Hoola kids!

Monday, November 24, 2008

All of the kids enjoy the hoola hoop (although Adam prefers an unconventional method!). Check out Lily's hoola hooping style! Looks like she should be wearing a lea with that hip action. We were all laughing so hard while they were doing this!

By the way, I cannot believe how well this little Gracie girl is doing! What a gift she is!

One week home!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Despite a few bumps in the road (a sore throat for Jadon and for me, trouble falling asleep for Lily and a visit to the doctor for Adam), we have had a great week! Grace is doing so well.

She is settling into the school routine and we have learned that she can count, sort, do puzzles etc. This is all very encouraging because she seems fairly on track for her age in all of these things. She loves the sorting math bears. She and Jadon played with them all evening on Tuesday.

She also loves to give kisses and tonight she said, "I love you," when she got into bed.

Her fear of Rosemary seems to be over. She is always trying to get Rosemary to sit on her lap. Also, a number of her first words have been in association with Rosemary. For example, she said "It's okay," when Rosemary gave a low growl in her sleep. She also let me know that "gao gao" (chinese for dog) "outside" when Rosemary was at the door waiting to go out. She likes to greet Rosemary with an enthusiastic "Hi Roser!" whenever she walks in the room.

The last series of four pictures is a little vignette of our daughter's acting skills. Her pouting has decreased significantly and when she does pout, we're pretty sure that about 90% of the time, it's an act. She usually can't hang on to the pout for very long and breaks out laughing!!

Sweet Boy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three weeks ago, these three incredible girls were living in an orphanage. Now, each one has a family who loves them dearly.

At this same orphanage, there are three little boys who are waiting for a family. Two of them have families who are also waiting for them. But, one little boy waits, without a family who is also waiting for him. And he is a beautiful little boy. If you are considering adopting, please check out

Click on "adoption" and then "waiting kids". "Liam" may just be your son! And what a gift he would be!

We're home!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We are home and are doing great! Grace was incredible on all 3 flights, with only a bit of fussing over not being able to have more gum when she was supposed to be going to sleep. Of course, flying with a four year old takes a little bit more entertaining than flying with 7-11 year olds. Here's Lily playing peek-a-boo from the seat in front of us.

Reading to DiDi (little brother) is fun too.
Of course, lots of barrettes provide endless hours of enjoyment.

But, she did eventually sleep, and kept sleeping all the way to Portland. Here she is in the customs line, completely zonked.

She cried pretty hard in her car seat on the way home. I knew that this would be an issue, because she did not like wearing a seat belt while we were in China. We wanted her to get used to it from the start, however, and are pretty strict about car seats. It was hard for the other kids to hear her cry/scream like that, but she did eventually fall asleep.

When we got home, Grace began exploring everything with her brothers and sisters. She LOVED her little rocking chair and her bed. She was absolutely thrilled with all of the stuffed animals, as well.

We ate dinner and everyone went to be at around 7:30. David woke up at 12:30 and gave everyone benadryl. This woke Grace and Lily up, but they went back to sleep within an hour and everyone slept until we woke them up at 8:30!!! Grace had joined us in our bed at about 1:00, but when I woke up she was back in her little bed. She just loves it! We were so grateful for this great night of sleep.

Today was wonderful. Grace had such a fun time checking everything out. Lily gave her a doll to play with and she has carried it around lovingly for the whole day. All of the other kids are absolutely in love with Grace and are enjoying her immensely. It was the first time that Grace has ventured away from me (in China she would cry if she couldn't see me), so I think that she really knows that this is home.

We did bring Rosemary home today, and that was the only difficult part of our day. Grace was terrified. One bonus to that though, was that she let Daddy carry her around A LOT, because she didn't want to be on the ground with Rosemary. Grace did calm down enough around Rosemary so that when Rosemary was in my lap, Grace would pet her. And Rosemary seemed to know that Grace was scared and was totally still when Grace would come over to her. So, I think that within a few days they will be good friends.

Please keep praying for sweet Vivi Jo. She is doing much better, and her new family (understandably!) adores her. If you want to see how she is doing, Kim's blog address is:

I know that I have said this before, but I want to thank you again for all of your prayers, comments and emails. I so appreciate the love that you have shown to our precious daughter and to our family. We were sitting at dinner tonight, simply praising God, for all that He has done in this little girl's life and in our lives. We are so blessed!

Last day in China!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm backing up, and posting a few pictures that I wasn't able to post before. Hopefully, I'll be able to line up photos and captions!

This first picture was taken at one of the many fabulous chinese restaurants that Morgan has taken us to.

This next photo is of Grace at the medical exam. She was a happy, compliant patient!
Here are a few pictures from the zoo. I had to put in a panda picture for Lily! They almost look fake, don't they?! It was incredible to get so close to them. The kids even got to hold a baby tiger. Oma has pictures of that.

Grace, pointing out the animals!

These next pictures are from our outing to ZhaoQing. Just David, Lily, Grace and I went on this trip. Thanks Oma and Opa for watching the other kids!
We had such a wonderful time. This first photo is of Lily's finding site.

This next picture was taken outside the orphanage.

We were able to visit with a teacher, the former director and some of the nannies who were at ZhaoQing SWI while Lily was there! They were so affectionate to our girl! It was an emotional time for me, as Lily often asks if anyone in China loved her. These ladies showed Lily so much love. What a gift!

Lily, outside the seven star crags park in ZhaoQing. What a beautiful park!!

Grace, with our guide, Judy. She was so helpful and kind! She bought Lily a special inkstone from ZhaoQing.

This morning we had the pleasure of playing at the playground with blogging friend, Kim, and her beautiful family. It was so much fun to finally meet Kim, Paul, Vivi Jo and Max. Please keep praying for Vivi Jo as she adujust to her new family.

Grace and Vivi Jo on the teeter totter.

Our next post will be from home! I absolutely love China, but am looking forward to being home and into a regular routine.
Lily wants to say that Grace is very sweet, but sometimes she gets wild when we are supposed to get to bed. Hello to Teddi and Miss Tina. Thanks for all of your prayers. Hello to Tatianna, Mary, Bethany, Teresa, Elayne and all the boys! Tatianna, I had a great time in China, and I can't wait to see you in the states. I love you Tatianna.
For those of you who will actually meet Grace, she is still going by Xiao Li (Shou Lee). She is also usually quite shy and turns away from new people. But, she loves to laugh and play once she gets to know you! Blessings from China. See you soon.

A quick post

Just a quick post to thank you for your prayers! Lily had a really high fever last night, but was COMPLETELY fine today. What a faithful, loving God we have! We had a great day in ZhaoQing. I will post tomorrow with pictures.

Please keep praying for Adam. He is MUCH better, but still wheezing.

Happy, Happy Birthday Meredith!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I have a dear, sweet friend whom I would love for you all to meet. It is her birthday tomorrow, but I may not be able to post tomorrow as we are going to be in ZhaoQing for much of the day. For those of you who do not know Meredith, you are missing out! She has a heart on fire for the things of God and truly LOVES to spend time with the Lord. Her love is apparent in the way that she interacts with everyone she meets. She is giving and kind and seeks to honor God in all that she does. Go and visit her new blog if you have a chance. You can find her at:

Happy Birthday, my friend! I pray that you have a blessed day!

I would covet your prayers for Lily and Adam, as they are not feeling well and Lily seems to be running a fever. We are supposed to visit ZhaoQing (Lily's SWI) tomorrow. This is a very significant thing for Lily and I ask that you would entreat the Father to heal her little body so that she is able to experience and enjoy this time. Thanks so much for your continued prayers for our family!

Please also pray for little Vivi Jo, who joined her new family yesterday. She had an exhausting day filled with changes. Pray that she would experience the love of her new family and would have peace and joy overflowing within her.

I promise to post more pictures soon!

We are so grateful!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just wanted to note a few things that we are thankful for here as we are in China.

1) Our sweet, precious girl!
2) Our wonderful group. We really have a great group of families who we are traveling with.
3) Morgan, who is traveling with us. What a great facilitator and guide!
4) All of the help from Oma and Opa.
5) That Grace is really enjoying Yana, Adam, Lily and Jadon. They all love to laugh and laugh and laugh. It is such a blessing that Grace is enjoying her siblings.
6) A good afternoon for Grace and Baba. They spent the afternoon together (just the two of them) and had a great time.
7) Great food! We love Chinese food.
8) The time in GuangZhou. It is so fun to have this familiar place to be.
9) A great experience in Guizhou. We enjoyed learning about some of the minority population in China. Also, it is the poorest province in China, and I am grateful to have had the experience of seeing how much of the world lives. It helps me to be grateful for what I have, and to desire to live even more simply in order to help others have the basic necessities of life.
10) An incredible time with some Catholic believers on Sunday. It was so enjoyable to talk with this group of people and also to worship with them.
11) Being here with all of our kids. They've done so well.
12) All of your comments, emails and prayers. Thank you so much!

These are just a few of the things that we are thankful for. There is so much more. We truly have had a blessed time.

I also wanted to note a few things about our sweet daughter, after having her for a week.

1) She has a smile that will melt your heart.
2) She has an incredible laugh.
3) Her first english phrase was "uh-oh". This also happens to be Adam's first phrase.
4) She loves fruit, and is not too crazy about bread products.
5) She loves playing in the bathtub.
6) She is afraid of dogs, but loves to look at Rosemary's picture. So, I think that Rosemary will win her over.
7) She loves to look at all of the pictures in her photo book, and point out everyone in the book.
8) She is a deep thinker. You can see it on her face.
9) She knows how to pout!!!
10) Jumping down stairs is a favorite passtime.
11) The Father loves her and has clearly kept her in His care. She is such a blessing to us!!

We had Grace's medical exam today. She did great. She smiled for the majority of the time. She weighs 12 kilos (about 26 pounds), fully clothed and is 89.5 centimeters tall (not sure of what that would be in inches).

Tomorrow we visit the Safari Park. The kids are really looking forward to this. Hopefully we'll get to feed some pandas!

Please continue to pray for Adam. He's been doing well, but did have one incident with peanuts on the plane ride to GuangZhou. He got pretty sick, but is o.k. now. We're so grateful!

We're in Guangzhou

Saturday, November 8, 2008

So, I promised a picture of Stevie (from PHF) in her new doghouse.

Here are a few pictures of the Miao Village. It was really incredible.

Next, we have a few pictures of Qinliang Park.

Yesterday, before leaving for GuangZhou and then pictures of the plane ride. Grace did not like her seatbelt, but did keep it on when I told her not to take it off.

At the hotel in GuangZhou. It is the same hotel that we stayed at when we adopted Lily. We have a great room with 3 beds in it. They have completely remodeled the hotel and it is really beautiful.
A good night's sleep. Have I ever told you that I LOVE sleeping pictures.

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