Say "YES!" to God's call.
When He calls, He always enables.

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

SNOW ! This is Andy's first real snow. Last year we never even got enough to play in so it is very exciting to have snow before Christmas. It was too slushy to build a snowman but we did do some sledding in the backyard.

Ariel and Ethan built a great gingerbread house.When Camila comes home she is going to help the little kids build their own.

Nellie made this gingerbread girl almost all by herself !

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Parade

When Ric first said that he wanted to ride the fiiretruck and throw candy rather then collect candy I was pretty sure he would change his mind. I know he loves firetrucks but I was pretty sure he liked candy more. By the time of the parade he had not only continued steadfast in his resolve to ride, he had also convinced Andy and Nellie that it was the prefered thing to do. As I don't ride on top of open moving vehicles (unless they are pulled by bicyclists in China) Jerry and Matthew accompanied them.
As it turned out, since they rode in the beginning of the parade, they managed to collect a pretty good sized bag of candy from the rest of the parade. By the way, is this candy throwing thing a Southern thing or just a Franklin thing ? I don't remember ever picking up candy on the ground at parades while I was growing up in NY. Maybe it was just because my mom didn't let us eat candy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Introducing Nellianne Amberlin Wright

The paperwork had finally arrived! Nellie is ours permanently. She is a wonderful ,sweet girl and everyone is delighted that she is now an official member of our family.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School

Andy and Ric had a blast with Sing Spell Read and Write today. That Treasure Box will make sure they will keep coming back for more !

Saturday, August 22, 2009


It has been an emotional week. Our oldest son, Ryan, married Julia last weekend. It was a beautiful wedding, with wonderful worship beginning the ceremony, demonstrating Ryan and Julia's determination to put Him first in their lives. Ryan will begin seminary in January. We are so proud of them both.
Our oldest daughter,Camila, resigned from her job as an Assistant District Attorney and moved to Amsterdam today. She will begin a program in International Law. She has been living just down the street from us since she finished law school and has been a tremendous blessing to our family. We will miss her terribly - especially Ric and Ariel (although I think Ariel may have figured out a way to keep in touch texting).

That's our kids Camila, Everett, Katrina and Ariel, in the second picture.

Here are my two handsome boys - which leads me to the next annoucement. We are beginning the paperwork for another adoption ! One of the boys we originally tried to get from the orphanage near Cheryl has been on the shared list for a year. His name has gone out every month to agencies all over the world that adopt from China and no one has chosen him. That is not terribly surprising, since most people want to adopt girls and this boy is already ten years old.

It seems to us that we have a responsibility to help those God puts in our path and we think this child is in ours. I love the Starfish Story (google it) where the little boy says "I made a difference for that one !" We think God is giving us the opportunity to make a difference in one more child's life and we are very excited.

MyDad, my sister and I at Ryan's rehersal dinner.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Andy's Birthday

After living in America for nearly 11months and watching nearly all of the rest of our family have birthday parties Andy asked nearly every day when it would be HIS birthday. Finally on his 8th birthday he had his first real party. He wanted a firetruck birthday cake and we patterned his party after a book series we love called 'Henry and Mudge' which meant balloons, games and a pinata. His big present was a bicycle with trainig wheels which he was able to ride even on our gravel driveway. Pretty amazing for a kid who didn't even know how to push the pedals on a tricycle a year ago ! He is already asking for the training wheels to be taken off.

Just the Girls

Ariel, Lindsay (Travis's wife), Camila, Julia (Ryan's wife in August) Katrina, Amber, Catherine

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

America's Birthday

Andy celebrated July 4th as an American for the first time. All the kids came in, so we spent an exhausting day at the Factory and the Rec Park.
The Factory allowed us to practice target shooting, race motorcycles, go bowling and rafting, and play minigolf in the comfort of an airconditioned building , all within walking distance of the fireworks. No wonder everyone comes to Franklin on the 4th!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cooking Out

Last Saturday, after working out in the yard , we let the kids cook hotdogs out in the yard. We had to dodge a few raindrops, but the kids are now addicted. Our grown sons Jay (who got engaged this week) and Everett stopped by to join us.
Take a look at that view. Isn't it gorgeous? And we live in town !! We live in the most beautiful place in the world.
I was in high school before I traveled anywhere that there was this much empty land. I was raised in the Northeast and used to believe in the myth of overpopulation. Now I have traveled across the country, done some reading and have a different opinion.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Big Thanks to Maddie and Sophie !!!

When Andy was in the hospital, Maddie and Sophie (who were also adopted from China) sent him an exciting box of things to play with. Sophie had brain surgery shortly before Andy, so they understood some of the hardships of being in the hospital.

They made some beautiful pictures, that are now hanging on Andy's bedroom wall. Most importantly however, they prayed faithfully for Andy !! Thank you, Maddie and Sophie !!

P.S. Their family will be going back to China soon to bring home a little boy - if anyone has some spare frequent flyer miles I'll let you know how to get them to them.....Catherine

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cheryl, LiuBo, and SiQing

Seven years ago, my friend Cheryl was a single nurse, living here in Franklin and decided to adopt a baby from Ch*na. Two years later, she felt God lead her to move to Ch*na. At the time, some wondered if she was on an impossible mission, as she had little money, no support and only a strong conviction that she was being obedient to God's call. After she arrived, God began sending babies to her and recently she has signed a contract with the govt to provide homes for 60 aids orphans. The govt does not provide any financial support for these children. Cheryl has been able to open two homes, as God provided the finances as well as local Christian houseparents and staff. Twelve children live in each home.
This month Cheryl and her two daughters have been staying with us and we have had a wonderful time together. While here she has had the chance to visit with old friends and make some new ones - see her here visiting with Leeanne, who also feels a strong pull to the mission field and I believe has been encouraged by hearing all that God has done for and through Cheryl.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Before and After

Andy is feeling fine and although he has stitches from ear to ear he looks beautiful ! It is hard to even imagine how the 2 plastic surgeons, 2 neurosurgeons and their team actually did what they did with titanium plates and something biodegradeable, so here are the pictures to prove it. The first two are in China - the ones at the bottom are at home on Easter.
Andy had a little trouble getting used to his new look. At first, he kept saying his eyes were too small. While they looked googley to us apparently some Asians thought they looked attractive - in fact his referral from China said he had beautiful eyes. We have persuaded him that now he has beautiful Asian eyes like Ric, Liu Bo and Isabella. We return to Chapel Hill this week for the doctors to check his progress. Andy has already started asking when we are going to fix his teeth. That will be next year's surgery.
The little girl playing with playdough is Cheryl's daughter, Liu Bo from Yunnan, China who is staying with us this month while she is in the states. More on her later - visit her blog to see what God has been doing through her.
Thanks again for your prayers. A friend of mine said she was so sorry that China had not been honest about the seriousness of Andy's problems. I am so glad they were not. I would never have been brave enough to knowingly choose a child with his challenges. The first days with him were scary, but every morning I would wake up and see his smile and know it was okay. God put a love in my heart for Andy that I knew was a gift from Him. He is an amazing kid and I am so excited to see God unfold the plan He has for him. And for us.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Going Home - From Franklin Street to Franklin

When I picked Andy and Jerry up at the hospital, Andy still looked pretty miserable. We tried to get a smile for the camera, but he would not cooperate. As we closed the door, drove away, and popped in the "Seussical the Musical" CD, we got our first smile. In just a few minutes, Andy was our old talkative boy, singing loudly with the music. As we reached the first traffic light, police were blocking the intersection at Franklin Street and we got to see the National Champion University of North Carolina TarHeels, escorted by motorcycle police, state troopers, lights on, sirens blaring! At the moment we are driving through a beautiful, snowny blizzard (hopefully the last we will see this year) and listening to 'Seussical' for the third time. We are all very happy. Catherine

Monday, April 6, 2009

random thoughts

Andy took us to Beijing during the Olympics and to Chapel Hill for the NCAA basketball championship game - not that we saw either one except on TV, but we enjoyed the atmosphere. I have had children for 31 years and this is only my second hospital stay with any of them (Katrina had MRSA a few years ago). I love institutional food - see us fighting over Andy's tray while I am pretending to feed him. Andy must be feeling a little better, he is starting to get more demanding -he even watched a little tv this evening. I want to talk Jerry into going to see the Chinese acrobats in Pigeon Forge in July - its free for kids sdopted from China. Is anyone else planning to go? Where are you staying?...They have told us we can go home tomorrow. The nurse is going to show me how to wash his hair first. He has to take showers instead of baths for awhile, can't dive into a swimming pool or play football but other than that he has no restrictions.

Helmet Off

Here is Andy with his new hairdo!! If you click on it , you will see the stitches that go ear to ear. As I thought, he was pretty disappointed after it came off. I am sure he thought that all would be back to normal and we would go home. His forehead is just beautiful and his eyes will obviously have a typical Asian beauty. It is hard to tell about the rest because there is still so much swelling, it looks pretty gigantic. The doctors say that he is doing amazingly well, and we will go home soon, much earlier than expected.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

out of ICU

Andy made some big strides today. This is a picture of him playing. His eyes open just the tiniest bit and the doctor says the swelling is going down unusually quickly (thank you again all you who are praying). He has refused any food or drink until I mentioned the words ice cream -so tonight I fed him orange sherbert. Tomorrow morning at 6 AM will be the reveal - his bandages will come off!! Andy knows it will come off on Monday so every so often he will wake up and ask if it is Monday yet. I suspect that he thinks the helmet is what is keeping his eyes closed and he is frustrated with it. The doctor said that Andy's head will still be swollen tomorrow and in fact, we will not know his exact head shape for a few months. Jerry will be the one here in the morning when it happens, but since Andy was moved to a regular room tonight the kids will be able to visit him tomorrow so we will try to have pix of everyone posted before noon.


The nurse just informed me that Andy has orders to move to the floor!!! That is extremely good news. However, the downside of these orders is that at the present time there are no beds available on the 'floor' (regular hospital). I am hoping that someone out in the regular hospital is receiving their order to go home right now. That would be good news to both them and us!

Andy's vitals have been good all alone; the doctors main concern has been his sodium level. They put extra sodium in his system, then reduced the sodium input, and his body maintained a safe level. Good! Andy still sleeps for long stretches on time and awake to "Go Potty" and to take a few sips of juice.

Catherine will pass on more when we get to the room and will be able to post different pictures. Right now he looks exactly as he did 33 hours ago except for a slight, very slight, reduction in the swelling in his left eye.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

day 2

As you can see, Andy got his oxygen mask off today and as you can't see, he also got his catheter out. He will stay another day in ICU because his sodium is low (common in brain surgeries). He has not opened his eyes yet - perhaps they are swollen shut. He talks from time to time - asking me to hold his hand or asking for his bear. Once he said 'my head is broken'. He had been very excited ahead of time to come here for the doctors to fix his head, so I assured him that it was fixed. Jerry spent last night here. he has just taken Ric and Amber back to Ronald McDonald House to sleep while they play. Tonight they will all go watch Carolina play basketball at Katrina's while I stay here. I am expecting Andy to want me here most of the time as he wakes up but, as with everything else, we will play it by ear.