This is a story about our little prince, "Jonathan Wang Jian", a handsome little boy, who lives far away in Inner Mongolia, China; bordering the mountains, grasslands and the Gobi desert. It is a story of a young boy, who plays and lives amongst his friends and nannies...........................the only family he has ever known. This is a story of a sweet, intelligent boy, born with bilateral foot differences.....yet determined to walk and run.......his little feet likely the reason he was orphaned. This story includes the sad reality that in many countries, birth families are frequently unable to provide the medical and rehabilitative care thier babies will need to lead independent lives. This is our heartfelt compassion for the selfless birth parents, who face the greatest pain they will ever know........ to relinquish themselves as parents so their tiny babies can get the desperate care they need. These are our unspoken prayers to every birth family who aches. ...... And this is a story of our brave little " Mongolian Warrior Prince", who leaves his own set of unique footprints............ just beyond the Great Wall.

Dear Little Jonathan Wang Jian, we dream of the day we can hold you in our arms and call you our forever son. By the grace of God, you will soon know what it means to have a family of your very own.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


We arrived at the airport on time, and our family was a very welcome sight. I was so tired, but so delighted to watch my children flock around Wang Jian. For a first, my parents were also able to be present for our airport arrival. We have been using our Chinese to communicate with Wang Jian, so he has not begun to pick up English as quickly as the other two. I love to hear him chatter away in Mandarin, and will be sad when he loses his mother tongue. Wang Jian has become the hit of the neighborhood. Two nights ago, we stayed outside with our good neighbors, eating ice-cream. The older kids took him by the hand and taught him how to catch fire flies and to play dark tag. Our home feels so complete now. I go down the hall to Bobby's bedroom and he's fast asleep with loyal Sunny at his bedside. Suvineers from our China trip lay carefully on his night stand. I watch and wonder of his dreams.....dreams of a brother playing cars, shooting basketball, and a walk to the park. Bobby is slow to speak, but the smile is there as he watches his new baby brother. I walk a little further and can still smell fresh paint and new wood, from the new addition Steve painstankly built. It was made to double the size of the girls bedroom, since they would be moving in together. But alas; the whimsically painted walls, and the carefully thought out decor remains vacant of any sleeping daughters tonight. I tiptoe across the hall to see both girls snuggled closely around their baby brother.....all three in one bed. Ahhhhhh home.....hello Bluegrass. I go to bed on this night and think of the possibilities our son will attain. He is a fighter.....a survivor, yet a gentle, happy soul. He does not allow his differences to be his "handicap". It will be a blessing to watch his unique set of footprints and all that he accomplishes, throughout our changing lives. God bless this chapter..............

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We traveled into Hong Kong by train and it was really an experience.  So much more to see than when we have flown into Hong Kong.  When we left main land China, we were with the other family of six.  Our guide had us change trains at the last minute, but we all had to run, suit cases and all to catch it.  4 adults and 5 kids running like on the movie, "Home Alone." We parted ways with the other family and rode a taxi all over Hong Kong.  When we got in the cab, Steve had to ride up front.  So, he quickly jumped in and laughed.  He was behind the wheel on the right side.  I guess he forgot how long the British occupied Hong Kong.  Wild man had a nice British meal of fish and chips in the 5 star restaurant.  I'm lying here next to him and he won't keep quiet.  Blab blab blab.... :)
We are at the airport hotel now getting ready for bed.  Goodnight America, from Hong Kong.

Last Post from Guangzhou

Our family is getting packed and ready to get on the train to Hong Kong.  We spent the last three days here in Guangzhou swimming, dining, shopping and relaxing with our newly formed friends.  Our adoption is complete, and Jonathan Wang Jian becomes a US citizen as soon as the wheels touch down in Detroit.  While Wang Jian has not rejected me, he has selected Steve to be his preferred parent.  That is a logical act of loyalty, for a child who was so close to his foster mother. 

I am so excited to come home to the rest of the family.  I'm sure this will be my last post before we unite at the airport.  I have posted a few pictures of our little travel group, before we said our goodbyes.  See you soon America!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

For Mothers Day we went to the zoo.  It was a hot, steamy, rainy day.  The kind of day when the rain comes down in buckets, but it feels like bath water..... when you walk around sweltering in clothes that stay wet in all the wrong places and your shoes are so wet, they squeak.  It was fun to see the animals, but I was very aware that the newly adopted kids in our group just had to be in sensory overload.  Wang Jian had fun and accepted the stroller rental in spite of the others walking.

Towards the end of our zoo tour, Wang Jian had a total melt down.  It was extremely difficult to keep him in the stroller due to the kicking and screaming, yet we felt we had to get back to the bus before someone called the police.  Carrying him was equally tough due to Wang Jian's squirming, kicking and hitting.  After a good 20-30 minutes of this, while the group was trying to get the gate, I decided we should put him down and let him scream and cry on the pavement.  All I could do was sit along side of him and say "Wo Zhi Dao", "Wo Zhi Dao" ("I understand" "I understand").

Steve and both know the melt down was a release of Wang  Jian's grief.  Poor Wang Jian carried on for a good hour.  We somehow, managed to get him on the bus, but he refused to sit on a seat.  Instead, he threw himself on the floor and cried himself to sleep.  When the bus arrived at the hotel, he awoke repeating the screaming and kicking all the way through the lobby and up the elevator, and into the room.  I was finally able to coax him into the bath after another half an hour of heartbreaking cries for his foster mama.

At the end of this Mothers Day, I cannot help to reflect upon the strength and courage it takes to be a mother.  I think of the pain and suffering Wang Jian's foster mother faces; missing his bright little smile and sweet little heart.  I cannot begin to imagine the sorrow his birth mother has endured after the realization that she could not provide the care his feet would need.

 On this Mothers Day, I think of so many friends, who will one day lose their own children to cruel diseases we have not yet found a cure for. Yet, they press on........doing what moms do best, loving unconditionally and without fear, being their child's strongest advocate, and walking beside their child every step of the journey.  I think of the moms who have children with "special needs", no matter how significant or insignificant the need is; they befriend their children...they teach.......they lead.....they speak out....they listen.....they whisper......they encourage......they guide......they cry....... and they pray for strength and the courage to do it again tomorrow.

 I also think of my own mom, the pillar of strength and bravery.  She is my prayer warrior and model of selflessness......she is who I should strive to be.

Monday, May 14, 2012

In Guangzhou

Saturday we arrived in Guangzhou at about 3:00a.m.  Delayed flight....long story.  We were up first thing and enjoyed a beautiful breakfast at the Garden Hotel.  This is one of the primary hotels the adoption agencies have you stay in.  It's a 5 star hotel that is remarkably upscale and certainly would not be in our family vacation budget.  The grounds here are spectacular and the view from our room is fabulous. This is surely stark contrast compared to where these kids have come from.

We went to the U.S. Adoption clinic where, each child is examined prior to being allowed into America.  After the doctor removed Wang Jian's shoes, he asked me if I still wanted to adopt "this child".....again, no words come out, but I think ugly thoughts inside.  I finally recover and refuse to cause "loss of face" in this country,so I gracefully answer; "yes, he is our son".

Last Day in Inner Mongolia

I am behind several days now, for this blog.  Friday, was a quiet day of getting packed and getting my Baotou orphanage work organized.  It was also our day to say good bye to Susan, her mother and her daughter.  Susan had invited me to fly to Beijing after this adoption trip and stay with her until the medical team flys to Changsha orphanage.  The team will be evaluating the special needs kids there, and they really need an OT.  The Invite is an honor both from Susan's invitation to live in her home, as well as ASIA of Oregon's request for me to be their OT again.  The orphanage they will be working with is dear to my heart, since it's the very orphanage Bibi lived in for 5 years.   As much as I would like to join the medical team to work in Changsha , it's obvious I must decline. 

Wang Jian was fine coming with us as we separated from Susan's family at the airport.   However, he had difficulty once we sat on the runway before take off.  We sat on the Tarmac for a very long time, while he looked out the window.  As I tried to hold his little hand, he turned away from me, pressing his face against the glass.  Leaving the child's province during an adoption trip is always a hard time for all of us.  After all, these kids don't ask to be removed from the only life they have ever known.  The kinship and closeness kids in an institutional setting form, is often closer than most biological sisters or brothers ever share. 

Steve and I fight back the lump in our throats, while we try to imagine the sadness and brokeness our kids must feel at times like this.   It's one of those helpless times when your child hurts and you can't fix it.  At last the plane begins to gear up, and off we go down the runway.  I realize as neat as his first plane ride could be, this is not a neat, exciting time for our new son.  As the plane gathered speed and the wheels lifted off the runway, Wang Jian reached up and pulled the window shade down.  I believe, it was too much for his little heart to bear.  And so, there he sat, brave as any 5 year old Mongolian warrior prince can be, curled up with his head tucked between his knees.  And off we flew to Guangzhou; leaving only a memory of his presence, his laughter, his friendships and his precious unique footprints behind, back in the only world he has ever known.  As I write this, I know, he is surely missed.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

From Baotou SWI

This is the post parents who wait to adopt a child from Baotou is waiting for!  We dedicated the entire day to visiting Baotou, and doing evaluations on 22 children there.  One child was not present because he was in Beijing.

Our drive to Baotou went very fast for me, because I sat in the back, preparing basic evaluation sheets on each child, whom I intended to see.  Attaching their special needs, dates of births, waiting parents names, consumed much of my ride.  When you ride with a driver in China, its often a good idea to be engrossed in something else, to prevent utter fear and nervous breakdown :)  Wang jian happily played in the back seat with Susan's daughter, filling the van with laughter, singing, and giggling:)

When we reached our Baotou SWI destination, we were greeted outside by the nannies and the directors.  Since Susan and I worked there before, our reception was extremely warm, welcoming, with plenty of hugs.  Wang Jian ran from woman to woman hugging and telling them all about his new family. Wang Jian took Ying Ying (Susan"s daughter) for the grand tour. Right before breakfast, Steve and the kids came into the room where we were assessing the kids.  We looked up and laughed to see both Ying Ying and Wang Jian wearing orphanage dinning aprons.  Needless to say, the kids got to have dinner with all Wang Jian's friends.  I think the nannies enjoyed this, as did Steve.  Apparently Steve made some connections with the kids, and had them laughing at silly antics.

We took a break from assessing the kids at lunch time and were treated to a traditional Mongolian Hot Pot meal in a Yurt establishment on the outskirts of town. During the meal, we were entertained by vocalist and string musicians.

After a full lunch, it was back to therapy evaluations and gathering as much data for parents as we could cram into one work day.  It was sad to say good bye to Xui Yu and we both became teary eyed.  Wang Jian gave hugs, but was very focused on getting back onto the bus with his forever family and new friend. We may have said goodbye, but I hope to remain passionate about getting them forever mommies and daddies to tuck them at night.