Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Once Was Lost, But Now I'm Found

Today was probably the most rewarding and most difficult days of our trip. We were able to visit Lily Grace's orphanage today and meet the director and all her nannys. We also got to see the exact spot where she was abandoned. Many tears. We took pictures for future. The spot where she was found was exactly as we had been told, right at the front gate.

When we first arrived at the orphanage, they set off a round of firecrackers in our honor. It is Chinese tradition to welcome home family members by shooting fireworks. That was cool. They told us that through Lily Grace, we are now extended family members. When we arrived, the orphanage seemed smaller than in pictures we had seen. We visited Lily Grace's room and saw her bed. They had placed a Ladybug in her bed. One of the Nannys gave us back a little book we had sent to Lily Grace earlier. We were happy to receive it and it appeared that it had been well used.

Then her primary nanny came in and wanted to hold her. We gave her to the nanny without hesitation, knowing that God's plan was in full blown action now. After many nannies spent time holding Lily Grace, she turned around toward us and cried. When Austin held out his hands, she came running to him! Thank You God!

A very sad moment occurred when Lily Grace's best friend, saw her and came running to her, with her hands held out. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. Even though we couldn't speak Chinese and they couldn't speak English, there was perfect communication between us. They wanted to know if we knew the family who was adopting the little girl and if we could find out when they were coming for her. We will do our best.

There were many kids there waiting to be adopted. The orphanage has sent 85 children to the USA and they were very proud of this. It was a very proud moment for us as American citizens to see how grateful they were to the United States. But we know in our hearts that we're not the ones giving the blessing, but rather the ones receiving the blessing! God himself is orchestrating everything about our adoption and those of others before us or after us. And with God in control, All things are possible!

We were all very quiet on the way back from the orphanage (an hour and a half drive). We got many pictures and created a 1 hour video for Lily Grace to see when she grows up. It was the best thing I think we could do for both her and the Nannys. But, funny how it works that once again, we were on the receiving end of the blessing. We learned many things from the Nannys about Lily Grace and its funny how accurate they all were. It was very exciting and very comforting to see how much Lily Grace was loved by the orphanage staff. They called her the princess of the orphanage!

God has been so unbelievably kind to us, it is difficult to describe. So we will just continue to post pictures for all to see. Please pray for us as Lily Grace continues to adjust to her new family.

Jerry, Connie, Austin, and Lily Grace


Drew and Lori said...

okay- i'm crying now! PRAISE GOD she wanted her family- isn't it amazing how they simply know who you are- it blows me away! I am so thankful that you got to see where she stayed and to meet her wonderful caretakers. You are so blessed as is Lily Grace and like you always say- God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

Hodge Family News said...

WOW! What an emotional day! Thanks for sharing. These pictures and video will be priceless to Lily Grace someday. You were blessed to get it!


Laura said...

So many memories came flooding back when I saw the photos of the orphanage and the familiar faces that are there. I know what a wonderful blessing this day is for your family. I share in your Praises that God is so Good! I can't wait to see those photos and video when you get home.

Anonymous said...

wow! It is really hard for me to hold back the tears now. God is just amazing! Praise His holy name!
Love you all,

Max&Kathy said...

I am so happy you got to visit the orphanage. I am crying too!

regina said...

Wow!I am touched!

Gretta said...

Hey Ya'll. It sounds like you all are having such a good time. Can't wait for you all to get back to Alabama. I really can not wait to see Lily Grace. Loves to all, Gretta

Donna said...


Can you bring the little friend home to your sister? Oh my.. that just breaks my heart for those little girls. Hopefully, her new family will be close by! Yall take care and be safe!

Your Sis

Laura said...

I am missing you! Hurry home! Sarah wants to see her little Xing Xing. I want to give her a big kiss. Hope all is well.