Friday, September 17, 2010

~ Four Years ~ Sunday Snapshot

It started simply, maybe when I was 20 or so and Kerry and I were talking marriage, kids, you know the whole plan.
We knew that it may not happen the usual way, us having children. God surprised us though and after two years of trying Hannah was born. So we put adoption and China on the back burner for a while as life kind of happened. Fast forward to 2004 and a surprise surgery meaning no more children born to us.....
But, I had a vision of four kids and so did Kerry. So we prayed and prayed some more. And then we just knew, knew that somewhere across the ocean there was a baby girl that was meant to be ours.
We began paper chasing in 2005, at the time the wait was 6 months from the time your dossier was submitted to China until you received a referral. But God was again trying to tell us something. That maybe our daughter was on the agency's special needs list, that just maybe we were meant to go that route. So I asked the agency and a couple days later they received a list. I was emailed all three files of the girls....
I opened one, just one and knew. She was ours. There was just a connection, something in her eyes. And she was beautiful.
She was our Hope. Our sweet plum flower.

We waited quite some time from referral to DTC. There were ups and downs. We had our dossier misplaced somewhere in Alaska and also had our home study eaten by a dog. (true story, according to our social worker)

We received updates. And watched our girl grow from an infant to a toddler via pictures. Longing for the day we received our travel approval.
And then it came, I didn't expect it, was actually grocery shopping when Michelle from Villa Hope called. I think I might have even hung up on her in my excitement.

We hopped a flight two weeked later to Xian. Kerry, myself and Hannah who was 10 at the time. We met her at the Xian Civil Affairs office on September 18 2006. She was 22 months old and terrified.

Everthing she had ever know was changing and she didn't like it, at all. But she slowly warmed up to us. Slowly...

She was a tiny itty bitty little thing. Barely 14 pounds, wearing size 6 month clothing. Never had solid food and was plain scared.
But the love I felt for was instant. The dream I had of adopting since I was a teenager, had finally come true. And I had my husband and my oldest daughter to share in the experience.

Here is what my husband wrote in our travel journal from that day.

"I cried a bit this morning as I was holding Hope and thinking about all we had gone through to get here. It was never a question of whether it was the right or wrong thing to do. It has been clear from the beginning that adopting Hope was God's plan for our lives, Desiree had the vision placed in her heart and we followed the call. It's amazing what can happen if you listen to that still small voice that can be heard now and then."

Now look at our girl, four years later. She is growing up before my eyes. She is a strong, outgoing girl who loves life. She always looks at things with a glass half full kind of way.

We love you Hopey!! You have blessed us.


Virginia said...

Just popping over from the Sunday Snapshot. What a sweet post and what a beautiful girl! Happy four years!

Gin =)

Julie said...

Happy Gotcha Day Christopher Family!!!!

Jen said...

What a beautiful story your daughter has! What a leap of FAITH you took! and...just look at all the blessings!

Stefanie said...

Four years? Wow, seems like it couldn't possibly be that long! I think we met shortly after that, right?
Happy four years as a family... Hope is as beautiful today as she was then :)

Annie said...

Such a beautiful post about such a beautiful girl!

Daisy Dreams said...

Happy Family Day!! What a beautiful girl Hope is....a blessing indeed!

quilt-n-mama said...

I came over what Sunday Snapshot...
Happy 4 years. 5 years ago at this time, we were waiting for our first little one from China as well... what blessings God has given!