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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Forever-a-Family Day & A Year Ago Today

It's been a lot of blog posting lately. We're are now smak dab in the middle of our birthday blitzkrieg and have today arrived at "forever family" day. For those not current with adoption lingo, and who would be if you're not in the adoption world, it's the day your adopted child(ren) literally came in to your arms. It's a big deal. And coincidentally is the day after Tess's birthday. So another celebration is in order. And really, who doesn't need more cake? So I really do have 4 other children I cherish, but more T&J today.
It is hard to believe that a year ago today we landed in SaiGon, and only a few short hours later, we were anxiously waiting in a stifling hot room in the Picasso/Thu Duc Orphanage. Moments later we were handed the most precious gifts. T&J came in to our arms and our lives and our forever. Looking back at the pictures, I can see the terror in their eyes. I couldn't see it then. I knew it was there, but I couldn't see it. All I could see then was blurry from the tears of joy. They were so so scared. We'll never have the answers about where they came from or under what circumstances. But I will forever pray for the 2 mamas that made the daunting decisions to leave their babies behind. These 2 women, one young and one more experienced, gave us the most precious gift of a son and a daughter. I wish knew them or could say thank you. I wouldn't really know how to begin, but I wish I could look in her eyes,and stammer out my very bad Vietnamese, "cám ơn," thank you. Maybe I could tell her as much as I wanted to say, as much as she deserved to hear, with just my eyes. I'd like to think I'd have the courage to try. On this special day that we celebrate, I'd like to ask that you please also say a special prayer for these 2 woman that gave us so much. That they have peace about their decisions and faith.

I'll leave you with some pictures of what we were experiencing exactly one year ago today and at our G&R. This day gave us a son and a daughter. It was a very good day.

Jujube didn't do well that day. He was terrified to say the least. He came from the arms of love into literally the arms of a foreign world. After all the screaming, he quickly fell asleep in the van ride home. What was he thinking as he woke up in still in his nightmare of a different world where nothing was familiar? He warmed up over the next few days and was very soon clinging tightly to Papa.

Tess came into our arms easily... unknowingly. She played with Papa's glasses. Much of her journey started that day. The Tess we saw that day and for many months to come, was not well. Tess didn't look at us for months. Her only smiles were the result of an autonomic response from tickling. Tess wanted nothing more than to be placed in her crib and have us walk out of the room. I can say it now. It was heart breaking. At 12 months old she weighed 15 lbs and couldn't sit without being propped. She couldn't bare any weight on her legs. Neither baby had had any solid foods and both still had a gag reflex. We prepared for the worst, but nothing prepared me for the reality of it all. Over seas phone call to US doctors, and very scared and new parents was the result. 12 months later, 7 therapy sessions a week, (now we're down to five) tears, joy, and we've come a long way. We still have a long way to go. When Tess is sad or scared, her wee hand grabs my ginormous hand, and she places it on her cheek/temple. My hand pretty much covers half of her head. It gives her comfort and that in turn gives me comfort. Last night, she kissed us all, Papa, Jujube, and me, goodnight, then quietly smiled and giggled from the joy of it all.

A year ago, it was a very good day. And tonight was a very good night.
A class of older children in the orphanage.

At our G&R above. Papa looks like a giant!
One of the directors at the orphanage. He later told us that Jujube was one of his favorites. My first thought was maybe they say that about all the kiddos. But after seeing this image, I'm not so sure.


  1. The picture of Judah looking at Timmy says a thousand words-fear, trust, you can see God's hands holding him with his new daddy!

  2. wow. congratulations on an amazing year of love and new life.


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