Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving in China

Thanksgiving in China!
We have had our daughter, Jaelynn, for 4 days now. The best word I can use to describe her is joyful. We have heard so many giggles in the last few days and we are loving it.
On Monday morning the twelve families in our group loaded up on a bus and headed for the Registration Office. Our children were coming from about six different cities in the Henan province. When we arrived a couple of children were already there waiting. The children from Jaelynn's city had not arrived yet so I went around the room taking pictures of other families receiving their children. Some children showed no emotion, some screamed, and some seemed happy and content. This was the most intense yet beautiful thing I have ever experienced. It was such a mix of emotions. Most of these children were between 20 months and 28 months and didn't understand anything that was going on. On one hand I felt so badly for them because they were so frightened, on the other hand I was so happy that these precious little ones had a mama and a baba now. One of my favorite "Gotcha Moments" was a little girl, around 2 years old. Her father came to China alone to get her and she just cried and cried for a good thirty minutes. Her daddy took her outside and comforted her. When he came back in she had settled down nicely and was even smiling and she has not quit smiling since. I think she has her daddy wrapped around her finger... If you saw her I am sure you would say, "how could she not?" About forty five minutes after we arrived at the Registration Office we were only waiting on the children from Luoyang and then a van pulled up. My heart jumped and then I saw her, my daughter! I stood by the door and when she saw us she recognized us from our pictures. It was a moment that one cannot adequately describe and also a moment that is meant just for a little girl and her mama and baba.
Monday we spent most of the afternoon in our hotel room getting to know each other. A huge blessing is that Jaelynn understands us very well and she speaks English very well. She has had fun trying to teach us some Chinese. She is incredibly smart. I have asked her who taught you that several times, and almost without fail she responds "Rebekah". Rebekah is the pre school teacher at Maria's Big House of Hope and has done an amazing job teaching and loving these children. I will forever be grateful for what you have done! In the evening we walked about a mile to Wal Mart with several other families in our group. Wal Mart in China is certainly different than the Wal Mart we know.
Tuesday we had to travel to the city where Jaelynn is from to apply for her passport and we also were able to visit Maria's Big House of Hope. This was a highlight of our time here in China. I have always wanted to visit here and especially since Jaelynn spent over three years of her life there. I walked in this building and it took my breath away. This special care facility cares for some of the sickest babies and children. We met the nannies that have been taking care of Jaelynn and Jaelynn was able to show us her friends. It was so touching when one little girl who could only lay on a pallet on the floor smiled really big when Jaelynn got close to her face. We met Dr Martin and his family and they were so very kind to us as they showed us around the facility. David and I felt that this visit helped give Jaelynn some closure.
Wednesday we walked to Wal Mart again with some families and then we had lunch at Pizza Hut. Jaelynn loves pizza.
On Thanksgiving day David, Jaelynn, and I walked through a large park near our hotel, ate lunch at McDonald's, and had dinner with some of the families in our group. Not a traditional thanksgiving meal, but we enjoyed it just the same.
Today we are all waiting on our children's passports to be delivered and tomorrow we fly to another city (Ghuangzhou) where Jaelynn will have a visa physical examination and her picture taken. We are looking forward to arriving at the next city.
It has been such wonderful experience to watch God knit the hearts of these little ones together with their families. It has been fun getting to know people who have been on similar journeys to bring their children home and to know that when we left the Registration Office on Monday there were twelve less orphans in the world. So happy and grateful that our family could be a part of welcoming one into our family. We have truly seen a picture of the Gospel this week as so many children were given the gift of a family and as they learn every day what it is like to be part of a family.
Thank you for your support and prayers. Please continue to,pray for Jaelynn as she adjusts to her new family. You all are going to love this girl!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. We're praying for all of you!

  2. It sounds like you had an awesome "Gotcha Day." It's pretty cool being a part of the body of Christ isn't it? Blessings! Tracy