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!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sarah fell asleep on the stairs yesterday afternoon. She will not take a nap, but sometimes can not help herself. Notice the balloons. Nicole is practicing making balloon hats and animals for our Sunday school class. We live in a row house (town house) that has 4 stories. The stairs are opened, so Juergen hung up the attractive net for safety. I’m glad the net is there!

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Fridays Favorite Foto Challenge I was doing the past few weeks is ending. I am going to invite my readers to join my Friday Foto Challenge. Each Friday I will post a theme, and you take that theme and post photos to that theme on your blog. I can add a feature to my blog you can add your blog link to. If your interested, leave me a comment or add a link to your blog post. This weeks Theme will be Ice cream.
Sarah can not eat ice cream with milk. Lucky for her our local Italian ice cream dealer makes a fruit ice with out milk. I remember eating ice cream from Thrifty's drug store in Phoenix ,Arizona when I was a kid.I always loved their rainbow sherbet. Now if I'm going to eat the calories, it has to be chocolate! Juergens favorite ice cream is Häagen-Dazs cookie dough, but you can not buy it in Germany. He eats it every time he makes a trip to the states! When I lived in Oregon, we made home made blackberry ice cream! I rember cranking the old ice cream maker by hand. It was worth it!

This photo was taken on the day we got Sarah April 9, 2007

Last night I put Sarah to bed by my self. I know that sounds strange, but it's the very first time it's happened in almost 3 months. The few times Juergen has been gone, I have let Sarah sleep with Philip and Thomas. This time I made her sleep in her own bed. She cried, but only for a minute. She was pretty tired, and fell asleep very quickly. I'm going to try to put her to bed every other night. She is very much dependent on routine. I think having Juergen put her to bed, and get her up in the mornings is more a habit now then anything else. Any way, it was a major step for me to get her to bed alone! To be honest, I was afraid to do it. I hate to see her cry tears of fear. I can handle temper tantrums...but fear gets me! I don't think she is afraid of me any more. Thank God for this!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Please pray for Philip.
This was sent to me by my Aunt Pat. I thought it was pretty good.

POSITION : Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa,

JOB DESCRIPTION : Long term, team players needed, for
challenging permanent work in an often chaotic
environment. Candidates must possess excellent
communication and organizational skills and be willing
to work variable hours, which will include evenings
and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some
overnight travel required, including trips to
primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless
sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses
not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also

RESPONSIBILITIES : The rest of your life. Must be
willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until
someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue
repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of
a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in
three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams
from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical
challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously
sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone
calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of
multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan
and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages
and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be
indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a
half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated
devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared
for the worst. Must assume final, complete
accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and
janitorial work throughout the facility.

job is to remain in the same position for years,
without complaining, constantly retraining and
updating your skills, so that those in your charge can
ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually
exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION : Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon
payment is due when they turn 18 because of the
assumption that college will help them become
financially independent. When you die, you give them
whatever is left. The oddest thing about this
reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it
and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS : While no health or dental insurance, no
pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays
and no stock options are offered; this job supplies
limitless opportunities for personal growth and free
hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I saw some photos from Nanjing, China today. It made me realize again what a terrible time I had in China. It was awful! I hate to think about those weeks! I still have two disposable cameras with pictures of Sarah in the orphanage. I need to have these photos developed, but I don't even want to look at them. I don't want to think of Sarah in the orphanage. I don't think she would want to see these photos either...not right now. We were in the store today, and came across a mom with her young son. They were Chinese. She was speaking Chinese to her son. Sarah grabbed my hand and held it tight and said Mama. She was sitting in her stroller, and she took the top of the stroller and pulled it down, as if to hide. No, I don't think she wants anything much to do with China right now. It's kind of sad. I feel like I've been burned. I need the fresh wounds to heal, and time and distance to allow my sad memories to fade. Perhaps then I can think again about where Sarah came from. China is an amazing place, but for me it was a very painful time.

The photo is of Sarah's empty bed in Nanjing.

Thanks for all your well wishes. I wish you all lived near me. I've got some nice neighbors, but none with adopted kids from China. I would say I'm 50% better then yesterday. So if you are a "the glass is half full" kind of person, that's good news. I'm wishing I could spend one more day in bed, but I am going slowly today. I made this butterfly with Sarah today. I used a toilet paper roll, and 2 paper plates. I cut the wings out first from the paper plates. Then Sarah painted them with water colors. After they dried, I hot glued the whole thing together. Then I let Sarah add some stickers to the butterfly. I think it would be a good craft for a play date, birthday party, or Sunday school class.

PS. Juergen wanted you all to know he is not boring, he just wanted to help me look good in Sarah’s eyes!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'm really sick with a head and chest cold. Juergen took the morning off so I could sleep. I slept until 1pm. I wish I could stay in bed all day. Juergen actually worked all morning on his computer while Sarah watched one DVD after another (not good). You would think Sarah would be smart enough to realize Papa is not nearly as fun as Mama! Philip and Thomas are home from school now. They learned to make a bow and arrow from Nicole. They are in the garden perfecting their archery. Sarah is right there with them. She has her own little home made bow. I'm glad they can play well together. I have no energy to entertain anyone. How could anyone have just one child?

PS. I made homemade Chicken soup for lunch. Sarah didn't like it, but Thomas eat 3 bowls.

“A Jewish woman had 2 chickens. One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup out of the healthy chicken to help the sick one get well.”

Monday, June 25, 2007

We walked to our neighborhood Italian Ice cream shop. They make their own ice cream in the store from the finest fresh ingredients. The owners are really Italian. They run the shop from May until October, and then spend every winter in Italy.
I don't have a picture of it, but I found Sarah sitting in her bed with a pair of scissors tonight. She had cut some of her own hair (not much). I asked her about it, and you should have seen the guilt. I put the scissors back in the desk. When I returned, I found Sarah standing before the mirror to see what she had done to her hair! I think all kids cut their own hair once. Nicole cut Jessica’s hair if I remember. It is hardly noticeable! Too cute!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sarah cried an hour this morning. I finally got her quite about two minutes before Juergen got home. It was not nearly as bad as I thought it could be. Why do I waste so much energy worrying? Juergen had a good time with old friends. I'm sorry I missed it, but so glad he didn't miss it! And of course, we are all glad he is home.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sarah is sleeping in Philip and Thomas's room. She kicked Philip out of his bed. I took the mattress from her bed and put it on the floor for Philip. She kept asking the question "Where is Papa"? At first the boys answered her, but that only made her panic more. I told them to just stay quite. If she doesn't have an audience, maybe she will stop the drama! I promised them money to stay quite! It worked. I sat in a chair and waited, she kept talking, the boys stayed quite. She fell asleep! No tears! I hope she is tired enough from the day to stay asleep all night. Juergen will come home in the morning. I may need to deal with some panic in the morning...but so far so good! Praise God for his help! Some things you can not explain to a child. Something’s they just have to live through. Like Juergen going to work and then coming home again. When this first happened, there where 3 hours of non- stop tears. Now it's "bye bye"! Some times experience is the only way to learn to trust.

Juergen is away at the 25TH wedding Anniversary of one of his best friends. It would be nice if I could have joined him, but that just is not possible with our kids. I'm glad he could go and have a good reunion with many old friends. My chief concern was Sarah, and how she would be when her Papa is gone. This afternoon I took Philip, Thomas and Sarah to a place called Jump IN. I went with one of my good friends. We talked and had coffee while the kids worked up a good sweat! Nicole took care of Jessica. It worked out very well. I had no trouble getting Sarah to leave. I didn't feed her there. By the time she had played for 3 hours, and it was late, she gladly came with me. I promised her Mc Donald’s! They all got a shower and now she is watching a video with the boys. I hope bed time goes OK. I'm afraid she will panic when she realizes Papa isn't coming home.

My Purse
I’ve been tagged by Kim at the seventh diamond to share with you the contents of my purse. I don’t actually carry a purse, it’s mostly a backpack. When I want something smaller, I just stick some money and my bank card in my keychain and leave the back pack in the car. The back pack is a mess. I wish I was neat, fashionable and organized, but I’m none of the above. I’ve got sunglasses, My uncharged cell phone (I always forget to charge it), plastic spoons, soda straws, and diapers in my pack. There are band aids, chewing gum, and a sewing kit. I feel a little like Dora the explorer. I often put snacks, a leapster, colored pencils, drawing paper, and a drink in there. I have a book; I’m always reading one or two books. Right now it’s Why Christian Kids Rebel: Trading Heartache for Hope by Tim Kimmel
I also keep my digital camera in there when I’m going out. I don’t want to miss a good picture. Yesterday I missed Sarah’s haircut, because the camera got left on the dinning room table. As you can see, I’m a Mommy and a student. I use to be a university pastor, and I never got rid of my pack.

Hi, the family foto challenge this week is Wild West. Sarah has only been home for two months, so I'm afraid we don't have too many photos of her dressed in cowgirl costumes. I do have these shots of Nicole (now almost 14) riding her wooden horse and her daddy. Papa made the best horse!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Most of you wrote you like the no bang look. To be honest with you I like no bangs better too. Juergen however likes bangs. He wanted bangs on his little girl. "Little" girl is the key word here. No bangs is beautiful, and makes the girls look more grown up (well this is what I think). He wants his baby to look like a baby. Sarah doesn't really like stuff in her hair, so the no bang thing wasn't going to work for her anyway. I'm sorry but I forgot my camera at home when I got her hair cut. Sarah wasn't giving me a good "after" photo, but it does look cute. I'm going to let it grow long. Right now we are going away from the crowd...bangs are us!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hair Poll- Sarah’s bangs are getting pretty long. I can cut them, or let them grow. I think they would be cute cut, but the really beautiful Asian women I've seen have their hair parted, and one bangs. What do you think? Bangs or no bangs?

This morning Sarah had another’s Doctors appointment. This time they had to take blood. I expected allot of tears but she was very brave! The Doctor gave her a ring, and it has a butterfly on it! The Doctors office is in the old town of Heidelberg. You can almost see the castle from the balcony of his office. After the Doctors office, I took Sarah to Toys R Us for a small well done gift. She only wanted big stuff like play houses, and bikes. We had a good time looking, but I only bought her apple juice.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sarah cried herself to sleep tonight. Juergen was helping Nicole practice for an oral presentation in Chemistry. She needs to do a 20 minute presentation with hand outs on gases in the atmosphere (she is only in the 8th grade). Juergen is going to a party on Saturday night. The party is out of town and he won't return until Sunday. We thought we had better practice making Sarah let Mama put her to bed. I'm sorry to report it did not go well! She would not let me hold her hand. She cried the whole time for Juergen. She finally just cried herself to sleep. She isn't the only one crying! I guess this is just one more valley we are going to have to pass through. I really don't mind her preferring Papa, but her total rejection of me kind of hurts! OK, she does not totally reject me. I guess that's what makes it so strange. She is cuddling with me all afternoon, and then treating me like I'm dirt at night. I don't mind her wanting her time with Papa, but I should (in my small mind) be an OK substitute once in awhile!
Users rage against China's 'Great Firewall'

Last week I said I would start a new thing about mind and body. I red an article this week about what makes people "happy". At the top of this list is counting your blessings. They say it works best not to count your blessings every day, but about 3 times a week. I'm going to try this...and so is Juergen. Of course you already know Juergen is at the top of my blessing list! I use to have what I called a parking blessing. I lived in Southern California, so trust me it was a very good blessing to have. My friends use to tease me that when I drove down the crowded San Diego freeway, the sea of cars would part and let me pass. When I married Juergen I somehow lost that parking blessing. I guess God knew I didn't need much more...Juergen is more then enough!

Sarah and I visited another good friend, and my prayer partner Brigitta today. We ended up at the play ground. Sarah had a good time. She was a little shy today. She didn't have her "normal" level of energy. She also didn't want to stay long. So it ended up being a short visit. I think Brigitta is spending Saturday with us, so we will hopefully have more time then. Sarah is getting clingier, and I guess that's a good sign she is attaching to me. When she first came home I'm sure she would have gone to anyone. I think she is not really ready for kindergarten. I believe she wants and needs to be home with Mama.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sarah is crashed out on the sofa. She needs a nap everyday, but would never volunteer to take one. We visited with my good friend Inkeri this morning. It’s been a whole month since we saw Inkeri and she noticed the very big changes in Sarah. When you are right in the middle of things it’s hard to see any real growth. Sarah is so much more relaxed. She can understand English and German. She is starting to count, and says her ABC’s. She has also learned her colors. She is accepting me. She laughs with me, hugs me, and also calls me Mama. She brought Inkeri two books to look at. The first was her photo album of her family. She is so proud to have a family. The second book was her new children’s Bible. Juergen gave her the Bible on Sunday, and she is carrying it around all the time!

Monday, June 18, 2007

you can click on the photo and it gets larger

Yesterday our 15 year old autistic daughter Jessica actually let Sarah sit down with her and watch a video. Jessica has been pretty upset with Sarah’s bratty behavior. She had looked forward to adding Sarah to our family. When Sarah rejected everyone except Juergen in China, Jessica could not forgive her. She has been hiding in her room and even refusing to eat at the same table as Sarah. Slowly the walls are coming down. Yesterday she took a big step by allowing Sarah into her bedroom. It was a very big step forward.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Today is Father's day in the USA. We live in Germany, so I had to tell Juergen this was a special day! One of the first things I noticed about Juergen 18 years ago was that he would make a good dad. We were at the home of a missionary in München. A group of us were having lunch together. The son of the missionary came out into the garden. Everyone continued to talk and sit. Juergen however got up and played ball with the boy. He still gets up and plays. This morning we lay in bed with Sarah. He pretended his hand was a nose. He made his hand snore, and sneeze. You had to be there, but it was very funny. He loves his children, and they love him! It is an amazing gift to have a dad. More and more children do not know the love of a good father. It is a treasure nothing could ever replace! It is a picture of our heavenly Father who waits to embrace all his children!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Fathers Day !

How many of these Mom sayings do you use?

I found this butterfly craft. Isn't it cute? I'm going to make it with Sarah!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I just saw this organization on one of my favorite blogs Owlhaven. Its called Malaria no more. If you need a last minute fathers day gift for the dad who already has everything , how about donating a life saving mosquito net to save a child's life in Africa? The nets are only $10, but malaria kills over 1 million kids a year!

Sarah gave me a big kiss tonight when I got her dressed to pick her sister Nicole up from the youth group meeting at church. She is really big with the kisses when she is saying goodbye. Trust me; she would be having a fit if I made her "stay" with me! I know when I'm being used!

This photo is for family foto friday. I'm happy Sarah loves her papa, I just want her to love me too...100%! I think that's what we all want.
"Are we there yet"? I remember being crowed into the back of the family car without seatbelts or air conditioning for long summer trips. The destination was the goal. The journey was just something to get through. I've been on a journey with Sarah and I hear my heart shouting "are we there yet"? If attachment is the goal, I'm afraid the answer is "not yet"! Last night she almost fell asleep in my arms. Then Juergen walked into the room. Sarah woke up, kicked me and said in Chinese, "I don't want Mama"! Some times I feel like I'm just another care taker. I'm just one of the many people she has allowed to take care of her. She likes me OK, but that’s as far as it goes. Juergen is her parent. She marked him like a baby bird, and he is the real deal. I know all of this will change over time but we are not "there" yet. I just want people to be realistic about this whole attachment thing! It can be a very long trip for a parent to find a real place in the heart of their child. This morning I'm taking a coffee break, and I'm getting back into the car!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I bought Sarah a few Chinese DVD's when I was in China. So far she seemed a little too insecure to watch these DVD'S. Today however, she saw them on her shelf, and wanted to look at one. They are very well made with adorable Chinese children in traditional costumes singing Chinese songs. I would never have thought anything about these songs. Nicole on the other hand has studied Chinese for 1 1/2 years. She pointed out that all these songs were about Communism. The children were singing the praises of the state, and how wonderful it was to be a soldier for Communism. Even Sarah has been taught already to march! Did you realize China is rising up an army?

Today I took Sarah to one of our local Kindergartens to sign her up for the fall. It was a very nice kindergarten. It's small, only 2 groups of kids. It's in a big old house with a great back yard. They do allot of wonderful art with the kids. You can see cool art projects everywhere. The teachers were really wonderful with us, and the other kids. The only problem is I'm too late. They have no more places for the fall. I am on a list, and may need to wait a whole year. I could look at other kindergartens, but this one is within walking distance to our house. The kids she meets in this kindergarten are probably the same kids she would go to first grade with. I could keep her home an extra year. That would save me allot of money (kindergarten is pretty expensive). It would also give us another year to bond. In the mean time, there are playgroups, and other activities like swimming we could do together. Sarah does not really seem emotionally ready for kindergarten. She would probably do much better if I waited a year. Like I said, I could just find another kindergarten, but maybe it's just best to wait!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I was thinking of giving this blog post the title "from head to toe". Who knows, maybe I will make it a regular feature of my blog. Every week I will post something for the mind, and the body. This afternoon, Sarah wanted (you guessed it) another long bath. She loves to play in the tub! I have to sit there with her. My sister fell asleep in the bathtub when I was a kid. I think she hit her chin on the tub and was bleeding. It's a good thing she did not drown! I feel like I need to keep my eyes on my "no nap" princess. Anyway, I wanted something for me to do while I watched Sarah splash. I have a foot message bath. Juergen gave it to me for Christmas about 6 years ago. It's like new because I never use it. I decided to bring the old foot whirlpool out of the dusty closet, and indulge my feet in a one hour message! It was for lack of a better word, WONDERFUL!!! I am keeping the foot message in the bathroom to use ever time Sarah goes to camp rubber ducky! I am also reading a book called "Why Christian Kids Rebel" by Tim Kimmel. So far it's a great read. Now if my other kids would just cooperate with Mommy's little would be soooo gooood!!!