December 15, 2011

Giving a meaningful gift this Christmas

Well, I get asked from time to time about sponsoring children, so I have decided it is possibly easier to post it on my blog.

I know personally that these organizations are doing amazing things for children in Romania, China, Russia, Africa, India, Nepal and possibly a few other places.
I would love to put a challenge out for you to consider even just a few dollars towards one of these charities this Christmas, to help someone who is desperately in need.  It takes a small amount from a lot of people to make a difference.  I think sometimes it can feel overwhelming at the need in the world and so we often do nothing.  I have seen over the years that we can make a huge difference if we choose to, and for that person our small decision is everything.

The Boy and The Starfish

One day, an old man was walking along the beach in the early morning and noticed the tide had washed thousands of starfish up on the shore. Up ahead in the distance he spotted a boy who appeared to be gathering up the starfish, and one by one tossing them back into the ocean.
He approached the boy and asked him why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time.
The boy replied, "If these starfish are left out here like this they will bake in the sun, and by this afternoon they will all be dead."
The old man gazed out as far as he could see and responded, "But, there must be hundreds of miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly rescue all of them. What difference is throwing a few back going to make anyway?"
The boy then held up the starfish he had in his hand and replied, "It's sure going to make a lot of difference to this one!"
Working with Orphans In Romania, Russia, Nepal, India and soon Uganda
Working Russia, Swaziland, South Africa, Ethiopia, Uganda, Haiti, Guatemala, Moldova, and India.
Working to improve the lives of Chinese Orphans, medical, foster care, school, nutrition etc.
World Wide

November 21, 2011

Back from Russia

I only have 5 minutes to write this, but if I don't do it now I will never find the time.
We have been back from Russia 2 weeks today.  It feels like a long time ago we were there, but feels like only yesterday I held my 2 son's in my arms and said goodbye.
I think I cried most of the way home on and off.  It was a horrible feeling, one I knew going in to this would be hard, but you really never know until you face it.
One of our boys "Mr A" was smiley from the start, and made games with us as soon as he could.  He is active and has a sense of humor.  He did get quieter as the week went on, especially being sick.  "Mr I" his brother was very serious for the first couple of days and we never saw a smile until day 3. Well, that melted our hearts until day 4 when we new we had to say goodbye, but we knew he would think we would be back again tomorrow.  He crawled over to 'his papa to be', lay on his chest and rubbed his face.  It made us happy and sad, you kind of feel like you have tricked them in a way.
We thought we would be back to get them in 2-3 months, but have now been told it is more like 4-5 months.
It is so hard when you see how they are living, the caregiver is crying because she is grateful they will be out of there soon, and you can't speed things up.
So we are happy and sad, and can't wait to go and bring them home, they are not well and need some good food, love and sunshine.

Train station

I will add more photos when I have time, I wish I could show pictures of the boys, but you will have to wait till after court on our second trip, until then, their identities are secret according to Russian law.
Hospital where they live

A church in Vladivostok

Hospital entrance

Train station

Vlad Inn where we stayed

Outside Nakhodka city where the boys live




October 25, 2011

3 days till we leave

Well it is 3 days till we leave Tauranga for our journey to Vladivostok Russia.  I am starting to get serious butterflies in my stomach now.

For those of you of my friends who are the praying kind and have asked me what to pray for, these are a few things:

  • We will know the right decision on choosing what child is right for us/have a peace
  • Safe travels, flights all connect and bags won't get lost
  • our kids that are left home especially Chanel who doesn't understand whats going on will be safe and happy
  • A smooth process
Those are kind of the main areas I guess on my mind.

Thanks for all the love and support , it so makes a difference  xxxx

October 14, 2011

Quick Update

Well it is all finally happening, we are leaving in a week (28th October) to meet our referral.
There is so much to get organized and so much emotional energy involved in this.  I haven't slept properly for days, all mostly excitement.
It will be so nice when we are home again, and can actually tell people.  I can say this, we are still laughing about the referral, quite a curve ball.
So this is a bit more excitement and intrigue with it than we thought :)

October 11, 2011

We have NEWS!

Well I am super excited that we actually have a referral as of this morning.  We are not allowed to know who as yet because it has to be approved by social welfare, but in a few days we should see ??? face.
At the moment we do know gender and age, and nationality.  So we will have another little asian face in our family.  (sorry we can't give details)
Travel all going smoothly, will mean we have to be in Russia in three weeks.  We are very relieved and happy, that soon ???? will be un-orphaned, and we will blessed with another child.  Happy days!!!

September 22, 2011

Waiting for the phone to ring

This week I rang the adoption agency about something really unexciting, not expecting to hear anything, because even though our homestudy is in Russia it has to be translated etc for a few weeks longer before it goes to the MOE  and they start finding a child for us.

WELL........She said "no" all the translation is finished and this week they have been talking about children for us.  She said we wont find out this week because she has other families over in Russia at the moment, but fingers crossed it maybe next week.
Hence to say we are so excited at the moment.   I don't know if I will be able to go out next week, I think I will be waiting by the phone :)

September 9, 2011


I found out today that our documents/homestudy is on its way to Russia.
It is funny that each step, even paying agency fees etc, feel like we are getting closer to our Child.
We have been told it possibly will be quite quick given we are open to a big age range and either gender.  The other referrals that have been coming in have been between 2 - 4 weeks after the documents arrived, and then we have to travel two weeks after.
So now that everything has left New Zealand, we have lots to plan and think about, even down to names.
And I really need to up my Russian language practice!

September 6, 2011

So close

Our paper work is so close to being in Russia,  each day feels like a week.  It should be with our internal affairs for a few days, and hopefully by the end of the week I will be posting that it has landed in Russia.  Well I hope so anyway.  Each step that we can tick off means we are closer to meeting our child, and we are getting so excited/impatient.

August 29, 2011

7 years ago Today

7 Years ago today we meet Jasmine Qing Shan for the first time, in Jiangxi China.  After 2 years of waiting, it was an amazing feeling to finally have our baby.  It seems strange that it has been that long, she is the age now my oldest was when we traveled to pick her up.   

"Well Jazz, you have enriched our lives more than we ever imagined.  It was a hard road some times, but one that was worth every step traveling it with you.  We love you more than you understand and know, you are our daughter in every way.  We thank your birth parents for the parts they gave you that we couldn't.   Our lives have become a quite an adventure.  You are such an amazing little girl, and we are so proud to be your parents."  Happy adoption Day xxxx

August 18, 2011

Good News !!!

Well I am doing a happy dance today!  We have officially been approved by Central Authority, and they are about to sign all our documents and send them off to the Adoption Agency for the final part, before they get sent to Russia.
It is so nice to finally be at this stage of the journey, it will all start moving rather fast now, and we are getting closer.   I am starting Russian language this Saturday which should be interesting!

I think after we have our homestudy notarized, it takes about a month of it being in Russia being translated etc, before they start finding our special someone.

Stay tuned next week I should know more then.  We are attending the official Russian adoption travel seminar next Friday as well, because we are getting closer to that stage.

For those of you who don't know, we are applying for the region Vladivostok, which is just above China and Korea.  We are hoping the referral will be more Jasmine's look, and there are plenty of Children who have an asian background in this area.

August 11, 2011

Our trip to China

I will forget a lot of details because of how tired I am from the trip, but I am being asked for photos and questions on how the homeland visit went for Jasmine and ourselves.

The short answer is it was a huge success, and Jasmine LOVES her country, which we are so pleased about.  The orphanage visit was the best part of the trip for us all but also really emotional for me and Jason.  We talk about the orphaned kids we said goodbye to every day.
 It was so funny when we arrived in her "little" rural town, of 7 million people!  It was huge, we could have driven for 4 hours and still been in Shangrao.  It was definitely 'real' China, and no one really could speak English, but her home town was the best part of the whole trip.
Jasmine is from a really pretty part of China, and the people were lovely.  


On the train heading to Shangrao, where Jasmine was born

shopping in Shangrao, Jasmine's hometown

Add caption

One of the rides we had  while there

The girls loved the princess chair in our hotel 
Arriving at the Orphanage

Jasmine geting a gift from the Orphanage director

Two of the orphaned children we got to spend time with

The Nannies who cared for Jasmine while in the Orphanage

A historical temple In Jasmine's Hometown

Arriving at the foster village 

Front road by foster families houses.

One of the foster mums that recognized Jasmine.  She may have looked after her when she was sick once or twice

Every night families meet to dance and have fun

Home town scenery

Tortoise Mountain Shangrao

The boat we were in

Tortoise mountains in Jasmine's home town

At Ocean Park