I haven't been a very good blogger have I ??
Well let's see what we have been up to??
(and see if I have any followers left!) lol
I guess our BIG news is that we are adding to our family once again!!
Our daughter Grace is waiting for us in Lu'An Anhui province China.
She is 9 years old, and is only 3 days older than Lily! :)
My heart has been connected to the orphans in China since that very first adoption trip 9 years ago...
For the past 7 years, I have volunteered with an incredible organization called Gracie's Room First Hugs. We started in Dianjiang Chongqing, in Lily's orphanage and now we are in XinXiang Henan China.
In those 7 years, I have witnessed many miracles - a baby born so small, so premature that she couldn’t maintain her own body temperature, she didn’t have enough strength to suck from her bottle, but with loving hands and heart, and the knowledge from friends from all over the world, she is now going home strong to her forever family.
A sweet little toddler, quietly sitting in my lap, that when she looked into my eyes, she looked straight into my soul and it took my breathe away. Never hearing a sound, for the first 2 years of her life, but I got to watch the video of her hearing her mother’s voice for the first time.
In those 7 years I’ve witnessed too much death - a newborn baby just hours old - still covered with vernix and blood, her black hair matted to her head, born with spina bifida - so severe that there was no chance of survival. But I leaned over her cradle, silent tears streaming my down my face, breathing her in deeply, I told her she was loved, and that she wouldn’t die alone.
Another baby, struggling for breathe, her eyes void of life, her body filled with infection. I tried to have her moved to our program quickly. She died that night - alone.
In those 7 years I’ve witnessed the unknown - a baby with a bile duct blockage, so jaundiced her bowel movements were now clay-like, her skin yellowed.
A 10 year old boy, just skin and bones, his head hanging over the edge of the bed, his muscles so tight from cerebral palsy, unable to lift to his head back on to the bed.
I don’t know what happened to them.
But mostly in those 7 years I’ve seen despair. I’ve seen the complete absence of hope in the older children that live day to day in the walls of an orphanage. Wanting a mother, a father and a sibling to tease. What is so distressing is that they know their time is running out, when they reach the age of 14 they are no longer adoptable.
Many of these children are healthy - with mild or no special needs.
Actually they do have a very significant need - they need a family!
I am now the Director of First Hugs and every year I travel to China to love and check on the babies. I love to send pictures and updates to all the families that are waiting to travel to their babies.
And although I love to do this, it consumes a significant portion of our family budget. Everything I do with First Hugs, whether it be work here in North America or plane tickets to China, it is all paid for out of my own pocket. This is a volunteer position and all proceeds go directly to the children.
Could you help us with another miracle -
Our daughter Grace.
She is a beautiful 9 year old girl that would like to learn how to dance. She is bright and strong and longs for the love of our family.
She was born with scoliosis and will need surgery when she is done growing.
She lives in Lu’An Anhui province and has seen all of her friends be adopted.
Grace now knows that she too will be adopted. She has seen our pictures and heard our voices.
I hope to travel in November to bring her home - where she belongs.
Here is how you can be part of the miracle
to bring Grace Home.
This beautiful picture above has been made into a 16x20" puzzle with 220 pieces. The assembled puzzle will remain upside down on a table. People can pick a number, donate the dollar amount of that number, and we will write their name on the back of the piece corresponding to the donation. Someone can pick #1 and donate $1, someone can pick #200 and donate $200. No one person will give more than $220
This will put us a LONG way down the road to meeting our financial costs of the remaining part of the adoption.
Anything above and beyond what is needed for our adoption will be donated to the children of First Hugs XinXiang China.
There is a DONATE button for paypal on the right side of the blog, just choose which number of the puzzle you would like and press the donate button!!!