For those who wonder if miracles are real, read on …

Nov. 4, 2011 – We fly to China to adopt a child.

Nov. 6, 2011 – We hold our adopted 11-month-old daughter for the first time. She is bright-eyed. She is beautiful. Her presence in our world blows our minds. We are thrilled. We are ecstatic. We will never be the same.

Nov. 8, 2011 – We visit our daughter’s orphanage. I see a little ‘boy’ who will not be as lucky as our daughter Journey. No one is coming for him. No one knows he’s here. His presence in this world blows our minds. We are heart-broken. We are devastated. We will never be the same.

Sept. 1, 2013 – We watch the Ironman World Championships on TV. Brady Murray, a dad from Utah with a Down Syndrome son, is in the race. They’ve allowed him in this year, not because he’s a world champion, but because he’s raising money for orphans with Down Syndrome.

Sept. 3, 2013 – I google the name Brady Murray. I get an email address for RODS (Racers for Orphans with Down Syndrome). I send this message: I know of a down syndrome baby in an orphanage in China – can you help?

Sept. 4, 2013 – Brady Murray asks what I know about the baby. I say, ‘nothing’ but I have a photo. I send this one:


Sept. 4, 2013 – Brady Murray emails this message: He is a angel!  Let’s go get this little guy a family!  I’m ready to do whatever we need to in order to get him adoption eligible.  I’m 100% confident that once we get him eligible that we can raise around 15k to help offset the costs.  From there it will be no time before he’ll have a family!  Let me know what you need me to do.

Sept 4, 2013 – I email Brady:  I’m going to cry!!!

 I’ve thought about this boy nearly every day for the last two years, wondering how on earth we could help him. While we were in China, I asked if I could take him home with us (I don’t think they took me seriously) – they said he’s not in the system, so I think that would take lots of paper work and many months. But that’s no different than for the average Chinese adoptee.

This is where I think we could start. I could contact our guide from Nanchang and see if she could put me in touch with the orphanage director.    

Sept 10, 2013 – I email our Chinese guide: Hello Shirley, It’s Chris and Lewis Froese here (parents of Journey Xin Froese – we traveled to Nanchang on Nov. 6, 2011 to adopt our daughter). I am looking for some information on one of the other children who was at the orphanage with Journey. Would you be able to help me?

Sept. 26, 2013 – Shirley emails back: Hello, Chris. Shirley feels very happy to receive your email, and glad to know you’re all ok, baby is doing good. i remember your family and the baby, and very happy to help, but what’s your questions of the other child, what’s his or her Chinese name, birthdate? let me know, i’ll do my best to find all informations.
Sept. 27, 2013 – I email the photo of the child. It’s the only information we have.
Nov. 4, 2013 – Shirley emails me after an excruciatingly LONG wait: Thank you for waiting so long, i got reply from the orphanage, they told me this baby still stay there, he(she)is a Down’s syndrome, i ask them tell me the details of the baby and mail you or me pictures,as far as now, they didn’t answer me, maybe they need time to do it. so i’m waiting, and please give me time, i’ll mail you all information, translate the Chinese part as soon as possible,  but it seems take them time. so we wait.”
Nov. 9, 2013 – Shirley emails again, more quickly this time: now, this is the child’s some information: she is a girl, born in 2009, her weight is  13kg, height 88cm, in fact, sometimes she look like a normal baby, her abilities of action is almost the same as the normal child, she can put shoes on, dress herself, take off shoes and clothes by herself. Below is her photos, she is growing!”
Nov. 9, 2013 – I email Brady: Brady – Chen is a GIRL! AND, the orphanage will work with us to find her a home!
Nov. 9, 2013 – Brady emails me: Hi Christalee!  Great news, we’re ready to announce Mei Chen as our next RODS Orphan.  Do you have these pictures in a higher resolution for the website?
Jan. 1, 2014 – Mei Chen is announced as the RODS featured orphan. Her fundraising goal is $15,000.
April 10, 2014 – Mei Chen’s fundraising goal is reached.
April 28, 2014 – Shirley emails: so, now you can see  Mei Chen is on the adoption list, right? last time i contacted the orphanage, they said all papers were almost done, then it was the time for the adoption agecy and family could check  her information on the list.
April 28, 2014 – I email the growing army of people in Canada and the USA who are watching for Mei Chen to officially be placed on the international adoption list: Hi Everyone, Our contact in China informed me today that Chen, MEI (DOB Aug. 24, 2009) should be on the international list, as her paperwork is completed. YAHHHH!
May 8, 2014 – A USA contact emails me: Not sure if you noticed, but we moved Mei Chen to “My Family Found Me” 🙂
May 8, 2014 – I email back: Michelle – does this mean she has a family?
May 8, 2014 – Michelle emails back: Hi, yes it does mean she has a family :). 



‘A baby crying in a paper box’

We are in the home stretch to find Mei Chen a forever family. All of her paperwork has been completed and now we wait for approval from the Chinese government. Here is Mei’s latest documents from China – beautiful and heartbreaking all at once:

IMGP0647The Growth Development Report of Chen Mei

Chen Mei, Female, was found and picked up at the gate of the People’s Hospital of Xiajiang County on Aug. 24, 2009. In the morning of Aug. 24,2009, Wu Ronghua, who works at the People’s Hospital of Xiajiang County, on her way to work, she found a baby, who was crying in a paper box at the gate of the hospital.  She called the police and report all to the Shuibian sub-police station of the Public Security Bureau of Xiajiang county immediately.  The policeman searched around and did lots of investigations, they couldn’t found the baby’s birthparents and relatives, they confirmed that the baby was a abandoned baby. On the same day, Ms. Wu Ronghua and policeman brought the baby into the Institute, since then, the baby was in the care of the Social Welfare Institute of Xiajiang County.

When the baby was first brought into our Institute, we found she was put in a paper box, melon-shape face, fair skin, thin hair at the time. There were one milk-bottle, a small bag of milk powered with her in the box. We sent her to the People’s Hospital of the county immediately ,then doctor gave her whole medical check, the result was: four limbs were a little soft, Hepatitis B test was “positive”, a Down Syndrome baby, and other medical tests were normal. According to the whole physical status of the baby, the doctor presumed that baby was new born on the day. So, our director named her Chen Mei and her birthday was Aug. 24, 2009.

Chen Mei’s physical development is average , compare to the other. Under the good care of the caretakers, she sucked very well , cried loudly, eyes moved by following the moving objects, could turn around when been called, sometimes smiled sweetly,  could listen to the sound which was happened nearby when she was the time of 1—6 months.

At the period of 6—12months,  she was afraid of strangers, cried, could turn over by herself when lies in bed, walked smoothly when she was in the walker, would find toys and play with other children who is the almost same age as her.

From 12—to 24 months, she could sit well by herself and picked cookies up , fed herself . was happy to play with other children by passing the toys and made big noisy, sometimes, go take food or catch toys by doing competition , she knew that who is nice or not nice to her .   

When she grows at the time of 24—48 months, she learned to walk by holding the walker handle, later, she could walk around by supporting,  stand for a while by herself, could understand what the adults said, do the body language of “welcome, hello, bye-bye” . likes watching Tv, and show imitation of what the caretakers’ actions.

 Now, Chen Mei become more and more happy girl, listen to the adults, can say “mama, baba”, walk and play around, can count the number of 1, 2. and also can help the caretakers do some housework, such as: fetch and fold baby’s diaper, pour out baby’s potty. When caretakers call the other children, she knows who she (he) is , but Chen Mei can not say their names. Now she is becoming more and more beautiful, all people like her when they come see these children.

Now Chen Mei’s main food still is the milk powered(the brand : Bei yin mei) and rice cereal(Huai shan) which mix together, she also eat congee, noodles, rice, steamed bread, some cookies. She takes the bottle of 300ml every time, the regular meal time is:  8:00, 11:00(rice), 14:00, 16:30(rice), 19:30. she gets up at 7:00, naptime :12:00—14:00, go to sleep 20:30.  go do poo-poo twice a day , and peepee many times. Sleeps soundly on her back. Chen Mei has got vaccines shots already, now she is a lovely, active, busy girl.

 The social welfare institute of Xiajiang county

Month 13 – CHARITY

I am working with Brady Murray and RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome) to find a ‘forever family’ for a precious Down Syndrome orphan whom I love. I have joined the RODS team and I will be running a 10K race to raise money for this little boy’s adoption process.IMGP0647

I will be selling ‘HERO HEARTS’ made by Jolene Dusyk. The glass JoJo Bead necklace will sell for $39 ($17 goes directly to finding our dear boy a home). Let me know if you’d like one (by leaving your email/phone # in the comment box below). OR, you can donate directly by visiting (hit the blue ‘DONATE’ button).  My goal is to raise $1,000 this year.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson