Thursday, May 20, 2010


Christel holding Maren and Sara holding Jasper

Leia's first encounter with Ronald McDonald

Daddy and Leia

Daddy and Leia again. She is going to be a Daddy's girl.

City official on her scooter, hauling her trash can.
Downtown Kaohsiung

Wandering through a park, and noticed 500 bicycles.

Mommy and Leia

A Hospital

David at the Paper Umbrella Gallery

Mommy and Leia at the Umbrella Gallery too.

Sweet Leia giving us smiles.
One thing about Taiwan that I forgot to share is that when you hear the ice cream song sounding down the street, beware, it is not the ice cream man. It is the trash man. Today we went to a morning market in Dashe for a few and I bought some shoes for Logan and Olivia. I have looked everywhere at home for Logan some church sandals this year and have been unable to find anything. It took me flying to the other side of the world to find him some super cute church sandals, and they were only $10. From there we went to the House of Hope to work on the nursery and then had to go into Kaohsiung to their version of Home Depot and buy some sand paper. At the same place where we bought sandpaper we also bought a gliding rocking chair for the House of Hope with donations that we received from everyone at church. We headed back to the house and worked til almost 5pm and got it all finished. There are some high school girls that will be there in the morning to clean up the room, then move all the furniture back in, and get it super organized and decorated. It is going to be cute.
Leia is not feeling well. She has been super cranky today. She didn't sleep well last night. Her cough sounds horrible and she just can't rest well. A nurse practitioner that lives here in staff housing where we are staying is going to come see her tonight. Actually, she just called and is on her way down to check her out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Funny Things About Taiwan

Yesterday we worked in the nursery. We have one wall painted, and David finished puttying the other spots on the other walls. Hopefully he can sand that today and we can finish painting. I am sure Mary Joy would rejoice if we finished today and got her house back in order. She probably thinks we bring chaos with
When we left the house we weren't sure where we were going. We were headed to a nearby village to visit a paper umbrella gallery. The scenery was beautiful. I bought the girls an umbrella that matches their room that already has a tropical Asian theme. I will post pictures of it soon. It turned out really cute. I also found some neat jewelry that was made from clay. I bought we a set and the girls both a bracelet. My only other find was a wood spatula; I love wooden utensils.
We then asked Holly and Trena to take us to the train station. It is like a subway; sometimes it is underground, when you are in town, and then it is outside sometimes. We took the train into Kaohsiung on our own. Funny uhh? We made it around okay, but we didn't really know what anything was or what direction to go really. We didn't know if we went down this street, is it going to be banks, a grocery store, or a neat little store with cheap finds. Who knew, because we sure didn't. We found a McDonalds as soon as we exited from the underground train station. We headed straight there. When we left the umbrella gallery we stopped at a 711 to grab a bite to eat. Just like our convenience stores, except not really any American food, and the 711 here is the center of life. People buy their daily food here and they also pay every bill here. So, we were hungry when we saw the beautiful Golden Arch. From there we strolled to a nearby park where young teenagers were mingling after school and others just enjoying their leisurely chat. We rode the train 3 different times trying to get to the Love River. After miles of walking we finally made it. From there we yaled a Taxi and attempted to tell him where to go...ROFL. That wasn't going to happen. Thank goodness my husband has an internal compass, even in a foreign country, and just pointed every time we needed to turn. We miraculously made it to the train station. By this time I have sweat so much you would have thought I had lost 10lbs except, no, I am so swollen from all the humidity that my loose rings will not even turn on my finger. And what did we see when we exited the train station...Yes, another bright yellow Golden Arch. The air conditioning was amazing in there. I had my first encounter of what I do believe was a bidet (not sure of the spelling). Not really sure. I described it to David, and that is what he says it is. I would have really wondered why they had those here, except after walking outside all day and sweating gallons from every pore on your body, that is probably refreshing. No, I did not try it. I was hot, so these other people must be a the brink of a heat stroke. They dress from top of head all the way to their teeny tiny toes. There are a few who don't. They want to be white ghostly people, and I want their beautiful bronzed skin. Go figure. They should all move to the Arctic because they all dress like it is 32 degrees. They not only have long sleeves on, but they have jackets, hats, gloves, leg coverings if they have a skirt on. I have concluded that is how they stay so skinny because they burn a 1,000 cals when they walk outside.
We saw a city official driving her scooter and a trash can attached to the back of it to gather trash. I thought it was so funny. They are a very clean people. Amazingly they don't stink; I wonder how they accomplish that when they are sweating more than gallons.
When you pay for something you use 2 hands to give them your money. It is a sign of respect.
Everyone is amazed by babies here. We cannot go anywhere without be flocked with people encircling us. They always ask if it is a girl or boy. Really??? She is dressed in a floral dress, very feminine, a headband and a pink flower that David says takes over her head. I just smile at all the conversing they are saying, because I have no idea what they are saying. All I can say in Mandarin is Thank you.
I am running out of time this morning, so I will post all the pictures from our adventures yesterday later tonight.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Man of the House

Sweet Mia Clayton

Precious Moments

Leia sends Olivia, Logan, and Carson a Message

Such a Leisure

First thing this morning we headed to the register's office and met Rae Fang to have Leia removed from the birth registry. I think it serves as a census for the area. Every birth and death is recorded into their registry, just like at home through the office of Vitals and Statistics. We were there quite a while. They move at a snails pace around here. Sometimes it could be quick, other days be prepared to sit at leisure while you wait for services to be rendered.
From there we headed to the House of Hope. Not much work today. David sprayed the effervescent spray today on the needed areas, and then we have to wait 24hours before applying some spackling to some areas. We will do that tomorrow, wait for it to dry, and paint on Thursday. We may do some painting tomorrow. I may try to cut in and there is one wall that does not have to have any of the other treatments previously listed. We work some and then we play some.
After we left the house we headed into downtown Dashe and stopped to get some lunch. One thing I find very strange around here is at the small family restaurants you stop somewhere else to buy and beverage and then go to where you are going to eat. Not really sure what our food is called that we ate. It was a thin dough that looked like it consisted of the same ingredients you would find in an egg roll. I believe ours had pork, cabbage, and green onions. They place that mixture in the middle of the dough just like an enchilada and then brown one side of it while the other side is left doughy. There were several dipping sauces. I chose the thicker soy sauce that had garlic seasoning as well. I thought it was okay. David on the other hand.....well, let's just say that it was obvious on his face that he was not a fan. He did try it and ate some of it. Holly and Trena were laughing at him, because his face revealed a look of, "like, mom do I really have to eat this?"
From there we headed to the hair salon and got a 45min hair wash, massage, and style. It was incredible. While sitting in your salon chair they add water and shampoo to your hair while never getting a drop of water on you. The massage your shoulders prior to starting the wash. It was amazing. It only cost $3. I couldn't believe it. Then they styled my hair; now that was a bit tricky because they do not have an inkling of what to do with curly hair. David received the same grand royal treatment, and I will have to say he quite enjoyed himself. Leia snoozed in my arms all the while we were receiving some rest and relaxation. Then up cam her turn for a little trimming. She had about 12 stray hairs that were 3-4inches long while the rest of her hair is very short. I decided we needed to even it all. She was not a happy little girl. She let everyone know what she thought about the idea of getting her hair trimmed. The salon girls were super nice and didn't even charge for Leia, they just smiled at her and said, "No, no."
This morning Holly and Trena penciled in the rest of our stay and fun things to do each day. Wonderful thing is, anything can change and no big deal because we are here to go with the flow. Only thing we have planned that has a specific rock hard date and time is our AIT appointment that is Friday morning at 9am, and you better believe we will be there.
Thanks to everyone for all the prayers and well wishes. We are so happy and are enjoying our time here. Although, my heart is aching to see my other 3 babies. We have been having super difficulty skyping with the kids. Their Internet connection at Lisa's is very poor, and the kids just get frustrated. Logan was having a lonely evening last night when we talked to him. He wouldn't hardly talk and had the saddest little puppy face. I could tell he was aching to be with us. Carson is now sick with what Olivia had before we left and he was wanting Mommy too. He just kept saying my name over and over in a very whimpered voice. He wanted Mama to make him feel all better. Can't wait to hold them all 4 in our arms.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cherished Moments with the Little Ones

Another Hollywood His Hands Clip


Meeting the Babies

We had a great day. We took Jenna to the train station this morning to meet Leia's birthmom to take her to AIT. She was an hour late, but none of us cared because she showed up. The meeting at AIT went really well and they gave us our appointment for this Friday, YAY!!!!
We went with Holly and Trena, to what we think is their version of Home Depot, and got the needed supplies to repaint the nursery. David spent the afternoon scraping some of the paint off the cement walls. Some of the paint had started to bubble due to all the moisture here. We thought we were going to be treating a mold problem, but looks like it is only moisture. So, David will do an effervescent treatment on it tomorrow; Glad he knows what all that is because I had no clue. Then where he scraped it will need to be puttied. We are hoping to get the treatment and puttying done in the morning, paint one of the walls that did not need puttying, and then finish it Wednesday.
The babies are absolutely precious. They are all so much cuter and prettier in person. Pictures do not do them justice. Mia loves to be held. She had taken a bottle, chilled in the bouncy seat, napped for an hour, and then decided she was not going to be a happy girl until someone snuggled with her. I picked her up and then there was silence. She burrowed into my arm and just looked around. She has lots of hair; it is silky and baby fine, not coarse like Carson's horse Caysen is such a handsome little man and loves for you to converse with him. He has definitely discovered his hands and thinks they are the most amazing toy. He rolled over for us today. I am not sure if this was the first time he did this or if he has done it before, but everyone was cheering him on. Maren loves to sing like her Mama. Beth, I think she is going to be a soprano from the songs she sang to us today. They are such happy songs too. She would just lay anywhere and sing us pretty songs. Owen is another handsome little man in the house. He thinks he rules the roost. He is such a big boy and didn't really understand why I kept moving him away from Mia when she was in the bouncy seat. He thought he needed to remove her pacifier and slyly grab a hold of her hair. She let him know that was unacceptable behavior. So cute. The babies are all so happy together, they coo, laugh, and smile at one another. When they first see each other they just kick their little legs with excitement.
These babies are handled and cared for so delicately. We met Mary Joy and Xio Mei today. These are two amazing women. I did not get to meet the late night shift nanny yet, but I know she must be amazing too. While we were there all of the babies received a manicure, pedicure, and facial. Trena says these babies get the royal treatment everyday. Mary Joy clips their nails, cleans the ears and nose everyday. Jason you would be proud of the cleanliness. Trena and Holly said Mary Joy is a clean freak. She loves her place to be clean, her babies to be clean, and has such pride for her work. She is amazing. She exemplifies such love and joy for these babies. You would think if you didn't know that these are her children. They are so well cared for. They have a system, and girls it is amazing. They may be a ministry that they say is a work in progress with learning experiences, but the love all these women for these pregnant women and babies have blinds anything else that others might critique. Xio Mei had just finished her shift when we got there so she was upstairs spending some mommy time with her little boy Joshua.
Holly and Trena go nonstop. The juggle it all, their ministry, their families, and everything else in life. They go with the flow. Their day may have a plan and then be interrupted; But they just move to whatever the next step is that needs to be dealt with at that moment.

His Hands Babies

Leia talks to Olivia, Logan, and Carson

Sunday, May 16, 2010

At Last

Let's just say this trip was the longest 40hours of our life. It started Friday morning at 5am as we headed to Little Rock airport. We made our flight to Dallas with no difficulty and all flights on time. As we were waiting to board our flight in Dallas to Vancouver, they were doing security checks since it was an international flight. So we boarded the flight 40min late, sat on the runway due to air traffic congestion, then sat some more due to wind, then some more due to severe thunderstorm that came in while on runway. After 3hours they taxied back to the gate to refuel then came back and said they had to cancel the flight because we had been sitting there for 3 hours and if we stayed on the plane any longer they would be fined $27,000. We sat in the airport til 11:00pm Friday night. Even if we took the next flight to Vancouver there were no flights that we could take to Hong Kong because they were all booked. So, we were rerouted to LAX and then onto Taipei. We were on 2 standby flights and had a booked flight to LAX at 9:35pm Friday night. We got on one of the earlier standby flights, left LAX at 11:00pm and off to Taipei. We arrived in Taipei Saturday night American time. We got a shuttle to the train station. We had 30min at the train station before our flight left, so we went to the bathrooms to at least wash our faces, brush teeth, and attempt to look clean even though we felt utterly disgusting.
The train ride was nice and probably would have seemed even neater had we not been traveling for almost 40hours already. Every patch of land is used for something here. It either has a building or a crop on it. I will have to try and get a picture of their cemeteries here, they are the weirdest looking thing. They are all built on hills as well, so that the evil spirits will slide down the hill. The cemeteries are very old here and now most people are cremated due to lack of land space for burial. David and I began to wonder when we got off the plane if we were going to catch some horrible disease. It seemed everywhere we turned there were people wearing surgical masks. We were told that here if you have a cold you wear a mask to keep others from being contaminated with your germs; very clever if you ask me, as I am a germaphobe.
We arrived in Kaohsiung and walked around the train station looking for Holly, Trena, and Christel. Ir wasn't too hard to spot them, as we were the only ones with non black I was speechless when I saw Leia. It made the last 40 hours so worth it. She is so much prettier than her pictures. We thought she was so precious and beautiful from pictures, well she is a gorgeous little girl. Christel was holding her and handed her to me first. She is so snugly. She just burrowed her head into my chest. She wouldn't hardly lift her head because she was snuggling so hard. She loves her Daddy. She just stares and smiles at him. We went to the grocery store after leaving the train station and she was so content to just look around; the next thing I knew she was napping in my arms while we were grocery shopping. Can I say I am in love with this little girl?
We headed to Sara's house with our couple of carry-on bags. Yeah, no luggage in a foreign country with small framed people. We are praying that it arrives to Taipei today or tomorrow. As soon as we got to Sara's I made a beeline for the shower. I wanted to be clean before I could even think about sleeping. David napped yesterday afternoon for about 3 hours. I chatted with Sara. It was very relaxing. Last night we went into Dashe to get a bite to eat at a Thai restaurant. It wasn't bad. David even ate everything that Sara and Christel ordered. They have amazing little bakeries here. Not the same as our bakeries that have everything that is loaded with sugar, but they are just very neat and yummy too.
We all slept like rocks last night. I did fine until we started eating last night and then I started fading. I felt like I had been given anesthesia drugs and was forcing myself to hold my eyes open. Leia whimpered twice during the night, gave her her pacifier and not another peep. The sun, I think, rises before the birds here. At 4:45 this morning it was light outside. I was wide awake at 5:45, but laid in bed til 6:30 when Leia woke up.
We are headed to the House of Hope today. The plan is to paint the nursery there today. I plan on getting some videos of Caysen, Mia, and Maren. Jasper has been staying with Sara all the time, and he is such a cutie. He loves to play and is such a happy little boy. Well, off to get ready for the day.

In the car while we ran a few errands before heading to Sara's.

Headed out.

I could have done this all day.

She feels perfect.

Just need the other 3 to make this family picture complete.

Leia snuggling with Mommy.

Leia snuggled right up to Daddy. She wouldn't even lift her head from his shoulder.

This is our first sight of Leia.

This is what we look like after 40 hours of traveling in aiports.