cherry blossom baby

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 Join the joyous journey to my baby in China!

Monday, August 04, 2008

A New Chapter Has Begun

We are in China now and can finally begin posting our adventures. We would love to have you join us on our new blog CherryBlossomLife!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Snow White and the Ten Days

When Abbey was potty training her goal was to fill a page with stickers and get a Snow White dress. She's never seen any Disney movies but did bump into Snow White herself on our trip to Disneyland for her 3rd birthday, and she has never stopped talking about it. We were at an exhibit in California Adventure and looked up to see Snow White standing shoulder to shoulder with us. She said hello and then ran away but that moment made a huge impression on Abbey. Anyway, the first Snow White dress we got at Target fell apart the first day (we put it on in the store before we even paid for it). The second dress that we got at ToysRUs has been fabulous.
She wears it all the time. This picture is from a baby shower we went to yesterday. She loves it when people say "Hi Snow White". She wants me to get a Sleeping Beauty dress (because as she says, I always go pee-pee in the potty) and dress up a long with her.

Two funny things about Miss Abbey. 1) She always "takes notes" on everything. For example if she is working on a puzzle she will say, "Just a minute, I've got to write this down!", and run over to another table with a little note pad and pen and write some things down (scribbles) and then go work some more and then run to make more notes about what she's done. 2) She tapes notes she's made anywhere I will let her. Especially before nap she needs to make little signs and tape them on to her special things telling people, "Nobody touch this" or "Don't move this". Where she gets all this I do not know, but nobody better mess with her things because she comes back to check on it all later. Her most important things get hidden in her play refrigerator.

And we have ten days until we leave. There is no way I can explain what this has been like, but suffice it to say - not easy. We have had lots of support and help though, which we greatly appreciate. I am waking up each day at about 3:30 a.m. and have just decided to start my day then, otherwise my mind can't stop with the mental lists. Our home now looks like the Who house after the Grinch has stripped everything. Please pray that it will lease and that we will get everything important done. God is building up my faith and helping me overcome my fears. Of course Abbey makes everything fun and the delight of spending time with her is the joy of each day.

Friday, July 04, 2008

More Red Thread

Taking a brief moment from the mountain of "to do's" to catch my breath. This is quite a mountain I am attempting to climb with the impending move to China in 19 days, but I find comfort in the thought that it is not as daunting as the adoption or the medical battle I went through to get Abbey. I wanted to share a red thread story with you. Somewhere back along our way I met a friendly lady named Paulette who was starting down the adoption pathway. We shared a common career of teaching, the plan to adopt as single moms, and best of all our faith in God. We communicated through emails and blogs and were eventually were able to spend a day together when Paulette traveled to our area. Abbey loved her day with Paulette and so did I. We were thrilled when she received her referral and I was amazed to learn that the child she was matched with was at the orphanage that the school and foundation I am going to work with is involved in serving. There's more that I won't say yet, but her daughter Annalise now has some special friends watching over her. When Paulette shared her news with me she had no idea that I was moving to China, much less to be working with her daughter's orphanage, as I had told no one in blogdom of my plans yet. Out of all the orphanages in China, her daughter was at our destination. To top it off we are traveling at the same time and as we finish our first week in China we hope to have Paulette and Annalise as our first house guests. We could have never imagined when we last met the path that would be unfolding before us.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Faces I Love and More About China

This is my lovely niece along with little Miss Muffet. We just returned from a glorious trip to see my dad and two of my closest friends. It was wonderful and the first time I've been able to catch my breath in weeks. We had so much fun.
Now back to the daunting task of preparing to leave for a year. I cannot believe how much there is to do!
At the time I went to China to meet Abbey, in November 2006, my friends had just opened a school in Sh*nzhen. It's a fabulous cutting edge program for Chinese parents who want their children to learn English. There is a preschool program that runs all day, an after school program for older kids, and weekend classes on Saturday and Sunday. They also run intensive English camps during summer and Chinese New Year breaks. I will be teaching in and overseeing the preschool program. The children rotate through classes like Kindermusic, Zoophonics, and Gymboree in the morning and then have lunch, naps, Chinese, and Math in the the afternoon. So Abbey's instruction in the a.m. will be in English and in the p.m. in Chinese. All her peers will be Chinese speaking but in the process of learning English. I think this will be a great mix for her. We will be living in the same beautiful complex that houses the school. This cuts out the 1 and 1/2 hr commute we currently have each day between daycare and work. Another beautiful aspect of our venture is that part of the proceeds from the school have been used to establish a foundation to help orphans. Two schools have been started inside the two orphanages in the area. These children would not otherwise be able to attend school. In addition to the schools the foundation has also been able to set up surgeries and medical help for children within the orphanages, bring gifts, take groups to HK Disneyland, paint and decorate, etc. I want to be discreet but hope you can understand that this is truly a multi-faceted work that we have the privilege of joining. There is much that I will be unable to share in the blog or in email.
When I first began praying about adoption there was such a huge expansion in my heart of a dream that had always been there, a heart for orphans and children in need. I remember asking God what this big opening in my heart meant. Was I to
a) adopt,
b) encourage other families to adopt
c) work with an orphanage
I felt that His answer to me was d) all of the above, and begin with adopting my daughter.
I knew as I was on the journey to Abbey that I was crossing through a portal and my life would never be the same. This was the doorway into a whole new dimension.
So our current move is an unfolding of that calling, and where it will all lead to we do not yet know. Everyone's situation is unique, but for us I have felt that Abbey would benefit from a bi-cultural experience as young as possible and that the friendships and connections she will have in China will be a wonderful foundation for her life.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Slow Boat to China

Some of you may remember a post I wrote in January about how sad I was to return to work after spending Christmas break with Abbey.

"When I went back to work last January after getting Abbey it was hard. When I went back to work after being with her this summer it was harder. Going back today is the hardest of all. I'd give anything to have a year at home with her."

One of the comments that came in was...

"The Bible says, "You do not have, because you do not ask". It cannot be wrong of us to ask for this in prayer. So, we will. We do. Now we shall see what the Lord will do. Is *anything* too hard for Him?Let us know what happens...Teri(from Iowa)"

Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a message to my heart. I began praying and asking God that week if there was a way I could be with Abbey for a year while she is a preschooler. As I thought and prayed I began to consider the school we visited in China when I first got Abbey. I contacted my friends there and they said they would love to have us come for a year. That set me down a path I am still on of asking, seeking, knocking to find God's will in the matter. Believe me when I say that these months have been filled with many thoughts, questions, and decisions. I hope this gives some explanation and excuse as to why I haven't posted much in this time.
So the end result is that Abbey and I leave July 23 for a year in China! Over the coming weeks I will share more about why we are going and what we will be doing. We would love to have you join us on this venture and I would cherish you prayers. More to follow soon.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

One Day...

Abbey has been cracking me up this week....

While at Barnes and Noble with some friends she got up on their story stage and did a whole little storytelling show. She had a lot of fairy books (which she was calling angels) and she kept telling each story starting off with "One day..." Which seems to be her version of "Once upon a time..."

She's been asking for junk mail every day and walks around saying, "This is my email."

She zeroed in on a parenting book that a friend bought for me and has been carrying it everywhere saying, "This is very important to me." She had to sleep with it on the floor next to her bed the other night. She came and crawled in my bed in the middle of the night and the next day there it was laying next to my bed. She remembered to bring it in the middle of the night. She always brings something important with her.

When Abbey was a baby she hated loud noises. During the past school year a friend of mine has been cleaning my house while we are gone during the day. Today was my first day back on cleaning duty and Abbey ran and hid in a little tiny nook in the closet under the staircase when I turned on the vacuum. She often hides under the bathroom sink when I have my hair dryer on. She is just so cute running around in her undies and her crown.

I am so proud of her for wearing "real" underwear all week. Suddenly she's a little girl. I would be sad to let go of babyhood, but there is so much joy and wonder as her life is unfolding that there is no room for sadness, just amazement, profound joy, and gratitude to God.

Last night we visited the new church where my sister and brother-in-law are now pastoring and she did so great just going in to a new place and a new class. A few weeks ago we visited a friends church for a memorial service and Abbey was perfectly happy to go into their children's department.

A couple of weeks ago on our way to church I stopped by my sister's house to pick up something I left there the day before. As we pulled up Abbey said, "I like this church. It's really small." I explained that it was Auntie's house, where we had just been the day before. She is so funny.

When I have to say no to a request Abbey expectantly responds "maybe next time" or "maybe someday".

I bought her a Snow White cup for her excellent potty training and you would think it is the crown jewel. I couldn't have imagined that someone could ever get so much enjoyment out of a little plastic cup. She hides it in her little pink refrigerator when she goes to sleep.

Abbey has an imaginary Doctor, Dr. Wu. (aka Dr. WuWu) Sometimes she herself is Dr. Wu and sometimes it's third person. We had to see an alternate Dr. last week, Dr. Rueben, and Abbey started talking about Dr. Wu while we were in the office. Dr. Rueben thought she was calling her Dr. Ru and I had to explain our Dr. Wu. Let me tell you, Dr. Wu gives lots of shots.

Abbey and I have a secret joke. It's whispering "bobby pin" in each others ears. We both do it to each other when she is going to sleep and just laugh and laugh.

She is such a delightful creature and I never imagined I could be so incredibly blessed.
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spring Art

We've reached the tipping point. Abbey has now been home with me longer than the first eighteen months of her life that she spent in China. The incredible blessing of have her in my life just grows with every passing day.