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November in Shenyang
December 3, 2011

Dear Folks,

We always have much to be thankful for but November proved to be a particularly “blessed” month for us: first of all, for the second month in a row, we had visitors from the “outside world”! Our good friends that work in Hong Kong asked if they and a team could come and visit the orphanage and we were delighted to say a resounding “YES”! They came with fourteen folks from various parts of the US, bearing gifts, even! They played with all of the kids no matter their condition and managed to make them all smile, and in some cases, even giggle! Migyeong and I immediately felt that we had met life long friends that we would stay connected with forever! Really a nice feeling! It has turned out to be just as we thought as we have had emails from several of the team members already! They’ve even tried to bring me into the 21st century by suggesting DVD’s for me to go buy. It’s a little embarrassing to fail to have any recent ones to offer the boys when they come over to watch movies! I am afraid that I’m so out of touch that I don’t even know any recent titles since I’ve been here so long! It was “Toy Story III” last weekend and I think I might have gotten that one when MingGe and her Dad were here last July! Thanks to my new friends, I will have a current list the next time I make a run to the “pirated” DVD store!

Another fascinating event was the invitation for us to come to the US Consulate to meet the new US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke. He is as cute as his photos and super nice! He is very enthusiastic and I think he will be quite the asset for the US. He is intent on visiting all the consulates in China and finding out what he can do to help the folks that are living and working here. We invited him to visit the orphanage on a future visit and who knows? He might take us up on it! I played the “age” card and managed to get a photo alone with him! I’m going to print it and place it next to the photo of me and LiuXiang, the famous Chinese hurdler that I got last June in Oregon! Never too old to become a “groupie”, I guess!

While at the Consulate, we met a lady that is fostering a Chinese child with the intent to adopt and would love to add another in the hope that there might be a possible “two for the price of one” deal in the making. I immediately thought of ZhiLei and made a pitch to her about him. The next Saturday, her husband and the child they are fostering made a trip to the orphanage to meet ZhiLei and a definite connection was achieved! We’re hoping that the prospective Mom can visit soon and also meet him. This is a real “win-win” deal as ZhiLei LOVES new folks to play with and there is a possibility that these new playmates just might turn into new parents! Such a deal!

This is also the month when we start the birthday celebrations for our three school boys. “Sweet 16” is happening to Liang Liang (Nov), Lu Ping (Dec) and Yong En (Mar). We chose up sides and decided on Pizza Hut for the first celebration and we all ate until our sides stuck out! Don’t know where we’ll go eat next month for Lu Ping’s birthday but I’m sure it will be special!

There are no overt Thanksgiving photos because there was snow on the ground and, since it is not much of a holiday here, I was happy to spend it reading a good book (“Ike” by Michael Korda) with good home-cooking right in our apartment. We weren’t short on things to be thankful for, though! Even though we’ve had a couple of snows, the temperatures are hovering around freezing most of the time rather than in the minus digits as in past years. We are up to 29 kids to care for at the orphanage and they are all in good health (please pray that they remain so!). Our small group is doing well although the numbers ebb and flow depending on how busy they are. There will be a reunion of all we’ve met throughout the years at our annual Christmas party (photos next newsletter!). Wish you could be here!

We love and appreciate you all and truly appreciate your prayer and financial support for what we’re doing here. We wish you all the Merriest Christmas with Jesus at the center of it all!

Love, Migyeong and Elaine

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