On the Homefront
Jonathan Reunited with His Best Friend! June 01, 2007

We are so excited to finally share with you all another major "God sighting" in our journey to Jonathan.  Do you remember that, while we were waiting to get Jonathan, we received all those wonderful updated photos of him at his orphanage?  What a bittersweet blessing as we enjoyed seeing Jonathan's sweet smile and yet pondered what would happen to his little buddy who would be left behind.  Then we received an email from an AWAA mom who was also adopting from Jonathan's orphanage.  She had connected with a different woman looking for information on our Zhao Xiao Kang.  Soon, we found ourselves receiving additional older photos of not two little guys together in the orphanage, but three (see photos under "Journey to Jonathan" and "Referral Photos & Updates").  As a result, we discovered it was Jonathan who had already been left behind by his best friend at the orphanage, LiMin.  LiMin had been adopted by a family in May 2006 - almost exactly one year prior to our Gotcha Day.  And God saw fit to move LiMin not only to our side of the globe, but also on our side of the country - just one state away!  The Lord overwhelms us with His love for us!  LiMin lives in Charleston, WV and now has some family in the D.C. area that he and his mother happened to be visiting the first weekend in June.    So these two little buddies were able to be reunited, a vital link to their past and anything familiar.  Only the Lord could orchestrate this meeting and we praise Him!

After a look of shock, a quick hug, and an initial warming up period, the kids were running like gangbusters all over the house.  It was such a supernatural time of seeing them reconnect in ways that only old friends can.  We have the privilege of now having LiMin and his wonderful family as an extension of ours, hopefully for a lifetime.  Can't wait to get these two little guys together again soon.  See more photos of the reunion under "Family Photos".

As for the third little boy now left behind in Baotou, John inquired about him while in China.  We learned that his special needs are so severe that he is ineligible for adoption.  We pray that somehow Dang Yu Liang (and all the children left behind in China) can know the Lord's love right where he is/they are.  Apparently, the Baotou Social Welfare Institute is 98% special needs, with only 30% having a normal I.Q..  As far as we know, these ratios are highly unusual for a Chinese orphanage. 

We feel uniquely blessed by God in each of our adoption stories, and this is just another example of how He so amazingly pours His love out on us.  But, we know that we are not the only ones who have these kind of stories, as we have read and heard time and time again how God seems to work in very special ways through international adoption.  We encourage any of you who are reading this to pursue this opportunity if the Lord puts in on your heart.  We would be more than happy to share any information we can with you!


A Heartbreaker! May 29, 2007

I only have a minute, but I wanted to share what my sweet son said to me today.  It's amazing that these conversations can take place in Chinese and God gives us insight to understand what he is communicating.  Thank You Lord!  At lunchtime, I told him in Chinese, "We are so happy you are our son."  And he said back, "I'm so happy you're my Mama."  Later I reassured him, "I will always be your Mama."  And he chirped back, "I will always be your Jonathan!"  What a little lovebug!  He knows the way to his Mama's heart already! 

If any of you are wondering if it has gotten hard yet, no it has not.  I am still in shock over this.  Be assured that I value truth enough to give you the lowdown with candid thoughts.  I keep waiting for the honeymoon to be over, but it's not yet so we are trying to savor every blissful moment.  I know one big reason is God answering all our prayers so thank you for continuing to lift our family up! 

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples.  Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders.  Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad."  -Psalm 105:1-3

A Visit with the Cardiologist May 24, 2007

We took Jonathan to his pediatric cardiologist today.  The doctor confirmed single ventricle ( and single atrium) but say it is very complex and they will need to get in to see more.  They are puzzling over why the Chinese surgeon did what he did and will need to try to re-create his history as best they can to help figure out where to go from here.  He will have surgery after that at some point this summer, but they say there is no rush.  He had a glenn put in a couple of years ago at a teaching hospital in Beijing which seems to be working fine for him for now.  So we are cleared to go to Disney in early June and then I guess we will return to deal with more reality and surgery.  His oxygen level was 84% which they seemed to be thrilled with given his condition. 

Here's the major God sighting in all this:  I figured the echocardiogram would be the most traumatic part for him, but get this. . .  the tech was Chinese!!!  She was able to speak to him in Mandarin and explain what was going on so he just relaxed and laid there for what seemed like forever (maybe 1 hour?) and I just sat in awe of the Lord's provision today!

Feels like we will be in the dark for a while which I appreciate for my mental state!  :-)  Just glad he is here with us and we're having a ball!  Can't wait for you all to get to know him
Jonathan is Home! May 23, 2007

Yes, my sweet boy is home and it's as if he's always been part of our family.  God is awesome in how He knits families together!  I was bracing myself for the "burden" of dealing with older child institutional behavior, severe medical needs and just the plain stress of going from 2 to 3 children in our home.  What I got was God's exceedingly adundant love poured out on our family!  We went from perceived burden to blessings, blessings and more blessings in an instant!  Thank You Lord for the gift of Jonathan in our lives!  He is the most adaptable. sweet, kind, helpful, smart, funny, handsome little guy!  We put him to bed the first night and I said to John, "How can I already feel so much love for a complete stranger?"  I was prepared for it to take time for my love for an older child to grow (it did with our 2 girls adopted as babies; surely it would take even longer for an older child???) But it didn't.  He has found a way into our hearts already.  For our family, that is just one evidence of the tangible hand of God in all this -- a supernatural bond within our family so quickly!   Jonathan's little sisters adore him and he loves being the big brother!  It is a delight to see them play and giggle and love each other.  

Happy Mother's Day! May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, Mom Dryer and all my Mommy friends out there! We spent part of this gorgeous day at the Reston Zoo, feeding bottles to the baby sheep and goats and riding a big wagon around the grounds.  Mia, Grammy and I had a ball petting the camel that came right up to the wagon and seeing the zebras, "tatonka", and alligators.  Mia kept saying over and over, "Mommy, I LOVE snakes!"  I guess she is ready for her big brother to be home! 

Sounds like the gang in China is getting a bit homesick, but enjoying Guangzhou, nonetheless.  They are on a very special trip this time.  While a typical trip in the past has included almost all healthy baby girls being adopted, this travel group is about 50/50 healthy babies versus older and/or special needs kids.  You can imagine in the hotel restaurant, the line up of many highchairs as well as tables with older kids being adopted.  John said it appears that at the moment, the older kids are adjusting even better than some of the babies.  Amazing how the Lord knits each family together so uniquely and as part of His perfect plan.

We are staring to get some glimpses of Jonathan's personality.  From what I hear, he is very generous, almost to a fault . . and not easily deterred, once he has his mind set on something. Apparently, Grandad was in the shower earlier today with the door locked and Jonathan went to get a Sprite.  His Daddy informed him that the Sprite was Grandad's.  So that little guy, determined to get the Sprite to his Grandad, poured the Sprite under the door!  What a crack-up!  He also had a can of Pringles on the bus that he just had to distribute to each of the kids there before he could eat some.  All of this sharing is unusual for a child out of an orphanage -- they will typically hoard things because they've never had anything of their own.  Pretty amazing little boy!

Another quick picture: shortly after Gotcha Day, they were walking down the sidewalk in Hohhot and someone had left a half-full cup on the ground.  Jonathan took a few running steps and jumped right on top of the cup, of course making a huge splat!  Grandad said to John, 'Now there's a typical 6-year-old boy for you!"  HA!