Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well, another birthday has passed! I'm forty-two years old...and ready to be a new mom all over again. Darcie had a surprise birthday party for me last Saturday night with ladies from our care group. We had a wonderful time sitting and visiting, sharing fun stories amid many of my favorite foods~ chocolate and peanut butter!

On Sunday after church, Debra and Todd organized a luncheon to honor my birthday, so many friends and family, about 40 in all, descended on our home from 12pm to 11pm. I was so blessed by my girlfriends coming early to clean and decorate before Todd and I arrived home from our weekend away in DC. Todd took me to the Marriott on PA Avenue, complete with a Marriott dinner and a horse drawn carriage ride on Friday evening. Early Saturday morning, we walked the mall for 2 hours, viewing all the monuments and reading war memorials. Then it was off to Starbucks for a mocha, raspberry coffer and raspberry scone. Wow, was that good together!!! I can't believe God has blessed me with an amazing husband like Todd. He is always thinking and caring for my heart, wants and needs. I love him more each day!

Nathan and Cora

What a wonderful week we had with Nathan and Cora while Shawn, Kathy and Ian were in Minnesota. It was difficult and I died to myself many times throughout the week, but certainly not as much as Ellie and Shane. They played cars, Barbies, made 6 forts, read books, changed pull ups, swam, fed and interacted like mini parents all week long! It was an evidence of God's grace in their lives. Mid week, Shane asked me if this is what it would be like when Sophie Rose came home. I explained that in some respects it would be, but probably not with the intensity of having two small children at the same time. We were so blessed by Kathy and Shawn's parenting as Nathan and Cora played so well together and were obedient most of the time. It was so lovely watching the two of them play and talk together. He calls her "sissy" and she calls him "Naty."

MIcah's battle

Below is a blog from a family who just lost their son to brain cancer. It certainly increased my faith to read it. I hope it will for anyone else, too. Their son, Micah, died this morning at 6am. Grace to all~ Shari

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Hope House

My friend Susan Johnson forwarded this to me. Interesting read about a foster care home called the hope house. If you follow the address at the bottom, there are some great pictures. Enjoy

The hope house
> I finally arrived at the Hope Foster home. It is no orphanage. It is
> better then most care centers we have in the USA. They have so much for
> the kids to do and play with. It is so good to see these children play
> and have fun. They have it better then any of the 'orphanage' children.
> All kids here are in some way disabled. By that the Chinese government
> means they have some birth defect such as a cleft palette or a hole in the
> heart. All of these can be fixed but in China they have a very low
> survival rate. They are hard to take care of so they are sometimes put in
> a 'dying room'.
> The Hope foster home takes these children and by the Grace of God funds
> treatment. Surgeries are performs. Physical therapy and much more are
> brought to the children so that they may survive. They live a very good
> life. They are in a VERY clean environment and are well taken care of.
> They have a nanny for every two children.
> The women who work hear are hand selected and are well qualified. They
> make 400RMB ($53) a month . They are some of the best played people in
> town. The average wage in the town is 300RMB ($39). They get lots of
> people that want to work here and only a few are chosen so they get very
> good nanny's. The nanny's are the only mother the children know until they
> are adopted. There is one girl leaving tomorrow, Aurea, and she is been on
> edge all day. Her nanny is very sad and you can see the tension. But she
> is an awesome kid. Cute and funny and full of spunk.
> We got to play with these children most of the day. They picked us, Steve
> and I, up in Beijing, and drove us out about 1.5 hours. We made a stop
> at a grocery store that was very western. It was in a part of town that
> was mostly filled with ex-patriots (Americans or English that have moved
> or are working in China). It was the first grocery store that I had been
> to in China that did not involve live fish and frogs.
> We arrived and got down to the serious business for playing. We were
> working really hard here. Sweat rolling off of us but the kids were
> orbiting us and wanting to play anything. The nannies just laughed at us
> and wondered where the stupid people came from.
> We took some of the older kids outside to play. We did chalk, bubbles and
> just ran. They rarely get out and just run so the ran for quite a bit.
> When we got back in some of them just passed out. I mean OUT. Aurora,
> who is getting adopted tomorrow, was so asleep there were kids falling on
> her and she still would not wake up.
> Each room had a king. Joshua in one room (Aurea was the queen) and
> Michael in the other. All toys must be cleared by these two before they
> are allowed to pass to other children. They are so sweet. I want to take
> all three of them home.
> Then there is sting. How awesome is this one. He had a very large
> blockage in his anus and could not poo so he was very sick when they got
> him. Very light and very small. Now he is strong as an ox but a mommas
> boy. It took two days before he would not cry when I looked at him. I
> got some high fives but he was always with his nanny. It was awesome.
> I'll take him
> Then there is Joshua. This one breaks my heart. All the older children
> are getting adopted and this one has not. So he says to the doctor, "all
> my friends are getting adopted, where are my mom and dad". This one is
> all boy. Totally what I need to balance all the women I have in the
> house.
> We went out last night. That involved riding a bike down a pitch black
> street about 2 miles to the nearest village. We then found a vendor and
> sat down and had a beer. A 32oz beer cost us about 11c. BRILLIANT. Then
> we had some grilled pork (I think) on a stick. So 3 beers, food and lots
> of stares from the locals..... less then 90c. How cool is that?
> In the morning we took the kids for a walk. Usually they ride in
> strollers. The nannies hang out and talk. Steve and I upset the balance
> by letting the walk with us. I think we wore them out as Micah and Bobby
> and Oliver all walked over a mile. Steve and I started calling bobby
> "Ricky bobby" and after a bit, so did some of the other kids. We all
> laughed about that one.
> When it was time to go, I tried to convince them to let me take a few.
> They told me they would have to check my luggage to see if Sting was
> packed in my suitcase. I told them how much Amy was wanting that little
> boy.
> Well, it is time for me to go but before I do let me tell you one thing.
> It was a blessing. I learned a lot and will do this again. These are the
> lucky ones that have been blessed by being 'placed' in this foster home.
> They are receiving God's blessings and it is great to see. I thank the
> Lord for this opportunity.
> If you want to see the pictures they are at

Monday, July 16, 2007

News from China

Saturday, we received our first correspondance from China~ our petition for immigration was accepted. They sent it May 15 and we received it July 13...almost 2 months later. I'm hoping it means that we already have a LID, but just haven't heard yet!
This week, we will be trying our hand at young children again. Nathan and Cora Heck will be staying with us while the rest of their family travel to Minnesota for more testing for Ian, their brother. Ellie and Shane were very excited to serve the 3 and 4 year old and are currently in the basement playing Barbie and race cars. Shane wrote 6 year old Ian an encouraging letter including Scripture for his airplane goodie bag. He is learning so much about serving younger children b/c the teenagers at SG take an interest in him by talking and playing with him. God's grace is beginning to be evident in his life!!!
I finished Ellie's room this past weekend, what an undertaking! I only have some last details to finally complete the entire project. We want to put her profile on one of the circles with her initials under it. I'd like to have it done by my birthday party this weekend, so she can show her friends. I can't believe my oldest daughter is almost 15 and my youngest may not even be born yet!!!
Well, I"m off to play Barbie and race cars! I'm continuing to learn to die to impossible task without God's grace!