Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Papers to Beijing

When the official acceptance paper came, we also got one of the original photos. It was fun to see the Chinese characters for Qiu Ju's name on the back.

I think of all of the kids, Adam is the most excited to get to China.

Madeline and Abby are certainly a close second though!

Lyle signing the paperwork.

We overnighted our papers to our agency in Spokane, and they were able to put them into the hands of a family flying to Beijing the next day. It's nice to know the ball is rolling. Now, we just need to wait for travel approval!

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Boy's BYU Trip

Lyle and Adam enjoyed a fun Memorial Day weekend at the Father/Son basketball camp at BYU. On Sunday, the group took a trip to Salt Lake where they got to see the new conference center.

Lyle had Mike Smith and Austin Ainge (Danny's son) in his group, which I'm sure was a tad intimidating.

They stayed at Lyle's old digs--Helaman Halls. Adam wasn't too impressed with the food at the Cannon Center.

Adam and Lyle at Temple Square.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

She Looks Just Like Us!

O.K., you may think we're nuts, but we really think little Qiu Ju looks as much like a Beck as a little Chinese baby can! She has the same full lips, same amount of hair, same high forehead, same bright eyes, same pale skin, same round head, same button nose. Do you guys see it, or is it just us?

A funny little story is that when I was pregnant with Abby, the kids were quite taken with a storybook called, "Chrysanthemum", about a little mouse who gets teased because of her long name. Adam and Madeline felt strongly that our baby needed a floral name. They wanted, of course, Chrysanthemum, but also really liked Blossom Sprout. We wound up using the name Rose as Abby's middle name because the kids were so set on a flower name. When Tony told us that Qiu Ju translated to Autumn Chrysanthemum we all just laughed. It couldn't be more perfect.

In honor of Qiu Ju, we all laid on my bed last night and read "Chrysanthemum". Everything just feels so right about this little girl joining our family.


Introducing Jin Qiu Ju

Born: September 2, 2005 in Guangxi province, China
Her first name, Qiu Ju, is pronounced choe (rhymes with "go"), and joo (rhymes with "shoe") Tony was kind enough to take a look at the Chinese characters in her name and the Qiu character means Autumn and the Ju means chrysanthemum--which the kids think is fabulous.
Soon to be: Maya Qiu Ju Beck
What a wonderful day it was when we saw this little girl's face! Our hearts just melted! We knew we wanted a pediatrician specializing in international adoption to look at her file before we made a decision, so we had to try our best to steel ourselves. When Lyle saw her picture he chanted, "All babies are cute. All babies are cute...."
We had our conference call with her pediatrician at the International Adoption Clinic in Seattle this morning and were reassured that this darling little girl is healthy and ready for a family. We told the kids right after they got up and got them on video as they saw their "mei mei's" picture for the first time. They are completely in love and itching to get to China.
Maya is nearly 9 months old and has lived in the Guiping City Orphanage since she was found at their front gate at one day old. She was given the last name of Jin, meaning gold, which is given to all children at the orphanage.
Maya has grown well and been very healthy at the orphanage. At her last appointment, at 6 months, she weighed 16.75 pounds--bigger than both of our other girls at 6 months (Adam was a 19 pound chunk)! Our pediatrician said she would be surprised if Qiu Ju's weight was accurate, but she does look well-proportioned and in good health.
The orphanage workers report that "She likes to smile very much. She laughs and laughs when teased. She is very obedient and she won't cry to affect adults' work. She likes to roll to the side of her bed to grab toys. Once she gets them, she will shake them to her friends as if she were telling her friends that I have toys! When she is hungry, she will roll all over, kick her bed, call 'Mom' clearly to draw attention. She is extroverted and active. She likes outdoor fun things. She likes to play all kinds of toys."
We just had more information faxed to us yesterday and learned that she likes to tear paper, knows her name, imitates sounds, has a ready smile, is attached to her caregiver, and (one of my favorites) is a deep sleeper! Goodness knows the Beck family could use one of those!
She sounds like a wonderful little baby and we can't wait to get to China! Unfortunately we have to wait for travel approval and visas. We will most likely travel in late August or early September--not soon enough! We have 2 other pictures (all taken at 6 months), but they are not scanning in very well. I'll see if I can get those on later. We are on cloud 9 and totally smitten!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Rose Trellis

Lyle completed a beautiful rose trellis for our front entry. It was a challenging project--not just to put together. Painting was an absolute beast! It's almost a shame to cover it with vines!

I should add that insane Lyle stayed up ALL night to finish the trellis! He finished at 10 AM, slept from 10-11, and then went to work from 12-8. Totally crazy.

I love the arch around the entry.

I planted an "autumn sunset" climbing rose on either side of the trellis. The plant on one side is still very tiny, but the other side has started to bloom. I LOVE this rose! The buds are the exact red color of our front door, but then they bloom apricot-colored and go through several stages of yellow. Supposedly they are perfect in our northwest climate, so hopefully they'll fill the trellis soon!

The trellis creates lots of neat shadows on the porch. With the weather getting hot, we've eaten dinner on the front porch every night. The swing has also gotten lots of use!

View from inside the house.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Lyle's First Marathon!

Lyle finished his first marathon! His goal was to run it in less than 4 hours, and he finished in 3 hours 45 minutes. He was able to run the majority of the race with his good friend from high school and college, Kevin Skinner. This was Kevin's first marathon too, and he also did great. A fun surprise for Lyle was that his former dental assistant, Kirsten Wildblood, drove down from Idaho to see Lyle finish the race. That was so nice of her, and Lyle was very appreciative. Lyle said mile 20-21 felt great, but 22-26 were very painful. He said he needs to heal awhile before thinking about doing a race like that again!

In this photo is Lyle, Kirsten, Kevin's mom Naomi, and Kevin

Lyle's sister, Julie finished a half-marathon! This was her first effort at such a long distance--quite an accomplishment!

Kevin had lots of family support for the race. Here he is with his mom, wife Katy, and SIX daughters! Wow, a lot has changed since college!

It was very convenient that new baby Tacy made her arrival while Lyle and Madeline were in Utah. Madeline said she is SOO cute and Lyle called her a sweet little thing. Congratulations to Jean and Jon!

Lyle needs a project at all times--home or elsewhere. He and Dave made this wood box/window seat to store wood for his smoker.

Dave out smokin' in the garage. Lyle said they had some great beef brisket and pork loin.

Madeline took photos of her cousins. She found Matt to be very serene and contemplative.

Woody is getting some love from Kate because he sure wasn't getting any from Lyle! I don't think Woody will miss him! (Correction: Woody will indeed miss me tremendously. I'm sure he enjoyed the deep guttural reprimands immensely. I've never seen a dog get a tennis ball that far back in his throat without any ill-effects.)

Lovely Syd before church