Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dad, Mom, Lynne, Mark & Sarah

My sweet family... I have lots more pictures to post from my brief time in the US last weekend, but they will have to wait. This afternoon I am going to Beijing with some women from our church for a weekend of scrapbooking for some sweet babies at an orphan healing home there. The little books we create for these children will be sent home with their forever families when they are adopted!

Daddy's Birthday

Lots of help with those candles!
Gwen assists with the unwrapping.
Hi-Chew from Madelyn... one of our favorite candies here. Happy 39th!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Remote Posting

Here I sit, at a kiosk in the O'Hare airport, waiting for my flight home to Shanghai. I had a wonderful treat this weekend, a couple of days in the States, celebrating my dad's 70th birthday. I was able to come alone (bliss... uninterrupted movies and reading time on the plane, for 14 hours!) and surprise my family, walking into my parents' kitchen moments before they left for church. What a fun! It was definitely a gift, this trip. It temporarily shrunk the miles between us (7000 plus, I think) and allowed me to be a part of a milestone occasion for my dad. Now I am anxious to get back to Shanghai, as it will be Scott's birthday when I arrive.

Thanks, Babe, for making this trip happen for me and everyone it touched this weekend. You're the best.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday, 2:28 PM

Yesterday afternoon the girls and I explored in this beautiful place. We had been out of the car only a few moments when a siren began to sound and all cars pulled over and honked their horns loud and long. Three minutes of this noise, all over Shanghai, to commemorate the earthquake that happened in the Sichuan province exactly one week ago. The girls and I stood still, as did the other people around us. Tears rolled down my face as I wondered at the beautiful place I was in and how it could be so, when utter devastation is not so far away. My China is lush and green and blooming. Not so in Sichuan. God have mercy.

My smiling Sichuan girl... Here is the great hope~

"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21: 3,4

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dancing Skirts

Gwen is modeling her new sparkly swirly skirt from the fabric market for all of her living room dance engagements.
Andrea, Madelyn and Gwen pose for a picture before the dancing begins.
Spinning with abandon, Madelyn demonstrates her swirly skirt's potential.
Spinning around and around in the afternoon light.


Scott: Mommy has blonde hair.

Gwen: I do too, I think.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Look who was here...

... and look what he sang!
Steven Curtis Chapman was in Shanghai for a concert last Saturday! It was the last of a four city tour, which he performed with his two sons, aged 18 and 17 as his band, along with a friend. It was in a smaller venue, which made it really personal. All the words to the songs were on a screen in both English and Chinese. Look what song is on the screen in this photo! "I Will Be Here", which Scott sang to me in our wedding ceremony in 1991.

We love Steven's passion for adoption. For those who don't know, he and his wife have three biological children and also three daughters adopted from China. They have a foundation called Shaohannah's Hope, which exists to help families fund their adoptions. The proceeds from this concert went towards a new project, a 60,000 square foot facility in the Henen province that will be a "healing home" for ophans with special medical needs.

Far Away Family

My friend Jen, of Time For Mocha, just published a post on her blog wondering about her daughter Kate's birth family and how they fared in the earthquake.

Our daughters are both from the Sichuan province, where there is widespread devastion from yesterday's earthquake. We know their SWI was not damaged and there were no injuries, but of course we have no way of knowing about their birth families.

I just prayed with Gwen for her birth mom on Mother's Day... and part of my prayer was that Gwen and I would meet her birth mom in heaven...

I am wondering at my reaction to the earthquake news. It seems far away from Shanghai. I was pleased to hear that Gwen's orphanage was untouched... I didn't even think of her birth family until reading Jen's post.

I hope they are safe. I pray they know the Truth. I do so want to meet them someday, on the other side of this life.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Thank you to all who have checked up on us about the earthquake yesterday. Shanghai really just got some tremors, nothing compared to the devastation in other parts of China. Scott's building did evacuate, and many people in the city reported feeling dizzy or like the floor was moving, but there was not any damage. I was not in our apartment at the time, so I'm not sure if it was felt here or not. The Scocial Welfare Institute where Gwen and her China sisters lived before they joined our families, in the Sichuan province where the earthquake hit, was not damaged and no children were injured.

Love to all!

Belated Wishes

For all the mothers, here are your Mother's Day bouquet and greeting, Madelyn style.

Actually, I found these by my plate yesterday morning at breakfast, but they are so sweet I thought I would share them!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Animal Anatomy

"Mom, can I ride your piggy back?"

Why does the childish wording of this innocent request cause me to bristle just a little? I don't really have a piggish back, do I?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sanya Pool Pics

Taking it easy...

Fish girl!

We wondered a little what this creature was supposed to be....
And after a full day of water play, Seth displays what the kids' hands all looked like!

Hangin' at the X-Games

Matt and Seth with a local Chinese pro skateboarder.
The Asia X-Games (skateboarding, both vertical and park; in line skating, rock climbing, motor cross, and BMX) were in Shanghai last week... and the boys ended up with free "friends & family" passes that got them right in the middle of the action! Suffice it to say, hundreds of pictures were taken between Scott and the two boys, along with lots of video footage that they are now happily editing and compiling into montages from the whole three days they spent there. We now have several t-shirts that have been autographed by numerous professional skateboarders... most of whom, Scott was glad to note, were really good guys that are positive role models.

Caleb and Brendan seem pretty happy about this autograph!
Caleb with Andy MacDonald, or "Andy Mac", as they call him.

Matt, Brendan and Caleb right on the edge of the half pipe in the competition area.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Frisbee with Friends from Afar

Saturday afternoon we played at Century Park for a few hours... with old friends that we met for the first time! I know, that sounds funny, but here's how it happened. Donna and I "met" in the fall of 2005 when she found me through my blog because she had done a search for "Gwen" and "adoption". It just so happened that Donna and her husband Andrew adopted their Gwen from China just a few months before we adopted ours. Then the following year, they adopted their Madeline! Fast forward to last Saturday... Donna and Andrew and their Gwen and Maddy are touring China for several weeks. We arranged to meet in Century Park for a couple of hours, where we enjoyed frisbee, bubbles, and photo shoots!

Here are the daddies with a Maddy and a Gwen... And the mommies with two Gwens, a Madeline and a Madelyn!

The girls had fun running around in the grass, chasing the Frisbee. Looks like our Gwen is laying out the rules for everyone in this picture! The two Maddys go for it...

Great catch, Maddy!

Run, Gwen, your sister is after you! Maddy's about to throw... which Gwen is going to get it?!
It was so surreal to meet Donna and Andrew and their girls after all this time of reading each other's blogs. What a treat to walk through the gate at Century Park to see them waiting for us on the other side! Thanks, guys, for making the effort to see us during your travels. Maybe we'll meet again someday... in another country... who knows?!
You'll enjoy the photos on Donna and Andrew's blog here.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

His Smile

Scott and the boys were fooling around by the pool one afternoon while we were in Sanya. I zoomed in on Caleb and ended up with these wonderful shots of his winning smile. I love it when he smiles like this... his whole face lights up and I can't help smiling back. These expressions remind me who he really is... do you know what I mean?

I can't seem to choose a favorite among all of these... which one do you like?