Monday, February 28, 2011

Forever Family Day!

She's probably thinking who is the RED haired woman!
Karl said let me hold her...and as soon as he took her the tears stopped. When we worked the baby Sunday school room years ago, he always had the golden touch...crying babies would always hush when he held them.
Here we are...all except Zach.

Daddy's Girls....We thought it was cute how she has to prop up on her arms to take a nap.

Here she is! She has given me the "stink eye" a few times, but she warmed up to me over some chicken nuggets and french fries. Our guide said that she has never been away from her foster family. She can say several words. She is wearing split pants and has actually gone to the bathroom several times for me today. The guide  took her to the bathroom and showed me how those split pants work...and then she whistled. So I have been whistling every time I take her to the potty and it works like a charm.  The guide told us the word for tee tee so when she says it we go.  She was in several layers of clothes, and earlier today she would only let us take off the vest and jacket and her shoes. When Karl put on his jacket to run out and pick up some lunch from a chicken place next door...she brought her jacket to Karlie. I think she wanted to go too. She is a very sweet girl...our driver says she is really cute.  We think so too. She is not a picky eater. She loves the elmo phone we brought. The orphanage people says she likes to shop! When she wants something she takes your hand and points to it. Her nickname is Wen we have been calling her Jolie Wen Wen.

This afternoon, we finished taking off her layers, gave her a quick bath...she screamed through the whole ordeal, but she seems to like her new shoes. I think she is a shoe the rest of us. She really loves Karl, but she is tolerating me more. She seemed content when I "wore" her in the baby carrier when we ventured outside to buy some cokes and waters from a small store next door.

Please keep praying for us all. She is doing very well and has been very brave. Please pray for her foster family too. We are not allowed to meet them, but I would think they too are grieving as well. She is such a sweet girl who has been well cared for and loved.

More photos tomorrow!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Time keeps draggin' on!

As Johnny Cash used to sing, "Time keeps draggin' on", or at least that 's what it feels like tonight. I wake up every hour looking at the clock because I don't want us to oversleep and be late to meet our guide, Christine, in the morning at 915. We then ride over to meet Jolie Fan Wen at 10. As wide awake as I am there's probably no worries.

Karl and I appreciate your prayers for us.  Your comments and likes on facebook as well as your comments on the blog make us feel loved. Thanks for taking this trip with us. Please, keep the prayers coming. As most of you know, I am a "martha" in this martha world...I've been known to worry, but God keeps showing me that HE is amazing. We have felt your prayers in the following ways this week:
1. When we arrived in Beijing the driver we arranged to take us to our hotel was not there. We wandered around for a few minutes almost thinking we'd have to come up with  a plan B...I was praying...I know you guys were too...then Karl stepped just outside the airport doors and all of the sudden a man started walking across to the very same doors with a sign with our name on it.
2. We felt your prayers, when we arrived at hotel, and the lady at the checkin desk gave us a card with our tour guide's name, phone number and when to meet him in the lobby for our tour of Beijing the next day...we didn't have to wonder...God had it all laid out.
3. We especially felt your prayers yesterday when after trying the hotel atm several times, it would not recognize our plastic. We prayed for an atm somewhere to recognize our cards. When we checked out of the hotel, Karl found in his wallet some cash that he did not remember putting there....hmmmmm!! We also found an atm that liked our card at the airport.
4.We felt your prayers yesterday when we had to take a taxi to the airport. Our family and amount of luggage was too much for 1 taxi and we had to take 2. Our drivers spoke no English nor we any Chinese...I was worried yet again that our taxis would some how get separated when we got there and I wouldn't know what in the world to do....we arrived at the same time...and paid the correct amount to the drivers.
5. We felt your prayers yesterday on the short plane ride to Wuhan. The airplane was extremely cold for awhile and then it got super hot...almost suffocating. I was praying that that heat would go away so that I could breathe...the heat left almost as soon as it arrived.
5. Felt your prayers yesterday, when we got off the plane, retrieved our luggage quickly, and then rounded the bend and there was our guide holding our names on a sign. It was a straight shot from the airplane to the van ride.
Please pray especially for our little girl today. She will be leaving all she knows behind. Pray for supernatural bonding. Agree with us that GOD would love and parent this child through us and that He would love us through her. Pray that she will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ at an early age and seek to love, please, and serve Him all the days of her life. Pray that others may come to know Him through her.

Please, please, don't stop praying without ceasing. I know that GOD is orchestrating our every step. He is making all the rough places plain. When I start to worry, I start singing that old spiritual (in my head) that we used to sing a long time ago, Melissa E. knows which one....Trust and never doubt Jesus will surely bring you out He's never failed me yet!
It won't be long till we see you sweet girl!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Berrys in Beijing

Today we ate an early breakfast and left with a tour group of about 12 people at 745am. It had snowed and was COLD, but the tour happened anyway. We had on our layers, and we walked carefully in the snow. It was an enjoyable day, but I am glad to be back at the hotel to thaw out.

Our bus driver was a great driver...he had a horn and he knew how to use it. They seem to drive much more aggressively here than in Atlanta, but we arrived safely. Pedestrians do not have the right of way here...LOL they get horns blown at them. Right now as I type this, I am hearing a chorus of horns blowing.

Today we toured several places; Ming tombs, The Jade factory and we ate lunch there, then we went to The Great Wall, visited the Silk museum, and rode by the Birds Nest Olympic Stadium. Our first stop this morning was to the MING tombs. Our tour guide known as Andy said that he wanted to save the Great Wall for after lunch so that it would be a few degrees warmer.

 Ming Tombs...Yes it was snowing!
 Great wall
 Great Wall
 Where in the world is the  HENRY CO. TIMES? It is with us at the Great Wall. We will take another photo with this paper when we get Jolie.
 WE saw a lot of people using these brooms to sweep off the snow today.
 Antique silks
 Karl was one of the volunteers from our travel group to stretch the silk.
 View from our window
 Bikes! Even in the snow...
 Breakfast in was so cold when we passed these outdoor vendors.
 Cute little taxi
 The. Squatty. Potty! I've  heard about it, I have seen photos of it, but nothing prepares you for it until you are face to floor with it. There's a lot more to say about it, but I'll save that for another day.
Ming Tombs

At the Ming Tombs
 Our guide Andy with the Emperor in the background.
 Shek at the Jade museum. I think he liked this best. He took photos of all the jade carvings...He wanted his picture made with the eagle of course! WAR EAGLE!
 Jade fish bowl?
 Great Wall. 
 More Great Wall
 We rode the cable car up. It was very slippery on the walkways. The workers were busy shoveling and sweeping the snow away.
Me and the kiddos at the great wall

 Karl and me
 More Great Wall
 These workmen and women worked hard to sweep and shovel away all the snow to make the steps and pathways safer. I still walked like an old woman on the steps...I don't see how the workers cleared it with out falling themselves.
Another shot of Karl helping to spreading the silk out at the Silk museum

Karlie thawing out after a cold day touring Beijing.
The After photo of our first full day in China.

Friday, February 25, 2011

We have arrived!

After a long day of traveling on two flights,we arrived in our Beijing hotel last night at 10:15ish. The kids slept some on the plane, but Karl and I did not get much sleep. We were glad it was night time when we got here...However, we are up and wide awake at 3:48am so why not update the blog? However, a side-note....9 year olds recharge quicker than the rest of us!LOL

 Our 14 hour flight on Korean Air was really nice...They moved us to the front of the line because we were traveling with children. (God is so good!) They gave a bag of fun stuff to the kids. They gave us lots of snacks and juice...our lunch even came with directions on how to "put it together"...Karlie didn't eat much...thank goodness for trail mix and nabs. 
 We were bright eyed!
 Waiting to go.
 Journey proud!
 We did a little people watching too! We were sneaky with our photo!
Karlie ready to board the plane.

Today we visit the Great wall and various other places. Please continue to pray for us. GOD is good!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

East Bound and Down loaded up and Truckin'

We've got a looooooooong way to go and a short time to get there!

We are finally packed. I hope we have everything. I have checked and re-checked our important paper file and I am pretty sure I have everything I am supposed to have. My folks will take us to the airport tomorrow and then take our truck to get the door fixed while we are gone. (the truck door a story for another day....LOL)

Please pray for traveling mercies for us. Pray for favor for us with GOD and man. Pray that we will be a blessing coming and going and in between.  Pray that GOD will take us by the hand and lead us where we need to go and that He will make all the rough places plain. Please pray for super natural bonding with our daughter who we will probably meet on Monday. Please pray for our health, our ability to deal with a new time zone, new culture....etc. Pray we remember not to drink the water...Pray that GOD would love Jolie through us and love us through her. Pray that we will stand amazed...He always amazes us.

We will be touring Beijing on Saturday and it's supposed to snow. We go to Jolie's province on Sunday.  Thanks for your prayers and concerns for us!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Our agency sent us a list of things to do before we leave the country. It was just a list to help us jog our memory for things we might forget to arrange for mail pickup, stop the paper (which we do not receive), pay the bills(aww do we have to?), and get a haircut. Getting a haircut; now that's an easy thing to check off the list. We go see Ms. Gina every 5 weeks. She has cut our family's hair for over 10 years. Gina has a great hair salon in her home. She is an encourager, prayer partner, and a friend. When I get my hair cut at Gina's we catch up on what our kids are into, we talk about Jesus and spiritual things. Getting your hair cut is good for the soul.

Karlie loves the highlights....
Shek always wants his hair spiked by Ms. Gina.
What would we do without Ms. Gina? She has us all styled and ready to go. Thanks Gina! You're the best!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunday Snapshot...Go Ahead...Make My Day

Only 4 more days...can you believe it? Three years ago this month, we experienced a miscarriage...I looked at Karl  a few days after that and said ,"I would like us to either get an English Bulldog or for us to adopt a baby girl from China...and I'd rather adopt, please pray about it." He did pray and here we are about to leave for China to adopt Jolie Elise FanWen. We started the adoption process with Small World in TN last February. We have been "paper pregnant" for almost a full year. God is good!

This time next week, we are scheduled for a tour in Beijing. We plan to see the Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Birds nest, and several other great spots in Beijing. SO, if we are going to be ready we had better get packing. We have several "packing piles" around the house.
Here are some of our bags...I don't think our biggest bags are big enough for all this stuff! LOL

This is Jolie's bed packed down with her "stuff"...we can't take all of this, but we think we "need" a majority of  it! When I get it all packed I will finally see her cute little baby bedding on her toddler bed.
Karlie and I packed Jolie's outfits in ziplock bags complete with socks, hair bow...the works. There's so much to do and I am just sitting here drinking coffee, watching tv, and blogging...what am I waiting on? LOL

Berry Bliz now has 21 followers. It's very encouraging to us to have folks follow our journey. I know for us it has been fun to follow other families' adoption journeys. It's nice to hear from other families who have BTDT. So, please, go ahead and MAKE MY DAY ~ follow my blog!!! Your encouragement and prayers means a great deal to us.

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, February 18, 2011


We hope to have our travel itinerary from our agency tomorrow. We found out today that the consulate has changed the rules back to a 2 day wait instead of a 3 day wait. Our agency told us that we could try and change our return tickets to an earlier flight. Our travel agent Todd, (adoption travel agent specialist) said he had been working on changing lots of folks return flights today...and he helped us get an earlier flight. We get to return home 2 days earlier....I will post our travel plans when we finally get them.

6 more days!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chinese for the adoptive parent

I have been listening to the tape that my friend Lorene gave me (Chinese for the Adoptive Parent). I think I can pronounce some of the phrases correctly now that I have listened to it several times.  I think I will have to write the phrases down because I'll never remember them when I meet her for the first time.

Here's a few of the phrases I have been practicing:

WoShi NiDe MaMa....I am your mommy.
WoShi NiDe BaBA....I am your daddy.
WoMen Shi NiDe MaMa Gen BaBa....We are your mommy and daddy.
TaShi NiDe JieJie....This is your older sister.
TaShi NiDe GeGE....This is your older brother.

Ting Ting! ....... Stop!

Wo BuDong....I don't understand!
Ni Dong Bu Dong? ....Do you understand me?

Chi Yi DianDian Ba......Please try just a bite.
Duo Yi Dian Ma? ........More?
Ni MeiShi Ba? Are you ok?
Bie Ku.....Don't Cry.

Lai Chuan Yi Fu ....It's time to get dressed.
Shui Zhao ShiJian......It's time to get ready for bed.
Lai XiZao.........It's time for your bath.

XieXie Ni......Thank you
BuYao KeQi....Your Welcome

DuoShao?   How much?
Zhe Ge Duo Shao Qian.......How much does it cost?
Yao pianyi Yidian? Cheaper?

There's so many helpful phrases on these tapes and handouts. I may never remember all of these, but I am going to be sure and learn WoShi NiDe MaMa.

8 more days until lift off!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Great Adoption Book ~~ Motherbridge of Love

As homeschoolers we find ourselves at the library a lot! In fact the librarians know us all by our first names! We always have books and dvds on hold or coming to us from other libraries. Since we have been on the road to adoption we have checked out many books to help prepare us for the adoption journey as well as learn about China culture. You name it we have checked it out and probably had to pay a late return fee too. LOL

 Recently, I heard about a book by Xinran. It was a book describing stories from the Chinese mothers' perspective and the heartbreak that these women have had to go through in giving up their children. That specific book was not in the Pines Library system in our state, but I checked out every other book that she had written. The sweetest  Children's book about Chinese adoption arrived. This book was published by Mother Bridge of Love which is a charity founded by Xinran.  The poem that was illustrated in this book was anonymously submitted to the charity of Mother Bridge of Love. It was illustrated by Josee Masee. The poem has a sweet message encouraging the celebration of love and family and bridging the gap between birth parent and adoptive parent. I want to order this book so that I can share this with our daughter as she grows.

This beautiful book is a must have for our family! I hope you enjoy the few photos I took of the book to share with you.

This page says: "once there were two women who never knew each other, one you do not know. The other you call Mother.

I skipped a few pages over...this one says: " The first gave you a need for love; the second was there to give it.

 "One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears."
 "One found a home for you that she could not provide."
"The other prayed for a child; her hope was not denied."

There are several other beautifully illustrated pages to this sweet poem that I did not share here. So check out this book today from your local library or order one for your family. I have to check this one in this week. I hate to let this one go.