Nov 29, 2009

Spinning plates: AKA 4 new projects

We're back from China. 

We got back Wednesday.  Thursday was Thanksgiving at my house.   Friday through Sunday was camping with our church. 

Tonight, I got the first chance to put a few ideas down about what we'll be doing in China in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years. 

Basically, I think we've come away with 4 projects.  I'm really hoping I can find a Director for each program to take over, run every detail, etc and I will oversee all 4 projects. 

1)  Upgrading a school so the 200 special needs orphans in that village can attend school for the first time.
2)  Educational center for babies and toddlers (preschool, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc)
3)  A group foster home for medically fragile babies (and then fast-track them for adoption)
4)  A shoe project for one family.

For a few more details about each of these, check out the website.

Hope many, many of you feel inspired and want to jump in with both feet!


Nov 13, 2009

News From Beth

Beth has made it safely to China and she is working hard and discovering that the need is very large!  She asked me to post here and let everyone know she is unable to access this blog. 

You can find updates from Beth and follow her trip at
Destiny's House

Nov 9, 2009

All my bags are packed ...

... but I'm not quite ready to go.  Lots of last minute things to do.  It's amazing how many things have to get done for 5 kids - one that's going with me and 4 staying here.  It's taking an army to take care of the 4 while I'm gone.  Daddy, My Mother, my Father, my sister, church friends, etc.  (A job I do alone usually I might add LOL.)

Yesterday was Kaley's 10th birthday party.  Her actual birthday is 11/11 but alas I will be in Beijing on that day so we did the party early.  She had a tinkerbell theme ... appropriate as she is so tiny.  Kaley is so amazingly small it's precious.  She's perfectly proportionate, just tiny.  The only thing that upsets her about being small is that she still only weighs 46-47 pounds and you're supposed to stay in a 5 point harness until 50 pounds.  She cannot believe that she's 10 and still has to sit in a baby chair.

Today, I'm going to her school and surprise her by eating lunch with her.  I think she should really enjoy that!

Then some last minute details, last minute laundry and packing and then homework.  Put the kids to bed (there WILL be tears - especially from Kaley who desperately wants to go with me).  Then last minute preparations.  Hope to get in bed some time before it's time to get up.  Head out the door at 3:50 , get to the airport.  Plane leaves at 6am for Chicago.  

We'll be in Chicago for a few hours waiting for Aunt Shari to arrive from Denver.  Then we'll hit that plane and get to Beijing - arriving at 4:25pm Beijing time on Nov 11.  (3:25am Tampa time if I've done my conversions correctly).  Eat, shower, crash.

Then the real adventure begins.  I'm so overwhelmed with the details of trying to get there and the details of trying to keep my kids and hubby safe here that I've not had a whole lot of time to invest in the details of the new orphanage home.  (Probably a good thing because every time I do, I get the feeling that I am soooooo in over my head.)

I'll be trying to blog feelings here.  If it's not blocked.  My friend Sherri will also be trying to post for me if I can't.  I'll also be putting some things up on the regular website of ... there will be a link there to the pages.

Thanks for all the prayers and the support!  This truly needs to be a team effort!

Love to all, Beth

Nov 3, 2009

One week from today ...

One week from today and I'll be on an airplane with Zoe (4) headed to China.  My head is full of so many thoughts.  I'm anxious to find out what the future holds for us, for the Children's Home.  I know I'll be getting a lot of ideas and a lot of questions answered.  I'm sure new questions will also arise.

But the one thing most on my mind today is ... we get to see Zoe's foster mother.  We were told we'd never get to meet her, never know her name.  Well, by a miracle, I got to meet her in March.  There wasn't a dry eye in the place!  Even the most stoic of men cried tears as they saw this moment.

2 women who both love the same child.

I know what it's like.  I was a foster parent.  And I HATED HATED it when people would tell me "I could never be a foster parent, my heart is too big."  I wanted to slap them and say, "Thanks for saying that I have a tiny heart but YOU'RE the one with a small heart.  I loved this child enough to give him/her a good start in life.  I loved them enough to share all the love in my heart with them.  And when they left, my heart broke into a million little pieces.  Some of the pieces still aren't together yet."

but I digress ...

I know what it's like to love and lose a child.  To wonder what she's doing now.  To wonder if she's happy.  To wonder, "Did I do enough?"

And this foster mother knows the pain all too well.  So we sat there, hugging each other, crying.  We didn't need many words.  There are no words for times like this.  And in a blink, it was over.  She was gone and it was so surreal it was almost as if it hadn't happened.

This time - Zoe gets to go.  We are going to get to spend most of the day with her this time.  And I'm wondering ... what can I do to honor the love she showed Zoe?  What questions should I ask her?  How will Zoe be feeling during all this?  Will it bring a peace and some closure or will it re-open a wound?  What about the foster mother?  Is this good for her or is it going to be very painful to see how much Zoe has grown and changed?  (She's even had surgery and looks different on top of the typical growth.)

I guess I'm just doing what Mama's do ... we put things in our heart and ponder them.

Zoe is making her some drawings.  We've put together a photo album for her of Zoe's years with us so far.  And I wonder ... what does she need from us?  What will make her feel how deeply we love and respect her.

And yes, there will be pictures.  There will be video.  I will share.

Adoption isn't for wimps!

Nov 2, 2009

Coming down to the wire

I don't know about you ... but I find that God likes cliff-hangers!  (I, on the other hand, do not.)  I'm a planner.  I think I find security, comfort in knowing at list the gist of what is coming so I feel I can be prepared.  (I'm SURE I'm not alone on this.)

But God, He has other purposes.  He wants me to be attached to Him.  He wants me to rely on Him.  And I can say I do ... but when it comes down to it, I often feel like I'm hanging on until 11:59 and then He swoops in and saves the day.

Now the trick would be for me not to worry until 11:59 has passed.  I used to worry by 10 pm.  Then my faith grew and I could postpone the worry until 11 pm.  I think I'm up to about 11:30 before worry sets in now.  So I'm getting better. 

As I see it, it's 11:25 right now.  I am not worried YET.  But I also see my pending worry about to set it. 

What to worry about?  All the details and plans for the China trip have not come together yet.  (Even the money is not quite all in ... close, but not quite.  But He's provided the rest, I'm sure that will be available too in no time.)

The front half of the trip is all nicely tied up.   From November 10-18 we're all set.  We have a place to stay, places to eat, translators, transportation, etc.  ahhhhh. 

November 19-24 is a bit scattered still.  So much so that I cannot get flights yet, no hotel yet, no driver. Now that can all come together pretty quickly since I have done the research and I just push the buttons.  But I'm not even sure why we're supposed to be there all those days.

We're to meet the Director on November 19 - which means we'll leave New Day, to go Beijing airport, fly to Taiyuan and meet him somewhere that day.  (Not at the orphanage I was just told today since all foreigners are forbidden to go due to H1N1.)  Then November 20 we're to meet with Zoe's foster family.  Where? When? That will fall in place too I'm sure.  I just want it to be special and meaningful.  Last time, it was a quick 30 minutes and we were outta there. 

November 21? Nov 22? Beats the heck out of me.  I think those days are about doing our Children's Home business around the province.  No problem.  But the person we're meeting with has to go back on Nov 22.  We'll be in Taiyuan with no English speaking person for that whole day.  Why?  Originally I had tried to get the flight back home on that day and it was a NO-GO, already booked.  So I know we'll be there for a reason... but what?  And more importantly, it is in Taiyuan or are we supposed to go back to Beijing and have our divine appointment there???  And until I know this, I cannot book flights or hotels. 

So ... that's what I mean by ... down to the wire.  I leave in a week.  This has to be decided before I go. 

tick. tick. tick.