And We're live....

Our adoption profile is live and active and available for the choosing.

View it here. Our blog, that we are posting to weekly, is here. Pass along cards to come this summer. (Daniel is very busy at work right now and we don't want to overwhelm ourselves.) Please feel free to link one or both.

One thing that I end up telling to just about everyone we talk to about adoption, is that we don't wait to get picked. It's like online dating. We have a certain set of criteria and depending on what the birth mother's conditions are and what she is desiring in a family, it can match us up.

The more important part: is looking. Those who get placed with sooner are those out pounding the pavement. Statistically LDS Family Services has 3 couples hoping to adopt for every baby they place. Odds are against us. Those who get placed with quickly have some 3rd party connection, most of the time. It will be one of you, my friends, family, readers, who helps us out. The trust when someone you know says to you, "I'm sorry you are in such a rough situation, have you considered placing for adoption? My good friends...." is higher than "I found this couple on the internet." Every one referring us will get us there sooner.

You know how God has said to us that we need to do, act, and move on it? This is exactly where we need you. Daniel and I are only 2 bodies. We only know so many people. But all of the people we know combined with all of the people they know, is monumentally more influential. Good things come to those who wait. Better things are found by those who go looking and work hard. So we are starting our search. It's a little scary, I have to be honest. But it's the good kind of scary. Like a roller coaster ride that gives you a thrill. Like getting married is something you've not done before, so it's uncharted waters, but the best kind of adventure lies waiting. Our greatest adventure is yet to come and is just beyond our reach. Can you  help us reach it?

Once I have pass-a-long cards ready, I'll ask for addresses so I can send some to you all. and you can give them out. Let's do this thing!!



Two years later...

*I wrote this post 2 weeks ago and failed to add pictures. So I'm just going to post it. 

Last night I asked Daniel if he could find out the future (conditions: you can choose what to find out, future is fixed) if he would choose to do so. He said yes. I think I would also. But I don't know for sure. I guess the answer doesn't really matter, as that's not something in our control anyway. He asked me what prompted that question. We often discuss random things like this.  The prompt this time was that on April 10 it will be 2 years to the day since we left to live in China for 19 months. We knew it would be a 2 year thing when considering the time to get ready to move and the time to adjust after moving home. And it's still going. Daniel will make another 2 or 3 trips this year. Most of it done before the middle of June. He's still racking up miles. I asked him if he could have guessed the ways those 2 years would have affected us.

We knew the time there would change our lives. Some of the things we did as well as some of the things that occurred out of our control. One of the biggest changes was in loosing my father. When we left he was as healthy as he had been in the years previous, considering his health problems, and happy. I didn't know that when I left their house on April 9, 2011, that would be the last time I would see my father unaffected by everything. Would I go back and say goodbye differently? I don't think so. I said I love you and gave my family a hug. Would I choose to not go to China? I don't know on that either. I did talk to him lots while we were gone. But my sister pointed out how hard it was to see my dad being different and slowly declining as his illness progressed. Her good memories were being pushed back and making way for the current circumstances. I didn't have the particular battle. But I would have loved to have spent more time with him, of course. But I'm glad we had a good relationship. I'm also grateful that the company had an internet phone that was an 801 number with which I could talk to my family and friends in Utah without incurring any expense. Thank goodness for modern technology.

Other things? There were many lessons learned. I remember saying to Daniel about a month after got there that I knew we would miss the people there. I knew after just a few weeks that our lives had changed forever. The sweetest lesson we learned was that all people are children of God. Good people are everywhere. Being Chinese meant your language, looks and culture was different, but that you are also a human being. We met some amazing people.

A few of my best friends: Yimi and her now husband Stuart. Fantastic people. We met Yimi the day after we got to China. And the friendship grew from that point. As she was the last one I said goodbye to, I turned to Daniel after she left our apartment and cried for a few minutes. It was such a tearful goodbye because I know it will be a long time, a very long time, before I can see her again. It may be years. After seeing and talking to her so much on such a regular basis, this separation was hard.

Molly. She is the sweetest. She was my shopping buddy. I have never seen someone bargain quite like her. She also has a good work ethic and a penchant for honesty. She was frank in a way that was endearing. She was raised by a Buddhist mother and Christian father. She said she liked Christianity but could not tell her mom, because she didn't want to offend her. We had talks about what she believed, and I could talk broadly about my basic ideas, like chastity, honesty and principles to live by, but no doctrine. That girl is ready for the gospel.

Selena. The helper of all helpers. Sometimes her helpfulness was interesting, but it was always sincere and out of love. She is Daniel's designated assistant at Lifetime China. Anytime I needed help, she was one of my go-to girls. She gave me a very nice comb when we left.  It's a traditional gift. When I got back to China after my dad died (pretty much made the flight as a zombie...) she insisted on coming to the airport with Daniel to meet me there, give me a hug and then go home to bed. I landed at midnight. She ended up staying the night with a friend near the airport. I saw her for all of 8 minutes. But she greeted me with a hug, a couple of lilies and a smile of compassion. Then we dropped her off on our way home.

All this is making me teary eyed as I type it. I miss these girls so much. If I could I would bring them all home and get them jobs here. Yimi would make a great Chinese teacher. She did teach us some and tutor us for the first summer. Her college degree is in teaching Chinese as a second language. Funny thing, Mandarin is her second language. Her local dialect is so far from Mandarin, it's a different language. She learned it in school, but did not become proficient until college, when she had to. So smart.

Yimi and Selena have both been to Utah, but Molly is yet to come. When she comes I am going to greet her with a Book of Mormon in English and Mandarin and a written copy of my testimony.

Other lessons: It will all work out. Every thing was an adventure. Going to the grocery store was an outing worth writing up. If you followed my blog then you saw that. It was fun. It was culturally exhausting. I can't even explain that to someone who has not lived outside of the country for very long. There is a tiredness  that I don't know how to explain. It made coming home for visits all the sweeter. But knowing that it was an adventure, you had to have your adventure hat on. Take it as fun and let things go. You will enjoy it more. It was even easier to do that once the Kleins came. Matt was so excited about everything and Caroline was so easy going. They were perfect companions for our last 6 months. I swear I only survived because I had a friend that was available almost as much as I was bored. We had good times. They are now lifelong friends, who fortunately, came home to America with us. We like to get together with them still.

Make it happen. My mom mentioned to me that I was more forward after 1 year in China. She wasn't sure if she liked it. I think I see now what she saw. But I'm okay with that. People don't scare me anymore. We had to be assertive and make something happen if we wanted to do it. I guess I almost got kind of pushy. That has tamed a little since moving home, but it's still there. It comes in handy at work in the law office.

Personal space. What's that? If you have known me for very long, you would know that I like my personal space to be big and uninvaded. "No touchy." But when you live in a country with over a billion people, you have to adjust. Our "little" city island had 4 million people on the island. I'll say this: Costco on the day before the Super Bowl does not scare me anymore. Walmart on Black Friday? Welcome to my weekend shopping in China. Disneyland? I've seen more Asians in a walk around the black. Hah. My bubble has shrunk to the size of watermelon in front of my face. That's in. It might be growing again, now I'm back in the land of space. I learned that touching another human being won't hurt me. Or I would have died 100 times over in China.

Adventure: take the chance. I now feel like I could go to any where in the world and survive. Daniel and I navigated Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Phuket and Siem Reap on our own. We are good to go. My first trip outside of America was to Italy in 1999. I want to go back. My time overseas has given me the confidence to go to Europe, or anywhere else almost, on my own, with no tour. Some places are just plan dangerous and shouldn't be visited anyway. Hopefully we get to do that someday. Guide books, the internet and the broken English of others will help. Also, a few broken words of the language of your chosen adventure helps.

This world is amazing. There are so many places to see and experience, no one person could see them all. I am grateful for all that I did see and I  hope to see many more great things. But everywhere is special in it's own right.

Explore. Go off the beaten path. Take the side street and see what happens. Some of my favorite things happened on out of the way paths or the little villages away from the city.

I remember Sister Hinckley saying in an interview years ago, "People are good. People everywhere are basically good." I believe something like that, was what she said in a video interview. I remembered that as I met people all over the world. I hope I get to meet more good people as I travel and live life.

So China, in a nutshell has changed my life, myself and Daniel, forever. hopefully for the better. We sure are grateful we got the chance. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Well, maybe two. We need to be home for awhile.