Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3 Family!

Its midnight now but i couldn't not record my thoughts.

What a roller coaster day. I'll have to save much for later because I want to focus on 2 precious children who are one step closer to being part of our eternal family. As we met Lia and she gave each of us hugs, she just sobbed with joy... Sean's hug was much more lets get this done so we cano get on with the gifts and candy. They were both so grateful for their gifts and the orphanage workers were so generous in theirs meal, and it was great to get some of the paperwork done in advance but, all we wanted to do was go see Lia and Sean. When we were finally able to return to them, it was just prior to leaving. They were particularly attached to one teacher in particular. Saying goodbye was so hard for Lia. They both cried huge tears while Sean ran ahead to open the door to the car. As we were finally able to complete too many group photos, we hoped in the car and the tears began to come. Lia just shook with emotion and wailed over the loss of yet another segment of her life. Sean soon joined in and we had both of them just shaking with all the emotions you can possibly have in one moment. In many ways this is the best possible scenario as it shows their ability to attach, but at the same time, it was enormously hard. Logically understanding arts of this is one thing, but living it is another.

10 minutes into the journey, home, the shaking finally stopped and they began looking for some normalcy. Lia is an angel. She loves her brother who she has been living with for the last few years and is a great example to him. She is loving and gentle and enormously independent. She had another minor breakdown on the way home as she reviewed some of her photos. When we put them away and diverted her attention, she was much more able to manage the day. After a long day, we had to go eat but Lia did not want to use her wheelchair. We explained that she did not want to be a burden on her parents back. If only she could understand that children like her could not be a burden, but bring their parents great joy. She is just thrilled with every little thing and amazed at all that is good. What an inspiration.

Sean is all over the place. He has never had a family and is far less connected. While he sobbed in the car, I held I'm in my lap. He was able to deal with sitting there, but kept his distance. A time went on, his elbow would occasionally giveaway and he would lay his head on my chest momentarily. Once he realized what he had done, the elbow would come back out and he was back in his stand off mode. After a time, he fell asleep and was quite comfortable leaning on me the rest of the day but is still very much testing to see what this attachment thing is all about. He's had a taste, and thinks he likes it, but he clearly has much to learn. When we went to bed tonight, he tried everything he could think of to not have to go to sleep. With much persistence and long suffering, and holding on to him as he wiggled and giggled, and put on the tears a couple times while I held him in my lap, he slowly gave in and began to settle down. We allowed him control over a night light over the bed. He would turn it on and then turn it off. Over and over it went, but when he finally fell asleep, the light was on, and he chose to lay as close to me as he could. As I type this, he is tossing and turning and Lia sleeps peacefully next to Doll.

I can't end this segment of our story without saying how absolutely amazing Doll is. She holds the light for the family. She has such deep emotions for each

of us and is such an inspiration to me for the beauty that she brings to life. I was sealed to her for eternity 31 years and 2 months ago and that sealing has brought us much joy. She is beautiful in every way I look at her and I thank God for this woman who stands at my side.

I will add that as we met child after child, it was clear that while the orphanage was large and well equipped and the workers dearly loved the children to the point of tears throughout the day, the 107 children were missing one of the most important things in their lives... their families. Fee after face reiterated the same story. The children would come up to be touched and were so innocent an pure seeking what many of them may never have.


  1. Congratulations!! I'm so happy it went so well, despite the tears. I can't wait to see pictures!!

  2. Oh Craig and Doll, I am overjoyed for both of you and for Lia and Sean. It's hard to believe that we were in Jinan just 2 months ago! It almost seems like a lifetime has passed since then. I can't wait to follow the rest of your journey with your precious new children.

  3. BEAMING! And also inspired again by ALL of your bravery. Can't wait to hear more after you get some SLEEP.

  4. Love you guys so much. You are my heroes.