Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Learning Chinese

Granted, our daughter will grow up to speak English and will culturally be an American. But we also want her to be exposed to some of the language and culture of her birth country. Plus, I thought it would be fun and informative to learn a little Chinese before our trip. So, I've been learning a few words and simple sentences from a computer program I found at Half Price Books. I still haven't learned the all important traveller's question, "Where is the restroom?" The only words I can consistently remember at this point are "mother," "horse," "hemp," and "scold." Boy, those are really going to come in handy.

By the way, the symbol at the beginning of this post is the Chinese symbol for "love." Click here to see the symbols for a host of other words in Chinese.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Where are we in the process?

Tomorrow it will be one year since we first met with our adoption caseworker from Bethany Christian Services. After prayerful consideration, we decided to adopt a child from China. As many of you already know, we fully expect our child to be a girl. For a variety of social and cultural reasons, that is what is primarily available in Chinese orphanages. She will most likely be between 8 months and 1 year old.

After months of paperwork, home-study interviews, fingerprinting, and getting up-to-date passports, our dossier was filed in China on May 24, 2005. Generally, families receive a referral six months after their dossier is filed. That means that sometime in late November we hope to have a name, a picture, any known medical history, and the name of the city and province where our child was born. At that point, we prepare for our trip to China, which should come six to eight weeks after we receive our referral. Kurt will be travelling with Julie's cousin experienced traveller, mother, and great friend.

Our daughter's Chinese name will become her middle name. We are already calling her by the name we have chosen..."Lily." She's out there somewhere. I find myself looking often at the map of China in our World Atlas wondering where she is and what she is doing right now.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Welcome to our new weblog!

Julie and I have finally decided to enter the world of blogging. We've done this in order to give our friends and family a chance to hear what's going on with our adoption journey. This will also serve as sort of an online journal for any other thoughts that we may wish to share with you about our experiences. You are welcome to keep checking back for new posts and updates.

The title "Red Thread to Marysville" is based on something we read in the book The Lost Daughters of China. Author Karen Evans writes about an old Chinese story which says that from the moment you are born, a red string around your ankle ties you to the one you will eventually marry. "Lately," Evans explains further, "the red thread idea has been taken up by the Chinese American adoption community, to include parents and children who are destined to be together--even though an ocean may lie between them initially." (p. 141)

The closer we get to the day we receive our gift from God, the stronger we feel the tug of that "red thread." There is a red thread between our daughter in China and our hearts here in Marysville.

It's also appropriate that we begin this blog today, the day of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. On this day in China, people of all ages stay up to gaze at the moon, eat "mooncakes," and reflect on the blessings of family. Well, Julie and I are not out gazing at the's cloudy. And we already ate a mooncake at a local supermarket a couple of days ago. But we are reflecting on the blessings of family, and saying a prayer for our daughter for whom we are waiting.