We are SO grateful for the love & support you have shown and for being SO very generous in your encouragement and prayers! If you are able, and feel led to do so, we still need funds for our travel expenses. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at adoptshoppe@gmail.com We LOVE sharing our story! We are SO thankful for you!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jason--Parenting 101??

We are finding out pretty quick that we have a lot to learn.  We both thought that there would not be much difference with adoption parenting and parenting a child from birth.  We were wrong!  I could never say thanks enough nor could words describe the gratitude I feel toward the His Hands entire staff.  Holly, Trena, their families, the nannies and the Hatcher sisters are true laborers for God.  They all devoted so much time to the care of Mia and paid special attention to her.  Things still seem to be somewhat off though.  I cannot imagine all that a child grows through in the months of their lives without parents.  In fact, I don't even really want to know.  I'm not sure I could handle that knowledge.  Mia without a doubt was not in an orphanage. Mia was cared for and tended to when she had needs.  She was loved beyond measure.  This was a fact made very evident with how hard it was for several to say goodbye.

What we have learned is it is already entirely different than with Madison and Mason.  Mia has lived 5 months without us being with her.  In that 5 months she has developed likes and dislikes she has developed traits and many idiosyncrasies that Kate and I know nothing about.  For instance, she scares really easy.  I have accidentally scared her twice, sending her into a several minute crying and sobbing frenzy.  I know that I've done nothing particularly wrong but very hard to deal with as I watch my new daughter in a terrified crying spree because of something I have done inadvertently.  I had her on my knees turned away from me (shortly after the 1st poop) and I sneezed.  Many of you that have heard me sneeze know that I am a really loud sneezer.  Mia was literally scared half to death.  Today I was holding her with her facing away from me.  Evidently she was focused on something or a little spaced out but i gave her a quick kiss on the back of the head and again she is scared half to death.

Today she has been fussy.  She has cried way more that any other day that we have had her.  We don't really have an explanation as to why.  We don't know her cries.  We haven't heard many.  Sometimes she seems scared, sometimes mad, sometimes confused, and other times like maybe she is hurting.  That leaves Kate and I scared confused and hurting.  This is our daughter and we really don't even know where to start.  We can apply the knowledge from the books we read and the classes we took but none of them know what Mia is feeling. We've been praying and will continue.  It is not going to be easy but I guess if it was, everyone would be doing it.  I am so thankful that God is on our side.  What would we do without him? Live without hope?

Jason--Day 6

-Slept later(felt good)
-Went to 8th floor for our free breakfast(good thing it was free)
-Received egg that Kyle would have eaten with a straw, a half a slice of bacon that wasn't cooked, a triangle slice of bologna/ham/turkey/dog or something.  Also as extra options on a short buffet line were tuna, Brussels sprouts, salad, pickle relish and some other lunch/supper items.  We ate toast and I had some yellowish watermelon.  Watermelon was a little mushier than red but great taste and really small seeds.
-Met Lance and Leslie in lobby where we received our packages from AIT.(Mia's visa(not credit card) we can take her home...YAY!)
-Walked a lot today (feet are aching)
-Rode on MRT (Subway system)(Massive organized confusion at several of the stations)
-Went to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial (Memorial for a great leader of Republic of China.  Mixed feelings regarding him, in Taiwan)
-Huge place(Kate will put some pictures on Facebook)
-Watched changing of Guards.  (Drawn out way to long but very cool)
-Bought extension cord at Taiwan Best Buy thingy. (Thought of Warren)
-After long hard day of walking we stopped at 7/11 and got Slurpees.(Ate PB&J sandwiches in hotel room)

*Notes to self:  A/C in North Missouri = very nice to have commodity
                        A/C in Taiwan = a necessity to stay alive
                King Kong Sweety in Taiwan = Goodness (Peanut-butter and Chocolate on a hoagie bun sold at 7/11)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jason--Can't get enough!!

That's true of Mia but I am writing regarding Taiwan.

All along Kate and I talked about coming over here for one thing and one thing only.  That was to get Mia.  We didn't care if we liked or disliked the His Hands family or anything else here.  We did not care to see any attractions or to stay much longer than absolutely necessary.  I am not sure about Kate, but that is exactly the attitude that I came with.

As God does to me very frequently, he brought me to my knees.  Right from the start I had an affection for Trena, Renee (Trena's daughter), and Ashleigh Hatcher.  I felt like I knew Ashleigh for a long time as I have seen her pictured with Mia multiple times and Skyped with her twice.  As they walked Mia to us at the HSR station and Kate walked to hold Mia for the first time I thought of (thanks to Morgan) "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." (Prov 25:25)  These 3 women were bringing some mighty cold water to 2 mighty thirsty souls.

As we road to the beach during a 2.5 hour trip we talked to Reagan which is Holly's husband.  He was very easy to get to know and fun to be with.  He enjoyed my humor so that helps. As I listened to him talk about the Taiwanese people and their culture my heart was pricked.  As he explained the mindset that most of them have my interest was piqued.  Here we have a massive number of people that don't believe in the One True God or Jesus as our Messiah.  However, they exhibit so many of the characteristics of Christ.  Their humility is praise worthy and their servant hearts are indescribable.  I could write a small book detailing all of the things I have seen this people do for not only each other but for us foreigners. Their attention to excellence in all they do is incomprehensible, from the little old ladies with witch brooms sweeping the roads to the men buffing a garage floor.

Now I realize that I have only a small sample in a short period of time and I keep thinking that I am just on emotional high.  I do believe there are some piqued emotions but I don't believe that it is all just because of Mia.  As far as the small sample...well...I have several stories for every day and also every city that we have been in from far north to far south of the island.

I'm not sure what all this is about.  God may just be revving me back up.  Only God knows but I want to find a way to help these people.  I don't know how or when.  I just know they need help.  They are definitely not the poorest of countries but I believe when God shows us people in need we are then called upon to act on that need.  This is plainly exhibited in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

I love y'all and am looking forward to you meeting Mia for the first time.  If you cry when you do its okay.  I know some people that did.

Jason--More on Day 5, Day 6

Mia's birth parents canceled the visitation. (I guess my worrying was in vain)(I'm not sure why I fail to trust God on so many occasions)
We went to aboriginal bead shop. (They make and sell glass beads...kinda cool to watch them)
Lost more rain! (LOTS MORE)
Both vans had extremely hard time today after bead shop.(One would not start.  One would not drive. Lance and I laid hands on...we got back finally)
We went to mall for Caysen's birthday party at night and said final goodbyes to Holly and Trena's families and the Hatcher sisters. (Awesome people)

*Note to self:  Apricot juice is TERRIBLE

Got up at 5:00 am packed and left with Trena and Holly to go to AIT. (I think we were supposed to be nervous but we didn't know to be)
Everything went great and she is ours forever.(Praise the Lord God!)(He is without a doubt the Almighty Maker and Giver of all good things)
We went to noodle shop for lunch. (Had more Taiwanese pickles...nothing like them...really good!  Had some spicy green bean looking things...also very good)
Checked into 4th hotel in Taiwan, 2nd in Taipei(Pretty nice...again no real shower)
After a somewhat stressful day Lance and I took Kate and Leslie and Madison to get their hair washed.(Although very boring it was neat to see the girls enjoy themselves for very little money.)(Lance and I were a hit with our new babies)
Lance and I had a conversation with a crazy lady. (She had no idea what we were saying and we had no idea what she was saying but yet it lasted for 5-7 minutes...priceless)
We had Burger King for supper (Scoff all you want, White family, but we needed some good ole' fashion non-healthy food. Plus ice and salt are 2 commodities that are hard to come by here)  (Madison and Mason thought they were in heaven!)
Played with Mia(I've done this everyday but just thought to put it in today)
Took nap with Mia (Same as above)

*Note to self:  Naps alone = good.  Naps with new baby = unforgettable!

Jason--AIT Appointment

It went great!  No Problem!

SHE IS OURS!  SHE IS OURS!  Praise God!  Thank God!  He answers prayers!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jason--Day 5

We didn't do a lot today.
We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow!
AIT appointment around 9:00 am that is 8:00pm your time.

Please pray

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jason--Change of Plans

Mia's birth parents called and canceled.  Sounds like we won't be meeting them at all.  I have mixed feelings about it but I know God has worked it out a long time before I ever began to worry about it.  We are talking about going to get our hair washed.  I know that sounds weird.  It does to me as well, but I am told it is an opportunity I do not want to miss out on.

Jason--The Poop

I almost forgot this best thing about today.

Since we have been here, Mia has not pooped.  (Yeah!  I know.)  We asked Holly about it and she said that is really common.  The babies actually will not poop until they become comfortable enough with the new parents.  Well, Kate was taking a shower after Mia, Madison, Mason, and I were done.  So we were playing!  I was laying down on the bed and had my feet flat so my knees were up.  I had Mia propped up on my knees on her tummy.  She was just loving it as the kids were talking to her.  She soaked my knees with slobber.  I was patting her back when all of the sudden she farted like Kyle.  She slumped down and began grunting in rhythm with bearing down!  Mason was rolling laughing.  Madison not so much.  Then the smell began to fill the room.  I let this go on for a while knowing the longer I could hold off the more time I was giving Kate to get done.  I got brave and decided to inspect the damage. BAD DECISION!  Green stuff coming out...green stuff coming out! (Where is your mother?)

I ended up changing her.  All of the crevices that were filled with sand about an hour prior were now filled with green slimy poop.  It smelled terrible.  But I loved every bit of it.  My eyes are filling with tears as I type.  I never thought I would have another opportunity to pawn off a diaper change on my wife.  Words can not truly express my joy,  I am so thankful to God.  He has really outdone himself with this blessing.  I am so far from worthy.

Melissa, if you are reading I apologize for the graphic wording but you should of been here.  I loved every bit of it and pray for more.

Jason--Day 4

Finally adjusting to time change! (Just in time to reverse it)
Stayed in hotel last night with no shower or tub. (just shower head on a wall in bathroom- everything gets wet)
No beds, just mattresses on the floor.  (I guess that was our version of roughing it)
It was great though because it had A/C. (I have a preacher friend, him and his wife have stayed in much worse conditions to help people out)
I saw a man carrying a wheelbarrow on the back of a scooter. (Priceless)
We went to Smokey Joes for lunch. (They serve many things including but not limited to Squid spaghetti and pig knuckles with a side of sauerkraut)
We had an assembly with Lance and Leslie.(I may be done kneading my leaven lesson)(Oh come on...you know all of you who got that laughed)  (Mom, I will explain latter)
We ate again at the mall for supper.  I had... something-- it had a twang, but was really good.(Still not interested in things such as squid balls or pig knuckles)
It seems now to be a favorite past time here in Kaohsiung, Taiwan to stare at the 4 white people with 2 white kids and 2 asian kids. (Some even get up enough nerve and say, "Hello...Hello..Hello")
We meet Mia's birth parents tomorrow. (I am nervous...not sure why...just wish we weren't)
Going to bed 11:00pm here time.  10am your time.

*Note to self: Quit making fun of Devin with the chopsticks and just learn the trade.

Jason--My Education in Language and Pineapples

My education was yet again extended.  Maybe these are some things you all knew and never cared to share with me but I thought they were pretty neat.

Pineapples do not grow on trees.  They are 2-3 foot bushes and the pineapple grows right on top.  An amazing defeat of gravity by God.

Also I found several universal languages.  Baby laughs, baby cries, the sign language used in helping some back a vehicle, yelling when you have not paid for a service (I will tell you all about that later), and children's language.  Our family with Lance, Leslie, and Caysin stayed in the south last night at a hotel that was not very nice at all but kind of cool.  We then went back to a different part of the ocean that did not have such big waves.  All of the children loved it.  I witnessed an awesome part of what I have always missed about the teaching of Jesus about becoming as little children.  Here we are literally half way around the world where nobody speaks English.  A place where you would expect children the age of ours to be scared and confused and just kind of clam up.  Our children played in the ocean with other children. They laughed and talked but yet did not speak each other's spoken language.  None of them cared.  None of them saw race, religion, color or anything but somebody to love and to be loved by.  Simply amazing!  Only possible with God!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jason--My Thoughts on Taiwan

I love this place.  I am not that fond of the whole beach thing, although it was a great experience.  The people here are amazing.  They are very service oriented and honest with your money and possessions.  If you forget and leave something somewhere you just go back and get it.  If it isn't in the same place you can just ask someone who works there and they have waiting for you.  If you try to pay to much they just give it back.  They are very prideful and will lie to save face. (So I'm told).  You can really see the start of the western influence.  They are beginning to allow the poison of stuffitis to creep in.  The people here have a great respect for us westerners but yet think that we are dumb.  However, the ways they think we are dumb are the ways they are allowing in to their society very slowly.  All in all they are people just like us.  They are dishonest in certain areas but yet have so much good within them. They generally think of gods as a bad thing.  They worship gods to try to keep them happy.  They are very ritualistic and legalistic with that.  My heart aches as I write realizing that I passed hundreds of people last night that do not know the peace that passes all understanding.  When Holly and Trena and their husbands (Reagan and Ken) spread the gospel they are faced with trying to push through this notion that God is not just and he is just a short fuse waiting to be lit so he can explode into anger.  Very sad!  It is sad for them but I also realize that often times I have and still do look at the Almighty God in the same exact way.  Very sad!  I will try hard to make it a point to share with others how loving God is.  I guess we could move here (tempting) but I know that there are so many people that I come in contact with on a regular basis that have these same problems.  I guess for now I will try to convert Cameron first!

Jason--Day 3

Went to south beach! (That would be the southern tip of Taiwan)
Sand here has feet (It walks or crawls into every crevice of your body)
Green can of Pringles in Taiwan is not always Sour Cream and Onion. (They also have sea weed and blah blah)
7/11 has everything!
I had a TV dinner for lunch.  I bought it they put it in microwave and then give it back. (I have no idea what was in it but it was really good)
We went to this night market thing. (Pure craziness)(Only verbal words can describe)
You can buy squid on a stick. (Seriously...Devin would love it here)
Mason had several people pat him on the head and rub his arm. (Taiwanese people love them some Mason, he did pretty good but he thought it was weird).
We had Thai food for Supper.  Good times!
The internet is bad at this hotel.
South Taiwan is not nearly as nice.
I went to bed at 9:00pm here time 8:00 am there time.

*  Note to self:   I'm not near as funny when the people do not speak the same language.

Jason--Sleeping Problems

The time change is really being a problem for me.  It is 5:30 am on Saturday.  I have been up since 4:30 am.  I am tired but not sleepy.  I keep getting up to look in the crib just to make sure this is real.  We are supposed to meet  Holly and Trena and their families and Lance, Leslie and Caysen @ 9:15.  I guess we are going to the beach about 2.5 hours away.

Taiwan is really neat.  It is not much different than America.  They use all space possible and build very tall.  The House of Hope was 4 or 5 stories tall but had only 1or 2 small rooms on each floor with Kitchen on 1st floor.  Wherever there is land available there is a rice field.  It's crazy!  There are rice fields in the middle of downtowns in between buildings.  They evidently have no silly regulations about landscaping.  They just use the space for growing crop instead of having shrubs to just look at.  The Hotels' decor is very futuristic.  All the people here are extremely nice.  Its kind of funny because you have so many people wanting to help yet we Americans are afraid to let them because we fear them wanting to steal our stuff or want money for their assistance.  However, they just want to help and don't expect anything in return and seem offended if you try to do it yourself instead of asking for help. The driving is insane!  Much like big city driving in America except much friendlier.  Drivers are very aggressive yet very watchful.  People whip in and out of lanes even into oncoming traffic.  Everything is a go as long as you make eye contact.  They have very few accidents here and the majority of those are 1 person scooter accidents.  (We saw one yesterday).  They have fire extinguishers everywhere!  The food is not so bad.  We ate at a noodle place for lunch yesterday and it was very good.  The kids were kind of weirded out but they ate pretty well.  It all had good flavor.  They had for appetizers these cucumbers that looked like small pickle spears.  They were much like a pickle but yet so very different.  They were good I think.  I ate several and could not decide if I liked them or not.  The tea...oh the tea...  We had two different kinds.  One was passion fruit tea the other is what they call bubble tea.  The passion fruit tea was awesome!  The bubble tea..well...not so much!  I am pretty sure Devin would have loved it.  It was a tea and milk mixture with a bunch of Tapioca seeds.  The seeds looked and felt much like really small blueberries.  We used this really big straw and as I drank, my mouth was inundated with these seeds.  I instinctively began to chew and these seeds seemed to reproduce right in my mouth.  Needless to say...I was not a fan.  I figured out how to drink without the picking up of the seeds but it was still a weird taste.  Much like watered down milk with ice.  (Melissa may have liked it...minus the seeds).  Last night we ate at Subway.  Not quite the same but good.  I had them put Italian dressing on my sandwich but it was a very sweet Italian dressing.  It is definitely not what I expected but it was really good.

We are having lots of fun.  So much so that i feel somewhat guilty for being away.  It is kind of like a vacation with a very weird sleep schedule and we have already picked up the best souvenir you could ever have.  We can't wait to show her to you!

Love all of you and miss you and wish you were here to enjoy these moments with us!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jason--Day 2

Dear Diary,

Another long day!
After a very short ride on the High Speed Rail (High Speed is understatement) we made to Kaohsiung.
Trena, Renee (Trena's Daughter), and Ashleigh were a little late.
It happened again! (That amazing overwhelming of emotions when you hold your child for the first time)
We registered with the city. (Mia is no longer a citizen of Kaohsiung).
Mia is precious!
We went to The House of Hope. (Nothing like I had imagined but very nice)
Thought of Devin several times. (Lots of chopsticks and sushi)
All the locals speak a foreign language. (Difficult to communicate)
Just rocked Mia to sleep.
Mia is wonderful. (God is awesome)

Going to bed 9:00 pm here -- 8:00 am there

*Note to self:  Kyle maybe right...I do seem to cry like a girl.

No words needed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jason--Education Abroad

I have always heard that traveling abroad to extend your education will help to broaden your horizon.  Well...I learned a few more things already this morning.

Here they are...

Shower curtains and shower doors are a thing of the past.  They are not fancy enough and are extremely hard to keep clean.  In parts of the world (namely, Taipei, Taiwan)  they have been replaced with floor drains.  Pure genius!

Inadvertently I found out that it is a lot easier to use shampoo as soap than it is to use soap as shampoo.  However, in the future if for some odd reason I choose to do this, I will not be using dandruff shampoo.  (It really burns the facial area and other sensitive areas).

Also, taking a shower takes more focus than I thought.  Who would of thought to read the bottles?


Jason--Day 1

Dear Diary,

Very long day
Very long flight to Taipei
Awesome airplane (more like flying movie theater than like airplane)
Awesome seats (wouldn't be bad in living room)
Learned new Chinese Proverb:
(Man who has diarrhea on airplane, not only one who runs)
Going to bed @ 11:30pm Taiwan time, 10:30am normal time

*Note to self:  Next time bring Fiber or extra underwear on Airplane

To Taiwan!

So today, or the last 2 days (because of the time difference), I'm not sure which, have been full and busy, but good.  I must say that there was not a single hitch in our travels!  Praise God for that!  And thank you all for your prayers!

Okay, I will start at the beginning.  I should be sleeping, but I want to record this, or I will not remember later!!!

We got up at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 11th.  The morning was not rushed, unlike most mornings when we're leaving to go on a trip!  Melissa (my sister) and Bella took us to the Kansas City Airport.  We got our bags checked and went through security with only 1 minor problem.  I forgot to take my bag of liquids out at security, so they had to rummage through my bag (which was so precisely packed that we barely got it zipped).  It was just a 1 1/2 hour flight to DFW.  Then a 3 hour flight on to LAX.  We had just enough time between each flight to grab something to eat and get to our gate in plenty of time.  We boarded the plane to Taipei at 5:45 p.m. (Pacific time).  The flight was long.  But the seats were incredibly comfortable and the flight attendants so pleasant.  We stayed awake for 4 hours, slept 5, and were awake the last 4.  We tried to schedule it so we'd sleep tonight.  It worked for everyone else.  They are sound asleep.  I am not.  Too excited!  Many of you are probably wondering how the kids did on such a long trip.  Well, they were WONDERFUL!  On flights, they watched movies, played games, and drew pictures.  In between flights, they ran, jumped, pretended to be airplanes, and sat quietly when they needed to.  The only "problem" was that we had to take them to the bathroom at inconvenient times occasionally.  But then, that's every day!  :)

So, now you know about our boring trip.  All flights were on time, no bad weather, and we got ALL of our luggage!  Can't get much better than that!  And now, in just a few hours, I'll meet my daughter!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


...we leave!!!  Praise God that it's finally here!  Please pray for safe, smooth travels for us.  And also health for all of us.  A lot of people get sick on these trips!  :)  Thanks!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy 5 Months, Mia!!!

Oh, my sweet baby girl! You are 5 months old today! The Hatcher sisters said they took you to dinner and out for some shopping today!!! I'm so glad we have our plane tickets to come get you! Each month it got harder and harder to wait as these monthly milestones rolled around. Praise God that it's only 10 days until we leave for Taiwan! I'm keeping busy until we leave. I have big sister/big brother/little sister shirts to get together, hairbows to make, and LOTS to pack! We'll be there soon, baby girl! WE LOVE YOU!!!