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!
Monday, December 24, 2007
I got a new camera for Christmas and I took these pictures today. The kids are busy playing. Dinner is in the oven, so I put this short slide show together. Jessica isn't in the show because she has a bad cold, and was sleeping. I can safely say the bike was a very big hit with Sarah. Philip got a camera too. Nicole got some pretty cool books and craft stuff. Thomas got Lego. Jessica got a cat encyclopedia. Juergen got an iron and a great new book. For me the greatest gift is just watching the kids play. I'm going to drink a hot tea, put my tired feet up and just listen to the joy!
HERE is the blog of one family getting their new daughter today. Sarah is getting her bike tonight. In Germany we open the gifts after Church (the traditional manger play). The kids will go to church with Papa, and I stay home to set things up at home. We never leave gifts under the tree early. I spent yesterday afternoon packing gifts. Nicole helped me. I plan to put up our artificial tree in the boys bedroom. I'll cover it with chocolate ornaments. I will put all the gifts under this tree. When they get home from church they may experience a few seconds of panic because there won't be any gifts under the living room tree. Then they will follow the red thread to the new tree. That's the plan. I'll post the photos later. I've got to shop for food. The stores close for two days. We are having Sauerbraten for dinner. Merry Christmas everyone. God bless you and keep you safe.
PS. They got her. Isn't she beautiful!!!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I read this on another blog & I thought it was pretty good. Some of the best things in life are things you could not touch or explain like love. The photo is of Jessica our 16 year old Autistic daughter just after heart surgery (she was 3 months old). Jessica taught me to love.
DEAR PASTOR KENT ---
I AM EIGHT YEARS OLD --- MY TEACHER IN SCHOOL TOLD ME THAT THE UNIVERSE IS ALL THERE IS --- AND YET MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME THAT ON CHRISTMAS --- JESUS CAME FROM BEYOND THIS UNIVERSE --- TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR US --- THAT THE BABY JESUS WANTS TO BE OUR SAVIOR --- PAPA SAYS THAT IF THEY TEACH IT AT OAK HILLS --- YOU CAN BELIEVE IT --- SO PLEASE TELL ME THE TRUTH --- IS THERE A SAVIOR? ---
SIGNED --- VIRGINIA O’HANLON…
HERE’S MY RESPONSE --- (By Kent Carlson)
“DEAR VIRGINIA ---
YOUR TEACHER IS WRONG --- THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE IS NOT ALL THERE IS ---- YOUR TEACHER --- AND MANY LIKE HER --- HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE SKEPTICISM OF OUR SKEPTICAL AGE --- THEY ONLY BELIEVE WHAT THEY CAN SEE --- THEY THINK THAT NOTHING CAN BE --- WHICH IS NOT COMPREHENSIBLE BY THEIR LITTLE MINDS…
“BUT ALL MINDS --- VIRGINIA --- WHETHER THEY BE ADULTS’ OR CHILDREN’S --- ARE LITTLE”…
“IN THIS GREAT UNIVERSE OF OURS --- WE HUMANS --- IN SPITE OF MATTERING VERY MUCH TO GOD --- ARE LIKE LITTLE INSECTS TRYING TO PLUMB THE DEPTHS OF QUANTUM PHYSICS --- WHEN WE HAMMER ON THINGS ABOVE OUR HEADS --- WE ARE BOUND TO HIT OUR THUMBS”…
“YES VIRGINIA --- THERE IS A SAVIOR --- HE EXISTS AS SURELY AS LOVE --- AND GENEROSITY --- AND DEVOTION EXIST --- AND YOU KNOW THAT THEY ABOUND ---- AND GIVE YOUR LIFE ITS HIGHEST BEAUTY AND JOY --- IN FACT --- ALL THAT IS BEAUTIFUL IN THIS WORLD --- HAS ITS ORIGIN --- IN THE ONE WHOSE BEAUTY IS BEYOND OUR IMAGINATION”…
“ALAS --- HOW DREARY --- HOW HOPELESS THIS WORLD WOULD BE --- IF THERE WAS NO SAVIOR --- IF THAT WERE THE CASE --- THERE MAY AS WELL BE NO VIRGINIA --- THERE WOULD BE NO CHILDLIKE FAITH --- NO POETRY --- NO PAINTING --- NO MUSIC --- NO ROMANCE TO MAKE THIS EXISTENCE TOLERABLE”…
“NOT BELIEVE IN THE SAVIOR? --- YOU MAY AS WELL NOT BELIEVE IN LOVE”…
“YOU COULD GET YOUR PAPA TO HIRE SCIENTISTS TO EXPLAIN ALL THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE --- BUT THE MOST REAL THINGS IN LIFE --- ARE THOSE THINGS THAT NEITHER CHILDREN --- NOR ADULTS CAN SEE”…
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
What do you do when you are sad about the death of a child? CHI has decided to help another child in his memory. There is a very sweet child on CHI's waiting list named Travis (not his real name/just his list name). He has a blood disease called Alpha Thalassemia. He needs to have regular blood transfusions or he becomes anemic. The SWI can not afford the transfusions. You need to understand these orphanages are all operating on tight budgets with just so much for medical expenses. CHI is going to raise the money necessary for his medical treatments. I think this is a great idea. If you want to help then please contact CHI at stefani @ infowest.com (remove the spaces). You can also contact them if you want to adopt this very sweet and other wise healthy and normal boy. Isn't he the sweetest thing? He just turned two years old. He is a real great boy! He really needs a family!
If you are a US citizen adopting from China you will need to go to Guangzhou, China. They have a site that has information about the process you will be going through there. I guess there are new forms beginning in 2008. If you are traveling soon you may want to take a look.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
They don't all find families. This is Yan Fu Ming. He was blind and spent his short life in a Chinese orphanage with out a family. He would have been 2 years old on Sunday, but today he took another journey. He died. How or why I do not know. What I do know is there were people searching for his family. He had a grant for his adoption. I'm sure many people were looking and praying for his family. In a way these people were his family. They were the ones who cared about his future. Today he has not died unnoticed.
This is the second verse from the Christmas song Away in the Manger...
Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there
I'm sitting here on this cold December day, just a few short days before Christmas. I delivered my sweet Sarah to her kindergarten. She is very excited because the kindergarten Christmas party is tonight. Juergen will attend with her. I'm going to be on taxi duty (Thomas has drum lessons). I am living this Psycho life. I see my adopted children happy, growing, and thriving. They are not "perfect". Sarah has a mean temper, Thomas has an anger problem, Philip has learning problems. But they are all really growing...moving so far forward. Even Philip read to Juergen and I the other night. We were so worried about him, but he is finally starting to read. My heart hurts for all the others. All those children everywhere who have no parents to fight for them. They don't have Christmas trees, visits to Santa Clause, and too much candy. Most of them don't even know what it's like to own their own pair of shoes. If any one questions why I would want to adopt again...it's because I am so filled with grief when I think about all the "others". There is no shortage of waiting children, only too few families willing to step outside of their comfort zone and adopt them. Like I said, Juergen will attend Sarah's Christmas party. She will be dancing and singing. I hope he gets good photos. I'll post something for you. Thomas is a real natural on the drums. I use to play the drums too. He is good! My life would be missing so much without these kids. Maybe you need to consider what you're missing too!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I found another waiting girl that looks allot like Sarah...only goofy! She is 5 years old and has had a corrected cleft lip and palate. She seems to be smart, healthy and very very cute! Boy, look at that hair! I think she is so beautiful...Juergen please...for Christmas?
PS. I e-mailed the agency about this girl. They will not work with us because we live in Germany. She needs to find a family in the USA. How sad for me because I really love that goofy smile. Please someone adopt this beautiful girl!!!
I just walked Sarah to her kindergarten. There is a very heavy frost on everything. I know some of my readers just love the cold weather. You should come to Germany, it's freezing here! I personally hate the cold weather. Hate is a strong word, REALLY HATE is closer to the truth! Sarah wanted to take her time walking to school. She wanted to walk backwards and climb on every rock. I felt like the Grinch...hurry up Mama is cold! What am I doing living in this freezer! I should live in Thailand, at least in the winter time. I want to be walking next to the Indian ocean. Sarah is right, people should go slowly and walk on every rock!
I'm posting the photo of this sweet waiting girl (Brighton on CHI's waiting list). Her file is being returned in January. She has had surgery for spina meningocele. She is living in foster care. They have a $5000 grant to help with her adoption. I hope her family finds her quickly! Her file reads,
"Active, moves, like to imitate, sing and dance. Outgoing. She can understand the meaning of foster grandma. She can put one her clothes with help of grandma. She can read others minds and win the favor of the adult". It is not clear if she is walking well, or if she has any of the other problems that could affect a child with this SN. They are trying to get more information. This is her second time on the waiting list. Contact CHI for more information.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Waiting Chinese kids seem to be waiting even longer these days. I realize it's partly due to new rules China has set up like "you must be married at least 5 years", and "no singles can adopt". Juergen and I adopted our sons Philip and Thomas from Thailand. We went through the agency Adoption Advocates International in Washington State. AAI is a really wonderful, very personal agency. They have 6 kids on their China list that need families now(the files need to be returned to China very soon). A boy born in 2005 who has had surgery for both cleft lip and palate. He is now healthy. They have two older healthy girls (one who is 12, the other 10). China only allows a child to be adopted until age 13. The one 12 year old may never find a family if it's not now! They have a little girl born in June 2006 who has malformed hands and feet. She is really lovely. They have another little girl born in 2005 who has poor eye sight. They also have a very adorable little boy who is 3 years old and has clubbed feet (a correctable disorder). AAI does not photo list their kids, but they are a wonderful agency to work with. You can contact Ky for more information. Please especially advocate for the two older girls. Imagine never having a family...everyone deserves a family!
I want to send a big congratulations to my blogger friend Mary on the birth of her daughter Phoebe Joy and the LOA of her new son Chang Yi Shan. They will be getting a TA in January and will go from a family of 4 to a family of 6 in 2 months! God's grace, strength and joy to all of you! Merry Christmas! I know your joy is full!!!
Now that's a change! This morning Sarah was having such a good time cuddling with mama (me) that I had to beg her to get ready for school. We have to be in kindergarten by 9:30 or they close the door and you can not get in anymore. I promised her we could cuddle this afternoon. Now isn't that sweet! She loves me more then school!Just imagine...me!!!!
Monday, December 17, 2007
HERE is another waiting child. She is a beautiful girl with Hep B. She is with an agency that requires the child being adopted to be the youngest child in the home by 9 months (not such a great rule if the waiting child is older). This beautiful girl was born in April 1998. She is 9 years old. She is going to need "older" parents with grown kids I guess. I hope this post speaks to someones heart. This isn't China's policy, but it does make it harder to find a family for this girl.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
There is a 9 year old boy on a waiting list. His file needs to be returned soon. I think his file has made the rounds to 3 agency's and will probably not be sent to another agency. This sweet child will be considered unadoptable. He is healthy. His speech is delayed, and he is a little behind in his development. He turns 10 years old in January. I realize what goes into adopting an older child. He needs a special family...one that can accept his challenges. I'm sure he would thrive in a good family! There is a $10,000 grant to help cover his adoption expenses. If you live in the USA all his other adoption expenses would be covered by the tax credit the USA offers. If you wanted to change the world...here is your chance to really make a difference! He looks like a really sweet kid! I'm sure he would add a great deal of joy to a family. If it's not your family, then please pray a family comes forwards soon. As my good husband says, "every child deserves a family"!
Here is another video called 4 Generations - The Water Buffalo Movie. I saw this on another blog. Again it shows the poverty in China. But China is not the only country in the world with needy people. Here is where for $50 or more you can buy livestock for a poor family (World vision). It could change a families whole life.
Friday, December 14, 2007
We decided to put the tree up early because Juergen most likely will be spending Christmas week with his mom and dad (his mom is very sick). Sarah was really excited. I took this photo of her joy. Juergen says it looks like a dentist commercial, I say it looks like a very happy kid!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Update on Sawyer...His mom wrote...
"As most of you know he was diagnosed with Neurocutaneous Melanosis, now
symptomatic. Some children are living normal, well as normal as they can
with seizure activity, lives. However he has significant leptomenigial
involvement which doesn't produce the same positive statistics. We are
praying and hopeful that he will beat those stats and live a long and
You can send a card to this family. I will e-mail the address to you if you e-mail me at amy_heymann @ yahoo. de (remove the spaces)
Remeber, this is a single mom...so please slip some money into that card too! Put your self in her shoes. She is a brave and wonderful women. I pray she is overwhelmed by a flood of compassion and support (both prayer support and real practical support). She isn't asking for anything but we should all send it anyway!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Looking ahead to 2008. In August 2008 I hope to be taking Nicole (who will be turning 15 years old) to Mexico to build a house for a poor family. She has been raising the money to pay for her own flight and expenses. We also want to help pay for the building materials for this house. It's a very basic house and the materials cost $5000. So far only one wonderful soul has given money towards the building of this house. Nicole is a little discouraged, but I told her to pray. I'm writing you to ask if you could contribute a small amount towards this house. Even $5 or $10
would really make a difference. All the money will go towards building material...100%. Mother Teresa visited Tijuana once. She said she saw poverty there that was as bad as what she had seen in India. I use to live in San Diego, and take trips down there to help. People live in shacks made of whatever they can find. They have dirt floors that turn to mud when it rains. I want to teach my daughter how she can use the gifts God has given her to change the world. Nicole is a very gifted and compassionate person. It is a huge honor to be her mom. I thank you for any gift you give towards this project. You can donate money for the house through pay pal. The donation link is on the side bar of this page. Just click on ChipIn.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Please pray. I met this sweet boy in Nanjing. I even advocated for him to find his family. His single mom has only had him for a few months. The moles that cover a great deal of his little body are also now deep with in his brain. They are causing him to have seizures. I read this prayer request on IAAP's web group.
"If you are a person who prays, please say one for Sawyer, Shelli, and
his siblings. He had a grand mal seizure last night that would not stop with meds and he was put into an drug-induced coma on a respirator.
This morning he was still sedated, but off the respirator. He is in Cincinatti Children's. If we hear anything, we'll try to update here.!"
He is a beautiful child with a really wonderful mom. Please pray for this family.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Sarah got to meet Saint Nicolas this afternoon at the kindergarten. I don't have any pictures because parents weren't invited. Saint Nicolas gave her one of his old hats filled with lots of good stuff. She was a little afraid when I brought her to school. I had to talk her into staying. Boy was she jazzed when I went to pick her up! I hope the kindergarten took pictures, but I have these "after" shots. Oh what joy!!!
Santa almost forgot to leave the cookies on the table this morning. It is Saint Nicholas Tag in Germany. The kids get cookies and candy, and a small little gift from Saint Nicholas . Sarah was very sleepy when Juergen brought her to the table to meet her new bear. She did like the cookies, but only eat one. the rest she will eat later. This afternoon Saint Nicholas comes to her kindergarten. Fun, fun, fun!!!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I've been watching Adoption on the Hallmark channel online. The newest episode is very interesting, it's called second chances. It's about an amazing women who took in Russian orphans who have had disrupted adoptions. These kids have been through very awful situations in these institutions. This sort of adoption is not for cowards. I think this women has some pretty good clues on how to help post institutionalized kids. She speaks about structure, teaching them to work at natural things (gardens, cutting wood, raising animals) and ridding horses. I think I can apply some of what I see here to the lives of my own kids. Their experience was not so awful, but they were all in institutions (Philip, Thomas, and Sarah). They all need structure, respect, and hard work. Work is very important because everything is done for you in an orphanage. A great deal of pride and self worth is passed on when a person starts a task, and manages to finish that task. Like I said, this kind of adoption is not for most of us, but I found this very interesting.
I just dropped Sarah off at the kindergarten. Her teacher told me that tomorrow afternoon Saint Nicholas will come to the kindergarten for a visit. We told Sarah and she got very afraid. I almost could not leave her. I had to stay for 10 mins. just to calm her down because she just seemed so afraid. She has no real concept of this whole Santa thing. Here in Germany December 6Th is Saint Nicholas day. The kids get cookies and small gifts in the morning. Santa does not come on Christmas, that is the Christ Child. I actually like the German tradition better then the American way. We also decorate the tree on Christmas eve. I will buy the tree next week, and leave it on the balcony until then. Every day until Christmas (beginning December 1) our kids get a small gift in their advent calender. Every morning it's a small bit of excitement.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
In the Christmas card I just posted of Sarah, I was trying to recreate a photo I took of Nicole when she was 4 years old. The dress is very special. It was made by my mom. The white satin was from my wedding dress. I love this photo of Nicole, but Sarah was so goofy...she would not sit still. Oh well,As Edna Mode said in the movie the Incredibles,"I never look back...it distracts from the now!" BTW, the dress almost didn't fit Nicole when she was 4, and it is way too big for Sarah.
I just saw this beautiful adoption video. I don't know the family but their daughter is very lovely! I know many people are just waiting to bring your kids home. It is so hard to want them home for Christmas. Oh, we wanted Sarah to be home for Christmas last year. It hurt that she wasn't with us. But she is with us now! She will be getting a bicycle for Christmas, and she can not wait! All I can say to those who wait and those who dream to adopt is hold fast to your dreams. It will be worth the wait. It will be wonderful!
Monday, December 03, 2007
While I'm at it...How can a little two year old girl as beautiful as this still be waiting for a family after one month? Her SN has been corrected. Her development is normal! She should have been snatched off the waiting list in one day...no, one minute. I expected people to be fighting over her. People please take my word for it...this is a treasure! I am so amazed her family has not found her yet! If I could only get a waver from Juergen I would adopt her myself! She is on CHI's waiting list. It is easy to get the password. Just ask for it HERE. She has the cutest mouth, like a little bird.
The girl in the light blue shirt is 11 years old and available for adoption through CHI. She is healthy and does well in school and is helpful with other children. Her only special need is her age. When she turns 13 she can no longer be adopted. Do you have the room in your heart and home for an older child? Her profile reads, "she is studying in Grade 4 in primary school, studies hard, respects teachers, is friendly to classmates, like to commonweal activity at school, got excellent grades for every lesson in exams, is gifted on drawing and well-liked by teachers and classmates." It also reads "She likes cleanness, is polite and obedient to the caretakers as well as care for younger sisters and brothers. She often shares the food distributed to her younger sisters and brothers in the SWI. She is outgoing and empathetic." Sounds like a real treasure! Did you know that if you are past the normal age limit to adopt from China, you can still get a waver to adopt an older child like this child?