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
* 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 www.vtunnel.com 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
* 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
* i.love.and.thank.you.for.caring.about.our.family. :)