Saturday, July 31, 2010

Adjustments

Today was a special day, it marked one year since we passed court, and legally became parents. Now, in adoption there are so many steps, that you could find a million special days. But that, in conjunction with something Renee said yesterday, got me thinking.
Renee mentioned to a foreign friend, that the boys seemed to be adjusting to China better than they did America. I thought about it, then thought some more-I am slower than most people- and finally I had to admit I agreed. But that got me thinking about why. We know that that is an answer to PR's that we and many people have been PR'ing, but there is more to it.
China is more familiar that America was at first. Now they have the same parents, clothes, toys, movies, and foods. When they came to America it was all new. Here, just bits and pieces are new.
But they are adjusting very well. Honestly, they do better with the stares and comments than we do, they are very adventurous, willing to run off and use their broken, okay, very broken Chinese, to meet a new kid on the playground. They have amazing compassion for others, that we did not fully see in America. They want to help every beggar, and feel bad for anyone with problems.
Bringing them to China was something we felt guilty for at first, but now we see it was all part of a plan that is much bigger than ourselves. Do they still have some adjusting to do? Of course, and they always will. But in the meantime, they play with their American toys, and watch their America movies, while eating eggplant and Chinese candy!
They are such amazing boys, and every day I am more and more grateful for the opportunity to call them mine


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Monday, July 26, 2010

Mental Illness


The title may be a little misleading, we are all okay! I want to talk about something I have been noticing a lot of lately; and that is just how many people here have some sort of mental problem. I am not talking, "break into the school with a knife crazy", but just enough to have a problem fitting into society, or causing disruptions in groups and things.
I had heard that China had this problem, but  I had not seen it before. But just the past 6 weeks, Renee and I have run into this quite a bit. We are staying busy, and have a lot of different activities, but our circle of influence is still small; but even within that we know of at least 6 people that need help. Again, they are not "crazy, crazy" but in the US they would be on medication or something.
Last night, Renee did some quick research on this issue, and what she discovered was amazing, and very sad. The research says that as many as 18% of all Chinese people have some sort of mental issue, thats over 240 million people! Think of that in terms of the US. If 240 million people in the US had some mental issue, think of how that would change our country. THe research goes on to say that there are only 4,000 qualified Psychiatrists in the whole country! Thats over 58,000 patients per Doctor! No wonder this is an issue!
We tried to figure out why we did not see this problem in Xi'an, where we lived and worked for three years. We think it was simply because in Xi'an, we spent our time with more professional people, teachers, and advanced students. And now, we are privileged to work with many different kids of people and classes. It is hard to see, but at the same time we are excited to see more doors open, and glad to hear that the Chinese government is finally starting to do something about this problem. I will keep you updated as we find out more.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Deaf School part 2



Today was out first day volunteering at the deaf school. We worked with a lot of kids, from those who had hearing, and just needed a hearing aid, to those who are completely deaf. We just colored and got to know each other today, but it was fun. We are already thinking of fun things we can do next week.

Also, on Tuesday, we meet with a "C" woman who does a lot with the special need kid of this Province. We are so excited to see how we can partner together! Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Today

No pictures today, sorry. I really need to do better about blogging; its just in China its hard. Not because its so time consuming or anything, but in China blogger is blocked; meaning I can only access it through a personal VPN. Which is cool, but it can be very slow at time and can be a pain. So I am posting this one by email, hopefully it will be better.
I want to talk about something that happened today, that was very interesting. It was a little scary, a little frustrating, and full of surprises! Every Saturday afternoon, we help lead a English speaking group of college age kids at a local Chinese Community. About half the people are like minded, so there are quite a few seekers. We were nearing the end, and having a good discussion about finding your dream that Father has for each one of us, when two ladies started arguing and one actually hit the other with her umbrella handle. I jump into it, and physically restrain the attacker, switch to Chinese and tell her to sit down and calm down.
If you have ever been to China, you know that they do not like to listen, and they enjoy arguing! So they kept at it, for probably 5 minutes-with Renee, myself and the Chinese leader all getting involved and yelling at them in Chinese.
Finally the attacker leaves the room, and it gets quiet. We pray, and teach them some easy songs-just to calm down, and begin the discussion again. Well, about that time the original attacker comes back in, and resumes hitting the other lady. I physically hold the door shut to prevent her from coming back in, and finally the attacker decided to go home.
The boys happened to see this, so we sent Tegan and Preston to the corner of the room, with instructions to cover their eyes. What makes this so sad, is that we had 2 new people today, who were not like minded. And one girl was only 2 weeks into her new spiritual journey. We had to assure them over and over, this is not what Father likes or wants. So what caused this problem?

It involved three ladies, they are older than college age, but still like coming. 2 are seeking, and do not believe yet, and one does. So who did the attacking? The believer. The attacker had brought a friend for the first time, and the all three women were sitting on the same bench. The attacker asked the attacke to move so her friend would have room. She responded by telling the lady that if you scooted down and moved your bag their would be plenty of room. They argued abut that for a minute, then the visitor left, she was the only one to act responsibly! Thats when the attacker made her move. That was all it took! The women who got attacked actually apologized to all of us, and explained this had never happened before. That the attacker was known for this, and has actually been in court many times because of her temper. So it's all done now, and I am sure we will see them all next week. I just hope the guests are not scared off and realize we are not all like that, and that the way these ladies acted are in now way a reflection of the one we serve.
So all in all, just another day in the most amazing country in the world!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Deaf School

This afternoon, we headed downtown to go visit a deaf school. If you know us at all, you know this is an area that we are sensitive too and plan to work in. We heard about this school through Chinese friend of ours.


We had an amazing time! This school has about 90 kids, 70 live there, and 20 commute, and its a year round. All of them have hearing aids, and/or a coculear implant; so the kids can hear and talk to some degree. We came away excited about the opportunities that are there, and what we can do. So beginning next Sunday, we will go and play with the kids. Sunday is the only time all week that they leave the school-and volunteers come and take the kids to the park, and help them interact with people from the hearing world. We were asked to do things like crafts, and teach them easy games, and do other things that do not require a lot of language.

What's even more exciting, is that we had been put in touch with a woman named Meg. She is a sister, and spends her days working with deaf kids, and special needs kids all over the Hunan Province. We were put in touch with her, through a co-worker. We had made some arrangements through email to meet with her next week. Well, guess who we met at the deaf school? Meg! There is no doubt in our minds this is what He has called us to! We can not wait to see where it all leads! video video