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July 12, 2012

Dear Folks,

As is becoming far too usual, the first order of business is an apology from me for the length of time since my last correspondence with you! Migyeong and I arrived in the States the end of March and while she was back in Shenyang by the end of April, I didn’t get back until June 18. It was a VERY eventful time and I will hit some of the highlights a little later. The real delaying factor in writing a newsletter has been my health which has been a little less than my usual robust state! The causes have not been easy to determine, partially because I refuse to undergo any invasive or uncomfortable diagnostic procedures when what I am willing to do in response to the outcome is very limited! No colonoscopies or endoscopies for me! I just keep taking Immodium for the short term and will continue to seek other solutions for the long run, no pun intended!

By far, the highlight of our trip to the States was the “First Annual Orphan Reunion” that was held in Orlando/Disney the middle of April for a whole week! MingGe’s folks (Maine) provided a huge seven bedroom, five bath house with a swimming pool in the back yard as a place for their family and the families of WenXi (Kansas) and JiaHao (North Carolina) as well as Migyeong and me to congregate and become one big family! The three formerly Chinese kids were all old friends from their time together at the orphanage with their Korean Mama BUT their new American families didn’t know each other very well except in the case of John Daley and Leann Funk who had crossed paths at the orphanage. Nothing can solve a lack like that like a week together having fun and doing stuff together like a family!

I guess that Migyeong and I were the next to arrive after the Daleys! Leann didn’t want WenXi to miss TOO much school so they came Wednesday with the Moyers arriving the same evening by car. I probably won’t be successful in sharing all the dynamics that were exhibited by this group but I will try. First of all, the Daley’s son, Jack and his friend, Colin turned out to be the consummate BIG BROTHERS to the little guys, WenXi, Marky and JiaHao. When a sorta scarey ride was contemplated, they were the ones that the little guys wanted as their companions and body guards! It was so cute! It was just like they were the REAL big brothers to MingGe, Marky, JiaHao and WenXi while being the perfect gentlemen and buddies to the “older” folks, especially me, at the same time! It seemed to me that this was a golden week during which the absolute best was drawn out of everyone! Guess you almost had to be there to really understand, but, I got the distinct feeling that I was a part of something very special and still do!

The Moyers have a real connection with Disney in Orlando since Brett and Julia have both lived and been employed there: Julia when a recent high school graduate as Minnie, herself! They kindly included Migyeong and me as part of their family group so we slide in on their daily tickets! A minor miracle occurred during our first morning at the Magic Kingdom when out of the huge crowd, we spied Nora and Edwin from Atlanta, who had visited the orphanage earlier with a team from Hong Kong! Can you imagine running into folks in a crush like that when no particular arrangements had been made to meet at a specific place or time? Gotta be God! We enjoyed each other’s company through lunch and then got on with our various agendas!

I would ask you to continue to remember these families as they get on with their busy lives. JiaHao had undergone TWO successful hip replacements since January, 2012 but was, thankfully, able to join in the fun with the rest of the crew. Hopefully, he will continue to progress in all ways and be a different kid next time we see him while retaining all of his preciousness as our little “elf”. A superior attitude is his strong suit!

MingGe faces surgery eventually to correct a lack of boney structure that puts her right eye in jeopardy because of lack of proper support. Previous attempts have been thwarted because of infection that has undone work previously done. We humbly ask for NO MORE infection and total success this time. You can tell how beautiful she is already (smart, too) so now she needs just a little more to be totally sound as well!

WenXi needs intervention to correct severe scoliosis. He is getting rods in his back sometime this summer and he, too, needs to be protected from any infections that might occur. He and Leann will be travelling during this time as his doctors are not in his home town. I think we can also ask for patience, peace and joy for them along with Leann’s parents who they share their lives with!

Migeong and I also want to thank all the other friends we met while we were in the States and express our regrets to the ones we missed this trip. You all enrich our lives in so many ways! Where would we be without you?!

Shortly after Migyeong returned to Shenyang, she was thrilled to welcome Alice, a recently retired Occupational Therapist from Michigan who had been a valued visitor and a good friend all these years (since 2001, I think). She will be with us for two years and is currently dividing her time between helping the kids at the orphanage and studying Mandarin! More about Alice and her exploits here in future newsletters! Welcome Alice!

Please continue to pray for the perfect family for ZhiLei, our little cutey who isn’t getting any younger but still waiting patiently or maybe not so patiently! We know that the best is yet to come for him!

For all of you we pray for the peace and joy from above to surround you and yours ‘til we meet again!

Migyeong and Elaine

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