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December in Shenyang

Dear Folks,

December is always a wild month here what with our various kid populations, the unpredictable weather and all of the other “goings on” of the “SEASON”!  

The weather kept us hopping with several snowfalls and the coldest temps in 60 years!  Can you imagine -20F?  Seemed like a good day to stay in the house to me, so that’s exactly what I did!  I seem to recall that Migyeong went to the orphanage as usual!  What a trooper!  I DID venture out the other night for the Foreign Affairs banquet during which it dumped quite a bit of the white stuff.  Since we were already out, there was nothing to be done but drive back home, VERY SLOWLY so as to avoid any mishaps on the slick streets!  I’ve actually gotten quite good at driving on the stuff over the years but I try to choose my timing when 1.3 billion Chinese might not ALL be out driving, too!

We spent Christmas Day with me driving to the orphanage to spend time with the little kids, for starters.  They all had some goodies and JiaHao has a special parcel from his folks-to-be that, among other things, contained some “stickers” that he shared with his pal, ZhiLei!  There had been several other groups of visitors during that week from the International Ladies and the ever popular students from the local Teacher’s College that is relatively nearby the orphanage.  I even spent some time with a delightful student from India that is a fan of Don Williams (imagine us vocalizing to “Good Old Boys Like Me”)!  The little kids all enjoy the visitors so much and it is easy to see that the hearts of the visitors are made glad, too!

Next, we visited the “youth” in their building.  They, too, in some cases had received special packages from their friends in the States so we HAD to deliver them, right?  It was SO good to see them all again.  They seem to have adjusted to their new situation very well, better than WE have adjusted, I think.  After seeing them and sharing some goodies with them all and the special gifts from their foreign friends with those lucky enough to have them, I moved across the property to the Adult facility where two of the older guys had gone shortly after the “move” last March.  There, I found XiaoPing and CaoWu, two of my favorites!  XiaoPing still has the harmonica sent to him by his friend in Tulsa, hidden inside his bedding.  Both of the guys live in neat dorm-type rooms with several other guys. I guess if you have any “valuables”, you stash them wherever you can: in your comforter!  I will try to visit both of these guys more often in 2011 as I don’t think that there are many visitors to that building. 

The three school boys (LuPing, LiangLiang and DaPing aka YongEn or Sam) have had a busy month, too.  Besides their school activities, they participated in a special meeting to celebrate Handicapped Day in China.  They also were involved in special Christmas Eve activities at their church!  In between all of that, they have also spent some time at “MaMa” Migyeong’s house, playing on the computer, watching movies and enjoying home-cooked meals!  I have enlisted their help, especially LuPing, a fellow dog lover, to help me give some attention to a golden retriever that lives outside of an apartment located between our two places.  I discovered him last summer and diagnosed him as “depressed” when he wouldn’t even try to wag his tail (the pooch, not LuPing)!  We’ve decided to call him “Kenny” and LuPing is doing a great job in providing company for him on his way between apartments!  I get down to see Kenny when I can but the weather has been SO cold lately that it ain’t easy to force me out of my warm den!

Our Wednesday night “get together” has really been fun and very active lately.  It seems that new people show up almost every week along with our old favorites!  We had our annual Christmas party on a recent Saturday evening so that most of the folks didn’t have to go to work the next day.  Of course, that didn’t include our friends in the “night market” who work EVERY day!  They are tough birds, though, and were the life of the party and the last to leave!  This party just happened to coincide with Sam’s (DaPing) birthday and so all of the visitors joined us in celebrating that happy occasion! 

Our BEST Christmas present was the gift of three new sisters!  An old friend, a young Chinese woman, who has been fighting a dread disease for several years asked for “special thoughts” and through this time, not only she but her Mom and Grandma have decided to believe!  They visited a couple of days ago, along with our friend’s pooch, Emma, and went away with enough Good Books to go around and even more warm feelings to tide them over until we meet again.  We would appreciate YOUR special thoughts for Cindy and her family, too. 

2010 has been another memorable year for us and the orphans and Chinese friends that we love. It is because of your love for these folks (and us) that we are able to do whatever has been done!  We sincerely love and appreciate all of you and your prayers and financial gifts that keep us going!  I have been encouraged also by your emails and other communications this year!  Please keep your “cards and letters” coming!  I also enjoy the phone calls!  I realize that the time difference is daunting (for me, too) but just “DO IT”!  

Migyeong and I wish all of you the BEST of His blessings in 2011! 

Love, Elaine and Migyeong




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