This Year Was Really Fast!
On December 19, 2016 we awoke in a Chinese Holiday Inn and prepared to go meet our second daughter. She lived in northern China, and the weather was very cold. I was still getting re-accustomed to the Chinese breakfast buffet, but Jian made sure to finish multiple plates before we headed out. Our guide, Flora, met us in the lobby, and off we went in a van with a hired driver.
During the 15 minute van ride, I sat in the back seat alone and silent, taking in all of the sights. Trying to burn them into my memory. The year before had been a whirlwind for sure. We had spent the summer in Baltimore nursing Jian through her surgeries while agonizing every day about whether we should take this leap of “faith.” I am not good at waiting, and I needed a clear answer, and I just didn’t have it at that point. Or maybe I had it, but was too scared to admit it because I couldn’t wrap my own mind around how it was all going to work out.
Then it all fell into place, and 4 ½ months later we had finished the entire adoption process and fund-raised every penny and were in this van half way around the world preparing to meet her. When we arrived at the orphanage, the only frame of reference I had to compare was Jian’s Gotcha Day. We had arrived first and waited for quite a while for her to get there. This time Flora, along with an orphanage representative, escorted us through the hallway toward the room where I assumed we would sit and wait for Faith.
It was the surprise of my life when I turned the corner, and there she was—standing there in 4 layers of clothing. She immediately walked toward me. I hit my knees to be on her level and hugged her for what seemed like an hour. “Wo ai ni. Wo ai ni,” I kept whispering. “I love you.” I could not believe that we were finally with her. And that she was well.
She proceeded to show all of us around, and we sat to complete our paperwork. The director of the orphanage along with many others (maybe up to 10 people in all) were there. Smiling and nodding a lot. Shaking our hands and thanking us for coming and helping this precious one. My heart was full and warm that day, because one thing was apparent—Our girl was loved.
This morning as I was dropping the girls off at school, Faith made a comment. “Wow, Mom, this year was really fast!” It certainly was. As I watched them walk into the school, it was hard to believe that this time last year Faith wasn’t even in the US yet. It really feels like she has been a part of our family all along.
As I have alluded to before, she and I have very different personalities, which has also made this year a growing and learning experience. But one thing is for sure about this girl—To know her is to love her. Jian was the missing puzzle piece in our family, and Faith has been the icing on the cake.
Happy One Year Gotcha Day, Faith Huizhen Jackson.
Wo ai ni.
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. 1 Samuel 1:27