A couple hours ago Megan and I received more great news concerning Grace. We will get to meet our daughter in less than two weeks. We will fly down to Wuhan one week from this Sunday night and arrive in Wuhan noon the next day, June 12th. Grace will see her new home Saturday, June 17th. As I noted in previous blogs, we are extremely pumped about this new Wickersham and can’t wait to show her mad love. Baby, baby!
Today we saw two teams in the Weakest Link finals vying for their very first championship. It was an exciting championship between the Flaming Strawberries and a brand new team called the Two. The Two was actually the one due to the absence of one of the Two. In what proved to be a most exciting final, the Two ended up winning the last Weakest Link championship of the 2005-2006 school year by a vote of three to zero. This came to a complete shock to the Flaming Strawberries who actually outperformed the Two in the championship round. With the Two’s victory, many are wondering what they could have accomplished had they been given the opportunity to compete in previous Weakest Link competitions. Nevertheless, the Two will always be remembered for pulling off the biggest upset of the year at the most important time of the year. Remember it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
In ELAP news, Tony "the Tiger" Lee was finally able to claim a Weakest Link championship after watching all four of his classmates win the other competitions throughout the year. Tony was extremely happy seeing his name go up as Weakest Link champ, but he only wishes he could defend his crown.
It’s the last week of school, and it has been a most excellent school year. In fact it has been the most enjoyable year of my life. I have a job that absolutely rocks, a community of friends where some actually like me, a beautiful and intelligent wife that points me in His direction, and soon I’ll be joining the daddy ranks. Next month as we prepare for Grace’s arrival, I’ll be attending Chinese classes Monday through Friday for two hours a day. It appears in two or three weeks that I’ll have to miss some classes when we fly down to Wuhan in Hubei Province. Other summer plans include lots of reading and pumping some iron from time to time. We have two weeks in July where we are permitted to go to Indiana, but we are uncertain how that will all work out since we will soon be a family of three. We hope Grace will attach to us quickly, and we are thankful for His perfect timing in all of this. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Friday we saw the men defeat the Ladies in the very last Mr. Wick’s Jeopardy of the 2005-2006 school year, and it all came down to the final question. The guys were able to correctly answer that the Japanese navy was able to defeat the powerful Russian navy in 1904. The ladies simply came up short. It was a tough year for the women, but there is always the Weakest Link. Could new Weakest Link champions be crowned on Wednesday? Will the Fried Eagles be able to defend their championship against the Flaming Strawberries, Burning Chickens, and Jedi Monkeys? Will the new squad be able to pull off the victory in their only match of the year? Will Da Ham repeat as champion? Study your notes because a solid knowledge of major historical events will be needed to show that you are not the Weakest Link. May the force be with you.
Two days ago Megan and I were shocked and extremely excited to receive our referral. Earlier this week we were told to our disappointment that the referral wouldn’t come until the fall. Getting the referral means that we’ll be picking up Grace in a few weeks. Wow. I’m going to be a daddy very soon! I think life is going to change a little bit. We now wait for permission to travel to Hubei Province which is about 14.5 hours southwest of us by train. Our referral contained pictures and information about our daughter. Before Thursday we did not know where Grace was from, her living situation, how old she was, what she looked like – basically nothing was known of her. We just knew that there was someone out there specially picked for us. I have often looked at Chinese girls and wondered if that is what my daughter will look/be like. Now I know I have a very bald, but a very beautiful sofa loungin’, cookie chompin’, tv watchin’ girl! This is not the image I had thought of as Megan and I have thought of her. It has been a roller coaster of a ride, but a time of great growth. I’ve been quite emotional (which happens on occasion) thinking of how blessed I am. We’re thankful for His perfect timing and look forward to the days ahead. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. If you’re interested in more details, I think you would really enjoy Megan’s blogs at http://spaces.msn.com/markmegan.
This week has been a most eventful week of work. Teaching elementary students is not quite like teaching middle schoolers. Additionally, teaching physical education is rather different from teaching world history and the Good Book. There has been a great deal more crying than I’m used to. These mini people cry for all kinds of reasons – accidently scoring a header against your own squad, having the ball lightly skim your head, feeling responsible for the loss when you fail to prevent a goal from being scored. I’m not always Mr. Sensitive when it comes to athletic endeavors, but fortunately I haven’t been telling my students to toughen up when the tears have been rolling down their faces. The little tots are also a lot more affectionate than what I’m accustomed to. The youngest students might run up to you and start holding your hand as you begin warming up with them. Uh, what’s this? I wasn’t ready for the hand holding, but it has been very cool. These guys are also a lot easier to entertain. I have a # of voices and crazy antics I use to entertain my troops, and these guys never get tired of them. They’re always laughing at my same silly jokes. It has been a draining week, but I’ve certainly had some fun. I’m thankful that I’m in such a stimulating environment where I can contribute.
Yesterday my in-laws went back to the small town of Frankfort, Indiana. Fred and Carol came to visit us for over two weeks, and we had an absolutely swell time. It was their third visit to the Middle Kingdom, but first to Tianjin. It was also the first time Megan and I have been able to host her parents. I really appreciate Megan’s parents, and I’m thankful that we have such a good relationship. I can be a little weird at times (some say a lot), but they accept me as I am. I even make them laugh at times. I’ve heard of a lot of relationships where one does not care for their in-laws, but you won’t find that in the Wickersham household. I like her parents, and Megan likes mine. That’s super cool. I have to give a shout-out to my Father on that one.