This blog covers our wait, travel, and adjustment to our 4 year old adopted Chinese daughter Sarah Shui Qing from Nanjing. There are over 1000 posts. I have moved my blog to Catching Butterflies 2. I hope you will enjoy reading this blog. It has alot of information on Special needs adoption. Follow us to our new address Catching Butterflies 2! Thank you for reading!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sorry :( I just read the blog of the traveling family I had hoped would get new pictures of Sarah. They were only allowed to visit the 1 year olds in Nanjing, so no new photos this time! That is just how it goes!!! My friend Hedda just left yesterday for China. She gets her beautiful daughter Maddie next week! She took a gift for Sarah, and I'm pretty sure I will get both pictures and a personal report from her. Maddie and Sarah have been in many pictures together. I think they might be good friends (maybe best friends). It is very special for me to be in contact with this family! Stay tune for more...It's midnight in China! Happy New Year!!!
I just saw this concert today on TV. Here is James Taylor singing "You've got a friend". A great song to start the new year! Soon(God willing) our Sarah will have a family of friends...and we will be there winter ,spring ,summer and fall...always!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

panda cupcakes

when it's your favorite panda's birthday or you want to make any occasion more festive, the obvious choice is to make panda cupcakes! Here is how they are made! How cute!!! I look forward to Sarah's first birthday party!

Happy New Years!!!
Hi, I just read that the Chinese Internet connections have been down for the past 3 days because of an earth quake off the coast of Taiwan. This is why we don't have new photos of Sarah! I just read the blog of one of the traveling families. They are doing great, but have allot of trouble sending mail over the Internet! I am so glad to hear they are doing good. When people are super stressed, they usually don't write on their kind of makes you nervous that things are not working out. In this case it was an earth quake blocking communications. We sure have gotten spoiled by technology!

The discovery of fireworks or namely the formulation of gunpowder is believed to have occurred by chance approximately 2,000 years ago in China.
It is thought that a Chinese cook accidentally mixed three common kitchen ingredients:
These were heated over a fire and dried to give a black flaky powder which burned with a loud bang when ignited. This crude, early mixture has come to be known in our modern world today as gun powder.
The Chinese named this fascinating black powder "huo yao" ("Fire Chemical") and developed it further. The mixture was inserted into the hollow of a bamboo stick and when thrown into a fire, the gases produced by the ignited burning powder inside caused an immense build up of pressure and blasted the tube apart. The basic fire cracker was born.
Thereafter, fire crackers played an essential part to Chinese festivities -weddings, religious rituals -any cause for celebration heard their bang due to the belief that they were thought to be powerful enough to scare off evil spirits.
It was inevitable that the time would come when people would begin to realize that these now powerful explosives could be applied to warfare. The Chinese were well aware of the killing power these explosives had and within 100 years had not only developed fire arrows (bamboo fire crackers attached to regular arrows and shot at the enemy) but even 'Ground Rats'. These consisted of propelling rats from inside the bamboo fire crackers and toward the enemy, creating a great psychological effect -scaring soldiers and causing horses to go wild.

Sorry, but I still did not get new pictures of Sarah. The traveling families must have their hands full with their new kids...maybe they will find the time to post the orphanage pictures later? I think Sarah is a bit of a fire cracker by personality! I bet she will light up our New Year!!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

HERE is a very interesting post called " The Myth of the Mourning Birth mother". Maybe birth parents in China don't feel the loss of their child the same way we would. Maybe they simply do what they feel they must do, and move on with their lives, forgetting the child they lost! Even the grief and loss we feel in the West is a luxury many people in this world can not afford! We can never know for sure how they feel...each birth parent is different. This is however a very interesting article.

It is late in China, and we did not get new pictures today. Maybe tomorrow? Here are some of Sarah's pictures so far. I hope to add to this collection soon!

Hi, I am still expecting new pictures of Sarah soon. Please keep checking back. Maybe today! Anyway, I read about this one women who is making quilts to raise money for their 2ND Chinese adoption. There is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. When a child is born, friends and family are invited to contribute a scrap of old clothing along with a special wish which is to be made into a quilt by the child's mother. It is said that the luck and energy of the people who wore these clothes surrounds the child when she is wrapped in the quilt. The quilt contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation. My mom has already made a quilt for Sarah. I have not seen the quilt yet (Mom is in the USA, and I am in Germany). It is my surprise! If you don't sew (and I don't sew), and don't have a Mom that sews, maybe you might want to look at buying a quilt and at the same time helping to support this adoption! The web site is HERE.I guess a quilt made by someone else won't have the same kind of "luck energy" as a self made quilt, but it will bless the family selling the quilts, and help bring a child home from China (that has to be worth something)!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

China to stay with one-child rule

BEIJING, China (AP) -- China has no plans to change its one-child policy, Premier Wen Jiabao said, adding family planning was critical to China's modernization plans.

The official Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday quoted Wen as saying the "government will adhere to the basic policy of family planning with improved services and stronger leadership."

He added that family planning was crucial to China's modernization and the building of a "harmonious society," a catchphrase meant to mean a more equal distribution of riches in a country with a growing wealth gap.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hi, I hope you all had a nice Christmas! We are still enjoying our vacation. Juergen gets two weeks of vacation. We did nothing but eat, sleep, and play for the past few days. Now our minds are turning towards "the list" of stuff we want to take care of around the house. Juergen is putting a net under the open stairway in our 3 story house. We hope Sarah will be smart enough not to try to slip through the stairs, but we don't want to take any chances. Our oldest daughter Jessica almost fell through the stair railing when she was smaller. This was in another house, and we put a net up for her too. Sarah is just a little thing...and we just don't know how careful she will be! 3 floors is a long way to fall! Anyway, it will keep her from dropping her toys down the stairs. I may get new pictures of Sarah tomorrow! I thought I did not care about new pictures (you know, all I want is the real thing). Actually, I am excited about new pictures! Our papers went to China two months ago, so we also hope to get our TA (travel approval)in the next two to four weeks! My heart is full of joy and expectation!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas! I read this awesome quote on one of my Yahoo groups. It is about trust...
When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw
away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.

- Corrie Ten Boom - author and Holocaust survivor

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Story - Chinese Dinner

Friday, December 22, 2006

If I had it my way, I would be stuck in the fog at London Heathrow airport! I looked back at some of my old posts. I had hoped to travel now to China, by British Air from London to Shanghai. Flights are being canceled right and left. If I had it my way, I would be stuck in London with my autistic daughter Jessica. I do not know how things will work out, but today I can thank God I am not stuck in London! I pray all of you who are traveling someplace for Christmas have a very safe trip! We are warm and safe at home...recovering from the flu. Everything is ready for Christmas. I need to buy food because all the stores close for 3 days(imagine stores closing in the USA for 3 whole days). Juergen still has to buy me a gift...but that is pretty much his annual tradition, shopping 3 hours before the stores close! This year he agreed to adopt Sarah, and he is taking me to China, so I don't expect any great gifts...he is way off the hook!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

2006 has almost gone. It's been a great year! I will write a short year in review letter on our family blog if you care to take a look. Today I just wanted to take the time to thank you all for being here with me, and supporting us with your comments, and prayers. 2007 should be very exciting as we finally are able to go to China and pick up Sarah. I have been so blessed to meet some really great people in this process. There are the most amazing people "called" to love and care for fatherless children. I believe most of us have discovered a secret...we win when we adopt. The kids gain so much from us, but somehow we gain more! Part of what I have gained is the acquaintance of amazing people like you! I wish you a warm and blessed Christmas...and all that is good in 2007!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I just found this picture of Sarah in her group in Nanjing. I think it must be about 9 months to one year old. She has not changed much. I should get new pictures some time next week, and the week after that. There are 3 families from the Nanjing Yahoo group traveling to pick up their beautiful kids! Two families actually receive their children on Christmas day! Now that is a gift!!! I know our TA is only 2-4 weeks away. I am excited that our day will come too! I actually have the flu. I got it from my daughters. I feel awful! My wonderful husband took the day off to take care of everyone. I am one blessed wife! I love my kids very much, but my love for Juergen is in a way other dimension! Apart from my love for Jesus, Juergen is the greatest gift God has or ever could give me! OK, I am going to stop...I am probably making you sick!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Shui Qing is Sarah's Chinese name. It means clean or pure water. She was found on a stone bench at a water purifying plant in Nanjing ,China on the day she was born. In a way I am surprised at how people respond when they hear she was abandoned. I guess it just seems so normal to me...I am so caught up in this world of orphan awareness, I forget other people just don't know how common it is for a child to be abandoned. There are around 100,000 children (mostly girls) abandoned in China every year. But it is not just China, it's India, Ethiopia, Russia, Brazil, and..and.. Thousands upon thousands of children left by generally well meaning parents who for unknown reasons felt they had no other choice. Philip and Thomas (our two sons adopted from Thailand) were also abandoned probably for medical reasons. Both boys had correctable but life threatening medical needs. Many people in Thailand have no health insurance, and would be charged for their children's treatment if they could get treatment. We believe the birth parents did what they could to save the boys lives. And Sarah's birth parents probably felt they had no choice but to leave her where she could be found, and pray she has a better future. I am so grateful to God I have a choice to pick them up...I only wish other people would also choose to do the same! Abandoned children do not choose to spend their lives with out a family...but we must choose if we would be a family to one of these!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

per·spec·tive: The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance: tried to keep my perspective throughout the crisis.

I read a post on one of my yahoo groups recently that seemed a bit over dramatic. The writer was a waiting mom who is understandably disappointed she will not be adopting her new child before Christmas. I am sure there are allot of us equally disappointed we won't be spending Christmas with our new children. It would have made the day very special! I am going to try very hard to make it special anyway! I keep reminding myself to keep my perspective! Sarah does not know what Christmas is, I am sure she won't be missing it! I am the big loser here! And my loss will be soon replaced with joy, our travel approval can not be too far away! I've heard some real sad and genuinely tragic news lately. Several people I know are going through some very real trouble! Sure I would have loved to have Sarah home for Christmas, but this seems like a small thing to me now...I don't want to bring you down with the tragic stories of others I've heard about this week! All I can say is it's given me a new perspective! If I start wining or complaining...please someone kick me!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday in China. This coming New Year begins February 18Th and goes for 15 days. It is at the same time as our kids Spring vacation (Carnival). This would be the next best time for us to travel to China, but government offices are closed in China. You can not process an adoption during this period. I really don't know how it''s going to work out. The kids are just going to need to miss some school! HERE is a good site for information on Chinese New Year. I am sure it would be very exciting to be in China during the New Year! Everything is decorated in red, lanterns everywhere, fireworks and dragon dances, special food, and happy people! I would not mind seeing China at New is just the HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK question! I guess we will find out, and I hope soon!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This is a beautiful story of love and sacrifice...

operation smile

Monday, December 11, 2006

Maddies mom said she would carry a gift to Sarah for me. I was thinking of sending Sarah a Bell princess dress. What do you think?
Well the TA's are starting to come in. Not for me (yet) but for one of Sarah's best buddies at the children's home in Nanjing! A major congratulations to Maddie and her very happy family who will be traveling to pick her up in a few short weeks! If it can not be us, I am sure glad it's them!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Here is Sarah singing Jingle Bells in Chinese! You have to see's too cute! It is actually my daughter Nicole singing. She is studying Chinese every Saturday.
Hi, I just received an end of the year news letter from AAI (Adoption Advocates International). We used this wonderful agency to adopt Philip & Thomas. AAI has programs with China, and Thailand, but their strongest program is with Ethiopia. They place healthy children and babies, and also older sibling groups with families in the USA. They began placing HIV+ children,and I would like to quote their newsletter...

One of our special joys this year has been the increase in the placement of HIV+children. Just a couple of years ago no HIV+ children were being placed for adoption. With the medication now being provided to the children their condition is manageable and 4 children have joined their families this year and 10 more families are in the adoption process. We are especially pleased when adoptive parents are accepting of sibling groups for HIV+ children. One older boy was at Layla (this is AAI's home for healthy children) for over two years and beginning to fear he would never be adopted. He had a younger sister at AHOPE (AAI's home for HIV+ children).It was decided the two children should be placed together. When a family said they wanted to adopt two children who really needed a family we suggested these two and they are now together with their new family in Oregon.

Wow, it makes me want to cry! I wrote earlier I am reading the book There is no me without you. I can tell you honestly, it will be very hard for me not to at least try to convince Juergen to adopt from Ethiopia. First things first (that meaning Sarah). Maybe you should consider adopting from Ethiopia, or at least give to AAI's many good prodjects that help the children in Ethiopia. I also challange you to read the book There is no me without you. It will move you heart, it is an amazing book!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Some families from my agency who have been waiting a very long time received their TA's (travel approval) today. I didn't! I knew there was no realistic way it would happen, but I pray and I really hope! I guess that also leaves me open to some pretty strong disappointment! I think everyone loves the person who has faith and "wins", but what about those who have faith and do not see the evidence of their desire manifested? I think I need to go back and read Hebrews 11. It begins with these famous words... Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. and ends with these less known words... These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Something to think about. I guess the bottom line is not that I receive what I am hopping for (in my case a TA before the end of the year), but that I place my trust in God, and receive more of Him. Sarah would be an amazing Christmas gift...but Christmas is about Jesus. I already have Christ!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

HERE is a photo show from Love without boundaries.It stars some of the beautiful Chinese children they were able to help in 2006. They have medical teams that do all sorts of surgery to help these kids. This saves their lives, gives them a better future, and in many cases makes the children more adoptable. If you have noticed on the side bar, you can buy books & other things through If you click on Amazon from my website, 10% of what you spend will go to LWB to help the kids in China. You can also consider giving to them. You could help sponsor a surgery, help with nanny care in the children's homes, or help with their feeding programs!watch the photo show, and please consider helping this great work!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I saw this picture on CNN today.It was taken of aids orphans in Makeevka, eastern Ukraine. I was thinking about the orphan population in the world today. It use to be different. Children would lose their parents, and some would need to go to orphanages.Most orphans would find a home at grandmas house, or aunt or uncle so and so's House.The community could usually manage their own orphans. We would not need to consider adoption,unless we wanted children and could not have a child biologically. Aids has changed everything.The numbers are overwhelming. Communities no longer have the people to take the children in. Aunt and uncle so and so have also died of Aids.Where do you place an extra 2 or more million children a year? When will the people in the West wake up and stop acting like it is as it always has been! Aids has changed realty...we must be open to doing more for these children who are growing up with out even the basic needs of food, cloths, safety, and education! Your parents and mine did not live with the scale of need we are living with! We can try to keep up with the Status quo or we can rise to the challenge and do something!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Are some of you praying for us? I am feeling allot less stressed, and much more certain that it's going to work out perfectly! I don't know when we will travel to China,in two weeks or maybe two months? What I know is God has heard my concerns, He knows my heart, and it all rests safely in His hands. He will not forget me! In fact I am sure He has the details worked out beautifully! So today, even if my circumstances have not changed, I have changed! I've known this from the beginning with my mind, but now I am starting to believe it emotionally. I'm not as quick as some! Thank you for praying...and don't stop!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Bible verse that stands out to me today...

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2Corinthians 4:16-18

I've been so fixated on going to China before the end of the year. I've wanted to have Sarah before Christmas (my own hearts desire). I've checked the airline prices. Even if we got a TA, I'm not sure we could afford the tickets anymore. So many people love to travel at Christmas time. I do lose heart! It is easy to say "Amy, just trust God". It is much harder for me personally to get to this place where I can really let go, and not even look at the outward circumstances, really just putting these concerns I have in the hands of God. If I was traveling alone, it would,I believe be easier. But I want to travel with my whole family, so we have a long list of needs (including cheap tickets, hopefully a direct flight, and a airplain that has individual video screens playing Disney movies like "CARS"). Some of you are saying to yourselves, those are not needs,those are desires. Maybe the movie "CARS" is just a desire, but I do desire it because its Thomas's favorite movie, and I want the flight to be OK for all my kids. Traveling with Jessica(she is 15 years old and has autism) is hard enough. It is a Hugh blessing if the other 3 kids are well cared for so Juergen and I can care for Jessica. I am trying to get to this place of real trust. I can not say I am really there, but I am closer. Thomas had a real melt down the other day. I wanted to get the boys a Lego advent calendar.We went to toys are us to buy it. They were out of the calendar.While we were there, Thomas saw the Lego he wants for Christmas. He really fell apart when we left the store with out buying his Christmas present. Afterwards I had to talk to him about trusting us (remember this is only his 2ND Christmas, and it is overwhelmingly exciting). He wants it so badly, and he was afraid if He didn't get it now, it was not certain it would happen. I realize I am no different then Thomas. I want Sarah so badly, and God is telling me to trust him.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Shi shang zhi you ma ma hao
you ma de hai zi xiang ge bao.
tou jin ma ma de huai bao
xin fu xiang bu liao.
Mommy's the only dearest in the world
With a mom, you have the most valued treasure.
Jump into mom's heart
and you have endless happiness.
shi shang zhi you ma ma hao
mei ma de hai zi xiang ge cao
li kai ma ma de huai bao
xin fu na li zhao. 世上只有妈妈好
Mommy's the only dearest in the world
without a mom you are like a piece of grass/straw
away from mom's heart,
where will you find happiness?

listen to this song at

Friday, December 01, 2006

I did not win the bid on the doll bed! They wanted allot for the shipping, and I wasn't willing to pay more for her doll bed then I payed for her bed. I've got 7 tickets to China to pay for. I'm sure I'll find something else for her dolls!
I want everyone to pray for me. I am putting up the Christmas stuff with the kids. I packed the advent calendars, and put up the lights. I couldn't tell you how deeply sad I am right now! I want to make this a special time for my other children, but my heart is so NOT HERE! I can imagine how difficult it is for families who have loved ones away in war, or even my own parents who I know miss me allot! I have a great deal to be thankful for, and I realize Sarah does not miss Christmas. She has never had Christmas, so how could she miss it? It is all me! I feel almost cheated! We would have our TA by now, if, if ,if... I know it will come in due time, but right now I don't feel so Merry! I need some courage, and maybe some encouragement!

All I really want for Christmas is a family

I'm just playing with a new piece of software I got to make scrapbook pages. You know what? The pictures are not making me happy anymore! I have got to get to China soon! I don't want a picture...I want my baby!!!