Saturday, August 30, 2008

We're Here...and NO One Understands Me...Ha!

Well. Being understood is somewhat of an overrated thing, huh? LOL!

Ni Hao from Guangzhou, China. We had a fine time of being in airports and flying from 6:00 a.m. on Friday up until Saturday night at 11:00 p.m. One purser on the flight from Detroit to Tokyo told us as we disembarked (for my southern buddies...that means get yer bootie off the plane)...anyhoo, the purser told us, "Oh yes. This flight is known at The Endurance One" b/c it's sooooo long." I was like, "Gee. I'd a never guessed!" (strategic throat clearing taking place at the time). No really, I have to say it wasn't bad at all for me. I slept. Catching up on 3 years of sleep comes easily to me...and my last name's _____. We like to sleep and eat. Also, "I got by w/a little help from my friends." Slammed those Tylenol PM's down my throat and anything else I could get my hands on.

When we got to Tokyo, we were to take flight 27 to Guangzhou, China. Well...the info boards in the Tokyo airport all said flight 27 was going to Hong Kong. Another adoptive family was with us on our flight (or so we thought), and their tickets said flight 11. I'm thinking, Hmmm. This could be a mistake. So we go to ticket desk and I very politely started questioning all of this. Being somewhat of the hard headed person I am, I continued to ask questions until I felt I could make sense of what I was to do. FINALLY the lady with the Russian accent w/whom I was speaking said, "Forget Hong Kong!!" I gave my best sweet yes ma'am and walked to wherever she told me to. (Later, I told Christy I was going to shake bangs back and forth on my forehead like an Etch-A-Sketch board and just "Forget Hong Kong". So I very sarcastically did...which should come as no surprise to folks who know me. So there. I forgot Hong Kong. Geeesh.

THEN boarding the next flight out I was all goofing around, seeming silly and the airport police looked at Christy and said, "So. Are YOU the one who will be taking care of her on this flight." What is up with all this? Do I have stupid posted across my forehead? Christy just laughed and loved it. It was pretty funny.

Well, we're staying in a 5 star hotel. I've actually called this my mission trip where I'm "sufferin' for Jesus" with all the luxuries here. My adoption agency has us here b/c it's safe & near the U.S. Consulate AND other adoptive families will be here, too. Great...but we canNOT drink the water. So, we have bottled water. I had to put a cloth over the faucet at the bathroom sink b/c out of shear HABIT we tend to want to turn the darn thing on. Nope. No parasites for me.

I'll sign off right now. Just wanted to check in and say hello. There's an empty, small single bed in our bedroom that has an Asian babydoll on it. I brought it from home. Tomorrow night a little girl is going to sleep on that pillow with her little doll and rest her head gently to go to sleep. I sorta see all of this as representative of what the Lord has done for me. Made plans. Sacrificed. Gone to extreme lengths to provide for me, His child -- much of which I'll never even comprehend or know about on this side of eternity. Tonight, pray for Emily as she leaves a world so familiar to her...friends, attachments, surroundings and that any fears will be eased as she embarks on this journey for the rest of her life. She is loved. She is cared for. She is chosen. May she realize from this point on the impact of how valued she is.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nanny Carol, I got her back AGAIN !!!

As per Nanny Carol, Vicki had a brain freeze and posted a picture of a boat when she is actually getting on a plane. So again, I will come to her rescue and rectify the problem...
Houston, We fixed the problem !!!!!
Love Rina
I'm going to start charging for being on call 24/7...I created her blog, have to flip pictures for her, add clip art, edit her music , deliver messages to the orphanage....I need to be on payroll...Christy what are you charging her?

Bye for Now...

I'll check back in when I reach the other side! Lights out....

I'm On Deck...Prepared to Go!

I'm Amazed at the Outpouring of Love

Oh my. I cannot thank folks enough for all of the kindness and love they've shown to Emily and me: gifts, emails, phone calls, meals, money, prayers. I sent out an email telling folks "Goodbye"...and between Wednesday and Thursday the blog counter went from 2500 folks who've checked in to 2700 folks. Friends and family are passing the blog address on to their friends. How sweet. It's often too complicated for most folks to post comments b/c they have to set up an account, yadda, yadda -- but I've gotten a boatloads of emails from folks who've visited the site and had such sweet things to say.

(Blog counter is on the right hand side of the blog...little black boxes w/numbers in them.)

I plan to post while in China -- pictures, etc. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll have to use the business center computer at the Westin in Guangzhou. That's where my agency has us staying. Anyhoo, hopefully all the Internet connections will work and I'll be able to download then upload photos. We shall see, huh? I'm no technical guru, but then again...miracles happen! Ha.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

She's A Butterfly

When I first heard this song by Martina McBride, it made me think of how Emily's world is about to Emily is soon to be transformed from an old way of life to a world full of opportunities -- much like a butterfly. She'll leave a life of sleeping alone in a metal bed to become part of a family who chose her, who loves & values her, and who will pray for her to become all she was meant to be. I have it on the playlist here on her blog. You can click on it to listen. Here are the words.

She remembers when
she first got her wings
And how she opened up
that day she learned to sing
Then the colors came,
erased the black and white
And her whole world changed
when she realized
She's a butterfly,
pretty as the crimson sky
Nothing's ever gonna bring her down
And everywhere she goes
Everybody knows
she's so glad to be alive
She's a butterfly
Like the purest light
in a darkened world
So much hope inside
such a lovely girl
You should see her fly,
it's almost magical
It makes you wanna cry,
she's so beautiful
God bless the butterfly,
give her the strength to fly
Never let her wings touch the ground
God bless the butterfly,
give her strength to fly
Never let her wings touch the ground

48 Hours (to go) - and I Ain't Talkin' Bout the T.V. Show!!

Oh my. Life is being lived til 1:00 in morning with early risings. That little Jay Oh Bee ("job" for those of you who don't like sounding out words) sure is taking up a lot of my time. LOL! Kidding. (Shout out to my principal for being QUITE understanding and supportive.) I am taking 1/2 a day off tomorrow. I'll spend that time sorting my life into neatly packed Ziploc bags of 4 varying sizes.

My buddies at the Mustard Seed and at school have given me the most wonderful celebrations for Emily during the past week. Let's just say the child will lack for nothing pertaining to wonderful learning games, toys, books, & clothes...and the abundance of gift cards will help provide necessary and FUN things along the way. I've shed a boatload of tears over the kindness and generosity of friends who are helping me welcome little Emily to her new life. I can tangibly feel the love. Thank you all so much.
I have learned that Emily will likely be taken from Meizhou City (5 hours away where her orphanage is) to Guangzhou on Sunday evening to spend the night. The director of her orphanage will bring her by train. This is wonderful because it gives Emily time to rest and not be so hurried. The plans are for us to meet at a government building -- I think it might be called the Center for Adoptive Affairs. It might be at a Taco Bell. Not sure. (kidding) Other new parents will be meeting their children at the same time. These children will be coming from all around the HUGE province of Guangdong. They travel to this one city, Guangzhou, to meet their new mommies and/or daddies.
I will have a guide assigned to me from my adoption agency, Children's Hope International. She will help interpret, point me in the right direction, and show me where to sign on the dotted lines. A lot of the documents are in Chinese so I've gotta be careful I don't sign off as a Tibetan sympathizer and get hauled off to prison for 3 years. I'm not seeking "3 hots and a cot" so I'll pay close attention to what my guide tells me. Hmmmm. I have friends close by who would say there's something about "me" and "paying close attention" that just don't seem to go together. Phooey.

Well, I'll be posting updates as the clock ticks away the hours. Check back when you can. As they say in the international adoption world, "I'm going to China and bringing back more than a tee shirt!"
Prayer Request: That any fear(s) Emily has about leaving her China life behind will be eased. That the God of all comfort -- comforts her during this major transition in her life.
Thanks, ya'll.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sniff. Sniff. Rina and Hank's Gifts for "the girls"...

(Eye Wiping Taking Place....)

Rina, Hank, and Myah are soon to be headed stateside. No more squatty potties for them.

They bought the 3 Meizhou daughters a gift -- symbolizing their relationship. I copied her post and placed it below. What a sweetie!

Forever Friends (from Rina)
Before we leave China, we wanted to give the girls (Myah, Bree and Emily) a little token to remember their friendship. Hank and I chose a black jade..kind of symbolic of the darkness they leave behind but on top of the darkness is a shiny silver emblem which is symbolic of the bright future. The Chinese writing says "Forever Friends"..We hope the girls will wear their necklace everytime they have a reunion. Vicki, I will mail Emily's once you return from your trip...God Bless our children...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Can Hardly Wait to Try It for Myself - yikes!

There's another family in China right now adopting their little girl. They took a pic of a menu in a local restaurant. Check out the menu items....and pay particular attention (cough) to #65 on the list. Yum. Makes my stomach soar with excitment. (Click on the photo to enlarge it. It's a 'must see'.)

My Classroom - A Grown Up Garanimals Sorta Place. Click on the Photos for A Really Good Look. See the Cockatiel on TOP of the Bird Cage.? Yep!

Only One More Week of Teaching for Me...then Off to China!

Broke the news to my students that I'll be gone for a while. It was sorta the "good news/bad news" type of announcement. Ha. Good ole Khobe, a darling 5th grade fella said -- as he patted my shoulder, "Congratulations. I'll miss you while you're on your trip." Soo so sweet. Another student looked at me profoundly with the gaze of a Nobel Peace Prize winner and stated, "I know you'll be proud of your daughter." Dawg gone. When the rubber meets the road these kiddos can really grab your heart, huh?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Myah and Bree Have Met Again - This time NOT in the Orphanage.

Here are the two girls together -- different circumstances, different city in China. Wow. What a difference a week makes. The full stories are on their mom's blogs:

Monday, August 18, 2008

A.K.A. Mr. Wiggly

Here's Skipper Dee - My Blind Dog

Just wanted to introduce friends and family to my extra special buddy...Skipper Dee. He already had this name at the shelter, and I didn't want to change it and confuse him. Skipper is my brother's name, too. Go figure.

He is a rescue from a local no kill shelter. I've had him since last October, and we're learning to live life fearlessly. His eyes were diseased when he was found, and they later had to be removed. Isn't he a cutie pie?

When he's sitting down & I'm talking to him, he throws his head back really far -- as if to try and see me out from under his bangs. Bless his heart. When he walks around in the dining room area (where he stays when inside), he puts his big ole stuffed warthog toy in his mouth -- his "binky". He uses it like a bumper. As he comes upon the chair legs, his binky lets him softly bump up against them and not bonk his wittle head. What a love!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Three Musketeers (3 Meizhou Girls Being Adopted)

"....the plot thickens.!"

Tracy and her husband have just arrived in Guangzhou today to adopt their little girl, Bree, who is from the SAME orphanage as Emily and Myah. Well, photos of ALL 3 of our girls have turned up on the disposable camera Rina sent to the orphanage. (Tracy and I will get back the disposable cameras we sent on the day(s) we meet our girls.)
Emily is in the back, Bree is on the far left, we don't know the child on the auntie's lap, Bree is next, and we don't know the little girl on the right. (In China, all the kids do the peace sign...which I don't particularly favor. We've concluded they don't really know what to do in a photograph so they do that.)

Tracy, Rina, and I have all 3 been in contact here in the U.S. AND now we see that all 3 of our girls have connections. They seem to be in the same group of children being cared for by certain "aunties".

In THE most populated country in the world with over 1.3 billion people, what are the chances that 3 families here in America have connected and our 3 girls -- thousands of miles away -- have done the same?

Once again, amazing

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Emily & Myah with one of the "Aunties" at the Orphanage

New Photos of Emily - fresh from China

Rina and Hank (see post below) received the disposable camera they'd sent to the orphanage a few months ago. They immediately went to a photoshop in Guangzhou and put the pics on CD so they could send some to Tracy (leaving today for China) and me. There are pictures of all three of our girls in the same photos together, and one of Emily and Myah out in the grass....with Myah sitting on her back. Here's the email from Rina that was waiting on me this morning:


From what the director told us Emily was very sad and cried when Myah left. Apparently she was her big sister and they often rolled down the hilly grass together. She wasn't able to say goodbye to Myah cause she was upset.

I also am allowed to tour the orphanage but the train tickets need to be purchased weeks in advance. It's not that easy to get to. You would need to take a taxi to the train, switch trains a few times and then another taxi. It has to be done in 2 days since it takes 5 hours. We are not going. It would be nearly impossible. Elsie said that if the bus took us it would be $500 for the rental of the bus alone

Let God give them peace in their hearts as they venture separate ways...temporarily.


It's nothing short of miraculous that these 3 little girls are playmates at an orphanage on the other side of the world -- to love and comfort one another -- while over here in the U.S. -- their soon-to-be moms were connecting via emails and cell phone calls -- doing the same thing. I don't know what your take on all this would be, but I'm amazed at the goodness of God to provide "China/U.S. sisters" for these 3 girls who already know and love one another.

This reminds me of the scripture that says, "He'll turn our mourning into laughter."

What Emily thinks (today) is separation forever -- from her 'little sister' Myah -- is getting ready to turn into an eternal connection with her and days of joy! Wow!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rina and Hank Have Myah!!!

There are 3 little girls being adopted from Emily's orphanage within a 3 week period of time. Last year ONLY 1 child was adopted from there -- thus the complications/limitations of international adoption!!

Well, good buddy and M&M sister Rina (who set up my blog) and her hubbie, Hank, are in Guangzhou, China as I write. Go over and check out their blog and see their little sweetie. This girl is a be prepared to laugh! She's originally from New York, and between the two of us I believe she has Mafia connections. Not really...well...hmmmm. :)

Rina's keeping me posted on how things are going, and I learned one key bit of info yesterday. The orphange does not have air conditioning, and her little girl is shivering in the hotel room (b/c of the a/c). SOOOOO...I'll need to find some cute little sweat jacket and some pre-winter pj's so Miss Emily won't be cold indoors. (Don't you know how miserable it is to be in a restaurant or the movie theater and be cold the entire time?! Then...there's the plane.) Of course, Marlene is on the prowl NOW to help me find things. If shopping were an Olympic sport, she'd smash the competition every time: GOLD medal!!

I'm told it's sweltering outside in Guangzhou, and I can hardly wait to try and tame this Roseanna, Roseanna Danna hair once I get there!!! PLEEZE Lord let my flat iron work on their outlets & adoptors. I'll skip food if my hair can at least look somewhat decent. Rina said her's looks like a Brillo pad. I can relate.

So happy Myah is with her family.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Found a Movie from a Site in Meizhou, China - Where Emily lives.

This is a Buddhist Temple shown in the video. I found it interesting to see some of the landscape and architecture of Meizhou -- where Emily's orphanage is.

Emily will take a 5 hour train ride from Meizhou, China to Guangzhou, China the day I meet her. Usually the orphanage director brings the children to the gov't office building.

Boy...that's a long ride for a little girl who has likely never been on a train in her life.

This is an email from my sweet brother, Skipper. How many sisters are fortunate enough to have a brother write such a tender message? Sniff. Sniff.

From Skipper:
"How are your plans? I know you have a lot to do also. I have been able to watch some of the Olympics & it is hard to believe you will be in China soon.

I want you to know I am very proud of you & all you have accomplished. It has been a hard road & you have stuck to it. I know how it is when you may not be sure of the outcome but inside of you will not let you quit-- although at times you wonder why you are doing what you are doing.

I am excited about Emily being a part of our family & having a new playmate. It will be a change for our family, but I think of the opportunity this little girl will have. There is no doubt she will be loved.

I am looking forward to the future & what is in store. I've got to go. Take care. I love you & love what you are doing."
Love, Skip