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

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I usually get my camera out for big affairs, like birthday parties, wedding showers or shows.  However, on occassion, I remember to get it out to record our ordinary daily life.  We are blessed that Jerry is able to join us in the middle of the day so we clear away the school books for an hour or so and this is what we look like most afternoons.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Tree

I didn't remember to put up our Thanksgiving tree until just a few days before Thanksgiving day.  It was created from items on hand (think paperbags and construction paper) so it was a little crude, but by the time the kids (big and little) finished decorating it, it was lovely.  I was thrilled with their enthusiasm and their grateful hearts.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Christmas Parade

Our small town has a Christmas parade very year on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.  Since Jerry is a volunteer firefighter, the kids get to ride on the truck in the parade.   This was Simon and Jed's first year to ride and they were beyond delighted!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Civil War

Ariel's 21st birthday fell in the midst of The Civil War, a heart rending musical, where Everett and Jerry fought on opposite sides.  The younger boys have asked me dozens of times which ones are the bad guys.  I always mumble something about this being a war about brother against brother, not neccesarily bad guys against good guys (after all, I have lived in NC a very long time so I know the drill).  However, after watching the show more than a dozen times they have determined that the guys with the American flag are the good guys and the ones who tore down the flag to make another are the bad guys.  Children have an inate understanding of right and wrong that is not easily complicated by political correctness.

We all spend alot of time at the theater, with the kids often doing their schoolwork there, while I get to work on costumes.  In the evenings, it looks like this : the boys hanging their heads over whatever computer game is being played by friends and the girls talking about or playing with their American girl dolls.  In this picture, you may notice Jed sitting in the front row where he can encouraged to be quiet. lol.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cow Appreciation Day

We love Chick-fil-A.  Once a year they have 'cow appreciation day'.  All cows get a free meal.  We had white t-shirts and old karate pants.  The only black fabric I could find in my excessively large fabric stash was a beautiful velveteen.  I had visions of adorable little girl dresses made out of it.   I sacrificed it for seven cows.

It was totally worth it. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Several times a year, our family gets the opportunity to play at the Smokey Mountain Center for Performing Arts.   That means, for a month or so, the kids pack up their computers and school books to attend a wonderful sort of 'theater charter school'.    While I am sewing costumes, they do their regular school work and also often get to help out a little (like painting sets) and learn about the magic of an amazing state of the art theater.  This is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of mine that I never, ever, expected to be realized ( but more onthat in another post)
Our most recent show was Peter Pan. The Wright family was well represented.  Lindsay, played Tiger Lily, with Andy and Kathryn as members of her tribe.  Dominic was initially delighted to be a pirate, until he saw he would be dressed as a chinaman with a pigtail. He is very easy going, though, so he didn't complain (much) and was happily compensated by getting to have a sword.

Everett was a lost boy and had his hair dyed pink for the role.  (Which he had the sense to be embarrassed about when he had to make an unexpected visit to the emergency room.)

Travis worked onstage as a pirate and backstage as Wendy's chief flyer.  It was a bit disappointing to discover that flying isn't as much fun as it looks.  Everyone who has tried it has said that those harnesses hurt !  So now you know.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wright Company in DC

Several members of the Wright Company recently had the opportunity to visit Washington, DC.  We were in Virginia to move Katrina (who has finished her pharmacy residency) back to NC.   While there,  Ariel herded her younger siblings to a photo op at the Smithsonians Air and Space Museum. 

On our third night at Katrina's,  my cell phone started buzzing , with a warning that there was a tornado in the area and to urge us to take cover immediately.  It was a first for us and we were pretty skeptical, particularily since we weren't seeing anything online about tornadoes and we weren't even sure it knew where I was. Since Katrina had a relatively clean basement, I persuaded everyone to join me down there for a game of UNO.  After awhile we got bored and went back upstairs.   It wasn't until we heard the news the next day that we realized that the warning was the real thing.

      Some of the children pretended they were frightened.  They were actually making fun of me for making them go down there.
Ric has been talking alot lately about adventures.  I think we had one.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Rosie and Nellie are God's gift to each other. They still love playing with their American girl dolls together and are hoping to earn enough money this summer to buy another one.
Tomorrow we are taking the kids to their first trip to Dollywood. Although they have only a vague idea of what that is (Dominic told Andy we would see a cougar there), they have seen the video of the new Eagle ride and are wildly excited about it. I have minor worries about Simon's motion sickness and Jed's "episodes", so we would appreciate prayers that all will be well.
Can anyone tell me why these pictures are wonderfully clear on my computer but fuzzy when I put them on this blog??

Monday, March 19, 2012

new camera

Okay, so this isn't exactly going to be a post, just a notice that a month after receiving my new camera I have figured out how to get pictures onto my compter. (I have been making dresses for Clara, and my camera has been in the box.) As you can see, I don't know how to use the camera to take decent pictures, yet. I have about 20 hours to learn how to use it before the final dress rehearsal of Lamb of God. Jerry, Rosie, Nellie, Dominic and Andy are in it. (and Everett, of course, who has my favorite song in the show) It has been so great to have a picture of Jesus's life portrayed on stage for Simon and Jed over the last several weeks. Tomorrow we have a pediatric neurologist appointment for Jed. Hopefully I will have some time to read the camera manual while I am waiting.

Friday, February 10, 2012

By God's Grace Alone

Jedidiah (Loved by the LORD), 10, is the one in the middle, wearing blue. He is my always smiling, affectionate boy. In private, I call him, the child of my heart. The orphanage told us he was 'knotty' (naughty). We believed them when we heard that he lit a firecracker on the way to school, burned his hand and his eyebrow and spent a week in the hospital. That was in China.
Last Tuesday, we were at Ric's parents new house, helping them move in. It is out a little ways from town, not far from main roads, but surrounded by woods and fields. When one of the children told me that Jed was riding too far away on the bike, I sent word that he couldn't ride it anymore. He came in a little later, smiling as usual, and asked if he could ride the scooter. I said no. Awhile later the kids came in to say that he was walking beyond the area where I said they could play. I first sent the girls and then Dominic to call him to come back. I later, went out and called him myself. He did not respond to any of us although we could still see him. This behavior was a total first. Although he and Simon wandered away from us when we were walking in China, neither one of them has ever disobeyed a direct command. As we were about to eat dinner outside on the deck, I decided to let Jed stew a little and perhaps regret that we were having a great Chinese meal and he was pouting in the woods. I couldn't eat, however and eventually went out to find him. I knew he would be feeling guilty and worried about the depth of the trouble he might be in. I couldn't find him. Neither could anyone else. I called Jerry. After we all looked for an hour and it was beginning to get dark, Jerry called 911. The local police and fire department came with alot of people and a tracking dog. Jerry is a volunteer fireman so many friends of ours were there. In the midst of this kind of trauma, it is comforting to have such a show of support. Although, we still weren't sure if he was deliberately hiding or was genuinely lost, we were way past mad, and worried to tears. Our daredevil child, who couldn't speak English or even write down his phone number, missing in an area with woods, ponds, creeks, wild animals and occssionally homes with people who couldn't understand him.
God was Gracious. The couple who found himwent out to look near their home, about two miles from Ric's house. They said that they must have been directed by God, because Jed just looked like a piece of plastic laying in the leaves. They had driven past him once before the husband discerned the shape of a small person laying face down in the leaves near a small shed. They picked him up and took him to their home and called 911. The first report we got was that he was unresponsive and the ambulance was taking him to the hospital. When he arrived at the hospital we were assured that his vital signs were good in spite being unconscious. So good, in fact, that there was suspicion that he could be faking. No reaction to being hooked up to IVs and catheterized, laid that idea to rest. A chest xray and CT scan showed nothing. After 40 minutes or so he began to blink a little and his legs started twitching. The doctor decided to try an anti seizure drug to see what kind of response he had. He recovered very, very slowly, with much weeping, and hugging me and telling me he loved me and saying he wanted to go home. They put a phone with a Chinese translator on the line, to his ear, to ask him if anything hurt, did anyone hurt him. He said just his knee, from falling down.
Let me put an aside here to say how wonderful it is to live in a small town. I was too stressed to do anything but make a three sentence phone call to one of my daughters to ask for prayer. We had a crowd of people join us at the hospital, transport the other kids, pray with them, and communicate with our older kids, who were with us, saying that they were praying and asking if they could do anything. Thank you to all of you who did pray and are continuing to pray for Jed.
It has taken until today to unravel most of the mystery of what happened. Jed admits hearing his siblings call him back but ignoring them. He played for awhile in some kind of water (a pond?) and then went on. He won't admit to 'being lost' and says he doesn't remember falling down. When asked if this ever happened (the falling asleep part) in China, he says yes, more than once. Did it happen before you went to the orphange at age seven ? Yes. Ah, perhaps that explains why he was sent there. Did it ever happen in school. Yes. Were you taken to the hospital ? Yes. Did you have medicine ? Yes. Where is the medicine ? In China. This child's paperwork, says he is very healthy. Really, a child who has grand mal seizures ? (I am jumping the gun here, since we haven't yet seen a neurologist, but not much else leaves you unconscious for and hour). Why did they lie? Because, the reality is, 10 year old boys rarely get chosen for adoption , so what chance would a ten year old boy with epilepsy have? Who would choose him ? Certainly Not Me ! That would scare me to death. And yet , by God's Grace, he is here. The child of my heart. And , by God's Grace, knowing that He has taken what was bad (abandonment, illness) and intervened to bring good (family, medical care, the knowledge of God and the blessings of America), we will be okay. Not that I won't panic when I am responsible for his care during a seizure. Not that I am not stressed at what lies ahead. But believing that 'where He calls, He also enables' , I will choose to trust in His Grace.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We always tell our children that the greatest gift we can ever give them is each other. No one else will ever be able to understand what it was like to endure the trials and joys of having been raised by Jerry and I. Their siblings will be there to support them in times and in ways that we cannot. The gift of family is a treasure even if it sometimes just looks like an ordinary earthen vessel.
Simon and Jed couldn't be more opposite. Jed is smiley and outgoing and full of enthusiasm. He is the best at wii boxing. Even Everett can't beat him. Simon is shy and reserved and studies things carefully. He sometimes slips off in the evening and goes to bed while everyone else is still playing. When he saw how much turkey I put on his plate at dinner, he smiled as if he was opening a birthday surprise.
They seem wonderfully happy here. I believe one reason is that they have each other. I confess, I worried about bringing home two 'older boys'. Those worries seem pretty silly from this end. There is Alot of Chinese being spoken around here, since Dominic and Rosie recovered their mother tongue, and I do worry that I cannot be in control of what is being said. I heard of a mom who told her kids they couldn't speak Chinese anymore because they were obviously making fun of their siblings and all things American. I totally understand that. However, I would much prefer for them to be bilingual, even if it takes a little longer for them to acquire English. Even though the Chinese are all learning English as fast as they can, I am pretty sure that speaking Chinese will still be useful when the kids are older.

Here is the Jedi that Everett drew for Ric's Star Wars birthday party. We played 'pin the light saber on the jedi' with blindfolds. ......I am hoping that Ric's parents will start letting him spend more time with our family (he was here for a month over Christmas break but went home last week) since now we will be able to offer them a 'Chinese immersion program'. How strange is that?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thoughts after a week at HOME

Gee, but it's great to be back home......Home is where I wanna be.....I've been on the road so long, my .........uh, okay,sorry, no one wants to hear me sing.........But all that is true. The kids are all doing great and spend most of their time having Alot of fun. Although, we never heard Rosie and Dominic speak a word of Chinese to each other, they both can speak to Simon and Jed. When we brought R and D home, alot of the responsibility to 'show them the ropes' fell on Nellie's shoulders. This week, we have been delighted at the way Rosie has stepped up as the big sister and Chinese interpreter, to help Simon and Jed.

The best news of the week came while the kids were watching the new Superbook cartoon about Daniel. Rosie told me that Simon 'knows Jesus'. I wasn't totally surprised because he had seemed so happy at church, but I was totally surprised that he and Rosie talked about it. (I am beginning to think that quiet little Rosie might be more of a FORCE than I had previously realized - just like Katrina, a Type A anomaly in this otherwise laid back family).

I have completed 29 plane flights since God first sent us to China in 2006. Even the Xanax only took me from 'terrified' to 'nervously keeping an eye on the stewardesses'. If bravery really isn't 'the absence of fear' but rather 'doing what you have to do even though you are afraid', then God must be working on making me brave. But like patience, that isn't really a character quality I had been seeking :/ . I would be okay with never needing to be brave again.

Every time we have done an adoption, and more particularily, every time we have gone to China, we thought it was our last time. This time I am not making any predictions, although I have a lovely sense of being Finished at this moment. During the adoption process, the missing children are never far from your mind and heart. You think you can imagine what it will be like to have them there , but it is never the same as you imagine. Knowing that older children can have a hard time adjusting, there is always a nagging fear that this effort to make life better for two kids might totally ruin the lives of the ones already home. The children at home have each been praying for Simon and Jed every night for over a year. I believe those prayers prepared Nellie, Rosie, Dominic and Andy's hearts to be able to welcome them home with joy rather than jealousy. And at the moment, joy is here in abundance.

Partly because of jet lag, I feel like we haven't had much individual time with any of the kids this week, so it was nice that I had the chance to make a trip to Chapel Hill (a five hour drive) for Andy's doctor apppointments, with just Andy and Jed. We stayed in a hotel and shopped and ate at a few special places, which included Jed's first trip to McDonald's, complete with Happy Meal. Simon still has that in his future. One of Andy's doctors asked Jed in Chinese if he missed China and he, very clearly, told her that he Did Not.

Some time this week we will start school. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe not.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lifeline Group

Some of the lovely people we met on this trip - All of them ordinary people, just like us, who were led to this unlikely place at this appointed time.

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The Last Day in China

It was so much fun to watch Simon and Jed's reactions to the animals at the zoo today ! They chattered and pointed and made it obvious that they had never been to one before. It was finally relatively warm so a perfect day to stroll through, but cool enough that the animals were all very active. No one here seems to be worried about providing a natural environment for the animals , so they have no place to hide from the visitors, and can be seen much more closely than in any American zoos I have visited.

This afternoon we are packing. We will meet tonight with our group for pictures and put our baggage out for the porters at 6AM. We have a short first flight - about 2 hours- to Shanghai and then a 15 hour flight to Atlanta. We will be traveling for 25 hours, but because of the time change, will arrive only 13 hours after we leave. That boggles my mind. I think that means we get on the plane when you are having dinner Tuesday night and arrive Wednesday night. But for us it will be like leaving Wednesday morning and arriving in Atlanta Wednesday night, but living a 25 hour day in 12 hours.

The boys are ready. In fact, they have been in waiting mode, passing the time watching movies, for days now. We are so thankful for the prayers, encouragement, and support from everyone during this whole process, but especially during this trip. It has been a truly wonderful time for all of us. We have made new friends and met people we only knew in cyberspace. We have had more adventure than I thought my fearful heart was capable. I really, really hope that we get to support MANY of you when you make the decision to embark on a similar adventure!


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Monday, January 9, 2012

Photo Fatique

We have two boys who are Really tired of posing for pictures!  We went to the White Swan (the hotel we stayed in when we adopted Andy) today to do some shopping and take the traditional 'Red Couch Adoption Photo" - you can see the results, the third photo is in our hotel, on our way out to 7/11 to pick up lunch. The timing for this, is actually pretty good, since, not only
are we leaving soon, but as you might notice from the black spot at the bottom of the pictures, my camera is dying.
We left early this morning and had what we thought was a successful morning at the consulate, but just got a call saying that one of us has to go early tomorrow morning again, as a date was left off some paper we signed. I nominated Jerry, since I am allergic to early mornings.  When he returns we will go with our group to the zoo and then come back to pack.  It will be so worth facing the mountain of laundry at home to get to see everyone again!
Tonight we are having a 'Room Service and Star Wars' family night to introduce the boys to SW in preparation for Ric's birthday party..
Another God thing - when I was buying backpacks, clothes, toys, to bring to the boys, whenever possible I bought Simons in red and Jed's in blue. When we got the boys and the guide asked them their favorite colors, Simon said red and Jed said blue. Smile.  It's always good to remember God's hand of direction when things get hard, as of course, in a fallen world, they will.   

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Camila and Ric !

This morning our group was taken to shop at two large indoor market/malls. Each were 5 stories tall, one totally devoted to jewelry, primarily jade and pearls. Mothers adopting baby girls like to buy pearls to give on their daughters 16th birthday or their wedding day. Not my cup of tea (not that I
don't like jewlery, but gold and valueable gems are my preference). I still needed some clothes for the boys so we left the buildings and mingled with the hoards of people in surrounding neighborhoods, looking for a bargain (TOTALLY my cup of tea). I found the longsleeved tshirts I have been looking for and matching angry bird sweatshirts, so the boys will get a change of clothes tomorrow. I hate that most of their pictures on this trip are in boring green jackets!

Speaking of tomorrow - it is our day to go to the American consulate to raise our right hands and swear that we will be good parents to these boys. No pictures allowed, even of the outside of the building. At that point the official business will be done (except for a small glitch with Jed's paperwork form his province, which will be taken care of in the afternoon).

Tonight we ate dinner on a riverboat cruise of the Pearl River. We don't have any pictures of Simon looking at the camera because he was working on eating 12 chicken feet. EWW !

THanks to those who are praying - the hard greiving baby seems to be doing a bit better and her parents got a decent nights sleep so they are doing better, too! I know they would still love your prayers though, she still isn't eating much.

Please wish Camila and Ric Happy Birthday today!!!

Love, from China, Catherine ________________________________________________________________
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Saturday, January 7, 2012


This morning we went for the boys TB checks. Both were fine but our friends had a little scare when their daughters showed a reaction and necessitated an xray. After a few anxious moments, and her xray came back clear, happy tears were shed all around. (The USA does not allow non citizens with suspected TB to enter the country until they have completed many weeks of treatment and our children are not citizens until they step onto American soil. It is a classic Catch 22. Had her xray not been clear she would have had to remain in China, but since in Chinas eyes the adoption is final, she could not be taken back to the orphanage.)

While we shopped a little on the Island we saw some people playing badmitton (a fairly common sight) and decided to buy the boys a set. Jed lost the first shuttlecock up on a roof so Jerry took over his position and Simon got good at the game pretty quickly. A Chinese couple walked by and the man challeged Jerry to a few rounds, so he got to sweat a little today.

This afternoon I worked on Consulate paperwork (it is never ending!) and tonight we went to a Mongolian restaurant with our group. Today we added a single mom who traveled alone with her 7 year old to pick up her almost three year old. She will return home going west through Thailand and Gemany so will have traveled all the way around the world in two weeks, alone with
children. Yikes! She could probably use your prayers, as could another couple in our group who are first time parents and whose baby daughter is greiving hard and not even wanting to eat.

We highly recommend adopting 10/11 year olds !! They are a TON of fun!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

World Second Tallest Tower

We began today with a visit to the second tallest tower in the world. The tallest is in Dubai. The nice part about it is that the three other families in our group are great. In addition to the Thompsons, today we met a family adopting their third child, first girl and a couple who is in contention for the 'bravest people in the world' award. They are approaching 50ish doctors who are adopting their first children ! A baby girl and an 11 year old boy !! They changed their first diaper yesterday ! Do you think life might change a little for them?!! I sure wish they had a blog we could follow, but as it happens, they know Trish Enloe Patterson, our friend's Robert
and Rita's daughter. Small World. Simon had a little trouble with car sickness on the bus again today (glad I had a bag with me) so we went to a pharmacy and bought some car sick medecine. I won't give it to him unless gum and all else fails. We went to a huge bookstore this afternoon, which I
thought would thrill Simon but he couldn't pick out anything he wanted. I knew Jed wouldn't want anything, but he actually spent sometime looking through a book about animals, but said he didn't want it. I picked out a few things for them , including some tiny , cheap math books to do when we get home. There were hundreds of different 'learn to speak English" programs because Chinese parents all want their kids to speak English. Our boys will learn much more quickly with 'instant full immersion', although perhaps not so quickly as the others, because they have each other to speak to. BTW, See the boys sweaters? Chinese also love wearing clothes with English words on them. The sweaters say DON OT BLEACH HAND WASH....LOL....hope they don't mean it.

At dinner tonight, I drew a tic tac toe game - Jed was familiar with it, Simon was not. We were surrounded b waitresses asking questions again tonight - usually addressed to smiley Jed, even though he was mad at me for telling him not to tell me No when I tell him something. (It was 'put your jacket on', because I knew we were going to walk outside to dinner and he did not.) In situations with that kind of timing, I just imagine what he
might be saying, smile. Our guide said an adoptive mother of an 11 year old girl called her to translate a frequently heard comment from her daughter.. It was 'mom, you are crazy!' Ya know, if they are saying that, (as I'm sure mine might), I would just as soon not know. At the moment, Jed is watching
Cars2 and Simon is reading a Snoopy cartoon book I bought today. Jerry is watching soccer. They are all precious !

Loving this adventure , Catherine
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