Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
|Used with permission from Casey Chappell|
5 years ago today this brave young lady gave birth to this super smart and adventurous boy. Words can't explain how much I admire her courage to place her baby with a family she only knew through a letter.She's had a long 5 years and is getting ready for the rest of her life and knowing Jack is one of those precious things that both she and Dan and I value greatly. Birth moms are incredible and I'm so glad that I have the privilege to know 3 American women and wish I knew the 2 African women who have given life to the children who call me mom. ~Casey Chappell
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
|(And um, no, I'm not Serena Williams, but this offered up a great image for when life doesn't go according to OUR intentions!)|
Thursday, September 18, 2014
And honestly, it was only another 10 months until we had to take this picture:
This shot was by the Chinese government the day after "Gotcha" had happened. He still looked pretty scared. The smiles distinctly began the next morning. And he's never stopped smiling since!! :)
And it was BEFORE we traveled to adopt Toby that we knew knew knew that Esty was our daughter too.
But that's crazy, right?
Ten months after we were home with Toby, we were back in China to bring Esty home.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
He was so delighting in playing in the ocean! :)
Sunday, July 27, 2014
|This is not her brace, but an example to illustrate.|
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Something happened on the way to the hospital yesterday.
Esty opened up.
She had me in tears in minutes.
As soon as we dropped her sister off, she began to chatter. She had purpose. Something had been on her mind.
Up to this point, she has only answered questions I have asked in effort to learn more about her past.
Yesterday was different. She had something to say.
"Mommy, I have a friend at my orphanage," she began in Mandarin. (We still speak in Chinese about matters of the heart as it's still easier for her.)
My ears perked up. I turned off the music.
"Tell me about your friend," I answered.
"I'm so worried about my friend, Mommy. I don't know if he is okay or not." And she began to pour out her heart. "He is in a wheelchair like me. He was my friend. So nice. But his legs cannot bend. They are stuck in a bent position. He sleeps in a ball, with his feet tucked under him. I don't know if he is sick or not, Mommy. I don't know if he has a fever. I'm worried if he doesn't get adopted like me, he will die in China. The doctors we have here are so good. The orphanage had two doctors, but they didn't do much. They didn't help me when I was so sick."
I was speechless.
"I want him to get a family. I want him to be able to go to good doctors. I am so worried, if he stays in China he will die."
I had tears at this point.
She proceeded to tell me how he was in 2 different foster families, but both families only had a mother.
Sweet boy. He has never had a father figure.
Oh my heart.
I asked her his name but she said, "Oh but Mommy, if I tell you his name, you won't know him."
I told her that I could ask my friend to see if she could find him. Find out if he has been adopted. Find out if he is okay.
She couldn't believe it.
She asked me how this was possible. I recounted the story about seeing HER picture posted…people were looking for her family to find her.
And we did.
She was on the edge of her seat.
And in between doctor appointments, I emailed my dear Annie. I used Pinyin to write out the boy's name. In order to find a particular orphan, you need their Chinese name and date of birth. Esty knew he was 9, but had no idea when his birthday was. I hoped for the best.
I knew which orphanage to search in, his Chinese name, approximate age and special need...I felt hopeful!
Within 24 hours, I had an email back from dear Annie.
SHE HAD FOUND HIM!!!
I showed Esty his picture. "That's HIM!!!! Oh Mommy, that's is really him!!! Is he okay? Does he have a fever?"
(Interesting to hear her worry about him having a fever. This was the key symptom she presented when she had that severe kidney infection that went septic and would have died if we didn't get her proper medical treatment. She is aware. She wants the best for her friend!)
Of course I had to answer that this information did not tell us whether or not he had a fever. But it did give us his birthday and he is now 10 years old.
He is on the Shared List.
If you haven't adopted from China that means that any agency at all can request his file and do his adoption paperwork. He is not locked in with any particular agency.
I have his file. What a precious soul.
It amazes me: his file was prepared precisely one year ago.
I have goosebumps. Do you?
As I read his file I love what I read.
"All nurturers and kids like him very much."
"He hopes to have his family with dad and mom."
How much more awesome to know that my Esty vouches for his delightful personality!
So friends, let's share this precious boy we are calling "Branch." Let's find his family!!!
If you want to more about Branch, please contact me. He has the same special need as Esty: spina bifida with lower limb paralysis. He also appears to have club feet. What a treasure!!!
Someone PLEASE go get Branch and we will meet up with you!! Esty wants to know that her friend can live a better life, have a daddy and not die in China unloved!!
How's that for a cause?? :)
Love my dear daughter! Who better to advocate for the orphan than the former orphan who knows both sides of the coin?
Let's get Branch a family.