Saturday, October 27, 2012


Our family had the privilege of visiting the local orphanage. This was Molly and Hudson's first time to go to an orphanage.
When we first arrived, Molly and Hudson were shy, unsure what to think of their new surroundings. However, they soon got over their shyness. Molly especially reached out to the kids.

This girl has cerebral palsy. Molly is helping her play with a stuffed animal.

Molly invited this baby girl to stay with us.

This teenage boy suffers from fluid in his brain. His body cannot support the head weight, so he has to lie down all of the time. There is no medical treatment. However, he had an amazing attitude. He was very excited to talk with us. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Anyang Clinic and Orphanage

Last month, I (Kevin) traveled south to the "small" town of Anyang to work with the GHO clinic. The service and medicine provided to the patients were free of charge. In addition to the clinic, I was also able to visit an orphanage. The following photos give a glimpse.

This was the GHO clinic team. Although I served in the medical community for several years in Waco, this was my first time ever to wear scrubs. The young man to my left is Nathan, whom I roomed with this week.

These orphaned toddlers were eating snacks, seemingly having a lot of fun.
This teenage girl has Cerebral Palsy; her favorite thing to do is study. She loves to learn about anything and everything.

These were but a few of the babies delivered to the orphanage by the police. The babies had been found abandoned in trashcans or alleys.
This was our triage station. My job was to help organize the patients as they waited for their turn. My Chinese was not good, but at least I could tell the people where to sit and when it was time to see a doctor. Still, I long for the day I can have deep conversations without needing a translator.

The team was surprised when first arriving to this hospital. It was much more modern than expected, but the patients who came were from the surrounding counties. Most were very poor; few were educated. I spent time with those sitting in the chairs behind the triage station. All and all, it was a great clinic.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy birthday, Hudson!

Hudson's birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so we were able to celebrate with our International Fellowship friends instead of having a party in our home.
We started off the day with a birthday doughnut before fellowship. (Note the "3" candle in his favorite doughnut, strawberry frosting with sprinkles.)
Then friends joined us for lunch at our favorite Korean BBQ restaurant right beside our apartment. I picked up the cake from the bakery across the street and brought it in to show them -- cute little sheep!
After lunch, Hudson took a long nap. Molly has a sweet friend from preschool who lives in our apartment complex, and she went with their family to the park for the afternoon. By the time Molly returned and Hudson woke up, it was already time to get ready for dinner. Hudson had requested Pizza Hut, so we walked to our favorite location that's connected to a nice supermarket. After eating dinner, going shopping and walking home, it was already time for bed. We had given him our gift and a few cards from friends that morning, but we decided we'd save the rest of his gifts and his cake for the morning -- I'm sure this is the last year we'd be able to get away with that!
We are very thankful for the cards and gifts Hudson (and Molly) received from friends near and far. Because we waited until Monday morning for him to open most of them, we were able to Skype with our families and they could see him with the presents they sent (still Sunday night, America time). Also, Kevin was home from work since it was the beginning of the week-long National Day holiday, which continued the celebration feel.

If you listen carefully in the video below, you can even hear Kevin's parents chiming in with the song and birthday wishes. Thanks to technology, they were Skyping right there on our kitchen table and saw him blow out his candle and eat cake. Amazing! We love sharing these special moments with our family even from half a world away.
Hudson, you bring joy to our lives every single day. Your smile absolutely lights up your face, and that is contagious to all those around you. We are so thankful to be your mom and dad, and we look forward to watching God unfold His great plan for your life. 我们爱你!

Happy birthday, Molly!

September was a fun-filled month for us! Molly turned 5 on the 7th, and Hudson turned 3 on the 30th. It felt like we spent the whole month celebrating and opening cards and packages from friends. :) Thank you very much to all of you who made our children's first birthdays in China so special.
Every other week we gather with a few close foreign friends at our friend's home for a specific time to pray for the nations. We started off September by celebrating Molly and our friend Teshuah, who turned 4. Aren't those little cakes cute? They have peaches and cherries on top -- it is quite common for Chinese cakes to have fruit slices and cherry tomatoes on top.

Molly's birthday was on a Friday, and we had a fun day together with pancakes for breakfast (thank you, import aisle!) and bean burritos for lunch (we actually found flour tortillas). The day before at preschool, I taught a birthday-themed English lesson in all the classes and Molly brought Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies to share with her class. We held a small party for six of her friends at our apartment Saturday morning. Hudson was so excited before the guests arrived!
I couldn't resist ordering this panda cake for Molly's first Chinese birthday! There is a small bakery right across the street from us called Bread Garden, and it was so convenient to pick it up Saturday before everyone arrived. (Here's one perk of not having an oven -- no stress over baking a beautiful birthday cake by myself!) It was chocolate inside.

Cakes are very common here, but cupcakes are not. I went to three bakeries in our neighborhood before I found what I was looking for -- cupcake-shaped muffins! The import aisle had Betty Crocker chocolate frosting, and my mother-in-law sent sprinkles. Decorating the "cupcakes" was a hit!
My mother-in-law also sent most of the decorations and the crafts. Party products are available here but hard to find. A country of 1.3 billion people has to conserve on paper products wherever possible, so wrapping paper and coordinated items like Tinkerbell plates, napkins and tablecloths are very rare.

We had a craft table for decorating bookmarks and doorhangers with stickers.
Dance party! We played some of Molly's favorite songs and paused them randomly to watch the kids freeze mid-dance. It was hilarious! (And we completely copied the idea from Abby Carver's 5th birthday party.)

Happy birthday, precious Molly Renee! We are incredibly blessed to be your parents and thankful to see your progress adjusting to life in China. This has been a year of tremendous change, and you are doing so well. 我们你生日快乐!