the first 3 letters are… “DTC”!! {5k+1}

We finally did it friends!!! We first saw our little girl’s face on Dec. 22, 2012. We asked China to match us with her file on March 18, 2013 & now we have gotten more than half way to bringing her home…

For those of you NOT in the International Adoption world… “DTC” stands for Dossier to China! It means that we have officially ‘turned in’ all of our ‘homework’ (documents) to the Chinese government folks that will complete our adoption approval!! It’s taken forever to get this far, many documents, homestudy papers & Dr. visits… not to mention all the postage & weirdness caused by us being in Hong Kong right now! Even though it seems like this has been the big goal for over a year, it’s really just the FIRST STEP in a long list of things (& letters) that need to get checked off before we get the big “TA” – Travel Approval to go get our AnnaBelle! And the FINAL LETTERS will be “CA” – Consulate Appointment… the date we finalize all her travel papers to enter the US as a new daughter/citizen!

So… the first three letters that get us to our sweet girl (& the sweetest letters I have heard – so far…) are indeed –

DTC AJK sml

I’d love to stay & write more – so many awesome & crazy busy things are happening in our lives that I haven’t had time to share with you yet… But alas, no rest for the Kwongs, must pack our bags!!! THEN we can rest… in Thailand next week! We’re heading out tomorrow for some meetings next week & then a few days of medical appointments. We’re very broken up about leaving the cold, crisp jacket/scarf weather of Hong Kong & having to wear shorts on the beaches for a week… crying non stop over it really. Can’t you tell?!

Anyway, in case you were wondering what all is next for the adoption – this graphic ought to make it all just as clear as mud for you. From what we (or anyone else) can guess (bc it’s ALL a guess with this thing) – we should be given Travel Approval (TA) to bring AnnaBelle home sometime in April, meaning we will probably actually have her in May. Praying it goes a little faster because we’d really love to be with her for her 5th birthday on May 1st! {We’ve just completed step #7 & now are waiting for step #8 to happen… I think we have some ‘mini steps’ in between that aren’t listed too.}

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Please continue to pray that Father directs us to His perfect provision for our final funds… He’s provided over 75% so far – we only need the last $9,000 that we will take when we travel. (For all the government/orphanage/guide fees.) {You can help!}

-JK

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sit still Mom… just rest

Sometimes I forget to stop & breathe for a while… Do you ever do that? Just run & run until you crash??

Today, I had no choice but to sit still for a bit. All three of our boys are in a Christmas musical this year. I have been sitting here watching, praying & reflecting for almost 5 hours while they rehearse. Ahhh, such a nice break in routine… so why am I still worried about all the things not getting done while I just sit here??? Sigh… praying for all of us busy Mamas that find it hard to rest!!

“Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.” -Mark 6:31

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10

While I’m waiting for the guys to finish up, let me share some pics with you from our adventures this week…

Mark took Mr. Cheng, one of our friends living a sub-divided flat, to see his new public housing flat. Afterwards they stopped in to visit Mr. Miu who has already moved in to a flat exactly the same… to get an idea of how it will look/feel with furniture. Here’s the pics. (Story/pics about Mr. Miu’s moving day.)

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Mark took the guys to lunch after.

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Another one of our English students completed the first book we gave her… & came back for another one during class this morning!!

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Pretty cakes in the bakery window.

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Musical practice today. 🙂

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Finally done w rehearsal… grabbed some veggies at the street market, now heading home on the train… rest time over! Until next time, praying you get a break today too!

-JK

to Market we go… every 2 days!

I’ve been pretty sick with a sinus cold this week. I have plenty to say, but not enough brain power to put it into clear sentences for you… Not much to update on the adoption stuff. (We went to do our final fingerprint cards for the immigration papers today – tomorrow we will mail those in & wait another month or so for the next step.) That’s pretty much it, & now I’m bored, since I’ve been in bed or on the couch for two days.

So I guess it’s as good a time as any to upload all these beautiful pictures of our colorful markets here in HK. We go to the market almost every 2 days, due to the SMALL fridge space, high humidity & lovely FRESH foods. I’ve only been promising to share these for over 3 months… so here they are. This is mostly the fruits/veggies. I need to take more pics of the meat/fish… (I also plan to add a post with various market videos soon… ) I just love shopping here, relatively affordable fresh foods too! It has definitely helped me enjoy cooking & eating, having so many fresh & tasty choices! (Check out our other ‘What’s Cooking’ posts.) Please enjoy a walk through our markets!!!

 

-JK

this N that… expats in HK

Just a few tid-bits & observations of life as an expat in HK…

Happy to see that many younger HK fathers are playing a bigger role in care taking… some need more practice with their ‘football hold’ technique. Need some Americans to teach this one!
#dontdroptheball #baby #fumble

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Literally, 3m after leaving our flat… Dad: “How many times do I need to tell you guys NOT to make a scene?!” Ummm… #rhetorical ???
#AmericansinHK #my3sons #loud

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“Everywhere we go, people want to know… who we are & where we come from.” – Not really. They can tell. 😛
#sorrybabe #marriageisfun

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OK, just to be clear… you took your 2 ankle biters for a walk in their stroller… then let them actually walk… so now one trails behind & weaves under MY feet, & u carry the other??? Still not sure why u need/brought the doggy stroller… -_-

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I love these colorful buildings… if u look near the bottom, you see the support pilings that go deep under every skyscraper here. The early morning pounding of these at nearby construction sites is not a fun wake up call! The pilings are visible BC, due to lack of flat land in HK, these towers are all halfway up a steep hill. So half the building is on the hill & the other half… not. Like a beach house on stilts, only 60-80 floors higher! It might look a bit sketchy, but we’ve seen no damage through the last 2 hurricane seasons! Mark says, “Only half the supports are visible, they go twice that deep. They’ve been building on hills for decades, it’s perfectly safe.”

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On a lunch/errands date w/ Mark… HK is a city of many extremes. This is “Somewhere between have & have-not.”

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*whew* Finished our greenhouses while reading about John Smith’s adventures as a mercenary soldier in France ©1596. Now time for a little badminton at the park while mom makes dinner!
#homeschool #history #science #PE

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Kids: Look Mom! We got you flowers!
Mom: Quick! Put it back before security comes!
#HKlife

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That’s it for today… but I’ll leave you with a bit of encouragement:

Life as an expat, as a Christian, as anybody… can get overwhelming pretty quick. But just when we feel discouraged, HE always brings forth His light & shows us the next step! I’m feeling encouraged, just enough to make it one more week… & hopeful that HE will deposit new strength/courage in me for the next week! I promise He will do the same for you…

When you feel like there’s a target on your back & the enemy is following your every move… keep going! The devil always chases those shining LIGHT on his evil plans. But don’t be afraid – when God sends you out,  HE’s got your back!

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-JK