Monday, September 30, 2013

2 Years Ago Today... We Fell in Love With a Photograph

Two years ago today, Gary and I saw our daughter's beautiful face for the first time when we received her referral photo.
After 6 years of waiting we finally found out our daughter's Chinese name, Ling Wan Han.  We learned out that she was living in an orphanage in Shangrao in the Jiangxi Province of China.  Our 20 month old sweetie had been living in the orphanage since she was about a day old.  

We thought that she was the most beautiful child we had ever seen and we couldn't wait to hold her in our arms.  It was probably the most emotional day of my life.  I was so filled with joy and relief that I cried for hours.  The below video shows a messy version of me, but it gives an idea of what referral day is like.  
I will never be able to fully express the immense love that we have for this amazing child who we are honored to call our daughter.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Like Mother, Like Daughter

3 year old Charity in her messy room
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40 years later.... 3 Year old Natalie in her not quite as messy room
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During the many years we were waiting to adopt a child from China I would often wonder what our child's personality would be like.  Would she be a super energetic child who never slows down or a child who likes to read and enjoys quiet activities?  It turns out that Natalie and I have very similar personalities.  We both enjoy a balanced mix of rowdy and quiet fun.  We are both extremely reflective introverts.  And despite the messy room pics above we are both very organized and detail oriented.

Sometimes we are so much alike that I temporarily forget that Natalie is adopted.  We have, however, already started having talks about her birth mother in China.  At 3 years old Natalie is already asking the hard questions.  "Why wasn't I in your tummy?" "Why was I at the orphanage?" I answer her as honestly and simply as I can.  I never expected to have these types of conversations at such a young age, but hopefully we are laying a foundation that will help her better understand her past as she gets older.  In the meantime, we will enjoy learning even more about each other and feeling gratitude every day that we were the fortunate people that were chosen to be parents to this amazing little girl.