Archive for October, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

Oh my goodness.  Jia Jin Xuan, daughter to dear friends Wei Wei and Jia Bo, has to be one of the sweetest babies God ever saw fit to create.  Holding this precious gift, this much beloved little girl was a privilege beyond words.  The awesome hand of our Creator and Redeemer are writ large on the face of newborn babies.

For more and better pictures, as well as the full story of little Jin Xuan’s arrival, visit Kimberly Geswein’s blog at:  For those interested in the meaning of names, Jia is her family name on the father’s side, Jin means peaceful/quiet and Xuan is a pretty sounding second syllable (necessary in Chinese names), but in this case, doesn’t have it’s own meaning.

Welcome to our world, Jin Xuan!


16,816 reasons I am glad I am home

Well that was perhaps the craziest trip I have ever taken.  ‘Hands down’ it was a great chance to connect with dear friends and make a host of new ones.  Let’s look at the adventure by the numbers…

  • 10 days
  • 16,816 miles flown (11 airplanes)
  • 495 miles driven (another 589 as passenger)
  • 5 cities visited (another 5 for layovers)
  • 5 beds
  • 1 ulnar collateral ligament repair using a bio-absorbable anchor (hand surgery)

Now by the pictures… (click on the image to make it bigger)

Clearly the highlight was getting to connect with friends – special thanks to the Perrigos, the Myers Sr, the Myers Jr, the Ebelings, the Feits, the mini-FCS reunion in Nashvegas, the LDi US Team and my new friends in Fort Party (aka Fort Wayne).

By the way, my hand is doing okay (bonus image below).  They removed a bunch of scar tissue from the knuckle (probably not technically correct) and reattached the ligament to the bone.  Frankly it still hurts a fair amount, but I am hopeful this will result in a longer term fix.

So now we adjust again to life in China.  We really like it here.  Doesn’t mean I don’t miss Quiznos… 🙂

– Dan


It’s a Girl!

Our dear friend Wei Wei delivered a beautiful baby girl this morning!  I will be heading to the hospital in the morning, armed with a camera and lots of tears of happiness for this precious arrival.  Sharing in Wei Wei’s life over the past two years has been one of the highlights of our time in China — she is an awesome woman who gracefully straddles the cultural and language divides between China and America in an official role with the local orphanage, but in so many informal and loving ways outside of work, too.

We gave Wei Wei a baby shower in September.  It was the first one she’d ever heard of, much less attended!  For many Chinese of the older generation, giving gifts before the baby’s arrival might bring bad luck — but Wei Wei isn’t a gal bound by fear — she thought the whole thing was just awesome and we loved showering her with food and gifts.

Mom Kennedy sent a beautiful handmade baby quilt in Chinese red

Friends from Germany, the US, China and Korea celebrate together

Congratulations Wei Wei and JiaBo!


Book Recommendations

Every once in awhile, you come across a book so touching, or so delightful or so significant that you want to pass it along to everyone you know.  I’ve been fortunate this past month to read several in the just delightful category — perhaps amid the news from an extremely heated political season, the undrinkable milk scandal, OJ Simpson’s re-emergence on the front pages and the looming/resolved/looming again economic crisis, you might also find a delightful book or two just the right antidote to the evening news.

This is the first book of a nine part series by Alexander McCall Smith featuring Precious Ramotswe, a modern day Botswanan Miss Marple (Agatha Christie’s famed heroine).  I’ve now read all nine in the series, and have enjoyed them cover to cover.

The second book is pure escape from macaroni and cheese on the stove, dirty socks in the laundry, homework on the dining room table … the language is beautiful, the scenes breath-taking and the cuisine (recipes included) described will leave you certain that the food served in heaven will be cooked in Tuscany.

Finally, a book called “the Road Home: A Modern Retelling of Ruth’s Ancient Story”.  The authors very carefully re-set the book of Ruth in modern day America – with colorful and engaging characters who travel from Las Vegas to Amish Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  The themes are right out of Ruth – redemption, forgiveness, loyalty, grace, hope … this was a great book that I will read again.

Thanks to the ladies in my life who introduced me to these books, they’ve been great companions during the stretching last few weeks.