Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Last Post ...

"A Great Welcoming Home from Our Friends"

"Signing on the Dotted Line"

They say all good things must come to an end, but what they don't say is that after that, it gets even better. Today will the be the last time we post to Green, Party of Four because tomorrow, we will become Green, Party of Five! If you have enjoyed reading this web log, we would like to hear from you. So, without further adue, here are some thoughts on what this web journal has meant to us for the past couple of years.

"Our First Picture of Lily Grace"

She was just a baby, born hours earlier that day, when they placed her at the entrance to the orphanage. Something had happened to her foot and perhaps her parents could not afford to take her to the doctor. Or perhaps, they simply could not keep her because life's circumstances dictated that their only child be a boy. And she was simply too much of a burden. So they placed her at the gate, in hopes that she would be found soon and taken inside to be raised and cared for by angels who did God's work in caring for children left all alone in this cold world.

"Green, Party of Three Tours the Great Wall"

Lily Grace was abandoned on the day of her birth, September 24th, 2004. We are sure that her mother did so only after all other options for her were exhausted and we believe that because she loved her newborn child, she did what she thought was best for her. Our heart breaks that she had to do this. Others have said that her loss was our gain. We believe that's a simple-minded understanding of this complex social issue and we choose to believe that God simply had us in the right place physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially to bridge the gap for this precious little life. And we will do everything we can do to make sure Lily Grace experiences life to its fullest extent and that she learns about her Savior.

"First Picture of Green, Party of Four"

Others have said that they admired us for doing this, in effect implying that our actions saved Lily Grace. While that may be true in part, we choose to see all the blessings that God has bestowed upon us through her life. One of the greatest things we've been witness to in this is how our son Austin, an only child for 12 years, has given of himself so freely and become a wonderful big brother. And what God has accomplished in both Connie and me has been truly a miracle. Through adoption, a beautiful witness to His plan for us, He has truly changed our lives and given us the ability to see Him in the everyday small things that happen around us and that others call circumstance. And for that we are ever grateful and thankful.

"Austin and Lily Grace on the Second Day"

"The Famous Red Dress Photo"

We have every hope and belief that Lily Grace, or one of the other children saddled with her early life circumstances, will one day return to China with solutions to problems that have haunted the beautiful Chinese nation for years.

Oh, the web journal, ...

It all started a little over two years ago after Connie, Austin, and I committed ourselves to adopt a little girl from China, who would become our sweet baby girl, Lily Grace. At that time, we had met some really great and cool friends, Drew and Lori, who had already adopted three little girls from China. Lori was so excited that we were going to adopt, she called and emailed every day asking how things were going. Then she began gently convincing me (Jerry, where is that journal entry!!!) to put our information into a web log so she and others could read it at their leisure and at times that were convenient.

"A Tear Jerker Photograph if Ever There Was One"

"A Tear Jerker Photograph - Part Two"

"My First Trip to the Lotion"

As the days until we left for China that first time dwindled, Lori decided to step up her efforts and eventually got me to comply and initiate our web journal and give it the name Actually, the name was Connie's idea and it seemed to fit wonderfully. After initiating the web log, we learned very quickly how important it was to us, especially while we were in China, to hear from our friends and family and to know that they were praying for us and thinking about us. If you've ever been away from the US in a place where you are the only Americans in a city of 4 or 5 million people, you know what I'm talking about. We've found the Chinese people to be extremely kind and pleasant to us, but it's just important to know that your friends and family are thinking about you.

"I Love My Sweet Baby Girl"

"My Sweet Baby Girl Loves Me"

Up until the time we started the journal, we felt somewhat isolated in what we were doing, because there simply weren't many people who were adopting children from China. The web journal gave us an opportunity to share our thoughts and to document things for Lily Grace. After that, we became friends with so many other families who were experiencing the same events, thoughts, questions, and emotions that we were and it was a comfort to know that we weren't alone in this endeavor. The responses from our family and friends have been a great blessing in our lives.

"Inviting You to Follow Us Again as Green, Party of Five"

We have used the journal to document our adoption of Lily Grace, as well as to describe life in the Green household in the days since her adoption. Austin has even got in on the act by starting his own journal when we were in China to adopt Lily Grace. We've shared birthdays and ballgames, Bible verses and baptisms, bandaids and band concerts, CC concerts and Christmases, doctors visits and dancing, and all manner of other things that make life what it is in the Green household. We hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed your encouraging comments and we hope that you will contine to follow along our journey as Green, Party of Five at Tomorrow, our Gotcha Day, we will remove access restrictions to that web journal to make it easier for you to follow along on our Journey to Lia Faith.

Jerry, Connie, Austin, Lily Grace, and Lia Faith
Green, Party of Five - Officially as of Tomorrow!


The Princess's Mommy said...

What an amazing journey it has been. Can't wait for Part II!!


Billy and Rose Cooke said...

Thank you, Lori for convincing Jerry to write this journal. Jerry, you have done an awesome job. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Lily, Austin, Connie and yourself and more recently, Lia.
This last journal entry has been a sentimental journey for us.
We love you,
Mom/Granny and Billy

Anna's Adventures said...

i no longer have the information for your new blog site. do you mind to email it to me. i´d like to follow your trip to china. Thanks! i think you have my address, but its:

Have a great trip! I will be praying.


kitty said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your journal and about your beautiful family. My God bless each of you tomorrow as you become green party of five. I can relate to your statement about being in a far away country. I went twice with my single daughter to Vietnam to adopt our beautiful granddaughter. Even tho the people are warm and friendly, there is no place like home(USA).

Have a great and safe trip.

dorothy said...

ok, connie - i cried as i read this last post, but i knew i would. what a wonderful journey! i'm so glad that you shared it with me!
i love you!

Donna said...


You have such a way with words. I bet you would be suprised at the readers you have that dont even know you, Connie, Austin and Lily. Those people who are anxiously awaiting a new post and getting a glimpse of a loving family in a sometimes seemingly harsh cold world. One can step into love, warmth and happiness by looking into your journal and reading about the simple things in life that bring a tear of joy, a smile or laughter. In all of it you show a humble heart and a deep abounding love for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I am very proud of you not only for adopting Lia and Lily, but sharing that journey with us and touching the hearts and lives of so many.

God Bless,

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