Thursday, September 6, 2012

Birthdays and Beginnings

Today, I celebrate the one who gave me the gift of motherhood. Jacob is a true gift and I am grateful that we are sharing this experience together. To think, only God knew on Jacob's 9th birthday his sister was being born on the other side of the world! He, of course, is the glue holding this whole operation together. I embarrass him hourly, but he hasn't bailed on me yet! Maggie is quite enamored with him.

Maggie Grace, even though I have only known her for 4 days, I feel as though it has been a lifetime. Our guide said, "I think she is girlie-girl". I agree, just like her mama!

Haddie and Maggie are doing well as they are getting to know one another. Maggie has had some moments when she has made it clear to Haddie she has been "big sistered" enough, but overall they really enjoy one another.

I am so proud of Haddie! Sharing mom and being sensitive to all these crazy circumstances is not easy at age 9. Being a big sis to Libi has prepared her for much of what she has endured in this last week. I will never forget how she was overcome with emotion when she first met her sister!

Orphanage visit:
On our way to the orphanage Maggie withdrew into herself. I was concerned for what the day might hold for her little heart and prayed for God's hand of protection.

Upon our arrival her face brightened and Maggie bounded from the car. Being greeted warmly by all who crossed her path, it was clear that she was well loved in this place.

What I saw today is hard to fully communicate. Hope mixed with hopelessness in such a bittersweet dance. The Dongguan Social Welfare Institute is home to over 900 children. Please allow that to soak in. This is only one city, one orphanage out of thousands in China. 900 children, you do the math.

May the pictures below speak to your soul:

This little angel was in time out. It was very difficult for me not to rescue him!!!

These last 3 children we had the privilege to meet are available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates. They were all so wonderful!

Age 8, cannot bare weight on his legs. He is very bright, and sings beautifully!

This little honey is very tiny! She is 6 and very tiny. It is not known why she is small, but she is in good health, and cognitively on track.

This last handsome dude has killer dimples. He is 7 and deaf. He has begun to learn sign language and is quite bright. Other than his inability to hear he is a healthy and happy boy!

All of the children we saw carried some type of special need label, but everyone was a delightful child capable of blessing a family with inexplicable JOY!! If given individual medical care and a family they would all make huge strides both mentally and physically.

After visiting the children we were taken to a room with black couches and over in the corner sat Maggie's foster mother. Maggie quietly sat down near her.

Her foster mother is quite smitten with Maggie. She shared with us that Maggie was her favorite. She brought Maggie a birthday cake and a card that her teachers had sent. Her foster mother informed us that Maggie was all of her teachers' favorite too because she is such a sweet girl! She received an A+ in English, and that is her favorite subject.

She helped Maggie cut the birthday cake and serve everyone with warm hospitality. I remarked to Jacob that Maggie has had some good training. Maggie has lived with her foster family for almost two years. There were 4 other children in the home, ages 10, 8, 7 and 4. We were told that Maggie got along well with the children, but she typically was the one in charge. This should greatly concern anyone who knows anything about Haddie!

When it was time to go, Maggie grabbed Haddie's hand and they dashed out of the building.

We made one last stop in the village where Maggie was found. I really have no words for that.

I once was lost....

But now I'm found!!!!!

Maggie slept on me all the way back to the hotel.


  1. My heart is full for you sweet friend:)

  2. Oh Amy. My heart was immediately drawn to the handsome dude with killer dimples! Wish we could pursue him!!!! Will pray for a family. And to anyone in our home town, I would be more than happy to help you get going on learning sign language if you are feeling a similar tug. (Our family is learning as we prep to bring home our own 7yo who is deaf.)

  3. As happy as I am for you.....I'm coveting!!!! LOL!!! .... so wish we had started a whole lot sooner. Our house would be overflowing with sweet faces like Mackenzie, Raegan, Libby, Haddie, Maggie, and the beautiful children you have pictured here!! God bless your beautiful sweet family!!!!