Since last Friday we have seen so many signs which tell us that Natalie Wanhan, was meant to be our daughter. One of the first things we learned when we got the referral call for Natalie was her birthdate of January 27, 2010 - the same day as Gary's father's birthday!
This picture was taken on August 10, 2011. Natalie was 18 months old at the time.
Another red thread...Gary, Louie and Natalie are all Aquarius and born in late January. (Katie and I are both October girls.)
During this long wait I have made some very dear friends who were also logged into the China adoption system in July of 2006. Three of those women will be traveling with us in China to meet their daughters. All three of them have daughters in the same orphanage, but Natalie is in a different one. I had so wanted her to have that connection with some families from our close knit group, so when I first learned this I was a little sad. But very soon thereafter I learned that several families in our group who are leaving for China this week have daughters from Natalie's orphanage. There are estimated to be 1,000 orphanages in China so it is truly miraculous that Natalie will be able to share this connection with some girls in our little group. There is a chance that one of these families might get to visit our sweet girl and take some pictures for us next week.
Now, the next incredible red thread... I was recently contacted by someone who adopted a daughter from the same orphanage as Natalie's in August of this year. She said she thought she had some pictures of our daughter and she sent them to me. I confirmed that "YES! That is our Natalie!" I was so thrilled to get the most recent pictures I have to date of Nat. The above picture is one that she sent.
Even better than the pictures though was finding out that her daughter is Natalie's foster sister. I didn't even know that Natalie is in foster care. Now we have pictures of her being held by both her foster mother and father, pictures of her with her foster sisters, and a connection to Natalie's past. This is such a wonderful gift for our family. The person that traveled in August had previously discovered another of the five foster sisters, so if we can find the other two in the next several months these girls will be able to have a lifelong connection to their whole group of foster sisters. We are just thrilled about this. I know it is going to mean so much to Natalie as she grows up.
Now for the grand finale of the Red Threads: What does the above picture have in common with the two below?
A stunning red thread. Do you see it? It truly blew Gary and I away when we did. There is no doubt in the world that this precious little girl is our daughter. Amazing! Yep, that's our baby :)