Saturday, October 5, 2013

5 years ago ... knock, knock, knock

Five years ago, Violet and I were nervously and anxiously awaiting the meeting that would change our lives forever.

We were in Xi'an. It was the day we were to meet our son. They had already postponed it once, so we had a few hours to wait some more. We wandered down to the Xi'an city wall, which is an impressive site. It's the largest intact city wall still in China, and encircles the older part of the city.

Then it was back to our room at the Bell Tower Hotel, where we paced around and sat and fidgeted until we got a phone call. Did we want to meet Jake in the lobby or in our room? We opted for our room, figuring it would be more private and we wouldn't create as big of a spectacle.

Then we waited some more, until ...

Knock. Knock. Knock.

When we opened the door, everything changed. It was the beginning of 5 wonderful years with our son, Jacob Wenfeng, even if he wasn't exactly thrilled to see us at first. :-)

A lot has happened in the past five years, and it didn't take Jake long to get used to us and to like us. :-)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our new adventure

While we've been looking back at our trip 5 years ago to meet up with Jake, we're also busy getting ready for our new adventure — our trip to be united with Jude in Chongqing.

Along the way, our church family — small but oh so mighty — has been encouraging us and helping us out. They held a fundraiser pitting the women against the men. The idea was to collect dollar bills with the serial number that started with the letter J. It was amazing how many they came up with and how they funded their search for the elusive dollars. Maybe part of the reason for their urgency was because the losing team would have to suffer ... getting slimed by the winners.

The women ended up losing out, so they got slimed, but as luck would have it we also decided to let the kids get in on the act. If they raised enough money they got to pick someone to get slimed. So, it ended up pretty much everyone got slimed, even the men.

The great sliming was held last Sunday evening after a hot dog dinner and an outdoor concert by Cross Rock, a really awesome Christian band that put on a great show. God definitely is good.

With a lot of help from Grandma and Grandpa, Jake raised enough money to pay for Violet and I to get slimed. And, it so happened, Violet and I came up with enough money to have Jake slimed, too.

As they say, a good time was had by all. ... Kevin ... Hang on Jude, we're getting closer to that great day when we meet.

5 years ago ... The last day as a family of two.

Our one full day in Beijing was rainy and busy. We were going from one spot to another — Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. We enjoyed it thoroughly, especially spending time with our travel group — the Burns family from Texas who were in China to be united with their daughter in Inner Mongolia.

But, through it all we also couldn't get over the realization that the next day we were going to become parents. We had an early morning flight to Xi'an in Shaanxi Province and were going to finally meet Jake.

It was crowded around Beijing when we were there because we were there during the National Day holiday marking the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The line to Mao's tomb in Tian'anmen Square was long. We didn't go, we didn't have time to wait in line.

The Great Wall was truly a marvel, my favorite part of our visit to Beijing. It also gave us a final chance to get a self portrait of just the two of us.

It was hard to sleep that night, the excitement of what was in store was almost too much to bear. ... Kevin

Thursday, October 3, 2013

5 years ago ... the adventure begins

Five years ago, Violet and I had just completed the first step in our greatest adventure to date. We had spent all day either at airports or on airplanes and finally made it to our home for a couple of nights — the Poly Plaza hotel in Beijing.

It was a Friday night and we were counting down the hours before we became parents. We had a whirlwind day ahead of us touring the sites around Beijing — Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

After that, it would be off to Xi'an on Sunday to meet our son.

It's hard to believe it's already been 5 years. Jake was not quite 2 when we were united with him, and now he's coming up on 7 and is a big old first-grader.

All of our dreams came true then, and now we are drawing closer to our next great adventure. More dreams are just about to come true as we count down the days until we can be united with Jude.

It's been a wild ride — one filled with lots of love and laughs and a few tears — but one I wouldn't have missed for anything in the world. — Kevin

Here it is, the Poly Plaza, our first taste of Chinese hospitality.