This has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever been through... I am so thankful to God for allowing all of this to happen.
I really can't believe we met the foster family!
I can't believe we were in the home that our daughters lived in for the last 3.5 years.
I just can't believe that the woman we saw in pictures with our daughter is now in pictures with us, with our family. It is truly a blessing!
Here are pictures of all her foster children throughout the years! Ladies, if you think it doesn't make any difference whether or not you send an update on your child to the foster family - you are wrong! Send them! The marvel over the children! It is what they do, it's their job and they love to see the children thriving! (If possible send directly to the foster parents so they are sure to get them!)
Most of the foster families live in these complexes near the orphanage and the school.
They invited us into their home and had fruit and water for us! She also had a few things cooking in the kitchen that she sent with us for the girls.
The relationship between our girls and the foster family was not lovey dovey. Their was love there but not much hugging and kissing. The foster Dad worked a lot and the girls were mostly with the foster Mom.
Here is the school the girls attended. It was nice and close to home.
We asked many questions and got straight forward answers. I would have preferred that the girls not be there during that time but we did not have any options.
Anna made herself right at home!
It saddened me that she did not have many good things to say about Emma. I think she did say that Emma like to clean up and be helpful... but that was all.
Once Emma found out she was going to be adopted she she frequently misbehaved. She was kicked out of school 5 times in the last 2 months.
At that point she decided that no one was going to control her. We have had to be very strict with her while in China. At first I think some of the people think we are excessively firm but once they see how she acts- I think we have gained their respect. Either way - it doesn't matter... Emma is our daughter, she is part of our family and she needs to fit into our family... we don't need to fit into what she desires. She WILL learn, it will just take some time.
Their is the foster Dad having a cigarette. To me this picture is so thought provoking. It is so simple and yet there is so much depth in it...
This is the bedroom the girls shared. They slept in the same bed. We asked them if the wanted to sleep together in the hotel and at home. Ellie was a definite NO!
Here is her kitchen. It is so simple but the truth is I am sure she is a much better cook than I am and I have a large kitchen...
My girls are going to be disappointed in their new mothers cooking...
Thank You for caring for our daughters for the last 3.5 years!
With the way Emma acted we wondered what the foster family was really like... We were thankful to know they were nice people. We liked them right away, there was an unspoken bond between us... They have 2 birth children in their 20's. A daughter who is married and has their grandson. Their bio son is in college.
She has fostered for many years but will no longer be fostering. Emma and Ellie were her last foster children. We so appreciate the care they gave our daughters but sometimes people do "burn out". It was evident that our Emma was not the favored daughter. She is a "hurt" child. She is need of love, guidance and she will need time to heal.
This is the parents bedroom.
Another pic of the school.
We new of a couple children that were adopted from this orphanage and were our daughters friends. They new Meiying!! Everyone loved her- she was a good girl!!
They also new Sha Sha! The girls were so excited to see her!!
She will be getting her forever family in September (about)!
I know that Ellie had many friends but it was nice to know that Sha Sha was also Emma's friend.
Adorable!! PTL- they all have or will have forever families!
The experience was surreal! We almost backed out- we just weren't sure how it was going to affect the girls. It turned out to the the best thing for all of us! We have never had this opportunity before- I am so thankful for it!
We did not get to visit the orphanage. We were okay with that, especially since our girls were only there for a short time.
I love this Grandma!! She was thrilled to see the girls! She was all smiles and very few teeth!!
While we were there one of the families got an update on one of the previous foster kids! Everyone was so happy to see the pics! They marveled over how good the child looked and how much she had grown!!
Everyone crowded around!
I was surprised that the girls stuck close to us and did not cuddle up to the foster Mom. They loved going back and visiting and eating her food but they did not hug, kiss or cling to her.
Maybe she prepared them well for their adoption or maybe it just wasn't a super close relationship.
It is time to leave, they are all walking us back to our bus.
You can see in the window Emma on the left, Ellie in the middle and Sarah on the right.
I felt very sad leaving. I got teary along with the foster Mom. I know the girls felt sad inside but they did not cry or cling to them. As a child I know that I would have been clinging and whaling.
There is Ellie waving at her foster Dad and absorbing the moment.
They asked that the girls never forget where they are from and someday come back to visit.
I am so thankful that Katie captured these moments...
Hands touching hands through the glass window. It is such a tender moment...
It takes courage to do what these foster families do and it takes incredible courage to do what the these children have to do...
Our wordless Wednesday picture...
Still talking! Woman are so alike where ever they are from!
Everyone's Grandma saying good bye to the girls!
Sarah taking it all in...
The girls came up to the front of the bus for their last good byes.
They were sad but the held up just fine- they did not cry.
I think it was hard for the foster family to say goodbye.
The orphanage- Guilin SWI
We did not get to go inside. Our daughters were only there for 9 months.
Today is such a turning point in the lives of our daughters. We are so thankful for this opportunity to love and raise our girls.
Thank You Jesus!