Monday, October 31, 2011

Must Be Excited!

She looks calm here... 
Co-Worker (CW):  So your wife must be excited.
Me:  Yea, she leaves in what, 9 days.  Something like that.  But not excited, I'd say... mmmm... how do I phrase it.  Oh yes, scared beyond all reason.
CW:  Oh?  Scared?  What?  Why?
Me:  Let me see if I can remember the list... she is scared that:

  • she will loose her luggage
  • she will get lost 
  • she will loose our son
  • she will loose our other son
  • she will get mugged taking the taxi
  • she will be alone at the airport, and the guide will forget about her
  • she will get on the wrong train
  • she will take the train to Taiyuan, and it will be a horrible experience
  • she will get Lukai, and he will be freaking out because he is leaving his 'foster family'...

CW:  Okay okay okay.  She's scared.
Me:  Yea, I'm sure there is more.  I probably forgot some.  All I did was ask 'What's wrong' ...

So is my wife scared to goto China?  Apparently.  Now is about when people should chime in with the typical "Oh you will be OK!", or "Everything is going to be fine!" and everyone's favorite "Don't worry."

But then, perspective is a bugger.  See, my wife may be worried about loosing some luggage... but Lukai is going to loose ALL his belongings (except maybe what he is wearing).

The wife may be worried about being lost for 19 days in China... but Lukai is going to be in a foreign land as well, and for longer than 19 days.

Lukai will loose the only family he has known.  He will be on the "wrong" train (according to him).  And yes, he probably will be freaking out.

So last night, when offering my ever loving, ever considerate, ever sympathetic shoulder for my nervous and terrified wife to cry on... I simply offered her this:
Oh stop whining... you're not the one getting adopted.
Oh no!  What, that's what I THOUGHT about saying...

... last night...
Me:  What's wrong?  You look sick?
Wife:  I'm scared... (see list above, then add on about 30 more things)
Me:  Mmmm, yea.  I get that.
Wife:  I know you probably think it is crazy all the fears I have.  You wouldn't be scared to go.  You'd be excited.
Me:  Oh no, all your fears are perfectly justified and the make sense.
Wife: ... thanks.
Me:  You are not going to loose any of our children, or your bags, or anything else.  It will be a great trip.  And yes, Lukai probably will freak out.  You know this.  But, you are not going on your own.  To quote someone else's blog, But God.

So here we stand... 9 days to go.  I've got a terrified wife.  An excited 11 year old.  A sick 7 year old (who threw up more Saturday night than I have EVER seen anyone throw up).  And probably a petrified son waiting for us in China.  Good times.  Good times.  :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Still Got This...

I should really know by now.  I mean, you go out, you post something like this, feeling all "Gods in Control" ... and then you get a chance to back up your words, with action.  I mean, don't get me wrong!  Oh no, I LOVE the opportunity to grow, and to make sure that what I say, I live out and believe.

... late Friday night...
Wife:  ... okay, thanks.  Good bye.
Me:  Was that the adoption agency?
Wife:  Yea.  They said last month, Lukai had to go to the hospital.
Me:  What?  Why?
Wife:  Ummm, I don't know.  They said, something about a 2nd Special Need which was previously not diagnosised.  They are sending us an email about it now.
Me:  Okay, hold on, let me check the email.
*BING!  You've got mail!*
Wife:  It's all in Chinese!  *grabs the phone*
Me:  I'll start translating it.
Wife:  Hey, the email is all in Chinese.
Adoption Agency:  I know, we're trying to find our translator.  She is not in.
Wife:  Okay, thanks.  Bye.
Me:  Why do they need a translator?  Our adoption agency is Chinese!
Wife:  It's all medical terms.  They need the medical terms translated.
Me:  It says he was diagnoised with Vitiligo.
Wife:  Isn't that the same thing Micheal Jackson had?
Me:  It is a depigmentation of the skin...
Wife:  Oh, good.  So it's only cosmetic.
Me: ... which is caused by thyroid conditions...
Wife:  Oh, well, you can get medical help for that.
Me: ... or, auto immune deficiencies...
Wife:  Oh.
Me:  Or, other reasons.  And apparently, it has spread since August from a "soya bean sized spot", to "the rest of his body".  Now that is a chinese to english translation, by me.  So... take it for what it is worth.

A picture of vitiligo on someones hands, from:
What followed that phone conversation has been about 48 hours so far of an emotional roller coaster ride - having a sick child is one thing, having a sick child on the other side of the world is a whole different thing.

But even during this emotional roller coaster ride, there was one constant.  Well, maybe two.
Number 1)  God still "has this"
Number 2)  We are still adopting Lukai.

An auto immune problem, or a thyroid condition, or even cancer (oh yes, right, vitiligo is often a missdiagnoises for a certain form of leukemia) can strike at any time.  Is our love for Lukai based upon his health status?  No.  If one of our other children all of a sudden were struck with cancer, or a thyroid problem, would we stop loving them?  Of course not.

Lukai is our son - and my wife said it best, "Us NOT adopting Lukai isn't even on the table.  It isn't even an option."

See, when our Adoption Agency phoned us, we were not so much worried about Lukais physical looks, his skin condition, or even cancer.  We can deal with that once he is here with us.  I think they (or maybe China) was thinking we would want to back out of the adoption.  What we are worried about is IF China (or the Ontario government, or anyone else) is going to "cancel" the adoption.  See, there was a different little boy we tried to adopt - had his referral and were moving forward with, when China pulled the child from the adoption process.  Someone somewhere had decided that that little boy was not for us and our family.

So are we worried about the vitiligo?  Of course.  Depending on how bad it is, this could be a big deal for Lukai to have to work though.  Are we worried that it might be cancer or something serious?  Of course.   It would be foolish to ignore any diagnosis of a medical condition.  Are we worried that someone, somewhere might try to stop the adoption?  Absolutely.

But see #1 above.

We loved Lukai yesterday, when he didn't have vitiligo, and we love Lukai today, even with Vitiligo.

So what do we need?  Prayer.  Prayer for us, prayer for Lukai, and prayer for all the directors, social workers, and government officials involved not to panic and try to stop the adoption.  What does Lukai need?  Part of me wants to scream "US!  He needs a home!  Someone to take care of him.", but he has a foster family, and hopefully he is being well cared for.  God knows what he needs - and God will meet those needs, either through us, or through someone else.

All we can do, is hold on, and push through to bring Lukai home... with or without Vitiligo.

Now... if you don't mind... I'm in the middle of a conversation with God, and I'm trying to explain to him what "I got this" means.  I think he has a very different interpretation of this than I do... I suppose that is a good thing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Got This

NOTE:  I originally posted this on No Hands But Ours (NHBO), but decided to post here as well for those who may not subscribe to NHBO.  Sorry if it is a repeat for some.

Refuses to let me help her tie up her gia...

Ping:  I no can do this!
Me:  What's wrong baby?
Ping:  I no can fix my gia.
Me:  Well come here, I can fix it.
Ping:  You know how do it?
Me:  Yea, I got this.
*I tie up Ping's gia for karate class, and she runs out of the bedroom*
Me:  Ahhhh, kids are cute.
Wife:  Oh yea?  What did she do?
Me:  Oh she was just all panic'd that she could not tie up her gia properly.  It must have seemed like a big problem, because she was pretty upset.
Wife:  And you fixed it for her?
Me:  Of course.  That's what Daddies are for.  Sometimes they are so determined to be independent that they won't let me help, but eventually they get tired of trying to do it on their own.

Son#1:  My bike tires are flat.  I can't get them pumped up.
Me:  Why not?
Son#1:  I can't get the pump thing on the other rubber thingy.
Me:  Ahhh, I see.  Okay, I got this.
Son#1:  Mom already tried.  It won't work.
Me:  Hey, just trust me.  I got this.
*A couple minutes later, Son#1 jumps on his bike and goes 'cruzing'*
Me:  Ahhhh, it's good to still be needed.
Wife:  Huh?
Me:  He needed some help with his bike.  I got it fixed up for him.

This is one part of being a father that I really enjoy.  The ability to take care of things for the ones I love.  There is something so satisfying when you can see a situation and help solve it.  Not everything is solved so easily.  Some issues the family face are larger than others... and everyone has a different perspective on the issues currently in progress.  But we parents are not immune to getting scared or confused at times.
Adding a couple of bedrooms for the new additions to the family...
Me:  What do you mean?
Banker:  Well, the money can't be released until the home renovations are 40% complete.
Me:  But... my house is missing part of it's roof.
Banker:  I understand.
Me:  And my one wall is almost completely torn down.
Banker:  I understand.
Me:  And I kind of need the money to complete the construction.
Banker:  I understand.
Me:  But you are telling me that I have no money to pay for the roof trusses, or anything else?
Banker:  That is correct.
Me:  ... okay.  Um, I'm just going to go and cry now.  Can I call you back later.
Banker:  Yea, call me tomorrow.  I'll see if we can switch from a Construction Mortgage to a Refinancing Mortgage.
Me:  Yea... *click*
God:  I got this.
Me:  Yea?  Do you?  Cuz I thought you did.
God:  I got this.
*ring* *ring* *ring*
Me:  Hello.
Wife:  Hey, don't be mad.
Me:  Uh-oh.  Look, if it is about money, if you spent any money today, just don't tell me.  Talk to me tomorrow about it.
... awkward silence...
Me:  ... you spent money?
Wife:  I had to put the down payment on the roof trusses.
Me:  What?  Why?!
Wife:  Because the builder said that we were running out of time.  Even with ordering the trusses now, they won't be ready until November.  And they can't risk running into the snow and stuff.
Me:  Okay.  No.  That's fine.  You did the right thing.  How did you pay for it?  The bank account is a little bare right now.
Wife:  I had to use the money in the adoption fund.
Me:  Okay.  Great!  No.  That's... that's fine.
Wife:  Are you okay?
Me:  I'm just freaking out a little about money right now.
God:  I got this.
Me:  Did you hear that?
Wife:  Hear what?  Look, we will be okay.  We have three weeks before I leave for China.  We will get the money back.
Me:  I still don't have the money from the bank for the renovations, and there are some complications...
Wife:  Well, I prayed about it, and went on faith that everything would be okay.
God:  I said, I got this.  Just trust me.
Me:  Okay, you know what, you're right.  It is okay.  I'm sure that the money will come in in time.
Wife:  Love you.  *click*
Me:  Okay God... I donno how this is gonna work... but this is totally in your hands now.
God:  I got this.
... about 2 hours later ...
*ring* *ring* *ring*
Me:  Hello?  Oh, why are you crying?
Wife:  I just got a letter in the mail from my Mom and Step-Dad*.
Me:  Oh?  Everything OK?
Wife:  They just sent us a check for more than twice what I had to pay for the roof trusses!
God:  See.  I told you I got this.  Ahhhh, kids are so cute.  Trying so hard to do everything on their own and be so independent.

See, like my own kids, I struggle with what goes on everyday.  I try to do as much as I can on my own strength and when things go wrong, I try to "fix them".  But really, there is only so much I can do.  But what I am learning, is that sometimes, it is best that I let go, and give the control over to someone else...

  • While I was busy complaining about having to wait over 135 days for our LOA, that wait was giving my wife's friend a chance to save up money so she could go to China to help my wife.
  • While I was busy trying to speed up some paper work, that delay made it possible to travel at the same time as another adoptive family we know, which ensures my wife will never be alone - and there will be at least 1 other Dad there to help look out for our 11 year old son and do all the 'manly' things.
  • While I was busy trying to get a construction mortgage set up, the delays in that saved us thousands of dollars (a long story).

Lukai - coming home Nov 24th
Life doesn't always make sense when we are going though it.  It must not have made sense to our little Ping, Lukai or the other 147million children in orphanages without a mother and father... but there was a Father in the picture, who looked lovingly upon them and softly whispered to them "I got this".

Then that same Father turned his attention to us and whispered softly...

... and I'm so happy we were listening.

* I could blog a whole bunch about my wife's Step Dad.  He has been just a wonderful support though both our adoptions.  He is an adoptive parent as well... but that is for a different post, for a different day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Donations for Taiyuan Orphanage

This information can be found here anytime.

太原市社会福利院的捐赠Donations for Taiyuan Orphanage
我的爱人和我现在从山西,太原收养一个男孩子。十一月九号,我的爱人去中国把我们的儿子带回家。她想为孤儿院买东西。My wife and I are adopting a little boy from Taiyuan, Shanxi.  On November 9th, my wife will travel to China to bring our son home. She had (a great) idea to buy things for the Orphanage.
我们采访了他们和他们告诉我们他们有需要很东西。太原市社会福利院已要求十五个高脚椅。We have been in contact with the orphanage in Taiyuan, and they have indicated that they have a need for many things, including 15 High Chairs (from IKEA).
你可以看在IKEA - 高脚椅 和高椅托盘。这个东西成本99¥ 和25¥ (大约$22)。The High Chairs (and High ChairTrays) can be viewed on the IKEA website - and cost ¥99 and ¥25 respectively (or, approximately $22(ish)).
我们希望可以买了到十五高脚椅。We are hoping to be able to supply the orphanage with all 15 High Chairs.
... sorry, I can't keep the translations up.So this is where you all come in.  If you have ever felt like you wished there was something you could do to help some orphans in China - this is your chance. 
 So, instead here is a link to some of the wonderful children you will be able to help out!  Click on the links to see the galleries of pictures.We are looking to raise approximately $330 for the high chairs and trays, plus a little for shipping them from Beijin to Taiyuan.
If that wasn't enough cuteness, here, look at our son, then say you won't be able to help out!
Any amount of donation will gladly be accepted, and if we are able to collect more than the $330, then we will be able to buy  extra baby formula (and other things they have requested).

Unfortunately, we are not a charitable organization so we can not provide receipts for any donations - we are just people trying to help some orphans.

We will however, take lots of pictures to show the effect you can have on an orphanage and the children in their care!

Please contact us at if you are able to help out in any way!

Thank you!
Adrian, Roberta + Family - and the hundreds of children who will be benefiting from your generosity!

Taiyuan Orphanage Website:
Taiyuan Charity w/ Orphanage:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ask A Yeti: What's in a Name

So I met a little boy at the grocery store this week whose name is Luka.  And that got me thinking about your Lukai.  And then I wondered.  Why did Ping retain her Chinese name, but Lukai will not?  Just curious.

(adopting from Eastern Europe)

Dear Jennifer,

Hey, good question.  I should answer this on the blog later - because we actually get asked this fairly often.  :-)

Ping dose have a "Canadian" name, it is Jade.  Her legal name is something like Jade Roberta DongPing Berzenji - where we kept the DongPing from her original Chinese name Zhong DongPing.

However, she was 4 1/2 when we adopted her.  And she had language.  And friends.  And over 4 years of being called PingPing.  So, when we called her "Jade" she was very *VERY* clear, "I'm NO Jade!  I DongPing!"  So we let it go.  The kid had lost so much already, why take away her name if she wanted to keep it.

Now, we do call her JadePing often, sometimes Jade, and she is warming up to being called names other than Ping (but on the blog, I still refer to her solely as Ping).  She still prefers Ping to other names... and that is OK.  I know some other families don't agree with me on this point, they change their child's name on day 1.  In fact, I think there are some parents who have never ever called their children by their Chinese names.

Anyway, onto Wu YanBing (aka: Lukai).  He is quite a bit younger, so maybe he won't care about his name as much.  But, he knows his current name... so we will take the same approach.  He has a Canadian name, it is Lukai.  If he strongly objects to this name... well, then, he might stick with Bing.  Either way, his legal name will be Lukai Adrian YanBing Berzenji - again, keeping his Chinese given name in there like we did with Ping.

I guess for us, it is that we wanted them to have an easier to pronounce English Name if they wanted to use it, but keep their Chinese names since they already know it.  I remember in one of the classes we had to take about Adoption - they Social Workers were pointing out how these children who get adopted loose "everything" - country, food, language, and even their name.  "So why not let them keep their name" I though.  Both Ping and Bing are easy to pronounce in english... its not like they have a name like Qi which can not be pronounced by any sane english speaker.  :-)

If we were adopting a 6month old baby, then new name no problem... I don't know how much a 6 month old associates with their names.  They would know parental voices more than their names.  But I'm getting off topic... probably because I'm trying to avoid work.  :-)

Did I actually answer your question in there?

The Yeti

Name the Yeti

Help name the Yeti...  
... flash-back a few years ...
Co-Worker #1:  Andrian?
Me:  Adrian.
Co-Worker #2:  Andrew?
Me:  Aaadrian.
CW#1:  Andrea?
Me:  Aaaadrian.
CW#2:  Alan?
Me:  A-dreee-an.
CW#1:  Ann-Lane?
Me:  You know what, Andrew is good.  I like Andrew.
CW#2:  See, I said it was Andrea.
Me:  Andrew.
CW#1:  Andrea?
Me:  *siiiiigh*

So for the next 5 years or so, to some of my Chinese co-workers, I've been the employee named Andrew.
I was so tired of tried to correct every one on my name, that it just seemed easier to go with Andrew then to keep trying to teach all my Chinese co-workers the 'A + d' sound.  Chinese speakers seem to feel compelled to put an 'n' sound between the A and the D.

But that is OK.  I won't judge their English if they don't judge my Chinese.

... flash-back just a couple years ...
Co-Worker #1:  Andrew, can you get me the code for such-and-such software module?
Me:  Yea, no problem.
*CW#1 leaves*
Co-Worker Y:  Did she just call you Andrew?
Me:  Yup.
CW Y:   Does she know you name is Adrian?
Me:  Ummm, I'm not sure.  She has been calling me Andrew for years.
CW Y:  Really?
Me:  Yup.
CW Y:  And that doesn't bug you?
Me:  I've kind of warmed up to it.  Its a nice name.  I might have preferred something cooler like, 'Archer', or 'Akira' ... but Andrew has a nice ring to it.

... flash back just a year ago ...
Another Dad at Junior Kindergarten Chinese School (ADS):  Hey, I'm so-and-so.
Me:  Hey, I'm Adrian.
ADS:  Andrew?
Me:  Adrian.
ADS:  Andan?
Me:  Adrian.
ADS:  Alan?
Me:  Andrew.

... flash back a couple of weeks...
Me:  Hey, Y... I need a Chinese name.
CW Y:  Huh?  But you are not Chinese.
Me:  Yea, I know.
CW Y:  So why do you need a Chinese name?
Me:  Well, you know how Lilly's name is NOT really Lilly?
CW Y:  Yea.
Me:  And Jenny's name is NOT really Jenny.
CW Y:  Mmmm.
Me:  Well, most of our Chinese co-workers have chosen an English name so that people at least have a chance to get their names correct.  It's kind of a nice thing to do for all us poor English speaking people who have no chance to get a names like Ng, Qi, or Xinxin correct.
CW Y:  I still don't see why you need a Chinese name.
Me:  I'm tired of all my Chinese friends getting my name wrong.  Apparently, Adrian is hard to pronounce in Chinese.  I thought I could pick a Chinese name easy to pronounce for when I'm at Chinese school and stuff.
CW Y:  Ahhh, I see.
Me:  So, yea, what should I pick for a Chinese name?
CW Y:  How about Andrew?

I get the whole "name" thing.  And I do get (some what) at least a little bit as to why some of our adopted children are so protective of their names.  Especially the older a child is when they are adopted, the more they might fight to keep their name.  Now, there is a deep and moving post which I *should* be writing in relation to this topic... but it's a Monday.  And forget being deep and moving on Mondays.  Mondays I'm lucky to be awake.

So to that end, today's assignment if you are up for it... is to help me come up with a proper Chinese name.  :-)  Something (similar) to Adrian, which I can use when I meet native Chinese Speakers... because I'm getting tired of being called Andrew.  :-)

So hit up the comments and post some good ideas for a Chinese name for me!  :-)

It probably won't matter... I'm gonna be stuck with Andrew... even though Akira would be WAAAAAY cooler... and the 1st person to mention Horatio is gonna get in trouble.  :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pings 6th Birthday (pictures)

The wife sent some lovely pictures of her day out with Ping on her Birthday.  She got her ears pierced for her 6th Birthday - just like her big sister did on her 6th Birthday.  Now, her actual Pancake Party is on Saturday... so there will probably be one more big dump of pictures then.

Love this Happy Birthday sign, it gets lots of use

Ping went shopping to get some "gifts" with the money the
grandparents sent

Freezing her ears before the peircing

If you look closely at her ear, you can
see the saran wrap which is keeping the
freezing in place

Getting her ears peirced

Can you see my earring?

How about if I stand like this?

Or like this?!

Aaaah, there it is

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Ping!


My, how far we have come... from an angry, distraught, confused fathe... er, child - yelling at me in Chinese to a lovely beloved daughter... who still, sometimes yells at me... but now in English.

It's been a crazy (almost) 2 years baby!

... now.

When you are older and read this, know that today, on this day, I have told you for approximately the 1,423 time that I loved you.  I know now you can understand my words, and I do pray that one day, you can understand my heart.  You are loved, of my precious, beautiful, highly cherished daughter, in whom our hearts have been made glad.

Now go out there my precious little 6 year Princess, and try not to punch anyone in your Kindergarten class today!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Of Two Worlds

Old team
Okay, this one is for the Dads... or soon to be Dads, or hopeful Dads, or Husbands Who Have Been Dragged Into This Whole 'Lets Have a Kid' Thing... which is the BEST thing ever by the way...
New team

I've often sat for extended periods of time trying to figure out this 'attachment' and 'loss'.  I know that the people-who-help-people-with-trying-to-understand-what-they-are-feeliung-and-why-they-are-feeling-it people... keep using big words like... ummm... well they are big.  And have lots of letters which should not be used together.  Like, psychology, psychological, parapsychology, parasympathetic?!?!  GAH!  I think my spell checker just blew up.
Old team, reborn

Look guys, here it is, plain and simple.  The next few sentences will save you from having to read like, I donno, probably 42 books... or something.  Maybe more.

Loss is like Hockey.  No, I'm not talking about when your beloved Hockey team looses in the Stanley Cup game 7 finals.  That is expected loss.

What I'm talking about here is when you spent a good portion of your life, living in some town down over grown farming town cheering for loosing hockey team with no hopes of making the play offs for 12 years (I'm looking at you Winnipeg JETS), and then the team is sold, and you leave town.

But then, but then something wonderful happens!  You move to a new city, with a great hockey team, who is just dominating their division!  Life is good!  Hope is high, expectations are met, your team marches into the Stanley Cup play offs for 12 years straight, although never able to capture that treasured Stanley Cup despite having all the talent in the world (I'm looking at you Ottawa Senators)... but still, all your hopes and dreams have been fulfilled in this new place!  Life is great!

Something happens though, unexpected.  But then out of the blue, that crappy, old, torn down excuse of a hockey team is revived through a strong Canadian Dollar and a struggling American Hockey Market... and a few short weeks later, you are caught... watching your new hockey team facing your old hockey team.  And you are conflicted.  See, all the great things that happened in the new city, they don't simply erase the memories built in the first city.  Nor should they.

So what can you do as a hockey fan of two teams?  I can not deny the 12 years I spent longing for that sad sack of hockey pucks in Winnipeg... nor can I deny that I love my Ottawa team.  I have to embrace both teams.  That is the only option.

My boys get it.  Sons #1 + #2 jumped on the band wagon for both teams.  They helped me embrace that love of my 1st team, and not be ashamed no matter how pathetic the Jets were back in the late 80's and early 90's.

That is what we have to do for our adopted children.  Let them embrace their past as best they can, because there was loss.... even if it makes no sense to us.  But we also have to help them embrace their new team and walk though the transition from cheering for the Winnipeg Jets to the Ottawa Senators... or something.  You get it right?

There you go guys.  No need to thank me.  I should print that up, stick it in a fancy book jacket and sell it for 35$ at Chapters.  I'd have to give it a fancy title... like, oh, I donno... "The Yeti's Guide to International Adoption:  How to Help Your Child Embrace their Loss While Entering their Future" ... or something.

I donno.

I'd buy that.

I'd read that too.

That was waaaaay better than that book by that other person.

Calm Before the Storm

... so yea, Its been a while since there has been a post here.
It's not like we haven't been busy.
I've got a few blogs in the work, everything from the dreaded Middle Child Syndrome, Thanksgiving, Daddy needing to be taken to the Doctor to "fix his dance", 15 Year Wedding Aniversary, Country Fairs, Ping Starting Chinese Dance Classes, some great Yeti Questions and more.
Alas, due to the construction beginning, and the Wife and Son #2 heading out to China in 28 days... it has been a little too crazy to blog lately.
My bad.
I'll fix that soon.

Until there, and to make amends for not posting lately, I shall now post a random story of some Russians trying to find my cousin:  (no, not my cousin Daryl in DisneyLand)

Oh, actually, here are a couple more pictures of some of our guides while we were in China in '09.

Vivian - one of the Guides in Beijing

Fae - another Beijing Guide ... helping calm Ping @ the Silk Factory.
Even the guides our Adoption Agency gets are amazing.  Fae
spent the rest of the afternoon helping Ping, holding her hand,
talking to her, calming her down. That wasn't her job... but she did it.

Becky - our guide in the GuangDong (广东) province.  She was great.
She also tried to speak in Mandarin with me, which was fun, until
were were filling out government paper work and she kept giving
instructions in Chinese...
I was like "No!  Not now!  English!  This is important!"
Anyway, thought I would post those here as I know some followers in the ZhongShan (中山) group were wondering about the guides.

Oh, and one last thing about the title of the post... that whole "Calm Before the Storm" theory... pffffffbth.  :-)

But my wife is amazing.  She has plans to hit up the New Day Orphanage in Bejing (she is looking for Donations from local drug stores to bring Medical Supplies) and she is trying to arrange getting some High Chairs from Beijing (北京) IKEA to Lukais orphanage in Tiayuan (太原).