Thursday, March 30, 2006

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

We got the news today on our travel arrangements. Our flight leaves Seattle on Thursday, April 13th. After a brief layover in Tokyo, we arrive in Beijing on Friday, April 14th. In-country details are soon to follow.

However, we do know that our "Gotcha Day" is April 18th. That's when we will receive Lily in Nanchang. And that's really what it's called in the adoption community..."Gotcha Day."

On April 24th, we have our appointment at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou to finish up the paperwork.

Hong Kong is our last stop, and we fly home from there April 26th, arriving back home 15 minutes before we left! Figure that one out. It's not that we will be travelling faster than the speed of light--although that would be nice--it's just that we will cross back over the international date line.

This also means that I will be gone during Holy Week. I'm now on the horn calling fellow pastors to fill in for me during this busy time in the Church. And it will be very different indeed celebrating Easter in China.

Needless to say, we are very excited knowing our daughter will be home in four weeks!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Nine Months and Growing

On March 10, Lily's "nine-month birthday", we received an update on her from the orphanage in Ningdu. She is 27" tall and 17.5 pounds. She also has 4 teeth! Guess we better bring some Cheerios to China along with all that formula.

Thanks to all of you who have emailed us or posted comments on our blog as you share in our excitement. We love hearing from you, and Lily will enjoy reading your messages someday, too.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ping Means "Peace"

Lily's middle name will be "Ping." That's her Chinese first name. We dug around on the internet to see if we could find what it meant. The first definition we found was "duckweed," but that didn't sound quite right nor did it sound very charming for a little girl's name...and besides that, I have no clue what duckweed is. Finally, we found a site with Chinese characters and matched the character that was on the paperwork we received from China. The symbol you see in the picture is the one we matched, and it means "peace." And I'm glad of that...I'm sure Lily would soon have grown tired of her father calling her "Daddy's little duckweed."

Friday, March 03, 2006

"God likes to wink at us every now and then."

That's a direct quote from one of our friends at church. She wrote that in reference to the picture with Lily and the lilies. I do believe she is right.

Here's another "wink" I believe we got on referral day. To celebrate we had...what else?...Chinese food from our favorite Chinese restaurant here in Marysville. After our meal we opened up our fortune cookies, and, I kid you not, this is what we read... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006


After examining our paperwork more closely and poking around on the internet, I discovered that one bit of information I posted was not quite correct, so I made a correction to the previous post "First Impressions." Initially, I wrote that Lily is waiting for us in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. Our caseworker told us that we would be receiving her in Nanchang, the capital of the province, so I just assumed that's where Lily is. Actually, she is at an orphanage in Ningdu (which is actually considered a county), about a 4-hour drive south of Nanchang, still in the same province.

If you'd like to see it on a map, here are two links. Click here to see a simple map. Click here to see a more detailed one (you will have to zoom in once to see where Ningdu is...look for the words "CHINA" in red letters in the center, and Ningdu is not far below).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lily With Lilies

Here's another picture of Lily...and notice the lilies in the foreground. Is that providential, or what? Remember, you can click on the image to see a larger version in another window. We proud parents want you to get a good look at our darling little girl! Posted by Picasa

We don't know for sure yet when we travel to China, but it should be in the next 6 to 8 weeks. It's very strange knowing you have a daughter, but you still cannot touch her, hold her, talk to her, or play with her for another several weeks. All we can do is pray that God will watch over her and care for her through the loving hands of the orphanage caretakers. In the meantime, we have plenty to keep busy with...paperwork, preparing the house, and preparing myself and Julie's cousin Jan to travel. And of course, you know that a pastor's life is not all that busy during the Lenten season (did you notice my tongue in my cheek as I wrote that?).

Also, we learned that "Ping" is our daughter's Chinese first name, so that is what her middle name will be...she will be "Lily Ping Onken." If you remember, in an earlier post I mentioned that her name given to her at the orphanage is "Ning Kang Ping." Apparently, "Ning" is the surname given to all the babies who are cared for at the orphanage, which is in Ningdu county. We don't know where the "Kang" comes from at this point.

First Impressions

The first impression of our daughter...this was the picture stapled on top of the packet of materials we received today which tells us a bit more about her. She is apparently a healthy baby, waiting for us in Ningdu, Jiangxi province. And Julie and I both think she is beautiful.Posted by Picasa

By the way, that white mark on her head...that's just a staple hole...on the picture, not her head!