Thank heaven for little girls!

We were out of town over the weekend, accompanying the MYF to Gatlinburg, TN, on the annual ski/snowboarding trip. Since I don’t partake in either, I spent most of the weekend perusing outlets and shops for cute stuff for Lily Kate. I got some adorable things, which I will post pictures of soon. I am gathering quite a little collection, but since I have no idea how old she will be, or what size she will wear, I am buying 12-18 months or older, to be sure they will fit, at some point. Chinese babies are, for the most part, smaller than American babies, but you never know; we could end up with a chunk (or a little peanut). I am sure I will be dashing around buying stuff right before we leave that will fit her then, but it is SO MUCH FUN to buy little dresses and imagine her in them. I have bought many gifts over the years for expectant friends and relatives, as well as nieces and nephews; it just feels really good to buy stuff for OUR baby. And oh, what a decked-out little girl she will be, as I will make sure she wears dresses and skirts and bows in her hair as often as possible - every day if I have my way!


99 questions

I came across this list of questions today as I was searching the web for information on China. If I didn't already think I had a lot of work to do before Lily Kate comes home (which I definitely do!), I am feeling even more overwhelmed after perusing this list!

99 Questions Every Adoptive Parent Should be Able to Answer (Eventually)
by Dr. Jane Liedtke

1. Approximately how many people live in China today?
2. Who is the Premier of China today?
3. Who was China’s first Premier under the communist party?
4. What year did the communist government take control of China?
5. Who first lead the communist party into power in China?
6. What famous leader was married to Mdm Soong Qing Ling?
7. Who lead’s China’s communist party today in China?
8. Who was his predecessor?
9. Who is credited with China’s economic reforms that lead to modernization of China?
10. Who was the first Emperor of a unified China?
11. Who was the last Emperor of China?
12. How many ethnic minority groups are there in China?
13. Name three of the ethnic minority groups:
14. Name two autonomous regions in China:
15. What province has the most ethnic minority groups?
16. Where/what are the four municipalities in China?
17. At what age are children in China when they start school (1st grade)
18. What are the Chinese words for elementary school?
19. What year did China institute the one-child policy?
20. In what year did the one-child policy become law?
21. The third longest river in the world is the Yangtze Name two other major rivers in China:
22. Beijing is the capital of China - What do the words Bei and Jing mean in Chinese?
23. Name two other cities in China that served as capital cities:
24. Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces border each other, which one is home to Xian and the terra cotta warriors?
25. China’s premier universities are located in Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai Name one school from each city that has global acclaim
26. What is the legal marriage age in China for women and for men?
27. If an only child marries another only child, how many children can they legally have?
28. At what age can urban Chinese children ride their bicycle to school on their own?
29. How many adults may ride on one bicycle?
30. What is the name of China’s top political decision making body?
31. What is the name of China’s version of our “senate”?
32. What is the name of China’s version of our “house of representatives?”
33. In what month each year do these groups meet in Beijing?
34. How many political parties are there in China? Only one, between 2 and 5, more than 5
35. Name two of China’s special interest groups:
36. At what age are children considered to be adults in China?
37. Is a child’s city registration with a mother or a father’s city of registration?
38. During what decade did the practice of foot binding cease in China?
39. In what other country was foot binding practiced by the Chinese?
40. Aids is on the rise in China What three Provinces have the highest rate of Aids in the country?
41. How many Provinces are there in China?
42. Mogao caves with their impressive frescos are located in what northern Province?
43. In what year did the practice of polygamy become illegal in China?
44. How many wives did the last Emperor of China have?
45. Scorpions are considered an important main dish in what coastal Province?
46. The practice of filial piety was supported by what famous Chinese philosopher?
47. Which religion is the most widely practiced in China today?
48. Which religion uses fortune- telling sticks in their practice of preparing for the future?
49. What do the stars on the Chinese flag symbolize?
50. How old would Chm Mao be if he were living today?
51. What organization are children a member of if they wear a red scarf to school?
52. What is the Chinese character for person? For woman? For man?
53. How far north does the Grand Canal go in China (Province or Municipality)?
54. Which Emperor had the terra cotta warriors built to protect his tomb?
55. List three of the sacred mountains in China:
56. Which Province is home to the Stone Forest?
57. What was the treaty port name for Xiamen?
58. Which city is known for it’s German architecture and brewery?
59. In what Province is the “wine country” of China?
60. How many people sleep in one compartment in a “hard sleeper” class train car?
61. What dynasty is known for it’s blue and white porcelain?
62. What is the Chinese word for ancient jade money?
63. In what year did the communist government of China take control of Tibet?
64. Of the two temples which is older? Johkang Monastery or the Potala Palace?
65. On what day of the week is the world’s largest flea market – the Kashgar Bazaar held?
66. Which city in China was the first stop along the Silk Road? Eastern most city? Western most city?
67. If a foreigner marries a Chinese person and wishes to live in China – after marriage how long may the foreigner stay?
68. How many students share one college dormitory room on most Chinese campuses today?
69. If a car in the US costs $, how much does that same car cost in China?
70. On what date did China officially enter the WTO?
71. In what month will the Olympics be held in Beijing?
72. The first McDonalds in China had employees and cash registers along the main counter In what year did the first McDonalds open in Beijing?
73. What Province was Chairman Mao from?
74. Which contemporary Chinese leader was once mayor of Shanghai?
75. Shanghai is the sister city of which US city?
76. Philadelphia is sister city with which Chinese city?
77. Chicago is sister city with which Chinese city?
78. What five spices make up traditional Chinese -spice?
79. Which spice does Mexican food and Chinese food share in common?
80. What is the Chinese word for steamed bread?
81. What is the traditional Chinese greeting that asks “have you eaten yet?”
82. How do you ask a person their age in Chinese?
83. How do you say “I love you” in Chinese?
84. If the traditional Chinese medicine doctor tells you to eat liver what part of your body is being treated?
85. In Chinese medicine and cooking there are foods that are considered “hot foods” and those that are considered “cold foods” Is dog a hot food or a cold food? What season do northerners eat dog?
86. A one pint container of Hagen Daz ice cream sells for how much in China?
87. Is military service required of all youth in China today?
88. Are all people assigned jobs upon completion of college in China today?
89. Who sells more soda in Shanghai – Coca Cola or Pepsi?
90. What is the annual per capital consumption of Coca Cola products in Anhui Province? Which product sells best? Is it Coke, Sprite, Fanta, ice tea or bottled water?
91. What is the number one health problem of one-child family children in China today?
92. Is a taxi cheaper in Shanghai or Beijing (per km)?
93. Which two Chinese cities rank as two of the top most polluted cities in the world?
94. Which Chinese city was cited as being the th most expensive city in the world for foreigners to live in?
95. Which was the first special economic development zone (SEZ) in China?
96. Can foreigners wholly own their own businesses in China in all business and industrial sectors?
97. When a traditional massage therapist massages the big toe of each foot, what part of the body should feel relief?
98. What is the most common surname in China?
99. When did China launch it’s first manned space craft? Where did the rocket go?

Craving the answers to the above questions? click here


No words can adequately express

This photo shows an abandoned baby girl at the gate of Yangchun Social Welfare Institute. It was taken in 2004.

I cannot imagine how the mother must have felt as she walked away.


China the Beautiful

I saw these amazing photos of China through a link from another blog today, so with nothing new or interesting to say, I will let the photos speak for themselves.


Valentines and Babies

We won't be getting our referral for months (August, I just feel it!), but I like to pass some of the time by visiting other adoption web sites, looking at referral photos and imagining what Lily Kate will look like.

This a site for an orphanage in Fuling, China and they have some great pictures of recently referred babies:

A very Happy Valentine's Day to all the waiting families, most especially those in our travel group:
Susan and Riz, Nancy and Ed, Marie and Doug, Michele and Mark, Mark and Gigi, Rosalie and Don, Nicole and John, Kevin and Sherry, and Tammy and David

I have "met" some of you online already and look forward to meeting up with everyone in China, where we will receive the greatest Valentine, Christmas, Birthday, Easter, Halloween, (etc etc) gift EVER, all rolled into one precious package!


Happy Birthday Baby Jackie!

On Saturday, we celebrated the 1st birthday of our niece, Jacqueline. She tore into her birthday cake with gusto (and soon had icing EVERYWHERE - it was very funny.

She smiled and squealed and seemed to have a wonderful time. She still likes the wrapping as much as the gifts inside, but she apparently has a preference for the color pink!
A girl after my own heart. We love you Jacqueline Beall!


To my daughter...

Kisses in the wind

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- Unknown


Birthday wishes

We have a lot of birthdays in our family at the beginning of the year. Sometimes we have to celebrate more than one at a time, but we always find a way to get them all in. Last year was a milestone year for Jonathan, so I threw him a big party (actually several). This year is a lot more low-key, but I still want to make sure that he knows how important he is to me, how very much I love him and am honored to have him as a husband. He puts up with my nonsense and loves me in spite of it and I am thankful for every day we have together! He is going to be a spectacular daddy to Lily Kate and I can't wait to see the two of them together. I took this picture on our 1st anniversary in Florida (check out the long hair!), where we have made a tradition of going every year since...Happy Birthday my sweet husband!