Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Land of the Living

Hello All,

I am barely awake, but I'm here.  Today I finally feel like I am getting back to normal.  However, it still looks like a bomb exploded in my house... oh yeah, I have two boys... it is going to look like that for now on!   I can not remember a time in my life that I was this exhausted. The only other time that comes close was when we flew to Nepal and after 38 hours of being up went to sign papers and picked up Sam.  Yeah, I was pretty exhausted then too.  

David is doing better than I could have asked for.  Thank you so much for all of your prayers, they have truly held us up through this journey.  David has a great personality.  He is fun and outgoing and everyday brings new looks and goofiness.  Tonight he started to imitate Samuel and give him hugs.  Sam ate it up.  It is so good to hear their laughter and squeals as they play together.  Of course there are some jealousies going on, but they will work out.  

David had a rough day today.  It was test day.  The nurses couldn't find a vein so they stuck him 4 times while I held him down.  Not easy on anyone, especially little one.  They had to stick a cotton swab in every orphace of his body and that is not so nice.  I suspected that he had strep and we had that confirmed today.  He also has a skin infection that might be related.  So antibiotics it is.  (I knew it was strep because one of the children I nannied for got it all the time and I recognized the smell... blah).  We still have more tests that will be run and vaccinations to get... but we will wait for a few days at least.  David cuddled with me a lot today, which I loved, but knew it was because he needed the comfort after all the tests.  

Tomorrow Andreas leaves for 5 days.  Not ideal, but it has to be done.  The annual conference for the Methodist Church starts tomorrow in Stockholm.  Andreas' dad will help me out for a few days and then a few all on my own.  Please pray for all to go smoothly and me not to colapse.  I am a little worried the Andreas will lose some ground with David, but Andreas will be home until September and be able to make it up.  Also, pray for Andreas, there are some really hard things going on with the church and it maybe a trying conference, but essencially the Methodist Church will cease to exist here in Sweden in about a year and join into an ''interesting'' denomination that is well...''interesting''.  

It is time for me to head to bed, but I posted a few pictures from our first day with David.  I promise to write to those who have written me and yes, I will skype with my family as soon as we can get one of our computers to work the sound and the camera at the same time (my husband says we are getting a mac next time!)

One more thing. I think I mentioned a child in Russia that needed prayer so he could come home and PRAISE JESUS he was given the clear to come home!!!!!!!!  God is good and loves his precious children.  I read the Kirill could go home and cried like a baby.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the grace of God.  

Laurie (please excuse any errors, I am too tired to edit, thank you!)

This was about 30 minutes after we met him, we had to load up and go get pictures taken. I had only touched him about 10 minutes before this.  But he started talking in the van.  So sweet and amazing.

Andreas with his boys!

I finally have a brother!

Okay, I highly recommend this for anyone adopting and older child.  I saw it on  Youtube and so I bought a crazy electric car in China and David loved it.  He was playing with us and running to us instantly.  It really helped break the ice.  He was a little scared of it, but that made him come to be picked up an it became a game.  (grant you the sound it highly annoying,but hey it served its purpose. ) However, I may have to hide the thing now!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A quick update

Hello all,
This is Andreas writing a quick update since Laurie is still supertired. That word by the way sums it up pretty well.

Everything has gone really well. The trip and everything with the adoption has been very smooth. Everybody is feeling the adjustment and the jetlag but everybody is also doing just fine getting situated in a new home and in new roles.
Laurie will be back and write some more detailed and insightful posts once she's recovered enough (mainly by sleeping) and is up to it. For now, know that we are happy and safe and that we are very thankful for your prayers.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Hi, all of you.

This is Johan once again and I am loaded with pictures from China. Since a picture says more than a thousand words I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Precious Jesus moments

Dear Friends:
Thank you so much for all of your encouragment. I have not been able to view all the comments, but I look forward to reading them when I get home. We are in Beijing again and have been since Saturday. We are very thankful to be back here and in the last leg of our journey. I will share more about our time in Urumqi when I get home.

The kids are good, but David is one stubborn boy (mom, this one may give me a run for the stubborn title!). I watch David as he explores his world and us. He is a ball of contradictions. At times he wants the hugs and kisses and fun that we all have, but the next second he is mad at us because we havn't done something right. I find myself praying constantly and then going with it. Today he was throwing a fit (over who knows what) and so I just decide to hold him and kiss him. He didn't like it much, but he came around. I am trying my best to be intuative and find those times to invade his space. Tonight he was laying between Andreas and I to go to sleep and he kept flipping and turning. First he wanted kisses, but then would push me away. Then he wanted my hand on his belly, but then wouldn't. He finally fell asleep totally intwined in my arms. Those are the moments that keep us going.

Let me tell you about some Jesus moments (direct divine intervention) that we have had. First was on the plane as we were trying to land in Beijing. Of course David did not want to sit in his seat, so I had to hold him (which he didn't want either). So for the 30 minute decent into Beijing he screamed. The first few minutes I started praying. Honestly, I was praying that the Lord would stop the screaming. Jesus had other plans. Instead he changed me. My impatience physically left me and I was filled with compassion and caring for this child. I didn't care who on the plane the screaming was annoying. So I sang. I sang quietly to my screaming child and amazingly enough he listened (Just trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding...). I knew instantly that the Holy Spirit had touched me and I was changed in that instance. I will always be greatful for that.

The second Jesus moment was tonight. Tonight we realized we have had David for a week now. He is starting to interact with Samuel and I was watching it in the hotel restaurant. But let me take you back a little to last Monday. For those of us who are blessed to experience adoption we know that it may not be love at first sight. I knew I loved him in my head, but my heart needed to get to know him some. I was prepared (as much as you can be) to love him without him expressing it back, but it is not always easy. As the days progressed, I knew that I was falling for this child, but still thought it may take a while. The fits don't exactly endure a child to you. But tonight was different. After David watched Sam for a minute he turned to me and talked to me (of course I had no idea what he said). I answered and looked at him in the eyes. Exactly at the moment I knew. I knew I would give my life for this child. I knew he was mine and I was his mommy. I knew I had been blessed beyond what I deserve. Again, I watched my two boys and fell in love, the tears fell and I knew Jesus had given me an "earnest". A little gift that showed me all would be okay and He was strengthening my love. David will still battle it, but it is there.....never to leave, only to grow stronger.

So my days are ups and downs, but we are strengthened by Jesus and so very glad we do not walk this path alone. Thank you for all of your prayers they are very much appreciated.

We have left David's passport at the Swedish embassy and will pick it up Wednesday or Thursday. We fly out Thursday afternoon. There is another Swedish couple here with us. They have a 6 year old daughter that Sam loves to play with. They have adopted a two year old boy...who they named David. So we are confusing our children greatly!!! But it is really nice to have them around. Just another "earnest" from God.

On a side note...today we went to let Sam buy something with his money. After finding something for himself he turned to Andreas and said, "Pappa I want to buy this for my girlfriend." He then told Andreas about a girl in his class. Andreas asked what it meant to have a girl friend. Sam's reply was, " she is a girl and she is my friend". Sam then walked over to me and told me that he was buying something for his girlfriend. (he said this infront of the 5 or 6 store salespeople who immediately started laughing.) They may have been laughing at the look I had on my face when he said it. I did my best to hold in my surprise and laughter and said that was very sweet. Wow, way to spring that one on a mom who wasn't ready for it. Life is definitely not predictable. My Sam is such a sweet boy. I am so thankful for him.

Tomorrrow is a slow day and an acrobatic show in the evening. Wednesday I think we will go to the Summer Palace with the other couple. Pray for us as we travel home. 10 hours on a plane will not be easy. Luckily it is only 10 hours of my life.

We miss you all. Praise be to God we are almost home!!!!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Update from China

Hi all,

This is Johan again with some updated information from China,

Andreas's parents are back from China after 10 days and have shared their experience. David have a new passport and they are back in Beijing.

David and Samuel are getting along very well and both Andreas and Laurie are anxious to get back home with their family.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Short but significant

Hi all.

This is Andreas's brother and I have been asked to inform you that David now officially is a member of the Kjernalds. Everything is "wonderful" and has exceeded their expectations.

I Haven't recieved any pictures but I'm sure it won't be long :)


Sunday, May 15, 2011

To all,

We are safe in Urumqi today. Tomorrow is the big day!!!! We know we get to meet him in the morning, so pray that we sleep some tonight. I am sorry that we can't get pictures up, but I will once we get home. We are blogging through Andreas' brother at the moment.

I really wanted to put a post up today because today Tore Karenbauer is graduating from High school and I wanted to say congratulations. Tore I am so proud of the amazing and beautiful woman that you have become. I could wish I could be there, but I know that you understand why I am not. I was one of Tore's nannies. I started when she was 6 and now she is 18.... makes me feel a bit old (and her mom would tell me I am) but that is okay.

To all the Karenbauer's, I am thinking of you and missing you. Take lots of pictures for me.

Back to China....let's just say we are not in Kansas anymore! We are soaking in as much as we can, but as you can imagine tomorrow is the day we have been waiting for. We are as ready as you can be and Sam is beside himself with excitment. I will post as soon as I can, but no promises. I will also try to get a picture up, but that is not a promise either. You cannot get blogger from China. Anyone have any ingenious ideas that they used while in China for blogging?

I would appreciate everyone's prayers as we move forward with this wonderful new stage in our lives. Tomorrow we will be a family of 4!!! Praise Jesus!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Hello All,

We have made it to China safely and are doing well. Sorry, we didn't post yesterday, but tiredness was the name of the game. We are in Beijing and today we had the priviledge of climbing the Great Wall of China. Samuel was none too thrilled with it, but after some tears and coaxing we were able to get him to the top of the mountain. He seems really proud of himself now (but all he really wants to do is swim in the hotel pool).

What an amazing feeling to walk the Wall. To see something you have heard and studied about for years. It really is amazing and I can't believe the muscle and ingenuity that it took to build it. I think we may have climbed about a million stairs today and will feel every muscle in our legs tomorrow, but it is good.

There is one other Swedish couple here with us. They are going to another province to pick up their two year old son...whom they will also name David. Funny! I think about our David constantly. I am trying to soak up as much culture as I can and always love seeing a new part of the world. We will be with David and two days and the emotions are coming faster and easier than before. Let's pray that I am not a blubbering idiot when we meet. Then he really will think I am terrifying. We know the Lord has brought us here for this reason and we are more than blessed already.

Tomorrow we will see the Forbidden City and Tianamen Square. Then Sunday we will fly to Urumqi to meet David on Monday. Andreas' parents are having a great time and soaking it all in also. We are thankful to have them here with us.

We cannot seem to get to our blog ourselves so Andreas' brother Johan is helping us post this. We will try one picture of the fam, but don't know if that will work or not. Thanks Johan for the help.

We will write more in a day or two. Please continue to pray for our journey with us.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And Here We Go.....

Tomorrow is the official day.  We are just about packed *not too bad for us* and we will hit the sack soon.  We don't actually fly out until 6:40 at night, but the day is already full.
Sam will go to school like normal and Andreas and I will run around like crazy.  We're crazy that way!
Please pray with us through this journey.

May 11th fly to China
May 12th arrive and rest
May 13th the wall
May 14th the Forbidden City and the Square
May 15th fly to Urumqi
May 16th meet the son that this is all about
May 17th official medical, paperwork and ceremony
May 18th touring
May 19th Andreas' parents to fly back to Beijing
May 20th parents fly home, we see Heavenly Lake
May 21th fly back to Beijing *I think*
May 22st- 26th in Beijing touring and getting all the Swedish paperwork in place
May 26th fly home

I am a bundle of emotions, but mostly just thankful that God has brought this to fruition.  We will be posting as much as we can.  So stay tuned for some exciting times.


Sunday, May 08, 2011

Countdown and Mother's Day

Okay, first to say....3 days to take off.  Yep, you read that right.  We have 3 more days until we embark on the final leg of the "official" adoption.  Which brings me to Mother's day.  All who have adopted and who are adopting alway look forward to the end of the paper chase and the waiting until that child is finally in your arms.

That is what I refer to as the "official" adoption.  Yet there is so much more to the story once your child is home. That is what fills my heart at this moment as Olof Robert Samuel's and Olof Xiao David's mom.  There are times that I am reminded that Sam is adopted by someone asking me where he was born.  But most of the time he is just Sam.  Whether he is annoying the snot out of me or being so sweet I could melt, he is my Sam.  Bonding happened so many years ago and now I love to see how he is working out his world.  Still our bond is being stretched and strengthened everyday.  When he is trying so hard to break away and be more independent and mom just wants to hold her son the bond is stretched.  When he gets hurt and I hold him for just a minute the bond is strengthened. This "dance" will happen the rest of our lives.  It will take different forms at different ages, but it is permanent.

Now I look towards a new bond to form.  I find myself grieving for the fear and grief that David will go through as he is handed into this family.  I am grieving for him in advance.  I know that at 3 years of age he will realize so much and be able to express so little.  So as our bond forms it will immediately be going through some major stretching. As I go forward into this new bond I am anxious and pray that I am up to the challange.  But then I am reminded of one other bond.

That is the bond that is between Christ and I .  It was formed when I was a teenager and oooohhhh have I stretched, and pulled and poked and proded that bond.  Yet, it is a lifetime bond or rather a life giving bond.  I no longer try seeking independence, I need this bond.  It is the one that will bring me to my knees for David as he struggles against me.  It will be the one that gives me the patience and sight that I need to mother David and Samuel through their rough times.   It is the one that I continually feel in my spirit and the one that I will hold on to the tightest.  Only by my bond with Christ can my motherhood be possible.

So only through the Father can I be a mother.  Kind of ironic. But I am oh so thankful for it.

So on this American mother's day I will say Happy Mother's Day to my mother.  Skype is not working so well so here is my message to you mom.  Thank you.  I love you.

And for all of those other women that have poored knowledge, love, grace, and mercy into my life along side my mother...I thank you also.  The Lord has brought and continues to bring amazing "mothers" into my life to guide me.

I would also like to remember the birth mothers of my children.  We named Sam's birth mom Prya, which means beloved in Nepalese.   I need to find a Chinese name that means beloved and name David's birth mother.  I use these names to pray for these ladies.  I am very thankful for them and think of them on so many special days.  Thank you for these precious boys.

On May 16th I will be a mother... again.  I would appreciate your prayers as this new journey begins.


Monday, May 02, 2011


Just wanted to post to say that we are 9 days and counting.  Our dog is doing well, things are coming together and I am ready to get on that plane.  We will actually be with David on the 16th.  YEAH!!!!  After almost 3 1/2 years of waiting it is actually happening... "surreal, but nice".  Praise Jesus!!!

Also wanted to share a new adoption resource.  The Sparrow Fund

This fund is put together by the wonderful people at www.WeAreGraftedIn.com  It is to help people off-set the cost of referral review stage in the adoption process.  Check it out and spread the news.  Everything helps when you are adopting and having a good referral review (especially in special needs cases) can make the difference for so many children.