A Beginning

I’m not sure I’ll get pictures in this post tonight. We went to bed at 3:30 and were up at 7:30am. Now we’re getting ready for tomorrow and hoping to get to bed early. Mark has to go back to work tomorrow since he doesn’t have anymore time to take.

The girls are doing really well.

Evangeline was fine for the very long flight home, just like a little trouper. Eliza was pretty good for the first half of the flight from Hong Kong, but really didn’t seem too well for the last half.

Once we got to JFK, she was really uncooperative and refused to sit with us. I’m sure she was exhausted. She wanted to sit in the furthest spot away from us that she could. It just wasn’t safe for her to be so far away, so we used the translator and tried to encourage her, but nothing worked, and in the end we had to physically move her.

It was difficult, and we wondered how she would be at home. She did not smile once from the time we flew over the Arctic Circle and the entire ride home from New York City. I don’t know what she was thinking, but in my mother’s heart, I think the anticipation, the long months of waiting and dreaming of her family had taken it’s toll, and our sweet Eliza could bear it no longer. The long plane trip to the states, the ending of her life in China, and the fear of the unknown weighed so heavily on our tender girl.

The moment we walked in the door of our home, Eliza’s countenance changed. Her little face lit up. She smiled at all the kids, knelt down to pet the cat and the dogs, and gave gifts to her brothers and sisters.

While we were in China, we allowed her several opportunities to purchase something for herself. Most of the time, she chose something boyish. She would bring it home and not open it. We had been told that Eliza had a lot of friends who were boys so we thought she must have been choosing toys that she had enjoyed playing with the boys.

As soon as we got home, we realized she was buying gifts for her little brothers. Oh my goodness! This sweet heart, who has never had a mother and father buy her anything was choosing gifts for her new siblings and nothing for herself.

Words fail me.

She loves the children. I know they will love her too. I have already seen Olivia sitting on her lap and leaning against her. If you remember, In one of Eliza’s letters to us, she said she had always wanted a little sister. You can read that letter here. God, in His prevenient grace, not only gave her a little sister, but ten brothers and sisters to love her,…and cousins, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles, an entire family.

Evangeline had a good day too. She is just precious, and it is a joy to watch her settle into our family. We went to the park today with all the children. I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

We Face Timed tonight with Evangeline’s orphanage friend/sister, Emily. There just are no words to describe their precious faces as they peered across the ether-net at each other. There is something special about the intimacy and connection of friends who share a childhood, and while Evangeline and Emily are still so young in years, they share a lifetime of memories in China. They connected immediately with an intensity that was remarkable and brought tears to my eyes.

How I long for the girls to welcome me into the years past, to share the sadness, the loss, the fear, and even the joys they hold in their hearts. I long to read them like a book, to devour the pages others have written upon, and know the stories so deeply engraved upon their hearts.

But for now, I am content to know our girls are finally here with us. I am content to know a new story has begun to engrave itself upon their hearts. I know this time the story is one of love, healing and redemption, for I know the Great Redeemer, and He is most definitely among us, working His miracles.

God bless you.

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  1. Tim says:

    From the letter – ” I wish she could have and play all those things that I didn’t get to play when I was a little girl.”

    That was hard to read. Poignant.

    This portion of this post – “the long plane trip to the states, the ending of her life in China, and the fear of the unknown weighed so heavily”

    was hard as well.

  2. Stacey says:

    Praying for you and knowing that God will knit all of your hearts together in His perfect love. Lord, let this transition be full of grace and mercy, redemption and restoration in Jesus name. Amen.

  3. Ally says:

    We have been praying for you all. We brought home two little boys last Dec. to our big family. Our Max was 6 so quite a bit younger than Eliza but he grieved quite deeply his loss and behaved much like Eliza. The siblings were the connection for him. He immediately bonded to his sisters closest to his age and it took several months before he would let me into his heart. We took baby steps each day but as he saw the other children trust me and love me, he too was willing to to try. He now loves his Mama fiercely and has accepted his new life with enthusiasm. Give her time and lots of love. It’s hard because we have loved these children from afar and worked so hard to bring them home. I shed many a tear waiting for that child initiated hug and I love you, mom! Praying for her heart and yours as well. Congratulations on your precious girls and thank-you for answering the call!

  4. Penny says:

    I am a very fast reader, and yet I find myself reading your posts as slowly as possible to savor every single word. ALL of your children are lucky to have such a sensitive, intuitive and insightful mother. I’m rejoicing for all of you that your family is all together at last!

  5. Annie says:

    Praise the lord, Diane!!!! I will keep your precious girls in my prayers! How beautiful to see the Lord’s perfect plan unfold and your faithfulness in that plan! I knew Evangeline as “Mimi” and advocated so hard for her. How it blesses my heart to know that she is home and that she is loved and that she will know the Lord!!!!! Wonderful! God bless dear Diane!

  6. Chantelle says:

    I just went and saw her letter and card – she looks like a scrapbooker! Maybe offer her up some photos, papers, stickers, glitters and supplies and let her make journaling/scrapbooking pages of her journey since leaving the orphanage. Sometimes writing about it all can be so helpful and having those memories will be a treasure some day!

  7. Gordon Garrett says:

    A move like this can leave deep scars on a child. They leave the only friends and the closest thing they have to a family in their life. I Hope and Pray that Eliza opens up quickly and avoids as many scars as possible. All the other children will help her to feel “at Home” and be closer to any life she ever had because there were always lots of children. It Breaks my heart reading about her and thinking about what she is going through. My Prayers are still with Y’all. God Bless

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