Friday, December 26, 2008

Soon We'll Be Found...Out

Christmas Eve
My Parents House
Luckily, Cami had so much Christmas on her mind,
she had not thought to mention
her sister.
Waiting still in China.

The holiday passed without our secret
being told,
but we were not alone.
It is in the unexplainable that sometimes
we find the most important truth.
The spirit of our missing Delilah
was with us on this day.

As I reached into the bag that would be my last present to open,
I found a beautiful and fragile ornament
wrapped in tissue.
I opened it and admired it only for a second,
before my mother exclaimed,
"What are you doing with that"?
"Why do you have that ornament"?

Quickly my brother caught on and pointed out
that I was holding a "New Baby" ornament.
He joked, "Well, do you have something you aren't telling us"?
"Is there a baby in your future"?

I was confused,
for a few reasons.
Because I actually collect this particular type of ornament,
as does my mother apparently.
And because
there is a new child in our future.

But the ornament was not for me.
It was from my mother's tree
and it had "accidentally" fallen off the tree
and into my gift bag.
And now I was across the room holding it in my hand.
She did not intend for it to be part of my gift.
God Winking?

A beautiful moment for us to remember
the coming of Delilah.
what are the chances?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What Can You Do?

There are many great organizations helping children in China! I have spent hours viewing websites and crying through videos on YouTube. I always want to help in some way, usually in some way much bigger than I have the finances for.

So I developed a plan. My idea actually came from Moving Mountains and I want to be sure they get the credit they deserve. At this website, they had a form to print that I wrapped around an empty breadcrumbs container. Of course any container will do. Sometimes decorating it, or letting your children decorate it can be inspiring.

Into the container goes all my loose change! The coins I find in pockets before pants go into the washing machine, and the coins that I miss and I find in the dryer. Also, the loose change from my husband's pocket at the end of the day. I also try to put some paper money in too when I get change for a larger bill.

Then...... about every two weeks I take the container to my grocery store because it has one of the CoinStar coin counter machines. Immediately after I find out how much money I have saved, I go to Customer Service and ask for a money order. Then I put it in the mail to my "Charity of the Month". (any leftover money goes back in the container)

What I think I'll do on my blog is to let my readers know a little about the different groups I'm sending gifts to and I would love to hear if any of you think this is a good idea and decide to do it yourself.

I have a growing stack of groups I can't wait to collect money for! My container is filling up quickly. I think I'll be ready to make another donation right after Christmas.

My first donation went to Moving Mountains . I'm not able to completely sponsor a student for a school year yet, but maybe my donation will help a girl buy books or paper she needs.

Here is a snippet from their website:

"What if you could promote gender equality in China? What if you could help alleviate poverty for generations to come? What if you could take a female honor student off her farm or out of a factory and put her back in school? Not just any school, but the best high school in her county. What if that girl became your pen pal - a role model for your children, writing about the importance of education and sharing stories about daily life in China?

Moving Mountains provides scholarships to exceptionally bright young women in rural China. These girls understand the importance of education. Despite challenging circumstances, they have proven themselves with top scores on the rigorous entrance exams and they have been accepted into the best high school in their county. They’ve done the work and they have what it takes to succeed, but there is one last hurdle:

Their average family income is $266 a year.

The cost of high school tuition is $300 a year*.

To these girls, the cost of tuition is a monumental obstacle.

Together, we can move mountains!

109 scholarships provided and counting!

Moving Mountains' mission is to reduce poverty and promote gender equality through education by creating an opportunity for sponsors to make a direct impact on the future of a deserving student.

So that's what I am able to do in 2009 to make a small difference in the world.

What Can You Do?

Friday, December 19, 2008

This Child

Oh, how I look forward
to unraveling the mystery of Delilah!
Will she have an quick laugh?
Does she like baby games?
Is she active or thoughtful?
She grows in my heart,
a flower not yet unfurled.
I hold her protectively already,
and I can't wait to show her our world.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Past and Future China

Our red thread to China began
before we could have
started to imagine
the places and people
who surround us today.

A week ago
I discovered a
hand stitched
bread cloth
my Appalachian
great-grandmother had sewn,
with a traditional Chinese woman
appliqued in bold colors.

My cultural studies in college
included a class presentation
on the Lives
of Modern Chinese Women.

Now my daughter,
a university senior
is applying for a position
through her school
to teach English
in a coastal China town.

Our red thread is not tangled,
but woven into a tapestry
of lives,
a humming hive of moments,
each one
set in motion
long before we came to know them.

How lucky I feel to be here!
How honored I am to travel
this story!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Items Collected for China Care

Last weekend my family held our annual
Christmas Party.
We have to have it early in the season
because we all have other branches
of the family tree
to swing on!

This group is fun because
not only are there mamas
and mama's mamas,
there are my cousins,
the ones I grew up playing with,
and all their children
who now play with all my children,
and we pretend to figure out how we are all
but we know in the end
it really doesn't matter.
We are family because we are,
and because we continue to make the choice to be.
We have opened our doors and our hearts
to more inlaws and outlaws
than I can even count.
So mostly I just count myself blessed
to be one of us.

We buy gifts for the children,
but the adults have stopped giving each other presents.
Instead we put our heads and hearts together
and give something
somewhere that it is needed.

This year I requested that we support
China Care
This wonderful organization provides
medical care,
foster care,
and more
to special needs orphaned children
in China.

Delilah has fortunately
been part of the China Care program
since she was a young infant.
They provided for her specialized surgery
and foster care.

My family and I
decided to collect items for the
China Care Medical Program.
They have a specific list
on the website of things they need
as they provide ongoing medical care
in several areas of China.

We collected:
9 packs of Preemie Pampers
8 baby bottles
7 packs of replacement bottle nipples
6 Infant Tylenol
5 Children's Motrin
4 tubes of Neosporin
3 tubes of Balmex Diaper Rash Cream
2 bottles of Poly Vi Sol Infant Vitamins
One Digital Thermometer with Celsius Setting

(better than a partridge in a pear tree anyday!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How Do You Measure Success?

"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded."
Words of Ralph Waldo Emerson