We awoke refreshed and surprised at how well the night went…Brooke IS a bit of a bed hog but slept all night through --- she was still wearing her fleece jacket that her nanny had given us before she departed. Brooke INSISTED on wearing this at bedtime so I obliged not knowing her routine, and realizing that many times children are very attached to the things they are sent with on Gotcha Day, as it is the only remnant of something that is familiar. Needless to say, she was a sweaty mess by morning…big sister introduced her to a shower and it went very well! Erica takes great delight in dressing her little sister!
|Erica...telling Yo-Yo some tale, I'm sure :)|
|Pretty sure Erica was manning the camera for this shot...this is our guide, Yo-Yo!|
|Yet another Erica classic- Mom and Dad in the civil affairs office!|
|Finalizing official paperwork!! Brooke's handprint- she is a TOERING!|
|Signing the papers- she is our daughter FOREVER.|
|She is ours!|
|Officially a family, that God brought together in the most beautiful way.|
Upon arrival in the city, our guide brought us to the city square where Brooke had been abandoned. According to the local police report, she was found on 7/14/2010. Based upon when they claim her birthday is (10/14/09), this potentially means that she with her biological parents for her first nine months. I am always overcome with emotion when my mind replays the circumstances of her abandonment. We don’t know much else other than the date she was sent to New Day Foster home (8/19/2010). So she was only in the Luo Yang orphanage for two months just long enough to make the arrangements to have her evaluated and sent to New Day Foster Home.
Brooke was left in a very beautiful and busy public square with a huge statue of six beautiful bronze horses right in the center. I imagine her mother and father wanting the best for their daughter who was probably very blue by this time due to her heart condition. Assuming they could not care for one with such great medical needs, in desperation, they probably tearfully laid their precious Cai Wei where they knew she would be found quickly and hopefully receive the immediate care she needed to save her precious life. I confidently claim Jeremiah 29:11 for sweet Brooke: “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” And Psalm 94:14 says, “For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.” So despite Brooke being abandoned at the hooves of charging horses, our God who charges all creation, put a plan into place that brought Brooke to us! My prayer is that one day in time, Brooke Cai Wei will AGAIN be abandoned…that her will, time, talents and gifts will be totally abandoned to His will.
|Pulling up to her city in the van|
|Brooke's finding spot|
|Precious 9 month old Brooke was found here almost 2 years ago- thankful to have these photos and to learn all we can about her story, and AMAZED and EXCITED to see God's plans for her future!|
|"All around, hope is springing up from this old ground. You make beautiful things out of us"- Gungor|
Out of Brooke's abandonment- and the seeming tragedy of the situation, Christ is creating something beautiful: Our family. I love the line "hope is springing up from this old ground". This so describes Brooke's life- no matter what the doctors say about her heart, no matter what happens, we have HOPE that God is creating something beautiful- something only HE could create- out of her life. "Out of chaos, LIFE is being found".
|Beautiful flowers in the park where Brooke was found|
|We are blessed.|
|What a goof :)|
|McDonalds ice cream in the park. She may have had a little accident...and may have walked around the rest of the day without pants on. Always an adventure.|
|LOVING the ice cream :)|
|Everywhere we go, people flock to us and comment on our beautiful girls!! They are SHOCKED to hear Erica speak English, and love Brooke's chubby cheeks- they just stare at her! We get it...she's just too cute :)|
We headed back the two hour drive to our hotel… enjoyed dinner at the hotel…they even had a high chair for us this evening! It is so much fun watching Brooke eat dinner! We ended our evening by going out and blowing bubbles. Tomorrow has nothing scheduled but to bond …we plan to go swimming and walk to Pizza Hut!
|Checking out what's for dinner!|
|I honestly don't think she could fit one more grain of rice into those cheeks of hers. Oh my word.|
|She LOVES to eat. :)|
Thanks again for your prayers…Brooke cried for Larry today when he left the car to get us lunch. Made Larry’s day! : ) She really is enjoying all the attention! Good night!
|Bubbles outside at the hotel- Erica being the ever helpful big sister :)|
|My precious girl.|
|Seriously ya'll. The cartwheels NEVER STOP. Everywhere we go.|