Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

As we started making plans for our 1500 mile round trip to Destin, Florida, I knew I needed to get the car serviced before we left. I hate car problems, but could not imagine having them with just the three of us on such a long trip. Also, my maintenance needed light had been on for a month, but you know, you get busy.

I took it into Wal Mart, had the oil changed and paid extra to have all the other fluids and things checked.

Dad asked, did they check your tires?

Hmm, I guess so.

Dad says did they rotate the tires?

Hmm, I don't think so.

He stayed after me about it and finally met me at work, swapped cars and took mine to the tire place. He calls pretty quickly to announce they have a tread depth of less than 3/32.

OK, so we are good to go, right?

No, they have to be replaced.

When you are taking a road trip because it is the cheapest vacation you can do, you really don't want to hear that you have to replace all your tires just before you leave, but there was no taking no and I got new tires.

ALL  the way to Florida, I saw big chunks of tires on every road we drove on.

A million times in my mind, I thanked Dad for being persistent and knowing we were at least safe on the tire situation.

The night after we got home and all lining up to take showers, I heard a really weird noise in our kitchen, which I finally narrowed down to coming from our water heater.

The noise got louder, then there was the sound of water, followed quickly by the smell of gas.

I am standing there in my pajamas, wet hair, no glasses, trying to figure out what to do.

I did what I always do, sent one of the girls to quickly get their grandfather and rescue us, which he did even though he was ready for bed.

These two events happened less than a week apart and are just two of many of the thousands of times my dad has rescued us.

He does more than just rescue damsels in distress though.

When I was interviewed by the social workers before each adoption, I was asked about the male influences that my daughters would have, but maturing through the 70's and 80's, I was under the misguided idea that women can do it all and while there were men in my life, I could pretty much handle it.

Well, of course, as with so many other things, I learned I was very mistaken.

Easily, one of the most important people in my daughters' life is my dad, their grandfather.

He is there to comfort, support, educate, lead, pitch a ball, set an example, and do the many things he did for me growing up. Now he can add riding a bike with them!

I am so thankful they have the influence of this wonderful man, my Dad.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Long story deleted, much shorter one follows!

I have no idea why I can't seem to type on a laptop any more but I do something weird and the whole thing I have just typed disappears. So my long detailed post is gone.
So I will make a very short post instead and hope this summer improves so I can write more often.
Even though school is out, somehow this week has been as hectic and we have had the added inconvenience of being without a hot water heater all week.
Thankfully we had a little cooler weather so maybe we did not get as ripe, as Dad says, but tonight, after cleaning out the chicken coop, mowing, hanging out clothes, and cooking dinner, I needed a shower.
I left knowing I still needed to put my bed back together and had boiled some water to wash the dishes.
When I came back (which kind of felt like I was at camp, out at night, in my pjs, hair wet, going back to cabin) I found my two wonderful daughters, washing the dishes, even though the "old fashioned" way had been a bone of contention earlier in the week.
Oh my goodness! Wow!
So while they finished that up, I went to put the sheets on my bed.
OK, so what would is better than wow when you are absolutely amazed at someone's kindness, especially when it is your teenage daughters?
They had made my bed!
I write this because I posted a message from Half the Sky just prior to this one.
It tells the story of a girl who was not adopted and still lives in the social welfare institute in China.
Her story is similar to my daughters.
This week, I read where people who originally sent their documents to China in 2006 were just now being matched to a baby.
I also read where people who chose older children were able to travel in a matter of weeks.
I wish I could be the voice that makes you consider adopting an older child.
If you ever want to talk about it, let me know.
My life is nothing but better because of my daughters, not just for washing the dishes and making my bed, but because of the love and kindness they show to others, and the incredible women they are becoming.
Think about giving these older kids a chance.
It's not about sandwiches! It's about my life!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Star Is Born | Half the Sky

A Star Is Born | Half the Sky

A Star Is Born

Posted by HTS Staff on
For as long as I can remember, I have lived at the Xiamen Social Welfare Institution. The staff here gave me my name, QianRu. My childhood has not been about beautiful toys or clothes. All the children like me live together, sharing the same food and toys and clothes. Our parents are the staff who take care of us. When I went to public school and saw my classmates’ parents pick them up and take them to travel during vacation, I felt sad and lonely about being an orphan for the first time. I realized that when I was a child my parents did not want me. Why did they abandon me even though I am healthy? The word “orphan” was so heavy for me to carry.
When QianRu was in junior high, she came very close to being adopted, but for many reasons, the adoption did not go through. QianRu had to stay in the institution while many of her good friends were adopted one after another. She cried for many days and spent days alone in her room. She was not interested in anything, even basketball, which had always been her favorite. All the ayis and her friends stood by her and gave her encouragement. Gradually, time diluted her sorrow.

Through the Youth Services program, QianRu started taking Latin Dance lessons. At the first class, QianRu was intimidated by the other girls in the class, all wearing prettier clothes than she and most having had dance lessons before--she was so nervous that her face was red like an apple. When the bell rang, QianRu was the first one to rush out of the classroom. But QianRu's dance teacher praised her and told her she had potential and that praise gave her a lot of energy and encouragement. She was not that shy from then on and was active during class. She also made friends with other girls.
I often tell QianRu that she is no different from other girls. She is a beautiful and clever 16 year old--she just needs to be more confident. She has made big progress in dancing and even won the prize for the new star of Latin dance. She has made good friends with several girls in her dance class and often invites them to the institution or goes to their homes--she is proud to have friends who are not from the institution. Now much more confident, QianRu has learned that though there is much bitterness and many difficulties in life everyone needs to work hard to be successful and it is not easy for anyone to grow up. She is ready to face the road ahead of her.
By Mentor Huang Ju & Field Trainer Hu QunHua