Monday, March 25, 2013

Worship. Ain't Nothin Like It.

Yesterday we went to church.
In China.
Yesterday we went to church in China.



Nothing like it.
There is no thing like worshiping with other believers in the country where three of your children were born.
Three children who had never heard the name of Jesus before they came to us.


It was all I could do to look around when they were singing in Mandarin and not just lose it right there.

I had some great conversation about Christianity here with a guy sitting behind me.
I had a rather odd conversation with our guide when she was saying that the government of this country said the people have free religion.
Ummmm yeah.

The harvest is plentiful folks.

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Matthew 25:32

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2

Here I am Lord. Send me.

This & That & Intimacy With a Giraffe.

Well hello there!
It's been a busy couple of days.
I have lost all semblance of time and when we did what or who or where or whatever.
The days are just blending together, it's a bit like being on vacation.....
except you don't understand anything anyone is saying
there are chicken feet and live frogs at the Stuff Mart
and there are signs warning you about the rules of being intima*te with a giraffe.

So yep.
Just like vacation.

I did visit the spot where we lost Justin two years ago.
Ahhhhh memories.
I'm still traumatized.
 I purchased some seahorses from a lady off the street.

Because I have a policy that when I encounter sea horses on the street I should buy them.
Just kidding.
I have no such policy.
But if I did it would involve seahorses and the subsequent exchange of money I'm certain of it.

A little farther down were two women sorting live scorpions with chopsticks.

Hold on.

I'm not sure you heard me.


We had tea with Dong.

And then today we went to the Safari Park
and it rained.
And I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to say something like how enchanting the rain was and how the Chinese rain was so endearing compared to American rain. How we all frolicked along the path laughing at the downpour.
But it wasn't.
So I won't.
It was wet.
It was kinda lame.
It was....well.....blech.

Tonight we head to dinner at 5:30 with about 40 other people.
It's party week here at the Garden and man alive, it's a good time.

Next post: How Good I Am At Ignoring My Schoolwork While I Am Here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In Which I Tell You The Funniest Adoption Story


Meet Katie. 

Katie is here with her Duck & Llama addicted husband adopting Simon.

Katie's pretty normal.
Loves Jesus.
Kind hearted.

But here's what Katie is not:
She is not good at Mandarin.
she's AWFUL at Mandarin.

Katie knows this.
So, like all good adoptive mothers she thought ahead and purchased some translation cards to help her communicate with Simon during these early days.
You go Katie.
That's awesome.

Now it's at this point I'd like to pause for a quick lesson in Chinese.

is water.

The Chinese word for water is shui.
Pronounced shhway.


is a bed for sleeping.
The Chinese word for sleep is shuijiao.
It is not spelled nor pronounced like shui.

Enter poor little Simon. 

Every night the sweet boy has gotten ready for bed as his mother stands nearby and says, "Shui! Time for shui!"
At which point Simon dutifully gets up and goes and gets water as his mother asked.
Weird American woman wanting me to drink water at bedtime.
To which  he gets a resounding "Boo!"(no) "It's time for shui!"
Ummmm, ok.
I'll go get some more water.
Head to the water bottle.
"No's time for shui, not water!"
"Shui! Shui! Shui!"
Water! Water! Water!

Oh my goodness how I wish you could here Katie tell this story.
Bless her.
So. Stinkin. Funny.
She's confused the poor kid to no end every night since he arrived.
I'm telling's pee your pants funny to hear her tell it. 

Katie only realized the error of her ways when out at the Noodle House last night when one of her friends asked the waiter for some shui and she leaned over and asked her friend why she just told that waiter to go to bed.

Oh the horror when the realization of what she had been doing descended upon her.


So in sum,
Don't believe every Chinese pronunciation card that you order.

You just never know what you may actually be saying.
Now go get yourself a cup of shui and then go install Llama Duck on your iPhone.
You can thank me later. 

A Post I Like To Call

Riding the Subway With Hundreds of Chinese People.

One word:


I've found a bit of my adventurous side lately.....hence the climbing under sheets with old men on airplanes, and nearly getting into cars voluntarily with strangers at JFK.

And most recently knocking on hotel room doors alone in Asia to meet another person I met on the internet

Don't hate.
I'm still alive.

And besides, she's as awesome as I thought she'd be see:

But I digress.

So yesterday I braved the subway system.

Crowded beyond belief at 6pm on a Friday night.

Oh my good nigh
But still fun.
That's me in the orange. In case you were confused.

Anybody wanna snuggle?

I'm going to visit my brother, his wife and thier brand new bundle of GIRLY sweetness on the tail end of this trip.
I'm pretty sure I'll be using the DC metro system at some point in those few days....
and I'm pretty sure it's going to feel downright spacious compared to this.

So to recap:
Foreign subway systems = not scary.
Roasted suckling pig however = terrifying.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Thing I Can't Get Right in China

My hair.

Oh peoples
my haiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Allow me to refresh your memory of the great hair debacle of 2011.
I melted my curling iron in the sink the morning before we met the boys. 

Good times.

This time I have managed to keep my flat iron from melting but just barely.
Each morning I plug it in I pray that this will not be the day that I will be held responsible for burning down a 5 star hotel.
I plug it in and .8 seconds later it is hot. hot. hot. 
I'm pretty sure it needs a converter for the voltage.
I'm also pretty sure I didn't bring one.
I'm also pretty sure I don't care and I keep using it anyway in the name of taming the wild beast that is my hair right now.
I'm also, also pretty sure I am taking my life in my hands by using it this way.
But alas, don't care.

Even with the flat iron though I walk outside to the weather that is Guangzhou and I look a bit like this

only worse.

Someone said to me today, " I feel like I know you. I recognize you from somewhere." and I wanted to say,
"It's me! It's Sonia!! I just have REALLY bad hair right now! For the love help me please!"
but I didn't.
I just smiled.
And nodded.
And cried a little on the inside about the hair injustice of it all.

In unrelated news,
It's so weird being back here.
2 short years ago I stood in the same room I was in today

and met my two sons, having no idea that 14 hours from that spot there was another little boy that 7 months later would become our son as well.

Faithful, faithful God.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Raindrops on Roses

Whiskers on Kittens.
Doorbells. Sleighbells.
Schnitzel. Noodles.
Orphans getting a family.
These are a few of my favorite things.

Oh gracious today.

I think know when I was here last adopting Jacob & Joey it was all so new, so emotional, so overwhelming, so incredibly exciting that there was no way I could possibly take it all in.

Well today letmetellya
I took it in.
........and I was about 20 seconds away from some massive ugly cry.

Mycah has a family.

Simon has a family.

Toby has a family.
All 3 of them and about 20 other families were created today.

And a Hoo.
It was something else.

Just looking around that room today at all those sweet little faces and knowing what is to come for them and it's

It was everywhere in that room today.
Hope for a new beginning filled with love.
Hope for healing.
Hope for a future.

And it was beautiful.

A Father to the fatherless, 
A Defender of widows,
is God in His Holy dwelling. 
Psalm 68:5

Tomorrow is adoption finalization and the book store(my fav!)
and Wednesday is Edward & Percy day!!!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The owner of this blog is experiencing extreme sleepiness.
She will be back in the morning after sleep.

Oh jet lag how I hate thee.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ni Hao Hong Kong!

Ahhhhhh my feet are on solid ground once again
and better yet....
I can stretch out my legs.

Flight was great!
Who knew that travelling by yourself is a whole lot less work than traveling to China with your 6 children.
Learn something new everyday.

Lori and I are currently sitting on the floor of the lobby of a hotel in HK(cuz we are classy like that) getting our dose of technology, skyping our kiddos and blogging like all normal people would.

It has occured to me that in the past two weeks I have:
  • Picked a person up(Wassup Jennifer!) at the airport that I have never met before and brought her to my home.
  • Met a family for the first time in the parking lot of Wal Mart and had them follow me to ice cream that I have never met before.(Wassup Roe family!)
  • Almost gotten under a sheet with an old man. (Ref previous post)
  • Nearly gotten into a car at JFK with a lady I have know for roughly 1.2 minutes. 
  • And tomorrow we are meeting up with Katie and taking in some Hong Kong sights. Never met Katie before but man alive does she ever sound nice online!
.......I am beginning to think I have issues related to the absence of stranger danger. 

But nonetheless tomorrow we hang out in HK in the AM and train to GZ in the PM.

Next post: Guangzhou!


Ni Hao JFK!

I'm here!
I'm here and I feel a bit like Buddy the Elf.
I keep walking and smiling at people and saying Good Morning to which I get....well....ummm
So this is New York aye?
Does somebody need a hug?
I am currently sitting in a dark alley with some new friends I made, don't worry, they appear to be very nice and all of their tattoos are spelled correctly. I sit here because it turns out you can't go anywhere around here without a boarding pass.....which I can't get until Lori gets here cuz she kinda has my passport. Whoopsie.
The flight was bummmppyyy. Which made me blast praise music into my headphones at an abhorrent volume and pray without ceasing.
I was sitting in the middle seat(holla middle seat peoples!) and across the aisle from me was a grown man with a sheet that he would throw over his head everytime it became turbulent.


Grown man.

Grown man and a sheet.
Now it was at that point that I thought a couple of things:
#1: I wonder if there is room under that sheet for both of us, perhaps it's a refuge of sorts and the sheet offers protection against turbulence.
& #2: What the ever lovin heck is a grown man doing with a sheet on this two hour flight.
Ahhh bless him.
Whatever gets your through dude, whatever gets you through. I'm not judging you, I think you are awesome.

As I was getting off the flight the lady in front of me and I began chit chatting...{ name is Sonia....and I do not know a stranger.} We talked all the way down to baggage claim at which point I shared that I had high hopes of spending these 5 hours in downton Manhattan touring the Empire to have my when Harry met Sally moment and checking out Rock Center to which she promptly offered for me to join her in her car service that she had already rented.
I almost went.
She is from  my city, owns her own photography studio, has always wanted to adopt.
I'm telling you....I was one breath away from taking her up on her offer.
I apparently have no boundaries and will get in cars with strangers. I totally think I would survive living in NYC just fine thankyouverymuch because really, so far today I've almost gotten under a sheet with an old man, and gotten into a car with a lady.

Problem is I asked my Facebook posse a week ago if 5 hours was long enough to take in NYC(I've never been here before) and I got a resounding N to the O.

So I declined. I told her I wasn't allowed. My Facebook friends said so.
We said our goodbyes, I got her business card for our next photo ops and then wisely spent $5 on a luggage cart.  Hello. Somebody overpacked and this stuff is heavvvy.
I rode something called an Air Train, took an elevator or 3 and then stepped out into the fresh NYC morning air where it was a balmy 30 degrees and I am dressed like the beach. I briskly Walked fast enough to not get frostbite while acting like all the people around me bundled up in coats, scarves &  mittens were overreacting.... walked back inside the terminal to check in. Heard a thump, kept walking and a minute later realized that thump was my backpack with my.. gasp.... camera inside. As the shuttle bus approached I did the rational thing by running out in front of it to rescue my backpack.
I am awesome.
One elevator to go.
I think.

I had no real idea where I was going. I was just following all of the pretty signs.
I enter the elevator, consumed with ensuring nothing fell off the cart again and it was then that I realized that in this elevator, in a rather deserted part of the airport, it was only me and two guys named Vinne and Carl who looked like they could kick my butt. It was as the doors closed behind the three of us that I realized I was alone with two rather large gigantor men so I promptly invited Jesus to join us in the elevator. He did. And Vinnie and Carl were nice and it turns out they were just on their way to the pizza shop to start cooking for the lunch crowd.
Ok, I'm not sure their names are Vinnie & Carl, or that they own a pizza shop. But it's New York and in the interest of stereotyping I imagine they make the greatest pie in all of NYC and they shout things like, "Norm!" when their favorite customers walk in.
Now might be a good time to mention that I have been up since 3:45am.

So it's here I sit with my $3.38 bottle of water.
Waiting for Lori.
Just waiting and watching a bunch of drivers dressed in black with cool hats hold signs with people's name on them as people come down the elevator. One of the signs says, "Merl." I can't tell you how much I want to walk over there and say, "Hi there, I am Merl. Thank you for meeting me."
Love it.
More later, Lori should be landing soon.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guess Who I Met Yesterday


Who happens to be the new momma to them.

Soon to be Daniel & Matthew

Jacob's best friend "Percy"


They happen to live quite near me.

Which happens to make me {& Jacob} ridiculously happy.
But moreover, this family loves Jesus. 
Which......hello......makes me weep with joy. 

We met them in the parking lot of WalMart and then headed over to swim and eat way too much ice cream.
But it was in the moment that we were sitting in the parking lot of The Mart waiting for them that I looked over at Jason and said,
"So just so we are clear, we are waiting to meet up with a minivan of people that we met on the internet. Don't do this in your own life."
Super sketchy.
But alas, they are normal just like me.
Cuz I'm totally normal.

I've got a package for the boys from their new family, I shot some photos and video to show them and I'm ready.

And I leave tomorrow.


Many, many blog posts from airports across the world coming soon to this blog near you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3 Days

I leave in 3 days. 

Breathing in
Breathing out
Breathing in
Breathing Ouahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Justin last night out of the blue as we are snuggled up on the couch watching the Bible:
"I sure am gonna miss you. I'm just gonna miss you."

China has been the subject of many a discussion around our house the last few weeks.
I was talking with Joshua yesterday and we were discussing all things China and eventually we got around to this: 

Me: "Hey kiddo, what were you thinking when you met daddy & Jordan in China. Were you scared? Were you excited?"
~I've asked him this before but his English was not good enough to really convey what he was trying to say ~
Joshua: "No, I wasn't scared or excited."
Me: "Oh, ok. What were you feeling?"
Joshua: "I felt special."
Me: "That's so great! I'm glad you felt special, why do you think you felt that way?"
Joshua: "Because I got picked. I got picked to go to America and be in a family."
God love that boy.

So 3 days...
Breathing in.
Breathing out.

In self absorbed news, has anyone ever gotten a massage at the place by the Garden?
How much $$?
Worth it?
Freaking Awesome?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What the Heck

What the heck was I thinking when I decided that Yep, I could leave my kids for two weeks and travel to the other side of the world.
No problem.

Never mind I have never spent more than two nights away from them.....ever.....and even then I think it's been twice that has happened.
In 16 years. 
Never mind that small factoid. I'm sure it holds no relevance here.....

So I'm not sure what kray-kray thought decided to take over the reasonal rational functioning portion of my brain and shout out, "Yep! Sounds great!"
And it did sound great......all those months ago when I said yes.

But here's the problem.
All those months are now past and now I find myself 5 days from leaving.

And now it's real.
And now I'm going to miss them

Now I reckon I do not reside in fantasyland so let's just assume that yes..
Yes it's true that me curled up with a venti starbucks and the Stuck documentary that I have downloaded sitting in peace and quiet does have a certain je ne sais quoi quality about it.
But long can that last?


I'm guessing 3 hours tops.
Long enough to finish the documentary.
Long enough to read Bridge to Nowhere.
It will be long enough.
And it's at the end of those 3 hours that I will look up from my comfy chair in the airport and realize that it's 3 hours down and oh so many maaannnnyyyy hours and days to go.

So though I am incredibly excited to serve Lori and do what I can to make her laugh and have fun and take away any obstacle I humanly can to free her up to just be able to love on her new sweet son,
the ugly cry is coming people.
It's coming. 

Suggestions for not making a complete fool of myself as I sob in the corner of the airport are welcome.

Because these faces
Oh these sweet faces.....

take my breath away.

Thank you Jesus for the honor & incredible privilege of being their mother.

Back to packing the Kleenex now.
Mounds & Muh-ounds of kleenex.

Friday, March 8, 2013


We leave one week from today.

The essentials are packed:

I believe I have done the nearly impossible.
I believe I have constructed a plan to defeat the airplane coffee service.
Is there a Nobel for that?

You know how those lovely stewardesses come along with those oh so cute petite coffee cups and offers of powdered{blech!} creamer and sugar?

That process of coffee service for me last trip went a little something like this:

The first round: 
Stewardess: "Would you like some coffee?"
Me: "Oh yes, thank you."

At which point she served me something resembling this:

and I stifled my laughter.
And began to panic.

Sip. Done.

She walks down the aisle and I say, "Excuse me ma'am, may I please have another cup?"
"No problem!" she says.

And again, I am presented with exactly 5ml of coffee.
Am I being punked?
Sip. Lick inside of cup desperate for every drop. Done.
Not cool people.
So. Not. Cool.

So the next coffee service I was a bit more mentally prepared.
It went a lil sumpin like this:

Round Two: 
Stewardess: "Would you like some coffee?"
Me: "Oh yes, thank you. May I please have 6? My husband and "family" are sleeping(never mind besides my husband that "family" consisted of young children none of whom drink coffee)
and they will want some when they wake up."
Stewardess: "No problem!"
Gulp, gulp, chug ~ chug.
Ahhhhhh so nice.
That was almost equivalent to one actual non-leprechaun cup of coffee.

So it is with this trip that I come prepared with a battle plan.
Hello instant coffee with french vanilla flavor already rolled in, I love you. I really, really love you.
It's packed in my carry on.
Along with two disposable cups and a spoon.
My theory { this point it's only a theory}
is that the next coffee scenario will look a lil something like this:

Stewardess: "Would you like some coffee?"
Me: "Actually would you mind filling these up with that hot water on your tray that you have ready for all those weird people who drink tea instead of coffe?"
At which time I will hand over my two ginormica cups already filled with the correct prescription of instant coffee.
Stewardess: "Absolutely. And I agree, tea people are strange. We can't be friends with them."
She will fill them up and I will sit back with my cozy brown sherpa blanket and my thick-cushy-only bust-them-out-for-airplane-trips socks and sip my way across the ocean.

Take that mini coffee cup.
You may have one the first battle but alas
I will win the war.

So if you too will miss your children Keruig desperately while you are gone.
Join me on the good side.
We shall overcome.