made for a most special memory. one of the few pictures on this post is a poor quality picture of a tea that is in a little ball and when he poured the hot water over it, it spins around and opens up into the most amazing flower!!! God's creativity blows my mind!

* for those traveling soon -- regarding email and blog posting -- a friend told me about a program called to get past china's blocking of blogger. it works! the downside is you cannot post pictures. if you want to be sure you can post to your blog, ask someone at home to do this for you. in an email, send him/her your text and picture attachments (with access to your blog sign-in) and have them post for you. my sister deb has been my Godsend :) and i also recommend setting up a gmail account to use for emailing. our home server is squirrelly and access to it has not been reliable.

* i warned you this was random.

* abigail,so far, absolutely prefers dresses and prissy things. outwardly, she is all girl. but let's just say her actions are not :) i crack up as so many of the chinese women are quiet, proper, demure. and then there is our girl. gum chomping, elevator button smacking, shoe stomping abigail. you are going to love her!

* her language is coming along well. every night, she gets out her cantonese translator and works on it for a good hour. i hear the chinese word followed by the english word. and there is no sequence to what she listens to. i hear 'technology' followed by 'zebra' followed by 'earring' followed by 'aztec indian'. so far, what she says most often are, "let's go!" and “stop, thomas!"

* a special 'how can i ever repay you?' thanks to the roberts, brianne, and the fredericks for taking care of ben and sam and phoebe (and house and pets). and i know others have helped also in adding to the fun and care. literally, a trip like this is not possible without them. how do i make them understand just how vital they are to a journey like this? i pray for God's greatest blessings upon you for your selfless hearts.

* and to each of you who haved lifted us up in prayer either once or many times. all i can say is thank you because i shudder to think of doing this without them.

* and also a special thanks to a few fellow crazy adoptive mamas who have been my sounding board and constant source of affirmation -- sandy, teri, andrea, ginger, and robin. could God have put together a more awesome team? i think not.

* and while i'm at it -- thanks to diana bramble of our adoption agency. it was her words to me last august as she described bai he ming after having spent a little time with her that, as she talked, i was getting the feeling that this could be the one. thanks diana for being the link :)

* the hardest part of the adoption journey, for me anyway, is leaving home. all is relatively easy until it comes to truly trusting God with the kids staying home. it kills me to even write that, but i know that it is true. that part is the biggest step of faith for me. not the adoption itself per se. i feel like when i am with my kids, i don't worry about their safety so much. ironically, they are probably getting even more attention than when i am there! but when i am 8,000 miles away, it is completely different. then i am forced to confront my biggest fear. i remind myself of the verse "the horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord." intellectually i know where safety lies. but here in china or vietnam or rwanda is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. and i know i am not normal in this regard, but it is very hard for me to call home when i am away. it tears me up. it is harder for me to talk with them, than to not talk with them. i told you, it is weird. when i get off the phone, i can hardly stand the homesickness. it overwhelms me. so when it hits, i pray and do my best to really give my fear and sadness to Him and then i quickly do something to redirect my thoughts. alone with my thoughts this far from home is one of the greatest hurdles to overcome :)

* and finally (yes, i am finally ready to shut-up...i told you i kept waking up with random stuff :) -- once you have your child, it is so unbearably hard to imagine life without them. it is painful to think of what their life was like before having their family come to get them. ask any adoptive parent. the thought of her staying here, on the street or working in a factory or whatever she may have gone on to do, is hard to swallow. she is special. she is ours. she is no longer an orphan. the thought of sarah or phoebe or abigail remaining orphans is just not something i can imagine. and yet there are millions and millions just like them. and seeing in my mind all the kids at ming's orphanage whose hope faded, it hurts. hurts alot. after rwanda, orphans become more real than they had ever been before. it got personal. and until it does, we cannot get our head and heart around the fact that kids all around this world continue to live without hope. and many without Christ. i beg you to pray to find your place in helping the orphans. make it personal.

* :)


  1. Beautiful post Jan! Thanks for sharing all that you are experiencing & feeling. Your heart for orphans touches my soul.
    Can't wait to meet Abigail!
    ~Brooke M.

  2. I loved this random post! Keep the updates coming. I can't wait for our turn! As we wait, it's fun to experience your trip with you.

  3. i'm with the others...i love your random posts. you do an amazing job at describing the indescribable . abigail is beautiful! looks like she is so happy!!!! can wait to see you back home and meet her. we will pray for a safe trip back home and for abigail's adjustments! :))))


  4. Thanks for the post today! It is a beautiful day and the kids have rode bikes and scooters again.
    Pheobe is doing well and enjoyed her baton today. She has carried it everywhere with her. We are really enjoying her and her huge helpfullness (esp. with Bethany). I loved all of the random posts. God is really blessing you with some moments you will never forget. On another note- Lucas and Yacob and doing much better physically and in their adjustment. Love and miss you sooooo much!!!! The Fredericks

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post tonight! You have shared so many personal and amazing thoughts and stories and I feel so privileged to be a small part of what your family is experiencing through our awesome God! Ok- so the tea part...I could literally envision your time with Kenny! I am somewhat jealous :) I am an absolute tea fanatic, right down to the cups, saucers, pots, you name it, so I took so much delight in hearing about your time with Kenny. It was so awesome to hear about what he spends his life doing and how you were so blessed to cross his path and I know vice versa. God is so good! I then, was cracking up again when you described Abigail with the gum smacking, foot stopping, eager, girlie-girl that she is...I can only imagine what every day must be like. You are such a great mommy!! Then...The "rubber meets the road" part of your post...Whoa do I get that! It's so difficult to put it into words but I think you did an awesome job. Oh Jan, we can't wait to welcome you all back home!!! Thank you so much for sharing! We are sending you love, hugs and big squeezes!!!!! XO Robin

  6. Well, the team is here for you! : - )

  7. So good to talk to you tonight!!! Phoebe really loved the pics of the sandals! She can't wait for hers! She really was glad to talk to you! Made me miss you soooo much though! Not too much longer till you guys get home! Keepin up the prayers. The Fredericks

  8. I love your random post like others have said in the above comments. In China, your mind does wander all over the place with all of the various emotions playing out, doesn't it? I well remember the random thoughts I would frequently have for no apparent reason.

    You are so right about just "being together" in China as you wait to come home. That time is so special even if it is a bit long.

    Continuing to pray for you all -

    Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and Elijah

  9. Can't wait to see you in just a few days!!!!