Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Celebrating Life and a Red Thread

November 7th our sweet little Charlotte celebrated her 1st birthday! This precious child has had quite the life so far. She was given up at 6 months of age. No doubt her family felt they could not give her the much needed heart surgery she had to have to survive. So they left her at the orphanage. Maybe they thought the orphanage could help. I can't even imagine having that sweet baby in my arms for 6 months and then leaving her "in hopes" she might get surgery and might live. I pass no judgement here. I will never truly know the real "whys" of her story  but I do know God impressed upon my heart to fight for her, to be her voice, to give her a chance at life. I truly felt I owed it to her and her birth mother. Enter the Red Thread....there is a Chinese proverb that states:

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.

So "our Red Thread" began when we decided to adopt again, God led us to Lulu at Chenzhou CWI, through Lulu we met the Team Chenzhou gang, through that we fell in love with this group and this orphanage, we then decided to go on a mission trip with them to Chenzhou, while there little Charlotte had been left just weeks before our arrival, Julia fell in love with her, another amazing team member, Megan, already had some "fight" in her and wanted to get help for "her baby" Sarah, Megan contacted some friends, said friends made some calls, God moved mountains, Charlotte and Sarah were sent to New Hope in Beijing for some much needed care and surgery, Charlotte had emergency heart surgery and is recovering and doing very well according to the doctor!

So we couldn't let this momentous occasion of turning 1 go by. I contacted New Hope and asked if we could send a birthday party. They said that they usually have 1 party a month for all the kids celebrating their birthdays in that month and they were due for one! So we got to help with this special day and they sent pictures for us to see.

 What a FABULOUS place! Praise be to God these girls are there! As I looked at Charlotte's non-blue face, tears welled up in my eyes. I don't know what the future holds for this beautiful child but she has a future now. The orphanage told us she had a " very bad heart" and it couldn't be repaired. They did the best they could for her but they had no hope. She would have died had she stayed there. But God had different plans for this child. He saw hope! My verse for the mission trip was Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I had know idea just how appropriate this would be....but He did!

I pray daily for Charlotte. I pray she heals. I pray she gets a family. I do ask God if we are to pursue her...I haven't heard yet on that :) Wherever she ends up will be the perfect place for her because He has written her story and He has connected the Red Threads that make up her life. Happy 1st Birthday sweet Charlotte! We love you!

Our Charlotte

Sarah who celebrated her birthday a few weeks ago! She has made AMAZING progress!!!!

Their cake

They even had goody bags!!!

They had dress up play and face painting, parachute play and this tunnel too!! I love this place! And the staff seems amazing too! They seem to love their jobs and the kids. So thankful there are people and places like this!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween 2013

1st shift of carving

Lulu refused to stick her hand in the pumpkin and pull the gunk out.

2nd shift of carving

Halloween morning about 6:50 am!

A Halloween breakfast

Oh these girls and their love of princesses and all things pretty and sparkly!

Goof balls!!!!

Zombie girl...yuk! The sad thing is she got a big black eye in her soccer game Saturday and all the kids at school  today joked that she forgot to take her zombie make-up off! Actually the make-up was less frightening looking than the real thing!!!! Poor baby!

The neighborhood gang all ready to set out!

I love this "holiday"! The kids love this "holiday"! So much fun and so simple really. This year was a little different as my 15 year old was not present for the pumpkin carving or trick or treating because she had basketball tryouts. Oh my heart! I guess I should rejoice in the fact that it lasted as long as it did. Those are just the "bumps" you have in a family with a large age span. We carved in shifts and Sam was sweet enough to carve Lulu's pumpkin and then wait and carve with Julia later that night. And Julia did catch up with us trick or treating and took the little girls to the doors. She got to dress up the next day at school where the sophomore class dressed as zombies. I even had to take a Halloween picture of all 5 in the wee hours of the morning before school in order to get all 5 together! Whew...didn't I say simple "holiday"?