Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hard at Work Relaxing!

Nothing too exciting to report.  Hmmm - maybe that is a good thing!

JiJi had her first optic exam.  Fortunately we were blessed with an interpreter because she had an ultrasound done on both of her eyes.  Our awesome doc was not entirely pleased with the results and wants to have a more thorough exam under sedation, but this is what we know for now.

Her right eye is in a process of atrophy - it is dying and shrinking. Her left eye has no optic nerve and has something protruding from the interior of her eye - poking up, showing a small marble size bump.  There are also vitreous clumps throughout the eye.  I really don't know what all this means yet - no doubt I will become proficient at all these new terms soon enough.  We do know that she has zero light perception and vision.  I have to laugh, though - everyone who meets our sweetie asks if I'm SURE that she is blind - she gets around SO well and doesn't let ANYTHING stop her!  That's my girl!

Dad is at work today, the bigs are off to an overnight party with their friends and the littles and I are going low-key. We plan to be fast asleep long before the clock strikes 12!

Here are a few snaps of fun over the past few days.

That shirt says it all - even with a chocolate smudged mouth!

Zabi really is enjoying her legos from last year.

We sang ABC alphabet song while JiJi scribbled on her brailler.

Always a fav around here - multiple textures with a variety of scooping/transferring utensils into a receptacle over and over and over again.

What would a post be without a Chicka pose?  You can't see the gleeful grin on her face, but it is definitely there!

Everyone wanted to dress up today, and then take advantage of a break between rain storms to visit the goats.

Lovely fashion statement, girlfriend!  The binocular accessory is a bonus statement.

Now you're talkin'!  Droopy wings, though.

Now that you've had a peek at our doin's, or lack thereof, let me know what you are up to before we get back into schedules and appointments!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Yessireeesir - we are HOME!

We are headed to Portland for JiJi's eye appointment this morning. Everything is going very well, better than I anticipated, actually! Not perfect, but close! Inappropriate noises and behaviors are falling away as if melted snow and the beautiful child that God created is emerging before our eyes. This is NOT to say that there are not difficult moments - hee hee!

We are both sleeping in large chunks at kind of odd hours, but we are getting there. Chicka and Zabi are adjusting beautifully to having a new sister and are being graciously patient and understanding.

MissE and IBoy are beyond awesome older siblings, love JiJi to pieces and have supremely helped hold down the fort in my absence. Papa is, as always, my hero and sweetie and can't get enough of his newest daughter.

We are, indeed, blessed beyond measure by our Blessed Redeemer and are eagerly anticipating His birthday in a few days, celebrating together with a new family member in our midst.

I am supremely busy, so my apologies in advance if I don't post again for a bit - I'll try, but realistically, my time is precious and I choose to spend it with my family and not on the computer.

God bless you all and a very, merry Christmas to each of you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wedding Day

Another LONG, BUSY day!
We went to the Consulate Appointment, only to find that one paper was incorrectly filled out, of course one that was notarized, so nothing could be finalized. I am assured that if I come back in the morning, it can be corrected and done in time for us to leave. Why it couldn't be redone while I was right there, I don't know. I am trusting God that He will orchestrate everything just right. We are scheduled to leave at 5 PM tomorrow evening in a van for Hong Kong, then fly from there at 8AM Wednesday morning!

Our van arrived back at the hotel and we jumped into a taxi with my friend Michelle to head to the wedding. We had no idea that it was over an hour away, past the next city and into the village

I am FAR too tired to try to write about each of the photos - I'll try to come back later and fill you in. So sorry! JiJi was naughty even to our friend, who has been her buddy this whole week. We had to excuse ourselves and apologize to the bride for her behavior. I am VERY much looking forward to being home and not on the go all day every day and hoping that a calmer environment will work to everyone's advantage with JiJi, herself included!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Quick, quick post - CA appointment this morning!

Went to Safari - awesome!!!

Clips went into JiJi's hair and stayed for 30 seconds! A record!

Yes, cars were backing up on a jammed freeway to go back to the exit!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

photos and captions

Sorry guys - I can't get the photos to go in the middle of words, so I can't put captions.

Heidi and I posed with some of the opera people.

I also wanted to mention that JiJi pulled out one of her top front teeth sometime during a night - I have no idea where the tooth went, and honestly think that she may have eaten it! Our guide asked her and she said she didn't know!

At home - arm yourself and watch our little ball o'fire. She can head butt you faster than anything - right on the hip bone. Ouch. She also does something that may be trying to tickle, but she pokes all of her fingers straight into the soft spots of your belly or back - it feels like she is trying to dig your intestines out and then she laughs. NOT funny! Oh, yes - I have received a few hard kicks to the shins, too! Heidi has been pinched.

Nero and his parents and friends all say that she is VERY smart and clever and assure us that once she learns English, we can work on those behaviors to help her find more appropriate ones.

Thank you, dear Laura, for your scripture verses that you are praying over us. We really do appreciate it! Heidi and I have laughed over my calm voice to JiJi. What I really want to say to her does not come out - just some irritating, "now, now, I know that you are a good girl, it is time to show mama what a sweet one you are!!!!" gag! "listen, girlfriend - you will NOT act like this - you will sit on my lap quietly in a corner until you are done with this unacceptable behavior, and then we will go have some fun!" is what I would rather be saying, in a not too friendly tone! However, that will get us nowhere yet!

OK - off to breakfast and the Safari Park! Please continue to keep us in your prayers for patience and safety!

Blessings to all

Sightseeing and Tantrums and the Tooth Fairy

Oh, yes. Tantrums. LOTS of tantrums. I really believe that half of them could be avoided if only I could explain to her that I'm not taking something away from her, just opening a bag or bottle, but no - she flies off the handle because she is not able to do it and then when I try to help her

Heidi got half a bottle of water exploded all over her and the taxi tonight when Miss wanted a drink. Oh, yes. And then a full fledged fit on top of it. Screaming, hitting, pinching. Fun.

 Of course it doesn't help when you have half a dozen (or more) Chinese women huddling around, offering bribes, condolensces, and whatever else they might be saying - I have no idea!
On the positive note, we were able to visit the Chen Family Temple and a Buddhist Temple yesterday.
Today our former exchange student, Nero, who has returned home to JiangXi, flew to us with his Mom and Dad to spend the day! His parents are delightful and were an immense help to us with JiJi. They talked to her so much and explained things to her that we could not

I do believe that today, although long and tiring, was the first "enjoyable" day we have had! We went on a boat ride through a canal system, similar to Venice, went to a market and found many unusual items to bring home (along with a ton of unusual stares, since we were in an area where no Westerners usually go)

The boat went in front of an open stage where children were performing a traditional opera.
We were treated to a traditional Cantonese opera Tea House where some of the performers were kind enough to pose for a photo with us crazy Americans. Finally we closed the day with dinner with a couple of Nero's Mom's former students. Amazing dinner full of items we never dreamed we would be eating, but were absolutely delicious! The dinner was frequently interrupted with rounds of "cheers" with a very good wine. I don't drink, but thankfully was told beforehand that it would be rude not to join, so I tipped my glass at each cheer and merely whetted my whistle and I guess that was enough!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SWI Visit

Wow. Wow. Wow. There are no possible words to express what we just came from. We knew that our JiJi was in the "heavy disable" area. That is an understatement. We are told that most of the kids we just met today will live in that institution for their entire lives. Some are able to go out of that one room, out of their beds. Others will be there until they die. Each and every one was sweet and lovable. We tried to give as much lovin' to them in our brief time there.
JiJi was distraught when we first arrived - confused, thinking that she was going to stay there. She was assured that she would leave with me, not to worry, that this was her time to say good bye. She broke down a couple of more times - you can see her tear streaks in one photo. She was SO excited to see her best friend, though!
About broke my heart - one little Down's guy kept wanting to kiss and hug me, another held my hand most of the time. I met a 15 year old with severely deformed hands/arms and I don't know what else - he grasped my hand and would NOT let me go!!!!! He was asking if I was from America and what it was like. Another asked if I was his mama, come to take him home. It was heart wrenching. I had a difficult time keeping myself from bawling.
Some of her behaviors and sounds that we deal with each day are now explained. That is what she has lived for the past six years. We were able to take photos of her file, we have the information on who found her and his testimony. We are all exhausted after about 6 hours in the car.
The photo of JiJi in front of all the photos - her baby picture is the top row, 2nd from the right. Sorry about those hideous boots - she won't consider wearing anything else - she even has to know where they are when she is sleeping!
Much love to all!
BTW - can someone tell me if the photos are appearing ok on your end? I can't see it from here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

checking in

A huge thanks to all who are keeping us in your prayers - everything is fine, but we have NO time to be on the computer! We are either on the go or chasing Rosie-Posie. She is EXTREME BUSY!
We are headed to the orphanage today.
She is a joker - she asked my friend at dinner last night - "what are you eating?" Michelle told her. "What? Are you eating my fingernails, too?" and she asked Michelle's husband Tam, if he cooked the dinner. "did you cook with your socks on?" she is constantly making silly jokes to everyone around - I just wish I could understand what she was saying to people when we don't have an interpreter with us! Hmmmm - maybe I don't want to know!
One of the few moments she is quiet - sleeping!
The one and only attempt to put a pretty in Rosie's hair - it lasted as long as it took for me to take the photo!

We were adventurous - we ate grilled octopus tentacle and scorpions, but passed on the tarantulas.
The infamous chicken man who sells disgusting candies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh My Heavens!!!!!

I can't get enough of this girl! She is no push over - she knows what she wants, how she wants it, where, when AND how. AND you better make it snappy! She is IN charge and makes no bones about telling everyone around her that little fact. She had the guts to tell our waitress at dinner tonight that we were coming back tomorrow, "bye bye, ayi!" (bye auntie!) she called as we were walking out the door! She told a shopkeeper that she wants to buy high heels. Uh, excuse me, girlfriend - HOW old are you????
Not a single tear was shed - she came right into my arms and gave me a hug. Her little hands are everywhere - exploring - taking it all in.
She loved her bath, settled into bed and is sleeping peacefully. Since Heidi and I have been up since 4AM, we are now headed to bed, too.

We also had the privilege of meeting up with Shonni, of Nations Around My Table (I hope that is right!) and Jean, of There's No Place Like Home, and parts of their families at Lucy's this afternoon. What a small world!

Thanks for all of your continued prayers, I KNOW that that made a huge impact on all that has led up to this day, this day, and our future. THANK YOU - THANK YOU, GOD, for this awesome blessing that YOU have allowed us.