So, what if she wants a good Bible in her native language?

So, my wife decided to become a Christian of her own volition from talking with other Chinese Christians and reading excellent Chinese web sites such as CHRIST the Eternal TAO.

Before she made this decision she was given a English (NIV) and Chinese Union Bible in simplified characters and then when she was Baptized she received a solely Chinese Bible. Besides Simplified and Traditional versions of the Chinese Union Bible, there are ShangDi and Shen versions of the Bible, ShangDi being the most preferred rendering for the name of God.

The thing is, most Chinese Bibles are horrible translations, and not translated from the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, but translated from poor English translations.

So what is one to do? Well I researched on the web and found a Chinese Bible Version that was praised by Catholics and Protestants alike for being faithful to the original sources. Most reviews said that the other Chinese translations tend to be very vaguely paraphrased in places from the weak English translations.

This version is called the Chinese Studium Biblicum Version of the Holy Bible. Now the only drawbacks are that the version is not readily available, and it is only available in Traditional Chinese Characters. Thankfully my wife can read both simplified and traditional characters. It also may not render God as ShangDi.

So how does one order this Bible? Well after hours searching I found out it can only be ordered by emailing sales@sbofmhk.org in Hong Kong and making a request. However, the Old Testament Only Version for Jews can be bought as a parallel version with Hebrew and English versions as well at Amazon.com.

The Bible costs HK$140.00. The surface postage to the States is HK$5.00. Airmail postage is HK$160.00, plus a charge a handling fee of 10% of the postage. So surface mail is HK$145.50 and airmail is HK$316.00 which currently is US$18.76 or $40.74, respectively. Honestly, not a bad price for a good Bible! (FYI: HK$ is Hong Kong Dollar, US$ is United States Dollar)

To read more about this version of the Bible, read HERE.

To read more about ShangDi, and the historical connections of his worship in China to the Bible read HERE, HERE, and HERE.


Stupid stuff you will have to put up with or argue about...

For those unaware, on August 27 2010, my son, Daniel ZiJun Stanosheck was born at 3:40am. Here is a picture of him.
Nicholas Colin, YanFei Liu, Daniel ZiJun, and Raven Anastasia STANOSHECK
The very Chinese friends that helped your wife stay sane when she moved to America, may be the source of your insanity after your baby is born. Do not get me wrong, they are very helpful with making foods to help promote breast milk production, healing, etc., but the Chinese superstitions on babies and postpartum mothers will drive you crazy!

For instance, one Chinese lady insisted my wife should take Calcium, which gave my wife and son painful constipation. Thankfully my wife did not abide by no teeth brushing, hair washing, showering, or getting out of bed for a full month. These are based an the water in old China being so bad. But now they think these things will make them look very old and have health problems when they are old.

All these beliefs have been debunked, but the Chinese ladies who are your wife's friends will insist she must do these things, and most Chinese women will listen to her fellow Chinese friends over you. Thankfully, Fei was made to walk in the hospital, and does a little at home, and broke down and brushed her teeth at 1 week, washed her hair at 2 weeks, and showered at 3 weeks. But still, no fans are allowed near her or my son, and both always have to wear a hat.

I just want to warn you men about the tip of the iceberg you will experience if she has your baby here in America. Happy parenting!


How the Arizona Immigration Law Fiasco May Affect You and Your Loved Ones

See here for how the Arizona Immigration Law fiasco may affect you, your spouse, and your spouse's children, should you venture into anti-immigrant Arizona.


Got a non-immigrant K3 visa for your wife?

When you apply for a K3 visa for your wife, you also get to apply for an immigrant visa for free. But most likely you will get the K3 (non-immigrant) visa first and thus there is no need to continue the immigrant visa process, as the K3 visa will become an immigrant visa via "Adjustment of Status". Sadly, you will have probably already paid for the later fees for an immigrant visa interview et all, by the time you find out your wife will be getting a K3 visa. Well anyway, one year after you discontinue the immigrant visa process, they will send you a letter telling you that immigrant visas are available, that you must stay in contact with them annually, and that your time to apply for one has expired. You have 1 year to tell them which of the following applies:

  • Yes, I wish to pursue my immigrant visa application, please send me information on applying for my immigrant visa. I understand I will have to resubmit all required fees and documents in order to continue the immigrant visa process.
No, I do not want to pursue my immigrant visa application for one of the following reasons:

  • I have adjusted status. (Please send a copy of both sides of your alien registration card.)
  • I have received an immigrant visa through another petition and am now a permanent resident.  (Please send us a copy of both sides of your alien registration card.)
  • I am no longer interested in immigrating to the U.S.
  • Other. (lease explain.)
The answer of course is the first if your adjustment of status is not complete, like us. But if you are lucky, one of the top no answers applies and your wife is already a permanent resident.

Just another FYI for what happens in the process.


ADVICE: What if you lose your job? What if she gets pregnant?

One man I know lost his job so he cannot begin the immigration process to bring his wife to America. Well, the immigration process stalls if you lose your job once she comes to America too. You need all the same documents for the adjustment of status & green card that you gathered to get her a K1 or K3 visa. That is where we currently are. Waiting for me to have worked for 6 months for us to apply for her adjustment of status and green card.

And what if she gets pregnant at this time? Well, she cannot get public services as she is not a citizen or even a permanent citizen yet, so there is a loophole. C-CHIP, known by other names in other states. Thankfully a friend of mine who had married a Chinese woman back in 2006 told me about this. It does not actually cover your wife, but instead covers your unborn child, covering all prenatal visits. 


Important Chinese Customs to Know if You will be Having a Family

Red Eggs
Red eggs mean birth of a baby. The customs differ in different parts of China. In central China, when a new baby is born, red eggs will be sent to the grandma on the mother's side. From the red eggs, grandma will know the new born baby's gender. If the eggs have a black dot at one end, it means the baby is a boy, the red eggs must be in even number, 6 or 8 eggs, wishing the baby boy will get a wife when he grow up. If the red eggs don't have black dots, the eggs are in odd number, 5 or 7 of them, it means the new baby is a girl, odd number wishes the baby girl will get married in the future.

When the baby is a month old, relatives and friends are invited to have the one-month-old-baby banquet. Gifts or money in red envelopes will be given by the relatives and friends, in return they get red eggs.

Name The Baby
On the third day after the baby's birth, the baby will take a bath, and names will be given to the new born baby. There are two names for the baby, one is a nickname used before going to school, the other is the formal name. The name is very important to the baby, Chinese believe the name will determine the baby's future. Consult the fortune teller and calculate from the birth time of the baby, get the result of which element among the five elements (metal, water, wood, fire, earth) the baby lacks, and add it to the name of the baby.

Baby's 100 Days
100 days after the baby's birth, relatives and friends will send gifts such as clothes, pants, necklace, bracelets for wrists and ankles, tiger shoes, hats for the baby. This is an important day for the baby because 100 days birth celebration represents the wish that the baby will live 100 years, the baby will wear a silver longevity pendant (in Chinese called Longevity Lock) on the neck. The pants will have long fringe on the legs, because the pronunciation of fringe is the same as year in Chinese. And the more fringe the more years.

One Year Old Birthday
On the baby's one year old birthday party, a "Zhua Zhou" (catching one full year of life) ceremony will be held. The baby will take a bath and wear the new clothes and pants given by the grandma on the mother's side. Then the baby will be put on the big table in the family room, which has a book, a calligraphy brush, an abacus, a scale, a pair of scissors, a seal, coins, toys etc on it. What the baby grabs will foretell the future of the baby. If the book or the brush is caught, it means the baby will enjoy reading. If the abacus or the scale or the coin is caught, the baby will be good at doing business. If the seal is caught, the baby will become a politician. If toys are grabbed, the baby will be idle in the future.

Birthday Before 50 Years Old
Kid's birthday in normal family was simple, red egg and longevity noodles are the birthday food. 10-year-old birthday is called " Growing Tail", grandparents from mother's side will give clothes, shoes, hats and rice as gifts. Every 10 year old birthday is a big birthday.

Some area such as Shanxi, Inner Mongolia in China also celebrate the 12-year-old birthday, it's named "opening the lock". A red scarf is tied around the baby's neck after the birth, it's called "cloth lock", and each year another layer of red scarf is added, on the day of 12-year-old birthday, the lock will be removed, symbolizing the kid is no longer a child.

On the 16-year-old birthday, an adult ceremony is held in Fujian province, southern China. The family will go to the temple and offer the God meat and longevity noodles. A banquet is held and gifts are given by friends and relatives.

Nowadays birthday cake is popular at birthday party.

Marriage Customs
Marriage customs vary in the 56 nationalities of China. The traditional Chinese marriage usually has six steps: match-making, engagement, betrothal presents, meeting the bride, three bows, and drinking wedlock wine.

Several days ahead of the wedding day, a new bed is bought and positioned properly. New pillows and quilts with dragon and phoenix patterns are put on the bed. Lotus seeds, red beans, green beans, dates, longans, and money are spread over the bed. Red candles are placed in the room. A paper cut of character "Double Happiness"is taped on the door of the new room. Wedding couplets are put at the front gate of the groom's home. Nobody is allowed to enter the new room until the new couple enters the room on the wedding night.

On the wedding day morning, the groom rides a horse together with a team of people carrying a sedan chair and presents for the bride's parent. They also play musical instruments along the way. The bride, covered by a red veil on her head, is led by her sister or the bridesmaid out of her bedroom. Her father then leads her to the groom. The groom carries the bride on his back and puts her in the sedan chair. Firecrackers are set off on the way to the groom's home.

The bride is led by a senior person from the groom's side out of the sedan chair when arriving at the groom's home. The bride needs to avoid stepping on the threshold. In the family room, the bride and groom perform the three bows ceremony, first bow to the sky and earth, second bow to the ancestor, third bow to groom's parents and then bow to each other. The bride and groom enter the new bedroom.

A wedding banquet will be held after that. The bride will remain in the new bedroom. Only the groom will toast every guest. All the relatives and friends are invited, and money in red envelopes are given to the bride and groom.

After the banquet, the groom enters the candle lit new bedroom and unveils the bride. People also come along and celebrate in the new bedroom. The new couple has some sweet dumplings or sweet soup made from peanuts, dates, lotus seeds and longans, which signifies the wish that they have a new baby soon. Wedlock wine is drunk. When it's time, the door will be closed, people will leave the room but still stay outside and listen to the conversation between the new couple.

Nowadays a sedan chair is replaced by the sedan car, the bride dresses in a wedding gown, and the groom dresses in a suit. The wedding ceremony in the cities has been westernized. The bride and the groom greet the guests in front of the restaurant where the banquet is held, guests give money in red envelopes. Before taking the toast tour around the banquet tables, the bride will change her dress to a Qipao (a traditional Qing style dress). Toasts are made to wish the new couple a long life, eternal love and happiness, and the early birth of a healthy baby and so on.

Senior's Birthday
Senior's birthday celebration is held every 10 years since the 50th birthday. Some places celebrate the celebration a year ahead, because 9 means "longevity" in Chinese culture. The family of the birthday senior will give out a "Longevity Peach" made from flour or rice to relatives and friends. Invitation cards are sent out. The family room will decorated with a gold " longevity " character on the middle wall, along with couplets of longevity, paintings of cranes and pines etc.

On the night before the birthday, red candles are lit, the birthday senior will burn incense and bow to the sky and earth and ancestor, then sit on the first seat in the family room. Children and grandchildren will all bow to the senior, a gesture called " Bow Longevity".

Firecrackers are set off in the birthday morning, and relatives and friends will come and congratulate. However, the birthday senior won't appear and the first seat in the family room is empty. The guests will bow to the empty seat.

The longevity banquet will have eggs, tea and snacks, longevity noodles, wine and delicious dishes. The birthday senior will eat with several other seniors of similar age in a separate room to bring a lot of luck and longevity. Some rich families also will have an opera show after the banquet.


ADVICE: Transitions (for her) Can Be Harder than Expected

A Chinese spouse moving to America has some huge transitions to make. They need to speak a language other than the one they usually use, they have no friends, and they do not know how to get things they are used to buying. How can you help?

I have found that a local Chinese Church is extremely helpful. Even if she is not a Christian, she will be welcomed and taught about the faith. We found one and my wife has made some great lifetime friends, and through talking to them in her native tongue, she decided to be Baptized.

So whether you, or your wife are Christians, or even if not, our experience is that you will be welcomed, whether you are seeking or not, and you will have found a fount of information so vast and strong that it will help your secular needs, as well as any spiritual needs needing to be quenched. We have gotten great advice on Chinese-speaking doctors, stores with the special foods that a Chinese person may want, and great recipe exchanges, among other things.

So much so that my wife wanted me to blog about this for anyone looking to bring their Chinese spouse abroad.


What dates to return to China with your spouse?

Once you have brought your Chinese wife to the West, you will have to go back to see her family and friends. But what days are best to do this? Chinese New Year is optimal for the reasons stated below, but it can be hectic.

The period around Chinese New Year is also the time of the largest human migration, when migrant workers in China, as well as overseas Chinese around the world travel home to have reunion dinners with their families on Chinese New Year's Eve. More interurban trips are taken in mainland China in this 40-day period than the total population of China. This period is called Chunyun (春運 or 春运, Pinyin: chūnyùn).

The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends, a practice known as "new-year visits" (Chinese: 拜年; pinyin: bàinián). New clothes are usually worn to signify a new year.

The biggest event of any Chinese New Year's Eve is the reunion dinner every family will have. A dish consisting of fish will appear on the tables of Chinese families. It is for display for the New Year's Eve dinner. This meal is comparable to Christmas dinner in the West. In northern China, it is customary to make dumplings (jiaozi 饺子) after dinner and have it around midnight. Dumplings symbolize wealth because their shape is like a Chinese tael. By contrast, in the South, it is customary to make a new year cake (Niangao, 年糕) after dinner and send pieces of it as gifts to relatives and friends in the coming days of the new year. Niangao literally means increasingly prosperous year in year out. After the dinner, some families go to local temples, hours before the new year begins to pray for a prosperous new year by lighting the first incense of the year; however in modern practice, many households hold parties and even hold a countdown to the new lunar year. Beginning in the 1980s, the CCTV New Year's Gala was broadcast four hours before the start of the New Year.

The first day is for the welcoming of the deities of the heavens and earth, officially beginning at midnight. Many people, especially Buddhists, abstain from meat consumption on the first day because it is believed that this will ensure longevity for them. Some consider lighting fires and using knives to be bad luck on New Year's Day, so all food to be consumed is cooked the day before. People also abstain from killing animals. Most importantly, the first day of Chinese New Year is a time when families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.

The second day of the Chinese New Year is for married daughters to visit their birth parents. Traditionally, daughters who have been married may not have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently. On the second day, the Chinese are extra kind to dogs and feed them well as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.

Another family dinner is held on the 8th day of the Chinese New Year to celebrate the eve of the birth of the Jade Emperor.

On the 13th day people will eat pure vegetarian food to clean out their stomach due to consuming too much food over the last two weeks.

The fifteenth day of the new year is celebrated as Yuánxiāo jié (元宵节), otherwise known as Chap Goh Mei in Fujian dialect. Rice dumplings Tangyuan (simplified Chinese: 汤圆; traditional Chinese: 湯圓; pinyin: tāngyuán), a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup, is eaten this day. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. This day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, and families walk the street carrying lighted lanterns.
This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.