Monday, May 24, 2010

The families..

There were three families in the travel group with Living Hope Adoption that were traveling to China to get their babies.

The first would be our friend Angie. Ange has been in the process of international adoption for over 5 years. She is single and was able to get into the China program before China changed it's policy of not allowing single parents to adopt. As the time frame extended far more than the 5 years she had already waited, Angie decided to switch gears and apply for China's Special Needs track. It was on this path that she received her referral of Emma! Emma was born with a mild heart condition that we are hoping will be either self correcting or needing only minimal intervention once she is evaluated by heart specialists in the United States.

The 2nd family is from Georgia and was adopting a beautiful little girl who is almost 4 years old. The J. family has a son (Jared) that is a year older than John so they quickly became great friends. It was an incredible experience for John to witness the process of how Jared's new sister and baby Emma came into their families as this is similar to how Elizabeth entered our lives. Jared's new sister is Shae and spent the first years of her life at the Starfish home in Xi'an. Both Shae and Emma were immaculate and it looked like they had been dressed in their finest for the 'gotcha' occasion.

We asked John to think about how he would feel if something were to happen to his parents and he no longer had us, then to be taken away and placed in the arms of strangers that didn't speak his language, eat the kind of food he was used to, and took him to another country to live. John thought for a long time before he answered "I would be very very sad". That's exactly what we think the children are going through. Shae obviously being older understands this change more than Emma so she is having more of an adjustment period. Both children are doing incredibly well considering everything they have been through.

The third family is from PA. 2 sisters. Their story will make you cry. The sisters were orphans themselves growing up in an orphanage together. Neither married so they live together and are very close. They decided they wanted to open their home to a child that needed a family so they also were able to get a single's spot (like Angie) before China shut the door for single parent applicants. Their new daughter was from a different province, so we met initially in Beijing, then split when we traveled to Xi'an with Angie and the J. family. We will meet up again with the sisters in Guangzhou for the final 3rd of the journey as this is where everyone will complete the US part of the adoption process. The US consulate is located in Guangzhou and families obtain all the documents necessary here to enter the US with their new children.

As our time in Xi'an drew to a close, all were excited to move on to the final stop before coming home!


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