Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our 100 Blessing Quilts

While we are waiting for the arrival of our two boys from China, we are working on a project that we REALLY need your help with. We are creating something called a "100 Blessings Quilt" for each boy.

To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or "100 Blessings Quilt." It is a custom to invite 100 people to contribute a single square patch of cloth. The 100 patches are sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy, and blessings from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

We are asking you to please participate in this project. We love the idea of welcoming the boys into our home with a quilt that represents the blessings you are all sending their way.

Here is what we would like you to do:
1. Choose ANY 100% cotton fabric that you like. It can be from clothing or from a fabric store. It just needs to be a design and color that you like.

2. Cut two (2) or more 8 x 8" squares from the fabric.
Tip... if you have no idea how to work with fabric, ask for assistance at a fabric store and show them this letter. They will probably cut it for you!

3. Include your "blessing note". We will place all your blessings in a scrapbook that we will give to them someday.

Ideas for selecting fabric squares:
*Select a fabric that is meaningful to you.
*100% cotton fabric is best, as it washes and wears better.
*If there are several members in your family, please feel free to send more than 1 set of scraps. It would be so special to include blessings from all members of your family!! In China, these quilts were originally made from garments of family and friends, which would surround the child with luck/good wishes.

Ideas for blessing note:
We would like for you to prayerfully consider what you might say to these boys that would create a "word picture" for their lives. It may be something that you see for their future or it may be something that you wish for God to bestow upon their lives. What would you wish for a child to have in his life? Some ideas that come to mind are good health, perseverance, compassion, and sense of humor. Use that as a guide for your blessing note. Bible verses that have a special meaning to you are great also. Keep in mind that they will not see your note until they are older, of course.

It would be great to get the fabric and notes before the boys get here so the quilt can be completed by then.

Please take a few minutes from your busy schedules to help us create this very special keepsake for our boy. The miracle of this ‘pregnancy’ has been helped and nurtured by so many of you and this will be so incredibly meaningful for us as well as our new arrivals!

Thank you!

Russell and Karen Thomas

If you would like to participate in this with us, message me for where to send your fabric squares.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The holidays have come and gone.......

....It was a quiet season for us that was filled with mixed emotions. Joey, our 18 almost 19 year old, has moved to Orlando where he is pursuing his education in culinary arts. We found ourselves rejoicing in one minute and in tears the next. It was difficult to say goodbye to Joey. The holidays were filled with mixed emotions for other reasons as well. Often we would think about our boys during the holidays and wondering what Christmas was like for them...or for that matter, did they even know about Christmas? Tears often filled our eyes for them as we prayed for favor in the adoption process that it might be accelerated. Certainly that prayer has been heard as we have been filling out papers, updating passports and participating in fund raisers at an enhanced pace. Jeffrey, our 10 year old, is ready to go to China today and bring back the boys. Its hard to tell him to be patient when we feel the same way ourselves. But at this point we must do one day at a time and one step at a time. The next step being home study! We'll keep you posted...