Monday, June 15, 2009

Off to China!

Today, Zack, Rachel and I are leaving for China! We are so excited to return and spend time at the Shepherd's Field Orphanage outside of Beijing. We leave early afternoon and will arrive Tuesday evening. Enjoy the pictures and entries over the next two weeks!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fairwell to China...for now

Today we are leaving for the US. As we reflect over the past two weeks we are amazed at God's mercy and grace over us on our adoption journey. We truly feel that our cup has been filled to overflowing time and time again. We have thoroughly enjoyed every moment here in China and have not only met our daughter (finally!) but re-connected with new and old friends. We truly were blessed by the children of Shepherd's Field( and the work that so many wonderful people do to care for these children. The children are a constant reminder of why God has called us to adoption and orphan care. They are precious and I encourage all of you that read this post to consider making a life changing trip to China or another country to serve the children.

Finally adopting Grace has been a great joy. Through endless (seemingly) mounds of paperwork it all has been worth the wait. The "paperwork pregnancy" is all but forgotten as we hold our precious Grace or watch her sleep or smile or walk hand in hand with the other kid's. She is a blessing and we are so thankful to finally have her. We continue to pray for her to be bound to us, heart to heart.

We are also completely amazed at how God has brought us together with friends from the past. As I sat in the medical clinic and randomly spoke to a family from Alabama only to discover that the Mom was my good friend from college. We lost contact after graduation 24 years ago and stumbled upon each other in China. It will be wonderful to re-connect with Tina and several other friends that I have not seen in many, many years. Also yesterday at the oath ceremony at the US consulate in Guangzhou we re-connected with a guide we had met while on a mission trip to Fengdu, China. Maggie had been our guide and translator in Fengdu and we never heard from her after the trip. She was in Guangzhou helping another family adopt their child. We had a nice time catching up with Maggie and were again amazed at God's provision of bringing people together.

Lastly, we have been so excited to see the increased number of people adopting the children with special needs. When we adopted Nathan four years ago we were among the very few adopting a child on the waiting child list with special needs. This trip however, we have seen so many children being adopted with special needs. I would say that at the oath ceremony out of 40 children, half of them had some type of special needs. That is such a blessing that so many people would look at these children with needs that are correctable and choose to love them inspite of not being what we deem as healthy. We had the opportunity to get to know a couple this week from New York name Lorena and Leo. They have 5 children ranging from 8-16 years old. They sat in church two years ago and listened to a story about a little boy named Chu that could not walk. Chu's file was going back to China the next day and if a family was not found, he would be considered un-adoptable. The story gripped this couple and their 5 children and they knew that Chu needed to be in their family. Leo told me that all the way to China they still had fears and doubt, then in Beijing they took a ride on the subway. All over there were kid's on scooters pushing themselves around (because they could not walk) begging for money. At that moment, they knew they were doing what God had called them to do because that would have been Chu's fate. Lorena had tears in her eyes as she talked about Chu. I am so thankful for people like Leo and Lorena, that even though they had fear in their souls, they stepped forward in faith to accept Chu into their hearts.

So farewell China... for now. We will return soon. Your children call us again and again. This has been a most astonishing journey...
Thank you above all to God Almighty, once again the author of all things has blessed us beyond measure.


Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Guangzhou - Mar 2009
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Sunday, March 1, 2009


We arrived in Guangzhou on Friday evening and were met at the airport by our guide Simon. After arriving at the hotel we promptly got everyone to bed because we had an early morning medical appointment. All of the kids that are being adopted have to pass a physical by a Chinese medical staff before they are issued a visa by the US Consulate. There was some concern because of the chicken pox that she may not pass the physical. We went to the clinic and they checked her over thoroughly and determined that she was no longer contagious(Praise God!!). The other new law for adoptions between Hague countries is that children have to be completely up to date on immunizations before leaving the country. She was missing three shots and needed to have those(she did great and did not even cry).
Overall, she passed her exam and was given a good reprt to turn into the consulate.

Another amazing thing happened at the clinic. I was talking to a woman that was there with her brother and sister in law who were adopting a little girl. The woman (Twila) told me that she was from Alabama and so I told her I went to college in Alabama at a little school called the University of Montevallo. The next thing I know the woman adopting the little girl pops her head up and said, "I went to the University of Montevallo, are you Natalie?" and I said, "Are you Tina?" We graduated together in 1985 and had lost contact and had not spoken to each other in 24 years! We were in shock that we would meet so many years later on the other side of the world in China. We were so excited to see each other. Our families were able to have dinner tonight and catch up with each other. It is also very exciting because she keeps in contact with other dear friends that I have not been able to find and now we will be able to continue our friendships. God is amazing! She also adopted a little girl with cleft lip and palate, was married the same year Scott and I were married and had many other similarities. It was an unexpected, exciting renewal of an old friendship.

We have been enjoying Shamian Island in Guangzhou. We have been playing in the park and walking around enjoying the weather. Tomorrow I will post pictures of our trip to the zoo. Enjoy the latest Smilebox!


Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Gracie
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In Changsha

We are still in Changsha waiting for the paperwork to come back from the government. We are waiting on Grace's registration and passport. While we wait we have been to the Hunan provincial museum to see artifacts from the region. Today we went to an embroidery museum and store. The needle work is very beautiful the women who embroider are very talented. Grace is doing well and the chicken pox are not keeping her down. She is busy and on the go and has an excellent appetite. She has her moments with all of us when she is playful and then very introverted where she draws into herself. Overall, she is doing really well with bonding in the family. Tomorrow (Friday) we leave for Guangzhou in the south where we will take care of her American paperwork (visa).


Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Gracie
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