Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the orphan

Little voices speaking in Chinese and quiet screams of delight could be heard coming from behind the door of the foster home as we walked up. We slipped off our shoes and opened up the door. "Ni hao! Ni hao!" lots of little children shouted. We had arrived at Isaac's old foster home where he stayed before we came to get him. There were little children everywhere. Some were sitting on the floor playing with toys, others were talking to each other. A few were far away from everyone else playing by themselves and one little boy was sitting in his bed watching everyone else. It was a very nice apartment they were all in. There was a room where cribs were up against every wall and little toddler beds were in neat rows on the floor. I was on a bit of a mission to find a certain baby I had seen pictures of--I was dying to hold him and love on him. My dad went into the bedroom as the rest of us played with the other children. Suddenly I heard, "Kimberly! Look who I found!" As I rounded the corner, I saw a precious little round faced boy with short black hair that I had seen photos of. He had small little eyes and perfect little pink lips. I held him for the rest of the time we where there. We played together and I talked to him. The time we had to leave came all too quickly, and I shed a few tears when I had to leave him there. I wanted to bring him home so badly, I wanted each of these kids to have a family. 

I think I'll be coming back here to China one day. I don't know when it will be, but after seeing this, there is no way that I can turn my head and ignore these children. God touched my heart that day, and I know I have to do something to help these children. My heart was broken for the orphan. One day I want to come here and do something to help them. I'm not sure what, but I know that I have to do something. These children need us.

{p.s. i've been horrible at blogging during this trip! tomorrow we are traveling home, and once we're back in the u.s. i'm hoping to write more about these past few weeks. thank you all again for all your prayers during all of this!} 

Monday, February 20, 2012

together at last

I'm writing this as I hear the chatter of two little Chinese boys in the background. I'm not sure what they're saying, but one thing I have learned today is that laughter sounds the same in any language. I woke up this morning with the realization that today was it. As we got ready for the day, and tried to eat breakfast, there was only one thing on our minds which was of course the boys. In less then two hours we would be meeting our brothers and sons. I found myself fighting back tears on the buss ride to the place we would meet them. I felt so overwhelmed and so nervous. We got closer and closer and finally, as we were pulling into the drive way we spotted one young boy. Joshua.

I think our whole family shouted "That's Joshua!" at once, and then proceeded to melt into rivers of tears. The tears came on quickly, yet I tried in vain to pull myself together before actually meeting him so I wouldn't scare him. Seeing Joshua walking into the building with tears streaming down his own face sent a flood wave over me, and I realized that yes, this is real. He was wiping tears from his eyes, trying to appear strong. His nanny who brought him had his backpack and together they were sitting on a bench, looking through an album of photos as we walked in the door.

Just as we spotted him and began walking towards him, another little boy caught our eye. Isaac. He was standing by the door, smiling, and walked towards us. Isaac had the sweetest look on his face and quickly we snapped picture after picture as we were introduced to the two new members of our family. Our eyes were filled with tears and we hugged them and said hello. Joshua didn't want to talk to us or look at us, and wanted to only sit with his nanny and grieve. I could not even begin to imagine what kinds of things were going through his little head. This was it, this was his family that he'd been wishing to have for nine years.

Isaac was happy and motoring around the building, sucking on a lollipop and enjoying himself. After his nannies had to leave, he started to cry. My heart broke into a million pieces for him as well as Joshua as they were grieving the loss of everything they had ever known.

While it was the most emotional hour or two of my entire life, it was also the sweetest. I stood in this room, where I had just met my new brothers, and where other families were also coming together. Here in this room, God had brought together these people that had been without each other for so long. In this room, people became parents. Children became brothers and sisters. And people who never have meet each other before became families. It was beautiful.

Today we have been through tears and laughter. It's been hard, but it's been wonderful. I will never be able to express how much love and gratitude has filled my heart today. I look at these two boys and they are truly miracles. From the beginning of time, God planned them to be in our family. From the day when we first saw their pictures to the day we got on the plane, and now, when we have them in our arms, each of these times, God has brought us through it. Today I witnessed something I will never forget. This was truly and really the best day of my life. I watched today as God worked and brought these two boys to us, and seeing this all happen is something I will never be able to put into words. It was surreal, it was overwhelming, it was sad, but it was real, it was amazing, it was happy, it was beautiful. Now, as they are in bed falling asleep, Joshua is humming a Chinese song. I can't believe they are really here. I got to hug them and hold their hands and tell them I love them.

I am so thankful--for today, for this whole experience, for these boys, but most for a Savior who truly does watch over us, protect us, and love us. Today was such an amazing example of this, I was really amazing to see God at work in our lives and the lives of these boys. I could never think of a more perfect example of God's love and provision then the one I witnessed today.

linking up with sunday snapshot  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

one last night

In the days leading up till now, I've imagined myself writing this nice poetic blog post on the night before I meet my brothers. But, right now as I sit down to try to do just that, I just can not put my thoughts and emotions into words. It's not something that can really be described. I think to truly understand these feelings, one has to really go through the same thing, it's just not something you can put into words.

Tonight is their last night as orphans. I can't believe I'm actually saying that. So many days I've thought about what I would feel on this very last night before we get them. I'm excited, I'm nervous...I feel so many different things at once.

I am going to meet my brothers tomorrow. I can't even explain how long it seems I've been waiting to say that. I am trying to remind myself that yes, I may be nervous and anxious, but I need to try to put myself in their shoes. How are they feeling on this last night without a family? What kind of emotions are they feeling? They have been waiting their entire lives for this day to come. They don't have any idea what to expect, and after years and years of not having a family this is all going to change tomorrow.

I think of the many things that I've been having to deal with in a different country--different foods, different smells and sounds. Yet, these young children, who are just 9 and 4 years old are going to leave everything they have ever known and go live with a family they know absolutely nothing about and live in a completely different country. I can not even imagine what that would be like. These boys are the bravest people I know. They might not know it, but what they are about to go through is something I don't think I could ever do. They are inspiring, they're my heroes. These boys are my brothers, and though I have yet to meet them and hug them, I love them already. They're already a part of our family.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be the oldest of six children, I'm really going to have two more little brothers. Right now I think I am the most blessed big sister in the entire world. I am so thankful to have all these younger kids in my family. I know that we're always going to be the best of friends, and while we might have our moments, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the entire world. I pray that I can be a good big sister to them, that I would be helpful and always there for them.

Tonight as I think about all this, I feel as if I could melt into a pile of tears and mixed emotions just hearing the word "tomorrow." I don't know what to expect, and neither do these boys. However, God does. It's not a mystery to Him. Through the hard times, and the wonderful joyous times, I want to be able to remember that. Thank you to each and every one of you for your continued prayers, they mean so much to me and my family. Words cannot express how thankful we are to know so many people have been praying for us during this.

Friday, February 17, 2012

the most amazing country in the world

Yesterday, as the plane began to leave the ground, the sun was just coming up over the horizon. Now that we're here, I must say that I can't think of very many times I've been this exhausted...jet lag is not pleasant. Yet, though I've only been here for a day, this country has already captivated my heart. It is beyond amazing. It's quite an experience to breathe in the things around you. People everywhere are speaking a different language, everything smells strange, and there are so many things to look at. Things are so different here...the lights, the traffic, the food--everything!

 It was busy today, we walked so many places, and never have I been so cold! Bundled in coats, gloves, and hats, we ventured to a silk factory, tiananmen square, the forbidden city, and a hutong village. I found myself watching, completely in awe, at this city. The wind was wiping through my hair and my hands were numb but I couldn't help myself from smiling as I witnessed all these things and did things I never have done before.

It's so loud here, cars honk their horns at anything and everything-- and the people just walk around in the middle of the roads, as if they were completely oblivious to the face that they're about to be in an accident at any given moment. There are people whistling Chinese songs, others are standing on the sidewalks trying to sell all sorts of things. I found it rather humorous when people would try to talk to you just so that they could practice their English. And communicating with people who don't speak the same language is an adventure all by itself.

The food here is...interesting. I think it would be safe to say that I haven't eaten very much today. I prefer to stay away from things that have legs and eyeballs. I am, however, proud to say that I tasted a starfish and a scorpion, and that alone was quite an experience! 

I felt as if I could stand in one place on the sidewalk here, and just look at things forever. There is so much going on in this city. The history here is so rich, and I cannot even explain how blessed I feel to have this opportunity! Every time I look out the window of our tour buss, I am reminded again and again that I have been given so much. There are people here that have to beg on the streets just so they have enough money for their next meal. 

The magnitude of this city is something I think it would take forever to get used to. Tonight as we went to a night market, the lights and the smells were completely astonishing. Everything is so loud and large! It is nothing compared to Colorado, nor any other place I've ever been to. This country is beyond comprehension, it is so many things at one time. It's dirty in some parts, yet beautiful in others. The buildings are so detailed and so beautiful. It's nothing like home, but I love it. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

this is real.

Two days, 13 hours, and 3 minutes reads my countdown app on my iPod. Two days? Is it possible that there are only two days until we step onto the plane and fly to China? So many hours I've spent longing for the week we'd travel to China, and now that it's here, I'm not quite sure what to think. I'm hoping to blog quite a bit on this trip--not only so that you all can hear about it, but so that in the days following our trip, I can come back and re-live all the sights, smells and adventures that China holds. I want to be honest and real in my writing here. I want to capture the details and describe it accurately. There will be so much to tell, so many things to write about, so many things to breathe in and look at.

When you start an adoption process, at least for me, I felt as if we would never come to this point. You have pictures of these children that you are longing to meet and hold in your arms, but you can't do anything but wait. And now, we're just days away from this whole thing actually becoming a reality. Sometimes through this journey I found myself thinking that it was so far away, and it honestly didn't feel real. But this is real! This is actually going to happen.

There are so many things that we don't know about. These next weeks will certainly be some of the most challenging, yet at the same time, some of the most amazing days of my life. I honestly don't know what to expect. I'm nervous, I'm scared, but I am so excited. A week from today, I'll be meeting my brothers. I won't have to stare at their pictures longing for that day, I'll actually be living it. A week from today, I will be in China. A week from today my entire life will be changed. I'm so thankful that God is faithful and that I can put all my trust in Him.

linking up with Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, February 4, 2012

one day at a time

 Where do I even begin? So much has happened. So much is about to happen. There are so many things I want to say, yet I don't know how.
 About two weeks ago, I had to have an unexpected surgery. It was hard. One day, you're healthy and then the next you're in the emergency room and the doctor is telling you that you need to have surgery as soon as possible. Once I got over the initial shock of realizing that these people were going to take apart my body and practically put it back together again, I had a sense of excitement. I was excited to be pain-free, I was ready to get it over with. Once I was admitted into the hospital, and was being wheeled into the operating room, I think I probably would have told you a different story. My family, friends, and church family were so supportive during this hard time in my life, and I am so unexplainably thankful and grateful for them. I spent the following days in bed, surrounded by gorgeous vases of flowers and cards sent to me by friends and family. As strange as this might sound, this surgery was a good thing. I needed to take a step back and look at my life. It was nice to revaluate my priorities and just have time to think about all these upcoming changes in my life.

With moving houses, preparing to go to China in exactly two weeks, along with the normal business of our lives, it's been quite lively at our house. I do not think have we ever been so busy as we are right now. It's not what I would call easy, or exactly enjoyable. Yet while I struggle with balancing everything, I know that this is only for a short time, and it will be worth it. Every day we are a step closer to meeting the boys, everyday we are a day closer to holding their hands. I keep telling myself, Every day is a day closer. Take it a day at a time. Don't. Be. Stressed. Right now, at this moment, all I can do is rely on God's strength, His grace. One day at a time.

p.s. well, i finally got a twitter account. feel free to follow me!