Friday, May 27, 2011

What's in a Name?

We have struggled for weeks now to come up with a name for our little guy. For some reason, Moriah called him Bobby. Then Kimberly called him Little Dude for a while. We found out that his nickname in China is Guan Guan so we call him that a lot (and will continue to after he is home if he likes it). We talked about so many names, but with six opinions, it was tough. The other things that made it hard for me is to think that he has had his Chinese name for eight years. That name identifies him and has been part of who he is for all of his life. It is hard to imagine swooping in and giving him a new name. Yet, we see in Scripture a new name was often given when God established a relationship with someone: Abram became Abraham, Saul became Paul. We wanted a name that would be easy to say and spell. We figure he will have enough challenges without having to constantly explain his name. Yet we wanted one that wasn't so common that he wouldn't feel unique. I like having all of the kids to have different initials because it makes it a lot easier to write a quick note in my calendar if I can just write: K--Dentist. I know that's not a really big deal, but it did come into my thinking. We also wanted a name with spiritual significance. After many conversations, we have finally settled on a name.

Joshua Xiao Chuan

I hesitated with this some because Josiah and Joshua are quite similar. (And I won't be able to write J--Doctor in the calendar.) But those two will be virtual twins, so maybe it will be fun to be "Joe and Josh."

I have been thinking a lot about Joshua 1:9 since we chose this name. It is so fitting for him and for us. "Be strong and courageous!" He will need so much courage to leave behind all that he has ever known to become our son. He will also need courage to face the surgeries that he will need to address his medical issues. But we know the Lord will be with him wherever he goes. Joshua means "God saves." Very fitting for our little guy.

We found out today that he got the care package that we sent. He got a little teary when he saw the pictures. Our friend asked him why he was crying and he said he just loves China so much. It hurts my heart to think of all the he will leave behind. I'm sure we look very strange to him. Imagine seeing a picture of some big white people and thinking about trusting your life and well being to them. I can only imagine what his perceptions of life in a family in America are. It will be quite an interesting road for all of us.

The paper chase continues as we try to get everything done as quickly as we can. Be strong and couragous, Joshua Xiao Chuan, the Lord is with your wherever you go!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ugh...Mom's Sick

I have never figured out why kids in China always pose this way. But they do...every time.
These two seem to be good buddies. Pretty cute.
Any guesses as to the ingredients in this soup? Sure looks like there's plenty of it!

This has been a long week as I have been fighting the crud. Andy has had it, too, but somehow he has managed much more gracefully than I have. I started to feel bad last Thursday. Really just laid around all weekend. Ended up at the Dr. on Monday and now finally, I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have both had a great deal of congestion, so snoring wars at night have not added to our needed rest. It certainly makes me thankful for my normal good health. It also gives me greater compassion for my children when they are sick.

And I can't help thinking about our little guy in China. Who gives him a cool cloth when he has a fever? Or makes snow cones for him to eat when he is sick? Who sits in the steamy bathroom with him if he has a cough? Soon, the answer will be me...his Mama. I am eager for opportunities to show him love and care that he may never have experienced before.

We got some new pictures this weekend...very fun to see. We are fascinated by him, of course, but the background is also fascinating as we try to imagine what his day to day life is like. There are some newer pictures showing his spine as well. They are quite sobering. We are thankful for the treatment that he will receive, but we know it will be a long road. He will need an expandable rod in his spine which will be surgically expanded every few months until he is done growing. Ugh. But how wonderful it will be for him to be able to stand straight and have room for his lungs and heart to grow.

Our agency is estimating seven to nine months until we can travel, so we are hoping for the seven end of the spectrum. It is possible that we could have Christmas, Kimberly's Birthday and Xiao Chuan's birthday all while we're in China! Our homestudy is nearly done and lots of other paper work is in the works. We are all eager to have him home.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Zhu Xiao Chuan

This was the little face that drew us to adopt again. A little boy who has waited too long for a family. A family who has room for another son. A firm conviction that God has had all of this planned from the beginning of time.

Our journey to Xiao Chuan began in April when we received an e-mail from a friend in China. Pam Williams and her husband Clay work in Henan Province teaching university students. They also have a foster home called Swallow's Nest. Moriah lived at Swallow's Nest for about three months before we brought her home, so we have enjoyed keeping in touch with them. She sent an email asking if we were considering adopting again. She mentioned that she was advocating for this little boy who is eight years old. He does not live in her home, but she became aware of him through a friend who volunteers in his home. He had been listed for adoption as far back as 2007! Amazing to think how terribly long he has waited for a family. She thought us of because his special need is scoliosis. She knew we have been down that road to some degree with Moriah.

Andy and I have found ourselves looking at children listed on adoption websites during the two and a half years that we have had Moriah home. We would talk about adopting again from time to time, but never really felt compelled to move ahead. We had said if God put a child "in our laps" so to speak that we would be glad to add to our family. So the day that we got the e-mail from Pam, we were really interested. We talked about it for awhile and decided that we would like to see his picture and get more information. We wrote Pam back. When we saw his pictures we just looked at each other and knew. Our son.

So here we are...moving as quickly as we can through the dossier process. It's easier this time, but seems agonizingly slow as we are so eager to get him home. We have spoken with the orthopedic surgeon who takes care of Moriah and he feels confident that he can help Xiao Chuan with his spinal issues.

So we are stepping ahead in faith...trusting that the Lord has planned this for us and for him.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogging Again...

I have let the blog go for, let's see...just about a year and half. Amazing how fast time slips by! But thanks to Kimberly's prodding, I am back to blogging. Just in time to begin to chronicle our journey to Zao Xiao Chuan, a little boy living in Henan Province, China who will soon be joining our family. I am looking forward to posting more about him and our journey to becoming a family of seven. I am also excited to chronicle our lives together in the normal stuff that makes each day interesting. So, stay tuned! Sola Gratia is back!!