Tuesday, March 27, 2012

our daughter's current home

Changde City SWI in Hunan Province, China

Changde City Social Welfare Institute, founded in 1950, is a social institute of first class in Hunan province which provides the service of recovery training, medical treatment, old age support and orphans’ rescue, and mainly engages in the adoption of old people who have no income, no supporters or laboring ability, orphans and disabled children and meanwhile provides the service of socialized old age support, medical treatment and recovery of disabled children. There are 500 beds in the institute now. The service and facilities of the institute are complete and the environment of institute is very good with many green trees and colorful flowers. Three leisure fitness squares and various courts in the institute are the paradise of old people and children. The institute has a special education school which calls “Trust Myself” supported by the organization “Love is color blind”. This school has been giving the preschool disabled children formative education.

The institute has adopted 1,400 orphans and disabled children since founded. For making these orphans and disabled children return back home and integrate into the society as soon as possible, the institute has sent 1,188 children to be adopted by foreign parents and helped them find their own families. Many foreign adoptive parents took their adoptive children to visit the institute for seeking their roots each year.

The institute has been sticking to the idea of “family, humanization, standardized service” and the doctrine of “love forever, care the old age and young children, serve for society, devote sincerely”, and received the full acceptance from all circles of society. The institute became the second one which got the International Quality Management System in Hunan province.

Information taken from here.

Changde City SWI

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

finding ad

We take it for granted that we have many photos of ourselves as babies and even more so now in a world of digital cameras; photos of our children are in abundance. Unfortunately orphanages in China don't have the time or money to take a lot of photos of the babies in their care. In most cases we will only get our little one's referral photo and maybe one update during the waiting period. Since 1999, the orphanages in China are required to run a provincial newspaper advertisement for children that are found and brought to their orphanage. They are called 'Finding Ads' - these ads contain information about where and when the children were found and which orphanage is caring for them. Originally these were text only ads, but most provinces now include photographs. These photographs are usually the earliest available pictures of our children, some from as young as a few weeks old.

Brian Stuy and his wife Longlan (adoptive parents to three beautiful Chinese girls) maintain this website - www.research-china.org - they locate the baby's finding ad, send a photo of the picture in the newspaper and may even have a copy of the actual newspaper!

Our daughter, Jiang Yang Qi's ad was in the 'Hunan Daily" newspaper published February 1st, 2011 and is seventh ad in the first column. She is so precious in her little hat! Being able to get her baby picture is an opportunity we are most grateful for.

Deuteronomy 26:11 - And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house.

newspaper ad

Monday, March 19, 2012

our daughter's birth province

Changde, Hunan

Hunan Province is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River (Changjiang, 长江), about half way along its length. Shanghai lies 1000 km away, Beijing 1200 km away, and Guangzhou 500 km away.

Located in the south central part of the Chinese mainland, Hunan has long been known for its natural beauty. Hunan is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and by the Yangtze River on the north. Hunan's mixture of mountains and water makes it among the most beautiful provinces in China. For thousands of years, Hunan has been a major center of Chinese agriculture, growing rice, tea, and oranges.

Hunan has a humid, subtropical climate. The monsoon rain falls mostly in April, May, and June. July and August are uncomfortably hot and humid. The best time to visit is in the fall, when temperatures are cooler and the rainfall lighter. For persons who live in cold northern climate, traveling to Hunan in the winter can be pleasant. After all, any place that grows oranges can't be all that cold! Low temperatures in winter are usually above freezing, with daily highs around 10C. Annual rainfall is around 1,250 - 1,750 millimeters (49.2 to 68.9 inches). Northern Hunan has more climate extremes than southern Hunan. It can get colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.

[ taken from here ]

Hunan Province Hunan Province
Hunan Province Changde, Hunan

**pictures from google images**

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I called it spring cleaning, but one of my friends on FB said I was starting to nest.
I think she's probably right - our little Phebe girl can't come quick enough.

Spring cleaning - Lilah's clothes

Anyway, I'm so pleased to have all the clothes I kept from Lilah's younger years now organized, by size.
Gotta love Lilah's labels!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

what's in a name

phebe (chinese)
[ Phebe - in Chinese Characters ]

Phebe is a name we've loved for a long time. And I've always loved the way it is spelt in the Bible. Generally I've seen it spelt Pheobe, but I've always loved the Biblical spelling - Phebe. Like I said, we've loved the name for a long time, in fact, we loved it when we named our first daughter, Lilah Grace, but we tucked it away, in the case we might get to use it some time again.

Last year when I was wrestling with the decision to go back to China for another child I really felt that I needed a strong word from the Lord. I asked Him, if this was His plan for us, that He really needed to give me something big. Honestly, in my heart I think I asked for something big because I was scared and I didn't have the faith I needed. Adoption isn't an easy process, it's a process of faith, faith and more faith. It's a process that I could never imagine navigating without the Lord firmly by my side.

We had been discussing the matter more seriously around May 2011, exactly 3 years from the first time we started the paperchase to Lilah. Well, our Church Bible Conference is once a year, it's always the last long weekend in May. Around that time, I was still trying to figure out what was right for our family. I knew my husband was 100% decided, in fact, I think he was 100% decided on a second child the moment he held our Lilah Grace in his arms! Anyway, one of the speakers at that Bible Conference got up and read these two verses (from the Bible)...

Romans 16 (v1) I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: (v2) That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

Sure I loved the name Phebe, had looked it up in the Bible, but I don't remember ever reading the second verse, "...that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you". Obviously my mind was wandering to the idea of our second child being called Phebe! The speaker went on to minister about how Paul had written this letter to commend Phebe to the assembly, one of his phrases from the platform that day was so obviously for me. He said: "You receive her as receiving one of your family, as a sister..."

I remember bowing my head at that moment and thanking the Lord for giving me exactly what I needed to hear to bring our daughter home from China. Yes, she would be a sister and yes, we would be receiving her into our family, with open arms. We have an incredible God, He is so in control of everything. He gave me exactly what I asked Him for. He literally took my daughter's name and told me to receive her into our family.

We were also thrilled when we realized that the meaning of our new daughter's name, Phebe (which means bright/radiant), pretty much has the same meaning as the name they gave her at the SWI, YangQi means sunny/energy. According to her paperwork, she was named especially so she would have a bright future ahead of her and much health. They named her that, because her condition upon arriving to the SWI was poorly.

Thank God for answered prayer.

The names given to her by the Changde City Social Welfare Institute:
Jiang - this name comes from the ChangJiang river that runs through the city
Yang - the name given to all the girls in the SWI that were born in 2010
Qi - her given name that sets her apart

The meanings and reasons for her chosen names:
Phebe - (bright/radiant) - because we love the name
Jayne - (God is gracious) - because indeed He is, so very gracious
YangQi - (sunny/life) - because it's her name & her heritage

Monday, March 12, 2012

when will we get little qiqi home?

In my excitement, I forgot that you all aren't mind readers! And I hadn't shared when we will hopefully have little QiQi in our arms. Oh how my heart flutters at the thought of holding her in my arms!

All the paperwork has been completed on our end right now. In Canada, we have to have it all finished before our homestudy/family can be matched to a child. Last Thursday, the online application was sent into the CCCWA for us to officially adopt QiQi. Thankfully none of these applications have ever been turned down. We will get official confirmation in about another week and then the waiting for our LSC/LOA begins.

Judging from past events, our coordinator has told us that we will probably be in China in September, possibly August...

Yeah, I know, that's like forever! Like last time, I've mentally prepared myself that it'll be a tough wait. Especially since I bought my two girls (I love saying that!) their first 'matching' outfit today. Oh my.

Friday, March 9, 2012

blessed, in a huge way

I can't even explain how blessed I am right now.

I joined QiQi's SWI Yahoo Group on Monday and met an extraordinary lady who is in very close connection with a sponsored charity that runs a school within the SWI. She soon found out that QiQi was not attending school and made sure the director was sent a request that she be allowed to attend school. Well she agreed with the request, praise the Lord! The extraordinary lady was also telling me that this way they can get regular updates and pictures of QiQi. My heart is bursting with thankfulness.

So QiQi now attends school on the weekdays!

I got en email yesterday saying she did well in school on her first day and that she is going to be spoiled rotten! Oh my! Today I got this incredible picture. Truly, it made my heart feel full. The lady holding QiQi just got back to the school from maternity leave - I think QiQi is going to be very well looked after.

There are 10 older children that attend the school, I know this is so meant to be and pray it will help her for the moment when she gets a big sister.

Can you believe she's wearing the leopard print coat under this top coat? Wow. No wonder she's got healthy pink cheeks! She is such a beautiful girl, my heart is overflowing with love and joy right now.

QiQi - March 7th, 2012
photograph taken March 7th, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

all about little qiqi

So in the package we received, some of *QiQi's personality, characteristics and abilities are recorded. Reading them, some make me grin, some make me feel so proud of her and some make me tear up because I want to be there for her so much.

Each word I read, I feel myself falling in love with her more and more...

: She's a deep sleeper.
: She walks alone steadily.
: She goes upstairs with her hands against the wall.
: She uses her thumb and index finger deftly.
: She bangs two blocks together and puts blocks into the cup.
: She imitates words and knows what "NO" means! She can say NaiNai and MaMa.
: She responds to others asking for her objects.
: She is introverted, quiet and is fond of quietness.
: She is afraid of strangers and easy to cry when she meets strangers.
: She likes to play with children older than her, and then she's happy!
: She is sometimes impatient!
: She has a ready smile.
: She is closest to her caretakers.
: She likes to take the colourful dolls and rattles in her hand and play.
: Sometimes she is fond of watching TV!

I love her to the moon and back.

*QiQi is said like CheeChee

Monday, March 5, 2012

our little hunan girl

I can't even tell you how elated we are. And I can't even count the number of times my husband and I have looked at each other today and said, "Wow. I can't believe it!"

We are so very very happy to announce the newest arrival of our family, Jiang Yang Qi. She was born October 1st, 2010 and currently resides in the Changde SWI, Hunan. I'm having a hard time taking my eyes off her adorable little face.

We love her already.

Jiang Yang Qi
Jiang Yang Qi
photographs taken February 7th, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

the call

We arrived home from Cuba this evening to one of the best voice messages ever!

We have a new daughter! All the details we have right now is that she's under 2 years old and she has a mild heart condition. We haven't seen her little face yet and we don't know any more details. We'll find out more tomorrow. Guess who won't be sleeping tonight?! We are beyond excited!!

I feel overwhelmed with gratitude right now. Thank you Lord Jesus.

This song sums up my emotions:

Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I close my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face

With arms wide open...