Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Crazy Intersection

These are all pictures from ONE crazy intersection in China. There are many others, but this one was just blocks from our hotel, and we had to pass through several times. Click on the picture to make it larger. You'll be surprised at the details. There is no light. Bicycles, scooters, cars, buses, pedestrians all take their chances and go. It's crazy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Scenes from the Yuyuan Hotel in Taiyuan

(First, let me say, I like Tostitos in the states, the kind with a touch of lime. So I bought some Lay's potato chips, Natural and Cool lime flavor. We just tried them. They taste like potato chips with key lime pie, sweet, not salty. Bobbie said all we need is some cool whip. Stan said, "I love them, NOT!?" I suppose they're better than prawn flavored chips.)

Our hotel is located in a busy commerical district. All along the street are shops, and most are rather expensive. When you look down the alley from our hotel, the scene is very different. Like in America, there is a big difference in lifestyle for the people of China.
Looking from our window:

This is the mall directly across the street from our hotel. It has 8 floors. We have ridden the escalator up to every floor. In China, when an American shows ANY interest in an item, the sales people come running. They start showing you things. They start almost shouting to others. I think they're asking for someone who speaks better English, because sometimes a person who speaks better English shows up. This is where we bought Josise-Tatum's Barbie that sings Chinese.

These are apartments that can be seen from one of the sets of windows at the end of the corridor. Quite a different scene that the one we see from our hotel room window.

Right beside the apartment building is this one. This looks like an old home around a courtyard. It is really beautiful. We've decided it must not be a home, though. One morning, I saw many people in white hard hats, I think standing in the center. After they gathered together, they all entered one of the buildings. We are on the 12th floor, and I am often intrigued by what I see below. On the left side of the photo, you see a building. It sort of looks like a church. If you could see the roof, it reminds me of a Greek Orthodox church building. I hope to remember to ask our guide what it is.

This is an alley that can be seen from the one of the hotel windows at the end of a corridor.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Mama holding her for the first time.

Our first picture ALL together.

I'll post details on journeytome, but right now I'll post some pictures. Journeytome is not working right now.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wal-Mart and Taiyuan

This Wal-Mart was more crowded than the Waycross Wal-Mart the Saturday before Christmas. You could hear American 70's music playing in the background. I know the people thought I was crazy going through the store taking pictures. How about some Mother's Korean Barbecue Dried Beef cubes?

Would you eat anything with a nose like that?

Doormat for Sale in Wal-Mart

This is a typical sidewalk scene in Taiyuan.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

People and Olympics

If you come to the Great Wall in tourist season, be prepared to fight crowds, really push through a sea of people. Can you count all the heads in the photo? Can you imagine there were that many people up and down every hill and mountain on the Great Wall at Badaling?

Bird's Nest--Olympic Stadium

Olympic Aquatic Center

Olympic Tennis Center

This picture's for you Caleb.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Pictures from our Tour Day

Robbie and Bobbie on the rickshaw--The smell was less than pleasant, a sewage smell a lot. Last time, I guess the sewage was frozen, because I don't quite remember the overwhelming odor.

Who says a 4 year old won't enjoy China?

This is where Mulan saved the Emperor. Well, they weren't refurshing the place at the time.

See why we brought Aunt Bobbie to China!

I love the signs in China. This one was at the acrobatic show.

This one was in the line at the Forbidden City.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Our Life in China

Somebody will have to email me and tell me if you can read this. I can access the page where I post to blogspot, but I can't see the MeiMeiMakesFour page. I decided to post some extra pictures here so I could save the 5 I'm allowed on Journey to Me for Ellie pictures.

Rick, here's an editing assignment for the students. See if they can figure out how many things are wrong with this shirt.

Stan found Chinese food he liked. We found Chinese food in China, and it was good!! We paid less than $16 American dollars for more fried rice and Pork with Pineapple and Sweet and Sour sauce than we could all eat. The rice was "different" but it was really good. It has some kind of lettuce in it, so Stan wouldn't eat it. Bobbie and I tried chopsticks and were somewhat successful.

We went to this supermarket last night. Today we read the sign. There's a little tiny corner of the sign that says, "IGA." Would you think that...IGA in Beijing. Somebody tell Peggy Wall.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Leaving Tomorrow

Thank you, everyone, for all of your prayers and support. Our clothes are packed, and we'll soon be on our way.

Because Blogspot pictures are sometimes blocked by filters, we are going to use a different site for our travels.

Follow along at www.journeytome.com
Click Adoption Stories, and then search for Ellie MinChun.

Please pray for our health and safety, while remembering to pray that the LORD prepare Ellie's heart for her name family.

Praising the LORD!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I797 and Itinerary All in One Day

Praise the LORD! It's been a banner day!
This morning, during planning, I called senators' offices again, emailed our SW, made the rounds. Everyone promised they were checking.

Around 11:15, I was getting ready to pass out homework when I felt this peace from nowhere, a noticeable peace. I stopped what I was doing long enough to make a mental note and speak to the LORD, "Everything will work out.'

In less than 2 minutes my cell phone rang. The USCIS officer had contacted our international adoption assistant at Bethany in Atlanta. She would be allowed to pick up our renewed 797. So, Courtney picked it up, and she has overnighted it to us!! Praise the LORD!!!

We have our itinerary. We're leaving October 9th, landing October 10th, meeting Ellie "unofficially" October 11th, touring Beijing, until the 14th. We meet Ellie October 15th, one day after my birthday. Then on the 10th, it's off the Guangzhou and the White Swan. We'll finish adoption work and then on the 24th, we'll visit Josie-Tatum's SWI and the town surrounding it.
On the 25th, it's back home to complete our family!

Thank you, thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Still No I797

I've called the senators' offices more times that I ever could have imagined. I've never been one to "bug" somebody, but I've done some serious bugging.

I swing from peaceful to anxious several times a day. Yesterday, after multiple phone calls, I finally heard something from both senators' offices. The orphan office as USCIS, we were told, is aware of our case and the need to expedite matters. Once our fingerprint reports are in the computer, she will complete our I797. She will even allow us to pick it up if this is not done in time to receive it in the mail.

Well, today is Tuesday, and no news of a complete 797 today. There are only 3 more business days. Please pray that we get this important document.

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Ellie Min Chun

Ellie Min Chun
Josie-Tatum's MeiMei