Yun Wei

Yun Wei
Since we can't take all of you with us...we are sharing our journey through this blog:)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Now Two Weeks Home

Well, the past two weeks seem like an eternity in some aspects, and in other ways it feels like the blink of an eye. There is so much I could write about- that it is actually hard to start. You will have to forgive me because I will most probably ramble;) The twins are down for the night, Ansley is watching TV, and the big kids are down in the basement playing Nerf guns with Don. I can hear the laughter two floors up as I sit here in my bed and it is like sweet music to my soul.

I guess we will start with the doctor's visits. We went back to the pediatric nephrologist last Friday. He had to have an ultrasound and they ordered genetic testing to be done so that they could truly confirm the Alport's diagnosis. We also had to do a 24-hour urine sample for the doc and between that and his bloodwork we DID confirm that he had a definite kidney condition--one that needed meds--there was no doubt about that. They also found his cholesterol level to be extremely high. 501 to be exact. So on top of the fact that this little guy has to limit the sodium--we also have to get his cholesterol level down this month or he will be put on cholesterol meds. It is kind of funny that I spent this entire fall learning new gourmet recipes to cook for the family and NONE of them are low in sodium or cholesterol;) What the Jenkins family is finding out is that if one of us has to change our diet---we all change our diet! But on the bright side--Don and I could stand to cut back on those things ourselves and we might lose some of the weight we packed on this fall from the gourmet Unfortunately for Yun Wei---who LOVES a hard-boiled egg--he has had to give them up. We did buy egg whites and scramble them for him as a treat every so often. But basically we eat baked chicken, some veggies, and cholesterol free noodles pretty much every night. At least until I can research some more and find some good recipes that are both low in sodium and cholesterol. (If you know of any---shoot me an email;) We have been blessed with several meals from our Sunday school class and I think everyone was thankful on those nights to have a change-up in the menu!

His teeth have been a pretty big concern to both Don and I since China. He has so much visible decay and even began to complain a little about his mouth. We took him to the pediatric dentist this past Wednesday and he immediately referred us to an oral surgeon. We will go to the oral surgeon next Tuesday. He basically has four teeth that are in such poor condition they need to be pulled. Seven others that need fillings. And a growth under the gum that needs to be biopsied by the oral surgeon. NOT FUN!!!! Yun Wei was EXTREMELY good at the dentist--I was very proud of him. He is a tough little guy who has literally spent hours upon hours in doctor's offices since we have been home. He did cry a little one of those days. He had six shots in the arm, though and I think that is enough to make anyone cry. He decided to let me hold him for a little while after that!

He has had a couple of outbursts since we have been home and I have learned to just pray that God will give our family what it needs for THAT DAY! I cannot think past the day I am on. That is a new concept for me, but it is one that is keeping me coming to the Lord daily-sometimes moment by moment for guidance, discernment, wisdom, joy.... I have been more blessed by God's Word in these two weeks and feel his Spirit so immensely right now. He is changing Yun Wei, changing me, changing Chloe and Donovan and Don. Molding us all for his purpose-to be the salt for each other and for Yun Wei. It is funny because during the months we were getting our adoption paperwork underway and preparing for travel, God would speak to me occasionally about Yun Wei. It would be in the form of a scripture and I would date beside it and jot a quick note about what I felt God was revealing to me. It would not happen all the time--sometimes it would be months before I would feel like God was giving me another scripture in regard to Yun Wei. But they were like precious promises to me and I cherished them. So when we got to China and everything seemed so difficult and we were dealing with so much anger coming from him, I kept going back to the scriptures that God had laid on my heart about Yun Wei. Several things jumped out at me as I looked through all of them. The first was that God promised to bring Yun Wei into our family. Which was a huge miracle from God because, frankly the money was not there. (Sometime I will write a blog entry on just the way God provided for the financial aspects of this adoption---maybe it will encourage one of you who might be feeling a heart for adoption but simply think the money is overwhelming) The second thing that stuck out to me in all of those scriptures was a promise of Yun Wei's salvation. The last thing that REALLY stuck out was what he DID NOT promise in all of the scriptures I had cherished over the months. God NEVER promised me this would be easy! NEVER! I double and triple-checked those scriptures just to be sure I had not missed it;)

So once I accepted that this process was going to take some serious humbling before the Lord and a willingness to change my parenting and my typical day at home--my state of mind got better. Because we can get through the hard stuff when we lean on God. We started homeschooling this week---WE MADE IT THROUGH THE WHOLE WEEK, YAY! And it was actually pretty smooth. I made a picture schedule for Yun Wei. That way when he gets up--he knows what his day will look like. And that has seemed to make a world of difference. It has required me to be much more organized and structured than my personality would have it---but it is so worth it! He had become really obsessed with the Wii--I think it was because he could zone out and not think about all the change. Also you don't have to know English to play the Wii; But obviously we can't play that all day. So we have limited it to about an hour and a half. Still a lot by my standards, but I compromised a little. He starts his day with the Wii (3o min.). When the timer goes off--it is time for breakfast. It cracks me up because he knows we bow our heads and say words with our eyes closed (I don't know if he is realizes it is praying because I doubt he has ever seen a person pray), but he will tattle on Donovan for opening his eyes during Which of course means he is not closing his eyes---I wonder what he thinks we are doing. I cannot wait to share the Gospel with him.
So after breakfast we do some workbook and picture word flashcard drills for about 45-minutes, then we do computer time, then legos, then puzzle races, then PBS educational TV time (aka--school time with the other kids;), lunch, and then we cycle back through. If it is warm enough I make the big kids go out and play and I will sit with the little ones on the back deck and read my Bible. I LOVE THOSE TIMES!!!

I would say he has about 20 words that he can speak at this point and I would say he understands maybe 30. We still get out the google translate a lot to explain things to him if we can't get it explained with gestures;)

So as far as prayers---just keep praying that God would continue to work on softening Yun Wei's heart. He is playing so much better with the kids and his anger is becoming more controlled. He carries a bit of a grudge and it is hard for him to let go of his anger, but we have seen much progress and we know that is through prayer---consistent, daily, totally dependent on God-- prayer. I still struggle with riding the emotional rollercoaster with him. When he is happy--I feel so happy, but when he is mad--it really affects me. So pray that God would help be not ride those emotional waves with him. I do look back on these two weeks with joy and peace. I could not do that without God. I ask that you continue to lift Yun Wei up in your prayers as well as all of us!

Thank you so much for your sweet prayers!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Settling In:)

Well, this is our second day home and we have witnessed a miracle over the past week and a half. Yun Wei is very relaxed at home and we are seeing less and less stubborn and more happy! We took him to the pediatric nephrologist yesterday and he was very brave. They took about five vials of blood (a lot for such a little guy) and he didn't even flinch. I have a feeling, with his condition he is quite used to this kind of stuff:( As soon as he saw the blood pressure cuff he was rolling up his sleeve! We used the translator app on my Iphone to tell him we would go to Toy's R Us and buy him a Nerf Dart gun after the appt. That probably helped too;)

The nephrologist basically did not have enough info from the medical records we have to really know how to continue his treatment and medication, so that is why he requested the bloodwork. We will also have to give him a 24-hour urine collection and next week he will have to do an ultrasound as well. At that point, he will have a base line for Yun Wei's condition and we can make sure that he is not taking unnecessary medication. At least six of the pills he takes each day were in question.

So after the doc office, we went and got some dart guns. We got one for each of the big kids and of course--one for Don. Yun Wei was very proud--on the ride home we let him take his out of the bag and hold it. When we got out of the car he ran to the front door to show everyone. They have spent several hours in the basement playing with the Nerf guns. The kids team up against Don and I need to video it because Yun Wei giggles the whole time.

He is very sweet to the babies, but they aren't really sure about him yet;) They kind of frown at him a little, but he just smiles and seems patient. Ansley has opened up a little with him---she gave him a hug good night and says his name.

He really likes Bartley (our family dog), which is good because when we were in China he said he did not like dogs. In retrospect, I think he had just not had a chance to be around many. Today, Bartley was curled up on his lap watching a movie.

I slept on the floor of Donovan and Yun Wei's room the first night, because I was a little nervous about being all the way upstairs. But he seemed fine last night and every day seems to be more normal. Also, now that there aren't options for food--he is beginning to try something beyond noodles-which is good because right now I could never see another noodle in my life and be okay with that;)

Please continue to pray for his adjustment---God has brought him so far in just a week! We are soooo happy to be home and he seems so much happier as well. He is still very strong-willed, but he letting go of his anger so much faster now! Also he had been calling Don, "Poppa"--which is what the orphanage teaches them to say I guess. We did not correct it, but just figured with time he would realize his brother and sisters were saying "Daddy". Today, he started saying "Daddy"!

It will be lots harder to blog now because with six kids, there is always one that is getting into something lol-I probably will try once a week just so everyone that is praying will know how to continue.

Again, thank you for all for your encouragement and prayer---they have and DO mean so much to Don and I.

God Bless all of you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Change in the Air Today:)

Today we had a change happen in Yun Wei. I know there have been some serious prayers being said for Yun Wei this entire trip, but I FELT them today. And Yun Wei did too. At some point --it was like he stopped fighting this. And it changed his whole demeanor. Throughout most of this trip, his body has held so much tension (I don't know how to explain it any better than that) and you could sense it any time you were near him. He was like a storm brewing all the time and you didn't know when it was going to start or end. And all of the sudden...the clouds rolled back and the sun decided to shine for him. And he was asking me for piggy-back rides and looking to me for reassurance and holding my hand for much longer than he had to as we were walking. He had a couple of instances where he got upset, but it was fleeting---he was willing to let it go! And it was truly like finding an oasis of hope after days in the desert.

God is so good---I think there are so many things we are all going to learn in this. I know this will take time and this is just a stepping stone to where God is leading Yun Wei and this family. I also know that this healing process is forcing me to depend on God in a way that will forever change me. Because I can try to fix this on my own--which is NOT going to work--or I can be honest and humble before all of you and God by acknowledging this is SO beyond my strength or Don's. This will take ongoing prayer---seeking God and coming together with all of you in united prayer for our family. It is going to be painful (so far it has been one of the hardest things I have gone through) but God is so faithful and good. He is the calm in the storm...and he calms the storm!!!

God also puts people in your path at just the right time and he gave us this wonderful family that has been quite a blessing to us this week. We have spent much time with them -they are also believers and it has been so awesome to pray with them at meals and share our experience with them. This is their fourth adoption and they have helped us to put many of Yun Wei's struggles in perspective. God knew we would need them!

Please keep him in your prayers. They make such a difference and know that every comment that I read is a sweet blessing to me. I read them all and really cherish them.

PS-We forgot our camera today so no pics:( But the other family got some great ones of Yun Wei that they are supposed to email me today!

Romans 4:20-"No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God; fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chloe's Take on It

Chloe decided to write this blog------

China has been a great experience. And Yun Wei has been an even bigger one. He averages at least two outbursts a day. These include ignoring, crying, and silence. Sometimes I can't help but laughing a little. I never knew a kid who laughed so much could get so angry! But when he decides to be happy, he really is happy!

The Chinese food has been all right. I don't love it, but I can eat it. Tonight we
ate the worst Chinese food. We had goose, tofu, noodles, fried rice, ribs, broccoli, and pineapple buns. Yun Wei had a fit tonight. He was perfectly happy until I spilled some of his drink. He looked at me and rolled his eyes. Sarah(our guide) asked him why he was upset. She offered to let him move his seat so the drink wouldn't bother him. Nothing. He just sat there-motionless and crying angry tears. Over a spill!!!! He is fine and laughing now but when he pouts-he pouts.

But we have lots of fun too. I was playing with our translator today. I had written so many things I didn't know what to say. I looked at Yun Wei's socks. Then I typed in "Your feet are stinky". When the translator said it, he burst out laughing! At some point tonight Yun Wei pushed the assistance button in the bathroom. Security came and busted him!

We met a family that has four adopted girls-they are 13, 13, 12, and 9 I think. I have had lots of fun with them. There is also a baby and she is really cute.

We have had to keep Yun Wei in our prayers and be really patient with him. He is having a rough time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Okay, so we are now in Guangzhou and Yun Wei had to have his medical exam. I just found out this afternoon that when the doctor asked him how old he was, he replied that he was ten;) The guide asked him again while we were shopping in the Chinese market and he is still sticking to that age...LOL. They estimated him to be seven, but I really would not be surprised if he was on the younger end of six. He has no vaccination record because of the Alport's Syndrome---he did get a TB skin test done today and was pretty tough about it.

Yun Wei has still been a little fire ball of emotions and he has taken his momma on the ride with him! I thank God that all four of us were able to go because it has taken all of our concerted efforts to get through these days. Chloe and Donovan have been a blessing --I do not know how it would have gone had they not been here. Today we went to a park and the three of them ran around playing tag and laughing up a storm! I cherish those moments--when they are all playing and I can see all the wonderful qualities God has gifted Yun Wei with. I try not to relax too much though, because his emotions are truly like a roller-coaster ride and it might not be long before he is upset again. And it wasn't......about ten minutes after he was playing and having a great time in the park, Donovan accidentally took a drink from his Sunkist....BIG MISTAKE...all of the sudden we took about twenty steps back. In retrospect, it is sort of comical, but right at that moment it was huge. He yelled a little, tossed his bottle on the ground and really just pitched himself a good ol' fit. And there was nothing that we could do to make it better--not even the purchase of a new drink. We are learning that we just have to be consistently calm in our response--but address the wrong behavior as well. I am so thankful for Don because he is MUCH better at this than me.

I have chosen to pray my way through this trip. I am talking flat on my face in the bathroom floor seeking God's wisdom! I have cherished God's Word in these days and have poured over the Scriptures. It is what truly grounds me--what a wonderful gift we have in God's Word. I am discovering it can be hard to sort through all that Yun Wei is feeling--to determine what is normal or to be expected and how to respond.

Right now--they are running around the hotel room with their newly purchased dart guns and back to laughing up a storm. He has such a hearty laugh...I love to hear it. I am so proud of him for being brave--it has to be scary for him. I am proud of Chloe and Donovan for having such a servant's heart this week. I love that Don can help us all laugh about some of the tantrums. (He took a couple of pics of Yun Wei's pouty face and said he'd tease him about the fit he pitched over a Sunkist in a couple of years...;)

We took him to a store after he agreed to stop We let him pick out some snacks and a backpack. He is so proud of his backpack! It has some popular Chinese character on it---a little lamb. He walked with it on his back all the way to the hotel. It had stuff in it and I kept worrying that it was too heavy for him. I could actually see that it was making red marks on his shoulders. But he wanted to carry it--so I let him.

He tried a Skittle today! That is the first time we have been able to get him to try candy. I know--it is pretty sad that we are trying to force him to eat candy;) We let each kid get some snacks at the market. He brought us this bag of chicken was hard, but we got it for him. We made him laugh because we acted like we were throwing up while he was eating it;) This is a pic of him chowing down on it-as you can see, he loved it!

I am also learning to take joy in the little things. Like when he asks to hold my hand, or he notices that I don't have my drink and he brings me one. Or when he says momma! If I am looking for big tokens of affection--I will be sadly disappointed. I have to cherish the small stuff for now and know that God is working on Yun Wei and me.

Please keep us in your prayers--we truly need people praying for Yun Wei. Specifically for Yun Wei's outbursts to be less and less and his contentment to be more and more. Pray for us all to enjoy each other through this transition period and that God would give us wisdom in how we address behavior as it comes up.

We love you all!

Philippians 4:6-7 "The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bumpy Patch in the Road

The last 24 hours have been somewhat of a trial for all of us. Yun Wei is really beginning to struggle with all of the change and I don't know how to help him except to pray and patiently be there for him. He will go from very happy and playful with the kids to somber and refusing to even acknowledge us. The very human part of me wants to help him in a way that will immediately "fix" it and make him happy---but there is nothing short of prayer, time, and consistently being there for him that will make this better. There is no quick fix...and that makes me want to cry.

We visited the orphanage this morning and it had been a rough night so I really was preparing myself for lots of tears and shut down at the orphanage. I almost did not want to go bc I thought it would just be too painful. We walked in and the caretakers were very sweet. It was a cheerfully decorated, but very cold (they don't have heating in most parts of the building) and fairly run down. There were about 7 caretakers that I actually got to meet. His bed was one of about thirty--all exactly the same. I expected to be introduced to some of his close friends, and while they did pull some kids in --he did not really say anything to any of them. We then walked to his classroom. There were five children in a small room with two teachers. It is a special needs class. He was not allowed to go to the public school bc of his swelling and so he is about a year behind. One of his classmates used a walker to get around and had the biggest smile on his face every time anyone acknowledged him. Again, he really did not interact a whole lot with the kids there...when he did begin to run around and play while we were was with Donovan.

Again, everyone was very nice, but I began to realize that he had no particular caregiver that he was close to. They were just caregivers---one of many. They were nice--but they worked in shifts---it was a job. For those of you that don't know Yun Wei's background-he was left at a train station at four. He has memory of being left. They gave me the newspaper ad they placed when they found him. It was a general ad trying to find his parents. His picture is in it and his face and eyelids are so swollen from the Alports Syndrome it is painful to look at. I know somewhere down the road he will begin to share those painful memories...but for now he is just struggling with the concept of our family. Being a part of a family. That we aren't just more caregivers. And that Chloe and Donovan are his brother and sister--not just friends from the orphanage. We are permanent...we are here to stay. It is almost overload for me so I can just imagine how that plays out in a seven-year-old who can remember being left at a train station and who has had many caregivers, but no mom or dad all these years.

And so this is the struggle, the war within him. To trust or not to invest his heart or even begin to wrap his mind around the changes is just too much at times.

So with that in mind, today at lunch we had a very angry, frustrated little boy. A boy who had only twenty minutes earlier been laughing and cutting up with Donovan and Chloe was now sitting at the table completely turned around in his chair--refusing to eat or even look at us. For the entire meal. It was painful to say the least. My throat hurt from choking back tears...I felt overwhelmed...but so did he. He walked silently back to the hotel with us. I am learning he DOES NOT want me to touch him a lot during these times. And that is okay--there are moments when he does. Chloe and Donovan are learning to read him too. They are ready to play when he decides he wants to again. And Don and I are ready with a hug, laugh, or smile when he comes back around. And he does...

I frantically posted to one of the adoption forums about this roller-coaster ride with Yun Wei. Two families quickly responded back to me that they were also in China and dealing with the same issues. It felt good to know we were not alone...

Please, please pray for Yun Wei. Pray for us to have wisdom in the way we comfort him. We so need your prayers.

God is good ALL the time...even in the hard stuff.

PS--I found about thirty of these pics of Ansley on my Iphone...don't you just love it when the three-year-old gets hold of the camera without your knowledge...missing my girls. Can't wait for them to meet their new brother!!

John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you."