Sunday, January 3, 2010

I don't know what I would have done?

It is so wonderful to see Sarah become more comfortable in our family- truly a miracle only God could have orchestrated! She has done especially well this time with all the older children around. Her personal growth has amazed us!

Sometime the conversations can be very superficial and a little frustrating. There are a few language and comprehension issues. I have longed and prayed for more meaningful conversations with our daughter.

Today we received a Christmas card from her orphanage in Ch*na. It was addressed to hubby and I but it had her Chinese name on the address! She was so happy to see it written in Chinese and recognized it right away! That brought on a bunch of memories and she began talking. Talking about everything! I have noticed that her ramblings often start out factual and then drift into fantasy, but she had my complete attention. I could tell she meant what she was saying. She talked about her life in the orphanage, about people who where nice and those that were not nice. She told stories about school and how she cared for the babies. She spoke of some that died and some older children that never had the surgeries they needed.

That conversation lead into her Momma's heart for the orphans. How every child needs to have a Mommy and a Daddy. She was right there with me- for the first time I could tell she genuinely agreed. We talked about adopting her sisters- Emma and Ellie and whoever else God had in mind for our family. We talked about helping other orphans find their families- it was a good conversation. A really good one! She did not feel intimidated or threatened, she was so comfortable.

We talked about her life in China. She said she was so glad we came to get her quickly! Earlier she wondered why didn't we come when she was a baby, like Anna. We told her that Ch*na had not put her up for adoption and as soon as they did we grabbed her quick. Right away we saw her picture and right away we grabbed her! We new God wanted her to be our daughter!

She told us she was so glad we brought her home. We talked again how she is our daughter FOREVER! She likes the sound of that a lot! She is happy that Emma and Ellie will be in our family and that they will have a forever family, too. Of course, I do know there will be many "feelings" amongst the crew once everyone is home. We will work through it and become a family once again.

We have had conversations of life after the orphanage. She has seen many older orphans become caretakers at the orphanage. She has seen some of them leave, never to be heard from again. Today- it really dawned on her what would she be doing without her family, what would her future have been like? Today she said to us " I don't know what I would have done?"

I am not saying this in order to show her gratitude or to make us into heroes. I am saying this for all the other orphans that need a home. What will they do when they age out?


TanyaLea said...

Wow Jean, what a neat conversation to have with your daughter. I love how 'comfortable' and open she was with you. I think this was such an important conversation and how beautiful to see that her heart is happy to be part of your 'forever family'... you are cultivating another young heart to grow and care for the orphans...I can see it now! Praise God for your heart and selfless love. It always blesses me to meet others who have such a love for these children... because yes, where WOULD they be if someone didn't give them the home they DESERVE!?!

GREAT post!! :)


Sue said...

Amazing post. I agree they all need mommy and daddy's and that I love being my daughter's mommy....
I think with Sarah talking more details about her life in China before you came into her life, she is feeling more safe and secure with your guys and that she knows she can trust you.

Katie Baron said...

I have been following your blog since your daughter Sarah came home. We also adopted an older child internationally (age 7,now 8). She came home at about the same time that Sarah did.
Older child adoption brings some special challenges (I am sure you would agree).
I am wondering if you would be open to an occasional email.
I am looking for someone who has "been there" to share stories and bounce ideas off of. There are so many times when I have read something that Sarah is doing and think our daughter does this too and it makes her seem more normal (at least for a child who has been adopted at an older age).
I would understand if you are too busy.
My contact information is

Pam said...

What a great post. I cannot wait to start having those conversations, as well. ;)

Ooooh, and boys???? I love it!

Sophie Neri said...

Beautiful post Jean.
It's so powerful that she opened up to you the way she did and to see what a child at such a tender age carries in her heart. How wonderful that she feels loved and secure and that she understands the importance of that. I'm sure she will grow to have a tender heart and give to others the precious gift you've given her.

Chris said...

Can't wait to have those conversations, but they have to be hard.
Are you writing it down? I hope someone reminds me when we finally get to that stage. She will forget and so will you.
So often when the kids say something I'm busy and later I try to remember what it was I wanted to write.

Cari said...

Thank you for sharing this post with these private moments! It helps those of us who are considering older child adoption or are in the process. It just gives us more wisdom and knowledge for our situations. Love your blog!

Lori said...

Oh Jean, what a beautiful post. I just love your tender heart that is broken for orphans. God will bless you immeasurably for that. And that sweet Sarah, she just gets more snuggly into your family with each moment. Precious beyond words.

Thanks for sharing.

Now, I've got a lot of reading to do to get caught up on what's been going on with you the last couple weeks! Yay! I'm back!

Craig and Phyllis said...

I just found your blog tonight, and have enjoyed reading a bit. I think I found you through a comment you posted on "There's no place like home" blog (which I found this afternoon). My husband and I are 49 years old, have 2 bio. kids (22 and 20) and brought home our three sons from Russia in December of '08. They are 10, 8, and 5 with birthdays this Saturday. I will enjoy coming back to your blog and learning some from you!

Praying you will be able to travel soon for you 2 newest daughters.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Jean, what a memory this conversation will be even years from now. I always feel so much sadness for the children who age out of foster care and orphanages... what happens to them? Where do they go on holidays?

God's Grace said...

Oh my goodness this is killing me! What a precious conversation...Terry

David and Sarah said...


These are the sorts of conversations that truly show us how much these precious children need a family, aren't they? I've had similar conversations with my children. May many other children (especially the older ones) find their forever families!