Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kerry Wa is Home

some serious bumper car action

Train to Hong Kong

Quinn and "doughnut"

Amy and "Banana"

South China Sea
We are home and all very happy. Kai and Summer are here with us enjoying Kerry and the beach before going to grad school and nursing school in a few weeks. We had a wonderful family experience, returning to our daughters' homeland and sharing family time while welcoming our newest daughter and sister. Thanks for all who traveled along. I hope some of you that are waiting enjoyed seeing what will come. I hope some of you have been inspired to help those left behind in any way you can. UNICEF estimates there are 210 million orphans in the world today. As I type, my Kerry is playing with Amy and the dollhouse. While in China, we were able to skype with Summer who is now enjoying her sweet sister. Kerry crawls into her bed and snuggles and loves to be around Summer and tell her stories. She thinks Summer understands =). Kai and his girlfriend took them to the beach for some big brother fun. Back to China- After enjoying tropical Guangzhou and lots of pool time, we took the Train to Hong Kong with the brown envelope with Kerry's immigration approval safe on my back. We had two fun filled days taking public transportation to a beautiful beach and swimming in the warm China Sea. Kerry embraced everything about her changing life with amazing ease. She is a determined, curious, fun loving daughter, nicknamed "little lion" by her foster mom.We think the little mane might have something to do with her nickname =)  It feels so perfect sharing our life with her. She has learned to trust us and finally doesn't eat as fast as I have ever seen someone eat to be sure she get her little lion's share. There are moments each day that I am reminded that only 23 days ago she was an orphan. Most of the survival behavior is forgotten, replaced by a calm that comes with knowing we will provide for her and she can trust us. As I ponder my time in China and think our adoption trips, and those we have had the privelege to meet on these journeys, I will not forget those left behind and those that have helped us bring home our girls so that they will have the life they deserve. I will continue to be an advocate and voice for those left behind and sponsor a three year old in Huainan so that she can go to preschool. Someone was kind enough to help our daughter while she waited for her forever family and for this we are grateful. I have found that sharing my daughters' stories with others has opened eyes and God is working through them. I am blessed to be able to plant seeds. When I was a teen, a young man to spoke to my heart about the orphan girls in China. Robert and I knew all those years ago that we would try to help someday, having felt God's hand in our lives. Sure glad we listened. After many twists and turns, we found our way to Amy.  Those that have adopted from China know about the red thread....

"An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break." - Ancient Chinese Proverb
She is special as our first adopted child and always will hold that place in her mom's heart. Thank you Amy for caring so much and for "starting all the trouble".  I won't be blogging since I have to go back to work and my time off is better served with my family reading, swimming.biking, playing and cooking for this crew.  If anyone would like to know more about adoption, I always have time to talk and help in anyway. I welcome the call or email.Thank you all for your good love and God bless.
Beth Anne,
Proud and happy mom to Kai 22, Summer, 19, Quinn 12, Amy 10, Kerry 5, and Ting 4.

(310) 292-7752 (should be 8 =))
What are brothers for? =)
Home at Valley Park, Hermosa Beach, California

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bai YunQing

Our sweet Quinn YunQing

Guangzhou SWI

outside her bedroom at the orphanage

Chris with Holt that helped Quinn and the older children in China
Quinn was adopted August of 2010. We returned to the orphanage today where she spent part of her life after being abandoned at a bus station as a toddler. The staff at the orphanage were kind to her and gave her the opportunity to be educated and become part of the Journey of Hope program so that she could have a forever family. Half the Sky foundation has been working in the Guangzhou orphanage since 2006 and the baby room has 2 nannies per baby. We were there at feeding time and saw a room full of babies all under one year old. Quinn asked to go to the baby room and has fond memories of helping the little ones as a young girl. She recalls some nights the little ones crying for their moms and told me she would just tell them to call her mama so they would settle down. =( We also saw the little children during preschool with Half the Sky teachers; some of them are waiting for families. They were adorable and the rooms and hallways were decorated with pictures and childrens' drawings. No pictures were allowed. Two new buildings have been built for the intake and medical care of abandoned babies and rehab for those with physical disablities, especially club foot. There are wealthy businessmen in Guangzhou that have helped the orphans by donating the funds to build these buildings and educate some of the kids. With the help of the Half the Sky foundation, these children are well cared for. There goal is to find homes for those they can and nurture those that are "unadoptable". We saw a beautiful, blind girl that Quinn lived with that still has not found a family and another cute, older healthy girl, about 11 yrs old that will be hoping to find a family soon. She was abandoned at age six. Many of the older children here have found homes over the past two years and many of you reading this blog are their families. Some of them have aged out and will help at the orphanage. Thank you all for believing in them and giving them a chance. The life they have there is as good as it can be as an orphan in China- but there is so much more that they all deserve. We had a delicious lunch with one of the administrators and Chris from Holt and spent time in the areas where Quinn lived as a little girl and for three months while waiting for us to come to China in the summer of 2010. She was also fortunate enough to live for four years at the boarding school with other Journey of Hope kids and receive some formal education. I can't imagine my QQ still there wasting away her life and missing out on having a family. As we left, I wondered what was going through her mind.

Link to Holt article her dad wrote while waiting:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Leaving Anhui- Here we come Guangzhou

Leaving Hefei


waiting for physical

no glasses needed

TB test =(

Pool fun

The pool was warm enough for mom!

trying to push dad under

Kerry's first plane ride was fun. We flew from Hefei (pop 8 million) to Guangzhou (pop. 13 million) which is China's third largest city and where all international adoptions are finalized. She had a window seat and was so excited to be in the clouds. She wanted to know if we would jump to get out of the plane. I believe she would if we told her "yes".  She has quite an adventurous spirit =) We have been in Guangzhou for four nights. I forgot how much I enjoy this city. It is beautiful, very tropical and lush. Our hotel is situated between two scenic parks with lakes and palm trees. We met the other 18 families in our Holt group and have enjoyed getting to know them. The entrance to the metro is right outside the hotel and it is so easy to get around. Rush hour can be challenging with the masses of people. Kerry had her first metro ride in Guangzhou. It is cute when Chinese people start talking to her and she tells them about our family. It's a head scratching good time! Quinn fills us in on the details. The people in Guangzhou are much more westernized and there is a lot less staring. Saturday Kerry had her physical and TB test which she passed. Sunday was spent at the pool with my fish. Kerry is enjoying the water and will be swimming in no time. We spent Monday at Chimelong Water Park which was a blast. It was super with all sorts of play areas for the little kids and a wave pool which everyone enjoyed. This morning we completed the last step of Kerry's adoption in China and had our consulate appointment at the American Embassy to finalize her visa to enter the USA and become a citizen upon touchdown in Los Angeles on July 15th. Tomorrow we were granted permission to visit Quinn's orphanage where will spend the day with her going back to visit friends and nannies. Kerry has talked to her foster family twice and has moments of tears and mourning. She is doing so well learning English words and loves playing with all her sisters. Yesterday she broke out in a song : "If you are happy, happy, happy- clap your hands". Sounds adorable with her Chinese accent. She loves to sing for us and knows lots of songs from preschool. Quinn continues to be a great help translating as we get to know more about our beautiful, spunky Kerry Wa. Amy and Ting have been great travelers. We continue to feel very lucky to have Kerry Wa in our lives and look forward to the last days in our girls' birth country.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Family Fun

July 4th and 5th were spent having fun in Hefei. The big girls spent their saved allowance at the pedestrian only shopping area. The park and rides close by offered family fun. The weather was hot and humid. Quinn continued to help with interpreting and Kerry Wa is quite the story teller. We are so lucky that Quinn can help us understand her despite a bit of a dialect difference; Kerry loves to entertain. It has helped her open up about her life and it is so interesting to here her version. She amuses us with her cute voice and spunky personality. She can count to ten in English now, knows most of the colors and is recites many songs in Chinese for us. She is animated and funny and sweet and spicey all rolled into one cute 38 lb body. She loves dresses and her new sisters. She asks to swim everyday. We plan to go a waterpark in Guangzhou. We skyped with Summer today and she wants red/blue nails just like sissy who had done them for the 4th of July. Summer gave her a tour of the house and she seems happy to know that her "jie jie" is waiting there for us. The only fireworks we had on the 4th happened when Robert was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A guy was welding on the third story of a building in the pedestrian shopping area where we were walking. A bunch of sparks fell down and landed on Robert's head who then quickly doused the flame, but not before he had a burn spot. After some choice words, which Ting now loves to repeat (thanks Robert) we were off again. Kerry saw a policeman and and quickly yelled to Quinn to tell them for her baba. Happy 4th of July. We will leave for Guangzhou the 6th and look forward to meeting 16 more families.

park walk

Kerry Wa
Best dad in China!

getting the scoop from Kerry Wa

Huainan sisters

jie jie