- Visitors. Lots and lots of 'em. First Carrie's parents, aunt, and cousin came. Now our friend Kineta is here. Next up is Jill, and then Jenny and her mom. We're pretty much booked solid until early November. We get more visitors here than we did in Dallas. :) This is what I'm going to blame my lack of blogging on -- even though we're having a great time!
- Foster Home. It seems to be picking up more and more. We've had lots of new kids come, and a few go. I was with Ben today when he met his parents for the first time. That was really special. More and more of the kids we are bringing in have serious special needs -- increasingly we're getting "10 percenters" -- those who have a very small chance at living. We're trying to learn how to personally manage the stress of bringing very sick kiddos into your life. In the last couple of months, we've lost 2. If any of you are interested in helping with our organization's medical needs, let me know. All of our kids' surgeries are paid through donations, and it isn't cheap!
- Formula Projects. Those are picking up, too. Jacob's and my work is starting to pay off in these projects. The computer program Jacob created enables me to quickly identify those children who are most seriously in need of extra help... the ones who are off the growth charts, but not in the way that American parents normally understand. (In other words, they are off the low end, not the high end.) We've got about 4 kids right now who are so critical I find it impossible to describe. One is 12 months old and 8 pounds. That should give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Again, though I don't share our personal needs on the blog, I have no qualms about telling you that if you want to help our organization buy formula, I can tell you how to do it. We feed anywhere from 80-100 kids a month... and we can't do it without help.
- Trips. This is kind of related to the previous point. Jacob just got back from southern China yesterday -- a visit to our formula projects down there. I haven't been down there, but his stories make it sound like a hard place. People living with no running water and in houses with dirt floors (mud when it rains, since their roofs aren't solid). Makes us look like we live in paradise.
- Baby Judson is home from the hospital. He's the one I wrote about a few weeks ago who was found next to a railroad with his intestines and stomach outside of his body. He's doing very well, and our friend Kineta gets to be his one-on-one nanny during the week. Thankfully, she doesn't seem to mind the fact that she came halfway around the world to babysit (example of good servant heart), and Judson is thriving with lots of one-on-one attention. He still has a ways to go medically, but we we continue to see improvements.
- We're enjoying Fall. The autumn would be a great time to visit BJ, if you plan to come anytime in the next few years. It is really nice. But it is making me dread winter. Speaking of which, if you happened to read this far into this post and you have cold-weather experience, I am taking suggestions for how to stay warm in the winter. We spend a lot of time walking outside, and I can't explain how much I detest being cold. So, ideas of products, etc. that you have found keep you toasty warm... I'm looking for them!
- We've started braving the bus. (When we have visitors, we can't take our scooter to the subway station.) It only took a year! But, it is a considerable cost savings to hiring a driver. Not a considerable stress-savings, though. In fact, Jacob isn't convinced it is worth it. You've never seen crowded until you've been on a Beijing bus. I'm proud of the fact that we're actually brave enough to do this, so I thought it worthy of sharing. :)
Ok, this list is getting lame. I'll save you from further reading boredom. But, I feel like you are a little more up-to-date on the big things that are filling our lives right now. But, since I didn't share the details, I still don't feel "caught up." Alas... I'll try again later.