Saturday, January 29, 2011

"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller

God is so good!  He has blessed our family with another child.

With great pleasure, we introduce Gianna Francesca JiYing.  Gianna is from the same orphanage as Clare.  We first met Gianna in November, 2008, when we went to Shantou to see Clare's orphanage.  She is eight years old and visually impaired, and she is the most angelic little girl you've ever met.  We hope to have her home by early May.  Our dear friend, Mui, has been able to bring Gianna to her home so that we can see her and visit on Skype. 

Gianna attends the Love Without Boundaries "Believe In Me" School in the orphanage in Shantou.  Thank you once again, Amy Eldridge.  By the way, Amy knows Gianna and has spent a good bit of time with her in Shantou.

We are starting to prepare to parent a visually impaired child.  Brycie has spent many hours reading about visual impairment, and has been in contact with the Oklahoma School for the Blind.  We have made an appointment with a pediatric ophthamalogist at the Dean McGee Eye Institute here in Oklahoma City.  Last Thursday, the outreach coordinator for the Oklahoma School for the Blind came to our home and spent several hours showing us many books, tools and educational aids, and giving us tips on educating a blind/visually impaired child.

Please pray for Gianna; that her transition into her new family will be smooth. 

Gianna Francesca JiYing

Gianna with the photo album we sent her.

Gianna showing photos of her new family and home.

This is a picture taken in 2008 shortly before we adopted Clare.  Gianna is the little girl in the yellow top at the front of the picture.  Clare is just behind her in the pink shirt.

Gianna, Mui and Portia -- three precious ladies.

This is an interesting photo.  As you can see, Gianna is running.  Her head is tilted to the right.  The lady from the Oklahoma School for the Blind thinks that she probably has some peripheral vision.

Two sweeties -- Portia and Gianna.

Gianna, Portia, and LiYing, formerly an orphan and now a teacher at the orphanage in Shantou.

Isn't she a cutie?  Visually impaired or not, she can handle those chop sticks.

Gianna skyping with mom and dad.

Two tickled little girls.

Christmas in Shantou.  The box in the background has the gifts we sent.

We got Gianna and Portia Hallmark recordable storybooks for Christmas.  Brycie and Jim alternated reading a page, so that they could hear our voices.  Hutson, Clare, and Immacul√©e also recorded a greeting for the girls.

Sweet Mui and Gianna.  We are so grateful that Mui is a Christian woman.  She teaches English and has her own studio where she tutors students in English.  She made drawings of the Christmas Story and had a Christmas party for her students.  You can see her drawings in this and the next few photos.

Mui, Portia, and Gianna.

Portia and Gianna showing their books.

Look at the sweet faces.  Merry Christmas, precious girls.

Gianna loves her storybook.  She is celebrating her last Christmas before coming HOME.

Thank you, Mui, for all the wonderful things you have done for our family.  We so love you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Feast of the Holy Family, Jeus, Mary, and Joseph (First Sunday After the Epiphany)

On this day the Church invites us to contemplate the mystery of Jesus' humble, hidden life.  A feeling of close intimacy and tenderness characterizes this Feast and is expressed in the liturgy of the day:  " . . . it is good for us to recall the little home at Nazareth and the humble life of those who lived there . . .  In it, Jesus learned Joseph's humble trade, and grew in age, and was happy sharing the work of a carpenter: 'Let the sweat,' He seemed to say, 'trickle over My limbs before they are drenched with the torrent of My Blood, and the pain of this labor shall go to atone for the sins of men!'"  Let us enter the little house; in the presence of such humility, which conceals Jesus' infinite Majesty, let us repeat the words of the sacred text: "Thou art indeed a hidden King, O God the Savior, King of Israel." 

Today's liturgy particularly emphasizes one typical aspect of the humble life of this hidden God:  obedience.  "Although He was the Son of God . . . He learned to obey; He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death."  From Bethlehem to Calvary obedience was His companion.  Luke's Gospel stresses this obedience of Jesus at Nazareth in words which carry for all time the strength of their first utterance, "He was subject to them."  Let us ask ourselves with St. Bernard, "Who obeyed?  Whom did He obey?  The Saint replies, "God obeyed man!  Yes, the God to whom the angels are subject . . . was subject to Mary, and not only Mary, but also to Joseph.  For God to obey a woman is humility without parallel . . . Learn then, man, to obey; learn, O earth, to be submissive.  God subjected Himself to men; and do you, desiring to rule others, place yourself above your Creator?"

From Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Poem from Mui

"To Jim & Brycie and family

Thank God!!!!

We've got the precious package on Christmas day

We are So glad that everyone is doing great

Meeting you is the best gift we have ever had

Brycie is a lovely mum and Jim makes a wonderful dad

We are missing you and our hearts are full of joy

When we celebrate the birth of a precious boy

We are brothers and we are sisters

Nothing can prevent us from loving each others

Words are too weak to explain what we are going say

When we got the precious package on Christmas day

Mui & Portia"

If you have been following our blog, you know Mui.  She is the precious lady who was our guide when we visited Clare's orphanage in November 2008.  Hutson and Brycie went to visit her when Brycie traveled to China in May 2010 to bring Hutson home.  She and her daugher Portia have become our family.  We sent Portia a Hallmark recordable book for Chirstmas, and Mui wrote this poem for us.

We love you Portia and Mui!!