Firsts for the Bravest Girl Ever

We are enjoying getting to share a few firsts with Lucy Joy…
after missing so many of them.
We left for Guangzhou on Friday night… on a plane!!
She was so excited to get the chance to ride on an airplane.
The guide told her just how it would go in Chinese so she would know what to expect and asked her if she was scared.  She said no!  Our girl is so brave. She was zipping the suitcases up for us after breakfast, unfortunately she had to wait until 3:00 pm!

She was just giddy after we finally got off the bus that drove us right up to the plane.  How exciting!  When the plane started down the runway, she repeated, “take off!”  She kept asking for her noodles that the guide had told her they would offer and I don’t think she could believe that she got to pick her own drink… twice!

Today we had our medical appointment that is part of the US side of the adoption.  After spending a very long time in a very noisy and crowded and hot waiting room taking turns between a general check, a vision check, a visit with an ENT, and a secondary vision check for Lucy…
each of the children had to have blood drawn for a TB test.
She marched right into the room (no parents allowed),
had blood drawn and marched out without even a complaint.
Here she is posing for a picture with her bandaid.IMG_2065Then we headed back to the hotel for a little CCTV 14 and even
experimented with “knitting.”
*smile*IMG_2104Next up was touring the hotel grounds.
We fed the fish…IMG_2117And then thought we would take a look at the pool.  IMG_2126

 No way we would actually swim, right?  I almost didn’t even bring suits.
The average person in China would not know how to swim,
and we knew that Lucy had never been swimming before.
With some translation help,we learned
that she did not know what a pool or a bathing suit was.

But she insisted,
and before we knew it…IMG_2129IMG_2153IMG_2154

Another first to share!IMG_2165IMG_2173


Things you see in China

What you might see in a day in Xian.

Busy Streets
Many people wear masks because if the cold or air quality
Grandpa playing pool in the park with his grandson.

There are lots of dragons, but this is a statue of Pixiu – Feng Sui – Wikipedia says it has voracious appetite for gold and silver and has a mystical power to draw wealth from all directions. Our guide says “it eat but never poop”

iPhone repair on a pedestrian bridge.



Cable and power lines next to the pedestrian bridge stairs. (and look at all that hair).IMG_0833

Mult-purpose sidewalks, and a pedestrian bridge. Street vendor selling sweet potatoes and roasted chestnuts.

IMG_0843 Street sweepers are everywhere, his big broom is in the foreground. We saw them sweep leaves out of mud puddles the day before.IMG_0872


Grandpa and baby outside the “People’s Welfare Lottery” They wheel these two riding toys out front so the kids have something to do. IMG_0868


Window repair shop, with some laundry dryingIMG_0879


Street vendor with seafood on sticksIMG_0891

Hotel restaurant and pond as seen out our window.IMG_0905

Getting to know Lucy

She loves hair bows, bands, clips… and brushing her hair (she has lots of hair).

She seems to be enjoying the freedom to fix her own hair and is quite good at pony tails.

She is very loving and affectionate with us.

She slows down when there is a change in the floor covering or ground to check to see if she has to step down.  She can probably see for a distance of about 2 meters and holds things very close to her face when she wants to look at them.

She loves putting on chap stick with a compact mirror.


She loves beautiful things.  At breakfast she admired a red carnation so much that the waitress gave it to her.

She always puts things away where she found them.

Anyone that knows Jason will not be surprised to know that she learned the English word “mint” within minutes of meeting him.

She says “Thank you, Mama” and “Thank you, Baba” when we do something for her or give her something.

She loves stringing beads on a lace.  This activity is a big hit!  We brought lots of small plastic beads and colored cord and she has worked on beads for hours.

She attacks any project or activity book like she is on a mission.

She is very generous and always shares her crackers and other snacks, water, pictures she has colored…. She is also generous with her words, she talks a blue streak in Chinese pretty much all day.

Sometimes I am in the doghouse and I don’t know why.  She seems to forgive me eventually and we can move on.

She washes her hands like nobody’s business.

Loves her JieJie (big sister) and has to take a picture of anything she does. (she loves her new camera!!)


Sleeping is an aerobic activity.

She loves to be held and have Baba carry her.


She is beautiful and clever and a JOY.

Hanna: Broken

Another great post from Hanna!

“If I could be with Lucy, I would give up anything. I’m in love. And it’s dangerous. But I don’t even care. I thought I knew what it meant to love her. I was wrong. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be her sister. It’s not what I expected. But very few things are! And I like her the way she is. I’m glad I was wrong.”

Taking My Time: Broken

Monday in Xi’an


Today we signed papers (including a thumbprint over each signature) and had the Chinese part of the adoption completed. We were going to stop at the police station on the way out of town Friday but there were very few adoptions this week (4), so we went straight to the police station and had Lucy’s picture taken today, so we are good to go.
The guide dropped us back at the hotel and said “see ya”, but we went with another couple to a dumpling restaurant. The Kung Pao Chicken had “numbing herb” in it, which lessened my enjoyment considerably. I’ll probably live longer for having eaten it, but I will avoid it in the future.

Driving to the government office.


Copying “L-u-c-y” in the office.

We thought we were ordering green beans, but Lucy liked the cooked cucumbers.IMG_0315
“Gee Gee”  (big sister) and “May May” (little sister) walking home in the rain.IMG_4221
 Stopped at a Chop Shop to buy a Chop for Lucy.
This is a Chinese Chop
Dad and Lucy walking home (with Dad wondering when he will feel his tongue again).

Day 1

Everyone has pictures of anxious parents waiting for their children to be “brought out” to them. We went to the 20th floor of a province government building walked down a short dark hallway (turns out we were too quiet, the lights turn on if you make noise); we turned into an office and were met by Lucy and her Foster Father.
Here are some pictures from the office.




Walking Out:




Stopped at Walmart:



Bed Time:



Hello from Xi’an!  Can you believe we are in China!?!?  We had a great trip arriving here at our hotel after 11:00 pm local time.  We did not get much sleep on the way, but that probably helped get us on the right sleep schedule as we were easily ready to go to bed even though it was mid-morning back home.

This morning we took a walk in the rain to look for SIM cards and bottled water.  So fun to see all the people going about their daily life.  We got some great pictures that we hope to be able to share with you soon when we get the computer online.

I am praying for our Lucy… This is her last full day with all that is familiar to her.  Tomorrow we will meet her at the Civil Affairs building after she, the director, and a caregiver make the 2-3 hour drive here.  So excited to have her with us!

More to come later!


I am so inspired by what I read here… the story of this daughter is somewhat different than the story of our daughter, but similar in many ways too.  Here is a quote that puts our hearts into words…

The Father looks on my daughter not with eyes of hopelessness and fear. He stares into her deep and calls forth Himself, planted in her from before the day she met the streets. What the enemy calls misfit, He reclaims as heiress.

And as her now-mother, my role is to carry this torch over her life. I live advocacy in my flesh and in my spirit. My prayers and my words form the bridge of partnership between His promises and her reality. I partner. She is being made new and it’s my job to speak it loud and to believe it in my quiet.

We see that our trip and arriving home from China with our girl (!!!!!!!) is just the beginning. We have another journey ahead that will begin as soon as we get home.  There are some things about adoptive parenting that are the same as parenting a biological child. There are also quite a few areas that we have learned are different. We have learned that our daughter needs a specific type of environment and parenting when she first comes home in order to feel safe and secure and to learn how to live successfully in our family.  Our child needs to learn that we’re the parents. She needs to feel nurtured and safe. She will not be used to having parents to love and care for her. We’ll be living a very quiet life with limited trips out and no visitors in for a little while to help us make this happen. By keeping our lives very boring at first, we’ll be helping our Sparrow feel safe.

After our airport celebration, we will enter into a season of family time and bonding at home.  Although you will still see some of us out and about, we will not all make it to church for awhile or to all of the wonderful  festivities that will be happening this season.   We believe that this will go a long way to helping Lucy adjust and bond as she joins our family.  Sometimes things are not always what they seem.  If Lucy appears too comfortable with too many people in too large of a circle right from the beginning – this might not actually be a good thing.  As strange as it may seem, adopted children  acting very outgoing and affectionate with “everyone” is not a healthy thing. It is called “indiscriminate affection” and can mean that they haven’t really attached to anyone. We hope by doing life and family quietly and privately for a season, we can help Lucy have a successful transition home.

We cannot wait to get to China… and then get home… and we cannot wait for all of you to be able to get to know our girl too!  Just think, she will be adapting to a lot of new things . . .  parents, family, new home, new foods, new language, new time zone … and on top of all of that, she will be taking all of this on without the foundation of an early childhood in a loving family as God designed it.

We are believing for  healing, adjustment, bonding, and a wonderful future for our Lucy Joy.  Thank you for understanding how we are going about partnering with Him hoping to bring all this to reality for our daughter.