Friday, November 21, 2008


This afternoon, in a matter of an hour, arrangements were made for us to have a bone marrow drive for Lydia tomorrow afternoon at an Asian Cultural Festival where approximately 1000 people, mostly Asians, will be in attendance.

Testing kits, the perfect location, volunteers...everything came together almost instantly. I don't have time to go into details, but God's hand has orchestrated it all.

There is another marrow drive for Lydia planned at UCLA tomorrow, as well. Please pray that there is a match found for this precious girl. To visit her website, see the previous post below.

God bless.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Can You Help Lydia?

All the pre-holiday busyness has kept me from blogging recently, but I do have something important I'd like to share before I attempt to catch up.

Five year old Lydia (above) was diagnosed with a deadly form of leukemia and her family is desperately trying to find a bone marrow match for her. The problem for Lydia is that because she was adopted from China her family has run into difficulty finding a donor (or at least one willing to help - read on). Lydia's story has touched my heart because she's the same age and from the same province as my Miyah. If any of us adoptive parents were in the same situation we would hope and pray that the adoption and Chinese American community would rally to help find a match for our precious child. It's SO easy to help...a cheek swab is all that's needed to determine if you (if you're Chinese) or your child is a match.

Here's a note from her mother:

"My daughter Lydia was adopted from Guangdong Province China on July
5, 2004. In August 2008, she was diagnosed with AML, a very pernicious and deadly form of leukemia. With the help of her Chinese-born doctor, we were able to locate her birthparents and some of her siblings in China that her birthfamily kept. We know she had at least two biological sisters older than she (born somewhere between 1993 and 2002) who were also abandoned. The birthparents have refused to assist with her bone marrow transplant, even though two of her already found bio siblings were a match. We are now looking for these other potential siblings to see if they were adopted and might also be a match. Lydia is part of the
Hakka ethnic group, and so a match from someone other than a relative is unlikely because of her unique, almost bi-racial typing. Lydia has classic Hakka features: "Brooke Shields" eyebrows, and rather full lips and a round face. I will have my husband post photos of Lydia and her birth family. Thank you for any assistance you may be able to lend.
Monica "

And a little excerpt from her website (click to go to her website):
"For those of you who have offered help and who have offered to test yourself and your children, please contact me at I can send you a kit that you can do a cheek swab, and which you will then mail directly back to the lab that has Lydia's HLA testing results. If a group of Chinese people wish to donate (meaning more than 10 or so people), the National Bone Marrow program will actually host your drive, totally funded through the bone marrow program. Please contact me in either event, as I can contact the local chapter of the National Bone Marrow Program, and get things moving. "

We're in the process of organizing a marrow drive in my area. I'll share that information when all the details have been arranged.

Please keep Lydia, her family, and birthfamily in your prayers!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Photo Collage

UPDATE: Several of you have had trouble seeing this, so I'm going to try to repost it. Let me know if you can see it now.

I was just going through my photo file and noticed Megan had made this collage of the girls in their Christmas dresses. Girls in dresses

Friday, November 07, 2008

Happy 4th Family Day, Miyah!

Today we celebrated Miyah's four year adoption anniversary. It's always fun to think back to that incredible, miraculous day!

I know I've posted this picture many times before (probably every year), but this one seems to best portray Miyah's "gotcha day". This is among the many moments in my life I'd love to relive over and over again. This is November 7, 2004...

This photo speaks so clearly, doesn't it? I don't remember her being so itty bitty.

But she's still fairly itty bitty, though she's grown and changed SO much! We are so greatful to God for this AMAZING gift!
Girls in leaves 11-08 (75)

Photoshoot (165)

Girls in field 11-08 (173)

Girls in field 11-08 (146)

Girls in leaves 11-08 (70)

As we were in a field near Megan's school yesterday we saw two butterflies flying around us and Miyah said, "Mommy, look! That's a Mommy butterfly and a Daddy butterfly going to the butterfly orphanage to adopt their baby butterfly!" And as soon as she said that a third butterfly flew by us. I love how adoption is such a normal part of her world. She sees and hears of so many children being or having been adopted that she doesn't view it as anything other than "the way it is" and I'm so grateful for that.

When I woke up today it was raining so instead of my morning walk with my friend Jo (which I enjoy, by the way) I got to sleep in and snuggle with the girls as they woke up. After our "Happy Family Day" announcements we watched Mulan and made heart shaped chocolate chip pancakes (Miyah's favorite) in our pjs.

Later we met some friends for lunch and then we all went to a homeschool pottery class where the kids made gingerbread cookie plates.

As I put the girls down for a nap I asked Miyah what she wanted for her special Family Day dinner she said, "I want the brown chicken with the green stuff that we eat with rice." I couldn't figure out what she meant, until she grew impatient with me and said, "You know, it comes in that black container!" Aw! Mongolian Beef (brown chicken = beef) from PF Ch*angs! She sounded a little disappointed when I told her that I was cooking dinner tonight. I tried my best at something Chinese with "brown chicken," but let's face it, I can't compete with PF Ch*angs!

After dinner we gave Miyah a small gift we bought for her in China...a little gift from China for our little gift from China. This year I had a hard time deciding what to give her, but I chose a little panda tea set. I didn't know what she'd think because she's definitely NOT a girly girl and tea set says...well...girly girl. But she seemed excited when she remembered that Mulan had a tea set! She LOVES Mulan right now...watched it twice today because it was her "special day" as she continued to remind us.

After dinner, Matt and Megan had plans so we took the little ones shopping so Miyah could spend her birthday money. Did I ever mention that Mei Lin is having a hard time understanding that it's NOT her birthday? Everything Miyah chose, Mei Lin wanted to buy, too. NOTE for next year...take the birthday child ALONE. They did both end up with a horn for their bikes plus Miyah chose a bike basket and some animals (it's always about the animals). I think Miyah would have spent her money on Mei Lin if we hadn't stepped in. She has such a generous heart!

WE ARE BLESSED! Even though we play this as "Miyah's special day," it's a special day for her entire family. How do we even begin to thank God for such a gift? There's something that impresses on my heart so deeply when I look into those eyes and know that she's OURS. FOREVER! I know she's His, first and foremost, but we've been given the greatest honor and privilege of loving and raising this precious child.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Another Beautiful Homecoming

Heather and Whitney made it home with Zion last Sunday! I never get tired of airport homecomings.

The whole family together at last!
Redington Homecoming (68)

Almost immediately, Zion notices his brother's fingers look just like his. What a SWEET moment! Wyatt (Lithuania) and Zion (China) were both born with ectrodactyly.
Redington Homecoming (16)

Redington Homecoming (16)

Isn't he gorgeous?
Redington Homecoming (88)

Welcome Home, Little Zion!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Another Party, Another Holiday

October always starts our busy season...right into next Feb/March it seems like we have one holiday or birthday after another.

So, we're three down (two family birthdays and a holiday), about seven to go.

I'm just going to do a "catching up" post to get it all in here...

Last week we had Pilgrim Day #2 with some home school friends...actually we were all friends before we started homeschooling our little ones. Teresa has been putting together a Thanksgiving unit study. The girls are making a cute little pocket "book" while learning the history of the pilgrims and the first thanksgiving.

My friends are such a blessing!

Here are pics from Pilgrim Day #1 (over a week ago)
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (26)

Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (32)

Mei Lin loves Miss Anne...and her blankie and fingers.
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (48)

The girls measured the length of the Mayflower...90 ft long...and the width of a bus.
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (50)

Are you sensing the potential here?
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (74)

Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (82)

Bella and Elizabeth
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (102)

Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (156)
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (168)
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (106)
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (112)
Mei Lin
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (122)

Bella Monkey
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (10)

Anne and Teresa
Unit Study - Thanksgiving 10-08 (184)

And here are a few from Pilgrim Day #2 (this past week)
Pilgrim Day 2 (2)
The girls were running through the house pretending to be the town criers.
Pilgrim Day 2 (38)

And then they were the "tithing man" or church watchman who used his long fox-tail studded pole to tickle the parishioners who fell asleep.
Pilgrim Day 2 (90)

What is it with these monkeys? Teresa has this hanging from her ceiling to keep her little monkey from climbing furniture...I think I need one of these!
Pilgrim Day 2 (98)

The weather was perfect for taking a ride on a brand-spank'in-new-first-time-big-girl bike.

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And after last year's mishap (remember?), we waited until the last night before Halloween to carve our pumpkins. Daddy got the job done while I made dinner then we had a "pumpkin-lit" dinner in the dining room.
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Miyah loved the "guts"...want some?
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This warty pumpkin is a "gift" from my friend, Heather. It's sort of a criticism of my taste in pumpkins. I happen to like the fairy tale pumpkins and she, along with some other friends, thinks they're ugly, so she bought me the ugliest pumpkin she could find to leave on my porch. Now that's UGLY!
10-30-08 (60)

Then, of course, there's the obligatory Trick-or-Treating pictures. Miyah wanted me to make her look ferocious and so Mei Lin wanted fancy makeup, too. I'm not too sure about it though...
Halloween 08 (12)

And, finally, Miyah's birthday party with friends at the "bouncy place."
Miyah's bday party 08 (34)
Believe it or not, of the dozen or so shots of this pose, this shot had the most children facing the camera...and two kind of scooched their way out of the frame.
Miyah's bday party 08 (30)

And Mommy, from the Womble Times, I haven't forgotten your tag...I hope to post in the next day or I have another tag or reward or something from way back in August that I've ignored for too long (sorry Sharon). Check back soon.