Saturday, April 2, 2011

Catching up from China!

Sorry friends who follow me on this blog... I have been posting to Facebook videos and updates and thought I better update my blog. All I can say is this trip has gone so well. I could not have dreamed for things to have gone any better. With any adoption you should go in expecting the worse and praying for the best - just because these kids are going through SO much. I don't know how I would be if I left everything I knew and was put with strangers who didn't speak my language. Probably a crying mess! Summer has just been smiles ever since we got her. I TRULY believe that God has been in control and has warmed her heart to us even before she met us.

So many things happened on this trip that weren't suppose to happen that I was praying would. One of the biggest things was meeting Summer's foster mother. She was given up at 4 1/2 and lived with the same foster mother the whole time. I just felt it was REALLY important to try and learn as much about her past so I could tell her about it when she was older if she would forget. My guide in the very first hour said, "You will not be able to meet her as they think it would be more traumatic to say goodbye". I just know from my own loss of my son that even though it may hurt to say goodbye - closure is even better for the heart. How I wish I would have had that with him... I kindly told her that I would try and find a way if she couldn't.

Well the next day she had a big smile on her face and said that I could meet the foster mother, go to the orphanage and meet her teacher. I almost fell over. Nanning is hit or miss if they allow you to do this. When I got Summer she had a note for me from her foster mother with her address and phone number so I knew she wanted to as well. 5 years is a long time and I felt pieces of her past were important to know. Needless to say out of all the things we have done, places we saw I felt this was the best part of my trip.

Meeting her foster mother was just so special. Immediately upon arriving at the orphanage grounds (she lived near there) Summer saw her and sprinted off to hug her - I could tell she loved her very much. Her foster mother told me what Summer had told her 5 years ago about being abandoned outside of a department store... I always thought she was given up because she had a severe heart problem (the same kind Aiden had) - when they found her she was having blue spells... But she told her foster mother her mother gave her up because she was pregnant again. She remembered living on the 2nd floor under her parents store and her grandmother liked to knit. This information just broke my heart for her. I still believe that the heart issue had some to do with it - but the fact she knew she was pregnant and they gave her up - wow that is so sad. You have to love China's one child policy. She said she no longer remembers anything about them or why she was given up anymore (when asked by her mother and my guide).

We also met her teacher at her school and her classmates. We pulled up to the school and all the kids were lined up to be dismissed... had we been five minutes later we would have missed them. It was so amazing to see the love her teacher had for her. We spent an hour with the teacher - she went home and gave Summer 12 years of Chinese language books so she could try to still keep her language up. She told me I could email her anytime and SunFen could send her her Chinese lessons. How sweet is that? She told me that the teachers knew she was an orphan and never raised their voice to her but loved her. You could truly see this. She went up to her teacher and hugged her and was able to say goodbye to her friends. I was able to get many pictures - this was priceless for her.
She no longer has to worry about a family though does she? She is so sweet. To watch Taylor just glow with love for her - it is truly one of the best things to see. It shows that love grows in the heart and does not have to be biological. So many times in my videos Taylor looks like her eyes are moist but yet it is tears of happiness (she would never admit the tears but I could see them).

I would have loved for Chad to come with and miss the support... but I believe God allows certain things to happen the way he wants. It has been a blessing to spend a few days with Taylor alone to experience this together and then the bonding us three girls have done - it is unmeasurable. I am sure there will be trying times - but what person doesn't have these, but I am just so honored that God showed FAVOR on us with how well things have gone.

Not to talk about what happened in my past (for those following who may not know) I lost my son Chase full term a day before he was to be born 3 years ago. We tried for 6 years plus to get pregnant and then that happened and Chad was in Iraq (he was healthy). I am not going to lie and say, "Oh it wasn't hard and God took care of everything" - Well God did take care of everything but it wasn't without my struggles of dealing with grief for 2 years. I thank God I HAVE God because without him I would not have had hope for a future. I always wondered WHY God would have allowed that to happen but I truly believe he knew the bigger picture. He did give me peace and I feel like without Chase being born - I would not have Aiden who could have died without being adopted (he had a serious heart problem that was not fixed) and without Aiden I probably would not have adopted Summer.

We stepped out in faith knowing that adoption was always in our hearts. Even during all my fertility issues. We thought we would adopt and then when that happened it was like a big NEON sign saying, "Now are you ready?" I remember when we lost Chase - and seeing Chad say, "Heidi we need to start the adoption process now" "No more fertility treatments, hundreds of doctor appointments, etc". It gave me a hope. I can truly say that I am so blessed that I have a beautiful caring God loving daughter, the most happy little boy from China and now another beautiful daughter.

I know this all probably seems "cliche" but I just wanted to share how blessed I truly feel. I do still miss the son I never knew - but I KNOW one day I will see him. I believe God allows bad things to happen to people to give them a nudge in the direction they need to go. I feel this happening has made me a better person and has drawn me closer to God. Anyways, sorry to digress - (it is 5:30 AM as I write this) but I just wanted to share a little of our story.

When I see all these families around here with their new adoptive kids - you just know the love these children are about ready to receive and how their lives will change. Although Summer was loved by here foster mother - she ALWAYS wanted a family. She would see younger babies/siblings being adopted and just prayed someone would want an older child. I was told she could not wait for us to come to get her.

To see a child who is 8 giggle and laugh over the smallest things, like taking a bubble bath - you would have thought she won the lottery. She claps her hands and shrieks with joy. She went on a few amusement rides, she told our guide she never went to a park before... she had me in tears with her happiness. She got off of the bumper cars and just started jumping up and down. Then somehow Taylor got her on the swings and 2 roller coasters. She just LOVE them. They drew a crowd of people with their laughter.

Thanks for listening - I was in the mood to write today and this is what came out. I feel extremely blessed that Chad loves our kids know matter where they come from (as well as our relatives) and that we have been able to travel down this road. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you... not to harm you but to prosper you" (paraphrasing) Truly he has.


Mary Kate said...

What a beautiful post Heidi...It is an amazing process!!!

rubymum26 said...

You sure know how to get my tears flowing! Heidi, you have such an amazing way of seeing things, and God has blessed you so much with all of your children! Summer is one very lucky girl to have you as her mom and to have your family as her own! God bless the years ahead, and may this adjustment period in the US happen as smoothly as your trip in China! So happy for you my friend!

Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing. So sorry for your loss. So happy that you see the blessings on the other side. Thank you for letting me follow along. I'm learning lots and preparing for our turn to travel through BAAS also...September (hopefully, or sooner!)

Rachel said...

Just caught up with your blog Heidi. This post is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing! We've been wondering how you are all doing! I showed TingTing some of the videos and pictures from your blog and she loved it. She pointed out Summer right away and got a huge smile!