Four years ago today, Rachel came home. It was the day before her second birthday. Up until then, she had been living in an orphanage in China waiting on her momma and daddy to come get her.
My sister, Jennifer, and her husband, James, adopted their second child from China. I was unable to go with them but it didn’t mean my heart (and anxiety) weren’t there with them. They knew Rachel had been diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy but beyond that, knew little else. Their hearts led them to this little girl and they journeyed back across the Pacific Ocean prepared for the unknown. When they were given Rachel, she was a sick little girl…high temperature, nagging cough, needle holes in her tiny heels.
Sick Baby Rachel – China, March 2009
When Rachel arrived in the United States, she preferred women…would rarely go near a man…was so tiny and so thin…but there was something there, something in those gorgeous dark eyes, and it wouldn’t be long before her spark lit. She began walking, talking, growing, was potty-trained easily, and is now an agile, active, brilliant little girl. Any signs of CP have long since vanished.
October 2009 – 7 months after coming home. Her spirit was already in full bloom.
Rachel – 5 years old
Love is an amazing thing…
Sometimes you find it and other times it finds you. Rachel was perfectly placed into our lives…a little girl half-way around the world would become ours. Her spirit and love fill us. Her big heart warms us.
Love truly is an amazing thing.
Six years ago today, I was in China with my sister, daughter and brother-in-law. Four brave souls had ventured across the Pacific Ocean in search of a province we’d never heard of before. We conquered the fifteen hour flight, a bout of airline-food-induced-food-poisoning, and the frigid temperatures of a foreign country where no one could understand our southern English, all on a journey to bring home baby Taylor.
James, Jennifer and Hunter at the Great Wall of China.
Hunter and I readying for our Hutong tour.
On day three of our trip, we flew from Beijing to Hefei. It was there Taylor waited for his new parents. Watching my sister meet her first child for the very first time was one of the most memorable, heart warming moments of my life. She and James were, of course, anxious and scared but more than that, they were like any other expectant parents – they couldn’t wait to meet their child.
Jennifer and Taylor – Look how happy she is!
There are times in your life when you feel ‘along for the ride’ and then there are times in your life where you know you are witnessing something real, something important. In that moment, snapshots are created in your mind, imprinting the sounds, the smells, the feelings, deep into your heart. Going to China, meeting Taylor for the very first time with Jennifer and James – that was one of those moments. It was life changing.
Taylor taught me something immediately – not weeks or months later. He taught me that love is expansive. It can instantly appear and instantly encompass you. From the first moment we saw him, he was our Taylor and we adored him. A little boy born thousands of miles away was instantly part of us all.